For Roger Mahony, clergy abuse cases were a threat to agenda

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

From the start of his tenure as the leader of L.A.’s Catholics, Roger Mahony had ambitious plans for the archdiocese. But clergy molestation claims were vying for his attention.

BY HARRIET RYAN, ASHLEY POWERS AND VICTORIA KIM
December 01, 2013

A year after arriving in Los Angeles, the youngest archbishop in the U.S. Catholic Church had a schedule and an agenda befitting a presidential candidate.

Roger Mahony raced around the city in a chauffeured sedan, exhorting labor leaders to support immigrant rights and rallying hundreds against a proposed prison in Boyle Heights.

Where his predecessors had talked up praying the rosary, Mahony touted his positions on nuclear disarmament and Middle East peace, porn on cable TV and AIDS prevention. No issue seemed outside his purview: When an earthquake struck El Salvador, he cut a $100,000 check. When a 7-year-old went missing in South Pasadena, he wrote her Protestant parents a consoling letter.

Reporters took notes and the influential took heed. The mayor, the governor, business executives and millionaires recognized a rising star and sought his company.

Among the thousands of papers that crossed his desk in September 1986 was a handwritten letter.

“During priests’ retreat … you provided us with an invitation to talk to you about a shadow that some of us might have,” Father Michael Baker wrote. “I would like to take you up on that invitation.”

The note would come to define Mahony’s legacy more than any public stance he took or powerful friend he made.

In the child sex abuse scandal that has shaken the Catholic Church, Mahony is a singular figure.

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Survey for the Synod on the Family is available here

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Take the Survey Now

In preparation for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family to be held 5th – 19th October 2014, the Vatican has asked national bishops’ conferences around the world to seek the opinions of Catholics on a number of church teachings including contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce.

Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops, asked the bishops’ conferences to commence a survey “immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received.”

We are aware that the Vatican document is difficult to complete, so we are presenting here a version that is as close as we can make it to the original, but is such that we believe will made this canvass of views more readily available to a greater number. We suggest that you fill it in either as individuals or as groups. The important thing is that it represents the lived experience of as many people, single, couples, families, in our Church.

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Will church leaders rise to the challenge of Pope Francis?

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Tony Flannery rejoices in the difference Pope Francis is making in the Church, but fears that local church leadership may not have the capacity to implement the change the pope wishes for.

Pope Francis has certainly created a new mood in the Church, a mood of optimism and hope. But his latest exhortation goes much further; it shows we have as pope a man who is determined that his period in the Vatican will be a time for more than just talk. It is clear now that there is a determination, almost a degree of impatience about him, like a man who realises that he hasn’t got an endless amount of time, and that the task is urgent and difficult.

It is also clear that his vision of Church is dramatically different from the two men who have gone before him, and that those who are still trying to say that Francis is in the direct line of Benedict and John Paul are becoming less credible. The simple life style, the constant calling for a poor Church, for a simple liturgy, the critique of the Curia, the challenge to the local churches to begin to take responsibility, all amounts to dramatic changes of direction from the papacy. Someone referred to his most recent encyclical as a charter for church reform.

The question that occupies me now is will the local churches rise to the challenge. Reading back over the history of the Second Vatican Council, it is clear that many new ideas and approaches were presented that would, if implemented, amount to a big change in pastoral approach, in governance, and even in interpretation of doctrine. But only a small part of it was ever put into practice because the local churches were not willing to take up the baton and move courageously into the future. John Charles McQuaid’s famous sentence when he came home from the Council that nothing had happened that would disturb the tranquillity of the faith of the people was a good illustration of the mentality that ultimately blocked change.

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Royal Commission To Hold Public Hearing Into Towards Healing Starting 9 December

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney commencing Monday 9 December 2013. The public hearing will look into the Towards Healing process adopted by the Catholic Church in responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines explained that this hearing will be the first of a number of public hearings that will examine the application of Towards Healing in responding to victims and allegations of child sexual abuse against personnel of the Catholic Church.

“This first public hearing into Towards Healing will focus on the experiences of four people who participated in the process,” she said.

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Francis updates:John Allen and Vatican Pied Pipers toot Francis-mania…while Hans Kung points out “the Pope and his ‘double’” shadow pope Ratzinger!

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils…

Paris Arrow

Updated November 30, 2013

While John Allen and the Vatican Pied Pipers are all tooting Francis-mania worldwide, Hans Kung is hitting the bull’s eye of the ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ Latin for “Joy of the Gospel”, the new Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis. Hans Kung’s analysis is entitled “The Pope and his ‘double’” (Italian, Il papa e il suo “doppio”) and like a prophet, he points out what the Vatican Pied Pipers are not saying (must not say) and what the 1.2 billion Catholics cannot see (must not see) — that Pope Francis is acting on the directive of his “shadow pope” Ratzinger – God’s Rottweiler Benedict XVI. At the beginning of Kung’s article, there’s a big photo of the two white popes face to face almost kissing each other (creepy creepy photo of the two very very old males ‘Brides of Christ’ in white!) Hans Kung points out that Pope Francis’ “indiscriminate rejection of abortion and women priests should arouse criticism” and that “his dogmatic scope is limited because Francis is under pressure of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and its prefect, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller?” (Read the English translation of his article below – with our highlights in yellow).

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ROYAL COMMISSION CALLS FOR VICTIMS FROM THE ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF ADELAIDE

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is calling on members of the public, who suffered sexual abuse as a child within the Anglican Church and have subsequently made a claim to the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide since 2004, to contact the Royal Commission.

Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said Healing Steps was implemented by the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide in 2004 to provide pastoral support and practical assistance for victims of sexual abuse. The program was established after an internal inquiry made recommendations about how the Diocese could improve its response to sexual abuse and misconduct, including child sexual abuse.

“Healing Steps was established by the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide as an alternative approach to civil proceedings for resolving claims of sexual abuse, including child sexual abuse.

“The Royal Commission is in the process of gathering information relevant to these matters, and would like to talk to anyone who was sexually abused as a child within the Anglican Church, and who has participated in the Healing Steps program.

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What Is The Next Hearing About? (Or: Towards Reeling)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The next hearings of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will begin on 9th December, in Sydney. More than a year after the announcement of the Royal Commission by former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, it will finally touch on the Catholic Church.

The recent Victorian Parliamentary enquiry analyzed the system set up by Catholic cardinal, George Pell, to deal with victims of paedophile priests in Melbourne (see previous postings). As Pell was, at the time, Archbishop of Melbourne, he called it the “Melbourne Response”. The Victorian enquiry revealed it as being anti-victim, pro-church and an affront to the dignity of victims.

When Pell went on to be a Cardinal, he set up a national version of the “Melbourne Response”, termed “Towards Healing”, which was no better in terms of outcomes for victims. The main thing about Pell’s programs is that, because it was impossible to sue the Catholic Church, victims were bullied into accepting low compensation and forfeiting their rights against the church.

Both processes were billed by Pell as being “independent”, but because they were funded by the church, operated only for the church. From the Royal Commission’s point of view, the Towards Healing process represents the problems which can arise when there is not a truly independent process. It could lead to such a body in the future, which will finally give victims the help they need and deserve.

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Vatican bank names consultant as director as overhaul continues

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

BY JAMES MACKENZIE
ROME Sat Nov 30, 2013

Nov 30 (Reuters) – The Vatican bank said on Saturday it had appointed Rolando Marranci, a consultant called in to help improve transparency, as director general to take charge of operations as the institution seeks to reform after a series of scandals.

Marranci, 60, has acted as deputy director general since July, when the then-director general Paolo Cipriani and his number two Massimo Tulli resigned after a senior cleric with close ties to the bank was arrested on suspicion of plotting to smuggle 20 million euros into Italy from Switzerland.

He previously worked with Promontory Financial Group, an outside consultancy called in by Pope Francis to help review all accounts held by the bank’s customers and tighten anti-money laundering procedures.

A former executive with Italy’s Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Marranci’s appointment is the latest in a series of changes at the bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) as it battles to emerge from allegations it has dragged its feet in improving transparency standards.

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Victim: Statute of limitations too short in Iowa and Illinois

IOWA/ILLINOIS
Quad-City Times

By Barb Ickes

The way Natalie Long sees it, the rape of a child is like a murder.

“Sexual abuse takes the soul of a child,” the Rock Island woman said. “It takes away your innocence and how you view the world. It challenges every foundation you have — everything you believed in and trusted.”

Because of the lasting and life-changing trauma of being sexually abused as a child, Long regards many states’ time limits for prosecuting offenders a secondary form of abuse. She wants to change that and has begun her appeal against such statutes of limitations in Iowa and Illinois.

Long and Rock Island lawyer Arthur Winstein have launched a new foundation with a goal of changing many states’ statutes of limitations for sexual abuse against minors, dubbed S.A.A.M. (saamfoundation.org).

“Our argument is that there is not enough time to come to terms with, cope and face your abuser within these time frames,” Long said, citing Iowa’s 10-year limit as an example of a too-short statute. “We had a 72-year-old woman come to us who’d been keeping it to herself for 60 years.”

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Inside the Vatican

VATICAN CITY
BBC

Why did Pope Benedict resign, and can Pope Francis clean up the Vatican? Mark Dowd explores the crises that hit the Roman Catholic Church in the months leading up to the Papal resignation: the leaking of secret documents by the Pope’s butler revealing power struggles at the top of the Church; investigations into money-laundering at the Vatican Bank; and claims that a ‘gay lobby’ controls sections of the Roman Curia, the Church’s civil service

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Opinion: Royal Commission …

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Opinion: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse shows men of God failed to act

TERRY SWEETMAN THE SUNDAY MAIL (QLD) DECEMBER 01, 2013

“That’s not the Pat Comben I knew,” said a former ministerial staffer and current political tragic over a beer last week.

Nor was it the Pat Comben I knew as my former member of parliament, a former cabinet minister, a late-ordained Anglican minister, and neighbourhood acquaintance.

This was a man against whom few had ill to say, whose table was invariably a gathering of good and interesting people, who frequently filled his ministerial limo with strangers on the way to the office and by all accounts was a more than competent minister.

We were discussing allegations levelled by former workmate Tommy Campion, who accused Comben of duplicity and betrayal in what have been called “cruel and inappropriate” church responses to claims of abuse at the North Coast Children’s Home at Lismore.

We were discussing Comben’s appearance before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse during which he made the bewildering claim that he had “no idea” why he did not report serious allegations of abuse to police.

The commission was told that Comben had driven the hard line the diocese took in dealing with requests for compensation and apologies for people who suffered in the home.

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Troubled Vatican bank names consultant as manager

VATICAN CITY
Boston.com

By NICOLE WINFIELD / Associated Press / November 30, 2013

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The troubled Vatican bank announced its new top manager Saturday, promoting an outside consultant who had stepped in when the bank’s top two managers resigned amid scandal last summer.

Rolando Marranci had worked for Promontory Financial Group advising the Institute for Religious Works on cleaning up its accounts when he was named acting deputy director July 1. The bank’s senior managers, Paolo Ciprianni and Massimo Tulli, had been forced out after a Vatican accountant with close ties to the bank was arrested for trying to bring 20 million euros ($26 million) into Italy from Switzerland without declaring it at customs.

At the time of the ouster, the bank’s president, Ernst Von Freyberg, was named acting director while he continued on as president and board member, a seeming conflict of interest that appears to be resolved now that Marranci has taken over day-to-day operations of the institute.

Von Freyberg remains on as president.

Marranci’s appointment was announced Saturday, days before the Vatican is due to be evaluated by the Council of Europe’s Moneyval committee on its progress complying with international norms to fight money laundering and terror financing.

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Royal commission to bring up a lot of emotions for victims

AUSTRALIA
The Bulletin

RELATIONSHIPS Australia will support victims of child sexual abuse in institutions who wish to talk to the royal commission.

Counsellor Aaron Kenney said as people began to tell their stories it would bring up a lot emotionally.

“Certain counselling services have been contracted by the royal commission to provide support as they go through the process,” he said.

“We can support them to articulate their story.

“Some people, they haven’t talked about it for quite a while, if ever.”

Mr Kenney said the service would offer support emotionally to help identify coping mechanisms and other social support groups, reducing the feeling of isolation.

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Dominican Republic: Prosecutors Find Archbishop Sexually Abused Minors

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Lez Get Real

Posted by: Lez Get Real on November 29, 2013.

Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic say that that the former apostolic nuncio to that country, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, is guilty of molesting at least five boys.

Wesolowski was relieved of his duties and recalled to Rome in August, after Church leaders in the Dominican Republic informed Pope Francis that they had uncovered evidence of sexual abuse by the papal representative. The Vatican turned over the evidence to the Dominican government, and has pledged to cooperate with prosecutors there and indeed, Dominican authorities report that the Vatican and church officials were fully cooperative in their investigation.

The Dominican prosecutors, in turn, report that they have sent the final results of their investigation to the Vatican, including testimony from five young men who say they were molested, and from a deacon who admitted to having relations with the former nuncio. The also say that the archbishop bought and used cocaine.

They will now have to determine if they will charge Wesolowski with child sexual abuse and other crimes.

A Vatican spokesman has said that the it is willing to hand over Wesolowski to civil authorities in the Dominican Republic if requested to do so. However, Wesolowski’s whereabouts have been unknown since the Vatican removed him as apostolic nuncio Aug. 21 after the allegations against him came to light.

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Former moderator given free hand to examine Scottish Church’s handling of abuse

SCOTLAND
The Tablet

29 November 2013 16:45 by Brian Morton and Sabrina Sweeney

The man chosen to lead an external inquiry into how the Catholic Church in Scotland handles sexual abuse says he has been given a free hand to review child protection in order to guarantee that the “awful” lapses of the past could not be repeated.

The Church in Scotland has been under pressure to commission an outside inquiry into its safeguarding procedures following a BBC documentary showing evidence of physical and sexual abuse carried out at the Benedictine-run Fort Augustus School and its prep school, and the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him by five men, four of them priests. Those allegations did not involve minors.

On Sunday, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland announced the review by Dr Andrew McLellan, a former Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly, as part of a three-pronged initiative to confront issues of clerical abuse.

This also includes the publishing on the bishops’ website of a breakdown of abuse allegations made against dioceses between 2006 and 2012, against religious between 2009 and 2012 and a statistical review of all historical cases of abuse from 1947-2005.

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I-Team: Alleged priest victim calls for more transparency

RHODE ISLAND
NBC 10

[with video]

Updated: Nov 29, 2013

By Katie Davis

An alleged victim of clergy sexual abuse is calling for more transparency from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence after an NBC 10 investigation.

The NBC 10 I-Team uncovered dozens of letters detailing abuse by Catholic priests in local churches going back decades.

A man who grew up in Rhode Island says he found his own case in those files. The letter is the most recent one the I-Team found in Rhode Island State Police files.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence sent it to detectives 10 months ago, but it details an alleged assault from 48 years earlier.

The alleged victim, Joe Corcoran, spoke publicly for the first time to NBC 10.

“It didn’t get easier, like you would think, as time went by. The memories. It got harder,” Corcoran said.

Corcoran grew up Warwick. As a high school student in the late 1960s, he worked at the Providence Visitor, the Catholic newspaper published by the Diocese of Providence.

It was one of the paper’s editors, the Rev. John Ferry, who Corcoran said sexually assaulted him.

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Aspinall’s Final Say (Or: The Rubicon Was Too Cold To Cross)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

The head of the Anglican Church was given the last word at the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s third hearing, into Allan Kitchingman (see previous posting) and the Anglican Church’s North Coast Children’s Home. That word was “help”.

Like Catholic Cardinal, George Pell, Primate Aspinall is keen to remind anyone who will listen, that he is not like a CEO of his church, in that he has no power over his apparent underlings. Aspinall has so little power, that he has called on the commission to recommend that the government pass laws to force his church to be more humane towards its victims, through a national compensation system.

“I think, in terms of the Anglican Church, it would be much quicker and simpler for us if that were imposed on us from outside. And then dioceses wouldn’t fall into the trap that Grafton did in terms of focusing on financial matters to the detriment of victims. They would simply be given a determination by a statutory body and required to find the money,” Aspinall said.

He felt that it would be essentially impossible for the Anglican Church to set up such a fund, because it would require agreement from all 23 dioceses. Agreement was unlikely, because, as he poetically put it, “Anglican politics makes federal politics look like kindergarten.” Members of the Church would “take a dim view” of having to sell property to raise cash for victim compensation and assistance.

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Dejaeger set up sleeping bags for “camping” sessions in church bedroom

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

DAVID MURPHY

The Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit heard a fresh voice at the trial of Eric Dejaeger Nov. 29, who said the former priest set up “camping” sessions with sleeping bags for children in an upstairs church bedroom.

Nicole Arnatsiaq was a religion teacher at the school in Igloolik in 1981 and 1982 and lived at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church when Dejaeger was a priest there.

Arnatsiaq told Justice Robert Kilpatrick that Dejaeger used to wear “tight jeans,” but said, “at the time I did not [see] any abnormalities.”

However, she did see sleeping bags upstairs in a bedroom once when Father Robert Lechat, head priest of the church, was away on one of many regular trips to neighbouring missions.

“Eric told me they were camping here,” Arnatsiaq told Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss.

Dejaeger, 66, faces 77 sex-related charges. Of those, he pleaded guilty to eight charges of indecent assault on day one of the trial.

Those charges stem from incidents that are alleged to have occurred in Igloolik during his tenure as a priest there between 1978 and 1982. Most of the witnesses so far have been complainants — there are 39 in total.

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Vatican abuse prosecutor meets British victims and safeguarding experts

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

29 November 2013 16:35 by Christopher Lamb

The recently appointed Vatican prosecutor for abuse cases travelled to Britain this week for his first overseas visit in his new role.

Fr Robert Oliver, the “Promoter of Justice” at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), met abuse victims, canon lawyers and addressed two seminars attended by bishops and safeguarding professionals in London and Leeds.

He was invited to Britain by the Chairman of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission for England and Wales, Danny Sullivan.

Fr Oliver, a priest from the Archdiocese of Boston who assisted with that diocese’s response to the clerical sexual abuse scandals which led to the resignation of its then archbishop, Cardinal Bernard Law, was appointed to his role at the end of last year.

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Wanted priest doesn’t know if he’ll return to Canada on child sex charges

CANADA/FRANCE
Lethbridge Herald

By The Canadian Press on November 29, 2013.

A priest wanted on child sex-abuse charges in the North says he doesn’t know if he’ll return from France to face them.

Reached at his home in the Avignon region, Joannes (yoh-HAH’-ness) Rivoire (rih-VWAR’) seemed aware of a Canadian warrant for his arrest that was issued in 1998.

Three-sex-related charges against him date from his work in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, between 1968 and 1970.

Rivoire says he’s not willing to discuss the warrant.

Asked if he would return to Canada, he said that he might, but added that he is old and sick.

He gave his age as “something like” 83.

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Things Not Remembered

UNITED STATES
Patrick J. Wall

What better place to find evidence of concealing clerical child abuse than in a newly opened secret archive?

For her book Fallen Order, Karen Liebreich began digging in a previously closed archive and discovered the sordid story of the Piarist Fathers and “things not remembered.”

One of those “things not remembered” was how a child abuser rose to become the General Superior of the Order. This sounds like fodder for the Darknet, but the story illustrates how the cover-up of child sexual abuse has occured in Roman circles for centuries.

Father Stefano Cherubini Sch.P. was a rich Roman lawyer’s son who was accused of sexually abusing boys in Naples in 1629. In classic cover-up language, the founder of the Piarists, Father Joseph Calasanz Sch.P. writes, “it seems best to me, that if we are allowed to be the judges of this case, we will not permit it to come into the hands of outsiders.”

Instead of being punished to a life of prayer and penance, Cherubini was promoted and became General Superior in 1643. Complaints against Cherubini, then at the Piarists Roman School, continued. Instead of facing the issue, Pope Innocent X dissolved the religious order. Pope Alexander VIII resurrected the Piarists in 1656.

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LaFerriere found guilty on harassment charges, is appealing

BERLIN (NH)
Berlin Daily Sun

By Debra Thornblad

Frank LaFerriere was found guilty of three counts of harassment against the head of the U.S. Catholic League in Berlin District Court last Friday, Nov. 22. He was sentenced to a minimum of six months in jail but was released on bail after telling Judge Paul Desjardins he will appeal the finding.

LaFerriere, 53, of Berlin, was arrested on the three counts of harassment earlier this year. The complaints allege that LaFerriere called the cell phone of William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, in New York City in January and February of this year leaving “abusive, annoying and threatening” messages.

Berlin Police Prosecutor Dan Buteau presented the state’s case at a hearing that started in October. Donohue testified he received between 100 and 150 calls from December 2011 to earlier this year. He said the calls had concerned him to the point that he had hired a bodyguard and reported them to the New York City police, who contacted Berlin police.

At the October hearing, LaFerriere’s attorney Jay Duguay focused his cross examination of Donohue on comments he made on various media and how these comments might affect the state of mind of a victim of priest abuse. In various forums Donohue had called the victims “liars, dropouts, thieves and gold diggers looking for a pay day.” Donohue did not deny the quotes, although he claimed the comments were directed at dishonest organizations that portrayed themselves as helping these victims, not the victims themselves. Donohue also admitted saying he believed a teenage boy 15-17 years old had the ability to fend off sexual attacks by a priest and if they didn’t do it, it must because the boys were homosexual and the sex consensual. LaFerriere testified he was 15 when a priest sexually abused him.

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I Can Only Hope God Has Mercy on Sex-Offending Clergy

Huffington Post

Diane Weber Bederman

We all have a bit of Cain in us. The part of us that is still connected to the animal emotions within that have not been filtered by our more mature moral pre-frontal cortex. We’ve seen it in Rob Ford: that bare-naked uncontrollable rage against someone, against the world.

I know that feeling all too well. It comes over me when I read about child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, especially committed by clergy.

I envision myself in front of the abuser, military weapon in hand, the kind that shoots out gazillions of bullets per nano-second. And I just fire away slicing the creature in half. These hateful, angry feelings had once led me to believe in capital punishment because I did not believe these monsters had the right to breathe the air we share.

It’s those emotions deep within my amygdala that make me thankful for my belief in the God of justice and mercy. I feel His hand on my shoulder reminding me that “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.” I can let go of the hate and remind myself again that I do not believe in capital punishment. That I don’t want the state taking life. I leave that in the hands of God. It is our responsibility as citizens to rage against these heinous acts.

We’ve witnessed sexual abuse by priests and the cover up. Now we face sexual abuse, rape, of children in ultra-orthodox Jewish communities around the world, with its attempted cover up. Orthodox Jewish groups instruct “their” Jews they may only report allegations of child sexual abuse to district attorneys or the police if a rabbi first determines the suspicions are credible. There are in these cloistered communities those who believe the secular court system is unreliable and “allegations” must be reviewed by a rabbinical court system.

No. We must never be so tolerant of any religious group they feel they’re separate and protected from the laws of the land. Spanking a child can lead to a visit from Children’s Aid. Why do these religious cults get a pass?

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Israeli Rabbi Accused of Abusing Wife and Children

ISRAEL
The Jewish Voice

WEDNESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2013

A rabbi in the Israeli town of Kiryat Gat was arrested and charged with assault last week after allegedly beating his wife and children with a hanger, according to a police report filed in Israel. The rabbi, who is a resident in southern Israel, was charged on last Tuesday with violence against his wife and children.

The rabbi is accused of physically abusing his wife and children, issuing terroristic threats and obstructing justice, according to Ha’aretz.

The indictment, which was filed with the Kiryat Gat Magitare’s Court, accuses the prominent rabbi, abused his wife and his two children, who are two and five-years-old. The abuse occurred over a prolonged period of time, according to the indictment.

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Justice demands truth

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

Editorial
From: Herald Sun
November 29, 2013

FATHER Gerald Ridsdale will be remembered as Victoria’s worst sex abuser. His victims number hundreds when the families of those he molested are also counted.

Today, the Herald Sun reveals that his years of paederasty began long before he was ordained as a priest.

He slept with two boys aged 10 and 12 six years before he was ordained. The mother of the boys said Ridsdale was supposed to sleep on a mattress she had made up for him, but she found him in the boys’ bunk bed the following morning.

The Catholic Church knew that Ridsdale had started abusing young children and kept moving him from parish to parish to cover up his crimes. He was sent to New Mexico for counselling instead of being reported to police.

Ridsdale was defrocked in 1993 and jailed on dozens of charges. He has since pleaded guilty to further crimes of abuse and will appear in the County Court next year.

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Reasons for Sentencing

CANADA
Sylvia’s Site

A little more on the sentencing of Father Dan Miller today. I just scanned and posted Justice Timothy Ray’s Reasons for Sentencing:

28 November 2013: Reasons for Sentence (Ontario Superior Court of Justice: Between Her Majesty the Queen and Daniel Miller)

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Future of Glasgow’s parishes now under scrutiny

SCOTLAND
Scottish Catholic Observer

Catholics in Glasgow are being consulted before Christmas, ahead of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia’s individual meetings with each Glasgow priest during Lent

Priests and parishioners in Glasgow Archdiocese are to be consulted by the Church on future plans for the parishes in the diocese.

A leaflet asking some tough questions under challenging circumstances about falling congregations—and the way congregations are served at local parish level—is currently on its way to all Glasgow parishes. The majority of Scotland’s Catholics live within Glasgow Metropolitan Archdiocese and its two suffragan dioceses of Motherwell and Paisley.

Called simply Archdiocese of Glasgow: This Affects You, the leaflet ‘lays the groundwork’ for potientially necessary ‘changes’ to come, according to a Church insider.

“When was the last time you saw your church packed?” the leaflet asks of Glasgow Catholics. It also highlights that the number of parishes in the diocese have fallen from 111 in 1977 to 93 today.

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Predator priest Gerald Ridsdale moved on by Catholic Church for a decade

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

ALEKS DEVIC HERALD SUN NOVEMBER 29, 2013

ONE of Australia’s worst paedophiles was sent by the Catholic Church to the US for “counselling”, rather than reported to police.

Despite knowing in 1975 that priest Gerald Ridsdale had begun abusing children, the church moved him from parish to parish: at least seven in 11 years.

The Catholic Church paid $70,000 for Ridsdale, now 79, to attend a monastery in Jemez Springs, New Mexico.

Another priest and a brother were sent to the same United States monastery.

Fr Paul David Ryan, who served jail in 2006 for molesting two boys in western Victoria, was also sent to the US for counselling. A 1992 attempt to send him to Jemez Springs was rejected.

According to its website, the Servants of the Paraclete offer help to priests and brothers “facing particular challenges in their vocations and lives”.

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Predator priest Gerald Ridsdale found victims …

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Predator priest Gerald Ridsdale found victims wherever the Catholic Church moved him across Australia

UNDER the cover of clergy, Gerald Ridsdale was given the power to be a predator.

No occasion was too sacred. No location was out of bounds. No victim was out of reach. The more vulnerable the young children were, the more it pleased his depraved lust.

Parents were befriended and in a fooled sense of trust and put their children in the hands of Ridsdale.

There were fishing trips to Anglesea, lifts home after mass, beach excursions to Geelong and camping trips to the country.

Then there were the trappings at his presbytery. Video games, colour televisions, a video player and a pool table all luring his prey into his evil world.

As a priest, parents entrusted him to look after their children. He made the children initially feel special but all that was a saintly illusion.

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Journalist’s lawyer presses John Furlong to go to trial

CANADA
The Tyee

By BOB MACKIN
Published November 28, 2013

A year after John Furlong filed a defamation lawsuit against a newspaper and reporter, the saga may finally see a courtroom.

But the CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics has still not set dates for a B.C. Supreme Court trial, according to the lawyer for journalist Laura Robinson.

Furlong sued the Georgia Straight and Robinson on Nov. 27, 2012, two months after the newspaper published Robinson’s “John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake” expose. Furlong emphatically denied allegations in Robinson’s story that he had physically abused eight students of a Catholic elementary school where he taught physical education in 1969 and 1970.

Furlong’s Patriot Hearts memoir, published a year after the 2010 Games, made no mention of the Irish native’s missionary work in Burns Lake before his 1974 arrival at Edmonton.

Robinson’s lawyer Bryan Baynham filed a Nov. 22 application under the Libel and Slander Act seeking a judge to order Furlong post a $100,000 security with the court. The sum represents the estimated costs if a verdict or judgment is given in favour of Robinson.

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Anglican Bishops of Victoria reaffirm child protection measures

AUSTRALIA
Anglican Diocese of Melbourne

29/11/2013
Media release

The Anglican Bishops of Victoria reaffirm their resolve to work to strengthen the child protection measures already in place in the five dioceses that make up the Province of Victoria.

“We have worked together to scrutinise our protocols and ensure they meet the high standards we expect of clergy and church workers. We are completing the process of checking all clergy files to confirm that any past instance of abuse is known and has been dealt with properly,” said the bishops. “The welfare of the victims is paramount.”

The Anglican Church has a National Register of clergy where there has been a breach of professional standards, including any confirmed instance of child abuse. The Register is one of the sources of information used by the Anglican Church in ensuring that clergy are cleared to carry out ministry.

Archbishop Freier said, “We welcome the report by the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry and the work of the Royal Commission.”

Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Revd Dr Philip Freier
Bishop of Ballarat, the Right Revd Garry Weatherill
Bishop of Bendigo, the Right Revd Andrew Curnow AM
Bishop of Gippsland, the Right Revd John McIntyre
Bishop of Wangaratta, the Right Revd John Parkes AM

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Victorian Anglicans conduct abuse probe

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Victoria’s Anglican bishops say they are in the process of checking all clergy files to ensure that any past instances of sexual abuse are known.

The bishops say they are working to strengthen child protection measures that are already in place in its five Victorian dioceses.

Friday’s statement comes after evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about an Anglican Church institution in NSW.

The Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse also recently handed down its report.

“We have worked together to scrutinise our protocols and ensure they meet the high standards we expect of clergy and church workers,” the bishops said in a statement.

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Upstate reverend charged with sex abuse, incest

NEW YORK
Empire State News

ALBION – State Police announce the arrest of Reverend Roy Harriger Sr, 70, of Middleport, on sexual abuse charges, following an investigation by State Police Investigators in SP Albion.

Harriger, currently the Reverend of Community Fellowship Church in the Town of Hartland was arrested for two counts of course of sexual conduct, two counts of incest and four counts of sodomy. All charges are felonies.

These crimes occurred between September 2000 and September 2001 in the Town of Yates, Orleans County, when he was the Reverend of the Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville, NY. Investigation revealed that alleged crimes have been perpetrated in New York, as well as the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania between 1974 and 2003.

The incidents that occurred in Michigan and Pennsylvania have been referred to their respective State Police agencies.

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Reluctant journalist wins top gong

AUSTRALIA
SBS

The journalist whose stories about child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church prompted a royal commission has won the nation’s top journalism award.

A reluctant journalist whose work on the issue of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church prompted a royal commission has won Australia’s top journalism award.

Joanne McCarthy, who wrote a series of articles for the Newcastle Herald, won the Gold Walkley Award at a ceremony in Brisbane on Thursday.

She told a room crowded with some of the nation’s most respected journalists that she took great pride from her role in prompting a royal commission into the issue.

“This was about a hell of a lot of individuals in the end across the country who just decided enough was enough,” she said during her acceptance speech.

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Middleport Reverend Arrested on Abuse Charges

NEW YORK
WIBX

By Kristine Bellino November 28, 2013

A small town pastor is being anything but revered in Hartland, New York following his arrest on sex abuse charges.

The Reverend Roy Harriger, Senior, of Middleport is being held at the Orleans County Jail in lieu of bail on allegations that he engaged in illegal sexual conduct between September 2000 and September 2001 in the Orleans County town of Yates, New York.

The 70-year old Harriger, who presided over the Community Fellowship Church in Hartland, was reverend of the Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville, New York when the crimes were allegedly committed. New York State Police say that their investigation “revealed that alleged crimes have been perpetrated in New York, as well as the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania between 1974 and 2003.” In a written release police say that those crimes have been referred to authorities in their respective states.

Harriger was arraigned before Judge Donald Grabowski and is being charged with the following:

* Felony Course of Sexual Conduct (two counts)
* Felony Incest (two counts)
* Felony Sodomy (four counts)

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RCMP confirm child sex abuse warrant for priest

CANADA
Mississauga

IQALUIT, Nunavut – RCMP confirm they have an active arrest warrant on child sex abuse charges for a second Arctic priest who left Canada.

Police in Iqaluit, Nunavut, say Oblate priest Joannis Rivoire is wanted on three sex-related charges dating from his time in Rankin Inlet between 1968 and 1970. …

Oblate officials in Ottawa confirm Rivoire is alive and living in France. Since leaving Canada, according to Oblate news letters, Rivoire was for some time a treasurer for a well-appointed “retreat-centre-hotel” in France’s Avignon region for fellow members of his order.

Before he returned to the country of his birth, Rivoire had a long history in Canada’s Arctic.

He was posted to Igloolik — the same community where Dejaeger would later serve — from 1960 to 1964. From 1975 to 1993, he worked in several communities on the western shore of Hudson Bay, including Repulse Bay, Rankin Inlet and Arviat.

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Father Dan Miller sentenced to nine months for indecent assault

CANADA
Daily Observer

By Ryan Paulsen, Daily Observer
Thursday, November 28, 2013

Father Dan Miller’s only words on Thursday morning before learning that he will spend the next nine months in prison were “just that I’m very sorry.”

The statement was made before Justice Timothy Ray delivered his sentencing decision, the last chapter in a legal saga that began in February of last year when the disgraced Catholic priest was charged with six counts of indecent assault. One of the charges was subsequently dropped by the crown.

Miller sat, expressionless, as Ray delivered his decision, outlining the basic elements of the case, which surrounds several incidents dating back to the 1970s, all against altar boys aged 9-13.

In his decision, Ray detailed the aggravating factors in the case, reiterating the position of trust, authority and confidence that Miller held with the families of his victims, the specific nature of the incidents in levels of detail that drew audible reaction from the crowded gallery, and the fact that Miller has never taken absolute and unqualified responsibility for his actions. He also did mention that a mitigating factor was that Miller did enter a guilty plea, which spared his victims the trauma of reliving their experiences in a trial context, although Ray quickly noted that the guilty plea was only entered after the victims had already had to deliver victim impact statements in discovery.

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What Aspinall Said And Did Not Say (Or: Splitting Hairs For Fun And Profit)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Archbishop Phillip Aspinall gets a little confused at times. This week he gave evidence to the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, in a hearing focused on Allan Kitchingman (see previous posting) and the North Coast Children’s Home (see previous postings) run by the Anglican Church (known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England).

Aspinall and his church announced last week, on the eve of the present hearings, that he had appointed the first, and only, female bishop, Sarah Macneil, to replace disgraced ex-bishop, Keith Slater. She will be consecrated later in the year as bishop of the Grafton diocese. Coincidentally, this is the very diocese that was being investigated by the Royal Commission.

Also, coincidentally, since the announcement came on the eve of the hearings, it attracted world-wide coverage, and over-shadowed the first day’s hearings, involving damning evidence from victim, “Tommy” Campion (see previous postings).

There was one problem, though – Ms. Macneil was, in act, the fifth female bishop appointed by the Anglican Church in Australia. This would not have attracted quite as much media attention. The first one, Kay Goldsworthy (pictured below) was appointed over five years ago, in Perth. Aspinall would have remembered the event because he accompanied Bishop Goldsworthy to her first official engagement in her new role, at the school where she once served as chaplain, PerthCollege.

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Canada-wide warrant issued for Nunavut priest

CANADA
Sun News

QMI AGENCY

Mounties have issued a Canada-wide warrant for a priest accused in a string of child sexual assaults in Nunavut.

Johannes Rivoire, who is now in his 80s, is accused of committing the offences between 1968 and 1970.

Police believe he has fled the country. Local media outlets report he’s living in France.

He’s been wanted on three sex-related charges since 1998, Cpl. Yvonne Niego said. At least two involved young girls.

“If this individual returns to Canada he will be arrested and brought before the courts to face justice,” RCMP said in a statement Thursday.

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Nine months and ten days

CANADA
Sylvia’s Site

Nine months and 10 days. Exactly what the Crown asked for for Father Daniel Miller.

The convicted molester and Roman Catholic priest was immediately taken into custody, handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom by a police officer. His destination is unknown, but, he will be behind bars.

More to come. I just got home but did want to pass on the word to those who are waiting for the news.

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Nunavut RCMP confirm arrest warrant for priest

CANADA
CBC News

Nunavut RCMP have confirmed that there’s a longstanding Canada-wide warrant for the arrest of a priest wanted in relation to sex crimes allegedly committed in the eastern Arctic between 1968 and 1970

Father Johannes Rivoire is currently living in France. The warrant was issued in 1998. The priest is now in his 80s.

RCMP say if he returns to Canada he will be arrested and brought before the courts.

Rivoire faces three charges: one for indecent assault involving three complainants in Repulse Bay, and two counts of sexual intercourse involving females under 14 years of age in Rankin Inlet and Repulse Bay.

According to Sylvia MacEachern, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse in Ottawa, Rivoire appears to have arrived in the North in the early 1960s. He served in Repulse Bay, Igloolik and Chesterfield Inlet and would sometimes fill in for priests in other communities, including Eric Dejaeger in Igloolik.

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Nunavut RCMP seek another Oblate fugitive

CANADA/FRANCE
Nunatsiaq Online

DAVID MURPHY

Nunavut RCMP are on the hunt for another Oblate priest who faces historic sex crime allegations in Nunavut.

The RCMP issued a news release Nov. 28 stating that there is a Canada-wide warrant for the arrest of 83-year-old Father Joannes Rivoire.

The warrant was actually issued in 1998, but nothing has been done to find him since.

The warrant is “in relation to sexual assaults allegedly committed in Nunavut between 1968 and 1970,” the news release said.

Rivoire is believed to currently live in a monastery in southern France. He left Canada in 1993.

Yvonne Niego, a communications spokesperson for the Nunavut RCMP, said three charges were laid in 1997.

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Nunavut: un prêtre recherché pour agressions sexuelles

CANADA
La Presse

La Presse Canadienne
IQALUIT

La Gendarmerie royale du Canada a confirmé l’existence d’un mandat d’arrestation pour des accusations d’agression sexuelle contre des enfants envers un deuxième prêtre oblat qui a oeuvré dans l’Arctique, mais qui aurait quitté le pays depuis.

La GRC à Iqaluit, au Nunavut, a indiqué que le père Joannis Rivoire est recherché en lien avec trois accusations liées à des crimes sexuels remontant à son passage à Rankin Inlet entre 1968 et 1970.

Un autre ancien prêtre oblat, Eric Dejaeger, subit actuellement son procès dans la capitale du territoire arctique en lien avec 69 accusations d’agressions sexuelles contre des enfants, qui auraient eu lieu entre 1978 et 1982.

Dejaeger avait pris la fuite pour rentrer dans sa Belgique natale, où il a vécu pendant 18 ans sans être inquiété, avant d’être renvoyé au Canada en raison de violation des lois sur l’immigration.

Rivoire vivrait quant à lui en France.

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RCMP confirm child sex abuse warrant for second Arctic priest

CANADA
Edmonton Journal

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS NOVEMBER 28, 2013

IQALUIT, Nunavut – RCMP confirm they have an active arrest warrant on child sex abuse charges for a second Arctic priest who left Canada.

Police in Iqaluit, Nunavut, say Oblate priest Joannis Rivoire is wanted on three sex-related charges dating from his time in Rankin Inlet between 1968 and 1970.

“We have a valid arrest warrant,” Cpl. Yvonne Niego said Thursday. “If he returns to Canada, he will be arrested to face justice.”

Niego said the alleged offences are against children, including a 14-year-old.

Former Oblate priest Eric Dejaeger is currently on trial in Iqaluit on 69 charges of child sexual abuse alleged to have occurred between 1978 and 1982. Dejaeger was originally facing six of those counts in 1995 before he fled to his homeland of Belgium, where he lived for nearly 18 years before he was returned to Canada on immigration violations.

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When control becomes a fixation in the Church

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

In his Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” the Pope describes some ailments of today’s Catholicism

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

“A supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others.” This is the phase Francis uses in the Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” to describe certain ailments of today’s Catholicism. Francis devotes a number of dense paragraphs of the lengthy document outlining the direction of his pontificate to this. In these paragraphs he explains the various forms of “spiritual worldliness” present in the Church.

“One is the attraction of gnosticism, a purely subjective faith whose only interest is a certain experience or a set of ideas and bits of information which are meant to console and enlighten, but which ultimately keep one imprisoned in his or her own thoughts and feelings. The other is the self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism of those who ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past,” the Pope goes on to write.

This constitutes a “supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline” which “leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying. In neither case is one really concerned about Jesus Christ or others.” Neither of these cases, which are both “adulterated forms of Christianity” inspire the mission.

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Evangelische Landeskirche Westfalen schränkt Missbrauchs-Entschädigungen ein

DEUTSCHLAND
WDR

[Summary: Victims of sexual abuse at the Evangelical Church of Westphalia will most likely get lower compensation that originally promises.]

Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch bei der Evangelischen Kirche von Westfalen bekommen wohl geringere Entschädigungen als ursprünglich versprochen. Eine Anlaufstelle in Münster beginnt jetzt mit der Arbeit. Sie soll Anträge von Missbrauchsopfern annehmen und darüber entscheiden. Bärbel Wegener : Kein Limit nach oben bei Entschädigungen hatte die evangelische Kirche von Westfalen noch im Frühjahr versprochen, man wolle soviel zahlen wie vor deutschen Gerichten üblich ist. Bei schwerem sexuellen Missbrauch kann das bis 50.000 Euro sein.

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Trying to make amends

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Dan Box and Jared Owens
From: The Australian
November 29, 2013

IN a prearranged interview outside the royal commission, former Anglican registrar Pat Comben tells reporters he has left the priesthood in protest, he says, at the most recent child sex abuse scandal to engulf the church.

This scandal centres on the Diocese of Grafton, in northern NSW, and particularly the actions of a few senior officials including Comben, a “dominant”, “assertive” and “aggressive” character, the commission hears.

For years, the commission is told, the diocese refused to accept legal liability for dozens of cases of brutal physical and sexual abuse committed at a Church of England children’s home in Lismore. Some of the worst of this abuse, including rape, was committed by priests.

Speaking after giving evidence in Sydney’s Governor Macquarie Tower, Comben says he was forced by others in the diocese to take this tough line in the negotiations. If not, he says, “I would have been sacked by the church.”

A current administrator of the diocese, Archdeacon Greg Ezzy, is later asked on oath by the commission about Comben’s account. “This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this and certainly that would not have happened,” Ezzy claims.

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Anglican Bishop at odds with head of church on compensation

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Jared Owens and Dan Box
From: The Australian
November 29, 2013

THE incoming bishop of an Anglican diocese at the centre of a child sex abuse scandal has declined to support the head of the Australian Church in calling for new laws to force churches to pay compensation to the victims of such crimes.

Despite having spoken openly to the media after her appointment as Bishop of Grafton last week, Reverend Sarah Macneil yesterday declined all requests to be interviewed or provide a written statement about the proposal.

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Herald reporter Joanne McCarthy wins Gold Walkley

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

NEWCASTLE Herald reporter Joanne McCarthy last night capped a stunning year by winning Australian journalism’s most prestigious award, the Gold Walkley.

McCarthy collected the coveted award at last night’s gala ceremony in Brisbane for her reporting on child sex abuse in the Catholic Church, which led to a state inquiry and royal commission.

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Pope Francis’s progressive statement opens questions on abuse cases, women

UNITED STATES
GlobalPost

Jason Berry

November 27, 2013

Pope Francis stands as a rare figure on the global stage, speaking truth to the power of a globally interconnected financial system and governments of the developed world as he puts continuing stress on social responsibility to the poor.

In a document released yesterday, which the Vatican said the pope wrote in August, Francis calls the global economic system “unjust at its root” for promoting a “survival of the fittest” mentality.

He remarks on “widespread corruption” and “self-serving tax-evasion” – coincidentally, less than a week after JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay a $13 billion fine, negotiated with the Justice Department, for selling faulty mortgages in the 2008 economic meltdown. The bank’s CFO, Marianne Lake, said in a conference call with reporters that “$7 billion of compensatory [damages] payments will be deductible for tax purposes.” …

He addresses sexual abuse in the context of human trafficking as a form of slavery: “This infamous network of crime is now well established in our cities, and many people have blood on their hands as a result of their comfortable and silent complicity.”

A certain risk seems inevitable with language of this kind, given the continuing crisis of clergy sex abuse that damaged the bishops’ moral authority in recent years, and which Francis inherited from Pope Benedict.

Francis’s reference to a church “clinging to its own security” came on the same day a clergy abuse survivors’ group in Milwaukee, Wis. released a letter drafted by Father James Connell, a canon lawyer and former diocesan official, to the Congregation for Clergy in Rome, asking the Vatican to nullify a controversial $57 million transaction by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, as archbishop of Milwaukee six years ago, burying the money in a cemetery trust to avoid paying settlements to clergy abuse victims.

In 2007, Dolan shifted the $57 million from general funds into a special cemetery trust as lawsuits by abuse victims mounted. Dolan soon went to New York to become archbishop and subsequently a cardinal. In Milwaukee, the diocese faces 550 victim cases. The diocese filed for federal bankruptcy relief three years ago in an effort to bargain down the settlements; the bankruptcy turned into grinding litigation in which church lawyers challenged the validity of the victims’ claims.

A group of sympathetic clergy rallied to the cause of the victims. The letter that Father Connell wrote as part of the Survivors and Clergy Leadership Alliance, asks the Vatican to rescind the $57 million transfer, approved by Cardinal Claudio Hummes, who was prefect of Congregation for Clergy at the time.

The Vatican policy on clergy abuse, such as it is, encourages bishops to report crimes to law enforcement and work within a given country’s laws. But with bishops bound by canon law to seek approval for shifts of funds over $5 million from Congregation for Clergy, the Vatican is in a position of de facto micromanaging certain decisions that bear on large settlement issues.

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Mgr Alfred Xuereb appointed Pope’s delegate on two Vatican commissions

VATICAN CITY
Times of Malta

Pope Francis has named his personal secretary, Mgr Alfred Xuereb, to supervise the activities of the Vatican Bank, in a sign the pontiff wants to keep a tight grip on the drive to clean up its operations and image.

Mgr Xuereb, 55, a Gozitan, will be responsible for overseeing two commissions created by the Pope to supervise the bank itself and the economic structure and finances of the Holy See, the Vatican said in a statement.

Since taking office in March, Pope Francis has moved to tackle years of financial scandals involving the Vatican bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion, which is under investigation on suspicion of money laundering.

Mgr Xuereb will keep the Pope informed about the work of the commissions and any action that needs to be taken, it said.

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Pope wants closer look at Vatican’s finance reform

VATICAN CITY
Inquirer (Philippines)

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis is trying to get a better handle on the reform of the troubled Vatican bank and the Holy See’s finances, naming his top assistant to look into the work of two commissions of inquiry he set up this year.

Francis on Thursday named his personal secretary, Monsignor Alfred Xuereb, to be his delegate to the two committees. A Vatican statement said Xuereb was tasked with “keeping his eye on the committees and keeping him informed on their working procedures and possible initiatives.”

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THE POPE APPOINTS MSGR. XUAREB AS HIS DELEGATE IN TWO COMMISSIONS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 28 November 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Alfred Xuereb as delegate for the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) and for the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See, in order to exercise a supervisory role and to inform the Pope, in collaboration with the Secretariat of State, on working procedures and on any initiatives taken.

The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., emphasised that this appointment gives an official character to a role that Msgr. Xuareb has fulfilled for some time.

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Pope names private secretary to supervise Vatican bank

VATICAN CITY
Chicago Tribune

ROME (Reuters) – Pope Francis named his personal secretary to supervise the activities of the Vatican bank on Thursday, in a sign the pontiff wants to keep a tight grip on the drive to clean up its operations and image.

Alfred Xuereb, a 55-year-old Maltese prelate, will be responsible for overseeing two commissions created by the pope to supervise the bank itself and the economic structure and finances of the Holy See, the Vatican said in a statement.

Since taking office in March, Francis has moved to tackle years of financial scandals involving the Vatican bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion, which is under investigation on suspicion of money laundering.

Xuereb will keep the pope informed about the work of the commissions and any action that needs to be taken, it said.

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MALTESE PRIEST NAMED ON COMMISSIONS TO LOOK INTO VATICAN FINANCES

MALTA
Malta Independent

Pope Francis is trying to get a better handle on the reform of the troubled Vatican bank and the Holy See’s finances, naming his top assistant to look into the work of two commissions of inquiry he set up this year.

Pope Francis on Thursday named his personal secretary, Monsignor Alfred Xuereb, to be his delegate to the two committees. A Vatican statement said Mgr Xuereb was tasked with “keeping his eye on the committees and keeping him informed … on their working procedures and possible initiatives.”

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Church Youth Volunteer Accused of Sexually Abusing a Dozen Male Students

WEST VIRGINIA
Christian Post

BY MORGAN LEE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
November 27, 2013

Close to a dozen males have come forward to accuse a West Virginia man and former church youth volunteer of sexually abusing them as minors.

While the West Virginia State Police has not disclosed the man’s name, Westminster Presbyterian Church has confirmed that the suspect “has volunteered in various capacities for the church, including with youth trips that required chaperones.”

The church’s senior pastor, Jonathan Rockness, also claimed that while the Bluefield’s church had alerted authorities at the beginning of the year, the police initially did not find enough information to prosecute him.

“In June, the police reported back to us that they would not be pursuing the case, as the behavior we reported was inappropriate, but not actionable,” Rockness said in a statement shared with WOAY Television. “Even though the legal authorities declined to pursue the case any further, the leadership of the church was not satisfied that we had gotten to the bottom of the situation.”

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Il papa e il suo “doppio”

ITALIA
La Repubblica

Nonostante il coraggio con cui Francesco sta delineando la riforma della Chiesa, a volte si ha l’impressione che Ratzinger – tramite i suoi uomini – agisca come una sorta di “papa ombra”. La credibilità del nuovo pontefice verrebbe immensamente danneggiata se i reazionari del Vaticano gli impedissero di tradurre presto in azioni le sue parole e i suoi gesti.

di Hans Küng, da Repubblica, 27 novembre 2013

La riforma della chiesa procede: nell’esortazione apostolica “Evangelii Gaudium” Papa Francesco ribadisce non solo la sua critica al capitalismo e al dominio del denaro, ma si dichiara anche inequivocabilmente favorevole ad una riforma ecclesiastica «a tutti i livelli » . Si batte concretamente per riforme strutturali come la decentralizzazione verso diocesi e parrocchie, una riforma del ministero di Pietro, la rivalutazione dei laici e contro la degenerazione del clericalismo, per una efficace presenza femminile nella chiesa, soprattutto negli organi decisionali. Si dichiara altrettanto espressamente favorevole all’ecumenismo e al dialogo interreligioso, soprattutto con l’ebraismo e l’Islam.

Tutto questo troverà ampio consenso ben oltre l’ambito della chiesa cattolica. Il rifiuto indiscriminato dell’aborto e del sacerdozio femminile dovrebbero suscitare critiche.

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Cleric takes holiday from abuse case

AUSTRALIA
Australian Teacher

MELBOURNE, Nov 28 – An American Catholic Brother charged with child sex abuse has had some of his bail conditions suspended over Christmas so he can take a beach holiday.

Bernard Joseph Hartman is facing 14 charges of indecently assaulting two boys and two girls aged between six and 16 at St Paul’s College in Altona between 1976 and 1982.

The 73-year-old appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday where his lawyer requested a change to bail terms requiring he report to a police station every three days so Hartman could go to Apollo Bay with his colleagues.

Hartman is in Australia on a criminal justice visa after he returned from the US to face the abuse accusations.

He had been working in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in Ohio on clerical duties so he wouldn’t have direct contact with children or teens. Last year a woman made accusations against Hartman during the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse.

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Archbishop of Perth personally apologises to abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Daily Examiner

Jessica Grewal 28th Nov 2013

ONE of the most senior members of the Anglican Church of Australia has personally apologised to victims who suffered child sex abuse at Lismore’s North Coast Children’s home and welcomed the public scrutiny arising from the historic royal commission.

In the final moments of this week’s hearings into the Grafton Diocese’s response to claims of abuse at the home, Adrian Herft, Archbishop of Perth, took the rare step of making an unguarded statement.

He told the commission he was “profoundly saddened” by what took place at Lismore and that “people who rightly expected the sanctity and dignity of life did not receive it but received something totally opposite to that, which has harmed or hurt them”.

He went on to say he was “deeply remorseful” than any acts of commission or omission on his own part may have added to the trauma and said he hoped that the commission would help the Church to “get a handle on how best we should have our structures in place to assist the ongoing work… as it continues to be a witness in our land”.

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Anglican Primate says he had limited powers to intervene in child abuse cases in Grafton

AUSTRALIA
ABC – PM

MARK COLVIN: The final day of the Royal Commission’s public inquiry on child abuse at the New South Wales North Coast Children’s Home has heard from Australia’s most senior Anglican cleric, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall.

The inquiry has wound up its examination of the Grafton Diocese and how it responded to compensation claims from dozens of abuse survivors from the children’s home in Lismore.

The Grafton Diocese spent years denying that it was responsible for the orphanage, but now says it’s re-opening all the files to make sure victims have been adequately compensated.

Today the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Dr Aspinall, told the inquiry that the Grafton Diocese had focused on its own finances to the detriment of the abuse victims. But he said he had little power to intervene.

Emily Bourke reports.

EMILY BOURKE: The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Phillip Aspinall, is the most senior religious leader to come before the Royal Commission.

PHILLIP ASPINALL: If I might use a commercial analogy: if people think that the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia is the CEO of Australia’s Anglicans, then nothing could be further from the truth. The Primate has very, very limited powers.

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Royal commission hears there are potentially dozens of clergy not yet identified as paedophiles

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Ashleigh Raper

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse has heard there are potentially dozens of clergy within the Anglican Church who have not been formally identified as paedophiles.

Protocols for dealing with sex offenders within the Anglican Church are being scrutinised by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission is looking into the response from the Anglican Diocese of Grafton to allegations of historic abuse at the North Coast Children’s Home in Lismore.

The Anglican Church set up a national register in 2004 designed to provide a database for information if a member of clergy had a complaint or finding of abuse established against them.

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Micheál Martin: Republican movement ‘failed’ to protect some sex abuse victims

IRELAND
The Journal

FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin has claimed that his party is aware of a number of cases where the Republican movement attempted to deal with cases of sexual abuse internally rather than involve the authorities.

Martin made the accusation following the sentencing today of Liam Adams, brother of the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, for the rape of his own daughter.

The Fianna Fáil leader told reporters today outside Leinster House that there has been condemnation of the Catholic Church over the years for not doing enough to protect vulnerable people but says that the Republican movement has similar questions to answer.

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Hartland pastor accused of molesting two young children in 2000-01

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

By Lou Michel | News Staff Reporter, Thomas Prohaska | News Niagara Reporter | @ThomasProhaska

LOCKPORT – The Rev. Roy D. Harriger Sr. may have left a trail of as many as 10 victims of sexual abuse across three states and four decades, a State Police investigator said Wednesday as he announced the minister’s arrest on charges of molesting two children.

Harriger, 70, was picked up at his home on Johnson Creek Road in the hamlet of Johnson Creek, adjacent to his church, which is located within the Town of Hartland in eastern Niagara County. Lt. Kurt Schmitt said Harriger is married with three sons and two daughters. He is the pastor of Community Fellowship Church in Johnson Creek, but the sex crimes allegedly occurred from September 2000 through September 2001, when he was pastor of Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville, Orleans County.

Harriger lived in Michigan and Pennsylvania before coming to this area, Schmitt said, and authorities in those states are investigating.

Harriger was arrested at his home Wednesday morning and charged with two counts of incest, two counts of first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and four counts of first-degree sodomy.

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Orleans County pastor arrested on sexual abuse charges

NEW YORK
WBFO

By WBFO NEWSROOM

State Police have arrested a Middleport pastor and charged him with a series of felony sexual charges, including incest.

Reverend Roy Harriger Sr., a pastor at Community Fellowship Church in the Town of Hartland, faces charges including two counts of Course of Sexual Conduct (B Felony), two counts of Incest (E Felony), and four counts of Sodomy 1st (B Felony).

The crimes allegedly occurred while Harriger worked out of Lyndonville Wesleyan Church in the Orleans County Town of Yates. The charges involve a young boy and a young girl.

Two of the alleged victims who came forward two months ago are now adults. The alleged crimes occurred between September 2000 and September 2001. Several other potential victims have come forward since.

Police believe the pastor, who is now 70 years old, sexually abused children dating back to 1974, including time spent in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Harriger is under investigation in those states, as well.

State Police are asking anyone with information or anyone who believes they may have been the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Harriger to contact the Albion station at (585) 589-4244.

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Minister accused of sexual abuse while pastor of Orleans church

NEW YORK
The Daily News

An area minister has been accused of committing acts of sexual abuse against children while he was pastor of an Orleans County church more than a decade ago, state police said Wednesday.

He has also been linked to sexual abuse in New York and other states dating back to 1974.

The Rev. Roy Harriger Sr, 70, of Middleport was arrested following an investigation by state police from the Albion barracks.

The Rev. Harriger, currently the pastor of Community Fellowship Church in the town of Hartland, was charged with two counts of course of sexual conduct (a Class B felony), two counts of incest (a Class E felony), and four counts of first-degree sodomy (a Class B felony).

The alleged crimes occurred between September 2000 and September 2001 in the town of Yates, Orleans County, when he was pastor of the Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville.

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Orleans Co. Pastor Charged With Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK
Rochester Homepage

A church pastor is under arrest for sexually abusing children, and New York State Police say there could be many victims who have yet to come forward.

Ray Harriger, 70, is charged with two counts of course of sexual conduct, two counts of incest and four counts of sodomy. The charges stem from crimes he is accused of committing between 2000 and 2001. He is the pastor of Community Fellowship Church in Albion. Police say the victims, who are now adults, reported the abuse two months ago. At least 10 other victims have come forward, some of them from Michigan and Pennsylvania where Harriger also lived. State Police say some of those allegations date back to the 70s.

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Niagara County Pastor Charged with Sex Abuse

NEW YORK
WKBW

By Kendra Eaglin

New York State Police announced the arrest of 70 year old Roy Harriger Senior of Middleport, NY Wednesday, November 27, 2013.

Harriger is charged with two counts of course sexual conduct, two counts of incest, and four counts of sodomy, all felony offenses. These charges are connected to a case involving the abuse of a boy and a girl between the ages of 7 and 9 years old between September 2000 to September 2001 when Harriger was the pastor of the Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville, NY.

Harriger’s alleged sex abuse however spans a period of 40 years with close to one dozen victims coming forward.

The married father of five was arrested Wednesday morning at his home in the Town of Hartland where he is currently the pastor of the Community Fellowship Church.

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NY pastor charged with sexually abusing children

NEW YORK
CBS 12

November 28, 2013
LOCKPORT, N.Y. (AP) — A 70-year-old church pastor in western New York is charged with sexually abusing at least two children.

Investigators say felony sex charges against Roy Harriger Sr. are from alleged incidents between September 2000 and September 2001 when he was pastor of Lyndonville Wesleyan Church in the town of Yates in Orleans County.

Harriger is now pastor of Community Fellowship Church in the Niagara County village of Middleport.

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St. Paul archdiocese may not need court OK to release list of abusive priests, judge says

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 11/27/2013

A Ramsey County judge has stated that he is not sure church officials need court permission to release names of priests accused of sexually abusing children.

John Nienstedt, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, said Nov. 11 that upon “permission of the relevant court” he would be “disclosing the names, locations and status of priests who are currently living in the archdiocese, and who we know have substantiated claims against them of committing sexual abuse against minors.”

In 2009, as a part of the case of alleged abuse victim John Doe 76C against the Rev. Thomas Adamson, Ramsey County District Judge Gregg Johnson ordered the archdiocese to release its list of 33 “credibly accused” priests to the plaintiff’s attorney, Jeff Anderson.

The archdiocese did so, but petitioned the court to seal the list. Johnson agreed. Since then, Anderson has been trying to get the names released.

The issue is now before Judge John Van de North. Van de North will preside over a hearing Monday morning in a case of another man, identified as John Doe 1, who alleges abuse by Adamson while the priest served at St. Thomas Aquinas in St. Paul Park.

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NEWS RELEASE: HEARING MONDAY …

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

NEWS RELEASE: HEARING MONDAY REGARDING NAMES AND INFORMATION ON CREDIBLY ACCUSED CHILD MOLESTING PRIESTS

Hearing Monday Regarding Names and Information on Credibly Accused Child Molesting Priests

(St. Paul, MN) – On Monday, December 2, 2013, at 9:30 AM in Ramsey County District Court, Judge John Van de North may decide whether a secret list containing the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona will be made public.

Doe 1, along with his attorneys and other sexual abuse survivors, sought to force the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona, to release this information. The Archdiocese and Diocese of Winona have fought for years to keep the names and information secret.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Nienstedt promised to release some names but it’s not clear how many names he intends to release or whether the names have already been made public.
The original Doe 1 complaint can be found on our website at www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact Jeff Anderson: Office/651.964.3523 Cell/612.817.8665
Contact Mike Finnegan: Office/651.964.3523 Cell/612.205.5531

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Owner of alleged Satanic sex abuse daycare released as case against her falls apart

TEXAS
The Raw Story

By David Ferguson
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Texas woman who served 21 years in prison for allegedly molesting and abusing children as part of a series of Satanic rituals was released on Tuesday in Austin. The Austin American Statesman reported that Fran Keller, now 63, is being released as key components of the case that put her behind bars have unraveled.

The former Austin daycare owner and her husband Dan Keller were convicted of shocking crimes against three children left in their care, charges that were part of a wave of hysteria that gripped the country in the 1990s that later proved to be mostly groundless. While the Travis County District Attorney’s office stopped short of saying the Kellers are innocent of all charges against them, it did not oppose the couple’s release.

The Kellers’ attorney Keith Hampton said that Dan Keller is set to be released as early as next week.

In 1991, a 3-year-old girl left in the Kellers’ care at the Fran and Dan Day Care Center in Southeast Austin told her parents that Dan Keller had hurt her. At the prompting of a counselor, the little girl spun terrifying stories of ritual abuse that were purportedly corroborated by two other children who attended the preschool.

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*FACT CHECKER* SNAP and the TRUTH About False Abuse Accusations Against Priests

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

It is an alarming and incontrovertible fact: False abuse accusations against Catholic priests, which have always been present, are on the rise. The mainstream media rarely runs stories about false accusations, and there are groups – especially the anti-Catholic group SNAP – who are desperate to hide the shocking truth about false accusations from the public.

What are the facts about Catholic sex abuse and false accusations? Consider:

A veteran Los Angeles attorney who has worked on over 100 clergy abuse cases recently declared:

“One retired F.B.I. agent who worked with me to investigate many claims in the Clergy Cases told me, in his opinion, about ONE-HALF of the claims made in the Clergy Cases were either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported a prosecutable claim for childhood sexual abuse.”

Over an 18-month period in the Archdiocese of Boston, the Archdiocesan the review board – comprised largely of law enforcement and lay experts on abuse – “did not find that probable cause of sexual abuse of a minor had occurred” in 45% of the cases it thoroughly examined, again suggesting about half of the claims were bogus;

Last year in the United States, nearly half (45%) of all priests accused of abuse were long-ago deceased and thus unable to deny the charges – and this percentage continues to rise every year;

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Deetman: mogelijk meer geweld in Sint Joseph

NEDERLAND
Dagblad
Dagblad De Limburger

Er zijn aanwijzingen dat in huize Sint Joseph in Cadier en Keer meer sprake was van fysiek geweld door broeders dan in andere tehuizen. Wim Deetman verklaarde dat woensdag in de rechtbank in Breda. Daar loopt een zaak van een oud-leerling van Sint Joseph die een schadevergoeding eist voor het geweld.

Oud-Tweede Kamervoorzitter Deetman deed onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik binnen de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk. Hij benadrukte dat hij geen onderzoek deed naar ander geweld. Wel kwam hij aanwijzingen daarvoor tegen in onder meer notulen van de priestercongregatie. De commissie-Deetman kon het eigen archief van Sint Joseph niet vinden.

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MO – Victim appeals “bizarre” ruling

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

It involves KC Catholic officials & priest
Church says it’s not responsible for crimes
Their rationale: abuse happened on private property
SNAP: “It’s perhaps the worst legal tactic by bishop ever”

For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013

For more info: David Clohessy ( 314 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com ), Barbara Dorris ( 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

A man who says he was sexually assaulted as a child by a priest is asking the Missouri Supreme Court to reverse a ruling that ended his civil lawsuit against Kansas City Catholic officials. Clergy sex abuse victims called the court decision “bizarre” and are harshly criticizing Bishop Robert Finn for his defense tactics in the litigation.

Two weeks ago, a western Missouri appeals court tossed out the case of John Doe D.T. v. the Kansas City Catholic diocese and Fr. Michael Tierney. The court ruled that Catholic officials could not be held responsible for the priest’s supposed child sex crimes because they allegedly occurred on private property, not church property.

“The blame here squarely lies with Bishop Robert Finn. He could have fought this case on the merits. Instead, he’s fighting it on technicalities, and in fact, on the most absurd technicality: where Fr. Tierney and his victim were standing when Fr. Tierney sodomized the child,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP.

“Imagine a painting company sending a known rapist out to paint your mom’s house. He rapes her. Would the painter’s boss get ‘off the hook’ because the rape wasn’t on company property?” said Dorris. “Why should the physical site of a crime enable wrongdoers who commit or conceal that crime to escape responsibility?”

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Church records of sex offenders faulty

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Hundreds of Anglican clergy accused of sexual abuse could potentially be missing from a national register kept by the church.

The register was set up by the Anglican Church as a central repository of information about complaints and findings of abuse. It can be accessed by each diocese when someone applies for a job.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard on Wednesday that the register was not working.

Martin Drevikovsky, general secretary of the Anglican Church of Australia, said a large number of files had still to be processed and that historical information needed to be entered on the system.

In a statement to the commission, he said the Sydney diocese was reviewing 600 files which had been referred to a lawyer.

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Legislate to ‘force sex abuse compo’ …

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Legislate to ‘force sex abuse compo’, says Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall

Dan Box
From: The Australian
November 28, 2013

THE head of the Anglican faith in Australia said yesterday his church had failed dozens of children who were sexually abused, and called for federal laws forcing his church to compensate victims of these crimes.

In an extraordinary admission outside the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall said senior clerics in one NSW diocese “failed to treat (the church’s) procedures with anything but contempt”.

“I have heard more truth here (at the royal commission) in eight days than I found out in seven years in my dealings with the people in the Diocese of Grafton” Dr Aspinall said.

“The victims say themselves that they felt humiliated and demeaned, that they weren’t treated with dignity.”

Senior clerics were focused on money instead, he added.

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Anglican Primate Aspinall’s rise defined by church scandals

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

JAMIE WALKER THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEMBER 28, 2013

IN a sense, Phillip Aspinall’s rise in the Anglican Church has been fostered and defined by the sex-abuse scandals that rocked it.

No wonder he voiced his frustration yesterday about foot-dragging by former bishop Keith Slater to deal with victims of historic physical and sexual abuse at a children’s home in Lismore in northern NSW.

Dr Aspinall, 53, had to clean up the mess Peter Hollingworth left behind when he stepped aside as Anglican archbishop of Brisbane to become governor-general in 2001.

Dr Hollingworth had barely settled in at Yarralumla when the clamour caught up with him that he had put the church’s reputation ahead of the hurt inflicted on sex-abuse victims while in charge of the Brisbane diocese, an accusation he denied.

Confronted by the claims, Dr Aspinall dealt with them head-on. He called a board of inquiry that effectively sealed Dr Hollingworth’s fate as governor-general, finding he had let a known pedophile stay on as a priest. He quit in May 2003 after only 23 months.

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The Daily Telegraph praised …

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

The Daily Telegraph praised by Anglican Church Archbishop Phillip Aspinall for exposing evil in Bishop Keith Slater’s church

THE head of the Anglican Church yesterday praised The Daily Telegraph for being the “catalyst” that led to the resignation of Bishop Keith Slater and prompted the latest hearing of the royal commission into child sex abuse.

The Daily Telegraph was preparing to run stories with child sex abuse victim Richard “Tommy” Campion in May this year when a “horrified” church official uncovered the full extent of the Diocese of Grafton’s treatment of 41 abuse victims.

“She came to me with the information because she wanted me to be fully informed about the situation before interacting with The Daily Telegraph,” head of the Anglican Church Archbishop Phillip Aspinall said outside the commission.

What she had uncovered was a litany of appalling treatment of the victims who were seeking compensation for physical and sexual abuse at the former North Coast Children’s Home in Lismore by at least 12 priests and members of staff over 48 years.

“Her coming to me with that information was the catalyst that ultimately led to Bishop Slater’s resignation and the royal commission examination of this particular matter,” Archbishop Aspinall said.

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Anglican Church register of sex abuse complaints out of date, royal commission hears

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

November 28, 2013

Catherine Armitage
Senior Writer

A national register of abuse incidents used by the Anglican Church to screen clergy appointments is seriously deficient and so out of date that scores of names may be missing from it.

But the church’s most senior figure, Phillip Aspinall, appears powerless to effect change in the nation’s 23 dioceses, telling the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: ”The Anglican Church makes federal politics look like kindergarten.”

The royal commission on Wednesday heard there was ”gross non-compliance” in the Grafton diocese in dealing with abuse claims.

Archbishop Aspinall has echoed the Catholic Church’s call for a mandatory national compensation scheme for child sex abuse, saying this would ensure parity for victims ”not just between Anglican dioceses” but across all community organisations ”so that we don’t have different classes of victims”.

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Slater and Ezzy (Or: All Too Easy)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Martin Drevikovsky, the General Secretary of the Anglican Church (known elsewhere as the Episcopalian Church or the Church of England) told the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse third “case study” hearings that right now there are hundreds of abuse investigations taking place nationwide. The Anglican Church set up a national register in 2004 designed to provide a database for information if a member of clergy had a complaint, or finding of abuse, established against them. Mr. Drevikovsky is responsible for the register.

He said that, when the Royal Commission was announced, every diocese was given directions to “search for (complaint) files and review them to ensure all necessary steps had been taken and if not, to take immediate action”. As a result, Mr Drevikovsky said, “a large number of files have come to light. In the case of Sydney it was 600. In the case of Melbourne I know it was hundreds.”

Mr. Drevikovsky’s register includes 129 clergy members who are currently listed as “persons of concern”, and up to 209 more are under investigation across the country. He told the enquiry the register was still incomplete, and expected that between 40 and 45, and “possibly more”, names would be added to the “persons of concern” register.

The revelation came during inquiries into the workings of the Church’s national register – an internal “red flag” system, which gives professional standards directors and bishops the ability to background check clergy members transferring from diocese to diocese.

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Missbrauch in der Kirche: Westschweizer Opfervereinigung macht Druck

SCHWEIZ
Kipa

Lausanne, 26.11.13 (Kipa) Jetzt hauen Vertreter von Westschweizer Opfern auf den Tisch, die von Priestern oder Ordensleuten missbraucht worden sind. Mit ihrem Anliegen sind sie an die Bundesparlamentarier aus der Westschweiz gelangt. Es müsse endlich eine «gerechte Lösung» für die Missbrauchsopfer gefunden werden, so wie das jetzt bei den Opfern fürsorgerischer Zwangsmassnahmen in der Schweiz mit dem Runden Tisch auf den Weg gebracht worden sei. Dies fordert der Trägerverein der Gruppe Sapec (»Soutien aux personnes abusées dans une relation d’autorité religieuse»).

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Retired NSW priest linked to child porn ring remains on strict bail conditions

AUSTRALIA
7 News

A retired Catholic priest on the New South Wales central coast remains on strict bail conditions after being linked to a major global child pornography ring.

Edward Sedevic, 72, from Lakehaven is facing seven charges relating to the possession of child abuse material.

He was arrested in August after police allegedly discovered two movie files and four DVDs at his retirement home.

Two weeks ago, it was alleged the former Sydney parish priest was one of 66 Australians implicated in a Canadian child sex abuse ring, which was smashed by authorities.

He briefly faced Wyong Local Court on Wednesday and was accompanied by a small group of supporters.

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Royal commission hears there are potentially hundreds of clergy not yet identified as paedophiles

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Ashleigh Raper

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse has heard there are potentially hundreds of clergy within the Anglican Church who have not been formally identified as paedophiles.

Protocols for dealing with sex offenders within the Anglican Church are being scrutinised by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission is looking into the response from the Anglican Diocese of Grafton to allegations of historic abuse at the North Coast Children’s Home in Lismore.

The Anglican Church set up a national register in 2004 designed to provide a database for information if a member of clergy had a complaint or finding of abuse established against them.

The General Secretary of the Anglican Church, Martin Drevikovsky, told the Commission that “in the case of Sydney it was 600 [complaints]. In the case of Melbourne I know it was hundreds”.

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Vatican abuse prosecutor addresses questions on Bishop Finn, former apostolic nuncio

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

In his first extended interview since becoming the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s promoter of justice in 2012, Father Robert Oliver addressed questions involving accountability for bishops who fail to report clerical abuse, as well as abuse allegations against a former apostolic nuncio.

As promoter of justice, Father Oliver is responsible for addressing cases of child sexual abuse by clergy. He said earlier this year that the Congregation is examining 600 cases, most of which involve abuse that allegedly took place between 1965 and 1985.

“All the data we have suggests that the number of priests harming minors today is very, very low, and that’s based on reports not just from the United States but from other nations as well, where we see a dramatic drop in incidents of abuse,” Father Oliver told John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter. “Certainly, we have much more to do, which is why our congregation asked episcopal conferences around the world to review their abuse guidelines.”

Asked about the number of cases reported to the Congregation, Father Oliver said, “I suppose in an average month, we’re talking in the dozens from around the world, including cases which date back many years. We don’t have many present-day allegations of abuse, though it’s important to remember that there’s often a delay in people coming forward to make reports. Let’s be clear: One case is one too many. Yet as we look around at this problem today, we can see many positive effects from the efforts the Church has made.”

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McAlester police arrest church elder accused of sexual abuse 30 years ago

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

By DYLAN GOFORTH World Staff Writer

McALESTER — McAlester police arrested a 76-year-old church elder Tuesday on allegations that he molested children at a McAlester church more than 30 years ago.

Ronald Lawrence was charged Tuesday with 11 counts of lewd molestation, five counts of forcible oral sodomy, two counts of forcible sodomy and one count of rape by instrumentation.

McAlester police Sgt. Chris Morris said a woman reported to police last month that she had been molested by Lawrence when she was a child. Morris said the alleged abuse took place more than 30 years ago.

Morris said police spoke with two other alleged victims during the month-long investigation. Police don’t know what spurred the victims into coming forward but believe there could be more who might also want to speak with police now that the allegations have come to light.

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Hundreds of clergy investigated, Church tells Commission

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mercury

Jessica Grewal 27th Nov 2013

AT LEAST 129 Anglican Church clergy members are currently listed as “persons of concern” and up to 209 more are under investigation across the country, the royal commission into child sex abuse has heard.

The revelation came during inquiries into the workings of the Church’s national register – an internal “red flag” system, which gives professional standards directors and bishops the ability to background check clergy members transferring from diocese to diocese.

Those listed have either been convicted of or are under investigation for criminal behaviour and in particular, child sex offending.

Martin Drevikovsky, General Secretary, General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia told the commission this morning that the register was incomplete.

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Jehovah’s Witness church elder Ronald Lawrence arrested over sex abuse claims dating back to 1980s

OKLAHOMA
KJRH

By: Tyler Dunn

MCALESTER, Okla. – A 76-year-old McAlester man was arrested Tuesday on 19 counts of sexual abuse after police received claims he molested several children while in a position of authority more than 30 years ago.

McAlester police detectives were alerted to the alleged sexual crimes conducted by Ronald Lawrence back in August when his first accuser reported abuse at the hands of a Jehovah’s Witness church leader.

A woman now in her 40s told detectives Lawrence, an elder at McAlester’s Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, abused her when she was just eight years old, inviting her to his home, where he fondled her and raped her in his bathtub, according to her testimony found in Lawrence’s arrest warrant, which was issued Tuesday.

Two other accusers, also in their 40s, then came forward with similar stories of abuse. Both said they were very young, with one telling investigators the molestation took place from the time she was 10 until she was 13 years old. She reported being assaulted in Lawrence’s swimming pool, at the lake and in the janitor’s closet at the First National Bank where he worked, his arrest warrant indicates.

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Pastor Arrested and Charged for Alleged Child Sexual Abuse

VIRGINIA
WHSV

Rockbridge County Pastor, Larry Clark, was arrested and faces more charges of alleged child sex abuse. Clark is the Pastor at the Pentecostal Outreach Church in Buena Vista. According to the church’s Facebook page, he is also the temporary pastor of the same church in Verona.

The Rockbridge County Sheriff’s office, says Clark was arrested and charged initially on November 7th. He was arrested and charged again on Tuesday, November 26th.

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Church dissent over abuse approach

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

Anglican head Dr Phillip Aspinall says the church needs an external compensation scheme for sex abuse victims to prevent internal dissent.

Anglicans in Australia would take a dim view if the church sold off its multi-million dollar assets to settle with abuse victims, the head of the church says.

The primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Phillip Aspinall, told a royal commission the church needs a mandatory compensation scheme imposed on it so it can deal fairly with sex abuse victims.

Dr Aspinall said the only way a compensation scheme would work was if it was imposed from outside.

The Anglican Church of Australia is not a unified structure, dioceses have primary power and can reject or adopt laws passed by the General Synod, Dr Aspinall told the final day of public hearings into how the Diocese of Grafton dealt with victims of sex abuse at a church orphanage in northern NSW.

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Anglican Primate says he had limited powers to intervene in child abuse cases in Grafton

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

The Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse has finished its public examination of the Anglican Church in Grafton and its handling of claims from abuse survivors from the North Coast Children’s Home. The Grafton Diocese says it’s re-opening all the files to make sure victims are adequately compensated. But the Royal Commission is also looking at the Anglican

Transcript

MARK COLVIN: The final day of the Royal Commission’s public inquiry on child abuse at the New South Wales North Coast Children’s Home has heard from Australia’s most senior Anglican cleric, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall.

The inquiry has wound up its examination of the Grafton Diocese and how it responded to compensation claims from dozens of abuse survivors from the children’s home in Lismore.

The Grafton Diocese spent years denying that it was responsible for the orphanage, but now says it’s re-opening all the files to make sure victims have been adequately compensated.

Today the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Dr Aspinall, told the inquiry that the Grafton Diocese had focused on its own finances to the detriment of the abuse victims. But he said he had little power to intervene.

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Number of abusive priests on Anglican register a ‘fraction of true figure’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Dan Box
From: The Australian
November 27, 2013

MORE than 100 Anglican priests are known to have allegedly committed child sexual abuse or other sexual misconduct, yet this number could be only a fraction of the true total, the royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard that dozens and possibly hundreds of other allegedly abusive priests have yet to be entered into the church’s national register of such claims.

The Anglican church’s general secretary, Martin Drevikovsky, told the commission that hundreds of historical files of alleged abuse are currently being reviewed, while technical problems have also hampered the updating of information on the current system.

“Lack of resources is an issue … That’s a matter for each diocese to assess what their need is and to meet that need,” Mr Drevikovsky said.

The commission has heard that 129 priests are currently named on the register, and the Anglican church estimates at least 40 more will need to be included.

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Would you walk out of Mass if a priest prayed for a sex attacker?

IRELAND
Irish Independent

COLETTE BROWNE – 27 NOVEMBER 2013

If you want to know what rape culture looks like there is no more evocative image than a church full of the faithful bowing their heads and being asked to pray for the acquittal of a man charged with serious sexual offences.

As Cork’s former lord mayor, John Murray, stood trial for the sexual assault of a teenager last week, a priest celebrating a funeral Mass in another part of the city used the occasion to pray for his exoneration.

The inference was clear. An innocent elderly man, a stalwart of the community, was facing scurrilous charges from a lying, scheming woman. She should not be believed.

But the jury did believe her and returned a unanimous guilty verdict. Today Murray, who first sexually assaulted the victim when she was just 13, is in prison awaiting sentence.

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Retired …

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph

Retired Catholic priest Edward Sedevic banned from internet after being charged over allegedly accessing child sex abuse content from Canadian website

NEIL KEENE THE DAILY TELEGRAPH NOVEMBER 27, 2013

A RETIRED Catholic priest allegedly part of an international child porn ring has been banned from using the internet or going anywhere near children aged 18 and under.

Police allege they found four DVDs and two computer movie files depicting the sexual abuse of children in the possession of former Central Coast priest Edward Sedevic, 72, in August.

Earlier this month it was revealed Sedevic was among more than 340 people charged globally with accessing a Canadian child pornography website.

Appearing in court this morning for the first time since those revelations, Sedevic did not speak and did not enter a plea to six charges of possessing child abuse material and one charge of using the internet to access the material in 2010.

Magistrate Susan McIntyre continued Sedevic’s strict bail conditions, which require him to report three times a week to police.

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The Pope’s new envoy presents credentials

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- The Vatican’s new envoy Jude Thaddeus Okolo presented his credentials to president Danilo Medina during a National Palace ceremony Tuesday morning, in the presence of senior government officials.

Okolo, who came to the country November 18, arrived in the Hall of Ambassadors at 11am and spoke with Medina for around 10 minutes later.

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VIA FED EX & APOSTOLIC NUNCIO OF THE UNITED STATES

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Wisconsin SNAP

Archbishop Beniamino Stella
Prefect, Congregation for the Clergy
Piazza Pio XII, 3
00193 Rome, Italy

Re.: Congregatio pro Clericis
Prot. N. 20071627
Dear Archbishop Stella,

This document is a unique collaboration between victims/survivors of childhood Catholic clergy sexual abuse and supporters of the victims/survivors. We seek your assistance in correcting an injustice caused, in part, by a decision made by Cláudio Cardinal Hummes, O.F.M. on July 18, 2007, while he served as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. A decision he may not have made had all the details been made known to him.

Following is a timeline which delineates the circumstances of our appeal to you, as well as several supporting documents which are attached. In essence, a request for the transfer of $57,000,000.00 was granted to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, a move designed to shelter these funds from any claims and liabilities. We contend that the action does the meet the moral or legal requirements stated in the Code of Canon Law (see Appendix A).

Timeline of Events

2007 Approximately $57,000,000.00, that previously was part of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Corporation (identified as assets designated for the future care of cemeteries and mausoleums) was removed from that corporation and deposited in an account of a newly established Cemetery Trust. No documentation of the motivation for this movement of money or the existence of proper Vatican authorization to do so was made public.

January 2011 The Archdiocese of Milwaukee, under the direction of Archbishop Jerome Listecki, filed a petition for a Chapter 11 reorganization of its financial affairs under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Summer/Fall 2011 A group of Catholic clergy abuse victims/survivors and Catholic priests enter into an Alliance to promote a new kind of dialogue.

December 2011 The Alliance produced a full-page news announcement encouraging victims with a claim against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to come forward prior to the February 1, 2012, filing deadline.

February 1, 2012 Deadline given by the Bankruptcy Court for any person, for whatever reason, to file a financial claim against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

More than 550 claims were filed with the Bankruptcy Court.

2012/2013 The Bankruptcy judge determined which assets of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee are to be considered for payment of any claims and liabilities.

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Creditors want Vatican to make funds available to Milwaukee church sex abuse victims

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTAQ

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) – The Vatican is being asked to do what a U.S. judge in Milwaukee refuses to do — make $50 million available to victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests.

Creditors in the Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy case wrote a letter to an office in the Vatican that handles sex abuse cases. It asked top church leaders to revoke an order that allowed former Milwaukee Archbishop Tim Dolan to create a trust fund to maintain cemetery plots for Catholics in the archdiocese.

Federal Judge Rudolph Randa of Milwaukee decided earlier this year to allow the church to protect the cemetery trust funds from the creditors — almost 600 of whom are victims of sex abuse by priests over a number of decades.

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Clergy Abuse Victims Group Ask Pope To Give $57 Mil. To Settlement Fund

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin Public Radio

[with audio]

[letter to the Vatican]

By CHUCK QUIRMBACH
A coalition of clergy abuse victims and clergy is asking Pope Francis to put $57 million into a potential settlement fund with Wisconsin victims.

The Milwaukee Archdiocese says the money is already set aside for use at cemeteries.

In 2007, then-Milwaukee archbishop Timothy Dolan got the Vatican’s approval to transfer $57 million of archdiocese money into a Catholic cemetery trust fund. During the now almost three-year-long archdiocese bankruptcy case, abuse victims have tried to reverse that transfer, but a federal district judge in Milwaukee has blocked the reversal.

The court’s decision is being appealed, but a coalition of victims and clergy has also written the Vatican, asking that it put the $57 million back in the archdiocese’s main fund. Abuse victim Monica Barrett says the Vatican may not have been told the full story in 2007, and she says she remains hurt by Dolan’s move.

”One again this archdiocese has chosen something behind closed doors, that affects many, many people,” says Barrett.

Barrett says she only recently found out that the $57 million is just for eight cemeteries and seven mausoleums the archdiocese owns, and not for parish cemeteries in the 10-county archdiocese. Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski says the number of cemeteries shouldn’t be the question; the need for perpetual care is.

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Victim of priest’s sexual abuse receives $2.3M settlement

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN

[with video]

by Julie Unruh
Reporter

Another settlement by the Archdiocese of Chicago when it comes sexual abuse, and another victim of Fr. Daniel McCormack’s takes home millions.

$2.3 million: That is what victim John Doe is owed in this case. Money is just one victory where this suit is concerned. If you ask his lawyers, documents — volumes of them detailing decades of abuse by priests in the Chicago Archdiocese — will be released after the first of the year.

Jeff Anderson represents John Doe, a victim of Fr. Daniel Mccormack’s at St. Agatha Catholic Church in Chicago. Anderson says his client was abused from 2004-2006 when his client was just a teen.

“He is now in his early 20′s,” Anderson said. “His trust was violated and betrayed.”

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Catholic Church Settles Sex Abuse Case

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC Chicago

[with video]

By Charlie Wojciechowski | Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013

The Roman Catholic Church has settled a case involving a priest accused of sexually abusing a young boy at a Chicago parish.

The Archdiocese has agreed to pay the now 20-year-old man $2.3 million in the case involving former priest Daniel McCormack, which was scheduled to go to trial in the spring.

The Church also agreed to release their records in the case, along with the records of 30 other cases involving Catholic priests.

“There is no closure for this community and the safety of the kids until all the secrets of the past are revealed,” attorney Jeff Anderson said.

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Chicago Archdiocese settles sexual abuse suit for $2.3M

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Steve Schmadeke, Chicago Tribune reporter
November 27, 2013

The Archdiocese of Chicago will pay $2.3 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a man now in his early 20s who alleged he was repeatedly sexually abused by a notorious former pastor of a West Side Catholic church about a decade ago, the man’s attorneys said Tuesday.

The alleged victim, identified in court papers as John Doe, said he was 11 or 12 when the abuse by Daniel McCormack began in 2004 inside the rectory and school building at St. Agatha’s Catholic Church.

The lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court alleged that the abuse continued even after McCormack was questioned by Chicago police about allegations he had sexually abused another boy and didn’t stop until just before he was arrested in early 2006.

McCormack, now 45, was removed from the priesthood after pleading guilty in 2007 to criminal sexual abuse charges involving five victims. He was sentenced to five years in prison but remains confined to a state mental health facility while a Cook County judge decides whether to commit him indefinitely as a sexually violent person.

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