ABUSE TRACKER

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

November 4, 2013

Child abuse victim: ‘I had this special attention’

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Declassified files uncovered by Panorama show how schools repeatedly failed to protect children from serial sex offenders.

It comes alongside a call from the former Director of Public Prosecutions to criminalise failure to report allegations of child abuse, as the aftermath of the Savile affair continues to be felt.

Rob Hastings was abused by one of his teachers while a pupil at Downside School in Somerset.

Speaking to Sanchia Berg, Mr Hastings told of how he was groomed by his geography master and what happened after the abuse came to light.

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

‘Without a change in the law, there’ll be another Savile’ – warns top barrister

UNITED KINGDOM
Irish Independent

04 NOVEMBER 2013

Teachers, doctors and social workers who fail to report concerns over suspected cases of child abuse should face criminal charges, one of Britain’s most senior barristers has said.

Keir Starmer, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, has reignited calls for mandatory reporting which would compel all professionals to report suspicions of child abuse or face legal consequences.

In comments to the BBC’s Panorama programme, to be broadcast tonight, Mr Starmer will call for Britain to consider a “very straightforward, simple scheme” that would “change the law and close a gap that’s been there for a very long time”.

The programme will also claim that senior civil servants knew for decades that children’s homes and schools had covered up cases of child abuse. Mr Starmer’s call was supported by the Church of England, with Bishop Paul Butler, chairman of the church’s National Safeguarding Committee, saying: “We have to think of the child first, not ourselves, not the institution. [We must do] what’s best for the child.”

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

Former Church Youth Leader Charged With Child Sex Abuse

MARYLAND
CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A former church youth leader is behind bars, charged with child sex abuse. The victims are adults now and still attending the church.

Gigi Barnett explains police say there may be more victims.

Forty-nine-year-old Raymond Fernandez held several positions at Greater Grace Church in northeast Baltimore. One of them was as a youth leader in the late 1990s.

Last week, Baltimore County Police arrested and charged him with sexual child abuse of two teens. Police were tipped off to the alleged abuse when one of the victims came forward.

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

Failing to report child abuse should be a crime, says Keir Starmer

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

The former Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC calls for a change in the law to force doctors, social workers and priests to report all allegations of child sexual abuse

By John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor
7:30AM GMT 04 Nov 2013

Doctors, social workers and priests should be required by law to report all allegations of child sexual abuse, according to the former Director of Public Prosecutions.

Keir Starmer QC, who recently stepped down as DPP, called for a change in the law to make it a crime not to raise the alarm about such suspicions.

His call has received support from both the Church of England and Roman Catholic Churches, which have both faced accusations of covering up sexual abuse in the past.

But the department for Education has ruled out introducing so-called mandatory reporting claiming that it could even make children less safe in some situations.

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

Times Writers Group: Archdiocese leaders fail to practice what they preach

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Written by
Lois Thelen
Times Writers Group

You know there’s a problem in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis when one of its priests in his Sunday homily says “It’s the first time, I must say, in 69 years that I’m embarrassed to be Catholic.”

During the past decade, some of its Roman Catholic priests have been accused of sexually abusing children and minors, frequenting areas known for men seeking anonymous same-sex encounters and having pornographic images on their computers.

Since last spring, the diocese has been under almost constant fire. Its former canon lawyer resigned after her entreaties to investigate a priest whose discarded computer possibly contained more than 2,000 images of child pornography were ignored. Several priests have been sued for sexual abuse by their victims. And most recently, the archdiocese’s vicar general, the Rev. Kevin McDonough, was accused of protecting priests to limit damage to the church. He has since resigned.

All this occurred despite the archdiocese being warned a decade ago to clean up its act.

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

Gardaí investigate child sexual abuse allegations in border county

IRELAND
Newstalk

Diocese of Kilmore parish priest voluntarily steps aside while an investigation is launched

Gardaí are investigating a child protection issue in the Diocese of Kilmore after a complaint was made against a priest.

The priest has been removed from office while an investigation takes place.

The details of the allegation made against the priest are not clear however Bishop Leo O’Reilly says it relates to events which took place a considerable time ago.

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

Clergy Sexual Abuse and the Church: Views From Rome and Washington

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

NEWS ANALYSIS: Lessons learned from a harrowing, complex struggle to protect children by changing institutional culture.

by JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND 11/04/2013

WASHINGTON — More than a decade after the clergy abuse crisis made headlines, Catholics remain aghast when they read fresh reports of predatory priests, innocence lost, and ambiguous or inadequate responses from local bishops.

Have we learned anything in the past 11 years?

“Yes,” say two experts who have approached the clergy abuse scandal from different vantage points. One man, Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, led the Holy See’s investigation of clergy abuse cases from his post at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, while the other, Deacon Bernard Nojadera, implemented reforms in the Diocese of San Jose, Calif., before taking up his post as executive director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

From 2002-2012, then-Msgr. Scicluna, a civil and canon lawyer, served as the first promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He spearheaded the prosecution of a vast number of clergy abuse cases, including appeals by priests who contended that they had been wrongly accused.

On Oct. 16, Bishop Scicluna addressed the Canon Law Society of America at its annual meeting in Sacramento, Calif., and used that forum to provide often-pointed reflections about the Church’s ongoing effort to address clergy sexual abuse of minors. Deacon Nojadera outlined his views during an Oct. 21 interview with the Register.

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

BISHOP: PRIEST HAS ‘PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE’ IN CAVAN SEX ABUSE INVESTIGATION

IRELAND
The Nationalist

A Catholic priest, who has stepped aside while an allegation of sexual abuse is investigated in Co Cavan, must have “the right to the presumption of innocence”, according to Bishop Leo O’Reilly.

Bishop O’Reilly, of the border diocese of Kilmore, said gardaí are aware of the complaint against the parish priest, which is said to date back a number of years.

In a statement, he said all matters relating to child safeguarding, the safety and welfare of children, are an overriding concern in the diocese.

“It is in that context that I deeply regret to say that I have received a complaint against a priest of the diocese in pastoral ministry which raises concerns in relation to child safeguarding matters,” said Bishop O’Reilly.

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

November 3, 2013

Fiscalía dominicana exige a Polonia detener a ex sacerdote acusado de pederastía

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
Analitica

[Summary: The Dominican Republic attorney general has urged Polish authorities to arrest and surrender priest Wojciech Gil. He is accused of sexually abusing several children in the Dominican Republic. Gil is now in his native Poland. Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito said this is a serious case and the accused priest must be arrested and prosecuted. Dominican officials have sent an indictment file to Poland which includes hundreds of photographs, videos and links to internet publications which they said would incriminate Gil.]

Domingo, 3 de noviembre de 2013

AFP – La fiscalía general de República Dominicana urgió a las autoridades de Polonia a detener y entregar al sacerdote polaco Wojciech Waldemar Gil, acusado de abuso sexual de menores y que permanece libre en su país.

“Es un caso muy serio y de nuevo reiteramos la necesidad de que esa persona sea apresada, sea condenada, sea sancionada drásticamente”, dijo el fin de semana a una televisora local el procurador (fiscal) general, Francisco Domínguez Brito, cuya oficina envió al finales de octubre el expediente acusatorio contra Gil.

El expediente incluye cientos de fotografías, videos y enlaces a publicaciones de internet que incriminan a Gil en el alegado abuso sexual a menores de edad, en el pueblo de Juncalito, según la Fiscalía de la Provincia Santiago (Norte). “Hay que esperar que culmine también el proceso de investigación en Polonia para la presentación de los cargos correspondientes”, agregó Domínguez Brito.

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

Child Safeguarding Statement by Bishop Leo O’Reilly

IRELAND
Roman Catholic Diocese of Kilmore

Bishop of Kilmore

3 November 2013

The policy of the diocese of Kilmore is that in all matters relating to child safeguarding, the safety and welfare of children are an overriding concern. It is in that context that I deeply regret to say that I have received a complaint against a priest of the diocese in pastoral ministry which raises concerns in relation to child safeguarding matters. In accordance with diocesan child safeguarding procedures, the priest has voluntarily agreed to take administrative leave whilst an investigation takes place concerning the complaint. The civil authorities are aware of the complaint. It is important to stress that the priest enjoys the right to the presumption of innocence whilst these matters are being investigated. The complaint relates to events alleged to have happened a considerable time ago.

I want to assure everybody again, as I have done before, that the Diocese of Kilmore is fully committed to safeguarding children and I invite anybody in the diocese who may have concerns in this regard to bring them to the attention of the Child Safeguarding Designated Person of the diocese, Suzie Duffy at 049 437 5004 (Ext 105), and / or to an Garda Siochána and the Health Service Executive. For further contact details see the Safeguarding Children section of this website.

I ask you to join me in prayer for God’s help for all concerned at this difficult time.

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

Bishop tells mass-goers parish priest on leave over child sex allegations

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McArdle

Mon, Nov 4, 2013

A Catholic parish priest in the diocese of Kilmore has taken voluntary leave pending an investigation into a complaint “which raises concerns in relation to child safeguarding matters”.

The announcement in relation to Fr Owen Collins, parish priest of Drumgoon, Cootehill, Co Cavan, was made yesterday in a statement from the Bishop of Kilmore, Bishop Leo O’Reilly, which was read at all Masses in the parish.

The bishop’s statement said, “I deeply regret to inform you that I have received a complaint against your parish priest. He has, in accordance with child safeguarding procedures, voluntarily agreed to take administrative leave whilst an investigation takes place.

“It is important to stress that the priest enjoys the right to the presumption of innocence whilst these matters are being investigated.

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

Priest is suspended as child-abuse probe starts

IRELAND
Irish Independent

NICOLA ANDERSON – 04 NOVEMBER 2013

A CATHOLIC parish priest has been temporarily suspended over allegations of child sex abuse which is claimed to have taken place “a considerable time ago”.

The suspension of the priest in the diocese of Kilmore, Co Cavan, was announced by Bishop Leo O’Reilly in a statement that was read out at all Masses in the parish concerned.

Stunned parishioners were informed that the priest had, in line with child safeguarding procedures, voluntarily agreed to take “administrative leave” for the duration of an investigation into the allegations.

The bishop’s statement said: “It is important to stress that the priest enjoys the right to the presumption of innocence whilst these matters are being investigated. From experience, I am aware that investigations of this nature can take a considerable time to complete.”

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

Action call on background checks

AUSTRALIA
Examiner

By PATRICK BILLINGS Nov. 4, 2013

TASMANIA’S parents and friends association wants past disciplinary action, including non-convictions, to feature in a national background- check system.

In a submission to the Royal Commission into child sex abuse the association called for information such as being excluded from working with children to be included in the checks.

The association also backed the establishment of an Australia-wide working with children check.

Association president Jenny Eddington said a national screening system would be more uniform, convenient and robust.

She said it wasn’t unusual to find Tasmanians involved in the youth sector to be carrying up to five or more types of authorisation allowing them to work with children.

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

Judge OKs $1.3M settlement in KC priest lawsuit

MISSOURI
Daily Journal

A Jackson County judge has approved a $1.35 million settlement in a civil lawsuit involving a Kansas City priest who’s serving 50 years in prison for producing child pornography.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Kenneth Garrett III approved the settlement in the lawsuit filed in 2011 by a girl and her parents against the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, Bishop Robert Finn and the Rev. Shawn Ratigan. Ratigan was sentenced in September to 50 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to five child pornography counts, one charge for each of five victims.

The judge’s approval of the civil settlement was added to the court record last week, nearly a month after the diocese reached the agreement. The diocese says the settlement was paid by insurance, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/HouxlL).

The diocese also expressed its “great sorrow for the harm and grief visited upon children and their families by the actions of Shawn Ratigan.”

A computer technician working on Ratigan’s laptop in December 2010 found hundreds of troubling images of young girls and reported it to diocese officials. Instead of turning the photos over to police or reporting suspicions about Ratigan, Finn sent him for psychiatric evaluation and later ordered him to stay at a convent and stay away from children.

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

Former priest charged with indecent assault against children

AUSTRALIA
South Coast Register

Nov. 4, 2013

A FORMER Catholic priest who worked in the Shoalhaven in the 1970s has appeared in court charged with five counts of indecent assault against children.

Robert Flaherty, 70, who now lives at Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, appeared in Penrith Local Court on Friday.

The offences were alleged to have taken place in the Shoalhaven and Sydney up to 40 years ago.

Detectives from Blacktown Local Area Command established Strike Force Nemesis to investigate the allegations.

The alleged victims were aged between 11 and 15.

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

Could this married feminist…

IRELAND
Daily Mail (UK)

Could this married feminist be the Catholic Church’s first woman cardinal? Rumours rife that reforming Pope Francis is preparing to break with 900 years of history

An Irish feminist is causing a stir in the Catholic world as rumours are rife the married 49-year-old could be set to join the world’s ‘most exclusive’ club.

Linda Hogan is being tipped as a contender to become the Vatican’s first female cardinal.

A woman has never held the title, and while current precedence states only ordained men can be appointed to the role, Pope Francis could be poised to make history.

The leader of the Catholic church, elected eight months ago, has emerged as a liberal prompting speculation he will invite a woman to don the red hat and welcome the first female cardinal into the Vatican’s fold.

The reformist Argentinian pope has made no secret of the fact he aims to increase the role of women in the church, calling for ‘a truly deep theology of women’.

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

Should Pope Fix the Way the Vatican is Run?

UNITED STATES
Patch

Posted by Courtney Elko (Editor) , November 03, 2013

Written by Brittany Tressler

Most Catholics say that reforming the Vatican should be a priority for Pope Francis, according to a Pew Research Center report.

Do you agree? Tell us in the comments section below.

Most of the Pope’s fellow cardinals had elected him in part to address problems in the Vatican’s bureaucracy, the report said.

According to the Pew survey, 75 percent of U.S. Catholics said that the reform should be an important priority for the Pope, including 35 percent who said it should be a “top priority.”

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

McCort case in limbo

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott
kmellott@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — A pending lawsuit is a black cloud hanging around, be it for a business or the board of a private high school, with the contents of that lawsuit often best revealed, a legal expert said.

That cloud is the lawsuit a Greensburg attorney plans to file against a host of defendants, including the Bishop McCort Catholic High School board of directors, stemming from allegations by former students that they were sexually molested by Brother Stephen Baker.

Pittsburgh attorney Kathleen Gallagher is asking the Cambria County court, on behalf of the Bishop McCort board, to force attorney Susan Williams to file the complaint in 20 days.

Louie Freeh recently filed a similar request in Centre County court in an attempt to see what former Penn State President Spanier has to say in his lawsuit stemming from the sex abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky.

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

Tevlin: Unlikely church rebel wants change now

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune Updated: October 30, 2013

Thomas Lyons virtually grew up in the Catholic Church. He attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Chicago through the fourth grade and served as an altar boy at St. Edward, where he also sang in the choir.

Lyons still attends mass at Church of St. Peter in North St. Paul and he has contributed money to the many good charitable efforts of his parish and the church at large.

But after a string of allegations and subsequent resignations by some of the top officials of the archdiocese, Lyons is done giving.

“I used to contribute to the archbishop’s appeal,” said Lyons, a Vadnais Heights attorney. “But now I don’t want [Archbishop John Nien­stedt] to have access to any of my money.”

Given his long-held faith, Lyons may be an unlikely church rebel. Like a lot of church members, however, he’s concerned that the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is not handling the crisis over allegations of priest abuse openly, and he doesn’t want his money used for damage control.

Lyons made the news last week when he took the dramatic step of starting a petition on change.org calling for Nien­stedt to resign for the good of the church. As of Tuesday, it had 188 signatures.

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

Column: Pope Francis has energized many Catholics

MINNESOTA
ABC Newspapers

By Don Heinzman
November 1, 2013

While stories on questionable judgment and the conduct of priests in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul dominate the media, the positive message of Pope Francis is energizing many Catholic church members.

Across the metropolitan area, Pope Francis’ emphasis on having a welcoming, inclusive, forgiving and loving church is being received well by suburban Catholic church leaders. They are welcoming the tone and surprising message of Pope Francis, while acknowledging church teachings probably will not change.

That emphasis on love may be his “trump card,” notes the Rev. Lauren Germann, pastor of St. Andrew’s church in Elk River.

Citing the pope’s emphasis on loving everyone regardless of their faults, Germann wrote in his parish bulletin, “Our love for others does not discriminate. There can be no exceptions to love. We love those who have had abortions, love those who use contraception, we love all people regardless of their sexual orientations.”

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

I am lost

CANADA
Sylvia’s Site

Another name added. Father Aylre’s Cormier‘s name has been added to the Accused pages and a new page opened with further information.

Father Cormier, a former teacher and late vocation to the priesthood is a priest with the Archdiocese of Moncton, New Brunswick. Father Cormier, ordained in 1992, received an absolute discharge in 1999 after pleading guilty to charges related to trying to hire the sexual services of an undercover police officer.

This is another one which strikes me as bizarre. The man is a teacher. Well into life he decides he is called to the priesthood. At he age of 52 (1992) he is ordained by Bishop Chiasson. Seven years after ordination he has presumably retired, but, – is out doing relief work for the neighbouring Diocese of St. John. NB (Bishop Faber MacDonald). And, the same year he is doing the relief work he is out soliciting from a male who turns out to be an undercover officer!

But the thing is that he decides he wants to be a priest, and then, after a mere seven years ‘on the job,’ he retires? That’s a very early retirement for a priest, even one who is a ‘late vocation.’ And it doesn’t seem that he retired for health reasons – he was helping out in the neighbouring diocese?

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

Reactie op de uitgave van het Vrouwen Platform Kerkelijk Kindermisbruik

NEDERLAND
Onderzoek

[VPKK]

[Commissievergaderingen]

Den Haag, 29 oktober 2013

Aan de voorzitter en leden van de Commissie voor Veiligheid en Justitie van de Tweede Kamer

Postbus 20018

2500 EA Den Haag

Geachte voorzitter en leden,

Graag reageer ik op uw verzoek dat mij op 7 oktober heeft bereikt (uw kenmerk 2013Z17597/2013D39162). U vraagt mij te reageren op een uitgave van het Vrouwen Platform Kerkelijk Kindermisbruik (VPKK), die op 11 september aan u is toegezonden.

Graag voldoe ik aan uw verzoek.

Voor een goed begrip van mijn reactie licht ik u allereerst in over het tweede onderzoek waaraan ik leiding heb gegeven. In dit verband ga ik ook in op de betrokkenheid van de huidige voorzitter van het VPKK bij dit onderzoek en de contacten die niet alleen ik, maar ook mijn medewerkers met haar hebben gehad in de aanloop naar dit tweede onderzoek en na publicatie. Ten slotte ga ik in op de 56 klachten waarover het VPKK in zijn uitgave spreekt.

1. Aard en reikwijdte van het tweede onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik van en geweld tegen meisjes in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk

Op 16 december 2011 is het eerste onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk gepubliceerd. Dit eerste onderzoek heeft anders dan mevrouw Knibbe stelt (bladzij 2 en 6 van haar notitie) betrekking op mannen én vrouwen. Hier is sprake van een misverstand. In het kader van het eerste onderzoek heeft de Onderzoekscommissie enkele honderden slachtoffers individueel of in groepsverband gesproken. Hieronder waren ook tientallen vrouwen. Ook – anders dan mevrouw Knibbe aangeeft – over misbruik in parochies en gezinssituaties. Zie hierover het eerste onderzoeksrapport, bladzij 200 tot en met 285, bladzij 310 tot en met 330 en bladzij 667 tot en met 685.[1]

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

Esther Rantzen leads calls for law to compel …

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Esther Rantzen leads calls for law to compel doctors, teachers and social workers to report suspected cases of child abuse

Childline founder Esther Rantzen is leading calls for a law to compel doctors, teachers and social workers to report suspected cases of child abuse – or face imprisonment or a fine.

Ms Rantzen, along with MPs and lawyers representing the victims of Jimmy Savile, believe decades of cover-ups and scandals – including those involving Baby P, Daniel Pelka and the grooming of children in Rochdale – would have been prevented if professionals had been legally obliged to pass on their concerns.

Similar systems already operate in Australia, the US and Ireland, and campaigners want to add mandatory reporting to the Children and Families Bill currently going through Parliament.

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

Judge approves $1.35 million settlement in Ratigan lawsuit

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

November 2

BY JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

A judge has approved a $1.35 million settlement in a civil lawsuit involving a Kansas City priest convicted of producing child pornography.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Kenneth Garrett III approved the settlement in the lawsuit filed in 2011 by a minor girl and her parents against the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan and Bishop Robert Finn. The approval was entered in the court record last week.

The diocese reached the agreement with the plaintiffs on Oct. 2, days before the case was to go to trial. The settlement was the diocese’s third in five months involving allegations of sexual abuse by a priest and brings to more than $4 million the amount it has paid in those cases.

The diocese said in a statement that the current settlement was paid in full by insurance.

In confirming the settlement, the diocese said it “reiterates its great sorrow for the harm and grief visited upon children and their families by the actions of Shawn Ratigan.”

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

El cura pederasta decía a los menores que irían «al infierno» si contaban los abusos

ESPANA
Levante

[Summary: The priest who served for years at a church in Ribera while teaching in the township has been sentenced to five years in prison. He told children they would go to hell if they told of the abuse they were subjected to for months. The judge said the children were forced to undress and submit to touching, acts which the children considered to be repulsive.]

CARLOS ALÓS El cura que ofició durante años en una iglesia de la Ribera mientras impartía clases en el municipio, y que ha sido condenado a cinco años de prisión, amenazaba a los menores con que irían al infierno si contaban los abusos a los que fueron sometidos durante meses. Los menores silenciaron las vejaciones de que eran objeto porque les atormentaba esa idea y por miedo y vergüenza.

El juez declara probado que existió reiteración y frecuencia en los actos de abuso sexual, en los que el acusado obligaba a que le realizaran tocamientos y les hacía desnudarse, lo que los menores consideraban «repulsivo».

Las víctimas, que declararon en el juicio por videoconferencia, señalaron, según recoge la sentencia, que se sentían «obligados» y que tenían miedo a las consecuencias si contaban los hechos. Uno acababa de cumplir 13 años cuando comenzaron los abusos y otro contaba con 14, aunque la situación se prolongó hasta que cumplió los 15 años. Cuando el párroco acababa con los abusos, siempre les pedía disculpas y les decía que no volvería a pasar.

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

Cardinals, bishops, and the pope’s diplomat to greet Newark’s new assistant archbishop

NEW JERSEY
The Record

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2013
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

One thousand Catholics, 33 bishops from around the country and four cardinals will welcome Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda to the Newark Archdiocese on Tuesday at a special Mass.

Pope Francis appointed Hebda, 54, formerly the bishop of a rural diocese in northern Michigan, as a coadjutor, or assistant, to Archbishop John J. Myers in September. Myers, 72, said in a press conference at the time that he requested help from the Vatican to run several major initiatives as he and two of his regional bishops near the mandatory retirement age of 75. …

Governor Christie, a close confidant of Myers, is not scheduled to attend the ceremony, which is on Election Day, but he does plan to be at an annual Mass for law enforcement officers on Thursday. Goodness said the nuncio’s office chose the date for Hebda’s ceremony.

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

Religious Right Extinct? Not As Far As USCCB Is Concerned

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

No, the religious right hasn’t gone the way of the dodo bird. No, it’s not extinct. No, it’s not somehow distinct from the tea party movement that is now indistinguishable from the Republican party itself.

These are all points that Fred Clarkson makes very well yesterday in a piece at Talk to Action linking to an essay Simon Brown has just published in Church and State. I like, in particular, a point that Fred has made in the past and which he reiterates very clearly in his latest statement at Talk to Action: this is that the religious right has received in infusion of new blood in American politics due to the deliberate decision of the U.S. Catholic bishops to ally themselves with the evangelical right in an even more direct and bellicose way after Barack Obama was elected to the presidency.

Fred writes:

Earlier this year, I published a report in The Public Eye about the historic convergence in the politics of the protestant evangelical Christian Right and the Roman Catholic Bishops. This convergence, decades in the making, fully emerged in the publication of the 2009 manifesto, The Manhattan Declaration, in which more than 50 Catholic Bishops and such familiar Christian Right figures as Tony Perkins, James Dobson and Samuel Rodriguez expressed solidarity to the point of civil disobedience on three interrelated matters: life, marriage, and religious liberty. In that order.

Why don’t the U.S. bishops under the leadership of Timothy Dolan want to survey American Catholics about their views re: contraception, same-sex marriage, and divorce? They don’t want to do so because they have made a bargain with the devil by entering into an overtly partisan alliance with other U.S. religious groups for whom the GOP is God’s anointed party and President Obama is in league with the devil. “Discovering” that a majority of U.S. Catholics disagree with them about contraception and same-sex marriage, and consider their absurd Fortnight for Freedom protests a colossal waste of time and a sinful misallocation of resources, would make waves for that alliance that now drives much that the bishops do and think.

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Oratory of Saint Joseph pedophile priests! Montreal: Second class-action suit targets Congrégation de Ste-Croix! Saints and Holy Cross cannot protect children!

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils…

Paris Arrow

November 1, 2013 Feast of All Saints

Saints, giant statues, holy cross, rosaries and sacred relics cannot protect children

Today is All Saints Day and it’s time to set their records straight — that all saints in the ‘one, holy, catholic and apostolic Vatican Catholic Church’ (not Roman Catholic Church) — really did nothing to save children during the entire latter half of the 20th century of pedophile priests of Biblical Proportion – for which Amnesty International named the Vatican guilty of violation of human rights of children,
http://pope-ratz.blogspot.ca/2011/05/amnesty-international-names-vatican-in.html.

Children are taught the history of wars but they must also be taught the true history of saints. It’s time to teach children that realistically, all saints despite their holy names, big colorful statues and sacred relics — said nothing and did nothing to save and protect children from the bestial 6,100 pedophile priests in the USA where their victims were 15,750 (plus) that’s five times more than 3,000 victims of 9/11.

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Louisville Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz poised for higher calling within the church

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

[with video]

Written by
Peter Smith
The Courier-Journal

As the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops gather in Washington the week of Nov. 11, the man they are expected to elect as their new president is Louisville’s archbishop, 67-year-old Joseph E. Kurtz.

It’s one of the most influential positions in American Catholicism, the public face and voice of 445 bishops who shepherd the largest religious body in the United States, with 67 million members.

As president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Kurtz would advocate his colleagues’ views in Washington on such issues as same-sex marriage and the federal mandate for employers to cover contraception for employees. He’d also serve as a conduit to the Vatican, conveying bishops’ concerns to Rome and Rome’s views to them.

He was appointed to his Louisville position under now-retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and has been a vocal advocate in echoing Benedict’s opposition to same-sex marriage and growing secularism in Western culture.

But his expected rise to president of the bishops conference coincides with the new era of Pope Francis, who has created a sensation in the first months of his pontificate by shedding the trappings of wealth, connecting with the poor and issuing gestures of empathy toward gays, the divorced and others estranged from church life and traditional beliefs.

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Hidden priests, secret pasts: Church silent about where it houses credibly accused clerics

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on November 03, 2013

Norberto Nierras says he saw the man with the shock of white hair all the time along Home Avenue, a residential block that teems with children from the Catholic elementary and high schools a few hundred yards away.

The man, Nierras said, came and went as he pleased, strolling the Rutherford neighborhood or sitting on a bench outside the four-story building he called home: the St. John Vianney Residence for Retired Priests.

What Nierras didn’t know is that the man, the Rev. Msgr. Peter Cheplic, had been accused of drugging and molesting four teenage boys in the 1970s and 1980s. Or that the Archdiocese of Newark found the claims credible enough to remove him from ministry in 2006.

Cheplic, who has denied the allegations, is one of at least seven alleged sexual predators quietly placed in the Rutherford retirement home in the past decade, The Star-Ledger found. Some lived there a short time. Others have stayed for years. Neighbors said they were never informed of the men’s presence until told by a reporter.

“Parents need to be made aware of this,” said Nierras, 25, who has lived across the street from St. John Vianney for more than three years. “There are kids around this area constantly. I’m pretty sure people would be upset. I’m upset.”

Eleven years after the nation’s bishops confronted the clergy sex abuse crisis, vowing at a landmark summit in Dallas to make the protection of children a priority and to open a new era of transparency, the church continues to wrestle with a host of vexing questions and competing interests.

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November 2, 2013

Church’s spending habits a bit rich

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

It’s about the Pope’s move last week to dismiss German Bishop Franz-Peter Terbatz-van Telst of Limburg, after finding out he’d spent no less than 31 million euros on his private residence. An admirable move, one might think, given that this Pope’s motif seems to be simplicity and humility?

I agree. But what about our own Cardinal George Pell? How is he going when it comes to simple living?

In 2011, Cardinal Pell was instrumental in the Australian Catholic Church using money, mostly from the Sydney archdiocese, to spend $30 million – though one estimate goes as high as $85 million – to buy Domus Australia, an old Marist Fathers home in Rome’s Via Cernaia that has been converted into a guest house, with a 150-seat auditorium, and includes a private apartment for Cardinal Pell.

“It’s the cost of a high school, perhaps a high school and a church,” the Cardinal conceded to Good Weekend, before noting: “We haven’t given the money away. It’s an investment.”

And yet, the vice-president of the Rationalists Association of NSW, Max Wallace, raises a fair question: “How is it that the maximum payout of victims of sexual abuse can hope to achieve through Cardinal Pell’s Towards Healing process is $75,000 yet the church can find as much as $30 million to acquire a property in Rome? This surely tells victims that the church really doesn’t care about them, and the church’s mea culpas in the light of all the revelations about abuse are hollow and insincere.”

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DA: McCort abuse scandal report to be handed to state investigators

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

Updated: Saturday, November 2 2013

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — An investigation by a Pittsburgh attorney into allegations of sexual misconduct by a Franciscan Friar at a Johnstown private high school is complete and in the hands of the Cambria County District Attorney.

Now, the county investigator said she will turn the report over to the state’s Attorney General. In a statement to 6 News, District Attorney Kelly Callihan said it will be up to the state to decide the merits of the information, especially since the case may involve more counties than Cambria.

Brother Stephen Baker was a Franciscan friar and a former athletic trainer at Bishop McCort and was the subject of child abuse investigations in Ohio, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

Baker lived at St. Bernadine Monastery in Hollidaysburg when he committed suicide earlier this year. The attorney representing some of Bakers alleged victims conducted an investigation into who possibly knew of the abuse at the school.

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Albany diocese ordered to turn over clergy abuse files

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By Brendan J. Lyons
Updated 11:23 am, Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has been ordered by a federal judge to turn over nearly 40 years worth of clergy abuse files to a Warren County man who is suing the diocese and a priest who raped him as a young boy.

It’s the first time the Albany diocese has been ordered by a court to fully disclose its confidential files on priests and other employees accused of sexual abuse. But the ruling by U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III includes a sealing order that, for now, will keep the records from being made public. The sealing order was requested by the diocese and Gary J. Mercure, an imprisoned Albany priest who is accused of systematically raping and abusing altar boys for years.

The order requires the diocese to turn over its internal records on sexual abuse by priests and other employees dating to 1975.

“This is the first time the diocese has been ordered to turn over 38 years of records involving individuals — current and former clergy and employees, and even those who have made complaints of sexual abuse — who have absolutely nothing to do with the case at hand,” said Kenneth Goldfarb, a spokesman for the diocese. “The diocese sought a protective order because, surely, the privacy rights of these individuals warrant the same protection that the federal court already granted to Gary Mercure by issuing a protective order for his files.”

The decision was handed down in a lawsuit filed by a 37-year-old man who said he was raped by Mercure in New York, Massachusetts and Vermont beginning in the early 1980s when he was about 8 years old. The victim filed his lawsuit against the diocese and Mercure in Vermont because New York’s statute of limitations prevented any claim or criminal action here.

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Government should read review of Murphy Report before launching further investigations

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

Padraig McCarthy reviews Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s response to the legal review of the Murphy Report, agreeing that it makes valid points — but also pointing out that there is more to be said.

The day following the launch at the ACP AGM of the legal review by Fergal Sweeney of the Murphy Report, the Irish Times published an item under the heading “Martin defends Murphy report“. This referred to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s statement on the Dublin diocesan website. It is worthwhile noting that Archbishop Martin did not contradict what Fergal Sweeney wrote. The Archbishop said that children abused by priests must be remembered during any criticisms of the Murphy Report. In saying that, Archbishop Martin is fully in agreement with Fergal Sweeney, who emphasises the same point. Any criticism of the Murphy Report must indeed recognise that the Report is to be valued greatly for its vindication and validation of the accounts of those who were abused.

On other matters, some qualification may be useful. Archbishop Martin says that diocesan officials had no problem in being accompanied by their lawyers.

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I don’t want to hate anymore. Help us forgive

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Berlin Daily Sun

Frank Laferriere
Berlin

To the editor,

I speak not from hate, but from hope.

When I was diagnosed with PTSD over my priest rape, I thought it was bull. I believed that the ONLY people whom could be classified as someone with PTSD were soldiers or those in war zones. Then my therapist started explaining to me what a person whom they diagnose with PTSD goes through, what their life is like…it was like they wrote most of that definition for me.

Yet people still think what I went through can simply go away if I just get over it, forgive the priest, forgive the church, forgive those whom harmed me. That if I just forget…somehow this will make me all better.

To those who think this way do you may not realize, for 33 years I hid what that priest did to me. During that time I tried to forget, but it only made matters much, much worse. I felt guilty, I hated myself for what he did to me. I even called myself the Antichrist because of it. I actually took the name of Damien from the Omen series for my name. This is a fact. This is how evil I thought I was for what the priest did to me.

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Piden extradición de sacerdote polaco en República Dominicana

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
Andina

Santo Domingo, nov. 01 (ANDINA). Fiscales en República Dominicana están pidiendo la extradición de un sacerdote católico polaco acusado de abuso sexual de por lo menos siete niños en la remota localidad de Juncalito, reportó la cadena BBC Mundo.

Las autoridades dicen que se encontraron más de 80 mil imágenes y videos inapropiados de niños en la computadora del reverendo Wojciech Gil, conocido como padre Alberto Gil.

Se cree que el cura estaba de vacaciones en Polonia cuando surgieron las acusaciones, pero no ha regresado al país caribeño.

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Procuraduría General envía expediente formal acusatorio del sacerdote Alberto Gil a Polonia

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
El Nuevo Diario

Santo Domingo.- El Estado dominicano, a través de la Procuraduría General de la República, envió de manera formal a las autoridades polacas, el expediente acusatorio contentivo del caso del sacerdote Wokcietch Waldemar Gil (Alberto Gil), acusado de abuso sexual contra menores de edad en la comunidad de Juncalito, provincia Santiago.

El expediente incluye declaraciones y testimonios de las víctimas, así como las evaluaciones psicológicas de las mismas y diferentes tipos de evidencias con las cuales el Estado dominicano busca conseguir que el caso del padre Gil no quede impune.

Las autoridades dominicanas informaron que el envío de toda la documentación se realizó a través del Departamento de Asuntos Internacionales de la Procuraduría General de la República, que dirige la magistrada Gisela Cueto.

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Dominicans seek Polish priest Wojciech Gil on child sex rap

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Hong Kong Standard

(11-01 09:57)

Dominican prosecutors said they sent a dossier to the attorney general seeking the extradition of a Polish priest accused of child sexual abuse in this largely Roman Catholic country.

Santiago Prosecutor Luisa Liranzo said an indictment alleges that seven Dominican children were abused by the Reverend Wojciech Gil, who led a parish in the mountain town of Juncalito for eight years.

Gil was in Poland on vacation when the allegations surfaced earlier this year and has not returned to the Dominican Republic. The 36-year-old priest has denied sexually abusing children in phone calls to Dominican reporters and suggested drug gangsters in the Caribbean country are taking revenge on him for his educational work.

In recent weeks, Dominican Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito requested the collaboration of Interpol and other international organizations in locating Gil so he could eventually be tried in the Dominican Republic.

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Mary Young: Law must aid abused children

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

There should be no law limiting the length of time that adults who were victims of sexual abuse as children can file civil suits against their abusers or the institutions that employed them.

Spring Township attorney Jay Abramowitch is emphatic about that. Maybe even fanatical. He has handled numerous cases filed against priests and their dioceses.

If legislators won’t change the law to eliminate the statute of limitations, which currently requires victims to file suits before they reach age 30, then a proposal championed by state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Muhlenberg Township Democrat, is the next best thing, Abramowitch said.

The proposal, as outlined in last week’s column, would raise the age to 50 and open a two-year window for victims to refile cases previously thrown out of court because the statute of limitations had expired.

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Attorney general may continue McCort abuse investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott
kmellott@tribdem.com

EBENSBURG — An internal investigation by a Pittsburgh attorney and two other investigators into who knew what and when regarding alleged sexually molestation of students at Bishop McCort by a Franciscan friar is complete and a report made to the Cambria County District Attorney.

District Attorney Kelly Callihan told The Tribune-Democrat Friday, a day after meeting with attorney Kathleen Gallagher, that she feels there is sufficient information to warrant involvement by the office of the state attorney general.

“She reached out to us and asked to meet with us,” Callihan said in an interview at the courthouse. “She orally related to us the results of their investigation. My plan is to see that the investigation continues.”

At issue, Callihan said, is who knew what was going on when Brother Stephen Baker was allegedly sexually molesting students at the high school.

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P.S. More on Vatican Directive …

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

P.S. More on Vatican Directive to Bishops’ Conferences to Poll the Faithful: The Response of Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

I blogged this morning about the directive of the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops that bishops’ conferences poll the faithful about the issues of contraception, same-sex marriage, and divorce. I noted that the U.S. Catholic bishops have an “exemption” from complying with this directive, and it’s not yet certain whether the bishops will comply with the directive, or how they will poll the faithful if they choose to do so.

Meanwhile, look at how the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has already chosen to comply with this directive: Christopher Lamb reports for The Tablet. As he notes, this bishops’ conference has already put a survey online.

While in the U.S., Catholics remain uncertain about whether our bishops will even give us a voice in this international Catholic survey, as the Vatican directs that they should . . . . Or, if so, how they’ll choose to do so . . . .

Two different bishops’ conferences, two very different ways of doing business . . . . Two very different pastoral approaches, two very different ways of understanding the role of the faithful in the church . . . .

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Police watchdog clears North Yorkshire force over Jimmy Savile allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
The Press

THE police in North Yorkshire will not face action in connection with disgraced presenter Jimmy Savile.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) had investigated the force over the contact officers had with Savile who had a home in Scarborough, “in light of information received” online.

Moir Stewart, the IPCC Director of Investigations wrote in a letter to North Yorkshire Police: “I am now able to let you know we have completed that review of all the evidence and material relating to the late Jimmy Savile and have decided to take no further action with regard to your force.”

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Baltimore church youth group leader charged in 1997 sexual abuse case

MARYLAND
Baltimore News Journal

November 1, 2013

TOWSON – The Baltimore County Police Department has filed charges against Raymond Fernandez, 49, of Perry Hall, in connection with the sexual abuse of two teens.

At the time the abuse occurred, Fernandez was a teacher and a youth group leader at Greater Grace Church on Moravia Park Drive.

The victim recently came forward to report that Fernandez had sexually abused him in 1997.

The victim reported that the suspect was a church youth group leader, and that the victim had been abused during youth group functions and at the suspect’s home.

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Baltimore Church Youth Group Leader Arrested for Teen Sex Abuse

MARYLAND
Fox

A youth group leader from a Baltimore church has been charged with the sexual abuse of two teenagers.

Raymond Fernandez, 49, was arrested Friday morning and is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

According to police a victim recently came forward to report that Fernandez had sexually abused him in 1997 while he served as a church youth group leader at Greater Grace Church on Moravia Park Drive.

The victim reported that he had been abused during youth group functions and at the suspect’s home.

Detectives then learned that the suspect had sexually abused a second victim, also from the church youth group, in 1997. Detectives believe that there may be additional victims and are asking anyone with information to contact the Baltimore County Police Crimes Against Children Unit at 410-853-3000.

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Former Leader of Church Youth Group Charged With Sexual Abuse of Teens

MARYLAND
Patch

Posted by Brian Hooks (Editor) , November 01, 2013

Baltimore County police Friday charged a Perry Hall man and former church youth group leader with sexually abusing two teens in 1997. The teens were members of the youth group, police said.

According to a department press release, a victim told authorities that Raymond Fernandez, 49, abused him as a teenager in 1997. The victim reported Fernandez abused him during youth group functions at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore and at Fernandez’ home.

Police said Fernandez abused another teen who was associated with the youth group.

Officers arrested Fernandez Friday morning and he is being held at Baltimore County Detention Center.

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Former church group leader charged with abusing two children

MARYLAND
ABC 2

By: Cheryl Conner

UPDATE — Police have charged a former youth group leader with sexually abusing children who were members of the church, according to a release.

Raymond Fernandez, 49, of the unit block of Crosswall Court in Perry Hall, was charged Friday morning of abusing two children, police said.

Fernandez was a teacher and youth group leader at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore at the time of the alleged abuse.

“Recently, the victim came forward to report that Raymond Fernandez had sexually abused him in 1997,” according to the release. “The victim reported that the suspect was a church youth group leader, and that the victim had been abused during youth group functions and at the suspect’s home. Detectives also learned that the suspect had sexually abused a second victim associated with the church youth group in 1997.”

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November 1, 2013

Boy, girl allege sexual abuse by priest at St. Peter’s Church in Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE (MA)
Wicked Local Cambridge

By Erin Baldassari/ebaldassari@wickedlocal.com
Wicked Local Cambridge
Posted Nov 01, 2013

Cambridge —
At least one man and one woman say they were sexually abused as children by a priest at St. Peter’s Parish on Concord Avenue in Cambridge in the 1970s.

Survivors of clergy sexual abuse, representatives from the New Jersey-based non-profit Road to Recovery, supporters and friends will be leafleting at the church on Saturday, No. 2 and Sunday, Nov. 3 in an effort to raise awareness about the allegations and encourage other victims to come forward.

Both victims said they were sexually molested while Father James Braley was assigned to the church from 1975-1981.

“We want to let them know what happened there because we’re pretty sure there were dozens of people who were abused,” said Robert Hoatson, the president of Road to Recovery, an organization that works with victims of clergy sexual abuse. “Hopefully we can begin the healing process.”

Neither of the two victims were immediately available for comment, but a lawyer who represents both victims detailed the allegations. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian said the male victim was 14 year old when the abuse began; the girl was just 10.

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Dominican authorities send Catholic priest’s indictment to Poland

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Justice on Friday sent to its Poland counterpart the case file and indictment against Catholic priest Wojciech Gil (Alberto Gil), charged with sexually abusing seven boys in the town of Juncalito, northern Santiago province.

The victims’ depositions, psychological evaluations as well as evidence to seek Gil prosecution were sent by the Ministry’s International Affairs Dept., after concluding the investigation headed by Santiago province Prosecutor Luisa Liranzo.

“We’ve been working in permanent coordination with Poland’s Ministry of Justice, seeking that an occurrence like this, which has shattered the entire Dominican society, doesn’t go unpunished. We will do as much as is technically and legally possible to achieve an exemplary conviction in this case,” said Justice minister Francisco Domínguez in a statement.

Gil is accused of sexually abusing the minors while heading the parish at Juncalito, a rugged community near Janico township.

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Dominican Prosecutors Seeks To Extradite Polish Priest Accused Of Child Sex Abuse

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Latin Times

By Amanda Schiavo, Nov 01, 2013

Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic are looking to extradite a Polish priest accused of sexually molesting seven children. At a news conference on Thursday Oct. 28, Santiago prosecutor Luisa Liranzo announced the Dominican Republic was seeking to extradite Rev. Wojciech Gil, a Roman-Catholic priest who ran a parish in the town of Juncalito for eight years. When the allegations of sexual abuse was first made against Gil, he was in Poland on vacation. The 36-year-old priest has remained in Poland and denies abusing the children.

The BBC is reporting that authorities in the Dominican Republic have found over 80,000 images and videos on his computer. The footage on the priest’s computer has been called “inappropriate.” Rev. Gil has made phone calls to reporters in the Dominican Republic saying he is not guilty of child molestation. Authorities in the DR reached out to Interpol for help locating the priest. They found Gil last month, but did not arrest him since the Interpol warrant was only for his location.

Liranzo announced at a press conference that they would be indicting Gil for the sexual abuse of the seven children. Accusations against the priest say he would promise the children trips to the beach and to Europe if they dressed in provocative clothing and posed in pictures and appeared in videos. Another allegation says Gil has been abusing one boy for three years. This case will have trouble moving forward if the priest is not returned to the Dominican Republic. This proves to be complicated since there is no extraction treaty between the DR and Poland.

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Another accuser names Grammond

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

Another alleged victim of the late Maurice Grammond has filed suit against the Archdiocese of Portland.

The plaintiff, a 47-year-old resident of Washington County, is seeking $6.3 million for sexual abuse he says occurred when he was a boy at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Seaside. The archdiocese and its insurers have already paid out more than $33 million to 54 accusers of the defrocked priest, who died in 2002 in a Gresham Alzheimer’s unit.

Kristian Roggendorf, attorney for the plaintiff, says the archdiocese in the 1970s could have spared his client, who claims the priest took advantage when offering comfort after a fire destroyed the boy’s home.

The plaintiff says he suppressed memories of the abuse, struggled through two decades of drug addiction and was imprisoned many times. Seeing a photo of Grammond sparked memories of about 20 instances sexual molestation and rape, the lawsuit said.

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Text error classifies pedophilia as sexual orientation in medical manual

UNITED STATES
The Raw Story

By Travis Gettys
Friday, November 1, 2013

The American Psychiatric Association issued a correction Thursday to its newly published Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The fifth edition of the DSM listed “pedophilia” as “pedophilic disorder” to maintain consistency with the chapter’s other disorder listings, according to the correction.

The medical association said sexual orientation is not used in the diagnostic criteria for pedophilic disorder, or the long-term sexual interest of adults to children younger than 13 years old.

The APA considers pedophilic disorder to be a paraphilia, a sexual interest dependent on fantasies about atypical or extreme sexual behavior.

The diagnostic criteria for the disorder remain the same, the APA said, and subsequent printings and the electronic version of the DSM-5 would refer to the disorder as a paraphilia, not sexual orientation

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Joseph T. Herp, ex-priest accused of abuse, dies at 67

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Joseph T. Herp, a former priest who was removed from the ministry after the Archdiocese of Louisville confirmed allegations of sexual abuse against him, died Oct. 25, according to an obituary notice.

He was 67.

Herp resigned as pastor of St. Leonard Church in Louisville in May 2002 after the archdiocese received a complaint against him.

Church leaders had been aware of previous complaints against Herp years earlier and had kept him in ministry without notifying the public. Herp’s removal in 2002 came amid a groundswell of revelations of past sexual abuse by priests nationwide, prodding bishops to approve a new policy barring abusers from any ministry.

The Vatican dismissed Herp from the priesthood in 2005.

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Playin’ church with Francis; the ‘Bergoglio of Saskatchewan’; and Iraq

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

John L. Allen Jr. | Nov. 1, 2013 All Things Catholic

An old joke tweaking life in church circles goes like this: A dad is sitting in his living room when he hears a ruckus upstairs. He goes up and is startled to see the kids sitting in a circle on folding chairs, screaming their lungs out at each other: “You’re an idiot!” “You’re completely wrong and I can prove it!” and so on.

The father steps in and demands to know, “What in the world is going on here?”

“Ah, don’t worry, dad,” one of the kids says. “We’re just playin’ church.”

However middling it may be as a punch line, the joke captures something real. Perhaps because religion is about people’s deepest passions, it seems to breed division almost as reliably as devotion. …

During the John Paul and Benedict years, one byproduct of the emphasis on Catholic identity under those popes was the emergence of a caste of self-appointed guardians of loyalty who ran around “outing” bishops, parishes, schools, hospitals and so on that they felt were insufficiently Catholic. Critics derisively dubbed them the “orthodoxy police,” concluding that in at least some cases, this was mean-spirited and reflected an untoward lust for judgment.

One wonders if we’re witnessing the emergence under Francis of an equal-and-opposite form of the same impulse, which we might term the “enlightenment police” — people taking it upon themselves to pronounce whether someone is sufficiently humble, collaborative, forward-thinking, etc., to claim consistency with the direction being set by the new pope. …
On the other side of the equation, there are several constituencies in the church feeling angst over aspects of the new pope’s direction, including:

* Some pro-life Catholics, who worry that his inclination to dial down the volume on abortion, gay marriage and contraception risks unilateral disarmament in the culture wars;
* Doctrinal purists, who think his shoot-from-the-hip style courts confusion on church teaching;
* Liturgical traditionalists, who don’t see him fostering the same reverence for the church’s worship they associate with Benedict XVI;
* Political conservatives, who fear that his emphasis on the social Gospel could shade off into an uncritical embrace of the agenda of the secular left;
* Church personnel, especially in the Vatican, who are weary of hearing the new boss take potshots at them because they don’t see themselves as careerists or lepers infected with the trappings of a royal court.

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Sexual Abuse Case Filed Against Portland Archdiocese

OREGON
OPB

A Washington County man has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Portland alleging he was sexually abused in the late 1970s by an Oregon priest, Reverend Maurice Grammond. The priest died in 2002.

Kristian Roggendorf is attorney for the plaintiff. He says the Archdiocese knew about the abuse and could have spared his client and other victims.

“Damage to them could have been prevented if the Archdiocese would have simply done a common sense thing like get a child molester out of ministry,” Roggendorf said.

The Archdiocese has already paid out more than $30 million to 54 of Grammond’s victims.

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Tebartz-van Elst findet Aufnahme im Kloster Metten

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Allgemeine

[Summary: Bishop Franz-Peter van Elst Tebartz since Wednesday has been a guest at the Metten monastery.]

31.10.2013 · Seit Mittwoch ist Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst „Gast“ des Klosters Metten. Dort soll der Limburger Bischof zumindest einen Teil seiner Auszeit verbringen.

Die niederbayerische Benediktinerabtei Metten hat den Limburger Bischof Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst aufgenommen. Seit Mittwoch sei der Bischof Gast des Klosters, teilte Abt Wolfgang M. Hagl am Donnerstag mit. „Die Benediktiner freuen sich, dass der Bischof von Limburg in Metten eine geistliche Zeit der Erholung verbringt.“

Ob der vom Papst bis auf weiteres beurlaubte Bischof seine gesamte Auszeit über in Metten bleiben werde, sei noch offen, sagte der Abt der Katholischen Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA). An die Öffentlichkeit richtete Hagl die Bitte, „das Kloster als besonderen Ort der Stille zu respektieren“.

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Younger Magdalene survivor to seek compensation for loss of right to education

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Fri, Nov 1, 2013

A woman who was one of the youngest in Ireland to have been put in a Magdalene laundry is to refuse any offer of compensation by the State unless her loss of an education is taken into account.

Maureen Sullivan (61) was just 12 when she was placed in the Magdalene Laundry at New Ross Co Wexford in 1964. Over the following four years she was transferred to another such laundry in Athy, Co Kildare and then to a school for blind people in Dublin.

As her employer of 15 years at Irish Skincare in Carlow Arnie Stevenson told The Irish Times :“Maureen was a child slave trafficked between institutions.”

Yesterday she said that unless the fact that she was deprived of her constitutional right to an education was taken into account in any compensation offer made to her, she would refuse it and pursue that through other routes.

Mr Stevenson, who is assisting Ms Sullivan in getting what he believes is her due, said they were seeking an apology from the State “for her lack of education as well as compensation for that and for trauma suffered as a consequence”.

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Renewed calls for independent investigation into Magdalene laundries

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Fri, Nov 1, 2013

There have been further calls for an independent investigation into Ireland’s Magdalene laundries.

The issue was raised at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNCHR) in Geneva where members were briefed by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties this week.

The Government’s refusal to commission an independent investigation into the treatment of women held in the Magdalene laundries was discussed.

Stephen O’Hare of the ICCL said afterwards that UNCHR members were “plainly aware that other UN treaty bodies, including the [UN] Committee Against Torture, have called for an independent investigation into the treatment of women held in the Magdalene laundries.

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Abp Józef Wesołowski …

POLSKA
Natemat

Abp Józef Wesołowski posługiwał się fałszywymi dokumentami, żeby uciec z Dominikany? Duchowny przebywa w Watykanie

[Summary: Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, who is accused of abusing minors, left the Dominican Republic using faked documents, according to Alberto Athie Gallo, a representative for Caritas in Central America. It is alleged he now resides at the Vatican. Dominican authorities are preparing a request for his extradition. Although the archbishop lives at the Vatican, Polish prosecutors are investigating whether extradition is possible to Poland.]

Fałszywe dokumenty miały pomóc podejrzewanemu o pedofilię Arcybiskupowi Wesołowskiemu opuścić Dominikanę. Obecnie były nuncjusz apostolski w tym kraju przebywa w Watykanie. Oprócz tego śledczy poinformowali, że zakończyli przesłuchiwanie ofiar księdza Gila, którego także podejrzewa się o wykorzystywanie seksualne dzieci. Władze Dominikany obecnie przygotowują wniosek o jego ekstradycję.

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Testimony from brothers about accused archbishop ‘unreliable:’ defence lawyer

CANADA
Brandon Sun

By: Chinta Puxley, The Canadian Press
Friday, Nov. 1, 2013

WINNIPEG – A lawyer defending an Orthodox archbishop against allegations he sexually assaulted two brothers almost 30 years ago says there is not enough evidence to convict.

Seraphim Storheim is accused of sexually assaulting two pre-teen boys when they visited him on separate occasions in Winnipeg in 1985. The men have testified Storheim walked around naked and asked them to touch him sexually.

In his closing arguments Friday, defence lawyer Jeff Gindin told Justice Christopher Mainella the brothers’ testimony isn’t enough to convict Storheim beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The evidence is unreliable, it’s inconsistent and, in many ways, it’s simply illogical,” Gindin suggested.

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North Yorkshire Police cleared over Jimmy Savile contact

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC

North Yorkshire Police will face no action over the contact officers had with disgraced presenter Jimmy Savile, the police watchdog has said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) had investigated the force “in light of information received”, a spokesman said.

Savile had a home in Scarborough, where he regularly spent time.

Following a review of “all relevant material”, the IPCC has told the force there will be no further action.

In a letter to North Yorkshire Police, the IPCC’s Director of Investigations Moir Stewart stated the watchdog had concluded its inquiries.

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Review of Murphy Commission’s work says process it followed was unfair

IRELAND
The Pilot

By Sarah MacDonald

Posted: 11/1/2013

DUBLIN (CNS) — A new review of the work of the Murphy Commission that investigated clerical sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin charges that priests did not get even-handed treatment and that the process it followed was unfair.

Undertaken by the 1,000-member Association of Catholic Priests, the review also said the commission’s work exceeded its announced plans to investigate institutions rather than individuals.

The review poses a challenge to Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who defended the commission’s findings in a statement Oct. 29.

The commission published a scathing 814-page report in November 2009 in which diocesan officials in Ireland’s largest diocese, including bishops, were roundly condemned for covering up and mishandling reports of sexual abuse of children.

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Prosecutor: Polish priest abused seven minors

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- Santiago Province prosecutor Luisa Liranzo on Thursday said the investigation against Juncalito parish priest Wojciech (Alberto) Gil has concluded, and will be accused of sexually abusing seven minors.

She said all documents were handed over to the Justice Ministry’s Extradition Dept., to be sent to Poland’s authorities yesterday. “We’ve already submitted the corresponding conclusions…, which is penalized by our criminal law.”

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2002 document: Archdiocese did not ask abusive priest for names of victims

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Brian Lambert

The latest ethical blunder in the archdiocese’s sex abuse scandal(s) … . Madeleine Baran of MPR reports: “The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis did not require an abusive priest to give the church the names of every child he sexually assaulted, according to a document obtained by MPR News. Top church official Rev. Kevin McDonough revealed the archdiocese’s decision while responding to a man who reported in 2002 that he had been sexually abused by the Rev. Robert Thurner years earlier. ‘I have no record that Father Thurner reported you as a victim, but we have not recently asked him to provide an exhaustive list,’ McDonough wrote in the letter, dated June 6, 2002. There is no indication that McDonough reported the man’s allegation to police. Archdiocesan policy does not require church officials to report abuse to police if the victim is no longer a child.”

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Polish priest wanted over Dominican child sex-abuse

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
BBC

Prosecutors in Dominican Republic have asked their attorney-general to extradite a Polish Roman Catholic priest on child-abuse charges involving thousands of pornographic images.

The priest, Rev Wojciech Gil, is accused of abusing seven children.

Authorities say they also found more than 80,000 inappropriate images and videos of children on his computer.

In phone calls to reporters in the Dominican Republic, he has denied the accusations, saying he has been framed.

The priest was in Poland on holiday when the allegations first surfaced earlier this year and has not returned to the mountain town of Juncalito where he led a parish for eight years.

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Vatican Diary / Bishops under fire in Italy, the United States, and Spain

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

They were the most combative on questions that Pope Francis has relegated to second place. And now they find themselves under pressure to change their agenda and their leaders

VATICAN CITY, November 1, 2013 – Pope Francis is showing that he has very clear in his mind both the battles that he wants to fight and those for which he sees no need to do so. Both “ad intra,” meaning within the ecclesial body of which he has become the supreme pastor – and in the Roman curia in particular – and “ad extra,” in the world.

With regard to the latter, pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio has said loud and clear, in the interview with “La Civiltà Cattolica,” that he does not see as a priority the battles over anthropological issues like the questions “connected to abortion, homosexual marriage, and the use of contraceptive methods.”

This undoubtedly constitutes a change of stance with respect to the last pontificates: not only of Benedict XVI and of John Paul II, but also of Paul VI, the pope of “Humanae Vitae” and of the strenuous resistance against the introduction of divorce in Italy.

It is a change of stance, this of Pope Francis, who although he has not yet eliminated even one iota of doctrine has nonetheless raised widespread expectations among the more progressive sectors of Catholicism around the world.

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Piden extradición a República Dominicana de sacerdote polaco acusado de pedofilia

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
BBC

Viernes, 1 de noviembre de 2013

Fiscales en República Dominicana están pidiendo la extradición de un sacerdote católico polaco acusado de abuso sexual de por lo menos siete niños en la remota localidad de Juncalito.

Las autoridades dicen que se encontraron más de 80.000 imágenes y videos inapropriados de niños en la computadora del reverendo Wojciech Gil, conocido como padre Alberto Gil.

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Acusan a sacerdote de violación sexual contra un menor en Ayacucho

PERU
La Republica

Mientras continúan las investigaciones contra el obispo auxiliar Gabino Miranda Melgarejo, por el supuesto delito de pedofilia, otro escándalo remece a la Iglesia Católica en Ayacucho.

En esta ocasión, el sacerdote Luis Alejandro Bazalar García (30) fue denunciado por ultrajar sexualmente a un ex seminarista de 17 años.

La denuncia fue formulada por la madre del adolescente en la Séptima Fiscalía Provincial Especializada en lo penal de Huamanga, que despacha el fiscal Jorge Abad Contreras. Allí argumentó que su menor hijo desapareció el domingo y lunes pasado, y extrañamente su celular y el del sacerdote estaban apagados.

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How abuse within the Churches was allowed to develop and what is needed to ensure it never recurs

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet (UK)

Patrick Parkinson, Professor of law at Sydney University, delivers 2013 Smith Lecture

30 October 2013

Delivering the annual Smith Lecture in Sydney last week, Patrick Parkinson, professor of law at the University of Sydney, said the Vatican’s ‘misguided’ belief that child sexual abuse cases ought to be dealt with by the Church through canon law, and its support for the ‘culture of clericalism’, established the conditions for the Church’s handling of the problem and made it ‘very difficult for bishops who wanted to deal with things differently’.

Read the text of the lecture here.

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Dominican Republic Asks For Extradition Of Another Polish Priest Accused Of Sexually Abusing Children

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
inSerbia

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Dominican authorities officially filed an extradition appeal to Poland, asking the European national to extradite a priest who allegedly sexually abused children on the Caribbean island.

Only weeks after another Polish priest who served in the Dominican Republic as a nuncio, or envoy, was accused of sexual abuse, another has been accused of the same crime.

Priest Wojciech Gil, 36, is accused of sexually abusing at least seven children. The crimes are alleged to have taken place in the small, hilly town of Juncalito, some 200 kilometers northwest of the capital, Santo Domingo. Gil, known as ‘Padre Gil,’ or ‘Father Gil,’ led a Catholic parish in the town of 1,300 for almost eight years.

Authorities also said they found over 87,000 pictures and videos of child pornography on Gil’s computer that he used at the small chapel he headed.

The allegations surfaced earlier this year when Gil was back in his native Poland on vacation. After he heard of the charges levied against him, Gil did not return to the Dominican Republic to resume his work.

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Catholic Church might reinvent itself as Fianna Fáil has done, says priest

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Fri, Nov 1, 2013

The Catholic Church in Ireland might look to how Fianna Fáil has reinvented itself when considering its own future, a leading Dublin priest has said.

Msgr Dermot Lane, president of the Mater Dei Institute, said: “It is worth observing in passing how Fianna Fáil has reinvented itself in the last two years. Is it conceivable that the church might reinvent itself to become a servant church, especially of the poor, the social conscience of society, the champion of social justice?”

Trust

In a paper published yesterday, he asked whether the bishops “could now establish a group of eight to advise them on the reform and the renewal of the Catholic Church?”

The group might include a disaffected intellectual, a woman, a business person, a theologian, a lay person active in ministry, a priest and a bishop, he said.

The urgent issues facing the church included “the overcoming of clericalism, bridging the gap between intellectuals and the institutional church, healing the wounds revealed in the Ferns, Murphy and the Ryan reports, and the regaining of trust among people”.

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William Richardson, Youth Minister, Accused Of Sexually Abusing Girl, 9

FLORIDA
Huffington Post

[with video]

By David Moye

A volunteer youth minister and church choir director has been arrested after allegations he repeatedly sexually abused a girl during Sunday school starting when she was 9.

William Richardson, 47, was charged with capital sexual battery after the girl, now 11, told a staff member at her school that he had molested her over a three-year period at the First Baptist Church of Mango in Seffner, Fla., according to RawStory.com.

Investigators for the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Dept. said the suspect first molested the girl when she was between 9 and 10. At least one other incident happened earlier this year with the girl, now 11, TampaBay.com reported.

Before the arrest, deputies had the victim talk with Richardson by phone. They said that during the conversation, he said things that made it clear he had committed the sexual battery, WTSP-TV reported.

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Sexual abuse well south of the border: Will Latin America be a test for Francis?

UNITED STATES
U.S. Catholic

By Bryan Cones

We in the United States have become accustomed to news of clerical sexual abuse–weary even. The past decade has been a time of serious self-examination, and though the issue is hardly resolved, U.S. dioceses have taken major steps toward making the church safer for children, though much remains to be done.

This isn’t as true in the rest of the Catholic world–a recent NBC News report covered some troubling stories out of Latin America, most notably the papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, who is alleged to have paid underage boys for sex. He was “withdrawn” some weeks ago, but other cases in Latin America are beginning to gain attention, with some local bishops making the same mistakes their counterparts in the U.S. have made over the years. Some have wondered if Pope Francis is serious about reform on this issue.

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Dominicans seek Polish priest Wojciech Gil on child sex rap

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC/POLAND
Hong Kong Standard

(11-01 09:57)

Dominican prosecutors said they sent a dossier to the attorney general seeking the extradition of a Polish priest accused of child sexual abuse in this largely Roman Catholic country.

Santiago Prosecutor Luisa Liranzo said an indictment alleges that seven Dominican children were abused by the Reverend Wojciech Gil, who led a parish in the mountain town of Juncalito for eight years.
Gil was in Poland on vacation when the allegations surfaced earlier this year and has not returned to the Dominican Republic. The 36-year-old priest has denied sexually abusing children in phone calls to Dominican reporters and suggested drug gangsters in the Caribbean country are taking revenge on him for his educational work.

In recent weeks, Dominican Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito requested the collaboration of Interpol and other international organizations in locating Gil so he could eventually be tried in the Dominican Republic.

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Bishop bares soul on how he caused hurt to his priests, failed to understand abuse victims and struggled to cope with the murder of Michaela McAreavey

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Click here for the story.

BY LIAM CLARKE – 01 NOVEMBER 2013

Bishop Dr John McAreavey has admitted that he has failed many of his priests and that he has not always had the right attitude to the victims of clerical sexual abuse.

Asked if his primary response had been to protect the Church rather than the plight of the victim or survivor of abuse, he said: “There is no question of that. Yes. A number of times in the past year friends of mine have quoted back things to me I have said 10 or 15 years ago that they remember, that I have forgotten.

“It is no pride to me that I have made a long and difficult journey. I just didn’t see this whole thing from the perspective of the victims.”

Dr McAreavey made his comments in a frank interview with the Irish Catholic magazine conducted by Martin O’Brien, a leading Catholic commentator. It is Dr McAreavey’s first public statement since returning from a seven-month sabbatical which took him to the Holy Land, China, Rome and a period of work as a parish priest in Los Angeles. Part of it was spent in solitary prayer in Israel’s Negev desert.

“In a sense the whole sabbatical was a time in the desert, away from the usual supports, routines and friendships,” he said.

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Restore image of priests for obsolete doctrines,Vatican Concordats, narcissist “saint” John Paul II, Mass fake cloning of Christ religious spectacle?

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils…

Paris Arrow

Christ is like oxygen – free, available and equal to all

Because of their permanent files in BishopAccountability.org evidences of pedophile priests of Biblical proportions in the USA since 2002, and which have swept also through Europe and now in Australia, what Catholics must do is NOT to restore the image of the priest – but to demote him from his holy pedestal – so that they can elevate the dignity of all (voiceless) children and women and will become at par with the priest — before Christ and IN Christ – because Christ is like oxygen free and equal to all. And all are equal before Him.

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State high court may sway case against Maplewood priest

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: ABBY SIMONS , Star Tribune Updated: October 31, 2013

A Roman Catholic priest’s sexual relationship with an adult parishioner he is advising on spiritual matters is ­condemned by the church.

But is it a crime?

For the second time in six years, the Minnesota Supreme Court will address that question when it rules on the constitutionality of a state law that deems it a felony for clergy members to “engage in sexual conduct” with those seeking “religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort in private.”

The ruling, expected soon in the case of a convicted St. Paul priest, could influence whether a Maplewood priest under scrutiny will be charged with a crime for allegedly having an affair this year with a married parishioner.

The priest in the most recent case denies the accusation, which is outlined in a search warrant issued earlier this month. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, already on the defensive over allegations that it mishandled multiple cases of alleged clergy sex abuse and priest misconduct, announced last month that it has opened its own investigation. The priest, who denies the allegations, has taken a voluntary leave of absence from the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary “until the matter is resolved,” the archdiocese statement said.

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