Labour chiefs: It’s OK to have sex with 10-yr-olds

UNITED KINGDOM
Sun

By RHODRI PHILLIPS, LYNN DAVIDSON & ALASTAIR TAYLOR
Last Updated: 28th February 2014

LABOUR’S Patricia Hewitt last night apologised after The Sun confronted her for backing a paedophile plan for the age of consent to be TEN in certain cases.

The ex-Health Secretary put her name to a document that also wanted to legalise incest. She and Jack Dromey, now a Labour MP, were members of a committee recommending a revolutionary change in child sex laws.

Our investigation showed how she backed the work of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) in the 1970s and 1980s. She said: “I got it wrong on PIE and I apologise for having done so.”

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New head of Legionaries of Christ weighs burden of founder’s sins

ROME
Catholic News Service

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) — When accusations of sexual abuse against Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder and then-general director of the Legionaries of Christ, were first published in 1997, Father Eduardo Robles Gil was running one of the congregation’s schools in Mexico City.

Father Robles Gil did not believe Father Maciel had molested boys in his own seminaries, yet the accusations troubled him, and he asked himself what he would do if they turned out to be true.

“I said, ‘I am happy being a priest, it is where God wants me, and he called me to the Legion, so I would continue being a Legionary priest,'” he told Catholic News Service Feb. 28. “Having made that decision, I was no longer affected so much by what might come out in the newspaper.”

Today, Father Robles Gil is the troubled congregation’s new general director. He is the congregation’s first elected leader after nearly four years of Vatican-supervised reform that, he said, have left members full of “hope, enthusiasm (and) optimism.”

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Puerto Rico bishops hand over accused priests to civil authorities

PUERTO RICO
Headlines from the Catholic World

San Juan, Puerto Rico, Feb 28, 2014 / 03:05 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan and Bishop Daniel Fernandez Torres of Arecibo in Puerto Rico have handed over a group of priests accused of sexual abuse to civil authorities.

In statements to the media, Archbishop Gonzalez Nieves said six cases of alleged sexual abuse of minors by priests have been turned over to Puerto Rican prosecutors.

He pledged “the full cooperation of the Archdiocese, regardless of whether the person who committed the abuse is a minister, employee or volunteer. This entire process, while painful, should be an occasion for reaching the ultimate goal, which is the well-being and protection of minors.”

“None of these priests is currently in ministry,” the archbishop emphasized. “Some of the cases have gone before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and others have exceeded the statute of limitations. One (accused individual) is dead, another was tried in court in Bayamon and another is outside Puerto Rico.”

For his part, Bishop Daniel Fernandez of Arecibo filed a complaint with police and the Department of the Family against one accused priest.

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Priest’s email confession to two-year secret affair that ended in mother’s fatal overdose

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By LOUISE ECCLES

A Roman Catholic priest faces an inquiry after sensationally admitting an affair with a vulnerable parishioner who later died of a drugs overdose.

In an extraordinary series of emails to her son, Father Stephen Cooper confessed he had been seeing nurse Kathleen Lardner in the months leading up to her death.

Extracts from her diary at the time reveal that the hospital ward manager suspected he was seeing another woman and made her feel ‘like a prostitute’.

Ten years on, Father Cooper now admits that Miss Lardner, who suffered from depression and anxiety, called him on the day she died to say she had taken some pills and ask for forgiveness.
But he says that at her insistence he did not phone an ambulance, despite realising she was in a ‘deep depression’.

By the time an ambulance was called by her long-term partner several hours later, it was too late. She died in hospital the same day, aged 41. An inquest found she had swallowed a fatal quantity of her partner’s blood pressure tablets.

Incredibly, Father Cooper presided over her funeral the following week, with her family and friends oblivious to the affair or her desperate phone call.

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Parents say son tried suicide after alleged molestation by Philly priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

BY HOLLY OTTERBEIN

The trial for a Philadelphia priest accused of molesting an altar boy continued Friday.

The accuser, whose name is being withheld, said the Rev. Andrew McCormick fondled him and attempted to force oral sex him when he was 10 years old. He is now 26.

The young man’s parents testified Friday that their son’s behavior changed in the months afterward. His father said he became angry and stopped doing the things he once enjoyed. His mother said he later attempted suicide.

The man’s parents said their son finally told them about the incident in 2011, after he saw in the news that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had suspended McCormick, 57, and several other priests because of sex abuse allegations.

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“He Was Like A Wounded Animal”

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

A tearful mom and dad told a jury today about the noose they found hanging in their son’s closet.

They were followed to the witness stand by a grandfather who was a retired detective.

It was “Pop” who took the first statement from the alleged victim in this case, the 26-year-old man who has accused Father Andrew McCormick of sexually assaulting him back in 1997 when he was a 10-year-old altar boy.

“He was like a wounded animal,” the silver-haired detective said of his grandson. “He was so filled with anxiety.”

In short, it was a great day for the prosecution as three relatives of the alleged victim took turns scoring points against “Father Andy.”

Dad was the lead-off witness. He talked about the 3 a.m. text he received on Dec. 5, 2011 from his son.

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Brendan Smyth: Victims of paedophile priest cannot sue church

IRELAND
BBC News

Victims of a paedophile priest have been prevented from taking fresh legal action against the Catholic Church.

The High Court in Dublin made the ruling against the trio, who settled cases against Brendan Smyth in 1998.

The victims alleged negligence because complaints made about Smyth in 1975 were not reported.

But the judge said that the alleged new or additional facts were already in the public domain when the cases were settled.

The trio took a case against the Bishop of Kilmore Leo O’Reilly, and Cardinal Sean Brady – the head of the Catholic church in Ireland.

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Robert Mickens: From Benedict to Francis

UNITED STATES
Frontline

[How big a deal was the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI?]

The resignation I think would be more than anything that Joseph Ratzinger has done in his life as a theologian — and he’s written lots of books, and he’s influenced lots of theology in the church as a Vatican official. He was one of the most important for more than 25 years. More than anything that he’s done, he will be remembered for the resignation. …

What was the state of the church that he bequeathed?

When he resigned, Benedict XVI left a church that was almost run into the ground. Some brighter people and more astute people on the workings of the church had confided in me, even people on the inside, he was killing the church. People were moving away from the church; people were leaving the church in droves.

What he did in his seven years as pope or so, is he brought back into the mainstream many fringe groups on the extreme right, groups that did not like or threw into question the reforms that happened at the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. The modernization of the church these people did not like. They wanted to go back to the old Tridentine Mass, the pre-Vatican II Mass, and he allowed them. These people were brought back into the mainstream of the church, even though they’re tiny little pockets, insignificant pockets really, [and] they became the tail wagging the dog.

This was driving away a lot of people, even inside the Vatican. The Vatican is naturally a conservative place. … Ratzinger, Benedict XVI, was too conservative even for them.

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New Bill Aimed at Child Sex Abuse Cases in GA

GEORGIA
WSAV

By Shameca Kelley

ATLANTA, GA –
Child sexual abuse impacts 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys before their 18th birthday. Yet, prosecutors say only 1 in 10 actually speak up, but in many cases, not until they are older and well past the statute of limitations for legal action against their abusers.

However, a House Judiciary Committee has passed a new bill, HB 771, which would give victims more time to seek action.

Under current law, child sex abuse victims in the Peach State can only take action against their abusers up to five years after age 18.

If the new bill passes, victims would be able to bring action against his or her abuser up until they reach the age of 30.

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GA- Bill will extend SOL for child sex abuse, victims respond

GEORGIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, February 28, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

A proposed bill in George would extend the statute of limitation for child sex crimes 7 years. This is a step in the right direction, but stronger action is needed.

[WSAV]

House Bill 771, which was passed by a House Judiciary Committee, would give victims of child sexual assault and additional 7 years to file lawsuits. As the law stands now victims only have 5 years after they turn 18. Under the new law victims will have until they are 30 years old.

We are glad this small step in the right direction was taken and that lawmakers are acknowledging that many victims of child sexual abuse take years to report their abuse, due to the extreme trauma. We are sure that this law will help many younger people who were abused as kids, but it does nothing for older people.

Statute of limitations in child sex crimes only protect dangerous predators who more often than not will hurt more than one child. To help prevent future crimes removing the statute of limitations is necessary or at least offering a window.

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Former altar boy reveals grim details of Philadelphia priest’s alleged sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
New York Daily News

BY CAROL KURUVILLA / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014

A former altar boy opened up in court on Thursday about the abuse he allegedly endured under the hands of a trusted Roman Catholic priest.

The Rev. Andrew McCormick, 57, quietly listened to the unidentified young man speak about the sexual encounter that left him scarred at the age of 10.

“I remember trying to hang myself a lot. … Probably every week,” the man, now 26, told a Philadelphia courtroom. “I couldn’t deal with the guilt of what had happened, or what I am.”

McCormick has pleaded not guilty to the crime. The priest, who worked at St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg at the time, has been placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He was arrested in July 2012, the Philadelphia Daily News reports.

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IL- Conservative Christian allegedly didn’t report child abuse

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, February 28, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

A conservative Christian official from Illinois is on administrative leave following allegations that he sexually harassed women and didn’t report suspected child abuse.

[Religion News Service]

This is the bare minimum. More must be done to protect the vulnerable and expose the truth.

In the charges recently brought by a sexual abuse victim against Bill Gothard, director of Basic Life Principles, we see a very disturbing, but recurring pattern. We have a young person, working for someone that is supposed to be of high principles and above reproach. This responsible person then allegedly violates the trust of the young person, and uses his position of authority to abuse both this victim and others.

We commend the board of this organization for their recent actions; however, we question where they have been on this since the first revelations came forth in 2011.The whistle blowing website Recovering Grace reported that an underage girl was harassed by Gothard in the early 1990s, but was afraid no one would believe her so did not report the crime then.

Were officials unaware all this time of these victims and their claims? Did they notify authorities at once as dictated by civil and moral law? It is unclear in their statement whether Bill was forced to resign, or if he just chose to step aside from his position of power due to the forces that now make the pressure too great to not react.

What we see here is an unfortunate action, and reaction, by those entrenched in positions of trust and power, and how they go about protecting their turf, and the organization, with no regard for the victims and their needs. Where is their outline of action? Where is their plan to address the needs of the victims? Where are their efforts to find others who may have seen suspected or suffered Gothard’s wrongdoing and beg them to call police?

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What role did parish firings, pastor’s temperament play in Bend controversy?

OREGON
National Catholic Reporter

Dan Morris-Young | Feb. 28, 2014

Editor’s note: This is Part 5 of a five-part series on the dispute between a pastor and his bishop in St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Bend, Ore. Removed from his post last October, Fr. James Radloff filed an appeal, but his request was denied by the Vatican, as the Congregation for Clergy sided with Baker, Ore., Bishop Liam Cary. Dated Jan. 31 and made public in Bend Feb. 14, the decision allows Cary to keep secret the reason for the ouster and permits a continued bar on Radloff’s public ministry. According to Radloff’s canonical adviser, Fr. Thomas Faucher, Radloff received a letter from Cary Wednesday, Feb. 26. It was dated Feb. 21. No details were available to the press. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here and Part 4 here.

The personality of Fr. James Radloff as well as the termination of some St. Francis of Assisi Parish employees continue to be flashpoints in discussions of why the priest might have been removed as pastor.

Letters in Bend’s major newspaper, The Bulletin, and posts on the NCR website have alternatively chastised and lauded Radloff for staffing changes.

In separate interviews, two parishioners claimed Radloff terminated five employees with no warning not long after assuming reins of the parish, giving them an hour to vacate, in one case eliminating income for a family of six.

Others argue that staff changes were needed. Parishioner Donna Hodson said bluntly Feb. 8, “True, it’s hard to let people go, but the people he let go needed to be let go. How do you fire someone kindly?”

Support independent Catholic journalism. Subscribe to NCR.
Thirty-year parishioner Ken Roberts said, “Radloff was very impulsive and made a lot of decisions without regard for the consequences. He dismissed a lot of good people from the staff when he arrived which alienated many. Some of those are returning under the new regime which is very heartening and it is because Fr. Julian (Cassar) is reaching out to them and trying to heal our community which has been in some kind of turmoil for the last several years.”

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Brendan Smyth abuse victims cannot take new case against church

IRELAND
RTE News

The High Court has ruled that three victims of abuse by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth who settled cases in 1998 may not proceed with fresh legal action against the Catholic Church.

The victims had alleged the Bishop of Kilmore and now Cardinal Seán Brady did not take steps to prevent Smyth from abusing children in the 1970s and 1980s.

Bishop of Kilmore Leo O’Reilly was sued as successor to the previous bishop Francis McKiernan. Cardinal Seán Brady is being sued in a personal capacity.

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IL- University piano quartet is criticized

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

For more information: Melanie Jula Sakoda ( 925-708-6175 cell, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com ), Cappy Larson ( 415-637-2006, cappy@rlarson.com ), David Clohessy ( 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )

University piano quartet is criticized
Group was to help convicted child molester
Professors had planned to perform at fundraiser
It’s unclear whether event has been postponed or cancelled
School official claims he “cannot forbid our faculty from performing”

Four Illinois Wesleyan professors and musicians were set to perform at a fundraiser for a convicted child molester. But yesterday, protests by a victims group led to the event’s cancellation or postponement.

Members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, were upset about a planned March 5th fundraiser to benefit Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, once the top Orthodox official in Canada, who was found guilty last month of sexually abusing an altar boy.

Yesterday, SNAP wrote to IWU provost Jonathan D. Green (309-556-3101, jgreen@iwu.edu), asking him to stop The Illinois Wesleyan Piano Quartet from agreeing to perform at the event or at least denounce the quartet for doing so.

SNAP sent similar protest letters to four other groups, asking them to block the fundraiser from happening.

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Bill Gothard Placed on Administrative Leave After Allegations of Sexual Harassment

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

BY NICOLA MENZIE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
February 28, 2014

Bill Gothard has been placed on administrative leave by board members of his nonprofit organization, Institute for Basic Life Principles, amid an investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed several women and young girls.

Billy Boring Jr., one of nine members (including Gothard) on the Institute for Basic Life Principles’ board, told World magazine: “After completion of the review the board will respond at an appropriate time, and in a biblical manner.”

While the investigation was ongoing, Gothard “will not be involved in the operations of the ministry. The board of directors will be prayerfully appointing interim leadership.”

A Christian-run online organization named Recovering Grace has been publishing victim accounts of alleged abuse at the hands of Gothard. Recovering Grace claims to be privy to at least 34 different women who say they were victims of “textbook sexual harassment” and emotional abuse at the hands of Gothard. According to RNS, Gothard was also being investigated for failing to report allegations of child abuse.

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Bill Gothard placed on administrative leave

UNITED STATES
World Magazine

By WARREN COLE SMITH
Posted Feb. 27, 2014

The board of directors of the Institute for Basic Life Principles has placed its longtime leader Bill Gothard, 79, on “administrative leave” while the board investigates claims that he years ago engaged in sexual harassment and other misconduct.

Responding to a WORLD inquiry, board chairman Billy Boring stated, “After completion of the review the board will respond at an appropriate time, and in a biblical manner.” Until then, the statement said, Gothard “will not be involved in the operations of the ministry. The board of directors will be prayerfully appointing interim leadership.”

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Conservative leader Bill Gothard on leave following abuse allegations

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Sarah Pulliam Bailey | Feb 28, 2014

(RNS) Bill Gothard, an Illinois-based advocate for home-schooling and conservative dress and who warned against rock music and debt, has been placed on administrative leave after allegations of sexually harassing women who worked at his ministry and failing to report child abuse cases.

Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles was once a popular gathering spot for thousands of Christian families, including the Duggar family from TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.” Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute conferences were also popular among devotees of the Quiverfull movement, who promote large families and eschew birth control.

He’s also rubbed shoulders with Republican luminaries. He and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee were photographed at a campaign lunch together; former Georgia Gov. Sunny Perdue spoke at one of Gothard’s conferences; and Sarah Palin, when she was a small town mayor in Alaska, attended his International Association of Character Cities conferences and declared Wasilla among Gothard’s “Cities of Character.”

In a statement posted Thursday, board chairman Billy Boring told World magazine: “After completion of the review, the board will respond at an appropriate time, and in a biblical manner.” Until then, the statement said, Gothard “will not be involved in the operations of the ministry. The board of directors will be prayerfully appointing interim leadership.”

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Evangelist pastor Rick Warren plans mental health ministry after son’s suicide

CALIFORNIA
New York Daily News

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

LAKE FOREST, Calif. — A year after his son’s suicide, popular evangelical pastor Rick Warren is taking on a new mental health ministry inspired by his personal tragedy.

Warren, founder of Saddleback Church and a best-selling author, will team with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to host a daylong event next month focused on helping church leaders reach parishioners who are struggling with mental illness.

The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church grew out of private conversations Warren had with the local Catholic bishop, Bishop Kevin Vann, after his son’s death and his own writings in his journal as he processed his grief. Matthew Warren, 27, committed suicide last April after struggling with severe depression and suicidal thoughts for years.

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CA- Victims praise Rick Warren/OC bishop event

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

For more info: Joelle Casteix 949 322 7434, jcasteix@gmail.com,
David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Victims praise Rick Warren/OC bishop event
Daylong seminar to address mental health issues
Education is an important first step, group says
SNAP: “But firing wrong-doers as important as therapy”

A national support group for victims of child sexual abuse is applauding an upcoming church-sponsored mental health seminar, saying it’s a good first step in helping victims and others heal from the pains of mental illness.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), are calling the partnership between Saddleback Church founder Rick Warren and the Catholic Diocese of Orange, CA, “movement in the right direction” to help victims of child sexual abuse and anyone who is suffering with mental illness.

[New York Daily News]

The seminar, which will be held at the Saddleback Church campus in south Orange County, will feature speakers and small group seminars which will educate ministers and the public on how to compassionately and effectively help those suffering from mental illness.

SNAP leaders say that events like this should be accompanied by decisive action to help those who are suffering due to child sex abuse and cover-ups in Orange County institutions.

“There are three ways we can help victims of mental illness: compassion, intervention, and action,” said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Volunteer Western Regional Director. “But without action—without punishing wrongdoers and those who covered up for them—victims of child sexual abuse who suffer from mental illness are only more isolated, shamed and vulnerable.”

Casteix hopes that church officials in the area will publicly invite abuse victims to attend the event.

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Clergy Abuse Overwhelmed a Pope: It Ought to Be Exposed

UNITED STATES
Poets & Lunatics: The Power of the Pen on the Journey of Faith

February 28, 2014 By Wendy Murray

I recently watched a Frontline documentary titled “Secrets of the Vatican” highlighting the daunting challenges facing Pope Francis. His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, resigned from the office a year ago today (Feb. 28, 2013) under a cloud of corruption and the stench of unresolved rampant sex-abuse cases. The documentary highlights the challenge Pope Francis faces in the unspoken mandate to clean up the Church, most notably the shameful sordid legacy of covering up of rampant sex abuse over many decades that has destroyed lives.

The problem of abuse and cronyism is not exclusive to Catholicism. Evangelical Boz Tchividjian asserts unequivocally that sex abuse among evangelical clergy is ‘worse’ than that within the Catholic church. Tchividijian – a former child-abuse victim; child-abuse prosecutor; founder and executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment); law professor; author and — it’s worth noting — Billy Graham’s grandson; speaks and writes extensively on issues related to sex abuse within the evangelical faith community. “Christian mission field is a ‘magnet’ for sexual abusers,” he says. “The Protestant culture is defined by independence”– the implication being that this independence, when it comes to confronting pathologies in ministry, sets the table for little if any accountability.

A report published by the Baptist General Convention of Texas (2000) noted “the incidence of sexual abuse by clergy has reached ‘horrific proportions.’” Studies revealed that 40 percent had acknowledged “sexually inappropriate behavior.”

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Three steps to reform the Vatican

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Feb. 26, 2014 Faith and Justice

Pope Francis has placed reform of the Vatican as a top priority of his papacy. Whether or not he will succeed remains to be seen.

There are at least three things necessary to successfully reform an institution: changing its culture, appointing key people who support the reform, and putting in place structures, policies, and procedures to concretize the reform.

Changing the culture of an institution is probably the most difficult and the most important. It is not enough to send out memos mandating new policies or to move boxes around in the organizational chart. The attitudes and values of the people in an institution make it what it is, especially if those values are not just talked about but incarnated at the top.

From his first minutes in office, Pope Francis has been trying to change the culture of the institutional church. He has talked about leadership as being for service rather than for status, power, or prestige. He has been critical of clericalism and careerism. He realizes that reform requires a conversion of hearts and minds. And he has not just talked, he has walked the walk. He has modeled what it means to be a good bishop, a good priest, a good Christian.

Second, reform requires putting people who support change into key positions. Francis began this by appointing as secretary of state Pietro Parolin, a highly competent Vatican professional who supports the pope’s vision and agenda.

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Charges dropped against Rabbi Glick

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 28, 2014

Stephen Cauchi and Barney Schwartz

A respected rabbi who was stood down from Melbourne’s Yeshivah College over allegations that he raped a student in the 1970s has had charges against him dropped.

Rabbi Avrohom Glick, 67, was then deputy principal and later principal of the College. He was head of religious studies when he was stood down last December.

Rabbi Glick, of Balaclava, was arrested and interviewed in December and released pending further inquiries.

Yeshivah College principal Yehoshua Smukler said at the time that although “Rabbi Glick is a highly respected staff member and community figure”, he would be immediately stood down.

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Bishop wins court case to halt actions by three abuse survivors

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

A Catholic Bishop has won a High Court court halting three actions for damages brought against him in a representative capacity by a man, his sister and another woman who previously settled Northern Ireland court actions for stg £25,000 each over sexual abuse by paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, today granted an application by Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Leo O’Reilly, for orders halting, on grounds of the previous settlements, the actions brought against him in his representative capacity as Bishop of the Kilmore diocese.

The cases by the three were also brought against Cardinal Sean Brady, who is being sued in his personal capacity arising from his role as part-time secretary to former Bishop of Kilmore, Francis McKiernan, during a church investigation in 1975 into complaints about Smyth.

Cardinal Brady had not made any similar application to that of Bishop O’Reilly and the proceedings against him remain in being.

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Canada- Ottawa parish responded quickly to victims’ request for help

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

For more info: Melanie Jula Sakoda 925-708-6175 cell, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com, David Clohessy 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Ottawa parish responded quickly to victims’ request for help
Fundraiser for convicted archbishop cancelled or postponed
He was brought to trial last year, accused of molesting 11 year old twin boys
SNAP: “We fear concert is merely postponed, so we hope the other groups we contacted will also step up to the plate”
“Public support for proven molesters is wrong because it deters victims of other child sex crimes from speaking up,” victims say

A victims’ group is grateful that an Ottawa Orthodox parish responded swiftly to their plea for assistance. The church cancelled a fundraiser to benefit an archbishop who was convicted last month of molesting an altar boy, and assured the group that they would never allow it to take place in their facility. However, the event organizers appear undeterred by this set-back.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, were upset about a planned March 5th event to raise money for Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, who was found guilty last month of abusing one of the twins. Storheim is the former head of the Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). He is suspended by the OCA while he awaits church discipline for his crimes.

Yesterday, SNAP wrote four church institutions connected with the event. The group said the event “hurt at least one child sex abuse victim and deterred other child sex abuse victims from speaking up.” Later during the day, the website promoting the event posted that “The chamber music concert on March 5 at Woodroffe United Church is cancelled due to the change of schedule.”

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TN- Victims blast Nashville Catholic officials

TENNESSEE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

Statement by Susan Vance of Knoxville, leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 865-927-2923, vancefamily1@comcast.net )

Yesterday, when confronted by a TV reporter, Nashville Catholic officials admitted receiving a report of child sex crimes by a priest that they had kept secret for years. Shame on them.

[Fox 17]

The alleged child molesting cleric is Fr. Gansmann who also spent time in Illinois and Minnesota. Last week, for the first time, Catholic officials in the Twin Cities disclosed, because of a court order, child sex abuse allegations against Fr. Gansmann.

For years, Catholic bishops have pledged to be “open” about clergy sex cases. These two belated disclosures – in St. Paul and in Nashville – show that this pledge is rarely kept.

Those hurt by Fr. Gansmann — in Minnesota and Tennessee – are getting older. Many of them have likely told no one or few people about their pain. Their suffering would be lessened if Catholic officials would “come clean” about these clergy sex crimes and aggressively seek out, and help, these victims. Instead, however, bishops continue their self serving secrecy, letting those trapped in silence, shame, and self blame continue in pain. Again, shame on them.

Roughly 30 US bishops have, under pressure, posted on their websites the names, photos and work histories of child molesting clerics. This is the least Catholic officials can do to protect kids. None of Tennessee’s bishops have done this. Now would be a perfect time for Nashville’s bishop to do this.

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Ein Missbrauchsopfer wehrt sich

DEUTSCHLAND
Berliner Zeitung

[Summary: Some wounds never heal. So it is with the abuse case involving the Catholic Church in Potsdam and Tegel. An old case of abuse must be reopened because the victim has decided to put on some pressure. A parish priest accused to sexual abuse had been rehabilitated although the church knew he had forced a boy into a sexual act.]

Von Julia Haak

Die katholische Kirche hat einen Priester rehabilitiert, obwohl bekannt war, dass er einen Jungen sexuell missbraucht hatte. Nur weil das Opfer sich wehrt, wird der Fall nun neu untersucht.

Manche Wunden heilen nie. Wenn sie nach Jahren wieder aufbrechen, kommt es für Beteiligte oft überraschend. So ist es auch in einem Missbrauchsfall, der die katholischen Kirchengemeinden Peter und Paul in Potsdam und Herz Jesu in Tegel betrifft. In der katholischen Kirche muss jetzt ein alter Fall neu aufgerollt werden, weil das Opfer plötzlich Druck macht. Ein des sexuellen Missbrauchs beschuldigter Gemeindepfarrer war rehabilitiert worden, obwohl der Kirchenleitung bekannt war, dass er tatsächlich einen Jungen zu einer sexuellen Handlung genötigt hatte.

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SC- Victims prod Bob Jones University to act now

SOUTH CAROLINA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

For more information contact Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director (314) 862-7688 home, (314)503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com, and David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Victims prod Bob Jones University
“Don’t wait for report, act now,” they say
Group wants school to post predators’ names
SNAP: Thirty Catholic bishops have done this
“It’s the least the school can do to protect others,” victims say

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is asking Bob Jones University officials to post on their website the names of “proven, admitted or credibly accused sex offenders who have worked at or attended the school.”

Last week, university officials announced that a report on campus sex crimes would proceed. But their earlier decision to stop the report has led some to question school administrators’ sincerity.

[Religion News Service]

The university’s top staff should be doing everything they can to prevent sexual assault, help victims and expose predators, say leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“Top university staff should take clear steps now to expose the wrongdoers and protect the vulnerable,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director. “They should not passively sit back and wait for a report to be finalized while offenders walk free and might hurt others, especially offenders who might now be imprisoned had administrators acted more responsibly.”

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Three victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth can’t bring fresh claims against church

IRELAND
Irish Independent

UPDATED 28 FEBRUARY 2014

A Catholic Bishop has won a High Court court halting three actions for damages brought against him in a representative capacity by a man, his sister and another woman who previously settled Northern Ireland court actions for Stg £25,000 each over being sexually abused over years as children by paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nichoals Kearns, today granted an application by the Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Leo O’Reilly, for orders halting, on grounds of the previous NI settlements, the actions brought against him in his representative capacity as Bishop of the Kilmore diocese.

The cases by the three were also brought against Cardinal Sean Brady, who is being sued in his personal capacity arising from his role as part-time secretary to former Bishop of Kilmore, Francis McKiernan, during a church investigation in 1975 into complaints about Smyth.

Cardinal Brady had not made any similar application to that of Bishop O’Reilly and the proceedings against him remain in being.

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A Novel Approach for Twin Cities: Punish those responsible

MINNESOTA
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Kristine Ward

One way to sometimes stop people from doing wrong is to punish them for doing wrong. History, psychology and common sense all suggest this approach often works.

But tragically, Catholic officials virtually never use this approach when shocking revelations of clergy sex abuse and cover-up surface.

It’s an approach that St. Paul-Minneapolis Catholic officials might consider as they try to save themselves and their archdiocese from a rapidly expanding scandal that has put dozens of accused clerics in the news over the last few months and several other church staff who reportedly kept quiet about or hid their alleged sexual misbehavior.

When we say “Catholic officials,” we are largely referring to Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piché, who is now in charge of the Twin Cities archdiocese. Archbishop John Nienstedt has stepped aside while an allegation of child sexual abuse against him is investigated.

When it comes to wrongdoers who merit punishment, the St. Paul-Minneapolis church hierarchy has lots of choices.

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Ex-priest spared jail after breaching sex offender conditions

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 28, 2014

Adam Cooper
Reporter for The Age

A former Catholic priest on the sex offenders registry has avoided a jail term despite admitting he breached a court order by umpiring junior cricket matches.

Paul Chris Pavlou, 54, stood in 11 under-15 matches between 2010 and 2012 for the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association in what was a breach of his obligations as a convicted sex offender, in that he was paid to work with children.

Pavlou also had a previous conviction for failing to comply with conditions of the registry, to which he was added for his 2009 conviction for performing an indecent act with a child under 15 and knowingly possessing child pornography.

At one point in Pavlou’s plea hearing on Friday, County Court judge Paul Lacava asked of defence counsel Sam Stafford: “How many chances does a sex offender have to get before he receives a term of imprisonment?”

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Derby pervert priest Francis Cullen ‘was in tears’ when quizzed by schoolgirl’s mum

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

By Martin Naylor

A FORMER Mackworth schoolgirl said paedophile priest Francis Cullen burst into tears when her mother confronted him about his abuse more than 50 years ago.

The woman claims her mother was then visited by “a senior member of the Catholic Church” and told the matter would be dealt with – but Cullen remained at Christ the King Church in Mackworth until 1978.

The woman, who does not wish to be identified, has come forward following Cullen’s court appearance in Derby on Monday.

At that hearing, the 85-year-old admitted abusing children over a 35-year period.

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Priest arrested after claims he stole €500,000 to fund luxurious lifestyle

IRELAND
Irish Mirror

A priest has been arrested after he allegedly used parishioners’ money to fund a lifestyle of luxury.

Detectives nabbed him following a six-month investigation into the Dublin-based cleric.

It came amid complaints he stole cash by making false claims for mass stipends over a 13-year-period.

It is also alleged that the priest, who is in his 50s, lodged claims under the names of other priests who were unaware of the scam.

Under cannon law, a priest can only claim stipends for one mass per day.

It is also alleged the cleric used the money to fund a luxurious lifestyle and enjoyed stays in luxurious hotels, as well as expensive jewellery.

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Sex abuse priest Gordon Rideout’s release bid rejected

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A priest who was jailed for sexually abusing children has had his application for release from prison on compassionate grounds rejected.

Canon Gordon Rideout, from Polegate, East Sussex, was jailed for 10 years in May for 36 separate sex offences.

The priest, in his 70s, abused 16 children between 1962 and 1973, in Hampshire and Sussex.

BBC South East learned he was recently released from prison to attend hospital on a temporary licence.

‘Utter disgust’

He later returned to jail. The Ministry of Justice said the nature of his hospital treatment was confidential.

One of his victims said she felt anguish at Rideout’s “obvious ploy to manipulate the system” with his application.

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Priest held over €500k theft from his order

IRELAND
Irish Independent

TOM BRADY, SECURITY EDITOR – UPDATED 28 FEBRUARY 2014

A PRIEST has been arrested by gardai investigating the theft of more than €500,000 from his religious order.

It follows a six-month investigation by a team of detectives into complaints of theft, which allegedly took place over a 13-year period.

The cash was allegedly taken from the order by making false claims for Mass stipends.

Under canon law, a priest is entitled to receive one stipend from the diocese or the order from collections made during the celebration of Mass.

Additional stipends cannot be claimed if the priest celebrates multiple Masses on one day.

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Cardinal Dolan Warns: You May Hear Some Things About Me….

NEW YORK
Seasons of Grace

February 24, 2014 By Kathy Schiffer

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in his blog Gospel in the Digital Age, warned New Yorkers this week that they may soon be seeing his name cast in an unfavorable light in the media. The Archdiocese of St. Louis, where he served as auxiliary bishop for a year in 2001-2002, has just been ordered by a court to release documents regarding clergy abuse cases.

Before you get too excited about that, though, let me assure you that the Cardinal assures us he’s been forthright and has done nothing wrong.

On February 18, just before departing for the Consistory in Rome, Cardinal Dolan published a letter to Catholics in the Archdiocese of New York explaining the situation. He wrote:

“…you know how I always try to alert you to any potentially negative publicity about the Church, or about me. Well, there could be some. My home archdiocese of St. Louis just complied with a court order to release the documents regarding cases there of sexual abuse of minors. (Cardinal Egan already did that here a decade ago, sharing all of the information we had on abusive priests with proper district attorneys, something we continue to do today.)

Anyway, since I was an auxiliary bishop in St. Louis for a year (2001-02), and vicar for priests for nine of those twelve months, I would anticipate that my name will again be highlighted in the press. I sure have nothing to hide, and am very much at peace with law enforcements officials reviewing the files. In fact, we already released all the documentation to them a dozen years ago!

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The Prison of Father MacRae: A Conspiracy of Silence

UNITED STATES
These Stone Walls

Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a guest post by Ryan A. MacDonald. Part One was “The Trial of Father MacRae: A Conspiracy of Fraud.”

“I don’t share your belief in Father MacRae’s innocence. I just don’t believe a judge and jury would sentence a priest to life in prison with anything less than clear and compelling evidence.”

The above quote was the reply of a prominent American Catholic writer when I challenged him to take a closer look at the trial and imprisonment of Father Gordon MacRae. There is nothing to be gained by publishing the writer’s name. I still hope he might accept my challenge to study this matter with more depth than the New Hampshire news media and priests of the Diocese of Manchester have given it. I have asked the writer to show me the evidence he feels so certain must exist. He is wrong about this. There is simply no factual evidence to support this conviction.

But for some, the absence of evidence is evidence of evidence. That Catholic writer’s presumption about evenhanded justice and due process reflects the naiveté of the innocent and just. I once shared such naiveté, but I have since learned that ignorance is not bliss. I know too much about this case to cling to any delusions that everyone in prison must be guilty, or that a Catholic priest, while actually innocent, could not be railroaded into prison based on false witness.

So does The Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz, one of the most just and courageous journalists I know. She has a talent for enabling readers to place themselves in the shoes of the falsely accused, and it’s a terrifying place to be. A recent article, “On Woody Allen and Echoes of the Past” (WSJ.com, February 9, 2014), had that same effect. It isn’t long, but it’s compelling and powerful.

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Mother of priest’s victims reveals family pain, more abuse and church’s rebuke

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with audio]

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Feb 25, 2014

The mother of the boys abused by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer no longer ends her days with a silent prayer. Memories and flashbacks surface too easily in those quiet moments. Instead, she plays solitaire on her cell phone until sleep.

It’s been nearly two years since she learned that two of her sons were abused by Wehmeyer and that one of the boys, in turn, sexually abused his 5-year-old twin sisters. Last year, a third son told her that he, too, had been abused by the priest. One of the boys, she also learned, abused an additional sibling. In all, six of her nine children have been sexually abused either by Wehmeyer or each other, she said.

Wehmeyer pleaded guilty in 2012 to sexually abusing two of the boys, ages 12 and 14, and possessing child pornography.

The family’s life is now a blur of therapy appointments and psychiatric hospitalizations. It is, the mother said, “a war zone.” She once hoped that some of her sons would become priests. Now she hopes that none commit suicide.

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God vs. the Gavel

UNITED STATES
WKCR

Artist: Marci Hamilton
Title: God vs. the Gavel
Album: WCKR Late City Edition
Length: 29:35 minutes (33.86 MB)
Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 160Kbps (CBR)
Date Broadcast: Thu, 27 Feb 2014

Tune in to this Thursday’s Late City Edition for a conversation with Marci Hamilton, expert in constitutional and First Amendment law, and author of God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law. Professor Hamilton discusses what happens when religious liberty and the law come into conflict, especially when First Amendment protection permits and even fosters oppression and abuse.

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Bishop Raymond James Boland dies at age 82

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

February 27
BY DARRYL W. LEVINGS AND MATT CAMPBELL
The Kansas City Star

Bishop Raymond James Boland, the beloved missionary priest who followed so many of his fellow Irish to the New World, eventually coming to a Kansas City suffering from the almost biblical flood of ’93, died Thursday in Cork in the old country.

Boland served as the fifth bishop and spiritual leader of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph until he retired on May 24, 2005.

“I just felt, in some misguided fervor of my youth, that I wanted to be another St. Patrick or something,” he would reminisce about his emigration.

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Can Francis achieve his reforms?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas C. Fox | Feb. 27, 2014 NCR Today

As part of the Feb. 25th PBS Frontline documentary, “Secrets of the Vatican,” the producer asked me to write an essay assessing the chances Pope Francis can succeed in his agenda to reform the church. This is what I wrote:

Can Pope Francis restore his church’s shattered credibility? Tend the wounds of millions of disaffected Catholics, pillared by decades of clerical sex abuse and cover-up? Can he bury a church authority structure modeled after kings and their courts?

These are tall orders for a 77-year-old bishop who moved to Rome just one year ago to find himself suddenly heading a church of 1.2 billion followers.

Change does not come easily in the Catholic Church, yet I for one am more than modestly optimistic Francis will succeed in ways few have yet to imagine. Consider these points:

One: He was elected by his fellow cardinals with a solid mandate for reform, starting with a Vatican bureaucracy that is widely perceived as inept and out of touch. He has appointed a council of eight cardinals from around the world to move this task forward. A roof leaks from the top down. Francis has wisely started his reform at the top.

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Man Indicted for Child Sex Abuse in Mt. View Church

ALASKA
KTUU

Matthew F Smith, Digital Producer, msmith@ktuu.com

ANCHORAGE –
A man charged with sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl in a Mountain View church bathroom last month has been indicted on one count of sexual abuse of a minor.

David Chiklak, 29, was detained in the church parking lot by members of the congregation after police say he brought the girl into the men’s bathroom. Police say a woman in the women’s bathroom heard the girl crying and discovered Chiklak standing over the victim with his belt unbuckled.

Chiklak has arrested at the church and has remained in custody since his arrest, a statement from the District Attorney’s office declared. He was

The girl was interviewed by investigators and confirmed the sexual abuse, according to charging documents.

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Man indicted for suspected assault at church

ALASKA
KFQD

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A grand jury has indicted a man suspected of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl at a church in northeast Anchorage. Prosecutors say the grand jury indicted 29-year-old David Chiklak on one count of felony sexual abuse of a minor. Chiklak was arrested Jan. 27. A woman told police she was in a bathroom with a girl at the church and heard someone call the child out. The woman a short time later heard the girl crying in the men’s bathroom. Police say the woman entered the men’s bathroom and saw a man with his belt unbuckled standing over the girl. Parishioners detained Chiklak in the parking lot. Police arrested Chiklak and said he was not a member of the church but had attended a service with others.

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“Father Andy” Faces His Accuser

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

His troubles with “Father Andy” began when his mother confided to the priest that her son might be gay.

The alleged victim, now 26, testified in court today that when he was a 10-year-old altar boy, the priest brought him to his room in a church rectory, and sexually assaulted him.

Then, after the alleged attack, the victim testified the priest would repeatedly tell him on the playground that homosexuality was a sin, and so was masturbation.

How did that make him feel, the prosecutor asked?

“Horrible,” the young man testified. “As a homosexual, if it’s a sin, it means I’m going to hell.”

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Two pictures emerge of priest accused of assaulting altar boy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

DANA DIFILIPPO & MENSAH M. DEAN, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS DIFILID@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-5934
POSTED: Friday, February 28, 2014

THE LATEST young man to accuse a Philadelphia Catholic priest of molesting him as an altar boy told a jury yesterday that the experience so badly shocked, embarrassed and debilitated him that he turned to drugs, alcohol and multiple suicide attempts before reaching his teens.

The slim man, dressed in a white shirt, black tie and slacks, emotionally spoke of being 10 years old in 1997 when the Rev. Andrew McCormick invited him to the priest’s rectory bedroom at St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg.

McCormick undressed them both, fondled the boy, straddled his chest and tried to force his penis into his mouth, the man said on the first day of McCormick’s trial in Common Pleas Court.

“I was in shock. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me,” said the man, 26, whose identity the Daily News is not revealing.

After he refused to allow McCormick to fully insert his penis into his mouth, “he told me to get out,” testified the man, who said he recalled that the priest never fully took off his plaid boxer shorts.

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Archdiocese sends court sealed list of priests accused of child sexual abuse since 2004

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Feb 27, 2014

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has submitted under seal in Ramsey County District Court the names of priests accused of child sexual abuse since 2004, according to victims’ attorneys.

Ramsey County Judge John Van de North had ordered the archdiocese to provide the names by Feb. 18. The archdiocese fought the order, arguing it would cause “irreparable harm to the Archdiocese and its clergy,” but failed to convince Van de North to change it.

The latest disclosure comes as part of a lawsuit filed by a man who says he was sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas Adamson in 1976 and 1977. Last year, in the same lawsuit, Van de North ordered the archdiocese to release the names of “credibly accused” priests on an older list.

The submission of post-2004 names marks the latest development in an increasingly aggressive legal battle over the archdiocese’s handling of clergy sexual abuse cases.

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SEX ARRESTS CONCERN COMMUNITY

CALIFORNIA
Oakdale Leader

By Richard Paloma
Staff Reporter rpaloma@oakdaleleader.com 209 847-3021 ext 8136
POSTED February 27, 2014

The arrest by Ceres Police Department of Oakdale Bethel Assembly of God youth minister Tyler Bliss on suspicion of possessing child pornography last week marks the third time in less than six months that a person in a position of trust has been arrested for a sexual offense involving children in the City of Oakdale.

Last September former Boy Scout troop leader Paul Birmingham was arrested by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department for engaging in sexual acts with a minor after a month-long investigation into an inappropriate relationship he had with a 15-year-old boy over a five-year period. Detectives say the victim told them the first encounter happened when the boy was 13.

Birmingham was the owner of Print-Rite Printing on Hi Tech Parkway in the city.

A few weeks later in September, Oakdale Police arrested Cloverland Elementary School substitute teacher Bryan Thies for lewd acts with a child and child molestation.

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French court acquits priest on rape charge

FRANCE
Yahoo! News

Lons-le-Saunier (France) (AFP) – A French court on Thursday acquitted a 69-year-old priest charged with raping a devout and vulnerable parishioner.

Daniel Lagnien, 69, was accused of taking advantage of a 39-year-old woman described as psychologically frail with no sexual experience, in a case with the potential to inflict further damage on the reputation of the Roman Catholic clergy after years of sexual scandals.

The prosecution had alleged that Lagnien made advances to the 39-year-old virgin during a 2010 pilgrimage to a shrine in the French Alps.

Several days later, she went to the priest’s home in Moirans-en-Montagne, Jura seeking an explanation of his behaviour.

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Alleged Victim Offers Testimony As Philadelphia Clergy Abuse Trial Begins

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s emotional, tearful testimony as a 26-year-old man tells a Philadelphia jury he was sexually assaulted by a parish priest when he was a 10-year-old altar boy at St. John Cantius in Bridesburg in 1997.

The alleged victim says Father Andrew McCormick recruited him to be an altar boy and then sexually assaulted him after an evening mass. Later he says the priest emotionally abused him, made him feel terrible, that he was going to hell for who he was, a homosexual, and he says he considered and tried suicide multiple times the next year.

He says he finally came forward in 2011 to face the memories and scrutiny so this does not happen to another little boy.

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Sex Abuse Allegations Surface Against Former Nashville Priest

TENNESSEE
Fox 17

John Dunn

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — There are new worries that a Catholic priest may have sexually abused children during his time in Nashville. The allegations against Father Kenneth Gansmann have just been exposed.

St. Vincent De Paul is a small Catholic church in North Nashville, and during the 1960’s it was led by Father Kenneth Gansmann.

The Franciscan priest not only led the predominantly African-American parish, but he also oversaw St. Vincent’s elementary school. Just last week church leaders in Minnesota revealed that credible claims of sexual abuse were made against Gansmann while he was in that state in the 1950’s.

FOX 17 News started asking questions, and we learned that allegations have also been made against Gansmann here in Nashville. “About three and a half decades after he died, we got an allegation that he may have abused a student at St. Vincent’s during the late 1960’s,” says Rick Musacchio with the Diocese of Nashville.

Mike Coode, who is a survivor of church sex abuse, says it is especially disturbing knowing that Gansmann spent so much time around hundreds of children. “It would not surprise me in the least, in fact it would surprise me if he didn’t abuse kids here,” says Mike Coode. Coode is one of several survivors urging the Nashville diocese to acknowlege what happened and seek out other possible victims.

The Diocese of Nashville is now encouraging anyone to come forward, and offering support to anyone who may have been molested or abused. “The diocese wants any victims of past abuse to come forward no matter how long ago that might have happened,” says Musacchio.

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Pope Francis says Church needs better bishops

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Register

Written by David Gibson, Religion News Service
Thursday, 27 February 2014

VATICAN CITY – In another strongly worded message to the Catholic hierarchy, Pope Francis told the Vatican body that vets nominees for bishops that they need to find him better candidates to send to dioceses around the world.

“To choose such ministers we all need to raise our sights, to move to a higher level,” Francis told the Congregation for Bishops, the critical department of the Roman Curia that acts as a clearinghouse for bishop nominees, Feb. 27. “We can’t do anything less, and we can’t be content with the bare minimum.”

On consecutive days last weekend, Francis delivered stern warnings to 19 new cardinals he appointed to join about 150 others in the College of Cardinals: On Feb. 22, he told them to avoid “rivalry, jealousy, factions,” and at a Mass in the Vatican the next day, he said they must reject “habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favouritism and preferences.”

Francis also has repeatedly called on clerics to live simply and humbly, and in his address to the cardinals and staff who make up the Congregation for Bishops, Francis said that self-denial and sacrifice are written into the bishop’s DNA.

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Jura: le curé accusé de viol finalement acquitté

FRANCE
L’Express

Le père Daniel Lagnien qui comparaît depuis mercredi pour viol et agressions sexuelles à l’encontre d’une paroissienne, a été acquitté par la cour d’assises du Jura.

Le parquet avait requis jeudi cinq ans de prison, dont trois avec sursis, à l’encontre d’un prêtre jugé devant les assises du Jura pour viol d’une paroissienne particulièrement vulnérable. Il a finalement été acquitté dans la soirée par la cour d’assises du Jura.

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French court acquits priest on rape charge

FRANCE
Expatica

A French court on Thursday acquitted a 69-year-old priest charged with raping a devout and vulnerable parishioner.

Daniel Lagnien was accused of taking advantage of the woman described as psychologically frail with no sexual experience, in a case with the potential to inflict further damage on the reputation of the Roman Catholic clergy after years of sexual scandals.

The prosecution had alleged that Lagnien made advances to the 39-year-old virgin during a 2010 pilgrimage to a shrine in the French Alps.

Several days later, she went to the priest’s home in Moirans-en-Montagne, Jura seeking an explanation of his behaviour.

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Misbruik kost bisdommen ruim 8 miljoen euro

NEDERLAND
Trouw

[Summary: The sexual abuse scandal so far has cost the Dutch dioceses more than 8 million euros. However, most of the money was not spend on compensation to the victims but includes the investigation that the Wim Deetman commission did on abuse in the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. The victims have received more than 3 million in compensation according to statements from the seven dioceses. A total of 5.4 million euros was spend on the investigation and handling of complaints from victims. The Utrecht diocese has paid out the most with 2 million euros.]

Het seksueel-misbruikschandaal heeft de Nederlandse bisdommen tot nu toe meer dan 8 miljoen euro gekost. De zeven aartsbisdommen zijn echter niet het meeste geld kwijt aan schadevergoedingen voor de misbruikslachtoffers, maar aan onder meer het onderzoek dat de commissie-Deetman deed naar het misbruik in de Rooms-Katholieke kerk in Nederland.

De misbruikslachtoffers hebben tot nu toe ruim 3 miljoen euro schadevergoeding gekregen, blijkt uit jaarrekeningen van de bisdommen. Met 5,4 miljoen euro betaalden de bisdommen bijna twee keer zoveel voor het onderzoek van oud-Tweede Kamervoorzitter Wim Deetman en de behandeling van de klachten van de slachtoffers. Het tv-programma Brandpunt Reporter bericht daar donderdag over. Het bisdom Utrecht moest het diepst in de buidel tasten: een bedrag van 2 miljoen euro kwam voor zijn rekening.

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St. Paul archbishop will give testimony next month

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 02/27/2014

Attorneys for a plaintiff in a clergy sexual abuse case will take the testimony of Archbishop John Nienstedt and former top deputy Rev. Kevin McDonough on March 19 and 20, attorney Jeff Anderson announced Thursday.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis had objected to the depositions, asking Ramsey County District Judge John Van de North to stop them. But Van de North ruled Feb. 16 that the depositions should go forward.

The judge also refused to stay his order that the archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona submit names of priests accused of sexual abuse since 2004.

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Cardinal O’Brien faces prospect of further action against him by Vatican

SCOTLAND
The Tablet

27 February 2014 by Christopher Lamb and Brian Morton

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien is facing the possibility of further disciplinary action being taken against him by the Holy See.

Today his successor as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Leo Cushley, was due to arrive in Rome for a five-day visit where he is expected to discuss the issue

Cardinal O’Brien stepped down just over a year ago after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him by five men, four of them priests. Last May the Vatican ordered him to spend time in prayer and penance outside of Scotland and Archbishop Cushley has said publicly that he should not return.

According to his spokesman, Archbishop Cushley has “listened to the parties concerned and will transmit any information provided to him to the Holy See”, adding that he will “assist in any way he can in order to help bring a just and equitable conclusion to the matter for all involved.”

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MN- Archbishop’s deposition set but SNAP predicts it won’t happen

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Feb. 27

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

Two top St. Paul archdiocesan officials will supposedly be deposed next month about clergy sex crimes and cover ups, but we doubt that will actually happen.

[SFGate]

A dozen Catholic bishops – and two Catholic religious orders – have sought bankruptcy protection at the 11th hour to prevent depositions like these from taking place. And some Catholic officials (Boston’s Cardinal Bernard Law and, more recently, Australia’s Cardinal George Pell) have been promoted to Rome, in part we believe, to avoid facing tough questions about child sex abuse and cover up cases. Other Catholic officials (like Fr. John Urell of the Orange County diocese) have claimed illness and gone away or been sent away to church “treatment centers” to prevent or delay depositions like this.

We’d love to be proven wrong. But we strongly fear neither Twin Cities officials – Archbishop John Nienstedt and Fr. Kevin McDonough – will actually be deposed.

And we again ask a puzzling question that Twin Cities law enforcement personnel should publicly answer: How is it that civil attorneys get to question Nienstedt and McDonough but police and prosecutors don’t? This makes us question again why law enforcement officials aren’t being more assertive with these obviously reckless, deceptive, callous and self-serving Catholic bureaucrats.

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George Pell – the view from the pew

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Kristina Keneally

At one level, I always felt a bit of sympathy for Cardinal George Pell. He’s a product of a particular time and culture in the Catholic Church. I can’t imagine he was overjoyed as Bishop of Sydney to have me, a theologically-trained Catholic feminist Premier on his hands.

In the lead up to World Youth Day, the Cardinal and I were preparing to do a media event. I had advised him that I would open the press conference, and then throw to him. He said, “Minister, what would you like me to say?”

I replied, “Your Eminence, I’ve been waiting my whole life for a Cardinal to ask me that question.”

He looked at me blankly. “I’m sorry. I don’t understand. What do you want me to say?”

Some people swear the Cardinal has a great sense of humour. I suspect those people are men. In my interactions with him, I never saw evidence of it. …

Then, of course, there is the scandal of the sexual abuse of children.

As a mother and a Catholic, I am horrified by the abuse inflicted by Catholic priests and teachers on children in their care. I am further angered by an institution that failed to take these reports seriously and, in some cases, simply moved predators on to unsuspecting new parishes.

Some people have tried to implicate the Cardinal in these actions. Let me be clear. I make no accusation against Cardinal Pell when it comes to the sexual abuse crisis, except this one: that he has not responded well as a pastor, and that he lacks evident compassion and humility in the face of story after story of failure in the Catholic Church to deal with the sexual abuse of children.

Unfortunately, his public statements indicate an inclination to protect the institution rather than the vulnerable.

To be fair to our Ballarat-born Melbournian Cardinal, I don’t think he ever quite understood the egalitarian, pragmatic nature of Sydney or the lay of the media landscape here. Whereas Francis and John Paul II are natural media performers, Pell seemed to struggle to use the media to its best effect.

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Priest who sexually assaulted young sisters has success in appeals court

NORTHERN IRELAND
Fermanagh Herald

A FERMANAGH priest convicted of sexually assaulting three young sisters has had some of his convictions overturned.

New evidence was produced at the Appeals Court in Belfast regarding the conviction of Father Eugene Lewis of the White Fathers Order and three sisters from County Fermanagh.

The case ran for four weeks in 2011, following which Father Lewis was convicted of eleven charges of indecent assault. However, after the charges were appealed, the Court upheld eight of the charges but ruled that three others were unsafe.

The Court of Appeal considered the matters and handed down a ruling which was published by the Court Service of Northern Ireland this week.

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Prosecution: Priest targeted then assaulted boy, 10

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

JOSEPH A. SLOBODZIAN, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: Thursday, February 27, 2014

The sex assault trial of the Rev. Andrew McCormick opened Thursday with the prosecutor saying the evidence will show that the Catholic priest targeted, groomed and assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy in his room in the rectory of a Northeast Philadelphia parish.

“No 41-year-old man has the right to touch a child,” Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp told the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury in her opening statement.

Kemp said the alleged victim will testify about how McCormick asked him to become an altar boy in 1997 at St. John Cantius parish in Bridesburg.

“In a strong, hard-core Catholic neighborhood, this was a huge honor,” Kemp said.

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Canada- Victims blast fundraiser for convicted archbishop

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, February 27, 2014

For more information: Melanie Jula Sakoda ( 925-708-6175 cell, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com ), Cappy Larson ( cappy@rlarson.com ), David Clohessy ( 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )

Victims seek help from church and university
A fundraiser is set for convicted archbishop
He was accused of molesting 11 year old twin boys
Group wants officials to denounce the event
SNAP: “Public support for proven molesters is wrong”
“It deters victims of other child sex crimes from speaking up,” they say

Sex abuse victims are criticizing a fundraiser for an archbishop convicted of child sexual abuse. The group is also urging leaders of five institutions to cancel the event or discourage attendance at it.

Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are upset about a March 5th fundraiser to benefit Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, who was found guilty last month of child sexual abuse. Storheim is the former head of the Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). He has been suspended by the OCA while he awaits church discipline.

SNAP believes the event “hurts at least one child sex abuse victim and deters other child sex abuse victims from speaking up.” The fundraiser will be held at the Woodroffe United Church in Ottawa. The Woodroffe parish belongs to the United Church of Canada.

Performing at the concert will be the Illinois Wesleyan Piano Quartet. According to the concert flyer, all members of the ensemble are professors at Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) in the United States.

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Depositions scheduled in priest abuse lawsuit

MINNESOTA
SFGate

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Deposition dates have been set for top officials in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in a lawsuit filed by a former altar boy who says he was abused in the 1970s.

Archbishop John Nienstedt will be deposed March 19 and the Rev. Kevin McDonough, a former vicar general of the archdiocese, will testify March 20. A Ramsey County judge recently rejected the archdiocese’s attempt to block the depositions of Nienstedt, McDonough and Father John Brown. The plaintiff’s attorney, Jeff Anderson, said Thursday Brown’s deposition has not been scheduled because the priest is ill.

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Gerald Funcheon is back in the news

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on February 27, 2014

Crozier priest Father Jerry Funcheon, who is the subject of the first lawsuit filed under Hawaii’s civil window, is back in the news – this time because Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis church officials “forgot” to put him on a website that lists abusive clerics. Church documents show that Funcheon may have abused up to 50 boys.

NBC Minneapolis affiliate KARE posted this story yesterday, which chronicles much of Funcheon’s past, including the cover up of his actions by men like Fr. Kevin McDonough, the embattled former Vicar General of the Archdiocese. McDonough has been implicated in the cover up of numerous cases of abuse in Minnesota. He is also the brother of White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

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Croatian church condemns paedophile priest

CROATIA
West

by Nicola Dotto – 02.27.2014

An ecclesiastical court in Croatia has, for the first time, passed a guilty verdict on a priest accused of sexually abusing children. After years of investigation and hearing the direct testimonies of the victims, Don Nedjeljko Ivanov, of the diocese of Zara, was convicted of paedophilia dating back to the 1980s and ’90s. The sentence means he will lose his position in the Church and he will be forced to leave the parish. However, the fact that the crime took place more than 15 years ago means the priest will avoid being prosecuted by the civil justice system. However, this is a landmark first in the centuries-long history of the church in Zagreb.

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DA: Philly priest abused 10-year-old boy after mom sought advice about boy’s sexuality

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Daily Journal

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press
First Posted: February 27, 2014

PHILADELPHIA — Prosecutors in Philadelphia say a Roman Catholic priest assaulted a 10-year-old after the boy’s mother met with the priest about her son’s sexuality.

The account Thursday comes as the latest priest-abuse trial in Philadelphia gets under way.

Prosecutors say the accuser’s mother had sought help from the Rev. Andrew McCormick over concerns her son was gay.

They say McCormick then targeted the boy, and sexually assaulted him at his northeast Philadelphia rectory in 1997.

Defense lawyer William Brennan asks jurors why no one else has accused McCormick of molestation despite his 30-year church career.

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Seksueel misbruikschandaal kost Aartsbisdom Utrecht 2 miljoen

NEDERLAND
DUIC

[document]

[Summary:The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has cost the Utrecht archdiocese more than 2 million euros.]

Het seksueel misbruikschandaal binnen de Katholieke kerk heeft het Aartsbisdom Utrecht meer dan 2 miljoen euro gekost. Hiermee heeft het Utrechtse bisdom het meest betaald van alle Nederlandse bisdommen. Dit meldt het KRO programma Brandpunt Reporter.

Van de twee miljoen euro die Utrecht moest betalen, ging meer dan 830.000 euro naar de compensatie van slachtoffers. Meer dan 470.000 ging naar de kosten van Commissie Deetman, die het seksueel misbruik onderzoekt. Aan het meldpunt wordt meer dan 700.000 euro betaald. In totaal hebben de bisdommen meer dan 8,5 miljoen betaald aan de de slachtoffers, Commissie Deetman en het meldpunt misbruik.

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Padre fazia orgia com menores em casa paroquial, regada à bebida alcoólica na Paraíba, diz promotor

BRASIL
Surgiu

[Summary: The Paraiba prosecution will interrogte adolescents who had sex with Father Adriano Jose, pastor of Jacarau on the north coast of the state. The prosecutor said sexual orgies occurred inside the rectory and at motels. The Paraiba archdiocese confirmed the priest has been suspended from performing priestly duties.]

O Ministério Público da Paraíba (MPPB), através da Promotoria de Jacaraú, vai interrogar nesta quarta-feira (26), adolescentes que tiveram relações sexuais com o padre Adriano José, pároco de Jacaraú, no Litoral Norte do Estado. De acordo com o promotor Marinho Mendes, as orgias sexuais, que ocorriam dentro da casa paroquial e motéis, eram regadas à bebidas alcoólicas. A Arquidiocese da Paraíba confirmou que ele está suspenso de ordem, ou seja, impedido de realizar missas. O padre Jaildo Souto também teve às ordens suspensas suspeito de abuso sexual.

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Fiscal fallout at the Vatican

UNITED STATES
Harvard Gazette

February 26, 2014

By Christina Pazzanese, Harvard Staff Writer

In keeping with Pope Francis’ growing reputation as an egalitarian-minded maverick, the Vatican announced Monday that he will begin revamping the Holy See’s financial operations by creating a new ministry, called the Secretariat of the Economy, that will have broad authority and report directly to him.

The agency is expected to bring order and transparency to the notoriously secretive Vatican Bank, which critics charge operates like an offshore tax haven for organized crime and money launderers and is now mired in a string of corruption scandals. Last month, a senior cleric serving as a top Vatican accountant was charged criminally for trying to smuggle €20 million from Switzerland into Italy through the private, unregulated bank, which is formally known as the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR).

Headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, a longtime reform advocate, the new ministry will be advised by a 15-person council that includes eight prelates and, for the first time in church history, seven lay financial experts. An auditor appointed by the pope will have the power to review all financial records.

Vatican watchers say the pope’s move is the most dramatic structural overhaul of the church bureaucracy in 25 years, with some calling it unprecedented for its swift and substantive nature in addressing an issue that has dogged the church for decades.

Gregg Fields, M.P.A. ’95, is a veteran business journalist and currently a research fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Fields, who is studying the threat that institutional corruption poses to the U.S. economy and how the cozy affinity between Washington, D.C., and Wall Street has undermined the effectiveness of financial industry regulations, spoke with the Gazette about the significance of the Vatican’s reforms and the challenges that Pope Francis faces in trying to restructure and bring transparency to an entrenched financial institution.

GAZETTE: How significant are the actions the pope took this week, and more broadly, what he’s done since last August, such as hiring a Washington, D.C.-based company to conduct a forensic review of the bank’s finances?

FIELDS: Two things I found very interesting this week. One, I do think that the creation of this authority is very significant because it’s going to totally rework the way the Vatican handles its assets, the way the Vatican looks at things like due diligence and review. I think it was the pope who said it’s going to be less Vatican-centric in terms of the way it operates. So I think that’s very significant. The other thing I found interesting about the statement, frankly, was what wasn’t in it. Unless I have missed something, what was not in it is any mention of the IOR, the Vatican Bank. And we know last week, the pope was briefed about the bank. We don’t know what he was told, but we do know that last year he said, “Maybe the bank doesn’t have a future.” I suspect, just as a journalist looking at what’s not there, this is a way of changing the IOR’s role in a way that diminishes it, and could be a prelude to getting rid of it.

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IL- Commune accused of “rampant child sex abuse,” SNAP responds

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, February 27, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

New lawsuit in Chicago accuses a Christian commune of covering up “rampant” child sexual abuse.

[DNA Info]

Once again we see the same repeat pattern in the Uptown Jesus People USA’s behavior that we have seen over and over throughout our nation and the world. A situation exists where there is a hierarchy of power, and a central belief system that promotes control over people and their daily lives. From this unhealthy environment, comes unhealthy behaviors, including sexual abuse. This appears to be just another case.

The part that concerns us the most at SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the response that we see constantly by those in power. Those that were and are in a position of power have a responsibility to prevent, or at the very least to respond to, abuse of any kind as quickly as possible. Here we see the typical pattern that occurs when a victim comes forward. There is denial first and foremost, then they point out the statute of limitations, and refer inquiries to their lawyers.

What should be glaringly apparent is that there is no reaching out to the victims, no cry for other possible victims to come forward, and no investigation in joint effort with civil authorities, to make sure the crisis is promptly addressed, victims treated and/or compensated, preventing future abuse and cover ups, and punishing those responsible.

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Archdiocese of Chicago document release fact check

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic New World

The Archdiocese understands the concerns and questions surrounding the recent release of documents related to 30 Archdiocesan priests who have been accused of abusing minors at various times during the last half century. Because of the recent conflicting and inaccurate media reports regarding the document release, the archdiocese wants to provide some additional, factual background information.

1992 and 2002 reforms

FACT …

In September 1992, after appointing a special commission to assess how sexual misconduct was being handled by the archdiocese, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin announced new policies regarding clerical sexual misconduct and established the archdiocese’s independent Review Board and the assistance ministry — one of the first in the nation.
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Dallas Charter) was promulgated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in June 2002
In October 2002, Cardinal George led a delegation to Rome to secure approval of the Dallas Charter and the zero tolerance policy, which states no priest with even one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse can serve in ministry.

Archdiocese of Chicago Today

FACT …

No priest with even one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor serves in ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago today.
The Archdiocese of Chicago is in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
When an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric is received by the archdiocese, the allegation is immediately reported to civil authorities. The priest involved can be asked to step aside while the allegation is further investigated.

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Trial Begins for Priest Accused of Molesting Altar Boy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

Opening statements are set to start Thursday in the Philadelphia trial of a priest arrested after his accuser followed child sex-assault trials involving Penn State and the Roman Catholic church.

The accuser, a former altar boy, says he was sexually assaulted after Mass in 1997 by the Rev. Andrew McCormick.

McCormick was suspended from the Philadelphia archdiocese over a less serious allegation when he was arrested in 2012.

The 57-year-old priest’s lawyer says the charges — including sexual assault, child endangerment and indecent exposure — stem from one encounter with a lone accuser.

Philadelphia prosecutors have been investigating priest-abuse reports in Philadelphia for a decade, and have gained several sex-abuse convictions.

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Fugitive Priest arrest warrant ‘had been withdrawn’

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A paedophile priest wanted for a string of sexual assaults had his arrest warrant withdrawn more than a decade ago because the courts thought he would never be found, it has emerged.

Francis Cullen, 85, spent more than 20 years on the run in Tenerife before he was extradited last year.

A warrant had been issued for his arrest after he skipped bail in 1991 but it was withdrawn in 2000,

Police said the decision was a matter for the courts.

Cullen admitted abusing five boys and two girls, aged six to 16, connected to churches in Mackworth and Buxton in Derbyshire and Hyson Green in Nottingham, in offences dating back to 1957.

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Priest searched online for sexual images of children, according to police report

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with audio]

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Feb 25, 2014

Feb 26, 2014

Documents released Tuesday by the St. Paul police department in a closed investigation show that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis knew in 2004 that a priest had searched online for sexual images of children.

The police file of the investigation into alleged child pornography on the computer of the Rev. Jon Shelley includes a 2004 report from a private forensic examiner who reviewed the images on Shelley’s computer. It found that Shelley had searched the Internet for the terms “free naked boy pictures,” “blond boys sucking pics” and “preteen.” The examiner wrote the report for the archdiocese’s private investigator, who gave it to the chancery in 2004, according to the police file.

The archdiocese kept Shelley in ministry despite the report’s finding.

A spokesman for archdiocese declined to comment on why Shelley remained in ministry after church leaders learned he looked for pornographic images of minors. Shelley’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

MPR News reported in October of last year that top church officials debated for months in internal memos whether the images from Shelley’s computer could be considered child pornography and concluded that they didn’t need to call police.

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TN- Just ‘outed’ predator priest worked in Nashville

TENNESSEE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014

For more information: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Pedophile priest worked in Nashville
He was publicly exposed last week for first time
Sex abuse victims seek help from Tennessee bishop
Group blasts “bare minimum” approach by Catholic officials

A credibly accused predator priest who was exposed for the first time last week worked for years as a pastor in Tennessee. And a support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging Nashville’s Catholic bishop to “aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes.”

[Minnesota Public Radio]

Because of a court order, St. Paul Minnesota church officials revealed that Fr. Kenneth Gansmann was removed from active ministry because of allegations that he molested a child. Fr. Gansmann, who is now deceased, also worked in three Illinois dioceses: Springfield, Joliet and Chicago.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are asking Bishop David R. Choby to use his vast resources to seek out any others who may have seen, suspect, or suffered abuse. Bishop Choby should visit every parish were Gansmann worked and beg victims or witnesses to come forward.

Gansmann worked in Nashville at St. Vincent De Paul from 1961 until his death in 1974.

“He had access to hundreds of children every year. It is never too late to report abuse,” said

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “We hope those who are suffering in silence will find the courage to speak up. And we hope Nashville’s bishop will gently but firmly prod them to do so.”

“It’s hard for some to understand this, but many times, victims stay silent unless someone in authority – a prosecutor, a bishop, or even a parent – begs them to step forward and get help,” said Susan Vance of Knoxville, another SNAP leader. “Fr. Gansmann’s victims are likely getting up in age. They were kids in an age when kids were often to be ‘seen, not heard,’ So it’s likely they’re still carrying this horrible burden alone. Catholic officials can and should gently but firmly prod them to break their silence and start healing.”

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MS- Victims applaud abuse seminar, but urge more action

MISSISSIPPI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014

For more information: Amy Smith, SNAP Dallas Leader (281)748-4050, spacecitysnap@gmail.com and David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Victims applaud abuse seminar
But they urge use of “outside experts”
Church protected predator just two years ago
Aggressive outreach to find victims, witnesses vital to child safety
Convicted minister may have more victims, they fear

A support group for child sex abuse victims is applauding a Mississippi Baptist church—that just recently protected and embraced a now-convicted child predator—for holding an abuse awareness and prevention seminar. But the group wants church officials to do “aggressive outreach” to encourage victims to report to police and to add at least one “outside” secular expert to the panel.

Officials at Morrison Heights Baptist Church are planning a sex abuse awareness training conference with a goal “to equip church leaders with the skills and resources they need to keep children safe.” The conference focuses on reporting crimes, creating a safe environment, and a victim’s story of abuse and recovery.

“Outside” secular experts are essential if this seminar is to be successful at creating a safer environment for children. “Secular experts have no bias when it comes to helping institutions and officials adopt child and victim friendly policies. They are able to put the needs of children before the reputations of institutions,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP.

[Baptist Children’s Village]

But SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), wants church leaders to go a step further by aggressively seeking out more victims and witnesses of abuse. In 2011, a former music minister at the church, John Langworthy, admitted from the pulpit that he had molested kids in two states. A Dallas news investigation showed that accusations against Langworthy date back to 1989, when Prestonwood Baptist Church leaders quietly investigated the allegations and fired him but failed to report him to the police, allowing him to move back to MS where he continued to work with kids as a minister and public school choir teacher for the next 22 years.

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.

Openings set in latest Philly priest-abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Express-News

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Opening statements are set to start Thursday in the Philadelphia trial of a priest arrested after his accuser followed child sex-assault trials involving Penn State and the Roman Catholic church.

The accuser says he was sexually assaulted after Mass in 1997 by the Rev. Andrew McCormick.

McCormick was suspended from the Philadelphia archdiocese over a less serious allegation when he was arrested in 2012.

The 57-year-old priest’s lawyer says the charges stem from one encounter with a lone accuser.

Philadelphia prosecutors have been investigating priest-abuse reports in Philadelphia for a decade, and have gained several sex-abuse convictions.

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Prelim starts today

CANADA
Sylvia’s Site

Posted on February 27, 2014 by Sylvia

The six-day preliminary hearing of Father Linus Bastien is scheduled to start at 10 am this morning (Thursday, 27 February) in Windsor, Ontario.

The hearing is open to the public. Anyone can attend and sit in court for the entire proceedings. There will as always in Canada be a publication ban on all testimony and evidence – that means that while there may be media in attendance there will be no media coverage of the testimony. There can be coverage of such things as the number of people in attendance, and Father Bastien’s demeanor and dress.

The hearing is a little like a mini trial in which the judge determines if he/she believes there is sufficient evidence to go to trial. The Crown will present evidence to prove that there is, while defence will try to prove that there is not.

Keep the complainants and their families in your prayers. The complainants will probably be called to testify and will be grilled by Bastien’s lawyer, a Patrick Ducharme. I know nothing of Mr. Ducharme but have been told that he is a man of some repute in the Windsor area and a high-profile criminal lawyer.

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An archbishop covered up the crimes of Father Billy Baker

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

One of Australia’s most prominent Catholic leaders, Archbishop Frank Little, covered up complaints about a priest’s child-sex crimes, a Melbourne court was told. Despite knowing about Father Wilfred Baker’s crimes, Archbishop Little allowed Baker to be transferred to a new parish, thereby enabling this priest to commit more child-sex crimes.

Broken Rites first heard about Father Baker after Broken Rites launched its Australia-wide telephone hotline in late 1993. Broken Rites advised these callers that victims should contact the Victoria Police sexual offences and child abuse unit. As a result, detectives eventually charged Baker with child-sex crimes.

In the Melbourne County Court on 8 June 1999, Father Wilfred James Baker (then aged 62) was sentenced to four years’ jail, with parole after two years.

What the judge said

In a pre-sentence hearing on 7 June 1999, Judge Russell Lewis told the court that, at the Gladstone Park parish (in Melbourne’s north-west) in 1978, a family complained to the church that Father Billy Baker was misbehaving towards their young son. The judge said Melbourne’s Archbishop Frank Little was made aware of the complaint. Despite this (said the judge) Baker was then transferred from the Gladstone parish to Eltham (in Melbourne’s north-east).

“He continued with his criminality [at Eltham]”, the judge said.

The judge added: “In the past, there have been paedophile priests who have been moved around with the full knowledge of the hierarchy.”

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Melbourne priest Bill Baker dies while facing more charges

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 27 February 2014)

Father Wilfred James Baker, a retired priest from the Melbourne Catholic archdiocese, who was jailed in 1999 for crimes against boys, was scheduled to face the Melbourne County Court in 2014 (case number CR-13-01856) on additional charges regarding more boys. However, Baker died on 15 February 2014, meaning that this court case will be cancelled.

News of the death was kept secret for 12 days. Finally, a death notice appeared on the Melbourne Herald Sun website on February 27:

BAKER. Wilfred. Died peacefully at Ashwood Feb. 15, 2014, aged 77. A Private Funeral Service was held on Feb. 20, 2014.

Questions

Broken Rites would like to see answers to these questions:

1. Following his convictions in 1999 for child-sex crimes, did the Catholic Church authorities officially revoke Wilfred Baker’s ordination as a priest? That is (to use the church’s language), was he laicised? The answer apparently, is “No” (according to other Melbourne priests who have spoken to Broken Rites).

2. Where was the funeral service conducted? And conducted by whom?

3. Was Father Baker buried with his fellow deceased priests in the church’s special vault for priests at the Melbourne General Cemetery? If so, why was he given this honour?

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Jury Sworn In For Father McCormick Sex Abuse Case

PHILDELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright today swore in a panel of 12 jurors and 4 alternates. Then, the judge gave the jury a cold case to solve, namely whether a Catholic priest had sexually assaulted a former altar boy some 16 years ago.

The cold case comes with a media spotlight. “This is what’s called a publicity or media case,” Judge Bright warned the just-picked panel of 12 women and 4 men.

The judge informed the jury that it was one of the most “important and solemn duties of citizenship” for them to sit as jurors who will decide the fate of Father Andrew McCormick. The 57-year-old priest is accused of sexually assaulting a former 10-year-old altar boy during the 1997-98 school year at St. John Cantius Church in Northeast Philadelphia.

McCormick was arrested on July 26, 2012, after the victim in the case came forward some 14 years after the alleged crime. The victim told the district attorney’s office he was motivated by the trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn. Lynn, the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was convicted on June 22, 2012 of one count of endangering the welfare of a child, another former 10-year-old altar boy known as “Billy Doe.”

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Orthodox Jew jailed for sexually assaulting girl …

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Orthodox Jew jailed for sexually assaulting girl makes audacious attempt to be released early so he can attend his son’s Bar Mitzvah

By BEN ENDLEY

An Orthodox Jew who sexually abused a schoolgirl has failed in his bid to be released early to attend his young son’s Bar Mitzvah.

Menachem Mendel Levy, 41, is currently serving a three-year jail term after being convicted of two sex assaults in June 2013.

His victim, now in her 20s, was aged between 14 and 15 years old when the attacks took place.

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Déjà Vu: The Vatican’s Cover-Ups Continue

article 3

By Eric Bates | February 27, 2014

The U.N. Report

Recently, the United Nations demanded that the Vatican fire all clergy members who are known or suspected to be child abusers and turn them over to the police. The Vatican’s reputation has been shattered after an extensive report prepared by the U.N. was released that detailed the protection of pedophile priests at the expense of their victims.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child also demanded that the Vatican give up its files on suspected abuse of thousands of children.

According to the U.N. report, no Catholic bishop has ever been sanctioned for sheltering an abusive priest, but the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.N. repudiated that allegation. He also later pointed out that during his last two years as Pope, Benedict XVI defrocked close to 400 priests for raping and molesting children. Benedict’s most recent defrocking binge resulted in more than twice the defrockings that had been ordered during the two years that preceded the explosion of sexual abuse allegations.

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The man most likely to fill Pell’s shoes

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

TESS LIVINGSTONE THE AUSTRALIAN FEBRUARY 28, 2014

ANTHONY Fisher was in a Pontifical Council for Life meeting in Rome on Monday when his mobile beeped. “Sydneyensis est sede vacante,” the message said.

He knew it meant his friend and mentor, George Pell, had been promoted to the Vatican and, correctly, he guessed the job. “He’s exactly the right man,” Bishop Fisher said yesterday after returning to Parramatta.

Bishop Fisher, 53, has headed Australia’s fifth-largest diocese for four years. It is also Australia’s most Catholic region, almost one in three belonging to the church.

He is a frontrunner to step up to the role of Archbishop of Sydney, where he grew up and served as an auxiliary bishop. But, within the church, those who know about such matters don’t talk and those who talk don’t know. He’s not talking. But he says those who dedicate their lives to Christ as priests should be prepared to go where the church asks them. He’s keeping a low profile and would not allow a fresh photograph.

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Deliver Justice to Lewis Blayse and His Family

AUSTRALIA
Change.org

Petition by
Aletha Blayse
Brisbane, Australia

Dear General André Cox, Salvation Army World Head:

I’m disgusted by what I learned in the news in recent weeks about the Salvation Army’s treatment of children in its ‘care’ in Australia.

I’m shocked that the Salvation Army recently awarded a ‘Silver Star’ award to John McIver.

I’m shocked to learn how victims who first spoke out about abuses in Salvation Army institutions were ignored by your organisation, and sometimes even called liars.

I am appalled to learn that Lewis Blayse told your organisation of abuses at Alkira in the 1990s but that I’ve only just learned about them just now.

I don’t believe the slick spin put out by the Salvation Army that everything is all better now – I can make up my own mind, and I’m not impressed.

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Churches, authorities knew of abuse: Crews

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source AAP

Churches, the Salvation Army and authorities have known for 40 years about the abuse coming to light at a royal commission, a prominent Sydney reverend says.

“They all knew,” Wayside Chapel’s Reverend Bill Crews told AAP. “There’s no institution or organisation, whether it’s the church or the government or NGOs, who can claim they didn’t know.”

But they were more concerned about “protecting the good name of the institution” than the abused children.

Between 1971 and 1983, Rev Crews ran a crisis centre in Kings Cross, where many street kids came for help.

That’s where he first met Mary Hooker.

She was raped and beaten as a 13-year-old girl while living at a state-run home in 1972, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard on Thursday.

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Local priest may have abused 50 children

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

DOCUMENT: 1992 memo on Father Funcheon

Julie Nelson, Anchor and Steve Eckert, Investigative Producer KARE 11

ST. PAUL, Minn. – He liked to be called “Father Jerry”.

By his own account, Gerald Funcheon of the Catholic Order of the Holy Cross – the Croisers – started abusing young boys in the 1970’s here in the Twin Cities.

“I suspect, and I don’t remember, it would have been at it St. Odilia’s,” he testified in a 2012 deposition.

“The guy was a wolf,” according to David Bidney, one of kids who says he was abused starting when he was just 10. “They hurt me bad. And they hurt a lot of kids bad.”

In addition to St. Odilia’s in Shoreview, Father Jerry served in parishes and schools in Anoka, Onamia, and St. Cloud plus other assignments literally from coast-to-coast.

Just last week, Father Funcheon’s name was added to the local Archdiocese’s official list of abusive priests.

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Sex charges dropped against Vic priest

AUSTRALIA
7 News

PATRICK CARUANA
February 27, 2014

Prosecutors have dropped child sex charges against a convicted Victorian pedophile priest who died last month.

Michael Glennon was serving a 14-year sentence for the abuse of 15 children between 1974 and 1991, mostly at youth camps at a rural property.

He died aged 69 on New Year’s Day at the Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat.

It can now be revealed that Glennon was facing five charges of indecent assault against a boy between 1977 and 1978.

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Paedophile Francis Cullen: No record of who cancelled priest’s arrest warrant

UNITED KINGDOM
Nottingham Post

THE Ministry of Justice has no record of which judge or magistrate decided to call off the search for on-the-run Nottingham paedophile priest Francis Cullen.

HM Courts and Tribunals, which is governed by the department, said a search warrant was withdrawn nine years after Cullen went missing because it was believed he could not realistically be found.

A spokesman said “a judge or a magistrate” would have signed a document calling off the warrant after the priest skipped bail in 1991.

But records at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court do not show who was sitting on the day it was signed.

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The long, sad record

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Feb. 27, 2014 NCR Today

2014

In January, Cardinal Francis George prepared Chicago Catholics for a release of documents detailing the archdiocese’s mishandling of clergy accused of sexually abusing minors. An archdiocesan statement described the documents as “upsetting” and “painful to read.” The decisions church officials made decades ago “are now difficult to justify” but were based on “the prevailing knowledge at the time,” it said.

George’s letter specifically addressed the case Daniel McCormack, a priest that the cardinal would eventually defrock, but whom he allowed to stay in ministry — against the advice of his review board — for months after allegations against McCormack surfaced. George only removed him after McCormack’s second arrest in 2006.

“The response, in retrospect, was not always adequate to all the facts, but a mistake is not a cover up,” George wrote.

2013

Last fall, as details emerged about how the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese mishandled cases of clergy sexually abusing of minors, Archbishop John Nienstedt acknowledged mistakes: “Our policies and procedures may not have been uniformly followed.”

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Francis must act faster on abuse issue

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

NCR Editorial Staff | Feb. 27, 2014

EDITORIAL
The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a report in early February that chastised the Vatican for substandard policies that fall short in protecting children, specifically from sexual abuse.

The condemnation came from a committee of 18 independent experts who monitor the implementation of the 1989 U.N. treaty — ratified by the Holy See in 1990 — related to child protection and children’s rights. Among the committee’s chief criticisms are that the Vatican “has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed,” that its systems and procedures are shrouded in secrecy that shields the abusers and denies justice to victims, and that the church’s global network has been used to hide perpetrators and obstruct investigations.

Critics have faulted the U.N. report for not keeping its focus on the sexual abuse of minors and instead also criticizing Vatican policies (we would call them teachings) on abortion, birth control, homosexuality and even corporal punishment. Bringing up these issues — which the committee may not have been able to avoid because of its wider mandate — made the report too easy to dismiss by the very people it should have roused to action. It also focused too much on the historical record and ignored some recent progress the Vatican has made. Because of this, the report comes off as dated, giving critics more ammunition to dismiss it. A more politically savvy report could have had greater impact. Commentators even on the NCR website called the report poorly done, sloppily executed and an opportunity squandered.

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Clergy List Confusion

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

FEBRUARY 27, 2014 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

One of our site members, “Catholic Mom,” noticed that Father John Roebuck’s name still appeared on the archdiocesan clergy list this morning with his contact information changed to “care of the clergy office.” The list details the assignments and affiliations of priests with full faculties (currently in ministry). The names of those with restricted faculties are removed from the list. Roebuck is the former parochial vicar from St. Stanislaus parish in Lansdale who has been charged with indecent assault without consent. He has admitted to touching a man’s genitals at a YMCA. Read article here.

Kathy Kane confirmed with the archdiocesan spokesperson, that Roebuck’s faculties have indeed been restricted and that the clergy list would be changed this afternoon. It was changed all right. He contact information now lists him as back at St. Stanislaus Parish.

Some priests use the the clergy list as a resource to be sure that a priest visiting their school or parish is in good standing. It’s invaluable in the current climate and should be carefully maintained. Not sure if this was a clerical error or something else. We will follow up tomorrow.

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Manufacturing the News: NY Times’ Laurie Goodstein Predictably Obliges Church Cranks In Effort To Oust Missouri’s Bishop Finn

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

How do you get the attention of America’s newspaper of record?

First, find a handful of others to form a group declaring yourself opposed to sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Second, put together a third-rate website (even if it is not even online) announcing your intention to solve the now largely nonexistent problem of sex abuse. Finally, phone the New York Times National Religion Correspondent Laurie Goodstein to obtain all the free public relations you want.

So appears the strategy of a fringe group of dissident priests, nuns, and other left-wing zealots called Catholic Whistleblowers, which Goodstein proudly promoted on the Times’ front page just last year.

The premise of the group is simple but inane: the diabolical hierarchy of the Church is still covering up widespread abuse of minors by priests, and it is up to these select and valiant malcontents to blow the lid off the cover-up.

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Notorious Catholic priest to be sentenced

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A sentencing hearing begins today for a notorious Hunter Valley Catholic priest who has admitted to sexually abusing 18 boys.

It is his second conviction for multiple child sex offences.

John Sidney Denham is already in prison for child sexual abuse, as Sydney’s District Court hears submissions on his sentencing for additional crimes.

The former Maitland-Newcastle priest is serving 13 years in jail for sexually abusing 39 boys.

In July last year, Denham pleaded guilty to 25 new charges dating back to the 1970s, including indecent assault and buggery.

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La polémica ‘Obediencia perfecta’

MEXICO
El Siglo

[Summary: The film “Perfect Obedience” is about the life of Catholic priest Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ.]

Desde sus inicios como actor de cine, Juan Manuel Bernal ha cumplido a cabalidad uno de sus propósitos: mostrar al público, a través historias ficcionadas en pantalla grande, los problemas que afligen e incomodan a la sociedad.

Ahora, con la cinta “Obediencia perfecta”, ópera prima de Luis Urquiza inspirada en los casos de abuso sexual cometidos por el fallecido sacerdote católico Marcial Maciel, el histrión espera provocar en el público una reflexión sobre los temas que tienden a minimizarse y, al mismo tiempo, a considerarse intocables.

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Witness tells abuse inquiry how he confronted nun during alleged beating

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Dan Keenan

Thu, Feb 27, 2014

A witness at the North’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has told how he “had enough of the torture” from a named nun at a Derry boys’ home run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

However, he also insisted many people did their best for those at St Joseph’s, Termonbacca, and this was why he wrote a letter to the Derry Journal in 2004 praising those who “helped light up our lives”.

Struggling with his emotions, the anonymous witness told the inquiry’s senior counsel Christine Smith he could take no more beatings with an electric flex from a named nun and physically confronted her.

“I just couldn’t take it any more, I was beaten so severely with that flex,” he said.

‘Put up resistance’

“I put up resistance, stopped her, disarmed her, restrained her, let her break free. She came back at me with a dustpan brush.”

He continued: “At the end of it, she came at me with a pair of scissors, I was able to disarm her and restrain her. I told her, ‘you are not going to beat me again – ever’. She realised she could not get the better of me. I never got beaten again.”

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Man accused of molesting boy keeps church-owned residence near Fort Myers Catholic school

FLORIDA
News-Press

Suspect was arrested on Jan. 29

Written by
Marisa Kendall

A week has passed since Robert Little was arrested on accusations of molesting a Catholic school student, but he continues to reside next to the school in a building owned by the church.

Little, 74, was arrested Jan. 29 on a charge of lewd or lascivious behavior on a victim 12-16 years old. Investigators said Little made the victim expose himself, and touched him, while the victim was visiting Little’s condo on Fort Myers Beach, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office report. Little told deputies the victim was a student at the now-defunct Father Anglim Academy for mentally challenged children, according to the report.

Little was released from Lee County Jail on Saturday, on a bond of $10,000. He is to have no contact with the victim or other children, according to court documents. His arraignment is scheduled for March 3.

After his release, Little returned to his unit in Villa Francisco, a senior living home owned by the Diocese of Venice. The church is considering whether it can and will remove Little from the home — it’s a complicated decision because the home is run independently of the church, said Billy Atwell, spokesman for the Diocese of Venice.

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Abuse survivors group demonstrates outside St. Francis Xavier Church

FLORIDA
Fox 4

[with video]

By Sara Belsole

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, demonstrating outside St. Francis Xavier Church in Fort Myers.

“Church officials can and should do more,” says Barbara Blaine, President of SNAP.

Blaine says they have concerns about how the Diocese of Venice responded when Eucharistic Minister Robert Little was arrested for molesting a young boy he met at church.

“The way the diocese dealt with this was reckless and that it placed children at risk.” Blaine says.

Little was no longer volunteering at Saint Francis Xavier when he admitted to police he touched the boy inappropriately, but was living at the diocese-owned Villa Francisco, just blocks from the church.

The Diocese didn’t ask Little to leave until a week after his arrest and after a local attorney, who represents another boy who claims Little molested him, voiced his concerns to Fox 4.

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Pope Francis’s Money Man

AUSTRALIA
Real Clear Religion

By Samuel Gregg

It’s a long way from growing up in your father’s pub in the Australian regional city of Ballarat to becoming someone who answers directly to the Successor of Saint Peter in Rome. That, however, is the path that’s been followed by Pope Francis’s inaugural appointment as Prefect of what’s being officially called the “Secretariat for the Economy.”

A tall, somewhat imposing figure with a lifetime of intellectual achievement, pastoral work, and a forceful engagement in the public square behind him, Cardinal George Pell doesn’t fit most people’s image of a financial administrator. The 72 year-old ecclesiastic has, however, been asked to undertake a major role in fixing what has become a major source of scandal for the Catholic Church in recent years.

It may well turn out to be the greatest challenge of his priestly life.

You don’t need to watch the Godfather Part III to know that the Catholic Church has struggled for several decades to address some real problems in the management of the Holy See’s finances. Just looking at an organizational chart of the various units involved in some way in administering the Holy See’s resources is enough to make even devout Catholics think that maybe Dan Brown’s novels are onto something.

What’s often called “the Vatican Bank” — it’s more formal title is the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR) — is just one of several institutions that the Holy See has created over the years to manage various resources. In many ways, a far more important structure is the lesser-known “Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See” (APSA), which, as it stated under its governing document, serves “to administer the properties owned by the Holy See in order to provide the funds necessary for the Roman Curia to function.”

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Kinderpornografie: Strafbefehl gegen Unterthürheimer Pfarrer

DEUTSCHLAND
Stadtzeitung

[The Augsburg district court has issued an order of punishment against a forme rpriest at the parish community of Thurheim. It is alleged he was in possession of child pornography. The priest has been since 2005 a priest of the Augsburg diocese.]

Das Amtsgericht Augsburg hat gegen den früheren Pater der Pfarreiengemeinschaft Thürheim einen Strafbefehl wegen Besitz von kinder- und jugendpornografischem Bildmaterial erlassen. Der Geistliche stand seit 2005 im Dienst des Bistums Augsburg.

Strafbefehl gegen den früheren Pfarrer der Pfarreiengemeinschaft Thürheim: Pater Thomas Schilling muss wegen Besitz von kinder- und jugendpornografischem Bildmaterial eine Geldstrafe von 90 Tagessätzen zahlen. Das teilte Roland Fink, Sprecher am Amtsgericht für Strafsachen, auf Nachfrage unserer Zeitung mit.

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Christian University Resumes Inquiry in Handling of Sexual Abuse Reports

SOUTH CAROLINA
The New York Times

By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
FEB. 25, 2014

An investigation into Bob Jones University’s handling of sexual abuse complaints will be allowed to resume, the university and investigators said on Tuesday, after the school endured two weeks of criticism for cutting off the inquiry, without explanation, as it neared completion.

After Bob Jones, a fundamentalist Christian college in Greenville, S.C., suspended the investigation in late January, people who said they had been abused and had been interviewed by the investigators went public with their stories, some for the first time. Some common themes were that when university students sought counseling, officials at Bob Jones called them liars or sinners, and told them not to report abuse to the police because turning in a member of their religious community — especially a parent or pastor — would harm Jesus and the church.

Most of the accounts involved abuse that occurred when the students were children. But some people did say they were abused as students at the university or its affiliated grade school, Bob Jones Academy.

The university has not explained why it terminated its contract with the group it had commissioned to conduct the investigation, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, or Grace. Stephen Jones, the university president and a great-grandson of the founder, acknowledged this month that it had not told Grace of any of its concerns before halting the investigation.

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