East Windsor priest facing sexual assault charges


[with video]

By Joseph Wenzel IV, News Editor
By Kate Rayner

A priest, who is currently on leave from his church, was arraigned Monday afternoon on multiple charges of sexual assault.

Father Paul Gotta, 55, was arrested and charged with two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and five counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

According to court documents, the alleged assaults involved a minor and took place in South Windsor over the course of about a year. The assaults started in January 2012.

Gotta is the same priest connected to an investigation into an alleged threat against a school by a local teenager.

Gotta was connected to 18-year-old Kyle Bass, who allegedly made threats against the Metropolitan Learning Center in Bloomfield.

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Judge: Lawsuit alleging abuse at St. Ignatius Catholic school can proceed

Ravalli Republic

By MATT VOLZ Associated Press

HELENA – A federal judge ruled that 95 people can pursue sex abuse claims in state court against an order of nuns during bankruptcy proceedings involving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena.

The Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province aren’t covered by an automatic stay in civil proceedings that was granted to the diocese when it filed for Chapter 11 protection, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Terry Myers said in a Friday order.

A combined 362 plaintiffs filed two lawsuits claiming abuse by the diocese and the Ursulines between the 1940s and 1970s, when the plaintiffs were children.

The lawsuit against the order alleges that nuns and priests at the Ursuline Academy in St. Ignatius abused dozens of Native American children. The diocese is accused of covering up widespread abuse across its territory.

The diocese filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a…

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Bill Gothard and Bob Jones University Abuse Scandal Connections: protecting leadership, silencing victims

Watch Keep

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests held a media event last week at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina urging BJU officials to release the identities of all sex offenders (proven, admitted and credibly accused) who have worked at or attended the university and post them permanently on the school’s web page. This would help prevent future crimes.

Statement by Cathy Winterfield of SNAP:

We are urging Bob Jones University officials to
–launch an independent investigation into alleged cover-ups of child sex crimes and/or sexual harassment accusations that have surfaced recently against a nationally-known minister, and
–permanently post the names of proven, admitted and credibly accused sex offenders who are or have been at the university on the school’s website.

Earlier this month, a prominent Illinois-based Protestant minister, Rev. Bill Gothard, was put on administrative leave after as many as…

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The Religion of the Humble? Cardinal Pell and the Peril of Institutional Atheism

ABC – Religion and Ethics

Scott Stephens

Prior to entering the conclave that would elect him as Bishop of Rome, Jorge Mario Bergoglio took the opportunity to warn his brother Cardinals against succumbing to an “evil which is so grave” – that of spiritual worldliness. This admittedly strange term was not Bergoglio’s at all, but rather comes from the remarkable final meditation of Henri de Lubac’s book, The Splendour of the Church.

In his chapter on “The Church and Our Lady,” de Lubac points to Mary as “the perfect worshipper,” as the “consummation of the religion of the humble” and, as such, she is “the ideal figure of the Church” and “the mirror in which the whole Church is reflected.” What makes her such is that, in her humility, she directs all people toward the glory of God: “Soli Deo gloria – everything in Mary proclaims that.” For…

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Former diocese of Winona priest to be deported after admitting to fondling girl

Winona Daily News

A former Diocese of Winona priest will be deported after admitting he fondled a girl while attending dinner at her grandmother’s home.

The Rev. Leo Koppala was taken into custody by the Department of Homeland Security after his sentencing Monday and will be held until his deportation proceedings, according to the diocese.

Online court records show Koppala was sentenced to 25 years of supervised probation and ordered to register as a sex offender. He pleaded guilty March 17 to second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a victim younger than 13. He fondled a girl while he was attending dinner at her grandmother’s home, according to court records.

The 47-year-old Koppala was assigned in 2009 to the Catholic Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Blue Earth and to St. Mary’s in Winnebago. He did not serve in the Winona area.

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Catholic Church pays abuse compensation from grant interest

The Australian


CHILD sex abuse victims are being compensated out of interest the Catholic Church earns from investing the billions of dollars it receives in government grants for schools.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has received evidence from a church whistleblower suggesting at least one Catholic diocese ultimately profits from interest received on state and commonwealth government education grants.

The Australian has also confirmed that the practice, under which the grants are compulsorily invested in accounts held within each diocese’s “internal treasury” or development fund, also takes place elsewhere across NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

Each diocese’s development fund acts like a bank, repaying an agreed rate of interest on the education funds they hold to the schools. They also pool this money with other assets invested with commercial banks at a higher rate…

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UPDATE: Blue Earth Priest Sentenced In Sexual Conduct Case


By Ashley Hanley, Reporter

A Blue Earth priest has been sentenced after pleading guilty to criminal sexual conduct with an 11 year old girl.

In a packed courtroom in the Faribault County Courthouse, Father Leo Charles Koppala, formerly of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth, was sentenced to a 36–month probationary period with credit for time served after entering a guilty plea for second–degree criminal sexual conduct with an 11–year–old female.

Faribault County Attorney Troy Timmerman says, “Basically that means that given his criminal history and the severity of the offense, he will be placed on probation with a prison sentence hanging over his head so if he violates his probationary terms then the prison sentence could be imposed.”

Some of those conditions include registering as a predatory offender and not having contact with females under the age of 18, among others.

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Reply from Peter Farthing to Yesterday’s Email & My Reply


Posted on March 31, 2014 by lewisblayse


Peter Farthing from the Salvation Army has replied to my request for a meeting, but is attempting to have me agree to have this meeting after the current Case Study 10 hearings are over and at my home.

This is not acceptable.

I hope my email reply just sent to Mr Farthing demonstrates why. If it doesn’t, I’m happy to elaborate upon my reasons and to explain further why I insist on meeting when and how I have specified – this week, in Sydney, with my representatives (who are in Sydney) present.

“Nice try, Peter.

I’m not as bright as my father was, but I’m not that stupid.

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… Fr William Marks: PEDOPHILE…

Minnesota SNAP

This page is dedicated to those that have died from the injuries and soul murder inflicted by Marks. Shame on the people, organizations, and institutions that repeatedly put him in locations without warnings to families and children.

The courthouse doors are now open to those injured with lifelong damages and burdens from childhood sexual abuse. The Minnesota Child Victims Act was established for those previously denied civil justice.

This open, honest, and transparent presentation displays how I can easily walk through courthouse doors not as a victim but as a ‘Victor’ with head raised and not burdened with shame, guilt or other confusions.

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Diocese: Former Blue Earth priest to be deported over fondling of girl

Pioneer Press

Associated Press
POSTED: 03/31/2014

WINONA, Minn. — A Minnesota priest was taken into custody at his Monday sentencing and will be deported after admitting he fondled a girl while attending dinner at her grandmother’s home.

The Rev. Leo Koppala will be held by the Department of Homeland Security until his deportation proceedings and likely sent back to his native India, according to a statement from the Diocese of Winona said.

Koppala pleaded guilty March 17 to second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a victim younger than 13. He was sentenced to 25 years of supervised probation and ordered to register as a sex offender.

The Diocese of Winona said the 47-year-old Koppala was assigned in 2009 to the Catholic Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Blue Earth and to St. Mary’s in Winnebago.

He was placed on leave in June 2013. The diocese said it…

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East Windsor Priest Accused Of Sexual Abuse

The Hartford Courant

BY HILDA MUÑOZ, hmunoz@courant.com
The Hartford Courant
4:22 p.m. EDT, March 31, 2014

ENFIELD — An East Windsor priest who was indicted on federal firearms charges in February is now facing sexual assault charges.

Rev. Paul Gotta, 55, was arraigned Monday at Superior Court in Enfield on two counts of second-degree sexual assault and five counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

His bail was set at $100,000. His next court date is scheduled on April 14.

Gotta’s arrest warrant is sealed and details of the sexual assault case are not being released at this time, police said.

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Local Group Questions The Need For Delegation’s Trip To Rome

CBS Philly

By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local church reform group is criticizing last week’s trip to Rome by a Philadelphia delegation hoping to get Pope Francis to come to the city for a world families event in 2015.

Catholics 4 Change claim the expense was extravagant and unnecessary.

Susan Matthews of Philadelphia-based Catholics 4 Change says there’s been a lot of activity among local Catholics on social media about last week’s trip.

“There’s a lot of questions about the cost. There’s a lot of questions about was it necessary for this? Is this a publicity stunt to distract us away from the clergy sex abuse scandal? Is this a publicity stunt to distract us away from the financial difficulties?” Matthews says even though the trip was paid by funds raised by a separate non-profit organization set up for the World Families meeting, it…

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Tebartz’ Umbauten



Bischof Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst ist vergangene Woche zurückgetreten und kehrt nicht zurück nach Limburg. Er hatte die Baukosten für den neuen Bischofssitz durch teils seltsame Umbauten massiv überzogen. Wie seltsam, sehen Sie hier in einer langen Liste:

Nachdem der Mariengarten fertiggestellt war, wurde er wieder abgebrochen und zum sogenannten Garten der Stille wieder aufgebaut. Mehrkosten brutto: ca. 667.000 Euro.

Anfang 2013 war bereits die Mehrzahl aller elektrischen Schalter im Projekt eingebaut. Diese wurden durch ein anderes Modell (Sensortaster) ausgetauscht. Hierbei entstanden Elektroarbeiten, die brutto etwa 20.000 Euro gekostet haben.

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Former Priest Charged With Sexual Assault

NBC Connecticut

A Connecticut priest who was suspended last year has been arrested on several sexual assault charges.

Rev. Paul Gotta, 55, of Bridgeport, was charged with five counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and two counts of second-degree sexual assault.

Police said Gotta has been accused of sexual misconduct and the arrest comes after a joint investigation by the East Windsor Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Gotta had been the administrator of St. Philip Church in East Windsor and St. Catherine Church in Broad Brook but was placed on administrative leave after being accused of sexual abuse, according to the Archdiocese of Hartford.

In July, officials from the Archdiocese of Hartford said the Department of Children and Families was investigating a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor against Rev. Paul Gotta.

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Review payments to abuse victims: commissioner

The Australian


INSTITUTIONS should review all payments made to children in their care that had been sexually abused, according to the head of the royal commission examining the organisations’ responses.

Judge Peter McClellan, who is chairing the royal commission, yesterday told a child protection workers’ conference that the question of whether a national redress scheme should be set up for abuse survivors was challenging but some institutions had already taken “significant” steps.

He pointed to a Salvation Army commitment to review all payments made to abuse victims to ensure they were fair, and a similar “opinion” from Cardinal George Pell regarding people abused within the Sydney Archdiocese.

“I suspect, and the Commissioners are hopeful, that as a result of the Royal Commission’s focus on this issue other institutions will respond in a similar manner,” Justice McClellan said.

“It is apparent from…

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Child sex abuse inquiry barely scratches the surface of complaints


ALMOST 150 paedophiles have been reported to police by the royal commission into child sex abuse as it investigates 13 ­institutions and more than 30 victims have come forward.

The commission has been so overwhelmed with reports of sexual abuse that it will be impossible to look into all of them, commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said yesterday.

There are 168 institutions, including orphanages and residential schools, where five or more victims have spoken to the commission. It said 62 per cent of complaints involved abuse in a religious ­institution, most of them Catholic.

“Although the royal commission has been given significant resources they could never be sufficient to allow the examination of more than a relatively small selection of the institutions in which we are aware there have been problems,” Justice McClellan said. “I am sorry many people will be disappointed their particular institution and their…

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Why pop culture won’t lay a finger on paedophile priests, despite years of abuse scandals

New Statesman


Heroic bankers and altruistic politicians are – for obvious recent reasons – rarely to be found as characters in modern culture. And, given the scale of the revelations of the occurrence and covering-up of sexual abuse by priests, you might assume that the same would be true of sincere and celibate Roman Catholic clergy.

Yet, in these bad times for the Vatican, good priests are surprisingly in evidence on-screen. Father James Lavelle, played by Brendan Gleeson in Calvary (released on 11 April), is as unimpeachably true to his vocation as that other high-profile representative of the Catholic priesthood in BBC1’s recent Father Brown, adapted from G K Chesterton’s ecclesiastical detective stories.

As Father Brown is a period piece, set before the paedophile scandals, the ordained investigator is free from suspicion. But, in Calvary, the writer-director John Michael McDonagh…

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„Das Volk spricht hier eine klare Sprache“


Die Politik tut nicht genug, um sexualisierte Gewalt an Minderjährigen zu verhindern, sagt Norbert Denef. Der Gründer von netzwerkB bezeichnet es als „unerträglich“, dass der Unabhängige Beauftragte der Bundesregierung zum Thema im Amt bestätigt wurde. Aus seiner Sicht steht für den Gesetzgeber weiterhin der Täterschutz im Vordergrund.

Montag, 31. März 2014

Herr Denef, am vergangenen Montag hat die Katholische Kirche ein zweites Forschungsprojekt zum Thema „Sexueller Missbrauch an Minderjährigen durch katholische Priester, Diakone und männliche Ordensangehörige im Bereich der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz“ vorgestellt. Was halten Sie davon?

Ein Narr ist, wer daran glaubt, dass nach vier Jahren Akten-Aufräumzeit wissenschaftliche Forschungsarbeit noch möglich sei.

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Zum Abschied eine Entschuldigung

Neue Zurcher Zeitung

Heidi Gmür, Sydney Heute, 31. März 2014

Der australische Kardinal George Pell tritt im Vatikan seine neue Stelle als Präfekt des neuen Wirtschaftsministerium an. Vor der Abreise nach Rom hatte er noch eine letzte, bittere Pflicht in Sydney zu erfüllen.

Mit drei Verhören und zwei öffentlichen Entschuldigungen hat Kardinal George Pells 13-jährige Amtszeit als Erzbischof von Sydney geendet, bevor er am Montag im Vatikan seine neue Stelle als Präfekt des neu geschaffenen Wirtschaftsministeriums angetreten hat. An drei Tagen musste er als Zeuge vor der Royal Commission erscheinen. Die Kommission war Ende 2012 einberufen worden und ist mit Sonderbefugnissen ähnlich einem Gericht ausgestattet, um landesweit den Kindsmissbrauch in kirchlichen, staatlichen und privaten Institutionen zu untersuchen.

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Protection of minors a priority for Pope, commission member says

Catholic News Agency

by Elise Harris

Vatican City, Mar 31, 2014 / 06:28 am (CNA/Europa Press).- A German psychologist recently appointed to the new Vatican commission for the protection of minors has stated that the initiative demonstrates Pope Francis’ concern regarding the immediacy of the issue.

“I believe that people realize that this is an issue that Pope Francis has put on his agenda and with a priority” Fr. Hans Zollner J.S. told CNA in a March 25 interview.

Fr. Zollner is psychologist and professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and was recently named one of the initial eight members of the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

According to Fr. Zollner, “the Commission is…an initial group of eight people who are named to find out who else could be members of a larger commission, including other members from other continents and countries.”

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Child sexual abuse Royal Commission focuses on WA’s Kimberley region

WA Today

March 31, 2014

Aleisha Orr

Survivors of institutional child sexual abuse in the Kimberley region who wish to share their story with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will be encouraged to come forward this week.

Staff from the Royal Commission are in the region this week.

In its second visit to the Kimberley, Royal Commission staff are meeting with Aboriginal and other community organisations and service providers in Broome and Kununurra from March 31 to April 11.

Royal Commission chief executive Janette Dines said the visit would provide an opportunity to share information about the work of the Royal Commission.

“We strongly encourage all survivors who wish to share their story, particularly in a private session with a Commissioner, to register their interest with the Royal Commission,” Ms Dines said.

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Poll: Should the Newark Archdiocese be allowed to sell headstones and mausoleums?

By The Jersey Journal
on March 31, 2014

John Burns Jr., the owner of Burns Brothers Memorials on Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City, has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Newark, in his capacity as president of the monument builders trade association.

At issue is the archdiocese’s decision to get into the lucrative headstone and mausoleum business, according a story in yesterday’s Star-Ledger.

A New Jersey law prohibits cemeteries from selling the objects. The Garden State is one of few states in the nation with such a ban.

The archdiocese claims however that it is not selling the objects, but rather leasing to families the right to use the space and the objects, and selling “inscription rights” to allow buyers to personalize them.

“Here’s what’s going to happen,” Burns told The Ledger. “As time goes on, they’re going to perfect this. Their sales force is going to…

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Savage, Minn., children’s pastor arrested on suspicion of soliciting minor

Fox 9

[with video]

video report by Jonathan Choe

SAVAGE, Minn. (KMSP) –
A children’s pastor serving at a church in Savage, Minn., has been arrested on suspicion of soliciting a minor through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct.

According to the Pope County Sheriff’s Department, 24-year-old Matthew Boos was arrested on Friday afternoon. Boos remains in custody at the Douglas County Jail awaiting formal charges.

More information on the arrest is expected to be released on Monday, but the pastor of River Valley Church insisted that the case does not involve a child from the congregation there.

Executive Pastor Darin Poli only agreed to speak with Fox 9 News by phone until he has all the facts, but he said the church is cooperating with authorities and has placed Boos on indefinite administrative leave pending the investigation.

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Shock as cleared priest Eugene Boland quits just days after return

Belfast Telegraph


A priest acquitted of child sex abuse has shocked parishioners after stepping down from his post days after returning to ministry.

Fr Eugene Boland resumed his role as parish priest of Cappagh in the Diocese of Derry on March 15 after being found not guilty of indecent assault in 2012.

There were jubilant scenes in St Mary’s Chapel as more than 900 parishioners applauded Fr Boland as he made an emotional return to public life just days after being granted permission from the Vatican.

The smiling priest appeared delighted to be back with his flock.

“What I have missed most was not being able to celebrate Holy Mass or administer the sacraments,” he said.

“My priestly ministry has been on hold since 2010.

“Tonight is like a new dawn, a new beginning; it’s like a day of resurrection.”

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Where does the buck stop in the Church?

UCA News

Michael Kelly SJ, Bangkok

March 31, 2014

You could be forgiven for not knowing where the buck stops in the Catholic Church these days. In any society, organization or Church community, it is important to know who is ultimately responsible in decision making; otherwise, chaos or worse would prevail.

In an unprecedented (for a cardinal) cross examination in court last week, Cardinal George Pell of Sydney seemed confused about responsibility in the Sydney Church. He was speaking for the Archdiocese of Sydney which he led from 2001 until his transfer to a job at the Vatican, appearing before the Royal Commission into child sex abuse in institutions, including the Church’s, across Australia.

The Cardinal blamed various mistakes on his hand-picked lieutenants, “couldn’t recall” the details of instructions being given on his behalf to his lawyers and claimed his legal representatives had gone beyond what was acceptable…

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Preventing child abuse must outweigh fears about Catholic Church

Irish Times

Marie Collins

Mon, Mar 31, 2014

I have been disappointed and let down often in my hopes for change in the way the Catholic Church handles the child abuse issue. At times I have despaired to the point where I wanted nothing more to do with the church. This was particularly true after my participation in the church’s failed Lynnott Committee, tasked with writing child protection guidelines in Ireland in 2003. Why then accept the appointment to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors?

I have asked myself the same question. Am I an incurable optimist or a fool? I hope I am neither. I have accepted for the same reason I decided to take up the invitation to speak at the Vatican’s Towards Healing and Renewal seminar on child abuse in Rome in 2012 – saving children from abuse is more important than any…

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Abuse scandal’s total cost: $2.74 billion since 2004

Catholic Culture

The clerical abuse scandal cost American dioceses $108,954,109 in 2013, according to a report released on March 28 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Only 62% of those funds were allotted to settlements ($61.1 million) and therapy for abuse victims ($6.1 million). The remaining funds were spent on attorneys’ fees ($28.9 million), support for offenders ($10.4 million), and other costs ($2.4 million), according to the 2013 “Report on the Implementation of the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People.”

The clerical abuse scandal cost religious institutes an additional $14,411,168 in 2013. These expenses brought the total cost of the clerical abuse scandal to American dioceses and religious institutes between 2004 and 2012 to $2,744,881,843: $2,351,903,157 for dioceses and eparchies, and $392,978,686 for religious institutes.

The report added that dioceses, eparchies, and religious orders spent $41,721,675 for child protection efforts in 2013.

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Vatican: Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco says Keeping Quiet on Sex Abuse Can Protect Victims

International Business Times

By Ludovica Iaccino March 31, 2014

A leading Italian cleric says the Vatican’s decision to exempt bishops from being required to report cases of suspected child sex abuse is partly to protect victims.

Angelo Bagnasco, head of the Italian Bishops’ Conference and once considered as a future pope, told reporters that although the Vatican requires national laws to be respected, the decision to adopt the policy has been taken in part to protect victims who may not want to press charges.

“What is important is to respect the will of the victims and their relatives, who may not want to report the abuse, for personal reasons,” he said. “We need to be careful that we, in the clergy, do not undermine the right to privacy, discretion and confidentiality, and the right of the victims to not be ‘exposed’ in the public square.”

According to the…

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Priest cleared of sex assault allegations quits two weeks after return

The Journal

A PARISH PRIEST who was cleared in 2012 of allegations of child sex abuse has resigned just two weeks after he returned to public ministry in his Omagh parish.

Father Eugene Boland returned to his parish in Cappagh, Omagh on 15 March after a three and a half year leave of absence following the allegations. He had been accused of assaulting a 14-year-old girl but was cleared of all charges by a jury in 2012.

A statement about the priest’s resignation today said he engaged in therapy to “help him cope with what he was experiencing and to prepare him properly for a return to public ministry and interaction with the people again”.

His return to ministry followed professional advice that he was ready for this. All too quickly, however, it has become clear to Father Boland and diocesan authorities that he is not ready….

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Derry priest resigns from ministry

Derry Journal

A local priest acquitted of sexual assault charges two years ago has resigned from ministry in the Diocese of Derry.

Moville-born Fr Eugene Boland, a parish priest in Cappagh, County Tyrone, stepped aside four years ago while allegations were investigated.

He had resumed his duties just two weeks ago after it was confirmed legal proceedings and church processes had been completed.

The priest’s resignation was announced in a statement issued by the Diocese at the weekend.

The statement said Fr Boland had offered his resignation and that a new parish priest would be appointed in “due course”.

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Cardinal George Pell and Catholic bishops…

Canberra Times

Cardinal George Pell and Catholic bishops have seriously overdrawn their moral credit

March 29, 2014

Jack Waterford
Editor-at-large, The Canberra Times

Cardinal George Pell, former archbishop of Sydney, has departed for Rome to take charge of Vatican finances. His last acts in Sydney involved rationalising the contradictions in his leadership style caused by the chasm between moral and spiritual leadership of his community, and legal and fiduciary management of its assets and finances. For 30 years his has been the authoritarian, cold, unfeeling, and arrogant face of the church corporate in Australia.

His brother bishops, and the heads of most Australian religious orders, will be glad to see him go. He has never been very popular with his brothers – something exemplified by the fact few have ever voted for him to be chairman of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Colleagues think the negative publicity…

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Italian bishops defends sex abuse guidelines on privacy grounds

Irish Times

Paddy Agnew

Mon, Mar 31, 2014

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, this weekend defended conference guidelines on child protection which state an Italian bishop has “no juridical obligation” to report “illegal doings” to the state judiciary.

The guidelines, called for by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in May 2011, were issued last week in a revised version which stated: “Given that in the Italian penal code, a bishop is neither a public official nor is he in charge of a public entity, then he has no juridical obligation to report to state judicial authorities any information he may have with regard to illegal doings”.

Victims’ rights

Speaking in Genoa on Saturday, Cardinal Bagnasco argued the guidelines did not represent a “no” to mandatory reporting; rather they were the expression of concern for the victims’ right to privacy, adding:


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Abuse victims ‘only get help in emergencies’

Yorkshire Post

Cash-strapped child protection agencies are now acting as little more than an emergency service following a surge of reports of abuse in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, the NSPCC has warned.

The charity said in its annual report on child safety that record numbers of people coming forward coupled with tough economic times meant struggling children’s social services are only able to focus on the worst cases.

To tackle the problem, it called for all professionals who come into contact with children to take responsibility for detecting and preventing abuse and neglect.

The number of sexual abuse victims calling charity helplines has increased dramatically since the abuse carried out by Leeds-born DJ Savile over 40 years emerged in 2012.

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The Fight to Reveal Abuses by Catholic Priests

The New York Times

Retro Report

Cardinal Edward M. Egan, the former Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, is in no way the principal face of the sexual abuse scandals that have buffeted the church and its priesthood almost without pause for three decades. But he embodies a certain mind-set among some in the highest clerical ranks. It is an attitude that has led critics, who of late include the authors of a scathing United Nations committee report, to wonder about the depth of the church’s commitment to atone for past predations and to ensure that those sins of the fathers are visited on no one else.

In 2002, with the scandal in crescendo and the American Catholic Church knocked back on its heels, Cardinal Egan reacted with obvious ambivalence to accounts of priestly abuses that occurred in the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn.,…

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Shock as Fr Eugene Boland resigns as Parish Priest of Cappagh

Ulster Herald

PARISHIONERS in Cappagh have been left shocked following news that Fr Eugene Boland has resigned as Parish Priest and is to take leave of absence from ministry.

It is just two weeks since Fr Boland returned to work in the parish after an absence of four years. He was acquitted of charges of indecent assault in 2012. The announcement was made at Masses in the parish yesterday by Fr Kevin McElhennon.

In a statement, Fr Francis Bradley, the Diocesan Administrator for the Derry Diocese said that Fr Boland ‘needed more time’ for help and guidance in returning to ministry and that his resignation had been accepted.

“Over a protacted period of time, Fr Boland engaged in therapy to help him cope with what he was experiencing and to prepare him properly for a return to public ministry and interaction with the people again,” Fr Bradley…

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Commission hearings into residential schools wrap up

CBC News

The commission delving into the sordid legacy of Canada’s residential schools was wrapping up nearly four years of public hearings Sunday, where thousands of victims recounted stories of cruelty and abuse at the hands of those entrusted with their care.

The heart-breaking accounts — almost all videotaped — will now form part of a lasting record of one of the darkest chapters in the country’s history.

For many, being able to tell their stories was at once cathartic and a validation.

“Many times, I was hearing my own story being told in front of me and that became very emotionally challenging because I need to deal with that personally,” Chief Willie Littlechild, a commissioner and himself a residential school survivor, told The Canadian Press.

“At the same time, I think it helped on my own healing journey.”

Vicki Crowchild, 80, of the Tsuu T’ina Nation outside…

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Minnesota Diocese to sue diocese of Clogher as they claim they knew priest was a child abuser

Highland Radio

It’s emerged a diocese in Minnesota is suing the diocese of Clogher, alleging it sent a priest to Minnesota knowing he was a child abuser.

Irish Central reports the New Ulm diocese has filed a lawsuit against the diocese, which encompasses parts of Monaghan, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Donegal.

The lawsuit alleges that Clogher sent a pedophile priest, Father Francis Markey, to Minnesota in 1981 without revealing his past. The lawsuit also names the the Servants of the Paraclete religious order.

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Priest acquitted of sexual assault resigns

Donegal Democrat

Fr Eugene Boland, the Donegal priest who was cleared of sexual assault charges in 2012, has resigned.

The Diocese of Derry confirmed that he has stepped down from his work in the parish of Cappagh, Co. Tyrone and a new parish priest will be appointed in “due course”.

Fr Boland, a native of Moville, was charged with five counts of indecent assault on a 14-year-old girl in St Joseph’s parochial house, Galliagh, Derry on dates between June 1990 and June 1992.

When he was charged in 2010, he relinquished his duties until the case was finalised.

He was acquitted of all charges last June and had only returned to parish work a fortnight ago.

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Email to Peter Farthing and James Condon, Salvation Army Australia


Posted on March 29, 2014 by lewisblayse

A while ago, when I sent out an email about the availability of my father’s memorial film, including to representatives from the Salvation Army, I received a reply from Peter Farthing, of the Salvation Army, in which he said,

“Thank you Aletha, it is clear that your father’s memorial was a fittingly weighty event which will contribute to the ongoing quest for justice in this crucial area.”

I have just written back to Mr Farthing and James Condon, of the Salvation Army Australia, with an invitation for them to speak with me about why I have taken the stance I have taken, and why I am angry about how my father, Lewis Blayse, and his family were treated, on the very slim chance that they may actually want to know. On the slim chance that they may actually want to…

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Priest who was found innocent of sexual assault charges resigns ministry

Beaking News

A priest who was acquitted in 2012 of sexual assault charges has resigned from ministry in the Diocese of Derry.

Fr Eugene Boland, a parish priest in Cappagh, County Tyrone, stepped aside four years ago while allegations were being investigated.

He had resumed his duties just two weeks ago, after it was confirmed legal proceedings and Church processes had been completed.

The Donegal-born priest’s resignation was announced in a statement issued by the Diocese.

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With such a faulty memory, how can George Pell rise so high?

The Age

March 28, 2014

Peter FitzSimons

The Cardinal George Pell’s testimony at the royal commission? I just don’t get it. Not simply the staggering lack of genuine contrition from one who has presided over an era that has seen the widespread sexual abuse of children at the hands and worse of priests whose care they were entrusted to. And not only because so much of his testimony seemed to contradict the sworn testimony of so many of his underlings. No, most amazing was his use of the ‘‘I can’t recall,’’ answer when it came time to discuss financial transactions to compensate victims as recently as 2007. What I don’t get is – all put together – how someone so totally exposed as being at best incompetent and always so very vague, can rise to the third most powerful position in the worldwide Catholic Church?

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Prof. Dr. Lüdecke über entscheidende Fragen und das Kernproblem der neuen Missbrauchsstudie


[Summary: Prof. Dr. Liidicke, a canonist, said one of the problems the researchers face is that crucial material is in the secret archives but much of this material is destroyed or in Rome.]

„Sexueller Missbrauch an Minderjährigen durch katholische Priester, Diakone und männliche Ordensangehörige im Bereich der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz“ – Das ist der Titel des neuen Forschungsprojekts, das am Montag vorgestellt wurde. Ein Forschungskonsortium von sieben Professoren soll dazu in den nächsten drei Jahren entscheidendes herausfinden. Ein erstes Projekt dieser Art sollte der Hannoveraner Kriminologe Dr. Christian Pfeiffer vor drei Jahren starten: Er hatte sich aber letztes Jahr im Streit mit der Bischofskonferenz getrennt. Verbunden bin ich jetzt mit dem katholischen Kirchenrechtler Norbert Lüdecke von der Universität Bonn. Herr Lüdecke, dass Pfeiffer die Forschung in den Kirchenarchiven aufgegeben hat, das hing mit bestimmten kirchenrechtlichen Regelungen zusammen. Worum ging es da?”

Prof. Dr. Lüdecke: “Also, es kam mehreres…

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Law triggered after Muswellbrook priest abuse claims

Newcastle Herald


THE Office of the Children’s Guardian is conducting a risk assessment of a Muswellbrook Catholic priest over historic child abuse allegations.

Father John Alexander stood aside from parish ministry in November last year after the allegations triggered the need for a risk assessment under new child protection legislation.

He will remain on leave until the office provides a risk assessment for his ‘‘working with children’’ check, Maitland-Newcastle Diocese vicar-general Brian Mascord said.

Muswellbrook parishioners were advised of the priest’s status in a statement by Bishop Bill Wright.

The priest was the subject of ‘‘third-party accusations relating to incidents that were alleged to have occurred almost 30 years ago, prior to his becoming a priest’’, Father Mascord said.

The allegations had been investigated before and finalised.

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Fr Eugene Boland steps down from County Tyrone ministry

BBC News

A priest who was acquitted in 2012 of sexual assault charges has resigned from ministry in the Diocese of Derry.

Fr Eugene Boland, a parish priest in Cappagh, County Tyrone, stepped aside four years ago while allegations were investigated.

He had resumed his duties just two weeks ago, after it was confirmed legal proceedings and church processes had been completed.

The priest’s resignation was announced in a statement issued by the Diocese.


The statement said Fr Boland had offered his resignation and that a new parish priest would be appointed in “due course”.

Fr Boland, of Killyclogher Road in Omagh, was acquitted of indecently assaulting a teenage girl in June 2012 following an eight-day trial at Londonderry Crown Court.

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Archdiocese could close 3 more Lower Bucks parishes

Bucks County Courier Times

By Elizabeth Fisher Correspondent

Three more Lower Bucks County parishes have been targeted for closing by the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Commission. This is the second round of announcements released by the commission this week.

St. Ann Parish in Bristol, Our Lady of Fatima and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishes — both in Bensalem — will close if Archbishop Charles Chaput approves the panel’s recommendations. A final decision will be announced May 30.

The news came a week after officials announced that other churches in Lower Bucks could close. Immaculate Conception in Bristol Township could merge with Queen of the Universe in Middletown and St. Joseph the Worker in Falls could merge with St. Frances Cabrini in Falls.

“The SS St. Ann is in turbulent waters, but remember that Jesus is with us on the ship,” the Rev. Gerard Lynch, parochial vicar of the…

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Newark Archdiocese fails to pay state taxes in for-profit headstone, mausoleum business

The Star-Ledger


Read the Monument Builders lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Newark
Read the Newark Archdiocese’s response
Read the email from Andrew Schafer to Msgr. Michael Andreano
Read an excerpt of Andrew Schafer’s deposition

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on March 30, 2014

Looking to wring more revenue out of its Catholic cemeteries, the Archdiocese of Newark in recent years quietly entered the headstone and mausoleum business, a lucrative venture for which the archdiocese acknowledges it must pay a particular state tax.

Yet over the past eight years, it hasn’t paid a penny, The Star-Ledger found.

According to court records and the plaintiffs in a legal fight that could reshape New Jersey’s funeral industry, the archdiocese owes the state tens of thousands of dollars — if not more than $100,000 — in so-called use…

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Cardinal defends sex abuse policy

The Local

A leading Italian cleric has defended the decision to adopt a Vatican-approved policy which exempts bishops from having to report cases of suspected child sex abuse to the police.

“The Vatican requires national laws to be respected, and we know that there is no such duty (to report abuse) under Italian law,” Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, head of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Genoa.

The conference published guidelines on Friday which stipulated that clergy are under no obligation to inform the authorities about suspected abuse but have a “moral duty” to act to protect the vulnerable and “contribute to the common good”.

The guidelines sparked fury among victim support groups, with the US-based Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) deploring the “stunning, depressing and irresponsible contradiction between what Vatican officials say about abuse, and do about abuse.”

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Youth pastor arrested on suspicion of soliciting a minor

Shakopee Valley News

A man with ties to a church in Savage was arrested by Pope County police Friday on suspicion of soliciting a minor with an electronic device.

Matthew Thomas Boos, 24, is a youth pastor at River Valley Church in Savage, and is currently in custody at Douglas County Jail. Pope County does not have its own jail.

Additional details will be reported as they become available.

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Men ‘deposit bonds’ in Vatican bank

Sky News (Australia)

Vatican police have apprehended a US man and a Dutch man trying to deposit billions of euros and US dollars in fake bonds in the Vatican bank.

The men were stopped by the police when they approached one of the guarded gates at the Vatican and asked to be let through to the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) as the bank is formally known, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.

The bonds were discovered in a briefcase they were carrying and the men were handed over to Italy’s financial police, who found false passports and other fake documents in their hotel rooms.

The haul came a day after Italian prosecutors said two former top executives at the Vatican bank will go on trial for money laundering in a case that led to the seizure of 23 million euros ($A34.37 million).

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Police stop men with bilions of fake bonds

The Local

Vatican police on Saturday apprehended an American and a Dutch man who were trying to deposit billions of euros and US dollars in fake bonds in the Vatican bank.

The men were stopped by the police when they approached one of the guarded gates at the Vatican and asked to be let through to the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) as the bank is formally known, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told AFP.

The bonds were discovered in a briefcase they were carrying and the men were handed over to Italy’s financial police, who found false passports and other fake documents in their hotel rooms.

The haul came a day after Italian prosecutors said two former top executives at the Vatican bank will go on trial for money laundering in a case that led to the seizure of €23 million ($32 million).

IOR press officer Max…

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Suspected Fraud Plot At Vatican Bank Foiled

Huffington Post

Posted: 03/29/2014

ROME (AP) — Italian finance police say a suspected plot to swindle the Vatican bank was foiled after Vatican guards became suspicious of two foreigners who tried to enter the bank with a briefcase filled with false financial certificates.

The Finance Guard official leading the Italian probe was not available early Sunday for details. But the police operations center confirmed a report Saturday night by the Italian news agency ANSA that a Dutchman and a U.S. man were stopped after they tried to convince Vatican security officers they had business at the bank, which is not open to the general public. Police wouldn’t say when the incident occurred. ANSA said the pair aimed to fraudulently obtain lines of credit.

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Leslie Hittner: Church should be ashamed of cover-up

Winona Daily News

Leslie Hittner

Since the First Sunday of Advent, 2013, there have been at least 10 stories in the Winona Daily News about the Diocese of Winona’s involvement in the Catholic Church cover-up of priestly sexual abuse.

Indeed, the Church’s “shepherds” seemed to have been shepherding teams of lawyers who graze in courtrooms instead of “the flock.”

Ten stories about the Diocese of Winona and the cover-up.

Zero stories about the Diocese of Winona and the season of Advent.

When I was working for my brother, who owned and operated our family’s trucking business, he used to say, “Watch what a business advertises. That will be an area where it is weak. That will be what it does not do right. That will be an area where that business struggles.” That’s why nearly every forced release of information about the priestly sexual abuse cover-up is accompanied…

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Church fought abuse claimants tooth and nail

Sydney Morning Herald

March 29, 2014

Catherine Armitage
Senior Writer

The now infamous case of the brilliant lawyer and sex abuse survivor John Ellis before the child sex abuse royal commission has laid bare for the first time not just the Sydney Catholic archdiocese’s wealth but the cold, dark heart of its handling of child sex abuse complaints.

The three-week hearing before Justice Peter McClellan has demonstrated in excruciating detail the exercise of power, against a vulnerable man, at the highest levels of the church and of the law in Sydney.

Cardinal George Pell, who on evidence before the commission called all the shots in the Ellis case, takes up a new job running the Vatican’s finances on Monday.

McClellan has instructed his people to secure the cardinal’s return to the witness box in Melbourne later in the year, when the commission will inquire into the ”Melbourne…

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Ottawa to cut healing program for residential school survivors: Sinclair


John Cotter, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, March 28, 2014

EDMONTON — The man heading the commission into the trauma caused by Indian residential schools says Ottawa plans to cut a program that helps survivors of the system to heal.

Justice Murray Sinclair said the program is for people who have told their stories of abuse at Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings across the country.

Sinclair said the federal government is also balking at recommendations to improve mental health services that would help the extended families of these victims, especially in remote rural and Northern communities.

“Health Canada has decided on its own, without consultation with us or any other entity engaged in the Indian residential school settlement agreement, that effective this year, they are going to be terminating the Resolution Health Support Program, and leaving survivors who continue to experience personal difficulties after this event…

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President Obama – as puppet of Pope Francis – says script by Opus Dei PR Deceits Team and stoops to Vatican Mammon Beast


Updated March 29, 2014

Paris Arrow

President Obama should return his Nobel Peace Prize which he never worked for and does not deserve. Obama mocked the Nobel Peace Prize when he went to the Vatican and praised Pope Francis the Pretender and Impostor of Jesus with pre-scripted statements prepared by the Opus Dei PR Deceits Squad: “The Holy Father has inspired the peoples of the entire world – and me too – with his commitment to social justice… especially for people who are the poorest and most vulnerable among us.” WTF**k? “His commitment to social justice” – really, in what planet? From his hundred billion Euros Vatican Palace throne out-of-touch with reality –preaching what his Opus Dei PR Deceits Team concoct pathological lies day after day – while he and they do the opposite? Where are the “poorest and most vulnerable” in the…

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Cardinal defends Vatican abuse policy

SBS (Australia)


Italy’s Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco has defended a Vatican policy exempting bishops from having to report suspected child sex abuse to the police.

A leading Italian cleric has defended a decision to adopt a Vatican-approved policy exempting bishops from having to report suspected child sex abuse to the police.

“The Vatican requires national laws to be respected, and we know that there is no such duty (to report abuse) under Italian law,” Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, head of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Genoa on Saturday.

A day earlier, the conference published guidelines stipulating that clergy are under no obligation to inform authorities about suspected abuse but have a “moral duty” to act to protect the vulnerable and “contribute to the common good”.

The guidelines sparked fury among victim support groups, with the US-based Survivors Network of Those Abused…

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Our reporter on how paedo priest gained her family’s trust

Sunday World

By Niamh O’ Connor

I went to court this week to tell a priest I had known and trusted that he was the last person I expected to see there on paedophile charges.

I just wanted to look Fr Denis Nolan in the eye. I also asked him if it was true, though he had already pleaded guilty to all charges.

“I’ll tell you sometime over a cup of tea,” he said, lying through his teeth. Again.

Brave teenager John Paul Hunter was the sex victim of predator Nolan from the ago of 12.

Now 19, John Paul waived his right to anonymity to name and shame the parish priest, from the small town of Rathnew in Co. Wicklow, who was jailed for seven years for repeatedly sexually abusing him.

Wiping away tears, John Paul told me after the hearing: “I’m just so happy it’s over….

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Italy cardinal defends controversial sex abuse policy

Deccan Herald

AFP | March 29, 2014

Rome: A leading Italian cleric on Saturday defended the decision to adopt a Vatican-approved policy which exempts bishops from having to report cases of suspected child sex abuse to the police.

“The Vatican requires national laws to be respected, and we know that there is no such duty (to report abuse) under Italian law,” Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, head of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Genoa.

The conference published guidelines on Friday which stipulated that clergy are under no obligation to inform the authorities about suspected abuse but have a “moral duty” to act to protect the vulnerable and “contribute to the common good”.

The guidelines sparked fury among victim support groups, with the US-based Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) deploring the “stunning, depressing and irresponsible contradiction between what Vatican officials…

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‘We are still dealing with it’: Dr Kenny laments church abuse of children

Royal Gazette

By Jessie Moniz Hardy

After being involved in a groundbreaking Canadian commission to look at child sex abuse within the Catholic Church, Dr Nuala Kenny, paediatrician and Catholic Sister of Charity, was confident the problem was on its way to being solved. That was back in the 1990s.

Since then she has often been left wondering ‘have we learned nothing’ as church sex scandal after scandal has erupted worldwide.

Dr Kenny was on the island this week to speak about child sex abuse within the church, and other issues related to bioethics.

She is the author of ‘Healing the Church: Diagnosing and Treating the Clergy Sexual Abuse Scandal’.

She served on the Newfoundland Archdiocese of St John’s Commission of Inquiry following the Mount Cashel revelations of the 1980s. This scandal involved the widespread abuse of children in the Mount Cashel orphanage in St John’s, Newfoundland. In…

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Twin Cities archdiocese will begin rolling out files on abusive priests

Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: March 27, 2014

Officials also sought an extension for turning over some documents.

The Twin Cities archdiocese will begin releasing its files on clergy child sex offenders to the court next week, but it is unlikely to include the entire 60,000 documents.

Facing a deadline next Tuesday for releasing the mountain of paperwork, the archdiocese on Thursday asked Ramsey County District Judge John Van de North for an extension.

Van de North said that if the church cannot produce all of the documents by Monday, the church should — for starters — provide those most relevant to the deposition of Archbishop John Nienstedt, which is scheduled for April 2.

But the delayed rollout could prompt another legal problem for the church. If documents released later require further questioning of Nienstedt, there will be a request for another deposition…

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Provinces hand over aboriginal death records from residential school period

Edmonton Journal


VANCOUVER – The death records of tens of thousands of First Nations children who died during the time residential schools were operating in Canada have been handed over to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Several provincial governments gave up the records to the commission, which will now cross-reference the information with student lists to determine who among the children died while in the care of the church-run schools and where they might be buried.

“We hear from the survivors about having lost loved ones in the schools and not knowing what their fate was, what happened to them, whether they died and, if they died, where they’re buried,” said Kimberley Murray, executive director of the commission. “It’s an important truth they need to have before they can move forward to reconciliation.”

British Columbia opened the floodgates with…

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Sacked Vatican Bank Head’s Lawyers Threaten Lawsuit Over ‘Unfair’ Dismissal

International Business Times

By Jerin Mathew March 29, 2014

The lawyers for Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the former head of the Vatican bank who has been sacked after receiving a unanimous vote of no-confidence from his board, has threatened to sue the bank over his “unfair” dismissal.

Gotti Tedeschi was ousted by its lay board in the wake of the “Vatileaks” scandal, in which former Pope Benedict’s butler leaked the Vatican’s secret papers to the media.

While voting to fire him, the board claimed Gotti Tedeschi was an ineffective and divisive manager.

Gotti Tedeschi said he was ousted because he wanted to bring more transparency to the bank’s dealings – an issue that embarrassed the bank for decades.

Gotti Tedeschi had been under investigation over alleged money laundering, but the case against him was shelved after a court ruling, which said he had nothing to do with the day…

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‘It’s important to have a survivor at the heart of the Vatican’ says Marie Collins

The Journal

ABUSE SURVIVOR MARIE Collins received a call last week offering her a seat on the the Vatican’s new Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, she said that she was hopeful that the new council will bring about much needed and long over due change within the Vatican.

“I had no idea I was even being considered for the role until I received a call on Friday offering me the position. It was a complete surprise to me,” she said.

Voice on the council

When asked was it something she jumped at or had to think about she said that when she heard about the establishment of the council in December she thought it was very important to have a survivors voice on the council.

“I knew that it was vital that a voice of a survivor be in that discussion,” she said,…

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Ex-Vatican bank chiefs in money laundering trial

The Local

Paolo Cipriani, the former director general of the bank formally known as the Institute for Religious Works, and his deputy Massimo Tulli are accused in a case that led to the seizure of €23 million ($32 million).

Italian media reported prosecutors as saying that Cipriani and Tulli had signed off on the suspicious payment and former president Ettore Gotti Tedeschi had instead tried to enforce money laundering laws.

The two were forced to resign last year, three days after a senior Vatican accountant — Monsignor Nunzio Scarano — who held accounts at the bank was arrested in Italy for suspicious cash transfers.

Tedeschi, who was himself ousted in 2012 in an unusually public showdown with the bank’s board, was instead entirely cleared by the investigation and
threatened legal action for damage to his reputation.

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Pope Francis summons ‘Bishop Bling’ to the Vatican for private talks

National Catholic Reporter

Eric J. Lyman Religion News Service | Mar. 28, 2014

VATICAN CITY Pope Francis met Friday in a closed-door meeting with the German churchman known as “Bishop Bling,” Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, whose extravagant and expensive lifestyle cost him his job.

Tebartz-van Elst, 54, spent more than $40 million of church money renovating his home in Limburg, Germany. He became a worldwide phenomenon, in part because his lifestyle clashed so sharply with that of Francis, known for living in spartan and humble surroundings and for preaching restraint and austerity.

Vatican sources confirmed Tebartz-van Elst met with the pontiff at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. But there was no information about what the two men discussed or what conclusions were drawn.

Among the expenses from the refurbishment of the residence: $300,000 for an ornamental fish tank, $2.4 million on bronze window frames, and $240,000 on…

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Cardinal George Pell — the man of God we know

Sunday Herald


TALL George Pell might have been anything other than a priest. That’s what most of his classmates expected. A teacher. A footballer for Richmond. A lawyer, maybe.

So when he lined up for the priesthood at the Werribee Corpus Christi seminary in the summer of 1960, it surprised many of his school friends.

Young George hit 6 ft 3 (1.9m) by the time he was 15. He was commanding and jovial, the centre of boarding house social life. The boys at St Patricks College, Ballarat, thought they had him worked out. But with a devout Irish Catholic mother and a priest uncle, the jump to the seminary may not have been so hard to fathom.

It emerged during his training years that he was a stickler for church-ordained truth and tradition. He loved a debate, particularly so because,…

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Cops: Lake church deacon sexually abused girl

Orlando Sentinel

By Erica Rodriguez, Orlando Sentinel
6:36 p.m. EDT, March 28, 2014

A Lake County church deacon turned himself into authorities Friday after a girl younger than 10 years old told investigators that he sexually battered her in a tree house behind his home.

Lake County sheriff’s investigators believe 65-year-old Thomas Warren Halsey sexually battered the girl at his Leesburg home.

Halsey had been a deacon with First Baptist Church of Leesburg for the last two years, said Art Ayris, the church’s executive pastor, but is now being removed from that position.

In an interview with investigators, the girl said Halsey told her to inappropriately touch him in the tree house and under the sheets while she was on his bed. The girl also told investigators Halsey exposed himself to her in the tree house. She detailed much of the abuse then stopped short by telling…

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Leesburg deacon accused of sexual battery of child in treehouse

Daily Commercial

Millard K. Ives | Staff Writer millardives@dailycommercial.com

A deacon at a Leesburg church was arrested Friday on charges that he forced a child to perform sex acts in a treehouse at his home.

Thomas Halsey, 65, with First Baptist Church in Leesburg, turned himself in at the Lake County jail, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with two counts of sexual battery on a child under 12 and was held without bail.

The brown-colored brick, two-garage home is nestled in a residential neighborhood in the 6000 block of Sunnyside Drive in Leesburg. In the back yard is a three-story green tree house with a deck swing and chairs visible on the second floor.

Sgt. James Vachon called it an elaborate treehouse which could fit beds inside.

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First Baptist Church deacon accused of sex battery of child


[with video]

LEESBURG, Fla. —A deacon at the First Baptist Church in Leesburg was arrested Friday in a child sex case.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies said Thomas Halsey sexually abused a young girl for two years.

Halsey is accused of sexual battery on a child under 10 years old. Investigators said the young girl said Halsey forced the child to perform sexual acts on him inside his home and his tree house, located in his backyard.

Deputies said Halsey denied the accusations and claimed the child initiated the sexual acts. According to the arrest report, Halsey told investigators the child “asked him to take off his clothes and lay on top her while she was naked.”

As a deacon, Halsey worked with widows, but never with children, investigators said.

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Bischof Tebartz-van Elst: „Ich bitte um Vergebung“

Radio Vatikan

[Summary: Bishop Emeritus Franz-Peter Tebartz van Elst said he now realizes he made mistakes and he has asked for forgiveness. He issued a statement after his audience Friday with Pope Francis.]

„Mit dem Wissen von heute erkenne ich, dass ich Fehler gemacht habe. Auch wenn sie niemals aus Absicht entstanden, haben sie Vertrauen zerstört.“ Das schreibt der emeritierte Bischof von Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, in einer Erklärung, die er nach seiner Audienz bei Papst Franziskus an diesem Freitag veröffentlicht hat. Er bitte alle um Vergebung, die unter seinen Versäumnissen gelitten hätten oder immer noch litten, so der Bischof.

In der Entscheidung des Papstes, seinen im Oktober angebotenen Rücktritt anzunehmen, sehe er die Chance für einen Neubeginn, „nicht nur für das Bistum Limburg, sondern auch für mich.“ Er bitte darum, seine Stellungnahme zum Prüfbericht als Episode zu betrachten und nicht als Beginn einer neuen Auseinandersetzung. In den…

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Bishop asks any victims of cleric to report abuse


March 29. 2014

SCRANTON — In recent weeks, officials of the Diocese of Scranton were notified that the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity is exercising priestly ministry and was recently named the Vicar General of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.

Urrutigoity served within the territory of the Diocese of Scranton as a member of the Society of St. John from 1998 until 2002, when he was suspended from ministry following accusations of misconduct. The society was suppressed in 2004 by then Bishop Joseph Martino.

Despite Martino’s consistent expression of grave reservations about the cleric’s suitability for priestly ministry, Urrutigoity was incardinated into the Diocese of Ciudad del Este in 2008.

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No place to call home: Abuse in a Christian community

Religion News Service

Boz Tchividjian | Mar 28, 2014

A few months ago I was told about a new film that documents the sexual abuse perpetrated upon children at a place called Jesus People USA. At the time, I had never heard of Jesus People USA. So I made contact with Jamie Prater, a former resident of Jesus People USA, who has spent the past years pouring his life into making this eye-opening documentary. After watching No Place to Call Home, I learned that Jesus People USA is a Christian community on the north side of Chicago. It is a place that holds wonderful childhood memories for many of its former members. It is also a place where the bodies and souls of dozens and dozens of precious children were eviscerated through systemic sexual abuse. A place where sexual offenders roamed freely and had easy access to…

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Lake County deacon arrested on charges he molested young girl


[with video]

LEESBURG, Fla. — A deacon at First Baptist Church in Leesburg is accused of sexual battery on a girl under 10-years-old.

Thomas Halsey, 65, turned himself in to authorities Friday afternoon after investigators obtained his arrest warrant.

The victim’s mother reported that Halsey had been sexually abusing her daughter over a course of two years, but the victim told her mother about the alleged abuse this month.

In the arrest affidavit, the victim said she performed a sex act on Halsey on March 21 inside a large treehouse in Halsey’s backyard.

The treehouse is multi-level and contains bunk beds on the top level.

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Police: Teen Says She Suffered Abuse As Many As 50 Times At Hands Of Pastor


A teen says her suburban Denver pastor sexually assaulted her as many as 50 times over three years.

KUSA-TV reports that an arrest affidavit for 51-year-old Gerald Clark says the alleged abuse began in 2009. It said the teen recently confronted Clark because she was worried about others in the church youth group.

Clark was arrested Wednesday on one count of sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust. He’s been released on bond. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer and telephone numbers for his home and Jericho Ministries International have been disconnected.

The affidavit says the alleged victim is 17 and lived with Clark and his wife during summers.

Clark is due to appear in court next week.

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Two St. Thomas More Elementary School teachers fired

Fox 4

[with video]

March 28, 2014, by Melissa Stern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two south Kansas City Catholic Elementary school band teachers have been fired. The two teachers were placed on leave earlier in March. The school principal sent a letter home to parents Thursday with the news that they have been let go.

“It’s very important that the protection of children is a top priority in all instances, and I think this decision best protects children,” said Jenifer Valenti, the ombudsman for the Catholic Diocese for Kansas City and St. Joseph. She says the firing of St. Thomas More Elementary school band teachers Gregg Briggs and Tod Barnard was for the best.

“The investigation in Independence stemmed from Mr. Briggs offering a ride to a student in Independence,” said Valenti.

No charges have been filed against Briggs, but the letter to parents states he was terminated…

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Sexual abuse victim launches $3.1-million lawsuit

Our Windsor

Brant News
By Natalie Paddon

Chris Morrison is seeking accountability and compensation for the suffering he endured.

The victim of sexual assault at the hands of Rev. George Ferris announced during a Friday media conference that he has filed a $3.1-million lawsuit against both the retired Anglican church minister and the Anglican Diocese of Huron.

The 43-year-old Paris resident filed a statement of claim on Jan. 24.

In November, the 66-year-old Ferris was convicted of two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation against Morrison.

In January, Ferris was sentenced to four years in prison.

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Bishop Bambera taking worries to pope


Published: March 29, 2014

The bishop of the Diocese of Scranton agreed to pen a letter to Pope Francis warning about a priest accused of child molestation who has risen to second-in-command in a Paraguayan diocese.

At the request of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera said he shared their “outrage” at the ascension of Monsignor Carlos Urrutigoity, defended the actions of his predecessor, Bishop James Martino, but ignored the group’s other far-reaching requests.

SNAP reproduced the bishop’s letter on its website. Diocese of Scranton spokesman William Genello confirmed the reproduction of the letter is accurate and declined to comment further.

Bishop Bambera said he has no jurisdiction in another diocese, but he would express his personal concerns about Monsignor Urrutigoity to Vatican administrators.

“I have begun the process of bringing this dire…

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Judge Dismisses Probe of Former Vatican Bank Chairman


By Dow Jones Business News, March 28, 2014

ROME–An Italian judge dismissed prosecutors’ investigation into the former chairman of the Vatican’s bank over possible noncompliance of money laundering rules, his lawyers said on Friday, accusing the bank’s board of damaging the Holy See after it fired him two years ago.

The ruling stated that Ettore Gotti Tedeschi wasn’t involved in the 2010 financial transaction that is being probed by local prosecutors for alleged violations as he wasn’t involved in the day-to-day running of the bank, said his lawyers in a statement, which includes a copy of Rome Criminal Court Judge Flavia Costantini’s order dated Feb. 19.

Rome prosecutors had agreed with the dismissal request of Mr. Gotti Tedeschi being removed from formal investigation, according to the judge’s order.

Pope Francis, who was elected just over one year ago, has set as a priority an overhaul of the…

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Former Vatican bank head’s lawyers threaten to sue to clear name


VATICAN CITY Fri Mar 28, 2014

(Reuters) – In a new blow for the troubled Vatican bank, lawyers for its former head who was abruptly fired in 2012 threatened legal action on Friday to clear his name and show that he was unfairly dismissed.

The surprise move by lawyers for Ettore Gotti Tedeschi came after months of relative calm for the Vatican bank under its new president, German Ernst Von Freyberg.

Gotti Tedeschi was ousted after a no confidence vote by its lay board on May 24 at the height of the “Vatileaks” scandal, in which former Pope Benedict’s butler leaked the pontiff’s personal papers to the media.

The board said Gotti Tedeschi was fired because he was an ineffective and divisive manager. He said he was ousted because he wanted to introduce more transparency to the bank, which has been an…

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Melbourne Archbishop to discuss removing abuse victim payment cap


ELIZABETH JACKSON: The parents of two abuse victims say they want the Catholic Church to act urgently to remove a cap on payment to abuse victims.

Anthony and Chrissie Foster say Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, this week personally promised them that the $75,000 cap would be abolished.

But the couple say they have heard nothing from the Archbishop of Melbourne, the man responsible for actually making the change.

Cardinal Pell this week publicly apologised to a victim of child sexual abuse, saying the Catholic Church failed in its moral and pastoral responsibilities.

Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: It was the news Anthony and Chrissie Foster had been waiting for for 18 years; that the Catholic Church would remove the cap on payments to victims of child sexual abuse.

It now stands at $75,000.

Anthony Foster says he got a commitment from Cardinal…

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Church faces two dangers on safeguarding children

Irish Times

Breda O’Brien

Sat, Mar 29, 2014

The appointment of Marie Collins to the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is highly significant. It is a tribute to Marie Collins herself, who has been an articulate and dedicated campaigner on issues of child sexual abuse.

She made an impressive presentation at a major international summit on child abuse in 2012 at Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University, which was co-sponsored by several Vatican departments.

Some 100 representatives of bishops’ conferences and 30 religious superiors attended the conference, and some were visibly shaken and moved by hearing what a victim had to say.

Other members of the new commission include Rev Hans Zollner, the vice-rector of the Gregorian University, a psychologist who organised the 2012 seminar, and Baroness Sheila Hollins, a British psychiatrist and former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Half the current commission’s members are…

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What to Do About Sex Abuse in the Church?

Catholic World Report

March 28, 2014

By Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille

I confess that I really don’t want to talk about sex abuse in the Church again. But Pope Francis does, so perhaps we might help him and his newly appointed commission by taking a trip through some unexpected and ancient terrain.

I was at work on an article several summers ago about the vexed question of “canonical territory,” especially regarding Catholic-Orthodox relations in Ukraine and Russia. I never finished that article, in part because I am constitutionally prone to the sins of sloth and gluttony and decided that martinis and cigars in my backyard while reading books on totally unrelated topics were much more interesting activities, and so I fled from my computer to my chaise longue. But all was not lost: in my research for that article, and as penance for my sins of…

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A cup of tea with the cardinal: what George Pell did in the Ellis case

The Guardian (UK)

David Marr
theguardian.com, Friday 28 March 2014

St Mary’s was not overflowing at Cardinal George Pell’s farewell. The music was magnificent and 20 bishops followed the candles and banners in procession. But the governor general, prime minister and premier were somewhere else for the night. Rows of stack-away chairs stood empty.

Pell looked weary but cheerful. Less than four hours before appearing in cope and mitre under the arc lights of the cathedral, he had been in the witness box of the royal commission into institutional responses to child abuse delivering one last apology to John Ellis. Some of the time since had been spent praying at the shrine of St Mary MacKillop.

Officials last seen in the witness box gave readings and led prayers. Not among the familiar faces at the celebrations was Ellis, once a devout Catholic who came three times a…

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Italy’s bishops pass Vatican-backed rule…

The Independent (UK)

Italy’s bishops pass Vatican-backed rule that child molestation does not have to be reported

The rule was passed at a conference on Friday

KASHMIRA GANDER Author Biography Friday 28 March 2014

The Italian Bishops’ Conference said the guidelines published on Friday reflected suggestions from the Vatican’s office that handles sex abuse investigations.

Victims have denounced how bishops systematically covered up abuse by moving priests while keeping prosecutors in the dark.

Only in 2010 did the Vatican instruct bishops to report abuse to police — but only where required by law.

Italian guidelines cite a 1985 treaty between the Vatican and Italy stipulating that clergy aren’t obliged to tell magistrates about information obtained through their religious ministry. The guidelines remind bishops, however, they have a ”moral duty“ to contribute to the common good.

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Novel offers raw depiction of priest’s dark history

The Chronicle-Herald

Published March 28, 2014

Writing and researching Petitot must have been a journey of constant discovery for author Susan Haley.

The weighty tome is the product of almost a decade of work, and tells the story of Emile Petitot, a man historically known in Canada for his work as a priest, a missionary, a writer and an ethnographer.

But it just takes a quick flutter of fingers on a keyboard to learn that he has a remarkably dark history. According to a variety of interviews with Haley, including one with the Northern Journal, she was surprised to discover that the Canadian explorer was also a pedophile and subject to symptoms of a bipolar disorder.

This could be why she chose to tell the story the way she did. Her storytelling is fluid, bouncing back and forth from the 1800s to modern day, and it’s told through…

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Former Chabad youth leader accused of sex crimes found dead

Haaretz (Israel)

SYDNEY – A former Chabad-Lubavitch youth leader in Melbourne accused of child sex crimes has been found dead in a suspected suicide on Thursday, triggering acrimonious accusations that “community vigilantes,” “thugs” and those who conducted “trial by media” have “blood on their hands.”

The body of Aron “Ezzy” Kestecher, 28, was found in his apartment on Thursday.

Kestecher was accused of multiple allegations of child sex abuse against minors and was due to face court in June, police confirmed on Friday.

Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant visited family and friends on Thursday. “I provided a measure of support and comfort to his family members and his close friends, as well as the first responders to this most tragic of events.”

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Australia Chabad Sex Abuse Suspect Aron Kestecher Kills Self

Jewish Daily Forward


Aron “Ezzy” Kestecher, a former Chabad-Lubavitch youth leader in Melbourne who was accused of child sex crimes, died in a suspected suicide.

Kestecher, 28, was found dead in his apartment Thursday. He was accused of multiple allegations of child sex abuse against minors and was due to face court in June, police confirmed Friday.

Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant, president of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria, said he visited the family on Thursday.

“I provided a measure of support and comfort to his family members and his close friends, as well as the first responders to this most tragic of events,” he said. “The deceased was a very special young man, but he was also deeply troubled.”

The Lubavitch websites Crownheights.info and shmais.com both posted death notices expressing their “profound sadness, deep pain and shock.”

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‘I can’t think of a better choice’ says local abuse survivor

The Pilot


BRAINTREE — A local clergy abuse survivor and playwright welcomed the news that Pope Francis had tapped Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley to serve as one of the first members of the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Michael Mack, creator and performer of the one-man play “Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith,” said a Vatican announcement, March 22, that the pope had established the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors came as welcome news to the survivor of clerical sex abuse.

“I think it was an important step,” said Michael Mack, creator and performer of the one-man play “Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith.”

“I am especially excited by the makeup of the commission, because there are actually more laypeople than clergy on it — five laypeople, three clergy,” he said. “I…

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National- Bishops praise themselves on child sex abuse again, SNAP responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, March 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)

We have three objections to these new claims by US bishops.

[U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops]

First, if over a decade, my car tires become bald and I buy new ones, they’ll likely cost more than the old ones did. It’s silly – or even deceitful – for me to brag that my spending on “safety” has gone up. But that’s what bishops are doing today.

It’s painful to watch them stretch and distort the truth for another public relations ‘win.’

Second, Bishops desperately keep trying to pretend this on-going crisis is somehow “in the past.” They do this in a range of ways, but among their…

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Privacy watchdog examines possible breach in residential school survivors’ claims

CBC News

Canada’s privacy watchdog is looking into a possible breach of personal information belonging to residential school survivors, after an adjudicator working for the agency handling their compensation claims filed a police report citing blackmail.

The Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat is the administrative body that manages the claims made by residential school survivors. It is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal established in 2007 under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

Indian residential school survivors can seek compensation for suffering “sexual or serious physical abuse or another wrongful act” through an independent assessment process managed by the agency.

A spokesperson for the agency told CBC News on Wednesday that “an individual contacted the Secretariat earlier this month” claiming to have information relating to claims made by residential school survivors.

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Truth and Reconciliation Commission to compile estimate …

Edmonton Journal

Truth and Reconciliation Commission to compile estimate of how many students died at residential schools


EDMONTON – Some are a mix of good and bad times. Others have been dulled into resignation and resentment. Some are just a few words.

Survivor stories were front and centre Friday on the second day of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission national event, running four days at the Shaw Conference Centre.

The words spoken are as different as the settings. For those preferring to make private statements, there’s a room behind a curtain. On the same floor, others tell their stories before hundreds of listeners.

More than 21,000 people are expected at the four-day event, the seventh and final event of the $60-million Truth and Reconciliation Commission, formed in the aftermath of a $5-billion settlement between the federal government, Canadian churches and…

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NE- Diocese refuses to participate in church abuse program

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, March 28, 2014

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

A Catholic panel has released a report on whether and how bishops are abiding by the vague, weak and virtually never enforced “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

The Diocese of Lincoln is once again in violation of the Charter. The diocese did not allow church ‘auditors’ to come in and do their jobs.

[U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops]

Bishop James Conley had only been the bishop of Lincoln for a month in 2012, but that was plenty of time to make a positive change. We are disappointed that he is following in his predecessor’s footsteps and not honoring their commitment to protect children.

We hoped Bishop…

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Sexual abuse survivor suing retired minister, diocese

Sun News


BRANTFORD, Ont. — A Paris, Ont., man and survivor of sexual abuse has launched a $3.1-million lawsuit against his abuser and the Anglican Diocese of Huron.

Chris Morrison, 42, who didn’t reveal for decades that he had been abused by a minister of his church in the 1980s, announced his lawsuit at a press conference Friday. He is being represented by Rob Talach, of Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers, of London, Ont.

The lawsuit names George Ferris and Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Huron as the defendants.

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Church Increased Spending For Child Protection By More Than 50 Percent, Annual Audit Finds

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

March 28, 2014

Most cases reported last year occurred 30-40 years ago, some go back half a century

More than 4.6 million children, 99 percent of priests have had safe environment training

Archbishop Kurtz pledges to heal, educate, prevent abuse, hold abusers accountable

WASHINGTON—U.S. dioceses and religious orders in 2013 increased what they spent on child protection by more than 50 percent over what they spent the year before, according to the 2013 report from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). In 2013, dioceses and religious orders spent $41,721,675 for child protection efforts, an increase of more than $15 million over the previous year, when they spent $26,583,087.

The numbers were reported in the “2013 Survey of Allegations and Costs: A Summary Report for the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.”…

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‘Bishop of bling’ spent €213,000 on fish tank

Irish Independent


26.03.2014: Einführende Erläuterungen zum Abschlussbericht über die Prüfung der Baumaßnahmen auf dem Domberg in Limburg PDF (32,40 KB)

26.03.2014: Abschlussbericht der Prüfkommission über die Baumaßnahme auf dem Domberg in Limburg

A disgraced German bishop, who resigned over his misuse of Church funds, spent €213,000 on an ornamental fish tank.

The extravagant purchase was just one item listed in a report into Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst’s spending.

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst stepped down on the same day that a report was published detailing his extravagances

The extravagant purchase was just one item listed in a report into Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst’s spending.

The leadership of Germany’s Catholic Church on Wednesday published the 108-page document detailing the Bishop of Limburg’s renovation of his headquarters.

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Pope meets with controversial bishop


(ANSA) – Vatican City, March 28 – Pope Francis met briefly Friday with German Bishop Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst from the Limburg diocese, whose resignation was accepted earlier in the week as a result of a spending scandal. The pope met for about 10 minutes with Tebartz-van Elst, who is to be assigned to a new post as a result of an investigation into his spending. Dubbed the ‘gold-plated bishop’ for allegedly spending 31 million euros to remodel his residence next to the cathedral, Tebartz-van Elst was suspended by the Vatican last October, when he tendered his resignation. According to some reports, the so-called ‘bishop of bling’ outfitted his residence with a $20,000 bathtub, $500,000 built-in closets and a $35,000 conference table. Tebartz-van Elst is also in hot water concerning a lawsuit against German newsmagazine Der Spiegel over an earlier article about his spending and has…

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Former Vatican bank managers to go to trial in Italy

Anchorage Daily News

ROME — Two former top managers of the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, the Vatican’s scandal-tainted bank, will go to trial over money laundering charges, Italian prosecutors said Friday.

Former IOR Director General Paolo Cipriani and deputy Massimo Tulli quit their positions in July, days after the arrest of a high-ranking Vatican prelate who allegedly used the bank to launder money on behalf of wealthy family friends.

Tulli and Cipriani are accused of having broken anti-money laundering law in connection to the transfer of $31.5 million from an account IOR held at a Rome branch of Credito Artigiano, part of Milan-based Credito Valtellinese.

The date for the start of their trial has yet to be set.

Italian authorities seized the funds in 2010, holding on to them for about one year.

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