ABUSE TRACKER

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

March 3, 2014

Sacerdote condenado por abuso sexual decidió no pedir nulidad de juicio

CHILE
Cooperativa

[Summary: The defense of Audin Araya, priest and former rector of the Salesian College of Conception, has decided not to seek a mistrial in the trial that convicted the priest of cases of sexual abuse against students. The priest was sentenced to two years is prison and is forbidden to have contact with minors.]

La defensa de Audín Araya, sacerdote y ex rector del Colegio Salesianos de Concepción, decidió no pedir la nulidad del juicio que lo condenó por uno de los casos de abuso sexual en contra de sus alumnos.

Los alegatos para pedir la nulidad se realizarían este lunes, pero la defensa de Araya desistió alegando cansancio del sacerdote por una posible extensión del proceso judicial.

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.

Uproar Greets Newark Archbishop’s Luxe Home

NEW JERSEY
Newser

By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2014

(NEWSER) – It seems like a pretty sweet way to retire: living in a 7,500-square-foot mansion with two swimming pools. But when the soon-to-be retiree is Archbishop John J. Myers, and the construction bill tied to the 3,000-square-foot addition on his existing weekend home will be footed by the Archdiocese of Newark—which the New York Times points out had to close a beloved Catholic elementary school two years ago due to a lack of funds—well, the news isn’t going over so well. It didn’t two weeks ago, when the Star-Ledger reported on the addition to the Franklin Township house, where Myers has spent his weekends since the archdiocese bought it in 2002. And it didn’t go over well this Sunday, which saw parishioners closing their checkbooks, particularly to the ongoing Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, which supports Catholic schools, feeding the poor, and retired priests, among other causes.

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

NJ Catholics close pocketbooks amid Archbishop Myers’ half-million-dollar home renovation

NEW JERSEY
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Mar. 3, 2014 NCR Today

The costs of renovating Newark, N.J. Archbishop John Myers’ weekend residence for his upcoming retirement could exceed the $500,000 estimated for construction — it could also put a dent in archdiocesan donations.

Over the weekend, the Newark Star-Ledger reported on the hundred-plus people who wrote to the newspaper after it first reported Feb. 17 on the ongoing renovations that will expand the 4,500-square-foot home to 7,500 square feet, complete with six bedrooms, five bathrooms, a three-car garage, two pools (one outdoor, another small one indoors for exercise), a library, an elevator and a gallery room. Myers is set to retire in 2016.

The latest Star-Ledger story highlighted Newark Catholics who have pledged to cut off support of the appeal in protest of the construction project:

Parishioners, infuriated by what they call a tone-deaf show of excess at a time when Catholic schools are closing and when the pope has called on bishops to shed the trappings of luxury, say they’re cutting off contributions entirely or sharply curtailing them.

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.

Backlash Against Jersey’s “Bishop of Bling”

NEW JERSEY
Philadelphia Magazine

BY JOEL MATHIS | MARCH 3, 2014 AT

TPM: “Churchgoing Catholics in New Jersey are closing their wallets to the church following reports that the Archbishop of Newark is having a large addition built on the already-large home where he will spend his retirement, The Newark Star Ledger reported on Sunday.”

The Newark Archdiocese’s plan to build a $500,000 addition to the retirement home for Archbishop John Myers received press attention last month, prompting a public backlash. One Star-Ledger reader wrote a letter to the editor dubbing Myers the “Bishop of Bling.”

In its story on Sunday, the Star-Ledger spoke with parishioners, some of whom said they were cutting off contributions to the church entirely, and others who said they would still support local parishes but won’t give to the archdiocese’s annual fundraising appeal. A spokesperson for the archbishop told the newspaper that the annual appeal has in recent years brought in between $10 million and $11 million.

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.

Francis convenes religious institute treasurers for summit on use of money

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Mar. 3, 2014

VATICAN CITY
Pope Francis has asked the treasurers of the thousands of Catholic religious orders around the world to meet in Rome this weekend to discuss how they can use their orders’ financial assets “for the service of humanity.”

The first-of-its-kind summit puts an unusual focus on the wealth of the orders. Last fall Francis pointedly asked leaders of religious orders to reevaluate management of their assets, especially empty monasteries and convents which in recent years have frequently been turned over to non-religious pursuits, such as hotels and restaurants.

The event, to be held near the Vatican March 8-9, has not been announced publicly but is expected to draw hundreds of representatives of the estimated 900,000 men and women religious globally. It is to have 15 talks on issues ranging from the use of church property, to financial debts, to economic solidarity.

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

Bishop: Diocese will emerge from bankruptcy poorer but stronger

MONTANA
Independent Record

By Derek Brouwer

Bankruptcy will allow the Diocese of Helena to efficiently compensate sex abuse victims, Bishop George Thomas hopes, so it can begin rebuilding a church already in financial straits.

While the bankruptcy case will take several months to sort out, Thomas and diocese attorneys believe they can reach an agreement that will allow the church to emerge financially viable and with parishes intact.

That hasn’t been the case in some other diocese bankruptcies around the country, which have taken years to resolve and with mixed outcomes. Attorneys and church leaders in Helena say cooperation with victims has led to an arrangement that will allow the diocese to move forward.

“Mediation in my opinion benefits the entire group of people that are involved,” Thomas said.

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.

TX- Prosecutor blasts ex-priest for alleged dishonesty; SNAP responds

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, March 3, 2013

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

In a shocking display of bias, a Catholic prosecutor has impugned a man’s honesty because he left the priesthood.

[The Monitor]

Dale Tacheny says that Fr. John Feit admitted that he murdered Irene Garza. But prosecutor Rene Guerra doesn’t believe Tacheny because, he says, “Anybody that’s a former priest who left the priesthood has broken the vows of the church and now he says he’s the biggest truth-teller in the world. I don’t believe that.”

That’s worrisome and prejudiced. We call on the prosecutor to apologize for his hurtful remarks. Fewer victims and witnesses will likely report known and suspected crimes – especially against Catholic parishioners and staff – fearing that Guerra may also publicly attack their credibility because of choices they have made that he disapproves of.

Millions of Americans get divorced. Hundreds of thousands of men have left the Catholic priesthood for many reasons. Tens of thousands of priests have not honored their pledge to be celibate.

Each could be considered to have “broken” a “vow.” But none of that reflects on the integrity or truthfulness of any of these individuals, especially one like Tacheny who, without any apparent ulterior motives, has voluntarily shared what he knows about a murder with police and prosecutors (and who continues, decades later, to push for justice).

If Rene Guerra has adopted a new standard and now refuses to believe any witness who has ever “broken” a “vow,” we suspect he’ll have a very hard time winning many convictions.

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

NJ- Victims blast Newark pastor

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, March 3, 2014

Statement by Mark Crawford, New Jersey director of SNAP ( 732-632-7687, mecrawf@comcast.net )

A Newark Catholic pastor is telling his flock that “the media is our devil.” We believe Fr. Peter Palmisano should be disciplined for this hurtful remark.

[The Star-Ledger]

Fr. Palmisano, who heads Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church in Garfield, didn’t make this awful statement “off the cuff.” He wrote this in his Feb. 28 parish bulletin.

It’s harmful when Catholic officials publicly attack those who expose clergy sex crimes and cover ups – whether they are victims, police, attorneys or journalists – because they deter others from exposing clergy sex crimes and cover ups. (Maybe this was Fr. Palmisano’s intent. We don’t know. But regardless of his motives, the impact is the same – it discourages victims, witnesses, whistleblowers, and advocates from protecting kids by exposing criminals.)

Fr. Palmisano is free to think journalists are devils. He should not be free, however, to use a parish bulletin to spread his venom. Archbishop John Myers should publicly punish him for his irresponsible and mean-spirited behavior. Otherwise, Myers’ is sanctioning irresponsible and mean-spirited behavior and basically encouraging other church officials to follow Fr. Palmisano’s lead.

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.

Canada- Ministers: We were deceived by backers of convicted archbishop

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, March 3, 2014

For more info: 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

Ministers say they were “deceived”
Fundraiser for convicted predator won’t happen in Ottawa
He was Orthodox Church’s highest ranking cleric in Canada
But in Jan a judge found archbishop guilty of sexually assaulting a boy
Victims’ group calls for investigation into “hurtful & disturbing situation”
SNAP: “Discipline church officials who participated in this callous effort”

Two ministers at an Ottawa parish say that they were “deceived” by a group planning to use their church to hold a fundraiser for a convicted child molesting cleric.

Late last week, leaders at Woodroffe United Church in Ottawa wrote to SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, saying that they did not know the scheduled March 5 event was to benefit Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, who was found guilty last month of molesting a boy. Storheim was the Orthodox Church in America’s (OCA) highest ranking cleric in Canada.

SNAP had written to Woodroffe pastors Rev. Matt Gallinger (613-722-9250 x223, matt@woodroffeunited.org) and Rev. Jan Lougheed (613-722-9250 x226, 613-799-6238, jlough@rogers.com) urging them to block the fundraiser.

Within hours of hearing from SNAP, the pastors cancelled the event and said that it would not be rescheduled in their parish.

(The complete text of the pastors’ letter is pasted below.)

Now, SNAP is asking OCA officials to identify those who allegedly deceived the Woodroffe parish and who they say hurt victims by promoting a public benefit for a child predator. They are also asking that any church officials who participated be severely disciplined.

“Publicly rallying around a proven child predator is morally wrong and intimidates other child sex abuse victims into staying silent,” said Melanie Jula Sakoda of SNAP. “It’s also wrong to lie to other churches. The OCA hierarchy should investigate both parts of this controversy and publicly discipline those responsible so it won’t happen again.”

SNAP sent letters denouncing the proposed fundraiser to the OCA, the OCA’s Archdiocese of Canada, the United Church of Canada, and the Woodroffe parish on the morning of February 27th. The victims’ group asked each to cancel or denounce the event. SNAP pointed out that a public event benefiting a convicted pedophile “hurt at least one child sex abuse victim and deterred other child sex abuse victims from speaking up.”

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.

Carpinteria Man Sentenced to Three Years for Molesting Granddaughter

CALIFORNIA
Santa Barbara Independent

Friday, February 28, 2014

by LYZ HOFFMAN

Michael Norris, a 69-year-old man who pleaded guilty last month to molesting his granddaughter in Carpinteria, was sentenced Thursday to three years in state prison per a plea agreement that will require him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Ladinig, who handled the case, said the deal stemmed from the fact that Norris could have received only probation, given his age, his poor health — he wore a neck brace in court on Thursday — and his lack of a criminal history.

The District Attorney’s Office, with input from the victim’s parents, also wished to spare her from a trial, Ladinig said. The girl, who was between six and eight years old at the time of the incidents and is now 15, is a “straight-A student” who is doing well “with her studies and her life right now,” Ladinig added.

Ladinig said that the girl told her father in 2012 about what Norris had done years prior. The Sheriff’s Office investigated the allegations and issued an arrest warrant in late 2012 for Norris, who had moved to Costa Rica many years earlier. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Norris agreed to surrender once he learned of the warrant. He was arrested when his flight from Costa Rica landed in Los Angeles in February 2013.

Norris initially faced charges of child molestation, continuous sexual abuse of a child, exhibiting pornographic material to a child, and attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child, the last of which Ladinig said presented some accuracy issues. Norris initially pleaded not guilty to the charges but agreed to the deal in January. Once he is released from prison — he will be required to serve 85 percent of his sentence — he will be subject to “strict monitoring” as part of his sex offender registration, Ladinig said.

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.

CA- Jehovah’s Witness sentenced for child sex crimes; SNAP responds

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, March 3, 2014

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

We are grateful that a Jehovah’s Witness elder will spend time in prison and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Now, JW officials and congregants must aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes.

[Santa Barbara Independent]

On Feb. 28, Michael Norris pleaded guilty to molesting his granddaughter in Carpinteria, CA. He also spent time in Costa Rica. We worry that there may be other kids who were assaulted by him – in both countries – who are suffering in shame, silence, confusion and self-blame. Jehovah’s Witness officials and members should work very hard to find and help these victims, and beg them to call police.

Anyone who may have seen or suspected Norris’ crimes should also contact police. It’s possible that current or former JW officials or members could be prosecuted for concealing Norris’ crimes.

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.

Kinder schützen!

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

EIN INTERVIEW VON EVELYN FINGER

Aktualisiert 2. März 2014

DIE ZEIT: Pater Zollner, der Vatikan hat eine Kommission gegründet, die sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern verhindern soll. Ist das eine Reaktion auf die jüngste Rüge des UN-Kinderrechtsausschusses, die katholische Kirche habe den Ruf der Institution systematisch über das Wohl von Kindern gestellt und verletzte trotz entsprechender Zusagen die Kinderrechtskonvention?

Hans Zollner: Nein. Das neue Gremium hatten die acht Kardinäle, die den Papst beraten, ihm bereits im Herbst vorgeschlagen. Und Franziskus hat zugestimmt. Die Kommission soll dem Schutz von Kindern und Jugendlichen dienen und unter anderem Modelle pastoraler Hilfe für Missbrauchsopfer entwickeln. Angeregt und vorgestellt hat das Kardinal Sean O’Malley, der als Erzbischof von Boston lange Erfahrung mit diesem Thema hat. Die Kommission kann aber nicht alle Erwartungen der UN an den Vatikan erfüllen, zum Beispiel die Missbrauchsfälle weltweit aufzuarbeiten. Das müssen die Bischofskonferenzen und Ordensprovinzen in den jeweiligen Ländern selber tun, am besten mithilfe unabhängiger Experten.

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.

Pervert priest Paul Cullen: Bishop apologises to Mackworth congregation

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

By zhawley@derbytelegraph.co.uk

Following the child sex abuse case against former Mackworth parish priest Francis Paul Cullen, the Bishop of Nottingham has stepped in to reassure parishoners of his ongoing support.

YOU could have heard a pin drop as the Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon read through his carefully worded sermon during mass at Christ the King Church in Mackworth.

Up to 60 people were at the Prince Charles Avenue church for the regular 5.30pm Saturday mass, which Bishop Malcolm used to offer his apologies to them.

The mass was intended to bring comfort and healing in the wake of the scandal surrounding disgraced Mackworth priest Francis Paul Cullen.

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.

Another Holy See appointment for Gozitan priest

MALTA
Times of Malta

The Pope’s personal secretary, Gozitan Mgr Alfred Xuereb, has been appointed prelate secretary general of the Vatican’s new Secretariat for the Economy.

The decree was signed by Pope Francis this morning together with the decree appointing Cardinal George Pell prefect of the same secretariat.

The secretariat’s responsibility includes handling all economic and administrative business of the Holy See and the Vatican state. It has the same level of duties and rights as that of a State Secretariat.

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.

Priests in O’Brien case to appeal to the Pope

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Monday 3 March 2014

Phil Miller
Arts Correspondent

Three priests and an ex-priest whose allegations against Cardinal Keith O’Brien led to his resignation a year ago are appealing directly to the Pope to intervene in the case.

His successor as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Leo Cushley, has insisted that only the Vatican can initiate an inquiry into O’Brien’s sexual behaviour, which lie at the centre of the allegations, but he has agreed to an investigation into his financial actions.

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.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien finances ‘examined’

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

A FORMER priest whose allegations of sexual misconduct led to the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien has claimed the financial management of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh during the disgraced archbishop’s tenure, is now under ­scrutiny.

Archbishop Leo Cushley, who succeeded Cardinal O’Brien, has agreed to an investigation of the ­financial transactions according to “Lenny”, a former priest who said he had been the victim of an “abusive” sexual relationship with the cardinal.

The former priest said he and the other three diocesan priests whose allegations brought down the cardinal in February last year were now anxious to ensure there had been no mismanagement of church funds.

In an interview Lenny said he would have contacted the charity regulator if Cushley had not launched an investigation.

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

John Furlong admits he has no “actual knowledge” of Laura Robinson ever filing a police report

CANADA
Straight

by CHARLIE SMITH on MAR 2, 2014

THE FORMER CEO of the Vancouver Olympics has claimed in several media interviews that journalist and author Laura Robinson went to the RCMP with allegations that he had sexually abused a former student.

But in a statement of defence filed in B.C. Supreme Court, John Furlong revealed that this wasn’t because of any “actual knowledge”.

Furlong’s statement is in response to Robinson’s notice of civil claim alleging defamation.

In it, he declares that he “believes that the plaintiff brought Beverly Abraham’s allegations to the RCMP based on his diligent review of the information available to him and the information provided to him by the RCMP”.

“The defendant Furlong has no direct or actual knowledge of whether the plaintiff initiated a complaint with or otherwise reported Ms. Abraham’s allegations to the RCMP,” the document adds.

Furlong has sued Robinson in connection with an article in the Georgia Straight in September 2012, in which she reported that he had been a teacher at a Burns Lake Catholic elementary school in 1969 and 1970.

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.

New Furlong filing admits ‘no actual knowledge’ behind a key allegation

CANADA
The Tyee

By BOB MACKIN
Published March 2, 2014

In new B.C. Supreme Court documents, the CEO of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics admits he has no proof that a journalist made an abuse complaint about him to the RCMP.

John Furlong filed his statement of defence Feb. 27 in the defamation lawsuit launched a month earlier by Laura Robinson, who wrote a 2012 expose about the Irish-born Furlong’s initial years in Canada as a Catholic school physical education teacher.

In his court filing, Furlong “believes,” based on information he claims was available to him and provided by the RCMP, that Robinson brought Beverly Abraham’s allegations to the RCMP. But it said he “has no direct or actual knowledge of whether the plaintiff initiated a complaint with or otherwise reported Ms. Abraham’s allegations to the RCMP.”

The court filing is different from what Furlong said in an Oct. 28, 2013 interview with Global BC’s Chris Gailus (“she went to the RCMP and made the complaint”) and in an Oct. 29, 2013 statement on his website (“the RCMP have cleared me of the allegations that Ms. Robinson brought to the RCMP on behalf of Beverly Abraham in the summer of 2012”).

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.

Canberra catholic priest to be tried over molestation allegations

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

March 3, 2014

Michael Inman
Courts reporter for The Canberra Times.

A Canberra catholic priest has been committed to stand trial over allegations he molested a young parishioner in the 1990s.

Father Edward Evans, 84, maintained pleas of not guilty when he appeared before the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday.

Defence lawyers had asked a magistrate to conduct a full committal hearing – so they could cross-examine prosecution witnesses – before sending the matter to the ACT Supreme Court.

But Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker rejected the application, finding it would not be in the interest of justice.

Ms Walker said the cross-examination of witnesses would be best conducted before a jury.

Ms Walker continued Father Evans’ bail and committed him to stand trial in the higher court on seven charges, including committing acts of indecency and sexual intercourse with a child.

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

Shocking documentary reveals depth of scandal at the Vatican

UNITED STATES
UCA News

[with video]

Lance Dickie for the Seattle Times
Vatican City
March 3, 2014

Here is how a stunning PBS documentary describes itself:

“In Secrets of the Vatican, FRONTLINE tells the epic, inside story of the collapse of the Benedict papacy and illuminates the extraordinary challenges facing Pope Francis as he tries to reform the powerful Vatican bureaucracy, root out corruption and chart a new course for the troubled Catholic Church and its 1.2 billion followers.”

Viewers might easily imagine they’ve heard it all. Oh that. Why bother? Take everything you have ever heard about the Catholic Church and the global clergy child sexual abuse scandals, the dodgy Vatican bank, add in drug abuse, and multiply it all by ten. A primary insight is that Pope Benedict really did not step down from the papacy so much as flee the job.

No one could make up what this documentary reveals. For all of the horror on display, the reality is basic: arrogance, hubris and insularity will bring down any organization, even one ordained to do God’s work on earth. A human organization manifests all human frailties. Allow it to make its own rules and hide, and the worst happens.

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.

„Vertuschung, das ist das Wort, das an der Kirche klebt“

DEUTSCHLAND
shz

Ganz still war es im großen Tagungssaal des Travemünder Maritim-Hotels. Hätte ein Mitglied der Landessynode der Nordkirche einen Bleistift fallen gelassen, alle anderen hätten es gehört. „Vertuschung, das ist das Wort, das an der Kirche klebt“, sagte Hamburgs Bischöfin Kirsten Fehrs (Foto) am Rednerpult. „Vertuschung, das wird man schwer los.“ Die Theologin berichtete vor den 156 Synodalen zur Aufarbeitung des sexuellen Missbrauchs in der Nordkirche. „Das Spiel mit der Abhängigkeit war ein Perfides“, sagte Fehrs.

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.

“Perfides Spiel mit Abhängigen”

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Welt

[Summary: Bishop Kirsten Fehr stood before to lectern to hold a nearly house-long speech when the synod of the north church met this weekend at Travemunde. There was absolute silence and there was no applause. The discussion to too serious because there is still shame of the abuse cases in the Protestant church, especially in Ahrensburg. She lamented the failure of the church in the scandal.]

Von Edgar S. Hasse

In einem schwarzen Kostüm trat Bischöfin Kirsten Fehrs vor das Rednerpult, um eine fast einstündige Rede zu halten. Die ganze Zeit über herrschte unter den Synodalen der Nordkirche, die am Wochenende in Travemünde tagten, absolute Stille. Auch nach dem Bericht der Hamburger und Lübecker Bischöfin schwiegen die Kirchenparlamentarier: Es gab keinen Applaus.

Zu ernst war das Thema, zu stark die Betroffenheit, so tief noch immer die Scham über die Missbrauchsfälle in der evangelischen Kirche – vor allem in der Kirchengemeinde Ahrensburg. Rund vier Jahre nach dem Bekanntwerden dieser Fälle, die juristisch alle verjährt sind, legte die Bischöfin jetzt erstmals einen umfangreichen öffentlichen Bericht über das System Missbrauch in der Institution Kirche vor. Darin beklagte sie das Versagen der Kirche in der Aufarbeitung dieses Skandals, bei dem ein inzwischen aus dem Dienst entlassener Pastor mehr als 20 Jahre lang Jugendliche in einer “letztlich unbekannten Anzahl” sowie Familienmitglieder sexuell missbraucht hat.

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.

Plug pulled on event for sex offender archbishop Kenneth Storheim

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

KRISTIN ANNABLE QMI AGENCY

A small but fervent group remains committed to raising funds for convicted sex offender and disgraced archbishop Kenneth (Seraphim) Storheim.

But the group were stopped in their tracks this weekend when an Ottawa church pulled the plug on one of their fundraising events.

An attempt by the group to throw the party March 5 at Woodroffe United Church was thwarted when SNAP, a U.S.-based support group for clergy abuse victims, alerted the church of the group’s true intentions.

It was touted as a chamber music concert on a website devoted to raising money for Storheim’s legal defence.

“We don’t support funding for people who have been convicted of sexual abuse,” explained Rev. Jan Lougheed of her decision to cancel the event.

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.

Helena Catholic Diocese faces tough decisions…

MONTANA
Billings Gazette

Helena Catholic Diocese faces tough decisions as it negotiates bankruptcy

[Part 1: Catholic church will name 50+ priests who abused 100s of children in state]

By DEREK BROUWER Independent Record

Editor’s note: This story is the second of a two-day series on the aftermath of the proposed bankruptcy settlement of sex-abuse cases against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena.

HELENA — Bankruptcy will allow the Diocese of Helena to efficiently compensate sex abuse victims, Bishop George Thomas hopes, so it can begin rebuilding a church already in dire financial straits.

While the bankruptcy case will take several months to sort out, Thomas and diocese attorneys believe they can reach an agreement that will allow the church to emerge financially viable and with parishes intact.

That hasn’t been the case in some other diocese bankruptcies around the country, which have taken years to resolve and with mixed outcomes. Attorneys and church leaders in Helena say cooperation with victims has led to an arrangement that will allow the diocese to move forward.

“Mediation, in my opinion, benefits the entire group of people that are involved,” Thomas said.

However, the church still faces difficult decisions in the coming months as the diocese, creditors and a bankruptcy judge negotiate its financial future.

The settlement reached with victims’ attorneys in January will require the diocese to pay at least $2.5 million of $15 million in damages.

But the money the diocese owes to its parishes is much greater, and is the result of several years of financial problems and past sex-abuse claims, Thomas said.

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.

Plantiffs’ attorneys expect numbers to go up …

MONTANA
Billings Gazette

Plantiffs’ attorneys expect numbers to go up in Great Falls-Billings diocese sex abuse lawsuits

By Susan Olp

The number of plaintiffs in two sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings has increased to 50, and lawyers in both suits predict that figure will grow.

Both civil suits have been filed in Cascade County District Court in Great Falls, home of the Roman Catholic Diocese, which had jurisdiction over the churches and the clergy named in the suits.

One lawsuit was filed by the Morales Law Office in Missoula and the Tamaki Law Offices in Yakima, Wash., in June 2012. It was filed on behalf of a Northern Cheyenne woman in her 60s who said she was repeatedly molested and raped as a young girl by the Rev. Emmett Hoffmann, longtime priest at St. Labre Mission School in Ashland. The Order of Friars Minor, Capuchin, to which Hoffmann belonged, also was named as a defendant.

The attorneys filed a second amended complaint in February 2013, which boosted the number of plaintiffs to six women and 11 men who claimed they had been sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests and nuns in central and Eastern Montana. The abuse was said to have taken place from as early as 1943, and included schools, missions, homes and churches in Ashland, Hays, St. Xavier and Harlem.

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.

Nigeria: Protest Over Lagos Pastor Accused of Sexually Abusing Children

NIGERIA
allAfrica

Vanguard

BY ESTHER ONYEGBULA, 2 MARCH 2014

The peace of Akute, Ogun State was disrupted by aggrieved non-governmental organizations, NGOs, and women protesting the relocation of an orphanage allegedly being run by a pastor standing trial on a four-count charge of sexual abuse.

The protesters, led by Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, Executive Director, Project Alert, and Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, founder, Women Arise, were, mostly, lawyers, child right and women activists. They stormed Akute-Ijoko Road at about 12 noon displaying placards with inscriptions: “Say no to child abuse”, “This pastor is a pedophile”, “Orphanage or child abuse center”, “Justice for sexually-abused children”, among others. The protesters lamented that the founder of the orphanage had gone ahead to relocate it when he had not been cleared of the case of sexual abuse hanging on his head.

The protest was prompted by a text message about the relocation of the orphanage allegedly sent by the pastor. The text message read: “RELOCATION OF ORPHANAGE – Beloved, come rejoice with us as we celebrate God’s faithfulness in thanksgiving and dedication of the new place God appointed us at Akute-Ijoko Road on Saturday February 22, 2014, at 11am. Please pray and plan to attend. God bless you.”

The protesters alleged that the orphanage is a killer and “the people of this vicinity must know because we can’t keep allowing these abuses to go on”. They went on: “This place must be closed down. We will not keep quiet and allow a pedophile to truncate the future of our children.

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

March 2, 2014

Quepos expat back in U.S. to face child sex charge

COSTA RICA
A.M. Costa Rica

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A suspected child molester who has lived in Quepos since 2006 is finally in custody in the United States. The case has religious dimensions because the man, Michael J. Norris, 67, was an elder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation where the long-running molestation is alleged to have taken place.

A warrant for Norris was issued in Santa Barbara, California, in December. The Sheriff’s Office there posted his photo and a request for information. But persons associated with the Carpinteria, California, congregation knew exactly where the man was. They notified sheriff’s detectives and employees at the U.S. Embassy here.

There are conflicting reports on where Norris was detained. One version is that he was arrested when he got off a plane at Los Angeles International Airport. A second version is that he was detained here at a Costa Rican airport and escorted to Los Angeles by law officers where the official arrest took place.

In any event, he is in the Santa Barbara county jail in lieu of $250,000 bail. The allegations include multiple counts of molesting a minor under the age of 14. There also is an allegation of distributing pornography to a minor. The investigation has been going on for a year or more.

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.

Cardinal Kasper & Irish President Press Pope On Women’s Roles

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Cardinal Walter Kasper, a highly respected Cardinal and long time theological rival to the ex-Pope, has challenged Pope Francis to act boldly on women’s roles in the Catholic Church’s hierarchy, as reported here:

[Vatican Insider]

and here:

[Avvenire]

Meanwhile, Mary McAleese, the former President of Ireland, now in Rome studying canon law, has also called for greater Church hierarchical roles for women as reported here:

[Irish Times]

Pope Francis has gotten some additional honest and pertinent assessments recently, including in “From Benedict to Francis”, an extremely informed, insightful and frank interview with the UK Tablet’s Robert Mickens, here:

[PBS]

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.

Memorial event remembers women incarcerated in Magdalene laundries

IRELAND
The Journal

MEMBERS OF THE public gathered today in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin, to remember and honour all of the women who were incarcerated in the Magdalene laundries.

The annual Flowers for Magdalene event was attended by many who came bearing flowers to place on the graves.

Survivors

Speaking at the remembrance event Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary LouMcDonald said that it was one year after Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s apology to the Magdalene survivors and still many surviving women have been excluded from the redress scheme and just a fifth of the eligible women have yet to receive their payments, she said.

She called on the government to introduce the long awaited Restorative Justice Bill.

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.

‘They’re not going to get another penny out of me’: Parishioners outraged over Archbishop’s $500,000 home renovation project

NEW JERSEY
Daily Mail (UK)

Newark Archbishop John Myers is facing an enraged flock as news of his plan to spend $500,000 renovating his retirement home spreads through the pews.

Myers, who prefers to be addressed as ‘Your Grace,’ is using the money to build an expensive addition to the house in New Jersey’s Franklin Township that he now uses as a weekend retreat.

Contractors have already begun adding 3,000 square-foot addition including bedroom with sitting area, large study with attached library, full-floor gallery, two bathrooms, three fireplaces, and an elevator to the three-story house.

The archdiocese purchased the house in 2002 for $700,000 with real estate proceeds.

It currently features five bedrooms, three full-bathrooms, a three-car garage, and a basement office.
Myers, 72, will be at mandatory retirement age in 2017.

Many of the archdiocese 1.3 million Catholics across four counties are now snapping their wallets and purses in protest.

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.

Archbishop’s million-dollar retreat angers New Jersey faithful

NEW JERSEY
Fox News

Angry parishioners in New Jersey are withholding donations following reports that Newark Archbishop John Myers is building a pricey addition to his lavish retirement home.

The faithful are upset that Myers, who likes to be called “Your Grace,” is spending more than $500,000 to expand a palatial home in New Jersey’s Franklin Township that he now uses as a weekend retreat.

The Newark Star-Ledger reports parishioners are cutting off donations or sharply curtailing them “infuriated by what they call a tone-deaf show of excess at a time when Catholic schools are closing and when the pope has called on bishops to shed the trappings of luxury.”

Joe Ferri, 70, told the newspaper he writes a $100 check to the Archdiocese of Newark each year for the archbishop’s annual appeal, but he didn’t send money this year after he read about Myers’ expansion plans.

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

Priest’s unsolved murder: 16 years later

WISCONSIN
Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

On March 4, 1998, Father Alfred Kunz, a parish priest and canon lawyer – and discreet whistleblower of corrupt clergy – from the Diocese of Madison, Wis., was found in a pool of blood with his throat slit. The murder remains unsolved to this day.

It’s essentially a cold case now, even if the police are reluctant to say so. I’ve been following and writing about the case for the past several years, and, to my knowledge, there haven’t been any significant developments in the investigation as of late. Still, I did recently find out a bit of interesting information that I hadn’t heard before.

More about that later.

For a past column, I had asked two individuals who were friends and supporters of Father Kunz – Catholic attorney Peter Kelly and Catholic businessman Chuck Weigel – to contribute their fond memories of the priest. Those reflections are worth reprinting.

Peter Kelly wrote:

There are a number of points that I recall about Father Kunz. They all deal with his pastoral style which people might characterize as true ‘servant leadership.’ It was that – and so much more.

Father did not have a great deal of financial resources upon which to draw to support his school and his teaching staff. Still, he tried to do what he could to help make life a little easier for his underpaid teachers. One ‘fringe benefit’ that his teachers received from their boss was free auto repair. As a Wisconsin farm boy, he was as good with a wrench as he was with his traditional Catholic theology.

Father was fluent in both Latin and in the language of engine maintenance. He even had a set of coveralls which he would wear that exposed only his Roman collar, lest no one would recognize that the greasy fellow who just slid out from under the car in the parking lot of St. Michael’s was the pastor and chief mechanic of the parish.

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.

Exseminarista niega haber sido abusado por sacerdote

PUERTO RICO
Metro

[Summary: An ex-seminarian of the Arecibo diocese – Educardo Rivera Ortiz – on Sunday denied he was sexual abused by Father Ovidio Perez Perez when Perez was rector of the Jesús Maestro seminary. Ortiz’ name was mentioned in a publication. He said he was never contacted to confirm the information which he said was false.]

Un exseminarista de la Diócesis de Arecibo, identificado como Eduardo Rivera Ortiz, negó el domingo haber sido víctima de abuso sexual por parte del Padre Ovidio Pérez Pérez, cuando éste era rector del clausurado seminario “Jesús Maestro”, según cuentan informes de prensa.

“Aclaro que mi relación con el rector siempre fue una de rector sacerdote a seminarista formando. Siempre que hablaba con el rector era sobre de los estudios, regaños o advertencias de algún comportamiento que estuviera haciendo mal (comportamientos como dormirme en la oración, olvidar algún compromiso, fallos en la vida social, problemas con el horario, etc.), nada de índole sexual. Eso ni pasaba por mi mente fuera posible en el seminario”, dijo Rivera Ortiz en declaraciones escritas.

En un escrito Rivera Ortiz expresó su sorpresa por la publicación, pues dijo nunca fue llamado para confirmar la información. Además, dijo que entiende que la carta en la que se narra una supuesta conducta impropia con el Padre Ovidio Pérez Pérez, y publicada en un diario del país, es fruto de un exseminarista, a quien identificó como Daniel Collazo.

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.

Assignment Record – Rev. Kenneth Gansmann, o.f.m.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Gansmann was ordained a priest of the Springfield, IL – based Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart in 1935.
He ministered in Chicago and Joliet schools and parishes until 1948, when he was transferred to the St. Paul archdiocese. In 1959 he was moved back to Chicago for a year, and then to Nashville, TN, where he pastored a parish until his death in 1974. In 2007 a man reported to the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese that he was sexually abused by Gansmann in Minnesota many decades previously. Archdiocesan officials deemed his allegations credible; documents show they also had reason to believe the man wasn’t Gansmann’s only victim. The allegations against Gansmann weren’t made public by the archdiocese until February 2014.

Ordained: June 24, 1935
Died: May 21, 1974

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.

Fighting to be heard amid church’s silence

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Graphic: Sister Peg’s attempts to expose abuse

By Christy Gutowski, Tribune reporter
12:49 a.m. CST, March 1, 2014

Amid the thousands of pages of despair in files documenting how Chicago church leaders in the past shielded pedophile priests, one name emerges repeatedly as a persistent, but frustrated, voice for the victims.

She is, at times, referred to as Sister Siena or by her real name, Sister Ivers, or by the name used by students and parishioners, Sister Peg.

The trove of Chicago Archdiocese records recently made public tell of her first encountering an allegedly abusive priest in the 1970s when she was a young, inexperienced principal at a Northlake parish school. After her pleas for his dismissal were ignored, she eventually resigned in disgust.

A decade later, after another priest with a history of sexual misconduct was reassigned to serve as a college chaplain, leaders moved him again “due to difficulties with (Sister) Peg.”

(See documents on Sister Peg’s reports of alleged priest abuse.)

The files describe the sister later warning church officials about questionable behavior of three other clergymen. Despite frequent references to her, the records do not give her religious order or say what happened to this outspoken woman. So the Tribune set out to find her.

An important clue surfaced in a 1964 story in the newspaper’s archives that detailed how sisters from the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary served as principals at some archdiocese schools, including one in Northlake.

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.

One year on from Taoiseach’s apology and still no justice for Magdalene survivors

IRELAND
An Phoblacht

MARK MOLONEY

OVER 100 people took part in an event in Glasnevin Cemetary on Sunday to honour the memory of the hundreds of women and girls who died while incarcerated in the Magdalene laundries.

The third annual ‘Flowers for Magdalenes’ event was addressed by Martina Keogh, a survivor of the Gloucester Street laundry; Claire McGettrick of Justice for Magdalenes and Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin – a long time supporter and advocate on behalf of the Magdalene survivors.

In February 2013 Taoiseach Enda Kenny apologised to the women on behalf of the Government and the State for the hurt they endured, and promised to put in place “a process in place to help and support the women in their remaining years”.

Mary Lou McDonald TD criticised the failure of the Taoiseach to deliver on his promise. Speaking to those in attendance, she said:

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.

Kein Platz für Dialog in der Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
Mittelbayerische

[Summary: The Catholic Church is struggling with its critics. The Rev. Helmut Shueller was to give a lecture on March 11 in the parish hall of St. Boniface/St. George in Regensburg. Permission was given by the parish priest but permission was withdrawn on instructions of the prelate Michael Fuchs. Schueller is founder of the Pfarrer Initiative which seeks changes in the church.]

VON SUSANNE WIEDAMANN, MZ

REGENSBURG. Die katholische Kirche tut sich schwer mit ihren Kritikern. Das musste nun auch Berthold Starzinger vom Aktionskreis Regensburg (AKR) erfahren, der für 11. März, 19.30 Uhr, eine Vortragsveranstaltung von Pfarrer Helmut Schüller im Pfarrsaal von St. Bonifaz/St. Georg organisiert hatte. Zunächst habe er vom dortigen Pfarrer Dr. Herbert Winterholler ein Okay bekommen, nachdem sich dieser zuvor vom Pfarrgemeinderat Grünes Licht geholt hatte. Letzten Dienstag dann die Überraschung: Winterholler machte auf Anweisung von Generalvikar Prälat Michael Fuchs einen Rückzieher. Die Veranstaltung des Gründers der Pfarrer-Initiative Österreichs über „Katholische Kirche – deine Zukunft?“ sei in Räumen der Pfarrei nicht möglich.

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.

Entrevista com o padre José Ornelas Carvalho: “Se houver razões para tomar medidas, não hesitaremos em fazê-lo”

ROMA
Publico

[Summary: Jose Ornelas Carvalho, superior general of the Sacred Heart priests, said in an email from Rome that the order will take action against abusive priests if there are grounds for action. He added that investigators from Italy and Mozambique so far have not found basis of the allegations.]

ANA DIAS CORDEIRO 02/03/2014

O padre português José Ornelas Carvalho é o Superior Geral da Congregação dos Sacerdotes do Coração de Jesus (dos Padres Dehonianos), uma congregação religiosa da Igreja Católica Respondeu às perguntas do PÚBLICO a partir de Roma, por email.

A Congregação dos Dehonianos mantém o padre Ilario à frente do Centro Polivalente Leão Dehon, em Moçambique, por não acreditar nas suspeitas que recaem sobre ele?
É um princípio elementar de justiça que uma pessoa, sobre quem se levantam dúvidas, não seja considerada culpada sem que isso apareça claro. Para além disso, nestes casos que têm a ver com a defesa de menores, é necessário ver se há probabilidade de haver veracidade nas acusações e perigo para os menores, mesmo antes de chegar a conclusões definitivas sobre a culpabilidade. Das investigações até agora feitas por nós e, por quanto sei, pelas duas procuradorias que investigam o caso [em Itália e em Moçambique], até este momento, não foi encontrada nenhuma base para essas suspeitas. Se aparecerem dados novos que suscitem preocupação, evidentemente que reagiremos adequadamente. Devo esclarecer, além disso, que temos na Congregação uma organização descentralizada. A decisão de manter o padre Ilario como responsável do Centro Polivalente é uma decisão autónoma do Superior Provincial de Moçambique.

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.

Entrevista com João Oliveira: “Os responsáveis do MNE optaram por apagar o assunto”

MOZAMBIQUE
Publico

[Summary: Joao Paulo de Oliveira Gomes, 38, is a veterinarian who works with international organizations in various countries. He was working in Mozambique on a development project supported by Portugal when he discovered that pupils were being sexually abused by priests responsible for a nearby orphanage.]

ANA DIAS CORDEIRO 02/03/2014

João Paulo Gomes de Oliveira, 38 anos, é médico veterinário e trabalha em cooperação internacional e desenvolvimento desde 2001. Passou por organizações nacionais e internacionais de vários países.

Quando, em 2010, foi colocado como professor pelo Centro Polivalente Leão Dehon, em Gurúè, Moçambique, no quadro de um programa do então Instituto Português de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento (IPAD), financiado pelo Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros, denunciou abusos sexuais de alunos seus envolvendo os padres responsáveis pelo centro e por um orfanato ali perto.

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.

Moçambique: Padres investigados …

MOZAMBIQUE
PUBLICO

Moçambique: Padres investigados por suspeitas de abusos dirigem orfanato e escola que teve apoio de Portugal

[Summary: Priests are being investigated for suspected abuse at an orphanage and school in Mozambique that had the support of Portugal. The allegations are being investigated by prosecutors in Italy and Mozambique at a time when the UN is demanding that abusive priests be removed from from their priestly duties.]

ANA DIAS CORDEIRO 02/03/2014

Uma escola do Centro Polivalente Leão Dehon beneficiou de apoios de Portugal através da colocação de professores. Um deles fez uma denúncia por suspeitas de abusos sexuais de menores contra dois padres italianos nessa cidade moçambicana: o director desse centro e o responsável de um orfanato. O caso está a ser investigado por procuradores em Itália e Moçambique, numa altura em que a ONU exige que padres suspeitos de abusos a menores sejam afastados.

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

Catholic priest charged with 25-year-old sexual assault

CANADA
TB Newswatch

By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

A Catholic priest is facing several sexual assault charges dating to alleged offences against a teenaged male victim between 1987 and 1989.

Now 56, Roger Pronovost was assigned to St. John the Baptist Church in Longlac, Ont. at the time of the incidents.

The suspect faces two counts of sexual assault and a third charge of sexual exploitation.

None of the charges has been proven in a court of law.

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.

Fighting to be heard amid church’s silence

ILLINOIS
WGN

[with video]

In December, Chicago Archdiocese records revealed that a disturbing number of church leaders protected priests accused of sex abuse.

We’re now learning about one woman who stood up to church officials, in an effort to put an end to the behavior.

According to the documents sister peg’s first report of a priest dates back to the 1970′s when she was a principal at St. John Vianney in Northlake.

Peg alerted church officials about Reverend Thomas Job, after several boys told her they had been sexually abused by him.

Although Sister Peg’s says no one listened to her for many years, her efforts are considered courageous and rare, especially for that time.

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

NJ–Victims urge Catholics to donate MORE but not to church

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Sunday, March 2

Statement by Mark Crawford, New Jersey director of SNAP ( 732-632-7687, mecrawf@comcast.net )

Outraged at their archbishop, many Newark Catholics apparently are withholding their donations.

We are grateful that so many parishioners want to show their disapproval of Archbishop John Myers for his financial and sexual abuse scandals.

[The Star-Ledger]

We urge them, however, to give more generously than ever, but to institutions that protect kids, not institutions that endanger kids.

While it’s a tempting response to a callous, selfish archbishop, keeping money in your pocket won’t make children safer or change Myers. Donating to agencies that protect children, help victims and prevent crimes WILL safeguard kids.

So our message to Newark Catholics is: please DO something to show you care about the vulnerable and the needy. Please be even more generous than you usually are (because many need help). But do it carefully, so your contributions will make a real difference and won’t support, in any way, reckless, selfish Catholic officials that their own comfort and reputations above the well-being of others.

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.

Cardinal calls for more women into Catholic church hierarchy

VATICAN CITY
eNCA

VATICAN CITY – The Catholic Church should have more women at all levels of administration, according to a senior cardinal who is close to Pope Francis.

I think women should be present at all levels, even in positions of full responsibility.

“I think women should be present at all levels, even in positions of full responsibility,” German cardinal Walter Kasper told the newspaper of Italian bishops Avvenire.

“A Church with no women is like a mutilated body,” he added.

Last month Francis asked Kasper, who is a respected theologian, to give the introductory lecture at a meeting of cardinals that debated controversial family issues, such as the role of women in the church and its approach towards divorcees.

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.

Kasper: per le donne ruoli di responsabilità nella Chiesa

CITTA DEL VATICANO
Avvenire

«Il ruolo delle donne nella Chiesa va riconsiderato e integrato nella prospettiva del dinamismo sinodale e della conversione missionaria indicati dal Papa». A partire dalle sue riflessioni sulla famiglia presentate al recente Concistoro, si esprime così il cardinale tedesco Walter Kasper. E parla ampiamente della dibattuta questione della presenza femminile negli ambiti decisionali della Chiesa.

Anticipiamo alcune risposte alla lunga intervista esclusiva di Stefania Falasca pubblicata da Avvenire domenica 2 marzo.

Eminenza, sono in preparazione due Sinodi sulla famiglia. Qual è stato fino a oggi il contributo delle donne nelle assemblee sinodali?

«Finora ai Sinodi le donne sono state presenti generalmente in veste di uditrici e in posizione di scarso rilievo. Ci sono sempre due o tre uditrici che intervengono alla fine dei lavori, quando ormai hanno parlato tutti. Mi domando: come si possono preparare due Sinodi sulla famiglia senza coinvolgere in primis anche le donne? Senza le donne la famiglia semplicemente non esiste. È insensato parlare della famiglia senza ascoltarle. Credo che debbano essere chiamate e ascoltate fin da ora, nella fase della preparazione».

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.

Kasper proposes appointing women as heads of pontifical councils

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

[Kasper: per le donne ruoli di responsabilità nella Chiesa – Avvenire]

In his interview with Italian Catholic newspaper “Avvenire”, Cardinal Walter Kasper suggests putting women at the helm of the pontifical councils. According to the cardinal who is against careerism in the Curia and believes in time limits for mandates, “there are too many bishops in the Curia”

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

“Women’s role in the Church should be rethought and integrated into the Pope’s ideas for greater synodal dynamism and a missionary conversion”: women should be offered leadership roles within the pontifical councils and in the future Congregation for the Laity given how many bishops the Curia has. Temporary mandates should be introduced in the Curia to prevent careerism, calling priests who already have some pastoral experience. This was the crux of what Cardinal Walter Kasper said in a long interview with Stefania Falasca published in today’s issue of Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire.

“Up until now, women have generally only attended the synod as auditors, holding roles of little significance,” Kasper said. “There are always two or three female auditors who speak at the end of the meetings when everyone has already spoken. I ask myself how it is possible to prepare two synods on the family without giving a role of primary importance to women? A family cannot exist without women. It makes no sense to speak about the family without listening to what they have to say. I think they need to be called and listen as of right now, as we enter the preparatory phase.”

The German cardinal who gave the opening speech at the recent Consistory on the family went on to say the following: “I think that women need to be present at every level and even given positions of full responsibility. The intuition which the female mind has to offer is a vital resource. A Church without women is a mutilated Church. There are so many of them actively involved in Church bodies. Can we imagine community, charity and cultural centres today with no women? Without them, parishes would close down tomorrow. Women are already ahead and out there in a Church like Francis’ that is “going out”.

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

The church honoured this pedophile priest but Broken Rites exposed him

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

Why did Catholic Church leaders, including George Pell, take part in a glowing tribute to a pedophile priest, Father Nazareno Fasciale? Why was the church “immensely proud” of a pedophile?

Father Fasciale (pronounced “Fah-SHAH-lay”) was harboured in the Melbourne Catholic archdiocese for 44 years while he committed sexual crimes against girls and boys. The cathedral authorities continually ignored any complaints from Fasciale’s victims. Fasciale knew that the church would protect him.

Finally, in late 1993, some of his victims contacted the newly-formed Broken Rites Australia victim support group. These victims, with help from Broken Rites, forced the church to remove Fasciale from the ministry, although the church covered up his crimes by announcing that his retirement was because of “health” problems.

Meanwhile, Broken Rites discovered more of Fasciale’s victims and introduced them all to Victoria Police detectives. In a police interview, Fasciale admitted indecently assaulting children.

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

George Pell versus the church’s victims (the “Ellis Defence”)

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article posted 2 March 2014)

Australia’s national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is examining a 2007 civil legal case, in which Cardinal George Pell’s legal team crushed one of the church’s Sydney victims, former altar-boy John Ellis. This Pell victory later helped the Catholic Church to avoid, or limit, paying compensation to many victims in other parts of Australia. The church’s evasive strategy became known as the “Ellis Defence”, although it could be called (perhaps more appropriately) the “Pell Defence”.

Commission chief executive Janette Dines said in a public statement early in 2014 that the Royal Commission is examining the original complaint made by John Ellis under the church’s internal Towards Healing process “and the circumstances in which the Catholic Church raised what is commonly referred to as the ‘Ellis Defence”’.

The Sydney victim, John Ellis, had been a 14-year-old altar boy in a suburban parish in 1975, when he was sexually abused by Father Aidan Duggan. The abuse (and the church’s breach of trust) seriously damaged John Ellis’s adolescence and his later personal and working life when he was practising as a solicitor during his twenties and thirties.

In 2002, John Ellis (then aged 40) contacted the Catholic Church’s “Towards Healing” office, lodging a formal complaint about how the Sydney archdiocese has disrupted his life and his career by its action giving Father Duggan easy access to children. The archdiocese (through its Towards Healing office) offered John Ellis a relatively small financial settlement, on the condition that he would sign away his right to tackle the archdiocese for the kind of amount that any other corporation would be obliged to pay to a damaged person.

The Sydney archdiocese’s draft settlement document indicated that the Towards Healing offer was being made on behalf of:

1. Archbishop George Pell (for the Sydney Archdiocese); and

2. the Trustees of the Sydney Archdiocese.

John Ellis refused to accept this Towards Healing offer and decided, instead, to tackle the archdiocese in the New South Wales Supreme Court for a more appropriate sum to cover the loss of his professional earnings – and to teach the archdiocese a lesson about its covering up of clergy sexual abuse. In naming the defendants, Mr Ellis cited the names of the same parties who had been listed by the church in its proposed Towards Healing settlement deed – that is Archbishop George Pell and the Trustees of the Sydney Archdiocese.

In 2006 the Supreme Court granted permission for the “Ellis-versus-Pell” case to proceed in court, but the archdiocese successfully applied to the NSW Court of Appeal.

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.

Newark Archbishop’s pricey retirement home spurs backlash as parishioners withhold donations

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
on March 02, 2014

Every year, without fail, Joe Ferri writes a $100 check to the Archdiocese of Newark for the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, a fundraising drive that benefits a variety of religious causes.

This year, Ferri left the empty envelope on his pew at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield. He’s done writing checks.

“If this is the only way I can be heard, so be it,” said Ferri, 70. “I’m disgusted. The archdiocese is not going to get another penny out of me.”

Two weeks after The Star-Ledger disclosed that Archbishop John J. Myers is building a 3,000-square-foot addition on the expansive home where he will spend his retirement, it appears the work will cost the archdiocese far more than the $500,000 allotted for construction.

Parishioners, infuriated by what they call a tone-deaf show of excess at a time when Catholic schools are closing and when the pope has called on bishops to shed the trappings of luxury, say they’re cutting off contributions entirely or sharply curtailing them.

Others said they will continue supporting their local parishes but will ignore the annual appeal, which has been heavily promoted in churches over the past month across the archdiocese, home to 1.3 million Catholics in Essex, Hudson, Union and Bergen counties.

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

THE LAST CONFESSION

TEXAS
CBS News – 48 Hours

[with video of the program]

Mar 01

Produced by Lourdes Aguiar, Peter Shaw and Jennifer Simpson Ashmawy

It’s been more than 50 years, but the shadow of the unsolved murder of Irene Garza still hangs over McAllen, Texas.

“This was an atrocious case,” Noemi Ponce Sigler told “48 Hours” correspondent Richard Schlesinger. “And I couldn’t understand it. To this day, I can’t understand it.”

Sigler, who is part of Irene’s extended family, has never been able to forget this case — especially after she visited her aunt’s house several years ago.

“There was a portrait of Irene that I hadn’t looked at in years,” Sigler said. “So, I went up to the picture and I was mesmerized… And that’s when I said … ‘Irene where did you go?’ … I wanna know what happened to her.”

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.

Derby pervert priest scandal: Women speak out in anger over disgraced Francis Paul Cullen to leading clergyman after Mass

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

By Zena Hawley

TWO women have expressed their anger to a leading clergyman following a Mass intended to bring comfort and healing in the wake of the scandal surrounding disgraced priest Francis Paul Cullen.

They expressed their concerns to the Bishop of Nottingham, the Right Reverend Malcolm McMahon, after the regular Saturday evening service.

It was the first opportunity for Bishop McMahon to speak to the congregation of Christ The King, in Mackworth – where Cullen was formerly the parish priest – following his court appearance last week.

Last Monday, Cullen, aged 85, admitted 21 counts of child sex abuse. Of these, 13 took place between 1957 and 1974 during his time as the parish priest in Mackworth. They involved four former altar boys. He is awaiting sentence on March 24.

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.

German cardinal criticised for Muslim comments resigns

VATICAN CITY
AsiaOne

AFP
Friday, Feb 28, 2014

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican on Friday said the Archbishop of Cologne Cardinal Joachim Meisner, who has made controversial comments about Muslims, was stepping down from his duties as archbishop after reaching retirement age.

In comments that were widely condemned, the 80-year-old Meisner last month told members of the conservative Neocatechumenal Way Catholic group: “Each of your families is easily worth three Muslim families for me”.

Meisner has been archbishop of Cologne since 1989.

“The Holy Father has accepted the renunciation,” the Vatican said in a statement.

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.

Church’s part-time youth worker accused of molesting teen girl

FLORIDA
Ocala Star-Banner

By Austin L. Miller
Staff writer
Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014

A part-time student ministry intern at Church at the Springs was arrested Wednesday, accused of lewd and lascivious behavior with a teenage girl on church property.

Daniel A. Dominguez, 21, was booked into the Marion County Jail Wednesday evening and was released on $10,000 bond, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. He has since been fired from that job.

The 15-year-old girl was interviewed at Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection in Ocala, according to a Marion County Sheriff’s Office report. She told an investigator that on Feb. 21, while at the church, she was helping with preparation for an upcoming event.

She said Dominguez asked her to help clean water jugs and she accompanied him into the kitchen. There, she said, while joking around, she called him gay. She said Dominguez told her he was not gay and that he could prove it.

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.

Youth pastor intern accused of molesting teen at Ocala church

FLORIDA
WESH

OCALA, Fla. —A youth pastor intern molested a teenage girl at an Ocala church last week, deputies said.

According to the arrest report, the 15-year-old girl called 21-year-old Daniel A. Dominguez gay in a joking manner on Feb. 21 at the Church At The Springs at 5424 SE 58th St.

Dominguez allegedly said he wasn’t gay and could prove it then grabbed her and tried to kiss her, deputies said. While the teen resisted Dominguez allegedly molested the girl in various areas, deputies said.

Deputies said the teen was able to push Dominguez off of her and told him that what he did was not right.

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

CATHOLIC CORRUPTION

UNITED STATES
Fitsnews

FRONTLINE EXCLUSIVE ROCKS THE VATICAN …

One month before U.S. President Barack Obama pays his first visit to meet Pope Francis at The Vatican, an explosive new report has exposed the seedy side of the Catholic Church.

“Secrets of the Vatican” – a PBS Frontline exclusive which first aired last Tuesday – is a jaw-dropping piece of work, utterly unflinching in its depiction of the church’s ongoing child sexual abuse scandal.

Not only that, it delves extensively into allegations of money laundering on the part of the Vatican Bank – and widespread corruption within the church’s powerful bureaucracy.

“It is unbelievable that this documentary was ever produced and shown on American television, much less by the government’s PBS network,” one source told us in commending it to our attention.

We agree …

The Frontline story begins with the story of Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado. Maciel was the Mexican priest who founded the Roman Catholic Church’s Legion of Christ, an order which recruited young men for the priesthood.

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.

Lagos pastor accused of sexually abusing children

NIGERIA
Osun Defender

The peace of Akute, Ogun State was disrupted by aggrieved non-governmental organizations, NGOs, and women protesting the relocation of an orphanage allegedly being run by a pastor standing trial on a four-count charge of sexual abuse.

The protesters, led by Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, Executive Director, Project Alert, and Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, founder, Women Arise, were, mostly, lawyers, child right and women activists. They stormed Akute-Ijoko Road at about 12 noon displaying placards with inscriptions: “Say no to child abuse”, “This pastor is a pedophile”, “Orphanage or child abuse center”, “Justice for sexually-abused children”, among others. The protesters lamented that the founder of the orphanage had gone ahead to relocate it when he had not been cleared of the case of sexual abuse hanging on his head.

The protest was prompted by a text message about the relocation of the orphanage allegedly sent by the pastor. The text message read: “RELOCATION OF ORPHANAGE – Beloved, come rejoice with us as we celebrate God’s faithfulness in thanksgiving and dedication of the new place God appointed us at Akute-Ijoko Road on Saturday February 22, 2014, at 11am. Please pray and plan to attend. God bless you.”

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.

Decades of abuse…

MONTANA
Montana Standard

Decades of abuse: Catholic church will name 50+ priests who abused 100s of children in western MT

By Mike Dennison

Editor’s note: This story is the first of a two-day series on the aftermath of the proposed bankruptcy settlement of sex-abuse cases against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena

HELENA — Most of the 362 sex-abuse victims who sued the Catholic church of western Montana, saying they were abused years ago by priests and nuns, will get monetary damages from a settlement with the church.

But they’ll see something else they consider vitally important, their lawyers say: Public identification of their abusers.

“They wanted their abusers to be publicly identified and for the Diocese to accept responsibility,” says Tim Kosnoff, a Seattle attorney who co-represents 271 of the plaintiffs in two lawsuits. “By that aspect, I think we’ve succeeded.”

Kosnoff and other attorneys who worked on the cases say more than 50 Roman Catholic priests will be named as sexual abusers of children.

Once the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Butte approves the settlement, the names of the abusers will be posted on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena’s website.

Most, if not all, of these priests are dead, attorneys for the plaintiffs say. The bulk of the abuse occurred from the 1940s through the 1970s, although some happened as far back as the 1930s. …

Status of sex-abuse suits against Catholic entities

HELENA – Roman Catholic churches and entities in Montana are dealing with three separate lawsuits accusing church clergy and personnel of sexually abusing children within the church.

Here is the status of these cases:

Helena Diocese cases: On Jan. 31, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, which covers all or part of 23 western Montana counties, filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a negotiated settlement with 362 plaintiffs in two lawsuits filed in Montana state District Court in 2011.

The Diocese of Helena and its insurers have agreed to pay $15 million in damages to the victims and set aside at least another $2.5 million for victims that may come forward in the future.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Butte, with input from church creditors and the plaintiffs, must approve the settlement before it can take effect. Creditors and plaintiffs will vote within the coming months on the settlement.

Ursuline Academy case: One of the lawsuits against the Helena Diocese includes 95 of the 362 plaintiffs and also alleges that nuns at the now-defunct Ursuline Academy at St. Ignatius abused dozens of Native American children.

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

March 1, 2014

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 28 February 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the metropolitan archdiocese of Koln, Germany, presented by Cardinal Joachim Meisner, upon having reached the age limit.

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.

Vatican Accepts Resignation of Controversial Archbishop

GERMANY
ABNA

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – Leader of the Catholic Church has accepted the resignation of a controversial cardinal who had been widely criticized for his anti-Islamic comments.

Pope Francis on Friday accepted the resignation of Cologne’s Roman Catholic archbishop Joachim Meisner.

Meisner’s resignation is said to have been due to his old age but German Muslims’ anger over his anti-Islamic remarks seem to have also played a part.

A few weeks ago he praised the high birth rate among Catholics for making up for large Muslim families.

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.

Missbrauch: Bischöfin ruft zu Courage auf

DEUTSCHLAND
NDR

[Summary: Bishop Kirsten Fehr reported on sexual abuse scandals in details at the meeting of the synod in Travemunde. She said she has talked with victims of abuse and has appealed for further changes in the church to prevent such cases.]

Die Bischöfin Kirsten Fehrs hat beim Treffen der Synode der Nordkirche in Travemünde ausführlich über die Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchsskandals berichtet. Sie erzählte in ihrem Vortrag von ihren Gesprächen mit den Missbrauchsopfern, stellte die Arbeit zweier Kommissionen vor und warb für weitere Veränderungen in der Kirche, um zukünftig solche Fälle zu verhindern. Sie rief dazu auf, beim Verdacht auf sexuelle Gewalt Courage zu zeigen. Darüber hinaus regte sie neue Regeln für die Schweigepflicht von Seelsorgern an. Möglichen Opfern müsse vermittelt werden, dass sie die Pastoren auch von der Schweigepflicht entbinden könnten.

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.

Bistum Münster: 7 Wochen später …

DEUTSCHLAND
MissBiT

Bistum Münster: 7 Wochen später will das Bistum Münster “immer noch keinerlei Kenntnis von irgendeinem Fall sexuellen Missbrauchs durch Geistliche in Emmerich” haben. Verantwortlicher Pressesprecher: Stephan Kronenburg

28.02.2014

“Die Kommission des Bistums Münster für Fälle des sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger durch Geistliche hat bislang keinerlei Kenntnis von irgendeinem Fall sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjährige durch Geistliche in Emmerich.”

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.

Ramsey County prosecutor: Priest abuse cases ‘just the beginning’

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 03/01/2014

As part of its coverage of child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and elsewhere, the Pioneer Press talked with Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. The following reflects the interview, edited for space and clarity.

Q. What do you think your office will see in terms of future clergy sex abuse cases?

A. We’re aware of many cases that are coming to us from police. One may be imminent. From my perspective, this is just the beginning.

Q. Some have criticized your decision not to charge officials of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis with failure to meet mandatory reporter requirements in the Curtis Wehmeyer case. (Wehmeyer, formerly a priest at Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul, was sentenced last February to five years in prison for sexually abusing two young boys and possessing child pornography.) Can you give some context for that decision, and for your plans going forward?

A. That was the first case involving archdiocese officials that was presented to our office. But the overall investigation of sexual abuse in the archdiocese and how it’s been handled is going to take a really long time. In fact, if we’re talking about this issue a year from now, I won’t be surprised. It’s that big of a task to get through.

A police agency can’t just cut and paste what’s on the Internet or from a news publication and present that to us as evidence. They need to go out and independently seek that information from all these various sources and then try to make heads or tails of all of that — corroborate it, do what investigators do. We are involved with the police to advise them as they are doing their investigation.

The public has seen a lot of coverage of sexual abuse and the archdiocese in the media. I can totally understand the anger and the frustration and the shock of hearing about all of these horrible things that have been happening in the Catholic Church. I share all of that with the public. But I have to protect the process of how we get to certain decisions in the criminal justice system. It’s not about making a conclusion before we even gather evidence. I’m hoping we can give those investigators an opportunity to work and do what they need to do.

We’ve always said this: The facts will lead the way.

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.

Insights On Pope Francis From An Irish President & A Top Vatican Journalist

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Several important new perspectives on Pope Francis were reported recently, including “From Benedict to Francis”, an extremely informed, insightful and frank interview with the UK Tablet’s Robert Mickens, accessible at:

[PBS]

Selections from this full interview were shown recently in a significant USA/TV documentary, “Secrets of the Vatican”. The full documentary is on the PBS Frontine website and accessible here:

[Secrets of the Vatican]

Also, the Irish Times’ reported on the recent Cambridge University lecture on “Governing the Church” by former Irish President, Mary McAleese, accessible at:

[The Irish Times]

These reports arrived against the backdrop of Pope Francis’ pulling Cardinal Pell from Australia and the much anticipated upcoming meeting of President Obama and Pope Francis, discussed at:

[Christian Catholicism]

Robert Mickens studied in Rome in the 1980′s as a seminarian at the top Catholic Gregorian University. He has been The Tablet’s Rome correspondent from 2001 to 2003 and from 2005 to the present. His decade plus of honest and direct reporting from Rome has enabled him to develop a deep team of sources in the Vatican Curia. He also writes the paper’s popular weekly column, ‘Letter from Rome’. Mickens is regularly featured as a Vatican-affairs analyst for the BBC in Great Britain, ABC in Australia and National Public radio in the United States.

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.

Jason Day explica por qué reveló el intento de abuso sexual que sufrió

PERU
La Republica

[Summary: Actor Jason Day today explained the reasons why he decided to tell publicly of an attempt by a priest to sexually abuse him when he was a nine-year-old altar boy. It was the right time, he said. He was just coming from a successful campaign targeted exclusively to stop violence against women and girls. He was urging women and girls to break the silence and he decided it was time he also broke his silence. After making a public acknowledgement of what happened to him, he said many people have begun to acknowledge the problem.]

Después de revelar lo que padeció de niño, Jason Day dijo que en muchas personas despertó la “obsesión por decirle al otro lo que tiene que hacer y cómo tiene que hacerlo”.

Una semana después de revelar que fue víctima de un intento de abuso sexual por parte de un sacerdote, el actor Jason Day explica hoy las razones que lo llevaron a confesar un triste episodio de su niñez.

“Decidí revelar públicamente lo que ya había revelado en privado porque me parecía que era el momento oportuno: venía de una exitosa campaña dirigida exclusivamente a detener la violencia contra mujeres y niñas, que invitaba a hacer lo que yo estaba haciendo: romper el silencio. Y romper el silencio no podía suponer un acto de humillación, así que me mantuve firme”, fue lo que escribió el también activista social en su columna semanal del diario La República.

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.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s accusers take fight for justice to the pope

SCOTLAND
The Observer

Catherine Deveney
The Observer, Saturday 1 March 2014

Three priests and one ex-priest whose allegations of sexual misconduct against the archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, led to his resignation a year ago, have appealed directly to Pope Francis for a meeting in a last-ditch bid for justice.

Describing the church as a “formidable machine” that had blocked any investigation, one told the Observer: “The abuse we received at the hands of Keith O’Brien is dwarfed by the systematic abuse we have received from church officials. They have passed the buck, misrepresented the truth, engaged in cover-up and, having asked for our trust and co-operation, shamelessly procrastinated and hidden behind a veneer of diplomacy and charm. I want to ask Pope Francis, can you sort this out?”

Secret negotiations have been going on between the men and the cardinal’s successor, Archbishop Leo Cushley, since last November. The archbishop insists that only Rome can initiate an inquiry into O’Brien’s sexual behaviour, but he has agreed to an investigation of the cardinal’s financial transactions. In an email to the complainants last December, the archbishop’s vicar general, Philip Kerr, confirmed: “The archdiocesan auditors have been asked to examine the financial accounts which Keith O’Brien personally operated.”

“Lenny”, an ex-priest who rebuffed O’Brien’s advances at a seminary, says that the diocese is a charity and he would have contacted the charity regulator if Cushley had refused the audit. “Keith O’Brien was essentially the CEO of a £9m charity. We want to assure ourselves that this institution is not totally corrupt.”

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

The Murder of Irene Garza

TEXAS
Podles.org

Leon J. Podles

Murder Case Study

John B. Feit, a native of Chicago, had an uncle, also named John, who was a priest in Detroit.1

His parents sent John to a seminary in San Antonio when he was thirteen; he studied for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and was ordained on September 8, 1958. He is a published poet. He was attending a pastoral school of the Missionary Oblates at San Juan, Texas, in 1960. In nearby Edinburg, Texas, Feit often helped out at Sacred Heart Church where Rev. Charles Moran was the pastor.

Maria America Guerra

At 4:30 P.M., on March 23, 1960, Maria America Guerra, age 20, just back from nearby Pan American College, was at her home across the street from Sacred Heart Church in Edinburg.

She went to the outside bathhouse to get cleaned up and noticed a man observing her. He had black hair and horned-rimmed glasses and sat in a blue-and-white 1956 or 1957 car.2 After dinner, Guerra crossed the street. The car was still there. She entered the church and saw the same man sitting in the back; he was wearing black pants and a tan t-shirt. She knelt at the altar rail and was saying her rosary when he looked around the church and walked toward her.

She said

“The next thing I know, he had turned very quick, come to my rear and grabbed me around the head.

He placed a small cloth over my mouth, and I fell backward to the floor. I began to scream now as when I fell, the rag fell free from my mouth. Then while I was on the floor, he tried to cover my mouth with his hands to stop me from screaming and when he did this, one of his fingers went into my mouth and I bit hard. I know I bit very hard because I could taste blood in my mouth.

When I bit him, he threw me toward the south door of the church and ran out the north side door.”3

Maria Christina Tijerna was walking past this church at 6:20 P.M. She heard screams and saw a man hurry from the church clutching a white towel and enter the church sacristy.4 Tijerina saw Guerra run out of church and knock on the rectory door. After Moran’s voice from inside said “Wait a minute,” Tijerina asked Guerra what had happened. Guerra went home and reported theincident to the police that night.5

Feit later said that he had visited Sacred Heart that day, and had been in the church praying until 5:15 P.M., when he left to discuss with Moran the personal problems of a boy he knew. He returned to his blue-and-white 1956 Ford Tudor and went back to San Juan in time to ring the bell at 5:30 P.M. But witnesses in San Juan said he had not rung the bell.6 Moran remembered that Feit was wearing horn-rimmed glasses, a tan shirt, and black pants that day, but had no memory of a discussion about a boy.7

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.

Legion’s general director affirms Christ-centered spirituality

ROME
Headlines from the Catholic World

Rome, Italy, Feb 28, 2014 / 03:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- At the conclusion of the Legion of Christ’s general chapter, the order’s recently elected general director, Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil, confirmed their commitment to Christ and his reign.

“The center of our spirituality will be Christ, as it always has been. We are Christ-centered; the ‘Regnum Christi’ is the kingdom of Christ,” Fr. Robles Gil told CNA Feb. 25, the concluding day of the order’s general chapter.

“Christ is our life; he is the ruler. We look at him for inspiration. As the Gospel says, he is the way, the truth and the life of every Christian, every priest, and every religious — especially of every Legionary.”

Fr. Robles Gil expressed his gratitude to Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, who was appointed governor of the Legion by Benedict XVI in 2010 after an apostolic visitation determined the order needed “profound re-evaluation.”

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

Clergy Abuse Victims Concerned About Limited Re-Broadcasts Of Frontline Episode

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin Public Radio

[Full video presentation – Secrets of the Vatican]

UPDATED:
Friday, February 28, 2014

By Chuck Quirmbach

Clergy abuse victims are concerned that the re-broadcast of a public television program criticizing the Catholic Church is being limited to the nighttime.

This week, the show “Frontline” aired the episode “Secrets of the Vatican” three times on Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV) at 7, 8, and 11 p.m. Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) aired the episode at 8 and 10 p.m.

MPTV was scheduled to air the show four times during daytime hours, on its public television World Channel. Those airings have been cancelled at the request of World.

Milwaukee Public TV General Manager Ellis Bromberg said he was happy with the program but agreed that the sexual abuse by clergy described on the show was inappropriate for daytime audiences.

“There was adult content,” said Bromberg. “It was inappropriate, we felt – once we got to see it, once we got to screen it – for daytime audiences.”

Peter Isely of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests is one of several Milwaukee abuse victims featured on the “Frontline” episode. He said Bromberg’s explanation does not seem credible.

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.

Bericht zu Tebartz-van Elst vorgelegt

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Allgemeine

[Summary: The commission that investigated the financial management of “Bling” Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz van Elst has completed its work and has sent a report to Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, chairman of the German Bishop’s Conference. The archbiship did not say what is in the report but said he would study the findings.]

Die Kommission zur Prüfung des Finanzgebarens des Limburger Bischofs Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst hat ihre Arbeit abgeschlossen. Der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, der vormalige Freiburger Erzbischof Robert Zollitsch, bestätigte am Freitag in Frankfurt, den Prüfbericht des fünfköpfigen Gremiums unter Leitung des Paderborner Weihbischofs Grothe erhalten zu haben. „Ich bin dabei, ihn intensiv zu studieren und dabei, mich mit Rom abzustimmen,“ sagte Zollitsch.

Über den Inhalt des Berichts sagte Zollitsch nichts. Auch wolle er „keine einseitigen Festlegungen“ über das weitere Vorgehen treffen, bevor er sich mit dem Vatikan abgesprochen habe. Mit einer Entscheidung über die Zukunft des Limburger Bischofs ist nach seinen Worten nicht vor der Frühjahrs-Vollversammlung der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz zu rechen. Diese findet vom 10. bis zum 13. März in Münster statt.

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.

Mary McAleese urges Pope Francis to give women a greater say in Church leadership

IRELAND
Irish Central

Patrick Counihan @irishcentral March 01,2014

Former Irish President Mary McAleese has demanded more influence for women in the Catholic Church.

The well-known politician and now a theologian told a Cambridge University gathering that women, the laity and the Bishops must be given more power by the Vatican church leaders.

McAleese said bishops should not be yes men for those who run the Church from Rome, the Irish Times reports.

She said: “Bishops should be encouraged not to be yes men but leaders who can speak freely, who consult with rank-and-file Catholics and then make decisions along with the pope.

“Senior church leaders have until now believed the church could only survive through unquestioning obedience to the exclusively top-down teaching magisterium.

“That tight-grip approach has had very damaging consequences for the church in the modern world.”

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.

Give women more influence in church – McAleese

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mark Hennessy

Sat, Mar 1, 2014

Bishops and the laity, particularly women, must be given greater influence in the Catholic Church, the former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has said. She was speaking at Cambridge University.
Bishops should be encouraged not to be “yes men” but “leaders who can speak freely”, who consult with rank-and-file Catholics and then make decisions along with the pope, she said.

Senior church leaders have “until now” believed the church could only survive through “unquestioning obedience to the exclusively top-down teaching magisterium.

“That tight-grip approach has had very damaging consequences for the church in the modern world”, she said, in a lecture on church governance to the Van Hugel Institute in Cambridge last night.

The pope could give a synod of bishops decision-making powers even though “no pope has ever done so and Pope Benedict is on record as being against doing so. Yet this is by far the most straightforward way of creating at least an embryonic form of collegial episcopal decision-making in the Catholic Church, she said.

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.

Ky. Pastor Arrested for Allegedly Exposing Himself to 15-Y-O Girl

KENTUCKY
Christian Post

BY MORGAN LEE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
February 28, 2014

A Kentucky pastor has been accused of exposing himself to a teenage girl in a department store in Russellville earlier this month.

Kevin Lohse, who police say is the acting pastor at Woodlawn Baptist Church, was arrested Wednesday on charges of exposing himself to a 15-year-old girl in Burkes Outlet. Police posted a still mage from video surveillance camera footage of the suspect on social media in an attempt to indentify the man.

“In the video [not disclosed to the public], you can clearly see Mr. Lohse manipulating his zipper, then exposing his penis to the 15-year-old girl,” Russellville Police Detective Samantha Reeser told WBKO.

Even though the suspect had left the scene before police arrived, once his image was posted on the police department’s Facebook page and was shared more than 600 times, he later turned himself in to authorities.

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.

Local pastor busted for exposing himself to young girl

KENTUCKY
Sedalia Democrat

Chris Cooper Managing Editor

An arrest was made Wednesday, Feb. 26th in connection with an indecent exposure case that played out in a local department store on Feb. 13.

According to a police report, Kevin Lohse, pastor at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Russellville, confessed to investigators that he inappropriately exposed himself to a young girl in Burke’s Outlet on Feb. 13, with his seven year old son in tow.

The Russellville Police Department had received a report of indecent exposure at the store after a mother reported that her juvenile daughter was subjected to Lohse’s inappropriate behavior while shopping. The female stated that Lohse had a small child with him and that he possibly left the scene in a van.

Video surveillance from Burke’s Outlet was obtained by the police, and a still image of Lohse was posted to the Russellville Police Department’s Facebook page asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the male. The photo quickly garnered a response of over 600 “shares” and resulted in Lohse turning himself into authorities on Feb. 21st.

According to police, the video showed footage of Lohse with his seven year old son at Burke’s on the day of the incident. He can clearly been seen manipulating the zipper of his pants to expose his genitals, and presenting himself to the juvenile female who was shopping in the junior’s section of Burke’s.

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.

Russellville police: Facebook an important tool

KENTUCKY
Daily News

Posted: Saturday, March 1, 2014

By DEBORAH HIGHLAND The Daily News dhighland@bgdailynews.com 783-3243

RUSSELLVILLE — A sign outside Woodlawn Baptist Church just outside the city limits advertises a revival Sunday and Brother Kevin Lohse as the church’s preacher.

Across town at Logan County Justice Center, Lohse, 39, is set for arraignment at 12:45 p.m. March 12 on a misdemeanor charge of first-degree indecent exposure.

Lohse, who is the interim pastor at Woodlawn, admitted to Russellville police he was the man seen on video surveillance exposing himself at Burkes Outlet, according to Logan Circuit Court records and a release from Russellville police.

“While inside Burkes Outlet, Lohse was observed on video removing his penis from his pants, attempting to gain the attention of a 15-year-old female nearby,” according to court records. “On the video it is apparent that Lohse is looking for the same female, and walking back to where she is standing to expose his penis.

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.

Facebook helps police nab Baptist preacher

KENTUCKY
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A Southern Baptist pastor in Kentucky was charged with indecent exposure in an arrest that police credit to social media.

Kevin Lohse, pastor of Woodlawn Baptist Church in Russellville, Ky., was arrested Feb. 26 after police identified him as the man seen on surveillance video exposing himself to a girl shopping in the junior section of a local department store.

Police in Russellville, Ky., posted on Facebook this image of an unidentified man accused of indecent exposure captured on in-store surveillance video. One week and 646 shares later, they say they have their man.
The Russellville Police Department posted a still image of the suspect on Facebook Feb. 17. One week and 646 shares later, Lohse turned himself in and confirmed he was the man in the security footage, according to a police report quoted by WBKO television in Bowling Green, Ky. Police called it “a prime example of community policing.”

Lohse, a graduate of Liberty University, accepted a call as senior pastor at Southern Baptist-affiliated Woodlawn Baptist Church in June 2013. Before that he was on staff at Pathway Baptist Church Calvert City, Ky., an independent Baptist congregation that identifies with Founders Ministries, a group formed in 1982 to promote Calvinism in Southern Baptist life.

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.

Still we are making welfare hells

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

March 2, 2014

Jack Waterford
Editor-at-large, The Canberra Times

MY BROTHER, he’s got religion
He’s saving young ladies from sin
He’ll save you a blonde for a dollar
My God, how the money rolls in.”

Australians could hardly help but be shocked and appalled by recent evidence coming before the royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse.

The incompetence, negligence and, sometimes effective enabling of abusing teachers in schools is bad enough, casting fundamental doubts about the stewards, the managers or the overseers. But how much more horrible to think that children in obvious need of the state’s tender care and protection – such as orphans in Salvation Army homes, and children made state wards because they were thought to be neglected and abused – being handed over, by our representatives to people who would neglect, and abuse them, physically and sexually, even more.

Thank heavens this could not happen today! Now we know about the risks and temptations of sexual abuse. We know about duty of care. We, or our modern representatives, would never put vulnerable people at risk. Enlightened people run our churches, parliaments, bureaucracies, and institutions. We can be sure the horrible epidemics are no more.

Or can we? It is of the essence of the horrors in the institutions that they represented the best practice of the days in question, endorsed at the time by the whole establishment. This is not to suggest consciousness of abuse – though many players were not so naive as to dismiss the possibility – but a certain blind eye. The sort, for example, some Australians have about conditions in our concentration camps.

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.

Public Memorial Today: Looking Forward to Meeting You All

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Hello,

Thank you to all the wonderful organisations and people who have been helping promote today’s event or otherwise support it.

For those who can’t make it today, the entire event will be being filmed professionally, and I hope to have this film up on the website within a week. There are some fantastic speakers coming along, with important things to say about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and associated matters.

I look forward to meeting all of you who have been emailing in recent weeks with messages of love and support.

Thank you to The Courier-Mail and Dot Wittington for a moving and respectful tribute to my father in today’s paper.

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.

Jehovah Witness predator escapes consequences

OKLAHOMA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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

We are grateful that an Oklahoma prosecutor plans to appeal a devastating ruling that lets a Jehovah’s Witness elder escape consequences for his heinous child sex crimes by exploiting a legal technicality.

[McAlester News-Capital]

Pittsburg County Prosecutor Danita Williams has said she’ll ask a higher court to let her pursue criminal charges against Ronald Lawrence of McAlester, who allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted two boys and a girl.

Lawrence had successfully argued that an arbitrary, archaic deadline – known as the statute of limitations – means that he gets to avoid prosecution.

We are appalled that an allegedly spiritual man would seek to hide behind a technicality like this. If he wants to defend himself, let him do it on the merits, not on the technicalities.

And we’re appalled by the apparent silence of the Oklahoma Jehovah’s Witness community. Church officials should be using their resources to aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered Lawrence’s crimes. They should be begging anyone with information or suspicions of his wrongdoing to call police and prosecutors. They should be pledging to pay for therapy and medical expenses for others he has hurt. They should be reminding church staff, volunteers and members that calling law enforcement about known or suspected child sex crimes is crucial. They should be doing an internal investigation to see if other Jehovah’s Witnesses knew of or suspected his crimes and kept silent or concealed the crimes.

Instead, as best we can tell, they’re doing nothing.

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.

Mass for paedophile priest’s victims in East Midlands

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A special service is to be held to help Catholics come to terms with decades of child abuse carried out by a priest.

Francis Paul Cullen admitted abusing children in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire over a 30 year period.

The Bishop of Nottingham will take Mass at Christ the King in Mackworth, Derbyshire, the parish where Cullen first abused children in the 1950s.

He was extradited from Tenerife and admitted 21 counts of indecent assault. He will be sentenced on 24 March.

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

The Magdalene daughter who brought justice to her mother

UNITED STATES
Irish Central

Sean Dunne @SeanDunneNYC March 01,2014

For the month of March (also known as Irish American Heritage Month) IrishCentral is tapping into the heartbeat of the Irish American community. The Unsung Heroes series features inspiring individuals from across the US who do extraordinary work in their communities and respective fields. From advocates to artists, from local legends to dedicated educators; from a high school baseball team to dynamo nuns in their 80s, these people are making a difference and to them we tip our hats in thanks.

Mari Steed was two-years-old when she was adopted from Ireland by a family from Flourtown, PA. Years later, her search for her birth mother turned up the Magdalene Laundries’ terrifying legacy, and Steed is widely credited for her campaign for justice and the Irish Government’s apology to the Magdalene survivors.

Mari is the daughter of a Magdalene survivor. She was taken from her mother and sent for adoption in America at eighteen months old.

She might never have gone looking for the woman who relinquished her had fate not brought her a great empathy for her mother’s experience. In her senior year of high school, Steed became pregnant by her boyfriend. Her parents sent her to St. Vincent’s, a home in Upper Darby for unwed mot­hers. On rare visits home to Flourtown, young Mari was kept indoors, lest her growing bump may attract neighborhood gossip.

Mari was reunited with her birth mother, who is now known as Josephine Bassett, through her campaign with Justice for Madeline Survivors. Josephine was one of the thousands of women who worked for years in the Magdalene laundries system before the last one closed in 1996. Her mother’s life, Steed told The Irish Voice in 2013, is a “kind of testament to the shadow side of Ireland and the deceitful tale it told itself of a kindly and compassionate social order.”

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

Priest arrested over alleged theft of €600k

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Cormac O’Keeffe

The middle-aged priest was arrested on Wednesday and questioned by a team of detectives tasked with investigating the matter over the last six months, before being later released.

The priest is alleged to have taken regular holidays abroad, staying in luxurious hotels, as well as dining out in expensive restaurants here. The alleged fraud is believed to have gone on for almost 13 years.

Detectives suspect the priest was making false claims for Mass stipends.

Under canon law, a priest is entitled to receive one stipend (share) from the religious order or diocese from collections made during the celebration of Mass and ceremonies such as christenings and weddings.

It is alleged the priest lodged claims on a regular basis, including, it is claimed, under the names of 12 other priests, who were unaware of what was going on. In other cases, fictitious names are alleged to have been used.

A special Garda team is examining stays involving the priest at luxury hotels abroad and purchases of expensive items, including jewellery. Garda sources said they were investigating suspicions the priest may also have had a gambling problem.

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.

Irene Garza’s family hopes Rodriguez would pursue case, but he says there’s no promise of justice

TEXAS
The Monitor

Jared Taylor | The Monitor

Posted on Feb 28, 2014

EDINBURG — Relatives and others advocating the Irene Garza cold case murder be re-examined and go to trial trumpeted Friday another cause to support: Ricardo Rodriguez for Hidalgo County District Attorney.

Rodriguez has enjoyed the family’s support during his bid for district attorney, saying he’d re-examine the 1960 murder case to see whether it should again be taken before a grand jury. But he’s stopped short of making any promises to Garza’s relatives and advocates.

That didn’t stop them from hosting a news conference Friday morning at the Echo Hotel and Conference Center in Edinburg, urging voters to not re-elect incumbent Rene Guerra, who’s been in office more than three decades.

Besides the endorsement, no new information emerged from Friday’s news conference or when The Monitor interviewed Guerra afterward.

Dale Tacheny, an Oklahoma tax attorney who left the priesthood decades ago, told reporters that former McAllen priest John Feit admitted to killing the 25-year-old Garza. He said the admissions came when they both lived at a monastery in Missouri.

In an interview Friday afternoon, Guerra continued to emphasize that he does not believe Tacheny’s testimony would hold up in court, were he asked to testify.

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.

Face of priest investigated for alleged theft from his order

IRELAND
Irish Independent

KEN FOY – PUBLISHED 01 MARCH 2014

Anthony Egan (59) was arrested by gardai investigating the alleged theft of €500,000 from his religious order.

He was released without charge after being questioned for a number of hours at Mountjoy Garda Station yesterday about the alleged offence before being freed from custody.

The Herald reveals that Fr Egan was previously cleared of criminal charges in February 2012 after he was alleged to have falsely advertised his services as a psychiatrist in a national newspaper.

In this new case, a file is now being prepared by the DPP in relation to a complaint by a senior clergyman about the alleged thefts, which are claimed to have taken place over a 13-year period.

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.

Geraldton priest charged with sexual assault

CANADA
CBC News

Ontario Provincial Police have charged a Catholic priest in Geraldton, Ont., with sexual assault for incidents that allegedly occurred in the 1980s.

OPP said Friday they have arrested 56-year-old Roger Pronovost on two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation.

The alleged offences involved one male victim who was a teenager at the time the incidents occurred between 1987 and 1989.

OPP say Pronovost was assigned during that period to St. John the Baptist Church in Longlac, Ont.

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.

Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana responde a Jason Day

PERU
Correo

[Summary: The Christian life sodality has asked actor Jason Day, to clarify his complaint of an alleged attempted sexual abuse by a priest of that organization.]

28 FEBRERO 2014 | LIMA –
El Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana pide al actor Jason Day, quien promueve la campaña pro aborto Un Billón de Pie, que esclarezca su denuncia de un supuesto intento de abuso sexual por parte de un sacerdote de esa organización, pues de no hacerlo se trataría de una difamación.

Como se sabe, el actor escribió una columna titulada “Esto sí es guerra”, publicada en un diario limeño, donde denunció un supuesto intento de abuso sexual en la sacristía de la parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Reconciliación, en la urbanización de Camacho (Lima), cuando se preparaba para su primera comunión, a los 9 años.

En un comunicado, el Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana señala “hemos enviado una carta notarial al Sr. Jason Cuthbert Day Del Solar solicitando que proporcione personalmente su testimonio de estos hechos que permita esclarecer esta situación. Hasta el momento no hemos recibido ninguna respuesta”.

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.

Sex abuse charges dropped for Jehovah’s Witness elder

OKLAHOMA
McAlester News-Capital

Charges have been dismissed for a McAlester church elder who allegedly molested, raped and sodomized three adults when they were children.

The charges were dismissed Wednesday for Ronald Lawrence, 76, of McAlester, an elder with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, according to court records. Associate District Judge James Bland dismissed the charges based on statue of limitation arguments from Lawrence’s attorney; the prosecutor in the case announced her intent to appeal Bland’s decision.

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.

Memorandum regarding the verdict in the court case of Archbishop Seraphim

CANADA
Archdiocese of Canada

Main Office:
31 LeBreton Street North
OTTAWA, ON K1R 7H1
Tel.: 1 (613) 233-7780
Fax: 1 (613) 233-1931
E-Mail: office@archdiocese.ca;
bishopirenee@archdiocese.ca
secretary@archdiocese.ca

No 045 February 28, 2014
Venerable Basil the Confessor

MEMORANDUM

Once again I would like to address you all in this memorandum in connection to the announcement of the verdict in the court case of Archbishop Seraphim in Winnipeg, Manitoba on January 24, 2014.

I wish to again remind all clergy of the Archdiocese of Canada, parish Council members, Archdiocesan Council members or anyone associated with the Administration of the Archdiocese of Canada, The Orthodox Church in America not to participate in any form of fundraising for the defense of the Archbishop Seraphim.

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.

Shreveport pastor found guilty in sex crimes trial

LOUISIANA
KSLA

[with video]

By Fred Childers

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –
A Shreveport pastor has been found guilty on all counts in his federal trial on child sex charges.

Andrea Lewis of Act on Faith Church was charged with 3 counts of transportation of minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. He is accused of having sexual contact with girls in his church choir during trips out of state.

“There was a lot going on at this church that should have sent up flags,” Earl Campbell, the federal prosecutor told the jury during closing arguments at the end of the 5 day trial.

The jury deliberated about 3 hours before returning the unanimous decision just after 2 p.m. Friday.

On Thursday, his defense attorneys called character witnesses to the stand, who described him as a godly man and a good man.

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

Federal jury finds Shreveport pastor guilty of sex with minors

LOUISIANA
Shreveport Times

Written by
Michael Doughty

Andrea Lewis the former pastor from Shreveport charged with sexual contact with minors was found guilty Friday by a federal jury on three counts of transporting minors across state lines to have sex.

The five-day trial in the courtroom of United States District Judge Elizabeth Foote, culminated in the conviction of the 54-year-old Lewis, who was found guilty of abusing his position as a pastor and choir recruiter from 1994 to 2000.

The choir consisted predominately of girls under the age of 18.

It took the jury three hours of deliberation to deliver the verdict, following a week of testimony and exhibits which indicated Lewis transported at least three minors from Texas for sex.

Testimony indicated Lewis threatened the girls not to tell anyone, and used choir trips and other church related travel to cover up the sexual abuse.

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.

Newark archdiocese announces a $100 million capital fund-raising campaign

NEW JERSEY
The Record

SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2014
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

Amid a series of controversies, the Archdiocese of Newark is planning a $100 million fundraising campaign to support Catholic education, parishes and other initiatives.

Jim Goodness, spokesman for the archdiocese, said that the campaign would go on for several years and that officials were still working on the logistics and strategy.

Archbishop John J. Myers announced in a January letter to the archdiocese’s 1.3 million Catholics that half of the money raised during the capital campaign would go to the archdiocese and the other half to parishes.

The archdiocese would invest its half in long-term endowments for Catholic schools, struggling parishes, seminarians, clergy health care and other areas it regularly funds, Goodness said.

To prepare for the campaign, officials and an archdiocese consultant have conducted studies, spoken with pastors and sent out surveys to parishioners and clergy, Goodness said. The archbishop based his decision to let parishes control half of the money on the “candid feedback,” he said.

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.

Memorial for those incarcerated in Wexford Magdalene Laundry to be held tomorrow

IRELAND
The Journal

A MEMORIAL SERVICE is taking place this weekend in Wexford to commemorate the women who were incarcerated in The Good Shepherd Magdalene Laundry, St. Mary’s in New Ross.

People are asked to meet at the entrance to St. Stephen’s Cemetery, Irishtown, New Ross in County Wexford.

The Good Shepherd Sisters apologised for the abuse uncovered in a report last year. They ran four laundries, including one in Waterford which did not close until 1996.

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.

Derby pervert priest scandal: Bishop to speak to Mackworth congregation about Francis Paul Cullen

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

By Martin Naylor

THE Roman Catholic Bishop of Nottingham will this afternoon speak to Mackworth parishioners about the case of disgraced former Derby priest Francis Paul Cullen.

The Rt Rev Malcolm Patrick McMahon, whose diocese includes Derby, will be addressing the congregation at Christ The King Church.

Father Andrew Cole, private secretary to the Bishop, said: “The Bishop will be celebrating Mass in Christ the King today at 5.30pm.

“This will be the usual timetabled Saturday evening Mass, but obviously his homily – or sermon – will address Monday’s proceedings at Derby Crown Court.”

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.

Missbrauch in Emmerich: Kripo ermittelt jetzt

DEUTSCHLAND
Der Westen

Emmerich. Zeugen sollen sich bei der Polizei melden. Derweil äußert sich das Bistum Münster in einer längeren Stellungnahme zum Thema. Das Bistum betont: Pfarrer sind meldepflichtig, wenn es einen Fall von Missbrauch gibt.

Nach dem Facebook-Beitrag von Thomas Peters und der NRZ-Berichterstattung hat nun die Kriminalpolizei die Ermittlungen zu einem möglichen Missbrauch in Emmerich aufgenommen. Bereits gestern wurden erste Zeugen vernommen. Wie berichtet könnte es einen Fall im Zusammenhang mit der Katholischen Kirche in Emmerich gegeben haben, der in der Zeit vor Pfarrer Karsten Weidisch lag. „Wir bitten Zeugen sich bei uns zu melden“, sagt Polizeisprecher Heinz Vetter.

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.

Missbrauchsverdacht: Bistum Münster wehrt sich gegen schwere Vorwürfe

DEUTSCHLAND
Kurier am Sonntag

[Summary: Has there been a case of abuse in Emmerick in the Munster diocese by one of several members of the pastoral team? According to a Facebook comment the CID has started investigations in Kleve. A police spokesman said there is initial suspicion but the diocese rejected the allegations.]

Emmerich (28.2.22014). Hat es in Emmerich einen Missbrauchsfall durch ein oder sogar mehrere Mitglieder des Emmericher Seelsorgeteams gegeben? Nach einem Kommentar auf Facebook hat die Kripo in Kleve Ermittlungen eingeleitet. „Ja, es gibt einen Anfangsverdacht“, bestätigte am Freitag Polizeisprecher Heinz Vetter dem Kurier am Sonntag.

Auf Facebook hat ein Mann schwere Vorwürfe erhoben. Er behauptet, dass es in der Zeit vor Pfarrer Karsten Weidisch einen Missbrauch durch mehrere nicht näher benannte Mitglieder des Seelsorgeteams gegeben haben soll und „viele wissen davon“.

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.

Second Teacher Sues After Termination Following Hales Scandal

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC Chicago

[with video]

By Phil Rogers | Friday, Feb 28, 2014

Two months after a teacher filed suit against Hales Franciscan High School, saying she was fired for reporting a sex incident on school grounds against the administration’s wishes, a second teacher has now been fired, citing the same reasons.

Former Social Studies teacher Stephen Jennings is also suing Hales, saying he was fired last week because he reported the same girl’s allegations to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, as is required by law. Jennings said he went to DCFS at the girls’s request, after she said the school was not doing enough.

“I felt as a teacher, and a man of God, that it was my responsibility to protect the young ladies and support them,” he said.

In his suit, Jennings alleged then-principal Erica Brownfield had even warned the staff not to say anything about the allegations.

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.

Suit: Hales Franciscan teacher fired for reporting abuse allegations

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

BY MEGAN GRAHAM Staff Reporter March 1, 2014

A second former teacher at a Catholic high school on the South Side filed a lawsuit against the institution, claiming he was fired because he reported an alleged sexual assault involving students to the state.

Stephen Jennings alleges in a suit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court he was wrongfully terminated from Hales Franciscan High School at 4930 S. Cottage Grove Ave., nearly four months after female students notified him of alleged sexual assaults by male students.

The students came to Jennings weeks after former principal Erica Brownfield conducted a staff meeting in fall 2013 in which she told staff that a female student had possibly been sexually assaulted by male students, the lawsuit said.

She allegedly acknowledged her responsibility to report the incident to the state Department of Children and Family Services but said she was not going to do so, the suit says. She also instructed staff members to not speak to DCFS or report the incident, Jennings claims.

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.

Dozens of Children Abused at Evangelical Commune, Adult Survivors Allege

CHICAGO (IL)
Christianity Today

Timothy C. Morgan POSTED 2/28/2014

Dozens of individuals raised in Chicago’s Jesus People USA Christian community (JPUSA) are alleging that commune members sexually abused them as children, while leaders covered up the abuse for years.

The allegations are contained in a 90-minute documentary film, released today online, and in a civil lawsuit, filed in January in Cook County against the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) and JPUSA in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.

“My intent is to expose truth, bring it to light, because it hasn’t been in the light,” filmmaker Jaime Prater told Christianity Today. “No one loves JPUSA more than I do. It’s my home. Why would I want to see Jesus People shut down? Do I believe that those in power need to step down? Absolutely. But it is my hope that the community can somehow get past this and safety precautions can be put in place to preserve the innocence of children.

“For the first time in the history of Jesus People, former members have come together and coalesced through this journey and have started to heal collectively. My ultimate goal is for reconciliation. When the chips fall where they may and appropriate action is taken towards leadership, I would love to walk in my childhood home again and see where I grew up. That’s irrational. But I’m an optimist. Healing on all sides is certainly possible.”

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.

Evangelical Preacher’s Abuse Victims Awarded $525 Million in Damages

ARKANSAS
Time

By David Winograd @davidwinogradFeb. 27, 20141

Seven women who were physically, sexually and psychologically abused by an evangelical preacher have been granted over half a billion dollars in reparations by an Arkansas judge.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Miller County Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson awarded $525 million to the victims in actual and punitive damages.

Johnson made the default ruling this week against Twenty First Century Holiness Tabernacle Church, after the organization failed to answer charges. The women were abused by Tony Alamo, the church’s leader, when they were members of the ministry.

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.

Half a billion dollars is awarded to seven former ‘child brides’ of pedophile televangelist who sexually abused them when they were girls

UNITED STATES
Daily Mail (UK)

By MICHAEL ZENNIE and ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTER
27 February 2014

Half a billion dollars in damages have been awarded to seven women who were raped and beaten for years by a pedophile televangelist who took them as his ‘child brides.’

They are the victims of Tony Alamo – a charismatic Pentecostal preacher whose massive Alamo Ministries has been branded a polygamist cult.

The women described being repeatedly molested and sexually abused, some starting at age 9, by Alamo.

Despite serving a 175-year prison sentence for rape and child sex trafficking, Alamo and his ministry are believed to have billions of dollars in assets, mostly water rights in California.

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.

JPUSA: A Tragic History of Sexual Abuse

ILLINOIS
Slow Church

March 1, 2014 By Christopher Smith

Although I heard awhile back that that this documentary on the sexual abuse of minors at the Jesus People USA (JPUSA) Community in Chicago was in the works, I happened to see this article on the Christianity Today website this afternoon and saw that it was released today. I knew that it would be one that I needed to watch, so I plunked down my ten bucks and downloaded the movie. You see, I have been acquainted with JPUSA for over 20 years; I have visited their community a couple of times and have friends who are members or former members. There was a block of 5 or 6 years — before my wife and I had kids — in which I attended their Cornerstone Music and Arts Festival every July.

No Place to Call Home is a heart-wrenching movie, offering story after story from victims who were sexually abused as children or teenagers while living as part of the JPUSA community (At one point the film offers the statistic that of 120 former members who were contacted in the course of making the film, over half were victims of sexual abuse at JPUSA). Including among the victims who speak out on camera, is the film’s director and producer Jaime Prater. The movie culminates with three stories of victims who name their perpetrator as Johnny Herrin, a member of the community’s — relatively small — leadership council, the son of the community’s founding pastor (who himself was ousted for sexual abuse), and the drummer for JPUSA’s seminal Christian rock group, The Rez Band. How could such a Christian community that had a relatively high profile in evangelical Christianity over the last four decades foster a culture in which sexual abuse was apparently all too common?

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.