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 28, 2014

Pedofilia, Cei…

ITALIA
RAI

Pedofilia, Cei: il vescovo ha il dovere morale di denunciare abusi ma nessun obbligo giuridico

Secondo il documento il vescovo, non rivestendo la qualifica di pubblico ufficiale, non ha l’obbligo giuridico – salvo il dovere morale di contribuire al bene comune – di denunciare all’autorità giudiziaria notizie riguardanti casi di abuso sessuale nei confronti di minore da parte dei sacerdoti. Ai vescovi si chiede però “una speciale cura” nel valutare le vocazione al sacerdozio

“Il vescovo, non rivestendo la qualifica di pubblico ufficiale, non ha l’obbligo giuridico,
salvo il dovere morale di contribuire al bene comune, di denunciare all’autorità giudiziaria” notizie riguardanti casi di abuso sessuale nei confronti di minore da parte dei sacerdoti. E’ quanto contenuto nelle “linee guida” rese note dalla Cei, la Conferenza episcopale italiana.

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.

Cei, linee guida per i casi di abuso sessuale

ITALIA
Avvenire

È stato pubblicato oggi il testo definitivo delle “Linee guida per i casi di abuso sessuale nei confronti di minori da parte di chierici” (LEGGI), predisposte e approvate dalla Conferenza episcopale italiana sulla base delle indicazioni della Congregazione per la dottrina della fede. Il testo, disponibile sul sito della Cei, è composto da una premessa, tre capitoli : “Profili canonistici”, “Profili penalistici e rapporti con l’autorità civile”, “Il servizio della Segreteria Generale della Conferenza Episcopale Italiana”, e alcuni allegati.

“Il triste e grave fenomeno degli abusi sessuali nei confronti di minori da parte di chierici – si legge nella premessa – sollecita un rinnovato impegno da parte della comunità ecclesiale, chiamata ad affrontare la questione con spirito di giustizia, in conformità alle presenti Linee guida. In quest’ottica, assume importanza fondamentale anzitutto la protezione dei minori, la premura verso le vittime degli abusi e la formazione dei futuri sacerdoti e religiosi. Il vescovo che riceve la denuncia di un abuso deve essere sempre disponibile ad ascoltare la vittima e i suoi familiari, assicurando ogni cura nel trattare il caso secondo giustizia e impegnandosi a offrire sostegno spirituale e psicologico, nel rispetto della libertà della vittima di intraprendere le iniziative giudiziarie che riterrà più opportune”.

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.

Italian bishops ‘not legally obliged’ to report pedophilia

ROME
Gazzetta del Sud

Rome, March 28 – Italian bishops do not have the “legal obligation” to report cases of child-sex abuse by priests to the judicial authorities, according to guidelines released by the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) Friday. The guidelines said, however, that bishops had a “moral duty to contribute to common good”. “Not having the role of a public official, the bishop does not have the legal obligation to report (cases) to the judicial authorities, aside from the moral duty to contribute to the common good,” the guidelines read on child-sex abuse cases.

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.

Italy’s bishops, using Vatican advice, say no obligation to tell authorities about sex abuse

ROME
Star Tribune

Article by: Associated Press
Updated: March 28, 2014

ROME — Italy’s bishops have adopted a Vatican-backed sex abuse policy that says they have no obligation to inform police if they suspect a child has been molested.

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

Victims have long denounced how bishops systematically covered up abuse by shuffling pedophile priests around while keeping prosecutors in the dark. Only in 2010 did the Vatican instruct bishops to report abuse to police — but only where required by law.

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.

Italian Judge Dismisses Probe of Former Vatican Bank Chairman

ROME
Wall Street Journal

By Liam Moloney

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

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

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

Pope Francis, who was elected just over one year ago, has set as a priority an overhaul of the Vatican’s finances and its scandal-probe bank. In January, Pope Francis replaced all but one of the five cardinals in the commission that oversees the bank as he placed a firmer hold on the financial institution.

In September 2010, Rome’s prosecutors had placed Mr. Gotti Tedeschi and the then-director general Paolo Cipriani of the Institute for the Works of Religion, or IOR, as the Vatican bank is officially called, under investigation for alleged irregularities in a request of transfer of money from an IOR account at an Italian bank.

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.

Dr Samantha Pegg: Priest sentencing sends out a clear message

UNITED KINGDOM
Nottingham Post

In the week that 85-year-old former priest Francis Cullen was jailed for 15 years for historic sex crimes, Dr Samantha Pegg, senior lecturer in law at Nottingham Law School, looks at the issues raised by the case

FRANCIS Cullen was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment after admitting sexual offences against seven children.

Cullen, who served as a priest in Nottingham and Derbyshire, admitted 21 counts of sexual abuse over a 34-year period.

He was charged by Nottinghamshire Police with sexual offences in 1991 and swiftly absconded from bail, before being extradited last year on a European arrest warrant after he was discovered in Tenerife.

Interestingly, Cullen was not – in a strict legal sense – “wanted”.

Although an arrest warrant had been issued when he fled, such warrants are not issued in perpetuity, and his was withdrawn in 2000. Warrants are subject to review and can be withdrawn if the evidence no longer supports a prosecution, there is no public interest in pursuing the case or it is unlikely an arrest will be made.

Undoubtedly many will question the wisdom of withdrawing the warrant when Cullen was suspected of such grave offences, particularly in the current climate of concern regarding historic sexual offences.

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.

Ireland- Church watchdog group omitted information, victims respond

IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, March 28, 2014

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

A group hired to investigate the Irish Catholic church’s child safety policy has been accused of omitting key information. If it is true and they omitted information and are denying it, we are deeply disappointed and concerned.

[Irish Independent]

The protection of children should be a number one priority. When valuable and relevant information is omitted from reports it does a disservice to those children who were egregiously hurt, future victims, and church parishioners.

The church has long maintained that they would be open and transparent, but they denied the former chief executive access stating “there was no basis for review”. That doesn’t sound very open and transparent to us. Why deny access to an investigation aimed at improving church policy unless there is something to hide?

We hope that watchdog group will investigate this omission further and that the church will not impede anymore reviews.

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 bank’s ousted president says court ruling vindicated him

VATICAN CITY
New Haven Register

By The Associated Press
POSTED: 03/28/14

VATICAN CITY >> The ousted president of the Vatican bank came out swinging Friday after he was cleared in a money-laundering investigation, accusing the bank’s board of causing “grave damage” to the Holy See by firing him in 2012.

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi ended a nearly two-year silence with a statement issued after a Rome judge threw out a Vatican bank-related investigation against him. The court ruled Gotti Tedeschi had nothing to do with daily operations at the Institute for Religious Works and was in fact working to bring the Vatican’s financial institution into line with international anti-money-laundering standards when he was fired.

In a five-page statement entitled “The Rehabilitation of Ettore Gotti Tedeschi,” the banker’s attorneys said the ruling vindicated their client and “shows the unfounded … accusations” made by the bank’s board when it fired him.

The lawyers threatened legal action and said the ruling showed the board had committed “grave errors and thus grave damage to the Holy See” by firing their client when he was working to improve transparency and accountability.

Gotti Tedeschi’s May 2012 ouster was an unusually brutal public dressing-down of a Vatican official said to have had the ear of Pope Benedict XVI. In explaining its no-confidence vote at the time, the bank’s board issued a stinging, nine-point statement accusing him of a host of personal and professional shortcomings.

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 Concerned Catholic’s Take on the Healing Mass

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

MARCH 28, 2014

GUEST BLOG BY BETH

I am at a loss for words after I meet one of our survivors and/or attend a vigil. The most recent vigil/protest outside the cathedral was no different. I always leave these events, if you can even call them that, changed – as if in peaceful mourning or as if I had just visited a very sacred place.

I had planned on attending the special mass for our clergy abuse survivors just to hear first hand what Archbishop Chaput had to say but when I heard many of our survivors were invited but not included in the planning process I changed my mind. I thought it was best to attend but be present outside in support of all those survivors that were unable or in good conscience could not go inside.

As a practicing catholic I was a little torn about not going in to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Many times I have gone to adoration and wept before Jesus praying for our survivors by name and I believe he heard my prayers. But I knew Jesus wanted me outside on the sidewalk when Vicky, one of our survivors who has become a good friend, emailed and asked if I would come stand with her and support her as she stood outside the cathedral.

The events that unfolded on the sidewalk were very touching. I met family members of the man who was supposed to testify against Fr. Brennan. He is no longer with us but his family will forever keep his memory alive. I also met the mother of one of Fr. McCormick’s victims. One thing I have noticed is that a few of the victims families I have meet recently have members that have jobs in law enforcement. It brought home to me the fact that clergy sexual abuse can happen to anyone’s 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.

Kloster Ettal: Verfahren gegen Pater G. eröffnet

DEUTSCHLAND
Merkur

[Summary: Father G. has been indicted for sexually abuse more than 20 youngsters under age 14 at the Ettal monastery. The allegations are massive, according to Margaret Notzel, spokesman at the Munich higher regional court.]

Die Anklage allein schnürt einem die Kehle zu: In über 20 Fällen soll Pater G. Schutzbefohlene unter 14 Jahren am Kloster Ettal sexuell missbraucht haben. „Die Missbrauchsvorwürfe sind relativ massiv“, fasst Margarete Nötzel, Sprecherin am Oberlandesgericht München, die Anklage der Staatsanwaltschaft zusammen. Damit wird sich bald die Erste Jugendstrafkammer des Landgerichts München II intensiv befassen. Der Vorsitzende Richter Thomas Bott hat die Anklageschrift unverändert zur Hauptverhandlung zugelassen. Damit wird ein dunkles Kapitel in der Geschichte des Kloster Ettals noch einmal aufgerollt – um es dann endgültig zu schließen. Denn juristisch geht es nur noch um Pater G. und die Frage, was er getan oder nicht getan hat.

15 Patres und weitere weltliche Erzieher sollen Schutzbefohlenen am Kloster körperliche Gewalt zugefügt oder sie sexuell missbraucht haben. Dies besagt der Abschlussbericht von Thomas Pfister, den er im April 2010 vorlegte. Ein Unrecht, das vor allem zwischen 1960 und 1990 geschehen sein soll. Das bedeutet auch: Einige Beschuldigte sind tot, viele Taten sind verjährt. Für Pater G. gilt das nicht. Die Vorwürfe gegen ihn beziehen sich auf die Jahre 2001 bis 2005. Als Präfekt und Religionslehrer war er damals am Kloster Ettal tätig. Er habe sich Buben „mit sexueller Disposition genähert“, gibt Nötzel sinngemäß aus der Anklageschrift wider. 2005 waren die Vorwürfe bekannt geworden. Doch ein externer Gutachter, den das Kloster beauftragt hatte, entlastete Pater G.: Er sah keine Hinweise auf einen sexuellen Missbrauch. Anders die Staatsanwaltschaft. Und anders offenbar auch die Jugendstrafkammer.

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.

Anglikanischer Bischof wegen sexueller Übergriffe vor Gericht

GROSSBRITANNIEN
Aktuell

Das teilte die britische Staatsanwaltschaft am Donnerstag mit. Dem 82-Jährigen werden unsittliche Übergriffe auf einen damals 12- oder 13-jährigen Jungen sowie auf einen 19 oder 20 Jahre alten Mann vorgeworfen. Zudem muss er sich vor dem Gericht in Brighton wegen Fehlverhaltens in seinem Amt verantworten. “Es wird angenommen, dass er zwischen 1977 und 1992 mehrere junge Männer sexuell missbraucht hat”, hieß es von der Staatsanwaltschaft.

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 gegen Geld: Priester muss 6000 Euro Strafe zahlen

DEUTSCHLAND
Volksfreund

[Summary: A priest who offered money to a 15-year-old for sexual act, the former priest must now pay a 6,000-euro fine. The Trier diocese placed him on leave in 2012 after hearing of the allegations. In the meantime, the 67-year-old priest has retired.]

Weil er einem 15-Jährigen Geld für sexuelle Handlungen angeboten hatte, muss ein ehemaliger Priester 6000 Euro zahlen. Das Bistum Trier hatte ihn 2012 nach Bekanntwerden der Vorwürfe beurlaubt. Mittlerweile ist der 67-Jährige im Ruhestand. Das kirchenrechtliche Verfahren läuft noch.

Die Staatsanwaltschaft Saarbrücken hat das Verfahren gegen einen ehemaligen katholischen Priester wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs unter Auflagen eingestellt. Der Geistliche war angezeigt worden, weil er einem 15-Jährigen Geld für sexuelle Handlungen angeboten hatte.

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.

MO- 2 KC Catholic teachers fired in “odd” case

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, March 28, 2014

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

No one should be satisfied with the firing of two credibly accused child molesting KC Catholic school teachers. This is a disturbing case of continued irresponsible behavior by church officials with many unanswered questions.

[KCTV]

Kids are of course a bit safer now that Gregg Briggs and Tod Barnard will no longer be at St. Thomas More Elementary School. (Barnard faces criminal charges, Briggs does not.)

But as we pointed out weeks ago, one of the teachers (Briggs) was apparently quietly removed and the teacher who replaced him (Barnard) is now charged with child sex crimes.

[SNAP]

Catholic school officials admit they were told on March 3 that the police were investigating an allegation about a school employee. But twice, Catholic officials apparently choose secrecy over openness. First, they kept the allegation hidden from parents and the public for almost two weeks. Second, they apparently quietly suspended the accused and kept the suspension hidden from parents and the public for almost two weeks too.

Shame on them.

Those ten days of secrecy gave a potential criminal plenty of time to destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten whistle blowers, discredit witnesses, fabricate alibis, “lawyer up,” and molest more children.

Finn and his top aides are being careful to try and distance themselves from this latest in a long string of child sex crime and cover up cases in the KC diocese. But in a rigid hierarchy like the Catholic Church, it’s virtually certain that St. Thomas More principal Brian Borgmeyer did not unilaterally decide to suspend a teacher for alleged child sex crimes, bring in a replacement, and hide the allegations for days, weeks or months. It’s virtually certain that he consulted with diocesan headquarters staff before he opted to quietly sit on the first set of allegations and the suspension.

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.

Alleged victim targets accused pedophile priest 30 years later

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Yahoo News

By Jason Sickles, Yahoo
Yahoo News

The Rev. James Brzyski allegedly began molesting John Delaney when the altar boy was 11, persuading the child to keep quiet by saying his parents condoned their sexual relationship.

“This guy had me all screwed up in my head,” Delaney said.

More than 30 years later, the now defrocked Philadelphia Catholic priest is still trying to manipulate the narrative.

When asked about Delaney by Yahoo News, Brzyski, 63, was silent for several seconds. Then he blurted out, “Quite a liar, John is,” and hung up the phone.

Delaney, now 42, brushed off Brzyski’s denial.

“You tell him John Delaney’s coming for him,” he said in a thick Philly accent. “I’m not a little kid anymore. You can’t do this to me. I’m going to fight back now.”

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.

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 28 March 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

– Bishop emeritus Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, Federal Republic of Germany.

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.

PA- Catholic bishop dodges victims group’s requests

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, March 28, 2014

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

Scranton’s Catholic bishop has responded to our recent letter by ignoring three of our four concerns, but pledging to write the Pope about a predator priest. (A copy of the letter is below.)

Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera dodges our plea that he

–publicly reveal the records that allegedly show that Scranton diocesan officials warned “the appropriate” church staff about Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity,

– launch an independent investigation into who, if anyone, in the Scranton diocese may have ignored or concealed Fr. Urrutigoity’s crimes, and

–aggressively reach out – using church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements – to anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Urrutigoity’s crimes and urge them to call law enforcement.

In addition, Bambera has made one promise: to contact Pope Francis about Fr. Urrutigoity. That’s something, but not much. If he follows through, that will be a step forward, but a small one. As we’ve said before, private letters between church officials about predator priests usually seem to protect no one except the reputations of those involved. And we’re not optimistic about this because even if Bambera writes the strongest possible letter to the Pope, we doubt Francis will act. His track record on abuse cases – both as pope and as archbishop – has been and remains dismal.

Finally, we question Bambera’s claim that he “will continue to encourage anyone who may have suspected, witnessed or suffered abuse at the hands of Father Urrutigoity or any other cleric to immediately report this crime to law enforcement.” He has two options. He can passively sit back, do little or nothing to find these people and say the right things if or when one of them step forward. Or he can actively reach out – as we’ve urged him to do – using church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements – to find these people.

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 Limburg: Prüfbericht zu den Bauprojekten auf dem Limburger Domberg veröffentlicht

DEUTSCHLAND
Deutsche Bischofskongerenz

[Summary: The audit report regarding construction projects in the Limburg diocese.]

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

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

Nach der heute bekannt gewordenen Entscheidung des Heiligen Stuhls zur Situation im Bistum Limburg und der Erklärung des Vorsitzenden der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Kardinal Reinhard Marx, wird jetzt der „Abschlussbericht über die externe kirchliche Prüfung der Baumaßnahme auf dem Domberg in Limburg“ veröffentlicht.

Die vom Bischof von Limburg beim Vorsitzenden der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz erbetene Prüfungskommission hatte ihre Arbeit im Oktober 2013 aufgenommen. Auftrag der Kommission war es, die Kosten, die Finanzierung und die Entscheidungswege aufzuzeigen, die den Bauprojekten zu Grunde liegen. Der Bericht der Prüfungskommission unter Vorsitz von Weihbischof Manfred Grothe (Paderborn) wurde Ende Februar 2014 zunächst dem damaligen Vorsitzenden der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Dr. Robert Zollitsch, übergeben. Ebenso erhielt der Bischof von Limburg, Bischof Dr. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, ein Exemplar. Am 3. März 2014 überreichten Erzbischof Zollitsch und Weihbischof Grothe den Prüfungsbericht der Bischofskongregation im Vatikan. Dabei bekräftigte Erzbischof Zollitsch die von Kardinal Giovanni Lajolo, Bischof Dr. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst und Domdekan Dr. Günther Geis im September 2013 getroffene Vereinbarung, dass die Ergebnisse offengelegt würden, sobald die maßgeblichen Beratungen in Rom abgeschlossen seien.

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.

How the ‘Bishop of Bling’ spent $43 million renovating this house

GERMANY
Washington Post

BY TERRENCE MCCOY
March 28

On Wednesday, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a longtime German cleric who today is known as the “Bishop of Bling.” Francis’s rationale: Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who looks like the pastoral theorist he is, had spent a mind-boggling $43 million on home renovations at his palatial pad in Limburg, Germany.

The revelation, delivered in a 108-page report, created a big time optics problem for Pope Francis who has tried to infuse the Catholic Church with humility. Francis — who met with President Barack Obama on Thursday to discuss “the poor, the marginalized…and growing inequality” — drives a Ford Focus. He also resides in a Vatican guesthouse, and likes to be called the Bishop of Rome, the most modest of his many titles.

Thursday, the Vatican still hummed with gossip. Tebartz-van Elst issued a statement in which he tried to shift blame to his top deputy, Vicar General Franz Kaspar, who he claims failed to oversee his spending habits.

Tebartz-van Elst said he’s not qualified to understand that building things can at times cost money. “As I am not an authority in the area of church management, as my qualification is in pastoral theory, I have to relinquish responsibility to Kaspar, who was the only person with an overarching view of the seat’s assets.”

He claimed, the Local reports, that the lavish expenses were because he had witnessed other construction go wrong. So, he felt he needed to “observe the quality and durability of [this] entire project.”

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Ior, Gotti Tedeschi al contrattacco

CITTA DEL VATICANO
La Stampa/Vatican Insider

L’ex presidente, prosciolto a febbraio dalla magistratura italiana, annuncia azioni legali contro chi ha «denigrato» la sua «figura umana e professionale»

ANDREA TORNIELLI
CITTÀ DEL VATICANO

La notizia sta nelle ultime righe di un lungo comunicato stampa a firma dei due avvocati Fabio Palazzo e Stefano Commodo: «il dott. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi ha incaricato i propri avvocati, ora che la vicenda è stata chiarita da una ineccepibile indagine della magistratura italiana, di prendere una serie di iniziative in sede giudiziaria per reagire ai numerosi attacchi mediatici tesi a denigrare la propria figura umana e professionale, essendo deciso a dimostrare anche per le vie giudiziali l’infondatezza delle accuse che gli sono state mosse dai Consiglieri al momento della sua estromissione».

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Ior, gip archivia Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. Verso il processo ex manager banca

ROMA
Il Fatto Quotidiano

di Marco Lillo e Valeria Pacelli | 28 marzo 2014

Si chiude la vicenda giudiziaria di Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, l’ex presidente dello Ior, finito sotto inchiesta della procura di Roma per omissioni legate alla violazione della normativa antiriciclaggio, quando guidava la banca vaticana. Il gip lo ha archiviato, accogliendo le richieste dei pm Nello Rossi e Stefano Rocco Fava. E il banchiere potrà prendersi qualche rivincita: ha già incaricato i suoi legali, gli avvocati Fabio Palazzo e Stefano Maria Commodo, di prendere iniziative contro i consiglieri dello Ior che lo sfiduciarono il 25 maggio 2012 accusandolo di “comportamenti erratici e sbagliati” e di “incapacità”.

Gotti Tedeschi ritiene che “il decreto di archiviazione crea le premesse per l’accertamento delle reali motivazioni della sfiducia, in particolare (…) i membri del Consiglio dello Ior che, sfiduciandolo, hanno di fatto creato la situazione per il verificarsi di gravi errori e quindi gravi danni alla Santa Sede. Il Cda – secondo Gotti – ha consentito che si mantenessero i cambiamenti, criticati da Moneyval, della legge antiriciclaggio, anche consentendo indirettamente il ridimensionamento dell’Aif, da indipendente a dipendente da Organi della Santa Sede”.

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.

Probe into former Vatican Bank chief shelved

ROME
Gazzetta del Sud

Rome, March 28 – A Rome judge on Friday upheld a request from prosecutors to shelve an investigation into the former head of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, over alleged money laundering. In 2010 the probe led in to the freezing of 23 million euros over two cash transfers involving the bank that were deemed suspicious. Gotti Tedeschi resigned from the bank, whose official name is the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), in May 2012 following a no-confidence vote by the supervisory board, amid reported disagreements on efforts to get the Vatican on the white list of financially transparent countries. The image of the bank has been hit by a series of scandals over the years. Italian banks effectively stopped dealing with the IOR in 2010 after the Bank of Italy ordered them to enforce strict anti-money laundering criteria to continue working with it. From January 1 to February 12 last year the Bank of Italy froze all credit-card and ATM transactions inside the Vatican City over its failure to fully implement international anti-money-laundering standards.

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 bank’s ousted president accuses board of causing ‘grave damage’ to the Holy See

VATICAN CITY
Daily Reporter

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: March 28, 2014

VATICAN CITY — The ousted president of the Vatican bank has come out swinging, accusing the bank’s board of causing “grave damage” to the Holy See by firing him.

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi ended a nearly two-year silence with a statement Friday by his lawyers. It came after a Rome judge threw out a money-laundering case against him by ruling that he had nothing to do with daily operations of the Institute for Religious Works and was in fact working to bring the financial institution into line with international anti-money laundering standards.

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Child rights advocates reject Australian cardinal’s apology over Catholic sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Raw Story

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, March 28, 2014

Child rights advocates on Friday rejected an apology from Australia’s top Catholic cleric George Pell over sex abuse in the Church, saying it was “hypocritical” and lacked credibility.

Cardinal Pell, who takes up a high-powered job as head of a new Vatican finance ministry next week after being hand picked by Pope Francis, said child sexual abuse was a “terrible blight” on the Church.

In his last sermon before leaving Australia for the Holy See, he acknowledged priests, religious leaders and others linked to the Church had abused those they were supposed to protect.

“I apologise once again to the victims and their families for the terrible suffering that has been brought to bear by these crimes,” he said from the pulpit of Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral at a thanksgiving mass on Thursday night.

It followed Pell’s appearance earlier that day at a royal commission into child sex abuse, when he personally apologised to a former alter boy, John Ellis, who fell prey to a paedophile priest.

A spokeswoman for advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Nicky Davis, said the apologies were “completely hypocritical” and Pell showed no emotion when addressing Ellis.

“His tone was completely flat, there was no emotion, no humanity there … that’s not how you apologise to someone,” she said.

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Temple priest arrested for sexually harassing minor

INDIA
The Times of India

SALEM (TN): A septuagenarian temple priest was arrested on Fridday for allegedly sexually harassing a minor girl at the temple premises at a nearby area, police said.

The 73-year-old-man, a widower, sexually harassed the eight-year old girl after yoga class on Thursday evening by inappropriately touching her, they said. The priest was allegedly often in the habit of doing this to other minor girl students.

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Rape victims’ parents say George Pell vowed to review Church compensation payments

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

LATELINE BY HAMISH FITZSIMMONS

Cardinal George Pell has told the parents of two child sex abuse victims the Church will review its compensation payments, even if it costs hundreds of millions of dollars.

Anthony and Chrissie Foster’s two daughters were repeatedly raped in primary school by their parish priest, Father Kevin O’Donnell.

Emma Foster later committed suicide and her sister, Katie, took to binge drinking and was left disabled after being hit by a car.

The Fosters met Cardinal Pell after his appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney yesterday.

Last night’s meeting was very different to when the Fosters first met with then Archbishop Pell over a decade ago, when they emerged feeling bullied and scorned.

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Salvation Army officer abused girl then married mother, royal commision told

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

March 28, 2014

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

A woman who was repeatedly sexually abused by a Salvation Army officer from the age of four later watched in horror as her mother married the man, the Royal Commission has heard.

The abuse survivor’s mother then kicked her out of the family home, claiming the allegations against her new husband were lies.

The woman, known as JD, said she was first molested by the officer at the age of four, not long after she was formally brought into the Salvation Army through a “dedication ceremony”.

About 14 years later, after suffering more abuse at the officer’s hands, JD learned the man was about to become her stepfather.

“I remember around Christmas my mother told me that she was going to marry him,” the woman, now 40, told the Commission.

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Child sex abuse royal commission: Victims tell of anger at Salvation Army over sexual and physical abuse at children’s homes

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Thomas Oriti

A woman has told an inquiry she was whipped, humiliated and denied basic needs at a Salvation Army children’s home in Queensland.

The examination of the Salvation Army by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has so far concentrated on abuse at the charity’s boys’ homes.

Cherryl Eldridge today became the first woman to tell the commission of abuse at the hands of Salvation Army officers, and also criticised the charity’s treatment of abuse victims.

She was taken to a children’s home at Toowoomba as a six-year-old girl, after being told her parents could not care for her.

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Salvation Army boy’s home abuse victim refuses apology, inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Friday 28 March 2014

A man kept in solitary confinement in a boy’s home run by the Salvation Army, in which he was made to sleep where he defecated, has vehemently refused to accept an apology for the abuse he suffered, the Royal Commission into Institutional Abuse was told on Friday.

“If I see one of those uniforms come within a metre of me, you’d better be there … okay, just keep them away from me,” the man said when asked if he would accept an apology from the Salvation Army for the abuse he suffered at the Riverview Training Farm in Queensland in 1971.

“If I see that Gestapo come near me …,” he added.

The man, identified as JE, spent 12 days at Riverview when he was 15 after he and his brother were transferred from the Westbrook Farm Home for Boys, where they were sent after being arrested for joyriding.

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Sacking a bishop isn’t as easy as people think

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

By FR ALEXANDER LUCIE-SMITH on Friday, 28 March 2014

That the Vatican has “accepted the resignation of” the Bishop of Limburg – or to put it into real English, given him the sack – is highly unusual.

The Vatican always speaks in an elaborate kind of code which invites interpretation. Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst will shortly be given a new assignment, we are told, and this new position will undoubtedly be something that sweetens the bitter pill of his removal from Limburg. Moreover, the new job will take care of the question of what to do with one who remains a bishop, even after he has lost his diocese. He will probably be given some quite prestigious but largely ceremonial appointment, in which the city of Rome abounds. (Something similar was done for Bernard, Cardinal Law, though not for Keith O’Brien.)

The sacking of a bishop is quite difficult to achieve if the bishop puts up a fight, as the incumbent has rights in Canon Law, and cannot simply be removed from his diocese without due process. Therefore, one assumes that what has happened here is a series of delicate negotiations which have resulted in the bishop “going quietly”.

Some people would maintain, and they may well be right, that more bishops and other clergy should be sacked by the Pope. But there are many reasons why this hardly ever happens. Think back for a moment to the case of Bishop Gaillot of Evreux, who was removed from post because he was regarded as heterodox. This hardly solved the problem: indeed, it made a martyr out of the bishop and turned the affaire Gaillot into a cause celebre, which was highly damaging to the unity of the Church.

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Statement from the NBSCCCI

IRELAND
National Board for the Safeguarding of Children

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) categorically refutes any suggestion that its final report into the diocese of Down & Connor published in December 2013 omitted relevant matters from the audit process as per statements attributed to Mr. Ian Elliott and recently reported in various media. Before his retirement on 30 June 2013, Mr. Elliott participated in field work as part of the audit process and prepared a first draft report which reflected very positively on the diocese of Down and Connor. While preserving its tone, there was a need to augment it with work which had to be undertaken after Mr. Elliott’s retirement and to stress test the contents in order to complete the review in line with the methodology established by the Board.

There were two comments in Mr Elliott’s report which were not detailed in the final report. The first of these related to relationship issues between the Diocese and the Board – which in the assessment of the review team could not be reflected in the final report as such did not fall within the terms of reference. The second comment related to the management of a particular case which the reviewers could not include; in Mr Elliott’s report he referenced abuse of three men by an unspecified priest, he did not make any reference to child abuse in the context of the particular priest involved. Given that adult abuse does not fall within the terms of reference of the work of the Board or the review process and there were no supporting data whatsoever provided by Mr. Elliott in relation to this comment, the particular reference to the priest was removed. The point arising from this case which was made by Mr Elliott, namely, a lack of evidence on all files of recognition and monitoring of risk, risk assessment and risk management/safety plans did remain in the final report and is referenced on pages 12 and 27. That point was based on supporting data examined by the National Board.

For the avoidance of any doubt, Mr Elliott’s initial draft report was positive and the final review report built on that initial draft. The two comments which were removed were removed by the reviewers for wholly legitimate reasons and in accordance with the methodology employed by the National Board in relation to the conduct of such work particularly to ensure that it acts within its terms of reference and its comments and findings are backed up by empirical evidence. The important issue highlighted by Mr. Elliott, which related to the assessment and management of risk, remained in the report while the reference to an unspecified priest was removed.

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Church watchdog denies omissions in abuse report

IRELAND
Irish Independent

SHANE PHELAN PUBLIC AFFAIRS EDITOR – PUBLISHED 28 MARCH 2014

THE Catholic Church’s child safety watchdog has rejected claims by its former boss that a report into the handling of abuse omitted relevant information.

In a statement, the National Board for the Safeguarding of Children said it categorically denied any suggestion that its report last year on the Diocese of Down and Connor “omitted relevant matters from the audit process”.

Earlier this month the board’s former chief executive, Ian Elliott, told the Irish Independent that serious concerns he had about the handling of an abuse case were omitted from the report.

He alleged that the diocese blocked the release of information it held about its handling of the case of ex-priest Jim Donaghy, who was jailed for 10 years in 2012 for abusing two altar boys and a trainee priest.

Mr Elliott conducted audit “field work” in the diocese, which covers Antrim, Down and parts of Derry, in May of last year. He retired the following month.

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Catholic Church child protection board rejects criticisms of audit by Ian Elliott

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Fri, Mar 28, 2014

The Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog, its National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC), has said it “categorically refutes” challenges by former chief executive Ian Elliott to its audit of Down and Connor diocese.

The audit was led by Mr Elliott over four days in Down and Connor last May. Earlier this month Mr Elliott said that, as published last December, the audit findings “do not reflect the findings from the fieldwork”.

Concerns

He said that, such were his concerns at what he found last May that, after the first two days there, he met Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor and NBSC chairman John Morgan. “I made them directly aware of the findings,” he said. “I am deeply concerned at attempts by the diocese to attribute that review [audit] to me.” Published on December 10th last, the audit found that the diocese had produced an “excellent result”.

In a statement on its website the NBSC says it “categorically refutes any suggestion that its final report into the diocese of Down & Connor published in December 2013 omitted relevant matters from the audit process as per statements attributed to Mr Ian Elliot. ”

It says that before his retirement last June, Mr Elliott “prepared a first draft report which reflected very positively on the diocese of Down and Connor. While preserving its tone, there was a need to augment it with work which had to be undertaken after Mr Elliott’s retirement and to stress test the contents in order to complete the review in line with the methodology established by the board.”

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Thus Spake Mungo #120 Pell and Hell

AUSTRALIA
YouTube

Published on Mar 27, 2014

Cardinal Pell’s recent appearance in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse leads Mungo to want to draw his attention to the correlations between criminal law and the Gospel According to St Matthew.

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Legal twist pits one diocese against another

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

MINNEAPOLIS – In a case of Catholic Church versus Catholic Church, a clergy sex abuse lawsuit pits one diocese against another.

In a rare legal move, the Diocese of New Ulm is suing another diocese and a religious order, accusing both of sending a priest to New Ulm in the early 1980s without telling the diocese that the priest had long history of being accused of child sexual abuse.

The New Ulm Diocese lawsuit stems from another lawsuit filed in 2013 by a man named in court documents as John Doe 103, who says Markey groped him and his two brothers when Markey was invited to his family’s home for dinner in 1982. The man asked that MPR News and KARE-11 hide his face to protect his family. He says at the time of the alleged assaults, Markey was filling in at rural churches in Henderson and Jessenland. John Doe 103’s family attended both churches.

“He was at our parish for like seven to ten days and he was in our house for two hours and he abused three people,” said John Doe 103 in an interview.

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Pastor arrested on child sexual assault charge

COLORADO
Fairfield Citizen

DENVER (AP) — Authorities say a suburban Denver pastor has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault on a child.

KUSA-TV reports (http://tinyurl.com/nch69px ) 51-year-old Gerald Clark was arrested Wednesday on one count of sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust.

No phone number could be found for Clark, and he didn’t appear in online jail records. It wasn’t known if he had an attorney.

An arrest warrant affidavit says Clark is pastor of Jericho Ministries in Broomfield and previously served at a Westminster church. Jericho Ministries didn’t have a working phone number.

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Ethics of Cardinal Pell’s lawyers under microscope

AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

By RICHARD ACKLAND March 28, 2014

COMMENT

The joy of commissions, royal or otherwise. In a place where the rules of evidence don’t get in the way of finding the truth, a good commissioner or counsel assisting can really fire up the proceedings.

And commissioner Peter McClellan with counsel assisting Gail Furness, at the royal commission into child sex abuse, are on fire.

Over this week there has been a spellbinding display of the moral vacuum at the heart of two mighty institutions – the Catholic Church and the law.

Cardinal George Pell slithered all over the place as he was questioned about the church’s conduct in the infamous Ellis case. Everyone else was to blame, his lawyers, his private secretary, the unreasonableness of his litigation opponents.

Because the damage done to victims of child sexual abuse is not necessarily manifest immediately, John Ellis had to apply for an extension to the limitation period so as to bring his civil claim against the church.

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Pell to review compensation payments

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Cardinal George Pell has promised to review compensation payments for Melbourne church abuse victims and has conceded it may cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Cardinal Pell met with Anthony and Chrissie Foster, whose two daughters were abused by a priest in Melbourne and told them a cap on payments would be eliminated.

He also told them during the meeting, which took place on Thursday after Cardinal Pell completed his evidence to the royal commission into child sexual abuse, the church would review all existing payments.

‘I stated that we needed to see the Melbourne cap eliminated, revisiting all the existing claims and in line with civil limits,’ Mr Foster told ABC TV.

‘I also said to him that this will cost the Catholic Church in Melbourne several hundred million dollars.

‘His response was he nodded and said ‘yes’.’

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Salvation Army commander accused girl of lying in sex case

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

SARAH CRAWFORD THE DAILY TELEGRAPH MARCH 29, 2014

A SALVATION army commander asked a woman if she was lying when she revealed years of sexual abuse at the hands of her Sunday school teacher, including being raped at age 10.

Envoy John Lane was sentenced to jail in 1997 for indecently dealing with the woman, known as JG, and abusing another girl, JD, from the age of four at the Fortitude Valley Salvation Army Corps in Brisbane in the 1970s.

The two women went to police after receiving no satisfaction from the head of the Salvation Army in southeast Queensland, Colonel Stan Everitt who asked them: “Are you sure you are not lying?”

The women told the child sex abuse royal commission that Colonel Everitt warned them not to call police or go to the media about Lane.

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Visiting nun in Bermuda to discuss sexual abuse

BERMUDA
Royal Gazette

By Jessie Moniz Hardy

Child sex abuse isn’t about sex, it’s about an abuse of power, said a visiting nun who is an expert on bioethics.

Dr Nuala Kenny, a member of the order of Sisters of Charity, is the author of Healing the Church: Diagnosing and Treating the Clergy Sexual Abuse Scandal. She will speak today and tomorrow on several topics include sex abuse within the church.

She was born in New York, but now describes herself as an “adopted Halifaxer”. She joined the Sisters of Charity in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1962 before graduating from Dalhousie medical school in 1972. She became a paediatrician four years later. Having worked in Ontario in the early 1980s, Dr Kenny returned to Halifax in 1988 as a professor and head of the paediatrics department at Dalhousie University and chief of paediatrics at the Izaak Walton Killam Children’s Hospital (now the IWK Health Centre) and later as deputy health minister for Nova Scotia.

“I am a paediatrician by training,” she said. “I am a Roman Catholic Sister who is a doctor. I did paediatrics with special attention to end of life care with children. I also did an extra year of training in paediatric cancer care.”

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Prayer List: Victims of Church Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

On Monday Matthew McKelvey plead guilty to abusing two girls sexually and received a 15-year prison sentence.

According to The Des Moines Register, “McKelvey was a youth pastor at the Heritage Assembly Church … until he lost his job last summer. Church leaders had become aware that McKelvey had violated church policy by being alone with female juveniles, according to a statement from the church on Monday.”

Last month protestors in Nigeria opposed a church-run orphanage from relocating because the pastor was accused of abusing two orphans. Vanguard reported, “The protesters demanded that the orphanage be closed until the suspect is acquitted by the court of law.”

How often is church sex abuse reported in the United States? More often than most people realize.

Just one insurance company reports more than 200 such claims a year. In 2010 the Denver Post reported, “Wisconsin-based Church Mutual Insurance Co. has 100,000 client churches and has seen a steady filing of about five sexual molestation cases a week for more than a decade, even though its client base has grown.”

Prayer List

Pray for the victims of sexual abuse to heal emotionally and physically.
Pray for the victims to receive the emotional support needed while recovering from trauma.
Pray for the perpetrators to stop their abuses.
Pray for justice on behalf of the victims.
Pray for congregations and youth groups that have been damaged by sexual abuse to grow in their faith and relationship with God as it is being tested.

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Westminster pastor accused of sexually assaulting child

COLORADO
KWGN

[with video]

March 27, 2014, by Matt Farley

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A Westminster pastor was arrested this week, accused of sexually assaulting a child who belonged to his church.

Gerald Clark, leader of Jericho Ministries International, was being held on suspicion of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office said.

Clark allegedly engaged in a pattern of unwanted sexual touching with a member of the church between 2009 and 2012, according to the arrest affidavit. The alleged victim was 13 years old in 2009.

At the time, the teen’s family was very close with Clark and his wife, according to the affidavit. After her family moved out of state in 2009, the girl spent summers and some holidays with the Clarks.

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Westminster pastor arrested on child sex charges

COLORADO
9 News

[with video]

WESTMINSTER – A Westminster pastor was arrested Wednesday for alleged sexual abuse of a teenage girl who was a member of his church.

Gerald Clark, 51, was booked on a $20,000 bond. He bonded out Thursday.

According to an arrest affidavit, Clark is the pastor of Jericho Ministries International, which meets at Greenway Club House at 110 Greenway Drive in Broomfield. Clark previously served as a leader of a Westminster church.

The affidavit says the abuse occurred over a period of several years, beginning in 2009. The victim lived with Clark and his wife during the summer months, according to the affidavit.

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Westminster pastor, Gerald Clark, arrested on allegations he sexually assaulted girl over 3 years

COLORADO
TheDenverChannel

[with video]

Alan Gathright
11:26 PM, Mar 27, 2014

WESTMINSTER, Colo. – A Westminster pastor has been arrested on allegations he sexually assaulted a girl over a three-year period, starting when she was 13 years old, according to court records obtained by 7NEWS.

Gerald Leroy Clark, 51, was arrested by Westminster police Wednesday on investigation of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, involving a pattern of abuse. He appeared in Jefferson County court Thursday where he was advised of his rights and why he was being held, said District Attorney spokeswoman Pam Russell.

Clark was released from jailed in the afternoon after posting a $20,000 bond.

Clark is pastor of Jericho Ministries International, which initially met at the West View Recreation Center in Westminster, but now holds services at the Greenway Club House in Broomfield, court records state.

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Band instructors fired after reports of alleged abuse

MISSOURI
KCTV

By Laura McCallister, Multimedia Producer

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) –
A Catholic school band teacher and assistant band instructor have been fired after reports of alleged abuse.

A 53-year-old Catholic school teacher is in police custody after he allegedly groped a student’s breast on multiple occasions.

In a letter to families, St. Thomas More Elementary Principal Brian Borgmeyer said that a second person at the school is on leave after a separate incident. No charges have been filed.

St. Thomas More School Principal Brian Borgmeyer sent a letter to parents and guardians Thursday saying that Gregg Briggs and Tod Barnard have been fired after both men were placed on leave earlier in the month.

On March 14, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against 53-year-old Barnard after an 11-year-old student said he had groped her chest.

Barnard was charged with two counts of second-degree child molestation and two counts of third-degree assault, all misdemeanors.

Court documents said the student’s parents noticed she began exhibiting signs of anxiety about attending band class and they contacted the school when she unexpectedly told them she no longer wanted to participate in band activities. The girl told a counselor that she had been touched inappropriately by the band teacher’s assistant on several different occasions as far back as December, a police report stated.

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Savile sex fears for Yorkshire schools and children’s home

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

by Rob Parsons and Sam Casey

Published on the 28 March 2014

TWO Yorkshire schools and a children’s home in the region are at the centre of new inquiries into alleged child sex abuse by disgraced presenter Jimmy Savile.

Education Secretary Michael Gove yesterday ordered probes to be carried out at Northways Residential School, Beechcroft Children’s Home and Notre Dame Grammar School.

He said allegations about the shamed Leeds DJ’s connections to 21 schools and children’s homes across the country dating back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were handed to the Department for Education after a review by the Metropolitan Police.

Leeds City Council promised to investigate the allegations at the two city-run institutions named in Mr Gove’s list, but said it was unaware of any sites called ‘Beechcroft Children’s Home’ in the Leeds area.

Northways Residential School, which was based in Clifford, near Wetherby, closed in 1997. Of the three named institutions, only Notre Dame Grammar School, now known as Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College in Woodhouse, Leeds, is still running.

John Grady, spokesman for the Diocese of Leeds, which runs the school, said it carried out its own investigation after the revelations first emerged about Savile in 2012. He said it “could find no evidence that Jimmy Savile had any contact with Notre Dame school or any of our [diocesan] children’s homes”.

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Claudia Vercellotti commentary: Statute of limitations on sexual abuse needs a fix

OHIO
Columbus Dispatch

Supposedly to give child sex-abuse victims a chance to expose their perpetrators, Ohio legislators passed a unique law in 2007. It’s called a “civil registry” for those found in a civil proceeding to have molested kids. There is just one problem: It doesn’t work.

We know this because recently The Dispatch was the first news outlet in seven years to follow up on the measure. It reported that the registry has never once been utilized.

I predicted it never would be because the registry was unfunded, complicated and likely unconstitutional. I also know how child sex-abuse victims think. That’s because I am one. The “ grooming” started when I was 12; the sexual abuse ended when I left for college. For years, I had silently suffered from shame, guilt and self-destructive behavior. And I had shouldered a quiet burden. I believed — and still believe — that if I didn’t speak up and another kid got hurt by the church leader who molested me, I was somehow responsible.

In 1996, I learned the man who assaulted me was still on the diocesan payroll and was taking young girls to the same places where he abused me. Consumed with fear, I went to my bishop in Toledo and painfully spared him no graphic detail. He didn’t tell me that 12 months prior, four other victims had already reported being abused by the same church official. I went to the police but was told that the statute of limitations had expired, and my perpetrator couldn’t be criminally charged. Like many, I had no recourse.

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American diocese sues Irish diocese for sending them pedophile priest

UNITED STATES/IRELAND
Irish Central

James O’Shea @irishcentral March 28,2014

In an unprecedented legal move a diocese in Minnesota is suing a diocese in Ireland, alleging it sent a priest to Minnesota knowing he was a child abuser.

The New Ulm diocese has filed a lawsuit against the diocese of Clogher, which encompasses four northern Irish counties: Monaghan, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Donegal.

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

The New Ulm Diocese says it never would have accepted the Rev. Francis Xavier Markey in 1981 if it had been told about the allegations.

Markey was ordained in Ireland in 1952, but documents in several court cases show he was accused of sexually abusing numerous boys as early as the 1960s, long before he was transferred to Minnesota.

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Abuse victims ridicule George Pell’s apology

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

CARDINAL George Pell’s apologies to victims of sexual abuse by priests and others within the Catholic Church have been labelled hypocritical by an advocacy group.

Dr Pell will leave Australia for the Vatican on Monday to take up a new post as chief of the Holy See’s finances after 13 years as the eighth Archbishop of Sydney.

He used his farewell sermon at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on Thursday night to ‘‘apologise once again to the victims and their families for the terrible suffering that has been brought to bear by these crimes’’.

The apology came just hours after Dr Pell appeared at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and read out a statement to ‘‘publicly say sorry’’ to former alter boy John Ellis, who was abused by a priest.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests leader Nicky Davis said both apologies were ‘‘completely hypocritical’’.

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Anti-abuse groups dismiss Australia cleric apology

AUSTRALIA
Press TV (Iran)

[with video]

Child rights advocates have dismissed as “hypocritical” an apology from Australia’s senior Catholic cleric George Pell over sex abuse in the Church.

Cardinal Pell, who is set to get a job as head of a new Vatican Finance Ministry next week, said on Thursday in his last sermon before leaving Australia for the Holy See that child sexual abuse was a “terrible blight” on the Church.

He also admitted that priests, religious leaders and others linked to the Church had sexually abused those they were expected to protect.

“I apologize once again to the victims and their families for the terrible suffering that has been brought to bear by these crimes,” he added.

Earlier in the day he personally apologized to a former altar boy, John Ellis, who was abused by a pedophile priest.

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JOANNE McCARTHY: Moral leadership lacking

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY March 28, 2014

CARDINAL George Pell has failed as a moral leader. Abysmally and absolutely.

He failed in 2004 and 2005, when he accepted John Ellis’s allegations he was sexually abused by a priest were true, but instructed lawyers to ‘‘vigorously’’ and ‘‘strenuously’’ defend the matter in court.

In Pell’s own words this week to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, from a ‘‘Christian point of view’’ the Church did not deal fairly with Ellis.

He failed again as a moral leader, repeatedly, when the Archdiocese of Sydney issued statements over the years defending the ‘‘key facts’’ of the Ellis case, while failing to mention its ‘‘mean’’ and ‘‘grotesque’’ initial offers of compensation to him under Towards Healing, its rejections of his offers to mediate and settle the action, and pursuit of Ellis over a $500,000 legal costs bill for several years, despite knowing of his fragile emotional state.

Pell failed as a moral leader again this week, when he blamed and minimised, justified and waffled his way through answers to the most basic of questions about what he did and did not do when Ellis turned to the Church with its ‘‘commitment to justice and compassion’’.

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Judge warns against delays in Gallup, N.M., bankruptcy case

NEW MEXICO
National Catholic Reporter

Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola | Mar. 28, 2014

GALLUP, N.M. The Gallup diocese is the ninth Catholic diocese in the country to file for bankruptcy protection since 2004, but Judge David Thuma says he doesn’t want to see Gallup follow in the contentious path of number eight, the Milwaukee archdiocese.

Thuma, presiding over Gallup’s case in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of New Mexico, recently cautioned attorneys in the case to get “to the end zone” and work toward settlement.

“We need to figure out a way to get the minimum facts before the committee and the debtor that they would need to settle this case, and we need to start thinking about how we get a whole lot closer to the end zone, to use a sports metaphor,” Thuma said in a Feb. 14 hearing. “Because I don’t want this case to be like the Milwaukee case where the debtor says all the money that could have been paid to creditors has been spent on litigation. I would be pretty unhappy if that happens in this case.”

It’s been more than six months since Bishop James Wall announced the Gallup diocese would file a Chapter 11 petition. He broke the news by instructing priests across this sprawling rural diocese to read his announcement to parishioners during Labor Day weekend Masses.

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March 27, 2014

Child sex abuse royal commission…

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Child sex abuse royal commission: Salvation Army victim says he was beaten and held in solitary confinement at Riverview Farm

ABC

BY THOMAS ORITI
March 28, 2014

A victim of child sexual abuse says he was beaten and held in solitary confinement during his time at a Queensland boys’ home run by the Salvation Army.

A man known only as JE has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that when he was a young boy he was forced to protect his sisters and mother who were being abused by his father.

His father sent him away, telling a judge JE was out of control.

JE ended up at the Salvation Army’s Riverview Farm, south-west of Brisbane, when he was 15 years old in the late 1960s.

The man has told the hearing staff at the home in Ipswich “would have been more suitably engaged in a Middle Ages slavery camp”.

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Salvation Army locked boy in room for days without toilet, royal commission told

March 28, 2014
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

A man who was locked in solitary confinement for days without a toilet at a Salvation Army boys home says the organisation’s “redress scheme” effectively continued the abuse, likening the organisation’s uniformed officers to “the Gestapo”.

The man, referred to as JE, told the Royal Commission into child sex abuse on Friday that he was sent to the Riverview boys’ home in Queensland in the late 1960s when he was about 15.

“I remember being locked in a small room in solitary confinement with some boys who were wog bashing me,” JE said, fighting back tears.

“There was no toilet, not even a bucket … If you had to go to the toilet, you had to just go and they threw some newspaper to clean it up.”

“I had to sleep on the same floor.”

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Jewish care home named in Jimmy Savile child abuse investigation

UNITED KINGDOM
The JC

By Marcus Dysch, March 27, 2014

Paedophile Jimmy Savile is believed to have abused children at a Jewish care home, it has been revealed.

The Sarah Laski Home, in Crumpsall, Manchester, opened under the auspices of the city’s Jewish Board of Guardians in 1953.

It was today named by the government alongside 20 other homes now being investigated for links to Savile.

The home – which later became known as the Manchester Jewish School for Disabled Children – closed in 1974 due to lack of funding and a feeling that it was unable to provide “a family atmosphere”.

Education Secretary Michael Gove told Parliament that information about Savile dating back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s had been uncovered by police.

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Former Kingsport priest seeks appeal of sex abuse conviction

TENNESSEE
Times-News

March 27th, 2014 8:30 pm by MATTHEW LANE

KINGSPORT — A former Kingsport priest, convicted of sexually abusing an alter boy in the 1970s, is attempting to appeal his conviction to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

William Casey, previously of Greeneville, was convicted in Sullivan County Criminal Court in 2011 of first-degree sexual misconduct and two counts of aggravated rape. Prosecutors charged Casey sexually abused an altar boy shortly after becoming a priest at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in the 1970s.

Casey received a 35-year prison sentence.

During trial, the victim, now in his mid-40s, testified Casey raped him twice — once when he was 13 and once when he was 14 — and performed oral sex on him in his mother’s trailer shortly before his 15th birthday. The victim testified he “felt obligated” to reciprocate the act and described feeling powerless to resist a man he believed to be “representative of God on earth.”

The victim further testified Casey committed in excess of 50 sexual acts against him when he was between 10 and 16 years of age, with most of the offenses occurring in Sullivan County, but others also taking place in Greene County, McDowell County, N.C., and Scott County, Va.

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Abuse victims criticise Pell apology

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

A group representing victims of sex abuse by clergy are unhappy with Cardinal George Pell’s apology.

Cardinal George Pell’s apology to victims of sexual abuse by priests and others within the Catholic church have been labelled hypocritical by an advocacy group.

Dr Pell will leave Australia for the Vatican on Monday to take up a new post as chief of the Holy See’s finances after 13-years as the eighth Archbishop of Sydney.

He used his farewell sermon at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on Thursday night to “apologise once again to the victims and their families for the terrible suffering that has been brought to bear by these crimes”.

The apology came just hours after Dr Pell appeared at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and read out a statement to “publicly to say sorry” to former alter boy John Ellis who was abused by a priest.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) leader, Nicky Davis, said both apologies were “completely hypocritical”.

Ms Davis, who was in the commission’s public gallery when he read out his statement, described the cardinal as showing “no emotion”.

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UA Fairbanks priest charged with DUI

ALASKA
KTVA

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – A 52-year-old Roman Catholic priest who serves in the University of Alaska Fairbanks parish has been placed on administrative leave following his arrest on a driving under the influence charge.

Father Sean P. Thomson also is charged with misdemeanor drug and weapons counts.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/1gukD0P) reports Thomson was stopped Monday on the Parks Highway near McKinley Village.

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Fairbanks campus priest charged with DUI, drugs and weapons

ALASKA
News-Miner

By Sam Friedman / sfriedman@newsminer.com

Update: This article has been updated to reflect the date of Thomson’s next court date.

FAIRBANKS—A University of Alaska Fairbanks parish priest has been arrested on charges of driving under the influence and misdemeanor drugs and weapons offenses.

Father Sean P. Thomson, 52, was stopped Monday at 228 Mile Parks Highway near McKinley Village, according to a criminal complaint filed against him Tuesday. He pleaded not guilty at an initial court hearing and has been released on $5,000 bail. Thomson remains a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks but has been placed on administrative leave, said Ronnie Rosenberg, legal coordinator and the director of human resources for the diocese.

Thomson was driving a blue 2002 GMC Sierra pickup truck that was weaving, crossing the center line and speeding 79 mph in a 65 zone, trooper Christopher Bitz wrote in the criminal complaint. Bitz said Thomson seemed disoriented and produced a receipt when asked for his vehicle registration. Asked if he had any weapons, Thomson mentioned a .357 in the back seat but neglected to mention a 9mm pistol in his back pocket, Bitz said. Thomson had a bag with a small quantity of marijuana in the pocket of his hoodie sweatshirt, Bitz said.

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Akron-area priest defrocked

OHIO
WKSU

by WKSU’s M.L. SCHULTZE

The former priest at more than a half-dozen Roman Catholic parishes in Northeast Ohio has been defrocked.

George Bailey was accused of molesting at least 10 girls in his parishes dating back to the 1960s.

The Beacon Journal is reporting that Bishop Richard Lennon sent a memo to priests through the Cleveland Diocese today that Bailey was stripped of his clerical status after “credible accusations of sexual misconduct.”

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St. Paul archdiocese gets more time to file documents on abusive priests

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 03/27/2014

The Twin Cities archdiocese has gained more time to turn over documents related to priests “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors, but the depositions of top officials will take place as scheduled.

During a lengthy hearing Thursday in Ramsey County District Court, attorneys in the case of Doe 1 disagreed about whether the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis should be held to a judicially mandated deadline of Monday to turn over certain files that will not be under seal.

Judge John Van de North had ordered church officials to disclose all files by the end of the day Monday relating to 33 priests “credibly accused” before 2004.

But attorneys for the archdiocese said that a wholesale disclosure was impossible — they said the files contain victim names and information subject to attorney-client privilege. Some of that will need to be designated non-public, they said.

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Cardinal George Pell uses sermon to apologise to victims of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Thursday 27 March 2014

Cardinal George Pell has used his farewell sermon to offer a frank apology to victims of sexual abuse by “priests, religious leaders and others” within the Catholic church.

The apology, delivered from the pulpit of St Mary’s cathedral in Sydney, was dismissed by a small group of protesters, including an alleged victim of church sexual abuse, who were barred from the service and stood outside.

“I apologise once again to the victims and their families for the terrible suffering that has been brought to bear by these crimes,” Pell told a mass of thanksgiving on Thursday night.

Speaking to a congregation of several hundred people, Pell acknowledged that child sexual abuse within the Catholic church had caused a “terrible blight”.

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St. Paul police to reopen two cases related to Archdiocese investigation

MINNESOTA
KARE

ST. PAUL – The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office has asked the St. Paul Police Department to reopen two cases related to its investigation into the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

A St. Paul police spokesman confirmed the cases pertain to Archbishop John Nienstedt, and Curtis Wehmeyer, a St. Paul priest serving time in prison for child sexual abuse.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced earlier this month there was insufficient evidence to charge the archbishop, who in December was accused of groping a boy several years ago at a public event.

Nienstedt has denied any wrongdoing.

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Former Rochester youth pastor arrested for child porn

MISSOURI
Post-Bulletin

Kay Fate, kfate@postbulletin.com

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — The arrest of a man in Missouri has church officials in Rochester answering questions about their former youth pastor.

Matthew D. Luetke, 35, was associate pastor at Ascension Evangelical Lutheran Church from 2006-2013. He was the youth and evangelism minister and, as such, was also the principal of Precious is the Child Preschool associated with the church.

“It’s been a rotten week,” said Brian Kom, lead pastor of Ascension Lutheran. He learned of Luetke’s arrest in St. Charles County on March 19.

“I received word the day Matt was arrested,” Kom said. He called an emergency meeting with the council members and elders of the church to discuss the allegations.

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Nieuwe beschuldiging foutief beheer erfenis bisdom

NEDERLAND
Katholiek

door Eric van den Berg – 26 maart 2014

Een tweede grote erfenis zou het aartsbisdom Utrecht niet goed hebben besteed. Dat meldde NRC Handelsblad gisteren. “Tonnen zijn verdwenen uit de nalatenschap”, aldus René Schaepman. “Een nicht berekende dat het miljoenen moeten zijn. Hoe dan ook, dat er geld verdwenen is, en dat het aartsbisdom ten onrechte geld in eigen zak gestoken heeft, staat wel vast.”

Het bisdom kreeg in 1920 het beheer over de nalatenschap van de weduwe Adelaida Schaepman-Ehrhardt. Haar nalatenschap bestond voor 150.000 gulden aan contanten, effecten en sieraden, vier Utrechtse herenhuizen en een boerderij met landerijen in Nieuwegein. Omgerekend naar euro’s van nu een bezit van enkele miljoenen.

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Uitkomst intern onderzoek naar Stichting Caritas Moeder Theresa

NEDERLAND
Aartzbisdom Utrecht

[Summary: An investigation was made of the Mother Teresa Charity Foundation and how its funds were used. Since 1995 money from the foundation was intended in particular for victims of sexual abuse.]

Naar aanleiding van de berichtgeving in NRC Handelsblad van 8 maart 2014 over de besteding van gelden uit de Stichting Caritas Moeder Theresa, heeft het Aartsbisdom Utrecht direct een intern onderzoek ingesteld. NRC Handelsblad kwam namelijk met de ernstige aantijging dat het aartsbisdom “een erfenis misbruikt” door een deel daarvan te besteden aan “de kantoorkosten voor de afhandeling van klachten van misbruikslachtoffers.”

Het gaat hier om de in 1995 opgerichte Stichting Caritas Moeder Theresa. Deze stichting is opgericht op verzoek van een erflaatster, met als doel ervoor te zorgen dat, zo mogelijk, de zusters van de congregatie van de Missionaries of Charity, opgericht door Moeder Theresa in Calcutta, in staat worden gesteld in Utrecht te komen werken “voor de meest verlatenen en uitgestotenen van de maatschappij.” De twee bestuursleden van de stichting waren destijds kardinaal Simonis en econoom J.M.Chr. Klok van het Aartsbisdom Utrecht.

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Pell’s mixed legacy to Australia

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

Cardinal George Pell leaves Australia for Rome having protected the Catholic church’s financial assets, but at what cost to the human assets?

Cardinal George Pell leaves behind a legacy his church would be proud of – the net assets of the Sydney archdiocese have increased 86 per cent to $190 million since he took over. Gross assets of the archdiocese are now estimated at $1.2 billion.

As the cardinal explained to the royal commission into child sexual abuse every bishop has an obligation to maintain the patrimony his diocese possesses and not to expend it unless forced to do so.

That means make sure what you inherit stays intact and don’t spend it unless you are absolutely forced to by circumstances.

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Thank You BUFF!

UNITED STATES
skipshea

Posted on March 27, 2014 by skipshea

Today’s papers report on President Obama visiting Pope Francis saying he is a great admirer of the man. Making it the first time Obama fell for a FOX News PR campaign.
He is even quoted in the Boston Globe as saying; ‘‘Given his great moral authority, when the pope speaks it carries enormous weight’’

The Boston Globe. You remember them, winning that Pulitzer for reporting on clergy sexual abuse.

If you do remember, you may want to remind them. I think they forgot.

The Pope’s latest pat on the back was for forming his Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. It even included Boston’s Cardinal O’Malley. Another very wealthy man who points to his sandals to prove how humble he is. The focus on the panel will be about healing. Because the best place for a person to heal from abuse is at the hands of the abuser.

Of course at the same time he names Cardinal Pell to head a powerful new department that will oversee the entire management of the Holy See.

Cardinal Pell was notorious for his viscous attacks on abuse victim John Ellis as a way to dissuade other victims from coming forward. Because, well, healing or justice weren’t his top priority. He behavior was so horrible that he was called in front of a commission investigating his actions.

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Former Knoxville priest convicted of child rape to appeal to Tenn. Supreme Court

TENNESSEE
WATE

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Attorneys for a former Knoxville priest convicted of child rape have filed with the Tennessee Supreme Court in an effort to appeal his conviction.

William Casey was convicted in 2011 in Sullivan County of criminal sexual conduct and aggravated rape in a case that dated back to the 1970s.

He was sentenced to a 35-year prison term. The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled the conviction was not a violation of Casey’s right to due process to try his case more than 30 years after the crimes were committed.

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New Ulm Diocese Files Suit Against Irish Diocese

MINNESOTA
KEYC

In a rare legal move, the Diocese of New Ulm is suing another diocese.

The lawsuit against the Diocese of Clogher in Ireland and the Servants of the Paraclete religious order claims they sent a priest to Minnesota without warning about past accusations of sexual abuse.

The New Ulm Diocese claims it never would have accepted the Rev. Francis Xavier Markey in 1981 if it had been told about his past allegations.

Markey is accused of abuse in the New Ulm Diocese.

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Minnesota diocese sues Ireland diocese over priest accused of sex abuse

MINNESOTA/IRELAND
The Salt Lake Tribune

Associated Press

New Ulm, Minn. • In a rare legal move, a Roman Catholic diocese in Minnesota is suing a diocese in Ireland, alleging it transferred a priest to Minnesota without warning that the man had been accused of sexual abuse.

A report by Minnesota Public Radio News and KARE-TV said the Diocese of New Ulm filed the lawsuit in February against the Diocese of Clogher in Ireland and the Servants of the Paraclete religious order.

In it, the New Ulm Diocese claims it never would have accepted the Rev. Francis Xavier Markey in 1981 if it had been told about the allegations against him.

Markey was ordained in Ireland in 1952, and documents in several court cases show he was accused of sexually abusing boys as early as the 1960s. The documents also show he had gone to treatment before coming to the U.S., and also received treatment at a Paraclete facility in New Mexico.

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Rare legal twist pits one diocese against another

MINNESOTA/IRELAND
Minnesota Public Radio

Trisha Volpe St. Paul, Minn. Mar 27, 2014

The Diocese of New Ulm is suing another diocese and a religious order, accusing both of sending a priest to New Ulm in the early 1980s without telling the diocese that the priest had a long history of being accused of child sexual abuse.

In a rare legal move, the diocese filed suit in February against the Diocese of Clogher in Ireland and a religious order known as the Servants of the Paraclete for sending the Rev. Francis Xavier Markey to Minnesota.

Markey became a priest in Ireland in 1952. Documents filed in several court cases show that he was accused of sexually abusing young boys as far back as the 1960s, and received treatment several times in Ireland and England before coming to the United States.

The New Ulm Diocese lawsuit stems from another lawsuit filed in 2013 by a man who accuses Markey of groping him and his two brothers at the family’s home in 1982.

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Ramsey County asks St. Paul to re-open Nienstedt and Wehrmeyer cases

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Brian Lambert

I hope someone is keeping a running diagram of which of these cases has been (a) Opened, (B) Closed, (C) Re-opened, or (D) Returned to limbo. Sasha Aslanian of MPR reports: “The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office has asked the St. Paul Police Department to reopen two cases related to its investigation into the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A St. Paul police spokesman confirmed the cases pertain to Archbishop John Nienstedt, and Curtis Wehmeyer, a St. Paul priest serving time in prison for child sexual abuse.”

And now the New Ulm Diocese is suing … a diocese in Ireland. Says Trisha Volpe of MPR: “The Diocese of New Ulm is suing another diocese and a religious order, accusing both of sending a priest to New Ulm in the early 1980s without telling the diocese that the priest had a long history of being accused of child sexual abuse. In a rare legal move, the diocese filed suit in February against the Diocese of Clogher in Ireland and a religious order known as the Servants of the Paraclete for sending the Rev. Francis Xavier Markey to Minnesota.”

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SC- BJU should investigate charges re Rev. Gothard

SOUTH CAROLINA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, March 27, 2014

Statement by Cathy Winterfield of SNAP ( 704-207-1300 cathywinterfield@gmail.com )

We are child sex abuse victims who belong to an independent support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. We are here to help protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded and expose the truth.

We are urging Bob Jones University officials to

–launch an independent investigation into alleged cover-ups of child sex crimes and/or sexual harassment accusations that have surfaced recently against a nationally-known minister, and

–permanently post the names of proven, admitted and credibly accused sex offenders who are or have been at the university on the school’s website.

Earlier this month, a prominent Illinois-based Protestant minister, Rev. Bill Gothard, was put on administrative leave after as many as 34 women said that he sexually harassed them. At least four women said that he molested them as youngsters. And Gothard also allegedly hid sexual harassment by his brother, along with Bob Jones officials, according to a recent Washington Post article.

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Many Voices Try to Shape Pope Francis-Obama Meeting

UNITED STATES
The Wall Street Journal

By
TAMARA AUDI
March 26, 2014

In anticipation of Pope Francis’ Thursday meeting with President Barack Obama, activist Judie Brown sent the pontiff an unsolicited 12-page memo that detailed what she said is the administration’s hostility toward the church on issues such as abortion and contraception.

The meeting also spurred 10-year-old Jersey Vargas to travel to Rome from Los Angeles to ask the pope to help her and other American children of undocumented immigrants by supporting changes to U.S. immigration law.

And a group critical of the church’s handling of priest sex-abuse cases wants the president to push Pope Francis to get tougher on the issue.

As this president and this pope meet for the first time, in Vatican City, America’s Roman Catholics are clamoring to influence the agenda, lobbying both men on issues from immigration to health care. While meetings between popes and presidents are largely symbolic, some activists see this one as a chance to gain traction on several issues that are coming to the fore, at a time when the American church grapples with demographic and social changes.

Groups pushing to overhaul immigration laws in the U.S. see Pope Francis—the first pontiff from Latin America and one who has largely emphasized poverty and social justice since he was chosen as pope last year—as a receptive audience. Church membership in the U.S., home to an estimated 7% of the world’s Catholics, has been boosted largely by immigration from Latin America in recent years. Next week, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston will lead a group of American bishops to the Arizona border with Mexico to pray for migrants who have lost their lives crossing the desert.

“We feel that we finally have a true friend that understands what we’re all going through in America with this immigration crisis, and who seriously believes that we urgently need to do something about it,” said Juan José Gutiérrez, an immigration-rights activist who traveled to Rome with a group including 10-year-old Jersey.

On Wednesday at the Vatican, Jersey, whose father was in the U.S. illegally and was detained by immigration authorities, worked her way to the front of the crowd after the pope’s general audience and asked him to help her family and others like hers, according to a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, which helped arrange access.

The meeting also comes as the U.S. church clashes with the Obama administration over a provision in the health-care law requiring businesses to provide access to contraceptives to employees, notwithstanding any religious objections that employers might have. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over the issue this week and is expected to rule in late June.

Ms. Brown, the president of the American Life League, a Catholic group that advocates for church positions on contraceptives and abortion, said the contraceptive mandate in the health-care law “is imposed on Christian faith by a government that holds faith in disdain.” Ms. Brown, a former member of a pontifical academy on bioethics, said she wasn’t asking the pope to raise a specific issue with the president but wanted the pope to have her memo on the administration’s stance on birth control and abortion in light of the current debate in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Before the meeting, the pope was to be briefed on the health-care law, both on “positive aspects from the point of view of Catholic social teaching, and the religious freedom” aspect, a person familiar with the plans said. The pope, while focusing on issues other than certain cultural ones, hasn’t changed traditional church teachings on those issues and is expected to defend them.

The Vatican said in a statement Wednesday that the meeting would “take place in the context of a complex phase of the administration’s relations” with the U.S. church on issues such as the health law and gay marriage. The White House said the president would look “forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality.”

A liberal Catholic group, Catholics for Choice, took out a full-page ad in the International New York Times to remind the president that the pope “is not our political leader,” said Jon O’Brien, the group’s president. “The majority of Catholics believe Pope Francis is leading our church in a positive direction, but the Vatican’s draconian rules on sex and sexuality…still do not reflect the real lives of lay Catholics.”

Advocates for victims of priest sex abuse are urging Mr. Obama to press the pope for greater church accountability. Last week, the Vatican announced appointments to a new commission to help the church confront the problem.

BishopAccountability.org, which documents sex-abuse cases in the church, sent a letter to Mr. Obama asking him to push the pope to help federal officials track abusive priests who have fled the U.S. “Use your historic meeting…to achieve something of substance,” the group wrote in a letter to Mr. Obama.

—Liam Moloney contributed to this article.
Write to Tamara Audi at tammy.audi@wsj.com

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Cultures of cover-up

The Economist

Erasmus

IN MANY international organisations (including the European Union), there are internal tensions caused by different attitudes towards truth-telling. At the risk of dealing in huge stereotypes, it’s a commonplace of social anthropology that there are some cultures and sub-cultures that attach high importance to truth-telling and regard telling direct lies as shameful; and others which foster a keen sense of the importance of “saving face” (one’s own, or the family’s, or the organisation’s) and feel it’s okay to tell fibs to keep up appearances. Within both Europe and the United States (again, sorry for the stereotype), the latter mindset seems more prevalent in southern regions than northern ones.

A similar cultural fault-line apparently runs through the global Catholic church, and it has affected the response to child abuse allegations. That at least is the implication of some public testimony that Australia’s top Catholic cleric has just given, before heading off to Rome to take on a job that will include responsibility for the Vatican’s murky finances.

Cardinal George Pell (pictured) told a Royal Commission on child abuse that despite its failings, the English-speaking Catholic world had been ahead of the Vatican in facing up to the fact that terrible abuses had taken place. When such allegations surfaced in the mid-1990s…

…The attitude of some people at the Vatican was that if accusations were being made against priests, they were being made exclusively or at least predominantly by enemies of the church to make trouble and therefore they should be dealt with sceptically. I think there was more of an inclination to give the benefit of the doubt to the defendant rather than listen seriously to the complaints…I think in many ways, the English-speaking world made a significant contribution to the universal church in this area.

It wasn’t this part of Cardinal Pell’s testimony that grabbed headlines. People were more interested in what he had to say about a specific matter: a former altar boy and sex abuse victim who lost a battle in Australia’s court of appeal after it was decreed that the Catholic church was not an entity that could be sued. In his testimony, Cardinal Pell acknowledged that although the church had fought a hard and technically correct legal battle in the case, Mr Ellis had been treated unfairly from a Christian perspective. “From my point of view, from a Christian point of view, leaving aside the legal dimension, I don’t think we did deal fairly.”

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Priest accused of sexual abuse in Akron and Bedford loses clerical status

OHIO
Beacon Journal

By Colette M. Jenkins
Beacon Journal religion writer

George F. Bailey, a Roman Catholic priest who resigned in 1989 as pastor of Medina’s St. Francis Xavier Parish, has essentially been defrocked by the Vatican over sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1960s in Akron.

On Thursday, priests and deacons throughout the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland received a memo from Bishop Richard G. Lennon, informing them that Bailey “was granted a dispensation from the clerical state” by the Holy See.

“In response to credible accusations of sexual misconduct involving a minor, George Bailey requested a dispensation from the clerical state for the good of the church. Dispensation from the clerical state means that in accordance with Canon Law, George Bailey is unable to function in any capacity as a priest anywhere, with the exception of offering absolution to those in danger of death,” the memo read.
Bailey, 76, severed ties with the local diocese when he resigned in 1989 and diocesan officials have no record of his whereabouts.

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Pell ‘shows sociopathic lack of empathy’

AUSTRALIA
Echo Netdaily

Sydney [AAP]

Cardinal George Pell insists he acted truthfully when he instructed lawyers to vigorously dispute the claims of a sexually abused former altar boy in court, even though he knew the claims were true.

Dr Pell, appearing before the royal commission into child sexual abuse, admitted the Catholic church did not deal fairly with victim John Ellis ‘from a Christian point of view’, but in a legal sense it did nothing improper.

He said he defended the Ellis case vigorously to discourage other complainants from going to court, revealing he was worried that payments for abuse cases in the US sent some churches bankrupt and he wanted to ensure similar situations could not occur in Australia.

At the end of his second day of evidence to the commission, Dr Pell’s admissions were condemned by victims’ families.

‘We’ve seen a sociopathic lack of empathy this morning from this man,’ said Anthony Foster whose two daughters were raped by a priest in Melbourne.

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St. Paul archdiocese gets more time to file documents on abusive priests

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

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

Files on abusive priests are given later deadline, in court action.

The Twin Cities archdiocese was granted more time to produce roughly 60,000 pages of documents related to its priests accused of child sexual abuse, under a ruling in Ramsey District Court Thursday.

The archdiocese, facing a March 31 deadline for producing the files, argued that the scope of the work for the court required considerably more time.

But with sworn testimony by Archbishop John Nienstedt slated for April 2, Judge John Van de North ordered the church to provide all documents related to sex abuse that occurred under Nienstedt’s tenure to be filed with the court by March 31.

The remainder of the documents have a May 30 deadline, he said.

Van de North also set a Sept. 22 court date for the trial to begin.

“We’re pleased,” said attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents an alleged clergy abuse victim identified as John Doe 1. “The judge is requiring them (the archdiocese) to adhere to some deadlines. We’re moving forward on the depositions. We’re going to get some of the files.’’

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CA- Gov. Brown may appoint Catholic defense attorney to bench; SNAP objects

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, March 27, 2014

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

General counsel Maria Rullo Schinderle is being considered for a possible judgeship in Orange County. We are disheartened by this potential appointment.

[Orange County Weekly]

[The Worthy Adversary]

Schinderle has worked as the General Counsel/Human Resources Director of the Diocese of Orange since 1998 and played a crucial role in assisting the Diocese of Orange in fighting sexual abuse allegations. In addition, she aided in the cover-up of crimes, did not aid law enforcement, manipulated victims, and consistently displayed moral ambiguity when dealing with child sex crimes.

We hope Governor Brown will reconsider this appointment and nominate someone with a strong moral background. Lawyers who aid in the cover-up of sex abuse crimes do not fit the bill.

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Taking a new approach to the Bible this Lent

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Renée Schafer Horton | Mar. 27, 2014 NCR Today

Lent is not my favorite time of the liturgical year. I’ve always been more of an Advent person and never understood some of my fellow Catholics’ actual joy during the 40 days preceding Easter. Call me a Lent weakling.

This year, however, I took up a challenge offered by Christian author and speaker Margaret Feinberg to read the New Testament straight through during Lent. I’ve read the Bible before but never this way. It has given me a purpose during these 40 days that keeps me from focusing on the sugar withdrawals I’m having. So far, doing this Bible journey seems to be working on lots of levels.

One of the great things about reading the New Testament straight though instead of the sliced-and-diced version offered throughout the three-year cycle of Mass readings is seeing, once again, how Jesus is portrayed in each of the Gospels. The scholar notes are particularly illuminating, especially in the Gospel of John, which we’ve been reading this week.

Two notes regarding the story of Jesus interacting with the Samaritan woman at the well really struck me. The first comes at John 4:27, where the disciples were “amazed” that Jesus was speaking to a woman. The note on that line reads, “Talking with a woman: a religious and social restriction that Jesus is pictured treating as unimportant.”

The second comes at John 4:39, which reports that many people from the woman’s hometown came to believe in Jesus because of what she told them after her encounter with him. The scholar note on that line reads, “The woman is presented as a missionary.”

This story was Saturday’s Gospel reading and came on the heels of the news that Pope Francis has appointed the first eight members to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, it seemed oddly appropriate. Of the commission’s initial members, four are women. More importantly, one of the women is a victim of priestly abuse.

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CPS statement on prosecution of former bishop

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

Statement from Jaswant Narwal of the Crown Prosecution Service, on the decision to charge Peter Ball, former Bishop of Gloucester, with sex offences:

“After a thorough and careful review, I have decided that Peter Ball should be prosecuted for misconduct in public office and two indecent assaults. It is alleged that he sexually abused a number of young males between 1977 and 1992.

“The misconduct alleged is that he misused his position and authority to manipulate and prevail upon others for his own sexual gratification. […]

“In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute.”

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Former Bishop To Be Prosecuted Over Alleged Sex Offences

UNITED KINGDOM
4 NI

A former bishop is to be prosecuted for alleged sex offences.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it was in the public interest to prosecute Rt Reverend Peter Ball, a former bishop of Gloucester and former bishop of Lewes.

Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East, said: “After a thorough and careful review, I have decided that Peter Ball should be prosecuted for misconduct in public office and two indecent assaults. It is alleged that he sexually abused a number of young males between 1977 and 1992. The misconduct alleged is that he misused his position and authority to manipulate and prevail upon others for his own sexual gratification. During this time Mr Ball was serving as a Bishop in the Church of England.

“In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute. Criminal proceedings are now underway and the defendant has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

The charges are:
• Misconduct in public office between 1977 and 1992
• Indecent assault on a boy, aged 12 or 13, in 1978
• Indecent assault on a man, aged 19 or 20, between 1980 and 1982

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Retired bishop faces sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Littlehampton Gazette

A retired Church of England bishop who was formerly the Bishop of Lewes is due in court over sex offences and misconduct charges, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Peter Ball, who had been Bishop of Gloucester and Bishop of Lewes, will be prosecuted for historic offences dating back to 1977.

They include indecent assault on a boy, aged 12 or 13, indecent assault on a man aged 19 or 20, and misconduct in a public office.

Ball, 82, is due to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court next month.

Jaswant Narwal, chief crown prosecutor for the CPS in the south east, said: ” After a thorough and careful review, I have decided that Peter Ball should be prosecuted for misconduct in public office and two indecent assaults.

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Peter Ball: Former Bishop of Gloucester to Face Trial for Sex Offences Against Young Boys

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By Samantha Payne March 27, 2014

A retired Church of England bishop will face trial for allegedly carrying out a string of sex offences against men and boys over 30 years ago, the Crown Prosecution Service announced today.

Peter Ball, 82, formerly the Bishop of Gloucester and Lewes, is charged with indecent assault on a boy, aged 12 or 13, in 1978 and on a man aged 19 or 20 between 1980 and 1982.

Ball also faces charges of misconduct in public office between 1977 and 1992. He will appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 10 April.

Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Cps South East, said: “The misconduct alleged is that he misused his position and authority to manipulate and prevail upon others for his own sexual gratification.

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Bishop is charged over sex-assault offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by Madeleine Davies

Posted: 27 Mar 2014

A FORMER Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Peter Ball, will be prosecuted for indecent assaults on young men, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced on Thursday.

Jaswant Narwal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East, said: “It is alleged that he sexually abused a number of young males between 1977 and 1992. The misconduct alleged is that he misused his position and authority to manipulate and prevail upon others for his own sexual gratification. During this time Mr Ball was serving as a Bishop in the Church of England.”

Bishop Ball, who is 82 years old, and lives in Langport, Somerset, is charged with misconduct in public office between 1977 and 1992, indecent assault on a boy, aged 12 or 13, in 1978, and indecent assault on a man, aged 19 or 20, between 1980 and 1982 .

Between 1977 and 1992 Bishop Ball was Bishop of Lewes. He became Bishop of Gloucester in 1992 but resigned in 1993, after being formally cautioned by Gloucester Police for “one offence of gross indecency, contrary to the Sexual Offences Act of 1956” (News, 12 March 1993). The offence involved a 17-year-old novice from what was described as “an embryo order”. No charges were brought, but a formal caution implies an admission of guilt.

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Former Church of England Bishop who describes Prince Charles as a ‘loyal friend’ charged with sex offences dating back to 1977

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By JILL REILLY

A retired Church of England Bishop is due in court over sex offences and misconduct charges, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Peter Ball, formerly the Bishop of Gloucester and Bishop of Lewes, will be prosecuted for historic offences dating back to 1977.

They include an alleged indecent assault on a boy, aged 12 or 13, indecent assault on a man aged 19 or 20, and misconduct in a public office.

Ball, 82, is due to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court next month.

Ball, former bishop of Lewes and later Gloucester, has connections with Prince Charles whom he has described in the past as a ‘loyal friend’.

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Former Bishop Peter Ball faces sex offence charges

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A retired Anglican bishop is to be prosecuted for alleged sex offences dating back to the 1970s.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it was in the public interest to prosecute the Rt Rev Peter Ball, a former bishop of Gloucester and former bishop of Lewes in East Sussex.

It is alleged Bishop Ball, 82, indecently assaulted a boy aged 12 or 13 and a man aged 19 or 20.

He is due to appear before Brighton magistrates on 10 April.

Bishop Ball is also to be charged with misconduct in public office between 1977 and 1992.

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Church of England bishop charged with indecently assaulting two young males

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sandra Laville
theguardian.com, Thursday 27 March 2014

A former bishop in the Church of England has been charged with indecently assaulting two young males and abusing his position for his own sexual gratification over a 15-year period.

An investigation by Sussex police into allegations of assault by Peter Ball, the former bishop of Gloucester and Lewes, resulted on Thursday in the Crown Prosecution Service announcing he was being charged.

Ball, 82, is accused of the sexual abuse of a number of young males between 1977 and 1992. Jaswant Narwal, chief crown prosecutor for CPS south-east, said: “After a thorough and careful review I have decided that Peter Ball should be prosecuted for misconduct in public office and two indecent assaults.

“It is alleged that he sexually abused a number of young males between 1977 and 1992. The misconduct alleged is that he misused his position and authority to manipulate and prevail upon others for his own sexual gratification. During this time Mr Ball was a bishop in the Church of England.”

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Trip To Vatican Opens Doors For Clergy Abuse Documentary

MASSACHUSETTS
PR Web

Boston, Massachusetts (PRWEB) March 27, 2014

Attempting to battle the cover-up, shame and silence of clergy sexual abuse, three survivors from Boston Massachusetts, travel to Rome reaching behind the secret walls of The Vatican. Their week long effort evolves into a decade long mission that exposes mind blowing statistics and unexpected global response.

The unlikely film producer of BASTA is Gary Bergeron, 51, a carpenter by trade, who lives in the greater Boston area. Gary and his brother came forward to their parents in 2002 about their abuse at the hands of a Boston priest. Gary consequently discovered his 77 year old father had also been abused by his priest. “Finding out that two generations of my family had lived with this painful secret was a pivotal moment. Now not only was I a victim of clergy sexual abuse, I was the brother and the son of clergy abuse victims. I decided to do whatever was necessary to insure I would never be the father of a clergy abuse victim. Regardless of the consequences, the Vatican was the next step.” said Bergeron

The documentary is punctuated by a graphic timeline of staggering statistics. The facts are delivered in a way that allows viewers to draw their own conclusions. The audience joins Bergeron, his father and fellow survivor Bernie McDaid, on their initial journey to Rome in a quest for answers and actions, from the Pope, to halt the continuing cover-ups and bring healing to survivors. BASTA documents these simple men’s emotional journey of commitment and determination, men seeking help, hope & aid in healing a nation impacted by the effects of the abuse crisis. A decade into his personal journey for justice, Bergeron learns that success isn’t always defined by achieving a goal, sometimes, it’s defined by the attempt itself, and in that attempt… you may also find out who you are.

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NC- Pastor charged with sexual battery, SNAP responds

NORTH CAROLINA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, March 27, 2014

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

A North Carolina pastor has been charged with sexual battery after harassing a woman at a hotel yesterday.

[Fox 8]

It is extremely troublesome when a trusted member of the community is charged with any kind of sexual offense. We hope, although are doubtful, that this was an isolated incidence.

We urge anyone else, who may have been hurt by Pastor Robert Harris to speak up, report to police and start healing. We especially urge any current or former staff or members at his church to call police if they have any information or suspicions that might help them learn more of the truth about this case.

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Star Advertiser: Toughen laws against child-sex predators

HAWAII
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on March 27, 2014

From the editorial in today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser:

Children who are raped, sodomized and otherwise sexually abused must cope with the emotional and physical pain of these heinous acts for the rest of their lives. Just as there is no statute of limitations on the trauma they suffer, there should be no statute of limitations on bringing to justice the criminals who inflict this terror on Hawaii’s most vulnerable victims.

So we applaud the Hawaii Legislative Women’s Caucus’ continuing efforts to make it more difficult for pedophilic predators to get away with sex crimes against minors, and to hold accountable private employers and institutions that are proven culpable in the abuse. However, extending the window to file civil lawsuits in limited instances of past abuse, as bills pending in the Legislature seek to do, strikes us as a relatively minor response.

This important issue deserves a broader approach, especially in the Internet age, when the money to be made producing online child pornography for a sick global market heightens an insidious profit motive for criminals already inclined to exploit minors in this way.

It’s fair to say that American society has had its consciousness raised about childhood sexual abuse over the past several decades, as an abuse scandal engulfed the Roman Catholic Church. Other religious, educational and recreational organizations entrusted with children’s welfare also were found to have harbored predators in their ranks. Unthinkable crimes were uncovered and victims were finally heard, many after decades of silence. Yet, quite often, perpetrators escaped punishment, because the statute of limitations on the crimes had expired.

One legitimate response, including in Hawaii, has been to temporarily lift that time limit, although here that provision is limited to the filing of civil lawsuits, and only against the individuals directly involved and associated private entities proven negligent and therefore partly responsible. The state and its agencies are exempt, a glaring hypocrisy given that compulsory public schools, for just one example, also risk employing sexual predators.

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Valencia teacher suspected of ‘inappropriate contact’ with student, more victims sought

CALIFORNIA
LA Daily News

By City News Service
POSTED: 03/26/14

VALENCIA — A 35-year-old teacher at Legacy Academy School in Valencia was arrested today for allegedly having inappropriate contact with a student.

Carl Astrera, of Panorama City, was booked at the sheriff’s Santa Clarita Valley station and is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff’s officials said the alleged inappropriate conduct appeared to have occurred over the past 18 months.

Since Astrera has worked at the school for a number of years, investigators said they believe there may be additional victims. Anyone with information was asked to call the sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau at (877) 710- 5273.

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UPDATE: Legacy teacher arrested for inappropriate conduct

CALIFORNA
Signal

By Jim Holt
Signal Senior Staff Writer

A teacher at a private Santa Clarita elementary and middle school was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of inappropriate contact with an 11-year-old student, investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday.

Carl Astrera, 35, who lives in Panorama City and has worked at Legacy Christian Academy for years, was arrested by detectives with the department’s Special Victims Bureau, according to a news release issued by the department Wednesday afternoon.

Astrera was arrested after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed one misdemeanor count against him for allegedly annoying/molesting a child.

Astrera teaches computers and information technology as part of the private school’s Enrichment/Exploratory Program, according to the school’s website.

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Teacher, 35, Accused Of Inappropriate Contact With Student At Private School

CALIFORNIA
CBS Los Angeles

[with video]

VALENCIA (CBSLA.com) — A 35-year-old Panorama City man is under arrest for alleged inappropriate conduct with a student.

Authorities said they first began investigating Carl Astrera last month.

Astrera is a teacher at the Legacy Christian Academy School located in the 27600 block of Dickason Drive in Valencia.

Officials said Astrera was arrested following a nearly month-long investigation.They said the alleged inappropriate conduct lasted a year-and-a-half.

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Valencia teacher accused of inappropriate contact with student

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By Robert J. Lopez
March 26, 2014

A 35-year-old teacher at a Valencia Christian school was charged Wednesday on suspicion of inappropriate contact with a student, authorities said.

Carl Astrera is accused of engaging in the inappropriate behavior during the last 18 months at Legacy Christian Academy, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. The school has students from kindergarten throughout 8th grade, according to its website.

Detectives launched an investigation on Feb. 28. Prosecutors charged Astrera Wednesday with one count of annoying/molesting a child, according to the department.

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Pell closes with a profuse apology to abuse victim Ellis

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

CARDINAL George Pell has marked the end of his appearance before the royal commission into child sexual abuse with a public apology for the suffering endured by abused former altar boy John Ellis.

Reading from a statement, Cardinal Pell said the church had failed Mr Ellis and, as archbishop, he took ultimate responsibility for the suffering and the terrible impact on his life.

“At the end of this gruelling appearance for both of us at this royal commission, I want to publicly say sorry to him for the hurt caused him by the mistakes made,” Cardinal Pell said.

Observers in the room became agitated during Cardinal Pell’s statement, with some calling out, “Look at him”.

Cardinal Pell kept his eyes down while reading the statement but, after being excused, acknowledged Mr Ellis, who had sat in the front row throughout the hearing.

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On sex abuse, asking the right questions

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

Mollie Wilson O’Reilly March 25, 2014

The announcement over the weekend of the new Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors made me think that at least I was asking the right questions at the panel discussion with Cardinal O’Malley last Wednesday. Leadership roles for women? They make up half the membership of this commission (so far), a good start. Will O’Malley be advising Francis on appointments to the commission, or sex-abuse-related policies and priorities? Obviously (as he must have already known).

As for accountability: it’s something the commission may (and should) decide to take up. I think Mark Silk has it right. After quoting the Vatican’s official description of the commission’s duties, he writes:

I would suggest to Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the big dog on the commission, that the key item on this list is “civil and canonical duties and responsibilities.” In the U.S.and many other places around the world, there’s been plenty of attention to education and the discipline of abusers, to say nothing of symbolic acts of ecclesiastical apology. What’s needed are binding and enforceable legal procedures.

All the best practices in the world aren’t going to be much help if there’s no visible, consistent, appropriate policy for dealing with bishops and others who ignore them. Silk is encouraged by the presence on the commission of Baroness Sheila Hollins, who, he says, “is notable for calling on the Vatican to punish church officials (read: bishops) who fail to implement or enforce church rules on pedophile priests.

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Jeff Kennett warned Pell to deal with abuse

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

March 28, 2014

Josh Gordon, Catherine Armitage

Jeff Kennett has confirmed he bluntly warned Cardinal George Pell in the 1990s to resolve allegations of child sexual abuse or possibly face a royal commission.

The former premier said he recalled telling the cardinal to deal with abuse complaints or face significant consequences for the church. But Mr Kennett said he had made no judgment on the adequacy of the response at the time.

”I was reassured that George said ‘yes’, he’d get stuck into it,” Mr Kennett said. ”A couple of months later I was told that he had put together a response … and I just assumed that, right, he is on top of it and it’s not for me to sit in judgment … of whether the response was adequate or not.”

Cardinal Pell this week admitted he wanted to avoid big damages claims. As a result, he set up the ”Melbourne Response” to deal with complaints, which included a $50,000 cap on payouts.

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Archdiocese agrees to pay more than $1 million to settle sex abuse suit

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

The Archdiocese of Chicago agreed to pay $1.68 million to $2.1 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged former priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormack sexually abused a former fifth grade student at Our Lady of the Westside School, the plaintiff’s attorney announced Wednesday.

The agreement settles a suit brought against the archdiocese and Cardinal Francis George in December, 2011, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The suit was filed by a male Chicago plaintiff, now 23, who chose to remain anonymous and is identified as John Doe.

It alleged that at various times in the 2000 to 2001 school year, McCormack “inappropriately sexually touched, hugged, rubbed and/or abused” the plaintiff and “maintained a sexually abusive relationship with Doe, under the guise of counseling” him.

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Pastor in Gaston Co. charged with sexual battery

NORTH CAROLINA
Fox 8

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. – A pastor in Gaston Co. has been charged with a sexual offense after police say he harassed a woman at a hotel Wednesday.

The woman told police that she was staying in a hotel when a man identified as Robert Harris knocked on her door and asked for sex.

According to WSOC, Harris is listed as pastor of Harriett’s Memorial Freewill Baptist Church in Forest City.

The woman refused his advances and the man left.

He then returned while she was on the phone with police, and they heard Harris make a vulgar request.
The woman then said he tossed a $20 bill at her.

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