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.

April 2, 2014

Nienstedt to answer questions about clergy sexual abuse scandal in lawsuit deposition

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Apr 2, 2014

Archbishop John Nienstedt will testify under oath today about his handling of clergy sexual abuse allegations in St. Paul and Minneapolis, marking the first time that the leader of the Twin Cities archdiocese has been forced to answer questions about his role in the scandal.

The deposition is part of a lawsuit brought by a man who says he was sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas Adamson in the mid-1970s. The lawsuit claims the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona created a public nuisance by refusing for decades to release information on abusive priests. It says that the actions of top church officials continue to put children at risk.

Church lawyers have tried to block the deposition for months, arguing that it isn’t relevant to the case and could be used by the man’s attorneys as “a means of harassment, oppression and embarrassment to these witnesses, as well as for the purpose of self-promotion and negative publicity against The Archdiocese.” Those arguments failed to convince Ramsey County Judge John Van de North and the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Van de North also declined to seal the deposition and ordered the archdiocese to turn over thousands of documents about accused priests to lawyers representing the alleged victim. The judge had previously ordered the archdiocese to publicly disclose the names of priests it considered to have been “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse. He also ordered the deposition of former vicar general Kevin McDonough, scheduled for April 16.

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- Did Vatican deceive UN panel? SNAP responds

IRELAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 2, 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 )

Irish minister Alan Shatter is seeking clarification from the Vatican for their misleading statements before a United Nations panel about the Magdalene laundries. We are disappointed, but not surprised by both the Vatican’s deception and the nuns’ unchanged refusal to help victims.

[Irish Times]

We doubt there’s any “miscommunication” here. Catholic officials often say whatever they want in order to get out of a jam or fix, and when caught being misleading, they claim there was some kind of mix up.

We hope the UN panel will denounce Vatican officials for being misleading. And we hope this negatively publicity will prompt the Vatican to be truthful and transparent.

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.

MA- O’Malley calls SNAP “angry & hurt” – SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Statement by Phil Saviano ( 617-983 5075 ) of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

In a derisive put-down, Boston’s top Catholic official is criticizing the motives of thousands of members of our self-help group.

In an interview published late yesterday by the Washington Post, Cardinal Sean O’Malley dismissed our well-founded skepticism about the latest Catholic abuse panel by claiming that our organization is “very hurt and very angry.”

For a quarter century, we’ve helped expose the complicity of hundreds of Catholic officials in thousands of heinous child sex crimes. So it’s tempting and convenient for most of them to portray us as “angry.” The truth is, however, that most of us are passionate . . . about the safety of children. That’s what drives us. And we’re deeply – and justifiably – disappointed that after nearly 30 years of widely-reported and extensively-documented callous cover ups by seemingly countless Catholic clerics, Pope Francis is setting up yet-another church panel to study abuse.

It’s been said that the best defense is a good offense. So we’re not surprised that O’Malley tries to discredit and dismiss us. In so doing, he joins a long list of his church colleagues who know they can’t defend the indefensible so instead they attack the messengers.

———————————————-

[From the Washington Post article:

The cardinal from Boston is also one of the eight people recently named to a Vatican commission on protecting children from sex abuse. The pope made a rare media misstep recently when he responded defensively on the subject of abuse, and some survivors of rape by priests have protested that the last thing the Vatican needs is another commission.

O’Malley said his hope for the commission is “to bring together a group of experts and try and help the bishops conferences of the world to develop policies that will be effective for child protection, beginning with the Vatican City. We’d like to see Vatican City model what child protection should be like.’’ Existing policies all over the world, he said, “need to be studied and evaluated and in many cases improved.”

Of the argument that bishops who perpetuated abuse in the past should still be held accountable, he said, “That’s something the commission I’m sure will make recommendations on – and that’s what we will do, make recommendations – and it will be challenging,’’ he added, in part because members of that or any commission include people from very different cultures. “But we are anxious to have input from people who have experience either in their own lives or in working with victims and survivors.’

Asked if he was surprised by the negative response to the commission from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, he said no: “They are very hurt and they are angry and upset with the church and I understand their anger, but I don’t know that their evaluation is always the most accurate.”]

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

Judge Allows Unprecedented Legal Claims to Move Forward…

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

[court document]

Judge Allows Unprecedented Legal Claims to Move Forward in Lawsuit Involving Father Curtis Wehmeyer

Claims include nuisance and spoliation of evidence

St. Paul, MN) – Today, Ramsey County Judge John Van de North issued an Order allowing Doe 31, who was sexually abused by Father Curtis Wehmeyer, to move forward with legal claims for nuisance and spoliation and offered Doe 31 a chance to amend the complaint filed on January 30, 2014 to include additional details in support of false advertising and deceptive trade practices claims to demonstrate the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis misrepresented its programs to be safe for children.

“We are eager to put all of the information before the Court that will show the misrepresentations of a safe environment for children,” said Doe 31’s attorney Jeff Anderson.

The legal claims are consumer protection laws that have never before been used in a clergy child sexual abuse lawsuit in civil court.

Notes: The Order issued today by the Court is attached and posted to our website at www.andersonadvocates.com along with the complaint and other documents.

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.

Cleaning up the post-George Pell parish in Sydney

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

April 2, 2014

Elizabeth Farrelly
Sydney Morning Herald columnist, author, architecture critic and essayist

George Pell wants to insure priests against being sued for child sexual abuse. My head is still rotating on its axis. Our man in purple, our alpha priest, moral paragon. Our Vatican princeling, just days from taking up his dauphindom in Rome: he said that? He dropped this fissile solipsism on our public debate and left, smacking the dust from his hands like, we’re done now, right?

For this was no dinner party throw-away. The cardinal – fully frocked, schooled and premeditated – breathed his proposition into the stone tablets of a royal commission. He wanted it recorded and kept. Forever.

But insurance? Does he think child sex is some unavoidable occupational hazard? Something a priest will sooner or later fall to? An accident? If you wanted to maximise the damage already done to countless children, you’d be hard put to find a surer way, or crueller.

It was already accepted that the church had systematically preyed on its charges, breaking their still-soft hearts by telling them not just to take it and be quiet, but that this – this! – is how God loves them.

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

Documentary on St. Francis priest sex-abuse scandal wins Peabody Award

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Alex Gibney’s documentary about the priest sex-abuse scandal at St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis was among the winners of the 2013 Peabody Awards announced Wednesday morning.

“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” — which examines the actions of Father Lawrence Murphy, who abused more than 200 deaf students at the school from the 1950s to the 1970s, and the Catholic Church’s efforts to keep the scandal quiet — was called “harrowing and infuriating” by the Peabody committee.

The film, which had its U.S. premiere at the 2012 Milwaukee Film Festival, aired on HBO in 2013. Much of the story is told in compelling fashion by some of Murphy’s victims — including a home movie of the now-grown victims confronting the priest.

“It was such a powerful piece of footage, we had to find a place in the narrative to make room for it,” Gibney told Journal Sentinel film critic Duane Dudek before the 2012 Milwaukee Film Festival.

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

Archbishop to Testify in Clergy Abuse Lawsuit

MINNESOTA
KSTP

[with video]

Created: 04/02/2014

By: Jennie Olson

The leader of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is facing tough questions on Wednesday.

Archbishop John Nienstedt will have to explain what he knew about allegations of sexual abuse by his priests. Nienstedt’s deposition will not be sealed, much to the disappointment of the archdiocese. We could soon learn what Nienstedt has to say under oath during the four-hour deposition.

The deposition is part of a lawsuit in Ramsey County District Court. A victim has sued the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the Diocese of Winona, and former priest Tom Adamson, who allegedly abused the victim in the 1970s.

A judge ordered the archdiocese to turn over tens of thousands of pages of documents on about 40 priests who have been credibly accused of abusing children from 1970 to today. All 60,000 documents have to be turned in to the Ramsey County judge by Nienstedt’s deposition Wednesday. The documents are sealed, but the victim’s attorney plans to ask the judge to reveal as much as he can through the deposition process.

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.

Fiscalía pedirá más de 20 años de cárcel para sacerdote O’Reilly por abusos sexuales

CHILE
Puranoticia

[Summary: The prosecution today asked that priest John O’Reilly be imprisoned for 20 years for alleged abuse of female children ages 7 and 11.]

La Fiscalía Oriente presentará hoy ante el 4° Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago la acusación por presuntos abusos sexuales en contra del sacerdote John O’Reilly.

Según publicó hoy El Mercurio, fuentes vinculadas al caso informaron que el Ministerio Público solicitaría ante la justicia que el religioso sea condenado a dos penas de 10 años y un día de presidio efectivo.

Luego de siete meses de investigación, y el análisis de toda la prueba recopilada, la Unidad de Delitos Sexuales -junto a las fiscales Lorena Parra y Carmen Gloria Guevara- decidieron llevar a juicio a O’Reilly como presunto autor del delito de abuso sexual impropio reiterado en contra de dos hermanas de 7 y 11 años.

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.

IL- Another Belleville predator priest suit filed; SNAP responds

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 2, 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 )

Another person who was sexually assaulted by Belleville’s Fr. Robert J. Vonnahmen has filed a civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against Catholic officials.

[Madison-St. Clair Record]

Vonnahmen is one of Illinois’ worst child molesting clerics. And like so many of his abusive associates, he walks free today with no supervision thanks to dozens of current and former Belleville Catholic church staff and members who, for decades, ignored or hid his crimes.

We applaud this brave victim and hope his legal action brings him some degree of healing. We know it will help ease the burdens of others who were violated by Belleville priests. We hope it will inspire even one church employee – past or present – to show courage and become a whistleblower. And we hope it will deter one employer, secular or religious, from concealing heinous crimes against kids.

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.

GA- Archbishop offers “weird” apology; SNAP responds

GEORGIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 2, 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 )

Gregory’s “apology” about his extravagant spending rings hollow.

The test of whether an apology is sincere is simple: Are the remorseful words followed by different deeds? In this case, at best, it’s too early to tell, because Gregory refuses to reverse himself.

If you apologize for something, you express regret for having done something and you stop doing it. But Gregory wants to have his cake and eat it too. He wants to say “I’m sorry” without having to say “I’ll change.”

Most of who Gregory will allegedly “consult” will be clerics who have pledged to obey him. So how meaningful and authentic will their feedback be?

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.

Tebartz-van Elst erhält eine üppige Pension

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Welt

[Summary: Former Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst can look forward to a good pension.]

Der ehemalige Limburger Bischof Tebartz-van Elst darf sich auf eine üppige Pension und womöglich eine angenehme Aufgabe freuen. Auch wenn in Rom der Einfluss seiner Unterstützer schwindet. Von Christian Eckl

Eigentlich kann man die katholische Kirche ganz gut mit einem weltweit agierenden Konzern vergleichen. Strauchelt ein kleiner Mitarbeiter, so wird er eben entlassen. Strauchelt einer aus der mittleren Führungsebene, so weiß er oft zu viel. Nur so ist es zu erklären, dass Bischöfe, die zum Rücktritt gezwungen werden, zumindest in Deutschland weich fallen.

Einfachen Priestern droht bei Verfehlungen oft die Laisierung. Im Falle von Priestern, die Kinder missbrauchen, ist das durchaus verständlich – doch auch wenn ein Priester zu einem von ihm gezeugten Kind öffentlich steht, droht ihm Liebesentzug durch seine Kirche.

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.

Media Predictably Goes Silent As Abuse Allegations Fall To Their Lowest Levels Ever

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

In a newly released annual audit of abuse by independent experts, it was reported that there were only ten contemporaneous abuse allegations made against priests even deemed “credible” in all of 2013 (out of some 40,000 active priests) and that the “fewest allegations and victims” ever were tabulated since annual reports were first compiled in 2004.

This is obviously good news. But predictably, the mainstream media is notably silent about this very positive report, even though in years past when the numbers were less encouraging, the media fell over themselves to breathlessly report any unflattering statistics which they could dig up.

A search of news coverage about the Church’s new annual report found that not a single secular news outlet (e.g., the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune etc.) reported on the study.

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.

Monument to Bethany Home’s 222 dead children unveiled

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Claire O’Sullivan
Irish Examiner Reporter

As a monument is unveiled today to the 222 children who died at a Protestant children’s home and were buried in unmarked graves, survivors of the home have pledged to continue their fight for justice.

The Department of Justice offered the Bethany Survivor’s Group up to €25,000 towards their memorial, but has refused to include them in the redress scheme that was offered to the survivors of Magdalene laundries.

“To help fund the memorial was the right step on the behalf of the Department, but we want them to know it is only the first step. The State had a duty of care to us, yet we suffered enormous abuse and that must be acknowledged,” said Derek Leinster, chairman of the Bethany Survivor’s Group.

A Church of Ireland service at Mount Jerome Chapel will precede the unveiling of the six foot sculpture at the adjoining cemetery at Harold’s Cross, Dublin, today.

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 misled UN committee on compensation to Magdalene women

IRELAND
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew, Patsy McGarry

Wed, Apr 2, 2014

Claims made by the Vatican in a submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) last December were so inaccurate, it prompted Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to write to Rome seeking clarification, The Irish Times has learned.

The Vatican asserted to the UNCRC that the four religious congregations that ran Magdalene laundries in Ireland were willing to pay part of a compensation scheme developed by the State for women who had been in the laundries.

However, two of the religious congregations concerned have since repeated their unwillingness to contribute to any compensation scheme for the women.

Criticism
When the UNCRC issued its final report on the Vatican’s child protection record last February, Rome came in for unprecedented worldwide criticism.

In its response, the Vatican said it was “heartened by the openness of the religious sisters to engage in discussions about issues of compensation and their willingness to pay a part of a compensation package developed by state authorities”.

But the four congregations involved have all publicly declined to contribute to the proposed compensation scheme.

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

Church honours market over Gospel in abuse cases

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Andrew Hamilton | 02 April 2014

Cardinal Pell was often described as the leader of the Australian Church. What he said and did was taken to represent the Australian Catholic Church. That sometimes annoyed Catholics from other states who saw their church as superior to the Sydney variety, and certainly did not recognise the Cardinal as their leader.

It does explain why his appearance at the Royal Commission was awaited with such interest and received such publicity. But in the event the hearings on the treatment of John Ellis were of far deeper significance than for what they revealed of the Cardinal’s own role. It exposed a set of priorities and strategies until recently adopted by many Australian bishops, church bodies and leaders of religious congregations. They reflected an unwitting subscription to neoliberal ideology at the expense of the Christian Gospel.

In the Catholic Church, bishops and, in a more limited sphere, other religious leaders have three interlocking responsibilities. They are teachers of their people, encouraging them to appropriate the Gospel deeply and faithfully, and helping them reflect on its significance today. They are pastors of their people, providing for their spiritual needs and reaching out to the needy and the lost. They also administer the patrimony of the Church, ensuring that its personal and financial resources serve its mission.

These responsibilities are complex and rich in their scope, but can readily be reduced to something more manageable. Teaching can be reduced to enforcing doctrinal orthodoxy; pastoring, to maintaining order; administering the patrimony, to protecting and extending financial reserves. And the rich relationships involved in these responsibilities can be reduced to control, that unlovely amalgam of fear and power.

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.

Molestation trial begins for former youth mentor

FLORIDA
Sun Sentinel

By Rafael Olmeda, Sun Sentinel
8:17 p.m. EDT, April 1, 2014

Through sobs, a 21-year-old man told a Broward jury Tuesday how he really feels about the man accused of raping him repeatedly as a teenager.

“I still love him.”

The accuser, whose name is being withheld because of the nature of the accusations, had just finished telling the jury that he was initiated into years of sexual abuse by former youth mentor Jeffery London, 50, who is being tried for 27 counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and sexual battery on a minor.

London, who lived in Lauderdale Lakes when he was arrested, faces life in prison if convicted. The charges involve four separate accusers, one of whom took the stand Tuesday. London, who served as a mentor at the Bible Church of God in Fort Lauderdale and as dean of students at Eagle Charter Academy in Lauderdale Lakes from 2003-09, was arrested in 2012 when abuse allegations came to light.

Since then, at least 10 men have accused him of molestation, all while the men were as young as pre-teens through their teenage years.

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

Commission hearings’ trail of collateral devastation

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Neil Ormerod | 02 April 2014

sMost of us who have worked in or near church institutions get used to a certain level of dysfunctionality: poor lines of communication, under-developed personal skills, the arbitrary use of power, the no-talk rule about controversial issues, lack of accountability and transparency, people rising above the level of their competence, and so on. In general we learn to tolerate it and work around it as best we can. At times, however, it comes together as a ‘perfect storm’ of dysfunctionality leading to incredibly damaging consequences for all concerned.

After listening to several hours of the Royal Commission into sexual abuse on the John Ellis case I would see this as one such occasion.

There was enormous damage done to John Ellis (pictured) in his attempts to get the Church to respond as the presence of Christ in the world. Despite repeated failures by Church authorities to deal adequately with his plight he continued to seek pastoral care, spiritual direction and finally legal mediation. It seems he wasn’t recognised as a victim but as an adversary whom the Church needed to crush, a well-to-do lawyer after a pot of money. His was to be the corpse hanging outside the city gates as a warning to all who would attempt similar actions.

Damage was done to the reputations of various bit-players: John Davoran and Monsignor Brian Rayner who clearly did not have Cardinal Pell’s confidence; the Cardinal’s secretary Dr Michael Casey who was forced by the Commission to admit that the Church’s actions were unjust; the solicitors from the Cardinal’s legal team Coors who would have heard clearly the warning of Justice McClellan that saying they were following their client’s instructions would be no defence. Many who faced the Commission’s scrutiny emerged diminished persons.

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.

Whistleblowers have been vital in undercovering secrets in Ireland, says Observer editor

IRELAND
The Journal

THE GREAT THING about whistleblowers now is they have more access to information than ever, according to the editor of The Observer John Mulholland.

The Dublin-born editor believes the role of the whistleblower within Irish society has been vital in uncovering the “misbehavior” of institutions such as the Catholic church.

“Look at the Catholic church: should whistleblowers over the last 20, 30 years not have come forward and given their story of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests?

“Well of course there were people in Ireland who wish they hadn’t, who had a loyalty to the Catholic church, but there is no rational reason for you to believe that they shouldn’t have came forward and told their stories.

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.

Healing process needs support

CANADA
Lethbridge Herald

BY LETHBRIDGE HERALD OPINON ON APRIL 2, 2014.

Four years of public hearings have come to an end.

Sunday in Edmonton, the commission tasked with exploring the history of Canada’s residential schools system, and its impact on the county’s aboriginal population, wrapped up its work.

In all, thousands of victims shared their experiences, as stories of the cruelty and abuse were captured on video. It created a video history of what will go down as one of Canada’s biggest blunders, a dark chapter in our history.

For some, including many here in southern Alberta, the opportunity to have their story heard was only one part of the process. Many have commented over the years how it was all part of the healing process while for others, it simply brought back memories they likely wished to keep buried.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission made visits to over 300 communities, and started in Winnipeg back in June of 2010. Since then, about 6,500 statements were collected, as survivors spoke about what they went through during their time in residential schools.

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.

Crosiers disclose updated list of religious involved in sexual abuse

MINNESOTA
Mille Lacs Messenger

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Special to the Messenger

An updated list of Crosier priests and brothers with one or more credible claims of sexual abuse of minors has been released by the community from its province headquarters in Phoenix. The list includes Crosiers previously disclosed in 2002 following a third-party investigation as well as current, former and deceased Crosiers who have credible allegations against them, according to a news release from the order.

In the St. Cloud Diocese, those accused were assigned at one or more of the following ministries: Crosier Seminary and Priory, Onamia; St. Peter Parish, St. Cloud; St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Cloud; St. Therese Parish, Vineland; Cathedral High School, St. Cloud; Central Minnesota TEC.

The province website lists all assignments of the accused: www.crosier.org.

Crosier Prior Provincial Thomas Enneking said in the statement, “It is our hope that this will bring healing, peace and comfort to the victims and their families. Even though the last occurrence of abuse took place more than 20 years ago, the stigma remains for all of us. We pray for forgiveness and the opportunity to strengthen our ministry and service to everyone in need.”

The statement added the Crosiers “are saddened and ashamed to acknowledge this part of our history. We apologize to all victims, families and communalities who have been hurt by the actions of Crosiers who were supposed to be instruments of Christ’s love and healing mercy. … We are very concerned for the well-being of those who have been hurt because of sexual abuse by a Crosier.”

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Alleged victims of South Fla. youth pastor on trial give testimonies

FLORIDA
Local 10

[with video]

Author: Victor Oquendo, Reporter, voquendo@Local10.com
John Turchin, Crime Specialist, jturchin@local10.com

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. –
It was a difficult day in court Tuesday as four of Jeffery London’s alleged victims testified, taking everyone through the abuse and describing what it’s been like since they lived with London.

“He’s the gentleman right there,” said one alleged victim. When asked how old he was when the abuse allegedly began, he said, “I was 14.”

Years after the young men said London sexually abused and beat them, the wounds are still fresh.

“I thought, ‘Why would God allow this?’ But at the same time I thought it was right because he was blessed,” another alleged victim said.

On the surface, London was a pillar of the community — a pastor, a counselor at the Boys & Girls Club, dean of students at a local charter school and he would even take homeless and troubled boys into his home.

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

Sex Abuse Trial Begins for Former Youth Pastor Jeffery London

FLORIDA
NBC Miami

[with video]

By Gilma Avalos | Wednesday, Apr 2, 2014

Now 25-years-old, a witness took the stand Tuesday against the man who allegedly sexually abused him for almost a decade when he was a child.

The victim didn’t want to look at Jeffery London, 50, a former youth pastor. London, who was a mentor at the Bible Church of God and dean of students at Eagle Charter Academy, is being tried for 27 counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and sexual battery on a minor, according to the Sun Sentinel.

“I don’t want to look at him,” the victim said on the stand.

“Let me ask the question. Do you see the person in the courtroom here today who sexually abused you from the age of 11 to 18?” prosecutors asked.

“Yes,” he responded.

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.

Deeper dysfunction behind the Ellis case

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Tim Wallace | 02 April 2014

In late 2004, two years into the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney’s botched handling of a sexual abuse complaint against priest Aidan Duggan, the executive director of the Catholic Church’s National Committee for Professional Standards, Julian McDonald, did something extraordinary. He inquired into whether Duggan, prior to joining the Sydney Archdiocese in 1974, had form.

This would not have been within McDonald’s usual ambit, but Duggan’s accuser, John Ellis, had requested the NCPS review the archdiocese’s handling of his case — a process stymied early on the basis the archdiocese had no record of other allegations against Duggan, deemed too senile to answer the allegations.

In October 2004, McDonald emailed the Child Protection Office of the Catholic Church in Ireland. A month later he emailed John Mone, the recently retired bishop of Paisley in Scotland. Then, in mid-January 2005, he emailed the director of St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society, a voluntary adoption agency in Glasgow.

He asked that records be checked for any allegations against Duggan, ‘who was born in Scotland and became a Cistercian monk, ministering in Scotland for some years before leaving the Cistercians and coming to Australia where he was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Sydney’.

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.

Bishops Follow Pope’s Example: Opulence Is Out

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By MICHAEL PAULSON

APRIL 1, 2014

The archbishop of Atlanta had a plan to resolve the space crunch at his cathedral: He would move out of his residence so priests could move in, and then he would build himself a new house with donated money and land.

It was not just any house. It was a $2.2 million, 6,000-square-foot mansion, with plenty of room to host and entertain, on land bequeathed by Joseph Mitchell, a wealthy nephew of the author of “Gone With the Wind,” Margaret Mitchell.

But as Pope Francis seeks “a church which is poor and for the poor,” expectations for Catholic leaders are changing rapidly. So on Monday night, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory apologized, saying that laypeople had told him they were unhappy with his new house, and promising to seek guidance from priests and laypeople and to follow their advice about whether to sell it.

“What we didn’t stop to consider, and that oversight rests with me and me alone, was that the world and the church have changed,” he wrote in the archdiocesan newspaper, The Georgia Bulletin. He added, “The example of the Holy Father, and the way people of every sector of our society have responded to his message of gentle joy and compassion without pretense, has set the bar for every Catholic and even for many who don’t share our communion.”

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.

April 1, 2014

Day Two, Case Study 10 Hearings, Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Salvation Army (Eastern Territory)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Posted on April 1, 2014

Proceedings continued yesterday on the Case Study 10 hearings by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse into the Salvation Army (Eastern Territory), with a focus mainly on how the Salvation Army responded to abuse allegations, to put things rather simply.

As has been covered in the media, it was another day of shocking abuse claims against the Salvation Army, including a heartbreaking account of his experiences by the witness known as ‘FE’.

Rather than repeat what has already been quite adequately covered in the Australian press, the author shall merely provide a series of links to relevant articles (see ‘Read more here’ below) and a brief mention of a few of the things that were reported as having been said by witnesses in yesterday’s hearings.

The reader will forgive the author for omission of some of the more explicit accounts of abuse, the author being unable yesterday to have done more than bear witness to the telling of some of them, still finding herself unable right now to dwell too much of these matters, they being still a little too ‘close to home’.

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Pervert governor’s 5,000 child images

UNITED KINGDOM
Oxford Mail

A priest and former private school governor has received a suspended jail sentence after admitting making hundreds of indecent images of children.

Father Timothy Gardner, 42, pictured, was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years at Southwark Crown Court yesterday.

He also received a five-year sexual offences prevention order and will be on the sex offender register for ten years. He is a former governor of Rye St Antony, the Catholic independent school for girls, in Pullen’s Lane, Oxford.

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Abuse inquiry: No statement copies for alleged victims

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

Alleged abuse victims who give evidence at an inquiry into children’s homes in NI have no legal right to copies of their statements, a judge has ruled.

The High Court judge said the records were the property of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

His verdict came in a legal challenge by a woman who claims she was subjected to physical and psychological abuse.

The abuse was alleged to have taken place at Nazareth House care home in Belfast between 1971-1976.

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Former Belleville priest accused of fondling minor during 1970s summer camp

ILLINOIS
Madison-St. Clair Record

March 31, 2014
By RECORD NEWS

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville finds itself at the center of another lawsuit as one of its priests is being accused of fondling a boy in the 1970s.

J. Christ filed a lawsuit March 17 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville.

In his complaint, Christ alleges he was attending a summer camp at Camp Ondessonk in Ozark, during the summers of 1970 and 1971 when the alleged incidents occurred. Christ says one of the priests at the camp, Father Robert J. Vonnahmen, inappropriately touched him while he was attending the camp.

This conduct included but was not limited to urging the plaintiff and other children to go skinny-dipping, then coming up behind the plaintiff with his own pants off and rubbing on the plaintiff’s behind, fondling the plaintiff, rubbing his genitalia on the plaintiff, causing the plaintiff to put the plaintiff’s hand on his penis, penetrating the plaintiff’s anus with his penis during a sleepover in Father Vonnahmen’s room, coaxing the plaintiff to bend over to reach into a trunk for an arrow-head patch, then taking his pants down and rubbing on plaintiff’s behind and coming to a private golf-course pool in the plaintiff’s home town, watching the plaintiff and leaving pornographic material depicting grown men with young boys on the plaintiff’s path home for plaintiff to find, the suit states.

Christ claims he was too afraid to talk to anyone about the incidents. Instead, he repressed the memories, causing him severe psychological harm, the complaint says. It was not until December 2013 that Christ remembered what had happened and could connect them with the emotional and mental issues he had endured, he claims.

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Breese man alleges Catholic priest sexually abused him at camp in 1970s

ILLINOIS
Belleville News-Democrat

BY DANIEL KELLEY
News-Democrat
April 1, 2014

A Breese man has filed a lawsuit against the Belleville Catholic diocese alleging a priest sexually abused him when he was a boy attending church camp in the early 1970s.

The man, referred to as J. Christ in court documents, alleges former priest Robert J. Vonnahmen abused him at Camp Ondessonk in Ozark, Ill., in the summers of 1970 and 1971. The name appeared as J. Christ in court documents to provide anonymity.

Vonnahmen and representatives of the Belleville diocese could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The abuse allegedly happened while Vonnahmen was a priest and supervisor of the camp. The Catholic youth camp was co-founded by Vonnahmen in 1959.

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Should there be mandatory reporting of sexual abuse?

UNITED STATES
Spiritual Politics

Mark Silk | Apr 1, 2014

In Italy, the bishops don’t think so. Or at least, they’re happy to claim the discretion provided by Italian law to withhold information on abuse in order to protect victims’ sensibilities.

As Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa said over the weekend in explaining his conference’s position, “We priests have to be very careful to respect the privacy, discretion and sense of reserve [of victims], we’ve got to be sensitive to the trauma of victims who do not want to be thrust into the public eye.”

Meanwhile, in Australia, where a full-blown abuse scandal has resulted in a slew of newly proposed legislation, the church is supporting mandatory reporting, but with a comparable reservation.

”[The church told the child abuse] inquiry that we wanted to be in a position to report all complaints we received but that we wanted to be able to protect the privacy of victims who did not want to be identified in that process,” church spokesman Father Shane McKinlay said.

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MEDIA IGNORE ABUSE DATA

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on the data published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that were collected by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA):

The annual report by CARA on sexual abuse allegations confirms what we have known for a long time: the Church is largely free of this problem.

A total of ten credible accusations were made against priests or deacons involving minors in 2013.

As usual, 8 in 10 involved male-on-male sex. As usual, the most common time period for allegations reported in 2013—including all years, past or present—was the first half of the 1970s.

Homosexuality was implicated once again, though political correctness inhibits an honest discussion.

To be explicit, most of the male-on-male sex involved postpubescent boys. Regarding the timeline, it is hardly surprising that the 1970s proved (once again) to be the most common period when the alleged abuse occurred. Though the ideological roots of the sexual revolution are traceable to the 1960s, its rotten fruit was not reaped until the 1970s.

It was not the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexuality, which stresses the virtue of restraint, that brought about the sexual revolution; rather, it was the frontal assault on that virtue that gave birth to this mess. Yet those responsible, many of whom are intellectuals, continue to dodge responsibility for their destructive contribution to American culture.

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After ‘Bishop Bling’ scandal…

VATICAN CITY
U.S. Catholic

After ‘Bishop Bling’ scandal, Vatican silent on Atlanta archbishop’s $2.2 million mansion

By Josephine McKenna
NEWS VATICAN
Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Days after Pope Francis summoned a controversial German bishop for talks on his luxurious lifestyle, the Vatican is facing an embarrassing new scandal about the lavish spending of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory.

Gregory on Monday (March 31) apologized for a lapse in judgment after he built a plush $2.2 million mansion for himself in the heart of Atlanta’s upscale Buckhead district.

His extravagant investment has provoked an outcry from some local Catholics, forcing the 66-year-old archbishop to “apologize sincerely and from my heart” in a statement published in The Georgia Bulletin, a Catholic newspaper.

“I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia,” the archbishop said.

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From Beacon Hill to ‘Bishop Bling,’ clergy housing faces new scrutiny

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

David Gibson | Apr 1, 2014

(RNS) Bye-bye, “Bishop Bling.” So long, “Pastor Perks.” The so-called “Francis Effect” may be real, at least when it comes to clerical housing, and could be coming to a church near you.

Pope Francis famously eschewed the trappings of the papal office, including deluxe digs in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, and the pressure of his example seems to be making itself felt.

Last week, the pontiff accepted the resignation of the most ostentatious offender, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg in Germany, a.k.a. “Bishop Bling” who spent a cool $43 million on a swank new residence and office complex while cutting staff.

Now Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta is the latest to feel the peer pressure. On Monday (March 31), Gregory responded to anger over his decision to move into a new $2.2 million home by repeatedly apologizing in a letter to his flock and saying he would explore the possibility of selling the mansion and moving into simpler digs.

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Pope Francis blesses plan to NOT report child rape

UNITED STATES
catholic church abuse: criminal nuns and priests

Under all the “bread and circuses” and smiling face of Pope Francis is his true nature: he doesn’t care if the child rapists in the church keep raping and never get punished.

The Italian Bishops’ Conference, with the Pope’s blessing has once again embraced the policy that states they are not obliged to inform police officers if they suspect a child has been molested. If I, you, or anyone with humanity knew of a child rapist running loose we would report them to the police and they would be locked up. Are priests above the law? For the past 2,000 years they have been above the law or they were the law – isn’t it time to stop them?

David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said, “With the blessing of the Vatican, Italy’s bishops have formally declared they have no duty to call police if they suspect that a child is being sodomized or raped. The stunning, depressing and irresponsible contradiction between what Vatican officials say about abuse and do about abuse continues. And the tragic consequences for kids continue too. This policy – which codifies the long-standing and heartless practice of most Catholic bishops on the plan – will mean that more innocent children will be sexually assaulted.”

The Italian Bishops’ Conference said the policy reflected suggestions from the Vatican’s office that handles sex abuse investigations. Any “suggestion” coming out of the Vatican has the Pope’s stamp of approval. So less than a week after Pope Francis appointed a new commission to help the Catholic Church put an end to clerical sexual abuse and a few weeks after the United Nation’s report blasted what it called the Vatican’s code of silence” around abusive priests – the church is right back to its old criminal tricks.

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CA- Records on SD predator priest are released, SNAP responds

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 1, 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 )

Long secret records about a San Diego predator priest have been released in Minnesota where he molested before he moved to California.

[10 News]

Catholic Church officials were told about allegations against Fr. Paul Palmitessa in the 1990s. One of Palmitessa’s victims later murdered his wife and committed suicide.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul claims that they informed the Diocese of San Diego as soon as they learned of the allegations. Why then did it take more than a decade for Palmitessa’s name to appear on any public lists of child molesting clerics? Why was Palmitessa allowed to continue to work all the way up until 2012?

[Star Tribune]

These kinds of dangerous and self serving practices are unfortunately nothing new. We hope Catholic officials in San Diego and the Twin Cities will do the responsible thing now, and aggressively reach out to anyone who many have seen, suspected or suffered abuse by Palmitessa, using church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements

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Safeguards against sexual abuse: Atlanta Presbytery to send two overtures to General Assembly

UNITED STATES
The Presbyterian Outlook

November 4, 2013 by Leslie Scanlon, Outlook national reporter

Caution to readers: This story contains details of sexual abuse allegations taken from an administrative commission’s report.

194-24-4Five men’s accusations against a former Presbyterian pastor have prompted the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta to seek tighter rules from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) regarding ministers and sexual abuse.

Four men who formerly attended churches where Jeffrey D. Peterson-Davis had worked in California and in Atlanta had filed complaints in the church system accusing him of sexual abuse. A fifth accuser was identified in the settlement of a civil suit filed against Peterson-Davis in California.

All the complainants were minors at the time of the alleged abusive incidents – one was only 8. Their complaints against Peterson-Davis describe incidents over an 11-year span, beginning in 1984.

In October 2012, facing judicial proceedings in a church court in the Presbytery of Western Reserve in Ohio, where he was then working as a minister, Peterson-Davis renounced the jurisdiction of the PC(USA) rather than stand trial. Not wanting the inquiry to end there, Greater Atlanta Presbytery created an administrative commission in February 2013 to determine whether there was truth to the charges brought against him.

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Emotional Testimony In Trial Of Youth Pastor Accused Of Sex Abuse

FLORIDA
CBS Miami

[with video]

FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Emotions ran high during testimony Tuesday morning in the trial of a former youth pastor who is accused of molesting children.

The first to take the stand in the trial of Jeffrey London was one of his alleged victims.

The man said he first met London at a Boys and Girls Club when he was seven years old. He testified that London sexually abused him from the time he was 11-years old until he turned 18. He said his grandmother trusted London and allowed him to move in with the pastor because she thought he would be safe with him.

The 25-year old man said the abuse started about a month after he moved in with London.

The man sobbed as he described the abuse he endured and said he felt powerless to make it stop.

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USCCB’s clergy sex abuse audit finds decline but ‘major’ limitations

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Apr. 1, 2014

WASHINGTON The yearly audit of U.S. Catholic dioceses’ compliance with national measures to report and prevent clergy sexual abuse found a decline in the number of reported cases of abuse from July 2012 to June 2013 but also cited concerns about the limited scope of the auditors’ abilities.

Of particular concern are four dioceses that would not allow any audits to take place and the fact that “most” dioceses do not allow or conduct audits of parishes or schools, where most reporting of abuse is thought to occur, the auditors write.

During the finding period — July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013 — 857 survivors of clergy sexual abuse reported 936 allegations of abuse in 191 dioceses, the audit reports, a decline from the 921 survivors who reported abuse in the previous audit period.

In the recent report, 472 allegations were deemed by the audit “unable to be proven”; 223 had an investigation ongoing; 136 were deemed “substantiated”; 78 “unsubstantiated”; and 27 had not yet been investigated. Abuse allegations were dated from the 1920s to the present.

The yearly audit for abuse reporting was released Friday by the U.S. bishops’ conference. It includes reports on the matter from the national firm conducting the audits, the bishops’ Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection, and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), an institute at Georgetown University that conducts annual surveys of the dioceses separate from the audit.

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Watchdog ready to target church investment funds

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN APRIL 02, 2014

CHURCHES will be barred from offering “easy access” bank-style accounts to their ­parishioners amid tough new ­restrictions proposed by the ­national regulator in a crackdown on more than $1 billion in investments held in unregulated church-run funds.

The changes, to come into ­effect in June, follow the revelation in The Australian some Catholic Church-run funds are effectively making a profit from investing the billions of dollars they receive each year in government grants for schools.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority initially proposed to end the exemption for religious charitable development funds from the need to be regulated under the Banking Act, but revised this after discussions with church groups.

A number of the 59 such funds nationwide, which control more than $7bn in assets between them, have recently been aggressively pursuing retail investors, including children and families, offering at-call deposit accounts at shopfront ­offices in regional towns.

These investors typically pay no fees and receive a guaranteed return, often below market rate, while the church pools their money with other assets invested with commercial banks at a higher rate, ultimately generating multi-million-dollar tax-free surpluses every year.

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Archdiocese: Priest abuse victim later killed wife, committed suicide

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: TONY KENNEDY , Star Tribune Updated: April 1, 2014

In one of the cases, the victim later killed his wife and then himself.

Local Catholic church officials have released new details about a pair of abusive priests showing that one priest was accused of sexually abusing a brain-injured woman and another sexually abused a boy who did not want his community to know what happened.

That victim later killed himself and his wife in a murder-suicide, the church said.

The disclosures are part of a lawsuit in Ramsey County Court that is also compelling Archbishop John Nienstedt and former Vicar General Kevin McDonough to testify under oath about a wide range of cases over decades where the archdiocese learned of abuses by priests and reinstalled them into ministry without warning parishioners.

“This release is the first of several that will happen in the coming weeks,’’ the archdiocese said in a statement Monday night.

The new details center on incidents that happened decades ago involving the Rev. Paul Palmitessa and the Rev. Kenneth LaVan. The archdiocese also released documents pertaining to previously reported abuse by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer and the Rev. John Michael Stevens.

In August 1990, an adult male reported to the archdiocese that Palmitessa had sexually abused him in 1982, when he was a boy. The statement said the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office investigated the abuse when it occurred, but that the victim chose not to pursue charges or tell the archdiocese “because he did not want his community to know about the abuse.’’

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Mystery donor to end $17-million Angel Fund for poor Detroiters

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

[with video]

By Jim Schaefer and Patricia Montemurri
Detroit Free Press Staff Writers

Someone has been very good to Detroit’s poor people.

That someone — and he is a man, that much was confirmed — has donated $17 million since 2005 to help less fortunate people through the Archdiocese of Detroit and the “Angel Fund.” This person’s money paid for necessities like rent, medicine and overdue utility bills for those who cannot afford such things.

If someone donated $17 million to a local college, that person might well have a stadium named after him.

But the “Angel” does not want to be known.

“It’s an anonymous donor,” said Msgr. Michael Bugarin, an archdiocesan official, adding that the donor’s philanthropy was known to his family. “It’s extraordinary, the level of generosity this family has gone through since the inception of the Angel Fund.”

But now, just several weeks after the Angel Fund’s existence was publicly revealed because of alleged fraud by a Detroit priest, the Free Press has learned the fund is ending April 30.

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Once-secret ‘Angel Fund’ that helped Detroit-area poor with $17 million since 2005 is ending

MICHIGAN
TribTown

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: April 01, 2014

DETROIT — A once-secret fund that allowed an anonymous donor to give $17 million since 2005 to help poor people in the Detroit area is ending April 30.

The Detroit Free Press reports (http://on.freep.com/1gK49So ) that the “Angel Fund,” which is run by the Archdiocese of Detroit and funded by a single donor, is ending April 30. Msgr. Michael Bugarin says in an email the donor indicated that his family’s philanthropic plans shifted.

The fund paid for necessities such as rent, medicine and overdue utility bills for people in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park. Details of the fund were made public earlier this year after a Roman Catholic priest and an acquaintance were charged with stealing money from the fund.

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Atlanta archbishop: I ‘overlooked the pastoral implications’ of new $2.2 million home

GEORGIA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Apr. 1, 2014 NCR Today

Apologetic for failing to consider the pastoral implications of the construction of a $2.2 million residence, Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory is re-evaluating his recent move.

In a column Monday for the archdiocesan newspaper the Georgia Bulletin, he said he failed to consider the impression the new home sent to area Catholics who give to the church while struggling to pay their own bills and the example he set for what it means to follow Jesus’ example. As a result, he said he will meet with his various councils for guidance; if they advise him to sell the home, he will seek a new residence elsewhere.

“As the Shepherd of this local Church, a responsibility I hold more dear than any other, certainly more than any configuration of brick and mortar, I am disappointed that, while my advisors and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia,” Gregory wrote.

“To all of you, I apologize sincerely and from my heart,” he said.

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Again, Vatican Punishes Gender Equality More Swiftly Than Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

Post by PATRICIA MILLER

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has removed Father Jerry Zawada, a well known Franciscan peace activist, from public life as a priest for celebrating mass with a woman.

The 76-year-old Zawada has been ordered to a “life of prayer and penance” within the Wisconsin friary of his order for saying mass with Janice Sevre-Duszynska in 2011. Sevre-Duszynska was ordained a priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, a dissent women’s ordination movement in the Catholic Church that has ordained some 160 women as priests since 2002, when seven women were ordained in a ceremony on the Danube River.

The Vatican moved aggressively to tamp down any enthusiasm for break-away women’s ordination movements after the Danube River ordination received widespread media coverage. It said that any woman who claims to be ordained is automatically excommunicated and in 2010 declared women’s ordination a grave offense on par with pedophilia.

The Vatican’s equivocation of women’s ordination and pedophilia, and the relative speed with which it has disciplined dissenters, is ironic given its less-than-rapid response to actual pedophiles and the bishops who covered up their actions.

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Pope confirms heads of Vatican curial agencies

VATICAN CITY
The Pilot

ON: 3/31/2014, BY CAROL GLATZ

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis confirmed the head of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and named among its new members Australian Cardinal George Pell, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, and Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis.

The Vatican announced March 29 that the pope confirmed Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz as prefect of the congregation, the Vatican office that oversees the world’s religious orders.

The new members also include: Cardinals Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City; Luis Tagle of Manila; Bishop John Corriveau of Nelson, British Columbia; and Bishop Kieran O’Reilly of Killaloe, Ireland.

Pope Francis also reappointed 11 members to another five-year term, including: Cardinals Francis E. George of Chicago; Wilfrid F. Napier of Durban, South Africa; Sean P. O’Malley of Boston and Jesuit Father Adolfo Nicolas, superior general of the Jesuits worldwide.

The pope also confirmed French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran as president and Comboni Father Miguel Ayuso Guixot as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

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Savile compensation ads to appear in newspapers

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

Last updated Tue 1 Apr 2014

Advertisements are to be placed in newspapers later this month alerting victims of sex abuse by Jimmy Savile to the availability of compensation, a High Court heard today.

Notices would be placed in the Daily Mirror, The Times and some local newspapers to meet legal requirements, Mr Justice Sales was told today at a High Court hearing in London.

The judge had approved the placement of advertisements at a hearing in February – saying it was important that anyone who thought that they had a claim came forward.

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Where would Jesus live?

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on April 1, 2014

Relax, Archbishop Gregory.

Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory: Oops! I didn’t mean to buy that house!

You need to stop apologizing for that cherry $2.2 million house you just built in Atlanta. Sure, Georgia’s Catholics are rightfully angry. Of course it’s an ostentatious show of wealth that goes against the spirit and the words of the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

We understand: You had to show up Newark Archbishop Myers, who just put $500,000 of what critics are calling “vulgar” additions on his house. Right?

So stop apologizing. OC Bishop Kevin Vann has got your back!

Almost ten years ago, the OC Weekly ran the blockbuster piece Lifestyles of the Rich and Pious, where Gustavo Arellano listed the property values for some of the most expensive homes owned by the Diocese of Orange. Since the story ran, little has changed, except property values.

Wilton Gregory paid $2.2 million for a mansion—how about a beach cottage now valued at more than $2.5 million?

When the OC diocese bought this Newport Beach property in 2000 for $1.15 million, they handed the keys over to Msgr Lawrence Baird, who was its sole resident in 2004, when Gustavo’s story ran. Now, similar properties (according to Redfin) are going for anywhere between $2.5 and $3 million.

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Royal commission told Salvation Army’s ‘physical and sexual abuse’ was rampant

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH APRIL 02, 2014

SOME victims cannot bear to see the Salvation Army uniform, branding them “Gestapo.” Others refuse to enter their offices.

Yesterday Allan Anderson, who was abused by the Salvos in the Bexley Boys Home along with his little brother John, urged the public to think twice before donating to them.

“Boys and girls’ lives were damaged and any compensation should come from the organisation’s pockets, not the public’s,” Mr Anderson, 59, told the child sex abuse royal commission.

“Let me suggest to the public … think twice before you put your hand in your pocket when the Salvation Army Red Shield ­Appeal comes around, for you should not give so generously.”

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Bexley Boys Home child abuse victim urges people not to donate to Salvation Army

AUSTRALIA
7 News

ABC

BY ANTONETTE COLLINS
April 1, 2014

A former resident of the Bexley Boys’ Home in Sydney has urged the public not to give money to the Salvation Army because children have been damaged by child abuse under its care.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse has been examining the response of the Salvation Army to claims by abuse victims.

Allan Anderson and his brother, who resided at the Bexley Boys’ Home from 1966 to 1971, were physically and emotionally abused during this time.

Mr Anderson was recently offered a $70,000 ex-gratia payment by the Salvation Army but rejected it because he did not believe there was a proper process in deciding on that figure.

Mr Anderson told the commission on Tuesday he was unhappy with how his claim was processed and urged the public not to give money to the organisation.

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Big demand by abused for private hearings

AUSTRALIA
Echo Netdaily

Melbourne [AAP]

The royal commission into child sexual abuse is receiving about 40 requests by abuse survivors for private sessions each week.

After about 12 months of private and public hearings, the royal commission chairman Peter McClellan says the demand for private hearings with a commissioner is not abating.

Almost 1500 private sessions with sex abuse survivors have been held since the commission started and more than 1000 people are waiting to be heard.

‘I still cannot identify how many people will ultimately want to come and talk,” Justice McClellan said in Melbourne at a conference on Monday.

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Sins of Our Fathers – BBC Scotland

SCOTLAND
YouTube

BBC Scotland Broadcast 29 July 2013

The shocking truth of physical and sexual abuse in one of Scotland’s most prestigious Catholic boarding schools.

Mark Daly uncovers the hidden story of Fort Augustus Abbey, the Catholic monks who ran it, and exposes those who turned a blind eye to the horrors within. He hears of stories of abuse that spanned decades and took him to the other side of the world to confront those responsible.

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Archbishop apologizes for $2.2 million home

GEORGIA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Mark Davis
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Bowing to critics, the Archbishop of Atlanta on Monday apologized for a lapse in judgment that made him proceed with a new, $2.2 million home for himself and said he may sell his Buckhead mansion if clerical bodies within the church recommend he do so.

Noting that the “world and church have changed,” Archbishop Wilton Gregory said he “failed” parishioners when he didn’t fully consider the implications of his decision to move into the new home, made possible by a bequest from Margaret Mitchell’s nephew. Gregory, the leader of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, made his comments in the Georgia Bulletin, a Catholic newspaper.

“I am disappointed that, while my advisors and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia,” Gregory wrote.

Gregory earlier this year left his old home on West Wesley Road in favor of a new house on Habersham Road. The house, which cost $2.2 million to build, was funded by money left by Joseph Mitchell.

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The archbishop responds

GEORGIA
The Georgia Bulletin

By ARCHBISHOP WILTON D. GREGORY, Commentary | Published March 31, 2014

“We are disturbed and disappointed to see our church leaders not setting the example of a simple life as Pope Francis calls for. How can we instill this in our children when they see their archdiocesan leadership living extravagantly? We ask you to rethink these decisions and understand the role model the clergy must serve so the youth of our society can answer Jesus’ call. Neither our 18- or 14-year-old sons understand the message you are portraying.”

So went just one of many of the heartfelt, genuine and candidly rebuking letters, emails and telephone messages I have received in the past week from people of faith throughout our own Archdiocese and beyond. Their passionate indictments of me as a Bishop of the Catholic Church and as an example to them and their children are stinging and sincere. And I should have seen them coming.

Please understand that I had no desire to move; however, the Cathedral Parish has a problem, albeit a happy one. The Cathedral of Christ the King is one of our largest, most vibrant and fastest growing parishes—but it is landlocked. The site of the current rectory could be used for expansion if the priests could be moved to a new rectory nearby. Because of the proximity of the Archbishop’s house to the Cathedral and the way it is configured with separate apartments and common space, the rector of Christ the King one day summoned the courage to ask me if I would give some thought to letting the parish purchase the residence from the Archdiocese to repurpose it for its rectory. It made more sense for them to be in walking distance to the Cathedral than I, so I said yes, knowing full well that literally left the Archbishop without a place to live.

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Apologetic Atlanta archbishop may sell newly built $2.2 million mansion to reclaim ‘integrity’

GEORGIA
The Raw Story

By Reuters
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta has apologized for building a $2.2 million mansion to use as his home, a move that made him the object of derision and complaint, and said he may sell it.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory said he took his “eye off the ball” after the archdiocese received a $15 million donation from the estate of Joseph Mitchell, a nephew “Gone With The Wind” author, Margaret Mitchell.

Pope Francis has been urging Roman Catholic officials to live simpler lives and has renounced the papal apartments in the Vatican palace for modest quarters in a Church guest house.

The Vatican removed a German bishop — dubbed the “bishop of bling” — last month from his job because he spent $43 million on a residence where fittings included a bath that cost 15,000 euros and 2.9-million-euro private chapel.

In Monday’s edition of The Georgia Bulletin, the newspaper for the Atlanta archdiocese, Gregory wrote: “While my advisors and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia.”

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Archbishop Gregory apologizes.

GEORGIA
dotCommonweal

Grant Gallicho April 1, 2014

Last week I pointed out that Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta had recently moved into a $2.2-million, 6,200-square-foot home–an expense made possible by a $15-million bequest. Gregory had been living at the cathedral rectory, but apparently that parish is growing rapidly. The rector of the cathedral asked Gregory whether the parish could purchase the property from the archdiocese, and Gregory agreed. That’s why he built the new residence. But in January, Gregory met with parishioners who weren’t happy with that plan. They wanted him to sell the new building, move into the old one, and use the money to help the poor.

In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this month, Gregory and McNamee said the expenditures were necessary for their living arrangements and that it was too late to reverse course. They also noted the plans had been approved by governing bodies within their respective institutions.

“To undo what has been publicly announced for two years wouldn’t be a prudent use of archdiocese resources,” Gregory said.

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Suspended Conn. priest in gun-bomb case charged with sexually assaulting minor

CONNECTICUT
TribTown

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: April 01, 2014

ENFIELD, Connecticut — A suspended Connecticut priest charged in a federal firearms and explosives case has been arrested on allegations he sexually assaulted a minor.

The Rev. Paul Gotta was arrested Monday by East Windsor police on seven sexual assault charges. Police say the assaults took place over the span of a year beginning in January 2012.

Gotta is detained on $100,000 bail. His lawyer didn’t immediately return a message Tuesday.

Gotta was administrator of St. Philip and St. Catherine churches in East Windsor when the Archdiocese of Hartford suspended him last year when the sexual assault allegations surfaced.

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US archbishop apologises for $2.2m mansion

UNITED STATES
Catholic Herald (UK)

An American archbishop has said sorry for building a $2.2 million mansion for himself, after complaints from Catholics that it contradicted Pope Francis’s call for austerity.

According to the Associated Press, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, who was president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2001 to 2004, recently moved into a home measuring nearly 6,400 sq ft. The property was built after a donation from the estate of Joseph Mitchell, nephew of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Wind. When Mitchell died in 2011, he left more than $15 million to the archdiocese on the condition it be used for “general religious and charitable purposes.”

“I am disappointed that, while my advisers and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia,” Gregory wrote in a column for The Georgia Bulletin.

“I failed to consider the impact on the families throughout the Archdiocese who, though struggling to pay their mortgages, utilities, tuition and other bills, faithfully respond year after year to my pleas to assist with funding our ministries and services.”

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Statement: Disclosure Of Four Former Priests Accused Of Sexual Abuse

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date:Monday, March 31, 2014

Source: Jim Accurso

Today, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis provided clergy file documents in a Ramsey County District Court civil case. This release is the first of several that will happen in the coming weeks, and pertains to four men who were previously disclosed on the archdiocesan website in December and February with substantiated claims of sexual abuse. This information was gathered through clergy file documents provided to the court.

* Paul Palmitessa, who, in October 1988, roughly two years before the archdiocese had received any allegation of sexual misconduct, changed his residence and the location of his priestly ministry from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and became an active priest in the Diocese of San Diego. In August 1990, an adult male reported to the archdiocese that Palmitessa had engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with him in 1982, when he was a minor. The archdiocese later learned that the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Department had learned of and investigated these allegations in August 1982, but that victim chose not to pursue charges or report the allegations to the archdiocese because he did not want his community to know about the abuse. As soon as we were advised of the alleged abuse we communicated the allegations to the Diocese of San Diego. Tragically, in May 1999 the victim of Palmitessa’s abuse killed his wife and committed suicide. The archdiocese has received reports that Palmitessa may have abused others. Palmitessa was removed from ministry by the Diocese of San Diego.

* Kenneth LaVan, about whom the archdiocese received reports in 1988 that he had abused two girls between 1958 and 1970. In 1989 and 1992, the archdiocese settled civil suits brought by the two victims. The archdiocese removed LaVan from ministry in early 1989 and required him to undergo treatment. After completion of treatment he was returned to parish ministry at St. Joseph in Lino Lakes with monitoring. LaVan retired in January 1998, but continued to provide limited assistance at St. Olaf in Minneapolis (and other parishes as requested) until December 2013. LaVan has also been accused of inappropriate sexual relationships with adult women, including a woman who suffered from mental illness and a brain injury. Further questions and concerns are unable to be determined by a review of the file.

* John Michael Stevens, was removed from public ministry in August 1987, after the archdiocese learned from the victim’s mother that Stevens had sexually abused her son, a mentally challenged minor. With the encouragement of the archdiocese, in October 1987, the mother authorized the reporting of the allegation to the Anoka County Sheriff’s Department. Stevens was charged and pled guilty to fourth degree criminal sexual conduct in December 1987. Stevens was not returned to parish ministry and participates in monitoring and ongoing therapy. Documents in Stevens’ file dated after the 1987 abuse incident reveal that Stevens has struggled with attraction to grade school age boys, social isolation and other issues. Stevens was permanently prohibited from all priestly ministry in 2002 as was reported in the media at the time. He subsequently worked as an archdiocesan IT consultant until November 2013.

* Curtis Wehmeyer, who, as has been publicly reported by the archdiocese and the media, pleaded guilty to all charges of criminal sexual conduct and possession of child pornography brought against him in 2012. He is currently in prison and is prohibited from all priestly ministry. Subsequent to his appointment as pastor in 2009, Wehmeyer showed personal behavioral issues, including drug and alcohol use, anger management and personality struggles, as well as sexual impropriety not involving minors. In June 2012, the archdiocese was informed of accusations of sexual abuse of a minor made against Wehmeyer and timely reported this information to St. Paul police. The archdiocese cooperated with the police investigation, and Wehmeyer was immediately removed from all public ministry. The archdiocese has provided and continues to provide financial support for counseling for Wehmeyer’s victims and their family.

The archdiocese deeply regrets the egregious acts of these men and the unimaginable harm suffered by victims, their families and their communities. We will never cease our apologies to all affected.

As we continue this disclosure process, we aim to reach out to all affected parties to continue to promote the protection of children, the healing of victims and the restoration of trust of the faithful and our clergy who are serving our communities nobly and with honor.

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2014 FAMILIES AUSTRALIA ORATION

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM
Chair
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

On 10 April 1874, the New York Times carried an account of the evidence given by a nine year old girl in the Supreme Court of New York on the previous day. It was the chilling story of the mistreatment of an orphan who had been placed into the care of people by the name of Connolly. Mrs Connolly, who the child was required to call Mamma, was later convicted of her felonious assault.

The nine year old was Mary Ellen Wilson. She was giving evidence in a case brought by Henry Bergh, who happened to be the president of the “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals”. Bergh had been approached for help by a concerned Methodist mission worker who became aware of Mary Ellen’s circumstances.

One suspects that Mary Ellen’s circumstances were not unique although perhaps unusually harsh. In 19th century America and indeed in many societies children were afforded no rights. They were treated as the property of their parents and guardians. Many suffered great deprivation.

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Think before Salvos donation: abuse victim

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

April 1, 2014

Eoin Blackwell

A survivor of child sexual abuse at the hands of Salvation Army officers says an apology from the organisation means nothing to him, while another has urged Australians to think twice about donating to the charity.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday heard from two men who survived abuse at different Salvation Army schools.

One man, FE, was raped repeatedly by guards at the Gill Memorial School in Goulburn in the early 1970s.

He said he was offered a $60,000 ex gratia payment by the Salvos in 2006, but was not told how that amount was calculated.

“The way I saw it, it was hush money,” FE said.

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End of TRC hearings doesn’t signal end to the needs of residential school survivors says Carol Hughes

CANADA
Manitoulin Expositor

OTTAWA – Victims of Residential Schools will no longer be able to turn to special services designed specifically to match their needs now that Health Canada is cutting the Resolution Health Support Program, according to NDP Aboriginal Health Critic, Carol Hughes.

The Resolution Health Support Program provided Cultural and emotional support as well as professional counselling and assisted with transportation when necessary. Hughes was echoing the concerns of Justice Murray Sinclair, who headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, that these services are being terminated while there is still a strong need for them.

“The Conservatives are preparing to cut the program that provided mental health support to former students of Indian Residential Schools,” Said Hughes. This does nothing to support reconciliation.”
Hughes said the Prime Minister promised honest reconciliation as part of the historic 2008 Residential School Apology but has changed his tune and is now leaving individuals to fend for themselves.

The MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing notes that the need for special support services will persist despite the line in the sand drawn by Health Canada and feels the government owes it to survivors, especially those who testified at hearings, to ensure the support is available to match that need.

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MOHAWK INSTITUTE: Plan to renovate former residential school

CANADA
Brantford Expositor

By Michelle Ruby, Brantford Expositor

A $5-million fundraising campaign soon will be launched to renovate the deteriorating Mohawk Institute, a former Indian residential school on Mohawk Street.

The Saving the Evidence campaign was kicked off Sunday by Six Nations Elected Chief Coun. Ava Hill.

The Anglican Church ran the former Mohawk Institute, now the Woodland Cultural Centre, from the 1830s until 1970, housing children from Six Nations, along with some from reserves including New Credit, Moraviantown, Sarnia, Walpole Island, Muncey, Scugog, Stoney Point, Saugeen, Bay of Quinte, and Kahnawake.

In an effort to assimilate them, about 150,000 aboriginal children were forced to leave their communities to attend residential schools across the country, which were funded by the Department of Indian Affairs.

Many former students have described suffering physical, sexual and emotional abuse at the school. Many died while attending the schools. The poor quality of food served to students at the Mohawk Institute led to the school’s nickname, the Mush Hole.

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Abandon principles and pay the price

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

April 1, 2014

Michael Pascoe

Cardinal George Pell is not normally mentioned in the same breath as Julia Gillard – it’s the other side of politics that has been much closer to him – but the departed Prime Minister and departing Archbishop of Sydney have something in common that should stand as a stark governance warning to every board and CEO in the nation: they’ve been incalculably damaged by abandoning principles.

Both were seduced by the siren call of the ends supposedly justifying the means, and therefore were prepared to do wrong that inevitably has come back to haunt them and damage the very institutions they were trying to protect.

For Pell, preserving the church’s assets justified the persecution of a damaged man, as detailed by royal commission hearings last week and masterfully summarised by David Marr. The final result is that the church sustained greater damage, its machinations exposed for ridicule, never mind blowing $1.5 million on the case. Pell leaves for Rome a permanently diminished figure.

For Gillard, hanging on to the Treasury benches and her position justified standing by Craig Thomson and running soft on union corruption long after the stench of Thomson’s actions put him beyond the pale. The Peter Slipper deal was done as a means of betraying a commitment to poker machine reform. And there was the little matter of a carbon tax.

And how did all that play out for her? Dumped by her party as leader, regarded as compromised by the majority of the electorate, Labor lost government without being able to cement its headline reforms, their future already uncertain, and left an opening for a royal commission that will prolong the labour movement’s woes.

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Child abuse inquiry removes evidence from web

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

MARK SCHLIEBS THE AUSTRALIAN APRIL 01, 2014

A ROYAL commission has taken the extraordinary step of removing more than a thousand pieces of evidence from public view because of concerns raised by the state government.

It is understood that lawyers acting for South Australia last week expressed concern that the royal commission may have published information regarding pedophilia investigations that was subject to suppression ­orders, with several tendered documents removed from the website before the weekend.

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Archdiocese Begins Handing Over Church Files on Accused Priests

MINNESOTA
KAAL

[with video]

By: Josh Rosenthal

Monday night the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis started handing over what will eventually add up to more than 60,000 documents related to priests accused of sexual abuse. They’re part of a court case scheduled to go to trial in September.

“This represents a real turning point in this process. We’re beginning to see real action,” explained University of St. Thomas Professor of Law Charles Reid. He says the documents tell a story, but it’ll be up to the plaintiff’s attorney, Jeff Anderson, to connect the dots.

“I think what we’ll see is a tug of war,” Reid said. That’ll start Wednesday, when Archbishop John Neinstedt will be deposed. That in itself is a very big deal. Think of Neinstedt as the CEO of the Twin Cities branch of the Catholic Church.

“This is a big position,” Reid said. “It carries great power, great weight, great gravity, and obtaining his testimony is a huge step in this case.”

It means the general public could start hearing more details soon too. Last week Anderson said he believes the church knows of offenders who have not been named publicly. He said he’d ask the judge for permission to name them.

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WFU Will Host Vatican Expert & Author

NORTH CAROLINA
WFDD

[with audio]

By KERI BROWN

The Catholic Church continues to struggle with issues including cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests and a decline in the number of priests and nuns in several religious orders.

Jason Berry gained prominence for his pioneering investigative reporting into sexual abuse in the priesthood, his coverage of the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and his reporting on the Vatican’s investigation of American nuns accused of “radical feminism.”

For the past 25 years, investigative journalist and author Jason Berry has been covering the Catholic Church and its myriad scandals and crisis. Earlier this year, he co-produced of PBS Frontline documentary called Secrets of the Vatican.

Berry is the author of Render Unto to Rome: The Secret Life and Money in the Catholic Church and co-author of Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II.

On Wednesday, Berry will be the guest speaker at Wake Forest University as part of the schools journalism program and its affiliation with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington D.C.

He recently spoke with WFDD’s Keri Brown by phone from his home in New Orleans to talk about Pope Francis and the future of the Catholic Church.

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Virginia Megachurch Hires Senior Pastor Nearly a Year After Former Leader’s Sex Scandal

VIRGINIA
Christian Post

BY JESSICA MARTINEZ, CP REPORTER
March 31, 2014

The Richmond Outreach Center announced that a youth pastor from Atlanta will lead the Virginia megachurch after nearly a year-long, nationwide search.

Joe Donahue will replace Geronimo Aguilar, the ROC’s former senior pastor who was arrested in May 2013 on sexual abuse charges. Prior to his new assignment, Donahue was serving as teaching pastor at First Redeemer Church for the past six years.

“Pastor Joe has a heart to lead, strengthen, and equip the church through solid biblical teaching, authenticity, transparency, and his love for Jesus,” according to a statement on the church’s website.

Jonathan Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va. and a consultant for the ROC, introduced Donahue and his wife Kristy to the congregation on Saturday night. While speaking about the church’s struggle to remain intact during Aguilar’s sex scandal, Falwell noted that Donahue is the man “God has raised up” to lead the ministry towards a new beginning.

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Youth pastor on trial for sexual abuse

FLORIDA
Local 10

[with video]

Author: Terrell Forney, Reporter, tforney@Local10.com

MIAMI –
A criminal trial is underway against a youth minister accused of raping young boys.

Jeffrey London 50, appeared in a Broward County courtroom Monday as the first of several accusers took the witness stand.

One of the alleged victims, now 20 years old, claims London sexually assaulted him during a period of 10 years. The boy, between 5 and 6 years old at the time, moved in with London because his mother was having financial difficulties. London was a trusted member of the community because he was a minister at a Fort Lauderdale area church and a youth counselor with the Boys & Girls Club.

London was arrested in 2012 after the molestation accusations came to light from one young man. Since then, nine victims have stepped forward.

Prosecutors went into great detail about the abuse and talked about incriminating text messages in front of jurors.

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Ballarat Catholic diocese to host abuse forum

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By FIONA HENDERSON April 1, 2014

BALLARAT Catholic diocese vicar-general Father Justin Driscoll firmly believes in the “Francis Effect”.

Since the election of Pope Francis in March 2013, Fr Driscoll believes people are finding their “humility to listen”.

So the Ballarat Diocese Foundation has joined forces with world-renowned sexual abuse expert Professor Caroline Taylor to host a community gathering on child sexual abuse.

It will be held at St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall at 7pm today.

Fr Driscoll and Professor Taylor said it was aimed at creating community awareness and understanding of abuse and its impact on victims.

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