Gretna church pastor arrested, facing child pornography charges

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

A pastor from a church in Gretna was arrested by RCMP last Saturday and is facing numerous charges of voyeurism, production of child pornography and possessing child pornography.

The RCMP said charges to the 34-year-old man came after two female youths had found a mobile device in a washroom at a Moose Lake Provincial Park residence at which they were staying in the summer of 2012.

Still images and video of the two youths, who are from the RM of Rhineland, were discovered. A report to the RCMP was not made until December 2013 so a criminal investigation began at that time.

Police said the man “took advantage of his role in the community to access potential victims” and that there are multiple victims.

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Defienden a cura acusado de abuso

MEXICO
Pulso

]Summary: Residents of Ojocaliente in Santa Maria del Rio are surprised and concerned by disappearance of their parish priest, Francisco Javier, who is publicly identified as sexually abusing a minor in 2012. On a visit to Sacred Heart parish, where the priests has ministered since Jan. 11, 2013, two secretaries in charge of the office said they could not say or specify when or from where he traveled.]

Habitantes de la comunidad de Ojocaliente, en Santa María del Río, se hallan sorprendidos y preocupados por la virtual desaparición del sacerdote Francisco Javier, párroco del lugar, quien es señalado públicamente como responsable de cometer abuso sexual en contra de un menor de edad durante el año 2012.

En una visita realizada ayer al templo del Sagrado Corazón, donde el sacerdote ha ejercido su ministerio desde el 11 de enero del 2013, no fue posible ubicarlo. Las dos secretarias…

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Statement of the Austrian Pastors’ Intitiative …

AUSTRIA
Association of Catholic Priests (Ireland)

Statement of the Austrian Pastors’ Intitiative on the Excommunication of Martha and Gert Heizer

We, the Austrian Pastors’ Initiative, are deeply concerned about the actions the Church’s leadership has taken against Martha and Gert Heizer. The Excommunication was levied against two Church members who have worked for the reform of our Church with great passion, commitment, and energy. This decision is a fatal signal for all who are hoping, together with Pope Francis, for a kind Church that is close to the people. What kind of signal is being sent by a Church that punishes the perpetrators of sexual abuse among its ranks less severely than Church members who, by the way they practice their faith, express their great sufferings at the fringes of the Church’s existing set of rules?

The opinions may differ about the step that Martha and Gert Heizer have…

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Oakland Diocese criticized over teacher contract

CALIFORNIA
Missoulian

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland is under fire for a new contract clause that requires teachers to conform to church teachings in their private lives.

Some parents, teachers and students worry teachers could be fired for being gay or engaging in behavior the church frowns on, such as having sex outside marriage. Three teachers at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland have refused to sign the new contract, Diocese of Oakland spokesman Mike Brown said this week.

Parents and teachers, additionally, plan to protest at the diocese’s offices on May 30.

The diocese runs more than 50 schools and employs about 1,000 teachers, many of them non-Catholics. Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this month that the new language is not a witch hunt, but an attempt by Oakland Bishop Michael Barber to be clearer about the contract.

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Archdiocese Of Philadelphia To Announce Fate Of 46 Parishes This Weekend

PHILADELPHIA
CBS Philly

[with video]

By David Madden and Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will decide the fate of 46 parishes this weekend. Whether they will merge with another parish, have no change in structure with a plan for future sustainability, or be tagged for further study. It’s the third, large round of evaluations under the Pastoral Planning Initiative.

Thirty-one parishes have closed since the process began in 2010, with 46 parishes being reviewed in this round of evaluations, which started in September. Kenneth Gavin is a spokesman for the Archdiocese, and he says the process is based on many factors.

“Every aspect of parish life. From sacramental activity, number of baptisms in a parish, number of funerals, number of marriages, looking at the number of registered parishoners, registered households. Looking at financial condition of parishes,” Gavin said.

That information is then run through consultantsbefore…

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Accused priest worked in NZ

NEW ZEALAND
Radio New Zealand

In Australia, a Royal Commission has found the Catholic Church covered up allegations of child sexual abuse against a priest who was sent to work in New Zealand.

Father Denis McAlinden, who is now dead, is known to have abused dozens of young girls in Australia over nearly five decades.

He spent at least six months at a church in Gisborne in the 1960s.

In 2008, the Catholic Church wrote an open letter to Gisborne parishioners about the priest, after a woman came forward saying she’d been abused 24 years earlier.

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Marist Brothers deny a duty of care to their victims

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

Catholic religious Brothers, who have been operating schools in Australia for more than a century, now deny that they owe a duty of care to protect pupils from sexually-abusive Brothers, according to church lawyers. The lawyers told a Canberra civil court on 4 June 2008 that (unlike lay teachers who are employed on salaries) the Brothers are not, technically, “employees”. Therefore, this would be the Brothers’ defence if their sexual-abuse victims take civil action through the courts to obtain damages.

Catholic religious Brothers in Australia include the Christian Brothers (who arrived from Ireland in 1868), the Marist Brothers (arrived 1872), the De La Salle Brothers (arrived 1906), the Patrician Brothers (arrived 1883) and the St John of Good Brothers (arrived 1947).

The Canberra civil proceedings, in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory, involved the Marist Brothers. Three former students…

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This Marist Brother fled from Australia but was eventually captured

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 30 May 2014)

Marist Brother Gregory Sutton must rank as one of Australia’s most publicised child-sex offenders. Throughout 1996, his name appeared frequently in newspapers. The reports described how police hunted for him in the United States and then extradited him to Australia, where he pleaded guilty to numerous offences against boys and girls in New South Wales.

Broken Rites has ascertained that Brother Gregory Joseph Sutton was born in Australia on 19 March 1951. After his schooling, he became a trainee Marist Brother, living in a Marist residential centre with other Marist trainees, absorbing the Marist culture. It is believed that a second son from the same family also became a Marist Brother.

Until around that time, each new Marist Brother normally discarded his birth-name and adopted a “religious” forename (for example, Fred Smith might become “Brother Alphonsus”)….

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Royal Commission’s announcement about the Marist Brothers

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

Australia’s national ch/ild-abuse Royal Commission is investigating how the Catholic order of Marist Brothers have handled allegations of child sexual abuse in Marist schools. At public hearings beginning on 10 June 2014, the focus is on Marist Brothers schools in New South Wales, Queensland and Canberra.

The hearings will focus particularly on how the Marists responded to complaints about two Marist Brothers who worked in Australian Catholic schools:

1. Brother John Chute (also known as “Brother Kostka”).

2. And a former Brother who is being referred to by the Royal Commission as “Brother Z.A.” (The initials “Z.A.” do not refer to this Brother’s real name; these letters are merely a code-name that is being used by the Royal Commission. Broken Rites understands that this Brother’s real name was suppressed, some years ago, in a non-publication order made by a judge in an Australian criminal court case….

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Marist Brothers ignored this abuser. Now they face the Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 30 May 2014)

In June 2014, Australia’s national child-abuse Royal Commission will examine a case study — showing how the Marist Brothers harboured a child-sex criminal (Brother Kostka Chute) for more than 40 years before some of his former pupils finally succeeded in getting him convicted and jailed.

During those 40 years, the Marist Brothers provided Brother Kostka with numerous victims and ignored the danger.

The Marist Brothers appointed Brother Kostka to 12 Catholic schools in Australia between 1952 and 1993, ranging from Lismore in northern New South Wales to Marcellin College in Randwick, Sydney. His final school was Marist College in Canberra and it was some Canberra pupils who brought him to justice in 2008. However, this Canberra court case was confined to crimes committed within the Australian Capital Territory and he was never charged by NSW Police…

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Royal Commission Must Urgently Investigate a Potential “Catholic Mafia” Within Australian Law Enforcement (Or: Peter Fox is no Liar and We Know It)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Support Peter Fox!
RALLY TODAY
10:30 a.m. SYDNEY, o/s PARLIAMENT HOUSE, Martin Place

Yesterday, the NSW Special Commission of Enquiry handed down its final report. The commission of enquiry was established by former NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, soon after Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox came forward in late 2012 expressing concern about how he’d been asked to stand down from an investigation of a possible cover-up of a child abuse case implicating the Catholic Church in the NSW Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. DCI Fox was concerned about the startlingly high number of child abuse allegations against the Catholic Church in such a small geographical area as the diocese.

DCI Fox first become concerned about possible collusion between some police officers and the Catholic Church as a possible explanation for the problem in 2002. Eventually, after years of behind-the-scenes activity, in frustration at lack of action in…

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Bisdom erkent sexueelmisbruik Ospel

NEDERLAND
Nederweert 24

[Summary: During a church service for the 150th anniversary of the parish in Ospel, the vicar general of the Roermond diocese will apologized for child abuse. Pastor Jac Steeghs, who died in 1991 in a car accident, is said to have abused minors from 1980 to 1991. He was on his way to the police station after the father of one victim reported the abuse.]

Tijdens de kerkdienst voor het 150 jarig bestaan van de parochie in Ospel zal Vicaris-generaal Hub Schnackers van het bisdom in Roermond zijn excuses aanbieden voor het kindermisbruik in de jaren tachtig.

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KATHOLIEKENDAG: ‘STRIJD TEGEN SEKSUEEL MISBRUIK IS NOG NIET GEWONNEN’

DEUTSCHLAND
KerkNet

[Summary: Those attending the debate on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church being held at Regensburg found much appreciation for the approach to the fight against sexual abuse by Pope Francis. The pope compared abuse to the satanic mass. One victim said at the meeting that he was pleased that the pope wants to listen to the victims.]

BRUSSEL (KerkNet) – Op een druk bijgewoond debat over seksueel misbruik tijdens de Duitse ‘Katholikentag’ in Regensburg was er veel waardering voor de aanpak van de bestrijding van het seksueel misbruik door paus Franciscus. De paus vergeleek het misbruik tijdens zijn terugkeer uit het Heilige Land met satanische missen. Een slachtoffer van misbruik sprak vooral zijn tevredenheid uit over het feit dat deze paus slachtoffers wil beluisteren. Maar tegelijk benadrukte hij dat het luisteren naar slachtoffers niet volstaat. ‘Het misbruik treft niet alleen het slachtoffer, het treft ook anderen….

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Das vergessene Opfer

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Neue Presse

[Summary: Above the table in the small attic apartment of Manfred K. huddled against the wall are several pictures of angels. The 59-year-old said they are his guardian angels and the only onces in which he has confidence. He was abused by several men in a Catholic-run orphanage.]

Wiesbaden.
Über dem Tisch in der kleinen Dachwohnung von Manfred K. drängen sich an der Wand verschiedene Engelsabbildungen. „Meine Schutzengel“, sagt der 59-Jährige. „Das sind die einzigen, zu denen ich noch Vertrauen habe.“ Die Geschichte, die der Mann danach erzählt, macht deutlich, warum er den Glauben an die Menschen verloren hat. K. ist in seiner Kindheit von mehreren Männern in einem katholisch geführten Kinderheim sexuell missbraucht worden. Als er auf dem besten Wege war, dieses Trauma zu überwinden, stach dem C&A-Verkäufer ein rabiater Ladendieb auf der Flucht ein Messer ins Bein.

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Das Misstrauen nach dem Missbrauch bleibt

DEUTSCHLAND
Domradio

[Summary: The Catholic Church in Germany has been struggling four years already with the abuse scandal. Suspicion remains. Several hundred people have listened to speakers in Regensburg, including Bishop Stephan Ackermann and Matthias Katsch, a spokesman for the victims association called Round Table.]

Vier Jahre schon ringt die katholische Kirche in Deutschland mit dem Missbrauchsskandal. Auch auf dem Katholikentag in Regensburg stand das Thema wieder auf der Tagesordnung.

Nimmt man die Zahl der Zuhörer als Maßstab, scheint das Thema an Brisanz eingebüßt zu haben. Einige hundert Menschen lauschten in dem nicht ganz gefüllten Kolpingsaal den Ausführungen der bekanntesten Arbeiter auf diesem steinigen Feld. Neben Mertes sind das der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bischofskonferenz, Bischof Stephan Ackermann, und Matthias Katsch, Sprecher der Opfervereinigung “Eckiger Tisch”. Auch die Sprecherin der Präventionsbeauftragten der Deutschen Diözesen, Mary Hallay-Witte, und die bayerische Präventionsexpertin Barbara Haslbeck debattierten mit. Die beiden stehen dafür, dass die Vorbeugung…

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‘We were afraid to claim abuse’

AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

By NIGEL MCNAY May 30, 2014

RHONDA was 10 when she was sent to St John’s Orphanage in Thurgoona back in the late 1960s.

By the time she left “in the very early 1970s” she had suffered abuse that haunts her to this day.

“Yes, I was sexually abused and physically abused while I was in institutionalised care, which was purely at St John’s,” she said.

Rhonda did not want to go into the detail, saving it for her confidential testimony to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse.

St John’s might have called itself an orphanage, but few of the 2000-plus girls who passed through its doors from 1882 to 1978 had actually lost both parents.

Instead, many came from broken homes where one parent, usually the father, had deserted the family or died, leaving their partner unable to cope.

Those who lived at the…

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Judge wary of proposed two-year sentence …

CANADA
The Province

Judge wary of proposed two-year sentence for Utah man who came to B.C. to sexually abuse preteen girl (with video)

A B.C. provincial court judge says that a proposed sentence of two years in prison followed by probation for a Utah man who came to B.C. to abuse a preteen girl does not seem long enough.

“That is striking me as pretty light,” Judge Robert Hamilton told Crown Friday during sentencing submissions in the case of Kevin Douglas Knowlton.

Hamilton said a longer prison sentence could be a greater benefit to Knowlton and the community.

“That gives us more time to work on him in the federal penitentiary … and try to correct his deviant way of thinking,” Hamilton said.

Knowlton, a 33-year-old from Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty in March to child luring, sexual interference and making child pornography.

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Sex abuse suits against diocese come before judge

SOUTH CAROLINA
The State

BY TIM FUNK
The Charlotte Observer
May 31, 2014

Mecklenburg Superior Court Judge Robert Bell plans to rule by June 20 on whether to throw out or clear for possible trial two civil cases against the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte that center on alleged sexual abuse of children by two priests decades ago.

On Friday, attorneys for the diocese asked that the judge dismiss the lawsuits — brought on behalf of four alleged victims — because those bringing them missed the window that state law allows for such cases to be filed.

The alleged incidents of abuse by the Revs. Joseph Kelleher and Richard Farwell happened in the 1970s and 1980s in Charlotte, Albemarle and Salisbury. The lawsuits against the diocese were filed in 2011 and 2012.

“The plaintiffs conducted no investigation (of what happened) for decades,” said Josh Davey, one of two…

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Valpo substitute teacher, former M’ville pastor …

INDIANA
nwi

Valpo substitute teacher, former M’ville pastor charged with sex abuse in Kentucky

VALPARAISO | A local substitute teacher and former minister was arrested Friday morning in Valparaiso on sex abuse charges filed in Louisville, Ky.

Allen L. Lehmann, 75, of Valparaiso, has been charged with seven counts of sexual abuse in the first degree with a victim younger than 12 and two counts of sodomy in the first degree with a victim younger than 12, said Dwight Mitchell, a public information officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department.

Officials with the Jefferson County courts said the indictment was filed Thursday, and Lehmann is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Jefferson County, Ky.

Lehmann worked locally as a substitute teacher in the Duneland and East Porter County school corporations.

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Abuse cover-up inquiry: whistleblower found to be an unsatisfactory witness

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Friday 30 May 2014

Chief whistleblower Peter Fox has been found to be an unsatisfactory witness in a report into an alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

However, the special commission of inquiry also found that the response by senior church officials into abuse claims made against two Catholic priests, who are both now dead, was ”inexcusable”. The 750-page report also said there is sufficient evidence to warrant the prosecution of a senior church official.

The commission’s four-volume report uncovered no evidence to show that senior police officers had tried to block child abuse investigations.

It also found that Detective Inspector Peter Fox, who alleged that there had been a cover-up, was not a credible witness, and it was appropriate for police to instruct him to stop his own investigations.

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Royal Commission reveals institutional child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Green Left Weekly

Saturday, May 31, 2014
By Coral Wynter

The Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was set up in January last year, after decades of campaigning by victims.

Led by Justice Peter McClellan, the first public hearings began in April last year and apply only to children sexually abused up to the age of 18. It does not include physical or emotional abuse.

The Commission has so far received 11,900 calls, almost 5000 letters and emails, and has heard 1500 private sessions by victims. Any one individual story is first heard in a private session and after all the evidence is collected, a public hearing occurs as an example of the abuse that occurred in that particular institution.

From these figures, it can be seen that the sexual abuse by institutions in Australia occurred on a large scale. There are estimates…

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The Serious Side of Paradise: Santa Barbara’s Missing Kids

CALIFORNIA
Cervins Central Coast

This blog is about the happy aspects of traveling to the California Central Coast: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey. But that doesn’t negate the seriousness of the article I wrote originally for the Santa Barbara News-Press for National Missing Children’s Day. My hope is that any of you who read this, regardless of where you are in the world, will be more aware and attuned to this global problem – our kids who go missing. Please share this information – and be mindful of what is happening in your community. Please.

It’s a sad commentary that we even have a National Missing Children’s Day – May 25th – but we do. Every day in the U.S. approximately 2,300 children under the age of 18 go missing, most voluntary, but many not. It’s estimated that 200,000 children annually are abducted by family members, and…

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Rev. Eugene L. Condon

SOUTH CAROLINA
The Post and Courierh

CHARLESTON – The Reverend Eugene Luke Condon, Jr. passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 24, 2014. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, September 27, 1929 to Mary Matthews Condon and Eugene Luke Condon. He attended public and parochial elementary schools, Bishop England High School, and the High School of Charleston, the University of South Carolina, St. Bernard Minor Seminary in Cullman, Alabama, and St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1956, by Bishop John J. Russell. He is survived by his sister Mary Condon Schill (Gustave) and sister-in-law Ruby S. Condon.

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Funeral held for former priest convicted in sex scandal

SOUTH CAROLINA
WCIV

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — A former priest was laid to rest this week in Charleston. The funeral was held Wednesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Rev. Eugene Condon was 85.

According to a release from the Diocese of Charleston, Condon was ordained in 1956 and retired 40 years later.

Condon was charged in 1996 with sexual molestation, and allegations surfaced again in 2006. In 1999, Condon was convicted of sex crimes, but another alleged victim came forward accusing Condon of inappropriate acts in the 1970s when the child was 13 years old.

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Sexual abuse victims and families pay tribute to whistleblower cop

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A woman whose son was abused by a paedophile priest, has described a police whistleblower as a man of great integrity.

A Special Commission Of Inquiry was launched after Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox spoke out about paedophilia within the Catholic Church in the Hunter Valley and cover-ups by the church and police.

The inquiry’s report, tabled yesterday, was damning of Detective Chief Inspector Fox, saying he was not a credible witness and that there was no evidence to show senior police ever tried to stop child abuse offences from being properly investigated.

But Pat Feenan, whose son was abused by Father James Fletcher, says they will always be thankful to Peter Fox.

“Personally I have found Peter Fox to be very credible,” she said.

“On our journey we have found Peter Fox to be a man of great integrity and that stays with our family.”

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“HUNGER GAMES” …

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger’s Beat

Catholic officials in the Helena diocese are the latest to seek bankruptcy protection in the face of hundreds of child sex abuse cases. Dozens of those cases have been filed by Native Americans who say there were assaulted at St. Ignatius Mission, which was set up in the 1840s by our town’s Father Pierre-Jean De Smet. Meanwhile, Jesuit abuse records that were just posted on Bishop/Accountability.org show another Jesuit child molester, Fr. Michael Toulouse, who spent time at St. Louis University. . .

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Andalgalá: imputan a sacerdote por el delito de abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
Elancasti

[Summary: A parish priest in Andalgala was charged with sexually abusing a minor. The complaint was filed earlier this year. The priest, advised by criminal lawyer Victor Garcia, was presented this morning to give his version of events. The preliminary statement was given in secrecy.]

ANDALGALÁ. Un sacerdote de la parroquia de Andalgalá, fue imputado por delitos de abuso sexual que habría cometido en perjuicio de un menor de edad. La denuncia habría sido radicada a principio de este año, según se conoció extraoficialmente.

El religioso, asesorado por el abogado penalista Víctor García, se presentó esta mañana en el edificio de la Fiscalía andalgalense para dar su versión de los hechos, en el marco de una declaración indagatoria que se manejó con total hermetismo.

De acuerdo a la información a la que pudo acceder elancasti.com.ar, el sacerdote, identificado como José Renato Rasgido, negó los cuatro hechos que…

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Ya son tres sacerdotes acusados de abuso sexual

MEXICO
Pulso

[Summary: Candido Rojas Ochoa, government secretary general, when questioned regarding the case of accused pedophile priest Eduardo Cordova said they are two other outstanding lawsuits against priests accused to pedophilia.]

Aimee Torres / Pulso

“En cuanto aparezcan se les captura (…) hasta donde sea”, afirmó Cándido Ochoa Rojas, secretario general de gobierno, al ser cuestionado respecto al caso del sacerdote Eduardo Córdova acusado de abuso sexual.

Ochoa Rojas, dio a conocer que aparte se tienen otros dos procesos judiciales pendientes contra sacerdotes acusados también de pederastia.

Los casos implican al sacerdote de nombre Noé, que oficiaba en el municipio de Soledad de Graciano Sánchez y uno más asignado a una parroquia del municipio de Santa María del Río.

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Friday Round-up: Aldana, Adrian, Arizona, and the AG

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on May 30, 2014

It’s been an interesting week:

Ricardo “Richard” Aldana is goin’ to the pokey

Former JSerra High School teacher Richard Aldana was convicted on three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child. The victim was a 14-year-old student. Aldana faces up to eight years in jail.

JSerra is an independent (not owned by the Diocese of Orange) Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

When allegations against Aldana became public in 2011, students rallied around the former Spanish teacher, wearing “Free Aldana” t-shirts, setting up a Facebook page demanding school officials reinstate him, and harassing the victim.

They disguised themselves as supporters, but were instead uninformed, attack mobs trying to silence victims. Fortunately, the police aren’t intimidated by a bunch of affluent high school punks.
Which leads us to our next story:

Adrian, Michigan: Taking…

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Marianists’ leader apologizes to Pittsburgh diocese for sexual abuse allegations

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

By Bobby Kerlik

Published: Friday, May 30, 2014

The head of the religious order that runs Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School wrote a letter of apology to the Diocese of Pittsburgh following allegations that eight members of the order abused students from 1945 to 1990.

The Rev. Martin A. Solma, provincial of the Marianist Province of the USA based in St. Louis, wrote that the allegations have “caused us much shame and deep remorse for the behavior.”

Nineteen victims have come forward in recent months in what has become one of the largest sex abuse scandals in the history of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Solma apologized to the victims, the Catholic community of Pittsburgh and to Bishop David Zubik “which had entrusted the Society of Mary with the important responsibility for the Catholic education of students in the diocese. In these abusive instances, that trust…

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Sneed: George Lucas — the Omaha archbishop, that is…

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

Sneed: George Lucas — the Omaha archbishop, that is — among possibe contenders to replace cardinal

By MICHAEL SNEED May 22, 2014

By, George!

Sneed hears the search to replace retiring Cardinal Francis George, which just moved quickly out of first gear, could include another person named George.

George Lucas.

No, not George Lucas the “Star Wars” movie mogul who is hoping to bring his cultural museum to Chicago’s lakefront.

Sneed is told Archbishop George J. Lucas, 64, of Omaha, Nebraska, who was dispatched to Nebraska in 2009 after serving almost 10 years as the bishop of Springfield, Illinois, could also be on the list.

“No one knows how many names are on the Vatican’s list, but they are going full steam ahead now to replace Cardinal George,” said a top Sneed source.

“This will be the new pope’s first major U.S. decision, and it’s…

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Omaha Archbishop George Lucas a candidate to lead Archdiocese of Chicago?

NEBRASKA
Omaha.com

A Chicago columnist mentioned Omaha Archbishop George Lucas as a possible candidate to lead the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The column in the Chicago Sun-Times suggested Lucas might be among those who might take over for Cardinal Francis George, who is battling cancer and stepping down as Chicago’s archbishop. The column did not name the source who linked Lucas to the possible contenders the Vatican is considering.

Lucas, who is a few weeks shy of his 65th birthday, was the former bishop of Springfield, Ill., before becoming Omaha’s archbishop in 2009.

Deacon Tim McNeil, spokesman for the Omaha archdiocese, said he has no knowledge of any formal list of possible successors to Cardinal George or if Lucas is on one.

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Missbrauchsopfer kritisieren Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
Mittelbayerische

REGENSBURG. Regensburg. „Wir hatten so einen Missbraucher bei uns in der Pfarrei“, sprudelt es plötzlich aus Meggy Wagner heraus. Sie hat einen roten Schal der Katholischen Frauengemeinschaft Deutschlands umgebunden und erzählt, dass sie aus dem Bistum Trier, genauer aus Saarbrücken zum Katholikentag gekommen ist. Wagner ringt zunächst um Worte, weil sie kaum beschreiben kann, welche Verheerungen ein sexueller Missbrauch anrichtet, wie groß der Schock ist. Dann fließen die Sätze aus ihr heraus. Es ist zu spüren, dass sich da etwas angestaut hat und dass sie möchte, dass über das Thema sexueller Missbrauch in der Kirche öffentlich gesprochen wird.

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Katholikentag: Missbrauchsopfer beklagen “Gesprächsblockade”

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

[Summary: Victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church are calling for effective measures. While there is progress, the victims have said at a meeting in Regensburg, there is desire for further change. They accused the church of not being willing to talk when this dialogue between bishops and victims is needed.]

Die Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs in der katholischen Kirche fordern eine wirksame Aufarbeitung der Skandale. Beim Katholikentag in Regensburg wird deutlich: Es gibt zwar Fortschritte, aber auch den Wunsch nach weiterer Veränderung.

Regensburg – Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs haben der katholischen Kirche mangelnde Gesprächsbereitschaft vorgeworfen. Nötig sei ein Dialog auch der Bischöfe mit den Betroffenen, sagte Matthias Katsch von der Initiative “Eckiger Tisch” bei einer Podiumsdiskussion auf dem Katholikentag in Regensburg.

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Missbrauch lastet weiter auf katholischer Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
Saarbruecker Zeitung

[Summary: Matthias Katsch, who was sexually abuse for years in a Catholic school, told a gathering in Regensburg that priests who rape children should no longer be allowed to be priests. In Germany, priests not infrequently continue working, he said, and this is another humiliation for victims.]

Regensburg. „Wer sich an Kindern vergangen hat, sollte nicht mehr Priester sein dürfen“, sagt Matthias Katsch. Dieser Satz klingt aus dem Mund eines Mannes, der in einer katholischen Schule jahrelang sexuell missbraucht wurde, logisch und folgerichtig. Nicht so für die Amtskirche: Hier dürfen Geistliche, wenn sie sich „einsichtig“ zeigen, nicht selten weiterarbeiten. Was für Opfer eine neue Demütigung ist, illustriert auf besondere Weise, dass die katholische Kirche bei der Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchs-Skandals, der sie vor vier Jahren in den Grundfesten erschütterte, noch einen langen Weg vor sich hat.

„Das Thema ist nicht vorbei und muss präsent bleiben“, sagt Stephan…

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Das Misstrauen nach dem Missbrauch bleibt

DEUTSCHLAND
mkn

[Summary: Bishop Stephan Ackermann has promised to take further steps in dealing with abuse in the Catholic Church but suspicion remains.]

Noch immer ringt die katholische Kirche in Deutschland mit dem Thema Missbrauch. Auf dem Katholikentag in Regensburg diskutierten Experten über dieses Thema. Darunter der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bischofskonferenz, Bischof Stephan Ackermann sowie der Sprecher der Opfervereinigung „Eckiger Tisch“, Matthias Katsch.

Regensburg – Vier Jahre schon ringt die katholische Kirche in Deutschland mit dem Missbrauchsskandal. Seit Jesuitenpater Klaus Mertes im Januar 2010 Fälle am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg öffentlich machte setzen sich Bischöfe und Experten, aber auch Kirchen- und Katholikentage mit dem düsteren Thema auseinander. So geschehen auch in Regensburg, wo derzeit Zehntausende Katholiken über Kirche und Glauben nachdenken und streiten.

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Kirche und Missbrauch: “Selbstbefriedigung ist keine Sache für den Beichtstuhl”

DEUTSCHLAND
Wochenblatt

[Summary: The issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is a hot topic in Regensburg as Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier debated with abuse victims. The mood was tense.]

Das Thema sexueller Missbrauch in der Kirche ist eines der heißen Eisen am Katholikentag in Regensburg. Der Trierer Bischof Ackermann debattierte mit einem Missbrauchsopfer.

Die Stimmung ist angespannt im Kolpinghaus, kein Wunder: Das Thema bewegt die Menschen seit 2010. Der Mann, der am Podium steht, ist ein echter Aufklärer, ein mutiger Mann: Pater Klaus Mertes hatte 2010 am Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin 600 Briefe an frühere Schüler geschickt. Darin hat er sich entschuldigt, sollten auch sie Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch in den 70er und 80er Jahren geworden sein. Mertes hat damit eine Lawine ins Rollen gebracht, die ihm nicht nur Freunde in der Katholischen Kirche einbrachte – viele, auch unter Bischöfen, sahen ihn als Nestbeschmutzer.

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Vertuschung „um der Barmherzigkeit Christ willen“

DEUTSCHLAND
Regensburg-Digital

[Summary: Bishop Stephan Ackermann has come in for sharp criticism for the way the church has handled clergy sexual abuse cases. Those attending a meeting to discuss the issue there there has been too much emphasis on the offenders and not the victims.]

Fehlender Aufklärungswille und zu viel Toleranz gegenüber Tätern: Bei einer der wenigen Veranstaltungen auf dem Katholikentag zu sexuellem Missbrauch musste sich Bischof Stephan Ackermann scharfer Kritik stellen. Er räumt seine eigene Machtlosigkeit ein.

„Das Sprechen der Opfer ist für Prävention grundlegend“, sagt Klaus Mertes. „Und die Voraussetzung dafür ist Aufklärung.“ Mertes weiß, wovon er redet. Der Jesuiten-Pater hat 2010 die Aufklärung von sexuellem Missbrauch am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg ins Rollen gebracht. Und heute, vier Jahre später, steht er beim Katholikentag in Regensburg am Podium, um den ersten Impuls für die Diskussion zu einer neuen „Kultur der Achtsamkeit“ innerhalb der katholischen Kirche zu geben, zu einer…

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Ex-priest sentenced, immediately taken into custody

KENTUCKY
WAVE

By Charles Gazaway

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The former Roman Catholic priest convicted of sexual abuse has begun serving a 15 year sentence.

James Schook, 66, was taken into custody after his sentencing on May 30. He was convicted April 16 on three counts of sodomy and one count of immoral behavior. The jury also found Schook not guilty on three additional counts of sodomy.

Judge Mitch Perry followed the sentence recommendation of the jury. He denied a request from Schook’s attorney David Lambertus to serve the sentence on probation and also denied a request for Schook to remain free while the case is appealed.

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Aussie- Report delivers hope for justice at last amid attack on whistleblower

AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Saturday, May 31, 2014

Statement by Nicky Davis, SNAP Australia Leader ( 04 4901 8594 nickydavis2011@gmail.com )

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests welcomes the finding of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry, released yesterday, which revealed that there were grounds for charges to be laid against one senior Australian Catholic church official.

According to Nicky Davis, of SNAP Australia, “We urge the NSW Government and the Department of Public Prosecutions to end the decades of inaction on this issue and finally bring a first Australian prosecution of a Catholic official for the cover-up of child sex crimes.”

“We hope this will be the first of many prosecutions, as both Australian and international experience indicate the cover-up is not a unique situation.”

“Indeed a new Australian book, Potiphar’s Wife, by Kieran Tapsell, launched this week, explains…

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On-the-job training isn’t working

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Boz Tchividjian | May 30, 2014

The on-the-job training of pastors and other faith leaders in preventing and responding to child sexual abuse isn’t working – it is dangerous and all too often has devastating consequences. A problem with on-the-job training is that it allows for mistakes. That is okay when you are cooking hamburgers, but not when it involves the safety of children. It is not okay when it involves an abuse survivor who quietly suffers in the pew. It is not okay when it involves a perpetrator who exploits ignorance in order to victimize children and avoid getting caught.

Inadequately trained leaders are simply not equipped to protect the children under their care from offenders who spend a lifetime perfecting their ability to gain the trust of adults in order to access children. According to a national survey conducted by Christianity Today,…

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Leader of Marianists apologizes to abuse victims from North Catholic

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The leader of a Roman Catholic religious order has written a letter of apology to victims of sexual abuse and to Catholics in the Diocese of Pittsburgh in the wake of allegations that eight of its brothers sexually abused minors while assigned to North Catholic High School since the 1940s.

“These reports have caused us much shame and deep remorse,” said the May 27 letter written by the Rev. Martin A. Solma, the provincial, or supervisor, of the Marianist Province of the USA, based in St. Louis.

The accusations began with news in March that a criminal trial was set against a Marianist brother, Bernard Hartman, in Australia for alleged sexual abuse that occurred while he was assigned there.

The diocese sent a letter to alumni of North Catholic, where Brother Hartman also worked, alerting them to the charges…

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Priest sent to prison for 15-years in sodomy case

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Claire Galofaro, The Courier-Journal; May 30, 2014

A dying Catholic priest was sent straight to prison Friday to begin his 15-year sentence for molesting a boy four decades ago, despite asking the judge for mercy.

James Schook, 66, was convicted last month of three counts sodomy and one count indecent or immoral practice for molesting a teenage altar boy for years in the 1970s, beginning when he was 13. A jury recommended he spend 15 years in prison.

Schook on Friday asked Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry to consider his age and his terminal cancer, and order that he serve his time on probation rather than prison. His attorney, David Lambertus, tried to convince the judge that a dying priest posed no threat to the community, and would cost taxpayers untold fortunes in medical care in prison.

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St. Thomas faculty member to retire amid investigation of abuse allegations against priest

MINNESOTA
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: May 30, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — A long-time faculty member at the University of St. Thomas questioned about his knowledge of sexual abuse allegations against a professor plans to retire.

Center for Catholic Studies founder Don Briel plans to leave the university at the end of August. His retirement comes amid an internal investigation into whether Briel or others at the university knew that an archdiocesan board recommended that Rev. Michael Keating not mentor young adults.

Keating is being sued by a woman who alleges he sexually abused her between 1997 and 2000, beginning when she was 13. Authorities investigated, but have declined to file criminal charges. Keating has denied the allegations through his attorney.

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Phoenix priest quits as pastor amid inquiry

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Michael Clancy, The Republic | azcentral.com May 29, 2014

UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION:

This story has been updated to clarify information about the complaints and the number of parents who spoke to The Arizona Republic and include additional statements from the Diocese of Phoenix.

In addition, this story removes a reference to Mark Hebert, a former assistant pastor at St. Thomas. The original online version of this story did not state, and did not mean to imply, that he was ever involved in any allegation of sexual abuse. Hebert said he left St. Thomas for another parish and eventually left the priesthood to be married.

—————————————–

A Phoenix priest has resigned as a pastor as the diocese investigates several complaints against him.

On May 2, the Diocese of Phoenix said it was aware of “several complaints” associated with St. Thomas the Apostle Parish and School. Parishioners…

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AZ- Local pastor removed for allegations of abuse, Victims respond

ARIZONA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priestsi

For immediate release: Thursday, May 29, 2014

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP western regional director, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 949-322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com )

Phoenix’s St. Thomas parish has been plagued by alleged abusive clerics. Another one has just been publicly exposed.

[Arizona Republic]

Our hearts ache for the parishioners. They have had two pastors credibly accused of abuse, an assistant pastor jailed for sexual abuse, and another pastor who “disappeared.” Now, they have had to fight the diocese just to be heard regarding complaints about their latest pastor, Fr. John Ehrich. He has been accused of sexually harassing adults and being inappropriate with children.

We urge Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted to immediately reach out to every current and former parish member and staffer, and beg them to call the police if they have suffered,…

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NJ- Basketball coach charged with child sexual abuse, SNAP responds

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, May 29, 2014

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

A former New Jersey youth basketball coach and school administrator was charged with child sexual abuse. The Newark Archdiocese has vowed to cooperate. We hope that is true and we hope the Archdiocese provides outreach to victims.

[Jersey Journal]

John Mercado was a longtime youth sports coach and he worked at three different schools. We want Catholic officials to be open and honest with the public about where Mercado worked.

Archbishop John Myers should visit every parish Mercado worked and beg anyone who saw, suspected, or suffered child sex crimes to come forward and report to secular officials.

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The Clock is Ticking for the Archbishop

UNITED STATES
Another Voice

Cardinal Bernard Law, formerly of Boston, was rewarded for his cover-up of sexually abusive priests by being appointed to a prestigious Vatican post in Rome. Bernard Law should have been sentenced to a few years in an American jail.

Under a new pope, the clock is ticking for wayward covert-up bishops, however. And there is quite a list to choose from. Perhaps we should hang their photos in our church vestibules, if not the local post office.

Since I am partial to my native state of Michigan, I would begin with John Clayton Nienstedt, the eighth and current Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A Motown boy, he attended and was later rector of my first alma mater: Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit.

John Clayton has a thing about gays. Shortly after becoming Twin Cities Archbishop, he discontinued the gay pride prayer service that was…

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MN- Investigation into Catholic professor should go on, SNAP says

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 30, 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 )

A professor at a Catholic university – who may have helped a predator priest hide his crimes – has stepped down.

[Minnesota Public Radio]

Don Briel’s retirement changes nothing. St. Paul Archdiocese and University of St. Thomas officials should still finish their investigation into his alleged involvement in Fr. Michael Keating’s crimes, disclose their results, and harshly denounce and punish Briel if he is found guilty of concealing or ignoring known or suspected child sexual abuse.

In October, Briel was asked by Minnesota Public Radio whether he knew about the allegation that Fr. Keating had molested at least one girl. He refused to answer. And yesterday, he again refused…

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Assignment Record – Rev. Michael Toulouse, s.j.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Michael Toulouse was ordained in the late 1930s or early 1940s as a priest of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. Province officials stated concerns about Toulouse as early as 1938, writing “he does not seem to understand the meaning of obedience.” Toulouse taught for six years at Gonzaga High School while living at St. Aloysius Church on the campus of Seattle University. That stint ended in late 1950 after a 14-year-old altar boy told his father that Toulouse had been sexually abusing him. The boy’s father went looking for the priest with his handgun, but was stopped by another Jesuit. (Reportedly, Toulouse would have his altar boys awaken him at the rectory before mass, then sexually assault them; he would then give them money in exchange for their silence.) The Jesuits responded by transferring Toulouse to Seattle University, despite objections…

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15 years in prison for priest convicted of abuse

KENTUCKY
Daily Mail (UK)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a former Catholic priest dying of cancer to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage boy at a church in the 1970s.

James Schook, 62, was taken into custody Friday morning after a hearing.

The criminal case had been delayed several times over three years as Schook argued that he was too frail to stand trial on sodomy and other charges. He was convicted in April, and the jury recommended the 15-year prison term.

Schook’s attorney, David Lambertus, urged Circuit Judge Mitch Perry to allow Schook to serve out his term on probation, then later asked if Schook could remain out of prison while his case is appealed.

Perry denied both requests, saying it was time for Schook to “face the consequences of his actions.”

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KY- Priest sentenced to 15 years in jail, Victims respond

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 30, 2014

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

A child sex abuse case against a Louisville priest has finally ended. We are glad that this dangerous predator will be behind bars for a long time.

[WDRB]

Fr. James R. Schook was indicted in 2011, but his crimes began in the 1970s. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz and Vicar General Brian Reynolds both were aware of allegations against Schook. They even temporarily removed him from his position at St. Ignatius Martyr Church in 2009. Despite these warnings a dangerous predator was allowed to roam free and potentially hurt more children.

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Briel to Retire as Director of Center for Catholic Studies

MINNESOTA
University of St. Thomas

Dr. Don J. Briel, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas and holder of the Koch Chair in Catholic Studies since 1996, has informed the university of his decision to retire as director of the center and as a faculty member of the university effective Aug. 31.

Briel has served in teaching, administrative and leadership positions at St. Thomas since 1981. In 1996, he established the Center for Catholic Studies to provide a wide range of activities and programs designed to enhance the Catholic mission and identity of the university and to contribute to national and international developments in Catholic higher education.

President Julie Sullivan thanked Briel for his years of service to the university and the Center for Catholic Studies.

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St. Thomas faculty member embroiled in sex abuse investigation to retire

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran , Jon Collins St. Paul, Minn. May 30, 2014

The University of St. Thomas said Tuesday that a long-time faculty member who faced questions about his knowledge of sexual abuse allegations against a professor is retiring.

Don Briel, director and founder of the Center for Catholic Studies, will retire on Aug. 31. The announcement comes amid an internal investigation into whether Briel or others at the university knew that an archdiocesan board had recommended that the Rev. Michael Keating, a professor of Catholic Studies, not mentor young adults. Briel has worked for the university for 33 years and founded the Center for Catholic Studies in 1996.

In a statement released this week, University president Julie Sullivan called Briel an academic entrepreneur and praised his leadership in the development of the Catholic Studies program. “I greatly appreciate Dr. Briel’s dedication and contributions, throughout…

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Excessive burden of proof on Magdalene survivors, Dáil told

IRELAND
Irish Times

Michael O’Regan

Fri, May 30, 2014

An enormous burden of proof was placed on some of the survivors of the Magdalene laundries because of inadequate records, Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan told the Dáil.

She said “one would imagine that a much more flexible approach could be adopted at this point” and that “the ladies to whom I refer could be given the benefit of the doubt’’.

Ms O’Sullivan said some of the women were being excluded from redress, while others were being offered less than their entitlement.

“There are those who feel so defeated by this extra burden they are being obliged to shoulder that it is like being back in the laundries for them.’’

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NSW child sexual abuse inquiry finds evidence to charge senior Catholic Church official

AUSTRALIA
ABC – Lateline

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 30/05/2014
Reporter: Jason Om

An inquiry into child sexual abuse in NSW has found there’s enough evidence to charge a senior Catholic Church official with concealing the activities of a notorious peadophile.

Transcript

EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: An inquiry into child sexual abuse in the Hunter region of NSW has found there is enough evidence to charge a senior Catholic Church official with concealing the activities of a notorious paedophile priest.

The Special Commission into abuse allegations and their alleged cover-up in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese has delivered its final report calling the failure of clergy to report decades of abuse to police as inexcusable.

But it has also slammed the credibility of the detective chief inspector who sparked the inquiry finding him to be an unsatisfactory and at times untruthful witness.

Inspector Peter Fox had accused senior police of…

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Austrian bishop digs up old canon law to excommunicate couple

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Robert Blair Kaiser | May. 30, 2014

VIEWPOINT
We have a pope who has said he is trying “to light a fire in the heart of the world.” Now, to my surprise, the bishop of Innsbruck, Austria, seems to be throwing cold water on the entire project.

Bishop Manfred Scheuer has dug up an old piece of canon law to ask Rome to levy the penalty of excommunication on Martha and Gert Heizer for their occasional ritual remembrance of the Last Supper of Jesus, who bid his disciples to “do this in memory of me.” Even more surprising: The Holy Office complied with the bishop’s request without bothering to ask the pope, if we can believe a report from Austria’s Kathpress that Pope Francis had never been informed of the Holy Office’s decision.

We have historic backing for home liturgies without a priest….

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Judge sentences Rev. James Schook to 15 years in prison for sexual abuse

KENTUCKY
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A Louisville priest convicted of sexually abusing two teenage boys in the 1970s has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

A jury convicted the Rev. James Schook of three counts of sodomy and one count of indecent and immoral behavior with an individual in April and recommended the 15-year sentence, which the judge upheld.

Schook could have received a 25-year sentence. He has been free on home incarceration since the trial.

During his trial, witnesses provided graphic details of their sexual encounters with Schook, saying the abuse took place at various Louisville churches on a regular basis.

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Royal Commission calls for submissions on victims of crime compensation schemes

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today released an issues paper on statutory victims of crime compensation schemes and their effectiveness for those who experience child sexual abuse while in the care of an institution.

Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said this is the seventh issues paper of the Royal Commission and forms part of a series of projects in relation to the scope of justice for victims.

“All states and territories have schemes that allow victims of crime to apply for compensation, counselling and other services from a dedicated pool of funds.

“The schemes can differ greatly between states and territories, such as time frames for victims to apply for compensation, the payments and services that victims receive and the level of supportive evidence victims require to apply for compensation.

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Judge denies bond for defrocked priest

CHICAGO (IL)
Southwest News-Herald

By JOE BOYLE • Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Cook County judge has denied bond for Daniel McCormack, the former West Lawn resident and defrocked priest who is facing new charges following his conviction of being a child molester.

McCormack, 45, who attended St. Mary Star of the Sea Elementary School while growing up in West Lawn, was denied bond on May 22 regarding a new charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in an incident dating back to 2005.

Appearing in court in a White Sox T-shirt, shorts and gym shoes, McCormack faced Cook County Judge James Brown at Leighton Criminal Court at 26th and California.

The Chicago Police Department issued a warrant for McCormack on May 16 in relation to a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child. McCormack was taken into custody at the Illinois Department of Human Services facility in…

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EDITORIAL: Damning report on Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

FOR decades, the Catholic Church not only knew of serious multiple allegations against some of its Hunter clergy, it had admissions of inappropriate behaviour with children on its files.

What the Church knew might have resulted in criminal charges against clergy long before some of these were actually laid, had the Church seen fit to tell the police its information.

The Church’s failure to reveal potentially criminal behaviour allowed serial offender Denis McAlinden – who molested scores of children over a long disgraceful career as a priest – to continue his offences.

People suffer deep emotional scars today – scars that could have been avoided – because the Church put concern about its own public image ahead of its responsibility for the welfare of some of the youngest and most vulnerable members of its flock.

The Newcastle Herald has been saying as much for years, and…

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Critical failures from Church in cover-up

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JASON GORDON May 30, 2014

IT’S volume four that Lou Pirona is most interested in.

Like the families of other victims of predatory Catholic priests, Mr Pirona is taking more comfort in the fact that charges are looming for at least one of the Church’s senior clergy who covered up for a priest’s paedophilia.

‘‘The fact of the matter is that senior Church officials were protected, and could have remained protected forever by the Church hierarchy,’’ said Mr Pirona, whose son John took his own life in 2012 after ‘‘too much pain’’ from being sexually abused as a child by Hunter priest John Denham.

John’s death was the catalyst for the Newcastle Herald’s Shine the Light campaign, which led to the federal royal commission into institutional child abuse.

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Hiding abuse remains an unresolved crime, video

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

[with video]

by JOANNE McCARTHY May 30, 2014

THERE are four volumes in the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry report released by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen, SC, yesterday.

But within those hundreds of pages is a single key line that validates, vindicates and justifies the efforts of so many.

There is ‘‘sufficient evidence warranting the prosecution of a senior Catholic Church official in connection with the concealment of child sexual abuse’’ relating to the late Hunter priest Jim Fletcher, the report found. And this is significant for so many reasons.

It is significant in world terms.

Although many Catholic priests in Australia and across the globe have been successfully prosecuted and jailed for sexually abusing children, the number of church men prosecuted for concealing those crimes or failing to report them can be counted on one hand.

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CA- Teacher found guilty in child sex abuse case, SNAP responds

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 30, 2014

Statement by Melanie Sakoda of Moraga, CA, East Bay Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 925-708-6175, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com )

A former Catholic school teacher was convicted yesterday of three felony counts for having sex with a 14-year-old student. We are grateful for this verdict and hope he will receive the maximum prison sentence of four years and four months. The longer he is kept in prison and away from kids, the safer they will be.

[Orange County Register]

[Orange County Weekly]

We are thankful that this little girl had the courage to testify against her abuser in court.

Hopefully, knowing that she has been heard and believed, will be an important step in her healing process.

Ricardo Aldana, who taught Spanish at JSerra High School and who…

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Mexico- Priest defrocked for child sexual abuse, SNAP responds

MEXICO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, May 30, 2014

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

A Mexican priest, who has been found guilty of child sexual abuse, was defrocked by the Vatican. We are glad this predator has been defrocked and that a complaint has been filed with secular authorities. But, it’s irresponsible for church officials to stop here. They must aggressively reach out to others who saw, suspected or suffered this cleric’s crimes. And they must harshly punish any other church staff or members who ignored or concealed these crimes.

[Radio Vatikan]

[Oman Tribune]

Fr. Eduardo Cordova was found guilty by the Vatican of abusing a teenage boy. The Archdiocese of San Luis Potosi filed a criminal complaint last week with secular authorities,…

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SNAP is wrong to discourage victims from meeting the pope

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea | May. 30, 2014

VIEWPOINT
It was disheartening to read that officers of SNAP are discouraging victims from meeting with the pope, deciding before it happens that the event is a waste of time and nothing more than a publicity ploy.

Like Tom Doyle, canon lawyer and longtime critic of the church, I believe the Pope Francis is sufficiently different from his predecessors that it is worthwhile for victims to meet him, look him in the eyes, tell him their stories, and ask for something. It is an act of great courage and hope for which any victim/survivor should be richly supported. It is also an act that no victim should be forced into or guilted out of.

Victims are men and women whose subjectivities and recovery roads are unique and personal. For some, meeting with pope may indeed lead…

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Fox unsatisfactory witness: Abuse report

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail (UK)

By AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 02:28 EST, 30 May 2014

Chief whistleblower Peter Fox has been found to be an unsatisfactory witness in a report into an alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

The four-volume report uncovered no evidence to show senior police officers tried to block child abuse investigations.

It also found Detective Inspector Peter Fox – who alleged the cover up – was not a credible witness, and it was appropriate for police to instruct him to stop his own investigations.

“Fox gave evidence that was untruthful,” the report said.

“The Commission formed the view that Fox had engaged in conduct that was inconsistent with the integrity required of a police officer.

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Mexiko: Erzbistum stellt Strafanzeige

MEXIKO
Radio Vatikan

[Summary: A Mexican priest has been found guilty by the church of abusing a minor and the Vatican has defrocked him.]

Ein mexikanischer Priester, der des sexuellen Missbrauchs eines Minderjährigen für schuldig befunden wurde, ist vom Vatikan aus dem Klerikerstand in den Laienstand zurückversetzt worden. Das berichtet die Nachrichtenagentur aciprensa. Das zuständige Erzbistum San Luis Potosí habe außerdem bei der Justiz Strafanzeige gegen ihn gestellt. Die Lokalpresse spricht von mehreren Dutzend Missbrauchsopfern des früheren Geistlichen.

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USA: Kardinal George sagte als Zeuge zu Missbrauchsvorwürfen aus

CHICAGO (IL)
kathweb

Chicago, 30.05.2014 (KAP) Chicagos Kardinal Francis George ist zu Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen einen ehemaligen Priester seiner Erzdiözese angehört worden. Der von einer Krebstherapie geschwächte Kardinal antwortete auf Fragen von Opferanwälten, wie die Zeitung “Chicago Tribune” (Onlineausgabe Donnerstagabend) meldete. Die Aussagen wurden auf Video aufgezeichnet und sollen bei einem späteren Verfahren verwendet werden.

Ein Anwalt der Erzdiözese sagte, die Videoaufzeichnung sei “eine Routine in Gerichtsverfahren, wenn der Zeuge betagt ist oder gesundheitliche Probleme hat”. Dem Bericht zufolge verlief die Befragung zu keiner Zeit feindselig oder kontrovers. Nur zwei der neun anwesenden Opferanwälte hätten Fragen gestellt. Die Juristin Lyndsay Markley sagte der Zeitung: “Wir versuchen, unsere Sache zu beweisen. Kardinal George spielt dabei eine zentrale Rolle.”

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Cardinal George gives video deposition in priest’s abuse case

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear Pashman
Tribune reporter
9:48 p.m. CDT, May 29, 2014

Lawyers began recording the testimony of Cardinal Francis George on Thursday amid a widening scope of sex-abuse allegations against defrocked Roman Catholic priest Daniel McCormack, a precaution taken in the event that Chicago’s archbishop’s health prevents him from testifying in a future trial.

George announced in March that doctors discovered new cancer cells in his right kidney — his third cancer diagnosis in eight years — and underwent chemotherapy. Last week, a day after McCormack was arrested on new charges of sexual abuse, George disclosed that the search for his successor has begun and a new archbishop is expected to be named by late fall.

John O’Malley, a lawyer for the archdiocese present at Thursday’s filming, said recording an evidence deposition is “routine in court cases where the witness is elderly…

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USA: Chicagos Kardinal sagt zu Missbrauchsvorwürfen aus

CHICAGO (IL)
Radio Vatikan

[Summary: Cardinal Francis George has been deposed regarding a lawsuit naming priest Daniel McCormack as an abuser.]

Chicagos Kardinal Francis George ist zu Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen einen ehemaligen Priester seines Erzbistums angehört worden. Der Kardinal antwortete auf Fragen von Opferanwälten, wie die Zeitung „Chicago Tribune“ in der Onlineausgabe meldet. Die Aussagen wurden auf Video aufgezeichnet und sollen bei einem späteren Verfahren verwendet werden. Dem Bericht zufolge verlief die Befragung zu keiner Zeit feindselig oder kontrovers. Nur zwei der neun anwesenden Opferanwälte hätten Fragen gestellt. Die Juristin Lyndsay Markley sagte der Zeitung: „Wir versuchen, unsere Sache zu beweisen. Kardinal George spielt dabei eine zentrale Rolle.“ Der beschuldigte Priester Daniel McCormack hatte sich bereits 2007 sexuellen Missbrauchs schuldig bekannt. Nach einer fünfjährigen Haftstrafe hält er sich in einer psychiatrischen Einrichtung auf. Vergangene Woche wurde er erneut in Untersuchungshaft genommen, nachdem weitere Vorwürfe gegen ihn bekannt geworden waren.

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Papst Franziskus – alte Autos

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

WDR 5: Beim Katholikentag in Regensburg ist das Thema sexueller Missbrauch eines unter vielen. Am heutigen Veranstaltungstag ist es ein Hauptthema. Es war zuletzt der Papst selbst, der den Missbrausskandal in der katholischen Kirche neuerlich in den Mittelpunkt gerückt hat als er bei seiner Rückreise von seinem Besuch im Nahen Osten sagte, es gebe Null Toleranz für Geistliche die Kinder missbrauchten, das sei ein hässliches Verbrechen was einem Verrat an Gott gleichkomme. Der Papst kündigte außerdem für Anfang Juni ein erstes Treffen mit Opfern an. Zu diesen Opfern gehört Norbert Denef, er ist Vorsitzender der Selbsthilfeorganisation netzwerkB. Ich habe ihn vor der Sendung gefragt, ist das Solidarität die Franziskus da zeigt oder ist es, wie der Vorsitzende einer amerikanischen Opferorganisation sagt, eine Geste, ein PR-Coup, ein weiteres Stück Symbolismus?

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Special Commission of Inquiry findings delivered, video

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

[with video]

By JASON GORDON May 30, 2014

A Special Commission of Inquiry into the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Hunter Region has determined that several senior Catholic clergy deliberately mislead investigations and were unreliable, unsatisfactory and untruthful witnesses.

It has also determined that the police detective who instigated the commission had ‘‘exaggerated’’ evidence, had been ‘‘deliberately untruthful’’, illegally shared sensitive information with a journalist and had developed an ‘‘obsession about the Catholic church and alleged conspiracies involving senior police’’.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC on Friday handed her long-awaited report to the NSW Governor. Three of four volumes have today been made public, with the fourth remaining confidential.

The Newcastle Herald understands that the confidential volume contains findings that may lead to criminal charges being laid against a senior Catholic church official.

Of the confidential file now in the hands of the…

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Peter Fox: I would do it again

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JASON GORDON May 30, 2014

HE’S been battered by the very commission of inquiry which he instigated, but Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox says he would ‘‘not hesitate to walk the same path again’’.

Speaking exclusively to the Newcastle Herald, Mr Fox vigorously defended himself and his actions following yesterday’s final report handed down by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC.

The report found there was no evidence to support claims that a ‘‘Catholic mafia’’ existed within police ranks, nor Mr Fox’s claims that a strikeforce set up to investigate alleged cover-ups was a ‘‘sham’’ designed to fail.

Mr Fox, who has been on stress leave since the middle of 2012 and is close to finalising his employment with the NSW Police Force, said much of his evidence to the commission had been distorted.

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Magdalene survivors ‘being punished twice’

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Shaun Connolly, Political Correspondent

Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries are being made to feel they are being punished for a second time due to Government indifference, the Dáil has heard.

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan demanded Taoiseach Enda Kenny live up to the promises he made to the women and ensure they get the compensation and respect they deserve.

“The effect is that some ladies are being excluded from redress, while others are being offered less than that to which they might be entitled.

“There are those who feel so defeated by this extra burden they are being obliged to shoulder that it is like being back in the laundries for them.”

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Justice Murray Sinclair relates commission’s findings on residential school legacy

CANADA
Kenora Daily Miner and News

By Alan S. Hale, Kenora Daily MIner and News
Thursday, May 29, 2014

With just over a year left before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission issues its long-awaited report, the commission’s head, Justice Murray Sinclair, came to Kenora to talk about some of the findings about Canada’s infamous Indian residential school system that he and his fellow commissioners have been working on gathering for the past five years.

Sinclair’s speech, which was held at Seven Generations’ Manidoo Baawaatig campus (formerly Lakewood School), was part of the Lake of the Woods Museum’s revival of its award-winning exhibit about Kenora’s residential schools, We Were Taught Differently, which has been reformatted to be taken on the road. Justice Sinclair used his time in front of a packed gymnasium to share some of the bone-chilling facts that the commission has uncovered since 2009.

“The survivors want…

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Child sex abuse: fears after funding cuts to royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

A WOMAN who recently gave testimony of sexual and physical abuse at a long-closed Albury-Wodonga girls’ home yesterday slammed a $6.7 million funding cut to a related royal commission.

Five weeks ago Rhonda recounted the horrors of her time at St John’s Orphanage to a commissioner in Melbourne.

Rhonda (who did not wish to use her full name) now fears the funding transfer will prevent many others from telling the stories they have had to carry throughout their lives.

The Attorney-General’s Department has defended the redeployment last year of $4 million from the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse capital works budget — plus $2.7 million from a pool for witness legal costs — to the home insulation inquiry.

It said this would not affect the commission’s operations.

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Special Commission of Inquiry clears police…

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Special Commission of Inquiry clears police, finds whistleblower Peter Fox ‘not credible’ over child abuse cover-up claims

BY TAHMINA ANSARI
May 30, 2014

A Special Commission of Inquiry into allegations of a cover-up of child sexual abuse claims in the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has released findings that are damning of the man who claimed to blow the whistle.

The four-volume report, three volumes of which have been released by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC, uncovered no evidence to show that senior police ever tried to ensure child abuse offences were not properly investigated.

It found Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox was not a credible witness and that it was appropriate for senior police to instruct Chief Inspector Fox to cease his own investigations.

“The Commission finds no credible evidence to support the notion that there are senior police in Northern Region Command of the New…

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Special Commission of Inquiry findings into sexual abuse delivered

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

May 30, 2014

Matt Carr

Three of four reports from the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry’s investigation into sexual abuse have been released on Friday, with a fourth remaining confidential “until any potential criminal proceedings have been determined”.

The special commission presented its report to NSW Governor Marie Bashir on Friday after extensive hearings in 2013.

The inquiry covered conduct by clergy, particularly in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese, over knowledge of child sexual abuse by priests Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher.

The special commission explored “the extent to which those officials facilitated, assisted or otherwise hindered or obstructed” police investigations.

It also explored senior police’s decision in December 2010 that Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox halt investigations into certain matters relating to the two priests.

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Police whistleblower labelled an obsessive and zealot in Catholic child abuse inquiry report

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

A special commission of inquiry into allegations that a Catholic mafia in New South Wales colluded with the Church to cover up child sexual abuse by clergy has today handed down its findings. But the main target of its criticism is the man who became a national champion for child abuse survivors when he blew the whistle on so-called ‘sham’ investigations that were ‘set up to fail’. Detective chief inspector Peter Fox has been labelled in the report as an obsessive and a zealot, whose evidence lacked any credibility. But the public report of the inquiry is also notable for what’s not in it. There are also adverse credibility findings about senior church officials, but they’re in a confidential volume of the report that won’t be released until potential criminal proceedings have been determined.

Transcript

MARK COLVIN: A special commission of inquiry into allegations…

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Minister accused of years-old child sex crimes (updated)

NORTH CAROLINA
Gaston Gazette

By Lauren Baheri

Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014

Police have charged a Dallas pastor with raping a 13-year-old girl. Police accused the man of committing multiple sex crimes between 1994 and 1998.

Joseph “Joe” Robert Hall, 62, of 2402 Pamela St., Gastonia, was arrested Wednesday night on 14 different child sex charges:

First-degree rape of a child; first-degree sexual offense of a child; second-degree rape; second-degree sexual offense; four counts of indecent liberties with a child; three counts of statutory rape; three counts of statutory sexual offense.

The charges stem from alleged incidents in Brunswick County on the North Carolina coast.

The girl was 12 years old when the incidents began in July 1994, according to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. Hall would have been 43 years old at the time.

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Special Commission of Inquiry concerning the investigation of certain child sexual abuse allegations in the Hunter region

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Government

On 9 November 2012, the Premier announced that the NSW government proposed to establish a Special Commission of Inquiry into matters raised by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox in an ABC Lateline interview regarding the handling of certain child sexual abuse allegations.

Ms Margaret Cunneen SC has been appointed as Commissioner by Letters Patent issued by the Governor of New South Wales on 21 November 2012 under the Special Commissions of Inquiry Act 1983 (NSW).

The Commissioner was due to report on or before 31 May 2014.

On 25 January 2013, amendments were made to the terms of reference and the reporting date was extended to 30 September 2013. On 28 August 2013 the terms of reference were amended to extend the report date to 28 February 2014. On 12 February 2014 the terms of reference were amended to extend the report date to…

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Release of Report of Special Commission of Inquiry into matters relating to the investigation of certain child sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Government

[click here for the web site]

The NSW Government has released the public volumes of the Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry.

The four volume report was delivered to the Governor by the Commissioner, Margaret Cunneen SC, on 30 May 2014. The Government is releasing Volumes 1 to 3 of the Report.

The Commission has recommended that the fourth volume remain confidential at this stage.

Further information about the Special Commission of Inquiry is available on the DPC site.

Press release: Special Commission of Inquiry

Report:

Report – Volume 1
Report – Volume 2
Report – Volume 3

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Special Commission of Inquiry: ‘Hero’ officer Peter Fox branded a liar

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

May 31, 2014

Rachel Browne, Jason Gordon

The ”hero cop” whose explosive claims about NSW Police handling of Catholic Church child abuse helped spark a royal commission, has been branded a liar in a report handed to the state government on Friday.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox claimed that a police investigation into child sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle was a ”sham” and asserted there was a ”Catholic mafia” in the NSW Police that covered up crimes.

He also claimed he was forced to ”stand down” from the investigation into allegations surrounding two paedophile priests who had abused children in the Hunter area for decades.

The Special Commission of Inquiry into whether the Catholic Church covered up or NSW Police failed to properly investigate paedophile priest activity found there was no evidence to support Chief Inspector Fox’s claims.

It also found…

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Unheard stories of the sex abuse crisis

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Frank Brennan | 01 June 2014

Unheard Story: Dublin Archdiocese and the Murphy Report, by Padraig McCarthy. Londubh Books, 2013.

The victims of child sexual abuse at the hands of church personnel have waited a long time to be heard, to be believed, and to be offered a modicum of compassion and justice. In the process, some church personnel, including conscientious priests of the utmost propriety, have been hurt and wronged by the broad-brush approach of some state sponsored inquiries and media responses.

In Unheard Story, Fr Padraig McCarthy rightly highlights shortcomings in legal-political-media processes like the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation. Analysing the report and the responses to it, he has ‘no wish, in anything that has been said, to deflect from the pain and suffering of victims and their families over the years or to excuse any professional mishandling of cases that has occurred’….

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OPINION: Credit people power for special inquiry report

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By PETER GOGARTY May 30, 2014

IN August 2012 I wrote to every state and federal politician in Australia.

I urged them to support the rising wave of community insistence that formal inquiries into child abuse be established.

I implored them to do as much research on the issue of childhood sexual assault by clergy as possible and asked them if they could be certain that our children are now safe.

I noted “History will record the courage of those who stand up on this issue and will condemn those who do not.”

I received six responses – two supporting me, three saying they would get back to me and one from premier Barry O’Farrell insisting there was no need for an inquiry.

I will allow history to judge my prediction.

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Church abuse inquiry rejects claims of ‘obsessed’ detective Peter Fox

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN MAY 30, 2014

A WHISTLEBLOWER detective who used a live ABC interview to criticise the NSW Police Force over its handling of child sex abuse is an unsatisfactory witness who gave untruthful evidence about both his employer and the Catholic Church, a state inquiry has found.

The 2012 Lateline interview with Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox is widely seen as helping trigger the national royal commission into child abuse, which was announced four days later by the then prime minister, Julia Gillard.

Following the broadcast, a NSW special commission of inquiry was also established to investigate the policeman’s claims that the church in NSW’s Hunter Valley covered up child abuse by priests, and that he was ordered to stand down from the investigation of a paedophile priest.

In its report, released this afternoon, the commission found “Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox was…

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Inquiry finds church personnel covered up abuse for decades

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

The Special Commission of Inquiry’s damning findings are not limited to detective chief inspector Peter Fox. Commissioner Margaret Cunneen says that for decades, senior officials within the Catholic Church knew about the sexual abuse allegations but failed to act. Support groups for victims worry that the findings against Peter Fox will ‘bury’ the cover-up.

Transcript

MARK COLVIN: The special commission of inquiry’s damning findings aren’t limited to detective chief inspector Peter Fox.

Commissioner Cunneen says that for decades, senior officials within the Catholic Church knew about the sexual abuse allegations but failed to act.

The commissioner has been highly critical of witnesses from the Church, saying they were misleading or simply reluctant to give evidence.

But support groups for victims worry that the findings against Peter Fox will bury the fact that the Church covered up the abuse for decades.

Thomas Oriti reports.

THOMAS…

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Historical Abuse Inquiry: State failings ‘must be considered’

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A lawyer has said an inquiry will have to consider possible failings by state agencies over two former residential homes run by nuns in Londonderry.

The Historical Abuse Inquiry is currently examining events at children’s homes at Bishop Street and Termonbacca.

Public hearings into the homes ended on Thursday.

Christine Smith, the senior counsel for the inquiry, made a final submission at Banbridge courthouse.

She said the abuse allegations against some nuns, older boys, and some priests had to be considered alongside questions about the state’s responsibility – for children it placed in the homes, and regularly checking standards at the homes.

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Trial opens for ex-JSerra teacher charged with having sex with student

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Register

BY VIK JOLLY / STAFF WRITER
Published: May 14, 2014

SANTA ANA – A former San Juan Capistrano high school teacher had sex with a 14-year-old girl who he knew had a crush on him, a prosecutor told a jury Wednesday.

The defense lawyer for Ricardo Aldana, 40, countered that a teenager seeking attention made up the charges.

Prosecutors have charged Aldana with seven felony counts of lewd acts on a child.

Aldana taught Spanish and coached boys soccer at JSerra Catholic High School. The school fired him after learning about the circumstances of his arrest in December 2011.

Prosecutors say he befriended the girl at school, when she was 13.

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Ex-JSerra teacher convicted of sex with former student

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Register

BY ERIC HARTLEY / STAFF WRITER

Published: May 29, 2014

A former Catholic school teacher was convicted Thursday of three felony counts for having sex with a 14-year-old former student.

The jury acquitted Ricardo Aldana, 40, of four other counts.

He’ll be sentenced July 11, and the prosecutor said he faces a maximum sentence of four years and four months in prison. Under the law, the judge could also choose to give him less time behind bars or probation with no jail time.

The jury considered seven counts of lewd acts upon a child. Before the verdicts were read in court, Aldana crossed himself. He put his head down on the table briefly when the first not-guilty verdict was read, then held his hands to his face without looking at the jury.

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Ricardo Aldana, Former JSerra High Teacher, Convicted of Lewd Acts w/14-Year-Old Girl

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano Thu., May 29 2014

Gustavo here. Ricardo Aldana, a former Spanish teacher at JSerra High in San Juan Capistrano and South County girl’s volleyball coach arrested way back in 2011 on charges of having sex with a then-14-year-old student, was finally convicted today.

A jury got him on three counts of lewd acts but acquitted him of four other counts alleging the same thing. Potatoe, potato: pervert pendejo is GUILTY.

City News Service reported that Aldana “cried softly as the verdicts were read.” QUIERE LLORAR! QUIERE LLORAR! Moral of the story? DON’T HAVE SEX WITH 14-YEAR-OLD GIRLS.

I couldn’t cover the trial, but the prosecution brought up Aldana’s predilection for going after high school girls, an assertion that Aldana defense attorney Michael Molfetta excused by saying that he never had sex with the 16-year-old he was dating until she turned 18 and…

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Sexual abuse victim eagerly awaits Special Commission findings

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Hunter Valley man who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest says he is anxious to read the findings of the Special Commission of Inquiry.

The state government launched the inquiry in November 2012 after allegations made by detective inspector Peter Fox

Months of public and private hearings, involving dozens of witnesses were held into claims police and the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese covered up abuse by two Hunter region paedophile priests, James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen will hand her findings to the Governor Marie Bashir today after requesting three extensions when the witness list lengthened and extra hearings were scheduled.

Commissioner Cunneen looked at the circumstances in which detective inspector Fox was asked to cease investigating, and whether Catholic Church officials hindered the police investigation by alerting alleged offenders or destroying evidence.

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Priest who had affair is suspended

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by Paul Wilkinson

Posted: 30 May 2014

A MARRIED priest who told his parishioners that marriage should be “promoted and honoured” has been suspended for five years after admitting having an affair with one of his congregation.

The Revd Martin Howard, who is married and has children, also resigned from his post as Team Rector of Hampreston, in Dorset.

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State supreme court rules …

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

State supreme court rules statute of limitations bars woman’s abuse suit against ex-priest

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted May 29, 2014

BANGOR, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday unanimously upheld a lower court decision that concluded the statute of limitations bars a Portland woman from suing a former Catholic priest over alleged sexual abuse.

Christine S. Angell, 52, of Portland sued Renald C. Hallee, 69, of Billerica, Massachusetts, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland in March 2010 in Cumberland County Superior Court. She alleged that between 1970 and 1973, when he was assigned to St. John Catholic Church in Bangor, Hallee abused her.

The claims against the diocese have been settled, according to court documents.

Hallee, who left the priesthood and Maine in 1977, has denied the allegations. He worked as a teacher in Lexington, Massachusetts, from 1978 until…

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Ordained female priest says Mass at St. Francis House

MISSOURI
KBIA

By MADELINE DUFEK & HANNAH SAULIC

In 1998, Janice Sevre-Duszynska stood up in the middle of an ordination service and shocked her entire congregation when she demanded the Bishop to ordain her into priesthood.

Sevre-Duszynska said the Bishop sounded like Darth Vader at the time, commanding her to go back to her seat and stop disrupting the service. However Sevre-Duszynska said she did not view her actions as disruptive. Rather, she said she was acting as the voice for all women.

While Sevre-Duszynska did not fulfill her dream of entering the priesthood at that service, she became an ordained priest on August 9, 2008 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Sevre-Duszynska visited Columbia on Wednesday to say mass at St. Francis House and screen the documentary “Pink Smoke Over the Vatican,” which focuses on the controversial movement of women seeking priesthood within the Catholic Church. …

For female priests, breaking…

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Excommunication threatened for anyone attending ordination of female

MICHIGAN
WWMT

WEST MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A West Michigan Catholic bishop is informing parishioners they can be excommunicated if they take part in an ordination ceremony this weekend.

The reason for the harsh warning is the person being ordained is a woman.

Local Catholic leaders say this could cause great confusion with in the church.

In his weekly newsletter Bishop Paul Bradley reminded parishioners that if they take part they can be kicked out of the church.

He called it a “simulation” ceremony and said church members must confess if they were there before receiving sacraments of the church.

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Basta! And Still Not Enough!

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

Kay Ebeling

THURSDAY, MAY 29, 2014

2 trips to Vatican since 2002
Still no communication with Pope
So Birmingham victim makes documentary

In a memorable segment of the film, Basta, Bernie McDaid tries to deliver a letter to a Vatican office. Dozens of other people enter as the Guards nod them in, but Bernie is left gesturing and pointing to papers in his hands. The caption reads “for 45 minutes, while negotiating, Bernie watches as people simply walk in.” On screen the guards look like Punch and Judy dolls as they keep blocking Bernie from entering the building.

“Basta! No Pity, No Shame, No Silence” documents years of Vatican runaround experienced by two survivors of pedophile priest Joseph Birmingham of Boston trying to communicate with The Vatican about the extent of the pedophile priest crisis. The film covers two trips to Rome…

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Philly priest’s retrial set for 2015; 1st jury deadlocked on alleged 1997 assault of altar boy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 29, 2014

PHILADELPHIA — A suspended priest won’t be retried until next year on child sexual-assault charges because both the Philadelphia judge and his new defense lawyer are booked until then.

The Rev. Andrew McCormick faces a February retrial after a jury this spring deadlocked on charges he assaulted a 10-year-old boy in 1997.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that prosecutors pushed Thursday to have the case resolved this year.

However, Common Pleas Judge Gwendolyn Bright said the delay is unavoidable.

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