ABUSE TRACKER

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

June 3, 2014

Cincinnati Catholic School Teachers Quitting Over Anti-Gay Contract (Video)

OHIO
Opposing Views

By Michael Allen, Mon, June 02, 2014

Some Catholic school teachers are quitting because the Cincinnati Archdiocese has issued a new teachers’ contract that forbids teachers from expressing public support of homosexuality.

The teacher’s contact also prohibits the homosexual “lifestyle,” living together without marriage, sex without marriage, abortions, using a surrogate mother, in-vitro fertilization and wrongful use of social media.

This past week, 12 billboards opposing the contract went up in the Cincinnati area. The billboards were paid for by the group Cincinnati Voice of the Faithful.

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

Vatican Diary / Cuts and consolidations in the curia. Here’s where

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

Around ten dicasteries are hanging in the balance. And so are their current heads. Including cardinals Burke, Cañizares, Versaldi, Coccopalmerio. And archbishops Paglia, Celli, Fisichella

by Sandro Magister

VATICAN CITY, June 3, 2014 – “Combine the dicasteries, for example, to streamline the organization a bit.”

This is what Pope Francis said he wanted to do in the Roman curia, responding to journalists on the return flight from his pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The fact that the merger of dicasteries was one of the changes studied by the council of eight cardinals – the “C8,” selected by the pontiff to assist him in the reform of the curia and in the governance of the universal Church – was not a secret.

But for the first time Francis himself has expressly indicated this objective. The pope added that the C8 will discuss it not only at the scheduled four-day meeting at the beginning of July, but also at a subsequent meeting on the calendar for September.

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

Study: Confirmed U.S. child maltreatment is dramatically underestimated

UNITED STATES
UPI

By Alex Cukan | June 2, 2014

NEW HAVEN, Conn., June 2 (UPI) –One in 8 U.S. children will experience maltreatment in the form of neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse by the time they reach age 18, researchers said.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, also found 1 in 5 black children and 1 in 7 Native American children experienced maltreatment by age 18.

Author Christopher Wildeman, an associate professor of sociology and faculty fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University, and colleagues used data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System Child File.

The database included information on all U.S. children with a confirmed report of maltreatment. From 2004 to 2011, the database indicated more than 5.6 million children experienced maltreatment.

“Confirmed child maltreatment is dramatically underestimated in this country. Our findings show that it is far more prevalent than the 1 in 100 that is currently reported,” Wildeman said in a statement.

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

Zimbabwe: Have Churches Become Agents of Abuse?

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald

BY RUTH BUTAUMOCHO, 3 JUNE 2014

ANALYSIS

The statement, “Religion is the opium of the people”, is one of the most frequently paraphrased part of a speech made by the German economist and philosopher, Karl Marx.

He was giving his own critique of the Hegel’s Philosophy of Right that talks about the relations between civil society and politics.

While it is one statement that has been interpreted differently, with some saying Karl Marx meant that the function of religion was to drug the masses and dull the mind, the general understanding of the statement by a lot of scholars — interpreted from German -simply means that religion consoles and gives comfort to those facing impossible circumstances.

However, last week’s events in Budiriro where members of an apostolic sect, who stand accused of abusing women in the name of religion, clashed with police, made me rethink, if Karl Marx’s statement could have been a diplomatic way of saying that religion indeed does dull the mind.

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Will the Vatican step up and hold bishops accountable?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jason Berry | Jun. 2, 2014

On the flight back to Rome May 26 after his visit to Israel, Pope Francis gave another impromptu press conference. Responding to a question on the clergy abuse crisis, he said, “At the moment there are three bishops under investigation: one has already been found guilty and we are now considering the penalty to be imposed. There are no privileges.”

The pope offered no names, but according to the transcript, added a sonic boom analogy: “A priest who does this betrays the body of the Lord. This is very serious. It is like a satanic Mass.”

Francis’s escalating rhetoric came three weeks after a United Nations Committee on Torture report, citing extensive international legal findings, was critical of the Holy See for bishops’ negligence in sheltering sexual predators. “States bear international responsibility for the acts and omissions of their officials and others acting in an official capacity or acting on behalf of the state,” said the U.N. report issued May 23.

“A zero tolerance approach must be adopted,” Francis said on the airplane. He announced he would meet with a group of abuse victims.

Nevertheless, in a sign of internal divisions over transparency, the Vatican, as of June 2, had yet to identify the three bishops.

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

Catholic Church responds to findings into NSW paedophile priests

AUSTRALIA
ABC – The World Today

ELEANOR HALL: The Catholic Church has responded publicly for the first time to the special commission of inquiry which handed down its findings into two paedophile priests last week.

The inquiry found that senior officials within the Catholic Church knew about sexual abuse allegations against the priests for decades, but failed to act to protect vulnerable children in their care.

The Bishop of the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese, Bill Wright, today expressed his “deep and abiding regret”.

As Thomas Oriti reports.

THOMAS ORITI: Australia now has a royal commission examining child sexual abuse at institutions across the country.

But before it was established, a special commission of inquiry in New South Wales spent months examining sexual abuse at the hands of two priests in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese – James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden.

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Senior Catholic Church official singled out by Commission of Inquiry referred to NSW Director of Public Prosecutions

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Giselle Wakatama

A senior Catholic church official singled out by a New South Wales Commission of Inquiry has had his case referred to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The Special Commission of Inquiry looked at the Catholic Church and police in relation to their handling of the cases of Hunter Valley paedophile priests Dennis McAlinden and James Fletcher, who are now dead.

The Commission focused on cover-ups and the concealment of matters, and one confidential volume contains findings that may lead to criminal charges being laid.

In releasing her findings last week, Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC recommended the case of at least one unnamed senior Catholic Church official be referred to the DPP.

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

EXCLUSIVE: After US sex abuse scandals, an accused priest rises again in Paraguay

PARAGUAY
GlobalPost

Will Carless
June 3, 2014

Bishops from Switzerland to Scranton warn that he’s a threat to youths. GlobalPost finds Carlos Urrutigoity leading Mass in a remote South American church, where young seminarians are enthralled and critics are alarmed.

CIUDAD DEL ESTE, Paraguay — A hush falls across the church, broken only by the rhythmic swish of the censer as it bestows acrid incense across the faces of the congregation.

A gaggle of monks in brown habits, their heads tonsured in repentant horseshoes, rises and begins to chant. They are joined by seminarians — priests in training — in floor-length, black soutanes, and Latin liturgy pulses over the pews. The words rise to a massive floor-to-ceiling mural that casts dozens of saintly eyes across the room.

Father Carlos Urrutigoity glides into the sanctuary, his ivory and scarlet robes swishing between the pews. Revered by his flock in the unruly diocese of eastern Paraguay’s Ciudad del Este, the priest will deliver his sermon to hundreds of worshippers. They will later clamor outside the church to meet the man, to receive his benediction.

This is a man who’s been described by bishops from Switzerland to Pennsylvania as “dangerous,” “abnormal,” and “a serious threat to young people.”

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

Nuncio sees ‘green shoots’ in Irish Church after 20-year winter

IRELAND
Catholic Herald (UK)

By SUSAN GATELY on Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Young people are helping lead a rebirth of the Catholic Church in Ireland, according to the country’s papal nuncio.

Archbishop Charles Brown described the rebirth as the spring after 20 years of winter, saying he sees “green shoots”.

“You see a renewed enthusiasm among young Catholics in Ireland now,” said Archbishop Brown, who was appointed as papal ambassador in November 2011.

He said the new generation of Catholics, some of whom are studying for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, the national seminary in Maynooth, or the Pontifical Irish College in Rome, will “lead the Church forward into the next decade”.

Young Catholics represent what is best in the tradition of Vatican II, “the idea of communicating the ancient unchanging faith in a new, vibrant and attractive way”, he told the American Catholic News Service.

Archbishop Brown, the oldest of six children, was born in New York and studied history at the University of Notre Dame. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New York in 1989 and was assigned for two years to St Brendan Parish in the Bronx, before studying sacramental theology in Rome and then being recruited to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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June 2, 2014

Francis’ words on sex abuse bolster hope for action

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

NCR Editorial Staff | Jun. 1, 2014

EDITORIAL

The directness and urgency with which Pope Francis addressed the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy during his May 26 talk with journalists is encouraging. His decision to meet with victims of clergy sex abuse is also a clear signal that Francis understands the gravity of this issue in a way that was not clear earlier. While we understand, and to some extent share, the concerns of victims’ groups that the meeting and Mass with victims could be little more than media theater, we have more hope for the gathering. Francis has given us reason to believe that his pastoral instincts will guide him and that the outcome of this encounter will bring the church to a new place in this decades-long tragedy.

Bolstering our hopefulness is Francis’ acknowledgement that he must act against bishops who are complicit in failing to protect children. From his own mouth, we know that three bishops are under investigation. While he did not say whether those bishops are abusers themselves or negligent supervisors, we have the words of the Vatican’s lead prosecutor of sex abuse, Fr. Robert Oliver, that the Vatican is working on a process for punishing bishops who fail to protect children.

Furthermore, Oliver said, “Pope Francis is the kind of leader who makes it possible for those who assist him to bring forward ideas. Then he takes hold of these ideas … [then] the Catholic faithful, and indeed all people, will see that he will act quickly.”

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

Newcastle’s head policeman welcomes special commission findings

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Newcastle’s head policeman says the findings of the Special Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse in the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese highlight the good work done by local officers.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, whose concerns sparked the inquiry, not only pointed the finger at the Church but also at his police colleagues for covering up paedophilia within the diocese.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen was damning of Detective Chief Inspector Fox and found no evidence of wrong doing by police officers involved in the investigation.

Newcastle Local Area Commander, Superintendent John Gralton says police have been vindicated by the inquiry.

“I’m actually very, very proud of the efforts that police went to in strike force Lantle,” he said.

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NJ- Victim being silenced by church and school officials

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 2, 2014

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

New Jersey Catholic officials and Delbarton school officials are trying to protect their reputations by silencing a credible child sex abuse victim.

Shame on them.

To insist on secrecy at this point is re-victimizing this already wounded victim. And it’s designed to deter other victims of child molesting clerics from speaking up.

Catholic and Delbarton officials want to pay child sex crime victims to shut up and go away, refusing to admit that church-imposed secrecy is incredibly hurtful to those victims.

Dozens and dozens of clergy sex abuse victims have signed these callous gag orders only to realize later they were further betrayed and manipulated. We know of no case in which one of them was penalized for speaking out.

These gag orders endanger kids, hurt victims and protect wrongdoers. Catholic officials should stop insisting on them and should, for the safety of kids, release all victims who have signed them.

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

Judges challenge Archdiocesan positions in bankruptcy case

CHICAGO (IL)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Chicago — Judges at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday appeared to challenge a key argument in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s efforts to protect $60 million it holds in a trust for the care of cemeteries from being used to pay creditors in its bankruptcy.

The three-judge panel questioned whether the archdiocese needs that entire $60 million to maintain its cemeteries. And one of the jurists, 7th Circuit Judge Claire Ann Williams, said she found issues related to U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa’s decision not to recuse himself from the lawsuit over those funds “troubling.”

The panel — Appellate Judges Williams and Joel Flaum, along with U.S. District Judge Robert Dow of the Northern District of Illinois — heard oral arguments Monday on several issues related to the bankruptcy, including First Amendment questions that could be of national significance as religious liberty cases make their way through courts around the country.

In that lawsuit, filed by Archbishop Jerome Listecki as sole trustee of the cemetery trust, the church maintains that forcing it to turn over even $1 in cemetery funds to the bankruptcy estate would substantially burden its free exercise of religion under the First Amendment and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Proceeds from the estate would go to finance a settlement with sex abuse victims and the archdiocese’s reorganization.

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Judge Had Conflict In Wis. Archdiocese Case, 7th Circ. Hears

CHICAGO (IL)
Law360

By Lance Duroni

Law360, Chicago (June 02, 2014, 4:02 PM ET) — Lawyers for priest abuse victims in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s bankruptcy told the Seventh Circuit on Monday that a federal judge who barred them from going after a $60 million trust set up for Catholic cemeteries had a conflict of interest and should have recused himself.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa — who ruled last year that the cemetery trust was off-limits to archdiocese creditors — has nine close relatives, including his parents, buried in the cemeteries, presenting a conflict in a case that could…

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Use of Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s $55M trust fund questioned

CHICAGO (IL)
Pioneer Press

By M.L. Johnson
Associated Press

CHICAGO — Federal appeals court judges on Monday questioned the bankrupt Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s claim that it needs all the money in a $55 million trust fund to maintain its cemeteries and asked whether some could be used to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse without violating the Catholic faith.

The three judges grilled attorneys in a dispute over a cemetery trust fund created by New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan when he was archbishop of Milwaukee. A federal judge in Milwaukee previously ruled the money was off-limits to the hundreds of sexual abuse victims who have filed claims against the archdiocese in bankruptcy court.

The lawsuit has potentially far-reaching consequences because many Catholic dioceses hold money in trust. A victory for victims in Milwaukee could pave the way for others elsewhere. The appeal also has generated interest in legal circles because the federal law cited by the lower court judge has been an issue in gay marriage, birth control and other cases involving religion.

Attorneys came to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago expecting to talk about the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects religious organizations from government interference. Trust fund attorneys claim the court-appointed committee that represents sexual assault victims and others owed money by the archdiocese is an arm of the government. The committee’s lawyers dispute this, saying the committee acts independently from the bankruptcy court and the U.S. bankruptcy trustee who appointed it.

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Catholic diocese claims priest was ‘off duty’ …

NEW JERSEY
Daily Mail (UK)

Catholic diocese claims priest was ‘off duty’ when he molested boy as they attempt to deflect responsibility for sex crimes

By ASHLEY COLLMAN
PUBLISHED: 15:48 EST, 2 June 2014

The Catholic diocese of Trenton, New Jersey says it wasn’t responsible for a teenage boy’s molestation because the priest was ‘off duty’ at the time of the abuse.

Victim Chris Naples claims Reverend Terence McAlinden, now 73, sexually assaulted him hundreds of times over the course of a decade, starting when he was just 13 years old.

Now 42, Naples is suing the diocese in Mercer County since other church leaders knew about the abuse and did nothing.

Naples previously lost a suit against the diocese in Delaware, where some of the abuse allegedly took place. It was during that case that attorneys for the diocese used the controversial argument that they couldn’t be held responsible for Rev McAlinden’s actions, because abusing a child is not part of a priest’s ‘duties’.

‘How do we determine when a priest is and is not on duty?’ one of the justices asked.

‘Well, you can determine a priest is not on duty when he is molesting a child, for example,’ the diocese lawyer responded. ‘A priest abusing a child is absolutely contrary to the pursuit of his master’s business, to the work of a diocese.’

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Nach 60 Jahren: Heibels treten aus Protest aus der Kirche aus

DEUTSCHLAND
Rhein-Zeitung

[Summary: After almost 60 years Johan Heibel was a member of the Catholic Church. He grew up in a devout home and was an altar boy for seven years. Now he and his wife Monika sit in a registry office to leave the church. One reason is the way the church has handled sexual abuse cases. More people are following the same path.]

Siershahn/Wirges – Fast 60 Jahre lang war Johannes Heibel Mitglied der Römisch-Katholischen Kirche. Getauft 1955 in Siershahn, aufgewachsen in einem streng gläubigen Elternhaus, jahrelang selbst Messdiener. Nun sitzen er und seine Frau Monika im Wirgeser Standesamt, um aus der Kirche auszutreten.

In wenigen Minuten soll alles vorbei sein. “Ich hoffe, der da oben versteht meine Gründe”, sagt der Siershahner nachdenklich. “Es ging einfach nicht mehr.”

Auch im Westerwald beschreiten immer mehr Menschen diesen Weg. Seit im vergangenen Jahr das Finanzgebaren des ehemaligen Limburger Bischofs Tebartz-van Elst bekannt wurde, stiegen die Austrittszahlen aus beiden christlichen Kirchen sprunghaft an. “Bis dahin waren es etwa 60 bis 70 Fälle in der Verbandsgemeinde Wirges pro Jahr”, rechnet der Standesbeamte beispielhaft vor. 2013 kletterte die Zahl auf 120 Personen. 2014 waren es im Mai schon um die 80 Austritte.

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Missbrauch: Kirche will vorbeugen statt vertuschen

BELGIEN
Grenzecho

[Summary: The Catholic church now wants prevention instead of cover-up.]

Jahrzehntelang hatte die katholische Kirche in Belgien die Fälle von sexuellem Missbrauch durch Kleriker unter den Teppich gekehrt. Heute fährt sie einen anderen Kurs, und der führt über die Schienen Transparenz und Vorbeugung.

Im Zuge der Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen den Brügger Bischof Roger Vangheluwe im Jahr 2010 richtete die katholische Kirche in den Bistümern Kontaktstellen für Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch durch Geistliche ein. In zwei Jahren gingen 323 Meldungen ein, wie aus dem Jahresbericht der Kommission für den Schutz von Kindern und Jugendlichen zu entnehmen ist. Die meisten Taten ereigneten sich in den 50er, 60er und 70er Jahren. Jedes vierte Opfer war jünger als zehn Jahre.

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Athanasius Mass of the persecuted victims of child abuse

Victims Mission Charity

composed by Gerald Spitzner

Part 1/6 (Die Messe besteht aus 6 Teilen) CLICK TO LISTEN / Klicken um Anzuhören: http://www.mixcloud.com/Gerald_Spitzner/athanasius-mess-of-the-persecuted-victims-of-child-abuse-composed-by-gerald-spitzner/

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Time to Abolish Concordat

AUSTRIA
Pressetext

Vienna/Austria (pts008/26.05.2014/10:00) – Information of Committee Against Torture (Report on Holy See)

Statement by David d’Bonnabel: Victims in Austria are grateful that the Committee expressed concern about Concordats and other agreements negotiated by the Holy See that “may prevent prosecution of alleged perpetrators by limiting the ability of civil authorities to question, compel the production of documentation by, or prosecute individuals associated with the Catholic Church. The Committee Against Torture Report on Holy See (Vatican) (CAT) urges that the agreement should not be used to shield criminals. It is time for Austrian officials to ensure that Austrian children are protected and that those who are sexually violated by priests or others in the church have redress and justice. These unhealthy, archaic concordats endanger kids and protect criminals. For the safety of children, they should be abolished.

Here are facts from the UN CAT report (attached) as well as the actual Concordat in force today between Austria and the Vatican:

https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=10009196
http://www.concordatwatch.eu/showtopic.php?org_id=921&kb_header_id=1811

Section 15 of the report makes clear: The Committee is concerned at allegations that concordats and other agreements negotiated by the Holy See with other States may effectively prevent prosecution of alleged perpetrators by limiting the ability of civil authorities to question, compel the production of documentation by, or prosecute individuals associated with the Catholic Church (arts. 2, 12, 13 and 16).

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

AANPAK VAN SEKSUEEL MISBRUIK IN DE KERK: ‘VAN TABOE NAAR PREVENTIE’

BELGIE
KerkNet

[Jaarverslag 2012 – 2013 van de kerkelijke opvangpunten voor seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen in een pastorale relatie]

[Summary: The Inter-Diocesan Center in Guimard in Brussels this afternoon in the presence of the bishops Johan Bonny and Guy Harpigny gave the 2012-2012 report on operation of the 10 contact points for victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. At the same time, the newly published brochure will list policies to prevent sexual abuse and erratic behavior in pastoral relationships with children and young people ]

BRUSSEL (KerkNet) – Op een persconferentie in het Interdiocesaan Centrum in de Guimardstraat in Brussel, is vanmiddag in aanwezigheid van de bisschoppen referent mgr. Johan Bonny en mgr. Guy Harpigny het rapport 2012-2013 over de werking van de tien contactpunten voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in de Kerk voorgesteld. Tegelijk werd de pas verschenen brochure ‘Van taboe naar preventie. Beleidslijnen ter preventie van seksueel misbruik en grensoverschrijdend gedrag in pastorale relaties met kinderen en jongeren’ toegelicht.

Vorig jaar, in mei 2013, bracht de Interdiocesane Commissie voor de Bescherming van Kinderen & Jongeren een eerste rapport uit over de werking van de kerkelijke opvangpunten voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik of seksueel grensoverschrijdend gedrag. Die tien opvangpunten zijn een van de initiatieven van de bisschoppen en de hogere oversten om daadwerkelijk iets te doen aan het onrecht dat minderjarigen werd aangedaan door kerkmensen. Slachtoffers kunnen er in eerste instantie juridisch verjaarde feiten melden. Daarnaast is er de weg van de arbitrage, uitgewerkt op vraag van de parlementaire commissie, met volwaardige medewerking van de Kerk. In het totaal hebben 621 mensen een dossier ingediend bij het Centrum voor Arbitrage. Bij de kerkelijke opvangpunten hebben zich in 2012 en 2013 323 mensen gemeld.

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Insurance Company Files Suit Against Catholic Diocese

MISSOURI
KCUR

By ELLE MOXLEY

The company that provided the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph its liability insurance in the 1970s says it shouldn’t have to defend the church or pay damages in a litany of sexual abuse cases.

The U.S. Fidelity and Guaranty Co. filed suit in federal court Friday against the diocese, which has been sued by more than a dozen plaintiffs who say they were victims of sexual abuse in the ’60s and ’70s. In the majority of those cases, the court has dismissed all claims against the diocese except the intentional failure to supervise clergy.

The insurance company says the policies it underwrote only cover injuries that were the result of accidents, not injuries that were expected or intended on the part of the diocese.

“The issue is, did the supervising bishop or supervising personnel know or should have known that the priest or clergyman was abusing children?” says Peter Swisher, a law professor at the University of Richmond (Va.) who has written extensively about liability insurance in the wake of church abuse scandals.

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Child sex abuse allegations against Westlake pastor nearly a year old

OHIO
Cleveland.com

By Patrick Cooley, Northeast Ohio Media Group
on June 02, 2014

WESTLAKE, Ohio – An investigation into suspected sexual abuse by a prominent Westlake pastor began nearly 11 months ago, police said Monday.

The Avon police department investigated allegations of abuse by Paul Endrei, 53, founder and senior pastor of Church on the Rise in Westlake, but the department released little information this week. Endrei lives in Avon.

The department only provided a report that said officers were called to Endrei’s Doral Drive home July 14 to assist Lorain County Children’s Services in gathering information.

July 14 is the only specific date mentioned in a six count indictment handed up by a Lorain County grand jury Wednesday.

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Morris Judge closes parts of civil trial in Delbarton sex abuse case

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Ben Horowitz/The Star-Ledger
on June 02, 2014

MORRISTOWN — A Superior Court judge today ordered his courtroom closed to the press and public during opening statements in a civil trial brought by a man known as “John Doe” who wants to be released from a confidentiality agreement he signed after settling a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Delbarton School in Morris Township in 1988.

Delbarton had sought to close the trial to the public, but Judge Stephan Hansbury in Morristown denied the motion.

Hansbury ruled that some portions of the trial would be open, and others closed, including the opening statements, the victim’s testimony and various testimony and proceedings, “as appropriate.”

Hansbury, in Morristown, said “some issues are protected by prior agreement,” resulting in the closing of the courtroom at certain points.

But both sides appeared to outline their general strategies for the trial in an open hearing that preceded the opening statements.

An attorney for Delbarton said allowing the victim to get out of the confidentiality agreement would open the gates to a new “do-over law” in New Jersey that could let anyone renege on a contract after suffering “buyer’s remorse.”

The attorney for the victim, who was sexually abused by a priest while in his teens, said it is “extremely important” that the man, now in his 40s, be allowed the “emotional end” of speaking out publicly about what happened to him, calling the confidentiality agreement a “restrictive covenant.”

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Editorial: Crucial moment for Pope Francis to undo wrongs on clergy sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Daily Hampshire Gazette

As he takes on the issue of clergy sex abuse, Pope Francis must break with the past and move to resolve, once and for all, a scandal that has plagued the Catholic Church for years. The new pope will meet soon with a group of sex abuse victims at the Vatican and has said he will not tolerate any instance of a priest raping or molesting a child. Those are only words.

The planned meeting with a half-dozen victims will mark the first such encounter for the new pope. The session comes after the Vatican has been severely criticized by two recent United Nations reports. Twice this year, the Vatican has been forced to appear before a UN committee in Geneva and be peppered with questions about its handling of abuse cases.

The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child concluded in February that the Vatican systematically placed its interests over those of victims by enabling priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children through a code of silence.

And on May 23, the U.N. Committee Against Torture concluded that Vatican officials failed to report sex abuse charges properly, moved priests rather than discipline them and failed to pay adequate compensation to victims. That report found that the Vatican, despite its claims to the contrary, exercises worldwide control over its bishops and priests and must comply with the U.N.’s anti-torture treaty.

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St. Louis priest pleads not guilty to sex abuse allegations

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOV

Posted on June 2, 2014

ST. LOUIS — A Catholic priest from St. Louis has pleaded not guilty to charges he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy.

The Rev. Joseph Jiang appeared in St. Louis Circuit Court on Monday.

Jiang faces two counts of statutory sodomy. He worked at the Cathedral Basilica and is accused of sexually abusing a student at the attached St. Louis the King School.

His lawyer has said Jiang denies the allegations.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis suspended Jiang from duties pending the case. He previously had been accused in Lincoln County of contact with a teenage girl. That case was dismissed.

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Catholic Church Defense: All Molestation Occurs “Off The Clock”

NEW JERSEY
Ring of Fire

Posted on June 2, 2014 by Farron Cousins •

The Catholic Church has recently made incredible advancements thanks to the leadership of Pope Francis. For the first time the Church is taking a stand against inequality, poverty, and the excessive greed of corporations and CEOs. But there is one area where the Church is still operating in the Dark Ages: sexual molestation by the clergy.

The Diocese of Trenton New Jersey has hired a team of legal experts in an attempt to get off the hook for decades of sexual assault, and their defense has left victims completely stunned. According to the Diocese’s attorneys, they cannot be held liable for the conduct of their priests because all of the alleged molestation took place when the priests were off duty.

The attorneys’ argument is that sexual abuse is not in a priest or reverend’s job description, so any time they decided to molest a child, they were “off the clock.”

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St. Louis Roman Catholic priest pleads not guilty to sexual abuse charges

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Lilly Fowler lfowler@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8221

A Roman Catholic priest said to have close ties to St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has pleaded not guilty to sexual molestation charges.

The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” pleaded not guilty on Monday morning to charges that he sexually abused a young boy at St. Louis the King School, the elementary school at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. Jiang faces two counts of statutory sodomy.

A grand jury, however, indicted Jiang in May, according to court records, meaning a grand jury found probable cause that a felony had been committed and a judge and trial date will be assigned to the case.

“I think he’s probably disappointed that this has gone this far. That he’s been indicted,” said Bill Hannegan, who along with his wife, Lucy, founded Friends of Fr. Joseph Jiang, a group more than 100 members strong that formed in 2012 to support the priest.

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NJ diocese: We’re not liable, because molesting boys not part of priest’s official duties

NEW JERSEY
The Raw Story

By Travis Gettys
Monday, June 2, 2014

Lawyers claim the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, should not be held liable for sexual abuse allegedly committed by a priest because he wasn’t officially “on duty” when he molested a teenage boy.

Chris Naples claimed Rev. Terence McAlinden, who once headed the diocese’s youth group, sexually abused him during church-sponsored trips to Delaware in the 1980s.

But diocese lawyers told the Delaware Supreme Court that McAlinden was not officially on duty when the abuse took place.

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St. Louis priest pleads “not guilty’ to abuse allegations

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KSDK

Kevin S. Held, KSDK June 2, 2014

ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis archdiocesan priest accused of child sex charges with a minor appeared in court Monday to deny those accusations.

Fr. Joseph Jiang pleaded not guilty to counts of statutory sodomy. Prosecutors said Jiang, who worked at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, had sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy at St. Louis Cathedral School.

Jiang was previously accused of having inappropriate contact with a teenage girl on four separate occasions. Those charges were eventually dropped.

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Editorial: No more ‘daddy’s boys’

UNITED STATES
Boston Herald

Monday, June 2, 2014
By: Herald Staff

Pope Francis plans to meet soon with a group of survivors of clergy sexual abuse, he told reporters last week. A welcome gesture, though his predecessor made similar overtures.

But during that same meeting with reporters the pope made clear there will be no preferential treatment for church higher-ups on matters related to sexual abuse — and three bishops are currently under investigation by the Vatican. That may carry even more weight for some Catholics, particularly here in the Archdiocese of Boston, who have long lamented the too gentle treatment extended to high-ranking clerics.

Most offensive, of course, was the pillow-soft landing that was extended to Cardinal Bernard Law after he left Boston in disgrace over revelations about his handling of abuse complaints over decades. He “retired” to a prestigious basilica in Rome.

Bishop John McCormack, who for years served as Law’s point man for those complaints, was left to minister to his New Hampshire flock until his retirement in 2011, despite a record of coddling priests who should have spent their days not in comfortable rectories but behind bars.

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MO- Twice accused priest pleads “not guilty”

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 2, 2014

For more information: David Clohessy (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris (314) 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com

Archbishop’s pal back in court on July 21
He allegedly molested a city boy & Lincoln County girl

A St. Louis archdiocesan priest who has been accused of molesting two children pled “not guilty” this morning in a city courtroom.

Fr. Joseph Jiang, who is reportedly very close to Archbishop Robert Carlson, made a very brief court appearance at 8:58 today. Fr. Jiang’s attorney refused to speak with a reporter this morning after the hearing.

This is the second time Fr. Jiang has been arrested on child sex charges – once in Lincoln County and now in St. Louis city. In June 2012, he was accused of fondling a teenage girl (under 17) on four occasions. Those charges were later dropped

In April of this year, Fr. Jiang was arrested again and charged with two felony counts of first-degree statutory sodomy involving a boy younger than 14 at Cathedral school between 2011-2012.

Fr. Jiang, free on $150,000 bond, now lives at the Dominican Priory on Lafayette near Grand, just six minutes away from the Cathedral parish, where he allegedly met and hurt both the girl and the boy.

“This is a recipe for disaster. Carlson needs to put Fr. Jiang in a remote, secure and independent treatment center far away where he’ll have no access to kids,” said David Clohessy of SNAP.

“It’s possible that Fr. Jiang sexually assaulted this boy while Fr. Jiang was living at this same priory,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP. “He’s obviously not being restricted or supervised or monitored, which is extremely reckless.”

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The Benedict protégé in Francis’ Vatican

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Robert Mickens | Jun. 2, 2014

ANALYSIS
ROME Cardinal Gerhard Müller enjoys recounting a humorous episode that occurred some months ago when Pope Francis stopped into the office Müller heads, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The pope immediately noted a small statue in the entrance hall, which depicts a bishop in full regalia sitting on a horse and holding aloft the Blessed Sacrament in a gold monstrance.

“I sat in a saddle like that for six hours,” Müller told the pope, alluding to the 600-year-old annual Pentecost Ride he sometimes led when he was bishop in Bavaria. With a chuckle, Francis replied: “The poor horse!”

Unfortunately, there’s also a dark side to this lighthearted humor. Horses aren’t the only ones that have had to bear the heavy weight of the 66-year-old Müller. Most recently, he came down hard on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the largest and oldest of the two associations of nuns in the United States, during a meeting with its leaders April 30 in Rome. But many and varied are the Catholic clerics (even a few cardinals), religious and laity who have gotten pressure from this Joseph Ratzinger protégé in the little less than two years he has been in charge of what was once called the Holy Office.

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OH- Pastor facing sex charges, SNAP responds

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 02, 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 )

An Ohio pastor is facing sex related charges involving one of his adopted children. We hope the brave victim in this case gets the help and support they need.

[WKYC]

Paul Endrei, is the founder and head pastor of Church on the Rise in Westlake. Details of the case have not been made public, but we hope church officials cooperate fully with law enforcement and aggressively seek out others who may have been hurt by this minister.

We also hope that church member and the public are not blinded by the popularity of Endrei and remember the innocent victim in this case. We urge anyone who saw, suspects or suffered any inappropriate behavior from Endrei, will contact secular officials.

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Survivor rises above paralysis, priest abuse

VERMONT
Times-Argus

Dan Gilman was a 15-year-old free spirit when, climbing a tree lurching over a friend’s aboveground pool July 28, 1972, he leapt upward.

“I imagined I was one of those cliff divers they show on ‘Wide World of Sports,’” the Vermonter says. “In that split second, everything was light and sparkling and summer was perfect and I was the center of attention.”

Then it all came crashing down. Fracturing his spine, the teenager was paralyzed from his shoulders to the soles of his feet.

“This is bad, this is bad, this is bad,” Gilman thought as he lay in a hospital bed listening to doctors give him a less than 1 percent chance of recovery.

Feeling helpless and without hope, the boy accepted a priest’s invitation to receive “the Lord’s blessing.” A clergyman’s hands hold healing powers, the stranger said as he pulled the curtain for privacy.

Gilman knows this is the point where most people tune out. For decades, the lifelong Rutlander stayed silent about his sexual abuse as he struggled to harness the lingering feeling in his left biceps and shoulder to power a motorized wheelchair and mechanical arm.

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NJ- Victims blast Trenton bishop for legal tactics

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 2, 2014

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

Our hearts ache for Chris Naples, Patrick Newcombe, Bob Markulic and the other victims of Fr. Terence McAlinden. And our stomachs churn at Trenton Bishop David O’Connell’s disgusting legal maneuvers in this case.

[The Star-Ledger]

The bishop professes to be a caring shepherd. But he’s acting like a callous CEO, exploiting every hair-splitting technicality his expensive lawyers can dream up to evade responsibility for the heinous crimes of this predator priest.

Trenton Catholics must ask themselves “Will we do nothing while our alleged spiritual leader inflicts more pain on an already suffering man who was sexually assaulted perhaps hundreds of times as a child?”

And New Jersey bishops must ask themselves the same question.

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VT- Catholic sex abuse costs revealed, SNAP responds

VERMONT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 2, 2014

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

The Catholic Church in Vermont has allegedly paid 30 million dollars for their on-going child sexual abuse and cover up scandal.

[Rutland Herald]

We are glad that Vermont citizens and Catholics have a clearer idea about how much their still-secretive Catholic officials have spent so far on clergy sex abuse cases. The real figure we suspect is much, much higher, because of numerous secret settlements and gag orders. And of course, this crisis is ongoing.

Victims often come forward decades after their abuse occurred, suffering in silence and self-blame. It is never too late to come forward, report what you know and start healing.

We urge everyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Vermont to speak up, call police, protect kids, expose predators and start healing.

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Lorain Sheriff: Pastor faces sex related charges

OHIO
WKYC

A pastor of a well-known church in Westlake is facing sex related charges, according to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.

Paul Endrei, the founding and senior pastor at the Church on the Rise is charged with two counts of sexual battery and one count of gross sexual imposition.

He has been released after posting a $50,000 bond.

Details surrounding the charges have not been released.

The Church of the Rise released the following statement:

“The Church on the Rise of Westlake is aware of the recent indictment by Lorain County of Pastor Paul Endrei. We pray for Pastor Paul, his wife and 5 children. We are aware that the allegations are coming from one of the children adopted by the Endrei’s. We pray that this troubled adolescent receive the help and counseling she needs. –

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Local pastor arrested on felony wanton endangerment

WEST VIRGINIA
Coal Valley News

MADISON — A local pastor was arrested on a wanton endangerment charge following an incident involving his wife on Friday, May 30, 2014, at his home in Madison.

William Wayne Meadows, 67, of Court Street in Madison, was arrested on the felony wanton endangerment charge after police said he discharged a pistol inside a bedroom in his home with his wife in the same room.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Boone County Magistrate Court, police responded to a 911 call about a person shooting a firearm inside of a residence.

Meadows allegedly asked his wife to kill him and after she refused he fired a .25 caliber handgun inside the home.

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Catholic school teachers in Ohio leaving their jobs rather than sign anti-LGBT ‘morality clause’

OHIO
The Raw Story

By Travis Gettys
Monday, June 2, 2014

Veteran teachers are leaving their jobs over the highly specific morality clause in their new contracts with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

The revised contracts bars teachers – whether they’re Catholic or not – from living with a partner or having sex outside of marriage, using in-vitro fertilization, living a gay “lifestyle,” or publicly supporting any of those things.

First-grade teacher Molly Shumate, a lifelong Catholic, ended her 14-year career at the elementary school she attended rather than risk disciplinary action for supporting her 22-year-old son, who is gay.

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Shamed, disgusted diocese set to face abuse reality

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

A CATHOLIC diocese whose response to child sexual abuse was criticised by a special commission of inquiry will now work through ‘‘the realities’’ of its history, its bishop says.

Bishop Bill Wright says the Maitland-Newcastle diocese will have feelings of disgust, anger and betrayal after reading Commissioner Margaret Cunneen’s report looking at how the church handled complaints about former priests Denis McAlinden and Jim Fletcher, both now dead.

‘‘Commissioner Cunneen’s report is wholly independent and I believe it will detail a forensic investigation of the actions and failures of diocesan leadership to protect children and, in relation to McAlinden, stop a known predatory paedophile from causing further harm,’’ he said.

‘‘Whilst we must judge a person’s actions by the standards of their time, that does not alter my feelings of deep and abiding shame for the actions and inactions of my predecessors.’’

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Journalist Joanne McCarthy provided vital assistance to investigators

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

June 2, 2014

A POLICE strike force set up to investigate the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse within the Catholic diocese would not have happened without the work of journalist Joanne McCarthy, the Special Commission of Inquiry found.

In its report released on Friday, the commission found that while McCarthy’s work was responsible for Strike Force Lantle’s formation, she had also provided vital information to police that ultimately led to the inquiry, as well as the royal commission into how various institutions handled sexual abuse allegations.

The commission found that while Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox had wrongly shared information with the Newcastle Herald journalist, she was not acting in partnership with Mr Fox, nor was anything she did improper.

‘‘The commission finds no evidence that McCarthy was involved, in league with Fox, in concealing evidence from police and hindering the Strike Force Lantle investigation,’’ commissioner Margaret Cunneen ruled.

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Police commissioner yet to weigh in on Fox

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JASON GORDON and MICHELLE HARRIS June 2, 2014

AMID all the rage, vindication and soul-searching that has followed the Special Commission of Inquiry’s report into child sexual abuse cover-ups, police commissioner Andrew Scipione still had the plight of victims foremost in his mind during a visit to Newcastle yesterday.

But while he ‘‘took comfort’’ from the commission’s findings that no ‘‘Catholic mafia’’ existed within Newcastle’s police ranks and was ‘‘proud’’ of his officers involved in the investigations, he refused to be drawn on questions about Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox.

Mr Fox, while on extended sick leave, is still a police officer – one who was heavily battered by the commission’s findings, and one who the commission found had ‘‘exaggerated’’ evidence and at times been ‘‘deliberately untruthful’’.

Almost ironically, victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy have rushed to support Mr Fox despite the commission’s adverse findings against him.

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Senior Catholic may face abuse cover-up charges

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN JUNE 03, 2014

A SENIOR Catholic Church ­official is potentially facing a ­historic criminal prosecution for allegedly covering up child sex abuse committed by a priest, after a report detailing evidence against the official was referred to the NSW Director of Public ­Prosecutions.

The confidential report, produced by a special commission of inquiry, was referred to the independent prosecutor’s office over the weekend by the NSW government, which received the document on Friday.

The DPP is expected to consider whether the official should be charged with either misprision of a felony, an offence that was repealed from NSW law in 1990, or the charge that succeeded it of concealing a serious indictable ­offence.

Any prosecution could represent the first time a Catholic official has faced trial within Australia for concealing child sexual abuse.

While the official cannot be publicly identified, the inquiry, led by NSW prosecutor Margaret Cunneen SC, found enough evidence existed to pursue criminal charges against him.

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MO- Pedophile priest is subject of hearing

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Sunday, June 1, 2014

For more information: David Clohessy (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris (314) 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com

Pedophile priest is subject of hearing
He’s been arrested twice & faces a civil suit
Cleric has moved with and lived with archbishop

A hearing is set for tomorrow morning (Monday, 06/02/14) in the criminal child sex abuse case against a St. Louis priest.

He is Fr. Joseph Jiang, who is reportedly very close to Archbishop Robert Carlson. This is the second time in recent years he’s been arrested on child sex charges – once in Lincoln County and now in St. Louis city.

The hearing is at 9:01 a.m. before Judge Theresa Counts Burke in the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis, according to Casenet. The Casenet entry also includes this phrase “Public Grand Jury Indict.”

Fr. Jiang is free on $150,000 bond.

At least one member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, will be present.

One of Fr. Jiang’s victims is represented by attorney Ken Chackes.

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St. Louis priest in court on abuse allegations

ST. LOUIS (MO)
SF Gate

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Catholic priest from St. Louis is facing a court hearing on charges that he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy.

The Rev. Joseph Jiang faces two counts of statutory sodomy. Jiang worked at the Cathedral Basilica and is accused of sexually abusing a student at St. Louis Cathedral School. His lawyer has said Jiang denies the allegations.

The court hearing was scheduled for Monday morning.

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NY- Predator priest who worked in NYC is jailed

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 2, 2014

Statement by Mary Caplan of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (917 439 4187, mcaplan682@aol.com)

A former Catholic priest who worked in NYC has been sentenced to ten years in prison for abusing dozens of boys in Australia. We are glad this dangerous criminal is behind bars and we urge NY Catholic officials – especially Cardinal Tim Dolan – to aggressively reach out to others the priest has hurt.

[Daily Mail]

Frank Klep prayed on sick and vulnerable children and used his authority as a priest to keep them quiet for decades. We hope his prison sentence gives some comfort to his victims.

In 1987 Klep studied at Fordham University and allegedly helped with masses in the area.

[The Dallas Morning News]

Since this dangerous child molester also spent time in NYC, it is likely he also abused children here. We beg Dolan and other NYC Catholic officials to personally visit every parish where Klep was and beg anyone who saw, suspected, or suffered child sex crimes to come forward, report what they know to secular officials and start healing.

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MA- Predator priest case dropped on technicality, SNAP responds

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

for immediate release: Monday, June 2, 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 case against a predator priest who is in Billerica has been dropped because of a legal technicality. We urge Cardinal Sean O’Malley to take aggressive steps to find and help others the priest has hurt.

[Portland Press Herald]

Fr. Renald C. Hallee is accused of abusing a girl while he was a priest in Maine. He was later defrocked, but was still allowed to be a church volunteer and chaperone teenagers on trips. He was found to be working in Boston in 2012.

We applaud Christine Angell for her courage and persistence in seeking justice and exposing wrong-doing. If not for her brave and responsible actions, Fr. Hallee would likely still be working in a Catholic parish among unsuspecting families and perhaps sexually assaulting more kids.

We are disappointed by the Maine court decision. It is yet another example of why statute of limitations in child sex crimes should be eliminated. Those archaic laws only help predators and hurt victims.

We hope victims and whistleblowers will not lose courage because of the court’s ruling. We will never stop fighting to change or eliminate the archaic statute of limitations for child sex crimes. Several states have already made changes to this law.

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Skeletons of 800 babies, infants believed to be buried at Bon Secours Sisters site

IRELAND
news.com.au (Australia)

A WOMAN with a dark secret has revealed why the skeletons of about 800 infants and children are believed to be in a disused septic tank.

The site in Tuam 32km north of Galway City, Ireland, is located at what was The Home, a home for unmarried mothers, run by the Bon Secours Sisters — a Roman Catholic religious order of nuns that today operates in US, Ireland, Peru, France, and Great Britain — from the 1920s until the 1960s, Irish Mail on Sunday reported.

Catherine Corless, a local historian and genealogist, was researching The Home where she discovered death records for 796 children, ranging from infants to children up to the age of nine who had no recorded burial.

She recalled as a child herself being segregated from the young children from The Home.

“They were always segregated to the side of regular classrooms,” Corless told IrishCentral. “By doing this the nuns telegraphed the message that they were different and that we should keep away from them.

“They didn’t suggest we be nice to them. In fact if you acted up in class some nuns would threaten to seat you next to the Home Babies. That was the message we got in our young years.”

Corless remembered watching an older friend wrap a tiny stone inside a bright candy wrapper and present it as a gift to one of them.

“When the child opened it she saw she’d been fooled,” Corless said. “Of course I copied her later and I tried to play the joke on another little Home girl. I thought it was funny at the time.”

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Galway historian reveals truth behind 800 orphans in mass grave

IRELAND
IrishCentral

Cahir O’Doherty @randomirish June 01,2014

There is a growing international scandal around the history of The Home, a grim 1840’s workhouse in Tuam in Galway built on seven acres that was taken over in 1925 by the Bon Secours sisters, who turned it into a Mother and Baby home for “fallen women.”

The long abandoned site made headlines around the world this week when it was revealed that a nearby septic tank contained the bodies of up to eight hundred infants and children, secretly buried without coffins or headstones on unconsecrated ground between 1925 and 1961.

Now a local historian has stepped forward to outline the terrible circumstances around so many lost little lives.

Catherine Corless, the local historian and genealogist, remembers the Home Babies well. “They were always segregated to the side of regular classrooms,” Corless tells IrishCentral. “By doing this the nuns telegraphed the message that they were different and that we should keep away from them.

“They didn’t suggest we be nice to them. In fact if you acted up in class some nuns would threaten to seat you next to the Home Babies. That was the message we got in our young years,” Corless recalls.

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Mass sceptic tank grave ‘containing the skeletons of 800 babies’ at site of Irish home for unmarried mothers

IRELAND
Daily Mail (UK)

By ALISON O’REILLY
PUBLISHED: 03:56 EST, 2 June 2014

The bodies of nearly 800 babies are believed to have been interred in a concrete tank beside a former home for unmarried mothers.

The dead babies are thought to have been secretly buried beside a home for single mothers and their children in County Galway, Ireland, over a period of 36 years.

It is suspected that 796 children were interred on unconsecrated ground without headstones or coffins next to the home run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam between 1925 and 1961.

Newly unearthed reports show that they suffered malnutrition and neglect, which caused the deaths of many, while others died of measles, convulsions, TB, gastroenteritis and pneumonia.

The babies were usually buried in a plain shroud without a coffin in a plot that had housed a water tank attached to the workhouse that preceded the mother and child home.

No memorial was erected to the dead children and the grave was left unmarked.

The site is now surrounded by a housing estate. But a missing persons report just filed to Irish police, gardai, means that the burial site may now be excavated.

A relative of one boy who lived there, William Joseph Dolan, has made a formal complaint to gardai after she failed to find his death certificate, despite records in the home stating that he had died.

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Priest with history of child molestation allegations in court Monday

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Fox 2

[with video]

JUNE 2, 2014, BY ANTHONY KIEKOW

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The St. Louis Priest is being accused of having sex with a minor. Father Joseph Jiang, 31, is being accused of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy. The case came after a call to the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect hotline. Father Joseph worked at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. He was also accused of molesting a teenage girl in Lincoln County late last year. However, those charges were dropped.

A friend of Father Jiang says this is all about money.

“Apparently it is another family, a different family and we think this is about money and they have gone after him again,” said Lucy Hannegan. “He`s a target now and so we`re concerned that he will be targeted continuously and that people are after money from him or the Archdiocese We don `t believe in the charges. We believe Father Joseph is innocent.”

But Barbara Dorris of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says, “There are far easier ways to get money than to try to attack the church. Witness the last go around. The church has almost unlimited resources They are a very powerful organization. This is not an easy thing to do.”

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

Pope Francis ‘furious’ at senior Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s plan …

ROME
The Independent (UK)

Pope Francis ‘furious’ at senior Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s plan to ‘retire in four-storey penthouse’

Pope Francis is reportedly furious that a former senior Catholic Church’s plans to retire in a palatial penthouse apartment overlooking Rome.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone was appointed secretary of state – one of the most senior positions in the Church – by Pope Benedict Benedict XVI in 2006, and retired last October.

Claims that Bertone planned to create a lavish home emerged in April, and came to a head in late May when Italian gossip magazine, Chi, published a photo of the renovation atop the Palazzo San Carlo building in the Italian city.

Scaffolding reportedly towers four storeys around the entire penthouse complex, where Bertone will allegedly share the apartment with three nuns who will deal with domestic tasks.

The refurbishment involved merging two existing flats: one of between 300 and 400 sq metres previously assigned to the head of the Vatican gendarmerie, and another of around 200 sq metres belonging to a deceased prelate, according to newspaper La Repubblica.

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

Religious freedom law a focus in church bankruptcy

CHICAGO (IL)
SCNow

Posted: Monday, June 2, 2014
Associated Press

CHICAGO — A lawsuit tied to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s bankruptcy will go before the federal appeals court in Chicago on Monday, with judges hearing arguments in a case that experts say could make millions of dollars held in trust available to victims of clergy sexual abuse and impact other cases involving gay marriage, health care and religion.

Attorneys representing clergy sexual abuse victims have asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate a lawsuit seeking to have about $55 million in a cemetery trust fund made available to compensate their clients.

The trust fund has been a focal point of the Milwaukee archdiocese’s increasingly bitter and contentious bankruptcy case. Sexual abuse victims believe New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan created the fund to hide money from them when he was archbishop of Milwaukee. Church leaders maintain creation of the trust was a mere formality because the money was donated to care for the archdiocese’s cemeteries and always used for that purpose.

Hundreds of sexual abuse victims have filed bankruptcy claims against the archdiocese, and without the trust money, it has relatively few assets. A proposed bankruptcy reorganization plan would provide about $4 million to compensate about 125 victims, but it would give nothing to many more.

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

Scipione welcomes abuse report

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says the senior officers caught up in allegations of cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle can now hold their heads up high.

A four-volume Special Commission of Inquiry report, released on Friday, uncovered no evidence to show senior police officers tried to block the child abuse investigations.

The inquiry found Detective Inspector Peter Fox – who alleged there had been a cover up – was not a credible witness and also said it was appropriate for police to instruct him to stop his own investigations.

The inquiry looked at how the church handled complaints about former priests Denis McAlinden and Jim Fletcher, both now dead.

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

When is a priest not a priest? When he’s molesting a child, diocese says in defense of lawsuit

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

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

Chris Naples says something snapped inside him that January day.

The Burlington County man sat in the gallery of the Delaware Supreme Court, watching as a lawyer for the Diocese of Trenton told the justices that the Rev. Terence McAlinden was not “on duty” — or serving in his capacity as a priest — when he allegedly molested Naples on trips to Delaware in the 1980s.

McAlinden, who once headed the diocese’s youth group, had introduced himself to Naples at a church-sponsored leadership retreat in Keyport. He’d heard his confession, included him in private Masses and discussed matters of spirituality with him.

Yet McAlinden wasn’t officially a priest when he took a teenage Naples to Delaware, the lawyer argued.

“How do we determine when a priest is and is not on duty?” one of the justices asked, according to a video of the session on the court’s website.

“Well,” replied the diocese lawyer, “you can determine a priest is not on duty when he is molesting a child, for example. … A priest abusing a child is absolutely contrary to the pursuit of his master’s business, to the work of a diocese.”

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Australia : Investigate Catholic Mafia. Expose, resist Abbott government’s attacks on Australian people’s social conditions and fundamental social rights

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

There are so many things are happenning in Australia but here are major articles that explain them best.

Read our related article: 7 acts Australia must do for humanity’s good motivated by the Victorian Inquiry that slams the Vatican (Roman) Catholic Church! http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/10/australia-victorian-inquiry-slams.html

Last year, we exposed Australia’s female (VPP) Vatican Piped Piper, Anne Lastman, read here: Australia JP2 Army! Anne Lastman the False Witness to ” the Limping Christ Towards Calvary” … She Camouflages John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/07/australia-jp2-army-anne-lastman-false.html

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

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE ….

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF MAITLAND-NEWCASTLE FROM BISHOP BILL WRIGHT, ON THE RELEASE OF THE REPORT OF THE NSW SPECIAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO MATTERS RELATING TO THE POLICE INVESTIGATION OF CERTAIN CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS IN THE DIOCESE

Bishop Wright’s letter relates to the Special Commission of Inquiry’s report in relation to the second term of reference:

“….whether, and the extent to which, officials of the Catholic Church
facilitated, assisted, or co-operated with, Police investigations of relevant
matters, including whether any investigation has been hindered or
obstructed by, amongst other things, the failure to report alleged criminal
offences, the discouraging of witnesses to come forward, the alerting of
alleged offenders to possible police actions, or the destruction of
evidence.”

Almost one year ago, on 1 July 2013, at the commencement of the public hearings into the second term of reference of the Special Commission of Inquiry I made a public apology to the victims of Denis McAlinden and James Fletcher, to their families and friends and to the entire community. It was a detailed statement and I have attached a copy of that apology with this open letter so that you can read it in its entirety. As the Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, it is my responsibility to articulate the tremendous regret that I personally, and we collectively, feel when our brothers and sisters were brought into harm’s way by the failings of our Diocese’s former leaders.

Cooperating with the investigations conducted by Commissioner Cunneen stretched the capacities of the Diocese and tested our endurance. That was as it had to be and I believe it will be clear to anyone who reads the Commissioner’s report; no punches were pulled when it came to the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle or anyone in it. For me and others in this Diocese it is a bitter experience reading this report. Nevertheless, the Special Commissioner and her entire team has my utmost respect for the rigorous and professional approach that they have maintained through this difficult 18 months process, which is now completed.

Commissioner Cunneen’s report is a significant, complex document and the breadth and depth of the report is testimony to the thoroughness of the inquiries conducted. As the Diocese has only recently obtained copies, it will take us a number of days to read through the report thoroughly. I feel certain that the bulk of the report, as it relates to the second term of reference, will not be a revelation to me. I believe that the report will address issues that the Diocese has acknowledged and struggled with for many years now, and will continue to work through for many years to come. I suspect that some of the particular detail will be news to me and others. I and the Diocese’s leadership team will address the implications of any previously unknown facts, adverse findings and recommendations in due course; once we have had the opportunity to undertake the detailed analysis a report of this significance warrants. In particular, the Diocese’s child protection team are scouring the report for any additional lessons that we can learn to improve our practices in protecting children and working with those who were harmed in the past

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

VIDEO: Bishop Bill’s response to NSW Special Commission

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

Monday 02/06/2014

Watch a video response to the people of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle from Bishop Bill Wright, on the release of the report of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry.
VIDEO: Bishop Bill’s response to NSW Special Commission

On Friday 30 May 2014, volumes 1-3 of the Commissioner’s report relating to the Special Commission of Inquiry into matters relating to the Police investigation of certain child sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle were published by the Executive. You can read the full reports on the DPC website.

Responding to the report, Bishop Bill Wright has issued an open letter to the Diocese, accompanied by a video. Further updates and information from the Diocese and Bishop Bill will be posted on this website in the coming days.

In the video, Bishop Bill refers to a public acknowledgement and apology which was released in 2013 during the Special Commission of Inquiry Concerning the Investigation of Certain Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in the Hunter Region. You can read that 2013 acknowledgement here. The Bishop’s video message is below:

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

Catholic diocese to face abuse realities

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

A CATHOLIC diocese whose response to child sexual abuse was criticised by a special commission of inquiry will now work through “the realities” of its history, its bishop says.

Bishop Bill Wright says the Maitland-Newcastle diocese will have feelings of disgust, anger and betrayal after reading Commissioner Margaret Cunneen’s report looking at how the church handled complaints about former priests Denis McAlinden and Jim Fletcher, both now dead.

“Commissioner Cunneen’s report is wholly independent and I believe it will detail a forensic investigation of the actions and failures of diocesan leadership to protect children and, in relation to McAlinden, stop a known predatory pedophile from causing further harm,” he said.

“Whilst we must judge a person’s actions by the standards of their time, that does not alter my feelings of deep and abiding shame for the actions and inactions of my predecessors.”

He said the three volume report (the fourth volume is still confidential) will evoke feelings of anger, disgust, sadness, frustration and betrayal by members of the church.

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

Police Commissioner says local cops can ‘hold their heads high’ in wake of Special Commission of Inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The NSW Police Commissioner has welcomed the findings of a special commission of inquiry into child abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and the way it was handled by police.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox whose complaints sparked the inquiry not only pointed the finger at the Church but also at his fellow officers for covering up paedophilia within the diocese.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen was damning of Fox, finding he was not a credible witness.

She found no evidence of wrong-doing by police officers involved in the investigation.

While not commenting on Peter Fox, the Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says the report shows the police force devoted significant resources to the task and it takes all allegations of child abuse seriously.

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

Stolen childhoods and blighted lives – child abuse in industrial schools

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Bette Brown

In the course of compiling her book, ‘Stolen Lives’, Bette Brown has come to believe that the abuse of children in industrial schools was one of the darkest chapters in Ireland’s history.

TOWER BRIDGE stands majestically in the morning sunlight above the Saturday strollers. Among them, Mary Collins is admiring the scene in the city of London that she now calls home but her peace is fleeting.

Fear suddenly seizes her like a physical grip on the back of her head and she is a little girl again, running with her mother through fields in Cork, escaping from hell.

“The fear goes in through the back of my head. We are running, running all the time across the fields.” Mary is just two and a half, but she can sense her mother’s desperation.

“She was escaping. She’d found me, maybe she was looking for my sister Angela too. It could be days or weeks. I remember the rain all the time and the running.”

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

Why is Institutional Betrayal so Traumatic?

PsychCentral

By LINDA HATCH, PHD

Since the posting on psychcentral a year ago of the article called “Organizational Infidelity Amplifies Sexual Trauma“there has been a great deal of attention paid to the poor handling of sexual trauma by institutions such as universities, the military and the church. That article cited a study showing that victims of sexual trauma who also reported having a sense of institutional betrayal showed more severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress such as anxiety, sexual dysfunction and dissociation.

Recently there have been legislative efforts to impose guidelines in the handling of sexual assaults on campuses as well as efforts to find the best ways to address problems in the reporting, investigation and prosecution of sexual misconduct within the military, universities, and the church. These efforts were prompted by the low rate at which sexual assaults were reported and if reported the low rate at which those cases were acted upon. For example, although 20% of students were sexually assaulted at college, only 12% of the victims actually reported the assault. And although rape in the military had increase 50% over the previous year, only one in 100 was prosecuted.

Attempts to address institutional betrayal have focused on prevention, changing the institutional culture, structural changes in investigation and prosecution, adding necessary resources and policies for following up on reports, and the interface between the institution and law enforcement.

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

Glenn Beck Reveals Family’s History of Sexual Abuse,That His Father Was Raped Multiple Times

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

BY MORGAN LEE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
June 1, 2014

On the heels of airing a controversial rape skit on his show which sought to criticize recent attempts by the Obama administration to fight on-campus sexual assault, conservative media personality Glenn Beck has come clean with his family’s own history of sex abuse.

Beck said that he was fed up of “being accused of standing with abusers and rapists” and “tired of being called a monster.”

“I’m tired of the lies of abusers. I’ve had my fill of it,” he said.

Beck tearfully told his audience that his family had experienced sexual abuse over multiple generations and that he had “worked hard in [his] personal life to stop the effects of this over the past 10 years.”

The radio show host explained that his own father, who passed away earlier this year, had been abused by Beck’s grandfather. After his father had run away, he fled to the YMCA where “he was repeatedly raped.” Prior to these actions, Beck explained that his father had also been sexually abused by a man for whom he had caddied and later, a church pastor.

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

Covenant Life Church pastors face scrutiny …

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

Covenant Life Church pastors face scrutiny over ex-church member’s abuse

By Dan Morse, Published: June 1

Early last year, the pastors of Covenant Life Church — a congregation of several thousand in the middle of Montgomery County — faced a crisis.

Detectives had just charged a former member with molesting four teenage boys more than two decades earlier and indicated that, back then, some church leaders looked the other way. The pastors decided to take a strong stand.

“Covenant Life Church had no knowledge of such abuse until many years after the abuse when an adult who had been victimized as a child came forward,” they wrote on the church’s blog in February 2013, decrying the trauma that sexual abuse can inflict. “We continue to invite your prayers for all those involved in these matters.”

Now, the church has been forced to confront statements made in court that three of the teen victims or their families had come to church leaders for help in the early 1990s and that the church officials did not call police.

The testimony came during a May trial of Nathaniel Morales, who was convicted of the long-ago abuse and is scheduled to be sentenced at an Aug. 14 hearing that likely will draw more attention to the abuse and how pastors handled it.

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

Commissioner Scipione …

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Police Force

Commissioner Scipione welcomes Special Commission of Inquiry report

Monday, 02 June 2014 10:50:47 AM

The NSW Police Force has welcomed the report and notes the findings of the Special Commission of Inquiry into matters relating to the Police investigation of certain child abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

The NSW Police Force acknowledges the very thorough work done by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen and her team in examining the very serious issue of child abuse.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says, as the report has indicated, the community can have every confidence in the capacity and determination of NSW Police to listen and to investigate these crimes.

“The Commission found there was “no credible evidence” of any wrongdoing by those officers undertaking their investigations or their commanders. The Commission probed forensically into the role police played.

“The issue of child abuse is one the NSW Police Force takes extremely seriously and has devoted significant resources to both investigate and prevent this type of crime.

“As the Report notes, a thorough brief of evidence has been prepared by Strike Force Lantle as a consequence of efforts and dedication of many officers in the Hunter region.

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

Newcastle police “can hold their heads high” after Commission of Inquiry: Scipione

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JASON GORDON June 2, 2014

POLICE Commissioner Andrew Scipione said Newcastle police can ‘‘hold their heads high’’ after the Special Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse cover-ups cleared them of any wrongdoing.

In Newcastle on Monday to unveil a memorial garden to the highly-regarded police officer, the late Tony Tamplin, Mr Scipione said he was proud of his officers who were found to have acted at all times with integrity and honesty.

The commissioner would not, however, answer questions regarding findings against detective chief inspector Peter Fox who the special commission found to have been ‘‘deliberately untruthful’’ and to have ‘‘exaggerated’’ his evidence.

Mr Fox, who is on extended sick leave but still a member of the NSW Police Force, had also alleged that some police failed to properly investigate claims of sexual abuse cover-ups within the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese.

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

Police Commissioner welcomes sex-abuse report

AUSTRALIA
Cowra Community News

NEW South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says the senior officers caught up in allegations of cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle can now hold their heads up high.

A four-volume Special Commission of Inquiry report, released on Friday, uncovered no evidence to show senior police officers tried to block the child abuse investigations.

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

The inquiry looked at how the church handled complaints about former priests Denis McAlinden and Jim Fletcher, both now dead.

Three volumes have been released, while the fourth is confidential.

Commissioner Scipione today (Monday, June 2) acknowledged the efforts of Commissioner Margaret Cunneen and her team in conducting the inquiry.

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

Victims suffered as police also faltered

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

I HAVE some questions for NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione after the release of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry final report.

They go to the heart of why a journalist ended up campaigning for a royal commission in 2012, and why police are one of the “existing institutions” that have failed the victims of child sexual abuse in churches and other institutions.

My questions are:

1. If the Newcastle woman known to the inquiry as AL, a victim of paedophile priest Denis McAlinden, had gone on her own to police and asked them to investigate whether senior clergy had concealed McAlinden’s crimes for decades based on church documents she held, what are the chances it would have happened?

2. Is the commissioner prepared to concede AL’s chances would have been zero, and police eventually investigated because it was a journalist, and not a victim of a paedophile priest, who gave them the documents and made it clear she was not going away?

3. On what basis was a senior Hunter police officer describing the “availability” of the Catholic Church’s Towards Healing process as “an alternate to the criminal process” in July 2010, in his internal police report assessing whether police should investigate the McAlinden cover-up?

4. Is the commissioner comfortable that by as late as 2010, and despite victims’ very public condemnation of Towards Healing over a number of years, its “availability” was raised by that senior Hunter police officer as a reason not to investigate whether the church covered up the crimes of McAlinden? And can I remind the commissioner that Denis McAlinden preyed, primarily, on little girls aged between four and 12 over four decades, has victims in at least three countries, and died in 2005 with his “good name” protected by the Catholic Church.

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

Paedophile victim Daniel Feenan speaks out in support of Inspector Peter Fox: video

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY June 1, 2014

A PAEDOPHILE priest victim, whose evidence at the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry reduced people to tears, is ‘‘hurt’’ and ‘‘disappointed’’ by findings that he believes lack balance about Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox and what he represents for child sexual abuse victims.

‘‘I gave evidence to give a balanced view on what Peter has done. I hoped it would be reflected in the findings and it hasn’t been, which is why I’m speaking now,’’ said Daniel Feenan, of Maitland, who contacted the Newcastle Herald after the release of the commission’s final report on Friday.

Mr Feenan’s statements to Detective Fox in 2003 led to the conviction of paedophile priest Jim Fletcher, one of two priests who were the subject of the inquiry.

‘‘Peter needed to be made to account for what he put out there, but knowing the man, the reasoning behind what he did, I’ve got nothing but admiration for him,’’ Mr Feenan said.

‘‘He was the shock we needed to get a royal commission.’’

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

June 1, 2014

NSW police, Catholic Bishop yet to comment on Special Commission of Inquiry report

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Senior Hunter police have spent the weekend pouring over the Special Commission of Inquiry findings but will not comment until the reports contents are fully examined.

The Inquiry was launched after Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox alleged paedophilia within the Catholic Church and cover-ups by the church and police.

His allegations related to the cases of dead paedophile priests James Fletcher and Denis McAlinden.

The report was tabled on Friday and was damning of Detective Chief Inspector Fox.

It found Fox 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.

In a statement NSW Police say they welcome the report but given the voluminous nature of the findings there will be no comment until the contents are fully examined.

Detective Chief Inspector Fox is currently overseas.

The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle is also yet to make a statement on the Special Commission of Inquiry report.

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

California man faces sentencing for supplying drugs in Connecticut priest’s meth ring

CALIFORNIA
TribTown

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: June 01, 2014

HARTFORD, Connecticut — A California man will soon face sentencing for supplying methamphetamine to a Roman Catholic priest’s drug operation in Connecticut.

Federal prosecutors are seeking an eight-year prison sentence for 44-year-old Chad McCluskey of San Clemente, who is set to be sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Hartford. Defense lawyers are asking for a five-year sentence.

McCluskey and his girlfriend, Kristen Laschober of Laguna Niguel, California, pleaded guilty last year to drug conspiracy charges for supplying four pounds of meth to now-suspended priest Kevin Wallin of Waterbury. Laschober awaits sentencing.

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

Pope said to be furious over luxury retirement flat of top Vatican official

ROME
The Guardian (UK)

John Hooper in Rome
The Guardian, Sunday 1 June 2014

It sits atop the roof of an old palazzo in the centre of Rome, surrounded by a broad terrace that affords breathtaking views across the Eternal City to the mountains beyond.

The penthouse apartment at the centre of Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning movie La Grande Bellezza? Or perhaps the chosen retreat of a Forbes-list billionaire?

No. The flat in question is being created in the Vatican for the man who until recently was its most senior official.

While Pope Francis has been exhorting his clergy almost weekly to live lives as simple and frugal as his own, work has been going ahead on a luxurious retirement home for Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone , who stepped down as the Vatican’s secretary of state last October.

Reports of an extensive renovation project began to circulate in April. But it was not until last week that an Italian gossip magazine, Chi, published the first photograph of the work being carried out on top of the Palazzo San Carlo, just inside the walls of the city state.

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

USA female Vatican Pied Piper says, “SNAP is wrong to discourage victims from meeting the pope” …

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

June 1, 2014

Last year, we exposed Australia’s female (VPP) Vatican Piped Piper, Anne Lastman, read here: Australia JP2 Army! Anne Lastman the False Witness to ” the Limping Christ Towards Calvary” … She Camouflages John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2013/07/australia-jp2-army-anne-lastman-false.html This year we are exposing American female Vatican Piped Pipers.

In the USA, there are several female Vatican Pied Pipers who are part of the Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team but we don’t want to waste our entire time writing about them. But there is one notable female VPP this time whom Christ impels us to write about, and like Australia’s VPP, she is also a counselor with victims of sexual abuse with many years of experience under her belt. From her article on Pope Francis planned meeting with victims in June, you can identify immediately the Mark of the Vatican Mammon Beast a.k.a. Opus Dei Beast. First, she attacks SNAP head-on in her title -– a literary trademark used by (her possibly fraternal Opus Dei brothers) Goliath-bully Bill Donohue of Catholic League and TheMediaReport – see our related articles and links below . Her article is religiously preachy about the “supernatural” or divine qualities of Pope Francis and they expound in detail, but very subtlety, the Opus Dei Plan and agenda for the meeting. In this post, we’ll expose in detail the American female Vatican Pied Piper Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea – who wrote in her “Viewpoint” article in NCR, “SNAP is wrong to discourage victims from meeting the pope”.

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

Three Delco Catholic parishes dealing with closings, mergers

PENNSYLVANIA
Delaware County Daily Times

[with list of parishes]

By Patti Mengers, Delaware County Daily Times
POSTED: 06/01/14

Three local Roman Catholic churches will be closing July 1 reducing the number of Delaware County parishes to 38 according to an announcement released Sunday morning by officials in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Holy Spirit Church in Sharon Hill, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the Essington section of Tinicum and Notre Dame de Lourdes in Ridley Township have been directed by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput on the recommendation of his Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee, to close their doors at the end of the month.

His announcement follows “self-studies” of “Parish Planning Area 310” and “Parish Planning Area 300” commenced last September as part of the archdiocese’s Parish Planning Initiative to ensure sustainability proposed by former Philadelphia archbishop, Cardinal Justin Rigali, for the 5-county archdiocese in 2010.

Holy Spirit parishioners have been directed to attend St. George Church in Glenolden, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque members have been directed to St. Gabriel Church in Norwood and Notre Dame de Lourdes parishioners have been instructed to attend Our Lady of Peace Church in the Milmont Park section of Ridley Township. …

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

ARCHDIOCESE ANNOUNCES PARISH MERGERS IN PHILADELPHIA AS WELL AS DELAWARE, MONTGOMERY AND BUCKS COUNTIES RESULTING FROM PASTORAL PLANNING INITIATIVE

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia

[with information on the parishes]

June 1, 2014

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. has reviewed recommendations of the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee and made decisions to merge parishes in the City of Philadelphia as well as Delaware, Montgomery and Bucks Counties.

In the Fall of 2010, a pastoral letter was issued to parishioners throughout the Archdiocese. It outlined the necessity of an in-depth examination of all parishes in order to gauge whether they possessed the necessary resources to remain vibrant and sustainable faith communities. This process, known as Parish Area Pastoral Planning, is designed to be as collaborative and consultative as possible. Its goal is to provide pastors, after consulting their parish leadership, with the opportunity to dialogue with members of the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee in providing joint recommendations for parish growth and sustainability within their respective geographic areas.

During the process additional steps are taken to be as inclusive as possible. In the majority of cases, the regional bishop and the dean meet with the pastors as well as their pastoral and finance councils to hear their concerns and receive their recommendations which are brought before the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee, the Council of Priests and the College of Consultors for their observations and recommendations. Input and consultation from all of these groups is provided to the Archbishop.

The mergers being announced today are due to a number of factors including a shift in Catholic population, a high density of parishes in a small area, as well as declines in Mass attendance, Sacramental activity, the availability of priests to staff parishes, and a review of facilities.

In each instance of a merger, parishioners will attend daily and Sunday Mass at the church of the newly formed parish. The church(es) of the former parish(es) will become a worship site(es). Worship sites will be utilized for weddings, funerals and feast days, as well as traditional and ethnic devotions. Sunday Mass may also be celebrated at worship sites at the discretion of the pastor and the newly formed pastoral council and depending upon the availability of clergy.

Additionally, all parish property, assets and debts of any former parish will be assumed by the newly formed parish, which will also be responsible for the care of all sacramental records. The pastors from the merging parishes will form a transitional team made up of lay leaders from each of the merging parishes to assist in moving forward with forming the new parish community. The Archdiocese will provide ongoing guidance and support during the transition process.

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Why Predators Are Attracted to Careers in the Clergy

UNITED STATES
Psychology Today

Published on April 20, 2014 by Joe Navarro, M.A. in Spycatcher

The eye-catching headline read, “Which Professions Have The Most Psychopaths?” (The Week, October 30, 2013) What ensued was quite a dialogue on the internet, as everyone seemed to have their own favorite picks or a personal horror story. The article stimulated debate, but unfortunately did not add clarity to a worthy subject. And that subject is: Why would a so-called “psychopath” be found in greater numbers in one profession versus another?

According to the article, CEO positions attract the most psychopaths. Perhaps so, if one considers the history of Enron, Bernard Madoff, and movies such as “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013). But the one career that caught my eye, and that 30 years ago probably would have escaped me, is that of the clergy (8th in line behind law enforcement, according to the article). I say 30 years ago because prior to the revelations relating to Catholic priests abusing children, one would not think of predators going into the clergy, yet that is a reality. Which begs the question, why a so-called “psychopath” would be attracted to the clergy? As it turns out, there are good reasons for this; that predators understand all too well—but first some caveats.

Unfortunately, the term psychopath is bandied about too much, making things murkier. There is a huge difference between a psychopath as defined by Robert Hare, a sociopath, someone with antisocial personality disorder, someone with conduct disorder, an aggressive narcissist, or someone with dissocial personality disorder. Unfortunately most people, even many clinicians, don’t differentiate, and we should. Too often these terms are lumped together, as in the above captioned article, and that can be confusing. There are distinctions between all these terms, and so rather than use this vague and overused term (psychopath), I will call these individuals predators, which encompasses all of the above noted disorders and pathologies.

I should also note that I am not writing this article to criticize any particular religion, because any religious group, as history has taught us, can be taken advantage of by predators or malignant zealots. Rather, it is an analysis of why predators would choose to imbed themselves within a religious organization or seek to be part of the clergy—so that we can be more aware in order to protect our loved ones and ourselves. Knowing what we do now, it is fitting that we examine predators among the clergy and how they would use their office or a religious organization to take advantage of others.

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Excuses voor seksueel misbruik

NEDERLAND
Limburgs Dagblad

[Summary: Bishop Frans Wiertz through his vicar-general has apologized to all victims of sexual abuse and asked for forgiveness. The vicar-general said during a mass that Pastor Jac Steeghs, who abused children between 1980 and 1981 while working is Ospel, died in a 1991 car accident and was likely a suicide.]

Van onze verslaggever
Ospel

Schnackers deed dat tijdens een mis vanwege het 150-jarig jubileum van de parochie in Ospel. Volgens hem was er sprake van ‘ernstig seksueel misbruik’. Namens bisschop Frans Wiertz bood hij alle slachtoffers excuses aan en vroeg hij om vergeving.

Schnackers riep slachtoffers op zich te melden bij het meldpunt misbruik in Utrecht of bij het bisdom Roermond. De vicaris-generaal noemde tijdens de mis de naam van de bewuste pastoor niet. Voor de aanwezigen was duidelijk dat er verwezen werd naar Steeghs. Pastoor Steeghs was tussen 1980 en 1991 werkzaam in Ospel. In die periode zou hij verschillende kinderen hebben misbruikt. Hij overleed in 1991 bij een auto-ongeluk. Het ging daarbij volgens het bisdom ‘zeer waarschijnlijk’ om zelfmoord.

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Denuncian 19 víctimas a sacerdote pederasta

MEXICO
El Diario

El Universal

San Luis Potosí— La Procuraduría de Justicia del estado recibió la segunda denuncia penal de 19 víctimas en contra del sacerdote Eduardo Córdova Bautista por los delitos de abuso sexual, corrupción de menores y privación ilegal de la libertad, en la que además acusan de “encubrimiento” a la Arquidiócesis de San Luis Potosí.

La agente del Ministerio Público Angélica Mendoza Muñoz inició la averiguación previa número 289/V/2014, que contiene declaraciones de víctimas, testigos y documentos como prueba de que los agraviados habían denunciado al clérigo Córdova Bautista ante el Arzobispado.

En las dos denuncias formales que ha recibido el Ministerio Público suman 20 víctimas de abuso sexual, una de estas es la que formuló el Tribunal Eclesiástico de la Arquidiócesis de San Luis Potosí y las otras 19 de la denuncia por escrito que recibió el viernes la fiscalía.

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19 alleged abuse victims denounce Mexico priest

MEXICO
Buffalo News

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Nineteen people have filed a criminal complaint alleging they were sexually abused by a now-suspended Mexican priest, and allege his archdiocese covered up the allegations for years.

The complaint was filed Friday with prosecutors in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, where priest Eduardo Cordova had recently served as the archdiocese’s legal representative.

Mexico’s Roman Catholic Church announced on Tuesday that the Vatican had stripped Cordova of his clerical functions after investigations into allegations of the sexual abuse of a 16-year-old in 2012.

The allegations emerged in public in April when former priest Alberto Athie, who had long campaigned for recognition of the sex crimes of Legion of Christ founder Marcial Maciel, appeared on MVS radio in Mexico City and said there was evidence of scores of cases involving Cordova.

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Hat Papst Franziskus direkt in Freiburger Bischofswahl eingegriffen?

DEUTSCHLAND
kath.net

[Summary: Did Pope Francis intervened directly in Freiburg Bishop choice? The Frankfurter Allgemeine said the pope chose Stephan Burger as new bishop and he was not a choice of the canons who prepared a selection list.]

„Frankfurter Allgemeine“: „Dem Vernehmen nach fanden die Domkapitulare bei ihrer Auswahl aus der vom Papst vorgegebenen Dreierliste keinen der Namen mehr vor, die sie selbst zunächst vorgeschlagen hatten.“

Freiburg (kath.net/pl) Die Berufung des Freiburger Offizials Stephan Burger (Foto) zum neuen Erzbischof kam für viele höchst unerwartet. Nun berichtete die „Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“ (FAZ): „Dem Vernehmen nach fanden die Domkapitulare bei ihrer Auswahl aus der vom Papst vorgegebenen Dreierliste keinen der Namen mehr vor, die sie selbst zunächst vorgeschlagen hatten. Mithin setzte sich der Papst offenbar über die Wünsche aus Freiburg hinweg.“

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“Wir sind Kirche” zieht gemischte Bilanz des Katholikentags

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

[Summary: Before the end of the Catholic conference in Regensburg the We Are Church organization said it is good that there is more dialogue on contentious issues. Christian Weisner, spokesman, said the dialogue has been missing for a long time.]

Regensburg (dpa) – Vor dem Ende des Katholikentages in Regensburg hat die kritische Initiative “Wir sind Kirche” eine gemischte Bilanz des Laientreffens gezogen. Natürlich sei es gut, dass es mehr Dialog auch über strittige Themen gebe, sagte Sprecher Christian Weisner der dpa. “Das hat lange gefehlt.” Allerdings wachse die Ungeduld vieler Gläubiger, die Veränderungen erwarteten. Es reiche nicht aus, nur über den Aufbruch zu reden. So müssten die deutschen Bischöfe Lösungen finden für wiederverheiratete Geschiedene, die derzeit nicht an der Kommunion teilnehmen dürfen. Der Katholikentag endet heute.

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Missbrauch: Der Wunsch nach Aufklärung

DEUTSCHLAND
Mittelbayerische

[Summary: It is a story which turns the stomach. But it’s a true story that from Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu read from the podium in Regensburg and making it clear why we must speaking out about the sexual abuse scandal. Hagenberg-Milius read the story from a first-person perspective as he remember his school days at the Bonn Aloisiuskolleg and how he and his two brothers were deprived on their childhood.]

VON PASCAL DURAIN, MZ

REGENSBURG. Es ist eine Geschichte, die erschüttert, bei der sich der Magen umdreht, bei der ihre Zuhörer in der Dreieinigkeitskirche fast ungläubig mit dem Kopf schütteln – aber es ist eine wahre Geschichte, die Dr. Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu vom Podium in Regensburg aus vorliest, und die klarmacht, warum über den Missbrauchsskandal weiter gesprochen werden muss.

Hagenberg-Miliu liest die Geschichte eines Mannes aus der Ich-Perspektive vor, der sich an seine Schulzeit am Bonner Aloisiuskolleg erinnert und wie er und seine zwei Brüder dort ihrer Kindheit beraubt wurden. Die Details der Vergewaltigung spart die Vorleserin aus, sie zitiert nur nur: „Abends Sperma, morgens der Leib Christi.“ Viele der knapp 80 Besucher zucken zusammen. Die Journalistin Hagenberg-Miliu könnte noch andere solcher Geschichten erzählen, die gebe es auch aus Regensburg, stattdessen aber mahnt sie an, dass jeder dieser Fälle restlos aufgeklärt werden müsse.

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Missbrauchsopfer kritisieren Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
Mittelbayerische

[Summary: Survivors of clergy sexual abuse have criticized the German Catholic Church’s response to the scandal.]

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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Commentary: Parishioner defends Shelton pastor’s performance

CONNECTICUT
Shelton Herald

By Linda Hvizdo on June 1, 2014

I, along with many other parishioners of St. Margaret Mary Church in Shelton, feel the forced resignation and public flogging of Father John Stronkowski is unfair and unacceptable.

Why? First of all, the parishioners were given limited information on why he was forcefully removed while the rest of the story was broadcast in the local media.

Prior to Mass, we were read a letter from the Bishop Caggiano, and instructed not to comment. No comments allowed? The very people who support the church are not allowed to question or comment, to get the real truth?

Has done much for the parish

I have asked countless fellow parishioners and not one can understand why he is accused of not carrying on his ministerial duties as he has done more for our parish than any priest we can remember in over 30 years.

Father John is being chastised for not living at the rectory. Where does the Pope live? He is also being accused of having growing difficulties with the staff because he fired two of them. Why did he fire them? Perhaps it was necessary?

He supposedly had difficulties with “lay leaders.” Who are these people? I cannot find anyone to say anything other than how happy they are with his performance.

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Hunter police ‘vindicated’ on handling of sex claims

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JASON GORDON June 1, 2014

THE Police Association of NSW has welcomed the findings of the Special Commission of Inquiry, saying it vindicated Hunter police and the force’s integrity.

Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and Police Minister Stuart Ayres are yet to comment on the report handed down by commissioner Margaret Cunneen on Friday, but association president Scott Weber offered his support to police yesterday.

‘‘The Police Association of NSW is pleased that the special commission has found that officers tasked to investigate the allegations of child sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle have been totally vindicated and their integrity remains intact,’’ Mr Weber said.

‘‘In our view their honesty was never in question and they continue to do a great job protecting the most vulnerable in our society.

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Victims of sex abuse upset only one church figure recommended for prosecution

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JASON GORDON June 1, 2014

VICTIMS of sexual abuse by Hunter-based clergy say they are bewildered that only one senior church figure has been recommended for possible prosecution.

The Special Commission of Inquiry on Friday made adverse findings against at least six senior members of the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese, but only one as-yet-unnamed figure has been referred to the Department of Public Prosecutions.

Many victims spoken to by the Newcastle Herald echoed the sentiments of one yesterday who said: ‘‘The evidence that the Church knew about [Father Denis] McAlinden for so long is there in black and white.

‘‘Senior clergy went to great lengths to not only cover it up, but protect his name and the Church’s name. It’s all right there in the findings. So why aren’t they all being referred to the DPP?’’

In many ways, commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC was restricted by the complex laws which relate to the concealment of serious offences. Also, much of the evidence her inquiry revealed in relation to concealment matters within the diocese are historic in nature.

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Diocese response to child sex inquiry findings

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

By Andrew Parkinson June 1, 2014

Bishop Bill Wright will provide the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese response to the Special Commission of Inquiry’s damning findings into the alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Hunter Region tomorrow morning.

Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC handed down her findings on Friday and determined that a number of senior Catholic clergy intentionally misled investigations and were unreliable witnesses.

Three of the four volumes of the report were made public on Friday.

Ms Cunneen said the fourth volume remained confidential in order to protect potential future criminal proceedings or until a decision had been made that they should not proceed.

Monsignor Allan Hart, Father William Burston and former Newcastle Catholic bishop Michael Malone all came under fire in the report.

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Gerechter Umgang mit Tätern des sexuellen Missbrauchs

DEUTSCHLAND
kathnews

Ein Kommentar von Dr. iur. can. Gero P. Weishaupt.

Der Trierer Bischof Stephan Ackermann sprach sich auf dem Katholikentag in Regensburg gegen eine starre Nulltoleranz bei der kirchlichen Bestrafung von Missbrauchstätern aus. Sie hätten wie alle Straftäter einen Anspruch auf ein gerechtes Urteil, sagte der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz laut Medien gestern in Regensburg.

Nicht öffentliche Meinung, sondern Wahrheit und Gerechtigkeit
Dem Trierer Bischof ist mit seiner Forderung vollends zuzustimmen. Was sich in den vergangenen Jahren im strafprozesslichen Umgang der Kirche mit Verdächtigen und Tätern des sexuellen Missbrauchs zugetragen hat, wirft im Blick auf die Gerechtigkeit Fragen auf. Es hat zuweilen den Anschein, als ob die Bischöfe bzw. ihre Behörden unter dem Druck der Medien und der Öffentlichkeit Rechtsprinzipien nicht die ihnen gebührende Beachtung zukommen

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Bisdom: ongeluk pastoor was zelfmoord

NEDERLAND
de Gelderlander

[Summary: The car accident in which pastor Jac Steeghs died on Jan. 2, 1991 was almost certainly a suicide, according to the Roermond diocese. The priest was to report to police after the father of a boy filed a complaint alleging the priest had abused the boy.]

OSPEL/ROERMOND – Het auto-ongeluk waarbij de Ospelse pastoor Jac Steeghs op 2 januari 1991 om het leven kwam, is zo goed als zeker een geval van zelfmoord. Daar gaat het bisdom Roermond van uit.

De pastoor moest zich op die dag melden bij de politie, nadat eind 1990 de vader van een jongen die door Steeghs werd misbruikt naar het kerkbestuur en de politie was gestapt. “Alles wijst erop dat het misbruik een rol heeft gespeeld”, zegt de bisdomwoordvoerder over Steeghs’ dood.

In Ospel gaan al jaren geruchten over het kindermisbruik dat Steeghs tussen 1980 en 1991 zou hebben gepleegd. Het bisdom heeft inmiddels 1 slachtoffer erkend.

Vicaris-generaal Hub Schnackers van het bisdom Roermond biedt komende zondag in Ospel excuses aan voor het kindermisbruik. Daarnaast roept Schnackers slachtoffers van Steeghs op zich alsnog te melden.

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Letter to Notre Dame de Lourdes parishioners

PENNSYLVANIA
Delco Times

June 1, 2014

Dear Friends in Christ,

This weekend as we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are reminded of the joy and grace bestowed upon Mary and Elizabeth for placing their trust in the Lord and obeying His will in all things. May we be inspired by their example as we continue the work of building vital parishes for the future where spiritual fulfillment and pastoral care will be provided for generations yet to come.

In the Fall of 2010, a pastoral letter was issued to parishioners throughout the Archdiocese. It outlined the necessity of an in-depth examination of all parishes in order to gauge whether they possessed the necessary resources to remain vibrant and sustainable faith communities. This process, known as Parish Area Pastoral Planning, is designed to be as collaborative and consultative as possible. Its goal is to provide pastors, after consulting with their parish leadership, with the opportunity to dialogue with members of the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee in providing joint recommendations to the Archbishop for growth and sustainability within their respective geographic areas.

During the process additional steps are taken to be as inclusive as possible. In the majority of cases, the regional bishop and the dean meet with the pastors as well as their pastoral and finance councils to hear their concerns and receive their recommendations. Additionally, the recommendations of all parish mergers are brought before the Council of Priests and the College of Consultors by the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee for their observations and recommendations.

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Local Catholic Churches to Close

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

[with video]

[with list of parishes]

Many Catholics attending services throughout the region this weekend are learning the fate of their parish’s future as priests revealed which churches the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will close.

Earlier this week it emerged that Notre Dame de Lourdes in Swarthmore would close, a rumor that was confirmed to parishoners Saturday. The church will close June 30.

“We’s been here for almost 38 years,” said Laura Peterson. “So I’ve watched my children grow here and be baptized here and be married here!”

Rock Star Welcome For Local Marine
The parish will merge with Our Lady of Peace, which is located in nearby Milmont Park.

As Notre Dame’s faithful are coming to terms with the Archdiocese’s decision, many others in the area have yet to find out what the future holds for their parish.

A committee — made up of lay persons, priests and Archdiocesan personnel — presented Archbishop Charles Chaput with three possible recommendations for each parish: to merge, to complete additional evaluations in the future or maintain their current structure and develop a plan for long-term sustainability.

NBC10 will continue to update the determinations of the self-study as the results are revealed.

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Priest living in Syracuse charged with child pornography

NEW YORK
CNYcentral

by Michael Benny
Posted: 05.21.2014

SYRACUSE — Father Robert Ours, 65, who retired from the priesthood after most working at a parish outside Binghamton has been indicted and was arraigned on charges relating to possession of child pornography. Ours is charged with six counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child. In responding to the charge against Ours, the Syracuse Catholic Diocese was not specific about the allegations.

The diocese does say it contacted Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, “once it learned of Father Ours’ actions.” Reports indicate Ours has been living at the Tommy Coyne Residence for Priests, at 714 Brighton Avenue, Syracuse.

The diocese says it remains committed and vigilant to its child and youth protection efforts.

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Stories of survival should not be hidden in ‘shame’

IRELAND
Irish Independent

EMER O’KELLY – PUBLISHED 01 JUNE 2014

IT IS exactly five years since the Ryan report into the residential institutional abuse of children was published. When he presented his report, Mr Justice Sean Ryan said categorically that the State authorities had been systematically and continuously “submissive and deferential” to the religious orders which ran the hellholes that were industrial schools (and also the Magdalene laundries, although they were not included in the scope of the report).

When his commission of enquiry had originally been set up, it had been headed by Ms Justice Mary Laffoy; she resigned in despair because she found herself faced with a brick wall in attempting to get co-operation from the religious orders involved.

Judge Ryan stuck with it; and he gave us a report which proved in the face of every attempt at denial and justification, that children were denied their rights, denied an education, physically abused, frequently sexually abused, half-starved, and terrorised. Thirty five-thousand children were committed to industrial schools over the years.

When the Ryan report was published, Brother Kevin Mullan, the head of the Christian Brothers in Ireland, one of the orders indicted, said he and his people would continue to co-operate with “those seeking to explore” what had happened. But the exploration would not include the naming of the individual members of the order who were responsible for the inhumanity. The Irish State had, after all, guaranteed them protection and anonymity.

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Storybook Boston Suburb of Sharon Shaken by Rabbi Barry Starr Hush Money Sex Scandal

MASSACHUSETTS
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Paul Berger
Published May 28, 2014, issue of June 06, 2014.

SHARON, MASS. — Rabbi Miriam Spitzer did not have to mention him by name.

The class of sixth graders at Temple Israel, in Sharon, Massachusetts, knew exactly whom Spitzer was thinking of when she dedicated that day’s lesson to Elisha ben Abuyah, a revered rabbi who became a heretic.

“The lesson was that the Torah taught [by Abuyah] was still Torah,” Spitzer said. “What we learned from somebody who left the fold or was flawed is still good Torah.”

Spitzer taught the class days after the shock resignation of Rabbi Barry Starr, a hugely popular Conservative spiritual leader in this verdant suburb of pastel-colored clapboard houses.

Starr, a former president of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, sent an email to congregants on May 6 explaining that he was stepping down immediately after 28 years, “with great remorse and deep regret,” after engaging in “marital infidelity and other serious personal conduct.”

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The Shaming of Rabbi Barry Starr

MASSACHUSETTS
The Jewish Daily Forward

By Adena Cohen-Bearak

I don’t know Rabbi Barry Starr personally, but I don’t like at how he is being vilified in the media, most recently in an article in The Forward with the lurid headline “When a Good Rabbi Goes Bad.”

We still don’t know all the facts in this case, and we’ve already found this man guilty in the court of public opinion. I also think there is an important aspect to this case that hasn’t been adequately addressed: the issue of shame.

When I taught sex education way back in the mid-1980s, it was popular when talking about sexuality to describe a continuum of sexuality, also known as the Kinsey Scale. If you imagine a horizontal line, with the words “completely heterosexual” on one end and “completely homosexual” on the other, and then imagine gradations in the middle, you get the idea of the continuum.

The notion was to get people to think about sexuality not as black and white — completely straight or completely gay — but as something that had lots of grays. For example, it is possibly to be sexually attracted to people of your own gender yet not “be gay.” It is possible to identify as gay but also have some sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex. There are lots of variations in-between, and it’s all okay and normal.

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Lost Souls: Faithful shaken by the loss of two local parishes

PENNSYLVANIA
Delaware County Daily Times

[with video]

By Kathleen Carey, Delaware County Daily Times
POSTED: 05/31/14

Two Catholic congregations filled their pews Saturday evening and learned of their parishes’ demises as one grappled with confusion and frustration and the other hung onto hope.

At the 4 p.m. Mass, the Rev. Anthony Orth, pastor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish announced that his parish would be merging with St. Gabriel Parish in Norwood. At a Mass beginning an hour and 15 minutes later, the Rev. Karl Zeuner, pastor of Notre Dame de Lourdes Church in Ridley Township, shared that his parish would be merging with Our Lady of Peace, also in Ridley Township.

These changes are effective July 1 as the result of the ongoing Parish Area Pastoral Planning evaluations taking place throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and are based on various factors including population shifts, high parish densities in small areas, declines in Mass attendance, Sacramental activity and availability of priests.

Since the process began in 2010, 30 parishes have been closed. The entire process is expected to take five to eight years.

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Philadelphia Archdiocese to close 16 parishes

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

[map}

HAROLD BRUBAKER, BEN FINLEY, AND ERIN MCCARTHY, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
LAST UPDATED: Sunday, June 1, 2014

Merging one parish into another is “like someone dying or losing a child,” Father Salvatore Pronesti said during Saturday afternoon Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Bridgeport.

“A mother, actually,” he continued, referring to the namesake of the Montgomery County parish he has led for 20 years, only to see it become part of Sacred Heart Parish in Swedesburg.

Still, he hopes for the best.

“You must pull together and try to form this united parish,” Pronesti said. “It’s critical for our spiritual lives. . . . The buildings, yes, we like them. But the buildings don’t make the parish. The parish makes the buildings.”

The scene at Our Lady of Mount Carmel was repeated Saturday afternoon at 46 of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s 235 parishes.

In all, The Inquirer has learned, the church decided to close 16 parishes, merging them with 13 neighboring parishes. The status of the remaining 17 parishes will not change. This will leave the archdiocese with 219 parishes, down from 266 in 2010, when it launched a systemic push to review and downsize its facilities.

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PHILA. ARCHDIOCESE TO CLOSE MORE PARISHES

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WPVI

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced that 29 more parishes will be consolidated down into 13.

While the changes are not a surprise for everyone, it’s still a painful reality for many Catholics across the region.

“Oh it’s killing me. It’s killing me,” said RoseAnn VanSickle.

VanSickle of Swarthmore is responding to news that her parish – Notre Dame de Lourdes, will merge with Our Lady of Peace in Milmonth Park.

VanSickle says, in her opinion, it’s an injustice.

“I’m actually very, very angry that they’re doing this, especially for me watching it grow from absolutely nothing to the church that I’ve been a part of all my life,” she said.

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Catholic witch hunt over paedophiles a warning

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

ANDREW BOLT HERALD SUN JUNE 02, 2014

WE must stop this vindictive witch-hunting, and Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox is just the zealot to warn us why.

Fox triggered a royal commission after telling the ABC’s Lateline in 2012 that paedophile Catholic priests were being protected.

He claimed a Catholic mafia in NSW Police had rigged “sham” investigations into Hunter Valley priests that were “set up to fail”.

Alarm bells should have rung, not least because Fox’s claim was so improbable.

As I noted after his second interview to Lateline a week later, there was also something too gleeful about Fox’s denunciations of Catholics generally and Cardinal George Pell, particularly.

Three times Fox denigrated the cardinal as “Mr Pell” and he mocked his church’s “antiquated rules”.

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