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 29, 2014

Report: Australian Chabad leaders Under Criminal Investigation …

UNITED STATES
Failed Messiah

Australian police are reportedly investigating senior Chabad leaders in both Sydney and in Melbourne for failing to report child sex abuse as required by law and for covering up the abuse (and, it seems, for sanction harassment and abuse of witnesses against them).

All the rabbis mentioned in the article are senior Chabad rabbis.

Leches is now the Chabad rabbi of Monsey, New York.

Feldman is the head of Chabad in Sydney, Australia.

Hayman, while not a rabbi, is a Chabad follower who served on Chabad’s board and was active in its summer camp in a supervisory role and directly with students. He was later protected while living in Los Angeles by Debbie Fox, the Orthodox social worker who ran the LA Jewish community’s sex offender program and who was close to Ohel, the scandal-plagued Brooklyn-based haredi social services organization that has allegedly mishandled dozens of sex offender cases. (Ohel also worked closely with former Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes to allegedly cover up cases of haredi sex abuse. Hynes is currently under federal and state criminal investigation for illegally using government funds to campaign, to pay campaign workers – and to, I’ve been told, give cronies no-work jobs.)

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.

Senior orthodox Jewish leaders face cover-up inquiry over child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Age

June 27, 2014

Richard Baker
Investigative reporter

Some of Australia’s most senior orthodox Jewish leaders are under investigation for allegedly failing to report multiple instances of child sexual abuse.

The Sunday Age has obtained witness statements and tape recordings from this month’s successful prosecution of a former Bondi Yeshiva authority figure, Daniel Hayman, that indicate senior Jewish leaders failed to act on complaints of abuse and cast doubt over their public statements on the scandal.

The documents and recordings provide an insight into strongly held views within segments of Australia’s ultra-orthodox Jewish communities that child sexual abuse should not be reported to secular authorities.

New South Wales police and the NSW Ombudsman are examining whether senior Rabbis broke the law by failing to report incidents of alleged child sexual abuse at Bondi’s Yeshiva centre to authorities.
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Similar investigations are taking place in Melbourne into the failure by leaders of St Kilda’s Yeshiva college to act on allegations of abuse by two former employees who were recently jailed for sexual abuse offences against students.

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.

Cae sacerdote pederasta en SLP

MEXICO
Tabasco Hoy

[Summary: Priest Francisco Javier Castillo Rios was arrested on a warrant by a group of agents of the state ministerial police of San Luis Potosi. He is accused of sexual abuse and rape. He served in the Ojo Caliente community of Santa Maria del Rio. It is alleged he raped a minor who wanted to be a priest and the boy was told the abuse the price he had to pay if he wanted to become a minister of the Catholic Church.]

Fue detenido el sacerdote Francisco Javier Castillo Ríos, por un grupo de agentes de la Policía Ministerial del Estado de San Luis Potosí, le dieron cumplimentó a la orden de aprehensión girada por el Juzgado Cuarto del Ramo Penal.

El sacerdote Francisco Javier Castillo Ríos, es señalado como presunto responsable de abuso sexual y violación.

Cuando se dio a conocer la denuncia presentada en su contra, el presunto se desempeñaba como titular en la parroquia de Ojo Caliente, comunidad de Santa María del Río.

Se dijo que el sacerdote habría violado a un menor que tenía aspiraciones de ser sacerdote a quien aseguraba que era el precio que tenía que pagar si quería convertirse en ministro de la Iglesia Católica.

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 we must understand Savile psyche

UNITED KINGDOM
Herald Scotland

Sunday 29 June 2014

Vicky Allan

BACK in 1991 when Dr Anthony Clare interviewed Jimmy Savile for Radio 4’s In The Psychiatrist’s Chair, it was clear that he felt uncomfortable with much of what the TV presenter and DJ was saying.

Here was a man who never put down roots, who carried no baggage, who had never had any kind of long-term relationship, who spoke of having “no feelings”, who boasted of the “clout” he had and who eulogised about his own personal freedom. “I’ve got a shoulder bag that’s not been unpacked for nearly 30 years,” he said. “I don’t sleep in the same bed more than two nights running … I’m not constrained pretty well by anything. The tough thing in life is ultimate freedom.”

Those words seem particularly chilling now that we know a little about the ugly way that Savile exercised his ultimate freedom and considerable clout; now we know, through a report published last week, that he used his celebrity status and access to the NHS to “exploit and abuse” vulnerable patients and staff at several hospitals; that he boasted of having sex with corpses, and that at Leeds General Infirmary where he volunteered as porter, he abused victims aged from five to 75.

Two questions inevitably arise. Firstly, how did he manage to create this protective silence around him? Savile’s behaviour was indeed truly shocking – but even more shocking is that he got away with it for so long.

Another question crosses the mind of anyone following the Savile story: Why did he do 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.

Jimmy Savile: pressure grows for full inquiry into historic child abuse

UNITED STATES
Telegraph

By Robert Mendick, and Eileen Fairweather 29 Jun 2014

The Government is under mounting pressure to hold a comprehensive nationwide inquiry into historic child abuse following the latest disclosures over Jimmy Savile’s prolific sex offending.

Almost 120 MPs from all parties have joined forces to call on Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to set up an overarching investigation into a series of cases.

It comes as Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, warned that the culture that helped Savile to abuse hundreds of children and adults without being caught still existed. The campaign for a nationwide inquiry has been orchestrated by seven MPs, including Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative backbencher, and Tim Loughton, the former children’s minister, but has snowballed with support from more than a sixth of all MPs.

They have written to the Home Secretary to demand an investigation similar to the independent inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster. It would examine failures by police and other authorities to properly investigate a number of high-profile cases.

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

Weakland heading home, leaving complex legacy in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel June 28, 2014

Retired Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland, a once-towering figure who diminished his legacy by his handling of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in southeastern Wisconsin and his own sex scandal, is returning in old age to the Benedictine abbey where he began his religious life more than 70 years ago.

Weakland, 87 and increasingly frail, has told friends he will be moving by Sept. 1 from his Milwaukee condo to the St. Vincent Archabbey, a community of monks in Latrobe, Pa., about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

A group of local priests is planning a farewell luncheon in July, an event that is already drawing criticism from abuse survivors.

“It’s an opportunity to express our thanks and appreciation, and to say farewell and God bless you as you go to the next phase in your life,” said Father David Cooper of St. Matthias Parish, the head of the local priests alliance that is organizing the send-off.

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

Jehovah’s Witnesses destroyed documents showing child abuse allegations against church elder

WALES
Wales Online

Jun 29, 2014 By Ciaran Jones

Material related to claims against high-ranking member destroyed ‘due to passage of time’

The Jehovah’s Witnesses destroyed allegations of child abuse and rape against a respected church elder, we can reveal today.

The church claims it disposed of evidence showing claims against paedophile Mark Sewell dating back more than 20 years.

Depraved Sewell, 53, faces a “very substantial” jail term after being found guilty on Friday of eight historic sex charges, including rape, between 1987 and 1995.

We can also today reveal how:

All but one of the fellow elders who investigated claims against the disgraced businessman, who was once an elder in the Barry congregation, declined to give evidence in his Crown Court trial;

The Jehovah’s Witnesses provided nothing to help the police and prosecutors in their investigation, despite “dis-fellowshipping” Sewell 20 years ago;

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 leads war against child abuse

NEW ZEALAND
Scoop

Sunday, 29 June 2014
Press Release: Sensible Sentencing Trust

While New Zealand bestows abusers with human rights protection
Perhaps our Director of Human Rights might like to issue an open invitation to all the Priests convicted of child abuse to come to New Zealand for safe refuge and protection. McVicar

The Sensible Sentencing Trust is hailing a decision by the Vatican to defrock a top archbishop for sexual abuse of children but the Trust is lamenting the fact that in New Zealand a man with similar offences is having his name and convictions protected by the Director of Human Rights.

Trust Spokesman Garth McVicar said while he is disgusted by child sexual abuse wherever it occurs he was congratulating the Vatican for taking the appropriate action, including naming the offender.

“I find it very alarming that here in New Zealand the Department supposedly responsible for defending our human rights and protecting our children decides instead to defend the rights of a man convicted of multiple offences of sexual abuse on children.”

Mr McVicar said, “Like New Zealand the Catholic Church has many Priests with a shocking history of child abuse, but unlike New Zealand the Vatican is determined to name and shame the offenders and hold them to account.”

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

Church, Police give conflicting answers on child sex abuse

MALTA
Malta Independent

The Catholic Church in Malta and the police have given conflicting details regarding priests involved in child sex abuse cases since 2010.

The Church told this newspaper that a total of 11 complaints were received during this period and so far, two of these cases were found to be positive. When asked whether any referrals were made to the police, the Church said yes.

In contrast, when asked to reveal the number of cases investigated by police in terms of priests abusing children, and the number of prosecutions between 2010 and now, the police said; “Please note that during the period requested, the Police did not receive any reports.”

This has resulted in a rather confusing situation with both sides giving conflicting statements.

The procedure relating to Church investigations into sexual abuse is explained in the document entitled “Statement of Policy & Procedures In Cases of Sexual Abuse in Pastoral Activity”. This document is currently being updated and the new document is in its final stages, a representative from the Church said.

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

Catholic Church officials seek to defrock Davis priest

CALIFORNIA
Woodland Daily Democrat

CREATED: 06/28/2014

Calling his behavior “a crime and a sin,” Sacramento Catholic Church officials told the Sacramento Bee they will ask the Vatican to defrock a disgraced Davis priest after he pleaded guilty to statutory rape of a teenage parishioner.

Hector Coria Gonzalez faces face jail and probation after pleading guilty to the charge Friday in Yolo Superior Court.

“Father Coria’s behavior with the minor was a crime and a sin,” Kevin Eckery, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, told The Bee Friday in a prepared statement. “He will now be held to account for his behavior.”

Eckery told The Bee the diocese will forward Gonzalez’s case to Rome and “ask the Holy See to permanently dismiss him from the priesthood.”

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

June 28, 2014

On sex abuse, pope’s problems both simple and complex

VATICAN CITY
Boston Globe

By John L. Allen Jr. | GLOBE STAFF JUNE 28, 2014

As the countdown continues towards Pope Francis’ first meeting with victims of clerical sexual abuse, which is expected next week, recent days have brought reminders that the challenges facing the pontiff as he attempts to lead the church out of the scandals are both stunningly simple and maddeningly complex.

Here’s the simple part: For reasons of both PR and substance, it’s critical that Francis not send any signals of retreat. Two developments last week underscored that point.

First, the Vatican announced Friday that Polish Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski has been sentenced to laicization, meaning he’s to be stripped of his status both as a bishop and a priest.

A former papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Wesolowski was recalled in August after a local TV network charged the 66-year-old with paying for sex with underage boys and being a frequent visitor to a Santo Domingo neighborhood known for prostitution with minors.

Wesolowski has two months to appeal the verdict, and in the meantime he’ll be under a sort of house arrest. It remains to be seen if Wesolowski will be extradited to face charges in the Dominican Republic or Poland, with the Vatican vowing to cooperate with any such request. He’s also subject to criminal prosecution under the laws of the Vatican City State.

Concerns that the Vatican might be sheltering Wesolowski had mounted in recent months, and featured prominently in a hearing with Vatican officials before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in February.

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.

2nd Priest Faces Abuse Charges in Northern Mexico

MEXICO
ABC News (US)

Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Jun 28, 2014

Authorities in the northern Mexican state of San Luis Potosi have arrested a Roman Catholic priest on suspicion of sexually abusing a minor, the second priest charged there in a week.

State investigative police say Friday’s arrest of Guillermo Gil Torres was based on a complaint from the boy’s grandmother, who said the child became noticeably sad and nervous and asked never to be sent to church.

The incidents started in November when Gil Torres, pastor of Santa Rosa de Lima church, invited the boy to look at photographs of his travels and allegedly began rubbing his legs, police said according to testimony from the family.

The Archdiocese of San Luis Potosi did not answer telephone calls or emails seeking comment on Saturday. Mexican media reported that Gil Torres had been suspended last month when the complaint was filed.

He was arrested while driving in the capital city, also called San Luis Potosi, where the church is located.

Earlier this week, a judge in the same state ordered the arrest of now-suspended Catholic priest Eduardo Cordova, who is also suspected of sexually abusing minors.

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.

Sacerdote detenido por abuso sexual en SLP

MEXICO
Milenio

IMELDA TORRES
28/06/2014

San Luis Potosí
Por abuso sexual calificado fue detenido un sacerdote de la capital potosina y ahora en vez de sotana, tendrá que usar el uniforme del penal de La Pila.

Información de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado señala que la detención se llevó a cabo este viernes, por agentes de la Policía Ministerial del Estado que dieron cumplimento a una orden de aprehensión contra el cura Guillermo Gil Torres, quien era párroco de la Iglesia Santa Rosa de Lima, ubicada en la calle Francisco Villa de la colonia 21 de Marzo, en la ciudad de San Luis Potosí.

Esto luego de que fue denunciado por la abuela del menor de edad, del que obviamente se omiten sus datos. Agentes de la corporación hicieron la investigación y un juez encontró los elementos suficientes para pedir su aprehensión, lográndose en la avenida de Las Artes esquina con Xicoténcatl, cuando manejaba su vehículo particular.

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.

Detienen a sacerdote por presunto abuso sexual

MEXICO
Azteca Noticias

[Summary: The San Luis Potosi attorney general said priest Guillermo Gil Torres has been arrested and charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a minor.]

San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí.- La Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE) informó la detención del sacerdote Guillermo Gil Torres, por el delito de abuso sexual calificado en agravio de un menor de edad.

En un comunicado, la PGJE señaló que la Policía Ministerial del estado (PME) dio cumplimiento, la víspera, a una orden de aprehensión en contra del cura en la avenida de Las Artes esquina con Xicoténcatl por Himno Nacional, derivada de la denuncia presentada por la abuela del menor de edad y de la investigación de agentes de la Policía Ministerial.

Los familiares y el afectado dieron a conocer en su denuncia, que los hechos comenzaron en noviembre del año pasado.

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.

Defrocked ex-Vatican ambassador must be jailed. Vatican must return all his loot of billions of dollars back to Dominican people. Abolish Vatican Concordats

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

We disagree with the Dominican Republic’s only cardinal and three catholic bishops who on Friday praised the Vatican’s decision to defrock its former envoy in the country Jozef Wesolowski for the sexual abuse of minors stating that “the conviction sends a message to the enemies of the Catholic Church who continue talking gibberish and that it was the best response on Justice and the best decision the Holy See could’ve made.” The cardinal got it wrong and is the other way around – The Catholic Church is the enemy of humankind because of the secret Vatican Swiss Banks that hoard the wealth of the 1% wealthest of the globe, see here graphs and articles http://pope-francis-con-christ.blogspot.ca/2014/02/hidden-heist-in-holy-see-biggest-heist.html The cardinal’s news releases are all Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team pre-script statements. Catholics must cease being stupid and the world must stop being blinded by Octopus Beast PR stunts because the crux of the matter is – it took one year for the Vatican to defrock him because they needed to trace and settle all the billions of dollars in the former papal nuncio’s names and signatures. The truth is there are seven best responses the Vatican must make in expiation of the former papal nuncio’s crimes because the wealthy ex-ambassador’s crimes are not only his personal sex with minors

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.

Aanbod van financiële tegemoetkoming voor 350 slachtoffers van ernstig geweld in RK kerk

NEDERLAND
Ondrzoek

DEN HAAG, 27 juni 2014 – Een onafhankelijke commissie voor hulp, erkenning en genoegdoening bood ongeveer 350 mensen een financiële tegemoetkoming aan op basis van hun klacht over fysiek en psychisch geweld tegen hen in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk (RKK). Het excessief geweld had plaats toen zij minderjarig waren. De commissie bood de ongeveer 350 slachtoffers financiële tegemoetkomingen aan voor een bedrag van in totaal bijna een miljoen euro.

Bij deze ongeveer 350 klachten gaat het om excessief fysiek en psychisch geweld door personen die werkzaam waren binnen de RKK in Nederland. De commissie, die voluit de aanduiding Hulp, Erkenning, Genoegdoening voor geweld tegen minderjarigen in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk heeft, ging bij de behandeling van de klachten uitsluitend af op de authenticiteit van de klacht en de melding; er was geen bewijs of ondersteuning van de aannemelijkheid nodig.

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.

Minnesota case could help shape Carlson’s legacy

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

1987 memo on Fr. Kern
1992 memo on Fr. Kern
1993 memo on Fr. Kern
Sexual abuse victim letter to parish

By Lilly Fowler lfowler@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-82211

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has reigned over Roman Catholics in St. Louis for the last five years.

But it is a historic lawsuit filed hundreds of miles away in his former home of Minneapolis that now stands as the archbishop’s most significant challenge — one that may determine both his legacy and his future.

The case will attempt to show that for years church leaders such as Carlson mishandled sexual abuse claims in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and allowed known abusers back into ministry to victimize others.

Already, the Minnesota case led to the release this month of a legal deposition of Carlson that triggered outcry over his response concerning laws about child sex abuse.

But that deposition is only the first in a long series of documents that will be released in the coming months under a judge’s order. The combined release of church records and court filings will for the first time give the public an inside look at Carlson’s tenure in Minneapolis.

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.

Feds: More victims possible in child sex scandal

MICHIGAN
WOOD

By Amanda Jarrett
Published: June 28, 2014

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Federal officials close to the investigation of Ronald Lee Moser told 24 Hour News 8 they believe he may have had other victims throughout West Michigan.

Moser was indicted on federal charges earlier this month, accused of making child pornography.

When investigators raided his house in early June they found Moser with a 11-year-old boy, along with cell phone images of the boy in sexually suggestive poses.

The federal investigation into Moser led officials to the arrest of longtime Christian radio host John Balyo.

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 sends proof of the denunciation that might have cost Bishop Angelelli’s life

ARGENTINA
Iglesia Descalza

By Religión Digital (English translation by Rebel Girl)
June 27, 2014

Pope Francis handed over a letter and evidence that had been sent to the Vatican by Monseñor Enrique Angelelli that show the human rights violations committed by Argentina during the military dictatorship. On Friday, July 4th, the sentence against the soldiers accused of being the intellectual authors [of Angelelli’s murder] will be pronounced.

The letter was submitted as evidence in the trial for the alleged murder of Angelelli in La Rioja. The written testimony of military persecution is a blow to members of the Vatican who for years denied that the letter and the evidence has come to the Holy See.

“We are constantly hampered in fulfilling the mission of the Church. We priests and religious have been personally humiliated, seized, and raided by the police on orders of the army,” Angelelli wrote in his letter. Days later, he would be killed on Route 38 in the vicinity of Punta de los Llanos.

The letter and evidence were sent in July 1976 to the Vatican nuncio who in those days was Pio Laghi. That cardinal, who died in 2009 and was investigated for complicity with the Argentinian dictatorship, always denied having received them.

Francis, fulfilling his promise that he would open the Vatican archives, sent two documents to Monseñor Marcelo Colombo, Bishop of La Rioja: a letter from Angelelli and a report titled “A chronicle of the facts related to the assassination of Fathers Longueville Gabriel and Murias Carlos”, the priests in the Riojan city of Chamical who were assassinated on July 18, 1976. The account of the assassinations had been presented the same month they were committed, and Angelelli took the trouble to send multiple copies to the Holy See as he didn’t trust the nuncio.

The federal criminal court in La Rioja will resume hearings today on the pleadings of the parties in the trial for the murder of Monseñor Enrique Angelelli, perpetrated during the military dictatorship.

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 confirms decades old rape allegation of woman at S.A. church

TEXAS
KENS 5

[with video]

by Sharon Ko / KENS 5

Posted on June 28, 2014

SAN ANTONIO — A priest who was already convicted of attempted rape and the sexual assault of a girl has now been tied to an alleged case of abuse in San Antonio.

Recently, a woman came forward claiming the late reverend Bruce MacArthur raped her when she was a girl in the late 1970’s at Saint James Catholic Church.

The San Antonio director of ‘Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,’ Barbara Boehland said the victim did not receive any help from the church and instead, reached out to SNAP.

“It takes awhile for people to come forward. It’s a shameful thing. It’s embarrassing. You feel filthy. It takes a lot of courage to come forward and we’re really proud of this person,” said Boehland.

The Archdiocese of San Antonio confirmed it believes the woman’s claim and Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller responded in a statement saying the church hopes “that any members of our community affected by sexual abuse will be encouraged to seek all needed pastoral support or counseling as part of their healing process.”

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

Jimmy Savile reports uncover shocking details …

Jimmy Savile reports uncover shocking details about the late TV presenter and DJ who has been linked to a Catholic boys’ home in Shefford

UNITED KINGDOM
Bedfordshire on Sunday

Written by JULIA SUTTON

JIMMY Savile abused corpses as well as sexually assaulted patients aged from five to 75 in NHS hospitals after decades of unrestricted access, investigators claim.

The reports into the former BBC DJ, who also presented Jim’ll Fix It and Top of the Pops, cover 28 hospitals including Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor psychiatric hospital.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt admitted the shocking revelations ‘will shake our country to the core’.

Savile died aged 84 in October 2011 – a year before allegations that he had sexually abused children came to light.

The Advertiser has been following the case as the TV personality has also been connected to a former Catholic boys’ home in Shefford.

St Francis House closed in 1973 and we revealed that Savile used to visit the home, as there was a Catholic Church on the site, which is still open.

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.

Gobierno dominicano, satisfecho por condena a exnuncio por pederastia

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
El Nacional

[Summary: The Dominican government said Thursday it is satisified after the Vatican condemned and expelled from the priesthood the former apostolic nuncio Josef Wesolowski. He was accused to sexually abusing children in the Dominican Republic. The archbishop has been expelled, which is the maximum penalty of the church, according to President Danilo Medina. He said Pope Francis told him this would happen.]

CARACAS, 27 Jun 2014 (AFP) – El gobierno dominicano expresó este jueves su satisfacción luego de que El Vaticano condenara y expulsara del sacerdocio al exnuncio apostólico (embajador) polaco Jozef Wesolwski por pederastia, caso por el que será objeto de un juicio penal.

“Lo han expulsado, esa es la pena máxima de la Iglesia y el sacerdocio, y él, su santidad (el papa Francisco), me prometió que eso iba a ocurrir y que no iba a estar tranquilo hasta que eso ocurriera”, dijo en una declaración pública el presidente Danilo Medina. El mandatario dominicano sostuvo el pasado 13 de junio una audiencia con el pontífice en el que abordó el caso.

Wesolowski, de 65 años de edad y que fue nuncio en República Dominicana desde enero de 2008 hasta agosto de 2013, fue condenado a la dimisión del clero, informó este viernes El Vaticano. A través de un comunicado, La Procuraduría General de la República (fiscalía) expresó su confianza de que este paso abra las vías para una condena penal al sacerdote polaco, de 65 años. “Esa decisión da apertura al proceso para una sentencia penal, que deberá ser condenatoria, en razón de los graves hechos cometidos”, señala el comunicado.

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’s survey shows sex scandals damaged church credibility

VATICAN CITY
Daily Journal

Bloomberg News

ROME — Pope Francis’s global survey of parishes conducted last year revealed sex scandals and negative experiences involving members of the clergy damaged the Roman Catholic Church’s image among its faithful.

“Sex scandals significantly weaken the Church’s moral credibility, above all in North America and northern Europe,” the Vatican said in its Instrumentum Laboris, a text summing up the results of a worldwide survey among Catholic parishes.

Last year, the Vatican asked parishioners around the world to give input on issues such as birth control, gay marriage and divorce. The results, which include parishoners’ perceptions of the church, were made public Thursday in a text that will serve as a starting point for discussions when bishops from around the world meet at the Vatican in October to debate family issues.

The survey confirmed that more than a decade of sexual scandals have seriously hurt the church’s image, affecting its own faithful. In April, Francis asked for forgiveness on behalf of priests who had sexually abused children and said more had to be done to rectify damage done and punish offenders.

The document also said that “some clergy are uncompromising and insensitive in their behavior” in daily interaction with parishoners, contributing to the image of the Church as not being supportive.

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.

Favorability Poll on Archbishop Carlson Received More Votes in 24 Hours Than Typical in a Week

UNITED STATES
Urban Review STL

The weekly poll here isn’t scientific, the participants self select. Still, the number of participants is pretty consistent week to week. But when last week’s poll, Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Archbishop Robert Carlson?, had more votes in the first 24 hours than most get after 7 days I knew an effort was on to distort the outcome of the results.

Clearly obedient Catholics in St. Louis have a very favorable opinion of Carlson, however, the early results showed twice as many readers had a very unfavorable opinion as those with a very favorable.

The priest, realistically considered, is the most immoral of men, for he is always willing to sacrifice every other sort of good to the one good of his arcanum — the vague body of mysteries that he calls the truth.
— H L Mencken, Treatise on the Gods (1949)

The very first comment said I “hate the Catholic Church and its teachings.” I view all religions pretty much equally, man-made constructs to control the masses. To me it doesn’t matter is someone is a Baptist, Jehovahs Witness, Muslim, Jewish, Scientologist, Mennonite, Presbyterian or Catholic — all are the same to me.

Another comment said St. Louis is a “Catholic city”. Yes, I had my alderman (Dorothy Kirner) once ask me what parish I lived in. Huh? I wasn’t here long before I realized you’re assumed catholic unless stated otherwise.

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Everything you need to know about Ireland’s disaffected Catholics

IRELAND
The Week Magazine

How Catholic was Ireland?

It used to be easily the most Catholic country in the world. The church’s connection to the island nation dates to St. Patrick’s conversion in the 5th century, and the modern Irish state is explicitly bound up with the church. The constitution opens with the words, “In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority…” and continues with reference to “obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial.” In Ireland, the church, not the state, runs almost the entire education system. Until recently, social life, too, revolved around the local church. In 1984, nearly 90 percent of Irish Catholics went to Mass every week. But by 2011, only 18 percent did. It’s a massive cultural shift.

What changed?

Mass attendance began dropping rapidly during the 1990s, as Ireland began its “Celtic Tiger” economic boom. The country was modernizing, urbanizing, and taking on a more global perspective, and the local church was no longer the only nexus of community life. For the first time, the country had a vigorous debate about abortion and began teaching sex education in schools. At the same time, several long-hidden scandals began to emerge. In 1992, the Irish learned that a powerful and beloved bishop, Eamon Casey, had a fathered a son, and that the Rev. Michael Cleary, the “Singing Priest” with best-selling records and his own radio show, had a secret family with his housekeeper. But the biggest seismic jolt came over the last decade, when the priestly sex-abuse scandal horrified the entire country.

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Council of Cardinals to continue Curia review in upcoming meeting

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jun. 28, 2014

The group of eight cardinals advising Pope Francis on reforming the governance of the Catholic church is set to meet with him for the fifth time, presumably to more seriously consider an overall blueprint for a new structure of the Vatican’s central bureaucracy.

While the cardinals have not indicated exactly what the group will be focusing on during its July 1-4 meetings, the Vatican signaled in an April statement that the prelates have already finished a review of the Vatican’s nine main governmental bodies, known as congregations, and are now proceeding to review its 12 auxiliary bodies, known as councils.

Likewise, unsubstantiated reports in June were speculating that Francis was considering creating several new secretariats to combine similar Vatican departments into one structure for the sake of expediency and effectiveness.

Francis established the advisory group, known formally as the Council of Cardinals, last year to “study a project of revision” of the Vatican’s bureaucracy, known as the Roman Curia. The group met together for the first time in October.

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Pope Francis to meet Irish clerical abuse victims at the Vatican next week

IRELAND
Irish Central

Patrick Counihan @irishcentral June 28,2014

Pope Francis is to meet Irish victims of clerical sexual abuse at the Vatican next week in a significant move.

Campaigner Marie Collins, the first known abuse victim to meet the pontiff, has welcome the news.

She met with the Pope briefly in Rome last month when she attended the first meeting of the Vatican’s new Commission for the Protection of Minors.

One of four women on the commission which meets again next month, Collins has welcomed the Pope’s announcement that he will meet victims from Ireland, America, Britain and Poland.

Collins told the Irish Times that she is ‘hopeful’ and ‘quite positive’ about the commission.

Acknowledging matters are at an early stage, she told the paper: “From what I’ve seen, I think it’s going in the right direction. I do think the people involved are sincere.

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Davis priest pleads guilty to statutory rape of teen parishioner

CALIFORNIA
Sacramento Bee

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Jun. 27, 2014

Calling his behavior “a crime and a sin,” local Catholic Church officials will ask the Vatican to defrock a disgraced Davis priest after he pleaded guilty to statutory rape of a teenage parishioner.

Davis priest Hector Coria Gonzalez will face jail and probation after pleading guilty to the charge Friday in Yolo Superior Court.

“Father Coria’s behavior with the minor was a crime and a sin,” Kevin Eckery, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, said in a statement Friday. “He will now be held to account for his behavior.”

Eckery said the diocese will forward Gonzalez’s case to Rome and “ask the Holy See to permanently dismiss him from the priesthood.”

Gonzalez, 46, will serve 90 days in jail for sexual acts with the 16-year-old girl in the rectory of St. James’ Parish in Davis, where he had been a priest since July 2012. Gonzalez will also be placed on formal probation for three years and barred by Yolo Superior Court Judge Paul Richardson from having contact with the girl until she turns 18.

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Vatican conviction shuts ‘gibberish’ against church: Cardinal

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

Santiago.- Dominican Republic’s only cardinal and three catholic bishops on Friday called the Vatican’s decision to convict its former envoy in the country Jozef Wesolowski for the sexual abuse of minors, the best response on Justice.

Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, Santiago archbishop Ramón Benito de la Rosa Carpio; San Francisco emeritus bishop Jesús María Moya and La Altagracia Archdiocese bishop Nicanor Peña said it was the best decision the Holy See could’ve made.

López Rodríguez said the conviction sends a message “to the enemies of the Catholic Church who continue talking gibberish,” adding that it was the best response possible.

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Jimmy Savile Abuse: Did Disgraced DJ Kill A Child? Police Launch Fresh Probe

UNITED KINGDOM
Huffington Post

Jimmy Savile may have been involved in the death of a child during his horrifying 50 year campaign of abuse, a shocking new report has said.

The allegation was detailed in a report published today following an independent investigation into Savile by University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

According to the Daily Mail, a male witness, who claims he was also sexually abused by the late DJ, said he saw Savile and a friend “drag away” a little girl who was found dead in Leicestershire the next day.

The vulnerable child, called either “April or Elizabeth” was being cared for at the Roecliffe Manor children’s convalescent home in Woodhouse Eaves in the 1960s, the informant said.

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Taxpayers’ bill to compensate Savile victims could hit £30million…

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Taxpayers’ bill to compensate Savile victims could hit £30million: Lawyers have racked up six-figure costs as they squabble over payment scheme

By CHRIS GREENWOOD

Taxpayers face a growing bill for Jimmy Savile’s crimes because of a bitter and expensive dispute over his estate.

Lawyers have already racked up six-figure costs as they squabble over the compensation scheme for victims of the sick sexual predator who died in 2011.

The expensive litigation, which has already dragged on for 20 months, threatens to engulf his entire £3.3million legacy.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the public purse will underwrite any claims not met by Savile’s estate, for which NatWest is the executor.

This could be extremely costly as compensation could run into tens of millions of pounds.

Law firms have already taken on almost 200 victims but there are believed to be around 500 in total who could each claim up to £60,000 compensation – giving a maximum bill, in theory, of £30million.

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Kilwinning priest in plea to victims of abuse

SCOTLAND
Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald

Published: 28 Jun 2014

He helps man who claims he was gang raped

A KILWINNING priest has urged any victims of abuse at a Catholic retreat in Ayrshire to come forward after a man alleged he was raped by clergy there.

The man who claims he was brutally gang raped by priests at Coodham House when he was only nine or 10 was due to make a statement to police this week. Father Gerard Magee, who has supported the man, has been demanding answers from the Passionist Order who ran Coodham in Symington, South Ayrshire, in 1960 – the year of the alleged crime.

Father Magee, of St Winning’s Church, said: “People have been reluctant to come forward – they thought no one would believe them. Sadly, that was the case – children who came forward were likely to get the belt. But that is not the case anymore.

“It is a crime to abuse children. People from all over the central belt in Scotland visited Coodham.”

Father Magee said the 65-year-old Motherwell man approached him for help after he watched a BBC documentary about Catholic abuse last year. The alleged victim said he visited Coodham – then known as Fatima House – with his father and friend when priests asked if he could help with a party.

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Phuket: Thai court jails ex-monk for raping teenager

THAILAND
The Phuket News

BANGKOK: A Thai court has jailed a former Buddhist monk for five-and-half years for raping a teenage girl at his Bangkok temple, in the latest scandal to tarnish the image of the nation’s clergy.

Sanan Kamsridaeng, 65, confessed to raping the girl – who was aged under 15 at the time – last year and detaining her against her will when he was still a monk, a Bangkok criminal court official told AFP.

“He was sentenced on Thursday (June 26) to six years in jail for the first count… and five years for the second count. But because he confessed the judge cut his sentence to five years and six months,” the official said.

He was disrobed after his arrest last year.

In recent weeks Thailand’s national religion has faced damaging accusations linked to monks’ behaviour, with high-profile scandals ranging from reports of monks taking drugs and drinking, to a case in May of five defrocked abbots charged with sexually abusing boys.

The National Office of Buddhism (NOB) has launched a hotline to report monks behaving badly, after the leader of Thailand’s military junta expressed concern over the image of Buddhism.

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Secret settlements vs. your safety

UNITED STATES
The Advertiser

What people don’t know can hurt them — as proven repeatedly by a system of secret justice that has grown up inside the courts.

General Motors’ handling of its Chevy Cobalts with faulty ignition switches is the latest example. GM has settled several claims by victims or their loved ones — on the condition that the terms remain secret.

Public settlements might have warned everyone of the danger or even forced the company to replace the switches sooner. None of that happened. The cars weren’t recalled until February, nine years after one of the earliest settlements.

Keeping the terms of settlements secret (or sealing documents) has become routine, and not just among automakers. Corporations have used the strategy to hide the side effects of dangerous drugs, tires that shred on the road and small planes with defective parts. The Catholic Church kept settlements secret to protect abusive priests.

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Francis’ Honeymoon is Over – Another Liberal Bites Back

UNITED STATES
Standing on My Head

June 27, 2014 By Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Last week Salon ran a hatchet piece on Pope Francis by Anna March. In one of the most ludicrous article I’ve ever read it was suggested that Pope Francis’ nice guy image is nothing more than a PR stunt run by a sinister conservative member of Opus Dei… I commented on March’s piece here.
Today Patricia Miller–a pro-abortion Catholic lets rip about Pope Francis.

At the Huffington Post she declares that Pope Francis has let women down in three ways. Her article is here.

You can predict what three ways the Pope has let women down: First he has not allowed women’s ordination:

Francis said early on that he wouldn’t challenge the teaching of Pope John Paul II that women can never be priests. “The church has spoken and says no… That door is closed,” he said. But many Catholic scholars disagree with John Paul II’s assessment that the church can’t ordain women. It’s more a matter of church tradition, which is itself shaky because there were women priests in the early years of the church, than doctrine. They also disagree with the move by Pope Benedict, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger and head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to declare Pope John Paul’s pronouncement essentially infallible.

I love those bald, unsubstantiated statements: “Many Catholic scholars disagree with John Paul II’s assessment…” No names, no reference, no quotes, but Pat says so so it must be true. Of course it could be true that many scholars disagree. Many scholars disagree with lots of stuff. Let’s move on.
Then the most amazingly bald lie of all: “There were women priests in the early years of the church.” Whaaat?! Where’s the evidence? Where did such a flat lie come from?

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Vatican laicizes former nuncio to Dominican Republic

VATICAN CITY
Headlines from the Catholic World

Vatican City, Jun 27, 2014 / 10:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Following abuse accusations last fall involving the former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic, the Vatican has concluded the first part of his canonical trial with a guilty verdict and laicization.

Accusations of sexual misconduct were reported last year regarding the former nuncio Josef Wesolowski, which led to his Aug. 21 resignation.

Following the publication of the initial accusations, a 13-year-old boy from the country said in a television interview that the Polish former archbishop had solicited him for sexual favors in exchange for money. He was then taken into protective custody by Dominican Republic officials.

In September the Vatican expressed their willingness to hand the former nuncio over to civil authorities, even though they are not required to do so since there is no extradition treaty between the Vatican and the Dominican Republic, and since they possess the legal right to invoke diplomatic immunity in protection of the nuncio. …

Members of the Church in the Dominican Republic are also recovering from the recent accusations of sexual abuse against Father Juan Manuel Mota de Jesus.

A “root problem” of clergy abuse, Cardinal López said, is “an undetermined number” of candidates preparing for the priesthood who “do not have an authentic vocation” and who “during formation are able to feign something that they are not, and if formation directors are not careful, they sneak into the clergy, and later the bishops pay the consequences for their excesses and turmoil.”

He then asked as president of the Dominican bishops for “forgiveness of the victims of the heartless men who have abused them and their families” as well as forgiveness “of the community of the Catholic Church, which is humiliated by this unspeakable abuse, and also of the entire Dominican nation which is witnessing this unfortunate spectacle.”

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Prosecutors: Minister admitted to sexual abuse …

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Prosecutors: Minister admitted to sexual abuse after confronted by victim’s parents

By Michelle Manchir and Jeremy Gorner
Tribune reporters
6:07 p.m. CDT, June 27, 2014

A minister was charged with sexual abuse this week after his alleged victim, now 19, remembered while training to become a camp counselor that he had been attacked years ago, authorities said Friday.

“During the training, the victim learned about how to respond if he were to learn of the sexual abuse of a child,” prosecutors said in court documents. “This triggered the victim’s memory and he immediately (told) his parents.”

The parents confronted John Hays, 57, who admitted he had molested the teen, according to prosecutors. The teen was sexually abused from the time he was 8 until he was 13 years old, prosecutors said. Hays was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

When the abuse began in February 2003, Hays was the victim’s neighbor, father of his friends and a pastor, prosecutors said. The victim would come to Hays’ house to play video games with Hays’ sons, they said.

Hays would “enter the room and place the victim on his lap” and fondle the boy, prosecutors said.

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RIVER FOREST MINISTER ACCUSED OF MOLESTING BOY OVER SEVERAL YEARS

ILLINOIS
WLS

By Tanja Babich and Diane Pathieu
Friday, June 27, 2014

RIVER FOREST, Ill. (WLS) — A minister on staff at a River Forest church accused of molesting a boy over several years appeared in court Friday.

Chicago police arrested Reverend John Hays, 57, on Thursday. He has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The alleged abuse took place in his home in the Austin neighborhood from 2003 to 2009. Police said it began when the boy was 8 years old. The victim, who is now 19, reported the alleged abuse to police last month.

Church board member Kevin Murphy says Hays notified the River Forest church that he was being investigated for the crime last month and was promptly terminated from his role as director of congregational life. He was not involved with either the children’s or youth ministries, still members of the congregation were notified about the investigation within days of Hays’ departure from the church, Murphy said.

“Any allegation or incident of child abuse is very upsetting to all concerned. And this is a very serious situation that’s very upsetting to me personally. It’s very upsetting to our entire congregation,” said Murphy.

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Archdiocese reaches out to sexual abuse victims of late reverend

TEXAS
KSAT

[with video]

Author: Robert Taylor, Web Editor
Published On: Jun 27 2014

SAN ANTONIO –
The Archdiocese of San Antonio is making an effort to reach out to victims who may have been sexually abused by the late Rev. Bruce MacArthur.

The archdiocese said Friday it has placed announcements in the bulletins at St. James and St. Dominic Catholic churches, the archdiocese website and the Catholic Newspaper in an effort to reach those affected.

MacArthur served at St. James and St. Dominic Catholic churches between 1979 and 1984.

In a statement, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller said that he would continue working to make every Catholic church, school and institution a safe harbor for all children.

The news was not settling for the members of the Survivors Network of those abused by priests.

The group’s director, David Clohessy, issued a statement, saying parents and parishioners deserve better.

“We can’t help but wonder how many other serial child molesting clerics are in or have been in the archdiocese, but whose crimes and whereabouts continue to be hidden by archdiocesan staffers, past and present,” said Clohessy.

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Catholic inquiry asks to hear allegations of sexual abuse

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

ALLEGATIONS of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Scotland can now be submitted to a commission carrying out an external review into the scandal.

The inquiry chaired by the former Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Very Reverend Dr Andrew McLellan, CBE, said the help of victims would allow him to build up a “full and clear picture” of current and past safeguards and procedures.

He added: “To do this, we have to listen to survivors of abuse and harm and we urge people to get in touch with us in confidence.

“Our task is primarily to help to protect children and vulnerable adults and we want to help the Catholic Church ensure its policies and practices with regard to abuse are following best practice.

“The only credible policy for a church is no abuse, no cover-up.”

Commissioners are meeting with interested parties and listening to expert opinion on best practice in safeguarding children and vulnerable people.

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Church elder found guilty of rape and sexual assaults

UNITED KINGDOM
Barry and District News

A “RESPECTED and trusted” Jehovah’s Witness church elder from Barry has been found guilty of rape and eight charges of indecent assault by a jury after a three week trial at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court.

A jury of eight women and four men deliberated for more than 10 hours to find Mark Sewell, 53, of Porthkerry Road, Barry, unanimously guilty of five charges and not guilty of one charge of indecent assault.

They then took a further two hours to reach a 10 to two majority verdict of guilty to a single charge of rape and a charge of indecent assault and an 11 to one majority verdict of guilty to another charge of indecent assault.

The three week trial had heard how Sewell, described as a “predator” and a “bully”, indecently assaulted girls under the age of 16 and 14 and raped a fellow church member during a 10 year campaign of sexual abuse throughout the late 1980s and 1990s.

In the late 1980s Sewell abused one young girl from the ages of 12 to 14, kissing her on the mouth using his tongue, touching her inappropriately and would often manoeuvre himself into situations where he would rub her on top of him in a sexual manner, sometimes while wearing just his underwear.

Sewell also raped a female friend and fellow church goer at his home following a campaign of inappropriate and suggestive sexual behaviour towards her. Following the attack the woman became pregnant, but miscarried a short time later.

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Ex-suburban pastor charged with molesting boy

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

BY BECKY SCHLIKERMAN Staff Reporter June 27, 2014

A former pastor of a west suburban church sexually abused a boy who was his neighbor and a parishioner, Cook County prosecutors said Friday.

John Hays, 57, allegedly abused the victim from the time he was 8-years-old until he was 13, Assistant State’s Attorney Beth Novy told a judge.

Hays, of the 5800 block of West Race, was listed in police records as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of River Forest.

“Beginning when the victim was about 8 years old, the victim would go to the defendant’s house to play video games with the defendant’s sons. While the boys were playing the games, [Hays] would enter the room and place the victim on his lap” and fondle him, Novy said.

Hays played what he called “a tickle game and touch the victim all over the victim’s body,” Novy said.

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Ex-pastor charged with child sex abuse

ILLINOIS
Belleville News-Democrat

The Associated Press
June 27, 2014

CHICAGO — A 57-year-old Chicago man has been charged with abusing a boy for six years.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that (http://bit.ly/1rI2dfY ) John Hays was arrested Thursday on charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. A judge on Friday set bond at $250,000.

Hays is accused of fondling the Chicago boy repeatedly from 2003 through 2009, beginning when the alleged victim was 8 years old. The victim is now 19, and reported the alleged abuse in May.

Prosecutors say Hays was a pastor and neighbor of the victim’s family.

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Jehovah’s Witness leader guilty of rape and seven other indecent assaults

WALES
Wales Online

Jun 27, 2014 By Ciaran Jones

Barry congregation elder and ‘sexual predator’ Mark Sewell, 53, has been convicted of rape and seven counts of indecent assault

A respected Jehovah’s Witnesses church leader was today convicted of a string of sex abuse allegations.

Former Barry congregation elder and “sexual predator” Mark Sewell, 53, denied nine historic sex charges against girls and women in a period spanning more than eight years.

The businessman and former Butlins holiday camp driver faces “a very substantial prison sentence” after a jury at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court convicted him of eight counts, including rape.

The jury first returned unanimous guilty verdicts on five counts of indecent assault against two young girls following more than nine hours of deliberation.

He was also unanimously found not guilty of one count of indecent assault against one of the girls.

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UK- Jehovah Witness predator convicted; SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, June 27, 2014

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

A former Jehovah’s Witness elder has been found guilty of child sex crimes. We are very grateful to his courageous victims. And we are glad that Mark Sewell will be kept away from children, at least for a while.

[Wales Online]

Sewell will be sentenced next month. So it’s not too late for others who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes to step forward and help make sure he’s locked up for a long time.

The internal church “process” followed here was awful. Victims were sworn to silence and had to be in the room with this predator when they reported their pain, both of which are cruel demands to make on brave but deeply-suffering crime victims.

Given the mean-spirited treatment by JW officials, it’s a miracle that Sewell’s victims are willing to cooperate with the secular justice system. We applaud them for doing so. We hope they take some comfort from the jury’s wise decision today.

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Jehovah’s Witness church leader facing jail after being convicted of rape

WALES
Mirror

Jun 28, 2014 By Richard Hartley-Parkinson

Mark Sewell’s victims were forced to face their attacker in ‘judicial’ hearings organised by church elders

A Jehovah’s Witness church leader has been convicted of a string of historic sex charges.

Mark Sewell, 53, of Barry, near Cardiff, was convicted of seven indecent assaults and one rape, between 1987 and 1995.

He faces a “substantial” jail term when sentenced at Merthyr Tydfil crown court on Wednesday.

During his trial, the court heard how Sewell, a former Butlins holiday camp driver, of Porthkerry Road in Barry, used his “position of power” as an elder in the congregation to “exploit and abuse” women and children, according to Wales Online.

Prosecutor Sarah Waters said he had used his influence “to perpetrate such sexual abuse over a number of years for his own sexual gratification”.

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Catholic bishop’s home to be sold, with some of the proceeds to benefit sexual abuse victims

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Reporter

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: June 27, 2014

ALTOONA, Pennsylvania — A Roman Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania says it plans to sell the bishop’s residence, and some of the proceeds will benefit sexual abuse victims.

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown says Bishop Mark L. Bartchak will move into the rectory of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona.

Spokesman Tony DeGol tells The Altoona Mirror (http://bit.ly/1jVWI8s ) that Bartchak’s schedule keeps him away from home frequently. DeGol says the bishop is a “simple man” who “doesn’t need to live in a house that large.”

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Catholic archbishop defrocked by Vatican for sexually abusing teenage boys

VATICAN CITY
Deutche Welle

A Catholic archbishop and papal nuncio has been defrocked after his conviction for sexually abusing teenage boys. He is the most senior Vatican figure to be punished for such a crime.

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s eccleseastical diplomat for the Dominican Republic and former Holy See ambassador, has been defrocked after being convicted of sexually abusing teenage boys.

The Vatican said on Friday that the Polish-born cleric was found guilty of sex abuse by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the modern-day successor to the Inquisition.

The sentence is the harshest penalty the tribunal can rule against a cleric under canon law. It strips him of his duties and status as a priest. Wesolowski could now face criminal charges by the Vatican tribunal with a jail sentence if found guilty.

The Vatican issued a brief statement but gave no information about the crimes themselves or when they were committed.

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Davis priest pleads guilty to sex with minor

CALIFORNIA
Daily Democrat

By Democrat Staff
news@dailydemocrat.com @woodlandnews on Twitter

CREATED: 06/27/2014

A Roman Catholic priest pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl he met while working at a Davis church.

Rev. Hector Coria Gonzales, 45, entered his plea at a conditional hearing Friday morning, where he admitted to one felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

The girl made her first appearance in the courtroom on Friday, stating that “all of the conduct between the two was consensual and there was no abuse or manipulation,” according to the Davis Enterprise.

The girl, identified as “M.L.” in court documents, expressed that she did not want to see the matter prosecuted, and added that she would record her comments in a letter to be read at Gonzales’ sentencing, the Enterprise reported.

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Ex-Vatican envoy defrocked for sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
The Local

The Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been convicted of sex abuse by a church tribunal and defrocked pending further criminal proceedings in the first case of its kind.

Polish archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was recalled to Rome last year amid claims that he sexually abused a number of children in the slums of Santo Domingo, was found guilty by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican said on Friday.

It is the first time that a Vatican ambassador has been defrocked for sexual abuse. Wesolowski, who has two months to appeal, was slapped with the severest punishment possible for a cleric and told he can no longer perform priestly duties.

Once his canonical conviction is definitive he will have to face the Vatican City’s criminal tribunal, which could sentence him to prison in what would be the first such trial for sex abuse within the tiny city state.

The conviction came six months after the UN’s child rights watchdog highlighted Wesolowski’s case as an example of the Vatican’s failure to take concrete actions to prove its commitment to stamp out the abuse of minors by priests.

The sight of the Polish cleric wandering around Rome and lunching in restaurants had sparked fury on social media sites this week.

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 27, 2014

Davis Priest Pleads Guilty to Sex with Teen Girl

CALIFORNIA
KFBK

A Davis priest accused of having sex with a teenage girl has pleaded guilty to one count of sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old.

Hector Coria Gonzales reached a plea agreement with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and will be sentenced to 90 days in jail, three years probation and sexual offender counseling.

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.

Bill Extending Statute of Limitations for Sex Abuse Victims Becomes Law

MASSACHUSETTS
WGGB

[with video]

REGION (WGGB) — A new bill has been signed into law by Governor Deval patrick that extends the statute of limitations for sex abuse victims to file lawsuits against their abusers.

A local woman, Kathy Picard, has been fighting for the change for over a decade.

For Picard, this pen used by Governor Patrick, signifies 12 years of hard nosed work.

“It’s been emotionally up and down, but now it’s awesome. It’s just truly amazing,” Picard explains.

The new statute of limitations law was signed after it unanimously passed the House and Senate. It allows any sex abuse victim up to the age of 53 to file civil charges against their alleged abuser.

“There are people that say that a survivor is not going to get day in court, let perpetrator prove that they did not do what they did.”

A victim herself from ages 7 to 17, Picard filed suit against her stepfather Thursday.

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.

MN-Predatory priest case to be heard by MN Supreme Court

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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

We are thrilled that Minnesota’s highest court will take another look at the criminal abuse case against Fr. Christopher Wenthe of the St. Paul Archdiocese.

[Minnesota Lawyer]

It’s worth noting that the issue here is a legal technicality. There’s little or no doubt that he abused his power and broke the law by sexually exploiting a parishioner. (Whether the constitutionality of that law is ultimately is upheld is the unresolved question.)

It’s also worth noting that there’s still time for others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Wenthe’s crimes to step forward. By doing so, they can help prosecutors, themselves, and others.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

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Vatican Defrocks Dominican Envoy Accused of Abuse

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
JUNE 27, 2014

The Vatican has defrocked its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, an archbishop from Poland who was accused of sexually abusing boys while he served as the pope’s representative in the Caribbean nation.

The former archbishop, Jozef Wesolowski, 65, is the first papal nuncio known to be removed from the priesthood because of accusations of child sexual abuse. The Vatican announced on Friday that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles abuse cases, had recently completed his canonical trial. He has two months to appeal the decision.

He still faces a criminal trial by the Vatican because, as a diplomat, he is a citizen of the Vatican city-state. It would be the first such trial held under new rules for criminal procedures implemented by the Vatican last year and a test of Pope Francis’ resolve to turn a page on the long-running sexual abuse scandal.

Francis will reportedly meet next week in Rome with abuse survivors from Ireland and other countries — the first time as pope that he will personally hear the testimony of those who have suffered abuse by Roman Catholic priests. Abuse survivors and their parents in Buenos Aires, where Francis served as archbishop, said in interviews that they had requested meetings with him to share their stories and were consistently turned down.

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Sex abuse suit against Camden diocese settled

NEW JERSEY
Courier-Post

Jim Walsh, Cherry Hill 4:02 p.m. EDT June 27, 2014

A North Carolina woman has settled a lawsuit against the Diocese of Camden that alleged she was molested by a serial-offender priest in the 1980s.

In fighting the suit, the diocese contended Lisa Syvertson Shanahan waited too long to sue over alleged attacks during her childhood by Thomas Harkins, then a parish priest at St. Anthony of Padua in Hammonton.

The settlement came after a federal judge in March affirmed his ruling that Shanahan could pursue her suit under the state’s Child Sex Abuse Act, which can delay for decades the normal two-year statute of limitations.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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State Supreme Court to reconsider clergy sexual abuse case

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Lawyer

By: Elizabeth Ahlin June 27, 2014

The Minnesota Supreme Court is going to take another look at State v. Christopher Thomas Wenthe, a case that has been reviewed by the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals again.

The case involves Wenthe, a Catholic priest, who was engaged in a sexual relationship with a female parishioner from 2003 to 2005. The alleged abuse was reported to police in 2010. The ensuing criminal case has subjected the state clergy sexual abuse statute to court scrutiny.

In Wenthe’s first appeal from his conviction for third-degree sexual misconduct, the Court of Appeals found the clergy misconduct statute, as applied, to be unconstitutional in violation of the Establishment Clause. The Supreme Court reversed, finding it did not violate the First Amendment, and sent it back to the Court of Appeals to consider the other issues raised on appeal.

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4 lessons we can learn from a church that hired a sex offender

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Boz Tchividjian | Jun 27, 2014

“We’re firm believers in the Bible, so if God’s forgiven you, then we’re in no position to treat you otherwise.”

These are the words of the interim pastor at New Gospel Outreach Church, shortly after learning that the senior pastor was arrested for sexually abusing a fourteen-year-old boy. What is so incredibly dreadful is that the senior pastor was a convicted sex offender when he was hired three years ago. What is so incredibly appalling is that the church knew that when they hired him! Yes, the folks at New Gospel Outreach Church knowingly hired a convicted sex offender as their pastor! This church just doesn’t get it.

At first glance, many who read this news story may dismiss it as an extreme situation and being thankful that their church would never do anything so horrific. Sure, most churches are not knowingly hiring convicted sex offenders to be pastors. That is good! However, churches and faith communities are increasingly faced with decisions related to sex offenders and disclosures of sexual abuse. My hope is that we can all learn from this church that just doesn’t get it. Here are just four lessons:

“The allegations were false”: At the time he was hired, the pastor informed the church of his past conviction and claimed the allegations were false. Despite the fact that a court of law found sufficient evidence to convict this man of a sexual offense against a child, the church preferred to believe his words. I have seldom encountered child sexual abusers who did not claim that the allegations made against them were false. I even prosecuted cases where the defendant gave a full confession to law enforcement as he maintained his innocence to friends and family. Anytime we are dealing with someone who has been prosecuted for sexually abusing a child, we don’t have the luxury to accept his or her words of denial. Here are some basic steps anyone can take to guard against being deceived:

* Review the court file. If a person has been prosecuted, the courthouse will have a file of their case that is available for review. Oftentimes, these court files contain critical information about the offender that he or she would prefer you never read.

* Speak with the investigator. Every child sexual abuse case is assigned a lead investigator who knows more about the case than anyone else. Though they may be limited in what they can share with you (though I have found that most are happy to tell you what they know), they will certainly be able to confirm or deny what the offender has told you about the allegations.

* Meet with the probation officer. If the offender is or has ever been on probation for the offense, a probation officer will have supervised them. This person will not only be very familiar with the facts of the criminal case, but they will be in the best position to give you a current assessment of the offender’s character and behavior.

It is time for our faith communities to stop placing greater value on the words of sex offenders than the bodies and souls of our children. This church just doesn’t get it.

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Holy See: “It’s only natural the Pope should suffer fatigue given the life he leads”

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The Vatican explains why the Pope missed today’s scheduled visit to Rome’s “Agostino Gemelli” hospital: “It was his own decision to postpone his visit to the Gemelli”

GIACOMO GALEAZZI
VATICAN CITY

“His fatigue is down to the intense and busy life he leads. This is not the first time a visit has been called off.” This was the explanation the Vatican gave for the Pope’s no-show at Rome’s “Agostino Gemelli” hospital where a large crowd of faithful excitedly awaited his arrival this afternoon. In doing so, the Vatican slashed speculations regarding the Pope’s health, straight away.

“Even before his visit to the Holy Land the Pope decided by himself not to complete his scheduled visit the Sanctuary of Divine Love.” “And again now, the Holy Father decided of his own accord not to go.”

Francis’ decision not to visit the University of the Sacred Heart’s Rome campus is down to an “unexpected indisposition”, at the end of a very trying week.

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Vatican Laicizes Archbishop Josef Wesolowski for Sex Abuse of Minors

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

by EDWARD PENTIN 06/27/2014

VATICAN CITY — A former papal diplomat has been convicted of sexually abusing minors and has been laicized, the Vatican announced today.

The news comes ahead of an expected meeting between Pope Francis and victims of clerical sex abuse at the Vatican next week.

In a statement, the Vatican said the first stage in the canonical trial against Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, a former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic, “has been concluded with the laicization of the prelate” and that he has “two months in which to make an eventual appeal.”

It added that the penal trial before the Vatican judicial authorities, following today’s ruling by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “will continue as soon as the canonical sentence has been made definitive.”

This further trial is necessary since, as a papal diplomat, he is a citizen of Vatican City.

Wesolowski, 66, is the most senior Vatican official to be investigated for alleged sex abuse. Until now, the Vatican has refrained from commenting on the charges against him and the exact nature of his offenses is not yet known.

Responding to media reports, the Vatican stressed that Wesolowski has until now been granted “relative freedom of movement, as he awaits the verification by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith of the basis of these accusations made against him.”

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INTL- Who’s watching defrocked predator archbishop now? SNAP asks

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, June 27, 2014

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, Western Regional Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 949.322.7434, jcasteix@gmail.com )

The Vatican is now disciplining another type of child molesting cleric – a diplomat (Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski). That’s a new twist on an old pattern – Catholic officials dealing with those who commit child sex crimes while ignoring those who conceal child sex crimes.

[Telegraph]

We suspect that one reason Vatican officials are taking action in this case is because, according to the International Business Times, “a 13-year-old boy has said that the archbishop paid him to masturbate in his presence and filmed the act on his mobile phone.” We suspect there’s a real fear that, if true, footage like this could surface publicly.

[International Business Times]

If the cops bust a street corner drug dealer – whether tall or short, young or old, left-handed or right-handed – but refuse to even try to bust the enablers, the big suppliers, the kingpins, little real progress will happen.

But this is precisely what church officials do – refuse to go after the source: the bishops who keep helping predators and endanger kids.

And with each iteration, each new “type” of child molesting cleric who is disciplined, many get unduly excited.

“This is big! This predator is high profile.”

“This is big! This predator heads a religious order.”

“This is big! This predator is close to the Pope.”

“This is big! This predator is X or Y or Z.”

And very little changes, because this crisis is more about the “big fish” than the “small fry.”

Finally, we desperately hope that we are proven wrong, but we worry that Wesolowski may flee. Dozens of child molesting clerics have evaded justice by simply jumping on a plane. Some are found years later, often in positions (paid or volunteer, inside or outside of the church) where they’re around kids. We hope Vatican officials have jailed or will soon jail Wesolowski so this can’t happen. Having a priest or a nun allegedly “monitor” him is a recipe for disaster.

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St. Ignatius: Settlement talks ordered …

MONTANA
Missoulian

St. Ignatius: Settlement talks ordered in Catholic school, parish sex-abuse case

By MATT VOLZ, Associated Press

HELENA — The Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province have found a lender willing to put up money to allow the order to begin settlement negotiations with hundreds of people who claim they were abused by priests and nuns in Montana, an attorney said Thursday.

The disclosure by Ursulines attorney Thomas Johnson comes less than three weeks before the first in a series of trials against the order was to get underway.

District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock pushed the July 14 trial date to Dec. 1 to allow the attorneys for the Ursulines and the plaintiffs in the two lawsuits to hold talks. If significant progress has not been made after 45 days, the judge may order the sides to meet with a mediator, he said in a court hearing Thursday.

The Ursulines and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena are defendants in the lawsuits filed by 362 people who say they were abused between the 1940s and 1970s.

The case against the diocese was put on hold after it filed for bankruptcy as part of a proposed $15 million settlement. The Ursulines are not a part of the settlement and the claims against them are going forward.

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TX- Archdiocese move is “too little, too late”

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, June 27, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy, director of SNAP, 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

The San Antonio Archdiocese has notified some of its flock about an admitted pedophile priest.

(see today’s Express News).

Thirty five years ago, Fr. Bruce MacArthur was sentenced to state prison for trying to rape a disabled woman in a nursing home.

Twenty two years ago, Fr. Bruce MacArthur admitting to Catholic officials that he raped girls.

Only now, however, does San Antonio’s bishop take even the tiniest of steps to share that information.

Parents and parishioners deserve better.

MacArthur was moved across 20 assignments in seven dioceses, four states and two countries. Four bishops in Texas alone transferred him. His sordid history has been on a widely-known and trusted website called BishopAccountability.org for at least a decade.

But San Antonio Catholic officials only act now, when a victim forces their hand. We can’t help but wonder how many other serial child molesting clerics are in or have been in the archdiocese but whose crimes and whereabouts continue to be hidden by archdiocesan staffers, past and present.

Finally, the grudging, belated and small archdiocesan notice about MacArthur urged people to call church officials. That’s a continuation of a decades-old pattern in which Catholic figures want to handle clergy sex crimes internally. It’s secular officials, not church officials, who should be contacted with information about crimes. It’s police and prosecutors, not priests and bishops, who should be told about crimes.

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Catholic archbishop defrocked by Vatican for sexually abusing teenage boys

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (UK)

By Nick Squires, Rome 27 Jun 2014

A Catholic archbishop and former Holy See ambassador has been defrocked after being convicted of sexually abusing teenage boys, making him the most senior Vatican figure to be punished for such a crime.

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was the Vatican’s nuncio or ambassador to the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, was found guilty of sex abuse by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the modern-day successor to the Inquisition.

The tribunal handed down the harshest penalty possible against a cleric under canon law, stripping him of his duties and status as a priest.

In a brief statement, the Vatican gave no information about what crimes Wesolowski had been convicted of, where and when the offences took place or how many boys were involved.

The punishment was immediately questioned by groups representing past victims of clerical paedophilia, who said the archbishop should face a criminal trial by civil authorities rather than a behind-closed-doors Vatican judicial process. …

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the world’s biggest group representing clerical sex abuse victims, said: “It’s encouraging when child-molesting clerics are disciplined, but we are troubled by the Vatican’s continued insistence on handling child sex crimes internally.

“Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski should face a criminal trial, not a church proceeding. And he should be in a secular jail. And he might have been in one for months, had Vatican officials cooperated with law enforcement.” The campaign group said Wesolowski should be extradited to the Dominican Republic or Poland, both of which are investigating the accusations against him, but said it suspected he would be protected by the Vatican.

“If this Vatican move leads to Wesolowski being locked up, we’ll be encouraged. However, we fear that it won’t.” The former archbishop is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be found guilty of sex abuse.

In a 75-page document released by the Vatican on Thursday, which will prepare the way for a conference in October on issues such as contraception and divorce, the Catholic Church hierarchy admitted that it had been gravely damaged by the scandal of paedophile priests.

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Vatican diplomat Jozef Wesolowski convicted of sexual abuse, defrocked from the priesthood

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

Josephine McKenna | Jun 27, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A former Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, has been defrocked and is likely to face criminal prosecution at the Vatican after a church inquiry convicted him of child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, former nuncio to the Dominican Republic, is pictured during a 2011 ceremony in Santo Domingo. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found the archbishop guilty of sexual abuse of minors and has ordered that he be laicized.

Wesolowski, who is originally from Poland, was removed from his post in the Dominican Republic and recalled to the Vatican in August amid claims that he had abused boys in Santo Domingo.

The 65-year-old envoy is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be investigated for sex abuse. He was found guilty after an inquiry conducted by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which has jurisdiction over all sex abuse cases in the Roman Catholic Church.

In a brief statement released Friday (June 27), the Vatican said the verdict was issued “in the past few days” and the former diplomat was facing arrest due to the “gravity of the case.”

“Measures will be taken so he is in a precise restricted location, without any freedom of movement, since he has been found guilty of a serious crime and is awaiting further legal action,” said the Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

A bishop from the Dominican Republic was recently reported to say that he was shocked to see Wesolowski walking freely on the streets of central Rome. Prosecutors there have said they have convincing evidence that the prelate molested young men.

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Vatican laicizes former nuncio in connection to abuse allegations

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A Vatican investigation has led to the expulsion of a former Vatican ambassador from the priesthood in response to allegations of sexually abusing minors.

Polish Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the former nuncio to the Dominican Republic, was sentenced with laicization after a canonical process conducted by the Vatican Congregation of the Doctrine for the Faith, the Vatican said in a written statement June 27.

The 65-year-old archbishop has two months to appeal the decision.

The Vatican City criminal court’s own trial of the archbishop will begin once the canonical process concludes, the statement said.

Given the fact that the archbishop has been “dismissed from the clerical state,” the Vatican said, “all measures appropriate to the gravity of the case” would be taken while he is awaiting his criminal trial.

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Vatican Defrocks Ex-Ambassador for Abuse of Minors

VATICAN CITY
Wall Street Journal

By LIAM MOLONEY
June 27, 2014

ROME—The Vatican has ordered the defrocking—the maximum penalty for a member of the clergy—of its highest-level official in recent times for the alleged sexual abuse of minors, as the Catholic Church is determined to show its no-tolerance policy toward clerical abusers.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog, ordered in recent days that Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Holy See’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, be laicized following a canonical trial, said the Holy See in a statement.

The ruling means that he is forbidden from exercising his priesthood activities.

“He has been found guilty of being a pedophile,” said Rev. Ciro Benedettini, deputy head of the Holy See press office.

Archbishop Wesolowski, 65 years old, has two months to appeal the guilty finding, said the Vatican. Should the appeal confirm the defrocking, he can ultimately turn to Pope Francis to seek a reversal of the decision.

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Cesan por estupro a otro sacerdote potosino

MEXICO
Revista Punt de Vist

[Summary: The Potosina archdiocese has suspended two priests who are accused of sexual abuse. Benjamin Moreno Aguirre, who heads the Commission for Justice and Care of Victims of Child Sexual Abuse, revealed yesterday, that one priest is Noe Trujillo, who was at Our Lady of Solitude parish in the municipality of Soledad de Graciano Sanchez. He is accused of raping a minor. The second is Francisco Javier Castillo Rios, who was suspended a month-and-a-half ago. He was pastor in the Ojocaliente community.]

MEXICO.- La Arquidiócesis Potosina suspendió a dos sacerdotes por acusaciones de abuso sexual a menores.

Benjamín Moreno Aguirre, encargado de la Comisión de Justicia y Atención a Víctimas de Pederastia, reveló ayer que uno es Noé Trujillo, quien estaba en la Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, en el Municipio de Soledad de Graciano Sánchez.

Trujillo está acusado del delito de estupro en contra de un menor, a quien según la versión de la madre de la víctima, el sacerdote contactó por Facebook para después abusar de él.

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Former Nuncio Wesolowski reduced to lay state following paedophilia accusations

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The first phase of the Jozef Wesolowski’s canonical trial is over. Now the Polish archbishop risks arrest. The Pope had recalled him from his post in the Dominican Republic as a result of the accusations

DOMENICO AGASSO JR
TURIN

The former Apostolic Nuncio of the Dominican Republic, Mgr. Josef Wesolowski has been reduced to the pay state in the first stage of his canonical trial. The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith is verifying his case. The Holy See press office issued a statement today informing that the sentence had been passed. The 66-year-old Polish archbishop had been Nuncio in Santo Domingo since 2008 and had begun his diplomatic career during John Paul II’s pontificate. Pope Francis relieved him of his duties about a year ago, after the archbishop was accused of acts of paedophilia in the Dominican Republic.

Wesolowski now has two months to present an appeal if he wishes to; Vatican criminal proceedings will begin once the canonical sentence is definitive.

The Vatican pointed out that “until now Msgr. Wesolowski has been granted relative freedom of movement, as he awaits the verification by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith of the basis of these accusations made against him” and that “considering the sentence passed by the aforementioned dicastery, all the necessary procedures will be adopted in relation to the former nuncio, in conformity with the gravity of the case.”

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Retired priest found guilty of assaulting boy

IRELAND
RTE News

A 70-year-old retired priest has been found guilty of an indecent assault on a young boy at a boarding school in Cork in 1979.

Fr Tadhg Ó Dalaigh, with an address in Woodview, Mount Merrion Blackrock Co Dublin was found guilty by a unanimous decision.

The jury of ten men and two women at Cork Circuit Criminal Court found him guilty of the sexual assault of the then 16-year-boy old while he was a teacher at Coláiste Chroí Naofa in Carrignavar, County Cork.

The court had been told Fr Ó Dalaigh assaulted the boy while he was in the sick bay at the boarding school between March and April 1979.

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El exnuncio de R. Dominicana acusado de pederastia, expulsado del sacerdocio

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
ABC (Espana)

27-06-2014 / 15:11 h EFE

El que fuera nuncio en la República Dominicana entre enero de 2008 y agosto de 2013, el polaco Jozef Wesolowski, acusado de pederastia durante su estancia en ese país, fue expulsado del sacerdocio tras un proceso canónico, informó hoy el Vaticano.

El proceso celebrado ante la Congregación de la Doctrina de la Fe (el ex Santo Oficio) concluyó en los pasados días y ahora el sacerdote tendrá dos meses para recurrir la sentencia, agregó la Santa Sede.

El proceso penal ante los órganos judiciales vaticanos, al ser Wesolowski un diplomático de la Santa Sede, comenzará sólo cuando la sentencia del Santo Oficio sea definitiva, añade la nota.

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El Vaticano expulsa a un ex arzobispo abusador

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
Clarin

El arzobispo polaco Josef Wesolowski -destituido por el papa Francisco de su cargo embajador vaticano en República Dominicana a raíz de las graves acusaciones por abusos sexuales a menores- fue expulsado del sacerdocio tras un proceso canónico, informó hoy el Vaticano.

“La Congregación por la doctrina de la fe ha condenado a la dimisión de su función clerical al ex nuncio apostólico en República Dominicana, Josef Wesolowski”, indicó un comunicado de la Santa Sede. Y agregó: “El acusado tiene dos meses para apelar”. El proceso penal ante los órganos judiciales vaticanos, al ser Wesolowski un diplomático de la Santa Sede, comenzará sólo cuando la sentencia del Santo Oficio sea definitiva.

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Arcybiskup Wesołowski wyrzucony z kapłaństwa. Przed nim proces karny

WATYKAN
Gazeta Wyborcza

Taką informację podało biuro prasowe Watykanu. Wesołowski został uznany za winnego i przeniesiony do stanu świeckiego wyrokiem trybunału działającego przy watykańskiej Kongregacji Nauki Wiary. Może się od tej decyzji odwołać do drugiej instancji.

W oficjalnym komunikacie Watykanu czytamy, że arcybiskup może odwołać się od tej decyzji w ciągu dwóch miesięcy. Stolica Apostolska zapewnia również, że proces karny, który toczy się w Watykanie, rozpocznie się tak szybko, jak to możliwe.

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“To krok, który pomoże Kościołowi wydobyć się z grzechu pedofilii”

WATYKAN
TVN 24 (Polska)

– Ta decyzja musiała być uzasadniona poważnymi oskarżeniami o pedofilię – ocenił b. sekretarz KEP bp Tadeusz Pieronek, mówiąc o wydaleniu ze stanu duchownego b. nuncjusza apostolskiego na Dominikanie abp. Józefa Wesołowskiego.

Bp Tadeusz Pieronek mówił, że jeżeli Kościół opowiada się zasadą “zero tolerancji dla pedofilii, to w każdym przypadku”. – Sądzę, że jest to krok, który pomoże Kościołowi wydobyć się z tego grzechu – zaznaczył.

– Jeżeli taka decyzja została podjęta przez Stolicę Apostolską w sprawie wydalenia abp. Wesołowskiego ze stanu duchownego, to musiała być ona uzasadniona poważnymi oskarżeniami o pedofilię popełnionymi przez niego – podkreślił biskup Pieronek.

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Ex-Vatican envoy convicted of child sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Press TV (Iran)

The Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been defrocked and convicted of child sex abuse by a church tribunal.

The Holy See said Friday that Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski was found guilty by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and could no longer perform priestly duties.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Wesolowski would also be stripped of his freedom of movement.

The ruling makes Wesolowski the first top papal representative to be convicted of child sex abuse.

The former envoy has two months to appeal. As a papal diplomat and citizen of the Vatican City State, he also faces criminal charges by the tribunal of Vatican City, which could put him behind bars.

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Pope Francis, 77, cancels visit to Rome hospital; 2nd time in as many weeks he scales back

VATICAN CITY
Daily Reporter

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: June 27, 2014

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has canceled a planned visit to one of Rome’s main hospitals — the latest in a string of ailments that have raised questions about the 77-year-old pontiff’s health.

Francis had been due to visit the Gemelli hospital and celebrate a Mass there Friday afternoon. But nearly an hour after he was due to arrive, the Vatican issued a statement saying he was cancelling the trip due to an “unexpected indisposition.”

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Vatican tribunal convicts former envoy of sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

A tribunal in the Vatican has convicted the former papal envoy to the Dominican Republic of sex abuse and stripped him of the priesthood.

Jozef Wesolowski, who is originally from Poland, was recalled by the Church last year amid claims that he had abused boys in Santo Domingo.

Wesolowski is the highest-ranking Vatican official to have been investigated for sex abuse.

Pope Francis has urged the Church to root out and punish abuse by priests.

Wesolowski had served as envoy to the Dominican Republic for five years. He was ordained as a priest and bishop by his compatriot, Pope John Paul II.

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Ex-Vatican envoy defrocked for sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Rappler

AFP

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been convicted of sex abuse by a church tribunal and defrocked pending further criminal proceedings in the first case of its kind.

Polish archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was recalled to Rome last year amid claims that he sexually abused a number of children in the slums of Santo Domingo, was found guilty by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican said on Friday.

It is the first time that a Vatican ambassador has been defrocked for sexual abuse. Wesolowski, who has two months to appeal, was slapped with the severest punishment possible for a cleric and told he can no longer perform priestly duties.

Once his canonical conviction is definitive he will have to face the Vatican City’s criminal tribunal, which could sentence him to prison in what would be the first such trial for sex abuse within the tiny city state.

The conviction came 6 months after the UN’s child rights watchdog highlighted Wesolowski’s case as an example of the Vatican’s failure to take concrete actions to prove its commitment to stamp out the abuse of minors by priests.

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‘Yah’-worshipping Christians locked teen in basement for months for stealing DVD player

GEORGIA
The Raw Story

By Travis Gettys
Friday, June 27, 2014

A former college football star and his wife have been charged with keeping the eldest of their 10 children locked alone in a basement room for nearly two years as punishment for stealing.

Recardo Wimbush Sr., 33, and Therian Cornelia Wimbush, 37, told authorities they confined the 13-year-old to the basement because he’d taken the family DVD player and then lied about it.

“The victim had been confined to the room for most of the past two years and a lock had been added to the victim’s room in January 2013,” said Cpl. Jake Smith, a spokesman for Gwinnett police. “The victim had no access to books, toys, entertainment devices, or his siblings.”

The investigation began after an anonymous phone call was made to child protective services, reporting the boy was held in a small room with a large jar to use as a makeshift toilet. …

A family website – “You’ve Been Wimbushed!” — indicates the parents are devout Christians who use the Hebrew names for God – “Yah” – and other biblical figures and advocate continual prayer.

Their next-door neighbor said the couple were strict disciplinarians who did not celebrate Christmas, handed out Bibles at Halloween, and displayed religious messages on their front door.

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INTL- Vatican move on Polish archbishop raises questions

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, June 27, 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 )

It’s encouraging when child molesting clerics are disciplined, but we are troubled by the Vatican’s continued insistence on handling child sex crimes internally. Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski should face a criminal trial, not a church proceeding. And he should be in a secular jail. And he might have been in one for months, had Vatican officials cooperated with law enforcement.

[ABC News]

Children are safest when predators are imprisoned. But just a few days ago a bishop reported seeing Wesolowski walking unsupervised in the Vatican. For all we know, Wesolowski could have molested a child last night.

Vatican officials claim they’re “taking adequate measures” with Wesolowski now. We can’t help but be skeptical, however. For decades, hundreds of Catholic officials have repeatedly claimed they were keeping predators away from children but later those claims were proven false and more children were assaulted.

Ask yourself: would you prefer that your child’s rapist lose his job title or lose his freedom? Kids need us to focus on outcomes, not processes. If this Vatican move leads to Wesolowski being locked up, we’ll be encouraged. However, we fear that it won’t.

We fear that when Wesolowski is finally and formally defrocked, Vatican officials will say they can’t order or extradite him to Poland or the Dominican Republic to face charges. It will be tragic if that happens.

Six months ago, the Associated Press said that this case “has raised questions about whether the Vatican, by removing him from Dominican jurisdiction, was protecting him and placing its own investigations ahead of that of authorities in the Caribbean nation.” (Polish secular authorities are also investigating Wesolowski.)

Those questions remain unanswered.

Some will speak enthusiastically about how “unprecedented” this move is. But there’s nothing new about Catholic officials defrocking a child molesting cleric. (This is, we believe, only the second time that’s happened with a bishop.) When the Vatican defrocks enabling church supervisors for ignoring and hiding child sex crimes that will be real progress.

And again, there’s nothing new about Catholic officials rebuffing police and prosecutors – as they appear to be doing with Wesolowski – and refusing to let the secular justice system safeguard children.

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Priest who found refuge in S.A. had record of molesting girls

TEXAS
San Antonio Express News

By Abe Levy

June 26, 2014

SAN ANTONIO — The Archdiocese of San Antonio has deemed credible a woman’s recent claim that a priest sexually abused her in the late 1970s when she was a girl, according to notices it circulated this month in its newspaper, its website and at two parishes.

In the course of reviewing the allegation, the archdiocese said, it discovered that a now-deceased priest who had worked at that time in two local parishes had been convicted of molesting and raping a child in Wisconsin and of attempted rape of an adult.

The wording of the notice implies that archdiocese officials believe the late Father Bruce MacArthur was the woman’s abuser, but it does not explicitly say so.

An archdiocese spokesman would not elaborate on the notice, which says MacArthur was assigned to the parish where she was abused — St. James the Apostle on the South Side.

The notice was circulated at both St. James and St. Dominic parishes, where the archdiocese says MacArthur worked from 1979 to 1984.

“I pledge my commitment to continue working to make every Catholic Church, school and institution a safe harbor for all our children,” the notice quotes Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller saying. He also asks that any victim of MacArthur contact the archdiocese.

It was the first time the archdiocese made MacArthur’s name public as a child sex offender.

However, his supervising bishops, including now-retired San Antonio Archbishop Patrick Flores, knew he had a record of child sex offenses dating to the 1960s, documents from lawsuits against him in 2004 and 2007 show.

He underwent multiple stints at treatment centers between assignments in South Dakota, Wisconsin and Texas, say the court documents, which describe him admitting to molesting or raping at least 15 girls.

He called himself a “rotten priest” and asked his bishop to ban him from public ministry in 1992, the documents state.

The documents show MacArthur was sentenced to state prison in 1979 for attempted rape of a disabled woman in a nursing home in El Paso. Flores met him when he was El Paso’s bishop in 1978, the records say, a year before he became San Antonio’s archbishop.

He pleaded guilty in 2008 to three counts of molesting girls in Wisconsin and was sentenced to six months in jail. MacArthur died two years ago at age 89 in Clint, a Texas border town just south of El Paso.

Tahira Khan Merritt, a Fort Worth attorney who has sued dioceses in Texas on behalf of child sex abuse clients, described MacArthur’s case an example of how the church’s sex abuse scandal has been ongoing.

Catholic leaders allowed MacArthur to stay under the radar as a child sex offender for decades without reporting him to law enforcement, she said.

“There are these ‘benevolent bishops’ they talk about in these documents who take in these sexual predators,” Merritt said. “It is putting more children in harm’s way and not advising parishioners of the danger of these men. In 2014, why is this not publicized more widely?”

MacArthur was raised in a Catholic family in Selby, South Dakota in 1922. In 1953, he was ordained to the Diocese of Sioux Falls.

A decade later, he was pastor of St. Peter the Apostle parish in Platte, South Dakota, where he sexually abused three girls, sisters, at their home. The oldest he took to a hotel for one episode, a 2004 lawsuit deposition states. He molested the other two in his rectory, he admitted.

His supervisor then, Sioux Falls Bishop Lambert Hoch, sent him for two weeks’ treatment at Via Coeli in New Mexico, a common destination for pedophile priests.

He resurfaced at St. William’s parish in Ramona, South Dakota, where two girls, 10 and 11, claimed he touched them inappropriately.

“Keep it as quiet as possible,” wrote a priest to the bishop in relaying the wishes of the girls’ parents for MacArthur to be transferred.

By 1965, he was on a retreat in an abbey for his problem. His bishop sent him to the Milwaukee archdiocese and treatment there.

By his third ministry assignment in Wisconsin, at a hospital in Beaver Dam, he had abused 11 girls, by his own count. He regularly had sex with one girl in Wisconsin for about five years, starting in fifth grade and ending in high school, he admitted.

Back in South Dakota, MacArthur sexually abused three more girls, according to his deposition.

In 1973, he said, his bishop “indirectly” assigned him to El Paso because of pedophilia. There, he ministered in hospitals but also worked at St. Patrick Cathedral — where he molested another girl, court documents state.

Arrested in January 1978, he was convicted a year later of attempted rape of a female nursing home patient. The woman was 51, mute and unable to walk. MacArthur was on probation while in San Antonio and the record is not clear when he went to prison. He testified he was released March 26, 1981.

While in San Antonio, he was in therapy. Flores agreed to have him serve here, encouraged by the Sioux Falls bishop, who indicated MacArthur’s past was too well known in his diocese for him to return.

At one point, Flores considered MacArthur’s request to officially transfer to the San Antonio archdiocese.

“If he is willing to work with us and if it works out, I am definitely willing to work with him,” Flores wrote.

According to the San Antonio archdiocese, MacArthur worked at St. James from 1979 to 1980 and from 1982 to 1984, and at St. Dominic from 1980 to 1982.

He went on to join the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, traveling to Africa and ministering at a parish in Brownsville and near Saltillo, Mexico. He then found a supporter in now retired San Angelo Bishop Michael Pfeiffer, also an Oblate, who gave him temporary work.

Bishop Paul Dudley of Sioux Falls wrote Pfeiffer in 1990 that MacArthur “had extensive counseling in dealing with the sexual issues that has afflicted him in the past. … You know his background far better than even I do.”

But two years later, Dudley warned Pfeiffer to keep a close watch on MacArthur, citing the rise of lawsuits and news coverage of pedophile priests. And, he wrote, “Just a few days ago, a woman called me expressing such fear and worry that Father Bruce might abuse some child as she was abused.”

MacArthur formally asked for retirement and removal from public ministry, which was granted Aug. 21, 1992.

Two years later, he mailed a letter from Clint to his former bishop, Dudley. He said he had been living in a small trailer and working at a soup kitchen for Navajos, volunteering alongside nuns from Mother Theresa’s order.

“It is here I have learned to pray always as they do,” he wrote. “I would say that this mild yet constant retreat was at times uplifting and at other times extremely depressing, for I was forced to look at my terrible history. I was ashamed at my many, many acts of abuse and the many devastating and painful repercussions on yourself and the priests of the diocese.”

In 2004, he was living at RECON in Robertsville, Missouri, another common treatment destination for pedophile priests. He had been there for 15 months, he said in his deposition that year, and had been living in Gallup, New Mexico.

At one point in the deposition, he tried to differentiate himself from more violent pedophiles.

“They’d kill ’em, they’d maim and they’d rape, and they’d — that’s the reason I — I couldn’t take what I did as wrong,” he said. “I just continued. I was immersed in — what I did. And I knew I was doing wrong, but I had no way of stopping, none whatsoever.”

alevy@express-news.net

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Vatican defrocks archbishop accused of sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jun. 27, 2014

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ordered the laicization of an archbishop-ambassador accused of paying for sex with minors.

Józef Wesołowski, former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic, will have two months to prepare an appeal to the ruling, which was announced in a brief statement from the Vatican on Friday.

The former nuncio, who the Vatican did not refer to as an archbishop in the statement, was removed from his post in August with little explanation. News accounts days afterward detailed allegations of paying for sex with minors and being connected to a Polish priest accused of sexually assaulting at least 14 underage boys.

Yet Friday’s statement does not declare Wesołowski guilty of any specific crime. It states that the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation has finished the first part of a canonical process against him and sentenced him to dismissal from the clerical state.

Criminal proceedings against the former nuncio, the statement continues, will continue after the conclusion of the appeal process.

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Ex Vatican envoy to Dominican Republic convicted of sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Dominican Today

Vatican City.- Bishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s ex-ambassador to Dominican Republic was convicted by church court of sexually abusing boys in the Caribbean nation, and defrocked, AP reports.

The conviction comes just 48 hours after Santo Domingo Archdiocese Auxiliary bishop Victor Masalles complained that he had seen Wesolowski roaming the streets of Rome.

The Vatican said Wesolowski was found guilty by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in recent days, and sentenced to the harshest penalty possible against a cleric under canon law: laicization, meaning he can no longer perform priestly duties or present himself as a priest.

AP reports that Wesolowski has two months to appeal. As a papal diplomat and citizen of the Vatican City State, he also faces criminal charges by the tribunal of Vatican City, which can carry a prison term. The Vatican said it would take “adequate measures” to ensure he doesn’t flee pending the outcome of that investigation.

The Polish-born Wesolowski was recalled on Aug. 21, and relieved him of his job after Santo Domingo archbishop and Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez told Pope Francis about rumors that Wesolowski had sexually abused teenage boys in the Dominican capital.

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Priest convicted of sexual abuse at Cork boarding school

IRELAND
Irish Times

Barry Roche

Fri, Jun 27, 2014

A retired priest has been remanded on bail for sentence after he was today convicted of sexually assaulting a pupil while teaching at a boarding school in Co Cork in the 1970s.

Fr Tadhg O’Dalaigh had denied a single charge of indecently assaulting a 16-year-old boy while teaching at Colaiste Chroi Naofa in Carrignavar, Co Cork on an unknown date in 1979.

The state alleged O’Dalaigh (70) indecently assaulted the boy by masturbating him while he was in sick bay in the boarding school on a date between March 1st and April 30th 1979.

Today, a jury of ten men and two women at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, unanimously found O Dalaigh guilty of the sole charge after just two hours of deliberation.

Judge Donagh McDonagh remanded O’Dalaigh, a member of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, on bail for sentence for the offence on October 31st.

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Vatican: Ex-envoy guilty of child sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
KSPR

By Hada Messia and Laura Smith-Spark CNN
POSTED: 08:54 AM CDT Jun 27, 2014

ROME (CNN) –
A former Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been found guilty of sexual abuse of minors by a Vatican tribunal, the Vatican said in a statement Friday.

Jozef Wesolowski was accused of sexual abuse of minors while serving in the Caribbean nation, the statement said.

The tribunal sentenced him to “dismissal from the clerical order,” it said. He has the right to appeal within two months.

Once the canonical process has been concluded, he will then be tried by the Vatican’s penal courts, according to the statement.

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‘Child Abuse’ Archbishop Josef Wesolowski Defrocked in Vatican Trial Sentencing

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Umberto Bacchi
June 27, 2014

The former Holy See envoy to the Dominican Republic has been convicted and defrocked over child abuse in an unprecedented trial at the Vatican.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office tasked with overseeing the Church’s integrity, also known as the Holy Office, found Polish archbishop Josef Wesolowski guilty of sex abuse during his tenure as papal nuncio in Santo Domingo.

The canonical trial’s verdict conferred a sentence of laicization – the banishment of a priest from the clergy. It is the harshest penalty possible the Holy Office can hand to a cleric.

The 66-year-old is also facing the prospect of imprisonment in the Vatican’s tiny jail, as, when all appeals are exhausted, he will be tried by a criminal tribunal of the city state.

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OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 27 June 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Msgr. Steven John Raica as bishop of Gaylord (area 28,932, population 546,000, Catholics 75,100, priests 80, permanent deacons 22, religious 33), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Munising, U.S.A. in 1952, and was ordained a priest in 1978. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in religious studies from the University of Detroit, and a licentiate and doctorate from the Gregorian Pontifical University of Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including priest of the “Holy Family Parish”, Ovid; co-rector of the St. Mary Cathedral, Lansing; priest of the “St. Mary Parish”, Charlotte; judge of the diocesan tribunal; diocesan consultor; member of the presbyteral council, priest of the “St. Ann Parish”, Bellevue; chaplain of the Olivet College, Olivet; and superior of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Rome. He is currently chancellor of the diocese of Lansing.

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CANONICAL TRIAL OF EX NUNCIO JOZEF WESOLOWSKI

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 27 June 2014 (VIS) – The first stage in the canonical trial against the former apostolic nuncio in the Dominican Republic, Josef Wesolowski, has been concluded with the laicisation of the prelate.

From this moment, the accused has two months in which to make an eventual appeal. The penal trial before the Vatican judicial authorities will continue as soon as the canonical sentence has been made definitive.

Finally, with reference to recent media reports, it is necessary to specify that until now Msgr. Wesolowski has been granted relative freedom of movement, as he awaits the verification by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith of the basis of these accusations made against him.

Considering the sentence passed by the aforementioned dicastery, all the necessary procedures will be adopted in relation to the former nuncio, in conformity with the gravity of the case.

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Schadevergoeding voor zware mishandelingen in Rooms-Katholieke kerk

NEDERLAND
Omroepwest

[Summary: More than 350 people have received compensation for physical and/or psychological violence done within the Roman Catholic Church. The abuse occured between 1945-2010. Each received the maximum amount of 5,000 euros.]

DEN HAAG – Ruim 350 mensen krijgen een schadevergoeding voor fysiek en/of psychisch geweld dat hen is aangedaan binnen de Rooms-Katholieke kerk. Het gaat om gebeurtenissen in de periode 1945-2010. Het totale bedrag van de schadevergoeding bedraagt één miljoen euro, slachtoffers krijgen maximaal een bedrag van 5.000 euro per persoon.

Getroffenen hebben te maken gehad met zware tot lichte mishandelingen. Zo is er onder meer melding gemaakt van overgieten met hete soep, kots oplikken van de grond, ijzeren liniaal tussen benen stoppen, heet water anaal en vaginaal inbrengen, broek over het hoofd na bedplassen en contact met ouders verbieden. Het rapport met meer voorbeelden is hier te vinden.

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Vatican ex-ambassador convicted of sex abuse, defrocked, first time for a top papal envoy

AUSTRALIA
TribTown

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press
First Posted: June 27, 2014

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been convicted by a church tribunal of sex abuse and has been defrocked, the first such sentence handed down against a top papal representative.

The Vatican said Friday that Monsignor Jozef Wesolowski was found guilty by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in recent days, and sentenced to the harshest penalty possible against a cleric: laicization, meaning he can no longer perform priestly duties or present himself as a priest.

Wesolowski has two months to appeal. He also faces other charges by the criminal tribunal of Vatican City, since as a papal diplomat he is a citizen of the tiny city state.

The Holy See recalled the Polish-born Wesolowski on Aug. 21, 2013, and relieved him of his job after the archbishop of Santo Domingo, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez, told Pope Francis about rumors that Wesolowski had sexually abused teenage boys in the Dominican Republic.

Dominican authorities subsequently opened an investigation, but haven’t charged him. Poland, too, opened an investigation into Wesolowski and a friend and fellow Polish priest.

Wesolowski is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be investigated for alleged sex abuse, and his case raised questions about whether the Vatican, by removing him from Dominican jurisdiction, was protecting him and placing its own investigations ahead of that of authorities in the Caribbean nation.

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JOANNE McCARTHY: Last line of defence

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By Joanne McCarthy June 27, 2014

AT a meeting where I spoke this week I was asked a question.

At any time over the past few years, while reporting on child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and other institutions and campaigning for a royal commission, had I felt unsafe?

I’m asked that question a lot. It’s worth exploring this week after an Australian journalist, Peter Greste, and his Al Jazeera colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were given lengthy jail sentences in Egypt. Their “crime” was to have somehow come up against the “national interest” in a country whose people have been oppressed by government for too long.

I, like other Australians, felt a sickening and disbelieving jolt when news of the sentence came through. Only a few hours earlier I’d listened to a radio interview with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. She was careful, but it seemed clear she expected the three journalists would be released.

It’s almost offensive to equate what those three journalists are going through with anything happening to a journalist back here in Australia, but there are some serious issues here about the role of the media in democracies that are worth considering.

For the record, I have never, ever experienced a second of feeling unsafe. For that matter, the only times I even think about whether I feel safe or unsafe are when people ask the question.

As much as I might have felt outraged, sickened, appalled or numbed by the way powerful institutions like the Catholic Church treated people who were sexually abused as children, and again when they turned to the Church for help as adults, and as much as I might have challenged the Church, there’s never been any sense of things getting out of hand.

The men in frocks just go silent when challenged. They don’t return my calls. They hang up if I reach them on their mobile phones. They ask me to leave their properties. They refuse to be interviewed.

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New hires, staffing changes at NCR

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Jun. 27, 2014 NCR Today

Effective July 1, Joshua J. McElwee is NCR’s Vatican correspondent. You’ve been reading McElwee’s reporting and feature writing in NCR’s print issues and online for about five years now. He has developed a well-earned reputation for careful and serious investigations on topics as diverse as the continuing development of the nation’s nuclear weapons complex to transparency at the U.S. bishops’ conference in their investigations of theologians. His work has received numerous awards from the Catholic Press Association and one for news writing last year from the Religion Newswriters Association. Over the last year, he has been splitting his time between Washington and Rome, as preparation for his moving to Rome full time. I am happy to announce that move will take place in August.

Also on July 1, Vinnie Rotondaro will join NCR as national correspondent. Rotondaro is a master storyteller and he wants to use those skills to write about how public policy affects the lives of ordinary folks and the Catholic church’s role in shaping public policy. He’ll also keep his eye on national trends in the American Catholic church, whether that’s stories about ministry to migrants or Mass translations.

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Massachusetts bishops endorse statute of limitations extension

MASSACHUSETTS
National Catholic Reporter

Nicholas Sciarappa | Jun. 27, 2014

Massachusetts’ Catholic bishops have endorsed a bill that would extend by 32 years the statute of limitations for filing civil suits against alleged perpetrators of sexual abuse of minors.

The bill, approved by the state’s House of Representatives June 18 and passed by the Senate with unanimous support June 19, would give child victims of sexual abuse until age 53 to sue their alleged abusers.

The bill would also allow lawsuits against abuser’s supervisors and the institution that they worked or volunteered for from the point the bill is signed and forward, but not retroactively. Churches, schools, youth centers and sports organizations would be among the institutions that could be sued under this new law.

The bill still has a few procedural votes to pass, but lawmakers expect it to be sent to Gov. Deval Patrick for signing soon.

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Vatican orders archbishop accused of sex abuse to be defrocked

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

(Reuters) – Roman Catholic Church authorities have ordered a Polish archbishop accused of sexual abuse in the Dominican Republic to be defrocked as a priest pending further criminal proceedings, the Vatican said on Friday.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered Josef Wesolowski, a former Vatican nuncio or ambassador to the Caribbean nation to be stripped of the priesthood.

He will have two months to appeal the ruling.

The Vatican said his movements had not been restricted while the case was being considered but that following the decision to expel him from the priesthood “all measures appropriate to the seriousness of the case will be adopted”.

As an independent city state, the Vatican has judicial authority over its territory and can detain or limit the movements of those subject to its jurisdiction.

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Former papal nuncio Wesolowski defrocked – update 2

VATICAN CITY
Gazzetta del Sud

Vatican City, June 27 – The Vatican’s former nuncio to the Dominican Republic, Poland’s ex-Msgr Jozef Wesolowski, was defrocked this week for sexually abusing minors and risks arrest the Vatican said Friday. The ex-nuncio, the first Vatican ambassador to be found guilty of abusing minors, has two months to appeal the verdict. “All measures suited to the gravity of the case will be taken,” the Vatican said, referring to custodial action, after “the relative liberty he enjoyed” while the probe ran its course. Wesolowski, who will be 66 next month, was called back to Vatican City in late August after the archbishop of Santo Domingo, Cardinal Nicolas Lopez Rodriguez, informed Pope Francis of the allegations against him.

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Pedofilia, nunzio Wesolowski condannato a stato laicale

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO
La Repubblica

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO – Il primo grado di processo canonico contro l’ex nunzio nella Repubblica Dominicana, monsignor Jozef Wesolowski, per abusi sessuali su minori, si è concluso in questi giorni presso l’ex Sant’Uffizio con una condanna alla dimissione dallo stato clericale. Ora l’arcivescovo ha due mesi per proporre appello.

Sarà sottoposto a limitazioni della libertà personale, perché non si sottragga agli ulteriori processi penali, a cominciare da quello del Tribunale Vaticano. Lo ha precisato il portavoce della Santa Sede, padre Federico Lombardi, senza precisare quali saranno le misure adottate.

Finora Wiesolowski, ha spiegato il gesuita, “ha usufruito di una relativa libertà di movimento in attesa che la Congregazione per la dottrina della fede procedesse a verificare il fondamento delle accuse mosse a suo carico”. Ed ora “tenuto conto della sentenza ora pronunciata dal Dicastero, saranno adottati nei confronti dell’ex nunzio tutti i provvedimenti adeguati alla gravità del caso”.

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El Vaticano expulsa del sacerdocio al polaco Jozef Wesolowski…

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
La Razon

El Vaticano expulsa del sacerdocio al polaco Jozef Wesolowski, acusado de pederastia

Efe. Ciudad del Vaticano.

El que fuera nuncio en la República Dominicana entre enero de 2008 y agosto de 2013, el polaco Jozef Wesolowski, acusado de pederastia durante su estancia en ese país, fue expulsado del sacerdocio tras un proceso canónico, informó hoy el Vaticano.

El proceso celebrado ante la Congregación de la Doctrina de la Fe (el ex Santo Oficio) concluyó en los pasados días y ahora el sacerdote tendrá dos meses para recurrir la sentencia, agregó la Santa Sede.

El proceso penal ante los órganos judiciales vaticanos, ya que Wesolowski es un diplomático de la Santa Sede, comenzará sólo cuando la sentencia del Santo Oficio sea definitiva, añade la nota.

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Vatican Ex-Ambassador Convicted of Sex Abuse

VATICAN CITY
ABC News

VATICAN CITY — Jun 27, 2014

Associated Press

The Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been convicted by a church tribunal of sex abuse and has been defrocked, the first such sentence handed down against a top papal representative.

The Vatican said Friday that Monsignor Jozef Wesolowski was found guilty by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and sentenced to the harshest penalty possible against a cleric: laicization, meaning he can no longer perform priestly duties or present himself as a priest.

Wesolowski can appeal. He also faces other charges by the criminal tribunal of Vatican City, since as a papal diplomat he is considered a citizen of the tiny city state.

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Argentine Victims and the Pope’s Meeting: An Opportunity

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Pope Francis has announced he will meet soon with clergy sexual abuse victims, and the Irish Catholic reported on June 26 that the meeting will be held “next week” in Rome, and will include survivors from Ireland, Britain, the United States, and Poland. Reporter Michael Kelly leaves open the possibility that survivors from other countries will also attend.

It is urgent that survivors from Argentina be included in the meeting, for two reasons. First, in the global Catholic Church so powerfully expressed by the papacy of Pope Francis, the sexual abuse of children is a global problem not restricted to the developed world. Second, Argentine survivors asked to meet with Pope Francis when he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires and president of the Argentine bishops’ conference. Unfortunately, Cardinal Bergoglio consistently ignored those requests.

He will no doubt handle his first meeting with survivors in an apparently open and engaging way, but the seriousness of his engagement is in question. In his 21 years as bishop and archbishop, the Wall Street Journal reports, including the years when he headed the Argentine bishops’ conference, he “declined to meet with victims of sexual abuse, according to the victims and a spokesman for the Buenos Aires archdiocese.”

The upcoming meeting will be more effective if the pope includes in it Argentine survivors whose communications he ignored. By inviting these particular survivors, Pope Francis would signal his intention that the Vatican meeting be hard-hitting, and he would immediately improve the grim situation of victims in his home country. Just last year in Argentina, a church attorney defended a cardinal’s deliberate concealment of a prolific abuser, saying the children’s parents should have called the police; and anotherbishop argued in court that a mother who had allowed her son to stay overnight at a priest’s home was partly responsible for the boy’s abuse.

On this page, we profile the Argentine survivors whose inclusion in the Vatican meeting would be beneficial. Each of them sought Pope Francis’s help, and none received a reply. All of them tried to contact the cardinal archbishop in 2002 or later – years when many bishops in the US and Europe disclosed numbers and names of abusive clergy, and when Pope Benedict issued repeated apologies [1, 2, 3, and 4] and met with victims five times, in the US, Australia, Malta, the United Kingdom, and Benedict’s home country, Germany.

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Was Jimmy Savile The Other Yorkshire Ripper?

UNITED KINGDOM
Bock the Robber

In a previous post, I pointed out that Jimmy Savile and Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, were close friends, but how close has yet to be established.

Certainly, they had much in common: both were psychopaths with a tendency to violence and a hatred of women. Not only that, but both of them were questioned by the police during the Ripper investigation and indeed, one of the murder victims was found very close to Savile’s flat.

Here’s what Sutcliffe said in his defence.

Oh that’s a load of rubbish. It’s a load of crap. People were always there. He was never alone with anybody. He never did anything at Broadmoor. They’re just getting carried away. They’re going right over the top with it. They’re all jumping on the bandwagon. He’d always come and chat and I’d introduce him to my visitors. Several times he left £500 for charities I was supporting. He wrote cheques out on the spot. A very generous man he was. I can’t fault him for what he was like from my experiences anyway. I don’t care what these people who who are coming out of the woodwork are saying, you know? It takes a couples of rumours then it goes like wildfire, don’t it? I don’t believe he raped anybody. I think he’s kissed quite a few young women, but that’s as far as he’s gone. No, it’s just kind of crazy, you know? They’re just [interested in] savaging people who are dead, you know? People who can’t hit back or prisoners who can’t reply, you know?

Savile had living quarters in Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, and also at Stoke Mandeville. He had the run of these institutions, with unlimited access to every part of them, including the morgues, where, among other things, he took indecent photos of dead people.

Besides that, he was able to abuse nurses with impunity, in the certain knowledge that senior doctors would dismiss their complaints, which is what happened. His victims, we now know, ranged in age from 5 to 75, with his last crimes committed at the age of 82.

Not only was a Jimmy Savile an abuser, but a necrophiliac as well. He was a close friend of Peter Sutcliffe, and we know that the police regarded him as sufficiently important to interview about the Ripper murders.

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Monsignor Steven J. Raica named fifth Bishop of Gaylord

MICHIGAN
Roman Catholic Diocese of Lansing

Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Steven J Raica, chancellor of the Diocese of Lansing, as the Fifth Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord. The Holy Father’s appointment was announced on Friday, June 27 at 6:00am EDT at the Vatican. The date of Bishop-elect Raica’s consecration and installation will be Thursday, August 28 at St Mary Cathedral, Gaylord.

“As I prepare myself to serve the People of God in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula as a new bishop, I offer my praise and gratitude to the Lord Jesus whose presence in my life has enabled me to experience an abundance of life,” said Bishop-elect Raica in a statement. “My gratitude also goes to Pope Francis for entrusting me with this honor and great responsibility. The priests, religious, colleagues in ministry and the faithful with whom I have been privileged to journey in faith here in the Diocese of Lansing have been true companions reminding me of the Lord’s love and mercy. I beg for their prayers that I may serve the Lord totally and faithfully in this new ministerial chapter of my life.” click here for full statement from Bishop-elect Raica

Bishop Earl Boyea of the Diocese of Lansing in a statement said “Bishop-elect Raica is a good priest, a good friend, and a man of good counsel. Our loss is Gaylord’s gain! He is gentle, considerate, and solid in his pastoral abilities. He has demonstrated his ability to be a keen collaborator. The office of bishop is not one to be sought, and he did not seek it. Many trials and crosses present themselves to the holder of this office, but his ability to engage others and work with them will stand him in good stead. This new bishop will be an intelligent, cultured, pastoral, gentle, and faith-filled leader of the Church in the northern Lower Peninsula as their chief shepherd, the presence of the apostles and of Jesus Christ the High Priest. The entire Diocese of Lansing offers him our heartiest congratulations and prayers!” click here for full statement from Bishop Earl Boyea

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