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.

August 3, 2014

Conway priest accused of sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Robert Zullo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The pastor of a Beaver County Catholic church has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations that he sexually abused a minor in the late 1990s.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh said in a news release today that the priest, John Fitzgerald, pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Conway, denies “committing any acts of sexual abuse.” The abuse allegedly occurred in Allegheny and Lawrence counties and the allegations have been reported to the district attorney’s offices in those jurisdictions, the diocese said.

“Prior to this, no other allegation of sexual abuse against Father Fitzgerald has come to the Diocese of Pittsburgh,” the news release said.

While on leave, Father Fitzgerald will be unable to administer sacraments, wear clerical attire or identify himself as a priest, Bishop David Zubik said in the news release.

“If a determination is made that Father Fitzgerald did what he is accused of, those restrictions will become permanent. If it is determined that the allegation is unfounded, all that is possible will be done to restore Father Fitzgerald’s reputation and return him to ministry,” Bishop Zubik wrote.

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

Police investigate sex claims at Bishops

SOUTH AFRICA
News 24

Cape Town – The police have launched a probe into the complaints of sexual abuse at Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town.

According to the Sunday Times, police confirmed that the matter would be investigated by a unit that deals with child protection and sexual offences.

The newspaper reported that a senior investigator had met the school’s principal Guy Pearson and with the father of a boy who reported a teacher for inappropriate behaviour in 2009.

However, it is believed that prosecution will happen only if further complaints are lodged.

It emerged late last month that the school has been embroiled in a sex-abuse cover up scandal – involving two separate incidents – that goes back two decades.

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.

Editorial counterpoint: Archdiocese is working to restore trust, Nienstedt says

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JOHN C. NIENSTEDT Updated: August 1, 2014

It is clear that we did not always handle abuse complaints as we should have, but I take responsibility for leading our local church to a new and better day.

To say that this has been a difficult year is quite an understatement. Here in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Catholics have witnessed many troubling media reports, and many of us have had difficult conversations with friends and family about what it means to be Catholic and why we still profess the faith. I, myself, have been the subject of two investigations, which have brought with them more public scrutiny. I have received messages calling me a hypocrite, a domineering boss and a liar. Others have written that I am a courageous moral leader and a true shepherd. I am grateful to everyone who has taken the time to write.

In the end, it comes down to this: Eighteen years ago, Pope John Paul II chose me to serve the church as a bishop, an authentic successor of the Apostles. A bishop’s role is more like that of a father of a family than that of a CEO. I am bound to continue in my office as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here. I have acknowledged my responsibility in the current crisis we face, and I also take responsibility for leading our archdiocese to a new and better day.

I can only speak for myself and my actions, not the words or actions of others. Over the last year, I have re-examined the words I have spoken and the actions I have, or have not, taken, and I want to share this:

(1) I have created a new leadership team that operates under the philosophy of “Victims First.”

I have empowered a new team of bishops, parish and religious order priests, archdiocesan employees, lay Catholics and non-Catholics to assist me and provide consultation. They continually operate from the perspective of how we can best help victims of sexual abuse and their families. To make sure we retain this focus, I am hiring a new victims’ liaison, a lay professional who will serve as a continuous voice for victims on my consultation team. We have reached out to survivors of sexual abuse and have asked them to share their advice and insight as we continue addressing the recommendations made by the Safe Environment and Ministerial Standards Task Force. “Victims First” has become more than a philosophy; it has become standard operating procedure.

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.

Protecting children in the place they should be safest

UNITED STATES
World

By DICK PETERSON
Posted Aug. 2, 2014

Seven years ago, when a new member to Crossroads Community Church in Summerville, S.C., self-identified as a registered child sex offender, the pastor and elders saw it as a God-ordained call to action to examine their church policies to protect children. That new member steered clear of children in the church, but the church leadership wanted to ensure those working with children didn’t haven’t any wrong intentions.

“Many pastors fear volunteer child workers quitting because they are required to do training and background checks,” said David Branton, an elder and AWANA International board chairman. “But most teachers of children are dedicated workers who put children first. To be asked to do something that might protect a child shouldn’t be a problem.”

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.

Former youth pastor found guilty on sexual battery charges

FLORIDA
Daily Commercial

Posted: Saturday, August 2, 2014

Millard K. Ives | Staff Writer millardives@dailycommercial.com

A former Eustis youth pastor initially jailed in 2012 on allegations of sexually assaulting two developmentally disabled people at a group home and a child at a day care center has been found guilty.

In the three-day trial at the Lake County Courthouse, it took a jury about one hour on Thursday to bring back guilty verdicts for Kenneth Mar Hagins, 42, on one count each of sexual battery of a mentally defective person and lewd and lascivious molestation, according to the State Attorney’s Office.

Hagins remains at the Lake County jail and will be sentenced at a later date. Hagins faces 35 years in prison on the convictions, said Walter Forgie, the supervising assistant State’s Attorney at the Lake County office.

Hagins, of Tavares, was a youth pastor at a Eustis church and simultaneously worked for Pat’s Kidz World Development Center in Eustis and at an adult group home for SunriseArc, which serves developmentally disabled people, when the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Children and Families initiated a joint investigation of him in July 2012.

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.

On Movies: Thrill of violence, soul of love

UNITED STATES
Philadelphia Inquirer

STEVEN REA, INQUIRER MOVIE COLUMNIST AND CRITIC
POSTED: Sunday, August 3, 2014

It’s the picture of innocence: a country priest in billowing cassock, strolling a rural road in Ireland’s windswept West, encountering a young girl, chatting with her about this, about that.

But then her father pulls up in a car, and angrily summons her. With an utterly vilifying look, he warns the cleric off.

“That scene encapsulates everything the movie is about,” says Brendan Gleeson, the Irish actor who plays Father James, a good priest in a bad world, in John Michael McDonagh’s stormy tale of reckoning, Calvary.

“It’s a powerful, troubling, funny moment,” says Gleeson, a familiar face in big Hollywood pictures (Edge of Tomorrow, the Harry Potters) and small British and Irish independents alike. “You can’t even talk to a child anymore. I mean, it’s not merely priests – I think any man, at this point, has to think twice about talking to children on the road.

“There’s something fundamentally broken when that’s the way things are.”

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.

August 2, 2014

SNAP conference opens by looking back, looking ahead

CHICAGO (IL)
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Aug. 2, 2014 NCR Today

The 25th anniversary conference for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests opened here as you would expect for any organization reaching a milestone. Leading members highlighted moments for retrospection and besto

“You have all chosen to put yourself out there … you take risks,” said David Clohessy, the group’s executive director at the opening session Friday night.

He said what SNAP does – protect the vulnerable … — is “not rocket science … more precious and rare than genius, it takes courage, it takes passion, it takes commitment.”

The conference brought together 350-plus people for a three-day conference that will see SNAP leaders like Clohessy, its president and founder Barbara Blaine and Peter Isely, but also Fr. Tom Doyle, attorney Jeffrey Anderson, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke (an original member of the U.S. bishops’ National Review Board), and Jennifer Haselberger.

Those outside of SNAP who spoke Friday night also offered praise for its efforts of the past quarter century, but more than that posed a question: how will those efforts look in the years ahead?

Pointing to an increasing awareness of the abuse issue in other parts of the globe, in part because of SNAP’s efforts, journalist Jason Berry said as “this critical mass will keep building,” it’s important for the group to think about its long-term plan.

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.

Sect ‘cannot possess the seminary’: Priest explains about Neocatechumenal Way

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Written by
Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno
Pacific Sunday News

An attempt to transfer the title of one of the Guam Catholic Church’s largest real estate assets, the former Accion Hotel in Yona, has become a focal point in recent discussions about the local church’s financial transparency and leadership shakeup.

The controversy started weeks ago when an anonymous group of Guam Catholics issued a public challenge for Archbishop Anthony Apuron to release audited statements of the Church’s income, liabilities and assets, particularly the state of ownership of the former Accion Hotel.

The 100-room, oceanside hotel was bought more than a decade ago for $2 million, and could be worth $35 million to $75 million depending on estimates. It now is being used to host the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and a theological institute.

Monsignor James Benavente, who was recently fired from being the rector of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, was one of several directors on the Archdiocesan Finance Council who were fired in 2012 after they voted against the proposed transfer of title to the property, documents state. Archbishop Anthony Apuron had written a letter to the council advocating the title change, documents state.

Businessman Richard Untalan, Sister Mary Stephen Torres and former government of Guam budget official Joe Rivera were the finance council officials who were fired.

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.

‘Tortured’ city priest sends SOS to Vatican

INDIA
Mumbai Mirror

By Yogesh Sadhwani & BAPU DEEDWANIA, Mumbai Mirror | Aug 2, 2014

Fr Conrad Saldanha was asked to spend a year at a Goregaon seminary after he was found guilty of misconduct. Over two years later, he continues to languish in deplorable conditions.

A Mumbai priest has written to the Vatican alleging “harassment and torture” at a Goregaon seminary after he “voiced concerns against wrongdoings within the system.”

Fr Conrad Saldanha, who was asked to spend a year at Archdiocesan Seminary in Goregaon East after he was found guilty in a complaint of misconduct by two female parishioners, alleged he has not been given a posting in any church and forced to live in deplorable conditions even 2 years after the ruling.

Fr Saldanha, who was a priest for 12 years and was last posted at the Sacred Heart Church in Santa Cruz, immediately challenged the order with the Vatican, saying it was “vitiated” and that he was “not given an opportunity to defend himself.”

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.

The Strange Silences of a Very Talkative Pope

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

Not a word for the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls, nor for the Pakistani Asia Bibi, sentenced to death on the charge of having offended Islam. And then the audiences denied to former president of the IOR Gotti Tedeschi, driven out for wanting to clean house

by Sandro Magister

ROME, August 1, 2014 – On the feast of Saint Anne, patron of Caserta, Pope Francis made a visit to this city. Everything normal? No. Because just two days later Jorge Mario Bergoglio returned to Caserta on a private visit, to meet with an Italian friend he got to know in Buenos Aires, Giovanni Traettino, pastor of a local Evangelical church.

Initially Francis’s intention was to go only to visit his friend, with the bishop of Caserta left completely in the dark, and it took some doing to convince the pope to expand his schedule in order not to overlook the sheep of his fold.

In Francis the collegiality of governance is more evoked than practiced. The style is that of a superior general of the Jesuits who in the end decides everything on his own. This can be grasped from his actions, his words, his silences.

For example, Bergoglio has spent weeks behind the scenes cultivating relationships with the heads of the powerful “Evangelical” communities of the United States. He has spent hour after hour in their company at his residence in Santa Marta. He has invited them for lunch. He immortalized one of these convivial moments by giving a high five, amid raucous laughter, to Pastor James Robinson, one of the most successful American televangelists.

When no one knew anything about it yet, it was Francis who alerted them about his intention to go visit their Italian colleague in Caserta, and explained the reason: “To extend the apologies of the Catholic Church for the da

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.

Book author surprised to receive letter from the Vatican

CANADA
Nova News Now

By Tina Comeau
THE VANGUARD
www.thevanguard.ca

When Del Boudreau picked up his mail, the last thing he expected to see was a letter from the Vatican.

“His Holiness Pope Francis has received the kind gift sent for his acceptance,” reads the letter. “He appreciates the respectful sentiments which prompted this presentation.”

Boudreau had sent Pope Francis a copy of the book he recently wrote entitled Deliver Us From Evil. The book outlines the sexual abuse Boudreau suffered as an alter boy at the hands of a catholic priest.

He was around 11 years old when the abuse began but he wasn’t able to share his experience with others until he was 65 years old. He broke his silence in 2009. Finally sharing his story lifted a huge weight from his shoulders, he said.

Boudreau says the abuse was committed by Father Adolphe LeBlanc. Several others have also accused this priest of having abused them as young boys. Father LeBlanc died in 1971.

When his book first came out it was suggested to Boudreau that he should send a copy of it to the Pope. After some consideration he did.

“I mailed it. The postmistress said, ‘It’s been 33 years, I never mailed something to the Vatican, but there’s always a first time,’” Boudreau says.

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

Archbishop Nienstedt says predecessor assured him sex-abuse complaints were resolved

MINNESOTA
Catholic Culture

Catholic World News – August 01, 2014

Having rejected calls for his resignation, Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis has said that he made a mistake in assuming that his predecessor had dealt properly with sex-abuse allegations against archdiocesan priests.

Archbishop Nienstedt told an interviewer that when he arrived in Minnesota, he was assured by his predecessor, Archbishop Harry Flynn, and by the vicar general, Father Kevin McDonough, that sex-abuse problems had been resolved. He said that he accepted their assurances because of their “national reputations for being experts in this area.” (Archbishop Flynn had chaired the US bishops’ committee on sexual abuse.) “But I think that I know now I could have asked more probing questions,” Archbishop Nienstedt 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.

In remembering Bishop Donnelly, we are reminded of our imperfection

OHIO
Toledo Blade

BY TK BARGER
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

I heard many nice things about Bishop Robert W. Donnelly since his death July 21. “He was a regular fixture in the neighborhood,” Msgr. Michael Billian, the priest of his home parish, Most Blessed Sacrament, said. That was the neighborhood where he grew up and where he returned when he retired, living first in the rectory with his brother, the Rev. Martin Donnelly, who was Blessed Sacrament’s priest, and then in a house the Donnelly brothers bought. “Even at the end, when he was a little confused about life, it was everybody’s job in the neighborhood to keep an eye out, and they did a beautiful job of doing that.”

At Blessed Sacrament after he died the talk “was very loving, more than anything about his gentleness; when he celebrated the sacraments; when he visited with people,” Msgr. Billian said. “That was just a great, strong impression. The soft gentleness was a strength of his and it opened him up to people, and they felt very welcomed in his life.”

“In the 65 years of my friendship with Bob Donnelly, never once, in no instance, did he ever say a bad word about anybody,” the Rev. Raymond Sheperd said in his homily during the bishop’s vigil on Monday. “He knew how to say good things or say nothing.”

The only bad in his life, it seems, might have been his saying nothing and being protective of colleagues during the church abuse scandal.

Claudia Vercellotti, a Toledo member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, urged me to watch a 2006 documentary, Twist of Faith. The bishop is in about five minutes of the film and is accused of not acting on his knowledge in 1986 that a priest had sexually abused Central Catholic High School students. Ms. Vercellotti also criticized Bishop Donnelly for the diocese’s supporting and defending Gerald Robinson, the priest who died in prison July 4, convicted in 2006 of the 1980 murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl.

SNAP, now a 25-year-old organization, is a group of people who themselves suffered and still feel great hurt by acts of church leaders, and they continue to call on the hierarchy to tell the whole stories. We cannot forget why they speak out.

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.

Uprooting New Shoots in Paraguay, The Rude Diss, The St. Louis Proposal, and The Fault of Default.

UNITED STATES
Pewsitter

By Frank Walker
Pewsitter.com

The clergy of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este have made a powerful defense of their suspended Bishop, Rogelio Livieres, and popular yet removed Vicar General ,Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, who, despite being released by a review board in the U.S., was recommended to del Este by none other than Cardinal Ratzinger. As the facts and accusations continue to play out, it appears we may have an ideological persecution on our hands. After years of successfully rebuffing attacks from the liberal majority bishops in the region and building a faithful enclave with the backing of Rome, the ecclesial adversaries will finally have their day.

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Sandro Magister has a blockbuster expose out that reveals the extensive outreach and collaboration going on between the Pope and powerful Evangelicals in the U.S. and worldwide. It describes the actual time they’ve spent working together and contrasts this with the Pope’s relative shut-out for certain cardinals, faithful nuns, bishops, townspeople, and key leaders at the Vatican Bank. Once again, Magister notes the democratic ‘synodal’ rhetoric and compares that to the autocratic rule, the rude excuse, and cruel snub.

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The SSPX outlet DICI has a lengthy discussion of the Pope’s “not feeling well” last-minute excuses and how frequently they are used. They also list the comments of health experts who are familiar with the Pope or some of his physical ailments, but as they discuss Antonio Mastino’s, “The Soap Opera of the Pope’s Health,” they reveal a pattern.

“Time again, Cardinal Angelo Scola, his direct rival at the conclave, is the one who suffers the consequences of Bergoglio’s ‘mild indispositions’. Twice already last year, after he had obtained an audience with Francis, ‘at the last minute’ he had someone tell him that he had ‘a mild indisposition’. An indisposition that some people by now think concerns Scola.”

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 choirmaster jailed for six years for abusing boys

UNITED STATES
Northern Echo

By Neil Hunter

A CHOIRMASTER who used his respected church links as “a cloak” to groom and abuse boys was last night (Friday) starting a six-year prison sentence.

Robert Lambie, now 77, treated his two victims to days out and made them feel special before persuading them to be photographed in their underwear.

The former music teacher moved on to abusing them once their complete trust had been won, a judge at Teesside Crown Court said yesterday.

Lambie lived in Darlington and was highly thought-of within the church and the community – but led a secret double-life only his victims knew about.

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.

Should churches, denominations bear responsibility for unethical clergy?…

UNITED STATES
Associated Baptist Press

Should churches, denominations bear responsibility for unethical clergy? Some ethicists say yes.

By Vicki Brown

Ministers are responsible for their actions as individuals, sometimes by civil authorities and ultimately by God. But what responsibility, if any, should the local church and the denomination bear for unethical behavior of their pastors and other church ministers?

That question is difficult for religious bodies that follow a congregational form of governance and that stance has become the primary basis for refusal by many groups, including many Baptist denominations, to compile lists of ministers caught in unethical or immoral behavior, particularly sexual misconduct.

Establishing an organization-wide procedure is more difficult for denominations without a hierarchical structure, says ethicist Joe Trull. “As Baptists, we want to maintain our belief in local church autonomy and are hesitant to be viewed as telling churches what to do,” said the retired professor of Christian ethics at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and former editor of Christian Ethics Today magazine. “I think denominations could do more but they are so afraid of someone accusing them of exerting control.”

Healthy accountability structures within the local church are a way to minimize the possibility of clergy misconduct, says Daniel Darling, vice president for communications at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The pastor is placed under that accountability as a form of service to the congregation, Darling noted.

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

When sex offenders confess to clergy: Three mistaken beliefs

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Boz Tchividjian | Aug 1, 2014

This past week, a Florida pastor was arrested for failing to report the suspected sexual abuse of a child. Over a year ago, one of the three young victims informed the pastor of the ongoing abuse. Though he provided the victim with counseling, the pastor never reported the crime to the police because he “didn’t have proof”.

How does a pastor respond when informed of allegations concerning child sexual abuse? All too often the responses by pastors are too little too late. Here is a simple rule that should be followed by pastors and everyone else: Immediately report allegations of child sexual abuse. Not only will you potentially save the life of a child and stop the heinous acts of a predator, but you will also most likely be following the law.

Approximately 27 states specifically designate members of the clergy (pastors) as mandated reporters. Another 18 states designate all adults to be mandated reporters of suspected child abuse. This means that in almost every state of the country, pastors are mandated by law to report suspected child abuse or face criminal prosecution. Even in those limited circumstances when a pastor is not a mandated reporter, nothing prevents him/her from voluntarily reporting suspected abuse to the authorities.

Perhaps the most confusing issue for most pastors related to reporting child sexual abuse is what to do when a perpetrator is the one who discloses the abuse. If a perpetrator confesses to sexually abusing a child to a pastor, every effort should be made by the pastor to insure that the offender immediately reports his/her crime to the authorities. This should certainly be the expectation if the perpetrator has expressed a desire to demonstrate repentance. Expressing repentance for a crime without voluntarily submitting to the civil authorities is manipulation, not repentance. The dark reality is that most offenders who confess abuse to a pastor won’t report themselves to the authorities. In those circumstances, the pastor has a fundamental decision to make; remain silent and protect a perpetrator, or report the abuse and protect a vulnerable child.

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

Affidavit: Cowboy pastor told abuse victim that he was ‘relieving stress’

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

BY DEANNA BOYD
dboyd@star-telegram.com

FORT WORTH — A pastor at Cowboy Way Church in Alvarado, who is accused of molesting a teen boy several years ago, allegedly told the victim that it was his way of relieving stress “which helped him be a stronger pastor thereby bringing God to more people,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

The encounters, the affidavit states, occurred at the Fort Worth home that Dan Haby Jr., then pastor of the now defunct Stockyard Community Church, shared with two ministers from that church.

The alleged victim, who police have said was 15 when the alleged abuse began, had volunteered at Haby’s church and frequently spent weekends at Haby’s home along with two other teen friends.

He told police that, at that time, he planned on becoming a minister himself and that Haby mentored him.

But while the other two teens would sleep in the living room, Haby soon invited the alleged victim to sleep in his room on a mattress he had put on the floor next to his bed, the affidavit states.

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.

The intertwined history of SNAP and NCR

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Aug. 1, 2014 NCR Today

I hope you take the time to read David Gibson’s article on the 25th anniversary of the Survivor’s Network for those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. The history of that organization and its battle to defend victims of sexual abuse from priest abusers and ecclesial cover ups is an important chapter in the larger history of the Catholic church.

That history is also intrinsically intertwined with the history of NCR, something that I have been rediscovering in my preparations for NCR’s 50th anniversary, which is Oct. 28. Readers of our print publication will know that I have been writing a history column, highlighting significant events and personalities NCR has reported on over the last 50 years. Here is an excerpt from a column I did in June, looking back 29 years:

Issue of June 7, 1985, Vol. 21, No. 32

Priest child abuse cases victimizing families; bishops lack policy response
Two articles totaling 11,000 words, spread over eight pages of this 24-page issue, were NCR’s entry into covering the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and the subsequent failure of bishops and chancery personnel to address these crimes.

Jason Berry gives a detailed account of Fr. Gilbert Gauthe, a priest of the Lafayette, La., diocese who in the fall of 1985 would stand trial for the sexual abuse of at least a dozen boys. The diocese had already paid out $4 million in settlements trying to keep the case out of court and families of victims silent.

Arthur Jones’ article — a roundup of cases that were beginning to emerge in Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., San Diego, New York, Newark, N.J., Providence, R.I., and Pittsburgh — would find the patterns of the Gauthe case repeated across dioceses.

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.

Abogado defensor: “John O’Reilly no es Karadima”

CHILE
Cooperativa

Este viernes comenzó en el Tercer Tribunal Oral de Santiago el juicio en contra del sacerdote de los Legionarios de Cristo John O’Reilly.

O’Reilly, acusado de presuntos abusos sexuales contra dos menores entre los años 2007 y 2012, se ha mostrado tranquilo en la audiencia, pero cabizbajo. Consultado por el tribunal si es que iría a declarar, respondió que por ahora no lo hará.

El abogado defensor Luis Hermosilla planteó ante la Corte las dudas por las cuales –en su opinión- el tribunal debería desestimar la acusación completa, aludiendo al bullado caso del sacerdote Fernando Karadima.

“John O’Reilly no es Karadima, y no lo es tanto con lo que hizo como lo que no hizo”, dijo el jurista.

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.

Hoy comienza juicio en contra del sacerdote John O’ Reilly por presuntos abusos sexuales

CHILE
La Tercera

por Constanza Cortés Miquel – 01/08/2014

Desde las 9.00 horas de hoy se llevará a cabo en el Tercer Tribunal Oral en lo Penal, el juicio en contra del sacerdote John O’Reilly, acusado de cometer presuntos abusos sexuales -de forma reiterada- en contra dos ex alumnas del Colegio Cumbres que habrían ocurrido entre 2007 y 2012.

Se espera que en el proceso, que durará cerca de dos meses, participen 97 testigos, de los cuales, seis lo harán en calidad de protegidos.

Junto a esto, la Fiscalía solicitó que las presuntas víctimas declaren desde una sala especial, para no tener contacto con el eclesiástico.

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.

Trial Regarding O’Reilly Sexual Abuse Charges are Underway:

CHILE
I Love Chile

The 4th Court of Santiago will hear from John O’Reilly, the former priest who is accused of committing sexual abuse against two underage students at Colegio Cumbres, where he performed functions as member of the Legionaries of Christ congregation for over a decade.

Charges were reported in August of last year, but formalized in 2014: O’Reilly has pleaded not guilty to the accused charges between 2007 and 2012. He has been suspended for the last 14 months.

An influential Irish priest amongst Santiago’s elite community in Las Condes, the 66-year-old was also the face, and principal collector, of the Legionaries of Christ in Chile.

In a 2012 interview with the Clinic, O’Reilly describes his persecution and subsequent future as a “dead man walking.”

The trial is expected to run for at least two months, with approximately 92 witnesses declaring statements.

In addition, the Court has resolved the request to take statements in the separate room of the Second Gesell Oral Criminal Court, per the public prosecutor and two complainants’ requests, which would allow testimony to take place without exposing the accused to the alleged victims.

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.

‘Calvary’ Review: Film Offers No Redemption Despite Perfect Opportunity and Title

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

BY SAMI K. MARTIN , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
August 1, 2014

“Calvary” (rated R) opens in theaters Friday, August 1 and offers the unpredictable story of a man abused by a priest in the Catholic Church and how his experience affects a so-called “good” priest in Ireland.

There’s a hymn by William R. Newell, “At Calvary,” that has the following refrain: “Mercy there was great and grace was free; pardon there was multiplied to me; there my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.” Many may be familiar with this hymn and perhaps the film brought it to mind, but there is no mercy or grace to be found in “Calvary.”

The film focuses on the life of Father James, portrayed by Brendan Gleeson after he is threatened by a member of his congregation who confesses that he was sexually abused by a priest for five years and intends to kill James, a “good priest” in retribution. The intended assailant’s identity is known only to Father James, but those who watch ‘Calvary’ may recognize the voice.

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Criminal Charges Dismissed Against Father Philip Altavilla

PENNSYLVANIA
PA Homepage

A judge has dismissed criminal charges against a well-known priest from the Diocese of Scranton.

Father Philip Altavilla was charged in April with having inappropriate contact with a 13-year-old girl back in 1998.

The case was thrown out Friday morning because of a statue of limitations issue.

Father Altavilla’s accuser says the contact happened in 1998 but she did not come forward until this April (2014).

In dealing with a case like this, state law from 1998 dictates how long she legally had to come forward for criminal charges to be filed.

After examining the issue, a Lackawanna County judge said that time had passed and the District Attorney’s Office now agrees, saying they don’t plan to appeal.

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Chancery Court Removes Trustees From Sex-Abuse Victim’s Fund

DELAWARE
Delaware Law Weekly

August 1, 2014

A Catholic priest sexual-abuse victim’s relatives must be removed from overseeing a trust created to manage his settlement money after they spent most of the $345,676 to purchase themselves cars, jewelry and home renovations, the Delaware Court of Chancery has ruled.

Duane C. Hardy received a large cash settlement as a member of a class action lawsuit that filed sexual-abuse charges against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington. He suffers from alcoholism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and told his attorney at the time that he thought others would better manage his settlement proceeds, according to court documents. Hardy’s older sister, Sherry Hardy, and her adult son, Michael Hardy, were appointed as the co-trustees.

Under the trust agreement, Sherry and Michael Hardy have “sole and uncontrolled discretion” to distribute or apply the funds “for the care, comfort, welfare, education or training” of Duane Hardy.
Duane Hardy received the initial payment of his proceeds in October 2011 and he split the amounts into two separate accounts at Wilmington Savings Fund Society. The two deposits totaled $9,000 less than the settlement’s total of $345,676. Roughly one week later, the first significant withdrawals from the trust accounts occurred. A $15,000 check written out to cash and a $21,700 debit withdrawal four days later were used to provide various gifts to Duane Hardy’s family and friends, according to court documents. However, Hardy denies that he authorized the withdrawals and contended that he only approved two gift payments totaling $3,000.

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Appeal result due next year

IRELAND
The Corkman

MARIA HERLIHY
Published 31/07/2014

A RETIRED priest who was found guilty of the serial sexual abuse of minors and teenagers by a secret Church court in March 2013 immediately appealed the decision – the result of that appeal is now expected early next year.

After the canonical decision, delivered in 2013, Dan Duane (76) immediately appealed the decision to the Apostolic Signature and the Pope, as he believed that his defence was not properly taken into account.

At Cork Circuit Criminal Court in 2011, Dan Duane denied a charge of indecently assaulting a woman, who is now middle aged, at an address in Cork in the Summer of 1980 when she was a teenager.

Mr Duane, of the Presbytery, Cecilstown, Mallow insisted that the woman’s allegations were “invented.” He was found not guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court three years ago. Judge Sean O’Donnabhain directed that he be found not guilty of indecently assaulting the teenager and he made the direction on the grounds of the 30-year delay in making the complaint.

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Bishop: ‘No purpose’ in releasing names of abusive priests

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

Claire Taylor August 1, 2014

Ten years after admitting the Diocese of Lafayette and its insurers paid more than $26 million to the families of children molested by priests, Bishop Michael Jarrell this week refused to release the names of those priests.

“Bishop Jarrell sees no purpose in such action,” Monsignor Richard Greene, media liaison, wrote in response to The Daily Advertiser’s request for the priests’ names.

The Advertiser made the request after sworn statements from the 1990s came to light recently, including allegations by a young man that a priest still ministering in Lafayette sexually abused him. The priest and Diocese denied the allegations.

“The obvious purpose is that failing to reveal these names may pose a serious threat or danger to even more innocent children in this diocese than these men have already injured,” Ray Mouton wrote in an email to The Advertiser.

Mouton is the attorney who represented Gilbert Gauthe in the first widely known case of pedophilia by a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Lafayette. Now living in France, Mouton campaigns for the rights of survivors of abuse, co-authored a 1985 report hailed by the media as the most significant document issued in the priest sex abuse scandal, and wrote “In God’s House,” a novel drawn from his extensive experience dealing with this issue.

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Charges against Scranton priest dismissed

PENNSYLVANIA
Citizens Voice

TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER, STAFF WRITER
Published: August 2, 2014

All charges against a suspended Diocese of Scranton priest accused of inappropriately touching a teenage girl were dismissed Friday.

Judge Michael Barrasse ruled the statute of limitations had expired on charges of indecent assault, corruption of a minor and criminal attempt at indecent assault against the Rev. Philip Altavilla.

Police charged the Rev. Altavilla, 48, former pastor at St. Patrick’s Parish in Scranton, in April after a woman came forward accusing him of indecently assaulting her in 1998.

The woman, then 13, claimed the priest gave her alcohol following a midnight service, then drove her home. Once in the car, he pulled her legs on his lap and began touching her feet and moving his hands up her leg.

Search warrants filed in the case revealed additional disturbing details as two city detectives said the Rev. Altavilla told them he searched the Internet for depictions of women being smothered with chloroform, strangled and sexually assaulted.

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August 1, 2014

Grand Blanc priest accused of inappropriate touching enters special program

MICHIGAN
MINBC News

GRAND BLANC — After being on paid administrative leave since May, Fr. Ken Coughlin, pastor of Holy Family Church, is taking a leave of absence. Fr. Coughlin faces allegations of inappropriate touching of students.

In a letter to parishioners today, Fr. Coughlin continued to claim his innocence, saying, “My hope is that the investigation will prove what I know to be true, that I am innocent of anything criminal.”

In the letter he also says the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Lansing has asked him to, “Consider entering a program of assessment that assists clergy and religious with their ministry.”

Coughlin says he has agreed to the request.

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Charges dismissed against priest in assault case

PENNSYLVANIA
ABC 27

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) – A northeastern Pennsylvania judge has dismissed charges against a priest accused of plying a 13-year-old girl with alcohol and touching her inappropriately after a midnight Christmas Mass in 1998.

The (Scranton) Times-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1uPRgyh ) that Lackawanna County Judge Michael Barrasse dismissed charges against the Rev. Philip Altavilla. The judge ruled Friday that the statute of limitations had expired.

Altavilla had been charged with indecent assault and corruption of minors.

The accuser testified in May that Altavilla rubbed her feet and thigh. Defense attorney Paul Walker questioned whether the touching constituted indecent contact and also argued that the statute of limitations had run out.

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Vatican bank denies new chief has conflict of interest

VATICAN CITY
GlobalPost

Agence France-Presse August 1, 2014

The Vatican bank on Friday denied that its new chief executive faces a conflict of interest as his son works for a company brought in to audit the scandal-hit institution’s accounts.

Italian magazine L’Espresso reported that Jean-Baptiste de Franssu’s son works for Promontory Financial Group, which is conducting a forensic investgation into the bank and its client relationships.

Louis-Victor Douville works as a London-based analyst for the US company, according to its website.

“The question of a conflict of interest is not an issue for us because, by law, the AIF (the Vatican’s financial watchdog), has approved the appointment of our president,” bank spokesman Max Hohenberg told AFP.

The issue is the latest scandal to hit the Vatican bank, also known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), after a year of internal investigations led to the closure or suspension of thousands of suspicious, ineligible or inactive accounts.

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Amid resignation calls, Minn. archbishop says he will stay

MINNESOTA
Catholic News Agency

Minneapolis, Minn., Aug 1, 2014 / 12:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul-Minneapolis, facing calls for his resignation amid legal battles over the local Church’s handling of clerical sex abuse, apologized Wednesday but refused to resign.

“It comes down to this: 18 years ago, Pope John Paul II chose me to serve the Church as a bishop, an authentic successor of the apostles,” he wrote in a July 30 column at The Catholic Spirit.

“A bishop’s role is more like that of a father of a family than that of a CEO. I am bound to continue in my office as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here.”

“I have acknowledged my responsibility in the current crisis we face, and I also take responsibility for leading our archdiocese to a new and better day.”

The column began noting that “to say this has been a difficult year is quite an understatement.”

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SUPPORT TO BISHOP LIVIERES

PARAGUAY
Roman Catholic Diocese of Ciudad del Este

[RESUMEN EXPLICATIVO DE LA SITUACIÓN]

THE APOSTOLIC VISIT

The chapters in this story
1. LUGO AND LIVIERES
2. «ECCLESIAL COMMUNION»
3. RELIGIOUS PEOPLE
4. THE CLERGY
5. NEW SEMINARS FOR THE THIRD MILLENNIUM
6. STONE OF SCANDAL
7. FATHER CARLOS URRUTIGOITY
8. MONSEGNIOR PASTOR CUQUEJO
9. NEW COMMUNITIES
10. ECONOMIC ISSUES
11. JAVIER MIRANDA
12. LET’S NOT REPEAT THE STORY

Officially, the Apostolic Nuncio in Paraguay, in a public conference of 2 July 2014, announced that the Diocese of Ciudad del Este would receive an imminent Apostolic Visitation i«n order to offer an assistance for the good of that particular church» informally, the mass media said it was about a true «intervention to the Diocese» i.e. of a process that would end up, either with the resignation or with the deposition of our Bishop, and the stop to the work which has been going on.

We present now, an explicative summary that frames the milestone of this juncture with its facts and supporting documents. We do it in a plane and direct style of God’s People, and with the transparency and honesty to which Msgr. Rogelio accustoms us.

1. LUGO AND LIVIERES

The most famous Paraguayan bishop, with no doubt, is the «father-Bishop» Fernando Lugo, the Republic’s ex-president. He took on the presidency on august of 2008, after being dispensed of obligations as a consecrated bishop and reduced to the laical state.

He was deposed in 2012, after a political judgment in the Congress.

Lugo and the minuscule but intelligent left of the country would have never reached power and overridden the Red Party without alliance with the strongest minority of the country, the Liberal Party, and the massive support (expressed or tacit) of the hierarchical church. From decades, in Paraguay, there has been a systematically assignments as bishops with certain anti-red party tendencies and, moreover, soaked up in a blurry formation on the derived ideologues of the theology of liberation. …

7. FATHER CARLOS URRUTIGOITY

A separate chapter in this history of opposition to our bishop Livieres and to the new seminary in Ciudad del Este is, without a doubt, the attack against Father Carlos Urrutigoity. He arrived to the diocese in 2005 together with other priests and laymen who would later on establish the Priestly Communities of Saint John. Father Urrutigoity came to the diocese recommended by some cardinals with roles in the Vatican (one of whom was elected pope Benedict XVI a few days later). Father Carlos brought with him a long and harsh defamation campaign in the U.S. Full of calumnies, about which Msgr. Livieres wrote a detailed letter clarifying matters.

From the beginning, Father Carlos proved to be a close collaborator of the bishop, and due to this his case was used as a battle cry to question everything the bishop achieved pastorally in the diocese, specially concerning the formation of a new clergy. This was specially so because Father Carlos was intimately involved in the formation of the new seminary. He later left this activity to help with the diocesan curia.

The bishop’s continual refutations notwithstanding, a repetitive and self referential press continued to quote itself again and again, on matters of alleged “accusations of pedophilia” which, in reality, never existed. These defamation campaigns have been generally headed in Paraguay by the same newspaper that, prior to this time, had forced the resignation of another Bishop with the surname Livieres. (The courts of justice in that case showed as well the falsity of the accusations, all made by paid witnesses involved in a political maneuver to force the resignation of the bishop). At the same time, the press has been fueled by the same Paraguayan ecclesiastical opponents already mentioned above, who have influential contacts in the U.S. And in Rome, and with whom they share identical lobbies and political tendencies.

These sources came up with all sorts of things, except, of course, proofs of pedophilia. This was due to the simple fact that there were no accusations from any victims at all. All that could be repeated was a rehashed series of calumnies made by interested third parties. Consequently, there was no criminal process, nor any condemnatory judgments in any court of law whatsoever of any country, nor of the Holy See. To top it all off, Father Carlos’ heterosexuality was confirmed professionally by two independent psychological evaluations, one of which was in the U.S. and the other in Canada. These evaluations discarded any possibility of psychopathies or personality disorders.

Neither was it true that new accusations came up over time (always without any proof). All accusations made may be reduced to a stubborn and evil repetition of those invented years ago, not by alleged victims, but by two ideological persecutors of Father Carlos. These separately acted from their respective countries, fueling different campaigns at different times: one sustained a “cloister” campaign and the other a cybernetic and mass media campaign. The first persecutor was a “sedevacantist” Argentine priest who is of the opinion that no pope since John XXIII has been legitimately a pope, and who, in addition, had himself “consecrated as a bishop” outside of the legitimate Catholic hierarchy. The second detractor is an American man, a disgruntled ex-employee of the religious community founded by Father Carlos. He was disgruntled because he was disaffected from an educational project by Msgr. Timlin, bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, after the employee tried to illegally take over the project for his own purposes.

The sole accusation presented against Father Urrutigoity before the criminal courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the U.S. (under the name of an adult by the name of Michael Prorock) was dismissed in limine (from the beginning) by two independent investigations by two state district attorneys in two separate counties of the State of Pennsylvania.

From the above two things appear as strikingly clear: First, that the accusations against Father Carlos Urrutigoity did not imply cases of pedophilia, since in the year 2000, the year of the alleged acts, the accuser was an adult; and second, that due to the district attorneys’ dismissal of any charges against Father Carlos, there was never a criminal indictment in the U.S. With respect to the Church’s canonical tribunals, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith denied any possibilities of starting a criminal process against Father Carlos for the same reason: there were no existing accusations of pedophilia.

This failure before the criminal courts seriously damaged the detractors’ lawyers’ case before the civil courts, diminishing any chances to obtain a judgment granting them a large monetary compensation, as is usual in American courts. These detractors began a civil case against the Society of Saint John, founded by Father Carlos, but in it they included for good measure and to assure deep pockets, the Bishop of Scranton, the Diocese of Scranton, the Fraternity of Saint Peter and the Academy of Saint Gregory.

To those not familiar with the ins and outs of legal cases in the U.S., it should be noted that in that country one may initiate at the same time and for the same cause a case before the criminal as well as the civil courts. Success in civil court means large monetary judgments to be paid by the defendant. Such success is substantially diminished where the criminal courts dismiss the complaints as without merit to be judged criminally. Yet, in the United States, it is still worth pursuing a civil case, even if in the criminal courts the parties have not reached the stage of trial due to lack of relevant facts or proofs. There, the possibilities to obtain monetary damages in a civil trial remain high. The cost of defending one self and going to civil trial is so high that many times complainants continue the case to force a large monetary settlement. In average, a diocese may spend over US $2,000,000 in attorneys and costs to defend a case all the way to the end. It remains typical in the system that parties, in order to avoid these large defense costs, reach an early monetary settlement with the judge’s approval.

The Society of Saint John, refused, on principle, to negotiate a settlement. Yet, it was forced to join as a party to a settlement agreement entered into by Msgr. Martino, the new bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, for a total of US $450,000. Of that amount the Society of Saint John had to contribute only US $55,000, an insignificant amount considering the usual amounts paid in these types of cases. This is explained by the fact that the accusing attorneys lacked any minimally solid proofs against the Society in order to demand any more from them, or to refuse a settlement and try to go to trial in civil court.

The Society of Saint John imposed as a condition to sign the settlement agreement that it be stated in writing that the accused were innocent of all charges and the accuser, for his own part, would renounce to any other posterior campaign of accusations or to any other civil action.

It seems that it holds true everywhere that “money talks,” without any concern about deceiving the public nor discrediting innocent people. Coming back to our actors of Ciudad del Este, on the 23rd of this month of July, 2014, in case 2014-6130 before the Juzgado Penal de Garantias No. 6 (Criminal Court No. 6) of the department of Alto Paraná, the district attorney in charge, Ms. María Graciela Vera Colman, requested the total and complete dismissal and filing away for lack of any proofs, of the accusations “filed” before such a court by a radio in Asunción, Paraguay, against Father Urrutigoity, by telephone, of all means! The accusations were the old “alleged sexual abuse of children, not mentioning any names of victims… on top of not identifying…. address and/or date or place in which such deeds allegedly occurred.” All accusations began from the diatribes made – and recorded – in a radio program of Radio Unión from Asunción, by the well known serial accuser Javier Miranda, who, when cited by the district attorney to appear in court to give his “sworn declaration,” never appeared but rather, valiantly disappeared stage left, showing his clear acting conditions.

Being a shepherd and not a mercenary who flees from the wolves, Bishop Livieres always remained adamant in defending the innocent. In the case of Father Carlos, Msgr. Livieres did the same even against those who, while recognizing the justice of the case, still found it imprudent to receive father Carlos in the Diocese and then to promote him to various positions, arguing that such actions may compromise the Bishop’s own image and his “ecclesiastical career”. However, Monsignor judged it healthier and more realistic to take advantage of the concrete human resources that Providence placed in his hands.

Despite the occasional media uproar and clerical protest, the Vatican respected the decision of the Bishop. After a prudent waiting time and accumulation of experience in the new Diocese, the Vatican authorized through the Apostolic Nuncio, and with the consent of the excardinating bishop, the incardination in Ciudad del Este of Father Carlos. That same year, the Vatican issued the laudatory letter consenting to the elevation as a Society of Apostolic Life the Priestly Communities of San Juan. Meanwhile, seminarians, priests, religious and laity of the Diocese, in their vast majority supported and continue to support the bishop and Father Carlos because they are witnesses to their ministry in the Diocese and to their human qualities and moral honesty. These supporting statements are not assumed. They are clearly manifested in written and signed statements available for anyone who wants to see. And when it came time to appoint a new Vicar General for the Diocese, consulted priests and lay leaders almost unanimously proposed father Carlos as the candidate of their choice.

It should finally be noted that when Bishop Livieres faced real corruption or violations of priestly celibacy, in any form, he did not hesitate to proceed, even facing high pressures, according to canon law, and to proportionally and medicinally punish the guilty.

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Paraguay: diocese defends bishop, says Cardinal Ratzinger recommended accused priest

PARAGUAY
Catholic Culture

[RESUMEN EXPLICATIVO DE LA SITUACIÓN – Ciudad del Este diocesis]

Catholic World News – August 01, 2014

The Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, has published an aggressive defense of the leadership of Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, claiming that a priest who had been accused of abuse in the US was placed in ministry on the recommendation of then-Cardinal Ratzinger.

Bishop Livieres incardinated Father Carlos Urrutigoity, who had been accused of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, into his diocese in 2005. The diocese stated that the priest “came recommended by some cardinals with functions in the Holy See (one of them, elected a few days later Successor of Peter).” In 2005, Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton suppressed the Society of St. John– which had been known for its promotion of the extraordinary form of the Mass, but also criticized for reports of lavish spending– following accusations of sexual abuse against its founder, Father Urrutigoity. Bishop Martino’s predecessor, Bishop James Timlin, had suspended Father Urrutigoity’s faculties after a diocesan review board found an abuse allegation credible. In defending Bishop Livieres, the
Paraguayan diocesan website stated:

* In 2004, Paraguay’s bishops wrote to Pope St. John Paul II to protest his appointment of Father Livieres, a priest of Opus Dei, to the diocese, but the Holy See held firm.

* Bishop Livieres was the only bishop who publicly opposed the presidential candidacy of former bishop Fernando Lugo, who governed the nation from 2008 to 2012.

* Opposition to Bishop Livieres among religious orders intensified when he forbade the “political or ideological instrumentalization” of their work and when he called for the proclamation of the Gospel to indigenous peoples.

* Ten priests from his diocese, and 150 from across the nation, urged Pope Benedict XVI to remove the bishop after he sought to “renew ecclesial discipline.” Today, however, the vast majority of the diocese’s “young and numerous” clergy support him.

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Editorial: It’s time Nienstedt resigns for the church

MINNESOTA
West Central Tribune

By Tribune Opinion

Archbishop John Nienstedt said Wednesday that he plans to remain as the head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

This is unfortunate that Nienstedt is putting his own wishes ahead of the church. It is time that the interest of the Twin Cities archdiocese and the state of Minnesota become paramount for the
The best thing is for Nienstedt to end his service to the Twin Cities archdiocese.

Nienstedt has been under fire for months for his handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

“I have, however, been too trusting of our internal process and not as hands-on as I could have been in matters of priest misconduct,” he wrote in the Catholic Spirit this week.

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Charges Against Priest Dismissed

PENNSYLVANIA
WNEP

SCRANTON — Charges were dismissed in Lackawanna County court against a priest accused of improper acts with a teen girl.

A judged dismissed the charges Friday morning against Fr. Phillip Altavilla, a well-known priest who held one of the most prominent positions in the Diocese of Scranton.

Fr. Altavilla was charged in April with child sex abuse charges, along with furnishing alcohol to minors after alleged contact with a 13-year-old parishioner in 1998.

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Sex assault charges dismissed against area priest

PENNSYLVANIA
Times-Tribune

TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER, STAFF WRITER
Published: August 1, 2014

A Lackawanna County judge today dismissed charges filed against a Diocese of Scranton priest accused of inappropriately touching a teenage girl because the statute of limitations had expired.

Judge Michael Barrasse issued the ruling in the case of the Rev. Philip Altavilla following a hearing this morning, said Paul Walker, Mr. Altavilla’s attorney.

Father Altavilla, 48, was charged in April with indecent assault, corruption of a minor and a related offense after a female came forward to allege he indecently touched her in 1998, when she was 13.

Mr. Walker sought to dismiss the charges, arguing they fell outside the statute of limitations.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr. Walker said at the time the offense allegedly occurred the statute of limitations required the crime be reported within two years after the victim turned 18. In this case, that meant she had to come forward with the allegation by 2005.

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Proof of accused priest’s innocence non-existent

LOUISIANA
IND

The Catholic Diocese of Lafayette points to a 1992 investigation clearing the Rev. Gilbert Dutel of pedophilia allegations as the reason the priest remains active in the church, yet on Thursday, church officials said they were unable to locate any records proving their claim.

The allegations against Dutel — who’s currently ministering at St. Edmonds Catholic Church in Lafayette — resurfaced recently with the unsealing of federal court documents and an investigative, four-part news series by Minnesota Public Radio, showing that the priest was alleged to have molested a young boy in the mid- to late-1970s, prompting an investigation by now retired Bishop Harry Flynn in 1992.

Yet, according to this report from The Daily Advertiser, the diocese responded Thursday to the paper’s request for information pertaining to the 1992 investigation, including the name of who handled the inquiry as well as the contents of Dutel’s file.

The diocese responded through media liaison Monsignor Richard Greene, who tells the Advertiser that it appears the investigation was handled solely by the former bishop, adding that “to the best of our knowledge the police were not involved.”

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Claims MI5 stopped abuse investigation in Belfast

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

A former army intelligence officer has claimed he was told to stop investigating sexual abuse at a boys’ home in Belfast in the 1970s.

Brian Gemmell told the BBC he was ordered to halt his investigation into Kincora Boys’ Home by a senior MI5 officer in 1975, after he presented a report on the allegations.

In 1981, three senior care staff at the east Belfast home were jailed for abusing 11 boys and it has been claimed that people of the “highest profile” were connected.

Mr Gemmell claimed he found out about the abuse through two sources, including an agent called Royal Flush, while he was gathering information about loyalists.

The claims come during a public inquiry in Northern Ireland into institutional child abuse between 1922 and 1995.

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Secrets Act call over abuse inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

01 AUGUST 2014

The Official Secrets Act should be suspended to allow former intelligence officers to give evidence about alleged cover ups during the child abuse inquiry, Amnesty International said.

An ex-soldier involved in military intelligence has claimed he was told to stop investigating sexual abuse at a boys’ home in the 1970s.

Brian Gemmell told the BBC he was ordered to halt his probe into Kincora Boys’ Home in Northern Ireland by a senior MI5 officer in 1975 after presenting a report on the allegations.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland director, said: “The focus must be the protection of children, rather than officials and their dirty secrets.”

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Survivor of sexual abuse inspires others to speak up

CHICAGO (IL)
WBEZ

August 1, 2014
By: Bill Healy

Barbara Blaine was in eighth grade when she was sexually abused by a priest at her Catholic grammar school in Ohio. She felt responsible, that she had caused a good, holy priest to sin.

Last week, Blaine sat down with her friend and mentor, retired Judge Sheila Murphy in the Chicago StoryCorps booth to talk about the trauma that led her to create a network of survivors of sexual abuse by priests.

Blaine asked church leaders to ensure that the priest who abused her would be monitored, and would not come into contact with children. To her surprise, he began working at a hospital where kids sometimes went unsupervised.

Around that same time, Blaine’s father had a stroke and wound up in the same hospital where the priest worked. When she asked the head of pastoral care to make sure the priest didn’t come by her father’s room, she discovered that he was not being monitored, and “It was like a knife going in my stomach,” she said. “I felt so betrayed. I immediately started wondering: If they lied about this, what else did they lie about? I learned much later that he had actually continued to abuse many more girls over the years. And it’s heartbreaking because I feel somewhat responsible.”

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Minnesota Public Radio news team digs into the ‘why’ of scandal

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reporter

Tom Roberts | Aug. 1, 2014

The call reporter Madeleine Baran took from a former employee of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese in June last year was the first step she and her colleagues at Minnesota Public Radio would take down a long and complex trail into another ugly chapter of the clergy sex abuse scandal.

“That was an unusual call to get because people within the chancery do not normally come forward to divulge secrets publicly,” Baran said in a recent interview. “Right away, I knew that this was a unique situation, and right away my editors agreed with that.”

The caller was Jennifer Haselberger, a canon lawyer who, in her work as chancellor of canonical affairs for the archdiocese, had found among its records and archives unreported allegations of clergy sex abuse and lapses in internal investigations. Unable to convince Archbishop John Nienstedt to take the lapses seriously, she had resigned her position in April 2013.

Three months later, she called Baran at Minnesota Public Radio and began telling what she knew. MPR News assembled a team that started an investigation of the details and broadcast its first story in September. The archdiocesan façade began to crumble quickly. As the MPR website states in an introduction to its latest online venture: “The vicar general resigned within days. Police launched criminal investigations. Catholics held protests, and Nienstedt canceled his public appearances.”

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A cruel twisting of a child’s bravery

IRELAND
Sunday World

Friday 1st August 2014
● FR. BRIAN D’ARCY

I’ve just read Sworn to Silence, a new book by Brendan Boland which tells of his abuse at the hands of Father Brendan Smyth.

Boland was an eleven-year-old altar boy at the time.

He is 53 years old and only now feels able to tell his story. It makes harrowing reading, not only because it deals with the abuse itself, but also covers the canonical inquiry when the young Brendan was questioned by three priests, including Fr John Brady – now Cardinal Sean Brady.

Brendan Boland tells his story with Darragh MacIntyre, an awarding-winning investigative reporter.

For the first time the transcript of the interview with the three priests is published word for word. With hindsight, the way Brendan was questioned makes truly awful reading.

Here we have an outstanding example of everything that is wrong with the Church’s handling of abuse victims.

In March 1975, Brendan Boland was brave enough to report Smyth’s abuse. This led to a canonical inquiry. Brendan’s father was not allowed to be present at the interview.

In his book, Brendan tells that even though he was only 14 years old at the time, it was obvious the inquiry tried to put the blame on him.

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Sin and virtue meet in thoroughly Catholic story of ‘Calvary’

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Sr. Rose Pacatte | Aug. 1, 2014

It’s present day in County Sligo, Ireland, and Fr. James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson) is sitting in the confessional waiting for penitents. A man begins speaking, telling about the horrific sexual abuse by a priest that he endured over several years. Lavelle asks him if he’s reported the priest. No, he’s dead. Are you getting help? You mean therapy so I can move forward with my life? No.

Then the man tells Lavelle that he is going to kill him, because what good would it do to kill a bad priest? No, he isn’t going to kill Lavelle now. Instead, he tells Lavelle to meet him on the beach on Sunday morning, a week away.

Lavelle speaks with Bishop Garret Montgomery (David McSavage) and they quickly, and accurately, establish that the seal of confession does not apply because the man didn’t state his sins or ask forgiveness. The bishop asks if Lavelle knows who the man is and Lavelle admits that he does. When Lavelle asks if he should report the threat to his life to the police, the bishop says, oddly, that it’s up to him to decide what to do.

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Minister’s lawsuit targets his own denomination over sexual abuse allegations

ST. LOUIS (MO)
The Kansas City Star

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
08/01/2014

ST. LOUIS
A minister is taking his own denomination to task, claiming in a lawsuit that the Presbyterian Church was partly responsible for sexual abuse he suffered as a teenager.

The Rev. Kris Schondelmeyer, a youth minister in Toledo, Ohio, is seeking unspecified damages in a lawsuit he filed against the Louisville, Ky.-based Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); First Presbyterian Church of Fulton, Mo.; the Missouri Union Presbytery in Jefferson City; and his alleged abuser, Jack Wayne Rogers.

Schondelmeyer, 31, a native of Sedalia, Mo., said he was sexually abused at a youth conference in 2000 in Maryland. At the time, Rogers was a lay pastor in Montgomery County, Mo. The lawsuit alleges Presbyterian officials allowed Rogers to work as a chaperone despite Rogers’ 1992 conviction for child pornography.

An attorney for the denomination declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

Rogers, 69, has a long criminal history.

In 2004 he pleaded guilty in Missouri for practicing medicine without a license and assault for cutting off a man’s penis at a hotel in Columbia as part of a makeshift gender reassignment surgery. That same year he was convicted of federal child pornography and obscenity charges.

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John Balyo waives preliminary exam in Calhoun County

MICHIGAN
WKZO

Friday, August 01, 2014 5:36 a.m. EDT by John McNeill

BATTLE CREEK (WKZO) — Former Christian radio host John Balyo has waived his preliminary exam in Calhoun County District Court on child sexual abuse charges.

He may have waived the hearing to avoid forcing the 11-year-old victim to testify, and a plea deal may be in the works.

That would be consistent with Balyo’s decision Tuesday to cut a deal with U.S. Attorneys and plead guilty to federal charges that he engaged a sexual encounter with a 12-year-old in a Kalamazoo Motel room.

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A priest, 88, is remanded in custody for a 1970s rape of a 12-year-old boy

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites Australia researcher (updated 1 August 2014)

On 1 July 2014 an Australian jury convicted a Melbourne priest (Father James Henry Scannell, 88) on a charge of buggery, committed against a 12-year-old boy more than 40 years ago. After the assault, the priest required the boy to take part in Confession and ordered him not to tell anybody about the assault, the court was told. The victim (now in his fifties) finally reported this crime to the police after learning that his aunt’s funeral in 2010 was to be conducted by this priest. As well as working in this parish, Father Scannell was a “chaplain” for many years for vulnerable people at the Kew Mental Hospital and Children’s Cottages in Melbourne.

In the Melbourne County Court on 1 August 2014, Judge David Parsons began pre-sentence proceedings for Scannell. The judge heard submissons by the prosecutor and the church’s defence lawyer about what sort of sentence should be imposed on Scannell. The court received a written impact statement from the victim, outlining how the church-abuse disrupted his adolesence and his later life. The judge then remanded Scannell in custody. The judge will hand down his sentence in a week’s time.

Court documents stated that in the early 1970s, as well as his chaplaincy at the Kew Cottages, Father Scannell was doing some ministering in a nearby parish (St Anne’s, East Kew), and this is where the 12-year-old boy lived. The boy’s aunt knew Father Scannell and this is how the boy came into contact with the priest. The boy was paid to do some odd jobs at the priest’s house in East Kew, where the sexual abuse occurred. Father Scannell was then aged in his mid-forties.

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Judge says settlement money for victim of priest sex abuse drained by victim’s relatives

DELAWARE
Daily Reporter

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: July 31, 2014

WILMINGTON, Delaware — A Delaware judge says much of the settlement money for a man who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest has been spent by family members on cars, jewelry and other property.

The man was one of more than 150 abuse victims who reached settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington in 2011.

The News Journal of Wilmington (http://delonline.us/1s5pRoC) reports $347,901 that was put in a trust dwindled to barely $3,000 in five months. Court records show two relatives denied cheating their relative. They contend purchases were made with his consent and often for his benefit.

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Vic abuse victim says he is ‘scarred’

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A Victorian man sexually assaulted as a child by a Catholic priest says weddings and christenings leave him devastated for months because they stir up memories of the attack.

The former altar boy, now aged in his 50s, said he lived with guilt and loss every day since he was molested in the 1970s.

The now-retired priest, 88-year-old James Henry Scannell, was last month found guilty of a single charge of buggery by a Victorian County Court jury.

He continues to deny committing the assault.

The victim said the attack had left him unable to form one-on-one friendships and put a strain on his marriage.

‘I have lost my religion, I lost this the day I was molested,’ he said in a victim impact statement read to the court.

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All the News That’s Fit To Manufacture: NYT’s Laurie Goodstein Provides Free P.R. …

MINNESOTA
TheMediaReport

All the News That’s Fit To Manufacture: NYT’s Laurie Goodstein Provides Free P.R. For New Jeff Anderson Lawsuit And Touts Non-Existent Campaign to Force St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop’s Resignation

While the New York Times’ travails are well known, it appears that the venerable old newspaper still has the resources to devote a reporter to cover a single story line if that story line happens to dovetail with the paper’s political leanings.

As our nearby Scoreboard illustrates, the Times’ National Religion Correspondent, Laurie Goodstein, seems to really only cover one story in the vast world of religion today: old sex abuse claims in the Catholic Church.

Now Goodstein is providing free p.r. for another lawsuit against the Church by Jeff Anderson and promoting a flimsy campaign among left-wing crazies to sack St. Paul – Minneapolis Archbishop John C. Nienstedt.

And, as it just so happens, the Times’ editorial board later wrote an editorial calling for Nienstedt’s resignation.

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Legal Fee Bill for Archdiocese of Milwaukee Must be Paid

WISCONSIN
JD Journal

On Wednesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley ruled that the Milwaukee archdiocese must pay legal and professional fees they have accrued over the last 17 months. The diocese must use $1.35 million in surplus cash, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

Lawyers who have represented the creditors in the case must be paid by the archdiocese. Most of the creditors in the case are survivors of sexual abuse. The archdiocese was also ordered to pay its own legal experts in the case.

The archdiocese has accrued more than $14 million in legal fees since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January of 2011.

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Record number of submissions received on redress

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

1 August, 2014

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published 78 submissions in response to its recent issues paper on redress schemes.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the high number of submissions reflected strong community interest in the issue.

“The Royal Commission is undertaking broad consultation and research on the effectiveness of redress schemes in the context of child sexual abuse in institutions, and expects to make recommendations by mid-2015,” Mr Reed said.

“The Royal Commission is currently reviewing and analysing national and international redress schemes, and has published three issues papers on civil litigation, redress, and compensation schemes.”

Submissions to issues paper six were received from a range of individuals and organisations, including government, religious organisations, community service organisations, lawyers, survivor advocacy and support groups and other support services.

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Royal Commission forum for deaf and hard of hearing

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

1 August, 2014

The Royal Commission is holding a national information session in Sydney on Monday for people who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing.

The event will feature live captions and Auslan interpreters, and it will also be webcast on the Royal Commission website.

Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald will explain the work of the Royal Commission and answer questions from the community.

If you cannot attend in person, but would like to ask a question about the Royal Commission you can let us know by Twitter or email. Please send your question to @CARoyalComm on Twitter or email media@childabuseroyalcommision.gov.au

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Diocese may send sexual abuse allegation to abuse review board

LOUISIANA
KATC

The Diocese of Lafayette is considering a review of an investigation they did decades ago on abuse allegations by a current priest.

Father Gilbert Dutel was named in a deposition from 1992, that was recently uncovered by a Minnesota Public Radio investigation. The Lafayette Diocese told KATC they investigated the claims at the time and the allegations were never proven.

However, today, Bishop Michael Jarrell tells KATC he may submit the matter to the Diocesan Abuse Review Board. Dutel’s name was not listed in any lawsuit or criminal filings as a defendant.

KATC did find new details on just how much the diocese has paid out and how many allegations were made.

About 50 families were paid about $23.5 million in settlements from 1983 to 1991 after they were apparently abused by priests employed by the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette, according to court documents.

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Church doesn’t have report clearing priest

LOUISIANA
Bayou Buzz

Billy Gunn| bgunn@theadvocate.com
July 31, 2014

LAFAYETTE — Diocese of Lafayette officials said Thursday they do not have the investigative report they say exonerated the Rev. Gilbert Dutel after claims of sexual abuse were leveled at the priest in 1992.

Dutel, 69 and the priest at St. Edmond Catholic Church in Lafayette since June 2010, was revealed in newly uncovered court documents as a priest suspected of abusing at least one youth in the mid- and late-1970s, a boy who said he was 9 or 10 when it started and an early teen when it stopped.

“There was an investigation by Bishop Harry Flynn in 1992,” Monsignor Richard Greene, media liaison for the diocese, said in an emailed response to questions posed by The Advocate.

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Jarrell may ask review board for advice on 1992 abuse allegation

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

Claire Taylor July 31, 2014

Bishop Michael Jarrell may ask a confidential review board to advise him with regard to sexual abuse allegations made in 1992 against a priest still ministering in Lafayette.

But Jarrell, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette, doesn’t plan on re-opening an investigation into the claims made by a 26-year-old man in 1992 against the Rev. Gilbert Dutel, who is pastor at St. Edmond Catholic Church.

The Daily Advertiser submitted questions to Jarrell on Wednesday, and Thursday via email to Monsignor Richard Greene, the diocese’s media liaison, after learning about the 1992 accusations.

In a sworn statement, the accuser said that when he was a boy in Vermilion Parish Dutel was a family friend and priest who abused him over several years. He also accused two other priests of molestation, one of whom was convicted of molestation in Washington state and the other who admitted to abusing children and later committed suicide in Virginia in 2012 when some of his victims confronted his wife about his past.

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Archbishop Nienstedt says he will not resign

MINNESOTA
KARE

Jay Olstad, KARE July 31, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. – In a rare series of interviews, Archbishop John Nienstedt sat down with KARE 11 and other news outlets to answer questions about the growing concerns over his handling of clergy sex abuse.

For months, his critics have called for his resignation. Nienstedt said he’s not going anywhere.

“We want people to know we are not just sitting here taking our licks. We’ve been working very, very hard and I have whole new team in place now,” he said.

He said the church has made improvements, including beefing up monitoring programs for priests who have abused in the past. He also said church officials have reviewed 3,000 priest files and are implementing recommendations from an archdiocese task force.

Nienstedt took over as Archbishop in 2008 and one year later assigned Father Curtis Wehmeyer to be the pastor at Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul.

He did this despite warnings by some church officials about Wehmeyer’s past sexual behavior, including a time where he allegedly solicited young men for sex in a coffee shop. Nienstedt said the allegations did not involve young children.

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Archbishop John Nienstedt: ‘I Never Covered up Sexual Abuse by Priests’

MINNESOTA
KSTP

[with video]

By: Jay Kolls

In one-on-one interview, the Archbishop of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese defended himself and his actions as head of the Catholic Church in Minnesota.

Archbishop John Nienstedt tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS “I never covered up allegations of child sexual abuse by priests.” Nienstedt and the Catholic Church have been sued for not reporting and then covering up allegations of child sexual abuse by priests in the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese.
When questioned about his time as Bishop of the New Ulm Diocese, the Archbishop tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS his memory about incidents when he was in charge there between 2001 and 2007 are not as clear.

We asked if he ever received a report about a priest sexually abusing a child and then reported it to police. Nienstedt said “my recollection is a little, ah, short at this point. Um, but I think, um, I just don’t remember, to be honest with you.” Some see his response as a bombshell.

Dr. Charles Reid, a lawyer and Catholic Church expert at the University of St. Thomas, says Nienstedt’s response is “absolutely unbelievable. He either knows, or he doesn’t know. It is an absolutely unbelievable response.”

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