Catholics need to see accountability

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Written by
Tim Rohr

Each Lent the Catholics of Guam are asked to contribute to a special “appeal.” Traditionally, most of the funds collected during the appeal were used to help finance the formation of priests for this diocese who were normally sent to seminaries in the states.

In 2002, with the establishment of Redemptoris Mater Seminary, or RMS, in Yona, Guam Catholics were led to believe that this was a seminary for Guam and that our men would no longer have to be sent to seminaries in the states. Appeal funds began to flow directly to RMS.

Over the years, it occurred to some that there was something suspicious about RMS. Not only were there hardly any local men there, the place was teeming with seminarians who had been brought to Guam by the archbishop from several other countries.

Guam Catholics are used…

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“Righteous” reputations of churches that don’t care

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service – Rhymes with Religion

[An Advocate for the Sexually Abused Demands Answers from Prestonwood Baptist Church – Dallas Observer]

Boz Tchividjian | Feb 28, 2015

Earlier this week, the Dallas Observer published a cover story about a former minister who was recently convicted of sexually abusing children in Mississippi. According to the article, prior to this offender getting caught for these crimes, he served as a youth minister in a Dallas area megachurch. The story reports that while serving in that position, a minor who had been part of the youth group stepped forward and disclosed to another pastor on staff that this individual had sexually abused him. The article reported that instead of reporting the youth minister to the police, the megachurch allowed him to leave town where he eventually found employment at another church. Not only did the church fail to…

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We all knew the hit job on Cardinal Pell was coming. That’s because he’s doing his job

UNITED KINGDOM
The Spectator

Damian Thompson

Ever since Cardinal George Pell was appointed by Pope Francis to clean up the Vatican’s finances, I knew a hit job was coming; and I was doubly certain when he spoke up for orthodox cardinals when their views were being trashed by the liberal organisers of the chaotic ‘Carry On Synod’ on the Family.

The Sydney Morning Herald, no fan of Pell in his days as Archbishop of Sydney, has accused him of ‘living it up at the Holy See’s expense’. They cite leaked documents purporting to show he rented an office and apartment in Rome at a cost of £2,580 a month – which, unless I’ve got the figures wrong, isn’t very expensive. Plus £1,270 on ‘religious robes’. Oh, for God’s sake. As a senior cardinal, Pell is required to wear a soutane plus other bits of church uniform, and since he’s…

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Fr. Lombardi: L’Espresso articles are undignified and petty

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The Vatican spokesman informed that the Vatican’s financial statements for 2014 will be published in the next few months, along with the estimated budgets for 2015 for all of the entities of the Holy See, including the Secretariat

IACOPO SCARAMUZZI
VATICAN CITY

The Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has responded to a series of articles published in today’s issue of Italian weekly news magazine L’Espresso, on the internal struggles purportedly going on within the Vatican regarding the ongoing economic reforms. “Passing confidential documents to the press for polemical ends or to foster conflict is not new, but is always to be strongly condemned, and is illegal,” Fr. Lombardi said. “The fact that complex economic or legal issues are the subject of discussion and diverse points of view should be considered normal. In light of the views expressed, the Pope issues guidelines, and everybody follows…

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Sacerdote pederasta mexicano es buscado en 180 países

MEXICO
Sopitas

[Priest Eduardo Cordova Bautista of the San Luis Potosi diocese is wanted in 180 countries thought the Interpol international police agency. He is wanted in connection with allegations that he sexually abused 19 young people.]

El sacerdote que llegó a fungir como representante de la Arquidiócesis de San Luis Potosí, de nombre Eduardo Córdova Bautista, es buscado en 180 países a través de la Policía Internacional de la Interpol por el abuso sexual de 19 menores.De acuerdo con el procurador de Justicia de SLP, Miguel Ángel García Covarrubias, se tramitó una alerta migratoria en la Interpol Washington ante el supuesto caso de que el cura intente entrar o salir de Estados Unidos.El procurador de Justicia emitió esta respuesta en un comunicado luego de que defensores de las víctimas protestaran, acusando que el gobierno de San Luis Potosí protege al prófugo sacerdote pederasta.

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Youth pastor accused of inappropriate relationship with juvenile

LOUISIANA
WDSU

[with video]

A local youth pastor is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl. Jonathan Bailey has been charged with one count of indecent relationship with a juvenile.

Bailey, 33, is married and was working as youth minister at Lakeview’s First Baptist New Orleans Church. He had been with the church for 2 years.

The church’s head pastor, David Crosby, said surveillance cameras captured an “uncomfortable” situation, which prompted him to talk to the girl in the video.

“When I talked to her and heard her story, that’s when I realized this is something I have to report to police,” Crosby said.

He fired Bailey, escorted him off church grounds and called police to file a report.

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Father Andy The Sequel Opens With Tears And A Shouting Match

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

When we last saw “Father Andy” McCormick nearly a year ago, thanks to a deadlocked jury, the priest was strolling out of the Criminal Justice Center as a free man.

Today, in Courtroom 1102, the priest was back in court with a new lawyer facing the same accuser. And some long odds in a retrial.

The alleged victim in the case is a slender, gay 27-year-old business manager for a large New York City cosmetics firm. He claims that back during the 1997-98 school year when he was a 10-year-old altar boy in fourth grade, Father Andy lured the boy up to his room in the rectory at St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg. Then, according to the alleged victim, the priest locked the door, shoved the boy down on the bed, tore off his clothes, and tried to…

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Kloster Ettal: “Wenn die Täter die Taten bestritten, sei dies stets gleichbedeutend mit dem Vorwurf der Lüge an die Adresse der Opfer.”

DEUTSCHLAND
Sexueller Missbrauch durch Angehörige der katholischen Kirche im Bistum Trier

Claudia Adams

Der Münchner Rechtsanwalt Thomas Pfister sagte der Katholischen Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA), ein großes Problem bei Sexualstrafverfahren sei die Unehrlichkeit der Täter. Wenn sie die Taten bestritten, sei dies stets gleichbedeutend mit dem Vorwurf der Lüge an die Adresse der Opfer. Ein ehrlich gemeintes Geständnis müsse eigentlich zum Prozessauftakt abgelegt werden. “Sonst liegt der Verdacht nahe, dass es nur taktisch motiviert ist, um einer Haftstrafe ohne Bewährung zu entgehen”, sagte der Strafverteidiger.

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Opferverein kritisiert Bewährungsstrafe

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholisch

[An association of victims of abuse at Ettal Monastery said giving their abuser probation is no penalty.]

Kloster Ettal | 27.02.2015 – München

Der Verein Ettaler Missbrauchs- und Misshandlungsopfer hält die vom Landgericht München II dem geständigen Pater G. zugesagte Bewährungsstrafe für problematisch. Aus Sicht von Missbrauchsopfern sei es keine Strafe, “wenn jemand nicht einmal eine Woche ins Gefängnis muss”, sagte der Vereinsvorsitzende Robert Köhler am Freitag auf Anfrage der Katholischen Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA) in München. Eine solche Sanktion werde dem “Vergeltungsbedürfnis der Opfer” nicht gerecht.

Zugleich würdigte Köhler die grundsätzliche Bedeutung des Geständnisses. Damit könne nicht mehr bezweifelt werden, dass es diese Übergriffe gegeben habe. Der Ordensmann hatte nach jahrelangem Leugnen am Donnerstag sich im Sinne der Anklage für schuldig bekannt. Demnach hat er als Internatspräfekt in Kloster Ettal zwischen 2001 und 2005 drei Schüler insgesamt 23 Mal sexuell missbraucht. Das Gericht hatte ihm zuvor für den…

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Magazin: Widerstand gegen mächtigen Kardinal Pell

VATIKAN
Katholisch

Gegen den Chef des vatikanischen Wirtschaftssekretariates, Kardinal George Pell, regt sich einem Pressebericht zufolge starker Widerstand in der Kurie. Laut dem italienischen Nachrichtenmagazin “L’Espresso” (Freitag) wehrt sich das Kardinalsgremium der vatikanischen Güterverwaltung APSA gegen die Beschneidung ihrer Kompetenzen durch die von Papst Franziskus geschaffene Behörde.

Die Kardinäle werfen dem 73-jährigen Pell demnach vor, er versuche, immer weitere Verwaltungsbereiche unter seine Kontrolle zu bringen, und stoße dabei die Mitarbeiter anderer Dikasterien vor den Kopf. Das Wirtschaftssekretariat soll gemeinsam mit dem Wirtschaftsrat die Finanz- und Immobilienbestände des Vatikan erfassen und in eine gemeinsame Bilanz bringen.

Teure Kleidung und Dienstflüge

Der APSA-Präsident, Kardinal Domenico Calcagno, habe bei Franziskus persönlich gegen Maßnahmen Pells protestiert, schreibt das Blatt. Der Chef des Wirtschaftssekretariates habe Calcagno zuvor per E-Mail mitgeteilt, er werde die Umformung der APSA zu einem bloßen Schatzamt “ohne jede Verzögerung” umsetzen.

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Kampf um Vatikan-Vermögen

VATIKAN
Kurier

Machtkämpfe, Finanzeinfluss, Verschwendungssucht und Luxusausgaben: Das sind die Zutaten des neuen “Vatileaks”-Skandals, der in Rom für Aufregung sorgt. Das Wochenmagazin L’Espresso hat geheime Dokumente veröffentlicht, die von einem erbitterten Machtkampf unter Kardinälen über den Einfluss auf die Finanzen des Kirchenstaats zeugen. Dabei geht es um lukrative Geschäfte in Millionen-Euro-Höhe.

Zwei Lager

Der Unmut der Purpurträger richtet sich dabei vor allem gegen eine Person: Kardinal George Pell. Der 73-jährige Australier wurde vor rund einem Jahr von Papst Franziskus mit der Leitung des neuen Wirtschaftssekretariats, das die vatikanischen Finanzen kontrolliert, beauftragt. Auch bei der umfassenden Kurienreform des Pontifex, die auf Widerstand stößt, spielt George Pell eine tragende Rolle. Er ist Mitglied des Kardinalrats, einer achtköpfigen Gruppe, die dem Papst bei der Kurienreform zur Seite stehen.

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Bishop suspends priest while he reviews case

PENNSYLVANIA
The Altoona Mirror

February 28, 2015
By Ryan Brown (rbrown@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

Bishop Mark L. Bartchak, head of the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese, has suspended a Philipsburg priest amid a review of decades-old child sex abuse allegations, diocese officials announced Friday in a news release.

The Rev. Robert Kelly of SS. Peter and Paul parish in Philipsburg will be kept away from children and forbidden to serve as a priest until the diocese completes an internal investigation, spokesman Tony DeGol said. Kelly, 66 – who has served across the diocese, including in Altoona – was named in a 2003 lawsuit that alleged he’d abused an altar boy in the 1970s.

The diocese settled that case and several others a year later. Kelly remained the parish priest and continued to head the diocese’s missions office until his recent suspension.

“This was an old case that the…

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Cardinal appointed by Pope Francis …

VATICAN CITY
Telegraph (UK)

Cardinal appointed by Pope Francis to reform Vatican budget accused of massive overspending

By Nick Squires, Rome 28 Feb 2015

A cardinal appointed by Pope Francis to introduce budgetary rigour and transparency to the Vatican’s murky finances spent half a million euros (£360,000) on business-class flights, furniture and other expenses, it emerged on Friday.

Cardinal George Pell, a former archbishop of Sydney, was appointed as the Vatican’s new finance czar last year as the Pope embarked on sweeping reforms of the Holy See’s economy.

But his apparent taste for luxury and good living stands in stark contrast to the frugality and austerity espoused by the Pope, who lives in a modest residence rather than the opulent Apostolic Palace and has eschewed grand motorcades in favour of humble hatch-backs.

Cardinal Pell reportedly spent 501,000 euros between July last year and January this year on business class…

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Prosecutors add five child sexual abuse counts against Tulsa shelter volunteer

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

By AMANDA BLAND World Staff Writer

A Tulsa man accused of sexually abusing boys he met through church and as a volunteer at a local Department of Human Services shelter was bound over on 14 criminal counts Friday.

Special Judge Cliff Smith ordered Timothy Shawn Cato, 50, to stand trial on two counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12, a single count of possessing child pornography and 11 counts of child sexual abuse — five of which prosecutors added Friday.

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Former wife of ex-teacher Graziotti warned of child sex abuse 11 years ago

FLORIDA
News-Journal

By Katie Kustura & Frank Fernandez
katie.kustura@news-jrnl.com frank.fernandez@news-jrnl.com

Published: Friday, February 27, 2015

The ex-wife of a former Warner Christian Academy teacher sentenced last month to 210 years in federal prison maintained a list of suspicious incidents starting more than a decade ago between her husband and children, according to police reports released Friday.

Matthew Graziotti, who had refused to speak with investigators, was a skilled sexual predator who used his position as a schoolteacher, summer camp director and church volunteer to get close to children, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Gable, who prosecuted the 43-year-old.

Graziotti was given a hefty prison sentence by U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton Jr. on Jan. 26 before a courtroom packed with angry adults, including Graziotti’s former wife who sent up the first red flags about Graziotti.

Edgewater police began looking into Graziotti in May 2004 when Susan Little…

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Identities of priest abusers in Twin Cities archdiocese increasingly are going public

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: February 27, 2015

The archdiocese bankruptcy filing has stopped the lawsuits, but the public naming of clergy accused of sexually abusing children is picking up pace.

The bankruptcy filing of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis has halted lawsuits against accused child sex abusers, but it has not stopped the public release of their names.

Seventeen priests, including such high-profile men as the late Catholic Charities leader Jerome Boxleitner and the late Auxiliary Bishop Leonard Cowley, were recently identified by victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson. The archdiocese also recently added five more names to its website, including the Rev. Freddy Montero, who returned to Ecuador in 2007 while under investigation for criminal sexual conduct.

The names will keep coming under terms of an agreement reached in October between the church and Anderson, and documentation of the incidents will follow.

Already…

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Philipsburg priest on leave after allegations of sexual misconduct

PENNSYLVANIA
Centre Daily Times

BY LORI FALCE
lfalce@centredaily.comFebruary 27, 2015

A Philipsburg priest will not be celebrating Mass or performing other duties after being placed on leave.

In a statement Friday, Altoona-Johnstown diocese Bishop Mark Bartchak announced that the Rev. Robert Kelly was “on leave from active ministry” because of allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors dating back more than 30 years.

Kelly is the pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philipsburg and director of the diocesan office of the Propagation of the Faith. He has been in Philipsburg since 2001. Kelly, 66, became a priest in 1974. According to the diocese, he has “served assignments at various parishes throughout the diocese.”

In 2003, Kelly was accused of molesting an altar boy at Our Lady of Victory in State College before his transfer to Philipsburg.

According to his accuser at that time, Kelly sexually abused him numerous…

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Attack on Pope Francis’s man smacks of ‘Vatileaks’ scandal

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew

Sat, Feb 28, 2015

The ghost of “Vatileaks” hung in the Vatican air yesterday following the publication by Italian news weekly, L’Espresso, of a report critical of Australian cardinal George Pell, the point man for Pope Francis in the “clean-up” of the Vatican’s finances.

L’Espresso alleges that in its first six months, the Secretariat for the Economy, an organisation established by Pope Francis to oversee the restructuring and rationalisation of the Holy See’s economic affairs, has already run up more than half a million euro in expenses.

The implication is that while Cardinal Pell, the prefect of the secretariat, has been busy preaching to the Curia about the steep and thorny path to fiscal rectitude, he himself has been treading the primrose path of dalliance.

To support these claims, L’Espresso provides an inventory of costs which include airline travel, lavish interior design renovations,…

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The ‘Whom to Call List’

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

02/27/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

When I worked at the Chancery in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the ‘Whom to Call List’ was an essential tool for the receptionists (who I supervised) as it helped them determine to whom they should forward the calls that were received via the general Chancery telephone number. From a more theoretical standpoint, the ‘list’ also outlined the way in which the Archdiocesan administration operated and understood itself. Competencies and areas of responsibility were zealously guarded by some members of staff, and so the accuracy of the list took on an internecine importance far greater than one would otherwise expect.

For that reason I was intrigued when, earlier this month, a copy of the 2015 ‘Whom to Call List’ (also referred to as the ‘Directory’) appeared in my inbox. Produced in January of 2015, the document provides some insight into how…

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Alleged forged DPP letter was ‘bad quality photocopied document’ …

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Alleged forged DPP letter was ‘bad quality photocopied document’, forensic expert tells detective’s trial

Nicola Donnelly
PUBLISHED
27/02/2015

A forensic expert has told the trial of a detective accused of forging a letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions that the letter was a “bad quality photocopied document.”

Inspector Michael Moore, who has completed forensic training courses with the US Secret Service and London Metropolitan Police and has 20 years experience in the forensic field, testified that he was asked to determine if the letter, dated January 14, 2004, allegedly from the office of the DPP, was genuine or if it was produced using parts of other documents.

Wicklow detective Garda Catherine McGowan (48), who is based at Bray Garda Station, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15, 2009 at Bray Garda Station and two counts of using a…

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L’ESPRESSO: ‘RUZIE ONDER DE KARDINALEN OVER HET BEHEER VAN DE FINANCIËN VAN HET VATICAAN’

VATICAAN
Kerknet

ROME (KerkNet/L’Espresso) – Het Italiaanse weekblad ‘L’Espresso’ publiceert vandaag vertrouwelijke documenten over de interne strijd binnen het Vaticaan over de financiële controle. Paus Franciscus is sinds zijn aantreden op vraag van het kardinaalscollege dat hem verkozen heeft gestart met een hervorming van de financiën van het Vaticaan, met het oog op financiële transparantie. De herstructurering is cruciaal voor alle andere hervormingen die paus Franciscus nog wil doorvoeren.
Pater Lombardi, de directeur van de persdienst van het Vaticaan, veroordeelde vrijdagavond tijdens een ontmoeting met journalisten dat vertrouwelijke documenten gepubliceerd worden, al voegde hij er zonder expliciete verwijzing naar ‘Vatileaks’ aan toe dat dit niet nieuw is. “Het is niet abnormaal dat ingrijpende economische of juridische hervormingen voorwerp van discussie zijn.”

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Barry Freundel resigns from Towson University

MARYLAND
WBAL

TOWSON, Md. —Rabbi Barry Freundel resigned Thursday as a professor at Towson University, university spokesman Ray Feldmann told WBAL-TV 11 News.

A rabbi and suspended Towson University professor accused of secretly videotaping more than 150 women at a Jewish ritual bath at Washington, D.C., synagogue pleads guilty Thursday to dozens of counts against him.

Freundel, 63, was arrested in October after a hidden camera disguised as a digital clock radio was discovered in the shower area of the National Capital Mikvah, a ritual cleansing bath affiliated with the Kesher Israel synagogue, where Freundel had worked as a rabbi for more than 25 years.

Last week, Freundel pleaded guilty to 52 misdemeanor counts of voyeurism for secretly videotaping more than 150 women.

Each count carries a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 or $2,500. Freundel faces a maximum of 52…

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Rabbi resigns from Towson University after guilty plea; earns more than $30,000 while suspended

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

By Alison Knezevich
The Baltimore Sun

A rabbi who pleaded guilty to voyeurism charges last week has resigned from his teaching post at Towson University.

Barry Freundel, who had taught at the university since 2009, submitted his resignation on Thursday, effective March 27, according to university spokesman Ray Feldmann.

The resignation comes after negotiations between the rabbi and the university, where he was a tenured faculty member. Freundel, 63, has been on paid leave since after his arrest in October. Since being suspended from his teaching duties, Freundel has been paid $26,084 by the university, Feldmann said. He will get an additional $4,746 in the next month.

The paid leave was in line with University System of Maryland personnel policy for tenured faculty accused of wrongdoing, Feldmann said.

An administrative hearing could have been a lengthy and costly process for the school, he said.

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Rabbi accused of videotaping women resigns from university

MARYLAND
Houston Chronicle

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Orthodox rabbi who pleaded guilty to videotaping nude women in a ritual bath in Washington has resigned from his post at Towson University in Maryland.

WJZ-TV reports (http://cbsloc.al/1vHy3jv ) that Barry Freundel, who pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism and admitted to secretly videotaping women in the changing room of a ritual bath in a Washington synagogue for years, turned in his resignation letter to Towson University on Thursday.

Freundel was an adjunct professor at both Towson and Georgetown universities

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Philipsburg priest placed on leave following sexual misconduct allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

Updated: Friday, February 27 2015

PHILIPSBURG, Pa. — The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese has placed the Rev. Robert J. Kelly on leave from active ministry as the result of allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors dating back more than 30 years.

Kelly, 66, has been serving as pastor of Saints Peter and Paul parish in Philipsburg and director of the Diocesan Office of the Propagation of the Faith. While on leave, Kelly will not be permitted to function as a priest, and he will reside at a place where he has no contact with children.

The Rev. John M. Gibbons has been appointed as temporary administrator at Saints Peter and Paul. Kelly was ordained to the priesthood in 1974. He was appointed director of the Office of the Propagation of the Faith in 1994, and appointed pastor of Saints Peter and Paul in 2001.

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Priest placed on leave due to sexual misconduct allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

February 27, 2015

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest in western Pennsylvania has been placed on leave due to sexual misconduct allegations dating back more than three decades.

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown placed the Rev. Robert Kelly on leave Friday from his role as the pastor of Saints Peter & Paul Parish in Philipsburg.

The 66-year-old priest hasn’t been charged criminally. A spokesman for the archdiocese says the allegations involving minors were first made several years ago.

The accusations were recently re-evaluated, and the bishop decided to place Kelly on leave.

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DEVELOPING: Priest Accused of Sexual Misconduct

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

PHILIPSBURG, CENTRE COUNTY – We have a developing story involving the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. A Centre County priest was placed on leave Friday for accusations of sexual misconduct.

Rev. Robert Kelly has been serving as pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Philipsburg. In a statement, Bishop Mark Bartchak said the accusations involve children and they date back more than 30 years

While on leave, Kelly cannot serve as a priest and can have no contact with children. We did research and found that this is not the first time Rev. Kelly has been accused of sexual abuse

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Former Cheshire rabbi …

CONNECTICUT
Record-Journal

Former Cheshire rabbi agrees to extradition, faces trial over charges of ‘indecent liberties’ with a minor

By Andrew Ragali Record-Journal staff

MERIDEN — Authorities from Virginia will likely take former Cheshire rabbi Eric Silver into custody within the next two weeks. Appearing in Superior Court Friday morning, Silver agreed to face trial in Virginia, where he is charged with three counts of indecent liberties with a child.

On Monday, Cheshire police arrested Silver, 72, of 42 Willow Brook Drive, at his home. The charges stem from reported incidents that occurred between January 1968 and June 1970

Silver was represented by Meriden-based attorney Charles Thompson, Jr. in court Friday. He showed no emotion as he faced Superior Court Judge Jack W. Fischer, responding “yes your honor” when Fischer asked if he agreed to waive extradition.

Since his arrest Monday, Silver has been held at the New Haven Correctional…

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Pope Francis pulls in George Pell over $700k office fitout

VATICAN CITY
The Australian

FEBRUARY 28, 2015

FRUGAL Pope Francis has ­questioned Australian cardinal ­George Pell’s spending, ­according to Italy’s prestigious L’Espresso magazine.

The current affairs magazine has branded Cardinal Pell “the “Cardinal of luxury’’, claiming he last year spent half a million euros ($720,000) in six months setting up his new office after the Pope appointed him to reform Vatican finances.

It claims the Pope questioned Cardinal Pell about the cost, which included furniture, rugs, made-to-measure clothing and business-class flights.

The article, published yesterday, says the Pope was critical of an under-sink storage unit that cost €4600 and asked: “What, is it made of solid gold? Can you tell me how you managed to spend half a million euros?’’

According to the magazine, Cardinal Pell replied: “Your Holiness, trust me. I have purchased only what is needed. I know what I’m doing.’’

L’Espresso says Cardinal Pell —…

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Rome–Victims question church-state ties in Norway, other nations

UNITED STATES
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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com , davidgclohessy@gmail.com )

Norwegian Catholic officials are accused of exaggerating church rosters to get more money. We’re skeptical of Oslo Bishop Bernt Eidsvig’s claims that he and his colleagues “never intended to do anything illegal.”

[The Local]

We’re saddened by these allegations and urge governments to reconsider their agreements to collect fees for churches. These arrangements invite corruption and discourage abuse victims, witnesses and whistleblowers.

This kind of system gives churches too much power to church officials and deters abuse victims from speaking up (“See how powerful church is? See how closely it’s tied to secular authorities? Who will believe me? Why risk speaking up? Nothing will be done if I tell police or prosecutors”)

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Vatican watchdog’s spending is slammed in magazine report

VATICAN CITY
Los Angeles Times

By TOM KINGTON

The Australian cardinal handpicked by Pope Francis to cut outlays and shed light on the Vatican’s murky finances has been accused of spending about $560,000 in six months by flying business class and using large sums on salaries and office furniture.

The allegations, contained in leaked figures published by Italian magazine L’Espresso on Friday, suggest Cardinal George Pell also spent $2,800 on religious robes at a tailor and about $5,200 on kitchen sink fittings.

Despite Francis’ decision to move into humble dwellings at the Vatican, Pell has spent more than $3,200 a month to rent an office and apartment at an upmarket address where he spent nearly $53,000 on furniture, according to the allegations.

After his move to Rome to spearhead Francis’ mission to free up Vatican funds for the poor, the former archbishop of Sydney said he would try…

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Toronto pastor faces more sexual assault charges, four alleged victims so far

CANADA
The Daily Courier

Friday, February 27, 2015

TORONTO – Police have laid more sexual assault charges against a Toronto pastor.

They say four people in total have now come forward with allegations regarding Wayne Marlon Jones.
Police say Jones was a pastor at the former Mount Ararat Baptist church and offered “spiritual guidance” to women from 1993 to late 1996.

They say that during these sessions he allegedly sexually assaulted women.

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Il Vaticano contro la nostra inchiesta «Sono notizie indegne e meschine»

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO
L’Espresso

[Vaticano, è battaglia per il tesoro]

[Father Lombardi criticizes the investigation of the power struggles among the cardinals near Bergoglio. “The passage of confidential documents is illegal.”]

Padre Lombardi critica aspramente l’inchiesta di copertina sulle lotte per il potere tra i cardinali vicini a Bergoglio. «Il passaggio di documenti riservati è illegale». L’Espresso ha rivelato anche le spese pazze dell’australiano Pell, tra cui voli in business e abiti su misura da 2.500 euro: «L’articolo è un attacco personale». Ma non vengono smentiti i fatti raccontati

DI EMILIANO FITTIPALDI
27 febbraio 2015

La Santa Sede non ha gradito l’inchiesta di copertina “Santa Romana Spesa” pubblicata da “L’Espresso” questa settimana, dove si raccontano le lotte per il potere tra i cardinali nominati al vertice della gerarchia ecclesiastica da papa Francesco. Padre Federico Lombardi, direttore della sala stampa vaticana, non ha infatti smentito una sola riga…

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Opening address by Archbishop Eamon Martin at First National Safeguarding Conference Athlone

IRELAND
Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference

Our discussions this weekend should be rooted in a promise that we are now doing everything possible to ensure that the terrible things which happened them in the past shall not happen again – Archbishop Eamon

The first National Safeguarding Conference hosted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland marks a significant milestone on our journey. I use the words ‘milestone’ and ‘journey’ very deliberately.

I remember as a little boy noticing ‘milestones’ along the road and being told they were markers to reassure travellers that they were on the correct path, or, useful reference points for road services and planners when they were examining the state of the highway and making decisions about future needs.

Similarly, our Conference this weekend provides an opportunity for us to look back on where we have come from and assess our…

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Never forget ‘shameful shadow’ of abuse: Dr Martin

IRELAND
Derry Journal

The Derry-born head of the Catholic Church in Ireland says the “shameful shadow” of clerical sex abuse has left an “indelible mark” on the lives of so many people.

Branding the abuse scandal a “pitiful chapter in the life of the church”, Archbishop Eamon Martin says no-one should forget the legacy of “betrayal, trauma and shame” that it has had in Ireland.

Dr Martin was speaking at the opening of the first National Safeguarding Conference hosted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

He said that, if the weekend event in Athlone was to be worthwhile, “I suggest we ground our deliberations in two underlying themes: the legacy of past failure and the importance of safeguarding as a shared responsibility within the Church.”

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DPP letter a bad-quality photocopy, forensic expert tells court

IRELAND
Irish Times

Nicola Donnelly

Fri, Feb 27, 2015

A forensic expert has told the trial of a detective accused of forging a letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions that the letter was a “bad quality photocopied document”.

Insp Michael Moore, who has completed forensic training courses with the US Secret Service and London Metropolitan Police and has 20 years’ experience in the forensic field, testified that he was asked to determine if the letter, dated January 14th, 2004, allegedly from the office of the DPP, was genuine or if it was produced using parts of other documents.

Wicklow detective Garda Catherine McGowan (48), who is based at Bray Garda station, has pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15th, 2009 at Bray Garda station and two counts of using a false instrument at Bray Garda station and at Harcourt Street Garda station between June…

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Forward Motions: Helena Diocese Seeks Approval of Abuse Victim Compensation Plan

MONTANA
Wall Street Journal

Feb 27, 2015

By TOM CORRIGAN

On Wednesday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena will seek a bankruptcy judge’s permission to proceed with a plan to pay $16.4 million to compensate hundreds of people who allege they were sexually abused by the diocese’s clergy.

The plan, which was largely put in place during mediation that preceded the Montana diocese’s bankruptcy filing in January 2014, calls for about 360 victims to receive a minimum payment of $2,500 each. An abuse-claims reviewer will determine the actual payment based on the severity and long-term effects of the abuse. Any future abuse claims also will be paid out of the trust.

If approved by Judge Terry Myers, the diocese’s insurance companies would contribute $14.4 million to the trust, and the diocese itself would contribute $2 million.

The plan also includes another $4.45 million from the…

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ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY SCANDAL

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger’s Beat

“IN ST. LOUIS, I LEARNED FIRSTHAND about the secret, scandalous world of gay Jesuits. I was shocked by the stories I’d hear of younger Jesuits fathering babies and gay Jesuits fondling each other in vans on the way to retreats.” So writes Ben Brenkert in The Daily Beast. While in our town, he says he “Inherited the rapacious unhealthy sexual appetite of a young Jesuit. . .whose advances grew more aggressive” and the two men would “embrace, and kiss and dry hump. . .on the campus of St. Louis University.”

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Confessions of a Gay Jesuit: How I Was Forced To Leave My Church—And Calling

UNITED STATES
The Daily Beast

Ben Brenkert wanted to be a priest, but confronted by the hypocrisy and prejudice of the Catholic Church he had to quit. Here, in a powerful, heartfelt essay, he explains why.

Today, at 35, I am a gay seminarian who still needs human touch. For me the best place is the Episcopal Church. Some day I will be a priest, hopefully married with children. That’s what I’m looking for, love; it falls under the rubric of modern love. I am a modern gay Christian in search of love, one who still wants to become a priest.

From 2004 to 2014 I was a Jesuit, a member of the Society of Jesus in good standing, an order gone global by the election of Pope Francis I. I left the Jesuits because I left the Roman Catholic Church. I would not be an openly gay priest…

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PLEASE ATTEND – Rep. Rozzi to Lead Capitol News Conference on SOL

PENNSYLVANIA
Catholics4Change

FEBRUARY 27, 2015 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, along with a bipartisan group of legislators, will carry on legislative efforts that would allow victims of child sexual abuse to take civil action against alleged abusers.

Rozzi will be joined by state Reps. Louise Williams Bishop, D-Phila.; Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila.; Mike O’Brien, D-Phila.; and state Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin/Perry, at a Capitol news conference at 10 a.m. Monday, March 2 in the Main Capitol Building Rotunda, Harrisburg.

Rozzi and Teplitz will discuss their legislation that would raise the age for an adult victim of child sexual abuse to file a civil claim from 30 to 50 years, making it consistent with current criminal law, and allow for previously time-barred victims to bring suit.

Bishop will discuss her legislation that would remove the statute of limitations placed on those who were sexually abused as…

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The craziest financial schemes that the Vatican Bank tried to cover up

VATICAN CITY
Business Insider

STEPHANIE YANG

From running on donations to becoming an international holding company, the Catholic Church’s financial past is littered with secrets.

So much that author Gerald Posner wrote hundreds of pages chronicling the institution’s financial scandals in his new book, God’s Bankers.

A little history:

Years ago, the Vatican financed its operations with donations and indulgences, free passes for sins in exchange for money. In the early days, the Vatican made little effort to keep track of finances, which meant the institution was rife with extravagant spending and embezzlement.

After teetering on the edge of bankruptcy several times, the Vatican appointed Bernardino Nogara as its new financial advisor in 1929, who straightened out the church’s finances and grew a $92 million investment from Benito Mussolini into almost $1 billion.

World War II also played a huge role in the creation of the Vatican Bank, as…

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JZ Knight’s Teacher Has a Dark Past in Ireland

IRELAND
Zoom Village

By Melissa Genson
November 13, 2013

“Thus the one who needs to molest and the one who needs to be molested—because he needs to understand it—are brought together for the experience. In the understanding called God, nothing is evil.”
– JZ Knight’s “Ramtha—The White Book.”

In 1988, JZ Knight told ABC’s 20/20, “If a person is ever sorry about what they ever did, then they will never learn, and they never progress and go forward.”

Those words must have had a ring to them.

The following year, Irish Monsignor Michael Ledwith began a double life, commuting half way around the globe to study under JZ Knight at Yelm’s Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE).

That was quite a coup for JZ Knight. At the time he joined RSE in 1989, Monsignor Ledwith was President of the National University of Ireland at Maynooth, and head of…

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Bombshell of a life torn apart at Knox Grammar

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

FEBRUARY 28, 2015

Natasha Robinson
Senior Writer
Sydney

Ean Higgins
Reporter
Sydney

IT was a number dialled by mistake, the kind of happy accident of modern technology that ends in a welcome reunion with a boyhood kindred spirit.

Roger Hanney had accident­ally called the number of his Knox Grammar schoolmate, Graham(whose name has been changed to protect his identity), and the pair — one a consultant, the other an artist — swapped stor­ies of their recent lives.

The conversation last November turned to the mates’ alma mater, one of the nation’s most exclusiv­e independent schools, where fees top $28,000 in the senior years.

Five former Knox teachers had been convicted in 2009 of sex offenc­es against Knox students, and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was probing how the existence of such a pedophile ring at Knox was…

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Victims of sex abuse at elite school say cries for help ignored

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

February 28, 2015

Damien Murphy and Rachel Browne

Knox Grammar School was more worried about its reputation than its pupils’ plights when sexual abuse was alleged, a royal commission has been told.

It might be an exclusive school but there is nothing exclusive about how Knox Grammar School dealt with allegations of sexual predatory behaviour by teachers towards its students.

Since public hearings at the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse began 17 months ago Australia has become used to seeing a regular pattern to how it plays out:

A lone victim speaks out against an institution.

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Vatican condemns leaking of expenses details of Pell’s Secretariat for the Economy

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet (UK)

27 February 2015 13:59 by James Roberts

Cardinal George Pell, who was given the job last year of overseeing reform of Holy See finances, has met with the first overt resistance from within the Vatican.

The Italian weekly L’Espresso today published leaked details of the expenses of the Secretariat for the Economy, the body created by Pope Francis in February 2014 to bring order and scrutiny to the Holy See’s labyrinthine financial practices, and headed by Cardinal Pell.

L’Espresso reported that the Secretariat had run up around €500,000m in expenses in the first six months of its existence. The total reportedly includes spending on computers and printers, but also a €2,508 bill from Gamarelli, the well known tailor to many of the clergy.

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said leaks were illegal. “Passing confidential documents to the press for polemical ends or to…

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Pell presses Vatican’s financial clean-up despite resistance

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent February 27, 2015

ROME — Against a backdrop of controversy over his campaign to clean up Vatican finances, Australian Cardinal George Pell pressed ahead this week by issuing a first-ever set of “closure procedures” to finalize financial reporting for 2014.

Put together by the Secretariat for the Economy in collaboration with an independent auditor, the procedures require all heads of Vatican departments, for the first time, to certify in writing that they’ve provided complete and accurate information.

The procedures were issued by the Secretariat for the Economy on Monday and appeared in an “Informative Bulletin” released by the secretariat on Wednesday.

Designed to “ensure a smooth transition from former accounting policies,” those procedures include confirmation by external banks and financial institutions of the money held by each Vatican department.

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Vatican denounces leaks of documents on finance reforms

VATICAN CITY
Seattle PI

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press
Friday, February 27, 2015

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican spokesman on Friday condemned as “unworthy and petty” the leaks of documents detailing power struggles inside the Holy See and the expenditures of Pope Francis’ new finance czar.

In a cover story Friday, Italy’s L’Espresso weekly detailed opposition to Cardinal George Pell’s financial reform and revealed that his Secretariat for the Economy had racked up a half million euros (dollars) in expenditures in the last six months. Some of the expenses seemed legitimate, but one was a 2,508-euro ($2,800) bill from Rome’s swanky Gamarelli tailor.

The Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, condemned the leaks as illegal and called the attacks on Pell “unworthy and petty.” He said Pell’s office was moving ahead efficiently with reforms.

Pope Francis tasked Pell last year to put the Vatican’s finances in order…

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Vatican condemns leaking of documents showing power struggle

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

[Vaticano, è battaglia per il tesoro – L’Espresso]

(Reuters) – The Vatican on Friday condemned the leaking of documents that according to a media report show a power struggle in the Holy See over economic reforms and excessive expenses by the cardinal charged with carrying them out.

L’Espresso magazine said it had seen minutes of meetings and emails showing mostly Italian cardinals felt that Cardinal George Pell had accumulated too much power.

Pell is an outsider brought by the pope to Rome from Australia to oversee the Vatican’s often muddled finances after decades of control by Italians.

Pope Francis was given a mandate by the cardinals who elected him in 2013 to clean up after a series of financial scandals, mostly involving the Vatican bank.

Francis set up the Secretariat for the Economy last year and gave Pell, as its head, broad powers to clean…

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Priest who led fight against clerical abuse named Archbishop of Malta

MALTA
Catholic Herald (UK)

Archbishop Charles Scicluna served for 10 years as Promoter of Justice at the CDF

Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s former chief prosecutor of clergy accused of abuse, has been named as Archbishop of Malta.

At a press conference the archbishop said he intended to “listen to the people and remain on close terms with the priests and chaplains”, explaining that “if I don’t listen, then I won’t have the authority to speak”.

Archbishop Scicluna, who is 55, announced that he would continue to live with his parents, while using official residences as open houses where he would conduct meetings with clergy.

The archbishop served for 10 years as Promoter of Justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), handling accusations of clerical sex abuse. During that time he collected testimony against Fr Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. He is…

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Former Norfolk Catholic priest faces jail over sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
EDP 24

Kate Ferguson, Press Association
Friday, February 27, 2015

A Catholic priest from Norwich is facing jail after he was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy at a children’s home.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, preyed on the vulnerable youngster while working at Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, west London, between 1979 and 1981.

Obese McSweeney, whose church was St George’s on Sprowston Road, was also found guilty of making indecent images of children.

He preyed on the boy with his close friend John Stingemore, 72, who managed the care home and was found dead in January – weeks before his trial.

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Catholic priest guilty of historic Richmond Council children’s home abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Richmond and Twickenham Times

by Laura Proto, Chief reporter – Richmond and Twickenham

A Catholic priest has been found guilty of indecently assaulting a boy at a Richmond Council-run children’s home in the 1970s and 80s.

Father Tony McSweeney, 68, was convicted of one charge of indecent assault on a boy under 16, as well as three charges of possessing indecent images of children.

He was acquitted of three other charges of indecent assaults on boys under the age of 16 and one count of taking an indecent photograph of a child.

McSweeney was found guilty of indecently assaulting one boy who he watched in the shower at Grafton Close children’s home in Hanworth alongside John Stingemore, the former manager of the home.

Prosecutor Sarah Plaschkes previously told the court the victim said he remembered McSweeney because he was “massive” and “a right bulk”.

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Norway’s top Catholic accused in fraud case

NORWAY
The Local

Norwegian police raided the premises of the Catholic Church Thursday on suspicion it had inflated membership figures for years to fraudulently claim six million euros in illegitimate state funding.

The Diocese of Oslo — which manages the records of the Catholic Church of Norway — is believed to have deliberately added thousands of people to its list of members, boosting funds provided by the state in the predominantly Protestant country.

The city’s bishop and the financial officer of the Diocese are suspects in the case and have been questioned by investigators, Oslo police’s lawyer Kristin Rusdal told AFP.

The fake members — allegedly immigrant names taken out of the phone directory — would have added 65,000 people to the church’s scrolls and awarded it an additional 50 million kroner ($6.57 million, 5.84 million euros) from 2010 to 2014, according to Rusdal.

During that time, the country’s…

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Catholic Church in Oslo accused of fraudulently taking state aid

NORWAY
Reuters

Oslo’s prosecutor accused the Catholic Church in the Norwegian capital on Thursday of defrauding the state of 50 million crowns ($6.57 million) by falsely claiming aid.

Religious organizations can receive an annual contribution from the state, but police in Oslo say the Catholic Church there inflated congregation numbers to massively increase the amount it could claim.

The church declined to comment, and said it would release a statement later on Thursday.

“The fraud happened when they enrolled people in a register without the members actually knowing they were being enrolled in the church,” Oslo’s police prosecutor, Kristin Rusdal, told Reuters.

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Bishop of Oslo accused in £4m fraud investigation

NORWAY
The Tablet

27 February 2015 12:55 by Liz Dodd

Norwegian police raided the offices of the Diocese of Oslo yesterday after it was accused of defrauding the state of millions of pounds.

The diocese, which manages the records of the Catholic Church across Norway, has been accused of vastly exaggerating its membership to increase the support it receives from the state, amounting to an additional 50 million Norwegian Krone, some £4.2m, over four years.

The Bishop of Oslo, Bernt Ivar Eidsvig, and the diocesan finance officer are suspects in the case and have been questioned by investigators, who were tipped off by a complaint filed by a church employee.

A lawyer for Oslo’s police, Kristin Rusdal, told the news agency AFP that the Church had allegedly added 65,000 people to its membership by lifting immigrants’ names from the telephone directory without their consent. This action more than doubled…

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Biskop Eidsvig siktet for grovt bedrageri

NORGE
Varden

– Det gjelder medvirkning til den samme siktelsen som er tatt ut mot bispedømmet, altså medlemsjuks, og paragrafen er straffelovens 271 for grovt bedrageri, sier politiadvokat Kristin Rusdal i Oslo politidistrikt til VG.

Ifølge Rusdal er Eidsvig i avhør torsdag ettermiddag og han er villig til å forklare seg.

I forbindelse med etterforskningen av Oslo Katolske Bispedømme ransaket politiet flere steder i Oslo torsdag. Ett av stedene er ifølge Dagbladet biskop Bernt Eidsvigs private adresse.

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Biskop Bernt Eidsvig er siktet for grovt bedrageri

NORGE
NRK

[Bishop Bernt Eidsvig is charged with aggravated fraud.]

Biskopens advokat sier at Eidsvig har forklart seg grundig og detaljert til politiet og at han nå er hjemme i leiligheten sin.

– Han er overrasket over at dette skjer midt i den pågående tilsynssaken der bispedømmet skal levere en redegjørelse til fylkesmannen, sier advokat Kjell Clement Ludvigsen.

Håper på rask avklaring
I en pressemelding sent torsdag ettermiddag skriver bispedømmet at ledelse og stab er svært ulykkelige for situasjonen som har oppstått.

«Vår hensikt har aldri vært å registrere noen mot deres vilje eller å motta støtte for ikke-katolikker. Vi er i innspurten av et grundig opprydningsarbeid for å sikre at våre medlemsregistre er korrekte, i tråd med fylkesmannens pålegg.

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Norway Police Raid Catholic Diocese Premises

NORWAY
The Nordic Page

Finance and Environment Crime Section of the Oslo police raided administration premises of Roman Catholic Diocese of Oslo (OKB) this morning at 9.00.

After Dagbladet revealed that the Catholic church has registered unsuspecting persons as members and received public support on the basis of inflated membership figures for several years, County Governor of Oslo and Akershus decided to start an investigation in November.

This morning, Oslo police raided the administration building of Roman Catholic Diocese and two residents this morning in the frame of the fraud allegations.

Oslo Catholic Diocese and two people including the bishop are now charged with aggravated fraud, summing 50 million NOK, said prosecutor Kristin Rusdal to Dagbladet.

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Pervert priest who served in Harlow during the 1990s is found guilty of child abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Harlow Star

A Catholic priest who worked in Harlow during the 1990s has been convicted of abusing a vulnerable boy at a care home.

Father Tony McSweeney, 68, attacked the teen at the home in Hounslow between 1979 and 1981.

The disgraced clergyman, who was priest of the Holy Cross & St Luke’s parish between 1993 and 1997 and now lives in Pease Pottage, West Sussex, was found guilty by a jury at Southwark Crown Court of one count of indecent assault and three charges of making indecent photographs of children.

But he was cleared of three counts of indecent assault and one of taking an indecent photograph of a child.

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Priest faces jail over sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Belfast Telegraph

27 FEBRUARY 2015

A Catholic priest dubbed the “fat vicar” is facing jail after he was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy at a children’s home.

Father Anthony McSweeney, 68, preyed on the vulnerable youngster while working at Grafton Close Children’s Home in Hounslow, west London, between 1979 and 1981. Morbidly obese McSweeney was also found guilty of making indecent images of children.

He preyed on the boy with his close friend John Stingemore, 72, who managed the care home and was found dead in January – weeks before his trial.

Wearing a black suit and red tie and carrying a walking stick, McSweeney stared straight ahead as the jury of six men and five women returned their verdicts at London’s Southwark Crown Court. He was cleared of three indecent assaults on two other boys at the care home and taking a pornographic…

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Married priests would be the wrong solution

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

27 February 2015 by Tina Beattie

Pope Francis has made clear that the question of married priests is open for discussion. Priestly celibacy is a discipline rather than a doctrine. It only became compulsory in the Middle Ages, though there is debate as to how common it was before then. There is already a de facto married Catholic priesthood made up of former Anglican priests who have joined the mainstream Church or the Ordinariate. Particularly in Africa, many Catholic priests have “wives” and children, even if these are not publicly acknowledged by the Church.

People often assume that, as a feminist theologian and supporter of women’s ordination, I also support a married priesthood. However, I am more ambivalent about married priests, not because I am a man-hating feminist harpy (though I am amused to find myself described in those terms), but because I am orthodox…

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“Hey, whatever happened to that review board?”

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Remember the National Review Board, the panel set up 13 years ago to “oversee” bishops and “help investigate and look for solutions to the scandal.”

[SNAP]

Know who chairs it now?

How about the name of the immediate past chair?

Can you name even one person who is one the board?

Is there a single thing you can remember that it has done in recent years?

I didn’t think so.

But don’t feel bad. No one really knows who’s on the board or chairs the board or what the board’s done.

Because it’s done virtually nothing for more than a decade.

Like almost all the “reforms” adopted by the church hierarchy, the NRB has turned out to be lots of hype but little else. “The so-called watchdog has quickly become a lap dog,” we wrote about the NRB…

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James Jennings, former Catholic priest jailed for molesting fights compo claims

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

PADRAIC MURPHY HERALD SUN FEBRUARY 27, 2015

A FORMER Catholic priest jailed for molesting students at a Bendigo boarding school is fighting compensation claims brought by his victims.

James Jennings, 81, was jailed last year after being found guilty of molesting boys in his car at St Vincent’s college boarding school in the mid-1960s.

Two victims are now trying to make Jennings pay compensation personally.

Jennings — who maintains his innocence — yesterday attacked one of the victims, claiming he had misled the court by saying he was not motivated by compensation and the jury’s decision may have been different had they known of the compensation claim.

“During my trial (he) very clearly stated he was not interested in money. He had agreed to press charges to assist other victims,” Jennings yesterday told County Court Judge Wendy Wilmoth.

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West Chester priest facing trial in Chester now indicted by feds

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

A 55-year-old Archdiocesan priest tried to entire a child into sex and distributed and possessed child pornography, according to a federal indictment.

Mark. D. Haynes, 55, most recently a vicar at Saints Simon and Jude in West Chester, was awaiting a trial in Chester County court scheduled for April on state charges of possession of child pornography when he was federally indicted last week.

According to the indictment, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped off Chester County detectives that someone was posting child pornography online in April 2014 using a particular Internet protocol (IP) and the email account irishwit2@gmail.com. Investigators tracked the IP address to the Saints Simon and Jude Church in West Chester and interviewed Haynes, who admitted irishwit2@gmail.com was his email account. He also admitted viewing nude photos of high school-aged children, authorities said. He also told investigators that in…

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Knox Grammar headmaster apologises over sexual abuse cover-up

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Kathryn Magann

The headmaster of Sydney’s Knox Grammar School has delivered an emotional apology over the cover-up of years of sexual abuse at the prestigious boys school.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse has been examining reports of abuse of students at the school from the 1970s through to 2003.

Five teachers from the school have been convicted over sexual and indecent assaults on students.

Headmaster Dr John Weeks began his testimony to the commission with an apology.

He said the victims of abuse were the men of integrity, and the abusers were the men of shame.

“To the men who were sexually abused as young boys, I want you to know this. You did nothing wrong, those teachers and resident masters did. And they do stand condemned by their own admissions,” he said.

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Royal commission into child sex abuse: Please call home …

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Royal commission into child sex abuse: Please call home, mother tells fugitive former Knox teacher Chris Fotis who failed to appear

February 27, 2015

Rick Feneley

The mother of fugitive teacher Chris Fotis wants him to call home and assure her that he is safe following his failure to appear before the royal commission into the responses to child abuse.

Police issued a warrant for the arrest of Mr Fotis, 52, following his failure to appear before the commission in Sydney on Tuesday to give evidence about his time teaching at Knox Grammar in the 1980s, when he was among teachers who are now suspected of child abuse.

Lois Fotis told Fairfax Media she did she did not know her son’s whereabouts, nor did she know about the allegations raised at the royal commission.

“No I didn’t,” she said from her Nelson Bay home at…

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Abusi sessuali, frate in manette L’arresto lungo il Cammino di Santiago

ITALIA
L’Unione Sarda:

[A Franciscan monk is accused of sexually abusing a 19 year old disabled person and a minor.]

Con l’accusa di presunti abusi sessuali su una disabile di 19 anni e su un minorenne, un frate francescano è stato arrestato a Lugo, in Galizia, dalla guardia civile.

Il religioso, J.Q., prestava servizio nella comunità di O Cebreiro e le manette sono scattate due giorni fa lungo il Cammino francese di Santiago a seguito delle indagini avviate dopo le denunce dei parenti delle vittime. Nella sua abitazione sono stati sequestrati computer, cellulare e dispositivi elettronici, con un archivio di video in cui il francescano appare mantenendo rapporti con la minore.

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Charles Scicluna officially named Malta’s next Archbishop

MALTA
Times of Malta

A reform of the Curia is high on Archbishop-elect Charles Scicluna’s to do list, and he is not excluding a change in personnel.

Speaking during a news conference at the Curia in Floriana during which he was officially named Malta’s next Archbishop, Mgr Scicluna said expert reports had been drafted on a review of the Maltese Church’s top personnel and he would be looking into them.

He said he wanted to have youth around him but also would not disregard experience and those who had already done so much to help the church in Malta.

The Archbishop said he had already been thinking very deeply about this.

“I wouldn’t call them sleepless nights but my sleep hasn’t been as peaceful as it had been. The Curia needs restructuring,” he said.

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Pope promotes ex-sex crimes prosecutor to top churchman in Malta, who keeps his Vatican job

VATICAN CITY
Fox News

Published February 27, 2015

Associated Press

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has named the Vatican’s former sex crimes prosecutor, Charles Scicluna, as archbishop of his native Malta.

The Vatican announcement Friday made clear that Scicluna would continue dealing with the abuse scandal, heading a Vatican committee to hear appeals of priests sanctioned for molesting minors.

Scicluna was named auxiliary bishop of Malta in 2012 after a decade in Rome prosecuting abuse cases. He effectively took over running the Malta archdiocese last year after the incumbent retired.

When he left Rome, Vatican watchers wondered if the tough line on abuse that he had championed would go soft, and if he was being punished for having done his job too well.

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Kloster Ettal über Missbrauchs-Geständnis entsetzt

DEUTSCHLAND
Schwaebische

– Die Benediktinerabtei Ettal hat sich entsetzt über das späte Missbrauchs-Geständnis eines ihrer ehemaligen Präfekten und Religionslehrers geäußert. „Dass die Opfer über die erlittenen Übergriffe hinaus so viele Jahre auf Gerechtigkeit warten mussten und sogar einem langwierigen Verfahren ausgesetzt waren, erschüttert uns und tut uns zutiefst leid“, erklärte Abt Barnabas in der Nacht zum Freitag.

Der 44-jährige angeklagte Pater hatte bei Prozessbeginn sexuelle Handlungen an vier Internats-Schülern noch bestritten, sich aber am Donnerstag vor dem Münchner Landgericht während der Vernehmung eines Opfers überraschend bei diesem entschuldigt. In einem anschließenden Gespräch zwischen den Beteiligten wurde dem Angeklagten für ein Geständnis eine Bewährungsstrafe zwischen 21 und 24 Monaten zugesagt.

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Ettaler Pater gesteht Missbrauch – Bewährungsstrafe zugesagt

DEUTSCHLAND
kath.net

Ex-Benediktiner gestand, in mehr als 20 Fällen sexuelle Übergriffe gegen drei 12- bis 15-jährige Schüler verübt zu haben: Er hatte ihnen in die Hose gegriffen und sie am Geschlechtsteil gestreichelt – Stellungnahme der Benediktiner-Abtei Ettal

München (kath.net/KNA) Überraschende Wende im Ettaler Missbrauchsprozess: Nach der Zusage einer Bewährungsstrafe durch den Richter hat der angeklagte Benediktinerpater G. (44) am Donnerstag vor dem Landgericht München II ein umfassendes Geständnis abgelegt.

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Kloster Ettal über Missbrauchs-Geständnis entsetzt

DEUTSCHLAND
Radio Bamberg

[The Benedictine Abbey of Ettal has expressed shock at the abuse confession of their former prefect and religion teacher.]

27. Februar 2015 11:33

Ettal (dpa/lby) – Die Benediktinerabtei Ettal hat sich entsetzt über das späte Missbrauchs-Geständnis eines ihrer ehemaligen Präfekten und Religionslehrers geäußert. «Dass die Opfer über die erlittenen Übergriffe hinaus so viele Jahre auf Gerechtigkeit warten mussten und sogar einem langwierigen Verfahren ausgesetzt waren, erschüttert uns und tut uns zutiefst leid», erklärte Abt Barnabas in der Nacht zum Freitag.

Der 44-jährige angeklagte Pater hatte bei Prozessbeginn sexuelle Handlungen an vier Internats-Schülern noch bestritten, sich aber am Donnerstag vor dem Münchner Landgericht während der Vernehmung eines Opfers überraschend bei diesem entschuldigt. In einem anschließenden Gespräch zwischen den Beteiligten wurde dem Angeklagten für ein Geständnis eine Bewährungsstrafe zwischen 21 und 24 Monaten zugesagt.

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Bistum Trier / Admont

DEUTSCHLAND
Sexueller Missbrauch durch Angehörige der katholischen Kirche im Bistum Trier

Claudia Adams

Bistum Trier / Admont: “Dem Bistum sind keine Missbrauchsvorwürfe bekannt, die sich auf die Dienstzeit des damals sehr engagierten und anerkannten Seelsorgers im Bistum Trier beziehen”
“Betreff: Adhoc: Verfahren gegen Ordensmann in Österreich
Wichtigkeit: Hoch

Sehr geehrter Herr Bischof, sehr geehrte Herren Weihbischöfe, sehr geehrter Herr Generalvikar, sehr geehrter Herr Dompropst, sehr geehrter Herr Offizial, sehr geehrte Damen und Herren der Leitungskonferenz, sehr geehrte Führungskräfte, sehr geehrte Dechanten, sehr geehrte Dienst- und Fachstellenleiter, sehr geehrte Schulleiterinnen und Schulleiter, sehr geehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen der GesamtMAV, sehr geehrte Mitglieder des Kirchensteuerrates,

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Former Anglican priest…

AUSTRALIA
The Courier-Mail

Former Anglican priest at Brookfield Andrew Peter Stabback Johns pleads guilty to making and possessing 1000 child porn images

BROOKE BASKIN THE COURIER-MAIL FEBRUARY 27, 2015

A FRAIL octogenarian and former Anglican priest has escaped jail after repairs on his laptop unearthed a cache of “sadist” child pornography collected and doctored over four years.

Andrew Peter Stabback Johns, 88, pleaded guilty in the District Court at Brisbane to making and possessing more than 1000 child exploitation images and storing them in a folder on his computer between 2010 and 2014.

Judge Leanne Clare sentenced Johns, who struggled to hear the proceedings and clutched a walking stick, to 15-months behind bars but suspended it immediately for an operational period of two years.

Crown prosecutor Matt Hynes said the case was “unusual” because only three images showed naked boys while the majority were “innocent” images of children that…

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After nine trials spanning 12 years …

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

After nine trials spanning 12 years St Joseph’s teacher Brother John Maguire faces sentencing for child sex offences

After nine separate trials spanning 12 years, Brother John Dennis Maguire was used to being in a courtroom.

But when the 71-year-old priest sat in the dock on Friday it was the first time he had faced the prospect of being sentenced for a crime.

From 1978 to the mid-1980s, Maguire was a teacher and dorm master at St Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill, an exclusive Catholic school run by the Marist Brothers.

In 2002, he was charged with multiple sexual offences in relation to several students at the school, with the complainants alleging that he would target boys who were homesick – comforting them and then sexually assaulting them.

Maguire pleaded not guilty to the charges and his lawyers successfully applied for each of the allegations…

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Bishop denies fraud charges

NORWAY
News in English

Bishop Bernt Eidsvig, the top official of the Catholic Church in Norway, has formally denied charges that he and other leaders of the Catholic diocese in Oslo swindled the Norwegian state to the tune of NOK 50 million. He claimed the leadership and staff of the church were “extremely unhappy” over the charges and would cooperate with the police investigation.

Eidsvig, the diocese itself and its finance director were charged on Thursday with fraudulently obtaining state funding based on false membership statistics for the church. County officials had already accused the diocese of inflating its membership numbers, which are used to determine amounts of state funding for all religious organizations in Norway.

“Our intention was never to register anyone (as a member of the church) against their will, or to obtain support for non-Catholics,” Eidsvig wrote in a press release Thursday evening. The church has…

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Redress and civil litigation consultation period extended

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The deadline for responding to the Royal Commission’s consultation paper on redress and civil litigation has been extended until midday 9 March 2015.

Interested community groups and individuals can respond to the paper by writing a formal submission to redress@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au or make short comments on specific issues by filling out an online feedback form.

The consultation paper was launched by Royal Commission Chair Justice Peter McClellan on 30 January 2015.

The consultation paper can be found on the Royal Commission website.

For specific stakeholder enquiries please contact stakeholders@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au

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Public hearing into St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

27 February, 2015

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing commencing on Tuesday 14 April 2015 at the Rockhampton Court House, Virgil Power Building, 46 East Street, Rockhampton.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:

The experiences of a number of men and women who were resident at St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol operated by the Sisters of Mercy between 1940 and 1975;
The responses of:

a. the Sisters of Mercy
b. the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton, and
c. the Queensland state government to complaints made by former residents of St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol of child sexual abuse by workers, priests and nuns at the Orphanage between 1993 and present.

Any related matters.

Any person or institution who believes that they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and…

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Survivors of abuse predict a ‘deluge’ of complaints

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by Madeleine Davies

Posted: 27 Feb 2015

SURVIVORS of abuse have warned that thousands of people are likely to come forward with testimonies of sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy in the national inquiry into historic child abuse. They are calling on the Church of England to establish a panel for redress now rather than wait to be compelled to do so.

The Bishop in charge of safeguarding, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, has cautioned against predicting numbers.

A spokeswoman for survivors of abuse within churches, Anne Lawrence, said this month that the Church would face a “deluge” of complaints.

“The Church should set up a redress board and ensure that all complainants can go there, and be provided with support from a range of services, including survivor organisations,” she said. “Research has consistently shown that over 90 per cent of allegations…

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Don’t jail Catholic pedophile: lawyer

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A Catholic brother pedophile who subjected a boy to two years of sexual abuse shouldn’t go to jail, his lawyer has argued.

John Dennis Maguire, 71, was last November convicted of six counts of indecent assault, relating to the abuse of a student at an exclusive Sydney private school in 1983 and 1984.

The boy, who was aged 11 and 12 at the time of the sexual abuse, had oral sex performed on him and, on four occasions, was lured into a room where Maguire rubbed cream on his genitals, a Sydney court heard during a sentencing hearing.

While the boy was sleeping in a school dorm, which Maguire was in charge of, he woke up to find the then 39-year-old half-naked, crouching next to his bed performing oral sex on him.

Maguire then took the boy into his office and continued the abuse, the court…

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Lakeview church youth minister accused of ‘indecent behavior’ with 14-year-old girl

LOUISIANA
The Times-Picayune

By Ken Daley, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on February 26, 2015

A youth minister at Lakeview’s First Baptist New Orleans church was arrested this week after New Orleans police said a 14-year-old girl confirmed an illicit relationship with the 33-year-old married man.

Jonathan Bailey was booked with one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile, two weeks after being fired and escorted off church property. Bailey was arrested Monday (Feb. 23) at 9:30 a.m. at his home in the 200 block of West Brooks Street, punctuating a scandal that Senior Pastor David Crosby said has left him and his church “devastated.”

“We do everything in our power to keep children safe in our ministry,” Crosby said. “This is just a shock and a tremendous sadness to us.”

Bailey, who had served as the church’s youth minister for more than two years, “is no longer on…

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Court sentences priest to five years for rape

CZECH REPUBLIC
Prague Daily Monitor

Havlickuv Brod, East Bohemia, Feb 26 (CTK) – A Czech court Thursday sentenced Erik Tvrdon, a priest from Havlickuv Brod, to five years in jail for the rape and sexual abuse of several women, it ordered his institutional treatment and banned him from working with children for five years.

The verdict has not taken effect, since the state attorney appealed it as too mild.

The court did not accept Tvrdon’s assertion that the accusations were but a conspiracy aimed to destroy him.

The police launched the investigation of the case based on a report from a 38-year-old woman.

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Knox Grammar headmaster tells inquiry abusers are men of shame

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Thursday 26 February 2015

Staff who abused boys at Knox Grammar have been condemned as “men of shame” by the headmaster of the Sydney private school.

John Weeks, headmaster at the Wahroonga school since 2004, is giving evidence at a royal commission hearing into how Knox and the Uniting church handled abuse allegations over a 30-year-period.

He said he wanted to apologise to the victims and their families for the pain they had suffered.

In 2007, Weeks apologised on behalf of the school and said on Friday that he realised no amount of apology could change what happened.

“I do want to say to the young men, here and listening, to the survivors, that I sincerely apologise for the sexual abuse inflicted upon you as young innocent boys,” he told the hearing in Sydney. “There is absolutely no excuse.”

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Knox Grammar inquiry: Destroying documents ‘discussed by advisers’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

FEBRUARY 27, 2015

Ean Higgins
Reporter
Sydney

THE current headmaster of Knox Grammar School, John Weeks, believed a teacher, Adrian Nisbett, had committed criminal child sexual abuse but chose to allow him to resign rather than sack him, and waited three years to report him to police.

Mr Weeks also allowed a pedophile teacher, Craig Treloar, to remain on staff for two years until he was arrested, knowing that he had shown a pornographic video to a boy while plying him with cigarettes and alcohol, and asked the boy to perform a sexual act which the boy refuse

Treloar, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard today, continued to coach sports teams right up to his arrest, although, Mr Weeks said, he had understood he had been removed from those duties.

While Mr Weeks did talk to police about Treloar,…

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Nomina dell’Arcivescovo Metropolita di Malta

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO
Bolletino

Il Santo Padre Francesco ha nominato Arcivescovo Metropolita di Malta S.E. Mons. Charles Jude Scicluna, finora Vescovo titolare di San Leone ed Amministratore Apostolico dell’Arcidiocesi di Malta.

S.E. Mons. Charles Jude Scicluna

S.E. Mons. Charles Jude Scicluna è nato a Toronto, in Canada, il 15 maggio 1959. Dopo le scuole secondarie, ha compiuto gli studi presso il Seminario maggiore di Malta e frequentato l’Università locale, ottenendo la Laurea in Diritto Civile e la Licenza in S. Teologia. Successivamente ha conseguito anche la Laurea in Diritto Canonico presso la Pontificia Università Gregoriana a Roma.

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Knox Grammar told to destroy sex abuse files: royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

February 27, 2015

Rachel Browne

Knox Grammar School was advised to destroy documents relating to child sexual abuse while at the same time preparing an apology to victims, a royal commission has heard.

A series of emails tendered in evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse revealed an unnamed solicitor had recommended the destruction of documents in 2009, following the arrests of five teachers who abused children at the Uniting Church school.

In one email with the subject heading: “apology drafts”, implicates former moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and the ACT, James Mein in the act.

“The solicitor who drafted this is one who has been advising the school to destroy documents, with Jim’s assistance,” Uniting Church manager of insurance and property services Dwane Freehely wrote.

Rob Wannan, a high profile solicitor and chairman of…

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Church head ‘helped destroy’ student sex abuse papers, Royal Commission hears

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

THE headmaster of Knox Grammar says when he took over at the school, he wanted to sack an alleged pedophile teacher “on the spot” but was advised he could not.

John Weeks, who became headmaster at the private school on Sydney’s north shore in 2004, said the Association of Independent Schools advised him there weren’t sufficient grounds to sack Adrian Nisbett.

Mr Weeks told a royal commission hearing into child sex abuse there were “red flags” everywhere about Nisbett, who had been at the school since 1971.

He said Nisbett had been “a protected species at Knox Grammar School” when Ian Paterson was headmaster.

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Priests defend secrecy in sex abuse confessions

SPAIN
The Local

Spain’s bishops conference on Thursday defended the right of priests to maintain the secrecy of the confessional booth even in cases of serious crimes such as the sexual abuse of children.

“Not reporting a crime learned of in the course of the secret of confession is not a cover up or a crime,” the secretary general of the Spanish bishops conference, Jose Maria Gil Tamayo, told a news conference.

This principle applied even in cases of sexual crimes, he added.

“This legal principle is recognised by the Spanish state for all religions,” he said. Spain’s Catholic Church followed Holy See directives on the issue, he added.

His comments come as Spain is grappling with its biggest ever paedophilia scandal involving the Catholic Church in terms of the number of suspects.

A Spanish court last month charged 10 Catholic priests and two laymen with committing or abetting…

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Knox head ‘lied’ about arrest: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

A former headmaster of Knox Grammar lied to students about police arresting a balaclava-wearing sexual predator at the school, one of his assistants has told an inquiry.

Stuart Pearson, former general duties master at the prestigious Sydney school, said Ian Paterson, the principal at Knox for 30 years, discouraged investigations of sexual misbehaviour by teachers.

Mr Pearson, a former policeman, was a resident master at the school from 1985 to 1990 and investigated infringements as part of his job.

He told the sex abuse royal commission there were no restrictions on investigating matters such as misappropriation of funds, but Dr Paterson’s “attitude was different when it came to inappropriate behaviour by teachers”.

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[LIVE] Charles Scicluna officially announced as Malta’s archbishop

MALTA
Malta Today

[with live stream]

Matthew Vella 27 February 2015

Follow the live press conference announcing Charles Scicluna as Malta’s new archbishop

Mgr Charles Scicluna, 55, will be Malta’s next Archbishop.

Scicluna was Apostolic Administrator since the resignation of Archbishop Emeritus Paul Cremona in 2014.

Scicluna’s appointment follows years of service at the Vatican where he was as Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by the side of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI.

He was later tasked with the Church’s fight against sexual abuse by priests. Scicluna is also president of a Vatican College which will consider appeals moved before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith related to serious offences by priests.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Scicluna came to Malta with his family in 1960 and was educated at St Aloysius College and the University of Malta…

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Knox Grammar child abuse: reputation protection, empathy and lessons for every parent

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Without eternal vigilance, the terrible blight on humanity that is the sexual abuse of children can happen at any school; private or public, wealthy or poor.

It can happen anywhere that safeguards are weak, people turn a blind eye or communities place the reputation of an institution above that of the safety of a child.

That the sexual abuse of boys by teachers – and the subsequent failure to act to protect more children – occurred at one of Australia’s elite schools with an otherwise laudable reputation raises concerning issues for all parents.

A three-decade-long open secret about sexual abuse at Knox Grammar on Sydney’s affluent North Shore has been dragged into the public spotlight this week at hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

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Live: Malta’s new Archbishop Charles Scicluna to address media at noon

MALTA
Malta Independent

[live stream]

Malta’s new Archbishop Mgr Charles Scicluna will be addressing the media at noon, at the same time that all parishes have been asked to ring church bells in celebration for his appointment.

The official news of his appointment is expected in today’s Vatican news bulletin, which is also issued at noon.

Mgr Scicluna will be replacing Mgr Paul Cremona, who resigned in October. Mgr Scicluna has been acting as apostolic administrator since the resignation.

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Bankrupt Gallup diocese looking at property sales

NEW MEXICO
ABQ Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
PUBLISHED: Friday, February 27, 2015

Attorneys have asked a judge to authorize an Albuquerque firm to appraise several Gallup of Diocese properties, including two Catholic schools in Gallup and Thoreau, as a possible source of funds to pay for a bankruptcy reorganization plan.

The bankruptcy case had racked up about $1.86 million in legal and professional costs through Dec. 31, court records show.

Attorneys have asked to appraise St. Bonaventure Indian School, a private Catholic school in Thoreau, and Sacred Heart Catholic School in Gallup. Both teach students from preschool through eighth grade.

St. Bonaventure school contends it is not owned by the diocese, the school’s attorney said this week.

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Retrial begins for Philly priest in molestation case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

BOB STEWART, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER STEWARR@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-4890
POSTED: Friday, February 27, 2015,

A PHILADELPHIA Catholic priest took advantage of a quiet kid when he allegedly molested a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997, a prosecutor told a Common Pleas jury yesterday.

The Rev. Andrew McCormick, 58, is being retried a year after a jury remained deadlocked after more than four days of deliberations.

McCormick is accused of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, endangering the welfare of a child and indecent assault of a child under 13 years of age, among other charges.

In her opening statement yesterday, Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp said that McCormick had “picked and targeted [the victim] because he wouldn’t tell.”

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Malta’s new Archbishop Charles Scicluna to address media at noon

MALTA
Malta Independent

Malta’s new Archbishop Mgr Charles Scicluna will be addressing the media at noon, at the same time that all parishes have been asked to ring church bells in celebration for his appointment.

The official news of his appointment is expected in today’s Vatican news bulletin, which is also issued at noon.

Mgr Scicluna will be replacing Mgr Paul Cremona, who resigned in October. Mgr Scicluna has been acting as apostolic administrator since the resignation.

This website will be offering readers the opportunity to follow the press conference live.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Mgr Scicluna came to Malta with his family in 1960 and they resided in Qormi. He was educated at St Aloysius College and the University of Malta from where he graduated as a lawyer and in theology. He was ordained a priest in 1986.

In 1991 he also obtained a doctorate in Canon Law…

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Former Knox Grammar teacher Chris Fotis missing from Nelson Bay home after named in royal commission into child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By RICK FENELEY Feb. 27, 2015

A former Knox Grammar teacher who failed to appear at a royal commission into child abuse this week has not been seen near his Nelson Bay home for days.

An arrest warrant was issued for Chris Fotis when he did not show up to give evidence at the royal commission on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old, who taught religious education, was asked to leave Knox in September 1989 after he was arrested for masturbating outside a school at North Ryde.

The commission has heard he was also suspected of molesting a student while wearing a balaclava in 1988 or 1989. The attacker, wearing a Knox tracksuit, had hid under a bed before groping a student in a boarding house at the school.

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Former Knox Grammar teacher missing after Royal Commission no-show

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A former Knox Grammar teacher who was once arrested for masturbating outside a school is wanted by police after failing to turn up to the Royal Commission into child abuse on Tuesday.

Chris Fotis, 52, has not been seen at his Nelson Bay house for almost a week, with police issuing a warrant for his arrest after the no-show.

Fotis is suspected to be the balaclava-clad man dressed in a Knox tracksuit who hid under a bed and molested a year eight student in a boarding house at the school in the late 1980s.

King’s School headmaster Tim Hawkes, who was at Knox at the time and recently came under fire for his handling of the incident, described the attack as “bizarre” and “frightening.”

Fotis was dismissed from his position as a religion teacher after being arrested in 1989 for masturbating outside a school in North…

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Los obispos defienden el secreto de confesión hasta en caso de abuso sexual

ESPANA
El Comercio

[The bishops defend the secrecy of confession even in cases of sexual abuse]

ANTONIO PANIAGUA / EFE | MADRID.
27 febrero 2015

La Conferencia Episcopal Española (CEE) defendió ayer el derecho al secreto de confesión, incluso en el caso de presuntos abusos sexuales, en un momento en que la Iglesia española se ve sacudida por un escándalo de pederastia que conmocionó al papa Francisco. «Pese al deber de denunciar los delitos de los que se tenga conocimiento, no existe encubrimiento ni infracción penal alguna al no denunciar un delito del que se ha tenido conocimiento en el ejercicio del secreto de confesión», declaró en rueda de prensa el secretario general y portavoz de la CEE, José María Gil Tamayo. Y precisó que este principio concierne también a los ataques «a la integridad sexual».«Este principio del derecho se reconoce a todas las religiones y confesiones en…

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Two views emerge in retrial of accused priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

MATT GELB, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
LAST UPDATED: Thursday, February 26, 2015

A hung jury resulted last spring in the mistrial of Rev. Andrew McCormick on child sex-assault charges. Lawyers in the retrial that started this week spent parts of four days to select a jury before opening arguments could be heard Thursday afternoon.

The Common Pleas Court jury of 10 women and two men heard accusations of how McCormick, 58, abused a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997 at St. John Cantius Catholic Church in Bridesburg.

Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp, in her opening statement, showed the jury an old photo of the boy while describing a troubled child who was victimized by a man of authority.

Trevan Borum, McCormick’s defense attorney, cautioned the jury from commiserating with the accuser, who will testify, and his family.

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Jury Hears Opening Statements In Retrial Of Philadelphia Priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A jury has heard opening statements in a sexual assault case against a Philadelphia priest, nearly a year after another jury was deadlocked after four days of deliberations, and a mistrial was declared.

KYW’s Steve Tawa reports testimony will begin in the morning in the new trial against the same defendant.

Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp told jurors “no 41-year-old adult has a right to touch a child like Father Andrew McCormick did to a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997.”

The defendant is now 59 and the alleged victim, who will take the stand again, is 28.

Kemp says the defendant, known as Father Andy lured the boy up to his 2nd floor room in the rectory at St John Cantius in the Bridesburg section, and the alleged victim was “ashamed, in shock, and too young to understand what happened.”

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The Catholic Pagan: 10 Questions for Camille Paglia

UNITED STATES
America

Sean Salai, S.J. | Feb 24 2015

Camille Paglia is an American cultural critic who serves as the University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she has taught since 1984. She received her B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1968 and her M.Phil and Ph.D degrees from Yale University in 1971 and 1974, respectively. …

What is your impression of Pope Francis so far?

Francis seems like an affable gust of fresh energy after the near-sepulchral persona of the prior pope, who seemed strangely stiff and reserved for a Bavarian. So that’s a big positive, in terms of captivating young people around the world and inspiring them toward charitable social action. However, I am somewhat baffled by the cat-and-mouse game that Francis seems to be playing with the media. Is he or…

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