ABUSE TRACKER

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

March 31, 2015

Vatican defends appointment of bishop linked to abuse

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew

Wed, Apr 1, 2015

The Holy See yesterday waded into the row about the controversial appointment of Monsignor Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as Bishop of Oserno in Chile, an appointment made despite protests from sex abuse victims that Bishop Barros had covered up for Chile’s most notorious paedophile priest.

In a move that hardly seems in keeping with the spirit of the Francis pontificate, the Holy See defended the appointment.

“Prior to the recent appointment of His Excellency Monsignor Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as Bishop of Oserno, Chile, the Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment.”

Protest

The inauguration on March 21st met with unusual opposition, with some 650 people turning up to protest at Oserno Cathedral dressed in black. Many local priests boycotted the ceremony, and more than 1,000 Catholics wrote to Pope Francis, asking him to reconsider the appointment.

Those opposed to Bishop Barros point out that he was a protege of Father Fernando Karadima, one of Chile’s most influential and respected priests. In 2011, at the age of 81, Fr Karadima was sanctioned by the Vatican itself for paedophile crime, being ordered to retire to a life of “penitence and prayer”.

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

Victoria police investigate fire at third church linked to paedophile priests

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Oliver Milman
@olliemilman
Tuesday 31 March 2015

Victoria police are investigating the third suspicious church fire in Melbourne within the past week.

Two separate fires broke out at St Mary’s church in Dandenong at around 2am on Wednesday, causing extensive damage to the 151-year-old church before fire crews were able to extinguish the flames.

The church is linked to Kevin O’Donnell, a priest who has been accused of a number of sexual assaults on children. O’Donnell, who is now deceased, was never charged over the alleged offences.

Early on Monday morning, another suspicious fire destroyed St James church in Brighton, with St Mary’s church in St Kilda suffering damage on the same day due to suspected arson.

Priest Ronald Pickering attended both of the churches in the 1970s and 1980s. Pickering, who died in 2012, fled to the UK in 1993 and did not face prosecution over a number of sexual abuse offences stretching back to 1960.

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

Brazilian priest who dubbed kissing a ‘grave sin’ suspended for sending nude selfie to apparent mistress

BRAZIL
ABC News (Australia)

A Brazilian priest known for conservative views on moral issues and disapproving in his sermons of kissing and sex has been suspended for sending a nude selfie to an apparent mistress on his mobile phone.

“Father Alfredo Rosa Borges has been suspended from his duties,” and faces ex-communication, a diocesan spokesman at Campos de Goytacazes, a northern town in Rio state said.

Father Borges is seen posing naked in front of a mirror holding his cell phone in pictures posted last week via smartphone service Whatsapp which have since appeared in online media.

Rio daily O Dia reported he had admitted sending suggestive messages to a woman who later posted them but denied having an intimate relationship with her.

“An investigation has been opened but the photo comprises a transgression for the Church,” the bishop of Campos, Roberto Francisco, told O Dia.

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

No pedophile link in fires: Church

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Links to pedophile priests are a common factor in a string of suspicious Melbourne church fires, but the Catholic church doesn’t believe this is what motivated the arsonist.

Police are investigating the cause of three suspicious fires over 48 hours in churches at Brighton, St Kilda East and Dandenong.

All three churches have links to known and alleged sexual abuse, but Regional Bishop Peter Elliott has suggested another, more general motivation.

“I would suggest it rests in a very disturbed mind of an arsonist that likes burning churches,” Bishop Elliot told Fairfax Radio on Wednesday.

Emergency crews were called to the most recent blaze at a Dandenong church at 2am on Wednesday and extinguished the fire.

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

Third Catholic church in Melbourne set on fire

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

MONIQUE HORE, STAFF WRITER HERALD SUN APRIL 01, 2015

UPDATE: A MELBOURNE bishop believes the third suspicious church fire in as many days is not linked to clergy sexual abuse.

Fire crews and police are investigating a fire at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Foster St, Dandenong, that started about 2.30am.

The fire, which caused $250,000 damage, was started in the church’s storeroom. Another was sparked near the altar.

A team of about 40 firefighters took about an hour to control the blaze.

It comes after fires on Monday at St James in Brighton and St Mary’s in St Kilda East – two parishes home to notorious paedophile priest, Ron Pickering.

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

Suspected arson attack at third Melbourne Catholic church linked to paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Emma Younger

Another Melbourne Catholic church linked to a paedophile priest has been targeted in a suspected arson attack overnight.

Fire crews were called to St Mary’s Catholic Church in Dandenong at 2:30am (AEDT) by the priest who lives in a detached building.

The Country Fire Authority’s Paul Carrigg said it was clear to firefighters that someone had broken in and set several areas of the building alight.

“When they arrived they found a number of areas of the church on fire, extensive smoke damage in some areas,” he said.

“They found a fire in a store room area which burnt through the floor and another fire towards the alter.

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

Who is burning down Melbourne’s churches? …

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

Who is burning down Melbourne’s churches? Police investigate link to past paedophile attacks after a suspected arsonist torches THREE churches this week

By SARAH MICHAEL FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA

Police are investigating a string of suspected arson attacks on three Melbourne Catholic churches with links to paedophile priests.

Emergency services were called to a fire at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Dandenong, at 2am on Wednesday, and police are treating the blaze as suspicious.

The church is said to be the site of child sex attacks perpetrated by now-deceased convicted paedophile Father Kevin O’Donnell.

Police are investigating whether the blaze is connected to two separate suspicious blazes that were lit on Monday at St James Catholic Church in Brighton and St Mary’s Catholic Church in St Kilda, where paedophile priest Ronald Pickering served as minister.

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

Catholic church denies paedophile priest link to fires

AUSTRALIA
3AW

The Catholic church is denying links between three suspicious fires at suburban churches and paedophile priests.

Police are looking into a series of recent arson attacks including an overnight fire at the 151-year-old St Mary’s Catholic Church in Foster Street, Dandenong, about 2.30am this morning.

Other fires being investigated are at St James Catholic Church in Brighton and St Mary’s Catholic Church at St Kilda East.

Regional bishop Peter Elliott dismissed Ross Stevenson’s suggestion of links to paedophile priests.

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

Padre nu de Miracema reprimia os fiéis

BRASIL
O Dia

Rio – Adepto da libertinagem e do pecado, o Padre Alfredo Rosa Borges, da cidade de Miracema, no Norte Fluminense, dentro da Igreja pregava sermões bem diferentes daquilo que praticava depois que a missa acabava — como por exemplo, compartilhar fotos nuas pelo Whats App com uma amante.

No blog ‘Catequizando com Jesus’, o pároco destilava um conservadorismo de envergonhar o Papa Francisco, que tem surpreendido o mundo com discursos progressistas no Vaticano.

“Quem vê a sexualidade e o próprio sexo como prazer, normalmente desvia-se e passa a viver de um modo desequilibrado”, escreveu Padre Alfredo num texto intitulado ‘A Sexualidade Humana’, presente no blog.

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

Ultra-conservative Brazilian priest who denounced kissing suspended for nude selfie

BRAZIL
Brisbane Times

Rio de Janeiro: A Brazilian priest known for delivering sermons disapproving of kissing and sex outside marriage has been suspended for sending a nude selfie to an apparent mistress.

“Father Alfredo Rosa Borges has been suspended from his duties,” and faces ex-communication, a diocesan spokesman at Campos de Goytacazes, a northern town in Rio state told AFP on Tuesday.

Borges is seen posing naked in front of a mirror holding his mobile phone in pictures posted last week via smartphone service Whatsapp which have since appeared in online media.

Rio daily O Dia reported he had admitted sending suggestive messages to a woman who later posted them but denied having an intimate relationship with her.

“An investigation has been opened but the photo comprises a transgression for the church,” the bishop of Campos, Roberto Francisco, told O Dia.

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

John Furlong, ex-CEO of VANOC, says ‘nightmare’ of false accusations finally over

CANADA
CBC News

Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong told reporters at a news conference today that the “unimaginable nightmare” he lived through while under suspicion of abusing his former students has finally ended.

Saying he just wanted to move on with his life, Furlong also announced he would end his defamation lawsuit against Georgia Straight writer Laura Robinson, who published the initial allegations of abuse
However, Robinson, who is suing Furlong for questioning her journalistic credibility, said in a statement she has no intention of dropping her court action.

“At the time the Georgia Straight article was published, I wasn’t even aware of the allegations made by Grace Jessie West and the male whose case was dismissed on Monday,” she said.

“My story was based on serious allegations made by numerous individuals, including allegations contained in eight sworn affidavits, and I stand by the work I did. I feel that the dropping of Mr. Furlong’s lawsuit against me today is recognition that my reporting on the serious allegations was responsible and appropriate.”

“My suit is about an attack on my integrity and professional conduct as a journalist. It has never been about these three cases. “I look forward to my June 15, 2015, court date. I am pleased that the lawsuit against me has been dropped. I stand by the research and work that I did.”

2 accusers didn’t attend Furlong’s school

Furlong’s lawyer, Claire Hunter, told the news conference two of Furlong’s accusers, Grace West and Daniel Morice, never attended Immaculata Elementary School in Burns Lake where the abuse was alleged to have occurred.

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

Ex-Olympics boss feels vindicated after ‘nightmare’ of false abuse allegations

CANADA
CTV nEWS

Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2015

VANCOUVER — As a young man who immigrated from Ireland, John Furlong channelled his “highest respect” for First Nations by volunteering to teach at an elementary school in northern British Columbia.

Forty years later, he ensured four B.C. First Nations were full partners when he headed the Vancouver Olympics, saying his push for their participation was a source of personal pride.

So it was with every instinct he fought anger starting two years ago, when “deep and horrible, hurtful and highly damaging” allegations of sex abuse were levelled against him by three aboriginal people, he told reporters on Tuesday.

Furlong declared the “almost unimaginable nightmare” had finally ended a day after the dismissal by a B.C. Supreme Court judge of the last of three civil lawsuits that have held his family, business interests and public profile hostage.

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

Third Catholic church linked to paedophile priest burns in suspected arson attack

AUSTRALIA
The Age

April 1, 2015

Marissa Calligeros

A third Melbourne Catholic church linked to a paedophile priest has been set alight in a suspected arson attack in as many days.

Two separate fires were lit at St Mary’s Church on Foster Street in Dandenong – one in the main church at the altar and the other in a storage room containing cloaks – about 2am on Monday.

It took firefighters 90 minutes to gain control of the blaze, which caused extensive heat and smoke damage to the 151-year-old building.

Police are investigating whether the fire is linked to two other suspicious fires at Catholic churches in Brighton and St Kilda East on Monday. Fire gutted the 123-year-old St James Church in Brighton on Monday morning, but the blaze at St Mary’s in St Kilda East caused little damage.

Both churches are linked to Ronald Dennis Pickering, who moved from parish to parish around Melbourne abusing boys between 1958 and 1993, when he fled to his native Britain. He died there in 2012, having never been charged.

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

Brazilian priest suspended for sending nude selfie

BRAZIL
Press TV (Iran)

A Brazilian clergyman has been suspended for sending a naked selfie picture to his alleged mistress via his cell phone.

“Father Alfredo Rosa Borges has been suspended from his duties,” AFP quoted a diocesan spokesman of Campos de Goytacazes municipality, located in the northern area of Rio de Janeiro State, as saying on Tuesday.

He added that the Brazilian priest, who is known for his conservative views on moral issues, also faces excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church.

In the picture, which has been circulating on online media since it was posted last week, Borges can be seen posing naked in front of a mirror.

The O Dia daily reported that the priest has admitted to sending the picture, but denies having a relationship with the recipient.

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

Concerned Catholics of Guam plan community meetings

GUAM
KUAM

By Jolene Toves
The Concerned Ca
tholics of Guam continue in their efforts for transparency from the Catholic church by hosting informational meetings in villages such as Yigo, Agana Heights, and Dededo. According to CCOG vice president Dave Sablan the meetings are meant to share the information they have gathered through their investigation of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and their efforts in seeking financial transparency for the Archdiocese of Guam.

He says that he along with organization president Greg Perez unofficially met over a week ago with members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council to include president Sonny Ada. While Ada would not provide comment on the meeting stating it was a personal conversation, Sablan says during the meeting the CCOG requested for financial documents such as the budget plan for the Archdiocesan Annual Appeal. He says that they are concerned with how the funding collected will be spent and also want information on who the formators for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary are so that they may evaluate if the instructors are qualified to form young men into priests. He stresses that the issue is there is no transparency.

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

Belfast priest at centre of affair claims says he is to go on retreat

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Live

31 March 2015 By Maurice Fitzmaurice

A priest accused of having an affair is to go on retreat “in an effort to repair the damage and hurt that I have caused”.

In a statement issued on Tuesday evening Fr Ciaran Dallat said it is his “sincere hope is that with this support I will be able to resume the exercise of priestly ministry”.

The move comes in the wake of claims made in a newspaper earlier this month that the 52-year-old cleric, from St Peter’s Cathedral in west Belfast, had a relationship with a 49-year-old businesswoman.

Up until tonight, the Diocese of Down and Connor had declined to comment in detail on on the allegation. The woman claimed the affair began in Belfast in 2012 after the pair went on a group pilgrimage.

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

Vatican defends Chilean appointment – Response by Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director, BishopAccountability.org

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Vatican defends Chilean appointment – Response by Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director, BishopAccountability.org (cell:781-439-5208)

A Vatican spokeperson’s dismissive statement today defending Pope Francis’s appointment of Chilean bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid deepens the crisis of credibility that the pope is facing. What’s at stake here is nothing less than papal accountability. Francis has pledged to discipline bishops who fail to protect children, and the Chilean public, along with members of his own abuse commission, are determined to hold him to his promise.

[Catholic Herald]

Today’s statement is a disingenuous attempt to shift blame for this decision from the pope to the Congregation for Bishops. Pope Francis made the appointment and must own it. He should begin by explaining his deliberate choice to ignore multiple victims’ testimony that Barros witnessed their sexual abuse by Karadima. Concepción archbishop Fernando Chomali, who discussed Barros with Francis in person last month, told the New York Times that the pope knew about these serious allegations. “The pope told me he had analyzed the situation in detail and found no reason” to rescind the appointment, Chomali said.

[The New York Times]

This response evokes not the compassion and honesty of Pope Francis but the coldness and dismissiveness of Cardinal Bergoglio. As Buenos Aires archbishop, he ignored repeated requests by anguished victims for intervention in their cases. While his colleagues in the US and Europe issued apologies, implemented reforms, and met with victims, he stayed largely silent on the issue of clergy sex abuse, except to issue an implausible denial that he had ever handled an abusive priest. His only known action was to commission a behind-the-scenes report to Argentine Supreme Court judges that impugned the credibility of victims of a criminally convicted priest – an action eerily consistent with the disregard the Pope has shown survivors’ witness in the Barros/Karadima case.

[BishopAccountability.org’s report on pope’s response to crisis as archbishop]

[Victims ignored by Cardinal Bergoglio]

[Bergoglio’s statement that he never dealt with a guilty priest]

[Summary of case of convicted Argentine priest Julio César Grassi, including Bergoglio’s effort to exonerate him]

To regain public trust in his reforms, Pope Francis must explain why he chose Barros despite the victims’ testimony, and he must immediately rescind the appointment. Barros must be suspended from ministry while his alleged wrongdoing is investigated.

Going forward, the pope must apply the lessons of the Barros fiasco to appointments, as well as to disciplinary reviews like the Finn investigation, which has been pending for many months. The leaders selected by him in the future must have records that indicate the moral capacity to execute the measures that the pope himself has invoked repeatedly — ‘zero tolerance’ and accountability.

It is noteworthy and troubling that neither zero tolerance nor mandatory reporting is included in the universal policy framework – the CDF’s 2011 Circular Letter – that Pope Francis said in early February he wants to be “fully implemented.” The provisions in the framework are weak, leaving far too much to the individual bishop’s discretion. Little good shall come from the Pope’s efforts if he holds bishops – or himself – to such a low standard. For the Pope in the Barros/Karadima case, accountability begins at home.

[May 2011 Circular Letter from CDF]

[Pope’s February 2015 letter to bishops and religious superiors]

About BishopAccountability.org

Founded in 2003 and based near Boston, Massachusetts, USA, BishopAccountability.org is a large online archive of documents, reports, and news articles documenting the global abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church. An independent non-profit, it is not a victims’ advocacy group and is not affiliated with any church, reform, or victims’ organization. In 2014, its website hosted 1.5 million unique visitors.

Contact for BishopAccountability.org

Anne Barrett Doyle, Co-Director, barrett.doyle@comcast.net, 781-439-5208 cell
Terence McKiernan, President and Co-Director, mckiernan1@comcast.net, 508-479-9304

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

Vatikan/Chile: Bischofsernennung wurde genau geprüft

VATIKAN
Radio Vatikan

Die jüngste Bischofsernennung in Chile ist im Vatikan „gut geprüft“ worden. Das betont der Vize-Pressesprecher des Vatikans, Pater Ciro Benedettini, in einer Pressemitteilung. Die Ernennung von Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid zum Bischof von Osorno sorgte für Aufsehen, weil er angeblich Missbrauchsfälle „vertuscht“ habe. Die Bischofskongregation habe „genau geprüft“, so Pater Benedettini. Resultat der Vatikan-Untersuchung sei, dass „keine objektiven Gründe gegen die Ernennung“ vorliegen.

Papst Franziskus hatte den ehemaligen Militärbischof Barros am 15. Januar zum neuen Bischof der südchilenischen Diözese berufen. Dagegen hatte es aus Kreisen der Politik und von Laienorganisationen der chilenischen Kirche immer wieder Proteste gegeben. Barros streitet eine Verwicklung ab und beteuert seine Unschuld. Das Amt in der Provinzstadt am Südzipfel des Kontinents hatte Barros vor zwei Wochen angetreten.

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

Papst: Personalpolitik und Gegenwind in Chile

DEUTSCHLAND
Papstgefluster

[Pope: Personnel Policy and headwind in Chile]

Papst Franziskus hat heute den Chefposten in der Vatikanischen Bildungskongregation neu besetzt. Der bisherige oberste „Wirtschaftsprüfer“, Kardinal Giuseppe Versaldi (71), ist nun für die Bildung zuständig. Die Entscheidung ist nicht nur eine schlichte Personalie; sondern könnte auch für die anstehende Kurienreform ein Signal sein. Erstmals äußerte sich der Vatikan heute auch zur umstrittenen Bischofsernennung im chilenischen Bistum Osorno; allerdings nur kurz und knapp. Eine echte Unterstützung sieht anders aus. Zudem hat Papst Franziskus heute Kardinal Rainer-Maria Woelki zum Mitglied in der vatikanischen Güterverwaltung APSA ernannt. Der Erzbischof von Köln, einer der reichsten Diözesen der Welt, ist traditionell Mitglied dort.

Signal für Kurienreform?

Schon länger wurde darüber spekuliert, wer Kardinal Zenon Grocholweski (75) als Präfekt der Bildungskongregation nachfolgen wird. Der Pole hatte am 11. Oktober vergangenen Jahres die Pensionsgrenze von 75 Jahren erreicht. Wiederholt gab es Spekulationen, Papst Franziskus könnte den Präfekten der Glaubenskongregation, Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, ins Bildungsressort versetzen. Immerhin war Müller viele Jahre als Hochschullehrer aktiv, hätte also eine fachliche Kompetenz mitgebracht.

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

Enoch Powell implicated in Westminster pedophile ring

UNITED KINGDOM
Anadolu Agency

By Karim Adel El-Sayed

ANKARA

Enoch Powell, one of the most controversial British politicians of the twentieth century, has been implicated of involvement in child sex abuse dating back to the 1980s, the British press has reported.

Powell’s name was handed to police in 2014 by Bishop of Durham Paul Butler, an event which was only made public on Sunday.

“The name Enoch Powell was passed to Operation Fernbridge on the instruction of Bishop Paul Butler,” the Church of England said in a statement on Monday, referring to the police operation into suspected Westminster child abusers.

Powell, who died in 1998, was a divisive and firebrand anti-immigrant politician. His name is the latest in a string of senior parliamentarians accused of being involved in alleged Westminster child sex rings in the 1980s.

The scandal has shaken Britain’s political establishment to its core. …

Nothing would surprise me in terms of cover-ups or files being destroyed or lost. It stinks, I have to say,” says Peter Saunders, CEO of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, speaking to The Anadolu Agency.

Commenting more specifically on the accusation leveled against the deceased anti-immigrant firebrand, Saunders adds: “Powell’s been dead a long time and I have not heard his name being implicated before, but anybody who is implicated and who does have a credible allegation made against them – whether they are alive or dead – I think they should be investigated to the full extent of the law.”

With regards to Heffer’s argument that Powell was a man of high probity, Saunders said, “Many child abusers throughout our history have been upstanding members of the community and they have a dark side… I am not saying that is the case with Powell, because I do not know.”

“I think any credible accusation should be pursued and investigated for the purposes of both the victims and for future child protection because this issue of abuse of children has been swept under the carpet, has been kept at bay, has been denied for far too long,” he said.

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

Vatican defends appointment of Chilean bishop accused of sex-abuse cover-up

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Abby Ohlheiser March 31

The Vatican defended the appointment of Bishop Juan Barros Madrid on Tuesday, after accusations that the bishop helped cover up sex abuse prompted criticism of the appointment by Pope Francis.

As the National Catholic Reporter notes, the brief, 19-word statement represents a rare comment from the Vatican on an appointment. “The Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature,” the statement from Holy See Press Office Vice Director Passionist Fr. Ciro Benedettini reads, “and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment.”

The criticism of Barros centers on long-standing allegations that he helped to cover up the sex abuse of his then-superior, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, whom the Vatican in 2011 found guilty of sexually abusing minors. Karadima, 84, is now living cloistered in “penitence and prayer.”

Barros has denied the allegations, as the NCR reported, and has said he “never had knowledge or imagined the serious abuses that this priest [Karadima] committed with his victim.”

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

WATCH: Former VANOC CEO addresses dropped sexual abuse lawsuits

CANADA
GlobalNews

[with video]

Former VANOC CEO John Furlong says he will drop a defamation lawsuit against the reporter who originally published a story containing sexual assault allegations against him.

Furlong says he filed a notice to end his defamation lawsuit against reporter Laura Robinson this morning.

Addressing the media this morning, Furlong also spoke about the three sexual abuse lawsuits against him that have now been either dropped or dismissed.

The last of the cases was dismissed by a B.C. supreme court judge yesterday.

They all relate to incidents alleged to have occurred more than 40 years ago during Furlong’s time as a teacher at a school in Burns Lake.

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

Ex-Olympics CEO feels vindicated after ‘nightmare’

CANADA
Blackburn News

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER – Former Olympics CEO John Furlong says he feels vindicated that he’s been cleared of sexual assault allegations after suffering an unimaginable nightmare for nearly two years.

Speaking a day after a B.C. Supreme Court judge dismissed a third and final sexual assault lawsuit against him, Furlong says he felt paralyzing pain but is now ready to move on with his life.

A man who failed to show up for the start of a trial on Monday claimed Furlong sexually abused him 45 years ago at a Roman Catholic school in northern B.C.

Since December, suits against Furlong by two women have been withdrawn or dismissed that made similar allegations, which he says have caused him incalculable financial loss.

Furlong says he has fought against being angry with the three plaintiffs and hopes they find inner peace, though noting they will have to live with what they have done.

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

Furlong drops defamation lawsuit against Georgia Straight freelancer

CANADA
AM730

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980
Laura Baziuk
March 31, 2015

Former VANOC boss John Furlong has dropped a defamation lawsuit against freelance reporter Laura Robinson.

She wrote a damaging story about him in 2012, which was published in the Georgia Straight newspaper.

Furlong is speaking to reporters a day after the last of three lawsuits accusing him of sexual abuse in the 1960s and 70s was dismissed or dropped.

He says he will defend himself if needed in Robinson’s countersuit.

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

John Furlong says ‘unimaginable nightmare’ has finally ended

CANADA
CBC News

Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong spoke in solemn and measured tones as he told reporters at a news conference today that the “unimaginable nightmare” he lived through while under suspicion of abusing his former students has finally ended.

Saying he just wanted to move on with his life, Furlong also announced he would end his defamation lawsuit against Georgia Straight writer Laura Robinson, who published the initial allegations of abuse that eventually formed the basis of the three lawsuits against him.

The last of the lawsuits was dismissed Monday by a B.C. Supreme Court judge after the complainant, Daniel Morice, failed to appear in court.

In the nearly three years since he was accused of abusing former students while he was a teacher in British Columbia during the late 1960s, Furlong has repeatedly and vigorously denied any wrongdoing.

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

John Furlong drops defamation lawsuit against journalist Laura Robinson

CANADA
The Vancouver Sun

Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong has dropped a defamation lawsuit against journalist Laura Robinson.

Furlong was suing Robinson for a story she penned for the Georgia Straight in 2012, which contained allegations that Furlong was abusive toward native students at Catholic schools while a teacher in northern B.C. four decades ago.

Furlong made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday morning. Vancouver Sun reporter Lori Culbert is covering the story.

Furlong had accused Robinson of carrying out a “vicious campaign” to destroy his reputation. He also labelled her “a long-time activist” who “masquerades as a responsible journalist.”

Robinson plans to still go ahead with her defamation suit.

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Furlong drops defamation suit, but journalist will pursue countersuit

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

MARK HUME
Vancouver — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Mar. 31 2015

John Furlong, the former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, has dropped a defamation suit against journalist Laura Robinson, saying the dismissal of three sexual abuse cases against him have proved his innocence.

But Ms. Robinson, who in 2012 wrote an article claiming Mr. Furlong physically and verbally abused students at an aboriginal school in 1969-70, says she’s going ahead with a countersuit against him.

“My suit is about an attack on my integrity and professional conduct as a journalist. It has never been about these three cases,” Ms. Robinson said Tuesday in an e-mail. “I look forward to my June 15, 2015, court date. I am pleased that the lawsuit against me has been dropped. I stand by the research and work that I did.”

Mr. Furlong sued her after the article appeared, and she launched a countersuit soon after, saying that in responding to the article he had defamed her.

Following those events three people, including a woman quoted in Ms. Robinson’s article, came forward with allegations that Mr. Furlong had sexually abused them at Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary School in Burns Lake, B.C., in 1969-70.

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VT–Victims blast Jehovah’s Witnesses in abuse trial

VERMONT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 31

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

Officials with a purportedly spiritual group is splitting hairs and exploiting loopholes more befitting of cold-hearted corporate CEOs.

[Brattleboro Reformer]

Jehovah’s Witnesses bureaucrats are using legal technicalities to try to deny child sex abuse victims their day in court. Shame on them. They’re squandering any moral authority they may have had by ducking and dodging in court like desperate criminals determined to use any and every legal maneuver possible to save their own reputations and careers.

Church officials have won a partial victory. A judge has granted their requests to have portions of a child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit tossed out. We hope that ultimately they will fail and that Miranda and Annessa Lewis will be able to expose the callousness and recklessness of Jehovah’s Witness officials in a trial.

Already, by their courage, these sisters have warned thousands about the predator who hurt them, Norton True. We are very proud of these courageous young women. And we hope they realize that by breaking their silence and filing this suit, they have already won in the most important sense: they have taken back the power that was stolen from them in childhood. We are confident that because these sisters are speaking up, others who were assaulted as kids have been inspired to speak up too.

Finally, we hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by True or cover ups in churches will call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.

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Rome–Francis digs heels in over Chilean bishop

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priestsi

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 31

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

It’s official: Pope Francis is standing by his cruel and hurtful promotion of a bishop who faces credible allegations of enabling, ignoring and watching child sex crimes.

[National Catholic Reporter]

It’s cruel because elevating Bishop Juan Barros Madrid rubs salt into the wounds of two sets of victims: the dozens who were sexually assaulted by Fr. Fernando Karadima and the tens of thousands who once had high hopes that Francis might actually do more to stop clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

But arguably, the greater harm is not to already wounded victims. It’s to still vulnerable children. Why? Because when Francis rewards those – like Barros – who conceal child sex crimes, he encourages others to conceal child sex crimes. And that leads to more child sex crimes.

The sad, simple and undeniable truth is that Catholic bishops and priests world-wide look at Barros’ promotion and now realize that despite all the pledges, policies, protocols, promises and panels, this pope is no different than any who came before him.

Francis is more likeable than most. He’s far more PR savvy than most. He’s masterful at using symbols and gestures. He says more of the right things.

( One exception, though, came a year ago this month: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/religion/secrets-of-the-vatican/pope-francis-defends-churchs-response-to-clergy-sex-abuse/ )

But when push comes to shove, he does what his predecessors have done, time and time and time again – move complicit colleagues up the clerical ladder no matter how egregiously they have helped predators and hurt kids.

Would it have hurt Francis to withdraw Barros’ appointment, even temporarily? Nope. Would it hurt him now to say “Let’s investigate these serious and credible charges against Barros?” Nope.

Thousands have protested Barros’ elevation. And the response they’re getting from Francis is 19 words saying “Who cares?”

Now more than ever, it’s crucial that members of the pope’s abuse panel go to Rome and confront Francis about this hurtful promotion. And it’s crucial that those who have courageously confronted church officials about this stunningly callous and hurtful move keep speaking out.

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UPDATE 1-Italy-Vatican near deal on financial information sharing -source

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

(Reuters) – The Vatican and Italy are close to reaching an agreement to share financial and tax information in the aim of cracking down on money-laundering and other illicit behaviour, a senior Vatican official said on Tuesday.

The deal, which the official said could be announced as early as this week, is part of Pope Francis’ efforts to clean up the finances of the Vatican. The official asked not to be named, because he is not authorised to discuss the accord.

The Vatican has long been criticised by international financial organisations for providing a tax haven for well-connected Italians.

In particular, the Vatican bank for decades allowed many Italian citizens to hold bank accounts. That practice, which was in violation of the bank’s mission to manage money for the Church, helped individuals evade taxes and launder cash, Italian law enforcement officials say.

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Vatican Bank Close To Signing Deal With Italy

VATICAN CITY
Sky News

The Vatican has revealed it is close to reaching an agreement with Italy over a clampdown on potential money-laundering.

A senior Vatican official said the deal may be announced later this week, and is part of Pope Francis’ attempt to sweep clean Vatican finances.

For decades the powerful financial institution within the Holy See has been accused of facilitating illicit behaviour.

Officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion, it has faced accusations of providing a tax haven for wealthy Italians.

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Theologe Wunibald Müller: Kirche muss Sexualität neu bewerten

DEUTSCHLAND
Kathweb

[Theologian Wunibald Müller: Church must re-evaluate sexuality.]

Freiburg, 25.03.2015 (KAP/KNA) Der deutsche Psychotherapeut und Theologe Wunibald Müller hat die katholischen Bischöfe zu einem Umdenken in Sachen Sexualität aufgerufen. Wenn die Kirche Anschluss an die Wirklichkeit heutiger Menschen finden wolle, müsse die für Herbst im Vatikan geplante Bischofssynode zu Familienfragen einen “Sprung nach vorne” wagen, schreibt Müller in der Freiburger diözesanen Wochenzeitung “Konradsblatt”. Nötig sei ein Perspektivenwechsel, bei dem nicht länger “vor allem von der Ehe und der Heterosexualität her” gedacht werde.

Sexualität dürfe nicht auf die Fortpflanzung reduziert werden, so der Theologe. Vielmehr trage sie zur Vertiefung einer Partnerschaft bei, indem sie in den “Dienst unserer Wünsche und Sehnsucht nach der Erfahrung von Geborgenheit, Annahme, Nähe und Intimität” trete. Aus seelsorglicher Sicht müsse Sexualität unabhängig von der Ausrichtung einer Person thematisiert werden, fordert Müller. Es gehe also nicht in erster Linie darum, ob jemand schwul, hetero- oder bisexuell sei, sondern darum, eine Person in ihrem Bemühen zu würdigen, “auf eine verantwortliche und ihr Leben bereichernde Weise ihre Sexualität” zu leben.

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Polen: Priester zu sieben Jahren Haft verurteilt

POLEN
Radio Vatikan

[Poland: Priest sentenced to seven years in prison.]

Noch vor Ermittlungen wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen Jozef Wesolowski, ehemaliger Nuntius der Dominikanischen Republik, im Jahr 2013 wurde der Fall von dem ehemaligen Priester Wojciech Gil aufgedeckt. Sein polnischer Landsmann, wurde nun in Warschau zu sieben Jahren Haft verurteilt. Gil hatte acht Kinder unter 15 Jahren in Polen und der Dominikanischen Republik sexuell missbraucht und pornographische Videos von Kindern besessen. Zusätzlich zur Haftstrafe wurde ihm eine Geldstrafe in Höhe von 43.000 Dollar auferlegt, die er an die Opfer zahlen muss. Aus gesundheitlichen Gründen war er selbst vor Gericht nicht anwesend.

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La Guardia Civil imputará al rector de sa Pobla por dos abusos sexuales

MALLORCA
Ultima Hora

J. Jiménez|@jjimenezsucesos | Sa Pobla | 14/03/2015

La Guardia Civil imputará al rector de sa Pobla, Joan Pons, por dos delitos de agresión sexual. La jueza de Inca, por su parte, también acusará del mismo delito al ex rector de Selva, Antoni Cano.

Este viernes se llevaron a cabo declaraciones ampliatorias del caso de Selva, en el que un exmonaguillo acusó a Cano y Pons, además de otro cura que ya ha fallecido. Según el denunciante, V.M.D.F., los abusos sexuales comenzaron en el año 1987 y se prolongaron hasta 1994.

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El joven que acusó al rector de sa Pobla de abusos sexuales retira la denuncia

MALLORCA
Ultima Hora

[The young man who accused the rector of Sa Pobla of sexual abuse withdraws the complaint.]

J. Bastida/ V. Malagón | Sa Pobla | 31/03/2015

El joven que acusó al rector de sa Pobla por abusos sexuales ha retirado la denuncia. A primera hora de la mañana de este lunes, A.A.C., de 32 años y nacionalidad española, acudió al juzgado de Instrucción número 3 de Inca para realizar una ‘ampliación acta de denuncia verbal’.

La retirada de la denuncia contra el exrector de sa Pobla, Mossèn Joan Pons, da un giro de 180 grados al caso. El joven denunció en el cuartel de la Guardia Civil de sa Pobla que fue violado dos veces por parte del sacerdote. A.A.C., vivía en la rectoría con el cura y declaró que no había contado nada de los abusos sexuales porque estaba aterrorizado.

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Missbrauchsanzeige gegen Pfarrer in Sa Pobla zurückgezogen

MALLORCA
Radio Aleman

[The abuse case against a priest in Mallorca has been withdrawn.]

Die Anzeige wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen den Pfarrer in Sa Pobla auf Mallorca ist zurückgezogen worden. Das mutmaßliche Opfer, ein heute 32 Jahre alter Spanier, gab am Montagmorgen eine entsprechende Erklärung vor dem Gericht in Inca ab. Hier wurden seit der offiziellen Beschwerde am 10. März entsprechene Ermittlungen durchgeführt.

Der Mann hatte angegeben, als Kind zweimal durch den Priester vergewaltigt worden zu sein. Gegenüber spanischen Medien hatte er von Drohungen gesprochen, die der Geistliche ihm gegenüber gemacht habe, falls er zur damaligen Zeit von den Fällen berichte. Zudem hatte er ausgesagt, seit den sexuellen Übergriffen in psychologischer Behandlung zu sein.

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Transparenz sieht anders aus

DEUTSCHLAND
SWP

[Transparency is different.]

Als der Jesuitenpater Klaus Mertes Ende Januar 2010 an die Öffentlichkeit ging und über jahrelange Missbrauchsfälle am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg berichtete, brachte er eine Lawine ins Rollen, die allgemeine Empörung auslöste und nachfolgende Erschütterungen in den Kirchen, an Schulen und nicht zuletzt bei den Grünen. Pädagogen und Priester gerieten ins Zwielicht, Bischöfe mussten zurücktreten, viele Opfer überwanden ihre Scham und legten Zeugnis ab.

Die schockierenden Enthüllungen sorgten zwar für eine Debatte in Medien und Institutionen, auch gaben betroffene Einrichtungen Untersuchungen des sexuellen Missbrauchs oder – im Fall der Grünen – der Verstrickung in pädophile Rechtfertigungsstrategien in Auftrag, mit durchaus respektablen Einsichten. Doch kommt die Aufarbeitung des Missbrauch-Skandals insgesamt nur mühsam voran.

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To Pope Francis: Please don’t make Junipero Serra a saint

CALIFORNIA
Gilroy Dispatch

Phill Laursen

Californians grow up in an atmosphere of reverence for Father Junipero Serra—there is, however, a different perspective among the descendants of the land’s original people. Their viewpoint will be difficult for many to accept, but open your heart and mind as you read excerpts from an open letter the leader of our area’s tribal band recently sent to Pope Francis. I met the author when he spoke to the Gilroy Historical Society, and I am tremendously impressed by his intellect, his sincerity and his wisdom. The letter begins:

His Holiness Pope Francis,

My name is Valentin Lopez and I am the Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band [descendants of local native peoples taken to Missions San Juan Bautista and Santa Cruz].… We are writing…to voice our disbelief and objection to your intent to canonize Franciscan Friar Junipero Serra.

Lopez describes the Amah Mutsun’s optimism when Francis was selected as Pope, and details letters they wrote to the Roman Catholic pontiff about their ancestors’ experiences and the aftermath, such as “….life expectancy was less than two years at some missions….Tribal members continue to suffer from the impact of cumulative emotional and psychological wounding”, how psychiatrist Dr. Donna Schindler explained “historic trauma”, and Bishop Emeritus of Sacramento Quinn said, ‘…
although the language of these letters is sometimes very intense, he supports the basic message’.

The Amah Mutsun find, in Fr. Serra’s own writings, how “….the violence, intimidation and terror which was sponsored and ordered by Fr. Serra clearly set the policy and foundation for all future brutal acts at the missions.” They strongly believe Serra has a large degree of responsibility, “…for the death of approximately 100,000 California Indians and the complete extermination of many Native tribes, cultures and languages.”

Lopez cites contemporaries of Fr. Serra such as, “Father Boscana, who wrote…’the Indians of California may be compared to a species of monkeys’”; Father Mariano Payeras, who wrote the Church, “…had to come up with an alibi when people started asking where all the Indians had gone.” because ‘All we have done to the Indians is consecrate them, baptize them and bury them’; and how in 1809 a commander ordered soldiers to massacre 200 women and children who wouldn’t march to Mission San Juan Bautista. “These women and children were cut into pieces with sabers.” And “Fr. Antonio de la Conception Herra wrote in 1799 that ‘The treatment of the Indians is the most cruel I have ever read in history. For the slightest things they receive heavy floggings, are shackled, and put in the stocks, and treated with so much cruelty that they are kept whole days without a drink of water’.”

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Pope Digs In – US Leaders & Catholics Must Press Pope To Stop Priest Child Abusers

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

The ex-bouncer pope is pushing back. A contest of wills seems to be going on between the papal sex abuse commission head, Boston Franciscan, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, and the “wannabe” Franciscan Pope Francis, with his team of Cardinal Angelo Sodano protégées. The pope’s spokeman has now (3/31/15) said that the Vatican is confident the correct decision has been made in appointing Juan Barros as Bishop of Osorno, in Chile. The amazing Vatican statement said: “The Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment, …”. At least the statement did not allude to the pope’s “infallibility”, as a previous related statement appeared to do.

Once again, there is no indication the members of the pope’s almost farcical “abuse commission” were consulted on this “doubling down”, further indicating their seeming irrelevance to the pope on the fundamental issue of bishops accountability for their sex abuse misdeeds. Why have an irrelevant commission, Pope Francis? Many of the commission members are well informed and sincere, not some clerical hacks too often appointed to papal commissions.

Members of Francis’ Vatican “go slow” commission have criticized sharply Barros’ appointment, as well as their exclusion from the decision process as indicated in NCR interviews last week and below.

Only celibate men living in the childless Vatican bubble could have made this bad decision, and then arrogantly by a written statement declared it to have been made objectively. Pathetic and outrageous, really. Catholic parents will not have it!

This statement is the “death knell” of the pope’s flawed public relations commission, it would appear. The curtain is rising on the real Francis, no?

US political leaders of both parties are shamefully continuing to give the pope a pass on the child abuse scandal, likely to try to gain political advantage in next year’s presidential and congressional elections. Courageous UN leaders and political leaders in other nations like Australia, the UK, Chile, Ireland, et al., are challenging the pope and his subordinates’ indefensible records, but leaders like the USA’s Obama and Clinton, and even Catholics like Boehner, Biden, Peter King, Nancy Pelosi, Jeb Bush, Rubio, Guiliani, Cuomo, Christie, Jindal, Panetta, Santorum, Jerry Brown, et al., look the other way too often on priest child abuse and bishops’ cover-ups. I was a classmate of Guiliani and King and went to the same law school as Obama. I know they know better and deeply believe the others do as well!

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Vatican says no reason found to ‘preclude’ Chilean bishop’s nomination

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Philly

BY LAURA IERACI
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The appointment of a controversial bishop in Chile was made after a careful review found no “objective reasons” to prevent Bishop Juan Barros from taking over the Diocese of Osorno, the Vatican press office said.

The bishop had been accused of covering up for a priest who was known to have committed sexual abuse; some 3,000 demonstrators gathered outside and inside the Osorno cathedral March 21 to protest his installation as bishop.

“The Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment,” said the Vatican’s March 31 statement.

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Vatican defends appointing Chilean bishop accused of hiding abuse

VATICAN CITY
Today

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican on Tuesday strongly defended its appointment of a bishop in Chile despite protests by critics who have accused him of covering up sexual abuse.

Juan Barros was installed on March 21 as new bishop of Osorno as supporters holding white balloons and opponents carrying black ones shouted at each other during the ceremony in the city’s cathedral.

The appointment outraged some parishioners, national legislators and abuse victims who said Barros had protected one of the nation’s most notorious pedophiles and asked Pope Francis to rescind it.

Deputy spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini, in the Vatican’s first official comment on a case that has divided Chileans, said the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops had “carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment”. …

SNAP, a U.S.-based victims group, said that by defending Barros’ appointment, the pope was “standing by his cruel and hurtful promotion of a bishop who faces credible allegations of enabling, ignoring and watching child sex crimes”.

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Vatican supports Chilean bishop despite allegations of sex abuse cover-up

VATICAN CITY
The Guardian

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

Tuesday 31 March 2015

The Vatican has issued a rare statement of support for a bishop in Chile who has been accused by abuse victims of covering up for a notorious paedophile priest, in a case that is sure to infuriate critics who say Pope Francis is straying from his commitment to ending the church’s legacy of abuse.

Amid a growing controversy over Bishop Juan Barros, the Holy See confirmed on Tuesday that the congregation for bishops had vetted Barros and found no “objective reason” to stop his appointment to the southern Chilean diocese of Osorno.

Barros has been accused by victims of turning a blind eye to abuse that was committed against them by Barros’s former mentor, Reverend Fernando Karadima, a priest who the Vatican found guilty of molestation in 2011.

Karadima is now living a cloistered life of “penitence and prayer” in a convent in Chile.

In some cases, Karadima’s victims have alleged that Barros not only helped to cover up the crimes decades ago, but that he had observed the abuse.

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Vatican defends appointing Chilean bishop accused of hiding abuse

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

VATICAN CITY | BY PHILIP PULLELLA

(Reuters) – The Vatican on Tuesday strongly defended its appointment of a bishop in Chile despite protests by critics who have accused him of covering up sexual abuse.

Juan Barros was installed on March 21 as new bishop of Osorno as supporters holding white balloons and opponents carrying black ones shouted at each other during the ceremony in the city’s cathedral.

The appointment outraged some parishioners, national legislators and abuse victims who said Barros had protected one of the nation’s most notorious pedophiles and asked Pope Francis to rescind it.

Deputy spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini, in the Vatican’s first official comment on a case that has divided Chileans, said the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops had “carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment”.

Several lay members of an international commission the pope set up to advise him on how to root out sexual abuse by clergy also criticized the appointment.

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Vaticano respalda al obispo chileno Barros

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
El Nuevo Herald

BY POR JORGE PIÑA ASSOCIATED PRESS
03/31/2015

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
El Vaticano respaldó el martes al nuevo obispo de Osorno, Chile, monseñor Juan de la Cruz Barros, quien ha sido criticado por su presunta cercanía con el ex párroco chileno Fernando Karadima, condenado por la Santa Sede por abusos sexuales.

“Antes del reciente nombramiento del nuevo obispo de Osorno, la Congregación para los Obispos estudió detalladamente la candidatura del prelado y no encontró razones objetivas que interfirieran con la misma”, señaló un comunicado oficial.

Karadina fue hallado culpable en 2011 por el Vaticano de cometer abusos sexuales. Barros ha señalado que jamás tuvo conocimiento de los abusos cometidos por el párroco.

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Vaticano “no encontró razones objetivas” …

CHILE
La Tercera

Vaticano “no encontró razones objetivas” para impedir nombramiento de Barros como obispo de Osorno

por María Paz Núñez – 31/03/2015

A través de un breve comunicado, el Vaticano se refirió al nombramiento de Juan Barros como obispo de Osorno, quien el pasado 21 de marzo asumió el cargo en una polarizada ceremonia. Al respecto, el subdirector de la oficina de prensa de la Santa Sede, Ciro Benedettini señaló que no se encontraron “razones objetivas” para impedir el nombramiento de Barros.

“Antes del reciente nombramiento como obispo de Osorno de S. E. Mons. Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid, la Congregación para los Obispos estudió detalladamente la candidatura del prelado y no encontró razones objetivas que interfirieran con la misma”, señaló Benedettini en el comunicado.

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Defiende Vaticano designación de cuestionado obispo chileno

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
Noticieros

Temas Relacionados

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO, mar. 31, 2015.- El Vaticano aseguró este martes que no había razones objetivas para impedir el nombramiento de Juan Barros como obispo de la localidad chilena de Orsono, tras la polémica por ser considerado cercano o incluso encubridor del sacerdote Fernando Karadima, culpable de abusos sexuales.

El subdirector de la oficina de prensa del Vaticano, Ciro Benedettini, explicó en una breve nota que la Congregación de los Obispos “estudió cuidadosamente la candidatura del prelado” Barros y “no encontró razones objetivas que obstaculizasen su nombramiento”.

Desde su nombramiento, ha habido protestas de varias instituciones, incluso eclesiales.

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Vatican defends choice of Chilean bishop linked to abuser priest

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent March 31, 2015

ROME — Reacting to widespread criticism of the appointment of a bishop in Chile linked to the country’s most notorious abuser priest, the Vatican issued a terse statement on Tuesday insisting the move was “carefully examined” and there were no “objective reasons” to stop it.

“Prior to the recent appointment of His Excellency Msgr. Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as bishop of Osorno, Chile, the Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment,” it said.

The statement was issued in the name of the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, a Passionist priest who serves as vice director of the Vatican’s Press Office. The Congregation for Bishops, currently led by Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, is the Vatican department that recommends bishops’ appointments to the pope.

Tapped by Pope Francis for the position in Osorno on Jan. 10, Barros has become a deeply controversial figure in Chile because of his ties to the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a former mentor who was found guilty by the Vatican in 2011 of sexual abuse of minors and sentenced to life of “penance and prayer.”

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Canada–Victims blast Catholic officials about predator

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 31, 2015

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

Catholic officials admit that child sex abuse allegations against a priest who worked for a Catholic school board in Toronto have been deemed “credible.” We hope this disclosure will prod other victims to come forward and get help.

[Catholic Chronicle]

From 1976 to 1987 as a religious brother and 1995 to 2004 as a priest, Father James Roth worked at a Catholic high school in Toledo “as a faculty member/administrator, and from 1995 to 2004 assisted with weekend masses in Michigan,” according to a church announcement.

We call on Bishop Thomas Christopher Collins to disclose each site where Fr. Roth worked. We urge him to personally visit each site and beg victims to speak up and start healing. In nearly every case, bishops do the absolute bare minimum and sit passively back, behind their desks, hoping more victims don’t call. Instead, they should be acting like the shepherds they profess to be, and aggressively reaching out to anyone who may have been hurt and may still be suffering in shame, silence and self-blame.

We are deeply grateful to the brave victim of this cleric for finding the courage to expose this predator. We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes – – to summon the strength to call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.

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Vatican defends naming of bishop that caused Chilean outcry

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail (UK)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is defending Pope Francis’ appointment of a Chilean bishop despite allegations from victims that the prelate had covered up for a pedophile priest.

A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said Tuesday that before Monsignor Juan Barros was named to be bishop of Osorno, Chile, the Holy See’s Congregation for Bishops “carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and didn’t find objective reasons to preclude the appointment.”

The bishop’s recent installation triggered nationwide political opposition, violent protests in the cathedral and a boycott by many of the diocese’s priests.

A former Chilean military chaplain, Barros has insisted he didn’t know about the abuse until reading 2010 news reports. Barros was a protege of the priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, sanctioned in 2011 by the Vatican for sexually abusing minors.

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Former SCV Man Gets 25 Years For St. Louis Sodomy Charges

MISSOURI
KHTS

Brandon Milburn, who worked as a church employee at Real Life Church in Valencia, pleaded to seven counts of statutory sodomy with two victims who were 11 years old at the time, according to court documents.

He pleaded guilty in court earlier this year and received his sentence Monday.

A 28-year-old former Valencia man was sentenced to 25 years in prison in Missouri for the rape of two boys that took place from 2007-09, officials said Monday.

Milburn was working as an intern outreach minister in St. Louis from October 2007 to September 2008, when the alleged crimes occurred, said Sgt. Matt Redmond of the St. Louis Police Department.

“He was a college student doing an internship at this church, where he had contact with some people in a youth group or youth ministry,” Redmond said.

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Former SCV man sentenced to 25 years in sodomy case

KENTUCKY
Signals CV

By Jim Holt
Signal Senior Staff Writer

A former Valencia man who worked part-time at a Santa Clarita Valley church last year has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for committing six counts of sodomy.

Brandon Wesley Milburn, 27, who worked briefly at the Real Life Church on Newhall Ranch Road in Valencia, appeared Monday in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, where he was sentenced to 25 years.

In January, Milburn pleaded guilty to six felony counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, Detective Edward Magee of the St. Louis County Police Department said.

His plea was a “blind plea,” Magee said, meaning it was made without a set sentence in place, rather than a plea bargain struck with prosecutors.

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KY–Ex-Louisville church worker sentenced in abuse case

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 31

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

Yesterday, a Louisville native and former church employee was sentenced to 25 years in prison for molesting boys in Missouri. We urge his former colleagues in his Louisville congregation to aggressively seek out others who he may have assaulted.

[Signals CV]

[Fox 2]

In January, Brandon Milburn pleaded guilty to seven counts of sodomy with two kids under the age of 12 in a St. Louis County courthouse. From October of 2008 to April of 2009, he worked at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville.

It’s crucial that law enforcement officials know as much as possible about Milburn’s crimes. He’s young, so he will likely be released from prison. But he could be charged again for other crimes he has committed, if only others with information will come forward.

It’s also crucial that every person he hurts be found and helped. And it’s crucial that any of Milburn’s church supervisors or colleagues who may have concealed his crimes also be prosecuted.

So we beg anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered Milburn’s crimes – or cover ups by church staff – to call police and prosecutors in Missouri immediately.

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DEFIENDE VATICANO DESIGNACIÓN DE POLÉMICO OBISPO CHILENO

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
Lopez Doriga Digital

El Vaticano defendió hoy el reciente nombramiento de Juan Barros Madrid como obispo de Osorno en Chile, luego que fue duramente criticado por su cercanía con Fernando Karadima, sacerdote culpable de abusos sexuales contra menores.

Este martes, la sala de prensa de la Santa Sede emitió una comunicación de apenas tres líneas con la cual salió al paso de las críticas que se suscitaron en el país sudamericano por el traslado de Barros, que antes se desempeñaba como obispo militar.

“Antes del reciente nombramiento como obispo de Osorno (Chile), de Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid, la Congregación para los Obispos estudió detalladamente la candidatura del prelado y no encontró razones objetivas que interfirieran con la misma”, estableció la nota del vicedirector de la sala, Ciro Benedettini.

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Vatican: Decision to appoint Bishop Juan Barros was correct

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Herald (UK)

The Congregation for Bishops did not find ‘objective reasons to preclude the appointment’, according to statement

The Vatican has said that it is confident the correct decision has been made in appointing Juan Barros Bishop of Osorno, in Chile.

A statement on the controversial Chilean bishop was released by the Vatican earlier today. “The Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment,” it said.

The statement comes after Bishop Barros was barracked by hundreds of black-clad protesters during his installation at Osorno’s Cathedral of St Matthew last week.

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Vatican stands by bishop accused of covering up abuse

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet

31 March 2015 by Abigail Frymann Rouch

The Holy See has defended its decision to appoint as bishop a Chilean prelate accused of covering-up child abuse.

The appointment of Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as bishop of Osorno has been questioned by two members of Pope Francis’ safeguarding board and a third, Peter Saunders, has said he may have to quit unless Pope Francis withdraws the appointment. The bishop’s installation Mass on 21 March was cut short amid loud protests by crowds who were angry at his handling of allegations regarding abuser Fr Fernando Karadima, 84.

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Declaration of the Vice Director of the Holy See Press Office

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 31 March 2015 (VIS) – The Vice Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Ciro Benedettini, C.P., today issued the following declaration:

“Prior to the recent appointment of His Excellency Msgr. Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as bishop of Osorno, Chile, the Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons precluding the appointment”.

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Vatican: No ‘objective reasons’ to preclude appointment of Chilean bishop

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Mar. 31, 2015

VATICAN CITY The Vatican has responded to public outcry against Pope Francis’ naming of a new bishop in Chile accused of covering up sexual abuse by saying the bishop’s candidature was “carefully examined” prior to his appointment but no “objective reasons” were found to preclude it.

Marking a rare reaction to public criticism against a bishop’s appointment, the Vatican press office released a 19-word statement Tuesday in three languages regarding Bishop Juan Barros Madrid.

Installed March 21 as head of the diocese of Osorno, Chile amid protests in the cathedral, Barros is accused by Chilean clergy sexual abuse survivors of covering up abuse by Fr. Fernando Karadima when Barros was a priest.

Members of Francis’ own Vatican commission on clergy sexual abuse have also criticized the appointment, saying in NCR interviews last week they are concerned and surprised at the pope’s decision.

The Vatican’s statement Tuesday, made by Holy See Press Office Vice Director Passionist Fr. Ciro Benedettini, does not address any specific criticisms.

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Fair and Balanced

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

Jennifer Haselberger

Less than a week after one Fox 9 employee pulled a hangar out of his suit on air, another station anchor is making a surprising move. Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal announced today that Tom Halden is leaving KMSP-TV Fox 9’s morning news show after five years in the anchor seat.

His destination? Director of Communications for the W.D.O.E. The Pioneer Press confirmed that Halden’s last day at Fox 9 will be April 10. According to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, he will start his new position on May 6, and will be responsible for The Catholic Spirit, the Archdiocesan website and social media footprint, and media relations.

May 6 is, of course, the date for the rescheduled Clergy Study Day so, alas, it seems that the delay was for no other reason than to provide an opportunity to introduce the new head of Communications. Then again, as Alexander Pope- a once persecuted Catholic himself- would remind us, ‘Hope springs eternal’.

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Children left screaming and in tears …

POLAND
Daily Mail

Children left screaming and in tears after priest at Polish religious camp carries out mass exorcism in bid to ‘banish the devil’

By MARK DUELL FOR MAILONLINE

Children were left screaming and in tears after a priest carried out an exorcism at a Christian camp.

Some 1,000 pupils from Gryfice, Poland, attended the three-day event – which was billed as a way of helping ‘young people explore God and devote themselves to spiritual renewal through prayer’.

But when the youngsters arrived at the camp to mark Lent, they found that 37-year-old priest Tomas Wieczorek wanted their demons to be exorcised and replaced with God.

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Canberra priest Edward Evans says he only touched girl in ‘a sign of affection’, court hears

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Elizabeth Byrne
March 31, 2015

The trial of a former priest on charges of molesting a girl in the 1990s in Canberra has heard the man admitted in a police interview to touching the girl, but that the incidents were not of a sexual nature.

Edward Evans, 85, is facing six charges of committing acts of indecency against the girl when she was aged between 10 and 13.

Most of the allegations relate to incidents in his house, often when other people were nearby.

Evans is alleged to have touched the girl inappropriately several times, including when he was sitting beside her at a dining table.

The alleged victim head earlier told the court that during the first incident Evans allegedly put his hand inside her pants when other people were nearby.

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Keynote address: 14th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Tuesday 31 March

The Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM
Commissioner, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission has now been in operation for more than two years. We have completed the public hearings for 25 case studies which in most cases have been concerned with the failure of institutions to manage their affairs to adequately protect the children in their care. We have looked at churches, religious schools, and state run institutions. We recently looked at issues in relation to out of home care. But we have many more and varied tasks to complete.

One of the obligations in our Terms of Reference requires the Commissioners to consider what “institutions and governments should do to address, or alleviate the impact of past and future child sexual abuse … including, in particular, in ensuring justice for victims through the provision of redress by institutions, process for referral for investigation and prosecution and support services.

Justice for victims is an elusive concept. In the civil context redress schemes providing modest money compensation without the need to prove a breach of a duty of care are commonly believed to be appropriate. Otherwise in the civil context there are difficulties in defining the content of a duty of care. Determining the individuals or institutions who must accept the obligation of fulfilling that duty can also provoke animated discussion. Whether common law damages or some more confined financial recompense is appropriate are matters the Commissioners are considering as part of our discussions about redress for survivors.

Justice for victims in the criminal context raises multiple and complex issues different from the issues in a civil context. The Royal Commission is addressing many of those issues through external research, round tables and our own policy development. Prof Arie Frieberg, Hugh Donnelly and others have already completed significant work for us. The issues extend across the appropriate range of criminal offences, the reporting of criminal acts, their investigation and their prosecution. The latter requires us to consider the trial process, the legal rules which control it, in particular joint trials and tendency evidence, directions to juries and appropriate sentencing outcomes.

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Former priest David Rapson convicted of rape, indecent assault charges

AUSTRALIA
The Age

March 31, 2015

Adam Cooper

Former Catholic priest David Rapson has been found guilty of sexually assaulting six boys in his care at Victorian schools, in trials that can only now be reported.

Rapson was in February found guilty by a County Court jury of five counts of rape and one charge of indecent assault, but details of that trial – and his name – were suppressed because of trials that were to follow.

He was subsequently found guilty of another five charges of indecent assault across second and third trials, although the jury in the second trial could not reach a unanimous verdict on one charge of indecent assault.

That charge went before a fourth jury, which on Tuesday found him not guilty of that offence.

Judge James Parrish lifted a non-publication order on Tuesday afternoon, permitting media to report the verdicts.

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Victims of paedophile priest may be linked to church fires

AUSTRALIA
The Age

March 31, 2015

Nino Bucci

Police are investigating whether the victims of a paedophile priest started two fires at separate churches on the same day.

Fire almost destroyed the 123-year-old St James Church in Brighton on Monday morning, but another blaze at St Mary’s in St Kilda East caused little damage.

Both churches are linked to Ronald Dennis Pickering, who moved from parish to parish around Melbourne abusing boys between 1958 and 1993, when he fled to his native Britain. He died there in 2012, having never been charged.

It is unclear if the Catholic Archdiocese plans to increase security at the other churches where Pickering was a minister: St Theresa’s in Essendon, Sacred Heart in Warburton, and St Peter’s in Clayton. A spokesman for the archdiocese said security had not been increased at those churches, but had at St Patrick’s cathedral in the city.

A police spokeswoman confirmed the St Mary’s fire was suspicious and had caused minor damage to a door, and that the cause of the St James fire was yet to be determined.

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‘Abuse victims’ confided in former vicar

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

by Ben Leo

A FORMER Brighton vicar has told how child abuse victims confided in him in the 1980s about a satanic paedophile ring that included Tory MP Enoch Powell.

Dominic Walker, who served as a vicar in Brighton during that period, said long-serving Labour MP Leo Abse and former home secretary William Whitelaw were also named as members of the Westminister paedophile network.

Mr Walker, who retired as Bishop of Monmouth in 2013, passed on the information to the Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev Paul Butler, who is responsible for ‘safeguarding’ the Church of England.

Although there was no evidence to support the claims, the church authorities sent the information to Scotland Yard’s investigation into alleged establishment involvement in child abuse.

A Church of England spokesman said of the claims: “When allegations are made against individuals, it is quite proper to pass those allegations to the police and statutory authorities, without any investigation on our part and regardless of our own views.”

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Judge partially grants, partially denies Jehovah’s Witnesses’ motion to dismiss

VERMONT
Brattleboro Reformer

By Domenic Poli
dpoli@reformer.com @dpoli_reformer on Twitter

POSTED: 03/30/2015

BELLOWS FALLS >> The attorney representing the Bellows Falls congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the New York-based headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witness faith in a case of alleged sexual abuse said a judge’s partial granting of a motion to dismiss makes him confident the entire case will get dismissed.

Pietro Lynn, of Lynn, Lynn & Blackman in Burlington, told the Reformer that U.S. District Court Judge J. Garvan Murtha decided it was appropriate to dismiss certain legal theories raised by Annessa Lewis, who is suing the Bellows Falls congregation and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., which she claims ignored reports that she and her sister were sexually abused by a congregation member more than 20 years ago.

“We are very pleased with the court’s ruling,” Lynn said on March 26. “We expect that once the facts of the case are known that the court will dismiss the rest of the case.”

Murtha dismissed claims for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, ratification, and fraud by omission.

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Child sexual abuse: Enough evidence for 1000 hearings

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

Simon Collins

The head of an Australian royal commission into child sexual abuse says he has uncovered enough material to justify public hearings on more than 1000 institutions where child sexual abuse has been alleged.

Justice Peter McClellan, who leads the five-year royal commission, told a child abuse conference in Auckland today that institutions were already responding after hearings on 25 institutions so far.

“We are driving change, for example, in the whole daycare/after-school care sector in Australia,” he said.

“We are driving changes in the rules in all boarding schools. We are driving change, starting at the very top, in the whole sporting movement connected with the Olympic movement in Australia.

“How do I know that? Because the secretary of the Australian Olympic Committee rang me up as we were finishing a public inquiry into swimming in Australia and said, ‘I need your help, I don’t have the right processes to manage.”‘

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Abuse allegations against former Wolverhampton MP Enoch Powell ‘absurd’

UNITED KINGDOM
Express and Star

The former MP who gave the address at Enoch Powell’s funeral has dismissed as ‘absurd’ allegations he was involved in ‘satanic’ sexual abuse.

Lord Cormack also criticised the Church of England for confirming in a public statement that it had passed the former MP for Wolverhampton South West’s name to the police.

Former South Staffordshire MP Lord Cormack was a friend of Powell’s and spoke at his funeral in 1998.

He said: “These allegations are worryingly absurd.

“Anybody who knew Enoch Powell knew there could be no more ridiculous an assertion.

“I find it extremely distressing that these claims are being given such currency.

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Rape victims ‘hopeless’ after Bob Jones University response

SOUTH CAROLINA
Aljazeera

The conservative Christian school responds to blistering report on how it told rape victims to repent

March 30, 2015 6:00PM ET

by Claire Gordon @clairedon Google+

Thousands watched in the campus chapel, and countless more tuned in to the live Web video earlier this month as the president of Bob Jones University addressed the school’s handling of sexual assault reports.

Like many of those with ties to the private school nicknamed the “fortress of faith,” Julia had been waiting decades for this moment.

After watching the video for just a few minutes, she vomited.

“I couldn’t stop throwing up,” said Julia (not her real name), who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity so as not to be linked to her alleged rapist. “It shocked me. There was nothing in me that prepared me for the response that came.”

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Evil ex-priest David Edwin Rapson jailed …

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Evil ex-priest David Edwin Rapson jailed, found guilty of raping six boys at boarding school

SHANNON DEERY HERALD SUN MARCH 31, 2015

A DISGRACED priest who plied young boys with cigarettes and alcohol before raping them is back behind bars.

David Edwin Rapson is one of the most notorious paedophiles in Victorian history with a string of victims from his offending that spanned three decades.

In 2013 he was jailed for 13 years for sickening crimes on kids, but was released on appeal after serving just 11 months of that sentence.

His convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal after a concession by the Office of Public Prosecutions that Rapson should have faced several trials.

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Catholic priest told police alleged victim looking for love

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

March 31, 2015

Michael Inman
Courts reporter for The Canberra Times.

A former Catholic priest accused of molesting a friend’s daughter told police the girl was always looking for love.

Father Edward Evans admitted to the police he had touched the girls bottom, but said it had been an affectionate gesture and not sexual.

Father Evans, 85, is on trial in the ACT Supreme Court on charges of committing acts of indecency and sexual assault on the girl in the 1990s.

He has pleaded not guilty.

The girl was aged between 10 and 13 years, and Father Evans in his 60s at the time of the alleged offences.

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March 30, 2015

Local anchor leaving to work for Archdiocese of St. Paul

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Tom Halden, a long-time fixture at KMSP, will leave the station to become director of communications for the Archdiocese of St. Paul. The announcement was made Monday in the newsroom.

Halden has been with the station since 2003. HIs most recent duties included co-anchoring the early morning news on weekdays and co-hosting Fox 9 Buzz. Halden is a native of North St. Paul.

No replacement has been named.

Halden takes the place of Anne Steffens, another former anchor, who had only served in the position for a little over a year. She is reportedly leaving to spend more time with family. It was a rocky period when the archdiocese faced an unprecedented wave of clergy abuse lawsuits.

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FOX 9’s Tom Halden named archdiocese’s communications director

MINNESOTA
The Catholic Spirit

Maria Wiering | March 30, 2015

Tom Halden, a weekday morning news anchor on FOX 9, has been named director of communications for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He plans to begin May 6.

A member of Mary, Mother of the Church in Burnsville, Halden has worked for Twin Cities’ FOX affiliate KMSP-TV since 2003. He anchors the station’s morning news from 4:30-6 a.m. and co-hosts FOX 9 Buzz, which airs at 9 a.m. weekdays.

Prior to FOX 9, Halden was an anchor for WSBT-TV in South Bend, Indiana, from 1997 to 2003, and KAAL-TV in Austin from 1996 to 1997. From 1995 to 1996 he was a reporter in Alexandria.

While at FOX 9, he initiated and produced the weekend segment “Faith Talking,” which aired from 2006 to 2009.

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Tom Halden named new Director of Communications

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Monday, March 30, 2015

From Father Charles V. Lachowitzer, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia

We are pleased to announce that Tom Halden has been named as the new Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, effective May 6. Tom will oversee The Catholic Spirit, as well as our web and social media efforts and media relations.

Tom brings with him 20 years of media experience and a lifelong devotion to the Catholic faith. His roots are in North St. Paul, and he and his family are members of Mary, Mother of the Church in Burnsville. We were blessed to have many strong candidates for the position. I am thankful Tom has chosen to share his many gifts with the Church.

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FOX 9’s Tom Halden to become Archdiocese spokesman

MINNESITA
Bring Me the News

FOX 9 morning anchor Tom Halden has been named the new communications director for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. His first day will be May 6.

Vicar General Charles Lachowitzer announced the appointment Monday in a statement, noting that Halden has 20 years of media experience as well as a “lifelong devotion to the Catholic faith.”

Halden and his family are parishioners of Mary, Mother of the Church in Burnsville, and he is active in several ministries there, Lachowitzer said. Halden and his wife have four children.

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John Furlong lawsuit dropped after complainant fails to appear in court

CANADA
CBC News

Sexual assault allegations against John Furlong, former head of the Vancouver Olympics organizing committee, were dismissed by a B.C. Supreme Court judge today after the complainant Daniel Morice failed to appear in court.

The former VANOC CEO has vigorously denied any wrongdoing since he was accused of abusing former students while he was a teacher in British Columbia during the late 1960s.

The dismissal of Morice’s complaint is the third time allegations against Furlong have been set aside.

In December, a woman who claimed she was abused by Furlong while he was a teacher in Burns Lake, B.C., dropped her lawsuit against Furlong.

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B.C. judge dismisses last abuse claim against former Olympics CEO

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

MARK HUME
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Mar. 30 2015

During the nearly two years he has been facing sexual abuse allegations, John Furlong, the former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, says he has battled depression, watched his family suffer humiliation and seen his once lucrative public speaking career ended.

But in a ruling on Monday, the Supreme Court of British Columbia tried to give him back some of his dignity when it threw out the last of several abuse claims made against him in a civil suit brought by three former students of aboriginal schools in northern B.C.

Justice Elliott Myers dismissed the claim of Daniel Morice after he failed to show up for what was supposed to be the start of a lengthy trial and the court heard abusive, obscenity-filled phone calls Mr. Morice made to defence counsel.

“Mr. Morice did not even attempt to prove his claim,” said Justice Myers, who awarded special costs to Mr. Furlong because of the “egregious, reprehensible conduct” of Mr. Morice.

“Obviously, I’m very pleased that today’s over,” Mr. Furlong said briefly outside court. “It was a very emotional day.”

He said he was going immediately to meet with his family and promised a detailed statement on Tuesday.

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Furlong accuser hangs up on judge, is ordered to appear in court in person

CANADA
The Province

BY KEITH FRASER, THE PROVINCE MARCH 27, 2015

A man who has accused former Vanoc CEO John Furlong of sexually assaulting him nearly 40 years ago abruptly hung up the phone in the middle of a telephone conference with a Vancouver judge on Friday.

The display of rudeness prompted B.C. Supreme Court Miriam Gropper to dismiss Daniel Morice’s application that he be allowed to make an application by telephone to adjourn his trial on Monday.

The judge said that Morice, a resident of Prince Rupert, will have to make an appearance in court if he wants to seek an adjournment of his trial, which is scheduled to get under way Monday.

The decision came after lawyers for Furlong appeared in person in court Friday, applying to dismiss Morice’s application for a telephone conference Monday on several grounds, including that it might be necessary to cross-examine him on his claim that he is employed and unable to attend court for that reason.

Morice gave the judge the name of a person he said was a supervisor with the ministry of highways as evidence of his employment and said he had no way of getting to Vancouver on Monday.

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B.C. judge dismisses sexual abuse lawsuit against former Olympics CEO

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

VANCOUVER – A B.C. Supreme Court judge has dismissed a third sexual abuse lawsuit against former Olympics CEO John Furlong.

The decision ends a series of civil actions brought against Furlong related to his time as a teacher at a Roman Catholic school in northern B.C.

Judge Elliott Myers also awarded special costs to Furlong, calling the behaviour of the plaintiff egregious, reprehensible and deserving of a rebuke.

The man, who had planned to represent himself, failed to appear as the trial began on Monday after hanging up on a judge during a pre-conference on Friday.

Last month, another judge threw out a separate sexual abuse claim by B.C. resident Grace West, while Beverly Abraham dropped her lawsuit in December.

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Drop abuse case against Ex-Olympics CEO: lawyer

CANADA
Global News

VANCOUVER – A lawyer for former Olympics CEO John Furlong has asked a B.C. Supreme Court judge to dismiss a sexual abuse lawsuit against his client and award special costs.

Bill Smart, who says the claimant made up a series of lies in filing the suit, outlined counter allegations on the first day of the trial, which began without the man appearing in court.

Furlong has vehemently denied the claims related to when he was a teacher at a Roman Catholic school in northern B.C., starting in the late 1960s.

On Friday, a judge ruled against allowing the Prince Rupert, B.C., resident from participating in the trial by telephone after he hung up during a pre-trial conference.

Last month, a judge threw out a separate sexual abuse claim against Furlong by Grace West after Beverly Abraham dropped her lawsuit in December.

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Metro Brief: Grosso bill eliminates statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases

WASHINGTON (DC)
District Chronicles

D.C. City Council member David Grosso (I-At Large) has introduced the Childhood Protection Against Sexual Abuse Amendment Act of 2015 that would eliminate the statute of limitations for the recovery of damages arising out of sexual abuse that occurred when a victim was a minor.

The bill creates a two-year window for individuals whose claims were previously time-barred.

“There are few actions more depraved than sexual violence or abuse against children,” said Grosso.

“Because most victims of childhood sexual abuse do not come forward until much later in their adult lives, we need to ensure that the statute of limitations is not a barrier to justice. A person who victimizes a child should never be able to hide behind time.”

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Catholic church seeks potential victims of priest in sex abuse case

OHIO
WXYZ

Jonathan Carlson

(WXYZ) Toledo, Ohio – The Rev. James Roth was beloved in the parishes he served. But he held a dark secret, no one knew about. Except, maybe, the young victim he later admitted to abusing.

“I’ve cried…I’ve been so angry at him at times.”

Rev. Ken McKenna knew Roth for decades.

“We were classmates.”

The Provincial in Toledo, he says the victim recently came forward, detailing abuse when he was 9 or 10. It would have been nearly 15 years ago.

“I have said to him, ‘you have done the right thing’,” said McKenna.

Roth was a teacher and administrator at St. Francis in Toledo, but also led mass at St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception in Monroe.

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CRIMINAL CHILD SEX ABUSE CASE FR. JOSEPH JIANG

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger’s Beat

March 30, 2015 11:04 am | Author: berger

There’s a new judge and a new prosecutor in the criminal child sex case against Fr. Joseph Jiang. Judge Dennis Schaumann has replaced Judge Jack Garvey, who recused himself. Prosecutor Molly Wayne has replaced Anne Kratky. Fr. Jiang, meanwhile, is still repped by Paul D’Agrosa, who’s come under fire for being part of the “old boys’ club,” a cozy group of lawyers who profit from “fixing tickets” and multiple overlapping roles as judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers in municipal courts. (D’Agrosa is a judge in Olivette and U. City and prosecutor in Arnold.)

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Learn from psychologists: McClellan

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Annette Blackwell
March 31, 2015

The legal system in Australia needs to learn from psychologists or risk inflicting grave injustices on child sex assault victims, the chair of the child sexual abuse royal commission says.

In a keynote address in Auckland to the 14th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect on Tuesday, Justice Peter McClellan will say judges are working off what they thought they knew about how “genuine complainants” behaved and how memory works.

“Assumptions that turned out, with the benefit of empirical research, to be erroneous,” he says.

He will trace the historical legal approach to sex assault cases and cite relatively recent warnings by judges about delayed reporting affecting credibility and the fallible nature of human recollection making evidence about childhood events particularly susceptible to error.

Justice McClellan says these legal propositions were put without a scientific source, yet they became embedded in the fabric of the common law and proved difficult even for parliament to dislodge.

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SNAP Conference 2015

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

It’s time to register for the 2015 SNAP Conference.

Give yourself the gift of being surrounded by people who understand.

Who: Survivors of clergy sex abuse
What: SNAP Conference 2015
When: July 31 – August 2, 2015
Where: Washington D.C.

SNAP, the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests, is the largest international support group for women and men who were sexually abused by religious authority figures — i.e., by priests, preachers, ministers, deacons, and others. It is a nonprofit organization that is independent of any religious group and that carries no connection to any church or denominational entity.

Trauma psychologist Peter Levine wrote that “trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside us in the absence of an empathetic witness.” I often think that one of the most powerful healing graces of SNAP is that it provides a forum through which clergy abuse survivors can do for one another what faith communities – and often even our own families – could not bring themselves to do. It provides a forum through which we ourselves can bear witness to one another’s trauma. So, whether or not you can make it to the conference, I hope you’ll consider connecting with a SNAP group in your area.

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CHURCH OF ENGLAND SLAMMED FOR ‘MONSTROUS LIE’ ABOUT ENOCH POWELL

UNITED KINGDOM
Breitbart

by NICK HALLETT
30 Mar 2015

Enoch Powell’s official biographer has hit out at the Church of England after it alleged that the former MP was involved in “satanic sex abuse”.

Powell was on a list of several high-profile former MPs that was handed to police by Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham. Another name on the list was Labour’s Leo Abse who piloted the decriminalisation of homosexuality through parliament in the 1960s.

The Daily Mail reports that Butler was given the politicians’ names by Dominic Walker, former Bishop of Monmouth, who heard the allegations while counselling in the 1980s.

However, Simon Heffer, Powell’s official biographer, has written a strongly-worded condemnation of the allegations, describing the Church of England’s actions as “disgraceful” and “remarkably un-Christian”.

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German film tackles aftermath of Church abuse

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

The film “The Culpable” by Gerd Schneider is about three priests whose friendship and careers are shattered by accusations of child abuse. The German film director has an insider’s view on Church hierarchy.

The film “The Culpable” (orginal title: “Verfehlung”) tells the story of three priests, Jakob, Dominik, and Oliver, who are good friends. Then all of a sudden everything changes: Dominik is suspected of child abuse. How do the three priests deal with the accusations?

Gerd Schneider’s debut film, released in Germany last week, has already received several awards at film festivals. DW met the director, who studied to become a priest in 1998 before turning to film studies.

DW: What inspired you to do “The Culpable”? Why did you choose this topic?

Gerd Schneider: That happened a while back. At the beginning of this century, child abuse by members of the Catholic Church wasn’t a very hot topic in Germany yet. In the United States, there had been different scandals and the outrage was intensified by attempts to cover up the cases. At that point, the German bishops were still laughing. They were sure this couldn’t happen here. Not that they wanted to hide something; they genuinely thought there had not been the same extent of abuse here. But in 2006 the stories started trickling out.

At that time, I was a Second Unit Director on a film production. That’s when I suddenly got this idea: I had the image of a prison chaplain accompanying a colleague, a friend, who would have landed in prison. How should he deal with the situation? How do you deal with uncomfortable truths? That got me started. For my first film, I wanted to tell a story with substance. It’s always a major challenge for a filmmaker.

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Justice Peter McClellan: Assumptions about victims colour judges’ decisions

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Jane Lee

Sexual assault victims’ testimony has been called into question by judges ignorant of relevant psychological research, the chairman of the royal commission into child sexual abuse says.

In a rare and frank appraisal of Australian judges to be presented on Tuesday at an international conference in New Zealand, Justice Peter McClellan said, “Judicial assumptions about human behaviour are still, in relatively contemporary times, informing the content of the law.”

While some of these assumptions “may be sound”, he says it is difficult to know whether they are correct, given the law largely prevents judges from consulting “authoritative professional material” on “ordinary human behaviour”.

Judges had historically said things in sexual assault trials that revealed their ignorance of relevant psychological research, including that allegations of sexual abuse should be doubted if victims’ reports were delayed, and that children’s memories of abuse were unreliable, Justice McClellan said.

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Catholic priest admitted touching girl on bottom, trial is told

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

March 30, 2015

Michael Inman
Courts reporter for The Canberra Times.

A former Catholic priest accused of molesting a young girl admitted to diocese officials that he had touched her bottom, a court has been told.

But Father Edward Evans, 85, told them it was not sexual and he did not know it was a crime.

Father Evans allegedly told the officials he knew it had been wrong but thought, after 20 years, all had been forgiven and forgotten.

Evans has pleaded not guilty in the ACT Supreme Court to allegations that he abused the girl at his home on five occasions and at Cooleman Court on another occasion in the 1990s.

The Crown alleges the priest put his hands down the girl’s pants and grabbed her bottom three times, and digitally penetrated her twice in his kitchen.

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Church’s new face: Former nun given 1.2 million

INDIA
Matters India

Kochi: An Italy-based Catholic religious congregation for women has set a new trend in the Indian Church by monetarily helping a former member settle down in life.

“The Agatha Sisters were generous enough to give her 12 Lakhs (1.2 million) rupees,” Father Paul Thelakat, spokesperson of the Syro-Malabar Church who mediated between the former nun and the congregation, told Matters India on Monday.

The decision to pay the former nun, who uses the one name of Anitha, was taken at a conciliation meeting on Sunday held at St Joseph’s Church, Snehapuram Church Road, Aluva, in Kerala.

Anitha’s immediate relatives and Jose Maveli, chairperson of Janaseva Sisubhavan, an orphanage where the former nun had taken refuge, also attended the meeting.

As per the terms of the settlement, Anitha has to return her religious dress and claims to be a member of the congregation. she had refused to give up her religious life after she was expelled from the congregation.

She had earlier threatened to hold a sit-in outside her convent – the Sisters of St. Agatha convent in Aluva near Kochi – which had refused to take her back on her return from Italy on February 20.

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Sex abuse: former nun plans hunger strike

INDIA
UCAN

Kochi:
A Catholic nun who was expelled from her congregation after she reportedly resisted sexual abuse by a priest and registered complaint against him is planning to intensify her agitation.

The woman, who was known as Sr. Anita in the convent of Sisters of St Agata in Ernakulum district, is now housed in the Janseva Sisubhavan, an orphanage in Aluva.

She is all set to launch an indefinite hunger strike in front of the Sisters of St Agata Convent at Thottakkattukara, the Indian Express said on Tuesday.

Anita, a native of Kannur district, became a nun in 2007 and took up a teacher’s job at the Providence Convent High School in Pachore, Madhya Pradesh. According to her, the congregation authorities turned hostile towards her after she complained about an alleged attempt of sexual harassment by a priest in 2011.

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Meeting over jailed former priest

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

A meeting will be held today to investigate the way the catholic church dealt with concerns about a former priest in Norfolk who’s been jailed for child abuse.

Father Anthony McSweeney was sentenced on Friday for abusing a boy at a care home in London.

The church will meet police and other local authorities to look into why McSweeney was moved from a parish in Essex to one in Norwich in 1999 after his cleaner found indecent videos of teenage boys at his home.

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Canberra priest Edward Evans allegedly told church official that incident with girl was ‘not sexual’

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Catholic Church official has alleged a Canberra priest told him he knew touching a young girl in the 1990s was wrong, the ACT Supreme Court has heard.

The alleged victim was aged between 10 and 13 when the now 85-year-old Edward Evans was alleged to have molested her in the 1990s.

Evans is accused of six offences against the girl.

Most of the allegations relate to incidents in his house, often when other people were nearby.

The woman’s parents have told the court they had a close relationship with Evans lasting many years but cut contact with the priest when the allegations surfaced.

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Police say Vic church fire suspicious

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Some people are devastated a historic Melbourne church has been gutted by fire, but others are happy to see it burn.

Arson chemists are yet to determine the cause of the suspicious blaze which destroyed St James Church in Brighton early on Monday morning.

The Catholic church, one of Melbourne’s oldest, was attended by notorious priest Ronald Pickering.

Pickering, now dead, was accused of child sex abuse against a number of boys in the 1970s and 1980s but was never convicted.

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Enoch Powell sex abuse probe: Late Birmingham-born MP accused of being part of Westminster paedophile ring

UNITED KINGDOM
Birmingham Mail

30 March 2015 By Josh Layton

The Conservative MP, notorious for his ‘rivers of blood’ speech in Birmingham, is at the centre of allegations passed to Scotland Yard by a senior Anglican bishop

The late firebrand MP Enoch Powell today became the latest political figure accused of involvement in the alleged Westminster paedophile network.

The Tory, notorious for his ‘rivers of blood’ speech in Birmingham, is at the centre of allegations passed to Scotland Yard by a senior Anglican bishop.

A clergyman is said to have come forward with claims of satanic abuse made by a young adult he counselled in the 1980s.

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Community protests Sterling’s Calvary Temple church amid allegations of sexual abuse

VIRGINIA
Loudoun Times-Mirror

by Crystal Owens

Former congregants and members of the community on Sunday protested across the street from Sterling’s Calvary Temple church in an effort to raise awareness to practices they say have gone on for decades behind its closed doors.

The protest, which close to 100 people attended, was sparked after a March 25 Loudoun Times-Mirror article in which two women said they were physically and sexually abused for years by members of the church’s leadership and teachers.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation into at least one woman’s claims of sexual abuse. Last week, detectives asked the public to come forward if they had any information about the case.

Since the article published, at least two more people have come forward to the Loudoun Times, alleging they were physically and sexually abused while attending Calvary.

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Protesters gather outside local church amid abuse allegations

VIRGINIA
WTOP

By Kathy Stewart | @KStewartWTOP
March 29, 2015

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. — On Palm Sunday, protesters gathered outside a local church that’s been previously criticized for its finances, among other things.

About 70 to 80 former church members and supporters held signs across from Calvary Temple in Sterling. Former members have made claims of sexual, physical and verbal abuse in connection with the church.

The Northern Virginia Pentecostal church has been investigated in the past, and is under investigation again. “We can confirm that one particular case was re-activated as additional information arose. Additional information is being looked into right now,” Liz Mills, spokeswoman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, told the Loudoun Times.

The sheriff’s office released a statement on March 26 confirming the ongoing investigation of alleged sex abuse at the church. Meanwhile, detectives are asking anyone with information regarding the investigation to call 703-777-0475.

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Group Protests At Calvary Temple Church In Sterling, Alleges Abuse

VIRGINIA
Leesburg Today

Jonathan Hunley

Almost 100 people protested Sunday across the street from a Sterling church that they claim is really the home of a cult that has allowed misdeeds including sexual abuse.

Members of the group held signs and were encouraged by the honking of horns from passing cars. They said that Senior Pastor Star R. Scott operates a controlling ministry at Calvary Temple that doesn’t allow criticism and attempts to besmirch the character of anyone who speaks up.

When asked if the church wanted to respond, a representative of the congregation said that Calvary Temple would issue a statement soon.

The church has faced scrutiny before—there are websites and at least one Facebook page that denounce it—but the controversy surrounding it has increased in recent days, and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office last week announced that it was investigating and wanted to speak with anyone who might have information.

“We understand the concerns of the public, and we want to ensure everyone that we take all allegations of abuse seriously and these crimes will be investigated to their fullest extent,” Loudoun Sheriff Mike Chapman said in a prepared statement Thursday that noted that the agency’s Juvenile Sex Crimes Unit was looking into the matter.

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Community protests alleged sexual abuse at VA Calvary Temple

VIRGINIA
WUSA

[with video]

Surae Chinn, WUSA March 30, 2015

STERLING, Va. (WUSA9) — Nearly 100 demonstrators peacefully protested outside of a Pentecostal church in Sterling claiming sexual abuse and brainwashing.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office confirms they have recently reopened the case of alleged sexual abuse at Calvary Temple Ministries, a decade after they closed a case involving similar accusations.

Former church members and residents nearby are using the hashtag: #ExposeCalvaryTemple to spread their message and standing outside of the church to protest.

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Congregation to Compensate Nun who Alleged Sex Abuse

INDIA
The New Indian Express

KOCHI:Probably for the first time in the history of the Church in Kerala, a nun who was allegedly expelled from her congregation after she raised complaints of sexual harassment against a priest would be provided with compensation of Rs 12 lakh.

The move is being considered as a victory for Sr Anita, who sought refuge in an orphanage in Aluva and was waging a battle against the Church and the Sisters of Agata, the congregation to which she belonged. The decision to award the compensation was taken at a conciliation meeting held at St Joseph Church, Snehapuram Church Road, Thottakkattukara, Aluva on Sunday. The meet was attended by Syro Malabar Church spokesperson Fr Paul Thelakkattu, Sr Anita’s immediate relatives, and Jose Maveli, chairman of Janaseva Sisubhavan, where the expelled nun sought refuge.

As per the terms of the settlement the nun has been asked to give up her robes. Though she was expelled from the congregation Sr Anita had refused to give up her religious life. The tussle between Sr Anita and the congregation began in 2011 after she complained against a priest who attempted to sexually abuse her. The alleged incident happened while she was serving as a teacher in Panchore in Madhya Pradesh.

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March 29, 2015

‘Haunted house on the hill’: Rachel Griffiths describes abuse history at destroyed Melbourne church

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Loretta Florance

The destruction of St James Church in Brighton would be a relief to many former parishioners because of its history of sexual abuse, actress and former parishioner Rachel Griffiths has told 774 ABC Melbourne.

The heritage-listed church was destroyed in an early morning blaze that took hours for fire crews to bring under control.

Ms Griffiths said when she heard the news of the fire, she went to visit a friend who lives a couple of doors down from the church.

“I was quite elated, like many of my generation, when I heard the news this morning,” she said.

“It’s always been a difficult building for us to drive past because there’s been so much tragedy and complicated feelings, I guess.

“We’ve all attended many funerals of boys that we now know were abused by [Father Ronald] Pickering … and other perpetrators in the parish – at the actual church that it occurred in.”

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade said the cause of the fire could not yet be established.

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