Diocese denies that archbishop covered up priest abuse

KANSAS CITY (MO)
WFSB

[with video]

By Chris Oberholtz, Multimedia Producer
chris.oberholtz@kctv5.com
By Elisabeth Rentschler, Multimedia Journalist

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) –
Bishop Robert Finn, who was convicted three years ago of failing to report suspected child abuse, has resigned, but some in the Catholic community are still angry.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests maintains that Kansas City, KS, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who was appointed temporary leader of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese after Finn resignation, isn’t the right choice.

SNAP members say Naumann is part of a child sex abuse cover-up that happened at the Catholic Archdiocese in KCK. They are calling for systemwide change in the Catholic church.

They held a protest at the Kansas City-St Joseph Diocese after they found out that Finn will preside over the ordinations of seven deacons next month due to a scheduling conflict for his temporary replacement.

Naumann will be leading the ordination ceremony of deacons in the KCK diocese he leads at the same time the May 23 ordinations are scheduled for the Missouri diocese. …

Jack Smith, a spokesman for the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, brushed off those accusations on Naumann’s behalf.

Smith said Naumann reported the complaints as soon as he heard about them.

“There’s no possible way you could claim the archbishop was covering this up when he sent it to the prosecutor, when he alerted parishioners,” Smith said. “It’s just completely spurious.”

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Odd News from the East and West

UNITED STATES
Canonical Consultation

04/30/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

Some interesting items making the news today, especially for those following the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and/or the downward spiral of the W.D.O.E.

First, Msgr William Lynn, the first Catholic diocesan official convicted of child endangerment, was remanded back into custody in Philadelphia today. Msgr. Lynn served eighteen months of his 3-6 year sentence before an appellate court reversed the verdict against him. However, on Monday the same appellate court reinstated his conviction, according to philly.com, paving the way for Msgr. Lynn to return to prison.

The Lynn case was watched carefully by those of us in St. Paul, and in Chanceries throughout the country. The original conviction came in 2012, just weeks prior to the revelation of accusations of abuse against Father Curtis Wehmeyer. I can recall the Chancellor for Civil Affairs, Andy Eisenzimmer, reviewing Minnesota’s child endangerment statute carefully, and then offering his opinion that the statute was written in such a way that it could not be applied to any Archdiocesan personnel (the question was whether we could be charged with child endangerment, as by that point it was obvious to everyone that we had endangered children).

To date, only Father Wehmeyer has been prosecuted for his actions, but it is my understanding that the investigation by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office is ongoing. So, perhaps we will see additional charges sometime soon.

The second item of interest involves a former employee of the Catholic Finance Corporation, Michael Schaefer. You may have noted that early bankruptcy filings by the W.D.O.E. identified Mr. Schaefer as having a potential claim against the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Today’s edition of the Courthouse News Service explains why. I was not aware that any allegations of sexual misconduct had been made against Mr. Schaefer, although I was aware that accusations were made against a director at another ‘related entity’, the Minnesota Catholic Conference. At the same time, it would not surprise me that, if indeed the Archdiocese was aware of accusations, they did not notify the Diocese of Orange of their concerns. Par for the course, as they say.

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Pathetic Brooklyn Mass of Hope and Healing: 70 concelebrants, 100 attendants.

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Someday soon, the Vatican shall have this scenario that happened last April 15 in Brooklyn, New York. Look at how pathetic was this actual Mass in a grandiose (but almost empty) St. James Cathedral-Basilica in downtown Brooklyn — where there were only 100 people in the congregation — but the altar was filled with 70 men (almost as much as the attendees) — 3 bishops, 57 priests and 10 deacons. (Are these the only Roman Catholics left in Brooklyn? No wonder Cardinal Dolan is so busy shutting down and merging more than 150 Catholic churches in New York, read links below). The 3 bishops were Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, his auxiliary Bishops Raymond Chappetto and Octavio Cisneros. And it was dubbed “Mass of Hope and Healing for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy”.

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Has the long-overdue reform of Vatican media operations been sidetracked?

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler Apr 30, 2015

Pope Francis has formed a new commission to implement proposals for a reform of the Vatican’s media operations . That’s good news, I suppose. Or is it?

The April 30 announcement from the Vatican press office about this new commission did not provide details. What will this new commission do? How does it differ from another special commission, forned only last year, which just finished its work, providing recommendations for reforms? According to the press office, upon reviewing the report submitted by the first commission, the Council of Cardinals “proposed His Holiness the institution of a commission to study this final report and to suggest feasible approaches to its implementation.” Didn’t the first commission give any attention to feasible plans for implementation of its recommendations?

In short, the April 30 announcement raises more questions than it answers. If the ultimate goal of a reform in the Vatican media operation is to encourage candor and clarity, it’s obvious that the reforms haven’t taken effect yet.

Yet there’s a more important reason for concern about today’s news. The original commission was composed of recognized experts in the fields of media and communications, drawn from institutions around the world. The new commission is made up of clerics currently involved in the Vatican’s media operations—along with one executive of the newspaper owned by the Italian bishops’ conference. This is very much an in-house bunch.

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SNAP to release evidence of sex abuse cover-up in Kansas City diocese

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KPAX

Chris Oberholtz and Elisabeth Rentschler

Kansas City, MO — Bishop Robert Finn, who was convicted three years ago of failing to report suspected child abuse, has resigned, but some in the Catholic community are still angry.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests say Kansas City, KS, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who was appointed temporary leader of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese after Finn resignation, isn’t the right choice.

SNAP members say Naumann is part of a child sex abuse cover-up that happened at the Catholic Archdiocese in KCK. They are calling for system-wide change in the Catholic church.

They held a protest at the Kansas City-St Joseph Diocese after they found out that Finn will preside over the ordinations of seven deacons next month due to a scheduling conflict for his temporary replacement.

Naumann will be leading the ordination ceremony of deacons in the KCK diocese he leads at the same time the May 23 ordinations are scheduled for the Missouri diocese.

SNAP members feel that makes Finn’s resignation useless.

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AR–Arkansas clergy sexual exploitation suit filed; SNAP responds

ARKANSAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 29

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

A civil lawsuit has been filed against a Little Rock minister accusing him of sexually exploiting an adult congregant. We applaud this brave woman and are confident that her speaking out will prod others who were hurt by this minister to step forward and get help.

[Facebook]

Apostle Lawrence E. Braggs, pastor of the Awareness Center International Ministries, allegedly manipulated, abused and exploited a church member, Jennifer Richardson, from roughly 2007 until 2012.

This was NOT an “affair” or a “relationship.” This is exploitation.”

It’s not “consent.” It’s manipulation under the guise of spiritual help. It’s awful.

It is inherently problematic and unhealthy when clergy have any sexual contact with congregants. There can be no true “consent” given the power difference between the individuals.

Our society has long understood that it’s virtually always hurtful when a doctor has any sex with a patient or a psychologist has any sex with a client. Gradually, more people are finally understanding this.

An allegedly holy religious authority figure who holds the exalted title of “reverend” cannot ever have truly consensual or healthy sexual contact with a congregant. It is always morally wrong and emotionally harmful. Often, it’s also illegal.

That harm is compounded when the minister or his backers mischaracterizes the exploitation.

Clergy always hold an exalted position, and when they have any sexual involvement with church-goers, it is always hurtful.

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Who’s Afraid of Pope Francis?

UNITED STATES
New York Review of Books

Garry Wills

An authentic pope should be a scary one. Jesus scared the dickens out of people (it cost him his life). Is Pope Francis truly scary? One might think so from the reaction of some guardians of orthodoxy, men like New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, who thinks he must threaten the pope with schism to protect the sanctity of marriage, since “this pope may be preserved from error only if the church itself resists him.” But ecclesiastical nitpickers have no armies of similar thinkers to summon. This is not even medium scary.

Now, however, something is looming that has billionaires shaking in their boots, and when Catholic billionaires shake, Catholic bishops get sympathetic shudders. These are the men who build their churches, hospitals, schools, and libraries. Catholic lore has made winning over such Money Men the mark of the true church leader—the Bing Crosby priest crooning dollars out of a cranky donor in Going My Way, or the J. F. Powers priest putting up with a wealthy boor to get a golf course for his retreat house.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan was recently reminded of these facts of churchly life by Kenneth Langone, a co-founder of Home Depot. The cardinal is working to restore St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, at a cost of $175 million. Langone asked why he and his fellow benefactors should raise such money when the pope is denouncing “the idolatry of money.” He said the pope’s criticism will make his fellow donors “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.”

But this, too, was a minor threat. Langone was simply threatening to withhold money. Now, as the pope prepares a major encyclical on climate change, to be released this summer, the billionaires are spending a great deal of their money in a direct assault on him. They are calling in their chits, their kept scientists, their rigged conferences, their sycophantic beneficiaries, their bought publicists to discredit words of the pope that have not even been issued: “He would do his flock and the world a disservice by putting his moral authority behind the United Nations’ unscientific agenda on the climate,” they say. They do not know exactly what the pope is going to say in his forthcoming encyclical on preserving God’s creation, but they know what he will not say. He will not deny that the poor suffer from actions that despoil the earth. Everything he has said and done so far shows that Francis always stands for the poor.

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Helena Diocese publishes names of accused as part of non-monetary settlement terms

MONTANA
KPAX

By Tim McGonigal – MTN News

HELENA –
The Diocese of Helena has agreed to post the names of members accused of child sexual abuse on its website.

This decision comes as one of the non-monetary terms for resolving the child sexual abuse cases brought against the Helena Roman Catholic Diocese (Whalen, et al. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, et al., and Does, et al. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, et al.).

The names will be available on the Diocese website for a minimum of 10 years.

The settlement comes after accusations of sexual abuse of children during the time period from the 1930’s to the 1970’s came to light.

The lawsuit claimed more than 360 people were victimized in this case.

The Diocese also is listing the names of priests against whom accusations of sexual abuse of minors have been made only to the Diocese.

In a press release, the Diocese said that they would continue to update the list, if and when new information comes to light.

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Financier Says Dioceses Took Word of Psychic

MINNESOTA
Courthouse News Service

By ROSE BOUBOUSHIAN

(CN) – A man who says he used to give financial advice to Catholic organizations claims in court that the church defamed him by spreading a psychic’s claims about him.

Michael Schaefer and his Dakota County, Minn.-based business, MPSCHAEFER, brought the complaint on April 21 against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis; Catholic Finance Corp.; Mater Dei High School; the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange; and that diocese’s revocable trust.

Schaefer claims that the Minnesota archdiocese hired him in April 2000 while it was in the process of creating a financial-advisory firm for Catholic organizations.

The diocese ultimately tapped Schaeffer to serve as executive director of that entity, Catholic Finance Corp., according to the complaint in Dakota County District Court.

In that capacity Schaefer says he “completed approximately $600 million in financing for Catholic organizations,” working directly or indirectly “in seven different dioceses with over 200 parishes and schools.”

Schaefer allegedly opened his own firm in 2011, and that the Diocese of Orange contracted him to act as its finance director on an interim-to-permanent basis in late 2013.

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Bail Revoked: William Lynn Going Back to Prison

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

By Maryclaire Dale

A Roman Catholic church official was sent back to prison Thursday after the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court reinstated his 2012 child endangerment conviction over his handling of priest sexual abuse complaints.

Monsignor William Lynn, the longtime secretary for clergy at the Philadelphia archdiocese, is the first U.S. church official ever prosecuted or convicted in the clergy abuse scandal.

A judge on Thursday agreed that Lynn’s case presented a “novel” issue that she could have gotten wrong when she sent the case to trial: the question of whether Lynn actually “supervised” children under the law in 1998, when the boy at issue in Lynn’s case was molested by a parish priest. But in a case full of twists and turns, the state Supreme Court this week said he did and called his conviction legal.

So after 18 months in prison and 16 months on house arrest at a city rectory, the 64-year-old Lynn — wearing jeans and a gray sweatshirt instead of his usual black shirt and collar — found himself back before Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina.

The issues raised in Lynn’s case have entangled prosecutors, defense lawyers and at least 10 Pennsylvania judges since 2005, when the city’s top prosecutor blasted the archdiocese after a grand jury investigation into 63 accused priests but concluded the law applied only to parents and caregivers.

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Judge sentences ex-Tampa Day School principal to 10 years for sex assault

FLORIDA
Tampa Bay Times

Anna M. Phillips, Times Staff Writer

TAMPA — James J. Larkin, a former Tampa Day School principal, was sentenced Thursday to a 10-year prison term as part of a plea deal in which he admitted to sexually abusing two adolescent boys.

For more than 30 years, Larkin’s reputation was that of a beloved private school leader. From 1978 to 2009, he was headmaster at St. John Greek Orthodox Day School in South Tampa, a position he left to helm the Tampa Day School. The school fired him last year after a 14-year-old boy, a student at Tampa Day, accused Larkin, 64, of molesting him one night while the principal was acting as a stand-in babysitter.

The publicity surrounding that allegation prompted an adult man in his mid-40s to contact law enforcement about a similar incident he said occurred when he was 10 years old.

Although Larkin’s attorney initially vowed to fight the charges against his client, the former principal pleaded guilty to one count of lewd molestation and one count of attempted sexual battery.

As part of the agreement reached with Hillsborough prosecutors, after he has completed his prison sentence — at which point, he will likely be in his mid-70s — Larkin will face 10 years of probation and will spend the rest of his life as a registered sex offender. Under Florida law, he will not be allowed live within 1,000 feet of a school, child care facility or other places where children congregate.

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Activists renew demands for Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
Riverdale Press

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted 4/30/15

Dozens of activists from throughout the state descended on Albany on April 22 to demand passage of the Child Victims Act, a long-stalled bill that would eliminate the criminal and civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse and create a one-year window for past victims to seek justice.

“The current SOL [statute of limitations] prevents the arm of the law from extending beyond the walls of institutions like Horace Mann that conceal and cover up sexual abuse and discourages victims from reporting lurid, harmful crimes,” said Peter Brooks, a leading organizer for the Horace Mann Action Coalition (HMAC). The group has sought justice over decades of sexual abuse perpetrated by faculty members against more than 30 students.

Mr. Brooks attended the activists’ day along with Kevin Mulhearn, a lawyer who previously represented six Horace Mann graduates in settlement negotiations with the school, and Dan Miller, an organizer for the Hilltop Cares Foundation, a charitable group for survivors of sexual abuse at the prestigious school.

Since revelations of the abuse emerged about three years ago, Mr. Brooks and other activists have strongly criticized administrators, saying they helped cover up the crimes over the years. Speaking through a communications firm, Horace Mann School declined to answer whether it supports the Child Victims Act and related questions.

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Pass the Child Victims Act now

NEW YORK
Riverdale Press

Posted 4/30/15

The Horace Mann School’s approach to child abuse by its own faculty members has been more like that of a cutthroat Wall Street firm than a caring educational institution.

Many of the dozens of victims who suffered at the hands of educators from the 1960s to the 1990s were too traumatized to inform the administration at the time of the crimes.

Those who did were often strongarmed into staying quiet.

Once a 2012 article in The New York Times showed the shocking extent of the abuse, survivors who came back to their alma mater seeking closure were treated to disdain and paltry offers of compensation.

The state’s draconian statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases has only worsened things for victims at Horace Mann and other schools.

Under the current law, children who suffer sexual abuse have just five years after they turn 18 to sue their tormenters in civil or criminal court. Yet one of the salient features of child sexual abuse is that it can take many years for victims to acknowledge what happened to them.

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Six-year jail term for ex-Christian Brother …

AUSTRALIA
The Age

May 1, 2015

Adam Cooper and Mark Russell

Victoria’s top prosecutor has launched an appeal on the grounds of leniency against a jail term imposed on former Christian Brother Ted Bales, who sexually assaulted 20 boys in his care.

Edward “Ted” Dowlan​, who changed his surname by deed poll to Bales in 2011, was sentenced in March to six years in jail, to serve a minimum three years before parole, after pleading guilty to 33 counts of indecently assaulting boys under 16 and one count of gross indecency.

His offending related to abusing 20 boys, some as young as eight, who were under Bales’ care at schools in Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong and Warrnambool between 1971 and 1986. Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions, John Champion, SC, confirmed on Thursday he had launched an appeal against the jail term on the grounds the sentence was manifestly inadequate. County Court judge Richard Smith in March found Bales had preyed on vulnerable boys when he was in a position of trust and believed he had “some right to entitlement” to abusing the boys.

His victims had suffered an ongoing psychological reaction to the abuse that was still affecting them 30 to 40 years later, the court was told. Judge Smith said Bales was renowned as a strict disciplinarian who committed many of his offences at the back of the classroom under the guise of disciplining a student, having told the other boys not to turn around.

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El lugar de la Iglesia en la encrucijada del caso Ilarraz

ARGENTINA
La Voz

[The place of the church at the crossroads in the Ilarraz case.]

30/04/2015

– En 2010 firmó, junto a un grupo de curas, una carta a la Iglesia reclamando que Ilarraz fuera apartado como cura y que se lo denunciara en la Justicia; Hoy, es uno de los principales sostenes de las víctimas y un crítico de la curia; “Todavía se está a tiempo de dar un mensaje claro a la sociedad de lo que pasó y de los errores que se cometieron”, opina el padre Dumoulin

José Francisco Dumoulin es sacerdote desde 2000, cuando fue ordenado cura por el ahora cardenal Estanislao Esteban Karlic, actualmente es párroco en Santa Rosa de Lima de Villaguay, y en septiembre de 2010 puso su firma a una carta destinada a conmover el mundo eclesiástico paranaense.

El destinatario fue el entonces arzobispo Mario Maulión: un grupo de sacerdotes le pedía en esa carta que firmó Dumoulin que denuncie en la Justicia al cura Justo José Ilarraz por los casos de abusos sobre menores en el Seminario de Paraná, ocurridos entre 1985 y 1993, tema que por ese tiempo se conocía sotto voce en ámbitos de la curia.

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“Can You Call For A Sheriff, Please”

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

Defense attorney Thomas A. Bergstrom was trying to convince Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina that she didn’t have the authority to send his client, Msgr. William J. Lynn, back to jail.

The judge, however, wasn’t buying it. “Bail revoked,” she ruled. The prisoner is “ordered back into custody.”

“Can you call for a sheriff please,” the judge cooly instructed a court officer. Then she disappeared back into chambers.

Moments later, a sheriff showed up to take away the monsignor, who had sat quietly with his head down during the half-hour proceedings. After 18 months in jail and 16 months of house arrest, the official scapegoat for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was headed back to prison to continue his atonement for the sins of the church.

Judge Sarmina convened a hearing at 9 a.m. this morning in Courtroom 601 of the Criminal Justice Center to address a motion filed by the district attorney’s office to revoke bail and send Lynn back to jail.

Arguing on behalf of the Commonwealth was Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington, the prosecutor who put Lynn away. On June 22, 2012, a jury heeded Blessington’s arguments and convicted the monsignor on one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

Judge Sarmina, who presided over Lynn’s trial, then sentenced the monsignor to 3 to 6 years in jail.

Blessington, who with his long white hair and long droopy mustache looks like he stepped out of a Frederic Remington painting, told the judge that this was the fourth time he’s had to make this argument, “the fourth time this guilty defendant should be denied bail.”

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Philadelphia Catholic monsignor ordered back to prison in child sex abuse case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Reuters

HARRISBURG, PA. | BY DAVID DEKOK

(Reuters) – A high-ranking Catholic church official in Philadelphia was ordered back to prison on Thursday following the reinstatement of his conviction for turning a blind eye to child sex abuse by pedophile priests.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Teresa Sarmina revoked bail for Monsignor William Lynn, 64, and ordered him back behind bars.

Sarmina, who presided over his criminal trial, had sentenced Lynn in 2012 to three to six years in prison for endangering the welfare of children.

One of the highest-ranking clergyman convicted in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church child sex abuse scandal, Lynn is the first church official sent to prison for mishandling sexual misconduct complaints against priests.

Lynn, former secretary of the clergy for the Philadelphia Archdiocese who oversaw the work of 800 priests, was convicted of failing to supervise a pedophile priest who eventually sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999. He was found guilty of covering up sex abuse, often by transferring predatory priests to unsuspecting parishes.

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Meldpunt seksueel misbruik kerk nu echt dicht

NEDERLAND
Telegraaf

[The Catholic Church hotline for sexual abuse victims will close down on Friday.]

UTRECHT –
Het Meldpunt Seksueel Misbruik in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk is vanaf vrijdag gesloten. Slachtoffers die nog willen klagen over misbruik in de kerk moeten zich vanaf vrijdag bij hun eigen parochie of bij slachtoffergroepen als KLOKK melden. Klagen over overleden religieuzen of over zaken die ondertussen zijn verjaard, is formeel niet meer mogelijk.

Het meldpunt werd in 2011 in het leven geroepen, toen er steeds meer naar buiten kwam over seksuele wantoestanden op (kost-)scholen, in kerken en bij katholieke verenigingen. Sinds 2011 zijn ruim 3500 zaken behandeld, laat het meldpunt weten. Er is meer dan 18 miljoen euro aan schadevergoedingen uitgekeerd.

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Lynn Re-Jailed! Will Pope Now Apologize? Will Chile-Like Protests Mar Pope’s Philly Visit?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Msgr. William Lynn, former top priest personnel aide for a dozen years to the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s Cardinals Justin Rigali and Anthony Bevilacqua and the first Catholic Church top official convicted in the clergy sex-abuse scandal, was ordered returned to prison by Teresa Sarmina, a judge educated at the Jesuit’s Georgetown Law and at Notre Dame’s St. Mary’s. “Well, I think things are back where they were when I sentenced Msgr. Lynn,” Sarmina said. “The same reasons I stated then exist.” “Somebody call for a sheriff,” the judge added, before leaving the bench.

Too bad no one earlier called the sheriff on Lynn’s cardinal bosses. Both cardinals managed to avoid prosecution for their aide’s misdeeds done apparently on their behalf. Bevilacqua died soon after giving a two day video deposition (that is still being kept secret, it appears) in the Lynn criminal case, and Rigali left town in a hurry, by “retiring” after Lynn’s indictment. He may now be seen in good form with Pope Francis attending Vatican ceremonies along with his former pal, the infamous Boston Cardinal Bernard Law. The pope likely knew Bevilacqua from their Vatican committee work and appears to be personally acquainted with Rigali. Apparently failing to supervise priest predators of children is not an impediment to being honored at the Vatican.

Lynn was convicted following a landmark 13-week trial in 2012 over his failed role in supervising priests accused of sexually abusing children. By my rough estimate, almost 25% of then active Philly priests had had sexual abuse complaints in their files reportedly secretly maintained by Lynn for his two cardinals — that is until some of Lynn’s reports were shredded, it appears. Portions of these files were also reportedly kept from the Archdiocese’s child protection committee.

Given the Archdiocese’s pervasive cover up mentality, who knows how many other Catholic parents’ complaints were not reported out of futility? In 2011, well regarded US Catholic Church historian, David J. O’Brien, reportedly told the NY Times that “The situation in Philadelphia is ‘Boston reborn.’ ” O’Brien was right then and appears still to be right. Cardinals Rigali and Law have a lot in common to discuss in Rome, no?

Why is Pope Francis honoring the disgraced Philly Archdiocese’s leaders? Have the US elections next year anything to do with the pope’s plans? Philly’s current Archbishop Chaput seems more focused on pre-US presidential election directed crusades against gay marriage and Obamacare contraception insurance than on the full implications for defenseless Philly children of Lynn’s conviction for child endangerment.

Indeed, why is Pope Francis honoring with his first US visit a local church hierarchy with such a sordid history? The pope should instead publicly apologize to Philly Catholics and also make Chaput apologize to Philly Catholics and tell him to release the Bevilacqua video deposition. And the pope should at a minimum publicly chastise Rigali instead of honoring him with Vatican invitations. Please see my relevant remarks, What Do We Now Know About The Real Goal Of Pope Francis?

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Latest in priest abuse case: Victims praise monsignor’s imprisonment for child endangerment

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Republic

11:45 a.m.

Victim advocates are praising a judge’s decision to send a Roman Catholic church official in Philadelphia back to prison.

A judge Thursday refused to grant a stay that would have allowed Monsignor William Lynn to remain free while he pursues other appeals.

The 64-year-old Lynn was convicted of child endangerment over his handling of priest abuse complaints. He had served half of a three-to-six-year sentence before a state court tossed his conviction in 2013. Pennsylvania’s highest court this week reversed the decision.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, better known as SNAP, called the order sending Lynn back to prison a “victory for vulnerable youngers.”

The group says it believes the action will do more to safeguard boys and girls than the church’s own abuse policies and protocols.

10:40 a.m.

A Roman Catholic church official has been ordered back to prison after his Pennsylvania conviction over the handling of abuse complaints was reinstated.

A judge Thursday refused to grant a stay that would have allowed Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia to remain free while he pursues other appeals.

Lynn has served half of a three-to-six-year sentence for felony child endangerment. He’s been on house arrest since the state Superior Court tossed his conviction in 2013.

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Alleged Victim of Bryn Mawr Priest Sex Abuse Settles Suit

PENNSYLVANIA
Patch

By JAMES BOYLE (Patch Staff)

April 30, 2015

A settlement has been reached between the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and a man who claims a priest sexually abused him while he attended St. Aloysius Academy in Bryn Mawr in the 1990s, according to Philly.com.

The undisclosed amount is one of two agreements reached by the Archdiocese this week, the first to be settled since reports of sexual abuse by clergy and cover-ups by the diocese were released by a 2011 grand jury.

According to the report, the plaintiff, identified as John Doe 10, alleged that Rev. Martin Satchel would take him to secluded classrooms and sexually abuse him. Satchel was removed from ministry in 1993 and defrocked by the church in 2005, according to Philly.com.

In a statement to philly.com, an archdiocese spokesperson said:

“For some time now, the archdiocese has provided assistance to both men on their paths toward healing, including financial support in the form of payment for ongoing psychological treatment. In order to help all parties move forward, the archdiocese has agreed to these settlements.”

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PA–Two Philly clergy sex cases settle; SNAP responds

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 29

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

Child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits have settled involving two Philly priests. The question now is: What will Archbishop Charles Chaput and his top aides to do warn parishioners, parents and the public about them?

They might be prosecuted. Will Chaput help law enforcement do this? Or will he, as he’s done for years, do only what litigation forces him to do?

Chaput would not have settled these cases if he thinks these clerics are innocent. So since Chaput’s convinced they are guilty (as roughly 95% of accused priests are), why does he stop here? Why only write a check? Why won’t he aggressively prod others with information or suspicions about their crimes to call law enforcement? That’s what a responsible leader would do.

We beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by Fr. Martin J. Satchell or Fr. William G. Ayres to find the courage to call secular authorities so they might be prosecuted, convicted, imprisoned and no longer be able to hurt children.

And we beg every single Catholic employee in Philadelphia to spread the word about these two predators, asked loved ones if they were hurt, and urge victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police and prosecutors now.

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Philadelphia Msgr. William Lynn Back in Prison After Child Endangerment Conviction Reinstated

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Monsignor William Lynn, a onetime senior official in the Philadelphia Catholic archdiocese, is going back to prison now that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has reinstated his 2012 child endangerment conviction.

When Monsignor Lynn was convicted in 2012, he went to prison. But when Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed his conviction, Judge Teresa Sarmina, who heard the 13-week trial, released him on bail in early 2014.

Now that the state Supreme Court this week reversed that Superior Court ruling, assistant DA Patrick Blessington argued said Lynn should be returned to prison.

Defense attorney Thomas Bergstorm argued unsuccessfully that the high court only remanded the rest of the appelate issues to Superior Court, so Lynn should remain on house arrest, where he’s been for the last sixteen months, after about 1½ years in prison.

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Judge orders Msgr. William J. Lynn back to prison

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

JOSEPH A. SLOBODZIAN, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: Thursday, April 30, 2015

Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Catholic church official convicted in the clergy sex-abuse scandal, was order returned to prison Thursday by a Philadelphia judge.

Lynn, 64, seemed resigned to the decision of Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, who in 2012 sentenced him to three to six years in prison for his conviction on endangering the welfare of children.

He turned to defense attorney Thomas A. Bergstrom with a half-smile and a shrug of his shoulders before he was taken in custody by sheriff’s deputies.

Bergstrom said he will file an emergency petition with the state Superior Court to allow Lynn to remain free on bail and on house arrest pending the outcome of further appeals of Monday’s state Supreme Court decision that reinstated Lynn’s guilty verdict.

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Beverly Hills resident Mendel Tevel pleads guilty in Brooklyn to sex abuse charges

CALIFORNIA
Jewish Journal

by Jared Sichel

Mendel Tevel, who was arrested in Beverly Hills in Oct. 2013 and then extradited to Brooklyn on charges of sexual abuse stemming from an Apr. 2007 incident, pleaded guilty in a New York courtroom before Judge Elizabeth Foley on Apr. 24 to two counts of criminal sexual acts in the third degree, according to Lupe Todd, a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.

In Aug. 2013, the Jewish Journal published an investigative report on Tevel—who is now 31 or 32—in which four of his alleged victims detailed apparent instances of sexual abuse that ranged from about 1995 to about 2004. The ages of the alleged victims ranged from 6 to 14. Allegations against Tevel first became public in October 2012, when Meyer Seewald, the 26-year-old founder of Jewish Community Watch, listed him on the group’s “Wall of Shame”—a website that spotlights people it considers sexual predators within Orthodox communities—after multiple victims had approached him.

Following a sealed grand jury indictment in New York, the Brooklyn D.A.’s office charged Tevel in Oct. 2013 with sexual abuse of one minor, at which point he was arrested in Beverly Hills and held in a Los Angeles County jail for more than a week, then was extradited on Nov. 7 to Brooklyn. He pleaded not guilty to 37 counts of sexual abuse—most were either first-degree or third-degree—and was released on $100,000 bail.

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Ruling in Lynn Case Could be Bad for Penn State Defendants

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Magazine

By Joel Mathis | April 30, 2015

This week’s reinstatement of Monsignor William Lynn’s conviction on child endangerment charges will have repercussions in the cases of three former Penn State officials facing similar charges in the Jerry Sandusky case, PennLive reports.

Lynn had argued that he could not be charged under Pennsylvania statute since he never cared directly for children, but instead supervised those who did. Former Penn State President Graham Spanier, former Senior Vice President for Business and Finance Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley were expected to mount a similar defense.

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Judge revokes bail for Monsignor Lynn, orders him taken back into custody immediately

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Daily Times

BREAKING!

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Monsignor William Lynn, the only Roman Catholic church official charged and convicted in the church child sexual abuse scandal, has been ordered back to prison after his Pennsylvania conviction over the handling of abuse complaints was reinstated.

A judge Thursday refused to grant a stay that would have allowed Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia to remain free while he pursues other appeals.

Lynn has served half of a 3-to-6-year sentence for felony child endangerment. He’s been on house arrest since the state Superior Court tossed his conviction.

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Philadelphia church supervisor ordered back to prison on reinstated endangerment conviction

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 30, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — A Roman Catholic church official has been ordered back to prison after his Pennsylvania conviction over the handling of abuse complaints was reinstated.

A judge Thursday refused to grant a stay that would have allowed Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia to remain free while he pursues other appeals.

Lynn has served half of a 3-to-6-year sentence for felony child endangerment. He’s been on house arrest since the state Superior Court tossed his conviction.

The state Supreme Court reversed that decision Monday.

Lynn is the first U.S. church official prosecuted over his handling of abuse complaints.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina scolded Lynn at his 2012 sentencing for failing to stand up to his bishops amid the priest sex-abuse scandal.

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Former pastor arrested for sexual abuse of two boys

INDIANA
Herald Journal

Tom Tiernan

A former Idaville pastor was arrested yesterday morning and charged with four counts ranging from child solicitation, child molesting and sexual misconduct.

James E. Crawn, 45, was arrested at 8:10 a.m. on warrants issued by White County Superior Court after a criminal investigation by White County Sheriff’s Detective David Roth, Monticello Police Detective Jason Lingenfelter and the White County Department of Child Services.

He is accused of sexual misconduct with two males, both under the age of 16 at the time the alleged offenses took place, according to the White County Prosecutor’s Office.

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New commission for Vatican communications

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 30 April 2015 (VIS) – During the last meeting of the Council of Cardinals to assist the Holy Father in the governance of the universal Church and to draw up a plan for the revision of the apostolic constitution “Pastor bonus” on the Roman Curia (13-15 April 2015), the final report of the committee charged with proposing reform of Vatican communications, the so-called Vatican Media Committee (VMC), was examined.

The Council of Cardinals subsequently proposed to His Holiness the institution of a commission to study this final report and to suggest feasible approaches to its implementation. The proposal was favourably accepted by the Holy Father, who on 23 April decided to institute the commission and to appoint its members.

The new commission will be chaired by Msgr. Dario Edoardo Vigano, director of the Vatican Television Centre, and its members will be: Paolo Nusiner, director general of the daily newspaper “Avvenire”, Nuova Editoriale Italiana, Milan; Msgr. Lucio Adrian Ruiz, head of the Vatican Internet Service, directorate of Telecommunications of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., director of “La Civiltà Cattolica”; and Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

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Pope’s New Media Men Must Get Him To Do More …

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Pope’s New Media Men Must Get Him To Do More Than Talk About His “Silenced Catholics”: Poor Children & Women

Jerry Slevin

The pope’s new media public relations commission (all male and mostly clerics) most get the pope to act, not just talk, about the plight of his silenced and oft forgotten Catholics — poor children and women. Any chance? Is Pope Francis unaware of the plight of many millions of women and children, often desperate as a consequence of his continuing self interested papal ideology of hierarchical male oppression? The pope often seems to be unaware in practice of their plight, despite his occasional crafted public relations pronouncements and staged photo ops. Pope Francis should either get some better script writers, preferably some mothers, or get used to being described as insincere, if not hypocritical.

In his recent Wednesday talk to tourists, Francis spoke about the “radical equality” that Christianity proposes. AP reported he asked “Why is it a given that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights. The disparity is pure scandal.” Really, same rights? Not at the Vatican or in any worldwide bishops’ offices from most indications. (emphasis mine)

Francis has paid lip service to women’s equality many times, calling for women to take on greater decision-making roles in the Catholic Church, though he has , in effect, in practice needlessly ruled out women’s ordination, women cardinals or having women head Vatican departments. Only about 18 percent of Vatican employees are women, up from 17 percent four years ago. Currently, only two women hold the rank of undersecretary in a Vatican department. Indeed, it took the pope over two years to get the successor “doctrinal German Shepherd” (that he appointed a cardinal) to release his arrogant fangs that had been clamped on American nuns.

Please see ”Vatican Hits Sour Note With Women, but Progress May Come” at ABC News and also my related remarks, “The Crisis Pope Francis Faces“, “Two Cardinals’ Aide’s Crime Upheld Yet Philly Visit Is Still On?” , “What Do We Now Know About The Real Goal Of Pope Francis?” , “Francis’ Breeding Policy Fails Kids, Women & Gay Folks“, “Pope’s “Messes”: Philly, Climate, Kids & Now Hillary“, “Pope’s Fix For Street Child Woes: More Babies ?“, “Childless Pope Faces Man-Made “Mess”: Children & Climate Change” , “Vatican Revolt Negates Synod & Sex Commission” , “Hillary Clinton vs. Pope Francis in 2015 USA Politics“, “A Pope, A New US War, Jeb Bush Neocons & Big Oil” , and “Finn’s Law: Police Must Now Handle Crimes Says Pope“.

While speaking out about the need for a greater role for women in the Catholic Church, the pope has made repeatedly seemingly tone-deaf comments. He referred to women as “Adam’s ribs”. He has said Europe in many places resembles an “infertile” grandmother. He has urged nuns not to be “old maids.” And he once welcomed some conservative new female members of the Catholic Church’s most prestigious theological commissions as “strawberries on the cake.”

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 222 million women in developing countries do not want to have children now, but lack the means to ensure that they do not conceive. Providing them with access to contraception would help them plan their lives as they wish, weaken demand for abortion, reduce maternal deaths, give children a better start in life, and contribute to slowing population growth and greenhouse-gas emissions, thus benefiting us all.

The reason many of these poor women cannot get access to contraception is often the political lobbying of the Vatican against effective contraception access since at least as early as Hillary Clinton’s classic “duel” with the Vatican’s Mary Ann Glendon at the 1995 Beijing UN population conference. The pope continues to push for more Catholic babies, e.g., his regular remarks that big families (at least three children!) are better, that having no children is “selfish”, etc. Are these infallible pronouncements from a 78 year old celibate bachelor? What arrogant and uninformed nonsense, no?

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SNAP set to release new documents at news conference

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Fox 4

[with video]

APRIL 30, 2015, BY KATHY QUINN

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is set to hold a news conference on the sidewalk outside of the Chancery late Thursday morning.

SNAP said they will release documentation at the news conference to support their claim that Archbishop Joseph Naumann will not approach sexual abuse claims differently than Bishop Robert Finn.

Bishop Finn resigned last week after a controversy over his convictions for failing to report sexual abuse allegations.

Archbishop Naumann has temporarily been filling in for Bishop Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City St. Joseph since the resignation. Archbishop Naumann will lead the diocese until a replacement is announced.

The news conference is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Thursday.

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Pope institutes commission to reform Vatican’s media operations

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

At the recommendation of the nine-member Council of Cardinals, which is advising Pope Francis in the reform of the Roman Curia, Pope Francis has instituted a new commission to reform the Vatican’s media operations.

The president of the commission is Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, the director of Vatican Television Center.

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Judge To Decide If Monsignor William Lynn Remains On House Arrest Or Returns To Prison

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office will ask a judge today to send Monsignor William Lynn back to prison, now that the State Supreme Court has reinstated his 2012 child endangerment conviction.

The DA’s office wants Common Pleas Judge Teresa Sarmina, the presiding judge who sentenced Lynn to three-to-six years in prison, to revoke his bail.

He spent about 18 months in prison, but has been on house arrest since early 2014, living in a Northeast Philadelphia rectory after Superior Court reversed his conviction.

Lynn served in his capacity as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, yet defense attorney Thomas Bergstrom says he was prosecuted on an amended child endangerment statute passed in 2007.

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El Papa Francisco abrirá los archivos

ARGENTINA/CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
Tiempo en Linea

El papa Francisco está muy pendiente de Argentina, recibe a personas relevantes de este país cada semana y tiene un papel destacado, en la sombra, en la política nacional.

Ahora Francisco ha decidido tener un gran protagonismo en el asunto más delicado, el de los desaparecidos de la dictadura. El colaborador más estrecho del Papa, Guillermo Karcher, el hombre que suele utilizar para enviar sus mensajes a Argentina, ha confirmado en una entrevista a Radio América que Francisco está dispuesto a abrir los archivos de la Iglesia sobre la dictadura argentina y ya se está trabajando en una fórmula para hacerlo de manera generalizada.

La Iglesia fue clave porque era el lugar al que llegaban las denuncias de las madres y familiares de desaparecidos y es probable que también se conserven las gestiones que hicieron los religiosos ante el régimen militar.

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Pope Francis to Open Vatican Files on Argentina’s ‘Dirty War’

VATICAN CITY/ARGENTINA
Telesur

Relatives of the thousands of victims killed by the military regime could finally discover the fate of their loved ones.

Pope Francis has ordered the Vatican to open its files relating to Argentina’s military dictatorship, according to church officials Wednesday.

This move could lead to the clarification on the fate of tens of thousands disappeared under the military regime, who ushered in a period of state terrorism from 1974 to 1983.

The information was revealed by Father Guillermo Karcher, an Argentinian priest and pontifical usher that has known the Pope for over 20 years. Karcher said the pope wished “for something to be done,” adding that the secretariat of state – who is taking charge of the case – has already begun on declassifying the Vatican archives related to Argentina’s dictatorship.

Human rights groups say up to 30,000 people were kidnapped, murdered or disappeared during the dictatorship and the Catholic Church is acknowledged to have been a key player in the country during those years.

Church officials collected a large amount of information on the cases, and likely saved records of their dealings with the military regime.

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Monsignor Lynn faces bail hearing, could be sent back to prison today

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Daily Times

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Roman Catholic church official could be sent back to prison over his handling of abuse complaints after his Pennsylvania conviction was reinstated.

Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia will ask to remain free Thursday while he pursues other appeals.

Lynn has served half of a three- to six-year sentence for felony child endangerment. He has been on house arrest since the state Superior Court threw out his conviction.

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First Two Phila. Clergy Abuse Lawsuits Settle

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Legal Intelligencer

P.J. D’Annunzio, The Legal Intelligencer
April 30, 2015

Two plaintiffs in civil cases alleging they had been abused by priests from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have settled their lawsuits against the church for an undisclosed amount.

According to the accusers’ attorney and the dockets in the cases, the settlements concluded the cases of John Doe 10 and John Doe 187, who claimed they were the victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by archdiocese clerics. Malvern-based attorney Daniel Monahan represents the plaintiffs and said the terms of the settlement remain confidential at the wishes of his clients.

Monahan said the cases settled on the eve of trial, but the archdiocese gave no indication as to its reason for settling.

According to the complaints, Doe 187, a former altar boy at the Incarnation of Our Lord parish, alleged that Father William Ayres abused him in different areas of the church, while Doe 10 claimed he was sexually abused in the bathroom of the St. Aloysius Academy in Bryn Mawr as a student by former priest Martin Satchell. Both incidents were alleged to have occurred in the 1990s, while the plaintiffs were minors.

Satchell’s attorney, Stephen Patrizio, did not return a call seeking comment. Ayres was not represented, and according to Monahan, now lives in Guatemala.

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SNAP oppose Bishop Finn overseeing ordination

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KMBZ

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) are upset over Bishop Finn being allowed to oversee the ordination of his replacement.

This afternoon the group that is fighting the sex scandal in the Catholic church protested outside diocese headquarters.

The group says Finn should not preside over next month’s ordination of priests and deacons.

SNAP outreach coordinator Barbara Dorris says the group has received numerous calls opposing Finn’s appearance at the two public ceremonies.

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SNAP protests Bishop Finn presiding over deacon ordinations after his resignation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KSHB

KANSAS CITY – A group of Catholics is speaking out against the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese after it was announced Bishop Robert Finn will still preside over some deacon ordinations next month despite his resignation.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, gathered outside the diocese downtown Wednesday to protest.

Members of SNAP said allowing Bishop Finn to preside over the ordinations reopens victims’ wounds. The group is also worried the ceremonies will lead to Bishop Finn taking back his old responsibilities.

“If he resigns, is he allowed to do ordinations? Is he also going to be doing confirmations, is he going to run the diocese?” Barbara Dorris, the Victims Outreach Director with SNAP, said. “We have no idea. The resignation seems to be purely symbolic. A PR move.”

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Man files suit claiming nun sexually abused him in 1960s

MINNESOTA
Washington Times

By – Associated Press – Thursday, April 30, 2015

NEW ULM, Minn. (AP) – A man is suing the Archdiocese of New Ulm on accusations a nun who’s now dead sexually abused him in the 1960s.

It’s the first case involving a nun filed under a state law temporarily lifting the statute of limitations on child sex abuse lawsuits.

The Shakopee man’s lawsuit claims Sister Mary Regina Hebig inappropriately touched him repeatedly when he was a fifth grader at a Madison Catholic school.

The diocese said in a written statement that it’s committed to offering help to anyone who says they’re a victim of sexual misconduct. It says that it wasn’t involved in hiring employees at the school.

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List of Accused Church Personnel

MONTANA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena

As one of the non-monetary terms for resolving the cases brought against the Diocese (Whalen, et al. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, et al., and Does, et al. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, et al.), the Diocese of Helena has agreed that: “For a period of not less than ten (10) years from the Effective Date, the Diocese will post on its website home page the names of all known past and present alleged perpetrators of the Diocese who are identified in the Sexual Abuse Claims or the complaints filed in the Whalen and Does cases as child sexual abusers between the 1930s and 1970s.”

The Diocese also is listing priests against whom accusations of sexual abuse of minors have been made only to the Diocese. Should additional information come to light, the list will be modified accordingly.

The Diocese hopes that this step helps to provide a pathway to healing for those who have been abused and brings light into a dark and difficult chapter in our diocesan Church.

List posted April 29, 2015.

Diocese of Helena Priests

note that of the 417 priests ordained for the Diocese of Helena, 20 (4.8%) have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor, one has been acquitted.

James Barry – Ordained: 1951
Assignments: St. Mary Parish, Butte: 1951-56; Cathedral Parish, Helena: 1956-57; Holy Rosary Parish, Bozeman: 1957-58; US Air Force Chaplain: 1958-62; St. John Parish, Fairfield: 1962-66; St. Philip Parish, Philipsburg: 1966-80.
Died September 8, 1980

John Bauer – Ordained: 1963
Assignments: St. Paul Parish, Anaconda: 1963-64; Sacred Heart Parish, Butte: 1964; Graduate Studies, St. Louis University: 1964-66; Director of Catholic Charities, Helena: 1966-1970; Sacred Heart Mission, Wolf Creek: 1968-1970
Leave of absence: September 1, 1970; Died: October 26, 1992

Harry Butori – Ordained: 1952
Assignments: Graduate studies, Rome: 1952-3; St. Michael Parish, Conrad: summer 1953; Carroll College: 1953-56; St. Peter Parish, Anaconda: 1956-57; St. Richard Parish, Columbia Falls: summer 1957; St. Matthew Parish, Kalispell: 1957-59; Cathedral Parish and Chancery, Helena: 1959-66; Girls Central High School, Butte: 1966-68; St. William Parish, Dutton: 1968-72; St Teresa of Avila Parish, Whitehall: 1972-80; St. Joseph Parish, Choteau: 1980-86; St. James Hospital, Butte: 1986-1990; Catholic Community North, Butte: 1990-1999; retired (residence at St. Patrick rectory, Butte): September 1, 1999
Died: March 14, 2005

John Delane – Ordained: 1919
Assignments: St. Lawrence Parish, Walkerville: summer 1919; Mt St. Charles (Carroll) College: 1919-20; Chaplain, Montana State Prison, and State Hospitals at Galen and Warm Springs: 1920-26; St. Paul Parish, Anaconda: 1926-27; Immaculate Conception Parish, Butte: 1927-28; St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Laurin: 1928-39; St. Philip Parish, Philipsburg: 39-42; St. Mary Parish, Helena: 1942-56; Chaplain St. Joseph Hospital, Deer Lodge: 1956-63; residence at Carroll College: 1963-71
Died: January 30, 1971

Harry Delaney – Ordained: 1925
Assignments: St. Paul Parish, Anaconda: summer/fall 1925; St. Joseph Parish, Butte: 1925-34; St. Joseph Hospital, Deer Lodge: 1934-36; Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Eureka: 1936-54; General Hospital, Kalispell: 1954-57
Died: March 11, 1957

George Ferguson – Ordained: 1956
Assignments: Anaconda: summer 1956; Sacred Heart Parish, Butte: 1956-57; Immaculate Conception Parish, Butte: 1957-59; Newman Chaplain/Christ the King Parish, Missoula: 1959-71; St. Catherine Parish, Bigfork: 1971-75; Mission in Guatemala: 1975-77; St. Anthony Parish, Missoula: 1977-78; St. William Parish, Thompson Falls: 1978-80; Sick leave, residence in Mexico: 1980-86
Died: June 12, 1986

Joseph Finnegan – Ordained: May 22, 1965
Note that criminal accusations were taken to Court, resulting in acquittal.
Assignments: Immaculate Conception Parish, Butte: 1965-72; Catholic Charities, Helena: 1972-73; Butte Youth Service Center: 1973-82; Leave: 1982-89; Special Assignment: 1989-93 and 1994-2002; St. Teresa Parish, Whitehall: 1993-94;
Retired: July 1, 2002

A.M.D. Gillen – ordained May 29, 1926 (in Canada)
Assignments in Diocese of Helena: St. Richard, Columbia Falls: 1950-51; St. Teresa of the Little Flower, Browning: 1951-1965
Left Diocese: September 1, 1965; Died: July 30, 1987

Daniel Harrington – Ordained: 1932
Assignments: Graduate Studies, Rome: 1932-33; St. Mary Parish, Butte: 1933-36; St. Patrick Parish, Butte: 1936-37; Immaculate Conception Parish, Butte: 1937-39; St. Peter Parish, Anaconda: 1939-42; Sacred Heart Parish, Ronan: 1942-1949; North American College, Rome: 1949-1952; Director of Catholic Charities, Helena: 1953-59; St. Joseph Home and St. John Hospital, Helena: 1958-59; Chaplain, Warm Springs: 1959-65; St. Joseph Parish, Butte: 1965-71; Holy Savior Parish, Butte: 1971-72; Retired (residence in Butte): November 10, 1972.
Died: November 23, 1997

Robert Hartman – Ordained: 1947
Assignments: St. Patrick Parish, Butte: summer 1949; Cathedral Parish, Helena: 1949-56; Good Shepherd Home, Helena: 1956-65; St. Richard Parish, Columbia Falls: 1965-73; St. Mary Parish, Helena: 1973-77; St. Catherine Parish, Boulder: 1977-79; Holy Cross Parish, Townsend: 1979-85; St. Catherine Parish, Bigfork: 1985-94; Retired: March 1, 1994
Died: August 12, 1996

Daniel Hillen – Ordained: 1969
Assignments: St. Patrick Parish, Butte: 1970-71; St. Ann Parish, Butte: 1971-74; Graduate studies: 1974 and 1977-79; Carroll College: 1974-2002; leave to begin art studio: 2002.
Died: July 19, 2003

John Kerrigan – Ordained: 1954
Assignments: St. Patrick Parish, Butte: 1954-55; St. Francis Parish, Hamilton: 1955-56; St. Mary Parish, Butte: 1956-59; St. Lawrence Parish, Walkerville: 1959-62; St. Rose Parish, Dillon: 1962-64; St. Ann Parish, Butte: 1964-65; Little Flower Parish, Browning: summer 1965; Holy Rosary Parish, Bozeman: 1965-66; St. Michael Parish, Drummond: 1966-72; St. Bartholomew Parish, White Sulphur Springs: 1972-77; St. Joseph Parish, Choteau: 1977-1980; St. James Parish, Plains: 1980-84; Sacred Heart Parish, Ronan: 1984.
Died: July 21, 1984

Paul Kirchen – Ordained: 1929
Assignment: Carroll College 1929-1980; retired, residence at Carroll College: July 1, 1980
Died: April 19, 1989

Emmett Lowney – Ordained: 1949
Assignments: St. Paul Parish, Anaconda: 1949-51; St. Peter Parish, Anaconda: 1951-54; Chancery and Sacred Heart Mission, Wolf Creek: 1954-56; St. John Parish, Butte: 1956-57; St. Catherine Parish, Boulder: 1957-64; St. Michael Parish, Drummond: 1964-67; Retreat House, Deer Lodge: 1967-68; St. Mary Mission Parish, Stevensville: 1968-69; leave to Michigan: 1969
Died: July 31, 1975

Bernard McCarthy – Ordained: 1947
Assignments: Cathedral, Helena: 1947-49; St. Patrick, Butte: 1949-52 & 1971-78; Sacred Heart, Ronan: 1957-68; St. Lawrence, Walkerville: 1968-71; St. Michael, Conrad: 1979-86; Risen Christ, Kalispell: 1986-89; Catholic Community North, Butte: 1989-90; St. James Community Hospital, Butte: 1990-92; Retired: 1992
Died: September 16, 2003

James McCormick – Ordained: 1924
Assignments: Carroll College: 1924-26 and 1927-51; St. Lawrence Parish, Walkerville: 1926-27 and 1951-56; Immaculate Conception Parish, Butte: 1956-67
Died: June 14, 1967

Dusan Okorn – Ordained: 1947
Arrived in Diocese of Helena: December 1949.
Assignments: St. Joseph Home, Helena: 1950-52; St. Peter Parish, Anaconda: 1952-53; St. Joseph Parish, Butte: 1953-55; St. Michael Parish, Conrad: 1955-58; St. Richard Parish, Columbia Falls: 1958-63; St. Catherine Parish, Bigfork: 1963-71; St. Mary Mission Parish, Stevensville: 1971-78; Sycamore Center, Living Water Mission, Seeley Lake, Our Lady of the Swan Valley Mission, Condon: 1978-2006; Retired: 2006
Died: January 10, 2010

Robert O’Donnell – Ordained: 1966
Assignments: St. John Parish and Girls Central High School, Butte: 1966-68; Central High School, Helena: 1968-1969; Central High School, Butte: 1969-1972; Cathedral Parish, Helena: 1972-1979; Chancery: 1979-85; St. Mary Parish, Helena: 1983-85; Sabbatical: 1985-86; Diocese of Honolulu: 1987; Incardinated into Diocese of Honolulu: July 17, 1990.
Died: July 29, 1995

Wilson Smart – Ordained: 1957
Assignments: St. Peter Parish, Anaconda: 1957-59; St. Ann Parish, Butte: 1959-60 and 1966-69; St. Anthony Parish, Missoula: 1960-63; Cathedral Parish, Helena: 1963-65; St. Mary Parish, Butte: 1965-66; St. Richard Parish, Columbia Falls: 1969-74; Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Eureka: 1974-80; St. Bartholomew Parish, White Sulphur Springs: 1980-82; St. Joseph Parish, Harlowton: 1980-90; Leave of absence: 1990; Laicized: July 9, 2003
Died: November 10, 2006

Leonard Spraycar – Ordained: 1947
Assignments: St. Peter Parish, Anaconda: 1947-48 and 1954-55; St. Ann Parish, Butte: 1948-51; Chancery, Legendary Lodge & Sacred Heart Mission, Wolf Creek: 1951-54; St. Joseph Parish, Butte: 1955-59; St. Thomas Parish, Helmville: 1959-64; St. Philip Parish, Philipsburg: 1964-66; St. John Parish, Fairfield: 1966-68; St. Joseph Parish, Anaconda: 1968-73; St. Richard Parish, Columbia Falls: 1973-78; St. William Parish, Dutton: 1978-80; St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula: 1980-84
Died: March 31, 1984

Patrick Stimatz – Ordained: 1946
Assignments: Holy Rosary Parish, Bozeman: 1946-50; St. John Parish, Butte: 1950-59; St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Laurin: 1959-65; Little Flower Parish, Browning: 1965-72; Chaplain, Montana State Prison: 1972-86
Died: May 4, 1986

Jesuit Priests or Brothers – principally from Oregon Province, Society of Jesus

names provided by the plaintiffs; assignment information from the National Catholic Directory; other information is from the Oregon Province, Society of Jesus

Joseph Balfe, SJ – Ordained: 1927
Assignments in Diocese of Helena: St. Ignatius Mission Parish: 1931-35; 1945-53; St. Francis Xavier Parish, Missoula: 1936 & 44;
Left Diocese: 1953; Died: September 29, 1969

Victor Charlo – Jesuit Seminarian; not assigned in Montana

Thomas Connolly, SJ – not assigned in Montana

M.A. Dimier, SJ – [Ordination Date unavailable]
Assignment in Diocese: St. Ignatius Mission Parish, St. Ignatius: 1930-50
Died: June 14, 1950

A.J. Ferretti, SJ (“Fr. Freddy”) – Ordained: 1941
Assignments in Diocese: St. Ignatius Mission Parish, St. Ignatius: 1953; 1964-69;
Left Diocese: 1969; Died: June 28, 1982

Rene Gallant (“Brother Charlie”), SJ – no record of assignments
Died: July 23, 1975 at St. Ignatius

Louis Geis, SJ – Ordained: 1939
Assignments in Diocese: St. Ignatius Mission Parish, St. Ignatius 1959-62; St. Francis Xavier Parish, Missoula: 1949-56 & 1963-92;
Left Diocese 1992; Died: July 8, 1994

Bernard Harris, SJ – Ordained: 1945
Assignment in Diocese: St. Francis Xavier Parish, Missoula: 1954-69 and 72
Died: September 7, 1972

Egon Mallman, SJ – Ordained: 1929
Assignments in Diocese: St. Anne Parish, Heart Butte: 1934-1976;
Left Diocese: 1976; Died: August 20, 1980

Gabriel Menager, SJ – [Ordination date unavailable]
Assignments in Diocese: St. Ignatius Mission Parish, St. Ignatius: 1940-45;
Left Diocese: 1945; Died: July 28 1966

Joseph Obersinner, SJ – Ordained: 1957
Assignments in Diocese: St. Ignatius Mission Parish, St. Ignatius: 1972-80; St. Francis Xavier Parish, Missoula: 1989-91;
Left Diocese: 1991

Edmund Robinson (“Father Eddy”), SJ – Ordained: 1955
Assignments in Diocese: St. Ignatius Mission Parish, St. Ignatius: 1963-64; 1969-81; Left Diocese in 1981;
Died: May 22, 2014

Br. John Sorisio, SJ
Worked at St. Ignatius from 1915 until his death on July 20, 1957

Louis Taelman, SJ – Ordained: 1898
Assignments in Diocese: St. Ignatius Mission Parish, St. Ignatius: 1930-40 and 1953-58;
Left Diocese: 1958; Died: December 24, 1961

Norbertine Priests
while serving in the Diocese of Helena

John Kohnke, O Praem – ordained: March 22, 1937
Assignments in Diocese of Helena: St. Thomas Parish, Sunburst: 1955; St. William Parish, Shelby: 1960-64
Left diocese: August 19, 1964; Died: September 2, 1987

Martin Philipsen, O Praem – ordained: June 18, 1942
Assignments in Diocese of Helena: St. William Parish, Shelby: 1971-78
Left diocese: 1978; Died: August 21, 1988

Peter Pritzl, O Praem – ordained: April 25, 1929
Assignments in Diocese of Helena: St. Margaret Parish, Cut Bank: 1962-63; St. William Parish, Shelby: 1963-71; St. Thomas Parish, Sunburst: 1971-74
Left diocese: 1974; Died: October 3, 1993

Diocese cannot verify the following individuals identified in claims as priests

Burke (first name unknown)
Byrnes or Burns (first name unknown), SJ
Callan (first name unknown)
Estes (first name unknown)
Gannon (first name unknown), SJ
Gilmore (first name unknown)
Harper (unknown)
John (last name unknown), SJ
Larson (first name unknown), SJ
James O’Brien, SJ
Sullinger (unknown)
Sullivan (first name unknown)

Lay Persons at St. Ignatius

Mr. Crawford
Dave (last name unknown)
Ms. Knauf

Ursuline Sisters serving at St. Ignatius between 1940 and 1975
names provided by plaintiffs

Mother Bernadette, OSU
Sister Camilla, OSU
Sister Catherine, OSU
Mother Cecelia, OSU (Frances Seymor)
Mother Clement Marie, OSU
Sister Daniels, OSU
Mother Finbarr, OSU
Sister Frances, OSU
Mother Grace, OSU
Sister Henrietta, OSU
Sister John, OSU
Mother Loyola, OSU (Rufina Karges)
Sister Mackey, OSU
Mother Marianne, OSU
Sister Mary Laurence, OSU
Sister Margaret, OSU
Sister Marion, OSU
Sister Martin, OSU
Sister Monica, OSU
Sister Rita, OSU
Sister Teresa, OSU

Sisters from other Communities
while serving in the Diocese of Helena

Mother Catherine, RGS – Good Shepherd Home, Helena
Sister Glenniatoss – (religious community uncertain)
Sister Mary Agnes Rose, BVM – Immaculate Conception School, Butte
Sister Mary Victor, SCL – St. Helena School, Helena
Sister Monica, OP – St. Margaret School, Cut Bank
Sister Richildus, OP – St. Margaret School, Cut Bank

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Diocese names priests, sisters, staff accused of sexual abuse

MONTANA
Independent Record

The Diocese of Helena posted an online list Wednesday of every employee accused of sexually abusing a minor while working there.

The list dates back to the 1930s and includes the names of 80 priests, Ursuline Sisters, lay workers and others. A settlement between the Diocese and hundreds of victims requires that the names be posted and remain pinned to the Diocese homepage for the next decade.

Dan Bartleson, spokesman for the Diocese, said this is the latest stride in the “victim oriented approach” the Diocese has taken throughout the litigation process.

“We feel like this step is one of the more difficult steps for the Diocese in that some of these names will leave questions for the faithful,” Bartleson said. “It’s difficult to think of someone you grew up with who was good to you and your family being accused of sexual abuse, but we need to make sure we err on the side of victims if in any way this could contribute to their healing or give them any kind of closure.”

Bryan G. Smith of Tamaki Law, the firm that represented 95 of the 362 victims who sued the Catholic institution, called this the most important non-economic piece of the settlement.

“It’s a recognition by the church that they have, or had, within their ranks credibly accused perpetrators of sexual abuse,” Smith said.

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‘Major progress made on addressing sexual abuse in orthodox community’

UNITED STATES
The Jerusalem Post

The haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community in the US has made major strides in coming to terms with the issue of child sexual abuse, a prominent community activist told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

According to Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, the New Yorkbased founder of Project YES, a program for at-risk youth loosely affiliated with Agudath Israel of America, the progress made among both the hassidic and Lithuanian Orthodox communities has been “extraordinary.”

“It’s not even comparable” to the situation that obtained when he first began advocating for stronger measures to be taken in combating pedophiles, Horowitz told The Jerusalem Post.

“Twelve years ago, when I started writing about this, the vast majority of people thought that I had lost my mind, including some of my closest friends,” he said.

While he agreed that there was certainly “a long way to go” on the issue, he said internal opposition to change was “dissipating very quickly.”

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Rabbincal student faces child sex abuse charges

NEW YORK
Times Herald-Record

By HEATHER YAKIN
Times Herald-Record

Posted Apr. 29, 2015 a

MONTICELLO – A judge has lowered bail against a rabbinical student charged with sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy in Sullivan County.

Haim Boukris, 29, of South Fallsburg, was arrested April 23 on a sealed indictment charging him with three counts of predatory sexual assault against a child and first-degree sexual abuse, felonies. He appeared in Sullivan County Court on Wednesday morning so his lawyer, Kenneth Gribetz of Gribetz & Loewenberg in New City, could argue for his $1 million bail to be lowered.

Boukris is studying at a South Fallsburg yeshiva to be ordained as a rabbi.

On Wednesday afternoon, Sullivan County District Attorney Jim Farrell said Boukris is charged with sexually assaulting the boy in the spring of 2011, in one incident. Farrell said he argued to keep the bail at $1 million. The predatory sexual assault against a child charge carries a minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a maximum of 25 years to life.

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Rancho Cucamonga man, a worship leader, suspected of sexually abusing child

CALIFORNIA
Daily Bulletin

By Beatriz Valenzuela, San Bernardino Sun
POSTED: 04/29/15

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> A former social worker who reportedly is also a worship leader at a San Bernardino church has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a child, and investigators fear he may have victimized other children, sheriff’s officials said.

Dexter Carl Pleasure, 51, of Rancho Cucamonga was arrested early Tuesday morning at the sheriff’s Rancho Cucamonga station, according to booking records.

Rancho Cucamonga authorities were first tipped off about the alleged abuse on Monday when they received a report from the Child Abuse Hotline, sheriff’s officials said.

The report came from what is termed a mandated reporter who described possible sexual abuse of a child under the age of 10.

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Former Social Worker Arrested For Sexually Abusing Child

CALIFORNIA
NBC Los Angeles

By Michelle Valles and Kelly Goff

A former social worker and church worship leader is accused of sexually abusing a child over several years, and detectives believe there may be more victims.

Dexter Carl Pleasure, 51, of Rancho Cucamonga, was arrested Monday and charged with oral copulation of a child under the age of 10 and continual sexual abuse of a child under the age of 10.

Pleasure worked for more than 20 years as social worker with a private foster care agency, and had access to numerous children over the years, according to the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department.
Pleasure’s relationship with the known victim has not been disclosed.

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Wife of Happy Valley pastor says she doesn’t believe her daughter’s claims of sexual abuse

OREGON
Oregonian

By Rick Bella | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on April 29, 2015

The wife of embattled Pastor Mike Sperou testified Wednesday that she still doesn’t believe her daughter’s claim that her husband sexually abused her when she was growing up in his Happy Valley church.

Judy Sperou, mother of alleged victim Amy Robinson, told a Multnomah County jury that she has remained loyal to the man she married after her daughter told police in 1997 that she had been molested.

“I didn’t believe her then,” Judy Sperou told prosecutor Chris Mascal, who then asked if she believed her daughter now.

“No.”

Judy Sperou, a teacher for North Clackamas Bible Community, is among five parents who discounted their daughters’ claims of abuse and remained in leadership roles at the church. The disagreements have split families and triggered an exodus from the church, which Pastor Mike Sperou continues to lead.

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Archdiocese settles in first civil suits filed by survivors of child sexual abuse by priests

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

MORGAN ZALOT, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER ZALOTM@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-5928
POSTED: Thursday, April 30, 2015

IN WHAT THEIR attorney called a “significant step” in the healing process of two survivors of child sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has settled the first civil suits filed in 2011 after a damning grand-jury report on sex abuse by area priests.

The settlements with survivors – identified in court documents as John Doe 10 and John Doe 187 – were made earlier this year, the second coming in February the day before jury selection was to begin for the trials in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, said attorney Dan Monahan, who represented both men. Monahan and attorney Jeff Anderson announced the settlements yesterday.

Monahan said the settlements mark a significant development for both men, now in their 30s, as both came forward after the statute of limitations in their cases had passed, meaning their abusers could not be criminally charged.

“For these individuals to come forward, it gave them a certain amount of power that had been taken away from them as children,” said Monahan. “Both are at better places in their lives because of this process.”

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Shakopee Man Goes Public With Sexual Assault Allegations Against the New Ulm Diocese

MINNESOTA
KEYC

By Kassandra Sepeda, News Reporter

A 58-year-old Shakopee man goes public with allegations that he was sexually abused by a nun decades ago.

Now he’s suing the Diocese of New Ulm and an order of nuns.

As part of highly religious family, the plaintiff, then 10-year-old, Douglas Devorak says to have shared his story sooner would have torn his family apart.

“They entrusted their son’s religious and moral education to these people for me to tell them that one of the people they trusted abused me. They would’ve never forgave themselves,” says Devorak.

Now after 48 years, Devorak has filed a civil law suit against the Diocese of New Ulm and The School sisters of Notre Dame.

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EDITORIAL: Catholic Church leaders must be accountable for abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
The Mercury

In the last month, convictions of two priests who were found guilty of charges related to child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been upheld by higher courts.

In 2013, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, a member of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy at St. Jerome Roman Catholic Church in northeast Philadelphia from 1998 to 1999 while the priest was in residence there.

Engelhardt denied the allegations and appealed the verdict, but died last November of an apparent heart condition while in the second year of a six-to-12-year sentence at the Coal Township Prison in Northumberland County.

State law required that the priest’s appeal be continued. On March 25, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed Engelhardt’s convictions of endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of a minor and indecent assault.

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MEDIA RELEASE – APRIL 29, 2015

MASSACHUSETTS
Road to Recovery

Deacon/Priest Assistant Ricardo Gonzalez is expected to plead guilty on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 9:00 AM in Suffolk Superior Court, Criminal Division, Three Pemberton Square, Boston, MA for sexually abusing two minor children while assigned to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Our Lady of the Assumption Parishes in East Boston, MA

Two childhood victims of clergy sexual abuse by Deacon/Priest Assistant Ricardo Gonzalez of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, East Boston, MA expect to finally obtain justice if Deacon/Priest Assistant Ricardo Gonzalez pleads guilty on April 30, 2015 to sexually abusing them

What
The expected guilty plea and sentencing of Archdiocese of Boston Deacon/Priest Assistant Ricardo Gonzalez, who sexually abused two minor children in two East Boston, MA Catholic parishes

When
Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Where
Suffolk Superior Court, Criminal Division, Three Pemberton Square, Boston, MA 02108

Who
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families and supporters of the two innocent sexual abuse victims of Deacon/Priest Assistant Ricardo Gonzalez

Why
Deacon/Priest Assistant Ricardo Gonzalez repeatedly sexually abused at least two minor boys from approximately 1993-1995 while affiliated with Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, East Boston, and Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, East Boston and is expected to plead guilty to the sexual abuse in Suffolk Superior Court, Criminal Division, Boston, on April 30, 2015. The two victims are expected to finally obtain the justice they deserve. Dr. Hoatson will be available to speak to the media after the plea and sentencing.

Contact
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800

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Lawsuit: Minn. Man Says He Was Abused By A Nun

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man who says he was sexually abused by a nun spoke out on Wednesday as part of the first civil lawsuit in Minnesota filed against an order of Catholic nuns.

Douglas Devorak, 58, of Shakopee, says the abuse happened when he was 10 years old at St. Michael’s Catholic School in Madison, Minnesota.

He was in fifth grade in 1967, and Devorak says sister Mary Regina repeatedly assaulted him in the boys’ bathroom and in the classroom.

Devorak’s lawsuit is also filed against the Diocese of New Ulm.

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The Sacrament of Penance (Again)

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

04/29/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

I recently had a conversation where the topic of Catholic confession was discussed at length. Since I was not able, given the context of the conversation, to provide citations or references, I thought that I would take the opportunity to post the same on this blog. This post might be of little interest to many of you, but priests might want to review some of the materials attached.

One of the questions that came up during this conversation was about the differences between sacramental confession and other forms of communication between individuals, including between individuals and priests, or even two priests speaking together. I was at pains to explain that reconciliation is a ritual, and therefore there is a prescribed formula that must be followed which establishes that the exchange is sacramental in nature rather than purely conversational or even an appeal for other forms of pastoral care. I am attaching a guide to confession produced by the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and which gives the penitent’s formula. For the complete text of ritual form ‘A’, please click here.

Another question that was raised was the location in which confessions are to be heard. While there are always exceptions to the rule, the Code of Canon Law is clear that the proper place to hear confessions is a church or oratory, and that confessions should not be heard outside of these locations without a grave cause (c. 964, 1-3). While I was Chancellor in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, a new clergy bulletin (diocesan policy) was promulgated that reinforced this expectation, along with insisting that confessions of children are never heard outside of properly designated locations.

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Man claims Minnesota nun sexually abused him in the ’60s

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Curtis Gilbert Apr 29, 2015

The Archdiocese of New Ulm faces a lawsuit over alleged sexual abuse by a nun in the 1960s. It’s the first case involving a nun filed under a Minnesota law temporarily lifting the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse lawsuits.

Doug Devorak claims Sister Mary Regina Hebig repeatedly fondled him when he was a fifth grader at St. Michael’s Catholic School in Madison, Minn.

Devorak, 57, said he kept it a secret for decades out of respect for his parents.

“Our parents trusted these people with our moral and religious upbringing,” he said. “And people say, ‘Well Doug, why did you wait so long?’ The answer’s real simple. My parents couldn’t have taken that.”

Devorak’s parents are both dead, as is Hebig. Officials with the Diocese of New Ulm say the diocese was not aware of any complaints involving her and was not involved in hiring employees at the school.

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Holy Trinity Church in Boston Being Turned into Boutique Condos

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Catholic Insider

For those who have not yet heard, Holy Trinity Church, the former home of the German Catholic Community and the Traditional Latin Mass is being redeveloped into boutique condos. We posted last June that the property was up for sale, and in November we learned it had been sold, however the identity of the developer was not yet publicly available. Oddly, the archdiocese has not announced the sale price, or what will become of the millions of dollars of proceeds. Now the plans are up for approval by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. A picture of the proposed development can be found below.

Here is what has been written about the proposed plans. In “You Could Soon Live in This 19th Century South End Church” we learn:

Finegold Alexander + Associates, Inc. is hoping to transform the former Holy Trinity German Catholic Church and Rectory – located at 136 Shawmut Ave. in Boston’s South End – into an eight-story structure boasting 33 residential units. (The firm is acting on behalf of owner 136 Shawmut LLC, formed out of New Boston Ventures, according to the Boston Globe.)

According to a report filed by Finegold Alexander principal-in-charge James G. Alexander with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, this particular housing development will keep the church and rectory’s exterior facade while the interior of the building will be completely demolished and rebuilt – assuming, of course, the project is approved by the BRA.

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Die Kirche und der “verdammte” Sex

DEUTSCHLAND
Wochen Spiegel

[Laymen and experts as theologians, educators or psychologists discuss topics including the sexual morality of the Catholic Church, existing tensions in practice and possible credible future prospects. “The church is no longer in demand in matters of sexuality as an institution,” was the finding of Münster sex educator Ann-Kathrin Kahle.]

Offizielle Sexualmoral der katholischen Kirche kontra tatsächliches Liebesleben der Menschen: Um dieses Spannungsfeld ging es jetzt beim Forum “Sexualität. Leben” im Rahmen der Bistumssynode.

Laien und Experten wie Theologen, Pädagogen oder Psychologen diskutierten unter anderem über die Sexualmoral der katholischen Kirche, bestehende Spannungen in der Praxis und mögliche glaubwürdige Zukunftsperspektiven. “Die Kirche ist in Fragen der Sexualität als Institution nicht mehr gefragt”, lautete der Befund der Münsteraner Sexualpädagogin Ann-Kathrin Kahle. Ihre Aufgabe sei es, Menschen zu begleiten, nicht sie zu verurteilen, sagte Ethik-Professorin Sigrid Müller aus Wien. Details sind unter www.bistum-trier.de zu finden.

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Verdacht sexuellen Missbrauchs beschäftigt zwei Bistümer

DEUTSCHLAND
Westfalische Nachrichten

[Suspected sexual abuse in two dioceses.]

Münster/Freiburg –
Der Fall wirkt verfahren. Er zeigt, wie schwer es ist, der Wahrheit auf den Grund zu kommen und dem Leid eines Menschen gerecht zu werden. Es geht, wie die „Badische Zeitung“ in Freiburg berichtet, um den Fall einer 48-jährigen Frau, die sich nach langem inneren Kampf im Sommer 2014 an das Erzbistum Freiburg wendet. Sie wird gequält von Erinnerungen aus ihrer Kindheit im Bistum Münster. Ein Priester, Freund der Familie, habe sie als junges Mädchen in den 1970er Jahren über einen langen Zeitraum vielfach sexuell missbraucht.

Von Johannes Loy 

Die Frau vertraut sich der Missbrauchsbeauftragten des Erzbistums Freiburg an, die das Gesprächsprotokoll mit einer eidesstattlichen Erklärung an die zuständige Kommission für „Fälle des sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger durch Geistliche“ im Bistum Münster weiterleitet. Denn der Beschuldigte ist Priester des Bistums Münster, Mitte 70, und nach wie vor in Nordrhein-Westfalen im Dienst.

Was sich nun anschließt, könnte man mit der Redewendung „Von Pontius zu Pilatus rennen“ umschreiben. Dieser Umstand mag auch damit zusammenhängen, dass die münsterische Untersuchungskommission mit sechs Mitgliedern und fünf Beratern recht groß und die Kompetenzverteilung möglicherweise nicht klar geregelt ist. Die Klägerin wird von unterschiedlichen Kommissionsmitgliedern kontaktiert und befragt, dann wiederum lehnt sie zusätzliche Aussagen aus Angst vor einer Retraumatisierung ab. „Eigentlich sollte es zum Schutz des mutmaßlichen Opfers möglichst wenige Ansprechpartner geben“, räumt Bistumssprecher Dr. Stephan Kronenburg ein.

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Katholischer Kinderschutzbeauftragter: Nachholbedarf bei Prävention

DEUTSCHLAND
EPD

[Catholic child protection officer: pent-up demand for prevention.]

Bei der Prävention von sexuellem Missbrauch an Kindern sieht der erste Kinderschutzbeauftragte des Vatikans, Hans Zollner, in vielen Ländern noch Nachholbedarf. “Vielerorts wird ernsthaft an der Aufarbeitung von Missbrauchsfällen gearbeitet und konsequente Präventionsarbeit geleistet”, sagte der Psychologieprofessor und Jesuitenpater der “Hannoverschen Allgemeinen Zeitung” (Mittwochsausgabe). Das sei allerdings nicht überall der Fall.

In großen Teilen Afrikas, Asiens und teilweise in Lateinamerika sei sexueller Missbrauch an Minderjährigen bisher noch ein Thema, das nicht öffentlich diskutiert werde. Dort müssten Verantwortliche in Staat, Gesellschaft und Kirche erst ein Problembewusstsein entwickeln, um effektiv und entschlossen gegen Missbrauch vorzugehen.

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PA- Victims say “Send Msgr. Lynn back to prison”

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@snapnetwork.org )

We believe Msgr. William Lynn should go back to prison because it’s just and the best way to deter others who may conceal.

[Philadelphia Inquirer]

One could argue that those who conceal child sex crimes are more culpable than those who commit them. Predators are often sick individuals with a virtually uncontrollable compulsion to assault kids. Enablers, however, are presumably otherwise healthy individuals who deliberately choose to hurt kids by ignoring, hiding and, in effect, facilitating predators.

We suspect no penalty will stop the Fr. Edward Averys from molesting. (That’s why prison is important: it’s the only sure-fire way to keep predators away from prey.) But we’re confident that harsh penalties will stop the Msgr. Lynns from enabling.

And in the Catholic Church, nearly every other prevention measure – except punishing the hierarchy – has failed. Despite decades of scandals, lawsuits, settlements, exposes, prosecutions, and defections, bishops keep protecting predators and endangering kids.

So something more and different must be done. Punishing wrongdoers must happen, instead of promoting wrongdoers.

Some will no doubt consider our view punitive. It’s not. It’s preventative. It’s what our society must do more often if children are to be safer from heinous crimes.

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.

Peter Isely on the Resignation of Bishop Finn, Abuse Survivors, and Persephone’s Pomegranate Seed

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

A valuable piece of commentary from Peter Isely of SNAP Wisconsin, in his Facebook feed recently, about the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn and the pomegranate seed: Peter notes that the leaders of the Catholic church are divided into two teams, team Benedict and team Francis, one the “traditionalist tough guy” team, the other the “moderate” team. And because teams vie to be winners, making other teams losers, and because winners and losers continuously shift, there’s a whole lot of politicking and image-making and face-saving going on.

And then there are the survivors of childhood clerical abuse. And there’s justice, which these win-lose political games are almost never about:

Justice is something altogether different than this kind of two party politics. Justice doesn’t have teams. It doesn’t take the side of the exploited, the oppressed, and the dispossessed because justice is the exploited, the oppressed, and the disposed. They are not a team. They are those without a team. Any true social change originates in them. They are the part of the system that has no part in the system. They occupy the empty place of the system, the social and political space where the law has been annulled, vacated or subverted. That is why survivors, paradoxically, who represent no one, no faction, no particular interest are, unknown to them, the universal church, which has no place for them and does not know what to do with them.

Survivors are Persephone’s pomegranate seed, the biblical pearl in the field, the grain of mustard, overlooked and ignored by those playing the big-boy games — who sometimes change things in unexpected ways simply by being there. And by refusing to get caught up in the push-shove games of the ever-shifting teams of victors and losers . . . .

And as many of you probably now know, the latest unbelievable breaking news in the Finn story: as Rick Montgomery reports for Kansas City Star on Monday, he’ll be presiding at several ordinations next month in the diocese he (formerly?) headed — a decision that Yael T. Abouhalkah rightly calls “repulsive, reckless and yet a par-for-the-course decision by the local Catholic hierarchy.”

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Belgian bishop: Ruling against archbishop could spur claims for damages

BELGIUM
National Catholic Reporter

Jonathan Luxmoore Catholic News Service | Apr. 29, 2015

OXFORD, ENGLAND A Belgian bishop said the president of the bishops’ conference urged Catholics to respect a court judgment against him for failing to act on allegations of abuse.

However, Auxiliary Bishop Jean Kockerols of Mechelen-Brussels also said the ruling provoked concern that it could spur more claims for damages, and he said it would take a while for the church to regain credibility.

“Our church set up a special commission to investigate such cases, which will soon complete its work,” Kockerols told Catholic News Service, adding that he believed the Belgian church’s procedures for combating abuse were now robust.

“After the damage we’ve suffered from these cases, it’ll take us 10-20 years to regain our credibility as a church. What’s important in the meantime is that we’re not intimidated into silence. When you’re walking a tightrope, your best chance of finding a balance is to keep moving forward,” he said.

The Appeal Court in Liege ruled against Archbishop Andre Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, conference president, in a case dating to when he was bishop of Namur, 1991-2010. The court said the archbishop was guilty of misconduct and ordered him to pay $11,000 to a former Catholic seminarian, Joel Devillet, who was sexually abused as a choirboy in Aubange by a Catholic abbot, Fr. Gilbert Hubermont.

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Familiar themes of a wounded church take fictional form

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jamie Manson | Apr. 29, 2015 Grace on the Margins

For the past 15 years, Fr. Donald Cozzens has distinguished himself as a commentator on religious and cultural issues, especially those relating to the sexual and financial crises gripping the Catholic church. His best-selling book The Changing Face of the Priesthood exploded onto the religious publishing scene in 2000, receiving both broad acclaim and fierce critique — and changing the direction of his ministry as a priest.

He went on to write four more books, including Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church (2002) and Notes From the Underground: The Spiritual Journal of a Secular Priest (2013). He now travels widely, lecturing on the upheavals engulfing the Catholic church and leading retreats for priests and religious. He is also a writer-in-residence and adjunct professor at John Carroll University in Ohio.

In Cozzens’ latest work, Master of Ceremonies, published by In Extenso Press, he revisits themes that have dominated much of his writing: clergy sex abuse, clericalism, Vatican intrigue and corrupt bishops. But this time, he spins the narrative in the form of a mystery novel.

I recently spoke with Cozzens recently about his new tale of secrecy and silence, murder and suspense.

Manson: Why did you choose to write your first novel rather than another nonfiction book? Are you a fan of suspense novels?

Cozzens: We know that stories compel us in ways that only the best of nonfiction can. So I thought that telling a story about our wounded church might be something I should try. And once I started, I simply couldn’t stop. I do like suspense novels, and I’m happy to have the book described as a thriller, because I wanted the story to move at a fairly fast pace. One of my colleagues in the English department here at John Carroll, a novelist himself, said that it galloped. …

Why did you choose to make clergy sexual abuse and its subsequent cover-up a key part of the plot?

The church is trying to cope with a number of scandals and urgent pastoral issues today. I’m thinking of the fraud and bank scandals, bishops living like princes, the church’s attitude toward the divorced and remarried, its failure to really listen to Catholic sisters who teach and minister with integrity and humility. The list goes on. But nothing has so rocked the church as the sexual violation of our teens and children and the repeated bungling of many of our bishops as they tried to contain and spin and manage the scandals.

Our laity is saying to the bishops, you might mess with my money, but don’t you dare mess with my children. So sexual abuse and its cover-up remain the stick in the eye of the church. But the reader will also find among the plot lines of the novel faith-killing revenge, naked clerical ambition, and misplaced loyalty. Still, the net holding the narrative in place is the abuse of a young boy by a priest who later becomes an archbishop.

The story involves a secretive group called the Brotherhood of the Sacred Purple. Do you think groups like this really exist, or were you simply trying to infuse Da Vinci Code-like intrigue into the novel?

I’ve had some fun with the Brotherhood of the Sacred Purple. In the novel, it’s a secretive band of bishops and priests who are hell-bent on saving the church from pastoral-minded bishops who, in their judgment, threaten what they call the church’s supreme center — that is, papal infallibility, hierarchal patriarchy, doctrine carved in stone, and the like. And they’re willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their sacred duty as they see it. Groups like this exist today, but I certainly hope they’re not as ruthless as the Brothers of the Sacred Purple. Da Vinci Code intrigue? No. Master of Ceremonies isn’t as dark or complex as Dan Brown’s novel. But intrigue there is.

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Really?

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Editorial

We read with astonishment that Bishop Robert Finn will preside at the ordinations of seven seminaries in the Kansas City- St. Joseph Diocese in May because Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann who temporarily has charge of this diocese has a scheduling conflict.

Tone deaf is a profound understatement on this matter.

We understand that Bishop Finn has the power to ordain these seminarians regardless of his “voluntary” resignation that was accepted by Pope Francis.

But what in heaven’s name makes anyone in the power structure or the pews of the Roman Catholic Church think this is acceptable?

This is about as acceptable as Richard Nixon presiding over a Cabinet meeting for Gerald Ford or signing an executive order because Ford had some work on Capitol Hill that he had previously scheduled.

We get that Archbishop Naumann already has ordinations scheduled. ‘Tis the season for them.

But how about the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church – and those who are being ordained – act in the same way real people do. When a major event has a major problem, maturity goes into action and a solution is found that doesn’t insult anybody.

How about the time of the ordination be moved to later in the day?

How about moving the ordination to the next day or the next weekend or the next month? We understand that the seminarians and their families and friends have planned for this event and it will cause some difficulty if the event were moved even by a day, but plenty of people make sacrifices to be at events of this significance for the people they love. And, really, we think the family members of the seminarians would be all too willing to make whatever adjustments were necessary if an ordination date had to be moved. It’s not for them that this accommodation of Finn’s presiding is being made. And certainly the seminarians should not be adverse to a bit of sacrifice on their way to ordination.

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Freedom or jail for Msgr. William J. Lynn? Arguments Thursday

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

JOSEPH A. SLOBODZIAN, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Philadelphia judge will hear arguments Thursday about whether Msgr. William J. Lynn should return to prison.

The hearing was set by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, who presided over the landmark 13-week trial in 2012 in which Lynn, 64, was found guilty of child endangerment for his role supervising priests accused of sexually abusing children.

Sarmina sentenced Lynn to three to six years in prison and he served about 18 months before being released on house arrest on Jan. 2, 2014, after the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed his conviction. Lynn has lived since in the rectory of St. William, a parish in Lawncrest in the Northeast.

On Monday, however, the state Supreme Court reinstated the conviction and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office immediately moved to revoke his bail and return him to prison.

Defense attorney Thomas A. Bergstrom on Wednesday filed a motion asking that Lynn remain free on $250,000 bail and live on house arrest pending further appeals.

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Police Investigate Sexual Assault Allegation At Catholic High School

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police were investigating after a baseball player at a Catholic high school on the Far South Side allegedly was sexually assaulted by several teammates last month, and 12 students have been suspended in connection with the incident.

A source said the victim was sodomized in the locker room at St. Francis de Sales High School, at 10155 S. Ewing Av.

A dozen varsity baseball players at the school were suspended this week. A letter to parents said the players were accused of bullying, or failing to report bullying, but Chicago police said they were notified of a sexual assault at the school.

Chicago police said an 18-year-old allegedly was sexually assaulted by five other males on March 23, at approximately 3 p.m., but the parents of the victim and the school did not report the attack to police until Tuesday. Area South Detectives were investigating, but no one was in custody as of Wednesday afternoon.

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Two priest sex-abuse lawsuits settled with Phila Archdiocese

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

MATT GELB, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
LAST UPDATED: Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Two lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of minors by priests from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia were settled for an undisclosed amount, lawyers announced Wednesday.

The suits, the first settled since a 2011 grand jury investigation of sex abuse allegations in the archdiocese, were filed by the victims before they turned 30 – keeping them in line with Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations.

The plaintiffs, identified as John Doe 10 and John Doe 187, requested the settlement amounts be confidential.

“Nobody ever recovers from this kind of sexual abuse,” said Dan Monahan, one of their lawyers. “But fortunately, both of these young men have really gained a certain amount of power and are no longer living in silence.

“They have moved on with their lives. They are stronger as a result of stepping forward. They are stronger as a result of filing these suits. And I think they feel a somewhat small sense of justice in having these cases resolved.”

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Pope Faces “Messes”: Philly, Climate, Children, & Now Hillary

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

For a celibate bachelor, Pope Francis perhaps understandably cannot seem to shake his problems with women and children. Too many children are still being “bred” under the pope’s contraception ban for a warming climate and finite world to absorb. Moreover, some of the “excess” children become easy targets of clerical predators that the pope and his bishops seem unwilling and/or unable to control. This was evident from the recent Philadelphia news confirming the conviction for endangering children of the longtime top priest personnel aide to shamed Philly Cardinals Justin Rigali and Anthony Bevilacqua.

The aide took the fall for his two cardinal bosses, it appears. As the Georgetown Law graduate judge told the aide after his jury conviction, he should have stood up to his bishops, Rigali and Bevilacqua presumably. Instead, she said, Lynn had enabled “monsters in clerical garb to destroy the souls of children.” Of course, Rigali and Bevilacqua are still held in esteem by the Vatican. And few Catholics trust US bishops’ clearly inadequate and easily manipulated annual “child protection audits” that Rigali got “straight A’s” on while seemingly surrounded by alleged priest abusers!

Please see also my related remarks, “Two Cardinals’ Aide’s Crime Upheld Yet Philly Visit Is Still On?“, “What Do We Now Know About The Real Goal Of Pope Francis?” , “Childless Pope Faces Man-Made “Mess”: Children & Climate Change” , “Vatican Revolt Negates Synod & Sex Commission” , “Dumping Finn For US President: Who’s Next?”‏ , “Hillary Clinton vs. Pope Francis in 2015 USA Politics“, “Electing Bishops & Jeb Bush Too” , “A Pope, A New US War, Jeb Bush Neocons & Big Oil” , “Finn’s Law: Police Must Now Handle Crimes Says Pope“, and “Must Jesuits Overlook Jesuit Pope’s Mistakes?“.

And now here comes Hillary Clinton, a new grandmother and advocate for women and children, the Vatican’s forgotten Catholics! As noted here,

Hillary Clinton, during her 2008 US presidential campaign, talked a great deal about religion. By contrast, with Pope Francis now on the US political playing field, please note this from Hillary’s recent speech seemingly directed at Pope Francis at the Women in the World Summit in New York:

“Yes, we’ve cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth. All the laws we’ve passed don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed. “ (emphasis mine)

Whose “cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases”, Pope Francis, do you think Hillary was referring to? This last sentence was key, as one can see from this video (at 8:55). Hillary emphasized these words through a change in tone, cadence and gesture.

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Bishop Robert Finn’s repulsive role in Catholic ordinations

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

BY YAEL T. ABOUHALKAH- ABOUHALKAH@KCSTAR.COM

04/28/2015

Bishop Robert Finn should not be allowed to participate in the priestly ordinations next month of deacons in the Catholic church.

Robert W. Finn is a disgraced Catholic bishop who has announced his resignation as leader of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese. He should not be presiding at the priestly ordinations of new deacons next month.

Yet, he is scheduled to do just that.

It’s a repulsive, reckless and yet a par-for-the-course decision by the local Catholic hierarchy, especially the new temporary leader of the diocese, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumman.

The event scheduled for May 23 is a slap in the face to the victims of child abuse at the hands of local Catholic priests over the years and the families of those victims.

It also sends the wrong message to the community at large, the many non-Catholics who have watched for years as the local diocese has been involved in costly settlements with abuse victims.

The revelation that top Catholic officials outside this area are allowing Finn to preside at the ordinations also does not send the right message that lessons have been learned during Finn’s presence as bishop in Kansas City.

Indeed, it appears that the Catholic officials think they can act with impunity and continue to allow a resigned bishop to not just keep his title but keep on doing his duties in this region.

One of the more worrisome comments in The Star story came from Deacon Joshua Barlett, scheduled to be ordained by Finn: “I do echo most everyone when I say we are very excited for Bishop Finn to perform the ordination. I started into this eight years ago. He’s led us all the way through.”

In other words, the new generation of Catholic priests in this area will be blessed by the old generation that is leaving such an ugly legacy for the church.

That’s disappointing.

Naumann and other church leaders keep calling on members of the local church to allow time for “healing and grace.”

Yet it appears too often that the people who were abused by the priests are the ones who are supposed to have all the grace in this situation, and be pressured to do the healing.

If Naumman and other local Catholic leaders were truly interested in “healing and grace,” they would not allow Finn to lead the ordinations in May.

That might disappoint seven men scheduled to become priests.

But it would send the right message to so many other people.

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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Bishop Finn takes flight, but is the summer of Pope Francis upon us?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Peter Isely | Apr. 29, 2015 Examining the Crisis

Mindful of Aristotle’s caution that one swallow does not a summer make, there is still good reason to celebrate that after years of intense activism, advocacy and grass-roots organizing from abuse survivors, advocates, Catholic clergy and parishioners, the Vatican has finally, formally and unceremoniously removed Bishop Robert Finn from the beleaguered diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo.

This is a kind of move the Vatican is always loath to make since it raises serious questions about the divine hand in episcopal promotions. Thus, there was only one paltry sentence in the statement about it from the Vatican. So much for a teaching moment.

That Finn was convicted of child endangerment and was publicly exposed for breaking signed promises to victims of clergy sex crimes negotiated in civil settlements certainly helped, proving once again that when criminal and civil courts intervene in church cover-ups, it becomes increasingly difficult for the Vatican to feign neutrality.

Backing the efforts of the law in Kansas City: parishioners who spoke up, organized and signed petitions (it’s easy to be cynical, but thousands of signatures made a difference); dedicated journalists who investigated and reported stories of priest sex abuse and institutional complicity; and innovative insiders/outsiders to the church system itself, like Milwaukee canon lawyer Fr. Jim Connell, co-founder of The Survivors and Clergy Leadership Alliance, who found ways to use the church’s legal system to represent survivors and press for the rights of aggrieved parishioners.

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Lord Janner allegations to be investigated by child sex abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent

KASHMIRA GANDER Author Biography Wednesday 29 April 2015

The judge leading an independent inquiry into child sex abuse by members of the establishment, is to investigate claims made against Lord Greville Janner.

The probe could see Justice Lowell Goddard call the former MP, 86, to court to give evidence, following a controversial decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to try him because his dementia is too severe.

However, Justice Goddard indicated the inquiry will consider medical evidence before taking a decision on whether to call the peer to be interviewed, and said she will likely enlist medics to make the decision.

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Annual report on Dallas Charter shows continued decline in number of abuse cases

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Tom Roberts | Apr. 29, 2015

WASHINGTON The number of clergy sex abuse cases in the Catholic church in the United States continues to decline, and most of those newly reported stem from the 1960s through the 1980s, according to the latest report on how dioceses are complying with the ongoing requirements of the U.S. bishops’ 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The generally positive news in the report is tempered, however, by cautions against complacency from both Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Francesco C. Cesareo, chairman of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People.

And, as has been the case for the 12 years the audit has been performed, the review board is forced to report that the church in the United States is not in full compliance with the charter because the diocese of Lincoln, Neb., and five eparchies, dioceses of the Eastern church, refuse to cooperate with the survey.

In his letter presenting the report, Cesareo warned against “Charter drift” and a “false sense of security.”

“While substantive progress has been made, it should not be concluded that the sexual abuse of minors is a problem of the past that has been adequately addressed,” he wrote. “The fact that there were six substantiated cases of abuse of current minors in this year’s audit is indicative of the fact that there are still instances where dioceses fall short.”

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KANSAS CITY STAR GETS INTRUSIVE

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on a piece today by an editorial writer for the Kansas City Star:

Yael T. Abouhalkah’s mother should have told her son to mind his own business. He writes for the notoriously anti-Catholic newspaper, the Kansas City Star, and is now lecturing Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas about his decision to have Bishop Robert Finn preside at two ordinations in May; Finn recently resigned as Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and Naumann is the apostolic administrator of the diocese.

Archbishop Naumann will be celebrating the ordination of priests in his own diocese on the same day that the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is holding its ordinations. That is why he asked Bishop Finn to preside over his former diocese. As well he should: not only is Bishop Finn a bishop in good standing in the Catholic Church, he is a holy man who has done a magnificent job in securing bright and able men to the priesthood. Indeed, the number of men he has galvanized to become priests makes Finn the envy of bishops in much larger dioceses throughout the nation.

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In Sister Mary Ann Walsh, both the Church and the media had a friend

UNITED STATES
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor April 29, 2015

Back in 2002, at the peak of the sexual abuse crisis in the American church, then-Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville, Ill., at the time the president of the US bishops’ conference, was in Rome. Every journalist on the planet wanted an interview, and my friend Jim Bittermann from CNN was lucky enough to score one.

I asked Bittermann if I could tag along to his appointment at the North American College, the American seminary in Rome, figuring it was the only way I would get access to Gregory on that trip. (Even though I worked for a competing publication, I was a regular on CNN.) Bittermann agreed, and so we set off.

We got as far as the inner courtyard at the NAC, which is where we ran into the unmovable Sister Mary Ann Walsh, the US bishops’ media coordinator.

Walsh immediately sniffed out the ruse, and wasn’t happy about it. She looked at Bittermann scornfully and said, “What, aren’t you man enough to do this by yourself? You need somebody to hold your hand?”

I was sternly exiled outside to wait for Bittermann to finish, and never did get my face time with Gregory until much later in the game.

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Finn should NOT ordain anyone

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

by SNAP outreach director Barbara Dorris

We applaud the few Kansas City priests who are speaking up against the plan by three top Catholic officials – including Pope Francis’ US representative – to let Bishop Robert Finn preside over two ordinations next month.

We beg more Kansas City priests – and parishioners – to join this effort.

We beg the church hierarchy to listen to their cries.

We beg the soon-to-be-ordained deacons to speak up and oppose this too.

And we beg Pope Francis to name a permanent head of the diocese who is a parish priest, not a church bureaucrat.

The temporary head of the diocese, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, told the Kansas City Star “Bishop Finn resigned, and the Holy See has accepted it. But he doesn’t disappear from the face of the Earth. … He still is a bishop.”

[National Catholic Reporter]

That’s a callous non-explanation for a controversial, hurtful plan. A surgeon who was ousted shouldn’t be doing surgery. A police officer who stepped shouldn’t be arresting people. And a bishop who resigned shouldn’t be acting like a bishop, especially when his actions will only prolong years of already intense and easily avoidable pain.

This plan was approved by Naumann, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano (the “papal nuncio to the US in Washington DC, Pope Francis’ chief US aide) and Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet (the head of the Congregation for Bishops in Rome). Shame on them.

The lesson here is that the feelings of a handful of clerics trump the feelings of hundreds of victims and thousands of Catholics. The lesson is that despite decades of child sex crimes and cover ups, caused largely by clerics who put themselves above parishioners, clerics still put themselves above parishioners.

It’s said that the deacons want Finn to be at the ordinations. That may or may not be true. But many Catholics want their bishop to do things he should not or cannot do. A bishop, as a leader, must decline many opportunities.

It’s said that “Finn has been a mentor and a guide to these men.” That’s likely true. And, if they want a convicted criminal to keep being their mentor and guide, that’s their choice. But it shouldn’t be a highly public and visible role or position or relationship that

It’s said that these events were planned long ago. That’s certainly true. But there are more than 400 active or retired bishops in the US. All it takes is one of them to step in for Finn.

It’s said that top Catholic officials – in Rome and in DC – have blessed Finn’s plans. That’s likely true. But it’s also irrelevant and hurtful. It’s pretty clear by now that just because a high ranking Catholic bureaucrat approves something, it isn’t necessarily good for victims or parishioners.

It’s said that “Finn’s been punished enough.” But this isn’t about hurting Finn. It’s about helping KC victims and parishioners, most of whom desperately want and need this long nightmare to end.

(Besides, Finn’s been let off pretty easy. He’s still a priest. He’s actually still a bishop. He’s still living in his lush home, which was and is paid for by parishioners. He still gets his paycheck, health insurance, dental plan, car allowance and all the rest. And he enabled child sex crimes, got his expensive defense paid for by others, was convicted but avoided jail.)

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Minnesota Nun Molested Boy, Attorneys File Suit

MINNESOTA
Patrick Noaker

PRESS CONFERENCE: 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Where: Minneapolis attorney Patrick Noaker’s office, 333 Washington
Ave. N., Suite 300
First case filed under new law against nuns.
Victim to speak with reporters
____________________________________________________________________________
(MINNEAPOLIS, April 29, 2015) – Attorneys filed a new civil lawsuit against an order of nuns, and the Diocese of New Ulm, alleging sexual abuse of a 10-year-old boy repeatedly molested by a nun at a Catholic school in Madison, Minnesota.

This is the first civil lawsuit filed against an order of nuns under Minnesota’s new law for sex-abuse victims.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a 58-year-old man from Shakopee, Minnesota, alleges that a nun repeatedly abused the boy in his fifth-grade year, from the fall of 1967 through spring 1968, at St. Michael’s Catholic School in Madison, Minnesota.

Court papers say Sister Mary Regina repeatedly fondled the boy’s genitals during school hours.

Court papers identify the boy as John Doe 117. Since filing the lawsuit, the victim has decided to reveal his identity, to encourage other victims of sexual abuse to come forward.

The man referenced in the lawsuit, Douglas Devorak of Shakopee, Minnesota, will speak with reporters at a press conference at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 29th at Minneapolis attorney Patrick Noaker’s office: 333 Washington Avenue N., Suite 300.

“I do not need to be anonymous anymore,” Devorak said. “I am a survivor. I did not do anything wrong.”

“I need to get the truth out and tell my story to heal.”

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Minnesota Nun Molested Boy, Attorneys File Suit

MINNESOTA
Patrick Noaker

Noaker Law Firm and James, Vernon & Weeks law firms filed a new civil lawsuit against an order of nuns, and the Diocese of New Ulm, alleging sexual abuse of a 10-year-old boy repeatedly molested by a nun at a Catholic school in Madison, Minnesota.

This is the first civil lawsuit filed against an order of nuns under Minnesota’s new law for sex-abuse victims.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a 58-year-old man from Shakopee, Minnesota, alleges that a nun repeatedly abused the boy in his fifth-grade year, from the fall of 1967 through spring 1968, at St. Michael’s Catholic School in Madison, Minnesota.

Complaint against Diocese of New Ulm and School Sisters of Notre Dame

Press Release

Photograph of St. Michael’s Catholic Church and School

Photograph of Doug Devorak family

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NEW SEXUAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST LITTLE ROCK CHURCH

ARKANSAS
Jessica Arbour

SUIT ALLEGES THAT PASTOR SEXUALLY EXPLOITED A VULNERABLE FEMALE PARISHIONER BY PROMISING HER GOD’S BLESSING AND FAVOR

WHAT
Jessica Arbour, a nationally-recognized attorney for survivors of sexual abuse, announces the filing new lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Court alleges that APOSTLE LAWRENCE E. BRAGGS, the Senior Pastor at AWARENESS CENTER INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES, sexually abused and exploited a female congregant from approximately 2007 until 2012.

The suit alleges that BRAGGS learned sensitive information about Jennifer Richardson, the plaintiff, during the course of spiritual counseling and instruction, which he then used to manipulate the congregant into a sexual relationship. After learning that she was raised by her own minister father to believe that obedience to God was the supreme virtue, Braggs told her that God had shown him that her place was to help him “go to God” through sexual activity. The suit claims that Braggs engaged the plaintiff in sexual contact at various locations around the Little Rock area, including the church, located at 900 S. Pine St., in Little Rock, and at his home, which was at one time owned by the church, and which was recently lost after a complicated foreclosure process, according to online reports.

The Complaint also states that when Plaintiff attempted to end the sexual relationship in mid-2012, Braggs, his family, and other congregates engaged in an ongoing campaign to threaten and harass Plaintiff and her family, if they reported the relationship to police. Sexual exploitation of a congregant by a member of the clergy is classified as third degree criminal sexual conduct under Arkansas law.
The plaintiff is a 33 year old resident of the Little Rock area. She is married with 2 young children.
Richardson v. Awareness Center International Ministry, Inc., et al. is now pending in Pulaski County Court.

CONTACT
Jessica Arbour, Esq., (312) 854-8091; jessica@arbourlaw.com.

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FL–Victims prod bishop to act re soon-to-be-freed predator

FLORIDA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 28

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

A convicted child predator, church volunteer and Eucharistic minister is due to be released from prison early next month. For the safety of children, Fort Myers area Catholic officials must take steps to warn parents and parishioners about him.

[NBC2]

Robert Little was a church volunteer at St. Francis Xavier Church when he abused a 13 year old boy he met through the church. And in 2013, he was convicted for it. On or around May 5, he will be set free.

Venice diocesan officials have acted irresponsibly with Little.

— According to two lawsuits, Catholic officials were told about other allegations of abuse committed by Little, but covered it up. That irresponsible behavior reportedly led to other children being abused. (The first civil suit was filed in September 2014 and involves the victim whose sexual battery in 2013 led to the conviction. The second lawsuit was filed in December 2014 and involves an assault in 2011. After that 2011 assault, that boy’s parents reported his assault by Little to church officials. The church officials’ refusal to act resulted in the 2013 abuse.)

–In February 2014, a Ft. Myers television station disclosed that Little was living on church property, despite two child sex abuse cases against him. Venice diocese officials refused to order him to move. Later, church officials reversed their decision.

[Fox 4]

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How Prevalent is Sexual Abuse By Nuns [Part 1 of a 3-part series]

UNITED STATES
Patrick Noaker

Posted on April 29, 2015

By Attorney Patrick Noaker

Most of the attention regarding sexually abusive clergy members has focused on sexual abuse by priests. Most media reports and most research involve abusive priests. The 2004 John Jay College study was limited to diocesan and religious order priests. Consequently, information about sexual abuse by nuns is not widely discussed or understood. This article discusses what is known about the prevalence of nun sexual abuse of children.

Initially, it must be noted that 4.6% of all sex offenders are female.[1] However, some believe that this statistic is artificially low because women are more likely to be diverted from the justice system[2] and because societal and cultural stereotypes about female sexual behavior, including professional biases by police and prosecutors, discourage reporting of sex crimes by females.[3]

When it comes to female religious, there has been very little research conducted into the prevalence of sexual abuse. One of the only studies available is a 2002 study conducted by the former director of the Southdown Institute, a well-known treatment facility for thousands of religious men and women. According to this study, 0.7% of religious sisters who were admitted as patients confessed to sexual contact with minors.[4] But, there has been much criticism of this research and its accuracy on the basis that the information upon which the study is based is based upon the non-anonymous admissions by the perpetrator. Both research and common sense supports the conclusion that sex offenders are not always complete and honest about their criminal activities.[5]

Further, this Southdown Institute rate of 0.7% appears to be inconsistent with civil lawsuits that have been filed and expert opinions in the field. For example, in February, the Ursuline Sisters settled claims with 232 plaintiffs for physical and sexual abuse by nuns and priests at the Ursuline Academy in St. Ignatious, Montana. These cases, involved physical and sexual abuse by both priests and nuns and the sexual abuse by the priests was strikingly similar to the sexual abuse by the nuns. This antidotal evidence raises the question whether there really is any difference in the prevalence of priests sexually abusing children versus nuns.

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MN–Parents, police, parishioners and the public deserve to know

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Verne Wagner of Duluth, Northeast MN SNAP director ( 218- 340-1277, lwagsmn@yahoo.com )

As part of a settlement in a Twin Cities clergy sex abuse lawsuit, a Minnesota abbey will release the files of a “credibly accused” abusive Catholic cleric who worked in Duluth.

He is Fr. Angelo Zankl. He also spent time at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville MN.

[Minnesota Public Radio]

Why must Duluth area citizens and Catholics learn more about potentially dangerous Catholic clerics only because victims elsewhere prod church officials elsewhere to disclose information by threatening to go to trial and expose more clerics who commit and conceal heinous crimes?

And what other secrets about proven, admitted or credibly accused clerics are Duluth Catholic officials hiding?

In 2013, Duluth officials put Zankl on a list of “credibly accused” abusers. But that’s the bare minimum. Parents, police, parishioners and the public deserve to know what he did, which church staff hid what he did, and whether anyone might still be prosecuted.

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Para el STJ no prescribió la causa contra el cura Ilarraz

ARGENTINA
APF Digital

[ The Criminal Chamber of the STJ rejected the challenge by Justo Ilarraz who is defending the case against him for the alleged crime of aggravated corruption. The reasons for the judgment will be announced on May 18 at 12 30. He is accused of sexually abusing minors.]

La Sala Nº 1, de Procedimientos Constitucionales y Penal, del Superior Tribunal de Justicia de Entre Ríos rechazó la impugnación extraordinaria interpuesta por la defensa del sacerdote católico y ex prefecto del Seminario Menor de Paraná, Justo José Ilarraz, en la causa que se le sigue por el supuesto delito de promoción a la corrupción agravada. Los fundamentos de la sentencia se darán a conocer el 18 de mayo a las 12:30.

El Tribunal de la Sala Nº 1 del STJ, integrada por los Dres. Carlos Chiara Díaz, Claudia Mizawak y Daniel Carubia, informó a las partes que resolvió “Rechazar la Impugnación Extraordinaria deducida por el Dr. Juan Angel Forneron, defensor técnico del imputado Justo José Ilarraz, contra la sentencia de fecha 18 de noviembre de 2014, dictada por la Sala Nº 1 de la Cámara de Casación Penal de esta Capital”, y fijó audiencia para el 18 de mayo próximo, a las 12:30, para “la lectura íntegra de los fundamentos de la sentencia”.

La defensa de Ilarraz acudió al STJ, para impugnar la decisión de la Cámara de Casación Penal, que confirmó la decisión de la Cámara Primera, Sala I de Paraná y del Juzgado de Instrucción, consistente en el rechazo de la excepción de falta de acción del Estado, por prescripción, para investigar al sacerdote, por el tiempo transcurrido desde los hechos denunciados hasta la fecha.

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Minnesota Nun Molested Boy, Attorneys File Suit

MINNESOTA
Patrick Noaker

PRESS CONFERENCE: 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Where: Minneapolis attorney Patrick Noaker’s office, 333 Washington Ave. N., Suite 300, Minneapolis 55401

First case filed under new law against nuns. Victim to speak with reporters

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Ilarraz se defiende mostrando cartas enviadas por las víctimas

ARGENTINA
La Voz

– Tres víctimas deberán volver, por tercera vez, a la Justicia, ahora para certificar la veracidad de cartas supuestamente enviadas al cura Ilarraz, un elemento que presentó la defensa; La querella y el fiscal entienden que constituyen una prueba más de su culpabilidad en los abusos; Ayer pidieron el procesamiento

El cura Justo José Ilarraz decidió responder a su modo frente a las siete denuncias que pesan en su contra por abusos cometidos contra menores en el Seminario Arqudiocesano de Paraná: presentó en la Justicia cartas que supuestamente le habrían mandado tres de las siete víctimas que testimoniaron en Tribunales.

La presentación la hizo su defensor, Juan Ángel Fornerón, y encontró rápida respuesta en la jueza Susana María Paola Firpo, titular del Juzgado de Transición Nº 2 que tramita la causa “Ilarraz Justo José s/Promoción a la corrupción agravada”. La magistrada resolvió citar a las tres víctimas que habrían enviado esas cartas al cura para que certifiquen que son de su autoría.

La medida supone ni más ni menos que el aplazamiento de una definición de Firpo en torno a la situación procesal de Ilarraz. El cura se presentó a indagatoria el 21 del actual, y tras eso la magistrada contaba con un plazo de diez días para resolver si lo procesaba, lo sobreseía o le dictaba la falta de mérito. Pero ese plazo ahora se pospone por cuanto Ilarraz pidió ampliar su indagatoria.

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Ramírez Montrull: “Las cartas que presentó Ilarraz son una prueba de la manipulación que ejercía sobre las víctimas”

ARGENTINA
Analisis Digital

Montrull Ramirez: The letters are evidence that Illarraz manipulated victims.]

El fiscal Juan Francisco Ramírez Montrull cuestionó la presentación de cartas que hizo Justo José Ilarraz ante la Justicia, las cuales intercambiaba con los jóvenes que lo denunciaron por abusos. “Esto es una prueba de la manipulación que el cura ejercía sobre las víctimas, ya que después de lo que les hizo seguía manteniendo contacto no sólo con ellos, sino también con los familiares de éstos”, explicó el letrado. En ese sentido, pidió celeridad y que “no se revictimice a los denunciantes al exponerlos a esta situación, ya que tuvieron que ir tres veces a Tribunales y el sacerdote solamente fue dos”, cuestionó y luego añadió: “No queremos que esta situación se transforme en una investigación a las víctimas”.

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Seguirán investigando a un cura acusado de abusar de al menos siete chicos

ARGENTINA
Infojus Noticias

[They will continue investigating a Justo Jose Illarraz, priest accused of abusing at least seven boys.
The priest is investigated for sexual abuse at the seminary of Parana, where he was in charge of two hundred children between 10 and 14 years, in a period was 1985-1993]

El sacerdote católico Justo José Ilarraz no consiguió eludir la causa en la que es investigado por al menos siete acusaciones de abusos sexuales cometidos, entre 1985 y 1993, contra chicos de entre 10 y 14 años que estaban a su cuidado en el Seminario de Paraná. El Superior Tribunal de Justicia (STJ) entrerriano determinó que los abusos sexuales por los que está acusado no prescribieron. El 18 de mayo darán a conocer los fundamentos de la sentencia.

La defensa de Ilarraz viene sosteniendo desde el inicio de la causa que esa investigación no puede continuar por el tiempo transcurrido. Pero la sala Nº 1 del STJ, integrada por Carlos Chiara Díaz, Claudia Mizawak y Daniel Carubia, rechazó el planteo de la defensa, tal como ya lo habían resuelto la Cámara de Casación Penal, la sala I de la Cámara Primera de Paraná y el juzgado de Transición Nº 2 de Paraná, que lleva la investigación.

Los abogados de los denunciantes, Marcos Rodríguez Allende, Rosario Romero y Milton Urrutia, y el procurador general de Entre Ríos, Jorge García, rechazan la posibilidad de que la causa se dé por cerrada, por el tiempo transcurrido. Consideran que se trata de esclarecer “graves violaciones a los derechos humanos, y en especial, de la Convención de los Derechos del Niño”, cometidos por parte del acusado “en forma sistemática”, aprovechando su cargo dentro del seminario y ante la imposibilidad de acceder a la Justicia.

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Parishioners of shuttered church appeal to Healey

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

By: Lindsay Kalter

Friends of Star of the Sea’s long-closed Quincy parish are calling on Attorney General Maura Healey to investigate its closing, according to a letter issued yesterday to the archbishop of Boston.

“We have argued that while the cardinal is within his right to suppress parishes, we believe we were a valuable and vibrant parish,” said Maureen Mazrimas, co-chairwoman of Friends of Star of the Sea. “It’s only because of our size that we were suppressed.”

The group asks the AG to look at whether the archdiocese has lived up to its fiduciary responsibility to safeguard property donated by the parishioners.

Mazrimas said at the time it was closed, the church had around 400 worshipers and one priest. She said real estate money from the closure “should have followed the parishioners, but instead it went to the general coffers.”

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Former priest charged …

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Police Force

Former priest charged with two sexual assaults, 17 indecent assaults – Granville

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 04:24:07 PM

A former Catholic priest from Sydney’s west has been charged with 19 offences relating to the sexual and indecent assault of children.

Last year (2014), police from the Blue Mountains LAC and the Sex Crimes Squad received information relating to the alleged assault of a young girl by a man at Springwood in 1986.

Detectives made inquiries into the matter and identified seven more children who had allegedly been sexually or indecently assaulted by the man at various locations through NSW between 1975 and 1992.

At the time of the offences, the man was practising as a Catholic priest.

Following their inquiries, detectives yesterday (Tuesday 28 April 2015) arrested a 70-year-old man at a property in Granville.

He was taken to Parramatta Police Station, where he was charged with:

– Two counts of sexual assault; and,

– 17 counts of indecent assault.

Granted conditional bail, the man is scheduled to appear before Parramatta Local Court on 14 May 2015.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to sexual or indecent assaults to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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MO–New clerics are asked to disinvite Finn

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

New clerics are asked to disinvite Finn
SNAP: “Or Finn should withdraw from ordinations”
Bishop’s role “hurts victims & Catholics,” group says
At least 2 KC priests are raising objections within hierarchy
Victims to Pope: “Pick a priest, not a bureaucrat” to head diocese permanently

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will

— blast Bishop Robert Finn’s plan to preside at two upcoming church ceremonies and
— disclose that two or three KC priests are objecting to Finn’s role in those events.

For the sake of healing and prevention, the victims will also urge

— eight men who will become deacons next month to disinvite Finn,
— Finn himself to voluntarily step aside from the events, and
— Pope Francis to name a parish priest, “not a headquarters bureaucrat” to permanently head the diocese.

WHEN
Wednesday, April 29 at 2:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the KC Catholic diocesan chancery office/headquarters, 20 W. 9th Street in downtown Kansas City

WHO
Two-three-four members of a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis woman who is the organization’s long time outreach director

WHY
This week, it was disclosed that convicted Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn, despite his recent resignation, plans to preside over two ordination ceremonies for new deacons next month in Kansas City.

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Child sex abuse royal commission to hold Ballarat public hearing

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold a public hearing in Ballarat from May 19.

The commission has held public hearings in every Australian capital city.

This year it will hold open hearings in regional Australia for the first time, starting in Ballarat.

It said the city had a deeply disturbing history of institutional sexual abuse.

It will hear the experiences of survivors and the impact of abuse on the town’s families and social fabric.

Ballarat survivor Andrew Collins said it was great news.

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All Are Welcome……Except Clergy Abuse Survivors and Their Advocates

UNITED STATES
The Garden of Roses: Stories of Abuse and Healing

Virginia Jones

These are reflections I wrote down after attending Mass about five ago. I need to add that I have not attended Mass on a regular basis for more than a year. I was thrown out of my parish in 2004, after handing out newspaper articles about clergy abuse in my parish. I tried to remain a faithful Catholic, but after 10 years of rejection by many parishioners and many in leadership, I decided to stop trying. Going to Church was like hitting my head against a wall or beating a dead horse. It doesn’t hurt the horse much.

Well anyway, this last Sunday I was sitting in Mass. My wanders too much. I try to pay attention to the Bible readings. Sometimes I hold onto the word of God more easily through the music.

The Psalm that was sung, not spoken in church this week was, “If today you should hear God’s voice, harden not your heart.”

I’ve heard the voice of God saying, “I love you Mommy.”

God was speaking through my child. That’s an easy one.

But what about the guy in the car who cursed me for riding through a stop sign on my bicycle. I didn’t come to a full stop. I was sitting there wobbling on my bicycle at the stop sign as I looked around to make sure it was safe to go. I guess I was supposed to put my feet on the ground and come to an absolute stop.

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Former NSW priest charged over sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A former Catholic priest accused of abusing eight children between 1975 and 1992 has been charged with several counts of sexual and indecent assault.

The 70-year-old was on Tuesday arrested at a home in Granville, in Sydney’s west, following a year-long investigation which began with allegations he abused a young girl in 1986. Seven more victims were subsequently identified during the investigation.

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St Gilbert’s school abuse inquiry suspect arrested

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

An ex-member of staff at a Worcestershire school has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault and grievous bodily harm.

The man was detained in Cambridgeshire, in connection with offences dating back to the 1960s and 70s, West Mercia Police said.

He has been bailed until June while investigations continue.

Boy aged 11 to 15 were sent to the now-closed St Gilbert’s in Hartlebury after being convicted of petty crimes.

Police launched an investigation last year into allegations of abuse at the approved Catholic school between the 1940s and 1970s after former pupils were interviewed by BBC Hereford and Worcester.

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Reflecting on the human cost of abuse and its prevention

PENNSYLVANIA
Catholic Philly

BY ARCHBISHOP CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. CAP.

Throughout the weeks of April, our Commonwealth, along with the rest of the country, has been focused on National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month.

Here in Pennsylvania, our people have come through a very difficult decade on this issue. But the abuse problem is much wider than any one state, profession or demographic group. It cuts through every level of society. Child abuse is an ugly crime; abusing children sexually compounds the evil. Every year we see many thousands of cases of child sexual abuse across the country in a full range of institutions, public and private, religious and secular.

In response, Pennsylvania legislators have passed 20 new laws aimed at preventing child abuse and providing better support for survivors. In doing so, they’ve offered a model for the nation. We owe them our gratitude for their good work. And it’s important to stress that as a Catholic community, we too are committed — just as everyone should be — to ensuring safe environments for children and young people.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has a zero tolerance policy for clergy, lay employees and volunteers who engage in sexual misconduct with children. If an accusation of this nature is made, we take immediate action by reporting the matter to law enforcement and cooperating with authorities fully in the course of their work.

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A child rape at St. Mary’s school in Tokyo, then a 50-year wait for closure

BY SIMON SCOTT
APR 29, 2015

My dear children, whom Jesus, our Saviour, has loved so much, whom he bends down to embrace and bless, come to us, stay with us. We will be the guardian angels of your innocence.

Father Jean-Marie De La Mennais, founder of The Brothers of Christian Instruction (Sermon VII)

———————————————

In late 1964, after his family moved to Japan from Australia, Jacob Bernstein was enrolled at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo. His father, Robert, a diplomat, had been sent to the Australian Embassy in the city — his first overseas posting.

One lunchtime late in 1965, Jacob says he was searching for a good spot to eat lunch when he passed the school chapel.

Being Jewish, the 11-year-old Grade 6 student didn’t eat the school lunches served in the dining room as most of the boys did. St. Mary’s, a Catholic boys’ school run by the Brothers of Christian Instruction, aka the Mennaisians, was unable to prepare food that was kosher, so he had to eat a prepared lunch from home instead.

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Sister Mary Ann Walsh, Catholic journalist and longtime bishops’ spokeswoman, dies at 67

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

David Gibson | April 28, 2015

NEW YORK (RNS) Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a quiet nun with a keen wit who led a very public life as a journalist and a longtime spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, died on Tuesday (April 28) after a tough battle with cancer.

She was 67 and passed away in a hospice in Albany next to the regional convent of the religious order she entered as a 17-year-old novice in 1964.

Walsh had moved to her native Albany from Washington last September after it was discovered that the cancer that had been in remission since 2010 had returned.

She was able to receive better care there and live out her days with other members of the Sisters of Mercy. She was transferred to the hospice on April 23 as her condition deteriorated.

“Sister Mary Ann,” as she was known to the many journalists she sparred and joked with and, with regularity, befriended, worked at the communications office of the American hierarchy for 20 years, retiring in the summer of 2014 just before she fell ill again.

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Steve Duin: Memory and moral suicide in Happy Valley

OREGON
Oregonian

By Steve Duin | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on April 28, 2015

On an otherwise beautiful afternoon in downtown Portland, the niece took the stand Monday in the felony sex-abuse trial of Mike Sperou, the Happy Valley pastor.

Michal Mitchell remembers growing up so “very happy” in Sperou’s church. In her courtroom testimony, she also recalled depression, extreme anxiety, Prozac, nightmares, suicide attempts, the bipolar diagnosis and – starting when she was in the 6th grade – how often she spent the night in her uncle’s bed.

She usually wore Calvin Klein boxers and a t-shirt, she said. Her pastor and spiritual mentor came to bed in boxer shorts, and frequently hugged the long pillow – that he dubbed “Sally” – that separated them. Asked how long this bizarre sleeping arrangement continued, the 30-year-old Mitchell said, “Until now.”

Mike Sperou is on trial for three counts of unlawful sexual penetration of a child under the age of 12. Mitchell is, mind you, a witness for the defense.

For 18 years now, seven other women who grew up in the shadow of Sperou’s bed have insisted he molested them. Their graphic accounts prompted a soul-searching schism at the North Clackamas Bible Community in 1996, but the allegations didn’t spark criminal charges until the women once again brought the complaints to police in 2013.

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Happy Valley Pastor Mike Sperou maintains innocence, denies sexually abusing children

OREGON
Oregonian

By Rick Bella | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on April 28, 2015

Pastor Mike Sperou testified in his own defense Tuesday, adamantly denying he sexually abused young girls growing up in his Happy Valley church during the 1980s and 1990s.

However, Sperou had a harder time during cross-examination, appearing to change his story from the one he told Portland police detectives in 1997.

On Tuesday, Sperou’s trial entered its 11th day, including 10 consecutive days of testimony.

Under questioning by defense attorney Steven J. Sherlag, Sperou told a Multnomah County Circuit Court jury that the core families in the North Clackamas Bible Community are very affectionate with children and that he was sorry if he ever made any of them uncomfortable when they spent the night with him in his bed. He said he contacted the girls’ parents immediately afterward to see if the children were all right.

Sperou said he also decided that he did not want to give anyone another chance to misinterpret his innocent affections.

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St. John’s Abbey to open sex-abuse files on 19 monks in legal settlement

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: April 28, 2015

A lawsuit filed by a man who was abused while he was a student at St. John’s Preparatory School yields a landmark settlement.

The monks at St. John’s Abbey worked as student counselors, teachers, parish priests and chaplains, even as they sexually abused minors. What the abbey knew of their sexual improprieties, and when, has never been made public — but that’s about to change.

Under a landmark clergy abuse settlement announced Tuesday, the personnel files of 19 monks known as sex offenders will be made public. The files will expose for the first time how the abbey addressed reports of sex abuse on its Collegeville campus, home to one of the largest Benedictine abbeys in North America.

The lawsuit was settled in much the same way as the first lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, requiring that personnel vaults be opened and that the monks’ work histories, accusations of abuse, psychological treatment, abbey correspondence and other details be made public.

Troy Bramlage, 52, is the Sauk Rapids man whose lawsuit led to the historic settlement. He said he was sexually abused as a 14-year-old freshman living at St. John’s Preparatory School by the Rev. Allen Tarlton, his English teacher.

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Editorial: Catholic Church leaders must be accountable for abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

Editorial

POSTED: 04/28/15

In the last month, convictions of two priests who were found guilty of charges related to child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been upheld by higher courts.

In 2013, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, a member of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy at St. Jerome Roman Catholic Church in northeast Philadelphia from 1998 to 1999 while the priest was in residence there.

Engelhardt denied the allegations and appealed the verdict, but died last November of an apparent heart condition while in the second year of a six-to-12-year sentence at the Coal Township Prison in Northumberland County.

State law required that the priest’s appeal be continued. On March 25, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed Engelhardt’s convictions of endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of a minor and indecent assault.

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