Pell seeks legal advice after Vatican official slams ‘mockery’ of abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Sunday 31 May 2015

George Pell has threatened legal action after a member of the Vatican’s commission for the protection of children accused him of “making a mockery” of child sexual abuse victims.

Peter Saunders, himself a victim of child sexual abuse, said Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic cardinal, had an “almost sociopathic” disregard for victims of child sexual abuse through his repeated denial of any knowledge of abuse within the church.

But a statement issued on Pell’s behalf on Monday said: “The false and misleading claims made against His Eminence are outrageous. The cardinal is left no alternative but to consult with his legal advisers.”

Saunders had earlier told Channel Nine, “I personally think his position is untenable, because he has now a catalogue of denials, he has a catalogue of denigrating people, of acting with callousness, coldheartedness, [he is] almost sociopathic I would go so far as to say.

“He is making a mockery of the papal commission, of the pope himself, but most of all, of victims and survivors.”

As the head of the Vatican’s finances, Pell is one of the Pope’s most trusted advisors and is Australia’s most senior Catholic.

During hearings of Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, held in the Victorian town of Ballarat last week, a victim of notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale accused Pell of bribing him to keep quiet about the abuse. The commission also heard Pell was involved in the decision to move Ridsdale between parishes when his abuses came to light.

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Cardinal George Pell to seek legal advice after Pope-appointed commissioner Peter Saunders labels him ‘almost sociopathic’

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Cardinal George Pell says he will seek legal advice after a specially appointed member of the Vatican’s commission on child protection accused him of being “almost sociopathic” and called his position “untenable”.

A spokesperson for Cardinal Pell called the statements by abuse survivor Peter Saunders “false and misleading”, after Mr Saunders called for Cardinal Pell to be sent back to Australia.

“From his earliest actions as an archbishop, Cardinal Pell has taken a strong stand against child sexual abuse and put in place processes to enable complaints to be brought forward and independently investigated,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“Cardinal Pell has never met Mr Saunders, who seems to have formed his strong opinions without ever having spoken to His Eminence.

“In light of all of the available material, including evidence from the Cardinal under oath, there is no excuse for broadcasting incorrect and prejudicial material.

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Catholic priest suspended over missing church funds

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Monday 1 June 2015

A CATHOLIC priest is under police investigation over thousands of pounds of missing church funds stretching back years.

Shocked parishioners were told in a statement from their bishop that Father Graeme Bell, parish priest at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Saltcoats, North Ayrshire, was facing the probe after concerns came to light in recent days.

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I could’ve been a Duggar wife: I grew up in the same church, and the abuse scandal doesn’t shock me

UNITED STATES
Salon

BROOKE ARNOLD

Unlike most of the writers covering the Duggar sex scandal, I was raised in Advanced Training Institute (ATI), the fundamentalist Christian organization with which the family is affiliated. Joshua Duggar’s confession of sexually molesting young girls in his family’s home when he was a teenager didn’t surprise me, nor should it surprise anyone with any intimate knowledge about this organization, because ATI’s theological beliefs and practices cultivate an environment where women and children are more vulnerable to rape and sexual abuse. Ironically, the same theological beliefs and practices at the heart of this scandal are the same beliefs that created the Duggars as a media phenomenon, and drew viewers and fans to their TLC show “19 Kids and Counting.”

Non-mainstream religious sects have certainly been enjoying a cultural moment on television: “The Following,” “Sister Wives,” “Breaking Amish.” Netflix’s dark comedy “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” explores the media hype around religious cult survivors in satirical detail. For me, though, that show should have come with a trigger warning, because in many ways, I am a real Kimmy Schmidt — a woman who spent her adolescence trapped inside a metaphorical bunker, and then was thrust into a world that she had never been prepared to be a part of.

The Duggars didn’t emerge from a subterranean bunker, though. They’ve been on TV promoting the fundamentalist Christian theology of ATI since their first special in 2004 (“14 Children and Pregnant Again!”). ATI is a Christian homeschool organization that hosts seminars worldwide, provides homeschooling curriculum, and even runs its own paramilitary training center. At one point, it was strongly affiliated with a Christian correspondence course law school. Its members are not concentrated in one area, and yet they maintain insular groups and often form churches in which all members are affiliated with ATI and/or follow its basic principles. Referred to as “Gothardism” within fundamentalist Christian circles, the teachings of ATI form an ideological system of practices based on the extremely strict, fundamentalist, and idiosyncratic Biblical interpretations of the organization’s founder, Bill Gothard – a man who, in 2014, stepped down as head of ATI following allegations of sexual misconduct with young girls.

The allegations against “Mr. Gothard” (as he is respectfully and worshipfully referred to by his acolytes) were an open secret among group members for many years. As a friend who worked at ATI headquarters once said to me with a wink: “The prettiest girls are always chosen to work the closest with Mr Gothard.”

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Pell under increasing pressure to return

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Cardinal George Pell is facing fresh demands to return to Australia to front the child abuse royal commission.

Peter Saunders, who was hand-picked by the Pope six months ago to be the Catholic Church’s commissioner for the protection of children, says Cardinal Pell has a moral obligation to face the commission.

Child protection advocate Hetty Johnston has echoed the call, saying the church must order the cardinal home to give evidence, even if it is only to clear his name.

Cardinal Pell, incensed over Mr Saunders’ allegations about his conduct in an interview with the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes, has issued a statement saying he is seeking legal advice over what he calls false and misleading claims.

“The Cardinal is left no alternative but to consult with his legal advisers,” a statement issued on behalf of Cardinal Pell said.

Cardinal Pell has repeatedly denied claims he tried to bribe an abuse victim to keep quiet and he was dismissive of and dealt heartlessly with victims and their families.

But Mr Saunders told 60 Minutes the cardinal’s position in the church had become untenable “because he now has a catalogue of denials”.

“Given the position of George Pell as a cardinal of the church and a position of huge authority within the Vatican, I think he is a massive, massive thorn in the side of Pope Francis’s papacy if he’s allowed to remain,” he said.

The statement issued on behalf of Cardinal Pell said he had always taken a strong stand against child sex abuse and had put in place processes to ensure complaints could be brought forward and independently investigated.

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Cardinal Pell calls in the lawyers

AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

Jun 1, 2015
KAITLIN THALS

Cardinal George Pell will consult his legal team over “false and misleading claims” about his handling of child abuse cases within the Catholic Church.

This move came after a specially appointed member of the Vatican’s commission on child protection accused Cardinal Pell of being “almost sociopathic” in his treatment of abuse victims.

Peter Saunders, who was hand-picked by the Pope six months ago to be the Catholic Church’s commissioner for the protection of children, said Cardinal Pell’s position in the church had become “untenable”.

“He has a catalogue of denigrating people, of acting with callousness, cold-heartedness, almost sociopathic I would go as far as to say, this lack of care,” Mr Saunders told the Nine Network Sunday night.

Cardinal Pell has consistently denied allegations made against him in regard to his handling of child abuse by clergymen.

By Monday morning, a spokesperson for the cardinal had condemned Mr Saunders’ comments.

“From his earliest actions as an archbishop Cardinal Pell has taken a strong stand against child sexual abuse and put in place processes, to enable complaints to be brought forward and independently investigated,” the spokesperson said statement.

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George Pell ‘callous, almost sociopathic’ towards abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Cardinal George Pell’s record with abuse survivors makes his position ‘untenable’ according to one of the Pope’s child protection officials, Peter Saunders, himself a victim of sexual abuse.

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Pell under increasing pressure to return

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Cardinal George Pell is facing fresh demands to return to Australia to front the child abuse royal commission.

Peter Saunders, who was hand-picked by the Pope six months ago to be the Catholic Church’s commissioner for the protection of children, says Cardinal Pell has a moral obligation to face the commission.

Child protection advocate Hetty Johnston has echoed the call, saying the church must order the cardinal home to give evidence, even if it is only to clear his name.

Cardinal Pell, incensed over Mr Saunders’ allegations about his conduct in an interview with the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes, has issued a statement saying he is seeking legal advice over what he calls false and misleading claims.

‘The Cardinal is left no alternative but to consult with his legal advisers,’ a statement issued on behalf of Cardinal Pell said.

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‘UK shy of enough land to lock up all child sex abusers’

UNITED KINGDOM
Press TV (Iran)

Britain’s child protection chief says the UK does not have enough land to build prisons and put all of its child sex abusers behind bars.

The Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England, Sue Berelowitz, who is currently chairing a government inquiry into the problem, pointed out that the public would be shocked by the sheer scale of the problem when she reports in November, the Telegraph said.

She blamed the spread of pornography through the Internet and social media for the growing problem of an increasingly sexualized society.

Speaking at the Hay Festival, Mrs Berelowitz said: “We live in a highly sexualized world in which for the most part it is considered quite acceptable to do as they want with females, and too many females think that is something they must comply with because they think it is a part of growing up.”

“Child porn and the proliferation of indecent images of children, and all the stuff we are seeing on social media which is undoubtedly having an impact on young people growing up and their impressions of sex and sexuality.

“I want us to keep in mind that people who sexually abuse children are somehow another breed. They are here and in our midst.

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After indictment, Wheaton College removes Dennis Hastert …

ILLINOIS
Washington Post

After indictment, Wheaton College removes Dennis Hastert from center named after him

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey May 31

The scandal brewing around Dennis Hastert this week spread into his evangelical faith community with news that he stepped down from a board position at Wheaton College – the prominent evangelical school from which he graduated and where he established a major research and study program.

The former Speaker of the House has resigned from the school’s board of advisers of its J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy, a $10 million project housed in the college’s politics, international relations, business and economics departments. On Sunday, the school announced that it changed the name of the center to the Wheaton College Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy.

Allegations surfaced this week that Hastert sexually molested a male victim to whom he recently paid hush money in violation of federal banking laws, according to a federal law enforcement official briefed on the case.

Hastert, 73, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges that he violated banking laws in a bid to pay $3.5 million to someone to cover up “past misconduct.” Hastert, who has been a lobbyist in Washington since his 2007 retirement from Congress, attempted to hide more than $950,000 in withdrawals, according to the indictment. The indictment did not spell out the exact nature of the “prior misconduct” by Hastert.

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Cardinal Pell described as ‘almost sociopathic’…

AUSTRALIA
Daily Life

June 1, 2015

Kerrie Armstrong

Cardinal George Pell is “a dangerous individual” and “almost sociopathic” in his response to child sexual abuse victims, Pope Francis’ specially-appointed commissioner for the protection of children, Peter Saunders, says.

In an interview with Channel 9’s 60 Minutes, Mr Saunders said Cardinal Pell had a “moral responsibility” to front the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and address allegations that he knew of priests abusing children in Ballarat and elsewhere but did nothing to stop it. Cardinal Pell has denied these accusations.

“I personally think that his position is untenable, because he has now a catalogue of denials,” Mr Saunders said in the interview which aired on Sunday night. “He has a catalogue of denigrating people, of acting with callousness, cold-heartedness – almost sociopathic, I would go as far as to say – this lack of care.”

Pope Francis last December appointed Mr Saunders, himself a survivor of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, to the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors to ensure the Catholic Church acted with greater accountability and transparency in relation to child sexual abuse.

Mr Saunders said by refusing to front the royal commission until he was specifically invited, Cardinal Pell was “making a mockery of the Papal Commission, of the Pope himself, but most of all, of the victims and the survivors”.

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Walk for reconciliation draws thousands to downtown Ottawa

CANADA
CBC News

An estimated 7,000 to 10,000 people walked through downtown Ottawa-Gatineau in an effort to “transform and renew” the relationship between aboriginal people and other Canadians as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada prepares to release its final report on Tuesday.

“It’s a dark chapter in Canada’s history, no question. It was cultural genocide,” said National Chief Perry Bellegarde, head of the Assembly of First Nations, who took part in the walk on Sunday.

“There’s a lot of young ones that didn’t come home to their families, communities. There’s a lot of death there. We’ve got to remember and honour those [deaths], that we learn from that and honour their spirits.”

The commission, struck in 2009, has been writing an exhaustive history of the residential school system. The commissioners interviewed more than 7,000 people across the country and the final report, which is expected to be released on June 2, will span six volumes and more than two million words.

At least 6,000 aboriginal children died while in the residential school system, according to commission chair Justice Murray Sinclair, though poor record-keeping has made an exact figure difficult to pinpoint.

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Pell seeks legal advice over claims

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS
31 May 2015

Cardinal George Pell is seeking legal advice over what he’s called false and misleading claims about his handling of child abuse cases within the Catholic Church.

Peter Saunders, who was hand-picked by the Pope six months ago to be the Catholic Church’s commissioner for the protection of children, says Cardinal Pell’s position in the church has become “untenable”.

“The false and misleading claims made against His Eminence are outrageous. The Cardinal is left no alternative but to consult with his legal advisers,” a statement issued on behalf of Cardinal Pell said.

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‘A Top Cardinal, Pell, ‘Reverses’ Himself On Critical Fact When Placed Under Oath, It Appears

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

One of the single most important lessons I have learned in following closely the Vatican’s scandals for over five years is that you cannot really trust Vatican officials’ statements as the “full truth so help me God!”

This was just evident in a recent investigative TV report about Cardinal George Pell. Peter Saunders, a member of the pope’s abuse commission, as well as a parent and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by two priests, spoke about the pope’s shameful top financial aide, Cardinal Pell, in a remarkable interview here on Australia’s 60 Minutes.

In the 60 Minutes segment, two video excerpts of Pell’s testimony on a key fact are shown. Pell makes a denial in an informal 2002 60 Minutes interview of a significant fact relating to a young abuse victim who committed suicide. In the second video in 2013, apparently under oath before a parliamentary investigation commission, with serious legal consequences for false statements, Pell “suddenly” remembered the significant fact and appears to have reversed himself completely.

Pell’s seemingly long history of denials include his acknowledgement in 2013 that he had “probably” been shown a photograph of the slashed wrists of the child abuse victim, after he previously indicated inn 2002 that he had never seen it. The victim’s parents had earlier shown Pell the photo of their daughter Emma, who was abused by Fr. Kevin O’Donnell. These parents’ other daughter, Katie, was also a victim of this priest. Emma went on to take her own life in 2008.

In a 2002 interview with 60 Minutes reporter, Richard Carleton, Pell denied he had ever seen the picture of the slashed wrists, before changing his position two years ago. In his recent slippery response, Pell stated, “Probably, but let’s put this in context. Now we know that was an attempted suicide, you’ve got to understand, this was a…. the production of this photo was something sudden, I didn’t have a chance for a considered response.”

Right! Why would anyone expect Pell to remember a picture of the slashed writs of a priest child abuse victim shown to him by upset parents? If the pope wants to maintain even a prayer of credibility on curtailing priest child abuse and on holding Church leaders accountable, Pell must go pronto!

Pope Francis appealingly called on Catholics to “create a mess” but, instead, by his slick approach, he has paradoxically created his own expanding mess, which may be his last as pope! Many lifetime indoctrinated Catholics may behave as “dumb sheep” at times; I did, but few of them in the Internet Age remain as “blind sheep”.

Until now, the Vatican has mostly avoided various national prosecutors. The pope and his high priced consultants and lawyers have also so far buried the financial scandals in over hyped committees that he still controls unaccountably, most significantly with no public audits of the Vatican’s own wealth even on the horizon.

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FORMER LIBDEM MP INSISTS CHILD ABUSE ALLEGATIONS ARE ‘CONSPIRACY’ AGAINST HIM

UNITED KINGDOM
Breitbart

by SARKIS ZERONIAN
31 May 2015

Allegations that a politician was among those accused of repeatedly raping a girl over a four year period have prompted a former Liberal Democrat MP to identify himself to investigators in order to deny it.

The MP in question spoke to the investigative website Exaro on condition of anonymity in order to rebut his alleged victim’s account of long-term sexual abuse. He cannot be named for legal reasons but Exaro states that “he has no publicly-known connection with Staffordshire.”

Earlier this week Esther Baker, 32, waived anonymity to speak to Sky News about being sexually abused in woodland on Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. She described being raped over a four year period from the age of six by the former MP, as well as other men including a dead Labour Cabinet Minister, a Lord and a judge. The abuse is said to have occurred while uniformed police officers stood guard, some of whom are said to have joined in.

Exaro reports that a further two women have come forward with similar allegations against the same politician. One of the women contacted Staffordshire Police after seeing Baker on Sky News, but the other pre-dated the news footage having come forward through the Chuch of England last month. The Church of England has no connection to the abuse allegations.

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Amnesty International calls for Kincora to be included in UK child abuse inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Live

31 MAY 2015
BY CHRIS MCCULLOUGH

One of the Kincora Boys’ Home victims is taking legal action to force a full independent inquiry into the child abuse with the power to compel witnesses and the security services to hand over documents.

Gary Hoy, who was abused by two of the men who were subsequently convicted, is due to challenge Kincora’s exclusion from the inquiry in Belfast High Court tomorrow.

The move comes as Amnesty International has also called for the investigation into child abuse at the home in east Belfast to be included in the wider Westminster child abuse inquiry.

The government has so far refused calls for the paedophile abuse scandal at the Belfast home to be included within the scope of the inquiry established by Home Secretary Theresa May and headed by New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard.

The judicial review case, to commence a three-day hearing in Belfast High Court tomorrow morning, will hear allegations that MI5 was involved in covering up the sexual abuse of children in order to protect an intelligence-gathering operation it ran in the 1970s.

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MO– KC Catholic official lies about lawsuit, SNAP says

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Sunday, May 31

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

The Kansas City Archdiocese’s school superintendent claims she hasn’t read a copy of a lawsuit against her that was filed at least two weeks ago. We think she’s lying.

[Kansas City Star]

The suit was filed in mid-May. In it, a Kansas City Kansas mom charges that Catholic officials falsely accused her of child abuse, ignored bullying against her daughter and then, in retaliation against her, called a state child abuse hotline accusing her of mistreating her own daughter.

[KSHB]

According to today’ KC Star, “a spokeswoman provided a response from archdiocesan superintendent of schools Kathy O’Hara, who said no one would be able to comment on the lawsuit because the archdiocese had not yet seen it.”

The suit was disclosed publicly on May 18 by KSHB Channel 4 in Kansas City by reporter Brendaliss Gonzalez.

[The Raw Story]

Among those accused of wrongdoing in the case are O’Hara, a priest, and Maureen Engen, the principal of Sacred Heart Catholic school in Shawnee where the alleged bullying took place.

This mother, Melissa Schroeder, did everything right in this case. She consulted with doctors, got help for her daughter, tried to stop bullying, persisted when school staff took little or no action, went up the “chain of command” in the archdiocese, called police and publicly spoken out against this mistreatment.. We commend her for her courage and compassion and hope she and her family feel some comfort knowing that her lawsuit may shine a bright light on this awful behavior by Catholic church and school officials.

We agree with her attorney, Sarah Brown, who said she should be “praised, not persecuted.”

We hope that anyone who might have seen, suspected or suffered wrongdoing of any kind in the Kansas City archdiocese will speak up. Only by coming forward, calling police, filing lawsuits, exposing misdeeds, and deterring cover ups will kids be safer from bullying and abuse.

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Cardinal George Pell described as ‘sociopathic’, ‘callous’ by Pope-appointed abuse commissioner

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A specially appointed member of the Vatican’s commission on child protection has accused Cardinal George Pell of being “almost sociopathic” in his treatment of victims.

Peter Saunders, himself a survivor of abuse, called for Cardinal Pell to be sent back to Australia and said he had a moral responsibility to appear before the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

Mr Saunders was appointed by Pope Francis last year to the new commission to protect children.

His comments follow the royal commission’s latest hearings in Ballarat which last week focused on the crimes of priest Gerald Ridsdale.

Cardinal Pell has denied he tried to bribe a victim to keep quiet and that he was dismissive of victims and their families.

“Personally I think that his position is untenable because he has now a catalogue of denials,” Mr Saunders told Channel Nine.

“He has a catalogue of denigrating people, of acting with callousness, cold-heartedness, almost sociopathic I would go as far as to say, this lack of care.

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‘He is making a mockery of it’

AUSTRALIA
Vocal Republic

CARDINAL George Pell has been condemned over his remedy of abuse victims by the person hand-picked by the Pope to guard youngsters within the Catholic Church.

In a unprecedented assault aired on Channel 9’s 60 Minutes, Peter Saunders stated the cardinal had acted with “callousness” and “cold-heartedness”.

Pope Francis’s specifically appointed commissioner for the safety of youngsters added:“I feel it’s essential that he’s moved apart — that he’s despatched again to Australia and that the Pope takes the strongest motion towards him.”

Up to now fortnight, the Royal Fee into institutional responses to youngster sexual abuse heard damning proof in Ballarat towards Father Gerald Ridsdale, Australia’s worst paedophile priest. Witnesses accused Pell of ignoring warnings about Ridsdale, and one claims Pell tried to silence him with a bribe, an allegation he has beforehand denied.

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Pope’s top advisor says “callous” Cardinal Pell should step down

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A top advisor to the Pope has slammed Cardinal George Pell, saying Australia’s most senior Catholic should step down from his position at the Vatican.

Peter Saunders, who was hand-picked by Pope Francis six months ago to work as the Catholic Church’s commissioner for the protection of children, said Cardinal Pell’s position was “untenable”.

Speaking to 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown, Mr Saunders said the cardinal’s repeated denials concerning his alleged knowledge of the occurrence of child abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests in Victoria were “cold” and “callous”.

“I personally think that his position is untenable. Because he has now a catalogue of denials – he has a catalogue of denigrating people, of acting with callousness, cold-heartedness.”

Cardinal Pell, who is the Head of Finances at the Vatican, has been under fire since fresh allegations emerged last week at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse in Ballarat, that he deliberately turned a blind eye to child molestation.

Mr Pell’s history of denials include his acknowledgement in 2013 that he had “probably” been shown a photograph of the slashed wrists of a child abuse victim, after he previously said he had never seen it.

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Stift Lambach: Pater nach Sex mit Bursch suspendiert

OSTERREICH
Kurier

[A priest in Upper Austria has been suspended and faced allegations that he abused minors.]

Die zweiwöchige Abwesenheit eines Paters im Stift Lambach, OÖ, ließ die Gerüchteküche brodeln. Nun teilte die Stiftsleitung über ihre Homepage mit: Pater Pius H. war bis 27. Mai in Untersuchungshaft.

Der Pater soll am 11. Mai in Linz einen minderjährigen Buben für sexuelle Dienste bezahlt haben. H. soll dabei “sehr stark alkoholisiert gewesen sein” und bedauere den Vorfall sehr, sagt Abt Maximilian und kündigt “drastische Konsequenzen” an: “Wir arbeiten offen und eng mit den ermittelnden Behörden zusammen. Nach Abschluss des gerichtlichen Verfahrens werden kirchenrechtliche Schritte gesetzt.” Denkbar seien der Ausschluss aus dem Stift bzw. ein Berufsverbot. “Darüber wird in Rom entschieden.”

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Christian Reputation Repair Expert Says He Turned Duggar Family Down As Clients

UNITED STATES
Inquiistr

As you likely know, the Duggar family has agreed to talk to Megyn Kelly of Fox News for an hour-long special, to talk about the family’s decisions in dealing with Josh Duggar’s alleged molestation of five younger girls (at least one as young as five) when he was 14-15 years old.

What may not be clear is that the family is scrambling to restore their reputation as moral leaders — and it isn’t working. They may hope for a spinoff series, or even the restoration of 19 Kids And Counting to be the result of this interview, but behind the scenes, it appears that they’re seeking help to fix the damage done — not to the victims, but to their political and television careers.

The Duggar family is reported to have contacted at least one expert on PR and reputation repair, a Christian reputation manager and publicist, who says he’s turned them down. His name is Hunter Frederick, and judging from his statement, it appears he’s managing his own reputation — by making sure he isn’t associated with the Duggar family.

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Updated suit alleges drunken teacher, unreported gun and cover-up by St. Pius X School

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Brendan Kirby | bkirby@al.com
on May 22, 2015

New allegations against teachers and administrators at St. Pius X School in Mobile paint a picture of a school out of control – a drunken teacher, attempts to cover up a gun brought to school by a student and unpunished assaults.

Those details are in an updated, 41-page lawsuit filed this week by lawyers for a group of former students at the Catholic school. The updated suit also accuses school officials of destroying disciplinary records in an effort to evade lawyers for the plaintiffs.

Originally filed as separate complaints by four different plaintiffs, the new suit combines those cases and adds 11 more students as plaintiffs. Most of them no longer are enrolled there.

Attorneys allege that reckless and negligent conduct by school officials began in 2007 and continues to the present day.

“They’ve had a lot of problems,” said David Kennedy, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys. “The entire environment was just out of control and mismanaged … with no oversight from the Archdiocese (of Mobile).”

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‘We’re a family. We’re unified’: St. Pius X supporters rally around parish, school

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Carol McPhail | cmcphail@al.com
on May 31, 2015

Hundreds of parishioners processed around the property of St. Pius X Catholic Church on Sunday and prayed for their parish and school in the midst of accusations over bullying, school mismanagement and allegations involving the priest.

“We’re Catholic. We’re a family. We’re unified,” said John Bruemmer following mass. “We’re going through some dark times, and we’ll come out of it.”

An estimated 500 people, more than twice the usual number at St. Pius X, attended the 10:30 a.m. mass at the Midtown parish. Parishioners said they organized the event to fight back against what they said are unfounded accusations playing out in court and in the media.

“We want everyone to know we’re not going to stand for this anymore,” said Summer Jacobs, a St. Pius parishioner with two children enrolled in the PK4-8th-grade school.

Earlier in May, lawyers for a group of former St. Pius students combined four separate complaints into a 41-page lawsuit that alleges, among other things, that a student brought a gun to school, a teacher was intoxicated on the job, and that school officials failed to stop bullying and covered it up. The lawsuit also contends that St. Pius Pastor Johnny Savoie refused to disclose information related to an accusation that he had a sexual relationship with a minor while serving in Baldwin County almost a decade ago.

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This bishop helped the careers of Cardinal George Pell and Father Gerald Ridsdale

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

Australia’s famous Cardinal George Pell has acknowledged that his early career was helped by a generous mentor — the late Bishop James Patrick O’Collins. Research by Broken Rites has shown that Bishop O’Collins also helped certain other priests — for example, the child-abuse criminal Father Gerald Ridsdale. Pell and Ridsdale eventually became two of the most widely publicised Catholics in Australia. Appropriately, a photograph of Ridsdale and Pell appears in the right-hand column on every page of the Broken Rites website.

When young George Pell and Gerald Ridsdale were growing up in the city of Ballarat, Bishop James O’Collins was in charge of the Catholic Church’s Ballarat diocese which extends throughout the western half of the state of Victoria. Pell and Ridsdale were recruited (separately) into the priesthood during Bishop O’Collins’s reign.

The rise of George Pell
George Pell was born in the city of Ballarat in the state of Victoria in 1941 (seven years younger than Gerald Ridsdale). In that same year, James O’Collins became the new bishop of the Ballarat Catholic diocese.

Although he never became an archbishop, O’Collins was certainly one of Australia’s most influential Catholic leaders.

O’Collins was a strong supporter of the conservative Catholic layman B.A. Santamaria, who operated a political organisation in Australia called “The Movement”. O’Collins was a member of a committee of three bishops who were appointed by the national organisation of bishops to liaise with “Bob” Santamaria on behalf of the church hierarchy.

George Pell did his secondary education at St Patrick’s Christian Brothers College in Ballarat, finishing in the late 1950s. He was then sponsored by Bishop O’Collins’s diocese to enter the Corpus Christi seminary in Melbourne to train as a priest to serve in the Ballarat diocese.

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Convicted Child Sex Abuser Allegedly Hosted And Honored By IDF’s Chief Rabbi

UNITED STATES
Failed Messiah

Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

The Chief Rabbi of the IDF, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, allegedly had a prominent guest over the Shavuot holiday – convicted child molester Rabbi Mordechai “Motti” Elon.

Elon, the former rosh yeshiva (dean) of the flagship Zionist Orthodox yeshiva, Yeshivat HaKotel in the Old City of Jerusalem, was treated as a guest of honor by Peretz, who is a state employee, even though Elon was convicted in August 2013 of molesting a minor teen boy, and even though Elon has been completely unrepentant.

Before that trial and Elon’s conviction, the Takana Forum, Zionist Orthodoxy’s and Modern Orthodoxy’s internal body that deals with clergy abuser and related problems, heard enough credible damning evidence to force Elon to resign from his Yeshivat HaKotel post, leave Jerusalem and promise to stop teaching public classes.

But within weeks of leaving Yeshivat HaKotel and the city in 2006, Elon – the scion of one of the most prominent Zionist Orthodox family in the country (his brother was a leading politician, his father was a Supreme Court judge and a published scholar of Jewish law, another brother is a district court judge and yet another is a biblical scholar) – resumed teaching. Not long after that, he began planning to return to Jerusalem in another public teaching role.

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Open letter to Ballarat from St Patrick’s College student leaders

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By ST PATRICK’S COLLEGE STUDENT LEADERS May 29, 2015

To all members of the broader St Patrick’s College and Ballarat communities, and especially to the many victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

As a student body we are well aware of the events currently unfolding in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse being heard in Ballarat.

The details revealed in the hearing are simply unfathomable to the students of today. We are hearing of heinous and disgusting crimes to which nobody should ever have been subjected.

We offer our deepest sympathies for the truly reprehensible actions that have faced past students at the hands of those who had been trusted. It is truly impossible for us to fully comprehend the pain and grief that has fallen upon these individuals, and their siblings, peers, families and the broader community.

These crimes are something that should never be denied or excused.

Many boys have tied a ribbon onto the gates of this College to offer support, prayers and thoughts for the victims. It is a small gesture which says much. It says the current student community at St Patrick’s College is offering our deepest sympathies and assuring the broader community that the College, as it stands now, is an institution that is acknowledging and apologising for its past, but also hoping to assist in the healing process and then building from that.

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Irish Show Voting Is Only Way To Make Pope Accountable: USA, Germany, Italy & Others Will Soon Follow

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Pope Francis, clearly a well disguised absolute autocrat and temporary monarch, has predictably avoided commenting on his unprecedented defeat, over his self serving marriage policy, that Irish Catholic voters overwhelming handed him recently. Nor has the pope commented on the pointed remarks of his own papal commissioner for child protection, Peter Saunders, who says Cardinal George Pell is a “dangerous individual” and “almost sociopathic“. Learn here more about the investigation that Pell fears, and why he fears it, at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse.

.It is also clear by now, to me at least, that the masterful media manipulating pope will reform the Vatican’s top down autocratic structure and harmful sexual policies ONLY IF COMPELLED by outside governments to do so. The Irish voters by a substantial majority have shown all democratically elected leaders in Ireland for sure, but also in the USA, Germany, Italy, the UK, Australia, the Philippines, Austria, Switzerland, the Dominican Republic, Poland, and many other nations, that these leaders must rein in the unaccountable Vatican and curb its harmful and self interested policies that it seeks to impose on all citizens, not just Catholics. The Vatican must be shown that the Middle Ages are over!

The honest Irish have shown that the media friendly pope may be a popular image and refreshing change for many, but his views on sexual morality carry little weight in the voting booth, even in the modern papacy’s most Catholic country, Ireland. Voters worldwide now can be expected to follow the bold lead of a large majority of Irish voters, whose monumental action and effective example would have made my Donegal born and bred Irish Catholic parents cheer!

Peter Saunders, a parent and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by two priests, spoke about the pope’s shameful top financial aide, Cardinal Pell, in a remarkable interview here on Australia’s 60 Minutes. Again predictably, Pell declined to be interviewed. Instead, he issued a typical threatening “legalese” statement, noting “… While [Commission] members [like Saunders] are of course entitled to their views and opinions, the recently approved Statutes of the [ pope’s priest child abuse] Commission make it clear that the Commission’s role does not include commenting on individual cases, nor does the Commission have the capacity to investigate individual cases.”

Nice try, George Pell, but the UK’s Saunders retained his non-clerical free speech rights and Irish voters retained their free voting rights. Saunders is not subject to the Vatican’s shameful code of “Omerta”, the protective secrecy that puts the protection of clerics ahead of protecting defenseless children. Bishop Scicluna found Omerta to be the pervasive and dominant Vatican code of silence.

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Pope’s top advisor says “callous” Cardinal George Pell should step down from the Vatican

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A top advisor to the Pope on child protection has slammed Cardinal George Pell, saying Australia’s most senior Catholic should step down from his position at the Vatican.

Peter Saunders, who was hand-picked by Pope Francis six months ago to work as the Catholic Church’s commissioner for the protection of children, said Cardinal Pell’s position was “untenable”.

Speaking to 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown, Mr Saunders said the cardinal’s repeated denials concerning his knowledge over the occurrence of child abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests in Victoria were “cold” and “callous”.

“I personally think that his position is untenable. Because he has now a catalogue of denials – he has a catalogue of denigrating people, of acting with callousness, cold-heartedness.

“[It’s] almost sociopathic, I would go as far to say, this lack of care,” Mr Saunders said.

Cardinal Pell, who is the Head of Finances at the Vatican, has been under fire since fresh allegations emerged last week at the royal commission into child abuse in Ballarat, that he deliberately turned a blind eye to child molestation.

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Truth and Reconciliation Commission set to release report Tuesday

CANADA
Our Windosr

OurWindsor.Ca
By Joanna Smith

OTTAWA — The red-brick façade and towering spire of the building remain, but the feelings they evoke in Shirley Horn has changed over the nearly seven decades she has been connected to the place.

Horn, a great-grandmother from Missanabie Cree First Nation, was 7 years old when she first entered the building as a student at the Shingwauk Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Now, Shingwauk Hall is one of the oldest buildings on the campus of Algoma University and Horn, who had already gone back to earn a fine arts degree there in 2005, has been named its first chancellor.

“I’m 74 years old now and I’m looking at it through a different lens than when I first walked up those steps at the age of 7, that same building, and what I’m asking myself at this time of my life is: what is my responsibility in this? How am I going to make the change?” says Horn, who will be sworn in as the titular head of the post-secondary institution at a convocation ceremony June 13.

Prior to that, Horn will attend the closing events as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission prepares to release its findings Tuesday in Ottawa.

Horn was sent to St. Johns Indian Residential School, near her home in Chapleau, Ont., when she was 5 years old and then, two years later, she was transferred to Shingwauk, where she stayed for six years.

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Justice Murray Sinclair shares vision for Truth and Reconciliation

CANADA
Our Windsor

OurWindsor.Ca
By Joanna Smith

As Justice Murray Sinclair prepares to wrap up his work as chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he spoke to the Star about his what it was like to bear witness to the legacy of the residential school system in such painful detail and his vision for relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada.

What we said to people was, “We don’t need you to feel that you are connected to this history. We need you to feel that you are part of the future and that you’re part of the solution, and therefore we have to talk about what your role is going to be going forward . . .” We ran into a lot of the people at the beginning, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, who said reconciliation is never going to happen. My (response was) you don’t have to believe that it is going to happen. You have to believe that it should happen.

What does reconciliation look like to you?

Reconciliation is always about relationships. It’s about bringing balance to the relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. At an individual level, people often ask, “What can I do?” My answer to that is always, “Look at how you believe and how you behave and how you think and change that.”

What can efforts to promote awareness of Canada’s history with residential schools learn from Holocaust education?

You have to look at the history of how the Holocaust was treated publicly after the Second World War. It could have disappeared from the memory of everybody if world leaders hadn’t done certain things as a result of that phenomenon . . . There are laws in place that say you actually can’t deny the Holocaust. If there were laws in place that said you cannot deny the fact of residential schools and the abuse that occurred, that would certainly move this conversation into a better framework.

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Deaths at Canada’s Indian residential schools need more study: commission

CANADA
Lillooet News

CHINTA PUXLEY / THE CANADIAN PRESS
MAY 31, 2015

The commission that has spent five years examining one of the darkest chapters in Canada’s history is winding up its work with a key question left unanswered — exactly how many aboriginal children died in residential schools?

Justice Murray Sinclair, who heads the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, says the federal government stopped recording the deaths around 1920 after the chief medical officer at Indian Affairs suggested children were dying at an alarming rate.

“He was fired,” Sinclair says. “The government stopped recording deaths of children in residential schools, we think, probably because the rates were so high.”

Sinclair has guessed up to 6,000 children may have died at the schools but it’s impossible to say with certainty.

“We think this is a situation that needs further study,” he said.

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A look at residential schools commissioner

CANADA
Metro

The Canadian Press

A look a the life and career of Justice Murray Sinclair, head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:

Born — 1951, near Selkirk, Man. Both his parents and grandparents were sent to residential schools.

Education — Attended the University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba, graduating from the faculty of law at the University of Manitoba in 1979. Honorary degrees from the University of Manitoba and the University of Ottawa.

Career — Called to the Manitoba bar in 1980 and specialized in aboriginal legal issues. Appointed associate chief judge of the provincial court of Manitoba in 1988. Co-commissioner of Manitoba’s Aboriginal Justice Inquiry the same year. Presided over a 2000 inquest into the deaths of 12 children in the pediatric cardiac surgery program at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre. Adjunct professor at the University of Manitoba.

Family — He and wife, Katherine Morrisseau-Sinclair, have four children: Manon Beaudrie, James, Déne and Gazheek. One granddaughter, Sarah Fontaine-Sinclair.

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Residential schools impacted nearly all aboriginal social indicators: TRC chair

CANADA
CTV

Michelle Zilio, CTVNews.ca
@michellezilio

Published Sunday, May 31, 2015

The chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) says next week’s report will show that the residential school system had an impact on nearly all of the social markers used to measure the state of affairs for aboriginal people in Canada.

Speaking with CTV’s Question Period, Justice Murray Sinclair, who lead the TRC, offered some details about Tuesday’s highly-anticipated report into residential schools.

“In our report, which we are releasing, we talk about each of the social indicators that society uses to mark the state of affairs of the indigenous peoples of this country,” said Sinclair.

“And we point out that it’s very rare to find to any social marker in this country that doesn’t have some connection, directly or indirectly, to the residential school experience.”

The residential school system was established in the 19th century as a way to assimilate Canada’s aboriginal children; the last one closed in 1996.

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Cardinal Pell

AUSTRALIA
60 Minutes

60 Minutes broadcasts an extraordinary development surrounding Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell.

“I think it’s critical that George Pell is moved aside, that he is sent back to Australia, and that the Pope takes the strongest action against him.” These are the damning words of Peter Saunders, the man handpicked by Pope Francis to sit on the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

In an interview with Tara Brown in Rome, Peter gives a wide-ranging and damning assessment of Cardinal Pell’s actions to date, and calls for Pope Francis to move against him.

“He is making a mockeryof the papal commission, of the Pope himself, but most of all of the victims and the survivors. More importantly, anybody who is a serious obstacle to the work of the commission and to the work of the Pope in trying to clean up the church’s act over this matter needs to be taken aside very quickly and removed from any kind of position of influence.”

STATEMENT BY SPOKESPERSON FOR CARDINAL GEORGE PELL

31 May 2015

Cardinal Pell has not seen the material that 60 Minutes is planning to broadcast this evening.

The Cardinal has not met and has not been approached by Mr Saunders.

Cardinal Pell knows of the important work Mr Saunders has done as a survivor of abuse to assist victims, including the establishment of a victims survivors group in the United Kingdom and more recently serving as member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors established by the Holy Father to develop policy to achieve this.

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‘No logical reason’ not to have women priests – senior priest in wealthy Irish parish

IRELAND
Irish Independent

John Mulligan

31/05/2015

A senior priest at one of Dublin’s wealthiest suburbs has told parishioners that he sees “no logical reason” why there can’t be women priests.

He also said the Church will have to reassess its approach to a wide range of issues following the groundswell of support last Friday week for same-sex marriage.

Father Gary Darby, a co-parish priest in Portmarnock, Co Dublin, told his congregation at mass today that the vote has been a wake-up call for the church.

He recieved rapturous applause for his sermon, in which he voiced opinions that would have caused significant controversy only a few years, or even months ago.

He said that most young people he knows don’t attend mass because they say the church is now irrelevant to them. But Fr Darby said that he believed young people didn’t attend mass because they also felt judged and shamed by the institution. He also told parishioners that he also felt the same when he was growing up.

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World Meeting of Families ‘not affected’ by allegations against Vatican archbishop

UNITED STATES
Catholic Herald (UK)

Investigation into Archbishop Paglia’s financial affairs ‘do not impact’ plans for September gathering

An Italian investigation into a Vatican archbishop’s financial affairs will not affect this year’s World Meeting of Families, the Archbishop of Philadelphia has said.

Archbishop Charles Chaput said he was saddened to learn that Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, head of the Pontifical Council for the Family and lead Vatican organiser of September’s World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, is under investigation by Italian prosecutors for alleged embezzlement, “and will pray for him”.

“At the same time,” Archbishop Chaput said, “I assure everyone that matters facing him do not impact our plans for September. We continue to work without interruption and joyfully anticipate welcoming our Holy Father and the world to Philadelphia later this year.”

Reports in European media outlets say the investigation stems from 2011 when the archbishop led the Diocese of Terni in Italy, and diocesan funds may have been used improperly in a scheme to purchase then resell a 14th-century Italian castle at a profit.

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Yes vote forces Vatican rethink of gay ‘message’

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Claire Mc Cormack and Nick Bramhill

The outcome of Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum will be “a point of tension” at this year’s Synod of Bishops in Rome, leading Vatican experts told the Sunday Independent.

Although Pope Francis and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church had anticipated a Yes vote, experts believe the volume of people in favour was “surprising” to the Holy See.

Others admit that while the Church’s teaching on marriage is “not up for debate right now”, serious discussion on how the Church interacts with members of the gay and lesbian community is looming.
The “working document” for this year’s Synod of Bishops on the Family, which will take place in October, will be published over the coming weeks.

Following the global interest in our referendum, experts are now confident the Church’s response to so called “irregular” relationships – including civil marriages, co-habitation and same- sex couples – will be on the agenda.

“There will be bishops who will say that we need to do something to affirm what is good in these relationships even if they are not ideal and many bishops will be ready to say we need to affirm very clearly the Church’s teaching about these things and I think that will be a point of tension,” said Francis X Rocca, Vatican correspondent for The Wall Street Journal said.

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Lawsuit says Kansas archdiocese retaliated against mother who tried to stop bullying

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

BY JUDY L. THOMAS
jthomas@kcstar.com

A Shawnee woman is suing the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, alleging that officials lodged a false child abuse complaint with the state against her after she raised concerns about her daughter being bullied at school.

Also named as defendants are Sacred Heart Catholic Church and its school principal.

The lawsuit, filed by Melissa Schroeder this month in Johnson County District Court, alleges that the bullying took place at the Shawnee school in 2014 and caused serious health issues for her 10-year-old daughter. After Schroeder tried to get the school to resolve the problem, the lawsuit says, officials retaliated by making a false report with the state child welfare agency, saying among other things that Schroeder had requested an exorcism for her daughter.

“What happened to her was appalling,” said Schroeder’s attorney, Sarah Brown. “This is about a mom trying to get the bullying to stop and then having the church retaliate against her.

“Catholic officials should praise — not persecute — brave parents who report hurtful actions against kids.”

A spokeswoman for the defendants provided a response from archdiocesan superintendent of schools Kathy O’Hara, who said no one would be able to comment on the lawsuit because the archdiocese had not yet seen it.

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The Paedophile Hunter

AUSTRALIA
60 Minutes

How would you know if your children are being groomed online? Preying on kids has exploded in the digital age as social media makes targeting victims chillingly easy for paedophiles. Their false identities and shifting online profiles mean police face an almost impossible task to catch them. The statistics are frightening. But now vigilantes are using the paedophiles’ own techniques against them. Leading the chase are people like Stinson Hunter, the Paedophile Hunter. This Sunday, Allison Langdon joins Stinson on the hunt for paedophiles and while the ethics are questionable, the results are undeniable.

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STATEMENT BY SPOKESPERSON FOR CARDINAL GEORGE PELL

AUSTRALIA
60 Minutes

31 May 2015

Cardinal Pell has not seen the material that 60 Minutes is planning to broadcast this evening.

The Cardinal has not met and has not been approached by Mr Saunders.

Cardinal Pell knows of the important work Mr Saunders has done as a survivor of abuse to assist victims, including the establishment of a victims survivors group in the United Kingdom and more recently serving as member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors established by the Holy Father to develop policy to achieve this.

While members are of course entitled to their views and opinions, the recently approved Statutes of the Commission make it clear that the Commission’s role does not include commenting on individual cases, nor does the Commission have the capacity to investigate individual cases.

From the promotional material issued by 60 Minutes it seems clear Mr Saunders is not well informed about the claims made against Cardinal Pell in the Ballarat hearings of the Royal Commission and the fact that no new material emerged during recent hearings. Many of the issues were addressed in the final report of the 2013 Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry where there are no adverse findings against Cardinal Pell. These old and repeated allegations have been addressed many times by the Cardinal since 2002.

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‘Callous, cold-hearted’: Pope’s commissioner says George Pell has to go

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

CARDINAL George Pell has been condemned over his treatment of abuse victims by the man hand-picked by the Pope to protect children in the Catholic Church.

In an extraordinary attack aired on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes, Peter Saunders said the cardinal had acted with “callousness” and “cold-heartedness”.

Pope Francis’s specially appointed commissioner for the protection of children added:“I think it’s critical that he is moved aside — that he is sent back to Australia and that the Pope takes the strongest action against him.”

In the past fortnight, the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse heard damning evidence in Ballarat against Father Gerald Ridsdale, Australia’s worst paedophile priest. Witnesses accused Pell of ignoring warnings about Ridsdale, and one claims Pell tried to silence him with a bribe, an allegation he has previously denied.

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Elderly abuse victims ‘need payments now’

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

PRESSURE is growing on the Scottish Government to make interim compensation payments to elderly victims of historical child abuse amid fears many of them will not live to see the conclusion of a public inquiry.

It is thought that as many as 10,000 victims may eventually come forward once the inquiry – to be led by Susan O’Brien QC – begins later this year.

However, there are immediate concerns for around 100 elderly survivors who are nearing the end of their lives.

At least three survivors are known to have died in recent weeks, including one man who took his own life after learning he could not take legal action against his alleged abusers.

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie is among those calling on the Scottish Government to follow the example of Ireland, where a number of survivors were awarded interim payments of 10,000 euros.

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Pope’s commissioner for child protection says …

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Pope’s commissioner for child protection says Cardinal Pell is a ‘dangerous individual’ and ‘almost sociopathic’

May 31, 2015

Kerrie Armstrong

Cardinal George Pell is “a dangerous individual” and “almost sociopathic” in his response to child sexual abuse victims, Pope Francis’ specially-appointed commissioner for the protection of children, Peter Saunders, says.

In an interview with Channel 9’s 60 Minutes, Mr Saunders said Cardinal Pell had a “moral responsibility” to front the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and address allegations that he knew of priests abusing children in Ballarat and elsewhere but did nothing to stop it. Cardinal Pell has denied these accusations.

“I personally think that his position is untenable, because he has now a catalogue of denials,” Mr Saunders said in the interview which aired on Sunday night. “He has a catalogue of denigrating people, of acting with callousness, cold-heartedness – almost sociopathic, I would go as far as to say – this lack of care.”

Pope Francis last December appointed Mr Saunders, himself a survivor of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, to the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors to ensure the Catholic Church acted with greater accountability and transparency in relation to child sexual abuse.

Mr Saunders said by refusing to front the royal commission until he was specifically invited, Cardinal Pell was “making a mockery of the Papal Commission, of the Pope himself, but most of all, of the victims and the survivors”.

“I think anybody who is a serious obstacle to the work of the commission and to the work of the Pope in trying to clean up the church’s act over this matter, I think they need to be taken aside very, very quickly and removed from any kind of position of influence.”

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Pell’s position untenable: Pope adviser

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

One of Pope Francis’s closest advisers says Cardinal George Pell’s position is “untenable”.

Peter Saunders was hand-picked by the Pope six months ago to be the Catholic Church’s commissioner for the protection of children.

Cardinal Pell has been under fire since allegations that he turned a blind eye to abuse resurfaced last week at the royal commission into child abuse in Ballarat.

“He is making a mockery of the Pope himself, but most of all of the victims and the survivors,” Mr Saunders told the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes program.

“More importantly, anybody who is a serious obstacle to the work of the commission and to the work of the Pope in trying to clean up the church’s act over this matter needs to be taken aside very quickly and removed from any kind of position of influence.”

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OPINION: Duggar scandal can bring focus to sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Daily Record

Teresa C. Younger May 31, 2015

In the aftermath of revelations about child sexual abuse reportedly committed by Josh Duggar, many questions remain unanswered. Why was Josh Duggar able to abuse five girls, some even after members of his family and church community were aware of allegations against him? Why did police officials fail to charge Josh when Jim Bob Duggar finally turned in his son? What happened to the children who were sexually abused?

Child sexual abuse happens far beyond the confines of made-for-TV families. All too often, victims are left unprotected and without qualified counseling to help them recover. Too often their abusers remain free to continue the abuse.

Many are especially angered by this case because the Duggars have been outspoken critics of same-sex marriage and women’s reproductive rights. The Duggars want the government more involved in women’s and LGBT people’s lives while they worked to thwart legitimate government involvement in their own lives.

The hypocrisy is palpable.

We know that survivors of sexual abuse can suffer into adulthood, especially if they do not receive adequate support. Girls who are sexually abused are more likely to be diagnosed with eating disorders and more than twice as likely to have a teen pregnancy. We are concerned about what sort of treatment and support Duggar’s victims are receiving, given the inappropriate response to the allegations.

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Duggar witness contradicts corporal’s claim

ARKANSAS
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

By Doug Thompson
Posted: May 31, 2015

SPRINGDALE — Joshua James Duggar, now 27, gave a full and frank account of fondling his victims in his 2003 confession to an Arkansas State Police corporal, according to a witness who contradicts a recent account by the former corporal.

“I’m not saying he is a liar, but my recollection is that Joshua came clean and told everything,” the witness said. “I definitely remember telling him before we went that he needed to come clean, and I definitely remember being satisfied that he did that when it was over.”

All law enforcement officers are required by state law to report sexual abuse involving minors to the state’s child abuse hotline. Joseph Truman Hutchens, the former corporal, expressed regret for not doing so in an interview published Wednesday in In Touch magazine of Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

By the time other authorities were tipped off in 2006 about Duggar’s earlier acts, the statute of limitations had expired on any possible criminal charges. Duggar was 15 years old when the last of the acts was committed.

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Physically abused…

UNITED STATES
Daily Mail

Physically abused, told they would die at 12 and banned from school: ‘Real-life Kimmy Schmidt’ twins reveal what life was like inside controversial Children of God sect

As children growing up in a controversial religious sect, they spent every day ‘paralyzed by fear’.
They were physically abused, banned from school and told they would die as martyrs aged 12.

But now, twin sisters Flor and Tamar Edwards, 34, have escaped from The Children of God cult and are both living and working in California – one as a freelance writer, the other as a yoga teacher.

They have opened up to ABC’s Nightline about their lives inside the sect – which blended free love attitudes with preparing for the second coming of Jesus – and their transition to the outside world.

‘I didn’t know what a movie theater was,’ said Flor, who along with her sister has compared their situation to that of the lead female character in the Netflix show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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Ireland gay marriage vote is a victory for humanity, liberty and secularism…

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils

Paris Arrow

Ireland’s yes vote to its same-sex marriage referendum is a major victory for humanity, a triumph for secularism and secular human rights, a ground swelling success for –– liberty from religion and freedom from Roman Catholicism aka Vatican Autocracy –– especially from its centuries-old religious oppression, coercion, tyranny of people via subjugation of their sex lives (e.g. forbiddance of condoms and contraception, condemnation of gays’ “evil acts”). The Irish have proven that they can reject obsolete religion edicts and oppressive religious traditions –– even if they are based on the ancient Bible –– and they have prevailed and caused –– a shameful defeat for religion –– that of Roman Catholicism. Other religions must follow suit. The Liberal Democrats are seeking to disestablish the Anglican Church of England. It’s time for all countries to abolish the Vatican Concordats and annul the Vatican as a country since it is composed only of 800 celibate only-male religious “foreigners”, i.e. Pope Francis, cardinals, bishops, priests, Swiss Guard Army.

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Megachurch: Stay With Your Kiddie Porn-Watching Husband—or Face ‘Discipline’

TEXAS
The Daily Beast

Matthew Paul Turner

When missionary Karen Hinkey found out her husband was attracted to children, she tried to separate from him. Her church elders told her to knock it off and “submit” to their will.

After attending seminary, Karen Hinkley, along with her onetime husband, Jordan Root, dreamed of becoming missionaries. The couple married in the spring of 2012 and eagerly began seeking out opportunities serve God overseas.

At the time, she had no way of knowing that alleged abuse of the most awful kind would sink their marriage. Or that church would discipline her for wanting to end her marriage to a confessed child porn addict. Or that her pastor would try to block her from leaving the congregation.

Shortly after marrying, Karen and Jordan began attending The Village Church (TVC), a mega-sized Dallas-area Southern Baptist congregation with 5 campuses and 11,000 weekly attendees.

In time, TVC not only became the newlywed’s home church but also the community that would support—financially and spiritually— their desire to become missionaries. That’s not surprising; according to its website, TVC supports a number of missionaries in a dozen or more countries.

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Twin sisters grew up isolated in ‘Children of God’ sect reminiscent of apocalyptic ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ cult: report

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

BY NICOLE HENSLEY

As young girls, Flor and Tamar Edwards emerged from an apocalyptic cult to find a world they didn’t understand.

Learning how to ride a bike, to use water fountains, eat pizza and go to movie theaters seems more like a episode from Netflix series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” but it was a hard reality for the twin sisters when the religious sect formerly known as the “Children of God” disbanded in 1994.

“When we saw a drinking fountain for the first time, we all just saw and huddled around it like it was some novelty,” Flor Edwards explained to ABC Nightline.

The twin sisters can relate to Kimmy Schmidt, portrayed by Ellie Kemper for the Netflix series ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ about a group of women forced to live in an apocalyptic cult.

The twins revealed what it was like growing up in the religious movement founded around the free love spirit of the 1960s. Some ex-members have gone as far to call the sect a cult and accused its founder David Berg of sexually abusing women and children.

The group’s beliefs encouraged sexual encounters as a form of expressing their faith.

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Bankruptcy case could leave hundreds without water

NEW MEXICO
ABQ Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
PUBLISHED: Sunday, May 31, 2015 l

THOREAU – Darlene Arviso is a grandmother, school bus driver and silversmith, but to hundreds of people in this southeastern corner of the Navajo Nation, she is “the water lady.”

At 8 a.m. each weekday, after she drops off a busload of children at the St. Bonaventure School, Arviso cranks up a heavy-duty Chevrolet truck and fills its 4,000-gallon water tank at a well owned by the St. Bonaventure Indian Mission.

For the next seven hours, she bounces over rutted, dirt roads, covering some 300 miles a week, delivering water to people who lack services most Americans take for granted, including electricity and running water.

As she pulls up outside a house, residents quickly emerge with barrels, jugs, even a large cooking pot – anything that will hold the precious liquid.

“These people really depend on the water truck,” especially the elderly and those who lack transportation, she said, tearing up as she described the living conditions of some families and children she serves. “That’s why I love my job.”

As harsh as life is for Navajo families here, Arviso and others fear the worst because the St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School has become entangled in a bankruptcy case filed by the Diocese of Gallup.

A judge this year approved a plan to appraise several properties, including St. Bonaventure’s land in Thoreau, as a possible source of funding to pay for a bankruptcy reorganization plan.

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Why the Dennis Hastert scandal has a familiar ring

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Cathy Lynn Grossman | May 30, 2015

Raise your hand if you hear a familiar bell ring as a scandal now envelops former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, a scandal ripe with still-unconfirmed links to teen sexual abuse during his long-ago years as a high school wrestling coach.

It’s that ring of familiar quotes: “Are they talking about our Denny?” says someone who coached for a rival team. “He was a man of character, a pillar in the community.”

Where have I heard talk like that before?

Ding! Ding! Ding! Catholic scandal, circa 2002, anyone?

The Catholic scandal ruptured like an abscess in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002. And soon people in every state discovered the pestilence could be found there, too, maybe their own parish.

Across the country that year, as priest after priest was revealed to have molested or raped children and teens, we heard a refrain from shocked parishes:

Oh no, Father So-and-so was such a great priest! He loved kids. He helped kids. This can’t be so….

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Cardinal George Pell faces more criticism …

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

Cardinal George Pell faces more criticism from the man hand-picked by the Pope to protect children

CARDINAL George Pell continues to draw fire with the man hand-picked by Pope Francis to protect children and help others abused by members of Catholic Church saying he needs to go.

“I think it’s critical that George Pell is moved aside, that he is sent back to Australia, and that the Pope takes the strongest action against him,” Peter Saunders said speaking to 60 Minute’s Tara Brown in Rome.

Pell has been under fire of late for allegedly ignoring warnings about Father Gerald Ridsdale, Australia’s worst paedophile priest.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which has been sitting in Ballarat has heard witnesses claim Pell turned a blind eye to abuse.

One witness claims Pell tried to silence him with a bribe while another said Pell was present at a meeting where it was announced that Ridsdale needed to be moved to another parish.

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A Pope & + Burke On Damning A Million Irish…

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

A Pope & + Burke On Damning A Million Irish, World Leaders & US Judges as “worse than the pagans for legalising gay marriage”!

The over-hyped “who am I to judge” Pope Francis likes to pick subordinates who seem to love to rush to judge others, such as for causing a purported “defeat for humanity” and for acting even “worse than the pagans for legalising gay marriage.” A classic “good cop/bad cop” ploy — let the subordinates be the bad guys! Pope Francis should skip these contrived distractions and face directly the crisis before him.

Pope Francis now faces new “messes” even before his too touted US trip begins, as Cardinal Raymond Burke, in effect, damns over legalizing civilly same sex marriages many of the USA’s and world’s political and judicial leaders that favor civil same sex marriage, including by implication apparently some US Supreme Court justices, as well as President Barack Obama and many members of the US Congress. The pope should have an interesting visit to Washington DC with Burke in tow, perhaps wearing his $30,000+ special cardinal’s costume.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the top Vatican official working on Philadelphia’s September World Meeting of Families and the pope, and who also serves as head of the pope’s Family Council, is reportedly under serious criminal investigation as a key figure for fraud and other crimes. Italian prosecutors after a two year investigation allege that Paglia, as an instigator, and others, including clerics, in 2012 used funds illegally obtained from Paglia’s heavily indebted diocese to buy a former religious property/castle for one-third of its value with the intention of selling it for an almost $5 million quick profit.

Vatican hierarchs seeking to profit, directly or indirectly, from unused Church property transactions, including of nuns’ properties, is not new. For example, intrepid investigative reporter, Jason Berry, in a critical look at how the Catholic Church handles property, has reportedly written that Cardinal Angelo Sodano watched on as an American real estate company, that prominently employed his nephew, trumpeted its ties to the Vatican, implying that it had inside knowledge on closed church properties coming on the market. Its president, Raffaello Follieri, pleaded guilty to US federal charges of cheating investors in 2008. Berry says the FBI found that before his fall, Follieri paid two Vatican employees $800,000 for their assistance. No Vatican employee was charged by civil authorities, nor were any disciplined by the church.

And of course, the recently ended Vatican witchhunt of American sisters triggered many complaints from US sisters of the Vatican’s near obsession with the sisters’ assets, mostly real estate.

One wonders how the pope picks his men for key assignments. Paglia, Cardinal George Pell, Monsignor Battista Ricca, et al., all had poor records when Pope Francis gave them important tasks. Ricca has been Francis’ ‘eyes and ears’ at the Vatican Bank despite reports he had a string of notorious homosexual affairs. Paglia’s alleged fraud involvement was known for at least two years and Pell’s alleged over-ups of priest child abusers and cruel treatment of an abuse survivor were publicly reported for many years.

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Massachusetts Judge Orders Parishioners Holding Decade-Long Vigil To Vacate Catholic Church By June 5

MASSACHUSETTS
International Business Times

By Aditya Tejas

A Massachusetts judge on Friday ruled that a group of parishioners who had occupied a closed Roman Catholic church for over a decade must end their vigil by next week. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini church in Scituate, Massachusetts, has been the site of a 24-hour vigil ever since the Archdiocese of Boston ordered its closure in 2004.

Massachusetts Superior Court Justice Edward Leibensperger said the church’s parishioners needed to vacate the building by June 5 and abandon their “stubborn refusal to accept the reality of final decisions of the courts,” according to Reuters.

“Defendants may, of course, continue their protest of the decision to close the parish, but they may not do so by an around-the-clock vigil in violation of the property rights established by neutral principles of property law,” Leibensperger said in his ruling, according to the Associated Press.

The parishioners, who demand that the church be either reopened or sold to the group, had filed an appeal in the Massachusetts Appeals Court after their request was denied by the Apostolic Signatura, the Roman Catholic church’s highest authority. The parishioners have said that they are willing to face arrest for trespassing, if necessary.

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Catholic priest convicted of abusive sexual contact …

UNITED STATES
Daily Mail (UK)

Catholic priest convicted of abusive sexual contact for groping woman who was sleeping on cross-country flight

By EVAN BLEIER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

A Catholic priest aboard a US Airways cross-country flight was found guilty of abusive sexual contact for putting his hands on the ‘breast, groin and buttocks’ of a sleeping woman last August.

The female passenger awoke to find Father Marcelo De Jesumaria groping her and reported what had happened to the crew of the flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.

De Jesumaria was taken into custody when the flight landed and then indicted in October once enough evidence had been collected by authorities.

The shamed priest was found guilty on Friday after a three-day trial and will face up to two years in prison when his August 24 sentencing comes around, according to NBC Los Angeles.

His old employer, the Diocese of San Bernardino, removed him from his role in November.

‘The Diocese of San Bernardino considers the actions alleged of Father De Jesumaria in the federal indictment to be sinful and unlawful,’ according to a statement.

‘We removed him from ministry in the diocese immediately after we became aware of this allegation in November and we are deeply regretful of any harm that may have occurred as a result of his actions.

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Credibly Accused Monk Father Richard Eckroth Dead

MINNESOTA
Legal Examiner

Posted by Mike Bryant
May 30, 2015

This past week, retired St. John’s priest Richard Eckroth died. He had been living at St. John’s Abbey for years. He was the subject of a lawsuit that we started last year and has a long history of predatory conduct. The number of kids Eckroth abused continue to be unknown, but initial lists indicate there may be into the hundreds.

From a press release from Anderson and Associates concerning the claims they have made:

What we have learned about this predator is that as a priest, monk, professor and pastor of St. John’s, he easily built the trust of parents who readily gave him permission to bring their children to a remote cabin owned and maintained by St. John’s Abbey where he then abused many of them. Eckroth plied children, some as young as eight years old, with alcohol and often employed means of coercion and threats of violence to accomplish his abuse. Over the years we have worked with several of those kids, now adults, who struggle with an aftermath of depression, anxiety, shame and guilt as a result of what Eckroth did to them.

The Child Victims Act continues to permit survivors of abuse by Eckroth and others to bring civil actions until May 25, 2016. The lawsuite against Eckroth arise from his sexually abusing kids a cabin in Northern Minnesota in the early 1970s. There are many kids believed to be raped and abused by Eckroth while a monk. The death of Eckroth or any offender does not prevent survivors from asserting claims against those who made the conscious choices to protect the Eckroths and other abusers like him in the past. Every time one of Eckroth’s survivors and the survivors of others like him, comes forward and shares the secret, they can begin the process of recovery. And survivors can come forward confidentially.

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Cardinal Burke says ‘Ireland worse than pagans for legalising gay marriage’ akin to Jesuit Cardinal Bellarmine who forced Galileo to say ‘sun re

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Cardinal Raymond Burke is living in the Medieval Ages when in1302, Pope Boniface VIII decreed his monarchial ex-cathedra Papal Bull Unam Sanctam (Latin for “I believe one “). Here are excerpts:

“Urged on by our faith, we are obliged to believe and hold that there is one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. And we firmly believe and profess that outside of her there is no salvation nor remission of sins, as the bridegroom declares in the Canticles…

So, when the Greeks or others say that they were not committed to the care of Peter and his successors, they must confess that they are not of Christ’s sheep, even as the Lord says in John, “There is one fold and one shepherd.”

“We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

The 21st century Irish people just defied this Papal Bull and demonstrated very clearly ––– that they do not believe that it is absolutely necessary for their salvation to be “subject to the Roman Pontiff” ––– especially regarding their sex life, and now, their gay marriage.

So as usual, it is Vatican diplomacy for Cardinal Burke to thrash and condemn the Irish as “worse than pagans” ––– meaning that they are not-Catholics because they are “not committed to the care of Peter and his successors and they must confess that they are not of Christ’s sheep”. Cardinal says it for the Irish that they are as excommunicated for they are worse than pagans aka non-Christians aka no religious affiliation.

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Dallas megachurch put woman ‘under discipline’ for wanting to leave her pedophile husband

TEXAS
The Raw Story

TOM BOGGIONI
30 MAY 2015

A Dallas megachurch has backed off and issued an apology to a former member of the church who was placed “under discipline” by church elders who believed she was acting hastily when she sought an annulment from her pedophile husband.

According to Crosswalk, Karen Hinkley (formerly Root) and her husband Jordan were recalled from their missionary service in South Asia by the Dallas-based Village Church after Jordan confessed that he had viewed online pornography involving children.

Upon returning to the U.S., the church turned the information they had on Jordan Root over to the police who, in turn, turned it over to the FBI which later declined to prosecute him. In addition to withdrawing financial support for Root, the church restricted him to certain portions of their Dallas campus — keeping him away from all youth activities — while he undergoes “a season of intentional pastoral care” in an attempt to get right with God again.

While the church said they would continue to financially support Karen Hinkley through August of this year, church elders were disappointed that she wanted to have her marriage to Jordan annulled and felt she was acting hastily.

In an email sent to “Covenant Members” of the church, Pastor Matt Chandler lamented the fact that she filed for annulment

“We have reached out to love and support her during this time, but unfortunately she has chosen not to accept our attempts to care for her and provide counsel. Instead, Karen limited her communication with The Village and has now stopped responding entirely,” he wrote. “This began less than four weeks after Karen’s return to the US when she filed for an immediate annulment of her marriage to Jordan apart from the counsel of the church and requested to be placed back in the mission field. We encouraged Karen to slow down and allow us to walk with her in a season of healing before making these life-altering decisions, but she declined to take this step.”

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Theology professor priest faces sexual abuse allegations

INDIANA
The Observer

Observer Staff Report | Saturday, May 30, 2015

Theology professor Fr. Virgilio Elizondo, who is widely considered the founder of U.S. Latino theology and won the 1997 Laetare Medal, was named in a San Antonio civil suit alleging Elizondo sexually abused the unnamed plaintiff when he was a minor, according to a report originally run by WSBT.

The lawsuit was filed against the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Fr. Jesus Armando Dominguez and Elizondo last Tuesday in Bexar County district court. It alleges Dominguez repeatedly sexually abused the plaintiff, listed as “John Doe” in the 1980s. When the plaintiff asked Elizondo for help dealing with Dominguez’s abuse in 1983, the lawsuit alleges “Elizondo began to fondle the Plaintiff’s genitals, taking advantage of the same sexual liberties Plaintiff complained of with Father Dominguez,” according to excerpted court documents published by WNDU.

“As Father Elizondo reached over, kissed him, and began to fondle him, the Plaintiff immediately became angry, frustrated, scared, and confused because Plaintiff thought that he would help,” the suit states. “Instead, he gave the Plaintiff more reasons to feel unsafe within the care and guard of the Roman Catholic Church. Once again, the sexual abuse of the Plaintiff continued.”

The suit seeks unspecified damages and claims the plaintiff has suffered from anger, depression, emotional distress, addiction and suicidal attempts as a result of the abuse.

According to his personal website, Elizondo joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1999, but still maintains his primary residence in San Antonio, where he works with Catholic Television of San Antonio and St. Rose of Lima parish, and commutes to the University.

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Father Eckroth Is Laid To Rest, While New Documents Shed Disturbing Light

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

Bill Hudson

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Suspicions over a Minnesota monk’s alleged molestation of children are following him to his grave.

Funeral services were held for Richard Eckroth on Friday at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville amid new revelations about his past.

A number of private documents related to the case were released Friday, which show that St. John’s Abbey officials knew of serious problems with Eckroth as early as 1993.

Father Eckroth was placed on a list of credibly-accused priests in 2002.

One document is the psychological and physical examination report that was done on Eckroth by St. Luke Institute in Maryland in 1993. It recommends that Eckroth have no unsupervised contact with minors.

St. John’s Abbey has been criticized for keeping the sexual allegations quiet from everyone, including authorities.

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The hounding of Cardinal Pell: things Australia’s liberal media don’t want you to know

UNITED KINGDOM
Spectator

Damian Thompson

The attempt to implicate Cardinal George Pell in the Ballarat child abuse scandal is a virtuoso display of score-settling by Australia’s left-leaning journalists, who have hated Pell for many years. This morning, however, The Australian broke ranks by publishing a column by Gerard Henderson that helps set the record straight. I’m simply going to quote extracts from it because you can be damn sure that they aren’t going to penetrate the liberal Aussie media’s firewall.

On Pell’s record in tackling child abuse:

On all the available evidence, Pell was among the first Catholic bishops in the world to address the issue of child sexual abuse by clergy. He was appointed archbishop of Melbourne in July 1996 and announced the creation of the Melbourne Response (to deal with child sexual abuse) the following October …

The fact is that Pell was a leader on this issue not only within the Catholic Church but also within the Christian community. And he was well ahead of many secular and government institutions.

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RABBI JEFFREY STIFFMAN/CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger’s Beat

.. On the other hand, just when you think he can’t get more incendiary, Cardinal Raymond Burke says something even more outlandish than before. This time, at Oxford University, the former head of our town’s archdiocese says Ireland has gone further than paganism and “defied God” by legalizing gay marriage. So reports Katherine Backler and Liz Dodd in the British Catholic publication The Tablet. “I mean, this a defiance of God. It’s just incredible. Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviours, they never dared to say this was marriage.”

Oxford University student Katherine Backler watched Burke – who’s known for his fondness for silk finery – lead a mass at the school. She wrote “the altar party that processed into the church was so thoroughly medieval that the term truly seemed appropriate. The cardinal was flanked by 11 altar servers (all male, obviously), at least 10 priests, some Knights of Malta in their regalia, and a banner that would have looked quite at home, in fact, at a pageant. I would not have been surprised if a fanfare had sounded.”

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Catholic priest convicted of sexually assaulting sleeping woman on flight

CALIFORNIA
New York Daily News

BY RACHELLE BLIDNER NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Catholic priest from California was found guilty Friday of sexually assaulting a sleeping woman aboard a U.S. Airways flight.

Father Marcelo De Jesumaria was convicted of abusive sexual contact by a federal jury in a three-day trial after a female passenger woke up to find his “hands on her breast, groin and buttocks” in August, NBC Los Angeles reported.

The woman reported the assault to the crew of the Philadelphia-to-Los Angeles flight, allowing federal authorities to meet De Jesumaria at the gate.

De Jesumaria was indicted in October.

The Diocese of San Bernardino, where De Jesumaria used to work, said it removed him from the ministry “immediately” after learning of the allegations in November.

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Abuse Happens in Progressive Churches, Too…

UNITED STATES
David R. Henson

May 28, 2015 by David R. Henson

Now is the time to talk about abuse in the church.

Now, when you are tired of talking about it. Now, when you’ve moved on to the next social media buzz. Now, when you think you’ve exhausted every possible angle of it.

That’s because now is the time where we get to decide whether we will change or whether this was just another distraction, another voyeuristic foray of using tragedy to score political or cultural points.
Now is the time to stop pointing fingers at the far away.

One of the most frustrating elements of the progressive response to the horrendous Duggar scandal is the unspoken insinuation that this kind of abuse only occurs or is much more likely to occur in fundamentalist, conservative, or patriarchal churches.

It been a way for liberals and progressives to tut-tut in the wake of tragedy rather than engage in critical self-reflection of our own institutions. While some social and theological elements certainly can exacerbate in terrible ways abuse, the sobering truth is that any institution — religious or secular, conservative or liberal — that includes or ministers to children can find itself in the midst of an abuse scandal. Institutions and their leaders must remain vigilant at all times and must not succumb to the self-satisfied notion that this kind of scandal is something more likely to happen in those churches over there, among those conservatives, or with those homeschoolers. With a one in four women and one in six men were sexually abused, it’s clear that abuse isn’t just happening in conservative spaces.

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Man confesses to child porn; church disciplines his wife

TEXAS
Baptist News

By Bob Allen

A Dallas megachurch has apologized to a wife subjected to church discipline for leaving her husband without permission after learning he is a pedophile.

Elders of The Village Church, a multisite Southern Baptist congregation led by Acts 29 president Matt Chandler, sent a letter to members posted online by blogger Matthew Paul Turner admitting to mishandling of a disciplinary process instituted against former member Karen Hinkley.

Earlier, church leaders said Hinkley violated her membership covenant with Village Church by having her legal marriage to Jordan Root annulled without seeking reconciliation after he confessed to her that he is sexually stimulated by little children and had viewed child pornography throughout their courtship and marriage. Root was not disciplined because he repented and entered counseling, but his access to children was restricted.

Previously Village Church financially supported the couple, who served as missionaries in East Asia with Serving in Mission (SIM) USA until Jordan Root was dismissed for violating the mission organization’s child safety policy. In February Karen Root (who later returned to using her maiden name) notified church leaders she was withdrawing her membership. The elders refused to accept her resignation and put her under church discipline for spurning their attempt at pastoral care.

Hinkley went public May 20 on Watchkeep, a blog written by abuse-survivor advocate Amy Smith, in a statement criticizing the Village Church pastors for “minimization and secrecy” about Root’s offenses and urging them not to assume he has told them the whole truth. Early on church leaders were inclined not to reveal Root’s confession to a number of former employers, churches and families where over the years he had access to children, but informed the church membership after the story was reported on blogs and news sites and was under consideration by the Dallas Morning News.

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Aboriginal residential schools report just the beginning: survivors

CANADA
Global News

By Chinta Puxley The Canadian Press

Mike Cachagee was just four-and-a-half when he was taken from his home and sent to a residential school in northern Ontario.

For the next 12 years, he never celebrated a birthday.

He was never hugged. He never heard “I love you.” He was never encouraged or praised.

He was beaten and sexually abused.

When he and his younger brother finally returned home, his mother had remarried and started a new family. She barely recognized her sons.

It took Cachagee two failed marriages, years of alcohol and drug abuse and therapy before he started to come to grips with what happened to him.

His brother never did. He descended into a life of addiction on Winnipeg’s streets.

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By the numbers: A look at residential schools

CANADA
Global News

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission examining Canada’s Indian residential schools is to release a summary of its final report Tuesday after hearing testimony from 7,000 survivors over five years. Here is a by-the-numbers look at residential schools:

The 1840s — Church-run schools are established for aboriginal children.

1883 — The year the federal government establishes three large residential schools in Western Canada to “kill the Indian in the child.”

1920 — The year the Indian Act is amended to make it compulsory for status Indian children between seven and 15 to attend residential school.

70 — The number of residential schools operating by the 1930s.

130 — The total number of residential schools that received support from the federal government at the program’s peak.

60 per cent — The proportion of residential schools run by the Catholic church.

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Truth and reconciliation on Indian residential schools: The road ahead

CANADA
Rabble

BY DENNIS GRUENDING | MAY 29, 2015

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) will release its final report into the history and legacy of Indian residential schools on June 2. There is very little suspense about what the three commissioners think about the schools: they were an aggressively assimilationist policy at best and genocidal at worst.

That much was signalled in the TRC’s interim report in 2012 and in recent comments made by commission chair Justice Murray Sinclair. More telling in the report will be what the commission has to say about the way forward. If ever there is to be true reconciliation, Canadians will have to acknowledge and repent for an ugly and enduring episode in our history.

Interim report

Here is a much abbreviated summary of that interim report: The schools were an assault on Aboriginal children, their families and communities. The impact of forcibly removing children from their families and communities and placing them not schools where they were humiliated and not allowed to speak in their mother tongues were, in the commissioners’ words, “immediate” and “on-going.”

The schools were also an assault on self-governing and self-sustaining Aboriginal nations. “The residential school system,” the commissioners wrote, “was intended to assimilate Aboriginal children into the broader Canadian society. With assimilation would come the breaking up of the reserves and the end of treaty obligations. In this way the schools were part of a broader Canadian policy to undermine Aboriginal leaders and Aboriginal self-government.”

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Closing ceremonies begin for Truth and Reconciliation Commission

CANADA
CBC News

Survivors of residential schools gathered in Sudbury on Friday to mark the beginning of the closing ceremonies for Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

It was tasked with informing Canadians about the abuses that happened in the residential school system.

Ella Visitor-Young was sent to a residential school when she was five-years-old. (Elyse Allard)

Ella Visitor-Young attended Friday’s event at Laurentian University. She was sent to a residential school when she was five-years-old.

“I found it very difficult,” said Visitor-Young. “I had a hard time coping with things.”

Visitor-Young said she had a difficult time with language and staff who she said tried to control her.

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Emotions run high as residential school survivors await report

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

BY PETER O’NEIL, VANCOUVER SUN MAY 29, 2015

OTTAWA — Many of B.C.’s top aboriginal leaders have a personal and deeply emotional stake in the release Tuesday of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s initial report into the federal government-funded, church-run attempt to “kill the Indian in the child.”

They are among the estimated 150,000 Indian, Inuit and Métis, 80,000 of whom are still alive, who attended 132 residential schools across Canada that were run by the Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian and United Churches from the 1870s until the 1970s — though one remained open until 1996.

The official attempt by the Canadian government to assimilate aboriginal children was a form of “cultural genocide,” Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said in a speech this week.

Grand Chief Ed John, a member of the B.C. First Nations Summit, recalls getting on the school bus in his remote village one September in the late 1950s to begin a year of schooling at the Le Jac Indian Residential School near Prince George.

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6,000 aboriginal children died in residential school system, report finds

CANADA
CBC News

At least 6,000 aboriginal children died while in the residential school system, says Justice Murray Sinclair, the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Sinclair, who has been tasked with studying the legacy of the residential schools, says that the figure is just an estimate and is likely much higher. Residential schools were established in the 19th century and the last ones closed in 1996.

“We think that we have not uncovered anywhere near what the total would be because the record keeping around that question was very poor,” Sinclair told Rosemary Barton of CBC’s Power & Politics. “You would have thought they would have concentrated more on keeping track.”

Sinclair offered the figure of 6,000 in a later interview with Evan Solomon to air Saturday on CBC Radio’s The House — much higher than earlier estimates that put the number of school children who died in the system at less than 4,000.

Sinclair, who was Manitoba’s first aboriginal judge, estimates 24 to 42 per cent of aboriginal children who attended the residential schools died at school or shortly after leaving school.

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Jurors Hear Phone Call Between Stephen Budd And Student

FLORIDA
CBS 12

Story by Melissa Howell/CBS12

WEST PALM BEACH (CBS12) — Stephen Budd was back in court Friday for the second day of trial, following allegations of sexual abuse.

The accusers say the crimes took place during his time as a teacher at Rosarian Academy.

Friday, prosecutors played the phone call between Budd and his accuser that was set up by police in an attempt to get Budd to confess.

On Thursday, the woman, now 18, recounted the moments her 4th grade teacher, Mr. Budd, allegedly molested her and a friend.

She says at the time of the alleged abuse, she told classmates about how she and a friend would go under Mr. Budd’s desk because they were his favorite students. The students claim he molested them and showed them his genitals.

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Breaking Open the Structure of Sexual Violence: An Interview with Ruth Krall

UNITED STATES
Mennonite Life

Stephanie Krehbiel
ISSUE 2015, VOL. 69
YODER IN CONTEXT

I first encountered Ruth Krall’s work at the same time that many Mennonites did, in 2013, with the release of the third volume of her online series of books on religious sexual violence, The Elephants in God’s Living Room. That volume, more than any work that came before it, brought attention to the John Howard Yoder’s sexual violence as a symptom of a systemic problem, enabled by negligent institutions and a religious culture that elevated male leaders and devalued the lives of sexual abuse victims.

While theological scholars of Yoder were mostly unreceptive to Krall’s book, it hit the crumbling institutional wall of silence around Yoder’s abuse with an enormous shove. Within less than a year of its release, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and the Mennonite Church USA Archives in Goshen granted historian Rachel Waltner Goossen access to numerous sealed files on Yoder. Goossen’s work made clear what many Mennonite women and abuse survivors had known for years: Krall was a central figure challenging the Mennonite institutional players who enabled and covered up Yoder’s violations of women.

Krall started out as a nurse, and her clinical background has never ceased to be the ethical ground on which she stands. As a young woman, Krall was on a fast-track career in psychiatric/community-health nursing and administration. In 1974, she was a member of the first class to be certified by the American Nurses’ Association as a psychiatric/mental health clinical nurse specialist – the forerunner of today’s certified nurse practitioners. But her formative experiences as a counselor for rape victims left her with a desire for a better understanding of the roots of violence, which led her to a doctorate in theology and ultimately to 20 years of teaching in Goshen (Indiana) College’s peace, justice and conflict studies program, which she helped to design.

Krall’s work experiences inside and outside the religious academy put her in contact with both abusers and victims. Seeking to understand this phenomenon, she turned to emerging Roman Catholic literature about priest sexual abuse of the laity and institutional clericalism. Through the work of Catholic anti-abuse activists such as Father Tom Doyle and Richard Sipe, Krall added an ecumenically minded analysis of clericalism to the knowledge she had already accrued from second-wave feminism and the women’s health movement.

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Critically Important to Analyzing Duggar Story…

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

Critically Important to Analyzing Duggar Story: Stephanie Krehbiel and Ruth Krall Discussing Issues of Sexual Violence (and Cover-Up) in Churches

William D. Lindsey

In the latest issue of Mennonite Life (issue 2015, vol. 69) (online here), Stephanie Krehbiel interviews Ruth Krall on the topic “Breaking Open the Structure of Sexual Violence.” As she notes, Ruth’s magisterial book The Elephants in God’s Living Room, which Ruth published at her Enduring Space blog, has done a tremendous amount to publicize the sexual violence practiced by the noted Mennonite 20th-century theologian John Howard Yoder. Perhaps more than any other Mennonite scholar, Ruth has been responsible for organizing Mennonite women to force the male-dominated leadership structure of their church to face the Yoder story and do something about it.

Here’s Stephanie’s testimony about the importance of Ruth’s book in her own journey as a Mennonite woman and scholar:

That volume [i.e., Elephants in God’s Living Room], more than any work that came before it, brought attention to the John Howard Yoder’s sexual violence as a symptom of a systemic problem, enabled by negligent institutions and a religious culture that elevated male leaders and devalued the lives of sexual abuse victims.

A symptom of a systemic problem, enabled by negligent institutions and a religious culture that elevated male leaders and devalued the lives of sexual abuse victims: as you can see, Ruth’s analysis ties right into the conversation about the Duggar story, and, in particular, the analysis of Diary of an Autodidact about which I just posted, which argues that “few churches are really safe places for victims.”

Ruth’s response to Stephanie on this point:

I’m convinced that there is a structure to this stuff, and if we really could understand it, we might be able to break it open. I don’t think we’ve broken it open yet. Somewhere in Mennoland today, a minister or youth minister or a Sunday School teacher is abusing somebody.

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Top Vatican Official, Archbishop Paglia, Reportedly Under Investigation

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

[with video]

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The top Vatican official leading the World Meeting of Families coming to Philadelphia in September is denying charges that he allegedly participated in a property scam that could have netted millions in profit.

Italy’s leading newspaper names Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia as one of ten people under investigation.
Italian prosecutors allege that Paglia and others used funds illegally from the diocese to buy an expansive property for one-third of its value in 2012 with the intention of selling it for millions.
Paglia denies any wrong-doing, saying he has full confidence in the system of justice.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput released the following statement: ‘I was saddened to learn of the recent news regarding Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia and will pray for him. At the same time, I assure everyone that matters facing him do not impact our plans for September. We continue to work without interruption and joyfully anticipate welcoming our Holy Father and the world to Philadelphia later this year.’

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Vatican official linked to Philadelphia faces Italy inquiry

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Vatican official with a role in organizing Pope Francis’ September visit to Philadelphia is under investigation in Italy.

The Italian News Agency ANSA reports that Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia (vih-CHEN-zo PAH’-lee-ah) is among 10 people under investigation over the sale of a castle in his former Diocese of Terni in central Italy. No charges have been filed.

Paglia leads the Pontifical Council for the Family. The office organizes the Vatican’s World Meeting of Families, which this year will be in Philadelphia with Pope Francis.

Paglia says in a statement that he learned of the accusations from news reports. He says he is making himself available to prosecutors and trusts in “earthly justice.”

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Cleric helping with pope’s Philly visit in hot water

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

A VATICAN OFFICIAL with a role in organizing Pope Francis’ September visit to Philadelphia is under investigation in Italy.

The Italian News Agency ANSA reported that Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia is among 10 people under investigation over the sale of a castle in his former Diocese of Terni in central Italy. No charges have been filed.

“The alleged scam would have netted a profit” of about $4.4 million, according to the British newspaper the Independent.

Paglia leads the Pontifical Council for the Family. The office organizes the Vatican’s World Meeting of Families, which this year will be in Philadelphia with Pope Francis.

Paglia said in a statement that he learned of the accusations from news reports. He says he is making himself available to prosecutors and trusts in “earthly justice.”

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At Least 6,000 Aboriginal Children Died In Canada’s Residential Schools: Report

CANADA
International Business Times

By Aditya Tejas

At least 6,000 aboriginal children died while they were in the care of Canada’s residential school system, according to the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Canada’s residential school system was established in the 19th century, and its last institution closed in 1996. They were government-funded and church-affiliated schools that housed aboriginal First Nations children, designed as civilizing institutions that would “kill the Indian in the child.”

They have been condemned for their practices, which included isolating students from their families, sterilization, and exposure to physical and sexual abuse.

In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered an apology on behalf of Canada for the conditions suffered by the children in the schooling system. However, Justice Murray Sinclair, the commission’s chair, said the figure was just an estimate based off the best available data. The commission heard testimony from 7,000 survivors of the system over five years.

“We think that we have not uncovered anywhere near what the total would be because the record keeping around that question was very poor,” Sinclair said in a CBC interview. “You would have thought they would have concentrated more on keeping track.”

Sinclair’s estimates, which were given in an interview aired Saturday, are significantly higher than previous estimates, which put the number of aboriginal children who died in the residential school system at less than 4,000.

Sinclair estimates that 25 to 42 percent of the aboriginal children who attended residential schools died during or shortly after their time in the school. About 30 percent of the country’s native children were placed in residential schools across Canada.

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Jailed paedophile Ridsdale is ‘arrogant’ …

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Jailed paedophile Ridsdale is ‘arrogant’, hides in cell, had sexual relationship behind bars, is visited by Catholic priests

CARLY CRAWFORD SUNDAY HERALD SUN MAY 30, 2015

EVIL priest Gerald Ridsdale is “arrogant”, spends his jail time hiding inside his small unit and has multiple Catholic Church priests on his list of contacts.

The serial paedophile, who the Catholic Church allegedly protected during his horrific 30-year sex offending spree, hardly ever leaves his residence inside the Ararat jail.

“He rarely ventures out into the main area,” said a prison source.

“He keeps to himself, presumably because he’s worried about getting bashed.”

Ridsdale, who abused more than 50 children while he was a Catholic priest, has become the face of the Catholic Church abuse scandal.

The 81-year-old was evasive under questioning this week at the Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse.

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An Open Letter To Emotionally Abusive Haredi Rabbis And Community Leaders Fro

UNITED STATES
Failed Messiah

Yehudis Goldsobel, a British victim of child sex abuse who was shunned by her Chabad community when she pressed charges – successfully – against her abuser, founded Migdal Emunah, which bills itself as providing “independent sexual abuse advice and education.”

A new open letter to rabbis and haredi community leaders from a victim of Toros Grynhaus, the haredi teacher convicted earlier this month of abusing two teenage girls, was posted today on Migdal Emunah’s Facebook page. Here it is:

An open letter to Rabonim and Askonim

In the aftermath of what has been a very difficult time for chareidi leadership in the UK, I ask you to allow me to reflect on my experience as a victim of Mr Grynhaus, and to hear what I have to say.

There are indecent people in every society. Our community, which prides itself on kedusha and tahara, is not immune. Some people are just sick. They need to be kept away from children as a basic safety measure for the klall.

I don’t want to talk about those types of people.I want to talk about other people, who are not sick. Who don’t have twisted desires and who have self-control and self-respect. I’m referring to rabonim, teachers, layleaders, frum GPs and therapists.

The behaviour of some of these people is what pushed me to the edge of my sanity, and to the edge of my faith. I was lied to, lied about, ignored, pacified, and profoundly betrayed. Not by sick, indecent men, but by people who thought they were doing the right thing.

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Billy Graham grandson: Churches must practice what they preach on sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
LaCrosse Tribune

MIKE TIGHE mtighe@lacrossetribune.com

Churches must practice what they preach regarding the scandal of child sexual abuse, according to a grandson of the famed evangelist known as America’s Pastor.

“This is really fundamental,” says Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian, a grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham. “The gospel we preach is about a God who sacrificed himself for the individual.”

But religious leaders frequently renounce abuse victims to protect clerical and institutional reputations, Tchividjian said in a phone interview Friday.

The interview was in advance of his address at a Chaplains for Children conference that the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center is sponsoring June 8-10 at Viterbo University in La Crosse.

“If we are preaching that gospel, churches need to sacrifice the church and stop sacrificing the individuals,” said Tchividjian, the 46-year-old founder and executive director of GRACE, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment.

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Minnesota priest abuse verdict points to challenges of prosecuting older cases

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune MAY 30, 2015

Soon after a Dakota County jury acquitted Francis Hoefgen of criminal sexual misconduct with a former altar boy, St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson released evidence that the jury did not hear — documents in which the former Catholic priest admitted to police that he had sexually assaulted a different teenage boy in 1984.

The latest documents add to more than 50 pages already available about Hoefgen, 64, a priest identified as credibly accused by St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minn., and whose trial was monitored by victims’ advocates across the country.

Advocates, including Anderson, claim the acquittal amounts to a “travesty of justice.” Legal experts say it underscores the difficulties of prosecuting older child abuse cases as Minnesota enters a new era of exposing clergy sexual offenders.

“These are extremely challenging prosecutions,” said Marci Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University in New York and a national expert on clergy abuse litigation. “Evidence can be strong about a pattern of abuse, but not about the incident in a particular case. There must be evidence about this crime, by this perpetrator and this victim, to put someone away.”

Prior sexual misconduct can be admitted as evidence in the growing number of civil court cases filed in Minnesota courts, which now number 44. However, for the handful of criminal cases in play, it will be up to a judge to determine.

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S.A. priest denies sex-abuse allegations

TEXAS
San Antonio Express-News

By Guillermo Contreras
May 29, 2015

A noted Hispanic Catholic theologian and well-respected San Antonio priest denied Friday that he sexually abused a boy in the 1980s, calling the allegations baseless.

“I look forward to the legal process so that I may have the opportunity to refute these assertions,” Father Virgilio Elizondo said of claims that he took advantage of an orphan who came to him for help after another priest allegedly molested the boy for several years.

Elizondo denied the allegations made by an individual identified only as John Doe, who in the 1980s lived in a San Antonio orphanage. The man allegedly was molested by Jesus Armando Dominguez, who was studying for the priesthood. Dominguez was later ordained in California and defrocked amid more sexual abuse allegations, the San Antonio Express-News confirmed.

“I would like to thank the San Antonio community, my family and friends for the support I have received,” Elizondo said in a statement Friday. “The allegations made against me are not true and have absolutely no basis in fact. I deny all the claims which have been asserted against me.”

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Priest Convicted of Sexually Assaulting Woman During Flight

CALIFORNIA
NBC 4

[with video]

By Joel Grover

A Catholic priest was found guilty Friday in federal court of sexually assaulting a woman aboard a flight from Philadelphia to LAX.

A federal jury found Father Marcelo De Jesumaria, who is based out of Arrowhead, California, guilty of abusive sexual contact on the US Airways flight to Los Angeles last August.

The FBI told the NBC4 I-Team that a female passenger, identified in legal documents only as “BD,” woke up during the flight to find the priest’s “hands on her breast, groin, and buttocks.”

De Jesumaria had previously served in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino, but was removed from the ministry in November when the allegations against him surfaced, the diocese said in an emailed statement. He is a member of the Chicago-based Congregation of the Resurrection, which will determine his future in the priesthood, the statement said.

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Catholic Church works to combat abuse

SOUTH CAROLINA
SC Now

BY MELISSA ROLLINS Morning News mrollins@florencenews.com

FLORENCE, S.C. — In the early 2000s, the Catholic Church faced many allegations against its priests. After that time, a required program was instituted to try prevent abuse from happening again.
Bonnie Sigers, safe environment manager for the Diocese of Charleston, which includes St. Anne and St. Anthony locally, said the program has been in place for a decade now.

“In response to the allegations in 2005, the bishops in the United States created the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” Sigers said. “It outlined what dioceses needed to do to create and maintain safe environments. So we derive our policies from that charter.”

Sigers said all Catholic churches use the charter as a base point for their training. The curriculum used by the Diocese of Charleston is VIRTUS, a program created by The National Catholic Risk Retention Group, Inc.

“All employees and any volunteers that work with children have to go through a background screening, because we have to know all that we can about them,” Sigers said. “They have to attend an education session on how to prevent child sex abuse, have to read and sign a code of conduct for their interactions with children and have to sign-off that they’ve read our policy. All of those things are kept at every parish and school.”

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Parishioners given seven days to leave closed Scituate church

MASSACHUSETTS
Patriot Ledger

By Patrick Ronan

Posted May. 29, 2015

DEDHAM

A judge has ordered the parishioners who have been holding vigil at the closed St. Frances X. Cabrini church in Scituate for the past 10 years to vacate the church by next Friday, June 5.

On Friday, Norfolk County Superior Court Judge Edward Leibensperger denied the emergency motion filed by the Friends of St. Frances X. Cabrini to suspend the injunction barring the parishioners from entering the church by May 29 pending an appeal.

In his denial of the Friends’ motion, Leibensperger pushed back the order to vacate the Hood Street church by a week to June 5 at 5 p.m.

“I can’t even comment on that,” Maryellen Rogers, one of the leaders of the Friends of St. Frances, said Friday when asked if the group will adhere to the judge’s order and leave the church by June 5.

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Judge Rules 11-Year Vigil at Closed Church Must Stop

MASSACHUSETTS
Wall Street Journal

By JENNIFER LEVITZ
May 29, 2015

A Massachusetts judge refused to halt the eviction of parishioners who have held a nearly 11-year vigil at a closed Roman Catholic church south of Boston.

A Superior Court judge ruled Friday that the unbroken vigil at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church must cease by June 5.

Parishioners, working in shifts, have occupied the Scituate, Mass., church round-the-clock since it was closed by the Archdiocese of Boston in 2004 as part of a downsizing plan.

A judge said this month that vigil participants were trespassing and ordered them to leave, at a date the court would determine later.

The parishioners filed an emergency motion to suspend the eviction. The judge denied that request Friday and ordered the occupation to end by 5 p.m. on June 5.

Parishioners said they plan to appeal the ruling to a state appeals court early next week.

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Canadians must heed advice of residential schools commission: Perry Bellegarde

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

MARK KENNEDY, OTTAWA CITIZEN

Canada’s indigenous people and non-aboriginals have a “shared responsibility” to fix their broken relationship for the sake of future generations, says the head of the country’s largest aboriginal organization.

In an interview Friday with the Citizen, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) national chief Perry Bellegarde called on people from all walks of life to heed the recommendations next week of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

That commission spent six years examining the residential school system, in which the federal government sent aboriginal children to church-run schools, where many faced physical, emotional and sexual abused.

The commission is expected to propose far-reaching changes to restore trust between the country and its First Nations, and to help improve the lives of aboriginals in areas such as health, education and justice.

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So, can we discuss that ‘apology’ from The Village Church? Because it really missed the point.

TEXAS
Matthew Paul Turner

MAY 29, 2015 BY MATTHEW PAUL TURNER

Yesterday’s statement from TVC was a mouthful, a carefully written, meticulously worded, and likely meticulously reworded mouthful. (Read it here.)

It was kind. Or maybe it was just nice. Either way, its tone wasn’t terrible. That much I’ll give them. But honestly, most of their communication toward Karen was presented with what can be perceived as kindness.

And I’ll give them this, too: it seemed to be humbly expressed.

But humbly expressed what is still what; it just requires one to actually ask what, process the what, and then ask again what.

So, now that I’ve lived with the response for several hours, I must ask: WHAT?!

I mean, first of all: WHAT were the reasons for offering an apology?

Sure, they offered a humbly presented apology to Karen, but they actually don’t apologize for anything that has, for the last 5 months, been a thorn in Karen’s side.

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Court Tosses Judgment in Priest Groping Case

NEVADA
Courthouse News Service

By MIKE HEUER

CARSON CITY, NEV. (CN) – The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., need not pay a $500,000 judgment to the man who claims that a priest molested him when he was 13 in 1984, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled.

Because Nevada’s Clark County District Court does not have jurisdiction over the diocese, the justices unanimously reversed its $500,000 award to an unidentified man.

“The diocese did not have sufficient contacts with Nevada,” Justice Michael Cherry wrote for the court Thursday.

John P. Feeney, the former priest at the center of the litigation, had originally been assigned to the diocese in Wisconsin, and then moved on to Los Angeles before winding up in Las Vegas.

In his complaint, John Doe said the diocese was aware Feeney molested children in Wisconsin but “negligently retained and supervised Feeney and failed to warn others that Feeney was a danger to children,” Cherry wrote.

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The People of God in Ireland Have Spoken: Will the Pope Listen?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

A respected and leading expert on Catholic Church reform for almost a half century, Tom Fox of the National Catholic Reporter, asks perceptively and directly : Can the Catholic hierarchy finally admit it has Catholic sexual teachings wrong? Admittedly, he notes, it’s a tall order, pointing out that if Pope Francis and his hierarchy just withhold judgment without addressing and amending past teaching errors, it will not be enough. Nowhere near enough.

Fox also points out the gift Pope Francis and the Catholic hierarchy have been handed by the Irish with their overwhelming vote to legalize same sex marriages. Coming just months before the Synod on the Family set for next October in Rome, the vote by this Catholic nation is nothing less than a church plebiscite – a vote of the Catholic sensus fidelium for all to see that official Catholic teaching on human sexuality is wrong, hurtful, and even, at times, immoral.

He correctly cites a recent NCR editorial that states the situation succinctly. It reads in part (in italics):

It is time for church teaching to reflect what social science tells us and what Catholic families have long understood: Catholicism must cast off a theology of sexuality based on a mechanical understanding of natural law that focuses on individual acts, and embrace a theology of sexuality that has grown out of lived experience and is based on relationships and intentionality.

Fox fairly observes that the Irish vote is a wake up call. If the Synod on the Family ends with only a “pastoral” conclusion, a call that we all need “to open our selves and parishes to essentially wayward, sinners, that we need to love these “sinners” even as they continue to engage in “intrinsically disordered acts,” it will have failed all of us. The Synod then, despite the best intentions, will almost certainly end up further eroding the Catholic Church – if this is possible – as moral force on matters of family, human relationships and sexual theology.

Pope Francis says Catholics should “create a mess” to help him promote changes in the Catholic Church. The Irish responded and have created a “mess”. The Catholic majority are pleased for now; although many are skeptical. Some see a bright ray of hope shining through the crisis of trust triggered by Church scandals. Others think the window of opportunity for hopeful light from Pope Francis will close soon if he is not prophetic and transparent in his limited time still available. Indeed, some even think the Vatican’s current “holy mess” will be its final mess.

Yet, Francis has so far offered few indications about concrete changes he really wants. Many Church leaders seem fearful of any changes. Yet, many Catholics and others are finally pressing for permanent changes. They have by now seen Vatican misconduct up close and too often. They now also understand better that many of the Vatican’s frequently ambiguous, if not vague, basic biblical and historical sources supporting papal power and “unchangeable dogmas”, have too often been overplayed, if not misused, in encyclicals and a Catechism, to justify supreme papal power, a clearly unchristian concept.

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Rabbi Karp pretrial motions set for July 13

OHIO/MARYLAND
Cleveland Jewish News

ED WITTENBERG | STAFF REPORTER
ewittenberg@cjn.org

A criminal trial has been set for 9:15 a.m. Aug. 3 in Baltimore County Circuit Court for Rabbi Ephraim (Frederick) Karp, director of spiritual living at Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Beachwood.

The Circuit Court of Maryland’s website also indicates that criminal motions – pretrial motions involving the prosecutor and defense team – are scheduled in the same court at 1:30 p.m. July 13.

Marc Zayon, a Baltimore-based lawyer, is listed as Karp’s attorney on the website. Karp remains in the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson, Md., said Lisa Dever, spokesperson for the state’s attorney’s office for Baltimore County.

Karp, of Beachwood, was indicted Feb. 23 by the state’s attorney’s office for Baltimore County on charges of sexual abuse of a minor, continuing course of conduct; perverted practice and second- and third-degree sex offenses.

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Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By FIONA HENDERSON May 30, 2015

A FEBRUARY 2013 meeting has ignited a war of words between Ballarat Bishop Paul Bird and clergy sexual abuse survivor Andrew Collins.

The meeting was held between Bishop Bird, Mr Collins and fellow survivor Peter Blenkiron to discuss the diocese footing the bill for the difference between the disability support pension, which many survivors live on, and the returned servicemen’s pension, which is an extra $256 a week.

Giving evidence to the royal commission earlier this week, Mr Collins said Bishop Bird said at the meeting the church would endure long after the victims were dead, and that they were trying to bankrupt the diocese.

But in a statement to the royal commission on Friday, Bishop Bird claimed he had said: “Such a proposal would be beyond the resources of the diocese.”

He also said he never said they were “intent on destroying his church”.

“I did not attribute any such motive to Mr Collins or Mr Blenkiron. I saw them as men who were seeking assistance for themselves and others in a similar situation.”

Bishop Bird also said he did not say the church would endure after the victims were all dead. “Making such a comment to anyone, let alone a victim of sexual abuse, would be extremely hurtful and I would not do so.”

But Mr Collins, speaking outside the royal commission, said he was “very disappointed” by Bishop Bird’s statement.

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Ireland is worse than the pagans for legalising gay marriage, says senior cardinal

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

28 May 2015 by Katherine Backler, Liz Dodd

Ireland has gone further than paganism and “defied God” by legalising gay marriage, one of the Church’s most senior cardinals has said.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, who was recently moved from a senior role in the Vatican to be patron of the Order of Malta, told the Newman Society, Oxford University’s Catholic Society, last night that he struggled to understand “any nation redefining marriage”.

Visibly moved, he went on: “I mean, this is a defiance of God. It’s just incredible. Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviours, they never dared to say this was marriage.”

A total of 1.2 million people voted in favour of amending the constitution to allow same-sex couples to marry, with 734,300 against the proposal, making Ireland the first country to introduce gay marriage by popular vote.

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The hypocrisy of the archbishop | Editorial

NEW JERSEY
Star-Ledger

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board
on May 28, 2015

When Newark Archbishop John Myers removed a popular priest at Seton Hall, he insisted through a spokesman that it had nothing to do with his Facebook posts supporting a group promoting gay marriage.

“That could not be farther from the truth,” said Jim Goodness, whose unenviable job it is to come up with excuses for Myers.

The reassignment, he said, was part of the “normal transfer cycle that involves scores of priests each June.” Only when pressed did he concede the posting “was a factor.”

Now, Fr. Warren Hall has decided to come out as gay, and open up about his removal to a gay magazine. He said he received a note to call the archbishop five months after the Facebook issue was already resolved.

It’s unclear whether Myers knew he was gay at the time. But Hall says the archbishop told him: “None of us want bullying, but you have a further agenda here, and I can’t have you at Seton Hall because of that.”

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Bishops, your church has spoken

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Thomas C. Fox | May. 29, 2015 NCR Today

What a gift the Catholic hierarchy has been handed by the Irish with their overwhelming vote to legalize same sex marriages. Coming just months before the Synod on the Family set for next October in Rome, the vote by this Catholic nation is nothing less than a church plebiscite – a vote of the Catholic sensus filelium for all to see that official Catholic teaching on human sexuality is wrong, hurtful, and even, at times, immoral.

A recent NCR editorial states the situation succinctly. It reads in part

It is time for church teaching to reflect what social science tells us and what Catholic families have long understood: Catholicism must cast off a theology of sexuality based on a mechanical understanding of natural law that focuses on individual acts, and embrace a theology of sexuality that has grown out of lived experience and is based on relationships and intentionality.

The Irish vote is a wake up call. If the Synod on the Family ends with only a “pastoral” conclusion, a call that we all need “to open our selves and parishes to essentially wayward, sinners, that we need to love these “sinners” even as they continue to engage in “intrinsically disordered acts,” it will have failed all of us and the synod, despite the best intentions, will almost certainly end up further eroding the Catholic church – if this is possible – as moral force on matters of family, human relationship and sexual theology.

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.

Is It Enough?

MISSOURI
Sexual Abuse Within the Church: A Case Study at First Christian Church of Florissant

Doug Lay with Titus Benton

6th Edition March 28, 2015

The Churches 1

First Christian Church of Florissant

The beginning of the story goes back to a time when Brandon first arrived in St. Louis. He enrolled at Saint Louis Christian College1 in August of 2005 and began attending and volunteering with the children’s ministry at FCCF. The church hired Brandon part-time as a children’s intern with two other interns the next year (2006), working with 5th graders. He would continue as a paid intern through December of 2007.

During the 2006-2007 school year, a former staff member reported that “I had conversations with Brandon about being alone with both (Family Name) boys and the youngest (Family Name) as all 3 boys stated how uncomfortable they had gotten. Not to my surprise, he pushed what I was saying away. I told the (Family Name) about my conversation and how uncomfortable their son was and they asked Brandon to move back to SLCC. From there, I honestly avoided him…because he honestly, avoided me.”2

In June of 2007, Brandon committed the six accounts of sodomy against two young boys under the age of 12. It would be four months later, in October of 2007, that Brandon committed the seventh count of sodomy.

No one knew except the two innocent victims—and Brandon.

We now know—so as the steps of Brandon’s story are retraced, we hope it may help to interpret the “circumstantial” evidence to better understand and learn from this tragic event.

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The Josh Duggar Scandal Is Part of a Much Larger Christian Abuse Problem

UNITED STATES
Vice

by Drew Millard
Associate Editor

The story of the Josh Duggar scandal—that as a teen, the 19 Kids and Counting Star molested multiple young women, only to have his father, Jim Bob Duggar, underplay and cover up his actions—is simple. The narratives surrounding it, however, are not, exposing underlying questions about faith, morality, and abuse in the Christian patriarchy movement, a fundamentalist set of beliefs popular among Evangelical homeschooling families like the Duggars.

The scandal is the latest in a series of sexual abuse allegations that have rocked the Patriarchy movement, which holds that women in general should be subject and subordinate to men. According to Evangelical leaders, including Home School Legal Defense Association founder Michael Farris, who has distanced himself from the movement, biblical patriarchy goes beyond even typical Christian fundamentalism in treating women as subjects, discouraging females from voting or attending college and promoting the idea that “unmarried adult women are subject to their fathers’ authority.”

The Duggars, who homeschool their children, belong to an even more specific sect known as “Quiverfulls,” which advocates for large, patriarchal families. Each family member is an “arrow” in a “quiver.” Vyckie Garrison, a former Quiverfull adherent who runs the Patheos blog No Longer Quivering, which acts as a watchdog against the movement, describes the “quiver” metaphor this way:

The whole point of having a quiver full of babies is to… out-populate the “enemy”… and to shoot those many arrows “straight into the heart of the enemy.” And by that, we meant that our children would grow up to be leaders in all the major institutions of our society.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a central tenet of Quiverfull beliefs is a rejection of any and all forms of contraception. The Quiverfull website contains links to articles with titles like “The Case Against Birth Control,” sells a booklet titled “Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?,” and includes a link to a now-disabled site that encourages vasectomy reversals. The message is clear: Women ought to have as many children as possible, regardless of their personal preferences.

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