Minnesota Public Radio
Matt Sepic Jun 30, 2015
A ruling by a Stearns County judge could lead to the release of extensive files on sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese of St. Cloud.
District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen said a public nuisance lawsuit against the diocese may proceed. The unnamed plaintiff in the case claims that the Rev. James Thoennes sexually abused him in the early 1970s at a Catholic school in Foley, Minn.
Jeff Anderson, an attorney who represents victims of sexual abuse by priests, said the ruling will allow him to take depositions of top diocese officials about how they handled abuse cases.
“Given the magnitude and the importance of this effort and this ruling, we are going to move this forward aggressively,” Anderson said.
A similar decision in 2013 led to the release of thousands of clergy files by the Archdiocese of St. Paul…
Ciudad de México.-Francisco Javier García Rodríguez, sacerdote en el municipio de Autlán, Jalisco, fue detenido por las autoridades presuntamente por violar a una niña de 11 años.
De acuerdo con un reporte de la Fiscalía General del estado, el clérigo de 60 años se aprovechó de la amistad y el hospedaje que la familia de la menor le brindó para abusar sexualmente de la pequeña, así lo informó el portal de Excelsior.com.
La familia de la pequeña consideraba al sacerdote como amigo y por eso le ofrecían frecuentemente hospedaje, por lo que el 4 de febrero pasado el cura se encontraba en la casa, como huésped en el cuarto de la niña, y durante dos noches la agredió sexualmente
The Yucatan Times
A 60-year-old Catholic priest is in custody after being accused of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl in the Mexican state of Jalisco.
Catholic Priest Francisco Javier García Rodríguez was a friend to the girl’s family, residents of Punta Pérula in the municipality of La Huerta, and was a frequent overnight visitor to their home.
But after a visit in February during which the priest allegedly attacked her sexually on two nights, she told her mother in spite of threats of violence by García Rodríguez.
The accusation was made before authorities on April 23, who say that physical and psychological tests have revealed evidence of sexual violence. The priest was subsequently arrested in the community of El Chante, in Autlán, where he lived.
Summary of Case: Anthony Canu was a priest of the Third Order Regular Franciscans, ordained in 1955. Canu’s name was included on the St. Cloud diocese’s January 3, 2014 list of 33 priests clergy against whom there had been “likely claims of sexual abuse of minors.” Canu worked in the diocese 1959-1962. In addition to St. Cloud, he was assigned to the dioceses of Altoona PA, Detroit MI and Richmond VA. His assignments included a high school seminary, a high school and home for boys, and several parishes. His whereabouts beyond 1974 are unknown.
The Legal Examiner
Court Rules That Survivors’ Public Nuisance Claims Against Diocese of St. Cloud May Proceed
Posted by Mike Bryant
June 30, 2015
(St. Cloud, MN) – Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen has ruled that a clergy sexual abuse survivor’s public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud can proceed. Judge Davick-Halfen’s June 22, 2015, order will help hold the Diocese of St. Cloud accountable for protecting pedophile priests in the past and will help keep children safe in the future.
In 2014 the Diocese of St. Cloud released a list of 33 priests who worked in the Diocese who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese has not released files or documents pertaining to those priests or their patterns of grooming and abuse. Such information is necessary to educate the public about the threat and keep the…
By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JUNE 30, 2015
A Stearns County judge has ruled that a public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud by an alleged victim of priest sex abuse may proceed, a move that could pry open the Catholic diocese’s clergy abuse files on the priest sued and all others.
The order, filed Tuesday by Judge Kris Davick-Halfen, is similar to a 2013 decision in Ramsey County which resulted in an unprecedented release of names and documents of clergy sex offenders from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
The St. Cloud diocese lawsuit was filed by a man who says he was sexually abused in the early 1970s by Rev. James Thoennes in the city of Foley. It says the diocese was aware that Thoennes had abused at least one other child previously.
The diocese created a “public nuisance” by…
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — A Stearns County judge is allowing a public nuisance claim to proceed against the Diocese of St. Cloud.
The claim is part of a lawsuit by a man who accuses former St. Cloud diocese priest James Thoennes of abusing him when he was a boy in Foley in the early 1970s.
The lawsuit claims the diocese knew of past abuse by Thoennes before it assigned him to St. John’s parish in Foley. The St. Cloud Times reports (http://on.sctimes.com/1C5j7Pu ) that Thoennes admitted in a deposition in a separate lawsuit that he sexually abused at least five boys while working in the St. Cloud Diocese.
A former Catholic Archbishop has denied that payments made to a woman with whom he had a sexual relationship were made in an effort to get her to withdraw complaints about him.
Richard Burke, 66, from Tipperary is continuing his cross-examination in his action for defamation against RTÉ in which he claims he was wrongly branded as a paedophile in the programme.
Mr Burke also denied that he made one of the payments after a trip to Rome during which it was allegedly suggested by his superiors that restitution be made to the woman who made abuse allegations against him.
Counsel for RTÉ Paul O’ Higgins said Dolores Atwood will say she had never asked for €26,000 given to her in October 2007 and that €50,000 given to her on another date was part of a process of Richard Burke attempting to get her to withdraw…
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priestsr
For immediate release: Tuesday, June 30
Statement by Frank Meuers, Minnesota SNAP leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (952-334-5180, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Though many predator priests are now suspended from parishes, many church officials who shielded them have are now promoted. That’s why we applaud a new ruling in St. Cloud that lets a clergy sex abuse and cover up suit move forward. This decision will help police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public learn about who has and who is endangering kids and protecting predators.
[Jeff Anderson & Associates]
These nuisance suits put Minnesota at the forefront of a growing national movement to expose those who commit and conceal heinous crimes against children. In no other state have child sex abuse victims been as successful at disgorging secrets from corrupt institutions through the creative and aggressive use of…
Jeff Anderson & Associates
Order May Lead to the Disclosure of Additional Names of Perpetrators and the Release of Secret Abuse Documents
Doe 50 Public Nuisance Order
(St. Cloud, MN) – Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen ruled that a clergy sexual abuse survivor’s public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud can proceed. Judge Davick-Halfen’s June 22, 2015, order will help hold the Diocese of St. Cloud accountable for protecting pedophile priests in the past and will help keep children safe in the future. A similar decision in 2013 in Ramsey County allowed a public nuisance claim to proceed involving the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. This led to the disclosure and identification of dozens of perpetrators and for the first time, thousands of secret church documents were released.
In January 2015, Plaintiff Doe 50 filed suit against the Diocese of St….
National Catholic Reporter
Here is the schedule for Pope Francis’ September 2015 Apostolic Journey to the United States of America as released by the Vatican on June 30, 2015. All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.
Tuesday, September 22 (Washington, DC)
4:00 p.m. Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews
Wednesday,September 23 (Washington, DC)
9:15 a.m. Meeting with President Obama at the White House
11:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew’s Cathedral
4:15 p.m. Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, Basilicia of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Thursday, September 24 (Washington, DC, New York City)
9:20 a.m. Address to Joint Session of the United States Congress
11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
4:00 p.m. Depart from Joint Base Andrews
St. Cloud Times
David Unze, email@example.com June 30, 2015
A Stearns County judge has dismissed parts of a clergy sex abuse lawsuit filed against the Diocese of St. Cloud, but left in place a key claim that has led to the release of numerous priest personnel files in other suits across the state.
The lawsuit was filed in January by a former student at a Foley elementary school. He accused former St. Cloud diocese priest James Thoennes of abusing him years after the diocese knew the priest had abused other children.
The lawsuit accuses Thoennes of abusing the boy in the early 1970s when Thoennes was assigned to St. John’s parish in Foley. The suit says Thoennes abused the child at Thoennes’ mother’s home in Central Minnesota, a place where Thoennes invited several children to accompany him on overnight visits.
The lawsuit also named the diocese as a…
Richard Burke is suing the broadcaster for defamation, which is denied
A High Court jury has heard RTÉ denies its documentary ‘Mission to Prey’ alleged former Catholic archbishop Richard Burke is a paedophile.
The ex-cleric is suing the broadcaster for defamation, which is denied.
Mr Burke (66) has admitted having sex with several women while a cleric, including Nigerian woman Dolores Atwood.
However he claims he was aged 40 and she was aged 20 when they first slept together in 1989 – and not 14 as RTÉ alleged in its 2011 documentary ‘Mission to Prey’.
He is suing the station for defamation because he claims the programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile, an interpretation rejected by RTÉ’s senior counsel Paul O’Higgins.
A former Catholic Archbishop has told the High Court he has no recollection of telling a Nigerian woman, when she got engaged in 1995, that he was “not pleased” and she had not “waited for him”.
Richard Burke, a priest of the Kiltegan Fathers since 1975 who also served as a Bishop and later Archbishop in Nigeria until he resigned in 2010, said there was “no intention on my part of leaving the priesthood” and he had no recollection of making those remarks to Dolores Atwood.
He is being cross-examined by Paul O’Higgins SC, for RTÉ, in his continuing action alleging he was defamed in the Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme broadcast on May 23rd, 2011. He claims the programme wrongly meant he was a paedophile.
Today, Mr O’Higgins said RTÉ denies the programme meant Mr Burke was a paedophile. RTÉ’s defence…
By Larry Yellen, FOX 32 News Legal Analyst
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) –
Whether it was the Palatine Brown’s Chicken Killers, James Degorski and Juan Luna, or a pedophile priest like Daniel McCormick – before heading to prison, they appeared in courtrooms at 26th and California.
The longtime presiding judge at the Criminal Courts Building is stepping down next week. But before the big day, Judge Paul Biebel Jr. sat down for a rare interview with FOX 32’s Larry Yellen.
“It’s a tough business we’re in, standing in judgment of people’s actions, and ultimately, where their lives are going,” Judge Paul Biebel Jr. said.
For almost 15 years, Judge Paul Biebel Jr. has presided over the largest criminal courthouse in America. Next Monday, he retires, satisfied that a dream he had as an eighth grade debater has been fulfilled.
The Methodist Conference yesterday (29 June) vowed to make significant changes to its policy and procedures in a move to make the Church a safer place for all. This follows the publication in May of an independent review of past safeguarding cases related to the Church from 1950 to 2014.
The Past Cases Review identified 1,885 past cases, which included physical, emotional, domestic and sexual abuse as well as cases of neglect. In approximately one quarter of these cases, church ministers or lay employees were identified as the perpetrators or alleged perpetrators.
The Conference discussed the findings of the Review and appointed an implementation group to take forward the report’s 23 recommendations. Former Barnardo’s Deputy Chief Executive Jane Stacey, who led the independent review, has been appointed as a member of the implementation group, which will be chaired by the Rev Gwyneth Owen.
“The Past Cases…
TORONTO – A youth pastor working at a Toronto church is charged in the alleged sexual exploitation and sexual assault of a teen girl.
Police say the incidents took place between Jan. 1, 2012 and March 31 of this year.
The alleged victim is now 17.
Police say the accused worked at the Keys of the Kingdom Ministries Life in the Spirit Fellowship Church in the city’s northwest.
By Elizabeth Mohr
With the court-imposed deadline looming for victims of clergy sexual abuse to file claims against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the bankruptcy court has been asked to compel church officials to show an informational video in every parish to help spread the word.
The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in January, citing an operating deficit and concerns about more lawsuits for clergy sexual abuse.
In April, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel approved a request by the archdiocese to set an Aug. 3 deadline for anyone wishing to file a claim related to clergy sexual abuse, despite a state law letting them file until May 25, 2016.
The church said it would make efforts to notify people of the court-imposed deadline via news organizations and Catholic publications.
The committee of unsecured creditors Monday asked the court to…
A former Catholic Archbishop had sexual experiences with “quite a lot” of people, the High Court has heard.
Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66) admitted to having relationships with women but is suing RTÉ arising out of its ‘Prime Time’ ‘Mission to Prey’ programme broadcast on May 23, 2011. Mr Burke claims the programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile.
Yesterday, he denied the reason a woman was “deeply troubled” in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her when she was “a vulnerable child”.
He told the High Court he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 and he 40.
Under cross-examination on the fifth day of his action he said that when they first had sex, Ms Atwood was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have…
A paedophile priest fled the country after a police officer tipped off the Catholic Church in Birmingham, a sex abuse victim has claimed.
The man said the officer passed on documents about 30 years ago which led to James Robinson being “spirited away” overseas. The priest was later jailed.
The Archdiocese of Birmingham has always denied knowingly covering up the activities of paedophile priests.
West Midlands Police said claims about the officer were being looked into.
Abuse victim “Donald” campaigned for Robinson to be extradited from the US
The anonymous victim, known as “Donald”, was brought up in the Father Hudson Home for orphans in Coleshill, Warwickshire, where he was repeatedly abused by Father Eric Taylor, who was jailed in 1998.
BBC Midlands Today correspondent Peter Wilson said: “Robinson was Taylor’s protégé, a Roman Catholic priest working across the West Midlands and Staffordshire. He…
Tuesday, June 30, 2015by Ann O’Loughlin
A former Catholic archbishop has denied a suggestion by lawyers for RTÉ the reason a woman was deeply troubled and “skewed” in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her when she was “a vulnerable child”.
Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke, aged 66, said in the High Court he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 years and he was 40.
When they first had sex, she was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have warped her later relationships, he said.
When she was aged in her 30s, she told him uninvited and in detail about her sexual experience, he claimed.
Mr Burke agreed he had other sexual encounters while he was a cleric, including with a married Nigerian mother-of-eight. He also said he had “embraced” and…
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Monday, June 29
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A priest kept quiet for a month and his archbishop kept quiet for another month about a hidden camera in a church restroom. Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample and Fr. Ysrael Bien both owe parents, parishioners and the public apologies and explanations. We hope that anyone who has information or suspicions about this crime will summon the strength to call law enforcement immediately.
Fr. Bien should be harshly and publicly disciplined, not just suspended. Catholic officials routinely turn a blind eye to evidence of sexual misdeeds. When wrongdoers are caught, Catholic officials rarely punish them severely. And that’s why clergy sex crimes and misconduct continues – because those who ignore, hid…
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Three victims of clergy abuse have made a video appeal for other victims to come forward.
An attorney for victims is asking a judge to order the video be played in all 216 Minnesota parishes on Sunday, July 12. Victims have only until August 3 to file a claim.
The original deadline was May of 2016. That was part of the law passed by the Minnesota legislature that temporarily waived the civil statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. But because the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy, the deadline had to be rolled back to August 3.
The seven minute YouTube video features an appeal by three abuse victims who have filed claims against the archdiocese.
“I used to be a victim but now I am a survivor you can be one too,” Marie Mielke said in the video. “I know…
By Levi Ismail
KIMT News 3 – Attorneys representing victims of clergy abuse are producing a video they hope to be played in churches across Minnesota.
The video is produced by the official committee of unsecured creditors appointed in the bankruptcy case filed by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minnesota.
In the video are three clergy sexual abuse victims who share their messages about why they stepped forward and spoke out. The idea is by playing the video in parishes in the state, other victims can come forward before the August 3 bankruptcy claim file deadline.
“We’ve got to reach the survivors to preserve their rights and to give them a chance to get a measure of justice they’ve never had before. The time however is short and the clock is ticking,” said attorney Jeff Anderson with Jeff Anderson and Associates PA.
The Connecticut Law Tribune
Christian Nolan, The Connecticut Law Tribune
June 29, 2015
The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a $1 million jury verdict in a priest sexual abuse case against the Archdiocese of Hartford. The 57-page majority ruling also shot down challenges from the diocese that the state’s expanded statute of limitations for bringing sex abuse claims was unconstitutional.
“Given the unique psychological and social factors that often result in delayed reporting of childhood sexual abuse, which frustrated the ability of victims to bring an action under earlier revisions of the statute of limitations, we cannot say that the legislature acted unreasonably or irrationally in determining that the revival of child sexual abuse victims’ previously time barred claims serves a legitimate public interest and accomplishes that purpose in a reasonable way,” wrote Justice Richard Robinson.
Initially such lawsuits had to be filed two years after the…
As many of you will know by now, last Thursday Father John Bauer, rector and pastor of the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, published an open letter to Archbishop Hebda, Bishop Cozzens, and Father Lachowitzer. If you have only read media reports of the letter, but not the letter itself, I strongly encourage you to read it now by clicking here.
Apparently, by Saturday afternoon members of the media had received a short response from Archbishop Hebda, in which he notes that Father Bauer is a ‘respected pastor’ and a member of the College of Consultors, promises to consider the points he raised, and pledges to continue to meet with people to hear their concerns.
Which raises the question of who he has met with or plans to meet with. Before anyone asks, I can assure you that he has not met…
BY AODHAN O’FAOLAIN
Richard Burke, 66, also had a relationship with a 20-year-old woman but denies having sex with her when she was 14, as she claims.
A former Catholic Archbishop has admitted a string of affairs while he was a priest, including one with a married mother of eight.
Richard Burke, 66, also had a relationship with a 20-year-old woman – but denies having sex with her when she was 14, as she claims.
His sexual history is coming under scrutiny in the High Court, where he is suing RTE for a programme he says depicted him as a paedophile.
Mr Burke, who has since left the priesthood, also denied a suggestion that the reason Dolores Atwood was “deeply troubled” and “skewed” in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her as a vulnerable child.
The Tipperary-born former cleric said he had not had…
SHERWOOD, Ore. – A Sherwood priest has been placed on leave after he waited nearly a month to report a hidden camera found in a church bathroom to the police.
Father Ysrael Bien of the St. Francis Church in Sherwood was placed on administrative leave June 24, according to a spokesman for the church.
In a letter distributed to the church community, the Archdiocese explained that a hidden camera found in the men’s bathroom was brought to Fr. Bien on April 26. Bien, however, waited until May 20 to report the incident to Sherwood police.
The camera was made to look like a plug outlet and was put next to a toilet, according to Sherwood police.
“It is deeply troubling that well-established Church protocols for the protections of parishioners were not followed,” said Archbishop Alexander Sample. “Finding a hidden camera in a church restroom should have been…
Darren Litter on 29 June 2015
Cardinal Sean Brady’s engagement with the HIA outlines a fundamental problem with organized religion: power and rank too often take precedent over a commitment to personal conscience.
While Cardinal Brady has tried to articulate it in a more sugar-coated way, what his conduct in relation to Brendan Smyth shows is that he was prepared to sacrifice his own sense of morality to preserve the power of the Catholic Church in Ireland, and enable himself to climb the Church’s ranking system through displaying an absolute commitment to orders.
Anyone with a steadfast sense of principle would have been appalled by the fact that the Church responded to widespread internal paedophilia with a power preservation strategy. Such a person would have dissented from the Church, and put the actions of somebody like Brendan Smyth on public record so that a process of…
By Emily E. Smith | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on June 26, 2015
A parishioner discovered a hidden camera in the men’s bathroom of St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, police said Friday.
The camera was disguised as a power outlet and positioned on the wall next to the toilet. It was found April 26 in a bathroom near the chapel, according to police.
The parishioner then handed the camera over to the church’s priest, said Sherwood Police Capt. Ty Hanlon.
Officers began investigating when the priest reported the camera stolen on May 20, Hanlon said. The device turned up missing before the priest could turn it over to authorities, he said.
Officers have done several interviews and searches during their investigation into the disappearance of the device. They have not identified a suspect.
By Brad Schmidt | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on June 28, 2015
A Sherwood priest is on administrative leave as police investigate who is responsible for hiding a camera in a church bathroom.
The St. Francis Church priest, Ysrael Bien, has not been accused of wrongdoing nor has he been named a suspect by police.
The Archdiocese of Portland notified parishioners this weekend that Bien was placed on leave Wednesday, more than a month after church leaders became aware of the incident. The Oregonian/OregonLive reported the investigation on Friday.
The Archdiocese said in a statement that it did not notify parishioners or immediately place Bien on leave “out of an abundance of caution not to interfere with an ongoing police investigation.” The Archdiocese notified parishioners who visited this weekend and also authored a letter, dated June 25, about the incident.
Police said the camera device does not…
New York Daily News
BY JOEL LANDAU
A hidden camera made to look like an electrical outlet was found in the bathroom of an Oregon church and a priest has been placed on leave for not reporting the incident for nearly a month.
The Archdiocese of Portland addressed members of the St. Francis Church in Sherwood, Ore. in a letter Thursday to explain that Fr. Ysrael Bien was placed on administrative leave, Oregon Live reported.
A camera that was designed to look like an electrical outlet was discovered in a men’s restroom in the church and reported to Bien in late April. But the clergyman did not notify police of the incident until May 20, the archdiocese said. The camera, which was attached to the wall with tape, is now missing.
“It is deeply troubling that well-established church protocols for the protection of parishioners…
Ex-cleric Richard Burke is suing RTE for defamation over its 2011 Mission to Prey documentary
A former archbishop has told a High Court jury that Nigerian woman Dolores Atwood was very sexually experienced when they began an intimate relationship.
Ex-cleric Richard Burke is suing RTE for defamation over its 2011 Mission to Prey documentary, over claims the programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile.
RTE denies defamation.
The High Court has heard Nigerian woman Dolores Atwood will testify that the former Archbishop was the first person she had sex with when she was 14-years-old.
66-year-old Richard Burke alleges she was 20-years-old when they slept together in 1989 and he gave evidence today that she was very sexually experienced.
In phone calls with Dolores’s husband Christopher in 2007 the former priest said she’d asked him for money; that he felt she was blackmailing him; that she…
Mon, Jun 29, 2015
A former Catholic archbishop has denied a suggestion by lawyers for RTÉ the reason a woman was “deeply troubled” was because he had sexually exploited her when she was “a vulnerable child”.
Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66) said he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 and he 40.
When they first had sex, she was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have warped her later relationships, he said. When she was aged in her thirties, she told him uninvited and in detail about her sexual experience, he added.
He agreed he had other sexual encounters while he was a cleric, including with a married Nigerian mother of eight. He also said he had “embraced” and “improperly touched”, but had not had sex with, a sister of…
National Catholic Reporter
Joshua J. McElwee | Jun. 27, 2015 NCR Today
Pope Francis has consolidated and elevated the level of importance of the Vatican’s different communications enterprises, creating a new high-level Secretariat for Communications tasked with carrying out work before undertaken by nine separate offices.
The new secretariat becomes only the third of its type at the highest levels of the Vatican bureaucracy, joining church departments that oversee foreign and internal relations and economic matters in importance.
Created with a papal letter known as a “motu proprio” announced in a press release Saturday, the new secretariat will consolidate the work of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy See Press Office, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center, and five other separate entities.
Francis has named Msgr. Dario Viganò, director of the television center, to serve as prefect of the new secretariat. Msgr. Lucio…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis promulgated on Saturday, 27 June 2015, a Motu Proprio instituting the Secretariat for Communications and nominating Rev. Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò as Prefect of the new Secretariat.
The Motu Proprio establishes that all communications offices will be incorporated under the direction of the new Secretariat for Communications, including the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy See Press Office, Vatican Internet Service, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center (CTV), the Osservatore Romano, Vatican Typography, Photograph Service, and the Vatican Publishing House (Libreria Editrice Vaticana).
The new Dicastery will also work in union with the Secretariat of State for the direction of the institutional website of the Holy See, www.vatican.va and the Twitter account of the Holy Father: @pontifex .
Those nominated to direct the Secretariat are:
-Prefect: Rev. Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, current Director of the Vatican Television Center (CTV)
By Manya Brachear Pashman
Chicago’s Archbishop Blase Cupich said he won’t disclose any more of what Pope Francis shared with him during a private meeting last week inside the Vatican, only that the Holy Father has repeatedly asked for prayers in the two personal encounters that followed.
“He was very pronounced about this,” Cupich said in a Skype interview from Rome on Monday. “It’s not a casual type of thing. He really needs prayers at this time of his life.”
Cupich received the pallium from Pope Francis on Monday morning during a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. The pallium, a piece of wool that symbolizes his new office as Chicago’s archbishop, was enclosed in a leather box embossed with gold images of St. Peter and St. Paul. Tied with an orange ribbon, it also included a sealed envelope addressed to the pope’s…
In his new novel released by Dog Ear Publishing, Fr. Paul Morrissey, O.S.A., a prison chaplain in Philadelphia, confronts the struggle between loyalty and honesty in the Church during the crisis of sexual abuse and the cover-up by some of its bishops.
(PRWEB) June 29, 2015
The priest on the cover of this new book is rendered mute by his collar, both literally and figuratively. As Fr. Morrissey says, “We need to be able to speak honestly in the Church as Pope Francis has encouraged us. My hope is that this book will foster a discussion about sexuality, gender and power in the Church so that we can heal.” His book is dedicated to Pope Francis.
In the midst of the sexual abuse crisis that is tearing the Church apart, a Catholic priest is caught between fighting for the victims of sexual abuse and his bond…
MEREDITH BOOTH THE AUSTRALIAN JUNE 30, 2015]
Parents of intellectually disabled students sexually abused by a South Australian Catholic school volunteer in the 1980s are refusing to sign confidentiality agreements with the church.
It is understood three of the six families seeking compensation for children abused by bus driver Brian Perkins at St Ann’s Special School in Adelaide’s southern suburbs between 1986 and 1991 have received payouts but feel devastated by the process.
One parent said he would not sign a secrecy agreement because it went against the church’s stated desire to be open, honest and generous with victims of abuse.
Peter Mitchell said he would seek advice from the South Australian Commissioner for Victims’ Rights about his right to an open deal for his son, now aged in his 40s. “As far as I understand it, if we don’t sign we don’t get anything for…
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Monday, June 29, 2015
For more information: Melanie Jula Sakoda (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175 cell), Cappy Larson (email@example.com, 415-637-2006)
Bishop retired for sexual misconduct is quietly reinstated
He now works as a “parish priest” in a Pennsylvania church
Victims say it’s an “dangerous, deceptive and callous” move
SNAP wants Orthodox Church officials to take immediate action
A support group for survivors of sexual abuse recently received a phone tip that an Orthodox bishop retired for sexual misconduct was now working as a “parish priest” in a Pennsylvania church.
Bishop Matthias Moriak was retired by the synod of bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) on April 15, 2013, after he was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct.
[Orthodox Church in America]
[Orthodox Church in America]
However, on June 26, 2015, the Survivors Network…
Jeff Anderson & Associates
Sexual Abuse Survivors Request the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis Play Outreach Video in All Parishes
(St. Paul, MN) – The creditors’ committee in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis bankruptcy case filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court today requesting the Archdiocese play an outreach video in all 216 of its parishes. It is the first time ever in a diocesan bankruptcy that survivors/creditors have made this request. Newly appointed apostolic administrator Bernard Hebda now has an opportunity to demonstrate the Archdiocese’s commitment to helping survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
The video features three members of the bankruptcy creditors’ committee urging all sexual abuse survivors in the Archdiocese to come forward before the August 3, 2015, bankruptcy claim filing deadline. The three survivors tell their stories of trials and tribulations in their individual battles in dealing with the effects…
By GABRIEL WINGATE-PEARSE: June 22, 2015
WITH few true leaders among us, it was refreshing to hear from Newcastle’s Anglican Bishop last week, who delivered an apology with grace and compassion.
Too often those who become leaders seem to arrive at the top of the pile by virtue of arbitrary succession, internal political machinations or by other means entirely separate to their worth as a leader.
After so long, and after what I regard as such a glaring lack of accountability from others addressing failures in their communities, organisations, and congregations, Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson’s remarks in relation to evidence gathered for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse seemed heartfelt and true.
At times struggling to contain his emotions, Bishop Thompson reportedly told those gathered in a church hall how sorry he was for the terrible harm done by perpetrators of child…
By Sean Tynan June 29, 2015
THE following is a response to Gabriel Wingate-Pearse’s opinion piece (‘‘Compassion, and so on’’ Herald, 23/6) .
I acknowledge that as the manager of Zimmerman Services, the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s child protection service, I am biased. It’s not my intent to comment on the Right Reverend Greg Thompson, Anglican Bishop of Newcastle. Nor am I defending the eloquence, or otherwise, of Catholic Bishop Bill Wright and his introduction of Francis Sullivan on February 25, 2015.
Critical analysis of the diocese’s commitment to protecting children and working to address its terrible legacy of historic child sexual abuse is legitimate and important. I acknowledge our performance to date is not perfect.
However, I believe the article’s premise is unfair. Its argument is that a poor introduction by Bishop Bill at a public forum equates to a lack of commitment or leadership…
Mennonite World Review
Twelve survivors of sexual abuse and their advocates have formed an Anabaptist-Mennonite chapter of an organization that “protects the vulnerable, heals the wounded and exposes the truth.”
Leaders of the group, known as SNAP-Menno, announced its formation June 23.
SNAP stands for Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests. Founded 26 years ago to expose sexual violations by U.S. Catholic clergy, it has expanded to serve survivors of predators and pedophiles from a variety of faith communities.
SNAP-Menno “provides a safe place, entirely independent of institutional structures, for Mennonite-related survivors to seek healing,” according to a news release.
The group is convened by longtime victim-advocate Ruth E. Krall, an emerita professor at Goshen (Ind.) College, with SNAP-trained survivor-advocates Cameron Altaras, Barbra Graber and advocate Jeff Altaras.
Article updated by a Broken Rites researcher, 29 June 2015
A former Catholic priest, John Joseph Farrell, 62, appeared in court on 25 June 2015, charged with 27 sexual offences allegedly committed against five boys between 1981 and 1984 in northern New South Wales. Some offences allegedly occurred while Father Farrell was based at the Moree parish (within the territory of the Armidale Catholic diocese); and some offences allegedly occurred when Farrell visited a parish at Tweed Heads on the NSW north coast. The magistrate rejected Farrell’s request to have his name suppressed. Farrell was remanded in custody. The case is listed for its next mention in Sydney’s Central Local Court on June 30.
John Joseph Farrell was charged by a specialist team of detectives (named Strike Force Glenroe), which was established in 2012 by the Sex Crime Squad at the NSW Police Headquarters, Parramatta, Sydney….
A former Catholic archbishop has told the High Court he had sexual experiences with a number of other people while he was a bishop in Nigeria.
66-year-old Richard Burke from Tipperary is continuing his cross examination in his action for defamation against RTÉ in which he claims he was wrongly branded as a paedophile in a television documentary.
Mr Burke denies he had sex with a woman featured in the programme, Dolores Atwood, when she was 14. He claims she was 20 when they first had sex.
He told the court he had also “embraced and inappropriately touched” her sister after Ms Atwood had moved to Canada.
Mr Burke accepted in cross examination that his relationship with Dolores Atwood was not the only sexual relationship he had.
It was put to him by counsel for RTÉ Paul O’Higgins that he had relationship with a lot of…
IT’S been just over a year since the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse heard the harrowing stories from victims of paedophile Marist Brothers at St Carthage’s in Lismore in the 1980s, but it’s still unclear when the commission will hand down its findings.
Over eight days from June 10 to August 7, evidence was given from 17 witnesses in an attempt to establish the Marist Brothers’ response to allegations of child sexual abuse against Brother John “Kostka” Chute and Brother Gregory Sutton.
Former St Cathages assistant principal Jan O’Grady told the commission she long suspected Brother Gregory Sutton was a poison to St Carthage’s Primary School but had her warnings ignored by the Marist Brothers and the Lismore Catholic Education Office.
She said she first became concerned in 1985 when she saw the same group of about five or six children hanging about Sutton…
GREG CRAVEN HERALD SUN JUNE 30, 2015
IT is rare an entire society is traumatised. But it is undeniable we are all shattered by the evidence before the royal commission into institutional child abuse.
We have seen the leering face of evil. Horror inflicted on the innocent by monsters.
Nothing has been more traumatic than the revelations of abuse in the Catholic Church. That ministers of the kindest being ever to walk the Earth could be so cruel is almost beyond belief.
But it is beyond dispute, and those most appalled are themselves Catholic.
The victims were our friends, our families, ourselves.
Rage is an inevitable and entirely appropriate response.
But we must be careful our just rage does not lead to unjust responses.
The prime case here is Cardinal George Pell. He is such a ready target for our fury.
A woman who was abused by a priest decades ago is getting ready to walk 900 kilometres across Newfoundland in an effort to improve services for abuse victims at religious institutions.
Gemma Hickey will start her walk in Port aux Basques on Thursday.
On Sunday she held a “pre-walk” around Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John’s — an opportunity for people to walk with her and learn more about why she’s taken on the challenge.
Gemma Hickey is going to walk 900 kms across Newfoundland to bring attention to the need for improved services for abuse victims of religious institutions. (CBC)
Hickey founded an organization called Pathways for men and women who have experienced abuse within religious institutions.
“It’s a deep wound in our province, and I think the best way for people to move forward and deal with it is to actually look at what…
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody
Posted on June 28, 2015 by Betty Clermont
Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United Kingdom in 2010 was supposed to be a debacle. Richard Dawkins reportedly was planning on making a citizen’s arrest of the pope because of the clerical sex abuse scandals. A mock memo suggesting the launch of “Benedict” condoms, his blessing same-sex unions, opening an abortion ward and ordaining women was widely published. Protestors wanted his “state visit” downgraded to a “pastoral visit” so the cost would be paid by the Catholic Church. Arguments for this rested on whether the Vatican counted as an actual state, and even so, state visits are for political reasons.
But by the time the pope arrived, the wind had shifted significantly. Catholic Voices, a project founded by [Opus Dei] specifically for the pope’s visit, had stepped in and provided media training…
Probably not, but Pope Francis and his low tax billionaire donors seem intent on trying to do so. Indeed, if US voters by the November 2016 elections fail to wake up, the pope could even succeed, at least on matters crucial to the Vatican and their subordinate US bishops. Pope Francis comes from a centuries old tradition of absolute papal monarchs who exploit secret communications and media manipulation. This has been made clear in revealing and well documented detail once again by Betty Clermont here, the stalwart Catholic grandmother and author of The Neo-Catholics. She connects many of the dots that too many in the media seem oblivious to, apparently out of indifference or self interest. What a disappointing shame many in the media are!
The pope has recently confirmed his top down and secretive approach to transparency and media matters…
Sydney Morning Herald
June 29, 2015
Young people who spend their childhoods in Out of Home Care are finding it virtually impossible to access their own case files because the process is choked in red tape, the Royal Commission has heard.
As the Commission continued its examination of institutional child sexual abuse on Monday, four youths who grew up in care described the instability, under-resourcing and lack of ongoing support which continue to characterise the system.
The youths, who now advocate for others in care, said that many wanted to access their case files but gave up because of the impenetrable bureaucracy such requests involved.
“I decided not to do it because it was going to be a nightmare,” Kate Finn from the Youth Movement Initiative said.
“I’ve been told that I need to have permission from anyone who can possibly be mentioned…
BY COREY PRIDE
Los Banos Enterprise
A Catholic priest who has been charged with possession of child pornography pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Los Banos on Friday.
The Rev. Robert Gamel stood next to his attorney in Merced Superior Court and declared he was not guilty of a felony count of possession of matter depicting sexual conduct of a person under the age of 18.
If convicted, Gamel faces up to three years in jail or prison. Judge Harry Jacobs set Gamel’s next court appearance, a pre-preliminary hearing, for July 29 at 1:30 p.m.
Gamel, 64, was arrested June 10, following a 10-month investigation by the Los Banos Police Department.
In August, church officials told police the then-pastor of Los Banos’ St. Joseph’s Catholic Church may have obtained nude photographs of a teenage parishioner through the Internet, according to court records.
Keeping abuse “secret – very, very, secret” marred lives and smeared the church as authorities reacted poorly
James Finley was abused physically and sexually as a child. He overcame the abuse and decided to become a monk. Years into his training he was abused by a priest, and quit.
Finley turned his life around. Today he is a clinical psychologist and respected spiritual teacher. In Ireland last week he gave a moving talk to mark the launch of Spire, the new Irish Spirituality Institute for Research & Education.
But his visit was overshadowed by more revelations about sex abuse here. The kind of positive religious path that he walks, one praised by Fr Michael O’Sullivan SJ who introduced him, seems choked by a Catholic Church mired in abuse and cover-ups.
It is hard to look at pictures of the late…
By PETER PRENGAMAN, Associated Press
CIUDAD DEL ESTE, Paraguay (AP) — Children awaiting surgery and women fleeing domestic violence never saw the $350,000 donated for their benefit. Then, there were the questionable property sales and the money for a cleaning business partially owned by a relative.
In the months since Pope Francis ousted the bishop of Paraguay’s second-largest diocese, questions keep surfacing about the Rev. Rogelio Livieres Plano’s management of church money.
As Paraguayan Catholics prepare to welcome Francis during his South American tour that starts July 5, new leaders of the diocese in this eastern border city are trying to erase the debt left by the controversial bishop, raising money through raffles and bingo games. Many parishioners are demanding answers.
“The former bishop ran things like a mafia,” said Carlos Pereira, a humanities professor at the Catholic University in Ciudad del Este. “How did we…
Brendan Smyth’s psychiatric records revealed at abuse inquiry give fresh insights into a child sex abuse that still haunts the Catholic church
A man hovered in the yard beside Banbridge court house pulling on a cigarette waiting for the now retired Cardinal Sean Brady to come out.
The retired Cardinal had spent Thursday morning telling the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry about the church’s “flawed” response to complaints about Brendan Smyth, the paedophile priest back in 1975.
The man outside the court house watched as Cardinal Brady emerged to a whirr of cameras, got into a waiting silver car and drove away. Then he told a bit of his own story. He had been sexually abused by Smyth in various children’s homes in Northern Ireland. Some years later he was doing time in Magilligan prison when Smyth was incarcerated there for…
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.
Pope Francis has not said a word on why Bishop Finn resigned and why Archbishop Nienstedt resigned. That’s strange. No explanation from the innate loquacious Jesuit Master of Deceits on the exact reasons why the most infamous bishops resigned under his short-term papacy. The truth is Pope Francis is not a reformer but a conformist, a chameleon and a puppet who does not have any “hard lines” but only PR campaigns –– obeying his boss the Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team and their cunning strategies –– to save the Vatican Empire that’s crumbling down like the Roman Empire.
Catholic News Agency
Vatican City, Jun 27, 2015 / 02:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican’s nine communications offices will soon be consolidated under the authority of the newly-established Secretariat for Communications, per a Saturday directive of Pope Francis.
The Roman Pontiff instituted the new secretariat with a motu proprio titled The current communication context, promulgated June 27. The letter states that the new management body will take effect June 29.
“The current communication context, characterized by the presence and the development of digital media, by the factors of convergence and interactivity, requires a rethinking of the information system of the Holy See and dedication to a reorganization which … must proceed decisively towards integration and a unified management,” the Pope wrote.
“For these reasons, I desire that all organizations which, thus far have dealt with communications in different ways, be brought together in a new Dicastery of…
Religion News Service – Rhymes with Religion
Boz Tchividjian | Jun 27, 2015
A three year old child is brutally beaten by his mother’s boyfriend and then threatened to remain quiet or he’ll get another beating. One morning following another beating, the child goes to school with bruises on his face and is questioned by a concerned teacher. Petrified and not knowing what to do or say, the little boy eventually discloses the horrific abuse to the teacher who calls the police. It is later discovered that this boy had belt marks on his back and stomach, and bruises all over his body. Police also find his 22-month old sister with black eyes, burn injuries, a swollen hand, and two pigtails having been ripped out of their roots. The abuser, Darius Clark , is arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse. Justice seems to be having its…
An Irish Catholic Priest Richard Burke has revealed the series of threats and blackmail by a Nigerian lady, with whom he himself admitted he had an ‘inappropriate sexual relationship’, because as a priest he had sworn to celibacy.
In a defamation suit against RTÉ, alleging he was wrongly depicted as a paedophile in the 2011 Prime Time Investigates programme Mission to Prey, Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke, now 66 years old told the court how he was pestered for money by the Nigerian lady, now Mrs. Dolore Atwood based in Canada.
In direct examination, Mr Burke told his counsel Jack Fitzgerald SC Ms Atwood sought €200,000 from him in 2009 after he had paid her some €176,000 over a number of years.
When he told her he could not get the money, she asked him, and he agreed, to have sex with her in an hotel…
ST. LOUIS (MO)
CBS St. Louis
Associated Press/Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)
ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOX) – A St. Louis priest who was accused of sexually abusing a boy in a Catholic school bathroom before the charges were dropped earlier this month is suing the alleged victim’s parents, police and a victim’s rights group.
Barbara Dorris of The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) tells KMOX that she believes the suit is intended to send a message.
“Our fear is that this is a way to intimidate victims, witnesses and whistle-blowers…into silence,” says Dorris. “If you tell the truth, we will sue you and I think it’s intended to silence people.”
The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, 32, filed suit Thursday in U.S. District Court, seeking unspecified damages. The suit claims he was unfairly targeted and his reputation was damaged.
It names the boy’s parents by their initials, as well…
A FORMER Catholic Archbishop has told the High Court he had an “inappropriate” sexual relationship with a woman in Nigeria which began in 1989 when she was aged 20 and he was 40.
Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66), ordained a priest in 1975, said he felt “uneasy” about the demeanour of then 20-year-old Dolores Atwood, which “gave an impression of being flirtatious”, when she came unexpectedly to his private apartment on a Sunday afternoon in the Nigerian city of Warri in September or October 1989.
Mr Burke was being cross-examined in his continuing action alleging defamation in the May 2011 ‘Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey’ programme.
Mr Burke, a former Archbishop of Benin, Nigeria, alleges it wrongly depicted him as a paedophile. RTÉ denies defamation.
He told the court that after Ms Atwood came to his apartment, he left her…
Minnesota Public Radio
Tom Scheck Jun 27, 2015
The head pastor at St. Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis is urging the Twin Cities Archdiocese to release details of an internal investigation into Archbishop John Nienstedt.
Father John Bauer wrote on his blog that releasing the details of the internal investigation into Nienstedt is imperative if the Archdiocese will be able to move forward.
He cited findings from an MPR News report that found Nienstedt limited an investigation into his conduct even though he himself authorized it.
The law firm hired by the archdiocese took statements that accused Nienstedt of inappropriate behavior including sexual advances to at least two priests. Neinstedt denied any inappropriate conduct. He resigned this month after criminal charges were filed over his handling of sexual abuse cases by priests in the archdiocese.
Northern Daily Leader
By Ken Grimson June 26, 2015
A MAGISTRATE has refused to suppress the name of a former Catholic priest who has been charged over historic child sex offences allegedly committed in parts of northern NSW.
John Joseph Farrell, 62, was charged on Wednesday by specialist detectives from a strike force set up to investigate alleged assaults upon young children in northern NSW several decades ago.
Farrell appeared in the dock of Wagga Wagga Local Court yesterday afternoon after he was refused bail by local police, charged with 26 separate offences.
During yesterday’s proceedings, detectives were in court, but Farrell was not required to enter a plea to the 18 counts of sexual assault and act of indecency against a person aged under 16.
He is also charged with eight counts of sexual assault of a person under 16.
Farrell did not apply for court bail…
JUNE 27, 2015 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS
Father John Paul has chosen voluntary laicization. It’s a quiet end to a situation that enraged parents and those who came forward as victims. Due to Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse, he can not be charged with any crimes.
In November of 2013, Father Paul resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish in Philadelphia for “physical and spiritual” health reasons. It was revealed that those “health” issues stemmed from two separate allegations of child sex abuse. At the time, we were outraged that the Archdiocese permitted him to remain as pastor for over a year while he was secretly investigated. When the information became public with his retirement, the Archdiocese suspended him.
The archdiocesan official statement stated, “Father Paul remained in ministry at the parish since that time in a restricted capacity ‘in that he…
By Tim Healy
A former Catholic Archbishop has told the High Court in Dublin he had an “inappropriate” sexual relationship with a woman in Nigeria which began in 1989 when she was aged 20 and he was 40.
Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66), ordained a priest in 1975, said he felt “uneasy” by the demeanour, which “gave an impression of being flirtatious” of then 20-year-old Dolores Atwood when she came unexpectedly to his private apartment in the Nigerian city of Warri in 1989.
Mr Burke was being cross-examined in his continuing action alleging defamation in RTE’s May 2011 Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme.
Mr Burke, a former Archbishop of Benin, Nigeria, alleges it wrongly depicted him as a paedophile. RTE denies defamation.
Times of Malta
The Church’s Commission for the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults said today it takes action in all cases where a risk of harm to children or vulnerable adults is present, based on the information passed on to the Commission and on the outcome of its initial assessment.
The commission was reacting to reports that a priest is due to be taken to court to face child abuse allegations.
The commission said it will not divulge information about specific cases.
Priest to be charged with abusing minors after reports made to Curia, arraignment in the coming days
A priest will be taken to court in the coming days to face charges of child abuse, TVM has reported.
The charges were presented in court yesterday and the priest, who has not been named, is expected to be arraigned in the coming days. TVM says the priest will not be arraigned under arrest.
It said the police launched an investigation after reports made to the Archbishop’s Curia. Enough evidence has been gathered to arraign the man.
In a statement issued this morning the Curia said it would not be giving any details about the case.
“With reference to the alleged case of abuse reported in the media, the Commission for the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults would like to clarify that, whilst it will not divulge information…
Perceptions are key in the matter of who carries out inquiries into historic child abuse allegations.
Two religious orders are arguing that the woman appointed to lead the Scottish Government’s inquiry might appear to be biased.
This is on the grounds that Susan O’Brien QC has previously acted in cases against the catholic order the Sisters of Nazareth. She helped alleged victims of abuse challenge a time bar which prevented them from bringing cases against the Catholic order over incidents of abuse they claim happened in its children’s homes in the 1960s and 1970s.
By Jason Proctor, CBC News
Lawyers for former Olympics CEO John Furlong and reporter Laura Robinson spelled out clear and opposing interpretations Friday of the facts surrounding a landmark B.C. Supreme Court defamation case.
Is it a case of a journalist targeted for doing her job? Or of a reasonable man responding to an attack?
Robinson is suing Furlong — claiming he attacked her professionalism and character in response to a 2012 Georgia Straight article alleging verbal and physical abuse against First Nations students at a Burns Lake, B.C., Catholic school.
Her lawyer, Bryan Baynham, told the court that clearing Furlong would declare “open season” on journalists for powerful people seeking to avoid investigative reporters.
“Being adversarial or critical does not mean her reporting was not responsible,” he said.
By Bob Mackin, Today, TheTyee.ca
The lawyer for reporter Laura Robinson conceded at the end of John Furlong’s B.C. Supreme Court defamation trial June 26 that the former Vancouver Olympics chief executive won the battle in the court of public opinion.
“He excels at the court of public opinion,” Bryan Baynham told Justice Catherine Wedge. “My client seeks justice in a court of law.”
The two-week trial was the product of Robinson’s countersuit filed in January 2014. Furlong claimed on several occasions that she was an activist with a vendetta and a poor journalist. Furlong was first to sue Robinson and the Georgia Straight for defamation in November 2012, two months after Robinson’s expose, headlined “John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake” was published. Robinson’s story accused Furlong of inconsistencies in his Patriot Hearts memoir and abuse against his First Nations gym class students…
by Perry Miller
A Brookings County jury finds a former Brookings pastor guilty of sexual contact with a child under 16.
The verdict was returned against 37-year-old Timothy Bariteau Thursday afternoon. Bariteau was indicted last November and arrested in California, where he had been living
The incident occurred in April or May of 2014 when Bariteau was one of the pastors at Morningside Community Church in Brookings.
The jury deliberated for about five hours yesterday before returning the guilty verdict. States Attorney Clyde Calhoon says the jury reviewed the video of Bariteau being interviewed by D-C-I agents during the deliberations. Those had also been shown during the trial.
BROOKINGS — A jury has convicted a former Brookings pastor of having sexual contact with a child under the age of 16.
Brookings Radio reports (http://bit.ly/1LJMEy4 ) that 37-year-old Timothy Bariteau was indicted last November and arrested in California, where he had been living. He was convicted Thursday after a Brookings County jury deliberated for about five hours.
Authorities say the crime occurred in April or May of 2014 when Bariteau was one of the pastors at Morningside Community Church in Brookings.
Attorneys: Deposing Catholic school priest would “harass and embarrass” him, regarding past sex allegations
By Kati Weis, FOX10 News Reporter
MOBILE, AL (WALA) – According to the most recent court documents filed in Mobile County Circuit Court, attorneys for Father Johnny Savoie are still trying to block subpoenas requesting to hear his sworn testimony about previous allegations against him.
They’re even saying that requiring his testimony would “harass and embarrass” him.
This all began when parents of former students at St. Pius X Catholic School in Mobile filed suit against the school, alleging the school’s administrators did nothing to stop their children from being bullied.
So far, 15 plaintiffs, including parents, former, and current students, have filed in the suit against the school.
While pursuing that lawsuit, lawyers representing the plaintiffs found a statement Savoie made to his congregation last year, denying sexual misconduct allegations…
Prosecutors have added six additional charges against a former Michigan Catholic school priest, teacher and wrestling coach in connection with reported sexual assaults of boys more than three decades ago.
James Rapp now faces 19 criminal sexual conduct charges after two more alleged victims came forward.
The charges were amended Friday at a district court hearing.
The 76-year-old Rapp waived a preliminary examination, sending the case to circuit court. Bond is set at $1 million.
The state attorney general’s office says the abuse took place from 1981 to 1986.
By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JUNE 26, 2015
A prominent Catholic cleric has asked the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to release details of two investigations into alleged sexual misconduct by former Archbishop John Nienstedt.
The Rev. John Bauer, pastor of the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, said refusing to share the archdiocese-commissioned investigations suggests that “the Archdiocese has not been transparent, honest and forthcoming in the information it is has shared with the faithful. …”
“I realize objections will be raised in regard to the release of this material,” Bauer wrote in an open letter Thursday to Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Bishop Andrew Cozzens and Vicar General Charles Lachowitzer.
“Given the fact that Archdiocesan funds were used, however, I firmly believe that the right of the faithful to this information outweighs any objections. More importantly, I believe that in order for our Archdiocese to…
DETECTIVES investigating the cold case murder of a mother in 1980 have cleared her family’s priest as a suspect.
Maria James was stabbed to death at the Thornbury Bookstore 35 years ago.
The case was reopened in 2013 when her son revealed new evidence that he alleged may have implicated Father Anthony Bongiorno.
But Detective Sen-Sgt Stuart Bailey, of the Homicide Squad, said Father Bongiorno — who died in 2002 — had now been ruled out as a suspect.
“Father Bongiorno … has been eliminated as a suspect through a variety of investigative techniques,” Det Sen-Sgt Bailey said.
He said the investigation had uncovered “other avenues of inquiry” as police continued to investigate Ms James’s murder.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
By Evelyn Ring
Irish Examiner Reporter
Clerical sex abuse survivor and papal representative Marie Collins said she was glad there would be an inquiry over the failure by the gardaí to act on information it had in 1973, about paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.
“There can be no excuse for the gardaí not acting on the information they had then. There can be no justification for doing nothing,” Ms Collins said yesterday.
Evidence was provided to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland this week that gardaí in Finglas, Dublin, had been alerted in 1973 about a very real risk of future abuse by Smyth.
Belfast solicitor Kevin Winters said he would be writing to the Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan to find out why the letter informing gardaí that Smyth was “suffering from paedophilia” was not acted on.
Mr Winters’ firm…
Catholic nuns who faced a barrage of compensation claims from youngsters in care are seeking to overturn the appointment of a leading lawyer as head of an inquiry into historical child abuse in Scotland.
The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul are seeking to set aside the decision of the Scottish Ministers to make Susan O’Brien QC chair of the inquiry in a judicial review.
Miss O’Brien, who previously sat on an inquiry into the death of Caleb Ness in Edinburgh, was appointed in May to the new role by Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance and her appointment is due to begin on July1.
The religious groups have expressed concerns that Miss O’Brien will end up acting as judge after previously appearing on behalf of people who were pursuing claims against one…
by Carlito Pablo on June 26th, 2015
The lawyer for a journalist who is suing John Furlong for defamation warned of the “chilling effects” that will be created if the former Vancouver Olympics CEO prevails in the case.
In his closing arguments in B.C. Supreme Court, Bryan Baynham said a Furlong victory would signal that it’s “open season” for the “wealthy and powerful” to destroy the reputations of journalists like his client, Laura Robinson.
“Journalists by their very nature publish uncomfortable allegations,” Baynham said today (June 26).
They are, in turn, expected to act responsibly, which, according to Baynham, was what Robinson did when she investigated and wrote about omissions made by Furlong in his autobiography and the alleged abuses he committed against First Nations students during his previously undisclosed early years in Canada.
Baynham said that Robinson did what a “good investigative journalist” does, which…
By Daniel Tepfer
Published 5:00 pm, Friday, June 26, 2015
HARTFORD — The state Supreme Court on Friday rebuffed the Roman Catholic Church’s attempt to curb the number of lawsuits brought by those who claim they were abused as children by priests, upholding the law that allows abuse victims to file lawsuit until they are 48.
Upholding a $1.3 judgment for a man who claimed he was abused by a priest at a Derby school in the early 1980s, the state’s highest court ruled the 13-year-old law extending the statute of limitations for abuse lawsuits is constitutional.
“Given the unique psychological and social factors that often result in delayed reporting of childhood sexual abuse, which frustrated the ability of victims to bring an action under earlier revisions of the statute of limitations, we cannot say that the legislature acted unreasonably or irrationally,” the court…
ST. LOUIS (MO)
June 26, 2015 Author: berger
In a first, an archdiocesan priest is going after parents of a young alleged victim of a pedophile priest. Fr. Joseph Jiang has filed a civil federal lawsuit against the mom and dad of a Cathedral parish boy who city cops and prosecutors say was molested by the priest. Jiang’s Clayton lawyer once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The suit also names as defendants two police officers, two SNAP leaders and the city itself, claiming religious discrimination and other counts. “We feel terrible for these brave parents who’ve done nothing but act with courage and compassion to protect other kids,” said SNAP’s David Clohessy.
The Globe and Mail
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 26, 2015
Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong defamed freelance journalist Laura Robinson by portraying her as a cruel and callous activist who tried to extort money from him, Ms. Robinson’s lawyer said Friday in his closing argument.
And, the lawyer said, Mr. Furlong should not be able to claim he was merely responding to an attack, because his statements showed a “reckless disregard for truth.”
Ms. Robinson is suing Mr. Furlong for his response to a story she wrote in September, 2012, which alleged the former Olympics CEO abused students while teaching in northern B.C. more than 40 years ago.
Mr. Furlong held a news conference the day the article was published, saying the story showed a lack of diligence and accusing Ms. Robinson of having a vendetta against him….
by THE CANADIAN PRESS
VANCOUVER – A lawyer for a freelance journalist says former Olympics CEO John Furlong portrayed her as a heartless, cruel and callous activist who was motivated by contempt for male authority figures.
Bryan Baynham has begun his closing arguments in a civil trial where Laura Robinson is alleging Furlong defamed her in public comments after she wrote an article that alleged he physically and verbally abused First Nations children decades ago.
Furlong held a news conference the day the article was published in the Georgia Straight newspaper in September 2012 and accused Robinson of a shocking lack of diligence, inaccurate reporting and a personal vendetta.
Baynham says Robinson sought Furlong’s comment four times through his lawyer, but he refused to explain why he had omitted from his memoir “Patriot Hearts” his past work as a teacher at a Catholic school in northern…
By Kevin Sharkey
BBC News NI
The Irish government is facing calls to respond to revelations that police failed to prosecute the paedophile priest, Brendan Smyth, in the 1970s.
It emerged this week at the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry that Gardaí (Irish police) knew Smyth was a paedophile as far back as 1973.
Smyth continued to abuse for more than 20 years, until he was jailed in 1994.
Both the main opposition party, Fianna Fáil, and Sinn Féin have called on the government to take action on the case.
‘Dismay and disgust’
Sinn Fein has urged Dublin ministers to set-up an independent judicial review into the HIA revelations.
Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson, Niall Collins, urged the Irish minister for justice and the head of the police to set up a “mechanism” to address concerns that state agencies failed to act to protect Smyth’s…
One of Fr Brendan Smyth’s victims is not very impressed with Cardinal Sean Brady’s expressions of regret about his role in failing to prevent Smyth’s abuse.
The former Catholic Primate of All Ireland, Sean Brady, has expressed his horror and offered an unreserved apology to all those affected as a result of the crimes of Fr Brendan Smyth. Brady received sharp criticism after it emerged he had been meetings where two teenage victims of Smyth were sworn to secrecy in 1975.
Their evidence was never handed over to police. Smyth continued abusing children before the authorities eventually caught up with him and he was jailed in 1994. He died in prison in 1997. Brady said:
“There was a shroud of secrecy and confidentiality with a view not to destroying the good name of the church. To offset that, the scandal was kept a secret — very,…
By Theresa Ghiloni | firstname.lastname@example.org
on June 26, 2015
JACKSON, MI – A man who said he was among those victimized by former priest at Jackson Lumen Christi High School more than 30 years ago wants other victims to know that justice and closure are possible.
Andrew Russell, 46, spoke with the Jackson Citizen Patriot after a probable cause hearing for 75-year-old James Rapp, who faces 19 counts of criminal sexual conduct for crime he is accused of committing from 1981 through 1986.
“I’m not going to … hide my face, I’m going to step forward and talk for these people and represent these people,” Russell said. “It’s not just about this case. It’s about abuse worldwide and coming forward and getting healing. … It’s time justice was served, and to move on and get healing.”
He said there should be no shame or embarrassment in…
ST. LOUIS (MO)
Alexandra Martellaro, KSDK
ST. LOUIS — A Roman Catholic priest who was accused of sexually assaulting a boy has filed a lawsuit, claiming he was unfairly targeted.
Charges against the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang were dropped last week without explanation. He was accused of abusing a young boy in 2011 and 2012 in a Catholic school bathroom.
The suit names the boy’s parents by their initials, two police officers, the city of St. Louis, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris. It’s seeking unspecified damages.
Jennifer Joyce’s office left the door open for the case to be refiled in the future. The statement said the statute of limitations on this case does not run out for another 35 years, leaving plenty of time to refile the case.
By The Associated Press
on June 26, 2015
HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Agents with the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office have seized documents and computers from a monastery where a Franciscan friar killed himself after he was accused of sexually abusing students at schools in two states.
The attorney general’s office refused to comment on Thursday’s raid at the St. Bernardine Monastery near Hollidaysburg, Blair County. Officials also declined to comment.
Sixty-two-year-old Brother Stephen Baker stabbed himself in the heart in January 2013, nine days after the Roman Catholic diocese in Youngstown, Ohio, settled abuse claims with 11 former students at a school in that state.
HARTFORD — The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a $1 million jury verdict in a priest sexual abuse case against the Archdiocese of Hartford.
A jury in Waterbury Superior Court determined in 2012 that the archdiocese was reckless and negligent in letting the Rev. Ivan Ferguson work with children again in 1981 at the St. Mary’s school in Derby.
The lawsuit said Ferguson sexually abused a St. Mary’s student, known only as Jacob Doe in court documents, about 20 times between 1981 and 1983, beginning when he was 13. Court documents say the abuse happened after Ferguson received treatment for abusing other boys.
The Hartford Courant
The state Supreme Court Friday upheld a $1 million verdict in a priest sexual abuse case while at the same time rejecting an argument by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford that a state law which extended the statute of limitations for potential victims to file a lawsuit was unconstitutional.
In February 2012, a jury in Waterbury awarded a former altar boy $1 million after a trial in which the victim, identified in court papers as Jacob Doe, testified that he and a friend were repeatedly molested and sexually assaulted by the Rev. Ivan Ferguson and a friend of the priest.
During oral arguments before the Supreme Court last year the archdiocese argued to overturn the verdict based on a variety of claims — including that the trial judge erred by not allowing an expert witness to testify for the church and by allowing…
[An overview of clergy abuse in the Catholic Church. In response to the many requests of visitors to the website of UAAR , a fact sheet has been prepared on the problem of child sexual abuse committed by Catholic Church representatives. Other fact sheets will follow, which will analyze the various aspects of the phenomenon, and in particular the Italian reality.]
In risposta alle tante sollecitazioni dei frequentatori del sito della UAAR, è stata preparata questa prima scheda informativa sul problema degli abusi sessuali sui minori commessi da esponenti della Chiesa cattolica. Ne seguiranno altre, che analizzeranno i vari aspetti del fenomeno ed in particolare la realtà italiana.
Presa di coscienza del problema negli Stati Uniti
Il problema degli abusi sessuali su minori era noto negli Stati Uniti, anche se non nelle sue reali dimensioni, fin dagli anni Cinquanta del Novecento, anche se solo nel 1967 se…
TWO religious groups have begun legal action to remove the head of a national inquiry into historical child abuse from her post.
The Court of Session in Edinburgh heard how Ms O’Brien acted as legal counsel in two cases brought against the Poor Sisters of Nazareth which reached the House of Lords.
Both religious congregations ran children’s homes during the twentieth century which became subject to allegations of abuse during the 1990s.
The court heard how Ms O’Brien had acted on behalf of two pursuers during an appeal to the House of Lords on the issue of the timebar, which prevents action being taken once a period of time has passed. The case related to alleged abuse at the Nazareth House children’s home in Cardonald, Glasgow, which is now closed. The legal proceedings concluded in 2008.
Alastair Duncan QC said: “The particular concern that my…
Two Catholic charities have objected to the choice of chairwoman for Scotland’s public inquiry into historical cases of child abuse.
The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul have lodged a petition for judicial review.
They raised the issue of bias over the appointment of Susan O’Brien QC, who has acted in a case against them.
The charities’ petition will be heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
The government said it would “robustly” defend the appointment, while some victims called the legal move “disappointing” and “outrageous”.
The action centres on Ms O’Brien’s involvement in a case brought by two former residents of Nazareth House children’s home in Glasgow.
[Daring photos of minors were seized from the computer of Francesco Micciche, former bishop of Trapani in Italy.]
di ALESSANDRA ZINITI
Più gli inquirenti scavano nella vita di Francesco Micciché, più l’inchiesta nata dagli ammanchi alla Curia di Trapani prende strade impreviste e imprevedibili: dagli affari immobiliari alla truffa dell’otto per mille, dall’appropriazione di tesori della Chiesa trapanese alla pedopornografia. La più scabrosa delle ipotesi di reato a carico dell’ex vescovo di Trapani è emersa nelle scorse settimane dall’esame del pc che gli investigatori hanno sequestrato nella villa di Monreale dove l’ex vescovo, rimosso dal Vaticano dopo lo scandalo che ha travolto la Curia di Trapani, risiede insieme alla sorella e al cognato.
Nel portatile del sacerdote gli esperti informatici che erano a caccia di documenti che potessero sostenere le accuse nei confronti di Micciché, indagato per appropriazione indebita dalla Procura di Trapani, hanno trovato un…
[Abuse: Irish Cardinal admits coverup]
Dublin, 26.6.15 (kath.ch) Der frühere katholische Primas von Irland, Kardinal Sean Brady (75), hat Fehler und Vertuschungsversuche im Umgang mit Missbrauchsfällen eingeräumt. Medienberichten vom Freitag, 26. Juni, zufolge bedauerte Brady bei der Anhörung vor der Kommission zur Untersuchung von Missbrauchsfällen in der katholischen Kirche, dass man sich fälschlicherweise nicht um die Opfer, sondern um den Täter gekümmert habe. Er sprach von einem «dunklen Kapitel unserer Geschichte».
Mit Blick auf den Fall des pädophilen Priesters Brendan Smyth, der mehrfach in andere Gemeinden weiterversetzt worden war, räumte Brady «unangemessenes Verhalten» ein. Man habe «mit der Absicht, den guten Ruf der Kirche nicht zu zerstören, einen Schleier des Schweigens und der Geheimhaltung» über die Angelegenheit gelegt. Es habe sich um «unsägliche Vergehen gehandelt»; deshalb habe man den «Skandal geheim gehalten – sehr, sehr geheim».
ST. LOUIS (MO)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Rev. Xiuhui “Joseph” Jiang filed a federal lawsuit days after the St. Louis circuit attorney’s office dismissed child abuse charges against him.
In the lawsuit, filed Thursday, Jiang claims he was unfairly targeted by the city, police and sexual abuse victims.
The lawsuit names St. Louis police officers Tonya Porter and Jaimie Pitterle, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and its leaders, David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris, the City of St. Louis and the accuser’s parents.
Jiang had been accused of twice abusing a male victim under the age of 14 between July 2011 and August 2012.
ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
Victims to hold news conference
In a first, priest sues alleged victim’s parents
SNAP leaders, police officers and city are also accused
Group to Archbishop “Why let a twice-accused predator do this?”
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will discuss an unprecedented new federal lawsuit in which, for the first time ever, an accused local child molesting cleric is suing
–an alleged victim’s parents
–the police and/or
The victims will blast the priest’s “intimidating” legal maneuver and will blast the archbishop for letting him do this.
For the sake of public safety, SNAP wants Catholic officials to
–disclose the priest’s whereabouts,
–take his passport so he can’t flee overseas, and
–publicly answer troubling questions about the cleric and…
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )
Connecticut’s top Catholic official has lost his bid to overturn a crucial state child safety law. Shame on him for trying.
Ex-Hartford Archbishop Henry Mansell and current Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair asked Connecticut’s Supreme Court to gut a measure that gives victims of child molesters more time to expose and deter those who commit or conceal child sex crimes.
Supreme Court officials rebuffed his move. We are grateful. And we hope that hundreds more adults who were sexually violated as children in Connecticut will step forward, seek justice, and expose and prevent child sex crimes and cover ups.
This ruling is part of an encouraging pattern by judges in the US to…
The US Supreme Court, with at least two Catholic Justices in favor, has within 24 hours just handed Pope Francis’ central positions two defeats — one by declaring that gays have a constitutionally protected right to marry, and the other by upholding Obamacare with its free access to effective contraception to millions of US couples. These are clear victories for children, women and gay folks and underline the political losing streak the pope is on, despite his superficial but declining popularity in the polls. The papal defeats also indicate that the pope’s main goal of avoiding an Australian style national US investigation into institutional child sexual abuse is increasingly unlikely to be achieved. Read The Gay Marriage Opinion here.
The pope will, it is expected, still hammer his anti-gay marriage crusade in the USA to try to help draw out fundamentalist voters…