ABUSE TRACKER

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

June 2, 2015

SURVIVOR SAUNDERS vs. CARDINAL PELL: David vs. Goliath or Truth vs. Money?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Pope Francis, an ex-bouncer football fan, and Cardinal George Pell, an ex-Australian footballer, appreciate a good match, by Church rules of course. In a modern David and Goliath scenario under Australian Royal Commission rules, Peter Saunders, a courageous UK priest sex abuse survivor and devout Catholic, has boldly taken on Pell, the second most powerful man in the Catholic Church, before a crowd of over a billion Catholics. Pope Francis wanted a “mess”, and now he has created a big one by picking both Pell and Saunders to serve under him. Given the upcoming US papal visit aimed mainly at influencing Catholic and evangelical voters to elect a new “Vatican friendly” US president in next year’s elections, the “Saunders-Pell match”, over holding bishops accountable for protecting priest child abusers, has worldwide implications.

The pope seems too savvy not to have seen this mess coming. He knew both men’s history and enough about their temperaments. He also knew making bishops accountable for protecting priest child abusers was the most important challenge he faced worldwide. And, as a realist, he also knew and knows that robotic and compromised bishops appointed by his complicit predecessors were not, and are not, up to the task of policing themselves, as is still shown almost on a daily basis at ABUSE TRACKER .

Judy Courtin, from Australia’s prestigious Monash University’s law faculty, has extensively researched abuse within the Catholic Church and has been following closely the Royal Commission’s extensive investigation into institutional child sexual abuse there. She recently noted that the Saunders-Pell conflict was problematic for the Vatican, given that both men were appointed by Francis. “Problematic” may be an understatement!

“It will have set the cat among the pigeons,” Courtin recently said. “They’ll be running around in the Vatican with their advisers about how to manage this. Pell and Francis are supposed to be buddies, they like each other, but Saunders was also appointed by Francis, …”, she also noted. Saunders would be viewed by victims as a hero for his comments, she added. Indeed, Saunders is already viewed as a hero by millions of concerned Catholics worldwide, not just by abuse survivors and not just in the UK.

Cardinal George Pell has now been asked to give evidence to the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse at its second hearings in Ballarat (his original diocese) later this year. The announcement of Pell’s new testimony scheduling follows a call by Peter Saunders for Pell to be removed by the pope in Saunder’s remarkable recent interview here on Australia’s 60 Minutes.

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.

Smerconish: Pope may be power player in ‘16

UNITED STATES
Boston Herald

By: Michael Smerconish

Charles and David Koch. Sheldon Adelson. Karl Rove. George Soros. The index is long of those who aren’t running for president but will nevertheless influence the outcome. To the list we need to add Pope Francis. Unlike the others, the pontiff won’t be endorsing anyone, but given his coming visit to the United States, and the strength of his message and popularity, he is poised to uniquely frame the debate.

Pope Francis’ ambitious travel schedule will take him to Latin America this summer and then Cuba (likely in early September), before he arrives in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 22. There, he will meet with President Obama and address a joint meeting of Congress, the first pope to do so. Next, he heads to New York City and Philadelphia.

Get ready for wall-to-wall coverage, not only in the cities he visits but also around the world. And these events will unfold just as the summer has wound down and the presidential campaigns kick into high gear.

The pope will arrive soon after the GOP candidates have debated in Cleveland and at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. While no date has been set, the Democratic candidates are expected to debate for the first time in late August.

Like the rest of us, those candidates will be attentive to what Pope Francis says, while also being envious of his approval numbers. According to the Pew Research Center, among American Catholics, Pope Francis is almost as popular now as St. John Paul II, who in the middle (1990) of his papacy was favored by 93 percent of American Catholics. Pope Francis enjoys a 90 percent favorability rating among his flock, and is viewed favorably by 70 percent of all Americans.

No wonder that, earlier this month, Hillary Clinton, a Methodist, tweeted at the pope in support of his call for equal pay for women: “Amen to this headline, Pontifex! Hope to see more voices speaking out.” Among those who may be especially attentive to his holy word are the potential and declared presidential candidates who are Catholic, including Martin O’Malley, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, George Pataki, Chris Christie, and Bobby Jindal.

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.

Inquiry lacks the power to uncover the truth about Kincora, court told

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY REBECCA BLACK – 02 JUNE 2015

An ongoing inquiry into abuse at children’s homes lacks the powers to get to the bottom of what has been termed the systematic abuse of young boys at Kincora, the High Court has heard.

One victim of an alleged paedophile ring at the former Kincora Home for young boys in east Belfast, said new evidence of purported state collusion and cover-up of abuse must be examined by a wider Westminster inquiry.

Gary Hoy is seeking to judicially review the decision to keep the probe within the remit of a Stormont-commissioned body.

Opening his challenge, Ashley Underwood QC argued the ongoing Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry sitting in Banbridge, Co Down, lacks the power to properly scrutinise the “appalling, systematic abuse” Mr Hoy suffered at Kincora Boys Home.

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

Vatican embassy says TRC report will be sent to Rome

CANADA
APTN

APTN National News

OTTAWA–The Vatican embassy in Ottawa says it will send the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report to Rome.

A spokesperson at the embassy did not have an immediate comment about the recommendations aimed at the Church including a call for Pope Francis to come to Canada to issue an apology to “survivors.”

The TRC report said the apology should be “for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children in Catholic-run residential schools.”

The report is calling for the Pope to issue an apology “similar to the 2010 apology issued to Irish victims of abuse and to occur within one year of the issuing of this report.”

In the report released Tuesday, the three TRC Commissioners aimed a number recommendations at churches in Canada that had ties to residential schools.

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.

Number of Indian residential school student deaths may never be known: TRC

CANADA
APTN

APTN National News

To this day no one has found the remains of the brothers Charles and Tom Ombash who ran away from an Indian residential school in Sioux Lookout, Ont., on Oct. 5, 1956.

School officials waited for about a month before notifying police and Indian Affairs.

At least 33 students are recorded to have died by running away from residential schools. Most succumbed to exposure.

There were other ways Indigenous children attending residential schools died. In 1949, Rodney Beardy, 15, was killed in a tractor accident at an Indian residential school in Brandon, Man. School fires also killed at least 40 students.

Disease, particularly tuberculosis, was the main cause of death for likely thousands of children who attended residential schools.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) unveiled two volumes and a summary of its final report which is expected to be released later this year. One volume was titled, What We Have Learned, and the other was titled, The Survivors Speak

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.

Canada’s Forced Schooling of Aboriginal Children Was ‘Cultural Genocide,’ Report Finds

CANADA
The New York Times

By IAN Austin

OTTAWA — Canada’s former policy of forcibly removing aboriginal children from their families for schooling “can best be described as ‘cultural genocide.’”

That is the conclusion reached by the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission after six years of intensive research, including 6,750 interviews. The commission published a summary version on Tuesday of what will ultimately be a multivolume report, documenting widespread physical, cultural and sexual abuse at government-sponsored residential schools that Indian, Inuit and other indigenous children were forced to attend.

The schools, financed by the government but run largely by churches, were in operation for more than a century, from 1883 until the last one closed in 1998.

The commission found that 3,201 students died while attending the schools, many of them because of mistreatment or neglect — the first comprehensive tally of such deaths.

The report links the abuses at the schools, which came to broad public attention over the last four decades, to a number of social, health, economic and emotional problems afflicting many indigenous Canadians today. And it concluded that while some of the teachers and administrators at the schools were well intentioned, the overriding motive for the program was economic, not educational.

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.

Residential school survivor from Sask. in Ottawa for TRC history

CANADA
CBC News

Over the past six years, thousands of former residential school survivors shared their stories with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Many former students talked about how residential schools tore apart their lives and the lives of their families, sometimes talking about their experiences for the first time.

Now, after six years of listening to those stories, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has released its final report.

Ted Quewezance is the former chief of the Keeseekoose First Nation. He went to residential school himself and headed up the National Residential School Survivors Society. He travelled to Ottawa to be there for this historic event.

He told CBC he is left with a big question. “How are the churches reconciling directly with families and communities right across this country?”

Truth and Reconciliation Commission: By the numbers

Quewezance said he is looking for action from the present government beyond an apology. “We’ve had commissions go across this country and we’ve been studied to death, instead of recommendations we want to know what the actions are going to be? “The whole issue of reconciliation is about housing about our healthcare and about our children,” said Quewezance.

He said he wants to see work being done for First Nation people in Saskatchewan and across the country who need it most. “How do we reconcile within our communities with the people who are very poor, that are very hungry, the ones that live 10-15 people in a home, the people who are on drugs […] That’s the target group.”

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.

Truth and Reconciliation commission makes 94 recommendations for residential-school healing

CANADA
660 News

THE CANADIAN PRESS | A long-awaited report on the horrors of Canada’s residential school system calls it nothing short of a “cultural genocide,” making 94 broad recommendations — everything from greater police independence and reducing the number of aboriginal children in foster care to restrictions on the use of conditional and mandatory minimum sentences.

The summary of the Truth and Reconciliation report, out today, is the culmination of six emotional years of extensive study into the church-run, government-funded institutions, which operated for more than 120 years.

“Canada separated children from their parents, sending them to residential schools,” says the summary. “This was done not to educate them, but primarily to break their link to their culture and identity.”

The scope of the commission and its report is staggering. The full report, weighing in at six volumes and thousands of pages, will be released later this year.

The commission, prompted by the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history, found neglect was institutionalized and students were often “prey to sexual and physical abusers.”

It goes so far as to recommend additional CBC funding, a statutory holiday to honour survivors and an apology from the Pope on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.

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Editorial: No more shrugging. No more turning away

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA CITIZEN EDITORIAL BOARD

Before the reconciliation of people comes the reconciliation of narratives. We turned away from the stories of the survivors of residential schools. We told ourselves other stories, stories about good intentions and unfortunate mistakes. That work of reconciling our story-telling to fit the historical truth falls mainly to non-Aboriginal Canadians now, and that is only the beginning.

We Canadians wanted to believe that abuse was the aberrant work of cruel individuals, not the policy of an entire nation. We forgave the overt racism of our lauded forefathers, saying it was a different time – as if morality is relative, as if “don’t starve children” was an axiom too advanced or enlightened for the people who built this country.

The summary report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission refocuses that lens of history, making the truth uncomfortably sharp and clear. Thousands of children died. Some children were deliberately kept undernourished, to make a “baseline” for nutritional research. Children’s names and languages were beaten out of them. The residential schools were not a mistake. They worked precisely as intended, as one tactic in a strategy that Canada’s chief justice has accurately called cultural genocide.

Every Aboriginal person in Canada lives today with that legacy; every non-Aboriginal person does too, although they may not realize it. The legacy is there in the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in foster care systems, and in the shocking stories about those systems that have recently made headlines in Alberta and Manitoba. It is in Canadians’ widespread ignorance of Aboriginal languages, names, practices and stories; that knowledge of this country’s heritage and culture has been stolen from all our children. It is in our correctional system, in the suicide and diabetes statistics. The government of this country deliberately broke families and communities, and that damage has not yet healed.

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Canada’s church-run schools for Indians were “cultural genocide,” says report

CANADA
Fox News

Associated Press

TORONTO – A long-awaited report into Canada’s decades-long government policy requiring Canadian Indians to attend state-funded church schools called it “nothing less than cultural genocide.”

Truth and Reconciliation Commission chair Justice Murray Sinclair said Tuesday that residential schools are one of the “darkest and most troubling chapters in our collective history.”

The report is the result of a six-year study of Canada’s former government policy requiring Canadian Indians to attend the schools, often the scenes of physical and sexual abuse. Indian leaders have cited the legacy of abuse and isolation as the root cause of epidemic substance abuse rates on reservations.

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 aboriginal children were required to attend Christian schools to rid them of their native cultures and integrate them into Canadian society.

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Canada’s residential schools a history of ‘institutionalized child neglect

CANADA
Metro

OTTAWA—The residential schools that removed Aboriginal children from their homes, subjecting many of them to substandard education, malnutrition, abuse, illness and even death was a key part of a government-led policy that amounted to cultural genocide, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission concludes.

“These measures were part of a coherent policy to eliminate Aboriginal people as distinct peoples and to assimilate them into the Canadian mainstream against their will,” says the 381-page summary of its final report released Tuesday in Ottawa.

“The Canadian government pursued this policy of cultural genocide because it wished to divest itself of its legal and financial obligations to Aboriginal people and gain control over their land and resources,” says the report.

The heart-wrenching and damning report is the culmination of a six-year examination of the history and legacy of residential schools — largely operated by churches and funded by the Canadian government — that saw 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children come through their doors for more than a century.

Through the testimony of residential school survivors, former staff, church and government officials and archival documents, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission pieced together a horrifying history that, despite its rippling effects, has been repeatedly dismissed or ignored.

It also describes how the legacy of residential schools continues, not only through the direct effect that generations of institutionalization and abuse has had on survivors and their families, but how it is manifested in racism, systemic discrimination and poverty, as well as dying indigenous languages.

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Truth and Reconciliation report: Canadians should be taught about racist past, First Nation

CANADA
Toronto Star

By: Peter Edwards Star Reporter, Published on Tue Jun 02 2015

The massive final report of the inquiry into horrors of church-run, government-funded native residential schools should just be the starting point for improving how we teach our history, First Nations community members say.

“It’s about awareness,” said Andrea Chrisjohn, board designate of the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. “Education is really critical.”

“It’s all about education,” said Paula Whitlow, museum director of the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford. “Racism still exists. We still deal with it every day in some form.”

Chrisjohn, Whitlow and Gordon Peters, Grand Chief of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians, all said that the effects of residential schools are still felt widely in First Nations communities.

Education is an essential starting point to making things better, they said.

“You can’t have Canada built on a foundation of lies,” Peters said. “That’s what Canada is right now. They teach these lies to the children.”

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Truth and Reconciliation report: nothing short of “cultural genocide”

CANADA
CHEK

A long-awaited report on the horrors of Canada’s residential school system calls it nothing short of a “cultural genocide,” making 94 broad recommendations _ everything from greater police independence and reducing the number of aboriginal children in foster care to restrictions on the use of conditional and mandatory minimum sentences.

The summary of the Truth and Reconciliation report, out today, is the culmination of six emotional years of extensive study into the church-run, government-funded institutions, which operated for more than 120 years.

Justice Murray Sinclair, Canada’s first aboriginal justice and the commission’s chairman, was welcomed to the podium at a packed news conference in Ottawa with a sustained and heartfelt standing ovation.

“The residential school experience is clearly one of the darkest most troubling chapters in our collective history,” said Sinclair, who called the commission “a difficult, inspiring and very painful journey for all of us.”

“In the period from Confederation until the decision to close residential schools was taken in this country in 1969, Canada clearly participated in a period of cultural genocide.”

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Highlights from the Truth and Reconciliation report on residential schools

CANADA
Alaska Highway News

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission examining Canada’s residential-school system has released a summary of its six-volume report, the culmination of six years of study of the church-run, government-funded institutions, which operated for more than 120 years.

Some of the 94 recommendations it contains:

— Adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

— Establish a Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation reaffirming the nation-to-nation relationship between Aboriginal Peoples and the Crown;

— Solicit from Pope Francis an apology for the role played by the Roman Catholic Church;

— Call a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women;

— Establish a written federal policy reaffirming the independence of the RCMP to investigate crimes in which the federal government may be an interested party;

— Change the oath of citizenship to reflect treaties with Aboriginal Peoples;

— Establish, through the provincial and territorial governments and the federal government, national standards for foster care and reduce the number of aboriginal children in care;

— Repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code, the so-called spanking law, in order to outlaw corporal punishment;

— Create a mandatory, age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, treaties and the contributions of Aboriginal Peoples taught across Canada from kindergarten to grade 12;

— Build a residential-schools monument in every provincial and territorial capital;

– See more at: http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/highlights-from-the-truth-and-reconciliation-report-on-residential-schools-1.1954534#sthash.fIVrt1NF.dpuf

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UNICEF Canada’s response to preview report at Truth & Reconciliation Commission Closing Ceremonies

CANADA
Virtual Press Office

OTTAWA, June 2, 2015 /CNW/ – UNICEF Canada responds to the preview report from the Closing Ceremonies of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Ottawa:

From Toronto, UNICEF Canada’s President and CEO:
“Following the historic apology by the Government of Canada, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been a very important process to support healing and to educate Canadians about the legacy of residential schools that is seen in the struggles of communities and children to thrive today. This reconciliation process is critical for healing the relations between people and emphasizes how important the early years are for people and for a society.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are handrails on the pathway for a better future and governments at all levels should commit to an implementation plan.”

From Ottawa, UNICEF Canada’s Chief Policy Advisor, Marv Bernstein:
“Moving from this point forward as a nation we need to continue the journey and ensure that indigenous children are as healthy, well-educated and supported in their communities as we want all of our children to be. The equitable and fair treatment of Aboriginal citizens and their children is everyone’s responsibility and not just that of government.

The preview of today’s report also stresses the value of education for Aboriginal children and the importance of including this history in school curricula.

At UNICEF Canada, we’ll be examining the report for what we can do and urge all Canadians to do the same.”

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‘Words are not enough’ to atone for residential schools: Justice Murray Sinclair

CANADA
CBC News

By Chloe Fedio, CBC News

Reconciliation for the “cultural genocide” of residential schools requires a nation-wide commitment, said Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as he released a report from the commission that included 94 recommendations.

​”Words are not enough,” Sinclair said. “Reconciliation is not an Aboriginal problem — it is a Canadian problem. It involves all of us.”

National Chief Perry Bellegarde, former AFN chief Phil Fontaine, a representative from the federal government and representatives from churches. CBCnews.ca is carrying that event live.

Sinclair said seven generations were denied their identity as they were separated from their language, culture, spiritual traditions and their collective history.

“Survivors were stripped of the ability to answer these questions, but they were also stripped of the love of their families. They were stripped of their self-respect and they were stripped of their identity,” he said.

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Residential schools ‘cultural genocide’: TRC

CANADA
Niagara This Week

OTTAWA – A long-awaited report on the horrors of Canada’s residential school system calls it nothing short of a “cultural genocide,” making 94 broad recommendations —everything from greater police independence and reducing the number of aboriginal children in foster care to restrictions on the use of conditional and mandatory minimum sentences.

The summary of the Truth and Reconciliation report, released Tuesday, is the culmination of six emotional years of extensive study into the church-run, government-funded institutions, which operated for more than 120 years.

The exercise has been “a difficult, inspiring and very painful journey for all of us,” said Justice Murray Sinclair, Canada’s first aboriginal justice and the commission’s chairman.

“The residential school experience is clearly one of the darkest most troubling chapters in our collective history,” Sinclair told a packed news conference Tuesday in Ottawa.

“In the period from Confederation until the decision to close residential schools was taken in this country in 1969, Canada clearly participated in a period of cultural genocide.”

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.

Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future

CANADA
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Introduction

For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide.”

Physical genocide is the mass killing of the members of a targeted group, and biological genocide is the destruction of the group’s reproductive capacity. Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group.

States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed. And, most significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next.

In its dealing with Aboriginal people, Canada did all these things.

Canada asserted control over Aboriginal land. In some locations, Canada negotiated Treaties with First Nations; in others, the land was simply occupied or seized. The negotiation of Treaties, while seemingly honourable and legal, was often marked by fraud and coercion, and Canada was, and remains, slow to implement their provisions and intent.1

On occasion, Canada forced First Nations to relocate their reserves from agriculturally valuable or resource-rich land onto remote and economically marginal reserves.2

Without legal authority or foundation, in the 1880s Canada instituted a “pass system” that was

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Christian PR expert tells Duggar family: Apology not enough; you got to pay your debt to society

UNITED STATES
Christian Today

Czarina Ong
01 June 2015

Christian public relations expert Hunter Frederick, who was reportedly sought by the Duggar family from “19 Kids and Counting” to handle the sexual abuse accusations against Josh, said the apology offered by the family in the wake of the scandal is not enough, adding that they need to pay their debt to society somehow.

“I have no reason to think their apology wasn’t sincere, but an apology is one small thing that needs to happen in this very large problem,” Frederick told The Christian Post. “The majority of people that are against the Duggars want some kind of legal punishment, which can’t happen because of our country’s statute of limitations law.”

He called the whole situation “very sticky” from a crisis management standpoint. One of the solutions he sees is for Josh to pay his debt back to society in some form.

When he was only 14 years old, Josh allegedly molested five young girls, an act which he later confessed to his parents Jim Bob and Michelle. As a result, his parents sent him to the Institute in Basic Life Principles, an organization dedicated to giving individuals clear training on Scripture by providing “seminars, educational programs, printed literature, and the operation of centers to facilitate training,” according to its website.

Even though Josh and his family are currently being lambasted by the public and the media, Frederick said this is part and parcel of being a celebrity.

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ND–Predator priest from ND passes away

NORTH DAKOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

for immediate release: Tuesday, June 2, 2015

For more information:

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Predator priest from ND passes away
Victims urge Catholic bishops to “do outreach”
“Others may be suffering in shame and silence,” SNAP says
Attorney believes he may have assaulted at least 100 children

A credibly accused child molesting Catholic priest from North Dakota has passed away and a support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging two bishops to “aggressively reach out” to others he may have hurt.

Last week, Catholic officials at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville Minnesota announced that Fr. Richard Eckroth has died.

[CBS Minnesota]

On Friday, documents about Fr. Eckroth, a “credibly accused” predator, according to his church supervisors, were made public by an attorney who says that the cleric may have assaulted 100 kids.

[Jeff Anderson and Associates]

Now, leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are asking bishops in both Minnesota and North Dakota to “aggressively seek out anyone else who may have been hurt by him” by using “church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements” so that “the wounded may be consoled and learn that they aren’t alone.

Born in Mandan North Dakota (in the Bismarck diocese), Fr. Eckroth belonged to the Benedictine Catholic order. He mostly lived in Minnesota (St. Cloud, Albany, and St. Joseph) though he was sent to work in the Bahamas and to Maryland for treatment.

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Financial transparency serves the Church’s mission, says Vatican official

VATICAN CITY
Headlines from the Catholic World

Vatican City, Jun 2, 2015 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an exclusive interview with CNA, the director of the Vatican’s financial watchdog stressed that the Holy See has pursued the goal of adopting international standards for financial transparency in accord with the Church’s mission, and not to merely seek adherence to international standards.

“The Holy See’s path toward financial transparency has not been that of imitating other countries, nor that of applying international standards by analogy,” Tomasso Di Ruzza , director of the Authority for Financial Information, stated. The main goal, he added, “was the ambitious one of adopting international standards coherently with the nature and the mission of the Holy See in the world.”

Di Ruzza, 40, was appointed director of the AIF in January. He had worked at the Holy See for 10 years, first as an international law expert at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and then at the AIF since 2011.

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Pope orders changes at Vatican pension fund

VATICAN CITY
IPE

2 JUNE 2015BY GAIL MOSS

Pope Francis has issued new statutes for the Vatican pension fund which provide for the fund’s president to be appointed directly by the Pontiff himself, and for the inclusion of laity on the board of directors.

The pension fund had net assets of €477.7m as at end-December 2014, with its portfolio estimated to be worth €504m at the end of 2015.

The changes have been introduced by a motu proprio, a document issued by the Pope on his own initiative.

They form part of an ongoing shake-up in Vatican finances prompted by the Pope since his election in 2013.

The latest move means that the pension fund’s president will be chosen by the Pope from among three candidates nominated by the Council for the Economy – which sets policy guidelines for the Vatican’s economic activities – and who could include members of the laity.

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Europe’s fractious Catholics set out their views in synod questionnaire

EUROPE
National Catholic Reporter

Jonathan Luxmoore | Jun. 2, 2015
Synod on the Family

WARSAW, POLAND Like their counterparts around the world, Europe’s bishops’ conferences are supposed to have been engaged in a listening process for next October’s Synod of Bishops on the family.

And while little has been divulged officially so far about the views collected from Catholic respondents, it’s been possible to glean some measure of the strong feelings being expressed.

When the Vatican sent out the final report of the synod’s October 2014 Extraordinary Assembly, it asked bishops to conduct an “in-depth examination” and seek out “practical solutions” to the “innumerable challenges” identified at the synod sessions.

It circulated 46 questions, as part of the lineamenta, or preparatory documents, about family ministry and how the church could best tackle issues such as homosexuality, divorce and remarriage, contraception, and cohabitation.

While Spain’s bishops kept the questionnaire strictly within the church, those of England and Wales released it on the Internet and invited everyone to respond. Other church leaders handled the document variously in time for Rome’s April 15 deadline.

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Former bishop Ronald Mulkearns may not make abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

JUNE 03, 2015

John Ferguson
Victoria Editor
Melbourne

Former bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns’s bid to use his health to avoid official scrutiny over his alleged bungling of child sex abuse cases has been severely undermined by his attendance last month at a Sydney dinner for the nation’s retired senior Catholic clergy.

Bishop Mulkearns was accompanied in Sydney by his successor, Peter Connors, as they celebrated at an annual dinner for retired bishops.

Bishop Mulkearns’s attendance has raised eyebrows among some senior church figures, amid expectations he would avoid ­attendance at the child abuse royal commission, as he did with a Victorian parliamentary inquiry in 2013, by citing his health.

The attendance of Bishop Connors by Bishop Mulkearns’s side is significant because the church entrusted him with trying to resolve the bitter fallout caused by the child abuse that occurred across the western Victorian diocese during Bishop Mulkearns’s 26-year reign.

Hundreds of children were abused in the diocese of Ballarat during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

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Opinion: Time for a rethink by the Catholic Church on the sins of sex

AUSTRALIA
The Courier-Mail

MEG PERKINS THE COURIER-MAIL JUNE 03, 2015

KAREN Brooks recently asked why the Catholic community has been silent in the face of ongoing revelations of sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church.

It seems the alleged cover-ups by bishops and archbishops, as detailed in the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, have left many Catholics shocked.

Only 12 per cent of Catholics now attend Mass on Sundays, and, as we were taught that missing Mass is a mortal sin, this means that 88 per cent of Catholics have turned their backs on the faith.

The problem with sex, sin and crime in the Catholic Church is much greater than most people realise.

Orthodox teaching holds that all sex is sinful unless a man and a woman are married and intending to create a child.

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‘Cultural Genocide’: Canada’s Top Judge Decries Treatment of Indigenous Peoples

CANADA
Indian Country Today Media Network

ICTMN Staff
6/1/15

What happened to Indigenous Peoples in Canada was nothing short of “cultural genocide,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said in a recent speech.

She may be the highest-ranking federal official ever to use the term, according to The Globe and Mail.

“The most glaring blemish on the Canadian historic record relates to our treatment of the First Nations that lived here at the time of colonization,” McLachlin said in the annual Pluralism Lecture of the Global Centre for Pluralism. “An initial period of cooperative inter-reliance grounded in norms of equality and mutual dependence, was supplanted in the nineteenth century by the ethos of exclusion and cultural annihilation. Early laws forbade treaty Indians from leaving allocated reservations. Starvation and disease were rampant. Indians were denied the right to vote. Religious and social traditions, like the Potlach and the Sun Dance, were outlawed. Children were taken from their parents and sent away to residential schools, where they were forbidden to speak their native languages, forced to wear white-man’s clothing, forced to observe Christian religious practices, and not infrequently subjected to sexual abuse.”

The well-known objective, she noted, was to “take the Indian out of the child” and eradicate what came to be known as the “Indian problem.”

“ ‘Indianness’ was not to be tolerated; rather it must be eliminated,” McLachlin said of the prevailing attitude during those times. “In the buzzword of the day, assimilation; in the language of the 21st century, cultural genocide.”

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Residential schools amounted to ‘cultural genocide,’ report says

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

GLORIA GALLOWAY AND BILL CURRY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jun. 02 2015

A commission established to document the truth of what happened inside Canada’s Indian residential schools will say the goals of the Canadian government that created the institutions amounted to a cultural genocide, sources say.

Justice Murray Sinclair, the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), set up as part of the settlement agreement with survivors of the former church-run schools, will release his recommendations Tuesday after a five-year inquiry into the sexual, physical and emotional abuse that was rampant within the institutions.

The summary report, which will be followed by a full report later this year, will explain the measures necessary for reconciliation between Canada and its indigenous people, many of whom were permanently scarred by the residential-school experience. It will say that, for more than a century, the central goal of Canada’s aboriginal policy was assimilation “which can best be described as a cultural genocide.”

The pronouncement comes on the heels of a speech last week by Beverley McLachlin, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who said Canada attempted to commit “cultural genocide” against aboriginal peoples in what she described as the worst stain on Canada’s human-rights record.

First Nations leaders and human-rights experts have been actively pressing for at least two years for Canada to recognize that its historical treatment of indigenous people, including nutrition experiments conducted on children at aboriginal residential schools, constituted a genocide. But the government has not been supportive.

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State Trooper Who Let Josh Duggar Go Subject Of NEW Police Probe

ARKANSAS
Radar

The man who allowed Josh Duggar to walk away after confessing to fondling minor females in his family’s home is now the subject of an official police investigation, RadarOnline.com can reveal.

Former state trooper Joseph Hutchens allegedly gave an interview to a news outlet last week— but without the approval of the Department of Corrections, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports.

“The Arkansas Department of Correction has denied all media requests for interviews with inmate Joseph Hutchens,” the department said in a statement.

“We are therefore investigating what we and the inmate believe to be a serious case of misrepresentation.”

In the interview, Hutchens allegedly claimed Josh, then 15, and his father Jim Bob admitted to only one instance of molestation.

“Jim Bob explained to me that Josh inappropriately touched [a victim] while she was asleep,” Hutchens reportedly recalled. “[They said] the girl was asleep and didn’t know anything had happened.”

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Zahl der Opfer könnte deutlich höher liegen

DEUTSCHLAND
BR

[The number of victims of abuse and mistreatment at the cathedral choir could be much higher than the previously known. The Regensburg diocese knows about some 70 cases. The independent expert Ulrich Weber, who worked the cases for four weeks speaks of a “domino effect”. The diocese does not comment on this.]

Die Zahl der Opfer von Missbrauch und Misshandlung bei den Domspatzen könnte weitaus höher liegen, als die dem Bistum bisher bekannten rund 70 Fälle. Der unabhängige Gutachter Ulrich Weber, der die Fälle seit vier Wochen bearbeitet, spricht von einem “Domino-Effekt”. Das Bistum äußert sich dazu nicht.

Rechtsanwalt Ulrich Weber bestätigte dem BR (Studio Ostbayern) bereits “sehr viele” Kontakte mit Opfern von sexuellem Missbrauch oder Misshandlung bei den Domspatzen. Wie viele sich genau bei ihm gemeldet haben, will der Jurist nicht verraten. In der ersten Woche seien es zehn Kontaktaufnahmen gewesen, dann sei ein Domino-Effekt eingetreten.

Die Opfer brächten ihm gesundes Misstrauen entgegen, das er aber nach den ersten Gesprächen ausräumen könne. “Die Leute glauben mir”, dass er unparteiisch und unabhängig aufklären wolle. Zudem deutet er an, dass sich auch potenzielle Opfer gemeldet hätten, die beim Bistum noch gar nicht als solche wahrgenommen oder registriert worden waren.

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Domspatzen: Anwalt lässt Opfer hoffen

DEUTCHSLAND
Mittelbayerische

[A lawyer gives hope to the Domspatzen victims.]

von Pascal Durain, MZ

REGENSBURG.Als Ulrich Weber auf den Tag genau vor fünf Wochen auf einer Pressekonferenz bei den Domspatzen erklärte, er wisse nicht, wie tief das kalte Wasser ist, in das er jetzt springe, meinte er die Aufgabe, die ihm bevorsteht. Und auch 35 Tage später will der Opfer-Anwalt des Weißen Rings keine Wasserstandsmeldung abgeben – keine Zahlen, keine Spekulationen. Das wäre unseriös, findet er. Und dafür sei der Aktenberg auch zu groß, den er zu prüfen habe.

Ende April erklärte das Bistum, das Ausmaß der Misshandlungen und des sexuellen Missbrauchs bei den Regensburger Domspatzen von einer externen Stelle überprüfen zu lassen. Mehr als fünf Jahre versuchte das das Bistum selbst. Immer wieder stand die Diözese Regensburg in der Kritik, das Ausmaß des Missbrauchsskandals zu verschweigen und Opfer hinzuhalten. Das soll der Rechtsanwalt nun überprüfen – kritisch, unabhängig und aus der Perspektive der Opfer.

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Synod. Jousting Jesuits, Dueling Dominicans

ROME
Chiesa

by Sandro Magister

ROME, June 2, 2015 – In the latest issue of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” the magazine of the Rome Jesuits printed after inspection by the Vatican authorities, an article signed by director Fr. Antonio Spadaro states at a certain point:

“Doctrinal rigidity and moral rigorism can lead even theologians to extremist positions, which defy the ‘sensus fidei’ of the faithful and even simple common sense. One recent journalistic report cites, with admiration, a letter from an American theologian that makes these ridiculous statements:

“‘Which is, in this case, the more serious evil? To prevent the conception – and very existence – of a human being with an immortal soul, desired by God and destined for eternal happiness? Or to abort a child in the womb? The latter is certainly a grave evil, Gaudium et Spes calls it an abominable crime. But a child exists who will live eternally. In the former circumstance a child God intended to be will never exist.’

“According to this reasoning it is maintained, therefore, that abortion is more acceptable than contraception. Incredible!”

These comments come from a renowned French theologian of the order of Saint Dominic, Jean-Miguel Garrigues, joined by his friend and fellow “La Civiltà Cattolica” author Christoph Schönborn, cardinal of Vienna and himself a Dominican, interviewed for the magazine by Fr. Spadaro.

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SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Bessborough death record concerns were raised in 2012

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Concerns that death records were falsified in Bessborough Mother and Baby Home so children could “be brokered in clandestine adoption arrangements” at home and abroad were raised in an internal HSE report in 2012.

The unpublished report highlighted the “wholly epidemic” infant deaths rates at the Cork home and said: “The question whether indeed all of these children actually died while in Bessboro or whether they were brokered into clandestine adoption arrangements, both foreign and domestic, has dire implications for the Church and State and not least for the children and families themselves.”

The report, compiled as part of the HSE’s examination of the State’s role in the Magdalene Laundries as part of the McAleese inquiry, lifts the lid on the culture of cruelty at the home and found the State effectively washed its hands of the women and children.

It reveals the institution, run by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, as a place where:

* Women and babies were considered “little more than a commodity for trade amongst religious orders”;

* “Institutionalisation and human trafficking” took place among various religious orders and State-funded institutions;

* Women were provided with “little more than the basic care and provision afforded to that of any individual convicted of crimes against the State”;

* Infant death rates were “wholly epidemic” and a “cause for serious consternation”;

* The order had a “preoccupation with materialism, wealth and social status”;

* A “cold and lonely environment” prevailed, “characterised by harrowing social, emotional and physical isolation and institutionalisation”.

The study, previously released under freedom of information, revealed that from 1934 until 1953 (the only years for which deaths were recorded at Bessborough) 478 children died — a death rate of almost one infant a fortnight for nearly two decades.

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SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Bessborough Mother and Baby Home: It’s time these women’s

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

A previously unpublished report by the HSE in 2012 examined Bessborough’s own records. The in-depth findings and conclusions are damning. Conall Ó Fátharta reports

FOR years, places like Bessborough Mother and Baby Home were spoken of in hushed tones.

For generations of Irish people, they were places where thousands of women and girls were sent when they had “a problem”. They went in pregnant and came out alone, some after spending years locked away.

Some left only to be moved to other institutions and Magdalene laundries. Most were never the same. Their voices were never heard.

Over the years, those women have found their voices and have demanded answers for how they were treated behind the walls of Ireland’s mother and baby homes. Adoption rights campaigners have been doing the same.

Former residents and lay staff at the Bessborough home, run by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, have spoken of an institution where women were denied pain relief in labour and basic medical care after birth, and were humiliated by having to cut the institution’s vast lawns on their hands and knees with a scissors.

Just last year, this newspaper uncovered that an official investigation carried out by the Cork County medical officer, on foot of inquiries from an inspector with the Department of Local Government, confirmed an infant mortality rate of 68% at Bessborough in 1943. The government briefly stopped sending women there as a result.

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Responding to SNAP regarding the Rev. DeGrand

ILLINOIS
Effingham Daily News

Monday, June 1, 2015

Eric J. Thompson Local Columnist

In a recent column, Ron Worman stated he did not wish to belong to a religion (the Roman Catholic Church) that called him “intrinsically evil.” (”Father Bud and Bishop Paprocki,” May 7, 2015.) The Roman Catholic Church does not call anyone “evil” or “intrinsically evil,” never has and never will. The Roman Catholic Church does have five serious, grave, mortal, deadly sins it deems and proclaims as “intrinsically evil.” They are: abortion, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia and same-sex marriage. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the ‘sin’ is evil, not the sinner.

Ron, if someone told you that you are “intrinsically evil,” they were/are tragically wrong and you have been unjustly and ignorantly accused. We are all children of God, God does not and cannot make “evil.” “Evil” is a product of Satan. We can participate in this “evil” by way of our thoughts, words and actions.

To say someone is “intrinsically evil” (meaning: no matter how it is portrayed or spoken of, nothing taken from it or added to it will ever make it less evil), denies the love, mercy, forgiveness and sanctifying grace of our triune God.

The article from SNAP National Director David Clohessy was misleading at best and hypocritical. (”Advocate criticizes handling of priest’s removal,” May 5, 2015.) Google David Clohessy and you will discover good and not-so-good information on Mr. Clohessy and his organization. The following information I mention, I found at themediareport.com and catholicleague.org.

SNAP (Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests) was founded in 1991 by Mr. Clohessy. Clohessy was abused by a trusted priest. I won’t get into details; you can read from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights once you google Mr. Clohessy. I am sorry for him and his family. I have no idea of what torment and pain they have experienced; however, this does not give ‘free rein’ to attack our Catholic Church and her priests and bishops without proof and with no regards to fairness, righteousness and justice.

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New Evidence Links Merzbacher Child-Rape Case …

BALTIMORE (MD)
Inside Baltimore

New Evidence Links Merzbacher Child-Rape Case To Rampant 1970s Sex Abuse at Keough High School, According to Former Police Investigators in Maryland

By Tom Nugent

Twenty years after convicted child-rapist John Merzbacher received four life sentences plus ten years for his crimes at a South Baltimore Catholic middle school, there is new evidence to show that a later-defrocked, sex-abusing priest at a city Catholic high school was also involved in helping to cover up the middle school abuse, according to former high-ranking Maryland police officials who did not wish to be identified.

The newly emerging evidence is the first to suggest that there were significant links between the sex crimes at the Catholic Community Middle School in the Locust Point section of the city and the widely reported Archbishop Keough High School sexual abuse. That abuse was accompanied by the 1969 murder of former Keough teaching sister Catherine Ann Cesnik.

The murder of the nun (who was reportedly killed while trying to blow the whistle on rape and other sexual assaults at Keough) and the Keough chaplain’s suspected role in her death were both described in massive detail in a lengthy story recently published by Huffington Post.

The Huffington Post story quoted a retired Baltimore homicide detective who said that Father A. Joseph Maskell became a key figure during the early days of the murder investigation. “It got to the point that Maskell was the number one guy we wanted to talk to,” said the detective, “but we never got a chance.” The detective was never able to interview the priest, he said in the HP story, while also noting that “the Catholic Church had a lot of input into the police department, a lot of power.”

The Huffington Post story (http://huff.to/1Q1EKqd) did not mention the horrific child-rapes that had taken place at the Catholic middle school in Locust Point during roughly the same period as the Keough abuse. But a two-year investigation by Inside Baltimore of the sexual abuse that occurred at both Keough and Catholic Community Middle School in South Baltimore – both of which were operated by the School Sisters of Notre Dame – has revealed significant connections between them.

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Obispo llamó a Barros a renunciar antes de que el papa se lo pida

CHILE
Cooperativa

[Retired Bishop Juan Luis Ysem of Ancud has called on Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno to resign before he is asked to leave by Pope Francis.]

El obispo emérito de Ancud Juan Luis Ysern llamó a Juan Barros a renunciar a la diócesis de Osorno antes de que el papa Francisco se lo solcite.

Esto en medio de las diveras manifestaciones que se han realizado en Osorno para exigir la salida de Barros a quien acusan de encubrir al sacerdote Fernando Karadima, condenado por la Iglesia por casos de abuso sexual contra menores.

En una carta pública dirigida a Barros, el sacerdote comentó la decisión de Francisco de mantener a Barros en Osorno y le aconsejó: “El Papa se mantuvo firme en el sentido de haber examinado con sinceridad tus antecedentes y no haber encontrado fundamento para no nombrarte como obispo de Osorno. El Papa fue muy valiente, yo lo admiro mucho. Pero lo que considero que no pudo darse cuenta el Papa es que en Chile hay diversas clases de víctimas de Karadima”.

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Questions for Cardinal George Pell when he fronts the royal commission

AUSTRALIA
The Age

[with video]

June 2, 2015

Jane Lee

Ever since survivor witnesses told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that George Pell tried to bribe one, and ignored another’s reports of abuse, calls have been growing for him to return from the Vatican to Australia to explain himself.

The Commission has now said it will ask Cardinal Pell to appear as a witness when it returns to Ballarat later this year, following his repeated assurances that he is willing to do so. Below are some questions which Cardinal Pell may be asked when he does:

1. Did he attempt to bribe one survivor and ignore the child abuse reports of another?

Two survivor witnesses recounted to the commission conversations they had with George Pell about child abuse.

David Ridsdale, nephew and victim of disgraced paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, said that he called Cardinal Pell to tell him about the abuse in February 1993. He said Cardinal Pell asked him: “I want to know what it will take to keep you quiet,” which he took to be an attempt to bribe him.

Timothy Green, a former student of St Patrick’s College in Ballarat said he approached then-Father Pell about widespread abuse at the school by Brother Edward Dowlan in 1974. He said Father Pell replied “don’t be ridiculous” and left the room.

Cardinal Pell has repeatedly denied both claims over the years, saying he does not recall the conversations and would not have made such remarks. The commission is expected to make findings on both because they relate to the church’s response to child sexual abuse.

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El obispado de Mallorca indemniza con 30.000 euros a mujer que denunció a un sacerdote por violación cuando era menor

MALLORCA
ABC (Espana)

[The Mallorca diocese compensated a woman with 30,000 euros who reported she had been sexually violated by a priest when she was younger. ]

El Obispado de Mallorca indemnizará con 30.000 euros a una mujer que denunció que el expárroco de Can Picafort (Santa Margalida) Pere Barceló la había violado cuando era menor, una acusación que está pendiente de juicio en la Audiencia de Palma.

La diócesis mallorquina ha anunciado este martes que ha alcanzado un acuerdo para resarcir el “daño moral” sufrido por la presunta víctima, que renuncia así a cobrar la indemnización civil que podría corresponderle si el cura resulta declarado culpable de los delitos de agresión y abuso sexual que se le imputan.

“Esta decisión, realizada de mutuo acuerdo con la denunciante, es expresión del compromiso de la diócesis en la defensa de los que han sido víctimas de comportamientos impropios de un sacerdote”, indica la institución que dirige el obispo Javier Salinas.

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George Pell critic Peter Saunders spoke only for himself, says Vatican spokesman

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

[with video]

June 2, 2015

Desmond O’Grady

Rome: The Vatican has said that abuse survivor Peter Saunders did not speak for the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors when he called on Pope Francis to fire Cardinal Pell over allegations the cleric helped cover up paedophile activity in Australia.

Mr Saunders said on Sunday Cardinal Pell was “a dangerous individual” and “almost sociopathic” in his response to child sexual abuse victims.

“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.”

Father Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican press office, said on Monday that “Mr Saunders spoke for himself and not for the commission which does not investigate or judge individual cases”.

Nonetheless, Pope Francis’ attempts to reform the Vatican rely heavily on Cardinal George Pell, making the Australian a sensitive target of criticism within the Church leadership.

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Riverdale’s ‘Open Secret’ Goes Public

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

06/01/15
Gary Rosenblatt
Editor and Publisher

Three years ago several prominent members of the Riverdale Jewish Center (RJC), the 700-member Modern Orthodox congregation, met privately with their longtime rabbi, Jonathan Rosenblatt, and offered to arrange a generous buyout for him. They told him that the persistent rumors about his allegedly inappropriate behavior with boys and young men were bound to become public at some point and it would be in his and his family’s best interest, and for the congregation as well, if he accepted an offer to resign quietly.

If he didn’t, he was told, “this could all end badly,” according to a member of the congregation with knowledge of the meeting.

“It was not meant as a threat, but rather that it would hit the press eventually and no one would see things as he did,” the person explained this weekend.

“Unfortunately, he refused, and now it’s all out there,” the person said, referring to The New York Times May 31 report on Rabbi Rosenblatt’s “unusual” behavior that included inviting young men to discuss personal matters while sitting naked in the sauna with him.

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Church creates new role to stop repeat of Neerkol

AUSTRALIA
The Bulletin

Lisa Benoit

AFTER hearing the heartache of child sex abuse victims from Neerkol Orphanage, Catholic Church leaders in the Rockhampton Diocese have taken steps to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.

In April, the Royal Commission held a public hearing into child sex abuse in Rockhampton, where Neerkol victims shared their horror stories from more than three decades of abuse at the hands of priests and sisters at the Central Queensland orphanage.

Allegations of abuse at the orphanage first came to light in the 1990s.

The Catholic Church has now appointed a response co-ordinator for the Rockhampton Diocese, to respond to allegations and complaints of abuse against church personnel.

Melissa Davey has been appointed as the co-ordinator and will work closely with Rockhampton Bishop Michael McCarthy.

Training programs, structures and policies to ensure parishes are safe and secure environments have been put in place.

Bishop McCarthy, who attended the Royal Commission, said he was committed to ensuring the mistakes of the past were not repeated.

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June 1, 2015

Archbishop of Melbourne defends George Pell over calls for him to stand down

AUSTRALIA
3AW

Victoria’s most senior Catholic is standing by Cardinal George Pell, dismissing calls for him to stand down over allegations he covered up the sexual abuse of children.

The backing of Archbishop Denis Hart comes despite one of the Pope’s commissioners for children protection abuse saying he must step down.

Let’s face it – there’s something of a crisis around the Catholic Church

Peter Saunders has described Cardinal Pell as being almost sociopathic.

But the Archbishop told Neil Mitchell now’s not the time for Cardinal Pell to be moved on, instead he must face the Royal Commission when it sits again in Ballarat .

“From what I understand Saunders’ perception is a second-hand perception that’s got to be weighed against all the work Cardinal Pell is doing for the church,” he said.

“I personally don’t believe he should be stood aside.”

“We’ve got to recognise George Pell has done a tremendous amount to set up practices to assist victims to deal with offending priests.”

But Archbishop Hart conceded the allegations of wrongdoing were harmful.

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Vatican showdown

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler Jun 01, 2015

What happens when a member of a papal commission engages in irresponsible public criticism of a leading cardinal? We’re about to find out.

Under ordinary circumstances there’s no doubt that Peter Saunders would be quickly dismissed from the papal commission. But in the current atmosphere, such a move would indubitably provoke a chorus of protest, from “the usual suspects” claiming that this was one more effort to silence critics and protect powerful clerics.

The evidence? Who needs evidence?! Once a prelate has been criticized, he is treated as guilty, and anyone who attempts to defend him—by invoking the evidence, say—is condemned as an accomplice.

This is surely the case in Australia, where Cardinal Pell has been hounded by critics, and accusations against him—even when they have been investigated and dismissed—are rehashed incessantly in the headlines. It is rare to find a newspaper article offering a balanced presentation of the facts in his case (and regrettable that one excellent column defending him is behind a paywall.)

In their haste to whip up public hostility toward Cardinal Pell, media outlets in Australia and elsewhere have grotesquely exaggerated the importance of the criticism offered by Peter Saunders on a nationwide television broadcast. “60 Minutes” must have been delighted to learn that Saunders was ready to tear into Cardinal Pell. But a week ago, would the name “Peter Saunders” have meant anything to you at all?

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Vatican official and sex abuse survivor ‘will not be silenced’ by George Pell legal threat

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey

Monday 1 June 2015

Child sexual abuse survivor Peter Saunders says he will not be silenced by the church despite the threat of legal action by Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most powerful Catholic.

During a TV interview on Sunday night, Saunders – who was appointed by Pope Francis to lead the Vatican’s commission for the protection of children – accused Pell of lacking compassion for those abused within the church.

During the interview, Saunders called on the pope to remove Pell from his position as head of the Vatican’s finances, saying his alleged involvement in covering up abuse and protecting paedophile priests made his position “untenable”.

The comments prompted a swift reaction from Pell, whose spokesperson issued a statement on Sunday night saying; “In the circumstances, the cardinal is left no alternative but to consult with his legal advisers.”

But on Tuesday Saunders told Guardian Australia: “Our church has a history of spending millions on defending paedophiles.

“George Pell, obviously a wealthy man, will think nothing of using his wealth to silence me but I have said nothing that others haven’t said and it is only my opinion.

“It is not slanderous.”

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List of priests accused of sex abuse includes 1 believed to be murder victim

MONTANA
Rivalli Republic

VINCE DEVLIN vdevlin@missoulian.com

POLSON – When the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena in April posted the names of 80 former employees, most of them priests and nuns, who had allegedly sexually abused children in western Montana, it also shook the dust on a 31-year-old murder mystery in Lake County.

Among the priests placed on the list of alleged child sexual predators was Father John Kerrigan.

In the summer of 1984, Kerrigan vanished just a couple of days after being transferred from Plains to Ronan’s Sacred Heart Parish. He was last seen at a bakery in Ronan.

Neither he, nor his body, has ever been found.

But his clothes were, shortly after Kerrigan disappeared. A passer-by noticed them in a heap at a turnout along Montana Highway 35 on the east shore of Flathead Lake and called authorities.

The clothes were stained with Kerrigan’s blood. A $100 bill was tucked in one shirt pocket.

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Hetty Johnston : “Cardinal Pell needs to clear his name”

AUSTRALIA
4BC

June 2, 2015

Nick King

Allegations continue to mount against Cardinal George Pell at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse in Ballarat.

Cardinal Pell has again been accused of deliberately turning a blind eye to child molestation offences within the church, furthering calls that he should return to the country from The Vatican.

Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston told 4BC afternoons that Cardinal Pell should return and face the court.

“These are serious allegations and they need to be dealt with. Otherwise the fog lies around the Catholic Church and those in it”

“Cardinal Pell needs to clear his name”

Cardinal Pell has agreed to return to Australia if requested by the royal commission, alternatively he could return of his own accord.

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Schüller: Merging parishes is an unimaginative way to handle the priest shortage

AUSTRIA
National Catholic Reporter

Christa Pongratz-Lippitt | Jun. 1, 2015 NCR Today

In an interview published May 26 in Austrian daily Salzburger Nachrichten, Fr. Helmut Schüller spoke about a disconnect between bishops and the people of the church and weighed in on the priest shortage.

“The pope at the very top and the church communities at the very bottom of the church understand one another well,” Schüller said. “In between there is the episcopal level, that is the bishops — and they somehow do not really seem to want to.”

Schüller, 63, a former vicar general of Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, founded the Austrian Priests’ Initiative for church reform in 2006. In 2011, he initiated the initiative’s “Call to Disobedience,” which called on priests to offer the Eucharist to “all people of goodwill,” including divorced and remarried Catholics and members of other Christian churches, without waiting for the necessary church reforms. The initiative’s priests want to pave the way for a new model of priesthood rather than merging parishes.

Schüller is in close contact with the International Network of Church Reform Movements and attended its conference in Limerick, Ireland, in April, where international Catholic reform leaders discussed issues such as church governance, greater accountability of hierarchies, the full participation of Catholics who are divorced and remarried, and the place of LGBT Catholics and interfaith families in the life of the church.

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Pater Fabian darf hoffen

OSTERREICH
Bayern Welle

Der aus Teisendorf stammende Pater Fabian Vordermayer ist in Österreich zu einer vierjährigen Haftstrafe verurteilt worden – jetzt kann er auf ein geringeres Strafmaß hoffen. Das Verfahren um den sexuellen Missbrauch eines jungen Mannes könnte neu aufgerollt werden.

Pater Fabian und sein Anwalt Amir Amed haben beim Obersten Gerichtshof Nichtigkeitsbeschwerde eingereicht. Das Gericht hat die Beschwerde zwar grösstenteils abgelehnt. Allerdings sind einige Anklagepunkte fallen gelassen worden. Wie Anwalt Amed auf Bayernwelle-Anfrage gesagt hat, rechnet er damit, dass es eine neue Verhandlung geben wird. Er ist davon überzeugt, dass das Strafmaß reduziert wird.

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Missbrauchskommissar fordert Rücktritt von Papst-Vertrautem

VATIKAN/AUSTRALIEN
Zeit

Der Druck auf den Finanzchef des Vatikans wegen eines Missbrauchsskandals wird immer größer. Eine Untersuchungskommission im australischen Bundesstaat Victoria lud Kurienkardinal George Pell offiziell zu einer Anhörung. In dem Verfahren geht es um Vorwürfe des Australiers David Ridsdale, im Alter von elf Jahren von seinem Onkel, dem katholischen Priester Gerald Ridsdale, missbraucht worden zu sein.

Vor der Untersuchungskommission zu den Missbrauchsfällen in der Katholischen Kirche hatte der Neffe gesagt, er habe sich im Jahr 1993 Pell anvertraut. Der Kardinal habe ihn daraufhin gefragt, welchen Geldbetrag er ihm anbieten könne, damit er die Vorwürfe für sich behalte. Pell wird auch vorgeworfen, die Versetzung Gerald Ridsdales in verschiedene Gemeinden gefördert zu haben. Ridsdale missbrauchte über Jahrzehnte in Ballarat mindestens 50 Jungen, bevor er 1993 zu einer Haftstrafe verurteilt wurde.

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Vatikanischer Missbrauchsexperte nennt Kardinal Pell “unhaltbar”

AUSTRALIEN
kathweb

Canberra, 01.06.2015 (KAP/KNA) Um Kurienkardinal George Pell bahnt sich ein Zwist mit der vatikanischen Kinderschutzkommission an. Ein Mitglied der von Papst Franziskus einberufenen Kommission, Peter Saunders, sagte im australischen Fernsehen, Pell sei wegen seiner Rolle im Missbrauchsskandal Australiens “unhaltbar” im Vatikan. Pell ließ laut dem Sender ABC (Montag) erklären, er werde rechtliche Hilfe gegen Saunders in Anspruch nehmen.

Saunders hatte den früheren Erzbischof von Sydney und heutigen Präfekten des vatikanischen Wirtschaftssekretariats als “hart, kaltherzig, fast soziopathisch” bezeichnet. Pell sei mit mehreren, teils später zurückgezogenen Leugnungen, von Missbrauchsfällen gewusst zu haben, ein “massiver Stachel im Fleisch” des Papstamtes. Franziskus solle “auf die strengstmögliche Weise gegen ihn vorgehen” und den Kardinal aus dem Vatikan entfernen. “Ich persönlich denke, dass er unhaltbar ist”, sagte Saunders.

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Pater spricht frei über Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
Mittelbayerische

[Father speaks freely of abuse. Klaus Mertes made public ​​one of the biggest cases of abuse in the church publicly. The issue has not been finally resolved.]

Von Julia Ried, MZ

REGENSBURG.„Das Schweigen“, sagte Pater Klaus Mertes Anfang des Jahres in einem Interview, „war so systemisch wie der Missbrauch.“ Mertes hat das Schweigen über sexuellen Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche 2010 gebrochen, indem er Fälle am damals von ihm geleiteten Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin öffentlich machte; das löste eine Welle von Enthüllungen aus.

Der Jesuit, nun Chef einer Schule im Schwarzwald, steht mittlerweile so wenig in der Öffentlichkeit, dass er unlängst in der Spiegel-Rubrik „Was wurde eigentlich aus…?“ zu Wort kam. Doch er spricht immer noch, wenn er gefragt wird, auch vor kleinem Publikum – so am Sonntag auf Einladung der „Laienverantwortung Regensburg“ und weiterer Reformbewegungen in Regensburg. „Verlorenes Vertrauen – wie kann es wiedergefunden werden?“ war sein Thema vor gut 80 Zuhörern.

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Sensational Austrialian T.V. Interview with Peter Saunders …

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

[with video]

Sensational Austrialian T.V. Interview with Peter Saunders of Papal Abuse Commission About Cardinal George Pell: “Massive Thorn in the Side of Pope Francis’s Papacy”

Last evening, “60 Minutes Australia” aired a segment about Cardinal George Pell, whom Pope Francis has brought to the Vatican to clean up the Vatican Bank. In light of allegations made in hearings of the Australian royal commission into child abuse, “60 Minutes” interviews papal abuse commission member Peter Saunders, an abuse survivor. The interview is online here.

Peter Saunders says about Pell:

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

And Peter Saunders also says about Pell:

I would go so far as to say that I consider him to be quite a dangerous individual. [“Why is he dangerous?” interviewer Tara Brown then asks Saunders, who replies:] I’m interested in supporting survivors and protecting children and people who have covered up, people who have denied, people who have got their stories mixed up around these issues to do with survivors and child abuse, they, to me, represent a danger to the whole progress of child protection.

Cardinal Pell’s response via his spokesperson (this is appended to the video linked above):

Cardinal Pell has been informed of the contents of the “60 Minutes” program this evening. The false and misleading claims made against His Eminence are outrageous. . . . In the circumstances, the Cardinal is left no alternative but to consult with his legal advisers.

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AFN Chief urges action on upcoming residential schools report

CANADA
CTV

[with video]

Sonja Puzic, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, June 1, 2015

A day before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is set to release its highly-anticipated report on Canada’s residential schools, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said he hopes the report’s recommendations will be “respected, honoured and implemented.”

Perry Bellegarde said there is no point in producing the report if no one acts on it. He told a news conference Monday that he wants Canadians to put pressure on provincial and federal governments to improve the lives of aboriginal people and help build a “better relationship.”

“We have a shared history and we have a shared responsibility going forward,” he said.

Speaking to CTV’s Power Play later, he said he hoped the federal government would act. But if not, he said First Nations would mobilize for the fall election.

“Because if we do get out to vote, there are 51 ridings that could be affected,” he said.

The TRC’s final report on the residential school system will be released Tuesday. The commission has been travelling the country for nearly six years, collecting testimony from thousands of survivors of the residential school system, many of whom were physically and sexually abused.

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Perry Bellegarde, AFN chief, says reconciliation means closing poverty gap

CANADA
CBC News

Closing the social and economic gap is a linchpin in reconciliation between aboriginal people and the rest of Canada, AFN Grand Chief Perry Bellgarde said Monday on the eve of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission releasing its final report.

“I urge everybody across Canada to rid themselves of things like the misconceptions about indigenous peoples, the discriminatory, racist attitudes that may exist, to move them out so that new things may come in,” Bellgarde said at a news conference in Ottawa.

A march in Ottawa on Sunday drew thousands of aboriginal and non-aboriginal people, drawing attention to this week’s conclusion of the six-year-long Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which will release its final report and recommendations on Tuesday after hearing testimony from 7,000 former students of residential schools.

The march was “a very powerful testament about what we can do when we start working together to bring about change in this country,” Bellgarde said.

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Head of TRC urges Canadians to confront ugly truth of residential schools

CANADA
Hamilton Spectator

By Bruce Cheadle

OTTAWA — The time for frank apologies for Canada’s treatment of its first peoples is over and must make way for a change in behaviour, the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission said on the eve of his long-awaited report’s release.

“Truth and apologies are achieved through words, important words, yes,” Justice Murray Sinclair said Monday.

“But the next step, reconciliation, is achieved only by acting differently.”

Five years and $60 million have gone into the six-volume study of Canada’s residential schools, which were established in the 1840s to “take the Indian out of the child” and lasted until the ’90s.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper kicked off the long reconciliation process with a moving apology from the government of Canada in the House of Commons in June 2008, with the commission getting off to a wobbly start the following year.

The original cast of three commissioners all resigned before the project hit its stride, eventually visiting hundreds of communities and hearing testimony from 7,000 survivors.

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Jury deliberations will continue Tuesday in the Stephen Budd trial

FLORIDA
WPTV

Brian Entin
Jun 1, 2015

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – UPDATE: Jury deliberations will continue tomorrow morning at 9:45.

EARLIER:

Closing arguments started Monday in the case of a former Rosarian Academy Elementary School teacher accused of child molestation.

Stephen Budd is accused of molesting two Rosarian Academy students when they were in the fourth grade.

The girls, now in their late teens, testified about the alleged sexual abuse that happened in the classroom.

Prosecutors told the jury Monday afternoon that there is no reason the girls would make up the stories.

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Abusers Group to Hastert: ‘Come Forward’

ILLINOIS
WLS

By Nick Gale, WLS News

The group of abuse survivors usually targeting wayward priests is calling on former congressman Dennis Hastert to come forward to address reports of alleged abuse.

“We would encourage Mr. Hastert to face up and to tell the truth. If children were hurt under his watch he should own up to it and pay the consequences,” said Barbara Blaine, president of The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

The group is also calling on the state to set up a confidential hotline for men and women who have been violated as children, to call for help.

“We’re just asking that, to use this moment,” Blaine said. “It’s a sad moment for Illinois to have this happen and we’re saying, lets make the most of it.”

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Illinois attorney general should establish sex-abuse hotline, survivor group says

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

By Meredith Rodriguez
Chicago Tribune

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims presented a letter to Lisa Madigan’s office Monday asking the attorney general to set up a hotline for adults who have suffered sex abuse as children.

The group also sent letters Monday to the Illinois Association of School Administrators and several Boy Scout councils in the Chicagoland area, asking them to set up hotlines.

“We want victims to find information and resources and learn that they are not alone,” the group wrote in the letter to Madigan.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, referred to the recent federal charges against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. According to his indictment, the former Illinois congressman agreed to pay $3.5 million in apparent hush money to a longtime acquaintance who once lived in Yorkville, where Hastert taught English and coached wrestling from 1965 to 1981. The payments were made to the acquaintance to “compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against individual A,” according to the indictment.

Details of the misconduct aren’t spelled out in Hastert court documents, but a day after the news broke, law enforcement sources said he was paying off a former male student to conceal sexual abuse from decades earlier and that a second person raised similar allegations that corroborated the account of the initial victim.

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Funding risk for papal commission: adviser

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

AN abuse survivor and member of Pope Francis’s child protection commission has expressed concern that George Pell is in charge of the panel’s finances.

BRITISH advocate Peter Saunders on the weekend called on the Pope to sack Cardinal Pell as the Vatican’s financial chief over allegations he helped cover up pedophile activity in Australia.

Now Mr Saunders has revealed the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors may not be able to do its job properly due to a lack of resources.

“George Pell is in the Pope’s cabinet, the inner sanctum, and is in charge of Vatican finances,” Mr Saunders told AAP on Monday.

“And the commission will largely be dictated to some extent by the resources that are made available to it … and my understanding is that there is some financial pressure already in this particular area and I’m pretty appalled at that.”

Mr Saunders said it was to the Pope’s “great credit” that he was looking to lay people – including some in Australia – to advise him.

But he noted the commission was only scheduled to meet twice yearly, which was inadequate.

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Archbishop Hart rejects comments on Pell

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Cardinal George Pell is a man of integrity and claims that he is “almost sociopathic” are wrong, one of Australia’s senior Catholic churchmen says.

“It doesn’t fit the man,” Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart told ABC radio on Tuesday in response to the accusation made by UK child sexual abuse survivor Peter Saunders.

“It’s a personal view … by someone who doesn’t know Cardinal Pell.”

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Vatican observer says Pope would not protect Cardinal George Pell, questions abuse commissioner’s accusations

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A leading Vatican observer has defended Pope Francis in the wake of accusations made against Australian Cardinal George Pell by a member of the Vatican’s commission on child protection.

Peter Saunders, a survivor of abuse, appeared on Channel Nine on Sunday, calling Cardinal Pell’s handling of abuse victims “almost sociopathic” and urging Pope Francis to take the “strongest possible action” against him.

However, America Magazine Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell said the calls were unwarranted.

He said Pope Francis would “not protect anybody” and would not hesitate to take action against Cardinal Pell.

“Pope Francis has made clear, there are no protected species,” Mr O’Connell told the ABC’s AM program.

“His words were that there are no daddy’s boys in his pontificate.

“If you’re a cardinal and you have done wrong, then you have to answer for it.”

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Paus aanvaardt ontslag aartsbisschop Léonard

BELGIE
De Standaard

Paus Franciscus heeft het ontslag van aartsbisschop Léonard aanvaard. Dat meldt Tommy Scholtes, persverantwoordelijke van de bisschoppenconferentie.

Aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard is 75 jaar geworden. Volgens het kerkelijk recht moest hij dan zijn ontslag bij de paus aanbieden. Die heeft dat na zo’n drie weken aanvaard.

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Belgian archbishop’s resignation accepted after adverse court decision in abuse case

BELGIUM
Catholic Culture

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Brussels, the Belgian archdiocese announced on June 1.

Archbishop Léonard submitted his letter of resignation on May 6, as required by canon law, upon reaching the age of 75. Just two weeks earlier, a Belgian court had ordered the archbishop to pay €10,000 in damages to a sex-abuse victim, ruling that the prelate was responsible for a failure to take action on prior abuse complaints.

The resignation of Archbishop Léonard was widely perceived as a test of the Pope’s determination to hold bishops accountable for their handling of sex-abuse cases. Although the archbishop had denied wrongdoing in the court case, and his attorney had said that he might appeal the ruling, his critics applauded the Pope’s quick action in accepting his resignation.

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AUSTRALIA – Cardinal Pell threatens to sue brave survivor and outspoken advocate

UNTIED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Monday, June 1, 2015

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, President of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org )

We should be grateful, at some level, that the planet’s second most powerful Catholic prelate is threatening legal action against victim of two predator priests.

[BBC News]

At least Cardinal George Pell is showing his true colors. He bullied child sex abuse victims years ago. And he’s trying to bully child sex abuse victims now.

Pell issued a statement saying he would consult legal advisers after Pete Saunders, a survivor from the United Kingdom criticized his actions in clergy abuse and cover up cases.

Is this a Christian response? Someone challenges you, so you threaten legal action. That speaks volumes about Pell, but also about the kind of clerics Pope Francis promotes.

One of the most frustrating aspects of this on-going crisis has been the utter lack of attention given to the enormous contradiction between what Catholic officials say in public about abuse and what Catholic officials do in court about abuse. Hardball legal tactics – and threats of such tactics – are painfully common by men who profess to be Christ’s shepherds.

More than two decades ago, in a page one piece, the Wall Street Journal noted this hypocrisy:

The Catholic Church Struggles with Suits over Sexual Abuse

Other journalist have done the same:

Church Threatening Sex Abuse Victims with Court: Solicitor

Diocese Uses Tough Tactics in Sex Suits Facing Steep Liability, Church Plays ‘Hardball’ with Accusers, Critics Say

‘Legal abuse’ tactic of Catholic Church decried

As he angrily puffed out his chest, Pell said, through an expert public relations team, that he “has taken a strong stand against child sexual abuse and put in place processes to enable complaints to be brought forward and independently investigated.”

It may be worth noting, however, that a papal spokesman did NOT re-enforce this audacious claim to near perfection in dealing with victims, predators and enablers.

According to Vatican Radio, “Fr. Lombardi (said) that Cardinal Pell has always responded carefully and thoroughly to the accusations and questions posed by the Australian authorities.”

[Vatican Radio]

Lombardi did NOT to defend Pell’s abuse and cover up record in Australia.

We don’t blame Lombardi.

Finally, we commend Pete Saunders for his courage. Other members of the church hierarchy – both ordained and lay people – should find the strength to speak their minds about this continuing scandal.

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‘Pope Boosts Pell, Slights Saunders And Ducks Irish As His Credibility Sinks Further

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Pope Francis and his revamped Vatican clique appear to have learned few lessons from the overwhelming majority of Irish voters, a fair sample of the People of God whose voices are rarely listened to in Rome. The pope evidently continues to back shameful Cardinal George Pell, after Pell tried with public legal threats apparently to bully courageous priest abuse survivor and Vatican commissioner, Peter Saunders, whom the pope had personally picked. Cardinal Pell slammed Saunders’ allegations in a recent 60 Minutes interview as “false and misleading” and announced he was seeking legal advice. Of course, Pell would likely only harm his own case if he were to actually sue over this matter, based on my decades of legal experience.

Saunders, of course, had to have realized he may face legal action, given Pell’s prior reported history of using lawyers at times for intimidation purposes, it appears. Saunders reportedly indicated in response to Pell’s litigation threat that it was “very unfortunate, very sad and very unchristian”.

Saunders added: “The Church, including the Church in Australia, has a long history of spending an enormous amount of money on defending perpetrator priests and other clerics, so it doesn’t surprise me in the least that Cardinal Pell is resorting to using the massive resources of the Vatican to essentially consider threatening me in some way, …”

Saunders further added: “I’m not afraid. I will not be silenced, and if he [Pell] does try to sue me, I think we will see the size of the reaction. I’ve been overwhelmed with messages of support from Australian abuse victims who say that I’m giving them a voice they never had.”

Being called “unchristian” is not new for Pell. In the recent Australian Royal Commission Report on the Case of John Ellis’s experience of the Towards Healing process and civil litigation, the Report found that Cardinal Pell “did not act fairly from a Christian point of view in the conduct of the litigation against Mr Ellis”. In his testimony, Pell acknowledged that his approach was wrong.

As one journalist noted, it is this type of highhanded hierarchical behavior that contributed to the Irish recently sending the pope a strong protest message by rejecting one of the pope’s key marriage positions. It is especially disappointing and noteworthy that the pope would endorse this further abuse of Peter Saunders, who has already suffered too much at the hands of clerics. The pope had met alone and personally with Saunders, so is well aware of what he has suffered.

The pope’s spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Lombardi, has needlessly tried, in effect, to undercut Peter Saunders, who wants to bring Cardinal George Pell to justice. Saunders in a remarkable interview here on Australia’s 60 Minutes had highlighted some of Cardinal Pell’s numerous alleged failures to protect children and provide justice to priest abuse survivors. The pope and Lombardi are well aware of the brief interview, as well as Pell’s poor history on protecting children and giving justice to survivors — that seems obvious. b

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Vatican defends Australian cardinal…

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

Vatican defends Australian cardinal against charges he disregarded pedophile priests

By Rosie Scammell | Religion News Service June 1

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican threw its support behind its financial chief, Cardinal George Pell, on Monday (June 1), after he was accused of being “almost sociopathic” in his handling of clergy sex abuse by a leading member of a papal commission dedicated to tackling the issue.

The Vatican spoke out after commission member Peter Saunders, who was abused by a priest as a child, claimed Pell had not done enough to tackle pedophile priests when the cardinal was Australia’s leading cleric.

“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,” Saunders told Australia’s Channel Nine. Saunders also said Pell had behaved in an “almost sociopathic” way.

But the Vatican’s spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said Saunders was speaking individually and not on behalf of the 17-member commission.

The Vatican’s commission “is not competent to investigate or to pronounce specific judgments on individual cases,” Lombardi said. He pointed to a recent statement by Pell on the issue and said it “must be considered reliable and worthy of respect and attention.”

A representative for Pell said the cardinal was seeking legal advice over the “false and misleading claims” made by Saunders, whom he has never met.

An Australian royal commission set up to investigate child sex abuse requested Pell attend the inquiry, following mounting pressure on the cardinal to testify in person.

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Kincora boys’ home scandal: Victim seeks judicial review

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A judicial review has begun over the decision to exclude the former Kincora boys’ home in east Belfast from a child abuse inquiry being held at Westminster.

A victim is taking legal action to force an independent inquiry with power to compel witnesses and the security services to hand over documents.

Gary Hoy was abused by two men who were subsequently convicted.

There have been allegations that a paedophile ring at Kincora was linked to the British intelligence services.

The government has so far refused calls for the 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 government has said that as child protection is a devolved matter, the right place for the Kincora allegations to be examined is Northern Ireland’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, which has been sitting in Banbridge.

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Ex obispo de Ancud pidió renuncia de Juan Barros a través de una carta

CHILE
ADN

[Bishop Emeritus Juan Luis Ysem, current member of the Santiago eccliesiatical tribune, has sent a letter to Juan Barros asking him to renounced the bishopric of Osorno after the controversy over his ties to Fernando Karadima.]

El obispo emérito y actual integrante del tribunal eclesiástico de Santiago Juan Luis Ysern envió una carta a Juan Barros pidiéndole que renuncie al obispado de Osorno, tras la polémica suscitada por sus lazos con Fernando Karadima.

En la misiva publicada por el diario La Segunda, el ex obispo de Ancud afirmó que “no pudo darse cuenta el Papa que en Chile hay diversas clases de víctimas de Karadima. Tú perteneces a una de esas clases y la misma Iglesia en Chile es una víctima de Karadima”.

“Esto nos hace sufrir a todos y tú no puedes desconocer que perteneces a una de las diversas clases de víctimas. Esa marca la tienes y te acompañará donde vayas”, añade.

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British victim of clerical sex abuse …

ROME
The Independent (UK)

British victim of clerical sex abuse chosen to help root out paedophilia in the Catholic Church may face legal action from Vatican adviser

MICHAEL DAY
ROME Monday 01 June 2015

A British clerical sex abuse victim chosen by Pope Francis to help root out paedophilia in the Catholic Church has been threatened with legal action by one of the pontiff’s closest advisers for suggesting he helped conceal child sex abuse in his native Australia.

London-based Peter Saunders told a television documentary that Cardinal George Pell had ignored and even denigrated clerical abuse victims as part of the Church’s widespread cover-up of paedophile activity.

Mr Saunders, who was picked by the Pope to work on the Church’s commission for the protection of children, went on to demand the Cardinal’s resignation. “I personally think that his position is untenable,” said Mr Saunders. “Because he has a catalogue of denigrating people, of acting with callousness, cold-heartedness. It’s making a mockery of the commission, but above all of the victims and survivors.”

The claims were firmly denied by the Vatican, where Cardinal Pell has gained a reputation as a highly effective agent in the fight against the institution’s other ingrained problem: financial impropriety. “Cardinal Pell has always responded attentively and in detail to the questions posed by Australian authorities,” the Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. The Cardinal’s comments should be “considered reliable and worthy of respect and attention”.

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EX-GOP HOUSE SPEAKER DENNIS HASTERT, THE FERGUSON EFFECT”, AMEREN

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger’s Beat

There are at least three ironies in the abuse and financial scandal swirling around ex-GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois. While a state legislator, Hastert touted his backing of child abuse prevention laws. While in Congress, he pushed for legislation designed to stop money laundering – which later led to his own wrongdoing being prosecuted. And his son Ethan works for the Chi-town firm of Mayer Brown, whose lawyers have helped Catholic officials there fight lawsuits brought by victims of pedophile abuse.

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Michigan Catholic High School Rocked by Abuse Charges

MICHIGAN
Legal Examiner

Posted by David Mittleman
June 1, 2015

In a story that has been developing over the last 6 months, a former Jackson Lumen Christi High School priest has been arraigned on criminal sexual conduct charges stemming from alleged misconduct about 30 years ago. James Francis Rapp worked at Lumen Christi in the early 1980s as a teacher, priest, and wrestling coach. Rapp is currently in prison in Oklahoma after being sentenced in 1999 for similar charges.

History of Abuse

Records released in the early 2000s reveal that Rapp was known to have a history of abuse by 1986, when he left Lumen Christi. According to contemporary news reports, Dr. Frank Valcour at the St. Luke Institute in Maryland determined that Rapp suffered from a sexual disorder and should not be unsupervised around minors. Despite the doctor’s finding, Rapp was allowed to transfer to a church in Duncan, Oklahoma. The Archdiocese of Oklahoma denies knowing of Rapp’s history when it approved the transfer.

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Vatican distances itself from commission member’s comments on cardinal

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News Service

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The views and opinions of a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors who criticized Australian Cardinal George Pell on an Australian television program do not reflect the opinion of the commission nor its role, the Vatican spokesman said.

The commission “does not have the task of investigating and pronouncing judgment on individual cases,” said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman. Investigations are carried out by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Commission member Peter Saunders, a British survivor of sexual abuse and co-founder of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, appeared in a “60 Minutes” segment broadcast May 31 by Australia’s Channel Nine.

Asked about Cardinal Pell and the way he handled allegations about abusive priests, Saunders said, “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, cold heartedness, almost sociopathic I would go so far as to say, this lack of care.”

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Guest Blog: SNAP Update, How to React When Abuse Reports Surface

UNITED STATES
Hamilton and Griffin on Rights

It’s a bit lonely – and unsettling – when it seems like you’re the only one pushing for a particular idea.

That’s how we in SNAP feel about a specific type of training that we’ve long advocated. We’re convinced it could really help prevent child sex crimes and cover ups in institutional settings.

Some institutional officials train their staff in how to RECOGNIZE possible signs of abuse. That’s great.

Some institutional officials train their staff in how to REPORT possible signs of abuse. That’s great too.

Other institutional officials train their members – especially kids – in how to RESIST abuse. And that’s great as well.

But as best we can tell, no institution – no school, church, summer camp, athletic league or day care center – trains staff and members in how to REACT when abuse reports surface.

So often, those staff and members make hurtful comments, in private or in public.

And as a result, often victims, witnesses and whistleblowers whose information could make criminal prosecution begin or succeed are so scared or depressed that they stay silent instead of speaking up. Rather than encouraging and welcoming messages being sent to those with knowledge or suspicions of child sex crimes, very chilling and depressing messages get sent instead.

We’re not talking here about how the institutional hierarchy should react, but how the institution’s rank-and-file members and supporters should act. Because while it’s important that the few at the top act properly, it’s just as important for the many at the bottom to act properly.

Almost every day, we see some popular or powerful adult accused of victimizing a child. And we see some colleague or neighbor of that alleged predator defending him or her. Often, the defense of the accused involves an attack on the accuser.

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Vatican defends Cardinal Pell after calls for him to step down

AUSTRALIA
9 News

The Vatican has moved to defend its finance chief Australian George Pell after he was accused by one of Pope Francis’ commissioners for child protection of being “almost sociopathic”.

Spokesman Federico Lombardi said Peter Saunders, who called for Pell to be dismissed over allegations he covered up abuse and denigrated victims, was expressing his “personal views” and not speaking on behalf of the commission.

Cardinal Pell, formerly the top Catholic cleric in Australia, has replied to all questions posed by the authorities and his defence “must be considered reliable and worthy of attention and respect,” Lombardi told journalists.

Pell has become embroiled in the probe in his homeland which last week heard evidence from paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, who abused at least 50 boys over two decades.

The cardinal, who accompanied Ridsdale to court in 1993 when he admitted the abuse, has repeatedly denied knowing about any of the offences, helping move the priest to another parish or that he tried to buy a victim’s silence.

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Raising awareness at The Village Church to protect kids

TEXAS
Watch keep

Yesterday, several members of the DFW chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests gathered outside The Village Church Dallas Northway campus. We stood for the protection of kids. We are very concerned that confessed pedophile Jordan Root, a member of TVC & a licensed professional counselor, may have victims in the DFW area and elsewhere, given his volunteer and work history involving vulnerable children.

WHY

A missionary from The Village Church (TVC) admitted viewing and having sexual images of children. In February, a church group corroborated this.


But, in a move that has created a firestorm of protest in Christian circles and on the Internet, church officials embraced him and disciplined his wife for moving to have their marriage annulled.

[Christian Today]

The offender is Jordan Root who did church work in East Asia. SNAP worries that Root may have hurt kids in there. His wife is Karen Hinkley. On Sunday, TVC pastor Matt Chandler has said he will apologize to her.

But SNAP says that an apology “does nothing to protect the vulnerable or heal those already hurt because of the crimes of Root and the actions of TVC staff.” The group believes “that kids are at risk now because Root walks free, living and working among unsuspecting families (and) that there are kids he has hurt who are suffering in silence, shame and self-blame.”

TVC staff should use their vast resources to alert parents, police, prosecutors and the public about Root’s crimes, SNAP says, and to aggressively seek out youngsters he has assaulted. The church has a moral and civic duty to help law enforcement investigation and prosecute Root, so that other kids may be spared devastating harm, the organization maintains.

The victims’ group is also urging anyone “who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Root or cover ups by TVC to call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.”

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Fr. Lombardi SJ responds to journalists’ queries on Card. Pell

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., made a clarification on Monday in response to journalists’ questions regarding statements made by one of the 17 members of the Commission for the Protection of Minors, Peter Saunders, during a broadcast on Australian television, regarding Australian Cardinal George Pell and his record of leadership in the clerical sex abuse crisis in his country.

Fr. Lombardi said that Saunders’ remarks were made in an entirely personal way and not on behalf of the Commission.

Fr. Lombardi went on to say that Cardinal Pell has always responded carefully and thoroughly to the accusations and questions posed by the Australian authorities, and that his position has been made known again in recent days by a public declaration on his part, which must be considered reliable and worthy of respect and attention.

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Cardinal’s publisher says memoirs were cut

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

by David V Barrett
posted Monday, 1 Jun 2015

But Church denies cardinal’s book was censored before publication

The publisher of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor’s memoirs has said it was “regrettable” that the prelate had made cuts to his book.

He spoke after Guardian newspaper claimed that the cardinal was forced by the Church to censor his book, An English Spring, published last month by Bloomsbury Continuum.

According to the Guardian, un-named “associates of the cardinal” said that the former Archbishop of Westminster was made to remove sections concerning the convicted paedophile Fr Michael Hill. Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor faced calls for his resignation over his handing of the priest when he was Bishop of Arundel and Brighton. Despite being warned that Hill was a danger to young people he moved him to the chaplaincy at Gatwick airport.

The Guardian said the cardinal was made to cut a section defending the right to protect priests when they have erred, and replace it with “a lament about bishops’ failure to prioritise abuse victims over their priests”.

In another section that was cut the cardinal accused the church of not being prepared to root out systemic paedophilia, the Guardian said.

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The clash between Peter Saunders and Cardinal Pell is a real headache for Pope Francis

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

by Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith
posted Monday, 1 Jun 2015

The dispute between two men with vitally important tasks at the Vatican is deeply troubling

The latest development from Rome is most disturbing. You can read a report of what is happening here.

Peter Saunders, appointed by Pope Francis to be part of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, himself a survivor of child abuse, has made a very strong attack on Cardinal George Pell, who has been appointed by the Pope to head up the Vatican’s financial commission. As you would expect, given the gravity of the charges against him, the cardinal has responded.

I have never met Cardinal Pell, but it is interesting to note that this is not the first time he has been the object of criticism. Some time ago he was attacked for extravagance, a charge that turned out to be utterly baseless, and made one wonder at the motivation of those putting about such rumours.

But what really strikes one here is something that sadly goes back to the beginning of Church history: the desire to air grievances in public. St Paul upbraided the Corinthians for having recourse to pagan courts (see the sixth chapter of the First Letter to the Corinthians). This is not the same as saying that these disputes need to be settled “in house”, which would be dangerous, given the sad history of the way child abuse has been covered up in the past. But what it does mean is that there are proper channels for deciding disputes inside the Church laid down by Canon Law, and one hopes that these can work effectively.

But is the Roman Curia working effectively when we have two men, both appointed to important jobs by the Pope, clearly not getting on well in public? Indeed, here we have the spectacle of one man calling for the other to be dismissed. Imagine that happening in the Cabinet, for example.

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Vatican defends Australian cardinal against charges of ‘disregard’ of sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Yahoo! News

By Philip Pullella and Byron Kaye

VATICAN CITY/SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Vatican on Monday strongly defended Australian Cardinal George Pell against accusations by a member of Pope Francis’ commission on sexual abuse that the Vatican’s finance chief had little regard for victims.

Peter Saunders, one of 17 members of the commission advising the pope on how to root out sex abuse in the Church, said on Australian television on Sunday that Pell should be dismissed over allegations he failed to take action to protect children.

Pell, now charge of reforming the Vatican’s economic departments, issued a statement soon after the program aired, calling Saunders’s comments “false”, “misleading” and “outrageous”, and said he would consult legal advisers.

In a statement published by the network on his behalf, Pell said he had always taken a strong stand against child abuse. Pell has denied moving priests accused of abuse between parishes or offering one victim inducements to drop a complaint.

The comments by Saunders, one of the most outspoken members of the commission, underscored strains within the Church on how to deal with the sexual abuse crisis that has plagued it for nearly two decades.

“Cardinal Pell has always responded attentively and in detail to the questions posed by Australian authorities,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. Pell’s comments should be “considered reliable and worthy of respect and attention”.

Saunders, speaking on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes Australia program, said of Pell: “He is making a mockery of the papal commission (into child abuse), of the pope himself, but most of all of the victims and the survivors.”

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Drunk 72-year-old monk ‘had sex with minor’

AUSTRIA
The Local

Lambach Abbey in Upper Austria has been hit by a sex scandal after a drunken monk was arrested after reportedly having sex with a minor on May 11th in Linz.

According to the Kronen Zeitung tabloid the 72-year-old monk has been released from jail pending a court appearance and has been suspended from all his priestly functions.

The Abbey has said it is waiting to hear the results of the police investigation and the court hearing before it makes a final decision on his fate. It has published a statement on its website saying that “under the strong influence of alcohol he availed himself of sexual services. One of the two people involved was, however, underage.”

The monk is reported to have made a full confession and to have said that he regrets the incident very much.

The monastic community had said that it also deeply regrets the incident and has sought to disassociate itself from it. “Our first concern was to ensure clarity. Now we must let the courts do their work and wait and see what happens,” Abbott Maximilian Neulinger said. The case is likely to be referred to the Vatican.

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Where is your compassion, Cardinal Pell?

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Before there was Oprah and her famous tear-jerker telefessions, in which a remorseful subject perched on her couch and sought absolution for admitting their sins, there was confession of the religious kind.

In principle, it is a practice to be admired. A ritual that encourages a person to be honest in owning up to their transgressions and in turn enjoy the clean slate that forgiveness provides.

In reality, however, things can unfold somewhat imperfectly. At least they did for this former Catholic schoolgirl, who recalls mumbling apologetically about throwing my uneaten lunch away upon being initiated to the sacrament of reconciliation aged seven years old.

Having been absolved of any wrongdoing and sent away to rattle off a few Hail Marys, I remember feeling only relief that I had been spared an eternity in hell for my habit of regularly discarding any stale or uninspired sandwiches straight into the nearest bin.

Rather than prompt any serious soul-searching about how I could avoid such needless waste in future, my experience with confession left me feeling I had covered my bases. Now that my sins had been forgiven by the Almighty’s local representative – the parish priest – I was confident reconciliation would shield me from any further accountability.

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George Pell to face abuse inquiry grilling on alleged cover-ups

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

TESSA AKERMAN THE AUSTRALIAN JUNE 02, 2015

Cardinal George Pell will appear before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, opening the way to his being interrogated over what he knew about systemic child abuse in western Victoria.

Cardinal Pell has stated his willingness to appear before the commission and the inquiry confirmed he would be asked to give evidence in the second hearings at Ballarat later this year.

The first set of hearings at Ballarat heard evidence Cardinal Pell was present at a meeting where the transfer of pedophile Gerald Ridsdale from the Mortlake parish was approved.

Cardinal Pell has already appeared twice before the royal commission and this week released a further statement saying “he has never condoned or protected offenders, has never condoned or participated in moving known offenders”.

Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart yesterday issued a statement in support of Cardinal Pell. “I know Cardinal Pell to be a good man, an honest man, a man of the church who loves Aus­tralia,” he said.

Peter Saunders, chosen 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”.

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Corrected – Vatican commissioner accuses Australian cardinal of “disregard” for abused children

AUSTRALIA
Reuters

(Corrects to show Saunders is one of 17 commissioners)

By Byron Kaye

(Reuters) – One of the Catholic Church’s commissioners for the protection of children has described the Vatican’s finance chief as having an almost sociopathic disregard for abused children, accusations the Australian cardinal rejected as wrong and misleading.

Peter Saunders, a member of the 17-strong commission advising Pope Francis on how to root out sex abuse in the Church, said on Australian television the Vatican’s prefect for the Secretariat for the Economy, Australian-born Cardinal George Pell, should be dismissed over allegations he failed to take action to protect children from abuse in the church in Australia.

“He is making a mockery of the papal commission (into child abuse), of the pope himself, but most of all of the victims and the survivors,” Saunders said on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes Australia on Sunday.

“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,” said Saunders, a British victim of abuse.

He said Pell should be “moved aside” and sent back to Australia to address a separate Australian abuse inquiry, which confirmed on Monday that it would ask Pell to testify. But it did not set a date or say if he would have to testify in person.

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Pell a victim of left-wing witch-hunt

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

GERARD HENDERSON THE DAILY TELEGRAPH JUNE 02, 2015

CARDINAL George Pell is the victim of a modern-day witch-hunt. As a social conservative, Pell has a number of opponents within the Catholic Church. But his main attackers are presenters and journalists employed by the ABC and certain other outlets who rarely, if ever, allow an alternative voice to be heard.

Yet, on all available evidence, Pell was among the first bishops in the world to address child sex abuse by clergy. He was appointed archbishop of Melbourne in July 1996 and announced the creation of the Melbourne Response the following October.

Pell was a leader on this issue not only within the Church but well ahead of many secular and government institutions. For example, the royal commission heard complaints against a Sydney doctor in 1998 were not investigated until many years later.

The ABC coverage of Pell has been replete with ignorance and prejudice. On Radio National, presenter James Carleton described Pell as a former “bishop of Ballarat”. Pell was never in control of priests in the Ballarat diocese. The Drum website contains an article by lawyer Michael Bradley that describes Pell as a “def­endant”. The cardinal has not been charged with any offence whatsoever.

Last week ABC News Breakfast opened its coverage of the Ballarat royal commission hearings with the claim that “new evidence” had been discovered with respect to Pell. Claims that Pell offered bribes in a bid to obtain a victim’s sil­ence were first made — and refuted by Pell — in 2002.

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Sudbury’s Church of the Epiphany bells to ring 1,181 times …

CANADA
CBC News

Sudbury’s Church of the Epiphany bells to ring 1,181 times for missing, murdered aboriginal women

A Sudbury church hopes the sound of its bells will help people take a moment to understand the damage inflicted by Indian residential schools.

Anglican churches across the country, including the Church of the Epiphany in Sudbury, will spend the next three weeks using their bells to honour the 1,181 missing or murdered aboriginal women and girls in Canada.

“Each time you hear the bell, that is a human life that we are marking, that we are not allowing to be forgotten,” said Derek Neal, ministry intern at the Anglican Church or the Epiphany in Sudbury.

“We hope that it will bring attention to this issue. It may prompt people to ask questions. That it will also simply stir in peoples’ hearts a spirit of remembrance for these women.”

The project by the Anglican Church of Canada, which they are calling 22 Days, coincides with the closing ceremonies of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Ottawa from May 31 to June 3.

The commission was created to document the stories of residential school survivors and to aid in the healing and reconciliation for aboriginal and non-aboriginal people.

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

CANADA
Hamilton Spectator

By Chinta Puxley

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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Abuse victims ill-served by witch-hunt against Pell

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Opinion

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has vital work to do. Regrettably, its pursuit of justice for thousands of victims of despicable crimes is being overshadowed by a nasty sideshow: that is, the pursuit of Cardinal George Pell by those who loathe his muscular Christianity, his social conservatism and his robust style. British anti-child abuse campaigner Peter Saunders, appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, is the latest to join the hounds. On Nine Network’s 60 Minutes on Sunday, he demanded action. The Australian agrees. Mr Saunders should apologise to the cardinal for calling him dangerous, callous, cold-hearted, “almost sociopathic” and claiming he treated victims with contempt. Mr Saunders is the victim of grave injustice, abused as a child by two priests. But that is no excuse for inflicting a serious injustice on another innocent man. Mr Saunders did not bother to speak to the cardinal before denigrating his reputation. He has ignored the main facts, as have much of Australia’s liberal-Left media.

George Pell became archbishop of Melbourne in August 1996 and two months later established the Melbourne Response. It was a trailblazing initiative, the first of its kind in Australia with few, if any, parallels in the church overseas. It involved an independent commission, run by an experienced QC, counselling services and a compensation panel. It worked. Dozens of priests have been stood down and convicted, and scores of victims compensated and counselled.

Those who respect Cardinal Pell’s immense contributions to the church, the nation and cleaning up the Vatican’s financial shambles recognise that hysteria over events 30 and 40 years ago, already answered by him in detail, is diverting attention from matters that warrant more attention. Relatively little has been said, for example, about the inhuman treatment meted out by unholy nuns to Ballarat orphans, one of whom had his teeth yanked out by pliers, was tortured with electroshock therapy, locked in a dungeon and forced to fondle a priest as he heard confessions.

Contrary to what The Saturday Paper and James Carleton on the ABC reported, Cardinal Pell was never in charge of the diocese of Ballarat, his home town. He served there as a priest under Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, who assigned him to the large, rambling St Alipius presbytery. He had no authority over any other priest. His time there, when he led the Aquinas Catholic teachers college, overlapped with several priests in the house, including the now-defrocked Gerald Ridsdale, a master at hiding his depravity. Journalist and former priest Paul Bongiorno, who once shared a presbytery with Ridsdale in Warrnambool, said last week that he knew nothing at that time about Ridsdale’s evil behaviour.

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Vatican defends Australian cardinal against charges of ‘disregard’ of sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Daily Star (Lebanon)

Reuters

VATICAN CITY/SYDNEY: The Vatican Monday strongly defended Australian Cardinal George Pell against accusations by a member of Pope Francis’ commission on sexual abuse that the Vatican’s finance chief had little regard for victims.

Peter Saunders, one of 17 members of the commission advising the pope on how to root out sex abuse in the Church, said on Australian television Sunday that Pell should be dismissed over allegations he failed to take action to protect children.

Pell, now charge of reforming the Vatican’s economic departments, issued a statement soon after the program aired, calling Saunders’s comments “false,” “misleading” and “outrageous,” and said he would consult legal advisers.

In a statement published by the network on his behalf, Pell said he had always taken a strong stand against child abuse. Pell has denied moving priests accused of abuse between parishes or offering one victim inducements to drop a complaint.

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British security service shielded and blackmailed …

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

British security service shielded and blackmailed child sex abusers at Kincora care home, High Court hears

BY ALAN ERWIN – 01 JUNE 2015

The British security service shielded and blackmailed child sex abusers involved in a paedophile ring at a notorious Belfast care home, the High Court heard today.

Counsel for one victim claimed new evidence of the extent of state collusion and cover-up in the Kincora scandal must now be examined by a wider Westminster inquiry.

Gary Hoy is seeking to judicially review the decision to keep the probe within the remit of a Stormont-commissioned body.

But opening his challenge, Ashley Underwood QC argued the ongoing Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry sitting in Banbridge, Co Down lacks the power to properly scrutinise the “appalling, systematic abuse” Mr Hoy suffered at Kincora Boys Home.

He said: “There’s now substantial evidence that the Security Service were condoning that, they knew of it and made use of it so as to blackmail the abusers and prevent some of the abusers being brought to book at the time.”

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Fr. Lombardi issues clarification on Cardinal George Pell

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 1 June 2015 (VIS) – In response to questions from journalists, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., explained that the statement made by Mr. Peter Saunders (one of the 17 members of the Commission for the Protection of Minors) during a television broadcast was evidently given in an entirely personal way and not on behalf of the Commission, which is not competent to investigate or to pronounce specific judgements on individual cases.

Moreover, Cardinal George Pell has always responded carefully and thoroughly to the accusations and questions posed by the competent Australian authorities, and his position has been made known again in recent days by a public declaration on his part, which must be considered reliable and worthy of respect and attention.

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Vatican downplays commission member’s remarks about Cardinal Pell

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jun. 1, 2015 NCR Today

VATICAN CITY
The Vatican’s main spokesman has downplayed comments made about Australian Cardinal George Pell by a member of Pope Francis’ commission on clergy sexual abuse, saying the member was speaking in his own name and not in the authority of the commission.

Commission member Peter Saunders, an English survivor of clergy sexual abuse, said in an Australian television interview Sunday that Pell had had an “almost sociopathic” disregard for abuse victims.

Responding to Saunders’ interview, Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi said in a statement Monday that Saunders was speaking in his own name. The papal commission on clergy sexual abuse, Lombardi said in the statement, “does not have the task of investigating and pronouncing specific judgment on single cases.”

The Vatican spokesman also referred journalists to Pell’s own statements on the matter, saying those “must be considered reliable and worthy of respect and attention.”

Saunders serves as one of 17 members of the papal commission, which is formally known as the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. He made his comments about Pell Sunday on the popular television program 60 Minutes, the Australian version of the U.S. newsmagazine broadcast.

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Attorney General’s office handling case against priest due to Jackson prosecutor’s close ties to Catholic community

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Theresa Ghiloni | tghiloni@mlive.com
on June 01, 2015

JACKSON, MI – A former Jackson priest is being charged with 13 counts of criminal sexual conduct for alleged crimes 30-years later to ensure “justice delayed is not justice denied” for the victims in the case, the Attorney General’s office said.

The case against James Rapp, 75, is being handled by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office at the request of the local prosecutor, Jackson County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Kati Rezmierski said.

Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka requested a special prosecutor to avoid a possible conflict of interest, Rezmierski said, as he has close ties to Jackson Lumen Christi High School, where Rapp taught during the alleged assaults. Rezmierski said Jarzynka’s children attended the school and his wife works there.

The Attorney General’s office agreed to step in as a special prosecutor.

Rapp served as a priest, teacher, maintenance supervisor and wrestling coach during his time at Lumen Christi High School from 1980-86, when the alleged crimes occurred, according to a statement from Schuette’s office.

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Surviving Child Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

Charles M. Blow

Last month came the news that Josh Duggar, now-former executive director of the Family Research Council’s lobbying arm and eldest son on the TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” had apologized and said he had “acted inexcusably.” As In Touch Weekly magazine put it: “Josh Duggar was investigated for multiple sex offenses — including forcible fondling — against five minors. Some of the alleged offenses investigated were felonies.” Those minors apparently included his sisters. Duggar was around 14 years old when the reported assaults took place.

Last week, The New York Times reported that “J. Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, was paying a man to not say publicly that Mr. Hastert had sexually abused him decades ago, according to two people briefed on the evidence uncovered in an F.B.I. investigation into the payments.”

The F.B.I. announced their indictment of Hastert on Thursday, and The Times reported: “The indictment said that in 2010, the man met with Mr. Hastert several times, and that at one of those meetings Mr. Hastert agreed to pay him $3.5 million ‘in order to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against’ the man.”

There were quick and clamorous reactions on social media and some mainstream media about the irony and even hypocrisy of these conservative icons being caught in unseemly, counter-their-apparent-convictions circumstances.

I understand this impulse. The contradiction is newsworthy. That dissimulation must be called out. But we shouldn’t stray far from focusing on, extending help to, and seeking to be sensitive to the survivors and using these cases educationally to better protect other children.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I can say with some authority that no one should take an ounce of joy in these revelations and accusations. This is not a political issue, even if people — including abusers themselves — have hypocritically used it as one.

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Royal Commission releases implementation report

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

1 June, 2015

The Royal Commission has released a report that assesses the extent to which recommendations from previous, relevant inquiries have been implemented.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the report, prepared by the Parenting Research Centre, assesses the implementation of 288 recommendations from 67 inquiries. It also highlights factors that contributed to, or were barriers to, successful implementation based on consultation with public servants and other key stakeholders.

“The report found that the 64% of recommendations were implemented either partially (16%) or in full (48%). Twenty-one percent were rated as not implemented.

“It found that establishing processes and structures that support implementation, strong leadership and stakeholder engagement contributed to the successful implementation of recommendations.

“On the other hand, it found that resource and structural constraints and organisational culture were major factors that prevented the implementation of recommendations.

“The report reinforces the importance of meaningful consultation with stakeholders to ensure that recommendations are implemented effectively.

“The Royal Commission has held a number of roundtables and private meetings with key groups and government jurisdictions to ensure that their views and expertise are captured. We are also learning from survivors directly through private sessions and from survivor advocacy groups through our public and private consultations,” Mr Reed said.

Please note that the findings in this report were based on data received between September 2013 and February 2014. It is acknowledged that governments may have taken further action since these dates to implement recommendations.

You can read the report via this link: Report of Implementation of recommendations arising from previous inquiries

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Police probe financial issues at Catholic parish in Saltcoats

SCOTLAND
BBC News

Police have been called in to investigate “financial irregularities” at a Catholic church in North Ayrshire.

The Diocese of Galloway said a report on the issue at St Mary’s (Our Lady Star of the Sea) in Saltcoats had been passed to Police Scotland on 27 May.

In a statement, the Diocese confirmed that Father Graeme Bell had resigned his position as parish priest with effect from 1 June.

It said inquiries were ongoing and the Diocese was assisting police.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Galloway said: “Father Graeme Bell recently received permission from Bishop Nolan, to take a leave of absence and to resign his position as Parish Priest of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Saltcoats.

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Priest arrested in connection with embezzlement of church funds

SCOTLAND
STV

A catholic priest in North Ayrshire has been forced to leave his church after being arrested in connection with embezzlement offences.

Father Graeme Bell, the priest at Our Lady Star of the Sea which is also known as St Mary’s in Saltcoats, had already been due to leave the church on Monday.

However the 40-year-old was arrested on Wednesday as the police continue their investigation.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Galloway said: “Father Graeme Bell recently received permission from Bishop Nolan, to take a leave of absence and to resign his position as Parish Priest of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Saltcoats.

“This was due to begin on Monday June 1. On Wednesday May 27 a report was passed to Police Scotland alleging financial irregularities in the parish.

“Police enquiries are ongoing and Father Bell has vacated the parish house. The Diocese of Galloway will continue to assist the police in their investigations.”

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Vancouver Church service leads confession for role of Christians in residential schools nightmare

CANADA
The Province

BY BETHANY LINDSAY, POSTMEDIA NEWS MAY 31, 2015

Confession is a tradition normally associated with Catholicism, but Christians from across the faith came together Sunday in Vancouver to confess to centuries of harm committed against Canada’s aboriginal population.

“We confess the smallness of our hearts which only have room for so few of God’s beloved children. We confess the damage we have caused to the First Nations of this land, which continues to destroy lives today,” reads a line in a prayer of confession led by Presbyterian, Anglican and United Church clergy in a multi-faith service at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church.

“God have mercy on us. Create new hearts within us,” the congregation of hundreds responded.

The service was part of a daylong event anticipating release of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s final report, set for Tuesday, after six years of research into Canada’s residential schools.

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All Canadians are victims of Indian residential schools

CANADA
CBC News

By Michael Champagne, for CBC News

All Canadians are victims of Indian residential schools — whether you attended one of the schools, whether you’re an inter-generationally affected relative, a parent left behind or a non-aboriginal person in Canada who was fed a false history.

It’s important to also acknowledge much of the 96 per cent of Canada’s population that isn’t aboriginal have had their perceptions of indigenous people and communities altered in a negative way, because they haven’t grown up knowing the role their government played in killing the Indian in the child. The government that they learned about in school was a lot more mean spirited and malicious than many Canadians could ever imagine.

This weekend is the conclusion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and has many people asking the question: “What next?” The spotlight will shine on the courage and resilience of survivors and I hope the rest of Canada is paying attention.

When the TRC began, only 49 per cent of Canadians knew about residential schools. Over six years later, I hope the hard work of the commission can be articulated with clear recommendations for community and for government to realize together. When I think of what our next collective step is I believe there are a few answers.

1) There can be no reconciliation until our women and children are safe:

This means we have to work together to address the normalized violence that has led to the astronomical number of missing and murdered indigenous women.

The solutions must include the voices of our women. It also means addressing the alarming rate of kids in the care of Child and Family Services in Manitoba — over 10,000 kids need our help to get healthy or back to their family.

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