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.

July 29, 2015

WA father lets 7 men abuse daughter: claim

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A Christian preacher is among eight men charged over the abuse of a 13-year-old girl, who was allegedly sexually exploited by her father over two years.

Police claim seven men made contact over the internet with the father who then organised for them to meet his daughter at various locations in Western Australia where the offences were committed.

The men face a total of 503 charges for offences that allegedly happened when the girl was aged between 11 and 13.

She is now safe and in care, receiving treatment.

Child sex abuse detectives arrested the Perth father and the seven others after a tip-off from the public in April.

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.

Elder stood down for adultery, not abuse

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Despite confessing to molesting his daughter, a Jehovah’s Witness senior official was first stood down by the church for adultery, a royal commission has heard.

Church elder Dino Ali admitted that a judicial hearing in 1989 dealt with the man’s adultery matter before allegations of sexual abuse, because they were dealing with “one issue at a time”.

He also said they could not be sure the man’s confession was true, based on his history of lying.

The victim, known as BCG, has previously said her father, a respected member of the church congregation in Mareeba, near Cairns, abused her and her three sisters.

Asked to read from his own notes from 1989, Mr Ali said: “(the father) has admitted to all things and also said that whatever (his daughter) said on molesting was true”.

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.

Jehovah’s Witness elders ignored child sex abuse rules of evidence, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

July 29, 2015

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

A group of Jehovah’s Witness Church elders ignored their own strict religious standards in failing to punish a self-confessed child abuser in their ranks, a royal commission has heard.

The sex predator admitted to molesting his daughter to a committee of church elders, who also heard corroborating statements from the victim, her sister and mother.

However, the evidence before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was that the confession and three witness statements did not amount to proof in the eyes of the elders investigating the claim, all of whom were friends of the perpetrator.

A Jehovah’s Witness elder involved in the investigation, Dino Ali, wrote in his statement tendered to the commission: “The judicial committee did not feel it had clear proof of the allegations of child sexual abuse from either party as it was one person’s word against another’s.”
Counsel assisting the commission Angus Stewart, SC, told Mr Ali he had “ample proof” of the child sexual assault, which Mr Ali denied.

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.

Royal commission hears how Jehovah’s Witnesses …

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Royal commission hears how Jehovah’s Witnesses covered up child sex abuse dating back to 1950s

CANDACE Conti was just 9-years-old when she was shunned by her family and everyone she knew after she was sexually assaulted.

A member of the Jehovah’s Witness church, Ms Conti was a victim not only of her abuser, but of a system that covered up abuse, by enforcing a “two witness” rule, meaning any child who couldn’t verify their story by another witness was punished for their claim.

Ms Conti, now an adult, has spoken out about her experience. She says the cruel rule enforced by the church has helped keep a history of child sexual abuse covered up.

“They have a ‘two witness’ rule,” the American told The Guardian earlier this year.

“Anyone who accuses an adult of abuse must have a second witness.

“If there is no second witness, the accuser is punished for a false accusation — usually by ordering that no witness may talk with or associate with the “false” accuser.

“This is called dis-fellowshipping. For a kid raised only with other Witnesses, it was horrifying.

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.

Jesuit priest Stanislaus Hogan jailed over child pornography has sentence overturned

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Isabel Dayman

An Adelaide Jesuit priest and teacher found with more than 1,500 pornographic images of boys will be released from jail, after a court overturned his original sentence.

Stanislaus Hogan was sentenced to two-and-half years’ jail with a non-parole period of 10 months in March this year, after books, magazines and videos of young and teenage boys were found in his private quarters at Saint Ignatius’ College in 2013.

The Court of Criminal Appeal today re-sentenced Hogan to an 18-month good behaviour bond after suspending a jail term of one year, three months and three weeks.

The new sentence included a six-month non-parole period, but it was suspended.

The Court of Appeal found while the original sentence was not excessive, the sentencing judge should have applied a full 30 per cent guilty plea discount and should have suspended the sentence.

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.

Child sex abuse royal commission hears Jehovah’s Witness Church did not sanction self-confessed paedophile

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A paedophile who admitted to molesting his daughters was not believed or sanctioned for it by the Jehovah’s Witness Church, the royal commission into child sex abuse hears.

It is the second day that church elder Dino Ali has been questioned about the way he responded to one particularly shocking case of abuse.

Yesterday a woman known by the initials BCG, who was a member of the Mareeba congregation in Far North Queensland in the 1980s, 1990s, told the commission that when she spoke to the church hierarchy of the abuse against her and her three sisters she was treated with disdain.

This morning, in the face of new evidence, Mr Ali was questioned by counsel for BCG, Pauline David, about why no finding of abuse was made despite the perpetrator BCH making a confession.

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.

Pastoral associate at Indianapolis Catholic church arrested on child molestation charges

INDIANA
Fox 59

JULY 28, 2015, BY AMANDA RAKES – DIGITAL MANAGER

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 28, 2015)—A man who served as a religious education director at an Indianapolis Catholic church was arrested on several child molestation charges.

Oscar Vasquez-Guzman, 38, was charged Tuesday with two counts of child molesting, seven counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of attempted sexual misconduct with a minor.

According to court documents, Vasquez-Guzman is accused of molesting two boys. The incidents allegedly occurred between Sept. 10, 2013, and July 20, 2015.

“I always saw young boys in his yard. I’m not surprised,” said = Vasquez-Guzman’s neighbor.

“He was friendly and a nice guy. I didn’t think anything about him,” said another neighbor.

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.

Former minister gets prison for decade-long sex abuse of boy

PENNSYLVANIA
New York Daily News

SASHA GOLDSTEIN

A former Pennsylvania minister who was HIV positive while he sexually abused a boy for approximately a decade will serve up to 15 years in prison.

Norman (Ted) Faux started abusing the child at age 9 and continued the abuse for years, eventually plying the boy with drugs in exchange for sex, according to WNEP-TV.

For much of the time, he served as a United Methodist Pastor in Lake Ariel, a small village 20 miles outside Scranton, Pa.

“He perverted his role as a clergyman. He is a despicable fella and one of the most manipulative defendants I’ve ever dealt with,” First Assistant Wayne County District Attorney Pat Robinson told the TV station.

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.

Church school worker arrested for child molestation

INDIANA
WTHR

By David MacAnally, WTHR reporter

INDIANAPOLIS –
A religious education worker at a west side Catholic church is charged with molesting two boys.

Oscar Vasquez, 38, is the parish religious education director at St. Anthony. He faces sexual misconduct with a minor charges.

Both victims are now teenagers.

The alleged acts did not happen in the St. Anthony church or school, but in one case, it started in the park across the street, when Vasquez allegedly asked one of the victims back to his house, where he fondled him.

“If he did that, that is a horrible thing to do. And we’ve seen kids in and out. I didn’t know that was going on. You just never know about your neighbors,” said Taylor.

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.

Teacher at Caldwell church sentenced for sexual abuse

IDAHO
Idaho Press-Tribune

CALDWELL — A teacher at Caldwell’s Centennial Baptist Church was sentenced Monday to 11 ½ years in prison for sexual abuse of three child victims from the church.

District Judge Bradly S. Ford sentenced Casey R. Dyck, 24, of McMinnville, Oregon, for sexual battery of a minor child 16 to 17 years of age. He could be eligible for parole after 1 ½ years are served.

Caldwell Police arrested Dyck in February after an investigation revealed he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with an underage female student on numerous occasions in April and May of 2014 while he was a teacher, according to a Canyon County news release.

The investigation also revealed that Dyck had exchanged inappropriate photos and texts with numerous underage victims that were sexual in nature. One victim said Dyck informed her that he would give her extra credit if she wore short skirts and low-cut tops to school.

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.

Eight men arrested in WA over child abuse against teenage girl

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

ONE of eight men charged with the horrific sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl in WA over a two-year period is her father who allegedly “facilitated” the paedophile ring, WA Police have revealed.

Another man charged is Perth pastor and the former head of the WA Prison Fellowship Program, David Volmer.

Child sex abuse detectives arrested the eight men, who are aged between 35 and 47, after a tip-off from the public in April led to the rescue of the girl.

As an example of the shocking nature of the alleged offences, police said one man was in possession of 200,000 videos and four million images involving child exploitation.

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.

Ronald Mulkearns did not recall a complaint about priest Robert Claffey

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

TESSA AKERMAN THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 29, 2015

Former Bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns has given evidence under oath that he did not recall a complaint being made about former priest Robert Claffey.

Mr Claffey is charged with historical sex offences dating back to 1970.

Bishop Mulkearns gave evidence this morning in Mr Claffey’s committal hearing at the Geelong Magistrates Court.

The court heard Mr Claffey offered his resignation to Bishop Mulkearns in 1989 after the bishop supposedly met with the father of an alleged victim.

Bishop Mulkearns said he remembered Mr Claffey “had been misbehaving … In a sexual way”.

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Former Lafayette priest named in abuse lawsuit

INDIANA
Lafayette Journal and Courier

Ron Wilkins, rwilkins@jconline.com July 28, 2015

Two victims of sexual abuse by priests filed civil lawsuits Tuesday in St. Paul, Minnesota, accusing a former Lafayette native and priest of violating them at a Crosier school in Onamia, Minnesota.

The lawsuit names the Crosier Fathers and Brothers as its defendants. But in each lawsuit, Father Gerald Funcheon, originally from Lafayette, is named as one of the priests who violated both men when they were teenagers.

Funcheon, 77, has confessed to sexually abusing boys in his charge for more than 30 years in the Crosier and Roman Catholic priesthood, said Jeff Anderson, the Minnesota attorney who represents the two latest victims.

In response to Tuesday’s filing, the Crosiers released a prepared statement from Prior Provincial Thomas Enneking.

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Former Catholic Bishop remembers priest ‘misbehaving’ in a ‘sexual way’, court told

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Geelong reporter Margaret Paul

The former Catholic Bishop of Ballarat remembers a former priest who is facing indecent assault charges “misbehaving”, the Geelong Magistrate’s Court has heard.

Robert Claffey pleaded not guilty to more than 10 charges of indecent assault at various locations in western Victoria, including Ballarat, Warrnambool, Portland and Apollo Bay, between 1970 and 1992.

Ronald Mulkearns was the Bishop of Ballarat between 1971 and 1997.

It is believed this is the first time Bishop Mulkearns has given evidence under oath about sexual abuse in the diocese under his watch.

He has previously been excused from giving evidence at the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse in religious settings for health reasons.

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.

Former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns remembers ‘misbehaving’ priest

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By ALICA THOMAS July 29, 2015

FORMER Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns has finally broken his silence about clergy sex abuse within the Catholic Church, telling a court he remembers a priest “misbehaving” in a sexual way.

Bishop Mulkearns was forced to give evidence against former priest Robert Claffey who has pleaded not guilty to a string of sexual assault charges.

Appearing in Geelong Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Bishop Mulkearns, now retired, underwent a compulsory examination revealing evidence about child sexual abuse for the first time in almost two decades.

“I remember he (Claffey) had been misbehaving … in a sexual way”, Bishop Mulkearns told the court.

“But I only would have recalled Wendouree in connection with that. I don’t remember details”.

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3 Catholic clerics sued over sex abuse

INDIANA
The Journal Gazette

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

Three Roman Catholic clergymen who served in the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese in the 1950s through the 1970s have been sued in Minnesota by two men who claim they were victims of sexual abuse as minors.

The clerics – a priest and two religious brothers – were affiliated with the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross, also known as the Crosiers. The order for many years operated a seminary in Syracuse known as Our Lady of the Lake.

The new abuse is alleged to have taken place at Crosier Seminary in Onamia, Minnesota, between 1979 and 1981 when the men, identified only as Doe 51 and Doe 56, were students there.

The civil suit was filed Tuesday by Jeff Anderson and Associates of St. Paul, Minnesota, in Ramsey County District Court in St. Paul. None of the men who were sued has been charged criminally.

One of the accused clerics is the Rev. Gerald Funcheon, who was sued in Allen County in 2007 in connection with alleged abuse at a Catholic Youth Organization camp at Lake Wawasee and since 2003 has faced lawsuits alleging abuse in California, Hawaii and Minnesota.

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July 28, 2015

Jehovah’s Witness elders kept police out of sex abuse cases

AUSTRALIA
The Bulletin

A WOMAN whose father sexually abused her and her three sisters was refused permission by a North Queensland Jehovah’s Witness congregation to contact police, the Royal Commission into Child Abuse heard on Tuesday.

The woman, 41, told the commission her father beat, berated and sexually assaulted her during the 1980s.

He was a respected congregation member involved in organising Bible studies and door-to-door counselling.

When she told congregation elders – many of them her father’s close friends – about his actions she was interviewed and asked if she “enjoyed it”.

The woman said when she suggested going to the police, an elder told her outsiders were not to be trusted and would attempt to discredit the church.

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.

Father Ronald Mulkearns, ex-Catholic bishop …

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Father Ronald Mulkearns, ex-Catholic bishop of Ballarat testifies in priest’s child sex case

SHANNON DEERY HERALD SUN JULY 29, 2015

KEEPER of secrets Father Ronald Mulkearns has broken his silence about how he handled complaints of child sexual abuse while the Catholic bishop of Ballarat for more than two decades.

Until now Fr Mulkearns has avoided giving evidence at inquiries into institutional sexual abuse, citing health issues, meaning three decades of secrets from his tenure in Ballarat have remained sealed.

But he has been forced to testify in a prosecution against former priest Robert Claffey who is charged with a string of sexual assault charges.

Mr Claffey is charged with 14 counts of indecent assault, one count of committing an indecent act on a child under the age of 16 and one count of buggery on a girl.

Fr Mulkearns appeared at the Geelong Magistrates Court today but gave little away in his first sitting, answering “I don’t recall” to more than a dozen questions.

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Paedophile priest praised for ‘change of heart’

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Liam Heylin

A sentencing judge has welcomed a paedophile and former Christian Brother’s “substantial change of heart” after he pleaded guilty for the first time to sex assaults on two pupils at the North Monastery secondary school in Cork.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin referred to the 30 months already being served by Edward Bryan, 62, for the sexual abuse of three other students — charges on which he was convicted by a jury after his denials — and imposed a concurrent one-year sentence yesterday.

“Edward Bryan has pleaded guilty to counts of indecent assault on two young boys when he was a teacher in a school here in the city,” said the judge. “Aggravating factors are the age difference and he was in a position of authority. He abused that trust in authority.

“A significant difference is his present attitude and the fact that he has pleaded guilty. That to me is a huge change and a change for the better.

“It is a public vindication that the accused is wrong, that the victims are vindicated in what they said and that the complaints they made were right and he was wrong, for the first time ever. It is some level of insight and remorse that was never there before, indicative of a substantial change of heart to be welcomed.”

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Show Me the Money! After Philly Accuser Testified Under Oath Priest Abuse Claim Was Not About Money, He Later Files Lawsuit Against Catholic Church Seeking … Money

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
TheMediaReport

David Pierre

The old expression goes: “Whenever anybody says, ‘It’s not about the money,’ it’s about the money.”

No other aphorism is more fitting to the case of the Philadelphia accuser who is now suing the Catholic Church even though he swore repeatedly at two criminal trials that he was not seeking money in claiming that a priest abused him many years ago.

Yet another crock revealed

A criminal jury twice rejected the accuser’s claim that Philadelphia priest Rev. Andrew McCormick abused him back in the 1990s as a 10-year-old altar boy.

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Rabbi pleads to endangering welfare of a child, ends sex abuse case

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Steve Lieberman, slieberm@lohud.com July 28, 2015

Plea agreement met family’s wish that the boy not have to testify publicly against Rabbi Gabriel Bodenheimer.

A Monsey rabbi accused of sexually abusing a 7-year-old boy pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge of endangering the welfare of a child.

Prosecutors said the agreement met the family’s request to spare their son from having to testify in public.

Rabbi Gabriel Bodenheimer, 72, principal of Yeshiva Bais Mikroh for decades, faces three years probation when sentenced Oct. 27 on the misdemeanor count. As part of the agreement, the rabbi is barred from teaching or entering any school. He will also be subject to typical restrictions imposed on sex offenders.

Rockland County Court Judge Rolf Thorsen accepted the rabbi’s plea.

Prosecutor Richard Kennison Moran told Thorsen the case was being resolved at the request of the victim’s family, who told Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe they wanted the boy to move forward with his therapy and life.

“The victim is extremely strong mentally,” Moran said. “I believe he would be able to testify before this court. The family wants to spare their son the ordeal of testifying. I respect his family’s wishes.”

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More lawsuits filed against priest with Lafayette ties

MINNESOTA
WLFI

Dan Klein/Alexandra Kruczek
Published: July 28, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WLFI) — A priest with Lafayette ties is the target of two more civil lawsuits involving allegations of sexual abuse.

The suits allege the abuse between 1979 and 1981 at the Crosier Seminary in Minnesota involving Father Gerald Funcheon and several other clergy members.

According to the attorney for the plaintiffs, “Funcheon is accused of sexually abusing many children in several states.”

Funcheon was a graduate student at Purdue University and provided weekend pastoral assistance from 1969-70. He later was assigned to St. Ann’s and Central Catholic High School from 1986-87. He became a priest for the Lafayette diocese in 1987.

Lafayette Diocese Communications Director Kevin Cullen tells News 18 in 1992, the bishop became aware of earlier allegations. At that time, following Vatican protocols, Funcheon was removed from the public ministry and has not exercised it since 1992. When notices were published locally for victims to come forward, no allegations were received.

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Crosier Abuse Lawsuits Filed Today…

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson and Associates

Crosier Abuse Lawsuits Filed Today Involve Clergy Who Worked and Abused Throughout Minnesota

7/28/2015
Accused Clergy Sexually Abused Children in Onamia, Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Diocese of St. Cloud

Doe 51 Complaint
Doe 56 Complaint

(St. Paul, MN) – Civil lawsuits were filed today by two men who were sexually abused as minors by clergy at Crosier Seminary in Onamia, Minn. Doe 51 and Doe 56 were molested by multiple priests and brothers of the Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross (“Crosier”) religious order. Several of the clergy named in the complaints also interacted with and sexually abused children throughout Minnesota, including at parishes and schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Doe 51 was sexually abused from approximately 1979-81 by Father Gerald Funcheon, Brother Gabriel Guerrero and Brother Roman Fleischhacker, when Doe 51 was approximately 15-17 years old. Doe 56 was sexually abused in approximately 1979-80 by Funcheon, Brother Wendell Mohs and Father Roger Vaughn, when Doe 56 was approximately 14-15 years old. The perpetrators were assigned to Crosier Seminary at the time they abused Doe 51 and Doe 56, who attended the seminary.

“We applaud the courage of Doe 51 and Doe 56 in coming forward to seek accountability and take back power that was stolen from them as children by abusive clergy,” said Jeff Anderson, attorney for Doe 51 and Doe 56. “These abusers were allowed to travel all over Minnesota and elsewhere and be with children, many of whom they abused. Today, Doe 51 and Doe 56 are helping put an end to that tragic practice.”

Funcheon is accused of sexually abusing many children in several states, including Minnesota, where his assignments included St. Odilia’s in Shoreview (1970-74), Cathedral High School and John XXIII Middle School in St. Cloud (1980-82), and St. Stephen’s in Anoka (1985-86), in addition to Crosier Seminary (1979). Guerrero allegedly abused multiple minors at Crosier Seminary, where he worked from 1953-55, and 1958-79. Fleischhacker was assigned to the Crosier Community of Onamia (1949-85 and 2000-13), and was involved in the Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) retreat program in the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Mohs’ assignments included the Central Minnesota TEC program, Diocese of St. Cloud (1979-82), Epiphany school in Coon Rapids, Minn. (1980-82), in addition to Crosier Seminary (1974-80). Mohs resided at various locations during those assignments, including in St. Paul and at St. Stephen’s in Anoka. Vaughn’s assignments included the Central Minnesota TEC program, Diocese of St. Cloud (1979-84), and St. Peter’s Church, St. Cloud, Minn. (1980-84), in addition to Crosier Seminary (1977-80). Mohs and Vaughn each served as vocation director at Crosier Seminary, a job in which they traveled to Minnesota communities to recruit boys to attend Crosier Seminary. Funcheon, Mohs and Vaughn are included on lists of credibly accused clergy made public by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Crosiers. Vaughn is also on a list of credibly accused clergy made public by the Diocese of St. Cloud. Guerrero is included on the Crosiers’ list.

Doe 51 and Doe 56 brought their lawsuits under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which gives child sexual abuse victims until May 25, 2016, to file civil lawsuits. But persons abused by clergy working in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, including Crosiers, have until August 3, 2015, to bring claims against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in bankruptcy court.

Contact Jeff Anderson: Office/651.538.5049 Cell/612.817.8665
Contact Mike Finnegan: Office/651.538.5049 Cell/612.205.5531

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Two claim sexual abuse at Crosier Seminary

MINNESOTA
Mankato Free Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two former seminarians who say they were sexually abused as teenagers by clergy at Crosier Seminary in Onamia have filed civil lawsuits.

Attorney Jeff Anderson said Tuesday one man was molested at about age 15 to 17 by a priest and two brothers who were assigned to the seminary and the other man was sexually abused by the same priest, another father and a brother when he was about 14 to 15 years old. The abuse allegedly took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The plaintiffs are unidentified.

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China: Shaolin Temple’s chief priest accused of sexual misconduct

CHINA
Hindustan Times

The chief priest of China’s iconic Shaolin Temple, known for its martial arts traditions, is has been accused of having sexual relations with women followers including Buddhist nuns, a charge refuted by the temple as “groundless”.

Shi Zhengyi (pen-name) claimed to be a former disciple of the temple and posted an article on various online forums last week, alleging that the 50-year-old Shi Yongxin, the abbot of the temple, maintained sexual relations with his women followers, including two Buddhist nuns.

Denying allegations, the abbot has complained to police about the “slander campaign” against him, official media quoted a staff member of the temple at Henan province as saying.

A police officer from the public security bureau of Dengfeng, Henan, told the Global Times that they have received the Shaolin Temple’s report and are investigating the case.

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Pfarrer K.: Revision hat wohl keine große Chance

DEUTSCHLAND
Westdeutsche Zeitung

Willich/Karlsruhe. Im Revisonsverfahren zum Urteil gegen den aus Willich stammenden Pfarrer Georg K. hat Generalbundesanwalt Harald Range Stellung genommen. Er sehe zwar einige Schwächen im Urteil, diese seien jedoch nicht so entscheidend, dass die Entscheidung des Krefelder Landgerichts geändert werden müsse. Er empfiehlt dem Bundesgerichtshof, eine Revision nicht zuzulassen. Das berichtete Dr. Wilhelm Helms aus Hannover, Strafverteidiger von Georg K., am Montag auf Nachfrage.

Üblicherweise folgt der Senat diesen Empfehlungen des Generalbundesanwalts. Darauf setzt auch Opferschützer Johannes Heibel von der Initiative gegen sexuellen Missbrauch. „Das ist ein gutes Zwischenergebnis“, freut er sich. „Ich hoffe, dass der Senat die Revision nicht zulässt.

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Australien: Missbrauchs-Vertuschung bei Zeugen Jehovas

AUSTRALIEN
Radio Vatikan

Die Zeugen Jehovas in Australien haben die systematische Vernichtung von Dokumenten über den sexuellen Missbrauch Minderjähriger eingeräumt. Man habe vermeiden wollen, dass die Aufzeichnungen „in falsche Hände fallen“, sagte ein Leitungsverantwortlicher der Religionsgemeinschaft, Max Horley, laut australischen Medien am Montag vor dem staatlichen Untersuchungsausschuss zur Aufklärung des Umgangs mit Missbrauchsfällen.

Seit 1950 seien den Zeugen Jehovas 1.006 Fälle von Kindesmissbrauch bekanntgeworden. Alle diese Fälle seien intern behandelt worden, statt sie bei der Polizei anzuzeigen, so Horley. Man sei sich damals nicht bewusst gewesen, dass es sich um ein „kriminelles Vergehen“ handle. Schon zuvor waren in der Kommission Vorwürfe laut geworden, die Zeugen Jehovas hätten wiederholt übergriffige Verantwortungsträger in andere Positionen verschoben, um Missbrauch zu vertuschen.

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Drei Jahre und vier Monate Haft für Pfarrer wegen Missbrauch

OSTERREICH
Salzburger Nachrichten

[Three years and four months in prison for a Austrian priest accused of abuse.]

Drei Jahre und vier Monate Haft für einen Pfarrer wegen sexueller Vergehen an einem Schützling: Dieses Urteil hat am Dienstag ein Schöffensenat am Landesgericht Wiener Neustadt über einen 49-jährigen Ordensgeistlichen verhängt. Der Schuldspruch ist aber noch nicht rechtskräftig, sowohl der Pater als auch der Staatsanwalt haben keine Erklärung abgegeben.

Es war bereits der zweite Rechtsgang in der heiklen Causa. Der Geistliche, der in einer 20.000-Seelengemeinde im südlichen Niederösterreich als Pater eingesetzt und bei der Bevölkerung sehr beliebt war, war bereits im Dezember 2013 wegen der sexuellen Übergriffe in Wiener Neustadt verurteilt worden – damals zu vier Jahren Freiheitsstrafe. Demnach soll der Pfarrer einen heute 25-Jährigen in den vergangenen Jahren vergewaltigt und auch durch K.o.-Tropfen sexuell gefügig gemacht haben.

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How Pope Francis became the new Al Gore

UNITED STATES
The Week

Jason Berry

A Vatican conference recently drew mayors from cities across the globe to discuss climate change and modern slavery. The event marked a new turn in Pope Francis’ evolution as a global leader — and as the rare pope with an activist foreign policy.

Speaking in Spanish and without notes, Francis closed the conference by giving praise to the politicians and asking their help in the face of “growing bands of poverty” around urban areas, which he called “a worldwide phenomenon,” according to a Vatican transcript.

“Why do people come to large cities, to the outskirts of large cities, to the slums, shanty towns and favelas?” the pope asked. “It is simply because the rural world does not offer them opportunities.”

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who attended the conference, affirmed Francis’ message in an email to GroundTruth: “With more and more people moving to cities, mayors are uniquely positioned to innovate solutions to local and global challenges,” he wrote. “The pope renewed a sense of hope and possibility for mayors to create equitable solutions.”

Francis also called the Congo and Amazon rainforests “the world’s great lungs.” He coupled deforestation with “unemployment and human trafficking,” drew a thread on “slavery in mining” and “the use of certain elements in the purifying of minerals, such as arsenic and cyanide, causing diseases in the population.”

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Disgraced Former GOP House Speaker Rod Jetton Disinvited from Prayer Breakfast

MISSOURI
Riverfront Times

By Danny Wicentowski Tue., Jul. 28 2015

The church flyer promoting former state representative Rod Jetton’s speech was heavy on inspiration and light on details.

“Rod’s candid way of explaining his mistakes and pointing out the dangers of putting
his career in front of his faith and family will be of great benefit to fathers focused on accomplishing their professional goals,” the flyer read. Hosted by First Baptist Church in Arnold, Jetton’s speech was to take place during a men’s-only prayer breakfast on August 15.

The flyer continued: “His ability to identify the early warning signs of pride, bitterness and paranoia in his life are exactly the type of cautionary advice anyone who is experiencing success needs to hear.”

But it wasn’t pride and bitterness that tarnished Jetton’s legacy as a lawmaker and Missouri House Speaker: In 2009, after leaving office due to term limits, Jetton was charged with felony assault when a woman alleged that a night of sadomasochistic sex had turned dangerous and violent. Jetton later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge. (A year later, Jetton found himself the subject of a federal investigation into whether he’d been bribed to weaken a proposed regulatory bill.)

For David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), the fact that Jetton was being trotted out as a moral lighthouse, at a church no less, was an outrage.

In an email sent last week to First Baptist Church, SNAP urged the church’s leadership to withdraw Jetton’s invitation:

“Please don’t claim this invitation is about forgiveness,” the email read. “We can forgive a drunk driver but shouldn’t give him school bus keys. We can forgive someone who commits violence but shouldn’t give him a gun. We can forgive someone who assaults someone but shouldn’t give him a speaking role in a church.”

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Assignment Record– Rev. Joseph C. Kremer

MINNESOTA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Joseph C. Kremer was ordained for the St. Cloud MN diocese in 1969. In addition working in parishes, Kremer was Vice-Rector and Procurator of St. John’s Seminary in Collegeville, and he held the diocesan position of Censor Librorum. He died in 1992. Kremer’s name was included on the diocese’s list released January 3, 2014 of clergy involved in incidents of likely claims of sexual abuse of minors.

Ordained: 1969
Died: November 18, 1992

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ID–Victims applaud new legal avenue for abused kids

IDAHO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, July 28

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

We admire Matt Morgan of Idaho Falls for having the strength to seek and win justice using a little-known legal approach. It takes real courage to confront child molesters in court and to open doors for other survivors of horrific childhood trauma.

[Idaho Statesman]

Morgan successfully sued his perpetrator for fraud. Like most adults who were assaulted as kids, an archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations initially prevented him from exposing his predator. But he and his attorneys persisted and eventually won using the fraud charge.

We hope Morgan’s bravery will inspire others who were victimized as kids to come forward, seek justice, expose predators and protect kids.

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DC–Victims urge action on predator priest who worked in DC

WASHINGTON (DC)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priets

For immediate release: Tuesday, July 28

Statement by Becky Ianni of Burke VA, DC area director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (703 801 6044,SNAPvirginia@cox.net)

Newly-released information shows that a credibly accused serial predator priest headed a DC area HIV/AIDS non-profit before he quietly passed away a few years ago.

[BishopAccountability.org – Assignment Record]

The work history of Fr. James “Jim” R. Nickel has just been posted on line. From 2004-2008, Fr. Nickel ran Damien Ministries, an HIV/AIDS organization in Washington DC, despite facing at least three accusers. One of them received a six figure settlement. The other two filed civil abuse and cover up lawsuits with an experienced clergy sex abuse attorney.

But as best we can tell, Washington area Catholic officials did nothing to warn parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors or the public about Fr. Nickel. Nor have they, since Nickel’s passing, taken any steps to find and help others who may have been hurt by him.

Shame on Cardinal Donald Wuerl, his predecessor Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and their staffs.

Common sense tells us that there are almost certainly other victims of Fr. Nickel suffering in silence. The official national Catholic church abuse policy tells us bishops are to “reach out” to the wounded. The Bible tells us to “leave the 99” and go out into the cold searching for the one “lost sheep.”

But this isn’t happening with Fr. Nickel. And it’s not happening in DC or in virtually any diocese on the planet with virtually any predator priest.

Again, shame on every staff member of the Washington DC archdiocese who timidly tolerates such irresponsible and self-serving secrecy. If one DC area man or woman who was assaulted by Fr. Nickel commits suicide, the blame lies squarely with every current or former Catholic staffer here who knew about or suspected Fr. Nickel’s crimes and kept silent.

We beg every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Nickel or cover ups by archdiocesan staff to step forward, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect others, deter cover ups and start healing. We especially beg them to seek out independent sources of support and to call secular authorities not church bureaucrats.

Fr. Nickel was a priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary He was ordained in 1970, died in 2008, and worked in California (La Puente in the Los Angeles archdiocese), Minnesota (Winona in the Winona diocese and Minnieska in the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese) and in Massachusetts (West Harwish, Fairhaven and Dennisport in the Fall River diocese) and in the Bahamas (in the Nassau diocese)

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The Francis Factor: How Will The Pope Influence The 2016 Election?

UNITED STATES
Talking Point Memo

ByJOHN GEHRING
PublishedJULY 27, 2015

When Pope Francis visits the United States in two months and becomes the first pontiff to address Congress, his speech will be a seminal moment in American history. A pope who pumps fresh energy into the world’s most influential religious institution and humanizes the papacy will likely find his toughest audience in this country. Several polls released last week show both the challenges and opportunities that await a pope who denounces an “economy of exclusion” and in bracing language prods political leaders to wake up to the reality of climate change.

After enjoying sky-high approval ratings for the past two years, a new Gallup poll shows a swift decline in support for Pope Francis in the United States, driven largely by conservative angst. The pope’s overall favorability rating is now 59 percent, a significant dip from 76 percent early last year. Forty-five percent of conservatives now view the pope favorably, a stark decline from 72 percent who did a year ago.

Don’t quote me on this, but I think Jesus also took a hit in his poll numbers when he kicked the money changers out of the Temple, broke bread with prostitutes and reminded the religious elite that their obsession with the letter of the law missed the big picture. I doubt a pope who is focused on bringing those on the peripheries to the center of global debates is losing sleep over the finer points of Washington punditry or polling. This is a pope who still remains enormously popular and is arguably the most compelling moral leader in the world today. Coveting thy fellow leaders’ polling numbers is likely a sin, but most politicians would do anything to have the pope’s widespread appeal.

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The ‘Ex-Gay’ Candidate for Missouri Governor

MISSOURI
Advocate

BY BIL BROWNINGJULY 28 2015

Missouri State Senator Bob Dixon is running for governor and claims that childhood abuse and “teenage confusion” caused him to be gay for a few years.

Dixon’s campaign issued a statement Monday touting his “faith in God” and support for “traditional marriage” while condemning any opponents who try to use his past against him.

“Through the years, I have publicly spoken about being abused as a child and the confusion this caused me as a teenager,” said Dixon in the statement. “There are literally thousands of Missourians who will understand how heartbreaking childhood abuse can be — though few might be willing to acknowledge it.” …

David Clohessy — the St. Louis-based director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests — spoke to reporters Monday about Dixon, noting his support for legislation to help “protect kids from predators,” but stopped short of endorsing him.

“As best we can tell, he’s the first statewide candidate in Missouri history to disclose that he was molested as a child,” said Clohessy. “We are sad for his trauma but grateful for his candor. Adults who have the courage to talk publicly about having been sexually assaulted, at any age by any predator, should be applauded.

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Waukesha pastor, school bus driver accused of sexual assault of child

WISCONSIN
WISN

By Christina Palladino

WAUKESHA, Wis. —A Waukesha man who worked as a pastor and a school bus driver has been arrested, accused of first-degree sexual assault of a child.

Peter J. Knebel, 72, was an associate pastor at Fox River Christian Church in Waukesha, mostly making hospital rounds and planning funerals.

According to the criminal complaint, Knebel called a child into his office at the church last week and told her she could sit on his lap and play on his computer

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Waukesha pastor arrested, charged with sexual assault of child

WISCONSIN
WKOW

By Dani Maxwell

WAUKESHA (WKOW) — A pastor of a Waukesha church has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a child.

Peter Knebel was arrested Sunday, according to the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office. Online court records show Knebel was charged Monday with First Degree Child Sexual Assault. The sheriff’s office says Knebel was a pastor at Fox River Christian Church and was also a school bus driver.

A criminal complaint says a girl told someone that Knebel touched her inappropriately while she was seated on his lap and playing computer games in his church office. Executive pastor Mark Roberts says the church reported what happened to authorities and suspended Knebel. Roberts says Knebel wasn’t assigned to work with children.

WISN 12 News reports Knebel apparently left his job as bus driver with First Student on his own accord last month. First Student is a bus company that operates within the Waukesha School District. The school superintendent told WISN 12 News, “We have no information that would tie this alleged incident to any of our students.”

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Waukesha pastor charged with sexually assaulting child

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel July 27, 2015

A 72-year-old school bus driver and pastor in Waukesha has been charged with sexually assaulting a child in his church office.

Peter J. Knebel was arrested Sunday after sheriff’s officials say he admitted to an offense while under investigation, as well as violations involving other children in the past.

According to the Waukesha County sheriff’s office, Knebel was a pastor at the Fox River Christian Church, and drove a school bus for the Waukesha School District since 2009.

Knebel faces a single count of second-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13, which is punishable by up to 40 years in prison upon conviction.

According to the criminal complaint:

A girl told someone that while she was using a computer in the church gym earlier this month, Knebel told her she couldn’t use it for games, but could play on the computer in his office. There, while the girl was seated in his lap, Knebel rubbed her breast area with his thumb.

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Waukesha pastor, former school bus driver accused of sexually assaulting a child at his church

WISCONSIN
Fox 6

JULY 27, 2015, BY KATIE DELONG AND JENNA SACHS

WAUKESHA — Waukesha County Sheriff’s officials say a 72-year-old pastor at a church in Waukesha and a school bus driver who recently retired has been arrested for first degree sexual assault of a child.

Peter Knebel of Waukesha has been charged with first degree sexual assault of a child – sexual contact with a person under the age of 13.

Sheriff’s officials say they were made aware of the assault — and during the investigation, the Knebel admitted to his involvement.

He also admitted to committing other violations against children in the past, officials say.

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Other Pontifical Acts

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 28 July 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

– appointed Bishop Salvador Gimenez Valls of Menorca, Spain, as bishop of Lleida (area 2,977, population 233,531, Catholics 207,167, priests 131, permanent deacons 5, religious 195), Spain. He succeeds Bishop Joan Piris Frigola, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.

– gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchal Maronite Church, of Rev. Paul Abdel Sater as bishop of the patriarchal curia. The bishop-elect was born in 1962 in Ain El Remmaneh, Lebanon, and was ordained a priest in 1987. He studied moral theology and science of education in Boston, U.S.A., and since returning to Lebanon has served as deputy priest, parish priest, school director, and eparchial bursar. He is currently syncellus for economic affairs and parish priest of the “Saint Jean” parish in Beirut.

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Idaho Falls man uses new legal tactic to get long-delayed justice for child abuse

IDAHO
Idaho Statesman

BY TOM HOLM
Idaho Falls Post Register
July 27, 2015

IDAHO FALLS — Matt Morgan’s effort to punish his uncle for sexual abuse three decades ago has traveled a unique legal course.

After exhausting traditional legal avenues, Matt Morgan’s legal team used claims of fraud to bring Terry Morgan to justice, winning a $395,000 judgment Dec. 2.

It is a legal tactic that could be used more extensively in the future, especially for those trying to press sexual abuse cases that can’t be prosecuted because the statute of limitations has expired, said Boise attorney Andrew Chasan.

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Child abuse royal commission: Jehovah’s Witnesses reveals father’s abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

JULY 28, 2015

Nicola Berkovic
Reporter
Sydney

A Jehovah’s Witness elder says he believed a young woman had been sexually abused by her father but could not take action because he did not have a second witness.

The elder, Dino Ali, told the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse said “divine law” required two witnesses to a crime or for the perpetrator to confess.

Asked why he could not take action, even though he believed the then-18-year-old woman that her father had tried to rape her, he said:

“We couldn’t … Because there was only the person who was aware or knew that that had happened. We [did] not have another person to corroborate.”

Mr Ali said that members of the Jehovah’s Witness church believed that it was up to a victim of a crime to make a report to police.

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Royal Commission: Jehovah’s Witness sex predator reinstated

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

July 28, 2015

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

A former senior member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who repeatedly molested a teenage girl was stood down as a church elder only to be later reinstated, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told that former church elder Bill Neill admitted to voyeurism in a meeting in which his accuser was forced to face him.

Former circuit overseer Doug Jackson, who was in charge of the investigation, told the commission he did not regard Mr Neill’s conduct as criminal at the time, nor did he inform the police.

The commission heard Mr Jackson wrote a letter to the branch officer of the Jehovah’s Witness Church in Australia noting that Mr Neill, now deceased, had received “strong counselling” for his “uncleanness”.

The letter recommended Mr Neill be reinstated as an elder once the incident had blown over.

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Jehovah’s Witness ‘ministerial servant’…

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Jehovah’s Witness ‘ministerial servant’ held in high regard by congregation while assaulting daughters

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH JULY 28, 2015

A TEENAGE girl prayed to Jehovah to put angels around her bed and stop her father from sexually assaulting her but no-one listened, she told the sex abuse royal commission today.

While the rest of the Jehovah’s Witness branch held her father in high regard as a “ministerial servant”, he was flogging her at home until she bled and had sex with her and three of her sisters, the commission was told.

His second eldest daughter, now aged 47, said that when she tried to kill herself over the abuse, she was chastised by the church because it was seen as being a sin against Jehovah – while her father was stood down for some time but then accepted back with open arms by the congregation.

The woman, who cannot be named, said that one of the elders of her church branch in rural Queensland told her she could not report her father to the police because “you will bring reproach upon Jehovah’s name and you will be disfellowshipped”.

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Royal commission into child sexual abuse: Former Jehovah’s Witness tells hearing of abuse by father who was church elder

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Danuta Kozaki

A child abuse victim and former Jehovah’s Witness has detailed how she was abused by her father, who was an elder with the church in north Queensland.

During its hearings in Sydney, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard the Jehovah’s Witness church did not report any complaints to police involving the assault of children.

The 43-year-old witness codenamed BCG told the commission she spoke to the church hierarchy of the abuse against her and her three sisters, and was treated with disdain.

“It felt so wrong that my father’s abuse affected me so much and yet didn’t even qualify as something wrong in the eyes of Jehovah’s witnesses who professed to be acting with the authority of Jehovah and the Holy Spirit which is considered to be above Australian law,” she said.

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Jehovah’s Witness abuser quoted scripture while assaulting daughter, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

July 28, 2015

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

As a child growing up in a strict Jehovah’s Witness household she was taught to obey her father as head of the family and warned that outsiders were “worldly people” who served Satan.

In a harrowing day of evidence before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the woman detailed how her father repeatedly sexually abused her and her three sisters.

I wanted to dig a hole and die.

The father, given the pseudonym BCH, was a respected figure in the church who would conduct door-to-door preaching and deliver talks from an elevated platform at his congregation’s kingdom hall in Queensland.

At home the man became a tyrant, with the commission hearing that he would beat his daughter so hard with a leather belt she would bleed from the welts.

The woman, now 43 and using the pseudonym BCG, told the commission that her father repeatedly molested her.

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July 27, 2015

Abuse hearing would `sully Jehovah’s name’

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A Jehovah’s Witness elder has denied he tried to discourage an abuse survivor from going to the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

Jim Bello an elder in a congregation in Western Australia visited the woman, referred to as BCB, in 2012 to discuss her allegations of abuse by an elder in the church in the 80s and 90s.

On Tuesday Mr Bello said he had been told by the branch that oversees the Jehovah’s Witness Church in Australia to visit BCB and her husband at their WA farm to see if he could help and to gain information.

He recalled a conversation with BCB’s husband who told him his wife was thinking of going to the royal commission.

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Child abuser was guilty of ‘uncleanness’

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source: AAP
28 JUL 2015

The Jehovah’s Witnesses used the biblical term “uncleanness” to describe an elders’ persistent molestation of a young girl and just stood him down from preaching.

A royal commission sitting in Sydney heard on Tuesday how the church uses biblical terms to describe criminal behaviour.

“Uncleaness” is not as serious as “loose conduct”, retired district overseer Doug Jackson said when he was questioned about the Witnesses investigation into abuse committed by Elder Bill Neill in the Narrogin congregation in Western Australia in the late 80s and 1990s.

“Loose conduct” would cover intercourse and is referred to in the bible as “immorality, porneia”, Mr Jackson said.

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Peeping Tom Rabbi Case Remanded to State Court

WASHINGTON (DC)
Courthouse News Service

By DAN MCCUE

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CN) – Hundreds of women who claim to have been victims of peeping tom Georgetown rabbi convinced a federal judge on Monday to move their respective class actions back to D.C. Superior Court.

Rabbi Bernard “Barry” Freundel was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison on May 12, 2015, after acknowledging as part of a plea agreement that he secretly recorded at least 150 women in a Jewish ritual bath over several years.

Freundel led the Kesher Israel synagogue in Georgetown for 25 years before he was arrested on Oct. 14, 2014, after one of his recording devices was discovered hidden inside a clock radio.

He told prosecutors that he started setting up hidden cameras in the changing and showering area of the National Capital Mikvah – a cleansing bath – in 2009.

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Media Release – Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee– July 27-28, 2015

NEW JERSEY
Catholic Whistleblowers

On July 29, 2015, the Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee will submit to Pope Francis’ newly-established Vatican tribunal a case of abuse of office against Archbishop John J. Myers of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, regarding incidents of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by clergy, and request that Archbishop John J. Myers be removed as Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, and the clerical state, that he be denied access to his lavish retirement home, and assigned to a life of prayer and penance

What
A press conference sponsored by the Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee which will announce the filing of a case against Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, New Jersey to the newly-established Vatican tribunal that investigates and holds accountable bishops who abuse their office in matters of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults

When
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Where
Fair Bridge Hotel and Conference Center, 130 New Jersey Route 10 West, East Hanover, NJ 07936

Who
Members of the Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee, victim/survivors of sexual abuse and their families, and victim/survivors of the actions and decisions of John J. Myers as Bishop of Peoria, IL and Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, including: Peoria, IL Diocese parents (of sexual abuse victims) Helen Rainforth and Linda Bruns; Newark, NJ sexual abuse victim/survivor Samuel Rivera; Milwaukee retired priest and canon lawyer Rev. James Connell; former Newark Archdiocesan priest Dr. Robert M. Hoatson; New York Archdiocese sexual abuse victim/survivor Sr. Claire Smith; victims’ advocate and whistleblower Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish of New Castle, DE and Philadelphia, PA; and, New York Archdiocese whistleblower Fr. Ronald Lemmert, who will represent and speak on behalf of Fr. Patrick Collins, a retired priest of the Peoria, IL Diocese

Why
Pope Francis has expressed his desire to hold accountable bishops who have abused their office with regard to incidents of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, and established on June 6, 2015 a Vatican tribunal to hear cases of such abuse of office. The Catholic Whistleblowers Steering Committee, with the involvement of victim/survivors of sexual abuse, advocates, and supporters, have compiled a case of abuse of office against Archbishop John J. Myers of the Newark, NJ Archdiocese, and will submit documentation of such abuse to Vatican authorities with copies to the Papal Nuncio in Washington, DC, and Archbishop Myers. From the time he was named co-adjutor Bishop of Peoria, IL in 1990 to his tenure as Archbishop of Newark, NJ from 2002 to the present, John J. Myers has abused his episcopal office on many occasions, including a serious cover-up of the sexual abuse of priests in the Peoria, IL Diocese and the mistreatment of families of sexual abuse victim/survivors there. John J. Myers also retaliated against a Newark Archdiocesan priest for speaking out about clergy sexual abuse, forcing him to leave the priesthood, and he mishandled the cases of sexual abuse against the notorious Fr. Michael Fugee and other priests, including a Newark Archdiocesan priest who was allowed to retire one week after 6 victim/survivors received a settlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The press conference will call on Pope Francis to remove Archbishop Myers from the Newark Archdiocese and the clerical state, deny him access to a lavish retirement home, and assign him to a life of prayer and penance.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., West Orange, NJ – 862-368-2800
Rev. James Connell, Milwaukee, WI – 414-940-8054

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Accountability for Bishops

UNITED STATES
Canonical Consultation

07/27/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

The National Catholic Reporter has an interesting article this week on the efforts of the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Limburg, appointed after the resignation of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst (a.k.a. the ‘Bishop of Bling’), to hold the former bishop responsible for 3.9 million Euro in losses incurred by the diocese during his administration. According to the NCR, the Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Manfred Grothe, began, upon assuming temporary governance of the See, a ‘thorough investigation’ of the scandal that led to Tebartz-van Elst’s resignation, and in the process discovered ‘outright losses that had to be written off’ and which were directly attributable to decisions taken by the former bishop. The NCR reports that Tebartz-van Elst incurred the approximately $4.9 million in losses ‘by demanding late and costly changes, requiring earlier work to be scrapped, and ordering design studies that were not used’. As a result, the Diocese of Limburg acknowledged in a July 23rd statement to the NCR that the Apostolic Administrator has ‘raised canon law questions and the issue of material compensation in talks at the Vatican several times, the last being in April 2015. There will be another meeting on this topic in the autumn…The decision about whether payment demands can be made of the bishop emeritus, including how much and how, can only be made in cooperation with the Vatican. In principle, the Holy See is responsible in cases of legal action against a bishop.’ The article notes that the Diocese of Limburg is also seeking to lesson its pension obligations to its former bishop.

Hallelujah.

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Assignment Record– Rev. Valentine “Val” J. Klimek

MINNESOTA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Val Klimek was a priest of the St. Cloud MN diocese, ordained in 1944. He assisted in parishes in St. Cloud, was spiritual director at Cathedral High School and went on to pastor parishes in St. Wendel, Duelm, Royalton and Rockville. He also held several Chancery positions: Catholic Youth Organization director and member of the Marriage Relations Council. He died August 7, 1994. Klimek’s name was among 33 on a list released by the St. Cloud diocese January 3, 2014 of clergy involved in incidents of likely claims of sexual abuse of minors.

Ordained: 1944
Died: August 7, 1994

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Jehovah’s Witness inquiry continues in Sydney

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Elders from Jehovah’s Witness congregations in Queensland and Western Australia will be asked on Tuesday what they did when young women alleged they were sexually abused by respected church members.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is entering the second day of a two-week hearing into the church which shuns secular society and encourages its members to live according to rules based on a first-century interpretation of the Bible.

On Monday the commission was told there were 1006 allegations of child sex abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1950 and not one of them was reported to police by the church authorities.

Angus Stewart, SC counsel for the commission said the hearing would consider if the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church practice of not reporting serious allegations to secular authorities left its members open to being charged for concealing crimes.

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To combat police terrorism, study the response to the church’s abuse crisis

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Mariam Williams | Jul. 27, 2015

Shortly after we entered the 21st century, the 24-hour news cycle bombarded us with interviews and images regarding a sex abuse scandal within the Catholic church. For a while, it seemed as though every day there was a new allegation of abuse dating back decades. Victim after victim emerged, sharing one heartbreaking story after another. Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests became the common understanding of the word “SNAP.”

Then came our collective outrage as a society when we learned that priests (and deacons) accused of abusing children were never arrested, never turned in to law enforcement for questioning, never properly directed into the criminal justice system. Instead, they were shifted from parish to parish, their deeds covered up by bishops in personnel moves, their behavior hidden in a thickening cloud of secrecy. And once we knew about the efforts to protect the priests and not their victims, we as a society wondered, “How could this happen?”

I see parallels between the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church and the slow awakening we are witnessing throughout the country about the realities of police violence against people of color. Names like Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland have reached the national and, sometimes, international news, but names converted into hashtags pepper social media every day, and the numbers steadily rise in “The Counted,” The Guardian’s tally of people killed by police in the United States.

According to The Guardian’s method of calculation, the number is expected to reach 1,100 before 2015 ends, with African-Americans twice as likely to die as whites and Hispanics or Latinos. Like a growing survivors’ network, people of color share their experiences with police violence, threats, harassment and other traumatic encounters in the comments section of these national stories and on their personal pages. Even if the encounters are not physical, these civilians describe fear they will never forget.

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Tzfat Rabbi Threatened ‘Horrible Things’ if Victims Complained

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 7/27/2015

Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg of Tzfat (Safed) heavily manipulated the public’s trust in the rabbinic system to sexually assault women, an officer involved in the case stated Monday.

“All the complainants are religious women who came to the rabbi, who is considered as very charismatic, and they came to ask for advice,” Police Superintendent Galit Winograd, the supervisory officer during the criminal proceedings, revealed Monday. “Sometimes their husbands are the ones who brought them to the rabbi, and he fooled them and told them they needed sexual therapy – and claimed that if they did not accept his treatment, the situation would deteriorate.”

Winograd told Walla! News that the pattern of attack was the same: the women would be referred to Sheinberg, and then he would set up a series of meetings, either in person or on video chat.

An investigation was launched in July 2014 when two separate women filed complaints against Sheinberg to the Tzfat (Safed) District Police, she added. Then and there, a special task force was established to investigate the complaints, mostly of female officers.

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Israeli Rabbi Charged With Abusing 13 Women

ISRAEL
Forward

JTA

Safed rabbi was indicted on 13 counts of grave sexual crimes against women who had turned to him with religious questions.

Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg, 46, was charged Monday in the Nazareth District Court, Israel Radio reported. The charges include rape, indecent assault, sexual harassment, fraud and obstructing an investigation, Ynet reported.

The prosecution asked that the rabbi remain in custody until the end of legal proceedings against him, and for a gag order to be placed on the indictment and any details that could identify the complainants.

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Safed rabbi indicted on 12 charges of sexual offenses including rape

ISRAEL
Jerusalem Post

The rabbi is also charged with interfering with a criminal investigation against him, coercing testimony sexual harassment and fraud.

Rabbi Ezra Scheinberg, a renowned rosh yeshiva from Safed accused of sexual abusing women in his community, was indicted on Monday on 12 charges of sexual offenses including rape, sodomy, and indecent assault.

In addition, the rabbi was charged with interfering with a criminal investigation against him, coercing testimony sexual harassment and fraud.

The allegations of a separate complainant will not be considered since the statute of limitations has expired for those incidents.

Scheinberg, 48, is married and has eight children. He is the founder of the Orot HaAri yeshiva in Safed, which he established in 1999, and was a respected and prominent figure in the national-religious community, lauded as a particularly spiritual rabbi with preternatural abilities to see into the future and give advice on that basis.

According to the charges issued by the northern branch of the State Attorney’s Office, the alleged offenses were made against 12 separate women over a period of 10 years.

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Fugitive priest turns himself in to British police

UNITED KINGDOM
Sun Herald

AP

LONDON — A priest who fled to mainland Europe after being convicted of stealing church funds has returned to England and turned himself in to authorities, British police said Monday.

Police had traced and made contact with 50-year-old priest Simon Reynolds over the weekend and that he had been arrested after giving himself up, Det. Chief Insp. Steve Whittaker said.

Reynolds became a fugitive Thursday when he failed to return to court after lunch while he was in the process of being convicted of four counts of theft.

Reynolds was found guilty of pocketing 24,000 pounds ($37,000), which was meant for wedding, funerals and graveyard monuments while he was the priest at All Saints Church in Darton, 175 miles (280 kilometers) north of London, between 2007 and 2013. He will be sentenced on Tuesday.

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More needs to be done to reduce child abuse

MINNESOTA
Mille Lacs County Times

Minnesota has experienced a horrific parade of violence against children in recent years. Just last week, we learned of the death of Sophia O’Neill, age 2, of Minneapolis, stomped to death allegedly by her mother’s boyfriend, age 17.

Most people recall the 32-year-old father, Michael Gunderson of Princeton, arrested in March after his two children ages 2 and 3 were found to be severely malnourished and dehydrated, with sores on their bodies.

The murder of Pope County’s Eric Dean, age 4, after 15 reports to the county of possible abuse went unaddressed, caused the Legislature to act.

And coming out in a trickle have been years of pedophile attacks by Roman Catholic priests, of which 179 in Minnesota alone have been accused.

It is easy to become angry at the accused and the convicted, to send them to prison and pretend that we have accomplished something. However, we have a major public health issue confronting us, and are nowhere close to solving it. The reported crimes are just the tip of the iceberg.

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Other Pontifical Acts

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 25 July 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

– accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Tumaco, Colombia, presented by Bishop Gustavo Giron Higuita, O.C.D., upon reaching the age limit.

– appointed Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin as papal legate at the celebration of the fifth centenary of the evangelisation of East Timor, to be held in Dili, East Timor, on 15 August 2015.

– appointed Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Italy, as special envoy to the Mass to be held in Bobbio, Italy on 30 August, on the occasion of the Eighteenth Meeting of the Colombanian Community, on the 1400th anniversary of the death of St. Colombanus.

– appointed Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, as special envoy to the concluding celebrations of the 1500th anniversary of the founding of the Abbey of Saint-Maurice, Switzerland, to take place on 22 September 2015.

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Archbishop Martin regrets saying church needs ‘reality check’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy Mcgarry

Mon, Jul 27, 2015

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said he regrets saying the church needed a “reality check” following the marriage equality referendum, as the phrase has since been widely misunderstood.

He was speaking at the MacGill Summer School on Beyond 2016 – What are our Aspirations for the Republic.

“The first thing that the Church must do is to carry out continuous – what I have called – ‘reality checks’. In some ways I regret that I ever used that term in a recent RTÉ interview. What I said was taken up in the press – national and international, ecclesiastical and lay – all over the world and no two stories had the same interpretation of what I intended, indeed of what I actually said.

“Perhaps I gave mixed messages. The problem is that it is reality that is mixed and there are no black and white definitions of that reality and no black and white solutions, and media are not always good at accommodating subtleties.

“A reality check is nothing more than discerning the facts in all their complexity and then facing the facts and evaluating how to address the facts in a culture that is ever changing,” he said.

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Sexual Abuse Rabbi from Tzfat Indicted

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

By Shlomo Pyotrkovsky
First Publish: 7/27/2015

An indictment was submitted by the state prosecutor on Monday morning to the Nazereth District Court against Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg, who faces complaints of severe sexual abuse from no less than 13 women.

Sheinberg, who was arrested earlier this month while trying to flee Israel at Ben-Gurion Airport, is accused in the indictment of a long list of heinous crimes, including rape, sodomy, sexual assault, disrupting legal proceedings and obtaining objects through fraud.

The former Rosh Yeshiva (dean) of the Orot HaAri Yeshiva in the northern city of Tzfat (Safed) has denied the charges.

However, a week after his arrest, Arutz Sheva exposed several damning details about the case, including the fact that Sheinberg allegedly admitted his offenses to Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and other rabbis. He has since then claimed over and over again that the allegations are “nonsense.”

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Parishioners protest closure of Newburgh church

NEW YORK
Mid-Hudson News

BALMVILLE – Some 50 parishioners from St. Mary’s Church in the City of Newburgh protested outside an Archdiocese of New York-owned bishops’ residence in Balmville on Saturday.

Parishioners chose the home, which was recently purchased and renovated by the New York Archdiocese for an estimated $1.05 million, to demonstrate that the Archdiocese apparently has money to spare, yet, St. Mary’s, along with several other Catholic churches around the state, will be closed on August 1.

St. Mary’s has appealed to the Congregation for the Clergy, the first level of the Vatican’s court system, to keep the church open.

Marietta Allen, director for St. Mary’s outreach, parishioner and organizer for the protest, said members of the church feel the Archdiocese could make better decisions with how they spend their money, the bishops’ residence, being one example since there are only two bishops living in such a large place.

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Assignment Record— Rev. James “Jim” R. Nickel, ss.cc.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: James Nickel was a priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary ordained in 1970. His career took him from the Los Angeles CA archdiocese to the Winona MN and Fall River MA dioceses, the Diocese of Nassau in the Bahamas, and back to Fall River MA. He went on to become involved with Damien Ministries, an HIV/AIDS organization in Washington DC, working as its Executive Director from 2004 until his death in January 2008. Nickel’s name was included on a list released by Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian on April 11, 2012 of clerics accused in cases that he had settled in the previous year; a plaintiff alleging abuse by Nickel in Fall River received “six figures.” In December 2014 two more lawsuits were filed, with accusations that Nickel had sexually abused two boys – one in a West Harwich MA parish in the 1970s, and the other while Nickel was pastor of a Fairhaven MA parish in the 1980s.

Ordained: 1970
Died: January 20, 2008

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The Jehovah’s Witness Church

AUSTRALIA
9 News

QUICK FACTS ON THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESS CHURCH

* The Jehovah’s Witness Church was founded at the end of 19th century in Pennsylvania by a small group of bible students led by Charles Taze Russell.

* The church now has 8.2 million active members in 239 countries.

* The religion has been active in Australia since 1896 with a branch office set up in Sydney in 1904. There are currently 817 congregations in Australia with over 68,000 active members.

* In Jehovah’s Witness families the father is head with authority over his wife and children.

* Jehovah’s Witness parents are encouraged to teach their own children sex education because a secular education is more likely to result in immorality.

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Jehovah’s Witness church under fire at child abuse commission

AUSTRALIA
SBS

The Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse has heard that the Jehovah’s Witness Church in Australia has received more than 1000 child sex abuse allegations over 60 years – and not one was reported to police.

It was an emotional day for victims who shared their stories of abuse by elders at church, who destroyed notes about child sex abuse.

Julia Calixto reports.

The Jehovah’s Witness Church preaches about repentance in preparation for Doomsday.

Instead of a pulpit, it’s been the witness box for elders at the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse.

Max Horley was an elder for the Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Narrogin, Western Australia, in the late 1980s when a woman, known as BCB, was abused by another church elder, Bill Neill.

Commission chair Peter McClellan asked Mr Horley if he had taken notes of his conversations with BCB.

“What don’t you like to have notes of a serious allegations? There are brief notes kept in the file, but all other notes are destroyed. Why is that? I guess it’s because we don’t want them to fall into the wrong hands and other people to find them and they go through them.”

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Jehovah’s Witnesses destroyed more than 1000 cases of child sexual abuse …

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

Jehovah’s Witnesses destroyed more than 1000 cases of child sexual abuse since 1950 to ‘protect their wives’ Royal Commission told

By LUCY MAE BEERS FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AAP
27 July 2015

Jehovah’s Witnesses destroyed notes relating to 1006 cases of child sexual abuse dating back to 1950 to ‘protect their wives.’

The opening day of the royal commission in Sydney on Monday heard that the cases were instead handled internally with the victims asked to attend ‘meetings’, often with their abuser.

‘We do not want our wives knowing our stuff – what sort of things we are dealing with,’ Max Horley, an elder for the Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Western Australia said.

Max Horley was an elder for the Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Narrogin, Western Australia, in the late 1980s when a woman, known as BCB, was interviewed about her relationship with another church elder, Bill Neill.

In evidence on Monday, BCB, who is now 47, told the commission how Neill, who is dead, groomed her from the age of 15. He would tongue kiss her and spy on her when she was in the shower at his home.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses destroyed notes about child sex abuse, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Monday 27 July 2015

Jehovah’s Witnesses destroyed notes about child sexual abuse to stop them falling into the wrong hands and to “protect their wives”, a church elder has told a national hearing in Sydney.

The opening day of a royal commission hearing into abuse within the church has heard how 1,006 allegations of child abuse since 1950 were dealt with internally and never reported to police.

It has also heard that victims were made to confront their abusers and left feeling as if they had sinned.

Max Horley was an elder for the Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Narrogin, Western Australia, in the late 1980s when a woman, known as BCB, was interviewed about her relationship with another church elder, Bill Neill.

On Monday, BCB, 47, told how Neill, who is dead, groomed her from the age of 15. She said he would molest her and spy on her when she was in the shower.

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Pastor Masocha Dipped His Hand Into My Underwear Saying He Wanted To Remove Demons, Girl Speaks Out

ZIMBABWE
ZimEye

Disgraced, convicted child abuser Bishop Walter Masocha has met further embarrassment after a teenage victim spoke out saying he once dipped his hands into her underwear.

Princess Chiferere according to the Scottish Recorder was just 13 when Masocha began grooming her at Agape for All Nations church in Stirling before molesting her.

The comments came after GirlChild Network founder Betty Makoni called for a review of Masocha’s sentence saying there are even more victims in Zimbabwe in addition to the British ones. Masocha was sentenced to a little over 200 community service hours and put onto the sex offenders register for a year meaning he can now freely preach at his church cult. Makoni told ZimEye.com,

“What Masocha did to church members is not new at all. In Zimbabwe he raped two girls closely related to his wife. Those have not healed up to now. Public humiĺiation he suffered cannot compare to what hos victims went through.His name is linked to serious historical child sexual abuse.

“There has not been consideration of what victims suffered.We call UK justice system to review this serious case of child abuse.Child abusers should be aware of serious consequences those they abuse suffer.

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July 26, 2015

Rule-bound church kept child abuse secret

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Elders in the Jehovah’s Witnesses forced a girl to confront her father who was abusing her, and who blamed her for seducing him.

The elders were friends of her father who was a highly regarded member of the church, which likes to keep its members isolated from the rest of society, a royal commission has been told.

Counsel for the commission Angus Stewart, SC, said a witness known as BCG would give evidence that her father’s sexual abuse did not appear to qualify as “wrongdoing” in the eyes of the Church.

In his opening statement to a hearing into child sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mr Stewart said of the 1006 alleged perpetrators of child abuse identified by the Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1950, not one was reported to authorities.

The church is preoccupied with sin and sinning, and has a patriarchal structure where a man is head of the family and elders, all men, shepherd the congregation, Mr Stewart said.

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Paedophiles repeatedly promoted …

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Paedophiles repeatedly promoted to positions of authority in Jehovah’s Witness church royal commission told

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH JULY 27, 2015

THE Jehovah’s Witness church repeatedly promoted paedophiles to positions of authority and never reported any case of child abuse to the police, the child sex abuse royal commission has been told today.

Church elders could now face criminal charges for concealment of serious indictable offences and failure to disclose sexual offences against minors, counsel assisting the commission Angus Stewart SC said.

The church holds no insurance for child sex abuse and its corporation, Watchtower Australia, in 2008 considered forming a separate legal entity to minimise liability, Mr Stewart said.

One church Elder, who had sexually abused all four of his daughters, was “disfellowshipped” not for his crimes but for “unrelated loose conduct and lying”, the commission sitting in Sydney was told.

One of his daughters will give evidence that she had to be interviewed by three church Elders together with her father and that instead of being supported, the Elders made her feel to blame.

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Child abuse inquiry: Jehovah’s Witnesses never reported offenders

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

JULY 27, 2015

Rick Morton
Social Affairs Reporter
Sydney

At least 125 allegations of child sex abuse in the Jehovah’s Witnesses did not proceed to further investigation because the church’s internal practices required at least two observers of the abuse to come forward, the royal commission will hear.

And of the 1006 alleged offenders identified by the church since 1950 not a single one was reported to the police or other “secular authorities”.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse began its new study of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Sydney today and will hear evidence that the Church believes the best defence against child sex abuse are “loving and protective parents”.

The commission will hear that the most severe punishment inside the Jehovah’s Witnesses for abuse of this kind is to be “ disfellowshipped”, the equivalent of being excommunicated in which no member of the church is to contact the person kicked out.

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Child sex abuse royal commission hears Jehovah’s Witnesses failed to report 1,000 alleged perpetrators

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Brad Ryan and Angela Lavoipierre

More than 1,000 members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been identified by the church as perpetrators of child sexual abuse since 1950, but not one was reported to police, an inquiry has heard.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses church, which preaches that the end of the world is near, is at the centre of a child abuse royal commission hearing in Sydney today.

Counsel assisting the commission, Angus Stewart SC, said the church relied on Bible passages to set its policies on child sexual abuse, and avoided resorting to secular authorities and courts.

“Evidence will be put before the royal commission that of the 1,006 alleged perpetrators of child sexual abuse identified by the Jehovah’s Witness church since 1950, not one was reported by the church to secular authorities,” Mr Stewart said.

“This suggests that it is the practice of the Jehovah’s Witness church to retain information regarding child sexual abuse offences, but not report allegations of child sexual abuse to the police or other relevant authorities.”

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Jehovah’s Witnesses did not report 1006 alleged sex abusers to police, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

July 27, 2015 –

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

The Jehovah’s Witness Church in Australia received allegations of child sexual abuse involving more than 1000 of its members over a 60-year period but did not report a single claim to police, a royal commission has heard.

Instead, the church, which has almost 70,000 active members, followed its policy of handling allegations internally.

The opening day of the hearing into the Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told that church elders blamed at least two victims for their sexual abuse.

The commission heard that alleged abusers could be cast out of the church if claims were proven but a requirement that at least two witnesses give evidence to an internal judicial committee meant many alleged perpetrators were not questioned.
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Counsel assisting the royal commission, Angus Stewart, SC, said the church had recorded 1006 cases involving individual perpetrators within the organisation since 1950.

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Child sex abuse royal commission: Jehovah’s Witnesses to be focus of inquiry hearing

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[live steam]

By Angela Lavoipierre

The Jehovah’s Witnesses will be the focus of the child abuse royal commission’s next set of hearings, which begin in Sydney today.

The case study, which is expected to run for two weeks, is the first to focus on an entire Christian denomination rather than just one part of it.

It is expected to hear evidence from two abuse survivors as well as senior members of the church.

At least seven current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses Elders are expected to be called.

Senior staff for the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ company, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, are also expected to appear.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses, which is sometimes described as a Christian sect, had more than 80,000 followers in Australia at last count.

Lawyer Angela Sdrinis, who is representing a number of people alleging abuse, said complainants had been slow to come forward because of the organisation’s size and culture.

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Facts, not hysteria and hearsay

AUSTRALIA
The Austrlaian

JULY 27, 2015

Victims of child sexual abuse have fought a long, painful battle for justice. Their cause, sadly, has been set back by the incompetence of, and shameful distortions by, Victoria Police. As John Ferguson revealed on Saturday’s front page, the police force vastly overstated the number of suicides related to child sex abuse by Catholic clergy in the state. After claiming 43 church-related suicides had taken place, police now concede the real figure was one suicide in which church-related sex abuse was a contributing factor.

The disclosure, in a Crime Department intelligence brief, is a blow to the credibility of Victoria Police’s Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton. He gave evidence to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into abuse, based on a senior detective’s “list’’ of suicide victims who had supposedly been abused by clerics. That assertion — disseminated in much of the media and elsewhere as gospel — was a key reason for holding the inquiry and, in turn, the national sex abuse royal commission.

The other main reason Julia Gillard called the royal commission in 2013 was the accusations made on ABC television and in the Newcastle Herald by detective chief inspector Peter Fox about abuse in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese. The NSW special commission into those allegations led by Margaret Cunneen SC, however, found Fox an “unsatisfactory witness” who had lied to fellow police and whose evidence “should be approached with caution’’.

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Assignment Record– Rev. Reginald M. Krakovsky, T.O.R.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: A Third Order Regular Franciscan ordained in 1952, Reginald Krakovsky worked in parishes in Oregon, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and West Virginia. He was assigned to several high schools, including a preparatory seminary, and he was a seminary novice master and procurator for missions in Paraguay. Krakovsky also did a short stint as an English instructor in Slovakia. He died July 14, 1997. Krakovsky was accused in a 1995 lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy at a parish in the St. Cloud, Minnesota diocese in the early 1960s. His accuser said he knew of other former classmates who remembered being abused by the priest. Krakovsky’s name was included on the St. Cloud diocese’s list released in January 2014 of 33 credibly accused clerics.

Ordained: July 9, 1952
Died: July 14, 1997

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Deadline for Claims Against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, is August 3rd

MINNESOTA
Legal Examiner

Posted by Mike Bryant
July 26, 2015

There is just over a week remaining for claims against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. You must act by August 3rd.

The deadline is shorter than the rest of the state because of the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese.

If you or a loved one has a potential claim, it is time to act.

Nationally renowned priest abuse attorney Jeff Anderson’s website details instructions. There are a number of key points:

• You must file a claim by August 3rd.
• Your privacy and confidentiality can be protected.
• Filing your claim can help you and help protect children.

Please act now, because any further delay will result in loss of your right to make a claim

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Public hearing into the Jehovah’s Witnesses

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney commencing on 27 July 2015 at 10:00am.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:

1. The experience of survivors of child sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church in Australia.

2. The responses of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to allegations, reports or complaints of child sexual abuse within the Church.

3. The systems, policies and procedures in place within the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd for raising and responding to allegations of or concerns about child sexual abuse within the Church.

4. The systems, policies and procedures in place within the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to prevent child sexual abuse within the Church.

5. Any related matters.

Any person or institution who believes that they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by 10 July 2015.

Applications for leave to appear should be made using the form available on the Royal Commission website.

The form and the submission should be lodged with the Royal Commission via: Email: solicitor@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au; or Mail: GPO Box 5283, Sydney NSW 2001.

The public hearing will be streamed live to the public via webcast on the Royal Commission’s website.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses face inquiry

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

A public hearing into child sex abuse in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the sometimes controversial Christian church, starts in Sydney on Monday.

In the inquiry, which is expected to run for two weeks, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hear from people who allege abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church in Australia.

The commission will also examine the responses of the church and its company – the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd – to complaints made against members.

The Witnesses are best known for their door-to-door proselytising as they spread the message of what they believe is the true meaning of the bible.

They are also known for their refusal to accept blood transfusions and have been accused of being a “cult”.

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Revealed: £1.5 million paid to Scots child abuse victims in the last decade

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

26 JULY 2015
BY ANNIE BROWN

THE victims were physically and sexually absued in local authority schools and childrens’ homes.

Scottish councils have paid out more than £1.5 million in compensation to child abuse victims in the last decade.

The victims were physically and sexually absued in local authority schools and childrens’ homes.

Dumfries and Galloway alone paid out £1 million to 50 victims at the Merkland Childrens’ Homes in Moffat.

Glasgow City made nine payments, between April 2008 and October last year, worth a total of £85,350 to victims including those from Kerelaw School, in Stevenston, North Ayrshire.

A former art teacher Matthew George from the secure unit was jailed for 10 years for physical and sexual assault.

The figures obtained under a Freedom of Information request by the Scotland on Sunday, show that Fife Council paid out £369,000 between October 2005 and December 2008.

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Cardinal Pell raps pope’s climate stance

ROME
Gazzetta del Sud

Rome, July 20 – An Australian cardinal leading efforts to clean up Vatican finances has courted controversy again – after a much-criticised stance on sex abuse – by chiding Pope Francis for his landmark encyclical on climate change. George Pell, who last year likened a typical victim of sex abuse to hitchhikers, and the Church to the truck they happened to have taken, told the Financial Times that the Church had “no particular expertise in science”. Pell told the Financial Times the church had “no particular expertise in science”. “The Church has got no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters,” he said, adding “we believe in the autonomy of science.” Pell’s comments came a month after Francis released his historic encyclical, ‘Laudato si’, calling on humanity to fight global warming. …

Pell is a well-known climate change skeptic. He was appointed to reform the Vatican’s finances nearly 18 months ago. Last August Pell enraged survivors of clerical sex abuse by comparing the Vatican to a trucking company that could not be blamed if a driver molested a hitchhiker. Pell made the remark while testifying via videolink from Rome to an Australian probe into historic abuse and alleged cover-ups when he was Melbourne archbishop in the 1990s. Saying it would not be appropriate for legal culpability to be “foisted” on church leaders, he drew an analogy between the Catholic Church and a trucking company, citing a hypothetical example of a case involving a woman who was molested by a truck driver. “It would not be appropriate, because it’s contrary to the policy, for the ownership, leadership of that company to be held responsible,” Cardinal Pell said. “Similarly with the church and the head of any other organisation. “If every precaution has been taken, no warning has been given, it is, I think, not appropriate for legal culpability to be foisted on the authority figure. “If in fact the authority figure has been remiss through bad preparation [or] bad procedures or been warned and done nothing or [done something] insufficient, then certainly the church official would be responsible.” Nicky Davis from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) was in the audience of the royal commission during Cardinal Pell’s comments. She said the truck analogy left the audience “open mouthed in shock”.

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Bishop Kettler to hold listening sessions regarding recent sexual abuse lawsuits

MINNESOTA
Dairyland Peach

Published July 26, 2015

Bishop Donald Kettler of the Diocese of Saint Cloud will hold a series of listening sessions in August following allegations of sexual abuse committed by three priests of the diocese. The Diocese of St. Cloud was recently notified of four civil lawsuits alleging abuse by Father Robert Smith, Father William Wey and Father James Thoennes. The suits name the Diocese of St. Cloud as a defendant.

Smith and Wey have been deceased for more than 25 years. Thoennes does not have faculties to serve publicly as a priest and currently lives in St. Cloud under restrictions.

The listening sessions will be held at parishes in areas of the diocese where the three men served. The gatherings are an opportunity for the bishop to acknowledge the accusations, listen and answer questions, and encourage any other abuse victims/survivors to come forward.

“I’m very concerned about any clergy sexual abuse that has ever happened,” Bishop Kettler said. “I want to do everything I can to respond to the people who bring allegations forward and to prevent abuse from ever happening again.”

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A Jesuit priest is jailed after admitting offences against children

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 22 July 2015)

Broken Rites is doing further research about Father David Rankin, a Catholic priest in the Jesuit religious order, who was jailed in 2014 after pleading guilty to acts of indecency committed against three young boys in Sydney. These particular offences occurred in the 1960s when Rankin was a school teacher (by 1970, he was ordained as a Jesuit priest). These three boys are not necessarily Rankin’s only victims during his 50-year career; they are merely three who took the opportunity to speak with a New South Wales Police detective. This shows that, even after 50 years, it is never too late to report a child-abuse crime to the child-protection police. After becoming a priest, Father Rankin ministered in Melbourne and Tasmania — and in Canada.

During 2014, Father Rankin (full name Gregory David Rankin), aged 79, appeared in Sydney District Court for pre-sentence proceedings. He confirmed his guilty plea.

Later the court handed down its sentence. Rankin was given an 18 months jail sentence, with 12 months to be served behind bars before he becomes eligible to apply for parole for the final six months.

According to court documents, David Rankin was a lay teacher at Northbridge Primary School in northern Sydney when he committed 11 acts of indecency on three boys in the 1960s.

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A Catholic religious Brother is jailed at the end of his long career

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 24 July 2015)

The Catholic Church harboured a sexually abusive religious Brother, Bernard Hartman, throughout his long career in Australia and the United States. In Australia, the Melbourne Catholic diocese learned that Brother Hartman had committed crimes against Melbourne school-children but it did not report these crimes to the police. Finally, on 24 July 2015, some of his Melbourne victims got Brother Hartman (aged 75) jailed for his crimes.

Brother Hartman, born in the United States, is a member of an international Catholic religious order known as the Marianist brothers and priests. He worked in Australian schools in the 1970s and early 1980s.

In court in Australia in 2015 he was charged with sexual assaults on two boys and two girls committed while he was working at St Paul’s College in Altona, a suburb in Melbourne’s west. (At the time of the assaults, this was a boys’ school, operated by the Marianist religious order, but now it has become one of the campuses of the Catholic Church’s co-educational Emmanuel College.)

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A prominent Marist Brother is jailed — 40 years after the crime

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 23 July 2015)

One of the Marist Brothers’ most senior educators in Australia, Brother Peter Pemble, was jailed on 23 July 2015 (aged 67) for a child-sex crime which he committed 40 years earlier when he was in his twenties. In court, Pemble pleaded guilty to the offence, which was committed against a junior boy in a Marist school at Maitland (in the Hunter region, north of Sydney) in the early 1970s. Eventually, Brother Peter Pemble became the principal of several Catholic schools in Sydney. The victim finally spoke to police, 40 years after the crime, because he still feels hurt by the sexual abuse and the cover-up.

In Newcastle District Court in New South Wales, Judge Peter Bernman sentenced Peter William Pemble to 18 months jail with a minimum of nine months behind bars, after which Pemble will become eligible to apply for release on parole.

Pemble’s guilty plea relates to one count of indecent assault. Two other incidents were taken into account at the sentencing.

According to court documents, Brother Peter William Pemble was born on 6 April 1948.

Court documents stated that, at Marist Brothers High School at Maitland in 1971, Brother Pemble cultivated a relationship with this junior student. Pemble committed the indecent assault in an empty room at the school.

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Sunday Herald linked Leon Brittan to child sex abuse in 2013

UNITED KINGDOM
Herald Scotland

FORMER Conservative Home Secretary Leon Brittan is the latest and one of the most high profile figures to be linked to historic child abuse allegations.

The Sunday Herald was the first to report on the former Thatcher minister’s connection. We reported in December 2013 that Brittan was being investigated by detectives leading Operation Fernbridge, but his name could not be revealed at the time for legal reasons.

Now, however, he has been identified in previously secret government sex abuse files along with Sir Peter Morrison, one of Margaret Thatcher’s closest aides, former diplomat Sir Peter Hayman and former minister Sir William van Straubenzee. All have since died and the contents of the documents have not been revealed.

Operation Fernbridge, run by the Metropolitan Police, examined claims of abuse in the early 1980s at Grafton Close Children’s Home and at Elm Street Guest House in London. Earlier this year Catholic priest Father Anthony McSweeney, was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy at the children’s home and jailed for three years.

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Scots councils paid £1.5m to child abuse victims

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

CHRIS MARSHALL
Sunday 26 July 2015

SCOTTISH councils have paid out around £1.5 million in compensation to the victims of child abuse during the past decade.

Payments were made in relation to physical and sexual abuse which took place in schools and children’s homes.

Dumfries and Galloway made the biggest award, paying out a total of £1m to 50 individuals abused at the Merkland children’s home in Moffat. Smaller amounts were paid by Glasgow City Council and Fife Council.

The figures are published today as work gets under way on Scotland’s inquiry into the historical abuse of children in care, which is due to begin taking evidence in October.

The inquiry’s chair, Susan O’Brien QC, took up her position earlier this month after surviving a last-minute legal challenge by two Catholic congregations to unseat her.

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Westminster paedophile scandal casts shadows over British establishment

UNITED KINGDOM
Sydney Morning Herald

July 26, 2015

Nick Miller
Europe Correspondent

London: In October 2012, Labour MP Tom Watson stood up in the British House of Commons and lobbed a grenade – metaphorically speaking.

Tapping a sheaf of paper in his hands, he told the Prime Minister that police had – or used to have – a file of evidence containing “clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No. 10”.

David Cameron leant forward, his brow furrowed.

Mr Watson continued: “One of its members boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former prime minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.”

The leads were never followed up.

Mr Watson said police ought to secure the evidence and re-examine it.

Mr Cameron played a straight bat in reply.

“I’m not entirely sure which prime minister he’s referring to,” he said, promising to “see what the government can do” about it.

Since then the “Westminster Paedophile Scandal”, as it has come to be known, has bubbled away in the background of British crime and politics, never quite going away, but never coming to a head.

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Victim of abuse by jailed former chaplain to the Queen tells of her relief

UNITED KINGDOM
Portsmouth News

Ben Fishwick
ben.fishwick@thenews.co.uk
Sunday 26 July 2015

A WOMAN who was subjected to repeated indecent assaults by a former chaplain to the Queen when she was a teenager has told of her relief at seeing him jailed.

Canon Stephen Palmer abused the girl at his home provided by the Church of England when he was assistant curate at Holy Rood in Stubbington in the mid-1970s.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard on each time the 68-year-old abused her – once pushing her against the stairs making her fear she would be raped – he told her no-one would believe her.

But a jury did, finding him guilty of six counts of indecent assault and Palmer is now in prison at the start of a 39-month stretch.

Speaking exclusively to The News, his victim, aged 17 at the time of the assaults, said: ‘I think it was very unlikely I was the only victim.

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A careful grace: Accountability for sex offenders in the church

UNTIED STATES
Religion News Service – Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Jul 25, 2015

Many churches are faced with a terribly difficult dilemma of what to do when a sex offender wants to become part of the church community. In my experience, most churches have little to no understanding of the many complex issues related to such a decision. As a result, churches often make decisions that result in great harm to the children and abuse survivors in the congregation.

Simon Bass is a dear friend and colleague who spends his life protecting children on the other side of the pond. He is the Chief Officer of the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS), which is an amazing organization that is transforming churches in the United Kingdom into much safer places for children and survivors. I am thankful to God for introducing me to Simon and believe that his thought provoking guest post will help spark a much needed dialogue in this country on a topic many would prefer to ignore. – Boz

_____________________________________________________________________________

For many years, I have worked with churches, advising them on how to receive sexual offenders into their congregations. I have also met and worked with many sexual offenders. In 1999, a church contacted me to help them with an offender who had downloaded child pornography (i.e. child abuse images). The offender had been convicted as part of Operation Ore, the UK response to Operation Avalanche in the United States. At the time, we were only beginning to understand the Internet’s harmful impact and could never have anticipated the proliferation of such images. Since then, barely a week goes by without a church contacting me about a sex offender in its congregation. Whenever I help a church, I urge them to extend a careful grace to sex offenders, including those convicted of online offences.

Child pornography is nothing less than the recording of the sexual abuse of children – each picture is a crime scene, a depiction of real children’s molestation. Sadly, such images show extreme, sadistic, and violent abuse against children. Viewing child abuse images is not a victimless crime; thousands of victims of sexual abuse continue to be re-victimized when perpetrators share those images. People who view such images demonstrate that they have a sexual interest in children, and they often have convictions for similar sexual offences. Unfortunately, a significant number of offenders will also have held positions of trust in churches, giving them access to children.

Recently, I learned about a pastor of a large church in the United States who publicly praised a church volunteer who is also a convicted sex offender for possessing child pornography. This church’s myopic understanding of care for the sex offender struck me. The church seems to have focused upon caring for the sex offender without considering how doing so impacts survivors or poses risks to children in the church. This church honored a sex offender in such a way that lessened the impact of his crime. This behaviour insults all survivors of sexual abuse who demonstrate real heroism in overcoming their abuse.

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Briones: Ferreting out the truth

PHILIPPINES
Sun-Star

By
PUBLIO BRIONES III

I KNEW it. I knew that girl was up to no good. When I saw her on TV being interviewed a few weeks ago, there was something off. I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

When a minor goes on camera to tell the public that she has been sexually molested–by a priest, no less–I’d expect, I don’t know, a quiver in her voice. At the very least. But no, not even a stammer.

And she didn’t display any of the tell-tale signs of sexual abuse. According to the US Department of Justice, teens that have been are usually aggressive, depressed, anxious, suicidal or afraid of intimacy or closeness, among others. The website, though, had a disclaimer: “The occurrence of one indicator does not necessarily mean a person has experienced sexual abuse. Additionally, indicators of sexual abuse can vary widely from person to person.”

So let’s go through the check list. Did the 16-year-old trainee for the parish choir seem anxious? Not a bit. Did she display any sign of fear or aggressive behavior? Hmmm. Nope and nope.

What she was that day, though, was excited. And amused. Even a tad incredulous. She reminded me of someone who was afraid that their 15 minutes of fame were almost up. Ah, then that would explain the verbal diarrhea.

But hey, who am I to psychoanalyze her? I’m not qualified, but it doesn’t mean I can’t discern between “normal” and “abnormal” behavior. So I guess, I’ll continue to dish out my 10 cents worth of psychobabble.

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July 25, 2015

No further action against Stockport Church of England vicar over rape allegation

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

25 JULY 2015
BY PAUL BRITTON

CPS rules ‘insufficient evidence’ and the Rev Simon Marsh’s suspension by the Church of England has now been lifted

A church vicar arrested over an allegation of rape has been cleared.

No further action is to be taken against Anglican priest Simon Marsh after a 15-month police investigation.

The Rev Marsh, the vicar of Bramhall in Stockport who is based at St Michael and All Angels CofE Church, was arrested by police on suspicion of rape in April last year after an allegation was made against him.

The 56-year-old has remained on police bail pending further enquiries ever since but police and the Crown Prosecution Service have now confirmed that no further action will be taken against him.

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Judge OK’s defamation suit by N.J. priest accused of stabbing colleague, report says

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Paul Milo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on July 24, 2015

MORRISTOWN — A judge ruled Friday that a defamation suit filed by a Roman Catholic priest against a fellow cleric can proceed, the Daily Record reported.

Superior Court Judge Robert J. Brennan denied a request to dismiss the suit filed by the Rev. Frank Hreno, 52, who was charged April 14, 2014, with threatening to kill Rev. Emeka Okwuosa at the Vocationist Retreat and Conference Center in Florham Park.

Okwuoso also claimed Hreno stabbed him with a four-foot crucifix, but Hreno was never charged with that offense and was later admitted into Morris County’s pre-trial intervention program, which allows some first-time offenders to avoid a criminal record.

In his suit, Hreno states the claim about the attack was defamatory and manufactured. The suit also alleges Okwuosa spit in Hreno’s face, wrote checks to himself using Hreno’s checkbook, used Hreno’s credit cards and also damaged cars Hreno was authorized to use.

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Essex D.A wants former priest held as ‘sexually dangerous’

MASSACHUSETTS
MassLive

By Dave Canton | dcanton@repub.com
on July 25, 2015

SALEM— The first Catholic priest convicted and jailed for sex abuse is about to be released from state prison.

Now 72-years-old, Ronald Paquin has served 12 of his 12 to 15 year sentence for raping and molesting an alter boy more than 50 times over a three-year period.

But, the Eagle Tribune reports that Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett says Paquin is still too dangerous to walk the streets. He wants the former priest held in Bridgewater State Hospital.

A spokeswoman for Blodgett said state law allows for petitions to hold released prisoners indefinitely as “sexually dangerous persons.”

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Former Isle of Wight vicar jailed for sex offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Isle of Wight County Press

THE former vicar of Newport, Canon Stephen Palmer, has been jailed for three years and three months for sexual assaults on a 17-year-old girl in the 1970s.

During one assault, Palmer told his victim that no-one would believe her if she told them what he had done.

At a sentencing hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court today (Friday), Palmer stared impassively as he was jailed for six offences of sexual assault against the teenager.

He had denied all the charges, but was convicted by a jury on May 15 following a trial, also at Portsmouth.

At the time of the offences, Palmer was a curate at a church in Stubbington, Hampshire, having previously served in the Royal Navy Reserve as a chaplain.

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From trusted pastor to child predator

VIRGINIA
WRIC

[with video]

By Kerri O’Brien
Published: July 24, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It was the story that made headlines for more than two years. Last month, former Richmond Mega Church Pastor Geronimo Aguilar was guilty of sexually assaulting two young girls when he was their youth pastor in Fort Worth, Texas back in the 1990s.

Nancy Mohr one of the victims spoke exclusively with 8News immediately after the verdict was read.

“I am so thankful to the jury I am so thankful to everybody who sat and listened, believed us for the first time,” she said.

For Mohr and her sister Lani Vallejo, both victims, said the guilty verdict brought a sense of closure and vindication.

Vallejo told 8News, “I just didn’t think this day would ever come.”

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Catholic Church abuse complaints on the rise

NEW ZEALAND
Radio New Zealand

In the four years to the end of last year, 58 complaints were laid, with 25 lodged in 2014 alone.

The church only began keeping a centralised record of complaints in 2010.

Of those made since then, 26 have been proven and 24 are still under investigation.

The man in charge of handling the complaints for the church, Bill Kilgallon, said the alleged perpetrators included 21 priests, monks, nuns or teachers.

The abuse covers the period 1946 to 1990.

Of the eight alleged abusers that are still alive, four have not been charged.

Mr Kilgallon said victims were often reluctant to go to the police.

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Nine-month sentence for former Trinity principal slammed

AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

Hamish Broome and Stephen Ryan of the Newcastle Herald | 25th Jul 2015

CHILD abuse victim advocacy group Bravehearts has called for a review of paedophile sentencing practices following the “far too lenient” nine-month jail sentence of former Trinity Catholic College Lismore principal Peter Pemble.

The former Marist Brothers senior educator, now 67, was sentenced on Thursday in the Newcastle District Court.

Brother Peter Pemble was not long out of teachers’ college when he was sent to Marist Brothers High School at Maitland in 1971, Judge Peter Berman said.

The following year, Pemble selected a boy to help him organise sporting activities before isolating him on at least two occasions and indecently assaulting him.

The victim, who attended Thursday’s sentencing hearing in Newcastle District Court, told of how he withdrew from sport completely after the attacks and went on to fail his school certificate before changing schools and completing his education.

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Arguments for Thibodeax Appeal …

TEXAS
Freestone County Times

Arguments for Thibodeax Appeal: Former Pastor’s Fate Hanging in the Balance

WRITTEN BY MARY MCDONALD & SCOTT W. MARSTERS, SR.

Did a Freestone County trial court abuse its discretion by denying former pastor Anthony Lynn Thibodeaux’s motion for a new trial in March 2014, based on a possible Brady violation that may have resulted in egregious harm to the outcome of the case?

That is one of four issues raised, in which, the Texas 10th Court of Appeals shall deliberate then hand down its ruling to grant or deny Mr. Thibodeaux a new trial.

Thibodeaux was previously convicted for sexual assault and two counts of indecency with a child in Freestone County, Texas. (The minor child will be referred to as J.S. in this article.)
Oral arguments were not requested by the three Judge panel.

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