by TRICIA CULLIGAN and ELIZABETH CHUCK
A male student at the University of Notre Dame claims a female administrator pressured him into a sexual relationship with her daughter, according to a lawsuit filed Friday against the prestigious Catholic school.
The suit alleges the student, who is black, was subjected to sexual harassment and racial discrimination by the defendant, who is white.
Neither are identified in the lawsuit, which says the university employee, an academic coach to student athletes at the St. Joseph, Indiana-based school, was “commanding, directing, encouraging and convincing the Plaintiff to engage in sexual relations” with her daughter.
That included interrogating the student about the “nature, frequency, and quality of the sexual activities” he had with her daughter, and making “racially charged comments about his sexual prowess and genitalia,” said the suit, filed by law firm Anderson, Agostino & Keller in St. Joseph Circuit…
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.
We would like to thank TIFF for NOT giving “Spotlight” the Best Movie award (and other awards) during its 40th Toronto International Film Festival of 10 days of red carpet premieres. Lenny Abrahamson’s “Room” http://tiff.net/festivals/festival15/room starring Brie Larson as a young mother who will do anything to protect her five-year son (portrayed by 8-year-old) Jacob Tremblay, was the winner of the Grolsch People’s Choice award determined by audience voting. “Room”, adapted from Emma Donoghue’s 2010 novel, is told from the perspective of a boy who was locked in a room with his mother for his entire life. “Room” is a small-scale drama compared to the heavy Hollywood A-listers Spotlight, (yet like David versus Goliath), it won Best Movie.
TIFF winners usually go to the forefront of Oscar conversation. TIFF can boast that six of the seven films that have won its People’s…
Up until the late 1960s the UK sent children living in care homes to new lives in Australia and other countries. It was a brutal experience for many, writes Kirstie Brewer.
In the winter of 1949, 13-year-old Pamela Smedley boarded a ship to Australia with 27 other girls. She had been told by the nuns from the Catholic home she lived in that she was going on a day-trip. In reality, she was being shipped out to an orphanage in Adelaide and wouldn’t see England again for more than three decades.
“We thought it would be like going to Scarborough for the day because we were so innocent and naive,” says Pamela, who is now in her 70s and still lives in Adelaide.
“The nuns said that in Australia you could pick the oranges off the trees, and I was very excited because I loved…
FORT WAYNE (IN)
You might know that a movie set for release next week tells how a team of Boston Globe journalists uncovered the child sexual abuse story that rocked the Catholic Church. You might not know a lone, brave voice in the story belonged to John D’Arcy, who died three years after he stepped down as bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese in 2010.
D’Arcy, as former Boston Archdiocese auxiliary bishop, wrote a letter to Archbishop Bernard F. Law in 1984 warning that priest John Geoghan was a serial pedophile. The church’s own investigators called D’Arcy “a voice in the wilderness” for his warning, which did not surface until after the Globe’s investigation, in a lawsuit that ultimately resulted in the archdiocese settling with scores of sex-abuse victims for $85 million.
The movie “Spotlight,” named for the investigative team that tirelessly tracked and reported the…
Saturday, 31 Oct 2015
LIMA, Peru (AP) — A secretive Roman Catholic society with chapters across South America and in the U.S. has revealed under pressure that a Vatican investigator is looking into allegations that its founder sexually molested young recruits.
The scandal at the Peru-based Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, or Sodalitium for Human Life, has close parallels to other recent cases of charismatic Catholic leaders in Latin America being accused of sex abuse — as well as the church dragging its feet on investigating claims and trying to keep scandals quiet.
This week, Sodalitium’s general secretary disclosed the Vatican investigation after two journalists published a book detailing the accusations against founder Luis Fernando Figari, 68.
Co-author Pedro Salinas, a former society member, has been publicly accusing Figari since 2010 of physical, psychological and sexual abuse. According to the book, three men lodged complaints the following year with…
BLOUNTVILLE, TN (WJHL) A former priest from Kingsport convicted of sexually abusing a child in his congregation three decades ago lost his latest legal fight Friday.
William Casey was in Sullivan County Criminal Court trying to convince a judge to force the District Attorney General’s Office to recuse itself from his case.
A judge denied that request Friday.
Four years ago, a jury convicted Casey of rape and sexual misconduct involving a child over the period of 5 years during his time as priest at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in Kingsport.
Casey is serving a 35 to 40 year prison sentence.
Joseph F.X. Zahra, vice coordinator of the newly established Council for the Economy of The Holy See and the highest ranking lay member of Pope Francis’ ad-hoc cabinet, will be the featured speaker at the Ninth Annual Communion Breakfast for Business Leaders on Sunday, November 8, 2015, at Fairfield University. The annual breakfast is sponsored by Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice (CAPP) of Fairfield County and Fairfield’s Center for Faith and Public Life.
Zahra, whose talk is entitled “Inside the Financial and Administrative Changes at the Vatican: What Pope Francis Wants and Why He is Doing It,” is the former head of Bank of Valletta and a renowned economist who sits on numerous major corporate boards and regularly lectures around the world.
As the most senior lay person in the Curia, Zahra has been at the heart of Pope Francis’ reform initiatives from the beginning and is…
Rev. James F. Power, of Charlestown, passed away August 14, 2015 at the age of 85. Born in South Boston and a graduate of Gate of Heaven High School. Loving son of the late John J. and Agnes R. (McGrath) Power. Served his country in the Army during the Korean War, graduated from Boston College and entered the seminary. James was ordained in 1962 and assigned to St. Mary of the Assumption, Revere. Later assignments included St. Peter’s in Plymouth and Star of the Sea in Marblehead. During his time in Marblehead he served as Campus Minister at Salem State University. Also during this time he completed studies toward his Masters and Doctorate degrees at Boston College, later becoming the pastor of St. Francis Church in Dracut and ended his service at St. James the Great in Wellesley.
The Catholic Free Press
Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, S.T.D.
Bishop of Worcester
My dear friends in Christ,
Over the coming weeks, some of you will see movie trailers for “Spotlight!” which is a cinematic portrayal of how The Boston Globe covered the crisis of abuse of children by members of the Catholic Church. As painful as it is to recall those days of continuous headlines about this heinous crime against innocent children, it is important that we pause and reflect on how much has happened since that terrible revelation. How is the Diocese of Worcester and the Catholic Church nationwide living up to the commitment made in Dallas in June of 2002 to protect and to heal?
First and foremost in our hearts and minds are those who were victims of these heinous acts and their family members. Many victims have come forward in their…
By Greg Peerenboom, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder
Friday, October 30, 2015
A retired priest faces a criminal charge involving an incident with an adult male several weeks ago.
Fr. Denis Vaillancourt, 69, served under the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall in a number of capacities, including parish priest of Eglise Sacre-Coeur in Alexandria.
“Any allegation of improper conduct by a priest is an extremely serious matter,” said a diocese media release Friday afternoon.
“The Diocese has co-operated fully with local authorities,” states the release which indicated that Vaillancourt had been arrested by the Ontario Provincial Police.
A separate media release has not been issued by the OPP, so it is unclear as to what the charge or charges pertains.
“It would be inappropriate for diocesan officials to comment on the specifics of this case as it is currently a police matter,” the diocese further stated.
October 31, 2015
The threat of paedophilia was only set to rise in the future, according to a disturbing prediction in the Queensland Organised Crime Commission of Inquiry.
Commissioner Michael Byrne, QC, handed down the report from the $6 million, six-month inquiry on Friday and there were predictions that would cause considerable community concern.
“There can be little doubt that child sex offending, particularly to feed the illicit and insatiable child exploitation market, represents a risk with an upward trajectory,” the report finds.
“Further, there is a growing trend towards commercialisation of the child exploitation market.
“Despite the fact that child exploitation material is often viewed as a commodity in itself, the Queensland Police Service told the commission that offenders are increasingly using difficult-to-trace crypto-currencies to purchase or obtain access to child exploitation material.”
Detective Inspector Jon Rouse of Taskforce…
Los Angeles Times
The closing credits scroll had ended, the lights were up at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre, and “Spotlight” co-writer and director Tom McCarthy was introducing the actors — Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams, among them — who brought to life the movie’s story of the Boston Globe’s painstaking investigation into a pedophilia scandal within the Catholic Church. The audience cheered and then rose to its feet when McCarthy brought the real-life journalists on stage, leading to a moment that the filmmaker described later as gratifying but a bit awkward.
“They didn’t know what to do,” McCarthy said of the reporters so used to working behind the scenes. “If they could have pressed a button and dropped through a trap door on stage, they would have done it.”
McCarthy and “Spotlight” co-writer Josh Singer spent 2 1/2 years crafting…
By Meredith Goldstein GLOBE STAFF OCTOBER 30, 2015
On Jan. 6, 2002, The Boston Globe published a story by its investigative Spotlight team revealing that the Catholic Church knew about sexual abuse in its ranks and allowed a priest — John J. Geoghan — to keep his job, even though he had abused young parishioners for years.
It was the first story in a series that dug deep into the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal. The initial piece, which shocked the Boston community, asked: “Why did it take a succession of three cardinals and many bishops 34 years to place children out of Geoghan’s reach?”
It was a question that sparked the interest of film producers Nicole Rocklin and Blye Faust, who were attracted to real-life stories. A writer had suggested that the pair look into the story, and as soon as they did, they knew…
By Ann Hornaday October 30
There’s a brief montage in “Spotlight,” a drama about the Boston Globe’s 2002 coverage of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, that neatly sums up the film’s overriding ethos: After a Globe reporter asks a newsroom librarian for clips regarding a particular story, a sequence of shots portrays the request being fulfilled, as a researcher goes through yellowed newspaper excerpts, cranks balky spools of microfilm, prints out the results, compiles it all in a file and delivers the bundle by way of a rickety basket cart.
By conventional cinematic standards, the sequence is far from thrilling. But within the world that “Spotlight” creates — a world of reporters doggedly doing their jobs with little fanfare or immediate gratification, before Google was the all-knowing behemoth it is today — it’s a soaring ode to minutiae that makes riveting cinema out of…
The New York Times
By LORNE MANLY
OCT. 30, 2015
Working from a cramped, dingy office, a scrappy band of journalists exposes the Archdiocese of Boston’s decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse of children by scores of priests.
Definitely an investigation worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, which the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team won for that 2002 series. But fodder for a Hollywood film?
The director and co-writer Tom McCarthy, whose credits include “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor,” was convinced that the nuts and bolts of journalism at its finest could make for thrilling cinema. The result is “Spotlight,” opening Friday, Nov. 6, with a budget just under $20 million and an ensemble cast that includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber.
“Spotlight” allowed Mr. McCarthy and his co-writer, Josh Singer, to explore both the importance of local investigative journalism at a time of…
By Scott Malone October 30, 2015
Survivors of clergy sex abuse said they hope the upcoming film “Spotlight,” about the Boston Globe’s groundbreaking report that Roman Catholic officials routinely covered up abuse by priests, prompts more victims to publicly confront their abusers.
The newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for revealing in 2002 that church officials routinely covered up reports that priests had sexually assaulted children, setting off a global wave of investigations that found similar patterns at dioceses around the world.
The scandal damaged the Catholic Church worldwide, undermining its moral authority and requiring costly legal settlements. The church is still struggling with the crisis, which Pope Francis addressed last month on his historic first visit to the United States, meeting with victims and declaring that “God weeps” for their pain.
The film, which focuses on the work of the investigative reporters who spent months tracking…
[Bruges Bishop Jozef De Kesel has suspended a priest named only as MD, who is suspected of sexual abuse in the 1980s. This was reported Friday by the diocese. The bishop took the action because MD left the country despite the ban and went to Brazil.]
De Brugse bisschop Jozef De Kesel suspendeert priester M.D., die verdacht wordt van seksueel misbruik in de jaren tachtig. Dat meldt het bisdom vrijdagochtend.
De bisschop nam die beslissing, omdat M.D. ondanks een verbod naar Brazilië vertrok tijdens zijn preventieve schorsing die nog liep.
Tegen de omstreden priester liepen twee klachten over seksueel misbruik die dateren uit de jaren tachtig. De klachten liepen pas in 2011 binnen. De priester die al sinds de jaren negentig in Brazilië werkzaam was, werd teruggeroepen. Omdat de feiten verjaard waren oordeelde het parket, dat de priester terug naar Brazilië kon. Het bisdom volgde dat…
Friday, October 30, 2015
By Ann Rodgers General Manager
In response to new Pennsylvania child protection laws, the Diocese of Pittsburgh now requires FBI background checks and fingerprinting of all diocesan clergy, employees and many volunteers. This is in addition to the state child abuse and criminal background checks that the diocese has required for more than a decade.
To make these new requirements easier for volunteers and employees, the diocese has purchased a mobile fingerprint unit that can be taken to parishes and schools. At the same time, the diocese has instituted online training for its required “Protecting God’s Children” course and also for the mandated reporter training now required for those who are legally obligated to report suspected child abuse. Links to that training can be found at www.diopitt.org in the left-hand column below “Protecting God’s Children.”
Phyllis Haney, director of the diocesan Department…
By Isaac Chotiner
Newspapers make rare appearances in movies these days, and when they do they usually function as a throwaway detail. (Spider-Man works at a made-up New York rag.) But the new film Spotlight, directed by Tom McCarthy, is arguably the most unabashedly romanticized filmic depiction of hardworking print journalists since All The President’s Men.
The movie, opening Nov. 6, focuses on the Boston Globe’s investigative reporting team, which helped uncover the Catholic Church pedophilia scandal in early 2002. The leader of that team, which went on to win a Pulitzer for its work, was Walter Robinson, a Globe veteran, who is played by Michael Keaton in the film. (The other members of the on-screen investigative unit include Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams.)
I spoke to Robinson by phone recently. He left the Globe in 2006 to teach journalism at Northeastern, then returned to the…
By Stephanie Barry | email@example.com
on October 30, 2015
Former Worcester day care provider sentenced for lying about son’s sexual assault on child
SPRINGFIELD – A Ludlow woman who successfully pushed for new legislation extending the statute of limitations for alleged victims of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits will get her day in court.
Kathy Picard, 52, has said previously she worked for 12 years to push a new bill extending the deadline for alleged victims to sue. The law changed the deadline from age 21 to 53. The bill was signed by former Gov. Deval L. Patrick on June 26, 2014, with Picard present.
The same day, she filed a $1 million lawsuit in U.S. District Court against her stepfather. A trial is set to begin Monday.
Picard’s suit says Louis Buoniconti began molesting her at age 7 and increased the sexual…
Vatican Information Service
Vatican City, 30 October 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
– Bishop Fidel Herraez Vegas, auxiliary of Madrid, Spain, as archbishop of Burgos (area 13,850, population 374,970, Catholics 337,473, priests 519, religious 1,377), Spain. He succeeds Archbishop Francisco Gil Hellin, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
– Bishop Renauld de Dinechin, auxiliary of Paris, France, as bishop of Soissons (area 7,378, population 557,000, Catholics 403,000, priests 89, permanent deacons 22, religious 97), France.
The Catholic Spirit
Jessica Trygstad | October 29, 2015
At an Oct. 29 hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the judge overseeing the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Reorganization proceedings allowed it to be the sole party to file a plan for Reorganization until May 31, 2016. Before Judge Robert Kressel’s approval, the date was set for next month.
Attorney Richard Anderson of Briggs and Morgan, representing the archdiocese, said that the time of exclusivity allotted to the archdiocese to file a plan is necessary because mediation is ongoing.
“It would be a mistake and harmful for everyone’s interests for the archdiocese to file a plan that hasn’t been fully vetted. The premature filing of a plan would just be a waste of resources and time,” he said following the hearing.
Anderson emphasized that the motion wasn’t asking for an extension of any deadlines and that the archdiocese…
By Pam Grady
When he hasn’t been busy playing fixer Ray Donovan on the eponymous Showtime series, Liev Schreiber has made a cottage industry lately of playing real people: President Lyndon Johnson in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” Soviet chess champion Boris Spassky in “Pawn Sacrifice,” and now “Boston Globe” editor Marty Baron in one of the most highly anticipated dramas of the fall season, Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight.”
“I hate playing people who actually lived,” Schreiber, 48, says. “It’s too much responsibility, but what I learned playing Hamlet is that if you pick smart roles, people will think you’re smart.”
Early award winner
Modesty aside, the actor was sharp enough to spot a winner when he accepted the role of Baron. One of the few films to live up to the hype when it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, “Spotlight” is also an early award…
Wall Street Journal
By DON STEINBERG
Updated Oct. 29, 2015
Director Tom McCarthy and his fellow screenwriter Josh Singer knew they had a compelling story with “Spotlight.” The trick was turning it into a riveting movie.
In 2001, reporters at the Boston Globe investigated child sexual abuse by area priests and a coverup by the archdiocese. The articles the newspaper published, beginning in January 2002, led to similar revelations around the world.
The filmmakers had broad themes to work with, such as the abuse itself, the inaction of those who knew something was wrong and the importance of local investigative journalism.
Nonetheless, these rich subjects could yield a dry, procedural story about a team of reporters embarking on a six-month investigation where breakthroughs emerge from legal filings, interviews and library research. The movie dramatizes the experiences of people who tend to be sticklers for accuracy (lawyers,…
by Hilary Lewis 10/28/2015
The film, about the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer prize-winning team that exposed a massive cover-up of child abuse by priests throughout the Boston Archdiocese, features Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci and others.
In the new movie Spotlight, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Brian d’Arcy James play three members of the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” investigative team, which in 2001 uncovered numerous instances of child abuse by Catholic priests and a cover-up within the Boston Archdiocese. And as they prepared to portray reporters searching for answers, the actors investigated the journalists.
Ruffalo told The Hollywood Reporter at Tuesday night’s New York premiere that he “spent a lot of time with the real journalist” he portrays, Michael Rezendes.
“I had meals with him. I talked with him for hours. I sat next to him at work,” Ruffalo said. “I watched him work…
Daily Mail (UK)
By HANNAH ROBERTS IN ROME FOR MAILONLINE
The mysterious disappearance of the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican official is Italy’s most enduring cold case.
Emanuela Orlandi vanished while on her way home from a flute lesson in July 1983, and was never seen again.
It sparked an international intrigue that has pointed to the Stasi, the Italian mob and even a Satanic sex cult among the cardinals.
The teenager, the fourth of five children in a devoutly Catholic family, was enticed to meet her abductors with the offer of some work distributing leaflets at a fashion show for Avon cosmetics.
In reality, the Avon job did not exist. No one has ever been convicted of her disappearance and no body has ever been found.
The original theory followed by investigators was that she was kidnapped to secure the release of the would-be assassin who tried…
By Mark Shanahan GLOBE STAFF OCTOBER 30, 2015
Mitchell Garabedian, the attorney for many of the victims in the priest sex abuse scandal that is the focus of “Spotlight,” hasn’t said much, if anything, about the film, which is widely considered to be the Oscar front-runner for best picture. Garabedian (inset) isn’t participating in the press junket for the film, and Stanley Tucci, who plays the relentless lawyer in the movie, told reporters at the Venice Film Festival that he’d never met or spoken to Garabedian. (The actor said he was urged not to because Garabedian can be abrasive.) It was interesting then to see Garabedian give director Tom McCarthy a thumbs-up from his seat in the audience at Wednesday’s premiere of “Spotlight” at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. To paraphrase Sally Field: He likes it! He really likes it!
Sydney Morning Herald
October 30, 2015
A Sydney mother whose eight-year-old son was smacked by a priest in church says it was “disgusting” for the man to rely on a child discipline defence in his legal appeal.
Terrence John Millard, a former parish priest at Greenacre in Sydney’s south-west, on Friday lost his fight against the common assault finding.
He denied hitting the boy at St John Vianney Catholic Church on September 11 last year.
Millard had been conducting a reconciliation rehearsal for children at the affiliated primary school when he noticed the boy lounging on a pew, giggling and distracting his classmates.
He says he took the boy by the shoulders in a reassuring way, guided him to the back of the church, stood him in front of the Stations of the Cross and asked him to reflect on his behaviour.
DRUGS, theft, assault, property damage, a trafficking offence and even an incident involving weapons and explosives.
It sounds like the worst school on the worst corner of the worst suburb, and yet you pay about $25,000 a year to go there.
Xavier College is a prestigious Catholic boys school in Kew in Melbourne with an esteemed alumni — Labor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, AFL Brownlow medallist Jobe Watson, world champion marathon runner Robert de Castella and Formula One world championship winner Alan Jones.
Even Barry Humphries’ character Sir Les Patterson claims he was a student.
The school says it aims to produce “reflective, compassionate and articulate men” who will provide “outstanding service and leadership in our world”.
But it is often plagued with scandal, and online bullying is the latest transgression to rock the senior boys campus. Its students this week came under fire for taunting public…
San Francisco Chronicle
By Tom Stier
October 29, 2015
The movie “Spotlight,” which opens Nov. 6, tells the story of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigation team’s reporting during 2001 and 2002 on the clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston and its cover-up by Cardinal Bernard Law. For many, this movie will draw unwanted publicity to the Catholic Church but I, a former Catholic parish priest, welcome the attention. I hope this movie shines the spotlight on the Catholic Church in Oakland and San Francisco so the full extent of abuse and cover-up right here in the Bay Area may be known.
For the truth is, the story revealed here would be just as heartbreaking and just as horrifying as in Boston. The reason the Boston Globe’s journalists were able to shine such a light on the Catholic Church in Boston was due to the courage…
SEXUAL abuse committed by clergymen in Sussex was the worst of anywhere else in the country, the church has said.
The frank admission comes after the ninth Sussex churchman in two years was found to have used their position to commit sexual offences.
Vickery House, a former vicar of Berwick, was found guilty at the Old Bailey on Wednesday of five counts of indecent assault on males – with one as young as 14 – over a period of 16 years.
A Diocese of Chichester spokesman told The Argus they hoped House’s conviction would “touch wood” be the last case to come to light.
But many abuse survivors and their lawyers said they expected more to be unearthed and called for the national Goddard Inquiry into historic sex abuse to make the diocese a particular focus of investigation.
By Nicole Norfleet Star Tribune OCTOBER 29, 2015
John Doe 30’s life is not how he expected it to be.
The 52-year-old hair stylist said he has spent much of his adulthood struggling with anxiety, moving from place to place and not trusting people after an alleged sexual assault by a Minnesota priest when he was a boy. He has tried twice to kill himself and has always lived alone.
“I feel like the church has turned its back on me. I feel betrayed by the church,” the man testified Thursday in his court case against the Diocese of Duluth.
Attorneys for Doe 30 said he was 15 in 1978 when he was molested daily during a two-week stay with the Rev. James Vincent Fitzgerald, who had a church in Squaw Lake. Doe 30 is suing the diocese in Ramsey County District Court, alleging that it…
By Carmela Fragomeni
A former Catholic high school teacher who befriended and then sexually abused a vulnerable student has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Giuseppe (Joe) Graziano, 56, taught religious studies and cosmetology at Cathedral High School, on Wentworth Street North, at the time of the offences.
“Mr. Graziano slowly worked his way into the life (of the student) — more than one would expect of a teacher,” said Superior Court Justice Harrison Arrell in sentencing Graziano on Thursday.
Graziano was convicted in August of sexual interference and sexual exploitation for sexually touching a person under 16 and for touching a young person while in a position of trust.
NBC Bay Area
By Chuck Coppola
A former Catholic school teacher’s aide acquitted this week of 10 counts of sexual abuse against a student is now talking about starting over and finding a new career.
Mia Cummings, 31, of Oakland, was held for nearly two years in Santa Rita Jail awaiting trial.
This week, she was released after a jury ruled they didn’t believe the allegations against her.
The former after-school program coordinator at All Saints Catholic School in Hayward tells NBC Bay Area she’s trying put the pieces of her life back together.
“I started by taking my son to school for the first time,” Cummings said Thursday. “That’s what I started with.”
Her son was 2 when she was arrested just before Thanksgiving in 2013. Unable to make the $500,000 bail, Cummings spent the next two years seeing her child once a week as…
VATICAN CITY – (AP) — Pope Francis has granted a special plenary indulgence to members of the scandal-tainted Legion of Christ order as it celebrates the 75th anniversary of its foundation by the discredited Mexican priest, Marcial Maciel.
Vatican Radio said Thursday that the decree was approved following a request by the current Legion superior, the Rev. Eduardo Robles-Gil.
Robles-Gil has been leading the Legion since the Vatican signed off on its process of reform following revelations that Maciel sexually abused seminarians.
Indulgences are the ancient church tradition related to the forgiveness of sins that roughly amounts to a “get out of Purgatory free” card. Catholics seeking them must be contrite and have a moment of deepening faith.
VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis has granted a “plenary indulgence,” or religious pardon, to the ultra-conservative Legion of Christ movement, mired in a pedophile scandal, provided its members perform acts of penance, Vatican Radio said Thursday.
The Legion of Christ has for years been beset by accusations of sexual abuse.
The order’s founder, Mexican-born Marcial Maciel, stepped down in 2005 amid allegations of pedophilia and fathering several children. He died in 2008.
In August the Chilean government decided to deport Irish priest John O’Reilly, the local Legion head who was convicted of sexually abusing a young girl.
“After the huge scandal provoked by its hellish past,” the Legion of Christ group “has begun a period of purification and renewal,” Vatican Radio said.
Another indictment against a well-known Muslim leader accused of sexual abuse is expected next month, his defense attorneys said after his appearance Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court.
Mohammed Abdullah Saleem, founder of the Institute of Islamic Education in Elgin, appeared before Judge Joseph Cataldo, three weeks after the imam was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a girl who was his student at the time.
An attorney for Saleem, who had previously been charged with sexually abusing a woman who worked for him at the school, said she expects the new indictment to relate to the allegations already made by the former student, who is now an adult.
But the attorney, Huma Rashid, said the defense team is prepared to fight any additional allegations, should they arise.
By Dialynn Dwyer @dia_dwyer
Boston.com Staff | 10.29.15
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley released a statement Thursday on Spotlight, the new film that chronicles the investigation by Boston Globe reporters into the systemic sexual abuse of children within the Roman Catholic Church.
In a letter to the editor to the archdiocesan newspaper The Pilot (republished in full below), O’Malley said the film depicts a painful time in the history of the Catholic Church that reporters helped bring to light:
The media’s investigative reporting on the abuse crisis instigated a call for the Church to take responsibility for its failings and to reform itself—to deal with what was shameful and hidden—and to make the commitment to put the protection of children first, ahead of all other interests.
O’Malley said the church continues to seek the forgiveness of those who were abused and said he has personally met…
Hundreds of gay marriages have been annulled in Italy by a panel led by a Catholic judge in the secretive Opus Dei organisation.
Same-sex marriage is not technically legal in Italy, but several left-wing mayors have registered marriages which have been conducted abroad.
Judges at Italy’s highest appeal court, the Council of State, annulled a ruling in favour of cities that had registered these unions.
The panel was led by a judge who was a former president of a halls of residence in Milan, run by Opus Dei.
The move has caused controversy – Opus Dei, made famous by Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, is a highly conservative organisation, whose members practice a ‘pious’ lifestyle.
By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor 29 Oct 2015
A disgraced bishop who was jailed earlier this month for sexually assaulting a string of young would-be priests also helped cover up abuse by one of his closest aides, it has emerged.
Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes in the Church of England diocese of Chichester, wrote to apologise to one young man who had been abused by the Rev Vickery House in 1984, claiming to have taken steps to ensure that “nothing like it happens again”.
House, now 69, was jailed for six and a half years at the Old Bailey for a series of sex attacks on boys and young men, including one victim aged just 14, over a 16-year period from 1977 to 1992.
A former vicar in Berwick, East Sussex, he served as Ball’s deputy running a church gap-year scheme called “Give…
by Madeleine Davies
Posted: 30 Oct 2015
ALLEGATIONS of sexual abuse by a former Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Revd George Bell, have resulted in compensation and a formal apology from the current Bishop, Dr Martin Warner, 20 years after the complaint was first made.
A statement issued by Church House, Westminster, on Thursday of last week confirmed “a legal civil claim regarding sexual abuse against the Right Reverend George Bell”. The complaint concerns the abuse of a young child in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Tracey Emmott, the solicitor for the survivor, said that her client remained “bitter” that the original complaint, made in 1995, was “not properly listened to or dealt with until my client made contact with Archbishop Justin Welby’s office in 2013”. This failure had been “very damaging, and combined with the abuse that was suffered has had a profound…
by Tim Wyatt
Posted: 30 Oct 2015
ANY attempt to allow priests to breach the confidentiality of sacramental confession would be wrong, and could lead to priests’ being imprisoned, the traditional Catholic organisation Forward in Faith (FiF) has warned.
FiF’s formal submission to a Church of England working party on the seal of the confessional urges the House of Bishops, the Archbishops’ Council, and the General Synod not to remove the ban on revealing what has been said in confession.
In the sacrament of reconciliation, or penance, a priest is obliged never to disclose what is confessed by a penitent. Canon 113 of the Code of 1603 expresses this, but, the FiF submission says: “The obligation was not created by Canon 113 . . . The Seal is intrinsic to the sacrament.”
The working party has been convened to examine whether an exception to this…
DOVER, Del. (AP) – A former Navy chaplain and Catholic priest who pleaded guilty years ago to sexually assaulting a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman is facing up to life in prison on child pornography charges.
A judge on Thursday scheduled a Nov. 16 plea hearing for 50-year-old John Thomas Matthew Lee of Millsboro.
Federal prosecutors say Lee has agreed to plead guilty to charges of production and distribution of child pornography. He was indicted on the charges in June.
Lee was court-martialed in 2007 on charges including forcible sodomy and failing to tell a sex partner he was HIV-positive. He was sentenced to no more than two years in prison.
The News Journal
Brittany Horn, The News Journal October 29, 2015
A former Navy chaplain and Catholic priest who pleaded guilty years ago to sexually assaulting a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman is scheduled to plead guilty to child pornography charges.
John Thomas Matthew Lee, 50, of Millsboro, will stand before Judge Leonard P. Stark for a plea hearing on Nov. 16 in Dover, according to court documents filed Thursday.
Federal prosecutors say Lee has agreed to plead guilty to charges of production and distribution of child pornography. He was indicted on the charges in June and could face up to life in prison.
Extensive photos and communication with young boys were recovered on phones and computer files in Lee’s home, according to court documents.
Lee was court-martialed in 2007 on charges including forcible sodomy and failing to tell a sex partner he was HIV-positive. He was sentenced to…
By STEVE KARNOWSKI – Associated Press – Thursday, October 29, 2015
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A Minnesota archdiocese and prosecutors both made conciliatory statements Thursday after an initial hearing on criminal charges against the church over its handling of an abusive priest, and the judge said she understood the two were engaged in talks.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis didn’t enter a plea or send any leaders to appear at the brief hearing. Ramsey County Chief Judge Teresa Warner told Assistant County Attorney Tom Ring and archdiocese defense attorney Joe Dixon that she understood that discussions or negotiations were continuing, but gave no details. She scheduled the next court date for Nov. 30.
The archdiocese faces six gross misdemeanor counts of child endangerment for allegedly turning a blind eye to repeated misconduct by Curtis Wehmeyer, a now-imprisoned former priest at Church of the…
By Jennifer Burke/Catholic Courier
The Diocese of Rochester fared well in a September 2015 audit of its compliance with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Not only did auditors from the independent auditing firm Stonebridge Business Partners find the diocese in complete compliance with the charter, but the auditors also praised the diocese for several new steps taken in the past year, according to Father Daniel Condon, diocesan chancellor.
“We are in compliance. We’ve never not been in compliance,” Father Condon noted.
The Diocese of Rochester and most other dioceses in the country have undergone independent audits each year since 2003 in order to gauge their compliance with the charter, which is a set of procedures the USCCB adopted in 2002 in response to allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The charter required…
(WASHINGTON) — The nationwide debate over statutes of limitations on child sex crimes has been reignited in the wake of a plea deal that could give former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert little to no jail time for a fraud charge linked to alleged decades-old sexual abuse of minors.
Hastert, 73, allegedly abused more than one student while he was a coach at Illinois’ Yorkville High School in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but was only brought to trial for a financial crime after attempting to hide recent hush money payments to one of his alleged victims. The maximum penalty for the financial crime for which Hastert was convicted is five years, but the plea deal includes a recommendation that he receive at most six months in prison. Hastert has declined to comment on the abuse allegations.
Jolene Burdge, the sister of one of…
by ERIK ORTIZ and M. ALEX JOHNSON
The former New Hampshire prep school student convicted on lesser charges in a rape trial that exposed a campus tradition of sexual conquest was sentenced Thursday to a year in prison followed by probation.
Owen Labrie, 20, potentially faced up to 11 years in prison for the four misdemeanor sex offenses and one felony charge of computer-related seduction in the sexual assault case involving a fellow student.
Jurors, however, acquitted Labrie on Aug. 28 of the more serious felony rape charges, which each carried up to 20 years in prison.
“I believe that you are not the angel as portrayed by your counsel” and in letters of support submitted on his behalf, state Superior Court Judge Lawrence Smukler told Labrie. “But neither are you the devil as portrayed by the prosecution.”
November 11, 1931 – April 17, 2013
Raymond was born on November 11, 1931 and passed away on Wednesday, April 17, 2013.
Raymond was a resident of Boston, Massachusetts.
By Daniel Eagan Oct 29, 2015
Rumors of widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church were largely just that—rumors—until a 2002 series of Boston Globe articles detailed how the Church hid pedophilia among more than 70 local priests. Spotlight, an Open Road Films release, reveals how the newspaper exposé came about. Already an awards contender, the drama opens in theatres on Nov. 6.
The screenplay, co-written by director Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, focuses on Spotlight, a four-member Globe team which took on long-term investigative projects for the paper. In the script, which is structured like a mystery, Marty Baron (played by Liev Schreiber), the Globe’s new editor and an outsider to Boston politics, pushes the team to dig into abuse accusations about John Geoghan, a priest.
Speaking by phone from his office, McCarthy emphasizes how important a part research played in preparing and writing…
By Lisa Wangsness GLOBE STAFF OCTOBER 29, 2015
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley says the forthcoming “Spotlight” film chronicling The Boston Globe’s investigation of child sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church illustrates how the newspaper’s reports prompted the church “to deal with what was shameful and hidden.”
In a statement to the archdiocesan newspaper The Pilot on Thursday, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston said the movie depicts “a very painful time” in church history. He said the church continues to seek the forgiveness of those harmed by abusive priests, and he reiterated his commitment to ridding the church of abusive priests.
“The Archdiocese of Boston is fully and completely committed to zero tolerance concerning the abuse of minors,” he said. “We follow a vigorous policy of reporting and disclosing information concerning allegations of abuse.”
O’Malley has not seen the movie yet, a church spokesman said….
In 2001, a team of reporters at the Boston Globe began investigating reports of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests. The “Spotlight” team, as it was known, eventually revealed that the abuse had been happening for decades — and that church leaders in Boston had been aware of it, and had been involved in covering it up.
Veteran reporter and editor Walter Robinson, who led the Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Spotlight team, tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies: “These crimes were unimaginable, and that they could’ve been countenanced and enabled by such an iconic institution, it gave us so much energy to pursue the story and get the story and make it public.”
Now, the new film, Spotlight, chronicles the investigation that brought the scandal to light. Tom McCarthy, who co-wrote and directed the new film, says he was immediately drawn to the story.
“As I dug…
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By NICOLE WINFIELD0
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is bracing for more allegations of financial wrongdoing and mismanagement with the publication next week of two books that underscore the challenges Pope Francis is facing to reform the Holy See.
Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi’s “Merchants in the Temple” follows his blockbuster 2012 book, “His Holiness,” based on confidential papal correspondence detailing corruption and political intrigue in the Vatican. The so-called Vatileaks scandal that ensued resulted in the conviction of Pope Benedict XVI’s butler for leaking the documents, and some say, to Benedict’s historic resignation.
Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi is releasing “Avarice: Documents Revealing Wealth, Scandals and Secrets of Francis’ Church.” Fittipaldi writes for L’Espresso newsweekly, which has published some of the most damaging leaks of Francis’ papacy, including most recently the letter by 13 cardinals warning Francis about his family synod.
The publication of…
A retired clergyman has been jailed for six and a half years for carrying out sex offences against a boy and three men in the 1970s and 1980s.
Vickery House, 69, from West Sussex, was convicted of five counts of indecent assault, including two against a boy aged between 14 and 15 in Devon.
He denied carrying out the attack on the boy and said his actions with the men were “mistaken sexual advances”.
House, of Handcross, was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Thursday.
Judge Christine Henson QC told House, who was a Church of England vicar: “You should have epitomised all that was good, honest and moral about society.
Thursday 29 October 2015
A retired Church of England priest has been jailed for six and a half years after he was found guilty of sexual offences against four men.
Vickery House, 69, of Brighton Road, Handcross, was sentenced at the Old Bailey today (Thursday October 29) having been found guilty of five sexual offences on Tuesday (October 27) after a 12-day trial.
He was found guilty of two offences against a teenage boy in Devon in the 1970s, and three others against three men in East Sussex in the 1980s. He was cleared of three further counts.
He had pleaded not guilty to all eight counts.
Detective inspector Jez Prior of Sussex Police said: “This complex investigation began when we received information from the Church of England in May 2012, concerning one of the victims who he has been…
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota archdiocese that faces criminal charges over its handling of an abusive priest didn’t enter a plea at its initial hearing Thursday.
No leaders from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis appeared at the hearing, which lasted just a few minutes.
The archdiocese faces six gross misdemeanor counts of child endangerment for allegedly turning a blind eye to repeated misconduct by Curtis Wehmeyer, a now-imprisoned former priest at Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul, who was convicted of molesting two boys in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin.
Ramsey County Chief Judge Teresa Warner scheduled the next court date for Nov. 30. She told Assistant County Attorney Tom Ring and archdiocese defense attorney Joe Dixon that she understood that discussions or negotiations were continuing but gave no details.
National Secular Society
Posted: Thu, 29 Oct 2015
NSS: Church cannot escape blame for the failure to uncover truth about sex abuse
The National Secular Society has said that the Church of England cannot escape blame following the jailing of a retired Anglican priest for sexual offences committed against boys as young as 14.
Vickery House, from West Sussex, was jailed for six and half years at the Old Bailey today after being found guilty of five charges of indecent assault. House had denied eight counts of indecent assault against six males aged 14 to 34 dating back to the 1970s and 1980s.
The former Church of England priest was the “Right-hand man” of disgraced bishop Peter Ball who was jailed earlier this month for a string of offences against teenagers and young men.
Three of House’s victims were also abused by Ball around the time…
Hastings & St. Leonards Observer
A now retired Church of England priest has been sentenced to a total of six and a half years imprisonment for five sexual offences against four young men in the 1970s and 1980s.
Vickery House, 69, of Brighton Road, Handcross, was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Thursday (October 29) having been convicted on Tuesday after a 12-day trial.
He was found guilty of two offences against a boy in Devon between 1970 and 1971; one offence in East Sussex between 1983 and 1985, was against another man; one offence was against a man in East Sussex in 1981; and one offence was against another man in East Sussex in 1985.
He was found not guilty of one offence in Devon against the second victim and of one offence against each of two other men, in East Sussex and in London.
Victims have called on government to stop the Church “policing itself” as the right-hand man of pervert bishop Peter Ball was jailed for six and a half years for a series of sex attacks spanning 16 years.
Earlier this week, retired priest Vickery House, 69, was found guilty of five counts of indecent assault on males – with one as young as 14 – in the 1970s and 80s.
During much of that time, House was vicar in Berwick, East Sussex, and worked under Ball – who earlier this month was jailed for 32 months after he admitted molesting young men between 1977 and 1992.
Three of House’s victims were also abused by Ball around the time they took part in a Church of England scheme called Give A Year For Christ which was run by the clergymen.
The scandal has been mired in accusations…
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Thursday, October 29
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
We’re highly skeptical of the agreement between Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham and several local prosecutors. It was negotiated during months of secrecy which, in itself, is troubling.
A deal by a bishop to do better in the future might be helpful. But making predators’ names public right now is definitely helpful. That still needs to happen, immediately, if Syracuse kids are to be safer from child molesting Syracuse clerics.
If Cunningham cares about protecting kids, he’ll tell Syracuse families right now about every single predatory priest, nun, brother, seminarian or church worker who is now in his diocese or has ever been in his diocese. And he’ll permanently post their names, photos…
Pastors of parishes in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis this week received the following update on the status of the 2015 Catholic Services Appeal. Frankly, I am surprised that they are only $1,000,000 short, especially given the high legal costs associated with the bankruptcy and fighting the criminal charges leveled against the Archdiocesan corporation.
By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune OCTOBER 29, 2015
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis made its first appearance in Ramsey County District Court Thursday in a clergy sex abuse case spearheaded by the Ramsey County Attorney that is being watched nationally.
County Attorney John Choi criminally charged the archdiocese with “failing to protect children” last summer, citing the church’s oversight of the troubled former priest Curtis Wehmeyer. Wehmeyer was convicted of sexually abusing two sons of a parishioner in 2010, in a camper trailer parked outside his Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul.
It was the first time a U.S. archdiocese had been charged with such an offense, and just the second time a U.S. archdiocese as an institution has been criminally indicted on a charge of clergy abuse in its ranks, legal scholars say.
Clergy abuse cases historically have been directed at individual priests.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Thursday, October 29, 2015
Statement by Ann Hagan Webb, former director, New England SNAP, (617-513-8442).
Next month, when “Spotlight” opens in theaters, Cardinal Sean O’Malley should order every church staff member to see it. That is the best, quickest and cheapest way he can protect more kids. It’s easy for bishops to claim they have changed, but acting with real openness would prove real change. Boston parents and parishioners can only benefit by learning more about the church’s on going abuse and cover up crisis. O’Malley should be promoting this movie if he truly cares about the safety of children.
For more on O’Malley’s troubling track record on abuse click here. www.snapnetwork.org/rome_question_o_malley_record or http://www.snapnetwork.org/ny_cardinal_o_malley_calls_for_compliance_not_enforcement
Monterey County Weekly
Posted: Thursday, October 29, 2015
by Mary Duan
and Sara Rubin
The Weekly’s legal battle for records is certainly not the first, nor will it be the last, in seeking to expose the extent of sexual abuse – and cover-ups by officials – in the Catholic church or anywhere. There are many more cases with diverse circumstances, but what they have in common is media outlets and victims sought to reveal confidential records, while church officials consistently opposed their release.
Here’s a look at several of the significant cases where documents were turned over to the public:
After The Boston Globe revealed the extent of cover-ups of sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese in the early 2000s, the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic church surged into international consciousness. Until then, sexual abuse in the church was widely understood by the…
UNITED STATES/LATIN AMERICA
on Oct 29, 2015
Colombian priest Federico Fernandez-Baeza has been accused multiple times of molesting children. In 1987, a Texas grand jury indicted him on two second-degree felony counts of indecency with a child, charges that stemmed from his alleged abuse of two boys over two years.
But despite numerous allegations against him, Fernandez was allowed to leave the United States and move to Colombia after his former diocese of San Antonio reportedly paid more than $1 million to his alleged victims. In Colombia, he went right back into the church.
When GlobalPost went looking for Fernandez, we discovered not only was he still working for the Catholic church, he was now an administrator at a prestigious university, with regular access to students.
This is the story of how our attempt to confront Fernandez eventually forced…
A Polish priest has been given a suspended two-year prison sentence for molesting girls near Zamość, south east Poland.
Among other incidents, Father Stanisław G. (full name withheld under Polish privacy laws) fondled girls while preparing them for their first communion.
The priest will be put on a probationary period for five years.
Besides the suspended prison sentence, the clergyman has been given a lifetime ban from instructing or overseeing minors. He has also been fined PLN 3,000.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 27
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (314 566 9790, email@example.com)
A Phoenix priest is accused of ignoring reports that a now-admitted child molester made a boy strip naked and whipped him.
Fr. Patrick Crane is with Our Lady of Sorrows in Phoenix. Last month, he was interviewed by a detective because he worked for three years – from 2003 to 2006 – with Kevin Sloniker, who faces recent child sex charges in Washington and Idaho. Crane said he remembers part of the conversation with the boy.
For the safety of kids, we call on Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmstead to suspend Fr. Crane.
And we call on Idaho Bishop Peter F. Christensen and Spokane Bishop Thomas Daly to use church websites, parish bulletins, pulpit…
By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor October 28, 2015
On Tuesday, Pope Francis issued a letter reminding aides that even though his council of nine cardinal advisors is pondering a sweeping reform of the Church’s central administration, in the meantime all existing rules and regulations for various Vatican departments still apply.
As the pope put it, there is no “legal vacuum.”
The letter was addressed to Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the secretary of state, with the request that Parolin inform everyone else.
Depending on how one chooses to look at it, this was either:
A) A fairly routine bureaucratic reminder in a time of transition.
B) A rebuke of Australian Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s top financial official and a prime mover behind a controversial letter to the pope from roughly a dozen cardinals complaining about the process during the recent Synod of Bishops.
De Standaard (Belgie)
Eric Dejaeger, een voormalige katholieke priester van Belgische afkomst, is vorige week donderdag in Iqaluit tot vijf jaar cel veroordeeld voor feiten van kindermisbruik. Dat melden de Canadese media. De ‘eskimopater’ zal evenwel geen extra celstraf moeten uitzitten.
De 69-jarige Dejaeger stond in Iqaluit, in het noordoosten van Canada, terecht voor feiten die tussen 1975 en 1978 plaatsvonden in het Newman Theological College in Edmonton, waar hij toen studeerde. De slachtoffers waren toen tussen de zes en negen jaar. Het ging in totaal om vier aanklachten: twee aanklachten voor grove obsceniteiten en de aanranding van een jongen en een meisje. Dejaeger had in september al schuldig gepleit.
New York Times
By GAIA PIANIGIANI
OCT. 28, 2015
ROME — A former Vatican official, who was stripped of his post early this month after acknowledging publicly that he was gay and in a relationship, on Wednesday renewed his criticism of the Roman Catholic church, accusing it of homophobia.
The official, the Rev. Krzysztof Charamsa, made public a letter that he had sent to Pope Francis, dated Oct. 3, in which he denounced the church, saying that it had made the lives of gay and transgender people “a hell.” He wrote that the church had persecuted gay Catholics and had caused them and their families “immeasurable suffering.”
“Be merciful — at least leave us in peace, let the civil states make our lives more humane,” Father Charamsa wrote in the letter.
Father Charamsa, 43, a Polish former official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,…
OCTOBER 29, 2015 MARCI A. HAMILTON
While Pope Francis was visiting Philadelphia last month, the ten-year anniversary of the groundbreaking 2005 Grand Jury Report on Child Sex Abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese came and went. Let’s just say it wasn’t one of the topics on the Archdiocese’s agenda for the Pope. Nevertheless, it is important to assess what ten years have wrought as it was the most comprehensive report on clergy sex abuse in any jurisdiction in the United States. While it pales in comparison to the Australian Royal Commission’s report on abuse in multiple institutions across an entire country, it remains the benchmark for responsible prosecutorial initiative on clergy sex abuse in the United States.
There have been eight reports by prosecutors in the United States, and the 2005 Philadelphia Report is the one in my view to be duplicated in other jurisdictions….
Monterey County Weekly
by Mary Duan
and Sara Rubin
At the Diocese of Monterey, they have a codeword for the case of Edward Fitz-Henry, a former priest accused of molesting boys in several parishes over a number of decades. They call it “Primrose.”
It’s a beautiful flower, bizarrely representing an ugly blight on the diocese’s history. But Primrose, the diocese maintains, is over: Edward Fitz-Henry was “laicized,” or stripped of his duties and removed from the priesthood, in 2013. The paperwork, Fitz-Henry says, came through from Rome just this year.
He walked away with an unspecified cash settlement after he sued the diocese for failing to protect him and for revealing aspects of his private psychiatric history.
The diocese admits they found “credible” an allegation dating back nearly 25 years, that Fitz-Henry behaved inappropriately with a boy at the Mission San Carlos School in 1990, when Fitz-Henry…
By Jeremy Gray | firstname.lastname@example.org
When former Clarke County pastor Mack Charles Andrews Jr. stands trial in November on charges of raping and sexually abusing and torturing multiple young girls, prosecutors want to introduce evidence of other similar crimes.
District Attorney Spencer Walker last week filed a motion stating he wants to introduce evidence Andrews sexually abused other young girls, crimes for which he was never charged. The evidence, he wrote, would “establish the Defendant’s motive and unnatural sexual desire for underage girls.”
Some of the abuse, the filing states, was witnessed by Andrews’ daughter.
Andrews is expected to stand trial Nov. 16 on charges involving multiple minors in the late 80s and into the 90s when he was pastor of the First United Pentacostal Church in Thomasville and principal of Faith Christian Academy.
BURNET — The wife of a former church pastor faces a string of felony child sex abuse charges after a woman told police she was molested by the suspect and her now-deceased husband as a young girl for several years, according to police.
Misty Rae Hopkins, 48, of Austin was booked into the Burnet County Jail on Oct. 26 on 15 indictments.
She was indicted by a Burnet County grand jury Oct. 6 for six counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child; four counts of indecency with a child (contact); four counts of indecency with a child (exposure); and one count of sexual performance of a child, according to court records.
The charges are the result of an investigation launched in December 2014 by the Burnet Police Department.
Police say the accuser “came forward to another agency,” which then contacted the Burnet department.
Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley statement regarding release of “Spotlight”
The Spotlight film depicts a very painful time in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States and particularly here in the Archdiocese of Boston. It is very understandable that this time of the film’s release can be especially painful for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy.
The media’s investigative reporting on the abuse crisis instigated a call for the Church to take responsibility for its failings and to reform itself — to deal with what was shameful and hidden — and to make the commitment to put the protection of children first, ahead of all other interests.
We have asked for and continue to ask for forgiveness from all those harmed by the crimes of the abuse of minors. As Archbishop of Boston I have personally met with hundreds of survivors of clergy abuse…
By Scott Sasina
Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) District Attorneys within the region of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse joined Bishop Robert Cunningham in Binghamton. The purpose of the gathering was to “formalize” the procedure following incidents of alleged sexual abuse of minors — by all members of clergy within the Diocese.
“A priest, or any other adult who abuses a child, is wrong,” Robert Cunningham, the Bishop of the Diocese of Syracuse, said.
On Wednesday, Bishop Cunningham, along with seven district attorneys — from Chenango, Cortland, Onondaga, Oneida, Oswego and Madison counties — signed a memorandum to formalize their agreement.
“This essentially makes the Diocese of Syracuse a mandatory reporter for any potential sexual abuse. The complaint will be reported immediately to the appropriate district attorney’s office,” Bill Fitzpatrick, the district attorney of Onondaga County, said.
October 28, 2015
Central Coast Gosford Express Advocate
More than six decades have passed since Woy Woy Bay volunteer firefighter Malcolm Angus was sexually abused by an Anglican priest.
And yet the horrific memories of the repeated abuse, which started in Fiji when he was only 7 and ended in rape in an Australian Anglican boarding house when he was 18, still haunt the 69-year-old former CEO.
“The effects of childhood sexual abuse never leave you,” Mr Angus, who will be speaking out publicly for the first time about his experience on Saturday, said.
“But only the living victims have been offered a chance for justice. Only the living have told their stories of horror and sadness.”
Mr Angus, who never told his parents and only opened up to his two adult sons about the abuse last year, will be talking at…
By Tom Olsen
Forum News Service
HIBBING, Minn. — An attorney for the Hibbing priest accused of sexually abusing four girls is seeking to have his client’s criminal charges dismissed, alleging that the case is the result of an overzealous prosecution fueled by the ongoing child sexual abuse controversy in the Catholic Church.
The Rev. Brian Michael Lederer, 29, faces seven felony charges related to the alleged inappropriate touching of the girls and possession of child pornography.
Lederer’s defense attorney, Peter Wold of Minneapolis, contended in a motion filed last week in St. Louis County District Court that there is a lack of probable cause to substantiate the charges.
Wold said in a 17-page memorandum that the church has been “rocked” by abuse allegations, which he argued has led to a “cultural shift” in the perception of interactions between clergy and parishioners.
October 28, 2015 By Kate Merrill
BROOKLINE (CBS) – It’s the heart-wrenching story forever linked to Boston. The church sex abuse scandal and subsequent cover-up exposed by the Boston Globe Spotlight investigative team in 2002 is now the subject the new movie “Spotlight” showing just how those Boston reporters broke the story.
Matt Carroll is one of the Spotlight reporters he says, “It’s been tremendously exciting and surreal, mind bending.”
Marty Baron is the former Globe editor whose idea it was to investigate the Church says, “I never thought I’d be played in a movie its inconceivable to me.”
Wednesday at the Boston premiere for the film those Globe reporters walked the red carpet alongside the Hollywood stars.
OCTOBER 29, 2015
BY ALLISON POHLE @ALLISONPOHLE
Ann Hagan Webb didn’t expect to get emotional while watching Spotlight for the first time. As a survivor of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, she had already lived through the events depicted in the film.
But Webb found herself feeling completely overwhelmed as she observed how The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team of investigative journalists personally reacted to uncovering the systemic problem of clergy sexual abuse. Seeing it play out on the big screen reminded her of the moment she realized that, as a victim, she wasn’t alone.
“All of the survivors thought of ourselves as the only ones at some point,” she said. “Then we would meet a few other people and realize the enormity of the problem. Seeing the journalists figure that out, too, the horror of ‘oh, there are so many,’ was very personal.”
Spotlight hits theaters…
By SOLVEJG WASTVEDT
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse and seven district attorneys announced a new agreement on handling of sexual abuse cases Wednesday. The memorandum of understanding requires the diocese to report all abuse claims directly to the appropriate DA, whether they involve current or former clergy. Onondaga District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick introduced the agreement.
“There is no potential offender who is presenting any danger to any child in central New York,” he said.
Fitzpatrick says he knows this because the memorandum released today has been a verbal agreement for 12 years. The document requires the diocese to refer all allegations or suspected sexual abuse of a minor directly to the appropriate DA. The diocese will not conduct independent investigations, and will make an effort to preserve evidence. Fitzpatrick says that’s the way they have been working and that Bishop Robert Cunningham has…
[with audio and video]
BROOKLINE, Mass. Some local journalists and filmmakers are hoping a major motion picture in wide release as of next week demonstrates the importance of investigative journalism.
“Spotlight” chronicles The Boston Globe investigation of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, and the film had its local premiere Wednesday.
The gray, rainy weather was fitting for a movie that depicts the Globe’s extensive investigation into widespread pedophilia in the Boston Archdiocese. Tents protected journalists, and the film’s cast and crew lined up on the red carpet leading into the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
“It’s been a much more sober press line than anywhere else we’ve been, except for Venice, which may as well be the second seat of Catholicism,” said actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays Globe Spotlight reporter Michael Rezendes in the film.
He says Boston is where the team behind “Spotlight” has to get it right.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence in the form of a jubilee year to the Legionaries of Christ and the members of Regnum Christi during the year in which they commemorate 75 years since their foundation. Please find the full text of the English-language press release making the announcement, below.
Rome. October 28, 2015. Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence in the form of a jubilee year to the Legionaries of Christ and the members of Regnum Christi during the year in which they commemorate 75 years since their foundation. This jubilee will conclude with the solemnity of the Sacred Heart in 2016.
The Apostolic Penitentiary published a decree signed by the Major Penitentiary, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, as a response to the request from the General Director of Regnum Christi and the Legion of Christ, Father Eduardo Robles-Gil,…
By Margery Eagan
On Spirituality columnist October 28, 2015
Remember the famous line in “Jaws” when Chief Brody first sees the monster shark and says, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”?
Phil Saviano remembers a similar line when he first told Boston Globe reporters there weren’t just one or two priests molesting a handful of children. Saviano knew of nearly 30 priests, if not more, with dozens of victims. And the Church was covering it up. He remembers how one editor took it all in, then called his boss to say: We’re gonna need more reporters. This is so much bigger than we thought.
Not long after that, stories of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up burst onto the front page of The Boston Globe. It turned out there were scores of criminal priests, hundreds of victims. The abuse spanned decades. Cardinal Bernard F. Law shuffled…
Sydney Morning Herald
October 29, 2015
A Sydney judge has suppressed the name of a Catholic primary school teacher who has pleaded guilty to child pornography offences to “limit the embarrassment and distress” of the school.
In the Downing Centre District Court on Thursday, a 59-year-old man admitted to accessing, transmitting and possessing thousands of images and videos of child abuse material.
The court heard between 2011 and 2014 the man used the internet to download child porn for his “sexual gratification”.
At the time of his arrest in September 2014, the man was a teacher and e-learning co-ordinator at a Catholic primary school in Sydney’s south-west.
Following pleas of guilty to one count of transmitting, one count of accessing and three counts of possessing child abuse material, Judge Chris Craigie made a non-publication order on the man’s name following an application by…
District Attorneys across the region have come to an agreement with the Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese that states specific requirements on reporting sexual abuse.
Broome County District Attorney Jerry Mollen was joined by DA’s that serve seven other counties within the Diocese of Syracuse to discuss details of the memorandum.
The agreement states that any complaint regarding abuse to minors must be reported to the appropriate DA’s office.
It also says that the Diocese will cooperate with the DA’s office and will not conduct its own investigation.
Bishop Robert Cunningham said abusers will be held accountable for their actions.
By John O’Brien | email@example.com
on October 28, 2015
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — A man who says he survived child-molesting at the hands of a priest prompted prosecutors to ask the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse to turn over all cases of suspected pedophile clergy.
Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick revealed today that his office heard from the survivor about a year ago, leading to today’s announcement about a new written agreement between the diocese and seven district attorneys.
Bishop Robert Cunningham and the seven district attorneys in the diocese announced at a news conference that the diocese signed an agreement to report all accusations of pedophile priests to the prosecutors.
The survivor contacted Fitzpatrick’s office from another state about a year ago.
“After dialogue with him, I contacted my colleagues,” Fitzpatrick said, referring to the other DAs. “We began the process of discussing this with…
After allegations of sexual misconduct within the Syracuse Diocese, a memorandum of understanding has been created between seven county District Attorneys, including Broome County’s, and the Diocese.
The document puts into written word a verbal agreement that has been present for more than a decade. It includes protocol for the Diocese reporting any reports of sexual abuse directly to the county DA to immediately assess the situation.
“Today is a great step forward to further our collective efforts to eradicate this issue and to keep our children safe,” said Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham.
“It makes sure that no matter who the Bishop is or no matter who the prosecutor is, this is the way it should be done. It also tells the community that we understand that that’s how it should be done,” said Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen.
By Matt Jarchow
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It’s meant to bring healing to victims and prevent future cases of abuse in the Syracuse Catholic Diocese, but one survivor said a new agreement between the Diocese and seven area counties does neither.
“Not at all,” Charles Bailey Jr. said. “Why they didn’t view themselves as mandated reporters is beyond me. Why we had to go to this step to have this happen? I just don’t understand.”
As a child, Bailey faced abuse from a priest. On Wednesday, he listened as Bishop Robert Cunningham called the memorandum of understanding a giant step forward. Bailey said that step won’t come until the names of offenders gets released.
“Their names are forever hidden,” he said. “Which to me does not protect children and protect the public, because if you don’t know the names of the…
Oswego County Today
Written by Steve Yablonski, Oct 28, 2015
OSWEGO, NY – On Wednesday (October 28), the District Attorneys for Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego counties held a press conference in Binghamton to announce that they had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Bishop Robert Cunningham of the Syracuse Diocese regarding the reporting of sexual misconduct of minors.
The document establishes a consistent policy and protocol for the reporting of sexual abuse by any member of the clergy and religious orders under the auspices of the Syracuse Diocese, regardless of when the incident was committed.
Read the Memo of Understanding Syracuse Diocese here
The memorandum states that when a Diocesan official learns or has reason to suspect that a member of the clergy or religious order has sexually abused a minor, the person disclosing the abuse will be strongly urged to report…
October 28, 2015
By Barbara J. Fraser
Catholic News Service
LIMA, Peru – Allegations of physical, psychological and sexual abuse by leaders of a Catholic movement founded here in the 1970s have led to a lawsuit against Lima Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani and a promise of an internal investigation from the group’s leader.
The allegations were described in a new book, “Mitad Monjes, Mitad Soldados” (“Half Monks, Half Soldiers”), by Pedro Salinas, a former member of Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, who interviewed about 30 other former members.
The interviewees, some of whom were minors when they joined the group and moved into one of its formation houses, recalled military-style physical exercise and separation from family and friends. Some said spiritual directors had ordered them to disrobe and then touched them, and there were several accounts of rape. One of those accused is the organization’s founder, Luis…
El Regional Piura
[Allegations of sexual abuse creates concern in the Peruvian church and the Vatican.]
ERP. Las denuncias contra miembros de la Iglesia Católica, sobre todo por abuso sexual contra menores, ha llegado al Perú y con diversos testimonios se acusa al fundador de Sodalicios de Vida Cristiana como el principal responsable. Frente a la arremetida mediática, monseñor Luis Cipriani, salió a declarar indicando que los presuntos delitos son “hechos increíblemente malos”.
Aunque en nuestro país se esperaba hace días que el cardenal Juan Luis Cipriani se pronuncie de una vez por todas respecto a las graves acusaciones de abusos sexuales que sacuden al Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (SVC), fue necesario que el primado de la Iglesia peruana arribara a Chile para que rompa su silencio y hable sobre estas denuncias.
En una entrevista que concedió al diario El Mercurio, el arzobispo de Lima calificó las acusaciones…
National Catholic Register
by CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY 10/28/2015
LIMA, Peru — The superior general of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae has made public that the community has had an apostolic visitor since April, who is charged with investigating accusations that its founder committed sexual abuse.
The apostolic visitor, who was appointed April 22, is Bishop Fortunato Pablo Urcey, Prelate of Chota, Peru. He was charged by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life with investigating allegations of abuse committed by Luis Fernando Figari.
“When we were told this measure was being taken, the Holy See asked us to not make the visit public or to share who had been appointed as [apostolic] visitor, so he could carry out his work in a serene environment without any pressure from the media,” Alessandro Moroni Llabrés, superior general of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, stated Oct. 26.
By: Winnipeg Free Press Published on Wed Oct 28 2015
DETROIT—A former archbishop convicted of sexually assaulting a young altar boy at a Winnipeg church has been demoted to a monk.
Seraphim Storheim, who is 69, was once the highest-ranking official in Canada for the Orthodox Church in America.
The church’s website says Storheim was removed from the priesthood during the annual fall session of its Holy Synod of Bishops last week in Detroit.
Storheim was found guilty early last year of assaulting the boy while he was working as a parish priest at Holy Trinity Sobor Orthodox Church in the 1980s.
He started serving an eight-month sentence earlier this year after an unsuccessful bid to overturn his conviction before the Manitoba Court of Appeal.
He was freed in July under an earned early release.
Press & Sun Bulletin
Anthony Borrelli, firstname.lastname@example.org | @PSBABorrelli October 28, 2015
Bishop Robert Cunningham will join prosecutors from seven counties, including Broome, on Wednesday to formalize protocols on allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse by members of the clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.
A memorandum of understanding will be signed at 2 p.m. this afternoon at the Broome County District Attorney’s Office in downtown Binghamton.
The agreement would require the diocese to immediately report suspected abuse by clergy members, regardless of how old the claims are, or whether the suspected abuser is no longer an active member of the clergy.
Broome County District Attorney Gerald F. Mollen, Onondaga County District Attorney William J. Fitzpatrick, Chenango County District Attorney Joseph A. McBride, Cortland County District Attorney Mark D. Suben, Oneida County District Attorney Scott D. McNamara and Oswego County District Attorney Gregory S. Oakes…
District Attorneys from throughout Central New York will join Bishop Robert Cunningham of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse in Binghamton at 2pm Wednesday.
They will announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing the procedures to be followed in all incidents involving alleged sexual misconduct and abuse of minors by all members of the clergy and religious in the Diocese of Syracuse.
We will update the story throughout the day.
[Karlsruhe / Willich. The sentencing of former priest Georg K. from Willich who was convicted of abusing two boys has been sentenced to six years in prison and his appeal has been rejected.]
Karlsruhe/ Willich. Die Verurteilung des früheren Pfarrers Georg K. aus Willich wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs von zwei Jungen zu sechs Jahren Haft ist rechtskräftig. Der Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) wies die Revision gegen ein Urteil des Landgerichts Krefeld als unbegründet zurück.
Die Nachprüfung dieses Urteils habe keine durchgreifenden Rechtsfehler ergeben, wie der BGH am Dienstag in Karlsruhe mitteilte. K. trägt alle Kosten des Revisionsverfahrens.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says it needs more time to file a bankruptcy reorganization plan because of the large number of clergy abuse claims.
Attorneys for the archdiocese plan to ask a bankruptcy judge Thursday for a second extension of a deadline on filing that reorganization plan. They’re hoping the judge will extend the deadline to May 31, 2016. The court earlier approved an extension to Nov. 30.
The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1M1IXq6 ) reports a motion before the bankruptcy judge says 717 claims have been filed in the case, including 416 alleging liability for sexual abuse. Claimants had until Aug. 3 to file.
The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy reorganization in January as the number of claims mounted. A 2013 state law opens a three-year window for older claims of clergy abuse.
By SIMON TOMLINSON FOR MAILONLINE
A high-ranking Polish priest who was fired after coming out as gay has accused the Catholic Church of making life ‘hell’ for millions of homosexuals.
Father Krzystof Charamsa was stripped of his post earlier this month on the day he announced he was in a relationship with another man.
In a scathing letter to Pope Francis, he accused the Vatican of hypocrisy because he said the clergy was ‘full of homosexuals’.
He also condemned the Church for causing ‘immeasurable suffering’ to homosexual Catholics and their families.
Fern Shen October 28, 2015
Sitting a few feet from Heather E. Cook, the former Episcopal bishop who killed her son in a drunk driving hit-and-run in North Baltimore last year, Patricia Palermo spoke with raw fury, aiming her stinging words right at Cook.
“You didn’t make calls to help my son, but you managed to make calls to help yourself,” Palermo said, as Cook broke down, dabbing her eyes with a tissue.
Cook, who was in Baltimore City Circuit Court yesterday awaiting sentencing on automobile manslaughter and other charges in connection with the death of bicyclist Thomas Palermo, was spared absolutely nothing during two hours of family members’ testimony.
“I have terrible nightmares. I keep seeing imprints of my son’s precious head on the windshield of Heather Cook’s car,” Palermo said, her voice ragged but firm. “I fear he suffered terrible pain.”