Seminary college “shocked” after student’s alleged attempt to have sex with infant

OHIO
Fox 28

BY JAMES JACKSON SUNDAY, JANUARY 31ST 2016

COLUMBUS — Shock and sadness. That’s the reaction from a Columbus seminary community tonight, after a man, studying to become a priest is accused of trying to adopt a baby, in Mexico, for sex.

Right now, Joel Wright is in federal custody, in Southern California. Wright was a student at the Pontifical College Josephinum, in North Columbus. Homeland security investigators say he placed ads on Craigslist looking to travel to Tijuana to adopt. They arrested him yesterday in San Diego, as they say he made his way to Mexico.

School leaders found out about the alleged incident yesterday. They say they have a no tolerance policy for it and will do what they can to help investigators piece together what happened.

It’s rich traditions are steeped in protecting everyone, especially children, according to the Pontifical College Josephinum’s Reverend John Allen. “Preserving a climate of perfect transparency where the flourishing of each person can be assured,” Reverend Allen said.

But, that climate of faith was interrupted, when authorities arrested the former student. According to a federal complaint: Wright traveled to Tijuana, Mexico in July 2014, but the person who was supposed to help him with the adoption process backed out. Homeland security got involved. In the complaint, wright stated in an email dated January 14, “I want to adopt/own a baby girl under the age of 3 and I want to have intercourse with her after I own her but don’t be telling people that.”

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Royal Commission into child abuse told Tasmanian pedophile priest’s risk to children ‘not discussed’

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

PATRICK BILLINGS
Mercury

TASMANIA’S most senior Anglican clergy did not discuss how to reduce the risk posed to children by a pedophile priest after he was forced to resign, as they believed police prosecution was imminent.

But Burnie archdeacon Louis Daniels was not prosecuted until five years later, during which time he held teaching positions in the Australian Capital Territory.

Former assistant bishop of Tasmania Ronald Stone gave evidence today in Hobart at a Royal Commission into child abuse.

Mr Stone and then Tasmanian bishop Phillip Newell forced Daniels to resign in 1994 after child abuse allegations resurfaced.

Commissioner Justice Jennifer Coate today asked Mr Stone what discussions were held between him and bishop Newell about reducing the risk if Daniels took up a job where he had “access to children” after his departure.

“No that discussion did not happen,” Mr Stone said.

However, he said he believed police prosecution of Daniels was imminent.

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Ohio seminary student arrested for alleged plan to have sex with adopted baby in Mexico

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

BY JASON SILVERSTEIN
Sunday, January 31, 2016

A seminary student from Ohio got busted in California Friday for allegedly plotting to have sex with an adopted infant in Mexico, police said.

Joel A. Wright, a priest-in-training at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, was arrested after his plane landed in San Diego International Airport. He had planned to continue to Tijuana, where he would go to a hotel and buy the baby for sex, police said.

Federal agents started investigating Wright after learning in July 2014 he tried paying for someone to adopt a Mexican child for his pleasure, police said. Last November, an undercover agent started talking to Wright online, posing as a tour guide in Mexico, authorities said.

During their talks, the accused sicko said he wanted to adopt or purchase baby girl under the age of 3, have sex with her and film it, officials said. He expected to meet the tour guide in San Diego.

Wright, 23, now faces two federal sex charges. He was immediately expelled from his seminary school.

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Ohio seminary student arrested in San Diego for allegedly seeking sex with infants

CALIFORNIA
Fox 5 San Diego

SAN DIEGO — A 23-year-old Ohio man was arrested by federal agents in San Diego on Friday for allegedly planning to have sex with multiple infants in Mexico, authorities said.

Joel A. Wright, 23, is seen in a photo provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Editor’s note: This article contains disturbing descriptions of an alleged crime.

Joel A. Wright, a seminary student and resident of Columbus, was charged with two felony counts: crossing state lines with the intention to engage in a sexual act with a minor, and attempting to travel “in interstate and foreign commerce” for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual conduct with another person, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

Wright is expected to be arraigned on Monday, according to news release obtained by KTLA.

The suspect was taken into custody at San Diego International Airport by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, following a monthslong investigation into child sexual exploitation, according to a news release from the agency.

Dave Shaw, special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego, said in a statement: “Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless of where they live.”

“Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim,” Shaw added.

According to the criminal complaint, an undercover ICE agent received a tip that prompted the agent to take over an email account and begin corresponding with Wright.

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Joel Wright: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

UNITED STATES
Heavy.com

[with copy of the criminal complaint]

By Tom Cleary

A 23-year-old man who was studying to be a priest at an Ohio seminary is accused of trying to pay to rape a 1-year-old baby and a 4-year-old girl in Tijuana, Mexico.

Joel Wright was arrested Friday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in San Diego, the agency said in a press release.

Wright has previously tried to adopt a baby from Mexico, according to court documents.

He is charged with traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country, both felonies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California said.

“This investigation opens a window into a secret world where sexual predators prey on young children around the globe” Dave Shaw, special agent in charge for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations office in San Diego. “Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless where they live. Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim.”

(Warning: The story below contains graphic sexual content from court documents.)

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Wright Said He Wanted to Adopt a ‘Baby Girl’ & ‘I Want to Have Intercourse With Her After I Own Her’

Federal authorities were tipped off about Wright in November 2015 from a Tijuana, Mexico, resident who had responded to an advertisement on Craigslist soliciting the adoption of infants. The ad had allegedly been posted by Wright, according to court documents.

The tipster told ICE agents he had lied to Wright and told him he could help him adopt a child. They first met in July 2014 when Wright traveled to Tijuana and paid him money as an adoption fee, the person said. He told Wright he was going leave to get the child and then come back, but he never returned.

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A criminal complaint against a former Ohio seminarian accused of attempting to have sex with young children in Mexico details alleged previous efforts to obtain access to small children

OHIO
Access WDUN

By The Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) — A former Ohio seminarian arrested for allegedly seeking to have sex with infants and young girls in Mexico was carrying $2,000 in cash along with baby clothes and a bottle in his luggage, a Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said Sunday.

Joel Wright, who was arrested Friday in San Diego, had previously traveled to Tijuana in an unsuccessful attempt to adopt a child, authorities said.

According to the criminal complaint, the former student at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus tried in 2014 to adopt a child in Mexico — going so far as to hand over an “adoption fee” in a Tijuana hotel room — and more recently spelled out in explicit online messages what he hoped to do with an infant and a 4-year-old girl.

Asked in an email if he’d previously had sex with infants, Wright allegedly responded: “I have not gone all the way before but I have made it very close in the past so I do have experance (sic).”

Wright, 23, has been charged with travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and aggravated sexual abuse of a child. He is scheduled to appear in court in Monday.

Court records do not indicate that Wright has an attorney. His mother, Teresa Wright Poquette, told The Associated Press on Sunday that she didn’t believe the allegations.

Poquette, who lives in Vermont where Wright grew up, said she couldn’t say anything more.

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SAG Awards: Mark Ruffalo & Michael Keaton’s ‘Spotlight’ Acceptance Speech

CALIFORNIA
Deadline

By Patrick Hipes January 30, 2016

Open Road’s Spotlight won the marquee Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture honor tonight at the SAG Awards. The win gives solid Oscar Best Picture momentum to the the pic, which centers on the Boston Globe‘s Pulitzer-winning investigation into the Catholic Church child abuse scandal in Boston. The ensemble cast features Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Billy Crudup.

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‘Fix-it’ asst bishop at Tas abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP

Amid troubling times for Tasmania’s Anglican Diocese in November 1994, it was assistant bishop Ronald Francis Stone who played fix-it man.

A boy had complained to police about sexual abuse by a priest, leaving Bishop Phillip Newell “physically as well as emotionally distressed”.

In the years prior now-Bishop Stone said his superior had tried to manage allegations of abuse against priest Louis Daniels.

“He appeared to me to be really struggling with what to do,” Bishop Stone has told a royal commission hearing.

But once the police were involved, his level of distress saw responsibility handed to the deputy.

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SAG Win Gives Spotlight a Boost

CALIFORNIA
Awards Daily

By Sasha Stone
@awardsdaily
Jan 30, 2016

If Bernie Sanders needs to win Iowa to show he’s got the goods, Spotlight needed a big guild award for the same reason. Had it not won the SAG Award tonight, Spotlight probably would have been out of the Best Picture race. But a plurality tally of 160,000 film and television actors (as well as broadcast journalists, radio announcers and on-air television news talent) picked Spotlight to win.

At first, the night seemed like it might be headed in Straight Outta Compton’s or Beasts of No Nation’s direction, once Idris Elba won Supporting Actor, beating Christian Bale and Mark Rylance. For a while there, people were thinking the SAG voter’s display of diversity might end with Compton winning Outstanding Ensemble. But ultimately SAG maintained its tradition of awarding its Ensemble Award to one of Oscar’s Best Picture nominees. The other option was The Big Short, which many of us thought was poised to win. The reason being that the more dramatic and overall flashy performances usually win the day with SAG voters.

Perhaps the most important thing about Spotlight’s win was the way they made the most of it. The actors didn’t spend a lot of time at the mic thanking people personally, but went right to the heart of the film’s message about the widespread abuse of the Catholic Church and the countless victims left in its wake. They even said something like “the good guys win.” That puts it in direct contrast to The Big Short, where the bad guys definitely win, and pointedly so.

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‘Spotlight’ Wins SAG Award For Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture

CALIFORNIA
Hollywood Life

What a gang! The cast of ‘Spotlight’ took home the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture. With stars like Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Rachel McAdams, it’s hard to deny that ‘Spotlight’ totally deserved it!

The lineup of films nominated for this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards was chock-full of incredible casts, but it was the ensemble in Spotlight that caught the attention of the voters. The Spotlight squad, including Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, and Mark Ruffalo, was honored for their amazing performances in the film with the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture! As if the names in the cast aren’t enough to justify their win, their acceptance speech certainly did!

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Taylors man facing charges in child-sex case

SOUTH CAROLINA
Greenville Online

A 62-year-old Taylors man is in jail in a child-sex case including one incident that dates back nearly 27 years, authorities said.

Arthur Edwin Lehr, of 104 Walker Springs Road, is charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor third degree and engaging a child for sexual performance, according to warrants.

Investigators charge that Lehr inappropriately touched the victims in a lewd and lascivious manner, according to warrants and deputy Drew Pinciaro, spokesman for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

In one case, the incidents occurred on several occasions starting on Feb. 2, 1989, according to a warrant.

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Upstate man faces sex with minor charges; deputies fear more victims

SOUTH CAROLINA
WYFF

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. —A man accused of sex crimes against a child has been arrested, Deputy Drew Pinciaro of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said.

Arthur Edwin Lehr, 62, is charged with two counts of thier-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and one count of engaging a child for sexual performance, Pinciaro said.

Lehr is accused of inappropriately touching the victims in a lewd and lascivious manner.

One of the incidents dates back to 1989, leading investigators to believe that there may be additional victims, Pinciaro said.

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Greenville County Pastor Arrested on Sexual Assault of a Minor Charges

SOUTH CAROLINA
News 2

[with video]

A Greenville County pastor is under arrest and facing criminal sexual misconduct of a minor charges. Two of the three incidents date back to 1989, and authorities say there could be more victims yet to come forward.

According to the arrest warrant, 62-year-old Arthur Lehr is charged with two counts of criminal sexual misconduct of a minor and one count of engaging a minor for sexual performance.

The warrant states he touched minors in a sexual manner.

His neighbors tells us, Lehr was a pastor in Greenville County–hosting bible studies at his house in Taylors from time to time.

Therapists say other victims may be too ashamed to speak out.

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Fugitive rabbi threatens South Africa’s chief rabbi

ISRAEL/SOUTH AFRICA
Arutz Sheva

By Cynthia Blank

A rabbi wanted in Israel for the alleged indecent assault of women and hiding out in South Africa has issued a death threat against the country’s chief rabbi, Warren Goldstein.

According to the Johannesburg Sunday Times, the threat was made by followers of Rabbi Eliezer Berland in his name and on his website.

It came after South African Police Service officers, acting on behalf of Interpol, raided a hotel in Samrand, where the 78-year-old rabbi has been staying with several of his disciples.

Berland apparently escaped before police stormed rooms belonging to him and followers of his Hassidic sect; he is now in hiding.

The head of Yeshivat Shuvu Bonim in Jerusalem, Berland fled Israel in 2012 after several women as well as a 15-year-old girl laid charges of sexual harassment against him.

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Fugitive rabbi threatens life of South African chief rabbi

ISRAEL/SOUTH AFRICA
Times of Israel

BY LEE GANCMAN January 31, 2016

An on-the-run rabbi wanted in Israel for sex offenses has threatened South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein with death under Talmudic law after police raided his hideout.

Followers of Rabbi Eliezer Berland made the threats on his website in his name following a police raid on his hotel room in Samrand, north of Johannesburg, where he had been staying for several months, the Johannesburg Sunday Times reported.

Berland’s followers accused Goldstein of alerting police to his location, and claimed that he should be put to death.

According to the Talmudic din rodef, or the “law of the pursuer,” extra-judicial killing is permitted against “one who pursues his fellow to kill him.” In this case, the accusations that Goldstein informed police were interpreted by Berland’s followers to mean that he was seeking their mentor’s death.

The raid was carried out 10 days ago by South African police at the request of Interpol; Berland escaped and avoided arrest.

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Fugitive Rabbi Accused of Sex Crimes Issues Death Threat Against South Africa’s Chief Rabbi

SOUTH AFRICA
Haaretz

Jeremy Gordin Jan 30, 2016

A fugitive rabbi on the run from Interpol has issued a death threat against the chief rabbi of South Africa, Warren Goldstein.

The threat, made by followers of the Jewish sect’s leader in his name and on his website, has rattled the South African Jewish community.

South African Police Service officers, acting on a request from Interpol, 10 days ago raided a hotel in Samrand, north of Johannesburg, where 78-year-old Rabbi Eliezer Berland has been staying on and off for five months with a number of his disciples.

Berland, one of the leaders of the Bratslav Hasidic movement in Israel and head of Yeshivat Shuvu Bonim in Jerusalem —and considered a holy man by his followers — has been on the run since 2012 when allegations were made by female followers in Israel that he had sexually harassed or raped them.

He has managed to live under the noses of authorities from Morocco to the Netherlands and Zimbabwe.

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Ohio seminary student accused of traveling to San Diego seeking sex with infants

CALIFORNIA
U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement

[the criminal complaint]

HSI special agents arrest defendant at local airport

SAN DIEGO – An Ohio seminary student suspected of travelling to San Diego to have sex with multiple infants in Mexico was taken into federal custody Friday at Lindberg Field by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Joel A. Wright, 23, of Columbus, Ohio, is charged in a criminal complaint with two felony counts, including travelling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor; and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country within the Southern District of California. Wright is expected to be arraigned in federal court Monday. Wright’s arrest follows a months-long undercover child sexual exploitation investigation conducted by HSI special agents in San Diego. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

“This investigation opens a window into a secret world where sexual predators prey on young children around the globe,” said Dave Shaw, special agent in charge for HSI San Diego. “Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless where they live. Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim.”

According to the criminal complaint, after receiving a tip, an undercover HSI special agent took over an email account and began chatting with Wright. Wright believed he was still communicating with a Mexico-based male tour guide he met after placing an online ad. During the email chats with the undercover investigator, Wright allegedly stated he wanted to travel to Tijuana to adopt or own a child under 3 years old and have intercourse with the child.

Subsequently, Wright booked his flight to San Diego and made arrangements to meet the friend of a tour guide at San Diego’s Lindberg Field. Investigators allege the plan was for Wright and the tour guide to then travel to a hotel in Tijuana where he would meet the female infants. Wright was taken into custody by HSI special agents after his plane landed at Lindberg Field Friday morning.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 12,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, more than 2,300 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

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Ohio man arrested in San Diego, accused of seeking sex with infants in Mexico

OHIO
newsnet5

An Ohio man was taken into custody at Lindbergh Field on suspicion of traveling to San Diego to have sex with infants in Mexico.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said 23-year-old Joel A. Wright, of Columbus, Ohio was arrested and “charged in a criminal complaint with two felony counts, including travelling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor; and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country within the Southern District of California.”

Dave Shaw, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego, said, “This investigation opens a window into a secret world where sexual predators prey on young children around the globe. Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless where they live. Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim.”

ICE officials said: “According to the criminal complaint, after receiving a tip, an undercover HSI special agent took over an email account and began chatting with Wright. Wright believed he was still communicating with a Mexico-based male tour guide he met after placing an online ad. During the email chats with the undercover investigator, Wright allegedly stated he wanted to travel to Tijuana to adopt or own a child under 3 years old and have intercourse with the child.”

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Ohio Seminary Student Arrested at San Diego Airport, Allegedly Sought Sex With Infants

UNITED STATES
KTLA

[the criminal complaint]

WARNING: This article contains descriptions of an alleged crime whose details may be disturbing to some readers.

A 23-year-old Ohio man was arrested by federal agents in San Diego on Friday for allegedly planning to have sex with multiple infants in Mexico, authorities said.

Joel A. Wright, a seminary student and resident of Columbus, was charged with two felony counts: crossing state lines with the intention to engage in a sexual act with a minor, and attempting to travel “in interstate and foreign commerce” for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual conduct with another person, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

Wright is expected to be arraigned on Monday.

The suspect was taken into custody at San Diego International Airport by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, following a monthslong investigation into child sexual exploitation, according to a news release from the agency.

Dave Shaw, special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego, said in a statement: “Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless of where they live.”

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‘Spotlight’ takes the limelight at the SAG Awards 2016

CALIFORNIA
Fox 59

CNN Wire

LOS ANGELES, Cali. (January 31, 2016) — “Spotlight” took the limelight at the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday night, winning the top prize: outstanding cast in a motion picture.

A breathless Mark Ruffalo thanked the creative team, particularly writer-director Tom McCarthy and writer Josh Singer for not taking shortcuts and honoring the survivors of the Catholic church sexual abuse scandal. The film concerned the Boston Globe reporters who investigated sexual abuse in the church.

Added co-star Michael Keaton, “This is for every Flint, Michigan, in the world. This is for the powerless. It comes down to two things. There’s fair and unfair. And I’m always going to vote for fair. I’m always going to vote for the good guys.”

The victory cements “Spotlight’s” status as the front-runner for the best picture Academy Award.

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Micheal Keaton Uses ‘Spotlight’ SAG Win to Shine Light on the ‘Disenfranchised Everywhere’

CALIFORNIA
Yahoo! Movies

Meriah Doty
January 30, 2016

Spotlight won the night’s most coveted prize at the 2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards. And the victory gave star Michael Keaton a platform to deliver a powerful speech.

Capping Saturday night’s ceremony in Los Angeles, the Spotlight ensemble received the accolade for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Keaton, accompanied by fellow stars Mark Ruffalo, Brian d’Arcy James, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, and John Slattery, took the stage.

First up, Ruffalo spoke on behalf of the group, addressing the victims of the Catholic Church abuse case, which was the subject of the film. “[I am] honored these people, these victims who are dead, and the survivors who are still alive [after] one of the most horrific things that our culture has allowed to happen. This movie allows them to be seen in a world that has been blind to them.”

He passed the microphone to Keaton, who channeled his inner Tom Joad, extending Ruffalo’s sentiment. “Honestly this is not only about the survivors of this horrific situation but for me, personally — and I’m only speaking for me — this is really for the disenfranchised everywhere,” said the 64-year old actor. “This is for every Flint, Michigan, in the world,” he went on to say, referencing the city suffering through a tainted-water scandal.

“This is for the powerless, this is for the powerful who take advantage of the powerless. And you can hang me for that. I don’t really care. That’s why I’m proud to be part of this, thank you very much. It comes down to two things: There’s fair and there’s unfair. And I’m always going to vote for the fair, I’m going to pull for the good guys. Thanks for this. This means a lot.”

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Screen Actors Guild Awards: ‘Spotlight’ Cast Takes Top Prize

CALIFORNIA
NBC News

Reuters

Journalism drama “Spotlight” won the SAG ensemble cast award in a night that was dominated by a diverse roster of winners.

“Spotlight” won the cast award over “Beasts of No Nation,” “The Big Short,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Trumbo.”

Solidifying his front-runner status, Leonardo DiCaprio has won the SAG Award for Best Actor for “The Revenant” for his role as a fur trapper bent on revenge. Brie Larson won Best Actress for her role as a tormented mother in “Room.”

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Spotlight Wins the 2016 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

CALIFORNIA
People

[with video]

The Screen Actors Guild has crowned the night’s big winner: Spotlight.

Demi Moore presented the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture on Saturday night, prompting Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James and Billy Crudup to head to the stage.

The film tells the true story of the Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal.

“I have to thank our producers, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, who just took every single opportunity to tell the truth,” said Ruffalo, 48. “They didn’t take any cheap way, it was always the truth and honored these people. These victims who are dead, and the survivors who are still alive, of one of the most horrific things that our culture has allowed to happen.”

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Land hat Heimopfer „billigst abgespeist“

OSTERREICH
Tiroler Tageszeitung

[Country home abuse victims in Austria were fobbed off cheaply.]

Von Brigitte Warenski

Innsbruck, Wien – Am 13. März 2010 hatte ein Artikel in der Tiroler Tageszeitung für einen Sturm der Entrüstung gesorgt. Erstmals erzählte ein ehemaliges Tiroler Heimkind (Erwin Aschenwald) über exzessive Gewalt, Demütigungen und sexuellen Missbrauch an Mitzöglingen in der Bubenburg der Kapuziner. Erstmals gestand die Kirche ein, „im Umgang mit Anschuldigungen Fehler gemacht“ zu haben, so Manfred Scheuer, bis vor Kurzem Innsbrucker Diözesanbischof.

In den folgenden Jahren kamen immer mehr unfassbare Details über seelische und körperliche Gewalt in städtischen und Landesheimen sowie kirchlichen Institutionen von den 50er- bis in die 80er-Jahre an die Öffentlichkeit. Aber nicht nur in den Heimen, in die vor allem Kinder von ledigen Müttern und gesellschaftlichen Randgruppen zwangseingewiesen wurden, gab es österreichweit Tausende Opfer. Der Missbrauchsskandal machte in Tirol, wo die Heimdichte bundesweit am größten war, auch vor Vorzeigeeinrichtungen wie dem Paulinum in Schwaz nicht Halt.

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Rückschritte statt Fortschritte

DEUTSCHLAND
Gegen-Missbrauch

Politik verschleppt weiterhin wichtige Anliegen von Betroffenen sexualisierter Gewalt

Anfang letzten Jahres hatte der Verein gegen-missbrauch e.V. einen Rückblick auf das Jahr Vorjahr geworfen. „Eigentlich hätten wir die Rückschau auf das Jahr 2014 glatt wieder veröffentlichen können“, so Ingo Fock, 1. Vorsitzender des Vereins. „Wahrscheinlich wäre es kaum jemanden aufgefallen, denn in der Zwischenzeit hat sich nicht merklich etwas zum Wohle der Betroffenen bewegt. Ganz im Gegenteil.“

Fonds Sexueller Missbrauch (FSM)
Die Uhr tickt. Nur noch bis zum 30. April diesen Jahres haben Betroffene sexuellen Missbrauchs aus dem familiären Bereich Zeit, um Leistungen aus dem FSM zu beantragen. Für Betroffene aus dem institutionellen Bereich läuft die Frist noch bis zum 31. August diesen Jahres.

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Kein Blumentopf zu gewinnen

DEUTSCHLAND
Kontext: Wochenzeitung

Von Susanne Stiefel
Datum: 27.01.2016

Öffentlich wurde der Skandal 2014. Vor einem Jahr übernahm Mechthild Wolff die Aufgabe, die dunkle Heimvergangenheit der Evangelischen Brüdergemeinde in Korntal auszuleuchten. Große Hoffnungen wurden in die Landshuter Professorin gesetzt. Was ist geblieben?

Zunächst einmal Empörung. “Ich höre doch nicht auf, ich fange erst an”, versucht Mechthild Wolff gegenüber Kontext die Wogen zu glätten. Doch wenn sich die Vertreter der Evangelischen Brüdergemeinde und der Korntaler Heimopfer am 10. Februar treffen, wird dies das letzte Mal sein. Die Chefin der Aufarbeitung beschränkt sich auf die Wissenschaft. Das ist aus Sicht der Erziehungswissenschaftlerin verständlich. Ein Forschungsprojekt verspricht Reputation, auch ein Buch schadet dem Image nicht, und dazu braucht man vor allem Ruhe.

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Prominent Catholics want Seattle Archdiocese to open all sex-abuse files

WASHINGTON
The Seattle Times

By Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — Two prominent legal professionals and practicing Catholics want straight answers from the Seattle Archdiocese to questions about its recently published list of clergy members identified as admitted or credibly accused child-sex abusers.

Terry Carroll, a retired King County Superior Court judge, and Mike McKay, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, said they’re frustrated with what appears to be more of a public-relations move than a sincere effort at transparency and accountability.

In 2004, the two men headed an appointed review panel charged with examining clergy sex-abuse cases that recommended the archdiocese publicize names of credibly accused clergy. This month, the archdiocese essentially did that — disclosing names of 77 priests and others “for whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been admitted, established or determined to be credible.”

The list is posted on the archdiocese’s website. For each offender, it offers a name, a current status with the church and details about dates and assignments within the archdiocese spanning from the 1920s to 2007.

But the accounting provides no details about when and where the alleged sex abuse occurred — information Carroll and McKay contend parishioners and the public deserve to know.

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Orders paid sixth of bill for children’s home abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Maeve Sheehan
PUBLISHED
31/01/2016

Religious orders have contributed less than a sixth of the €1.46bn cost of compensating the former residents of children’s homes and residential institutions who suffered physical and sexual abuse, as the redress scheme winds down.

Eighteen orders of nuns and religious brothers who ran the schools on behalf of the State committed to paying a total of €480m to the cost of the scheme, but have so far contributed a package of property and cash worth €211m.

The State has paid close to €1bn in compensation

The contributions are far short of the €750m or 50:50 share that the Government promised in its programme for government to make the religious orders contribute.

The religious orders originally agreed to contribute €128m in cash and property towards the scheme in 2002 in an indemnity agreement with the State.

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Confusion, anger over abuse redress

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

AAP

Anger and confusion has followed a federal government announcement indicating it is not likely to implement a key recommendation of the child abuse royal commission that it establish a national redress scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse.

Support groups for survivors of child sexual abuse have given different interpretations to the announcement on Friday that the federal government will lead development of a nationally consistent approach to redress but that responsibility should rest with state and territory jurisdictions where the abuse occurred.

Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) executive officer Leonie Sheedy said the commonwealth’s position that states and territories would bear responsibility for abuse that happened in their jurisdictions would be unfair to people who suffered abuse in state-run institutions.

“They are sending (responsibility) back to the state governments who abused them,” Ms Sheedy told AAP.

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SAG Awards: Spotlight, Leonardo DiCaprio big winners at star-studded Los Angeles event

UNITED STATES
ABC News (Australia)

Spotlight, a drama about a newspaper’s investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic church, has taken out top honours at the 22nd Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.

The awards, seen as a bellwether of the all-important Academy Awards, were being closely watched as they took place amid a controversy over the lack of African-American and minority-ethnic actors nominated for an Oscar this year.

Spotlight took the prize for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture — the SAG equivalent of an Oscar.

The film tells the true story of how a group of investigative journalists from the Boston Globe uncovered and proved child molestation and its cover-up were rife within their local Catholic church in 2001.

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Spotlight: Supporting Those Affected By Clergy Abuse

UNITED STATES
Crossmap

By Brian Nixon – ASSIST News Service On January 30, 2016

ALBUQUERUQE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – January 28, 2016) — In the new Hollywood movie, Spotlight, the story is told of how journalist of the Boston community took on the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of sex abuse. The priest at the center of the abuse was John J. Geoghan.

According to the Boston Globe, the “church allowed abuse by priest for years.” Writer Matt Carrol and Michael Rezendes, state, “By 2002, more than 130 people had come forward claiming that former priest, John J. Geoghan, allegedly fondled or raped them [1].”

This is all-too-common and disturbing news; something any denomination or group of godly clergy never want to hear coming from it’s ranks. But it’s the truth. It happens. And hopefully the truth will set the church free, finding healing, help, and hope for both the victims and the perpetrators of abuse. Justice and judgment need to be enforced, but so, too, does love and longsuffering-extending support and spiritual sustenance to those affected by clergy abuse.

I recently participated in a Spotlight type event in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A few months back I was approached by a friend who told me his story of being raped by a priest in New Mexico at the age of 12. I was horrified by what I heard. As clergy, my heart broke, and my sense of justice was ignited. We talked, prayed, and I listened.

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Seminary student with local ties arrested on serious charges

OHIO
WTOV

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — A seminary student with ties to Steubenville has been arrested on two felony counts, including traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country.

Joel Wright, a first year pre-theology student at the Pontifical College of Columbus, was arrested Saturday on suspicion that he planned to adopt a three-year-old female child in Mexico for the purpose of raping her.

Wright was discerning ordination to the priesthood for the Diocese of Steubenville.

Immediately upon learning of the allegations against Wright, Diocese Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton suspended him from the studies.

According to Pat DeFrancis, of the Steubenville Diocese, Wright attended Franciscan University before moving on to his studies in Columbus.

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New details on ex-seminary student accused of attempting to engage in sexual act with a child

OHIO
NBC4i

By Dan Pearlman
Published: January 30, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — New details are emerging about the now-former Columbus seminary student who is accused traveling to California, with the intent of adopting a young Mexican child for sex.

Joel Wright, 23, was arrested at Lindberg Field, in San Diego, and he is now charged with traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country.

According to federal investigators, Wright’s arrest comes on the heels of a months-long investigation.

In the criminal complaint, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security states Wright engaged in frequent email communications, indicating his interest in sexually assaulting children between the ages of one and four.

Wright was a first-year student at the Pontifical College Josephinum, according to seminary leadership. He joined the seminary in August, after clergy said he passed a rigorous background check which included a psychological evaluation, a criminal history check and personal interviews.

“We certainly do not want to admit anyone into our program if there is an inkling that that person might pose a threat to any person, especially to the young and the vulnerable,” said Father John Allen, Vice President for Advancement at the seminary.

Allen said Wright did not not have a disciplinary record at the college.

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Ohio Seminary Student Accused Of Traveling To San Diego Seeking Sex With Infants

CALIFORNIA
10TV

SAN DIEGO, Cali. – (Warning: some of the details in this story may be disturbing to some readers)

An Ohio seminary student from Columbus has been accused of traveling to California to have sex with infants in Mexico.

Joel A. Wright, 23, was taken into federal custody Friday in San Diego by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents.

According to the criminal complaint, Wright is charged with two felony counts of traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country.

Wright was arrested after a months-long undercover child sexual exploitation investigation conducted by HSI agents.

“This investigation opens a window into a secret world where sexual predators prey on young children around the globe,” said Dave Shaw, special agent in charge for HSI San Diego. “Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless where they live. Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim.”

In the criminal complaint, agents received a tip about Wright and began to exchange emails with him through an account they had taken over.

According to ICE, Wright believed he was communicating with a male tour guide in Mexico he met after placing an online ad.

In the email exchanges, Wright allegedly said he wanted to travel to Tijuana to adopt or own a child under 3 years old and have sex with the child.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses paedophile and sex abuse ‘cover-up’ could see records and documents destroyed

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

BY GRACE MACASKILL

Child abuse records could be destroyed by church elders accused of a sex crimes cover-up.

The Jehovah’s Witness church is believed to have sent a memo telling them to get rid of notes taken during “judicial meetings” with alleged sex offenders.

It comes after Judge Lowell Goddard – the head of Britain’s independent child sex abuse inquiry – warned ­institutions that NO paperwork relating to abuse claims should be shredded.

The Sunday People revealed 15 months ago that the church was accused of covering for paedophiles in congregations.

It is accused of brainwashing abused women and girls into not going to police so it can keep its image, preferring to deal with attackers at “judicial” meetings.

A former church elder said: “This latest move is disgusting.

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St. George’s victims and witnesses asked to contact investigator

RHODE ISLAND
WPRI

By Neil Remiesiewicz
Published: January 30, 2016

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) – The attorney conducting an independent investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at St. George’s School is asking all victims and witnesses to contact his investigative team.

Martin F. Murphy, who was retained by the school to conduct the investigation on January 20, provided updated information on the investigation Friday.

The investigation “will examine all matters relating to sexual abuse by faculty, staff or students at the St. George’s School and review the School’s responses to reports of alleged abuse from 1960 to the present,” Murphy wrote in a joint message with the school and SGS for Healing, which was posted online.

Anyone with any information on sexual abuse at the school can contact Murphy and his team of investigators either via email, SGSInvestigation@foleyhoat.com, or by leaving a phone message at 617-521-5000.

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Would-be priest (23) charged with ‘trying to arrange sex with infant girl’

UNITED STATES
Irish Independent

A Roman Catholic seminary student has been arrested in California, suspected of intending to travel to Mexico to have sex with a baby or toddler.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Joel Wright, 23, of Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, was taken into custody after getting off a plane in San Diego.

Authorities say he sent emails to an undercover federal agent posing as a travel guide, saying he wanted to adopt or purchase a girl under three in Tijuana, Mexico, for the purposes of having sex with her. He make his first court appearance on Monday.

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Former Vt. man accused of trying to have sex with infants

VERMONT
WCAX

BURLINGTON, Vt. –
A former Vermont man who was studying to be a priest is accused of trying to have sex with infants.

Investigators say Joel Wright — who now lives in Ohio — traveled to San Diego with the intent of meeting with a trafficker — who would take him to Mexico where he would adopt or own a child — and then have sex with the infant.

Wright — who was in seminary school for a semester — has since been suspended.

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VT–Catholic seminarian arrested on child sex charge

VERMONT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016

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

A Catholic seminarian from Vermont has been arrested in San Diego on child sex charges.

[Columbus Dispatch]

Joel H. Wright had been attending a seminary in Columbus Ohio.

We fear Wright may have hurt kids in Vermont or Ohio. So it’s crucial that church officials in both states use church websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcement to beg anyone who may have information or suspicions about him to call police.

All too often, in cases like this, Catholic officials pretend to be powerless. They aren’t. They can actively help law enforcement and aggressively seek out others who may have been wounded and are still trapped in silence, shame and self-blame. That’s what truly caring shepherds would do.

We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by or cover ups by priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers or bishops will find the strength to call police, expose wrongdoers and protect kids.

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Film reflects our own dark past

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By Melissa Cunningham
Jan. 30, 2016

“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.”

The words of clergy sexual abuse victims attorney, Mitch Garabedian, in the film Spotlight are as harrowing as they are true to Ballarat.

The film details a real-life Pulitzer winning investigation by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, a group of five investigative journalists, who uncovered widespread sexual abuse of children by scores of the district’s clergy in 2002.

In a gut-wrenchingly familiar pattern, clergy in Boston abuse children for decades but rather than report priests accused of sexual assault to police, the Catholic hierarchy in Boston shuffled offenders from parish to parish and paid victims for their silence.

And, just like in Ballarat the culture of secrecy in Boston spanned further than the clergy, trickling down into the police force who assisted the Catholic Church to hide the abuse.

Documents detailing the abuse were destroyed or hidden and parishioners were pressured into silence by senior clergy.

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Spotlight is a cry from the heart for sexual abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

Leigh Paatsch
News Corp Australia Network

Spotlight (M)
Director: Thomas McCarthy (Win Win)
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci.
Rating: ****1/2

Some kept hoping, while others kept preying

Both a cry from the heart for victims of sexual abuse and a vivid reminder of the fading art of investigative journalism, Spotlight is deservedly one of the frontrunners for the next Best Picture Oscar.

Superbly acted and scripted, this powerful factual drama tells the true story of The Boston Globe’s 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning expose of systematic molestation of the young by Catholic priests.

The role played by the higher reaches of the Catholic Church in keeping a cover-up firmly in place for several decades became a crucial focus for the Globe.

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Would-be priest ‘sought sex with baby girl’

UNITED STATES
Irish Examiner

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Roman Catholic seminary student has been arrested in California, suspected of intending to travel to Mexico to have sex with a baby or toddler.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Joel Wright, 23, of Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, was taken into custody after getting off a plane in San Diego.

Authorities say he sent emails to an undercover federal agent posing as a travel guide, saying he wanted to adopt or purchase a girl under three in Tijuana, Mexico, for the purposes of having sex with her. He make his first court appearance on Monday.
College spokesman the Rev John Allen told the Columbus Dispatch the seminary was “shocked and saddened” at the “reprehensible” allegations.

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Salford priests sexual abuse exposed after decades

UNITED KINGDOM
Blacknet

Three former pupils of revered Manchester Catholic school are to sue the Salford bishopric over allegations of a severe sexual abuse cover-up.

The claims date back to the 1950s, when St Bede’s College in Whalley Range, now a mixed-gender independent school, operated as a boys-only institution.

Waiving anonymity to raise awareness of the case, the group of ex-students are taking legal action against Salford Diocese. The allegations involve the conduct of three senior clergymen, Father Vincent Hamilton, Monsignor Thomas Duggan and Father Charles Mulholland.

The three priests, who are all now deceased, were said to have exploited their position of trust to grope and rape the vulnerable students, who were between the ages of 11 and 15 at the time.

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Il Messaggio Del Papa Al Ragazzo Che Denuncia Gli Abusi

ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

Napoli, accusa un sacerdote di averlo violentato. «Mi comprò un motorino. Per tacere mi diedero 250 euro»

Il Santo Padre le chiede di sospendere lo sciopero della fame. Ha letto la sua lettera, è rimasto colpito e seguirà personalmente la vicenda». Sono le parole che monsignor Giovanni Angelo Becciu, sottosegretario per gli Affari Generali del Vaticano ha pronunciato ieri mattina a Sergio Cavaliere, l’avvocato di Diego (nome di fantasia), presunta vittima di abusi sessuali da parte di un prete della diocesi di Napoli.

Diego era in sciopero della fame dal 18 gennaio scorso dopo aver denunciato le violenze subite da adolescenti.

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Diego Esposito Sospende Lo Sciopero Della Fame, Il Vaticano Rassicura “Interverremo”

ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[Diego Esposito has suspended his hunger strike after the Vatican intervened.]

Ci è voluto un articolo sul Fatto Quotidiano per far sì che in Vaticano qualcuno alzasse la cornetta e chiamasse Diego Esposito, in sciopero della fame da 10 giorni per chiedere notizie sul suo caso, oramai dormiente da anni.

A chiamare l’avvocato di Diego, Sergio Cavaliere, non è stato come ci si aspetterebbe Papa Francesco, ma mons. Angelo Becciu che già nel 2014 aveva scritto a Diego rassicurandolo (foto), e che oggi, sempre a nome di Papa Francesco chiede a Diego di interrompere lo sciopero della fame.

Mons. Becciu, pur non rispondendo a quelle che erano le richieste per le quali Diego aveva iniziato lo sciopero della fame, ha assicurato, che in breve tempo darà notizie sul procedimento che lo riguarda.

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Vittima di prete pedofilo, risarcito con 250 euro

ITALIA
Leonardo

[It would be funny if it were not horrifying. A pedophile priest, Don Silverio Mura, abused a boy when he was 13. In response, the Curia of Naples decided to compensate him with only 250 Euros.]

Ci sarebbe da ridere, se invece non ci fosse da inorridire. Un prete pedofilo, Don Silverio Mura, ha abusato di lui quando aveva 13 anni e, per tutta risposta, la Curia di Napoli ha deciso di risarcirlo con 250 euro. Questa, in estrema sintesi, la storia di Diego (nome fittizio) raccontata dal Fatto Quotidiano. “Avevo 13 anni, il mio professore di religione era don S., un sacerdote molto stimato. Io venivo da una famiglia religiosissima, mio padre quando andavamo in vacanza ci portava a visitare i santuari. Così quando il sacerdote mi ha detto se volevo andare a pranzo da lui a me è sembrato un onore. Non avrei mai immaginato quello che è successo dopo“. Quello che accadde dopo è facile da immaginare: il sacerdote approfitta della giovane età del ragazzo quanto del suo ascendente su di lui, lo fa avvicinare a sé, lo bacia e lo molesta. Le violenze, sostiene Diego, sono andate avanti per anni, nonostante Don Silverio fosse nel frattempo diventato un amico di famiglia.

Per molto tempo Diego, oggi 39enne, non ha più ripensato a quell’episodio traumatico della sua adolescenza, ma circa sei anni fa il relitto è tornato a galla, con tutte le terribili conseguenze psicologiche connesse. Convinto dal proprio medico, l’uomo ha rintracciato il sacerdote e si è recato da lui, registrando la conversazione nella quale il prete non avrebbe negato le molestie. Ma il reato risaliva a 20 anni prima ed era ormai caduto in prescrizione: e così l’uomo ha deciso di rivolgersi direttamente alla Chiesa. Per tutta risposta, la Curia di Napoli gli ha recapitato una busta bianca contenente 250 euro a titolo di risarcimento. Oltre al danno, l’oltraggio.

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Child sex images often show young children and home settings: Cybertip report

CANADA
CBC News

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IMAGES ON THE INTERNET

The majority of child pornography images and videos found online depict young children, and in many cases they’re shown being sexually abused in a home setting, according to a new report by Cybertip.ca.

Cybertip, a national tipline operated by the Winnipeg-based Canadian Centre for Child Protection, analyzed 43,762 unique images and videos based on about 152,000 reports it has received between 2008 and 2015.

“We took a look at what was going on within those images — the age of the children, the severity of the abuse, the setting that the image appeared to be taken in, whether adults were visible in the imagery, that type of information,” Cybertip director Signy Arnason told CBC News on Thursday.

The report said about 78 per cent of the analyzed images and videos depicted children who are believed to be younger than 12 years old, with 63 per cent of those images showing children under the age of eight.

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Papst lobt Kardinal Müller für Missbrauchs-Aufklärung – der hatte bei den Domspatzen geblockt!

VATIKAN/DEUTSCHLAND
Wochenblatt

[Pope Francis has praised Cardinal Gerhard Mueller for fighting child abuse. This is the same cardinal who blocked investigation of abuse in the Regenburgs boys choir.]

Ausgerechnet Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller wird von Papst Franziskus für die Aufklärung im Missbrauch-Skandal gelobt. Dabei hatte Müller einst die Aufklärung bei den Domspatzen verhindert.

Papst Franziskus hat die Glaubenskongregation empfangen, die nicht nur einen früheren Regensburger Bischof, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, als Präfekten zu ihren Mitgliedern zählt, sondern mit dem derzeitigen Regensburger Bischof Rudolf Voderholzer ein weiteres Mitglied aus der Diözese. Am Freitag begrüßte der Pontifex die Mitglieder der Kongregation, die zur wichtigsten in der Kurie zählt: Gerhard Ludwig ist demnach oberster Glaubenshüter und prüft, ob etwas gegen die katholische Lehre verstößt. Gleichzeitig ist der Promotor Iustitiae Mitglied der Kongregation, der Aufklärer der Sexuellen Missbräuche in der Kirche – genau deshalb ist Müllers Rolle auch so pikant.

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Gute Stücke zum bösen Spiel

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

[In Berlin and Bonn, theater is bringing abuse in Catholic institutions to the stage.]

Von Andreas Öhler

Den neuesten Ermittlungsergebnissen zu den Misshandlungen bei den Regensburger Domspatzen zum Trotz: Mit dem Thema lässt sich in der Flüchtlingskrise kaum mehr ein ARD-Brennpunkt bestreiten. Mag sein, dass die Deutschen des Themas überdrüssig geworden sind seit dem Bekanntwerden der Missbrauchsfälle an katholischen Schulen im Jahr 2010. Mag sein, dass demente oder tote Täter, finanziell ruhiggestellte Opfer und vernichtete Beweise wenig nachrichtentauglich sind. Zudem ist scheinbar viel passiert: Die Bistümer haben Untersuchungskommissionen eingerichtet. Allen ist klar: Seelische Schäden können nicht entschädigt werden, Opfer, die sich nicht abfinden können, können nicht abgefunden werden.

Wo die Öffentlichkeit sich angeödet abwendet, springt dankenswerterweise das Theater in die Bresche: Sowohl im renommierten Berliner Ensemble als auch im Theater Bonn hatten in diesen Tagen Stücke Premiere, die den sexuellen Missbrauch in kirchlichen Einrichtungen zum Thema machen. Was kann Theater aufarbeiten, das Untersuchungskommissionen, Therapeuten und Gerichte nicht aufklären können? Werden die Opfer nicht vorgeführt, indem sie auf die Bühne gezerrt werden?

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Ex-seminarian who studied in Columbus charged with planning to rape infant in Mexico

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By Jim Woods
The Columbus Dispatch • Friday January 29, 2016

A man who was studying to be a priest at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus was arrested on federal charges Friday, accused of trying to travel to Mexico to sexually assault infant girls.

Instead, Joel A. Wright was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Homeland Security investigators in San Diego on two federal charges of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

Wright, 23, was expelled from the Josephinum, on the Far North Side, on Friday morning because he had left school without permission, said the Rev. John Allen, a spokesman for the school.

“We’re both shocked and saddened to learn of his involvement in such reprehensible allegations,” Allen said. Wright, from Vermont, had been at the school for a semester, Allen said.

Federal agents first learned in July 2014 that Wright had paid a person in Tijuana, Mexico, to adopt a child with the intent of having sex with a female baby. The child was never delivered to him, court records say.

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Ohio seminary student accused of trying to arrange sex with baby in Mexico

UNITED STATES/MEXICO
Cleveland.com

By Associated Press
on January 30, 2016

SAN DIEGO — An Ohio seminary student was arrested Friday in California on allegations that he intended to travel to Mexico to have sex with a toddler or baby.

Joel A. Wright, 23, of Columbus was taken into custody Friday after getting off a plane at at Lindberg Field in San Diego, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.

Wright had written emails to an undercover agent posing as a travel guide that he wanted to adopt or purchase a female child under age 3 in Tijuana, Mexico, for the purposes of having sex with her, authorities said.

Authorities alleged that Wright planned to meet a friend of the tour guide in San Diego, then accompany the guide to Tijuana, where he would go to a hotel and be brought female infants, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.

He’s scheduled to be arraigned Monday, and an after-hours call to determine whether he has an attorney wasn’t immediately returned. He faces two felony counts: travelling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor, and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country.

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Catholic student arrested on abuse allegations

UNITED STATES/MEXICO
Premier

Sat 30 Jan 2016
By Hannah Tooley

A Roman Catholic seminary student has been arrested in California, USA, suspected of intending to travel to Mexico to engage in sex with a baby or toddler.

Joel Wright, 23, of Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, was taken into custody after getting off a plane in San Diego, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to authorities he had sent emails to an undercover federal agent posing as a travel guide, saying he wanted to adopt or purchase a girl under three in Tijuana, Mexico, for the purposes of sexual intercourse.

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Ohio Seminary student arrested, charged with trying to arrange sex with infants

UNITED STATES/MEXICO
KLEW

BY ELIZABETH FAUGL FRIDAY, JANUARY 29TH 2016

(WSYX/WTTE) — A seminary student from Ohio is facing federal charges for reportedly traveling to San Diego trying to arrange to have sex with infants in Mexico, officials said.

Joel Wright, 23, from Columbus, was arrested at San Diego International Airport by agents from Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Investigators said they got a tip in November about an ad Wright placed on Craiglist in search of adopting an infant in Tijuana, Mexico. According to the criminal complaint, the tipster said he’d responded to the ad and learned the person was studying to be a priest in Ohio. Federal investigators said Wright placed the ad.

Authorities said the tipster later revealed he’d first started communicating with Wright in 2014 about adopting a child. The tipster added Wright traveled to Tijuana in July of 2014 to meet with him, hoping to adopt the child. The person — who investigators kept anonymous — said Wright paid him money as an adoption fee. The tipster took the money and told Wright he would come with the child — but never did.

Investigators said after the tipster began responding to the newest Craigslist ad, the conversation eventually revealed Wright’s “desire to engage in illicit sexual conduct with female infants.” In one email, Wright reportedly said, “I have not gone all the way before but I have made it very close in the past so I do have experance.” (sic)

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Man accused of flying to San Diego for sex with minors

CALIFORNIA/MEXICO
San Diego Union-Tribune

By David Hernandez Jan. 29, 2016

SAN DIEGO — An Ohio seminary student accused of traveling to San Diego to have sex with infants in Mexico was arrested after his plane landed at the San Diego airport Friday, authorities said.

Joel Wright, 23, was taken into federal custody and charged with two felony counts, including traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country within the Southern District of California, according to the criminal complaint.

After receiving a tip, a Homeland Security Investigations undercover agent took over an email account and began a conversation with Wright, who believed he was communicating with a Mexico-based tour guide he met after placing an online ad.

Wright, who lives in Columbus, Ohio, allegedly wrote that he wanted to travel to Tijuana to adopt or own a child under 3 years old and have sex with the infant, according to the criminal complaint.

Wright booked a flight to San Diego and planned to meet a friend of the tour guide at the San Diego airport. Investigators allege the plan was for Wright and the tour guide to travel to Tijuana and go to a hotel, where Wright would be brought female infants.

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Former Columbus seminary student charged after allegedly trying to have sex with babies in Mexico

UNITED STATES/MEXICO
NBC4i

[with video]

By Dan Pearlman and Michelle Rotuno-Johnson
Published: January 29, 2016

Warning: Some of the details of this article and the above portion of our broadcast may be too disturbing for some viewers.

SAN DIEGO (WCMH) – An Ohio seminary student suspected of travelling to San Diego to have sex with multiple infants in Mexico was taken into federal custody Friday at Lindberg Field by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Joel A. Wright, 23, of Columbus, Ohio, is charged in a criminal complaint with two felony counts, according to the ICE. The allegations include travelling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor; and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country within the Southern District of California.

Father John Allen with the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus said Wright was a student there for one semester. Allen said Wright’s status as a seminarian was terminated the moment he left the seminary without authorization.

The Diocese of Steubenville issued the following statement.

Joel Wright was a first year pre-theology student at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio.

Wright was discerning ordination to the priesthood for the Diocese of Steubenville.

Immediately upon learning of the allegations against Wright, Diocese of Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton suspended Wright from the studies.

The action is in accord with the diocesan child protection decree.

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Trainee priest arrested and charged with trying to arrange sex with infants in Mexico

MEXICO/CALIFORNIA
Irish Independent

A Roman Catholic seminary student has been arrested in California, suspected of intending to travel to Mexico to have sex with a baby or toddler.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Joel Wright, 23, of Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, was taken into custody after getting off a plane in San Diego.

Authorities say he sent emails to an undercover federal agent posing as a travel guide, saying he wanted to adopt or purchase a girl under three in Tijuana, Mexico, for the purposes of having sex with her. He make his first court appearance on Monday.

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Lowell pastor gets 15-18 years in prison for girl’s rape

MASSACHUSETTS
Lowell Sun

By Lisa Redmond, lredmond@lowellsun.com

LOWELL — The pastor of a small local church grimaced as a Superior Court judge on Friday sentenced him to 15 to 18 years in state prison for raping and abusing a young girl for a decade.

Defiant to the end, Oscar Sanchez told Lowell Superior Court Judge Robert Ullmann, “I never touched her. I never raped her.”

A jury found Sanchez, 35, guilty last month. His wife, Luisa Osario-Sanchez, 43, was found guilty of assault and battery and reckless endangerment of a child. She was sentenced to one year in jail.

Osario-Sanchez accused the victim of “manipulating the system,” yet she told her, “I love you and I forgive you.”

Sanchez and Osario-Sanchez are co-pastors of the Church of God The Holy Branch on Loring Street.

Sanchez will be on probation for 10 years, and Osario-Sanchez for five years, following their release. Both also must comply with a list of conditions, including no contact with the victim or witnesses who testified during the trial last month.

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Victims of a Christian sect led by an ex-Nazi seek justice

CHILE
The Freethinker

When ex-Nazi paedophile Paul Schäfer, above, fled from Germany in 1959 after being charged with child abuse, the lay preacher established ‘one of the worst sects in the history of humanity – a stupid, fanatical Christianity.’

That’s the description of Colonia Dignidad provided by Winfried Hempel, who escaped the abusive sect 18 years ago.

According to this report, Hempel, now a lawyer, is heading a lawsuit against the German and Chilean states for the suffering he and other youngsters endured in the Colonia Dignidad commune.

Hempel, 38, alleges that both countries allowed the abuse to happen at the ironically named “Dignity Camp”, originally set up to deliver Christian charity to the local communities
Before his death at the age of 88 in a Chilean prison in 2010, Schäfer collaborated with the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, whose secret police used the colony as a place to torture opponents.

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Victims sexually abused by priests speak out

NEW MEXICO
KRQE

By Justin Cox
Published: January 28, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A topic that is usually whispered about was made loud and clear Wednesday.

Victims of sexual abuse by priests shared their stories at the Albuquerque Museum.

More than 300 survivors have come forward to report abuse by priests of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

One victim says secrecy is their biggest foe, and the best way to conquer it is by speaking out.

The group SNAP organized the rally.

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Local View: Finn appointment a mistake

NEBRASKA
Lincoln Journal Star

BY C. PATRICK ROWAN

I was baptized a Roman Catholic January, 1937, and have been a faithful Catholic since that time. I have been a practicing Catholic here in Lincoln since 1971 when I moved here to take a position with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

I have noticed that the Lincoln Diocese is very conservative and comparatively strict, which in itself is not a bad thing.

However, more recently, given world events, socially, politically and religiously, differences have arisen between what Catholic lay people hear, see and experience, between the Vatican, Pope Francis and the American Bishops. This perceived difference is especially noticeable here in the Lincoln Catholic Diocese.

Recently Lincoln Journal Star readers were informed that “A Catholic bishop who was the first American priest convicted of not notifying police of suspected child abuse in a timely manner is now the chaplain at a Lincoln convent. But Lincoln’s bishop said Robert Finn paid for his mistake by completing two years of probation and deserves mercy.”

This news came as a complete shock to the Catholic community here in Southeast Nebraska. A number of letters criticizing Bishop James Conley’s appointment of Bishop Finn appeared in the LJS, but for the most part, members of the Lincoln Diocese remained silent, perhaps fearing to publicly express disapproval of Bishop Conley’s appointment.

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Accuser testifies in molestation trial of former Cowboy Way Church pastor

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

BY DEANNA BOYD
dboyd@star-telegram.com

This report includes sexually graphic descriptions.

The first time he was inappropriately touched, it started with a prayer.

One moment, the 31-year-old man recalled for jurors Friday, Dan Haby Jr. was sitting down and praying on the twin mattress he brought into the bedroom for the 15-year-old church member to sleep on.

Then the pastor began “spooning” him and repeatedly rubbing his face and lips up and down the teen’s face and pushing his erection against the boy’s leg.

“I was in shock; I really didn’t understand what was going on,” said the man, now a special education teacher, told jurors. “He told me that he was not a married man and he needed to be able to relieve stress.”

Their time together, the accuser said Haby told him, allowed the pastor to relieve stress “and in doing so he could be a better pastor and more effective minister on Sunday mornings to those in the church.”

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Man facing sexual abuse charges waives right to hearing

WEST VIRGINIA
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

By GREG JORDAN Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — A man facing charges including incest, sexual assault and sexual abuse involving a female juvenile waived his right Friday to a preliminary hearing in Mercer County Magistrate Court.

James Lilly, 24, of Bluefield has been charged with one count of incest, one count of second-degree sexual assault and 31 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, Detective K.L. Adams, with the Bluefield Police Department, said after Lilly was arrested on Jan. 12.

Lilly is currently free on a $125,000 cash, surety or property bond of 10 percent, according to records at the Mercer County Magistrate Clerk’s Office. He was scheduled Friday for a preliminary hearing before Magistrate James Dent. On Friday afternoon, Dent was notified that Lilly had waived the preliminary hearing. The case will go before the Mercer County Grand Jury.

Lilly, by his own admission, is transgender and in the process of becoming a woman, Adams said at the time of the arrest.

Lilly once served with youth ministry at the Christ Episcopal Church in Bluefield.

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Catholic Church in Alberta, predatory priest sued for $4M

CANADA
CBC News

By Meghan Grant, CBC News Posted: Jan 29, 2016

For failing to protect a child from sexual abuse at the hands of a predatory priest, the Catholic Church in Alberta should pay one of its former altar boys $4 million, according to a recently launched lawsuit.

Now 52-years-old, the plaintiff — a southern Alberta man — is also suing the estate of Father Robert Joseph Whyte for what he says he suffered between the ages of eight and 15.

“[He] was a young, vulnerable and innocent child who trusted that he was safe and secure with a priest of the Catholic Church,” reads the statement of claim filed at the Calgary Courts Centre.

In 1990, Whyte pleaded guilty to 18 charges of sexual abuse against boys aged 11 to 17 for crimes committed between 1962 to 1982 but the plaintiff was not one of the complainants. Whyte died in 2014.

The allegations outlined in the document took place at St. Mary’s and Water Valley Churches between 1972 to 1979.

The pair sometimes travelled together with the worst of the alleged sexual abuse taking place on a trip to Radium Hot Springs when the priest made the boy sleep in his bed and tried to have sex with him, according to the document.

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‘Evil-doer’ or inspiration? The dilemma of Father John Gallagher

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By Joe Capozzi and Jorge Milian – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Father John Gallagher has spent much of the past week portraying himself to media outlets in Ireland and Florida as a whistleblower punished by the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach for alerting authorities to a pedophile priest.

But with the blessing of Bishop Gerald Barbarito, another version of Gallagher is emerging from diocese employees and parishioners. They paint an unflattering portrait of an egotistical problem-priest who spread lies about the diocese because he was passed over for a promotion for at least the second time in six years.

“The only reason that this is going on is that John is very upset and angry that he was not named pastor. That’s the bottom line. He wanted to be pastor of Holy Name so bad,’’ said Father Nestor Rodriguez, pastor at St. Ann’s Church in West Palm Beach. “John is a disgruntled employee of the diocese. He needs serious professional help.’’

Among allegations made to The Palm Beach Post about the 60-year-old priest, who rose from humble Northern Ireland origins and bounced around 11 pastoral assignments since coming to Florida in 2000, are:

• Gallagher sparked numerous complaints from Hispanic parishioners at Holy Name of Jesus Church in West Palm Beach. They say he drove a wedge into the congregation’s 2,000 members by mistreating Hispanics and trying to push them away from the church because he said they didn’t contribute enough to the collection plate.

• He harassed a Cuban priest, Father Jose Crucet, prompting Hispanic parishioners to demand Gallagher’s transfer. When Crucet resigned because of stress, Gallagher replaced him with Father Jose Palimattom, who was arrested two months into his new assignment for showing pornographic images to a 14-year-old boy after Mass in January 2015. …

Gallagher’s assertions also sharply contrasted with the zero-tolerance policy adopted by the Palm Beach Diocese in 2002 after the resignation of the second of two bishops in four years over charges of improper sexual relationships with teenage boys.

To bolster his case, Gallagher supplied media outlets with a letter written to Cardinal Sean O’Malley by Chief Deputy Michael Gauger of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, praising Gallagher for his help in prosecuting Palimattom.

The Irish Independent newspaper published Gallagher’s assertions Monday, prompting several media outlets in Ireland and Florida, including The Palm Beach Post, to pursue the story.

The diocese initially responded with vague denials. But when the stories prompted a protest Tuesday in front of diocese offices in Palm Beach Gardens by members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the diocese went on the offensive.

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Leona’s story: “I don’t want this happening to anyone else’

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

Douglas Todd

A letter to the editor in today’s Vancouver Sun brought back memories about the many years in which I wrote about 150 articles about clergy sex abuse, including in residential schools.

The surprising letter came from Coquitlam’s Leona Huggins, a survivor of teenage abuse at the hands of Catholic priest John Edward McCann.

Leona’s letter thanked The Sun for publishing accounts of priestly sex abuse long before the Boston Globe did it’s now-famous 2002 expose, which is featured in the riveting Oscar-nominated movie, Spotlight. Leona also warns that the goal of rooting out clergy abusers is not yet over.

I interviewed Leona in 1994. Re-reading what she went through brought back painful emotions and, of course, strong empathy.

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Jury selection complete in former priest sex abuse trial

LOUISIANA
KSLA

By Laura Heller

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) –
Twelve jurors have now been selected in a former priest’s sex abuse trial.

The process began Monday and lasted all week.

Former priest Mark Anthony Broussard is accused of sexually assaulting boys when he was a priest in Calcasieu between 1986 and 1991. He faces five sex charges – two counts of aggravated rape, one count of aggravated oral sexual battery, one count of oral sexual battery and one count of molestation of a juvenile.

Broussard was initially indicted on 224 counts of sexual abuse, but the charges were reduced to five which reflect the entirety of the accusations.

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EXCLUSIVE: Catholic Church settles 30 of 40 priest sex abuse lawsuits

HAWAII
Hawaii News Now

By Keoki Kerr

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) –
The Roman Catholic Church has reached settlements in 30 lawsuits filed by people in Hawaii who claim they were sexually abused by priests decades ago when they were children.

They are among 63 people who have made abuse allegations against priests in 40 lawsuits, according to legal documents obtained by Hawaii News Now.

Some of the cases have been reported in the media, such as the 2012 lawsuit filed by Mark Pinkosh claiming two priests at St. Anthony Church in Kailua sexually abused him.

Pinkosh said when he told then-Father Joseph Ferrario that another priest had raped him, Ferrario told him to keep the incidents secret and then Ferrario raped him. Ferrario, who is now deceased, went on to become the bishop of the Catholic Church in Hawaii.

Other cases have been kept quiet, with the plaintiffs listed as John or Jane Roe.

Hawaii News Now has learned that Pinkosh and 62 other alleged victims of priest sex abuse went to mediation last year with the Catholic Church to try to settle their 40 lawsuits.

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Disgraced Anglican priest confesses Church of England Boys’ Society was ‘sitting duck’ for paedophiles

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Colin James
Sunday Mail (SA)

A DISGRACED Anglican priest who helped run a boys’ society targeted by paedophiles in South Australia and other states says it was a “sitting duck” for child abuse.

Former Tasmanian archdeacon Louis Daniels has publicly admitted he was among several Church of England Boys’ Society (CEBS) officeholders who targeted boys at youth camps between the 1960s and 1990s.

The serial sex offenders included senior Adelaide CEBS official Robert Brandenburg, who regularly visited Tasmania before he committed suicide in 1999 after his arrest on child sex offences.

Daniels, 68, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse during the week that he attended various youth camps with Brandenburg, who had an estimated 80 victims, and another convicted paedophile, Garth Hawkins.

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Missionary priest guilty of child abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Emirates 24/7

By Agencies
Published Saturday, January 30, 2016

A federal judge has delayed next week’s sentencing for a priest convicted of having sex with poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.

The judge will hold a hearing Tuesday on whether to grant a new trial for the Rev. Joseph Maurizio instead of sentencing the 70-year-old priest that day in Johnstown, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh.

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St. Cronan’s priest defends work of Catholic pastors

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Jeremy Kohler St. Louis Post-Dispatch

‘ARE YOU STILL A PRIEST?’
By the Rev. Gerald J. Kleba
Published by CreateSpace, 244 pages, $14.95 (paper)

Priests are supposed to love children.

That’s the message of a self-published book, “Are You Still a Priest?” by the Rev. Gerald J. Kleba, pastor of St. Cronan Roman Catholic Church in St. Louis.

About 14 years ago, Kleba took over as pastor of a parish devastated by sexual abuse and cover-up.

The sex abuse scandal was erupting in the Boston Archdiocese, thanks to the Boston Globe’s reporting into its failures to protect children from predator priests. In the last week of February 2002, as the Post-Dispatch was preparing its own story about secret settlements by the St. Louis Archdiocese to victims of sexual abuse, the archdiocese removed two priests from their assignments.

One was the Rev. Joseph Ross, pastor of St. Cronan. The archdiocese had assigned him there in 1991 after he had pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a minor; the archdiocese did not tell members of his new parish he could be a threat.

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Man suing Catholic church over alleged abuse by priest

CANADA
Calgary Sun

BY KEVIN MARTIN, CALGARY SUN
FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2016

The victim of years of sexual abuse at the hands of a Calgary Catholic priest in the 1970s still suffers “flashbacks,” a $4-million lawsuit claims.

The 52-year-old plaintiff, whom Postmedia is not naming as a result of the sexual nature of the lawsuit, says he was victimized by convicted child molester Fr. Robert Joseph Whyte.

Whyte, who died in 2014, was sentence to four years in Calgary in 1990 after admitting sexually abusing boys between 1962 and 1982.

The plaintiff, a former altar boy at churches in Cochrane and Water Valley, was in contact with Whyte between 1972 and 1979, when he was between the ages of eight and 15.

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Former diocesan leader alleges Müller thwarted investigation of choir boy abuse

GERMANY
National Catholic Reporter

[“Das System Regensburg” – Die Zeit]

Christa Pongratz-Lippitt | Jan. 29, 2016

A former chairman of the lay diocesan council in Regensburg, Germany, has alleged that Vatican Cardinal Gerhard Müller “systematically” prevented the investigation of abuse in Germany’s famous “Regensburger Domspatzen” boys’ choir during his time as Bishop of Regensburg.

The allegations against Müller, who is now the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, coincided with 60 further alleged abuse victims coming forward since Ulrich Weber, an independent lawyer, published an interim report in January which showed that three times as many boys had been abused between 1953 and 1992 than reported by the diocese.

“My impartiality as an independent lawyer is the reason why more alleged victims now want to consult me. They feel that I will listen to them,” Weber, who was commissioned by the Regensburg diocese to further investigate the abuse at the choir boys school, told domradio.de.

In a long interview in the German weekly Die Zeit, former chairman Fritz Wallner described how Müller, who was Bishop of Regensburg from 2002-2012, and his vicar-general, Fr. Michael Fuchs, “systematically” prevented abuse cases from being investigated and calls for Fuchs, who is still vicar-general of Regensburg, to step down.

In 2005, Müller disbanded the lay diocesan council, Wallner said, “as he wanted to hold the reins firmly in his own hands and that proved fatal for inner-church investigation of abuse.”

Two years later, Wallner said that Müller installed a priest in a parish who had been sentenced for sexually abusing minors in a previous parish. When the priest was again arrested for abusing children in his new parish, Wallner said Müller defended his decision to re-install the priest by pointing out that he had been assured by the man’s psychiatrist that he was “healed.”

Asked at the time whether he felt responsible for re-installing the priest now that he had again sexually abused children, Müller said that the priest had denied the abuse 12 times to Müller’s face, and therefore the priest, had a “disturbed view of the truth.”

According to Wallner, Müller ignored the 2002 German bishops’ conference’s guidelines, which recommended that priests sentenced for sexual abuse of minors should never again be allowed to work with children or young people. Müller’s view was that each diocese had to shoulder the responsibility for such cases itself.

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Priest Convicted of Sex With Street Children Could Get New Trial

PENNSYLVANIA
NBC 10

A federal judge has delayed next week’s sentencing for a priest convicted of having sex with poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.

The judge will hold a hearing Tuesday on whether to grant a new trial for the Rev. Joseph Maurizio instead of sentencing the 70-year-old priest that day in Johnstown, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh.

Maurizio, a suspended Somerset County priest was convicted in September of charges including engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, also known as sexual tourism.

Maurizio’s attorney has filed several sealed motions and documents in the last month, so his specific claims are unclear.

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Activists Demand Justice for Victims of Pedophile Priests

MEXICO
Telesur

Mexican activists, including priests, have launched a campaign accusing Mexico’s Catholic Archdiocese of protecting Rev. Gerardo Silvestre Hernandez, who is believed to have sexually abused about 100 children.

Hernandez is in prison since 2013 on charges of corruption of minors, however the activists have directly accused the Archbishop of Oaxaca Jose Luis Chavez of protecting the pedophile priest by blocking an investigation into the case.

The activists said the abuses by Hernandez were committed in seven indigenous communities.

Relatives of the victims have drafted a letter that they intend to hand to Pope Francis, who will visit Mexico next month. In the letter, they ask the pontiff for justice and action to ensure that “this doesn’t happen again.”

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MO–Convicted molester gets to be around kids

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Convicted molester gets to be around kids
Victims blast move by Jackson Co. prosecutors
DA’s office agreed to loosen parole restrictions
But the predator had already violated earlier conditions
Deacon “for decades” just pled guilty to felony last month
Victims group begs others who were hurt to “step forward”
Abuser lives in Belton & was deacon at Grandview Baptist Church

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will

–hand out copies of a two page “sentencing modification” document,
–blast Jackson County prosecutors for agreeing to let an convicted child molester be around kids,
–prod church officials, where the predator was a deacon, to aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes, and
–urge those with information or suspicions about child sex crimes and cover ups to keep calling police and prosecutors, not church officials.

WHEN
TODAY, Friday, Jan. 29 at 2:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Jackson County prosecutor’s office (north side), 1315 Locust in downtown in Kansas City MO

WHO
Two-fhree members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis man who is the organization’s long time director

WHY
Yesterday, with the agreement of a Jackson County prosecutor, a just-convicted child molester sought – and likely won – a “parole modification” that enables him to be around “those under age 16 in an unsupervised capacity on a daily basis.” SNAP thinks this is “a reckless and callous move.”

Last month, John Henry Stone of Belton pled guilty to a felony: sexually assaulting a girl younger than 14 between August through December of 2014. Her family was befriended by Stone at Grandview Baptist Church (913-281-1150) where Stone was a deacon for decades and helped lead several children’s programs, including Vacation Bible School.

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BISHOP FONDLES THREE GIRLS’ BOOBS

ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe Daily

Holly Cross Church bishop and owner of Rekai Tangwena Children’s Home in Nyanga — Livingstone Tonderai Nerwande — is alleged to have indecently assaulted three vulnerable children at his orphanage.

Nerwande, who rose to fame in the 1990s when he was still a Anglican Church priest through his exorcism powers, is expected to appear in court today facing six counts of indecent charges.

The 77-year-old man of cloth is set to appear today before Nyanga provincial magistrate, Mr Ignatio Mhene. Some of the victims are crippled teenagers who were staying at the orphanage for safety and special care.

According to court papers, Nerwande is alleged to have perpetrated the abuse on the minors since 2014 and the crimes surfaced this month.

In February 2014, on an unknown date, but around 2pm, he allegedly called the 16-year-old victim to his office.

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Hammond investigates molestation claim at St. Casimir School

INDIANA
Post-Tribune

Teresa Auch Schultz
Post-Tribune

Hammond police are investigating an allegation of child molestation at St. Casimir School in Hammond.

According to a release from Lt. Rich Hoyda, a mother reported Monday that her child had been molested during school hours at the Catholic school in the North Hammond neighborhood. The release did not indicate who allegedly molested the child. According to the police report, the incident happened Monday.

Hoyda said in the release the school is cooperating with the investigation.

Debbie Bosak, spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Gary, which runs the school, said that the school doesn’t know much about the case as police haven’t shared many details. She added that part of the issue is that the child is very young and hasn’t been able to identify the suspect. She said the school is not aware of a specific suspect. However, it will continue to cooperate with police as needed, Bosak said.

“If something like that’s happening in our school, that needs to be certainly dealt with immediately,” she said.

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POLICE INVESTIGATE ALLEGED CHILD MOLESTATION AT HAMMOND SCHOOL

INDIANA
WLS

By Diane Pathieu

HAMMOND, Ill. (WLS) — School officials promised parents transparency as police investigate an alleged case of child molestation at St. Casimir Catholic School in Hammond, Indiana.

The incident allegedly occurred at St. Casimir during school hours. Investigators said the mother of the child reported the incident to police.

A spokesperson with the Catholic Diocese of Gary said police contacted the school’s principal to make her aware of the complaint. A note was sent home to parents to let them know about the investigation.

“It’s just, it was frightening. I mean not knowing the answers – no one’s giving us answers or answering our questions. We’re going to be put to the side and no one is bringing light to anything. It’s like all hush hush,” said one parent, who did not want to be identified.

Javier Galvan said he is worried about his son, who attends St. Casimir. Kimberly Patterson said if the allegations are true, she’s going to keep a closer eye on what happens at the school.

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Paedophile priest given promotion

AUSTRALIA
The Examiner

By ADAM LANGENBERG
Jan. 27, 2016

A PAEDOPHILE priest was promoted to Archdeacon of Burnie by a former Anglican Bishop who had been told of allegations he had behaved inappropriately with young boys, a royal commission has heard.

In opening, counsel assisting Naomi Sharp told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Bishop of Tasmania Philip Newell was made aware of allegations about inappropriate behaviour from priest Louis Daniels in 1987.

Ms Sharp said Bishop Newell was told of allegations by three boys about the behaviour of Daniels, then the chairman of the Church of England Boys Society.

Child abuse victim BYG said he told Bishop Newell in June 1987 that Daniels had repeatedly grabbed, kissed and fondled him.

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Missbrauchsvorwürfe: Bistum Hildesheim setzt unabhängigen Gutachter ein

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

[Abuse allegations: Hildesheim diocese will use an independent appraiser.]

Das Bistum Hildesheim ist wegen seiner mangelnden Aufklärungsarbeit nach Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen Pater Peter R. kritisiert worden. Nun hat das Bistum angekündigt, den Umgang mit den Vorwürfen von einem unabhängigen Gutachter untersuchen zu lassen.

“Der Gutachter soll auch den Auftrag erhalten, zu überprüfen, ob es möglicherweise weitere Fälle des sexuellen Missbrauchs durch R. in der Diözese gegeben hat”, heißt es in einer Mitteilung. Der Gutachter solle mit der zuständigen Staatsanwaltschaft eng zusammenarbeiten. Wer den Job übernehmen wird, ist noch nicht bekannt.

Hintergrund: 2010 wandte sich ein junges Mädchen namens Anna* an das Bistum und erhob schwere Vorwürfe gegen Pfarrer R. Der stand damals schon im Zentrum des großen Missbrauchsskandals am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg – doch das Bistum Hildesheim gab die neuen Hinweise erst Monate später an die Staatsanwaltschaft weiter. Die Vorgänge wurden erst im vergangenen November durch eine WDR-Dokumentation öffentlich.

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Unabhängiger Gutachter soll Missbrauchsfall prüfen

DEUTSCHLAND
Kirchen Zeitung

[Independent expert to examine abuse case in the Hildesheim diocese.]

Ein unabhängiger Gutachter soll sich jetzt mit den Fall des sexuellen Missbrauchs durch den ehemaligen Pfarrer Peter R. im Bistum Hildesheim befassen – und auch überprüfen, ob es weitere Fälle gegeben hat. Das hat das Bistum am Donnerstag, 28. Januar 2016, mitgeteilt.

Am Vorabend hatte sich im zweiten Teil der Sendung “Die Richter Gottes” des Westdeutschen Rundfunks die Mutter einer heute 20-jährigen jungen Frau, die von dem Pfarrer 2006 sexuell missbraucht worden war, geäußert. Die Frau hat darin erklärt, sie sei bereits ab 1993 von dem Pfarrer missbraucht worden. Seitens des Bistums war schon vor der Ausstrahlung beteuert worden, dass es bislang keinen Kontakt zu der Mutter gegeben habe.

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Die Katholische Kirche und Missbrauch: Es nicht genau wissen wollen

DEUTSCHLAND
Heise

[Six years after the discovery of mass abuse by clergy in the German Catholic Church the extent of acts still not in sight and the handling of abuse cases by church leaders raises further questions.]

Christoph Fleischmann 29.01.2016

Sechs Jahre nach der Aufdeckung massenhaften Missbrauchs in der Kirche zeigt das Beispiel Bistum Hildesheim, wie stark bestimmte Muster vorherrschen

Sechs Jahre nach der Aufdeckung massenhaften Missbrauchs durch Geistliche in der katholischen Kirche ist das Ausmaß der Taten noch immer nicht absehbar – und der Umgang der Kirchenleitungen mit den Überlebenden des Missbrauchs wirft weiter Fragen auf. Aktuell steht das Bistum Hildesheim im Fokus und der dort ab den achtziger Jahren arbeitende Priester Peter R., der erst als Jesuitenpater dort eingesetzt war und nach seiner Entlassung aus dem Jesuitenorden vom Bistum Hildesheim übernommen wurde.

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Slachtoffers misbruik Kerk in beroep tegen ‘doofpotschade’

BELGIE
De Standaard

[Today begins the process of appeal for victims of sexual abuse against the Holy See and the Belgian bishops.]

Yves Delepeleire

Vandaag begint het proces in beroep van slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik tegen de Heilige Stoel en de Belgische bisschoppen.

De advocaten van de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in de Kerk en van de kerkelijke oversten kijken elkaar vandaag weer in de ogen voor het hof van beroep in Gent. 36 slachtoffers, verenigd door advocaten Walter Van Steenbrugge en Christine Mussche, willen dat de Heilige Stoel en de Belgische bisschoppen aansprakelijk worden gesteld voor de ‘doofpotschade’ die de slachtoffers is aangedaan.

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Die “zweite” Schuld

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholisch

[The abuse scandal is back. Or rather it has not long ceased. The new reports from Hildesheim are disturbing, but there is also disturbing news from from Regensburg, Ettal, Bonn and elsewhere.]

Der Missbrauchsskandal ist zurück. Besser gesagt, er hat noch lange nicht aufgehört. Die neuen Berichte aus Hildesheim sind verstörend, aber auch aus Regensburg, Ettal, Bonn und anderswo sind irritierende Nachrichten zu hören. Eine Szene aus dem Jahr 2010 mag dabei symptomatisch erscheinen. Das Bistum Hildesheim gibt eine Pressekonferenz, bei der beteuert wird, man werde sich um Verdachtsfälle kümmern, vor allem einen inzwischen bekannten Täter beobachten und aufmerksam sein.

Vier Wochen später sitzt ein Mädchen vor den gleichen Leuten, die zuvor die Presse informiert haben, und berichtet von einem vermeintlichen Missbrauch. Täter soll eben jene Person sein, von der die halbe Republik durch die Berichterstattung über das Berliner Canisius Kolleg weiß. Man schickt das Mädchen nach Hause. Ein halbes Jahr später wird dann das Mädchen medizinisch betreut – das Bistum reagiert und schaltet die Staatsanwaltschaft ein. Das Bistum und auch der Bischof haben inzwischen Fehler eingeräumt. Doch nun kommen weitere Berichte heraus, auch die Mutter des Mädchens sei missbraucht worden. Nun soll, im Jahr 2016 (!) ein unabhängiger Gutachter eingesetzt werden. Der Sumpf scheint immer tiefer zu werden, je genauer man hinschaut.

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UPDATE: Parents converge on St. Casimir over sexual abuse allegations

INDIANA
NWI Times

HAMMOND — A teary St. Casimir principal spoke to parents asking for their understanding, prayer and patience as Hammond police investigate an alleged child molestation incident reported to police Monday.

“My daughter goes to this school, too. I know all of you want peace of mind as parents,” St. Casimir Principal Lorenza Pastrick said. “We have great parents and staff here. I can’t, and won’t, let any of our children be at risk.”

A special Friday morning meeting was held following the child molestation allegations reported Monday, drawing a crowd of more than 150 parents to the Catholic school.

Hammond Police Lt. Richard Hoyda said the incident was reported by the child’s mother.

According to the police report, the incident occurred between 7:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Monday. The mother reported the incident to police by telephone at 6:11 that night.

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Palm Beach diocese denies demoting priest for reporting another priest’s abuse-related activities

FLORIDA
National Catholic Reporter

Sarah Mac Donald | Jan. 29, 2016

The diocese of Palm Beach has hit back at claims by one of its priests that he has been ostracized for helping to prosecute a suspected pedophile priest who was jailed for six months for having shown a 14-year-old parishioner up to 40 pornographic images on his phone.

The Catholic Whistleblowers network, which is dedicated to exposing abuse cover-ups, has weighed in in support of Fr. John Gallagher, claiming the diocese of Palm Beach demoted him because he wasn’t “silent about alleged sexual abuse of minor children.”

Irish-born Gallagher has served in Palm Beach since 2000 and claims he was stood down from his role in the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ in West Palm Beach for reporting abuse-related activities concerning Franciscan​ Fr Jose Palimattom, a visiting priest from India, who had been at the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ for just four weeks in December 2014 when a complaint was made.

Speaking to the Pat Kenny Radio Show Jan. 27 in Ireland, the 48-year-old priest also claimed that when he contacted the diocese to report the incident the morning after it had been reported to him, the diocesan official told him, “We’ve dealt with this before, we normally put them on a plane and send them back.”

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Dank für Kampf gegen Missbrauch

VATIKAN
Katholisch

[Pope Francis thanks the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for its work against child abuse.]

Papst Franziskus hat der Glaubenskongregation für ihren Kampf gegen sexuellen Missbrauch gedankt. Die Vatikanbehörde widme sich dieser Aufgabe mit Einsatz und Verantwortungsbewusstsein, sagte er am Freitag in einer Rede an deren Mitglieder im Vatikan. Er forderte, die Integrität des Glaubens müsse begleitet sein von einer Integrität der Sitten in der Kirche.

Die vom deutschen Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller geleitete Glaubenskongregation ist unter anderem für Verfahren gegen Kleriker zuständig, die wegen Missbrauchs beschuldigt sind. 2015 hatte Franziskus bei der Kongregation einen Gerichtshof für Bischöfe errichtet, die Verdachtsfällen auf Missbrauch nicht nachgegangen sind oder Verbrechen vertuscht haben. In den vergangenen Jahren hat die Kongregation mehrere hundert Priester wegen sexueller Übergriffe auf Kinder und Jugendliche in den Laienstand versetzt.

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What changed in the Church after allegations of abuse were published in the Boston Globe?

UNITED STATES
Rome Reports

[with video]

Boston. January 2002

There are two recurring elements in the sexual abuse crisis: a priest who abuses children and a bishop who did not immediately remove him from contact with children.

On January 6, 2002, the Boston Globe published the story of father John Geoghan, who for 30 years had abused more than 130 children. Boston Cardinal Bernard Law thought the problem could be solved by moving him to a new parish after abuse cases. So John Geoghan was transferred to half a dozen parishes. At each new parish, parents complained to the archdiocese that the priest had abused children.

Geoghan’s case triggered a wave of complaints against other American bishops who had also put avoidance of scandal above the safety of children.

The Pope summoned all American cardinals to the Vatican to brief him on the sexual abuse scandals.

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Judge replaces priest’s sentencing with new trial hearing

PENNSYLVANIA
Morning Times

Posted: Friday, January 29, 2016

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A federal judge has delayed next week’s sentencing for a priest convicted of having sex with poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.

The judge will instead hold a hearing on sealed motions seeking a new trial for the Rev. Joseph Maurizio. The 70-year-old Somerset County priest was convicted in September of sexual tourism, child pornography and money laundering charges.

Maurizio’s attorney has filed several sealed motions and documents in the last month, so his specific claims are unclear. But an order from a federal judge in Johnstown delaying Tuesday’s sentencing says he’ll instead consider claims that prosecutors withheld evidence that may have been favorable to the priest, among other issues.

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Activist priest denies abuse allegations

NEW YORK
Riverdale Press

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted 1/28/16

Father Richard Gorman, known for years of activism throughout the Bronx, is denying allegations he sexually abused minors about 30 years ago, according to his lawyer.

Murray Richmond said charges made public last week through an Archdiocese of New York press release are completely false.

In the Jan. 21 statement, which did not go into detail about the allegations, the archdiocese said Fr. Gorman would not be permitted “to publicly function as a priest,” including as director of prison chaplains for the archdiocese.

“As usual, the archdiocese immediately reported the allegations to law enforcement officials for investigation, who have deemed the allegations to be credible, although they have not yet been substantiated,” the statement read in part. It referred people “with information or concerns” about Fr. Gorman to the Westchester District Attorney’s Office.

The priest subsequently resigned as chairman of nearby Community Board 12 and stepped down as a board member of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts amid a flurry of citywide media coverage.

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What I’m doing to protect my kids from sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service – Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Jan 29, 2016

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to connect with an amazing woman after she stepped forward to share about being re-traumatized by her former church after reporting being sexually abused as a minor. What amazed me about Natalie Greenfield is that she did not back down or succumb to silence when her former church leaders attempted to publicly malign, demean, and intimidate her. Instead, she continued to speak and boldly expose the ugly truth, knowing that her actions would attract the continued ire of a religious institution attempting to save face. Natalie’s words and her life have become a source of great hope and inspiration to many watching abuse survivors around the country who still suffer in silence, shame, and fear. I am very grateful that our paths have crossed and am privileged to call Natalie Greenfield a friend and a hero. – Boz
_____________________________________________________________________________

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of growing up to be all kinds of different things. I wanted to be a ballerina, a veterinarian, a cowgirl, a famous singer. I wanted to fall in love and get married when I was thirty and have a couple of kids, but first I wanted to do everything else. As I got older I realized more than anything I wanted to be a musician. I wanted to write songs and travel the world singing them. I wanted the world to know who I was; I’m a born performer and being on stage felt like home to me.

All of that changed when I was thirteen years old and met the man who targeted me, groomed me for months and then sexually abused me for almost 2 years, destroying the remaining years of my childhood. I lived in the prison this man built around me, I cut myself off from friends and family and I wore a smile to disguise my pain. The abuse finally ended when I was sixteen years old. I hid the abuse for almost 2 more years before speaking out about it, and when I did speak up I was abandoned by my church community and burdened with even more shame. Healing from longterm childhood sexual abuse and the subsequent shaming I experienced has been a life consuming challenge.

I’m now twenty eight years old and married to my best friend, we have three incredible children together and a fourth on the way and life is full and joyful like I never knew was possible. Still, I know what the child sex abuse statistics are and I can’t help but worry my own children might be hurt the way I was. The truth is, most abuse happens at the hands of friends or family members – people who are already in positions of trust and familiarity. It’s also true that most parents of abuse victims will tell you they never saw it coming.

From the moment I saw my first positive pregnancy test I knew I had to be equipped and educated to protect my children. I also knew I needed to equip my children so they could protect themselves when I wouldn’t be able to shield them from the dangers of the world. Honestly, the task felt downright overwhelming until I realized I’m not the only parent who cares deeply about this very thing. Granted, not many people I had access to eight years ago were talking openly about sexual abuse, I longed for conversations that would help me normalize my own healing process as well as educate me for my future as a parent, but I discovered that when I began to speak openly about what happened to me and what I was experiencing as a result, some of the stigma began to fade just a little. Since breaking the ice and beginning to talk about my abuse and shaming, I’ve spoken frequently and openly about the topic and it’s been hugely helpful for me not only when it comes to processing my thoughts about the abuse but also in teaching me how I can help protect and educate others.

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“I didn’t decide to take on the Catholic Church. I decided to pursue a story”

UNITED STATES
The JC

By Stephen Applebaum, January 29, 2016

One of the hottest contenders for the Best Picture Oscar is Spotlight, which tells the powerful, true story of how the eponymous team of investigative reporters at the Boston Globe newspaper exposed a decades-long cover-up by the Catholic Church to protect priests guilty of sexually abusing children.

That the investigation took place at all is credited to the Globe’s first Jewish editor, Marty Baron (played by Liev Schreiber in the film), who, on his first day at the paper, saw a story that he felt needed to be pursued.

Baron had come from the Miami Herald and was an unusual appointment. “The newspaper had been accustomed to having people who have a strong connection to Boston be in charge of it,” he tells me from his office at the Washington Post, where he is now executive editor, “and I think the entire community was accustomed to that as well. I had spent almost no time in the city and so I was labelled an outsider – and made to feel like an outsider.”

While being “somewhat the object of wariness” created discomfort, he had the advantage of being able to “see things through fresh eyes”, he suggests. “I didn’t have any attachments to the community at all. I had no allegiances, no obligations as a result of friendship, nothing like that. So I think that allowed me to approach things with some level of distance and objectivity.”

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Pope thanks CDF for work on abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
ANSA

(ANSA) – Vatican City, January 29 – Pope Francis thanked the members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) on Friday for their efforts in investigating cases involving sex abuse of minors by members of the Catholic clergy.

In an address at the group’s plenary assembly, Pope Francis said, “Christian faith, in fact, isn’t just knowledge to memorise, but truth to live in love. Therefore, together with doctrine of the faith, one must also conserve the integrity of customs, particularly in the most delicate areas of life.

Adhering to Christian faith implies both the act of reason and the moral answer to its gift. In this regard, I thank you for all the effort and responsibility you put forth in treating cases of abuse of minors on the part of clergy”.

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Pope meets with Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the participants in the annual Plenary Session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on Friday in the Vatican.

The CDF is tasked with a range of responsibilities, from determining the doctrinal soundness of theological and catechetical works, to advising and giving judgment on matters relating to areas like medicine and bioethics, to conducting canonical trials in cases of child sex abuse by clergy – work for which the Holy Father had words of praise and encouragement.

Pope Francis focused his broad-ranging remarks around three distinct points: the inter-relatedness of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy; the importance of collegiality in ecclesial life and governance; the complementary relationship of charismatic and hierarchical gifts in the life and mission of the Church.

“When, in the evening of life,” said Pope Francis, “it shall be asked of us what we did to feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty, equally shall it be asked of us if we helped people find their way out of doubt, if we were committed to welcoming sinners – admonishing or correcting them, if we were capable of combatting ignorance, especially that ignorance which regards Christian faith and the good life.”

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Royal commission hears paedophile wants to protect archbishop Aspinall

AUSTRALIA
ABC – The World Today

KIM LANDERS: Let’s go now to the Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission in Hobart.

A convicted paedophile has agreed he’d prefer that his evidence worked to protect the reputation of the Anglican Church and the archbishop of Brisbane Phillip Aspinall.

But former priest Robin Goodfellow has denied he’d lie on oath to achieve that goal.

The royal commission is examining how the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania and the Church of England Boys Society handled dozens of abuse allegations from the 1970s to the early 2000s.

Samantha Donovan is following the hearings and joins me now.

Samantha, remind us what the commission has heard about Archbishop Phillip Aspinall’s involvement in this episode?

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Well, Kim, the survivor witness BYF has told the royal commission that in 1982 when he was a teenager, he was staying at the Anglican rectory in Triabunna on Tasmania’s east coast.

The priest, Garth Hawkins lived there.

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Diocese of Palm Beach responds to allegations by Father John Gallagher

FLORIDA
WPTV

The Diocese of Palm Beach is responding to a local priest’s claims he has been “frozen out” by the church.

Father John Gallagher claims he was placed on medical leave after blowing the whistle on the behavior of a visiting priest.

He says the church went as far as to change the locks on his parochial home while he was sick in the hospital.

The diocese has released a statement saying Gallagher’s account is “completely inaccurate” and his reassignment was not related to the incident with the visiting priest.

You can read the complete response from the Diocese of Palm Beach here.

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MEXICAN CHURCH ACCUSED OF MASS SEX ABUSE COVER-UP

UNITED STATES
Church Militant

by Joseph Pelletier • ChurchMilitant.com • January 28, 2016

OAXACA, Mexico (ChurchMilitant.com) – A Mexican archbishop is being accused of protecting a priest many claim abused up to 100 children.

In a press conference held Tuesday, multiple priests and activists charged José Luis Chávez Botello, the archbishop of Antequere-Oaxaca, with intentionally concealing sexual abuse reportedly perpetrated by a diocesan priest.

Several speakers at the conference, which was held by the Oaxaca Children’s Forum, claim the Rev. Gerardo Silvestre Hernández molested “more than 100 victims,” with the first instance of abuse occurring nearly a decade ago.

“In 2006, Gerardo Silvestre abused a nine-year-old boy during a six-month internship,” asserted Alejandro de Jesus from the Oaxaca Children’s Forum. This occurred, de Jesus continued, while Silvestre was serving the San Pablo Huitzo parish in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

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Health issues force Cardinal Pell to cancel speaking appearance in US

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

January 28, 2016

Cardinal George Pell, who announced in December that health problems prevented him from traveling to Australia to testify before a commission investigating sexual abuse, has also cancelled a speaking date in January in the United States.

The Australian cardinal, who now serves as prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, was scheduled to appear in Miami this month. But citing a “worsening” heart condition, he said that doctors had advised him against making the trip from Rome.

In December, Cardinal Pell had said that his health would not allow a return to Australian to appear before a royal commission investigating sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. His announcement had met with some skepticism among his critics.

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Maurizio to request new trial at hearing

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

January 29, 2016

By Phil Ray (pray@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson in Johnstown on Thursday ordered a second hearing on a request for a new trial for the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio, the Somerset County priest convicted last September of sexually abusing two Honduran children during his annual visits to the country.

Maurizio was expected to be sentenced Tuesday on charges of sexual abuse, possession of child pornography and money laundering.

Gibson put the sentencing on hold and stated in his order that he will instead hear another request by Altoona attorneys Steven P. Passarello and Daniel Kiss for a new trial based on recently discovered evidence that the prosecution violated federal rules that require it to reveal evidence to the defense that could show the defendant to be innocent.

Passarello, when contacted Thursday afternoon, said he couldn’t talk about the newly discovered evidence but confirmed that a new hearing will be held. Gibson, in early December, dismissed the defense request for a new trial, although he did toss out one of the five guilty verdicts against Maurizio.

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Federal Government announces national approach to compensation for survivors of ‘heinous’ institutional child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By political reporter Anna Henderson

The Federal Government has taken the next step towards compensating victims of institutional child sex abuse by confirming plans to consult with states on a national scheme.

The Coalition has announced consultations on a nationally consistent approach to “redress” victims, in response to the lengthy royal commission process that had been underway since 2013.

The Federal Government has released a statement saying “governments and non-government institutions should take essential responsibility for the wrongs committed under their care”.

Options for redress could include compensation, a personal response and counselling.

The Opposition put forward its own proposal last year for a $20 million contribution to establish a National Redress Agency.

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