ABUSE TRACKER

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

January 29, 2016

Child sex abuse: Australian government to work on national redress scheme

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Friday 29 January 2016

The federal government will work with the state and territory governments to implement and fund a redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse by July next year.

While individual states and territories will be responsible for redress that applies to institutions within their jurisdiction, the federal government will work with the jurisdictions to ensure the redress is consistent across the country, according to a statement from the department of the attorney general, George Brandis.

The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse made its final recommendations for victim compensation through a national redress scheme in September, saying it was essential to ensure justice for survivors of abuse within religious organisations, sporting clubs, schools and other institutions.

The commission said the government should announce its willingness to adopt such a scheme by the end of 2015, but victims had been left waiting.

In a statement released on Friday by Brandis and the social services minister, Christian Porter, the government said it recognised the importance of implementing a national approach to redress “as quickly as possible”.

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

Cautious response to abuse redress plans

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The Catholic Church has given a lukewarm reception to the federal government’s plans for redress schemes for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

Francis Sullivan, CEO of the church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council, welcomed the government’s announcement on Friday that it would work with states and territories to develop a “nationally consistent approach” to paying redress.

However Mr Sullivan said it was “disappointing” that the federal government is not further advanced in its plans, considering it has had recommendations for a redress scheme from the child abuse royal commission for months.

“This is, at best, a tentative start to what has been a very long wait for child sexual abuse survivors,” Mr Sullivan said.

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

Court rejects Todros Grynhaus’s appeal against jail sentence for child sex assaults

UNITED KINGDOM
The JC

Todros Grynhaus, a “dangerous and manipulative” former teacher who abused two teenage girls has had his appeal against his prison sentence thrown out.

Todros Grynhaus, a rabbi’s son and prominent member of the Charedi community in Salford, was jailed for 13 year and two months at Manchester Crown Court last July.

He challenged the sentence at London’s Criminal Appeal Court on Thursday, with his lawyers arguing it was ”far too long”.

But his appeal was thrown out by three senior judges, who said he could not complain given the breach of trust involved in his crimes.

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

Turnbull government to start negotiations on national child abuse redress scheme

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

January 29, 2016

Jane Lee
Legal affairs, health and science reporter

The Turnbull government has agreed to lead a national redress scheme for child sexual abuse survivors but has not committed to contributing any shortfall funding for institutions that cannot pay compensation.

Attorney-General George Brandis and Social Services Minister Christian Porter said in a joint statement on Friday that they would develop a “nationally consistent approach” so that survivors of all institutions would “receive proper redress, irrespective of the location of the institution at the time of the offending or the present status of the offending institution”.

“We will soon commence discussions with the states and territories to carefully work through the many complex issues to achieve an outcome for survivors as soon as possible,” they said, without setting a deadline for negotiations.

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

Victims group claims Catholic clergy abuser list is incomplete

WASHINGTON
KING5

[with video]

Elisa Hahn, KING 5 News January 28, 2016

SEATTLE — Two weeks ago the Seattle Catholic Archdiocese posted a list of 77 clergy members who are deemed by the church to be abusers of children. A victims group claims that predator list is incomplete.

“I’m a Catholic through and through,” said Steve Snider, “but I can’t go to church. I tried.”

Snider still has his faith, but says he has lost his church. He was one of the handful of people standing outside of St James Thursday.

They are all members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, a support group for people who have been sexually abused in religious settings.

“When they’re not being a 100 percent truthful and they’re still trying to hide, it feels like we’re being molested all over again,” said Snider.

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

Police were not alerted to boys’ abuse

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Andrew Drummond
January 29, 2016

Tasmania’s Anglican community was Sue Clayton’s life in the 1980s, but after hearing reports of sexual abuse by a priest and disagreeing with how the church handled the allegations, her world started to crumble.

Confidential revelations in 1987 by two teenage boys that they had been molested prompted the school teacher to arrange a meeting with Bishop Phillip Newell to express her concerns.

She told a royal commission hearing on Friday she had faith the senior clergy would deal with the matter.

“You are to speak to no one about this,” she said she was told by Bishop Newell at the end of the meeting.

“These matters were of a confidential nature.”

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

Upholding mercy without justice paved the way for the abuse crisis

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

by Edward Condon posted Thursday, 28 Jan 2016

In the post-Vatican II Church notions of crime and justice had no place and abusers were labelled as victims

The film Spotlight, which opens in the UK this week, tells the story of the Boston Globe’s work in uncovering the child sex abuse scandal in that city. It has received, both here and in the United States, rave reviews and will, rightly, bring with it a revisiting of the terrible crimes which were committed, and covered up, in Boston, but also in many other dioceses.

For Catholics, this can be an occasion for mixed emotions: on the one hand, everyone shares the rage and revulsion which is the only possible response to the horrific pattern of abuse and denial which played out in so many places. On the other, there is a certain tribal resistance which many of us feel at the wider media broad-brush painting of the Church we love, and of which we have a totally different experience, as a monolithic embodiment of hypocrisy and evil. Neither feeling is unreasonable, nor are they mutually contradictory.

My own attempts to reconcile the two, in part, steered me towards my study of canon law, and penal law in particular. What I expected to learn was that canon law was part of the problem, that it was the mechanism which allowed for the crimes of child abusers to be ignored, excused, and covered up. It was a great relief discovering that the opposite was true; the pattern of abuse and cover up, so especially seen in Boston and Los Angeles, was not a product of canon law, nor even its abuse, but of its flagrant violation. Changes and updates were needed, but, broadly speaking, the law itself was sound and, had it been followed, we would not have seen the pattern of tragedy which we did in many places. But when a law can be ignored with impunity, however internally sound it may be, it cries out for reform.

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

SPEAKING UP ON BEHALF OF KIDS

IOWA
Catholic Globe – Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux City

One of the challenges of leading sessions of Protecting God’s Children for Adults is encouraging people to speak up and take action when observing something that raises concerns. It seems that many people find themselves on one end of the action spectrum. They either think the best thing is to do nothing and take care of their own children without “butting in,” or they become angry and hurl accusations at the one whose behavior raises concerns. Facilitators must encourage people to look carefully at a situation and consider the many possible actions available before taking the one that is appropriate to the circumstances and has the potential to make the biggest impact.

Attendees in our Virtus classes have different reactions when learning about the nature and scope of the problem of child sexual abuse. While parents aren’t the only attendees, some people come to the sessions annoyed that they have to be there. They feel they are doing all that can be done to protect their own children or the children in their purview. Most people are shocked to discover what it takes to create a safe environment for our children.

In our Virtus sessions, we work with participants to identify the potentially risky adult behaviors that indicate a person is a possible risk to children. We clarify those behaviors and talk about how they show up in real situations around us daily. When we discuss communicating our concerns, we invite them to consider that what may happen when we see these behaviors. Sometimes people gossip about the person or persons whose behavior gives concern. Sometimes people react fearfully and convince themselves that what they saw was probably innocent, that it couldn’t really be a warning sign.

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

The best film you’ll see ALL year: Exquisitely acted, this thriller about reporters exposing abuse by priests is unmissable, says BRIAN VINER

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Spotlight
Rating: *****
Verdict: Troubling but superb

Judging films, as everyone knows, is a highly subjective business. One person’s unmissable is another’s unwatchable. But with three five-star assessments dished out here in recent weeks (The Revenant, Room and now Spotlight), it seems timely to consider what, from where I’m sitting, makes a film deserving of the full caboodle of stars.

It should surely be one of two things — a film you absolutely have to see, or one that is unimprovable. Only rarely does a movie come along that fulfils both those criteria, but I think Spotlight does.

It tells a seismically important and troubling story with such integrity, such a lack of showiness on the part of the actors and their director, Tom McCarthy, that it would unequivocally get my vote, if only I had one, for Best Picture at next month’s Academy Awards. In both tone and theme, it is strongly reminiscent of 1976 film All The President’s Men: a true story of investigative reporters doggedly uncovering a scandal. But this scandal is far more shocking even than the Watergate conspiracy.

In 2002, the Boston Globe exposed the long, systematic concealment by the Catholic Church of the sexual abuse of children by almost 100 priests in the area.

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

Spotlight shines with great power

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Mark Naglazas
January 29, 2016

Spotlight (M)
4.5 stars
Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams
Director Tom McCarthy

Review Mark Naglazas

The newspaper picture is one of Hollywood’s richest sub-genres, yielding great comedies and satires (His Girl Friday, Broadcast News), sour dissections of the profession (Ace in the Hole, The Sweet Smell of Success) and several flat-out masterpieces (Citizen Kane, Network).

However, not even the greatest of all movies about newspapers, All the President’s Men, has been so devoted to capturing the unglamorous grind of investigative journalism as Spotlight, which tells the true story of the Boston’s Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-wining expose of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Indeed, co-writer and director Tom McCarthy (The Visitor) was so intent on recreating the hard slog of putting together a great story – the hours wading through documents, the struggle to get witnesses to talk, the butting up against legal barriers – he risked boring the audience.

It was a risk worth taking as McCarthy and his remarkable ensemble cast have made the slow-drip gathering of facts as gripping as any jacked-up Hollywood thriller, reminding us that truth is always stranger and more compelling than fiction.

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

Bishop in court for sexual assault

ZIMBABWE
Manica Post

Abel Zhakata Senior Reporter

HOLY 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 which are in possession of this paper, 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.

“The accused person told the complainant that he wanted to pray for her. The girl knelt down and the bishop started praying while holding the complainant’s head. He went further to fondle the complainant’s breast and licked her ears without her consent,” read the papers.

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

German play about sex abuse at school stirs up real-life memories

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

No one wants to be a victim, but boys in Germany were sexually abused in Catholic schools. Now a new play examines their struggles as adults – and comes painfully close to reality.

One after the other, the actors enter the dark stage and sit on chairs arranged in a half-circle. Thomas Melle’s play, “Bilder von uns” (Pictures of us) begins by separating the individuals from each other – and that is not a coincidence.

“No one is the only one,” a victim will later say, “But each one is alone with their memories.”

These are memories of the unspeakable: the abuse of a priest, who inappropriately touches the children in his care in the shower and sauna, who takes nude pictures of them, and even forces them to engage in sexual conduct. All of these things happened many years ago, in a school.
Since then, time has passed. But one day, a photo turns up.

Jesko is a 40-year-old media manager who is successful in his job and happily married. He discovers the photograph on his mobile phone. It’s a picture of him, naked, as a young boy. He continues to receive similar photographs. Is someone trying to blackmail him?

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

Vatican officials ‘ASHAMED to tell people’ where they work. LOL Isn’t the Vatican the center or Mecca of Roman Catholicism where millions of Catholics go for pilgrimages?

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

LOL a Vatican official and not just any low ranking priest, Archbishop Angelo Becciu in an interview, said that Vatican officials and employees are ‘ashamed to tell people’ where they work especially with the recent two books by the Vatileaks Italian journalists on the Vatican Avarice and the Merchants in the Temple – in allusion to the merchants in the Temple of Solomon – whose tables Jesus overturned in anger as he said, “It is written: ‘My house is the house of prayer’, but you have made it a den of robbers.’”. LOL no wonder Pope Francis has even hired a comedian, an Oscar winning actor as his official spokesperson for his new book, The Name of God is Mercy, because people will listen more to a Hollywood actor than to a priest.

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

Spotlight shines story of the hacks who took on Catholic Church and won

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Multi-Oscar nominated movie Spotlight brings the Boston Globe’s shocking expose of the Catholic Church’s abuse cover-up to the big screen. Susan Griffin talks to the film’s director, cast and the real-life journalists they portray, about tackling such sensitive subject matter.

In the summer of 2001, Marty Baron began his first day in charge of the Boston Globe. Within hours, he’d asked the boss of the paper’s investigative team, Spotlight, to look closer into a column about a local priest accused of sexually abusing dozens of young parishioners over a three-decade period.

Cut to January 2002, and despite staunch resistance from church officials, the journalists, including editor Walter ‘Robby’ Robinson, reporters Sacha Pfeiffer and Michael Rezendes and researcher Matt Carroll, shook the world by exposing the Catholic Church’s systematic cover-up of paedophilia perpetrated by more than 70 local priests in the city.

Now a film, entitled Spotlight – which has been nominated for six Oscars, three Golden Globes and three Baftas – tells how the team conferred with the victims’ lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, interviewed the adult survivors and pursued the release of sealed court records to uncover the truth.

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

January 28, 2016

Paedophile suspected Anglican Church friend ‘in cahoots’ with other offenders

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Emilie Gramenz

A former Anglican rector and convicted paedophile has said he suspected a church friend was “in cahoots” with other offenders sexually abusing boys around Australia.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been examining the Anglican Church and its youth group, the Church of England Boys Society (CEBS), at a public hearing in Hobart.

Former rector Garth Hawkins, who changed his name to Robin Goodfellow, was convicted in 2003 for sexually abusing seven boys as he moved between Tasmanian parishes in the 1970s and ’80s.

The commission is investigating the possibility of a multi-state paedophile ring operating in CEBS over about 40 years.

In his evidence, Hawkins was asked if he believed his friend and fellow offender Louis Daniels, the former Archdeacon of Burnie, could have been involved in a paedophile ring.

Hawkins responded: “No.”

Counsel assisting Naomi Sharp then asked: “Did you ever suspect that Mr Daniels was in cahoots with anyone in relation to his sexual abuse of boys around Australia?”

Hawkins paused before answering: “I think he probably was, yes.”

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

Ex-Charlottesville youth pastor to serve 30 days for sexual abuse

VIRGINIA
Daily Progress

Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2016

By Dean Seal

A former youth pastor at a Charlottesville church has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a teenager in his care and will spend 30 days behind bars.

Jacob Daniel Kepple was arrested in December 2014 on two charges of taking indecent liberties with a child. The 36-year-old appeared in Charlottesville Circuit Court on Thursday to plead guilty to one of those charges as part of a plea agreement with the prosecution, which dropped his second charge.

The prosecution said in court that between 2009 and 2011, while Kepple was a youth minister at First Baptist Church on Park Street, he spent increasing amounts of one-on-one time with a high school sophomore who attended First Baptist that grew increasingly inappropriate, though the two never engaged in sexual activity.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Killeen said that over time, Kepple began hugging the victim for long periods of time, grabbing the victim’s buttocks and putting his hands down her shirt, though all contact was over the victim’s clothing.

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

Judge signs off on Minnesota archdiocesan matters

MINNESOTA
Grand Forks Herald

By St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL — A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a proposed property sale and a landmark settlement agreement submitted by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The archdiocese sought the court’s approval for the potential sale of its chancery property. A $2.75 million bid was made by United Properties Development LLC (a Pohlad family company), but the archdiocese has said it expects more bids. More bids will be accepted until March 18, and a final sale will be approved by the court March 31.

The chancery sits across the street from the Cathedral of St. Paul and houses archdiocesan offices and the archbishop’s residence.

The court was also asked to approve a settlement agreement reached last month between the archdiocese and the Ramsey County attorney’s office. The agreement, which settles a civil lawsuit filed by the county attorney’s office, will require the archdiocese to implement more child protection protocols, subject to government oversight.

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

Reveal abuse, Archbishop says as film on clerical sex crime cover-up goes global

MALTA
Times of Malta

Thursday, January 28, 2016by Sarah Carabott

Empowering victims of abuse would help prevent future crimes, Archbishop Charles Scicluna said yesterday in reaction to the release of a film about the cover-up of clerical abuse in Boston.

The lessons learnt by the Church should help others in the clampdown on sexual abuse, Mgr Scicluna said when asked for a comment about Spotlight, which is tipped for Oscar success.

The film, which started being screened in Maltese cinemas yesterday, tells the story of the 2002 investigation by the Boston Globe into the cover-up of clerical abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston.

The scandal had shaken the Catholic Church to its core and pushed the issue of sexual abuse of children into the limelight. The newspaper’s coverage had encouraged other victims to come forward.

“Disclosure of abuse is the best service that one can render the Church and society, because only the truth will set us free. The empowerment of victims should be at the heart of every effort to address past crimes and help prevent ­­­future ones,” the Archbishop said.

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

Disheartened Diocese Provides Multi-Page Response to Allegations Made by Fr. Gallagher

FLORIDA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach

By: DPB Office of Communications
Date: January 28, 2016

The Diocese of Palm Beach is posting this response to our website for those who wish to read the truth and a more detailed response than what the media is printing or airing in regards to the allegations made against the diocese by Father John Gallagher.

“The Diocese of Palm Beach is deeply disheartened and troubled by the allegations of Father John Gallagher against the Diocese of Palm Beach. Our diocese can no longer stand by in relative silence when we know the allegations are a complete inaccurate representation of the facts. Though we have released our statements stating how the Diocese of Palm Beach proactively and appropriately responded to the incident with Father Palimattom and stated Father Gallagher’s reassignment was not related to that particular incident, we are compelled by the manner in which the media is presenting this case to speak out further to be certain all sides and facts of this story are known. We feel it is especially important that this information is made available to the community and in particular to our faith congregations.

The Diocese of Palm Beach acted in a prompt, thorough, and cooperative manner in regard to Father Palimattom. Father Gallagher was not in any way demoted or removed because of the incident. He was not named as pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Church for a number of reasons not related to the incident involving Father Palimattom. He was given a new assignment with all the reasons explained to him. Access to his residence was never denied him, nor was he refused sacraments. At his request, he was placed on leave and continues to receive salary, health insurance and benefits.

The policy of the Diocese of Palm Beach in regard to allegations of sexual abuse is to follow the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, established in June 2002. The Charter is a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy or other Church personnel. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. The Charter and Diocesan policies and procedures can be found on our website at www.diocesepb.org/safe-environments.

Additionally, our diocese has a set of Reporting Procedures for Allegations of Sexual Abuse Against Minors. These guidelines are given to all priests, religious, employees and volunteers.

Father Gallagher alleges the Diocese of Palm Beach ignored these guidelines when in fact we know the Administration Offices of the Diocese did follow those procedures and our records show Father Gallagher did not.

Our Reporting Guidelines (in three languages: English, Spanish and Creole) are available on our website, in our Employee Handbooks and we require all the Churches and schools in our diocese to post these guidelines in several public places at their facilities. We would like to now go through the steps with you in response to the recent published allegations.

REPORTING PROCEDURES FOR ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS and VULNERABLE ADULTS

STEP 1 The person receiving the allegation immediately makes an oral report to 1-800-96ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). Notes should be taken including names, dates, and times, and a log should be kept of all telephone calls made.

STEP 2 The person receiving the allegation makes an oral report to the Chancellor of the Diocese of Palm Beach at 561-775-9507, (cell 561-373-7990) who reports it to the bishop and diocesan attorney.

STEP 3 The diocesan attorney reports the allegation to the state attorney.

STEP 4 The person receiving the allegation informs the school principal, pastor or the appropriate immediate authority.

STEP 5 The person receiving the allegation sends a written report to the Department of Children and Families within 48 hours. Instructions regarding information to be included in this report are available from your entity’s pastor, principal, or administrator or the Chancellor’s office

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

‘Disapointed’ diocese issues lengthy defense to whistleblower’s claims

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

For the second time this week, the Diocese of Palm Beach issued a powerful rejection of claims made by a priest that he had been “frozen out” of the church after informing authorities that a colleague showed pornographic material to a minor.

Widening its defense against the assertions of Father John Gallagher, the Palm Beach Gardens-based diocese on Thursday defended its record in reporting and combating sexual abuse by priests since 2002, when the second bishop in four years departed over a sex scandal.

Bishop Gerald Barbarito, of the Diocese of Palm Beach, leads the St. Edward Catholic Church consecration in January 2015. Assisting him during the sprinkling rite is Deacon Martin Serraes.

“As a Catholic Church, we apologize for the grave harm that has been inflicted on any victims by clergy or church personnel. Words alone cannot express our sorrow, shame and disappointment for the past,” the statement said. “The church is indebted to victims of abuse who have come forward. Their witness has allowed the healing process to begin and has made the church safer for all families.”

Citing a national training program, the diocese said since 2002 it has had 30,000 clergy, religious and lay people complete the “Protecting God’s Children” workshop and said it put the same number through background screening.

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

Bankruptcy judge OKs plan to sell Twin Cities archdiocese chancery

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan Jan 28, 2016

A federal bankruptcy judge told the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Thursday that it can proceed with efforts to sell the church’s Summit Avenue chancery.

Minneapolis-based United Properties, which is owned by the Pohlad family, has offered $2.75 million for the chancery, but the archdiocese expects there’ll be higher bids. Ramsey County estimates the market value of the property to be $6.3 million. Other parties have until March 18 to make offers.

Current zoning allows low-density residential projects, such as single-family homes. It’s expected the sloping chancery property could accommodate a five-story building without blocking views of the nearby Cathedral of St. Paul. There is a 1.5 acre parcel of adjacent city-owned land that could be included in a project.

Any proposed project for the nearly 4-acre site would be subject to zoning review and the scrutiny of neighbors. The sale of the chancery property is subject to court review.

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

March 18 deadline set for final bids on St. Paul chancery

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JANUARY 28, 2016

Potential buyers of the Twin Cities archbishop’s home and office have until March 18 to make an offer, under procedures approved by a bankruptcy court judge Thursday.

Prime real estate owned by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has seen renewed interest in recent weeks from prospective bidders, from groups ranging from housing to office developers, said real estate broker Paul Donovan.

“There’s strong interest,” said Donovan, who attended the court hearing. “The potential uses [of the property] explored have been creative, from re-purposing the offices to a complete redevelopment.”

The Summit Avenue chancery, across from the St. Paul Cathedral, is among those being sold by the archdiocese to pay off creditors. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy last January, following a flood of clergy abuse claims.

The court approved a $2.75 million purchase agreement with United Properties Development earlier this month, which drew criticism for being too low. The chancery property was valued at $6.3 million “based upon the Archdiocese’s review of Ramsey County public records,” according to court documents.

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

Activist priest faces abuse allegations

NEW YORK
Riverdale Press

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted 1/28/16

Father Richard Gorman has resigned as chairman of nearby Community Board 12 and been suspended from working as a priest following allegations he sexually abused minors about 30 years ago.

While he is denying the charges, he stepped down as chairman and as a board member of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts following a Jan. 21 announcement from the Archdiocese of New York.It 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 did not contain any details of the claims, but referred people “with information or concerns” about Fr. Gorman to the Westchester District Attorney’s Office.

Fr. Gorman referred inquires to his lawyer Murray Richmond, who said the allegations are completely false.

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

History Of Abuse By Catholic Clergy Still Felt In Native Communities

UNITED STATES
KUOW

[with audio]

By PERSON: BILL RADKE & ALLIE FERGUSON

The Seattle Archdiocese recently released 77 names of clergy accused of child sexual abuse, including priests who worked on reservation land.

The Catholic Church has had a presence on Indian reservations since the 1800s. Their missionary work was intertwined with early U.S. government policy towards native Americans.

Attorney Vito de la Cruz represents many victims of abuse by Catholic clergy in the Northwest, particularly Native American victims, who he says were particularly vulnerable to this abuse.

“The history of this country has promoted the stripping of natives of all of the things that are important to them, including their religion and faith,” De La Cruz said. “And that was done with the complicity and the participation of the Catholic Church and other religions as well.

“It is a profound trauma.”

According to de la Cruz, the Catholic Church often moved priests and nuns with a history of abuse to native lands because of its remoteness and isolation. “It did nothing but exacerbate the problem because It created a whole new pool of victims for those people to abuse,” he said.

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

Blogger concerned about controversial pastor’s SBC ties

UNITED STATES
Baptist News

By Bob Allen

An Alabama Baptist pastor says Southern Baptists should be concerned about a new magazine expose alleging child sex abuse and cover-up in a church formerly led by a pastor with close ties to the denomination’s leaders.

Rick Patrick, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Sylacauga, Ala., described a story in the February issue of the Washingtonian titled the “The Fall of a Mega Church” as “heartbreaking” in a comment on SBC Today, a blog he publishes in his capacity as executive director of Connect316, a group of pastors formed to counter the growing influence of Calvinism in the nation’s second-largest faith group.

SBC Today reprinted a blog by Brent Detwiler, a one-time colleague of Sovereign Grace Ministries founder C.J. Mahaney who for the past three years worked with victims, child abuse experts, lawyers and law enforcement in pursuit of a book detailing what media have called the largest evangelical sexual abuse scandal to date.

Apart from cover-up allegations detained by Detwiler, Patrick said for Southern Baptists there is a separate concern: “namely, that we have been forming an ever closer alliance with Sovereign Grace Ministries and C. J. Mahaney over the past several years.”

The Wartburg Watch, another blog that monitors SBC issues, reported last September that Mahaney’s current church, Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville, Ky., had recently affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville added a sentence to its “about us” webpage noting that in addition to association with Sovereign Grace Ministries it “also partners with the Southern Baptist Convention for the purposes of training and gospel mission.”

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Child abuse survivor’s complaint over RTÉ News report rejected

IRELAND
Irish Times

Colin Gleeson

A complaint by a survivor of clerical child sexual abuse in relation to how he was presented in an RTÉ News bulletin on a meeting he held with Pope Francis has been rejected by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Mark Vincent Healy met with Pope Francis in 2014 to discuss an ESRI report on the economic impact of abuse on the lives of survivors in terms of household income and labour force attachment.

Mr Healy claimed he was presented as “a lonely single aging man” in his private life, in news bulletins on RTÉ One at 1pm and 9pm on August 15th, 2014.

He said he had not engaged with the broadcaster to speak about his personal life or circumstances, but as a campaigner seeking services which he said were “badly needed” for survivors of clerical child sexual abuse.

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Cardinal George Pell’s appearance at royal commission in doubt due to poor health

AUSTRALIA
The Age

January 29, 2016

Aisha Dow

There remain doubts over whether Cardinal George Pell will return to Australia next month to give testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, after he failed to travel to the United States this week for a speaking engagement.

Australia’s highest-profile Catholic, who is based in Rome where he manages the Vatican’s finances, previously cancelled a planned trip to Melbourne in December to give evidence to the commission due to a “worsening” heart condition.

His testimony on how he responded to child abuse allegations as a priest in Ballarat and as the Archbishop of Melbourne was delayed until February this year, when a third public hearing into Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat is due to begin.

However, even church officials are unsure whether the 74-year-old will be able to return from Europe.

Communications director for the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, Katrina Lee, said she had received no update on Cardinal Pell’s current health condition and did not know if flights had been booked for his return to Australia.

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‘Hold court hearings in Leifer’s home’

AUSTRALIA/ISRAEL
Australian Jewish News

Israeli judges are being urged to kickstart proceedings to extradite alleged sexual abuser Malka Leifer to Australia by setting up a courtroom in her home.

Australian authorities are attempting to bring the former head teacher of the Adass Israel School back to the country to face charges of assaulting a number of students. In all, Leifer is wanted in connection with 74 counts of assault. She fled to Israel in March 2008 after claims she molested students became public.

Leifer was arrested to face extradition proceedings some 18 months ago. But attempts to extradite her are proving fruitless, as she misses extradition hearings on health grounds, claiming she suffers psychotic episodes ahead of court appearances. It has been reported that mental health experts have confirmed her panic attacks are genuine.

“To date, due to Ms Leifer’s absence from the hearings, the case has yet to progress past the initial stages,” Noam Sharvit, spokesman for Israel’s Justice Ministry, told The AJN.

The Israel National Council for the Child is now saying that if Leifer is not able to go to court, judges should get the extradition hearing moving by going to her Bnei Brak home. “Go to her instead of [conducting proceedings] in the courtroom, which is obviously too much for her,” Elizabeth Levy, the organisation’s international relations director, told The AJN.

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O CASO SPOTLIGHT: FILME REVELA ESCÂNDALO SEXUAL NA IGREJA CATÓLICA

PORTUGAL
Blasting News

Estreia hoje nos cinemas o filme “O Caso Spotlight”, um filme baseado em fatos reais, que gira em torno de uma equipe de jornalistas de Boston e da sua investigação, reunindo provas de abuso de crianças por parte de dezenas de padres católicos. O que começou com uma investigação jornalística terminou com uma reportagem premiada e que agora chega aos cinemas.

Durante décadas, os lideres religiosos ocultaram os casos de abuso sexual transferindo os padres de região em região. Contudo, uma equipa do Boston Globe iniciou uma investigação jornalística, decidida a dar a conhecer a verdade e a levar os responsáveis a tribunal. Envolvendo vítimas e arquivos, contrapõe testemunhos e esbarra no sigilo da Igreja.

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Betroffenenrat begrüßt nationale Aufarbeitungskommission und fordert unabhängige Ermittlungen im Bistum Hildesheim

DEUTSCHLAND
Betroffenenrat

[The Betroffenenrat welcomes the national work-up on sexual abuse and calls for an independent investigation of the Hildesheim diocese.]

28.01.2016

Der Betroffenenrat begrüßt, dass die lange geforderte unabhängige nationale Aufarbeitungskommission Kindesmissbrauch jetzt an den Start geht. Dies ist eine historische Chance!

Zugleich bedauern wir die eingeschränkte finanzielle Ausstattung der Kommission und hätten eine gesetzliche Grundlage begrüßt. Anpassungen, auch bei der Laufzeit der Kommissionsarbeit, sollten in der Zukunft vorgenommen werden. Entscheidend ist jedoch, dass es jetzt losgeht!

Vorgänge im Bistum Hildesheim – Berichterstattung von ARD und WDR

Die jüngst im Bistum Hildesheim bekannt gewordenen sexuellen Gewalttaten zeigen beispielhaft, wie sehr mangelnde gesetzliche Grundlagen gerade im kirchlich- institutionellen Bereich immer wieder zu Lasten der Opfer gehen. Täter_innen dagegen werden geschützt, jahrzehntelang!

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Bistum lässt Umgang mit dem Fall Peter R. untersuchen

DEUTSCHLAND
Bistum Hildesheim

[An independent expert will investigate how the Hildesheim diocese handled allegations of sexual abuse made against Father Peter R.]

Gutachter soll auch klären, ob es weitere Fälle sexuellen Missbrauchs durch R. gab

Das Bistum Hildesheim wird den Umgang mit den Vorwürfen des sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger durch den ehemaligen Pfarrer Peter R. in der Diözese von einem unabhängigen Gutachter untersuchen lassen.

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‘We didn’t share boys’

AUSTRALIA
The Advocate

By ADAM LANGENBERG
Jan. 28, 2016

TWO convicted child sex offenders told a royal commission they denied sharing boys or that there was a paedophile ring inside the Anglican Church.

Former Anglican priests Garth Hawkins and Louis Daniels told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse they did not discuss their predilection for young boys with other priests.

Former Burnie Archdeacon Daniels, who has been convicted of sexual offences against 11 boys, said he had suspected some priests were attracted to young men or had behaved inappropriately, but didn’t see or hear anything to substantiate it.

Hawkins, who was convicted of sexual abuse against seven boys, said he was “absolutely not” involved in sharing of boys with other priests, and did not tell other priests about particularly vulnerable boys.

He legally changed his name to Robin Goodfellow in 2009.

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Aspinall ‘cajoled’ boy: inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
Mercury

PATRICK BILLINGS
Police Reporter
Mercury

MORE damning evidence has been levelled at Brisbane’s ­incumbent Archbishop, with a paedophile priest claiming ­Phillip Aspinall “cajoled” a ­victim to sleep with him at his East Coast rectory.

Serial child abuser and ­former Anglican priest Garth Hawkins, who has changed his name to Robin Goodfellow, appeared at the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sex Abuse in Hobart yesterday.

“He was cajoled or teased by Phillip Aspinall and the other boys into joining me in my bed,” Hawkins said.

“I think he might have mentioned it when he came into my room … ‘the others had sent me in there’.”

On Wednesday, the victim said Archbishop Aspinall “put me in that bed” by “volunteering him to Hawkins”.

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Three priests assigned to Mercer Island abused children over decades

WASHINGTON
Mercer Island Reporter

Allison DeAngelis
Reporter Newspapers

Three priests who served in Mercer Island and were accused of sexually abusing children over nearly three decades were among the names on a list recently released by the Archdiocese of Seattle as part of their self-proclaimed commitment to transparency.

“This is an ongoing effort for us. The disclosure of this list was determined to be a step that would contribute to our accountability and transparency,” said Greg Magnoni, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Seattle.

But some say the list is too little, too late.

“At least the archdiocese, ostensibly, released the list in an effort to be transparent. But it raises the questions of why now and why did it take so long to release this?” said Seattle attorney Michael Pfau, who has represented over 150 plaintiffs in cases of sexual abuse by priests, including many on the Eastside.

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Hundreds welcome priest cleared of sex abuse back to chapel

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

Hundreds of people packed into St Bride’s Parish Church this morning (Thursday) to welcome back Father Paul Morton – their parish priest and friend wrongly accused of sex abuse.

Father Morton was last April cleared of any wrongdoing by the police after an eight-month investigation into the alleged historic offences.

But the priest, who has been at the helm of the Cambuslang chapel for 15 years, was subject to a further investigation by the Catholic Church.

Concluded in December, it also vindicated the East Kilbride native of any wrongdoing.

Following a petition calling for Father Morton’s speedy return to St Bride’s, the priest took to the alter to celebrate the Feast of St Thomas Aquinas.

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“Das System Regensburg”

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

[The Regensburg System]

Warum wird das Ausmaß der Gewalt und des Missbrauchs bei den Domspatzen erst jetzt bekannt? Ein Gespräch mit dem ehemaligen Diözesanrat Fritz Wallner

Interview: Evelyn Finger
28. Januar 2016

DIE ZEIT: Herr Wallner, Sie kennen das Bistum Regensburg gut: 22 Jahre gehörten Sie dem Diözesanrat an, einem katholischen Laiengremium, das dem Bischof beigeordnet war. Jetzt fordern Sie den Rücktritt des Generalvikars Michael Fuchs. Warum?

FRITZ WALLNER
ist Vize-Vorsitzender der katholischen Organisation “Laienverantwortung Regensburg”.

Fritz Wallner: Weil die Bistumsleitung schon lange gewusst oder zumindest geahnt haben muss, dass die Zahl der Gewalttaten gegen Domspatzen eklatant war und damit auch die Zahl der Täter. Trotzdem wurde immer wieder so getan, als handele es sich um Einzelfälle. Vor fast sechs Jahren versprach der damalige Bischof Gerhard Ludwig Müller: Was in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten durch einzelne Erzieher, Lehrer und Bedienstete den Chorknaben angetan wurde, muss lückenlos aufgeklärt werden. Doch dann wurde die Aufklärung verschleppt, auf Anzeigen nicht reagiert. Erst in den letzten acht Monaten hat der Sonderermittler Ulrich Weber einen Großteil der Fälle zusammengetragen: Es sind ungefähr dreimal so viele wie bislang behauptet.

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CONVICTED PEDOPHILE MENDEL TEVEL RELEASED FROM JAIL

NEW YORK/CALIFORNIA
Jewish Community Watch

Posted on January 27, 2016

Menachem Tewel, 32, commonly known as Mendel Tevel, was released from prison today on good behavior after serving less than seven months of a one year sentence.

Tevel was arrested in Beverly Hills, Calif. and extradited to Brooklyn, New York in October 2013 after a warrant was issued for his arrest for several counts of criminal sex acts with minors. In April of 2015, Tevel agreed to a plea bargain with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, stipulating he plead guilty to only two counts for criminal sexual acts in the third degree, which under New York penal law constitutes anal or oral sex with a minor under the age of 17 while the defendant is over the age of 21. The Kings County court sentenced him to a one-year imprisonment term on June 8 2015.

As a result of the conviction, Tevel is required to register as a sex offender within 10 days of his release. In the event that he returns to California, he will be required to register there as well.

Tevel’s victims ranged from ages 6 to 14 years old. The abuse occurred over the span of nearly a decade. At the time of the arrest in Beverly Hills, Tevel was working in close proximity with children at the JEM Community Center. Tevel’s father-in-law, Rabbi Hertzel Illulian, is the founder and director of the JEM Center.

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‘Spotlight’ producer joins The Center for Investigative Reporting’s board

UNITED STATES
Reveal: The Center for Investigative Reporting

For information or interviews, contact:
Meghann Farnsworth, Managing Director, Distribution, Operations and Engagement, mfarnsworth@cironline.org

EMERYVILLE, Calif. – Blye Faust, producer of the Oscar-nominated film “Spotlight,” has joined the board of directors of The Center for Investigative Reporting.

CIR Executive Board Chairman Phil Bronstein announced Faust’s appointment as “Spotlight” had just won best picture at the 2016 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and been nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture.

Founded in 1977, CIR is the nation’s first independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization dedicated to public service journalism. CIR empowers the public through groundbreaking investigative storytelling that sparks action, improves and saves lives, and protects our democracy. CIR reports expose injustices and failures of accountability and lead to new legislation, policy reforms, criminal investigations, grassroots organizing, changes in the public conversation and more. In a media world where speed, competition and the chase for digital clicks define success, CIR prioritizes the public’s need to know and has been on the cutting edge of the shift in where and how news is delivered.

Faust’s appointment coincides with the launch of “Reveal,” from CIR and PRX (Public Radio Exchange), the nation’s first weekly public radio show and podcast to highlight the value and impact of journalism in the public interest. It also comes as CIR is creating its new documentary unit, Reveal Films, to build on its successful history of producing award-winning documentary films, new digital platforms and a growing public appetite for deeply told true stories.

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Cardinal George Pell too ill to fly to US a week before Ballarat decision

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By Alex Hamer
Jan. 28, 2016

Cardinal George Pell is still too ill to fly, according to reports.

The former Ballarat priest said he could not appear in December hearings in Melbourne of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse because of his health.

This health update puts his February appearance at the Royal Commission in doubt.

The December sessions heard from Ballarat victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests, and Cardinal Pell, now the Vatican’s top money man, was to appear and give evidence on his time in the diocese.

His lawyers’ request to appear via video link, which he will do for the US appearance he has just cancelled, was refused by the Royal Commission.

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Acusan a Francisco de encubrir a pederastas

MEXICO
Tabasco Hoy

[Former priest Alberto Athie said sexual abuse by clergy is still a problem and Pope Francis has not taken concrete steps to stop it.]

Virgilio Sánchez
Agencia Reforma

El ex sacerdote Alberto Athié afirmó que el Papa Francisco combate la pederastia sólo en el discurso, pues mantiene el modelo de protección a los sacerdotes que han cometido abusos sexuales contra los niños.

“La realidad de la pederastia sigue vigente con Francisco y corresponde a él acabar, de él depende que esto termine o no, si él no lo hace, la pederastia continuará y él continuará siendo responsable de esa pederastia”, dijo en su visita a Oaxaca.

El activista señaló que Francisco tiene excelentes discursos sobre este abuso cometido a niños en todo el mundo, que nadie cuestiona, pero que no se han traducido en acciones.

Expuso que el tribunal que creó en el Vaticano para sancionar los abusos de todo tipo cometidos por sacerdotes está dentro de la estructura de la Congregación de la Doctrina de la Fe; que es la misma que en el pasado dejó pasar los casos de pederastia.

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Four ID themselves as survivors of sexual abuse

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Two men and two women who have filed lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe each took the podium at a public “rally for survivors” event Wednesday to drop their anonymity and identify themselves as survivors of sexual abuse by priests.

The four, identified in lawsuits as John or Jane Does, told about 100 people that they were abused as children by priests, and described their later battles with guilt, shame and substance abuse. The disclosures followed those in December of two men who are suing the archdiocese.

“For me, I find this is a way to shed the guilt and shame I carried around for 40 years,” said John Lund, 54, who contends he was repeatedly raped by Clive Lynn in the early 1970s when Lynn pastored St. Therese of the Infant Jesus Parish in Albuquerque.

Lynn later served in churches in Mora and Raton before the archdiocese removed him from ministry in 1985. Church officials said Lynn had later moved to Great Britain, according to news reports.

“This man was my best friend, my father figure, my hero,” Lund said in a reception room at the Albuquerque Museum. “I was from a fractured home and I didn’t have that in my life. He exploited that.”

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A worthy film that just doesn’t fly: Spotlight reviewed

UNITED KINGDOM
Spectator

Deborah Ross

Like The Revenant and The Big Short, Spotlight is yet another Oscar contender ‘based on true events’ — although it has now been suggested that The Revenant was 99.7 per cent made up. (Does this matter? Only, I suppose, in the sense that you should know what you’re watching.) But we’re on firm ground with Spotlight, where the events — the Boston Globe’s uncovering of systemic child abuse by Catholic priests in Massachusetts — are a matter of record, although how you make a film about something so awful, I don’t know.

Personally, I wanted the film to give it to the Church with both barrels, and let rip with fury, but it’s too restrained for that. Instead, what we have is conscientiously dogged, as well as somewhat repetitive, driving the same points home over and over. Indeed, if I’d had £1 for every time the script employed the phrase ‘But this is the Church we’re talking about!’, it would have been an odd way to make money, but I’d have come away quite well off all the same.

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Rally against local Bishop

NEBRASKA
KLKN

[with video]

Posted by: Laurann Robinson
lrobinson@klkntv.com

“Bishop Finn needs to be defrocked, demoted and disciplined,” said Judy Jones with the group SNAP, which stands for Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests.

Some want a bishop in Lincoln to be removed from the church.

In 2012, Bishop Robert Finn was found guilty of failing to report suspected child abuse.

And now that he’s relocated to minister here in Lincoln, some residents want him out of the church, completely.

Jones adds, “we are here today to hand–deliver a letter to Bishop Conley, begging him to reverse his decision to have Bishop Finn minister in the diocese.”

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State Law ‘Murky’ On Reporting Sexual Abuse

RHODE ISLAND
Rhode Island Public Radio

[with audio]

Alumni from St. George’s School in Middletown have accused the school of breaking the law by failing to report allegations of sexual abuse spanning decades. But as Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison reports, there’s more ambiguity in state law than you might think, and it may have contributed to the school’s failure to report the abuse.

It sounds obvious that a school should report allegations of sexual abuse right away. But when the alleged abuser is a teacher or another school employee, the reality is that doesn’t always happen.

“Most instances where these allegations come to light, the perpetrator is in denial or fabricating excuses. It’s rare that an administrator is given a clear-cut case,” said Tim Conlon, an attorney who has handled many cases of sexual abuse involving schools and the Catholic Church.

According to Conlon, institutions like a church or a school generally want to avoid controversy, and parents may seek to shield their children from further trauma.

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NSW child abuse compensation claims statute of limitations should be lifted, survivors better supported, Greens MP says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By the National Reporting Team’s Natasha Robinson and Rebecca Armitage

The NSW Government is under pressure to act immediately to introduce legislation to lift the statute of limitations that bars victims of abuse in institutional care from pursuing civil compensation cases.

Government says scheme designed for those who cannot seek payment through courts
The call came as the NSW Government reached legal settlements with women who were abused as girls at the Parramatta Girls Training School.

The ABC understands that the State Government has reached a legal settlement with about 15 women who sued the state after suffering abuse at the Parramatta institution, which housed teenage girls between 1950 and 1974.

The home, also known as the Parramatta Girls Home, was the subject of a hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2014.

At that time, it was revealed that a number of women had tried to pursue civil claims against the state for abuse including bashings and rapes suffered at the notoriously brutal Parramatta Girls Home.

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Royal commission hears Anglican clergy ‘shared secret understanding of attraction to boys’

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Wednesday 27 January 2016

Senior Anglican clergy shared a secret understanding of each other’s attraction to young boys, a royal commission has been told.

The inquiry into the Church of England Boys’ Society being held in Hobart heard evidence on Thursday from the convicted child sexual offender Louis Daniels, 68, a former archdeacon who was one of Tasmania’s top-four church leaders in the early 1990s.

Daniels has since been jailed for pleading guilty to abusing 12 boys.

He was asked about his interaction with fellow former clergy and lay men Garth Hawkins, Robert Brandenburg, Simon Jacobs and John Elliot, all of whom have each faced abuse allegations.

“We would sort of reach the point of acknowledging a mutual gayness but there was a point which you didn’t go past,” Daniels said. “There is a whole secrecy kind of context that’s built into the whole situation.”

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Pohlad company bids on archdiocese chancery property

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By ELIZABETH MOHR | emohr@pioneerpress.com
January 28, 2016

Two more for-sale properties of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have bidders, including a development company owned by the Pohlad family, which has a history of supporting local Catholic organizations.

The Pohlad company, United Properties Development LLC, has offered $2.75 million for the chancery building, across the street from the St. Paul Cathedral, which houses archdiocese offices and the archbishop’s residence.

In a separate proposed purchase, a buyer has offered $365,000 for the archdiocese’s Hazelwood property, a rural home in Greenvale Township, Dakota County, that was donated to the church in 1998.

The proposed purchases are subject to approval by a federal bankruptcy judge.

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George Pell too unwell to fly, days before decision on royal commission appearance

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Wednesday 27 January 2016

Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, is still too unwell to fly and will address a philanthropic Catholic organisation in the US on Thursday via video link from Rome.

It comes days before Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse is due to hear from Pell’s lawyers about whether he will be well enough to appear in person before the commission in February, when hearings are due to continue in Ballarat.

Pell angered Australian child sexual abuse victims in December when he cancelled his flight to Melbourne days before he was due to appear before the commission. The Vatican said Pell was too ill to travel although his specific medical condition was not disclosed.

A directions hearing will be held by the royal commission in Sydney on Friday 5 February to hear whether Pell will appear in person when hearings resume.

But it appears Pell is still too unwell to travel. His office confirmed that his membership address to Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, at its Miami symposium, will be delivered via video link from the Vatican, where Pell is the chief financial adviser.

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Youth club volunteer preyed on victim, 13

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Stephen Maguire

Richard Blackburn, a volunteer at the Congregational Church Youth Club in Raphoe, Co Donegal, attacked Rachel McAuley for up to two years and even put a bed in the vehicle.

Ms McAuley yesterday waived her anonymity so that Blackburn could be named in court.

He groomed his victim at the youth club between 2000 and 2002. Ms McAuley was 13 when the abuse began and was just short of her 15th birthday when it ended.

She went to gardaí in 2011 to reveal the tale of abuse.

Letterkenny Circuit Court heard how Blackburn bought his victim presents, including a mobile phone, so he could keep in touch.

Blackburn, aged 57, of Carnone, Raphoe, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault. Ms McAuley said in her victim impact statement read to the court that he had abused her “daily” between 2000 and 2002.

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Commission names Tas sex offender

AUSTRALIA
Townsville Bulletin

A convicted child sex offender and former priest who changed his name while in prison has failed in a bid to be preserve his “blameless” new identity.

Garth Hawkins, now 70, spent almost six years in jail for offences against seven boys while he worked as an Anglican priest at different townships across Tasmania in the 1970s and 1980s.

A royal commission hearing in Hobart on Thursday was told that during his time in prison – in 2009 – Hawkins changed his name by deed poll to Robin Goodfellow.

In English folklore, Robin Goodfellow is a character known for his pranks and mischievousness.

“He has managed to make a fresh and blameless start in life,” lawyer Roger Baker told the hearing as he asked for a non-publication order on Goodfellow’s name.

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What more must be done to safeguard children in all schools?

UNITED KINGDOM
Lexology

United Kingdom January 28 2016

Andrew Lord from the abuse team at Leigh Day considers what lessons must be learnt following the serious case review into the activities of former teacher William Vahey.

William Vahey was a respected humanities teacher who worked at the prestigious Southbank International School (SIS) between 2009 and 2013. Having worked in numerous international schools over several decades, his laid-back teaching style made him popular amongst the pupils.

However, behind the façade, Vahey was a child abuser who administered drugs to several of the pupils before taking indecent images and sexually abusing them whilst they were unconscious.

Earlier this week the Local Safeguarding Children Board published their serious case review into Vahey and SIS. It made clear that a number of opportunities to challenge Vahey on his inappropriate behaviour towards children were missed, and the Department of Education has subsequently warned SIS that more must be done to ensure children are safeguarded in the future.

This appalling case has highlighted how institutional child abuse within the UK is not just a ‘historic’ problem, Vahey was able to evade criticism and investigation by “hiding in plain sight” even with our ‘modern-day awareness’ of child protection matters.

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Personal files of clergy abuse victim were made public

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JANUARY 27, 2016

Louise read with curiosity that St. John’s Abbey was making public its files on 18 monks who had sexually abused minors — until she clicked open the online file about the monk who abused her.

To her horror, she found more than 100 pages of highly personal information about herself taken from medical documents and e-mails she had shared with a Minneapolis therapist whom the abbey had referred her to.

The mother of two said that when she responded to the abbey’s call for abuse victims to step forward and be healed, she never expected to be victimized again.

“This was not about healing; it was betrayal,” said Louise, whose last name is not being used to protect her identity. “There’s no way to construe this as a response to an offer of healing and counseling.”

After Louise sent a scathing e-mail to Abbot John Klassen last week, her files were pulled offline.

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Movie review: Spotlight

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

By Peter Calder

Journalists are constantly exasperated by the depiction of journalism in the movies: crusading reporters who never take notes write their own (very bad) headlines for stories based on hunches, improbable disclosures, lucky breaks and dramatic confrontations.

So among the many deeply satisfying aspects of this film, which stakes an early claim for a spot on the year’s top-10 list, is that the reporters in it act like reporters. They make a lot of phone calls, take notes, wheedle and plead and doorstep: they use rulers to guide their line-by-line searches through directories and documents (the film is set in the internet’s infancy); they drink a lot of bad coffee.

The embedded idea – that most good journalism is unglamorous, hard-slog drudgery – may seem an unprepossessing concept for a film. But Spotlight enthralls because it remains so faithful to the facts, eschewing cheap theatrics and heroic mythmaking. Like the journos whose work it depicts, it never forgets that it’s all about the story.

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Boys’ club ‘a sitting duck’ for child sexual abuse, Anglican ex-priest and paedophile says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

by Emilie Gramenz

A disgraced former Anglican priest has told a child sexual abuse inquiry in Hobart that a poorly managed boys’ club is a “sitting duck” for paedophiles, and that the church’s culture encourages offending.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is examining the Anglican Church and its youth group, the Church of England Boys Society (CEBS), at a public hearing in Hobart.

In particular, the commission is investigating the probability of a multi-state paedophile ring operating within CEBS between the 1960s and 1990s.

Ex-priest Louis Daniels, a convicted Tasmanian paedophile, was asked if he believed there was a culture that facilitated offending within CEBS.

He said the nature of CEBS’s activities, including camps and tours with young boys, provided opportunity.

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Lake Bluff Man Says Priest Abused Him

ILLINOIS
Daily North Shore

by Steve Sadin • January 27, 2016

LAKE BLUFF — Dave Ohlmuller is well-known on the North Shore as a Platform Tennis Hall of Famer, coach and father. He also said he is a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a Roman Catholic priest and is fighting to prevent what happened to him from happening to others.

Ohlmuller, 46, said his memories of abuse came rushing back when his son turned 11. He said he felt intense feelings of fear and anger stemming from his days as an altar boy in New Jersey. Ohlmuller said he was sexually abused multiple times. His feelings made him an overprotective father.

“I’m not a little overprotective, I’m way overprotective,” Ohlmuller said of his son. “I want to know where he’s going all the time, who he’s with. We live in a nice place. It shouldn’t have to be like that here.”

When the memories returned in 2015, Ohlmuller did two things. He reached out for support to get counseling and he hired lawyer Mitch Garabedian, who was featured in the current Academy Award nominated movie “Spotlight.” Garabedian called his client a hero.

“Dave Ohlmuller should be proud of himself for being so courageous to stand up to the church,” he said. “There were thousands of abusers and thousands of enablers and most people were silent. He is a real hero.”

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Boys’ club ‘a sitting duck’ for child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

ANDREW DRUMMOND

The culture of an Anglican boys’ society based on camping and touring provided an opportunity for sexual predators, an offender says.

A convicted child sex offender has described an Anglican boys’ society as a “sitting duck” for predators.

Former Tasmanian archdeacon Louis Daniels, 68, on Thursday gave evidence to a royal commission investigating the Church of England Boys’ Society across the island state and also in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide.

Daniels, who has been jailed for his abuse of 11 boys and has settled a civil claim with another, was asked about the culture within the church and whether its branches helped facilitate his offending.

“A boys’ society, unless it is very closely managed, is a sitting duck,” he replied.

Allegations against Daniels were first raised in 1981 by the mother of a 14-year-old Hobart boy who had been sexually propositioned.

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The church was corrupt to the core’: meet the Oscar-nominated heroes of Spotlight

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Nigel Farndale
28 January 2016

The Boston Globe’s painstaking investigation into paedophile priests led to arrests, lawsuits and an Oscar-tipped film. But their fight for justice isn’t over yet

In January 2002, a newspaper in Boston broke a story that was to shake the Roman Catholic Church to its very foundations. It concerned the sexual abuse of children by more than 70 priests, and the systematic attempts by Cardinal Bernard Law, the Archbishop of Boston, to cover up their crimes.

For years, the Cardinal had been reassigning known paedophiles — moving them from parish to parish — effectively allowing them to prey on new victims. He had, moreover, been approving out-of-court settlements to their victims, in order to buy their silence.

The Boston Globe’s report was the result of a six-month investigation by the paper’s semi-autonomous Spotlight team — three men and one woman. It began when a new editor took over the paper and asked the team to follow up on a column about Rev John Geoghan, a local priest accused of having sexually abused dozens of young parishioners.

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George Pell potentially too unwell for royal commission appearance

AUSTRALIA
9 News

The Vatican are yet to confirm whether Australia’s most senior Catholic priest, Cardinal George Pell, will be well enough to return ahead of his scheduled appearance at the royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse when it resumes next month.

Last month, Cardinal Pell angered child sexual abuse victims when he cancelled his flights just days before he was originally due to appear in Ballarat – citing ill health as the reason for his non-appearance.

The Ballarat sitting was deferred until February, so that Pell could attend when his health had improved.

The royal commission will hold a directions hearing in Sydney on February 5 to determine whether Pell will be well enough to travel to Australia for the resumption of hearings later in the month.

This has not been the only commitment Cardinal Pell has skipped due to poor health.

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‘Spotlight’: Sexual Abuse and Journalistic Zeal, Without Melodrama

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Uri Klein Jan 28, 2016

“Spotlight,” directed by Tom McCarthy (“The Station Agent,” “The Visitor”), is a melodrama that manages not to be melodramatic, and that is its main virtue. We’ve seen quite a few pictures about journalists who take on a powerful institution (Alan J. Pakula’s “All the President’s Men” from 1976 is the paradigmatic example) or spend years pursuing an elusive target (e.g., David Fincher’s 2007 movie “Zodiac”). But while those films had a melodramatic side that provided a great deal of suspense, what makes “Spotlight” effective is how dry it is.

This virtue is especially notable given that the story involves a team of four investigative journalists for The Boston Globe (they form a team nicknamed “Spotlight”) who fight to expose numerous cases of child molesting within the Catholic Church in Boston and the cover-up engineered by church officials. The church is particularly powerful in Boston because much of the population is Catholic – as are many readers of The Boston Globe, who might resent seeing this kind of exposé in their 
paper.

The movie opens with a 
prologue taking place in 1976, when a priest accused of molesting children is arrested and then released to the church, which is supposed to deal with him by its own means. “Spotlight” is openly critical of The Boston Globe and other Boston newspapers for ignoring this and similar cases, which were reported only in short items relegated to the inside pages of the paper. The story then moves to 2001, when Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) becomes the new editor of The Boston Globe. The first Jew ever to hold this position, he is determined to look into the matter and assigns the task to the Spotlight team.

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Catholic Church in Mexico Protecting a Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing 100 Children

MEXICO
Latin One

Ma. Elena | staff@latinopost.com
Jan 28, 2016

Mexico’s Catholic Church is being accused of protecting a priest who allegedly sexually abused about 100 children.

During a press conference, a letter written by the mother of one victim was read aloud, according to EFE (via Fox News Latino). It was directed to Pope Francis, who is scheduled to visit Mexico in February.

In the letter, the mother asked the pontiff for justice for the victims in order to assure that “this doesn’t happen again,” the news outlet added. The accused is Rev. Gerardo Silvestre Hernández, whose first sexual abuse allegedly took place almost a decade ago.

Alejandro de Jesus of the Oaxaca Children’s Forum said that “in 2006, Gerardo Silvestre abused a 9-year-old boy during a six-month internship” in San Pablo Huitzo, a parish in the southern state of Oaxaca, EFE further reported. De Jesus added that after that, “more than 100 victims were dragged in” during the years in which he served as a priest at seven different locations.

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January 27, 2016

State appoints Listecki, others to commission on family

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel Jan. 27, 2016

Madison— A member of a powerful conservation foundation, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listeki and a prominent Latino commentator have all been named to Gov. Scott Walker’s new commission on the family.

The Future of the Family Commission will present recommendations to the Republican governor in December. Walker said he hoped the 10-person panel would find ways to help successful families as well as those facing challenges or breakdowns.

“If we have strong families, there’s almost no challenge we can’t face,” Walker said.

The commission’s chairwoman is Department of Children and Families secretary Eloise Anderson, who has held that post since 2011. Walker appointed Anderson to the post and she in turn appointed the other members.

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Group speaks out against Lincoln Catholic bishop

NEBRASKA
KETV

By Andrew Ozaki

LINCOLN, Neb. —A group that speaks on behalf of survivors abused by priests when they were young protested Wednesday morning in front of the Catholic chancery in Lincoln.

The group voiced frustration over the first bishop in the U.S. who was criminally convicted of sheltering a priest suspected of child sex abuse and is now in the Lincoln diocese.

Holding pictures of children abused by clergy, members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) stood together on Wednesday.

“We want to prevent more clergy sex crimes and cover-ups,” Judy Jones said. “And the way that happens is by disciplining those who commit and conceal crimes and misdeeds.”

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Catholic Church accused of shielding priest who abused some 100 children in Mexico

MEXICO
Inside Costa Rica

MEXICO CITY, January 27th, 2016 (EFE) The Oaxaca Children’s Forum was joined Tuesday by several priests and activists in accusing Mexico’s Catholic hierarchy of protecting a priest who may have abused around 100 children.

The accusation was made at a press conference at which a letter was read from the mother of one of the victims directed to Pope Francis, who will visit Mexico next month, in which she asks the pontiff for justice for the victims and action to ensure that “this doesn’t happen again.”

The main target of the complaint is the archbishop of Antequera-Oaxaca, Jose Luis Chavez Botello, who is being accused of covering up the cases by not conducting a thorough investigation of abuses that occurred in seven indigenous communities.

The main protagonist in the case is the Rev. Gerardo Silvestre Hernandez, who is accused of committing the first abuse almost a decade ago.

“In 2006, Gerardo Silvestre abused a 9-year-old boy during a six-month internship” in San Pablo Huitzo, a parish in the southern state of Oaxaca, the forum’s Alejandro de Jesus said.

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Book documents molestation in conservative Baptist churches

UNITED STATES
Baptist News

By Bob Allen

As the Oscar-nominated movie Spotlight shares the story of the Boston Globe’s 2001 expose of child molestation and cover up in the Catholic Church, a new book by a Baptist author makes the case that clergy sexual abuse isn’t just a Catholic problem.

Author Jeri Massi says abuse victims have been written off, discarded and even vilified in the pulpits of both Independent Baptists and the Southern Baptist Convention. Her The Big Book of Bad Baptist Preachers catalogues 100 cases of preachers and churches involved in child molestation scandals in the last 20 years.

“The sexual abuse of children is part and parcel of the cultures of the Independent Baptists and Southern Baptists,” Massi says in the book’s introduction.

When confronted by the scale of the problem, she says, Baptist leadership has “at best turned a deaf ear and at worst has countered with threats and intimidation.”

Massi says abuse victims and their advocates are routinely accused of “painting with a broad brush.” In her own Independent Fundamental Baptist tradition, she says she has been depicted as sexually promiscuous, a drug addict and a witch and had her life threatened three times.

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Protesters call for embattled Catholic bishop to be removed

NEBRASKA
Lincoln Journal Star

By ERIN ANDERSEN | LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR

A handful of protesters gathered outside the Catholic Chancery Wednesday and delivered a letter asking Lincoln Bishop James Conley to remove embattled Bishop Robert Finn from his post as chaplain for the School Sisters of Christ the King convent.

The protesters, two of whom represented SNAP — the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests — say Finn violated the trust of Catholics and broke the law when he failed to report allegations of child abuse by his priests during his tenure with the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. They say he should be defrocked and not retain the power or prestige associated with the title of bishop.

In 2012, Finn was found guilty of the misdemeanor crime of not reporting to police allegations of child pornography against Father Shawn Ratigan, who later was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Finn, the first U.S. bishop to be charged with failing to report child sex abuse to police in a timely manner, was placed on two years probation, which he completed.

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Brisbane archbishop blamed for 1980s abuse

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

A victim of child sexual abuse has blamed the now-Brisbane Anglican archbishop for putting him in bed with the perpetrating priest.

Giving evidence to a royal commission in Hobart on Wednesday, the 52-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons recounted how he was raped in January 1981, then aged 17, at Triabunna on Tasmania’s east coast.

Former priest Garth Hawkins has since been convicted of the abuse but the victim insists it was incumbent Archbishop Phillip Aspinall who set up the opportunity.

“I wouldn’t have been there without Archbishop Aspinall,” the victim said.

“He put me in that bed.”

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Child sex offenders to give evidence

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

AAP

Twelve years after the Anglican diocese of Tasmania was first alerted to allegations of child sex abuse by an assistant Hobart priest, he was selected to lead a youth group.

Louis Daniels, 68, will be one of two convicted sex offenders who on Thursday will give evidence to a royal commission hearing.

In 1981 Daniels was rebuked by then-Bishop Henry Jerrim for acting in a sexually inappropriate way with a boy, the commission has been told.

“Bishop Jerrim told Mr Daniels to amend his life,” counsel assisting the commission, Naomi Sharp said.

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Child sex abuse royal commission: church aware of claims in 1978

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Tessa Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne

The Anglican Diocese of Adelaide was first made aware of allegations that an employee of the Church of England Boys’ Society was sexually abusing children in about 1978, but he stayed on in various roles relating to the church until 1998, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday began hearings into the Church of Eng­land Boys’ Society, the fifth public hearing relating to the Anglican Church.

In her opening address, counsel assisting the inquiry Naomi Sharp said the hearing in Hobart would look at the responses of the CEBS and the Anglican dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney to allegations of child sexual abuse by those involved in or associated with CEBS.

The hearing would focus on five men convicted of or charged with sex offences against boys, ­including Robert Brandenburg, who served as South Australian CEBS chief commissioner in the 1970s and manager of campsites for the diocese of Adelaide in the 1980s. His employment was transferred to Anglicare SA in 1989 and he retired in 1998.

In 1999, Brandenburg was charged with 24 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and 341 counts of indecent assault. He committed suicide two days before he was due to face court.

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Oaxaca archbishop accused of cover-up

MEXICO
Mexico News Daily

The Catholic Church in Oaxaca was accused yesterday of covering up sexual crimes by one of its priests and punishing others who raised the accusations.

And one of the latter admitted that he — along with “the majority of priests in Oaxaca” — has a family.

Apolonio Merino Hernández made the admission after a press conference held by the Oaxaca Children’s Forum and various priests and activists, where the archbishop of Oaxaca was accused of covering up sexual abuse by Gerardo Silvestre Hernández.

The conference was told that Merino was transferred to a distant and remote parish in the Mixteca as punishment for speaking out against Silvestre and on behalf of victims. Last August, he was suspended.

As many as 100 indigenous youngsters are believed to have been abused by Silvestre, beginning in 2006.

The priest was on a six-month internship in San Pablo Huitzo where he abused a nine-year-old boy, the conference was told, after which there were “more than 100 victims” in seven different parishes where Silvestre served.

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In Our View: Church Right to Shed Light

WASHINGTON
The Columbian

It was a small and painful action, yet a necessary one.

The Archdiocese of Seattle this month released what officials say is a comprehensive list of 77 Catholic Church officials accused of sexually abusing children in Western Washington between 1923 and 2008. While the disclosure cannot mitigate the actions of the accused, nor the shameful cover-up that followed, nor the pain of the victims, it hopefully can provide a small step toward healing.

The list includes 11 priests who at some point during their careers had been assigned to Clark County parishes, although it is not clear how many of them faced allegations while at local parishes. The names previously had been disclosed through court records or media reports, meaning that the list was far from revelatory. It also means that the priests named in the document have faced accusations carrying at least some level of validity, limiting the risk of falsely accusing the innocent.

Meanwhile, the disclosure represents the continuing efforts of the Church to heal from within and salve the wounds left festering from decades of turning a blind eye to abuse. “I will continue to pray for all survivors of sexual abuse, and deeply regret that vulnerable individuals in the Church’s care have been harmed,” Archbishop J. Peter Sartain wrote in a letter accompanying the disclosure.

As has been documented as occurring at other locations throughout the country, the Archdiocese of Seattle for years made a habit of moving accused priests to an unsuspecting parish where they would continue their abusive actions. In recent decades, the archdiocese that covers Western Washington has paid $74 million to settle 392 legal claims in connection with sexual abuse. While these settlements and the list released this month cannot assuage the actions of the abusers or Church officials, it does represent a step toward rapprochement between the actions and the ideals of the Church. As depicted in the Oscar-nominated film “Spotlight,” it wasn’t long ago that the Archdiocese of Boston attempted to hide documents from the media that would prove the Church tacitly protected abusive priests.

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‘No regrets’ at speaking up about paedophile priest – Father John Gallagher

FLORIDA
Derry Journal (Northern Ireland)

Erin Hutcheon
erin.hutcheon@derryjournal.com

A Derry priest who has been frozen out of his priestly duties in the USA after refusing to cover up sex crimes by another priest, says he has no regrets about what he did.

Father John Gallagher who now lives in Palm Beach but previously ministered in the Long Tower parish told the Journal how the locks were changed on his parochial house after he refused to put a paedophile priest on a plane rather than co-operate with police.

This week the Strabane born priest broke his silence after almost a year and he says he has concerns that the priest at the centre of the sex crimes could still be working as a priest, and be a danger to children.

This week Father’s Gallagher’s story made headline news across the world. Indeed one of this friends remarked: “There are only two people in the U.S. news today – Donald Trump and Father John Gallagher.”

The Irish priest’s facebook page has been flooded with messages of support and he says he has received letters and cards from people all over the world, many from his former parishioners in Derry,

Father Gallagher interviewed the priest Fr Jose Palimattom in January 2015 along with a retired police officer when he was made aware that he had shown indecent images to a young teenager.

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Mexican priest accused of sexually abusing about 100 children

MEXICO
Fox News Latino

Several priests and activists joined the Oaxaca Children’s Forum Tuesday in accusing Mexico’s Catholic hierarchy of protecting a priest who may have abused about 100 children.

The accusation was made at a press conference at which a letter was read aloud who was written by the mother of one victim directed to Pope Francis, who will visit Mexico next month. In it, she asks the pontiff for justice for the victims and action to ensure that “this doesn’t happen again.”

The main target of the complaint is the archbishop of Antequera-Oaxaca, José Luis Chávez Botello, who is accused of covering up the cases by not conducting a thorough investigation of abuses that occurred in seven indigenous communities.

The main target of the allegations is the Rev. Gerardo Silvestre Hernández, who is accused of first abusing a child almost a decade ago.

“In 2006, Gerardo Silvestre abused a 9-year-old boy during a six-month internship” in San Pablo Huitzo, a parish in the southern state of Oaxaca, Alejandro de Jesus of the the Children’s Forum said.

According to de Jesus, after that, “more than 100 victims were dragged in” during the years in which Silvestre served as a priest at seven different locations.

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Accused Priest Had No Role at Our Lady of Sorrows School, Says Principal

NEW JERSEY
The Village Green

BY: MARY MANN

Officials report that Fr. Michael Walters, a priest who formerly worked as an assistant pastor at Our Lady of Sorrow Church in South Orange and who has recently been accused of sexual misconduct with minors at another parish in the 1980s, had no role in the school there and no contact with students.

Media outlets reported earlier this month that Fr. Walters was removed from his ministry at the church in October amid allegations that he sexually assaulted two minors in the early 1980s.

Walters, 60, denies the allegations and reportedly left the ministry by “mutual agreement” with the Archdiocese of Newark.

David Ohlmuller, 46, told NJ.com that Walters fondled him, kissed him and offered him wine on various occasions in 1982, when Ohlmuller was 12 and a parishioner at St. Cassian Church in Montclair, NJ. A second accuser, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that Walters molested her during the same time period when she was 13 and 14. Both are being represented by Boston-based attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented hundreds of accusers in the sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed the Catholic Church in recent years.

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Seattle archdiocese publishes list of clergy accused of sexual abuse of minors

WASHINGTON
National Catholic Reporter

Dan Morris-Young | Jan. 27, 2016

The Seattle archdiocese published Jan. 15 a list of clergy and religious “accused of sexual abuse of a minor who have served or resided in Western Washington,” according to an archdiocesan press release.

“The individuals named on the list posted to the archdiocesan website have allegations that are either admitted, established or determined to be credible,” the release said.

According to the release, “Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain apologized for the actions of those who abused minors” and said publishing the list builds on the archdiocese’s efforts at transparency, accountability and urging victims to come forward.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), however, issued a press release the same day, saying “every time a predator’s name is publicized, kids are safer,” but also charging it “suspects this is an incomplete list that was prompted by external pressure.”

“Seattle Catholic officials should have disclosed and posted these clerics’ names long ago. Now, they should put it in each parish bulletin, several times a year, and permanently on each parish website,” Seattle SNAP officials said, adding, “About 30 U.S. bishops have taken this step, almost always belatedly, grudgingly, incompletely and only because parishioners, prosecutors or lawmakers prod them to do so.”

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Getting the truth-the old-fashioned way

UNITED STATES
The Journal

Sean Flamand, Movie Reviewer
January 27, 2016

Phil Saviano (Neal Huff) sits on one side of an office, clutching a cardboard box in his lap. He’s the only one in the room who’s not part of The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team of investigative journalists.While the newspaper has reported on Saviano previously, other reporters have given the impression that they don’t put much stock in him as a source. But these four journalists are different. They’re methodical, they’re patient, and –most importantly – they’re listening. Saviano tells his story of abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest, a slow descent from innocuous favors like collecting hymnals and taking out the trash – to sinister and abusive ones that we don’t want to imagine but are told anyway, as the film lays it out for us that the priest asked an 11-year-old Saviano to perform oral sex on him. “How do you say no to God, right?” asks Saviano with tragic irony. Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight” (2015) tells the story of how The Boston Globe exposed the rampant sexual abuse among priests in the Roman Catholic Church. It’s a fact-based story, and this reality didn’t need any embellishment to be both compelling and deeply disturbing. The power of “Spotlight” is embedded in words – conversations like the above with Saviano; the legalese and loopholes of getting all the information; and how something as innocent as “sick leave” became sinister.

We never see any of the abuse firsthand, of course. Instead, we see exactly what these reporters saw – tortured and mentally scarred victims, wringing their hands and struggling through stories no one should have to tell. Any outsider hearing these stories is led to wonder: “Why is nothing being done about this?” Indeed, as “Spotlight” points out, it took an outsider in new (and Jewish) editor-in-chief Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) for anyone to get curious enough to investigate. Baron puts Spotlight on the case, a part of The Boston Globe that specializes in truly in-depth reporting – sometimes putting out only one or two stories in a year, as the team’s head Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) explains in one scene. Outside of the conversations, the most action-packed sequences of “Spotlight” aren’t action-packed at all.
They’re scenes of combing through dusty directories in dimly lit storerooms, hunting for names that will lead to more perpetrators entangled the scandal. Somehow, though, McCarthy makes the down-to-earth representation of true investigative journalism gripping, and the film becomes something of an elegy for this brand of journalism in that respect. It could be contested that “Spotlight” doesn’t pay enough attention to its core characters.

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Sacrificing Victims On The Altars Of Silence And Power

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

Tue, 01/19/2016
Guila BenchimolSpecial To The Jewish Week

Stories about sexual violence and rabbis behaving badly continue to make headlines. These incidents are not restricted to the Jewish world; sexual violence and abuse of power know no boundaries of faith. Yet Jewish communities are left with questions begging to be answered: How do we react to these crimes? How should we react?

But we must first ask: Why do these behaviors persist? Because we let them happen. Our community reinforces a culture of silence, and even when victims overcome it, we often blame the victims. If we want this to stop, it is time to look in the mirror.

All too often, when powerful individuals commit sex crimes, silence is the default reaction. In all of the recent cases, the rumors and rumblings about inappropriate behavior that circulated for years before abuse came to light were met with silence. Ignoring rumors about misconduct or “creepy” behavior empowers individuals to carry on acting inappropriately and may even embolden them to venture further. Silence enables abuses of power to continue and allows inappropriate actions to develop into illegal ones.

Because of our silence, many cases of sex crimes never get reported. And when they are reported, we excuse the behavior of our leaders and instead question that of their victims.

Powerful individuals often rise above suspicion. In the ongoing case of Marc Gafni, his position of power has been cited to explain why people ignored the allegations against him as a spiritual teacher who has had numerous sexually and/or psychologically abusive relationships. When communities have to face the idea that their leaders may not live up to their virtuous public personas, they experience cognitive dissonance. They are reluctant to accept that a member of a religious group, especially a leader, would behave in ways that go against their avowed ethical norms. Aware of the pushback they will generate, victims or concerned community members may feel powerless to speak out against the powerful. Further, those who abuse their power can easily orchestrate cover-ups or ensure they are not held accountable for their actions. But once we recognize this cognitive dissonance, we can challenge and confront those who make excuses for a leader’s misconduct.

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A Tale of the Pure at Heart

GUATEMALA
Foreign Policy

Uriel Goldman’s bushy eyebrows knit together in dismay when he sees a cockroach skittering across the tiled floor near the entrance of his cramped Guatemala City apartment. Despite the warm spring weather, he is dressed in a heavy calf-length coat, velvet wide-brimmed hat, and bulky shoes with stockings — all black. He maneuvers his broad frame into the next room to grab a broom, careful to avoid a gantlet of obstacles scattered around the awkward space: a mini-fridge, a folded-up mattress, a basket of laundry, a bag of groceries. He gently sweeps the bug out the door and into an equally cluttered stairwell.

Goldman, who is in his mid-40s, sits down in a blue plastic chair and sighs. “It’s the seventh month,” he says, “that we are in this terrible situation.” Seven months of pretending that a run-down office building that once housed Guatemala’s immigration directorate is a suitable place for 14 families to live, sleeping six or more people to a room. Seven months of dealing with scores of restless kids who are tired of being cooped up indoors because their parents think the city’s Zona 9 neighborhood, thick with traffic and peppered with sporadic crime, is no place for children to play.

But they’re here, Goldman says of his family and friends, because they have no other choice.

Goldman is a member of and spokesman for Lev Tahor (“Pure Heart” in Hebrew), an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect that has been bouncing around the Western Hemisphere for the better part of two decades. Before winding up in Guatemala City, Lev Tahor lived for several months in San Juan La Laguna, a small Mayan village about 100 miles west of the capital. In August 2014, however, village leaders ordered the group to leave. They cited irreconcilable differences: Locals had complained that Lev Tahor’s men refused to touch the hands of female shopkeepers and that sect members bathed nude in the lake. According to Goldman, authorities threatened to cut off electricity and water if Lev Tahor didn’t go. So it did, with followers’ earthly belongings strapped to the roof of one of Guatemala’s iconic Technicolor “chicken buses.”

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To The Woman Who Slept With My Husband

UNITED STATES
Hevria

Editor’s Note: This piece is written by Marc Gafni’s third ex-wife who was married to him from 1998 to 2004. She wrote about her experience in a recent post for the Times of Israel.

I will never forget your apology to me. Tearful, remorseful, awful.

You kept it a secret. You held it in for well over a decade. Embroidered it into your skin…Sequestered from sight and air and left it rotting there inside of you.

Sometimes I imagine all the sick little secrets he ever spawned…all drawn upon the skin of the women who entrusted their silence, their innocence, their sense of shame, to him.

I remember how broken you were. How over-spilled with shame. Begging my forgiveness.

And all I could think was, no I don’t forgive you. I don’t.

Because I don’t blame you. I don’t have a drop of blame to add to this flask of self-guilt you continue to sip.

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US-Bischof gibt Posten als Aushilfspriester auf

MICHIGAN
Katholisch

Der US-amerikanische Erzbischof John Nienstedt (68) hat seinen Dienst als Aushilfsgeistlicher in einer Kleinstadt vorzeitig beendet. Die Anwesenheit Nienstedts, der im Zuge eines Missbrauchsskandals von der Leitung seines Erzbistums Minneapolis zurückgetreten war, habe unter den Gläubigen für Spannungen gesorgt, schrieb der katholische Pfarrer der Kleinstadt Battle Creek, John Fleckenstein, im aktuellen Pfarrblatt.

Die Seelsorgetätigkeit Nienstedts habe “Ärger und Angst” unter den Katholiken ausgelöst, so der Pfarrer. Angesichts der “von den Gläubigen unserer Gemeinde geäußerten Bedenken” und der “unbeabsichtigten Uneinigkeit, die seine Anwesenheit verursacht”, habe Nienstedt angeboten, das Bistum Kalamazoo im Bundesstaat Michigan wieder zu verlassen, schrieb Fleckenstein. Ursprünglich war geplant, dass Erzbischof Nienstedt für ein halbes Jahr als Hilfsgeistlicher in Battle Creek mitarbeitet. Während dieser Zeit sollte er unter anderem Werktagsmessen, Krankenbesuche und Gottesdienste in einem Pflegeheim übernehmen.

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Klasnic-Kommission berichtete Papst über ihre Tätigkeit

VATIKANSTADT
der Standard

[A special independent victim protection commission met with Pope Francis and said they have decided 1,600 cases of clergy abuse in Austria.]

Unabhängige Opferschutzkommission entschied in sechs Jahren rund 1.600 Fälle

Vatikanstadt/Wien – Papst Franziskus hat die von der römisch-katholischen Kirche beauftragte Unabhängige Opferschutzkommission zur Aufarbeitung von Missbrauchsfällen empfangen. Nach der Generalaudienz berichtete die Kommission mit Waltraud Klasnic an der Spitze bei einem Treffen über ihre Tätigkeit in den sechs Jahren ihres Bestehens, vermeldete “Kathpress” am Mittwoch. Rund 1.600 Fälle wurden entschieden. – derstandard.at/2000029873889/Klasnic-Kommission-berichtete-Papst-ueber-ihre-Taetigkeit

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Stellungnahme des Bistums zu TV-Sendung

DEUTSCHLAND
Bistum Hildesheim

WDR greift Fall des ehemaligen Pfarrers Peter R. erneut auf

In der TV-Sendung „Richter Gottes“ (geplante Ausstrahlung heute um 22.10 Uhr) äußert sich laut einer heute veröffentlichten Pressemitteilung des Senders WDR die Mutter einer heute 20-jährigen jungen Frau aus Hildesheim, die von dem ehemaligen Pfarrer Peter R. mutmaßlich sexuell missbraucht worden ist. Die Mutter gibt demnach an, auch sie sei ab 1993 von R. sexuell belästigt worden. Das Bistum Hildesheim sei seit September 2015 über ihren Fall informiert. Man habe aber bislang keinen Kontakt zu ihr aufgenommen. Dazu nimmt das Bistum Hildesheim wie folgt Stellung:

Es besteht bis zum heutigen Tag kein Kontakt zwischen dem Bistum Hildesheim und der Mutter des jungen Mädchens. Die näheren Umstände ihres Falles und die von ihr gegenüber Peter R. konkret erhobenen Vorwürfe, welche in der erwähnten Pressemitteilung des WDR dargestellt werden, waren dem Bistum bisher nicht bekannt. Eine Schilderung oder Aussage der Mutter liegt dem Bistum nicht vor. Die Mutter hat sich bislang nicht mit dem Bistum in Verbindung gesetzt.
Während eines mit Weihbischof Heinz-Günter Bongartz und Sr. Ancilla Schulz (Ansprechpartnerin für Verdachtsfälle sexuellen Missbrauchs) am 18. September 2015 geführten

Gesprächs teilten die Großeltern der jungen Frau mit, zwischenzeitlich habe sich bestätigt, dass ihre Tochter ebenfalls Opfer eines sexuellen Missbrauchs durch Peter R. geworden sei. Kurz vor dem Erstgespräch mit dem Mädchen und ihrer Religionslehrerin am 04. März 2010 hatte der Mann der Lehrerin – ohne dies näher auszuführen – gegenüber dem damaligen Personalchef Bongartz den allgemeinen Verdacht kommuniziert, dass wahrscheinlich auch die Mutter des Mädchens von Peter R. sexuell belästigt worden sei.

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Bistum Hildesheim: Familientragödie über zwei Generationen

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

Von Peter Wensierski

Neue Vorwürfe gegen das Bistum Hildesheim: Auch die Mutter eines betroffenen Mädchens soll vor Jahren von Priester R. missbraucht worden sein. Jetzt fordert der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bundesregierung einen unabhängigen Ermittler.

Ein junges Mädchen namens Anna* wandte sich 2010 an das Bistum Hildesheim und erhob schwere Vorwürfe gegen Pfarrer Peter 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. Der Fall wurde im vergangenen November bekannt, das Bistum geriet wegen seiner mangelnden Aufklärungsarbeit massiv in die Kritik.

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Neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe im Bistum Hildesheim

DEUTSCHLAND
Osnabrucker Zeitung

Köln. In den 70er- und 80er-Jahren soll ein Priester mindestens 100 Kinder am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg missbraucht haben. Vor Kurzem berichtete eine junge Frau aus dem Bistum Hildesheim, der Mann habe auch sie bedrängt. Nun meldet sich die Mutter mit ähnlichen Vorwürfen zu Wort.

Das Bistum Hildesheim muss sich mit neuen Missbrauchsvorwürfen im Fall des früheren Pfarrers Peter R. beschäftigen. Nach Recherchen des WDR hat sich ein weiteres mutmaßliches Opfer gemeldet. Dabei handele es sich um die Mutter der jungen Frau, die als Elfjährige von dem Geistlichen bedrängt worden sein soll, teilte der WDR mit. Die heute 20-Jährige hatte vor kurzem vom Bistum eine Geldsumme in Anerkennung ihres Leides erhalten. – Ex-Pfarrer Peter R. belastet: Neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe im Bistum Hildesheim | noz.de – Lesen Sie mehr auf:

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Neuer Missbrauchsvorwurf

DEUTSCHLAND
WDR

[Another victims has come forward with an allegation against Fr. Peter R. in the Hildesheim diocese.]

Im Fall des Missbrauchstäters Pfarrer Peter R. hat sich nach WDR Recherchen ein weiteres mutmaßliches Opfer gemeldet. Es handelt sich um die Mutter einer heute 20jährigen jungen Frau aus Hildesheim, die in der WDR/ARD Dokumentation „Richter Gottes“ vom 30.11.2015 bereits selbst ihren Missbrauch durch den pensionierten Pfarrer Peter R. öffentlich gemacht hatte. Der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bundesregierung fordert nun einen unabhängigen Ermittler vor Ort.

Der Fall hatte für Schlagzeilen gesorgt, da das Bistum Hildesheim im Fall des jungen Mädchens 2010 keinen Hinweis auf einen Missbrauch gesehen hatte und weder die Erziehungsberechtigten noch die staatlichen Behörden umgehend informierte, obwohl es sich bei dem beschuldigten Pfarrer um einen der beiden Haupttäter des Missbrauchsskandals am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg mit mutmaßlich über 100 Opfern handelte. Erst auf Druck der Erziehungsberechtigten informierte das Bistum die zuständige Staatsanwaltschaft, ohne allerdings über die bekannte Vorgeschichte des Täters zu informieren. Der Pfarrer wurde wie ein Ersttäter behandelt, das Verfahren gegen Zahlung einer Geldauflage wegen mangelnden öffentlichen Interesses eingestellt. Ehemalige Canisus-Schüler, sowie die Opfergruppe „Eckiger Tisch“ forderten daraufhin im Dezember 2015 den Rücktritt des Hildesheimer Bischofs Norbert Trelle. Nach anhaltender Kritik am Vorgehen des Bistums räumte Bischof Norbert Trelle in dem Fall nachträglich Fehler ein.

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The Right Way To Deal With A Sexual Advance

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

Tue, 01/26/2016
Gillian Steinberg
Special To The Jewish Week

Twenty years ago, my Hillel rabbi, a bearded man in a black suit with a velvet kipa who presented himself as a committed Orthodox Jew, invited me to the Hillel building one evening to hang out with him and some other students. When I arrived, the building was dark, and he and I sat down to wait for the others. We chatted for a while, but when the other students didn’t arrive, I suggested that I call them to see when they were coming.

The rabbi inched closer to me on the sofa and said, “They aren’t coming. I didn’t actually invite them.” Taken aback, I asked what he meant, and he said, “Would you like to go for a drive with me?” I said no, and he began to tell me that he was attracted to me, that he wanted to be close to me, that he’d like to spend time alone with me. He reached out to touch me.

I was a new graduate student, just out of college, and he was in his 50s. I knew his wife from Shabbat dinners, and his older children were my age. I had seen him as a religious role model: an observant Jew interested in music, connected to the modern world, deeply spiritual but also an intellectual. And he was trying to cheat on his wife with me on the Hillel sofa.

In that shocking moment, I had the presence of mind to tell him how uncomfortable I was; I pulled away from him and left the building, shaking.

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Priest punished for informing on paedophile colleague

FLORIDA
The Freethinker

A report last year said that the Diocese of Palm Beach was instrumental in bringing the pervert to the attention of the police. The diocese said in a statement:

The Diocese of Palm Beach immediately contacted authorities and cooperated in the investigation conducted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. This cooperation resulted in the arrest of Father Palimattom.

If this were true, the diocese is to be commended.

But the truth, according to this report, is that the priest was reported to the police not by the diocese but by a whistle-blowing colleague, Fr John A Gallagher, above, who now claims that he is being punished for involving the police instead of following Church orders to put Palimattom on a plane back to India.

Gallagher, 48, originally from Strabane in Co Tyrone, says that he has been demoted, that the locks on his parochial house were changed and he was placed on medical leave by his bishop in the diocese.

The Irish priest says that on the night he found out about Palimattom, who had been at the parish of the Holy Name of Jesus Christ in West Palm Beach for just one month, was told by a Florida Church official:

We need to make him go away, put on a plane.

He had been instructed to send Palimattom to Bangalore. Gallagher was also by the same official:

Do not keep written notes.

After the priest was arrested and his bail set at $10,000, the Catholic Church dealt with the victim’s family through lawyers and an out-of-court settlement was made.

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Rechnitz Confronts Insularity

UNITED STATES
Times of Israel

Michael J. Salamon

Thee Yeshiva World News posted a video of Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz speaking at a gathering in Lakewood New Jersey a few days ago. The headline read – “A Path-Breaking Speech by R’ Shlomo Yehudah Rechnitz About Serious Issue Facing Lakewood Community”. By the time the video was posted on the news site I must have seen Rechnitz’s comments and video links on my Facebook and Twitter feeds posted at least a dozen times.

R. Rechnitz is famous for his generosity and is according to Wikipedia “an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder of TwinMed, LLC and owner of Brius Healthcare Services, the largest nursing home provider in the State of California.” He recently purchased meals for some 400 American soldiers returning to the US who he met by chance while he was traveling to Israel, in the Shannon airport. He also purchased Powerball lottery tickets for his employees.

What Mr. Rechnitz said in Lakewood deserves the attention it is receiving. He called to task the mind set of Lakewood insularity that seeks to exclude certain individuals, especially children, who do not fit exactly into the rigid and increasingly stringent mold that the community stridently demands. You can watch the video and hear his passion and concern, and every word spoken is true. He confronts the false belief of superiority and that “your children are not good enough for my children” to go to school with and he speaks of the unacceptable rigidity the community adheres to exclude others even though they are part of the same group.

Rechnitz is spot on. I cannot begin to tell you how many families I have seen, who have taken a full day to drive to see me, to try to help their children, and themselves get through the trauma of rejection, and THEN go right back to the same community that has rejected them. The rejection is often for things like wearing a kippah that is not large enough for the community standards or davening without a jacket, or a skirt that does not go quite the minimum two and a half inches below the knee, or Gd forbid, speaking to a member of the opposite sex, or wanting to go to college or…well you get the picture.

But beyond this is the fact that there are now a good number of Lakewood people trying to discredit Rechnitz. As the owner of a large chain of health facilities it is inevitable that his organization is under investigation. He has not been personally implicated and there have not been any reports finalized yet. Still, for many Lakewooders Rechnitz is now persona non grata, and someone to vilify. But that cannot happen. And that is what really makes this story so important.

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Needed – New Orthodox Leadership

UNITED STATES
Times of Israel

Michael J. Salamon

Just last week a colleague told me that a patient that she had been seeing for years had told her that she was molested by a rabbi four years ago. The therapist said to me “Four years ago I made the mistake of asking the wrong rabbi if I should report it. At that time my rabbi told me not to report him. So I asked him again this week. He gave me the same answer.” So she did not report the abuser to the proper authorities.

I asked her if caring for her patient by seeing that some form of justice was performed or, possibly protecting others by having the authorities prosecute him or, her license, which made her a mandated reporter regardless of the outcome of the investigation, ever entered her mind when she asked the “wrong rabbi” both times after these four years. I wonder if I can call her a colleague or even a therapist anymore but, my colleague, the therapist was quiet. She would not respond. It’s a Talmudic suggestion “silence is as if an admission” in this case of a breach of appropriate protocol maybe even malpractice or malfeasance. Then, perhaps out of a sense of guilt, she told me the name of the rabbi who abused her patient – it was the same man that my new patient, someone who just recently started seeing me, told me about just two weeks earlier. She too had been abused by him. My patient and I discussed options about reporting and we decided that she, a mature adult, would like to do so herself. So she did report him. In that two week time I received a call from a detective who asked some questions about the molester and let it slip, deliberately I believe, that the abusing rabbi was a predator and had been one for likely 30 years. The detective said in just a few days of investigation he has been able to determine that it is likely that the rabbi abused as many as 40 or more young women.

Think for just a second about the implication of the detectives comment. Had someone reported the abuser earlier, even just four years ago, so many women might never have been abused. Now think about the issue of hypocrisy. Why are there still leaders and supporters who are insistent that abuse not be reported?

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Bistum Hildesheim: Neue Vorwürfe

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

[New allegations of sexual abuse of minors have been made in the Hildesheim diocese.]

Gegen das Bistum Hildesheim gibt es neue Vorwürfe: Angeblich soll die Mutter eines betroffenen Mädchens vor Jahren von Priester R. auch missbraucht worden sein. Die Staatsanwaltschaft sei eingeschaltet, um zu ermitteln.

netzwerkB fordert schon seit 2010 eine Anzeige- und Meldepflicht bei Straftaten gegen die sexuelle Selbstbestimmung – Bischof Trelle könnte so gesetzlich zur Verantwortung gezogen werden, wenn der Vorwurf der Vertuschung ihm nachgewiesen würde.

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You Are The Second Abuser

UNITED STATES
Pop Chassid

One of the “advantages” of being a writer who writes about his traumatic experiences with mental illness is that many people open up to me about the pains they’ve gone through.

I am simply amazed at how many people have gone through horrific trauma in their lives. I cannot tell you how many people I’ve met who have been raped, abused, manipulated by moral crooks, gone through moments of mental instability (to say the least), or been through other traumatic moments. It’s come to make me realize just how much is hidden underneath the existence we’ve come to think as “normal.”

I actually find their opening up to be amazing, not a negative thing. Any trauma can be addressed. Any pain can become a source of growth, even if the scar always remains, even if every time we touch it we wince. And opening up is a sign of that growth.

But there is something else I’ve seen, something that has caused me enormous pain among that beauty.

The world still has not become a safe place for them to be open.

I often imagine to myself a world where my friends felt comfortable enough to share their pain with the world (if they so wished): a world that would understand, or try to understand. A world that would embrace them. Care for them.

What a beautiful world that would be.

That’s not the world we live in.

We live in a world where 68% of rape victims don’t accuse their abusers. Why? Many reasons, but a big one is the very real feeling that the world will shame them if they come forward.

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School announce new name changed after Bishop George Bell child abuse settlement

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

A SUSSEX secondary school has decided to change its name because the senior clergyman it was named after was accused of being a paedophile who sexually abused a young child.

Bishop Bell School in Priory School, Eastbourne, was named after George Bell, the late bishop of Chichester, who died 57 years ago.

Last October it was revealed the Church of England had issued a formal apology for alleged sexual abuse committed by Bell against a young child, whose identity and gender has not been disclosed, in the 1940s and 50s.

Now the governing body has voted to become St. Catherine’s College, and the new name will be used when the school formally converts to a Church of England Academy ahead of the next school year in September 2016.

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Sex abuse victims demand more action on Michigan archbishop issue

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Rosemary Parker | rparker3@mlive.com
on January 27, 2016

KALAMAZOO, MI — Victims of sexual abuse by priests and their supporters staged a demonstration here Tuesday to show they are not satisfied with the swift removal last week of a controversial Roman Catholic archbishop from the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul who had come to a parish in Battle Creek.

Archbishop John Nienstedt resigned from his archdiocese in June after it was hit with civil and criminal charges that church officials had repeatedly failed to act on complaints of a priest who was eventually convicted of molesting three boys.

Nienstedt arrived at St. Philip parish in Battle Creek Jan. 6 at the invitation of the pastor there and had planned to stay six months, voluntarily helping out the Rev. John Fleckenstein, an old friend.

The Diocese of Kalamazoo initially had approved Nienstedt’s work here, citing documentation from his superiors that he was a priest in good standing.

But the archbishop moved on on Jan. 21 after parents, community members and victims of clergy sex crimes protested his presence.

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WEST PALM BEACH PRIEST CLAIMS BISHOP RETALIATED AGAINST HIM FOR REPORTING FELLOW PRIEST WITH CHILD PORN TO POLICE

FLORIDA
Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L.
pathtojustice.com

Written by Adam Horowitz, January 26th, 2016

Father John Gallagher, a priest of the Diocese of Palm Beach, is alleging that he was retailated against by the Diocese of Palm Beach because he told law enforcement authorities that a fellow priest, Rev. Jose Palimattom, showed pornographic material to a minor. According to Father Gallagher, the Diocese of Palm Beach retailiated against him for being a whilestblower and exposing the priest’s illegal conduct. Gallagher alleges that the Diocese’s Bishop Gerald Barbarito denied him a promotion, demoted him, urged him to resign from the priesthood, transfered him to another parish, and locked him out of his parochial residence at Holy Name of Jesus Christ Catholic Church in West Palm Beach.

In January 2015, Palimattom, a 48-year old Catholic priest assigned to Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in West Palm Beach, was arrested in for having child pornography on his cell phone and showing the images to a minor. According to police records, the priest asked a 14-year old boy from his parish to help him delete pictures from his cell phone. In so doing, the boy discovered dozens of images of nude pre-pubescent boys on the priest’s cell phone with tags such as “little boys.” According to Father Gallaagher, the victim that night told a friend who reported it to a church employee who told Father Gallagher. Gallagher then set up a meeting with Father Palimattom and a retired law enforcement officer. According to Gallagher, Rev. Palimattom confessed which prompted Gallagher to report the incident to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office. Palimattom was eventually sentenced to six months in jail and one year of probation for showing obscene materials to a minor.

According to Father Gallagher, he twice attempted to report Father Palimattom to the Diocese of Palm Beach but no action was taken by the Diocese. He also says the Diocese of Palm Beach’s retaliation against him began soon after he called law enforcement. Gallagher says the Diocese of Palm Beach would have preferred to put Rev. Jose Palimattom “on a plane” back to his native India rather than him report the child pornography to law enforcement. In April 2015, Gallagher said Diocese of Palm Beach Gerald Barbarito denied him a promotion he was owed and in fact demoted him with no explanation. Gallagher was soon transfered from his position in West Palm Beach to a parish in Stuart, Florida. Gallagher also claims he was asked to resign from the priesthood. Gallagher reports that he later had health complications, including a heart attack. While Bishop Barbarito did visit him in the hospital, Gallagher contends that the Bishop refused to anoint him or bring him Communion. When Gallagher got out of the hospital, he alleges that that locks had been changed on his parochial residence and a new priest had moved in.

Sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz, who has handled numerous sexual abuse against the Catholic Church in the State of Florida, stated: “Many Dioceses in the Catholic Church have a long and troubling history of trying to keep a lid on matters which cause scandal to the church and punishing those within the church who let the Church’s secrets out. In this case, Father Gallagher should be commended for his action in bringing Father Palimattom to justice. If in fact Father Gallagher is being retaliated against for exposing a priest with a sexual interest in children, it is a shameful example of the Catholic Church failing to protect kids and putting its own reputation ahead of the safety of children.”

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Polish court rules that a priest’s son inherits his wealth

POLAND
Times Union

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish court has ruled that a 6-year-old boy is the only heir of a prominent priest, who was his father.

The case of the estate of Monsignor Waldemar Irek has riveted this predominantly Catholic nation ever since the 54-year-old priest’s death in 2012, when the boy’s mother came forward with the claim. To prove her case, she had Irek’s body exhumed for a DNA test which confirmed he was the boy’s father.

Marek Poteralski, spokesman for the court in Wroclaw, said Wednesday the court ruled that the boy was Irek’s closest family and the sole inheritor, according to the law. The verdict is subject to appeal by Irek’s mother and niece.

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Frenar la pederastia clerical está en manos del Papa Francisco: Athié

MEXICO
Proceso

[OAXACA, – If the Pope Francisco does nothing to stop priestly pedophilia it will continue “and he will remain responsible (of the evil that afflicts the Catholic Church),” said the former priest Alberto Athie Gallo.]

OAXACA, Oax. (apro).- Si el Papa Francisco no hace nada para frenar la pederastia sacerdotal, ésta continuará “y él seguirá siendo responsable (de ese mal que aqueja a la Iglesia católica)”, afirmó aquí el exsacerdote Alberto Athié Gallo.

Además el activista adelantó que en el marco de la visita del máximo jerarca de la Iglesia católica a México, del 12 al 17 de febrero próximo, entregarán a la Nunciatura Apostólica una serie de documentos sobre los cientos de casos de abuso sexual cometidos por clérigos que fueron protegidos por la jerarquía católica, así como cartas de familiares y víctimas.

Durante la conferencia “Pederastia clerical en Oaxaca”, Athié lamentó que aunque el Vaticano cuenta con un tribunal para juzgar a los obispos encubridores de sacerdotes pederastas, la realidad es que se quedó en el mero discurso porque ninguno ha sido llamado a cuentas.

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Snap Priest Protest

MICHIGAN
MLive

SNAP President Barbara Blaine and Phillip Frederickson hold signs and pictures of children sexually abused by priests during a call-to-action at the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 in which they hand-delivered a letter to the diocese to publicly urge Michigan bishops to seek out anyone who may have been hurt by a now-disgraced Twin Cities Archbishop.

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Royal commission told Anglican Church took no action after paedophile was found naked in spa bath with 10-year-old boy

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Nigel Hunt
The Advertiser

THE Anglican Church took no action after employee and suspected paedophile Robert Brandenburg was found naked in a spa bath with a 10-year-old boy, a royal commission has been told.

Former Archbishop Ian George ordered an inquiry into the incident.

But both Dr George and the then head of Anglican Community Services, Gerard Menses, accepted Brandenburg’s explanation the spa romp was “innocent in nature”.

Neither the diocese nor ACS, which employed Brandenburg as a manager of youth campsites, took any further action.

Neither was the incident reported to police for investigation.

This was despite records showing that representatives of the Adelaide diocese of the Anglican Church were first made aware of detailed allegations of sexual abuse of children by Brandenburg as early as 1978.

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Pedophile priest promoted despite allegations

AUSTRALIA
The Advocate

By ADAM LANGENBERG
Jan. 27, 2016

A PEDOPHILE 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.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is holding hearings in Hobart from Wednesday to Friday, February 5.

In her opening address, Counsel Assisting Naomi Sharp said then Bishop of Tasmania Phillip Newell was made aware of allegations from three boys about inappropriate behaviour from Louis Daniels in 1987, then the chairman of the Church of England Boys Society.

Daniels and former Tasmanian Priest Garth Hawkins, both convicted pedophiles, are the main focus of the inquiry relating to Tasmania.

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Editorial: Lift statute of limitations on sex assault

COLORADO
Reporter-Herald

Like dozens of other women across the country, two Colorado women, aspiring models back in the 1980s, say Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them.

And like the others, they say they did not come forward immediately after the alleged assaults because they realized no one would have believed them.

Now their voices have been added to a growing list of women whom many people do believe.

Now the two women have asked Colorado legislators to reconsider a law has placed a statute of limitations on sexual assault cases. Ten years after they happen, they can no longer be prosecuted.

Legislators are expected to consider a bill this session that would remove the statute of limitations. It would not be retroactive and would not change anything for the two women.

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St. George’s Taps PR Firm Tied to Boston Diocese’s Effort to Avoid Paying Abuse Victims

RHODE ISLAND
GoLocalProv

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
GoLocalProv News Team and Kate Nagle

Despite promises by the leadership of St. George’s to be transparent and get to the bottom of the sexual abuse scandal that has claimed more than 40 children as victims, the prep school has hired the controversial Boston public relations firm Rasky Baerlein. The firm worked to create the message for the Diocese of Boston’s effort to avoid payment to victims by declaring bankruptcy.
In 2002, Rasky Baerlein was hired by the Diocese’s law firm Goodwin Proctor “to advise the firm on communicating the complexities of a bankruptcy filing to several audiences, including priests, parishioners, and the wider public, according to the sources,” reported the Boston Globe.

Despite representing two of the most widespread sex abuse cases in New England history, the PR firm denies this is a specialty. In an email to GoLocal, President of Rasky Baerlein Joe Baerlein writes, “No (we do not have a sexual abuse specialty) we are a communications and public affairs firm with offices in Boston and DC. We have mostly corporate and institutional clients across a series of vertical industries, i.e., healthcare or energy. We do a significant amount of work in reputation and crisis management.”

The Board of St. George’s hired Rasky Baerlein to manage the communications tied to questions about the years of sexual abuse. The firm prominently claims that they are experts at crisis communications:

A smart, strategic communications plan – developed in close coordination with the legal team and executed with care – helps confront misinformation, advance positive messages, and condition the environment for a favorable result. We’ve worked with leading law firms to guide clients through contentious legal battles, including complex multi-state litigation, civil and criminal proceedings in state and federal courts, and class action lawsuits.

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