By BILL RADKE & MATT MARTIN
Bill Radke talks with Mary Dispenza, director of SNAP (Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests) in Seattle, about her reaction to “Spotlight” winning Best Picture at the Oscars Sunday night. The movie tells the story of how Boston Globe reporters uncovered a massive child abuse cover-up by the Catholic Church.
By ROD McGUIRK (Associated Press)
CANBERRA, Australia – (AP) — One of Pope Francis’ top advisers told an Australian inquiry into child sex abuse on Tuesday that an Australian bishop had deceived him about the reason a pedophile priest was repeatedly transferred from parish to parish.
Australian Cardinal George Pell was a priest in the town of Ballarat in 1970s who advised Bishop Ronald Mulkearns about the placement of priests within the diocese.
Pell, now the pope’s top financial adviser, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that while Mulkearns and another priest at the regular committee meetings, Monsignor Leo Fiscalini, both knew about serious sexual assault allegations against notorious pedophile Gerald Ridsdale, neither mentioned them.
“It probably would be possible to imagine a greater deception, but it’s a gross deception,” Pell told the Sydney inquiry via videolink from a Rome hotel.
Cardinal George Pell says the Catholic Church leadership failed to protect children in a Victorian diocese but he accepts no responsibility for moving a pedophile priest.
Cardinal Pell said it was improper to assign responsibility to those like himself who were ignorant of the offending by priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale in the Diocese of Ballarat in the 1970s and 1980s.
“In the diocese of Ballarat certainly there was a gigantic failure of leadership,” Cardinal Pell told the child abuse royal commission from Rome.
Cardinal Pell, who was an adviser to the Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns between 1977 and 1984, did not agree the church collectively failed to protect children in the diocese during the 1970s and 1980s.
Child sex abuse survivors say it’s unbelievable a man of Cardinal George Pell’s intelligence was unaware of a pedophile priest’s offending when two Victorian communities and local clergy knew about it.
The cardinal told the child abuse royal commission on Monday night that while he was on a Ballarat diocese committee that advised on the transfers of priests he was never told of the offending of pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale in the 1970s.
By videolink from Hotel Quirinale in Rome he told the commission sitting in Sydney that then Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns and his advisor Monsignor Fiscalini had deceived him by not telling him Ridsdale was moved between parishes because of his offending.
Cardinal George Pell has told the child sex abuse inquiry that the responsibility for the protection of children is not equal for all ordained clergy.
The cardinal was explaining why the shocking story of pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale abusing children in the Victorian parish of Ballarat was not of much interest to him at the time.
In the second day of a hearing in which Cardinal Pell is giving evidence by video link from Rome, the counsel for the child sex abuse Royal commission Gail Furness SC pressed him of how it was that Ridsdale’s offences were common knowledge in at least two parishes but escaped his notice.
Ms Furness: “What was not of much interest to you?”
Cardinal Pell: “The suffering of course was real and I very much regret that, but I have no reason to turn my mind to the extent of the…
È stata la prima di tre o quattro audizioni, che si svolgeranno stanotte e nei giorni successivi: il cardinale George Pell, Prefetto della Segreteria per l’Economia e membro del consiglio di cardinali che collabora con il Papa per la riforma della Curia è comparso di fronte alla Commissione governativa australiana che indaga sugli abusi sui minori commessi da sacerdoti, religiosi o persone collegate alla Chiesa. Com’è noto, a causa delle sue condizioni di salute che non gli permettono di affrontare il lungo viaggio transoceanico, il porporato ha chiesto e ottenuto di fornire la sua testimonianza in videoconferenza, dall’hotel Quirinale di Roma. La prima audizione è iniziata poco dopo le 22 e si è conclusa alle 2.30 di questa mattina. Erano presenti dei seminaristi australiani e una rappresentanza delle vittime degli abusi, che hanno organizzato una raccolta di fondi per essere presenti dal…
CITTA’ DEL VATICANO
Corriere della Sera
Gian Guido Vecchi
CITTÀ DEL VATICANO – La Chiesa cattolica «ha commesso enormi errori, ma sta lavorando per rimediare. Ha causato gravi danni in molti luoghi, ha deluso i fedeli». Lo ha ammesso il cardinale George Pell, già arcivescovo di Melbourne e poi di Sydney e ora prefetto degli Affari economici del Vaticano, testimoniando in videoconferenza dall’Hotel Quirinale a Roma davanti alla Commissione d’inchiesta sulle risposte delle istituzioni agli abusi sessuali a minori negli anni 1970 e 1980. «Non sono qui a difendere l’indifendibile», ha aggiunto. In quei giorni la Chiesa era «fortemente propensa» ad accettare smentite degli abusi da parte di chi ne era accusato. L’istinto allora era più di «proteggere dalla vergogna l’istituzione, la comunità della Chiesa», ha detto fra l’altro il prelato, che ha tuttavia negato di aver avuto alcuna conoscenza delle malefatte dei preti pedofili che operavano nella diocesi…
ROMA, Sidney.- El cardenal australiano George Pell, el funcionario del Vaticano de más alto rango que ha testificado sobre casos de abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes católicos, dijo el domingo que la Iglesia cometió “enormes errores” y “ha decepcionado a las personas” en el manejo del escándalo.
Ofreciendo su testimonio a víctimas de abusos desde una habitación de un hotel en Roma, Pell dijo a la Comisión Real de Australia sobre Respuestas Institucionales al Abuso Sexual Infantil que a los niños a menudo no se les creía y a los sacerdotes se los traspasaba de parroquia en parroquia.
“La Iglesia cometió enormes errores y está trabajando para remediarlos, pero la Iglesia en muchos lugares, sobre todo en Australia, estropeó las cosas, ha decepcionado a las personas”, dijo Pell través de una videoconferencia con la comisión en Sídney. “No estoy aquí para defender lo indefendible”, agregó.
Ante la Comisión Real australiana para una Respuesta Institucional al Abuso Sexual de Menores, a través de una videoconferencia, Pell ha prometido que no iba a «defender lo indefendible» y ha declarado que la iglesia incurrió históricamente en errores graves al no abordar adecuadamente el problema y que ahora está trabajando para remediarlo.
«La Iglesia en muchos lugares, y ciertamente en Australia, ha estropeado las cosas y ha decepcionado a la gente», ha reconocido.
(EP) Sin embargo, el cardenal australiano ha negado que la propia institución sea la culpable de la gestión de los casos de sacerdotes que abusaron de niños aunque ha admitido que en el pasado la actitud general de la Iglesia hacia el abuso fue que «el niño lo tenía mucho, mucho más difícil para que se le creyera».
Neil Mitchell has taken issue with part of Cardinal George Pell’s testimony at the child abuse Royal Commission.
Cardinal Pell was asked if he knew it was common knowledge in Inglewood that Ridsdale was interfering with children.
“It’s a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me,” he responded.
And with that there were gasps of incredulity from those watching on in Australia.
“That’s the whole essence of the problem,” Neil said.
“You’re a man of God, pledging to care for people, and you hear stories that the local priest is molesting children, and it’s not of much bloody interest to you?
“I’m not surprised that they’re angry.
“We’ve got to be fair to George Pell, but he hasn’t impressed me so far.
Cardinal George Pell has faced an ominous warning from the head of the child abuse royal commission, being told he would be culpable if it was found he knew about the acts of a pedophile priest in Ballarat in the 1970s.
Cardinal Pell has told the royal commission he knew nothing of offences committed by pedophile Father Gerald Ridsdale, who was repeatedly moved to new parishes by Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, where he continued abusing children.
Cardinal Pell was a consultor to the bishop but said he was deceived and lied to by the bishop and other priests who knew of complaints against Ridsdale.
Commissioner Peter McClellan said the inquiry had to determine a very serious issue.
“You see, you speak of the bishop’s culpability,” Commissioner McClellan said.
“If we were to come to the view that you did know, you would be culpable too, wouldn’t you?”
Sydney Morning Herald
Social Affairs Reporter
Complaints about a paedophile priest were “common knowledge” in the Catholic community and among two senior clergy members but Cardinal George Pell did not have “much interest” in them, he told a royal commission.
In his second day of questioning about what he knew of sexual offending by priests when he was in Victoria, Cardinal Pell’s admission drew an audible gasp from those listening to his testimony.
Giving his evidence via video-link from Rome, Australia’s most senior Catholic agreed that some people knew there had been complaints about Gerald Ridsdale in the 1970s, a former priest now serving a prison sentence for multiple child sex offences.
Cardinal George Pell, giving evidence in Rome to Australia’s royal commission on institutional responses to child sexual abuse, says he did not know whether paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale’s offending was common knowledge in the parish of Inglewood. Pell’s comment that, “It’s a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me”, drew an audible gasp from those listening to the videolink in Sydney. Pell added: “The suffering, of course, was real and I very much regret that, but I had no reason to turn my mind to the extent of the evils that Ridsdale had perpetrated.”
WOODBRIDGE – The Hunterdon County priest who was serving a 33-year sentence for sexually assaulting an altar boy died Monday at the state’s Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center.
John Banko, 69, was pronounced dead at 9:29 a.m. Monday, said Matt Schuman, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections.
No foul play is suspected in Banko’s death, Schuman said, adding he can not give any circumstances because of federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations.
Banko, a former pastor at St. Edward the Confessor in Milford , was convicted twice of sexual abuse during his tenure at the church. Known to parishioners as “Father Jack,” Banko was convicted in December 2002 of molesting a former altar boy on two consecutive Sundays after Mass at the Milford church from September 1993 to September 1994.
Story by Tracy Neal
Monday, February 29, 2016
BENTONVILLE — A teacher at Life Way Christian School was arrested Saturday in connection with sexually assaulting a student, according to court documents.
Richard Thomas Riley, 34, of Centerton was arrested on charges of sexual assault in the first degree, a Class A felony, and distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony.
Riley’s bond was set at $50,000.
Life Way Christian School fired Riley on Saturday, according to administrator Luke Bowers.
Riley had worked for the school since 2013 teaching physical science and world history, primarily to ninth- and 10th-graders. He had served in the U.S. military before joining Life Way and has a master’s degree in education, Bowers said.
New York Times
By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
FEB. 29, 2016
ROME — When Pope Francis was chosen to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics three years ago, he pledged to reform antiquated and troubled Vatican institutions.
He formed an inner circle of nine cardinals as his closest advisers, appointed a commission to deal with sexual abuse of children by the clergy, and another to reform the Vatican’s tangled finances. To pilot the financial reform and serve in his inner circle, Francis chose Cardinal George Pell.
So it was a matter of no small discomfort to the Vatican, and fascination to the world’s media, to see Cardinal Pell testify late Sunday — via video link from a hotel in Rome — before an Australian Royal Commission looking into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
The questioning centered on how much the cardinal knew about a number of priests and…
Cardinal George Pell says Gerald Francis Ridsdale’s sexual abuse of children at a Victorian parish in the 1970’s was a ‘sad story’ that ‘wasn’t of much interest to me’ and that he was not told the priest was being moved because he was a pedophile.
Cardinal Pell, who was then a Ballarat priest, says he did not know that Ridsdale’s offending was common knowledge in the Victorian parish of Inglewood in 1975 and did not know about the allegations.
‘It’s a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me,’ he told the child abuse royal commission from Rome on Tuesday.
His comment drew gasps from some observers in the room, many of whom were victims of child abuse who had travelled to Rome to hear his testimony.
‘The suffering, of course, was real and I very much regret that, but I had no…
By Justin Michaels
It was a huge and surprising win for a movie that has its foundation at the Boston Globe.
Spotlight won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and for the real people behind the movie characters, the win means much more than a gold statue.
Winning best picture at the Academy Awards, the film Spotlight shined a bright light on an issue sex abuse victim Alexa MacPherson knows intimately. She faced abuse from her priest, but as exciting as this moment was, it didn’t offer her something she longs for more than anything.
“Not a sense of closure, at least not for me,” said MacPherson, “It’s a sense of being understood. And not being called a liar.”
The movie is about the Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigation into the child sex abuse scandal in the Boston Catholic Church.
NECN spoke with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist…
Wear Your Voice
by Nancy Levine
The movie Spotlight won Oscar awards for best picture and best original screenplay at Sunday evening’s 82nd annual Academy Award presentation.
On the red carpet before the Oscar telecast, actor Mark Ruffalo, who played Boston Globe reporter Mike Rezendes in the movie, told ABC’s Robin Roberts:
“It’s still happening today. I was at a protest today in Los Angeles at the Cathedral with the SNAP group, with the survivors of priest sexual abuse. They were telling me that every day they have more and more people coming out of the darkness to tell their stories of sexual abuse by priests. And the more that happens, the closer we get to actually healing this wound, I think.”
Indeed, those stories continue to come forward. On December 25, 2015, The New York Times reported former rabbi Marc Gafni’s admission of sexual engagement with…
ROME/SYDNEY | BY PHILIP PULLELLA AND JANE WARDELL
Australian Cardinal George Pell, the highest-ranking Vatican official to testify on systemic sexual abuse of children by clergy in the Roman Catholic Church, said on Monday that he has the full backing of Pope Francis.
Pell on Sunday told Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse that the church made “enormous mistakes” and “catastrophic” choices by attempting to cover up abuses in the 1970s.
Pell’s testimony has received global coverage. Because of his high position in the Vatican, the Australian inquiry into sexual abuse cases that occurred decades ago has taken on wider implications about the accountability of church leaders.
Pell, 74, has become the focal point for victims’ frustration over what they say has been an inadequate response from church leaders. Pell himself is not accused of sexual abuse and has twice apologized for the…
Cardinal George Pell says he was lied to and deceived by a bishop and priests who knew about the child sexual abuse crimes of a fellow clergyman, who was repeatedly moved to new parishes where he continued to offend.
Cardinal Pell told the child abuse royal commission that while he didn’t know why Father Gerald Ridsdale was moved on to new parishes in the Victorian diocese of Ballarat in the 1970s, Bishop Ronald Mulkearns and other priests knew of repeated paedophilia allegations.
Commissioner Justice Peter McClellan asked: “You say the bishop deceived you, is that right?”
Cardinal Pell replied: “Unfortunately, correct.”
An advisor to the bishop, Monsignor Fiscalini, deceived him as well, Cardinal Pell said.
Ventura County Star
By Tom Kisken of the Ventura County Star
Lee Bashforth wishes Oscar-winning “Spotlight” was made before he was molested at age 6 by a Catholic priest in the Conejo Valley.
“If this movie had been made 40 years ago, what happened to me would never have happened,” he said. “It’s that big of deal.”
The movie about The Boston Globe’s investigation of pedophile priests won best picture at the Academy Awards Sunday. Survivors said Monday the surprise victory helps their fight against clergy abuse.
“No pun intended but it puts our story back in the spotlight,” said Bashforth. He said he and his brother were molested by the Rev. Michael Wempe when the priest served at St. Jude Catholic Church in Westlake Village.
Wempe also served at other local parishes including St. Rose of Lima Church in Simi Valley, Sacred Heart Church in Ventura and…
The Catholic Spirit
Maria Wiering | February 29, 2016
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis plans to move is central corporation offices to the 3M Company’s former headquarters in St. Paul. The archdiocese signed a lease Feb. 29 for the 75,000 square foot building in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood, northeast of downtown.
Built in 1939, the building at 777 Forest St. N. served as 3M’s headquarters from 1940-1962. It is part of the Beacon Bluff Business Park, which is under development by the St. Paul Port Authority. The St. Paul-based developer Exeter Group owns the building. The lease is subject to bankruptcy court approval, and its terms with renovation costs are also subject to archdiocesan and landlord approval. The archdiocese, which has 140 employees, does not expect to finalize anticipated renovation costs until mid-May.
In an email to archdiocesan employees, Father Charles Lachowitzer, the archdiocese’s moderator of…
By Nick Alexander
Cardinal George Pell has drawn gasps from the survivors watching his testimony in a Rome hotel room, saying that the crimes of convicted pedophile Gerard Ridsdale were “a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me”.
Early on in the second day of his video testimony before a Royal Commission, Cardinal Pell was questioned about whether he knew of the dozens of sexual crimes committed by Ridsdale against children in Inglewood during the 1970s.
Gail Furness SC had put it to Cardinal Pell that his superior, Bishop Mulkearns, had been informed by a police officer, a Detective Sergeant Mooney, that Ridsdale was under investigation for interfering with children.
The abuse, DS Mooney was quoted as saying, was “pretty common knowledge all through the congregation. Pretty much everyone you would speak to knew about it.”
The Dallas Morning News
Before a 2002 Boston Globe investigation rocked the Catholic Church and inspired an Oscar-winning movie, Dallas reporter Brooks Egerton was unveiling the church’s systemic cover-up of pedophile priests.
Egerton was an editor at The Dallas Morning News in the early 1990s when Rudolph “Rudy” Kos was accused of molesting boys at several Dallas-area churches. The newspaper was covering the priest’s civil trial, but Egerton pushed for reporting that went beyond the courtroom.
He was aware of sexual abuse scandals involving priests across the country — most notably in Louisiana, where priest Gilbert Gauthe admitted he abused dozens of children — and saw a story much larger than one bad priest.
“The details of the South Louisiana stuff were just shocking, and to think that it could have happened anywhere, much less in multiple places, was kind of shocking,” Egerton said Monday.
Children were put at risk when a Victorian bishop moved a priest after a child abuse complaint, Cardinal George Pell says.
Cardinal Pell said it was unacceptable that Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns moved pedophile Gerald Francis Ridsdale between parishes, including to Inglewood in 1975, after receiving a victim’s complaint.
“It’s unacceptable because of the risk it presented to children in Inglewood and that was exacerbated by the fact it doesn’t seem as though any effort was made to withdraw Ridsdale, at least for a period, for counselling or advice or help,” he said.
The commission has heard another complaint about Ridsdale was made in Inglewood and his offending was common knowledge in the parish, but Cardinal Pell said he did not know himself.
Cardinal George Pell has said he has the Pope’s “full backing”, as he testifies for a second day at a hearing into child sex abuse.
The Australian’s remarks came before he entered a Rome hotel where he is answering questions by video link.
Survivors have flown to Rome to see the cardinal testify after he was excused from returning home due to ill health.
The Vatican treasurer is being asked whether he knew if paedophiles were active in churches under his watch.
On the first day of the Royal Commission hearing, the cardinal said that the Catholic Church had made “enormous mistakes” in dealing with claims of sexual abuse.
By Europe correspondent Lisa Millar in Rome, staff
Cardinal George Pell has declared he has the Pope’s “full backing”, as he prepares for a second day of testimony in front of the child abuse royal commission.
Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic arrived at Rome’s Hotel Quirinale this morning ahead of another session giving video evidence to the commission on what he knew about abuse committed by Catholic priests.
The cardinal met Pope Francis yesterday, after his first four-hour session of giving evidence.
“I have the full backing of the Pope,” he told reporters outside the hotel.
Cardinal Pell’s office said the regularly scheduled meeting was in regard to his work as head of the Vatican Treasury.
9 News (Australia)
An Irish clergyman is on indefinite leave from the Catholic Church after being caught snorting cocaine in a room full of Nazi memorabilia in his parish house.
Caught dead-to-rights on camera, Father Stephen Crossan, of County Downs in Northern Ireland, admitted imbibing the class-A drug after a party last year, but denied that he is a supporter of National Socialism.
“It was just the one night and that was it. I do not have an issue with drugs,” Fr Crossan told The Sun, adding that he collects relics from “all over the world”, and not just Nazi Germany.
“I know what they stand for, but I’m no Nazi. I collect historical stuff,” Father Crossan, who was on sick leave at the time.
One of his guests told the British tabloid, however, that the 37-year-old priest had given a Sieg Heil Nazi salute at the…
By Meredith Goldstein GLOBE STAFF FEBRUARY 29, 2016
Nicole Rocklin’s mom tried to be patient as she waited for her daughter to arrive at trendy Palihouse in West Hollywood on Sunday night.
“I just want to give her a hug,” she said, of her producer daughter, who with producer Blye Faust, started the film project that would eventually become “Spotlight.”
In 2009, Rocklin and Faust began optioning the life rights of the Boston Globe journalists who uncovered sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Seven years later, the film won the best picture prize at the Oscars Sunday night.
Rocklin was one of the VIPs who got hugs – and big cheers – when she entered the “Spotlight” after-party, which was packed by 11 p.m. Party guests were the loudest when director and co-writer Tom McCarthy arrived at the bar. McCarthy immediately thanked production company Anonymous Content,…
By Ben Mullin and Jim Warren • February 29, 2016
Walter Robinson is still a little hoarse.
It’s been less than 24 hours since “Spotlight,” the dramatization of The Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal, pulled off a stunning upset at the 88th annual Academy Awards.
Robinson, who led the depicted investigation as the editor of The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, was in attendance Sunday night. When the movie won Best Picture, he did plenty of shouting.
“We’re just delighted,” said Robinson, who’s portrayed in the movie by Academy Award nominee Michael Keaton. “I think going into last night, we felt a little uncertain about Hollywood. We felt that ‘Spotlight’ was the most important movie of the year, but we didn’t know if Hollywood would equate that with Best Picture.”
Robinson and his Globe colleagues, who’ve been in Los Angeles since the…
by: DENISE LAVOIE, AP Legal Affairs Writer Updated: Feb 29, 2016
BOSTON (AP) — Victims of clergy sexual abuse are reveling in the Oscar won by “Spotlight” — the story of The Boston Globe’s investigation into the scandal — but say they don’t hold out much hope that the elevated status from the film’s Best Picture award will prompt changes at the highest levels of the Roman Catholic church.
“Spotlight,” starring Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo, covers the Globe’s work to uncover how dozens of priests in the Archdiocese of Boston had molested and raped children for decades while church higher-ups covered it up and shuffled abusive priests from parish to parish.
The film was released in November to accolades from victims who said it gave them a sense of validation after years of struggling in silence. Even Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley — appointed to…
Monday 29 February 2016 1
4m ago Audible shock heard in the room as Pell says rumours of abuse “wasn’t of much interest to me”
Another telling exchange
Furness is trying to get Pell to be clear on who was and was not responsible for protecting children in the care of the church at schools and other institutions. Furness says that surely all adults have a responsibility:
“So who isn’t responsible in the Church to ensure the safety of children who are taken in by the Church either as parishioners or as alter boys or in any other way operate within the Church? Who isn’t responsible?”
Pell: “Well it’s very difficult to answer these questions where we swing from one extreme to the other. Everybody has some sort of general responsibility. Individuals and especially office holders have particular responsibility for their…
Cardinal George Pell has resumed giving his evidence to the child abuse royal commission from Rome.
Cardinal Pell is giving evidence via video link from Rome because he’s too ill to fly to Australia. He has appeared before the commission on two previous occasions in Australia.
The cardinal told waiting media earlier in the day that he had “the full backing of the Pope” after a weekly meeting with him earlier in the day.
The Dallas Morning News
[Note: This is a 1993 story just reposted by The Dallas Morning News about the Rudy Kos investigation.]
By DANIEL CATTAU and JUDITH LYNN HOWARD
The Catholic Diocese of Dallas had begun investigating a priest accused of sexually abusing minors before a lawsuit was filed Tuesday, an attorney for the diocese said Wednesday.
“It was not the lawsuit that prompted the investigation,” said Randal Mathis, a Dallas lawyer who is also serving as the diocesan spokesman. He said the investigation started several months ago and has no target date for completion.
Mr. Mathis added that the lawsuit was the first he knew of in the diocese that involves allegations of sexual abuse by the clergy.
Both the diocese and the Rev. Rudolph Kos, who is at a treatment center in Jemez Springs, N.M., were named in the suit, filed by Dallas…
[with copy of the ad]
By Kristen Hare • February 29, 2016
Monday’s edition of The Boston Globe features a front-page image celebrating the actors who won the Best Picture Academy Award for “Spotlight.” On A3, the newspaper recognized everyone involved with the film — and the journalists who worked on the Pulitzer-winning investigation — with a full-page thank-you.
The possibility of running a house ad was brought up last week, but the paper didn’t finalize the decision until Sunday morning, said Boston Globe CEO Mike Sheehan. Because of print deadlines, the ad was running whether “Spotlight” won Best Picture or not. But it’s written in a manner that works either way.
“Generally, there’s a feeling throughout the organization that the movie really is a faithful telling of the story,” Sheehan said. “Everyone here is grateful for that.”
The ad also highlights the the team behind the…
VATICAN CITY (AFP) – Spotlight, the Oscar-winning film about sex abuse in the Catholic Church, faithfully portrays how the Church tried to defend itself despite a “horrible reality”, but is not anti-Catholic as such, the Vatican paper said Monday.
“Predators do not necessarily wear ecclesiastical vestments, and paedophilia does not necessarily stem from the vow of chastity. But it is now clear that, in the Church, too many people concerned themselves more with the image of the institution than the gravity of the act,” wrote an editorial in the Osservatore Romano.
“All of this cannot justify the very serious fault of whoever, as a representative of God, uses this authority to abuse innocents: it is well told in this film,” opined editorial-writer Lucetta Scaraffia, in the first official Vatican comment on the film’s Best Picture Oscar win Sunday night.
“The film is convincing by its…
Religion News Service
Rosie Scammell | February 29, 2016
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Just hours after the movie “Spotlight” picked up the best picture prize at the Academy Awards, the Vatican newspaper praised the film for its portrayal of The Boston Globe’s investigation into clerical sex abuse in the U.S.
The Oscar win on Sunday (Feb. 28) was hailed by producer Michael Sugar as amplifying the voice of survivors. “Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith,” he said in his acceptance speech in Los Angeles that was broadcast around the world.
Sugar’s voice apparently reached Rome as well, with a columnist for the Vatican’s semiofficial newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, asserting that the film had a compelling plot and should not be considered “anti-Catholic.”
“It manages to voice the shock and profound pain of the faithful confronting the discovery of these horrendous realities,” wrote journalist…
CARDINAL George Pell has met with Pope Francis at the Vatican ahead of his second day of testimony to the Australia Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse.
The 74-year-old’s discussion with the Catholic Church’s leader was prearranged, according to Italian media which is covering the hearing as it’s the first time a senior church figure has faced questions on sexual abuse since Józef Wesołowski.
The Polish former Vatican ambassador died of natural causes in August last year while awaiting trial over alleged sexual abuse of children committed in the Dominican Republic. He was also accused of possessing child pornography and seen as a key test of the Holy See’s commitment to investigating abuse within its ranks.
Rosie Scammell, Religion News Service February 29, 2016
ROME – Australian Cardinal George Pell met with Pope Francis on Monday, one day after he testified in a landmark clergy sex abuse inquiry that the Catholic Church made “enormous mistakes” in trying to deal with the scandal.
Speaking to an Australian commission investigating the church’s response to abuse, Pell, now a top adviser to the pope, testified Sunday that during the 1970s he was “very strongly inclined to accept the denial” of a priest accused of abuse. He has previously been archbishop in Sydney.
The 74-year-old Pell, who serves as the Vatican’s finance chief, appeared before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse via video link from a Rome hotel because he said a heart condition prevented him from traveling.
The decision to allow Pell to testify via video has been strongly criticized by…
Sydney Morning Herald
Rome: The Pope may accept Cardinal George Pell’s enforced resignation in June, if evidence to Australia’s Royal Commission links him to the relocation of priests suspected of paedophilia, ‘Vaticanista’ journalists believe.
Pope Francis and Cardinal Pell met face to face at the Vatican on Monday, just hours after the Australian cleric’s first session giving evidence by video link to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The Vatican gave no details of the meeting, but Corriere della Serra reported it was one of a regular series of ‘di cartelli’ briefings the Pope gets from department heads.
Cardinal Pell is the Vatican’s prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy – he described himself to the Commission as the ‘treasurer’ of the Vatican, and is widely called the third most powerful man in the Holy See.
Corriere said it…
By Elise Harris
February 29, 2016 – Catholic News Agency
On the first day of his video testimony to Australia’s Royal Commission investigating institutional responses to child sex abuse cases, Cardinal George Pell said that while the Church has made “enormous mistakes” in the handling of abuse cases, he had no role in covering them up.
“Let me just say this as an initial clarification: I’m not here to defend the indefensible,” Cardinal Pell said during the hearing.
The Church “has made enormous mistakes and is working to remedy those,” he admitted, adding that in many places, and certainly in Australia, the Church “has mucked things up, has let people down.”
However, he also recognized that “there are very few countries in the world who have advanced as far as the Catholic Church has in Australia in putting procedures into place nearly 20 years ago.”
Monday, February 29, 2016
Fort Wayne should be in awe of D’Arcy
Local audiences may recognize the name “John D’Arcy” in one of the most pivotal scenes of “Spotlight,” nominated for six Academy Awards. A Fort Wayne native who lives in New York City, I felt soaring pride that former Bishop D’Arcy fought against sexual abuse in his beloved Catholic Church.
When visiting, I often attended D’Arcy’s Christmas Eve mass at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. Raised Methodist, I respected him, even though I disagreed with his conservative politics. During the Oscars, I will celebrate D’Arcy and his brief mention in “Spotlight,” the story of a Boston Globe reporting team. Gently paced, the film exploded when Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo) opened sealed documents containing damning evidence against the church.
Breathless, Rezendes read to fellow reporters a 1984 letter recommending the removal of a predatory priest with a…
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 29, 2016
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home,firstname.lastname@example.org)
We’re grateful that an ex-priest has pled guilty to more child sex crimes. We hope this news will prod others that he has hurt to come forward. (See attorney general’s news release below.)
Fr. James Francis Rapp has already been convicted on other child sex charges and is imprisoned. So it would have been easy for law enforcement to look the other way when more victims surfaced.
But Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed more child sex charges against him for molesting kids at Jackson Lumen Christi Catholic High School in Jackson in the 1980s.
Once a child molester is convicted, many people who could be helpful get complacent….
National Catholic Reporter
NCR Editorial Staff | Feb. 29, 2016
With “Spotlight” awarded the Oscar for best motion picture, the public humiliation for the Catholic church is now as thorough as one might expect in a culture where what is on screen is often the most persuasive element in fashioning public opinion.
In the case of priests sexually abusing children and bishops and others hiding their crimes, the biblical resonance might now finally be felt: the first have been ushered, publicly, to their place in the last seats. The last have been made first — and given a special place (even on stage with Lady Gaga). No longer need victims hide or fear to explain themselves. The mighty, indeed, have fallen from their thrones; the humble have been exalted.
As Barbara Blaine, founder of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said on Oscar night: “Exposing hundreds…
The West Australian
March 1, 2016
The man who some label Australia’s worst paedophile priest was given “chance after chance after chance”, Cardinal George Pell admitted yesterday.
Former Ballarat priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale was the subject of repeated allegations and complaints of child sex abuse but was ultimately given freedom to seek out new victims as he was shifted around from one parish to another.
Ridsdale, who went on to be convicted of committing 138 offences against 53 victims, was even shipped off to the US for “treatment” and “therapy”.
Questioned about the handling of Ridsdale’s case by his then superiors, in particular former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, Cardinal Pell said he had recently read the file on the child sex offender.
“The way he was dealt with was a catastrophe,” Cardinal Pell told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. “If…
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 29, 2016
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the two outstanding Spotlight teams: the one that did the work and the one that did the film. At the same time, however, our hearts ache for every single victim of sexual violence, especially those whose perpetrators and enablers continue to live, work and cause more pain while under the radar.
The overwhelming majority of abuse victims never speak up. The overwhelming majority of predators and their allies are never “outed.” This must change if kids are to be safer.
We hope more journalists and editors and police and prosecutors will dig deeper and work harder. We hope every single person who…
By Ryan Shek | email@example.com
on February 29, 2016
JACKSON, MI – On Monday, a former Jackson Lumen Christi High School priest pleaded no contest to six counts of criminal sexual conduct, which spanned a half decade of abuse at the school.
James Rapp, now 75, pleaded no contest to three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct as well as three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct Monday, Feb. 29, before Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Susan Beebe.
As part of the plea, 13 counts of criminal sexual conduct were dismissed, while Rapp will face anywhere from 20 to 40 years in prison as part of a sentencing agreement, Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis said.
Dressed in blue Michigan Department of Corrections attire, Rapp appeared before Beebe and pleaded to the charges, often lowering his head or inspecting his shackled wrists.
February 29, 2016
JACKSON, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A former Roman Catholic priest has pleaded no contest to sexual abuse charges connected to his years at a Michigan high school in the 1980s.
James Rapp likely faces at least 20 years in prison, although the 75-year-old already is in prison for similar crimes in Oklahoma.
Defense attorney Alfred Brandt told a Jackson County judge that Rapp coerced students into having sexual contact while working as a teacher and wrestling coach at Lumen Christi High School. He appeared in court Monday.
An investigation began three years ago when victims approached the sheriff’s department. Attorney General Bill Schuette says teens were “robbed of a normal childhood” by Rapp.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Francis Rapp 75 has pleaded no contest to 19 child sexual abuse charges.
He was a priest and teacher at Jackson Lumen Christi High School in the 1980s.
The AG office says Rapp was charged in January 2015 with 13 felonies in Jackson’s 12th District Court.
He was charged with three counts of First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct and 10 counts of Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.
Rapp was also charged with another six felonies in June 2015.
Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome
Monday 29 February 2016
The Vatican used to be impermeable to horrific stories of child sexual abuse by priests – and complicit in attempts to whitewash the perpetrators’ reputations. It was a place where men such as Cardinal Bernard Law, who became a pariah within the US Catholic church after it became clear that decades of sexual abuse had been covered up within his archdiocese, could go for a comfortable retirement and to escape glaring media attention or, even worse, possible investigation.
But an unexpected confluence of extraordinary events has changed all that this week. The film Spotlight, the tale of the Boston Globe’s dogged investigation into clerical sexual abuse, won Hollywood’s most coveted prize of the Oscar for best picture.
More importantly, hours before the Oscar win was announced, one of the most senior officials within the Vatican hierarchy, Cardinal…
By Kelly Bauer | February 29, 2016
CHICAGO — A Chicago-based group that has fought to expose pedophile priests for years is heralding “Spotlight,” the film that won best picture at the Academy Awards this year.
In a statement released Sunday even before “Spotlight,” which focuses on a team of Boston Globe reporters working to expose the abuse scandal, won the Oscar, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests founder Barbara Blaine said: “kids are the real winners.”
“They are safer because the movie Spotlight has prompted hundreds of thousands to think, talk and take action about child sex crimes and cover ups, even or especially in trusted institutions,” she said.
“These adults are more careful now with babysitters. They are more attentive to changes in kids’ behavior. They more skeptical about claims by officials about alleged ‘openness,’ ‘care’ and ‘prudence’ about kids’ safety.
A Catholic priest caught on video snorting what appeared to be cocaine has taken leave from the priesthood.
Fr Stephen Crossan is reported to have sniffed coke through a £10 note on a night of drinking in July 2015 in Banbridge, County Down.
He was in a room with Nazi memorabilia and seemed to say “I shouldn’t” as he snorted, the Sun on Sunday reported.
The bishop of Dromore said in a statement that he had no knowledge of the incident.
It allegedly occurred in the parochial house last July after a party.
The Sun on Sunday said it happened at what was then Fr Crossan’s parish home in the grounds of St Patrick’s Church, Banbridge, in July 2015.
National Catholic Reporter
Brian Roewe | Feb. 29, 2016
“Spotlight,” the film that follows The Boston Globe’s investigation into the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic church, won best picture at the 88th Academy Awards held on Sunday night.
“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” producer Michael Sugar said in accepting the Oscar.
“Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith,” he added.
“We would not be here today without the heroic efforts of our reporters,” said Blye Pagon Faust, another “Spotlight” producer. “Not only do they affect global change, but they absolutely show us the necessity for investigative journalism.”
In January 2002, the Globe published its first report from its Spotlight investigative team uncovering the sexual abuse scandal…
National Catholic Reporter
Joshua J. McElwee | Feb. 29, 2016
One of the Catholic church’s highest ranking cardinals, Vatican official George Pell, faced four hours of questioning about his role in the clergy sexual abuse crisis in his native Australia in an extraordinary overnight hearing Sunday, in which he admitted the church “has made enormous mistakes” in its handling of dangerous priests.
The cardinal, who has been among Pope Francis’ closest advisors in reforming the Vatican and now leads the city-state’s new centralized treasury department, also said that evidence of abuse brought forward by victims in past decades “were dismissed in absolutely scandalous circumstances.”
Pell, who formerly served as an auxiliary bishop and then archbishop of Melbourne and then archbishop of Sydney, was testifying via video-link from Rome in the hours between Sunday and Monday in a hearing taking place in his home country on the…
by Ty Burr GLOBE STAFF
FEBRUARY 29, 2016
The Oscars came home to Boston at the 88th Academy Awards Sunday night as “Spotlight,” a drama about the Boston Globe’s investigation of clergy sexual abuse and the cover-up by the Roman Catholic Church, was named best picture of 2015. In addition, the writing team of Josh Singer and director Tom McCarthy won the Oscar for best original screenplay.
“This film gave a voice to survivors and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” said “Spotlight” producer Michael Sugar as he accepted the award while the film’s cast — and some of the people they portray — stood behind him on stage.
by Swetha Ramakrishnan Feb 29, 2016
Only an investigative journalism team could carry out a report like the one documented in the Oscar winning film Spotlight. It requires patience, authenticity and people skills that may be lost to the generation of breaking news.
Spotlight is a story about a team of investigative journalists from The Boston Globe — over months, they dug around for information about a child sex abuse racket involving pedophile priests who were backed by the Church and lawyers (through a systemic encouragement of the abuse, by settling cases out of court, sealing the records and maintaining absolute silence on the issue).
Perhaps, the most poignant scenes in Spotlight are a succession of shots showing the reporters compulsively fact checking their research for the Pulitzer prize winning campaign in 2001. A quick web search on the real Spotlight team will show you…
Kein Genre ist bei Kinogängern derzeit so beliebt wie Filme, die auf wahren Begebenheiten beruhen. Die Spanne reicht dabei von streng an der Realität orientierten Dokumentationen bis zu Dramatisierungen hochaktueller Ereignisse. Die Beschäftigung mit den Missbrauchsfällen katholischer Priester und deren weitreichende Publizität bot sich unter solchen Voraussetzungen geradezu an.
Regisseur Tom McCarthy widmet sich dem “heißen Thema” aber nicht zur Ausbeutung seines Sensationscharakters, sondern wie ein Forscher, der sich mit den allgemein zugänglichen Ermittlungen nicht zufriedengibt, weil er sich von den Vorgängen so aufgewühlt fühlt, dass er das ganze Ausmaß und die ganze Wahrheit offenlegen will.
Der ranghöchste Kardinal Australiens hat vor einer Regierungskommission eingeräumt, dass die Kirche Kindesmissbrauch durch Kirchenvertreter jahrelang heruntergespielt hat. “Ich bin nicht hier, um das Unhaltbare zu verteidigen”, sagte Kardinal George Pell, als Budgetverantwortlicher heute die Nummer drei in der Vatikan-Hierarchie.
Pell wird vorgeworfen, als Priester und Bischof selbst sexuelle Übergriffe von anderen vertuscht zu haben. Er hat dies stets zurückgewiesen. “Es waren meist persönliche Schwächen, kein Versagen der Struktur”, sagte Pell. “Der Instinkt war, die Institution, die Gemeinschaft der Kirche, vor Schande zu schützen.”
Es sind denkwürdige Nachtgespräche in Rom. Der australische Kurienkardinal George Pell sagt diese Woche mehrere Tage hintereinander zu Missbrauchsfällen durch Kirchenleute in seiner Heimat aus. Da er wegen Herzproblemen den 21-Stunden-Flug nach Sydney nicht wagen kann, genehmigte ihm die australische Missbrauchskommission eine Aussage per Video-Schaltung. Kardinal Pell steht jeweils von 22 Uhr abends bis 2 Uhr morgens im römischen Hotel Quirinale unweit der Oper Rede und Antwort. Die erste Anhörung lief vergangene Nacht, die letzte ist für Mittwoch geplant. Wer will, kann im Konferenzraum des Hotels dabei sein. 14 Missbrauchsopfer aus Australien wollten das: via Internet sammelten sie umgerechnet 130.000 Euro Spenden und flogen damit nach Rom. Sie sagten, sie wollten dem Kardinal in die Augen sehen, während er spricht.
Sydney/Rom – 29.02.2016
Der australische Kurienkardinal George Pell hat im Umgang mit Missbrauchsfällen “enorme Fehler” eingeräumt. Vor der australischen Missbrauchskommission erklärte er in der Nacht auf Montag, er werde “nicht das Unhaltbare verteidigen”. Die Kirche in Australien habe “die Dinge versaut und Menschen im Stich gelassen”, so Pell laut australischen Medienberichten.
Der Kardinal äußerte sich per Videoschalte aus Rom gegenüber der staatlichen Kommission zur Untersuchung des Umgangs von Institutionen mit Missbrauchsfällen in Sydney. Wegen eines akuten Herzleidens konnte er auf Anraten seiner Ärzte nicht zu der Anhörung nach Sydney fliegen.
By Clyde Hughes | Monday, 29 Feb 2016
“Spotlight,” the surprise Best Picture winner at Sunday night’s Oscars, sent a message to Pope Francis: “it’s time to protect the children.”
The movie details the Boston Globe’s investigation into a sex abuse scandal at a local archdiocese, noted E! News, and producer Michael Sugar took advantage of his time on stage at the Academy Awards to blister the church on its sex abuse scandals.
“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” Sugar said in his acceptance speech, “Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith.”
Sugar continued on backstage, according to Entertainment Weekly, saying he hopes the movie will lead to reforms in the Catholic Church.
“I hope that you…
Los Angeles Times
It was a year of two films. Until it wasn’t.
It was a year of small but well-placed surprises, right up to the end.
It was the year “Spotlight,” the third film on everyone’s list of top three finishers, came from behind and walked off with the best picture trophy.
An impeccable ensemble picture that polished classic Hollywood virtues to a splendid shine, “Spotlight” won the first Oscar of the night, for original screenplay, and then had to wait three-plus hours for another trip to the stage.
Los Angeles Times
Ryan Faughnder and Daniel Miller
20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. led their studio rivals at the Oscars on Sunday, thanks to robust showings from “The Revenant” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
Fox’s “The Revenant” took home three of the top prizes at the 88th Academy Awards: lead actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), director (Alejandro G. Iñárritu) and cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki). Warner Bros.’ “Mad Max: Fury Road” scored six technical awards.
However, in a mild surprise, Open Road Films grabbed the biggest award of the evening — best picture — for the journalism drama “Spotlight.” The Tom McCarthy-directed picture also took home the Oscar for original screenplay. Open Road, a distributor based in Los Angeles, is co-owned by cinema chains AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group.
“Spotlight,” produced by Anonymous Content and Rocklin/Faust, and financed by Participant Media, represented the first best picture victory for Open Road,…
by JOANN WYPIJEWSKI
I don’t “believe the victims”.
I was in Boston in the Spring of 2002 reporting on the priest scandal, and because I know some of what is untrue, I don’t believe the personal injury lawyers or the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team or the Catholic “faithful” who became harpies outside Boston churches, carrying signs with images of Satan, hurling invective at congregants who’d just attended Mass, and at least once – this in my presence – spitting in the face of a person who dared dispute them.
I don’t believe the prosecutors who pursued tainted cases or the therapists who revived junk science or the juries that sided with them or the judges who failed to act justly or the people who made money off any of this.
And I am astonished (though I suppose I shouldn’t be) that, across the past few months,…
The producer of Spotlight, which chronicles The Boston Globe’s investigation into the cover-up of clerical abuse, spoke out after the film won best picture at Sunday’s ceremony
One of the producers of Spotlight, which won the Oscar for best picture at Sunday night’s ceremony, used his acceptance speech to call on Pope Francis and the Vatican to protect children from abuse and “restore the faith”.
The film, which tells the story of The Boston Globe’s investigation into the cover-up of clerical abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston, also won the award for best original screenplay at the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre, in Hollywood.
In his acceptance speech, producer Michael Sugar said that Spotlight “gave a voice to survivors (of abuse)”.
“This Oscar amplifies that voice,” he said. “We hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican. Pope Francis, it’s…
Central Michigan Life
By Sydney Smith
When I first met Fr. Denis Heames in 2015, I was on assignment.
I was tasked with writing a “personality profile.” These are usually done on someone who’s unique in a community — someone with an interesting attribute, hobby or lifestyle.
He was an actor turned priest.
I went to St. Mary’s University Parish to interview him. We walked through the church and into his home, just a couple feet away. He was wearing plainclothes that day in February: jeans and a dark-colored long sleeve shirt. You couldn’t tell he was a priest except by looking at his left-hand ring finger, where he wore a silver crucifix-style ring.
His home was modest from what I remember, though I took note of the large windows; I could see students walking to class. Heames made me a cappuccino, and I settled on a black…
Central Michigan Life
Eight months ago, the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw removed Father Denis Heames from St. Mary’s University Parish for “boundary violations.”
The diocese refused to say much more about Heames’ suspension. Bishop Joseph Cistone made sure to mention in a press release the issue “did not involve minors.”
What has become clear is the Catholic Church tried to cover up yet another scandal.
Cistone has a history of covering up scandal within his jurisdiction. In 2012, a judge found Cistone was a witness of shredding of documents in 1994 when he was a church official in Philadelphia. The documents identified 35 priests suspected of sexual abuse.
This scandal involves the sexual harassment of a Central Michigan University student, according to a university investigation.
The Globe and Mail
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016
Justice department lawyers have been accused of withholding documents that show a priest who worked at an infamous Indian residential school for nearly four decades was a serial sexual predator even as they persuaded an adjudicator to deny compensation to a former student who said the priest abused him.
The man, who was a student of St. Anne’s Indian Residential School in Fort Albany, Ont., is asking Justice Paul Perell of the Ontario Superior Court to rehear his claim in light of the evidence, which was not presented at his closed-door hearing in July, 2014, before an adjudicator of the Independent Assessment Process (IAP). That process was created under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to provide compensation quickly to former students who were physically or sexually abused at…
KEY MOMENTS AND QUOTES OF GEORGE PELL’S TESTIMONY
* “The way he was dealt with, that was a catastrophe. A catastrophe for the victims and a catastrophe for the church,” Cardinal Pell said on the handling of pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale by Bishop Ronald Mulkearns.
* “I am not here to defend the indefensible. The church has made enormous mistakes, and is working to remedy those,” Dr Pell when asked if there was a structural problem in the church.
There were one or two fleeting references to misbehaviour by Dowlan “which I concluded might have been pedophilic activity”, Cardinal Pell in reply to a question about what he knew about Christian Brother Ted Dowlan.
* “I never knew the nature of these, whether they were indiscretions or crimes,” on why Dowlan left the Ballarat parish.
* “Too many of them (complaints by children) certainly were…
By Danny Tran
In Cardinal George Pell’s home town of Ballarat in Western Victoria, the senior Catholic cleric’s evidence was coolly received.
More than 50 people gathered in the town hall to watch Cardinal Pell concede the Catholic Church had made mistakes.
“The Church has, in many places, certainly in Australia, has mucked things up, has let people down,” Cardinal Pell said.
“I’m not here to defend the indefensible.”
Regarding convicted paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, who preyed on dozens of children in Ballarat and across Western Victoria, Cardinal Pell told the royal commission the situation was handled disastrously.
By RACHEL EDDIE FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA
A woman whose husband, brother and cousin were all sexually abused as children in Ballarat has hit back at controversial News Corp columnist Miranda Devine who said there had been a ‘lynch mob’ attacking Cardinal George Pell.
Ms Devine on Sunday wrote the opinion piece for the Daily Telegraph in response to growing dissatisfaction with Cardinal Pell who on Monday gave evidence into the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse from Rome after his doctor provided a certificate that he was unfit to fly to Australia to give evidence in person.
Survivors of abuse suffered over past decades in Ballarat and their supporters instead journeyed to Rome to hear him give evidence in person, believing it would help overcome trauma.
Clare Linane later hit back on Facebook in a post that’s since been shared more…
Sydney Morning Herald
Cardinal George Pell has ceded just enough ground at the child abuse royal commission to give victims a glimmer of hope. There is a vague hint that senior Catholic Church leaders are seeing that the culture of turning a blind eye must change.
But the commission has yet to hone in on the key questions raised by victims’ testimony relating to the extent of Cardinal Pell’s specific knowledge of abuse from the 1970s and whether he was open to accepting or acting on it.
In his third appearance at the commission, the Cardinal admitted that “in those days if a priest denied (sexual abuse) activity I was strongly inclined to accept that denial”.
Granted, some adults then might have trusted a priest’s word above a child’s. But Cardinal Pell’s testimony revealed a deeper malaise. Despite knowing of abuse cases, and hearing the “gossip” among colleagues,…
By James Reynolds
BBC News, Rome
When Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell delivered his long-awaited testimony to an Australian government inquiry into child sex abuse, the BBC’s Rome correspondent James Reynolds was in the room.
Cardinal George Pell entered the hotel ballroom one minute before the scheduled starting time of 22:00 (21:00 GTM). He walked with a slight stoop to a table set up next to a video screen.
One-hundred-and-fifty people gathered to watch him give evidence. Two Vatican security guards sat discreetly on the aisles near the front.
More than a dozen victims of abuse from Australia were also in the audience. They’d raised the money to fly here to Rome. Some wore red T-shirts printed with the words “No More Silence”.
Technicians dimmed one of the room’s chandeliers and opened the video link with the Royal Commission in Australia. The opening questions were…
Hollywood (United States) (AFP) – “Spotlight,” which chronicles The Boston Globe’s investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and institutional efforts to cover up the crimes, landed the Oscar for best picture — a surprise win.
The journalism drama, which boasts a star-studded ensemble cast including Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, is based on a series of stories by the real “Spotlight” team that earned the paper a Pulitzer Prize in 2003.
“This film gave a voice to survivors. And this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” co-producer Michael Sugar told the audience at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
“Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith,” he said.
“Spotlight” was instantly tipped as a contender for glory at the 88th Oscars from its world…
Spotlight, the movie about Boston Globe’s investigation of clergy sexual abuse and the cover-up by the Roman Catholic Church, won the Oscar 2015 award and reminded to the public the numerous worldwide child sex abuse scandals which hit the Catholic Church in the past years.
The Associated Press reported today that one of Pope Francis’ top advisers acknowledged that the Catholic Church “has made enormous mistakes” in allowing thousands of children to be raped and molested by priests over centuries as he testified at an extraordinary public hearing of an Australian investigative commission just a few blocks from the Vatican.
According to AP, the head of the Vatican Bank George Pell testified via videolink for four hours from Sunday night to early Monday morning from a Rome hotel to the Royal Commission sitting in Sydney. On 3 April 2013, the Australian authorities opened a national inquiry to investigate…
You can’t expect a movie, even one as riveting as Spotlight, to change the culture of a centuries-old institution like the Catholic Church. But perhaps the film can remind the church of its unfinished business in confronting a decades-long cover-up of rampant child molestation.
The movie depicts an investigation by the Spotlight reporting team at The Boston Globe, which broke the news in January 2002 and brought international attention to a sickening scandal in Boston that has since engulfed the church around the world. In the United States alone, more than 17,000 victims have reported sexual abuse, going back as far as 1950, involving about 6,400 priests in 100 cities.
Yet, not once in the past 14 years has a single U.S. bishop, let alone a cardinal, been removed from ministry for a role in the scandal. Perhaps the church could not have prevented…
The Voice BW
A self styled pastor and former teacher suspected to have sexually abused several children before he was caught has finally been hit with a defilement charge.
Pastor Mandla Keipheditse who hastily quit teaching under dubious circumstances last year to start a church is facing a single charge of sexually abusing a child under the age of 16.
The current case this week however prompted parents of 13 other children who claim to have been molested by the 30- year -old pastor when he was a teacher at Marakanelo Junior School to come forward.
Spokesperson for the aggrieved family that has already laid a charge against the pastor, Isaiah Mabote lambasted the notorious pastor for ruining, not one, but two of their children’s lives.
Sydney Morning Herald
February 29, 2016
Ballarat clerical abuse survivors say Australia’s most senior Catholic is holding back on his knowledge of paedophile priests who sexually abused scores of children over decades.
During his evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal George Pell said he was not there to “defend the indefensible” and denied knowing about paedophile priests operating in the Ballarat diocese in the 1970s.
He said the Catholic Church had made “enormous” mistakes in its handling of child sex crimes and had let victims down but was working to repair it.
Standing outside of the Hotel Quirinale in Rome where Cardinal Pell gave evidence via video link back to Australia, clerical abuse victim David Ridsdale said thousands of people were still suffering as a result of the church’s failure to protect children.
Monday 29 February 2016
George Pell has shifted ground. The news from his latest stint in the box at the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse is that he wasn’t deaf and he wasn’t blind back in the old days in Ballarat.
The cardinal took no body blows. He endured interrogation by Gail Furness SC, counsel assisting the commission, with almost perfect calm. His energy didn’t fail him. In his leathery voice he answered over and again, “That is correct.”
So much of his testimony was familiar. He expressed his regrets. He condemned the failings of the church which he put down to original sin rather than “the divine structure of the church that goes back to the New Testament”.
But he brought something new to the Albergo Quirinale: admissions that he had heard rumours about priests abusing children in…
(Vatican Radio) The Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Cardinal George Pell, this weekend visited the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens to pray for all survivors of abuse.
The Cardinal testified overnight on Sunday to the Royal Commission investigating institutional sexual abuse in Australia, and will do so again over the next few days.
Cardinal Pell also offered his support for the Loud Fence movement by tying a yellow ribbon on the fence at the grotto.
Beginning in Ballarat, in the Australian state of Victoria, the Loud Fence movement encourages people to tie brightly-coloured ribbons on the fences of Catholic institutions, as a symbol of solidarity with survivors of sexual abuse, their families and communities.
Religion News Service
Rosie Scammell | February 29, 2016
ROME (RNS) Australian Cardinal George Pell, now a top adviser to Pope Francis, testified in a landmark clergy sex abuse inquiry that the Catholic Church made “enormous mistakes” in trying to deal with the scandal.
Speaking to an Australian commission investigating the church’s response to abuse, Pell — who had previously been archbishop in Sydney — also said that during the 1970s he was “very strongly inclined to accept the denial” of a priest accused of abuse.
The 74-year-old Pell, who serves as the Vatican’s finance chief, appeared before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse late Sunday (Feb. 28) via video link from a Rome hotel because he said a heart condition prevented him from traveling.
As he rose through the ranks of the Australian church, Pell recalled that numerous allegations “certainly were dismissed and…
By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent February 29, 2016
ROME — One of the Vatican’s most senior officials admitted that the Catholic Church “has made enormous mistakes” in allowing children to be sexually abused by priests, as he testified via video link to a Royal Commission in Australia investigating institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
Australian Cardinal George Pell also admitted that he often believed priests over alleged victims who came forward: “I must say in those days, if a priest denied such activity, I was very strongly inclined to accept the denial.”
“I’m not here to defend the indefensible,” Pell said at the beginning of a grueling four-hour hearing late Sunday night via video from a Rome hotel. In order to be take place in the morning in Australia, Pell has agreed to appear beginning at 10 p.m. Rome time and continue until roughly 2…
The Daily Beast
Barbie Latza Nadeau
ROME — Dingy sage-green curtains and three enormous shiny golden chandeliers in the Verdi Room of Rome’s Quirinale Hotel, a stone’s throw away from the main train station, provided an odd setting for one of the most important clerical sex-abuse hearings a senior Vatican official has ever faced.
The squeaky parquet-floored room, which is normally used for wedding receptions and first communion parties, was transformed into a makeshift courtroom for Cardinal George Pell, head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, who was called to answer questions by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Pell was supposed to travel to Australia for the hearings last year, but ill health (backed up by ample doctor certification) apparently prohibited the 74-year-old from making the long journey. So the commission decided to come to Rome and conduct the questioning by…
Ben Doherty in Sydney and Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome
The Catholic Church was more concerned with protecting its own reputation than helping victims of clergy abuse, and had a “predisposition not to believe” children who made complaints, Cardinal George Pell has told the royal commission into institutional responses to sexual child abuse in Australia.
“At that stage, the instinct was more to protect the institution, the community of the church, from shame,” he told the commission in Sydney via videolink from Rome.
On the first day of four scheduled days of evidence before Australia’s royal commission on Monday, Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, conceded the church’s handling of child sexual abuse in the case of paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale was a “catastrophe”.
“I’m not here to defend the indefensible, the church has made enormous mistakes and is working to remedy those, but the church has in…
By Dominic Patten
Spotlight tonight took the big prize at the 88th Academy Awards with a Best Picture victory. Nominated for a total of six Oscars tonight it also was the big winner Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards. The Open Road-distributed and Tom McCarthy-directed drama about the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team’s exposes of rampant sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and the subsequent cover-ups was chosen as one of the top 10 films of 2015 by AFI. McCarthy lost on Best Director on Sunday to The Revenant’s Alejandro G. Inarritu.
“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” said producer Michael Sugar onstage, surrounded by Spotlight‘s cast and creatives. “Pope Francis, it is time to protect the children and restore the faith.”
By Dan Smith, staff
The Catholic Church made “enormous mistakes” and “let people down” in its handling of child sexual abuse by priests, Cardinal George Pell told the child abuse royal commission this morning.
Australia’s most senior Catholic testified via video link from a hotel in Rome, giving evidence about Catholic abuse in Ballarat and Melbourne.
He said he was “not here to defend the indefensible”, and admitted children at the time were unlikely to be believed if they had come forward with allegations of abuse.
When asked if the general attitude of the church was to not believe a child, he said it “certainly was much, much more difficult for the child to be believed then … the predisposition was not to believe”.
“…Too many of them certainly were dismissed and sometimes they were dismissed in absolutely scandalous circumstances,” he said.
The film Spotlight based on the Boston Globe’s expose of sexual misbehaviour by scores of local priests won the Oscar for Best Picture in Los Angeles last night.
The film has been widely credited with setting off investigations into priestly wrongdoing worldwide.
The film detailing The Boston Globe’s coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church actually won two awards: it was named Best Original Screenplay opening the telecast and and at the end it it collected the the Best Picture Oscar .
“This film gave a voice to survivors and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that resonate all the way to the Vatican,” said Spotlight producer Michael Sugar while accepting the award.
Cardinal George Pell heard rumours about pedophile priests and suspected a Christian Brother might have been involved in ‘pedophilic activity’ but insists he was unaware of sexual abuse and cover-ups across the Ballarat diocese in the 1970s.
Child abuse survivors from Australia had a front-row seat in Rome as they watched Cardinal Pell sit late into the night to give evidence to the child abuse royal commission via a video link back to Sydney.
Their reaction was mixed: welcoming of a more conciliatory tone but cautious about what they saw as the cardinal’s careful choice of words.
The Australian cleric now in charge of the Vatican’s finances told the commission he had heard rumours of abuse and inappropriate behaviour by priests and brothers in the Victorian diocese of Ballarat in the early 1970s.
RTE News (Ireland)
Australian Cardinal George Pell, the highest-ranking Vatican official to testify on clerical sexual abuse, said the Catholic Church made “enormous mistakes” and “let people down”.
Giving evidence in front of abuse victims in a Rome hotel room, Cardinal Pell told Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse that children were often not believed and abusive priests shuffled from parish to parish.
“The Church has made enormous mistakes and is working to remedy those, but the Church in many places, certainly in Australia, has mucked things up, has let people down,” he said via video link to the commission in Sydney.
“I’m not here to defend the indefensible.”
by CLAUDIO LAVANGA and ALASTAIR JAMIESON
ROME — Vatican treasurer George Pell admitted Sunday that the Roman Catholic Church had “mucked things up” as he became the highest-ranking church official to testify on sexual abuse.
Giving evidence in front of abuse victims, the Australian cardinal said the organization reflected society as a whole and there was a “tendency to evil in the Catholic Church, too.”
He held up a bible as he took the oath in a Rome hotel room where he began to give evidence by video link to Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse.
Pell was expected to clarify whether he knew that a number of priests were abusing children in the diocese near Melbourne where he served as a senior priest and vicar between 1973 and 1983. Among them was Australia’s most notorious pedophile priest, Gerald Ridsdale, with whom…
GMA News (Philippines)
‘Spotlight’ actor Mark Ruffalo didn’t just make the Academy Awards his focus on Sunday (February 28), where he was nominated in the best supporting actor category.
Earlier in the day, he attended a protest outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in downtown Los Angeles alongside the Oscar Best Picture winning film’s director Tom McCarthy and writer Josh Singer.
“So we were with SNAP today,” he told Reuters on the Oscars red carpet, “which is a survivors’ organisation of priest sexual abuse and they were down at the cathedral downtown where the archdiocese basically protesting to continue the lack of transparency of the Roman Catholic Church and Rome and the Vatican and most of the archdiocese here in the United States on sexual abuse. There are 2,800 priests who they know are absolute sexual predators whose names have still not been released and not…
Wall Street Journal
By ROB TAYLOR in Canberra and
FRANCIS X. ROCCA in Rome
A top adviser to Pope Francis on Monday told an Australian inquiry that the failure to halt child abuse by clergy decades ago in the country was “a catastrophe” for both victims and the church. But he denied knowledge of any crimes while he was a priest there at that time.
Cardinal George Pell, who is the Vatican’s financial chief, made the church’s most conciliatory and detailed comments yet regarding accusations of sexual abuse of hundreds of Australian children in the 1970s and 1980s in testimony to a government-appointed Royal Commission.
“It certainly was much, much more difficult for the child to be believed then. The predisposition was not to believe,” Cardinal Pell, 74 years old, told the Australia-based inquiry by video-link from Rome. “The instinct was more to protect the institution, the…
The Independent (UK)
Just hours before the Oscars were due to start, Spotlight actor Mark Ruffalo took part in a protest against sexual abuse in the Catholic church in downtown Los Angeles.
Joined by Spotlight director Tom McCarthy and co-writer Josh Singer, the three spent their day at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels marching alongside the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
Brandishing banners which displayed childhood pictures of the victims of the sexual abuse, the protest called for the names of the priests who have been convicted of abusing minors to be made public.
SYDNEY // Vatican finance chief Cardinal George Pell admitted on Monday the Catholic Church “mucked up” in dealing with paedophile priests and vowed he would not “defend the indefensible” before an Australian inquiry.
Cardinal Pell gave evidence from a hotel in Rome via video-link to the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Sydney. He did not appear in person as he has a heart condition.
The inquiry is currently focused on the Victorian state town of Ballarat, where Cardinal Pell grew up and worked, and how the church dealt with complaints – many dating back to the 1970s – against the Catholic clergy.
Cardinal Pell, who rose to be the top Catholic official in Australia, said the church historically made grave errors in not properly addressing the issue and was now working to remedy them.
“I’m not here to defend the indefensible,” Cardinal George Pell told an Australian courtroom Monday.
What he did was attempt to explain: how one of the most notorious pedophilia rings in the country could have taken place on his watch, how he could have heard about priests who engaged in “misbehavior” — kissing boys, swimming naked with students — and not reported it, how thousands of children were raped and molested by priests in Australia and elsewhere while the Catholic Church did nothing.
“The church has made enormous mistakes and is working to remedy those,” he said via video conference from Rome. “But the church in many places, certainly Australia, has mucked things up … has let people down.”
The investigation into the widespread sexual abuse of children in the city of Ballarat, where Pell was a priest, has brought allegations…
By JAKE COYLE Associated Press FEBRUARY 29, 2016
LOS ANGELES — In an underdog win for a movie about an underdog profession, the newspaper drama “Spotlight” took best picture Sunday at an Academy Awards riven by protest and outrage, and electrified by an unflinching Chris Rock.
Tom McCarthy’s film about the Boston Globe’s investigative reporting on sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests won over the favored frontier epic “The Revenant.” McCarthy’s well-crafted procedural, led by a strong ensemble cast, had lagged in the lead-up to the Oscars, losing ground to the flashier filmmaking of Alejandro Inarritu’s film.
But “Spotlight” — an ode to the hard-nose, methodical work of a journalism increasingly seldom practiced — took the night’s top honor despite winning only one other Oscar for McCarthy and Josh Singer’s screenplay. Such a sparsely-awarded best picture winner hasn’t happened since 1952’s “The Greatest Show On Earth.”
LOS ANGELES | BY JILL SERJEANT
Catholic Church abuse movie “Spotlight” was named best picture, the top award at Sunday’s Oscars ceremony, after a night peppered with pointed punchlines from host Chris Rock about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that has dominated the industry.
In a ceremony where no single movie commanded attention, Mexico’s Alejandro Inarritu nabbed the best directing Oscar for “The Revenant”, becoming the first filmmaker in more than 60 years to win back-to-back Academy Awards. Inarritu won in 2015 for “Birdman.”
“The Revenant” went into Sunday’s ceremony with a leading 12 nominations, and was among four movies believed to have the best chances for best picture after it won Golden Globe and BAFTA trophies.
BY WILL ROBINSON
Spotlight won Best Picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, upsetting the heavily favored The Revenant.
The ensemble drama about The Boston Globe’s 2002 reporting of the Catholic Church child sex abuse scandal had only one other win on the night, for Best Original Screenplay. The cast basked in their victory after picking up their golden statuettes.
“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” said producer Michael Sugar.
Spotlight was named best picture at the 88th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night.
The drama showcasing the Boston Globe’s reporting on the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal beat out The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant and Room.
“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” said producer Michael Sugar. “Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith.”
Producer Blye Pagon Faust thanked the real-life reporters from The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, and journalists at large:…