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.

March 31, 2016

Pennsylvania one of lowest reported child abuse rates in country

PENNSYLVANIA
Your4State

[with video]

ERIE, Pa.

Child abuse is an ever growing problem, especially in Pennsylvania, where it’s believed to go vastly under reported.

The “Protect our Children” committee said the commonwealth has one of the lowest rates of reported child abuse in the nation.

“There are predators out there who have focused on children and had multiple victims. It was kept quiet,” Janet McKay, executive director of the Victims Resource Center in Wilkes-Barre said.

Advocacy groups allege Pennsylvania has developed a culture of cover-ups. High-profiles cases like in Altoona-Johnstown, where a grand jury found Diocese members abused hundreds of children, and a similar scenario involving Penn State’s football coach Jerry Sandusky highlight the issue.

In both cases, people high up in the organization allegedly knew of the child abuse and did what they could to conceal it from law enforcement and school administrators.

The cases have inspired a recent push for legislative change in the commonwealth. Advocates hope to change the statute of limitations on child sex-abuse claims.

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.

Twin Cities Archdiocese close on reorganization plan

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan St. Paul · Mar 31, 2016

An attorney for the bankrupt Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Thursday that the church has developed a broad outline of a reorganization plan.

Attorney Richard Anderson told a federal judge that the church hopes to bring the plan forward before the end of May. He indicated it would include financial contributions from the archdiocese, insurers and other parties, but he did not offer details.

The church could file a plan without the support of the unsecured creditors committee, which represents sex abuse victims, Anderson said.

Mike Finnegan, an attorney for sex abuse victims, criticized the archdiocese for not sharing the plan with victims.

“It’s alarming abuse survivors have not seen any part of a plan of reorganization yet,” Finnegan said. “And it’s very, very concerning to us that the archdiocese would broadcast that they might be filing a plan without the survivors’ consent.”

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.

Join us Monday for a live chat on the statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Lancaster Online

Join us at noon on Monday for a live chat with state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Berks County, who has been fighting to reform the Pennsylvania civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse.

As a teenager, Rozzi was abused by a Roman Catholic priest. He noted recently that the pattern of priestly abuse and cover-up has been seen in Boston, Philadelphia and, more recently, in the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

“The only way this ends is if we make it loud and clear to child rapists and those who harbor them, that they can no longer hide,” he said.

You can send questions for Rozzi to scassidy@lnpnews.com or @SuzCassidyLNP. You also can leave questions in the comments section of this post.

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.

FULL SHOW POST: Rod Matthews Parole & Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal

MASSACHUSETTS
WGBH

Nearly 30 years after the 14-year-old beat a classmate to death with a baseball bat in the Canton woods, Rod Matthews is asking to be set free. The mother of the victim, Shaun Ouillette, says she forgives but opposes his the killers release. Northeastern University Criminology Professor James Alan Fox (@jamesalanfox) and Canton Police Chief Kenneth Berkowitz (@ChiefBerkowitz) both testified at the hearing yesterday, on two different sides.

The numbers continue to climb in the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal, with more than a dozen new names involved in settlements just made public. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian joins survivor Allan Bruce, speaking out in his first TV interview.

And why those of us in Massachusetts don’t have to look to the south to find bigotry and hate.

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.

National Child Abuse Prevention Month: Honoring Our Most Innocent Victims

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Ross Ellis
Founder and CEO, STOMP Out Bullying; National bullying and cyberbullying prevention expert

This April marks the 33rd anniversary of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is a time dedicated to child abuse education, awareness and prevention.

The issue, which is in the media every day causes one to shiver at the thought of what happens to our children, yet it is the most ignored issue because it’s so ugly.

Well it’s even uglier for the children who are being abused.

Just this week, a foster parent on Long Island was accused of sexually abusing the kids in his care. A 17-count indictment earlier this month alleges that 59-year-old Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu sexually abused seven foster boys in his care and even had sex with his dog. Now investigators suspect there are far more victims. Gonzales-Mugaburu fostered some 140 boys there over 20 years.

Social worker Debi Edwards had alerted the authorities about this, but nobody would listen. And that’s not too uncommon either.

Full disclosure: As the founder and CEO of Love Our Children USA, I have seen this happen time too often.

Just last month, the movie Spotlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture along with Best Original Screenplay. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the film follows The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the country and its actual investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests.

According to fellow child abuse expert Roger Canaff, “The newest miserable chapter of the Roman Catholic clergy abuse crisis has come to light. A particular diocese- Altoona-Johnstown, in southwest Pennsylvania has been revealed as shrouded in darkness for decades, with predictably abysmal results. We don’t know this because the Church took it upon itself to publish a candid and self-reflective report. Instead, we know it because of a civil grand jury armed with a search warrant. Last week, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office released the deeply disturbing report of that investigative body, detailing the sexual abuse of children at the hands of mostly diocesan priests (priests who serve within a geographical area). In many cases, either written admissions of predatory priests were uncovered, or the men made admissions before the grand jury itself.”

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.

Abuse survivors urge Mahaney be disinvited from conference

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Adelle M. Banks | March 31, 2016

(RNS) A prominent advocacy group for victims of clergy sexual abuse is urging organizers of a Kentucky Christian conference to disinvite speakers who have been accused of concealing abuse.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, sent a letter Thursday (March 31) to leaders of Together for the Gospel, a biennial pastors’ conference, asking them to drop the Rev. C.J. Mahaney and other leaders once affiliated with Sovereign Gospel Ministries from its list of speakers.

“(W)e beg you to consider the implications towards the Gospel message if victims of horrific, life-scarring sexual abuse … are ignored and hurt again for the sake of the popularity of a preacher and the financial success of a conference,” SNAP wrote to several conference leaders, including the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Mohler could not be reached immediately for comment.

The April 12-14 meeting in Louisville is expected to attract 8,000 participants.

Mahaney withdrew from the 2014 conference, saying a civil lawsuit “continues to generate the type of attention that could subject my friends to unfair and unwarranted criticism.”

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

Child porn and ecstasy: Former St Benedict’s Catholic School deputy head admits to charges

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By Paul Wright
March 31, 2016

The former deputy head of a leading independent Catholic school is facing jail after pleading guilty to possessing hundreds of child pornography images and the illegal drug ecstasy (MDMA). Peter Allott, 37, taught at the prestigious £15,000-a-year St Benedict’s Catholic Independent Day School in Ealing when he was targeted by officers from a child abuse unit.

His arrest in December 2015, which saw his phone and hard drive confiscated, came following intelligence an individual had been using video conferencing facilities to share indecent images of children with others around the UK. He was found with more than 200 illegal child abuse images and videos in his possession.

Allott, of Marchwood Crescent in Ealing, appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court on Thursday (31 March) where he admitted three charges of possessing, showing and making indecent images of children, one charge of possessing extreme pornography and another of possession of class A drug ecstasy.

His guilty pleas have plunged St Benedict’s into yet another scandal as it tries to restore its damaged reputation. In 2009, its former headmaster David Pearce was jailed for eight years for abusing five boys over a period of 36 years.

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.

Vaticano apre inchiesta sull’attico di Bertone.

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO
L’Espresso

L’Espresso mostra le lettere che lo inchiodano

Vaticano apre inchiesta sull’attico di Bertone. L’Espresso mostra le lettere che lo inchiodano
Tarcisio Bertone

Il Vaticano ha aperto un’inchiesta sull’attico di Tarcisio Bertone, e ha già iscritto nel registro degli indagati due persone: Giuseppe Profiti, ex presidente del Bambin Gesù e manager vicinissimo al cardinale, e l’ex tesoriere Massimo Spina. L’istruttoria penale è scaturita dalle rivelazioni del saggio “Avarizia”, pubblicato da chi scrive , e ora rischia di sconvolgere nuovamente gli assetti della curia romana: i giudici di papa Francesco ipotizzano infatti reati gravissimi («peculato, appropriazione e uso illecito di denaro», si legge nelle carte d’accusa) e hanno già trovato i riscontri documentali che dimostrano che i lavori di ristrutturazione dell’appartamento sono stati pagati dalla Fondazione dell’ospedale pediatrico “Bambin Gesù”.

Lavori costati in totale ben 422 mila euro (“Avarizia” sottostimava la cifra a 200 mila euro), che sono stati fatturati nel 2014 non alla società italiana che ha materialmente effettuato il restauro (La Castelli Re, fallita a luglio del 2015), ma a una holding britannica con sede a Londra, la LG Concractor Ltd. Controllata sempre da Gianantonio Bandera, titolare della Castelli Re e amico personale di Bertone.

I soldi destinati ai bambini malati sono stati, in pratica, utilizzati per la ristrutturazione, e poi girati a Londra. Oltre alle sette fatture pagate al costruttore attraverso i conti Ior e Apsa della Fondazione, però, i magistrati di papa Francesco hanno in mano anche lettere firmate che inchiodano l’ex segretario di Stato di Benedetto XVI alle sue responsabilità: Bertone, che ha finora sostenuto di essere all’oscuro di eventuali finanziamenti di terzi, è invece sempre stato a conoscenza che i soldi del restauro del suo appartamento venivano (anche?) dall’ente di beneficenza dell’ospedale vaticano.

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 probes ex-managers over apartment refit

VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

The Vatican has begun a probe against two ex-managers accused of diverting funds from a children’s hospital to renovate a Rome penthouse. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s lawyer says he never asked for the luxury refit.

The Italian magazine L’Espresso’s report that a church probe was proceeding against the two former hospital managers was confirmed in part on Thursday by Vatican deputy spokesman Greg Burke.

Without elaborating, Burke said former chairman Giuseppe Profiti and former treasurer Massimo Spino were “under investigation.”

L’Espresso said the renovations had cost 422,000 euros ($480,000), rather than the 200,000 reported previously.

Burke did not confirmed the magazine’s specific claim that the ex-managers of the Vatican-owned clinic, Ospedale Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus in Italian), were suspected of embezzling and misusing funds.

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.

MA–Boston Cardinal criticized over priest’s defrocking

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, March 31

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, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Boston Catholic officials are announcing that a predator priest has been defrocked. But they refuse to announce when they pay settlements to victims of predator priests.

[Reuters]

Just days ago, attorney Mitchell Garabedian announced several settlements involving child molesting clerics in Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s archdiocese. Despite repeated pledges to be “open” about predator priests, O’Malley did not disclose these settlements.

So when they decide “This predator isn’t part of us anymore” Catholic officials are sometimes forthcoming. But when they decide “This predator is credibly accused” they are often secretive.

And Catholic officials have promised to suspend accused predator priests. But O’Malley ignored that pledge too, like he ignored his “openness” pledge. Instead, when abuse reports surfaced, he let Fr. Thomas Maguire take a “voluntary leave.”

[Boston archdiocese]

And instead of being honest about what the priest allegedly did, O’Malley said Fr. Maguire had “inappropriate behavior in the presence of minors.” So parents had to wonder “Did Fr. Maguire make off-color jokes?” or “Did he steal $50 from a teenager?” or “Did he show an R-rated movie to high schoolers?”

Instead of telling the truth, O’Malley did what Catholic officials have done for decades. He minimized child sexual abuse and kept Catholics and citizens in the dark using deliberately vague language.

Later, O’Malley claims, more or clearer abuse reports were made against Fr. Maguire. We see no evidence, however, that O’Malley ever disclosed this fact. Again, where’s the “openness” we’ve repeatedly been promised and that the US church abuse policy supposedly mandates?

We hope the defrocking of Fr. Maguire will bring some comfort to his victims. But O’Malley’s duty doesn’t end here.

Kids are safest when child molesters are jailed. So O’Malley must go to every parish where Fr. Maguire worked and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police. He must spread the same message through clear notices in parish bulletins, on church websites and in pulpit announcements. That’s what a truly caring shepherd would do.

Catholic bishops can’t recruit, educate, ordain, transfer and shield predator priests and then suddenly walk away – saying “He’s not our guy anymore” – and let parents, police, prosecutors and the public fend for themselves. O’Malley and his staff, knowing what Fr. Maguire has done, have a duty to help prod others who could put this predator behind bars behind bars.

And O’Malley should turn over every shred of information he has about Fr. Maguire to police. He should insist that every other Boston cleric should do the same, whether they have actual knowledge or just suspicions about this predator.

We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Boston – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

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.

Abuse survivors want conference speaker removed

UNITED STATES
Baptist News

BOB ALLEN | MARCH 31, 2016

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is asking organizers of an upcoming religious conference to revoke a speaking invitation to a pastor accused of concealing multiple sex crimes.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said March 31 that allowing controversial Pastor C.J. Mahaney to speak at the April 12-14 Together for the Gospel gathering in Louisville, Ky., would “be tantamount to re-victimizing sex abuse victims” and send a message to would-be whistleblowers: “Don’t bother speaking up. No one will care.”

“It’s reckless and callous when clergymen give prominent positions to colleagues who face charges of concealing child sex crimes,” said SNAP director David Clohessy.

SNAP leaders called on conference organizers Mark Dever, Albert Mohler and Ligon Duncan to withdraw this year’s invitation to Mahaney, a T4G founder who sat out the last conference two years ago due to publicity over a class-action lawsuit alleging he and others sheltered at least 15 child molesters while pastor of a Maryland church and director of a church-planting network now known as Sovereign Grace Churches.

“Every time an accused or admitted complicit church official is honored, it discourages victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from exposing predators, warning parents and protecting kids,” said Pam Palmer, a former member of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Md., whose daughter was molested by a teenager while Mahaney was pastor of the church in 1993.

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.

Papal apology still top of mind in TRC Calls to Action

CANADA
Catholic Register

BY DEBORAH GYAPONG, CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
March 31, 2016

OTTAWA – While many within the Catholic Church and other denominations have apologized for their role in Indian residential schools, many are still awaiting the one voice that would speak loudest — Pope Francis.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commissions called for the Pope to apologize for the Indian residential schools on Canadian soil within a year of the June 2015 publication of the TRC’s Calls to Action. It is one of two of the 94 calls that had a time limit, TRC Commissioner Marie Wilson said March 30 at an Ottawa news conference.

“We heard many survivors say ‘My Church has not apologized to me,’ ” she said. Asked if an apology from Pope Francis would be enough, she responded, “I’m certain it won’t be enough. It’s all just movement forward.”

“No one thing will be perfect for everyone,” she said. “But we have to keep trying.”

Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, the apostolic nuncio to Canada, said a request to Pope Francis for an apology in Canada for the Catholic Church’s role in the residential schools has gone to the Vatican.

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.

Memorial for longtime Haverhill priest planned

HAVERHILL (MA)
Eagle Tribune

A Mass in memory of longtime local priest the Rev. Frederick Sweeney will happen April 9 at 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Church, Lincoln Avenue, across from Trinity Stadium.

Sweeney, former pastor of St. John the Baptist, died in early March.

After the Mass, the church will provide coffee and desserts.

Sweeney was a whistle blower in the the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. When he became pastor of St. John the Baptist in the early 1980s, he began collecting information about former pastor Ronald Paquin, who was later convicted of assaulting boys and spent years in prison.

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 31, 2016 – The Holy See Dismisses Thomas H. Maguire from the Clerical State

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

(Braintree, Massachusetts) March 31, 2016 — The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that the Holy See has dismissed Thomas H. Maguire from the clerical state. As a result of the Holy See’s decision, he may no longer function in any capacity as a priest.

Thomas H. Maguire was ordained in May 1976. In October 2012, Maguire was removed from public ministry following allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct in the presence of minors (click here). These matters were referred to law enforcement, investigated and could not be substantiated.

Subsequently other victims came forward to report inappropriate sexual conduct which had occurred in the mid 1990’s and before. These matters were also reported to law enforcement but fell outside of the criminal statute of limitations. The Archdiocese continued to investigate the complaints and determined that they were credible. A church process under canon law was undertaken and has concluded that Maguire is guilty of abuse of a minor.

We are grateful to the victims who had the strength to come forward. Their courage assisted the Church in seeking justice for the inappropriate conduct which occurred years before the initial allegation in 2012. We pray for all those affected by this matter.

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 defrocks former Norwell priest

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Norwell

By Lane Lambert
The Patriot Ledger

NORWELL – The Vatican has defrocked a former pastor of the Saint Helen Mother of the Emperor Constantine parish in Norwell for the abuse of a minor.

Boston Archdiocese spokesman Terrence Donilon said at noon Thursday that Thomas H. Maguire has been “dismissed from the clerical state.”

“He may no longer function in any capacity as a priest,” Donilon said.

Maguire had been pastor at the Norwell parish for 11 years, from 2001 to 2012. He went on voluntary leave in October 2012, when he was accused of inappropriate behavior in the presence of minors.

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.

Massachusetts priest defrocked for sexually abusing minor – archdiocese

MASSACHUSETTS
Reuters

A suburban Boston priest has been defrocked by the Vatican after an investigation by the Roman Catholic church found him guilty of child sexual abuse, the Boston Archdiocese said on Thursday.

The priest, Thomas H. Maguire, was serving as pastor of Saint Helen Mother of the Emperor Constantine church in Norwell, Massachusetts, about 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Boston, when he was accused in 2012 of inappropriate sexual activity with minors. Maguire was suspended from priestly duties at that time.

Police investigated that allegation but did not find evidence of a crime.

However, following the news of Maguire’s suspension, other people came forward to accuse him of sexual abuse dating to the mid-1990s and earlier, the Boston Archdiocese said in a statement.

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.

Dr Morris Fraser: Paedophile psychiatrist worked with children after abuse conviction, study finds

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A new study has found that a doctor in Belfast was able to continue working with children after he had been convicted for child abuse in the 1970s.

Dr Morris Fraser was the senior psychiatric registrar at the Royal Victoria Hospital’s child guidance clinic in Belfast.

He also wrote the book Children in Conflict, about how the Troubles in Northern Ireland affected children.

The study into Fraser’s activities was produced by academic Dr Niall Meehan.

It highlights a catalogue of failures by the authorities that enabled Fraser to remain on the medical register despite being convicted twice – in 1972 in London and in 1974 in New York – for child abuse.

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.

Deputy head of at £15,000-a-year Roman Catholic school where Julian Clary and Lord Patten went faces jail for having hundreds of child sex abuse images on his iPhone

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By JOSEPH CURTIS FOR MAILONLINE

The deputy head of an independent Roman Catholic school is facing jail after he admitted possessing hundreds of images of child sexual abuse.

Peter Allott, 37, kept the material on his iPhone and a hard drive which were found in his office at the £15,000-per year St Benedict’s School in Ealing, west London.

More than 260 images and videos were found on the devices, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.

Allott was arrested last December by officers from the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command acting on intelligence that an individual had been using video conferencing facilities to share indecent images of children with others.

The former Tory councillor admitted possessing, showing and making category A indecent images of children and possessing extreme pornography.

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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.

When damage control does damage

UNITED STATES
The Mennonite

3.31. 2016 Written By: Stephanie Krehbiel

Last week, in their coverage of the Luke Hartman case, The Mennonite shared two letters. One came from the pastors of Lindale Mennonite Church and announced that they have had knowledge since August 2014 of an abusive relationship in which Luke Hartman caused serious trauma to another member of the congregation. Another letter, from Virginia Mennonite Conference minister Clyde Kratz, attempted to explain the “difficult pastoral scenario” presented by Hartman’s alleged behavior, and to reassure readers that the conference takes sexual exploitation seriously.

Despite the pastoral laments, exhortations to prayer, and expressions of sadness, these letters read as damage control documents. Kratz makes this clear in the opening paragraph, where he moves swiftly from “lament[ing] the brokenness” caused by Hartman’s alleged actions to, “Luke does not have ministerial credentials associated with Virginia Mennonite Conference.” The subtext here is clear: We’re sad, but we’re not responsible. Kratz reminds readers that in the state of Virginia, clergy are not mandatory reporters, but then he assures us that VMC is, “planning a series of consultations that can assist pastors in the challenges of difficult pastoral cases.”

Few things are less comforting to those who understand the urgency of the devastation presented by sexual abuse in congregations than hearing that pastors are planning a “series of consultations” to deal with a problem that apparently cannot even be named outright.

Based on their timing, we can reasonably conclude that these letters appeared because Luke Hartman was in extremely public legal trouble when they were written. I read fear in these letters: fear of losing control of the narrative around Hartman’s case, fear for their own reputations, fear of who may speak next without pastoral permission. These letters generate far more questions than they answer.

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.

Disgraced parish priest Stephen Crabtree jailed for indecent assault of girl, 15

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph & Argus

A disgraced Church of England priest who intimately touched and imitated sex with a 15-year-old girl has been jailed for three years.

Stephen Crabtree, of Ollerdale Avenue, Bradford, carried out the offences when he was working at a parish in the East Lindsey area of Lincolnshire in the early 1990s, after forming “an inappropriate relationship” with the victim following the breakdown of his marriage.

The 59-year-old admitted six charges of indecent assault on dates between April 1992 and April 1993. He was today jailed for three years and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life at Lincoln Crown Court.

Judge Michael Heath, passing sentence, told him: “She was extremely vulnerable at that age and you took advantage. You knew she was 15 years old. You engaged in that relationship behind her parents back breaching their trust and the trust of the Church.

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

Rome–Victims blast papal priorities: “Money matters more than kids”

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, March 31

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

By investigating spending on Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s shamefully luxurious apartment, Pope Francis takes another step toward protecting Vatican finances. Sadly, he’s refused, for three years, to take a single similar step toward protecting children’s safety.

[Religion News Service]

With this act, Francis is telling the world’s Catholic officials “You may get in trouble for hiding funds.” But he won’t take a similar act to tell those officials “You may get in trouble for hiding predators.”

This is not the first time Francis has cracked down on financial corruption.

In 400 cases, Pope Francis took decisive and effective action to prevent possible financial crimes or wrongdoing.

According to a recent article in the Jesuit weekly America, he set up a commission which found “there was little or no oversight” and that Vatican officials “failed to prevent abuses.”

So just weeks later, “Francis received alarming reports from the commission and immediately ordered the blocking of some 400 (bank) accounts of (those pushing) the causes of beatification and canonization held at the Vatican Bank.”

[America Magazine]

Think about that! In just a few weeks, a papal commission issued an “alarming report” and Francis took “immediate” steps that “blocked” potential misconduct because top Catholic officials had “failed to prevent abuses.”

Impressive!

Now contrast that with the seemingly endless talk from the papal abuse commission and the seemingly endless apologies and promises from Francis himself on the continuing crisis of clergy sexual violence and cover up.

Blocking a bank account is a tangible, effective move. Francis did this in 400 cases. Can you name 400 similar tangible, effective moves he made regarding abuses cases? Or cover ups? How about one tangible, effective move on abuse or cover up? Can you name one that actually stopped wrongdoing?

All those who counsel ‘patience’ and try to reassure us that real reforms on child sex crimes and cover ups are on the way should ponder the stark and disturbing contrast between how quickly and effectively Francis acts when it comes to church money and how slowly and ineffectively he acts when it comes to our children.

We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, seek justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and more truth will surface.

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.

Calls Mount for Reform of Predator-Friendly Sex Abuse Laws

NEW YORK
Forward

A shocking child sex scandal involving the alleged abuse of 34 students at New York’s Yeshiva University High School for Boys was back in the headlines this week, three years after The Forward first uncovered the story.

The Daily News highlighted how, because of state law, justice is out of reach for the former students, who say top administrators groped them — and far worse.

In New York, criminal and civil cases of child sexual abuse must be brought before a victim’s 23rd birthday. On Tuesday, The News, as The Forward did in January, called for an overhaul to the statute of limitations law.

“New York is America’s most predator-friendly state,” the paper editorialized. “New York’s sex crime statutes of limitations are worse than inconsistent and illogical. They are the enabling legislation of monsters.”

The Forward echoed that sentiment in its January call to arms.

It cited both the Yeshiva case and another on roiling the Jewish-American diaspora: that of the alleged molestation of the Sara Kabakov, who wrote in The Forward that she was abused, starting at age 13, by her former rabbi and spiritual guru Marc Gafni.

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.

Doctor ‘allowed to work’ after child sex abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

Calls have been made for an investigation into the case of a child psychiatrist linked to Kincora Boys’ Home who was allowed to keep working as a doctor even after being convicted of child sexual abuse.

Dr Morris Fraser was a senior psychiatric registrar at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in the 1960s and 70s.

A new report has shown that he was allowed to remain on the British medical register for more than two decades after being convicted on sex abuse charges in both London and New York.

Its author Dr Niall Meehan also cites sources linking Fraser to abuse at Kincora, which has long been at the centre of allegations about a paedophile ring involving high-profile political and military figures.

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Paedophile child psychiatrist revelations – Amnesty demands investigation by UK child abuse inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
Amnesty International

“It’s too late to save the children abused by Fraser. It’s not too late for the truth to come out.” – Patrick Corrigan

Amnesty International has called again for allegations of involvement by UK security services in child abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home in Northern Ireland to be investigated by the Westminster child abuse inquiry.

The latest Amnesty call comes as a new report reveals that Dr Morris Fraser, a child psychiatrist who has been linked to Kincora, and who was convicted of sexually assaulting a child while working for a Belfast hospital in 1972, was allowed to remain on the British medical register for 24 more years during which he was convicted on abuse charges on two further occasions.

Report author Dr Niall Meehan cites a number of sources linking Dr Fraser to abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home. Allegations have persisted for decades that a paedophile ring at Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast was linked to the British intelligence services.

Last year the Independent on Sunday revealed that a Freedom of Information request to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) regarding Fraser’s activities in Northern Ireland was turned down for reasons of “national security”.

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Is India A Haven For Paedophilic Priests? Vatican Allows Convicted Priest To Enter Ministry in Ooty

INDIA
Bayside Journal

By Abhishek Raghunath

The Catholic Church has lifted its suspension on Father Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, 61, who has been accused and convicted of sexually abusing two underage girls in the United States, and will allow him to re-enter Ministry in Ootacamund (Ooty) in Tamil Nadu in South India.

Jeyapaul had been accused by the two girls from Minnesota in 2004 and 2005 of sexual assault.

According to one girl’s report, “…he proceeded to kiss her repeatedly, pulling her on top of him and at one point touching her beneath her clothing.”

According to the second girl’s report, “Fr Jeyapaul had ‘rubbed up against her’ in the rectory at Middle River, in the confessional at Middle River, and had then fondled her breasts, exposed himself to her, and forced his penis into her mouth.”

The girls were 14 and 15 years old when Jeyapaul sexually assaulted them.

He left Minnesota in 2005 under the pretext of visiting his ailing mother in India. He didn’t return. In India, the Bishop of Ooty, Arulappan Amalraj sent him to a monastery for a year of prayer. After his year in the monastery, Jeyapaul used to work in the Bishop’s office in Ooty until 2010 where he used to help Amalraj of Ootacamund Diocese with the appointment of teachers in 40 schools in the region. During this period, Jeyapaul was a fugitive in the United States.

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Incumbent upon Church to make reparation to abuse victims

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish News

On March 15 the Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (Savia) presented a Report at Stormont – What Survivors Want from Redress.

This document, compiled by survivors, with the help of local and international experts, is a vitally important statement addressed to both Church and State.

I was privileged to be invited to Stormont to stand with the victims and survivors of institutional abuse on that important occasion. I too am a survivor of child abuse and I am one of the victims of former priest James Donaghy, a convicted paedophile and sexual predator.

Those represented on March 15 suffered at the hands of both Church and state in the north of Ireland. Those present included victims of Termonbacca, Nazareth House, Rubane, Kincora and Rathgael, to name but some.

The anguish of those abused in these Church and state-run institutions is similar. The devastation and ongoing trauma is the same. The Christian community and wider society has an inescapable obligation and duty, to address victims’ and survivors’ needs as outlined in the report.

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National–Victims want pastors disinvited from huge Protestant conference

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, March 31, 2016

For more information: David Clohessy (314) 566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com, Pam Palmer (240) 994-1278 cell, palmerp@live.com

Abuse victims want preacher disinvited
He’s accused of concealing child sex crimes
But he is to speak at major Protestant conference
Group says his role “will deter others from reporting abuse”
SNAP: “And it rubs salt into wounds of those hurt on his watch”

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging organizers of a major religious conference to revoke a speaking invitation to a controversial pastor who has allegedly concealed child sex crimes by at least 15 accused offenders.

Rev. C. J. Mahaney is the former head of a denomination called once called Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) but now known as Sovereign Grace Churches (SGC). It has roughly 70 churches across the US (mainly in eastern states) and in Australia, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Great Britain, Germany and Mexico.

Next month, he is slated to be a plenary presenter at the biennial international Together for the Gospel (T4G16) conference in Louisville. http://t4g.org/, http://t4g.org/speakers/

It’s expected to draw at least 8,000 participants to Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center on April 12-14.

But in October, 2012, amended in January, 2013 and again in May, 2013, Mahaney was accused in civil lawsuits of ignoring and hiding known and suspected child sexual abuse by church staff and members while he led SGM and Covenant Life Church in Maryland.

In a letter sent today to the T4G organization, leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are asking them to rescind their permission to let Mahaney and other SGM/SGC officials speak at their event.

“It’s reckless and callous when clergymen give prominent positions to colleagues who face charges of concealing child sex crimes,” said SNAP director David Clohessy. “It actually makes churches more dangerous. It discourages other church members and staff who see, suspect or suffer child sex crimes from speaking up. It emboldens those who commit and conceal child sex crimes.”

“Common sense and common decency would lead T4G officials to say ‘Look C. J., we’re just going to wait until this litigation is resolved before holding you out as a moral figure,’” said Pam Palmer of Hagerstown, a former SGM member whose daughter was sexually abused in 1993 by a teenager. “That would show compassion and prudence. But instead, these ministers all want to act as if these serious and pending charges don’t exist.”

At least three prominent clergymen co-founded T4G. They are Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Mark Dever, President of 9Marks and Senior Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and Ligon Ducan, Chancellor/CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary in McLean, Virginia.

Besides Mahaney, several current SGC/SGM officials will be speaking at breakout sessions at the conference. The include Mark Prater, Executive Director, and Ian McConnell, Director of Church Planting and Mission.

SNAP wants them disinvited too.

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Vatican confirms investigation into financing of Cardinal Bertone’s apartment

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Mar. 31, 2016

VATICAN CITY The Vatican has opened an investigation into the financing of the restoration of former Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s large apartment, targeting two former executives at a children’s hospital owned by the city-state for possible redirection of funds towards the project.

Gregory Burke, the deputy director of the Vatican press office, told reporters in a short briefing Thursday that the cardinal himself was not under investigation but that two former officials of the Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome are.

Both Giuseppe Profiti, a former president of the hospital, and Massimo Spina, a former treasurer, are subject to an ongoing investigation, Burke said.

Thursday’s confirmation follows reports in Italian press that the two executives were being investigated for the use of some 400,000 Euro towards restoration of Bertone’s apartment, based on reporting done by journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi in his November 2015 book Avarizia (“Avarice”).

While Bertone has not admitted any guilt in the matter, he made a large donation of 150,000 Euro to the hospital last December after the book’s publishing in a bid to make amends.

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Vatican probes funding of cardinal’s lavish apartment

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

Josephine McKenna | March 31, 2016

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican has launched an investigation into the funding of its former secretary of state’s apartment restoration.

The investigation involves two executives from Rome’s Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital — former chairman Giuseppe Profiti and former treasurer Massimo Spina — on allegations that they misappropriated hospital funds to pay for the restoration of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s apartment while he was Vatican secretary of state.

Greg Burke, deputy director of the Vatican press office, confirmed the probe Thursday (March 31). He said Bertone was not under investigation.

The latest news came after a report published in the weekly magazine L’Espresso that the two executives were being investigated on allegations they used $455,000 of hospital funds for the restoration of Bertone’s lavish top-floor residence.

Italian journalist and author Emiliano Fittipaldi, who writes for the magazine, claimed funds designated for sick children were diverted for the apartment’s restoration through a London-based holding company controlled by Gianantonio Bandera, a friend of Bertone’s.

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The Vatican is investigating the financing of the restoration Cardinal Bertone’s apartment

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

Prosecutors from the Vatican are investigating the former president and former financial director of the Bambino Gesu Hospital for using 422,000 Euros from the hospital foundation to restore Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s attic.

The former officials of the Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome are Giuseppe Profiti and Massimo Spina, who could be in hot water if they are charged with committing the crime of “misappropriation” by using hospital funds “illicitly”.

The ex-president, Profiti says that the payment was made as an investment because the private apartment of the cardinal was used to host high-level meetings to seek donations. He said, it was part of the strategic plan of the Bambino Gesu Foundation because the presence of Cardinal Bertone rose to 70 percent from collecting donations.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said he did not know that the Foundation was covering these expenses and is not on the list of those being investigated. He says he has paid nearly 280,000 Euros from his own pocket.

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Cash for Cardinal’s luxury pad sparks Vatican probe

VATICAN CITY
The Sun Daily

VATICAN CITY: The Vatican has opened an investigation into the financing of renovations at a luxury penthouse occupied by Italian cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former number two in the Holy See hierarchy, officials said Thursday.

Spread across hundreds of square metres at the top of the Palazzo San Carlo and boasting a huge terrace with magnificent views over Rome, Bertone’s sumptuous retirement pad has became synonymous with the kind of clerical extravagance Pope Francis has vowed to stamp out.

Now it is set to cause further embarrassment to the famously frugal pontiff after it was confirmed that a probe has been launched into how €200,000 worth of the renovation costs came to be paid by a Foundation linked to Rome’s Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) children’s hospital, which is run by the Vatican.

Bertone himself is not under investigation but officials are examining the conduct of the hospital’s former chairman, Giuseppe Profiti, and its former finance chief, Massimo Spina, a Vatican spokesman said.

The probe follows revelations by investigative journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, who is one of two reporters currently on trial in a Vatican court for obtaining classified documents which provide evidence of waste, irregularities and extravagance in the Holy See’s finances.

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Vatican investigates claim hospital funds used to refurbish cardinal’s flat

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail

VATICAN CITY, March 31 (Reuters) – The Vatican said on Thursday it is investigating two former officials over claims money meant for a children’s hospital was used to refurbish a cardinal’s luxury apartment.

Costly work at former Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s flat — seeming to clash with Pope Francis’s recommendations that church officials live as modestly as he — caused a scandal when allegations emerged that the Bambino Gesu Hospital foundation had helped foot the bill.

Giuseppe Profiti, former manager at the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu, and its ex-treasurer Massimo Spina are being investigated, Vatican press officer Greg Burke said, confirming a report in Italian magazine L’Espresso.

Efforts to track down the two men, who no longer work at the hospital, were not immediately successful.

A lawyer for Bertone, who is not being investigated, said in a statement on Thursday the cardinal had never asked for or authorised any payment from the hospital foundation relating to his apartment.

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Cllr Mannix Flynn demands former Magdalene laundry is preserved as a memorial- ‘Nobody has the private ownership of the history here’

IRELAND
Mirror

BY KATHY ARMSTRONG

Cllr Mannix Flynn said it is important that the history of the Magdalene laundries is preserved for future generations

A former Magdalene Laundry should be snapped up by the state and preserved as a memorial, Cllr Mannix Flynn has said.

The building in Donnybrook, Dublin is up for sale and expected to sell for up to €3 million.

It was formerly run by the Religious Sisters of Charity and was sold by the order in the late 1990s and then run as a private laundry until 2006.

The building, which dates back to the late 18th century, is mostly still intact and contains reminders of it’s dark history, including ledgers, old machinery, religious iconography and some of the dorms.

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Victim of abuse at hands of Church Minister ‘told Bishop of Grimsby’ of offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Grimsby Telegraph

The victim of “appalling abuse” at the hands of Church of England minister told the then-Bishop of Grimsby of the offences, a court heard.

Stephen Crabtree carried out the offences in the early 1990s after forming “an inappropriate relationship” with the 15-year-old victim following the breakdown of his marriage.

Crabtree, 59, who now lives in Bradford, West Yorkshire, admitted six charges of indecent assault on dates between 1992 and April 1993. He was jailed for three years and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Lincoln Crown Court heard the victim later told the then-Bishop of Grimsby what happened between them and was advised to report the matter to police.

She then spoke to an officer in the area in which she was then living but decided not to take the matter further.

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Seven McLeod County priests credibly accused of sexual abuse, two were in Silver Lake for 28 years

MINNESOTA
Hutchinson Leader

Updated: 10:35 am, Thu Mar 31, 2016.

BY JEREMY JONES jones@hutchinsonleader.com

Nearly half of the 16 priests identified Tuesday by the New Ulm Diocese to have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor served in McLeod County. Six of them were in Winsted.

The names were jointly disclosed by the law firm of Jeff Anderson & and Associates and The Diocese of New Ulm.

Mike Finnegan of Jeff Anderson & Associates said Thursday the information was released as part of the litigation of two lawsuits filed against the diocese by Lori Stoltz and Kim Schmit. Schmit was sexually assaulted by her parish priest in Willmar in 1968.

“Those lawsuits and several others sought the release of these names and the documents of abuse,” Finnegan said. “After some court decisions we had a dialogue with the diocese and came to this. So it came out of litigation and ended up in a discussion.”

The named priests are: Michael Skoblik, Douglas Schleisman, Rudolph Henrich, Louis Heitzer, Charles Stark, Dennis Becker and Robert Clark. Of the seven, Becker and Clark are listed in released documents to be still alive.

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Thabiti Anyabwile and C.J. Mahaney: A Twitter Tale of Willful Blindness

UNITED STATES
Watchkeep

Willful blindness: When a leader turns a blind eye

Leaders inhabit a bubble of power, and they are both mentally and physically cut off from the reality most people would recognize. Reality is the obligation to tell the truth, “the reality most people would recognize” is the imperative, if they witness improper or unlawful behaviour, to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

But just because willful blindness is endemic doesn’t mean it’s irresistible. Roy Spence, a Texan advertising executive, refused to work with Enron even as the rest of the world beat a path to its door. How did he see what others missed? He thought a lifetime of seeing through the eyes of the powerless gave him different perspectives. “My sister had cystic fibrosis and I used to push her wheelchair to school every morning. I could see people pitying us, oblivious to the richness of our relationship. It made me ask, then as now: If they’re missing so much about us, what I am missing about them?” That internal dialogue is what Hannah Arendt called thinking.

SNAP: Member of controversial church charged with abuse

A member of a controversial church has been arrested for child sex crimes committed over nearly 11 years when he worked in “children’s ministry.” We hope kids at the church weren’t hurt. And we fear that other church members or staff knew of or suspected the abuse but kept silent. Why? Because that’s the pattern in this troubled denomination.

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NY STATE ABUSE BILL NEEDS REVISION

NEW YORK
Catholic League

Bill Donohue is appealing to New York State Senator Brad Hoylman to amend his bill on eliminating the statute of limitations for sexual abuse. Below is the text of his letter; it is being sent to all New York lawmakers:

In your March 30 column in the Daily News, you say, “Until every childhood sexual abuse victim has the opportunity to confront their abuser in court, the headlines will remind us that our business is unfinished.” This is so true. That is why I implore you to amend your bill on this subject to include all childhood victims: Your bill does not address those who have been abused in the public schools.

As you say, your bill would “eliminate the statute of limitations for civil actions for certain sex offenses committed against a minor,” allowing a “one-year ‘look back’ period in which past claims could be resolved.” That is a commendable position, but its application is limited to private institutions.

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Plaintes contre Barbarin : où en est-on ?

FRANCE
Europe 1

[Two separate investigations are now aimed the diocese of Lyon. Two priests are charged with sexual assault and church officials are accused of having covered up the abuse.]

Deux enquêtes distinctes visent désormais l’évêché de Lyon : deux prêtres sont poursuivis pour agressions sexuelles et les responsables accusés de les avoir couverts.

Depuis mardi, une cinquième plainte pour non-dénonciation d’agressions sexuelles commises par des prêtres vise le cardinal Barbarin, responsable de l’évêché de Lyon. Un nouvel élément dans le scandale de pédophilie autour du diocèse, qui comporte désormais plusieurs volets judiciaires.

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Missbrauchsfall beschäftigt Staatsanwalt und Bistumsbeauftragten

DEUTSCHLAND
kath.net

Der unabhängige Missbrauchsbeauftragte des Bistums Würzburg zeigte sich verwundert über die Verfahrenseinstellung seitens der Kirche.

Würzburg (kath.net/KNA) Nach der Einstellung des kirchlichen Untersuchungsverfahrens wegen eines Missbrauchsvorwurfs gegen einen hochrangigen Würzburger Priester kommt neue Bewegung in den Fall. Am Dienstag leitete die Staatsanwaltschaft laut einem Bericht des Bayerischen Rundfunks Ermittlungen ein. Dabei geht es nach den Worten von Oberstaatsanwalt Boris Raufeisen um mögliche Straftaten und ihre etwaige Verjährung. Der «Spiegel» hatte am Wochenende über den Fall berichtet, der sich im Jahr 1988 im Würzburger Exerzitienhaus Himmelspforten zugetragen haben soll. Betroffen ist ein damals 17-jähriges Mädchen.

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Mutmaßliches Opfer spricht Jahrzehnte später über Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
Augsburger Allgemeine

[In 1988, a priest sexually abused her, says Alexandra Wolf. She is now making her story public.]

1988 sei sie als Teenager zum Sex gezwungen worden – von einem Priester, sagt Alexandra Wolf. Im Spiegel machte sie ihre Geschichte öffentlich. Nun spricht sie über die Reaktionen. Von Christine Jeske

Ihr Vater bereitete sich in einem Kurs im Exerzitienhaus Himmelspforten gerade auf die Weihe zum Diakon vor. Seine damals 17-jährige Tochter begleitete ihn. Was dann geschehen sein soll, erzählte sie über ein Vierteljahrhundert später dem Spiegel-Redakteur Peter Wensierski.
Er übermittelte dieser Redaktion die Fragen an Alexandra Wolf. Sie antwortete sofort. Peter Wensierski veröffentlichte seinen Artikel unter dem Titel „So ein bisserl liebevoll“. Der Satz stammt aus dem kirchlichen Untersuchungsbericht.

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Alexandra Wolf beklagt “zweiten Missbrauch”

DEUTSCHLAND
BR 24

[Alexandra Wolf accused a priest of the diocese of Würzburg of sexual abuse. She laments what she sees as a cover-up by the church.]

Alexandra Wolf beschuldigt einen Geistlichen des Bistums Würzburg, sie 1988 zum Oralsex gezwungen zu haben. Nun äußert sich die mittlerweile 44-Jährige im BR – und beklagt einen “zweiten Missbrauch” durch die Vertuschung.

Von: Barbara Markus

Von Erbrechen bis Panikattacken

Mit ruhiger Stimme sprach die mittlerweile 44-Jährige über die psychischen und körperlichen Folgen dessen, was ihrer Darstellung nach 1988 im Würzburger Exerzitienhaus Himmelspforten geschehen ist: der Missbrauch durch einen hochrangigen Geistlichen, den damaligen Missbrauchsbeauftragten des Bistums:

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Bergoglios Schweigen

DEUTSCHLAND
Deutschlandfunk

[Pope Francis and Clergy Sexual Abuse in Argentina – BishopAccountability.org]

[Bergoglio’s silence: The pope has repeatedly promised zero tolerance for clerics who sexual abuse children but critics accused him ove covering-up abuse in Argentina.]

Null Toleranz gegenüber Klerikern, die sich an Kindern vergehen. Das hat Papst Franziskus schon mehrmals versprochen. Kritiker werfen dem Argentinier aber jetzt vor, dass er als Erzbischof in Buenos Aires selbst Missbrauchsfälle verschwiegen habe. Ein aktuelles Gerichtsverfahren erinnert an die Vergangenheit.

Von Victoria Eglau

“Als ich dreizehn war, wurde ich von einem katholischen Geistlichen missbraucht – in der Schule des Marianisten-Ordens in Buenos Aires, die ich damals besuchte. Zehn Jahre lang konnte ich das nicht in Worte fassen, konnte es keinem erzählen.”

Dem Argentinier Sebastián Cuattromo gelang es schließlich doch, über seine traumatische Erfahrung zu sprechen. Aber nicht nur das: Cuattromo, heute 39, zeigte seinen ehemaligen Lehrer, den Ordensbruder Fernando Picciochi, im Jahr 2000 an, gemeinsam mit einem Mitschüler, an dem sich Picciochi ebenfalls sexuell vergangen hatte. Bevor es jedoch zum Prozess kam, floh der katholische Geistliche in die USA, wo sein Opfer ihn selbst aufspürte: Dank Cuattromos Hinweis wurde der Ordensbruder festgenommen und nach Argentinien ausgeliefert. 2012 verurteilte die Justiz Fernando Picchiochi wegen wiederholter sexueller Nötigung Minderjähriger zu zwölf Jahren Gefängnis.

“Das Wichtigste an meiner Geschichte ist, dass der sexuelle Missbrauch, den ich erlitten habe, mehr als zwanzig Jahre später von der Justiz anerkannt wurde. Das hat einen hohen Symbolwert. Denn ein großer Teil der Fälle von Kindesmissbrauch bleibt ungesühnt.” Sebastián Cuattromo brachte seinen Peiniger dank seiner eigenen Hartnäckigkeit vor Gericht. Von der katholischen Kirche erhielt er keine Unterstützung. In Argentinien haben sich in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten etwa 50 katholische Geistliche an Kindern vergangen. Diese Zahl hat die US-amerikanische Internetplattform Bishop Accountability veröffentlicht, die Dunkelziffer liegt vermutlich höher. Ein Teil wurde verurteilt, ein Teil entging der Bestrafung.

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Christian Brothers deny dodging sex abuse compensation

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Charlotte King

The Christian Brothers religious order has refuted allegations it is dodging compensation claims from former sex abuse victims.

The order said it had paid over $20 million in compensation through litigation in the last year.

A former student from the St Alipius boys school in Ballarat and his lawyer accused the order of using smoke and mirrors tactics to avoid paying compensation for past abuse.

The survivor, Ron Kochskamper, and his lawyer, Vivian Waller, complained that Christian Brothers were not willing to back a defendant they provided to be sued — Brother Robert Best — with their assets, making it impossible for victims to achieve adequate compensation.

The order has now confirmed that Mr Kochskamper will be provided with a trustee so that legal action can go forward, and this trustee will be financially backed.

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Plaintiff’s residency questioned in defamation verdict against Paul Kendrick of Freeport

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A $14.5 million defamation verdict against a Freeport man who accused the founder of an orphanage in Haiti of being a serial pedophile hinges on where the plaintiff was living when he filed the lawsuit.

Orphanage founder Michael Geilenfeld acknowledged Wednesday in federal court in Portland that he was in Haiti when he filed the lawsuit. But he said he considered Iowa to be his “home base” in the decades when he ran the orphanage, and he testified that he always planned to return to his home state.

“I was called to Haiti,” Geilenfeld said. “I was born in Iowa and have never let go of my Iowa identity.”

But lawyers for Paul Kendrick, who has relentlessly leveled sexual abuse allegations against Geilenfeld, questioned whether the case belonged in federal court at all, since Geilenfeld was living outside the U.S. at the time.

Geilenfeld would not qualify to sue if he was living in Haiti with no specific time frame for returning to the U.S., but the fact that he maintained ties to Iowa and planned to return will have to be weighed by the judge, said Linda Simard, a law professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston.

She said the judge will have to figure out Geilenfeld’s “subjective intent” by looking at the facts and testimony.

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Pair indicted on 28 counts for sexual exploitation of a child

NEW YORK
WSYR

LIVERPOOL (WSYR-TV)

A Liverpool man and a teacher’s aide at All Saints school have been indicted for sex exploitation crimes against a child.

The 28-count indictment charges Jason Kopp, 40, and Emily Oberst, 23, with various counts of conspiracy to sexually exploit a child, sexual exploitation of a child, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

The indictment also charges Kopp, individually, with eight counts of sexual exploitation of children, nine counts of distribution of child pornography, and two counts of possession of child pornography.

Kopp is accused of producing and distributing images depicting a female born in 2014 and a male born in 2013.

As for Oberst, the indictment charges her, individually, with two counts of sexual exploitation of children and four counts of distribution of child pornography. Oberst is accused of producing and distributing images depicting a female born in 2014 and another female born in 2011.

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Yeshiva University High School students whose sexual abuse was covered up by administration want changes to statute of limitations law

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICHAEL O’KEEFFE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, March 30, 2016

They got an apology, but they never got justice.

Thirty-four former students at the prestigious Yeshiva University High School claimed in a bombshell $680 million lawsuit that administrators had covered up abuse for decades.

One victim claimed Rabbi Macy Gordon, his Judaic studies instructor, sprayed the pain remedy Chloraseptic on his genitals in 1980 and then violently shoved a toothbrush in his rectum, according to court papers. Another claimed he was attacked by Gordon, who attempted to give him a “mishey” — pinning a boy down and rubbing toothpaste on his genitals.

A federal judge tossed the lawsuit in 2014 — not because the plaintiffs’ claims against the school in Washington Heights were without merit, but because of a persistent obstacle to justice for child victims of sexual abuse in New York State. The statute of limitations had expired.

“We lost for one reason, and one reason only,” said Barry Singer, one of the plaintiffs in the case. “(The school) disputed none of our allegations and we still lost. The only thing to do now is to change the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations protects institutions; it does not protect children.”

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KENTUCKY ARCHDIOCESE SUED OVER HUNDREDS OF LEWD PHOTOS

KENTUCKY
Church Militant

by Joseph Pelletier • ChurchMilitant.com • March 30, 2016

LOUISVILLE (ChurchMilitant.com) – The scandal of a Kentucky priest accused of accessing child porn is escalating even after the cleric was sentenced for the crimes.

Following a Tuesday ruling slapping Fr. Stephen Pohl with almost three years in prison, in addition to supervised release and a nearly $8,000 fine, the parents of a young boy are suing the archdiocese of Louisville alleging negligence on their part in reigning in priests accused of sexual misconduct.

In a lawsuit filed with the Jefferson Circuit Court, Richard and Christeena Gallahue claim the priest had taken inappropriate photographs of their son, a student at St. Margaret Mary School, and allege the archdiocese failed to report the misconduct and were careless in their monitoring of Pohl, who had used church computers to view pornography.

The accusations imply a failure on the part of the Louisville church hierarchy to keep a pledge made promising increased efforts to expose abusive priests within the archdiocese. The promise had been made after nearly $26 million was paid out in 2003 to 243 individuals believed to have been molested by diocesan clerics. The suit additionally describes the conduct of Abp. Joseph Kurtz of Louisville — current president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — as “outrageous and intolerable because it offended generally accepted standards of decency and morality.”

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Archdiocese shares tips for child abuse prevention

KENTUCKY
The Record

Parish bulletins around the Archdiocese of Louisville this month will include tips and reminders about protecting children from abuse. The archdiocese provided the bulletin announcements — in Spanish and English — for the month of April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

In a memo sent to parishes, Dr. Brian B. Reynolds, chancellor of the archdiocese, wrote, “Ensuring that our parishes and schools are safe environments for children and youth requires the commitment of all of us.”

The bulletin announcements note that on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3, “we celebrate the dignity of every human being as a child of God. This dignity is violated by the crime of sexual abuse, and that is why the church seeks to reach out to victims and survivors of sexual abuse with the healing mercy of God who enfolds all in his loving care.”

The announcements also note, “Every adult has a moral responsibility to report suspected child abuse. In Kentucky, state law requires that any person who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child is neglected or abused must immediately report the abuse. Sexual abuse of minors is a pervasive societal problem, and only concerted and sustained efforts by all adults in every segment of society can help to protect children and youth.”

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Principal of Mountain View Christian School in Sequim accused of child rape, molestation

WASHINGTON
Q13 Fox

BY Q13 FOX NEWS STAFF AND JAMIE TOMPKINS

PORT ANGELES, Wash. — Douglas Allison, 55, the principal of Mountain View Christian School in Sequim, has been arrested on charges of child rape and child molestation, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Detectives arrested Allison at his home Tuesday night, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

“Allison was arrested following an investigation into a disclosure made by a 10-year-old female student at the school that she had been sexually assaulted by Mr. Allison,” the sheriff’s office said.

The victim said Allison had sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions at the school since the beginning of the school year, the release said.

“During the ensuing investigation, detectives discovered a second victim, an 11-year-old female student at the school. The second victim disclosed to Detectives she had been sexually assaulted in similar fashion by Allison,” the release said.

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Spotlight producer and writer discusses journalism’s role in social activism

PENNSYLVANIA
The Daily Pennsylvanian

By ARIA KOVALOVICH

Oscar-winning producer and co-writer of “Spotlight” Josh Singer squinted as he walked up to the podium of Annenberg’s Zellerbach Theater. “I am more used to being in a dark room staring at a screen than public speaking, but I guess this is a dark room,” he said.

The Harvard Law graduate-turned-screenwriter-and-producer returned to his native Philadelphia on Wednesday to speak at Penn’s Levin Family Dean’s Forum in a discussion entitled, “How Hollywood is Spotlighting Social Change.”

Singer was joined by “Spotlight” actor Neal Huff as well as a faculty panel comprised of church and state scholar of law Marci Hamilton, child traumatologist Steven Berkowitz and professor of English and cinema studies Peter Decherney, whose most recent book is a short history of Hollywood.

“Spotlight” tells the story of the Boston Globe team that exposed the Roman Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse of children by priests. The movie won this year’s Academy Awards for best picture and best original screenplay.

The three scholars on the panel outlined their field’s stake in the national discussion of clergy sexual abuse of children. Each applauded “Spotlight” for being a large impetus for immediate and future positive change for the victims.

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DA says Alabama pastor’s child sex abuse indictment involves family member, not church

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Jonathan Grass | jgrass@al.com

A pastor in Jackson County was arrested on a seven-count grand jury indictment Monday night. Although the sensitive nature of the case prevents prosecutors from divulging much at this point, the district attorney’s office has released what it can.

Jeffrey Allen Elkins, 55, is charged with five counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old and two counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes. He is a pastor at the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ in Bridgeport.

Jackson County District Attorney Charlie Rhodes said the charges involve one victim who is a family member of Elkins. He said the alleged crimes do not involve his role at the church.

Rhodes could not say when the alleged incidents occurred because of the investigation and the victim’s privacy.

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Evangelicals in Spain denounce “false pastor” accused of sexual abuses

SPAIN
Evangelical Focus

The Evangelical Council in the region of Asturias expresses clear condemnation and “solidarity with those who suffer any type of spiritual abuse.” Prosecutor asks 22 years of jail for the man.

Several media in Spain informed about the case of an alleged evangelical pastor who has been accused of sexually abusing two minor girls. It would have happened in 2012 and the victims informed the police after one of them fell pregnant. The trial will be held in Gijón (region of Asturias) on 21-22 April.

The public prosecutor asks for 22 years of prison for the defendant, who is a Dominican national.

EVANGELICALS CONDEMN SPIRITUAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE

The Evangelical Council of Asturias (CEDPA), the official representative of the evangelical churches in the northern Spanish region, said in a statement: “In the light of such situations, we only can denounce. Our ethical position is clear. We condemn these type of actions, no matter who practices them.”

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Former Stoneham Priest’s Alleged Victim Apart of Boston Archdiocese Settlement

MASSACHUSETTS
Patch

By JOE LIPOVICH (Patch Staff) – March 30, 2016

BOSTON, MA – The Archdiocese of Boston has settled for several hundred thousand dollars and counseling services for seven people who said they were sexually abused by priests, one of whom alleged sexual abuse from a former Stoneham priest, according to multiple reports including the Boston Globe.

A victim of the now-defrocked Rev. Richard Coughlin reached settlement with the Archdiocese, who served in both Stoneham and Lynn from 1953 to 1965. Wicked Local Stoneham reports that Coughlin was affiliated with St. Patrick’s Church in Stoneham at the time of the abuse.

The agreements came with no admission of liability.

“The monetary settlement allows the survivor to validate their claim and heal,” attorney Mitchell Garabedian told Patch. “By coming forward survivors empower themselves and other survivors to make the world a safer place for the children.”

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Brilliant depiction of journalism

UNITED STATES
The Statesman (India)

Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Live Schreiber
Director: Tom McCarthy
Producer: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Michael Sugar
Spotlight

Based on the investigation of the infamous scandals caused by the cases of widespread and systematic sexual abuse committed by the Catholic archdiocese of Boston, ‘Spotlight’ is a film grounded in reality and painstakingly researched in minute details. It boasts of stellar performances and an intriguing story, throwing light on some of the greatest crimes committed by the Church over the years. It is brilliant in the depiction of analytical journalism and of the deep rot that has permeated and tainted the society created by men who claim to be the messengers of God.

The film follows The Boston Globe’s ‘Spotlight’ team and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests. It is based on a series of stories by the actual Spotlight Team that earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. In 2001, The Boston Globe hires a new editor, Marty Baron. Baron comes from Florida and is a complete outsider in the ‘small townish’ Boston. After Baron reads a Globe column about a lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, accusing Cardinal Law (the Archbishop of Boston) of knowing that a priest was sexually abusing children and doing nothing to stop him, he urges the Spotlight team to investigate. As the team notch their investigations a gear up, we come to know that it is not a case of only one priest but a widespread problem.

We all know what the story is, we all know what happened but what Tom McCarthy does very successfully is that he manages to keep the audience hooked, completely in loop with the journalists themselves. The kind of closed room, stuffy feel which Takayanagi as the cinematographer gives is one of the main reasons for the audience to feel hooked to the story; almost as if they were there. The screenplay by McCarthy and Josh Singer is the real hero in this movie. Devoid of swashbuckling, quotable dialogues and monologues, the screenplay is what defines Spotlight’s reality. Hans Zimmer’s score although good, feels a little too loud or a tad forced in places.

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Church settles sex abuse lawsuits, including against an Orange County priest

CALIFORNIA
The Orange County Register

BY TONY SAAVEDRA / STAFF WRITER

Seven people who leveled sexual abuse allegations against clergy – including one priest who spent time in Orange County – settled lawsuits against the Boston Archdiocese this week for $778,500.

Richard T. Coughlin, a now-defrocked priest who ran the All-American Boys Chorus in Costa Mesa, is among the ex-clergy named in the lawsuits settled this week.

Coughlin came from Boston to the Diocese of Orange in 1965. He was suspended in 1993 after at least six people from Southern California accused him of sexual abuse. Lawsuits against Coughlin have resulted in more than $3 million in settlements.

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Austin Diocese Implicated in Child Abuse Suit

TEXAS
The Austin Chronicle

BY SARAH MARLOFF, FRI., APRIL 1, 2016

On March 10, Father Milton Eggerling became the seventh Austin-based priest to be accused of sexual abuse (according to the Database of Publicly Accused Priests in the United States). Attorney Tahira Khan Mer­ritt filed a civil suit for her client, John Doe 120, who claims he was sexually abused by Eggerling from the ages of 11 to 16.

Due to Eggerling’s death in 2008, and Texas’ statute of limitations – the abuse allegedly happened from 1973 to 1978 at what is now known as St. Louis King of France Catholic Church on Burnet Road – Doe cannot pursue criminal charges. Instead, the civil suit looks to hold the Austin Diocese accountable for placing not only Doe but hundreds of other children in Eggerling’s care. “The lawsuit alleges negligence and gross negligence against the diocese and its bishops because they knew, or should have known, of Eggerling’s propensity to molest boys,” Merritt states in the press release. The suit seeks unspecified damages and monetary relief of more than $1 million.

Doe was just shy of 12, a student and altar boy at St. Louis when he first met Eggerling. Doe served mass to Eggerling, who tipped the boy $5. Coming from a less than ideal home life, Doe embraced Eggerling’s attention, according to Doe’s attorney. “The boy confided in the priest, and rather than helping him, Eggerling used that to manipulate Doe,” Merritt tells the Chronicle. The priest’s attention continued. Soon he was taking Doe on trips to Barton Springs and the movies, claims the suit, all the while talking to the boy about masturbation and attempting to convince him that it was all right to change into (and out of) swim trunks in the priest’s presence.

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I ANSWER ONLY TO GOD

PENNSYLVANIA
Church Militant

The horrific story coming out of central Pennsylvania in the past couple of weeks is almost beyond words — the sexual abuse of hundreds of boys at the hands of priests and religious covered up not just by various bishops and religious superiors, but done actually in collusion with local government authorities.

It’s all spilling out now in not just one, but two grand jury reports, convened to investigate this very issue. The scope of the original investigation was somewhat narrow, but, as happens quite often, one thing led to another, each covered-up fact led to the revelation of many more, and suddenly, you have not only the crime, but the larger cover-up.

We’ll leave the details of the original stories and the growing list of subsequent ones aside for the moment, but they can be read about and viewed here on Church Militant. The focus of this Vortex is how this all came about — and the how really gets down to a who.

His name is George Foster, a 55-year-old advertising man who is a devout Catholic, completely dedicated to the Church and Her teachings — all of them. For years, he had been gathering information on not just the abusers but those covering it all up, the broad, overarching network of cover-up involving bishops, religious superiors and government officials.

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National activist calls for resignation of Springfield bishop over handling of recent priest abuse case

MASSACHUSETTS
The Republican

By Stephanie Barry | sbarry@repub.com

HUNTINGTON — Olan Horne, a nationally recognized activist for survivors of priest abuse, has been through the resignations of a pope and a cardinal. He is now calling for the resignation of a local bishop in the wake of a recent announcement by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.

Horne said he and a local deacon ushered the family of the victim of the late Rev. Paul Archambault through a series of meetings with diocesan officials and found the response lacking.

Horne blames retired Bishop Timothy McDonnell for sweeping Archambault’s history under the rug and accuses current Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of stonewalling the family and resisting transparency. Horne insists Rozanski should step down. The diocese has defended its handling of the Archambault case and said Rozanski will remain.

Horne has accused the local church of a cover-up reminiscent of the Boston priest abuse scandal, albeit on a much smaller scale.

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March 30, 2016

Another clergy sex abuse victim says Archdiocese is denying therapy

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

[with video]

BOSTON —Yet another survivor of clergy sex abuse has come forward saying the Archdiocese of Boston is breaking its promise to pay for the counseling needed to try to repair the damage from being molested.

“I was told for the rest of my life, if I needed help, if I needed therapy, they would provide it,” the victim told 5 Investigates’ Mike Beaudet.

But it was an empty promise from the Archdiocese of Boston, according to the survivor, who settled his abuse claim with the church in 2006. He spoke on the condition he not be identified.

“To this day I still haven’t gotten any help from them, and it’s beyond repair. I’ll never ask them for anything,” he said.

He suffered years of abuse at the hands of Father William Cummings at St. Catherine of Genoa Church in Somerville starting when he was 11 years old.

He says he needs intensive inpatient treatment but it was denied by the Archdiocese. His longtime therapist tells 5 Investigates “…(my patient) was so devastated by this outcome that within a number of weeks he had attempted suicide.”

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Take part in a new survey regarding access to support services

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

31 March 2016

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has commissioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) to investigate how survivors of child sexual abuse in institutions and their families access support services.

AIFS invites all victim/survivors of institutional or non-familial child sexual abuse to take part in an online survey about their views and experiences of accessing support services.

Parents and carers of victim/survivors are also invited to participate.

For more information and for the link to the survey, please see www.aifs.gov.au/survey-victims-survivors-and-parents-carers.

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Former Ottawa priest convicted of molesting altar boys in 1969-74

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

BY TOM SPEARS
FIRST POSTED: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2016

They were altar boys mostly aged nine to 11, given a gold star each time they attended mass, and sometimes invited to see Rev. Jacques Faucher in private.

Let’s practise a prayer, he’d say to one. Let’s watch a hockey game, he said to another. To a third: Let’s look at my stamp collection.

Then he would sit them on his knee and start touching them.

Faucher, 79, was convicted Wednesday of six counts of indecent assault and gross indecency, all involving young boys from the former Notre-Dame-des-Anges parish near Tunney’s Pasture. The charges date from 1969 to 1974, when Faucher was a priest there.

He was convicted of molesting three of five boys who testified against him. Judge Pierre Roger acquitted him on charges involving two other boys, not discounting their stories but saying there was a reasonable doubt.

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Lawsuit claims Navajo children were abused by Mormons

NEW MEXICO
The Freethinker

Spencer W Kimball, pictured above, was a Mormon “prophet” who masterminded a programme that placed thousands of young Native Americans in the homes of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between 1947 and 2000.

The Indian Student Placement Programme that drew in some 40,000 children stemmed from the Mormon belief that America’s indigenous people had fled from Israel in the year 600 BCE and had split up into two groups: the Nephites, a righteous and civilised people; and the Lamanites, an “idle, savage and bloodthirsty” people who, after hardening their hearts, were cursed by God with a “skin of blackness” and thus became “loathsome.”

Kimball, raised in southeastern Arizona, was called as an apostle – or one of the top leaders – of the Mormon Church in 1943. Then-president George Albert Smith gave Kimball a special assignment to:

Watch after the Indians in all the world.

Kimball served as the 12th President of the Church from 1973 until his death in 1985.

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Former Stoneham priest named in settlement

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Stoneham

By Rich Tenorio
rtenorio@wickedlocal.com

Posted Mar. 30, 2016

STONEHAM

A man who alleged he was sexually abused by a former Stoneham priest was one of seven people who was part of a settlement with the Archdiocese of Boston.

“The world is a safer place for children,” said attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who announced the settlement between the archdiocese and individuals who said they were sexually abused by priests.

In the 10 total settlements and a combined amount of $778,500, reported on Monday, the archdiocese agreed to provide money and counseling for the seven individuals, one of whom said that now-defrocked Rev. Richard T. Coughlin abused him over a five-year period, from 1957 to 1962.

The individual is a male who is approximately 68 years old.

At the time of the alleged abuse, Father Coughlin was affiliated with St. Patrick’s Church in Stoneham and belonged to the Archdiocese of Boston.

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Defense: Convicted priest has paid $70K for fines, victims

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) – A suspended Pennsylvania priest convicted of sexually assaulting poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras has paid $70,000 in fines and restitution, his attorneys said in a court filing.

The filing was in response to a motion by federal prosecutors on Friday seeking to freeze the assets of the Rev. Joseph Maurizio.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines said the 71-year-old priest had transferred 42 acres of land and his home for $1 to his niece in November, after he was convicted, and has continued trying to transfer money from his financial accounts to her since his March 2 sentencing. Haines cited a recorded phone call Maurizio made from jail to his niece on March 8 that involved draining his bank accounts, according to her motion.

But defense attorney Thomas Farrell told The Associated Press last week that Maurizio’s niece was his power of attorney and was making the asset transfers only so she could pay a $50,000 fine and $20,000 restitution on the priest’s behalf.

U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson gave Maurizio’s attorneys until April 1 to respond to Haines’ allegations and they did that Tuesday, complete with a copy of two checks dated Saturday, for the fine and restitution.

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Defense: Convicted priest has paid $70K for fines, victims

PENNSYLVANIA
WTAE

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. —A suspended Pennsylvania priest convicted of sexually assaulting poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras has paid $70,000 in fines and restitution, his attorneys said in a court filing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines said the 71-year-old priest had transferred 42 acres of land and his home for $1 to his niece in November, after he was convicted, and has continued trying to transfer money from his financial accounts to her since his March 2 sentencing. Haines cited a recorded phone call Maurizio made from jail to his niece on March 8 that involved draining his bank accounts, according to her motion.

But defense attorney Thomas Farrell told The Associated Press last week that Maurizio’s niece was his power of attorney and was making the asset transfers only so she could pay a $50,000 fine and $20,000 restitution on the priest’s behalf.

U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson gave Maurizio’s attorneys until April 1 to respond to Haines’ allegations and they did that Tuesday, complete with a copy of two checks dated Saturday, for the fine and restitution.

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Diocese seeks to defrock priest after sex-abuse allegations

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By JoAnne Viviano
The Columbus Dispatch • Wednesday March 30, 2016

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus is seeking to defrock a priest in the wake of an allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the 1970s when he served at a Catholic high school and two churches.

The Rev. Ronald Atwood was placed on administrative leave by Bishop Frederick Campbell in July 2013, a day after the diocese received a complaint that he had abused someone while assigned to Bishop Ready High School on the West Side, St. Stephen the Martyr Church on the Southwest Side and St. Peter Church on the Northwest Side from 1976 to 1979.

About a week later, a diocesan board determined that the allegation appeared to be credible, the diocese said in a statement released on Tuesday. Following efforts to determine whether anyone else wanted to come forward, the diocese determined that Atwood should be defrocked.

Documentation seeking the defrocking has been sent to the Vatican and Atwood, who has been a priest in the diocese since 1969 and remains on leave.

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Sex abuse allegations ‘credible’ against deceased Northampton priest Paul Archambault

MASSACHUSETTS
Daily Hampshire Gazette

By MICHAEL MAJCHROWICZ
@mjmajchrowicz
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — Allegations that a deceased Northampton priest had abused a teenage boy were credible, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield said Tuesday in announcing an end to a lawsuit brought in 2013.

The diocese announced that it had reached an undisclosed settlement with a man who said the Rev. Paul J. Archambault sexually abused him beginning when he was 13 and that the priest’s name had been added to an official list— which is maintained by the diocese — of clergy who face credible abuse allegations.

The man who accused Archambault was 20 years old when he asserted in the lawsuit that the priest had sexually assaulted him more than four dozen times in locations such as St. Patrick’s Church in South Hadley, at a spiritual retreat they attended together in Vermont, and at Archambault’s Northampton home, according to court documents. The man said the alleged assaults continued for four years.

The Gazette generally does not release the names of victims of sexual assault.

According to the diocese, Archambault was first assigned to St. Theresa Church in South Hadley in 2005. After a year and a half, he relocated to Baystate Medical Center in 2007 where he was a chaplain. He made his final relocation to St. Mary’s Church in Hampden in 2008.

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The French Catholic church and its pedophilia scandal

FRANCE
Affairs Today

Again the Catholic Church gets tangled up in various scandals of pedophilia. However this new controversy seems to have reached the top of the hierarchy,the person in question: Cardinal Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon.

A controversy which seems to tell us more about a social division in France rather than a criminal case. ‘Most of the cases, thanks God!, are time barred.’ said the Cardinal Barbarin interviewed about the recent scandals of pedophilia. Even though the Cardinal will apologise later on for those terrible words, his statements represent a certain mindset within the French Catholic Church and its supporters. The facts of pedophilia against young scouts go back to the late 1980s. Father Bernard Preynat admitted the charges against him in January 2015, however, he was removed from office in August 2015. Another case of pedophile abuse committed by a priest was revealed in an interview published by the conservative newspaper Le Figaro, with events dating back to the 1990s. The controversy has focused on the person of Cardinal Barbarin. Some victims of the pedophile priests have decided to lodge charges against him, mainly for not revealing the facts which he certainly knew since 2007. The Preynat father told the police that the facts he is accused of were known by the high clergy in 1991. In addition, a communication error of the Cardinal himself led him to admit that he knew the facts since 2007 while his diocese had officially stated that he had been made aware of the cases in 2014.

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#PÉDOPHILIE Philippe Barbarin, archevêque de Lyon, est visé par une cinquième plainte

FRANCE
L’Obs

[A fifth complaint was formally filed Tuesday against Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, according to “Le Parisien”.]

Une cinquième plainte a été formellement déposée mardi à l’encontre de Philippe Barbarin, archevêque de Lyon, selon “Le Parisien”.

Pierre, cadre dans un ministère, reproche à Barbarin d’avoir maintenu dans ses fonctions le prêtre Jérôme Billioud qui avait abusé de lui alors qu’il était adolescent, dans les années 1990.

Quatre autres plaintes pour non dénonciation d’actes pédophiles commis par le père Bernard Preynat ont déjà été déposées.

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Canadian Journalism Foundation honours Boston Globe Spotlight Team with Special Citation

CANADA
CNW

TORONTO, March 30, 2016 /CNW/ – Boston Globe Spotlight Team reporters Sacha Pfeiffer, Michael Rezendes and Walter Robinson will be honoured at the CJF Awards in Toronto on June 16 with a Canadian Journalism Foundation Special Citation for exemplary journalism.

The reporting team won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for its investigative series exposing widespread child abuse by numerous priests and the systemic cover-up by the Catholic Church in Boston. The Spotlight Team’s courageous journalism was portrayed in the movie Spotlight, which won best picture and best original screenplay at this year’s Academy Awards.

“At the CJF, we believe that exceptional journalism needs to be honoured,” says John Cruickshank, chair of the CJF and outgoing publisher of the Toronto Star. “The work of the Boston Globe reporters highlights the painstaking time and effort that goes into investigative journalism and the profound impact it can have on people’s lives. Their work is an inspiration and serves as a reminder of why rigorous journalism is necessary.”

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Former Gatineau priest Jacques Faucher found guilty of sexually assaulting 3 boys

CANADA
CBC News

Former Roman Catholic priest Jacques Faucher, of Gatineau, Que., has been found guilty of sexually molesting three choir boys in the 1970s.

Faucher was retired in 2013 when Ottawa police laid 14 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency against him. The offences were alleged to have involved five victims and occurred between 1969 and 1974.

On Wednesday, in an Ottawa courtroom, Justice Pierre Roger found Faucher guilty on six of the 14 charges involving three of the five victims.

One of the three victims, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, was in court for the verdict.

‘I wasn’t alone for these 40 years’

“It’s mixed feelings today. I feel good because Faucher was found guilty of the accusations [involving] me, but also a little empty because two of the five of us who went forward, he was found not guilty for them,” the man said.

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French diocese offices searched in paedophile priest case: source

FRANCE
Yahoo! News

Lyon (AFP) – French investigators searched the offices of the diocese of Lyon on Wednesday over the alleged cover-up of a paedophile priest, a source close to the probe said.

The diocese said in a statement that the Archbishop of Lyon, Philippe Barbarin, who is under fire over his handling of the affair, “has said repeatedly that he is prepared to cooperate openly with the investigation”.

The search of the offices is linked to the prosecution of Bernard Preynat, a priest who has admitted sexually abusing scouts that he was supervising in the Lyon area of central France more than 25 years ago.

Preynat’s victims have filed a formal complaint against Barbarin and other leading clergy, accusing them of failing to inform the police of the priest’s acts when he became aware of them in 2008.

“As part of the preliminary investigation opened by the Lyon prosecutor, the diocese of Lyon has today handed over to investigators material which could shed light on these tragic events,” the diocese said in a statement.

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Retired Ottawa priest found guilty of sex crimes against children

CANADA
CFRA

A retired Ottawa priest has been convicted of sex crimes against children.

Back in 2013, Jacques Faucher was charged with six counts each of gross indecency and indecent assault in relation to several victims, including a seven-year-old boy, who were attacked between 1969 and 1974, while Faucher was working as a Catholic priest.

Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast says he suspended Faucher and prohibited him from representing himself as a Catholic priest when he was charged by police and given the outcome of the trial, that suspension and prohibition will be in force indefinitely.

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N.J. diocese settles decades-old church sex abuse claims

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Greg Adomaitis | For NJ.com

CAMDEN — A Boston-based lawyer announced Monday that settlements have been reached with the the Diocese of Camden regarding two sexual assault claims dating back decades.

Allegations against Rev. Joseph Brennan, who was assigned to the St. Maurice Church in Brooklawn, and Rev. Phillip Matthews, who served at the Mount Carmel Church in Berlin, were among the 16 men named Monday in lawyer Mitchell Garabedian’s updated list of the accused.

Garabedian was portrayed by actor Stanley Tucci in the 2015 film “Spotlight” that detailed the sex abuse scandal within the Boston Archdiocese.

According to bishop-accountabilty.org, Brennan allegedly abused a child at a Brooklawn parish between 1957 and 1959. Matthews was accused of abusing a child in 1966. Neither men — both of whom have since died — had been previously identified as being accused of sexual misconduct prior to Monday’s announcement.

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IL–Another Chicago predator cleric case settles

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president and founder of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)

Once again, Chicago area Catholic officials have paid a settlement to a victim of a child molesting cleric but told no one about it.

The painful, slow “drip, drip, drip” of clergy sex abuse and cover up cases continues, in Chicago and across the US. But we learn about the most recent case not from Catholic officials – who persist in their selfish and seemingly endless secrecy – but from a brave victim and his attorney.

Officials at the Darien-based Carmelites (630-971-0724, 630-971-0050, provincialoffice@carmelnet.org) have resolved a child sex abuse case involving Brother Damien “Patrick” Chong, who was associate pastor of St. Gelasius Church on Chicago’s south side from 1991 to 1997.

[Boston Globe]

In 2013, Br. Chong was deemed “credibly accused” of child sex crimes by Catholic officials in California

[BishopAccountability.org]

But neither the Carmelites, nor Chicago archdiocesan officials, did outreach to find others who might have been able to criminally charge Br. Chong.

[SNAP]

Instead, the Chicago Carmelites quietly moved him to Massachusetts and let him stay on the job until well into 2014 at a mall chapel.

[BishopAccountability.org]

These facts confirm the distressing reality that we in SNAP keep exposing and that few in society realize: little has changed in the Catholic hierarchy when it comes to clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

What should happen now? Catholics and citizens should ask the Carmelites and Chicago Archbishop Blasé Cupich:

–“How many other cases have you secretly settled or know about involving Chicago clerics?”

–“Are credibly accused child molesting clerics from elsewhere being allowed to work now in the Chicago archdiocese?”

–“Why, despite decades of pledges of ‘openness,’ did you choose to say nothing about this new settlement? Why

is the settlement being announced by the victim and his attorney and not by the Carmelities or archdiocesan staff?”

Now, Carmelites and Cupich should aggressively seek out others he has hurt. Specifically, Cupich should also go to every place where Br. Chong worked, and beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to call police. Br. Chong is deceased and can’t be prosecuted. But we believe it’s possible that other church officials might still be criminally charged for ignoring or concealing his child sex crimes. This won’t happen as long as the Carmelites and Archbishop Cupich and his colleagues continue to say and do as little as possible.

The first US predator priest attracted national headlines a full 30 years ago. All US bishops promised to be “transparent” about clergy sex crimes a full 14 years ago. It’s appalling that even now, Catholic officials are breaking their pledges and being secretive even after an abuse report is deemed credible and a settlement has been paid. And it’s appalling that deeply wounded child sex abuse victims must publicly prod Catholic officials to do what the Gospel parable of the lost sheep mandates that they do – leave the rest of the flock, go out into the dark and the cold, seeking the one wounded individual who was assaulted as a child by a priest and is still suffering as an adult.

We hope this settlement will provide some comfort to Br. Chong’s victim. We also hope it will encourage others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to come forward, expose predators, protect kids, deter cover ups and start healing.

Remember this settlements – and who disclosed it, the victim and his attorney – the next time someone claims that Catholic officials are “open” and “transparent” about clergy sex crimes and cover ups these days. It’s just not true.

Catholics and citizens must continue to rely on courageous victims, determined journalists and our secular justice system to warn parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public about known, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics.

We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Chicago – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted and cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

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Enquête préliminaire : le diocèse a remis des documents à la justice

FRANCE
lyon.catholique.fr

[Cardinal Philippe Barbarin said the Lyon diocese has turned over records to justice.]

Dans le cadre de l’enquête préliminaire ouverte par le parquet de Lyon, le diocèse de Lyon a été amené à remettre aujourd’hui aux enquêteurs venus effectuer une perquisition les éléments dont la Justice souhaitait disposer pour faire la lumière sur ces événements douloureux.

Le cardinal Philippe Barbarin a exprimé à de nombreuses reprises sa volonté de coopérer en toute transparence avec la justice : il se tient à sa disposition avec confiance. Il renouvelle le vœu que la Justice puisse agir dans la sérénité indispensable à la manifestation de la vérité et à l’apaisement de la souffrance des victimes.

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Perquisitions à l’évêché de Lyon dans une enquête pour pédophilie

FRANCE
RTS

Une perquisition a eu lieu mercredi dans les locaux de l’évêché de Lyon dans le cadre d’une enquête contre des responsables du diocèse pour non-dénonciation d’agressions sexuelles.

“Dans le cadre de l’enquête préliminaire ouverte par le parquet de Lyon, le diocèse de Lyon a été amené à remettre aujourd’hui aux enquêteurs venus effectuer une perquisition les éléments dont la justice souhaitait disposer pour faire la lumière sur ces événements douloureux”, a confirmé le diocèse dans un communiqué.

Plaintes de victimes

Cette enquête a été ouverte parallèlement à l’inculpation fin janvier d’un prêtre pour des agressions sexuelles commises il y a plus de 25 ans sur des scouts qu’il encadrait dans la banlieue de Lyon. Des victimes ont porté plainte contre des responsables religieux, dont le cardinal Philippe Barbarin.

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Prêtre pédophile : les enquêteurs ont perquisitionné à l’évêché de Lyon

FRANCE
Le Parisien

30 Mars 2016

Une perquisition a eu lieu ce mercredi matin dans les locaux de l’évêché à Lyon (Rhône) dans le cadre d’une enquête ouverte pour non-dénonciation d’agressions sexuelles à l’encontre de responsables du diocèse, dont le cardinal Barbarin.

Cette enquête a été ouverte parallèlement à la mise en examen, fin janvier, du père Bernard Preynat, pour des agressions sexuelles commises il y a plus de 25 ans sur des scouts qu’il encadrait dans la banlieue de Lyon. Des victimes ont porté plainte contre des responsables religieux, dont l’archevêque de Lyon, qu’ils accusent de ne pas avoir informé la justice des agissements passés de ce prêtre lorsqu’il en a pris connaissance en 2007-2008, selon ses propres dires.

«Dans le cadre de l’enquête préliminaire ouverte par le parquet de Lyon, le diocèse de Lyon a été amené à remettre aujourd’hui aux enquêteurs, venus effectuer une perquisition, les éléments dont la justice souhaitait disposer pour faire la lumière sur ces événements douloureux», a confirmé le diocèse dans un communiqué. «Le cardinal Philippe Barbarin a exprimé à de nombreuses reprises sa volonté de coopérer en toute transparence avec la justice : il se tient à sa disposition avec confiance», a ajouté le diocèse.

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Police Search Lyon Diocese in Sex Abuse Cover-up Probe

FRANCE
ABC News

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PARIS — Mar 30, 2016

French investigators have searched Catholic church offices in Lyon amid allegations that a renowned cardinal and others had covered up a priest’s sexual abuse of boy scouts.

The office of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin says in a statement Wednesday that the headquarters of the Lyon diocese were searched as part of a preliminary investigation into the case, and that church officials have handed over documents “to shed light on these painful events.”

Barbarin’s spokesman Pierre Durieux says the search is over but would not elaborate.

Barbarin is among six church officials targeted in a case prompted by allegations that a priest had molested boy scouts in the 1980s. Barbarin, who wasn’t a cardinal at the time, says he never concealed abuse by priests.

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BBC, CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND SEXUAL ABUSE

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue has written an in-depth analysis of sexual abuse at the BBC, and the BBC’s coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. He explains the similarities and dissimilarities, focusing on why the scandals occurred and how the top brass in each institution reacted. He concludes that while the BBC got off easy in a recent report on its problems, its coverage of the Church’s problems was patently unfair. To read his article, click here.

Donohue holds a Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of several books on civil liberties, social issues, and Catholicism.

Excerpt:

Overview
The Dame Janet Smith Review Report on BBC serial rapist Jimmy Savile has many strengths and weaknesses. Her greatest strength is her ability to understand the sociological underpinnings of Savile’s predatory behavior and the reasons why his conduct was not taken seriously at work. What makes this particularly commendable is that her training is in law, not social science: she is a former judge.

Smith’s greatest weakness is her readiness to exculpate the BBC hierarchy: she wants us to believe that no one in a senior management position ever knew anything about Savile’s sexual offenses. What makes this so remarkable is Savile’s long history of abuse: he worked at the organization for more than 25 years—molesting some of his victims on the premises of the BBC — and he bragged about his exploits in public.

To come to this conclusion, Smith sets the evidentiary bar quite high. A less legalistic examination would not have been so forgiving.

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Vatican official in Seattle discusses WA sex abuse

WASHINGTON
KING

Michael Konopasek, KING March 30, 2016

SEATTLE — – A Vatican official visiting Seattle is speaking out about the sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church and the crucial role Pope Francis played in restoring diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.

Papal spokesperson Rev. Thomas Rosica talked about the crisis in the Seattle area. It’s the first-of-its-kind response since the Archdiocese of Seattle spent $9 million in a settlement with abuse victims earlier this year.

Rosica is the English language spokesperson at the Holy See Press Office. He splits his time between Toronto and Vatican City, working to spread the message of Pope Francis around the world.

“He’s a wonderful Pope, and he’s doing things that haven’t been done for a long time,” said Rosica. “Francis came along and said we must acknowledge what has gone wrong. We must put everything in place that [sexual assault] doesn’t happen again. There’s now a Pontifical commission that’s established, headed by American Cardinal Sean O’Malley, which deals with [the sex abuse crisis] on a world level. This is not just an American problem as some would like to think. This is a worldwide problem.”

The Archdiocese of Seattle earlier this year accused 77 members of its clergy of sexually assaulting children.

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Operation Midland: Harvey Proctor criticises child abuse inquiry for ruining life

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former MP, cleared of being part of an alleged VIP Westminster paedophile ring, said the Metropolitan Police’s inquiry “irreparably ruined my life”.

Harvey Proctor, 69, had his home raided and was questioned as part of Operation Midland, which closed last week with no charges brought.

He said the Met had enabled him to be “wrongly depicted as a paedophile, child abuser and child murderer”.

The Met has said it was “absolutely right” to investigate the claims.

The Home Office said decisions on investigating allegations were a matter for police forces. …

Peter Saunders, founder of the charity National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), said Mr Proctor’s anger was understandable, but it was “not helpful to attack the police”.

“I don’t think what’s happened with Harvey Proctor has been entirely helpful to the whole process, but I hope it doesn’t in any way deter victims and survivors – or complainants as Mr Proctor would call them – from coming forward where there are serious allegations,” he said.

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Top Funders Target ‘Uneven’ Anti-Abuse Policies

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

[Jewish Funders Network program]

03/29/16

Steve Lipman
Staff Writer

A Los Angeles-based Jewish think tank will unveil an innovative approach next week to help reduce the problem of sexual abuse in the Jewish community, The Jewish Week has learned.

Jumpstart, a “philanthropic research & design lab” launched eight years ago, will announce on Sunday a Funders Pledge that will commit at least a dozen influential philanthropists to support only those Jewish schools and camps that take specific steps “to prevent, report, and investigate sexual abuse of minors.”

The announcement, to be made at the Jewish Funders Network annual conference in La Jolla, Calif., follows a study conducted over the past year about policies and procedures of Jewish day schools and camps to prevent sexual abuse.

According to the survey’s preliminary findings, directors of day schools and overnight camps “report an uneven patchwork of policies and procedures to prevent and respond to incidents of child sexual abuse.”

The Jumpstart study was conducted by sociologist Steven M. Cohen and abuse expert Shira Berkovits in consultation with the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) and the RAVSAK network of community Jewish day schools. It did not seek to measure the extent of sexual abuse in those Jewish institutions, but rather asked about their awareness of the problem and acts they have taken to combat it.

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Sex abuse claim filed by Navajo siblings

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., March 25, 2016

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

GALLUP – Attorneys representing two adult siblings from the Navajo Nation filed a childhood sexual abuse lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Navajo Nation’s Window Rock District Court Tuesday.

The brother and sister, referred to in the complaint as RJ and MM, allege they were sexually abused in several Mormon foster homes in Utah while participating in the church-sponsored Lamanite Placement Program, also known as the Indian Placement Program, between 1976 and 1983. Their attorneys are Bill Keeler, of Gallup, along with co-counsel Leander “Lee” James and Craig Vernon, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Patrick Noaker, of Minneapolis.

“We want justice, and we want other kids not to be abused,” MM said during a news conference at Keeler’s law office Thursday.

MM and her brother were accompanied by Keeler and Vernon. In addition to seeking monetary damages, the lawsuit is seeking a change in LDS Church policy regarding the reporting of abuse allegations and the implementation of measures to bring healing to Navajo people harmed by the placement program.

Vernon said the lawsuit was filed in the Navajo courts because RJ and MM were recruited for the placement program while they were children on the Navajo Nation, and RJ alleges he repeatedly disclosed the abuse to LDS Church representatives on the reservation.

‘Curse doctrine’

Keeler and Noaker previously filed three clergy sex abuse lawsuits in tribal court against the Diocese of Gallup and two Franciscan provinces on behalf of three Navajo men who alleged they had been sexually abused as minors by a Franciscan priest.

Although all three plaintiffs eventually settled their cases, the first plaintiff saw a legal victory when the Navajo Nation Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s dismissal and remanded the case back to district court. In its decision, the Navajo Nation Supreme Court stated, “Our courts have a duty, in parens patriae, to ensure allegations of harm to our children are fully heard and not dismissed on mere technicalities.”

Keeler said that decision “kind of set the parameters” for this new case against the LDS Church.

Vernon, a former Mormon, said the Lamanite Placement Program, which operated from 1947 to the mid-1990s, was rooted in church doctrine in the Book of Mormon. According to Mormon belief, he said, Native Americans are the descendants of Lamanites, people who fled Israel 600 years before Christ and hardened their hearts to God, causing them to be cursed with dark skin.

“That is really at the core of this Lamanite Placement Program,” Vernon said. In the church, he explained, native children were taught they had dark skin because of this “curse doctrine,” and they could “literally break the curse” by becoming Mormon and assimilating into a Mormon Gospel centered life.

Difficult circumstances

The lawsuit details RJ and MM’s allegations of abuse. RJ, who entered the program at age 10, alleges he was sexually abused in his first Mormon foster family. After reporting the abuse to a couple who had served as missionaries on the Navajo Nation, RJ was removed from that home. He alleges, however, he was repeatedly abused in subsequent foster homes. RJ claims he disclosed the sexual abuse to his LDS placement program caseworker on the Navajo Nation each summer.

In MM’s case, she alleges she was 11 years old when she was raped by an adult man, a friend of her foster family, during her first placement. From sixth grade to 10th grade, MM did not experience any further sexual abuse. However, during her junior and senior years she was placed with her brother in a home where she claims their foster father sexually molested her.

In Thursday’s news conference, RJ said he didn’t think he was believed as a child when he disclosed the abuse. He said he also had to deal with Navajo reluctance to discuss sexual abuse.

“In the Navajo culture, we consider it taboo,” he said. “You’re not supposed to talk about it. You’re supposed to leave it hush-hush.”

RJ and MM agreed the circumstances of their large family posed further difficulties. Their father was an alcoholic, RJ said, and their “desperately poor” mother put at least five of her 12 children in the placement program with the hope that they would get a good education and have a good life. According to RJ and MM, four of the children were abused in the program.

Change in policies

“I believe this is really the tip of the iceberg in this program,” Vernon said of RJ and MM’s allegations of being “circulated from one bad family to another bad family.”

With the lawsuit, the plaintiffs and their attorneys are advocating for a change in LDS Church policies regarding the reporting of suspected child sexual abuse.

Citing published church policies, Vernon said LDS Church leaders are instructed to contact their Mormon bishop with reports of abuse rather than contact law enforcement, and Mormon bishops are instructed to call a church helpline to learn about local reporting requirements and securing legal advice. According to Vernon, the church’s written policy discourages Mormon officials from contacting law enforcement.

“Where is calling the police?” he said.

The lawsuit also calls for the LDS Church to acknowledge and address the “social and cultural harm” caused by the Lamanite Placement Program. The lawsuit seeks letters of apology to the plaintiffs and the Navajo Nation from church officials, and it calls for the LDS Church to establish and fund a task force to work with the Navajo Nation to encourage people who were harmed by the program to come forward and receive help.

Vernon said the lawsuit has yet to be served on the LDS Church. However, he said, church officials are aware of the allegations and have already interviewed RJ and MM.

According to Utah news reports, Kristen Howey, an LDS spokeswoman, released the following statement Thursday: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind and works actively to prevent abuse. This lawsuit was filed earlier today. The Church will examine the allegations and respond appropriately.”

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Lawsuit Shines “Spotlight” on Sexual Abuse of Navajo Children within the Lamanite Placement Program

NEW MEXICO
Noaker Law

(March 23, 2016 – Gallup, New Mexico). Two enrolled members of the Navajo Nation filed suit against LDS Family Services and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the “Mormon” or “LDS” Church, stemming from child sexual abuse that occurred during the Church’s “Lamanite Placement Program” in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.

Click Here for File-stamped Copy of Complaint For Personal Injury filed in Navajo Nation District Court, Window Rock District, Case No. WR-CV-36-16. . . .

The specific quote from the Book of Mormon (that the Mormon Church teaches was translated by its founder, Joseph Smith) reads: And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. (2 Nephi 5:21, Book of Mormon).

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Bishops condemn exposing children to pornography

AUSTRALIA
The Catholic Leader

March 30, 2016

AUSTRALIA’S Catholic bishops have called pornography exposure among children “a form of abuse” in a submission published by a Senate inquiry last week.

The Bishops’ Commission for Family, Youth and Life of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference made a submission to a Senate inquiry into the harm done to children through online pornography.
The submission said children “have a right to be children” away from harms “inflicted on them by being exposed to pornography”.

BCFYL acting chair Bishop Peter Comensoli said the inquiry was important because “it focuses on the harm done to some of the most vulnerable people in our community”.

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AFFAIRE PREYNAT : BARBARIN RENCONTRE LES VICTIMES

FRANCE
Tonic Radio

[Case Preynat: Cardinal Barbarin is meeting with the victims.]

C’est probablement la première conséquence des conseils donnés par Guillaume Didier et son agence de communication de crise, Vae Solis Corporate.

Le cardinal Barbarin a d’abord demandé pardon aux victimes présumées du père Preynat mercredi dernier. On apprend dans le Parisien que l’archevêque de Lyon a également débuté des rencontres avec les familles de ces victimes. Des rendez-vous que certains attendaient en vain, visiblement depuis des mois, parfois des années.

Pas de quoi apaiser les familles qui n’avaient que faire d’explications ou d’un pardon. “On lui demande de reconnaître qu’il n’avait pas pris la mesure du problème et qu’il a commis une faute”, a expliqué à nos confrères un couple, parents d’anciens scouts de Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon.

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Im Kinderheim Gleink sollen Buben missbraucht worden sein

OSTERREICH
Nachrichten

[Boys were allegedly abuse at the Austrian Cleink children’s home.]

STEYR. Mahnwache ehemaliger Klosterzöglinge brachte neue Vorwürfe ans Tageslicht: Erzieher sollen Kinder nicht nur verprügelt, sondern zu sexuellen Handlungen gezwungen haben.

Seine helle Knabenstimme im Chorgesang hätte die Aufmerksamkeit von Pater L. auf ihn gezogen, erinnert sich Herbert P., der von 1973 bis 1976 im Kinderheim in Steyr-Gleink untergebracht war. Mindestens einmal, meistens aber an zwei Tagen in der Woche habe er die Stiege hinauf in die Gemächer des Priesters der Herz-Jesu-Missionare gehen müssen zum “Probesingen”, wie der Mann über fünfzig den sexuellen Missbrauch von damals bitter nennt, den er dem Ordensgeistlichen vorwirft. “Ich habe meine Kinder großgezogen”, sagte der Familienvater im Rückblick, “nur eines haben sie beklagt, dass ich sie nie richtig herzlich umarmt habe.” Denn bei Berührungen auch gegenüber seinen eigenen Kindern sei er zeitlebens gehemmt gewesen nach den leidvollen Erfahrungen in Gleink, begründet Herbert P.

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Speedskater Bridie Farrell, ‘molested’ by Olympian Andy Gabel, says N.Y. law ‘doesn’t protect children’

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICHAEL O’KEEFFE, CHRISTIAN RED NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Andy Gabel had already won dozens of medals in international speed skating competitions, including a silver at the 1994 Olympics, when he moved to upstate Saratoga Springs to prepare for the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

Bridie Farrell was a star-struck 15-year-old with Olympic aspirations when Gabel arrived in her hometown — and she was thrilled when one of speed skating’s biggest stars took her under his wing.

But Farrell says that what began as a series of generous acts by Gabel — picking Farrell up at 5 a.m. every day for practice, offering her advice on such things as how to properly align her skates — culminated in an uncomfortable encounter on a dead-end street. Gabel, seated beside her in his parked car, asked Farrell if he could kiss her, she says.

She says the speed skating star, then in his 30s, repeatedly molested her in 1997 and 1998, sexual abuse that would leave her feeling lost and depressed years later.

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New York’s outdated statute of limitations robbing child sex abuse victims of justice

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY BRAD HOYLMAN SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The story that a Long Island foster parent allegedly got away with abusing children for two decades should make our blood boil. The question remains: Is Albany going to do anything about it?

Tragically, reports of child sexual abuse are familiar New York headlines. At the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, a recent report identified more than 60 former students abused by more than 22 employees since the 1960s. At Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, famed football coach Philip Foglietta was accused of abusing more than 10 students during his 40-year tenure.

In each case, the abuse tragically continued unabated for decades, in part because authorities don’t trust kids or regard them as reliable witnesses.

By the time many of these survivors came forward as adults to report the crimes, it was too late. New York’s antiquated statute of limitations robs them of their chance at justice. They have to file their cases by their 23rd birthday.

Such Draconian laws place New York State among the worst states in the nation for statutes of limitation. Justice cries out for us to fix this. Under the Child Victims Act, child sex abuse survivors would get just that.

This legislation I sponsor in the state Senate would eliminate the statute of limitations for civil actions for certain sex offenses committed against a minor. For survivors, the bill would also create a one-year “look back” period in which past claims could be revived.

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Parents file lawsuit against Roman Catholic Bishop of Louisville related to Stephen Pohl case

KENTUCKY
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The parents of children who attended St. Margaret Mary School have filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Bishop of Louisville, fighting to keep roughly 200 pictures of children and other evidence from being destroyed and alleging that the church was grossly negligent and displayed “outrageous conduct” when it hired and retained a priest who would later plead guilty to a child pornography charge.

The investigation began after a child told his mother Pohl took pictures of him that made him feel “weird.” When the child’s parents confronted Pohl, they say they saw similar pictures of another child and reported that to police.

Father Stephen Pohl, who pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge, was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison, plus supervised release and a $7,500 fine in criminal court Tuesday afternoon.

The lawsuit was also filed Tuesday.

“We trusted them. We placed our trust in them and that our children would be safe under their care,” said plaintiff Christeena Gallahue.

According to the lawsuit, Gallahue went to St. Margaret Mary School in August 2014 to pick up her children, when she saw her 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter sitting on the steps being photographed by Stephen Pohl, who used to be the pastor there. The lawsuit states that Pohl, “acted very nervous and startled, all of which was out of character for Pohl.” He allegedly told the mother that he would send her the pictures that he took, but he never did. The following month, the 7-year-old began “acting defiantly,” according to the lawsuit.

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Parents of St. Margaret Mary student file lawsuit against Archdiocese of Lou.

KENTUCKY
WHAS

[with video]

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) – On the same day as Pastor Stephen Pohl’s sentencing two parents came forward with a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Richard and Christina Gallahue said their son was one of the children Pohl took pictures of and the Archdiocese did not report Pohl even though they knew that it was happening.

“We trusted the leaders of the church to protect our children. They took a pledge to protect them, we thought they’d be safe and we expected that when they were under their care,” Christeena Gallahue said.

“There is not any policy or procedure in place to deal with the issue of pornography, accessing pornography through wifi equipment owned and operated by the archdioceses. Hopefully if nothing else, this lawsuit will accomplish that,” William McMurry, an attorney for the Gallahue family, said.

The Gallahues said they think there should be some type of system in place that helps prevent this from happening again to someone else’s child. They’re also asking that all of the pictures and evidence not be destroyed so they can see how long this has been happening and the types of pictures that were taken.

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Parents to have option of viewing photos ex-pastor took of their children

KENTUCKY
WAVE

[with video]

By Joey Brown, Digital Content Manager

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Parents of St. Margaret Mary students whose children can be identified in photos found on Fr. Stephen Pohl’s digital devices will be offered the option of viewing the pictures within the next few weeks, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Pohl was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Tuesday for accessing child pornography while pastor at St. Margaret Mary parish in St. Matthews. Judge David J. Hale sentenced him to 33 months in prison, a $7,500 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release. The prison sentence is four-months shorter than had been recommended. There is no parole in the federal criminal justice system.

Prosecutors stressed that although no pornographic pictures of children who attend St. Margaret Mary were located on Pohl’s digital devices, parents remain concerned about the content of the photos and identities of the students who are depicted in them. For that reason, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI are in the process of identifying students in photos that were recovered from Pohl’s seized devices. They will contact the parents of identifiable students soon by mail. A general list will not be published or distributed.

As a mother to two students at St. Margaret Mary School, Jill Higginbotham said there will be some build-up as parents wait to see if their children were photographed, including her own.

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Willmar women speak out as New Ulm Diocese priests accused of sexual abuse are named

MINNESOTA
West Central Tribune

By Shelby Lindrud on Mar 29, 2016

WILLMAR — The names of 16 former priests of the New Ulm Diocese, who have been identified as being credibly accused of sexually abusing minors, were released Tuesday by the diocese and the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates. The New Ulm Diocese was the last diocese in the state of Minnesota to release the names of priests accused of sexual abuse.

“We recognize the knowledge and release of the names helps the victims and survivors in the healing process,” said Monsignor Douglas Grams in an interview with the Tribune. Grams is the vicar general of the New Ulm Diocese, and was speaking on behalf of Bishop John LeVoir and the diocese.

“Bishop LeVoir and I, on behalf of the church, apologize to all the victims and survivors of abuse by priests,” Grams said.

The men on the list are Cletus Altermatt, Dennis Becker, Gordon Buckley, Robert Clark, J. Vincent Fitzgerald, John Gleason, Joseph Heitzer, Rudolph Henrich, Harry Majerus, Francis Markey, William Marks, John Murphy, David Roney, Douglas Schleisman, Michael Skoblik and Charles Stark.

All but three of the priests on the list are deceased, according to the diocese, and none of those living continue in ministry. Becker was removed from ministry in 2015, Clark was removed in 2002 and Schleisman was laicized in 1994.

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UPDATE: Support group for people abused by clergy members

IOWA
KTIV

[with video]

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) –
A support group for men and women abused by clergy will offer a way for victims to talk about their experiences.

SNAP, or “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,” will hold a confidential support meeting, Tuesday night, at El Fredo’s Pizza, in Sioux City, starting at 7:00 p.m.

Organizers say victims, family members and supporters are encouraged to attend.

SNAP member Tim Lennon will be there. Lennon says he was abused by Father Peter Murphy, of Sioux City’s Blessed Sacrament Parish, in 1959 and 1960.

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Newcastle Anglican diocese public hearing put back to August so it can be held in Newcastle

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE MCCARTHY
March 29, 2016

THE Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has confirmed a two-week public hearing into Newcastle Anglican diocese will be held in the city of Newcastle itself.

The hearing will now start on August 1, and not the originally planned June 20, after the commission was unable to make appropriate arrangements for a hearing in Newcastle at the earlier date.

In a short statement on Tuesday the commission said the hearing would run from August 1 – 12, with further details closer to the hearing date.

In a Newcastle Herald article on March 15 announcing the public hearing, Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson said he hoped the royal commission would sit in Newcastle so that “the wider community can understand what’s gone on”.

“I welcome the opportunity for Newcastle to have this important inquiry into the church’s life and into serious matters that have been raised over many years concerning the abuse that took place,” Bishop Thompson said.

“It provides the opportunity to understand the culture and conduct that allowed perpetrators to work in our church.”

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Lawmaker expects Assembly to vote on bill allowing sexually abused children to bring lawsuits as adults

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY KENNETH LOVETT NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, March 29, 2016

ALBANY — The sponsor of a bill that would make it easier for sexually abused children to bring lawsuits as adults believes the Assembly will take up the measure this year — the first time since 2008.

Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) said she is hopeful her bill will come to the floor for a vote before the legislative session ends in June.

Markey’s bill would also open up a one-year window for people abused as kids to bring civil lawsuits in cases where the current statute of limitations had already expired — a measure opposed by the Senate Republicans, the Catholic Church and even some Democrats in her own chamber.

Markey’s bill is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan). Hoylman said he’s using the Daily News’ Tuesday front page — part of a series highlighting New York’s worst-in-the-nation law that requires victims of child sexual abuse to come forward by the age of 23 or lose legal recourse — to urge his colleagues to co-sponsor the bill.

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Equal justice for all kids on sexual abuse

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

With cases of sexual abuse of minors involving institutions and individuals of all backgrounds — public, private and sectarian schools; foster-care agencies and foster parents; teachers; priests; rabbis; football coaches, and on and on — a reform of New York’s antiquated and nationally out-of-step statutes of limitations on sex crimes against minors must be sweeping and fair:

• Laws must be consistent for all offenses, in criminal and civil courts alike.

Allowing a victim to press criminal charges or to file a civil suit forever for some crimes but limiting them from going to court for other, very similar sex offenses is nonsensically unjust.

To cite one example, there is no statute of limitations if a predator repeatedly penetrates a child with an object and causes injury — meaning that such a victim could go to court or seek criminal charges at any point in his or her adult life. But if the same predator inflicts the same repeated penetration but does so without physical injury, the victim must seek action by the age of 23.

• Since child sex abuse victims can need decades to come to terms with their victimization, equalized statutes of limitations must be extended, if not forever, then at least into a reasonable period of adulthood.

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Evidence mounts of missed red flags in case of former Tokyo teacher facing U.S. child

JAPAN
The Japan Times

BY SIMON SCOTT
MAR 30, 2016

When James France heard the news of the recent arrest of Frank Selas, his former scoutmaster at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo, on child sex abuse charges in the U.S., he was not shocked. Instead, he felt a mix of regret and curiosity.

“I found myself wanting to know exactly what he had done. What did he actually do to the kids?” he says. “I wanted to know because we were in close proximity to this person, and I think I wanted to know how potentially bad it could have been. It’s like knowing that you were just diving in the proximity of a great white without realizing it.”

Selas, aka Frank Szeles, who was a fourth-grade teacher at the Catholic boys’ school from 1970 until 1972, had been on the run for 37 years when he was finally taken into custody at his home in Bonita, California, on Jan. 25.

Warrants for his arrest were issued in 1979 for two counts of obscene behavior with a juvenile. The alleged abuse took place on a camping trip for boys in Louisiana hosted by Selas, and one boy was reportedly hospitalized. A grand jury indictment in the southern U.S. state last month saw additional charges leveled against Selas — two counts of aggravated rape, three counts of sexual battery and eight counts of felony indecent behavior with juveniles — meaning that police believe there were at least eight victims in total across the state of Louisiana.

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Priests accused of abusing kids named

MINNESOTA
The Journal

March 30, 2016
By Clay Schuldt – Staff Writer , The Journal

ST. PAUL – After months of dialogue, the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates and the Diocese of New Ulm jointly disclosed on Tuesday the names of 16 former priests who were mutually identified as being credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor while they were assigned as priests.

The list includes these priests – Cletus Altermatt, Dennis Becker, Gordon Buckley, Robert Clark, J. Vincent Fitzgerald, John Gleason, Joseph Louis Heitzer, Rudolph Henrich, Harry Majerus, Francis Markey, William Marks, John Murphy, David Roney, Douglas Schleisman, Michael Skoblik and Charles Stark.

Thirteen of the accused have died, and all but one was previously named in media reports. Fitzgerald, Heitzer, Henrich and Majerus had credible accusations made against them while working in another diocese, but had no credible accusations made against them while serving in the New Ulm Diocese.

In conjunction with release of the list, attorney Jeff Anderson & Associates held a press conference in St. Paul on Tuesday morning. During the event two women, Kim Schmit and Lori Stoltz, spoke on the abuse they experienced from Roney.

Schmit said that as a youth in 1968 Roney forced her into a corner and abused her after school. She reported the incident to her parents who then complained to the diocese. Schmit’s family was informed actions would be taken against Roney; however, the diocese simply relocated him to another parish where he continued to abuse other victims. Schmit later became friends with Stoltz, and both were horrified to learn they had been abused by the same priest despite diocese promises.

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