Peterson: Volunteers keeping clergy abuse in spotlight

CALIFORNIA
The Mercury News

By Gary Peterson, gpeterson@bayareanewsgroup.com
POSTED: 04/30/2016

They stood quiet as church mice outside Oakland’s Cathedral of Christ the Light. They spoke only to those passers-by who engaged them. Their presence was their message, and the message is that molestation of children by clergy didn’t disappear with the final credits of “Spotlight.”

In the past two months, lawsuits filed against the Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas, have accused once-local priests — the Rev. Emmerich Vogt and the Rev. Milton Eggerling — of sexual abuse. Vogt’s attorney has denied the allegations. Eggerling is deceased.

“Between these two priests, they worked in the Diocese of Oakland, the Diocese of San Francisco and the Diocese of San Jose,” said Melanie Sakoda, one of three volunteers from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which held the half-hour event Tuesday.

The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team…

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Florence church youth volunteer kissed and fondled teen boy, police say

SOUTH CAROLINA
WBTW

By Eric Walters
Published: April 29, 2016

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A youth group volunteer at a Florence church has been arrested for sexually assaulting a minor.

According to Florence Police Major Carlos Raines, a 15-year-old boy claimed Leo LaSalle Comissiong, 20, of Florence kissed and folded him through his clothes.

The incident happened in February at the NewSpring Church on North Cashua Drive, Raines said.

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Inquiry announces decisions in core participant applications.

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

22 April

In January this year, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse invited applications for core participant status in relation to four of its investigations. For further information on core participants please read this document. Having considered each application received, the Chair granted some applications on paper and in March preliminary hearings were held to consider further submissions. The Inquiry has today announced the results of those applications and the documents relating to the decisions can be found on each of the investigations pages via the links below.

A total of 94 applications were received. Of these, 80 were granted, nine were declined and five remain to be considered. Where an organisation has made applications in relation to more than one investigation, this is counted as one application.

The Inquiry granted 18 applications from organisations and 59 applications from individual…

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Chair announces five outstanding core participant decisions in the Anglican Church investigation

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

29 April

On Friday 22 April the Inquiry announced all of the core participant application results apart from five from the Anglican Church investigation which remained to be considered. These have now been decided and of the five applications from complainants, victims and survivors, two have been granted and three have been declined. This means that of the overall total of 94 core participant applications received, 82 were granted and 12 were declined.

In the Anglican Church investigation, a total of 43 applications were received. The Inquiry granted 36 applications as core participants – 26 to individual complainants, victims and survivors, one to Minister & Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors group, eight to organisations and institutions and one perpetrator. 7 applications were declined.

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Hundreds report sex abuse to royal commission

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Amanda Banks – The West Australian on May 1, 2016

More than 320 WA institutions have been reported to the royal commission into child sex abuse, which has held almost 600 private sessions to hear the stories of WA victims.

Details of the extent of the commission’s investigations in WA were revealed yesterday as the inquiry announced it had been so inundated with requests for private sessions that it had set a September 30 cut-off for applications from people wanting to tell their story.

Commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan said demand for private sessions, which started almost three years ago, had exceeded expectations and showed no signs of easing.

Nationally, the commission has spoken to 5111 people who have told their stories of sex abuse in institutions. It has accepted another 1544 people who are in a queue for private sessions. Over the past year,…

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MO–Member of Toledo-based church group is sentenced

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

for immediate release: Saturday, April 30, 2016, 2016

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

Yesterday, a serial predator priest – who for years belonged to a Toledo-based Catholic group – was sentenced to 40 years for crimes in Michigan. For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, we hope he stays behind bars for as long as possible.

[BishopAccountability.org]

[Detroit Free Press]

[WILX]

We’re grateful that Fr. James Francis Rapp was charged again, pled guilty to more child sex crimes.

Fr. Rapp has already been convicted on other child sex charges and is imprisoned in Oklahoma. So it would have been easy for law enforcement to look the other way when more victims surfaced.

But Michigan Attorney…

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Slowik: Sexual predators use power to silence victims with fear, lies

ILLINOIS
Daily Southtown

Ted Slowik
Daily Southtown

It’s difficult to grasp the power that child sex predators hold over their prey. The fear they instill in their victims and the convincing lies they tell are keys to understanding people like Dennis Hastert, who U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin said was a “serial molester.”

The stunning revelation of Hastert as the highest-ranking American politician known to have publicly admitted to sexually abusing minors deserves exploration of tough questions. How could a monster with such dark secrets achieve such power? Why did his victims remain silent for so long? What motivates victims to pursue compensation from those responsible for their suffering?

For help finding answers, I reached out to Tim Placher, an attorney and teacher who won awards for his Southtown columns describing his experience being abused by a priest as a teen.

Placher agreed to share his insight…

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St. George’s sex-abuse scandal: Rev. ‘Howdy’ White’s trail of trauma

UNITED STATES
Providence Journal

By Karen Lee Ziner
Journal Staff Writer

Jacqueline Tempera
Journal Staff Writer

Posted Apr. 30, 2016

In December 1966, the Charleston Daily Mail noted the ordination of Howard W. White Jr. as an Episcopal priest in West Virginia.

White, like all other Episcopal ordinates, vowed to follow the teachings of Christ and be “a wholesome example” to his people.

White’s first assignment, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Martinsburg, West Virginia, lasted less than a year. He moved, and moved again, from parishes to elite boarding schools, from prep schools to churches, from state to state and within states. New Hampshire. Rhode Island. Virginia. North Carolina. Pennsylvania.

Along the way, White’s accusers say, he left trail of wrecked and broken lives. The allegations of sexual abuse span decades and distance.

A godson. A boy who says he lived with White in a rectory and…

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Ex-Naperville priest gets prison for child sex crimes in Michigan

ILLINOIS
Naperville Sun

Bill Bird
Naperville Sun

A former Roman Catholic priest once assigned to St. Raphael Church in Naperville was sentenced Friday to between 20 and 40 years in prison for sexually abusing students in the 1980s while a high school teacher in Michigan.

James Rapp, 75, served in the Roman Catholic Church Diocese of Joliet between 1987 and 1990. That included his tenure at St. Raphael Church, at 1215 Modaff Road in Naperville’s West Highlands neighborhood.

Rapp is completing a 20-year term in an Oklahoma prison for sexually molesting children while serving as a priest in that state. He was convicted Friday of a total of six counts of criminal sexual conduct while a priest, teacher and athletic coach at Lumen Christi Catholic High School in Jackson, Mich., located in the south-central part of the state about 40 miles west of Ann Arbor.

A judge heard…

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KS–Predator priests in K.C. are “outed;” Victims respond

KANSAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, March 4, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

In the new issue of his church newsletter, Archbishop Joseph Naumann is finally admitting that two of his priests are accused of sexually exploited adults.

[The Leaven]

But there’s another Kansas City Kansas archdiocesan predator – Fr. Paul Hosler – who has committed the same devastating, manipulative self-serving sexual misconduct. Naumann continues, however, to keep silent about Fr. Hosler, as he done for years.

We suspect there are several other similar offenders still in eastern Kansas parishes. We hope their victims will come forward soon too.

The two “outed” wrongdoers today are:

–Fr. Anthony Kiplagat, who’s reportedly fled back home to Kenya from his parishes in Osage City and…

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Vatican Intervention

UNITED STATES
Amazon

This is the true story of the bizarre, historic case of Andrew Lee Sullivan.

He exposes the hidden and outrageous world of a budding Catholic institute. A discarded insider and captive in an apartment near Rome, the once broken priest with suicidal tendencies survives. He shares his ordeal and bares his soul with raw sincerity.

In 1979, an idealistic and naïve Sullivan leaves California and joins a wannabe religious order named Miles Jesu. Two tragic but unclear realities threaten his future. The young man has a condition that retards the proper development of his emotional life. The eighteen year old unwittingly joins a cult. These two menaces trigger gradual human destruction. Life deteriorates into a victim’s futile attempts to endure a virtual sociopath.

Then a miracle of overwhelming love bursts in the soul of Father Sullivan. Secrets of the power of love, Jesus’ love transform him….

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Kincora abuse victim to appeal court ruling

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Alan Erwin
PUBLISHED
30/04/2016

An abuse victim is to appeal his failed legal attempt to have claims that senior politicians, businessmen and high-level British state agents connived in a paedophile ring at a notorious Belfast care home examined by a Westminster inquiry.

Earlier this month the High Court dismissed Gary Hoy’s bid for a judicial review into the decision to keep the Kincora scandal probe within the remit of a Stormont-commissioned body.

But the 54-year-old’s legal team will now mount an urgent attempt to have that verdict overturned. Judges at the Court of Appeal yesterday listed the renewed challenge for a hearing next month.

Mr Hoy’s solicitor, Claire McKeegan of KRW Law, said later: “The applicant and all survivors of abuse at Kincora are vulnerable individuals and should not have to relive the trauma of that abuse by going through this process…

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Fiscalía apeló la preventiva domiciliaria del sacerdote

ARGENTINA
La Opinion

[Prosecutor Ruben Martinez presented yesterday an appeal against the decision to grant home detention priest Nestor Monzon (47) of Reconquista who is accused of sexual abuse of minors.]

El fiscal Rubén Martínez presentó ayer un recurso de apelación contra la decisión de otorgar prisión preventiva domiciliaria al sacerdote Néstor Monzón (47) de Reconquista.

La apelación realizada por el funcionario del Ministerio Público de la Acusación, se enmarca en la investigación en la cual el sacerdote está imputado por el delito de “abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante, agravado por la condición de ser un ministro de un culto religioso reconocido y por producir un grave daño en la salud de la víctima”.

Recordemos que el miércoles último, el sacerdote Monzón, tuvo malas noticias, ya que la Abadía Benedictina del Niño Dios, en Victoria, Entre Ríos, donde el hombre iba a cumplir una condena domiciliaria de 60 días no…

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Priest suspended after flashing teen

WISCONSIN
WHBY

A retired priest in the Green Bay Catholic Diocese is banned from performing church services, after Brown County prosecutors charged him with exposing himself to a teen.

Court records accuse Rev. Richard Thomas of repeatedly flashing the boy last month. Prosecutors say it was happening when the child walked past the retirement home where Thomas lives in Allouez.

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Fake Nuns Try to Save Spanish Sex Priest

SPAIN
The Daily Beast

Barbie Latza Nadeau

Two devotees have undergone chastity exams to defend their sect’s ex-Catholic prelate, who stands accused of telling female followers his ‘holy’ semen would purify them.

ROME — Some people will do anything for love—even deny it.

Or at least that’s what it appears two Spanish pseudo-nuns have done in an attempt to save Feliciano Miguel Rosendo, a priest who has been accused of forcing them to take part in orgies by claiming his semen was holy and represented the “body of Christ” and would “purify” them.

The nuns reportedly agreed to virginity tests in the Spanish town of Tui to prove that they hadn’t had carnal relations with the prelate, despite eyewitness accounts that imply at least some sexual contact.

Rosendo was arrested in December 2014 on charges of sex abuse and tax crimes associated with the Order of Saint Michael Archangel,…

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In Newfoundland, hope is on the rise

CANADA
Catholic Register

Fr. Raymond de Souza
April 29, 2016

ST. JOHN’S, NFLD. – There it was, on the front page of the St. John’s Telegram, a detailed discussion of the sacramental seal of the confessional, and rather fairly done too.

For what reason? It was not for lack of news. My first ever visit to Newfoundland coincided with a number of major stories. There was the inaugural budget of the new Liberal government, which raised taxes on everything that moved, cut services and still booked a whopping $1.8 billion deficit (more than 20 per cent of total government spending). The Liberals will take the heat, but it was the Progressive Conservatives in power from 2003-2015 who deserve the blame, having squandered the oil boom. Then there was the resignation of the CEO of Nalcor, along with the entire board of directors. Nalcor is the Newfoundland crown corporation…

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‘Deetman intimideerde om parlementaire enquête kerkmisbruik te voorkomen’

NEDERLAND
Volkskrant

Wim Deetman heeft bestuursleden van de slachtofferorganisatie KLOKK (Koepel Landelijk Overleg Kerkelijk Kindermisbruik) onder druk gezet om een parlementaire enquête over seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk te voorkomen. Deetman, die namens de kerk zelf het misbruik had onderzocht, zou tijdens een gesprek in Den Haag de bestuursleden hebben ‘geïntimideerd’. Hierop besloten ze, volgens het radioprogramma Argos, de Tweede Kamer niet langer om een enquête te vragen.

Vier bestuursleden van KLOKK bevestigen in het programma Argos, dat zaterdag op NPO Radio 1 wordt uitgezonden, dat ze door Deetman onder druk zijn gezet en erkennen te hebben toegegeven aan de ‘intimidatie’.

Uit e-mails die Argos in handen heeft zou blijken dat de secretaris van Deetman, Bert Kreemers, al langer druk uitoefende op Klokk om de eis van een parlementaire enquête te laten varen.

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Deetman raadde parlementaire enquête dringend af

NEDERLAND
1 Limburg

[Wim Deetman asked board members of victim advocacy Klokk in a compelling way to abandon a parliamentary inquiry. The allegation was made on the NPO Radio 1 program Argos which is broadcast Saturday afternoon. Deetman led a committee that investigated abuse in the Catholic Church.]

Wim Deetman vroeg bestuursleden van slachtofferbelangenorganisatie KLOKK op dwingende wijze af te zien van een parlementaire enquête.

Dat blijkt uit een onderzoek van het NPO Radio 1-programma Argos dat zaterdagmiddag wordt uitgezonden.

Tienduizenden kinderen

CDA’er Deetman leidde een commissie die onafhankelijk onderzoek deed naar seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk. Het misbruik kwam in 2010 naar buiten. Tienduizenden kinderen bleken in de jaren 50, 60 en 70 op katholieke seminaires en internaten door geestelijken te zijn misbruikt.

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DIE SCHATTENSEITE DER KIRCHE

PARAGUAY
Cafe Paraguay

DANIEL WIENS KEINE KOMMENTARE 29. APRIL 2016

Verschiedene Pressemitglieder der Zeitung „La Nación“ haben im vergangenen Monat eine eigene Untersuchung durchgeführt, wobei sie sich auf einen Fall der katholischen Kirche gestürzt haben, um die Wahrheit ans Licht zu bringen – ähnlich wie im aktuell sehr berühmten Kinofilm „Spotlight“.

Es geht in dieser Untersuchung um einen argentinischen Pfarrer der katholischen Kirche, namens Carlos Ibáñez, der in Argentinien mit sexuellen Missbrauch angeklagt wurde. Warum das für Paraguay relevant ist? Dieser Pfarrer ist 1993 nach Paraguay geflohen, wurde tatsächlich festgenommen und ins Gefängnis gesetzt, aber trotzdem nach einem Jahr frei gelassen. Die katholische Kirche entnahm ihn aus dem Gefängnis, und so konnte er weiterhin seinen Ruf als Pfarrer in Paraguay ausleben.

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Deetman intimideerde slachtoffers om enquête te voorkomen

NEDERLAND
NRC

[Wim Deetman pressured board members of the victim organization called Klokk to avoid a parliamentary inquiry into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Deetman investigated abuse on behalf of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands.]

Wim Deetman heeft bestuursleden van slachtofferorganisatie KLOKK onder druk gezet om een parlementaire enquête over seksueel misbruik in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk te voorkomen. Deetman, die namens de Kerk zelf het misbruik onderzocht, deed dat tijdens een gesprek op 30 maart 2012 in Den Haag. Na te zijn „geïntimideerd” door Deetman besloten de bestuursleden de Tweede Kamer niet langer om een enquête te vragen. Die was daarmee van de baan.

Dat onthult radioprogramma Argos deze zaterdag. Vier bestuursleden bevestigen door Deetman onder druk gezet te zijn, en te zijn gezwicht.

Uit e-mails in handen van Argos blijkt ook dat de secretaris van Deetman, Bert Kreemers, al langer druk uitoefende op KLOKK. Zo mailde…

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Greek Orthodox Priest’s Sex Abuse Conviction Upheld

MAINE
The Greek Reporter

By Evgenia Choros – Apr 29, 2016

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld the conviction of a former Greek Orthodox priest on sex charges involving a former altar boy.

Adam Metropoulos, 53, of Bangor was sentenced a year ago to 12 years in prison. The Bangor man is currently serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence for four counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

The Superior Court found Metropoulos guilty on four felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor following a jury-waived trial in March 2015. The charges stemmed from the former priest’s sexual assault on a 15-year-old altar server at the church in 2006 and 2007. The former altar boy at St. George Greek Orthodox Church said that he was sexually assaulted by Metropoulos as a teenager. The man, now 23, testified that Metropoulos “stole his life.”

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‘You’re a sinner’: how a Mormon university shames rape victims

UTAH
The Guardian (UK)

Maria L La Ganga in Provo, Utah and Dan Hernandez
Saturday 30 April 2016

Madi Barney sat sobbing in the Provo, Utah, police department. It had been four days since the Brigham Young University sophomore had been raped in her off-campus apartment.

She was scared – terrified – that the officials at her strict, Mormon university would find out and punish her.

Nonsense, the officers told her, they’ll never know, and they won’t hurt you. But a month or so later, there she was with her attorney in Brigham Young University’s Title IX office – a place where rape victims are supposed to get help – and offered an ultimatum by a university official.

Barney was told the school “had received a police report in which ‘A) it looks like you’ve been raped and B) it also looks like you may have violated the…

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Pastor Held for Sexual Abuse in West Godavari District

INDIA
New Indian Express

ELURU: The police have taken a pastor into custody on the charges of sexual harassment of girls at Nimmalagudem village in Buttayagudem agency mandal of West Godavari district on Friday.

According to the police, Chode Suresh of Nimmalagudem village in Buttayagudem village was running an unauthorised children’s home at Nimmalagudem village since 2010. He sheltered Class 10 and Intermediate girls from Ramannagudem and Nimmalagudem villages in the mandal.

Recently, said the police, he began sexual harassment of Class 10 and Intermediate girls. A fortnight ago, a Class X girl went back home unable to bear the harassment and told her family members about his behaviour. With this, the other parents too brought back their children from the home.

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‘If there is a hell, you deserve to be first in line,’ victims speak in former priest’s sentencing

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Benjamin Raven | braven@mlive.com

JACKSON, MI — James Rapp’s Friday, April 29 sentencing wasn’t just about how long the former high school priest and coach would spend in prison.

It was about giving the 75-year-old former Jackson Lumen Christi High School priest’s victims a chance to tell their stories and confront the man they once viewed as an authoritative, respected figure.

Six of James Rapp’s victims provided gripping, detailed testimonials of how the former priest and coach abused them and affected their lives. Some remained anonymous, but others made the choice to make themselves known in court.

Rapp, who is currently serving a 40-year prison term in Oklahoma where he pleaded no contest to lewd molestation, was sentenced to up to 40 more years in prison by Jackson County Circuit Judge Susan Beebe.

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Former Michigan priest sentenced for sexual abuse, will serve up to 40 years

MICHIGAN
KRON

JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – Six of James Rapp’s victims came forward to talk about how the former Lumen Christi wrestling coach and priest changed their lives forever.

“I wish we were here under different circumstances today to put a person like him to sleep…I know to this day that I could have been a different person had this not happened,” said victim Andrew Russell.

“He knelt besides a bed I was in. He had a bed. Held my hand, said the Lord’s prayer and then climbed in bed with me and had his way with me,” said another victim John C. Wood.

The 75-year old Rapp pleaded no contest to three counts of first degree Criminal Sexual Conduct and three counts of second degree Criminal Sexual Conduct back in March.

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Ex-Priest Gets 20-40 Years In Prison For Sexual Assault

MICHIGAN
NDTV

Associated Press

JACKSON, MICHIGAN: Victims confronted a former Roman Catholic priest in court on Friday as he was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for sexually abusing students at a Michigan high school in the 1980s.

A judge heard more than two hours of testimony from six men who described in detail how James Rapp molested them. Rapp coerced students into having sexual contact while working as a teacher and wrestling coach at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson.

“His crime and position was a murder on my soul,” Andy Russell said. “He’s a monster and his path of destruction extends far further than it ever should have.”

The Associated Press doesn’t typically identify victims of sexual abuse, but Russell has talked publicly to the Jackson Citizen Patriot about what happened at the school.

In February, Rapp, 75, pleaded no contest to criminal sexual conduct….

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DPPs reject proposal for more oversight at royal commission discussion

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

April 29, 2016

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

Australia’s most senior public prosecutors have rejected a suggestion that their decisions should be subject to judicial review at a discussion about how the criminal justice system manages sexual abuse cases.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse invited Directors of Public Prosecutions from each state and territory as well as victims’ rights advocates to the meeting to examine the question of external oversight of DPPs and whether there should be avenues for victims to seek a review of a decision not to prosecute.

The DPPs rejected the necessity for a judicial review of the reasons for their decisions, saying findings could be reviewed internally if necessary.

They also unanimously argued against a suggestion that an independent inspector be appointed to audit the processes of the DPPs in each state and territory.

Most…

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Charged, retired priest says he was ‘already seeking treatment’

WISCONSIN
Fox 11

[with video]

BY ANDREW LACOMBE, FOX 11 NEWS FRIDAY, APRIL 29TH 2016

ALLOUEZ (WLUK) — A volunteer with a support group for people abused by priests is raising questions after Rev. Richard Thomas, a retired Diocese of Green Bay priest, was charged Thursday for allegedly exposing himself four times last month to a 16-year-old boy when the boy was walking to school.

Thomas was living in Grellinger Hall, a home for retired priests in Allouez.

According to the criminal complaint, Thomas told investigators at the time of his arrest that “he is already seeking treatment.”

“Why was he already in it if this was his first experience with some kind of sexual impropriety?” asked Alice Hodek.

Hodek is the Green Bay coordinator the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

“I’d like to know if there have been allegations against him before,” said Hodek.

In…

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Kincora victim to appeal failed attempt to have abuse examined by Westminster inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish News

An abuse victim is to appeal his failed legal attempt to have claims that senior politicians, businessmen and state agents connived in a paedophile ring at a notorious Belfast care home examined by a Westminster inquiry.

Earlier this month the High Court dismissed Gary Hoy’s bid to judicially review the decision to keep the probe into the Kincora scandal within the remit of a Stormont-commissioned body.

But his legal team are now to mount an urgent attempt to have that verdict overturned.

Judges at the Court of Appeal yesterday listed the renewed challenge for a hearing next month.

Mr Hoy’s solicitor, Claire McKeegan of KRW Law, said later: “The applicant and all survivors of abuse at Kincora are vulnerable individuals and should not have to relive the trauma of that abuse by going through this process more than once.

“They are entitled to an…

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Former priest/teacher gets up to 40 years behind bars for criminal sexual conduct

MICHIGAN
WLNS

JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – A former Roman Catholic priest has learned his sentence after pleading no contest to sexual abuse charges that date back to the 1980s.

James Rapp pleaded no contest back in February.

On Friday 75-year-old Rapp was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison for three counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct.

Defense attorney Alfred Brandt told a Jackson County judge back in February that Rapp coerced students into having sexual contact while working as a teacher and wrestling coach at Lumen Christi High School.

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Assignment History– Rev. John Paul McManus, S.S.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: John P. McManus was ordained for the Society of St. Sulpice in 1940. He worked in the Archdioceses of Baltimore MD, Washington DC, San Francisco CA, Detroit MI, and Seattle WA. Most of his career was spent as a faculty member for seminaries, including almost 20 years at St. Edward’s minor seminary in Kenmore WA. He died in 1986. McManus’s name was included on the Archdiocese of Seattle’s list January 15, 2016 of clergy and religious with admitted, established or credible allegations against them of sexual abuse of a minor.

Ordained: 1940
Died: June 21, 1986

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Former high school priest sentenced to 40 years for 6 counts of criminal sexual conduct

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Benjamin Raven | braven@mlive.com

JACKSON, MI — A former Jackson Lumen Christi High School priest was sentenced to 40 years in prison before a barrage of cameras, friends and families of his victims.

The sentence came Friday, April 29, in a Jackson County Circuit courtroom after six of James Rapp’s victims provided more than two hours of gripping, detailed testimonials of how the former priest and coach abused them and affected their lives.

Some remained anonymous, but others made the choice to make themselves known in court.

Photos of victims were placed on a table in front of Jackson County Circuit Judge Susan Beebe and in plain sight of Rapp, his attorney Alfred Brandt and Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaiti, who prosecuted the case.

All but one of the photos were black and white and ranged in date from the 1970s to the early 1990s. They…

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Vatican prosecution witnesses testify at ‘VatiLeaks’ trial

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Register

BY JUNNO AROCHO ESTEVES, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
April 29, 2016

VATICAN CITY – The first witnesses called by the Vatican prosecution in a case involving leaked documents testified about suspicious secret meetings and excessive photocopying of sensitive documents.

Three former and current staff members of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See took the stand in the Vatican courtroom in late April during the trial of Spanish Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda, his former executive secretary and assistant, Nicola Maio, and Francesca Chaouqui, a member of the former Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA).

The defendants are accused of leaking documents about Vatican finances and financial reform to Italian journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.

Stefano Fralleoni, former accountant general of the prefecture, took the stand April 26, and said COSEA’s investigations into the Vatican’s…

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Justice for Irene: Former priest on trial for 1960 beauty queen murder

TEXAS
News 4

[with video]

BY DELAINE MATHIEU, NEWS 4 SAN ANTONIO

SAN ANTONIO — It was one of the oldest cold cases in Texas: the murder of Irene Garza in McAllen in 1960. Now, as a former priest awaits trial for the crime, there are concerns by some who question if Irene will get justice.

She was a beauty queen from McAllen who melted hearts all over the Rio Grande Valley.

“That’s the way I remember her,” said Carlos Cantu, a family friend. “She was just very very special because of her beauty and she had a very soft voice when she spoke, you know.”

Timeline

She was only 25 when she died. Her brutal murder on Easter Weekend in 1960 sent fear through the streets of this South Texas town.

It would take 56 years before the only suspect in the case, ex-priest John Feit, would be…

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French cardinal admits errors on abuse, meets with archdiocesan priests

FRANCE
National Catholic Reporter

Catholic News Service | Apr. 29, 2016

LYON, FRANCE
A French cardinal under judicial investigation over his handling of sexual abuse accusations against clergy admitted making mistakes and unveiled new anti-abuse measures at a meeting with local priests.

“The cardinal has accepted the archdiocese committed errors in managing and nominating certain priests and has reiterated how important it is for victims of sexual abuse by clergy to see their right to truth and justice recognized,” the Lyon archdiocese said.

The statement was published in French newspapers following a Monday meeting between Lyon Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and 220 priests from the eastern archdiocese, which has been hit hard by abuse accusations.

France’s Catholic La Croix daily said the three-hour closed meeting in a Lyon suburb included testimony from at least one victim. It said participants described the atmosphere as “fraternal but noncomplacent” and said some…

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MI–Predator priest/wrestling coach sentenced today; Victims respond

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, April 29,2016

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

Today, a serial predator priest who is in prison in Oklahoma will be sentenced for more crimes in Michigan. For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, we hope he gets the most stern sentence possible.

[WILX]

We’re grateful that Fr. James Francis Rapp was charged again and pled guilty to more child sex crimes.

Fr. Rapp has already been convicted on other child sex charges and is imprisoned. So it would have been easy for law enforcement to look the other way when more victims surfaced.

But Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed more child sex charges against him for molesting kids at Jackson Lumen Christi…

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Ex-youth leader at Colonial Heights church sentenced to 25 years for abusing 7 boys

VIRGINIA
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2016

By MARK BOWES Richmond Times-Dispatch

A former volunteer youth group leader at Immanuel Baptist Church in Colonial Heights has been sentenced to serve 25 years for sexually abusing seven boys between 12 and 17 years old he met through the church’s youth organization.

Jeffrey D. Clark, 46, molested the majority of the victims after they said Clark gave them alcohol, marijuana or sleeping medication, prosecutors in Chesterfield County and Colonial Heights said.
Clark molested two of the victims, 12 and 16, in Colonial Heights, including one incident that occurred in the youth room at Immanuel Baptist Church at 620 Lafayette Avenue.

The five other boys, 12 to 17, were abused in Chesterfield County, where Clark lived in the 3400 block of Burnettedale Drive.

The abuse occurred between 2010 and 2015 and ranged from fondling to sodomy, authorities said.

“The young…

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Church Shielded Abusive Priest, Man Says

NEW YORK
Courthouse News Service

By NICK DIVITO

MINEOLA, NY (CN) — A New Yorker filed suit against a Catholic Church on Long Island that he says keeps his abuser in active ministry, despite mounting complaints.

Sean Kiefaber says he was between 5 and 7 years old from 2001 to 2003 when the Rev. Gregory Yacyshyn sexually molested him during after-school youth programs at the St. Francis of Assisi parish in Greenlawn, N.Y.

The Diocese of Rockville Center ordained Yacyshyn in 1998, and St. Francis is one of three parishes where Yacyshyn has worked over the years, according to the complaint, filed Monday in Nassau County Supreme Court.

Newsday quoted the diocese this week as saying it “intends to address the claims vigorously in a court of law.”

Kiefaber’s suit comes about three months after a woman named Kaitlyn Monghan brought similar claims against the Rockville Center diocese, the…

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Missbrauchsfälle: Wieviel Transparenz will die Kirche?

DEUTSCHLAND
SRF

[Abuse cases: How much transparency will the Church allow?]

Klaus Mertes deckte 2010 einen der grössten Missbrauchsfälle in der katholischen Kirche auf. Über Jahre hinweg hatten zwei Patres am Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin hunderte von Schülern missbraucht. Mertes machte die Fälle öffentlich und wurde bald darauf in einen kleinen Ort im Schwarzwald versetzt.

Als Klaus Mertes Kolleg-Rektor in Berlin war, haben sich ihm zwei ehemalige Schüler anvertraut. Er hat daraufhin sämtliche Schüler der betroffenen Jahrgänge des Canisius-Kollegs angeschrieben und nach ihren Erlebnissen mit Patres gefragt. Es stellte sich heraus, dass Hunderte missbraucht wurden, ohne dass es Konsequenzen für die Übeltäter gegeben hätte.

Mertes übernahm die Verantwortung für das Vertuschen und das Schweigen in seiner Kirche. Er brach ein Tabu, ging an die Öffentlichkeit und entschuldigte sich für seine katholische Kirche. Er erhielt jede Menge Preise, darunter in der Schweiz den Herbert-Haag-Preis.

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Verjährte Sex-Übergriffe: Schweizer Bischöfe zahlen 300’000 Franken in Fonds

SCHWEIZ
cath.ch

[Les évêques suisses versent 300’000 francs pour les victimes d’abus sexuels]

[Swiss victims of sexual assault in a church environment whose cases are time-barred and who many of are of an advanced age will soon receive a financial contribution from the Catholic church. The Swiss Bishops’ Conference (SBK) and the religious communities and the Roman Catholic Central Conference (RKZ) have so far pledged 460,000 francs for this fund.]

Zürich, 28.4.16 (kath.ch) Opfer von sexuellen Übergriffen im kirchlichen Umfeld, deren Fall bereits verjährt ist und die zum Teil in vorgerücktem Alter sind, sollen bald einen finanziellen Beitrag seitens der Kirche erhalten: Die Schweizer Bischofskonferenz (SBK), die Ordensgemeinschaften und die Römisch-Katholische Zentralkonferenz (RKZ) haben bisher 460’000 Franken für diesen Fonds zugesagt, wie Giorgio Prestele, Präsident des Fachgremiums sexuelle Übergriffe im kirchlichen Umfeld, gegenüber kath.ch sagte.

Sylvia Stam

Mit einer halben Million soll der Fonds für verjährte Fälle geäufnet…

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Un prêtre mis en cause pour des abus sexuels sur mineurs dans les années 1990

FRANCE
La Vie

[A priest of the Bayonne diocese in France is indicted for sexual abuse of minors in the 1990s.]

Une nouvelle affaire de pédophilie remonte à la surface, cette fois dans le diocèse de Bayonne. Le P. Sarramagnan fait ainsi l’objet d’une enquête judiciaire pour agression sexuelle, rapporte Le Point. Mgr Marc Aillet a saisi la justice le 15 avril, soit trois jours après la réunion des évêques de France, le 12 avril, sur la thématique ultra-sensible des cas de pédophilie en son sein. Mais le prêtre incriminé animait encore le 6 février une Journée diocésaine organisée pour des collégiens.

Dans les années 1990, le prêtre aurait agressé un mineur de 12 ans, puis une jeune fille majeure en 2007. Alertés depuis vingt-cinq ans, les évêques successifs n’en avaient jamais informé la justice avant le signalement au procureur de la mère d’une victime, fin 2015, selon Mediapart,…

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Sexueller Missbrauch erschüttert die Kirche

FRANKREICH
Deutschland Funk

[Sexual abuse shakes the Church in France.]

Von Bettina Kaps

Aymeri Suarez-Pazos weiß, dass er schwere Vorwürfe formuliert, aber der Vorsitzende des französischen Selbsthilfevereins AVREF ist sich seiner Sache absolut sicher. Übersetzt bedeutet das Kürzel AVREF “Hilfe für Missbrauch-Opfer in religiösen Bewegungen und für ihre Familien”.

“Wir wissen, dass es viele Bischöfe gibt, die pädophile Pfarrer schützen. Und ausgerechnet auch jene Bischöfe, die sich neuerdings als Weltmeister des Bedauerns und des Mitleids mit den Opfern darstellen. Überall können neue Skandale aufbrechen. Es ist durchaus möglich, dass jetzt viele Opfer Klage einreichen werden.”

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‘Finish line’ near in diocese bankruptcy

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., April 27, 2016

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

ALBUQUERQUE – The Diocese of Gallup may be just one week away from obtaining a confirmation hearing date for its Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.

Attorneys for the diocese filed a proposed plan of reorganization with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court March 21. The plan outlined how the Gallup Diocese, insurers and other Catholic entities will contribute more than $21 million to fund the plan, with much of it going to compensate 57 individuals who filed clergy sex abuse claims in bankruptcy court.

“This is a complicated plan because of the number of funding sources,” Susan Boswell, the diocese’s lead attorney, told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma during a court hearing Tuesday. “It just has been a long process, believe me I know, and a lot of…

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Information on the trial for dissemination of reserved information and documents, 29.04.2016

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service – Bollettino

Vatican City, 29 April 2016 – Yesterday, Thursday 28 April, at 3.30 p.m. a further hearing was held in the ongoing trial for the dissemination of reserved information and documents in Vatican City State Tribunal, according to information provided by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. It was attended by the members of the Tribunal (Professors Giuseppe Dalla Torre, Piero Antonio Bonnet, Paolo Papanti-Pelletier and Venerando Marano), the Promoter of Justice (Professors Gian Pietro Milano and Roberto Zannotti), and the defendants Ángel Lucio Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui and Nicola Maio, with their respective legal representatives Emanuela Bellardini, Laura Sgrò and Rita Claudia Baffioni. The defendants Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi were absent, but their legal representatives Lucia Teresa Musso and Roberto Palombi attended.

The hearing was dedicated fully to the examination of two witnesses, Paola…

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Former Lumen Christi Teacher & Priest sentenced today on child sex abuse charges

MICHIGAN
WILX

Jackson– A former teacher and priest at Lumen Christi Catholic High School charged with sexually abusing boys will learn his fate today.

James Rapp will be sentenced this afternoon on sexual charges stemming from child abuse cases in the 1980s.

Rapp was a teacher, priest, and wrestling coach at the high school in Jackson County from 1980 through 1986, and that is when prosecutors say the abuse happened.

He was convicted in 1999 for sexually abusing boys in Oklahoma when he was a pastor there.

An investigation into Rapp for crimes in Mid-Michigan started in 2013 when two victims came forward and reported the abuse to the Jackson County Sheriff’s office. Lumen Christi’s principal calls the abuse a horrible tragedy.

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Coalition of Jewish leaders backs Child Victims Act, demand end to New York’s statute of limitation

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY REUVEN BLAU, LARRY MCSHANE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, April 29, 2016

A coalition of more than 130 Jewish leaders now back the Child Victims Act which would eliminate the statute of limitation in New York — allowing countless child sex abuse victims to seek justice as adults

The show of support on Thursday comes just days before advocates of the bill plan a two-day lobbying effort in Albany to win passage of the long-languishing legislation.

“After decades of denial, coverups and darkness across New York State, light is finally being shone on the scourge of child sexual abuse,” read the petition signed by scores of high-profile leaders.

“The lasting and far-reaching damage caused by abusers is intolerable, and it is incumbent upon all the citizens of New York State to work to reduce it.”

The writers also acknowledged the role played…

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“Vatileaks” trial day 11

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) It was a busy Thursday afternoon as two witnesses were questioned in the ongoing so-called Vatileaks trial in which confidential documents were released to the press without authorization.

Listen to Alexander MacDonald’s report:

Paola Monaco and Paola Pellegrino described how relationships in the office of COSEA, the commission which regulates the Vatican, suffered from a climate of division and tension. Monaco and Pellegrino described a breakdown in relations with Monsignor Vallejo Balda which at first were cordial but descended into a relationship characterized as continuously critical and verbally abusive, including accusations of incompetence.

Neither witness stated explicitly that confidential documents were misappropriated but that they expected this would happen.

The witnesses confirmed people coming and going without control and conspiratorial meetings behind closed doors. Pellegrino recounted having thought of warning Mgr Vallejo about one of the accused, Chaouqui, but said the…

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Sodalicio anunció intervención del Vaticano en caso Luis Figari

PERU
El Comercio

[The Sodality of Christian Life (SVC), through its Superior General Alessandro Moroni, announced that the Vatican accepted the request to intervene directly in the reform process of the community. In addition, they will be responsible for issuing a statement regarding the future of its founder Luis Figari within the movement. According to the statement posted on Facebook, the Holy See will issued in the coming days a statement regarding allegations of alleged sexual abuse, physical and psychological perpetrated by members of the movement, including founder Luis Figari.]

El Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (SVC), a través de su superior general Alessandro Moroni, anunció que el Vaticano acogió el pedido de intervenir directamente en el proceso de reforma de la comunidad. Además, serán los encargados de emitir un pronunciamiento respecto al futuro de su fundador Luis Figari dentro del movimiento.

Según indica el comunicado del Sodalicio publicado en…

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Church review into abusive Bishop refuses to explicitly consider bullying of victims in its Terms of Reference

UNITED KINGDOM
National Secular Society

Posted: Thu, 28 Apr 2016

Church review into abusive Bishop refuses to explicitly consider bullying of victims in its Terms of Reference

A victim of clerical abuse has refused to give evidence to a Church review of the Bishop Peter Ball case, after it declined to explicitly mention intimidation of victims in its Terms of Reference.
The Revd Graham Sawyer was seriously abused as a young man by former Anglican bishop Peter Ball and gave evidence at the trial at which the bishop was jailed last year, aged 83.

It took decades to bring Ball to justice and Reverend Sawyer asked that, given the role played by bullying in delaying justice in the Ball case, the Review into the matter set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury specifically address “bullying, intimidation and threats” made to victims. He asked for this request to be…

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Royal Commission closes registrations for private sessions

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

29 April, 2016

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is closing registrations for private sessions on 30 September 2016.

Private sessions allow survivors of child sexual abuse in an institution to share their story directly with a Commissioner in a private setting.

The Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM, Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said the strong demand from survivors to share their story has resulted in a queue of people waiting to meet with a Commissioner.

“The rate at which people come to the Commission seeking a private session shows no present sign of diminishing. It has averaged 37 per week over the past 12 months,” Justice McClellan said.

“If the present demand for private sessions continues throughout the life of the Commission, unless we close off applications…

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€23m in redress paid to Magdalene laundry survivors

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Friday, April 29, 2016Gordon Deegan and Conall Ó Fátharta

Some 624 women held in Magdalene laundries have to date received a lump sum payment of more than €23m under a government redress scheme.

The payments work out at an average of €36,858.

According to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, some 807 applications have been received under the Magdalene Laundries Restorative Justice Ex-Gratia Scheme.

She said 103 applications were refused, as the women had not been admitted to one of the 12 specified institutions.

Ms Fitzgerald said 11 applications were received from women who are now resident in the US.

“Eight of these women have received their lump- sum payments and the other three applications were refused as the women had not been admitted to a relevant institution,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

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ILLINOIS AG MADIGAN CALLS FOR ELIMINATION OF CHILD SEX CRIMES STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

ILLINOIS
WLS

By Sarah Schulte
Thursday, April 28, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) — On the heels of the Dennis Hastert case, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants to eliminate the statute of limitations for people accused of molesting children.

Illinois took a huge step in 2014 when the statute of limitations for sex abuse crimes was partially eliminated. However, Madigan and the victims’ group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) say the law doesn’t go far enough. They hope the publicity surrounding the Hastert case will push lawmakers to make more changes.

Often, it takes high profile sex abuse cases – such as Roman Catholic priests, Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky and now, Dennis Hastert – to change the law. Two years ago, the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases in Illinois was abolished, but, not completely.

“You have until your 18th birthday plus 20…

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High-profile child abuse case sees call for elimination of statute of limitations

UNITED STATES
Herald Democrat

By Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat

When former Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison this week, the banking charges to which he pleaded guilty in federal court were likely the least of what captured people’s attention about the case.

Government officials allege that Hastert, a former Illinois high school wrestling coach, practiced his creative accounting to help cover up allegations that he abused some of the young athletes entrusted to his care.

Though Hastert didn’t specifically admit to abusing children, he did say at the sentencing, “I know I’m here because I mistreated some of my athletes as a coach,” according to a report on CNN.com.

One of those alleged victims spoke out in court about how the abuse has impacted his life over the years.

Afterward, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she thinks the…

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Lawyers: Eliminating statute of limitations on child sex crimes problematic

ILLINOIS
nwi.com

Dan Petrella Lee Springfield Bureau Chief

SPRINGFIELD — After former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in federal prison for violating banking laws in an attempt to cover up decades-old sexual abuse allegations, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called on lawmakers to eliminate the statute of limitations on felony sex crimes against children.

But legal defense experts say doing away with restrictions on how long after an alleged crime someone can be charged could undermine the fairness of the legal process and put innocent people at risk of prosecution.

“It is very, very dangerous,” said William Schroeder, a criminal law professor at Southern Illinois University. “There are reasons for the statute of limitations.”

Chief among those reasons is that the memories of both alleged victims and alleged perpetrators become less reliable over time, Schroeder said.

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PD Editorial: End arbitrary limit on sexual assault charges

UNITED STATES
The Press Democrat

THE EDITORIAL BOARDBY

Less than a decade ago, Dennis Hastert stood second in line to the presidency. On Wednesday, the former House speaker stood before a federal judge who called him a “serial child molester.”

It was an appropriate description of the 74-year-old Hastert, who has acknowledged sexually abusing four teenage boys while working as a high school wrestling coach in Illinois 30 years ago. “I want to apologize to the boys I mistreated,” he said. “They looked (up) at me and I took advantage of them.”

Yes, he did. But the abuse was not the primary reason for his conviction nor for the sentence he received of 15 months in federal prison. His conviction was for bank fraud related to the secretive withdrawal of hush funds to cover up his past actions. It’s equivalent to sending Al Capone to prison on tax evasion…

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Retired priest accused of exposing himself to a minor, charged

WISCONSIN
Fox 1

GREEN BAY — A local retired priest faces multiple charges after he allegedly exposed himself to a minor.

Father Richard Thomas, 78, of Green Bay, was charged with four felonies Thursday.

The Green Bay Catholic Diocese released the following statement:

The Diocese of Green Bay received a report of misconduct involving Father Richard Thomas, a diocesan priest. Upon receiving this report, the diocese notified civil authorities. Following the policies of the Diocesan Code of Pastoral Conduct, Father Thomas, a senior (retired) priest, has been restricted from performing any public ministry pending the outcome of the civil authorities’ investigation. This is an ongoing investigation and the Diocese is fully cooperating. The Diocese asks for prayers for all involved in this matter. The Diocese remains committed to the protection of children and vulnerable adults. Its policies include permanently removing from ministry any clergy who have a substantiated allegation…

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Archdiocese responds to protests, says it was ‘extremely saddened’ by ‘angry mob’

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole, Pacific Daily News April 29, 2016

A week after Catholic Church members held a heated protest at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport, the Archdiocese of Agana’s Chancery Office issued a statement responding to that demonstration and others at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona.

The archdiocese was “extremely saddened by the actions of the angry mob” at the airport, the statement said.

Giuseppe Gennarini, Claudia Gennarini and Rev. Angelo Poschetti arrived the night of April 21. The Gennarinis and Poschetti are high-level U.S.-based officials of the Neocatechumenal Way.

“This is not the warm Hafa Adai spirit that the Chamorro people are well-known for,” the archdiocese’s statement said.

The Gennarinis and Poschetti are board of guarantors’ members for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Guam.

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LDS Church outlines how it prevents child sexual abuse, makes donation

UTAH
Deseret News

By Tad Walch, Deseret News

Published: Thursday, April 28 2016

SALT LAKE CITY — An official Mormon website has published the most comprehensive review yet of how the LDS Church works to prevent child sexual abuse in its congregations.

It characterized child sexual abuse as a societal plague and said the church’s first priority when it learns of abuse is to help the victim and stop the abuse.

“Every victim is a boy or girl who is suffering deeply,” the statement said. “We must do everything we can to protect and love them. We urge our local leaders and members to reach out to victims, comfort and strengthen them, and help them understand that what happened was wrong, the experience was not their fault, and that it should never happen ever again.”

The long statement was published Thursday as an approved resource on the official…

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More than a 100 church leaders gather for safety, security seminar in Warner Robins

GEORGIA
The Telegraph

BY BECKY PURSER
bpurser@macon.com

More than a 100 pastors and other church leaders gathered at Southside Baptist Church on Thursday for a seminar about safety and security at places of worship.

The daylong seminar was offered by Warner Robins police in partnership with Training Force USA, a training organization based in Tallahassee, Florida. Several Warner Robins police officers also attended the seminar.

Seminar topics ranged from non-custodial parents who might want to go to a church and take a child home to a loud outburst in the sanctuary, said Jennifer Parson, public information officer for Warner Robins police.

“We’re also talking about active-shooter situations and natural disasters and how to create that safety plan and be prepared for anything,” Parson said.

Other topics included domestic and workplace violence, development of safety-security and child-protection policies, recognizing high risk areas in places of worship and offices, and…

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Priest accused of flashing teenage boy

WISCONSIN
WBAY

By Jorge Rodas and Emily Matesic
Published: April 28, 2016

A local priest appeared in Brown County court on Thursday accused of flashing a teenage boy multiple times last month.

The priest’s bail was set at $750 cash, though prosecutors asked the court for $5,000.

Father Richard Thomas was arrested Wednesday on four felony counts of exposing himself to a minor.

Thomas’s attorney entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf as the Catholic priest appeared via video conference from the Brown County Jail for his initial appearance.

According to the criminal complaint, Thomas exposed himself to a 16-year-old boy on March 14, 15, 16 and 17.

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Court to decide on making residential school compensation process public

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

LORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

A court is being asked to decide whether the secret nature of the compensation process for people who were abused as children at one of Canada’s Indian residential schools allowed government lawyers to persuade adjudicators to deny compensation unfairly to those who suffered.

Depending upon the outcome of the case, compensation claims from many of the schools’ survivors may have to be reopened just as the nine-year Independent Assessment Process (IAP) is winding down.

An indigenous man who says a priest sexually abused him over a number of years at one of the most notorious schools is asking the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to allow the public release of secret documents that could explain why he was denied a cash settlement.

He also wants government lawyers, whom he…

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Seminary demonstration stays peaceful, no arrests

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole, Pacific Daily News April 29, 2016

Three Guam Police Department officers were present Thursday morning at a peaceful protest held by Catholic Church members who continue to take issue with who owns the property of a Yona seminary.

The officers posted themselves between the demonstrators and the entrance gate to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona. There were just over a dozen protesters. The demonstration never became heated, and no arrests were made. One Guam lawmaker present at the protest said the community’s public safety resources might have been more useful elsewhere.

Law enforcement presence was expected. Police were called to a demonstration held at the seminary on Tuesday after protesters walked into the seminary, which is on private property, and requested to see the archbishop. Prior to Thursday’s protest, GPD spokeswoman Capt. Kim Santos said police planned to come to the demonstration.

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Lawsuits accuse reinstated St. John’s priest of sexual abuse

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune APRIL 28, 2016

A well-known St. John’s Abbey monk, the Rev. Timothy Backous, is accused of sexually abusing two boys decades ago in lawsuits filed Thursday in St. Paul.

It was the second time in recent weeks that a St. John’s monk was sued after being suspended from ministry and then cleared by the abbey. The Rev. Thomas Andert, former abbey prior, also was sued by two men after being cleared by the abbey last November.

Both monks were former headmasters at St. John’s Preparatory School.

“St. John’s claimed to have done a thorough and complete investigation in both cases,” said victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson at a news conference Thursday. Instead, he said, it was “an investigation designed by them to protect the accused offender.”

One of the suits announced Thursday stemmed from incidents during a 1990 St. John’s boys…

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Maine supreme court upholds Greek Orthodox priest’s sex abuse conviction

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BANGOR — The Maine supreme court has rejected the appeal of a former Greek Orthodox priest who was convicted of sexually abusing a child.

The justices let the conviction of Adam Metropoulos, 53, stand on Thursday. The Bangor man is serving a 6½-year sentence for four counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

Metropoulos was convicted and sentenced a year ago. A former altar boy at St. George Greek Orthodox Church said he was sexually assaulted by Metropoulos as a teenager. The man, now 23, testified that Metropoulos “stole my life.”

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Md. bishop charged with sexual abuse, assault charge

MARYLAND
WUSA

[with video]

Debra Alfarone, WUSA

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (WUSA9) — A 22-year-old Prince George’s County woman told prosecutors her boss, Pastor Michael C. Turner of The Miracle Center of Faith Missionary Baptist Church, made unwanted sexual advances to her and sexually abused her during February and March of this year.

In her complaint, she says she worked at the Capitol Heights church for about 4 weeks. During this timeframe, and for 3 of them, Turner sexually harassed her and touched her without her permission. She says, “He would just literally rub his hands all over my body and push his body up against my body.”

But, in the end, she says what happened in his private office one day is what made her speak to prosecutors and file a report, “He pushed me onto his couch and he had got on top of me.”

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Abuse inquiry to cap private sessions

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

AAP

The child sexual abuse royal commission has announced it will close off applications for private sessions in September – more than a year before its final report is due.

The decision was announced on Friday by commission chair Peter McClellan who said requests for private sessions were still high but other constraints meant accepting applications beyond September 30 could see abuse survivors disappointed and this would be “intolerable”.

More than 5000 private sessions, where people met with a commissioner and gave personal accounts of the abuse they endured, have been held across the country since the commission started in 2013.

They have been crucial to the public investigations into church, state and other institutions where shocking levels of child abuse were exposed.

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Child abuse royal commission to halt private sessions for survivors

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Jane Lee
Legal affairs, health and science reporter

It has spoken to 5111 survivors in private sessions, with 1544 waiting for future sessions. Over the past year, it has held about 37 private sessions a week.

But now, the child abuse royal commission is winding down its private sessions with survivors.
The commission, which is due to deliver its final report in December 2017, will stop accepting survivors’ applications to tell their stories to commissioners in private hearings after September 30.

The chairman of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Justice Peter McClellan, will make the announcement at a hearing in Sydney on Friday.

“There can be no exceptions for any application received after that date,” his prepared statement says. “I know this will mean that some people will be disappointed. For that the commissioners are sorry.”

Survivors will…

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IL– “End the statute of limitations on child sex crimes”

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine of SNAP (312 399 4747), April 28, 2016

If one in four homes were burglarized in Illinois, lawmakers would be jumping into action.

If one in eight cars were stolen in IL, lawmakers would be climbing over one another to propose solutions.

But one in four girls and one in eight boys are sexually violated as children in Illinois. So where’s the legislative uproar?

And most child molesters, unlike Denny Hastert, never get caught. The relatively few who are caught, like Denny Hastert, hurt several or many kids and perpetrate for years undetected, in part because it takes them so long to be able to tell. Telling is not simple. It usually takes years before victims realize what happened to them as children was criminal and abusive, and that it still cripples them years later. Then it…

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IL–Statement by victim of Chicago’s Fr. Wellems

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement Eric Johnson of Colorado, repeatedly sexually abused as a child by Fr. Bruce Wellems

Although Wellems has publicly admitted to sexually abusing me as 7 year old boy when he was 15, he remains active as a suspended priest, and as an influence with At-Risk Youth. Although his faculties in the Archdiocese have been temporarily suspended; as a Claretian, he is allowed to appear as a leader and have contact with kids.

By the time I found the courage to tell my Mother about Wellem’s sexual abuse, I was well past the Stature of Limitations. Guilt, Confusion, Depression and Shame eat at you to a point so low that you have a choice; Continue to be self destructive and die, or share your story.

It took me decades to begin to heal and share my abuse. And when I did…

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ITALY UNCOVERS ISLAMIST PLOT TO ATTACK VATICAN AND ISRAELI EMBASSY

ITALY
Newsweek

BY JACK MOORE ON 4/28/16

Italian authorities arrested four people suspected of extremism on Thursday and issued arrest warrants for two more operating in Syria, according to the Milan prosecutor.

Authorities said one of the suspects is a Moroccan-born national living in Italy who had received orders from the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) to conduct an attack in Rome during the Holy Year, a period announced by Pope Francis that lasts from December 2015 to November 2016.

The man, who authorities named as Abderrahim Moutahrrick, is reported to have received a WhatsApp message from ISIS-held territory that read: “Dear brother Abderrahim, I send you… the bomb poem… listen to the sheik and strike,” in reference to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Milan prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli said that Moutahrrick planned to attack the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome and told one of the other suspects,…

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End statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases: victim advocates

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

William Lee
Chicago Tribune

A day after former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced to prison in a federal banking case tied to the decades-old sexual abuse of a high school wrestler he coached, victim advocates say it’s time to get rid of the deadlines for prosecuting child sex crimes.

In handing down the 15-month prison sentence on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin repeatedly slammed Hastert as a “serial child molester” after he acknowledged there were several sex abuse victims; but prosecutors have noted that Hastert could not be charged with sex crimes in those cases because the statute of limitations had long passed.

In front of the Chicago Archdiocese’s Gold Coast headquarters, members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests pushed for state and federal reform regarding statutes of limitations on sex crimes against children, and called on the public…

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Civil Lawsuits Filed Against Reinstated Priest, St. John’s Abbey

MINNESOTA
KSTP

Scott Theisen
Updated: 04/28/2016

Two civil lawsuits against a recently reinstated priest accused of sexual abuse have been filed.

St. Paul attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Bryant announced the filing of the suits Thursday morning. The Rev. Timothy Backous and St. John’s Abbey are named in both lawsuits on behalf of two men known as Doe 413 and Doe 188.

One man claims he was abused by Backous at St. John’s Prep School between 1982 and 1983 when he was 16 years old.

The other man claims he was abused during a 1990 choir trip to Europe when he was as a member of the St. John’s Boys Choir. He was 12 to 13 years old at the time.

Anderson and Bryant also discussed the internal investigations into Doe 188’s allegations in 1991 and 2015 in which St. John’s cleared Backous.

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Lawsuits accuse Backous of abuse

MINNESOTA
St. Clouid Times

David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com April 28, 2016

Two lawsuits filed Thursday in Stearns County accuse former St. John’s Prep headmaster Rev. Timothy Backous of sexually abusing two children, one in the early 1980s and another in 1990.

The lawsuits don’t describe specifics of the abuse, other than to say one victim was 12 or 13 at the time and was a member of the Boys Choir and the other victim was 16 or 17 and was a Prep School student.

Backous has been accused previously of sexually abusing a boy during a 1990 European tour by the choir. St. John’s Abbey in 1991 looked into the allegations and found them to be unsubstantiated. The parents of the boy who accused Backous of sexual misconduct renewed the allegations in June 2014, and the Abbey retained an independent, third-party investigator to review the claim.

The claims again…

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Video: Two Sex Abuse Lawsuits Filed against Recently Reinstated St. John’s Monk Father Tim Backous

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson and Associates

Backous Worked in Prominent Roles at St. John’s and Duluth after St. John’s ‘cleared’ him of allegations in 1991 and 2015

Doe 188 Complaint
Doe 413 Complaint
Backous Timothy Timeline
Backous Photo
Sketch by Patricia Chiapusio-Riedl
Statement of Patricia Chiapusio-Riedl
Media Advisory

What: At a news conference tomorrow in St. Paul, attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Bryant will:

• Announce the filing of two civil lawsuits naming St. John’s Abbey and Father Timothy Backous as defendants. One suit is being brought by Doe 413, a survivor who was sexually abused by Backous at St. John’s Prep School in approximately 1982-1983 when he was 16 years old. The second lawsuit is being brought by Doe 188, a former member of the St. John’s Boys Choir who was abused by Backous on a…

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Vatican flags more than 540 ‘suspicious transactions’ in 2015

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Ines San Martin
Vatican correspondent April 28, 2016

ROME— More than 540 suspicious financial transactions in the Vatican were flagged in 2015, leading to the suspension of eight of those transactions totaling over $10 million, and the freezing of four accounts at the Vatican bank worth another $8 million.

Those figures came from an annual report released Thursday by the Vatican’s financial watchdog unit, the Financial Information Authority, which was launched under emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

In terms of the number of red flags raised, the total of 544 from 2015 represents a substantial increase from 147 in 2014 and 202 in 2013.

However, only 17 of those cases led to reports forwarded to the Promoter of Justice in the Vatican City State’s tribunal for investigation, which means that, upon review, only a handful was judged possibly to be the result…

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5,000 suspect accounts identified in Vatican Bank clean-up

VATICAN CITY
Times of India

Vatican City, April 28, 2016 (AFP) –
A clean-up of the Vatican bank has been completed, with the final tally of suspect accounts that had to be closed nearing 5,000, the Holy See’s financial watchdog said Thursday.

Unveiling the 2015 annual report of the Financial Information Authority (FIA), its director Tommaso Di Ruzza said a three-year examination of the scandal-hit Institute of Religious Works (IOR), as the bank is officially known, was now finished.

“We took a very strict line towards any accounts that were not in compliance (with Vatican legislation) and now finally the process of closures is done,” Di Ruzzo told a Vatican press conference. “A total of 4,935 were closed and that is a final figure.”

The FIA was established in 2010 by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI to bring the Vatican’s financial institutions into line with international standards designed…

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Texas church asks members to pay $500 to drink pesticide ‘elixir’ to cure erectile dysfunction

TEXAS
Raw Story

BETHANIA PALMA MARKUS
28 APR 2016

A bizarre “non-religious” church in Texas is set to hold an event this weekend in which participates will drink a potentially-fatal chemical found in pesticides because the organization’s leader claims it holds the power to heal conditions including erectile dysfunction, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Jim Humble, the archbishop of Genesis 2 Church of Health and Healing, hawks “Miracle Mineral Supplement” as a cure-all for cancer, AIDS, arthritis, malaria, acne, erectile dysfunction and other ailments, the Chronicle reports. The catch? It’s made from sodium chlorite — a chemical used in pesticides, fracking and fabric bleaching.

It can be deadly if swallowed. Yet participants will fork over $500 a head for a three-day seminar at a Houston-area hotel to learn about the supposed health benefits of the “the world’s most important broad-spectrum, nontoxic anti-microbial agent.”

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Justices uphold Bangor ex-priest’s conviction on sex assault charges

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted April 28, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday upheld the conviction of a former Greek Orthodox priest on sex charges involving a former altar server in a one-page memorandum of decision that did not explain the reasons for the decision.

Adam Metropoulos, 53, of Bangor was sentenced a year ago to 12 years in prison with all but 6½ years suspended, to be followed by three years of probation.

Metropoulos, who was the priest at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor for 14 years, is incarcerated at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, according to the Maine Department of Corrections inmate locator. His earliest possible release date is May 14, 2020.

Superior Court Justice Ann Murray in March 2015 found Metropoulos guilty on four felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor…

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Rabbis With a Conscience Make History

UNITED STATES
Verdict

28 APR 2016 MARCI A. HAMILTON

So far in the 21st century, U.S. religious leaders are best known for negative positions like their demands for a “free exercise right” to discriminate against the beleaguered minority of LGBTQ individuals, a First Amendment right to discriminate against their own ministers, a right of secular employers to deprive women of reproductive health care choices in their employment benefit plans, and, last but not least, child endangerment, from starvation, to neglect to sex abuse. Small wonder that institutional religious affiliation has been dropping. At the same time, the headlines persistently cover religiously-fueled global terrorism, which is a sobering reminder of the atrocities that religion can justify, as we know from even a cursory study of world history.

Others have tried to paint the contemporary push for extreme religious liberty as a new “Great Awakening” when in fact it has been…

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AG Madigan wants GA to eliminate statute of limitations for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children

ILLINOIS
Capital Fax

Thursday, Apr 28, 2016

* In the wake of Dennis Hastert’s sentencing yesterday, this press release landed in my in-box…

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) [yesterday] called on Illinois lawmakers to eliminate the statute of limitations for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children.

Madigan and ICASA’s Executive Director Polly Poskin have long supported the removal of the current statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes against children. Illinois law should allow children who have been victims of sexual assault and abuse the time to come forward and report their crimes. Survivors of sexual assault crimes during their childhood should be afforded the time it takes to process their assault and come forward to report their crimes to authorities.

“Sexual assault continues to be pervasive in society, affecting far too many children and families across Illinois,”…

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St. George’s board committee meets with victims’ group

RHODE ISLAND
Boston Globe

By Bella English GLOBE STAFF APRIL 28, 2016

After a private meeting with a group of victims, a committee of the board of trustees at the embattled St. George’s School has agreed to get training on the “lifelong impacts” of childhood sexual abuse, and will enter into reparation talks with some alumni who were allegedly assaulted as students at the elite prep school in Middletown, R.I.

According to a statement posted Monday night by the victims’ group SGS for Healing, trustees will also consider concerns about headmaster Eric Peterson, who has been criticized by some alumni for his handling of abuse complaints. An independent investigation of the school is due from attorney Martin Murphy in June, and the trustees agreed to take action on “issues raised regarding Peterson” within 30 days of the report’s release.

The agreements came at a meeting held Saturday in Boston…

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Bishop Ronald Mulkearns helped write rules on abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

APRIL 29, 2016

Tessa Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne

Ronald Mulkearns helped draft a protocol for dealing with alleg­ations of criminal behaviour by clergy while running the nation’s worst diocese for pedophile priests and brothers.

The former bishop of Ballarat, who died this month, was ­appointed to the special issues committee run by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference ­despite failing to deal with some of the world’s worst abusers.

Mulkearns presented a draft protocol to the conference in November 1989. It was to be observed if accusations of criminal behaviour, ­including pedophilia, were made against priests. The protocol, which was tendered to the child sex abuse royal commission, states that bishops have a responsi­bility to protect the reputation of individuals and the image of the church as a whole.

It states that bishops and major superiors must have ­regard to the welfare of any complainant, victim…

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Attorneys to Discuss Civil Lawsuits Naming Reinstated Priest, St. John’s Abbey

MINNESOTA
KAAL

Scott Theisen
Updated: 04/28/2016

Attorneys plan to discuss the filing of two civil lawsuits against a recently reinstated priest accused of sexual abuse.

St. Paul attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Bryant will have a news conference Thursday morning to discuss the suits naming the Rev. Timothy Backous and St. John’s Abbey. The attorneys are representing two men known as Doe 413 and Doe 188.

One man claims he was abused by Backous at St. John’s Prep School between 1982 and 1983 when he was 16 years old.

The other man claims he was abused during a 1990 choir trip to Europe when he was as a member of the St. John’s Boys Choir. He was 12 to 13 years old at the time.

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Vatican Watchdog Says Suspicious Transactions Almost Quadrupled

VATICAN CITY
Wall Street Journal

By FRANCIS X. ROCCA
April 28, 2016

ROME—The Vatican’s financial watchdog registered 544 suspicious transactions in 2015—almost four times as many as the previous year—but officials said Thursday it reflected greater vigilance rather than any rise in illicit financial activities.

The Financial Information Authority, or AIF, said it turned over 17 of those cases, mostly involving potential money laundering, to Vatican prosecutors.

“I would like to see the figure zero,” René Brülhart, the AIF’s president told reporters. “But it doesn’t reflect reality. Wherever you have financial transactions, financial activity, you always see something potentially suspicious.”

Mr. Brülhart said the Vatican’s oversight system uses a “rather low reporting threshold,” in part to raise awareness of potential problems. He said it was a “fair assessment” that none of the suspicious activity was related to the financing of terrorism.

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Maryland Baptist Bishop Arrested, Accused of Sexually Assaulting 22-Year-Old Woman

MARYLAND
NBC Washington

[with video]

A 22-year-old woman says the prominent bishop of a Baptist church in Prince George’s County repeatedly stalked, harassed and made unwarranted sexual advances toward her at the church.

Bishop Michael C. Turner Sr., the senior pastor at The Miracle Center of Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Capitol Heights, Maryland, has been charged with second-degree assault, fourth-degree sex offense and harassment, according to court documents obtained by News4’s Jackie Bensen.

The woman said during the four weeks in February and March that she worked at the church, Turner, 61, repeatedly assaulted and harassed her in his private office, the copy room and the elevator.

“On many occasions he would repeatedly touch me all over my body with his hands, press on my body with his body and his private parts…kiss me on my forehead, and hold me captive in his office and copier room,” the…

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Pope Francis marks a comeback for “old-time curialists”

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Editor April 28, 2016

Contrary to popular mythology, the Vatican is hardly a sprawling bureaucracy comparable to, say, the roughly three million people who work for the federal government in the United States. All in, we’re talking about a work force of under 5,000, which means it’s more akin to a village than an empire.

In such a small world, personnel is always policy: Choices about who gets the most important jobs inevitably drive how decisions are made.

Pope Francis has been running the show for three years now, and at first blush, it’s tempting to say that almost nothing has changed on the personnel front. As of today, almost three-quarters of the officials who lead important departments are still hold-overs from the reign of emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.

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Pédophilie dans l’Eglise: les secrets bien couverts des «petits gris» de Saint-Jean

FRANCE
Mediapart

Accusé d’actes de pédophilie et d’agression sexuelle sur majeur, un ancien religieux de la communauté Saint-Jean, qui a reconnu les faits en 2015, est jugé ce vendredi à Chalon-sur-Saône. Des documents consultés par Mediapart révèlent que des supérieurs de cette fraternité contestée savaient tout du mal-être et des agissements de leur frère, mais n’ont jamais alerté les autorités.

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Saône-et-Loire : un nouveau frère de la communauté de Saint-Jean va comparaître pour agressions sexuelles

FRANCE
France 3

Ce vendredi 29 avril 2016, Régis Peillon va comparaître devant le tribunal correctionnel de Chalon-sur-Saône pour agressions sexuelles sur deux victimes françaises, un mineur et un adulte. Il portait alors l’habit et appartenait à la communauté de Saint-Jean, déjà entâchée de scandales du même ordre

Par Maryline Barate

Une nouvelle fois, la communauté de Saint-Jean, basée à Rimont en Saône-et-Loire, voit un des ses anciens membres comparaître devant la justice. Régis Peillon, 57 ans, sera jugé demain par le tribunal correctionnel de Chalon-sur-Saône. Il est accusé d’avoir agressé sexuellement un mineur et un majeur alors qu’il était « frère Jean-François Régis » dans cette congrégation.

Un religieux qui avait été déjà été repéré par sa hiérarchie pour des actes de pédophilie
L’agression sur mineur a eu lieu au prieuré de Murat, dans le Cantal, qui accueille de nombreux camps de jeunes. Ce lieu d’affectation, décidé…

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Two more paedophile cases hit French Catholic church

FRANCE
RFI

A priest in the French Basque country was accused of sexually assaulting a teenager on Wednesday and a former monk was to appear in court on Friday in ongoing revelations of paedophilia in the French Catholic church. Lyon Archbishop Philippe Barbarin is currently under investigation for allegations that he covered up cases of sexual assault on minors in his diocese.

The mother of the alleged victim filed a case for sexual assault on her son in the 1990s against a priest in Bayonne on Wednesday and he has been relieved of his functions.

In a letter published on the diocese’s website Bayonne Archbishop Marc Aillet said he had notified the legal authorities of the case on 15 April and promised to cooperate with the investigation.

The priest has already tried to commit suicide twice – once after being investigated for allegedly molesting his nephew on a camp…

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Last tranche of abuse reports

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

The final tranche of reports from the national safeguarding board is expected to be released next week, The Irish Catholic understands.

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) has now completed reviews of safeguarding practice and procedures in almost every Church body that comes under its authority.

The few exceptions who have not yet been reviewed include some religious orders whose exclusively female memberships are aging and declining in numbers, and who have no ministry with children, as well as a small number of religious orders currently subject to investigation under the Northern Ireland Historical Inquiry.

Reports by the board into child safeguarding practices within these orders cannot be produced publicly until after the Northern inquiry has reported its findings, which will happen next year.

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Danger of Church colluding in false abuse impression

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

by Michael Kelly
April 28, 2016

The watchdog set up to monitor the Church’s adherence to stringent child protection rules has published a new set of ‘standards’. Amongst other things, the document aims to redress a perception that a priest who is accused of abuse is treated unfairly. These concerns have been particularly evident when a priest has been stood aside, forced to leave his home and months, or even years later, is found to have no case to answer.

The new standards from the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) are currently being rolled out across all 26 dioceses and, evidently, have been well received.

I can say without fear of contradiction that the Catholic Church in Ireland is now governed by some of the strictest policies and procedures in the country when it comes to safeguarding children and…

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Un prêtre du diocèse de Bayonne mis en cause dans une nouvelle affaire de pédophilie

FRANCE
Metro News

EGLISE CATHOLIQUE – Les faits remontent à 1990. C’est la mère de l’une des victimes, neveu du prêtre, qui a porté plainte auprès du parquet de Clermond-Ferrand.

L’Eglise catholique fait-elle face à une nouvelle affaire de pédophilie ? Dans les Pyrénées-Atlantiques, un prêtre du diocèse de Bayonne est en tout cas mis en cause pour des faits de pédophilie remontant à 1990 et vient d’être suspendu de toute fonction ecclésiastique, informe l’AFP d’après le parquet de Bayonne.

Mercredi soir, l’affaire a également été signalée dans une lettre à ses “chers diocésains” par l’évêque de Bayonne, Mgr Marc Aillet, connu pour ses positions conservatrices et qui mène une croisade contre l’avortement. Ces nouvelles accusations apparaissent trois mois après l’affaire de pédophilie du diocèse de Lyon où un prêtre a été mis en examen pour agressions sexuelles le 25 janvier 2016.

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Une affaire de pédophilie met en cause un prêtre du diocèse de Bayonne

FRANCE
La Republique des Pyrenees

Une affaire de pédophilie met en cause un prêtre du diocèse de Bayonne. L’information a été livrée par l’évêque Marc Aillet sur le site du diocèse de Bayonne, ce mercredi soir.

“Mgr Aillet prend la parole au sujet d’une affaire de pédophilie dans notre diocèse.” C’est sous ce titre que le site Internet du diocèse de Bayonne, Lescar et Oloron publie une lettre de l’évêque Marc Aillet adressée aux diocésains. Il y évoque en détail l’affaire mettant en cause le prêtre Jean-François Sarramagnan.

Monseigneur Aillet commence par placer le contexte. “En octobre 2007, il avait fait une tentative de suicide, alors qu’il était curé de la paroisse St-Etienne de Bayonne, en raison d’une affaire avec une jeune fille, pour laquelle la justice s’est prononcée.” Au cours de l’entretien qu’il eut avec l’évêque en 2009, l’abbé Sarramagnan l’informa “de faits plus anciens, qui s’étaient produits…

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French church hit by new paedophile priest scandal

FRANCE
The Local

A priest in south-western France has been accused of sexually abusing a minor, the latest in a long line of alleged paedophilia in French churches.

It was the mother of the victim who spoke out, claiming that her son – the nephew of the priest – was abused two decades ago.

The assaults allegedly occurred in Bayonne, in south western France, when the victim was a teenager.

Bayonne Bishop Marc Aillet (pictured below), who is known for his conservative positions and leading a crusade against abortion, said in an open letter to his diocese on Wednesday said he had reported the matter to the Bayonne prosecutor.

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Financial Information Authority presents Annual Report

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) A press briefing was held on Thursday morning, in the John Paul II Hall of the Press Office of the Holy See, for the presentation of the Annual Report of the Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria (the Financial Information Authority, AIF), on the activities of financial reporting and supervision, both with regard to prudential decisions and for the prevention and combatting of money laundering and the financing of terrorism during Year IV, 2015.

Present at the briefing, in addition to the Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, were the President of the AIF, Dr René Brülhart, and the Director of the AIF, Dr Tommaso Di Ruzza.

Below, please find the official Press Release regarding the 2015 Annual Report of the Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria:

AIF press release | Annual Report 2015 | Effective regulatory framework

The Autorità di…

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Vatican crackdown on tax cheats flagged in oversight report

VATICAN CITY
Montreal Gazette

Associated Press

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican’s financial watchdog says it received 544 reports of suspicious financial transactions last year, thanks in large part to beefed-up efforts to flag potential tax cheats who are using the Vatican bank to hide money.

In its annual report, the Financial Information Authority said Thursday it passed 17 cases on to Vatican prosecutors for possible investigation, up from seven a year earlier. In December, European evaluators urged prosecutors to actually bring charges in some of those cases since no indictments have been handed down.

Since 2011, 36 out of 900 suspect transactions have been forwarded to prosecutors for possible follow-up.

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Vatican financial watchdog registers three-fold increase in suspicious activity in 2015

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Apr. 28, 2016

VATICAN CITY
The Vatican’s financial watchdog agency registered a three-fold increase in suspicious transactions undertaken in the city state’s financial institutions in 2015, marking 544 activities as questionable and freezing or halting movement of a total of some $2.4 million and 15.3 million Euros.

The Financial Information Authority, or AIF, says it also made 17 reports to the Vatican’s Office of the Promoter of Justice for possible review of crimes such as fraud, tax avoidance, tax evasion, and “more serious financial crimes … such as market disruption in foreign states.”

The watchdog agency revealed the statistics with the release of its fourth annual report Thursday. The agency, which was started by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 but continued and strengthened under Pope Francis, has been working to bring the Vatican’s diverse set of financial organizations into…

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Gymnasium lässt Heiligenstatue entfernen

DEUTSCHLAND
General-Anzeiger

27.04.2016 BONN. Die Skulptur vor der Kirche sieht dem ehemaligen Schulleiter und 2010 verstorbenen Missbrauchstäter, Pater Stüper, täuschend ähnlich. Nun wurde sie entfernt.

Das Aloisiuskolleg (Ako) hat eine seit Jahren heiß umstrittene Statue vor dem Eingang seiner Kirche entfernt. Offiziell war sie als Statue des Heiligen Jeremias ausgewiesen, inoffiziell wurde sie als „Stüper-Denkmal“ gehandelt. „Der Respekt vor den zahlreichen Betroffenen von sexualisierter Gewalt und Machtmissbrauch und ihr Schutz haben mich nach langem Abwägen zu dieser Entscheidung kommen lassen“, schreibt Rektor Pater Johannes Siebner an die Mitarbeiter, Eltern und Jesuitenbrüder.

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Wurde Kardinal Pell von Mitarbeitern getäuscht?

AUSTRALIEN
Katholisch

Drei frühere Kirchenmitarbeiter in Australien haben die Glaubwürdigkeit von Kurienkardinal George Pell im Missbrauchsskandal infrage gestellt. Medienberichten zufolge zeigten sich die drei ehemaligen leitenden Mitarbeiter des Schulamtes der Erzdiözese Melbourne am Mittwoch vor der Missbrauchskommission “geschockt”, “enttäuscht” und “verärgert” über die Aussage von Kardinal Pell im vergangenen Monat.

Pell hatte erklärt, er sei als damaliger Weihbischof von Melbourne bei den Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen den Pfarrer Peter Searson vom Schulamt “hintergangen” und nur unvollständig informiert worden. Die Leitung des Schulamtes habe den Fall zum Schutz des damaligen Erzbischofs Frank Little “vertuschen” wollen, so der Kardinal in seiner von Rom aus per Videoschaltung getätigten Aussage. Trotz wiederholter Missbrauchsvorwürfe war der inzwischen verstorbene Searson jahrelang im Amt geblieben.

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Guilty plea over Geelong orphan abuse

AUSTRALIA
Bay 939

Rob McLennan / 28 April 2016

A former Christian Brother who abused children at a Geelong orphanage has admitted to a dozen charges of indecently assaulting young boys.

William Stuart Houston worked at St Augustine’s in the 1960’s. He left the Christian Brothers in the 1990’s.

The County Court yesterday lifted a supression order that had prevented the media from identifying the 77-year-old.

The charges are believed to relate to male victims during Houston’s time at St Augustines.

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