ABUSE TRACKER

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

August 27, 2016

Longtime priest, St. Albert chaplain suspended following arrest

IOWA
Daily Nonpareil

Fri Aug 26, 2016.
by John Schreier
jschreier@nonpareilonline.com

A retired western Iowa priest who serves as a chaplain at St. Albert has been suspended following his arrest on invasion of privacy charges Thursday.

The Rev. Paul Monahan, 83, has been charged with five counts of invasion of privacy, a serious misdemeanor, according to online court records.

Bishop Richard Pates has suspended Monahan from all public ministry while the investigation and court proceedings are ongoing, according to Anne Marie Cox, a spokesperson for the diocese. Cox said that Monahan was first suspended July 8 when the diocese became aware of the allegations.

The charges stem from an incident at a high school track meet in April, according to the diocese. An arrest affidavit or other court documents to provide more detail on the charges were not available Friday night, when Monahan was released on his own recognizance, according to the Pottawattamie County Jail.

Iowa Code 709.21(1) – the statute under which Monahan was charged, according to online court records – relates to the recording or photographing of an unknowing victim in a state of partial of full nudity.

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

Catholic priest facing invasion of privacy charges

IOWA
Des Moines Register

Joey Aguirre, jaguirre@gannett.com August 26, 2016

A retired Catholic priest is facing invasion of privacy charges after an alleged incident at a high school track meet in April, according to a news release from the Diocese of Des Moines.

The Rev. Paul Monahan has been charged by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office with five counts of invasion of privacy, according to the Friday release. An attempt to reach the attorney general’s office for more information was unsuccessful.

Diocese of Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates suspended Monahan on July 8 after learning of the investigation. The suspension will remain in place until the case is resolved by authorities.

Monahan, ordained in 1960, retired in 2004 and then served as a senior chaplain at St. Albert Schools in Council Bluffs. He was a teacher at Dowling Catholic for fours years in the 1960s before being assigned to St. Albert, where he served in a variety of capacities before retiring.

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

Sex abuse lawsuit against priest and Peoria diocese revived on appeal

ILLINOIS
Peoria Journal Star

By Andy Kravetz
Journal Star public safety reporter
@andykravetz

PEORIA — An appellate court panel this week found a Peoria County judge erred when she threw out a lawsuit by a man claiming he was sexually abused by a priest.

The panel of 3rd District Appellate Court judges held the man’s lawsuit, which was filed in 2012, wasn’t time-barred by state law even though the abuse happened in the early 1990s. Rather, Judge Mary K. O’Brien wrote, with Judges Robert Carter and Vicki Wright concurring, the lawsuit should be allowed to proceed as the man claimed in his suit that he blocked the abuse out of his memory until 2011. As such, the statute of limitations hadn’t tolled.

The man, now 37, sued the Rev. Norman Goodman, Holy Family Catholic Church, and the Catholic Diocese of Peoria in July 2012, alleging Goodman, who is deceased, sexually abused him from 1991 to 1994 when he was 13 to 15 years old. Goodman was a priest based in Lincoln.

Under a 1991 law, those alleging child abuse must file civil claims within a certain time frame. Any lawsuits after that were barred because of a statute of limitations. A change in the law in 1994 repealed that section, but an Illinois Supreme Court case a few years later upheld the sentiment of the 1991 section of law.

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

Retired Iowa priest charged with five counts of invasion of privacy

IOWA
Omaha World-News

By John Schreier / World-Herald News Service

A retired western Iowa priest who serves as a chaplain at St. Albert has been suspended following his arrest on invasion of privacy charges Thursday.

The Rev. Paul Monahan, 83, has been charged with five counts of invasion of privacy, a serious misdemeanor, according to online court records. Bishop Richard Pates has suspended Monahan from all public ministry while the investigation and court proceedings are ongoing, according to the Diocese of Des Moines.

The charges stem from an incident at a high school track meet in April, according to the diocese. An arrest affidavit or other court documents to provide more detail on the charges were not available Friday night.

Monahan was released on his own recognizance Friday evening, according to the Pottawattamie County Jail.

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

Tom Clonan: The Catholic Church can either reform itself after the Maynooth mess – or risk looking like a Fr Ted episode

IRELAND
Journal

MY PARENTS DIDN’T like Father Ted. They didn’t get it. If my Mum and Dad were alive today they’d be in their 80s. They were a generation that grew up in an Ireland dominated by the Catholic Church.

For my parents, Fr Ted was like a fly on the wall documentary about priests. They couldn’t laugh at it. They couldn’t enter into the comedic spirit of it. They simply couldn’t suspend disbelief in order to laugh at Fr Ted, Fr Jack and Fr Dougal.

It was as though you ‘couldn’t make it up’. And yet, Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews had made it up. They had conceived, devised and constructed an elegant satire that eloquently described the comic, dark reality of the organisational culture of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

I have been reminded of Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews in the recent media coverage of the controversies that have engulfed the national seminary at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Media reports of a ‘gay subculture’ at the college and the alleged widespread use of the gay dating app Grindr among seminarians read like the script of a Fr Ted episode.

The news value of these stories have pushed them to the top of the news agenda. This dynamic may have obscured the real story however. To be honest, I believe the sexual orientation of seminarians or priests is largely irrelevant in the context of the grave challenges that confront the institution of the Catholic Church in Ireland. Indeed, much of the coverage has been voyeuristic and gay shaming – perhaps unwittingly revealing a deep-seated homophobic bias among some commentators.

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

Mary McAleese says Maynooth should be ‘gay-friendly’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Barry Roche

The current controversy about a gay culture at Maynooth is misplaced and the church authorities should be focusing on why so few young people are seeking to join the priesthood rather than seeking to make seminaries gay-unfriendly places, according to former president Mary McAleese.

Dr McAleese said that she found the focus on whether there is a gay culture at Maynooth worrying but she traced it to the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality with which she profoundly disagreed and which did nothing to make gay people feel welcome within the church.

“We have the phenomenon of men in the priesthood who are both heterosexual and homosexual but the church hasn’t been able to come to terms with the fact that there are going to be homosexuals in the priesthood, homosexuals who are fine priests,” said Dr McAleese.

“They haven’t be able to come to terms with that because the teaching of my church, the Catholic Church, tells them that homosexuality is, of its nature, intrinsically disordered – those are the words of pope Benedict and that homosexual acts are, in his words, evil,” she added.

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

Shifting winds in Maynooth – but Church must embrace change or lose its flock

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Martina Devlin
PUBLISHED
27/08/2016

Another day, another flavourless statement from Maynooth. It is remarkable how an institution as vibrant and effective as the Catholic Church during its 2,000-year history should become now so lost within a gilded labyrinth.

There is a way out of this maze of its own construction, as leaders from Pope Francis to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin realise. But their dilemma is how to secure buy-in for essential reforms from the Church’s management class.

The scale of the necessary overhaul is significant, and many within the hierarchy are resistant to change. This means the reformers have a circle to square: on the one hand, gradual reform will meet with less resistance from traditionalists; on the other hand, it might be dismissed as tinkering at the edges.

For the Irish hierarchy to stick its collective fingers in its ears and go “la la la, we can’t hear you” is no solution to the crisis lapping at its doors. It has pursued such a policy for decades, with dwindling vocations and empty churches to show for it.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin is among those trying to effect change – but will it be watered down so that the public barely notices any difference? This week’s statement from Maynooth’s trustees will do little to reassure the faithful, who have anxieties both about alleged seminary ‘sexcapades’ and the theologically inflexible priests being formed there.

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

Former president Mary McAleese: Seminaries in Ireland should be ‘gay friendly’

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Geraldine Gittens
PUBLISHED
27/08/2016

Former president Mary McAleese has said that seminaries in Ireland should be “gay friendly”.

This week it emerged that a closer eye will be kept on how Maynooth’s seminarians spend their time from now on as part of a stricter regime being introduced in the wake of the gay dating app scandal.

The Irish Independent reported that all trainee priests will now be required to eat their evening meal in the college rather than being allowed to dine wherever they choose. They will also be required to attend evening rosary at 9pm, which hasn’t been obligatory until now.

The seminary council will now eat both breakfast and dinner with the seminarians in the historic Pugin Hall rather than in the Professors’ Refectory.

But Dr McAleese, a staunch Catholic who campaigned fearlessly for a yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum, told the Daniel O’Connell Summer School in Kerry yesterday that the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality was worryingly dangerous, according to the Irish Times.

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

New Study Explores Why Religious ‘Nones’ Departed from Their Childhood Religion

UNITED STATES
Christianity Daily

Adults identifying themselves as “religious nones” have increased over the last few decades, and a recent Pew survey explored why they chose to move away from religion.

About 78 percent of the respondents of the survey said that they grew up in religious environment, but departed from the religion.

Pew received hundreds of different responses when the participants were asked to elaborate in their own words why they left their religious groups. Though the responses were diverse, Pew said, the research center was able to categorize some responses under common threads.

Some 36 percent said they were disenchanted with the religion, and about 7 percent said they were not interested in or did not need religion. Around 7 percent also said that their views evolved. Only 1 percent said they experienced a crisis of faith.

Many of the respondents said that they departed ways with religion because of its organized ways and hierarchy. About one in five Americans held this view.

Others also said that they saw religion becoming too much like a business, and also mentioned sexual abuse by clergy as one of the reasons for their leaving their childhood religion.

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

Top 5 reasons why U.S. religious organisations went to court in 2015

UNITED STATES
Christian Today

Jonah Hicap 27 August 2016

Sexual abuse of minors is the No. 1 reason why religious organisations in the United States went to court in 2015, according to a lawyer.

Richard Hammar, a lawyer who specialises in legal issues related to churches and clergy, recently published his report on the Church Law and Tax website.

He categorised state appellate court and federal court rulings, which totalled 12,000 decisions, to identify the cases that most threaten religious organisations.

Hammar said sexual abuse of minors was the leading cause, accounting for 11.7 percent of the cases.

“Sadly, for several years the sexual molestation of minors has been the number one reason that churches went to court,” he wrote.

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

Anti-gay pastor who said LGBT community ‘deserved’ Orlando massacre arrested for molesting boy

GEORGIA
New York Daily News

CHRISTOPHER BRENNAN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Friday, August 26, 2016

A conservative Florida pastor who said that the victims of the Orlando massacre got “what they deserve” is being charged with child molestation.

Bishop Kenneth Adkins was arrested by Georgia authorities on Friday after allegations that he molested a boy under the age of 16.

The 56-year-old clergyman, who runs churches in Jacksonville, Atlanta and Brunswick, Ga., gained notoriety in the immediate aftermath of Omar Mateen’s shooting at Pulse nightclub in June.

He posted on Twitter that he had “been through so much with these Jacksonville homosexuals that I don’t see none of them as victims. I see them as getting what they deserve.”

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

IAN KIRKWOOD: How much child sexual abuse has the Royal Commission uncovered?

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

IAN KIRKWOOD
27 Aug 2016

HAVING covered the first nine days of Newcastle hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Newcastle Herald is about to re-enter the fray on Monday, for two days of Anglican hearings followed by eight days on the Maitland-Newcastle diocese of the Catholic Church.

As I sat with my esteemed colleague Joanne McCarthy – who more than any other person laid the groundwork for this commission – I could not help but reflect on the mysterious set of codes and practices that is the Australian legal system.

I doubt I’m the only one whose first, reflexive response to the Royal Commission was to think that one of its first jobs would be to calculate the size of the child sex abuse problem – both currently and historically – in Australia. At this point, we must remember that this is not a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, per se. It’s a commission into the institutional responses to that abuse: in other words, what the organisations in question did about the abuse perpetrated by their members.

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Lawsuit revived in case of alleged sexual abuse by Lincoln priest

ILLINOIS
CINews Now

August 26, 2016

LINCOLN, Ill. — A man who says he was sexually abused by a Lincoln priest has cleared a legal hurdle.

The alleged victim claims he was abused by Rev. Norman Goodman of the Holy Family Catholic Church between 1991 and 1994.

The lawsuit had been barred because the statute of limitations ran out.

That was overturned Friday by an appellate court panel because the man says he repressed memories of the abuse until 2011.

“They said the statute of limitations in this case wouldn’t have started to run until he was 18, but because he couldn’t remember because he’d suppressed the knowledge of the abuse, it was further (held) until 2011. When he first came to know that the injury existed and that it was wrongly caused,” said Jonathan T. Nessler, the alleged victim’s attorney.

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August 26, 2016

‘I’ve always obeyed the Pope’

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

In a statement released to the media on Aug. 25, Archbishop Anthony Apuron responded to claims that he opposed the Pope.

“I wish to declare that this is absolutely false and it is causing real, grave and immediate damage to the Church in Guam and to my good name,” Apuron said in the release.

Apuron said he had always followed the Pope and has every intention of doing so in the future.

The disobedience in question refers to comments made by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, in a statement concerning a presentation made to the Presbyteral Council regarding the legal status of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary (RMS) property in Yona.

Hon said, “In truth, more than a year ago, the Holy See recognized the problems such a Deed Restriction created. Ever since then, more than once, the Holy See has instructed Archbishop Anthony Apuron to rescind and annul it. Clearly this instruction has not been carried out accordingly.”

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

COURT: ST. LOUIS PRIEST DEFAMED BY ANTI-SEX ABUSE GROUP

MISSOURI
Church Militant

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th. • ChurchMilitant.com • August 26, 2016

SNAP made accusations “negligently and with reckless disregard for the truth”

ST. LOUIS (ChurchMilitant.com) – A federal judge is ruling a St. Louis priest was the victim of defamation by an anti-sex abuse advocacy group that conspired against him.

On August 22, US. District Judge Carol E. Jackson wrote in a court order that the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) made public accusations that “were false and that they did not conduct any inquiry into the truth or falsity of these public statements, but instead made these statements negligently and with reckless disregard for the truth.”

Father Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang of St. Louis sued SNAP last year after the sex abuse claims they litigated against him were suddenly dropped. Father Jiang says the leaders in SNAP launched a “smear campaign” against him in the media.

In June, the court ordered SNAP to produce documentation substantiating its accusations against Fr. Jiang. Its refusal to comply with the judge’s discovery order resulted in Jackson’s ruling this week in favor of the priest.

SNAP claimed the reason it refused to produce the documentation as ordered was what the judge called a “rape-crisis-center privilege,” which didn’t apply in this case. The judge concluded that SNAP had no legal defense for not producing the evidence beyond “repeated assertions of a nonexistent privilege.”

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Diocese: Three priests added to list of alleged abusers

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

Brandie Kessler, bkessler@ydr.com
August 26, 2016

Add three priests accused of child sexual abuse to the list of those with ties to the Harrisburg diocese.

The diocese confirmed Friday three names identified by the York Daily Record/Sunday News, which has been investigating the scope of abuse in the diocese.

Each priest had worked in York County at some point, according to the diocese. But the diocese did not specify where the alleged abuse occurred.

One allegation was received following the YDR’s story, “Shadowed History,” which published online Aug. 9 and in print Aug. 14. The diocese said it reported the allegation to law enforcement and has not determined whether it is credible.

The diocese confirmed credible allegations of abuse had been made against Robert Maher and George Koychick. The Daily Record is not naming the other priest at this time, as the allegation is still under investigation.

* Koychick — The diocese said “credible allegations” against Koychick were made to the diocese in August 2003 about abuse that occurred in the 1970s, diocese spokesman Joseph Aponick said. Koychick had been stationed at St. Joseph’s in York from June 1953 to June 1957 and at St. Patrick’s in York from November 1967 to June 1981, Aponick said in an email. “Already being retired, and out of ministry, [Koychick] was formally forbidden to function in any capacity as a priest and law enforcement authorities were notified,” Aponick said. Koychick could not be reached for comment.

* Maher — The diocese confirmed “credible allegations” against Maher were received in February 1994 from an incident that took place in the 1960s, Aponick said. According to “The Official Catholic Directory,” Maher worked at St. Vincent’s in Hanover in the 1960s and 1970s. Maher had been assigned to St. Rose of Lima in York from June 1937 to June 1939, Aponick said. He retired from ministry in May 1975 and died in June 1990, Aponick said. Aponick said law enforcement authorities were informed.

* The diocese received an allegation of abuse against another priest in early August, Aponick said, about an incident that took place in the 1970s. “This is a new allegation against a deceased priest, he previously had no allegations against him,” Aponick said. “We have reported it to law enforcement authorities; we are still awaiting details and are still looking into the case.” The priest served at a York County parish in the 1970s.

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This Rabbi is Striking Back at Pedophiles — Using Twitter

NEW YORK
Forward

Thea Glassman
August 26, 2016

Meet the rabbi who’s on a mission to educate the Orthodox community about sexual abuse—and publicly out pedophiles while he’s at it.

For the past 15 years, Rabbi Yakov Horowitz has been trying to break the cycle of silence associated with abuse in the Orthodox community. According to the Torah, Jews are forbidden to turn criminals over to non-Jewish authorities, and are expected to face shunning and bullying from their community if they do.

As such, sexual abuse often goes unreported.

“You have people who are [very close.] Reporting on somebody who you’re friendly with, or who is someone’s uncle is more challenging than reporting on somebody you don’t know,” Horowitz told Vocativ. “…I’ve been telling parents to go to police.”

The rabbi has turned his personal Twitter and Facebook accounts into a one man campaign against sexual abuse.

“Warning to Boro Park parents about released sex offender Dascalowitz.” Horowitz tweeted last month, linking to a Facebook post he had written that includes the current address of sex offender Meir Dascalowitz, who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy in 2013.

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Man relives horror of life in Irish Protestant children’s home

IRELAND
BBC News

A man who hopes his case will be heard at the European Court of Human Rights has spoken of the horrors he says he endured at a children’s home in Ireland.

Derek Leinster, 75, was born at Dublin’s Bethany Home in 1941. He wants a public apology and financial compensation.

The grandfather, who now lives in Rugby, says its only right that survivors of Protestant children’s homes receive the same recognition as those from Catholic homes.

The Irish Government said a Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes was established in February 2015, to find out what happened to vulnerable women and children in 14 homes, including the Bethany Home, from 1922 to 1998.

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Brave Catholic priest sex abuse survivor won’t be silenced

AUSTRALIA
Chinchilla News

Sherele Moody | 27th Aug 2016

ALMOST 50 years ago, a tall, fun loving and incredibly charismatic Catholic priest strolled into a Brisbane schoolroom where he began systematically destroying the heart, body and soul of a 14-year-old girl.

That girl was Joan Isaacs and, despite 49 years having passed, the memory of the day she met the man who would sexually assault her over and over again is crystal clear.

“He came into our class to give religious instruction,” Ms Isaacs says of Francis Edward Derriman.

She pauses for a moment, her soft voice trembling slightly while her hands trace mindless patterns on the table in her spotless dining room.

“We’d had pretty boring religious instruction from the chaplains before that,” Joan recalls.

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Controversial pastor arrested for alleged child molestation

GEORGIA
Fox 13

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. – A Georgia pastor and conservative political activist was arrested Friday morning on charges of child molestation and aggravated child molestation.

Ken Adkins, 56, of St. Simons Island, turned himself into police at about 9 a.m., according to officials with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The GBI was requested on Aug. 12 to assist officials with the accusations against Adkins.

Adkins is currently in the Glynn County Jail. The investigation is ongoing.

Adkins has one church, with locations in Brunswick, Jacksonville and Atlanta, according to his website.

Adkins recently came under fire when he tweeted “homosexuals got what they deserved” after the deadly mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub. His Twitter account has since been set to private.

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

Controversial local pastor Ken Adkins arrested for child molestation

GEORGIA
First Coast News

Destiny Johnson and Terry Dickson, Florida Times-Union , WTLV August 26, 2016

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — According to a release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation given to First Coast News on Friday, Brunswick Pastor Kenneth Adkins, 56, turned himself in on Aug. 26.

Adkins turned himself in on one count of aggravated child molestation and one count of child molestation at approximated 9 a.m. Friday.

Adkins is known for being a controversial Pastor in Brunswick Ga. as well as being involved in Jacksonville politics, including the recent ‘bathroom bill.’

The investigation against Adkins in regards to these child molestation charged began on Aug. 12 with the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson requesting the help of the GBI. The investigation is still ongoing.

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Controversial pastor and activist Ken Adkins charged with child molestation in Brunswick

GEORGIA
Florida Times-Union

By Terry Dickson Fri, Aug 26, 2016

Controversial pastor Ken Adkins has been charged with two counts of child molestation in Georgia and is in the Glynn County jail, officials said.

One of the two charges against the 56-year-old is aggravated child molestation, said Stacy Carson, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Kingsland office.

District Attorney Jackie Johnson asked the GBI on Aug. 12 to assist the Brunswick Police Department in an investigation of an accusation of child molestation against Adkins, Carson said. The investigation focused on suspected molestation in several locations in the Brunswick area including at Adkins’ church, a vehicle and a victim’s home, Carson said. The investigation is ongoing.

Lawyer Kevin Gough told the Times-Union he is representing Adkins and believes the accusations are said to have occurred in 2010. He said Adkins had willingly turned himself in. …

Adkins is a controversial figure in Jacksonville politics, particularly because of comments and crude caricatures he posted on his Twitter account while he helped lead the fight against expanding Jacksonville’s anti-discrimination law to cover lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Among the criticisms that Adkins lodged was his assertion that expanding the law would make it easier for sexual predators to find victims in bathrooms.

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Pastor who said Pulse victims got ‘what they deserved’ accused of molesting boy at church

TRAVIS GETTYS
26 AUG 2016

A Georgia pastor who said Pulse nightclub shooting victims got what they deserved has been arrested on child molestation charges.

Ken Adkins, of St. Simons Island, turned himself in to police about 9 a.m. Friday on aggravated child molestation charges, reported The Florida Time-Union.

The 56-year-old Adkins, who has congregations in Atlanta, Jacksonville and Brunswick, Georgia, is an outspoken anti-LGBT activist in the Jacksonville area.

He drew widespread condemnation for making offensive remarks about a fatal shooting that left 49 clubgoers dead and 53 others wounded at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

“I don’t see none of them as victims,” Adkins tweeted. “I see them as getting what they deserve!!”

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De Vito Receives the Endorsement, Support of Fighting for Children PAC

NEW YORK
LongIsland.com

Long Island, NY – August 25, 2016 – New York State Senate District 3 Candidate John De Vito’s campaign has received the endorsement of the Fighting for Children PAC. The political action committee was founded by Gary Greenberg to allow victims of childhood sexual assualt greater ability to seek justice and restitution for the crimes committed against them.

De Vito said that “Childhood victims of sexual abuse should not be denied justice because of an arbitrary law that prevents them from bringing their case in court. I will continue fighting tirelessly for the passage of the Child Victims Act. The Republicans obstructing this bill should understand that silence is complicity in allowing predators to remain on the streets. I take this fight personally.”

Mr. Greenberg said that “John represents the kind of high ethical and moral fiber that we need in Albany to make sure that our legislatures care about taking predators off the streets, and providing justice for victims.”

De Vito seeks to defeat freshman Senator Tom Croci (R-Islip) in a year that will feature economic fairness and public corruption as key campaign issues throughout the region. John is a 25 year-old lifelong resident of Mastic Beach, and a graduate of William Floyd High School and New York University.

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Proclamation Regarding Child Safety in the Orthodox Jewish Community

UNITED STATES

In light of tragic suicides committed as a direct result of child sexual abuse, as well as other physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences suffered by innocents in our Jewish Orthodox communities and beyond; and,

In fulfillment of the Torah’s precept, רעך דם על תעמוד לא”)Do not stand by while your fellow’s blood is spilled”); and,

As religious leaders responsible for our communities’ institutions and their policies, as well as for
the physical and spiritual welfare of the members of our communities

We proclaim the following:

* We acknowledge that sexual abuse of children – committed by family members, acquaintances, rabbis, teachers, counselors, youth leaders, and other professionals – exists in our communities. This abuse has caused and continues to cause immeasurable harm to the victims, their families, and our entire community; it can destroy lives.

* We recognize in light of past experiences that our community could have responded in more responsible and sensitive ways to help victims and to hold perpetrators accountable.

* We condemn attempts to ignore allegations of child sexual abuse. These efforts are harmful, contrary to Jewish law, and immoral. The reporting of reasonable suspicions of all forms of child abuse and neglect directly and promptly to the civil authorities is a requirement of Jewish law. There is no need for people acting responsibly to seek rabbinic approval prior to reporting.

* We decry the use of Jewish law or the invocation of communal interests as a tool to silence victims or witnesses from reporting abuse. Regardless of the standing of the abuser, accusers and their family members must be treated in an accepting, nonjudgmental manner so that they feel safe and can therefore speak frankly and fully. This is necessary for them to receive suitable therapeutic support, and in order to facilitate proper investigation and pursuit of justice. Shunning or encouraging social ostracism of victims, their families, or reporters is forbidden.

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New York – Expressing Remorse Over Past Mishandling Of Sexual Abuse In Children, 300 Orthodox Rabbis Vow Better Protection For Victims

UNITED STATES
Voz Is Neias

[Proclamation Regarding Child Safety in the Orthodox Jewish Community]

New York – In light of recent tragic suicides committed as a direct result of child sexual abuse, as well as other physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences suffered by innocents in Jewish Orthodox communities and beyond, a proclamation signed by a large and diverse group of rabbis from the United States, Canada and Israel has taken a firm stand against abuse in children, acknowledging that the Jewish community has been slow to recognize incidents of molestation in the past and calls upon schools and synagogues to institute policies that will prevent sexual abuse.

The statement, signed by close to 300 Orthodox Jewish rabbis, admits that rabbis and community leaders have not always dealt effectively or appropriately with victims of child sexual abuse or their perpetrators.

Released today by David Nyer, a licensed clinical social worker, the proclamation condemns the practice of using Jewish law to prevent victims from reporting abuse and describes any attempts to ignore child sexual abuse as “harmful, contrary to Jewish law and immoral.” Suggestions for greater safety in schools and synagogues included maximizing visibility so that children cannot be in unseen locations with adults, better screening of applicants including background checks and fingerprinting, and educating staff on recognizing and reporting possible incidents of child abuse.

Rabbi Yosef Blau, a senior mashgiach at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, called the statement a turning point for the Jewish community.

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Reflections on Chicago Imam’s Guilty Plea

ILLINOIS
Heartfelt: Reflections on Faith, Sex & Public Health

by Nadiah Mohajir

Women & Girls initially was founded to focus on improving access to sexual health information and education in Muslim communities. As we held workshops across the country, we quickly realized something: once facilitators set a safe space and gained the trust of participants, the sheer number of stories of sexual violence that were shared were overwhelming. As a result, we quickly made the deliberate decision to include sexual assault awareness education in every one of its sexual health workshops. We believed that it would be a disservice to participants to not also cover topics such as boundaries, consent, and healthy relationships in our sexual health education programming. While discussing sexual violence is different than discussing women’s health, these two topics intersect in the experience of being a Muslim woman, understanding one’s body, and exercising bodily autonomy.

Last year, the importance of this work was more evident than ever. A young woman came forward with allegations of sexual assault against a prominent Chicago imam, Abdullah Saleem. HEART board and staff, along with a team of volunteers, publicly supported her, and within days, received dozens upon dozens of phone calls and emails from survivors of the same perpetrator. We began connecting these young women to the resources they needed: legal services, contacts in the criminal justice system, therapists, and awareness materials.

Of the numerous survivor stories related to this case that HEART initially collected, five survivors chose to move forward with civil legal proceedings, as reported in the New York Times in February 2015. The Illinois States Attorney filed criminal charges shortly afterwards. Both cases have been proceeding – and on August 25, 2016, Abdullah Saleem entered a plea bargain for both charges in the criminal case. This means that the criminal case was resolved out of court through a process of negotiation. As a result, the victims do not have to face the exhausting ordeal of going to trial and testifying in front of the defense, which typically utilizes tactics that humiliate and tear down the witness.

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Archbishop Herft denies false statement to abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 27, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The Anglican Archbishop of Perth has denied telling the ­bishop of a diocese under investigation over alleged child sexual abuse that “a false statement had been filed by me with the royal commission”.

Archbishop Roger Herft, a ­former bishop of Newcastle, said the allegation was contained in a 2016 file note written by his successor, Bishop Greg Thompson, and tendered with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

While the file note has not been publicly released, a recent witness statement from Archbishop Herft said he had seen the document and “I don’t agree with everything that Bishop Greg has written”.

“In particular … I never told Bishop Thompson that a false statement had been filed by me with the royal commission in ­relation to the Church of England Boys Society,’’ he said.

The society, the subject of a previous royal commission investigation, organised youth camps in the Newcastle area at which at least one witness had described being raped by several men.

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James M. Miller’s The Priests: sins of the Newcastle fathers laid bare

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAVID BREARLEY
The Australian
August 27, 2016

A Catholic lad coming of age in 1970s Newcastle was educated at his peril. The Marist Brothers operated two boys high schools in the region, neither of them safe. The third option was Saint Pius X College, staffed largely by the priests of what was then the Diocese of Maitland.

Pius was a diabolical place. The teacher-priests lived in quarters attached to the main classroom block, an arrangement that raised no eyebrows in that fabulously innocent decade.

The worst of them by a great margin was Father John Denham, perhaps not Australia’s most notorious pedophile priest but quite possibly the most prolific and without question the most expensive from the church’s perspective. His only competition in this regard is another Novocastrian, Father Vince Ryan.

Denham is jailed until 2028 for the sexual abuse of 57 boys, some of them barely out of preschool, most of them Pius students in their early teens. Police believe he abused twice that number and more, and the record shows he did so with uncommon brutality. From 1975 until 1980, according to judge Helen Syme of the District Court, Denham treated Pius as his personal “pedophilic smorgasbord”.

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Archbishop Apuron wants his name cleared

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 25, 2016

By Krystal Paco

After months of being attacked for a deed of restriction on the multimillion dollar Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, Archbishop Anthony Apuron is looking to clear his name, not only here at home but with the Holy See.

In a statement issued to KUAM News, sent through his legal counsel Attorney Jackie Terlaje, Apuron states the Pope Francis has granted his request for a canonical trial. In his defense, Apuron states past claims made by apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai and other critics of the Yona property are causing “real, grave, and immediate damage to the church in Guam and to my good name, spreading scandal and confusion among the faithful.”

While the deed of restriction is believed to hand over the RMS to the non-profit RMS Corporation and parties affiliated with the Neocatechumenal Way, Apuron contends the restriction merely blocks the sale and that if it wasn’t for him, those looking to cash in would’ve converted the RMS from a seminary into a casino.

“I have always defended the moral life of the island opposing establishments which would bring money to few and moral misery and degradation to many,” said Archbishop Apuron.

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IRISH BISHOPS IGNORE HOMOSEXUAL PROBLEMS IN IRISH SEMINARY

IRELAND
Church Militant

by Rodney Pelletier • ChurchMilitant.com • August 25, 2016

MAYNOOTH, Ireland (ChurchMilitant.com) – Ireland’s Catholic hierarchy is ignoring the homosexual infestation of Maynooth seminary, instead claiming the solution to recent scandal is more women and less internet.

Despite recent public exposure of St. Patrick Seminary — the national seminary for Ireland — as being a hotbed of homosexual activity, a recent meeting of the trustees reveals a failure to deal with the source of scandal: homosexuality.

The trustees of St. Patrick Seminary — a group of the four archbishops of Ireland and 13 senior bishops — met on August 23 to discuss “the needs of the students and staff.”

They claim the anonymous reporting of accusations has created an “unhealthy atmosphere,” causing social media comments to be “speculative or even malicious.”

To address the situation the trustees are deciding to review policies currently in place to determine the best way to deal with “whistle-blowers,” and revise seminary policy regarding “appropriate use” of the internet and social media. A component of the seminary’s recent scandal is frequent and open usage of the gay online dating app., Grindr, by gay seminarians.

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Newcastle’s ring of evil: abuse in Catholic, Anglican churches

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 27, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

It started with a grown man weeping in the witness box.

On the first day of its public hearings in Newcastle, NSW, earlier this month, Paul Gray broke down while describing to the child abuse royal commission his suffering at the hands of his godfather, Anglican priest Peter Rushton.

Asked if he wanted to stop giving evidence, Gray replied: “No, I need to read it. It’s important to me.” What followed was a very public reckoning for a region that arguably had suffered more than any other from child abuse committed by priests.

While much of the attention surrounding the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has focused on the Catholic diocese of Ballarat in regional Victoria, in Newcastle two churches — Catholic and Anglican — are in the inquiry’s sights.

Trying to estimate the true number of child victims is hopeless, but it is at least in the hundreds. Dozens of priests have been involved.

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Archbishop Hon standing by his word

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 26, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai says he stands by the statement he made on August 18th related to the Declaration of Deed Restriction for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona.

On Friday night Archbishop Hon issued a response to a statement provided to media earlier in the day by Archbishop Anthony Apuron to clear his name. “Pope Francis never directed me to rescind the deed of restriction on the property,” Apuron stated.

In his August 18th press release Archbishop Hon stated Apuron was instructed over a year ago (more than once) to rescind and annul the Deed of Restriction, but the instruction was not carried out.

Apuron in his release responded that he never defied the Pope “I wish to declare that this is absolutely false and it is causing real , grave, and immediate damage to the Church in Guam and to my good name, spreading scandal and confusion among the faithful”. He added the Pope has granted his request for a canonical trial to clear his name. The statement was sent to KUAM from his attorney Jacque Terlaje.

In his response, Archbishop Hon said that he received the exact message which was released to the media today directly from Apuron via email. He added that it was read and discussed with the Presbyteral Council and their position on the matter had not changed since his press release issued on Aug. 18th. In that release he asked for “the collaboration of all the faithful to act with obedience to the directive of the Holy See.”

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Apuron says Pope granted his request for a canonical trial

GUAM
KUAM

Aug 26, 2016

By Krystal Paco

It’s become a great debate – and we’re not talking about the upcoming election. We’ve heard from the Concerned Catholics of Guam, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, and even rector to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary Father Pius Sammut, all of whom have different opinions on who owns the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona. And now, we hear from Archbishop Anthony Apuron himself who maintains the controversial deed restriction doesn’t hand over the property, but protects it.

After months of being attacked for a deed of restriction on the multi-million dollar Yona seminary, Archbishop Apuron is looking to clear his name, not only here at home but with the Holy See.

In a statement issued to KUAM News on Friday sent through his legal counsel attorney Jacque Terlaje, Apuron states the pope has granted his request for a canonical trial. In his defense, Apuron states past claims made by Archbishop Hon and other critics of the Yona property are causing “real, grave, and immediate damage to the church in Guam and to my good name, spreading scandal and confusion among the faithful.”

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Hon: Archdiocese’s position unchanged despite Apuron’s message

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News August 26, 2016

In a written statement dated Aug. 25, Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron said Pope Francis never directed him to rescind a deed restriction that gives a seminary and a theological institute the legal right to use church property in Yona.

Apuron said he alone can lift that property restriction, but said he cannot in his conscience lift that restriction.

“To lift the restriction would not only damage the ability of the Seminary to exist and carry out its canonical mission, but it would eliminate the fundamental canonical requisite for the existence of a public juridic person,” he said in the statement.

A public juridic person in the Catholic Church is the equivalent to a civil corporation, according to the website of Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a Texas-based diocese. Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals, parishes and other Church groups are considered public juridic persons.

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Judge Sanctions Priest-Abuse Group SNAP

MISSOURI
Courthouse News Service

By JOE HARRIS

ST. LOUIS (CN) — A federal judge sanctioned the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and of its two leaders for violating her orders in a defamation case filed by a priest who claims he was wrongfully accused.

The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang sued St. Louis, two city police officers, the parents A.M. and N.M., the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris in June 2015.

Jiang claimed in the lawsuit that the allegations were brought by a deeply troubled 12-year-old boy, that the officers failed to fully investigate the claims, and that SNAP embarked on a smear campaign.

Criminal charges against Jiang were dismissed by the city prosecutor.

U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson ordered SNAP to produce the boy’s identity and the amounts of contributions made to SNAP from 2005 to 2012 by the law firm of Chackes, Carlson & Gorovsky so that Jiang’s attorneys could prepare their case.

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VICTORY: Judge Sides With Falsely Accused Priest, Slams and Sanctions Hate Group SNAP for ‘Reckless Disregard for Truth’

MISSOURI
TheMediaReport

David Pierre

In a monumental victory for truth and justice in the Catholic Church abuse story, a federal judge has ruled that the lawyer-funded group SNAP indeed defamed St. Louis priest Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang and conspired to falsely claim the priest of child sex abuse.

In her ruling, the judge sanctioned SNAP, its national director David Clohessy, and its “outreach director” Barbara Dorris and ordered them to pay for Fr. Jiang’s attorney fees and expenses.

[**Court docs: Click to read the federal judge’s ruling against SNAP (pdf)**]

As we reported back in June 2015, Fr. Jiang filed a federal lawsuit against SNAP, who continued to publicly accuse the cleric of being a child molester even after being twice cleared of crazy sex abuse claims.

The abuse claims were outlandish from the beginning. The accuser “had made previous unfounded allegations of sexual abuse” and already had a reputation of being “a serial exaggerator to the point of being ‘delusional.'”

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‘Church needs better standards to attract right candidates for priesthood’

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald
PUBLISHED
26/08/2016

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said the Catholic Church in Ireland needs to introduce better admission standards for trainee priests to attract the right candidates for priesthood.

Acknowledging that the national seminary in Maynooth “has to change”, Dr Martin, who is a trustee of the college, told RTÉ’s ‘Morning Ireland’: “Maynooth is not to be condemned but it is not to be canonised either.”

He said there was a “recognition of the problems” facing Maynooth among the trustees and that the seminary has to change, “not just because of current allegations but because of the fact that we are living in a different world”.

Referring to the trustees’ statement on Wednesday outlining a series of changes on seminary formation, the Archbishop said there was a need for new ways of identifying, screening and training candidates.

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Church must view decline of outdated seminaries as a chance for renewal

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Michael Kelly
PUBLISHED
26/08/2016

The trustees of Maynooth – the 17 most-senior Catholic bishops – agreed this week to work on a new policy to protect whistle-blowers at the national seminary. It comes after a wave of allegations, many of them anonymous, of homosexual relationships between seminarians.

Further allegations were made that the college authorities did not treat such allegations with sufficient gravity. Critics of the college quickly seized on the controversy as evidence of a corrupt underbelly, while defenders of Maynooth rounded on the detractors and insisted that anonymous allegations should be treated with contempt.

Now, there are broadly two reasons why people make anonymous allegations: either they are bitterly spiteful, or they are petrified about the consequences of raising their concerns. A coherent policy that protects people who raise legitimate concerns is a must for every institution.

But, whistle-blowing aside, perhaps, in time, the bishops’ pledge to review what sort of training would-be priests should undertake in 21st Century Ireland will prove more important. What emerges could kickstart an authentic reform and renewal of Irish Catholicism.

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Church must build trust with openness

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Editorial

PUBLISHED
26/08/2016

Saint Patrick’s Seminary in Maynooth is not to be condemned, but it is not to be canonised either, according to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, speaking on RTÉ. If this was an endorsement, it was less than whole-hearted. He also said that the seminary would have to change not just because of allegations, but because we are “living in a different world”.

After bishops admitted to having concerns at the “unhealthy atmosphere” at the seminary, Archbishop Martin tried to draw a line under the controversy. Unfortunately, his comments are unlikely to put matters to rest.

The church has endured a relentless barrage of criticism for elevating its interests and reputation above the needs of its followers. It has been charged with being aloof, arrogant and out of step. It has further been attacked for failing to confront weaknesses and for retreating into its shell.

It therefore has a responsibility to be open and transparent. Maynooth’s board of trustees have said they will review social media policies and procedures for handling whistleblowers following allegations of trainee priests using dating apps. This came after Dr Martin’s stated intention to send seminarians from his archdiocese to Rome, instead of the national seminary, due to his worries over “strange goings-on” in St Patrick’s.

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Maynooth’s trainee priests to be supervised at meal times

IRELAND
Breaking News

26/08/2016

Trainee priests in Maynooth will be supervised at meal times under new stricter rules.

The move comes after claims that seminarians were using the gay dating app Grindr, and a suggestion that a gay subculture exists at the National Seminary.

The Irish Independent reports trainees will be required to eat breakfast and evening meals in the college instead of being allowed to choose where they dine.

Senior staff will eat with them.

A review of social media use at Maynooth has also been ordered.

The Archdiocese of Dublin confirmed earlier this month that it would not be sending its trainee priests to Maynooth.

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Maynooth trainees to be supervised during meal times

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald
PUBLISHED
26/08/2016

A closer eye will be kept on how Maynooth’s seminarians spend their time from now on as part of a stricter regime being introduced in the wake of the gay dating app scandal.

The Irish Independent has learned that all trainee priests will now be required to eat their evening meal in the college rather than being allowed to dine wherever they choose. They will also be required to attend evening rosary at 9pm, which hasn’t been obligatory until now.

The seminary council will now eat both breakfast and dinner with the seminarians in the historic Pugin Hall rather than in the Professors’ Refectory.

The tighter controls are part of a suite of measures announced on Wednesday by the trustees of Maynooth which included a review of “appropriate use of the internet and social media” by the 50 or so trainee priests and their staff.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of ­Dublin withdrew his seminarians from Maynooth following allegations that students were using gay dating app Grindr.

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New claims emerge of abuse at Ampleforth

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk, Chief Investigative Reporter
August 26 2016
The Times

The failed inquiry into a teacher’s alleged abuse of boys at Britain’s leading Catholic school may be reopened after four new witnesses came forward.

The Times revealed yesterday how Ampleforth College hushed up a potential scandal in 1989 when children complained of being touched inappropriately by Paul Sheppard, a science teacher. He was asked to leave but police were not told and the school, in North Yorkshire, gave him glowing references.

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Ampleforth College: Police investigate bungled abuse probe claims

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A police force is investigating claims by The Times that it bungled an inquiry into alleged sex abuse at a school.

It centres around the case of Paul Sheppard who was cleared last year of indecently assaulting a boy in 1989 at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire.

The Times says North Yorkshire Police failed to speak to two ex-pupils whose accounts could have led to Dr Sheppard being questioned about other child sex offences.

He denies any wrongdoing.

The force has asked the newspaper for details of the two former pupils.

The Times also says former pupils, who were told at the 11th hour they would not be giving evidence against Dr Sheppard, were falsely assured by police they were not required in court because their written statements had been accepted by the defence.

That explanation was not true, the paper says, while the former pupils claim the way the case was conducted by police and the prosecution was “shambolic”.

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AMPLEFORTH’S DARK PAST Scandal hits £33k Catholic college of stars, amid suicide and 27yr ‘sex abuse’ cover up

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

BY MARTIN PHILLIPS, SENIOR FEATURES WRITER 26th August 2016

NESTLED in a tranquil North Yorks valley, Ampleforth College is where for two ­centuries the sons of the wealthy have been instilled with a “compass for life” by the monks who run it.

The independent school charges more than £33,000 a year for this special recipe for learning.

And there seems no doubt that it works, with talented ex-pupils including former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and actors Rupert Everett and James Norton.

But now a darker side has been uncovered at the country’s leading Catholic school, ­following an investigation this week by The Times.

It involves the cover-up of alleged sex abuse of children at the school 27 years ago, which has been linked to the suicide of at least one former pupil.

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Past pupils at Ampleforth College express dismay over handling of sex abuse trial

UNITED KINGDOM
Gazette & Herald

Nadia Jefferson-Brown, Deputy news editor

PAST pupils at one of Britain’s leading Catholic schools have spoken of their dismay over the way a trial involving a former teacher charged with sexual abuse was handled.

An investigation by The Times newspaper raised questions about the inquiry and subsequent trial last year, involving Paul Sheppard, now 53, a Canadian who taught at Ampleforth College.

He was arrested in 2014 on suspicion of serious sexual offences in 1989 against another pupil, who later committed suicide.

He was due to stand trial last year, accused of seven charges of indecent assault against five former pupils, but the charges involving all but one of the boys were dropped following rulings by the judge.

Judge Colin Burn ruled that the alleged incidences, including when the teacher was said to have stroked and kissed a boy as he slept, did not amount to “circumstances of indecency”.

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Probe into claim that 1960s orphan was a ‘forgotten victim’ of St Ninian’s School abuse

SCOTLAND
The Courier

by Michael Alexander
August 26 2016

What makes the grave of 14-year-old Alexander Harvey, who died in 1960, particularly unusual is that he is buried between two men of the Christian Brotherhood – Richard Albeus Fitton, who died at Falkland aged 75 in 1958, and John Kevin Nugent, who died aged 78 in 1977.

There has been local speculation that the young boy buried in Falkland cemetery is a “forgotten victim” of the recently publicised abusive regime at the former St Ninian’s School.

Rumours have been circulating the Fife village recently that Harvey, thought to be an orphan, may have died at St Ninian’s in suspicious circumstances.

However that appears unfounded, according to an investigation by a local councillor.

Former teacher Paul Kelly, 64, and head teacher John Farrell, 73,were jailed for 10 years and five years respectively at Glasgow High Court after being found guilty of abuse said to have taken place at the school between 1979 and 1983.

For our exclusive report, see Saturday’s Courier

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Jehovah’s Witness paedophile back working with children at family’s church

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Chris Johnston

A former Jehovah’s Witness elder recently convicted of child sex offences is back working with children from a Melbourne parish run by his father-in-law.

Richard Hill was found guilty last year of the offences against his six-year-old female cousin, who was also in the religion. He was put on the sex offenders’ list and fined. The offences happened in 1981 when he was 20.

Hill, a roofing plumber of Doreen with an office in Brunswick, this week maintained his innocence and confirmed he was working with children while doorknocking as part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious practice called ‘proselytizing.’

His wife’s father, Ken Hall, is the senior elder at the Plenty Kingdom Hall in outer Melbourne, where Hill now worships. “I am allowed to attend under strict conditions,” Hill said. “The police know about that.”

Hill appealed his conviction but then dropped the appeal.

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Former Croydon headteacher facing jail after being found guilty of sexual activity with 14-year-old boy

UNTED KINGDOM
This is Local London

A retired headmaster who was honoured by the Queen for his services to young people is facing jail after being found guilty of gross indecency with a 14-year-old boy.

John Coatman, 75, of Leyburn Gardens, Croydon, was today convicted of having sexual activity with the teenager in the 1970s following a trial at the Old Bailey.

He was headteacher at St Andrew’s Church of England High School at the time and also worked with a Christian youth group, of which the victim was a member.

The abuse came to light in 2014 after the breakdown of the victim’s marriage and problems at work, jurors were told.

He told the court earlier this week that Coatman made him feel “safe” and “valued” and he came to see himself as a “willing partner” in the sexual activity.

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Time for critical reframing not restorationism

AUSTRALIA
Herald Malaysia

“In Australia, we seem to have reached a critical juncture. Not only are we afflicted by such things as the decline in Sunday worship, the fall in religious practices, the dearth of the priesthood and religious life etc…, we also face the biggest challenge to date, which is, the loss of our moral credibility and trust capital due to the sexual abuse crisis,” said Vietnamese-born Australian Bishop Vincent Long. He has called for a “prophetic reframing” of the Church’s attitudes rather than a “retreat into restorationism,”

Delivering the Ann D. Clark Lecture, Bishop Long of Parramatta diocese in western Sydney observed that the Australian Church is living a “watershed” moment in the wake of a series of recent crises,

Nevertheless, Bishop Long continued, the unexpected election of Pope Francis “and the way he exercises his leadership give us a breath of fresh air and a source of great hope.”

“I make bold to say that this is the unexpected way of God. Watershed moments can be catalysts for renewal and transformation.

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Houseparent at Catholic school waives hearing in sex assault case

PENNSYLVANIA
Crux

AP

EBENSBURG, PA – A former houseparent at a Pennsylvania Catholic school who’s accused of sexually assaulting two Chinese international students has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Twenty-eight-year-old John Bowman Thornberry, of Mills River, North Carolina, appeared in a Cambria County court on Tuesday. A judge reduced his bond to $100,000.

Thornberry was hired in 2014. He was removed in February from his job overseeing Chinese international students at Bishop Carroll High School in Ebensburg. One student said Thornberry fondled him. Another boy said he fought off a molestation attempt.

Authorities say Thornberry denied touching the students in a sexual manner during an interview with investigators. He faces charges including attempted indecent assault and institutional sexual assault.

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Clerical sex abuse scandal has led to few convictions

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

One of the more remarkable features of the clerical child sexual abuse scandal has been the low conviction level of alleged perpetrators in the courts.

Last September the National Board for Safeguarding Children, the Catholic Church watchdog in Ireland, published a report looking at 325 allegations made against 141 members of six religious congregations.

Of those, the report found, only eight led to convictions.

Whatever the explanation, there is no doubt a sense of justice denied can compound the distress of abuse victims.

One such person is Jim. He is in his 30s, and his life “has been destroyed by the negative effects of sexual abuse”. So said his psychiatrist in a 2011 report seen by this newspaper.

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NPR: Clinton Rape Claims Are Nasty ‘Old News,’ But Catholic Priest Abuse Charges Never Age

UNITED STATES
Newsbusters

By Tim Graham | August 25, 2016

“It’s important to say right up front that this isn’t a story about pedophile priests,” began the NPR reporter on Wednesday night….in a story with the online headline “Catholic Church Groups Fight Bills To Revive Old Sex Abuse Cases.”

Legislators have tried to pass retroactive windows to allow a so-called “grace period” for old sexual-assault allegations. Brian Mann reported New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Democrat, “wanted to open a one-year window — a kind of grace period — so that [alleged] victims who’ve waited too long can get a second chance to sue in civil court. New York’s Catholic bishops hate this idea and spent more than $2 million lobbying to block the measure.”

The people who call their show All Things Considered didn’t consider this: what if a priest is unjustly accused? Does that ever happen? Just this week, a federal judge in St. Louis ruled for an accused priest named Xiu Hui Jiang in a defamation case against the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). District Court judge Carol Jackson ruled that SNAP defendants conspired “to obtain plaintiff’s conviction on sexual abuse charges” and that it was because of “discriminatory animus against plaintiff based on his religion, religious vocation, race, and national origin.”

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August 25, 2016

Diocese granted extension for reorganization plan

MINNESOTA
Duluth News Tribune

A judge has granted the Diocese of Duluth an extension to file its plans for reorganization.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel on Thursday approved the diocese’s motion to extend the deadline from Sept. 1 to March 17.

The diocese had requested the extension earlier this month, citing a planned mediation session in November with the creditors’ committee representing victims of child sexual abuse. No objections were filed, as both sides have expressed a desire to reach a settlement.

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North Yorkshire Police ‘hugely disappointed Catholic school child sex claims weren’t heard by jury’

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

A Yorkshire police force has said it is “hugely disappointing” that a number of historic child sexual abuse allegations made against a teacher at a leading private Catholic school were not put before a jury.

North Yorkshire Police today issued a statement in relation to the case of Paul Sheppard, a former teacher at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire who was last year acquitted of indecently assaulting a pupil.

The force said it had carried out a “complex investigation” into allegations made against Dr Sheppard and made “considerable efforts to present a strong case on a number of allegations” to prosecutors.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, four charges of indecent assault were made against the former teacher when the case was brought to trial at York Crown Court in 2015. Prosecutors said they believed “there was sufficient evidence to allow a jury to consider four charges of indecent assault”.

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IL–Accused imam gets probation; Victims respond

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)

We are grateful that an abuse case against a prominent Chicago Muslim cleric has been resolved. But now is not the time for complacency. It’s time for every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Mohammad Abdullah Saleem – or cover ups by or at the Institute for Islamic Education – to come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers and protect kids. If he committed other crimes, he should be prosecuted for them too.

[Courier-News]

[Courier-News]

[Chicago Tribune]

We’re glad Saleem will be on the sex offender registry for life. That will make it harder for him to win the trust of unsuspecting parents and hurt their kids.

Our hearts go out to the four extraordinarily brave women who report having been molested and assaulted by this cleric and to the 23 year old who is cooperating with law enforcement. We are grateful that some of these women are also seeking justice in the civil courts. Victims of sexual violence should use every avenue they can to warn the public about dangerous predators.

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Elgin Muslim leader gets probation for sex abuse after guilty plea

ILLINOIS
Courier-News

George Houde
Chicago Tribune

A suburban Islamic leader who was accused of molesting an underage girl and a female employee pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon and was sentenced to 24 months of probation.

Mohammed Abdullah Saleem, 77, who founded the Institute for Islamic Education in Elgin, must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

He was accused of repeatedly fondling a young woman who worked for him at the school, as well as a student who was a minor at the time, in some cases while making them sit on his lap.

The arrest of the conservative scholar on sex abuse charges was especially shocking given Saleem’s stature in his community made up largely of Islamic immigrants from India and Pakistan. He is said to espouse a code of separation between genders and discourages even hand-shaking. The institute, which provides boarding to some students, runs separate programs for girls and boys.

The elderly, white-bearded imam had appeared to be close to accepting a plea bargain in recent days and had made two earlier court appearances this week as lawyers negotiated in private in the judge’s chambers. On Tuesday, Judge James Karahalios gave Saleem until Sept. 2 to accept the proposed plea deal.

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300 Orthodox rabbis urge reporting of child sex abuse

JTA

August 25, 2016

(JTA) — Three hundred Orthodox rabbis have signed a proclamation urging those suspecting child sex abuse to notify secular authorities and calling on Jewish institutions to take preventative measures to prevent abuse.

The letter, which was released Thursday and signed by rabbis from the the United States, Canada, Israel and Europe, recognizes that Orthodox communities “could have responded in more responsible and sensitive ways to help victims and to hold perpetrators accountable.” It also condemns attempts to ignore or silence abuse victims and witnesses.

Those suspecting sexual abuse do not need to seek rabbinic approval before contacting civil authorities, the proclamation states.

“We condemn attempts to ignore allegations of child sexual abuse. These efforts are harmful, contrary to Jewish law, and immoral,” it said. “The reporting of reasonable suspicions of all forms of child abuse and neglect directly and promptly to the civil authorities is a requirement of Jewish law.”

The letter strongly condemns ostracizing victims of sexual abuse and calls upon synagogues and schools to set up policies to prevent sex abuse, including carefully screening new employees, raising awareness of the issue, and teaching children about sexual development and safety.

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St. Louis priest falsely accused by anti-sex abuse group

MISSOURI
Catholic World Report

St. Louis, Mo., Aug 25, 2016 / 10:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A group for clergy sex abuse victims made false statements “negligently and with reckless disregard for the truth” against a St. Louis priest to try to convict him on abuse charges, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson said that the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests failed to comply with a court order that the group supply details about those who accused Father Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang of sexual abuse. This made it impossible for him to litigate the claims against him.

Jackson said the court will establish that SNAP’s statements “were false and that they did not conduct any inquiry into the truth or falsity of these public statements.”

The court will also establish that defendants conspired to secure Fr. Jiang’s conviction on sex abuse charges due to “discriminatory animus against plaintiff based on his religion, religious vocation, race, and national origin,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

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Sex offenders would have to disclose email addresses and usernames under bill sent to governor

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

AUG. 24, 2016

Sophia Bollag

Sex offenders would be required to report their email addresses, usernames and other Internet identifiers to law enforcement under a bill California state senators sent to the governor Wednesday.

The bill, SB 448, would amend parts of California law enacted when voters passed anti sex-trafficking law Proposition 35 that have since been challenged in court. The bill now goes to the governor.

SB 448 would apply to offenders convicted on or after Jan. 1, 2017 who used the Internet to carry out sex crimes.

Proposition 35 passed by statewide ballot in 2012 with more than 80 percent of the vote. It increased punishments for human traffickers and expanded the definition of human trafficking to include the creation and distribution of child pornography.

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Why Was the Child Victims Act Abandoned? A Voice for the Voiceless Fights Back

UNITED STATES
The Feminine Collective

Posted on August 25, 2016 by Nancy Levine

“She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her.” I read the quote twice.

It chafed at me like a scratchy thread sticking out on a sweater. You pull the strand, keep yanking, and pretty soon, the whole garment starts to unravel.

I was sitting at my kitchen table on Christmas morning last year, with coffee and laptop, as I do every morning. This headline from The New York Times popped up in my Facebook news feed:

“A Spiritual Leader Gains Stature, Trailed by a Troubled Past,” with a photo of former rabbi turned spiritual guru, accused sexual predator Marc Gafni. “14 going on 35” was how Gafni described one of his accusers.

And this grabbed me:

“A co-founder of Whole Foods, John Mackey, a proponent of conscious capitalism, calls Mr. Gafni ‘a bold visionary.’ He is a chairman of the executive board of Mr. Gafni’s center, and he hosts board meetings at his Texas ranch.”

I have spent the better part of 30 years as an executive recruiter. I started out after college at American Express corporate headquarters in lower Manhattan. I was ghostwriting announcements for executives about company shakeups and reorgs. So I’ve been around CEOs for a long time.

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Missbrauch: Experte fordert externe Ermittler

DEUTSCHLAND
Sarrbruecker Zeitung

[Abuse: Expert urges external investigators.]

Von Matthias Zimmermann, 24. August 2016

Was haben die Nachforschungen bei den Missbrauchsvorwürfen in Freisen ergeben? Und wie setzen sich Verantwortliche dafür ein, dass es nicht zu sexuellen Übergriffen in der Kirche kommt? Ein Opferverband verlangt mehr Aufklärungswillen.

Bei den bistumsinternen Ermittlungen zu den Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen einen ehemaligen Freisener Pfarrer geht es nur schleppend voran. Das kritisieren Betroffene. Deshalb fordern Vertreter der Opferorganisation „Sexueller Missbrauch durch Angehörige der katholischen Kirche im Bistum Trier“ (Missbit) eine von der Kirche unabhängige Aufarbeitung. Nur dann rechne Missbit damit, dass wirklich aufgeklärt werde, sagt Claudia Adams. Die Merzigerin betreibt den Missbit-Blog, eine im Internet wie ein Tagebuch geführte Seite mit Berichten und Kommentaren.

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Kerala: Bishop, three priests held for hiding info on woman’s death

INDIA
Indian Express

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published:August 14, 2016

hree years after a woman from Coimbatore was found dead at the parsonage of the Catholic Church in Chandrapuram, in Kerala’s Palakkad district, Palakkad police Friday arrested Coimbatore diocese Bishop Thomas Aquinas and three other priests of the same diocese for allegedly withholding information on the death.

Bishop Acquinas and the priests — Kulantha Raj, Madalai Muthu and Lawrance Melcure — were held under IPC Sections 201 (destroying evidence or giving false information) and 202 (intentionally omitting information). They were given bail after recording their statements, the police said.

Coimbatore native Fathima Sofia, 19, was found dead at the parsonage on July 23, 2013. The then parish priest of St Stanlisalus Church in Chandrapuram, Fr H Arockyaraj, was arrested last year in connection with the death.

In May this year, the district court of Palakkad asked the police to look into the role of Bishop Acquinas and the three priests in allegedly suppressing information on the crime.

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Second senior adviser to Archbishop Herft ‘defrocked for teen sex’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 26, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

Two senior advisers relied on by the current Anglican Archbishop of Perth to handle claims of child sexual abuse by priests were subsequently defrocked for having group sex with a teenager, ­according to evidence before a royal commission.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, Graeme Lawrence and Bruce Hoare served as dean and archdeacon respectively of the Newcastle diocese in NSW under Archbishop Roger Herft, the bishop at the time. Archbishop Herft relied on each to personally respond to claims of child abuse by priests, dealing directly with victims and their families and, in Mr Lawrence’s case, answering the diocese’s sexual abuse hotline, the commission has heard.

After he left the diocese for Perth, both men were defrocked for having group sex with a 19-year-old, who told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he had endured “years of sexual grooming and abuse” by priests.

Archbishop Herft and Mr Lawrence will both face cross-examination before the commission next week. Mr Hoare has not been called to give evidence.

In a witness statement released by the commission, Archbishop Herft said Mr Hoare spent years dealing directly with a child abuse victim and his mother, who confided in him that the boy had been abused by another priest.

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Boca Raton police to review how 2014 fondling case at St. Andrew’s School was investigated

FLORIDA
Sun Sentinel

[with video]

Emily Miller
Sun Sentinel

After scathing report, St. Andrew’s School to find new director of dorm life, reassign roles
Boca Raton police are taking a fresh look at a 2014 student-fondling case in which St. Andrew’s School officials allegedly knew of a sex crime on campus and failed to report it, an agency spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Police plan to look into why the department didn’t fully explore the school’s lack of reporting two years ago. “We’re going to look into it further to find out why it wasn’t addressed at that time,” Boca police spokeswoman Officer Sandra Boonenberg said.

In May 2014, a 15-year-old freshman told a school counselor, dean and student resident coordinator at the Boca Raton private school that she was fondled over her clothing by an 18-year-old male senior in the girls’ dorm.

None of the school officials reported the allegation to the Boca Raton Police Department or the Department of Children and Families, according to a Boca Raton police report.

The girl’s mother later reported the fondling to police, and it resulted in a felony battery charge against the 18-year-old.

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Bungled inquiry into ‘covered-up sex abuse at Britain’s leading Catholic school Ampleforth College denies justice for ex-teacher’s child victims’

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By EMMA GLANFIELD FOR MAILONLINE

A bungled inquiry into alleged sex abuse at Britain’s leading Catholic School denied justice for potential victims, former pupils claim.

An investigation and subsequent trial into allegations that Dr Paul Sheppard, 53, sexually abused a ten-year-old boy Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, was said to be marred with problems.

The teacher, who taught at the £33,000-a-year school for one term while on a teacher training course from his native country, was accused of indecently assaulting the boy 27 years ago.

The school boasts a star-studded alumni including former England Rugby Captain Lawrence Dallaglio, actors James Norton and Rupert Everett, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and the sculptor Sir Antony Gormley.

Former pupils claim that, at the time, several schoolchildren complained of Dr Sheppard’s behaviour including stroking, touching and kissing boys.

The school’s headmaster, Father Dominic Milroy, interviewed 11 children over the teacher’s alleged inappropriate conduct and Dr Sheppard subsequently left the school.

It is unclear whether he was asked to leave is position or if he went on his own. He has long maintained that he chose to leave on his own accord, while the school claims it was a mutual decision. He received a glowing reference from Father Milroy during his departure.

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Christopher Rafferty cleared of historical sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Goulburn Post

Louise Thrower
@ThrowerLouise

25 Aug 2016

A CHRISTIAN Brother has been acquitted on six historical sex charges.

At the same time the Judge has criticised the Catholic Church’s handling of the matter and said he accepted the accused did sexually assault the complainant.

Christopher Rafferty, 65, of Ryde, left immediately after Judge David Frearson handed down his decision in Sydney District Court on August 25.

He was acquitted on three counts of indecent assault and three of homosexual intercourse. Police alleged this occurred on a St Patrick’s College, Goulburn student aged 14 to 16 between 1984 and 1987.

Rafferty pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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Christian Brother acquitted, not cleared

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

AUGUST 25, 2016

Sophie Tarr
Australian Associated Press

A Sydney judge has found a Christian Brother not guilty of a string of child sex offences but says he believes the man did abuse a teenager three decades ago and that the Catholic Church’s handling of historical allegations failed the victim.

On Thursday morning, as he prepared to acquit Christopher Rafferty and send him from the dock a free man, Judge David Frearson said he believed the 65-year-old was a sexual predator whose abuse drove a former pupil to thoughts of suicide.

In an extraordinary verdict delivered in the Downing Centre District Court, Judge Frearson found the veteran teacher not guilty of six sexual and indecent offences that were alleged to have been committed against a student at St Patrick’s College in Goulburn in the 1980s.

He said the evidence against the accused did not meet the high bar required in criminal trials, in which specific incidents must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

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Pope Francis appoints new Auxiliary Bishop for Denver

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Holy Father has named Father Jorge H. Rodríguez-Novelo, of the Archdiocese of Denver, USA, as Auxiliary Bishop of the same Archdiocese. Father Rodríguez has been serving as Pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Denver, and professor at the archdiocesan Seminary of St John Vianney. Bishop-elect Rodríguez will hold the titular see of Azura.

Biography of Bishop-elect Jorge Rodriguez, S.T.D.

Bishop-elect Rodriguez was born March 22, 1955, in Merida, Mexico, located in the state of Yucatan. He is the son of Nery Maria Novelo and Ramon Rodriguez (deceased), and he has two brothers and four sisters, who live in Merida. In Merida he attended a primary school run by the Maryknoll Sisters, and then secondary and preparatory schools run by the Marist Brothers. When he finished high school, he joined the Legionaries of Christ to study and become a priest. He was ordained Dec. 24, 1987.

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Abbey, Backous seek protective order

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com

August 24, 2016

Attorneys representing St. John’s Abbey and the Rev. Timothy Backous are asking a Stearns County judge to block the release of hundreds of pages of Abbey documents about Backous.

The Abbey is seeking the protective order after Jeff Anderson, the attorney representing two men who claim Backous abused them years ago, threatened to release the documents if the Abbey didn’t meet several of his conditions.

Anderson asked that the Abbey add Backous to its list of credibly accused, remove him from ministry and have Abbot John Klassen issue a public apology and retract statements about Backous being innocent of the allegations. He also asked the Abbey to release the Backous file or he would.

If the Abbey agreed to those conditions, they would be tantamount to admissions by Backous, and the Abbey and Backous have vehemently denied the accusations, said Robert Stich, who represents Backous.

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Research released on long-term effects of disclosure

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

25 August, 2016

A new research report conducted for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has examined the long-term effects of disclosures of institutional child sexual abuse on survivors and their families.

Read the full report – Family relationships and the disclosure of institutional child sexual abuse.

The Royal Commission appointed the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) to undertake research into the long-term effects of disclosures which included 50 in-depth interviews with survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and family members who received such disclosures.

Royal Commission CEO, Philip Reed, said the research was invaluable in assisting understanding of the long-term impacts of disclosures on survivors and their families. It also added new understanding to the international evidence base on disclosure of child sexual abuse.

The report found that many adult disclosures were triggered by crises such as relationship difficulties, job loss or work pressures, anxiety and depression.

Disclosures by young adults (aged 18-23 years) often occurred in the context of key life transitions such as finishing high school, beginning university study, leaving home or entering into an intimate relationship.

Disclosures by younger children were more likely to be indirect, non-verbal or the result of direct questioning or discovery by primary carers.

Mr Reed said he hoped the research would better inform service planning and development.

“The report shows there is a need for delivery of therapeutic and non-therapeutic support services to survivors and their families, not just in the aftermath of disclosure, but as their needs change throughout their lives.”

Family relationships and the disclosure of institutional child sexual abuse was written by Dr Antonia Quadara, Mary Stathopoulos and Rachel Carson.

The report contains extensive discussion of child sexual abuse. If you experience distress you can call 1800 Respect (1800 732 732).

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Former Shawnee youth pastor sentenced to 6 months in jail

OKLAHOMA
News-Star

By Kim Morava

Posted Aug. 24, 2016

A former Shawnee youth pastor who was arrested last year for alleged inappropriate text messages with teenagers was sentenced Wednesday to serve six months in the county jail.

Brian K. Burchfield, 43, of Edmond, was charged in Pottawatomie County District Court last August with four counts of soliciting sexual conduct or communications with a minor by use of technology.

Those charges stem from an investigation by Shawnee police that reportedly involved text messages between Burchfield and four teenage boys.

As part of a plea agreement, Burchfield pleaded guilty at a previous hearing. Wednesday, he appeared in court again for formal sentencing.

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Catholic Church could limit trainee priests’ access to the internet and encourage them to mix more with women after claims over use of gay dating app Grindr

IRELAND
Daily Mail

By CHRIS SUMMERS FOR MAILONLINE

The Catholic Church in Ireland is considering restricting trainee priests’ access to the internet amid claims that young seminarians have been meeting up using the gay dating app Grindr.

The Church is also looking at ways of encouraging young priests to mix more with women, families and lay people.

Earlier this month the Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin said he was ‘somewhat unhappy’ about rumours that students at St Patrick’s College in Maynooth were using the app, which he claimed ‘fostered promiscuous sexuality’.

He said he would be boycotting the centuries-old college, just outside the Irish capital, and send students to a school in Rome instead.

The most senior Catholic in the Irish Republic said he made the decision some months ago because of an ‘atmosphere that was growing in Maynooth’ exposed through anonymous accusations in letters and online blogs.

He said: ‘There are allegations on different sides.

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‘Maynooth seminary has to change, we are living in a different world’

IRELAND
Journal

HOW PRIESTS ARE trained has to change, according to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

The Archbishop told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that Irish society has changed and the Church has to move with the times.

The change that has been taking place in Irish culture and in Irish religious culture is radical change, and the response to radical change has to be more than just tweaking.

Martin admitted there are problems in Maynooth seminary, something he said is recognised by others in the Church.

Earlier this month, Maynooth training college made headlines after it was reported that a gay culture is prevalent on the campus, with some trainees using gay dating apps such as Grindr.

At the time, the college said there was “no concrete or credible evidence” that such a culture exists.

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Martin: Maynooth must change as ‘we’re in a different world’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Vivienne Clarke

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said Maynooth seminary “has to change, not just because of current allegations but because of the fact that we’re living in a different world.”

The change that has been taking place in Irish culture and Irish religious culture is radical change and the response to radical change has to be ‘more than just tweaking’, he said.

St Patrick’s seminary in Maynooth is not to be condemned, but it is not to be canonised either, Dr Martin said on Thursday.

“I’ve never criticised the teaching in Maynooth, this is something people have said is behind my activity, that isn’t what I’ve been talking about at all.

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Church leaders admit ‘unhealthy atmosphere’ at college amid gay dating app Grindr row

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald
PUBLISHED
25/08/2016

The Catholic Church hierarchy has admitted concerns about an “unhealthy atmosphere” at the country’s main seminary amid claims trainee priests there are using the gay dating app Grindr.

Church leaders have ordered a review on the “appropriate use of the internet and social media” at the centuries-old St Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Co Kildare, as well as an overhaul of its approach to whistleblowers.

The college trustees – four archbishops and 13 senior bishops – met for crisis talks after the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin confirmed he was boycotting the seminary.

As 14 new seminarians began their six years of training for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College this week, Maynooth’s trustees issued a range of directives aimed at rebuilding the seminary’s tarnished image.

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Double jeopardy and the options for another trial

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk
August 25 2016
The Times

North Yorkshire police has previously said that its file on Paul Sheppard is closed.

This week, however, The Times informed the force of two former Ampleforth pupils to whom the police had not previously spoken. Each has described incidents involving the teacher in 1989 that this newspaper considers merit further investigation.

Were police to reopen the case, and should they subsequently decide to charge Dr Sheppard with new offences, the Crown Prosecution Service would need to consider the status of the charges that the Canadian was due to face at last year’s trial.

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Suicide shattered Ampleforth’s silence over sex abuse claims

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk, Chief Investigative Reporter
August 25 2016
The Times

A sun-soaked day in late June was drawing to a close. As shadows lengthened across the valley that has been the school’s privileged home for more than 200 years, a group of young boys waited nervously outside the headmaster’s study.

One by one, each was summoned. For Paul Sheppard’s career at Ampleforth College, what they had to say proved terminal.

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Top school hid sex abuse claims

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk, Chief Investigative Reporter
August 25 2016
The Times

A bungled inquiry linked to a cover-up of alleged sex abuse at Britain’s leading Catholic school denied justice to a teacher’s child victims, former pupils have claimed.

Paul Sheppard, a Canadian who taught at Ampleforth College, was found not guilty last year of indecently assaulting a boy there 27 years ago. The jurors at his trial were under the impression that the former pupil, aged 11 when the crime was said to have been committed in 1989, was the sole complainant.

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Inquiry into alleged abuse at top British Catholic school ‘denied victims any hope of justice’

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

BY TESS DE LA MARE 25th August 2016

AN INQURY into alleged sexual abuse at one of Britain’s leading Catholic schools denied victims any hope of justice, according to former pupils.

Dr Paul Sheppard, a Canadian who taught at the £33,000-a-year Ampleforth College in north Yorkshire, was last year cleared of sexually abusing one pupil 27 years ago.

Famous students of the prestigious school include former England Rugby Captain Lawrence Dallaglio, actors James Norton and Rupert Everett and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.

Sheppard was first arrested on suspicion of serious sexual offences in 1989 against a pupil who later committed suicide.

He was charged with seven counts of indecent assault against five students, but charges relating to all but one of the boys were thrown out by the judge at York Crown Court.

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Seminary’s rector says Archdiocese of Agana is rightful owner

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 25, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Could a lengthy legal battle be in store for the take back of the multi-million dollar Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona? While the Concerned Catholics of Guam group prepares to go to court, Guam’s apostolic administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Ton Fai, is asking the new owners to simply give it back.

And now, the rector of the seminary defies every claim made to date from the CCOG and Archbishop Hon.

No takeback of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary is necessary, according to Father Pius Sammut. In an emailed response to KUAM’s questions, the rector challenges statements made by the Concerned Catholics of Guam and Archbishop Hon, who contend the Yona property was handed over to the non-profit group, RMS Corporation, through a declaration of deed restriction. That deed lists the board of guarantors as Archbishop Anthony Apuron, Father Angelo Pochetti, and Guisseppie and Claudia Gennarini. Guisseppie is the founder of the Neocathemunal Way in the United States mainland.

According to Father Pius, Apuron was protecting the seminary and the theological institute to give them permanence and stability to defend the RMS for the church. He wrote, “The deed restriction is simply an act according to canon law that allows the archdiocesan RM seminary to use that Yona property. The building is not ours, we have permission to use it until the archbishop wants, and only the archbishop or his successor can decide on this building.”

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Ex-teacher faces Newcastle court on child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Giselle Wakatama

A former Catholic school teacher and army sergeant has appeared in Newcastle court, after being charged with more than a dozen child sex offences.

Last month former St Pius maths teacher Edward (Ted) Hall was charged with 13 child sex offences, dating back to the 1980s.

Charge sheets tendered in Newcastle Local Court allege the abuse relates to four boys, all under 16.

The alleged abuse took place at the Adamstown school as well as at places in Merewether.

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Kerala Priest Arrested For Alleged Sexual Abuse, Murder

INDIA
NDTV

[with video]

Written by J Sam Daniel Stalin | Updated: August 25, 2016

COIMBATORE: A Roman Catholic priest has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing and murdering a college student in Kerala’s Palakkad district.

Four other clergymen, including a bishop — who had conducted an internal inquiry and found the priest guilty but failed to inform the police — were arrested for allegedly covering up the case.

Back in July 2013, the 18 year-old woman was found dead at the home of Fr Arockiyaraj, whom she knew well since he attended his spiritual discourses.

The family — residents of Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore, an hour’s journey from the state border — alleged that he had taken her home in their absence.

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Indian bishop, priests arrested for withholding evidence in woman’s death

INDIA
Catholic Culture

August 19, 2016

Bishop Thomas Aquinas Lephonse of Coimbatore, India, has been arrested, along with three priests of the diocese, and charged with withholding information about the suspicious death of a young woman.

Fathima Sofia was found hanging in the rectory of a church in Chandrapuram in July 2013. After originally ruling the death a suicide, police reopened their investigation last year, at the prompting of the deceased woman’s mother, who charged that her daughter had been molested by the pastor. The accused priest, Father H. Arockyaraj, was arrested last year; he has subsequently been laicized, a diocesan official said.

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Indian Bishop and priests arrested in murder probe

INDIA
The Irish Catholic

A bishop and four priests in the Indian state of Kerala have been arrested following the re-opening of an investigation in to the death of a 17-year-old girl at a rectory in 2013.

When Fathima Sofia was found hanging at the home of a priest church in Palakkad, Kerala, her death was originally ruled a suicide by investigators. However, following accusations by the girl’s mother of sexual abuse and an alleged admission by Fr H. Arockyaraj that he had murdered the girl with whom he was having a relationship, police decided to re-examine the case. Investigators have now arrested Bishop Thomas Aquinas Lephonse of Coimbatore and four priests and charged them with withholding evidence of importance to a criminal case. Arockyaraj, now laicised by a canonical court, was previously arrested and charged with rape. He denies the charges.

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August 24, 2016

Exclusive: St. Andrew’s kept quiet over student’s molestation report

FLORIDA
The Palm Beach Post

By Andrew Marra – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

BOCA RATON — In May 2014, a 15-year-old freshman at St. Andrew’s School went to administrators with an upsetting accusation: A senior boarding student had barged into the girls’ campus dormitory with his friends and, in the middle of a card game, fondled her repeatedly in front of several other students.

But the school never notified police or child-welfare investigators, despite a state law requiring schools to report suspicions of sexual abuse against minors, police records obtained by The Palm Beach Post show.

Instead, the Boca Raton private school conducted its own investigation, which administrators resolved by sending the girl to counseling sessions and writing a stern email to her 18-year-old attacker, who already had graduated and returned to his home in Russia, police records show.

Police were not alerted until more than a month after the incident, when the girl and her mother went to the Boca Raton Police Department to report the incident themselves.

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JUDGE HAMMERS SNAP

MISSOURI
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Carol E. Jackson that dropped the hammer on the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP):

As I previously demonstrated, SNAP executive director David Clohessy is a professed liar who runs a phony “victims group” whose real goal is to attack the Catholic Church. But he is protected by the media because, for the most part, those who work in journalism are not exactly Catholic-friendly, and some are seriously anti-Catholic.

Now Clohessy is back in the news, this time for being slapped down by a federal judge. And as we shall see, he is now smearing St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson.

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Catholic Church Groups Fight Bills To Revive Old Sex Abuse Cases

NEW YORK
NRP

August 24, 2016 – Heard on All Things Considered

BRIAN MANN

It’s important to say right up front that this isn’t a story about pedophile priests.

Bridie Farrell is Roman Catholic, but she says it was her speed skating coach who sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager.

“It happened at his house, in his car, in his hotel room,” Farrell says.

Farrell did what a lot of kids do when they’re molested: She kept silent. But 18 years later, when she was 31 years old, she went public with her story.

The problem is that there’s a ticking clock. In a lot of states, including New York, where Farrell was assaulted, if you don’t report a rape or file a civil lawsuit fast enough, the perpetrator – whether it’s a coach or relative or a priest – gets off scot-free.

But there is a growing effort in state houses across the country to make it easier to prosecute or sue people who sexually abuse children. Victims rights groups hope some old cases can be reopened, but they face opposition from Roman Catholic leaders, who say the changes could target them unfairly and could bankrupt church organizations.

‘It’s Broken’

New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Democrat, pushed to extend the deadline for reporting sexual assaults against kids. He also wanted to open a one-year window, a kind of grace period, so that victims who’ve waited too long can get a second chance to sue in civil court.

“The statute of limitations for child sexual abuse is just too short,” Holyman says. “In a word, it’s broken.”

For Sexual Assault Victims, An Effort To Loosen Statutes Of Limitations

New York’s Catholic bishops spent more than $2 million lobbying to block Holyman’s effort.

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Assignment Record– Rev. George J. Cooley

OHIO
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: George J. Cooley was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1976. While a seminarian he had been placed on leave of absence for fondling a fellow seminarian; a year later he was deemed a good candidate for priesthood by Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Pilarczyk. Cooley went on to to assist at Sacred Heart parish in Fairfield, then Guardian Angels in Cincinnati. He was also chaplain at a summer camp for children, Fort Scott. In 1978 a 10-year-old boy told camp authorites that Cooley had molested him the night before. There were no consequences for the priest. The following summer another boy alleged abuse. Archbishop Joseph Bernardin was informed; Cooley was sent to counseling. During his time at Guardian Angels in the early 1980s, Cooley was accused of molesting several boys. The father of one of the boys went to the rectory and punched Cooley in the face. Cooley was removed from the parish and made chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital. He was also chaplain at the College of Mount St. Joseph and worked as a part-time counselor at Christian Family Services. At Good Samaritan, a wheelchair-bound man complained of inappropriate advances by Cooley. The priest was ultimately accused of having sexually abused at least 6 boys at Guardian Angels, ages 8-15.

Cooley was arrested in 1990 after several men reported past abuse by him as minors. He pleaded guilty to molesting 4 boys and spent 3 months in jail. In 1994 he was sent to jail for 15 months for stalking one of his victims. He was arrested again in 1996 for soliciting sex from a police decoy posing as a male prostitute. This time he was placed under house arrest and given 3 years’ probation. He was laicized in 1998.

Ordained: 1976
Laicized: 1998

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Judge Punishes SNAP for Refusing to Hand Over Records to Fr. Joseph Jiang

MISSOURI
Riverfront Times

Posted By Danny Wicentowski on Wed, Aug 24, 2016

A messy lawsuit that accuses a victim advocacy group of defaming Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang reached a turning point this week — and it could spell defeat for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, better known as SNAP, and executive director David Clohessy, who maintains that Jiang is a sexual predator.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson sanctioned SNAP for failing to turn over records that Jiang’s lawyers say would reveal a conspiracy to destroy the life of a promising young priest, who came to St. Louis after fleeing religious persecution in China. Jiang has twice been accused in court of sexual abuse, in Lincoln County and St. Louis City, but prosecutors in both cases ultimately dropped those charges.

“Do we think Jiang is dangerous? Absolutely,” says Clohessy. “We’re trying to take the long view. For almost 30 years we’ve helped victims and helped expose those who commit sex crimes. We’ve been sued for slander maybe five times and never lost.”

This time could be different. Jiang was charged with sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy in a Catholic school bathroom in 2011 and 2012. The charges were dropped in June 2015 — one week later, Jiang filed a defamation lawsuit against the boy’s parents, as well as SNAP, the city of St. Louis and two metro police officers who investigated the case.

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Archbishop “can’t recall” cleric alert

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Nick Butterly – The West Australian on August 25, 2016

Perth’s Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft has said he cannot recall being told a senior Church figure in NSW was abusing children, even though documents suggest he raised concerns with the priest at the time.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse has published new statements from Archbishop Herft ahead of hearings next week when he will face more questioning over his response to historic claims of child sexual abuse in Newcastle.

Archbishop Herft was Bishop of Newcastle from 1993 to 2005. In one of the statements, given on July 25, Archbishop Herft claimed he was unaware of serious claims against the former dean of Newcastle Cathedral, Graeme Lawrence.

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St Patrick’s seminary to review internet policies after dating app claims

IRELAND
Newstalk

St Patrick’s College in Maynooth is to review its procedures for dealing with whistleblowers following allegations about the use of dating apps by student priests.

The seminary’s trustees said internet and social media policies will also be evaluated, citing concerns over anonymous accusations.

The announcement comes in the wake of claims in letters and online blogs about a “gay subculture” on campus. The college has previously denied that there is any “concrete or credible evidence” for the existence of such a culture.

A number of former seminarians subsequently alleged that they were required to sign confidentiality agreements before beginning their studies.

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Trainee Catholic priests could face social media penance over Grindr ‘goings on’

IRELAND
Telegraph (UK)

John Bingham, religious affairs editor
24 AUGUST 2016

Trainee Roman Catholic priests in Ireland could face curbs on their internet access and are to be encouraged to mix more with women after claims over the use of the gay dating app Grindr at the country’s main seminary.

Ireland’s Catholic hierarchy voiced concerns about what it called an “unhealthy atmosphere” at St Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Co Kildare, and ordered a review of the “appropriate use of the internet and social media”.

It follows remarks earlier this month by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, about “strange goings-on” at the 221-year-old seminary.

Dr Martin, the most senior Catholic cleric south of the border, disclosed that he had decided to send students from Dublin – the largest diocese in Ireland – to Rome for priestly formation, rather than to Maynooth just a short drive from the capital.

The Archbishop spoke of an “atmosphere” at the college following a string of allegations about a “gay culture” made in letters and blogs and concerns about “promiscuous sexuality”.

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Vatican issues its own sex ed guidelines

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San Martín
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

ROME- Trying to get ahead of the curve when it comes to sex education for children, the Vatican has issued an alternative to the standard treatments. The new project seeks to avoid approaches that teach either too much about human sexuality to impressionable youth or too little.

Amid the frenzy of World Youth Day, which gathered millions of young people in Krakow, Poland at the end of July, the Pontifical Council for the Family, headed by Italian Archbishop Vicenzo Paglia, launched a website with materials both for students and educators called “The Meeting Point, project for affective and sexual formation.”

“Cultural, legislative and educational projects directly or indirectly challenge the Christian vision of the body, of the difference and the complementarity between man and woman, the exercise of sexuality, marriage and the family,” Paglia wrote in the project’s introduction.

These projects, he wrote, want to legitimize the different ways in which sexuality is lived in society “by proposing visions that constitute a real anthropological change, which impedes the affirmation of sexual identity, virtues, values and attitudes that integrate the body and the affections in the vocation to love that is the basis of the whole project of human life and of the good life according to the Gospel.”

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Social media use at priest training college to be reviewed after ‘gay culture’ allegations

IRELAND
Journal

THE TRUSTEES OF St Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Ireland’s national seminary, have said procedures for handling whistleblowers will be reviewed, following allegations of trainee priests using gay dating apps.

Earlier this month, the training college made headlines after it was reported that a gay culture is prevalent on the campus, with some trainees using gay dating apps such as Grindr.

At the time, the college said there was “no concrete or credible evidence” that such a culture exists.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said he would send trainee priests from his own diocese to Rome rather than Maynooth, citing “an atmosphere of strange goings-on”.

The governing body of the college has today said it will also ask seminary authorities to “evaluate and review the policy regarding the appropriate use of the internet and social media”.

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Maynooth trustees ‘share concerns’ about seminary

IRELAND
Breaking News

Catholic Church hierarchy has admitted concerns about an “unhealthy atmosphere” at the country’s main seminary amid claims trainee priests there are using the gay dating app Grindr.

Church leaders have ordered a review on the “appropriate use of the internet and social media” at the centuries-old St Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Co Kildare, as well as an overhaul of its approach to whistleblowers.

The college trustees – four Archbishops and 13 senior Bishops – met for crisis talks after the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin confirmed he was boycotting the seminary.

Dr Diarmuid Martin said earlier this month he is sending student priests to Rome rather than Maynooth.
The church leader said he made the decision some months ago because he was “somewhat unhappy” about “an atmosphere that was growing in Maynooth” exposed through anonymous accusations in letters and online blogs.

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Church hierarchy concerned with Maynooth ‘atmosphere’ amid Grindr claims

IRELAND
Irish Independent

IRELAND’S Catholic Church hierarchy has admitted concerns about an “unhealthy atmosphere” at the country’s main seminary amid claims trainee priests there are using the gay dating app Grindr.

Church leaders have ordered a review on the “appropriate use of the internet and social media” at the centuries-old St Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Co Kildare, as well as an overhaul of its approach to whistleblowers.

The college trustees – four archbishops and 13 senior bishops – met for crisis talks after the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin confirmed he was boycotting the seminary.

Dr Diarmuid Martin, the most senior Catholic in the Irish Republic, said earlier this month he is sending student priests to Rome rather than Maynooth – just 26km from the capital.

The church leader said he made the decision some months ago because he was “somewhat unhappy” about “an atmosphere that was growing in Maynooth” exposed through anonymous accusations in letters and online blogs.

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Church dean sent explicit card to sex victim, commission told

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 25, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The former dean of Newcastle’s Anglican cathedral allegedly sent an explicit greetings card to a teenager he had been having sex with for several years that read “Thank Heaven for little boys! For little boys get BIGGER every day.”

The card, tendered in evidence to the Royal Commission into ­Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, provides an insight into how brazen senior priests ­associated with the NSW diocese were about their alleged activities.

Its author, Graeme Lawrence, would subsequently work closely with the then bishop of New­castle, Roger Herft, now the Anglican Archbishop of Perth.

Other exhibits tendered to the commission allege Archbishop Herft was told on at least three ­occasions that Mr Lawrence was a sexual abuser, including of children, although he has given evidence saying he has no memory of this taking place.

Both men are due to face cross-examination next week.

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Maynooth seminary to review social media policies

IRELAND
Irish Times

Ciarán D’Arcy

There will be a review of social media policies and procedures for handling whistleblowers at St Patrick’s seminary in Maynooth following allegations of trainee priests using dating apps, the college’s board of trustees has announced.

During a meeting in Maynooth on Tuesday, the board also asked the Irish Bishops’ Conference which is based in St Patrick’s College to commission an independent audit and report into the governance of Irish seminaries.

Those who oversee the management of St Patrick’s came in for criticism earlier this month when media reports surfaced of trainee priests using the Tinder dating app as well as its gay equivalent, Grindr.

Following those reports, a number of ex-seminarians came forward with accounts of alleged bullying and sexual harassment they had suffered during their time at the Maynooth college, and in a statement released on Wednesday the trustees say they “share the concerns about the unhealthy atmosphere” there.

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Audio stories give a voice to survivor stories

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

24 August, 2016

The Royal Commission has published nine audio stories based on survivors’ experiences as revealed in private sessions.

These stories are accurate summaries of what was said in the private session, and use real quotes taken from the session. However, names have been changed and the stories have been narrated by actors to protect the identity of the survivors.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the stories promote community awareness of the impacts of child sexual abuse, while protecting the privacy of private session attendees.

“Bearing witness to the experiences of survivors in private sessions has been a defining feature of this Royal Commission,” Mr Reed said.

“Commissioners have now heard more than 5,500 stories in private sessions,” Mr Reed said.

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