Argentina: 2 Priests Arrested for Allegedly Abusing Children

ARGENTINA
New York Times

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NOV. 30, 2016

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Two Roman Catholic priests have been arrested on suspicion of sexually and physically abusing at least eight children at a school for youths with hearing disabilities, Argentine authorities say.

The priests are Nicolas Corradi, 82, and Horacio Corbacho, 55. Three other men who worked at the school in northeastern Argentina were also arrested this week. The suspects have not yet commented publicly about the allegations.

The government of Mendoza province has suspended classes at the Antonio Provolo Institute, the school for children with hearing impairment. It has also banned faculty and staff from having any contact with students.

The Mendoza archbishop’s office expressed solidarity with the victims and said it is cooperating with authorities.

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Trial begins for retired Council Bluffs priest who’s accused of invading students’ privacy by looking at their genitals

IOWA
World-Herald

By Mike Bell / World-Herald News Service

COUNCIL BLUFFS — The trial of the Rev. Paul Monahan began Tuesday, with the retired Council Bluffs priest and former principal of St. Albert facing five counts of invasion of privacy after allegedly looking at high school students’ genitals in a public restroom.

Authorities allege that Monahan, 83, would stand next to students while they were using the urinal during a track meet at Treynor High School on April 4.

Monahan was suspended July 8 from all public ministries, according to the Diocese of Des Moines, pending the outcome of his case.

During court proceedings, Assistant Iowa Attorney General Doug Hammerand brought several of the students to the stand.

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Twin Cities archdiocese’s bankruptcy costs approach $12 million

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan · Nov 30, 2016

A federal judge next Thursday will consider millions of dollars more in payments to attorneys and other professionals working on the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The latest requests for fees and expenses total $4.5 million. If the requests are granted, that would bring the tab for legal and related professional service costs for the bankruptcy to about $12 million.

The archdiocese is responsible not only for payment of its attorneys but also those representing creditors.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy nearly two years ago. The church’s most recent reorganization plan would provide $130 million in compensation to clergy abuse victims.

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Catholic priests arrested for sexually abusing 30 disabled children

ARGENTINA
Punch

The Argentine authorities have arrested two Catholic priests for forcing children at a school for the hearing impaired to have oral sex with each other, officials said Wednesday.

The scandal at the Provolo Institute in the western city of Mendoza erupted when a mother went to the authorities to report that her son was being forced into sexual acts with other pupils during school hours as the priests and staff watched.

The victims ranged in age from 10 to 12 years old.

Investigators said they had corroborated the report in interviews with some 30 pupils.

The priests, aged 55 and 82, were charged with aggravated sexual abuse along with two employees.

“The children said (the accused) would take them to a place called ‘God’s little house’ inside the institute, where they would put them and watch them,” prosecutor Fabricio Sidoti said.

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Nach Missbrauch in St. Nikolai: Betroffener äußert sich

DEUTSCHLAND
SZ/LZ

[Protestant Superintendent Kurt Eckels is said to have abused a 14-year-old 50 years ago.]

In einer persönlichen Erklärung, die wir ungekürzt veröffentlichen, bezieht der damals betroffene Jürgen Kothy Stellung zum Missbrauchsfall im Jahr 1965. Dieser ist im Mai 2016 vom Kirchenkreis Grafschaft Schaumburg öffentlich gemacht und aufgearbeitet worden. Der mittlerweile verstorbene damalige Superintendent Kurt Eckels soll den damals 14-Jährigen im Pfarrhaus der St.-Nikolai-Kirche sexuell missbraucht haben. Die Nennung seines Namens ist von Kothy explizit gewünscht, normalerweise würde unsere Zeitung dies nicht tun.

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Bischöfe entschuldigen sich bei Opfern sexueller Gewalt

SUDAFRIKA
Deutschland Fund

[South Africa’s top Catholic Bishop Brislin has apologized to the victims of sexual abuse.]

Südafrikas oberster Bischof Brislin hat sich bei den Opfern von sexuellem Missbrauch entschuldigt.

In einem Offenen Brief gestand der Vorsitzende der Südafrikanischen Bischofskonferenz in Kapstadt Fehler bei der Aufarbeitung ein. Die Bischöfe hätten es versäumt, auf entsprechende Hinweise von Missbrauch durch Familienmitglieder, Mitbürger und innerhalb der Kirche zu hören. Priester seien so zu Mittätern geworden.

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Quiénes son los curas presos por violaciones a niños sordos en Luján

ARGENTINA
Mendoza Post

[Catholic priests arrested for sexually abusing 30 disabled children – Punch]

por Ricardo Montacuto

Violaciones. Abusos espantosos con acceso carnal. Sodomía en los baños y las habitaciones. Sexo oral con niños muy probablemente durante años, en la soledad y la oscuridad de los fines de semana -especialmente- o cuando menos gente había en la casa. Las historias de chicos abusados en el Instituto Antonio Próvolo para Niños Sordos de Mendoza pueden ser decenas, y apenas si se conoce la punta del iceberg. Casos evitables, además: Uno de los curas detenidos arrastra denuncias de abuso sexual a niños sordos desde 1984, en Verona. Y su caso fue presentado por una red de víctimas en Washington, el año pasado. Sin embargo, el cura estaba trabajando en Mendoza, con decenas de niños y niñas indefensos y a su disposición.

La historia, espantosa, fue develada por el POST el sábado por la noche, y trata de abusos sexuales a niños y niñas sordo mudos, internos del Instituto Próvolo, un colegio católico con internado ubicado en Luján de Cuyo. Los imputados por ahora son tres. Un cura italiano de 82 años de edad radicado en la Argentina, llamado Nicola Corradi (“El padre Nicolás”), otro sacerdote de 56 años llamado Horacio Corbacho, y un tercer individuo del que aún no está claro si es interno o empleado del Instituto, pero que también es una persona hipoacúsica. Los tres hombres están detenidos preventivamente en una comisaría de Carrodilla, donde el fiscal Fabricio Sidoti -el mismo del caso Ayelén Arroyo- está tomando las declaraciones. Podría haber un cuarto detenido, empleado también del Instituto, aunque este dato no fue confirmado.

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Don Inzoli abusava dei ragazzini anche durante le confessioni, giutificando la pedofilia con la Bibbia

ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[Don Inzoli abused kids even during confessions.]

L’ostruzionismo del Vaticano è stata la principale ancora di salvezza per don Inzoli, un sacerdote che toccava i ragazzini anche durante le confessioni e tentava di convincerli della “bontà” delle sue molestie sessuali citando la Bibbia e sostenendo che la storia di Abramo e Isacco era la prova di come quello fosse il volere di Dio.

Ai tempi tra i massimi dirigenti di Comunione e Liberazione, tornò alla ribalta delle cronache quando venne avvisato tra le autorità ad comizio anti-gay organizzato da Regione Lombardia per volere di Roberto Maroni e l’immancabile assessore Cappellini.

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Courage begets courage in Memphis: another survivor of sex abuse at Immanuel Baptist Church tells her story

TENNESSEE
Watch Keep

Karen’s Story

I was manipulated and controlled by my abuser for nearly 2 years. I just recently realized that I’ve continued to allow him to manipulate me by keeping quiet since then. That’s one reason I must get the truth out. He can control me no longer. Last week I filed an official police report, and now I tell my story.

My family helped found Immanuel Baptist Church in Germantown when I was in 8th grade. Near the end of my freshman year, Jim, a volunteer youth worker who was married, began to endear himself to me as a friend/mentor/encourager/confidante. Over the following months, he fostered a sense that he was the only one I could really trust. It was during this time that he began to also turn the “friendship” into more of a “relationship.” His physical/sexual pursuit followed quickly. This also continued to escalate, and Jim forcibly raped me. I was falsely burdened with guilt and shame but felt I had nowhere to turn. The “relationship” continued off and on for about another year and a half. He would say things to me like, “If you tell anyone, I’ll deny it all.” and, “No one will believe you, or they’ll say you wanted it.” Jim was super skilled at knowing how to keep me under his thumb. After many attempts of trying to escape and him reeling me back in, I finally was able to make a permanent break from him. I told no one during the entire 2 years.

Fast forward about 3 years to my sophomore year of college when I began to make really bad relationship choices and got pregnant. {Let me pause right there. At this point, I seemed to choose guys I knew I couldn’t trust, because I knew exactly what to expect from them.} When I told my parents that I was pregnant, the events from when I was 15 & 16 came out too. My dad spoke with police, and it was determined that the statute of limitations had passed on my case. He then spoke with Scott Payne, pastor of the church, and I met with him to give more details about what had happened. Payne set up a meeting with Jim and two men in leadership at the church to confront him. He denied it all. All 3 of those confronting Jim told my dad that they couldn’t tell if Jim was telling the truth or not. He agreed to leave the church and nothing else was done.

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The verdict is in

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

The Australian Jewish News
Editorial
1 December 2016

​TWENTY-ONE months after the community was left shell-shocked by the revelations at the Royal Commission, the final report from last February’s hearings has now been released.

While most of the information came out during the course of the Royal Commission, the findings of the three independent commissioners with no links or associations to the community should not be overlooked.

The findings are based on evidence and testimony provided by rabbis, communal leaders, victims and others. In Melbourne, they found that the leadership failed and we believe it is now time for the final clean-out of the “old guard” – those in senior positions when children were abused, and victims and their families were re-victimised.

As the report states: “The leadership [since 2011] did not create an environment conducive to the communication of information about child sexual abuse. If anything, the mixed messages were likely to have produced inaction. If the Yeshivah Melbourne, the Committee of Management and Rabbi [Zvi Hirsch] Telsner had shown leadership, survivors of sexual abuse and their families and supporters might have received a very different response from the members of the Yeshivah Melbourne community.”

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‘RED HATS’ WHO CHALLENGED POPE COULD BE STRIPPED OF RANK OF CARDINAL

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet (UK)

30 November 2016 | by Christopher Lamb

Senior Vatican lawyer says four cardinals who questioned Amoris Laetitia have caused a ‘grave scandal’ in Catholic church

The four cardinals who have publicly challenged Pope Francis’ family life document could lose their red hats, according to a senior Church lawyer. Mgr Pio Vito Pinto, who leads the Vatican’s appeal court, says the prelates have caused “grave scandal” by calling into question the Pope’s faithfulness to Catholic doctrine.

Four cardinals, including prominent Francis critic Raymond Burke, want the Pope to clarify his text, “Amoris Laetitia”, which opens the way for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion. They vociferously oppose such a move believing it sanctions sexual relations outside of marriage and have submitted a series of questions – known as Dubia – which require a yes or no answer from Francis.

But speaking to Spanish website “Religión Confidencial” Pinto said: “What Church do these cardinals defend? The Pope is faithful to the doctrine of Christ.”

“What they [the cardinals] have done is a very grave scandal, which could even lead the Holy Father to take away their red hats, as it’s happened already in some other times in the Church.” …

Stripping a cardinal of their position is not, as Pinto points out, without precedent. Last year the Pope ordered that Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the former Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, should lose his privileges after he was accused of sexual misconduct against some of his priests.

And in 1927 French Jesuit Louis Billot handed back his red hat after a row with Pius X over the cardinal’s support for the conservative French movement Action Française.

So far Francis has refused to respond to the four cardinals’ questions but has given interviews arguing those who preach a rigid, black and white version of Catholicism are motivated by psychological rather than theological motives. He also suggested they watch the film “Babette’s Feast” where followers of a strict, joyless version of Christianity are transformed by a good meal.

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Cardinal apologizes to man who brought abuse claim in ’88

PENNSYLVANIA
Yahoo! News

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A former Roman Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh who now heads the Washington archdiocese has apologized for initially voicing doubts about a seminarian’s claims in 1988 that as a young boy he had been sexually abused by a priest.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl says Tim Bendig, who is now a businessman, “told the truth about a priest who was a terrible danger to children and without his action that priest might have continued in the ministry.”

“Telling that truth helped all of us to become a better church,” Wuerl said in an interview Nov. 23 in the church newspaper in Washington, the Catholic Standard.

Bendig, who lives near Pittsburgh, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he had asked church officials to affirm his account amid continuing efforts by some online to discredit him. The cardinal’s apology also comes as state prosecutors are investigating how the Pittsburgh Diocese and others across Pennsylvania handled abuse claims going back decades.

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Hindu Priest in Sacramento Arrested for Allegedly Killing His Lover’s Husband

CALIFORNIA
India West

The Sacramento, Calif., Indian American community is buzzing about the arrest of Hindu priest Raghua Sharma, who was allegedly involved in killing his lover’s husband.

Ashok Kumar, 60, a resident of Sacramento, was found dead around 11:22 p.m. on Aug. 12, at a home in the 8000 block of Grandstaff Drive, when police responded to a call reporting a burglary in progress.

The Sacramento Bee reported that when the police arrived they found a woman outside the home and a man unresponsive on the floor inside the home. The Sacramento Fire Department arrived and pronounced the man dead. Police said at the time the woman, who was the victim’s wife, told officers that she did not get a good look at the intruder, but investigators did not believe it was a random incident.

The investigators continued the search for suspects, and a month later arrested Kumar’s wife, Rohini Kumar, 53; Tiwan Greenwade, 37; and Vicky Rainone, 47. Following a detailed investigation, the Fiji-born Sharma, 58, was arrested on Oct. 20. Police have not released a motive for the murder, but members of the Hindu American community said Kumar’s wife Rohini was having an affair with Sharma.

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PA–Victims respond to “self-serving” abuse apology

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016

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

Today, the former head of the Pittsburgh Catholic diocese has written another page in his long, shrewd and depressingly semi-successful campaign to pose as a “reformer” on the church abuse and cover up crisis with his self-serving apology to a brave abuse survivor.

[PIttsburgh Post-Gazette]

Decades late, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, now of Washington DC, has apologized to Tim Bendig who was sexually assaulted by a recently-deceased former Pittsburgh priest. We’re highly suspicious of Wuerl’s timing and motives. We believe Wuerl is really seeking to burnish his image and diminish the harm caused to Catholic officials by current investigations by law enforcement into bishops across Pennsylvania and how they have responded and are responding to clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. We also suspect that Wuerl is posturing in case Washington DC’s City Council ever re-considers suspending the District’s predator-friendly statute of limitations (by appearing to be more sensitive to victims.)

We are sad but not surprised that Wuerl admits one widely-known and proven predator priest was, in fact, a predator. But it’s important to remember that there are at least 47 publicly accused child molesting Catholic clerics in the Pittsburgh diocese and 27 more in the Washington archdiocese. (See BishopAccountability.org) What’s Wuerl doing to make sure that some of them are prosecuted and that none of them are now around kids?

More than nearly any other bishop (except maybe Cardinal Tim Dolan in New York and Cardinal Roger Mahony in Los Angeles), Wuerl has long been at the forefront of spinning his callous and irresponsible moves in child sex cases as somehow positive. We have long wished, and we wish now more than ever, he’d focus more on protecting of kids and their families rather than protecting himself and his peers.

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Assignment Record– Rev. Norman L. Heil

OHIO
BIshopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Norman L. Heil was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1963. He had a very short career, assisting at St. Michael’s in Sharonville and then St. John the Evangelist in Deer Park. By 1966 he had transferred to a Bismarck, North Dakota parish, while still a Cincinnati priest. He left the priesthood by 1967. At some point he moved to California. He died in 1988 at age 51.

In 2004 a woman sued the archdiocese, claiming Heil impregnated her in 1965 when she was 16 years-old. She said he would drive her home from youth group gatherings at St. John’s in Deer Park, which is when he made sexual overtures. Further, he would hear her confessions and absolve her from her “sin” of pre-marital sex. When she became pregnant, Heil’s accuser claimed the church sent her away and Heil and a nun pressured her into giving up the baby and to keeping its parentage secret. They were said to have told her that if she did not give up the baby, she would be cast out of the church and the baby would not be baptized.

The lawsuit was unsuccessful due to the statute of limitations.

Born: April 11, 1937
Ordained: 1963
Died: July 31, 1988

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Israeli Rabbi Uses Ethiopians, Sudanese Infants for Circumcision Training, Report Shows

ISRAEL
Haaretz

The investigation by Israel’s new broadcaster captured mentor, Rabbi Eliyahu Asulin, saying on camera that the poorer strata of the population are ‘cannon fodder.’

Inexperienced students of circumcision have been practicing their skills on the babies of the poorest of Israeli society – Ethiopian and Sudanese families – often claiming to be fully-qualified mohels (Jewish ritual circumcisers,) according to a new investigation.

The investigation was conducted by Kan, Israel’s new public broadcasting corporation.

According to the investigation, the initiates are students of Rabbi Eliyahu Asulin of Hadera, a rabbinate-approved mohel with over 30 years’ experience, who is paid thousands of dollars by the students to teach them the trade.

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Rabbi exposed for running a circumcision racket in Israel

ISRAEL
The Freethinker

Rabbi Eliyahu Asulin, of Hadera, above, is being paid thousands by students wanting to become official mohels (circumcisers) and are being sent unsupervised to mutilate Ethiopian and Somalian infants.

According to this report, an investigation conducted by Kan, Israel’s new public broadcasting corporation, revealed that Asulin’s totally inexperienced students are conducting circumcisions among poor families, without accompanying them himself.

He described the young victims as being like “cannon fodder”.

Asulin, a rabbinate-approved mohel with over 30 years’ experience, explained to a Kan investigative journalist that he first instructs the students to make business cards describing their profession as “Mohel.” Then he tells them to distribute their cards at nurseries and post-natal clinics.

In a recording Asulin says:

I’ll lodge a mohel certificate in your name with the rabbinate. That will already give you a year’s head start.

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Woman sues school chaplain over alleged sex abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tim Healy
PUBLISHED
30/11/2016

A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a school chaplain over a three year period has launched a High Court action for damages.

The 28-year-old woman alleges the abuse began when she was a Transition Year student.

“He exploited her continually and regularly”, Jack Fitzgerald SC, for the woman, said.

“His attitude to the claim and what she says happened is that none of it ever happened,” counsel said.

The woman has sued the priest as well as the school in the South East and the local bishop.

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JCCV Statement on Royal Commission Report

AUSTRALIA
JCCV

30 November 2016

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) welcomes the report published yesterday by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse focusing on the responses of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi. The findings in the report are no great surprise but nevertheless are highly disturbing and distressing.

All community organisations, community leaders and community members must be committed to the protection, health and safety of our children as the number one priority of the community. Victims must be respected, listened to and supported. Our institutions must be safe for our children, without exception.

JCCV President Jennifer Huppert stated, “The inaction, lack of reporting and absence of support for victims described in the Report is totally unacceptable. We all expect our community leaders and rabbis to set an example, and that includes protecting the vulnerable, supporting the victimised and having zero tolerance for child sexual abuse.”

Professionals and volunteers working with or around children must be appropriately trained, community organisations must have child protection policies and procedures in place, and religious leaders must reinforce the messages of protecting children, reporting incidents to authorities and supporting victims.

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KY–Victims applaud conviction of KY predator priest

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016

Victims group applauds conviction of predator priest
For 30 years, cleric headed a camp for children in Kentucky
SNAP: “We suspect there are other witnesses, whistleblowers & victims”
Staying “trapped in silence” helps no one, victims say, & “endangers kids,” group stresses
Others who “saw, suspected or suffered abuse” should “come forward” with info, victims plead

A Louisville priest who was accused of molesting two children and spent 30 years running a camp for kids has been found guilty in his first trial. He still awaits a second trial by a second alleged victim after the judge ruled to split the cases, even though both men say they were abused at the same camp. A support group for victims is praising those who helped prosecute the priest and begging others who “may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes or church cover ups” to come forward.

“We’ve talked with two of Fr. Joseph Hemmerle’s victims,” said David Clohessy, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “One of them, Michael Norris, we know well. He is an extraordinarily kind, credible, courageous and compassionate man. And we are grateful that he overcame fear, confusion, shame and self-blame, stood up for himself and others, warned tens of thousands parents about a dangerous cleric and has made it harder for Fr. Hemmerle to hurt other children. We are very, very proud of Michael.”

Fr. Hemmerle was suspended twice – in 2002 and again in 2014 – by Louisville archdiocesan officials because of credible abuse reports.

Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Jeremy Logsdon (270 287 0034) of Leitchfield handled the case. (For more information about the criminal cases: Constance K. Miller (46th JC) ckmiller@prosecutors.ky.gov)

“At least two brave victims came forward reporting Fr. Hemmerle’s crimes. They deserve our gratitude. Their courage has made kids safer,” said Clohessy. “But we firmly believe that there are others with information or suspicions about Fr. Hemmerle. Those individuals should summon the strength to step up and call police or prosecutors right away.”

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Yeshivah continues to cause victims to suffer

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

30/11/2016

​The damning report released yesterday by the Royal Commission into Yeshivah includes findings that ‘the responses of leadership groups to the adverse experiences of survivors and their families ranged from inaction to enabling those adverse experiences.’.

It is truly extraordinary and ironic that on the same day the findings have come out, the Yeshivah leadership invited David Werdiger to host an event on its premises as part of an election process brought about by the Royal Commission and intended as a response to the horrific failures of the Yeshivah leadership to act against those who have been part of the attacks against victims and their families for seeking justice in relation to their abuse. Such attacks, from many quarters, have included the use of anonymous blogs, the spreading of vicious lies against victims and their families, and general intimidation. Werdiger is scheduled to host another similar event tonight.

Those who have read my book will be aware of the role Werdiger has played in my personal suffering. Another victim has also alleged his personal and family’s suffering as a result of Werdiger, and has even sought the court’s intervention against Werdiger in connection with his alleged conduct.

Werdiger has written the following to me:

‘Zev, on the other hand, will now be branded a pedophile for life when more likely he’s just harmless & messed up [as opposed to David Cyprys]’

Zev is Velvel Serebryanski. Velvel sexually abused me several times inside the Yeshivah Centre Synagogue and at another synagogue. I was around 11-12 years old. I have also spoken directly to another one of Velvel’s alleged victims, and I understand through another victim advocate that there is at least one other alleged victim. Neither is ready at this stage to go through a court case. Velvel is also the cousin of Werdiger.

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Legal fees are a barrier to justice for sex abuse victims, inquiry hears

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent

Victims of abuse are finding it increasingly difficult to bring claims for compensation to court because of cuts to legal aid and high legal fees, the inquiry into child sexual abuse has heard.

In its first public seminar, the independent inquiry chaired by Prof Alexis Jay was also told that proposals to introduce a fixed costs regime could add a further barrier to justice.

Luke Daniels, a solicitor with the firm Irwin Mitchell, said it now costs £10,000 to issue a claim. Some cases were later dropped because the costs involved were deemed by the Legal Aid Agency to be disproportionate to any likely future award.

Peter Garsden, a solicitor with Simpson Millar and president of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, said legal aid had been cut back heavily. “People who go through abuse cases are generally unable to work,” he said, “and from the lower income thresholds.

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Editorial: Challenges for the new bishop

FLORIDA
Tampa Bay Times

The newly named bishop for the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg will soon head an institution that spans all of Tampa Bay. Gregory L. Parkes will take over for the retiring Bishop Robert Lynch in January, leading nearly a half-million Catholics throughout Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. He is a fresh face assuming an important role as a moral and spiritual leader during a time of political upheaval both inside and outside the Catholic Church.

The appointment is something of a welcome back for Parkes, currently the bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. A Florida State University graduate, Parkes was a banker in Tampa before joining the priesthood 17 years ago. Over daily prayers at Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa, he realized his calling, left his career and went to seminary armed with considerable life experience. At 6-foot-8, Parkes is an imposing presence but known for his gentle demeanor.

He has plenty to emulate from the tenure of Lynch, who is retiring after 20 years as bishop. Lynch avoided being dogmatic. He has allowed, under the progressive influence of Pope Francis, some breathing room around sensitive topics such as marriage annulments, and he wrote a humble blog post acknowledging the church’s role in ostracizing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. He has emphasized the importance of forging bonds with other faiths, personified by his close friendship with Rabbi Jacob Luski of St. Petersburg’s Congregation B’nai Israel. …

Parkes will have to contend with the remnants of the church’s worldwide priest sexual abuse scandal. The scandal cast an immediate pall on his announcement as bishop, with an abuse survivors’ group criticizing his handling of a priest accused of sexual assault in 2013. Parkes should work to continue the healing and rebuilding of trust eroded by the scandal and take care to handle any new allegations with utmost integrity.

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Cardinal Wuerl apologizes to Pittsburgh victim of sex abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 30, 2016

By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In his first year as the Roman Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh in 1988, Donald Wuerl publicly voiced doubts about a lawsuit filed by a former seminarian who claimed that when he was a boy, a priest had sexually abused him for years.

Despite the skepticism, now-Cardinal Wuerl did send the priest off for a psychiatric evaluation. The bishop became convinced soon enough that the allegations against the Rev. Anthony Cipolla were credible. He prevented the priest from returning to the ministry even through a high-stakes legal battle with the Vatican in the 1990s.

Now Cardinal Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, is paying tribute to Tim Bendig, the abuse survivor who filed that initial lawsuit, apologizing for his initial doubts and saying he helped protect other children and reform the church.

Abuse survivors such as Mr. Bendig call on church leaders to “uphold our own moral teaching,” Cardinal Wuerl said.

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Bishop Michael Kennedy will not move Loud Fence Ribbons

AUSTRALIA
Armidale Express

Rachel Baxter
@rachelbaxter_

30 Nov 2016

Bishop Michael Kennedy has announced the church will not relocate Loud Fence ribbons at the Armidale Catholic Cathedral.

The decision comes after an online petition, started by sexual abuse victim Phil Wright, received hundreds of signatures to protest the move.

“These plans will no longer proceed,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Having now heard more of the concerns of abuse survivors, parishioners, and members of the Loud Fence movement it is clear to me that to proceed with my announced plans for a memorial and for moving the ribbons may cause further hurt rather than alleviating it.”

Loud Fence advocate, Robyn Knight said she was “pleased that he has listened to the community response”.

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The JCCV issues Child Safe Policy

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

November 30, 2016 by David Marlow

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) welcomes the report published yesterday by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse focusing on the responses of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi. The findings in the report are no great surprise but nevertheless are highly disturbing and distressing.

All community organisations, community leaders and community members must be committed to the protection, health and safety of our children as the number one priority of the community. Victims must be respected, listened to and supported. Our institutions must be safe for our children, without exception.

JCCV President Jennifer Huppert stated, “The inaction, lack of reporting and absence of support for victims described in the Report is totally unacceptable. We all expect our community leaders and rabbis to set an example, and that includes protecting the vulnerable, supporting the victimised and having zero tolerance for child sexual abuse.”

Professionals and volunteers working with or around children must be appropriately trained, community organisations must have child protection policies and procedures in place, and religious leaders must reinforce the messages of protecting children, reporting incidents to authorities and supporting victims.

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Penalty reform urged for NSW sex offenders

AUSTRALIA
9 News

By AAP

NSW’s chief prosecutor has signalled a desire for reforms that would see those convicted of historical child sex crimes punished in line with tougher modern standards.

NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Lloyd Babb SC told the child abuse royal commission legislative change in sentencing historical child sex offences was desirable.

“In my view, there isn’t a logic in applying past sentencing standards to offending where the only reason the offending hasn’t come forward is through a lack of earlier complaint,” he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Wednesday.

Mr Babb said when sentencing standards had changed over time it was a clear indication that the courts had determined the old sentencing patterns were wrong.

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Royal Commission – the rabbis call on named to stand down

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

November 30, 2016 by J-Wire Staff

The Executive of the Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand (RCANZ), The Rabbinical Council of New South Wales (RCNSW) and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) have expressed their deep distress by the contents of the report by the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse at Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne.Royal-Commission290In a joint statement the rabbis said: “Child sexual abuse has caused unimaginable suffering to the victims in our community, and RCANZ, RCNSW and RCV and their members are totally committed to removing this scourge from our community and from our institutions. We offer our deepest sympathies to the victims and commit ourselves to learning from the failures of the past.

As the Royal Commission has made clear, child sexual abuse was allowed to continue because of actions and inaction by some rabbis and community leaders. Victims were not always believed or supported, adding to the trauma.

We restate a ruling that has been made many times before, that Jewish law requires all allegations of child sexual abuse to be reported immediately to the police and other relevant government authorities. We encourage all professionals working in the Jewish community whose work brings them into any contact with young people to receive specific and detailed training in child protection. We urge all synagogues and schools in our community to ensure proper governance procedures to oversee the work of their staff, to ensure that failings are identified and corrected.

We call on those who have been identified in the report as not fulfilling their legal obligations to protect children to stand down from their public positions. We believe that those who denigrated or undermined the victims have lost their moral right to serve as leaders in our communities. The Rabbinate must demonstrate that Judaism and the Jewish community will not tolerate child sexual abuse and those who perpetrate it, and must support those who have suffered.

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Australia’s top rabbis urge Yeshivah leaders who failed abuse survivors to step down

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus

Australia’s most senior orthodox rabbis have called on Jewish leaders who failed child abuse survivors to stand down from their public positions.

The rabbinical councils of Australia and New Zealand, New South Wales, and Victoria issued a joint statement on Wednesday in response to the royal commission’s damning findings against Yeshivah communities in Melbourne and Sydney.

The royal commission found the two insular, ultraorthodox Chabad-Lubavitch communities discouraged the reporting of child abuse, failed to act when complaints were made, and treated survivors and their families as outcasts.

The three rabbinical councils said they were “deeply distressed” by the contents of the report, and acknowledged the abuse had caused “unimaginable suffering” to survivors.

The councils called on leaders who had denigrated or undermined victims to stand down from their positions, saying they had “lost their right to serve in our communities”.

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Rabbis call for heads to roll at Yeshivah in wake of child sex abuse scandals

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Timna Jacks

Australia’s most powerful coalition of rabbis has for first time called for heads to roll at Yeshivah institutions, after damning findings in the royal commission exposed that child abuse was ignored and enabled by its leaders.

Executives at the Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand, the Rabbinical Council of Victoria and the Rabbinical Council of New South Wales, have joined forces to take the strongest position to date on the need for reform in the community, which has been rocked by wide-ranging child abuse scandals.

The senior rabbinate called on leaders who intimidated victims to vacate their positions, claiming they have “lost their moral right to serve as leaders in our communities”.

“We call on those who have been identified in the report as not fulfilling their legal obligations to protect children to stand down from their public positions,” read the statement, released on Wednesday.

“We believe that those who denigrated or undermined the victims have lost their moral right to serve as leaders in our communities.

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Leaders should quit over abuse: rabbis

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Australian Associated PressNovember 30, 2016

The leaders of Sydney and Melbourne’s Orthodox Jewish communities who failed to protect children from being abused should stand down, rabbis say.

The child abuse royal commission has found leaders of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi failed to act on reports of abuse.

The peak body of the Australasian rabbinate said child sexual abuse was allowed to continue because of actions or inaction by some rabbis and community leaders, while victims were not always believed or supported.

Those who the royal commission had identified as not fulfilling their legal obligations to protect children should stand down from their public positions, the rabbinical councils of Australia and New Zealand, NSW and Victoria said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

“We believe that those who denigrated or undermined the victims have lost their moral right to serve as leaders in our communities.

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Woman accuses Albuquerque Bishop of sexual abuse

NEW MEXICO
KRQE

By Gabrielle Burkhart
Published: November 29, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A Bishop who leads the Albuquerque chapter of one of the largest nationwide churches is accused of being a predator.

A woman claims he seduced her when she was a teen, then sexually abused her, and recently came onto her 6-year-old daughter.

Bishop James L’Keith Jones of the Church of God in Christ, or COGIC, has been preaching in Albuquerque for years. But there may be a sinister side to the Bishop that Kimberly Pollard wants the public to know about.

Pollard claims her eyes were opened after Jones called her 6-year-old daughter “sexy” in a video message back in February.

It’s now part of a $12.2 million civil lawsuit the now-Texas woman has brought against the Bishop and his church that centers around a series of personal video messages exchanged between Pollard and Jones.

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The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has played down security breaches and says confidential information was not at risk

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith

Representatives of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry have rejected claims that security lapses have undermined its work.

After a newspaper reported that a door at the inquiry had been left unlocked, potentially allowing access to confidential files, a spokesman denied there had been any risk of access to such files, adding that “rigorous security measures” were always in place.

Reports also stated that details of data protection errors had been sent to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), including one in which a letter about evidence given by an abuse victim was sent to the wrong address and another in which confidential information was sent to a former panel member, even though he had left the inquiry team.

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Mazenod College suspends teacher who hypnotised students

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Henrietta Cook

A Catholic boys school has suspended a teacher after he hypnotised students and allegedly asked one boy to touch himself.

The incident occurred at Mazenod College in Mulgrave and is now at the centre of a police investigation.

The school’s principal, Father Christian Fini, revealed in a letter to parents on Monday that “a teacher was using hypnosis techniques on students”.

He said the school was speaking to year 10 and 11 students and their families.

“The matter continues to be investigated by authorities beyond the school community,” he said.

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Eviction fears raised 
for priest’s parents

SCOTLAND
Motherwell Times

The elderly parents of a Roman Catholic priest at the centre of legal action could be evicted from their home, it was claimed this week.

It’s the latest twist in a saga that began when Fr Matthew Despard was suspended after writing a book making allegations of sexual misconduct within the church.

Supporters of the priest say his parents, Dickie and Cathie, could be forced out of the North Motherwell home they have lived in for many years if the latest court action brought against him is successful.

They are angry that Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell, is due to visit St Bernadette’s Church, where the couple are well-respected parishioners, on Sunday, just a day before the legal action is raised at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

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Archbishop Byrnes tells Guam “I belong to you”

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Nov 30, 2016

By Krystal Paco

History has been made. Hundreds of the island’s faithful gathered for a morning prayer service to welcome and celebrate newly-appointed Archbishop Michael Byrnes. While he’s scheduled to make his permanent move to Guam in January, the new leader of the island’s Catholic faithful is visiting for the next few weeks to get acquainted with his new island home.

The arrival of Guam’s new archbishop appears to already be closing the gap that has divided the local Catholic church for years. On Wednesday morning, just minutes before a Prayer for the Beginning of the Episcopal Ministry of Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes service, dozens of members of the Neocatechumenal Way gathered in song to welcome him.

Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Archbishop Byrnes was appointed to the Archdiocese of Agana on October 31. He was given full authority over the pastoral life of the local church, relieving Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Acting as Guam’s interim archbishop since June, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai provided opening remarks for today’s prayer service.

“Pope Francis is confident that Archbishop Michael will promote the healing of the archdiocese,” he said, “and the building of bridges for a deeper ecclesial union that everyone desires.”

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New accusation of sexual abuse filed against church

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Nov 30, 2016

By Sabrina Salas Matanane

One more case was filed alleging child molestation by local clergy, as the latest person to come forward is Norman J.D. Aguon. The 56-year -old man now lives in Oregon but previously lived in Malojloj during his childhood years. He alleges that between 1969 through 1973 starting when he was 13 years old he was an altar boy at San Isidro Church in Malojloj, where Father Louis Brouillard was the priest.

Like other he alleged that at the Carmelite monastery the priest would walk around naked and molested him on multiple occasions.

The latest case follows ten previously filed against local clergy. Walter Denton, Roland Sondia, Roy Quintanilla, and the Estate of Joseph Sonny Quinata alleged they are victims of sexual molestation by then Mt. Carmel Priest Anthony Apuron. Paul Joseph Borja alleges he was abused by the now-deceased priest of the Chalan Pago Church Fr. Antonio Cruz, and Leo Tudela, Bruce Diaz, Vicente Perez, Vicente San Nicolas and Anthony Vegafria allege they were repeatedly sexually molested by Fr. Louis Brouillard where they served as altar boys and boy scouts in Mangilao, Barrigada and Malojloj.

A canonical trial is underway by the Vatican for Apuron who maintains his innocence while Fr. Louis Brouillard confessed he sexually molested boys while he served as a priest and scout master on Guam in the 1940’s through the 1970’s. Court documents state Fr. Brouillard told the head of the Catholic Church at the time about what he’d done, but Bishop Baumgartner allegedly told him to do prayers as penance.

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Victims advocate: Altoona-Johnstown diocese ‘retrenching’ in wake of abuse report

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

An alleged victim of child sexual abuse, who came forward shortly after a grand jury report was released that accused the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown of orchestrating a decades-long coverup of pedophilia within its ranks, now finds himself at odds with the diocese over a proposed settlement.

The now 34-year-old man claims he was abused by Brother Stephen Baker from approximately 1996 to 1998 ,when both were at what was then called Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown.

Robert Hoatson, co-founder of Road to Recovery, a support group for victims, said a settlement offer has been made by the diocese and Third Order Regular, Province of the Immaculate Conception, which assigned Baker to Bishop McCort. But Hoatson described the amount as “peanuts.”

Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston-based lawyer who represents the accuser, said, “The diocese and the Franciscans are re-victimizing my client.”

He accused the diocese of acting in an “extremely non-pastoral way.”

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Louisville priest found guilty of inappropriate touching

KENTUCKY
WAVE

[with video]

By Charles Gazaway, Digital Content Producer

BRANDENBURG, KY (WAVE) – The verdict against a Louisville priest on trial for allegations of indecent or immoral practice was returned Tuesday.

After a two-day trial, a Meade County jury returned the verdict against Fr. Joseph Hemmerle after less than two hours of deliberation.

Hemmerle was facing two counts of indecent or immoral practice. The jury found Hemmerle not guilty on one charge of engaging in a sexual act and guilty on a count of inappropriate touching.

Hemmerle was director and camp counselor for Camp Tall Trees in Meade County for 30 years. He has also served as a parish priest and a teacher at Trinity High School.

The first sexual abuse allegations were brought against Hemmerle in 2001 by Michael Norris, but Hemmerle was not charged and was only reassigned by an internal investigation by the church.

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Jury recommends 7 year sentence for priest convicted of sex abuse

KENTUCKY
WHAS

BRANDENBURG, Ky. (AP) — A jury has recommended a seven-year sentence for a Louisville priest convicted of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Joseph Hemmerle was convicted Tuesday of indecent or immoral practices with a child under 15 at his Catholic summer camp in the 1970s.

The 74-year-old priest testified Tuesday during a trial in Meade County that he would occasionally apply calamine lotion to the genitals of child campers, with their permission. But he testified that he never abused the alleged victim, Michael Norris.

Norris said when he was 10 years old, Hemmerle stood him on a stool with no clothes and sexually abused him in Hemmerle’s personal cabin.

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Rabbinic Council of Australia and New Zealand public statement in response to the Royal Commission Report

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

30 November 2016

​Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Report of Case Study No. 22. The response of Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse made against people associated with those institutions

The Executive of the Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand (RCANZ), The Rabbinical Council of New South Wales (RCNSW) and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) are grateful for yesterday’s report by the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse at Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne, and deeply distressed by its contents.

Child sexual abuse has caused unimaginable suffering to the victims in our community, and RCANZ, RCNSW and RCV and their members are totally committed to removing this scourge from our community and from our institutions. We offer our deepest sympathies to the victims and commit ourselves to learning from the failures of the past.

As the Royal Commission has made clear, child sexual abuse was allowed to continue because of actions and inaction by some rabbis and community leaders. Victims were not always believed or supported, adding to the trauma.

We restate a ruling that has been made many times before, that Jewish law requires all allegations of child sexual abuse to be reported immediately to the police and other relevant government authorities. We encourage all professionals working in the Jewish community whose work brings them into any contact with young people to receive specific and detailed training in child protection. We urge all synagogues and schools in our community to ensure proper governance procedures to oversee the work of their staff, to ensure that failings are identified and corrected.

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Priest convicted of indecent practices with child under 15

KENTUCKY
SFGate

Dylan Lovan, Associated Press Tuesday, November 29, 2016

BRANDENBURG, Ky. (AP) — A Louisville priest was convicted Tuesday of sexually abusing a boy at a summer camp he used to run but was found not guilty on a second count of the same charge.
The Rev. Joseph Hemmerle was found guilty of one count of indecent or immoral practices with a child under 15. Jurors cleared him of the second count.

Jurors in the Meade County trial deliberated for two hours before returning the verdict, then began considering a sentence. Hemmerle faces up to 10 years in prison.

Hemmerle, 74, was charged with committing sexual abuse at his Catholic summer camp in the 1970s. He testified Tuesday that he would sometimes apply calamine lotion to the genitals of child campers, with their permission, but he denied abusing his accuser.

Hemmerle said from the witness stand that he never abused the alleged victim, Michael Norris. The county was the site of Camp Tall Trees, a summer camp Hemmerle ran for three decades beginning in the 1970s.

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Man settles De La Salle Rubane House sex abuse claim case for £22,000

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Alan Erwin
PUBLISHED
29/11/2016

A man allegedly subjected to sexual abuse at a Co Down children’s home more than 50 years ago is to receive £22,500 to settle his legal action.

The 66-year-old claims he suffered a serious psychiatric injury due to his treatment as a boy staying at Rubane House in Kircubbin.

He sued the De La Salle religious order who ran the home, seeking damages for a “serious and persistent” alleged campaign.

It was confirmed at the High Court in Belfast on Tuesday that his lawsuit has seen resolved.

Solicitor Claire McKeegan of KRW Law, representing the plaintiff, announced a settlement for the sum of £22,500.

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Louisville priest found guilty of sexually abusing child at Meade County camp

KENTUCKY
WDRB

Updated: Nov 29, 2016

By Katrina Helmer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A Louisville priest accused of abusing a boy at camp was found guilty Tuesday of sexually abusing a child in the 1970s.

The jury came back around 5 p.m. Tuesday after deliberating for about two hours.

The victim said in court this week that Fr. Hemmerle inappropriately touched him when he was at a camp in Meade County and that instead of treating his poison ivy like the priest promised, Fr. Hemmerle abused him alone in the priest’s cabin.

Fr. Hemmerle denied it ever happened, and all the defense’s witnesses say it never could have happened.

The defense brought seven witnesses to the stand Tuesday, including a priest who worked with Fr. Hemmerle at Camp Tall Trees along with five former campers and counselors and Fr. Hemmerle himself.

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Convicted sex offender Father Ron Léger granted bail

CANADA
CBC News

Convicted sex offender Father Ron Léger has been granted bail after being arrested on additional charges.

Judge Cynthia Devine ruled he could be released from custody on a $1,000 bond and a $10,000 surety provided by Clerics of Saint Viator.

The former head of Holy Family Parish priest and founder of Teen Stop Jeunesse, Léger had been in custody since his arrest on additional sexual assault charges in October.

In 2015, he was convicted of sexual offences against three males and was later handed a two year sentence. The charges date back to a series of incidents that occurred between 1984 and 2004.

In October he was arrested after four more men came forward alleging sexual abuse. Léger now faces 8 new charges of sexual assault.

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Jury weighs priest’s fate in molestation case

KENTUCKY
Courier-Journal

Chris Kenning , @ckenning_cj November 29, 2016

After Louisville Catholic priest Joseph Hemmerle took the stand Tuesday to deny that he’d sexually abused a young boy at a summer camp in the 1970s, a Meade County jury at 3 p.m. began considering his fate following a two-day trial.

Hemmerle, 74, faces two counts of immoral or indecent practices after being indicted in 2014 on charges of sex abuse and sodomy. If found guilty, he could get up to 20 years in prison.

Michael Norris, 53, of Texas, testified on Monday that at Camp Tall Trees near Otter Creek Park in 1973, Hemmerle told him to report to his cabin one night to treat poison ivy. Norris said Hemmerle told him to strip and stand on a stool for treatment before touching him sexually with his hands and mouth.

He alerted the archdiocese and Kentucky State Police in 2001, but no charges were brought until a second accuser from the camp came forward in 2014. That case will be heard separately in April of 2017.

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Priest says he touched camper’s genitals, but denies abuse

KENTUCKY
Daily News

By DYLAN LOVAN Associated Press

BRANDENBURG, Ky. (AP) — A Louisville priest charged with committing sexual abuse at his Catholic summer camp in the 1970s testified Tuesday that he would sometimes apply calamine lotion to the genitals of child campers, with their permission, but he denied abusing his accuser.

The Rev. Joseph Hemmerle said from the witness stand during a trial in Meade County that he never abused the alleged victim, Michal Norris. The county was the site of Camp Tall Trees, a summer camp Hemmerle ran for three decades beginning in the 1970s.

Norris said when he was 10 years old, Hemmerle stood him on a stool with no clothes and sexually abused him in Hemmerle’s personal cabin. Norris testified he went to the priest for poison ivy treatment.

The 74-year-old Hemmerle testified that he didn’t remember Norris at the camp, but “there’s no doubt in my mind” that Norris was not abused by him.

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Diaspora pedophiles increasingly use Israel as ‘a haven,’ activists charge

ISRAEL
Times of Israel

BY MELANIE LIDMAN November 28, 2016

The text message came in Hebrew and English. “A warning to the citizens of Israel: JCW [Jewish Community Watch, an organization that monitors child sex abuse] has received credible information that [redacted] has plans to return to Israel in early November, with intentions of moving to the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem. The authorities in Israel have been notified, as well as local community leaders.”

The text message, sent to thousands of people on the JCW update list, raced through Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood. According to New York’s sex offender registry, the person in question is a Level 2 sex offender, at moderate risk of reoffending. The message continued with more background and allegations against the immigrant offender.

“In 2007, [redacted] had escaped to Israel through Canada in an effort to evade arrest from the police in New York. He was formally charged in absentia with 8 counts of deviate sexual intercourse with two 13-year-old minors on the same day his aliyah status was approved. Months later [redacted] was extradited back to NY where he was convicted in 2009 and served time until his release in February 2012. Currently [redacted] still holds Israeli citizenship under the alias [redacted].”

According to Shana Aronson, the Israel operations coordinator for Jewish Community Watch, the text message is a public service.

“People have a right, after they serve their time, to live their life,” said Aronson. “But the community has a right to know who they are. They shouldn’t be vilified any more than is necessary to protect the community. But nothing is more devastating than a repeat offender. It’s infuriating. It could have been prevented.”

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HEAD OF VATICAN COURT: CDL. BURKE COULD BE STRIPPED OF RED HAT

SPAIN
Church Militant

by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D. • ChurchMilitant.com • November 29, 2016

Accuses Burke of causing “grave scandal”

The Dean of the Roman Rota, the Vatican’s top canonical court overseeing marriage, is issuing an ominous warning to Cdl. Raymond Burke that he may be stripped of his cardinalate for allegedly causing “grave scandal.”

Speaking Tuesday at a lecture at the Ecclesiastical University of San Damaso in Madrid, Abp. Pio Vito Pinto asked, “What Church are these cardinals defending? The Pope is faithful to the doctrines of Christ.”

“What they have done is a very serious scandal that could even lead the Holy Father to remove their cardinalate, as has already happened in previous times in the Church,” he added.

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Who Is Bishop Parkes and How Will He Treat Our Children?

FLORIDA
Legal Examiner

Posted by Joseph H. Saunders
November 29, 2016

In a somewhat surprising announcement, Pope Francis announced yesterday that Bishop Gregory Parkes of Pensacola-Tallahassee will be the new bishop of St. Petersburg. Parkes will be installed as the fifth bishop of the local diocese since its founding in 1968 on January 4, 2017 in St. Petersburg.

In any transition of power, many questions arise in terms of how will the new authority figure govern? What changes will be made? What will be his priorities? As a child abuse advocate and a priest abuse lawyer, I wonder how he will handle abuse allegations. Will he be transparent and deal with sexual abuse survivors in a compassionate and just manner? At this point, I don’t have the answers to any of these questions and his short tenure in Pensacola-Tallahassee provides few indicators as to how he will govern in the much larger Diocese of St. Petersburg. However, we may glean a few thoughts about the bishop from a review of his past. In this post, I’ll attempt to go beyond the local news headlines to reveal what we might expect from this bishop in terms of leadership style, temperament, and communication style. While I am not Catholic, my years as a trial lawyer and taking the depositions of bishops and priests has given me insight into their beliefs, attitudes, and leadership styles.

First of all, anyone who is named a bishop today is skilled in the art of church politics. Priests who become bishops today are not mavericks. They are company men who are taught to tow the company line in terms of doctrine and operational procedures. They climbed the ecclesiastical ladder by forging the right friendships and allegiances with powerful men. They know the system and how it works. Typically, they will hold an advanced degree from a pontifical university in Rome and have spent just enough time in a parish setting to be able to say they have engaged in pastoral work.

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Child abuse royal commission: Rabbi inaction failed abuse victims within Yeshiva community

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Sarah Farnsworth

The royal commission has delivered its findings into child abuse at Jewish institutions in Melbourne and Sydney, saying that abuse victims were let down by rabbis and their “confused” adherence to the Jewish law Mesirah, leaving them vulnerable to paedophiles.

The commission found many of the lead rabbis at Yeshiva Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi, as well as synagogues and schools in Sydney and Melbourne followed “a pattern of total inaction” that was wholly inadequate.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s findings vindicate whistle blower Manny Waks, who first exposed abuse within the strictly orthodox and insular sect.

Three commissioners found a “marked absence of supportive leadership for survivors of abuse” and the incorrect application of Jewish law left those who spoke out criticised and isolated.

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Looking back with Hon

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

“I learned that we need to have more pastoral concern and compassion for those wounded by the church. … Fundamentally, I feel that most of them still have great love for the church. They protest in order to purify the church.” – Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana

After nearly six months of serving as the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai is scheduled to depart Guam and return to his office in Rome sometime tomorrow. But before bidding his final farewells, Hon sat down with the Post to talk about his time serving the local Catholic faithful.

Hon was named apostolic administrator sede plena (when a bishop’s see is vacant) for the Archdiocese of Agana by the Vatican on June 6 following an announcement that Pope Francis had relieved Archbishop Anthony Apuron of his duties and appointed an interim administrator for the archdiocese.

When asked if he felt he was prepared for the controversy that truly blossomed after his arrival, Hon stated he was not, but that he was able to tackle the problems facing the archdiocese with the help of local clergy and the laity.

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NY–Group blasts Albany bishop over hunger strike

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016

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

We are sad but not surprised that Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger refuses to meet with two women who say they were abused by Catholic employees. More and more, bishops are acting like they acted before the church’s abuse and cover up crisis erupted in 2002 – as untouchable potentates, rather than as caring shepherds.

[News10]

[CBS6]

For crying out loud, how hard would it be for Scharfenberger to just sit down with these women? Why must he act like some high and mighty lord callously rebuffing a couple of serfs?

Or at least why won’t he explain how he’s become convinced that they’re somehow not credible?

We admire these brave, persistent women for exposing a bishop who apparently values his own comfort above the comfort of those who say they’ve been wounded.

No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

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Royal Commission lawyers deliver call to condemn church on abuse

AUSTRALIA
Mercury

PATRICK BILLINGS, Mercury
November 29, 2016

A FAR-REACHING paedophile ring, involving victims and predators from Tasmania, was active within an offshoot of the Anglican Church, Royal Commission lawyers have alleged in a damning submission.

Counsel assisting the commission Naomi Sharp has also recommended the actions of former Tasmanian Bishop Philip Newell be found to have helped cover up allegations against a serial paedophile priest.

The Anglican Diocese of Tasmania has rejected the proposed finding against Bishop Newell, who was the church’s Tasmanian bishop from 1982 until he retired in 2000.

Its lawyer Neil Clelland, QC, called on the commission to extend Bishop Newell a greater level of “understanding” which it had granted other church officials.

The landmark Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse held public hearings in Hobart earlier this year.

Under the microscope was the diocese and the Church of England Boys’ Society (CEBS) – a scout-like organisation connected to the Anglican Church.

One of Tasmania’s worst paedophiles Lou Daniels, a former Burnie archdeacon, was a prominent member of CEBS.

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Milford woman, appearing on The Dr. Oz Show, gives sex assault victims hope

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Braintree

By Zachary Comeau
Daily News Staff

Barbara Hansen waited 40 years to tell her story of sexual assault and violence, but is now doing so on a global scale.

The Milford author of “Listen to the Cry of the Child: The Deafening Silence of Sexual Abuse,” now speaks about sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather and later a pastor at a religious camp, all of which is detailed in her book.

Since 1999, Hansen has gone public about her story, which she kept under wraps for almost 40 years.

Just recently, she appeared on “The Dr. Oz Show” alongside 19 other victims of sexual and domestic violence.

The episode is scheduled to be aired Dec. 13, but Hansen has been telling her story in hopes that it will inspire others to eradicate the abuse in their lives.

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The common denominator of Jewish sexual scandals

UNITED STATES
Heritage Florida Jewish News

By Richard A. Ries

At least five of the most notorious and sensational national sexual stories of the modern era belong to Jews: The Monica Lewinsky story of the 1990s; the quickly forgotten and tragic Chandra Levy affair in 2001; the duplicitous life of Governor Eliot Spitzer (who prosecuted prostitution rings, only to use them himself); the disturbing pedophilia of Jared Fogel, disgraced Subway pitchman, and now the libidinous Anthony Weiner once again creeping into national life.

To be sure, Jews have no monopoly on national or political sex scandals. Tiger Woods, we learned, was very much scoring off the links. Speaker Dennis Hastert was once third in line to the presidency, and then served time for predatory homosexual behavior on boys during his salad days as a wrestling coach in Illinois. And perhaps one of the more heart wrenching stories of recent times was the lurid details of disgraced Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who will die in prison for rapes of children that went unreported for years.

But the typical American sexual scandal is neither the sexual excesses of a Tiger Woods nor the pedophilia of a Jerry Sandunsky. It is an extramarital affair between two consenting adults. This was true of North Carolinian Senator Jonathan Edwards, who fathered a child with a woman not his wife, and South Carolinian Governor Mark Sanford, who discovered that his soulmate was not his wife but rather a South American woman. This was true of General David Petraeus, who liked his biography so much he slept with his biographer, and this has been true of an array of political figures including the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Gary Hart, Speaker Newt Gingrich, and perhaps two dozen other congressional figures now of lesser name recognition. (Some of these figures were guilty of something Americans sometimes rightly find as ugly as adultery and that is hypocrisy: Gingrich was having an affair while calling for Bill Clinton’s ouster, and Jackson was having an affair while dispensing spiritual advice to Clinton when the Lewinsky news made headlines.)

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Gallup’s Bishop Wall apologizes, meets abuse survivors

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Nov. 21, 2016

Healing prayers offered

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

GALLUP – About three dozen people attended the Diocese of Gallup’s first healing service for survivors of clergy sexual abuse Saturday evening.

After the 35-minute service at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bishop James S. Wall met privately with several abuse survivors and some of their family members.

The service was the first in a series of 36 healing services that will be held across the diocese over the next 15 months. As part of the Gallup Diocese’s Chapter 11 reorganization, Wall agreed to visit each operating Catholic parish or school in which sexual abuse occurred or where identified abusers served.

“I’d like to publicly apologize to you,” Wall told survivors attending the service. He added, “There was no excuse for what was done” to them as children.

“In the name of the church, I say to you this evening, I am sorry for all you have experienced,” Wall said. “Because of the criminal behavior of those you trusted, it was not your fault. It was not your fault.”

Wall also apologized on behalf of the church “for failing to minister to you in ways that were respectful of your human dignity.”

Wall spoke for about 10 minutes, with his homily centered on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes found in the Gospel of Matthew. Wall reminded his listeners, “You are not alone in suffering. But Christ is there for you: to comfort you, to console you and to give you his peace.”

Wall concluded his remarks by saying he prayed that abuse survivors would find peace and healing. “Thank you for your courage to be with us tonight,” he said.

Concern for victims

Prudence Jones, an abuse survivor who lives in Gallup, attended the service with family members. Jones, who agreed to speak publicly, served on the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case. The committee represented the interests of individuals who filed sexual abuse claims against the diocese. Jones had both positive and negative reactions to the evening.

“It was very much a healing service in all aspects,” Jones said in a telephone interview after the service. “It was very meaningful.”

Jones said Wall met with her and her family members after the service and prayed with them, which she appreciated.

“I genuinely can see that Bishop Wall is concerned for the victims,” Jones said; however, she added, the actions of the diocese are sometimes contradictory. Specifically, she said, diocesan officials are not very open and transparent with the public.

Jones had mixed feelings about abuse survivors being directed to the Sacred Heart Family Center to meet with the bishop after the service. In one way, it was “singling us out in almost an isolation format,” she said, and in another way she felt her privacy was compromised by the number of people participating in other activities in the building.

Jones also expressed disappointment that Wall is not providing a forum open to the public for questions and comments during his visits to churches and schools in the diocese. That was part of her understanding, she said, of the non-monetary provisions in the diocese’s plan of reorganization.

Jones noted that when the church starts doing what it said it would do, “that builds trust.” Jones added she had hoped diocesan officials would have worked more with her and other committee members regarding the bishop’s visits.

An open door

Another abuse survivor, who asked that her name be withheld, had only positive responses to the healing service.

“It was actually quite powerful,” she said in a telephone interview Sunday. She said that during the service she suddenly had a deep understanding that many of the problems in her life were rooted in the sexual abuse she experienced. “I re-opened that door — that door that I shut as a victim,” she said. “I opened the door again because I had support from the bishop.”

The woman said because of the abuse, she had turned her back on the Catholic Church and didn’t raise her children with the experience of religion and spirituality. She said after attending Saturday’s service, she thinks she might be able to “heal enough to return to church.” Although she hadn’t expected to speak to the bishop after the service, the woman said she made the decision to talk with him.

“I respect that he’s trying to right a wrong,” she said. “He was definitely supportive.”

Prior to attending the healing service, the woman said she had a “me against them” attitude toward the church because she felt “they did this to me.” Now, she said, she has a different perspective toward Wall and his staff. “They have to clean up somebody else’s mess, and that must not be an easy job,” she said.

The next three healing services will be offered in Arizona parishes: Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Fort Defiance Nov. 29, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Holbrook Dec. 2 and St. Rita in Show Low Dec. 9.

Abuse survivors who would prefer to meet with the bishop in a different setting should contact Elizabeth Terrill, the victims’ assistance coordinator pro tem, at 505-906-7357.

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Media Release: Victims welcome Royal Commission findings into Yeshivah

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

​29 November 2016

​On behalf of myself, my family and other victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, I welcome the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s Report into the responses of Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse and cover-ups made against people associated with those institutions.

Regarding Yeshivah Melbourne, the Report highlights the failures of the Yeshivah leadership, and in particular the late Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner, which directly resulted in the sexual abuse of numerous children. It also confirms the abhorrent, hypocritical and irreligious way in which the Yeshivah Melbourne community, enabled and/or incited by the lay leadership and Rabbi Zvi Telsner (the son-in-law of Rabbi Groner), responded to victims of sexual abuse, their families and supporters.

It is particularly telling that on all contentious issues, the Commission preferred the evidence given by victims to that of the Yeshivah leadership.

Regrettably, in the year and a half which has transpired since the public hearing into Yeshivah, while there have been many positive developments, the response of the Centre has fallen well short of what ought reasonably to have occurred. It is clear that anybody who was involved in the religious or lay leadership of Yeshivah prior to the Royal Commission has no business being involved in its leadership today. Yet several of the Yeshivah leaders whose conduct was exposed by the Commission have been allowed to maintain their roles or standing within the community.

Now that the Report has formally confirmed the culpability of Yeshivah and its leadership, Yeshivah must immediately act to:

* suspend the ongoing performance of religious leadership functions by Rabbis Telsner, Abraham Glick and Meir-Shlomo Kluwgant on its premises or with its endorsement, including leading prayer services, delivering sermons/lectures and/or performing kosher slaughter or certification activities;

* stand down Rabbi Chaim-Tzvi Groner, the only Board Member who has failed to resign from the Board; and

* stand down Mrs Nechama Bendet, the former General Manager and Board member of Yehsivah who remains in a senior management position there.

On a personal note, as the Commission determined that my family became the secondary victims of the abuse I endured, Yeshivah and other guilty parties should offer them, at the very least, an unequivocal personal apology. As the Report notes, none has been forthcoming to date.

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Catholic priest at centre of gay mafia row under pressure to quit church job

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

BY LYNN MCPHERSON

A Catholic priest at the centre of a gay mafia row is being pressurised to resign as parish priest after a three-year battle with the church.

Father Matthew Despard was sent a three-page letter from Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Toal, calling for him to quit his post at St John Ogilvie’s Parish in Blantyre.

Father Despard wrote a book claiming that a “powerful gay mafia” was operating at the top of the Catholic Church in Scotland and was responsible for sexual ­bullying.

The Amazon-published book, Priesthood in Crisis, was later ­withdrawn from sale.

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Submissions for public hearing into Church of England Boys’ Society published

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

29 November, 2016

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published the written submissions for the public hearing into the Church of England Boys’ Society and the Anglican Dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane on its website.

The public hearing was held in Hobart in January 2016 and inquired into the response of the Church of England Boys’ Society and the Anglican Dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane to allegations of child sexual abuse.

The public hearing also inquired into the systems, policies and procedures in place within the Church of England Boys’ Society and the Anglican Dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane in relation to:

* Youth camps and activities
* Raising and responding to concerns and complaints about child sexual abuse

The submissions can be found on the Case Study 36 page of the Royal Commission’s website.

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Report released into Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

29 November, 2016

The Royal Commission’s report into Case Study 22 – the response of Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse made against people associated with those institutions – was released today.

The report follows a public hearing in February 2015 which inquired into the response of the Yeshivah Centre and the Yeshivah College in Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse made against David Cyprys, David Kramer and Aaron Kestecher. The hearing also inquired into the response of the Yeshiva Centre and the Yeshiva College Bondi to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Daniel Hayman.

The case study examined:

* The influence of Jewish (or ‘halachic’) law on the responses of the institutions to child sexual abuse allegations
* The experiences of survivors of child sexual abuse and their families and the community’s response to them
* The response of the leadership of Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne to survivors of child sexual abuse
* The actions of perpetrators of child sexual abuse and how their connections to the institutions gave them an apparent power or authority
* The present approaches of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi to child sexual abuse

Four survivors of child sexual abuse perpetrated within the Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi communities gave evidence detailing their experiences of sexual abuse and the impact that had on their lives.

The Royal Commission heard evidence that a Jewish law, known as mesirah, forbids a Jew from informing upon, or handing over another Jew to a secular authority (particularly where criminal conduct is alleged). Under Jewish law gossiping, or speaking negatively of another Jew, Jewish institution or place, is discouraged, even if what is said is objectively true.

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Orthodox abuse victims ostracised: Inquiry

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

Australian Associated Press
November 29, 2016

Victims of child sex abuse and their families were outcast from their Orthodox Jewish communities for reporting the attacks, a royal commission has found.

Leaders of the Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi failed to act on reports of abuse and Jewish law, or halachic, strongly influenced the response and treatment of survivors, the Child Abuse Royal Commission says in its latest report.

Complaints were made to the head of Melbourne’s Yeshivah Centre and the Yeshivah College rabbi Yitchok David Groner about convicted paedophile David Cyprys from the mid-1980s and rabbi David Kramer from the early-1990s.

“The evidence before us establishes that Rabbi Groner’s response to reported incidents of child sexual abuse was wholly inadequate,” the royal commission’s report, released on Tuesday, says.

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Child abuse unreported and ‘enabled’ at Yeshivah, Royal Commission finds

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Timna Jacks

Leaders at Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi have been accused of failing to report child abuse to police and allowing paedophiles unfettered access to children, in strongly-worded findings of the royal commission.

Investigations into child sexual abuse at the religious Jewish institutions uncovered a “pattern” of inaction in responding to reports of abuse, according to findings released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday.

In the face of repeated reports of child abuse, leaders at the Orthodox centres – which operate as synagogues, schools and community hubs – assured victims they would act in defence of the victim, but no action was ultimately taken, the commission said.

“We were told that the responses of leadership groups to the adverse experiences of survivors and their families ranged from inaction to enabling those adverse experiences. The responses were perhaps in part to protect the reputations of individuals or the institutions concerned.”

Four survivors of abuse and several rabbis and community leaders, gave evidence about the the scale of child abuse at Yeshivah Centre and the Yeshivah​ College in Melbourne and Yeshiva​ Centre and the Yeshiva College Bondi, in public hearings last year.

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Jewish communities discouraged survivors from reporting child abuse, commission finds

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus
Tuesday 29 November 2016

A strict adherence to Jewish law led two ultra-Orthodox communities to treat child abuse survivors as outcasts and discouraged them from contacting secular authorities, the royal commission has found.

On Tuesday the commission released its report on Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne, two communities belonging to the Chabad-Lubavitch orthodox movement of Judaism.

Chabad communities imposed on their members a strict adherence to orthodox practices and laws, encouraging modesty and gender segregation, while discouraging contact with non-Jews or any discussion of sex, the commission found.

Rabbis were found to have discouraged members from coming forward about abuse and a number resigned during last year’s commission hearing.

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Anger over blunder as nationwide child abuse HQ left open all night

SCOTLAND
Scottish Sun

Massive probe is being investigated over series of security gaffes that also saw victim’s private letter detailing ordeal sent to wrong address

EXCLUSIVE

BY DOUGLAS WALKER 29th November 2016

THE national child abuse probe HQ was left open overnight in a security blunder.

Staff discovered an unlocked door at the Edinburgh site where highly sensitive information on victims is kept.

Survivors’ spokesman Andi Lavery branded it “shambolic”.

The gaffe emerged as it was revealed the massive nationwide child abuse is being investigated over a series of security blunders.

Bosses reported themselves to the Information Commissioner’s Officer following data protection breaches that survivors claim have been common for “a long time”.

One saw a victim’s private letter detailing their ordeal sent to the wrong address.

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Several archbishops, bishops on Guam for Byrnes’ first public events

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com November 29, 2016

At least five other archbishops and bishops will join Catholics on Guam for newly-appointed Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes’ first islandwide Mass Wednesday, at 10:30 a.m.

For 30 years, the island’s Catholic Church was led by Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, until the Vatican placed him on leave on June 6. He now is going through a canonical trial in Rome over multiple allegations of sexual abuse of altar boys in the 1970s.

Byrnes was appointed as Apuron’s successor, should Apuron resign, retire or be removed as archbishop.

“The first public Mass by a new archbishop is historic for Guam and the region,” said St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church parishioner and Sinajana Mayor Robert Hofmann, who personally welcomed most of the archbishops and bishops at the airport early Monday and Tuesday. “And to have archbishops and bishops from the region to join Guam for that is a very nice way to welcome Archbishop Byrnes.”

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Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Yeshivah Centre

AUSTRALIA
Courier-Mail

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
November 29, 2016

MELBOURNE’s Yeshivah Centre has been slammed for covering up sexual abuse in a damning report handed down by the child abuse royal commission today.

The findings come almost two years after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse started its probe into the orthodox Jewish community’s Melbourne and Bondi centres.

In its 112 page report the commission rejected key testimony given by some of the centre’s top officials and found the community had covered up child sex abuse over several decades.

It also found:

— VICTIMS and other members of the community were discouraged from reporting abuse,

— THERE was a marked absence of supportive leadership for survivors of child sexual abuse and their families, and

— THE leadership did not create an environment conducive to the communication of information about child sexual abuse.

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Police to testify at child sex abuse hearing

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

AAP

Senior police officers are expected to testify when a royal commission hearing into the criminal justice system’s response to child sexual abuse resumes today.

The royal commission yesterday examined the case of Catholic brother Christopher Rafferty, who was acquitted of child sex crimes against a student of Goulburn catholic boarding school despite a judge being ‘well satisfied’ abuse occurred.

The commission heard Judge David Frearson said the evidence did not satisfy each particular incident that made up the six charges brought against Brother Rafferty.

– See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/nsw/2016/11/29/police-to-testify-at-child-sex-abuse-hearing.html#sthash.OfvZpCIn.dpuf

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Sex abuse victims treated as ‘outcasts’: Royal Commission report on Jewish groups

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Members of Australia’s close-knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish community were discouraged from reporting child sexual abuse because they feared being cast out, a royal commission has found.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its report into Yeshiva Bondi and Yeshivah Melbourne on Tuesday, following a public hearing last year.

According to the report, survivors of child sexual abuse were treated as “outcasts after it had become known that they had reported their experiences of child sexual abuse to secular authorities.”

“The royal commission found the evidence strongly suggested that … some members of those communities were discouraged from reporting,” the report stated.

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Vatican unveils new website for Peter’s Pence collection

VATICAN CITY
Independent Catholic News (UK)

The Vatican Secretariat of State has unveiled a new website dedicated to the Pope’s charitable collection known as ‘Peter’s Pence’.The site went online yesterday and is currently available in English, Italian, and Spanish. A press statement said it would soon be translated into other languages.

Containing reflections from Pope Francis, the website offers the faithful another way to contribute to Peter’s Pence, which is an annual collection held throughout the Catholic world on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

The funds raised for Peter’s Pence go to the Holy Father, who distributes them for the necessities of the universal Church and as charity to those most in need.

Faithful throughout the world will now have the opportunity to “reflect on the significance of their acts and offer, also online, their concrete support for the works of mercy, Christian charity, peace, and aid to the Holy See”, the press statement reads.

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Colette Browne: Papal visit will remind us just how tangled Church and State still are

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Colette Browne Twitter

PUBLISHED
29/11/2016

The Ireland that Pope Francis visits in 2018 will be vastly different to the theocracy his predecessor John Paul II toured in 1979, but the Catholic Church’s grip on education and healthcare remains as tightly clenched as before.

According to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, we’re all friends again. After a brief spat in 2011, when Mr Kenny rightly eviscerated the Vatican for its wilful failure to adequately investigate decades of clerical child sexual abuse in this country, relations are now much improved.

“I explained [to Pope Francis] my own difficulties with the Church some years ago and was happy to confirm that Church-State relations are in better shape now than they were for very many years,” said Mr Kenny, speaking after his 25-minute meeting with the Pontiff.
So, I suppose this means Mr Kenny no longer thinks “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism” continue to “dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day”.

Although, the opinion of some high-profile Irish priests who have been silenced by the Vatican, and whose plight Mr Kenny raised, may be different.

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Ireland gets ready for first papal visit since 1979

IRELAND
The Guardian

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent

In 1979, in the early days of his papacy, Pope John Paul II landed at Dublin airport and kissed the ground as he disembarked from an Aer Lingus Boeing 747 named the St Patrick.

Ireland was then a bastion of Roman Catholicism in which the church’s moral authority was unquestioned, divorce was banned and homosexuality illegal.

Over three days, more than 2.5 million people came to see the Polish pontiff. More than 1 million of them packed Phoenix Park in Dublin for an outdoor mass, and hundreds of thousands lined the streets to welcome him. At a liturgy in Killineer, near Drogheda, the pope prayed for an end to the Troubles: “On my knees, I beg you to turn away from the path of violence and return to the ways of peace.”

Ireland has had to wait almost four decades for another papal visit, and in that time much has changed. When Pope Francis arrives in 2018 for a trip announced by the Irish prime minister on Monday, he will find a republic where gay marriage is legal, the Troubles are over and the Catholic church has been damaged, perhaps irreparably, by a deluge of sexual abuse and exploitation scandals.

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Women who claim to have been victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests begin hunger strike

NEW YORK
CBS 6

BY HUBERT WIGGINS MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28TH 2016

CAPITAL REGION — Two women who claim they were once abused by employees of the Catholic Diocese of Albany marched on the sidewalk outside the headquarters of the Catholic Diocese of Albany on Monday. The women, who asked that their names not be published, are requesting to meet with Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger.

“I was molested, I was abused as a kid at a suburban parish in Albany County. I reported that to the Diocese about five years ago,” one woman said.

That woman provided her first name to CBS 6 so that we could ask the Diocese about what if any communication she has had with the Church regarding her abuse allegation. Mary DeTurris Poust, director of Communications for the Diocese of Albany, sent this statement to CBS 6: “The Diocese knows this individual well and is in possession of voluminous correspondence spanning several years. She reached out to us in the past regarding unsubstantiated allegations of abuse, and the Diocese provided her with support at that time, as we do for all individuals who bring forward allegations of sexual abuse. If this individual has additional information beyond what she previously provided to the Diocese, we would be happy to arrange a meeting with the Victim Assistance Coordinator as a first step.”

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How the Catholic Church in Australia aims to enhance anti-abuse efforts

AUSTRALIA
Headlines from the Catholic World

Sydney, Australia, Nov 29, 2016 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In Australia, the Catholic Church has established a new independent non-profit to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse.

“Catholic bishops and religious leaders in Australia are determined to do all in their power to ensure that abuse, in any form, should never again occur in the Church,” said a Nov. 22 FAQ on the new company. “The setting of consistent national standards and auditing compliance with them is a key element in this.”

The creation of the non-profit company, Catholic Professional Standards Limited, was jointly announced by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia during the bishops’ plenary meeting with religious leaders at Mary MacKillop Place in Sydney, the Diocese of Hobart reports.

The company will develop, audit, and report on professional protection standards across Catholic entities, with a special focus on areas that currently lack standards.

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Women claiming to be sexually abused holding hunger strike against Albany Diocese

NEW YORK
News 10

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two women are embarking on a hunger strike, foregoing food until they get a meeting with Bishop Edward Scharfenberger to settle their decades-old claims of sexual abuse by clergy.

One says she was a little girl when a priest in an Albany suburb molested her. The other calls herself vulnerable when she was abused and she says she’s traumatized by it to this day.

The victims are showing their faces, but are not releasing their names.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany saying they won’t comment on the matter because the individual’s communications, demands, and threats to the Diocese have been designated as confidential.

They released this statement:

“The Diocese knows this individual well and is in possession of voluminous correspondence spanning several years. She reached out to us in the past regarding unsubstantiated allegations of abuse, and the Diocese provided her with support at that time, as we do for all individuals who bring forward allegations of sexual abuse. If this individual has additional information beyond what she previously provided to the Diocese, we would be happy to arrange a meeting with the Victim Assistance Coordinator as a first step.”

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Louisville priest’s molestation trial begins

KENTUCKY
Courier-Journal

Chris Kenning , @ckenning_cj November 28, 2016

BRANDENBURG, Ky. — Michael Norris was a 10-year-old Catholic school student from Louisville in 1973 when he spent a week playing games and sleeping in cabins at Camp Tall Trees, a popular summer camp at Otter Creek Park run by the Archdiocese of Louisville.

It was there, Norris told a Meade County jury on Monday, that the Rev. Joseph Hemmerle, who ran the camp for 35 years, asked him one night to his cabin to treat a bad case of poison ivy.

Norris was told to strip and stand on a stool, while Hemmerle applied topical medicine and then used his hands and mouth to touch him sexually, he said, asking him if it felt good. Afterward, he was in shock: “God, what just happened? What is this?” he recalled thinking.

Norris, 53, didn’t tell anyone for years, he said, choking back tears on the witness stand — afraid he wouldn’t be believed. When he finally did as an adult in 2001, it didn’t result in charges until a second accuser came forward more than a decade later.

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Kentucky priest on trial for alleged sex abuse at 1970s camp

KENTUCKY
WLKY

By Associated Press

BRANDENBURG, Ky. —
A Texas man testified that he was sexually abused at a summer youth camp in the 1970s by a Louisville Catholic priest who ordered him to strip off his clothes and stand naked on a stool.

Michael Norris testified at a trial in Meade County on Monday that the Rev. Joseph Hemmerle pledged to help Norris with a bad bout of poison ivy but sexually abused him instead. Norris says the incident happened in 1973 when he was a 10-year-old at Camp Tall Trees, about an hour outside Louisville.

Norris first accused Hemmerle of sexual abuse in a 2001 letter he wrote to Hemmerle and Louisville archdiocese officials. Norris lives in Houston but grew up in Louisville.

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Royal commission into child sex abuse asked to accept account of Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The child sex abuse royal commission has been urged to find current Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, Phillip Aspinall, had not been wrong in his response to abuse allegations three decades ago.

In January the inquiry heard a suggestion that he had known about a rector’s abuse of another boy when they were youth group members in the 1980s.

Hobart hearings lasting over a week examined allegations of a multi-state paedophile ring operating within the Church of England Boys Society (CEBS).

The royal commission investigated the responses of CEBS and the Dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane to allegations of abuse — particularly against multiple known paedophiles involved with the youth group.

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Church admits it failed to protect boys from paedophile priest Raymond Cheek

AUSTRALIA
Radio Australia

29 November 2016

Laura Gartry and Roxanne Taylor

The Anglican Church was aware of the inappropriate behaviour of a serial paedophile priest as far back as the early 2000s but failed to act, the Diocese of Bunbury admits.

The Anglican Church was aware of the inappropriate behaviour of a serial paedophile priest as far back as the early 2000s but failed to act, the Diocese of Bunbury has admitted.

Former Anglican priest Raymond Sydney Cheek was found guilty on Monday of sexually abusing five boys, including altar boys and boy scouts, over a 30-year period from 1955 to 1985.

Cheek will be sentenced in February next year.

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Vatican trial underway for Guam archbishop, says new coadjutor

GUAM
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Nov. 28, 2016

A Guam archbishop accused of sexual abuse is now undergoing a Vatican canonical trial, the U.S. prelate Pope Francis appointed to take over leadership of his archdiocese said Monday.

“The trial has started,” said Agana Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes, who was appointed in October to take over daily duties from Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

“It’s been initiated,” Byrnes continued. “The argument has been exchanged and now it’s kind of like in the second phase of investigation, examination.”

Byrnes, who had previously served as an auxiliary bishop in Detroit, spoke to reporters Monday just hours after arriving in Guam to take up his new position. His remarks were reported at length by Pacific Daily News.

The Vatican’s main spokesman, Greg Burke, did not respond Monday to a request for comment on what Byrnes said.

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Victim testifies against Louisville priest on trial for sexual abuse allegations

KENTUCKY
WDRB

[with video]

Updated: Nov 28, 2016

By Katrina Helmer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Fr. Joseph Hemmerle is facing nine counts of sexual abuse and sodomy, and in court Monday, the victim explained to the jury the moment he says his life changed forever.

A victim, who is now 53 years old and lives in Texas, relived what he claims was a nightmare at camp.

“He’s sitting right there,” the victim said, pointing at Fr. Hemmerle.

Fr. Hemmerle is accused of sexually abusing and sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the 1970s at Tall Trees Camp in Meade County.

He helped run the camp for at least 30 years.

The victim told the jury that he had poison ivy at camp and that Fr. Hemmerle offered to treat it. But that’s when the victim says Fr. Hemmerle abused him.

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Can the child abuse inquiry retain the integrity it needs to survive?

UNITED KINGDOM
The Conversation

Donna Peach
Lecturer in Social Work, University of Salford

When the then home secretary Theresa May commissioned the enormously ambitious Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in July 2014, victims and survivors of abuse had reason to hope that justice would be served. For decades, the sexual abuse of children in England and Wales was ignored or hidden and, some would argue, perpetuated by institutions meant to protect them. To many survivors, the inquiry is a chance to make good at last.

Investigating decades of alleged child sexual abuse, taking in a number of large institutions and potentially thousands of victims is an enormous task. Nobody can have thought it would be be easy – but the road so far seems rockier than anyone anticipated.

The inquiry is now under the stewardship of its fourth chair, Professor Alexis Jay. Over the years it has been dogged by resignations, acrimony and reports of misconduct by senior figures. Allegations of racism were reportedly levelled against its former chair, Dame Lowell Goddard, who is now refusing to testify to the committee about her resignation. There are also reports of an allegation of sexual assault against Ben Emmerson QC, who also resigned from the inquiry’s team. Both Goddard and Emmerson categorically deny the allegations against them.

Now it faces a new crisis: one of the major survivor groups involved, the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA) has withdrawn its participation in what it termed a “contrived investigation”.

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Gregory Parkes, new bishop of Diocese of St. Petersburg, heard call to priesthood at Tampa’s Christ the King

FLORIDA
Tampa Bay Times

WAVENEY ANN MOORE, TIMES STAFF WRITER

ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Bay’s almost half-million Roman Catholics have a new leader.

Bishop Gregory L. Parkes, 52, head of the Pensacola-Tallahassee Diocese, and a former Tampa banker, will succeed Bishop Robert N. Lynch, who has led the Diocese of St. Petersburg for almost 21 years.

Parkes will be installed the fifth bishop of the diocese, which serves Catholics in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Hernando, Citrus and Pasco counties, on Jan. 4 at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle.

The official announcement of Parkes’ appointment came early Monday, but the new St. Petersburg bishop said he had been told by Pope Francis’ representative in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 12.

Parkes, who has been a bishop for only four and a half years, said he was attending a fall meeting of American Catholic bishops in Baltimore when he heard the news. He said he immediately went to pray in the chapel set up for the group, thanking God for his goodness and asking for his help. He said he has always trusted that when God calls, he provides what is needed to fulfill his will.

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MEDIA RELEASE – NOVEMBER 28, 2016

PENNSYLVANIA
Road to Recovery

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania continue to disrespect a childhood sexual abuse victim of Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR, a deceased serial pedophile and member of the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania, who served in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, by not reasonably settling his claim

A childhood sexual abuse victim of Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR, from Bishop Mc Cort High School, Johnstown, PA, is being re-victimized and prevented from healing by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania, because they are not acting reasonably in the settling of his claim

What
A press conference announcing that the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania refuse to justly and fairly settle the claim of a childhood sexual abuse victim of Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR, from Bishop Mc Cort High School, Johnstown, PA, causing the childhood sexual abuse victim to be re-victimized, prevented from healing, and feeling disrespected

When
Tuesday, November 29, 2016, at 11:30 am

Where
On the public sidewalk across from the front entrance of Bishop Mc Court High School, 25 Osborne Street, Johnstown, PA 15905

Who
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including several childhood sexual abuse victims of Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR, in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

Why
John Doe was a minor child attending Bishop Mc Cort High School in Johnstown, PA, when he met a serial pedophile, Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR. From approximately 1996-1998, when he was approximately 15-17 years old and a student at Bishop Mc Cort High School, John Doe was repeatedly sexually abused by Br. Stephen P. Baker, TOR. Now, at age 34, John Doe has courageously come forward to report the sexual abuse that caused him great harm. He expected to receive a timely and fair response from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA, and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania. Instead, the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular Pennsylvania have been unfair and unjust in settling John Doe’s claim, causing him to feel re-victimized, and disrespected, thus preventing him from healing. The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Pennsylvania will be called upon to settle John Doe’s claim in a timely, fair, and just manner, and allow “John Doe” to heal.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

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Archbishop Charles J. Chaput on vocations, elections, apostolic exhortations

PENNSYLVANIA
Catholic World Report

Jim Graves

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., 72, was born in Concordia, Kansas, in 1944. He attended Catholic schools in the area before joining the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, St. Augustine Province, in 1965.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1970. He served as a teacher and pastor an in a variety of roles in his community. He was ordained Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1988, and appointed Archbishop of Denver in 1997. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Philadelphia on July 19, 2011, and he was installed as the 13th bishop and ninth archbishop of Philadelphia on September 8, 2011.

Archbishop Chaput recently corresponded with CWR about a number of topics, including specific challenges in Philadelphia, current controversies over “Amoris Laetitia”, and the recent U.S. Presidential election.

CWR: You’ve now been in Philadelphia five years. What were some of the most pressing challenges you recognized, and how have you met those challenges?

Archbishop Chaput: Starting in 2003 the Church in Philadelphia weathered nearly a decade of very tough clergy-abuse related issues. We’re still dealing with the aftermath. To his credit, my predecessor, Cardinal Justin Rigali, worked very hard to reach out to victims and restore confidence in the Church, but morale among our people and priests naturally suffered. There was a lot of confusion and anger. Rebuilding trust was a priority, and we’ve made some good progress. Philadelphia has a very faithful presbyterate, and I think that kept things together during the worst of the crisis.

The biggest surprise for me was the financial state of the archdiocese. It was very precarious, and our problems had nothing to do with paying lawyers or making abuse settlements. We were $300 million in debt. We had schools, ministries and parishes that had long since effectively died because of demographic changes, but we were keeping them open by covering their annual losses. And we’d been doing it for many years — with the best of intentions, but at massive cost. Putting our finances in order was painful for everybody. We’re still not entirely “there.” But again, we’ve made very good progress.

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Bamboozled: How Catholic hospitals get away with letting pensions go broke

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Karin Price Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on November 28, 2016

Pensions have been on their way out for a long time.

They’re expensive for employers, and they require lots of rule-following and reporting.

But the sponsors of pension funds run by Catholic hospitals have taken advantage of an IRS rule, which, in effect, gives zero protection to retirees if the pension goes bust.

The U.S. Supreme Court could decide as early as Monday whether it will consider such pension cases, impacting thousands of New Jerseyans who worked for St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick and tens of thousands of Catholic hospital employees nationwide.

The decision could also affect another Catholic hospital pension that’s months away from going belly up, Bamboozled has learned.

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Tenth victim files sex abuse complaint

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

Shortly after Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes made his first public comments to local media, yet another victim of alleged child sexual abuse filed a complaint with the Superior Court of Guam.

Fifty-six-year-old Inarajan resident Anthony Vegafria filed his complaint yesterday shortly before 5 p.m. accusing Rev. Louis Brouillard of molesting him as a child when he was an altar boy at the Malojloj Parish in the early ’70s.

Vegafria’s complaint marks the fifth such complaint to be filed against Brouillard and is the second complaint that states the abuse took place at the former Carmelite Monastery in Malojloj.

Brouillard, 95, is a retired Roman Catholic priest who now resides in Minnesota. He has publicly admitted to sexually abusing boys under his care as both a parish priest and a scout master for the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America, in both letters and a video statement.

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New coadjutor archbishop pledges to bridge divides

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

During his first public address to local media, newly-appointed Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes said he was excited to take his first steps on Guam upon seeing the lights from his airplane vantage point early that morning.

Byrnes arrived on Guam around 1 a.m. Monday morning and, after a short respite, took to work immediately with a Mass of recollection with Catholic clergy at 11 a.m. and a press conference with local media.

Around 1 p.m., Byrnes greeted media representatives stating he felt it necessary that he come to Guam ahead of the official start of his ministry so he can come to better know his new home.

Byrnes is scheduled to remain on Guam for three weeks, after which he will return to Detroit until he makes the permanent transition to his new post as coadjutor archbishop for the Archdiocese of Agana.

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Crown Office expects flood of new sexual offence cases

SCOTLAND
Scottish Legal News

The Crown Office is expecting a flood of new sexual offence cases associated with the ongoing Scottish Child Abuse inquiry as more victims come forward.

Catriona Dalrymple, procurator fiscal for police and engagement said that the courts can expect a spate of new cases: “We already deal with cases of historic and institutional abuse, but because of the ongoing Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry we may receive more of these cases or inquiries from survivors about their cases,” she said.

She explained that new training will be given to prosecutors to ensure they can “engage effectively with survivors”.

The Crown Office previously commissioned a video entitled Safe To Say telling the story of a man who was abused as a child after being taken into care and his fight for justice.

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FL–Victims blast new Tampa/St. Pete Catholic bishop

FLORIDA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Nov. 28, 2016

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

We are disappointed that Bishop Gregory Parkes of Pensacola-Tallahassee has been promoted to head Florida’s second-largest market as the fifth bishop of St Petersburg. We disapprove of his handling of a 2013 predator priest case and see no signs that might indicate that he be any better than his predecessor in dealing with the church’s continuing child sex abuse and cover up crisis.

In 2013, Parkes waited five weeks before suspending an accused priest, Fr. Michael A. Cherup.

[BishopAccountability.org – letter]

[BishopAccountability.org]

Then, adding insult to injury, Parkes let Fr. Cherup deny the allegations in the parish bulletin, which only serves to deter other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from speaking up, thus endangering more kids. It’s also a callous move that rubs even more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of victims.

Before leaving Tallahassee, Parkes should tell his flock where Fr. Cherup is now. If he’s unsupervised, Parkes should insist that he stay in a remote, secure, independently-run treatment center, so that kids can be safer and that he can get therapy.

(Cherup had worked at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pensacola and St. Mary Parish in Fort Walton Beach.)

We hope Parkes will put a higher priority on the safety of kids and the healing of victims in his new post. Specifically, we urge him to permanently post on his diocesan website the names, photos and whereabouts of every child molesting St. Petersburg-Tampa cleric, whether alive or dead, diocesan or religious order, or admitted, proven or credibly accused. (About 30 US bishops have done this. It’s the bare minimum a bishop should do to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.)

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Pope Francis Appoints Bishop Gregory L. Parkes as Next Bishop of St. Petersburg

FLORIDA
Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg

November 28, 2016

With great joy we announce that His Holiness, Pope Francis, has appointed Most Reverend Bishop Gregory L. Parkes, Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida! Bishop Parkes succeeds the retiring Bishop Robert N. Lynch, who has served as Bishop of St. Petersburg since his installation in 1996.

There will be a press conference introducing Bishop Parkes at 10:30 a.m. on November 28, 2016. The press conference will be broadcast live on diocesan radio station WBVM Spirit FM 90.5 (listen online at http://www.myspiritfm.com) and live video streamed on our website and Facebook page.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE LIVE VIDEO STREAM

“I am filled with joy that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Parkes as the new Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. I invite the faithful of our diocese and of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee to join me in offering prayers of thanksgiving and to pray for Bishop Parkes as he transitions to shepherd the people of the Diocese of St. Petersburg,” Bishop Lynch said.

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Other Pontifical Acts, 28.11.2016

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service – Bulletin

The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Gregory L. Parkes of Pensacola-Tallahassee, United States of America, as bishop of Saint Petersburg (area 8,228, population 3,009,838, Catholics 445,456, priests 330, permanent deacons 133, religious 330), United States of America. He succeeds Bishop Robert N. Lynch, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted by the Holy Father.

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Taoiseach says Pope will visit Ireland in 2018

IRELAND
RTE News

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said Pope Francis has confirmed he will travel to Ireland in August 2018.

It comes after Mr Kenny held a 23-minute meeting with the pope in the Vatican.

The meeting was requested following the invitation to the pope by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference to visit Ireland for the World Meeting of Families in two years’ time.

The Taoiseach would not confirm or deny that he had raised the issue of Irish priests who had been silenced by the Vatican over their published views on issues such as the ordination of woman and priestly celibacy.

A reliable clerical source told RTÉ News that Mr Kenny was to raise the cases of six Irish priests who have been silenced by the Catholic Church. The source said the Taoiseach spoke to at least one of the priests concerned before departing for Rome.

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Former priest guilty of altar boys sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Shannon Hampton – The West Australian on November 28, 2016

A former WA Anglican priest has been found guilty of historic child sex offences against five boys dating back to the 1950s.

After facing a five-day District Court trial, a jury today found Raymond Sydney Cheek guilty of assaulting the boys, who are not known to each other, between 1955 and 1985.

Mr Cheek was convicted of two counts of indecently dealing with a child under age 14, two counts of indecent assault and one count of committing an act of gross indecency with a male person.

Four of the men came forward after news of Cheek being charged over an incident that occurred in Williams in 1985 became public.

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Former Anglican priest Raymond Cheek convicted of child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Laura Gartry

A former Anglican priest has been found guilty of sexually abusing five boys over a 30-year period in Western Australia’s south.

Raymond Sydney Cheek was found guilty of committing an act of gross indecency and two counts each of indecent assault and indecent dealings with a child between 1955 and 1985.

District Court judge Ronald Birmingham said Cheek “had a position of trust and was a respected member of the church … the impact on the victim was significant.”

Abuse survivors and their supporters wept as the jury read out the verdicts.

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New Guam bishop seeks healing after sex scandal

GUAM
Manila Times

HAGATNA, Guam: Guam’s new Catholic archbishop acknowledged Monday that “shocking” child sex allegations had damaged the Church’s standing in the Pacific territory, saying he wanted to promote healing.

Archbishop Michael Byrnes arrived in Guam early Monday and immediately set about meeting clerics to outline his plans in the wake of the scandal that has rocked the deeply religious island.

Byrnes’ predecessor, Archbishop Anthony Apuron, stands accused of molesting altar boys in the 1970s and is facing a canonical trial in Rome.

Byrnes said he understood there were strong feelings among Guam’s faithful towards Apuron, who has denied any wrongdoing.

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Nine Guam priests with sex abuse allegations

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com November 28, 2016

Another Guam law firm is reaching out to those who were sexually abused by clergy as children.

Gov. Eddie Calvo recently signed a law, lifting the statute of limitations on civil suits against those accused of sexually abusing children, as well as the institutions that supported them. The new law is in response to allegations by former altar boys who said they were sexually abused by Guam clergy decades ago. Among those accused was Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who was a parish priest in Agat in the 1970s.

The first Guam law firm to file lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Agana and its priests is Lujan & Wolff LLP, which has so far filed nine lawsuits on behalf of seven former altar boys and former Boy Scouts. Attorney David Lujan said more lawsuits will be filed in the weeks ahead, and the defendants include institutions other than the Catholic church.

Lujan’s clients have alleged abuse by Apuron and former Guam priest Louis Brouillard, who has admitted to abusing altar boys decades ago.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘demonstrated a serious failure’ to protect children: Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

The Jehovah’s Witness Church in Australia failed to protect children in its care from sexual predators, a report has found.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its report into the organisation on Monday.

It stated that: “Children are not adequately protected from the risk of child sexual abuse in the Jehovah’s Witness organisation and [the commission] does not believe the organisation responds adequately to allegations of child sexual abuse.”

Survivors of sexual abuse within the church and senior church members appeared before a public hearing last year.

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Child abuse survivor worries community ‘fatigued’ by issue

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By David Marchese

A child abuse survivor says his biggest fear is that the momentum generated by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will dissipate, stopping any meaningful reform.

Peter Gogarty was abused by a Catholic priest in the New South Wales Hunter region as a child and now spends his time advocating for other survivors.

He will address a hearing of the royal commission beginning in Sydney today.

The hearing is examining issues raised in a consultation paper on criminal justice that has been prepared by the royal commission.

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Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission: Judge’s decision to acquit Catholic brother under fire

AUSTRALIA
Australian

November 28, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

An alleged child sex victim worries the man he says abused him will still have access to children after being acquitted despite a judge saying he was “well satisfied” the crimes had taken place.

The extraordinary verdict is being examined by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse after being handed down in Sydney’s District Court in August of this year.

The alleged victim told the commission this morning that he was sexually abused by a Catholic brother, Christopher Rafferty, at St Patrick’s College in Goulburn, NSW, between 1984 and 1987.

The man, who cannot be named, subsequently attempted to commit suicide and eventually decided to report the alleged abuse to police, despite being told by his local Catholic priest not to do so, the commission heard.

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