ABUSE TRACKER

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

November 3, 2016

James Gill: Waiting seven years for your day in court

LOUISIANA
New Orleans Advocate

By James Gill
NOV 3, 2016

After the lawsuit was filed, a trial was scheduled for 2009, but it was called off while an army of attorneys haggled before the judges of four different courts.

We are still waiting for a trial date to set. Only a great deal of judicial bungling could cause such a delay. Indeed, the state Supreme Court, in a decision handed down last week, blamed itself for some of the “widespread confusion” that has left the case to yo-yo around the system for so long.

Surely it is only in complex cases that judges should have to cudgel their honorable brains for seven whole years before a trial can begin. The issue that has held up proceedings here could hardly be simpler. A layman, reading the plain words of the relevant statute, could have resolved it at the beginning. It takes years of legal training to get lost in so many blind alleys.
an’t legally be forced to reveal what’s heard in confessional, Louisiana Supreme Court rules

The suit was filed on behalf of Rebecca Mayeux, who alleged that in 2008, when she was 14, she had been sexually molested on several occasions by George Charlet, an elderly parishioner at her Catholic church in Clinton. Mayeux claimed she complained to her priest, Jeff Bayhi, during confession, but he had given her the brush-off. Bayhi was legally obliged to report Mayeux’s accusations to the civil authorities, according the lawsuit, which was filed after Charlet died.

Just before trial was due to begin before state judge Mike Caldwell, the archdiocese filed a motion to exclude any reference to what had been said in the confessional. Caldwell denied it on grounds that the priest/penitent privilege did not bar Mayeux from waiving her own right to secrecy. He noted, however, that, regardless of secular law, Bayhi would probably refuse to divulge what had been said at confession.

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

Catholic Church accused of ignoring safeguarding recommendations

SCOTLAND
Premier

Wed 02 Nov 2016
By Antony Bushfield

The Catholic Church in Scotland is being accused of ignoring safeguarding recommendations made by a commission in 2015.

Former Church of Scotland moderator Dr Andrew McLellan had carried out an investigation examining Safeguarding Protocols in the Catholic Church.

In an open letter to the Bishops’ Conference he warned the Church was “confirming the worst fears of survivors… by appearing to ignore” the findings of his commission.

The Catholic Church hit back saying “every recommendation will be implemented”.

Dr McLellan’s commission met with survivors of abuse. In the open letter he said: “When will we see action from the Catholic Bishops of Scotland in response to the Report?

“Not only do the Scottish public know nothing of the action taken in response to the Report, as far as we can tell from Catholic friends the members of the church themselves know nothing.

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

Church denies claim it is failing to implement McLellan report

SCOTLAND
Scottish Catholic Observer

[Implementation Plan of the Recommendations of The McLellan Commission]

The Scottish Church has strongly rejected claims they are being slow to implementing the McLellan Commission’s report into safeguarding children from abuse.

Rev Andrew McLellan (above left) – a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland – chaired a two-year long commission into safeguarding procedures in the Catholic Church which concluded 15 months ago. The report made 49 key recommendations, designed to prevent abuse from happening in future.

Rev McLellan and six other members of the commission have now written to the Church claiming that action is not being taken, survivors are not being supported and independent scrutiny is not being introduced.

In response, the assistant general secretary of the Scottish Bishops’ Conference, Fr Thomas Boyle, insisted the Church’s commitment to carrying out the report’s recommendations ‘has not diminished in any way’ and ‘every recommendation will be implemented.’

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

Herald View: Openness needed on abuse action

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

FOR survivors of child abuse within the Catholic Church in Scotland, the McLellan Commission was a great sign of hope and potential change. Not only did the appointment of Dr Andrew McLellan, a former moderator of the Church of Scotland, appear to demonstrate that the Church was prepared to genuinely open itself to independent scrutiny, the hierarchy responded well to the final report. Archbishop Philip Tartaglia offered a profound apology to the victims and the Church said that change was coming.

However, more than a year on from the publication of the report, some of its authors appear to have lost faith in the process. In a letter to The Herald, Dr McLellan and six other members of the commission have suggested the Bishops appear to be ignoring their report. “A year ago the bishops might have used the opportunity of the publication of the report to introduce systemic reform,” says the letter. “Now they are in danger of confirming the worst fears of survivors and observers by appearing to ignore its recommendations.”

The letter also makes a number of specific allegations. One of the report’s recommendations was that the church would publish a timetable for action, to be followed by a progress report within 12 months, but the letter says that has not happened. Another key recommendation was that the church would put survivors first – again, the letter says that has not happened. And on the recommendation the church be transparent and open, the letter writers say they are disappointed: “As far as we can tell from Catholic friends the members of the church themselves know nothing.”

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

Vigil held in Tuam for residents of mother and baby home

IRELAND
Irish Times

Lorna Siggins

When PJ Haverty joined a candle-lit walk into Tuam, Co Galway on Wednesday night, he could only think of the distressed steps taken on the very same route by his late mother, Eileen.

“For 5½ years she was in and out of the town on foot to the mother and babies home, begging for me to be returned to her,” Mr Haverty said.

Mr Haverty was one of more than 300 participants in a vigil which began at the unofficial burial grounds for the former Bon Secours home on the Dublin Road and continued to Tuam Town Square.

The vigil, organised by artist Sadie Cramer and local historian Catherine Corless, is part of a series of community events recognising the legacy of the institution which housed unmarried mothers and their children from the 1920s to 1961.

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

Tom Keneally explains why he can’t let go of the damage done by the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Kate Evans

Catholic priest Father Frank Docherty was expelled from the Sydney Archdiocese in the 1960s for his activism against the Vietnam War and Apartheid South Africa.

After years in Canada, he returns to Sydney and finds himself confronting evidence of abuse within the church. It’s 1996 and the church is flexing its legal muscle.

As familiar as the scenario sounds, there is no Father Docherty. He is a central character in Tom Keneally’s new novel, Crimes of the Father. Nothing too equivocal about that title.

With the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse ongoing, the novel’s timing makes sense, culturally and historically. But why was it the right time for Keneally himself?

It began in 2002, when he was asked to write an article for The New Yorker. A “failed seminarian” and an ex-Catholic, he says the church as an institution still matters to him for its “combination of tribalism, mystery, [its] mytho-poetic corpus”.

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

Former Kirk moderator warns Catholic church risks ‘confirming worst fears’ of abuse survivors

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

SCOTLAND’S Catholic bishops appear to be ignoring the findings of an independent report into historic child abuse within the church, a former Kirk Moderator has claimed.

Dr Andrew McLellan, chair of the commission which investigated Catholic abuse following a series of scandals, said the Church had failed to deliver on its promises of acting on his recommendations and claiming it was at risk of “confirming the worst fears of survivors and observers”.

In a letter co-signed by six other members of the commission, Dr McLellan makes a series of criticisms aimed at the Catholic hierarchy, including ignoring abuse survivors.

But the Church has refuted all allegations made by the Commission members, stating it had published its plans, including a public consultation on them, and was close to announcing the progress made since the report was released in August 2015.

It said Dr McLellan had last been in contact with the Church at the beginning of the year and would have provided a progress update had it been requested by the Commission members.

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

Call for submissions about various religious institutions

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

3 November, 2016

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold a public hearing commencing in February 2017 into the current policies and procedures of each religious institution named below in relation to child protection and child-safe standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.

This hearing is expected to include consideration of factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of child sexual abuse in religious institutions and factors that may have affected the institutional response of religious institutions to child sexual abuse. This hearing may also examine the responses of named institutions to relevant case study report(s).

The Royal Commission invites submissions from individuals and organisations concerning the current policies and procedures in place and the response of the institution to the relevant case studies and case study reports.

The Royal Commission may invite selected individuals or organisations to speak to their submissions, however, it is not proposed that leave to appear will be granted.

Those institutions are:

* Catholic Church authorities in Australia;
* Anglican Church authorities in Australia;
* Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi;
* Uniting Church in Australia;
* Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd.

The identity of anyone who provides information will be protected and will be kept confidential.

Submissions should be made by 25 November 2016 in writing to GPO Box 5283, Sydney, NSW, 2001 or via email to solicitor@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au. Submissions can be anonymous.
If individuals have participated in a private session and would like their session to be recognised as a formal, confidential submission, please contact the Royal Commission at solicitor@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au.

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

Update: Jury calls for six-year sentence for ex-youth pastor convicted of soliciting minor

VIRGINIA
The News & Advance

Christopher Cole

Update: RUSTBURG — A Campbell County jury found a former youth pastor guilty Wednesday of electronic solicitation and indecent liberties with a child.

Jurors called for a total of six years in prison for Major Lance Hillman, 23, of Lynchburg, after convicting him on two felony counts in a day-long trial.

Prosecutors sought a maximum prison sentence of 40 years for Hillman, with Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jason Todd calling him “predatory.”

It took the jury of eight women and four men about 45 minutes to return guilty verdicts on both counts.

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

Senior pastor testifies in former Tulsa pastor’s child molestation case

OKLAHOMA
Fox 23

by: Hector Mejia Updated: Nov 2, 2016

Witnesses took the stand on the final day of jury selection in the case against an accused child molester.

During opening arguments, prosecutors claimed that Timothy Cato, a Tulsa pastor and youth mentor, molested five children over the course of several years.

However, Cato’s defense claimed the state jumped to conclusions, arguing Cato’s innocence.

The first witness, the senior pastor at Liberty Church, testified Cato admitted to him he had molested at least one child after Tulsa police opened an investigation back in 2014.

He said Cato lived with boys during a Falls Creek church camp and confessed to molesting a child who had nothing to do with the church. Prosecutors also said Cato told police he’d molested one child

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

November 2, 2016

Dame Lowell Goddard accuses former colleagues of forcing her to quit child sex abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Robert Mendick, chief reporter
2 NOVEMBER 2016

Dame Lowell Goddard quit as chairwoman of the national child sex abuse inquiry after panel members including the woman who succeeded her turned against her in an apparent power struggle.

Dame Lowell disclosed in a letter to MPs how she was forced into her sudden resignation in the summer after being confronted by colleagues she previously believed were loyal.

The account given by Dame Lowell of why she quit will put pressure on the new inquiry chairman Professor Jay – the fourth in two years- to explain her role in the resignation that plunged the £100 million inquiry into crisis.

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, had previously told MPs that Dame Lowell had resigned because she was “homesick and lonely”.

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

TX–Victims blast new Baylor website on sexual violence

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 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)

A gang rape has happened each of the last four years at Baylor University in Texas. On a new website, the school’s president pledges to be “more transparent” about sexual violence on campus. But we’re highly skeptical.

[Los Angeles Times]

[Wall Street Journal]

The very top of the website shows a defensive posting that criticizes one media outlet for its coverage of the Baylor scandal. That’s hardly “transparent” or encouraging. We suspect this new site is essentially the creation of the school’s public relations and legal defense teams, not a genuine effort to prevent sexual violence.

If President David E. Garland is genuinely interested in promoting openness about rape and sexual assault, he should promptly and publicly punish – or at least suspend – at least one school staffer who ignored or concealed sexual violence. That’s the quickest, clearest and most effective way to begin to reform a campus climate that has historically been secretive and unhealthy when it comes to the safety of students. Until he takes this simple step, his words will continue to ring hollow.

No matter what law enforcement, university or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups at Baylor to protect others 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.

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

TUAM VIGIL TO REMEMBER RESIDENTS OF MOTHER AND BABY HOME

IRELAND
Galway Bay FM

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Hundreds are expected to turn out for a special vigil in Tuam this evening to remember the residents of the Tuam mother and baby home.

The event is led by Corrandulla artist Sadie Cramer whose exhibition of memorabillia from the home will also open at Tuam Town Hall.

The vigil begins at the children’s graveyard at 7pm.

The procession will then make its way to the Square, retracing the steps of the children on the route they travelled to school.

A minute silence will also be observed as well as a short poetry recital.

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

Civil suits filed against church, clergy

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

John O’Connor | Post News Staff

Attorney David Lujan expects four civil lawsuits to be filed next week in addition to the four that were filed on Nov. 1 by abuse victims Roland Sondia, Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton and Leo Tudela. The lawsuits were filed against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, the Archdiocese of Agana and former Guam priest Rev. Louis Brouillard.

The lawsuits are part of at least a dozen suits expected to be filed over the next few weeks. The next four to be filed next week include a suit on behalf of the late Joseph “Sonny” Quinata and three victims who have not yet been named. Lujan said his clients were seeking monetary damages but they have not yet stated the amount.

“Until the case progresses then we’ll decide what it is that we’re asking for,” Lujan said.

Quintanilla, Denton, Sondia and Doris Concepcion – on behalf of Quinata, her son – are also plaintiffs in a separate libel and slander lawsuit against Apuron and the archdiocese. The four are seeking damages of $500,000 each in that suit and Lujan said the intention was to move forward with it.

The defendants in the libel and slander suit filed a motion to dismiss in September, but Lujan said he filed a motion in opposition on Oct. 20. A response from the defendants is expected on a Friday, either this week or next week, according to Lujan.

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

Andrew Bolt: Evidence against Cardinal George Pell just doesn’t stack up

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
November 2, 2016

THE media last week missed the big story about Cardinal George Pell, target of the most vicious witch hunt. The case against Pell — that he covered up for paedophile priests — is falling to bits.

Last week the royal commission, which grilled Pell for many hours, surprisingly decided to publish the final submissions of its counsel assisting, Gail Furness. I heard Furness go for Pell as he sat in the witness box for four days in March. She treated him with contempt, it seemed to me. Her submissions are not findings — that’s up to the royal commissioners — but do represent Furness’s best case against Pell.

To which I say: is this all you’ve got? Is this all anyone can pin on the man who was branded “scum” in the Tim Minchin song played on high rotation by the ABC? Who was attacked in the media as a “liar”, “sociopath”, “coward” and “dangerous individual”?

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

Gail Furness is the hero Australia needs in this Royal Commission horror show

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Jenny Noyes

Ever since Cardinal George Pell went to Rome in 2014, Australians have been waiting to see him return to front the child sex abuse Royal Commission. But while he’s finally been back in the hot seat again this week (albeit via video link), the anticipation of justice hasn’t made his testimony any easier to listen to.

Not with lines like: “It was a sad story; it wasn’t of much interest to me,” in reference to his awareness of abuse perpetrated by notorious paedophile priest Gerard Ridsdale.

But one thing that has given succour to the audience of this depressing spectacle – whether of abuse victims and their families in the room with her, or those of us watching, listening and reading about it from home – was the job done by Gail Furness SC, the counsel assisting the commission and the hero-woman who won’t take evasion and shrugs for an answer.

Furness has grilled Pell fiercely over the past four days, though always calm; labelling his answers as “implausible” and “designed to deflect blame”.

Her approach has earned her a lot of fans and, this week, made her a household name. News Corp even described her as having “rock star status” – although there are no attention-seeking rock star stylings to be seen here.

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

CA–Convicted/defrocked priest is back in LA parish; Victims respond

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

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

We’re alarmed but not surprised that a convicted child molesting Catholic priest is back in a parish. We call on LA law enforcement officials to quickly but promptly investigate whether more charges can be brought against this cleric. And we call on Archbishop Jose Gomez to use church bulletins, parish websites, archdiocesan websites and pulpit announcements to warn his flock him and seek out others with information or suspicions about his crimes to call police.

[My News LA]

[Fox LA]

We understand Rodriguez has been defrocked and he’s in some parish that’s reportedly isn’t affiliated with the LA archdiocese. Neither of these facts, however, absolves Gomez and his colleagues of their moral and civic duty to protect the vulnerable from shrewd predators, especially one who has been recruited, educated, ordained, hired, trained, transferred and shielded by Gomez’ predecessors. If your institution protects a child rapist for decade, your obligate to safeguard others doesn’t end the minute you finally stop paying him.

Gomez should also work hard to help make sure every predator priest is prosecuted or put in remote, secure, independent treatment centers far away from the families they’ve duped and betrayed. He should do everything he possibly can to let the police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public know who and where these dangerous men are. He should beg anyone who might be able to help law enforcement charge Rodriguez with more crimes to step forward immediately.

No church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in the Los Angeles archdiocese – 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.

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

Two charged over alleged historic child sex offences – SCC Sex Crimes Squad

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Police Force

Thursday, 03 November 2016

Two former Salvation Army officers have been charged over historic child sex offences allegedly committed in the 1960s and 1970s.

Strike Force Lehmann, comprising officers from the State Crime Command’s Sex Crimes Squad, was established to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by former Salvation Army officers at two boys homes in Bexley and Goulburn.

The allegations were raised at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

Following extensive inquiries, Strike Force detectives arrested a 74-year-old man at a property in Waterloo about 7.30am yesterday (Wednesday 2 November 2016).

He was taken to Redfern Police Station where he was charged with 23 counts of indecent assault upon a male, two counts of buggery, and procure indecent act with male.

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

Archdiocese rejects George Pell’s evidence over sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

November 3, 2016

TESSA AKERMAN
ReporterMelbourne
@TessaAkerman

The Archdiocese of Melbourne has flatly rejected Cardinal ­George Pell’s key evidence to the child sex abuse royal commission that he was purposely deceived by the Catholic Education Office over pedophile priest Peter Searson.

The issue of his handling of Searson has dogged Cardinal Pell, with counsel assisting the royal commission recommending this week that Cardinal Pell’s evidence be rejected.

Searson was the parish priest of Doveton between 1984 and 1997 when he was placed on administrative leave by then archbishop Pell but in 1989 the cardinal played a key role in dealing with serious complaints against Searson.

Searson died in 2009 and was never charged with any offences in relation to sexual abuse of children, but there had been complaints he had sexually abused children, took a handgun to school and showed children a body in a coffin.

When Cardinal Pell gave evidence in March from Rome to the commission he said it was an ­“incorrect assumption” that he was told what the education office knew when he received a delegation from it in November 1989 and agreed it had deceived him.

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

America at Large: Morality in short supply at college where God and football rules

UNITED STATES
Irish Times

Dave Hannigan

Six years after taking over at Baylor University, Art Briles was earning $5 million a season, the inflated salary reflecting how he had transformed the Texan college into a national powerhouse and become one of the most coveted coaches in gridiron.

During that time, 19 of the players who made his reputation on the field were accused of sexually assaulting female students off it, including four cases of gang rape. In at least one of those instances, Briles received a full report about the incident but chose not to go to the police. Welcome to the corner of the sporting world where the moral compass points only towards the scoreboard.

After a Philadelphia law firm delivered a report into the litany of allegations surrounding the team back in May, Briles addressed the college’s board of regents about the scandal. At one point, as he struggled to explain how such a culture of rampant sexual violence was allowed to flourish in his locker room, he burst into tears.

Bizarrely, the sight of him crying caused some of those on the other side of the table, his supposed higher-ups, to well up too. Then, he quoted scripture, always a canny move in a college founded by the Texas Baptist Education Society in 1844, and a place that prides itself on remaining devoutly Christian in its ethos.

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

Our view: Bizzarro is best candidate for 3rd District

PENNSYLVANIA
GoErie

If effective governing is ever to return to Pennsylvania, it will be thanks to reasonable, broad-minded legislators who are smart, independent and focused on the good of their constituents and the commonwealth, not rigid ideology or special interests.

That candidate in the 3rd Legislative District is Democratic incumbent Ryan Bizzarro of Millcreek Township …

A principled, independent streak is also seen in his courageous support for legislation that would extend the statute of limitations for victims of sex abuse by clergy and others to sue private institutions that employed the abusers.

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

Written evidence submitted by Hon Dame Lowell Goddard QC

UNITED KINGDOM
Parliament

Letter from Hon Dame Lowell Goddard QC to Yvette Cooper MP, Chair of the Committee, 28 October 2016

May I first congratulate you on your election as Chair. During my time as Chair of the IICSA, and since, I have had a close experience of the work of the Committee and the important role that it plays in the British Parliamentary structure.

I am today writing separately with my further response to the matters raised in the letters from Mr Loughton MP as Acting Chair.

I made the decision to resign as IICSA chair because I judged that to be necessary in order to protect the Inquiry and its work, and so that the problems I encountered might be overcome. I came to this sad conclusion when I found that, despite my best efforts, I could not achieve what was needed in the Inquiry’s best interests.

In resigning, I put the interests of the victims and their families (and also the wrongly accused) first.

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

Child sex abuse inquiry: Former chairwoman blames media ‘attacks’

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Dame Lowell Goddard, the former head of the inquiry into child sexual abuse, has blamed “relentless” media pressure for undermining confidence in her.

In a letter to the Commons Home Affairs Committee, the New Zealand judge outlined her reasons for resigning from the role – the third person to do so.

She said campaigners had published articles aimed at forcing her out and dealing a “fatal” blow to the inquiry.

She was succeeded by one of the panel members, Prof Alexis Jay, in August.

Dame Lowell acknowledged in her written submission that there had been tensions within the inquiry team, but said concerns about her leadership qualities had never been raised with her.

She wrote that a “real and increasing strain, particularly for me but in fact for everyone, was the intensifying media criticism of the inquiry” which had begun in March and “developed into widening personal attacks on me and my competence”.

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

Transparency vital to child abuse inquiry, Yvette Cooper warns chair

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sandra Laville
Wednesday 2 November 2016 1

Yvette Cooper has clashed with the chair of the national child abuse inquiry, warning her that transparency is crucial to maintain public confidence after two years of problems within the investigation.

Cooper, the new chair of the powerful home affairs select committee, has rejected a demand from Prof Alexis Jay – the inquiry’s fourth chair – that MPs desist from calling her or other inquiry members to give evidence before them. In a letter to Cooper published on Wednesday, Jay said it was important for the inquiry to maintain its independence and to be seen to be doing so.

“It is for this reason that I would urge the committee to consider carefully before requesting that anyone from the inquiry attends to give further evidence,” she said.

But Cooper made clear that transparency was vital, and that the committee would call whoever it wished to give evidence as the £100m public inquiry proceeded with its work.

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

Opponents of the child abuse inquiry wanted to deal it a ‘fatal’ blow by forcing me out, ex-chairwoman Dame Lowell Goddard claims – but she REFUSES to let MPs cross examine her

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By TIM SCULTHORPE, MAILONLINE DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR

The ex-head of the Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry has blamed a ‘relentless’ media ‘campaign’ for undermining confidence in her leadership and forcing her to quit.

Dame Lowell Goddard has refused to appear before MPs to explain her shock resignation in person, insisting she cab better explain her position in writing.

The New Zealand judge told MPs she believed campaigners published articles in the press in the hope of dealing a ‘fatal’ blow to the inquiry by forcing her to become the third head to resign the post.

In an eight-page written submission to the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC), the New Zealand judge acknowledged there were ‘tensions’ within the inquiry team.
But amid allegations of a string of concerns about her conduct before she resigned, the judge today insisted that concerns about the quality of her leadership were never raised with her.

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

Dame Lowell Goddard: Media pressure undermined me in abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Herald Scotland

The former head of the Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry has blamed “relentless” media pressure for undermining colleagues’ confidence in her leadership.

Dame Lowell Goddard told a parliamentary committee that she believed campaigners published articles in the press in the hope of dealing a “fatal” blow to the inquiry by forcing her to become the third head to resign the post.

In an eight-page written submission to the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC), the New Zealand judge – who sensationally resigned in August – acknowledged there were “tensions” within the inquiry team but insisted that concerns about the quality of her leadership were never raised with her.

HASC chairwoman Yvette Cooper urged Dame Lowell to give evidence in person to the cross-party committee, to allow MPs to put “precise and specific questions” to her.

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

Lujan says slander suit against archdiocese is just

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Nov 02, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Plaintiffs in the $2 million defamation suit against the Archdiocese of Agana and Archbishop Anthony Apuron have responded to defense’s motion to dismiss. According to filings by Attorney David Lujan, there’s a valid claim for slander.

“The defamatory nature of the defendants’ statements is highlighted by the continual exertion of church status and authority to influence the public, and specifically Catholics on Guam (a predominant population) to turn against the plaintiffs,” the lawyer wrote.

The listed plaintiffs are all alleged victims of Apuron – Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, Roland Sondia and Doris Concepcion on behalf of her late son Joseph “Sonny” Quinata. As we reported, defense’s motion to dismiss called the defamation suit unusual as it was sparked by print ads paid for by the Concerned Catholics of Guam organization.

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SNAP Raises New Concern’s Over Priest’s Link To Controversial Organization

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests held a silent protest in front of archdiocesan headquarters in Center City Monday afternoon to demand that Archbishop Charles Chaput explain why a member of a highly controversial Peru-based society is providing pastoral services to the university communities in West Philadelphia.

St. Agatha and St. James pastor Father Carlos Keen is a member of SCV (Sodalitium Christianae Vitae), an organization whose founder and top aide were found to have engaged in longtime pattern of sexual abuse and other human rights violations. They no longer run the group. SNAP president Barbara Blaine wants answers from the archbishop.

“He’s allowing this extremely dangerous organization into the Archdiocese of Philadelphia,” Blaine said. “We need assurances that those who have been brought in with this organization are not perpetrators themselves.”

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Extending child abuse inquiry’s remit will lengthen process, warns minister

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

The Education Secretary has insisted he is still “wrestling” with whether to extend the remit of Scotland’s historical child abuse inquiry.

John Swinney told Holyrood’s Education Committee he has held discussions with the inquiry’s chair, judge Lady Smith, about expanding its scope.

However, he warned MSPs that widening the inquiry will inevitably extend the length of time it takes to conclude.

Ministers set up the inquiry in 2014 to examine allegations of abuse from youngsters placed in children’s homes and foster care, as well as those cared for by faith-based organisations or in long-term hospital care and boarding schools.

Survivor groups have called for the remit to be extended to cover abuse that took place out with residential settings, but in comments made last month Lady Smith said the terms had been set when the inquiry began.

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Swinney ‘considering’ child abuse inquiry extension

SCOTLAND
BBC News

John Swinney is “considering” extending the remit of the Scottish child abuse inquiry, he has told MSPs.

The education secretary said he had discussed the matter with the inquiry chairwoman Lady Smith, amid criticism from abuse survivor groups that the remit of the investigation is “fixed”.

Mr Swinney said he was “wrestling” with the issue as an extended remit would “inevitably” prolong the inquiry.

The probe of historical allegations of abuse is expected to last four years.

The inquiry, which is tasked with investigating the nature and extent of abuse of children in care in Scotland, has been dogged by problems from the outset.

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Sex abuse inquiry could exclude BBC and Savile

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Sean O’Neill, Chief Reporter
November 2 2016
The Times

The public inquiry into child abuse in major institutions could drop its investigations into the BBC and the Jimmy Savile case under a review of its workload. The Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has begun 13 investigations but said in a progress report yesterday that it will “commission new investigations only if we consider they are necessary”.

The inquiry, now chaired by Alexis Jay, had said that it would undertake 25 investigations under its remit to examine institutional child abuse in England and Wales. Those it has committed to carrying out include the cases of Lord Janner, the Catholic and Anglican churches, abuse of children sent overseas and Cyril Smith, MP, and his involvement with children’s homes in Rochdale.

In its opening statement in July 2015 the inquiry said it would also hold investigations into the media, the NHS, the armed forces, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. None of those investigations has been formally commissioned and, with the inquiry yet to hear a word of evidence in public, it is unclear if they will ever start.

Abandoning proposals to look at the BBC and abusers such as Savile and Stuart Hall would be a major blow to victims. The Savile case is seen as pivotal in exposing the extent of child sex abuse in Britain and helped to create the momentum that led Theresa May to establish the public inquiry in 2014. Professor Jay, its fourth chairwoman, could drop the BBC strand without breaching her terms of reference, which make no mention of the organisation. She is holding an internal review of the inquiry’s workload with a view to speeding up its work. Professor Jay has said that if it adopted the traditional public inquiry format for all the institutions that it is meant to investigate then the inquiry would never finish.

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Pope taps Detroit bishop to lead Guam archdiocese

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

Niraj Warikoo , Detroit Free Press November 1, 2016

Pope Francis has named a Detroit bishop, Michael Byrnes, to lead Catholics in the U.S. territory of Guam amid accusations that the previous leader in Guam abused children.

Byrnes, who has been an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit since 2011, will be the Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agana in the South Pacific, the Vatican announced Monday.

In June, the Vatican relieved Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron of the Archdiocese of Agana of his pastoral and administrative authority. He now faces a church trial on accusations that he allegedly abused altar boys, a church leader said Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Apuron denies the allegations and hasn’t been charged criminally.

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Archbishop Apuron welcomes successor’s appointment

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com November 2, 2016

Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron on Wednesday issued a written statement, welcoming the appointment of his likely successor to the leadership of the Catholic Church on Guam, and stating he is preparing to prove his innocence in an upcoming canonical trial over his alleged sexual abuse of altar boys in the 1970s.

The Vatican on Monday announced Pope Francis’ appointment of Detroit Bishop Michael Jude Byrnes as coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agana.

Byrnes, as coadjutor archbishop, has the right to succeed Apuron if Apuron resigns, retires or is removed. Under church law, bishops are required to resign at 75.

“It is with great joy that I welcome the news of the appointment of Bishop Michael J. Byrnes as coadjutor archbishop of Agana by the Holy Father. This is a most welcome answer to my requests for help in the governance of the island at this time,” Apuron said in a statement sent Wednesday afternoon by his attorney, Jacqueline T. Terlaje.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who was sent to Guam by the Vatican in June to temporarily replace Apuron, said the pope actually started looking for a coadjutor archbishop in early 2015, after Hon’s visit to the island at that time. …

Advocates and victims’ groups react

Apuron is one of 84 bishops worldwide who have been accused publicly of sexual wrongdoing, according to BishopAccountability.org, a group tracking public records involving bishops.

Canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger, a Minnesota-based expert in church law, has said there haven’t been enough trials of bishops to reach any conclusion about what penalty is normal, so it will be up to the judges to determine the penalty warranted, which she said could be dismissal from the clerical state or removal from office.

The world’s largest and oldest support group for clergy abuse victims, meanwhile, said the pope’s appointment of Byrnes is a “very good sign that Apuron’s removal is on the horizon.”

“Unfortunately, we will never know what is exposed in Apuron’s canonical trial, but it looks like the Vatican is planning for Apuron’s eventual removal or forced retirement,” Joelle Casteix, Western Regional Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said Wednesday.

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Girl raped at Townsville boarding school

AUSTRALIA
The Courier-Mail

Lauren Martyn-Jones, The Courier-Mail
November 2, 2016

THE parents of a women allegedly raped at an indigenous boarding school in Townsville when she was 14, have told a royal commission they believe the school tried to cover up the attack on their daughter.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is hearing evidence about an alleged sexual assault that took place at Shalom Christian College in Townsville in 2006.

The victim’s mother broke down this morning in the witness box, as she recalled the attack on her daughter and the long-term psychological consequences it has had on her family.

The woman, known to the commission as EAL, said she sent her daughter to the Townsville-based boarding school for indigenous students because she felt inclined to trust a school established to educate Aboriginal children.

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Townsville school told raped student’s parents to ‘leave it alone’, child abuse royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Ben Millington

A north Queensland school principal allegedly discouraged the parents of a girl who was raped by four boys from reporting the matter to police, the child abuse royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is looking into how Townsville’s Shalom Christian College handled the sexual assault of a 14-year-old female student known as CLF.

The girl’s parents gave evidence at a hearing in Sydney on Wednesday, and said the school’s principal at the time, Christopher Shirley, told them the boys involved were from influential Indigenous families in the area.

“At this point I got [Christopher] Shirley’s message, get over it and leave it alone,” said the girl’s mother.

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Victim advocate furious about shock paedophile deportation

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Timna Jacks

It took time for Ken Mahlab to find his voice as a child abuse victim advocate. The Melbourne businessman and father of two preferred to keep his sexual abuse out of the spotlight.

But the former Geelong Grammar student is coming forward to tell his story, after learning that his abuser could evade criminal charges due to an extraordinary inter-agency blunder.

Fairfax Media revealed in September that Victoria Police was set to charge a 74-year-old paedophile with abusing students at the elite school between the late 1960s and mid-1970s, and in 1980. However, the man, who was an Irish citizen, was deported by the Australian Border Force to Ireland before facing charges under tough new laws introduced in 2014.

Australian Border Force have said they were not aware of the police investigation. It is understood that Victoria Police did not know the man was deported until it was too late.

Ken is raising the alarm about the risk he believes the man poses to children in Ireland, and is urging for the man’s extradition.

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Newcastle evangelical preacher Gary Forbes set to plead guilty to sexual abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Giselle Wakatama

An evangelical preacher and former Christian radio station boss intends to plead guilty to several sexual abuse charges, a Newcastle court has heard.

Earlier this year Doctor Gary Alexander Forbes, 73, was charged with seven offences relating to two men.

The charges include two counts of assaulting a male and two counts of committing an act of indecency.

He was also charged with five counts of performing an indecent act on a male, relating to both men in the Newcastle suburb of Hamilton between 1960 and 1966.

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Former Winston-Salem church youth leader convicted of sexually abusing boys in the 1990s

NORTH CAROLINA
Winston-Salem Journal

By Michael Hewlett
Winston-Salem Journal

For years, Robert Allen Shutt served as a youth leader for Salem Baptist Church and raised money for church camps.

But according to a Forsyth County prosecutor, Shutt also used his position at the church to molest young boys.

On Tuesday, Shutt, 71, of Royalton Street, pleaded guilty in Forsyth Superior Court to 16 counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. The allegations involved three boys, who were between 12 and 16, and occurred in the 1990s at Shutt’s house. In each instance, Shutt would have one of the boys spend the night at his house, then he would sexually abuse that boy.

Assistant District Attorney Pansy Glanton said the abuse occurred on multiple occasions. She also said Shutt molested a fourth boy in the 1990s. That boy, who is now an adult, didn’t want to prosecute but was willing to testify if the case had gone to trial.

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Volunteers at The Glade Church trained to recognize, respond to abuse

TENNESSEE
Lebanon Democrat

STAFF REPORTS • UPDATED NOV 1, 2016

The 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center’s facilitator Amanda Dardy trained 93 volunteers with The Glade Church to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse using Darkness to Light’s award-winning Stewards of Children program.

It was a pleasure to work with these dedicated adults who are very vested in the safety of the children in their church and community, Nancy Willis, executive director of the CAC, said.

Stewards of Children focuses on adult education because ultimately, it is adults’ responsibility to keep children safe.

This training approaches the difficult topic of child sexual abuse in a way that is empowering, not fear-focused or depressing. It uses a practical, five-step approach to prevention and response that enables adults to protect the children in their lives and youth-serving organizations.

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Ex-priest convicted of molesting boys resurfaces at S. LA church

CALIFORNIA
My News LA

POSTED BY DEBBIE L. SKLAR ON NOVEMBER 1, 2016

A defrocked Roman Catholic priest who was convicted of molesting two boys and sentenced to eight years in prison resurfaced at a non-sanctioned South Los Angeles church, where he resumed leading church services using an alias, according to a broadcast report.

Fox11 reported that former priest Carlos Rodriguez, who was convicted in Ventura County in 2004 of molesting the boys in Santa Paula, was defrocked in 1998 and prevented from having any affiliation with the Catholic church. Despite that, he used the name Carlos Ramirez and began preaching at the small South Los Angeles church, to the surprise of some parishioners.

“I’m shocked,” one parishioner told Fox11 when told of Rodriguez’s past. Another said she was “indignant” and prayed the church community would take the appropriate action.

Following the station’s inquiries, Rodriguez was barred from the church, Fox11 reported.

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Apuron welcomes Guam’s new bishop to archdiocese

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Nov 02, 2016

By Krystal Paco

In a statement to local press on Wednesday, Archbishop Anthony Apuron welcomes his successor to Guam as the new leader of the island’s Catholic faithful. “It is with great joy that I welcome the news of the appointment of Bishop Michael J. Byrnes as coadjutor archbishop of Agana by the Holy Father,” Apuon wrote.

Apuron’s last known location was in Rome, as captured in a video statement after allegations of child molestation surfaced against him. Although he doesn’t specify, Apuron states he remains on retreat “working with the authorities in the Vatican to establish my innocence.”

As we’ve been reporting, Apuron stands accused of sexually assaulting Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, Roland Sondia, and the late Joseph “Sonny” Quinata – all from Agat and all former altar servers at Mount Carmel Parish in the southern village where Apuron was a priest decades ago. In later months, Ramon Afaisen DePlata also publicly accused Apuron, stating he had witnessed the priest engaging in sexual affairs with an altar boy in the 1960s.

Apuron will have the opportunity to clear his name in a canonical trial to be held in the Vatican. Limited information has been made available on when that trial will take place.

Meanwhile, here at home Apuron faces a $2 million defamation suit and most recently a civil case for child sex abuse, which was filed at the Superior Court of Guam on Tuesday. “Despite my necessary absence,” Apuron wrote, “I offer my heartfelt thanks to the Archbishop Designate Byrnes for accepting this appointment. I commend him to the hearts and prayers of all the people of Guam, whom I know will give the warmest of welcomes.”

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The psychopath priest who terrorised a small town

AUSTRALIA
New Zealand Herald

WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT

He was a paedophile, a psychopath and a thief who despised women, had a fetish for children and a sneering hatred for the locals of the tiny community.

The creepy Father Peter Searson, who wore his yellow fingernails long and manicured, liked dressing up in an army uniform and carried a pistol he sometimes pointed at parishioners.

He stole A$40,000 from the parish finances, killed or tortured animals in front of children and showed them a dead body in a coffin.

He got children to touch his penis, made them kneel between his legs, loitered around the children’s toilets and audio-taped primary schoolers in the confessional box when their admissions became “hot”.

Searson was the fifth child-molesting priest sent by the Catholic Church to the working class community of Doveton, 31km southeast of Melbourne.

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November 1, 2016

Prosecutors drop investigation of Sanibel priest

FLORIDA
WINK News

SANIBEL, Fla. — An investigation focusing on a Sanibel priest is now closed due to insufficient evidence, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said.

Father Christopher Senk of St. Isabel Parish was being investigated for allegedly stealing money from an elderly church member with dementia.

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Valhalla native, comedian Kevin Meaney, dead at 60

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Jordan Fenster , jfenster@lohud.com October 22, 2016

Actor, comedian and Valhalla native Kevin Meaney died Friday, according to multiple news sources. He was 60 years old.

Meaney, perhaps most famous for the catchphrase “That’s not right!” was also known for his appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, his stint on Saturday Night Live. He also appeared on Broadway in the musical Hairspray.

Meaney was a former altar boy at Cardinal Bernard Law, but found comedic fodder from sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.

“Let me just tell you one thing: I was never molested in Catholic school. I had to wait until I got to public school to get molested,” he told The Journal News in 2002.

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FOX 11 Investigates: Pedophile priest sentenced and defrocked, but still working with kids

CALIFORNIA
Fox 11

By: Gina Silva
POSTED:OCT 31 2016

(FOX 11) – A former Roman Catholic priest was convicted and sent to prison for molesting children during a period lasting many years.

Gina Silva reports that the priest is not only out of prison, but back in church pretending to still be a man of the cloth.

Statement from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles:

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is committed to providing pastoral care and support to all Catholics and other people of faith in our five pastoral regions covering Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. If anyone in the Archdiocese has any questions regarding a persons’ eligibility to minister as a Roman Catholic priest, please call the Archdiocese Catholic Center, at (213) 637-7000 or visit http://www.la-archdiocese.org/org/clergy.

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Pell’s pledge

AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

2 Nov 2016,

Clergy sexual abuse victims have called on Cardinal George Pell to reaffirm a commitment he made to help those wounded by the scourge of sexual abuse in Ballarat.

Peter Blenkiron said Cardinal Pell had a moral obligation to stand by the promises he made to survivors in his hometown of Ballarat in the final act of his appearance at the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in Rome in March.

“Cardinal Pell either knew about the abuse of children did nothing and therefore has a responsibility to fix the damage,” he said.

“Or he knew nothing but still has a responsibility to protect future generations of children and be a part of the solution and not just part of the cause of the problem which allowed paedophiles to flourish.”

His words in comes in the wake of the counsel assisting the child abuse royal commission, rejecting key evidence and accusing the Cardinal of failing to act on sexual misconduct complaints.

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The Spiritual Impact of Sexual Abuse in Religious Contexts – Father Tom Doyle

PENNSYLVANIA
Eastern Mennonite University

When Monday November 7, 2016 @ 7:30 PM (6 days away)
Where Martin Chapel, Seminary Building
Duration 1 hour 30 minutes
Gather with Father Tom Doyle for a presentation on The Spiritual Impact of Sexual Abuse in Religious Contexts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Following the speaker, we invite you to move in and out and from EXPRESSION STATIONS as a way to process, make sense and join the community in expressing ourselves to our university.

Stations will include: facilitated discussion, reflection corner, vigil candle lighting, hymn sing, writing letters to EMU, and word mural. Counselors, pastors and support people will be on scene for chats. Hot chocolate and brownies available too!

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Former altar boys sue Guam archbishop

GUAM
Marianas Variety

02 Nov 2016 By Mar-Vic Cagurangan – For Variety

HAGATNA — A new Guam law that lifted the statute of limitation on sex abuse cases has spawned lawsuits against local Catholic Church officials accused of molesting former altar boys almost five decades ago.

“It is each victim’s hope that the filing of the lawsuits will bring positive change in the lives of all victims of abuse resulting in a cleansing and healing of decades-old feelings of fear, embarrassment, shame, hatred, bitterness and blaming of oneself,” said David Lujan, the attorney who represents former altar boys Roland Sondia, Roy Quintanilla, Walter Danton, and Leo Tudela.

Sondia, Quintanilla and Danton filed the civil lawsuit against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, whom they accused of molesting them when he was a priest at Mount Carmel Parish in Agat in the 1970s. Tudela named Father Louis Brouillard as his alleged molester.

“The lawsuits,” Lujan said, “will cause the church to remove the cancer caused by these pedophile priests and restore the Catholic Church to its rightful glory.”

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Compensation bid launched by Roman Catholic school abuse victims

UNITED KINGDOM
Gazette Live

A High Court trial has begun to decide the first cases in one of the biggest compensation claims involving the Roman Catholic church arising from allegations of historical sexual abuse.

A total of 249 men have lodged claims against the Diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle Institute, which ran the St William’s children’s home in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire.

If the claims are successful the pay-outs are expected to run to millions of pounds.

Earlier this year, the former head of St William’s, James Carragher, was jailed for the third time after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys.

Carragher, 75, had already been sentenced to 21 years in prison for sexually abusing boys when he was jailed for a further nine years in January.

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CN–Victims blast Bridgeport Catholic “healing service”

CONNECTICUT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016

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

Bridgeport Catholic officials have scheduled a “healing service” on Wednesday, Nov. 2. At worst, this is a cynical public relations move. At best, it misses the mark.

Bishop Frank Caggiano’s focus should be on real reforms that actually make kids safer, not symbolic gestures that make him seem nicer or that make a few adults temporarily feel better. And events like this imply that the crisis is past when in fact it’s not.

By focusing on “healing,” Caggiano wants us all to believe that prevention is no longer needed. That’s backwards. Only when every cleric who has committed or concealed child sex crimes is identified, ousted, punished and kept away from kids should bishops concentrate on healing.

Caggiano’s first job should be protecting the vulnerable. And much remains to be done on this front. There are 40 publicly accused Bridgeport diocese predator priests. Where are they now?

Caggiano should permanently and prominently post on parish websites – the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of these proven, admitted and credibly accused clerics. (About 30 US bishops have done this.)

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Minnesota youth pastor took ‘innocent’ photos of church kids – then did something horrible with them

MINNESOTA
Raw Story

TRAVIS GETTYS
01 NOV 2016

A Minnesota pastor admitted to taking innocent photos of children that he then turned into sexually explicit images, police said.

Investigators were tipped off Oct. 21 after Facebook and Instagram reported that the same user was suspected of trading child pornography through instant messaging with another user in Finland, reported KAAL-TV.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, identified the American user as 47-year-old William Helker, of Pine City, who served as a youth pastor at All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove.

The three photos involved girls as young as 5 years old, and investigators identified two of the children as victims of criminal sexual conduct.

Authorities said Helker traded the images from computers at both his home and church.

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Calls for $2.1m to be used for victim fund

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

1 Nov 2016

Clergy abuse victims are calling for proceeds of a $2.1 million beach house owned by disgraced Catholic bishop Ronald Mulkearns to be used to start a fund to help those still impacted by the scourge of sexual abuse.

The beach house owned by the former bishop at the exclusive Great Ocean Rd enclave of Fairhaven sold at an auction on Saturday.

Mulkearns facilitated the abuse of hundreds of children over decades during his reign as Ballarat bishop. He was the first Ballarat bishop to be denied a crypt burial when he died this year.

Ballarat survivor Peter Blenkiron called for the money to be stored in a trust fund which allowed interest to grow ensuring the funds didn’t dwindle.

“It should be used to start a whole community pot of money,” he said. “This account could be run by medical staff and support workers and could be used for emergency relief fund to help people struggling especially as a result of sexual abuse and mental illness.”

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Canonical trial will be held in Vatican for Apuron

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Nov 01, 2016

By Krystal Paco

While his whereabouts remain unknown, Archbishop Anthony Apuron still has an opportunity to clear his name of allegations of child molestation. According to Guam’s apostolic administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, the process is moving forward and a canonical trial will be held in the Vatican.

“They just formed all the conditions for the trial, so I’m going to receive some updates later,” he announced during a press conference at the Cathedral in Hagatna this morning.

KUAM News did ask newly-appointed Bishop MIchael Byrnes what would happen if Apuron was cleared of any wrongdoing – Bishop Byrnes said he didn’t know the answer to that question.

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Editorial: The church has earned our healthy skepticism

NEW YORK
National Catholic Reporter

Oct. 28, 2016

EDITORIAL

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan may have the purest of motives in designing the new compensation program for victims of clergy sex abuse. He must realize, however, that he is working against a history of activity, including his own, of members of the U.S. hierarchy that hardly inspires trust.

Dolan’s effort, understandably applauded in some quarters as an act inspired by Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy, sets a legal framework for compensating victims outside of court procedures. The process will be administered by respected professionals, by most measures impeccably independent, and the compensation offered will be delivered quickly.

So, what’s not to like about it? Anne Barrett Doyle does a service to abuse victims and to the Catholic community at large in raising serious questions about the process and whether the plan is an unalloyed benefit to all victims.

Doyle is co-director with Terry McKiernan of BishopAccountability.org, a unique repository of data and arguably the most extensive catalogued collection anywhere of newspaper stories, court records, depositions, analyses and internal church correspondence having to do with the Catholic church’s clergy sex abuse scandal.

Consequently, it is not too much of a stretch to say that Doyle knows more detail about the scandal than most people, including bishops, ever will.

The devil, in this instance, is in both the details and the larger context. Two details raise concerns for Doyle:

* Victims are required to sign a legal agreement that appears to bind them to privacy and confidentiality.

* As part of the agreement, victims receiving an award agree, in releasing the archdiocese from future liability, not to sue the church in the future.

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Child sex abuse inquiry lawyer resigns over concerns

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC Newsnight

By Jake Morris
BBC Newsnight

A key lawyer for the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse has resigned, BBC Newsnight has learned.

Toby Fisher, one of the first three barristers appointed to the inquiry, said he wanted to stand down in August.

It is understood he was concerned by the inquiry’s “progress and direction” and was not otherwise planning on leaving.

A spokesman for the inquiry would not comment on specifics and Mr Fisher declined to comment.

Mr Fisher had served as first junior counsel – the joint-second most senior barrister on the inquiry – and previously worked on two of the inquiry’s most high profile investigations – into Lord Janner and alleged abuse in Westminster.

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Four unprecedented lawsuits against the Catholic church are the first of many

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Rebecca Elmore

Attorney David Lujan holds press conference for sexual assault abuse victims.

Guam – The statute of limitations for sex abuse has been lifted and now, in a series of unprecedented lawsuits, four victims are seeking damages against archbishop Apuron and the Catholic church.

But according to the victims’ legal counsel, Attorney David Lujan, this is only the beginning.

More will come forward – that from Attorney David Lujan in a press conference today addressing the concerns of the victims of abuse within the Catholic church.

According to Lujan, the press conference was called to “remove the cancer caused by these pedophile priests and restore the Catholic church to its glory.”

He reiterated that sentiment stating: “It is each victim’s hope that the filings of the lawsuit will bring positive changes in the lives of all victims of abuse, resulting in a cleansing and healing of decades of old feelings of fear, embarrassment, shame, hatred, bitterness, and blaming oneself.”

Lawsuits were filed by four victims against the Archdioces of Agana, they are Roland Sondia, Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, and Leo Tudela. The first three allege that Apuron sexually abused them while Tudela says former Gua, priest Louis Brouillard sexually assaulted him.

Even more concerning, Lujan says “I can tell you that I’ve got an additional 12 clients besides the four here and I can tell you that I’m more aware of more people and that I’m in discussion with others and that its just not the Catholic church.”

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Newly appointed head of Archdiocese responds to church issues

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Timothy Mchenry

The new co-adjutor says he hopes to be on Guam by the end of November.

Guam – Meanwhile, newly appointed co-adjutor archbishop Michael Byrnes responds to some of the biggest issues and controversies surrounding Guam’s catholic church.

Newly appointed co-adjutor archbishop Michael Byrnes responded to some of the most pressing issues and controversies surrounding the church.

One of the biggest issues is what’s going to happen with Archbishop Anthony Apuron?

Archbishop Byrnes says Archbishop Apuron will remain the archbishop until death or the mandatory age of retirement.

“As far as I know, I mean that’s my understanding. I know the difference here is that the holy father has removed his faculty to exercise pastoral care and assigned them to me for the time being,” said Byrnes.

On Tuesday, attorney David Lujan called a press conference to announce that three of the victims who allege that Archbishop Anthony Apuron molested them while he was a priest at Mt. Carmel church in Agat filed a lawsuit against the archdiocese. Byrne responded to the allegations of molestation against archdiocesan priests.

“My first comment is, uh you know uh, is just uh, one of deep concern for the alleged victims and so that’s the first, the second is to uh you know again I only have hearsay and so ill enlist the best help we can,” said Byrnes. “On their mainland the bishops have taken very strong measures to protect God’s children and so I will bring that concern to see if we can implement some of the steps and measure that we’ve taken here on the mainland.

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Key lawyer quits child sex abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Michael Wilkinson, political correspondent
1 NOVEMBER 2016

A key lawyer for the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse has become the latest figure to quit, it has been reported.

Tony Fisher, one of the first three barristers appointed to the inquiry, was said to be concerned by the inquiry’s “progress and direction”, BBC Newsnight said.

Mr Fisher did not comment on the suggestion that he had left the inquiry.
Asked about Mr Fisher’s departure, a spokesman for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said the inquiry had “a large legal team comprising a number of junior counsel, senior counsel and solicitors”.

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New Guam Bishop to Take Over Immediately With Full Power

GUAM
New York Times

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NOV. 1, 2016.

HAGATNA, Guam — The new leader of the Catholic Church in Guam will immediately assume all responsibilities in the archdiocese while its suspended archbishop faces a church trial for allegedly sexually abusing altar boys.

Pope Francis on Monday named Bishop Michael Jude Byrnes, the auxiliary bishop of Detroit, as coadjutor bishop of the Guam archdiocese. Coadjutors have succession rights when bishops resign, retire or are removed.

At a news conference Tuesday, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the temporary apostolic administrator, said Francis gave Byrnes special rights to carry out all the duties as archbishop effective immediately.

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David Lujan: Rome should have picked a local priest to lead archdiocese

GUAM
KUAM

[with poll]

Updated: Nov 01, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Not everyone is pleased with the new bishop-designee for the Archdiocese of Agana. According to Attorney David Lujan, he’s offended by Rome’s pick for Guam. He stated, “We’ve got numerous brown priests that were born here, that grew up here, that know the people of Guam and are part of the people of Guam, whether they be Chamorros or Filipinos. But we have more than enough qualified leadership in the local clergy really, who Rome should have contemplated.”

Meanwhile, the Concerned Catholics of Guam say they are supportive and cautious.

Organization president Dave Sablan tells KUAM News they look forward to meeting the new bishop, but remain concerned that Apuron has not be laicized.

Also commenting on Bishop Michael Byrnes’ appointment is Junglewatch blogger Tim Rohr, who tells KUAM News that Rome realizes Archbishop Anthony Apuron is incapacitated and incapable and “confirmation that Apuron is out.”

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Middlesbrough diocese faces multi-million pound compensation claim following abuse convictions

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

The diocese is subject to a civil claim following the imprisonment of a former principal and chaplain earlier this year

A test court case claiming compensation against a Catholic diocese opens today, after a former principal and a chaplain at a children’s home run by the diocese were imprisoned for historic sex offences earlier this year.

Five survivors have brought a civil claim, due to be heard at the high court in Leeds, against the Catholic diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle Brothers, whose members ran St William’s Home in Market Weighton, east Yorkshire.

If the case is successful, the Catholic Church in the UK could be liable to pay compensation of millions of pounds.

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Roane County pastor accused of sexually assaulting 2 juvenile victims

TENNESSEE
WVLT

TEN MILE, Tenn. (WVLT) — An assistant pastor at a church in Ten Mile is accused of sexually assaulted two minors.

According to reports, two victims ages 17 and 12 were subjected to sexual assault by Hugh McDowell, 62, who served as an assistant pastor at Spoken Words Ministry Church.

The investigation into McDowell started in June when a Department of Children’s Services representative told the Roane County Sheriff’s Office about multiple reported incidents at Spoken Words Ministry Church that went on for an undetermined amount of time.

Officers were told the last possible alleged sexual incident happened on June 21. The incident report says McDowell threatened the family’s lives after he was approached about the alleged attacks.

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Child sex abuse victims take Church to court

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Press

FIVE child sex abuse victims have launched a High Court bid for compensation over abuse at a Catholic school in East Yorkshire.

A total of 249 men have lodged claims of historical sexual abuse against the Diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle Institute, which ran the St William’s children’s home in Market Weighton.

The trial, at the High Court in Leeds, involves claims from five of the claimants. If the claims are successful the pay-outs are expected to run to millions of pounds.

Earlier this year, the former head of St William’s, James Carragher, was jailed for the third time after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys.

Carragher, 75, had already been sentenced to 21 years in prison for sexually abusing boys when he was jailed for a further nine years in January.

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Church faces huge bill as abuse victims go to court

UNITED KINGDOM
Belfast Telegraph

By Dave Higgens
PUBLISHED
01/11/2016

A High Court action has begun to decide the first cases in one of the biggest compensation claims involving the Catholic Church arising from allegations of historical sexual abuse.

A total of 249 men have lodged claims against the Diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle Institute, which ran the St William’s children’s home in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire.

If the claims are successful the payouts are expected to run to millions of pounds.

Earlier this year the former head of St William’s, James Carragher, was jailed for a third time after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys.

Carragher (75) was jailed for nine years in January.

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Cardinal Pell says he won’t yet respond to criticism of his evidence on paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey

Monday 31 October 2016

Cardinal George Pell has said he will not be drawn into responding to criticism by the counsel assisting the royal commission on child sexual abuse.

A submission from Gail Furness SC and Stephen Free, the counsel, argued that based on the cardinal’s’s evidence to the commission, as well as evidence from Catholic Education Office staff and child sexual abuse victims, Pell should have taken stronger action against a paedophile priest, Peter Searson.

On Tuesday Pell’s office in Rome said: “The cardinal has already responded directly to counsel assisting’s submissions in the written submissions published under his name on the royal commission website. As the royal commission has not yet made findings in these case studies, it is not appropriate, at this time, for parties to comment.”

Searson was the parish priest of Doveton, south-east of Melbourne, from 1984 until 1997. Pell, now the Vatican’s financial controller in Rome, was at the time auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne and oversaw positions such as Searson’s.

The commission has previously heard Searson abused children in parishes and schools across three districts over more than a decade, and displayed strange behaviours such as animal cruelty and carrying a gun to school.

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NOTE AND UPDATE

GUAM
Jungle Watch

[with video]

The news keeps quoting me as saying that I said Bishop Brynes will only be here 2-5 years and then someone local will be appointed to replace him.

I only proposed this as a possibility this morning when Patti Arroyo called me. I qualified my speculation in the context of Rome’s post-Vatican II penchant for “inculturation” which includes appointing bishops, mostly in areas considered to be the “developing Church,”who are ethnically and culturally related to their dioceses.

Unlike the rest of Micronesia, if not all of Oceania, Guam does not fit this mold. Thanks to the Spanish, Guam has been Catholic for at least 100 years longer than the United States has been a nation. We are NOT a developing Church, nor are we a mission territory, a designation Apuron has played up for years in order to qualify for grants from the Catholic Extension society, taking money away from true mission territories.

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Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai: “No bishop can work alone.”

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Rebecca Elmore

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai discusses transition to newly elected Co-Adjutor Michael Byrnes.
In a press conference delivered by temporary Administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, Hon stated the transition to Guam’s newly elected Co-Adjutor Archbishop, Michael Byrnes, was a “smooth transition process.”

Archbishop Hon expressed his sincerest gratitude for both the clergy and the people of Guam and when asked about the selection process Though Archbishop Hon would not reveal any names, he did state that three individuals were selected before Byrnes was ultimately chosen.

When asked to describe how he felt about an “outsider” filling in the new position, Archbishop Hon stated that “no bishop can work all alone” reiterating that Byrnes has been well-informed of the needs of the people of Guam.

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Byrnes to take over as coadjutor archbishop

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai has announced that Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Michael Jude Byrnes to Coadjutor Archbishop, with Special Faculties, of the Archdiocese of Agana.

This announcement ends the tenure of Hon as the apostolic administrator for the Archdiocese of Agana.

Archbishop Hon said that the Coadjutor Archbishop will have complete responsibility over the Archdiocese, which includes its financial administration, discipline of the clergy, and pastoral life.

According to Hon, the appointment from Rome is to be effective Oct. 31, at noon.

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Hon speaks on possible Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron replacement

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com November 1, 2016

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai held a press conference today, following Pope Francis’ appointment of a new coadjutor archbishop for the Archdiocese of Agana.

The coadjutor archbishop will have the right to succeed Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron if he resigns, retires or is removed. Apuron is facing canonical trial at the Vatican over alleged sexual abuse of altar boys.

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Replacement archbishop appointed for Guam

GUAM
Radio New Zealand

The pope has appointed a new archbishop for Guam where the current head of the Catholic Church faces potential charges for historical sex abuse.

The Archdiocese of Detroit says Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Michael Byrnes to lead the Guam archdiocese in the absence of Anthony Apuron.

So far, five former altar boys have gone public to accuse Archbishop Apuron of sexually abusing them in the 1970s.

The Vatican relieved him of his duties in June, although he officially remains the Archbishop of Agana.

In September, Guam’s governor signed into law a bill that removed the statute of limitations, which allows the church to be sued for historical allegations.

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What responsibilities does Guam’s archbishop coadjutor have?

GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

Updated: Nov 01, 2016

By Sabrina Salas Matanane

While many of you were sleeping last night, the Vatican made it official announcing the appointment of an archbishop coadjutor for the Archdiocese of Agana. Many of you may ask: what does that mean? During a press conference at the Cathedral De Basilica this morning, it was made clear that this coadjutor general is taking over as the head of the local Catholic Church.

Tuesday may have been Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s birthday, but it’s Detroit bishop Michael Byrnes who was celebrating. The Pope appointed him as the successor to lead the Agana archdiocese. “It’s all happened very quickly,” His Excellency told KUAM News over FaceTime. Bishop Byrnes says he found out about the appointment two weeks ago, met with the Holy Father last Friday and the announcement was officially made Monday night.

In a press conference held by the local archdiocese on Tuesday, Apostolic Administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai says this appears to be a permanent solution amid the controversy involving Archbishop Apuron, who as of June was removed of pastoral governance over the local church. “In this appointment the Holy Father has expressly granted his Excellency, Monsignor Byrne, all the faculties, rights and obligations of Archbishop of Agana,” Hon announced.

Archbishop Hon confirmed the process to find a new archbishop started last year shortly after his visit to Guam. Bishop Byrnes says he will permanently move to Guam in January but will pay a visit to the island in late-November. He adds he is aware of the issues confronting the local church such as the allegations of sexual molestation, the question of ownership of the Redemportis Mater Seminary and divisions in the church involving the Neocathechumenal Way.

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Accusers file civil lawsuit against Archbishop Apuron, Father Brouillard

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Nov 01, 2016

By Krystal Paco

While the local archdiocese got the good news about its new shepherd, it also got some bad news that’s it being taken to court for a second time. It’s a first for Guam…and likely not the last.

Attorney David Lujan announced, “The lawsuits will cause the church to remove the cancer caused by these pedophile priests and restore the Catholic Church to its rightful glory. On Tuesday, Roland Sondia, Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton and Leo Tudela filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana, Archbishop Anthony Apuron, and former Guam priest Father Louis Brouillard. Each of the plaintiffs is represented by Lujan, who says he anticipates another dozen alleged victims to file suit in coming weeks.

The action was made possible through Bill 326 – signed into law last month – and lifts the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases. The legislation wasn’t well received by the Archdiocese of Agana, who predicted the unlimited financial liabilities would result in bankruptcy, school closures, and end vital community services.

“The lawsuits will not result in the destruction of the church,” Lujan promised. After all, the church has outlived every empire and civil government known to man. The church will reform itself and become even greater.”

The civil suit demands for jury trial of six and lists damages for child sexual abuse, negligence, negligent supervision, negligent hiring and retention, and breach of fiduciary duty/confidential relationship. It doesn’t however, list how much relief plaintiffs are seeking in monetary damages.

As we reported, Sondia, Quintanilla and Denton allege they were molested by Apuron decades ago while serving as altar boys at Mount Carmel Church in Agat. At a public hearing in support of Bill 326, Tudela testified he was sexually abused by Father Brouillard who in a later interview with KUAM News confessed to molesting several boys while on Guam. He has since moved to Minnesota but continues to receive monthly stipends from the Archdiocese of Agana.

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Four sue Archdiocese of Agana, Apuron, Brouillard over sex abuse allegations

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com November 1, 2016

Four former altar boys who publicly accused Catholic priests on Guam of sexually abusing them in the 1950s and 1970s filed separate lawsuits Tuesday against the Archdiocese of Agana, Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron and former island priest Louis Brouillard.

The plaintiffs are Leo Tudela, 73; Roland Sondia, 54; Walter Denton, 52; and Roy Quintanilla, 52.

Attorney David Lujan filed the lawsuits on behalf of the four victims of alleged sex abuse.

The filing of the lawsuits comes over a month after Gov. Eddie B. Calvo signed into law on Sept. 23 a controversial bill that allows victims of child sex abuse to sue their abusers and the institutions with which they are associated, at any time.

“It is each victim’s hope that the filings of the lawsuits will bring positive changes in the lives of all victims of abuse resulting in a cleansing and healing of decades-old feelings of fear, embarrassment, shame, hatred, bitterness, blaming of oneself and restore each victim’s dignity and respect,” Lujan said at a press conference at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Two of the plaintiffs were at the press conference — Tudela, now a resident of Hawaii, and Sondia, who lives on Guam.

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