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.

January 26, 2017

French priest jailed over child abuse in Central Africa

FRANCE
ENCA

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France – A French court sentenced a priest on Thursday to up to five years in jail after finding him guilty of sexually abusing two young boys in the Central African Republic.

The priest, whose sentence may be suspended after two years, has also been banned from carrying out any professional activity that puts him in contact with minors.

The priest had admitted to one case of abuse in a letter in 2011 to the prosecutor of his home town in central France, Clermont-Ferrand.

But investigators had initially identified a total of four victims.

However they lost track of two of them in the chaos of the Central African Republic’s civil war, which erupted in 2013.

When he set out for Central Africa in 2007, the priest said he wanted to build a hospital and to “fight sorcery”.

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.

Women claim ‘unreasonable’ exclusion from Magdalene scheme

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

Two women who claim they were forced, while attending industrial schools, to work in Magdalene laundries have alleged unreasonable exclusion from a State compensation scheme.

Due to their exclusion on a “technicality” from the scheme concerning the laundries, the women view the Taoiseach’s apology over the treatment of those who worked in them as “hollow”, counsel Michael Lynn SC said.

They are suing the Minister for Justice in proceedings that opened in the High Court on Wednesday before Mr Justice Michael White.

The women claim that while attending industrial schools run by religious orders in the 1970s and 1980s, they were forced to work in Magdalene laundries which, they allege, were linked to those schools.

One of the women was aged just two when she was taken from her family for reasons unknown to her and placed in a school. She was then sent to work in a laundry for periods, the court heard.

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.

Magdalene Laundry compensation case adjourned

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

There has been an apparent clash between the Minister for Justice and the Ombudsman, concerning the scope of a compensation scheme for women who worked in Magdalene Laundries, at the High Court.

To address that, David Hardiman SC, for the Minister on Thursday got an adjournment of proceedings by two women suing over their exclusion from the ex gratia compensation scheme administered by the Department of Justice’s restorative justice unit.

Both women claim, as children attending industrial schools in the 1970s and 1980s, they were forced to work for periods in laundries and were unreasonably excluded from the scheme on a “technicality”. They claim the scheme administrators wrongly view the schools and laundries as separate institutions when, the women allege, the laundries were linked to the schools.

In opposing their cases, the Minister pleads the scheme was not established to compensate for alleged forced labour or loss of earnings in the laundries but as part of a scheme of healing and reconciliation.

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.

Christchurch Cathedral could be stripped of bishops’ and deans’ photos after a child sexual abuse hearing

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
27 Jan 2017

PHOTOS of Newcastle’s Anglican bishops and deans could be removed from Christchurch Cathedral after shocking evidence about church knowledge of child sex offenders in the Hunter region.

The Cathedral board will decide in February if photos, including of defrocked former Dean Graeme Lawrence and Archbishop Roger Herft – the highest-ranking Australian casualty of the church’s dark history of abuse – will be removed under a diocese renewal process.

Bishop Peter Stuart told parishioners that Cathedral picture walls of former bishops and deans were distressing for some survivors of abuse “because it appears as though church is continuing to honour people” who failed to protect children or caused them harm.

Although church buildings told the history of an area’s ministry it was important to consider whether the photos should be removed and the diocese’s leadership story told in another way, Bishop Stuart said in a letter to parishioners on January 19.

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.

More lawsuits filed against Catholic Church on Guam

GUAM
Radio New Zealand

Six former altar boys on Guam have filed multimillion-dollar lawsuits against the Catholic Church over historical allegations of sexual abuse.

The lawsuits, filed in the Guam District Court, are against former island priest Louis Brouillard, the Archdiocese of Agana and the Vatican over allegations that Brouillard sexually abused them decades ago.

The lawsuits were filed in the District Court of Guam after at least eight Superior Court of Guam judges excused themselves from hearing any of the 15 clergy sex abuse lawsuits so far filed in that court.

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 Iowa pastor faces 13 charges, including sex crimes against child

IOWA
Des Moines Register

Charly Haley and Linh Ta, Des Moines Register Jan. 25, 2017

A former Dallas Center pastor was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child multiple times, authorities said.

Randy Johnson, 52, of Dallas Center faces 13 criminal charges. Johnson reportedly perpetrated multiple instances of sexual abuse on the 12- or 13-year-old girl during a year-and-a-half time period from 2013 to 2014, according to court records. The abuse reportedly occurred at a Dallas Center home and, in one instance, at a farm in Grimes.

Johnson was formerly the pastor of Dallas Center Church of the Brethren, said Tim Button-Harrison, district executive for the Northern Plains District Church of the Brethren, which oversees the Dallas Center church.

Button-Harrison declined to say when or how Johnson’s employment at the church ceased. On Thursday morning, Johnson was still listed as the church’s pastor on its website.

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.

The Pope faces his adversaries

ROME
La Croix

Nicolas Senèze, Rome

By obtaining the resignation yesterday from the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Pope Francis has made an important point to those who call into question the deep reforms he is undertaking in the Vatican and the Church. Not that Brother Matthew Festing is a personal enemy of the pope, but the conflict between Francis and the Knights of Malta represents the sum of all the opposition he is encountering in his will to reform.

The chronology of events is perplexing. In early December, the Grand Master of the Order demanded the resignation of Grand Chancellor Albrecht von Boeselager, who is accused of being “a liberal Catholic, unfaithful to the teachings of the Church.”

Present at this discussion, was Cardinal Raymond Burke, the pope’s representative to the Order and one of his main opponents, who led a public attack against the exhortation Amoris laetitia, on possible access to the sacraments by divorcees who remarry. With three retired cardinals, he asked the pope to clarify certain points, to force him to return to the text – something that no pope had done for at least two centuries – and to lessen the magisterial scope of the Vatican.

Within the Order of Malta, the attacks against von Boeselager, who was accused of having allowed the distribution of condoms by the Order in Burma in 2005, was a moral issue. The German explained to the grand master that the matter had been settled and refused to resign. Supported, at least in silence, by Cardinal Burke, Matthew Festing insisted that it was “the will of the Holy See.”

Ten days later, von Boeselager’s own brother, Georg, was appointed to the superintendency of the Institute for Religious Works (known as the IOR), or the “Vatican bank”. With two other bankers, he replaced officials of the IOR who, defending the idea of creating a Vatican investment fund in Luxembourg opposed by the Pope, had to resign in May. Seen against this backdrop, the attacks against von Boeselager appear more and more as a challenge to the reform of the Vatican’s finances and those who are implementing them.

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.

Papst Franziskus misst bei der Verfolgung sexuellen Missbrauchs mit zweierlei Maß

DEUTSCHLAND
Badische Zeitung

[No pope has spoken so severely about abuse of the Catholic Church as did Francis. His verbal condemnations of the perpetrators are numerous and merciless.]

Franziskus nannte die Pädophilie im katholischen Klerus eine “Monstrosität”. Er verglich Missbrauch mit einer “schwarzen Messe”. Bischöfe, die sexuellen Missbrauch durch Priester verheimlichen, sollten zurücktreten, forderte der Papst. Franziskus richtete eine Kommission ein, die den Kinderschutz in der Kirche fördern soll. Und er kündigte ein Tribunal an, in dem Bischöfe für Vertuschung zur Rechenschaft gezogen werden sollten. Es klang wie eine Revolution.

Und tatsächlich hat es Fortschritte gegeben. Ein echtes Vatikan-Gericht für Bischöfe wurde zwar nicht geschaffen. Aber seit September vergangenen Jahres gibt es zumindest eine rechtliche Handhabe gegen Bischöfe, die ihre Sorgfaltspflicht verletzen. Die Entscheidungen darüber fällen Kardinäle und letztendlich der Papst hinter verschlossenen Türen (siehe Hintergrund rechts). Entlassungen in Folge des neuen Gesetzes sind seither aber nicht bekannt geworden. Im Gegenteil. Der italienische Enthüllungsjournalist Emiliano Fittipaldi weist in seinem neuen Buch “Lussuria” (Unzucht) darauf hin, dass die katholische Kirche weiterhin ein Glaubwürdigkeitsproblem hat.

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PRESSEMELDUNG

DEUTSCHLAND
Erzbistum Berlin

[By December 31, 2016 the Archbishopric of Berlin had received 53 reports of allegations of sexual abuse or sexual assaults on minors and adults by clerics and members of religious orders and others in the church. During the past year four new allegations were made. The accusations go back to 1947 and some of the accused are deceased. Suspected abuse cases have been systematically recorded since 2002.]

25. Januar 2017 Stefan Förner Pressesprecher
Bis zum 31. Dezember 2016 lagen im Erzbistum Berlin 53 Meldungen über Vorwürfe sexuellen Missbrauchs oder sexueller Übergriffe an Minderjährigen und erwachsenen Schutzbefohlenen durch Kleriker, vom Erzbischof beauftragte Ordensangehörige und andere Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter im kirchlichen Dienst vor. Im Jahr 2016 wurden vier neue Vorwürfe erhoben. Insgesamt gehen die Vorwürfe bis auf das Jahr 1947 zurück, die Beschuldigten sind zum Teil verstorben. Seit dem Jahr 2002 werden Verdachtsfälle sexuellen Missbrauchs systematisch erfasst.

Derzeit ist für einen zum Zeitpunkt des Vorjahresberichts laufenden Fall noch ein staatliches bzw. kirchliches Verfahren anhängig. Das andere laufende Verfahren aus dem Jahr 2015 wurde im Jahr 2016 abgeschlossen. Weiterhin wurde im Jahr 2016 ein Verfahren neu aufgenommen und auch bereits abgeschlossen, so dass es derzeit insgesamt ein laufendes Verfahren gibt.

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.

We need to do more to tackle sexual abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Kathleen Hallisey

Evidence points towards a sexual abuse scandal in the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation on a scale which may be comparable to the Catholic Church, Savile or the Football Association, yet they refuse properly to acknowledge it or make effective changes to their safeguarding policies.

This is not a new issue. In 2002, the BBC Panorama programme Suffer the little children focused on allegations of sexual abuse in the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Former members of the religion claimed that the organisation maintained a database of alleged paedophiles, ie a list of names against whom complaints of sexual abuse had been made. Survivors from the US and UK were interviewed. Their stories were tragic in the way that all such stories are. But the details about how the organisation is alleged to have dealt with their claims were particularly disturbing. After summoning the courage to report the abuse to the leaders of their congregations, they claim they were only asked if there was a second witness to the abuse, and it appears none of their complaints were reported to the police by the organisation.

Little has changed since 2002. The Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to operate what is commonly referred to as the two-witness rule: for any sin committed, there must be two witnesses to the sin in order for the elders to take the matter forward and discipline the member. It matters not that the member has admitted to the same type of wrongdoing in the past. These general policies are outlined in the organisation’s in-house manual Shepherd the Flock of God. In cases of sexual abuse, there is seldom, if ever, a witness. For survivors of sexual abuse who finally find the courage to come forward, in my experience as a solicitor acting on behalf of claimants in sexual abuse cases, the application of these policies means that their complaints are usually dismissed unless the perpetrator admits the abuse, which is rare.

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.

Proposed bill could remove D.C. sex crimes statute of limitations

WASHINGTON (DC)
GW Hatchet

By Celine Castronuovo Jan 25, 2017

A proposed bill could end the statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes in D.C.

The legislation, proposed by Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh on Jan. 10, would end the current time limit on prosecuting cases of sexual assault, including for rape and child abuse crimes, as well as other felony sex crimes.

Under the current D.C. code, there’s a 15-year statute of limitations for first- and second-degree sexual abuse crimes. Other crimes, like child sex-trafficking, child pronography and incest, have a statute of limitations of 10 years after the victim has turned 21, according to a release on Cheh’s website.

The bill was moved to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety and is now under review. Once it passes the committee, it will move to the Committee of the Whole in the Council.

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Group of Catholics urges Yona seminary’s closure

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com

Jan. 26, 2017

A group of Catholics is urging the church to consider closing the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona and re-establishing a minor seminary that they said would be of greater benefit to the Archdiocese of Agana.

The Concerned Catholics of Guam cited recommendations by a church ad-hoc committee about four months ago, which stated the seminary should close if it does not clarify its purpose, does not seek formal accreditation to ensure the quality of its formation of priests and does not ensure its financial viability.

“It is our strong belief that the re-establishment of a minor seminary would better serve our archdiocese as it had done for nearly five decades. We urge you to bring these issues to Archbishop Byrnes,” Andrew Camacho, vice president of the Concerned Catholics of Guam, said in a letter Thursday to the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

The council, which consists of nine priests and clergy providing advice to Coadjudtor Archbishop Michael Byrnes, has yet to respond to a request for comment. Byrnes returned to Guam on Monday.

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**Blockbuster** SNAP’s Clohessy Resigns In Wake of Lawsuit Scandal That SNAP Took Lawyer Kickbacks and Exploited Victims

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

In the wake of last week’s blockbuster lawsuit by a former SNAP director, Gretchen Hammond, alleging that SNAP was engaged in an elaborate kickback scheme with Church-suing contingency lawyers, SNAP’s longtime National Director David Clohessy has announced his resignation.

Jesse Bogan at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was the first to report the news of Clohessy’s embarrassing departure.

Clohessy’s reckless disregard for truth

Clohessy was the ever-present face of SNAP at press conferences issuing crazy, hyperbolic, and often false statements to an all-too-willing media, whether it be wildly accusing Church officials of being evil or recklessly accusing innocent priests of being pedophiles.

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Alessandro Moroni’s message on reparations

PERU
Sodality of Christian Life

Dear friends,

I am writing to you today to play two very important topics:

First, our position on the first-instance filing of the complaint against Luis Fernando Figari and some members of the Sodalicio and secondly, to make known the detail of the reparations that we have been granting for the moral responsibility that we have against the people who have suffered Because of some members and former members of our organization.

When we received the tax report with the filing of the complaint, we understood that it is a decision based on the strict framework of criminal law. I would like to remind you that this investigation was not intended to demonstrate whether or not there are victims of wrongdoing of people linked to our community, but to prove if we are an illicit association to commit a crime, which has committed abduction and serious injuries. The ruling has ruled out that accusation. Which is why we agree with her.

In addition to the norms of the judicial and canonical fields, there is a necessary moral scope. That is why, with respect to Luis Fernando Figari, we have already pronounced on several occasions recognizing all the damage caused by him, condemning his actions and declaring him persona non grata. We have also requested your separation from our community and have sent all the information about your case to the Holy See.

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Sodalits agree to pay 2.8 million dollars in reparations to abuse victims

PERU
Angelus

Lima, Peru, Jan 25, 2017 / 02:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae announced Saturday that 66 persons can be considered victims of abuse of mistreatment by members of the community. The superior general of the community, Alessandro Moroni Llabres, also said Jan. 21 that the society has set aside more than $2.8 million in reparations and assistance for victims.

Moroni’s statement followed the Jan. 16 decision of Peruvian public prosecutor María del Pilar Peralta Ramírez to drop charges against the founder, Luis Fernando Figari, and other members of the community. Figari has been accused of sexual abuse, mistreatment, and abuse of power. There was a protest, which included some of the complainants, outside one of the society’s pastoral centers in Lima, rejecting the decision of the attorney general’s office.

The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae is a society of apostolic life which was founded in 1971 in Peru, and granted pontifical recognition in 1997. CNA’s executive director, Alejandro Bermúdez, and its director of operations, Ryan Thomas, are both members of the community.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark was in May 2016 appointed as the Vatican’s delegate to oversee ongoing reform of the society. The cardinal had previously served as superior general of the Redemptorists, and secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

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What the North’s child abuse inquiry reveals

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

by David Quinn
January 26, 2017

Another report of another child abuse inquiry was published last week. This time, the inquiry, the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry, chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart, dealt with abuse in institutions in Northern Ireland.

These institutions were run by the Catholic Church, by the state, and by other voluntary bodies such as Barnardo’s and Protestant organisations. The inquiry covered the period 1922 (when partition occurred) until 1995.

It looked into the case of the notorious Fr Brendan Smyth, one of the worst abusers on this island, Kincora Boys’ Home, which was run by the state, the failure of state authorities to properly regulate or fund the various homes, as well as their failure to properly investigate abuse allegations. It also looked into a scheme, called the ‘Child Migrant Scheme’, that sent at least 138 children under the age of 14 to live and work in Australia. It is a catalogue of shame.

A total of 65 institutions had allegations made against them, but in the end the inquiry settled on 22 institutions, which were the ones against which most allegations were made.

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Feb 1 court date for Moravian clergymen

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

FORMER Moravian Church President Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy, Jermaine Gibson, who were on Monday charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault, are set to appear in court on February 1.

Head of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offence and Child Abuse (CISOCA) Superintendent Enid Ross confirmed the court date on Tuesday. The two are to appear in the Manchester Parish Court.

The sex charges were reportedly laid against the clergymen in relation to the alleged sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl years ago.

Both men are currently on bail.

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Maneka is right about visa regulation for child sex offenders, and MEA should listen

INDIA
The News Minute

Geetika Mantri| Wednesday, January 25, 2017

In 2013, Pastor George Fernandes of New Hope for Children orphanage in Bengaluru received an e-mail from a British citizen Richard Huckle. Huckle wrote that he was interested in spending time at the orphanage and click photographs.

The unsuspecting pastor allowed George to stay at the orphanage for two days, not knowing that he was a convicted paedophile who had abused and raped up to 200 children in Malaysia.

Pastor George said Richard was never left alone with any of the children at New Hope during his stay there and no case has been filed.

********

Ernest Macintosh, a Nova Scotia businessman was in Nepal when he had 17 child sex abuse related charges against him in the 1970s. When Canadian police were hot on his trail, Macintosh fled to India.

As the Canadian authorities realised he was in India and wasn’t responding to summons, they began the extradition process in 2007. He was convicted of the 17 charges in 2011, pertaining to his abuse of street children in Nepal. No one knows what he did in India.

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Sex abuse victims seek $30M

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff Jan 26, 2017

Six of the 15 sexual abuse cases filed in the local court against former Guam priests and the Archdiocese of Agana have been moved to the federal court in Guam, the attorney for the alleged victims confirmed Wednesday.

Attorney Gloria Rudolph said the six civil cases filed in the U.S. District Court of Guam are for Norman Aguon, Anthony Vegafria, James Bascon, Leo Tudela, Bruce Diaz and Vicente Perez. Each of the six has accused Rev. Louis Brouillard – who is no longer a priest in Guam – of sexual abuse.

The cases for these men, who said they were young children when allegedly sexually abused, haven’t found a judge who would hear their cases in the Superior Court of Guam. Several judges have recused themselves because of conflicts or potential conflicts of interest.

“We expect to find a judge in District Court who will hear our cases,” Rudolph said.

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Post-Catholics adrift, unsure of their values and in denial

IRELAND
Irish Times

Derek Scally

t is Christmas Eve Mass in St Monica’s Catholic Church in Edenmore, on Dublin’s northside. Around me are more memories than people.

So much has changed since I was an altar boy here in the late 1980s: the dwindling, ageing congregation and the appearance of the long, functional building. It was built in 1966 as a temporary church, but by the 1990s it had become permanent. Inside, roof tiles were added and the carpet tiles removed, replaced by a more luxurious pink carpet and blond wood pews.

By the time of the last big renovation in 1998, however, the rot had already set in. The midnight Mass is now at 8pm. What was once long and candlelit is now like a visit to a fast-food restaurant: fluorescent-lit, in and out in 35 minutes – including a three-minute homily. …

St Monica’s is not special-looking, but it was a special place to me. So when did it all begin to fall apart?

In 1997 I was spending a J1 summer in New York when my younger brother wrote to me for the first – and to date last – time. In his excited scrawl, he wrote: “Fr McGennis is on the front of the Evening Herald!”

He meant Paul McGennis, a priest in our parish whose child-abusing past had finally caught up with him. One of his first victims, Marie Collins, has since become the eloquent public face of the clerical abuse survivor movement.

McGennis went through several trials and served time in prison. Yet, for us in St Monica’s, Fr McGennis simply vanished. There was no public discussion about him, and my parents remember no public discussion since. Other parishes took the same ostrich approach, I gather, setting us on the path to the second round of the clerical abuse scandal: exposure of the cover-up.

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Leader’s resignation unrelated to lawsuit, SNAP says

UNITED STATES
Headlines from the Catholic World

Chicago, Ill., Jan 26, 2017 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A longtime leader of a controversial advocacy group for clergy sex abuse victims resigned weeks before a former employee filed a lawsuit charging the group was receiving kickbacks from attorneys who filed sex abuse cases, the group has said.

David Clohessy resigned as executive director of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests effective Dec. 31, SNAP told CNA on Wednesday.

As of Jan. 17, Clohessy was still listed as executive director on the group’s website.

The organization voiced gratitude for Clohessy’s dedication; he had worked for the organization since 1991.

Clohessy told the St. Louis Dispatch that the lawsuit had nothing to do with his departure.

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January 25, 2017

Former ‘maiden’ sues River Road Fellowship elders over sexual abuse

MINNESOTA
Star Trbune

By Jennifer Brooks Star Tribune JANUARY 25, 2017

One of the former “maidens” of the River Road Fellowship is suing the elders of the cultlike church for failing to protect her from sexual abuse that began when she was 13 years old.

The Fellowship’s founder and charismatic leader, Victor Barnard, pleaded guilty to raping two young girls in his congregation and is serving a 30-year prison term. Now one of those young women, Lindsay Tornambe, has filed a civil suit in Pine County against Barnard, his wife, and more than a dozen Fellowship elders who stood by and did nothing as Barnard isolated young women from their families and molested them for years.

“I don’t know if they’ll ever realize that what they did was wrong,” she said in an interview this week. “But I want a jury to find them guilty and I want them to deal with the consequences of their actions.”

Tornambe’s lawsuit singles out more than a dozen Fellowship members by name who, she says, were in leadership positions that would have let them observe Barnard’s treatment the 10 girls and young women he called “maidens.” One church elder, Tornambe said, provided the maidens with a sex instruction manual.

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Woman files lawsuit after being abused as part of cult in Minnesota and Spokane

WASHINGTON/MINNESOTA
KREM

Samantha Kubota , KREM January 25, 2017

SPOKANE, Wash. — A woman from a Philadelphia filed a civil lawsuit asking for damages from former cult leaders based in the Inland Northwest after she was sexually abused by a church leader for a decade.

Lindsay Tornambe realized she was abused at a New Year’s Eve party on Jan 1, 2012 after speaking with her friends about her experiences as a child while a member of the River Road Fellowship.

The leader of the cult, Victor Barnard, originally founded his religion in Minnesota. Tornambe’s parents met him when she was just nine, and they uprooted their whole lives to move to join the church.

Tornambe said the sexual abuse began when she was 13. She was chosen, along with other girls who were a part of the religion, to be a “maiden.” The group of girls lived together for years in the compound, serving their leader, Victor Barnard.

“Whenever he talked about having sex with me, he always said that it was a way to show me how much God loved me,” she said of the abuse.

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Civil lawsuit filed against River Road Fellowship

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

By: Tom Lyden

PINE CO., Minn. (KMSP) – A woman who was sexually assaulted by cult leader Victor Barnard for nearly a decade, beginning when she was 13 years old, is now filing a civil lawsuit against 15 former leaders of his religious group, the River Road Fellowship.

The lawsuit was filed late on Tuesday afternoon in Pine County, Minnesota. The lawsuit claims the group’s leaders “negligently and tortuously exposed the ‘Maidens’ to the sexual perversion of Victor Barnard.” Several of the defendants had already filed motions to dismiss the pending lawsuit, claiming they were unaware of any sexual abuse. The lawsuit will also be filed in Washington where most of Barnard’s former followers now live.

The civil suit is based on the criminal case against Barnard, which police and prosecutors recently opened up for the Fox 9 Investigators.

In October, Barnard pleaded guilty to sexual assault. Charges followed a Fox 9 Investigation of two women who came forward to accuse Barnard of abusing them for a decade beginning when they were 12 and 13 years old.

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Sex crime victim from ‘maidens’ cult files lawsuit targeting River Road Fellowship elders who relocated to Spokane

WASHINGTON
Spokesman-Review

By Thomas Clouse
tomc@spokesman.com
(509) 459-5495

After a decade of sexual abuse at the hands of a religious cult leader, Lindsay Tornambe boarded an eastbound train out of Spokane in 2010 and fled her life as a “maiden.”

She has returned, seeking legal vengeance.

Tornambe and her attorney, Pat Noaker, traveled to Spokane to announce that they have filed a civil lawsuit this week in Minnesota against church elders of the River Road Fellowship, many of whom relocated to Spokane.

They are connected to Victor A. Barnard, the imprisoned cult leader who eluded an international manhunt for more than a year until he slipped up in Brazil.

“I’m sure a lot of memories will come back,” Tornambe said earlier this week of her return to Spokane. “But I feel like I’m doing something about this situation and holding people accountable. And, letting people know.”

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Former ‘maiden’ of Minn. cult leader who was sexually abused for nine years starting at age 13 files lawsuit

MINNESOTA
New York Daily News

DAVID BOROFF
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A former “maiden” of a Minnesota cult leader who was repeatedly forced to have sex with him for nine years starting when she was a child has filed a lawsuit against Victor Barnard and other elders of the “church.”

Lindsay Tornambe claims in the suit filed this week that Barnard persuaded her to believe her relationship with him was comparable to the one “between Mary Magdalene and Jesus, or King Solomon and his concubines.”

Tornambe was sexually abused starting when she was 13, and the assaults continued until she was 22, according to the suit. She is seeking damages against Barnard, the River Road Fellowship and its leaders for failing to protect her at the compound in Finlayson, Minnesota.

“Since childhood, I was brainwashed into believing that being a Maiden was a way of achieving a higher spiritual state,” Tornambe, now 30, said in a press release. “It wasn’t until years after I left the River Road Fellowship that I realized that the Maidens and the sex was all a lie and a manipulation by Victor Barnard.”

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Two women claim they were excluded from state compensation over the Magdalene laundries

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Two women who claim they were forced, while attending industrial schools, to work in Magdalene laundries have alleged they have been unreasonably excluded from a State compensation scheme.

Due to their exclusion on a “technicality”, the women view the Taoiseach’s apology over the treatment of those who worked in Magdalene laundries as “hollow”, their counsel Michael Lynn SC said.

They have sued the Minister for Justice in proceedings which opened on Wednesday (Jan 25) before Mr Justice Michael White.

The women claim, as schoolgirls in the 1970s and 1980s in industrial schools run by religious orders, they were forced to work in Magdalene laundries which, they allege, were linked to those schools.

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Pedofiele bisschop Vangheluwe geconfronteerd met slachtoffer: “Hij ontkent alles”

BELGIE
De Morgen

[Bisdom Brugge is mee vragende partij om duidelijkheid – Kerknet]

[Former Bishop of Bruges Roger Vangheluwe, who has been guilty of sexual abuse of minors, has again surfaced. This morning he was confronted by one of his victims, Vangheluwe denies everything.]

Oud-bisschop van Brugge Roger Vangheluwe, die zich schuldig heeft gemaakt aan seksueel misbruik bij minderjarigen, is nog eens opgedoken. Deze ochtend werd hij geconfronteerd met een van zijn slachtoffers, Kris Verduyn uit het West-Vlaamse Meulebeke. De man beweert dat hij 25 jaar geleden door de geestelijke misbruikt werd. Vangheluwe ontkent alles. “Dit komt zeer hard aan voor mijn cliënt”, zegt advocaat Walter Van Steenbrugge aan VTM Nieuws.

Vangheluwe, intussen 80 jaar, werd deze ochtend rond half 11 het gebouw van de Federale Gerechtelijke Politie in Brussel binnengereden. Het gesprek met zijn slachtoffer en diens advocaat duurde vermoedelijk een paar uur. Rond 14 uur werd de oud-bisschop, die ergens verborgen leeft in Europa, opnieuw naar buiten gereden.

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Executive could be formed after poll to implement Hart recommendations, UUP says

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

A ministerial Executive could be formed after Northern Ireland’s elections solely to implement the Hart child abuse inquiry’s recommendations , the UUP leader said.

The public probe found evidence of widespread harm at residential homes run by churches and the state over many decades and recommended compensation be paid. Political uncertainty has left a major question mark over when that will happen.

Some survivors gave evidence to a Stormont committee on Thursday and paid tribute to inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart.

Margaret McGuckin, a campaigner and former resident at Nazareth House in Belfast, said: “He is our St Anthony of the sacred heart.”

Sir Anthony’s report recommended compensation worth up to £100,000, funded by state and voluntary institutions responsible for the residential homes where the harm occurred, with payments beginning later this year.

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It’s bishops vs Duterte

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer

By: Jhesset Enano, Leila B. Salaverria – @inquirerdotnet

A ranking official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Wednesday said the Church would continue to criticize President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, after the foulmouthed leader attacked the clergy anew on Tuesday, saying the Church was “full of shit.”

But the Church would also continue to be “understanding” and “very patient” with Mr. Duterte, who also said bishops were “corrupt” and “womanizers” like himself.

“Even before, the Church has been very, very understanding, and very, very patient,” Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, told the Inquirer.

“We just need to understand the President. I think [his tirade] was an outburst born out of anger,” Secillano said.

The CBCP desires to end all the bickering between the Church and the President, Secillano said, but added that Church leaders will continue to speak against the methods employed by the Duterte administration in its campaign against illegal drugs.

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The Vatican has destroyed the Order of Malta’s sovereignty. What if Italy does the same to the Vatican?

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

by Ed Condon
posted Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017

The curia remains a place where cliques have more authority than the law. It doesn’t bode well

The most remarkable thing about the Order of Malta controversy is not that the Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, has resigned. That is extraordinary enough, especially given that it was apparently on the invitation of Pope Francis. No, the most astonishing feature of the story is today’s announcement that the Pope will install an Apostolic Delegate to run the Order. In effect, this abolishes the Order as a sovereign entity. Under international law, what we are seeing is effectively the annexation of one country by another.

How did it come to this? Somehow, the small clique who rallied around the former Grand Chancellor, Albrecht Boeselager, have managed to turn a matter of the Order’s own internal governance into a full-blown diplomatic crisis between the two oldest and most prominent sovereign entities in the western world.

The clique never had much of a case. As I have written before, there is no question that, legally speaking, the commission set up on the recommendation of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State to investigate his sacking of Boeselager was and remains totally illegitimate.

It is clear that Boeselager was dismissed, following his refusal to resign, according to the approved legal process of the Order. It has been alleged that Fra’ Festing “defied” Pope Francis by dismissing Boeselager. But any opinion the Pope may have expressed before the event would have been in the much-rumoured letter on the matter from the Pope directly to Cardinal Burke, the Holy See’s envoy to the Order. This letter has not even been formally confirmed as existing, let alone leaked. Its purported contents remain the great unanswered question at the heart of this whole affair.

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Defrocking of negligent bishop in child abuse case ‘null and void’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

January 26, 2017

MICHAEL MCKENNA
ReporterBrisbane
@McKennaattheOz

The defrocking of a former Anglican bishop for his mishandling of child abuse complaints has been overturned by a ruling that has led to high-level calls for an overhaul of the church’s disciplinary system.

Former bishop of Grafton Keith Slater was deposed from holy orders in 2015 for failing to follow church protocol in handling historical abuse claims at a children’s home in Lismore, northeast NSW, and keeping Newcastle priest Allan Kitchingman in the clergy despite convictions for child sex offences.

Mr Slater, now living in Queensland after retiring as bishop in 2013, was also found to have failed to report abuse allegations to police as recently as 2011. He was deposed after an internal investigation following damning evidence in 2013 at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse over his handling of abuse claims.

Despite admitting most of the alleged misconduct, Mr Slater appealed to the Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia.

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Assignment Record– Rev. Justin Paul Pechulis

NORTH CAROLINA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Justin Paul Pechulis was ordained for the Diocese of Raleigh in 1958. He assisted in Newton Grove before being named pastor of a Tarboro parish in 1962. From there he pastored parishes in North Wilkesboro, Charlotte and Asheville, which became part of the Charlotte diocese when it was established in 1971.

In 2009 Pechulis was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a teenage boy from Philadelphia in the late 1970s. Per the suit, the boy was being abused by Philadelphia priest, John McCole, who took the boy on a trip to Asheville NC where Pechulis was pastor of St. Lawrence parish. McCole and Pechulis were friends from seminary. The alleged victim said the two priests forced him to participate in group oral sex, and a third man watched while masturbating.

Pechulis died unexpectedly at age 53 in April 1983.

Ordained: 1958
Died: April 30, 1983

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Six cases where the sexual abuse scandal touches Pope Francis

UNITED STATES
LifeSite News

Elizabeth Yore

January 25, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Recent revelations concerning Pope Francis and negligence over sexual abuse of minors are calling into question his strong words condemning the cover-up of sexual abuse.

In March 2014, in an announcement that received massive publicity, Pope Francis promised a new, more improved Vatican response to the clerical abuse of minors. He reaffirmed that the Vatican would institute zero tolerance for pedophile priests. He announced the creation of a new papal commission on child protection made up of Cardinals, experts, and victims of clergy abuse. This past May, Pope Francis spoke of the scandal again by saying, “This is a tragedy, we must not tolerate the abuse of minors. We must defend minors. And we must severely punish the abusers.” Yet, there appears to be a gulf between his words on reform and the reality.

The following six cases suggest a grave disconnect between Pope Francis’ public gestures on the sexual abuse cover-up and his actions.

1. The Fr. Inzoli case: Shocking papal intervention on behalf of a sexual predator

Earlier this month, Michael Brendan Dougherty reported the troubling case of Fr. Mauro Inzoli, who was accused of molesting children, including in the confessional. In 2012, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) found him guilty and defrocked him. Yet, shockingly, Inzoli won a reprieve from Pope Francis.

According to Dougherty, the Pope’s close collaborators, Cardinal Coccopalmerio and Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, now dean of the Roman Rota, both intervened on behalf of Fr. Inzoli. Pope Francis reversed the action of the CDF and returned Inzoli to the priestly state in 2014, inviting him to “a life of humility and prayer.” Coccopalmerio is a trusted confidante of Francis. However, the flashy “Don Mercedes,” as Fr. Inzoli was known, did not follow these admonishments. Dougherty reports, “In January 2015, Don Mercedes participated in a conference on the family in Lombardy.”

This past summer, civil authorities concluded the trial of Inzoli, convicting him of eight offenses, while another 15 charges were beyond the statute of limitations. Inzoli was sentenced to 4 years and 9 months by the Italian Court.

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Former SNAP Director Denies Resignation Tied To Ex-Employee’s Lawsuit

UNITED STATES
CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the key leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has resigned, but he said his departure has nothing to do with a lawsuit filed against the organization this month by a former employee.

For almost 30 years, David Clohessy has been with SNAP. He was national director of the Chicago-based organization.

Clohessy said he told the board in October that he’d be leaving at the end of 2016.

Last week, a former employee filed a lawsuit against SNAP, claiming the non-profit colluded with attorneys who sued the Catholic church over sex abuse in exchange for “kickbacks.” Clohessy said that lawsuit had nothing to do with his resignation.

“I told the board in October I’d be leaving. The lawsuit came completely out of the blue. My last day at work was mid-December. So the lawsuit played no role whatsoever,” he said.

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Support group took ‘kickbacks’ from lawyers suing Catholic Church, suit claims

UNITED STATES
NJ.com

By Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A lawsuit filed in Illinois claims the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a group instrumental in exposing the clergy sexual abuse crises in the early 2000s, regularly accepts “kickbacks” from lawyers who sue the Catholic Church and puts its own financial interests above the emotional interests of victims.

The suit — filed last week in Cook County, where the national headquarters is based — contends a former employee, Gretchen Hammond, was harassed and ultimately fired after confronting the nonprofit group’s founder and president, Barbara Blaine, its then-executive director, David Clohessy, and its outreach director, Barbara Dorris.

The group, known by the acronym SNAP, “does not focus on protecting or helping survivors — it exploits them,” Hammond contends in the suit. Hammond worked as a fundraiser for SNAP in its Chicago office from 2011 to 2013.

The suit does not allege wrongdoing in local chapters. SNAP, founded in 1988, has chapters in every state, in Canada and in Mexico.

In a statement and in telephone interviews, SNAP officials denied any impropriety, saying Hammond’s claims are false.

“The allegations are not true,” Blaine, the founder, said in a statement. “This will be proven in court. SNAP leaders are now, and always have been, devoted to following the SNAP mission: to help victims heal and to prevent further sexual abuse.”

Clohessy, the longtime public face of the national organization, issuing statements and conducting interviews, called the allegations “preposterous and confusing.”

“As best I can tell, this is the first we’ve heard …

In his telephone interview with NJ Advance Media, Clohessy responded: “I’ve written hundreds of thousands of emails, and I can’t imagine I would say that, That’s just not how we operate. Period.”

He also said he never gave Hammond permission to access his email and that he never gave her his password.

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Pope Takes Over Knights of Malta After Condom Dispute

VATICAN CITY
New York Times

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
JAN. 25, 2017

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican said Wednesday it was taking over the embattled Knights of Malta lay Catholic order in an extraordinary display of papal power after the Knights’ grand master publicly defied Pope Francis in a bitter dispute over condoms.

The move marks the intervention of one sovereign state — the Holy See — into the governance of another, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, an ancient aristocratic order that runs a vast charity operation around the globe.

The Vatican said Matthew Festing, 67, offered to resign as grand master Tuesday during an audience with the pope, and that Francis had accepted it on Wednesday.

The statement said the order’s governance would shift temporarily to the order’s No. 2 “pending the appointment of the papal delegate.”

The naming of a delegate signals a Vatican takeover, harking back to the Vatican’s previous takeovers of the Legion of Christ and Jesuit religious orders when they were undergoing periods of scandal or turmoil.

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Holy See Press Office communiqué, 25.01.2017

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service – Bulletin

Yesterday, 24 January 2017, in audience with the Holy Father, His Highness Fra’ Matthew Festing resigned from the office of Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Today, 25 January, the Holy Father accepted his resignation, expressing appreciation and gratitude to Fra’ Festing for his loyalty and devotion to the Successor of Peter, and his willingness to serve humbly the good of the Order and the Church.

The governance of the Order will be undertaken ad interim by the Grand Commander pending the appointment of the Papal Delegate.

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Knights of Malta leader resigns, pope to name delegate to run order

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jan. 25, 2017

ROME The showdown between the Vatican and the Knights of Malta has come to a brusque end, with the leader of the historic sovereign order resigning at the apparent request of Pope Francis.

In a statement Wednesday, the Vatican said the pontiff would also be taking over control of the order with the appointment of a new papal delegate in the coming days.

News of Grand Master Matthew Festing’s resignation was first reported late Tuesday evening by the Reuters news agency, which said Francis had asked for Festing’s resignation in a meeting at the Vatican earlier that day.

The resignation caps an unusually tense month for the prestigious Catholic lay order, which had been openly resisting a Vatican investigation into Festing’s firing of one of their top officials. At times it seemed that one of Catholicism’s most storied organizations was challenging the authority and power of the pope.

Festing’s resignation appeared to surprise the order’s headquarters, which was unable to answer questions about the leader’s status with the group until mid-Wednesday morning. The order’s website was down throughout the morning, with visitors receiving a message that the server hosting the site was overloaded.

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Fort Augustus Abbey monk extradition hearing adjourned

AUSTRALIA/SCOTLAND
BBC News

An extradition hearing for a former Catholic monk accused of child abuse at a Scottish school has been adjourned until next month.

A magistrate in Australia allowed Father Denis “Chrysostom” Alexander more time to make a bail application.

He has always denied allegations that he abused boys at the former Fort Augustus Abbey boarding school in the Highlands.

He was remanded in custody with the next court hearing due on 13 February.

The magistrate is then expected to decide whether or not there will be a contested extradition hearing

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Pope Francis appoints two new auxiliary bishops for Milwaukee

VATICAN CITY
Headlines from the Catholic World

Vatican City, Jan 25, 2017 / 07:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday the Vatican announced the appointment of two priests from Milwaukee – Fr. Jeffrey R. Haines and Fr. James T. Schuerman – to serve as auxiliary bishops for the archdiocese.

The priests have been appointed titular bishops of Tagamuta and of Girba, according to a Jan. 25 Vatican communique.

With their appointment, the bishop-elects will serve under Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, who oversees the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and will replace Bishop Emeritus Richard J. Sklba, who retired in 2010 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.

In a press release on the appointments, Archbishop Listecki said it is a “proud moment for the Church in southeastern Wisconsin. By choosing two of our own priests as our new auxiliary bishops, the Holy Father has paid a high compliment to all the priests from this archdiocese.”

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SNAP LEADER QUITS IN DISGRACE

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on the resignation of David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP):

Just days after SNAP was sued by a former employee for accepting kickbacks from Church-suing attorneys, its leader, David Clohessy, quit.

He said he “voluntarily resigned” last month, but that is an incomplete, if not dishonest, account. Had it not been for a string of lawsuits and bad publicity, he would have stayed for years. He will now be remembered for running when the going got tough, leaving behind a shell of an organization that is broken both morally and financially.

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British Knight Falls On His Sword In Vatican Condoms Row

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Ruth Gledhill EDITOR 25 January 2017

The British-born head of the Knights of Malta, a chivalric and charitable order, has resigned in the latest twist in the Vatican condoms row.

Grand Master Matthew Festing, 67, was asked by Pope Francis to stand down after he refused to cooperate with a Vatican commission set up to investigate the sacking of one of his knights, Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager.

“The Pope asked him to resign and he agreed,” a spokesperson for the order told Reuters.

Boeselager was fired by Festing because he had supported the use of condoms in a project for the poor. Festing then opposed the Vatican’s enquiry into the dismissal of Boeselager because he said it was interference in the order’s sovereign affairs. …

Festing is from an old British Catholic “recusant” family on his mother’s side. He was educated at Ampleforth and has served as a Deputy Lieutenant for Northumberland and is a trustee for Northumbria Historic Churches.

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Victor Barnard Sexual Abuse Victim Sues Barnard, Cult and Cult Leaders

WASHINGTON/MINNESOTA
Noaker Law

NEWS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Info:

Patrick Noaker Cell (612) 839-1080
Noaker Law Firm LLC
333 Washington Avenue N., #341
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Patrick@Noakerlaw.com
@Noakerlaw
cvernon@jvwlaw.net

Leander James Cell (208) 818-6775
Craig Vernon Cell (208) 691-2768
James Vernon & Weeks P.A.
1626 Lincoln Way
Coeur D’Alene, ID 83814
ljames@jvwlaw.net

Cult Appears to Have Left Minnesota and Reorganized in Spokane, Washington

WHAT: Press Conference Where Survivor of Cult Sexual Abuse and her Attorneys Will Discuss Lawsuit Against Victor Barnard, River Road Fellowship, its Trustees and Leaders and Concerns that the Cult May Have Reorganized in Spokane, Washington

WHO: Jane Doe 118, Coeur d’Alene Attorney Leander James and Minneapolis Attorney Patrick Noaker

WHERE: Historic Davenport Hotel
Worthy Room
10 South Post Street
Spokane, WA 99201

WHEN: 10:30 am, Wednesday, January 25, 2017

DETAILS:

Cult’s Leader David Barnard Pled Guilty to Raping Girl When She Was 13 Years Old

One of the victims of sexual assault by River Road Fellowship Cult leader Victor Barnard has filed a civil lawsuit against Barnard, the cult and other cult leaders alleging they were complicit in the operation of the cult that maintained a household of 12 to 18 year-old “maidens” who were required to have sex with Barnard as part of the religion.

Click Here for Civil Complaint

The River Road Fellowship is self-described as a Christian non-denominational biblical research, teaching and fellowship ministry that is an offshoot of The Way International. The River Road Fellowship set up a camp near Finlayson, Minnesota. One particular section of the camp was called “Shepherd’s Camp.”

In July 2000, Barnard gathered a group of young females at Shepherd’s Camp that were referred to as the Maidens Group. The Maidens Group ranged in age from 12-24 years old. As part of the Fellowship’s Teachings, Barnard gave sermons about the Maidens Group giving themselves to God, remaining unmarried, and being a privileged and honored group.

Barnard spent a lot of time with the Maidens, both individually and in groups. He taught them that he represented Jesus Christ to them. Barnard did not live in the house with his wife. Instead, he lived in a home referred to as the Lodge on the Shepherd’s Camp property.

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Six sex-abuse cases against archdiocese moved to federal court

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff Jan 25, 2017

Six of the 15 sexual abuses cases filed in the local court against Guam priests and the Archdiocese of Agana have been moved to the federal court in Guam, the attorney for the alleged victims confirmed Wednesday.

Attorney Gloria Rudolph said the six civil cases filed in the U.S. District Court of Guam are for Norman Aguon, Anthony Vegafria, James Bascon, Leo Tudela, Bruce Diaz and Vicente Perez.

The cases for these men, who said they were young children when allegedly sexually abused, haven’t found a judge who would hear their cases in the Superior Court of Guam. Several judges have recused because of conflicts or potential conflicts of interest.

“We expect to find a judge in District Court who will hear our cases,” Rudolph said.

The federal cases seek at least $75,000 for each of the men.

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Archbishop files lawsuit over seminary land

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole, jstole@guampdn.com Jan. 25, 2017

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes is seeking a court order, affirming the church’s control over the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, according to a lawsuit filed in Superior Court of Guam.

A hearing in the case Wednesday morning was pushed back until May 3 because none of the defendants have received the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed on Nov. 18, 2016. Nine days before that, Byrnes signed a decree canceling, repealing and rescinding the 2011 declaration of deed restriction that allowed the Yona seminary to be controlled by the Neocatechumenal Way indefinitely, Pacific Daily News files state.

The Redemptoris Mater Seminary, the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation, the Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Catholic Theological Institute for Oceania and 50 unnamed others are identified as defendants.

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6 former Guam altar boys sue priest, Vatican for $30M in US federal court

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Jan. 25, 2017

Six former altar boys on Guam filed multimillion-dollar lawsuits in federal court Wednesday afternoon against former island priest Louis Brouillard, the Archdiocese of Agana and the Vatican over allegations that Brouillard sexually abused them decades ago.

The lawsuits were filed in the District Court of Guam after at least eight Superior Court of Guam judges recused themselves from hearing any of the 15 clergy sex abuse lawsuits so far filed in the Superior Court, Attorney Gloria Lujan Rudolph, of the law firm Lujan & Wolff, said Wednesday.

As many as nine other lawsuits, also alleging rape or sex abuse by other former and current Catholic priests on Guam, including Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, will be filed in the District Court of Guam in the days ahead, Attorney David Lujan said.

The six former altar boys on Guam who filed the lawsuits on Wednesday afternoon include Leo B. Tudela, 73; James A. Bascon, 60; Norman J.D. Aguon, 56; Anthony J. Vegafria, 56; Vicente G. Perez, 51; and Bruce A. Diaz, 47.

They each seek not less than $5 million in general damages, for a total of at least $30 million, plus attorney’s fees, and other costs and fees, their federal lawsuits state. Each also demands a jury trial.

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Archbishop Byrnes takes RMS to court over Yona property

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Although the church’s legal counsel says the lawsuit is a protective measure, they do have reason to believe that the RMS may attempt to claim interest or ownership in the property.

Guam – Archbishop Michael Byrnes has taken legal action against the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and if successful would force the RMS to completely give up any interest or ownership of the disputed property where the RMS sits on.

It’s been silent on the hill on any kind of actions on the Yona seminary property since Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes took critical steps to take back ownership of the multimillion dollar property.

But now, even amid silence from either parties, a lawsuit was filed against the Redemptoris Mater Seminary operators who had previously held a deed restriction that conveyed the title to their name.

Attorney Ignacio Aguigui, who’s representing the Archdiocese of Agana and Byrnes in this matter, says this lawsuit was filed as “protective action.”

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Alleged church sex abuse victims take lawsuits to federal court

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Out of the 15 lawsuits filed against the catholic church for sexual abuse, six have been filed in the District Court of Guam.

Guam – Six of the 15 lawsuits that have been filed by several former altar servers against various clergy members of the catholic church for sexual abuse have now been taken to the federal court and unlike the lawsuits that were filed in local court, the federal lawsuits all ask for $5 million in damages each.

The six plaintiffs who filed separate suits against the Archdiocese of Agana for civil claims of sexual abuse are Anthony Vegafria, Vicente Guerrero Perez, Bruce Diaz, James Bascon, Norman J.D. Aguon and Leo Tudela.

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How the Church in France is tackling sexual abuse

FRANCE
La Croix

Anne-Benedicte Hoffner, Celine Hoyeau and Marie Malzac

justice turn in Le MansAn alleged case of paedophilia is under investigation in the diocese of Le Mans, in the northwest of France.

Fr Max de Guilbert, who has always denied any wrongdoing, was detained on remand in June 2015 accused of the crime of rape and sexual assault by a person in authority of a minor under the age of 15.

The crimes were alleged to have been committed between 1993 and 2007 on young boys when de Guilbert was stationed in the parishes of Mamers (from 1993 to 1995) and Bonnetable (from 1995 to 2007) in the north of the department of Sarthe.

After a year of pre-trial detention, the priest was placed under house arrest and sent to an abbey in Brittany before being placed under judicial supervision.

The complainants are now thought to number around a dozen. In 1995, a family filed a complaint about improper touching, but the case was discontinued for lack of sufficient evidence.

The priest was transferred; his bishop, Jacques Faivre (who died in 2010) took no particular action.De Guibert’s file was sent to Rome, and an expert opinion by Fr Tony Anatrella (which is currently the subject of a canonical review) concluded that the priest was “an immature but non-paedophile personality”.

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Revealed: How secret church report led to rapist minister Bryan Gates being jailed for 15 years

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sentinel

By P_Cullinane | Posted: January 25, 2017

Shamed Methodist minister Bryan Gates was arrested for historic sex offences – years after church leaders carried out their own investigation into his sordid past.

The 63-year-old retired in 1998 and had previously raped a woman in Stoke-on-Trent during his time at Longton’s Central Hall.

He was one of 1,885 people investigated by the Methodist Church after concerns were raised about thier past.

Now Gates has been jailed for 15 years after being convicted of one count of rape and two counts of attempted rape.

It has emerged Staffordshire Police approached his victim after being handed the church file.

Judge David Fletcher told Gates: “You are frankly an embarrassment to the church for whom you worked. You should be deeply ashamed of the behaviour and the offences you perpetrated.”

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Former Aurora priest fighting expert testimony in sex abuse case

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

Harry Hitzeman

A 50-year-old former Aurora priest accused of sexual abuse plans to fight prosecutors’ attempts to have child abuse experts testify at a future trial that “inconclusive exams and/or cultures do not disprove abuse.”

Alfredo Pedraza-Arias of Rockford was arrested in early 2016 on charges he sexually abused two girls younger than 13 — one at her Aurora home and another in an office at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora — between January 2009 and November 2014.

Defense attorney David Camic is seeking any and all possible emails that were sent between police and investigators and four proposed experts.

“If the police and experts communicated, we need to know about it,” he said. “It’s a statement of witnesses in the case.”

Camic also expressed skepticism of testimony from four experts who, according to court records, would testify as to “how inconclusive exams and/or cultures do not disprove abuse.”

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Plaintiffs in cases against church seeking $5M in damages

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jan 25, 2017

By Sabrina Salas Matanane

Several cases of alleged clergy sexual abuse have now been filed in federal court seeking millions of dollars in damage against the local church and the Vatican. All of the cases filed against the local catholic church in the superior court will be filed in the District Court of Guam. Just today six cases out of the 15 local cases have been filed in federal court.

According to attorney David Lujan, who represents the alleged victims, the cases were and are being moved because all the judges in the Superior Court disqualified themselves. The local Catholic church is being sued for the alleged sexual abuse, knowing about it and not doing anything.

Several priests, including Archbishop Anthony Apuron, have been accused of sexual molestation. Fr. Luis Brouillard, who is no longer is with the local church, confessed during an interview with KUAM News last year that he sexually molested boys while he was a priest here decades ago because he thought it made them happy. In a videotaped confession he said he told the bishop at the time about it, but was told to do prayer as as penance.

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Duterte accuses Catholic Church of being ‘full of sh*t’

PHILIPPINES
RT

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has unleashed his colorfully-worded wrath on the Catholic Church again, saying the organization is corrupt, “full of sh*t,” and accusing priests of sexual abuse.

Duterte on Tuesday accused the Church and its bishops and priests of corruption, womanizing and said he was abused by a priest as a student of Ateneo de Davao University. He also said three Cabinet secretaries had been molested.

Speaking to the families of Special Action Forces who died in Mamasapano in 2015, Duterte advised the crowd to read “Altar of Secrets” by Aries Rufo to discover the truth about church officials, saying he would resign if its allegations were untrue. He added he might pen his own book about the Church, entitled “Hypocrisy.”

“I challenge the Catholic Church,” he said. “You are full of sh*t. You all smell bad, corruption and all.”

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3 convicted for child abuse at religious Alabama private school

ALABAMA
AL.com

by Anna Claire Vollers

It was a case that almost didn’t make it to trial.

“Everybody, from Alabama, Maine, Dallas, Houston, New York – it was a herculean task and it took a lot of people at the DA’s office working hard to make it happen,” said Keith Blackwood, Mobile County assistant district attorney, “to make sure I had what I needed to prove my case.”

In the end, three leaders of a religious Alabama bootcamp for troubled teens were convicted on multiple counts of aggravated child abuse for what they did to the children in their care.

The convictions were thanks in large part to the testimony of five former students, who told the court about the physical and mental abuse they suffered at the school.

Despite multiple investigations by the Mobile County DA’s office, local law enforcement and the Alabama Department of Human Resources, it took officials five years to close down the school and another seven months to arrest the employees accused of the worst of the abuse.

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Victims advocacy group announces leader’s resignation in wake of lawsuit

UNITED STATES
Chicago Tribune

Manya Brachear Pashman
Chicago Tribune

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests announced Tuesday that its longtime national director, accused by a former SNAP employee of referring potential clients to attorneys in return for financial kickbacks to the group, resigned at the end of last year.

The announcement that David Clohessy, of St. Louis, left the Chicago-based organization comes a week after he and other leaders were named in a lawsuit filed by a former employee who said she was fired shortly after asking superiors whether SNAP was referring victims to attorneys in exchange for donations to the organization.

In addition to Clohessy, defendants named in the lawsuit are the organization itself, Barbara Blaine, its founder and president, and Barbara Dorris, outreach director. Dorris could not be reached for comment.

In a statement sent to volunteers Tuesday morning, Mary Ellen Kruger, the chairwoman of the board, thanked Clohessy for his nearly 30 years of service to the organization.

“His passion, his voice and his kindness have touched us all,” Kruger said. “We will miss David, and we wish him much happiness. David will always be a friend and an inspiration to SNAP and its many dedicated and hardworking volunteers.”

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SNAP announces director named in lawsuit has resigned

UNITED STATES
Chicago Sun-Times

Andy Grimm
@agrimm34

A longtime leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, an advocacy group that has for decades publicized allegations of sexual abuse by priests, left the organization at the end of 2016, according to a statement issued Tuesday by SNAP’s chairman.

The announcement that David Clohessy no longer is SNAP’s national director comes just days after a former SNAP staffer filed a lawsuit in Cook County, claiming the Chicago-based organization steered clergy sex abuse victims to lawyers who in turn sued the Catholic Church and then donated large sums back to SNAP.

In the lawsuit, former SNAP fundraiser Gretchen Rachel Hammond claims she saw emails from Clohessy to “prominent” lawyers in several states coordinating press events and in at least one case directly asking when SNAP could expect a donation after referring a victim. Hammond said she was fired from her job as development director for SNAP after she expressed qualms about the group’s ties to lawyers, who provided donations that in most years accounted for 50 to 80 percent of the group’s funding.

Clohessy “voluntarily resigned” from SNAP “effective Dec. 31,” according to a two-paragraph email from SNAP Board Chairwoman Mary Ellen Kruger. According to his profile on the SNAP website, Clohessy had served as the group’s national director since 1991.

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Moravian ministers head to court Feb 1

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

MANCHESTER, Jamaica — Head of the Centre for Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) Superintendent Enid Ross confirmed that the Moravian ministers who were yesterday charged for carnal abuse and indecent assault will be making an appearance in court on February 1.

Former Moravian Church president Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson will appear in the Manchester Parish Court.

The charges were reportedly laid against the men because of sexually-related incidents involving a minor that allegedly occurred in the parish years ago.

The men are currently on bail.

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Perth teacher-turned-police officer charged with child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

Emma Young

Child Abuse Squad detectives have charged a former Perth Catholic school teacher, who then became a police officer, with indecently dealing with four eight-year-old boys in the 1980s.

Officers charged the 56-year-old man last Thursday as a result of their investigation into the alleged offences.

They will allege he committed them between 1984 and 1985, while teaching at a CBD Catholic college.

At the time of his arrest he was employed as a sergeant in the Central Metropolitan police district.

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An ex-military whistleblower claims there’s been a decades-long cover-up over institutionalised child abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Canary

Former army information officer and whistleblower Colin Wallace has condemned the findings of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry. The inquiry found no evidence that security agencies were complicit in child sex abuse that took place at Kincora Boys Home, Northern Ireland.

But Wallace claims that the British government knew about security services’ alleged involvement in the abuse for decades and did nothing. And The Canary has seen documents which appear to back up his claims.

The Kincora scandal

Joseph Mains, Raymond Semple and William McGrath ran Kincora boys’ home in East Belfast. The latter was a leader of Tara, an extremist Protestant paramilitary organisation. All three were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys.

Special Branch officers reportedly saw the former head of Britain’s MI6, Sir Maurice Oldfield, associating with boys from Kincora. And former intelligence officer Brian Gemmell has alleged in the past that MI5 used Kincora as a blackmail lever. Gemmell claims that, in 1975, MI5 put a stop to an investigation into the abuse. Also, attempts by Royal Ulster Constabulary officers to interview a senior MI5 official about the scandal failed.

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Pastor found guilty of having sex with 13-year-old

JAMAICA
The Star

Livern Barrett
January 24, 2017

Fifty-five-year-old Kingston pastor Paul Hanniford has been convicted in the Home Circuit Court for having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

The in-camera trial which ended a short while ago featured testimonies from the victim who is now 15 years old, and her then five-year-old brother who witnessed the incident at the pastor’s home.

Prosecutors led evidence that Hanniford, the pastor of a Pentecostal church, took the two children to his house under the pretence that they were going for a “drive out”.

According to the prosecution, the pastor gave the five-year-old boy cornflakes and put him around a dining table.

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Knights of Malta grand master ordered to resign following bitter dispute with Vatican

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Lara Rebello
January 25, 2017

The leader of the Knights of Malta has resigned from his position following a bitter dispute with the Vatican. Prince and Grand Master Robert Matthew Festing was asked to relinquish his role in the Rome-based Catholic chivalric and charity institution, by Pope Francis.

“The Pope asked him to resign and he agreed,” a spokesperson for the order said. The group’s Sovereign Council will now be required to approve the highly unusual resignation. Grand masters normally keep their positions for life.

The spokesperson added that Festing met with the Pope on Tuesday (24 January) to discuss the ongoing conflict between the order and the Holy See and asked him to formally step down. The move comes after Festing fired senior knight Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager in December for allowing the use of condoms in a medical project for the poor through Malteser International, the order’s humanitarian aid agency.

Von Boeselager appealed to the Pope and a five-member commission was appointed to look into the unusual circumstances of the sacking. However, Festing refused to cooperate and called the commission illegitimate and said that it was interfering in the order’s sovereignty and right to govern its internal affairs.

The grand chancellor on his part said that the condom issue was an excuse by Festing and Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, an arch-conservative, to increase the power of the institution. He said that he had closed two medical aid projects after discovering that they distributed condoms, but kept a third one running in Myanmar to continue providing basic medical services to poor people in the Asian country.

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Vatican condom row: pope prevails as Knights of Malta chief resigns

VATICAN CITY
The Guardian (UK)

Reuters

The head of Catholic order the Knights of Malta has resigned over a bitter dispute with the Vatican about free condoms that become a test of the authority of liberalising Pope Francis.

The Rome-based chivalric and charity institution said Grand Master Matthew Festing, 67, resigned after Pope Francis asked him to step down at a meeting on Tuesday. Grand masters of the institution, which was founded in the 11th century, usually keep their positions for life.

“The pope asked him to resign and he agreed,” the spokesperson said, adding that the next step was a formality in which the group’s Sovereign Council would have to sign off on the highly unusual resignation.

Festing and the Vatican have been locked in a bitter dispute since one of the order’s top knights, Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, was sacked in December after the charity distributed condoms as part of a medical project for the poor.

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Knights of Malta head resigns after dispute with Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY

The head of the Knights of Malta, who has been locked in a bitter dispute with the Vatican, has resigned, a spokesperson for the Rome-based Catholic chivalric and charity institution said on Wednesday.

The spokesperson said Grand Master Matthew Festing, 67, had resigned after Pope Francis asked him to step down at a meeting on Tuesday. Grand masters of the institution, which was founded in the 11th century, usually keep their positions for life.

“The pope asked him to resign and he agreed,” the spokesperson said, adding that the next step was a formality in which the group’s Sovereign Council would have to sign off on the highly unusual resignation. The order would be run by its number two, or grand commander, until a new head is elected.

Festing and the Vatican have been locked in a bitter dispute since one of the order’s top knights, Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, was sacked in December in the chivalric equivalent of a boardroom showdown – ostensibly because he allowed the use of condoms in a medical project for the poor.

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Number of Peru abuse survivors reject ‘offensive’ compensation offer

PERU
RTE News (Ireland)

Some of the known survivors of abuse at the hands of an elite Catholic society in Peru have rejected offers of compensation, branding them “ridiculous and offensive”.

Meanwhile, the influential Sodalitium Christianae Vitae announced it had reached a $2.84 million-plus reparation agreement with 35 victims of the organisation’s former leaders.

The SCV, which was founded in the country in 1971 is composed of two bishops, three dozen priests and 248 brothers and was running 39 parishes, according to the latest available official figures from 2014.

The Peruvian prosecutor’s office has filed 27 complaints against the SCV’s founder, Luis Fernando Figari but the Attorney General said this week that no charges would be pressed due to a lack of evidence.

Last April, the SCV admitted Figari was guilty of accusations of sexual and physical abuse.

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Perth policeman charged over child abuse

AUSTRALIA
SBS

A 56-year-old Perth police sergeant has been charged with child sex offences that he allegedly committed while he worked as a school teacher during the 1980s.

Police say the man assaulted four boys, who were eight years old at the time, between 1984 and 1985 when he worked as a teacher at a Catholic school in the Perth CBD.

He has been stood down from work, charged with four counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14 and is due to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

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January 24, 2017

Nonprofit took kickbacks instead of helping priests’ sex abuse victims, lawsuit claims

UNITED STATES
New York Daily News

REUVEN BLAU
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A nonprofit set up to help sex abuse victims of priests gets financial kickbacks for referring cases to attorneys seeking to sue the Catholic Church, a new lawsuit alleges.

A former employee of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) brought up the case, saying the group fired her in February 2013 after she complained to bosses about the collusion.

“Attorneys and SNAP base their strategy not on the best interests of the survivor, but on what will generate the most publicity and fundraising opportunities for SNAP,” the suit filed last Thursday in Illinois federal court says.

The fired staffer, Gretchen Rachel Hammond, was hired in 2011 to do fundraising for the group, according to the suit.

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Longtime leader of clergy victims group leaves as SNAP faces lawsuit

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

By David Gibson

(RNS) A fixture in the organization working for children sexually abused by Catholic priests has resigned his post, a development that coincides with a lawsuit from a former employee alleging the group colluded with lawyers to refer clients and profit from settlements.

David Clohessy, longtime executive director of SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Tuesday (Jan. 24) that he left in December and his departure had nothing to do with the lawsuit, which was filed in Illinois on Jan. 17.

“Not at all,” Cohessy said by phone from his home in St. Louis, where SNAP has its main office. “My last day was five weeks ago, before this lawsuit ever happened.”

The lawsuit by Gretchen Rachel Hammond names Clohessy and other SNAP leaders as defendants and alleges that “SNAP does not focus on protecting or helping survivors – it exploits them.”

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Après les scandales, opération “transparence” de l’Eglise sur la pédophilie

FRANCE
L’Eveil

[According to a quantitative survey published by the Conference of French Bishops (CEF), nine clerics (priests or deacons), out of about 15,000 are currently “imprisoned in France for acts of sexual violence committed against minors. Thirty-seven others served their sentences and were released from prison and 26 are under indictment.]

Nouveau guide antipédophilie, publication de chiffres – en stagnation voire repli – sur les prêtres impliqués: l’Église catholique en France a une nouvelle fois affiché lundi une volonté de “transparence” sur les abus sexuels, après les mois de scandales qui l’ont secouée.

Selon une enquête quantitative publiée par la Conférence des évêques de France (CEF), neuf clercs (prêtres ou diacres), sur environ 15.000, sont actuellement “emprisonnés en France pour des faits de violences sexuelles commises sur des mineurs”.

Trente-sept autres “ont exécuté leur peine et sont sortis de prison”, et “26 clercs font l’objet d’une mise en examen, soit moitié moins qu’en 2010”.

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F: Kirche veröffentlicht Richtlinien gegen Missbrauch

FRANKREICH
religion@orf

[The French bishops conference published figures on abuse. Nine clergy were currently detailed for sexual offenses against minors and 37 priests have already served their sentences while 26 clergy are now in court proceedings. Seven years ago, the number of judicial procedures was twice as high. According to the bishops, 222 victims were reported and more than half the cases relate to alleged incidents that happened before 1970. Thirty-five percent of statements from victims relate to incidents between 1970 and 2000 and four percent relate to the period after 2000.]

Die Französische Bischofskonferenz hat Richtlinien im Kampf gegen sexuellen Missbrauch herausgegeben. Das sei eine der Maßnahmen, um die Kirche zu einem sicheren Ort für Kinder und Jugendliche zu machen, teilte die Bischofskonferenz am Montag in Paris mit.

Das Dokument umfasst etwa 60 Seiten mit rechtlichen Informationen zu dem Thema sowie Hinweisen zum Verhalten bei der Arbeit mit Kindern und Jugendlichen.

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Lord have mercy! …Pastors accused of abusing 12-year-old – Alleged victim vow to fight for justice

JAMAICA
The Star

As far back as 2002, Pastor Jermaine Gibson had sexual relation with a young woman who was 12 years old at the time, the police Corporate Communications Unit alleged yesterday.

The communication arm of the police force said that two years after Gibson allegedly abused the teen, another pastor, Paul Gardner, allegedly had sexual relations with her.

Following investigations by detectives from the Centre for Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, both pastors were yesterday charged with carnal abuse.

The alleged victim, Stacy*, has welcomed the latest development.

“I am happy that they have both been charged and my resolve to see it through is even greater, especially given their insistence on saying the charges are unfounded as per the statement issued by their lawyer,” Stacy told THE STAR.

“I know that it will not be an easy journey, but I am prepared to travel to the end. Whatever the result … . I am grateful for an opportunity to put that on the record,” the alleged victim added.
Gardner and Gibson are booked to appear in the Manchester Parish Court next week.

ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

Gardner quit as president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and The Cayman Islands earlier this month amid allegations of sexual misconduct within the organisation. Gibson, who was his deputy, also resigned.

Lambert Johnson who is representing Gardner and Gibson, has dismissed the allegations against his clients as “vile and malicious”.

The foundation of the Moravian Church has been shaken by recent allegations of sexual misconduct by its leaders.

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Spies not blamed over Kincora in a ‘travesty’ of a child abuse inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
Socialist Worker

[Kincora Material – Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry]

by Simon Basketter

Children suffered decades of sexual, physical and emotional abuse in homes run by the state, charities and churches in Northern Ireland, an inquiry found last week.

Sir Anthony Hart chaired the four-year Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry. He said payouts of up to £100,000 should be made to those who suffered the worst abuse or were sent to Australia.

Hart found “systemic failings” at 20 of the 22 institutions probed over allegations from 1922 to 1995.

But he rejected claims that a paedophile ring involving British establishment figures abused boys at the Kincora home in Belfast.

There have long been suspicions that security services protected William McGrath—who ran the home and did abuse children—because of his links to Loyalist paramilitaries.

Among the first to voice concerns was former Army information officer Colin Wallace in 1975. He was swiftly moved from his post.

Colin said, “The astonishing claim by the authorities, including the Intelligence Services, that they knew nothing about the allegations surrounding McGrath’s sexual activities until 1980 is a total travesty.”

Security services refused to give evidence. It emerged in the inquiry that files about Kincora have been “lost”.

Colin Wallace’s statement in full

Although I initially offered to give evidence to the Hart Inquiry, I later decided not to mainly on the grounds that the Government repeatedly refused to give it the same legal powers as the corresponding Inquiry in London. I believe that both the perception and the reality of the Government’s decision is one of unfairness to the victims.

Despite my decision, I did, however, provide the Hart Inquiry with 265 pages of comment and supporting documents, drawing attention to false or misleading information contained in the transcripts of the public hearings. My reason for doing so was to enable the Inquiry to investigate and corroborate the accuracy of my past comments about Kincora and related matters, and to provide the Inquiry with the opportunity to correct the relevant errors in the its published transcripts.

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Priest assaulted girl in Confessional Box

NORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Journal

The Historical Abuse Inquiry has upheld an allegation from a former resident at Nazareth House that she was sexually abused at the age of four or five by a Sister at the Bishop Street home.

The Inquiry team found that the incident was not reported to the police when the victim related it to another Sister many years later.

The Inquiry also accepted testimony from another witness that she was persistently abused from the ages of eight to 12 by a priest, including during one episode in a Confessional Box and another in a Sacristy. The priest sometimes gave her a mint after abusing her.

Two witnesses gave testimony that they were sexually interfered with after being placed with families in the country during the summer months and the Inquiry found there was a systematic failure on the part of the Sisters to report the allegations to the authorities.

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UPDATE: Former Moravian president, VP granted bail

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Former Moravian President Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson who were both arrested and charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault have been granted bail.

The men’s attorney Lambert Johnson confirmed the release moments ago.

After news of their charges became public earlier today, Johnson told OBSERVER ONLINE that his clients said the accusations are being done “out of sheer malice, with the intention of destroying their good name.”

The attorney said that the men’s arrest is “based on vile, malicious and tenuous allegations” adding that based on allegations “the available evidence is riddled with inconsistencies and is bereft of credibility, cogency or corroboration.”

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SNAP faces lawsuit claiming it colluded with clergy sex abuse victim attorneys

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Jesse Bogan St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS • The advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has for decades pressured Catholic church officials and helped expose clergy sex abuse cases that resulted in large payouts to victims and their attorneys.

Now the table is being turned on SNAP.

A former development director for the nonprofit organization claims that SNAP fired her in retaliation for confronting the organization for “colluding with survivors’ attorneys.”

Gretchen Rachel Hammond, 46, of Chicago, who raised money for SNAP from July 2011 until February 2013, filed the lawsuit last week in Cook County, Ill.

Hammond alleges that the advocacy organization, which was based in Chicago until moving to the Central West End in late 2016, didn’t have grief or rape counselors on the payroll and that SNAP ignored some victims seeking help. …

Reached by telephone, Clohessy said the idea that SNAP was getting kickbacks was “utterly preposterous.”

Asked about the specific email, he said: “I have written tens of thousands of emails. I can’t imagine that that’s true.”

Clohessy, of St. Louis, started with SNAP in the late 1980s. In 2007, he received the Lifetime Achievement in Advocacy Award from the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, according to the SNAP website. He’s been interviewed by “60 Minutes” and countless media outlets across the country.

He confirmed Monday that he no longer works for SNAP. He said he quit about five weeks ago. He said the recent lawsuit had nothing to do with his departure.

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Ex-church deacon pleads guilty to sexually assaulting girl

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

An ex-church deacon accused of sexually assaulting a young girl over a 10-year period pleaded guilty Friday in DuPage County court and waived his rights to a jury trial.

Timothy Peltz, 52, entered blind pleas of guilty to four counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Nineteen other charges were dismissed. Peltz faces between 24 and 120 years in prison on the consecutive counts.

Authorities said Peltz frequently assaulted the girl when she was between 3 and 13 years old. Officials from Living Hope Bible Church in Roselle, where Peltz worked as a deacon until early 2016, said the abuse did not take place on church grounds or during any church activities.

The assaults stopped when the girl was 13 “because she was able to physically resist,” but began again last year, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Lindt.

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Irish Bishops open up to the Vatican about sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

After a 10 year hiatus since their last Ad Limina, which usually takes place every five years, the Irish bishops came to Rome to discuss the state of the Church in Ireland.

They met with nearly all the major departments of the Roman Curia and Pope Francis, where open discussions took place about issues such as migration, secularism, women in the Church and outreach to the poor. However, one main topic of interest was the clerical sex abuse in the country.

ARCH. EAMON MARTIN
Archbishop of Armagh (Ireland)

“We have shared the determined efforts we have been making to put in place robust procedures of safeguarding in the Church in Ireland. We also spoke a lot about the efforts to try to bring healing to those who have been abused and all people who have been affected by the awful trauma of the sins and crimes of people in the Church and others in society.”

The archbishop said since their last meeting with Benedict XVI, they have been working on four steps of healing and recovery: to establish the truth, to put procedures in effort to prevent future abuse, to adhere to principles of justice and to bring healing.

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Two more church ministers charged with having sex with a minor

JAMAICA
Loop

Two ministers of religion were on Monday charged with Carnal Abuse and Indecent Assault by investigators assigned to the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

They are 36-year-old Jermaine Gibson of Lyndale Close, Kingston 20 and 54-year-old Paul Gardner of Burbank Avenue, Kingston 19. Both men are senior members of the Moravian Church, the same church as Rupert Clarke who was charged with rape after he was in December allegedly caught having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Gibson allegedly had a sexual relationship with a minor as far back as 2002, when the alleged victim was a 12 year-old girl. Gardener, allegedly, later also developed a sexual relationship with the teen.

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VIEW FROM ROME

ROME
TheTablet

19 January 2017 | by Christopher Lamb

Inside the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace hangs an icon of the Virgin Mary holding a finger to her lips. Titled Our Lady of Silence it was placed there on the instructions of Pope Francis. It was a not so subtle hint that those who work for the Church should not gossip, but it could equally be seen as an image for the way the Church has responded to clerical sexual abuse.

That scandal reared its head again this week with a new book by Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi. Lussuria (Lust) reveals that roughly 1,200 abuse cases have been filed with the Holy See during Francis’ papacy, maintaining a depressingly similar pace to the last couple of years of Benedict XVI’s time in office. Mr Fittipaldi was one of the journalists threatened with jail by the Vatican for publishing sensitive documents that exposed financial mismanagement by Vatican officials: now he’s turned his attention to the abuse issue, alleging that Francis is doing very little to tackle the problem. Is this fair?

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Former employee sues group that represents victims of clergy abuse

ILLINOIS
Catholic Herald (UK)

by Catholic News Service
posted Monday, 23 Jan 2017

Gretchen Rachel Hammond accused organisation of being motivated by an ideological hostility to the Catholic Church

A former director of development for Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (Snap) has said that the organisation is more interested in fundraising and taking kickbacks from lawyers suing the Catholic Church than in helping survivors.

Gretchen Rachel Hammond, has filed a lawsuit against the organisation in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, further accuses Snap of being “a commercial organisation” and “premised upon farming out abuse survivors as clients for attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors and collect settlement checks from the Catholic Church.”

Hammond worked for Snap from July 2011 to February 2013, and is now a journalist for the Windy City Times. She claims she was fired in retaliation for a series of discoveries she made about the way settlements were being handled, and that the stress caused by Snap’s treatment of her sent her to the hospital four times and resulted in a series of health problems.

She also asserts that Snap “is motivated by its directors’ and officers’ personal and ideological animus against the Catholic Church.”

In 2011, Snap helped publicise the attempt in Europe to bring charges against Pope Benedict XVI for crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court.

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Lawyer for Moravian ministers says allegations are vile and malicious

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Lambert Johnson, the attorney for Moravian ministers Dr Paul Gardner and Jermaine Gibson, has described the arrest and charge of his clients as vile, malicious and tenuous.

Johnson says the allegations are riddled with inconsistencies and are bereft of credibility, cogency and corroboration.

He asserts that the case is doomed to fail.

The attorney also says Dr Gardner and Reverend Gibson maintain their innocence.

Johnson says the Moravian ministers have given instructions to file a suit for defamation, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.

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UPDATE: Two more Moravian clergymen charged with carnal abuse

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Two more clergymen have been charged with carnal abuse.

Dr Paul Gardner and Jermaine Gibson were today charged following investigations by detectives from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

Superintendent Enid Ross Stewart, head of CISOCA, said Gibson, 36, of Lyndale Close, Kingston 20 and Gardner, 54, of Burbank Avenue, Kingston 19 were today charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault.

According to the police, the incidents, which date as far back as 2002.

They allege that Gibson had a sexual relationship with the girl who was twelve years old at the time.

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‘Doomed to failure’ – Lawyer for embattled Moravian ministers says case lacks credibility – accuser vows to fight to the end

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Hours after detectives from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse charged former president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and Grand Cayman, the Rev. Dr Paul Gardner, and former vice president, the Rev. Jermaine Gibson, for carnal abuse and indecent assault, the alleged victim vowed to press for justice even as an attorney representing the churchmen says the case is “doomed to failure”.

The woman who accused both Gardner and Gibson told The Gleaner yesterday that she was happy that the men have been charged, noting that “my resolve to see it through is even greater, especially given their insistence on saying the charges are unfounded as per the statement issued by their lawyer.”

The alleged victim, whose identity has been withheld, said she was prepared to seek justice. “I know that it will not be an easy journey, but I am prepared to travel to the end. Whatever the result, I know that they are (alleged) sexual predators, and I am grateful for an opportunity to put that on the record.”

At the same time, the Reverend Phyllis Smith-Seymour, the acting president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, said the latest development in the sex scandal plaguing the church was regrettable.

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Former Moravian president and VP arrested in sex scandal

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Former Moravian President Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson have been both arrested and charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault.

The attorney-at-law representing the men told OBSERVER ONLINE that his clients said the accusations are being done “out of sheer malice, with the intention of destroying their good name.”

The attorney said that the men’s arrest is “based on vile, malicious and tenuous allegations” adding that based on allegations “the available evidence is riddled with inconsistencies and is bereft of credibility, cogency or corroboration.”

“[Our] clients are steadfast in their declarations of innocence and having regard to the circumstances we have been instructed to file suit for defamation, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment,” the attorney’s law firm said in a statement Monday.

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Two more pastors charged with carnal abuse

JAMAICA
The Star

January 23, 2017

Former president of the Moravian church, Dr Paul Gardner, has been charged with carnal abuse.

Gardner as well as Jermaine Gibson, who was vice president of the church, were today slapped with the charges following investigations by detectives from the Centre for Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

Superintendent Enid Ross Stewart, head of CISOCA, said the clergymen were charged about midday. She said that a court date has not yet been set.

Dr Gardner quit as president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands earlier this month amid allegations of sexual misconduct within the organisation. Gibson, who was his deputy, also resigned.

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Moravian clergymen to sue as sex scandal deepens

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

FORMER Moravian Church President Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy, Jermaine Gibson, yesterday instructed their attorney to file a suit for defamation, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment after they were slapped with sex charges in relation to the alleged sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl 14 years ago.

Defence attorney Lambert Johnson, who is representing both men, told the Jamaica Observer that the allegations and subsequent arrest are out of “sheer maliciousness and sheer malevolence”.

While saying that he could not go into details, Johnson said that the allegations against his clients were riddled with inconsistencies, lacked credibility, cogency and corroboration and that the case was doomed to fail.

Gardener, 54, of Burbank Avenue, Kingston 19, and 36-year-old Gibson of Lyndale Close, Kingston 20, were yesterday arrested by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offence and Child Abuse (CISOCA) and charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault.

According to a report from the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Corporate Communications Unit, in 2002 Gibson allegedly engaged in a sexual relationship with the girl while he was a minister in the church.

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Diocese launches new Protection and Safety

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has this morning announced the launch of the Diocesan Protection and Safety Council – a new body formed to advise the Bishop.

The Diocesan Protection and Safety Council (Council) will provide independent advice to the Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle on a range of issues, including promoting the protection of children and vulnerable adults within the Diocese, developing the Diocesan capacity to continue to support those who have been affected by child sexual abuse and working to rebuild a sense of trust within the community about the Diocese’s commitment to protect children and vulnerable adults.

Bishop Bill Wright says the formation of the Council will foster a culture of continuous improvement throughout the Diocese, in all matters relating to the protection of children and vulnerable adults:

“The Diocese has a particularly troubled history of failing to protect children from sexual abuse and through these failures, allowed predatory individuals to continue to abuse. It is this sad history which sees us now at the forefront of safety and protection as we aim to continually push forward with any activities which minimise the risk for people suffering in the future.”

“The newly formed Council will offer independent advice to ensure that the Diocese continues to develop its policies and practices in the field of professional standards.”

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New child abuse council in NSW Hunter

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

JANUARY 23, 2017

Australian Associated Press

A new council has been set up to help improve trust between the NSW Hunter community and the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle by providing independent advice on child abuse matters.

The body will also aim to promote the protection of kids and vulnerable adults in the community.

Bishop Bill Wright, who will receive the advice from a group of Catholic and non-Catholics, acknowledged the diocese had a troubled history of failing to protect children from sexual abuse.

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Fionnuala O Connor: HIA report shows politicians must hold institutions to account

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish News

Fionnuala O Connor
24 January, 2017 01:00

Hearts and minds are already being appealed to; the battle for immortal souls cannot be far behind.

In the election campaign effectively under way already, the DUP will try desperately to stop the handling of public money being issue Number One. Politicians competing to represent the other main community will be quizzed not only on the point of having a Stormont, but also about their personal faith and morals.

Nationalist parties need to rethink positions and strategies – post-Martin McGuinness, post-Brexit, and maybe post that imaginary, unreal ‘power-sharing’ Stormont. For now Sinn Féin and the SDLP must just do the best they can with a messy set of circumstances. Perhaps the majority of their possible voters want another Stormont executive. Maybe they couldn’t care less.

But at meetings organised by passionate lay-people, and in letters from bishops read at Mass, carried in parish newsletters, Sinn Féin and the SDLP will be asked where they stand on abortion, criticised for supporting gay marriage. The doorsteps will ask if they’re about to defy the Church, or are they good Catholics.

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Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Bishop Bill Wright apologised to the community in September, and now he’s acting

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
24 Jan 2017

HUNTER Catholic Bishop Bill Wright has appointed a new body to advise him on protecting children and vulnerable adults after a public apology in September for the diocese’s “particularly troubled history” of failing to protect children from sexual abuse.

The nine-member diocese protection and safety council will help “rebuild a sense of trust within the community about Maitland-Newcastle diocese’s commitment to protect children and vulnerable adults”, said a statement released on Monday.

It came four months after devastating evidence at a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse public hearing in Newcastle which revealed systemic failings in the church’s responses to child sex offenders including Father Vince Ryan and Marist Brothers Romuald (Francis Cable) and Patrick (Thomas Butler).

Bishop Wright said the Council would foster a culture of continuous improvement throughout the diocese on the protection of children and vulnerable adults after a history which includes “allowing predatory individuals to continue to abuse”.

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January 23, 2017

Apology from Anglican Church over legacy of Ralph Rowe is very important, Bennett says

CANADA
Toronto Star

By The Canadian Press
Mon., Jan. 23, 2017

OTTAWA—Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett says it is very important that the Anglican Church has agreed to work on a national public apology for the legacy of Ralph Rowe — a former priest who flew into indigenous communities and sexually abused children during the 1970s and 1980s.

Following a long-standing call from indigenous leaders, the church acknowledged Friday that its actions helped create a legacy of brokenness in some communities.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, who represents 49 communities in northern Ontario, says the church must also provide resources, as well as words, to address the intergenerational impacts of Rowe’s abuse, including suicide and addiction.

Fiddler notes it was determined during court proceedings that Rowe preyed upon more than 500 children.

Wapekeka First Nation — a community that garnered national headlines this month following the suicide of two 12-year-old girls — was one of the communities affected by the legacy of the former priest and Boy Scout leader.

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Assignment Record– Rev. James G. Kiffmeyer

OHIO
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: James Kiffmeyer was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1985. He taught at Fenwick High School in Middletown OH while assisted in two subsequent area parishes. In 1991 he was assigned to Elder High School in Cincinnati, residing for several years in a nearby parish.

In April 2002 Kiffmeyer went on personal leave after an allegation surfaced that he had engaged in “sexual misconduct” with a Fenwick High senior in 1986. Soon thereafter the mother of another Fenwick graduate reported to the county prosecutor’s office that Kiffmeyer had molested her son as a Fenwick senior, too, in 1990. That case was quietly settled by the archdiocese in 1997. Kiffmeyer denied both accusations. During his leave he taught pharmacy at a local college. In 2006 the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrination of the Faith reinstated Kiffmeyer, instructing him “to avoid situations and persons which might endanger his living up to his priestly commitment…. .” Kiffmeyer proceeded to help out in area parishes and in 2008 was installed as pastor of Holy Family. In July 2012 he resigned, telling the bishop he had no intention of returning to priestly ministry.

Ordained: 1985

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Scottish monk accused of child abuse arrested in Sydney

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

ANGUS HOWARTH
Monday 23 January 2017

A former Catholic monk accused of child abuse at a Scottish school has been arrested in Australia, it has been reported.

The BBC said Father Denis “Chrysostom” Alexander had been remanded in custody in Sydney pending his extradition back to Scotland to face trial.

He is one of several monks accused of abusing boys at the former Fort Augustus Abbey boarding school in the Highlands.

The Crown Office declined to comment. Father Alexander has always denied the allegations. In 2013, he was confronted by BBC Scotland in Sydney as part of a documentary which led to a police investigation.

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Monk accused of child abuse arrested in Sydney

SCOTLAND
The Times

Marc Horne
January 24 2017
The Times

A former Catholic monk accused of abusing children at a Scottish school has been arrested in Australia.

Father Denis Alexander was one of several monks who were alleged to have sexually and physically abused boys at the former Fort Augustus Abbey boarding school.

In 2013 a TV investigation uncovered evidence that staff had preyed on vulnerable children at the institute on the banks of Loch Ness.

Mr Alexander, 80, has been remanded in custody in Sydney and is expected to be extradited to Scotland to face trial. He is due to face a hearing tomorrow, when it will become clear whether he intends to oppose the extradition and seek bail.

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Former Catholic monk accused of child abuse at Scottish boarding school arrested in Australia

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

A former Catholic monk accused of child abuse at a boarding school in the Highlands has been arrested in Australia.

Father Denis “Chrysostom” Alexander, who is now 80, was one of several monks accused of abusing boys at Fort Augustus Abbey.

The BBC has reported that he has been remanded in custody in Sydney pending extradition to Scotland to face charges.

Father Alexander has always denied the allegations.

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Ex-IOR managers Cipriani, Tulli convictions asked

ROME
ANSA

(ANSA) – Rome, January 20 – A Rome prosecutor on Friday asked for sentences of one year in jail for former Vatican Bank (IOR) Director-General Paolo Cipriani and 10 months for his former deputy Massimo Tulli a trial into suspected breaches of Italy’s anti-money-laundering norms linked to two suspicious operations that led to the 2010 seizure of 23 million euros, later returned to the Holy See’s bank.

The Vatican Bank, or Institute for Religious Works (IOR), operated in Italy without authorization for 40 years, Rome prosecutors say in the case.

Investigators say IOR acted as a bank without central bank authorization until 2011, when the Bank of Italy told credit institutions to consider it a non-EU bank. At that point, IOR moved some of its banking activities to Germany.

However, Italian banks effectively stopped dealing with the IOR in 2010 after the Bank of Italy ordered them to enforce strict anti-money laundering criteria to continue working with it.

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Vatican prosecuting financial crimes for first time, watchdog agency president says

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jan. 23, 2017

VATICAN CITY

The head of the Vatican’s financial watchdog agency has revealed that the city-state began pursuing prosecutions against people accused of financial crimes for the first time in 2016, in what may be seen as a breakthrough for Pope Francis’ continuing reforms.

In an NCR interview Jan. 10, the president of the Vatican’s Financial Intelligence Authority said the first prosecutions had begun without public announcement in 2016 and would continue at a faster pace in 2017.

“The work there is increasing and we are definitely making progress on that end,” said René Brülhart, speaking about the process carefully.

Lack of prosecutions against those accused of financial crimes has long been a concern of international experts who have examined the Vatican’s financial system.

While the watchdog agency has released annual reports since 2012 detailing possible suspicious activity, for example marking 544 activities as questionable in 2015, there had as yet been no prosecutions of those responsible.

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Derry institutional abuse victim embraced by Bishop of Derry during mass

NORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Now

Monday 23rd of January 2017

A Derry man who was the victim of institutional abuse has praisd the Bishop of Derry after he embraced him during emotional scenes in the city yesterday.

The Bishop, Dr Donal McKeown, delivered a homily during two services over the weekend at Eugene’s Cathedral and Long Tower, where he addressed the final report into the findings of Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA), which was set up in 2013 to look at historical abuse claims at homes throughout Northern Ireland

These included former children’s residential homes in Derry at St Joseph’s Home at Termonbacca, the Sisters of Nazareth’s children’s home at Bishop Street, Fort James and Harberton House.

The inquiry also dealt with institutions run by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Derry, Belfast and Newry.

The 2,300-page report was published at an event in Belfast on Friday morning.

In the wake of the publication, Bishop McKeown told Mass goers that the ‘focus has to be on accepting the pain and loss suffered by those who, through no fault of their own, were scarred for life by the way they were treated and let down’.

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Pédophilie dans l’Eglise : une soixantaine d’affaires aux mains de la justice

FRANCE
Liberation

[Pedophilia in the church: About 60 cases are in the hands of justice.]

Les 106 diocèses de l’Hexagone ont été priés de livrer leurs données dans le cadre d’une enquête interne de la Conférence des évêques de France. Des chiffres inédits mais qui ne disent qu’une partie de la réalité.

Pédophilie dans l’Eglise : une soixantaine d’affaires aux mains de la justice
Surtout pas de triomphalisme. «Neuf, c’est toujours neuf de trop», s’empresse de dire Ségolaine Moog, déléguée pour la lutte contre la pédophilie à la Conférence des évêques de France (CEF). Neuf ? C’est le nombre de clercs (c’est-à-dire des prêtres ou des diacres, le grade en dessous) actuellement incarcérés pour des faits d’abus sexuels sur mineurs. D’un point de vue judiciaire, les affaires de pédophilie concerneraient, selon une enquête interne de la CEF, une soixantaine de clercs catholiques. Parmi eux, 37 ont déjà purgé leur peine et 26 font l’objet d’une mise en examen. Depuis plusieurs mois, les évêques catholiques promettaient de donner des chiffres à la suite du scandale qu’a provoqué, à Lyon, l’affaire de l’abbé Bernard P. Aucun bilan n’avait été établi par l’institution depuis 2010 et les 106 diocèses de l’Hexagone ont donc été priés (non sans réticence pour certains) de livrer leurs données.

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Nichts weiter als ein Papiertiger

DEUTSCHLAND
TP-Presseagentur

The victim organization Netzwerk B today declared the “zero tolerance” strategy of Pope Francis against sexual abuse is nothing more than paper.] :

Die Opferorganisation netzwerkB erklärte heute zur „Null-Toleranz“-Strategie von Papst Franziskus gegenüber sexuellem Missbrauch:

„Papst Franziskus hat „Null-Toleranz“-Strategie gegenüber ‘sexuellem Missbrauch‘ versprochen. Dass die Wirklichkeit in der katholischen Kirche anders aussieht – behauptet der Enthüllungsjournalist Emiliano Fittipaldi in seinem Buch „Lussuria“ (Unzucht).

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