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 8, 2017

Statute-of-limitations proponents set to renew push for change in sex-abuse law

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

Whether to make any new child sexual abuse statute-of-limitation laws retroactive to include past incidents that have gone unpursued in the legal system became a point of contention in the Pennsylvania General Assembly last year.

It appears like the same political and legal debate might occur again during the 2017 session that recently got underway.

Currently, victims who were under the age of 18 when alleged abuse occurred can file civil charges until they reach age 30.

Criminal charges can also be brought until age 30 for individuals born before Aug. 27, 2002. That limit increases to age 50 for accusers born after that same date.

During the process, one group – led by state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks – has sought to make any increase in the statutes include retroactivity, meaning alleged violators could face charges for past allegations that had already surpassed their time limit. That version overwhelmingly passed the House.

But the bill that unanimously got through the Senate included an amendment – introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson – that stripped the retroactivity.

No compromise was reached.

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.

State Rep. Mark Rozzi chosen as Reading Eagle Local Newsmaker of the Year

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

By Liam Migdail-Smith

READING, PA

Mark Rozzi’s defining moment of 2016 didn’t come in the halls of the state Capitol, where his signature piece of legislation was suddenly propelled into the spotlight.

It came at the supermarket deli counter.

Rozzi, a state lawmaker, had championed a plan to reopen a window for people sexually abused as children to sue those responsible. For the Muhlenberg Township Democrat, it was a chance to channel his struggle with the memory of being raped by a priest as a teen into fighting for his fellow victims.

The proposal gained momentum, drawing long-silent victims out of the shadows to tell their stories. But when it was defeated in June, victims were devastated. And after a victim from Cambria County took his life, Rozzi began to question whether he was doing more harm than good.

That brief meeting at the deli counter in August changed his mind. An elderly man approached, put his hands on Rozzi’s and said: “I’m watching everything you’re doing. Please do not stop fighting for all of us.”

Then the stranger was gone. And Rozzi went back to work with renewed determination.

He decided he wasn’t going to settle for a watered-down version of his plan that would expand protection for victims abused now or in the future but not offer relief for those who have been struggling for decades.

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.

January 7, 2017

Assignment Record – Rev. William J. Kuder

NORTH CAROLINA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: William J. Kuder was a priest of the Diocese of Raleigh, ordained in 1936. He assisted at parishes in New Bern, Greensboro and Leaksville-Spray. After a three-year leave of absence, he was assigned in 1942 as pastor of St. Lucien’s in Spruce Pine, and from 1949 until his death in 1960, he was pastor of St. Joan of Arc in Asheville.

In 1995 a man reported to the Charlotte diocese (which absorbed Raleigh when established in 1971), that Kuder had sexually abused him at St. Joan of Arc for four years, beginning when the man was age 9 in 1952. He said the abuse included oral and anal rape, and that Kuder would drive him to rectories 20 and 50 miles away to confess his “sin” of sex with a priest. Kuder allegedly threatened the boy with eternal damnation if he broke the seal of confession. After coming forward, Kuder’s accuser said he heard from 10 more victims. His two brothers also alleged abuse by Kuder when they were ages 9-13, and said the priest drove them, too, to faraway priests for confession and used the threat of hell to silence them.

Born: 1898
Ordained: 1936
Died: March 24, 1960

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.

Cardinal Tobin, New Newark Archbishop, Cites ‘Chasm Between Life and Faith’

NEW JERSEY
New York Times

By JAMES BARRON
JAN. 6, 2017

NEWARK — In a ceremony that combined pageantry with a promise of a different style and approach, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin was installed on Friday as the archbishop of Newark.

In his homily, Cardinal Tobin said he was thankful for his new job, though he described it as “a daunting proposition.” But he focused his remarks on what he called “the chasm between life and faith.”

He had cited that chasm, he told a congregation that included bishops, priests and elected officials, when a woman at a recent dinner party asked him what he considered to be the greatest challenge facing the church. He said it was not the answer she was expecting. …

But for all the pageantry, Cardinal Tobin is inheriting a troubled archdiocese. The archbishop he succeeded, John J. Myers, was denounced for the archdiocese’s handling of pedophile priests and for allocating more than $500,000 for an addition to his weekend house in Hunterdon County, N.J. The Star-Ledger of Newark hailed Archbishop Myers’s retirement last summer with an editorial that declared, “Blessed are we to be rid of this man.”

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.

Baltimore Archdiocese Agrees to $50,000 Settlement with Clergy Sex-Abuse Victim Who Said She Was Shown Body of Murdered Nun

MARYLAND
Inside Baltimore

“I’m No Longer Invisible,” Says Woman
Who Told Church, Police she was raped,
Later taken to view nun’s Corpse by Priest

“The Church is Finally Starting to see me!”
–Jean Wehner, after Recent Settlement

By Tom Nugent

January 2017 – A woman who 24 years ago tried to warn the Catholic Church in Maryland that a priest had shown her the body of a murdered teaching nun recently earned a $50,000 settlement from the Archdiocese of Baltimore (AOB) for clergy sexual-abuse “injuries” she reportedly received while attending a Baltimore girls’ Catholic high school in the late 1960s.

The mediated settlement marked the latest startling development in one of the most tangled and perplexing homicide “cold cases” in Maryland history . . . the 1969 slaying of a 26-year-old teaching nun, Sister Catherine Cesnik, who reportedly had been trying to blow the whistle on widespread sexual abuse by two priests at Archbishop Keough High School in southwest Baltimore.

Still unsolved after thousands of hours of fruitless investigation by Maryland police and the FBI, the shocking case made national headlines recently, when retired Baltimore-area homicide detectives disclosed that the Catholic Church had used its powerful influence to impede their investigation of the Cesnik murder (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/14/cesnik-nun-murder-maskell_n_7267532.html).

Now 63 and practicing as a certified Spiritual Director/Life Coach and Reflexologist in the Baltimore area, Jean Hargadon Wehner (CTACC, NBCR) became a highly controversial figure in the mid-1990s after telling police and Church officials that the priest who served as chaplain at her high school, Father A. Joseph Maskell, had taken her to a remote patch of open land near a dumpster a few miles from the school. There, she said, he had shown her the decaying body of her former English teacher.

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 Wilton youth ministry worker accused of child sex crimes

CONNECTICUT/NEW JERSEY
CT Post

By Stephanie Kim

Updated January 6, 2017

WILTON — New Jersey State Police are seeking help in locating additional victims of Ethan Chandler, 42, of Belleville, N.J, who was arrested on child sex charges.

Chandler lived in Norwalk, Stamford and Monroe during the mid-1990s, officials said, and used to work part-time at Hope Church in Wilton.

Cliffe Knechtle, who was an associate and senior pastor at Hope Church from 1989 to 2000, said Chandler worked part-time in music and later became more involved in youth ministry after he left.

Knechtle said they haven’t talked since the news of Chandler’s arrest. He described Chandler as a “very kind, very warm gentleman.”

“When I was there, he did an outstanding job,” said Knechtle, who’s been the senior pastor of Grace Community Church in New Canaan since its founding in 2001. “I pray that if they are false accusations, that they be dropped; if they are true, then he would face the truth and come clean and repent and get back on the track of following Christ.”

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.

Archbishop announces intention to restore faith, unity in Newark

NEW JERSEY
New York Daily News

BY
LARRY MCSHANE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, January 7, 2017

Joseph Cardinal Tobin was installed Friday as the new head of the Archdiocese of Newark, replacing his oft-criticized predecessor with a deft display of humility.

Tobin, chosen by Pope Francis to serve as shepherd to the flock of 1.5 million New Jersey Roman Catholics, told 2,000 worshippers in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart that the task ahead was challenging.

“It is a daunting proposition, not because of the size, rich history or wonderful diversity of this portion of the vineyard,” said the 64-year-old cardinal.

“Rather, the appointment reminds me the stakes are incredibly high, for if we permit the chasm between faith and life to continue to expand, we risk losing Christ, reducing him simply to an interesting idea or a comforting, nostalgic memory.”

Tobin replaces departing Archbishop John Myers, who alienated many New Jersey Catholics with his perceived mishandling of sex abuse cases involving priests and the construction of his posh $500,000 retirement home.

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.

Sexual abuse still persists fifteen years after Spotlight, attorney and source argues

MASSACHUSETTS
Spare Change News

By Jordan Frias

Fifteen years after the Boston Globe’s Spotlight series uncovered the widespread sexual abuse of Catholic priest — and more than a year after it became a highly acclaimed film on the big screen — the issue of priest molesting children still exists throughout Massachusetts and worldwide.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian and members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) held a press conference to shed light on the Catholic church’s lack of transparency and cooperation in dealing with these cases and more recent accusations of abuse.

“Pope Francis is making compassionate statements but it’s not being followed with compassionate activity,” Garabedian, who helped the Globe expose the Catholic church in its 2002 Spotlight reports, told the audience. “Transparency is necessary. The records have to be released for this to begin to end.”

Garabedian said he is handling 49 cases in Connecticut’s federal court alone against Douglas Perlitz, a Jesuit priest at Fairfield University who is accused of sexually abusing children at a school in Haiti. He’s also received calls across the country about abuse from other priests.

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.

Northbridge school employee charged with child pornography

MASSACHUSETTS
Telegram & Gazette

By Susan Spencer
Telegram & Gazette Staff

An Uxbridge Cub Scout leader and instructional assistant at Northbridge High School was arrested following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on child pornography charges Thursday. Dozens of pornographic videos of children were found posted online from his home and school Internet service, authorities said.

Jason A. Andolina, 42, an Uxbridge resident who worked in Northbridge, appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in Worcester before Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy. A preliminary detention hearing was set for Monday.

Northbridge Superintendent of Schools Catherine Stickney notified parents by automated phone call Thursday and posted a message on the district’s website, which reads in part: “Today, I was informed by law enforcement personnel, that an instructional assistant at Northbridge High School has been arrested for criminal conduct. We have been informed that his criminal conduct does not involve any students in the Northbridge Public Schools. After receiving this information, I immediately removed him from the workplace including restricting his access to school district buildings, grounds, and events. …

A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston confirmed Mr. Andolina is a Cub Scout leader. A Telegram & Gazette article from 2015 lists Mr. Andolina as the Pinewood Derby chairman for Pack 25, which is chartered by St. Mary’s Church in Uxbridge.

The church office was closed Friday and no one was available for comment.

Raymond L. Delisle, communications director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester, said he could not comment on an individual’s criminal offender record information check, but said, “Our process is that anybody who is serving (at a parish) has to be CORI’d.”

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.

Guam Catholics seek action on pope’s message

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com Jan. 7, 2017

Some Guam Catholics want action instead of words from Pope Francis after his renewed call for bishops to observe zero tolerance for child abuse, now that at least 15 former altar boys have come forward alleging they were sexually abused or raped by priests on Guam.

“I am hopeful that Pope Francis and church leaders are addressing what has been covered up for too long. In some cases, the bishops in certain dioceses covered up the terrible abuse by clergy and allowed further abuse to occur,” Concerned Catholics of Guam Vice President Andrew Camacho said.

The Vatican released on Jan. 2 the text of a Dec. 28 letter the pope sent to bishops about the atrocities toward children, including wars, slave labor, malnutrition, lack of education, and sexual exploitation, including abuses by priests.

“It is a sin that shames us. Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity. We regret this deeply and we beg for forgiveness. We join in the pain of the victims and weep for this sin,” the pope said.

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.

January 6, 2017

LAWYER CLAIMS PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT IN PHILADELPHIA ‘BILLY DOE’ SEXUAL ABUSE CASE

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsweek

BY RALPH CIPRIANO ON 1/6/17

In the latest twist in the rapidly unraveling “Billy Doe” sex abuse case, a lawyer for one of the four men sent to jail by the testimony of a former altar boy says prosecutorial misconduct should clear his client from further legal jeopardy. Thomas Bergstrom, a lawyer for Monsignor William Lynn, said in court that the lead detective in the case told the District Attorney ’s office he didn’t find the boy credible but that his warning was ignored.

Billy Doe’s claims that he had been brutally and repeatedly raped over a period of several years put three priests and a former Catholic school teacher in jail, where one of the men died.

In a pretrial hearing on January 4, Bergstrom charged that when Detective Joseph Walsh told a top prosecutor about his grave concerns, she didn’t want to hear it. “You’re damaging my case. You’re hurting my case,” he claimed former Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen replied.

“You can’t turn a blind eye to that,” Bergstrom told Judge Gwendolyn Bright, arguing that this was prosecutorial misconduct. He then asked the judge to invoke the ultimate penalty for that malfeasance by dismissing the pending retrial of Lynn.

Walsh met with Bergstrom in November and December and provided what Bergstrom described in court as exculpatory evidence regarding possible misconduct in the prosecutor’s office. While Bergstrom and ADA Patrick Blessington battled over what Walsh and Sorensen said and did, the detective, now retired, paced in the hallway outside the courtroom.

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.

Report into allegations of child abuse at residential homes in Derry presented today to the Northern Ireland Assembly

NORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Now

Friday 6th of January 2017

A report has been completed into allegations of child abuse at a number of residential homes in Derry.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry 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, Nazareth House Children’s Home, Fort James and Harberton House.

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

The inquiry today submitted its report to the First Minister and deputy First Minister.

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.

Abuse Inquiry reports to McGuinness and Foster

NORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Journal

The chairman of the Historical Abuse Inquiry Sir Anthony Hart has thanked those who came forward to give evidence.

He was speaking as the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry submitted its findings to Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness on Friday, ahead of the report being made public on Friday, January 20.

The handing over of the report to the First and Deputy First Ministers prior to its general publication was a requirement under the Historical Institutional Abuse Act (Northern Ireland) 2013.

In delivering his Report, Sir Anthony Hart said: “I want to thank everyone who came forward to tell us of their experiences as I know how hard it was for many to find the courage to do so.

“I also want to thank all those who worked with the Inquiry in a co-operative way, and by doing so helped my colleagues and myself to complete our Report on time.”

The Report will be formally published on January 20, following a statement by the Chairman, Sir Anthony Hart at a public meeting in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shaws Bridge, Belfast.

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.

Northern institutional abuse report to be issued within weeks

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Amanda Ferguson

The report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland is to be published on January 20th.

The inquiry had a remit to investigate physical, emotional and sexual childhood abuse and neglect in residential institutions in the North over a 73-year period up to 1995.

The inquiry chairman, Sir Anthony Hart, confirmed he had submitted his report to First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

“I want to thank everyone who came forward to tell us of their experiences as I know how hard it was for many to find the courage to do so,” he said. “I also want to thank all those who worked with the inquiry in a co-operative way, and by doing so help my colleagues and myself to complete our report on time.”

The report will be formally published following a statement by the chairman at a public meeting in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast.

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.

Historical child sex abuse inquiry team passes final report to Stormont

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

An inquiry team that investigated historical child abuse at Northern Ireland residential homes has passed its final report to Stormont’s leaders.

The Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry heard harrowing testimony from hundreds of former residents who made claims of sexual, physical and emotional suffering over many decades in church, state and charity-run homes.

While the report will not be made public until later in the month, the panel has already made clear it will be recommending some form of compensation be offered to victims.

Inquiry chair, retired judge Sir Anthony Hart, said: “I want to thank everyone who came forward to tell us of their experiences as I know how hard it was for many to find the courage to do so.

“I also want to thank all those who worked with the inquiry in a co-operative way, and by doing so helped my colleagues and myself to complete our report on time.”

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 Gallatin Church Pastor Charged With Crime

TEXAS
NewsChannel 5

[with video]

Nick Beres
Jan 5, 2017

GALLATIN, Tenn. – A former pastor at a well-known Middle Tennessee church has been accused of a crime.

Detectives said the charges came after an investigation involving an alleged video made of a teenage girl.

The suspect in this case, identified as Jody Dwayne Brown, was a worship leader for both adults and youth ministry at Freedom Church in Gallatin.

Brown has been charged with attempted aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and unlawful photography in violation of privacy.

“We have young people and older people and mix of two and video taking place that maybe shouldn’t take place, but it’s important to investigate,” said Sumner County Sheriff’s Detective Eddie Cripps.

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.

Pädophilie: Die „Nulltoleranz“ von Papst Franziskus „mit oder ohne befreundete Kardinäle“

VATIKANSTADT
Katholisches

[The pope has urged zero tolerance in sexual abuse of minors.]

(Rom) Papst Franziskus veröffentlichte am 28. Dezember, dem Fest der Unschuldigen Kinder, einen Brief an alle Bischöfe der katholischen Kirche. Darin forderte er die Brüder im Bischofsamt zum Thema Kindesmißbrauch auf: „Machen wir uns den Auftrag zu ‚null Toleranz‘ in diesem Bereich klar und aufrichtig zu Eigen.“ In dem Schreiben geht es um „Notsituationen und anhaltende Krisen“, um „Sexualhandel“ um Migration und „Unterernährung“, „Kinderarbeit“, „Sklaverei“, Schulbildung, Ausbildung und „äußerste Armut“.

Wörtlich schreibt Franziskus:

„Wir brauchen den Mut, sie vor den neuen Gestalten eines Herodes unserer Zeit zu verteidigen, welche die Unschuld unserer Kinder missbrauchen. Unschuld gebrochen unter der Last der Schwarz- und Sklavenarbeit, unter der Last der Prostitution und Ausbeutung. Unschuld zerstört von Kriegen und gezwungener Auswanderung zusammen mit dem Verlust von allem, was dies mit sich bringt. Tausende unserer Kinder sind in die Hände von Banditen, von Mafiaorganisationen, von Todeshändlern geraten, die nichts anderes machen, als ihre Bedürfnisse zu missbrauchen und auszubeuten.“

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.

Orden entschuldigt sich erst nach 57 Jahren

DEUTSCHLAND
General-Anzeiger

[BONN. In 1959, clerics of the Redemptorists abused an eleven-year-old boy. The victim lamented in vain. Only now the order has officially apologized to Dieter Beckmann.

06.01.2017 BONN. 1959 missbrauchten Geistliche der Redemptoristen einen elfjährigen Jungen. Das Opfer klagte vergeblich vor Gericht. Erst jetzt hat der Orden sich offiziell bei Beckmann entschuldigt.

Es sind vor allem die nächtlichen Gerüche von Schweiß und Sperma, die Dieter Beckmann auch Jahrzehnte nach den Missbrauchstaten nicht mehr loslassen. Es sind diese widerwärtigen Geräusche von Männern, die ihm, dem damals Elfjährigen, Gewalt antaten. Es ist dieser Spalt Licht einer immer nur kurz geöffneten Tür, aus der nie Rettung kam. „Die haben mich als Opfer betrachtet, das sie jede Nacht aufs Neue abriefen“, sagt Beckmann tonlos.

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.

Polizei ermittelt gegen italienischen Pfarrer

ITALIEN
Focus

[Police are investigating an Italian priest.]

Ein italienischer Pfarrer soll in seinem Pfarrhaus in Padua Orgien abgehalten und bis zu 15 Frauen prostituiert haben. Drei weibliche Gemeindemitglieder verständigten die Polizei. Die ermittelt nun wegen Zuhälterei und Ausübung psychologischer Gewalt durch den Pfarrer Andrea Contin.

Mehrere Sexspielzeuge und Videos, die Orgien auf dem Grundstück der San Lazzaro Kirche in der norditalienischen Stadt Padua zeigen sollen, seien konfisziert worden, wie die britische Zeitung “The Times” berichtete.

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.

Pope Francis repeats call for ‘zero tolerance’

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By Danae King
The Columbus Dispatch • Friday January 6, 2017

Pope Francis, speaking Wednesday at the Vatican, has renewed his call to rid the Roman Catholic Church of child sexual abuse. But Columbus activist Carol Zamonski said the past promises have produced too little action.

Though many reacted positively when Pope Francis recently called for “zero tolerance” of child sexual abuse, Carol Zamonski just felt insulted.

Zamonski, a North Side resident and central Ohio coordinator for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said she’s heard it all before, but little has changed.

“It just confirms my general feeling about the Catholic church, that it’s got such a strong culture of dishonesty and corruption,” said Zamonski, who said she is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a priest. “It will take a lot for them to clean up their act, and so far no one has even come close to getting to that level of action with the Catholic church.”

The pope addressed the issue in a letter to bishops dated Dec. 28 and released Monday. “We hear these children and their cries of pain,” he wrote. “It is a sin that shames us.”

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 DIRT UNCOVERED IN MSGR. LYNN CASE

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on an article by Ralph Cipriano on the latest developments in the case of Msgr. William Lynn:

Ralph Cipriano deserves a Pulitzer Prize for his comprehensive and authoritative accounts on the proceedings against Msgr. William Lynn.

His latest article reveals new dirt on the corruption that has long marked the Philadelphia D.A.’s office in its witch hunt against the Philadelphia archdiocese.

There is a reason why some of us are increasingly skeptical about the veracity of many priestly abuse cases; the bogus claims against Msgr. Lynn being Exhibit A.

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.

Abuso: detención domiciliaria para Corradi

ARGENTINA
La Nacion

[Abuse: home detention for Corradi. After paying a $ 50,000 bail and receiving an electronic bracelet to monitor his movements, Italian priest Nicola Corradi benefited from house arrest due to his advanced age and health status in the judicial case investigating abuse of deaf and hearing impaired at the Antonio Próvolo Institute in Mendoza.]

. VIERNES 06 DE ENERO DE 2017

Tras pagar una fianza de $ 50.000 y recibir una pulsera electrónica para monitorear sus movimientos, el sacerdote italiano Nicola Corradi fue beneficiado con el arresto domiciliario, por su edad avanzada y su estado de salud, en la causa judicial que investiga abusos de menores sordos e hipoacúsicos en el Instituto Antonio Próvolo de Mendoza. El sacerdote, de 82 años, había sido detenido a fines de noviembre pasado junto con el cura Horacio Corbacho (55), el ex empleado de ese instituto José Luis Ojeda, el monaguillo Jorge Bordón (55) y el jardinero Armando Gómez (46).

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.

Cardinal Tobin Says He Was Surprised To Be Named Archbishop Of Newark

NEW JERSEY
CBS New York

[with video]

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — In a historic first for the Archdiocese of Newark, a cardinal will be installed as archbishop.

CBS2’s Meg Baker spoke Thursday with Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who calls himself a man of the people.

Tobin was handpicked by Pope Francis to be the first cardinal named as archbishop of Newark in 163 years.

“I am just kind of overwhelmed by the kindness of people here associated with the archdiocese,” Tobin said.

Tobin was last the archbishop of Indianapolis. He said he was completely surprised that he would be named a cardinal and moving to New Jersey.

“I got no phone call. I got no phone call,” Tobin said. “Francis just got up St. Peter’s Square, reached in his pocket at the end of his announcements, and read these names.”

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.

Security increased ahead of installation of new archbishop of Newark

NEW JERSEY
News 12

Security has been increased around the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark as the city gets ready to welcome its new archbishop.

Over 500 church officials gathered at the cathedral Thursday night for a vigil for Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who be the first cardinal in New Jersey to be installed as archbishop.

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.

Ex-CBA teacher charged with molesting relative

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

Katie Park, @kathspark Jan. 5, 2017

HOWELL – A Howell man was charged with sexually assaulting a relative more than once, dating back at least 10 years, according to a criminal complaint.

Joseph “Joe” Prioli, 48, was arrested Dec. 30 and compelled to appear in court Jan. 3 for orally and digitally penetrating a victim who was over the age of 13 but under 16 “on various dates,” according to the complaint.

The alleged abuse stopped Jan. 1, 2007. The complaint did not state when the reported sexual assault began.

Prioli is charged with committing aggravated criminal sexual contact of a minor older than 13 but younger than 16, committing aggravated criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child.

Howell police did not respond to who was representing Prioli by press time.

Prioli was a teacher at Christian Brothers Academy, a private, all-boys school in Middletown, for around 15 years but resigned a year ago to pursue other work options, ​Brother Frank Byrne, Christian Brothers Academy President, told the Press Thursday.

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.

Lead Detective In “Billy Doe” Case Didn’t Believe Billy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The lead detective in the “Billy Doe” sex abuse case didn’t find the former altar boy to be a credible witness after he spent hours confronting the alleged victim over numerous factual discrepancies in his many conflicting stories.

And when Detective Joseph Walsh voiced his doubts about the D.A.’s star witness to a top prosecutor, she didn’t want to hear about it.

“You’re damaging my case, you’re hurting my case,” is what Thomas A. Bergstrom, a lawyer for Msgr. William J. Lynn, claimed that former Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen said about the star witness whose testimony sent three priests and a former Catholic school teacher to jail.

“You can’t turn a blind eye to that,” Bergstrom said when he asked Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright to invoke the ultimate penalty for prosecutorial misconduct, namely dismissing a retrial of the criminal case against Msgr. Lynn scheduled to begin May 30th.

During a three-hour pre-trial hearing today, Bergstrom and Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington battled over what Walsh and Sorensen allegedly said years ago to each other behind closed doors in the D.A.’s office. Meanwhile, the detective, now retired, was sent outside the courtroom to pace the hallway.

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Clergyman fights retrial, claims prosecutors concealed evidence

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Metro

After being convicted of child endangerment, released, sent back to prison and freed again, Monsignor William Lynn is now trying to block a retrial on the original charges.

Lynn, 66, has a hearing scheduled Wednesday on whether prosecutors withheld potentially exculpatory evidence in his case, according to court records.

Lynn, who served as secretary of clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, was convicted in 2012. He was the first Catholic administrator in the U.S. to be convicted of a crime related to child sex abuse.

While Lynn was never charged with molesting a child, he was convicted of child endangerment on the grounds he placed a pedophile priest in proximity to a child.

But Lynn’s lawyers argue that new evidence questions the credibility of alleged victim, identified in court as Billy Doe.

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LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson subpoenaed again for deposition in sex abuse lawsuits

UTAH
Fox 13

JANUARY 5, 2017, BY BEN WINSLOW

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawyers for a group of people suing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over accusations of sex abuse have renewed a deposition subpoena for President Thomas S. Monson.

They want the 89-year-old leader of the LDS Church to sit for a deposition and answer what — if anything — he knows about accusations of sexual abuse dating back to the 1960s and ’70s in a church-run program on the Navajo reservation.

“We believe we have a right to question President Monson about how he was briefed, what he learned about child sex abuse and what was done to protect kids in the future,” Craig Vernon, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told FOX 13 on Thursday.

Four people have filed lawsuits against the LDS Church, accusing it of not doing enough to stop the abuse they allege they suffered while in the church-run “Lamanite Placement Program” or “Indian Placement Program.” As children, the plaintiffs (who are only identified by initials in court documents) claim they were taken from their homes on the Navajo reservation, baptized into the Mormon faith and placed in host homes in Utah where the alleged abuse occurred.

“He is the only apostle that is currently alive back then,” Vernon said.

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Church sex abuse victims still coming forward

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Laura Crimaldi GLOBE STAFF JANUARY 06, 2017

Fifteen years after the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston broke into public view, hundreds of victims around the world continue to come forward, including some who say they were attacked as recently as 2001, advocates said Thursday.

Two victims’ support groups and a lawyer who has represented more than 2,000 survivors worldwide denounced church officials for doing too little to help those who were abused and to protect children from harm, despite ongoing revelations about the scope of the crisis.

“You have reportedly the most moral institution in the world acting the most immoral,” attorney Mitchell Garabedian said at a news conference Thursday in downtown Boston. “There is no excuse for it.”

The event coincided with the anniversary of The Boston Globe Spotlight Team’s 2002 reports about former priest John J. Geoghan, who was shuffled from parish to parish despite evidence of his predatory sexual habits.

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January 5, 2017

Call for Perth Archbishop to give up pension in wake of child abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By David Marchese

A Newcastle lawyer has written an open letter to the retiring Anglican Archbishop of Perth, urging him to forfeit his right to a church pension.

Roger Herft announced he was retiring last month, after previously standing aside to hear evidence at the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Herft admitted to the commission that he let down abuse survivors when he was bishop of Newcastle between 1993 and 2005.

Peter Kelso grew up as a ward of state before becoming a lawyer and now represents victims of abuse making claims against churches and other institutions.

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A Week of Bad Comparisons and Conclusions

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

January 5, 2017 Joelle Casteix

Bad Politicking about Child Sex Trafficking

No, child prostitution is NOT legal in California.

But a new law in California may have some problems. SB 1322, which became law Jan 1, made it impossible for a child to consent to engage in the criminal behavior of prostitution—just like a child can’t consent to sex with an adult.

Therefore, the minor cannot be criminally charged. This is good. We don’t want children being sent to jail for a crime they cannot consent to committing. We need to help these kids, get them out from under their pimps’ control, and save their lives—not slap them with rap sheets and prison records.

The law has good intentions, but there are some potential problems. Unfortunately, those problems are pointed out in stories with headlines like “CHILD PROSTITUTION NOW LEGAL.”

And we all know there is no such thing as child prostitution. It’s child sex trafficking. It’s selling kids for sex.

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Phila. judge sets Wednesday for Msgr. Lynn motion to dismiss child endangerment retrial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly.com

JANUARY 5, 2017

by Joseph A. Slobodzian, STAFF WRITER

A Philadelphia judge has set a hearing for Wednesday to determine if city prosecutors withheld evidence casting doubt on the credibility of a key witness in the 2012 trial that sent Msgr. William J. Lynn to prison for 33 months.

Lynn, who turned 66 on Thursday, was the first Roman Catholic Church official in the U.S. convicted for supervision of priests accused of sexually molesting children.

He was released from his three- to six-year prison term last August after a state appeals court granted him a new trial following protracted appeals that twice went to the state Supreme Court.

At Thursday’s hearing before Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright, Lynn’s attorney Thomas A. Bergstrom argued that the evidence he said prosecutors withheld was so egregious that she should bar retrial.

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10 more sex abuse charges filed against Maine teacher

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 04, 2017

WEST BATH, Maine — The founder of the Midcoast Youth Theater charged in September 2016 with six counts of unlawful sexual contact and sexual exploitation of children pleaded not guilty Tuesday to those allegations, as well as 10 additional charges alleging similar conduct against two others.

Henry A. Eichman, 56, now of New Gloucester, was indicted by the Sagadahoc County grand jury in December on 16 counts, including seven counts of Class B felony unlawful sexual contact, three counts of Class C felony visual sexual aggression against a child under 12, and six misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual touching, according to court documents.

The crimes took place between April 2013 and July 2016, according to the indictment.

Eichman, who also taught drama at St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick, was arrested in September after three young girls, all members of the Midcoast Youth Theater, told police that the incidents occurred during sleepovers at Eichman’s Topsham home, WCSH reported.

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El colegio Newman, en medio de una denuncia por abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
Clarin

[The traditional Cardinal Newman College of Argentina is in the midst of a controversy with a report of sexual abuse that was allegedly suffered by a former student of the institution in the late 1970s. The case involves Father Finnlugh MacConastair, known as Father Alfredo, the Irish chaplain of the college in those years. According to reports Rufino Varela, now 52, ​​married and with two children, said the priest abused him in 1977 at school. Varela told La Nación newspaper that he had been a victim of abuse by his landlord from the age of four. And one day, when he was 12 and was in seventh grade, he approached MacConastair in confessional secrecy to tell him what was wrong: the priest not only did not stop the abuser but he took the boy to his room and abused him. When he was in third year of high school, he told another of the religious, Desmond Finegan what had happened and told him that he had to forgive MacConastair because he was old.]

El tradicional colegio Cardenal Newman quedó en el medio de una polémica al conocerse una denuncia de abusos sexuales que sufrió un ex alumno de la institución, a fines de los 70.

El caso involucra al padre Finnlugh Mac Conastair, conocido como padre Alfredo, capellán irlandés del colegio en esos años. Según denunció Rufino Varela, hoy de 52 años, casado y con dos hijos, el sacerdote lo abusó en 1977, en el colegio. Varela relató al diario La Nación que él había sido víctima de abusos por parte del casero de su casa desde los cuatro años. Y que un día, cuando tenía 12 y cursaba séptimo grado, se acercó a Mac Conastair en secreto de confesión para contarle lo que le pasaba: el cura no sólo no lo contuvo, sino que lo llevó a su cuarto y lo abusó. Cuando estaba en tercer año del secundario, le relató a otro de los religiosos, Desmond Finegan, lo que había pasado y le dijo que tenía que perdonar a Mac Conastair porque estaba viejo.

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El terrible caso de un chico que fue doblemente abusado: por el casero de su familia y por un cura del colegio Cardenal Newman

ARGENTINA
Infobae

[The terrible case of a boy who was doubly abused: in the household of his family and by a priest of the school Cardinal Newman.]

Por Alfredo Serra 30 de diciembre de 2016
Especial para Infobae

Rufino Varela es un hombre común.

Tiene 52 años, mujer, dos hijos.

Ningún rasgo, a priori, indica que carga con un drama, salvo cierta ansiedad y desconfianza que cada tanto lo agitan.

Fue profesor de tenis, y ahora importa muebles de jardín. Datos nada relevantes.

Sin embargo, hace 36 años, fines de los años 80, recién cumplidos sus 15 y a solas, puso en su frente el caño de una escopeta cargada, decidido a matarse.

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Caso Karadima: ministro Muñoz se prepara para dictar sentencia en demanda de víctimas

CHILE
ADN

[This Friday is the deadline for Minister Juan Manuel Muñoz to deliver judgment in the lawsuit that Jose Murillo, James Hamilton and Juan Carlos Cruz filed against the Archdiocese of Santiago for its responsibility in the acts of sexual abuse committed by priest Fernando Karadima.]

Por Francisca Carvajal, ADN

Este viernes comienza el plazo para que el ministro Juan Manuel Muñoz dicte sentencia en la demanda que José Murillo, James Hamilton y Juan Carlos Cruz, presentaron contra el Arzobispado de Santiago por su responsabilidad en los hechos de abuso sexual cometidos por Fernando Karadima.

El juez había solicitado antecedentes a la iglesia chilena y al Vaticano para cerrar la investigación que lleva a cabo donde declararon más de 30 personas, entre ellos los cardenales Francisco Javier Errázuriz y Ricardo Ezzati, además del propio expárroco de El Bosque .

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Pope Francis’s ‘tears’ on child sex abuse a balm for Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

January 6, 2017

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

Catholic leaders across Australia have welcomed a letter from the Pope saying the church “weeps bitterly” over the sexual abuse of children by priests, ahead of a final royal commission investigation into how these crimes could occur.

In what represents one of the most frank admissions of institutional failure by any pontiff, Pope Francis used the letter to say: “We … weep for this sin. The sin of what happened, the sin of failing to help, the sin of covering up and denial, the sin of abuse of power.”

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold a final, three-week hearing next month attempting to establish how widespread this abuse is and what cultural issues allowed it to occur.

About 40 per cent of the thousands of victims who have given evidence in private to the commission say they were abused in Catholic institutions. The hearing is expected to investigate the role of the Vatican, canon law, celibacy and the use of secrecy within the church.

Brisbane archbishop Mark Coleridge said the letter, sent to bishops worldwide and which also talks about the trafficking and starvation suffered by children, was meant to support church leaders “to gather up the tears of the young”.

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Executive report: Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Bill Wright

AUSTRALIA
MN News

The truth must be before our eyes daily as we try to be a better church and to do what we can for those who suffered.

BISHOP BILL WRIGHT PUBLISHED JANUARY 05, 2017

I hope that this Year in Review document will be seen by many in the diocese and beyond. Through my working life as a priest, I have struggled to find ways to help people to be aware of the things that go on in their community that are beyond their personal involvements − and it is hard work. On one occasion I was berated by three ladies after Mass for our parish’s lack of a Bible Study group, despite the fact that one had existed for years, was frequently mentioned in the parish bulletin, had a new season beginning that had been advertised for the preceding six weeks and had, in fact, been spoken of in the notices not five minutes before. Until that week, however, the ladies concerned had not ‘needed to know’ and had contrived not to know.

Similarly, in another place, we brought together all the different groups in the parish to speak about what each actually did. We had to take two Sunday afternoons to get through it all and, of course, everyone was astonished by all that went on that they knew nothing about. And these were our most involved and active parishioners! In short, there can never be too much sharing of information about our church community. I hope this annual report makes a good deal available in an accessible form.

This year has had some remarkable features across the diocese. It has been the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis and we actually grabbed some international attention through the activity of our travelling ‘Missionary of Mercy’, Fr Richard Shortall SJ, in his mobile home, doing the rounds of our communities. It has been a ministry of great, but largely immeasurable, importance. Fr Richard has been able to preach and exhibit the mercy of God widely, but he has also had to share and bear the pains of many along the way as he has tried to bring them to some reconciliation and peace. Many individual stories of grace will remain unknown to most of us.

In this diocese, while celebrating the sesquicentenary of Bishop Murray’s arrival as our first resident bishop, we have celebrated the contribution of the religious sisters, brothers and priests who began arriving shortly after the bishop. These have been joyous celebrations because so many people have lovingly seized the opportunity to honour the gifts of faith and humanity that the sisters and brothers gave to them over many years. Of course there was also a good deal of wry humour about the personalities and customs of the past. You can read more about this on page 27.

Not all of our past, however, is worthy of our calling in Christ. Dark chapters were exposed again in the case study of child sexual abuse in the diocese held by the Royal Commission this year. Nothing can erase the harm done to those people who were abused as children and to their families. Nothing can erase the shame that these things happened in our community and happened, all too often, despite the knowledge of our leaders. In fact, we do not wish to erase these memories. The truth must be before our eyes daily as we try to be a better church and to do what we can for those who suffered. I have again apologised to the victims of childhood abuse collectively and to many individually, but our apologies will only be as good as our efforts to ensure the safety of our children today and to support the survivors of past abuse as best we can. These commitments are also reflected in this Year in Review on page 5.

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Pope Francis could face key choices on bishops in 2017

ROME
Crux

John L. Allen Jr. January 4, 2017
EDITOR

ROME – By now, we already know much of what’s on Pope Francis’s plate in 2017, including two confirmed trips – Fatima in May, and India and Bangladesh probably later in the year – and the likelihood of a couple more, one to Africa (perhaps Congo and South Sudan) and one to Latin America (beginning with Colombia.)

The pontiff will also make quick stops in Milan and Genoa inside Italy, meet bishops from around the world in Rome making ad limina visits, receive dignitaries and heads of state, preside over the usual liturgies for Holy Week, continue meeting with his C9 council of cardinal advisers to wrap up an overhaul of the Roman Curia, and so on.

With Francis, however, it’s often what you don’t see coming that really tells the tale.

Trying to predict what this maverick pope will do is a fool’s errand. Yet we can at least say that in 2017, he’ll have the chance to continue doing something arguably more important than almost anything else in terms of framing his legacy and shaping culture in the Church, which is naming bishops.

As a longtime friend of mine who works in the Vatican likes to say, in the Catholic Church a good bishop can do an enormous amount of good, and a bad bishop can do an even greater amount of harm!

Bishops generally enjoy wide latitude to run their shops as they see fit – a point that’s been given an exclamation point of late by the contrasting ways various bishops have chosen to implement the pope’s document on the family, Amoris Laetita. As a result, perhaps no single thing any pope ever does is more consequential than the kinds of bishops he appoints.

We got another small but telling reminder on Wednesday, when Francis replaced Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary in Canada with Bishop William McGrattan.

Henry is a hero to the strongly pro-life camp in the Church, among other things because of his refusal to permit a government-backed vaccination program against a sexually transmitted disease in Catholic schools because he believed it promoted promiscuity, while McGrattan is seen as a more “Pope Francis” kind of bishop whose focus is generally on dialogue and cooperation over confrontation

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Sex crime statute of limitations debate returns to New York

NEW YORK
Washington Times

By – Associated Press – Thursday, January 5, 2017

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – New York lawmakers will again face a proposal this year to lift the statute of limitations on sex abuse crimes.

Supporters of the bill gathered at the state Capitol on Wednesday to urge lawmakers to pass the bill, which has faced repeated obstacles in the Legislature.

The proposal would give victims more time to file civil lawsuits or seek criminal charges against their abusers.

In previous years the measure has run into opposition from institutions such as the Catholic Church.

The bill would also create a one-year window for past victims to file civil suits even if the statute of limitations has already run out.

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The Republican Fail on Sex Assault and Child Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
Verdict

5 JAN 2017

MARCI A. HAMILTON

Republicans would do well to catch up to the rest of the culture on the issues of sex assault and child sex abuse. They are quickly being outpaced by a society that no longer is willing to wink at the rapist or child abuser. Context for rape and child abuse no longer matters: the people are sick of child sex abuse and sex assault, period, whether it occurs in the religious, sports, school, university, or family arena. Smart politicians are seeing that this is a scourge with no political preference.

Yet, too many Republicans—with rare exceptions like Rep. Jason Spencer of Georgia and Rep. Deborah Hudson of Delaware—are responsible for blocking simple legislative change that would identify the hidden predators and provide justice to victims. And they are doing it for all the wrong reasons.

A Case Study: Ken Starr’s Spectacular Fall from Grace

The spectacular fall of Ken Starr in the wake of an ugly Baylor University scandal involving the cover up of sex assault by football team players needs to be studied by ambitious and currently powerful Republicans. This is not like the Dennis Hastert scandal where everyone could pretend his problems from the past don’t affect Republicans now.

Starr, the son of a minister, was a literal star in the Republican firmament: he clerked for Chief Justice Warren Burger, was appointed a federal appellate judge of the powerful Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (1983-89), and then served as the solicitor general (1989-93). During that time he was on President George H.W. Bush’s short list for the Supreme Court, though the appointment eventually went to David Souter. Starr has been a distinguished litigator for Kirkland and Ellis and also served as Independent Counsel (1994-99) investigating the scandals surrounding the Clintons, including the death of Vince Foster and then-President Bill Clinton’s dealings with Monica Lewinsky, which led to the historic House vote to impeach Clinton in 1998. The investigation was politically charged, and Starr was criticized heavily. He even later expressed regret for having taken on the Lewinsky assignment. Still, in 2004, he landed softly as dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law (2004-2010). As dean, he continued to take on headliner cases, including the defense of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein against statutory rape charges involving numerous girls brought to his home. Epstein eventually pled to one charge of soliciting sex from a minor and served minimal time in jail near his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

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January 4, 2017

Correction: Bishop Thomas Dupre stories

MASSACHUSETTS
Newchannel 10

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) – In stories on Nov. 24, 2014; Dec. 1, 2014; and Jan. 2, 2017, about former Bishop Thomas Dupre, The Associated Press reported erroneously that he was defrocked by the Vatican in 2006. The Diocese of Springfield says Dupre was not defrocked.

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PRESS CONFERENCE ON JANUARY 5, 2017

MASSACHUSETTS
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE – JANUARY 4, 2017

THIS IS THE FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BOSTON GLOBE “SPOTLIGHT TEAM” COVERAGE OF THE CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE SCANDAL IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON, MA (2002-2017)

VICTIMS/SURVIVORS, ADVOCATES, AND AN ATTORNEY WILL DISCUSS THE CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE CRISIS IN THE BOSTON ARCHDIOCESE AND WORLDWIDE, INCLUDING ITS HISTORY DURING THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS, ITS PRESENT STATE, WHERE IT IS HEADED, AND WHY IT HAS NOT ENDED

What
A press conference featuring victims/survivors , advocates, and an attorney who will discuss the state of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Archdiocese of Boston and worldwide, including its history, the present state, where it is headed, and why the Catholic Church has not been successful in ending it

When
Thursday, January 5, 2017, at 11:15 am

Where
Hilton Hotel, 89 Broad Street, Boston, MA 02110

Who
Robert Costello, victim/survivor of a Boston Archdiocesan priest

Barbara Dorris, St. Louis, MO, a victim/survivor of clergy abuse, who is the Victims Outreach Director for SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, based in Chicago, IL

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, whose information about the “secret files” of the Archdiocese of Boston made it possible for the Boston Globe to uncover and publish hundreds of stories about them, and who is featured in the movie, Spotlight, portrayed by actor Stanley Tucci

Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity that assists sexual abuse victims, based in Livingston, NJ; former religious brother and priest; a victim/survivor of sexual abuse in Boston by an Irish Christian Brother, and former Assistant Headmaster of Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, MA, who blew the whistle on sexual abuse by a Boston priest in 1981 but was ignored

Why
Despite rhetoric and promises, the Catholic Church has not made significant progress in its efforts to eradicate clergy sexual abuse. Pope Francis’ promise of zero tolerance of clergy sexual abuse has not been realized. In addition, his pledge to fire bishops who have mishandled and covered-up sexual abuse cases has not been fulfilled, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the Pope’s special consultant on clergy sexual abuse, has not been transparent and open about clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston and in his role as head of the worldwide Papal Commission on Sexual Abuse.

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

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The Many Good Halachic Arguments for Reporting Molesters

UNITED STATES
Frum Follies

Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman, the Gateshead Rav Hair, recently spoke about “The Halachic Obligation of Reporting Abuse to the Authorities” in a telecast aimed at an Australian rabbinical audience.

Rabbi Zimmerman is a Haredi who holds a prominent pulpit as the main posek for Gateshead, a Haredi community centered around the UK’s first kollel formed during WW II by R. Eliyahu Dessler and others.

R. Zimmerman showed courage in the case of Todros Grynhaus by publicly declaring the community erred in the past in trying to manage his abuse by counseling. This was in contrast to the former mashgiach of Gateshead, R. Matisyahu Salomon, who continued to run back channel interference to obstruct the legal process. In the end, Grynhaus was convicted of sexually abusing two minors. Rabbi Zimmerman’s testimony contributed to that conviction.

In this talk he demolishes most of the pseudo-halachic misrepresentations put forth to conceal abuse from the authorities. At one point he declares that those who invoke the shulchan aruch on mesirah to block reporting are either ignorant of choshen mishpat or deliberately misrepresenting it.

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Lynn aims to dodge new trial after court overturns conviction in clergy sex abuse coverup

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

BY AARON MOSELLE

Monsignor William Lynn, the first American Catholic Church official to be convicted of covering up clergy sex abuse of children, will be in court Thursday morning with hopes of avoiding a new trial that is currently scheduled for May.

Lynn, 65, was released from prison in August after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated his 2012 conviction. The high court affirmed that jurors were “prejudiced” by hearing hours of evidence about abuse unrelated to Lynn’s actions as a supervisor with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

During Lynn’s three-month trial, prosecutors presented 21 examples of the Philadelphia archdiocese covering up child sex abuse, some dating back to the 1940s, long before Lynn was in charge of assigning priests.

At the time of his release, Lynn had served nearly three years of a 3-6 year sentence and was slated for parole.

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Former Topsham youth theater director pleads not guilty to sexual abuse

MAINE
The Forecaster

By The Forecaster on January 4, 2017

WEST BATH — The founder of the Midcoast Youth Theater in Brunswick pleaded not guilty Tuesday in West Bath District Court to 16 counts of molesting children at his home in Topsham.

Henry Eichman was released on $5,000 cash bail, with conditions that include no contact with any child younger than 16, the court clerk’s office confirmed Wednesday. His next court appearance will be March 8.

Eichman, 56, who was also a teacher at St. John’s Catholic School, was charged Sept. 9, 2016, with unlawful sexual contact and sexual exploitation of a child under 12. He founded MYT in 2003, and was a part-time drama teacher at St. John’s since 2008. He has been suspended from employment and banned from the campus until his court case is resolved, according to spokesman Dave Guthro of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

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Waukesha pastor sentenced for inappropriately touching 10-year-old girl

WISCONSIN
TMJ4

Casey Geraldo
Jan 3, 2017

A Waukesha pastor will spend four months in jail after he admitted to inappropriately touching a child.

72-year-old Peter Knebel, a pastor at Fox River Christian Church, was charged with first-degree sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl.

He apologized in court Tuesday before the judge handed Knebel his sentence. Knebel has a year total in jail: Four consecutive months, followed by four months where he will be able to leave for counseling or work. The final four months can be used by his probation officer if Knebel breaks the terms of his probation.

That probation will last 10 years, and may be completed in Winnebago County as he has been living in Oshkosh with his brother. The terms of probation include no unsupervised contact with minor girls and no contact with the girl he sexually assaulted, unless she reaches out for therapeutic purposes.

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NEWS RELEASE: RESIGNATION OF BISHOP FREDERICK HENRY

CANADA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary

In accordance with canon 401 § ii of the Code of Canon Law, his Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Most Reverend Frederick B. Henry as Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary due to health concerns.

Most Rev. Luigi Bonazzi, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, ANNOUNCES THAT THE HOLY FATHER HAS NAMED BISHOP WILLIAM TERRENCE MCGRATTAN, currently the Bishop of the Diocese of Peterborough, as his successor.

The installation of the new Bishop will be on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. which will be at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

In the meantime, Bishop Henry has been named Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Calgary.

We thank Bishop Henry for his unstinting service, and we welcome Bishop McGrattan to our Diocese.

To read Bishop Henry’s resignation letter sent to Pope Francis, CLICK HERE.

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Calgary Roman Catholic Bishop Fred Henry resigns for medical reasons, new bishop appointed

CANADA
Calgary Herald

BILL KAUFMANN

Published on: January 4, 2017

Bishop Fred Henry, Calgary’s leading Catholic authority for 19 years, has resigned from the Calgary Catholic Diocese.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops published the news Wednesday morning, but gave no reason for Henry’s departure.

Pope Francis accepted his resignation and has appointed William Terrence McGrattan, Bishop of the Diocese of Peterborough, as his successor.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops published the news Wednesday morning, but gave no reason for Henry’s departure.

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Former Owensville priest investigated over inappropriate conduct claims

MISSOURI
ABC 17

By: Sarah Bono
Posted: Jan 03, 2017

OWENSVILLE, Mo. – The Owensville Police Department confirmed it was investigating allegations against a priest Tuesday.

According to Bishop John Gaydos of the Jefferson City Diocese, Fr. Bob Duesdieker was put on administrative leave December 28 while the Diocese and law enforcement investigate a report of alleged inappropriate conduct with minors that occurred 25 years ago. At the time, Fr. Duesdieker was serving at Immaculate Conception parish in Owensville.

Bishop Gaydos said Fr. Duesdieker denied any misconduct.

“The Diocese first received information about this complaint earlier last month from a second hand source who was only willing to provide limited information,” said Bishop Gaydos in a statement. “We have, this past week, learned additional information that requires further investigation and caused me to make this decision. The Diocese will cooperate with law enforcement, as appropriate.”

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Marshall priest placed on administrative leave, pending resolution of allegations

MISSOURI
Marshall Democrat-News

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

In a statement from the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City Tuesday, Jan. 3, Bishop John R. Gaydos announced a Marshall priest had been placed on a temporary administrative leave while an investigation of alleged misconduct was conducted.

Fr. Bob Duesdieker was placed on leave Wednesday, Dec. 28, while the diocese and law enforcement investigate a report of alleged inappropriate conduct with minors approximately 25 years ago, Gaydos states.

The alleged misconduct occurred while Duesdieker was serving at Immaculate Conception parish in Owensville. The bishop’s statement was read during weekend Masses at St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

According to the statement, Duesdieker denies any misconduct.

Gaydos states the Diocese first received information about the allegations from a second-hand source in early December, who provided limited information, and further information was received within the past week giving cause for further investigation.

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State to dismiss charges against former priest who died awaiting trial

RHODE ISLAND
NBC 10

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) —
The state attorney general is expected to dismiss charges Wednesday against a former Roman Catholic priest who died while awaiting trial on sexual assault charges.

The Rhode Island Medical Examiner’s Office said Barry Meehan died of a heart attack on Dec. 8. He was 67.

Meehan pleaded not guilty in 2014 to five counts of first-degree sexual assault on two young men in the late 1980s and early 1990s while Meehan was a priest at parishes in Providence and Cranston.

He resigned as pastor of St. Timothy’s Church in Warwick in 2013 after state police conducted a joint investigation with the Diocese of Providence beginning in 2012. The Vatican laicized Meehan last year.

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Moravian pastor in sex scandal under further investigation

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

Saturday, December 31, 2016

SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — Police say a Moravian pastor based in Manchester, who is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl on Wednesday night, faced more questioning yesterday and was expected to be charged with “having sex with a girl under 16 years old”.

Under Jamaican law, the age of consent for sexual relations is 16. Anyone below that age is a minor and therefore not eligible to consent to sexual intercourse.

Police say that about 9:00 pm on Wednesday, a motorised police patrol in the deep-rural community of Austin in Myersville, south-east St Elizabeth, close to the Alpart plant in Nain, came upon a parked car in a secluded area. Further inspection revealed the pastor and the 15-year-old in what the police describe as a “compromising position”.

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Meet Trump’s Peculiar Collection of Religious Leaders He Picked to Speak at His Inauguration

UNITED STATES
AlterNet

By Peter Montgomery / Right Wing Watch January 2, 2017

Donald Trump’s inaugural committee has announced that six faith leaders will take part in his swearing-in ceremony by offering prayers or delivering readings. Among them are Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Bishop Wayne Jackson, who draped a prayer shawl from Israel over Trump’s shoulders when Trump made a campaign stop at his Great Faith Ministries International church in Detroit for a scripted interview. …

Timothy Dolan

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan criticized Trump’s nativist rhetoric in 2015, but more recently has praised Trump’s positions on abortion and “religious liberty” and has said since the election he looks forward to the appointment of Supreme Court justices “who will reform the injustice and travesty of Roe v. Wade.” …

Documents released in 2013 showed that Dolan, when archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 2007, had asked for and received permission from the Vatican to, as The New York Times reported, “move nearly $57 million into a cemetery trust fund to protect the assets from victims of clergy sexual abuse who were demanding compensation.”

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First Roman Catholic bishop indicted in clergy abuse scandal dies

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Lisa Wangsness GLOBE STAFF JANUARY 04, 2017

In many ways, former Springfield bishop Thomas L. Dupre epitomized the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.

Dupre, who died Dec. 30 at 83, was the first Roman Catholic bishop to be indicted in the scandal, which burst into public view 15 years ago this month when the Globe’s Spotlight team began reporting about the church hierarchy’s protection of priests who abused minors. Advocates for victims say Dupre had cultivated a culture of secrecy that kept such abuse shrouded for years.

But the Vatican never punished him beyond accepting his resignation — at least not publicly. And Dupre was never prosecuted for his crimes because the statutes of limitation had expired, preventing prosecutors from seeking justice.

“This man should have been held accountable,” said Eric MacLeish, a lawyer who represented two men who accused Dupre of abusing them as minors. “He should have died in prison for the damage he did.” …

Terence McKiernan, a spokesman for BishopAccountability.org, an online archive of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, said Dupre’s story reflects the Vatican’s past failures — and ongoing struggles — in holding bishops accountable for the abuse of children.

“Dupre, even though he paid a price in the sense that he did resign once his past was revealed, that’s a pretty mild punishment,” McKiernan said. “And I think most bishops who enabled abuse, and even some bishops who offended themselves, paid no price at all.”

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January 3, 2017

Former Springfield bishop has died at 83

MASSACHUSETTS
iObserve – Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — In a short statement released on the evening of Jan. 2, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield announced it had been informed of the passing of former diocesan bishop Thomas L. Dupre at the age of 83.

The statement read, “(t)he Diocese of Springfield has been informed of the passing of Thomas L. Dupre, former Bishop of Springfield. He was 83 at the time of his death on December 30. He passed away outside the diocese and funeral arrangements have been scheduled to be private.”

Dupre has resided outside the diocese since his sudden resignation on Feb. 10 2004. Announced at the time as due to health reasons, it was subsequently learned he had engaged in inappropriate behavior with two young boys many years before, abuse that was about to be revealed by The Republican newspaper.

Then-district attorney William Bennett conducted an exhaustive investigation, leading to a grand jury indictment; however, no criminal proceedings were ever brought forward due to the statute of limitations. Dupre did eventually participate in a civil settlement with his two victims.

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Former model Nikki DuBose to share her sex abuse story with lawmakers as she advocates for Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

GLENN BLAIN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

ALBANY — Former model and sexual abuse victim Nikki DuBose is coming to the state Capitol Wednesday with a message for state lawmakers — children need to be protected.

DuBose is the featured speaker at a rally being planned by advocates for legislation that would change New York’s statute of limitations and make it easier for child sex abuse victims to obtain justice in state courts.

“We are talking about kids,” DuBose, 31, told The Daily News.

“Why is it OK for an innocent child to be sexually abused and to have his rights, his soul, his identity, his emotions his life taken away from that very moment and for him to not receive justice?” DuBose continued. “Why is that OK?”

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Pope Francis & Child Abusers

UNITED STATES
The American Conservative

By ROD DREHER • January 3, 2017

Michael Brendan Dougherty has published a blockbuster column today. Excerpts:

The Catholic Church has long been plagued by sickening scandals involving priests abusing children. And there is reportedly another scandal coming — this one of the pope’s own making.

Two people with direct ties to the Vatican tell me that Pope Francis, following the advice of his clubby group of allies in the curia, is pressing to undo the reforms that were instituted by his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI in handling the cases of abuser priests. Francis is pushing ahead with this plan even though the curial officials and cardinals who favor it have already brought more scandal to his papacy by urging him toward lenient treatment of abusers.

It has to do with something as seemingly dry as curial reform. But Dougherty contends that what’s really going on is Francis is protecting friends and punishing enemies — and using something as critically important as cleaning up the Church’s handling of abuser priests to do it. …

It brings to mind Francis’s repugnant handling of a case in Chile, relayed in this National Catholic Reporter story in October 2015. Excerpt:

On Oct. 2, a Chilean news channel brought to light a May 6 recording of Pope Francis defending Bishop Juan Barros, who was recently assigned to Osorno, Chile, despite allegations that the new bishop covered up clergy sex abuse by a priest in the 1980s and 1990s.

Though evidence of the priest’s abuse was verified by Chile’s judicial court, statute of limitations allowed Fr. Fernando Karadima to dodge prosecution. When a separate Vatican investigation found the priest guilty of abuse, he was condemned in 2011 to a life of prayer and penance in a convent outside of Santiago.

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Solicitan prisión preventiva para la ex monja acusada de abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
La Gaceta Salta

[Pre-trial detention requested for former nun accused of sexual abuse. Alicia Pacheco was part of the institute founded by Father Agustín Rosa. The prosecution also requested that psychological tests be performed.]

La Fiscalía solicitó la prisión preventiva para la ex monja de la congregación Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista, María Alicia Pacheco, que fue detenida e imputada por el delito de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante agravado en perjuicio de una menor que formaba parte del instituto fundado por el padre Agustín Rosa Torino.

La Fiscal Penal 2 de la Unidad de Delitos contra la Integridad Sexual, María Luján Sodero Calvet, solicitó al Juzgado de Garantías 1, a cargo de Ada Zunino, la realización de pericias psicológicas y psiquiátricas a la ex religiosa.

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Fuchssche Legendenbildung

DEUTSCHLAND
Regenburg Digital

[The vicar general of the Diocese of Regensburg – Michael Fuchs – has published a chronology of his case study (addressed to the victims’ attorney at the Regensburg catsparls Ulrich Weber). Whether this was made by him as a private individual or in an official capacity remains unclear. In the introduction, he notes as a motif: Weber’s work should only be seen as part of the entire reconnaissance work.]

Wenige Tage bevor der frühere Regensburger Bischof Gerhard Ludwig Müller in einbem Interview mit der PNP Kritik an seiner „Aufklärungsarbeit“ zum sexuellen Missbrauch bei den Domspatzen als „postfaktisch“ bezeichnete, wurde von Generalvikar Michael Fuchs eine fragwürdige Chronologie der Ereignisse seit 2010 auf den Internetseiten der Diözese veröffentlicht.

Eine kritische Betrachtung von Alfred Gassner

Der Generalvikar der Diözese Regensburg Michael Fuchs hat (adressiert an den Opferanwalt bei den Regensburger Domspatzen Ulrich Weber) eine Chronologie seiner Fallaufarbeitung veröffentlicht. Ob diese von ihm als Privatperson oder in amtlicher Eigenschaft gefertigt wurde, bleibt unklar. In der Einleitung notiert er als Motiv: Webers Arbeit dürfe nur als Teil der gesamten Aufklärungsarbeit gesehen werden. Diese Zuschreibung legt nahe, dass die Veröffentlichung im Sachzusammenhang mit dem im Frühjahr 2017 zu erwartenden Schlussbericht Webers besteht und diese korrigieren soll.

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Die Legende vom furchtlosen Hirten und dem Fuchs, der die Gans nicht gestohlen, sondern gebracht hat

DEUTSCHLAND
Regensburg Digital

[On the occasion of a report on the treatment of the abuse scandal of the Domspatzen, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller (GLM) reprimands the Bavarian radio for “post-factual allegations.”]

Von Robert Werner

Anlässlich eines Berichts über die Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchsskandals der Domspatzen schmäht Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller (GLM) den Bayerischen Rundfunk der „postfaktischen Behauptungen“. Er bemüht dafür eine auf der Bistumshomepage veröffentlichte „Chronologie“, die sich bei Lichte besehen als kontrafaktische Eigenpropaganda entpuppt. GLM sieht sich als Seelsorger und Vater der Domspatzen-Aufklärung. Was ist in Regensburg geschehen?

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Vom Priester missbraucht – Opfer bricht Schweigen

DEUTSCHLAND
NDR

[In 2010 an abuse scandal had occupied those in the diocese of Osnabrück: A Catholic priest confessed to having had sex with a teenager decades before. But there was never a public process.]

von Carsten Ehrbar

2010 hatte ein Missbrauchsskandal das Bistum Osnabrück beschäftigt: Ein katholischer Priester gestand bei Vernehmungen, Jahrzehnte zuvor Sex mit einer Jugendlichen gehabt zu haben. Zu einem öffentlichen Prozess kam es aber nie. Der Priester wurde 2013 vom Kirchengericht schuldig gesprochen und versetzt. Er darf seitdem weder leitende Aufgaben übernehmen noch in der Kinder-und Jugendseelsorge tätig werden. Nun bricht das Opfer sein Schweigen und es wird klar: Es gab damals, in den 90er-Jahren, Versäumnisse des Bistums.

Nicht nur ein Mal, sondern immer wieder
Claudia Meyer* ist damals eine Jugendliche, fast noch ein Kind, mit ihren 13, 14 Jahren. Zierlich, mit hellen leuchtenden Augen. Die dunklen Haare kurz wie ein Junge. Sie hat ein Grübchen, wenn sie lächelt. Im Jahr 1990 – sie kann sich nicht mehr erinnern, wann genau – hat in der Harener Kaplanei ein Priester Sex mit ihr. Nicht ein Mal, sondern immer wieder. Das geht über Jahre so. Wenn sie daran zurückdenkt, spricht sie von sich in der dritten Person. Als wenn sie dadurch das Schlimme, das sie erlitten hat, nur betrachtet, nicht erlebt: “Man war in der Kirche tätig, ist dann mehr oder weniger abhängig geworden und hat sich dann unter Druck setzen lassen, da jeden Tag hinzukommen.”

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Report: Pope Francis ordered Cardinal Müller to dismiss three priests from doctrinal office

ROME
LifeSite News

Jan Bentz

ANALYSIS

ROME, January 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — A well-informed Vatican analyst has reported that over Christmas Pope Francis personally ordered three priests to be dismissed from their duties in the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

According to Vaticanist Marco Tosatti, Pope Francis ordered Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the congregation, to dismiss the priests because of an unknown incident. Maike Hickson, writing for OnePeterFive, discovered that the three priests are of Slovakian-American, French, and Mexican nationality.

Tosatti reported, as translated by Hickson:

The head of a dicastery has received the order to remove three of his employees (all of whom have worked there for a long time), and it was without any explanation. He [the Prefect] received these official letters: “….I request that you please dismiss ….” The order was: send him [each of them] back into his diocese of origin or to the Religious Family to which he belongs. He [the Prefect of the Congregation] was very perplexed because it was about three excellent priests who are among the most capable professionally. He first avoided obeying and several times asked for an audience with the pope. He had to wait because that meeting was postponed several times. Finally, he was received in an audience. And he said: “Your Holiness, I have received these letters, but I did not do anything because these persons are among the best of my dicastery… what did they do?” The answer was, as follows: “And I am the pope, I do not need to give reasons for any of my decisions. I have decided that they have to leave and they have to leave.” He got up and stretched out his hand in order to indicate that the audience was at an end. On 31 December, two of the three [men] will leave the dicastery in which they have worked for years, and without knowing the why. For the third, there seems to be a certain delay. But then, there is another implication which, if true, would be even more unpleasant. One of the two had freely spoken about certain decisions of the pope – perhaps a little bit too much. A certain person – a friend of a close collaborator of the pope – heard this disclosure and passed it on. The victim received then a very harsh telephone call from Number One [i.e., the pope]. And then soon came the dismissal.

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A child abuse scandal is coming for Pope Francis

ROME
The Week

Michael Brendan Dougherty

The Catholic Church has long been plagued by sickening scandals involving priests abusing children. And there is reportedly another scandal coming — this one of the pope’s own making.

Two people with direct ties to the Vatican tell me that Pope Francis, following the advice of his clubby group of allies in the curia, is pressing to undo the reforms that were instituted by his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI in handling the cases of abuser priests. Francis is pushing ahead with this plan even though the curial officials and cardinals who favor it have already brought more scandal to his papacy by urging him toward lenient treatment of abusers.

In 2001, the Vatican instituted a massive reform in how it handled the cases of priests who abused children. The power to deal with these cases was taken away from the Congregation of the Clergy and the Roman Rota (the Vatican’s Court), and placed in the office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Subsequently, the volume and speed with which the Catholic Church defrocked abuser priests went up. This was Pope Benedict’s legacy of trying to confront “the filth” in the Church.

Recently, Pope Francis had the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, request an opinion from the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, led by Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, regarding the possibility of transferring competence to deal with abuser priests from the CDF back to Clergy and the Rota. Coccopalmerio’s office responded with a positive answer. …

Rumors of this reform have been circulating in Rome for months. And not happily. Pope Francis and his cardinal allies have been known to interfere with CDF’s judgments on abuse cases. This intervention has become so endemic to the system that cases of priestly abuse in Rome are now known to have two sets of distinctions. The first is guilty or innocent. The second is “with cardinal friends” or “without cardinal friends.” …

Consider the case of Fr. Mauro Inzoli. Inzoli lived in a flamboyant fashion and had such a taste for flashy cars that he earned the nickname “Don Mercedes.” He was also accused of molesting children. He allegedly abused minors in the confessional. He even went so far as to teach children that sexual contact with him was legitimated by scripture and their faith. When his case reached CDF, he was found guilty. And in 2012, under the papacy of Pope Benedict, Inzoli was defrocked.

But Don Mercedes was “with cardinal friends,” we have learned. Cardinal Coccopalmerio and Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, now dean of the Roman Rota, both intervened on behalf of Inzoli, and Pope Francis returned him to the priestly state in 2014, inviting him to a “a life of humility and prayer.” These strictures seem not to have troubled Inzoli too much. In January 2015, Don Mercedes participated in a conference on the family in Lombardy.

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Order of Malta leader reaffirms loyalty to Pope as Vatican probes dispute

ROME
Malta Today

Paul Cocks 3 January 2017

The leader of the Order of Malta has reaffirmed his loyalty to Pope Francis, as the Order faces an investigation by the Vatican over a recent controversy, according to Italian media.

In a letter to mark the World Day of Peace, Fra’ Matthew Festing, the organisation’s Grand Master, told Pope Francis that the Order, even in a difficult and complex time, “seeks to render its service in closely adhering to the teaching of the Church and the directions which come from the Successor to St Peter.”

Festing was referring to the recent dismissal of Albrecht Boeselager, the Grand Chancellor of the order. Boeselager has been accused of allowing the distribution of condoms, as part of a scheme with which the order was linked.

But Festing said Boeselager was removed for allegedly concealing problems in his previous role of overseeing the order’s charitable work. The Order of Malta’s members run hospitals, nursing homes, night shelters and other forms of charitable outreach in 120 countries.

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Italian priest ‘organised orgies in his rectory, pimped out up to 15 lovers and took them to a naturist and swingers’ resort in France’

ITALY
Daily Mail (UK)

By DARREN BOYLE FOR MAILONLINE

An Italian Catholic priest is being investigated by police over claims he has pimped out up to 15 lovers from his rectory and was planning a weekend away at a French swingers resort.

Father Andrea Contin of San Lazzaro church in Padua was investigated after three of his former lovers went to the authorities.

Police raided Fr Contin’s home beside the church in the northern Italian city and recovered a stash of home-made pornography as well as a range various sex toys.

According to the Il Mattino di Padova newspaper, Fr Contin is accused of living off immoral earnings and psychological violence.

The priest is believed to have offered the services of the women through a range of wife swapping websites.

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El Papa exige “tolerancia cero” frente a los casos de abuso sexual

ROMA
La Nacion

ROMA (AFP).- En una carta divulgada ayer por el Vaticano, el papa Francisco les exigió a los obispos que apliquen “clara y lealmente la consigna «tolerancia cero»” frente a los sacerdotes que cometen abusos sexuales.

“Tomemos el coraje necesario para implementar todas las medidas necesarias y proteger en todo la vida de nuestros niños, para que tales crímenes no se repitan más”, instó el Papa en la misiva enviada a los obispos en ocasión del Día de los Santos Inocentes, que se festeja el 28 de diciembre.

“Asumamos clara y lealmente la consigna «tolerancia cero» en este asunto”, recalca el papa argentino. En el texto, Francisco pide en varias ocasiones “perdón” por un pecado que reconoce, lo “avergüenza”, “lamenta” y “llora”, escribe.

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Pope Francis addresses child abuse

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Frenalyn Untalan on January 03 2017

Pope Francis addressed issues regarding child abuse through a Dec. 28 letter. The letter, released publicly on Monday, urged bishops worldwide to maintain “zero tolerance” of abuses of the youth.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church wants to make sure that every child is protected from sexual abuse by its clergy. In the letter, the pope points towards injustices to children. These include slave labour, malnutrition, lack of education and sexual exploitation and even abuse by priests.

The pope also decried “the sufferings, the experiences and pain of minors who suffered sexual abuse by priests.” In the letter, Pope Francis wrote, “It is a sin that shames us. Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity.”

Pope Francis urged bishops to find the courage needed to take all necessary measures so that such crimes will not be repeated. He further urged Catholic leaders to adhere clearly and faithfully to “zero tolerance.”

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Don’t pardon sex abuse by priests – Pope

VATICAN CITY
NAN (Nigeria)

Pope Francis has urged Bishops not to tolerate any priest who engages in any form of sexual abuse.

In a letter dated Dec. 28 but released on Monday, Francis said that priests who abused children should not be tolerated when they asked for forgiveness.

“I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst.”

“The Church recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests.

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Former Catholic priest dies before facing sex assault trial

RHODE ISLAND
Crux

AP

A former priest of the Providence, Rhode Island, diocese, who was arrested on sexual assault charges in 2014 and laicized, meaning removed from the priesthood, in 2015, has died of a heart attack before he could face trial.

PROVIDENCE – A former Roman Catholic priest awaiting trial on sexual assault charges has died.

The Rhode Island Medical Examiner’s Office says Barry Meehan died of a heart attack on December 8. He was 67.

Meehan pleaded not guilty in 2014 to five counts of first-degree sexual assault on two young men in the late 1980s and early 1990s while Meehan was a priest at parishes in Providence and Cranston.

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January 2, 2017

Former Springfield Bishop Thomas Dupre has died

MASSACHUSETTS
WWLP

[with video]

By Joel Martinez
Published: January 2, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Diocese of Springfield announced Monday night that former Bishop Thomas L. Dupre died at the age of 83.

According to Mark Dupont, spokesman for the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese, Dupre died on December 30, 2016 outside the diocese. He said all funeral arrangements have been scheduled to be private.

Dupree resigned as Bishop of Springfield back in 2004, citing health reasons, and then suddenly left western Massachusetts. Shortly after his resignation, it was revealed that Dupre had been accused of sexually abusing two boys in the 1970’s; a 12-year-old and 16-year-old.

The former Bishop was indicted on two counts of child rape, but prosecutors declined to bring the case to trial because the statute of limitations had expired. The victims also filed a civil lawsuit against Dupre, charging him with assault and battery, and infliction of emotional distress; a settlement was reached in 2008 by the Diocese of Springfield.

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1st bishop indicted in US on sexual-abuse claim dies at 83

MASSACHUSETTS
Yahoo! News

Correction: Bishop Thomas Dupre stories
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) – In stories on Nov. 24, 2014; Dec. 1, 2014; and Jan. 2, 2017, about former Bishop Thomas Dupre, The Associated Press reported erroneously that he was defrocked by the Vatican in 2006. The Diocese of Springfield says Dupre was not defrocked.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States to be indicted on a sexual-abuse claim during a flood of abuse accusations against church officials has died. Former Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts, Thomas Dupre was 83.

The Diocese of Springfield says Dupre died Friday. It hasn’t revealed the cause of his death.

Dupre became bishop in the 1990s. He cited health reasons for his sudden retirement in 2004. Months later he was indicted on charges he raped two boys in the 1970s. The case was dropped because the statute of limitations had expired.

In 2009 a man alleged a priest molested him in the 1980s and Dupre and former Bishop Joseph Maguire knew the priest had abused other boys but assigned him to the church anyway.

Dupre was defrocked in 2006. Maguire died in 2014 at age 95.

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Thomas Dupre, former Springfield bishop indicted on child rape charges, dead at 83

MASSACHUSETTS
The Republican

By Brian Steele | bsteele@repub.com
on January 02, 2017

SPRINGFIELD — Thomas L. Dupre, a former bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield who left his position in disgrace amid The Republican’s reporting of child sex abuse allegations, died Friday at the age of 83.

Dupre was bishop from 1995 to 2004, when accusations made by the mother of an alleged abuse victim became public.

He retired the day after The Republican sought his response to detailed written accounts of alleged child rape. The diocese claimed the timing was a coincidence, saying the pope had allowed Dupre’s months-old request to retire five years early due to failing health.

On Sept. 27, 2004, about seven months after Dupre retired, he was indicted by a Hampden County grand jury on charges that he sexually assaulted two altar boys, ages 12 and 13, more than three decades prior. The same day, then-District Attorney William Bennett announced the case would not go to trial because the statute of limitations had expired on some charges and the grand jury declined to indict on others.

Dupre was the first Roman Catholic bishop to be indicted in a nationwide wave of sexual abuse accusations against priests and other church leaders.

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Catholic priest accused of organising orgies in rectory and pimping out 15 women

ITALY
The Independent (UK)

Italian 48-year-old allegedly hid pornographic home videos in covers bearing the names of popes

Peter Walker @petejohn_walker

An Italian priest is being investigated for allegedly organising orgies in his rectory and pimping out up to 15 lovers.

Catholic Father Andrea Contin, a parish priest in the northern city of Padua in Veneto, is under police investigation on suspicion of living off immoral earnings and psychological violence.

A variety of sex toys and videos, purportedly showing orgies taking place on the San Lazzaro church premises, have been seized after complaints from three female parishioners.

The 48-year-old also allegedly concealed pornographic home videos in covers bearing the names of various popes.

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Christian fundamentalist schools put kids ‘at risk’ with exorcisms and marriage grooming: inspectors

UNITED KINGDOM
Raw Story

SARAH K. BURRIS
02 JAN 2017

Several Christian fundamentalist schools have been downgraded in the UK after a government watchdog group followed up on an exclusive report done by The Independent.

As the site reported this summer, LGBT students were being taught that homosexuality was unnatural and girls were being told that they had to obey men. Other students reported other forms of “serious mistreatment,” including “corporal punishment, exorcisms being performed on children and schoolgirls being ‘groomed’ for marriage to much older men.”

These Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) schools were designed to create a Bible-based education for homeschool students, pastors and private religious schools, according to their site. The schools teach thousands of students at over 26 institutions, but now those schools are coming under fire by the institutions responsible rating them. As a result, their score has been downgraded, The Independent‘s exclusive reports.

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Curas abusaron de niños sordos en Argentina

ARGENTINA
El Nuevo Herald

[Several children and young people said that in a small chapel and before an image of the Virgin Mary they were abused by two Catholic priests. Their groans of terror could scarcely be heard: like them the other students of that Argentine school were deaf.

At least 24 students and alumni of the Antonio Próvolo Institute for deaf and hard of hearing children in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, denounced the alleged abuse to justice officials.

The case knocks at the gates of the Vatican, which ignored the warnings of the Italian victims about priest Nicola Corradi, detained in Mendoza. The Italian priest, 82, had been singled out for similar crimes committed since the 1950s at the Antonio Próvolo Institute in Verona.

After ordering an investigation into the allegations in Italy, the Vatican punished four priests, although Corradi was never punished for the crimes committed in that institute.

The scandal intensified after it became known that one of the appointed priests had already been charged with similar crimes at a school in Italy. Anne Barrett, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, an internet portal against clerical pederasty, said that the Argentine case “is distinctively horrifying … the crimes are new, they were preventable, they happened after the Vatican supposedly implemented reforms and under the noses Of Church officials who have boasted of clever anti-abuse policies. “]

Varios niños y jóvenes aseguraron que en una pequeña capilla y ante una imagen de la Virgen María fueron abusados por dos curas católicos. Sus gemidos de terror difícilmente podían ser escuchados: como ellos, los otros estudiantes de esa escuela argentina eran sordos.

Al menos 24 alumnos y ex alumnos del Instituto Antonio Próvolo para niños sordos y con problemas de audición de la provincia de Mendoza denunciaron los presuntos abusos ante la justicia. El escándalo se intensificó luego de saberse que uno de los sacerdotes señalados ya había sido acusado de delitos similares en una escuela en Italia.

En el instituto “hay una capillita chiquita donde está la Virgen… con unas sillitas, donde a los niños los confesaban, les daban la comunión. Allí sucedían algunos de los hechos”, dijo recientemente a The Associated Press el fiscal Fabrizio Sidoti, quien investigó el caso en las últimas semanas.

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Pope on sex abuse: ‘zero tolerance’ means just that

VATICAN CITY
Yahoo! News

Vatican City (AFP) – Pope Francis on Monday defended the Catholic Church’s much-vaunted “zero tolerance” approach to abuse, while admitting the ancient institution had so far lacked the courage to go all out on stopping paedophile priests.

The church “recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests. It is a sin that shames us,” he said in a letter made public Monday.

“I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst,” he added in the letter, addressed to the world’s bishops to mark the Massacre of the Innocents on December 28.

“Let us find the courage needed to take all necessary measures” to protect children.

“In this area, let us adhere, clearly and faithfully, to ‘zero tolerance’,” he said.

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Pope to Bishops: Maintain ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Child Abuse

VATICAN CITY
ABC News

By FRANCES D’EMILIO, ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY — Jan 2, 2017

Pope Francis has exhorted Catholic bishops worldwide to do what’s needed to ensure children are protected from sexual abuse by clergy.

The Vatican on Monday released the text of a Dec. 28 letter Francis sent to bishops about injustices to children. They included slave labor, malnutrition, lack of education and sexual exploitation, including abuse by priests.

In the letter, Francis decried “the sufferings, the experiences and pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests.”

“It is a sin that shames us,” the pope wrote. “Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity.”

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Pope tells bishops to have zero tolerance for sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis has told bishops around the world they must adhere to a policy of zero tolerance for clergy who sexually abuse children and begged forgiveness for “a sin that shames us”.

In a letter sent on Dec. 28 but released by the Vatican only on Monday, Francis said: “I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst.”

Since his election in 2013, Francis has taken some steps to root out sexual abuse in the Church and to put in place practices to protect children. But victims’ groups say he has not done enough, particularly to hold to account bishops who tolerated sexual abuse or covered it up.

“(The Church) recognises the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests. It is a sin that shames us,” Francis wrote in the letter.

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Sin mencionar el caso Próvolo, el Papa pidió perdón por los abusos a menores

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
El Sol

[Following allegations of abuse of minors at the Antonio Próvolo Institute for children with hearing loss, in Luján de Cuyo, Argentina, a statement was expected from Pope Francis. And although he did not directly refer to the case that moved Mendoza, the Supreme Pontiff finally condemned sexual abuse by priests.]

Tras las denuncias por abusos a menores en el Instituto Antonio Próvolo para niños con hipoacusia, en Luján de Cuyo, se esperaba alguna declaración del Papa Francisco. Y si bien no se refirió directamente al caso que conmovió a Mendoza, el Sumo Pontífice finalmente condenó los abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes.

Además aseguró que “la Iglesia pide perdón” y se une “al dolor de las víctimas”, al tiempo que prometió “tolerancia cero”.

“Escuchemos el llanto y el gemir de estos niños; escuchemos el llanto y el gemir también de nuestra madre Iglesia, que llora no sólo frente al dolor causado en sus hijos más pequeños, sino también porque conoce el pecado de algunos de sus miembros: el sufrimiento, la historia y el dolor de los menores que fueron abusados sexualmente por sacerdotes”, aseguró el Pontífice en una carta escrita a Obispos el 25 de diciembre pasado y divulgada este lunes por el Vaticano.

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Pope urges Bishops to protect lives of children

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has written to the Bishops of the world condemning all forms of oppression and exploitation of children. His words come in a letter signed on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, which takes place each year on December 28, during the Octave of Christmas.

In his letter, the Holy Father calls the Bishops to foster in hearts of Christians the joy that comes from the proclamation of the birth of Christ. But in moving words, he notes that the Christmas story is also accompanied by tears. “Today, too,” the Pope said, we hear this heart-rending cry of pain, which we neither desire nor are able to ignore or to silence.” He continued. “In our world – I write this with a heavy heart – we continue to hear the lamentation of so many mothers, of so many families, for the death of their children, their innocent children.”

Pope Francis speaks about the millions of children who are deprived of education and whose innocence is shattered by wars and forced immigation. He also once again begs forgiveness for the sufferings of children who were sexually abused by priests, saying “it is a sin that shames the Church.”

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Letter of the Holy Father Francis to the bishops on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, 02.01.2017

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service – Bulletin

The following is the full text of the letter the Holy Father Francis wrote to the bishops on the feast of the Holy Innocents, held on 28 December 2016:

Dear Brother,

Today, on the feast of the Holy Innocents, as the words of the angel to the shepherds still resound in our hearts – “I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour” (Lk 2: 10-11) – I feel the need to write to you. We do well to listen to that proclamation again and again; to hear over and over again that God is present in the midst of our people. This certainty, which we renew each year, is the source of our joy and hope.

In these days we experience how the liturgy leads us to the heart of Christmas, into the Mystery which gradually draws us to the source of Christian joy. …

To illustrate this point, there are at present 75 million children who, due to prolonged situations of emergency and crisis, have had to interrupt their education. In 2015, 68% of all persons who were victims of sexual exploitation were children. At the same time, a third of all children who have to live outside their homelands do so because forcibly displaced. We live in a world where almost half of the children who die under the age of five do so because of malnutrition. It is estimated that in 2016 there were 150 million child labourers, many of whom live in conditions of slavery. According to the most recent report presented by UNICEF, unless the world situation changes, in 2030 there will be 167 million children living in extreme poverty, 69 million children under the age of five will die between 2016 and 2030, and 16 million children will not receive basic schooling.

We hear these children and their cries of pain; we also hear the cry of the Church our Mother, who weeps not only for the pain caused to her youngest sons and daughters, but also because she recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests. It is a sin that shames us. Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity. We regret this deeply and we beg forgiveness. We join in the pain of the victims and weep for this sin. The sin of what happened, the sin of failing to help, the sin of covering up and denial, the sin of the abuse of power. The Church also weeps bitterly over this sin of her sons and she asks forgiveness. Today, as we commemorate the feast of the Holy Innocents, I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst. Let us find the courage needed to take all necessary measures and to protect in every way the lives of our children, so that such crimes may never be repeated. In this area, let us adhere, clearly and faithfully, to “zero tolerance”.

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Pope kicks off new year renewing ‘zero tolerance’ policy on abuse

VATICAN CITY
Catholic World Report

January 2, 2017

Vatican City, Jan 2, 2017 / 07:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a letter sent to bishops around the world for the feast of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis lamented the many children who suffer from war, slavery and various forms of abuse, including within the Church.

The Church not only hears the “cries of pain” of her children who suffer from war, slavery and malnutrition, he said, but she also weeps “because she recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests.”

“It is a sin that shames us. Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity. We regret this deeply and we beg forgiveness.”

Francis condemned the sin “of failing to help,” of “covering up and denial” and the sin of “the abuse of power” that happened in many cases.

In celebrating the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis asked his brother bishops to renew “our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst.”

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Prete hot, 15 amanti. Foto su siti scambisti

ITALIA
Corriere del Veneto

PADOVA Don Andrea Contin è un affare ogni giorno più complicato e sorprendente. Senza facili ironie, l’inchiesta sull’ormai ex parroco del rione San Lazzaro, Padova, indagato per violenza privata e favoreggiamento della prostituzione, pare essere a una prima, importante svolta. Inquirenti blindati e avvocati abbottonati, ma il b-movie del sesso in salsa padovana nato con la denuncia di una parrocchiana di don Andrea, nelle ultime ore sta pian piano prendendo le forme di un kolossal a luci rosse.

Le amanti del parroco Fin qui si è detto di tre donne. Ora pare che il conto possa salire almeno fino a quindici. C’è quella che il sei dicembre scorso ha denunciato, raccontando di rapporti con Contin, di sesso sempre più spinto, coadiuvato da tanti simpatici oggetti del piacere/dolore e sfociato, infine, in orge con più partener maschili «selezionati » dal don, nel doppio ruolo di amante impositore e (se saranno provati eventuali pagamenti) ruffiano.

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Italian priest ‘filmed orgies in rectory and pimped lovers on wife-swapping websites’

ITALY
International Business Times

By Tom Porter
January 2, 2017

An Italian priest has been accused of pimping some of his 15 suspected lovers and filming orgies in his church’s rectory.

Father Andrea Contin, 48, the parish priest at the church of San Lazzaro in Padua, is under police investigation for living off immoral earnings and psychological violence, following complaints from three female parishioners.

Sex toys and pornographic home videos, some bearing the names on popes on the covers, were seized in police raids, according to local media reports.

He is alleged to have pimped some of his lovers to men on wife-swapping websites, as well as enjoying lavish holidays with lovers, travelling to countries including Croatia, France and Austria.

Among the places he allegedly visited with lovers was the Cap d’Agde naturists and swingers resort in France, according Corriere del Veneto.

Complaints were first made to a local bishop last summer, but church authorities failed to contact police.

One of the priest’s alleged former lovers told the Il Mattino di Padova newspaper in an anonymous interview that Contin had pursued her with messages and phone calls before they had sex.

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Priest held for sexually abusing minor boy

INDIA
New Indian Express

KOCHI: The police on Sunday arrested a 65-year-old priest on charges of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy.

The police said that Fr Basil Kuriakose, who is also serving as principal of a school, abused the boy in the dormitory of the school’s hostel when the other students had gone home to spend Christmas holidays. He committed the crime while sleeping with the boy on December 21 night.

The school is run by a charitable trust, and is not linked to any religious organisation. The accused had joined the residential school as principal after retiring from an aided school. His wife is a retired professor, and the couple has a son settled in Australia. “Denying the charges, Fr Basil in his statement said though he had shared the room with the boy on the day, he did not abuse him,” said police officials.

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Parish priest ‘prostituted his lovers and filmed sex parties’

ITALY
The Times (UK)

Philip Willan, Rome
January 2 2017
The Times

A priest in the northern Italian city of Padua has been accused of organising orgies in his rectory, acting as a pimp to some of his 15 lovers and concealing pornographic home videos in covers bearing the names of popes.

Father Andrea Contin, 48, the parish priest at the church of San Lazzaro, is under police investigation on suspicion of living off immoral earnings and psychological violence, following complaints from three of his female parishioners. A variety of sex toys and videos showing orgies taking place on the premises were also seized.

He is said to have farmed out some of his lovers to male customers on wife swapping websites. The priest is also alleged to have enjoyed lavish holidays with his female friends, including a stay at a naturist village in the French town of Cap d’Agde.

Complaints were first made to the local bishop last summer but church authorities failed to contact the police, saying they had not yet completed their own investigation.

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Diocesan priest named next bishop of Biloxi

MISSISSIPPI
Caller-Times

Rob Boscamp, Special to the Caller-Times January 1, 2017

Msgr. Louis F. Kihneman III will be ordained and installed as bishop of the Diocese of Biloxi on Feb. 17, 2017.

Rev. Msgr. Louis F. Kihneman III didn’t expect an early birthday gift from the Vatican.

In early December, the vicar general and moderator of the curia was getting ready to plan his November 2017 celebration of 40 years of priesthood in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

A phone call from Archbishop Christophe Pierre changed his plans.

“When I heard the accent and he introduced himself as Archbishop Pierre, I said, ‘Oh my! He knows my name!’ ” Kihneman said, recalling the way he told the story to his congregation at St. Philip the Apostle Parish.

Pierre presented Kihneman with both an early birthday and Christmas present: Pope Francis had named him to serve as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Biloxi in Mississippi.

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Kerala Christian priest arrested for molesting 11-year-old boy

INDIA
Times of India

KOCHI: A Malayali couple settled in Haryana admitted their son in a boarding school near Moovattupuzha to get him acquainted with the culture of Kerala, police said on Sunday, after arresting the school principal on complaints of sexually abusing the boy.

Identifying the accused as Fr Basil Kuriakose, police said the 65-year-old abused the 11-year-old boy in the school dormitory on night of December 21. The incident happened when the other residents were on vacation.

“The accused stripped the boy before molesting him. He also tried to sodomise him,” police said.
The school was run by a private charitable trust, police said. The accused joined the institution after retiring from an aided school.

The priest denied charges of sexual assault, sub-inspector T Dileesh said. The accused, however, admitted in a statement that he had been with the boy on the date mentioned in the complaint.

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January 1, 2017

Kerala priest booked under Section 377 for unnatural sex with 10-year-old boy

INDIA
International Business Times

Asmita Sarkar

A 65-year-old priest in Kerala was arrested on Sunday for indulging in unnatural sexual abuse with a 10-year-old boy in Kochi’s Kunnathunad area. The incident took place at a boarding school, King David International School, where the boy studied. Father Basil Kuriyakose was the principal of the school.

Kuriyakose was taken to a court on Sunday after the arrest. He was booked under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 377 of IPC criminalises sexual intercourse against the order of nature. It also criminalises homosexual sex.

This was the first time that an incident like this was reported against Kuriyakose, the Kunnathunad police told International Business Times, India. The 10-year-old boy who studied in class five reported the incident to his elder brother who had gone to meet the child and then informed his mother about the incident. The mother lodged a complaint with the police, following which the offender was arrested.

In India, one out of every two children is sexually abused and most of it goes unreported. In most of the cases, the abuser is a male known to the child. National statistics reveal that about 53% children are abused. The highest number of cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.

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The Legacy of Rav Elyashiv

ISRAEL
Rationalist Judaism

It’s hard to imagine a greater chilul Hashem than this. A former Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel is going to prison. For massive bribery and corruption. The classic antisemitic trope of the cheating, money-grabbing Jew is being displayed to the world in the person who holds the office that represents Judaism.

In case you haven’t seen the news yet, Rabbi Yona Metzger, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 2003 to 2013, is accepting a prison term rather than going to trial. This is for pocketing about two million dollars in bribes and from funds that he was supposed to transfer to charity.

While the responsibility for the crimes is Rabbi Metzger’s alone, the responsibility for the chilul Hashem lies with others. Because long before the revelations of these particular crimes came to light – indeed, before Rabbi Metzger was appointed to the position of Chief Rabbi – there were numerous allegations of severe improprieties. In 1998, when Rabbi Metzger was about to be nominated as chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, a number of allegations surfaced against him, including fraud, sexual harassment, forged signatures on wedding contracts, and threatening other rabbis.

Rabbi Metzger’s certification to serve as chief rabbi of a large city was suspended, and a disciplinary hearing was established, presided over by Rav Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, Rav She’ar Yashuv Cohen and Rav Simcha Kook. In the end, an agreement was reached whereby the inquiry would not be completed if Metzger would agree not to accept the role of chief rabbi of Tel Aviv.

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Stories of the Year 2016

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

JAN 1, 2017

WALT FRANK
Staff Writer
wfrank@altoonamirror.com

Reassessment in Blair County and sexual abuse by church officials were among the top local stories of 2016.

The Mirror’s news staff voted in mid-December on the top stories from a ballot that contained 31 prominent local news items. The following is a look at the top stories, as chosen by the Mirror news staff: …

2. Sexual abuse by church officials

On March 1, then-Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said that hundreds of children were sexually abused by about 50 priests or church officials over more than 40 years in the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese, and some bishops attempted to cover up the crimes.

Kane stopped in Altoona to reveal the results of an extensive statewide grand jury investigation into child sexual abuse associated with the local diocese.

When they were in office, Bishops James Hogan and Joseph Adamec used their influence to get reports from victims or their parents, stymie police investigations and ward off inquiries by powerful court officials, Kane said. Adamec even created a chart outlining potential payments for victims based on the type of sexual abuse, the grand jury found.

The grand jury found it was Adamec’s practice not to call police when dealing with child sexual abuse cases involving priests or others.

Kane said 50 diocesan priests over the last 40 years or more have been identified as committing horrendous acts against hundreds of children.

Investigators reviewed more than 115,000 documents, many of them acquired by search warrants from diocesan “secret archives.”

Canon law requires each diocese to maintain such archives, she explained.

As of that point, Kane said, none of the criminal acts outlined in the grand jury report can be prosecuted.

In some cases, the perpetrators were deceased. In other cases, the victims were so traumatized that they could not testify in court, and in many cases, the statute of limitations, which can run up to 30 years for criminal cases, had expired. The grand jury recommended that the state Legislature do away with the statute of limitations.

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Keep reporting the truth, Boston Globe editor tells journalists

PHILIPPINES
Inquirier

By: Jodee A. Agoncillo – Reporter / @jagoncilloINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / January 01, 2017

Boston Globe editor-at-large Walter Robinson gave this advice at a gathering of around 370 foreign journalists at the second the Global Investigative Journalism Conference (GIJC), which the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) stages every two years.

Robinson was the keynote speaker at the conference, held last September 23 to 25 Kathmandu, Nepal, with the theme “Uncovering Asia.”

The GIJN aims to promote the growth of investigative journalism by training and supporting journalists from around 51 countries. The first conference was held in Manila in 2014.

Back in 2001, as Globe assistant managing editor for investigations, Robinson led a Spotlight team in putting out an investigative series on sexual abuses by several Catholic priests. The series had a big impact in countries around the world, including the Philippines, and won for the paper the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, which Robinson himself accepted.

The series was later adapted into an Oscar-winning film titled “Spotlight,” which starred Michael Keaton.

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