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.

February 25, 2017

Katholische Intrigen

SCHWEIZ
Neue Zurcher Zeitung

[It is about a hushed abuse scandal among the Capuchins, allegedly manipulated media and the turmoil for the succession in the bishopric of Chur: The latest scandal always draws more circles].

von Simon Hehli 24.2.2017

Es geht um einen vertuschten Missbrauchsskandal bei den Kapuzinern, angeblich manipulierte Medien und die Wirren um die Nachfolge im Bistum Chur: Der neuste Skandal zieht immer weitere Kreise.

Etwas kann man der katholischen Kirche gewiss nicht vorwerfen: dass sie langweilig ist. Derzeit ist es ein Missbrauchsskandal, der für Schlagzeilen sorgt. Der Freiburger Daniel Pittet veröffentlichte vor kurzem das Buch «Mon Père, je vous pardonne», für das Papst Franziskus das Vorwort geschrieben hat. Pittet berichtet darin, wie er von einem heute 76-jährigen Kapuzinerpater aus der Waadt missbraucht worden ist, bereits im Alter von neun Jahren sei er von diesem vergewaltigt worden. Der Pater ist geständig, dass er sich seit 1958 an mindestens vierzig weiteren Jungen vergangen hat, darunter auch sein eigener Neffe.

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 Yeshiva Boys School Rabbi Suspected Of Sexually Abusing Children

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A former rabbi from the Yeshiva Boys School of Pittsburgh is under investigation, accused of sexually abusing children.

Word of the probe first surfaced in the Jewish Chronicle. The publication states there may have been more than one victim and that Rabbi Nisson Friedman, 26, was caught in the act in the school library.

Friedman has been with Yeshiva Boys School since 2013. He has been fired, but is not yet charged.

He’s the son of a prominent rabbi in Minnesota.

The school declined to speak on camera Friday, but in a written statement they said: “We swiftly reported this disclosure to the police and the state’s mandated childline.”

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.

Is the Catholic Church guilty of crimes against humanity?

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Michael Short

The Catholic Church, which has presided over a decades-long international cover-up of countless cases, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of child rape and other sexual abuse is arguably guilty of crimes against humanity.

In Australia, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, launched in 2013, has heard much harrowing evidence that for decades child rapists have been protected by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Only a few days ago, the Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, told the commission the response of leaders of his church to allegations of child sexual abuse amounted to “criminal negligence”.

And although it beggars belief, such despicable betrayal of natural justice and of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth continues. Also last week, County Court Judge Geoffrey Chettle declared that evidence the Catholic Church continued to pay – taking the total to as much as $1.5 million – for the defence of one of Australia’s worst paedophiles, Robert Charles Best, “just blows me away”.

Well might he say that, for Best, 76, pleaded guilty in the County Court of Victoria to the sexual abuse of 20 children between 1968 and 1988 at schools in Ballarat, Box Hill, Geelong and Moonee Ponds. With withering understatement, Judge Chettle said he was struggling to contain his emotion at the gravity and extent of Best’s abuse. “It’s hard not to get angry, and I’m trying.” A lot of Best’s victims have died by suicide. Many others have experienced mental ill-health, substance abuse, addiction and difficulty maintaining professional and personal relationships.

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

Church seeks background checks, proper Mass

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

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

Besides adopting a national charter for protecting young people from clergy sexual abuses, Guam’s Catholic Church now also seeks legal background checks for all its adult ministers and volunteers to help prevent future abuses.

The church also now requires all rites and masses to be celebrated in accordance with the Vatican’s general instructions unless they can show proof of exemptions from Rome by March 1, the beginning of the Lenten season.

The Rev. Paul A.M. Gofigan, rector of the Dulce Nombre De Maria Cathedral-Basilica, issued a two-pronged Feb. 14 memo on background checks and unifying the church.

Gofigan asks all current and future adult ministers or volunteers having close contact with minors, at any level, to sign a waiver allowing the cathedral-basilica to perform a legal background check. He said this is not a credit check but is essentially a police clearance.

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.

Major changes recommended to Catholic Church’s controversial Melbourne Response

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Aisha Dow

Victorian child sex abuse victims who receive a capped payout from the Catholic Church should no longer be forced to sign away their rights to future legal claims, a redacted report has recommended.

An independent review into the church’s controversial Melbourne Response scheme was announced by Archbishop Denis Hart in August 2014, but has been suppressed by the church for more than a year.

A heavily edited version was finally submitted to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Friday, containing 24 pages of the 176-page document.

It included 17 recommendations from the report’s author, retired Federal Court judge Donnell Ryan, QC, including that victims no longer be obliged to sign a deed of release in order to access monetary payments.

Mr Ryan said this waiver could be made on the condition that if victims were to receive future payouts through civil proceedings, the money already received through the Melbourne Response would be deducted from the final amount.

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.

Perversion in Paradise

JAMAICA
Council on Hemispheric Affairs

By Andrew Lumsden, Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs

To download a PDF version of this article, click here.

On the night of December 28, 2016, police officers patrolling in the town of Santa Cruz in the Jamaican parish of St. Elizabeth, approached a parked car which had aroused their suspicions. Upon further investigations, authorities found 64-year-old Rupert Clarke, the pastor of a church in the nearby parish of Manchester, in what they called a “compromising position” with a 15-year-old girl.[i]

Clarke was arrested and charged with having sex with a minor in a case which has commanded attention as well as shocked the nation.[ii] Unfortunately, this appalling incident is only a small part of a much broader problem in Jamaican society: the prevalence of child sexual abuse.

“A National Crisis”

In 2014, Lisa Hanna, then the Minister of Youth and Culture, described child sex abuse in Jamaica as a “national crisis.”[iii] Between 2007 and 2014 nearly 17,000 cases were recorded by Jamaica’s Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR). [iv][v] The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) notes however, that “the available data does not necessarily reflect the actual magnitude of the problem” because the vast majority of incidents go unreported.[vi] In all, 40% of Jamaicans have said that their first sexual experience occurred without their consent and before the age of 16.[vii]

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.

AP Exclusive: Ex-congregants reveal years of ungodly abuse

NORTH CAROLINA
Daily Journal

SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) — From all over the world, they flocked to this tiny town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, lured by promises of inner peace and eternal life. What many found instead: years of terror — waged in the name of the Lord.

Congregants of the Word of Faith Fellowship were regularly punched, smacked, choked, slammed to the floor or thrown through walls in a violent form of deliverance meant to “purify” sinners by beating out devils, 43 former members told The Associated Press in separate, exclusive interviews.

Victims of the violence included pre-teens and toddlers — even crying babies, who were vigorously shaken, screamed at and sometimes smacked to banish demons.

“I saw so many people beaten over the years. Little kids punched in the face, called Satanists,” said Katherine Fetachu, 27, who spent nearly 17 years in the church.

Word of Faith Fellowship, an evangelical church with hundreds of members in North Carolina and branches in other countries, also subjected members to a practice called “blasting” — an ear-piercing verbal onslaught often conducted in hours-long sessions meant to cast out devils.

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.

No disciplinary proceedings to follow rapist ordinand Timothy Storey case

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by Tim Wyatt

Posted: 24 Feb 2017

TWO clergy in the diocese of London who were strongly criticised for safeguarding failures in the case of an ordinand who was a rapist will not face proceedings under the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM).

An independent review commissioned last year by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, considered the diocese’s part in the case of Timothy Storey, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of three charges of rape and one of sexual assault against teenage girls (News, 22 April).

Mr Storey worked first as a youth pastor at St Michael’s, Chester Square, where he met his two victims, before being sent to Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, to train as a priest. Both girls reported Mr Storey to the Church, but there was a “wholesale failure” by the diocesan safeguarding team to stop his offending, Judge Philip Katz QC said during sentencing.

The independent review recommended, among other things, “consideration of whether in light of the findings of the review an investigation under CDM is warranted or appropriate in relation to” two clerics referred to in the report only as “clergy persons A and B”. Clergy person A was the voluntary, unpaid Bishops’ Adviser in Child Protection in the Two Cities and Stepney areas of the diocese. Clergy person B was the Two Cities area director of ordinands. Both have since stepped down from these posts.

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 Desmond Connell, Dublin Archbishop During Abuse Scandal, Dies at 90

IRELAND
New York Times

SINEAD O’SHEA
FEB. 24, 2017

DUBLIN — Cardinal Desmond Connell, who retired as the Roman Catholic archbishop of Dublin during a furor over the church’s handling of cases of sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the clergy, died on Tuesday. He was 90.

The death, in Dublin, was announced by the current archbishop, Diarmuid Martin.

A theological scholar with training in metaphysics, then-Father Connell was a surprise choice when Pope John Paul II appointed him to lead the archdiocese of Dublin in 1988. John Paul named him a cardinal in 2001, making him the first archbishop of Dublin to be so elevated in nearly 120 years.

During his 16 years as archbishop, Cardinal Connell was a stalwart defender of church doctrine, particularly on social issues like contraception, divorce and homosexuality. …

But he was best known for his handling of a sex abuse scandal that eventually engulfed his archdiocese, as it has others around the world.

The abuses first began to emerge after the Rev. Brendan Smyth, a Northern Irish priest, was convicted of child sex abuse and imprisoned in 1994. The next year Archbishop Connell denied that the archdiocese had paid compensation to victims of abuse by its priests. But in 1998, it emerged that he had quietly lent archdiocesan money to an abusive priest, the Rev. Ivan Payne, who then paid an abuse survivor, Andrew Madden.

Mr. Madden came forward to reveal the loan, but Cardinal Connell initially denied that he had made it. In the ensuing controversy he was accused of tolerating or participating in a cover-up.

In 2002, the national broadcaster RTE published a report by the investigative journalist Mary Raftery exposing the archdiocese’s protection of eight priests who had sexually abused children.

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.

Funeral told of Cardinal’s tears over clerical sex abuse victims

IRELAND
Herald

Sarah MacDonald – 25 February 2017

The Pope’s representative in Ireland has revealed how he witnessed an anguished Cardinal Desmond Connell in tears at the Vatican over the clerical abuse of children at the turn of the millennium.

Speaking to the Herald after the funeral Mass of the former archbishop of Dublin at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral, the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, recalled seeing Dr Connell in Rome “filled with anguish about the horrors of the sexual abuse of children”.

Cardinal Connell worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (1993-2001), where Archbishop Brown served until 2011, when he was appointed to Ireland.

“When I say visible anguish, it was visible in his tears which I witnessed,” he said.

He said the evil of that was “completely inconceivable and unfathomable” to him.

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

Pell smeared again on ABC. To hell with evidence

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
February 24, 2017

John Lyons accuses Cardinal George Pell on the ABC’s The Drum of transferring a “known pedophile” priest to another town, where he abused again, and says Pell covered up the reasons for the move.

In fact, the royal commission heard Pell knew nothing of the pedophilia and the transfer was engineered by his bishop. Yet no panelist defended Pell.

Here is yet another example of how the media is so determined to hang Pell that nothing, and certainly not the truth, can save him.

Lyon makes his claims five minutes from the end:

It is so sad and telling that not a single person on the panel, including the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, points out the truth about these allegations, although all seem to claim enough knowledge to offer opinions on the issue.

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.

‘I went to bed screaming’: child abuse survivor speaks as church faces moment of reckoning

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus

Friday 24 February 2017

Every night, as darkness fell around the boarding houses of St Virgil’s College in Hobart, Tony Rayner watched a handful of boys creep into the bedroom of Brother Patrick Timothy Farrell.

It was the 1950s and an eight-year-old Rayner was envious of the boys’ special treatment. Rumours drifted through the halls that Brother Farrell’s chosen few were rewarded with lollies.

Farrell, a member of the Christian Brothers Catholic order, eventually called Rayner in.

“He sat me up on the bed right next to him, and the other boys were down the foot of the bed – when you’re eight years old it was quite a distance,” Rayner told Guardian Australia. “He said, ‘You wanted to come in here.’ And then he told me to suck his dick.”

A confused Rayner said no, telling the brother it would be a sin. He still clearly remembers the odd moment that followed. “He looked at one of the other boys, who I saw as the ringleader … and he said, ‘I told you Rayner was too young.’”

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.

February 24, 2017

Suspended Eugene priest denies paying underage prostitute for sex

OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Jack Moran
The Register-Guard
FEB. 23, 2017

A Eugene priest on trial for allegedly paying for oral sex with an underage prostitute is innocent of the charges and ended up arrested after police misunderstood a text message as part of a flawed investigation, his attorney told a jury Friday morning.

Daniel MacKay’s lawyer, Terri Wood of Eugene, acknowledged in an opening statement to her client’s trial in Lane County Circuit Court that MacKay gave a homeless, 17-year-old girl cash on a number of occasions last year.

But the money wasn’t in exchange for sex, she said.

Instead, MacKay agreed to the girl’s repeated requests for cash because she appeared desperate, and the priest has for years “embraced the duty to help those in need,” Wood asserted. She added that the alleged victim told MacKay that she was 21.

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.

Bishops seek Pope’s guidance over sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Australia’s most senior Catholic leaders will ask the Pope to settle the issue of whether the seal of confession can be broken to protect children from sexual abuse as one likened it to bugging the confessional.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said for a priest to repeat anything that has occurred during confession would be a very serious breach of trust and the sacrament.

Archbishop Fisher said he could not withhold absolution from someone who confessed to abusing a child and if they were genuinely contrite would forgive their sin, as he would a terrorist or a murderer.

‘What I can’t do is effectively bug the confessional on behalf of the state to use it to a way of reporting crimes retrospective or prospective,’ he told the child sex abuse royal commission.

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 priest Yvon Arsenault handed 4-year sentence for 9 sex crimes

CANADA
CBC News

Former Moncton priest Yvon Arsenault has been sentenced to four years in prison after changing his plea to guilty in October on nine counts of molesting boys, dating back to the 1970s.

Arsenault, 74, of Aldouane covered his face with his hand after Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Zoël Dionne imposed sentence on Friday afternoon.

“​I’m not here to promote religion,” the judge said, “but these people wanted a life of faith, and because of incidents, it became something sour.”

He commended Arsenault’s victims for having the courage to speak out and denounce the abuse.

The nine victims ranged in age from nine to 17 when the abuse occurred between 1971 and 1980 in Shediac and Collette, located in Northumberland County.

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The All-American Boys Chorus and the Cycle of Abuse

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

February 24, 2017 Joelle Casteix

The recent lawsuit against Fr. Richard T. Coughlin, The All-American Boys Chorus, and the Diocese of Orange has sparked a flurry of conversation and controversy online.

Why? A whole generation of kids was destroyed by Coughlin.

And of course, a lot of people were quick to defend the chorus and say, “Things are different now.”

But they’re not.

Singers can be Easy Prey

Choruses can be funny things. I am a singer, so I know. I was sexually abused in a chorus, targeted by a director who saw I was an easy mark.

Singing and the teaching of singing are very personal and very hands-on. It’s one-on-one (and before the days of awareness about sexual abuse, it was done behind closed doors). It’s not unusual for a vocal coach to touch a student (in a NON-SEXUAL WAY) to show a concept. It’s very personal and can get very emotional. Your body is your instrument. If a piano is out of tune, you hire a tuner. If your voice is out of tune … well, it’s personal.

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Iglesia responde a ICBF que no tolerará abusos de curas a menores

COLOMBIA
Pulzo

El cardenal Rubén Salazar le envió una carta a Cristina Plazas en la que asegura que el cuidado de los niños es prioridad.

En su carta, el arzobispo de Bogotá pide perdón por los casos de abusos sexuales a menores por sacerdotes que han sido denunciados en el país y promete “cero tolerancia” ante cualquier otro caso.

Asimismo, la arquidiócesis de la capital aseguró que tomará “todas las medidas” para que los responsables de los abusos sexuales sean castigados tanto civil como canónicamente.

Si se comprueba el abuso, un sacerdote jamás podrá volver a ejercer su ministerio”,

resaltó la curia bogotana en la misiva, difundida en su página web.

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.

Colombia’s Catholic Church vows ‘zero tolerance’ for child sexual abuse

COLOMBIA
Colombia Reports

written by Miguel Salazar February 24, 2017

Colombia’s top Catholic clergyman told the government on Friday that the church would fight sexual abuse by priests against minors with a “zero tolerance” approach towards affiliated pedophiles.

“The protection of children and adolescents is an absolute priority for the Catholic Church in Colombia,” the Archbishop of Bogota, Cardinal Rubén Salazar, wrote in a letter addressed to the government’s Family Welfare Institute (ICFB) days after the church had come under fire for sexual abuse charges filed against a Colombian priest.

Catholic Church attacks sex abuse victims’ family for seeking reparation

In his letter, the archbishop said that priests that engaged in child sexual abuse would not just be held accountable before the law, but also within the church.

“We applaud all the effort you make from the general direction of the Institute of Family Welfare to protect all the minors of our nation,” he said. “If it is true that the Church bitterly cries out the sin of her children and asks forgiveness, it is also true that we are committed to renewing all efforts so that these atrocities do not happen again among us.”

Earlier this week, Cristina Plazas Michelsen, the director of the ICBF, had sent Cardinal Salazar a letter calling for the Catholic Church to “set a precedent and express ‘zero tolerance’ to anything surrounding sexual abuse, the most atrocious crime of humanity.” It was in response to court proceedings in Cali, Valle del Cauca, against a priest accused of sexually abusing four children in his community.

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Vicar David Fletcher faces jail for sexually abusing a boy when he was a head teacher in Bradford

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph and Argus

Jenifer Loweth

A CHURCH of England vicar has been convicted by a jury of sexually abusing a boy when he was a head teacher in Bradford.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, warned David Fletcher he will “almost inevitably go into custody” for indecently assaulting the child in the late 1980s.

Fletcher, 63, whose ministry includes 12 churches in East Yorkshire, was found guilty of two of the eight charges against him by a majority verdict of 11-1.

The jury at Bradford Crown Court cleared him of six further allegations of indecent assault made by the same complainant.

He was bailed to return to the court for sentence on Monday, March 6.

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Where Is The Priest Who Sexually Abused Milo Yiannopoulos?

UNITED STATES
The Daily Caller

MARIA JEFFREY

Lost in the crushing sound of Milo Yiannopoulos’ fall has been the revelation that he was sexually abused by a priest named “Fr. Michael.” In his press conference Tuesday, after his comments on pedophilia were brought to light, the former Breitbart editor said, “Between the ages of 13 and 16, two men touched me in ways they should not have. One of those men was a priest.”

In the video where Milo talks about pedophilia, he states, “I’m grateful to Fr. Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him.”

There has been a lot of ink already spilled over what Milo’s comments on sexual abuse mean for the moral arc of the conservative movement, but no one is paying attention to the revelation that Milo himself was sexually abused as a young teen. Who he was sexually abused by? Who is Fr. Michael? Is he still a practicing priest?

Milo was raised Catholic and is open about his love for the Catholic Church. In Kent, England where Milo grew up, a Catholic priest named Monsignor Michael Smith was arrested in 2010 after sexual abuse allegations were made against him by victim who called Smith a “devious predator.” According to KentLive, a publication in Kent, the victim received compensation from the Catholic Church in a civil suit in 2016.

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.

Brother erased from history

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

EXCLUSIVE, Nick Butterly
Friday, February 24, 2017

The Christian Brothers have taken the extraordinary step of moving the grave of a notoriously brutal brother from the grounds of a WA school as the Catholic Church reels from revelations of past abuse.

The Catholic order has dismantled the grave of Brother Francis Paul Keaney at Bindoon Agricultural College, shifting his remains to a humble plot at Karrakatta, effectively erasing any trace of the Brother from the institution he once ruled over.

Keaney set up the Tardun farm school near Geraldton in the 1920s and was principal at Clontarf and Bindoon Boys Town from 1942 through to his death in 1954.

Child migrants from Britain and Ireland have given evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse telling how Keaney presided over a fiercely brutal regime at Bindoon.

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Funeral hears Connell became Archbishop at difficult time

IRELAND
RTE News

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said that Cardinal Desmond Connell was the first leader of the Dublin diocese to recognise, albeit slowly, the extent of the damage inflicted on children by priests who sexually abused.

Dr Martin told his predecessor’s funeral mass that the hurt caused by the scandal has yet to be fully recognised and still remains for victims.

The cardinal’s death was announced on Tuesday. He was 90.

Most of the country’s hierarchy joined the Papal Nuncio and Archbishop Martin in concelebrating the mass at which the Cardinal’s sister-in-law, Peggy Connell, was the chief mourner.

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Garde à vue du Père Ibrahim: Consternation à la Plaine des Palmistes

REUNION
Zinfos974

[The inhabitants of Plaine des Palmistes are shocked after the priest of their parish has been placed in custody for allegations of rape of a teenager. Many of them defend him.].

Interpellé hier dans le cadre de l’enquête pour des viols présumés sur un adolescent, le père Fabrice Ibrahim a passé la nuit en cellule. Il a été présenté au Tribunal ce matin puis transféré de nouveau à la brigade de gendarmerie de Saint-Benoît pour une prolongation de sa garde à vue de 24h, donc jusqu’à 12h30 ce vendredi.

Pour rappel, le père Ibrahim a été interpellé dans le cadre d’une enquête préliminaire pour des viols présumés, après la plainte d’un jeune homme de 18 ans déposée il y a un mois. Le prêtre aurait imposé des rapports sexuels à l’adolescent mineur entre 2013 et 2015. La mère du jeune homme a elle aussi dénoncé des viols présumés.

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Erzbischöfe räumen “katastrophales Versagen” ein

AUSTRALIEN
Katholisch

Sydney – 23.02.2017

Die führenden katholischen Erzbischöfe Australiens haben der Einschätzung eines “katastrophalen Versagens” der Kirchenführung im Umgang mit Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs zugestimmt. Zum Ende der dreiwöchigen letzten Anhörung der Kommission über sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern durch Priester und Mitarbeiter der Kirche waren am Donnerstag die fünf Erzbischöfe von Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide und Brisbane vor der Kommission erschienen.

“Das war ein Verbrechen, Herr Erzbischof”, sagte Gail Furness, Anwältin der Kommission, laut australischen Medienberichten (Donnerstag) zu Erzbischof Philip Wilson von Adelaide. Der 66-Jährige ist wegen Vertuschung von Missbrauchsfällen vor einem Gericht angeklagt. Wilson habe geantwortet: “Ja, das stimmt.”

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.

Australiens Bischöfe wollen Missbrauch künftig ausschließen

AUSTRALIEN
Domradio

[Australian bishops acknowledge catastrophic failure in dealing with abuse.]

In Sydney ist die abschließende Anhörung zum Umgang der katholischen Kirche mit Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs in Australien zu Ende gegangen. Die Bischöfe räumten dabei ein “katastrophales Versagen” im Umgang mit Verdachtsfällen ein.

“Ich werde alles in meiner Macht Stehende tun, dass Missbrauch wie in der Vergangenheit niemals wieder passiert und dass die Reformen umgesetzt werden, die meine Bischofskollegen und die Leiter der Orden in den vergangenen Jahren beschlossen haben”, erklärte der Vorsitzende der katholischen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Denis Hart von Melbourne. Die Kirche in Australien werde die Opfer weiter unterstützen.

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Pädophilenskandal: Bistumssprecher erhob Vorwürfe gegen Kapuzinerchef

SCHWEIZ
Luzerner Zeitung

[The pedophile scandal among the Capuchins has mutated into an internal church policy. Giuseppe Gracia, spokesman of the Diocese of Chur, explains his accusations against the chief Kapuziner Mauro Jöhri.]

KIRCHE ⋅ Der Pädophilieskandal bei den Kapuzinern ist zu einem innerkirchlichem Politikum mutiert. Giuseppe Gracia, Sprecher des Bistums Chur, erklärt seine Anschuldigungen gegenüber dem obersten Kapuziner Mauro Jöhri.
23. Februar 2017

Dominik Weingartner

Wer hat wann was gewusst und dennoch nichts unternommen? Diese Frage beschäftigt den Kapuzinerorden seit den «Blick»-Enthüllungen rund um den pädophilen Pater Jöel. Wie unsere Zeitung am Samstag berichtete, wurde der Pater seit Bekanntwerden seines Falles mehrmals versetzt, zunächst nach Frankreich, 2005 wurde er schliesslich in die Schweiz zurückgeholt. Der Pater, der Dutzende Kinder vergewaltigt und davon auch pornografische Aufnahmen gemacht haben soll, musste sich jedoch nie einem kirchenrechtlichen Verfahren stellen. Er lebt heute zurückgezogen im Kapuzinerkloster in Wil.

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Application For Moravian Ministers’ Case Transfer Pushed To Next Week

JAMAICA
Jamaica Gleaner

Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer

Mandeville, Manchester:
Moravian Ministers Reverend Dr Paul Gardner and Jermaine Gibson, charged for carnal abuse arising from a series of incidents said to have happened in 2002, will have to wait until March 2, to find out whether or not their case will be transferred to the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.

According to attorney-at-law Peter Champaigne the case was today adjourned due to a part heard matter that was before the court.

The application for transfer is expected to be made next Thursday in the Manchester Circuit Court.

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Moravian ministers’ sex case adjourned

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The carnal abuse and indecent assault case of former head of the Moravian Church in Jamaica Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson was adjourned in the Manchester Circuit Court today.

The men will return on Thursday, March 2.

When the names of the men were called this morning for them to enter the courtroom they were not yet present.

The matter was on hold when they arrived because of a trial in progress in the Circuit Court.

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Review found church scheme is independent

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

MEGAN NEIL
Australian Associated Press
February 24, 2017

The much-criticised Melbourne Response is independent of the Catholic Church and has given most child sex abuse victims better compensation than they would have otherwise received, a review found.

The retired Federal Court judge whose review led to the Melbourne archdiocese doubling its maximum compensation payments to $150,000 backed the independence of the abuse complaints scheme at the same time as a royal commission criticised its lack of independence.

Donnell Ryan QC criticised the apologies offered under the Melbourne Response but found most victims had received better outcomes than would otherwise have been possible.

“It is reasonable to conclude that most have regarded the package of monetary settlement and the funding of counselling and clinical care as better than any other remedy which they could reasonably have achieved in the absence of the Melbourne Response,” the report said.

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Royal commission: Outrage over church’s financial support for paedophile priests

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

An admission that the Sydney Catholic archdiocese provides financial support for convicted paedophile priests has drawn outrage from sex abuse survivors at a royal commission.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher told the inquiry the church supports convicted Catholic clergy living in the community.

“That would include assistance with housing and some other kinds of assistance,” he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“I am so angry at what they have done, I don’t want to give them anything further by way of help, but throwing them back on their family or community … others would say that’s just the church washing its hand again of responsibility.

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Statement from the ACBC at the conclusion of Case Study 50

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

Statement from Archbishop Denis Hart, President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference at the conclusion of case study 50 of the Royal Commission

24 February 2017

As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concludes its final hearing into the Catholic Church, I acknowledge the cooperation of witnesses, agencies, religious institutes and dioceses across the Church in Australia.

I particularly want to acknowledge the bravery of the survivors of child sexual abuse who have given evidence, not just in case studies involving the Catholic Church, but across the more than 50 case studies so far that have examined the many different institutions throughout Australia.

Over the past three weeks, more than 70 Church leaders and professionals have appeared before the Commissioners sharing expertise, identifying failings and describing best practice for the future of our Church structure, culture and governance.

The final hearing discussed many aspects and characteristics of Church and clergy life including: Canon Law, the confessional, celibacy, clericalism, formation, professional support and supervision.

What we have learnt from our involvement in the Royal Commission case studies and our own work in coming to a better understanding of the many different issues that have contributed to child sexual abuse in the Church will inform our future policies and practices.

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Kincora: HIA report on former boys home condemned by ex-Army officer

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A former Army captain has described the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry findings on the former Kincora Boys’ Home as “a mess”.

The HIA report into child abuse at churches, charities and state institutions was published last month.

It detailed widespread mistreatment of young residents between 1922 and 1995.

However, former Army officer Colin Wallace has criticised its conclusions on Kincora, claiming they were “full of alternative facts”.

Mr Wallace, who served in Northern Ireland between 1971 and 1974, has been a leading voice in claims about an alleged cover-up by intelligence services of sex abuse at the home.

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Kincora abuse campaigner hits out at inquiry in scathing letter

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Cate McCurry
February 24 2017

The man who attempted to expose the historical sex abuse at the notorious Kincora boys’ home in Belfast has lambasted an inquiry in a scathing 14-page letter.

Former Army captain and intelligence officer Colin Wallace slammed the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry’s report on the Kincora paedophile cover-up in the 1970s.

Mr Wallace, whose attempts to expose the abuse of young boys were overthrown by his superiors, has contacted the inquiry’s solicitor, Patrick Butler, to raise concerns about what he claims are “factual inaccuracies and misleading information” in the report.

He disputes the information contained in the inquiry report about notorious child abuser and Kincora housemaster William McGrath and others in the child-abuse ring.

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Archbishop would grant abusers absolution

AUSTRALIA
7 News

by Rebekah Ison – AAP on February 24, 2017

Sydney’s Catholic Archbishop says he would have to forgive a child sex abuser at confession just as he would a terrorist or a murderer.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher on Friday told the sex abuse royal commission he didn’t think he could make it a condition of absolution that a person incriminate themselves – even though he would strongly encourage them to get psychiatric help and hand themselves in.

“If they are genuinely contrite by every sign that I can see then I’ll forgive their sin as I would a terrorist, a murderer, many other very grave matters,” he said in Sydney on Friday.

“I do so probably feeling terribly sick inside about what might this guy do next.”

Archbishop Fisher was one of the five metropolitan archbishops giving joint evidence at the royal commission.

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Archbishops grilled on reporting abuse heard under confession

AUSTRALIA
9 News

By Claire Abraham

The Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, has revealed he would not break the Seal of the Confessional and inform authorities if a child during confession told him they had been abused, but instead would try and persuade the child to tell someone.

Senior Counsel Gail Furness drew mixed responses from the five bishops when she asked them what they would do if a fictional child, “Sally”, reported abuse to them during confession.

“I will do everything in my power to persuade the child to come with me to the police,” Archbishop Anthony Fisher said.

“If I can’t persuade that child of that option, having tried everything I can, then I believe I’m bound by the seal of confession to not repeat it.”

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Child abuse royal commission: Review of Melbourne Response recommends redress scheme be separated from church

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Karen Percy

The Melbourne Archbishop should not oversee the Catholic Church’s scheme to address sexual abuse within the archdiocese, a redacted report has recommended.

A 2015 report into the Melbourne Response by former Federal Court judge Donnell Ryan QC was released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse late this afternoon, at the conclusion of hearings featuring senior Catholic figures.

The report was suppressed by the Catholic Church for more than a year.

In it, Mr Ryan makes 17 recommendations, several of them suggesting those in charge of the scheme not be under the Archbishop’s power, that files and archives be held separately, and that budget and administrative matters also be separated out.

But he points out “nothing has been revealed … to suggest [anyone] … has ever acted under the direction or influence of the Archbishop or any other church official”.

The Melbourne Response was established by Cardinal George Pell in 1996, when he was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne.

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Hate is coming to a campus near you: Meet the evangelical bigot helping Trump deregulate America’s colleges

UNITED STATES
Salon

NICO LANG

In her first weeks as secretary of the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos faced an extraordinary amount of scrutiny — both for her family’s history of supporting homophobic legislation and her lack of qualifications. A group of students attempted to block DeVos from entering a Washington middle school shortly after her confirmation.

But DeVos, a charter school advocate with a history of donating to anti-gay causes, isn’t the only education appointee that should worry LGBT people, as well as just about everyone else who wants safe, affirming education for America’s youth. Liberty University’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., who has been tapped by the Trump administration to lead a task force on reforming higher ed, is a nightmare waiting to happen. His appointment — to an undisclosed advisory position — will put at risk every student across the U.S. already vulnerable to harm. With DeVos and Falwell at the helm, all children will be left behind. …

Liberty University hired Ian McCaw, the former athletic director for Baylor University, in the midst of an ongoing rape scandal at his former college. Jasmin Hernandez, a student at the university, claimed McCaw knew that one of his star athletes, Tevin Elliott, had a history of sexually assaulting women and ignored his record. Hernandez further alleged that after not being made accountable for his prior actions, the football player went on to rape her. In a press release, Falwell Jr. personally praised the hiring of McCaw, saying that his example “fits perfectly with where we see our sports program going.”

If it surprises you that Falwell Jr. would applaud someone accused of covering up sexual abuse, know that the Liberty University president also once told CNN’s Erin Burnett that he would vote for a presidential candidate found guilty of rape. When asked about accusations from more than 10 women that Trump, then a White House hopeful, had groped them without consent, Falwell Jr. said, “We’re not electing a pastor. We’re electing a president.”

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Application to transfer pastors’ sex case rescheduled

JAMAICA
Loop

The expected application to have the sex cases of two Moravian clergymen transferred to Kingston from Manchester for trial has been postponed.

The application is now rescheduled for next week Thursday, March 2, in the Manchester Circuit Court.

The postponement is due to the fact that the accused men — Rev Paul Gardner and Pastor Jermaine Gibson — were late for court.

Gibson, who was vice president of the Moravian church in Jamaica, allegedly had a sexual relationship with the complainant when she was 12 years old.

Allegedly, Gardner, who resigned the presidency of the Moravian church, also engaged in sexual relations with the girl when she was 14.

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GP Department of Public Safety Arrests Former Church Pastor for Sexual Abuse

OREGON
KAJO

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety has arrested a former pastor at a now-defunct church for multiple sex crimes with an underage girl.

On Wednesday, 51-year-old Michael Howard Lewis of Grants Pass was lodged in the Josephine County Jail on charges including Rape, Sexual Abuse and Sodomy. His arrest came after an interview conducted at the police station.

On February 1st, Grants Pass Police began an investigation into the reported sexual abuse of a female juvenile by Lewis while he was a pastor at the now-defunct Friends in Christ Fellowship Church, which was located on Rogue River Highway.

Detectives investigating the case learned that between July 2014 and November 2016, Michael Lewis subjected the young church member to sexual contact several times while she was between the ages of 14 and 16 years old. The sexual contact occurred at the church, which was shut down last November.

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Youth pastor charged with sex crimes, former church attendees speak out

MICHIGAN
UpNorthLive

by Connor Hansen
Thursday, February 23rd 2017

CHARLEVOIX COUNTY, Mi (WPBN/WGTU) — A youth pastor from Boyne City was charged Thursday with sex crimes after he was caught taking video of two young girls in the shower at his home.

Police said a family from downstate was visiting their former pastor in Boyne City when their 18-year-old daughter found a camera in the bathroom shower. She realized it had footage of her and her 15-year-old sister on it, and she told her parents.

Benoni Enciso, also known as Jon Enciso, was charged with possession of child sexual abusive material, surveilling people without clothes on, eavesdropping and using a computer to commit a crime.

Boyne City Police are continuing to investigate Enciso.

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Pastor accused of molesting three girls out of jail

CALIFORNIA
Record Searchlight

Jim Schultz , Record Searchlight Feb. 23, 2017

A Redding pastor charged with 31 criminal counts, including 22 felonies alleging he molested three girls over a seven-year span, won’t be having his preliminary hearing anytime soon.

James Gladwell Crawford, who has been released from Shasta County Jail after his bail was set last week at $1 million, was back in Shasta County Superior Court on Thursday where his preliminary hearing scheduled for next week was postponed because his defense attorney will be in trial.

With Crawford now out of jail, he was ordered by Judge Cara Beatty to not have any contact with children under the age of 15 without another adult being present.

He’s due back in Superior Court on March 28 to reset the date of his preliminary hearing.

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Bishop Vincent Long’s Lenten Message 2017

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

My dear people,

Lent is an important season for us Catholics insofar as it reminds us of the need for conversion. We cannot live life to the full if we gloss over the inconvenient truths about ourselves. We cannot grow to full maturity if we ignore the obstacles that prevent us from reaching our potential. Pope Francis always asks people to pray for him because he says he is a sinner. It is characteristic of a true Christian who recognises the darker side of himself and seeks metanoia, a change of heart.

More than ever before, the Catholic Church in Australia needs to recognise the dark crimes of sexual abuse against children and vulnerable people under its care, and the untold damage done to them and their loved ones. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has delivered a shameful indictment not simply on the perpetrators and their enablers but the Church’s collective and systemic betrayal of the Gospel.

Nevertheless, I believe firmly that the Church must be grateful for the work of the Royal Commission. More importantly, we must seize this Kairos, this moment of grace, this opportunity as a catalyst for change and not treat this period as a temporary aberration. It can never be business as usual again. We must have the courage to see how far we have drifted from the vision of Jesus, repent of our sins, and face up to the task of reclaiming the innocence and the powerlessness of the Servant-Leader.

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Catholic church looks at charging its schools rent, as payments mount to victims of child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Deborah Snow

Catholic schools in the Hunter and mid North coast could, for the first time, be asked to pay rent to the church for the land they stand on under proposals being considered by the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

The initiative is encountering resistance from some Catholic educators, who fear such a plan risks diverting a portion of government funds intended for Catholic schooling into the administrative coffers of the church.

Currently no Catholic schools in any of the eleven dioceses in New South Wales pay rent to church authorities. Any decision to proceed would set a new precedent, generating potentially millions of dollars for diocesan funds.

“The majority of Catholic educationalists are privately appalled at the approach being taken” one source told the Herald. “It would not pass in the court of public opinion. Many of us fear that it would imperil legitimate claims for government funding of Catholic education if it was perceived those funds were being diverted to provide a revenue stream for the church.”

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Perth Catholic Archbishop says celibacy contributed to child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
PerthNow

Angela Pownall, PerthNow
February 24, 2017

PERTH’s Catholic Archbishop says the vow of celibacy contributed to “many cases” of child sexual abuse by Australian priests.

Giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Friday, Timothy Costelloe’s comments were at odds with Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher.

Archbishop Fisher said he did not blame celibacy for child sexual abuse in the same way he did not blame marriage for adultery.

But the Perth church leader, speaking on the final day of the royal commission’s public hearing into the Catholic Church, argued that a person’s motivation for choosing celibacy was the key.

“I think many people may have wanted to be a priest and thought, well, celibacy is part of the deal, so I’ll have to go along with it, he said.

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Archbishop Martin says Connell ‘was the one who finally began to realise the extent of the abuse’

IRELAND
The Journal

IN THE HOMILY given by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at the funeral of Cardinal Desmond Connell today, Martin credited Connell as being the church figure who “began to drag out information” around abuse allegations inside the Catholic Church.

Martin said that it was “not enough” to make the comment that Connell was slow to recognise the extent of the problem of child sexual abuse when he was Archbishop of Dublin.

He added that Connell marked the beginning of a “new culture” within the diocese by establishing a child protection service.

Martin said:
Cardinal Connell became an Archbishop at a difficult time in this diocese. Many comments in these days noted that he was slow to recognise the extent of child sexual abuse by priests. It is not enough to make that comment now from a distance.

“It must be said that he found himself surrounded by a culture and at times by advisors who were slow and perhaps even unwilling to recognise both the extent of the problem and the enormous hurt that had been done to children, a hurt they still carry with them.

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Grants Pass pastor arrested on sex abuse charges

OREGON
KTVL

by Daniela Jusino
Thursday, February 23rd 2017

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Grants Pass authorities have arrested a Grants Pass man following allegations of sexual abuse.

Michael Lewis, 51, was reportedly a pastor at now defunct Christ Fellowship Church in Grants Pass when the alleged sexual abuse occurred.

Earlier this month, detectives began investigating the case in which it is alleged that between July 2014 and November 2016, Lewis subjected a juvenile female church member to sexual contact.

“Anytime you have an individual who’s in a position of trust, particularly in a faith-based organization, those are usually pretty shocking to have them happen. It’s not a common thing to happen. It does happen, but it’s not something to happen all the time,” said Deputy Chief Jim Hamilton.

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Former Grants Pass pastor arrested for sexual abuse

OREGON
KOBI

Grants Pass, Ore. – Police say a man sexually abused a teenage church member while he was a pastor at a now defunct church in Grants Pass.

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety said they began an investigation on February 1, 2017 into reported sexual abuse of a juvenile girl by 51-year-old Michael Howard Lewis.

Police said at the time the alleged abuse occurred, Lewis was a pastor at Friends in Christ Fellowship Church, formerly located at 1205 Rogue River Highway in Grants Pass. The girl was a church member.

According to detectives, between July 2014 and November 2016, Lewis sexually contacted the girl several times at the church. The sexual contact occurred while the girl was between the ages of 14 and 16.

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Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) to Join Protesters at Whole Foods CEO Speech

CALIFORNIA
SAT Press Release

Nonprofit Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) is joining advocacy groups to lead a protest at Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s San Francisco speech. Advocates urge Mackey to disavow spiritual leader, former rabbi, alleged sex abuser Marc Gafni. The NY Times first reported Mackey’s affiliation with Gafni. Mackey is the scheduled keynote speaker at a Conscious Capitalism Bay Area Conference.

San Francisco, California, February 23, 2017 (Newswire.com) – ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) has joined a consortium of advocacy groups, leading a protest at a speech by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey in San Francisco on February 28, urging “Sexual Violence Accountability.” The advocacy consortium is led by Peaceful Hearts Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Matthew Sandusky, one of six adopted children of Jerry Sandusky (former Penn State football coach and convicted pedophile).

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Natick: Priest linked in sex abuse scandal dies

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Wayland

By Brian Benson
Daily News Staff

NATICK – A Catholic priest and longtime Natick resident, who was implicated in the Archdiocese of Boston priest sex abuse scandal, has died.

The Rev. Anthony J. Rebeiro, 86, died Feb. 15.

Rebeiro, who was born in India, lived in Natick for 40 years and served at several Boston area parishes, including St. Linus in Natick, according to his obituary.

Rebeiro faced allegations he had fondled a 12- or 13-year-old girl in the rectory of St. Linus and made sexual advances on a woman at St. Mary’s Church in Franklin. He denied the allegations, the Boston Globe has reported. The Globe uncovered widespread sexual abuse involving Catholic priests in a Spotlight investigative series around the turn of the century.

Beginning in 2002, Rebeiro was placed on administrative leave after an allegation from about three decades earlier of sexual misconduct with a minor came to light, according to information on the Archdiocese of Boston website.

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Pope Francis’s commission members say the church is ‘struggling’ on child safety responsibilities

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
24 Feb 2017

THE Catholic Church is a world organisation “struggling to come to terms with the safety of children and its responsibilities in that area”, two members of Pope Francis’s child protection commission told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“I think the Pope does understand the seriousness of it and I think there are many other leaders who do, but I think that the organisation, with the leadership that it has, there are some people struggling to come to terms with it,” psychiatrist and Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors member Baroness Sheila Hollins told the royal commission on Thursday.

Baroness Hollins and papal commission member Bill Killgallon told the royal commission they were under-resourced, under-staffed and had not seen evidence of research-based decision-making in the global church on issues relating to child sexual abuse.

“It seems to me that you’ve had a very systematic, well thought out program and you’ve commissioned research widely into some really important topics,” Mr Killgallon told the royal commission at the 16th, and final, public hearing into the Catholic Church.

“We as a commission can follow that example.”

A recent example of the church making decisions directly related to child sexual abuse involved whether child sex offenders within religious orders should be kept within communities or not, Mr Killgallon said.

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Australian archbishops: Leadership on abuse was ‘catastrophic failure’

AUSTRALIA
Catholic News Service

SYDNEY (CNS) — Five Australian archbishops testified before a government commission on child sexual abuse, reiterating apologies and taking responsibility for actions that occurred before they were church leaders.

They also said they believed the culture of church and society had changed enough that it would help such abuse from occurring in the future.

The abuse of children in the church was “a catastrophic failure in many respects, but primarily in leadership,” Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of Perth told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Feb. 23, near the end of three weeks of public hearings.

Gail Furness, the counsel assisting the commission, asked four other archbishops if they concurred with the assessment, and all agreed.

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Catholic leader says not ‘remotely enough’ supervision to prevent child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Thursday 23 February 2017

Sydney’s Catholic archbishop says he can’t pretend there is remotely enough supervision of abusive priests to be certain they won’t sexually assault children again.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher said on Friday the church financially supports known abusers and tries to find out where they live when they want nothing more to do with the institution.

“I can’t pretend we have remotely sufficient supervision for me to be assured that they are not misbehaving again,” he told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Sydney. “I have puzzled about it this now for several years.”

Fisher said he often struggled with the question of whether the church should support abusers. He said some people would think the church was trying to wash its hands of the problem if it didn’t assist them.

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Royal commission: Catholic archbishops split over reporting of abuse heard in confession

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Clare Blumer

Sydney’s Catholic Archbishop says reporting abuse to authorities that he heard about during a confession would be like “bugging the confessional”.

The five Catholic archbishops of Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide were giving evidence alongside each other for the second day running at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The church leaders were quizzed by senior counsel Gail Furness about how they might deal with a fictional child called ‘Sally’ reporting abuse to them in a confessional.

There were mixed responses from the archbishops.

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Church leaders were ‘law unto themselves’, says Perth Archbishop

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Angela Pownall , Sydney
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Perth’s Catholic Archbishop says child sexual abuse took hold in the Church because the institution and its leaders were a “law unto themselves”.

Timothy Costelloe told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that a “catastrophic failure” in leadership led to widespread abuse and the Church’s “scandalously insufficient” response to it.

Giving evidence yesterday, he said bishops had behaved “almost like a little monarch in his own diocese” .

“The Church, in a sense, saw itself largely as … a law unto itself; that it was somehow or other so special, so unique and so important it stood aside from the normal things that would be a part of any other body that works or exists in society,” he said.

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Archbishops Told That Victims Thought ‘God’s Representative’ Abused Them

AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Eoin Blackwell Senior Associate Editor, HuffPost Australia

Survivors of sex abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy thought they were being abused by “a representative of God,” a Royal commission has heard.

Five archbishops from around the country are giving evidence at the sex abuse Royal Commission in Sydney about how the Catholic church responded to decades of sexual abuse against children in its care.

During an at-times philosophical and theological discussion on Friday, commissioner Andrew Murray reminded those listening what the hearings were about.

“We have been told in private sessions that at the moments of abuse, that the child at the time… thought they were being abused by the representative of God, so it has immense and immediate meaning with respect to child sex abuse,” Murray said.

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Pedophile priests used position of power to perpetrate abuse

AUSTRALIA
9 News

By Claire Abraham

The young victims of pedophile priests believed they were being abused by a “representative of God” because of what they had been taught in the Catholic church, a royal commission heard today.

Five archbishops from across the country today faced the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney, where the hearing opened to discussion of the power dynamics between priests and the laity.

Commissioner Andrew Murray drew an emotional response from the Archbishop of Adelaide when he revealed one priest’s dominion over an abused child.

“We have been told in private sessions that at the moments of abuse, that the child at the time — because of what they had been taught — thought they were being abused by the representative of God,” Commissioner Murray said.

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Church abuse victim speaks out nearly one year since grand jury investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

[with video]

Johnstown, Cambria County, Pa. – It has been nearly one year since a grand jury investigation uncovered hundreds of sexual abuse cases, within the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese and on March 1, there will be a news conference outside of the diocese offices in Altoona.

One victim said progress has not been made.

“It was a normal lifestyle except for one very [un]normal thing,” Shaun Dougherty, a church abuse victim, said.

Dougherty said at 10-years old, he was sexually abused by a catholic priest at St. Clement’s Church in Johnstown. He said it went on for three years, but he never told anyone.

At 21, he joined the U.S. Navy and took an oath for the military.

“That oath spoke to me and ever since then, I felt a burning desire to speak out, to tell what happened,” Dougherty said, but when it came to the abuse that happened to him, no one took him seriously until 2016, when the report uncovered hundreds of cases from the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese over a 40 year span, and Dougherty was one of those cases.

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Trinity Grammar knew about abuse and protected teacher, victim says

AUSTRALIA
Courier

Tammy Mills
24 Feb 2017

An alleged victim of a Trinity Grammar teacher has come forward after 40 years, saying the school knew he was abused and they are still protecting the teacher today.

The man, now in his 50s, came forward after Fairfax Media reported on Monday that school heads sent out a letter paying tribute to former teacher Christopher Howell’s “extraordinary legacy”.

“I’ve never been more disgusted with something than that letter,” John*, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said.

“The vision of Howell was enough to make me sick, but what the school was saying about him; it was a lie and the school knew it was a lie and it protected him.

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Wollongong Catholic church figures give evidence at royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

Kate McIlwain
@kmcilwain

24 Feb 2017

Two senior Catholic church figures formerly from Wollongong have told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about their experiences in dealing with the “huge problem” in the diocese in the 1990s.

Appearing during the 16th public hearing on abuse within the Catholic church, long time director of Wollongong’s Catholic welfare agency, Kath McCormack this week spoke about her experiences working with survivors and victims of child sexual assault.

Likewise, Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson, who was the Bishop of Wollongong between 1997 and 2000, described how he and Ms McCormack organised a meeting to hear from victims of child sexual abuse.

Between 1993 and 1996, the Diocese had come under public criticism for its response to child sexual abuse, both from the Illawarra Mercury and in the Wood Royal Commission.

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February 23, 2017

High school teacher admits to verbal and emotional abuse of student

CANADA
CTV

Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Kitchener teacher was suspended from his job without pay for one month last summer after admitting to professional misconduct.

Matthew Kras was accused of verbally, emotionally and sexually abusing a student.

He pleaded guilty to professional misconduct over the emotional and verbal abuse, but did not admit to sexual abuse and is no longer facing that allegation.

In addition to the suspension, his penalty included a public reprimand from the Ontario College of Teachers and having to take a training course on appropriate boundaries. …

Kras currently works at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School in Kitchener. He did not reply to multiple requests for comment before this story was published.

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Two mothers who were sexually abused thirty years ago by Catholic primary school teacher join forces to make sure he stays on sex offenders register for life

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Steph Cockroft for MailOnline

Two mothers who were sexually abused by their Catholic primary school teacher more than 30 years ago joined forces to make sure he stays on the sex offenders register for life.

Kate Taylor, 37, and Kerrie Jones, 35, were among seven schoolgirls who were abused by Gerard Kelly when they were just six years old.

The paedophile, now 59, was convicted of his crimes in February 1999 – 14 years after the attacks took place – and jailed for five years. He was also put on the sex offenders register for life.

But last year, when Ms Taylor contacted police to find out what had happened to her abuser, she discovered he had applied to have his name removed from the register, under a law which was introduced in 2012.

Determined to stop that from happening, Ms Taylor, from Doncaster, then contacted Kelly’s other victims in a bid to block the move.

Ms Jones agreed to help and, together, they launched a successful campaign to ensure his name remains on the register.

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FOILED BY VICTIMS Brave child abuse victims re-unite 30 years later to stop twisted perv teacher being removed from sex offenders’ register

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

BY HANNAH CROUCH 23rd February 2017,

TWO mums who were sexually abused as children by the same man joined forces thirty years later to ensure their abuser remains on the sex offenders register.

Kate Taylor, 37, and Kerrie Jones, 35, were abused by their Catholic primary school teacher Gerard Kelly now 59, when they were just six years old.

n February 1999, 14 years after the abuse took place, Kelly was convicted of indecent assault against seven underage schoolgirls – including Kate and Kerrie – and was sentenced to five years in prison at Doncaster Crown Court.

He was also ordered on to the sex offenders register for life.

Last year, Kate, an office manager, contacted the police to find out what had happened to her abuser, and discovered he had applied to come off the register following a law change in 2012 which allows sex abusers to apply to come off the register.

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Priest Speaks to Media Before Sexual Assault Court Hearing

WISCONSIN
CBS 58

[with video]

A priest is facing a number of sexual assault charges involving a child from a local school.

The complaint said Robert Marsicek sexually assaulted a young girl while working as a priest at St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa.

Marsicek said before his first court appearance he hadn’t read the criminal complaint.

Last December, a 15-year-old girl went to the Wauwatosa Police Department and told them that she was sexually assaulted from first to fourth grade.

She said it happened while she was a student St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa and that Father Bob as he was known repeatedly hugged her, had her sit on his lap, and rubbed her thighs and hips and private areas.

In court, the county commissioner ordered him not to have contact with the alleged victim or any unsupervised contact with a minor.

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Le cardinal Lacroix nie avoir camouflé un scandale de pédophilie

CANADA
Le Soleil

[Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix categorically denies having camouflaged a scandal of pedophilia in the 1970s and 1980s at the Pius X Secular Institute of which he became secretary-general in 1982.]

(Québec) Le cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix nie catégoriquement avoir camouflé un scandale de pédophilie dans les années 1970 et 1980 à l’Institut séculier Pie X, dont il est devenu secrétaire général en 1982.

Dans un message publié mercredi matin sur sa page Facebook, l’archevêque de Québec réfute les allégations d’André Lachance, un homme qui affirme avoir été agressé sexuellement durant une quinzaine d’années par un oncle et missionnaire laïc de l’Institut. Les abus étaient connus des supérieurs religieux, allègue M. Lachance, en ajoutant que Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, membre de l’Institut séculier puis secrétaire général, lui avait demandé à deux reprises de pardonner à son agresseur, Jean-Paul Lachance.

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Keine zureichenden Anhaltspunkte

DEUTSCHLAND
Bishofliches Ordinariat Wurzburg

[Abuse Commissioner Professor Klaus Laubenthal stayed proceedings against a priest in the Wurzburg diocese. He found no reason to restrict activities.]

Missbrauchsbeauftragter Professor Dr. Klaus Laubenthal stellt Verfahren gegen Priester ein – Diözese: Keine Grundlage, Priester in Tätigkeiten einzuschränken

Würzburg (POW) Professor Dr. Klaus Laubenthal, Missbrauchsbeauftragter der Diözese Würzburg, hat das Verfahren gegen einen Priester der Diözese Würzburg eingestellt. Das teilte er Bischof Dr. Friedhelm Hofmann in einem Schreiben mit. Seit April 2016 hatte Laubenthal einen weiteren „Vorwurf des sexuellen Missbrauchs oder einer Übergriffigkeit“ bezogen auf den Priester untersucht. Bereits 2014/15 war ein erster Vorwurf gegen den Priester mit einer kirchenrechtlichen Voruntersuchung geprüft worden. Diese hatte zum Ergebnis, „dass der Vorwurf eines sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen (…) begründet nicht aufrechterhalten werden kann“. Die Kongregation für die Glaubenslehre in Rom hatte nach umfassender Prüfung dieses Ergebnisses mitgeteilt, dass das Verfahren einzustellen sei. Die Staatsanwaltschaft hatte 2016 das Verfahren wegen prozessualer Verfolgungsverjährung eingestellt. Für die Diözese Würzburg bedeuten beide Ergebnisse, dass gegen den Ruhestandspriester keinerlei Vorwürfe aufrechterhalten werden können. Damit ist keine Grundlage gegeben, den Priester in seinen Tätigkeiten einzuschränken.

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Un Français accusé d’agression sexuelle sur des migrants mineurs en Grèce

GRECE
France Actu

[A French national who has been living in Greece for 10 years and who works for a Catholic association was detained after charges of sexual assault. He allegedly attacked Pakistani minors whom he hosted.]

Un ressortissant français, établi depuis 10 ans en Grèce et qui travaille pour une association catholique, a été placé en détention après des accusations d’agression sexuelle. Il s’en serait pris à des mineurs pakistanais qu’il hébergeait.

Depuis 10 ans, il affirme effectuer une mission philanthropique pour l’ordre catholique des Franciscains, à Thessalonique, dans le nord de la Grèce. Ce Français de 52 ans, dont l’identité n’a pas été révélée, a été interpellé à la suite d’accusations de migrants mineurs. Selon la police, deux Pakistanais de 14 et 17 ans assurent que l’homme qui les a hébergés chez lui, les a “abusés sexuellement à plusieurs reprises”.

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Diocese to pray for victims of abuse

MAINE
Courieri

Bishop Robert P. Deeley has designated Friday, March 3, as a diocesan-wide Day of Prayer and Penance to seek forgiveness for past harm while offering prayers for the healing of victims/survivors of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. The day will also reaffirm the Diocese of Portland’s continuing pledge to provide a safe environment for children.

Deeley will celebrate Mass on the Day of Prayer and Penance at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.

Priests throughout the diocese are being encouraged to observe the Day of Prayer and Penance by offering Masses on March 3 that include prayers for victims/ survivors of abuse for their healing; for perpetrators of abuse to seek and find repentance and justice; for diocesan clergy, employees and volunteers to serve with a spirit of respect and humility; and for families to create a safe, loving, and peaceful environment for their children.

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Founder of Skype supports congregational rabbi training

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

Shimon Cohen, 23/02/17

The Association of Community Rabbis has begun a professional training series for synagogue and community rabbis.

In addition to halachic training such as for conducting weddings, family life, and practical kashrut adjudication tools, the rabbis receive comprehensive professional training including courses in mediation and reconciliation, domestic tranquility, handling extreme cases (family and community violence, sexual abuse, etc.), rhetoric and individual dialogue, economic support for needy families, media and public relations issues, and more.

Kevin Bermeister, a Jewish businessman from Australia, decided to assume financial responsibility for a significant part of the rabbinic training programs and scholarships.

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Former school priest accused of sexually assaulting young girl

WISCONSIN
WISN

WAUWATOSA, Wis. —
A former school priest known to students as “Father Bob” touched a young girl on her buttocks, vagina and breasts over the course of nearly three years, a criminal complaint said.

Robert Marsicek, now 75, faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted on three counts of 1st degree sexual assault of a child under age 13.

According to the charging document, the assaults occurred between September 2007 and the end of June 2010 while Marsicek worked at St. Pius X Grade School, on the 2500 block of Wauwatosa Avenue.

The complaint details at least seven instances in which the girl, identified only as AC, alleged that Marsicek touched her inappropriately while hugging her, comforting her or playing with her.

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Child abuse inquiry panel decision defended by John Swinney

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has defended his decision to leave a major inquiry into child abuse in care in Scotland with just one panel member.

Glenn Houston resigned from the Scottish child abuse inquiry panel this week to avoid any potential conflict of interest after he accepted two other public appointments.

He is the third original panel member to resign from the inquiry after Susan O’Brien QC quit following claims she had made comments that were ”offensive” to survivors while professor Michael Lamb stepped down after saying the review is ”doomed” due to interference by ministers.

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Ex-IOR execs Cipriani, Tulli get 4 mths (3)

ROME
ANSA

(ANSA) – Rome, February 23 – The former director-general of the Vatican Bank (IOR), Paolo Cipriani, and his former deputy Massimo Tulli were sentenced to four months and 10 days in jail Thursday for breaching anti-money-laundering norms in a number of suspect transactions. The former IOR chiefs were acquitted for alleged irregularities linked to a 23-million-euro bank transfer, a sum that was seized by investigators in 2010. Last month a Rome prosecutor asked for sentences of one year in jail for Cipriani and 10 months for Tulli a trial into suspected breaches of Italy’s anti-money-laundering norms linked to two suspicious operations that led to the 2010 seizure of the 23 million euros, which was later returned to the Holy See’s bank. The Vatican Bank, or Institute for Religious Works (IOR), operated in Italy without authorization for 40 years, Rome prosecutors said in the case.

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2 EX-VATICAN BANK EXECS CONVICTED OF MINOR OFFENSES

ROME
Associated Press

ROME (AP) — A Rome court has convicted two former top managers of the Vatican’s scandal-marred bank for minor violations of anti-money laundering norms.

According to the ANSA news agency, the two were absolved of a more serious charge but were convicted Thursday of omissions in communications involving three small transfers and were sentenced to four months, 10 days each. Their lawyers plan to appeal.

Paolo Cipriani and Massimo Tulli resigned under pressure in 2013 from the Vatican bank – called Institute for Religious Works, or IOR. The bank’s leadership had been under investigation since 2010 for allegedly violating Italy’s anti-money laundering laws involving routine bank transactions.

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Former Wauwatosa priest charged with sexual assault of a child

WISCONSIN
TMJ4

[with video[

WAUWATOSA, Wis. – Robert Marsicek, a former priest at St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa, has been charged with three counts of child sexual assault.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court records indicate that in December of last year, a student at St. Pius told police Marsicek had sexually assaulted them, hugging them and touching them inappropriately.

The student recalled the abuse continuing from first grade to fourth grade in a detailed report to police.

Detectives questioned “Father Bob,” about these allegations in January, at which time he remembered interacting with the student but said it was not inappropriate.

When asked if he was attracted to small boys and girls, Marsicek admitted that, “Certainly I’m aroused just the cuteness and beauty of them.”

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Rogers City priest facing CSC charges in district court

MICHIGAN
Presque Isle County Advance

by Peter Jakey—

A Rogers City priest has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct (CSC).

The Rev. Sylvestre Ochieng Obwaka, 44, was arraigned Tuesday morning in 89th District Court in Rogers City in front of district Judge Maria Barton.

The judge read the charges to Obwaka, who is the priest at St. Ignatius Catholic Church of Rogers City.

Count one is CSC first degree, personal injury, while the second count is CSC third degree, force or coercion. Both are felonies and both charges involve a male victim, according to Presque Isle County prosecutor Ken Radzibon. The alleged offenses occurred “on or about Feb. 1,” the complaint states.

“Charges have been authorized based upon an investigation conducted by the Michigan State Police (MSP),” said Radzibon after the arraignment. “The defendant was arraigned today (Feb. 21). I would just remind people that obviously all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

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Charged: Man who used to be priest at Wauwatosa school accused of inappropriate contact with young girl

WISCONSIN
Fox 6

MILWAUKEE — 75-year-old Robert Marsicek of Milwaukee is charged with three counts of first-degree child sexual assault – contact with a child under age 13. This, in connection with events that allegedly took place at St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa.

In December 2016, a 15-year-old girl went to Wauwatosa police to discuss allegations that she was sexually assaulted by Marsicek, also known as Father Bob.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged victim told police Marsicek was the priest at the school. She said starting in first grade, Marsicek would “hug her” and often touch her in inappropriate ways. The complaint indicates these incidents happened from first through fourth grade.

On January 10th, the complaint indicates “Father Bob was questioned” by a detective about the incidents in the complaint. Marsicek recalled interacting with the student — but was not specific about any instance in particular.

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Two Dundee establishments investigated as part of Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

SCOTLAND
The Courier

by Stefan Morkis
February 23 2017

A former school and defunct orphanage in Dundee are both being investigated as part of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

The inquiry is probing historic child abuse across Scotland. More than 60 residential and care establishments are being investigated.

The two Dundee institutions being investigated both closed down in the early 1980s: the Balgowan List D School and the Roseangle Orphanage (St Vincents).

The inquiry is collecting evidence from the victims of abuse. …

A number of organisations, including two survivors’ groups, the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and Quarriers have been granted “core participant” status in the inquiry.

Neither the Catholic Church of the Church of Scotland has so far applied for core participant status although the Catholic Church has said it may do so in due course.

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Priest charged with sex assault of child at Wauwatosa parish

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Annysa Johnson , Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Feb. 23, 2017

Four years after he was removed from ministry because of alleged inappropriate contact with children, a Milwaukee priest has been charged with three counts of felony sexual assault of a child beginning when she was 6 years old.

The Rev. Robert R. Marsicek, 75, who had been the subject of numerous complaints from parents over the years and escaped a criminal charge in 2013, was charged Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in Milwaukee Circuit Court at Thursday.

According to a criminal complaint, Marcicek repeatedly touched the child while at Pius X Parish and school in Wauwatosa between 2007 and 2010. She said Marsicek, who defended himself over the years as merely overly affectionate, at one point laid on her and touched her breasts and at another reached under her jumper to “pat” her vagina.

Marsicek told detectives that the girl was clingy and liked to sit on his lap, and that he told her it was not acceptable. He said he did not remember the rest of her allegations.

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Bishops unhappy with speed of Vatican trials for alleged abusers

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

Delays in how the Vatican tackles cases of priests accused of abuse continue to be a concern for Irish bishops, a spokesman for the hierarchy has confirmed.

Addressing Australia’s royal commission into the institutional handling of abuse allegations earlier this month, Teresa Devlin, CEO of the Irish Church’s safeguarding board, said she believed that Ireland’s bishops may have asked for steps to be taken to address these delays and she knew “there is a keenness” on the part of the bishops “for this to be moved along much quicker”.

However, a spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference told The Irish Catholic that while “The lengths of penal trials have always been a concern for bishops and priests,” he had no information available on “particular representations to the CDF on this matter”.

Elphin’s Bishop Kevin Doran told The Irish Catholic that as far as he was aware, “no specific changes” had been sought from the CDF.

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Retired Geelong Bishop speaks of Royal Commission into child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Jemma Ryan, Geelong Advertiser
February 23, 2017

RETIRED Bishop Peter Danaher has spoken for the first time about his shock and devastation at the findings of the Royal Commission into institutional child abuse within the church.

A report, which focused on the institutional response to reported cases of abuse within the church, was released earlier this month.

Almost 2000 members of the Catholic clergy were named as alleged perpetrators of 4,400 allegations of sexual abuse.

Bishop Danaher, a Former Vicar of All Saints’ Anglican Parish in Newtown, labelled the acts, and institutional cover up that ensued, a “disgrace” and said he was pleased to see the “criminals” who betrayed the church and the wider community ousted in such a public way.

“There is absolutely no way that any of these crimes can be excused or ignored. What has happened is grossly sinful and brings shame on all involved,” he said.

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Teacher fired, investigated over abuse allegation at Yeshiva

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

February 22, 2017

By Karen Kane / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The president of an Orthodox Jewish school in Squirrel Hill said Wednesday that an elementary teacher was fired in September after a witness reported observing him having inappropriate sexual contact with a child.

Shlomo Jacobs, president of the Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, said Nisson Friedman had been a teacher at the school since 2014 before his firing.

Mr. Friedman, 26, of Squirrel Hill, taught boys in the first and second grades. He is married, but his wife has initiated divorce and custody proceedings. according to documents filed in the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. The couple has a young child.

According to his wife’s filing, Mr. Friedman “is currently under investigation in Pittsburgh, PA for at least one incident of child sexual abuse with a minor other than (the couple’s own) child. These allegations … relate to the Pittsburgh school at which (Mr. Friedman) was employed at the time. He was fired shortly thereafter.”

The court approved her petition to receive sole custody of the child on an interim emergency basis due to the investigation.

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Christian Brothers defend spending $1.5m funding paedophile Robert Best’s legal defence

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

THE Christian Brothers say they only paid a convicted pedophile’s latest legal fees after previously spending more than $1.5 million defending him because he decided to plead guilty.

A Victorian County Court judge says he is “blown away” that the Catholic Church still funds the legal defence for Brother Robert Best, who has been convicted of sex offences against 11 boys and this week admitted abusing a further 20.

Christian Brothers Oceania Province leader Brother Peter Clinch says the order agreed it would fund the latest case only if Best pleaded guilty. “We agreed that if the person pleaded guilty we would support the plea. Full stop,” Brother Clinch told the child sex abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

“We would not contest and we would not pay for any trial and we would not pay for any appeal.”

The Christian Brothers had spent $1.53 million defending Best by 2015. Marist Brothers provincial Brother Peter Carroll said the order paid for the defence of brothers charged with child sex offences whether they pleaded guilty or not.

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Royal Commission into child sex abuse: Archbishop refused to apologise to mother of teen victim

AUSTRALIA
The Daily Telegraph

Ian Paterson, The Daily Telegraph

A HEARTLESS archbishop has refused to apologise to a 92-year-old mother for the sexual abuse a priest inflicted on her then teenage daughter, who later committed suicide.

The Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart yesterday fronted the royal commission into child sex abuse to issue a series of apologies for the Catholic Church’s handling of a “tsunami” of cases but refused to even acknowledge that Eileen Piper’s daughter Stephanie had been sexually assaulted over several years by a disgraced former priest.

Ms Piper took her own life in Melbourne in 1994 after ­allegedly suffering sexual abuse between the ages of 15 and 18 when in a youth group run by Father Gerard Mulvale.

After 23 years, her mother is still battling with the Melbourne archdiocese, which ­refuses to acknowledge the abuse of her daughter.

Mulvale, the priest who ­allegedly raped Stephanie during her late teens, was sentenced to three years jail in 1995 for indecently assaulting two teenage boys who were in the same youth group.

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4 new sex abuse lawsuits filed against church

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

All four alleged victims claim they were sexually abused by former Guam priest Father Louis Brouillard.

Guam – The Archdiocese of Agana is now facing a total of $110 million in lawsuits with the addition of four new civil claims of sexual abuse that were filed yesterday.

The four new plaintiffs are Benny Manglona, Johnny Bascon, Albino Bascon and Roque Flores. All four identify their alleged sexual abuser as former Guam Priest Father Louis Brouillard and say the sexual abuse happened in the 1970s at either the Malojloj church or the Barrigada parish. All four boys were between the ages of 10 to 15 years old and were serving as altar boys while Brouillard was a parish priest and scout master at the Guam Boy’s Scout.

Brouillard is now facing 14 lawsuits for civil claims of sexual abuse. He has admitted to being a sexual predator while serving as a priest on Guam, signing an affidavit in which he says he doesn’t recall exactly how many young boys he may have molested.

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Greece charges cleric with child refugees’ sexual abuse

GREECE
Aljazeera

Teo Kermeliotis

Greek police say they have arrested a French cleric suspected of sexually abusing unaccompanied refugee children he had sheltered in his house in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-biggest city.

The 52-year-old man, who belongs to the Franciscan Church of France, allegedly molested four homeless Pakistani boys, aged 14 to 18.

The children, who had been sleeping rough around Thessaloniki’s main railway station, told police officials that they accepted to stay at the man’s home in January after he had offered to provide them with food and housing.

“When questioned, the children said they suffered repeated and persistent sexual abuse by the man,” a police spokeswoman told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

“They say that he took advantage of the fact that they were homeless and without food to sexually abuse them.”

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Vianney College seminary has introduced a second round of psychological testing for Catholic priests in training

AUSTRALIA
Daily Advertiser

Ken Grimson
23 Feb 2017

CATHOLIC priests in training at the Vianney College seminary at Wagga will undergo a second psychological assessment before being ordained as deacons as part of the church’s response to the nation’s child sex scandal.

The second test was revealed by seminary rector, Reverend Father Peter Thompson, when he appeared at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Fr Thompson said that for the most part, seminarians have been assessed in their first year at the college, but from this year each man would be tested again before being considered for the diaconate.

He said the reason for adding second test was “by the time they get to their seventh year their original psychological test is a long way away.”

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Catholic leaders ‘criminally negligent’ on child abuse: archbishop

AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

Australia’s metropolitan Catholic archbishops agree a “catastrophic failure” of leadership contributed to ongoing child sexual abuse by clergy across the country.

The archbishops of Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide are jointly giving evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual abuse in Sydney.

Counsel assisting Gail Furness SC on Thursday asked each of them whether they agreed leadership failures were responsible for ongoing abuse in the church.

“I think you might want to use stronger words (than failure), in some cases,” Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said.

“It was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face.”

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Archbishop makes explosive claim at Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Starts at 60

No doubt you’ve been following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse over the past few months.

We’ve heard from convicted priests and some of their victims, and now the attention is turning to the heads of the Catholic church in Australia.

Today two of the church’s most senior Australian leaders fronted the commission, and one of them made an explosive claim about the church’s response to child sex abuse allegations.

According to reports by the ABC, the Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher told the commission that response by catholic leaders amounted to “criminal negligence”.

“It was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face,” he said.

“In other cases, I think there were people that were just like rabbits in the headlights, they just had no idea what to do, and their performance was appalling.”

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Archbishop meets 92yo over alleged abuse

By Rebekah Ison
Australian Associated Press

A 92-year-old woman fighting for justice over her late daughter’s alleged sexual abuse has met with Melbourne’s Catholic archbishop but says his sympathies don’t cut the mustard.

Eileen Piper says Archbishop Denis Hart gave her a letter and said he would pray for her in a closed-door meeting shortly after he gave evidence at the child abuse royal commission on Thursday.

Ms Piper’s lawyer, Judy Courtin, said Archbishop Hart extended his sympathies for what had happened to the widow, whose 32-year-old daughter Stephanie killed herself in 1994, the year after revealing she had been raped by Pallottine priest Gerard Mulvale as a teen.

But he did not acknowledge the abuse occurred, Ms Piper said

“I’m sorry to say… nothing has changed,” Ms Piper, who travelled from Melbourne, told reporters after the meeting outside the royal commission in Sydney.

“It’s not over. I’m not prepared to let that happen.”

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Archbishop Admits To ‘Castastrophic’ Failure In Leadership Over Child Sex Abuse

AUSTRALIA
Christian Today

Ruth Gledhill EDITOR 23 February 2017

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, has told Australia’s Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse that the response by Catholic Church to allegations amount to ‘criminal negligence’.

Fisher, aged 57, who succeeded Cardinal George Pell as Archbishop of Sydney in 2014, said: ‘It was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face.

‘In other cases, I think there were people that were just like rabbits in the headlights, they just had no idea what to do, and their performance was appalling,’ he added according to ABC.

Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe admitted there had been a ‘catastrophic’ failure in Church leadership.

He said child sex abuse ran counter to what the Church claimed to be.

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‘It’s wrong. It’s unfair’: A mother’s 23-year search for a Church apology

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

By Patrick Wood

Eileen Piper has told her daughter’s tragic story so many times she can recount the facts with a steely determination.

There was a Catholic youth club, a priest, allegations of horrific sexual abuse followed by Church denial. And then her daughter committed suicide.

The 92-year-old is kept awake at night by these events, yet said she finds strength in chasing the truth about what happened to her child.

It’s only when asked what she would like to hear from the archbishops who will appear at the child abuse royal commission that Eileen finally starts to look worn out.

“I’ve got a broken heart,” she said.

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Archbishop Says Child Abuse Response Appalling, ‘Kind Of Criminal Negligence’

AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Eoin Blackwell Senior Associate Editor, HuffPost Australia

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney has told a Royal Commission the response by church leaders to abuse allegations by children amounted to “criminal negligence”.

On Thursday the archbishops of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth appeared before the sex abuse Royal Commission to give evidence on what the Church is doing to address its decades long failure to protect children.

The archbishops were asked by Counsel assisting, Gail Furness, if a failure of leadership was responsible for abuse in the church.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said a stronger term might be used.

“That it was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face,” he said

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A 92 year old woman’s plea for justice from the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Independent Australia

Dr Judy Courtin 23 February 2017

This morning, Eileen Piper, a 92 year old mother who lost her only daughter, Stephanie, to suicide at age 32 after being repeatedly raped by Catholic priest, Gerard Mulvale, told her story to ABC’s Fran Kelly.

(You can listen to the interview here.)

EILEEN AND her lawyer, Dr Judy Courtin, travelled to Sydney to confront Archibishop Denis Hart today at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It is a heartbreaking story of unmitigated injustice. The Catholic Church have conspired to trash her daughter’s reputation — and hold fast to the findings of the church’s farcical self-investigation decades ago.

Dr Judy Courtin tells Eileen’s story:

Mrs Eileen Piper, my 92-year old client, has been fighting the Catholic Church for 25 years.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is soon to complete its wrap-up hearing into the Catholic Church. Whilst the church “hangs it head in shame”, we are assured by the hierarchy that “today’s church is significantly different”.

Mrs Piper and many other victims fervently disagree.

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Elderly mum gets meeting but no apology from archbishop at Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Eileen Piper says Archbishop Denis Hart gave her a letter and said he would pray for her in a closed-door meeting shortly after he gave evidence at the child abuse royal commission on Thursday.

Ms Piper’s lawyer, Judy Courtin, said Archbishop Hart extended his sympathies for what had happened to the widow, whose 32-year-old daughter Stephanie killed herself in 1994, the year after saying she had been raped by Pallottine priest Gerard Mulvale as a teen.

But he did not acknowledge the abuse occurred, Ms Piper said

“I’m sorry to say… nothing has changed,” Ms Piper, who travelled from Melbourne, told reporters after the meeting outside the royal commission in Sydney.

“It’s not over. I’m not prepared to let that happen.”

Mulvale was charged with offences relating to Stephanie but they were dropped after she died.

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I failed in victim dealings: Archbishop

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Megan Neil – AAP on February 23, 2017

Adelaide’s Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson admits his dealings with child sex abuse survivors have failed at times.

Archbishop Wilson, believed to be the most senior Catholic official in the world to face a charge of concealing child sex abuse, says the church leadership carries a big responsibility to ensure changes occur so children are protected.

The archbishop accepts the Adelaide archdiocese’s dealings with abuse survivors have not always been a success.

“There are some parts of our experience in Adelaide that I wasn’t happy that we did it as well as we could,” he told the child sex abuse royal commission on Thursday.

“Sometimes I have failed in that area but I would really make it a high point to try to engage with the survivors as much as I can.”

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‘Criminally negligent’: Catholic archbishops criticise church’s handling of abuse scandal

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus
Thursday 23 February 2017

Australia’s most senior Catholic leaders have conceded that the church’s handling of the child sexual abuse crisis was “hopelessly inadequate”, had catastrophic consequences, and amounted to “criminal negligence”.

Five of Australia’s metropolitan archbishops appeared before the child abuse royal commission on Thursday, asked to explain how the church had allowed the abuse of at least 4,444 children between between 1980 and 2015.

Perth archbishop, Timothy Costelloe, said a major cause of the abuse complaints and the abysmal response to complaints was the leadership’s belief in the “untouchability of the church”, which filtered down to bishops and priests.

“The church in a sense saw itself as a law unto itself; that it was somehow or other so special and so unique, and in a sense so important, that it stood aside from the normal things that would be a part of any other body,” Costelloe said.

“There was a profound cultural presupposition about the uniqueness of the church … in a sense the untouchability of the church, in that it didn’t have to answer to anybody else,” he said.

“It only had to answer to itself.”

He described the church’s respo

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Catholic leaders speak of church’s ‘catastrophic failure’ in past approach to child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Australia’s most senior Catholic leaders delivered a scathing assessment of their church’s past approach to victims of child sexual abuse, telling a royal commission it was “criminal negligence” and “a catastrophic failure”.

Five metropolitan archbishops appeared before a packed hearing room at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which is examining Catholic church authorities in a three-week inquiry.

Sydney archbishop Anthony Fisher described the church’s response to victims as “criminal negligence”.

“There were people who were just like rabbits in the headlights, they had no idea what to do and their performance was appalling,” he said.

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February 22, 2017

Church funded abuser’s three-year fight not to be extradited to NZ

AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

MEGAN NEIL

A Catholic order’s leader dropped to his knees and begged a brother to face child sex abuse charges in New Zealand yet still paid to take the extradition battle as far as Australia’s highest court.

Brother Timothy Graham believes his predecessor as provincial of the Australian Hospitaller Order of St John of God should not have funded the three-year extradition fight.

The issue caused great controversy, Brother Graham told the Australian child sex abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

St John of God’s Brother Rodger Moloney and Father Raymond John Garchow were eventually extradited to New Zealand to face charges they sexually abused boys at Christchurch special school Marylands in the 1970s, after the High Court refused their special leave application in 2006.

Moloney was jailed in 2008 for two years and nine months for offences against five boys, while the case against Garchow did not proceed due to his and a complainant’s ill health.

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Pope’s abuse advisory group ‘underfunded’

AUSTRALIA
NT News

By Rebekah Ison, Australian Associated Press

Pope Francis’ child sexual abuse advisory group is under-resourced and struggling to carry out its work, a royal commission sitting in Sydney has heard.

Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on Thursday agreed the Catholic Church was still struggling to deal with its child safety responsibilities.

Australian commission member Kathleen McCormack said underfunding, infrequent meetings, and structural and cultural barriers were hampering the group’s work.

“Our budget would be what you would do in a diocese, but we’re dealing with the whole world,” she said at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Thursday.

UK member Sheila Hollins agreed the commission was struggling to operate.

“Why can’t you go to the Pope and say ‘We don’t have the resources we need to effectively carry out our work’?” royal commission chair Peter McClellan asked.

Baroness Hollins replied: “That may well be something we want to feed back to him when we complete our review.”

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The Catholic Church Must Show Leadership For Abuse Survivors

AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Michelle James
Principal and the head of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers’ Abuse Practice

Extraordinary details have continued to emerge at The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse about the extent of sexual abuse and alleged perpetrators within the Catholic Church, as well as compensation paid.

The statistics are shocking — more than 4,400 cases of alleged abuse have been recorded, and close to $280 million in compensation paid over 35 years. Significant concerns were also raised about barriers to compensation in dealing with the Catholic Church, including through the Church’s Towards Healing process.

Sadly, the struggle for survivors seeking access to compensation is a tale we have heard all too often when it comes to the Catholic Church — whether this is sought through the Towards Healing process or directly through a diocese or affiliated organisation.

For too long the Catholic Church has been hiding behind a complex legal defence known as the ‘Ellis defence’ that blocks victims from suing for compensation. Based on a 2007 NSW Court of Appeal decision involving abuse survivor John Ellis who was sexually abused by a priest in the 1970s, the defence essentially protects the Catholic Church from liability to be sued because it is not a legal entity. So despite well-documented abuse occurring within countless Catholic Church owned, affiliated and operated organisations, survivors must instead seek compensation directly from the diocese or congregation concerned, while the broader church remains at arm’s length.

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Catholics for Renewal president Peter Johnstone says Vatican diplomatic recognition is in question because of abuse crisis

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
23 Feb 2017

A FORMER senior federal and state government executive and leading Australian Catholic reform group president has backed calls for Australia to break diplomatic ties with the Vatican over the tragedy of child sexual abuse.

Catholics for Renewal president Peter Johnstone said the response was “right on the money”, in comments after telling the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Australia needed to send a “hard” message to Pope Francis and the Vatican.

“I have no hesitation in arguing the royal commission should say to the government that if the Catholic Church will not cooperate in making major changes – and the Australian church can’t change without the global church changing – then the government should say to the Catholic Church it will reconsider its diplomatic recognition of the Holy See,” Mr Johnstone said on Tuesday.

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