Montana diocese files for bankruptcy ahead of trial

Great Falls Tribune

Seaborn Larson, Great Falls Tribune March 31, 2017

An attorney representing nearly half of the 72 survivors who suffered sexual abuse and rape at the hands of priests and nuns in rural Montana say the church’s decision to file for bankruptcy is a step in the right direction.

The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings on Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court, effectively setting in motion the process to reorganize its assets toward a settlement in a lawsuit in which more than 20 religious community leaders sexually abused at least 72 victims in eastern Montana over the course of several decades.

Vito de la Cruz, an attorney with Tamaki Law representing 34 of the 72 victims, said the bankruptcy filing marks an incremental win for his clients. He said he expects the diocese to begin negotiating an appropriate financial settlement with the court in…

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First child abuse inquiry sessions to hear from faith-based organisations

Evening Times

The first sessions of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will hear evidence from faith-based organisations and residential and foster care providers.

Expert witnesses, the Scottish Government and survivor groups will also give evidence at the hearings, which will begin on May 31.

The inquiry is examining historical allegations of the abuse of children in care and has been taking statements from witnesses since last spring.

It covers the period within living memory of anyone who suffered such abuse, no later than December 17, 2014.

The first phase of hearings will take place at Rosebery House in Edinburgh and is expected to last about seven weeks.

They will hear evidence of the history and governance of large care providers of residential and foster care to children in Scotland and whether there is any retrospective acknowledgement of abuse.

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Religious orders to give evidence at child abuse inquiry



A number of religious organisations including the Catholic Church and Church of Scotland will be called to give evidence by the national child abuse inquiry, it has been confirmed.

Led by judge Lady Smith, the inquiry will hear from expert witnesses, the Scottish Government and survivors’ groups when the first phase of hearings gets under way in May.

Evidence will also be taken from large care providers including Quarriers, Barnardo’s and the Aberlour Child Care Trust, as well as faith-based organisations.

The inquiry published a list of ten such organisations, including CrossReach, previously known as the Church of Scotland Board of Social Responsibility and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church.

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Inquiry first phase hearings starting on 31 May 2017

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

The Inquiry has issued a notice providing information about the scope and purpose of the Inquiry’s first phase hearings which will start on 31 May. There is also information about how to apply for what is called “leave to appear”.

Members of the public do not need “leave to appear” to watch the hearings from the public seats.

The evidence to be heard will include:

^ Evidence from expert witnesses about:
* The legislative and regulatory framework governing children in care in Scotland up to 1968;
* The early development of care services in Scotland;
* Societal attitudes towards children; and
* The nature and prevalence of child abuse in Scotland.

* Evidence from the Scottish Government on the nature, extent and development of the State’s areas of responsibility for children in residential and foster care in Scotland.

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Child abuse inquiry will quiz charities and church groups will be asked to admit abuses

Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith

CHARITIES and faith-based groups will be asked whether they admit overseeing the abuse of children, during the first public hearings of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

The Inquiry has announced 10 Christian organisations and three charities will appear during seven weeks of hearings, beginning on May 31 as it takes evidence in public for the first time.

They will be asked what residential care they provided for children, when, and how it was governed. The inquiry will also ask each charity whether they acknowledge abuse took place on their watch.

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‘They had nowhere to hide’: abuse survivors praise commission for shaking institutions

The Guardian (UK)

Melissa Davey

Anthony Foster, an outspoken advocate for child sexual abuse victims and survivors, noticed a glaring absence from the hearing rooms during the final week of the child sexual abuse royal commission.

“There has not been one representative from one religious institution present,” says Foster, whose daughters Emma and Katie were sexually abused by a Catholic priest.

“Not one. And all of the survivors have noticed it.”

The absence of senior religious leaders and other high-profile institutional representatives was particularly jarring to Foster, given the closing week of public hearings focused on the nature, cause and impact of child sexual abuse, and prevention and responses.

On Monday, the chair of the commission, Justice Peter McClellan, revealed that children were allegedly sexually abused in more than 4,000 Australian institutions.

“The non-attendance of the representatives of those institutions this week is palpable,” says Foster, whose own…

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Victim advocate: The abuse scandal has broken heart of the Catholic Church in Australia.


Gerard O’Connell
March 31, 2017

In this exclusive interview with America, Francis Sullivan, the chief executive officer of the Australian Catholic Church’s “Truth, Justice, and Healing Council,” reflects on what contributed to the abuse of minors by priests and religious in Australia, and what he thinks the Royal Commission that has been investigating this abuse might say in its report at the year’s end.

T.J.H.C. was set up by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia soon after the federal government announced on Jan. 11, 2013, the establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It represents dioceses, archdioceses and religious congregations across the country. It was set up for the church to address the past openly and honestly, and to speak with one voice before the Royal Commission.

Mr. Sullivan was one of the speakers at the seminar on…

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Transfer Of Sex Case Involving Moravian Pastor Delayed

The Gleaner

There has been a delay in the transfer of the sex offence case of Moravian minister Rupert Clarke from the St Elizabeth Parish Court to the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.

Clarke, who is 64, is charged with having sex with a minor in relation to a 14-year-old girl in the parish.

Yesterday, when he appeared in the St Elizabeth Parish Court, it was expected that the judge would have granted permission for the matter to be transferred on a voluntary bill of indictment.

But Clarke’s new attorney Deborah Martin asked for time to peruse the affidavit which she said was only served on her yesterday by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution.

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NEWS RELEASE – Bankruptcy Path to Settlement of Sex Abuse Claims Against Diocese of Great Falls – Billings

James, Vernon and Weeks, P.A.


Leander James (Cell 208 818-6775)
Craig Vernon Cell (208-691-2768)
James Vernon & Weeks P.A.
1626 Lincoln Way
Coeur D’Alene, ID 83814
Tel: (208) 667-0683
Fax: (208) 664-1684

(Great Falls, Montana – March 31, 2017.) The Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings filed bankruptcy today as a step toward settling 72 lawsuits seeking monetary and non-monetary redress for claims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests, nuns and lay workers from the 1950s through 1990s.

The filing automatically stays any further action in the lawsuits and paves the way for a global settlement and payment of claims through the bankruptcy court. The first cases were scheduled for trial in July.

The Catholic Church uses bankruptcy laws that allow corporations to continue doing business after paying off their creditors…

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Great Falls-Billings Diocese Files Bankruptcy As Part Of Sex Abuse Settlement

Montana Public Radio

A Montana Roman Catholic diocese is filing for bankruptcy protection as part of an unfolding settlement with 72 people who filed sex abuse claims.

Darren Eultgen is Chancellor of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings. Eultgen says the diocese and its insurance carriers would contribute to a fund to compensate victims and set aside additional money for those who have not yet come forward:

“We’ve started to take beginning steps to settle these large abuse lawsuits facing the diocese, entered into mediation and today as part of that agreement, filed for bankruptcy.”

Two sexual abuse lawsuits were filed against the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings – one in February 2012 and another the following June.

Bishop Michael Warfel said in a statement that he apologizes to anyone who was abused by a priest, a sister or a lay church worker.

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Diocese of Great Falls-Billings filing for bankruptcy as part of sex abuse settlement


Updated: Mar 31, 2017

By David Sherman – MTN News

The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings plans to file for bankruptcy protection as part of a settlement with 72 people who filed sex abuse claims, church officials said on Friday.

The Diocese comprises the eastern two-thirds of Montana. It includes 79 priests (49 active), 51 parishes, and more than 38,000 registered Catholics, according to its website.

In a press release, the diocese says that it is taking a “major step forward” bringing resolution to 72 current claims of abuse by minors by diocesan priests, religious community priests, women religious and lay workers who have served in the diocese.”

They expect make the Chapter 11 reorganization filing on Friday, and the Diocese and its insurance carriers would contribute to a fund to compensate victims and set aside additional money for those who have not yet…

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Diocese filing for bankruptcy to settle sex abuse claims

Associated Press


HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A second Montana Roman Catholic diocese will file for bankruptcy protection as part of settlements involving more than 400 people in sex abuse lawsuits, church officials said Friday.

The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings said it expected to make the Chapter 11 reorganization filing later in the day, and the diocese and its insurance carriers would contribute to a fund to compensate victims and set aside additional money for those who have not yet come forward.

The amount of the settlement involving 72 people was not released.

“On behalf of the entire Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, I express my profound sorrow and sincere apologies to anyone who was abused by a priest, a sister or a lay church worker,” Bishop Michael Warfel said in a statement. “No child should experience harm from anyone who serves the…

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Roselle Catholic teacher accused of having sex with student, deleting evidence

New Jersey 101.5

By Dan Alexander March 31, 2017

ROSELLE — A Catholic high school teacher was arrested at her Linden home on charges of having a sexual relationship with a student.

Roselle Catholic began an investigation into the allegations made against technology teacher Theresa Hrindo, 25, and contacted the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.

Hrindo had sexual relations with the student several times between December and February at several different locations in the county, according to Union County Acting Prosecutor Grace Park.

The 2010 graduate of the school also faces charges for hindering apprehension because she deleted incriminated photos and other files from the student’s phone.

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Roselle Catholic teacher accused of sex with student freed from jail


By Marisa Iati | NJ Advance Media for

ELIZABETH — A teacher at Roselle Catholic High School accused of having a sexual relationship with a student was ordered on Friday to be released from jail on two conditions.

Judge Brenda Coppola Cuba agreed to release Theresa Hrindo, 25, of Linden, under the conditions that she have no contact with the student and that she cannot teach or supervise children.

“This whole process for my client, her family and everyone involved is, quite frankly, traumatic,” Michael G. Brucki, Hrindo’s lawyer, told the judge at Hrindo’s first appearance in state Superior Court in Union County.

Hrindo was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of hindering apprehension.

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25-Year-Old Catholic High School Teacher Arrested for Sexual Relationship with Student

NBC New York

A 25-year-old teacher at a New Jersey Catholic school faces charges that she carried on an illicit sexual relationship with a student, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office said on Friday.

Theresa Hrindo allegedly engaged in sexual acts with the student from last December through this February while working at Roselle Catholic High School, prosecutors said. Hrindo, a technology teacher, graduated from that same school in 2010 and from Kean University in 2014.

An investigation began earlier this month after a referral from the Archdiocese of Newark. A spokesman for the archdiocese said Hrindo was suspended when the allegations first came to light; she is no longer listed as faculty on the school’s website.

“When we became aware of the allegation we reported it immediately to the prosecutor’s office, and the school and the archdiocese have been cooperating with the prosecutors throughout the last couple…

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Catholic League

Bill Donohue

In its reporting on Ireland’s “mass grave” story, the New York Times has been one of the only media outlets in the nation not to buy into this hoax. Indeed, the 2014 story by Douglas Dalby blew holes in the account rendered by Catherine Corless, the person responsible for making this unsubstantiated accusation. He accurately stated that she “surmised that the children’s bodies were interred in a septic tank behind the home,” and quoted sources who undermined her story. (My italic.)

In today’s New York Times there is an op-ed by Sadhbh Walshe that is strewn with inaccuracies and vicious smears against nuns. Her only credentials are that of a film maker and staff writer for fictional TV shows. She is good at fiction: she cites a report by an Irish commission as proof that “mass graves” were found outside a Mother and…

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Assignment Record– Rev. Raymond A. Hyland


Summary of Case: Raymond Hyland was ordained for the Archdiocese of New York in 1947. He was a parish priest throughout his career, assisting in Saugerties, the Bronx, Crestwood and Middletown before becoming pastor in 1974 in Bengall, and then in Kingston in 1983. He died in 1995.

In the mid-1980s a woman told the archdiocese that Hyland sexually abused her when she was a child in the Bronx in the 1950s. The woman – an Ursuline nun – said that Hyland stepped in to “take her under his wing” after her sister was struck and killed by a car. The abuse allegedly started when the woman was 11 years-old and continued until she was 16. Hyland’s accuser said two priests from the archdiocese questioned her about the allegations and asked her what she had done to “activate his interest.” She asked for compensation to help…

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Caso Provolo: una vittima ha raccontato di una macabra stanza con catene dove legavano i bambin

Rete L’Abuso

[Provolo case: One victim told of a macabre room at the deaf institute that had chains on the wall in which children were bound for rape.]

bound the children to rape them

Per queste affermazioni hanno fatto un’ispezione oculare nella soffitta dell’Istituto, dove hanno trovato una parete con un buco dove potrebbero essere state attaccate le catene. Hanno trovato altre prove che vanno ad aggravare la condizione dei cinque detenuti.

Strazianti e macabri dettagli sono stati apportati da una testimone e vittima sui reiterati abusi sessuali i quali, secondo quanto ha denunciato, è stata sottomessa nell’Istituto Provolo di Luján. Grazie a questa testimonianza è stata fatta un’ispezione oculare e sono stati trovati altri elementi per incriminare gli accusati e continuare l’indagine.

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‘Mother and Baby’ mums should be compensated for ‘slave labour’ says support group

Westmeath Examiner

The thousands of women who were forced into “slave labour” in Castlepollard and other mother and babies home should be compensated by the religious orders who were paid by the state to take care of them, according to the chairman of the Coalition of Mother And Baby Home Survivors (CMABS).

The Irish Times reported last Wednesday that the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes has proposed a redress scheme for survivors who suffered abuse during their time in the facilities. The commission’s final report will be released early next year.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, CMABS chairman Paul Redmond, who was born in the mother and baby home in Castlepollard, says that a redress scheme is long overdue.

“Natural mothers in places like Castlepollard were essentially unpaid slave labour and they were worked to the bone six days a week from early morning until…

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Abuse survivors give voice to thousands


MARCH 31, 20174:

Megan Neil
Australian Associated Press

The voices of child sexual abuse victims have been heard and the secrecy shattered.

Now the survivors who have given voice to the suffering of tens of thousands of others during four years of child abuse royal commission public hearings want action.

They want a zero-tolerance approach after child sexual abuse allegations involving more than 4000 Australian institutions.

It is the only approach the community can adopt, 56-year-old abuse survivor Steven Smith says.

“We should never again find ourselves in this situation where generations have been devastated and lives have been lost due to the indifference and self-serving attitudes of institutions in this country,” Mr Smith said on Friday.

“We as a community need to send a clear message to potential offenders and those institutions that would seek to protect them that we will act swiftly and decisively…

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Survival and safety beyond the child abuse royal commission

Sydney Morning Herald


The good work of the royal commission must be translated into good work in every family, community and institution across the nation.

Crimes against children were committed at more than 4000 institutions across the nation, including 1500 with religious allegiances and 900 linked to governments. As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began its final week of public hearings, chairman Peter McLellan said it was “remarkable” that this scourge had been so widespread.

Members of the clergy accounted for one-third of the perpetrators revealed during the commission’s four years of investigations. Teachers accounted for one-fifth. The abuses occurred under the watch of trusted adults at public and private schools, detention centres, out of home care, churches, orphanages and government bodies; defence establishments, sporting clubs, after school care, dance and performing arts academies; institutions providing services for children with disability, scouts,…

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Abuse hearings end: ‘I’m done’

The Australian

April 1, 2017

Crime reporterSydney

The final witness to give evidence to the child abuse royal commission said he felt “wrung out” after stepping down from the witness box yesterday, four years after the national inquiry began.

Steve Smith, who was sexually abused by an Anglican priest ­between the ages of 10 and 15, wiped away tears as both he and the six commissioners were ­applauded at the end of its 57th and final public hearing.

“I’m done,” Mr Smith said after the hearing. “I’ve been through the criminal justice system. He (the abuser) is dead. I’ve been to the highest legal auth­ority — the royal commission. I gave the last evidence. It’s over.”

Earlier in the day, Mr Smith, who is one of more than 1200 witnesses to give evidence during 400 days of public hearings, thanked the commission “for…

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Royal commission into child sex abuse about restoring faith

Sydney Morning Herald

APRIL 1 2017

Joanne McCarthy

I can only remember four words of a conversation with Justice Peter McClellan after the final day of evidence in Newcastle about the Hunter region’s tragic history of child sexual abuse involving churches.

It was September 8 last year, and we were standing outside Newcastle Courthouse. For more than a month the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard devastating evidence of abuse in the Catholic and Anglican churches, of cover-ups and the appalling treatment of survivors.

I know I thanked Justice McClellan for his public acknowledgement of the Newcastle Herald’s role in the royal commission’s establishment. But what I said is lost in a mist of age, exhaustion and the emotions stirred up by those weeks of public hearings.

I know he referred to the length of time I had written about child sexual abuse, but…

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Priest to give up on claim challenged in archdiocese bankruptcy


By Jim Christie

A Catholic priest who was asked to leave active ministry after a fathering a child said on Wednesday he would not contest the creditors’ committee challenge to his claim in the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Stanley Kozlak’s claim had sought to preserve a 2002 deal with the archdiocese that removed him from the ministry and provided him with monthly disability payments. On Tuesday, the committee filed papers in Bankruptcy Court in Saint Paul calling for a court order that would disallow Kozlak’s claim.

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Suffer the Little Children: Church Cruelty in Ireland

The New York Times

MARCH 30, 2017

TUAM, Ireland — Last year, during the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising that led to Irish independence, the writer Colm Toibin pointed to the fatal mistake the British made when putting down the rebellion. It was not just the swift execution of the movement’s leaders, which historians often point to as a defining moment, but the burial of their bodies in quicklime without coffins.

“Anyone Irish will understand that whatever you do, don’t do that,” he said, adding that it “mattered in Ireland in a way that it might not have mattered in some other country.”

We have a thing about respecting the dead here, you see, drummed into us in part by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, Ireland’s self-appointed moral authority. It follows, then, that the discovery of the remains of a number…

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Online abuse more prevalent: Hillsong

Sky News

The Hillsong Church has reported at least three of its Australian youth leaders for sending inappropriate text messages to children as online abuse becomes more prevalent.

The global Pentecostal movement says it is trying to train its leaders, parents and children on the appropriate use of social media.

Many of the investigations undertaken by its Safe Church Office relate to online matters, Hillsong risk and compliance co-ordinator Kirk Morton says.

‘The reality is that online abuse, whether that is in the form of sexual or otherwise, is becoming more prevalent so it’s an issue that we’re looking to monitor and manage better,’ Mr Morton told the child sex abuse royal commission.

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Brisbane Catholic school removes name of former teacher from building after sex abuse allegations

The Courier-Mail

David Murray, The Courier-Mail
March 30, 2017

A LEADING Brisbane Catholic boys’ school has wiped the name of a longstanding former teacher from one of its rowing sheds over sexual abuse allegations.

St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace advised the school community today that the name of late Brother Charles Lorenzo Dillon had been removed from the school building.

Dillon taught at the school for more than 20 years, from 1950 to 1972, and held numerous senior roles.

Principal Michael Carroll said the decision was made “following the recent receipt of information related to historical abuse allegations” against Dillon.

“I understand this information may be concerning for many past and present Terracians and staff,” Mr Carroll wrote in a letter sent to families and teachers.

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Vatican commission support ‘validates’ resignation – Collins

The Irish Catholic

by Greg Daly
March 30, 2017

Expressions of support for Marie Collins from members of the Vatican’s child protection commission are a “validation” for her position, the former commission member has said.

Mrs Collins stepped down last month from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors after almost three months on the body of which she had been a founder member, saying she had grown frustrated with “resistance” from members of the Vatican bureaucracy, with the last straw being a refusal by members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to respond to survivors’ letters.

Last weekend the commission expressed support for Mrs Collins, with French child psychiatrist Catherine Bonnet saying, “what Marie has said is the truth. It is more than the voice of a survivor. She has a general view of what is needed.”

Mrs Collins told The Irish…

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‘The damage is catastrophic’: When childhood trauma becomes a life sentence

Illawarra Mercury

Rachel Browne
30 Mar 2017
The damage inflicted by childhood abuse is lifelong and catastrophic but support services for victims are “grossly inadequate”, a royal commission has heard.

Shelly Braieoux told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse she still suffers decades after allegedly being abused in a religious organisation.

“Being a survivor of sexual abuse is like being in a lifelong invisible war,” she said.

“If the scars of sexual abuse were visual I’m sure I would be in a wheelchair with missing limbs and horribly deformed with burns and scars.”

The 45-year-old mother of four has ongoing physical and mental health problems including depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

“Even though we may have physically survived, we have been sentenced to a torturous life sentence full of unnumbered battles,” she said.

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Child sexual abuse royal commission told physical violence ‘the norm’ in many institutions

ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

Many children’s homes ran on a regime of terror where physical violence was the norm, the royal commission into child sexual abuse has heard.

After three-and-a-half years, the commission’s final public hearing has been held in Sydney.

Vice president of the Care Leavers Australasia Network, Frank Golding, said offenders did not need to groom children who were living in institutions, because victims were readily available.

“Unlike church settings and the like where grooming took place necessarily to identify and isolate a victim, there was no need for grooming in the kinds of big institutions that I grew up in,” he said.

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Survivors demand action as sex abuse royal commission hearings conclude

Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Three-and-a-half years after the child sex abuse royal commission held its first public inquiry, its final hearing returned to the survivors who started it all.

They had a strong message for governments, institutions and the community: no child should suffer as they did.

Savannah Szoredi told of her hope to break the cycle of abuse, having grown up in a volatile family as a result of her mother being sexually assaulted while in state care.

“She understood the injustices which had happened to her and tried to work her hardest to be the best parent she could be,” Ms Szoredi told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

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‘Spiritual abuse’ from residential schools had deep roots for First Nations

The Catholic Register

March 31, 2017

Blair Stonechild knows first-hand the devastating effects residential schools had on First Nations spirituality.

He spent nine years at Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School in Lebret, Sask., beginning in 1956.
“As a child I remember the shock of being removed from my family,” said Stonechild.

“One thing that really stands out in my mind was the endless torrent of prayers, Masses and confessions.”

Today, as a professor of indigenous studies at First Nations University of Canada, Stonechild looks back on that dark period of Canadian history as “spiritual abuse,” and its roots go deep.

“As I began to examine the cultural holocaust of residential schools I began to realize that this discounting of indigenous ideology was a phenomenon that started much further back in history and has extremely deep roots,” Stonechild said as he delivered…

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Teacher, choir director accused of sex with student


Mar. 30, 2017

A former teacher and local church choir director was taken into custody after accusations surfaced of a relationship with a student.

Sydney Sewell, 25, faces sexual assault charges stemming from a sexual relationship with a student while serving as chorus teacher at Central High School in Carrollton, according to Carroll County sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Brad Robinson.

Sewell, who also served as choir director at Cornerstone Methodist Church in Newnan, was later released a $5,000 bond and resigned from her position at Central High School.

School officials received a tip March 22 that the 25-year-old Carroll County resident had sexual contact with the 16-year-old male student.

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Pensacola man back in jail, facing multiple child sex abuse charges

Fox 10

By Asha Staples, Reporter

A Pensacola man is in jail again after more alleged victims have come forward with sex abuse allegations.

Charlie Hamrick, 54, was arrest Tuesday and his first court appearance was yesterday.

As a routine courtroom appearance, Hamrick was in court again today as he faces more than three dozen child sex abuse charges in Escambia County. According to police, some of the charges date back as far as the ‘90s.

“Of course it is very difficult for any victim of this type of crime to come forward. It’s a very personal, intimate type of crime but it is very useful for us to ensure that justice is done,” Assistant State Attorney John Molchan said.

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Former students shocked by Escambia County coach’s charges


[with video]

by Jackalyn Kovac
Thursday, March 30th 2017

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) — At least six more people have come forward claiming former Sunday school teacher, assistant football coach and paramedic, Charlie Hamrick, sexually abused them, according to Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO).

ECSO said those claims must be investigated, but they continue to ask for any potential victims to come forward.

“Our prevailing hope and wish is that there are no more victims, but looking at the case and looking at the situation we find ourselves in we do not believe that is true. So we are encouraging and urging people that if you have information in these cases or any other cases, if you know there are victims out there, or you’re a victim out there, please give us a call. Because crimes like this can never go unanswered,” said Chief Deputy Chip Simmons.

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Judge rejects plea in pastor sex case

Daily Local News

By Michael Rellahan, Daily Local News
POSTED: 03/31/17

WEST CHESTER >> A proposed plea that would have sent a former youth pastor at a Chester County mega-church to prison for at least two years for allegedly having sex with a teenage parishioner was scuttled when the judge hearing the case refused to accept it, after hearing the victim say she thought the man deserved more time behind bars.

Common Pleas President Judge Jacqueline Carroll Cody Wednesday rejected the plea that had been brought to her by Assistant District Attorney Emily Provencher, the prosecutor handling the case, and defense attorney Evan Kelly of West Chester, representing former pastor Jacob Matthew Malone, who saw the young girl become pregnant with his child.

Cody called the circumstances surrounding the interactions between Malone and the complainant, now 20 and living with her child in Arizona, “way too serious,”…

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Supporters gear up for showdown over old abuse claims

New Castle News

By John Finnerty | CNHI State Reporter

HARRISBURG — With the state House poised to take up legislation to reform the state statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases, supporters are preparing a final push to make the bill cover old sex crimes and not just future abuse.

The state Senate unanimously passed a statute of limitations bill last month that would give victims until the age of 50 to file lawsuits against abusers or their employers if there were allegations of cover-ups.

Under current law, victims have until the age of 30 to sue for old sex crimes. The Senate bill also eliminates the statute of limitations entirely for criminal investigations of child sex abuse.

But controversially, the measure provides no retroactive relief. If the statute of limitations has expired on old child sex cases, the law change doesn’t help those victims seek…

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Judge Sets ‘Occurrence’ Measure For Priest Abuse Cases


By Jeff Sistrunk

Law360, Los Angeles (March 30, 2017, 7:36 PM EDT) — A Minnesota bankruptcy judge held Thursday that each series of abusive acts that a priest inflicted on one victim in a given year is a separate “occurrence” for insurance coverage purposes, ruling in favor of the Diocese of Duluth in its dispute over coverage for sexual abuse claims against local clergy.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert J. Kressel granted partial summary judgment to the diocese, establishing a standard by which to determine the number of occurrences at issue in the coverage case.

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Guam’s Catholic Church faces two more lawsuits

Radio New Zealand

4:34 pm today

Two more lawsuits have been filed in Guam by men who say they were sexually abused by a former priest in the 1960s.

The latest complaints bring the number of lawsuits for historical sexual abuse faced by the island’s Catholic Church to 39.

Most of the allegations are against the island’s recused archbishop, Anthony Apuron, and a former priest, Louis Brouillard.

According to the Pacific Daily News, the two latest cases accuse Mr Brouillard – who has admitted abusing children when he was on Guam – of abuse during boy scouts trips in the early 1960s.

One of the cases is seeking US$10 million in damages.

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Fractured parish critical of church process

Tumut and Adelong Times

By Frances Vinall – March 31, 2017

About 100 members of the Tumut community attended a public meeting with the Archbishop of the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese, Christopher Prowse, and Archdiocesan Professional Standards Officer Matt Casey, on Sunday at St Mary’s Hall.

The main topic under discussion was former Tumut parish priest Father Brian Hassett, who was moved to Canberra in 2014 after an internal investigation by Mr Casey into allegations of inappropriate behaviour involving children.

The community was given the opportunity to speak, and to ask questions of the Archbishop and Mr Casey about how the whole affair had been handled.

Those who attended spoke primarily in support of Father Brian, with many sharing personal experiences of his “compassion and love,” and also communicating their feelings of hurt and betrayal – not only that he was moved away from Tumut, but also that the local…

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The investigation into Father Brian Hassett

Tumut and Adelong Times

[with timeline]

By Frances Vinall – March 31, 2017

Advocates for Father Brian Hasset argue he has been denied procedural fairness and natural justice by an investigation conducted by the Catholic Church into allegations of inappropriate behaviour involving children.

Father Brian was moved to Canberra in 2014 after an investigation on behalf of the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese performed by Archdiocesan Professional Standards Officer Matt Casey.

Father Brian was represented by two people during and after the investigation, Reverend John Salvano, his Advocate within the Catholic Church, and independent solicitors employed by W.G. Muddle at the office of McAuley Hawach solicitors, based in Sydney.

A local source has passed the briefs from these parties on to the Tumut and Adelong Times.

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‘They were empty words’: Abuse survivors lose faith in George Pell’s Roman vow

The Age

Melissa Cunningham

For years, Dominic Ridsdale held a secret locked inside him.

The fear his uncle, disgraced paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, held over him was so entrenched it stopped him disclosing his sexual abuse until 30 years later.

“He told me if I told anyone, I would die,” Dominic said.

“I pushed the pain further and further down until I slid down into a hole and I couldn’t find my way out.”

Dominic battles depression, severe anxiety and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

He was one of thousands of survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy who broke their silence during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

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How Gloriavale’s leadership structure works


[with video]

March 31 2017

There is probably no religious group New Zealanders have seen more of over the last decade than Gloriavale.

The West Coast Christian community has been featured in a series of documentaries and many news reports.

The allegations made against the community by former members have been well covered – the forced marriages, the sexual and physical abuse, the shunning of anyone who leaves, and the complete financial domination of all members.

But through it all only a few actual faces from the 550 to 600 member group have really emerged. In a TVNZ doco we see a lot of young newlyweds Paul Valor and Pearl Hope. In the exposes we hear a lot about the leader Hopeful Christian, who was convicted of sexual abuse in the 90s.

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Víctimas de Karadima apelan tras rechazo de demanda civil contra Arzobispado de Santiago

Bio Bio

[Fernando Karadima victims appeal after rejection of civil lawsuit against Santiago’s Archbishopric.]

La defensa de las pruebas del presunto encubrimiento de la Iglesia al cura Fernando Karadima, es el principal argumento de la apelación que presentaron las víctimas de abusos sexuales del sacerdote.

El escrito, elaborado por el abogado Juan Pablo Hermosilla, pretende revertir lo resuelto por el ministro de fuero Juan Muñoz Pardo, quien rechazó la demanda por $450 millones interpuesta contra el Arzobispado de Santiago.

El médico James Hamilton, el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz y el presidente de la Fundación para la Confianza, José Andrés Murillo, pretendían ser indemnizados por la presunta “negligencia sistemática e ignorancia deliberada” de las autoridades de la Iglesia Católica.

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Provolo: la Curia italiana fraguó documentos para encubrir al cura pedófilo Corradi

La Izquierda Diario

[Provolo: The Italian curia forged documents to cover up the pedophile priest Nicola Corradi. This week in the Italian city of Verona documents were released that demonstrate the maneuvers of the Italian church leadership (of very close relationship with the Vatican) to try to cover up priests accused by dozens of victims of sexual abuse.]

institute for the deaf Antonio Provolo .

Daniel Satur
Jueves 30 de marzo | Edición del día

Esta semana en la ciudad italiana de Verona se hicieron públicos documentos que demuestran las maniobras de la dirigencia eclesiástica italiana (de estrechísima relación con el Vaticano) para intentar encubrir a sacerdotes acusados por decenas de víctimas de abusos sexuales en el instituto para personas sordas Antonio Provolo.

El hecho, además de su carácter de por sí escandaloso, tiene alcances internacionales. Particularmente en Argentina esos documentos presentados en Verona tienen…

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El sacerdote Raúl Villegas es acusado de otros tres casos de abuso sexual

Las Noticias de la Fronte

[Priest Raúl Villegas is accused of three other cases of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico.]

León, Guanajuato.- Otras tres acusaciones por presunto delito de abuso sexual infantil, se sumaron al proceso contra el sacerdote católico Jorge Raúl Villegas Chávez, ex Vocero de la Arquidiócesis de León, Guanajuato,

lo que da un total de cinco denuncias penales. Además las víctimas presentarán una acusación de orden civil por daño contra los directivos del colegio Atenas.

La representante legal de los menores, Dalia Ramírez, y la activista Norma Nolasco dieron a conocer que las últimas tres víctimas evidenciadas son dos varones de 10 y 16 años de edad, respectivamente y una adolescente de 14 años de edad.

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No abusarás // el mandamiento negado en la Iglesia de Francisco


La Izquierda Diario

Published on Mar 25, 2017

[Reporters expose a system of concealment of sexual abuse by priests in the Argentina Catholic church. The cover-up has involved the Vatican throughout the 20th century and victims have struggled over the years.]

No abusarás” // el mandamiento negado en la Iglesia de Francisco,
expone no sólo los abusos sexuales de sacerdotes de la Iglesia Católica de Argentina, sino también el sistema de encubrimiento diseñado desde el Vaticano a lo largo de todo el siglo XX y la lucha de las víctimas a lo largo de años-incluso décadas-.

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Caso Provolo: iniziano gli interrogatori e l’acquisizione dei documenti.

Rete L’Abuso

Da circa 20 giorni, iniziano le audizioni delle persone segnalate dall’Associazione Sordi “Antonio Provolo” – Onlus e dalla Rete L’ABUSO.

Come comunicato ai media nei mesi scorsi e ribadito nella conferenza stampa del 27 marzo 2017, tenutasi a Verona, le due associazioni sopra menzionate ed alcune vittime depositano una serie di denunce che fanno riaprire – questa volta presso l’autorità giudiziaria – quello che dopo 11 anni e due indagini da parte della Diocesi di Verona si rivela un vero vaso di Pandora: “il caso Provolo”. Ora, questo nuovo filone non è prescritto.

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Associated Press


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Irish church officials are hoping that a meeting of Catholic families that is expected to bring Pope Francis to Ireland next year will help families regain trust in the church following the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said Thursday that young people in particular “have been very scandalized” about the decades of abuse and cover-up that have eroded the credibility of the church in Ireland.

Speaking at a Vatican press conference, Martin said he hoped the Aug. 21-26, 2018 World Meeting of Families would be a moment of renewal for the church and help Irish families overcome their fears.

The event would seek to “give new confidence to healthy family life and enable parents to have trust that their children can find a home in the church which is safe,” he said.

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Wackerman Funeral Home

Andrew M. Sr. on March 26, 2017. Beloved Father of Ann Marie (John), Jane, Andrew Jr. (Lisa) and Stephen. Loving grandfather of Maeve, Fiachra, Peter, Fiona, Conor, Ciara, Drew, Merritt, Ryan, Ellery, Juilet, and Eva. Devoted son of the late Austin (The Sheriff) and Dorothy Meehan. Predeceased by his seven older brothers and sisters. Relatives and friends may pay their respects to the family Friday 9:30 AM St. Cecilia Church 535 Rhawn St. Philadelphia, PA 19111 followed by funeral mass 10:30AM.

Floral deliveries to the church Friday by 9 AM

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The Nationalist


The Irish state has come under criticism for its response to survivors of Magdalene Laundries and other historical abuses.

A report released today from the Council of Europe calls on the Irish Government to widen the terms of reference into the inquiry into Mother and Baby homes.

It also calls on them to end religious discrimination in Catholic-run schools, and remove from the constitution the reference to a woman’s place being in the home.

Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe Nils Muznieks also called for a referendum on the Eighth amendment and an overhaul of how abortion is legislated for in Ireland.

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Feldman ‘dropped the ball’

Australian Jewish News

RABBI Pinchus Feldman admitted last week that he had “dropped the ball” because he still didn’t know the details of Sydney Yeshiva Centre’s child protection policies.

At the 2015 Royal Commission hearings the centre’s leaders were told they failed in their duties for not knowing the details.

When it was revealed, more than 750 days later, that Rabbi Feldman still did not know the details the counsel assisting the Royal Commission, Naomi Sharp, questioned Rabbi Feldman’s knowledge on leadership.

“Do you accept that leaders of institutions should be aware of the details of the child protection policies?” Sharp asked.

“That may be the case, and if that is the case then I am faulty, so we need to rectify it,” Rabbi Feldman responded.

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Sask. bishops discuss residential schools with Pope Francis

CBC News

By Jason Warick, CBC News Posted: Mar 30, 2017

Residential schools and a possible papal visit to Saskatchewan were among the topics raised during a two-and-a-half hour meeting between Pope Francis and Western Canadian bishops this week.

It was the group’s first audience in more than a decade with the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

“We talked about our relationship with our Indigenous peoples in a significant way,” Regina Archbishop Don Bolen said in an interview from the Vatican.

“You could see [Francis] was visibly attentive to the pain and challenges of Indigenous people.”

Roughly two dozen Roman Catholic and Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishops from Western Canada met with Francis as part of a Vatican visit known as “ad limina apostolorum” (meaning “to the threshold of the basilicas of the Apostles”).

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Catholic League

Bill Donohue

On March 27, I posted an article written by an orphan who grew up in a Mother and Baby Home in Ireland. It is a well-written and researched account of conditions in Ireland in the twentieth century, and the care provided by nuns. It also debunks the myths about those “evil” nuns, the kind of propaganda promoted by Irish Central and others.

Predictably, Irish Central is upset. Good news about the Catholic Church’s contribution to society is generally not welcomed by Niall O’Dowd and his staff. So he unleashed Cahir O’Doherty to offer a response to the orphan’s piece. That was a mistake.

On March 7, I wrote a news release, “The Dunces at Irish Central.” I cited O’Doherty as Exhibit A. Why? Because in his attempt to validate the Tuam “mass grave” hoax sponsored by Catherine Corless, he said she “never…

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Bill Donohue says unnamed “Galway orphan” exonerates Tuam nuns


Cahir O’Doherty @randomirish March 30, 2017

This week an “anonymous orphan from Galway” has sent a “sober and well-researched article” to the Catholic League’s energetic enragé Bill Donohue that “debunks many myths about Irish nuns.”

Timely! But a government-commissioned study recently found “significant quantities” of the human remains of infants on the site of the former Mother and Baby home in Tuam, just as local historian Catherine Corless had suggested they would, so exactly what “myths” is Donohue referring to?

The real scandal, according to his unnamed Irish orphan, is the “fake and sensational” media, who feed the public a steady diet of anti-Catholic news. It’s not the 796 dead infants buried in an unmarked grave.

In the scattershot, free-associating “defense” that Donohue published without sufficient reflection this week, it’s hard to decide which is more offensive, the content or the tone.

The Ireland of the…

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Former Tate High School coach jailed on multiple child sex abuse charges

Fox 10

By Mike Brantley, Digital Content Producer

Charlie Mabern Hamrick, 54, a former football coach at Tate High School in Cantonment, Fla., was arrested Tuesday on multiple child sex abuse charges, according to Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.

Morgan identified Hamrick as having served as a Sunday school teacher at Pine Forest United Methodist Church in Pensacola, as well as having served as a youth minister.

Hamrick is being held at the Escambia County Jail on $375,000 bond, according to jail records.

Morgan said Wednesday Hamrick is accused of committed sex abuse crimes against children during a time period ranging from 1997 until the summer of 2016.

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BREAKING: Former Tate Football Coach, Sunday School Teacher Arrested For Child Sex Abuse

News 5

[with video]

By Hayley Minogue and J.B. Biunno
Published: March 29, 2017

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FL (WKRG) — A former high school football coach and Sunday school teacher has been arrested for prolonged sexual abuse of multiple young boys.

Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies say Charlie Mabern Hamrick, 54, is charged with 36 counts of capital sexual assault on a victim under the age of 12, providing obscene material to minors, and lewd and lascivious behavior on victims under the age of 12 and victims ranging in age from 12 to 16. Hamrick is the former football coach at Tate High School and the director of a local boy’s group at a church in Cantonment.

According to the arrest report obtained by News 5, Hamrick is accused of engaging in sexual acts with young boys at his home — sometimes with his wife present — and on…

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Police: Former Fla. football coach, youth pastor has been molesting children for past 20 years

USA Today

By Emma Kennedy, Pensacola News Journal March 30, 2017

A former Tate (Cantonment, Fla.) High School football coach and church youth minister has been charged with more than 40 counts of child sex abuse.

Police claim Charlie Mabern Hamrick, 54, has molested children in Escambia County (Fla.) for at least the last 20 years. During a press conference Wednesday, Sheriff David Morgan said investigators believe the attacks go back even further.

In addition to working as a supplemental football coach at Tate from the 2012 to 2014 seasons, the Pensacola man also worked as an EMT. More recently, he served as a volunteer at Harvest Christian Center in Cantonment and a youth minister at Pine Forest United Methodist Church in Pensacola, according to police reports.

Investigators say the Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office have identified four victims.

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Minor rape case: 2 absconding nuns surrender, granted bail


kannur, Mar 30 Two nuns, who were absconding after being named as accused in a sexual assault case of a minor girl by a Catholic priest in Kottiyoor in the district, today surrendered before police and were granted bail by a court.

Sister Liz Maria and Sister Anitta are among the 10 accused in the case. They allegedly hid facts related to the incident.

The two nuns were questioned, their statements recorded before being produced before a court in Thalassery, which granted them bail.

The Kerala High Court had earlier directed them to surrender before the Peravoor Circle Inspector when their anticipatory bail plea had come up for hearing.

They should be produced before the court for bail, the HC had said.

The main accused in the case, Father Robin Vadakkumcherry, who was the Vicar of a church in Kottiyoor, had allegedly raped a minor girl who…

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Paedophile vicar Peter Low admits downloading images of child sex abuse of most explicit category

Maldon Standard

VICAR Peter Low has admitted downloading vile images of child sexual abuse.

The 65-year-old was the vicar of Heybridge St Andrew and St George and Langford St Giles from 2008 until last July when the images were discovered and he was suspended.

Low, of Crescent Road, Heybridge admitted four offences when he appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court today.

Wearing a suit and tie the disgraced vicar admitted downloading nine indecent images of children at category A.

This is the highest category and includes the most horrific and explicit images which can be downloaded.

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Manny Waks’ Night of Healing at Caulfield Park Pavillion


Published on Mar 29, 2017

Manny Waks returns to Melbourne for a Night of Healing at Caulfield Park Pavillion. With Katherine Levi, Danny Schwartz, Dr Michelle Meyer, Dr Vicki Gordon, Anton Block, Rabbi Yaakov Glasman and Rabbi Daniel Rabin speaking on behalf of the Jewish Community, to find a way forward, after the Royal Commission and open controversy surrounding Child Sex Abuse, with the formation of Tzedek, the need for support and advocate for victims/survivors of CSA and their families, to raise awareness and create a culture change, to educate children, parents and community organisations in order to prevent, recognise and address the need for a Jewish Community free of child sexual abuse.

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L’Eglise catholique au Cameroun face aux accusations de pédophilie

Africa Top Success

[The Catholic Church in Cameroon faces accusations of pedophilia.]

Après la récente diffusion de l’enquête de Cash-Investigation sur la pédophilie au sein du clergé dans l?Eglise catholique, les commentaires vont bon train et il fallait s’y attendre. Le contenu n’est pourtant pas si nouveau que ça car de telles émissions sont monnaie courante en Occident où depuis plus d’une décennie l’Eglise est traînée dans la boue par les médias et les tribunaux pour le crime de la pédophilie de quelques membres du clergé.

#PrêtresPédophiles Tout au plus, ce qui est nouveau dans l’émission de Cash Investigation, c’est l’ouverture sur l’église catholique en Afrique en général et sur le Cameroun en particulier. C’est vraiment la première fois que ça fait le chou gras des médias au Cameroun. C’est aussi du grain à moudre pour les ennemies de l’église catholique qui ont tôt fait de la réduire…

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Sex abuse claims: Class action against former Esperance priest Father Kevin Glover

ABC News

By Georgia Loney

Lawyers are preparing a class action against the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury on behalf of three people who say they were sexually abused by a high-profile priest in the southern WA town of Esperance in the 1960s and ’70s.

Father Kevin Glover, who died in the late 1990s, was the parish priest in Esperance but is understood to have worked at parishes throughout the South West.

It is alleged the offences took place at Our Lady of Star of the Sea church in Esperance, and also while he was visiting sick children at the Esperance District Hospital.

Jason Parkinson, from the law firm Porters, said although Glover was never convicted, it was time for people to speak up.

“We’ve been asking for witnesses, who may know something about Glover’s activities, to come forward and help, and sadly, it’s my experience that while we’re…

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Abuse survivors welcome compensation settlement over Retta Dixon home in Darwin

ABC News

By national Indigenous affairs reporter Bridget Brennan and Avani Dias

Compensation for years of physical and sexual abuse at a notorious home for Aboriginal children will provide relief but will never erase the trauma of what happened, former residents say.

A landmark class action will compensate 71 people around the country, who suffered horrific abuse at the Retta Dixon home in Darwin between 1947 and 1980.

Another abuse survivor, Becky Curtis, said the action was a “release” for many.

“It’s never been about the money, it’s been about (making) people accountable for what they’ve done,” she said.

Lawyers said the settlement — finalised out-of-court — was only the second of its kind in Australia.

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Barr government moves to remove further barriers for victims of child sexual abuse to seek compensation

Brisbane Times

Katie Burgess

The ACT government is moving to make it easier for victims of child abuse to sue their abusers, regardless of where and when the abuse occurred.

Under draft laws introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly on Thursday, laws that let survivors claim damages against institutions regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred would be broadened to take in any kind of child sexual abuse.

The changes would mean a survivor could claim damages against the perpetrator of their abuse as well as the institution in which the abuse occurred.

“These amendments build on reforms introduced last year to remove limitation periods for child sex abuse claims in institutional contexts,” ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said.

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Canberra child safety campaigner among those to have last word at Royal Commission

The Canberra Times

Katie Burgess

A Canberra child safety campaigner will call for blanket mandatory reporting requirements as the public part of Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concludes on Friday.

Bravehearts ambassador Damian De Marco will deliver a withering assessment of the capability of religious institutions to change, despite the upheaval of the royal commission.

“We are now in a position where even the rape, buggery, molestation and often suicide of hundreds of thousands of innocent children worldwide by clergy and religious leaders, has still not been a sufficient enough motivating force for some religious Institutions to reform their cultures,” Mr De Marco will tell the commission.

“Even today we have cases of paedophile priests being secretly housed with children and institutions conducting inquiries disguised as independent investigations. If they don’t get it now they never will.”

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Childhood abuse a ‘torturous life sentence’, royal commission hears

Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

The damage inflicted by childhood abuse is lifelong and catastrophic but support services for victims are “grossly inadequate”, a royal commission has heard.

Shelly Braieoux​ told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse she still suffers decades after allegedly being abused in a religious organisation.

The 45-year-old mother of four has ongoing physical and mental health problems including depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

“Even though we may have physically survived, we have been sentenced to a torturous life sentence full of unnumbered battles,” she said.

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Victim says child abuse a life sentence


MARCH 30, 2017

Megan Neil
Australian Associated Press

If the scars of child sexual abuse were visible, Shelly Braieoux believes she would be in a wheelchair with missing limbs and horribly deformed with burns and scars.

Instead, Ms Braieoux and other child abuse survivors carry scars that cannot be seen and fight “a lifelong invisible war”.

The damage is catastrophic, Ms Braieoux told the child abuse royal commission via telephone from her Queensland home after ex-tropical cyclone Debbie prevented her being in Sydney for Thursday’s hearing.

“Even though we may have physically survived, we have been sentenced to a torturous life sentence full of unnumbered battles.”

Ms Braieoux was ostracised and silenced from speaking about the abuse to anyone, receiving no support from the unnamed religion, her family or friends.

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Sex abuse royal commission: Apologies don’t go far enough to undo damage, child advocates say

ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

Institutional apologies to victims of child sexual abuse are sometimes weak, insulting and do not go far enough to address the long-term damage that has been caused, a royal commission has heard.

Bruce Perry from The Child Trauma Academy in the United States was one of several experts giving evidence about the impacts of abuse at the second last day of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s public hearings in Sydney.

“You can’t erase institutional coercion and institutional abuse of process by issuing a statement,” Dr Perry said.

“That doesn’t undo it. That’s not enough.”

During the course of his work, Dr Perry said he had worked with survivors who had been offended by official statements from the organisations in which they were abused.

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Abuse survivor urges politicians to introduce child protection measures

The Guardian (UK)

Christopher Knaus
Thursday 30 March 2017

A survivor whose voice will be one of the last to be heard in the child abuse royal commission has urged political leaders to cast aside religious loyalties and urgently introduce strong child protection measures.

On Friday, the public hearings of the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse will come to an end.

Over the past four years, the commission has revealed the disturbing extent of child abuse in religious and secular institutions across the country.

It has repeatedly uncovered far-reaching cover-ups of child sexual abuse, and shown how institutions have ostracised survivors and actively worked to undermine them.

The commission held more than 8,000 private sessions with survivors, 64% of whom were male, and 46% between 10 and 14 years old at the time they were abused. Five per cent of survivors were abused…

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More child sex abuse victims brings total to 39 lawsuits against the church

Pacific News Center

Written by Donna De Jesus

Four more victims have filed suit against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts, and former priest Father Louis Brouillard.

Guam – Attorney David Lujan is representing three of the victims: Jan Iriarte, and individuals using only M.A. and R.M.C. The fourth is Peter Damian, represented by attorney Anthony Perez.

According to court documents, M.A. and R.M.C. were altar boys at the San Isidro Catholic Church in Malojloj. All four were members of the Boy Scouts of America. M.A. states in his complaint that Father Brouillard would get permission from his parents, who had complete trust in the Catholic Church, to spend the night at the Convent where he was staying. Brouillard would routinely molest and abuse M.A.

For R.M.C., he recalls in court documents Brouillard making altar boys lay naked on his bed, and molest them one by one,…

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Sex abuse claims: Class action against former Esperance priest Father Kevin Glover

ABC News

By Georgia Loney

Lawyers are preparing a class action against the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury on behalf of three people who say they were sexually abused by a high-profile priest in the southern WA town of Esperance in the 1960s and ’70s.

Father Kevin Glover, who died in the late 1990s, was the parish priest in Esperance but is understood to have worked at parishes throughout the South West.

It is alleged the offences took place at Our Lady of Star of the Sea church in Esperance, and also while he was visiting sick children at the Esperance District Hospital.

Jason Parkinson, from the law firm Porters, said although Glover was never convicted, it was time for people to speak up.

“We’ve been asking for witnesses, who may know something about Glover’s activities, to come forward and help, and sadly, it’s my experience that while we’re…

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Senator’s residential school praise shows ‘long way to go’: Bearhead

Metro News

By: David P. Ball
Published on Wed Mar 29 2017

The co-chair of the reconciliation fund set up by Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie has joined outcry over a Senator’s praise for the “good” side of Indian residential schools.

Edmonton-based Charlene Bearhead — with the Downie and Wenjack Fund created by the singer to channel donations in support of Indigenous/non-Indigenous projects — told Metro that Sen. Lynn Beyak’s controversial remarks (see sidebar) are a reminder that Canada “still has a long way to go” in addressing its history.

“Comments like this Senator’s are a big, firm slap in the face,” said Bearhead in a phone interview.

“You don’t have to look very far to know ignorance is still alive and well.

“But they remind us to wake up and not be complacent. You can start feeling really good about the progress we’re making…

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Senator Lynn Beyak’s Residential Schools Stance Is Still Free Speech: Colleagues

Huffington Post

By Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The newly minted leader of the Conservatives in the Senate says he intends to take a second look at Sen. Lynn Beyak to see what, if any, actions the Tories should take over her comments on residential schools.

Beyak doubled down this week on her comments that there was “good” done in residential schools, insisting that she had no need for additional education about residential schools or indigenous culture, citing a long-standing friendship with an “aboriginal fellow” and her experiences in northern Ontario.

Beyak refused to elaborate Tuesday on the comments in a CBC interview where she described an outpouring of public support for her position.

Sen. Larry Smith, who takes over as Conservative leader on Saturday, said he plans to meet the rest of his leadership team to figure out if, among other things, Beyak should be…

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Senator Murray Sinclair responds to Lynn Beyak’s defence of residential schools


Senator Murray Sinclair says preserving the record of the wrongdoing committed under the Indian residential school system is the best way to fight back against those who deny its negative impact on Indigenous people.

Sinclair, who was the chief commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, made the comments to Anna Maria Tremonti, host of CBC Radio’s The Current Tuesday evening.

“If we can preserve that record for future generations, then these deniers will have a diminishing population of people who will believe them,” Sinclair said

Tremonti asked Sinclair if fellow legislators avoid him in the halls of Parliament as he pushes for the implementation of the 94 recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.

“There are still some people resisting — not just in the Senate, but elsewhere,” Sinclair said.

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Indigenous leaders call for Senator Lynn Beyak’s resignation

CBC News

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and Grand Council Treaty 3 Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh are calling for the resignation of Senator Lynn Beyak, saying Beyak’s repeated comments about residential schools are “offensive” and a “national insult.”

“Her callous dismissal of the horrors of the Residential School experience is unbefitting a member of the Senate,” Fiddler was quoted as saying in a news release issued Tuesday.

“Her misguided statements, including comparisons of her suffering to those who were forced to attend residential schools, are an insult to survivors and all the children who were lost,” he said.

“This makes a mockery of the Government of Canada’s efforts to move toward reconciliation.”

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In defence of Senator Lynn Beyak

Toronto Sun


I have a modest proposal.

Before condemning Conservative Sen. Lynn Beyak for saying a lot of good was done in residential schools, consider two things.

First, the views of renowned Cree novelist, playwright, classical pianist and Order of Canada recipient, Tomson Highway, when the Truth and Reconciliation Report on residential schools was released in December, 2015.

Here’s what Highway said, quoted by Joshua Ostroff in The Huffington Post, in a column headlined: “Tomson Highway Has A Surprisingly Positive Take On Residential Schools”.

“All we hear is the negative stuff, nobody’s interested in the positive, the joy in that school. Nine of the happiest years of my life, I spent it at that school. I learned your language, for God’s sake. Have you learned my language? No, so who’s the privileged one and who is…

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Call for cash redress in mother and baby scandal

Irish Independent

Shane Phelan
March 30 2017

A European human rights watchdog believes a redress scheme should be put in place for survivors of mother and baby homes if a commission of investigation confirms widespread suspicions about the manner in which they were run.

Council of Europe commissioner Nils Muiznieks also described revelations of a mass grave of children in Tuam, Co Galway, as “quite gruesome”.

“If there are serious human rights violations found there, such as forced adoption or ill-treatment, forced labour and detention, these are very serious human rights violations and redress should be provided, not just an acknowledgement that violations took place,” he said.

“If violations took place, the State is responsible either directly or indirectly for not exercising sufficient oversight.”

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Call for redress scheme following Tuam mother and baby home scandal

Connacht Tribune

Galway Bay fm newsroom – A European human rights watchdog says a redress scheme should be put in place for survivors following the Tuam mother and baby home scandal.

Council of Europe commissioner Nils Muiznieks says if a commission of investigation confirms suspicions about the manner in which the homes were run, survivors should be compensated.

He’s described revelations of a mass grave of children in Tuam as “quite gruesome”.

The watchdog says if there are serious human rights violations found there, such as forced adoption or ill-treatment, redress should be provided.

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Child protection commission seeks new input from victims

St. Louis Review

Junno Arocho Esteves and Carol Glatz | Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Following the resignation of a prominent member and abuse survivor, a pontifical commission charged with addressing issues related to clergy sex abuse vowed to continue to seek input from victims and survivors.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said the resignation of Marie Collins was a “central topic” of its March 24-26 plenary assembly, and it “expressed strong support for her continuing work” to promote healing for abuse victims and ensuring best practices for prevention.

“Commission members have unanimously agreed to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors. Several ideas that have been successfully implemented elsewhere are being carefully considered for recommendation to the Holy Father,” the commission said in a statement published by the…

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Former Christian radio station boss and evangelical preacher Dr Gary Alexander Forbes placed on good behaviour bond for 1960s abuse

Newcastle Herald

30 Mar 2017

FORMER Christian radio station boss and evangelical preacher Dr Gary Alexander Forbes has been placed on a two-year good behaviour bond for abusing two brothers more than 50 years ago.

Forbes, now 73, who was also a pastor at Adamstown Gospel Church until he publicly admitted the offences and resigned, was sentenced in Newcastle District Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to three counts of assaulting a male and committing an act of indecency.

The offences started in the early 1960s, when Forbes himself was a teenager.

He abused one brother before moving onto his younger sibling when the older boy started in the workforce.

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Bishop who protected paedophiles is being erased from history

The Courier

Nino Bucci
30 Mar 2017

Across Victoria, on buildings associated with the Catholic church, blank rectangles are appearing.

They signify the fresh removal of plaques, installed decades earlier to signify the opening of a school, church, hospital or hall.

Etched on the plaques is a name: Most Reverend R. A. Mulkearns.

Bishop Ronald Austin Mulkearns blessed almost every Catholic building opened in the Ballarat diocese between 1974 and 1996. He also supervised one of the worst periods of clerical child sexual abuse in Australia.

The Ballarat diocese takes up most of western Victoria. It stretches from Casterton, near the South Australian border; to the coastline in the south; Daylesford to the east; and north to Mildura.

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Bishop apologizes to sexual abuse victims in special service


By Devin Negrete
Published: March 29, 2017

SAVANNAH, Ga. – “There’s no way I would be standing here if it wasn’t for my family and the support of all my friends in Savannah and in the community,” Chris Templeton, who was sexually abused by a priest back in 1987, said. “There’s no way I could’ve done it alone.”

A service of consolation was held at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist on Lafayette Square Wednesday night.

Bishop Gregory Hartmayer said the gathering was for the suffering at the innocent at the hands of priests.

One man in particular anxiously waited for that Lenten service.

Chris Templeton was just 13 years old when he was raped by former Priest Wayland Brown.

Templeton has shared his difficult story with News 3 saying he was raped more than 50 times by Brown at St. James.

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2 men sue church, Boy Scouts

Haidee V Eugenio , March 30, 2017

Two more lawsuits were filed Thursday, by men who said they were sexually abused or witnessed sexual abuse decades ago, as children, by former priest and Boy Scouts of America scoutmaster Louis Brouillard.

Their complaints bring to 39 the number of Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed so far, in local and federal court. Most of the lawsuits accuse Brouillard, who has admitted to abusing at least 20 boys on Guam when he was a priest here.

Peter Damian, of Sinajana, said Brouillard sexually abused him at the Lonfit River when he was 9 or 10 years old, in 1962 or 1963, during a Boy Scouts trip. At the time, Brouillard was the parish priest at Santa Teresita Church in Mangilao.

Jan Iriarte, now 54 and living in Yona, in his lawsuit said he was pressured many times by Brouillard to swim…

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Peter Saunders: ‘Vatican abuse commission wants compliant survivors, so I’m unlikely to return’

Catholic Herald

by Madeleine Teahan
posted Wednesday, 29 Mar 2017

Peter Saunders told the Catholic Herald that he will never stay quiet about the issue of child protection

Abuse survivor Peter Saunders has confirmed that he is unlikely ever to return to the Vatican’s abuse commission.

Saunders, who was placed on indefinite leave from the commission last year, said that he was disappointed that Pope Francis had “never once visited” the commission.

On Monday Cardinal Sean O’Malley, head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told Crux that Saunders would probably never return to the commission.

In response, Saunders, founder of NAPAC (National Association of People Abused in Childhood), told the Catholic Herald: “When I spoke to Cardinal O’Malley a few weeks ago I said if there was anything I can do to help – I am here. I have apologised for whatever crimes…

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Group heading to Harrisburg rally to push for retroactivity in sex-abuse statute of limitations bill


By David Hurst

Advocates pushing for a proposal that would hold Pennsylvania child sex abusers accountable for crimes committed years ago are heading to Harrisburg next week to deliver a loud message to state lawmakers to support the plan.

That message: Anything that doesn’t hold past abusers accountable will only enable such acts to reoccurring, according to Shaun Dougherty, a Westmont resident who, in the past year, has identified himself as a victim of sex abuse by clergy in the 1980s.

“Without that retroactivity portion, any bill they pass is not a protective measure, it’s an enabler’s bill,” he said.

Dougherty is among a group of Pennsylvanians pushing for the change who are planning to hold a rally at the State Capitol Building’s front steps at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

They’ll be joined by a Harrisburg ally, state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a three-term Berks County Democrat…

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Assignment Record– Rev. Robert Harrison, OFM.Cap


Summary of Case: Robert Harrison was ordained a Capuchin priest of the St. Joseph Province in Detroit in 1964. He started his priesthood in his native Milwaukee as a parish assistant and teacher before going on to work as Director and Director of Social Services at a Wauwatosa home for adolescent boys. At some point he earned advanced degrees in Social Work and Law. Harrison appears to have left the Milwaukee archdiocese around 1977, living briefly in Bloomington, Indiana then relocating in 1978 to New York City. He reportedly worked as a civil attorney while living at a New York archdiocese-sponsored residence for young African-American men considering priesthood. The Official Catholic Directory shows several gaps in Harrison’s assignment history. By 1983 he was an assistant priest at St. Charles Borromeo parish in Harlem, and by 1991 Harrison was a Cardinal Hayes High School faculty member and…

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Cardinal Dolan and his Belief in Sex Abuse Reform Bills

The Worthy Adversary

March 29, 2017 Joelle Casteix

It’s true:

New York’s Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan believes in Window Legislation and Statute of Limitation Reform for victims of child sexual abuse. He knows they both work to help victims heal. He’s showing us right now.

Just look at his actions, not his words.

In fact, since last fall, he’s shown that archaic Statutes of Limitations for child sexual abuse should NOT matter in pastoral care and that there is an INHERENT NEED for window legislation in Albany.

It gets better.

The requirements and success of his own compensation plan have CONTRADICTED the arguments that he and the Catholic Conference have been waging against window legislation.

Let’s start at the top.

The Independent Compensation and Reconciliation Plan (IRCP), now in its second phase, has one goal: compensate victims of sexual abuse by Archdiocesan priests, no matter when the…

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Arraignment set for priest facing child porn charges


Updated: Mar 29, 2017

An arraignment date of May 2 has been set for Father Felix David Broussard, who was arrested in July 2016 on child pornography charges.

An arraignment is a formal reading of charges against a defendant. It usually is a chance for attorneys to make appearances and for the case’s schedule, including a trial date, to be set. It is generally a legal housekeeping event. The defendant is required to enter a formal plea to the charges; in felony cases it is usually a not-guilty plea.

Broussard was arrested after more than 500 images of child porn were allegedly found on his personally-owned computer. The computer was located a Broussard’s living quarters at the St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge where he was pastor. The images were found by a computer technician who was working on the computer, and he reported them.

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Lawsuits allege priest used ‘evil campaign’ to abuse victims

The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post

A sex abuse victim alleges former priest and Boy Scout Master Louis Brouillard took altar boys and Boy Scouts to watch pornographic films and misappropriated church offerings to pay for outings with minor boys.

Two new lawsuits were filed in the District Court of Guam yesterday against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and Brouillard seeking $10 million each. The cases were filed by two individuals who wanted to protect their privacy.

A 53-year-old individual with the initials “M.A.” alleges he was sexually abused for three years by Brouillard at the San Isidro Catholic Church of Malojloj in 1972, beginning when he was 10.

The lawsuit states that Brouillard used various strategies to gain access to M.A. and other young boys and to induce their compliance as part of his “evil campaign to…

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Catholic priest in sex scandal


A CHECHECHE Roman Catholic priest who committed his life to celibacy is under fire for bedding a young girl.

Father Charles Makowa of St Peter’s Catholic Church in Checheche has been allegedly involved with several women from his church with the latest being a minor whose mother is the Parish Youth Advisor (tete). The mother’s name cannot be mentioned to protect the minor.

The man of cloth confirmed the developments that are making him leave the church, while the girl’s mother said if the story sees the light of the day the writers would di

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Maldon vicar Peter Low admits hoarding child sex abuse images

Essex Live

A vicar has admitted downloading a horde of images showing the sexual abuse of children.

Peter Low, 65, of Crescent Road, Heybridge, served as the vicar of Heybridge and Langford Parishes, but was suspended when the images were discovered in July last year.

He was charged with three counts of possession of indecent images of children and one count of possession of a prohibited image of a child and pleaded guilty to the offences at Chelmsford Crown Court this morning.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Chelmsford said: “The Diocese of Chelmsford, where he had been working, took the police investigation extremely seriously, and worked closely with the police.

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Indigenous students claim sexual abuse at Catholic day school in Manitoba

CBC News

By Laura Glowacki, CBC News Posted: Mar 27, 2017

In a case with striking similarities to testimony made by residential school survivors, two Indigenous adult women say they were repeatedly sexually abused by clergy at a Catholic day school in Manitoba they were forced to attend as children.

And now they’ve launched a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, as well as the two now-deceased men they say were responsible, the province and other defendants.

Both women — one now 67 and status Indian, the other a 63-year-old Mé​tis woman — attended the same elementary school in Bloodvein, Man., about 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg, from about 1956 until the mid-1960s.

The complainants say the same two men fondled and raped them as children beginning when they were seven and six, respectively.

“One of them was a priest. He held certain powers over them,” said…

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New allegations emerge in lawsuit against priest

The Union Democrat

By Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat
Published Mar 28, 2017

New allegations have surfaced in a lawsuit that alleges a former pool-maintenance contractor at Presentation Church in Stockton was fired after receiving a lewd text message from the parish’s pastor, Monsignor Larry McGovern, who is a high-ranking priest within the Stockton Diocese.

An amended complaint filed Friday in San Joaquin County Superior Court claims that McGovern had been removed from a position at Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton over allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct and undergone therapy prior to being put in charge of Presentation Church, which operates an elementary school for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

“We think it’s relevant because of the alleged systemic problem in the Stockton Diocese as has been uncovered with prior issues, including — but not limited to — Oliver O’Grady and (Michael) Kelly,” said Saul Wolf, an…

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Following arrest in cold case of missing boy, Ronnie Hyde facing 12 new child-porn charges

Florida Times-Union

Posted March 28, 2017

By Eileen Kelley

A dozen child pornography charges have been added to a murder case involving a former youth pastor charged in the death and dismemberment of a 16-year-old boy who went missing in 1994.

Ronnie Leon Hyde, 60, of Jacksonville Beach was arrested on March 7 on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Fred Paul Laster, a boy he befriended in Yulee when Hyde was a youth pastor at Strength for Living Church. Hyde was to be in court Wednesday, though his arraignment date has been changed to April 11.

Monday’s new charges relate to 12 different pieces of pornography that depict a child in a sex act. Each of the 12 forms of evidence has at least 10 or more images, to include movies, of sexual performances by a child, according to a statement from the State…

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Church ‘must reply to victims’, says Vatican’s child protection commission

Irish Examiner

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Stephen Rogers

The Vatican’s child protection commission, from which an Irish abuse survivor resigned in protest in recent weeks, has told the Pope that the Church needs to start responding “directly and compassionately” to the victims of clerical abuse.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, of which Marie Collins was a founding member, met for its eighth Plenary Assembly over the past weekend.

Ms Collins stepped down from the commission at the start of March blaming “the resistance by some members of the Vatican Curia to the work of the commission”.

At the time, she said the lack of cooperation, “particularly by the dicastery most involved in dealing with cases of abuse, has been shameful.”

Following its assembly, the commission issued a statement in which it said members have unanimously agreed “to find new ways to ensure its work is…

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Violin teacher jailed for sexual abuse at top Catholic school

The Times

Andrew Norfolk
March 29 2017
The Times

A music teacher at Ampleforth College, a leading Roman Catholic public school, has been jailed for sexually abusing a girl when they met for violin lessons.

Dara de Cogan’s traumatised victim, who had seen him as a substitute father, feared she would be “thrown into hell”, a court heard.

De Cogan, who is now 58, started grooming the girl when she was 13, York crown court heard. He was a musician of international acclaim who was appointed head of strings at the boarding school in North Yorkshire in 2004.

The married man, who has two adopted daughters, told the child that he loved her and kissed her whenever he got the chance. They saw each other nearly every day at school, where the abuse took place. Outside of term time, he drove her to secluded parts…

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Need for more engagement with survivors

Galway Independent

Galway County Council need to engage in a “much more meaningful way” with Tuam historian Catherine Corless and representatives of the survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. That’s according to Sinn Féin Senator, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

This week, a Sinn Féin motion to set up a Truth Commission into the home and all other related institutions is due to be voted on in the Dáil, with the Galway Senator calling on all Galway TDs to support the motion.

Representatives of survivors are very upset by the way they are being treated by Galway County Council, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said. “It appears they are being completely ignored when any decision or announcements in relation to the Tuam Mother and Baby Home are being made.”

He described proposals for a Peace Garden at the site at this stage as “wholly inappropriate given what has been brought…

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