‘Secret dossier’ of Jehovah’s Witness child abuse victims

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

David Brown
May 1 2017
The Times

The Jehovah’s Witnesses should be forced to hand over a secret dossier of followers accused of child sexual abuse, a senior barrister said yesterday.

Pressure for the organisation to be included in the official inquiry into child abuse has intensified after it was revealed that details of alleged abusers were kept by the church in Australia and America.

The organisation follows rules in the scriptures requiring two witnesses to give evidence against a suspect, meaning many allegations of child abuse can not be pursued, the Sunday programme on BBC Radio 4 claimed.

A royal commission reported in November last year that it had found no evidence of the organisation telling police about a single one of the 1,006 alleged child abusers it had recorded in Australia since the 1950s. It said: “The Jehovah’s Witness organisation relies on, and applies inflexibly even in the context of child sexual abuse, a rule which was devised more than 2,000 years ago.”

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Simon Harris to consider public ownership options for NMH

IRELAND
Irish Times

Harry McGee

Minister for Health Simon Harris is to consider options for the partial public ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital.

Mr Harris indicated for the first time on Sunday that the State will seek a stake in the ownership of the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) after its transfer to St Vincent’s University Hospital campus, which is owned by a religious order.

As controversy and public disquiet over the Sisters of Charity retaining ownership of the facility continued, Mr Harris issued a statement on Sunday night pointing to a public ownership element being included in the legal agreement that will be reached by the NMH and by St Vincent’s later this summer.

He pointed to the agreement already brokered by mediator Kieran Mulvey and its reference to the State requiring a “lien” on the new facility.

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Harris considers leasing maternity hospital land in U-turn on controversy

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Niall O’Connor
May 1 2017

Health Minister Simon Harris has said the issue of ownership of the planned National Maternity Hospital must be addressed as the debacle continues to jeopardise the €300m project.

In a significant shift in stance, the Government is now considering the option of a long-term lease agreement to circumvent current legal prohibitions on the Order of the Sisters of Charity selling or gifting the hospital to the State.

One source last night likened the lease option, which could run beyond 900 years, to the agreement surrounding the ownership of the Guinness storehouse in Dublin.

The minister is also understood to be preparing proposals for Cabinet which are designed to tackle the issue of ownership of other hospitals aside from St Vincent’s.

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SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR CHILD AT ST. PATRICK’S PARISH AND CENTRAL CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL IN LAWRENCE, MA

MASSACHUSETTS
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE – APRIL 30, 2017

One Boston Archdiocesan priest from St. Patrick’s Parish, Lawrence, MA, and four Marist Brothers of the Schools from Lawrence, MA, Central Catholic High School are accused of sexual abuse of a minor child, “John Doe,” who is represented by Attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston, MA

The Boston Archdiocesan priest, Fr. Paul Rynne, has been publicly named before, and three of the Marist Brothers of the Schools, Br. Edward Michael, FMS, Br. Xavier Leonard Boulanger, FMS, and Br. Albert, FMS, have been publicly named before. The allegations include:

1) Sexual abuse of “John Doe” by Fr. Paul Rynne in approximately the mid 1960s in the rectory of St. Patrick’s Parish, when “John Doe was approximately 10-11 years of age;

2) Sexual abuse of “John Doe” by , FMS, an athletic trainer and teacher, in a room at Central Catholic High School in approximately the late 1960s when “John Doe” was approximately 14-15 years of age

3) Sexual abuse of “John Doe” by Br. Xavier Leonard Boulanger, FMS, teacher, in a room at Central Catholic High School and at least one other location in approximately the late 1960s when “John Doe” was approximately 15 years of age; and,

4) Sexual abuse of “John Doe” by Br. Albert, FMS, in a room at Central Catholic High School in approximately the late 1960s when “John Doe” was approximately 15 years of age

A fourth Marist Brother of the Schools, not previously publicly named and not named herein, is accused of sexually abusing “John Doe” in a room at Central Catholic High School in approximately the late 1960s when “John Doe” was approximately 14 years of age

What
A press conference announcing that the scandal of sexual abuse of minor children at Lawrence Central Catholic High School and St. Patrick’s Parish, Lawrence, continues

When
Monday, May 1, 2017, at 11:00 am

Where
On the public sidewalk outside Lawrence, MA, Central Catholic High School, 300 Hampshire Street, Lawrence, MA 01841 – 978-682-0260

Who
Members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including its co-founder and President, Dr. Robert M. Hoatson

Why
See above

Contact
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President, Road to Recovery, Inc., P.O. Box 279, Livingston, New Jersey, 07039 – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com

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TIED UP IN CONTROVERSY St Vincent’s Hospital’s ‘refusal’ to carry out sterilisation procedures on women sparks outrage

IRELAND
Irish Sun

By Michael Doyle
30th April 2017

DOCTORS and maternity groups have blasted St Vincent’s Hospital ‘refusal’ to carry out sterilisation procedures on women.

A letter to GPs claimed the hospital didn’t carry out tubal ligations — but that the same medical experts could carry out such ops in the National Maternity Hospital.

Leading oncologist Professor John Crown described the situation at the Catholic Sisters of Charity-owned Dublin hospital yesterday as “sectarianism”.

He said: “I have first-hand seen some evidence of sectarianism in the way the institution does its business — there is simply no escaping that.”

He told Ivan Yates on Newstalk radio: “This very week; GPs have been ­contacting me showing me letters they’d received saying; ‘No we do not do tubal-ligations in St Vincent’s, we’ll take them someplace else’.”

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Latest: Minister for Health asks for time to pursue ‘acceptable solutions’ to maternity hospital controversy

IRELAND
Breaking News

30/04/2017

Update 6.20pm:The Minister for Health Simon Harris has asked for “time to pursue solutions” to the ownership controversy of the new National Maternity Hospital.

In a statement issued by the minister this evening, Mr Harris said he believed the State can “devise creative and acceptable solutions” to the ownership of the facilities.

It follows the row over the news that the Sisters of Charity will own the new National Maternity Hospital, which is to be located on the St Vincent’s site in South Dublin.

Mr Harris, who said that the “structure of our health service is diverse and complex”, said that he wanted a broader conversation on the issue which he said “is long overdue”.

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Government to ‘clarify’ position on National Maternity Hospital

IRELAND
Irish Times

Sarah Burns

The Government plans to address the “public concern” surrounding the ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said on Sunday.

There was an “issue regarding the ownership that needs to be resolved” and told RTÉ’s Week in Politics the Government “will move towards a position of clarification” on the matter over the next four weeks.

Mr Flanagan said there were various options to resolve the matter, including the possibility a long-term lease.

“I believe it’s important in the context of health and medicine and church and State that there be a separation of interest,” he added.

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Mary Lou McDonald says the State needs to get maternity hospital site ‘by any means’

IRELAND
The Journal

SINN FÉIN’S DEPUTY leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that she thinks the Sisters of Charity should “gift” the controversial maternity hospital site to the State.

The site is on Merrion Road on Dublin’s southside and is part of the wider St. Vincent’s Hospital site.

It’s planned that the new National Maternity Hospital will be built beside St. Vincent’s and the Sisters’ of Charity will own it as it is providing the land.

The State is funding the construction of the €300 million hospital and the proposed deal has sparked objections to the role of the religious order in its future operation.

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Irish catholics resent relentless condemnation, says Archbishop

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Priests, religious congregations and committed Catholics in Ireland resent being “unfairly under attack as they live out their faith and their ministry generously and with dedication,” Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.

He said there appeared to be a “culture of relentless reminding the Church of the sins of its members”. He said at time this culture appeared to be “painting every individual and every moment in the history of the Church with the same condemnation,” he said.

“I notice a certain justified resentment among priests and religious [congregations] and committed Catholics at somehow being unfairly under attack as they live out their faith and their ministry generously and with dedication.

“There is a sense in which they feel that it is time to stand up and respond.”

Archbishop Martin was speaking at the ordination of Carmelite priest Fr James Eivers in Terenure College in Dublin.

Although supporters of the Church may be frustrated by this, he said the respond cannot be to deny the mistakes and the wrongdoings of the past or get into unfruitful or polemical quarrel.

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Montana Catholic officials say bankruptcy ‘best and only way’ to compensate the sexually abused

MONTANA
Billings Gazette

By CLAIR JOHNSON cjohnson@billingsgazette.com

The recent bankruptcy filing by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings was the “best and only way” it could meet its obligations to all victims with sexual abuse claims and continue its ministry, church officials said.

The bankruptcy filing is part of mediation talks in mid-March in Seattle between attorneys representing 72 people with abuse claims, the diocese and its liability insurance carrier.

The bankruptcy is likely to be complicated and take time. How it could affect the diocese’s operations, along with parishes, schools and other church programs, is not yet clear.

But church officials and attorneys for the victims say they are working to reach a fair and equitable settlement for all claims and avoid fighting in costly and time-consuming jury trials.

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Hey Mr. Irish Prime Minister – Why won’t you meet this amazing Tuam babies survivor?

IRELAND
IrishCentral

Ciaran Tierney @IrishCentral April 30, 2017

I met an extraordinary man last week, only he doesn’t really believe he’s so extraordinary. Neither does his country. Its leaders need to meet him.

In recent months, he has found a voice he never realized he had. Now in his 60s, he has learned how to tell his story and speak out against injustice.

This man spent much of his childhood in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, a place which is now notorious all over the world.

It took him an awfully long time to learn to love and take care of himself.

It’s not easy to care about yourself when you are told you are inferior to others.

When you walk to school in hobnail boots and you are forced to sit apart from the rest of the class.

When you are beaten for the most minor of transgressions, not given enough food, and branded with labels like “home baby” and, worse, “illegitimate”, because your mother committed an alleged terrible crime just by bringing you into the world.

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Prof John Crown has seen “some evidence of sectarianism” at St Vincent’s

IRELAND
Newstalk

30 Apr 2017
Stephen McNeice

Consultant oncologist and former senator Professor John Crown has said he has seen some firsthand evidence of ‘sectarianism’ in the way St Vincent’s Hospital operates.

The controversy erupted after it emerged the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group – which is controlled by the Sisters of Charity – will own the new National Maternity Hospital, which is to be located on the site at St Vincent’s Hospital in South Dublin.

The Health Minister and the NMH board have insisted the clinical freedom of the new hospital will be guaranteed – but many commentators, including former NMH Master Peter Boylan – have raised concerns about the arrangement.

The Irish Times has highlighted some of the procedures and treatments banned by the Sisters of Charity.

Prof Crown suggested there is some ‘subtle’ religious influence at St Vincent’s.

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Latest: Walking away from new National Maternity Hospital ‘is the thinking of somebody who is defending some other interest’

IRELAND
Breaking News

30/04/2017

Update 1pm:There are renewed calls for the deal over the new National Maternity Hospital to be renegotiated.

The plan to hand ownership to the Sisters of Charity in exchange for land at the site at St Vincent’s continues to cause outrage, despite assurances by the Health Minister that there would be no religious interference in the running of the new facility.

Well known consultant oncologist at St Vincent’s, Professor John Crown, says he continues to be troubled by the ownership problem but adds that if the country ends up without a new hospital, nobody wins.

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KIERAN MULVEY: ‘CREATIVE SOLUTION’ COULD KEEP NEW NATIONAL MATERNITY HOSPITAL IN STATE OWNERSHIP

IRELAND
Kildare Nationalist

SUNDAY, APRIL 30, 2017

The man who brokered agreement between the National Maternity Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital says a “creative solution” can still be found to resolve the row over the ownership of the new facility.

Kieran Mulvey has told the Sunday Business Post an acceptable solution is possible to keep it in State ownership.

The row erupted after it emerged the Sisters of Charity will own the new National Maternity Hospital, which is to be located on the St Vincent’s site in South Dublin.

“When the issue of ownership comes to the final stage, I have no doubt in my mind that a creative, acceptable solution will be found between them,” he said.

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Catholic ethos is not compatible with National Maternity Hospital

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Dr Ciara Kelly
April 30 2017

The public outcry over the gifting of the proposed new National Maternity Hospital (NMH) to the Sisters of Charity, who own St Vincent’s Hospital, has been described by Dr Rhona Mahony – the current Master of Holles Street – as a storm in a teacup.

She said the clinical independence of the proposed state-of-the-art hospital is unequivocal and that the agreement between the two hospitals – NMH and St Vincent’s – will result in a fully self-governing maternity hospital free from any outside interference.

I could sense her frustration on Morning Ireland last week, on which she gave a strong and emphatic defence of the project, ending with her saying, in no uncertain terms, that the nuns will have nothing to do with the new maternity hospital.

Of course, she is wrong. They will have something to do with the hospital. They will own it. The State will gift it to them in exchange for us being allowed to build the €300m hospital on their land. Some people have described that as a fair exchange – the land for the hospital – except the Sisters of Charity get to keep the land, too.

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Irish experience of church’s role in healthcare is mirrored in US

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Maeve Sheehan
April 30 2017

Ireland is not the only country grappling with a Catholic influence on public healthcare. So are our American cousins.

One in six hospital beds there is Catholic-owned or affiliated, as are four of the top 10 healthcare systems in America, according to a report published by the Catholics for Choice organisation.

The Catholic bodies operate to “directives” written by the Church hierarchy and circulated across all states that forbid procedures ranging from abortions to sterilisations. The Catholic influence on the sector is expanding as Catholic organisations merge with secular facilities, according to the report called Is Your Health Care Compromised?.

Commenting on the US experience, Jon O’Brien, the Irish-born head of Catholics for Choice, told the Sunday Independent: “There is a bit of a problem when you have a religious authority whose antiquated, outdated, unscientific and sectarian perspectives on what services should be provided to whom, get in the way of people getting the services that they need.

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Boylan and Mahony in new clash over warning on nuns’ influence

IRELAND
Irish Independent

April 30 2017

According to a story told by Dr Peter Boylan, he and Dr Rhona Mahony were not always so divided on the future of the National Maternity Hospital. Dr Boylan, a former master of the hospital, and Dr Mahony, the current Master who also happens to be his sister-in-law, had offices beside each other in the crumbling Holles Street building.

The plan to move the hospital to a new state-of-the-art building co-located on the grounds of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group’s Elm Park campus had started and stalled. St Vincent’s, which is owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity, wanted ownership and ultimate control of the maternity hospital.

St Vincent’s was playing “hardball”, insisting the National Maternity Hospital submitted to ownership and control. “We had a lot of discussions about negotiating with St Vincent’s who were playing very hardball. Minister [Leo] Varadkar was very supportive of the National Maternity Hospital position,” said Dr Boylan. “But then after Simon Harris was appointed [last year], that all seemed to change. Minister Harris, on his first weekend, said: ‘I will deliver this hospital.’ That was all fine. He appointed Kieran Mulvey [a professional mediator].”

Dr Boylan claims that in May last year, Dr Mahony asked him to write to the Minister for Health and to the board of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group “expressing concerns about the nuns’ potential involvement” in the National Maternity Hospital. He says he was asked to write because he was chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

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Religion and health care: What role does the Catholic Church play in Irish hospitals?

IRELAND
The Journal

THE PLANNED MOVE of the National Maternity Hospital to St Vincent’s, a site owned by the Sisters of Charity, has opened up a new discussion about religion and health care in Ireland.

The situation of religious orders providing health care services is not unique to Ireland – the Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health care services in the world….

The proposed deal for the new National Maternity Hospital would see the Sisters of Charity owning the facility in Dublin 4 as it would be providing the land at no cost.

There has been strong criticism of the financial deal, with objectors pointing out that the Sisters of Charity still owe €3 million to the redress scheme for survivors of Magdalene Laundries, which it ran along with three other congregations.

Almost 100,000 people have signed a petition which demands an apology from the Sisters of Charity and that it pays its share of the redress scheme.

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Salvation Army church member William Steele found guilty of historical child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Irena Ceranic

A 73-year-old former Salvation Army church member, who a Perth court heard had a hidden sexual desire for teenage boys, has been found guilty of child sex offences dating back more than 50 years.

In a majority verdict, a District Court jury convicted William Edwin Steele of eight offences including indecently dealing with a child under 14.

The victims were five boys aged between 11 and 18.

The offences happened over a 27-year period from 1963 to 1990 at various places, including a room at the back of the Salvation Army church in Subiaco and a fruit and vegetable market where he worked as the general manager.

Steele, who has a wife and four children, committed the first offence a year before he got married.

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Pesch: Litigation needed to expose abuse

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Bill Pesch, For PDN April 30, 2017

As I near the end of my series on family-related laws passed by the 33rd Guam Legislature, I turn my attention to statute that’s received tremendous public attention since its passage in September 2016 — Public Law 33-187. This law removed the statute of limitations for acts of sexual assault and allowed long ago sexual assault victims to sue both the abuser and those institutions that failed to stop the abuse.

Since the law passed, more than 50 people have filed lawsuits against the Catholic Church. A few cases have also been filed against the Boy Scouts of America. There is a strong probability more lawsuits will follow.

Those who have filed claims against the Church and the Boy Scouts allege various priests sexually molested them. From what we have learned so far, the abuse appears to have been widespread, frequent and intentionally suppressed by Church officials.

The unfolding events clearly demonstrate the power of laws to address egregious wrongs. For more than 50 years, these alleged acts of sexual abuse and cover-ups went officially undetected and unpunished. Why this is true is the subject of some debate.

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INDEPENDENT BOARD Sisters of Mercy unlikely to have any involvement in the running of the new National Maternity Hospital

IRELAND
The Irish Sun

By Fergus O’Shea
29th April 2017

RELIGIOUS leaders are unlikely to have any say over the running of the new National Maternity Hospital, a spokesperson has claimed.

The Irish Sun contacted the hospital with a series of questions over the controversy which has seen two high-profile medics quit their board posts in recent days.

Professor Chris Fitzpatrick said on Friday that doctors will find it “very difficult” to have clinical independence working in a hospital that is owned by a religious organisation.

Dr Fitzpatrick stepped down from his role on the project board of the National Maternity Hospital in solidarity with Dr Peter Boylan and expressed his concerns about the Sisters of Charity having ownership of the €300m taxpayer-funded facility.

But, while the hospital would not comment on their decision to step aside, it did move to allay fears of clerical interference on the St Vincent’s site.

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Third master raises NMH fears

IRELAND
The Sunday Times

Justine McCarthy and Colin Coyle
April 30 2017
The Sunday Times

A former master of the Rotunda Hospital has said the state is “wrong” to grant ownership of the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) to the Religious Sisters of Charity, and fears it could set a precedent for Dublin’s other maternity hospitals.

Michael Darling, a member of the Rotunda’s board of governors, is the third former master of a Dublin maternity hospital to warn against allowing the nuns to own the €300m hospital when it is built in the grounds of St Vincent’s University Hospital.

“I am concerned and I do feel strongly about this,” said Darling. “Regardless of the reassurances that have been given, it is not a cut-and-dried arrangement. There is a grey area about the governance. The provision in the agreement for a golden share [for the minister for health] suggests to me people are aware it is not as clear-cut as it should be, and this is a mechanism to appease them.

“This should have been simple. You have an NMH which works well, but its physical structures are inadequate and it drastically needs to be modernised. A good solution is to have it adjacent to a general hospital but I don’t see why it can’t be moved with its present governance. I believe ownership of the new hospital should be given to the NMH.”

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Ancient Order of Malta faces era of change as interim leader is elected

ROME
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

ROME (RNS) The nearly thousand-year-old Order of Malta is bracing for major reforms in the wake of the election of an Italian nobleman to lead the Catholic chivalric order that carries out charitable works around the globe.

The election of Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto came in a closed-door vote in a Roman villa on Saturday (April 29) and followed a bitter internal clash that led Pope Francis to oust the previous leader.

That dispute — ostensibly sparked by disagreements over the inadvertent distribution of contraceptives through an aid program in Myanmar — set up a proxy battle between traditionalists opposed to Francis and reformers who want to see the church take a more flexible approach.

It also proved to be a classic Vatican soap opera that featured out-sized personalities while casting a harsh light on a quietly influential church charity — one which is also a bastion of clerical and aristocratic privilege.

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Knights of Malta find compromise after papal clash

ROME
Reuters

The Knights of Malta, a Catholic chivalric order and global charity, elected a new, interim leader on Saturday to oversee a period of reform and restore calm to the organization after its recent row with the Vatican.

The previous grand master, Briton Matthew Festing, resigned in January after a month-long, highly public spat with the Vatican over the running of the group, which laid bare tensions between a reformist Pope Francis and his conservative critics.

In a secret ballot, 56 electors appointed Italian Giacomo Dalla Torre as Lieutenant of the Grand Master, giving him just a one-year mandate while reforms are carried out.

“Pope Francis has been informed by letter of the election result,” the Knights said in a statement.

The Vatican appointed a special delegate to run the Rome-based body following Festing’s departure and had pushed, behind the scenes, for the appointment of a compromise, interim leader.

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Italian elected new leader of Order of Malta

ROME
Yahoo! News

AFP

A 72-year-old Italian medieval art expert was on Saturday elected to head the Order of Malta, the world’s oldest chivalric order.

Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto takes the reins for one year after Pope Francis ordered the resignation in January of the Order’s Grand Master, Britain’s Matthew Festing, following a power struggle.

A centuries-old lay religious mission, the order provides humanitarian aid in crisis zones around the world.

It comprises 13,500 members ranked by their noble titles and who are expected to lead an exemplary Christian life while participating in the Order’s charity activities.

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AOIFE BANNON Latest hospital row is excuse to bash Catholic Church – we shouldn’t forget the atrocities but religious orders did a lot of good in the past

IRELAND
The Irish Sun

By Aoife Bannon
29th April 2017

IF you want to cause an unholy row in modern ­Ireland, just mention the ­Catholic Church.

The religion that once ruled supreme now seems to be a dividing force amongst the Irish public.

The hysteria this week over the ­National Maternity Hospital is definite proof of this.

There’s been huge outrage as the public grappled with the fact that the new €300million facility is to be built on land owned by the Sisters of Charity, beside St Vincent’s Hospital.

We are all aware that the religious order has a tainted history when it comes to mothers. The Magdalene Laundries is a sad part of Irish history that we should never forget.

And this week we saw how the contempt many hold the Church in almost derailed the building of the badly needed new maternity hospital.

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Harris called “out of touch” over new Maternity Hospital

IRELAND
Newstalk

The Magdalene Survivors Together group has said that the Minister for Health, Simon Harris is totally out of touch with the majority of people in Ireland over the new National Maternity Hospital.

They said that the proposed ‘gifting’ of the new hospital to the Sisters of Charity has angered many women who passed through the religious order’s institutions in the past.

Chairman Stephen O’Riordan, said they’re now calling for the minister’s resignation.

He said “Their faith and their ethical views and the code of practice of how they operate as an organisation is in complete contrast to how the majority of women might feel in the context of receiving medical care.

“If that is not a reason for us to be really concerned then the Minister doesn’t understand the role or conflict of interest.”

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Minister for Health ‘out of touch’ with public over new National Maternity Hospital

IRELAND
Breaking News

29/04/2017

The Magdalene Survivors Together group says the Minister for Health is totally out of touch with the majority of people in Ireland over the new National Maternity Hospital.

They say the proposed ‘gifting’ of the new hospital to the Sisters of Charity has angered many women who passed through the religious order’s institutions in the past.

Chairman Stephen O’Riordan, says they are calling for the minister’s resignation.

“Their faith and their ethical views and the code of practice of how they operate as an organisation is in complete contrast to how the majority of women might feel in the context of receiving medical care.

“If that is not a reason for us to be really concerned then the Minister doesn’t understand the role or conflict of interest.”

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Ex-McAuley principal seeking apology

AUSTRALIA
Tamut and Adelong Times

By Frances Vinall – April 29, 2017

A former Principal at McAuley Catholic Central School is requesting an apology and a payment from Archbishop Christopher Prowse, for his historic forced resignation on behalf of the Catholic Education Office (CEO) in 1998.

He believes his treatment was the result of his speaking out against the CEO, and it is his hope that the increased scrutiny the Catholic Church has received in the past few years will encourage the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese to admit what he says is their mistake in terminating his position.

Lee Borradale, now retired in Queensland, believes there are parallels between his experience with the Archdiocese, and the treatment of Father Brian Hassett that has recently come to light.

“There’s a pattern of behaviour in the Catholic system,” Mr Borradale said.

“They don’t tell the community what’s going on, they move people somewhere else and deal with it out of sight. It’s just wrong.

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Catholic priest in sex scandal

MALAWI
Malawi 24

BY BRIGHT MALENGA ON APR 29, 2017

A Roman Catholic Father has been arrested after he was found performing sexual acts on a 17 year-old girl.

Dedza Police spokesperson Edward Kabango has identified the Father as 60-year-old Andrew Timpuza who is based at Mtendere Parish.

He said the Catholic priest was caught red-handed at Malawi College of Forestry campus with the girl who is in Standard 4.

“He packed his car in the bush and was found touching the private parts of the little girl in readiness for sex.

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Former Arlington Heights priest pleads guilty to child pornography

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

Barbara Vitello

A former associate pastor at an Arlington Heights church pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

Clovis Vilchez-Parra, formerly of Mission San Juan Diego, was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday in exchange for pleading guilty to possession of child pornography, court records show.

Vilchez-Parra, 36, received credit for 460 days in custody. He was also ordered to pay $1,654 in fines.

The Palatine resident was arrested in February 2015 following an undercover investigation by the Cook County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force into individuals downloading child pornography. Palatine, Bartlett and Chicago police departments cooperated with the investigation, according to prosecutors.

Chicago Archdiocese officials removed Vilchez-Parra from ministry, including his duties at Mission San Juan Diego, following his arrest.

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Molestation suspect’s bail revoked after luring same victim, officials say

FLORIDA
WESH

[with video]

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —
A molestation suspect out on bail ended up back in jail, accused of the same crime that put him there the first time.

Former church youth director Jon Schils, 28, allegedly targeted the same 14-year-old victim.

Schils faces charges that could lead to life in prison.

In December, Schils was charged with 14 counts of lewd and lascivious battery, accused of luring a girl to a ballfield on the pretext of giving her private coaching lessons.

Prosecutors said the victim was a member of a church youth group at Bethel Baptist Church in Cocoa, where Schils was a youth director.

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New law seeks to combat vulnerable adult exploitation, abuse

WASHINGTON
Daily Progress

By ALEXIS MYERS Associated Press Apr 28, 2017

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Vulnerable adults would be better protected against financial exploitation and neglect in Washington state under a new law awaiting the governor’s signature.

The legislation, requested by the attorney general, would create a new crime of theft involving a vulnerable adult – any person 18 years or older who is clearly mentally or physically unable to care for himself or herself or suffers from a cognitive impairment.

House Bill 1153 unanimously passed in the Senate earlier this month and was approved in the House in February. A date has not yet been set for the bill to be signed by Gov. Jay Inslee, though it will happen within the next few weeks.

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Protecting children every day

OKLAHOMA
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

By Sen. Wayne Shaw

Child abuse can include sexual, physical and mental abuse, encompassing anything from neglect, abandonment, or even exploitation.

In Oklahoma, 15 out of every 1000 children were abused in 2014, which was almost twice the rate that was reported in 2011.

The national statistics are just as sobering, with an estimated 679,000 children suffering as victims of abuse and neglect, with 47 states reporting that almost 3.1 million children received preventative services from various child protective services across the nation.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, but every day we should seek ways to empower young abuse victims to break their silence and stop the cycle of abuse.

Each year, the annual Field of Flags is displayed on the south side of the Oklahoma State Capitol to remember the thousands of children who are victims of abuse.

The Oklahoma flags are in place this month to remember the 42 Oklahoma children who died in the last year due to abuse or neglect, while the American flags represent the thousands of children across the country who are victims of child abuse.

This session, there are two bills moving through the legislative process aimed at helping child abuse survivors seek justice against their abusers. The measures would amend the timeframe for abuse survivors to file criminal and civil cases against their abusers.

House Bill 1468, the Hidden Predator Act, eliminates the current 12-year statute of limitations and allows criminal charges to be filed against an alleged perpetrator until the victim reaches their 45th birthday.

HB 1470 would extend the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse survivors to file a civil lawsuit from age 20 to the 45th birthday of the claimant.

Both measures passed on the Senate floor Monday afternoon by a vote of 44-0.

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Ex-student says assistant principal gave him booze, drugs

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

[with video]

David Bienick
Reporter

LAWRENCE, Mass. —
A former student at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence said Friday he was one of the students who received drugs and alcohol from a former assistant principal.

The former student, who asked not to be identified, said he and classmates visited Andrew Nikonchuk’s apartment in Lowell on two occasions.

“Everybody was smoking marijuana there,” said the man, who is now in his mid-20s.

At the time, Nikonchuk was a science teacher at the school.

“It was strange, but it was kind of cool at the same time for students to hang out with him. So nobody really thought much of it way back,” he said.

The man also said he knows another former student who recently told the school that Nikonchuk had drugged and raped him in 2006.

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Sex Abuse Survivors Group to Hold Rally at Central Catholic High School Monday

MASSACHUSETTS
Patch

By Lisa Redmond (Patch Staff) – April 29, 2017

LAWRENCE — Road to Recovery, an international group that supports sexual abuse survivors, plans to rally at Central Catholic High School on Monday after a school administrator was fired after being accused of drugging and raping a student in 2006, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

Dr. Robert Hoatson, the leader of Road to Recovery, a non-profit, sexual abuse recovery organization based in Livingston, New Jersey, told the Eagle-Tribune he received phone calls about the Central Catholic situation from sexual abuse survivors living in the Merrimack Valley.

Hoatson said a demonstration is planned at 11 a.m. on Monday at Central Catholic High School at 300 Hampshire St, in Lawrence.

Andrew Nikonchuk, 36, of Lowell, was fired Tuesday for violating “the school’s policies pertaining to appropriate social boundaries between students and faculty.”

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Dean/coach on leave at Central Catholic High

MASSACHUSETTS
The Lowell Sun

By Kori Tuitt, ktuitt@lowellsun.com
UPDATED: 04/29/2017

LAWRENCE — The Central Catholic High School dean of students and basketball coach allegedly sent inappropriate messages on Snapchat to a former student, leading to the school placing him on administrative leave this week.

The Central Catholic administrator on leave for allegedly sending inappropriate messages to a former student is Dean of Students and basketball coach Richard Nault, according to The Eagle Tribune.

The action on Nault — who has led the perennial powerhouse basketball team in Lawrence for about a decade — comes in the wake of the school firing Andrew Nikonchuk, of Lowell.

Also, the employee who was placed on administrative leave for allegedly posting “compromising photos” of himself online is social studies teacher John Housianitis, according to The Eagle Tribune. He’s a former Lawrence School Committee member.

Central Catholic President Christopher Sullivan sent an email to families on Thursday stating that an administrator was on leave for sending inappropriate messages through social media to a former student last month. A teacher was also placed on administrative leave for posting compromising photos of himself to an “adults-only, password protected website.”

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Suspended Central Catholic staffers identified

MASSACHUSETTS
Eagle-Tribune

LAWRENCE — The two members of the Central Catholic High School staff who were placed on leave pending the outcome of misconduct investigations have been identified as Dean of Students and basketball coach Richard Nault, and social studies teacher John Housianitis, according to parents, students and law enforcement officials.

The two staff members were suspended while investigations of their behavior are conducted, according to a letter sent out Thursday evening to students, parents and alumni by Central President Christopher F. Sullivan. The two were not identified in Sullivan’s letter.

Allegations involving the two staff members came to the school’s attention in the wake of the firing of Andrew Nikonchuk, the former director of curriculum and instruction at the school. Nikonchuk, 36, of Lowell is under investigation for the drugging and rape of a student in 2006.

The first of the new allegations involves Housianitis, who posted compromising photos of himself on an adults-only, password-protected website, according to Sullivan’s letter.

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Child sex abuse survivors Bridie Farrell, Steve Jiminez visit Wall Street’s Fearless Girl, urge to fix child-rape law

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICAH DANNEY
LARRY MCSHANE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, April 28, 2017

The “Fearless Girl” has nothing on child sex abuse survivors Bridie Farrell and Steve Jimenez.

The unflinching pair came to Wall Street Friday, urging passage of a long-rejected proposal that would finally give a full voice to the victims of sexual predators.

Farrell and Jimenez stood behind the “Fearless Girl” statue in the Financial District to recount their own stories of abuse — and support the 11-year-old “Child Victims Act.”

“When the truth comes out, you’re protecting other children,” said Jimenez, who was abused by a Catholic brother.
The legislation — first introduced in 2006 — has failed to pass on five occasions.

The proposal would eliminate New York’s civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes and open a one-year legal “window” for older victims to bring their cases.

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The Vatican’s quiet reformer

UNITED KINGDOM
Crux

Austen Ivereigh April 29, 2017
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

The President of the Vatican Information Authority (AIF), René Brülhart, was speaking at Oxford University’s Blavatbik School of Government on reforming Vatican finances on Thursday night. Brülhart has sought to create a “tailor-made” system of regulation — a term he used often in his talk — that brings the Vatican into line with contemporary European standards but without sacrificing its uniqueness.

It was an unusual way for a Vatican official to begin a talk at Oxford University’s shiny new school for public policy wonks: By commemorating a dead cardinal. And even more unusual when the official is a layman.

After beginning with a joke that the Vatican had rather more thick walls and fewer windows than the glass-and-steel Blavatbik School of Government – “but still we hope we are introducing transparency in our own way” – René Brülhart asked the students and professors to observe a moment’s silence for his predecessor as head of the Vatican’s financial watchdog, Cardinal Attilio Nicora, who died earlier this week.

The Swiss regulator, president since 2012 of the Vatican Information Authority (AIF), has had remarkable success in creating and implementing new laws and regulations to prevent Rome’s finances ever again exploding in scandals. After seeing him talk to students of change management, I think I know why.

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SNAP: Put survivor on Hope and Healing board

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com April 29, 2017

The world’s largest network of priest sex abuse survivors says a program to help Guam clergy abuse victims should have an abuse survivor on its board.

“To claim to know what survivors want and need in a ‘Hope and Healing’ program without having a survivor on the board is a bit patronizing,” said Joelle Casteix, volunteer western regional director for the St. Louis-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. “Survivors are the ones who truly know how they can be helped the best.”

Hope and Healing Guam is a program initiated and funded by, but independent of, the Archdiocese of Agana. Its goal is to provide professional counseling, treatment, spiritual healing, compensation and justice to clergy sex abuse victims. The initial funding for the program is $1 million.

Alicia Limtiaco, former U.S. Attorney for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, chairs the program’s board. Six other members will be named in the weeks ahead. The board will review and evaluate claims by each person accusing Guam clergy of sex abuse. Counseling and treatment has started for those who call the program’s hotline, 1-888-649-5288.

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Patrick Murphy: Maternity hospital row another sign Catholic Church in south losing its relevance

IRELAND
The Irish News

Patrick Murphy
29 April, 2017

Did you ever think you would see protests in Dublin against nuns? Well, there were last week, when hundreds of demonstrators assembled outside the Department of Health.

In fairness, they were not protesting against all nuns, just the Sisters of Charity. The reason was that the Dublin government has agreed that the sisters should inherit the earth, or at least a €300 million, state-funded maternity hospital on a part of the earth which the nuns happen to own. Somewhere deep in Irish government there remains residual, religious sentiment.

The protesters have two objections. The first is that the sisters apparently owe the state at least €3 million, as part of their €5 million payment towards government compensation for child abuse in their former institutions.

Opponents of the deal argue that giving the nuns a hospital just because they own the land on which it is to be built, is a bit too charitable.

The second argument suggests that a religious order should not have any role in a maternity hospital in view of its likely Catholic ethos, which would not necessarily be shared by all taxpayers who use the service.

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St Vincent’s silent on selling hospital land

IRELAND
The Times (UK)

Ellen Coyne
April 29 2017
The Times

St Vincent’s Healthcare Grouphas refused to say if it would consider selling the site for the National Maternity Hospital to the state.

Two senior obstetricians have resigned from the board after it emerged that the Sisters of Charity will own the new hospital after it is built with more than €300 million of taxpayers’ money.

The Department of Health told The Times that the prospect of buying the land at St Vincent’s “never arose”.

St Vincent’s last night declined to answer questions about the prospect of selling the land and said the board was “not making any further comment on these matters at this point in time”.

The Times first reported last month that the Sisters of Charity would own the maternity hospital when it is built on its land at Elm Park. The existing National Maternity Hospital, based at Holles Street, will move to the St Vincent’s campus.

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Nuns consented to plans with ‘reproductive clinic’

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Eilish O’Regan
April 29 2017

The Sisters of Charity gave consent to the planning application for the new national maternity hospital which includes accommodation for fertility services.

Documents seen by the Irish Independent show Vicar General Sr Patricia Lenihan wrote to the HSE on behalf of Sr Mary Christian (Superior General) of the religious order in late February saying the order was giving consent to the application.

The application to build the €300m maternity hospital at the St Vincent’s campus includes 244 beds, each with a private room, and five operating theatres.

On the first floor it will have a “reproductive medicine facility”, which will allow for fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

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March to protest over ownership of new maternity hospital

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Joyce Fegan

A national march has been organised in protest against the “religious ownership” of the new National Maternity Hospital.

The march, which takes place next Sunday, May 7, is entitled “We Own Our Hospitals”.

It comes after almost 100,000 people signed an Uplift petition to prevent the Sisters of Charity becoming sole owners of the new National Maternity Hospital planned for the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group site in Dublin 4.

The march will begin at the Garden of Remembrance at 2pm and finish at Merrion Square at Leinster House.

It is being organised by Parents for Choice, who want to ensure that public healthcare facilities are accountable to the citizens of Ireland.

“We want to ensure that healthcare facilities paid for by the people of Ireland are accountable to and run by the people of Ireland,” said Parents for Choice spokeswoman Sinéad Redmond.

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Mulvey: It’s not possible for nuns to hand over maternity hospital land as it is ‘tied up

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Eilish O’Regan
April 29 2017

The Sisters of Charity cannot sell the land on which the new National Maternity Hospital will be built because it is tied up in financial and legal agreements, mediator Kieran Mulvey has said.

His comments follow the ongoing public row over the State’s decision to build the €300m hospital on the St Vincent’s Hospital campus on land which automatically makes the Sisters of Charity the owners of the facility.

It has led to repeated calls on the religious order to simply give the hospital to the State, removing the concerns about the impact the Catholic ethos might have on services.

However, Mr Mulvey, who was privy to private details of the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group during the six months of negotiations, told the Irish Independent it is not possible to cede ownership of the land at this stage.

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Diarmaid Ferriter: St Vincent’s was built with public money

IRELAND
Irish Times

Diarmaid Ferriter

It is a pity the former master of Holles Street, Dr Peter Boylan, abstained rather than voted against the deal to relocate the national maternity hospital to the St Vincent’s campus. It reminded me of Fianna Fáil’s Des O’Malley choosing to make a stand on contraception when legislation liberalising access to it was being voted on in the Dáil in 1985 with his now famous “I stand by the Republic” speech. He only stood by it rhetorically; after his speech, rather than vote for the legislation he decried Fianna Fáil for opposing, he abstained, partly “out of deference to some of my colleagues”, the same reason Boylan offered for his choice.

Notwithstanding, there is a weight of history adding force to Boylan’s concerns and in response, the current master Dr Rhona Mahony was alarmingly dismissive – “nothing” she insisted, “must be allowed stand in the way” of the new hospital. Such a stance is unwise and insensitive. Dr Chris Fitzpatrick, former master of the Coombe who resigned from the board managing the project, was calm and measured in claiming the new hospital should be given possession of the site by the Sisters of Charity. He gave credit to the sisters for making their campus available, but reasonably asserted that it is completely inappropriate in this era that ownership of a publicly funded hospital would be entrusted “in any shape, way or form to a religious organisation”.

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Dublin Lives: Vaccine trial victim ‘insulted’ over National Maternity Hospital ownership debacle

IRELAND
Dublin Live

BY CLAIRE SCOTT
29 APR 2017

A mother and baby home survivor who was subject to vaccine trials during infancy is horrified the Catholic church may be given a new opportunity to care for Ireland’s mums and children.

David Kinsella, 58, was hospitalised six times and even required a blood transfusion during the first four years of his life while staying in the notorious St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home on the Navan Road.

The home was run by the Daughters of Charity, a Catholic order with a similar ethos to Magdalene Laundry owners – the Sisters of Charity who are set to manage the new National Maternity Hospital.

And the prospect of the Church once again controlling the provision of care to Ireland’s mothers and babies is a “horrifying” thought, according to David.

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‘The Law Penalizes Us for Remaining Silent’: New York Sex Abuse Survivors Won’t Stop Pushing for Reform

NEW YORK
Jezebel – The Slot

Ellie Shechet

MANHATTAN—Past a crush of tourists posing delightedly in front of Wall Street’s “Charging Bull,” a small crowd gathered around the “Fearless Girl” statue as lawmakers and childhood sexual abuse survivors called for passage of the Child Victims Act.

Repeatedly derailed over the years in the New York State Senate, the CVA would lift the state’s five-year statute of limitation on childhood sexual abuse, which requires most survivors to take legal action by the age of 23—although many survivors, out of fear or shame, don’t speak out until decades later. The bill would also create a one-year civil “window” for survivors over 23 to bring cases retrospectively, and would remove the 90-day notice of claim requirement that protects public institutions from being held accountable past that time frame. The Fearless Girl’s questionable corporate roots notwithstanding, advocates leaned heavily on the message of standing up to powerful interests.

The state of New York has fallen far behind the majority of the country with one of the narrowest windows for victims of childhood sexual abuse to bring civil or criminal charges—a notable gap that’s come under scrutiny alongside reports of abuse at elite schools like Choate and Horace Mann, as well as horrifically widespread claims of child sexual abuse against Catholic priests. Last week, the New York Daily News reported that Senate Republicans sent the legislation to the Rules Committee in order to avoid a vote. “The State Senate spat in the face of survivors last week,” CVA sponsor Sen. Brad Hoylman shouted hoarsely at the presser. Republicans control the Senate by a slim margin in New York, aided by rogue Democrats in the Independent Democratic Caucus; the state Catholic Conference, which strongly opposes a one-year lookback, has spent millions over the years lobbying to block versions of this bill from passage.

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Opinion: You can prevent abuse

UNITED STATES
Mennonite World Review

A church that keeps children safe meets three essential standards

Apr 10, 2017 by Anna Groff and For Meetinghouse

For many of us, church feels good and safe. We were loved there as children and respected there as adults. In fact, we often describe our churches as “families” or caring communities where all are accepted. We trust one another and feel confident that others want the best for us and our families.

But for some of us, church was not only unsafe, it was destructive. Abuse by a church leader or an adult in the church community impacts us forever and can drastically change how a victim/survivor understands God.

We know one in six boys will experience some form of sexual abuse and one in four girls. While this abuse hasn’t necessarily occurred in church settings, we can consider how much of our lives and our children’s lives are connected to church and church institutions like schools, camps and more.

No church is immune to an abuse crisis. And if we’re not a part of the solution, we may be part of the problem.

The clear majority of victims/ survivors know their offender as a family member or friend of the family. This gives new meaning to the “we’re like family” description. We don’t need to start distrusting everyone, but we should acknowledge that the higher the trust, the higher the risk that an offender may exploit our trust. “Stranger danger” is a myth.

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Garvin County Sheriff investigating local pastor in molestation case

OKLAHOMA
KXII

PAULS VALLEY, Okla. (KXII) — A pastor is being investigated after his daughter was arrested for molesting a 10-year-old boy in the pastor’s home.

Stormy Ledbetter, 30, was arrested last month.

And now Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes said her father, Claude Ledbetter is being investigated. Rhodes wouldn’t release any other details.

Claude is a former police chaplain, and current pastor at the Pauls Valley Church of the Nazarene.

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Furore over proposal to charge Catholic schools rent

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Deborah Snow

Senior Catholic educators are warning in a confidential paper that any move by NSW bishops to start collecting rent from Catholic schools could be seen as a way of “paying for the ‘sins’ of the clergy”.

And the serious “reputational, political and canonical risks” involved could trigger a perception that government money meant for the education of children was being diverted to other church activities, the paper says.

The internal briefing paper, obtained by Fairfax Media and dated early April, was prepared for the heads of the 11 different Catholic education offices in NSW, who each report to their local bishop.

At least one diocese, Newcastle–Maitland, has confirmed to Fairfax Media it is considering a proposal to charge its schools rent.

Two others, Armidale and Bathurst, did not rule it out when asked if they had it under consideration.

The dioceses of Lismore, Paramatta, Sydney, Broken Bay, Wollongong and Wilcannia-Forbes said they did not have plans to start collecting rent from the schools they administer, and Wagga Wagga said it had not been discussed.

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York gathers to form child sexual assault awareness campaign

MAINE
Seacoast Online

By Deborah McDermott
dmcdermott@seacoastonline.com

YORK, Maine – Jean Browne had been sexually abused at 5, and as a teenager, was a victim of date rape. “I’ve walked the path, so hopefully I can share my story with kids and help them,” she said.

Dennis O’Connor was abused by his parish priest when he was a kid, and his disclosure ultimately led to the priest’s prosecution. “We need to figure out how keep these people away from kids,” he said.

Heather Brower was 11 years old when she was sexually abused. Now the mother of an 11 year old girl, “I want to know what I can do to keep her safe.”

These York residents were among a group of about 30 people who came to the York Library Friday afternoon to become involved in a local campaign to raise awareness of child sexual abuse.

The event was organized by Dr. Jeanine Ward, an emergency room physician at York Hospital; resident Kara DioGuardi, a music producer, songwriter and former “American Idol” judge; and York Police Officer Jamie Rooney – all of whom are comfortable now sharing their own child sexual abuse stories. But they recognize that many people are not, and many more do not want to hear about it.

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Abuse survivors group will rally at Central Catholic

MASSACHUSETTS
Eagle-Tribune

By Jill Harmacinski jharmacinski@eagletribune.com

LAWRENCE — An international group that supports sexual abuse survivors plans to rally in front of Central Catholic High School next week after an administrator was accused of drugging and raping a student in 2006.

Andrew Nikonchuk, 36, of Lowell was fired Tuesday for violating “the school’s policies pertaining to appropriate social boundaries between students and faculty.”

The former Central Catholic director of curriculum and instruction was fired Tuesday after the former student, a male who graduated in 2008, reported the incident to authorities on April 20. The Middlesex County district attorney is investigating the allegations. To this point, no criminal charges have been filed.

Dr. Robert Hoatson, the leader of Road to Recovery, a nonprofit, sexual abuse recovery organization based in Livingston, New Jersey, said he received phone calls about the Central Catholic situation from other sexual abuse survivors living in the Merrimack Valley.

Hoatson said a demonstration is planned at Central Catholic at 11 a.m. Monday.

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Latest: Fine Gael TD calls on Government to buy maternity hospital land from religious order

IRELAND
Breaking News

28/04/2017

Update 3.35pm: A Government TD has broken ranks to call on Health Minister Simon Harris to consider buying the €300m land on which the new national maternity hospital will be built in a bid to end the escalating scandal, writes Fiachra Ó Cionnaith.

Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell urged the move as a way to resolve the stand-off, saying either entering into a long-term lease with the Sisters of Charity or buying the land outright is the only realistic option.

Speaking on RTE Radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke as Sinn Féin confirmed it will table a motion seeking legal guarantees the hospital “remains entirely within public ownership” and will be independent in all clinical matters, Ms O’Connell said ownership remains the key issue in the dispute.

While Minister Harris has to date refused to speculate on purchasing the new National Maternity Hospital site, she said the Health Minister must consider the move during the coming month of talks with all groups involved.

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10 days that shook the nation: how the Holles Street mess unfolded

IRELAND
Her

BY ALISON BOUGH

Today sees the tenth day of extraordinary chaos, political fallout, and public outcry surrounding the ownership and governance of the new €300 million National Maternity Hospital building.
Following the latest resignation of Professor Chris Fitzpatrick, in support of Dr Peter Boylan, we look back at how the crisis has unfolded…

Tuesday, April 18th: News breaks that the Sisters of Charity, a religious order who have (to date) failed to provide its share of funds to a redress scheme for institutional abuse victims, are to be given sole ownership of the planned €300 million State-funded National Maternity Hospital to be built on a site at Elm Park in south county Dublin.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health tells media outlets that the

“autonomy of the National Maternity Hospital board will be underpinned by reserved powers to ensure clinical and operational independence, and the Minister for Health will hold the power to protect those reserved powers.”

Throughout the day, opposition parties condemn the decision to grant sole ownership of the new hospital to the religious congregation. The Workers’ Party states that the situation presents a ‘nightmare scenario’ for women.

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Sinn Féin to call for National Maternity Hospital’s independence

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Minihan
 
Sinn Féin will call on the Government to ensure the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH) has “legally-guaranteed independence” from all non-medical influence when the Dáil returns next week

The party’s spokeswoman on health, Louise O’Reilly, has published a private members’ business motion on the governance of the new hospital.

The motion will be debated in the Dáil on Wednesday.

Describing conditions at the maternity hospital’s current Holles Street site in Dublin as “deplorable”, she said the new NMH should be built on the St Vincent’s University Hospital campus as quickly as possible.

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Rev. Randolph “Randy” Nowak, OFM.Cap – Assignment History

NEW YORK/HAWAII/GUAM
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Randolph “Randy” Nowak was ordained for the Capuchin order in 1952. He spent over twenty-five years of his early ministry working with high school-aged seminarians at St. Mary’s Seminary in Garrison NY. He appears to have subsequently moved for a brief time to the Capuchin residence in Hawthorne, followed by several years at the Order’s Provincialate in White Plains. He returned to the minor seminary in Garrison for five years beginning in 1975, leaving there for a year in Yonkers, where he resided at Capuchin monastery and parish while working as a hospital and nursing home chaplain.

In 1979 Nowak was transferred to Guam. There he was a parish priest, assisting at many Capuchin parishes and pastoring a few, in Agat, San Isidro and Ordot. He was assigned to Hawaii in 1988, assisting and leading parishes in Ewa Beach, Pahala and Waikane. There is a gap in his assignments 1994-1996, after which he is noted in the Official Catholic Directory to be retired in Hawaii until 2001. The following six years show Nowak to be back in Guam, no longer retired, assisting at an Agat parish and as the “Senior Friar” of the Capuchin Fraternity.

In 2008 a man wrote in a letter to the Capuchin’s New York provincialate that Nowak molested him when the man was a young seminarian in the 1960s at St. Mary’s in Garrison. Nowak, in turn, wrote in an email to his former student, apologizing for “what happened between us.” Nowak’s accuser also said that he told a Capuchin priest in the 1970s about the abuse, but that nothing was done. In 2008 the priest in question said he didn’t “recall such a conversation… .”

According to his Order, Nowak’s faculties were removed in 2004 due to past allegations that “arose elsewhere.” Nowak has been living in retirement since at least 2007 at the St. Fidelis Friary in Agaña Heights. The Capuchins agreed to pay Nowak’s accuser’s fees counseling fees, beginning in 2006.

Born: July 21, 1925
Ordained: September 6, 1952

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Lawrence high school administrators suspended following misconduct allegations

MASSACHUSETTS
MassLive

By Kristin LaFratta | kristin.lafratta@masslive.com

At least two administrators at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence were placed on leave this week following allegations of misconduct.

A letter sent to students, parents and alumni on Thursday by Central President Christopher F. Sullivan said that two staff members were suspended while the Catholic school investigates their behavior.

Reports say the two new allegations come just after the firing of Andrew Nikonchuk, 36, the school’s former director of curriculum and instruction, for allegations of rape. The school said a former student, who graduated in 2008, came forward recently to say he was drugged and raped by Nikonchuk in 2006. Those allegations are under investigation by the school and police.

The letter sent home on Thursday explained the misconduct of two new administrators. The administrators were not identified, and the allegations do not include any physical harm against students as in the case of Nikonchuk.

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Allegations shake Central Catholic High

MASSACHUSETTS
The Lowell Sun

UPDATED: 04/28/2017

LOWELL — Central Catholic High School fired an administrator on Tuesday due to allegations by a former student that he drugged and raped him in Lowell 11 years ago.

The student, who graduated in 2008, recently came forward with the allegation against Andrew Nikonchuk, 36, who lives in Lowell.

The incident allegedly occurred in 2006, according to the student.

Two other staff members are also being investigated for misconduct and have been placed on administrative leave, according to a newsletter sent out to students’ families by the school on Thursday.

The alleged victim recently responded to another person’s Facebook post that was supportive of Nikonchuk using the hashtag #ImwithNiko.

The victim, who on Facebook said he was 15 at the time, said Nikonchuk was his best friend and described the night of the incident, when he had been at Nikonchuk’s home. He said he and Nikonchuk had been drinking beer, smoking marijuana and playing video games.

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Two Central Catholic Staff Members Placed On Administrative Leave

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS Boston

LAWRENCE (CBS) – Two staff members at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence have been placed on administrative leave while the school investigates accusations of inappropriate behavior.

The investigation into the staff members comes just days after Director of Curriculum and Instruction Andrew Nikonchuk was fired when a former student accused the administrator of drugging and raping him.

“My son is innocent. If you know my son, you know he would never do this,” Nikonchuk’s father, Andrew Nikonchuk said in a statement to WBZ-TV.

On Thursday, Central Catholic President Christopher Sullivan said in a letter to parents an allegation surfaced Wednesday that another staff member was posting “compromising photos” of himself on a website that is adults-only and password protected.

Copies of the photographs had been circulated around the school.

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2 more Central Catholic High School employees accused of misconduct with students

MASSACHUSETTS
NH1.com

LAWRENCE, Mass. — Two more staff members at Central Catholic High School have been placed on leave only a few days after the school fired its assistant principal over rape allegations.

Central Catholic High School officials said Thursday that they have found more incidents of alleged misconduct against other staffers while investigating allegations against former administrator Andrew Nikonchuck.

A spokesman for the school says a former student alleges he was drugged and raped by the administrator in 2006.

An investigation into the allegation reportedly found that in one case, a staff member allegedly posted compromising photos of himself on an adults-only website. A second staff member allegedly sent inappropriate messages through social media to a student who graduated in 2016.

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Central Catholic suspends two staff members

MASSACHUSETTS
Eagle-Tribune

LAWRENCE — Two members of the staff at Central Catholic High School have been placed on leave pending the outcome of misconduct investigations.

The two staff members, who were not named, were suspended while investigations of their behavior are conducted, according to a letter sent Thursday evening to students, parents and alumni by Central President Christopher F. Sullivan.

Allegations involving the two staff members came to the school’s attention in the wake of the firing of Andrew Nikonchuk, the former director of curriculum and instruction at the school. Nikonchuk, 36, of Lowell is under investigation for the drugging and rape of a student in 2006.

The first of the new allegations involves a staff member who posted compromising photos of himself on an adults-only, password-protected website.

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APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS DISMISSAL OF ORPHANAGE FOUNDER LAWSUIT

MAINE
Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the dismissal of a defamation lawsuit against a Maine activist who publicized sexual abuse accusations against a Haiti orphanage founder.

A federal jury concluded in 2015 that Paul Kendrick defamed orphanage founder Michael Geilenfeld and awarded more than $14 million in damages. But a judge later ruled that Geilenfeld lacked grounds to sue in a U.S. courtroom because the Iowa native wasn’t living in the U.S. when he filed his claim.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of the suit.

Geilenfeld, founder of St. Joseph’s Home for Boys in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, accused Kendrick of making unsubstantiated accusations that led to him being imprisoned for eight months and cost the Hearts with Haiti charity several million dollars in donations.

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Former pastor convicted of sexual battery of teen boy

FLORIDA
Bradenton Herald

BY JESSICA DE LEON
jdeleon@bradenton.com

A former Wimauma pastor has been found guilty in the 2015 sexual battery of a 17-year-old boy during a hunting trip.

Juan Gomez, 53, was convicted by a jury Thursday afternoon of sexual battery upon a minor between the ages of 12 and 18 and unlawful sexual activity with a minor. The jurors deliberated for just under an hour at the conclusion of a four-day trial.

Gomez, who is facing up to life in prison, will be sentenced on June 16.

The assault first came to light July 21, 2015, after investigators received information Gomez sexually assaulted the boy earlier that month at a hunting ranch in northern Manatee County.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/crime/article147175449.html#storylink=cpy

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Pastor who impregnated teen sentenced to prison in Chesco

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

by Michaelle Bond, Staff Writer @MichaelleBond | mbond@phillynews.com

The former Chester County pastor who impregnated a teenager who had viewed him as a surrogate father was sentenced Friday to three to six years in prison.

Jacob Matthew Malone, 35, pleaded guilty at the Chester County Justice Center in West Chester to institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors, and endangering the welfare of children. The former pastor at Calvary Fellowship, a nondenominational church in Downingtown, also will serve five months’ probation.

The woman, now 20, told police Malone gave her alcohol as an 18-year-old and raped her on several occasions while she lived with him, his wife, and their children in Malone’s home. Malone, who was her guardian, admitted that he gave her alcohol but said that the sexual encounters were consensual.

Sexual contact, which included kissing and touching, occurred almost daily during her senior year in high school.

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EXCLUSIVE: Accused child molester sues synagogue in ‘hostile takeover’ attempt, congregation charges

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY
VICTORIA BEKIEMPIS
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, April 28, 2017

Leaders at a Brooklyn synagogue say a former congregant is trying to force his way into a leadership role and accuses him of inappropriate conduct with teenage boys.

In August, Zvi Geller, 40, sued Beth Jacob Ohev Sholom on Rodney St. in Williamsburg, calling for new board elections. He also said the board wouldn’t let him build a youth center.

But the synagogue leaders, which members describe as the last Orthodox, non-Hasidic place of worship in the neighborhood, say Geller is attempting a “hostile takeover.”

In an affidavit filed Tuesday against Geller’s suit, synagogue president Martin Needelman said Geller opposed the appointment of a new rabbi after its longtime leader retired.

“Geller strongly opposed the Congregation’s attempt to seek a new rabbi and without being formally appointed, he began acting as if he were the effective rabbi of the Congregation,” Needelman stated.

The affidavit further accuses Geller of sleeping on the synagogue’s premises at least three Friday nights while alone with a 16-year-old boy who’d joined him for the Sabbath. The document also cites an ad in a local Jewish publication that accuses Geller of being a molester.

Geller has not been charged with any criminal conduct and vehemently denies the allegations.

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‘You can’t afford to take their word for it. The church has tentacles everywhere’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mick Heaney

As a cursory scan of the airwaves attests, the decision to hand over ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH) to the Sisters of Charity is an almost unavoidable topic of conversation, much of it heated.

Few ecclesiastical voices are heard on the matter, however, which is strange given that church influence over medical care is the nub of contention. So kudos to Sean Moncrieff (Newstalk, weekdays) for landing an interview with the man behind the most high-profile Irish cleric of recent times.

True, writer Graham Linehan may not be familiar with the intricacies of canon law – “I’m not up on the ins and outs of what Catholicism does and doesn’t allow,” he concedes – but as co-creator of Father Ted, he helped change our perception of the church, from all-wise guardians of morality to institutional bumblers and chancers. On that basis alone, Linehan’s views on the controversy are instructive, no matter his comedic characterisation of the clergy now seems unduly benign.

Linehan is hardly neutral on the proposal to locate the new Dublin maternity facility on the grounds of St Vincent’s Hospital, owned by the nuns; he has spoken at a protest against the plan. He is sceptical about promises to respect clinical independence. “You can’t afford to take their word for it,” he says, adding that “the church has its tentacles everywhere”.

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National Maternity Hospital plans thrown into chaos after resignation of another top doctor

IRELAND
The Irish Mirror

BY PAT FLANAGAN
28 APR 2017

Plans to build the new National Maternity Hospital were thrown into more chaos yesterday after the resignation of another top doctor.

Prof Chris Fitzpatrick has said he felt he was left with no alternative but to stand down from the Board planning the new €300million facility.

He said he was doing so in support of Dr Peter Boylan, who resigned the previous day, adding that he shared his fears about gifting the new facility to the Sisters of Charity.

Prof Fitzpatrick said it is absolutely critical that there is total separation between church and medicine, especially when it comes to female reproductive healthcare.

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Father Danilo Ferrandiz named Delegate to the Neocatechumenal Way

Updated: Apr 28, 2017

By Krystal Paco

A priest is named Delegate to the Neocatechumenal Way in the Archdiocese of Agana.

According to an Official Aviso posted on the Umatuna Si Yu’os website, Father Danilo Ferrandiz assumed the position effective April 7th. His appointment follows a pastoral letter from Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes last month in which he announced a pause on the formation of new communities for a period of one year. According to his letter, the delegate’s role will be to help the Archbishop review the Catechetical Director of the Neocatechumenal Way and help ensure that catechists are sufficiently formed and certified for their important role.

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Listen up! Irish are screaming ‘Keep nuns out of maternity care’

IRELAND
IrishCentral

Cahir O’Doherty @randomirish April 28, 2017

Last week the Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris announced that an order of nuns, the Sisters of Charity, would be given sole ownership of the new €300 million state-of-the-art National Maternity Hospital in Dublin by the Irish government.

But the look of shocked surprise on Harris’ face when confronted with intense public outrage over the decision was the surprise of Ireland’s 19th century political model colliding hard against the 21st.

Recall that in 2009 the Ryan report into sexual abuse in Ireland’s state-funded, church-run institutions (which cost the Irish taxpayer €82 million) exposed decades of abuse and cruelty directed at children in the care of Catholic organizations, including the Sisters of Charity.

Now we are told the same Sisters of Charity will be “the sole owners” of the Irish taxpayer-funded facility. For critics, the government’s latest decision beggars belief. It’s a move so insupportable, so indifferent to the lessons of history that it demonstrates Fine Gael has learned precisely nothing from the raft of government commissioned reports into decades of abuse, cruelty and neglect at these religious order run facilities.

The Sisters of Charity famously ran five residential schools and Magdalene Laundries where, studies have concluded, Irish girls were often abused, and where women worked unpaid while being treated like petty criminals, with many incarcerated for life.

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Man ‘healed’ as child by televangelist Benny Hinn speaks out

TEXAS
WFAA

Lauren Zakalik, WFAA April 27, 2017

For the second day in a row, federal investigators remained on scene Thursday at the Grapevine office of internationally known televangelist Benny Hinn.

An IRS special agent said Wednesday they executed a search warrant.

“Criminal investigation primarily investigates financial crimes against the government,” said Special Agent Michael Moseley of the IRS Criminal Investigations department.

And few are likely paying more attention to what’s going on than 25-year-old William Vandenkolk.
“I really just want justice,” he said Thursday from his home in Nevada. “I want him to admit what he did was wrong.”

We still don’t know exactly why the government is raiding Hinn’s office. But Vandenkolk is interested regardless. You can see Vandenkolk’s story posted publicly in a YouTube video, which shows him at a Benny Hinn service when he was just 9 years old. He was supposedly “healed” by Hinn during a service in Las Vegas.

Vandenkolk is legally blind. He said while he was on stage, he felt he could see people’s faces clearly in the crowd.

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Feds raid televangelist’s Texas office while he was in Paris

TEXAS
Fox 29

GRAPEVINE, Texas —
As the feds raided his Grapevine office, television evangelist Benny Hinn was in Paris — that’s according to hinn’s website.

Federal investigators aren’t talking, but they spent most of the day at Hinn’s North Texas headquarters.

CNN affiliate KTVT’s cameras caught what appeared to be IRS and postal inspector police officers walking in and out of the building.

One man saw the moment they arrived.

“They all just hopped out,” John Ebert said. “It just happened real quick. A line of cars just came.”

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Benny Hinn Ministries ‘Cooperating’ After Headquarters Search

TEXAS
NBC DFW

[with video]

Administrators at the North Texas headquarters of prominent televangelist Benny Hinn say they are cooperating with investigators after federal agents were seen searching their offices this week.

U.S. Postal Service inspectors and IRS criminal investigators removed boxes from the Grapevine offices of Benny Hinn Ministries Wednesday and Thursday.

Investigators have not revealed any information on what they were searching for or if there is an active investigation.

“As has been widely reported, Benny Hinn Ministries is cooperating fully with the governmental entities that are reviewing certain operations of the church,” read a post on the church’s official Facebook page.

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IVF, sterilisation and morning-after pill banned by Sisters of Charity

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Bishop Kevin Doran may have been speaking “in general terms” last Sunday about healthcare provision in Catholic-run institutions, but he accurately reflected the views of the Sisters of Charity.

Replying to the Sunday Times, the chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Bioethics said Catholic hospitals have an obligation to care for all those who need it. However, they have to have “a special responsibility . . . to Catholic teachings about the value of human life and the dignity and the ultimate destiny of the human person.

“Public funding, while it brings with it other legal and moral obligations, does not change that responsibility,” said the Bishop of Elphin, who was in touch with the newspaper from Lourdes.

In an April 2010 document, Religious Sisters of Charity Health Service – Philosophy and Ethical Code – the last such document known to have been issued, the Sisters of Charity laid down clear rules for what should happen in their hospitals.

The morning-after pill is not permitted, while in vitro fertilisation, vasectomies, the sterilisation of women and abortion are always beyond the ethics Pale, too.

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Priester die 15-jarige jongen misbruikte alsnog op non-actief gezet door Oud-Katholieke Kerk

NEDERLAND
Volkskrant

[The Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands has suspended aallegedly sexually abused a 15-year-old boy in 1973 andhas denied him the ability to lead in church services.]

De Oud-Katholieke Kerk van Nederland heeft de emeritus pastoor die in 1973 een 15-jarige jongen seksueel misbruikte alsnog op non-actief gesteld en ‘hem de mogelijkheid tot het voorgaan in kerkdiensten ontzegd’.

Dat heeft het kerkbestuur donderdag meegedeeld naar aanleiding van een interview met het slachtoffer in de Volkskrant.

In 1973 woonde de nu 58-jarige Alan vijf weken in de pastorie van de parochiekerk in Alkmaar wegens ‘een onveilige thuissituatie’. Zijn moeder had zware psychische problemen en als tiener was hij al eens weggelopen van huis. De priester, toen nog kapelaan, ontfermde zich over de jongen die ook misdienaar was.

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Freeport man wins appeal in long-running defamation lawsuit

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

BY EDWARD D. MURPHY
PORTLAND PRESS HERALD

A federal appeals court in Boston ruled Thursday in favor of a Freeport man who had been sued and found guilty of defamation because of statements he made about the founder of an orphanage in Haiti.

Paul Kendrick was accused of defamation after he began a widely disseminated email campaign in January 2011 accusing Michael Geilenfeld, the American founder of an orphanage in Haiti, of sexually abusing the boys in his care. Kendrick later widened the campaign to include Hearts with Haiti, the North Carolina charity that raised donations to fund the orphanage.

The lawsuit led to a complex, long-running case and ultimately to Thursday’s ruling, which happened to be written by David Souter, a retired U.S. Supreme Court justice who sometimes takes on circuit court cases.

In the ruling, the First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a June 2016 decision by a federal judge in Portland who dismissed the defamation case and a $14.5 million verdict against Kendrick.

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TREACHERY AMONG THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA

UNITED STATES
Church Militant

by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D. • ChurchMilitant.com • April 27, 2017

Greed, cover-ups, betrayal, corruption surround ancient military order

An explosive exposé is revealing an intricate web of deceit and treachery within the ranks of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, including collusion from the German bishops as well as shady financial dealings. Members of the order, long roiled by the disturbing happenings over the past several months, are now going public with the truth.

Church Militant obtained a document circulated internally among the Knights of Malta showing that the disgraced Grand Chancellor, Albrecht von Boeselager, actively colluded with high-ranking Vatican prelates to bring about the ouster of Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing — his superior to whom von Boeselager owed obedience. Even more, the document reveals financial corruption and a power struggle between the faithless faction, largely led by dissident Germans, and the more orthodox members, who favor and support Festing.

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Knights of Malta draw battle lines after clash with pope

ROME
Reuters

By Philip Pullella | ROME

They will not be drawing swords like their predecessors did 1,000 years ago, but battle lines have been drawn between conservatives and reformers in the Knights of Malta, the Catholic chivalric order and global charity.

Its former leader, Briton Matthew Festing, has returned to Rome for a decisive boardroom confrontation over its future this Saturday, defying a request to stay away by a representative of Pope Francis, who ordered his resignation in January.

Festing will be among 56 men who will vote on the leadership of an organisation with a budget of billions of dollars and 13,000 members, 80,000 volunteers and 20,000 paid medical staff running refugee camps, drug treatment centres, disaster relief programmes and clinics around the world.

His supporters have been moving behind the scenes to reassert their power and perhaps even try to reinstate him, against the wishes of the Vatican, which demanded he step down after he fired the organisation’s number two.

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National Maternity Hospital: March against hospital ownership to take place in Dublin

IRELAND
Dublin Live

BY LAURA LYNE
28 APR 2017

A national march against the ownership of the National Maternity Hospital is set to take place next month.

Parents for Choice will march through the capital on Sunday, May 7 against the decision to grant ownership of the National Maternity Hospital to the Sisters of Charity.

The march, themed ‘We Own Our Hospitals’, will gather at 2pm outside the Garden of Remembrance and finish at Merrion Square outside Leinster House.

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National Maternity Hospital: Doctor in charge of planning €300 million hospital steps down

IRELAND
Dublin Live

BY LAURA LYNE
28 APR 2017

The doctor in charge of planning the €300 million National Maternity Hospital building has resigned from the project board.

Dr Chris Fitzpatrick stepped down from the board in support of Dr Peter Boylan who stepped down yesterday.

Boylan has been highly critical of the plan to give ownership of the new hospital to the Sisters of Charity, which owns the St Vincent’s site where the new NMH will be built.

Dr Fitzpatrick is the former master of the Coombe hospital and has compared the controversy to a row between the Catholic Church and minister for health Noël Browne over the Mother and Child Scheme in the 1950s.

According to the Irish Times, he said in his recognition letter that he shared Dr Boylan’s concerns about plans for the ownership of the hospital.

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IVF clinic has hospital space despite ethos clash

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Cormac McQuinn
April 28 2017

A fertility clinic is to move to the National Maternity Hospital’s (NMH) new location at the St Vincent’s campus.

Its clinical director, Professor Mary Wingfield, has brushed aside fears that treatments like IVF won’t be allowed there due to its ownership by a religious order.

Instead she argued that the move by the Merrion Fertility Clinic will “benefit our patients”.

The clinic – where NMH master Rhona Mahony is a voluntary director – is currently based on Lower Mount Street, and pays rent to the NMH next door.

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John McManus: Maternity hospital row has as much to do with money as God

IRELAND
Irish Times

John McManus

It is strange state of affairs when a former president of the High Court has to come out and publicly declare that a new maternity hospital will not be run by nuns. But such is the level to which the debate about the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) moving to the St Vincent’s hospital campus has descended.

It is of course physically impossible for the Sisters of Charity to run anything at this stage. There are just 213 of them in Ireland and their average age is 76. You cannot help feeling that after a lifetime of thankless personal service all that the majority of them want to run is as far away from this mess as possible.

Their ability to influence what sort of medicine is practised at St Vincent’s and possibly the new NMH is very limited, and by the time the new hospital is built and opened it will be even less.

In any case Nicholas Kearns, the former High Court president and deputy chairman of the NMH, is confident the agreement they have with the St Vincent’s Hospital Group (SVHG) is bulletproof. Rhona Mahony, the master of NMH, is equally confident.

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Senior doctor quits project board in support of Peter Boylan

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Kathy Armstrong
April 28 2017

The former Master of the Coombe Hospital has resigned from the project board of the new National Maternity Hospital in solidarity with Dr Peter Boylan.

Dr Boylan resigned from the board yesterday after criticising ownership of the new €300m taxpayer-funded facility being given to the Religious Sisters of Charity, saying they were “blind” to their actions.

RTE reports that in his resignation note Professor Chris Fitzpatrick echoed these sentiments.

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EOGHAN MCDERMOTT ‘The fact the Church could still be dictating the medical welfare of Irish citizens in 2017 is frightful’

IRELAND
The Irish Sun

by Eoghan McDermott
28th April 2017

DR Peter Boylan resigned from the National Maternity Hospital board yesterday and issued a stinging parting shot that perfectly summarises this most Irish of situations.

He said: “I can’t remain a member of a board which is so blind to the consequences of its decision to transfer sole ownership of the hospital to the religious Sisters of Charity and is so deaf to the concerns of the public which it serves.”

In his resignation letter he offered more detail as to why this move would be an utter disaster and fail the very people it is intended to serve.

He wrote: “Hospitals on land owned by the Catholic Church are obliged to follow Catholic teaching and canon law on medical practices and procedures.

“The proposed hospital will be built on land owned by the religious Sisters of Charity, the hospital will be owned outright by the religious Sisters of Charity.

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‘There must be separation between church and medicine’: Dr Chris Fitzpatrick on quitting the project board

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Kathy Armstrong
April 28 2017

Doctors will find it “very difficult” to have clinical independence working in a hospital that is owned by a religious organisation, Prof Chris Fitzpatrick said today.

Dr Fitzpatrick stepped down from his role on the project board of the National Maternity Hospital in solidarity with Dr Peter Boylan and expressed his concerns about the Sisters of Charity having ownership of the €300m taxpayer-funded facility.

Speaking on Today With Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio one, he said: “I was concerned and have been concerned in relation to the ownership ad governance model that has emerged from recent negotiations.

“I very much share the view of Dr Peter Boylan and felt I’d no alternative other than to resign from my position on the project board.

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Additional lawsuit filed against former CNMI bishop

GUAM
Radio New Zealand

The Northern Marianas’ former bishop Tomas A. Camacho is facing a second sexual abuse lawsuit.

A 65-year-old former altar boy has come forward, alleging the former bishop sexually abused him when he was a 10-year-old in Guam.

The accuser, known only as B.C., filed a $US5 million lawsuit in the federal court in Guam against Mr Camacho, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Agana, and 50 other unnamed entities and persons.

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SECOND OLD-CATHOLIC PRIEST SUSPENDED ON CHILD SEX ABUSE CHARGES

NETHERLANDS
NL Times

By Janene Pieters on April 28, 2017

The Old Catholic Bishop of Haarlem Dirk-Jan Schoon suspended another priest on child sex abuse charges. This priest has been retired for 13 years, but is still involved in celebrations in the Amsterdam parish and was used in emergencies, NOS reports.

Last week the Old Catholic Church suspended another priest, Nico S., after he was arrested in Cambodia. The Cambodian authorities found a large number of nude photos of boys under the age of 15 in his possession. It is believed he paid the boys to pose naked for him. After his arrest the Church admitted that they knew about S.’s sexual preferences for young boys.

After that arrest a 58-year-old social worker from Amsterdam told the Volkskrant that he was abused by another Old Catholic Church priest in 1973. The priest took nude photos of the then boy and made him perform sexual acts. The victim reported this to the church and an independent complaints committee in 2014. The complaint was ruled well-grounded, but the priest was not suspended. He was only banned from working with young people.

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N. Liberty man arrested for inappropriate contact with multiple children

IOWA
KCRG

[with video]

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) — A youth church leader is under investigation for allegedly having inappropriate contact with children.

32-year-old Benjamin Craig Tweedt, of North Liberty is charged with one count of sexual abuse third degree, two counts of lascivious acts with a child, three counts of indecent contact with a child, and two counts of lascivious conduct with a minor.

According to police, it is alleged that Tweedt had multiple one-on-one sessions as a youth church leader with four victims over 10 years. Some of the sessions occurred on church retreats or in victims’ bedrooms. Parkview Church removed Tweedt from their student ministry as soon as they were aware of the situation.

“We’re grieving for the families of the victims that have been involved in this situation” said Doug Schillinger, the lead pastor at Parkview Church.

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Pastor speaks out after a church youth leader is accused of sex abuse

IOWA
KWWL

[with video]

IOWA CITY (KWWL) –
We are hearing from the pastor of an area church where a former youth leader is facing several charges including Sexual Abuse.

32-year-old Benjamin Tweedt of North Liberty is accused of inappropriately touching several children.

Many parents trusted Tweedt as a mentor for their kids.

Tweedt was immediately removed from student ministries at Parkview Church in Iowa City when they became aware of the accusations.

The alleged sexual contact took place during one-on-one mentoring sessions between Tweedt and four different victims.

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Canberra Catholics push for more power in church decision-making

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Katie Burgess

Ordinary parishioners would have a greater say in the future direction of the Catholic Church in Canberra, in reforms overwhelmingly supported at a meeting of concerned churchgoers on Thursday night.

More than 200 people attended a meeting convened by the recently formed Concerned Catholics of Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese.

The group has called for more lay people, including women, to play a greater role in church decision-making, after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse pointed to power imbalances in the church as a reason why abuse in many cases carried on with impunity.

The group is also pushing for a diocesan pastoral council to be established, with more members of the laity given a seat at the table.

Meeting chair Professor John Warhurst described it as a watershed for Catholics in the Canberra region.

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Pensioner charged with sexual offences at former Cathedral school

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Thu 27 Apr 2017
By Premier Journalist

An 81 year old man has been charged with historical child sex abuse against boys at a former cathedral school in Lincoln.

Roy Griffiths, from Dorset, is accused of eight offences.

The charges are six counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14 and two counts of inciting a boy under the age of 14 to commit an act of gross indecency.

He has been bailed to appear at Lincoln District Magistrates Court on Thursday 8 June.

The charges come as part of Operation Redstone, an ongoing enquiry into allegations of abuse dating back to 1958 following a review of past safeguarding cases by the Diocese of Lincoln.

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Police appeal for sexual assault victims at Lincoln school following arrest

UNITED KINGDOM
Lincolnshire Live

By James Peck | Posted: April 28, 2017

Police have urged potential victims and witnesses of sexual abuse at a Lincoln school to come forward.

The force is trying to track down 127 former pupils who attended the Cathedral School in the city between 1963 and 1970 as it investigates alleged historic sexual abuse.

The appeal follows the arrest of 81-year-old Roy Griffiths from Dorset, who has been charged with eight sexual offences.

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Boston Globe reporter headlines child abuse conference

NEW YORK
Democrat and Chronicle

Victoria E. Freile and Tina MacIntyre-Yee, Democrat and Chronicle Published April 27, 2017

A reporter who was part of The Boston Globe investigative team to uncover the Catholic church’s cover-up of clergy sex abuse is the keynote speaker at a child abuse conference in Rochester.

“If someone doesn’t have the courage to speak up, problems will persist,” said Sacha Pfeiffer, who was part of the paper’s Spotlight investigative team than won a Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2003. The same team was featured in the 2015 film by the same name, which won the 2016 Academy Award for Best Picture. “The damage that something like sexual abuse does plays out through your entire life.”

More than 750 people from across the country are taking part in the two-day conference at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center, said Mary Whittier, executive director for the Bivona Child Advocacy Center in Rochester.

The summit features workshops for child abuse experts ranging from cyber crime, technology and trauma assessment and treatment.

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Students petition university to cancel archbishop’s speech

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

Cardinal not wanted after his role in handling sex abuse allegations

By Lindsay Ellis
April 27, 2017

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York since 2009, will speak at the University of St. Thomas’ May commencement ceremony despite student calls for the university to reconsider.

Students say they are concerned about Dolan’s role in handling sexual abuse allegations when he was archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee in the early 2000s.

A petition calling for the private Montrose university to cancel the speech brought more than 100 signaturesin the last several days, and four students Thursday afternoon distributed leaflets from the heart of campus with photos of Dolan’s face, media coverage of allegations against him and a link to an online petition.

“Send it to everyone you know,” said Victoria Villarreal, a senior studying communications, as she passed a flier to a woman.

“I did,” she responded.

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Santa Fe archdiocese faces new suit as it seeks to conceal documents in separate abuse case

NEW MEXICO
The New Mexican

By Uriel J. Garcia
The New Mexican

A new lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe says a 2015 film about widespread child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the Boston area triggered a New Mexico’s man’s childhood memories of being sexually abused by two priests at an Albuquerque church.

Attorneys representing the man, identified as John Doe 66, filed the suit Thursday in the 2nd Judicial District Court in Albuquerque. It also names the Church of Ascension Parish in Albuquerque’s South Valley as a defendant.

The lawsuit, one of more than 60 similar complaints against the archdiocese filed in the last few years by the Law Offices of Brad D. Hall, comes as the archdiocese has asked a state judge in the First Judicial District in Santa Fe to seal records in a separate case alleging sexual abuse by one of its priests.

Filed in December, that suit says seven San Miguel County men, who are not identified, were molested as children by a priest at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Las Vegas, N.M. The priest, Monsignor Hubert C. Lomme, died in 1986 at age 79. The men’s attorneys are asking a judge to reject the archdiocese’s request earlier this month to conceal documents in the case. The request is “overbroad, complex and limiting,” the attorneys say, calling it a “gag order.”

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Old Catholic church suspends second pastor after abuse claims

NETHERLANDS
Dutch News

The Old Catholic church in the Netherlands has suspended a second pastor involved in a child abuse scandal, this time involving a retired priest who abused a young teenage boy in the 1970s.

Earlier this month the church suspended a pastor who was arrested in Cambodia and charged with taking photographs of boys and possessing child pornography.

It later transpired church officials were aware of his sexual tendencies but allowed him to continue as a priest on condition he was monitored closely. In the new case, a 58-year-old social worker from Amsterdam told the Volkskrant that he had been groomed and abused by the pastor while under his care.

Despite his complaint against the man, first made two years ago, the pastor was not suspended. Instead he was banned from having contact with children.

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Website launched containing database of child sex abusers

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Donna De Jesus

Guam – A new website has been launched which provides statistical information about alleged sexual abuse of minors by the Catholic Church in 49 countries. It was created and designed to encourage legislation to expand the statute of limitations on sex crimes committed against minors. According to the website’s creator and analyst, G.R. Pafumi, the database took him two and a half years to complete. VictimsSpeakDB.org contains a database of Survivor Accounts of Catholic Clergy Abuse, Denial, Accountability and Silence, or SACCADAS.

“It’s almost like a standardized profile, and it extracts data from the database. It tells you how long it has been since a priest in Guam was reported for abuse, in other words, the diocese knew about it, and when the last time an abuse occurred,” Pafumi explained in a telephone interview with PNC. “Looking at Guam now, there’s almost 60 years between the first report of abuse in 1956 and the last incidence of abuse that I have on the database of 2015. When you put it all together in one page, it paints a pretty ugly picture of the Catholic Church.”

Since the statute of limitations was lifted on Guam, Pafumi was able to identify 14 clergymen in the SACCADAS database. In a phone interview with PNC, Pafumi said he is working on a comprehensive analysis on Guam abuse, and specifically on former priest Father Louis Brouillard. Although, he says since many church records were destroyed before 1950, there could have been more instances of abuse.

“That doesn’t mean that’s all the abuse that’s out there; that’s only the abuse that I have been able to identify. Right now, my database has got 37 records just on Brouillard. He may have been the worst offender in Guam. The real uncertainty is what is the real number of victims who have not come forward, and how many will come forward,” Pafumi said.

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Former Catholic pastor pleads guilty to child porn, gets 4-year sentence

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

George Houde
Chicago Tribune

A former associate pastor at an Arlington Heights church was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday for distributing child pornography, according to court records.

Clovis Vilchez-Parra, 36, also was ordered to register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to the charge during a hearing in Cook County’s Rolling Meadows branch court. Numerous other pornography charges were dropped in exchange for his plea.

Vilchez-Parra was a priest at the Mision San Juan Diego Catholic Church at the time of his arrest in 2015 by police in Palatine, where he lived in housing provided by the Archdiocese of Chicago, authorities said.

Prosecutors said Vilchez-Parra used computer file-sharing software to locate, download and distribute pornographic images of children younger than 13. The computer activity was traced by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, prosecutors said. Authorities obtained a search warrant and found the images on a laptop computer and a flash drive at his residence, prosecutors said.

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MSPs support end of time bar on child abuse payouts

SCOTLAND
BBC News

MSPs have unanimously backed the general principles of a bill to scrap the time bar on survivors of childhood sexual abuse suing for damages.

The Scottish government wants to end the three-year limit on bringing a civil actions in such cases.

The Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill has passed its first legislative hurdle at Holyrood.

The justice committee previously heard that the cost of compensation could total at least £200m.

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