ABUSE TRACKER

A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse. For recent coverage listed in this blog, read the full article in the newspaper or other media source by clicking “Read original article.” For earlier coverage, click the title to read the original article.

June 3, 2017

Why The Keepers is the best documentary of its kind and we need more women like Gemma and Abbie

UNITED KINGDOM
Metro

Kate Leaver
Saturday 3 Jun 2017

If only the world had more people like Abbie Schaub and Gemma Hoskins.
These two retirees from Baltimore, USA, are the unspoken heroes of the Netflix true crimes series, The Keepers.

If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about here – they’re crime-fighting goddesses who basically got to their 60s and said, ‘The police ain’t gonna solve this crime? We’ll take it from here, boys; we have Microsoft Word and a library card’.

Here’s how Schaub and Hoskins became the fastidious sleuths they are today.

Their beloved English teacher, Sister Cathy Cesnik, went missing in 1969.

She got into her car, drove to a shopping mall, bought her sister an engagement present, and simply never returned.

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

June 2, 2017

‘The Keepers’ continues to shine light on alleged abuse at Baltimore school

MARYLAND
WBAL

[with video]

Lisa Robinson

BALTIMORE —
The Netflix documentary series “The Keepers” focuses on a murder mystery and years of molestation at a Baltimore high school.

The series has helped to bring more victims to light. “The Keepers” is giving people the courage to speak up after suffering in silence. People who once thought they were the only one now know they are not alone.

“The Keepers” focuses on the unsolved death of popular Archbishop Keough High School teacher Sister Cathy Cesnick. She was found dead in a Landsowne dump in 1970, months after she disappeared.

The Netflix series talks to women who say two school priests, Jospeh Maskell and Neil Magnus, abused them. They said Cesnik disappeared as she was close to discovering who was responsible for the abuse.

Joanne Suder is an attorney representing the Keough students who allegedly were abused by the two men. She said 12 more Keough victims have reached out to her since the series hit the air, and they tell a similar story.

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

Depiction of Sisters of Charity like ‘elder abuse’, says Sr Stan

IRELAND
Irish Times

Paul Cullen

The depiction of the Sisters of Charity during the recent controversy over the transfer of the National Maternity Hospital to St Vincent’s hospital was akin to elder abuse, according to one of the order’s best-known members.

Sr Stanislaus Kennedy said she was shocked and surprised by the scale of the controversy over St Vincent’s and the criticisms levelled at her order. “It shook me, it really did.”

During the controversy, very little thought was given to the background of the Sisters of Charity and the work its members had done over the years, she said.

She said her order had been depicted as “a power-grabbing congregation” and “a group of old ladies who didn’t know what they were doing”

“A lot of the stuff that came out in the media about us was very hurtful. There was a lot of misunderstanding and misrepresentation. It was very distasteful.”

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

The Latest: Woman says churchgoers told to lie about attack

SOUTH CAROLINA
Associated Press

RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a North Carolina minister who is accused of assaulting and kidnapping a gay church member (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

One of five people charged with beating a fellow church member to expel what they called “homosexual demons” says church leaders asked everyone at the attack to tell investigators that nothing happened.

Sarah Anderson testified Friday for prosecutors in the trial of Word of Faith Fellowship minister Brooke Covington.

Anderson says church leaders including two state prosecutors at the time met with the roughly 30 people present when Matthew Fenner was beaten in January 2013. She says then-assistant district attorneys Frank Webster and Chris Back told them to tell authorities that nothing happened.

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

Police: Priest accused of Charleston sex assaults turned himself in

SOUTH CAROLINA
Fox 57

CHARLESTON, SC (WCIV) — Officials with the Charleston Police Department have confirmed a New York priest accused of sexually assaulting two boys at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Charleston turned himself in to authorities this week.

Father Freddy Washington, 53, was arrested by Charleston police and booked into the Al Cannon Detention Center on Thursday. He’s charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and one count of committing lewd acts on a child under 14.

Washington was not an ordained minister at the time, according both to police and a statement provided Thursday by the Diocese of Charleston.

A spokesperson for the Diocese said Thursday Washington was a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), and was serving as a priest at a parish in the Arch Diocese of New York at a parish in Harlem. A check of that diocese’s website does not list Washington on its current priest roster. His current status with the Arch Diocese of New York is currently unknown by the diocese of Charleston.

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

Denuncian al Cardenal Norberto Rivera por presunto encubrimiento a 15 sacerdotes pederastas

MEXICO
Animal Politico

Los exsacerdotes Alberto Athie y José Barba presentaron una denuncia en la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) en contra del Cardenal Norberto Rivera por el presunto encubrimiento de 15 sacerdotes pederastas.

Ambos exsacerdotes acudieron este viernes 2 de junio a la sede de la PGR para presentar la denuncia y al salir explicaron que, en diciembre del año pasado, el Cardenal Norberto Rivera reconoció que envió al Vaticano los expedientes de 15 sacerdotes que cometieron pederastia en México.

“Él (el Cardenal Norberto Rivera) dice que abrió un expediente de investigación, que Roma encontró elementos y que el Papa sentenció. (…) No hizo en paralelo ninguna acción para notificar a las autoridades mexicanas”, explicó Athié en un mensaje a medios afuera de la sede de PGR.

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

EX-PRIEST ALLEGES MEXICAN CARDINAL DIDN’T REPORT ABUSE

MEXICO
Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A former Roman Catholic priest alleges that Mexico City’s archbishop violated the law by not informing authorities outside the church about at least 15 cases of abusive priests.

Alberto Athie says that Cardinal Norberto Rivera first mentioned the cases publicly in December. In defending himself against accusations that he protected abusive priests, Rivera said he had referred at least 15 cases to the Vatican.

Athie filed a complaint on Friday with the Attorney General’s Office, saying that Mexican law required such cases also be reported to law enforcement.

Archdiocese spokesman Hugo Valdemar said the cases Rivera referenced occurred before the law changed in 2013. He says that the archdiocese has notified authorities about three cases since then.

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

HSE investigates activities of US priest featured in Netflix series

IRELAND
Irish Times

Simon Carswell

The Health Service Executive is investigating the activities of US priest Joseph Maskell, who fled to Ireland following sex abuse allegations in Baltimore.

Maskell escaped to Co Wexford in 1994 amid claims he had sexually abused students while serving as chaplain at the all-girls Archbishop Keogh High School in Baltimore, Maryland, from 1967 to 1975.

By the time Maskell, whose father was from Limerick, arrived in Ireland, he was ordered not to perform any priestly duties.

The HSE told The Irish Times it had begun reviewing the work of Maskell and “any concerns” arising from his employment as a psychologist in a “psycho-education initiative” by the South Eastern Health Board in Wexford from April 11th, 1995 to November 7th, 1995. He lived in Ireland until 1998.

Maskell is suspected of involvement in the unsolved murder of Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik (26), an English teacher at the Baltimore school who became aware of his abuse.

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

Syracuse diocese, priest sued over child-molesting claims from 30 years ago

NEW YORK
Syracuse.com

By John O’Brien | jobrien@syracuse.com
on June 02, 2017

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A 41-year-old man sued the Syracuse Catholic Diocese and a retired priest today, claiming the priest repeatedly molested him as a child three decades ago.

The diocese determined the accusations to be credible three years ago, according to the accuser, Matthew Strzepek.

The priest, Felix Colosimo, denied the allegations today. But he wouldn’t say whether the diocese found them to be credible.

“Oh, my gosh — that is so untrue,” Colosimo told Syracuse.com of Strzepek’s accusations. “There’s no proof.”

Strzepek, who lives outside Santa Barbara, Calif., accused Colosimo in the lawsuit of sexually abusing him from 1987 through 1990, when Strzepek was 12 to 15 years old.

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

Lawsuit accuses Archbishop Flores

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post

A former Cathedral Grade School student has accused the first Chamorro bishop of the Diocese of Agana of sexual abuse, a civil complaint filed in the District Court of Guam yesterday states.

A.J.R., now 62 years old, and using his initials to protect his identity, filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana accusing the late Archbishop Felixberto Camacho Flores of sexually molesting and abusing him when he was 11.

A.J.R. was attending Cathedral Grade School and Flores was a priest at the Agana Cathedral in 1966.

Flores played a prominent role in church affairs and was superintendent of Catholic schools in the ’50s, and the victim said students at the school were told to honor and respect nuns and priests and “do whatever” they were told to do.

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

Conti milionari in Svizzera del vescovo del Mali appena nominato cardinale: scoppia il caso

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO/MALI
Il Mattino (Italia)

Città del Vaticano C’è un caso in Africa che ha fatto saltare sulla seggiola il Papa. Una inchiesta svizzera chiamata Swissleaks, pubblicata in grande evidenza da Le Monde, ha messo in evidenza l’esistenza di conti milionari sospetti in una banca elvetica, riconducibili al vescovo del Mali, monsignor Jean Zerbo, 73 anni, appena nominato da Papa Bergoglio cardinale nel prossimo concistoro previsto per il 29 giugno. I conti ammonterebbero a un totale di dodici milioni di euro e sembra che siano stati aperti in modo discrezionale.

«Una storia rocambolesca che mescola opacità e incontri riervati tra il clero del mali e i banchieri svizzeri e si sospetta la sottrazione di fondi in un Paese africano dove i cristiani non rappresentano che il 2,4 per cento della popolazione composta da 17 milioni di persone». Le Monde ricostruisce la vicenda nel dettaglio, a cominciare dal ruolo di monsignor Zerbo. Le domande sono incalzanti. «Da dove vengono questi 12 milioni di euro? Appartengono ai fedeli del Mali anche se sono fondi dormienti in una banca svizzera?». Nel 2005, durante alcuni incontri tra i banchieri e Zerbo, viene stabilito che i fondi fossero suddivisi in diversi conti correnti, accordandosi per una remunerazione del 5 per cento. Nel corso degli anni, come viene riportato dal giornale francese, si registrano diverse proteste da parte di alcune organizzazioni di base della Chiesa del Mali per la scarsa opacità nella gestione. Ma nulla accade. Fino alla pubblicazione dell’articolo poiché la conferenza episcopale del Mali, che fino a quel momento aveva rifiutato di commentare le indiscrezioni, ha affidato all’agenzia vaticana Fides un comunicato a sua difesa. «Agiamo in piena trasparenza, al servizio delle opere della Chiesa».

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

Au Mali, l’Eglise fait bloc après les allégations de détournements de fonds

MALI
Le Monde (France)

Par Anthony Fouchard (contributeur Le Monde Afrique, Bamako)

LE MONDE Le 01.06.2017

La Conférence épiscopale du Mali (CEM) est dans la tourmente après les révélations, mardi 30 mai, d’un présumé détournement de fonds de plus de 7 milliards de francs CFA, soit 12 millions d’euros. Les trois principaux prélats du pays sont mis en cause, notamment Mgr Jean Zerbo, qui doit être créé cardinal par le pape François à la fin du mois de juin.

A Bamako, les préparatifs pour ce voyage au Vatican sont en cours, mais la réunion de mercredi matin à l’archevêché, petite bâtisse orange et blanche au bord du fleuve Niger, ont été perturbés par les révélations, la veille, du Monde Afrique et du site d’information en ligne Le Sahélien, reprises jeudi dans le quotidien malien Les dépêches du Mali. Un exemplaire dudit journal trône d’ailleurs sur la table de réunion, recouvert en partie par un livre religieux, La Liturgie des heures.

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

Mali : le cardinal de Bamako a abrité des millions d’euros en Suisse

MALI
Le Monde (France)

Par David Dembélé (contributeur Le Monde Afrique, Bamako)

LE MONDE Le 31.05.2017

Tout commence le 25 novembre 2002 à 9 heures du matin au Crédit lyonnais de Monaco. Ce jour-là sont ouverts, en toute discrétion, sept comptes en banque pour la Conférence épiscopale du Mali (CEM). Les documents SwissLeaks révèlent désormais pour ces comptes des codes IBAN propres à la Suisse, commençant par CH, à l’instar du premier : CH18 0868 9050 9118 1503 0.

Ces comptes étaient crédités de 12 millions d’euros (soit 7 milliards de francs CFA) en 2007, dernière date des relevés bancaires issus de la HSBC Private Bank à Genève que se sont procurés en 2014 Le Monde et le Consortium international de journalistes d’investigation (ICIJ).

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

Mali Church in crisis over Swiss Leaks bank revelations

MALI
La Croix

The Bishops Conference of Mali has denied information published by the French daily newspaper “Le Monde” purporting to show the existence of seven Swiss bank accounts holding 12 million euros.

Antoine d’Abbundo and Nicolas Senèze (Rome)

Until recently the dossier was under the radar of journalists from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), who have been making inquiries on the Swiss Leaks scandal, a vast system of tax evasion promoted by the Swiss subsidiary of the British HSBC bank and which was revealed in 2015.

But now Le Monde published an article on its website on Wednesday, May 31 implicating high-ranking leaders of the Catholic Church in Mali. These include Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako, the 73 year old prelate who was named as a cardinal by Pope Francis on May 21.

The accusations concerning Archbishop Zerbo date back to the period when he was the head of the finance commission of the Bishops Conference of Mali (CEM). It was then chaired by Bishop Jean-Gabriel Diarra, 71, currently bishop of San and who was also named in the Le Monde article.

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

Russian priest charged with pedophilia goes on trial

RUSSIA
RAPSI

MOSCOW, June 2 (RAPSI) – A criminal case against Russian priest Gleb Grozovsky, who stands charged with sexual abuse of children, has been forwarded to court, the Investigative Committee’s St. Petersburg Directorate announced on its website on Friday.

Investigators have built a sufficient evidence base, the statement reads.

According to investigators, Grozovsky committed several crimes against minors in 2011 and 2013.

In 2013, he fled to Israel and applied for citizenship. However, his application was dismissed.

In April 2014, Grozovsky was put on the international wanted list. Israeli police arrested him in September. In January 2015, a court in Jerusalem ruled that the priest should be extradited to Russia pursuant to the European Convention on Extradition. The ruling was appealed but rejected. In April 2016, the Justice Minister signed an order on Grozovsky’s extradition.

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

Il silenzio della chiesa sui casi di pedofilia in Messico

MESSICO
Rete L’Abuso

[The silence of the Church on pedophilia cases in Mexico.]

Nella regione montuosa nel nord dello stato di Oaxaca, in Messico, il prete Gerardo Silvestre Hernández per anni ha abusato sessualmente di decine di bambini indigeni. “Ci obbligava ad avere rapporti con lui. Ci faceva ubriacare, così non ce ne rendevamo conto”, racconta una delle vittime.

Nonostante le prove presentate da altri sacerdoti e le testimonianze di alcuni minori, le autorità ecclesiastiche messicane e la Santa sede non sono intervenute. Intanto la procura ha aperto un’indagine e il 22 febbraio 2017 Gerardo Silvestre Hernández è stato condannato a sedici anni e sei mesi di prigione per abusi sessuali e corruzione di minorenni. È la prima sentenza di questo tipo contro un sacerdote della chiesa cattolica in Messico.

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

Mother & Baby Home Survivor Frustrated At Minister’s Focus On Tuam

IRELAND
Midlands 103

A man born at Manor House in Castlepollard says the Children’s Minister’s ‘obsessive focus’ on Tuam is unfair to survivors of other mother and baby homes.

Paul Redmond has been reacting to Katherine Zappone’s appointment of a forensic archaeologist to examine the possibility of removing children’s remains from the Co. Galway site.

She told the Dáil she hopes to build consensus among survivors about what happens next.

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

12% of children in ‘high-income’ countries have endured abuse, inquiry told

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

More than one in eight children in well-off countries around the world say they have experienced some form of sexual abuse in their lifetime, Scotland’s child abuse inquiry has heard.

Even more – one in five – has been at the receiving end of violence from a parent or caregiver, the inquiry was told.

The hearing heard claims there is a “huge gap” between the cases known about by authorities and what children actually report when they are questioned in a confidential survey.

The evidence emerged on the second day of the public hearing phase of the inquiry in Edinburgh.

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

Northern Ireland abuse campaigner urges Scottish victims to come forward

SCOTLAND
The Courier

Michael Alexander
June 2 2017

A stalwart campaigner for victims of historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland has given her “100% support” to a man who says he was abused whilst in the care of a former residential children’s home in Fife.

In an interview with The Courier, Margaret McGuckin, 60, said the “horrendous” years she spent in the notorious Nazareth House orphanage in Belfast meant she “totally understood” what Dave Sharp had been through at the former St Ninian’s School run by the Christian Brothers in Falkland, Fife.

She has also encouraged other Scottish victims of abuse to come forward.

Margaret, and fellow abuse victim Kate Walmsley, originally from Glasgow, travelled to Scotland this week to support Mr Sharp, and other abuse survivors, who held a vigil outside the start of the Scottish child abuse inquiry in Edinburgh.

She represented Savia (Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse) which was established following the 2009 publication of the Ryan Report, which uncovered a shocking litany of historic abuse in the Republic of Ireland.

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

Ex-Bronx priest dodges sex abuse charges after allegedly molesting 15-year-old boy in 1980

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY
THOMAS TRACY
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, June 2, 2017

A sex abuse investigation involving a former Bronx priest has been quietly closed with no charges filed, the Daily News has learned.

Police sources said no criminal charges will be brought against the Rev. Anthony Giuliano, who had been accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy at Holy Rosary Church in Baychester in the 1980s.

“All the leads in the investigation were exhausted,” a police source said. “It was not determined that a crime had taken place.”

Even if detectives found enough evidence to warrant charges, Giuliano couldn’t be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases in New York — meaning the alleged crime committed by the man of the cloth would forever go unpunished.

Victims of child sex abuse have until age 23 to bring a criminal or civil case.

The Daily News launched a campaign last year to pressure officeholders to support the Child Victims Act.

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Court To Rule On Monday On Transfer Of Moravian Sex Case

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Tamara Bailey

Moravian ministers Reverend Paul Gardner and Reverend Jermaine Gibson, who have been implicated in a series of sex scandals involving a minor, are expected to hear on Monday whether their case will be transferred to Kingston.

The two appeared with their lawyers in the Manchester Parish Court this morning where arguments were presented to Judge Lorna Shelly Williams.

New statements were also presented to Williams, who later requested a few days to conduct her deliberations and arrive at a decision.

Gardner and Gibson’s bails were further extended.

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Experts to inspect Tuam site where babies’ remains found

IRELAND
The Times (UK)

Ellen Coyne
June 2 2017
The Times

An inquiry into mother and baby homes could be extended to more sites, Katherine Zappone has said.

The children and youth affairs minister yesterday announced the international team of experts who will examine the site of the Tuam home where the remains of hundreds of babies were found earlier this year.

An excavation was carried out after Catherine Corliss, a local historian, gathered evidence alleging that 800 babies had been buried in chambers under the home.

Tuam is the only site where an excavation has been planned as part of a commission that is examining 14 mother and baby homes and four county homes, which were similar institutions. Campaigners have called for all religious institutions to be examined and for excavations to be planned at other institutions that may have had similar mass graves to Tuam. Women who had become pregnant outside of marriage lived in the homes run by religious orders.

Ms Zappone said that she was open to the idea of extending the commission’s terms of reference but was deferring making a decision until after the Dáil returned from its summer break.

“While the commission has stated that it is not seeking an extension to its present remit I have indicated that I am open to considering whether broader terms of reference would help to answer some of the questions which have been raised again in public debate. I will consult with stakeholders as part of the scoping review I propose to undertake over the summer months,” Ms Zappone said in the Dáil yesterday.

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Katherine Zappone: I sometimes wonder what will they say on Reeling in the Years about 2017

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Friday, June 02, 2017

I am determined that any action must respect the memory and dignity of the deceased children who lived their short lives in this home, writes Katherine Zappone.

JUST three years ago, a brave local historian called Catherine Corless shared her research about the Mother and Baby Home with an astonished and horrified public.

A brave survivor was also willing to tell her story. We all read, watched and listened as the shocking details unfolded of a mass grave in the grounds of the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway.

Former residents and their loved ones, supporters and campaigners have voiced a collective determination to dispel the secrecy and the shame so unjustly experienced by vulnerable mothers and their children.

I sometimes wonder what will they say on Reeling in the Years about 2017 years from now?

Will it be the year 2017 that the international media descended on Tuam as we once again declared our moral indignation at past deeds? Or will it be the year when we faced up and accept that the State should make amends for the past.

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‘Today is about Tuam’: Catherine Corless commends Zappone for appointing experts to investigate burial site

IRELAND
The Journal

Updated 5.30pm

I AM VERY pleased today, this is a step forward.

Those were the words of Catherine Corless today, the local historian who helped uncover evidence that there were up to 700 children and babies buried in an unmarked grave in Tuam in County Galway.

In March, “significant remains” were found in what appeared to be a sewage container at the site of the former mother and baby home in the Galway town of Tuam.

A Commission of Investigation was quickly established to conduct searches at the site.

Today, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone announced the appointment of a team of international experts to investigate the burial site at the Tuam mother and baby home.

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Expert to consider exhumations at Tuam mother and baby home

IRELAND
Connacht Tribune

A forensic archaeologist has been hired to examine the possibility of removing children’s remains from the site of the Tuam mother and baby home.

Niamh McCullagh will lead an examination of whether it is possible to recover the remains, and whether they can be identified.

It’s not known exactly how many children and babies’ bodies were placed in a former septic tank structure at the former Bon Secours home.

Children’s minister Katherine Zappone says she wants a sensitive and appropriate response to dealing with the remains.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin Deputy Mary Lou McDonald will visit Galway next week for a public meeting on the mother & baby home scandal.

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Tuam babies burial site to be examined by expert group

IRELAND
Irish Times

Michael O’Regan, Mary Minihan

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has established an expert group to determine whether there should be a full excavation of the burial site at the Tuam mother and babies home in Galway.

Remains were found during archaeological work initiated last year for the Commission on the Investigation on Mother and Baby Homes.

Ms Zappone told the Dáil on Thursday if there was a consensus about recovering the infant remains and trying to identify them, it should be known if it was possible.

“We have made too many decisions in this country in the dark,” she added. “We are not going to do that again in relation to Tuam.”

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Katherine Zappone in favour of examining other mother and baby home sites

IRELAND
Breaking News

The Children’s Minister says she would like to see if examinations at the sites of other mother and baby homes could be done.

Katherine Zappone announced the appointment of a forensic archaeologist to decide what is possible at the Tuam site in Co Galway.

She told the Dáil she hopes to build consensus among survivors about what should happen next.
She told reporters this evening she is personally in favour of examining other mother and baby homes.

“If there is the possibility for remains of children that are unidentified in other homes, in terms of what I’ve heard and what I feel, yes I would like to see the possibility of work done in that regard,” she said.

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Forensic archaeologist appointed to assess future of former mother-and-baby home site

IRELAND
RTE News

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has appointed a forensic archaeologist to lead a team of experts which will assess the future of the former mother and baby home site in Tuam, Co Galway.

During statements in the Dáil, Ms Zappone said the memory and dignity of the children who lived their short lives in the home needed to be respected.

However, she noted the diversity of views and concerns on what might happen next at the site.

She said if there is consensus regarding the recovery and identification of the remains, an examination was necessary to see how that would be achieved.

Further searches will be carried out at the site, which in a playground adjacent to the site where the remains were discovered last March.

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Maternity hospital opposed due to potential ethos change

IRELAND
Irish Times

Seán Dunne

An objection was raised during a planning hearing into the development of the new national maternity hospital in south Dublin by a woman concerned at potential changes to the Catholic ethos on the St Vincent’s Hospital campus, should the project go ahead.

The second and final day of An Bord Pleanála’s public hearing into the HSE’s planning application for the hospital was dominated by concerns over the area not being equipped to deal with the extra traffic the development will bring.

However, Fionnuala Sherwin told the hearing she was opposed to the development due to potential changes to the ethos of St Vincent’s Hospital.

She said she strongly objected to the proposal by the HSE on the grounds that the new hospital “will be performing procedures which are of the vairones of the original Catholic ethos of St Vincent’s Hospital”.

“The new St Vincent’s Hospital Group will be a corporate entity and that will be the start in Ireland of corporate entities whether they be private corporations for profit or greed and in the past the Catholic nuns provided hospitals without that,” Ms Sherwin added. “I respectfully request that An Bord Pleanála refuse permission for the site of this hospital.”

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Bellingham ex-youth pastor sentenced for ‘unforgivable’ sex abuse of teen girl

WASHINGTON
Bellingham Herald

BY CALEB HUTTON
chutton@bhamherald.com

BELLINGHAM
The ex-youth pastor of a Bellingham church grimaced, wept, and struggled to breathe in court Wednesday, as he listened to a teenage girl – standing feet away – describe the lasting harm he caused when he raped her countless times.

Christopher Lee Trent was sentenced to 5 years in prison for sexually abusing the girl, who went to Bellingham Baptist Church on Orleans Street when she was under the age of 16.

Court records describe how he kept the abuse a secret for about 2 years.

Background

Trent, 37, graduated from Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma, where he met Josh Carter, the future pastor of the Bellingham church. Trent moved across the country with his wife and seven children in June 2013, after Carter asked if he’d be interested in a youth pastor job.

Over the next three years, Trent supervised children at church activities, preached in front of the main congregation at times, and led classes about how adults can prevent child abuse in the church.

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Evangelical Pastor Arrested on Child Molestation Charges; Calif. Church ‘Utterly Heartbroken’

CALIFORNIA
Christian Post

BY STOYAN ZAIMOV , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
Jun 1, 2017

A married father-of-six and evangelical pastor from California has reportedly been arrested on several counts of child molestation, leaving his church “utterly heartbroken” at the scandal.

ABC 10 News reported that 43-year-old Matthew Tague, a pastor at North Coast Calvary Chapel in Carlsbad, has been charged with at least 16 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14.

Police are investigating the situation, Lt. Karen Stubkjaer of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said, though at the moment there is no indication that there are further victims.

Stubkjaer further noted that the charges are not related to Tague’s position at the church.

“There is a lot of information I’m not prepared to disclose right now about the victim, the relationship, and so forth. It appears this has been going on for about a year,” she said.

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Missbrauchsfälle in Korntal: 25 neue Betroffene gemeldet

DEUTSCHLAND
Focus

[Abuse in Korntal: 25 new victims reported.]

Nachdem erste Ergebnisse der Aufklärer zu den Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen die evangelische Brüdergemeinde Korntal (Kreis Ludwigsburg) bekannt geworden sind, haben sich neue Betroffene gemeldet.

Das Netzwerk Betroffenenforum sprach am Donnerstag von 25 neuen Opfern. Sie hätten sich gemeldet, nachdem das Politikmagazin „Report Mainz“ am Dienstag über die Ergebnisse berichtet hatte, wie Sprecher Detlev Zander mitteilte. In der Sendung hatte Benno Hafeneger, zuständig für die wissenschaftliche Aufarbeitung, gesagt, dass es sich bei den Missbrauchsvorwürfen nicht nur um Einzelfälle handle. Das Betroffenenforum, eine von zwei Opfergruppen, fordert nun, ein Kuratorium einzurichten. „Das nimmt ganz neue Dimensionen an“, sagte Zander. Dafür reichten zwei Aufklärer nicht aus.

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Abuso su minori, l’ex Cirielli alla prova della Consulta

ITALIA
Lettera 43

[On June 20, the Constitutional Court will examine the subject of prescription for child offenses related to a case involving Vito Beatrice, a 72-year-old priest under a lawsuit for abuse of authority over a young man who now has 29 Years, but at the time of the alleged facts he was underage.]

Il 20 giugno la Corte si esprimerà sui tempi di prescrizione per i reati di violenza sessuale contro minori. Il Tribunale di Roma ha sollevato il dubbio di legittimità durante un processo a un prete di 72 anni.

Il 20 giugno la Corte Costituzionale esaminerà il tema della prescrizione per i reati di violenza contro i minori in relazione a una vicenda che coinvolge Vito Beatrice, sacerdote 72enne sotto processo per violenza sessuale con abuso d’autorità nei confronti di un giovane che oggi ha 29 anni, ma all’epoca dei fatti contestati era minorenne. Il religioso, prete della congregazione dei Padri Somaschi della chiesa di Sant’Alessio nella zona dell’Aventino, a Roma, è accusato di abusi commessi tra il 1995 e il 2004 su un minore che aveva avuto in affidamento dai genitori per ragioni di educazione e istruzione.

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Archdiocese continues to pray for church abuse victims

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Donna De Jesus

The Archdiocese of Agana issued a statement yesterday afternoon regarding the recent sex abuse allegations.

Guam – In the release, Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes said that, while emotions pale in comparison to the pain suffered by the victims, the Archdiocese expresses its deep sadness and continues to pray for those who have experienced sexual abuse by clergy or staff, and who continue to suffer because of it.

Archbishop Byrnes adds, “our Archdiocese’s commitment to strengthen our vigilance in this area and ensure that all our children and adults grow in their faith protected in a fully loving, nurturing and safe environment.” The statement also encourages victims to seek professional counseling, which is offered by the Hope and Healing initiative.

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Woman claiming serial sexual abuse sues Temple Baptist Church

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Edmundo Carrillo / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Friday, June 2nd, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. — A woman who claims she was sexually abused by two teachers at the Temple Baptist Church in Santa Fe when she was a child is now suing the church after she married and had children with one of her alleged abusers.

A lawsuit filed in Santa Fe District Court last week maintains that the woman, identified only as “Jane Doe” in the document, was abused hundreds of times while she was enrolled at the church’s school, across Yucca Street from Santa Fe High, in the mid ’90s.

She married one of those men when she turned 18 and she started having children with him at 19, the complaint says, but the couple is now divorced. Neither alleged abuser is identified in the suit.

The abuse happened at the church, as well as homes of church members, including the victim’s home, according to the suit.

The filing says the church had a culture “wherein male leaders held substantial power over the lives of minors – particularly minor female students at the Church and School” and says they “used the power vested in them as teachers, supervisors and as religious figures to sexually abuse Plaintiff as a minor.”

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Pastor arrested for alleged sex assaults on minors in Menlo Park

CALIFORNIA
SFGate

By Michael Bodley, San Francisco Chronicle

A 47-year-old church pastor in Menlo Park was arrested on suspicion of six counts of sexual assault, including instances involving children, police said Thursday.

Victor Elizandro Tax-Gomez, who lives in East Palo Alto, was arrested Thursday after an interview at the Menlo Park Police Department, officials said.

Tax-Gomez was booked into San Mateo County Jail on suspicion of the following charges:

sexual penetration with a foreign object of a juvenile under 16
sexual penetration with a foreign object of a juvenile
sexual penetration with a foreign object of an adult

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Menlo Park pastor accused of sexually assaulting members of his church

CALIFORNIA
KGO

By Lisa Amin Gulezian
Thursday, June 01, 2017

MENLO PARK, Calif. (KGO) — The pastor of a small congregation in Menlo Park is in jail, accused of the unthinkable. Police say he sexually assaulted both children and adult members of his church.

As members of El Senor Justicia Nuestra Iglesia arrived for 7:30 mass, they found out their pastor, Victor Elizandro Tax-Gomez, was in jail.

Menlo Park police arrested Tax-Gomez on Thursday after several people came forward with similar stories of sexual abuse as children and as young adults.

“A person who is in a position of power is able to prey on people, it really is kind of disturbing because normally those people in power are trusted by the victims,” Menlo Park Police Cmdr. Dave Bertini said.

Church member Guadalupe Robles isn’t surprised by the accusations. She says some people mentioned he touched a female member’s breasts and she then left the church.

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Catholic order files for bankruptcy protection amid abuse cases settlement

UNITED STATES
Premier (UK)

Fri 02 Jun 2017
By Alex Williams

A Roman Catholic order in the United States has filed for bankruptcy protection as it announced a $25.5 million settlement for dozens of alleged child sex abuse victims.

The Crosier Fathers & Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at a US Bankruptcy Court in the District of Minnesota on Thursday.

Attorney Mike Finnegan from Jeff Anderson & Associates PA said: “We applaud the strength and courage of all of the sexual abuse survivors who have come forward and shared their truths.

“The Crosiers are doing the right thing by working with survivors in order to facilitate a transparent and fair resolution for everyone involved.”

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COSTS AWARD Self-confessed paedo priest Tadhg O’Dalaigh awarded legal costs after indecent assault conviction on schoolboy is quashed

IRELAND
Irish Sun

By Ruaidhrí Giblin
1st June 2017

A SELF-CONFESSED paedo priest whose conviction for indecently assaulting a schoolboy in the 1970s was quashed has been awarded legal costs for his successful appeal.

The Catholic Church had funded Tadhg O’Dalaigh’s legal representation, according to lawyers for the Director of Public Prosecutions, who had opposed the costs application on grounds that he was “not out of pocket himself”.

The 73-year-old last week successfully appealed his conviction for indecently assaulting a schoolboy at Colaiste Chroi Naofa boarding school in Carrignavar, Co Cork in the 1970s.

O’Dalaigh, of Blackrock, Dublin, had been found guilty by a jury and was sentenced to five years imprisonment with the final two suspended on December 18, 2014 for the offence.

This sentence was served by the time his appeal was determined.

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‘The Keepers,’ streaming, Netflix

UNITED STATES
Catholic Herald

Chris Byrd
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK — Director Ryan White’s visually striking, atmospheric documentary series “The Keepers” examines the unsolved murder in 1969 Baltimore of popular 26-year-old Sr. Cathy Cesnik. Presented in seven one-hour installments, “The Keepers” began streaming on Netflix May 19.

A former English teacher at Archbishop Keough High School, an archdiocesan academy for girls, Sr. Cesnik was on a year’s leave of absence from her order, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, and working in the city’s public education system at the time of her death. She was likely killed — so the filmmakers hypothesize — because she knew too much about her former colleague, Fr. A. Joseph Maskell.

Long after it came to light through the accounts of his victims, that Fr. Maskell, a chaplain and counselor at Keough, sexually abused multiple students during his time there.

The extensive descriptions of the priest’s vicious crimes — in egregious violation of his sacred trust — will sicken, trouble and outrage viewers, faithful Catholics above all. With one notable exception, however, the presentation of these unsettling details isn’t lurid.

During an interview with former Jesuit priest Gerry Koob, who was close to Sr. Cesnik and a suspect in her murder, Koob bizarrely accuses a Baltimore detective of intimidating him during the initial investigation by showing him the dead woman’s private parts, severed from her body by the killer.

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Who Killed Sister Cathy? 5 Theories About Who Is Responsible For Her Death In ‘The Keepers’

UNITED STATES
Movie Pilot

By Varia Fedko-Blake, writer at CREATORS.CO

Warning: Big spoilers for The Keepers ahead!

After binge-watching seven episodes of Netflix’s gripping new true crime series The Keepers, it seems we’ve been left with more questions than answers regarding the shocking murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik back in 1969. And to this day, the killing of the Catholic nun in Baltimore remains unsolved, as does the case of Joyce Malecki, the 20-year-old woman who was found dead only a few days later.

However, after wading through an incredible amount of evidence and upsetting allegations of sexual abuse embedded within the documentary, there are a select few that crop up time and time again as the potential perpetrators of the horrific crimes. So, without any further hesitation, here are some of the theories regarding the decades-long question of who actually killed Sister Cathy.

1. Monstrous Father Joseph Maskell

From the outset, Father Joseph Maskell — the counsellor and Chaplain at the Archbishop Keough High School — remains the man at the center of the heinous crimes in The Keepers. For years, he systematically sexually abused scores of young girls under his care, and after one of the victims (“Jane Doe,” or Jean Wehner) came forward to Sister Cathy regarding the extensive sex ring, the nun swore to “do something” about it. In doing so, many believe that she marked herself out as a target.

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‘The Keepers’ (Ep. 2): Whistleblower Makes Shocking Allegations Of Sex Abuse At Catholic Shool

MARYLAND
Oxygen

by Eric Shorey
June 1, 2017

[Content Warning: The second episode of The Keepers contains narratives of sexual assault, child abuse, and rape.]

The Keepers episode 1 opened with a straight-forward analysis of the forensic details of the case of Sister Cathy Cesnik, but things get much darker and deeper in the second part of this series.

We open with the poetic journalist Tom Nugent interviewing Jane Doe, now revealed as Jean Hargadon Whener. Whener immediately asserts her belief that Cathy had been murdered by someone she knew, with the implication being that Cesnik was killed over some kind of forbidden knowledge about the school where she worked.

Whener proceeds to give some truly shocking information throughout the episode about the abuses she suffered as a student at the hands of various teachers, priests, and higher-ups at Archbishop Keough High School. Whener’s accusations have implications beyond the school as well. There is a suggestion that police may have been involved, too.

The formerly anonymous whistleblower’s details are absolutely gruesome and difficult to sit through, and most of the episode is dedicated to her testimony. Without going into too many specifics: Whener states that she was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by the priests who ran the school, with Father Maskell as the main perpetrator. Whener was led to believe this was part of a spiritual rehabilitation program, and increasingly dissociated from the experiences, coming forward to no one and remaining silent about her experiences. Her descriptions are truly nauseating. Whener also claims that there were, at least on one occasion, cops present during the rapes.

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George Pell says ‘I’m hanging in there’ as he waits to find out if he will be prosecuted over historic child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Staff writers, News Corp Australia Network
June 1, 2017

CARDINAL George Pell has said he is “hanging in there” as he waits to find out if he will be prosecuted over historic child sex charges.

Cardinal Pell told The Australian outside his home in Rome that he was not guilty of any crimes against children.

“Let me just repeat, I am not guilty of any crime,’’ he said. “I have co-operated fully and will co-operate fully and I await the decision.’’

When asked how he was feeling, he responded: “I’m hanging in there.’’

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New York Catholic priest arrested for abusing minors while volunteer in Charleston in 1980s

SOUTH CAROLINA
The Post and Courier

By Gregory Yee gyee@postandcourier.com Jun 1, 2017

A Catholic priest in New York was charged in Charleston on Thursday for allegedly sexually abusing minors while he was a volunteer in the Holy City more than 30 years ago.

Freddy Washington, a 53-year-old resident of West 138th Street in Harlem, faces two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11 years old, and one count of committing a lewd act on a child under 14 years old, according to court and jail records.

Washington appeared in bond court on Thursday where he was given $100,000 bail on the lewd act charge, according to jail records. No bail was given on the criminal sexual conduct charges.

He is a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, also known as the Spiritans, according to a statement by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston. The abuse dates back about 35 years — the early 1980s — when Washington was a volunteer at St. Patrick Catholic Church on St. Philip Street.

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Five more victims file against local Church and Boy Scouts

GUAM
KUAM

Jun 02, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Five more people have come forward with sex abuse allegations against the local Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts.

Of those accused is the late Archbishop Felix Berto Flores. 62-year-old A.J.R. alleges he was 11 years old when then priest Flores abused him while he was serving at the Agana Cathedral. Additionally, three more people – one of them female – have come forward accusing Fr. Louis Brouillard of sexual molestation, the crimes occurring when he was serving at the Malojloj parish. The victims were identified as E.V., E.T. (a female), and S.M.T. Victim S.M.T. also alleges sexual abuse by Fr. Juan Camacho and Boy Scout Leader Edward Pereira – both of whom are deceased. The 5th victim to file is S.D.E. He alleges he was sexually assaulted in 1955 by a scout leader in Sinajana identified as Miguel Salas. S.D.E. was 12 years old at the time of the alleged sexual abuse.

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Another abuse victim names defrocked priest

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Donna De Jesus

There are now 72 reported victims of child sex abuse, with the latest filing a complaint against defrocked priest, Raymond Cepeda.

Guam – Raymond Cepeda served as a priest at the Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo and at the Cathedral Basilica, and was defrocked in 2009 after he was accused of sexual abuse in 2004.

The latest complaint filed yesterday through attorney David Lujan was by a man using the initials R.Q. This is the sixth time Cepeda has been named as the offender in these church abuse cases. What’s a little different about this alleged victim is that R.Q. was not an altar server. He claims to have been abused when he was taking confirmation classes at the Dededo Parish, of which Cepeda was in charge.

One of the requirements for the class is for students to perform community service at the church. R.Q. was tasked to be a reader for the 5:30 p.m. mass every Saturday. In court documents, R.Q. alleges that Cepeda would have him stay at the rectory after mass. While there, the complaint says Cepeda would fondle and sexually abuse R.Q. almost every week.

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Third Marianas bishop accused of sexually abusing children

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole , jstole@guampdn.com June 2, 2017 | Updated 21 minutes ago

A 62-year-old man has accused the late Archbishop Felixberto C. Flores of sexually abusing him more than 50 years ago at Cathedral Grade School, according to one of the latest lawsuits filed against the Catholic Church in federal court.

Flores is the third church leader from the Marianas accused of sexual abusing a minor. Guam’s Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who succeeded Flores, and Saipan’s Bishop emeritus Tomas Camacho also have been named in lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse.

Flores’ accuser is identified as A.J.R.

The lawsuit states A.J.R., around the year 1966, was a student at Cathedral Grade School in Hagåtña and Flores was a priest. Flores called to A.J.R. from the entrance of the rectory, then showed his genitals to the boy, who was about 11 years old at the time, the complaint states.

Flores reportedly had his hands on A.J.R’s shoulder and pulled the boy closer to him. A.J.R. kicked the priest in his private parts and fled, court documents state.

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June 1, 2017

Rev. James Tamburrino, O.Carm. – Assignment History

PERU/NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: James Tamburrino was ordained for the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel (Carmelites) in 1998. There are indications that he worked with the Carmelite missions in Peru prior to ordination. In the late 1990s he was assigned to St. Simon Stock parish in the Bronx.

Tamburrino was accused in a March 2000 lawsuit, along with three St. Simon Stock priests, of having sexually abused a teenage boy during 1996-1998. The boy was working as a secretary in the parish rectory where he said the priests plied him with alcohol and “gay child porn,” paid him for sexual favors, had him watch them perform group masturbation, then threatened to harm him if he told. The boy and his family reported the alleged abuse to the archdiocese and the Carmelites in 1999; they said they were pressured to sign a release. All four priests were transferred out of St. Simon Stock the same year. Tamburrino was assigned as chaplain to a psychiatric center while residing at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown NY. The alleged victim claimed he was receiving anonymous harassing phone calls which led him to fear for his life and move out of state. After news reports about the case in June 2001, Tamburrino was suspended from ministry. He continued to be supported by his Order through at least 2002.

Tamburrino was living in Rome, NY in July 2005 when he was arrested for taking erotic photos of a 15-year-old boy at a Rome hotel, and approaching another teen boy for the same purpose. He was convicted in March 2006 and sentenced in June 2006 to 5-15 years in state prison. He is a registered NY State Level 2 Sex Offender.

Ordained: 1998

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NY priest charged with sexually assaulting children at Charleston church 35 years ago

SOUTH CAROLINA
Live 5 News

[with video]

By Ray Rivera, Digital Producer

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) –
A New York priest has been charged with sexually assaulting children at a Charleston church 35 years ago.

Freddy Washington appeared in bond court on Thursday in connection to accusations that he sexually assaulted two children at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on St. Phillip Street where he worked as a volunteer in the early 1980s.

According to Washington’s lawyer, his client who is a priest at St. Mark the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Harlem, has been put on sabbatical by the church.

“When he was notified of these charges through the necessary process he volunteered to come here,” said Washington’s lawyer Eduardo Curry.”Because he believes he is innocent and did not commit these charges.”

Washington has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct under the age of 11 and lewd act on a child under the age of 14.

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Catholic priest charged with sexually abusing minors in Charleston during 1980s

SOUTH CAROLINA
ABC News 4

by Drew Tripp & Brian Troutman

A New York Catholic priest has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing two boys while he was serving as a volunteer in a Charleston church more than 30 years ago.

Freddy Washington, 53, was arrested by Charleston Police and booked into the Al Cannon Detention Center on Thursday. Washington is charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and one count of committing lewd acts on a child under 14.

Affidavits from the Charleston Police Department show Washington is accused of sexually molesting two boys while he was a volunteer at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Charleston between 1982 and 1984.

Washington was not an ordained minister at the time, according both to police and a statement provided Thursday by the Diocese of Charleston. A spokesperson for the Diocese said Thursday Washington is a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), and is currently serving as a priest at a parish in the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York.

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Crosiers agrees to $25.5M settlement decades after reported abuse

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Peter Cox St. Paul, Minn.
Jun 1, 2017

A Catholic religious order has filed for bankruptcy protection and agreed to a $25.5 million settlement to pay 43 sexual abuse survivors.

The Crosier Fathers & Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal bankruptcy court in Minneapolis Thursday.

“The decision to file for reorganization was difficult, but given the number of claimants who came forward when the state of Minnesota opened the statute of limitations for asserting claims of sexual abuse, we believe a Chapter 11 reorganization is the only way that all claimants can be offered a fair and just resolution within the Crosiers’ limited financial resources,” said Prior Provincial Thomas Enneking in a statement.

Crosier ran a prep school, which is where much of the alleged abuse occured in the 1970s and 1980s. The school has since closed.

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Three women file civil lawsuits each seeking $3M in damages

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

A former Chatham priest and the Roman Catholic Diocese of London are being sued by three women who say they were sexually abused as teens.

The women are seeking $3 million in damages from former priest James Blonde and the diocese in separate lawsuits filed May 4 in London.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

When contacted by Postmedia News, the diocese said in a statement that it does not comment on lawsuits that have been filed.

The women, identified only by their initials in their statement of claims, said in their lawsuits that Blonde abused them in the early 1970s when he served at Blessed Sacrament parish in Chatham.

The women’s allegations have a similar pattern. In their claims, they said Blonde began hugging them when they were about 13 years old. Then he began to touch their body parts over their clothes, followed by more intimate touching and sexual activities, the statements say.

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New allegations against defrocked priest

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post

A 48-year-old man alleges he was sexually abused and molested by a priest while attending confirmation classes at Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo in the early 1980s.

The man, identified as R.Q. to protect his identity, filed a lawsuit through his attorney David Lujan in the District Court of Guam against the Archdiocese of Agana and former priest Raymond Cepeda, who was defrocked in 2009 or 2010, court documents state.

Abused, molested ‘regularly’

The civil complaint alleges that Cepeda “regularly” sexually abused and molested R.Q. after Saturday night baptismal Masses in the Dededo parish rectory. After Mass, Cepeda allegedly instructed the teen not to leave and to follow him to the rectory where he would fondle and sexually abuse him, the lawsuit states.

Occasionally, R.Q. said he would attend functions away from the church and alleges Cepeda would offer to take him home. The teen did not want to go but obeyed because Cepeda was a priest, court documents state.

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George Pell ‘hanging in there’ on sex abuse charges

ROME
The Australian

June 2, 2017

JACQUELIN MAGNAY
Foreign correspondentEurope
@jacquelinmagnay

REBECCA URBAN
JournalistMelbourne
@RurbsOz

Australia’s most senior Catholic Cardinal George Pell said he was “hanging in there’’ awaiting the decision of Victorian police on whether he will be prosecuted over historic child-sex charges.

Cardinal Pell, looking less robus­t than when he fronted the specially convened Rome sitting of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse last year, emerged from his Rome home overlooking the walls of the Vatican with another cardinal in tow.

Cardinal Pell, 75, told The Australian he was innocent of the claims being made against him.

“Let me just repeat, I am not guilty of any crime,’’ he said as a posse of special police surroun­d­ed his chauffeur-driven car.

“I have co-operated fully and will co-operate fully and I await the decision.’’ When asked how he was feeling, he responded: “I’m hanging in there.’’

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Archbishop: Sadness deepens with each victim

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes released a statement expressing sadness and offering prayers to the latest individuals to step forward with claims of decades-old sexual abuses against former Guam Catholic priests and a former parochial school teacher.

“As the designated shepherd of the Catholic Church of Guam, I acknowledge the newest lawsuits and allegations of clergy sexual abuse filed by individuals known by the initials of A.N.D., G.J., and B.J. as well as Mr. Francis Charfauros and Mr. Troy Torres,” Byrnes said in a written statement.

“Our sadness deepens with each new person who comes forward sharing allegations of abuse against clergy or staff of our archdiocese,” he said. “Any emotions pale, however, compared to the excruciating pain and feelings all victims of abuse suffered and in most cases, continue to suffer.”

The archdiocesan statement mentions the accused. Some of the victims came forward only with their initials in lawsuits filed against the archdiocese and other parties. Others used their full names in their lawsuits.

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News Release: Crosier Order Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Framework Established for $25.5m Agreement with Abuse Survivors

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

6/1/2017

(Minneapolis, MN) – Today, the Crosier Fathers & Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota. The Crosier order is a Roman Catholic religious order of priests and brothers with communities in Phoenix, Arizona and Onamia, Minnesota. The Crosier order is the 18th Catholic Diocese or Religious order to file for bankruptcy protection in the United States.

Sexual abuse survivors and the Crosiers have worked together to reach a framework for a $25.5 million dollar agreement to fairly compensate survivors of child sexual abuse by members and an employee of the Crosier order. Currently, there are 43 child sexual abuse cases pending in Minnesota courts.

“We applaud the strength and courage of all of the sexual abuse survivors who have come forward and shared their truths,” said Attorney Mike Finnegan. “The Crosiers are doing the right thing by working with survivors in order to facilitate a transparent and fair resolution for everyone involved.”

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THE LATEST: GAY CONGREGANT TESTIFIES AT MINISTER’S TRIAL

NORTH CAROLINA
Associated Press

RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a North Carolina minister who is accused of assaulting and kidnapping a gay church member (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

A North Carolina man has testified that he thought he was “going to die” when members of his evangelical church beat and choked him to expel his “homosexual demons.”

Matthew Fenner testified Thursday at the start of the assault trial of Brooke Covington, a 58-year-old minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina.

Fenner said Covington was the ring leader in a January 2013 beating involving numerous congregants. He said Covington pointed out his sexual orientation, saying, “God said there is something wrong in your life.”

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‘AM I GOING TO DIE?’ GAY MAN TESTIFIES AT CHURCH TRIAL

NORTH CAROLINA
Associated Press

BY MITCH WEISS AND HOLBROOK MOHR
ASSOCIATED PRESS

RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man thought he was “going to die” when members of his evangelical church beat and choked him for two hours to expel his “homosexual demons,” he testified Thursday.

Matthew Fenner was the first person to take the stand in the assault and kidnapping trial of Brooke Covington, a 58-year-old minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina.

Fenner, 23, said Covington was the leader in a 2013 beating involving numerous congregants. He said Covington pointed out his sexual orientation, saying, “God said there is something wrong in your life.”

Fenner said he had cancer as a child and had a biopsy one week before he was assaulted.

“I’m frail and in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘is my neck going to break, am I going to die?'” Fenner said.

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Prominent minister, 9 others arrested in prostitution sting

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

BOSTON —
A prominent minister, who blessed the governor at his inauguration in 2015, is among the group of 10 men accused of trying to purchase sex for a fee from undercover Boston detectives.

Archie Livingston Foxworth, 68, of Hull, is accused of responding to an online ad posted by the Boston Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

Foxworth is the senior pastor of Grace Church of All Nations located in Dorchester. He offered a blessing at Gov. Charlie Baker’s inauguration in 2015.

Foxworth and the nine other men were arrested at the location where they agreed to meet undercover detectives, the DA’s office said.

The DA’s office said that nine of the 10 men were arraigned Wednesday. In addition to Foxworth, that includes: Murat Inamli, 50, of Brookline; Zian JIang, 20, of Boston; William J. Marchant, 54, of Norwood; Eswin Esteban, 39, of Chelsea; Benjamin Silver, 40, of Somerville; James M. Rose, 59, of Boston; Thomas Holt, 42, of Belmont; Nikunk B. Patel, 27, of Revere.

The tenth suspect, Andrew Kyriacou, 51, of Shrewsbury, is scheduled to be arraigned next week.

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Prominent Boston bishop attempted to solicit prostitute during undercover sting, Massachusetts State Police say

MASSACHUSETTS
MassLive

BY PHIL DEMERS pdemers@masslive.com

Prominent Boston Bishop A. Livingston Foxworth was among those caught up in a recent undercover prostitution sting, reports The Boston Herald.

Allegedly seeking sex services, Foxworth on Tuesday responded to a phony Backpage.com ad placed by Massachusetts State Police.

According to police, Foxworth agreed to pay the “prostitute” — actually an undercover detective — $150 and provided his cell phone number and a Pine Street address during the exchange, according to The Herald.

Foxworth later arrived at the address and police confirmed that the cell phone number was indeed his.

Foxworth, senior pastor at the Grace Church of All Nations in Dorchester since 1979, appeared Wednesday in Boston Municipal Court, where he faced a single charge of paying for sexual conduct. Nine others were caught up in the same undercover prostitution sting — a regular exercise conducted by authorities statewide with the aim of reducing demand.

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Dorchester minister, nine others charged with soliciting prostitute

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

Bob McGovern, Jessica Heslam Thursday, June 01, 2017

The prominent Boston minister who blessed Gov. Charlie Baker after he was elected to the Corner Office was caught soliciting a prostitute during an undercover police sting that also reeled in nine other would-be johns, authorities said.

A. Livingston Foxworth, the senior pastor at the Grace Church of All Nations in Dorchester, was arraigned yesterday in Boston Municipal Court on a single charge of paying for sexual conduct. He was released without bail after a brief appearance.

Foxworth gave newly elected Baker and his wife, Lauren, a blessing in November 2014 during a Grace Church of All Nations service.

“Gov. Baker is saddened by this news and is confident the courts will examine the facts and reach an appropriate decision,” said Lizzy Guyton, a spokesman for Baker. “The Baker-Polito Administration has made combating human trafficking a priority by working across state government to enact anti-trafficking policies and proposing legislation to give law enforcement more tools to crack down on trafficking-related crimes.”

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Archbishop of Canterbury faces questions over links to child abuse Christian camp

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

[with video]

Harry Farley JOURNALIST
01 June 2017

The Archbishop of Canterbury is being challenged over his links to a Christian camp at the heart of a police investigation for abusing children.

Justin Welby previously said he helped at Iwerne Christian camps in the mid 1970s but moved to Paris in 1978 and after that had ‘no contact’ with the organisation and in particular John Smyth – the former chairman who groomed and beat more than 20 boys and young men – during the time the abuse allegedly took place.

But new documents show Welby gave a talk at one summer camp in 1979, also attended by Smyth.

He told Channel 4 News with dozens of talks across different camps throughout the summer, it was ‘not an unusual occurrence’ for people to return to speak.

‘A talk on reading the Bible, which I did as a one-off in 1979, does not make anyone a member of an “inner circle”,’ he insisted.

But the papers shown to the TV channel challenge Welby’s previous account that he had no contact with the camp at the time of the abuse. Another document shows Welby’s address in Paris, suggesting he may have been in regular contact with the camp.

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Archbishop of Canterbury changes account of his involvement with summer camps led by John Smyth

UNITED KINGDOM
Channel 4

[with video]

Cathy Newman
Presenter

The Archbishop of Canterbury is facing questions tonight over his links to an evangelical Christian under police investigation for beating young men.

Following revelations by this programme four months ago, Justin Welby admitted he had worked with John Smyth at Christian holiday camps, but insisted he had “no contact at all” with the camps after 1978. New evidence now challenges this account.

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Police decision on ‘complex’ Cardinal George Pell investigation ‘not far off’

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Victorian police chief Graham Ashton has said the decision on whether or not to charge Cardinal George Pell over historical child sexual assault allegations “is not far off”.

Mr Ashton this morning described the investigation of Cardinal Pell as “very complex.”

“These allegations are complex and there’s a lot in it in terms of the inquiries that have been made, the work that’s been done and the legal advice,” he said.

“I’m not going to comment on this particular case, but I’ll make the overall statement that you can often get different views around investigations and it’s not always the case of total agreement or total dissent.”

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Jury seated in trial of Word of Faith church member accused of abuse

NORTH CAROLINA
WLOS

by Jennifer Emert

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) —
A jury of eight men and four women has been seated to hear the case against a Spindale minister on trial for abusing one of the church’s members in 2013.

The 12-member jury was seated about 3:25 p.m. Wednesday to hear the case against Brooke Covington. Late Wednesday afternoon, one of two alternate jurors was selected to hear the case.

Selection for the last alternate juror will begin at 9:15 a.m. Thursday. Among the jurors is a former law enforcement officer.

Covington, who is one of four Word of Faith Fellowship church members charged with assaulting and kidnapping Matthew Fenner in January 2013, walked out of the Rutherford County Courthouse surrounded by church members just after 5 p.m. Wednesday. Other members from Word of Faith Fellowship were in the courtroom Wednesday, listening to the jury selection process.

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Bellingham youth pastor sentenced for child rape

WASHINGTON
KGMI News

By Tracy Ellis

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – A former youth pastor at Bellingham Baptist Church is going to prison for raping a teenager.

Christopher Trent plead guilty to four counts of third-degree child rape.

He was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

The girl says she was 13 when Trent started sexually abusing her.

Some of the abuse happened at the church.

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Victoria police ‘may be split over decision on charging George Pell’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

June 1, 2017

REBECCA URBAN
JournalistMelbourne
@RurbsOz

Victoria’s top cop has hinted that police could be split over a decision whether to charge Cardinal George Pell with historic child abuse offences.

It was not unusual for police to have different views, particularly in complex matters, chief commissioner Graham Ashton said this morning.

Nevertheless, a decision was closer, he said.

Mr Ashton also revealed that the Taskforce Sano would liaise with lawyers for Cardinal Pell and the victims if a decision was made not to charge the senior Vatican figure.

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Shamed clergy offer apologies as Scottish child abuse inquiry begins

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Mike Wade
June 1 2017
The Times

On the third floor of a building behind Haymarket station in Edinburgh, a suite of offices has been converted into a hive of legal activity by the Scottish child abuse inquiry.

In the largest of the rooms, lawyers, representing the inquiry itself, victims’ groups and about a dozen care organisations filled out much of the space. Everything was calm, ordered and obviously well paid. The inquiry has already cost £5.7 million.

But in this same room were high emotions, and people ready to speak of bitter experiences. The few public seats were occupied by victims of abuse and their friends, while outside in the sun many more held a vigil.

The scale of the inquiry is vast, with its remit dating back to 1930. Its first hearing was yesterday and evidence from at least 60 residential institutions will be presented.

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Bishop McNally teacher formally charged with sexual assault of student

CANADA
Metro

By: Lucie Edwardson Metro Published on Wed May 31 2017

A Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) teacher has been formally charged after an alleged decade-old sexual relationship with a student.

Staff Sgt. Dominic Mayhew, of the Calgary Police Service (CPS) child abuse unit, said Edwin Cay Arias, 45, is charged with sexual assault and sexual contact with a youth by a person in a position of trust or authority.

Mayhew said the investigation began in January after a woman—who is now in her 20s— came forward to police to inform them she’d been in a relationship with a teacher while she’d attended Bishop McNally High School in the city’s northeast between 2007 and 2009.

Officials from the Calgary Catholic School District said Calgary police informed them of the investigation in January of this year.

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Catholic school district suspends high school teacher facing sex offence charges

CANADA
Calgary Herald

Yolande Cole

Calgary’s Catholic school board did not suspend a teacher under investigation for inappropriate sexual contact with a student until he was charged about four months later, because police indicated he was not a threat to current students.

Education officials said they were first told in late January that police were investigating an allegation from a woman that she had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a teacher while she was a student at Bishop McNally High School between 2007 and 2009.

At a news conference Wednesday, the school district said the police service was “quite confident” that there was no current risk to students.

“Obviously, the safety of our students is our top priority, and it’s a difficult situation, of course, so we worked with the Calgary Police Service,” said Tania Van Brunt, director of communications for the Calgary Catholic School District.

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Verdict in Magdalene case may be far-reaching

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Thursday, June 01, 2017

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Two former residents of An Grianán training centre will learn today if the High Court will allow them to be admitted to the Magdalene redress scheme. During the case, it was revealed that the Ombudsman was already formally investigating the scheme. Conall Ó Fátharta reveals the extraordinary nine-month row between the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice which could have far-reaching consequences for the scheme

THE determination of two women to go to the High Court to fight a decision by the Department of Justice to exclude them from the Magdalene redress scheme has led the Ombudsman to launch a full investigation into whether the scheme has been administered fairly.

While the case has received the smallest amount of publicity, it could have far-reaching consequences for the Department of Justice in terms of how it has administered one of the largest redress schemes in recent years.

The Ombudsman has confirmed it is to investigate possible “prima facie evidence of maladministration” of the scheme by the department — a significant development by any stretch.

The inquiry will consider whether the application process operated in an open and fair manner and whether the department relied on information that was irrelevant and/or incomplete, when deciding on a person’s eligibility under the scheme.

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Principals of Catholic schools throughout Australia have apologised for abuse

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

KATHRYN POWLEY, Herald Sun
June 1, 2017

PRINCIPALS of Catholic schools have jointly apologised for sexual abuse inflicted on students at their schools.

In a move likened to the Australian Government apologising to the Stolen Generation, Edmund Rice Education Australia today led a “National Ritual of Apology” for victims of abuse at schools including St Patrick’s Ballarat, St Kevin’s College Toorak, and Parade College.

In a special session at the organisations national principals’ conference in Canberra, chief executive Wayne Tinsley read a “long overdue statement of acknowledgment and regret”, with principals and representatives of all 34 Edmund Rice Australia schools endorsing each point in unison saying “For this we apologise”.

Dr Tinsley read the statement, beginning: “Today we begin a journey of major change by publicly acknowledging the sexual abuse of students in our schools, some dead, some above, some unknown.

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‘Shameful reality’: Apology for victims of sex abuse at Christian Brothers schools

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Brendan Wrigley

In a historic first, a Catholic education body has apologised to sexual abuse victims who were harmed in its schools.

Edmund Rice Education Australia, which governs schools previously under the control of Christian Brothers, met with victims and made the apology at an event in Canberra on Thursday.

St Patrick’s College headmaster John Crowley joined Ballarat sexual abuse survivors Andrew Collins and Peter Blenkiron on the trip to the nation’s capital for the historic apology.

Speaking at the event, Mr Crowley said the apology allowed all those involved with the Christian Brothers to “acknowledge openly and honestly the full extent of what has happened”.

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Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry begins with profound apologies

SCOTLAND
The National

Janice Burns @janthenational
Journalist

SURVIVORS who say they were abused as youngsters in residential care heard a succession of “profound” and “unreserved”apologies from organisations on the first day of Scotland’s national child abuse inquiry.

Groups including Quarriers, Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, Sisters of Nazareth, De La Salle Brothers, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and Crossreach, the social care arm of the Church of Scotland, were among those voicing regret for past cases of abuse or alleged abuse.

The apologies were offered in opening statements from a range of bodies as the public hearing phase of the far-reaching inquiry into historical allegations of the abuse of children in care in Scotland got under way. It followed remarks from chairwoman Lady Smith who said the process will be “painful” for many, but necessary to achieve “real, substantial and lasting change”.

In their opening remarks, representatives of Quarriers and the Marist Brothers offered “unreserved” apologies to anyone who was abused in their care.

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Catholic school body apologises to survivors and victims of child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Finbar O’Mallon

The Catholic school body, Edmund Rice Education Australia, apologised on Thursday morning to survivors and victims of child sex abuse who were pupils at their schools, including St Edmund’s college.

The EREA has responsibility for over 50 schools in Australia, including ones previously governed by the Christian Brothers in Canberra.

But anti-child abuse campaigner Damian De Marco said the apologies were meaningless without change.

“We have had so many apologies and the Catholic church continues on with business as usual. Why don’t the [EREA] stand up and speak out about fixing the problems in the Catholic church? Because they don’t have the courage,” Mr De Marco said.

Speaking to The Canberra Times on Thursday afternoon, EREA executive director Dr Wayne Tinsey said the body couldn’t implement change inside the church.

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Rome conference to address safeguarding children online

ROME
Angelus

June 01, 2017 – By Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, May 31, 2017 / 11:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An international congress in Rome this autumn will bring together experts to focus on the problem of online sexual abuse of minors and how to better safeguard children on the internet. The Oct. 3-6 meeting is hosted by the Pontifical Gregorian University’s Center for Child Protection and will conclude in an audience with Pope Francis during which he will be presented a “Declaration on Child Dignity in the Digital World.”

According to a May 31 statement, there are 3.2 billion internet users worldwide, children making up over one quarter of these – about 800 million users. These children and adolescents “are vulnerable to entirely new forms of harm and abuse such as trolling, cyberbullying, sextortion, and grooming for sexual exploitation.”

The international congress “will focus on the latest scientific research and technical understanding in this field, bringing together global experts and decision makers to discuss the risks and challenges of the digital age and its impact on the dignity of children.” The invitation-only meeting intends to bring in more than 140 academic experts, leaders in business and civil society, high-level politicians, and religious representatives recognized around the globe. The four days will include keynotes, plenary sessions, workshops, and a discussion forum focusing on the fields of cyber protection, cyber education, and cyber responsibility.

Afterward, the conference will issue a “Call for Papers” with the hope to stimulate innovative research and solutions to the problem of child protection online. The congress is organized in partnership with WePROTECT Global Alliance, a movement dedicated to changing the handling of online child sexual exploitation around the world, and Telefono Azzurro, a non-profit whose purpose is the protection of minors from abuse and violence.

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Edmund Rice Education Australia makes apology to sexual abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

Brendan Wrigley
@brendan_wrigley

1 Jun 2017

In an historic first, Edmund Rice Education Australia has made an official apology on behalf of its schools to victims of sexual abuse.

The apology was delivered at the EREA national principle’s conference in Canberra on Thursday, which featured representatives from more than 50 schools from across the country as well as sexual abuse survivors.

St Patrick’s College headmaster John Crowley joined Ballarat sexual abuse survivors Andrew Collins and Peter Blenkiron on the trip to the nation’s capital for the historic occasion.

Speaking at the event, Mr Crowley said the apology forced everyone involved in Catholic education to “acknowledge openly and honestly the full extent of what has happened”.

“Over the past two years there have been times of silence from senior leaders in Catholic education in response to the work of the Royal Commission,” Mr Crowley said.

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Church acknowledges latest clergy sex abuse lawsuits

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com June 1, 2017

The Archdiocese of Agana issued a written statement Thursday, stating it continues to pray for all victims of child sexual abuse, and has once again asked people to use the “Hope and Healing” initiative which provides professional counseling to anyone who has been abused by clergy or church employees.

“As the designated shepherd of our Catholic Church on Guam, I acknowledge the newest lawsuits and allegations of clergy sexual abuse filed by individuals known by the initials of A.N.D., G.J. and B.J. as well as Mr. Francis Charfauros and Mr. Troy Torres,” Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes said in a statement.

The statement was issued before another abuse lawsuit was filed by a man with the initials R.Q.

Byrnes also said he extends his prayers and that of the entire church to the latest people who filed lawsuits.

“I ask all people to continue to pray for them, the individuals who have come forward before them, as well as all who have been devastated by the evil of abuse,” Byrnes wrote.

The archdiocese is now facing 70 clergy sex abuse lawsuits accusing clergy, and two other lawsuits, accusing a Catholic school teacher, filed in the Superior Court of Guam and the U.S. District Court of Guam.

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WATCHING GEORGE PELL

UNITED STATES
First Things

by Philippa Martyr
6 . 1 . 17

Cardinal George Pell, emeritus Archbishop of Sydney and now resident in Rome, is Australia’s most senior prelate. Known for his orthodoxy and direct speaking, Pell has become the center of an increasingly strident media storm in Australia, related to the child sexual abuse crisis. Australian police now hint that they have enough evidence to charge Pell with acts of sexual abuse—yet they have failed to do so.

I have been watching George Pell for years. This makes me sound abnormal, but let me explain: As an Australian Catholic who grew up in the terrible years of the 1970s and 1980s, utterly confused by liturgical and doctrinal chaos, I found Pell something of a north star and navigation point. A big man, carved out of the same granite as my father’s family, Pell was a constant reassuring presence in the background of my religious life. I have met him in person a number of times, and seen him in situations where he did not know that he was being observed closely by a small female behind a pillar.

Australia suffered from the same ecclesiastical malaise as the rest of the West, and thousands of disaffected Catholics despaired of anything ever changing. Then in the mid-1990s, something did: George Pell was named Archbishop of Melbourne. I was in Melbourne when the news became public, and the rejoicing, underpinned by sheer disbelief in our good fortune, was ecstatic. All of us felt that at last, the tide had turned. …

I don’t believe he is guilty of sexual offenses, but my opinion on this doesn’t matter. What I do observe is the way in which his name has become an insult to be spat out by mainstream media commentators, and the way in which he is now depicted as a sort of giant evil balloon of conservative morality and hypocrisy. These reactions are vastly out of proportion to what George Pell has publicly said and done in his lifetime. They are also mostly made by people who would have difficulty in picking George Pell out of a group photograph.

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Anglicans insist sex offenders sign pledge

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Nick Butterly
Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Perth’s Anglican Church has revealed known sex offenders are being asked to sign “worshipping agreements” if they want to attend parish services under strict supervision arrangements.

The details come after figures released as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearings appeared to show Perth had a high number of sex offenders attending Church services compared with other cities.

In March, the director of professional standards for the Perth diocese of the Anglican Church, Tracie Chambers-Clark, told the royal commission she was “managing” 57 people of concern in the diocese.

By comparison, only two people were being managed in Sydney, with 15 people under supervision in Brisbane.

Ms Chambers-Clark told the royal commission the Perth Church had amended its policies so that anyone who was seen to be demonstrating “problematic behaviour” or was putting people at risk had been blocked from attending services.

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Sickened: Former friend of rapist priest Eugene Fitzpatrick tells of her horror at what he d

UNITED KINGDOM
Hackney Gazette

01 June 2017 Sam Gelder

A former friend of rapist priest Eugene Fitzpatrick is in shock after learning the man who regularly visited her family home had been abusing children for decades.

Maddie Noonan, 59, said had she stayed in the area she wouldn’t have thought twice about leaving her children with the popular cleric of Our Lady and Saint Joseph in Balls Pond Road.

Fitzpatrick, 68, was sentenced to 22 years in jail on Friday after being found guilty of raping a boy between 1986 and 1992 while working at the church, and sexually assaulting another in the 1960s and ’70s.

Police believe there may be more survivors of his abuse, and have urged anyone suffering in silence to come forward.

Fitzpatrick was a close friend of Maddie and her family, who lived a stone’s throw from Our Lady and Saint Joseph. To her, he was the friendly parish priest who restored her faith in the Catholic church.

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New clergy abuse lawsuit against now defrocked priest Cepeda

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com June 1, 2017

Former Catholic priest Raymond Cepeda, who was defrocked by the church, allegedly sexually abused a boy attending confirmation classes and other church functions from around 1983 to 1984, a lawsuit filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court of Guam on Thursday states.

The now 48-year-old man, identified in court documents only as R.Q., was 14 or 15 years old when the alleged abuse happened, the lawsuit states.

R.Q., now living in Washington, is represented by attorney David Lujan. He is the 70th person so far to file a Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana, naming a priest as the abuser. Two other childhood sexual abuse cases filed against the church did not name priests or clergy.

The lawsuit states Cepeda was a priest at Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo when the alleged sexual abuse happened.

R.Q. was assigned as a reader during baptismal Mass. One day, Cepeda instructed the boy not to leave the rectory, where he later sexually abused him, the lawsuit states.

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Retired priest awarded legal costs after indecent assault conviction is quashed

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Ruaidhrí Giblin
June 1 2017

A retired priest whose conviction for indecently assaulting a schoolboy in the 1970s was quashed has been awarded legal costs for his successful appeal.

The Catholic Church had funded Tadhg O’Dalaigh’s legal representation, according to lawyers for the Director of Public Prosecutions, who had opposed the costs application on grounds that he was “not out of pocket himself”.

Last week, The 73-year-old, of Woodview, Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, successfully appealed his conviction for indecently assaulting a schoolboy at Colaiste Chroi Naofa boarding school in Carrignavar, Co Cork in the 1970s.

O’Dalaigh had been found guilty by a jury and was sentenced to five years imprisonment with the final two suspended by Judge Donagh McDonagh on December 18, 2014 for the offence, a sentence which he had served by the time his appeal was determined.

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