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.

August 31, 2017

Rabbi Telsner to stay

AUSTRALIA
Australian Jewish News

MORE than two years after Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Telsner resigned from the Yeshivah Centre after admitting his conduct towards victims of child sexual abuse was not acceptable, he was officially given a new contract this week.

Stunned victims of abuse said the appointment is “a huge slap in the face”.

“At a time when other community institutions are avoiding being associated with those implicated in the child sexual abuse scandal in our community, it is Yeshivah alone, the institution responsible for the rape and abuse of dozens of children in its care, that considers it appropriate to reward Telsner with a new contract,” child sexual abuse victim and advocate Manny Waks said.

Waks added that the appointment “sends a message to victims – that Yeshivah still do not ‘get it’ and you will find no support from within that community”.

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.

Who can be trusted at Melbourne’s Yeshivah Centre?

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

Often, in addressing the issue of child sexual abuse, I’m confronted with difficult decisions. For example, when is it appropriate to share something publicly? How many opportunities should one be given to do the right thing? At what point do we start to question whether our confidence in people has been misplaced? And there are plenty more.

Last week, the Australian Jewish News reported that the Principals of 6 of the 7 Jewish Schools that make up the Association of Principals of Jewish Day Schools in Victoria, Australia, had written to Adass insisting that they ‘send a representative other than Rabbi Kluwgant to the meetings of the Principals’ Association’. The only principal that was not part of this was Yeshivah Principal, Rabbi Yehoshua (Shua) Smukler.

Members of the broader community, members of the Yeshivah community and particularly those who were sexually abused at Yeshivah and who were impacted by Kluwgant’s conduct towards them, have a legitimate right to ask how it came to pass that Rabbi Smukler and Yeshivah were the only Jewish school principal and Jewish school that did not join with all of the others, from all streams of Judaism, in making their feelings known to Adass. Is there a difference in Rabbi Smukler’s and Yeshivah’s approach to child sexual abuse matters compared to every other Jewish school and principal? Is there still a propensity to protect their own at Yeshivah when you think nobody will ever find out? Whatever the case, an explanation is due. In fact, overdue.

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.

Wagner ordered not to contact teen

MINNESOTA
The Journal

NEW ULM — The parents of a 17-year-old girl in Brown County filed an order for protection Aug. 2 to prevent Fr. Sam Wagner, a priest of the New Ulm Diocese, from contacting her.

The petition reports an “inappropriate relationship with a New Ulm priest” earlier this year and details portions of more than 1,500 social media messages between the two, according to the order.

Wagner was investigated by New Ulm police this year when the alleged relationship were reported to them. The Brown County Attorney’s office has suspended the case without filing charges at this time, citing a lack of evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Wagner remains suspended from ministry pending a review by the Diocesan Clergy Review Board.

Granted Aug. 4 in Brown County District Court, the two-year order against Wagner, who served at The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm between 2014 and 2016, detailed Facebook messages between him and the student between March 17, 2015 and Dec. 27, 2016.

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

Catholic school teacher accused of molesting student released on house arrest

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole , jstole@guampdn.com Aug. 31, 2017

The 52-year-old Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School teacher accused of molesting a 10-year-old student was released Thursday on house arrest.

Magistrate Judge Benjamin Sison ordered Peregrine Corpuz San Nicolas not to contact, threat or harass his accuser.

The girl’s mother on Wednesday called police, alleging San Nicolas touched her daughter inappropriately, court documents state.

San Nicolas is the girl’s physical education teacher.

San Nicolas would reportedly ask her to stay back, and when they were alone he would touch her breast area over her shirt, according to court documents.

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.

Hotline Set up for Priest Abuse Victims

GEORGIA/SOUTH CAROLINA
WSAV

By Andrew Davis
Published: August 30, 2017

Two victims of an allegedly abusive former Savannah Priest have been identified.

Now one of them is asking anyone who may have a case against Father Wayland Brown to come forward.

“If we can help somebody, if we can reach out to others to quit suffering,” explains an emotional Chris Templeton. “Because unless you;ve been through this you don’t know how it is to suffer with this pain. I need them as much as they need me. thats what im waiting on.”

Chris Templeton says he was sexually abused several times by Brown in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

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.

Cambodian court imprisons Korean in sexual abuse of children

CAMBODIA
Seattle Times

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A Cambodian court has found a 63-year-old Korean man guilty of child sex offenses and sentenced him to 14 years in prison.

A spokesman for the Siem Reap provincial court said Park Youl was found guilty on Thursday of child prostitution and sexual intercourse with girls under 15 years of age.

Cambodian newspapers, citing anti-human trafficking police, said at the time of Park’s arrest last October that he was a pastor of a Christian church in Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia.

The court spokesman, Yim Srang, said Park was also ordered to pay a total of $70,000 in compensation to seven of the nine known victims, and would be deported after serving his prison term. Two other victims did not request compensation.

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.

Arrested Catholic school teacher appears before judge

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 31, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Appearing in court via videoconference from the Hagatna lockup was Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School physical education teacher Peregrine “Perry” San Nicolas, who was arrested on Wednesday after a parent reported him to the school.

A Catholic school teacher under fire. Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School P.E. teacher Peregrine “Perry” San Nicolas appearing in court via video teleconference from the Hagatna lockup.

Judge Benjamin Sison said, “Second degree criminal sexual conduct, three counts of that in violation of Guam law for child abuse in violation of 9GCA and for harassment.” San Nicolas was arrested on Wednesday a parent reported him to the school earlier that morning.

The P.E. teacher was arrested on Wednesday after a parent reported him to the school earlier that morning.

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

Report: Student sought classmates’ help to avoid sexual abuse at Bishop Baumgartner

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Janela Carrera – August 31, 2017

The student broke down in tears during her interview with police.

Guam – The Bishop Baumgartner Memorial School P.E. teacher accused of sexually assaulting a student is now facing charges of second degree criminal sexual conduct.

The alleged victim is only 10 years old. A magistrate complaint filed against Peregrine San Nicolas says the student was in San Nicolas’ 5th grade class last school year which is when the alleged sexual abuse began.

The complaint says that it happened earlier in the year between January and March. The victim told police that San Nicolas would often require her to stay back after class which is when he would allegedly touch her.

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 close investigation into sexual abuse allegations against priest; church probe continues

PENNSYLVANIA
Pocono News

SCRANTON – Allegations of sexual abuse were levied against Father Martin Boylan in April 2016. State Police say they have closed the investigation because the man who made the claim is refusing to testify.

The Diocese of Scranton, however, is continuing its probe.

A statement released by the diocese on Wednesday says, in part, “While civil authorities have made this determination, the ecclesiastical process in Father Boylan’s case continues. Father Boylan’s status as a priest removed from ministry with his faculties to exercise priestly ministry suspended continues to remain unchanged.”

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.

Clergy sex abuse suit withdrawn

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 31, 2017

A clergy sex abuse lawsuit accusing a now-deceased priest, filed earlier this week in federal court, has been voluntarily withdrawn.

Through attorney David Lujan, accuser “A.J.A.” on Aug. 31 filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of his lawsuit, which he originally filed Aug. 28.

The plaintiff, now 61 and now living in Las Vegas, is identified in court documents only as A.J.A. to protect his privacy.

A.J.A. had alleged that priest Antonio C. Cruz, who is now deceased, allegedly sexually molested and abused him when he was a 9-year-old boy, around 1964, at a church rectory in Chalan Pago.

Cruz was a priest at the Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church and was Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron’s mentor when Apuron was still a seminarian.

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.

Expert picked by Pope to fight child sexual abuse visiting Brisbane to talk with priest, bishops, and lai

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

August 31, 2017

By Mark Bowling

BRISBANE will host a public seminar by one of the Church’s front-line fighters against child sexual abuse, German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner.

With a reputation as a reformer, Pope Francis named Fr Zollner, together with Irish child abuse survivor Marie Collins as founding members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2014.

Fr Zollner is president of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Ms Collins’ resignation from the Commission earlier this year sent shock waves through the Church, however, the Vatican-based Jesuit has stuck with the Commission’s work training Church officials and bishops’ conferences worldwide about safeguarding children.

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

Washington man sues former Guam priest of sex abuse

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 31, 2017

A former boy scout on Guam and is now living in Washington accused former island priest Louis Brouillard of sexually molesting and abusing him around 1976.

The latest plaintiff, identified in court documents only by his initials G.M.Q., said he was 13 or 14 when the sexual abuse and molestation happened during Boy Scouts of America swimming at the Lonfit River in Ordot Chalan Pago.

“On numerous occasions, while swimming, Brouillard would swim completely naked and routinely instructed G.M.Q. and the other boys to remove their clothes, and Brouillard would grope and touch their private parts,” the lawsuit says. “G.M.Q. was also forced to fondle Brouillard’s penis.”

G.M.Q., represented by attorney David Lujan, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Guam Thursday afternoon.

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.

Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale to serve more time, likely to die in jail

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale is unlikely to ever taste freedom again.

In Victoria’s County Court this morning Australia’s worst sex offender priest had another three years added to his minimum jail term, meaning he cannot seek parole until 2022.

Part of the 11-year sentence he was given today will be served at the same time as a previous sentence, meaning he may serve just an extra three months for each of the 12 new victims who bravely came forward to report abuse.

The horrific ordeal of one young girl whose father left her on a church altar to be raped by Ridsdale moved the County Court to tears when it was revealed earlier this month.

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.

August 30, 2017

Kirchen-Opfer soll Kirche betrogen haben

DEUTCHLAND
Bild

[Michael B. (56) was sexually abused by a Catholic church employee in the 1960s. The Archbishopric of Cologne therefore undertook to pay the costs for 50 psychotherapeutic individual sessions of the abuse victim. Michael B. submitted bills of more than 6927.50 euros and had the amount refunded. But the bills have been falsified.]

Düsseldorf – Michael B. (56) wurde in den 60er Jahren von einem katholischen Kirchen-Mitarbeiter sexuell missbraucht. Das Erzbistum Köln verpflichtete sich deshalb, die Kosten für 50 psychotherapeutische Einzel-Sitzungen des Missbrauchs-Opfers zu übernehmen.

Michael B. reichte Rechnungen über 6927,50 Euro ein und ließ sich den Betrag erstatten. Doch die Rechnungen sollen gefälscht gewesen sein…

Das flog erst auf, nachdem Michael B. weitere Folge-Behandlungen in Rechnung stellte. Weil auf einer Rechnung die Unterschrift des Therapeuten fehlte, setzte sich die Kirche mit ihm in Verbindung. Und erfuhr, dass Michael B. gar keine Therapie-Sitzungen bei ihm hatte.

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.

Nach Missbrauchanzeige gegen Pfarrer Opfer der Gerüchteküche

DEUTSCHLAND
WAZ

[A 15-year-old Dorstener informs against his evangelical pastor for sexual abuse. Since then he has been the victim of a gossip.The church suspended the pastor.]

Stefan Wette
29.08.2017

DORSTEN. Ein 15-jähriger Dorstener zeigt seinen evangelischen Pfarrer wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs an. Seitdem ist er Opfer einer Gerüchteküche.

Dorsten, das sich „kleine Hansestadt an der Lippe“ nennt, gilt vielen als Idyll. Als Stadt, wo die Welt noch in Ordnung ist. Doch dieses Idyll kann auch die Hölle bedeuten, wenn Konflikte nicht offen angesprochen werden. Die Familie eines 15-Jährigen, der vom Pfarrer seiner evangelischen Gemeinde sexuell missbraucht worden sein soll, erlebt aktuell, wie die Gerüchteküche aus dem vermeintlichen Opfer einen Täter macht.

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.

New Haven rabbi charged with sex assault has not guilty pleas entered

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Register

By Randall Beach, rbeach@nhregister.com @rbeachNHR

NEW HAVEN >> Not guilty pleas to charges of second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child were entered on behalf of Rabbi Daniel Greer Tuesday in Superior Court.

Greer, attired in a black suit, red tie and yarmulke, stood alongside his attorney, William Dow III, as Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Clifford entered the pleas on Greer’s behalf as well as Greer’s request for a jury trial.

Greer, 77, of West Park Avenue, was making his first appearance in the Part A courthouse, where more serious charges are handled. His case was transferred from the other New Haven courthouse on Aug. 14.

Greer’s accuser is Eliyahu Mirlis, now 29, who alleges abuse occurred between 2002 and 2005. According to the police warrant affidavit, Greer allegedly committed the sexual acts at the Yeshiva of New Haven/the Gan School, where Greer was then dean. Mirlis was a high schooler at that time. The New Haven Register does not usually identify alleged victims of sexual assault, but Mirlis has said he wanted to come forward with the allegations and have his name used.

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.

Not guilty pleas entered for rabbi in school sex abuse case

CONNECTICUT
WTOP

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A judge on Tuesday entered not guilty pleas on behalf of a rabbi accused of repeatedly raping and molesting a teenage boy who attended a school the rabbi founded and who was awarded $15 million in a civil lawsuit on those allegations.

Rabbi Daniel Greer is accused of sexually assaulting the boy when he attended the Yeshiva of New Haven school from 2001 to 2005. Greer, who’s 77 years old, was a founder and principal of the school.

Greer appeared on Tuesday in New Haven Superior Court, where Judge Patrick Clifford entered the not guilty pleas to felony charges of sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor and continued the case to Oct. 11.

Greer, who remains free on $100,000 bail he posted, declined to comment after the hearing. His lawyer, William Dow III, said they will try the case in court, not in the media.

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.

Faith reclaimed: How survivors of clergy abuse return to the church

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

Katie Scott
8/29/2017

Revealed to her in the middle of the night, they were singsongy, bewildering and horrifying.

The poems would total more than 50 — composed from memories she at first could not understand.

They were a “nice and tidy way for little Patsy Jane to tell her story,” said Patsy Seeley during an interview in her North Plains home. With them, said the 67-year-old, came “an overwhelming sense of evil and darkness.”

The nightmares articulated in verse unveiled what had long been hidden: sexual abuse — first inflicted by her grandfather and then by a priest in Tillamook — starting when she was 4 and ending at age 11, when the priest was transferred.

A family friend, the priest “used the sacraments and liturgy to inflict the abuse,” recounted Seeley, who said for years she had “spiritual amnesia.”

Though individuals abused by clergy regularly flee the church for good, others, like Seeley, eventually make a painful and circuitous journey back, finding the homecoming a transformative piece of their healing and a source of sustenance, peace and strength.

But the return has countless hurdles, some of them inadvertently placed by the church itself. Survivors often find priests insufficiently trained to minister to them, and there are a limited, if increasing, number of programs that integrate faith with healing. Many survivors say they don’t feel welcome in their parishes.

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Priest’s sexual assault conviction quashed

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A Maronite priest jailed for indecently assaulting a teenage boy has had his conviction quashed on appeal.

The Sydney clergyman, 41, was found guilty in 2016 of assaulting the then 15-year-old boy and sentenced to at least 12 months in jail.

His barrister, Phillip Boulton SC, told the Court of Criminal Appeal on Wednesday the trial judge misdirected the jury and there were problems with the reliability of the complainant and his evidence.

The trial heard that in 2005 the priest was a deacon at the tight-knit church and a close friend of the complainant’s family.

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.

Federal judge hears arguments over Twin Cities archdiocese bankruptcy plan

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By SARAH HORNER | shorner@pioneerpress.com | Pioneer Press
PUBLISHED: August 29, 2017

Parties involved in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis bankruptcy proceedings made final arguments in front of a federal judge Tuesday, with each side making accusations of deceptive tactics and baseless claims.

The proceedings are intended to work out a plan for paying survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy.

After listening to arguments by multiple attorneys, presiding U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel took the case under advisement. Kressel is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks on which reorganization plan will be used in the settlement.

Two plans are under consideration in the wake of the archdiocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in January 2015.

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.

Judge signals concerns about creditors’ plan for bankrupt archdiocese

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan St. Paul · Aug 29, 2017

A federal judge is weighing arguments he heard Tuesday about the legal soundness of two competing reorganization plans for the bankrupt Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Judge Robert Kressel didn’t say when he’ll rule. But he signaled he has concerns about the plan proposed by the creditors committee and overwhelmingly endorsed by abuse victims.

The victims figure the church and insurance companies can come up with much more money than the $155 million the archdiocese has put on the table.

But Kressel said that would amount to “rolling the dice” in an effort that may or may not provide more compensation to more than 400 abuse victims. He also said he wondered if victims had “unrealistic expectations” and realize they could wait for years for some money if the archdiocese plan is not implemented.

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.

Attorneys for Archdiocese, Abuse Victims Spar in Court

MINNESOTA
KSTP

August 29, 2017

Attorneys for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis sparred with attorneys for the victims of sex abuse by priests in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Tuesday.

The archdiocese proposes putting $156 million into a trust for about 400 victims. About $120 million would come from insurance companies.

“It is this archdiocese that continues now to pour salt in the wounds by engaging in secret settlements with insurance companies,” attorney Jeff Anderson said after representing victims in court. He says the settlements were reached without input from attorneys for victims.

“Our plan provides $156 million with certainty in the very, very near future to a trust to be distributed to victims of sexual abuse as that trust sees fit,” said Charles Rogers, an attorney for Briggs and Morgan, which represents the archdiocese.

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.

Bishop Baumgartner school teacher arrested

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

The Archdiocese of Agana confirmed just minutes ago that a Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School teacher has been arrested for criminal sexual conduct after school officials filed a report to the Guam Police Department this morning.

According to police, Peregrine Corpuz San Nicolas, 52, was arrested on suspicion of second degree criminal sexual conduct and child abuse.

San Nicolas is listed on the school website as a sports director.

The teacher was not named in the archdiocese statement.

A parent of a student met with Baumgartner school administration this morning reporting that her daughter was allegedly inappropriately touched by the teacher.

School administration immediately took appropriate action and reported the incident to Child Protective Services and the Guam Police, according to the archdiocese.

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.

Catholic school teacher arrested for sexual abuse

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Jolene Toves – August 30, 2017

A Catholic School teacher at Bishop Baumgartner has been arrested for criminal sexual conduct after school officials received a report from a parent this morning.

Guam – Parents send their children to school and entrust the welfare of their children to the teachers who are meant to educate and ensure their safety, but for one family at Bishop Baumgartner Memorial School that was not the case, as their child was violated by a school teacher.

According to Archdiocese of Agana Spokesperson Tony Diaz, school officials at Bishop Baumgartner received a report this morning from a parent alleging that her child was inappropriately touched by a teacher.

Guam Police Department Spokesman Officer AJ Balajadia has identified the teacher as Peregrine Corpuz San Nicolas, 53, who was charged with criminal sexual conduct and child abuse.

“Mr. San Nicolas is accused of placing his hands inappropriately on a female studnet from school year 2016-2017,” Balajadia said.

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

August 29, 2017

Ex-priest Francis Stinner dies, but sex abuse controversy lives on

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, jfitzgib@lohud.com Aug. 29, 2017

Francis Stinner, a defrocked priest with ties to Somers, Bronxville, Chappaqua and Goshen, died earlier this month at the age of 76.

But the sexual abuse controversy that has long surrounded him did not die with him.

At least three new claims of sexual abuse have been filed against the former Catholic priest and teacher through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, or IRCP, a special compensation program set up by the Archdiocese of New York.

Stinner, who was defrocked, or “laicized,” in 2005, had already been linked to as many as 10 cases of sexual abuse of children dating to the 1980s.

“We are representing additional survivors of Father Stinner who either have submitted or will be submitting claims in Phase II of the IRCP,” said J. Michael Reck, an attorney who represents victims of sexual abuse by clergy. “It’s unfortunate there was never a judicial proceeding to determine justice for the survivors prior to his death.”

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Archdiocese bankruptcy plans face off in court

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune AUGUST 29, 2017

A federal bankruptcy judge will hear arguments Tuesday for two competing compensation plans for clergy abuse victims who have filed claims against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

About two dozen people are expected to testify about the plans, which aim to put an end to more than two years of legal wrangling.

The archdiocese’s financial reorganization plan includes $156 million for the more than 400 people who have filed claims of priest sex abuse.

The plan of the creditors committee, representing the abuse survivors, calls for the archdiocese to leverage more money from its insurers and to contribute more money to the victims’ fund. About $120 million of the $156 million compensation fund comes from insurance payments.

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‘In his own words he has sinned significantly,’ – Former priest jailed for downloading indecent images of children

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancashire Telegraph

A FORMER high ranking cleric caught downloading indecent images of children for the third time was jailed for 20 months.

Twice-married Paul Battersby had also been found with a shoebox full of children’s clothing and had even written a fantasy about child abuse.

A court heard that he had carefully documented the internet search terms he had used to find the images and had unusually taken the trouble to categorised his collection of photos and videos.

Battersby worked in various church roles in the North including the priest at St Peter’s Church in Darwen and later part-time vicar at St Marks in Blackburn.

The 68-year-old who was later elevated to the Church of England’s National Youth Officer and representing the church internationally, was told by a judge that he had no option but to send him straight to prison.

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.

Apuron’s attorney says claims against her client are time-barred

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Jolene Toves – August 29, 2017

Atty. Jacque Terlaje argued that the law that lifts the statute of limitations is inorganic.

Guam – As sex abuse cases against the Archdiocese of Agana continue to be filed, Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s attorney Jacque Terlaje argues a motion to dismiss the four sexual abuse cases against her client saying that the claims are time-barred.

Terlaje argued her client’s motion to dismiss on two grounds.

“We have asked the court to dismiss the complaint involving the four Archbishop Anthony cases and that is simply because the plain statutory reading of the statue, that it did not apply to old cases such as the one Archbishop Anthony is involved in,” stated Terlaje.

Terlaje is referring to the statute of limitations for filing a criminal sexual conduct complaint and what constitutes due process. According to Terlaje, the claims are time-barred and were not revived by the passage of Public Law 33-187. She further states that even if the claims were revived, any retrospective application is inorganic and unconstitutional.

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.

Lawyer: Apuron benefitted the most with passage of time

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

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

A California-based attorney said Tuesday that Archbishop Anthony Apuron benefitted from the 40 years that passed since he allegedly sexually abused altar boys in Agat.

Attorney Gregory Nicolaysen said if Apuron’s accusers had come forward earlier, Apuron likely wouldn’t be archbishop and leader of the Catholic Church on Guam.

A hearing was held Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of Guam on motions by Apuron to dismiss the four lawsuits filed against him by former altar boys and the family of a deceased former altar boy.

“It is unfortunate that this motion (to dismiss) is even being heard,” said Nicolaysen, who represents former altar boy Roy Quintanilla in his case against Apuron.

Apuron’s attorney, Jacqueline Terlaje, asked the court to dismiss the four lawsuits against Apuron.

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.

District Court will hear Apuron’s motion to dismiss

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 27, 2017
By Krystal Paco

While a verdict from his canonical trial in Rome has yet to be reached, we could see progress with the four lawsuits lodged against Archbishop Anthony Apuron here at home.

The District Court of Guam will hear Apuron’s motion to dismiss on Tuesday.

Defense’s April filing argues that the claims against him are time-barred, despite recent Guam law that lifted the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases.

Because the alleged incidents occurred forty years ago, defense also argues Apuron is now an advanced age without the benefit of witnesses and without the benefit of records from the 1970s to assist in his defense.

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St. Joseph Bankruptcy: Diocese Failed to Make Contributions to Employees Pension Fund for Years

RHODE ISLAND
GoLocalProv

Monday, August 28, 2017
GoLocal News Team

The pension fund of St. Joseph Health Services was underfunded by the Diocese of Providence for many years prior to the sale of the hospital to CharterCARE in 2014, GoLocalProv has learned.

The Diocese of Providence failed to make proper contributions – and retirees were never told of the shortfalls. While records are incomplete, it is clear that between 2008 and time of the sale of the hospital in 2014, the Diocese repeatedly underfunded retirement payments or made no payment, according to Stephen Del Sesto, the court-appointed receiver.

It is unclear how many years before 2008 the failure to make payments and partial payments goes back. Repeated efforts to reach the Diocese for comment have gone unanswered.

The bankruptcy of the pension fund impacts 2,800 and is the largest failure in Rhode Island history. The pension fund has a deficit of more than $160 million.

“The Catholic Church and Diocese of Providence should be ashamed of themselves,” said former Rhode Island Attorney General Arlene Violet in an interview with GoLocal Sunday night.

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Jacque Terlaje comments on dismissal motion for Apuron lawsuits

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 28, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Attorney Jacque Terlaje responds to media questions after a hearing on defense’s motion to dismiss.

Terlaje represents Archbishop Anthony Apuron who faces four clergy sexual abuse lawsuits at the District Court of Guam.

Defense’s motion argues that local law that lifts the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases is unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs’ attorney David Lujan had stateside co-counsel argue for Tuesday’s proceedings. Attorney Gregory Nicolaysen via telephone argued that Guam’s situation is unique. The Guam legislature, he argued, was responding to a compelling public interest which is that victims of abuse tend to have delayed reporting and the victims in this case were challenged by the most prominent and highest member of the clergy locally, which is the Archbishop.

The court will provide a report and recommendations.

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‘Shame keeps so many victims silent’: MN clergy abuse victim speaks out

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan St. Paul · Aug 29, 2017

Joe McLean grew up the youngest of six kids in a devout St. Paul Catholic family. He was a product of Catholic schools, weekly religious classes and Mass every Sunday, including a stint as an altar boy.

Religious retreats and confession were a normal part of that life. At a 1981 retreat for teen boys at St. Mary’s church in downtown St. Paul, 17-year-old Joe met the Rev. Mike Charland, who was essentially on loan to the archdiocese from his religious order.

Charland ran the retreat, which ended with the priest hearing confessions in a secluded room. When Joe’s turn came, he owned up to something he had long kept to himself: He and his girlfriend had sex.

Charland absolved him, with no lecture. But then came a strange, unmistakably sexual hug.

“He was brushing his pelvis side to side against mine and suddenly I realize what he’s doing because he’s aroused,” McLean recalled in a recent interview. “He released the hug. And he held my face in his hands and then he kissed both of my eyes and then he kissed me on the mouth.”

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Pastor Omotoso back in court for second bail plea

SOUTH AFRICA
SABC News

Tuesday 29 August 2017
Anda Nqonji

Nigerian pastor, Timothy Omotoso will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s court on Tuesday for a second bail application.

He was denied bail by the magistrate, citing that he was a flight risk and could intimidate witnesses.

The presiding magistrate, Thandeka Mashile said that the nature and gravity of the offences permitted no bail.

She cited that Omotoso was in the country illegally, with false documents, and therefore could be a flight risk.

The Jesus Dominion International Church leader faces charges of human trafficking and sexual abuse after allegedly keeping under-age girls at his house in Durban.

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ONLY ON NEWS 3: Abuse Victim Speaks Out About Priest Indictment

GEORGIA
WSAV

By Andrew Davis
Published: August 28, 2017

Off the pulpit and behind bars.

A Former Savannah Priest, now in jail in Maryland, under indictment for criminal charges in Jasper county.

Wayland Brown was a Priest at St James Catholic Church and school in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

During that time prosecutors say he molested at least two boys, one under 14, the other not even 11 years old.

Now Brown is under arrest, under indictment and facing nine different counts of Criminal Misconduct with a Minor first and second degree.

He had already been convicted in Maryland on molestation charges, in the early 2000’s and spent five years in jail.

The statute of limitations was up in both Chatham County and for the US Attorney’s office. Which means Brown could not be prosecuted in Georgia. But Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap brought the case to the attention of South Carolina officials.

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Ex-Savannah Catholic priest indicted for sexual battery on minors

GEORGIA
Savannah Morning News

By Jan Skutch
DeAnn Komanecky
Savannah Morning News

Former Savannah Roman Catholic priest – and convicted child sex offender — Wayland Yoder Brown has been indicted in Jasper County, S.C., on nine counts of criminal misconduct with a minor – sexual battery — involving two male victims, South Carolina Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone III announced Monday.

Brown, 74, is in custody in Maryland, Stone said. He will be extradited to South Carolina. It’s not known how long that process will take.

The felony indictments, returned Thursday in the Court of General Sessions, charge Brown with sexual battery in several locations, including St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hardeeville, S.C., the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and the intersection of Stiney and Morgan roads in Hardeeville in the area surrounded by railroad tracks and depot area.

Victims in the cases ranged in age of under 11 to under 14. One victim was in the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades at the time of the alleged abuses. The other victim was in the seventh grade at the time. The crimes alleged in the indictments occurred in Jasper County between 1978 and 1988.

The indictment follows a 14-month-long investigation, Stone and Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap said during a news conference in Bluffton.

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First female archbishop to head WA diocese

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

AUGUST 29, 2017

Sophie Moore
Australian Associated Press

Australia’s first female Anglican Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy has been elected to head the church in Western Australia.

She will replace Archbishop Roger Herft, who stepped down a year ahead of schedule after admitting he had let down survivors at the royal commission into child sex abuse.

Bishop Goldsworthy said the Perth diocese had put in place a raft of policies and legislation to ensure protection for their most vulnerable members.

She said she hoped to rebuild and regain the trust of the community but her first concern was for survivors of abuse.

“There are people who have been badly affected and hurt, survivors who are incredible in the way they approach life,” she told AAP.

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Bunbury victim to file church abuse allegations in Supreme Court

AUSTRALIA
Bunbury Mail

Andrew Elstermann
@AElstermann

29 Aug 2017

Twenty years after Alan Rowe first approached the Catholic Church seeking an apology for alleged sexual abuse by a priest in Bunbury, he is set to file writs against the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

Mr Rowe was an altar boy at St Patrick’s Cathedral in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He claims that Father Kevin Johnston, one of the parish priests, abused him on about 12 separate occasions.

“Father Johnston would come to me when we were in the sacristy together and changing into our robes for the service,” he said.

“He would fondle me and make me touch his genitals too.

“I recall that Father Johnston used to say once he was finished with me that if I was to say anything about this, I’d be in a lot of trouble.”

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Local Catholics unveil plan for “Occupy RMS”

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 28, 2017
By Krystal Paco

Who’s living in the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona? That’s what the Concerned Catholics of Guam want to find out.

In a press release from the CCOG, they unveil Occupy RMS, a project to conduct a headcount of those going in and out of the property.

According to CCOG President Dave Sablan, he’s made efforts to speak with RMS leadership but has yet to receive a response.

The count, he says, is necessary as the CCOG believes there are individuals not affiliated with the Archdiocese of Agana who are living rent-free and exposing the Church to liability risks.

The former hotel turned seminary is rightfully owned by the Archdiocese and is currently listed for sale in order to pay the nearly 100 clergy sex abuse lawsuits against the Church.

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August 28, 2017

Former Guam resident files sex abuse lawsuit

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | The Guam Daily Post Aug 28, 2017

A new lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Agana alleges that a now-deceased priest sexually abused a young boy on church grounds in the 1960s.

A former Guam resident who now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, filed a civil complaint in the District Court of Guam seeking $5 million in damages for alleged sexual abuse when he was 9 years old. The complaint names the perpetrator as Father Antonio Cruz, who is now deceased.

Details of the allegations

A.J.A., who used initials to file the lawsuit to protect his identity, said he and his family were devout Catholics and active members of Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago.

While growing up in Guam, his family frequently volunteered their services and would cook for Cruz and wash his clothes, the complaint states.

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Fmr. Savannah priest indicted in SC for alleged sexual abuse of student

SOUTH CAROLINA
WSAV

By Andrew Davis
Published: August 28, 2017

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — Duffie Stone, Solicitor of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit court, announced that a nine-count indictment has been filed against former Savannah priest Wayland Brown. The charges include criminal sexual misconduct with a minor. You may remember, Father Brown was accused in a civil case involving Chris Templeton as reported by News3 in July 2016.

The announcement was made during a news conference this morning, Aug. 28. Chris Templeton told news 3 he was involved in this case, but Solicitor Duffie Stone would not name either of the two victims included in the indictments against Brown.

Brown allegedly sexually abused Templeton while he was a student at St. James Catholic School in Savannah. A $4.5 million settlement was reached in his lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Savannah on charges of alleged sexual abuse by a priest in July 2016. The suit claimed that multiple warnings were given to the church hierarchy about Brown’s behavior by clergy members as early as 1969. Brown was a priest for the Diocese from 1979 until 1982 then again in 1987.

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Former Savannah priest indicted on Jasper County sexual abuse charges

SOUTH CAROLINA
Island Packet

BY CAITLIN TURNER
cturner@islandpacket.com

AUGUST 28, 2017

A former Catholic priest has been indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting two boys at different locations in Jasper County during the late 70s and early and late 80s.

A Jasper County grand jury handed down nine indictments against Wayland Brown, 73, on Thursday alleging first-degree criminal sexual conduct and second-degree criminal sexual conduct, 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone said during a joint press conference Monday with the Chatham County, Ga., District Attorney’s office.

The indictments allege that during the school years of 1979, 1980, 1981, 1987 and 1988, Brown, then a priest at St. James Catholic Church and School in Savannah, took the two children, who were students at the school, to Jasper County on occasions and sexually assaulted them.

One of the victims was allegedly assaulted when he was in the 5th, 6th and 7th grade. The second was allegedly assaulted when he was in the 7th grade, Stone said.

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Former Catholic Priest Indicted on Sex Abuse Charges in Jasper County

SOUTH CAROLINA
ABC Columbia

Aug 28, 2017 Grace Joyal

JASPER COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) – A former Catholic priest in Savannah, GA has been indicted by a South Carolina grand jury for alleged sexual abuse cases from 40 years ago.

Authorities said Wayland Brown, 74, abused two children while he was a parish priest at St. James Catholic School in Savannah in the late 1970s and 80s.

Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone and Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap said at a press conference Monday that the abuse took place at several Jasper County locations.

Brown will be tried in Jasper County because South Carolina does not have a statute of limitations on child sex assault cases.

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Les victimes du père Preynat désorientées face à la justice de l’Eglise cat

FRANCE
Le Monde

[This is news that left them stunned. The victims of Father Bernard Preynat, the former chaplain of a scout troop from the suburbs of Lyon charged with sexual assaults on minors before 1991, learned from the press of the canonical proceedings against the ecclesiastic. The canonical process is the procedure conducted within the Catholic Church according to canon law, the set of laws and internal rules of the institution of Rome. It is a process of discouraging complexity and opacity, according to Father Preynat’s victims.]

Par Cécile Chambraud

C’est une nouvelle qui les a laissés pantois. Les victimes du père Bernard Preynat, l’ancien aumônier d’une troupe scoute de la banlieue lyonnaise mis en examen pour des agressions sexuelles commises sur des mineurs avant 1991, ont appris par la presse la suspension de la procédure canonique ouverte contre l’ecclésiastique. Le procès canonique, c’est la procédure conduite au sein de l’Eglise catholique selon le droit canon, l’ensemble des lois et des règles internes de l’institution de Rome. Une procédure d’une complexité et d’une opacité décourageantes, selon les victimes du père Preynat.

La suspension du procès canonique, cet été, a ajouté à leur désarroi. Le cardinal Philippe Barbarin, qui avait enclenché ce procès, a en effet annoncé son interruption dans un entretien au Monde (daté 13-14 août). Raison invoquée par l’archevêque de Lyon : le lancement d’une nouvelle procédure, notamment à son encontre, devant la justice française. Depuis, dans les rangs de La Parole libérée, l’association qui fédère des victimes, l’indignation le dispute à l’incompréhension.

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Catholic group to establish “checkpoint” at seminary compound

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

The Concerned Catholics of Guam plans to establish a “checkpoint” at the front gate going into former Action Hotel-turned Redemptoris Mater Seminary to count everyone going in and out of that property, the organization announced.

Concerned Catholics has earlier stated that people affiliated with the Neocatechumenal Way movement are living there, rent-free, while the archdiocese is strapped for cash.

The former seaside hotel is one of the Archdiocese of Agana’s high-value real estate assets, once estimated to be worth about $40 million. The hotel project went bust and the property was donated to the church.

The old Accion hotel building and property has been put up for sale by the archdiocese, according to Concerned Catholics.

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Archbishop Byrnes fires 4 Neo priests from Presbyteral Council

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Janela Carrera – August 28, 2017

The four priests are Msgr. David C. Quitugua, Father Jose Alberto Rodriguez Salamanca, Father Rudolfo Arejola and Father Julio Cesar Sanchez Malagon.

Guam – Some major developments happened at the Archdiocese of Agana last month as Archbishop Michael Byrnes has gotten rid of four key players who are a part of the Neocatechumenal Way from his Presbyteral Council. The reason? Insubordination.

It’s an unprecedented move for rookie Guam Archbishop Michael Byrnes, but it demonstrates his fortitude and resolve to keep his flock at bay and clean house.

On July 24th, Archbishop Byrnes wrote a letter to four members of his Presbyteral Council: Msgr. David C. Quitugua, Father Jose Alberto Rodriguez Salamanca, Father Rudolfo Arejola and Father Julio Cesar Sanchez Malagon.

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Archbishop removes four priests from council

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

The Archdiocese of Agana confirms that four priests assigned to the Archdiocese of Agana Presbyteral Council were removed by Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes in July.

Rev. Rudy Arejola, Monsignor David C. Quitugua, Rev. Jose Alberto Rodriguez-Salamanca and Rev. Julio Cesar Sanchez were removed from the council as a disciplinary measure, but the archdiocese isn’t providing additional details.

Archdiocese Director of Communications Tony Diaz would not confirm that the four were terminated due to insubordination for writing a letter about issues concerning the Archdiocese of Agana directly to the Vatican.

“Learning from the past, the archdiocese strives not to comment about disciplinary matters,” Diaz said.

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Priest’s admission of Klan membership begs for fuller accounting

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Aug 28, 2017
by Ken Briggs

William Aitcheson’s conviction and jailing for taking part in Ku Klux Klan terrorism in 1977 is on the record for anyone to find. He spent 90 days in prison and was fined $20,000 for burning crosses on the properties of black people, writing a threat to kill Coretta Scott King, and making pipe bombs.

Ten years later after the conviction, Aitcheson was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. Last week, he burst into the news with the shocking revelation of his run with the KKK as a college student in his 20s. He explained the confession as sparked by the violence in Charlottesville, a sudden recall of his dark days in the hate-filled Klan. His “actions were despicable,” he said, and begged forgiveness. His Arlington, Virginia, diocesan bishop, Michael F. Burbridge, said the news was “deeply troubling,” implying that he’d known nothing about it.

The bishop granted Aitcheson’s request for a leave of absence.

That initial version was loaded with mysteries and unanswered questions, which the Washington Post saw fit to dig into. Primarily, the paper discovered that Aitcheson ‘s motive was kick started by being told by a freelance reporter in the priest’s parish that his previous record would be exposed to the public if he didn’t do so himself. Whatever Aitcheson ‘s desire to clear his conscience, the reporter’s discovery of his past had hastened the moment of truth. He must have realized it could happen at any time if someone searched for it.

There is nothing to indicate the record before cropped up in public during the 40 years since his arrest. And there is no reason it ordinarily should. He had paid his debt to society and cut his KKK ties. His sincerity and integrity deserve every benefit of the doubt. The public documents on that episode show he paid his debt to society except for reneging on his payment of civil damages to a black couple on whose property he had burned a cross. He wasn’t hiding, though he probably wasn’t eager to bring up the past himself. His case fits the pattern of inadequate screening that has allowed child abusers and twisted psyches into the priesthood with tragic results.

The disturbing behavior is on the part of the church. In the aftermath of Aitcheson’s disclosure, the bishop and the diocese reverted to the pattern of evasion and obfuscation that undermines trust. Despite decades of scandal and cover-up, behavior only changes as a last resort. The obsession for keeping control by hiding and conspiring to contain damage retains an iron grip.

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Former New England Catholic priest David Joseph Perrett charged with 43 new child sex offences by Armidale detectives

AUSTRALIA
Northern Daily Leader

Breanna Chillingworth
@breannachill

28 Aug 2017

A FORMER Catholic priest has been charged with 43 new historical child sex charges after 12 more alleged victims came forward.

David Joseph Perrett was charged with the fresh counts by Armidale detectives and now faces a total of 52 offences, accused of abusing 16 different children.

Detectives allege Perrett, who was a Catholic priest in the New England, molested the children between 1970 and 1986.

He remains on conditional bail after the DPP tried unsuccessfully to have the now 80-year-old’s bail revoked in Armidale Local Court.

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Former Guam resident alleges past sexual abuse by Chalan Pago priest

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 28, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Another alleged victim of clergy sex abuse files suit in the District Court of Guam. 61-year-old A.J.A. now lives in Las Vegas, but grew up in Guam.

When he was about 9-years-old, he alleges he was sexually molested by Father Antonio Cruz of Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey in Chalan Pago.

Court documents state that the boy’s family cooked for the priest and washed his clothes.

While delivering the priest’s clothes to the rectory, the priest allegedly pulled his pants down and touched his penis.

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Apuron’s mentor named in new clergy sex abuse lawsuit

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 28, 2017

A now deceased priest, Antonio C. Cruz, allegedly sexually molested and abused a 9-year-old boy around 1964 at a church rectory in Chalan Pago, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday afternoon.

The lawsuit is filed by a man identified in court documents only by his initials, A.J.A., to protect his privacy.

It is the 99th lawsuit filed in federal and local courts against the Archdiocese of Agana for alleged sexual abuse of minors by clergy and others associated with the Catholic Church on Guam.

A.J.A., represented by attorney David Lujan, is now 61 and lives in Las Vegas.

Cruz was a priest at the Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church when he allegedly sexually molested and abused A.J.A., the lawsuit states.

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Catholic group plans to stake out seminary, conduct head count

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 28, 2017

Some island Catholics plan to spend days counting the number of people going in and out of the Neocatechumenal Way-controlled Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona.

The results of the head count, which the Concerned Catholics of Guam calls “Occupy RMS,” will be presented to the Yona property owner, the Archdiocese of Agana.

Concerned Catholics will formally ask the archdiocese to charge the seminary residents rent for the use of the church property.

Group President David Sablan said it’s unfair that Guam’s 14 Catholic schools and their students are made to pay for some $2.64 million in church debts, while the Neocatechumenal Way gets free rent at the archdiocese’s expense.

“As we previously stated, these RMS residents are freeloaders, but Catholic school students and parents are being assessed fees to help the archdiocese pay church debts,” Sablan said.

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Restraining order, but no charges for New Ulm priest

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

By: Tom Lyden
POSTED: AUG 27 2017

NEW ULM, Minn. (KMSP) – A New Ulm area Catholic priest will not face criminal charges after a six-month long criminal investigation into allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl.

The girl’s mother, however, has taken matters into her own hands, taking out a restraining order against the priest–Father Sam Wagner, age 33.

In a statement, the Diocese of New Ulm said Fr. Wagner remains on leave from the ministry pending a decision by its Clergy Review Board.

The allegations first surfaced in January, when Father Wagner was relieved of his duties at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye, where Wagner grew up. The allegations concern his time in New Ulm, and a relationship that began with a 15-year old girl who attended Cathedral High School.

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August 27, 2017

Paedophile ex-vicar was housed in luxury apartment paid for by the Church of England

UNITED KINGDOM
Liverpool Echo

BY NEIL DOCKING
27 AUG 2017

A paedophile ex-vicar was housed in a luxury city centre apartment paid for by the Church of England, the ECHO can reveal.

Former reverend Paul Battersby repeatedly downloaded sick photographs of young children being molested by fellow perverts.

But for the last three years he has lived in Beetham Tower – one of Liverpool’s most desirable developments in Old Hall Street.

Yet the ex-Church of England national youth officer had the audacity to MOAN about his home and compare his circumstances to prison.

Battersby, 68, was jailed for 20 months after a court heard he spent his time in the flat amassing a disturbing collection of illegal files.

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City investigation into if yeshivas are breaking the law stalls

NEW YORK
NY1

By Lindsey Christ
Updated Friday, August 25, 2017

The city has blown its deadline for completing a politically explosive investigation into whether yeshivas are breaking the law by cutting out secular studies in favor of religious instruction. And NY1 Education Report Lindsey Christ reports, the city still cannot say when it will be finished.

It’s been two years since the de Blasio administration said it was investigating religious schools serving tens of thousands of ultra-orthodox Jewish children.

The probe began after activist Naftuli Moster filed a complaint alleging that his yeshiva education left him wholly uneducated and unequipped to make a living.

“Boys ages 13 and up receive no secular education at all. So they attend yeshiva for as many as 14 hours a day, from 6:30 AM to 8:30 PM often, and they get zero secular studies,” said Moster of Young Advocates for a Fair Education. “No English, no math, forget about science or social studies, which they don’t even get in elementary school.”

State law requires private schools to provide an education substantially equal to a public education, but the city and state have long taken a hands-off approach toward the yeshivas, despite providing them tens of millions of dollars in aid.

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Irish priest in Argentine sex abuse scandal

ARGENTINA
The Times (UK)

Eithne Shortall
August 27 2017
The Sunday Times

An Irish priest is at the centre of a sexual abuse scandal engulfing Latin America. Finnlugh Mac Conastair, who died in 1997, has been accused of abusing a 12-year-old boy at a prestigious school in Argentina.

Two other Irishmen are reported to have known of the abuse. The allegations are making headlines across South America and have been reported by English-language news outlets elsewhere.

The claimed abuse happened at the Cardinal Newman school in Buenos Aires, an institution popular with Argentina’s elite and the alma mater of the Argentinian president Mauricio Macri. The school was founded by Irish Christian Brothers in 1948 and the abuse is said to have happened during the late 1970s.

The allegations were made by Rufino Varela, a former student at the school, who said that Finnlugh Mac Conastair, a Passionist priest, removed his trousers, beat him and fondled him. The priest told him what had happened should be kept a secret between themselves and God. Other students have now come forward to say they too were abused by Mac Conastair.

John Burke, an Irish Christian Brother, was in charge of the school the time of the allegations. Burke, currently the Christian Brother co-ordinator for safeguarding children, was not contactable by The Sunday Times this weekend.

However, Burke told the Associated Press earlier this month that he learnt of the abuse in 1980 but the victim’s identity was not revealed to him at the time. Burke said he sought legal advice from a lawyer, who happened to be Varela’s father, and immediately removed Mac Conastair from his post.

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Pastor laments pain of sex offences allegations against church leaders

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

BY JEDIAEL CARTER
Observer staff reporter
carterj@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The spate of revelations that clergy leaders are involved in sexual misconduct has sharpened the divide between the church and the state.

That is the view of Napoleon Black, founder of Pastors According to His Heart (PATHH) — a church ministry dedicated to the care of pastors and their families.

“The reputation of the church has been hit hard within the society by these ongoing revelations. It is fuel to the perception of those who see pastors and church leaders as philandering exploiters,” Black stated.

“Some see much of the church in a cynical light — a relic of the colonial era with outdated modes and concepts; while others see the church as essential to the moral fabric of a well-ordered society, even though it is led by fallen men and women in need of grace, but not without responsibility and accountability,” he explained.

The church’s reputation continues to tank with the most recent allegation that pastor of Harvest Temple Apostolic Church on Slipe Pen Road in St Andrew, Kenneth Blake, 56, was charged for allegedly raping and impregnating his ex-lover’s 12-year-old daughter.

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Victims, advocates push for Archdiocese of Santa Fe officials to come clean

NEW MEXICO
The New Mexican

By Andrew Oxford | The New Mexican Aug 26, 2017

Everyone finally believed them. At least that is how they felt.

In the days and weeks after the Catholic Diocese of Gallup in 2014 published a list naming 30 priests and a teacher who church executives said had been credibly accused of sexually abusing children, Elizabeth Terrill got one phone call after another from survivors whose allegations had been met for years with denial and doubt.

With the bishop’s very public admission, some survivors believed at last that the Catholic Church and the broader community accepted their charges against men who once had been trusted and enjoyed protection from a system few others had challenged.

Terrill, the diocese’s victim assistance coordinator, recounts one caller telling her: “It feels like everyone really believes me.”

Gallup, a sprawling, rural and impoverished diocese, was doing what no other in New Mexico had. It named the priests at the center of a crisis that scarred an institution with an outsize place in the state’s culture.

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Guam Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes fires 4 advisers for betraying his trust

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 27, 2017

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes recently removed four clergy members from his advisory team, stating they were insubordinate, defied his leadership and betrayed his trust.

All four removed team members are affiliated with the Neocatechumenal Way, whose practices sometimes are at odds with the island’s traditional Catholic community.

At issue is a letter they sent in June to a Vatican official, also affiliated with the Way, instead of talking to Byrnes.

Byrnes terminated Monsignor David C. Quitugua, Rev. Fr. Jose Alberto Rodriguez-Salamanca, Rev. Fr. Julio Cesar Sanchez, and Rev. Fr. Rodolfo Arejola from the archbishop’s Presbyteral Council.

Under canon law, a presbyteral council is a group of priests which acts like a senate of the bishop and assists the bishop in the governance of the diocese according to the norm of law to promote pastoral good.

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August 26, 2017

Peter FitzSimons: When will the madness end?

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Peter FitzSimons

So, I’ve got this right, yes? On the one hand, we have the Catholic Church maintaining it will make no change in its protocol about the sanctity of the confessional. And it maintains that, despite the fact that – as just revealed by the Criminal Justice report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – it has presided over cases like the one in Rockhampton where Father Michael McArdle was forgiven no fewer than 1500 times by 30 of his fellow priests for raping children in his care.

“I was devastated after the assaults, every one of them,” Father McArdle affirmed in a 2004 affidavit, quoted in The Australian on Tuesday. “So distressed would I become that I would attend confessions weekly. [After every confession], it was like a magic wand had been waved over me.”

Now, as not a single one of those priests called the police – sanctity of the confessional and all that – McArdle continued his atrocities for decades, devastating the lives of ever more children.

And, on the other hand, we have the Catholic Church waving a flag upon what it sees as the moral high ground, warning the rest of us of what will happen to society if we vote for marriage equality. And its warnings include the dangers to children of gay couples.

I ask this seriously. How long can we, as a society, BEAR this?

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Perth Catholic Archbishop Tim Costelloe says his mission now is to rebuild trust in the church

AUSTRALIA
PerthNow

Kate Campbell, PerthNow
August 26, 2017

“IT’S more than shameful, because shameful is about how embarrassed in a sense you feel, it’s really horror that people’s lives have been so badly affected.”

Dealing with the child sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church to its core was Timothy Costelloe’s first priority when he became Archbishop of Perth in 2012.

Five-and-a-half years later and amid an ongoing royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, it’s still the biggest issue facing him and his church.

The 63-year-old former schoolteacher used words like “evil”, “shocking”, “confronting”, “shameful” and “painful” to describe how nearly one in 10 priests in the Catholic Perth archdiocese was accused of sexually abusing children between 1950 and 2010 and how “bafflingly inadequate” the response was from church leaders.

When asked if he could guarantee his archdiocese was now paedophile-free, Archbishop Costelloe said: “What I can guarantee is that in this archdiocese we’re sending out a message that today this is the most dangerous place for a paedophile to come because we’re on to them, we’re looking for them and we will deal with them.”

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Billy Graham’s grandson blames the Church for protecting child sex abusers

UNITED STATES
Premier (UK)

Sat 26 Aug 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

The grandson of famous US evangelist Billy Graham has been vocal about the horror of child abuse in the Church.

Boz Tchividjian is the head of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), which investigates sexual abuse in Christian organisations.

In a recent interview with Vice.com he said it’s his life’s focus to expose sex abuse in the Church because churches usually protect the abuser at the expense of the victim.

He became more passionate about the issue when he started practicing law and served as chief prosecutor in the Sexual Crimes Division.

“There was no greater defender of children than Jesus,” he said.

Tchividjian suggested that child abuse scandals are worse in the Protestant churches than the Catholic Church.

He said that data gathered from top insurers of Protestant churches a few years ago showed that there were 260 reports a year of child sex abuse by church leaders or members of the congregation. Other data for the Catholic Church reported 228 incidents.

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MEDIA RELEASE – AUGUST 25, 2017

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

JESUIT PRIESTS AND BROTHERS OF THE NORTHEAST PROVINCE (INCLUDING FORDHAM UNIVERSITY) CONTINUE TO RE-VICTIMIZE A SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM OF A JESUIT PRIEST

Jesuits of the Northeast Province, based on the upper eastside of Manhattan, who administer Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, continue to re-victimize Neal E. Gumpel, a childhood sexual abuse victim of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, a deceased serial pedophile Jesuit priest, by refusing to reasonably settle his claim

The Jesuit priests and brothers of the Northeast Province admit to having credible information from approximately five (5) persons (besides the victim) about Neal E. Gumpel’s childhood sexual abuse by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, and still refuse to settle Neal E. Gumpel’s claim reasonably

What
A demonstration and leafleting alerting the media, Fordham University students, parents, faculty, and staff, and the general public that the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has insulted and re-victimized a childhood sexual abuse victim of a Jesuit priest by refusing to reasonably settle his credible claim

When
Saturday, August 26, 2017, from 3:00 PM until 4:30 PM

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of the main entrance to Fordham University, 2691 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10458 (across from the entrance to the New York Botanical Garden)

Who
Neal E. Gumpel; his wife, Helen Gumpel, and members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including its co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.

Why
Neal E. Gumpel was a high school student and a minor child when he was sexually abused by a Jesuit priest, Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine. Fr. Roy Drake, SJ, was a professor at Maine Maritime Academy and at all times presented himself as a priest and member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). In fact, Fr. Roy Drake, SJ, wore the priest’s collar and clerical clothing when Neal E. Gumpel arrived on the campus of Maine Maritime Academy. The Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has found Neal E. Gumpel’s claim of having been sexually abused by Fr. Roy Drake, SJ, credible, but they refuse to reasonably settle the claim against Fr. Roy Drake, SJ, and they continue to insult and re-victimize Neal E. Gumpel. Demonstrators will call on the Jesuits and Fordham University, where Fr. Roy Drake, SJ, was a professor for many years, to do the right thing and treat Neal E. Gumpel with compassion, fairness, and justice

Contact
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com

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KKK leader turned priest faced charges in Nevada

VIRGINIA
WUSA

Michael Quander, WUSA August 24, 2017

FAIRFAX, VA. (WUSA9) – The Virginia priest who came forward as a former leader with the KKK was charged in a Reno, Nevada trespassing case in 1992.

Father William Aitcheson had been handing out pro-life pamphlets near a clinic.

During court hearings Father Aitcheson testified about his criminal past but left out details about cross burnings and the KKK.

Aitcheson was given a fine and ordered to stay away from the property.

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Did priest with KKK past really put it behind him?

VIRGINIA
WUSA

Bruce Leshan, WUSA August 25, 2017

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – More evidence on Friday that the College Park KKK leader turned Arlington priest failed to put his Confederate sympathies behind him, even after he changed his attire from white sheets to clerical robes.

Years after becoming a priest, William Aitcheson was charged with assault and battery and convicted of trespassing.

The priest claimed the racist violence in Charlottesville prompted him to confess to his own old membership in the KKK, but that’s far from the whole truth. But Maria Santos Bier is just out with a story in the Washington Post; “How I discovered my childhood priest was in the Ku Klux Klan,” which suggest Aitcheson only wrote his confessional column in the Arlington Catholic Herald after she started questioning the diocese about his past.

As a history teacher, Bier says Aitchson was “A fervent advocate of the Confederacy.” and used to joke about “Saint Robert E Lee.” After Charlottesville, she Googled him, and found a 1977 story about the then 23 year old University of Maryland student. He was an “exalted Cyclops,” in the local Robert E Lee Klavern.

Another freelancer, Nate Thayer, found Aitcheson had been charged in three Maryland counties with manufacturing explosives, threatening to lynch Corretta Scott King, burning crosses in front of Jewish organizations, and in Phillip and Barbara Butler’s front yard

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Klanner-turned-Catholic priest story raises question about (wait for it) repentance

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

Mark Kellner

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more exciting in the aftermath of the tragic events in Charlottesville, Va., where a protester was mowed down and killed by a white-supremacist, there comes a story that I can’t imagine anyone anticipated.

An active, currently serving Roman Catholic priest admitted he had been a leader in the Ku Klux Klan and burned crosses on people’s lawns, before entering the priesthood. The priest, Father William Aitcheson, has now taken a leave of absence from his role as an associate pastor at a parish in the Arlington, Va., archdiocese.

While it didn’t make front page news in The Washington Post – of which more here shortly – it was the lead item on the local NBC-TV station, WRC. Their story, buttressed by an online version, was a very basic account:

A Virginia priest took a leave of absence on Monday after he admitted that he was previously a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Father William Aitcheson, a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington, burned a cross on an African-American couple’s lawn in College Park, Maryland, in the 1970s.

Aitcheson, 62, wrote about his past Klan affiliation Monday in The Arlington Catholic Herald, the diocese’s newspaper. He currently is an associate pastor at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Fairfax, Virginia.

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Investigation into New Ulm priest suspended as detectives wait on witnesses

MINNESOTA
Mankato Free Press

By Brian Arola barola@mankatofreepress.com

NEW ULM — The investigation into reports of an inappropriate relationship between a juvenile girl and and a priest in the Diocese of New Ulm has been suspended, according to a release from the New Ulm Police Department.

The Rev. Sam Wagner, who was most recently listed as an associate pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye, was placed on administrative leave while the investigation continued. He previously worked in New Ulm from 2014 to 2016.

Jeff Hohensee, senior investigator with the New Ulm Police Department, said the case isn’t considered closed. “We’re just allowing some of the witnesses to take some time to come forward,” he said. “They expressed they wanted some time.”

He said it’s difficult to put a timeline on when the investigation could resume, adding investigators will remain in contact with witnesses.

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Christian Sect Members Charged With Abusing Children in New Mexico

NEW MEXICO
New York Times

By CHRISTINE HAUSER
AUG. 25, 2017

Eight members of a paramilitary Christian sect in New Mexico were arrested this week on charges of child sexual abuse and other crimes against children, officials said on Friday.

Three members of the sect, the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps, were arrested on Sunday in Fence Lake, a remote, sparsely populated area in western New Mexico, and a fourth was arrested that day in the city of Truth or Consequences, more than 100 miles away, Sheriff Tony Mace of Cibola County said.

Four more members were arrested by Cibola County deputies on Wednesday as they drove away from the Fence Lake compound with 11 children in tow.

The arrests were the culmination of years of investigation by law enforcement. The sect had “been on the radar” of the authorities in Cibola County since members of the group moved there from California in 1995, Sheriff Mace said.

But the scrutiny escalated in 2015, when a former member reported that he was unable to find or contact his children at the site in Fence Lake, and again in 2016, when a woman told the authorities she had been sexually abused as a child while living there.

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The Latest: $500K bond stays for sect leaders in abuse case

NEW MEXICO
SFGate

GRANTS, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on a New Mexico military-style Christian sect facing child abuse charges (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

A judge has refused to lower bond on two leaders of a New Mexico paramilitary religious sect who are both facing child sexual abuse charges.

Cibola County Magistrate Judge Larry Diaz said Friday he still felt that co-leader Deborah Green and high ranking leader Peter Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training were flight risks and he wasn’t comfortable with lowering their bond or changing the conditions of their release.

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Paramilitary sect’s land holding eyed in child abuse case

NEW MEXICO
ABC News

By RUSSELL CONTRERAS, ASSOCIATED PRESS
GRANTS, N.M. — Aug 25, 2017

Leaders of a paramilitary religious sect rocked by child sexual abuse allegations say they were merely a small, poor group living in a secluded ranching area in New Mexico while constantly being persecuted by people who didn’t understand their reading of the Bible.

But authorities say the trustees of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps own thousands of acres of land and benefited from a wealthy high-ranking member who aided them in avoiding law enforcement agencies by hiding children throughout their vast holdings.

Those holdings and regular deceptions by leaders, authorities said, made it difficult for the small Cibola County Sheriff’s Office to investigate allegations of child abuse that former members say went back years.

Speaking before a magistrate judge on Friday, Cibola County Undersheriff Michael Munk gave a glimpse into his department’s two-year investigation of a militant sect former members say treated followers like slaves and often physically beat children who had no records of being born. That investigation led to the Sunday raid of the group’s Fence Lake compound and the arrest of four members.

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THE LATEST: $20K BOND REMAINS FOR MEMBER OF RELIGIOUS SECT

NEW MEXICO
Associated Press

GRANTS, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on a New Mexico military-style Christian sect facing child abuse charges (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

A judge has refused to lower bond for a member of a New Mexico paramilitary religious sect who faces child abuse charges.

Cibola County Magistrate Judge Larry Diaz said Friday that recent events surrounding the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps were getting “serious” and he couldn’t lower bond for Stacey Miller.

Miller faces one count each of intentional abuse of a child between the ages of 12 and 18, bribery of a witness and not reporting a birth. Authorities say she failed to give her 12-year-old son medical treatment for the flu and he later died.

She is being held on $20,000 security cash bond.

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Four more arrested in aggressive Christianity group

NEW MEXICO
KRQE

By Katherine Mozzone
Published: August 25, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Authorities continue to delve into the secret lives of aggressive Christianity members out of Fence Lake, New Mexico.

The Cibola County Sheriff says four more people were arrested Wednesday, for failing to register the births of their 11 kids.

Days after allegations of child sex abuse surfaced against the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps, more members are in custody and were caught trying to leave their compound with two vans full of kids.

Deputies arrested Amos, Victoria, Ruth and Timothy River on felony warrants.

According to the Washington Post, authorities were there trying to pick up children for interviews when they found two vans leaving the compound, south of Gallup.

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Bessborough sale won’t affect ability to examine site

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Saturday, August 26, 2017 Conall Ó Fátharta

Former residents of the Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork have been assured that plans to sell it will not affect the power of the Commission to examine the site.

The Irish Examiner revealed that the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary intend to sell the site of the former Mother and Baby Home in a process that could take up to two years. The sale will not include the cemetery and remembrance site areas.

The campus is more recently the setting for the Bessborough Centre, a charity that works with vulnerable families.

However, the facility in Blackrock is also being examined by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission. It has come under intense scrutiny in recent years over activities alleged to have occurred there when it was a mother and baby home, including the possible falsification of death certificates to facilitate clandestine adoptions here and overseas.

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This ex-vicar wrote a child sex abuse fantasy starring himself

UNITED KINGDOM
Liverpool Echo

BY NEIL DOCKING
25 AUG 2017

A paedophile ex-vicar who wrote a twisted child sex abuse fantasy featuring himself was today jailed for 20 months.

Former Church of England reverend Paul Battersby downloaded 1,730 indecent images between November 2014 and January 2017.

Police also seized a shoebox full of children’s clothes when they raided the 68-year-old’s flat in Old Hall Street, Liverpool city centre.

Liverpool Crown Court heard they then discovered disturbing fantasy literature on the persistent sex offender’s computer equipment.

Iain Criddle, prosecuting, said: “Perhaps equally worrying, other items were recovered.

“From the defendant’s computer was recovered a fantasy story, which appears to have been penned by him, regarding child abuse.

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Magdalene protesters seek ‘full redress’

IRELAND
The Times

Ed Carty
August 26 2017
The Times

Survivors of Magdalene laundries have staged a protest outside a former Catholic workhouse in Dublin and called for a memorial and a full redress scheme.

Their action follows the United Nations criticism of Ireland for its lack of an independent and thorough investigation and its call for the prosecution of members of the Catholic Church.

The rally was held off Sean McDermott Street in Dublin, the site of the last Catholic workhouse to be shut, a fortnight after the committee against torture report accused the government of failing to live up to commitments to investigate the religious institutions.

Angela Downey, who was born in Castlepollard mother and baby home after her mother, Mary, had been raped and was sent to a laundry, called for the name of every woman who toiled in the institutions to be immortalised in stone.

Pressing her hand against the crumbling back wall of the workhouse run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, she said: “My mother spent 15 years in the laundries. The children weren’t recognised at all. We weren’t entitled to anything. They should do something for us now.” The survivors are also seeking a day of commemoration to remember those affected by the laundries.

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Australian priest rips confession proposal as government ‘intrusion’

AUSTRALIA
Angelus

August 26, 2017 – By Catholic News Agency

An Australian priest has called the Royal Commission’s recent proposal to enforce law requiring that clergy face criminal charges if they do not disclose details of sexual abuse revealed in the confessional a breach of religious tolerance. Fr. Kelvin Lovegrove, Episcopal Vicar for Clergy in the Archdiocese of Sydney, told CNA Aug. 24 that he was “surprised” by the suggestion made by the Royal Commission that priests be forced “to break the law in regard to the Seal of Confession.”

“Australia is religiously tolerant country, and many people have emigrated to Australia from other countries so that they can freely practice their faith,” he said, calling the proposal “an intrusion by the Government into the realm of the spiritual relationship between priest and penitent, which up until has been sacrosanct.”

He said the proposal is out of step with expectations for others who maintain similar confidential relationships, noting that “other professionals such as psychologists, lawyers and journalists are not required to break confidences in regard to confidential information between them and their clients.”

Fr. Lovegrove’s comments come less than two weeks after Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, established in 2013, on Aug. 14 released a sweeping 85 proposed changes to the country’s criminal justice system.

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Judge dismisses several counts in Bishop Thomas O’Brien sexual-abuse case

ARIZONA
Arizona Republic

Jerod MacDonald-Evoy, The Republic | azcentral.com Aug. 25, 2017

The judge overseeing a lawsuit accusing Bishop Emeritus Thomas O’Brien of sexual abuse has ordered that several counts focusing on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix be dropped.

The counts related to the former bishop’s alleged sexual misconduct still stand.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Udall dismissed counts of public nuisance, fraud, fiduciary fraud and negligent infliction of emotional distress, leaving eight of the original 14 counts.

The counts that were dropped alleged the church had financial and oversight responsibilities related to O’Brien’s alleged actions.

In their motions to dismiss multiple allegations in the lawsuit, attorneys for the church contended that some of the accusations were too broad and sweeping. Declaring the Phoenix Diocese a public nuisance would be akin to “creating a new law,” defense attorney John Kelly said in the church’s response.

The lawsuit, filed in September 2016, accuses O’Brien, now 81, of sexually abusing the plaintiff from 1977 through 1982, when the plaintiff was a boy.

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Priests urge paedophiles to go from confession box to police

AUSTRALIA
Sunday Herald Sun

Ashley Argoon, Sunday Herald Sun
August 26, 2017

PROMINENT priests say they would urge paedophiles to go to police if they admitted to crimes in confession.

Well known men of the cloth say they would refuse absolution, with the only penance for a person who committed such a serious offence to be the “full force of the law”.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended priests be charged for not reporting confessions of paedophiles. Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has said the confessional seal should remain.

But Fr Brendan Reed from Our Lady of Good Counsel and All Hallows Parish said those who admit to those crimes in confession should expect one result.

“The public expect, and the church expects, that it is such a serious sin the penance has to be no less than handing themselves in,” he said.

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Archbishop Denis Hart is talking nonsense on marriage equality and child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sunday Herald Sun

KATIE BICE, Sunday Herald Sun

THE Archbishop of Melbourne is doing the Catholic Church and its followers a disservice. In the past fortnight, Denis Hart has made his views known on two controversial issues and at least once, arguably twice, has been grossly out of step with community expectations.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released a report with 85 recommendations, including that priests be forced to report details of child sex abuse made in confession. It urged criminal charges against priests who failed to do so, saying there should be “no excuse, protection nor privilege” for those who fail to comply. Hart, however, believes confessions should be respected: “Confession in the Catholic Church is a spiritual encounter with God through the priest,” he stated. “It is a fundamental part of the freedom of religion. Outside of this, all offences against children must be reported to the authorities and we are absolutely committed to doing so.”

I don’t profess to have ever met or had a conversation with God, but I’m going to take a stab and say he’s no fan of child molesters. And you’d think the leaders of a body that oversaw one of the greatest human tragedies outside war time would listen to and accept any recommendations to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

And Hart’s stance seems to go against what he says on another issue riling the Catholic Church, same-sex marriage. Last week he issued a public letter cautioning that any change to marriage legislation would threaten the “health and future of our society”. Part of the public letter read: “Yes, human rights are important. But so are human responsibilities. We are responsible for the impact of our decisions on future generations.”

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Cibola sheriff tells court about inquiry into child abuse

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Russell Contreras / Associated Press
Published: Friday, August 25th, 2017

GRANTS – A paramilitary religious sect rocked by child sexual abuse allegations appeared to be a small, poor group living in a secluded ranching area in western New Mexico who complained they were mere victims of constant persecution by people who didn’t really understand their reading of the Christian Bible.

But authorities say the trustees of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps are owners of thousands of acres of land and benefited from a wealthy, high-ranking member who aided them in avoiding law enforcement by hiding children throughout its vast holdings.

Those holdings and regular deceptions by leaders, authorities said, made it difficult for the small Cibola County Sheriff’s Office to investigate allegations of child abuse and child sexual abuse that former members say went back years.

Speaking before a magistrate judge on Friday, Cibola County Undersheriff Michael Munk gave a glimpse into his agency’s two-year investigation of a sect that former members say treated followers like slaves and often physically beat children who had no records of being born. That investigation led to the Sunday raid of the group’s Fence Lake compound and the arrest of four members.

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.

Vic Marist brother in court over sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Jacqueline Le
AAP / August 25th, 2017

A former Victorian school principal has appeared in court to face multiple charges of indecent assault against students.

Marist Brother Gerard McNamara attended Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday charged with multiple indecent assault offences against five boys at Traralgon.

One incident is alleged to have taken place after a student was summoned to see McNamara for misbehaving in class, the court was told.

McNamara is also accused of punching the student shortly after.

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August 25, 2017

Concerns raised over church mediation costs

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Andrew Roberto | andrew@postguam.com

Suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron remains steadfast in his refusal to make a settlement in the sexual abuse allegations made against him.

On Aug. 25 in the District Court of Guam, Apuron’s legal counsel, Jacqueline Terlaje, reiterated that she would not be participating in meetings on Sept. 4 and 5 in Honolulu to discuss mediation protocols with defense attorneys for alleged victims, plaintiff counsels for the Boy Scouts of America and Archdiocese of Agana, and special mediator retired Judge Michael Hogan.

Plaintiffs Walter Denton, Roy Quintanilla, Roland Sondia and Doris Concepcion – on behalf of her late son, Joseph “Sonny” Quinata – filed lawsuits against Apuron and the archdiocese. The four men alleged they were sexually abused by Apuron when they were young altar boys in the 1970s.

According to Post files, Terlaje filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuits filed against Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana because the victims’ claims are time-barred and Public Law 33-187 is “inorganic and unconstitutional.”

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USA TODAY ARTICLE DISTORTS CHURCH’S RECORD ON ABUSE

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on a story in today’s USA Today:

Parishes Across Nation Under Shadow Of Abuse,” blares a headline in today’s USA Today. The subhead is even more misleading: “Latest revelations are sign that the church’s problems with its priests are not over.”

The implication is obvious: the crisis of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests is still ongoing, and the Church is still failing to protect children. And that is the message that comes across to the casual reader of the almost 2,500 word article.

A more careful reading, however, contradicts that conclusion. For while the article highlights recent reports of abuse, and current or recent court cases and settlements in dioceses around the country, we see that the vast majority of actual or alleged incidents are from decades ago, some even “dating back to the 1950s.”

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‘Burn it to the ground’: What should be done with Magdalene laundry buildings?

IRELAND
The Journal

Mary Merritt was sent to a Magdalene laundry on Sean McDermott Street after refusing to work at High Park laundry, Drumcondra. On the day she arrived, she still refused to work, and was sent to another laundry in Donnybrook. She refused to work again and was sent back to the first laundry.

In total, she spent 14 years in High Park. When she was released at the age of 31, she had to have all her teeth taken out and she discovered she was blind in one eye.

“I’d never seen a toothbrush,” she said. During her time there, she says she had no access to proper healthcare, doctors, education, or basic life skills – let alone her right to freedom.

Today, she and other survivors gathered outside the last Magdalene laundry to be closed on Sean McDermott Street in Dublin city, to share their stories and ask the government to include the last survivors’ opinions on what should be done with the institutions that represent a tragic failure in our State’s short history.

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Magdalene laundries’ survivors renew calls for memorial and redress

IRELAND
Irish News

Ed Carty
25 August, 2017

SURVIVORS of Magdalene laundries, and their relatives, have relived the horrors of rape, abuse and lost lives as they renewed calls for a memorial and full redress.

A rally was held off Sean McDermott Street in Dublin, the site of the last Catholic workhouse to be shut, a fortnight after a damning United Nations report criticising the Irish government for failing to live up to commitments to the women.

It is four years since former taoiseach Enda Kenny apologised to those incarcerated in the laundries and their families.

Angela Downey, who was born in Castlepollard Mother and Baby Home after her mother Mary had been raped and was sent to a laundry, called for the name of every woman who toiled in the institutions to be immortalised in stone.

Pressing her hand against the crumbling back wall of the workhouse run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, she said: “My mother spent 15 years in the laundries.

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‘You were always in the clutches of the nuns’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Kitty Holland

Mary Merritt (86) was six-and-a-half stone when, aged 31, she left High Park laundry in Drumcondra, Dublin, in 1961.

At protest in Dublin on Friday, where she was one of about 40 people calling for a memorial to survivors of the Magdalene laundries, Ms Meritt also said, during her 14 years in the laundry she was given neither pads when she was having her period, nor a toothbrush.

“When we were having our period we just had to get on with it,” she said. “When I came out of the laundry I had to have all my teeth out they were so rotten. And I was blind in one eye.”

The protest, outside the old Gloucester Street laundry on Sean McDermott Street, heard from several survivors, as well as Orla O’Connor, chief executive of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) and local councillor Gary Gannon of the Social Democrats. The laundry at that site was the last to close, in 1996.

More than 10,000 women and girls spent time in Catholic Church-run Magdalene laundries from the early 20th century, until 1996. Many were sent for the “crime” of being unmarried and pregnant, and they worked without pay in the laundries which supplied services to State-run bodies, hospitals and hotels.

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New Jersey priest claims he uploaded child porn to get back at God for making him lose at poker

PENNSYLVANIA
New York Daily News

TERENCE CULLEN

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, August 25, 2017

A prison-bound New Jersey priest contests he only uploaded child pornography to his computer to get back at God, who’d been making him lose at poker.

Father Kevin Gugliotta will serve 11½ to 23½ months in prison and must register as a sex offender, according to reports.

The priest, who previously worked in the Archdiocese of Newark, was busted last year when police found child porn on his computer at his Gouldsboro, Pa., apartment last year.

Investigators found the 55-year-old priest uploaded the illegal material several times between July 9 and Aug. 29, 2016, the Pocono Record reports.

The disgraced cleric was hit with 20 counts of child porn and another 20 of disseminating images of children involved in sexual acts.

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Priest kept child porn as ‘revenge’ on God for poker losses

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

AUGUST 25, 2017

HONESDALE, Pa. (AP) – A New Jersey priest says he was trying to get revenge on God for poker losses when he collected computerized child pornography at his weekend home in Pennsylvania, according to his attorney and court records.

The Rev. Kevin Gugliotta was sentenced Thursday to 11½ to 23½ months in the Wayne County jail, receiving credit for 10 months he’s already served. He pleaded guilty in March to a single count of disseminating child pornography after prosecutors dropped dozens of other charges that he possessed and distributed child porn.

Pretrial records show the 55-year-old Gugliotta told probation officers he felt God was attacking him when he lost poker tournaments and games, and got “revenge” by collecting the porn.

“That was his reason,” defense attorney James Swetz said. “He’s not happy that’s how he felt, as the judge indicated. There are other ways to handle issues and handle anger.”

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How I discovered my childhood priest was in the Ku Klux Klan

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

He had taught me to venerate Confederate history.

By Maria Santos Bier August 25

The Rev. William M. Aitcheson was my childhood priest and my history teacher. A fervent advocate of the Confederacy, he used to joke about “Saint Robert E. Lee” in his homilies at church. When I was in middle school in the early 2000s, he taught a Civil War history class for the home-school group at my church in the small Shenandoah County town of Woodstock, Va.

He was also a former Ku Klux Klan member, who in 1982 was fined $26,000 for burning crosses in the yard of an African American family and on the grounds of two Jewish establishments — a fine he had never paid. Before that, he was charged with six cross-burnings in Maryland and with sending a threatening letter to Coretta Scott King. He had also been charged with making pipe bombs and was found with various weapons and bombmaking materials in his bedroom and basement. But I didn’t uncover those latter facts until this month, when I stumbled onto a discovery that would eventually prompt Aitcheson to step down temporarily from his public ministry. He wrote in an op-ed that his service to God had changed and redeemed him. But I knew he wasn’t being entirely honest.

I remember him as an imposing figure who took his history lessons to us home-schoolers very seriously. He had a reputation for being a bit gruff, but he was never unkind to me, and I recall him fondly. He knew so much about history, and I trusted him when he taught us that the Civil War was fought for states’ rights, not slavery; that the South’s cause was noble and just.

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Ex-pastor sentenced to 30 years for sex offenses involving teen

FLORIDA
NWF Daily

By WENDY VICTORA

FORT WALTON BEACH — The former pastor of a local church was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in state prison and a lifetime designation as a sexual offender by Judge William F. Stone.

Larry Michael Thorne had been found guilty earlier this summer of lewd and lascivious battery on a victim between the ages of 12 and 18 and sexual battery on a victim in the same age range, according to a press release from the First Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.

Thorne was arrested Nov. 14, 2014 after the victim reported that he’d had sexual contact with her on numerous occasions. The abuse started when she was 14 and ended when she was 17, according to news accounts.

The sexual molestation included sexual intercourse. These criminal acts occurred repeatedly in Thorne’s home in Fort Walton Beach.

The sexual abuse stopped only when the child disclosed it to a pastor at the church she began attending after she had been able to distance herself from the defendant.

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Royal Commission update

AUSTRALIA
Lexology

BLM

Paula Jefferson

Australia August 24 2017

In the past six months the Royal Commission has continued its work as it nears its end date and final report (due in December). As ever many of the recommendations it makes are not specific to Australia but are of wider application and remit and worthy of consideration for good safeguarding practice and procedure elsewhere in the world including recommendations for reform to criminal justice, reporting abuse disclosed during the seal of the confessional and the misconceptions about memory which impact upon the responses to disclosure.

The most recent publications have included the following:

Research reports

Carer recruitment – 40% of those people who gave their evidence in private sessions (the equivalent of the IICSA truth project) reported abuse in out-of-home care. This report, titled ‘A national comparison of carer screening, assessment, selection and training and support in foster care, kinship and residential care’, highlighted difficulties in attracting and retaining foster carers, that there is only a limited pool of residential care workers and that high staff turnover are all barriers to the provision of high quality out-of-home care which is important to prevent child sexual abuse. The report also found that foster carers required more training on the sexual exploitation of young people in care.

Regulatory bodies – although the bodies considered in the report ‘Oversight and regulatory mechanisms aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse: Understanding current evidence of efficacy’, are specific to Australia there are parallels in the conclusions to the concerns which have been raised in the past in the UK about such organisations as the CQC.

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Sexorgien im Priestergewand

RUMANIEN
TAZ

[Corneliu Bârlădeanu, bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Huşi, Romania, has been removed from office because of homosexual relations. At the same time, the Synod, the highest ecclesiastical body, decided to remove the accused from the priesthood. The former bishop, who was demoted to a simple monk, was also prohibited from any pastoral activities and ordered his compulsory stay in a monastery.]

Die Orthodoxe Kirche feuert einen schwulen Bischof. Die Ultranationalisten und fundamentalistische Kreise klatschen Beifall.

BERLIN taz | Corneliu Bârlădeanu, Bischof der Rumänisch-Orthodoxen Kirche in Huşi, ist wegen homosexueller Beziehungen seines Amtes enthoben worden. Gleichzeitig beschloss die Synode, das höchste kirchliche Gremium, den Beschuldigten aus dem Priesteramt zu entfernen. Dem zum einfachen Mönch degradierten ehemaligen Bischof wurden zudem jede seelsorgerischen Tätigkeiten untersagt und sein Zwangsaufenthalt in einem Kloster angeordnet.

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Kinder hätten Missbrauch „zugestimmt“: Britische Behörde verweigert Opfern Entschädigung

GROSSBRITANNIEN
Epoch Times

[A British agency is criticized for refusing to pay damages for abuse victims. The “Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority” (CICA) is to use a law gap which excludes a compensation when the victim “consents”.]

Von Anna Samarina

Eine britische Behörde verweigerte fast 700 Missbrauchsopfern die Entschädigung. Begründung: Die minderjährigen Opfer hätten dem sexuellen Missbrauch zugestimmt.

Eine britische Behörde steht in der Kritik, Entschädigungszahlungen für Missbrauchsopfer zu verweigern. Die „Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority“ (CICA) soll dabei eine Gesetzeslücke nutzen, die bei „Einverständnis“ des Opfers eine Kompensation ausschließt, kritisieren Hilfsorganisationen, wie der „Independent“ am Sonntag berichtete.

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Peter Saunders from Wimbledon is urging victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to tell their stories via The Truth Project

UNITED KINGDOM
Your Local Guardian

A man from Wimbledon is urging victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to tell their stories to an inquiry in October.

Peter Saunders says he was sexually abused as a child. He sits on a panel for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and has also set up his own support organisation, National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), from which he has recently stepped down as chief executive.

The independent inquiry is examining the extent to which institutions and organisations have failed to protect children in England and Wales from sexual abuse.

As part of the Truth Project, people who experienced sexual abuse will have the opportunity to tell a representative of the inquiry anything they want to. Information gathered in the project sessions will be anonymous, but feed into recommendations to government about how institutions can better protect children in the future.

Anyone interested in taking part can fill out the form at https://www.iicsa.org.uk/share-your-experience/submit-information-online and will be able to share their experiences from October. Participants can give as much or as little information as they feel comfortable with, and are welcome to suggest measures that could help future policy.

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District Court suggests different judge as mediator for sex abuse cases

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Jolene Toves – August 25, 2017

A global settlement was also suggested but Attorney David Lujan argued against it.

Guam – Talks of a Global Settlement and a different federal judge to mediate the process were the highlights of Friday’s hearing regarding the sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese.

District Court Chief Judge Francis Tydingco-Gatewood suggested in court that all parties consider utilizing a sitting federal judge such as Chief Judge Alex Munson instead of hiring private mediator Retired Federal Judge Thomas Hogan, which could possibly cost up to $10,000 a day.

At this time, a meeting to finalize the mediation process to be used is scheduled for September 4 in Honolulu, followed by a meeting with Hogan. Judge Tydingco-Gatewood has given all parties until September 12 to notify the court if they would like Munson to oversee the mediation.

Also discussed was the possibility of a global settlement.

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Private mediator for church sex abuse cases comes with hefty price tag

GUAM
KUAM

By Krystal Paco

How deep do their pockets go? The Archdiocese of Agana likely to go for broke due to the millions of dollars in lawsuits it faces from decades of clergy sex abuse. And although a majority of the cases are anticipated to be settled out of court – getting a private mediator to serve as a middleman will come at a hefty price tag.

That was the issue raised in court today – and why the chief judge herself is proposing a cheaper alternative.

Private mediator or sitting judge? Parties in the nearly 100 cases of clergy sex abuse could save thousands of dollars if they opt for the latter. Attorney Jacque Terlaje said, “I was told by my colleagues that the rate that is being proposed for this private mediation is a $10,000 per day just for the mediator.” Terlaje represents Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, David Lujan, meanwhile, staying mum on the price of his chosen mediator, only commenting, “I can’t say it.” When asked whether it might be $10,000, he replied, “Whatever it is, it is.”

On Friday, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood called parties to her courtroom to propose they use a mediator already on staff. namely Judge Alex Munson. Not only is he an experienced mediator, his services would be at no expense to parties. Parties agreed to consider her recommendation, but only after meeting with Oregon-based private mediator and retired federal judge Michael Hogan on September 5 in Hawaii.

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Former KKK member, now a Catholic priest, went public after journalist’s inquiry

VIRGINIA
Religion News Service

By Yonat Shimron

(RNS) — It was not images from the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that spurred a Virginia priest to come forward this month and confess he was a Ku Klux Klan member charged in several cross-burnings in Maryland and other offenses 40 years ago.

Rather, it was a journalist who had contacted the Diocese of Arlington and said she learned that the Rev. William Aitcheson’s legal name matched that of a man arrested in the 1970s.

Diocesan officials then confronted the priest.

“Aitcheson was approached about this, he acknowledged his past and saw the opportunity to tell his story in the hopes that others would see the possibility of conversion and repentance,” the diocese said in a statement.

Until earlier this week, Aitcheson served as parochial vicar at St. Leo the Great in Fairfax, Va. He has since been granted a leave of absence.

In a personal essay published in The Arlington Catholic Herald, the priest appears to be motivated by the national news to acknowledge his past: “The images from Charlottesville brought back memories of a bleak period in my life that I would have preferred to forget.”

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Billy Graham’s Grandson Says Protestants Abuse Kids Just Like Catholics

UNITED STATES
Vice

JOSIAH M. HESSE
Aug 25 2017

Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian is shining a spotlight on the sexual abuse of children in Protestant churches—a scandal he says may be larger than that of the Catholic church.

Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian walks a fine line. On one side, he’s the ultimate evangelical insider. His grandfather was the famed evangelical preacher Billy Graham, who exerted immense influence over American politics, culture, and theology. Tchividjian has followed in the family business, teaching law at Liberty University, the Christian college of famed Baptist pastor Jerry Falwell. On the other side, he’s one of the most articulate critics of evangelical institutions, at times sounding like a new atheist prophet alongside Richard Dawkins or Bill Maher. He says that churches can be ideal environments for sexual predators who target children. And that traditions of shame, male power structures, and public relations myopia help keep abusers in positions of power and the abused silent.

Tchividjian sees it as his Christian duty to root out abuse in the church, and to build defenses against it. His organization, GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) has been hired to investigate high profile Christian institutions like Bob Jones University and New Tribes Mission. GRACE revealed frightening levels of sexual abuse and, as he told me during our interview, “the common thread of institutional protection at the expense of the individual.”

Tchividjian has even had to deal with sex scandals in his own family. In 2015, he removed his brother Tullian Tchividjian from his job at GRACE after it was revealed that Tullian had committed what the GRACE board described as a “gross misuse of power” in his extramarital relations with adult members of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Over the years, Tchividjian has come to recognize that many churches do not have policies in place to deal with accusations of abuse. And too often they blame the victims for seducing their abuser. In an attempt to combat this, Tchividjian recently co-authored The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide for Churches and Ministries, attempting to help church leaders address difficult questions about predators in their communities and how to avoid further harming someone who has already been traumatized.

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Rhode Island Catholic boarding school says ‘credible’ evidence has emerged of sex abuse committed decades ago by two monks

RHODE ISLAND
Daily Mail (UK)

By Associated Press and Dave Burke For Mailonline

‘Credible’ evidence of sex abuse at a Roman Catholic boarding school in Rhode Island have come to light, leaders have revealed.

A report has been released by the Portsmouth Abbey School apologizing to victims of Father Bede Gorman and Father Geoffrey Chase.

The alleged abuse happened between 1959 and the early 1980s, it reveals.

Gorman died in 1885, while Chase, who left the school in 2002, is in his 80s and ill, the report reveals.

A letter from leaders at the school states: ‘We stand by those who were wronged, and are committed to helping past victims, providing therapy for them as needed.’

And it continued: ‘Our hearts break for these victims and their families. Their trust and faith in the sacred mission of Portsmouth was violated.

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