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.

September 6, 2017

Registered sex offender arrested in sex case

GLENS FALLS (NY)
Post Star

September 2, 2017
Updated September 5, 2017

Ballston Spa — A Level 3 sex offender from Easton has been charged with repeatedly sexually abusing a child in Saratoga County, authorities said.

Michael R. Hands, 51, of Herrington Hill Road, has been indicted on seven felony and two misdemeanor charges for alleged sexual contact with a child earlier this summer in Charlton, according to the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office.

He is also accused of using a child in a sexual performance that was videotaped or photographed, and distributing child porngaphy, officials said.

He faces counts of criminal sexual act, use of child in a sexual performance, disseminating indecent material, sexual abuse, promoting a sexual performance by a child and endangering the welfare of a child, records show.

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.

Crusading Lawyer

BOSTON (MA)
Boston University Collegian Alumni Magazine

Summer 2017

By Lara Ehrlich

A Boston lawyer crusades against clergy sex abuse—as told by clients and colleagues, survivors and Secret Files

In 2002, Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian represented 86 people who claimed to have been molested or raped as children by John J. Geoghan, a Catholic priest from Dorchester, Mass. The case led to a $10 million settlement for Garabedian’s clients, and to a Boston Globe Spotlight team investigation that exposed an international epidemic of abuse and cover-up extending all the way to the Vatican. Garabedian (’71, CAS’73) has since represented more than 1,000 victims in 14 countries, and he still gets more than 20 calls a month from alleged victims seeking his help.

The Globe investigation was rewarded with a Pulitzer Prize, and became the subject of the 2015 Academy Award–winning film Spotlight. Actor Stanley Tucci portrays Garabedian in the film with such intensity, the Boston attorney says, that many reporters are now terrified of meeting with him.

People who know him don’t disavow that intensity, but they say there are other sides to the sometimes fearsome lawyer, who grew up on a farm in Methuen, Mass. He is witty, and he is generous, a trait inherited from his father, whose farmhands often came to him for advice. His family attended an Armenian Apostolic church every Sunday.

“It was a very peaceful, kind way to live,” says Garabedian, whose Boston office, piled high with boxes and papers, is just around the corner from Faneuil Hall, where his family once sold vegetables grown on their farm.

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.

El cura Escobar Gaviria fue condenado

BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
Análisis Digital

September 6, 2017

[Fr. Escobar Gaviria was sentenced to 25 years in prison for effective compliance in child abuse.]

El veredicto se conoció esta mañana
Día histórico: el cura Escobar Gaviria fue condenado a 25 años de prisión de cumplimiento efectivo por abuso de menores

Tras un pormenorizado detalle de los hechos, el Tribunal de Juicio y Apelaciones de Gualeguay integrado por los jueces María Angélica Pivas, Roberto Cadenas y Darío Crespo, condenó al cura Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria “a la pena de 25 años de prisión de cumplimiento efectivo” por considerar que “fue el autor material y penalmente responsable de los hechos ilícitos que se le imputaron”. Los jueces consideraron que “se encuentran acreditados los componentes subjetivos y objetivos de promoción de la corrupción de menores reiteradas en tres víctimas, agravada por la condición de guardador en perjuicio de los menores RDR primer hecho, ANE segundo hecho, OJC cuarto hecho, y que a su vez concurren con abuso sexual simple agravado por ser cometido por un ministro de culto en un tercer hecho en perjuicio de S.Y.F.F.”. A la condena de prisión “deben adicionarse las accesorias legales del artículo 12 del Código Penal y las costas en su totalidad a cargo del condenado”. Afirmaron además que “Escobar Gaviria actuó con intención y voluntad en todos los casos. Hizo lo que quiso” y consideraron “el peligro de fuga” por lo que se determinó que la prisión “deberá cumplirse en la Unidad Penal N°5 de Victoria o en la que oportunamente se determine perteneciente al Servicio penitenciario de la provincia” y se decidió “disponer la prórroga de la prisión preventiva oportunamente dictada hasta que la presenten sentencia adquiera firmeza, no haciendo lugar a lo solicitado por la defensa técnica”. Los fundamentos de la sentencia se conocerán el 14 de septiembre a las 8.45 horas.

El juicio contra el cura “sanador” de Lucas González, de origen colombiano, llega a su fin este 6 de septiembre. Después de las 8.30, se conocerá el veredicto recaído en la primera causa por abuso sexual eclesiástico que llegó a debate en Entre Ríos. Los jueces de Gualeguay tienen en sus manos una decisión histórica para el Poder Judicial y la Iglesia de la provincia. Sobrevivientes de los abusos eclesiásticos, familiares y la comunidad que trabaja en la concientización de los delitos contra la integridad sexual de niños y jóvenes, están expectantes ante la determinación.

Minutos antes de iniciar la audiencia en la que se conocerá el veredicto del juicio por abuso contra el ex párroco de Lucas González, Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, Nancy, la mamá de Alexis Endrissi, dijo que espera el momento de la sentencia “muy ansiosa y con muchos nervios”. En declaraciones realizadas al programa A Quien Corresponda (Radio De la Plaza), afirmó: “Tenemos mucha fe de que realmente se haga justicia por los chicos; queremos creer en la justicia porque los chicos no mienten”. Del mismo modo, dijo que su hijo “también ha vivido estas horas con muchos nervios”.

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.

Three strikes but he’s still on the stairway to priesthood

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Sydney Morning Herald

September 6, 2017

By Madonna King

You tell me whether this wanna-be Catholic priest should be sacked or not.

Five years ago, in 2012, as complaints against the church flooded in and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was announced, he took a fondness to an altar girl.

To her family, it amounted to so much more than that. He had also squeezed her around the hips, and followed, or stalked, her – an accusation amounting to sexual abuse. That’s supported by the wording in the Towards Healing document which defines sexual abuse as any kind of “harassment, molestation, and any other conduct of a sexual nature which is inconsistent with the integrity of a pastoral relationship’’.

No charges were laid, but the impact on his 14-year-old victim was undeniable. She felt scared, and then sick, anxious and then she couldn’t sleep. Her school marks began to plummet. And ongoing psychological sessions were testament to the damage grown-ups can do to our kids.

That was his first strike. Should he have been dismissed from the seminary there? If he was a teacher, wouldn’t he have been in all sorts of strife?

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.

Living with echo of clergy abuse

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 5, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

The wolf in priest’s clothing: Part 1 of 3

[Note: See the detailed page devoted to Rev. Donald Grecco on Sylvia’s Site, with links and chronology.]

A note to readers: For a more than a decade, Catholic priest Donald Grecco sexually abused children in Niagara. On Thursday, he will be sentenced for the abuse of three boys in the 1970s and 80s. This three part series is the story of one of his victims. Be advised this story contains language that might upset some readers.

Memory is a precarious construct. Though a storehouse of thoughts and experiences, it can keep secrets from conscious view, locking them behind doors never meant to be opened.

Find the right key, and those doors can be unlocked. Once opened, there is no hiding from what’s inside.

William O’Sullivan found such a key in a Thorold jail cell seven years ago on the front-page of a newspaper. Inside his memory he found a darkness long forgotten. Its rediscovery changed the course of his life.

“One of the guards asked me if I wanted to read the paper. I said yes. I saw it was two days old and I remember saying to him, ‘Oh, come on, this is ancient history,’” says O’Sullivan, known to his friends as Sully.

“Then I saw what was in it.”

It was Dec. 16, 2010, when O’Sullivan read the story on The Standard’s front page from his cell at Niagara Detention Centre.

“Jail for ex-priest Grecco,” the headline read over a Hamilton dateline.

O’Sullivan’s blood ran cold. The world tilted and spun.

“I got sick. Physically sick, vomiting, yeah,” O’Sullivan says. “I got dizzy. I had the sweats. My heart was racing. It was like the worst panic attack you can think of. That was when I remembered what he did.”

O’Sullivan’s life was anything but a storybook. In and out of jail since he was a teenager, a laundry list of poor choices led to five prison sentences — four in a federal penitentiary, one in a provincial prison.

As a young teen, O’Sullivan was sent to St. John’s Training School for Boys in Uxbridge, a factory of horror and abuse run by the De La Salle Brothers of the Christian Schools.

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.

Fate of bankruptcy plans in judge’s hands

ST. PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
The Catholic Spirit (Newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis)

September 5, 2017

The judge overseeing the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ bankruptcy is now considering what he will do with the two competing plans of reorganization before the court.

Counsel for multiple parties with interests in the matter, including representatives of the archdiocese, parishes, insurers and clergy sexual abuse claimants, presented objections to the plans before Judge Robert Kressel in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Minneapolis Aug. 29. The objections were previously outlined to the court in written briefs during July and August.

The archdiocese’s plan would provide $156 million to claimants after court approval and would protect parishes and several Catholic high schools from further lawsuits from past claims of sexual abuse. Proceeds from the sale of archdiocesan properties on Cathedral Hill in St. Paul, insurance settlements and parish contributions fund the archdiocesan proposed plan.

The competing plan was submitted by the Unsecured Creditors Committee, which represents creditors, including sexual abuse claimants, in the bankruptcy proceedings. The UCC plan rejects most of the insurers’ settlements in the archdiocesan plan, calls for an $80 million contribution from the archdiocese secured by the Cathedral of St. Paul and several Catholic high schools — and retains the ability of creditors to sue parishes, schools and other Catholic entities. That plan would require years of further litigation during which victims would not receive compensation.

This spring, creditors, including abuse claimants, took a nonbinding vote on the plans to indicate their preference to the court. The majority of abuse claimants voted for the UCC plan. The decision of which plan to implement ultimately rests with the judge.

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.

Obituary: Cormac Murphy-O’Connor: Archbishop who reformed the Church after scandal

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Independent

September 5, 2017

By Olivier Holmey

[Note: See the 2000 BBC report regarding Murphy-O’Connor and Rev. Michael Hill referenced below.]

Despite his efforts to conciliate the Catholic Church with other religions, his inadequate response to a case of paedophilia tarnished his record

Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, a British cardinal who failed to keep an abusive priest away from children and later sought to redeem that failing by overhauling the way clerical child abuse is addressed by the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has died at 85.

The sex scandal that tarnished his career occurred in the Eighties but was only made public in the early 2000s, when a BBC report linked Murphy-O’Connor, then the Archbishop of Westminster, to Michael Hill, a priest who was convicted of sexual abuse.

The report revealed that Murphy-O’Connor was made aware of Hill’s conduct towards children, and was advised that he might re-offend. But rather than inform the police, or transfer him to a post where he would no longer have access to children, Murphy-O’Connor appointed him chaplain at Gatwick Airport. Hill later admitted that four of his many offences happened after his appointment to the airport. Some of the boys he molested were disabled.

Murphy-O’Connor eventually expressed shame and regret at having tried to solve the issue by moving the offending priest to another parish – then a common practice in the Church – though he also continued to evoke mitigating factors to justify his behaviour, and argued that paedophilia was not at the time understood to be addictive. “I should have handed him over to the police,” he said. “But you are talking about the early Eighties. No bishop would have handed over a priest to the police in those days.” In his view, most of the mistakes bishops made came from being “too kind” toward their fellow clergymen.

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

Former LI priest, convicted sex offender, re-arrested upstate

MELVILLE (NY)
Newsday

September 5, 2017

By Zachary R. Dowdy

[Note: Michael Hands is Priest W from the 2003 Suffolk County Grand Jury Report. See the entry for Rev. Michael R. Hands in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

A former Long Island-based priest who was convicted in 2003 of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy has been indicted on child sex abuse charges upstate.

Michael Hands, 51, of Herrington Hill Road in Greenwich, was arraigned Tuesday on a nine-count indictment that prosecutors said stems from his sexual contact with a child in July.

The charges include four counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, third-degree sex abuse, first-degree disseminating indecent material to a minor, promoting sexual performance by a child, use of a child in a sexual performance and endangering the welfare of a child, Heggen said.

Hands was remanded to the Saratoga County jail on $75,000 cash or $150,000 bond. Jail officials said Tuesday that he had not posted bail.

His attorney, James Tyner of Latham, could not be reached for comment.

Heggen said the court had not set a new date for his next appearance because Tyner requested time to prepare for the case.

Hands, a defrocked priest who was once assigned to the Diocese of Rockville Centre, pleaded guilty in February 2003 in Suffolk courts to the sodomy and attempted sodomy in August 2000 of a 14-year-old boy whose family he met while a parish priest, according to state records and media reports.

He also was sentenced in Nassau courts to a 6-month jail term with 5 years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to five counts of sodomy and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in assaults on the same boy he abused in Suffolk.

In exchange for cooperating in a Suffolk County grand jury probe into charges of sex abuse in the Rockville Centre diocese, Hands spent about 15 months in prison and was released in April 2004, serving both terms concurrently.

Officials at the Diocese of Rockville Centre could not be reached for comment.

As a Level 3 sex offender — those deemed most likely to re offend — Hands must register as a sex offender for life. His picture, address and crime of conviction are posted in the New York State online sex offender registry.

With Michael O’Keeffe

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.

September 5, 2017

Alternative Report to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)

September 5, 2017

Alternative Report
To the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
Regarding the Periodic Reports of the Holy See
Due on 1 September 2017

[Read full report here.]

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.

Press Release: Report to UN Committee Slams Vatican’s Continued Failure to Protect Children from Sexual Violence

UNITED STATES
SNAP and Center for Constitutional Rights

September 5, 2017

Vatican fails to submit its report; survivors and human rights group apprise committee of its lack of progress

September 5, 2017, New York – Today, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) submitted a report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child detailing how, after three years, the Holy See has not implemented any of the committee’s recommendations aimed at ensuring the protection of children from sexual violence.

The Holy See was summoned to the committee in 2014 where the Vatican was implored to take concrete steps to remedy decades of institutional complicity and cover-up of widespread sexual violence. While last Friday marked the Vatican’s deadline to submit a comprehensive report on their progress, the committee reports they have not received anything thus far.

“The fact that the Vatican did not submit a report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is one more indication that Church officials have not taken this process seriously,” said Barbara Dorris, SNAP managing director. “In the three years since they had to answer questions about the widespread sexual violence for the first time in history, they have not implemented any of the committee’s recommendations. And children remain at risk while Vatican officials engage in power struggles, finger-pointing, and deflection.”

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.

Warren Jeffs, FLDS Church owe ex-child bride $16 million, judge rules

UTAH
Fox 13 TV

September 5, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY — A judge has ordered polygamist leader Warren Jeffs and his Utah-based church to pay a former child bride millions in a lawsuit.

In a ruling handed down Tuesday and obtained by FOX 13, Elissa Wall was awarded more than $16 million in damages stemming from her marriage at age 14 to her cousin back in 2001 in a ceremony presided over by Jeffs.

“Warren Jeffs exercised this absolute control, power and authority over (Wall’s) life so that he could require her, as a young girl, to enter into an unlawful spiritual marriage,” Judge Keith Kelly wrote.

Wall was the star witness in Utah’s criminal prosecution of Jeffs. His conviction of rape as an accomplice was overturned by the state supreme court. He is currently serving a life sentence in Texas for child sex assault related to underage “marriages.”

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.

Defrocked former priest from Easton jailed in sex case

NEW YORK
Post-Star (Glens Falls NY)

September 5, 2017

BALLSTON SPA (NY) — A defrocked former Catholic priest who lives at a “retreat” in Washington County was ordered held for lack of bail Tuesday on charges that accuse him of sexually abusing a teenage boy in Saratoga County earlier this year.

Michael R. Hands, 51, a Level 3 registered sex offender from Easton, was sent to Saratoga County Jail for lack of $75,000 cash bail or $150,000 bail bond. He was arraigned before Saratoga County Judge James Murphy on a nine-count indictment for alleged sex crimes with a child in Charlton earlier this year.

Hands is a registered sex offender because of a 2003 sodomy conviction in Suffolk County, which occurred when he was a Catholic priest on Long Island in the early 2000s. He was removed from the priesthood after state records show he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.

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.

Seeking a Path from Pell to a Plenary Council

AUSTRALIA
Commonweal

September 5, 2017

Massimo Faggioli

Arriving in Sydney, Australia, this summer for a round of conferences sponsored by the Broken Bay Institute of the Australian Institute of Theological Education, I found a church confronting events likely to have a profound impact on its future: the Royal Commission’s completion of its work on an “institutional response to child sexual abuse”; the return of Cardinal George Pell from Rome to face charges on sexual abuse cases alleged to have taken place decades ago in the diocese of Ballarat; and the announcement of a Plenary Council for Australia set for 2020—the first since 1937.

The three issues are interwoven. The Pell case frightens the institutional church for the ripple effects the trial might have on other investigations into clergy sexual abuse. It complicates the creative response of the Australian episcopate to the scandal: the creation of the Truth, Justice, and Healing Council launched shortly after the establishment of the Royal Commission and headed by Francis Sullivan, a lay Catholic who for fourteen years was chief executive of Catholic Health Australia. After the expected publication of the Royal Commission’s report at the end of this year, the Truth, Justice, and Healing Council will publish its own report. It will be interesting to see how the episcopate receives it. Created by the bishops, the council has nonetheless maintained an independent attitude; for example, it has refused the request of some bishops to cross-examine witnesses heard by the Royal Commission.

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

Víctimas de pederastia esperan que visita del Papa les dé consuelo

Hablan familiares de niños que fueron abusados por sacerdotes en Cali y Caldas.

[Google Translate: Victims of pederasty wait for Pope’s visit to comfort them. Relatives of children who were abused by priests in Cali and Caldas speak.]

COLOMBIA
El Tiempo

September 4, 2017

Es un drama que viven desde cuando sus hijos eran unos niños. De eso hace ocho años, y el dolor sigue; ahora, desde la capital del Valle del Cauca, piden al Papa apoyo en su situación.

Los hechos se remontan al 2009, cuando el sacerdote William de Jesús Mazo Pérez era párroco de la iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, en el barrio Alfonso Bonilla Aragón, del distrito de Aguablanca, en el oriente de Cali.

Aprovechándose de su situación y la confianza que había depositada en él, abusó de cuatro niños, dos de ellos hermanos, de familias de escasos recursos.

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.

Iglesia reiteró que sacerdote acusado de abuso sexual está suspendido de toda actividad pastoral

URUGUAY
El Observador

August 29, 2017

[Google Translate: Church reiterates that priest accused of sexual abuse is suspended from all pastoral activity. Cardinal Daniel Sturla apologized to the victim and his family “regardless of what the ruling of Justice.”]

[El cardenal Daniel Sturla pidió perdón a la víctima y su familia “independientemente de cuál sea el fallo de la Justicia”]

Luego de que se conociera el pedido del fiscal penal Gilberto Rodríguez de procesar con prisión a un sacerdote acusado de abusar sexualmente a un menor desde los 14 años –actualmente la víctima tiene 23-, la Iglesia católica volvió a emitir el mismo comunicado que había publicado en marzo de este año, cuando el caso tomó estado público por primera vez.

Según señala el comunicado, luego de que la denuncia fuera presentada ante la Policía por la presunta víctima en octubre del pasado año, se puso en marcha el Protocolo ante denuncias contra clérigos por abuso sexual, que fue elaborado por la Conferencia Episcopal del Uruguay en 2013. Siguiendo con ese protocolo, el cardenal Daniel Sturla informó al superior de la congregación en Brasil (donde ahora vive el sacerdote), el cual viajó “inmediatamente” a Montevideo para ponerse a disposición de la familia del afectado.

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.

Agustín Rosa, el cura denunciado por abuso sexual: “Me siento un perseguido”

SALTA (Argentina)
TN (Todo Noticias)

September 4, 2017

[Google Translate: Agustín Rosa, the priest denounced for sexual abuse: “I feel persecuted.” In an interview, the priest says that the denunciations against him may stem from the envy of the growth of his congregation.]

[En una entrevista, el sacerdote dice que las denuncias contra él pueden estar originadas en la envidia por el crecimiento de su congregación.]

En la amplia y cómoda finca donde fue entrevistado en diciembre pasado por TN.com.ar, y detenido el 21 de diciembre, el sacerdote católico Agustín Rosa aseguró que “se siente perseguido” y que las acusaciones en su contra son “por envidia”.

Sentado en el porche, mientras sus cinco perros Doberman lo merodeaban, y liberado pero procesado por abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante, igual que otros miembros del Instituto Discípulos de Jesús del Verbo Divino, Rosa contestó las preguntas del diario El Tribuno de Salta.

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.

Anglican church passes new rules to prevent child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio News

September 5, 2017

Flint Duxfield on PM with Matt Wordsworth

[AUDIO]

The Anglican church of Australia has introduced new rules it says will ensure no more children are sexually abused in its care.

The ‘Safe Ministry for Children’ canon was passed unanimously today at the church’s triennial General Sydnod in Queensland.

But sexual assault survivors and legal experts question whether the new rules go far enough.

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.

Anglicans pass child protection laws

AUSTRALIA
Australian Associated Press

September 5, 2017

Shae McDonald

[Anglican priests across Australia will be required to follow strict new rules to protect children from abuse after legislation was passed by its governing body.]

Clergy and church workers will now be required to abide by a code of conduct which they had previously only needed to treat as recommendations.

“It covers things like transport, no corporal punishment, issues of touch and photographs,” Royal Commission Working Group chair Garth Blake said.

Stricter screening of sex offenders in parishes will also apply and could even result in some being turned away.

Mr Blake said core standards like not abusing children had been in place since 2004, but now all of the guidelines would be mandatory unless there was “a good reason” for not following them.

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.

Beatles church vicar promoted AFTER he was caught abusing choirboy

LIVERPOOL (United Kingdom)
Liverpool Echo

September 5, 2017

Henry Vaughan

[Canon John Roberts’ victim is now taking action against the Church of England]

A vicar at the “Beatles church”, where John Lennon met Paul McCartney, was allowed to carry on working for 24 year after he was convicted of abusing a choirboy.

Rev John Roberts, who was based at St Peter’s Church in Woolton , Liverpool, was fined £500 when he was sentenced for two counts of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 1989.

But instead of being defrocked, Roberts was eventually promoted to the position of Canon before he retired in 2013.

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.

Cautious optimism in clergy sex abuse pre-mediation talks

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 5, 2017

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

Pre-mediation talks began Monday in Honolulu to discuss settling the more than 100 cases alleging child sex abuse by Guam clergy and others related to the church.

If the parties do not agree to written mediation protocols, formal mediation talks might not happen as planned in October, and the cases could go to trial, according to those attending the talks.

Among other things, the parties have not yet agreed on whether retired Oregon Judge Michael Hogan should serve as the mediator. A meeting with Hogan, originally scheduled for Tuesday in Honolulu won’t happen.

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.

Bearing false witness: the defining sin of our era?

UNITED STATES
catholicculture.org

September 4, 2017

Phil Lawler

Could a society have its own defining sin? My wife Leila addressed that question on her own blog recently, and as usual I think she’s right.

By a “defining” sin I don’t mean to suggest that a particular society is prone to only one type of moral failing. All Ten Commandments are at risk every day, in every time and place where fallen human beings are gathered. Rather, I mean one persistent problem that points toward a weakness of the entire culture. …

… When the sex-abuse scandal came to the forefront 15 years ago, we learned to our horror that many bishops—not a few; many—had deceived the faithful by covering up the misconduct of predatory priests. Worse still, when they were confronted with charges of clerical abuse—charges that they knew to be true—many Church leaders not only denied those charges, but accused the people who lodged them of calumny. In doing so, they bore false witness against honest, faithful Catholics who were asking for justice. Since 2002, dozens of bishops have issued public apologies for tolerating priestly misconduct and for covering up evidence of abuse. But has a single bishop ever apologized to the many good Catholics who were accused of recklessly smearing a priest’s reputation, when in fact they were telling the truth?

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.

Accuser: Brouillard said fondling is natural

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 5, 2017

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

Father Louis Brouillard in around 1974 sexually abused an altar boy after a Mass in Barrigada, assuring him it was natural, a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Superior Court of Guam states.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only by the initials T.P. to protect his privacy, was an altar boy at San Vicente Ferrer and San Roke Catholic Church when Brouillard allegedly abused him.

T.P., now 59, stayed behind after Mass one day to help put things away, when Brouillard fondled him, the lawsuit states.

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.

Tolerant of Libel? Turning the “Spotlight” on The Boston Globe

UNITED STATES
The Catholic World Report

September 3, 2017

Thomas J. Nash

Veteran reporter Michael Rezendes makes several incorrect—even libelous—assertions in his recent remarks about the scandal of priests’ fathering children.

In a 2002 series of articles, Michael Rezendes and his colleagues on The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team did the Catholic Church—and, by extension, society at large—a great service in bringing greater light to the problem of sexual abuse by some priests in the Church. The Globe’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning coverage ignited investigations that helped facilitate national and international reforms. Some Catholic would strongly reject any affirmation of the Globe, given the newspaper’s general bias against the Church. I recognize that bias, and yet I would argue there’s no doubt that God used the Globe’s talented journalists to help purify the Church, as surely as he employed in Old Testament times ancient Babylon to topple the corrupt Kingdom of Judah and thereby spur the reform of the Jewish people.

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Innocence is precious. Childhood is sacred.

UNITED STATES
medium.com

September 3, 2017

Nandini Stocker

[An auspicious birth. An epiphany from my inner voice.]

I was born into the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), otherwise known as the “Hare Krishna Movement”. In fact, I was even born on the “appearance day” (i.e. birthday) of its founder, in the same village in India where its primary deity, Krishna, is said to have been born on Earth some 5,000 years ago. …

… There is really nothing else to explain the greatest tragedy of ISKCON — what happened to an entire generation of its children. And that’s where I would like to focus. Like the Catholic Church and many other religious groups, ISKCON has suffered from scandal and missteps in managing cases of child abuse. A large group of kids that grew up in my generation and went through the worst of it collectively filed and won a lawsuit against the leaders of ISKCON in 2000. For the kids who either entered the movement with their parents at a young age or were born into the movement in the 70’s and early 80’s, being in the Movement involved every range of abuse. Most kids were enrolled in gurukula ashrams (think parochial boarding schools), hundreds or even thousands of miles from their parents. These schools varied greatly in how stark or miserable they were. Some were just austere but full of fun and adventure, while others were like prisons, in every sense of the word. Children were often deprived of nutritional meals, beaten, molested, “disciplined” with brutal punishments, and for some, things were much, much worse. And by children I mean some as young as 3, but the standard age kids were sent away began at 5.

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El fiscal Uriburu adelantó que “es posible que haya dos denuncias más” contra Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria

[The Uriburu prosecutor said that “there may be two complaints” against Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria]

GUALEGUAYCHÚ (Argentina)
Analisis Digital

August 30, 2017

Federico Uriburu dijo que “quedó abierta la posibilidad para investigar posibles casos de abuso en sus destinos anteriores”.

El fiscal de la causa que se sigue contra el cura Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, Federico Uriburu, se refirió a la histórica instancia que se vivió en la justicia entrerriana con el primer juicio contra un miembro de la Iglesia Católica acusado de abusos de menores y deseó que su trabajo haya “aportado algo y sirva para modificar algunas cosas”. Al respecto, destacó el paciente trabajo que se realizó para contener y acompañar a las víctimas para realizar las denuncias y afirmó que “el funcionario judicial atrás del escritorio no sirve; especialmente los fiscales tenemos que estar en la calle, protegiendo a los testigos y a las víctimas, conteniéndolos y dándoles la confianza hasta que llegue el momento del juicio”.

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Judge to decide if ex-priest who molested boys can be committed indefinitely

CHICAGO
Chicago Tribune

September 5, 2017

Megan Crepeau

The accusations against “Father Dan” were seemingly endless.

Court records show more than two dozen boys and young men have alleged Daniel McCormack molested them in their youth, most notably at St. Agatha Parish on Chicago’s Southwest Side, where the young Roman Catholic priest coached basketball, taught algebra and delivered eloquent sermons.

The allegations ranged from inappropriate kissing and touching to sexual assault and dated as far back as the early 1990s. According to the court records, one boy said McCormack abused him on the way back from basketball practice, another in the basement of the rectory and still another during the fourth inning of a White Sox game.

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Dead priest is newest clergyman accused of abuse

GUAM
KUAM.com

September 5, 2017

Krystal Paco

A new priest joins the ranks of those accused. 43-year-old R.R.C. alleges he was an altar boy when he was sexually abused by Father Louis William Rink, who is now deceased.

Among the named defendants is the Congregation of Holy Cross who assigned Rink to serve in Guam.

The alleged abuse occurred in 1983 or 1984 when R.R.C. was an altar boy at Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo.

While in the sacristy, the priest asked the boy where they kept the altar supplies and equipment.

Rink told the boy that “no one needs to know” and said that one of the 10 commandments is “Though shall honor your mother and father” stating that includes a priest.

R.R.C. reportedly told Monsignor Ziolo Camacho what Rink had done, but Ziolo told the boy to keep praying and ask for forgiveness.

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16th priest accused in sex abuse suit

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 5, 2017

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

Another Catholic clergy member on Guam has been accused of child sexual abuse, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday.

Father Louis William Rink, who is now deceased, was sued by a former altar boy identified in documents only as R.R.C. to protect his privacy. The lawsuit accuses Rink of abusing the boy, who was 10, in Dededo in the 1980s. Rink is the 16th Guam clergy member accused in court of child sexual abuse.

Rink allegedly molested the boy in the Santa Barbara Catholic Church sacristy and told him that one of the 10 Commandments is “Thou shall Honor your mother and your father,” which also includes the priest, the lawsuit states.

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Unpacking the ‘strong powers’ insulating lay group charged with abuse

SICILY (Italy)
Crux

September 5, 2017

Claire Giangravè

The leader of a lay Catholic group in Sicily, arrested for allegedly abusing six underage girls, was able to create a system of connections and relationships with high ranking members of the judiciary and political system, which kept himself and the group immune from government and ecclesiastical oversight.

As the saga of a 5,000-member lay Catholic group in Sicily whose leadership has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse against underage girls continues to unfold, a puzzling question hangs over the story.

That question is: How could a group well known for practices that strayed from Catholic orthodoxy, including unauthorized exorcisms and a lay leader referred to by followers as an “Archangel,” as well as suspect behaviors that repeatedly led reasonable people to voice concerns, escape not only ecclesiastical but civil sanction for the better part of forty years?

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September 4, 2017

‘The sexual abuse scandals have affected the faith of many’

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Irish News

August 31, 2017

Dr Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin

[Reform of the Irish Church is needed, but there is a stubborn reluctance to tackle issues such as education, says Dr Diarmuid Martin.]

THE Vatican Council was without doubt one of the most significant cultural events of the 20th century for Irish culture taken as a whole, especially through its documents on the Church in the modern world and on religious freedom, and thus on the concept of pluralism.

Was Irish Catholicism ready for radical change? Not only was the Church culture of the time inadequate to face the challenge of change, but that culture was in itself something that made real and realistic change more difficult.

That the once-conformist Ireland changed so rapidly and with few tears was read as an indication of a desire for change, but perhaps it was also an indication that the earlier conformism was covering a shallow faith and a faith built on a faulty structure which people no longer really endorsed.

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Obituary: Mavis Arnold, investigative journalist who revealed the abuse of Irish orphans

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
The Independent

September 1, 2017

Marcus Williamson

[Her report on a fire at Poor Clares orphanage, which killed 35 children, led to revelations of widespread abuse at Catholic children’s homes]

Mavis Arnold was the journalist and writer whose investigative work exposed the abuse suffered by children in Ireland’s network of industrial schools. Published in 1985 as Children of the Poor Clares, and co-authored with Heather Laskey, the book was the first to show how orphaned children had been neglected and suffered in the Church-run establishments.

A central theme of the book is a fire which broke out in 1943 at St Joseph’s, an orphanage in County Cavan run by nuns. Thirty six people, including 35 girls and a member of staff, lost their lives as a result of the blaze. A report into the fire issued soon after stated that the deaths were due to lack of emergency procedures and fire-fighting training.

However, based on testimonies of survivors and rescuers, Arnold instead suggested that the nuns’ first reaction had been to keep the girls locked inside the building, so that they would not be seen on a public street in their nightclothes.

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Accuser: Pedophile priest took photos

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 5, 2017

Steve Limtiaco

Guam priest Louis Brouillard in 1963 and 1964 repeatedly sexually abused a Mangilao altar boy, according to a lawsuit filed Sunday, which states Brouillard took naked photos of the boy and kept them – possibly in a shoebox.

The lawsuit, filed by “V.F.”, now 65, also accuses former scout leader Edward Pereira, who is deceased, of abusing V.F. at the rectory of the Mangilao parish around the same time. Boy Scouts and altar boys would meet and hang out at the Mangilao parish, the lawsuit states.

Like others who have accused Brouillard of abuse, V.F. stated Brouillard would walk around naked in front of boys at the rectory, and would swim naked and molest them during Boy Scouts swimming outings.

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Monsignor charged with child abuse

PHILIPPINES
The Manila Times

September 5, 2017

The Taytay, Rizal parish priest arrested in July while on his way to a motel with a 13-year-old girl has been charged with child abuse and trafficking.

The minor and her mother filed the criminal charges against Msgr. Arnel Lagarejos of the Diocese of Antipolo, assisted by Chief Public Attorney Persida Rueda-Acosta.

Lagarejos, 55, is a monsignor, bestowed the honorific for exceptional services to the Church. Following his arrest by Marikina police, he was sacked as parish priest of St. John the Baptist Parish in Taytay and as president of the Cainta Catholic College.

Aside from Lagarejos, also charged before Acting Prosecutor General Severino Gana were alleged pimps Shaira Pedragoza, Ace Lasaca, Aldrei Roque and Luisa David, as well as several “John Does” said to be the child’s “customers.”

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Dera Scandal: ‘It’s Secular Bigotry to Say Religion Provides for Sexual Misconduct’

INDIA
News18.com

September 2, 2017

The conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in rape cases has once again turned the spotlight on the damage that the charlatans, who pass off as godmen, do to the spiritual culture of India. Devdutt Pattanaik, writer of modern Hindu mythology, talks to News18’s Eram Agha on this form of ‘crony spiritualism’, which, he says, has nothing to do with religion but with the nature of secular democracy and vote bank politics as practiced in India. Edited excerpts:

Q: Hinduism is said to be a religion with 33 crore Gods. But do godmen have a place in Hindu scriptures?

A: Godmen is a pejorative term created by the media. Every religion, not just Hinduism, has holy men who claim access to an alternate reality — call it spiritual, mystical, magical, or divine. We call them shaman, priest, yogi, guru, mullah. Some are sincere, others are charlatans. Some try their best to help their tribe, flock or followers; others exploit the power they have.

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Keighley church minister faces long prison sentence for sexually abusing women for decades

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

August 31, 2017

A church minister who sexually abused six vulnerable women has been warned by a judge he faces “a very substantial” prison sentence.

Pastor John Wilson, 70, carried out a series of indecent assaults under the pretext of being commanded by God to rid the complainants of evil spirits.

The sexual abuse took place over more than two decades while Wilson served at the Liberty Pentecostal Church in Keighley.

Following a trial lasting more than a month Wilson, of Shann Avenue, Keighley, was today found guilty on more than a dozen charges of indecent assault and further allegations of sexual assault and conspiracy to commit indecent assault after the jury deliberated for about 15 hours.

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‘Forgive them Father for they have sinned

PHILIPPINES
The Manila Times

September 4, 2017

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a case against Monsignor Arnel Lagajeros of the Diocese of Antipolo for molesting a minor.

Lagajeros, 55, was caught in an entrapment operation while inside his gray Ford explorer at the parking area of Blue Wave Mall along Sumulong Hi-way in Barangay Sto. Nino, Marikina City, where he and the minor were supposed to meet.

Lagajeros was not the first local prelate in the Catholic Church accused of sexual harassment or misconduct….

[See: Sexual Misconduct among Priests in the Philippines: Key Cases, by BishopAccountability.org]

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Man files abuse lawsuit against Church, Boy Scouts

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

September 4, 2017

Another sexual abuse lawsuit was filed against the Catholic Church of Guam and the Boy Scouts, accusing both institutions of promoting a haven for pedophile priests who also served as scoutmasters to access young boys.

The complaint states the victim, V.F., was 11 or 12 at the time he was allegedly sexually abused by former Guam priest Louis Brouillard and a scoutmaster, Edward Pereira, who is now deceased.

The complaint alleges Brouillard and Pereira separately abused V.F. while the victim served as an altar boy at Santa Teresita parish in Mangilao. The lawsuit was filed by David Lujan’s law firm.

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England mourns death of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor (Updated)

LONDON
Catholic News Agency

Hannah Brockhaus

London, England, Sep 1, 2017 / 10:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who served as Archbishop of Westminster for nine years, from 2000-2009, died Friday at the age of 85 after a brief hospitalization. He was well known for his efforts to promote unity between Catholics and Anglicans….

… He was criticized when it was discovered that as Bishop of Arundel and Brighton he had failed to report a priest, Fr. Michael Hill, who was convicted for child sexual abuse in 1997. After this incident, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor invited the judge Lord Nolan in 2000 to investigate the issue of pedophile priests and child protection in the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The Nolan Report was published in 2001. As a result of the report, the Church in England and Wales formed the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults to centrally manage applications through the Criminal Records Bureau ensuring thorough background checks of anyone working with children or vulnerable adults.

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Fromme Wünsche: Wie der Basler Bischof vor sexuellen Übergriffen schützen will

[Pious wishes: How the bishop of Basel wants to protect against sexual abuse]

SWITZERLAND
barfi.ch

September 2, 2017

Gleich vier Berater bietet das Bistum Basel gegen sexuellen Missbrauch auf. Bischof Felix Gmür erfüllt damit die Forderung nach mehr sexueller Offenheit in der Kirche. Bleibt die Frage, warum es gleich vier solcher Fachpersonen braucht.

Das Bistum Basel sagt klar, die Kirche sei verpflichtet, Menschen vor sexuellen Übergriffen zu schützen. So steht auf der Homepage: « Die Verantwortlichen des Bistums Basel pflegen einen sorgsamen und achtsamen Umgang mit den betroffenen Menschen. Sie sind bemüht, Wege zu suchen, um die Konflikte zu lösen.» Klar, das klingt nach den Skandalen der letzten Jahre etwas zauderhaft. Tatsächlich zögerte Bischof Felix Gmür beim Fall eines Priesters, der 2012 die Notlage einer jungen Frau sexuell ausgenutzt hatte.

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Fiscal pide prisión para sacerdote por denuncia de abuso sexual a un menor

URUGUAY
El Pais

August 28, 2017

El caso involucra a un sacerdote de 55 años de edad, quien abusó sexualmente de un menor desde que tenía 14 años hasta que cumplió los 18, según la denuncia que presentó la víctima.

El fiscal penal de Montevideo, Gilberto Rodríguez, solicitó a la Justicia el procesamiento con prisión de un cura por “un delito continuado de atentado violento al pudor” a un menor de edad.

El pedido del fiscal surge a raíz de una denuncia que un joven de 23 años presentó contra el religioso. En la misma, se establece que cuando la víctima tenía 14 años y concurría a la parroquia fue “compelido por el sacerdote, de 55 años de edad, quien abusando de su condición, le obligó a realizarle sexo oral en la habitación del párroco”.

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Sex-trafficked Nigerian teens: Why so little reporting on religious roots of this tragedy?

NIGERIA
getreligion.org

August 24, 2017

Julia Duin

There’s been some amazing articles out there about the modern-day slave trade involving Nigerians who think they’re fleeing to Europe for jobs, but end up getting forced into prostitution or crime.

The British press has been particularly astute in tracking this horrific trend, which involves west Africans, the majority who come from Nigeria, Gambia and Ghana and who head north via Libya only to end up in a tangle of slave markets patronized by Arab buyers. The Guardian, BBC, the Washington Post and many other media are describing how Libya is outdoing India in being the world capital of sex trafficking.

But not enough has been done when you consider there’s a bizarre mix of voodoo and Pentecostalism undergirding it all. After all, CNBC calls Libya the “torture archipelago” for poor African migrants. The Guardian asks the world why it’s ignoring this African holocaust in its midst.

Possibly the best story of them all was the New Yorker’s “Desperate Journey of a Trafficked Girl” that ran in April. Now The Times of London did a piece on what happens to the few lucky Nigerian teenagers who get through this hell to reach Italy.

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Victoria Police launches new podcast to tackle sexual crime

AUSTRALIA
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

September 4, 2017

David Sparkes

Victoria Police has launched a new podcast about sexual violence, aiming to convince more victims to report their assault.

The six-part series, called Unspeakable: Understanding Sexual Crime, is part of National Child Protection Week and tells true stories, featuring interviews with investigators, victims and their families.

Inspector Everett Moutsidis from Family Violence Command told ABC Radio Melbourne each episode would provide a glimpse into the work done by Victoria Police’s Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Teams (SOCIT).

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Fury over religious orders that owe state more than €100 million in compensation

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
The Irish Sun

September 4, 2017

Adam Higgins

FOUR religious orders forming part of a group that owes the State more than €100million in abuse compo got almost €300m in HSE grants last year.

Some 18 orders that ran facilities where children were abused have paid only €95.9m of their promised €226m as a result of the long-running Ryan Inquiry.

Despite this, the Brothers of Charity, Daughters of Charity, Sisters of Charity and Sisters of Mercy have got almost €300m for running medical facilities.

The Irish Sun now breaks down the amount each organisation has paid from the 2015 bill, with the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy footing more than half of the costs paid so far.

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September 3, 2017

La Iglesia Católica de Montevideo recordó su postura ante cura acusado abuso sexual

URUGUAY
Montevideo Portal

August 29, 2017

[La institución emitió un comunicado donde recuerda la postura que el arzobispo Sturla tomara ya en marzo, cuando se conoció el caso.]

El 31 de marzo de este año la Arquidiócesis de Montevideo publicó un comunicado acerca de la denuncia recibida sobre un presunto abuso contra un menor, hoy mayor, que habría cometido un sacerdote.

En las últimas horas trascendió públicamente el pedido de prisión del fiscal. “Aún no se conoce la resolución del juez”, dice el comunicado, que posteriormente reproduce el emitido por la Iglesia el pasado 31 de marzo, y que dice lo siguiente.

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[No Tiene Perdón] Piden prisión para un sacerdote que abusó de un joven

URUGUAY
Montevideo Portal

August 28, 2017

[El religioso fue denunciado por un joven, que afirmó haber sido abusado dentro de una parroquia entre sus 14 y 18 años.]

El fiscal Gilberto Rodríguez pidió el procesamiento con prisión de un sacerdote que abusaba de un adolescente en una parroquia de Montevideo.

De acuerdo al dictamen divulgado este lunes por Fiscalía de la Nación, Rodríguez acusó al sacerdote, de 55 años, de “un delito continuado de atentado violento al pudor”.

En su pedido de procesamiento, el fiscal señala que surge del expediente que la víctima, un joven que actualmente tiene 23 años, comenzó a ser abusado sexualmente desde sus 14 años “en la habitación del párroco”.

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“Queremos que la Iglesia Católica tome el lugar que le corresponde y se haga cargo del cura Escobar Gaviria

ARGENTINA
Analisis Digital

August 30, 2017

María Pía Taborda, integrante de la Multisectorial de Mujeres de Gualeguay, pasó por los tribunales de esa ciudad para manifestar apoyo a familiares y víctimas de los abusos del cura Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria. El último día de audiencia, cuando se realizaron los alegatos de partes, desde la organización que lucha por la igualdad de los géneros reclamaron a la Iglesia Católica “que tome el lugar que le corresponde y se haga cargo de Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, porque esta persona forma parte de la institución”. Por su parte, la abuela de Alexis Endrizzi contó a ANÁLISIS DIGITAL que “en Lucas González hay gente que se está acercando a mi nieto y a mi hija a pedirles disculpas”.

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El cura de Lucas González acusado de abuso se comparó con Cristo

ARGENTINA
El Dia de Gualeguaychú (Entre Rios Province)

August 28, 2017

La parte acusatoria cree que están acreditados los abusos y pidió 25 años de prisión. La defensa pidió la absolución. El cura habló por primera vez y se victimizó. La sentencia, el 6 de septiembre.

Fiscalía y Querella coincidieron en pedir 25 años de prisión para el cura Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria. La petición se realizó este lunes en los Tribunales de Gualeguay, donde se llevó adelante la audiencia de alegatos, que finalizó hace instantes.

El sacerdote de Lucas González, Nogoyá, está siendo enjuiciado por haber cometido abusos contra cuatro menores de edad, mientras era párroco de San Lucas Evangelista. Cabe recordar que durante el debate se sumó una quinta denuncia.

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Pidieron 25 años de prisión para el cura acusado de abuso de menores en Entre Ríos

ARGENTINA
El Patagónico

El fiscal Federico Uriburu y el querellante Mariano Navarro pidieron ayer, luego de casi cinco horas de alegatos, 25 años de prisión para el cura Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria en el juicio que se realiza en su contra en Entre Ríos por promoción a la corrupción agravada de menores -tres casos- y por abuso sexual agravado -un caso-.

El juicio se sustanció en los tribunales orales federales de Gualeguay, donde ayer se escucharon los alegatos, y a donde el religioso llegó poco antes de las 9 sin hacer declaraciones, ante la presencia de víctimas y familiares que se apostaron en la zona, y que se identificaron con pancartas y carteles.

Los presuntos abusos se conocieron a partir de una investigación de la revista Análisis, en la que se relató que las primeras en hacer una denuncia fueron dos religiosas del Colegio Castro Barros San José, quienes el año pasado se presentaron ante el defensor oficial de Nogoyá, Oscar Rossi, y acusaron al sacerdote de abusar a una menor de once años. Tras esa presentación, el cura fue suspendido y apartado de sus funciones.

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Caso Rosa Torino: recordá los detallados testimonios de las víctimas

ARGENTINA
El Tribuno (Salta province)

August 31, 2017

[Dos exmonjas dialogaron con El Tribuno en aquella oportunidad y aportaron más pruebas contra el cura.]

La noticia sobre las acusaciones contra Rosa Torino por abuso sexual y otros delitos supuestamente cometidos en su congregación del Instituto Religioso Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista cobraron gran repercusión a nivel nacional. El Tribuno siguió de cerca el caso y pudo hablar con testigos que en aquel momento aportabaron pruebas contra Rosa Torino.

Durante la mañana, Valeria Zarsa y María Gracia Ramia Damario, dos exmonjas de la congregación, formalizaron en la Unidad de Delitos contra la Integridad Sexual N§ 3, a cargo de Sodero, las graves denuncias contra Rosa y el sacerdote Nicolás Parma, otro de los imputados en la causa.

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Agustín Rosa Torino, cura abusador salteño, esperará su juicio en libertad

ARGENTINA
La Izquierda Diario

September 2, 2017

[Ante la noticia del beneficio otorgado por la justicia al sacerdote abusador de niños, la red de sobrevivientes de abuso eclesiástico emitió un duro comunicado.]

La Justicia concedió ayer la libertad a Rubén Agustín Rosa Torino, sacerdote salteño del instituto Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista, acusado de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante. El sacerdote fundador del Instituto, se encontraba detenido desde 2016 con acusaciones por amenazas y delitos económicos por el manejo de fondos de su empresa religiosa, además de los abusos.

El conocido cura “sanador” cuenta con un alto reconocimiento entre la élite política y empresarial salteñas. Sin embargo, su “buena imagen” demostró ser pura hipocresía a partir de la denuncia penal de dos exmiembros de su congregación, quienes lo señalaron por abusos sexuales sufridos. La denuncia también recayó sobre su mano derecha, el cura Nicolás Parma a quien Rosa Torino encubría y apañaba.

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[ESCÁNDALO EN LA IGLESIA SALTEÑA] Red de víctimas emitió un durísimo comunicado

ARGENTINA
El Tribuno (Salta province)

September 1, 2017

La red “Sobrevivientes de abusos eclesiásticos” emitió un durísimo comunicado tras conocer la decisión de la Justicia salteña de otorgar la libertad al cura Agustín Rosa Torino. “Hoy la Iglesia Católica medieval, cuna de pederastas, está de fiesta”, expresa el grupo que creó una página web en internet para denunciar y dar testimonio de los abusos sexuales cometidos por parte de sacerdotes y al mismo tiempo alertar a futuras víctimas sobre este accionar delictivo.

“Una vez más salen libres, con total impunidad, quienes han hecho de nuestras vidas un suplicio, en el que se incluyen a muchos otros que aún no se animan a denunciar”, señala el comunicado. Y agrega: “Quienes lo hicimos entendemos por qué y sabemos por qué”.

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Fuerte repudio a la liberación del cura Agustín Rosa, acusado de abuso: “Seguimos atrapados, no podemos vivir

ARGENTINA
TN (Todo Noticias)

September 1, 2017

[Graves acusaciones de la Red de Sobrevivientes. Un exintegrante de la congregación difundió una carta conmovedora. Radicaron una contradenuncia que afecta a una de las principales testigos.]

Tras a la liberación por parte de la justicia salteña del sacerdote Agustín Rosa y de la exmonja, María Alicia Pacheco, acusados de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante, la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico cuestionó a la “justicia patriarcal”, a la “la Iglesia Católica medieval”, y pidió terminar con la complicidad de las autoridades eclesiásticas.

“Hoy la Iglesia Católica medieval, cuna de pederastas, está de fiesta. Una vez más salen libres, con total impunidad, quienes han hecho de nuestras vidas un suplicio, en el que se incluye a muchos otros que aún no se animan a denunciar. Quienes lo hicimos entendemos por qué y para qué”, afirmó la organización en un comunicado.

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Liberaron a la exmonja acusada de abuso sexual a una menor de 13 años

ARGENTINA
TN (Todo Noticias)

August 28, 2017

Nicolas Tillard

La justicia salteña liberó a la exmonja Alicia Pacheco, que había sido detenida en diciembre acusada por abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante por la duración en el tiempo y por las circunstancias de su realización, agravado por ser religiosa. La “hermana Micaela” formaba parte del instituto creado en 1996 por el sacerdote Agustín Rosa, detenido con prisión preventiva. El caso se conoció tras el informe de TN.com.ar, donde los estudiantes de la congregación contaron el calvario que les tocó vivir.

Gracia Ramia había denunciado a Pacheco en la Oficina de Delitos de Integridad Sexual Nº2 de Salta. Tras un recurso de apelación, el Tribunal de Impugnación N°2 le otorgó la libertad hasta que la causa sea elevada a juicio.

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Liberaron al cura Agustín Rosa, acusado de abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
TN (Todo Noticias)

August 31, 2017

[Está procesado por abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante. Esperará el juicio en una finca en las afueras de la capital. La exmonja Alicia Pacheco había sido excarcelada hacía horas en la misma causa.]

Primero, la Justicia salteña liberó a la exmonja Alicia Pacheco, conocida como “Hermana Micalea”, acusada de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante sobre una chica de 13 años. El fallo de la Cámara ponía la lupa sobre la víctima, hablaba de la conducta sexual “temprana e impropia” de la denunciante y aseguraba que la “Hermana Micaela”, como se la conocía, “no tenía el perfil de la agresora sexual”.

Hoy, recobró la libertad Agustín Rosa, fundador del Instituto Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista, que fue señalado por novicios de someterlos y proteger a otros curas que también abusaban sexualmente de ellos. La decisión fue tomada por el juez Félix Costas, del Tribunal de Impugnación Número 2.

Nicolás Parma, el sacerdote cuya conducta sexual pervertida en contra de menores fue descripta por varios novicios, se encontraba hace meses, cuando fue denunciado, en una parroquia cerca de Barcelona y frecuentaba el Camp Nou y establecimientos gastronómicos de moda, pero se desconoce su paradero actual.

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Bishop Bartchak has announced the appointment of new members to the Diocesan Review Board.

ALTOONA-JOHNSTOWN (PA)
Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown

August 2017

Review Board – Bishop Mark Bartchak has announced the appointment of an entirely new membership for the Diocesan Review Board, which assists in the assessment of allegations of sexual abuse of minors and a cleric’s suitability for ministry.

The new members are:

Rev. Leo Arnone
Joyce Cunningham
Joseph Grappone
Todd Mahalko
Robert Skelly
Brent Stoltzfus
Rev. Miles Zdinak

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, every diocese is to have such a Review Board in which the majority of its members are Catholic lay persons not employed by the diocese. The Review Board is a confidential consultative body. In the interest of providing for objectivity and transparency, two of the Review Board members are from other Christian Churches.

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Detienen en Honduras a un sacerdote español reclamado en España por abus

HONDURAS
Atresmedia

[El religioso español se encuentra detenido en una instalación de la Policía Nacional, mientras las autoridades hondureñas adelantan el procedimiento para su extradición a España, de acuerdo a la información.]

Autoridades hondureñas han informado de la detención de un sacerdote español solicitado en su país donde es acusado de haber abusado sexualmente y prostituir a menores. El religioso, identificado como Joan Alonzo Bonal, ha sido detenido en el departamento de ‘Gracias a Dios’, fronterizo con Nicaragua, en el este de Honduras, según un informe de la Fuerza de Seguridad Interinstitucional Nacional (FUSINA).

Con ello se ha dado cumplimiento a una “orden de captura con fines de extradición emitida por España” contra él, ha señalado la institución hondureña. En España, el sacerdote está solicitado por la Justicia por “suponerlo responsable de haber cometido los delitos de abuso sexual y prostitución de menores”, ha indicado la Fusina.

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Sect leader in abuse case refusing to eat, officials say

NEW MEXICO
The Associated Press (appearing in The Washington Post)

August 30, 2017

GRANTS, N.M. — Officials say a leader of a New Mexico paramilitary religious sect facing child sexual abuse charges is refusing to eat.

Court documents filed this week say Deborah Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps has not eaten any food or drank water for at least three days.

A motion filed in the 13th Judicial District Court in Cibola County sought to send Green to a hospital for emergency services. The motion was granted, but Green’s medical condition is not known.

Green recently was indicted on various charges including kidnapping and criminal sexual penetration of a child.

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Second sect leader accused of child abuse

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
The Associated Press (appearing in Santa Fe New Mexican)

September 1, 2017 (Updated September 2, 2017)

Russell Contreras

ALBUQUERQUE — Another leader of a New Mexico paramilitary religious sect rocked by child sexual abuse allegations was arrested Wednesday, making him the ninth member facing charges in connection with a widespread investigation.

James Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps was taken into custody Wednesday on charges of kidnapping, child abuse and tampering with evidence according to court records. He was ordered held on a $250,000 secured bond.

His arrest comes after authorities raided his secluded Western New Mexico compound last month. Other members and leaders are facing child abuse and child sexual abuse charges, including Green’s wife and co-leader, Deborah, who faces charges of kidnapping and child sexual abuse.

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South Korean Pastor Sentenced to 14 Years for Child Sex Abuse

CAMBODIA
The Cambodia Daily

September 1, 2017

Hannah Hawkins and Chhorn Phearun | អានជាភាសាខ្មែរ

A South Korean pastor accused of sexually abusing several girls who lived with him at his Siem Reap City church was sentenced on Thursday to 14 years, an unprecedentedly long jail term for such crimes, according to one NGO worker.

Judge Sam Bunpov convicted 63-year-old Park Youl with purchase of child prostitution and sexual intercourse with a minor under 15 years of age, according to Siem Reap provincial court spokesman Ream Chanmony.

Mr. Park was arrested by anti-trafficking police in October on allegations that he molested nine girls on multiple occasions over several years and bribed them and their families with rice, cash and motorbikes in exchange for silence.

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Pope Francis on celibacy, child abusers, same-sex unions, secularism, and traditionalists

FRANCE
aleteia.org

September 1, 2017

Excerpts from ‘Politics and Society,’ a new book-length interview with the Holy Father.

Here is another selection of excerpts from Politics and Society, a new book-length interview with Pope Francis, in which the pope deals with some of the hot-button issues of our day.

[Read more: Excerpts on migration and refugees, and European and Argentinean identity, including his explanation for why “we are all migrants.”]

Pope Francis sat down for 20 conversations with French journalist Dominique Wolton for a book-length interview that will be released in French on Wednesday. The 432-page volume is titled Politique et société : un dialogue inédit, or Politics and Society: Conversations with Dominique Walton.

Walton conducted the interview sessions over the span of two years, the first time that the pope has given such a lengthy amount of time to a project like this.

**

If a priest is an abuser, he is sick

—Pope Francis: […] Before, the priest was moved, but the problem just relocated with him. The current policy is what Benedict XVI and I have applied through the Commission for the Protection of Minors, created two years ago here in the Vatican: defending all youth. It’s about confronting the problem. Mother Church teaches how to prevent abuse, and how to enable a child to speak about it, to tell the truth to his parents, and to be forthcoming about what has happened.

It is an edifying journey. The Church should not take up a defensive position. If a priest is an abuser, he is someone who is sick. Of every four abusers, two of them have been abused as children. These are the statistics from the psychiatrists.

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Connecticut Rabbi Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Assault On Student

CONNECTICUT
Forward

August 30, 2017

A Connecticut judge entered pleas of not guilty on behalf of a prominent Connecticut rabbi charged in the alleged sexual assault of a minor.

Rabbi Daniel Greer, 77, the founding rabbi of the Yeshiva of New Haven, appeared Tuesday in Superior Court in that city. He is charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, and remains free on $100,000 bail.

Eliyahu Mirlis, 29, of New Jersey, claims the rabbi raped and sexually molested him hundreds of times when he was a minor and a student at the religious boarding school from 2001 to 2005. Mirlis has urged media outlets that normally would not identify an abuse victim to use his name.

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Exact Vatican Tribunal Charges Against Guam Archbishop Unknown

UNITED STATES
theworthyadversary.com

September 1, 2017

Joelle Casteix

Even I was guilty of assuming that Archdiocese of Agaña (Guam) Archbishop Anthony Apuron was charged with child sexual abuse in his current and highly publicized Vatican Tribunal.

But then I learned:

Charges in a Vatican Tribunal are secret.

Apuron’s replacement confirmed it.

From The Tablet (UK):

“Asked if [Guam] archbishop [Anthony Apuron] was also being charged for financial mismanagement, not just alleged child abuse, Archbishop Byrnes told reporters he did not know what the charges ended up being, but that they would be published eventually after the Vatican judges deliberated. (emphasis mine)”

Guam’s Catholics and the public are under the assumption that Apuron’s Vatican trial is for child sexual abuse. The Vatican and Apuron’s lawyers, I believe, are taking that assumption and running with it.

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A disgrace to the church – man admits horrific abuse of three young girls

UNITED KINGDOM
Lincolnshire Live

August 30, 2017

Nicholas Fletcher

A former clergyman has pleaded guilty to 25 charges of indecently assaulting young girls after being exposed by an ongoing investigation into historic abuse at the Lincoln Diocese.

John Bailey from Ash Tree Park in Kippax, Leeds, admitted to offences involving three young girls aged under 14.

The 76-year-old faced 18 charges relating to a single victim between February 1974 and February 1982 when he appeared at Lincoln Crown Court on Tuesday, August 29.

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Church compares sexual abuse conviction to Christ’s death sentence

COLOMBIA
Colombia Reports

August 30, 2017

Adriaan Alsema

The archdiocese of the Colombian city of Manizales damned local judges and the attorney of a sexual abuse victim after the church was forced to take responsibility for the sex crime of one of its clergies.

In a letter sent to the judges of the Manizales court, episcopal vicar Marcos Fernando Barrientos fiercely rejected a court ruling that ordered the church to pay $35,000 in compensation to the victim of sexual abuse by one of the organization’s priests.

“History repeats itself. God is condemned by jurists, ignorant and cowardly as Pilate and his advisers under pressure of the hoi polloi.” – Vicar Marcos Fernando Barrientos

The clergy’s fury was spurred by a court ruling that confirmed the 20-year prison sentence of a local priest for raping a boy and the court order obligating the church to repair the victim.

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Today in Victoria: It’s a hard time to be an archbishop, just

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 30, 2017

John Ferguson, Victorian EditorMelbourne, @fergusonjw

It’s a hard time to be an archbishop.

Denis Hart, who runs the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, knows this dynamic better than anyone in Australia.

The Archbishop succeeded George Pell when the now cardinal went to run Sydney and ever since has erred on the side of well mannered community debate when selling the Catholic story.

But there are a few non-negotiables in the church leadership.

Euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage being chief among them.

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Rites v rights: the Catholic Church faces a crisis of conscience

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

September 1, 2017

Barney Zwartz

The Catholic Church in Australia is fighting on three fronts – same-sex marriage, euthanasia and education funding – that will test its influence both inside and outside the church, with the people in the pews and the politicians and powerbrokers.

Legalised same-sex marriage seems inevitable, euthanasia is back on the legislative agenda in Victoria and NSW, and the federal government has calculated that it can get away with an attack on funding for Catholic schools.

**
According to a senior lay leader who does not want to be named, sexual abuse scandals have so eroded the church’s moral authority that people have stopped listening. But this doesn’t apply on euthanasia, where the church has far more credibility because its wide, no-strings attached healthcare services – including being perhaps the largest palliative care provider in Australia – give it real authority.

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Catholic Church in Australia unlikely to change, abuse review head says

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet

August 29, 2017

Mark Brolly

Two members of the Truth Justice and Healing Council – the body established by the Australian bishops and religious orders to liaise with the Royal Commission – have spoken out, with Vice Chair Ms Elizabeth Proust telling the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that she was “pessimistic” about the Church’s willingness to reform and Council member Professor Greg Craven criticising the Commission and media coverage.

Ms Proust, a businesswoman and former leading civil servant, said she feared the Church would emerge from the Royal Commission only “partially cleansed and unreconstructed”.

“I fear there’s a view that once the royal commission reports, and the publicity around what will be a fairly dire report once that all dies down, that life will go back to what it was,” she told the ABC’s ‘Religion and Ethics Report’ on 16 August. “I hope I’m wrong. I’d like to think that the possibility for real transformation of the Church exists, but it’s an institution that’s been very slow to change on a whole range of issues.”

Ms Proust – who chairs the Australian Institute of Company Directors and formerly was head of the Victorian Department of P

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Concerned Catholics monitor seminary

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

September 3, 2017

Louella Losinio

Members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam conducted a “checkpoint” yesterday at the front gate going into the Redemptoris Mater Seminary to monitor everyone going in and out of the property, insisting that people using the seminary should pay rent to the Church.

The project called “Occupy RMS” involved volunteers of the Concerned Catholics working in shifts at the entrance of the Yona property.

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

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Magistrate’s hearing for teacher accused of molesting student

GUAM
Pacific Daily News (USA TODAY Network)

August 31, 2017

[BRIEF VIDEO] Peregrine San Nicolas, a Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School P.E. teacher, appeared in court for a magistrate’s hearing Thursday Aug. 31, 2017 in the Guam Judicial Center in Hagåtña. Jasmine Stole/PDN

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Mediation talks to begin in child sex abuse cases

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

September 3, 2017

Mindy Aguon

The first discussions to determine mediation protocol in nearly 100 child sex abuse lawsuits will be held in Hawaii tomorrow, Guam time.

Attorneys for most of the parties flew to Hawaii to meet with retired federal judge Michael Hogan, who will serve as an alternative dispute resolution mediator, to discuss a possible global settlement for the cases filed against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America, and numerous members of the clergy.

The Archdiocese of Agana has retained Seattle, Washington-based attorney Michael Patterson as defense counsel for all pending litigation filed against the Catholic Church in Guam.

Attorney David Lujan, who represents the bulk of the victims who have filed child sex abuse lawsuits, confirmed that the settlement discussions will also include several cases that have not been filed in court.

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Prosecutor: Pastor’s touching was not criminal

MICHIGAN
Times Herald (Port Huron MI)

August 30, 2017

Nicole Hayden

A pastor accused of sexually assaulting a young woman will not face prosecution because the woman doesn’t fall under any classes of victims as outlined by state law, officials said Wednesday.

Pastor Mitch Olson, of Grace Ministry Center in Smiths Creek, was being investigated after the 20-year-old woman filed a police report in June alleging that Olson sexually assaulted her while performing a religious act. The Times Herald does not publish names of sexual assault victims. At the start of August, the St. Clair County Sheriff Department submitted the case to the prosecutor for review seeking a criminal sexual conduct charge.

The prosecutor concluded no criminal activity occurred.

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Lawmaker looks to add clergy to sex assault law

MICHIGAN
Times Herald (Port Huron MI)

August 31, 2017

Nicole Hayden

A Senate bill is being drafted in Lansing to address clergy members and sexual assault laws.

The action is being taken after Sen. Rick Jones, Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, read a story in the Times Herald detailing a prosecutor’s decision to deny criminal charges against a pastor who put his hands on the breasts, buttocks and genitals of a female member of his church.

“I am angry this could happen and that this pastor could get away and not be charged,” Jones said. “I think that it very inappropriate and in most cases a pastor has just as much power over a person as a teacher or a doctor. I have requested a bill be written by the Legislative Service Bureau to address this situation.”

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3 new church sex abuse lawsuits filed, 1 dismissed Victim alleges priest physically abused him to comply for sex<

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

September 2, 2017

Mindy Aguon

A former altar boy has come forward alleging a priest repeatedly physically abused him to force him to perform sexual acts when he was a young boy.

R.J.S., who filed the lawsuit using initials to protect his identity, filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana naming deceased priest Antonio Cruz as his abuser.

Attorney David Lujan represents R.J.S., who alleges he was physically and sexually abused between the ages of 10 and 16 while serving as an altar boy at Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago.

R.J.S. said the physical abuse began when he was an altar boy and made mistakes during Mass.

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Active lawsuits accusing Guam priests of sex abuse now top 100

GUAM
Pacific Daily News (USA TODAY Network)

September 1, 2017

Steve Limtiaco

[The USA TODAY Network’s Pacific Daily News has uncovered nearly 100 lawsuits with stunning accusations against the some of the most revered men on Guam – the priests.]

[Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this report left out a lawsuit.]

HAGÅTÑA, Guam — Two more lawsuits filed Friday in U.S. District Court here bring the number of active suits accusing clergy members and others affiliated with this island’s Catholic Church of sexually abusing children to more than 100.

The two priests named in the lawsuits — the Rev. Louis Brouillard, 96, and Antonio Cruz, now dead — have been named in other suits: Brouillard is accused in 58 cases, Cruz in seven cases although the plaintiff requested an additional one that was filed Monday in federal court be voluntarily dismissed Thursday.

The claim that A.J.A. filed Monday against Cruz can be brought again according to court rules, but if it is dismissed a second time, it cannot be refiled.

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UPDATE: Priest accused of sexual abuse will return to SC to stand trial

SAVANNAH (GA)
WSAV

September 1, 2017

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Former Savannah priest Wayland Brown waived extradition and will be brought from Maryland to South Carolina to stand trial.

Brown was indicted on nine charges of criminal sexual conduct with a child last week.
Investigators says Brown took two boys, one from 1979-1981, the other in 1987-88 from St. James School in Savannah to several locations in Hardeeville, where he raped them.

Wayland Brown was defrocked as a Catholic priest by the Diocese in 2003

The Chatham County District Attorney’s office and US attorney’s in Georgia were barred from criminally prosecuting because of statute of limitations.

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In Sicily abuse saga, doubt surrounds what a bishop should have done

SICILY (Italy)
Crux

September 3, 2017

John L. Allen Jr., Editor

[As more details emerge about a Catholic lay movement in Sicily whose leader and three other top officials have been arrested and charged with sexual abuse of underage minor girls, the questions become: Should more have been done by Church authorities to disown the group, or did local bishops do everything one could reasonably ask?]

I hope you caught the Crux piece yesterday by Claire Giangravé about a lay Catholic organization in Sicily, whose lay leader and three other top officials have been arrested and charged with sexual abuse of minor girls. It’s a powerful tale, part of a series based on original reporting, and cements Giangravé’s reputation as a terrific journalist.

Let me say, we take no delight in telling these stories. However, as Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who heads the pope’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, never tires of reminding us, whenever sexual abuse occurs, inside or outside the Church, it’s a “dark and unremitting truth” that must be confronted.

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Lay group’s tale one of exorcisms, power struggles and abuse charges

SICILY (Italy)
Crux

September 2, 2017

Claire Giangravè

[A lay Catholic association founded by an unlicensed exorcist in the small Sicilian town of Aci Bonaccorsi is under scrutiny after its leader was arrested for sexually abusing at least six underage girls. A Crux investigation led to the further discovery of ‘bizarre happenings’ in the local church of Lavina for more than 40 years, where the lay group was able to act largely without any ecclesiastical or governmental oversight.]

ACI BONACCORSI, Sicily – Aci Bonaccorsi, a small town of about 3,500 on the Italian island of Sicily, is a pious and devout kind of place.

People are said to have been miraculously cured here, citizens swear to have seen demons cast out, and once, it is believed, the Virgin Mary stopped a river of lava from destroying the entire town.

But today the small Sicilian municipality, famous for being a bastion of the kind of traditional Catholicism that characterizes the surrounding diocese of Acireale, is in the eye of a hurricane involving exorcisms, alleged sexual abuse and power struggles.

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For archdiocese, full disclosure long overdue

SANTA FE (NM)
The New Mexican

Editorial
September 3, 2017

Public confession can be good for the soul, as well as essential for rebuilding trust in institutions tarnished by years of evasion and half-truths. For the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, a full and public confession naming which of its priests have been credibly accused of sexually molesting children is overdue.

Last week, reporter Andrew Oxford wrote at length describing what other Catholic dioceses around the nation have done to help victims overcome trauma caused by sexual abuse. It is clear that the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has more work to do to help ease the pain of the many victims of religious leaders.

New Mexico, long a center of Catholicism in the Southwest, was at the heart of pedophile priest scandals that hit the U.S. church. Over the past several decades, the faithful learned that trusted bishops failed in their duty to protect children.

Instead, church leaders hid child molesters, moving the accused men from church to church, putting more children at risk. When parents came to report the abuse, they were shunted aside. The focus, it seemed, was always the reputation of the Catholic Church rather than the safety of children. No public scandals, in other words, no matter the private evil that was allowed to continue.

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September 2, 2017

Sacerdote español abusó sexualmente y prostituyó a menores

HONDURAS
Debate

September 1, 2017

Tegucigalpa, Honduras.- Autoridades hondureñas informaron hoy de la detención de un sacerdote español solicitado en su país por presuntamente haber abusado sexualmente y prostituir a menores de edad.

De acuerdo con un informe de la Fuerza de Seguridad Interinstitucional Nacional (Fusina), el religioso, identificado como Joan Alonzo Bonal, fue detenido este jueves en el departamento de Gracia a Dios, fronterizo con Nicaragua.

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Honduras detiene a sacerdote español solicitado en su país por abuso sexual

[Google Translate: Honduras halts Spanish priest sought in his country for sexual abuse]

HONDURAS
Diario La Tribuna Honduras

September 2, 2017

Autoridades hondureñas informaron hoy de la detención de un sacerdote español solicitado en su país por presuntamente haber abusado sexualmente y prostituir a menores de edad.

El religioso, identificado como Joan Alonzo Bonal, fue detenido este jueves en el departamento de Gracia a Dios, fronterizo con Nicaragua, este de Honduras, según un informe de la Fuerza de Seguridad Interinstitucional Nacional (FUSINA).

Con ello se dio cumplimiento a una “orden de captura con fines de extradición emitida por España” en su contra, señaló la institución hondureña.

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Statement Regarding Father Martin Boylan

SCRANTON (PA)
Diocese of Scranton

August 30, 2017

The Diocese of Scranton learned today that the investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police into Father Martin Boylan has been closed because of a refusal on the part of the alleged victim to testify. 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.

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No Charges against Accused Catholic Priest

PENNSYLVANIA
16 WNEP (ABC)

August 30, 2017

Dan Ratchford

SCRANTON — An investigation into sexual misconduct by a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton is closed after state police say the alleged victim refused to testify.

The person came forward in April of 2016 accusing Fr. Martin Boylan of abuse when the alleged victim was just a child.

Fr. Boylan was serving as pastor of St. Patrick’s parish in Scranton when those accusations were made.

No charges were filed against Fr. Boylan.

The allegations were being investigated by state police and the Wayne County district attorney’s office.

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Pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale ‘likely to die in prison’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Tessa Akerman
@TessaAkerman

August 31, 2017

Australia’s worst pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale could leave prison in just five years after a Victorian County Court judge added three years to his jail term this morning

However, Judge Irene Lawson said Ridsdale had been in custody since August 1994 and it was increasingly likely the 83-year-old would die in prison.

Sentencing Ridsdale over a further 23 charges, Judge Lawson said; “You are now an elderly man with no hope of a productive life.”

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‘I had no idea what sex was or what had happened to me’ A survivor

AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

August 31, 2017

Australia’s most notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale will spend at least another three years behind bars after admitting to sexually abusing more children.

The 83-year-old man now has 161 convictions for abuse against 65 children, but the true figure of how many children he sexually abused, and how many lives he damaged, might never be known.

This is the story of one survivor.

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Pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale gets 11 more years in jail for child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Nine News

August 31, 2017

Australia’s worst pedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale will spend almost 33 years in jail in total for his unprecedented offending spanning three decades.

The former Catholic priest was sentenced today after pleading guilty to abusing a further 12 children during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl on a church altar in Ballarat.

Judge Irene Lawson sentenced Ridsdale to 11 years with a non-parole period of eight years.

Ridsdale is already serving a 28-year sentence with a 25-year non-parole period.

Ridsdale told one ten-year-old victim she’d be a “good girl” if she did not tell anyone, and said “we could be forgiven”.

She was taken to him several times by her father between 1962 and 1988.

The 83-year-old’s earliest possible parole is 2022.

** [Article includes timeline of Ridsdale’s life]

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Notorious former priest Ridsdale sentenced to 11 more years in prison for child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
AAP – SBS Wires, SBS World News

August 31, 2017

Australia’s worst pedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale abused his position of trust offending over three decades, says a judge who added another five years to his overall jail term.

The former Catholic priest has been sentenced to 11 years’ jail for abusing another dozen children, including a 10-year-old girl sexually assaulted on a church altar.

He has already served 23 years of a 28-year sentence for sexual offences against children in his care across western Victoria.

Victorian County Court Judge Irene Lawson said Ridsdale’s appalling pattern of offending was quickly established following his ordination in 1961.

“Each of the complainants were young, vulnerable and were exploited by you for your own sexual gratifications,” Judge Lawson said on Thursday.

“Your actions were violent and abusive.”

Judge Lawson said Ridsdale abused his position of trust over the victims and the trust of their families.

“You were a revered priest and trusted by devout Catholic families who respected you as God’s representative on earth.”

Ridsdale has now pleaded guilty in five court cases to abusing 65 children during his three decades as a parish priest in western Victoria, although his true number of victims is believed to be in the hundreds.

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Judge rules good cause to open files on 3 ex-priests accused of child sexual abuse

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
The New Mexican
September 1, 2017

By Andrew Oxford

ALBUQUERQUE — A state district judge said Friday there is good cause to open sealed records on three former Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children across New Mexico.

Judge Alan Malott said he will review three binders filled with years-old documents from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, including parts of depositions and personnel files, to decide which records will be released to the public for the first time.

Though dozens of other priests in the archdiocese also have been accused of sexual misconduct during the last several decades, the release of files about at least a few would offer rare insight into how church administrators for years covered up a scandal that went to the heart of one of New Mexico’s most revered institutions.

The hearing followed a request by KOB-TV to review documents accumulated by an Albuquerque lawyer who has represented some 60 survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

Malott has ordered the lawyer for plaintiffs in those cases, Brad Hall, to keep the files confidential.

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New Mexico judge could release priests’ sex abuse documents

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Associated Press

September 2, 2017

A New Mexico judge is reviewing three binders filled with years-old documents on three former Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children to decide what records should and shouldn’t be released to the public.

Judge Alan Malott said Friday there is good cause to open sealed records, but that he will review them “with an eye toward what is appropriate for public disclosure.”

Malott is reviewing the records in response to a request by KOB-TV, which filed in July as an intervenor in seven clerical abuse cases for the purpose of obtaining court records.

The attorney for the archdiocese, Robert Warburton of Albuquerque, said release of the records would endanger the archdiocese’s right to a fair trial, and endangers the privacy rights of victims and their families.

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September 1, 2017

Priest who burned crosses as a Klansman never paid court-ordered damages to victims. Now the order has expired.

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Tom Jackman August 31

The $26,000 that a federal judge ordered a member of the Ku Klux Klan to pay in 1982 to an African American couple and two Jewish groups for a series of cross-burnings is no longer legally collectible because the statute of limitations has expired, legal experts say.

The former Klansman, William Marx Aitcheson, is now a Catholic priest in Fairfax, Va., and never paid the $26,000. He pleaded guilty to cross-burnings in Prince George’s County, Md., in 1977, records show, and was sued in federal court in Maryland the following year by some of the victims, including Barbara and Phillip Butler of College Park, Md. In 1982, U.S. District Judge Frank Kaufman of Baltimore granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs, awarding the Butlers $23,000, and $1,500 each to Beth Torah Congregation and B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation of College Park.

All three parties said they never received any money from Aitcheson, and never heard from him again. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1988, and has been serving as a pastor in Virginia since 1993.

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Louis Brouillard, Antonio Cruz again accused of sexual abuse

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Steve Limtiaco, Pacific Daily News Sept. 1, 2017

There are now more than 100 lawsuits filed in federal and local court, accusing clergy members and others affiliated with the island’s Catholic Church of sexually abusing children decades ago.

Two lawsuits were filed Friday in the U.S. District Court of Guam, accusing former Guam priest Louis Brouillard and deceased priest Antonio Cruz of abuse.

In his lawsuit accusing Brouillard, “R.E.J.” stated he used to accompany Brouillard, who was a scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America, on outings between 1978 and 1980, although “R.E.J.” was not a member of the scouts.

Like many of those who have accused Brouillard, “R.E.J.” said Brouillard sexually assaulted him during a swimming trip to the Lonfit River. The lawsuit states “R.E.J.” was not a good swimmer, and Brouillard encouraged him to swim in the deep part of the river, where Brouillard then hugged and molested him.

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Editorial: Retain abuse survivors or risk irrelevancy

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Editorial

It is distressing to learn that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors may be restructured so that survivors of sexual abuse by clergy may have no direct voice in that body. The commission has helped the church make great strides in addressing this global issue, but it is in danger of becoming irrelevant.

Signs of trouble with the commission began to surface in 2016, a year after its inception, when one of two abuse survivors on the commission, Peter Saunders, was suspended. The trouble became acute when the sole remaining survivor on the commission, Marie Collins, resigned earlier this year.

Collins resigned because she felt Vatican bureaucracy was neglecting and stalling the work of the commission. The commission is understaffed, underfunded and not accepted by offices at the Vatican that should be working with it, Collins said. Her statements have been reinforced by fellow commission member Krysten Winter-Green in an interview with NCR.

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Three more lawsuits claim sexual abuse by priest

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 01, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Three more clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed in the District Court of Guam.

55-year-old R.J.S. alleges he was not only sexually molested and abused by Father Antonio Cruz, but also physically abused by the priest who would slap him, twist his ear, and hit him with a closed fist in order to pressure him to perform sexual acts.

55-year-old G.M.Q. and 49-year-old R.E.J. allege they were sexually molested by Father Louis Brouillard on swimming trips.

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UPDATE: Priest accused of sexual abuse will return to SC to stand trial

GEORGIA
WSAVi

By Andrew Davis
Published: September 1, 2017

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Former Savannah priest Wayland Brown waived extradition and will be brought from Maryland to South Carolina to stand trial.

Brown was indicted on nine charges of criminal sexual conduct with a child last week.
Investigators says Brown took two boys, one from 1979-1981, the other in 1987-88 from St. James School in Savannah to several locations in Hardeeville, where he raped them.

The Chatham County District Attorney’s office and US attorney’s in Georgia were barred from criminally prosecuting because of statute of limitations.

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Abuse allegation reported against retired priest

MISSOURI
St. Louis Review

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has announced a recently reported allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against a retired priest, Father John Robert “Jack” Campbell, which occurred in the 1960s at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary South in Shrewsbury.

Father Campbell, 85, has been retired from ministry since 1989 and currently resides in a private residence. Reports of abuse by Father Campbell were first made in the 1990s, prior to the adoption of the U.S. bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002. Father Campbell is on permanent administrative leave which prohibits him from engaging in priestly ministry. The Review Board of the archdiocese considers the new allegation to be credible.

An announcement about the allegation will be made in the parishes where Father Campbell served in keeping with the U.S. bishops’ charter to ensure transparency in communicating with the public about allegations of sexual abuse of minors and as an outreach to potential victims. Father Campbell was on the faculty of Prep South. He also taught at St. Pius X High School in Festus in the 1980s. Ordained in 1958, his parish assignments included St. Elizabeth in Crestwood, St. Edward in St. Louis, Notre Dame de Lourdes in Wellston and Sacred Heart in Valley Park.

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