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.

November 23, 2017

ASU prof resigns over past sex abuse

TEMPE (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

November 22, 2017

Jaime Lara, a professor of medieval and Renaissance studies at Arizona State University, resigned after it was discovered that he was a defrocked priest who had been accused of sexually abusing minors years ago.

The Dioceses of Brooklyn released a statement saying that Lara, who was ordained as the Rev. James Lara in 1973, was removed from active ministry in 1992. Other former priests were also named.

The disclosure appears to be the first time the diocese has formally acknowledged the names of priests laicized, or defrocked, for child sexual abuse. At least five people who say they were abused by Lara have applied for compensation.

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

N.B. Catholic Church says there may be no money left to compensate sex abuse victims

TORONTO (CANADA)
CBC Radio

The Current
with Anna Maria Tremonti

[Note: The radio interview that this article summarizes is well worth listening to. The transcript of the broadcast is also useful but error-prone.]

“It destroyed most of my youth.”

“It was very hard trying to hide what was happening. And I also thought that I was the only one.”

“As soon as someone opened the door, then it flooded out.”

These are the words of a New Brunswick man, using the pseudonym Pierre, who alleges that Catholic priest Camille Leger sexually abused him for half a decade as a child.

Camille Leger is now deceased, but over 30 complaints were brought against him.

And almost every month for the past year, lawsuits have been filed against New Brunswick’s Catholic Church by alleged victims seeking compensation for sexual abuse by priests.

The recent wave of allegations follows an earlier conciliation process that led to settlements with nearly 200 victims of sexual abuse by priests in New Brunswick.

{ Bastarache process: Michel Bastarche led a conciliation process that led to settlements with almost 200 victims of sexual abuse by priests in New Brunswick. Bastarache process by the numbers:
– Moncton: 109 victims; $10.6M awarded to victims;
– Bathurst: 90 victims; $5.5M awarded to victims }

There are now 56 alleged cases of sex abuse before the courts in the province involving the church — and Moncton Archbishop Valéry Vienneau told CBC News he is concerned they no longer have the money to compensate all the victims coming forward.

“That’s ridiculous,” Pierre tells The Current’s Anna Maria Tremonti.

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

Ex-priest in NSW court over abuse claims

LOWER HUTT (NEW ZEALAND)
NZ City

November 23, 2017

A former priest extradited from New Zealand on Wednesday is expected to appear via audio-visual link in a Sydney court.

A former Catholic priest is expected to apply for bail in a Sydney court following his extradition from New Zealand on historical child sex charges.

The 58-year-old’s matter was mentioned briefly in the city’s Central Local Court on Wednesday afternoon.

He’s been charged with sexual and indecent assaults in the late 1980s against seven males aged between 14 and 20.

He was originally arrested at his Hamilton home in New Zealand in late July after Sydney detectives received a referral in 2014 from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

* * *

He’s also requested his name be suppressed due to the nature of the allegations and “potential prejudice” in the event he is granted bail.

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.

Retired Ottawa priest named in abuse lawsuit in Quebec

OTTAWA (CANADA)
Ottawa Citizen

November 22, 2017

By Andrew Duffy

An Ottawa priest has been named in a Quebec lawsuit that seeks almost $2 million in damages for sex assaults that allegedly occurred at a private Catholic boarding school.

Rev. Jacques Desgrandchamps, 85, a priest in the Servite Order, lives in residence at St. Anthony of Padua Church. He served as an assistant pastor at the Booth Street church until December 2016.

In a recently filed lawsuit, it’s alleged Desgrandchamps sexually abused a student at Notre-Dame des Servites Colleges, a private Catholic school, during the mid-1970s.

The anonymous plaintiff, now 57, attended the boarding school in Quebec’s Eastern Townships between 1973 and 1975.

He alleges that as a 12-year-old, he was invited to Desgrandchamps’ room in a separate wing of the school — a place off limits to students — where he was served alcohol and sexually abused. Repeated incidents of abuse continued for two years until the victim left the school, the lawsuit alleges.

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.

Philippines to extradite ex-priest accused of abusing two North Dakota boys

BEMIDJI (MN)
Bemidji Pioneer

November 22, 2017

By Dave Olson

Fargo — A former Catholic priest who faces charges of sexually molesting two boys in North Dakota churches in the 1990s may soon be extradited to the U.S. to face those charges.

The Philippine government is preparing to extradite Fernando Laude Sayasaya, who was arrested over the weekend by police in the city of Calamba south of Manila, according to a CBS News report, which quoted Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras.

“The apprehension of Fernando Sayasaya once again shows that the long arm of the law would reach all criminals,” Paras said. “The suppression of crime is the concern not only of the state where it is committed but in any other state where the criminal may have escaped.”

John Folda, bishop of the Fargo Diocese, issued a statement Wednesday, Nov. 22, in which he said the diocese had become aware of Sayasaya’s pending extradition.

“We have full confidence in the judicial process to render a just decision on Mr. Sayasaya’s case, and we pray for the healing of all involved,” Folda said.

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

Catholic priest jailed for sex abuse granted right to appeal

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC News

November 22, 2017

A Catholic priest jailed for sexually abusing a teenage boy has been granted the right to appeal by a senior judge.

Michael Higginbottom, 74, from Newcastle, was found guilty of a series of sex assaults when he worked as a teacher at St Joseph’s College, in Upholland, Lancashire, in the 1970s.

He was jailed for 17 years in April.

His lawyers told the Court of Appeal his convictions were unsafe due to an error in the trial judge’s ruling on what evidence went before the jury.

Higginbottom, of West Farm Road, Walker, denied eight counts of sexually abusing the boy when he was aged between 13 and 14, but was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court.

During the trial the victim told jurors that “being left alone at Upholland” was “worse than death”.

After hearing evidence from Higginbottom’s lawyers, a Court of Appeal panel, led by Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett along with Mr Justice Teare and Mr Justice Kerr, ruled there was an “arguable point” as to whether details of a fraud charge should have gone before the jury.

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.

Priest convicted of sex abuse is given leave to appeal

WIGAN (LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND)
Wigan Today

November 23, 2017

By Peter Magill

A Catholic priest convicted of repeatedly abusing a teenage boy at a seminary in the Wigan area has been given leave to appeal by law lords.

Father Michael Higginbottom, 74, was jailed for 17 years in April after being found guilty of a catalogue of abuse concerning a boy, then aged 13 and 14, at St Joseph’s College at Upholland in the 1970s.

Court of Appeal officials have now confirmed that Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, sitting with Mr Justice Teare and Mr Justice Kerr, have given leave to appeal, after it was reported that a previous fraud charge should not have been admitted into evidence.

No date has yet been fixed for the appeal, according to a court spokesman, and Higginbottom will remain in custody until the next hearing.

Higginbottom, who was convicted of eight sexual offences, was a teacher at St Joseph’s, which trained young boys wanting to become priests.

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.

St Albans priest posthumously accused of abuse by two victims

ST. ALBANS (HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND)
The Herts Advertiser

November 23, 2017

By Fraser Whieldon

A dead Catholic priest has been accused of historic sexual abuse by two victims in St Albans.

Father Thomas Heley came to the Parish of Ss Alban & Stephens St Albans in 1977, and stayed there until his death in 1986, during which time it was alleged he abused young boys.

One victim said: “I have been seriously affected by the childhood sexual abuse I experienced.

“It’s had a crippling impact on my ability to sustain relationships, as I feel I cannot trust people or let people get too close.

“It has had a major impact on my relationship with my son, I have been unable to be the father I could have been.

“I have turned to alcohol as a coping strategy in order to block out the abuse, which in turn has led to me losing jobs and exhibiting destructive behaviours which has had a negative impact on those around me.

“It’s only recently I have felt able to disclose this abuse and I am currently struggling to process the emotions that this has bought to the forefront on my mind.

“I feel I have not been able to lead the life that I could have had, which deeply saddens me and my family.”

After contacting the parish, the victims were told several allegations had been against Fr Heley at his previous posting in Cork from 1999 onwards.

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.

November 22, 2017

Opinion: New guardian angel protects us as we share #MeToo survivor stories

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

November 21, 2017

By Amy Morris-Young

On Sept. 24, when Barbara Blaine, founder and former president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (or SNAP) died, it felt to me like an era of the safe telling of this story might be ending as well. Like many other Catholic families, ours has been influenced by past clergy abuse, and felt its reverberations through subsequent generations.

With Barbara Blaine gone, I worried that survivors might hold their stories tight, and keep those damaging secrets hidden, once again.

I am only guessing here, but it seems Barbara has continued her mission, from heaven.

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.

Church’s plea of poverty a poor excuse, victims’ lawyer says

NEW BRUNSWICK (CANADA)
CBC News

November 21, 2017

By Harry Forestell

Lawyer for sex abuse victims says Catholic Church has ‘financial depth’

The lawyer acting for victims of pedophile priests in the Archdiocese of Moncton is dismissing claims the church is running out of money.

Rob Talach is representing 26 people suing the church for failing to protect them from sexual abuse, in most cases at the hands of the now-deceased Rev. Camille Leger.

Recently Archbishop Valéry Vienneault told CBC News the archdiocese had essentially run out of money to compensate victims. The church spent $10.6 million on 109 claims between 2012 and 2014.

“We had money — the diocese had money, but doesn’t anymore,” Vienneau said.

But Talach claims the Roman Catholic church has financial depth and points to its substantial real estate assets as one potential source of cash.

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

Ex-Youth Pastor Pleads Guilty To Sexual Abuse Charges

COVINGTON (KY)
The Associated Press

November 21, 2017

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) – A former youth pastor and school volunteer has admitted to sexually abusing a young girl.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports 56-year-old Joseph Niemeyer pleaded guilty Monday to four counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of first-degree sodomy, all against a girl younger than 12 years old.

New Banklick Baptist Church pastor Tim Cochran says Niemeyer and his wife worked as youth pastors at the church in Walton, about 80 miles northeast of Louisville. He also volunteered at Independence’s Twenhofel Middle School.

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

Judge: Boy molested at Willow Creek church can seek extra damages

SOUTH BARRINGTON (IL)
Daily Herald

November 21, 2017

By Bob Susnjara

Volunteer at Willow Creek molested boy with special needs in 2013

A Cook County judge has allowed an attorney to seek additional financial damages in a lawsuit against Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington on behalf of a special-needs boy who was molested there by an adult volunteer who admitted the sexual abuse.

Lawyer Kevin J. Golden’s case on behalf of the now 13-year-old Fox Lake boy against the church and Robert Sobczak, the volunteer in question, began in Cook County circuit court in February 2014. His client has autism, ADHD and a chromosomal disorder called DiGeorge syndrome.

Golden said the case has dragged on long enough.

“The church has fought this from Day One and has not taken responsibility,” he said. “We look forward to our day in court.”

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.

These “Church Too” Tweets Are A Powerful Reminder That Sexual Abuse Isn’t Limited To Hollywood

UNITED STATES
Bustle

November 21, 2017

By Mehreen Kasana

In the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against film tycoon Harvey Weinstein (who has denied accusations of nonconsensual sex), actress Alyssa Milano invited women to share their own experiences using the hashtag “Me Too.” It went, understandably, viral. Shortly after the hashtag took off, reports emerged that the original idea for “Me Too” came from activist Tarane Burke who started it as a grassroots movement to support people who had experienced sexual abuse. Now, another Twitter hashtag “Church Too” is up with survivors detailing sexual harassment and abuse in places of worship like churches.

The hashtag started on Tuesday and was described by one Twitter user in these words, “There’s a hashtag on Twitter right now called #ChurchToo where people are sharing their stories of sexual harassment and abuse in religious (primarily Christian) settings. It’s a sobering, powerful, disturbing read. Many thanks to the brave people sharing their stories.” According to another user, the origin of #ChurchToo was traced to two women, writer Hannah Paasch and spoken word poet Emily Joy

Allegations of sexual abuse taking place in churches aren’t new. Time and again, there have been media reports of misconduct and inappropriate behavior coming from priests and pastors. But hashtag “Church Too” gives the power and control over narration to the very people who have experienced such abuse. As of this moment, the hashtag has over 2,000 tweets and it seems like it will continue to grow.

Warning for people who may feel triggered by the hashtag as some of the content is disturbing.

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.

PAY ‘GREATEST ATTENTION’ TO PROTECTION OF MINORS IN SEMINARIAN TRAINING

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

November 22, 2017

By Sarah Mac Donald

‘The main challenge is how to live a meaningful and committed celibate life in the priesthood’

A member of the Vatican’s Commission for the Protection of Minors has said seminaries must pay the “greatest attention” to the protection of minors and vulnerable persons in their formation programmes and mustn’t confine the matter to a one-off safeguarding lecture or workshop so that a box could be ticked.

In his address on ‘Formation in Safeguarding in Seminary and Religious Training’ at a symposium at the national seminary in Maynooth, Professor Hans Zollner of the Centre for Child Protection at Rome’s Gregorian University, said specific courses on the protection of minors must be included in seminaries’ programme of initial as well as ongoing formation.

The issue should not be something seminaries fear nor should it be confined to the area of sexuality, “it has to be part of our understanding of pastoral work,” he said.

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

Filipino ex-priest faces US extradition on sex charges

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
Agence France-Presse

November 22, 2017

A Filipino ex-priest is facing extradition to the US for allegedly sexually abusing minors there in the 1990s, authorities said on Wednesday.

Fernando Sayasaya, 53, was tracked down by police in a province outside Manila on Sunday nearly two decades after he fled the US and went into hiding in the Philippines.

He was accused of molesting two boys in the state of North Dakota where he worked for the Catholic Church, police said.

He was put on administrative leave in 1998 following the allegations, but a US court only issued an arrest warrant for Sayasaya in 2002.

“He was charged of gross sexual imposition, that he (allegedly) made sexual contact on two young brothers who were aged under 15 at that time,” Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras said.

Before fleeing the US, Sayasaya apparently told his superiors he wanted to spend Christmas in the Philippines but never returned, Paras added.

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.

Philippines to extradite priest accused of molesting US boys

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
The Associated Press

November 22, 2017

The Philippine government is preparing to extradite to the United States a recently arrested Filipino Catholic priest who faces charges of sexually molesting two boys in North Dakota churches in the 1990s, an official said Wednesday.

Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras said Fernando Laude Sayasaya was arrested over the weekend by police in Calamba city in Laguna province south of Manila and will be flown back to the U.S., which sought his extradition under a treaty.

“The apprehension of Fernando Sayasaya once again shows that the long arm of the law would reach all criminals,” Paras said. “The suppression of crime is the concern not only of the state where it is committed but in any other state where the criminal may have escaped.”

Sayasaya is being detained at the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila and could not be reached for comment.

He was charged in a North Dakota court over alleged sexual advances toward two underage siblings from 1995 to 1998, including by separately touching and making them watch pornographic videos, in two North Dakota churches, according to Philippine Court of Appeals documents that cited a U.S. investigation.

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 Catholic priest to face court over alleged sexual assaults at a Dundas educational facility

AUSTRALIA
Parramatta Sun

November 22, 2017

By Meg Francis

A former Catholic priest will face court after being charged with the alleged historic sexual assault of seven youths at a Dundas educational facility.

His arrest comes after allegations of a series of assaults during the late 1980s were raised during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Police said the man, 58, was initially arrested at his Hamilton home in New Zealand on July 31 following a three-year investigation.

At about 7am on Wednesday, November 22, Rosehill police travelled to New Zealand and extradited the accused to Australia.

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.

Olympic Gymnast Gabby Douglas Says Larry Nassar Sexually Abused Her Too

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

November 21, 2017

By Carla Herreria

The gold medalist joins more than 100 women accusing the USA Gymnastics doctor.

Gabby Douglas revealed on Tuesday that she was also a victim of Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor who has been accused by more than 125 women and girls of sexual abuse.

This is the first time the Olympic gymnast has come forward with her own accusations of abuse. Douglas joins a growing number of gymnasts who have accused the 54-year-old doctor of sexually abusing them under the guise of medical treatment, including her Olympic teammates Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.

Douglas wrote vaguely of the abuse in a statement she posted to Instagram on Tuesday in which she apologizes for a tweet she wrote last week that suggested a woman who dressed “in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd.”

Douglas said that she wasn’t trying to victim-shame women.

“I didn’t view my comments as victim shaming because I know that no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you,” the 21-year-old gymnast wrote.

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.

Gabby Douglas opens up in Aly Raisman apology: I was abused, too

UNITED STATES
New York Post

November 21, 2017

By Hannah Withiam

Gabby Douglas added her name to the long list of female gymnasts who said they were victims of Dr. Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse in a post apologizing for her misguided comments last week.

In walking back her controversial response to Aly Raisman’s message on victim shaming — in which Douglas said women should dress “modestly” and not provoke the “wrong crowd” — the three-time Olympic gold medalist indirectly noted she too was sexually molested by Nassar over the years he worked for USA Gymnastics.

“I didn’t view my comments as victim shaming because I know that no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you. It would be like saying that because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar,” Douglas wrote on Instagram Tuesday.

“I didn’t publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent and honestly some things were extremely painful. I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to 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.

Shattered Faith, Part III: Getting help

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
KOB 4

November 22, 2017

By Chris Ramirez

Editor’s Note: This story is the second in a series called “Shattered Faith,” in which KOB 4 Investigates examines the cases of three former Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe whose alleged widespread abuse of children decades ago not only went undealt with, but has contributed to what many mental health professionals call a mental health crisis for New Mexico.

The first story in this series, “A dangerous shuffle game,” can be found here. The second part of this series, “The wide circle of silence,” can be found here. Read on for the final part of “Shattered Faith.”

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s painful to talk about childhood sexual abuse, especially when the person who inflicted the pain is a member of the clergy. But talking about it, unpacking those emotions and memories, is important for the healing process. Many believe the hundreds, possibly thousands of acts of sexual acts perpetrated on children years ago have created a mental health crisis in New Mexico today.

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.

Internet was ‘never meant for children’, says bishop

ENGLAND
Catholic Herald

November 21, 2017

by Susan Byron

It is for the Church to ‘defend the dignity of children in the digital age,’ Bishop Sherrington said

A bishop has warned that the internet poses “multiple dangers” to children, given its origins as a “system developed for adults”.

John Sherrington, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, referred to the World Congress on Child Dignity in the Digital Age, a convention held by the Vatican in October.

“It shows the Holy See is really concerned about the present situation, the way in which there are multiple dangers faced by children in the age of the internet,” he said.

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

How Our Broken Justice System Led to a Sexual Harassment Crisis

UNITED STATES
New Republic

November 22, 2017

By David Dayen

A series of powerful men have been accused of serious crimes, with little legal accountability. Sound familiar?

Amid the latest wave of sexual harassment allegations, you might conclude, with some relief, that predators are finally being held accountable for long-repressed abuse. But while several men have lost their jobs, there’s been little accountability in a legal sense. Several cases reported in the media—from Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey to Russell Simmons—would constitute crimes if proven, but thus far there haven’t been any indictments. In Weinstein’s case there have been reports of criminal investigations, but in general the #MeToo movement has played out in the press and on social media.

This makes many uncomfortable. Each story has its own particulars, but they all inspire demands for the same conclusion: effectively, banishment from the public square. Bill Maher warned against lumping in Al Franken’s alleged groping with Roy Moore’s alleged stalking of minors. The mantra to “believe women” bumps up against questionable accusations, such as assault allegations against Senator Richard Blumenthal that were made by what appears to be a Twitter bot. Social media doesn’t make allowances for legal concepts like the presumption of innocence, and it can justifiably lead to fears of mob rule or partisan exploitation.

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.

After Lara revelations, Div School alumni call for investigation, reforms in letter to deans

NEW HAVEN (CT)
Yale Daily News

November 21, 2017

By Adelaide Feibel

In response to last week’s news of former Yale Divinity School and Institute of Sacred Music professor Jaime Lara’s history of sexual abuse as a priest, Divinity School alumni sent a letter with over 120 signatures to Dean of the Divinity School Greg Sterling and Dean of the Institute of Sacred Music Martin Jean, urging them to take concrete actions to foster a “just, hospitable and equitable” learning environment for students and a climate of accountability for faculty and staff.

The letter was distributed starting last Wednesday in what Katey Zeh DIV ’08, one of the letter’s authors, called “a grassroots effort.” By signing the letter, alumni pledged to withhold financial support from both the Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music until the administrations of the two institutions address the letter’s requests “in good faith.”

“While we and many other alumni benefitted from amazing educations and transformative experiences during our time on the Quad, we are disappointed by what this news reveals — unhealthy and toxic power dynamics that too frequently characterize faculty-student encounters and relationships at YDS and ISM,” the letter 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.

Number of women accusing Catholic priest ‘Father Pervert’ of sex abuse now 30

QUEENS (NY)
New York Daily News

November 21, 2017

By Stephen Rex Brown

More than 30 victims now say they were abused by a Catholic priest known by students as “Father Pervert,” “The Pig” and “Lurch.”

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian says he is representing 34 women and one man who allege they were sexually abused by the Rev. Adam Prochaski between 1970 and 1994.

Prochaski, who was assigned to Holy Cross Parish in Maspeth, Queens, is no longer a priest. The victims were between the ages of 5 and 16 when they were allegedly abused.

“The sexual abuse of clients took place in the school, church, rectory next to school, in some clients’ homes and in Prochaski’s car,” Garabedian said.

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

Priest who taught at Eastern Townships school responds to sex allegations levied in class action application

CANADA
CBC News

November 21, 2017

Father Jacques Desgrandchamps has been suspended from the weekly mass he gives in Ottawa

A priest who taught history at a Catholic boarding school in the Eastern Townships has been suspended after an application for a class-action lawsuit was filed alleging he sexually assaulted at least one of his students.

In the document, a 57-year-old man accuses the Collège Servite in Ayer’s Cliff, Que. and the religious Servite Order community of turning a blind eye to the alleged abuse he was a victim of between 1973 and 1975, at the hands of Father Jacques Desgrandchamps.

The man was 12 at the time. He has chosen to remain anonymous, but his lawyer, Robert Kugler, says a class action lawsuit was chosen in order to allow other potential victims to come forward.

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.

MINNESOTA ABUSE VICTIM CLAIMS BISHOP BULLIED HIM INTO SILENCE

CROOKSTON (MN)
ChurchMilitant

November 21, 2017

By David Nussman

Bishop denies allegations, made settlement to save money

CROOKSTON, Minn. (ChurchMilitant.com) – A practicing Catholic is accusing his diocese of trying to cover up priestly sex abuse.

Ron Vasek was on the way to becoming a permanent deacon in 2011 when he started opening up about his victimization as a child. The abuse incident occurred in 1971, but Vasek had mostly been quiet about it — as sex abuse victims often are — until his time in seminary training for the permanent diaconate.

In October 2015, Bp. Michael J. Hoeppner of Crookston, Minnesota met with Vasek privately and allegedly coerced him into pledging never to file a lawsuit about the abuse.

But in May this year, Vasek filed a civil suit against the diocese, accusing it of a cover-up. The seven charges in the ongoing civil suit fall under three claims: coercion, negligence and nuisance.

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 priest accused of abuse ‘fled out of cowardice and stupidity’

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Press Association via Premier

November 22, 2017

A former Roman Catholic priest told jurors he fled to Kosovo out of “cowardice and stupidity” after being accused of abusing boys at a Catholic school.

Andrew Soper (also known as Father Laurence Soper) said his whole life had been “ruined” by the allegations over to his time as headmaster and senior priest at fee-paying St Benedict’s School in Ealing, west London.

While on police bail over accusations dating back to the 1970s and 80s, Soper went on the run in Kosovo – but was extradited back to England face trial at the Old Bailey.

Ten former pupils have made allegations against him, including that he used the cane as a ruse to sexually assault and rape 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.

2 former students allege sexual abuse at Presentation High School in San Jose

SAN JOSE (CA)
KGO-TV

November 22, 2017

By Matt Keller

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — Two former high school students are coming forward with their allegations of sexual abuse at a prominent South Bay high school. They say Presentation High School in San Jose covered it up for more than three decades.

Kathryn Leehane and Cheryl Hodgin Marshall are asking for changes they say will protect students from sexual abuse. Leehane wrote an article for the Washington Post back in October on her alleged sexual abuse experience back in 1990 at the all-girls Catholic school. She says that has sparked other former or current students to come forward about their sexual abuse by teachers.

According to our media partner, the Mercury News, Presentation’s principal, Mary Miller sent parents a letter about the allegations. She wrote, “These cases are being thoroughly investigated by the appropriate authorities and we will not be able to share the conclusions of these investigations because of privacy law, but we want you to know what is occurring to ensure rumors and false information do not make their way through the school community.”

The former students will hold a press conference at 11 a.m.

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.

EDITORIAL: Responding to sexual abuse will take years—and it should

UNITED STATES
American Magazine: The Jesuit Review

November 21, 2017

The Editors

The flood of revelations about sexual harassment and assault, whether in Washington or Hollywood, is unlikely to stop anytime soon. The walls of denial built up by position and self-protective ignorance have been breached. If the tragic revelations of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis are any guide, the process of reckoning with problems that have been avoided for decades will itself take decades.

Neither the church as a whole nor the editors of this review are in a position to prescribe a comprehensive remedy for the systemic patterns of harassment, abuse and denial. But there are pitfalls to be avoided and small measures of hope to be encouraged, and the church’s experience has some lessons to offer.

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Philippines to extradite priest accused of abuse in U.S.

MANILA (PHILLIPINES)
The Associated Press

November 22, 2017

MANILA — The Philippine government is preparing to extradite to the United States a recently arrested Filipino Catholic priest who faces charges of sexually molesting two boys in North Dakota churches in the 1990s, an official said Wednesday.

Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras said Fernando Laude Sayasaya was arrested over the weekend by police in Calamba city in Laguna province south of Manila and will be flown back to the U.S., which sought his extradition under a treaty.

“The apprehension of Fernando Sayasaya once again shows that the long arm of the law would reach all criminals,” Paras said. “The suppression of crime is the concern not only of the state where it is committed but in any other state where the criminal may have escaped.”

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SEXUAL ABUSE BY TANTRIC MASSEURS: HOTLINE RECEIVES DOZENS OF REPORTS

NETHERLANDS
NLTimes.nl

November 22, 2017

By Janene Pieters

Masseur Helene Baayen and relationship-expert Caroline Franssen launched a hotline where women can report sexual abuse by tantric masseurs and ‘intimacy coaches’. In a month and a half, 24 reports were received against nine masseurs, NOS reports.

Tantra is a spiritual movement in Buddhism and Hinduism that is mainly associated with sexuality in the west. The nine tantric masseurs mentioned in the reports – all of them men – claim that they can help women overcome emotional blockages and sexual trauma. NOS spoke to nine women who filed reports against them. According to the victims, instead of help, the masseurs used the opportunity to sexually abuse them. They unexpectedly switched from massaging to sexual acts, in some cases escalating to penetration. At least one masseur also engaged in long-term sexual relationships with vulnerable women who approached him for therapeutic reasons.

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Three more women allege abuse by Caldey Island monk

CALDEY ISLAND (WALES)
The Guardian

November 21, 2017

By Amanda Gearing and Harriet Sherwood

Survivors’ organisation demands inquiry into allegations against Father Thaddeus Kotik, who died in 1992

Three more women have come forward to claim they were sexually abused by a Cistercian monk at Caldey Island abbey in the 1970s and 80s, as a survivors’ organisation demanded an inquiry into the allegations.

Macsas, an organisation that supports survivors of clerical abuse, said an inquiry was needed to establish the extent of the alleged abuse. Meanwhile the children’s commissioner for Wales has asked the abbey for information on its child protection procedures.

The commissioner, Sally Holland, said she wanted “to make sure that any child or young person visiting Caldey or its churches is safe”, and she had discussed the allegations with the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service, who did not respond to a request for comment.

The fresh claims follow the disclosure in the Guardian last week that six women had brought a civil claim against the Cistercian order on the island off the coast of Pembrokeshire, alleging they were sexually abused as children by one of its monks, Father Thaddeus Kotik, who died in 1992.

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Advocates: College prof accused in sex case must go

ADRIAN (MI)
The Daily Telegram

November 21, 2017

By Dan Cherry

ADRIAN — Supporters of a woman who alleges sexual misconduct against her former high school instructor — now an Adrian College professor — three decades ago brought her message Monday to the college campus.

A dozen members of the public and the Red Light Initiative of Lenawee County — an organization formed to increase awareness of sexual assault, human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children in southeastern Michigan — held a vigil in front of the college to raise awareness and request the college dismiss one of its longtime employees, Thomas Hodgman.

Joelle Casteix alleges that as a 15-year-old student at a Catholic high school in California more than 30 years ago, Hodgman had a sexual relationship with her for approximately two years. A settlement in Casteix’s case and 92 others alleging abuse by priests and others throughout the Catholic diocese of Orange, California, eventually was reached. Hodgman was hired later by Adrian College.

In a statement dated Nov. 11, Adrian College reiterated it was made aware of the allegations against Hodgman in 2003 that included “inappropriate sexual activity during the mid- to late-1980s in the state of California.”

Adrian College stated it hired a law firm to investigate and confirmed the allegations.

“However,” the statement said, “to the best of our knowledge, the investigation further revealed that no criminal charges were filed and that Dr. Hodgman was never convicted of a crime. Additionally, we are not aware of any evidence that Dr. Hodgman engaged in any subsequent similar activity … there was no evidence that Dr. Hodgman had engaged in any such conduct while at Adrian College” over the past 14 years.

The college’s statement also said Hodgman having tenure and being a member of the college’s faculty union prevents additional actions against him.

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November 21, 2017

7. Fachtagung der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz zu Fragen sexuellen Missbrauchs

GERMANY
Deutschen Bischofskonferenz

November 16, 2017

[Google Translate: With a call to continue to follow the issue of sexual abuse closely, the 7th conference of the German Bishops’ Conference on sexual abuse has come to an end today. Under the theme “‘Irritated Systems’ – The Impact (Suspicion) of Sexual Abuse on Affected ‘Systems’ and Possibilities of Qualified Assistance” were invited by Bishop Dr. Stephan Ackermann, commissioner for questions of sexual abuse in the church and for questions of the protection of children and young people, about 90 Vicars General, personnel managers and the Abuse and Prevention Commissioner of the German dioceses and religious communities in Cologne have come together.]

BISCHOF ACKERMANN: „WIR BRAUCHEN WEITERHIN ENGAGEMENT IN DER PRÄVENTION GEGEN SEXUELLE GEWALT“

Mit einem Aufruf das Thema sexueller Missbrauch weiterhin aufmerksam zu verfolgen, ist heute die 7. Fachtagung der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz zu Fragen sexuellen Missbrauchs zu Ende gegangen. Unter dem Thema „,Irritierte Systeme‘ – Die Auswirkungen (des Verdachts) von sexuellem Missbrauch auf die betroffenen ‚Systeme‘ und Möglichkeiten einer qualifizierten Hilfestellung“ waren auf Einladung von Bischof Dr. Stephan Ackermann, Beauftragter für Fragen des sexuellen Missbrauchs im kirchlichen Bereich und für Fragen des Kinder- und Jugendschutzes, rund 90 Generalvikare, Personalverantwortliche sowie die Missbrauchs- und Präventionsbeauftragten der deutschen Bistümer und Ordensgemeinschaften in Köln zusammengekommen.

„Wir dürfen nicht nachlassen in unserem Bemühen, die Aufmerksamkeit für das Thema wachzuhalten, insbesondere vor dem Hintergrund von Personalwechseln in den Bistümern. Auch neue Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter – Bischöfe eingeschlossen – müssen sich ihrer Verantwortung für dieses Thema bewusst sein und weiterhin engagiert daran arbeiten, Kirche zu einem sicheren Raum für Kinder und Jugendliche zu machen“, sagte Bischof Ackermann.

Der emeritierte Sozialpsychologe Prof. Dr. Heiner Keupp, Mitglied der Unabhängigen Kommission zur Aufarbeitung sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs, stellte die Frage nach der Tiefenwirkung von Präventionsinitiativen. „Schaffen diese Maßnahmen eine neue Kultur der Achtsamkeit, sind sie gelebte Wirklichkeit, die den Alltag in der Einrichtung bestimmen oder haben sie vor allem oder nur eine plakative Bedeutung nach außen?“ Gleichzeitig betonte Prof. Keupp: „Institutionen müssen sich ihrer Geschichte stellen und dafür Verantwortung übernehmen.“ Der Psychologe und Psychiater Prof. Dr. Frank Löhrer hob hervor, dass Intaktheit oder Irritation von Systemen in der Psychologie keine Gegensätze darstellten. „Eine gelingende Kommunikation ist in vielen Fällen ein geeignetes Mittel, um Irritationen erst gar nicht aufkommen zu lassen“, so Prof. Löhrer, der als Missbrauchsbeauftragter mehrerer Ordensgemeinschaften über jahrelange Erfahrungen im Bereich sexuellen Missbrauchs im kirchlichen Umfeld und der damit einhergehenden Irritation von Systemen verfügt.

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AP: Sexual abuse rampant at Pakistan’s Islamic schools

KEHRORE PAKKA (PAKISTAN)
The Associated Press

November 21, 2017

KEHRORE PAKKA, Pakistan — Kausar Parveen struggles through tears as she remembers the blood-soaked pants of her 9-year-old son, raped by a religious cleric. Each time she begins to speak, she stops, swallows hard, wipes her tears and begins again.

The boy fidgets with his scarf and looks over at his mother.

“Did he touch you?’ He nods. “Did he hurt you when he touched you?” ”Yes,” he whispers.

“Did he rape you?” He buries his face in his scarf and nods yes.

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Charlie Rose fired by CBS, and PBS drops his talk show over sexual harassment allegations

UNITED STATES
The Los Angeles Times

November 21, 2017

By Stephen Battaglio

Charlie Rose’s CBS News career came to an unceremonious end Tuesday when the network fired him over allegations of sexual harassment.

“A short time ago we terminated Charlie Rose’s employment with CBS News, effective immediately,” CBS News President David Rhodes wrote in a note to staff. “This followed the revelation yesterday of extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior said to have revolved around his PBS program. Despite Charlie’s important journalistic contribution to our news division, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace — a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work. We need to be such a place.”

PBS followed with an announcement that it no longer will distribute “Charlie Rose,” the nightly talk show hosted by Rose since 1991. Bloomberg, which also carried the show on its TV service, has also dropped it.

“In light of yesterday’s revelations, PBS has terminated its relationship with Charlie Rose and canceled distribution of his programs,” a PBS spokesperson said in a statement. “PBS expects all the producers we work with to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect.”

Rose’s departure marks the downfall of one of television’s most venerable journalists and a major blow to CBS News, which enjoyed its greatest success ever in the morning thanks to “CBS This Morning,” which was built around Rose and his co-anchors, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell, in 2012.

Rose’s serious demeanor and ability to engage a wide range of personalities in politics, the arts and business earned him respect and global recognition. He frequently jetted off to land interviews with world leaders.

“There is not a single person of note on the planet who does not know who he is,” said one CBS News executive who spoke on condition of anonymity. “His talent was so in the stratosphere.”

CBS had moved quickly Monday to suspend Rose, 75, after the Washington Post reported that day that eight women said they were subjected to inappropriate behavior while working with him. The story said Rose made unwanted sexual advances, appeared nude in their presence or groped them. His PBS talk show also was halted and there was no immediate update on the long-term status of the program.

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Facing Second Accuser, Franken Sees His Once-Rising Star Dim

WASHINGTON (DC)
The New York Times

November 20, 2017

By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Jonathan Martin

WASHINGTON — After making the transition from comedy to politics, Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, positioned himself as a staunch defender of women’s rights. “Sexual harassment and violence are unacceptable,’’ he wrote on Twitter last month. “We must all do our part to listen, stand with and support survivors.’’

Now it is Mr. Franken who stands accused, and his uncompromising stance in support of “survivors” of harassment has left him few options but to apologize and try to weather the storm. On Monday, a second woman said the senator touched her inappropriately, telling CNN that he grabbed her rear end as her husband took a photo of the two of them at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. Mr. Franken said that he did not remember the episode but that he was contrite nevertheless.

The disclosure — just days after Leeann Tweeden, a radio news anchor in California, accused Mr. Franken of forcibly kissing and groping her while he was working as a comedian in 2006 — complicates an already tenuous situation for Mr. Franken, making it more difficult for him to carry out his senatorial duties and raising questions about whether his political career can survive as he is likely to face an ethics investigation.

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AUSTRALIA ROYAL COMMISSION ITEMISES A ‘NATIONAL TRAGEDY’

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet

November 21, 2017

By Mark Brolly

Sexual abuse of children has occurred in almost every type of institution in Australia where children lived or attended

Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is to have a final public sitting in Sydney next month, on the eve of delivering its final report to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove on 15 December, to thank the community for its support.

The CEO of the Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan, told a national meeting of Catholic secondary school principals in Adelaide that the final report – the delivery of which will mark the formal end of the Commission’s work more than five years after then Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced its creation in November 2012 – was expected to comprise up to 17 volumes, at least three of which were expected to deal with the Catholic Church.

However, it is not clear when the report will be made public as that normally occurs only after tabling in Parliament, but none of Australia’s federal or state legislatures is due to sit between 15 December and Christmas, the start of Australia’s summer holidays. So the report may not be made public until early 2018.

Royal Commission Chair Justice Peter McClellan told a Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science seminar in Melbourne on 14 November that the sexual abuse of children has occurred in almost every type of institution where children lived or attended and that “it is not a case of a few ‘rotten apples'”.

“Society’s major institutions have seriously failed,” he said. “In many cases those failings have been exacerbated by a manifestly inadequate response to the abused person. The problems have been so widespread, and the nature of the abuse so heinous, that it is difficult to comprehend.”

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Guam gets $300K grant for sex offender registry management

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

November 20, 2017

By Jasmine Stole

The federal government awarded a $301,529 grant to the Guam Judicial Branch to improve the island’s sex offender registration system, according to a news release from Guam Del. Madeleine Z. Bordallo.

The funds will help the judiciary enhance sex offender registration and notification programs as part of an effort to protect the community from sex offenders with the use of the offender registry, the release stated.

Notification Act and will make Guam a safer place for our families to live,” Bordallo said.

The courts also will use the funds to implement guidelines for sex offender treatment, digitizing records and expanding the database.

Bordallo in the release said the grant provides critical federal assistant to Guam to monitor sex offenders.

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Lawsuit: Brouillard, another priest sexually abused same altar boy

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

November 21, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Father Louis Brouillard and another clergy member known only as “Priest Jim” allegedly conspired to sexually abuse the same altar boy at the Sinajana parish around 1975 to 1977, based on a $10 million lawsuit filed on Monday in Superior Court.

Brouillard also allegedly tried to rape the boy, but the boy told the priest he’d do anything to avoid being raped because of the pain, says the lawsuit filed by a plaintiff identified in Superior Court documents only as A.P.I. to protect his privacy.

While Brouillard is accused in nearly 90 clergy sex abuse lawsuits that also named the Archdiocese of Agana and the Boy Scouts of America as defendants, this is the first time that a clergy member identified only as “Priest Jim” is named in a case.

“On information and belief, Priest Jim was briefed by Brouillard that A.P.I. could be sexually abused and Priest Jim began to sexually abuse A.P.I. in a manner similar to Brouillard,” the lawsuit says.

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Clergy Sex Abuse Case Ends in Monetary Settlement

FLAGSTAFF (AZ)
The Associated Press

November 21, 2017

A clergy sex abuse lawsuit against the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and an Arizona school has been settled.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A clergy sex abuse lawsuit against the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and an Arizona school has been settled.

The Gallup Independent reports Phoenix attorney Robert E. Pastor, who represents the woman who filed the suit, says “the agreement has been finalized.”

The lawsuit, which was filed in Coconino County Superior Court in 2015, centered on the childhood sexual molestation of the plaintiff, who filed the lawsuit as Jane L.S. Doe.

The plaintiff, a member of the Navajo Nation, says she was abused by Brother Mark Schornack, OFM, when she was a student at St. Michael Indian School and Schornack, a Franciscan friar, was her bus driver.

Peter C. Kelly II, the Phoenix attorney representing the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and the school, declined to comment on the settlement.

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Opera Australia acts over child abuse case

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

November 22, 2017

By Ashleigh Wilson

The national opera has warned staff it has a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying and discrimination and called for any people with concerns to come forward after a former Opera Australia chorus member was charged with historic child-sex offences.

David Lewis will face a Sydney court on December 5 after being charged with four counts of aggravated indecent assault of a victim under the age of 16 and two counts of sexual intercourse with a person 14 or over and under 16.

The abuse allegedly occurred in the mid-1990s. The alleged victim was then 14, and a member of the company’s children’s chorus, while Lewis was in his mid-30s.

In a letter to staff yesterday, OA chief executive Rory Jeffes said the company was made aware of the allegations in July this year. He said the company was taking the matter seriously, and had been co-operating fully with police.

“Due to the nature of the charges Opera Australia took immediate action to stand David Lewis down and require that he stay away from the workplace,” Mr Jeffes said. “He has not participated in any company ­activity since then and he is no longer an employee of Opera Australia.”

Mr Jeffes said the company had no record of any previous ­allegations against Lewis.

“I remind everyone that the company has a zero-tolerance policy to bullying, discrimination and harassment in the workplace,” he wrote. “The emotional and physical safety of ­employees, contractors and the broader Opera Australia community is paramount and it is the responsibility of all of us to live by that standard and to raise any concerns.”

Mr Jeffes also reacted angrily to an unnamed employee quoted by Fairfax Media comparing the company with the Catholic Church.

“This presumably implies a similarity to the appalling revelations relating to child sexual abuse that have surfaced over ­recent times in that institution,” he wrote.

“As a comment by anyone, let alone an employee, this appears indefensible, disingenuous and frankly outrageous.”

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Singer David Lewis leaves Opera Australia after child sexual abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
Australian Associated Press in The Guardian

November 20, 2017

Allegations against 58-year-old tenor and longstanding member of nation’s top opera company date back to the 1990s

Distinguished tenor David Lewis has left Opera Australia after being charged with child sex offences involving a 14-year-old girl dating back to the 1990s.

The 58-year-old was charged in July with four counts of aggravated indecent assault of a victim under the age of 16 and two counts of sexual intercourse with a person aged between 14 and 16, a NSW Police spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The alleged victim was a member of the children’s chorus in a performance, according to Sydney media reports.

Lewis, a longstanding Opera Australia member, is due to face Downing Centre local court on 5 December.

Opera Australia chief executive Rory Jeffes said the tenor was stood down in July after the company was made aware of the allegations. He took long service leave owing and then resigned in October.

“He has not participated in any company activity since July and he is no longer an employee of Opera Australia,” Jeffes said in a statement.

Lewis played the emperor in Opera Australia’s 2016 Sydney Harbour production of Turandot and earlier this year performed as Pedro in Two Weddings, One Bride.

Jeffes said the company had cooperated fully with police “and will continue to do so”.

The alleged incident was “deeply upsetting to everyone involved with Opera Australia”.

Jeffes said there was no record of assault allegations against Lewis being reported to the company.

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Dubbo child sex predator still attends same church where he abused young girls

DUBBO (NSW, AUSTRALIA)
The Daily Telegraph

November 21, 2017

By Annabel Hennessy

A CHILD sex predator spared jail because a judge granted leniency for a series of bizarre reasons — such as his high cholesterol and sleeping problems — is still a member of the church where he abused young girls.

The Daily Telegraph can also reveal he is attending regular church conventions where he has access to hundreds of kids.

The revelations come after new calls were issued for an appeal into the sentence and the Director of Public Prosecution started the process to allow his two victims (one pictured at the time she was abused) to reveal their identities so they can speak out.

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Former youth pastor pleads guilty to child sexual abuse charges

KENTON COUNTY (KY)
Cincinnati Enquirer

November 20, 2017

KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) – A former youth pastor and school volunteer will spend at least 17 years behind bars after admitting guilt on charges of sexual abuse and sodomy of a minor.

Man arrested in rape was foster parent, youth leader
Joseph Niemeyer, 56, worked with youth at the Banklick Baptist Church in Walton until he was arrested in February 2016. He also volunteered at Twenhofel Middle School.

On Monday, Niemeyer pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count first-degree sodomy, all against a girl younger than 12.

Under the plea agreement, Niemeyer will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He could spend up to 20 years in jail and must serve 17 years before being parole eligible, according to Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders.

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Authorities investigating sexual abuse claim at private school in Shawano

SHAWANO (WI)
Green Bay Press Gazette

November 20, 2017

By Shelby Le Duc

SHAWANO – Law enforcement officials are investigating a claim of sexual abuse of children at a private school in Shawano.

George Lenzner, chief deputy with the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office, said the department received an anonymous report last week accusing an employee of St. James Lutheran Church, School and Early Childcare Center of sexually abusing children at the school.

Timm Griffin, interim senior pastor at the church, said an employee has been placed on administrative leave. However, he added he would not discuss the sexual misconduct allegations and how they relate to the employee on leave.

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Abuse fears scuttle Shalom high facility

TOWNSVILLE (AUSTRALIA)
Townsville Bulletin

November 19, 2017

By Sam Bidey

A TOWNSVILLE school under the microscope at a royal commission investigation into child sexual abuse will shut down its secondary and boarding education.

Shalom Christian College, currently a Prep to Year 12 school, will only accept primary students next year, cutting its enrolment by more than half and ceasing its role as an indigenous boarding school for the “welfare” of children.

The Uniting Church-owned and operated Condon school was heavily scrutinised as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

In November 2016, a former principal of Shalom, Christopher Shirley, told the royal commission that the school dealt with about 20 sexual assaults a year.

The mother of a girl who was allegedly gang raped at the age of 14 in 2006 told the royal commission the school had tried to cover up the attack.

Last year, Shalom Christian College principal Christopher England said he could not ­provide a safe environment for students in the boarding houses with the resource levels available.

Reverend David Baker, moderator of the Uniting Church in Queensland, said the primary school was only guaranteed to run in 2018, with the long-term future of the school uncertain.

“This decision has been based solely on the welfare and best interests of our students,” Rev Baker said.

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Childcare worker sexually abused three brothers via Sunshine Coast church

QUEENSLAND (AUSTRALIA)
Sunshine Coast Daily via The Courier Mail

November 20, 2017

By Chloe Lyons

USING the trust he gained from the church community, a man sexually abused three brothers over the course of eight years, often while their mother was in the house.

When Nazareth Te Taiari Tira, now 32, was confronted by the first brother he abused in 2006, he told the 13 year old he “loved him like a son”.

Just several days before in his family home, the teen had been woken by Tira lying down next to him on a futon and rubbing the inside of his leg near his groin.

The victim had to go downstairs and sleep in a separate room to get away from his abuser.

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Priest of Lord Hanuman temple accused of sexual act, he says the photo is morphed

INDIA
Team Asianet Newsable

November 21, 2017

A photo of a priest of the historical Lord Hanumantha temple in a compromising position with a woman is going viral, bringing another person attached to the religious institute.

Vidyadasa Baba, a priest at Hanuman temple, which is also known as the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, has allegedly been caught in a compromising position with a woman.

Not only the photo but it is said that he had recorded a video of his sexual act, which is being fast circulated among the youths of Koppal.

He is a priest at Anjanadri Anegundi Parvatha temple.

As soon as the news broke, the Temple Trust has decided to ask Vidyadas to step down and served him a notice in this regard.

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Group sues LDS Church, bishop and other members for allowing alleged sexual abuse

BERKELEY COUNTY (WV)
FOX 13

November 20, 2017

By Taylor Hartman

BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. – Several John Doe and Jane Doe complainants filed a lawsuit against the LDS Church, and several stake leaders Monday, saying they knowingly allowed an individual who had a history of sexual abuse near underage children.

According to a complaint filed with the Circuit Court of Berkeley County, twelve plaintiffs were suing for damages caused to them from sexual abuse while they were minors by Michael Jensen.

Jensen was sentenced to 35-75 years in prison in 2013 for first-degree sexual assault, after he allegedly abused several minors, while in a position of leadership and counsel to young church members.

The complaint logged numerous situations in which Jensen was put in a position of trust, and then allegedly sexually abused children. One victim was said to be four-years-old, when Jensen locked her in a room, and forced her to touch him inappropriately. Another victim was allegedly a two-year-old boy, who had “abrasions or burns” on his upper thighs and genitals after being babysat by Jensen.

According to those suing the church, Jensen’s parents, who were leaders at the stake, and other members knowingly put Jensen in a position of trust, despite having knowledge of past abuse.

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New allegation against Franken, this time met with silence

ST. PAUL (MN)
The Associated Press

November 20, 2017

By Kyle Potter

A woman says Al Franken pulled her in tightly and put his hand on her buttocks in 2010 while posing for a picture at the Minnesota State Fair, the second allegation of improper conduct against the Democrat and first involving his time as a senator.

Lindsay Menz told CNN last week for a report broadcast Monday that the interaction with the Minnesota senator made her feel “gross.” She said she immediately told her husband that Franken had “grabbed” her bottom and that she posted about it on Facebook.

Menz’s story comes days after a Los Angeles broadcaster, Leeann Tweeden, accused Franken of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 USO tour. Franken already faced a Senate ethics investigation over Tweeden’s allegation, but the Menz allegation is potentially more damaging for Franken because it would be behavior that occurred while he was in office.

Franken, a Democrat, told CNN he didn’t remember taking the photo with Menz, but said in a statement to the network that he feels badly that she felt disrespected.

“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” Franken told CNN. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”

Franken’s office did not respond to repeated Associated Press messages seeking comment.

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Sexual abuse is pervasive in Islamic schools in Pakistan

KEHRORE PAKKA (PAKISTAN)
The Associated Press

November 21, 2017

By Kathy Gannon

Kausar Parveen struggles through tears as she remembers the blood-soaked pants of her 9-year-old son, raped by a religious cleric. Each time she begins to speak, she stops, swallows hard, wipes her tears and begins again.

The boy had studied for a year at a nearby Islamic school in the town of Kehrore Pakka. In the blistering heat of late April, in the grimy two-room Islamic madrassa, he awoke one night to find his teacher lying beside him.

“I didn’t move. I was afraid,” he says.

The cleric lifted the boy’s long tunic-style shirt over his head, and then pulled down his baggy pants.

“I was crying. He was hurting me. He shoved my shirt in my mouth,” the boy says, using his scarf to show how the cleric tried to stifle his cries. He looks over at his mother.

“Did he touch you?'” He nods. “Did he hurt you when he touched you?” ”Yes,” he whispers.

“Did he rape you?” He buries his face in his scarf and nods yes.

Parveen reaches over and grabs her son, pulling him toward her, cradling his head in her lap.

———

“INFESTED” WITH SEXUAL ABUSE

Sexual abuse is a pervasive and longstanding problem at madrassas in Pakistan, an AP investigation has found, from the sunbaked mud villages deep in its rural areas to the heart of its teeming cities. But in a culture where clerics are powerful and sexual abuse is a taboo subject, it is seldom discussed or even acknowledged in public.

It is even more seldom prosecuted. Police are often paid off not to pursue justice against clerics, victims’ families say. And cases rarely make it past the courts, because Pakistan’s legal system allows the victim’s family to “forgive” the offender and accept what is often referred to as “blood money.”

The AP found hundreds of cases of sexual abuse by clerics reported in the past decade, and officials suspect there are many more within a far-reaching system that teaches at least 2 million children in Pakistan. The investigation was based on police documents and dozens of interviews with victims, relatives, former and current ministers, aid groups and religious officials.

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Girl Scouts warn parents about forcing kids to hug relatives for the holidays

UNITED STATES
Good Morning America

November 20, 2017

By Katie Kindelan

Girl Scouts of the USA issued a warning to parents this holiday season, asking them to think twice before forcing their daughters to hug relatives at gatherings.

“Think of it this way, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she ‘owes’ another person any type of physical affection when they have bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life,” reads the post on the Girl Scouts’ website.

The organization’s missive to parents comes as allegations of sexual misconduct by men ring out from every industry, including Hollywood, politics and the media.

One in nine girls under the age of 18 experiences sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult, according to data shared by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), an anti-sexual assault organization.

Past research also suggests that nearly one in three episodes of sexual abuse of a child is perpetrated by a family member.

The Girl Scouts’ post encourages parents to offer their daughters ways to show gratitude that do not require physical contact, including “a smile, a high-five, or even an air kiss.”

Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist based in New York City and Sarasota, Fla., said parents should be careful to not create “a mass hysteria about physical contact with loved ones,” especially during the holiday season.

“As parents, we have to use common sense and also realize that it’s never too early to start a conversation about good touch and bad touch,” said Taylor. “But also we don’t want to overstep our boundaries so our children are not afraid of who they should not be afraid of.”

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Why is sexual harassment so rife in the restaurant industry?

UNITED STATES

The Washington Post via The Independent
November 20, 2017

By Maura Judkis and Emily Heil

In interviews with dozens of women, a picture of rampant assault and pestering emerges. And not just by powerful chefs

If you’re a woman, what makes a restaurant dangerous isn’t the sharp knives or the hot griddle: It’s an isolated area of the kitchen, like the dry storage pantry.

That’s where Miranda Rosenfelt, 31, then a cook at a restaurant in Silver Spring, Maryland was headed one day seven years ago to help out with inventory, at the request of one of her direct supervisors, who she says had been harassing her for months. When she walked into the narrow basement room, far from the bustle of the kitchen, she turned around to find him “standing there with his pants on the floor, and his penis in his hands,” blocking her exit from the basement, she said.

“I felt cornered, and trapped, and scared, and what ended up happening was that he got me to perform oral sex, and it was horrible. And the whole time he was saying things like, ‘Oh, I’ve always wanted to do this.’” Her instinct was “not to do anything, and wait for it to be over. Because that’s what will make me the safest.”

Or maybe the dangerous place is the walk-in cooler. That’s where chef Maya Rotman-Zaid, 36, says she was cornered once about 12 years ago, by a co-worker who tried to grope her. But after years of working in kitchens with handsy, misbehaving men, she had remembered an anecdote from Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, in which the famous chef struck back after being grabbed repeatedly by a colleague.

“The guy tried to feel me up, and I stuck a fork in his leg,” she said. A friend she had confided in confirmed details of this story to The Washington Post. Although she doesn’t think she broke his skin, he “screamed and ran out of there like it never happened. I mean, talk about embarrassing. But he never tried to touch me again.”

Women are vulnerable in just about every inch of a restaurant. Behind the bar. The hostess stands where patrons are greeted. Behind stoves and in front of dishwashers. From lewd comments to rape, sexual misconduct is, for many, simply part of the job.

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Number of women accusing Catholic priest ‘Father Pervert’ of sex abuse now 30

QUEENS (NY)
New York Daily News

November 20, 2017

By Stephen Rex Brown

More than 30 victims now say they were abused by a Queens priest known by students as “Father Pervert,” “The Pig” and “Lurch.”

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian says he is representing 34 women and one man who allege they were sexually abused by the Rev. Adam Prochaski between 1970 and 1994.

Prochaski, who was assigned to Holy Cross Parish in Maspeth, Queens, is no longer a priest. The victims were between the ages of 5 and 16 when they were allegedly abused.

“The sexual abuse of clients took place in the school, church, rectory next to school, in some clients’ homes and in Prochaski’s car,” Garabedian said.

In September, the Daily News reported that 15 women had accused Prochaski of abuse when they were children.

A former teacher at Holy Cross, Linda Porcaro, said Prochaski’s nicknames were widely known.

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November 20, 2017

OPINION:Reader: The elephant in the room

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

November 20, 2017

By Ricardo B. Eusebio, M.D., FACS

Hans Christian Anderson wrote a tale about an emperor who was deceived by two weavers claiming they could weave clothes of magical quality. They become invisible to anyone stupid. When the fake robes were ready, the townspeople and ministers were afraid to say that the emperor was naked, including the emperor himself, for fear of being called stupid. One child exclaimed, “The emperor is naked!”, breaking the spell.

This is apropos to our situation in Guam today where we are dealing with perceptions instead of facts. A bishop has been accused and deemed guilty without a trial. Anything associated to him (Neocatechumenal Way, seminary, Kamalen Karitat, Theological Institute) is guilty by default. Whoever questions this narrative is stupid.

What is the truth?

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Man sues Roman Catholic priest over childhool sexual assault allegations

MADISON (MO)
The Madison- St. Clair Record

November 20, 2017

By Lhalie Castillo

EDWARDSVILLE – A 55-year-old Missouri man alleges that he was sexually assaulted by a Roman Catholic priest in the 1970s in St. Louis.

Gary Klein filed a complaint on Nov. 15 in the Madison County Circuit Court against Dennis Zacheis, alleging assault and battery and negligence, among other counts.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges he was sexually assaulted by Zacheis as a minor between 1975 and 1978 while the defendant was employed by the St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

He claims memories of the alleged abuse were repressed and suppressed but he began to remember and recollect the events in 2016.

Klein alleges he has suffered and continues to suffer severe and permanent emotional distress, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, humiliation and other injuries.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks damages of more than $50,000, plus costs expended for this action.

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SHOULD CATHOLIC CONFESSIONALS BE CONFIDENTIAL?

SANTA MONICA (CA)
World Religion News

November 19, 2017

By Kelly Frazier

IS THIS ALLOWING CRIMES TO GO UNPUNISHED?

The Catholic Church provides that it is the unconditional obligation of priests to keep whatever information is shared in a confessional totally confidential.

SACRAMENTAL SEAL

Any information that is shared to a priest under these confines cannot be disclosed thanks to the Seal of Confession. Roman Catholic canon law states that this seal cannot be violated.

In church practice, it is therefore forbidden for a priest to betray a person who confessed in whatever way or for whichever reason.

With cases like those of sexual crimes committed to children on the rise, however, there has been a clamor for these rules to change. In August, a commission that was set up to investigate child abuse cases in Australia came to the conclusion that criminal charges should be leveled against anyone who discovered such crimes but failed to report them to the authorities.

Writing in their report, the commission said that they believed that Catholic children have in confession disclosed information on sexual abuse inflicted upon them. They also stated that it confession was also a platform that has been used by clergy to purge their own guilt as a result of abusive behavior.

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New York Times reporter suspended in harassment probe

NEW YORK (NY)
Associated Press

November 20, 2017

By David Bauder

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Times says it has suspended White House reporter Glenn Thrush while it investigates charges that he made unwanted advances on young women while he worked as a reporter at Politico and the Times.

Laura McGann, a Politico colleague of Thrush’s, wrote on Vox on Monday that Thrush kissed her and placed his hand on her thigh one night in a bar, after urging another person who had been sitting with them to leave.

The Times, in a statement, said “the alleged behavior is very concerning” and not in keeping with the Times’ standards. The newspaper said it supports Thrush’s decision to enter a substance abuse program. Thrush didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment, but told Vox that he apologized to any woman who felt uncomfortable in his presence.

Thrush worked at Politico from 2009 to 2016, when he joined the Times. His visibility is such that he was portrayed on “Saturday Night Live” during its skits earlier this year about White House news conferences.

McGann, who was an editor at Politico, said the incident happened five years ago at a Virginia bar that was a hangout for Politico employees. The incident made her angry, even more so when she said Thrush spread stories blaming her.

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‘PUBLIC RECORDS ARE COOL AGAIN’: THE ROLE OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

BOSTON (MA)
News @ Northeastern (Northeastern University)

November 20, 2017

By Molly Callahan

In an era when newsrooms are shrinking, local and regional journalism is all but evaporating, and those in power continuously brandish established news organizations as “fake news,” resource-rich investigative journalism is harder and simultaneously more important than ever. So said a dozen journalists with numerous Pulitzer Prizes among them at a conference hosted by Northeastern’s School of Journalism last week.

The event—titled, “Is Trump Making Investigative Reporting Great Again?”—focused on the partisan and financial pressures on newsrooms across the country today.

“The halcyon days when newspapers were making money hand over foot are dying,” said Eric Umansky, deputy managing editor of ProPublica. “There’s an enormous deficit in the financial model of journalism, but there’s no less corruption, no fewer injustices out there.”

Umansky and Louise Kiernan, editor-in-chief of ProPublica Illinois, participated in the afternoon’s keynote panel, moderated by Jonathan Kaufman, director of the Northeastern School of Journalism. They joined the ranks of a host of other journalists representing radio, television, online, startup, and print news organizations throughout the country at the event held in the Cabral Center.

Umansky said journalism is increasingly scrambling for financial viability but is essential to a healthy democracy. Nearly everyone who spoke echoed this message, including Elizabeth Hudson, dean of the College of Arts, Media and Design, in her opening remarks.

Hudson recalled a conversation she’d had with Kaufman shortly after they’d both returned from living in foreign countries. “When you live outside America, you really understand how critical investigative journalism is for democracy,” she said. “I’m so pleased Northeastern and CAMD can provide this ecosystem for how to foster the skills in our students that will help create great newsrooms.”

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‘A long and tortuous road’: Catholic brother’s guilty plea brings relief for victim, but not closure

MONTREAL (CANADA)
Montreal Gazette

November 20, 2017

By Jesse Feith

Following the guilty plea of a Catholic brother who sexually abused a minor at Collège Notre-Dame decades ago, the victim looks back at his life and what might need to come next.

After waiting seven years for the moment to come, he was anxious the night before. He kept his phone close and waited for the prosecutor’s call: surely, as had already happened so many times, there would be another delay.

But the call never came. So the next morning, he woke early and left for the Montreal courthouse.

He had barely slept and now his brain was racing throughout the hour-long drive. Was he wasting his time? He had gotten his hopes up before only to have them dashed by procedural delays and setbacks. Last spring, he was told it would all be over by September. Now it was November.

It was only once he was sitting in a cubicle at the Montreal courthouse last Tuesday that he realized the wait was finally over. First, there was a warning: the man who abused him so many years ago was in the courtroom next to him. Then, the Crown prosecutor opened the door.

“It’s time,” she told the victim.

On the morning of Nov. 14, Brother Olivain Leblanc, 75, of the Congrégation de Ste. Croix sat before a judge — his health too poor for him to stand — and pleaded guilty to one count of gross indecency for sexually abusing a 13-year-old student at Montreal’s Collège Notre-Dame. The acts, which included oral sex and sexual touching, occurred repeatedly between 1979 and 1981, it was said.

“It’s been a long and tortuous road,” the victim, a man in his early 50s whose name is covered under a publication ban, said a few days later, sipping a coffee while walking along a river.

For decades, he had tried to repress memories of what was done to him. But for the last seven years — the time that elapsed between his complaint to police and Leblanc’s guilty plea — he needed to keep them at surface level, knowing he could be called to testify at any given moment. The stress of it all could be debilitating.

“I was living in this void with no sense of direction,” he said. “I sacrificed seven years of my life because I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew, psychologically, it would be a war of attrition.”

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Vatican investigating abuse at pre-seminary

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

November 20, 2017

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican announced it had launched a new investigation into reports about sexual abuse in a pre-seminary for young adolescents run by the Diocese of Como, Italy, but located inside the Vatican.

Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman, issued a statement Nov. 18 saying that beginning in 2013 when “some reports, anonymous and not,” were made, staff of the St. Pius X Pre-Seminary and the bishop of Como both conducted investigations.

“Adequate confirmation was not found” regarding the allegations, which involved students and not staff. Some of the students already had left the pre-seminary when the first investigations were carried out, the statement said.

However, “in consideration of new elements that recently emerged, a new investigation is underway to shed full light on what really happened,” the statement said.

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Catholic Church’s stance on women alienates people, archbishop says

IRELAND
The Irish Times

November 16, 2017

By Patsy McGarry

Diarmuid Martin says gender issues a bigger factor in falling engagement than sex abuse

The low standing of women in the Catholic Church is the most significant reason for the feeling of alienation towards it in Ireland today, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.

“Next would be the ongoing effect of the scandals of child sexual abuse,” he said in an address on Thursday.

“I believe, in particular, that people have underestimated the effect of the scandals on young people.”

He added that young people’s “disgust at what happened is deep-rooted”.

Dr Martin said one of the most disappointing documents that he had read since becoming archbishop concerned a recent survey of young people in Dublin, conducted in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on Young People in Rome next year.

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Jehovah’s Witness elder admits to sexual abuse of boy that was covered up by church

BUENA PARK(CA)
Raw Story

November 20, 2017

By Travis Gettys

A former Jehovah’s Witness church elder admitted to sexually assaulting one of his teenage students.

Jason Morris Gorski pleaded guilty last week in California to two counts of lewd acts with a minor, reported the OC Weekly.

The 44-year-old Gorski met the 13-year-old victim while teaching Southwestern Longview Private School in Long Beach, and while serving as an elder at the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall congregation in Cypress, which the boy also attended.

Prosecutors said Gorski sexually assaulted the boy in Buena Park between June 2007 and June 2008, and the boy reported the abuse to church leaders in 2009.

Church leaders required Gorski to step down as elder but allowed him to continue as an active member.

Gorski moved to Fort Mill, South Carolina, the following year and began attending another Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Charlotte, North Carolina.

He wasn’t arrested until June 2016, after the victim reported the abuse to police.

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Shattered Faith Part II: The wide circle of silence [with video]

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
KOB 4

November 20, 2017

By Chris Ramirez

Editor’s Note: This story is the second in a series called “Shattered Faith,” in which KOB 4 Investigates examines the cases of three former Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe whose alleged widespread abuse of children decades ago not only went undealt with, but has contributed to what many mental health professionals call a mental health crisis for New Mexico.

The first story in this series, “A dangerous shuffle game,” can be found here. Read on for the second part of “Shattered Faith.”

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – There is the crime. And then there is the cover-up.

When it comes to child sex abuse by priests, we know for years the church protected pedophile priests and worked to silence victims and their families. But keeping a secret for so long required help.

The documents that the KOB 4 Investigates Team fought to bring to the public light reveal the wide circle of silence that denied justice to our most vulnerable victims.

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Sick Pilgrim’s Regress

WASHINGTON (DC)
The American Conservative

November 18, 2017

By Rod Dreher

Jonathan Ryan is a Catholic convert, writer, and co-founder of the Patheos blog titled Sick Pilgrim, which describes itself as “a space for the spiritually sick, and their fellow travelers, to rest a while.”

Ryan — whose full name is Jonathan Ryan Weyer — does not like The Benedict Option. He wrote a blog post earlier this year that wildly mischaracterized it — surprise! — and then climbed way up high on his soapbox:

We must incarnate in the world and be a part of its pain and redemption, even if it means we could lose our way from time to time. This all sounds dangerous. It most certainly is. But that’s the call of Christ–not a call to “protect Western Civilization” or “Christian culture,” but a call to risk it all for the sake of the redemption of the world. We must risk our children as we teach them to engage with sinners like themselves. We must risk our self respect, our reputations, and everything we hold dear.

This can’t be done via the Benedict Option. It’s not possible. Dreher’s ideas aren’t just bad, they’re dangerous to the soul–because they’ll keep us from our most important call as Christians, to Christ by loving others. When we avoid that call, we avoid the only possible way to transform ourselves and the culture around us: the radical love of Christ’s suffering.

Well. On another Patheos blog, Sick Pilgrim co-founder Jessica Mesman Griffith released a statement that begins like this:

This is my official statement. You should hear it from me. You’ve become like family to me. I can only say I’m sorry I didn’t speak out sooner as maybe it would have spared others some pain. #metoo indeed.

On Sunday, November 12, 2017, it came to my attention that there have been relationships between Jonathan Ryan, the co-founder of the Sick Pilgrim blog, and various women in the Sick Pilgrim online community–a community that had become, over the last year, a de facto support group for those recovering from spiritual abuse, in addition to a place for artists and writers to come together to discuss what inspires us and/or troubles us about the Catholic Church. (This Facebook community is a private group–one must request to join–but it’s not a secret. We have advertised it on the blog and on Facebook multiple times and invited anyone interested to send us a request to join.)

It quickly became apparent, upon investigation of these claims, that the relationships Jonathan had formed with several women he met through the blog and in the community had in fact been inappropriate, predatory and exploitative.

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Letter to the Editor: Mob mentality persists even though Apuron awaits verdict

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

November 20, 2017

By Dr. R.B. Eusebio

Hans Christian Anderson wrote a famous allegorical tale about a vain emperor who was deceived by two weavers claiming they could weave clothes possessing a magical quality: They became invisible to anyone stupid or unfit for their job. Realizing the obvious benefit this could yield him, the king commissioned these magical clothes to be made. The swindlers pretended to weave using an empty loom while stashing all the fine materials they were given. Everyone, including the emperor himself, acted as if the beautiful robes had indeed been woven, out of fear of appearing to be fools and losing their jobs. The naked emperor paraded through town with his invisible robe until an innocent child bravely pointed out that the emperor was indeed naked, exposing the deceptive spell the swindlers had cast on the people.

This tale seems particularly apropos to the situation of the Catholic Church on Guam. We have a bishop accused of child abuse but still awaiting the opportunity to clear his name. Meanwhile, anything even remotely connected to this bishop, from the Neocatechumenal Way to Kamalen Karitat to the Redemptoris Mater seminary and the San Luis de Vitores Theological Institute, seems to have been already declared guilty by association.

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86 Alabama Baptist pastors sign letter against sex abuse

HUNTSVILLE (AL)
AL.com

November 18, 2017

By Greg Garrison

More than 85 pastors at Southern Baptist-affiliated churches in Alabama have signed a letter this week saying they denounce sexual abuse against women, although the letter does not mention U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore.

As of today there were at least 86 signees including the current president of the Alabama Baptist Convention and a past president of the state convention, though both and some other ministers expressed concerns earlier this week about whether the allegations against Moore are true.

Southern Baptists are the largest denomination in Alabama, with more than a million members affiliated through the Alabama Baptist State Convention.

Moore, a Southern Baptist who is a member of Gallant First Baptist Church, is a U.S. Senate candidate who is the subject of intense national conversation after allegations from several women that he targeted them for romantic and sexual advances when they were teenagers and he was a county prosecutor in his thirties.

“If he did it, we need to know that,” said State Baptist President John Thweatt, pastor of First Baptist Church of Pell City. “We need to condemn it. If he didn’t, then we need to know that too. There are probably some people who will believe him no matter what.”

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Sex abuse royal commission: Townsville Christian high school closing doors over safety concerns

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

November 20, 2017

By David Chen

Shalom Christian College in Townsville is shutting down its secondary and boarding schools, saying it is in the “best interests of our students”.

The north Queensland college was criticised during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for its handling of the sexual assault of a 14-year-old-girl in 2006.

The commission heard she was assaulted by four boys behind a classroom at the school, when the students were supposed to be in the boarding house.

The Uniting Church, which operates the school, told the royal commission it did not receive enough government funding to keep its students safe.

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SILENT WITNESSES Jehovah’s Witness rape victims claim abuse was covered up because it would bring shame on the religion

ENGLAND
The Sun

November 20, 2017

By Felix Allen

Victims say the secretive organisation instructs members not to report crimes to the police

CHILDREN who were raped and abused by Jehovah’s Witnesses were told by church elders not to report it because it would shame the religion, it is claimed.

Victims from across Britain have told the BBC how they were routinely abused – but it was hushed up by the secretive organisation.

One victim, Louise Palmer, said she was told reporting her rapist brother to police would “bring reproach on Jehovah”.

The 41-year-old, formerly of Halesowen, West Mids, was born into the organisation along with her brother Richard Davenport, who started raping her when she was four. He is now in jail.

She said of the moment she went to elders: “I asked, ‘what should I do? Do you report it to the police, do I report it to the police?’

“And their words were that they strongly advised me not to go to the police because it would bring reproach on Jehovah.”

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Victims ‘told not to report’ Jehovah’s Witness child abuse

ENGLAND
BBC NEWS

November 20, 2017

Children who were sexually abused by Jehovah’s Witnesses were allegedly told by the organisation not to report it.

Victims from across the UK told the BBC they were routinely abused and that the religion’s own rules protected perpetrators.

One child abuse lawyer believes there could be thousands of victims across the country who have not come forward.

The organisation said it did not “shield” abusers and any suggestion of a cover-up was “absolutely false”.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses deny sexual abuse within church was covered up

LONDON (UK)
The Independent

November 20, 2017

By Craig Simpson

Victims say they were told by elders not to report sexual abuse within Jehovah’s Witness community

Alleged victims have claimed the church told them to keep quiet, with one saying she was told reporting it would “bring reproach on Jehovah”.

The BBC says it has spoken to members who described how the rules of the religion prevented proper reporting and protected perpetrators.

It has been alleged elders of the faith advised victims not to report abuse to police, and that no internal action was taken due to a “two-witness” rule.

This requires two witnesses for any sin committed in order for the elders of the faith to take any action.

In cases of sexual abuse, the presence of two witnesses is extremely rare.

Louise Palmer, 41, began being raped by her now-convicted brother Richard Davenport when she was just four years old.

Both were born into the Jehovah’s Witness community.

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Decades of sexual abuse by church volunteer revealed

GAUTENG (SOUTH AFRICA)
IOL

November 20, 2017

By Zelda Venter

Pretoria – For decades, pastors at Hatfield Christian Church covered up the sexual abuse of several young girls by one of its youth leaders.
In the same week that the Constitutional Court deliberated on the statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases, George Donald, 67, was sentenced in the Pretoria Regional Court to a total of 11 years’ imprisonment, of which he has to serve an effective six years.

This was for raping his biological daughter, Marijke Donald, now Mwathi, over several years in the 1980s, as well as his foster daughter – who does not want to be named – for months while she lived with the family in Pretoria.

The rape and sexual abuse of Marijke, 40, started around the time she was 3 and ended when she was about 12.

Her foster sister, who was about 10 at the time, eventually told Marijke’s mother, who does not want to be identified. The mother turned to the church authorities for guidance.

Both parents received counselling and the advice of the church elders at the time was that they should pray and talk to each other.

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Woman claims priest tried to kill her and child

NAIROBI (KENYA)
Daily Nation

November 18, 2017

By Kitavi Mutua

In Summary

The priest contacted Ms Mutua, offering to start meeting the costs of raising the child who had now turned three years.
Mother and child were found the following morning by villagers who alerted police.

Fresh details have emerged in a case in which a Catholic priest is accused of impregnating a high school student and attempting to kill her and the child.

This comes ahead of the next court appearance later this month.

Fr Japheth Mwove Kimanzi, who was in charge of Nuu Catholic Parish in Kitui County, is alleged to have taken advantage of the woman, then a 15-year-old Form One student, to defile her before attempting to murder her and the baby, a court was told.

DEFILE

The victim of the brutal attack, Veronica Musali Mutua, told Kitui Chief Magistrate Maryanne Murage that Fr Kimanzi enticed her using biscuits and pocket money.

Fr Kimanzi, who has since been ex-communicated from the church, has denied the two charges — attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm. He is expected in court on November 22 where he will be put on his defence. He is out on a Sh100,000 bond.

In her chilling testimony before Ms Murage on July 13 this year, Ms Mutua, 23, said the priest lured her into an illicit relationship in 2011 while she was still a Form One student at Mwambiu Mixed Secondary School in Mwingi Sub-County.

“He started by giving pocket money and I thought he meant well. I trusted him because he was our priest and he would ask me to accompany him to visit families within our area as part of his evangelical work,” she told the court.

The relationship grew and the priest began sneaking into their home and spending the night with her whenever her parents were away, according to the woman.

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Chrissie Foster says the Federal Government must implement all royal commission recommendations

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

November 17, 2017

By Joanne McCarthy

IT’S been a tough year at the end of several decades of tough years for Chrissie Foster, who campaigned for a royal commission into child sexual abuse after two of her daughters were raped by a Catholic priest.

Her husband, Anthony, died suddenly in June, a decade after the overdose death of one of their daughters who was five when she was raped.

But a speech by Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse chair Justice Peter McClellan on Tuesday cut through the grief and “hit home”, Mrs Foster said.

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Vaticano investiga possíveis relações sexuais entre menores em pré-seminário

ROME
Agencia EFE

November 18, 2017

[Google Translate: The Vatican announced on Saturday that it has opened an investigation into alleged sexual relations among minors in the pre-seminary of St. Pius X in the Holy See, which welcomes altar boys and possible new seminarians.]

Os relatos teriam ocorrido no pré-seminário São Pio X, na Santa Sé, que acolhe coroinhas e possíveis novos seminaristas.

O Vaticano informou neste sábado (18) que abriu uma investigação para apurar supostas relações sexuais mantidas entre menores no pré-seminário São Pío X, na Santa Sé, que acolhe coroinhas e possíveis novos seminaristas.

Mais cedo, a agência EFE havia divulgado que o caso se tratava de abusos a menores. A informação foi corrigida às 13h40 deste sábado.

O Vaticano disse em comunicado que “em consideração dos novos elementos surgidos recentemente está em curso uma nova investigação para que se lance toda a luz sobre o que realmente aconteceu”.

O comunicado acrescenta que “como consequência de algumas denúncias, anônimas e não anônimas, desde 2013 foram efetuadas investigações em várias ocasiões”.

“Os fatos denunciados, que datavam de anos anteriores e nos quais estariam envolvidos alunos coetâneos entre si, alguns dos quais já não estavam presentes no instituto no momento das investigações, não encontraram uma confirmação adequada”, completa a nota.

O jornalista italiano Gianluigi Nuzzi apresentou neste mês um livro intitulado “Peccato originale” (“Pecado Original”) no qual divulga o relato do jovem polonês Kamil Tadeusz Jarzembowski sobre supostos abusos cometidos nessa instituição.

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November 19, 2017

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ tab for child sex abuse secrecy: $2M and counting

EMERYVILLE (CA)
Reveal/Center for Investigative Journalism

November 16, 2017

By Trey Bundy

The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ refusal to hand over internal documents detailing alleged child sexual abuse just got more expensive.

A California appeals court last week upheld an order for the religion to pay $4,000 for each day it does not turn over the documents. The tab currently stands at $2 million. The ruling stems from a case in San Diego, where Osbaldo Padron sued the Jehovah’s Witnesses for failing to warn congregants that a child abuser was in their midst.

Padron, a former Jehovah’s Witness, was sexually abused as a child by an adult member of his congregation named Gonzalo Campos. Campos confessed to sexually abusing seven children.

During that time, leaders at the Jehovah’s Witnesses world headquarters in New York – known as the Watchtower – knew that Campos had abused children, according to court documents. Yet they continued to promote him to higher positions of responsibility in his congregation and took no action to prevent further abuse, the documents show.

Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting reviewed multiple cases involving Campos as part of a larger investigation into the Watchtower’s institutional cover-up of child sex abuse in its congregations.

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Priest accused of sex abuse now Newport psychologist

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

November 18, 2017

By Jacqueline Tempera

[Note: Includes links to Cunningham’s assignment history, John CP Doe’s complaint, and several defendant’s pleadings in the John CJ Doe case.]

Rev. Christopher Cunningham, facing 2 civil lawsuits, practices at Seaside Psychological Services on Bellevue Avenue. He was licensed by the Rhode Island Department of Health in 2013, after working briefly in Pennsylvania.

A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing children in churches in Southern California in the 1990s and early 2000s is now working as a licensed psychologist in Newport.

The Rev. Christopher Cunningham, 55, is a practicing clinical psychologist at Seaside Psychological Services on Bellevue Avenue. He was licensed by the Rhode Island Department of Health in 2013, after working briefly in Pennsylvania.

He is also the subject of two civil lawsuits filed in the Superior Court of California in the District of Los Angeles. Two men — former parishioners now in their late 20s — say Cunningham sexually abused them when they were children — ages 10 to 13.

Both suits stem from Cunningham’s time as pastor of St. Louise De Marillac Catholic Church in Covina, California, from 2001 to 2003. But court filings depict a pattern of strange, predatory behavior at each of the five parishes where Cunningham worked in California, before he went back to school and became a psychologist in 2010.

One man, identified as “John CP Doe” says that when he was 10 to 11 years old, Cunningham “sexually molested” him. Cunningham worked as a priest at the church where the boy’s family worshiped, the man alleges in the suit filed May 25.

In a 2015 suit, a man identified as “John CJ Doe” says Cunningham molested him in 2001 and 2002 when he was 12 and 13 years old.

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South Florida’s Five Worst Religious Leaders, Including Accused Molester Bob Coy

MIAMI (FL)
Miami New Times

November 19, 2017

By Jerry Iannelli

Megachurches are often scams. Their owners and preachers become obscenely wealthy and don’t have to pay taxes. And a remarkably huge percentage of megachurch leaders become ensnared in ethically dubious (at best) conduct: Ultra-rich Houston pastor Joel Osteen infamously neglected to open his megachurch to Hurricane Harvey victims for days after the storm hit earlier this year.

But Osteen pales in comparison to Florida megachurch figureheads such as Bob Coy, the former Fort Lauderdale religious leader. Coy resigned from his 25,000-member Calvary Chapel in 2014 after a sex-scandal, but the church continued in business. This week, New Times outed Coy an accused child molester.

Shady priests are part of South Florida’s culture. Here’s a rundown of some other major culprits, (from past New Times issues if not otherwise noted).

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In Denmark Convicted Priest Pedophile

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
The Stopru

November 19, 2017

In Denmark the official decision of the court 47-year-old Church Minister was convicted for pedophilia and received 10 years of imprisonment. Danish radio station Danmarks Radio yesterday, 15 November, informed its listeners that a priest was convicted for his crimes.

For child abuse citizens who have made a priest in Denmark, he received 10 years in prison. According to the results of carried out quickly-investigative actions by law enforcement agencies in Denmark, found evidence that the priest for 10 years of his criminal activity was able to seduce one girl and 7 boys, and their acts of a sexual nature he captured with the help of video. The decision of the court of the priest is obliged to pay the victims compensation in the amount of 3.5 million rubles (370 000 DKK). Also the offender should not be alone with anyone under the age of majority.

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“Hanno abusato di me in Vaticano. Molestie anche durante la Messa”

ROME (ITALY)
Il Giornale

November 13, 2017

By Alice Venturelli

[Note: See also the original half-hour TV report (in Italian).]

[Google translation: “They abused me in the Vatican. Harassment even during Mass”

An ex-cleric told the Hyenas sexual abuse suffered in the San Pio X presidency, in the Vatican

A Le Iene inquiry conducted by Gaetano Pecoraro and aired last night on Italy 1 showed new evidence about the vicissitudes of sexual abuse in the Vatican .

Some former young seminarians and clergymen of Pope Francis have reported sexual violence at the premises of the San Pio X presenter, just near Piazza San Pietro. A young Polish, Kamil, told that a teenager had decided to go to the Vatican and enter the seminar.

Kamil has become so witness to years of repeated violence against the sage roommate by a young seminary little bigger than them, who today became a priest. “I was scared, and so I was clumsy as I saw that rape, because he was the seminarian whom the rector trusted more. Then I decided to tell everything to our spiritual father because he was kept in the secret. He decided to investigate on behalf and eventually he was removed from his job and moved to 600 km away. ”

According to Kamil, the alleged aggressor, he had a position of power within the seminary and also of St. Peter’s Basilica: “He was not a normal seminarist because he enjoyed the rector ‘s best confidence . He was the one who chose what I was doing, what did he do my friend and so on.”]

Un ex chierichetto ha raccontato alle Iene gli abusi sessuali subìte all’interno della sede del preseminario San Pio X, in Vaticano

Un’inchiesta de Le Iene condotta da Gaetano Pecoraro e andata in onda ieri sera su Italia 1 ha mostrato nuove testimonianze sulla vicenda degli abusi sessuali in Vaticano.

“Cacciato per aver denunciato”

Monsignor Radice: “Tutte falsità”

Alcuni ex giovani seminaristi e chierichetti di Papa Francesco hanno raccontato le violenze sessuali subìte all’interno della sede del preseminario San Pio X, proprio vicino a piazza San Pietro. Un giovane polacco, Kamil, ha raccontato che ancora adolescente aveva deciso di recarsi in Vaticano ed entrare nel preseminario.

Kamil è diventato così testimone di anni di ripetute violenze ai danni del sio compagno di stanza da parte di un giovane seminarista poco più grande di loro, diventato oggi sacerdote.”Avevo paura e quindi restavo impietrito mentre vedevo quello stupro, anche perché lui era il seminarista di cui il rettore si fidava di più. Poi decisi di dire tutto al nostro padre spirituale, perché è tenuto al segreto. Lui decise di fare indagini per conto proprio e alla fine fu rimosso dal suo incarico e trasferito a 600 km di distanza”.

Secondo Kamil, il presunto aggressore, aveva una posizione di potere all’interno del seminario e anche della basilica di San Pietro: “Non era un normale seminarista perché godeva della massima fiducia del rettore. Era lui che sceglieva cosa facevo io, cosa faceva il mio amico e così via”.

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Comunicato della Diocesi

COMO (ITALY)
Diocese of Como Website

November 13, 2017

[Google translation: Statement of the Diocese

With this release, the Diocese of Como intends to comment on the service of the television broadcast “Le Iene”, aired on Sunday, November 12, 2017 on Italy 1, titled: “They abused me in the Vatican”.

Regarding the motives raised to a seminarist, now an incardinated priest in the Diocese of Como , it is considered that the following should be clarified.

The diocese, as already anticipated in writing to the editorial office of “Le Iene” and to the direction of Italy1, according to the elements in his possession, is concerned with the correctness of the evaluation of the suitability for the priesthood of the aforementioned seminarian, he completed his training course in Rome, which was positively evaluated by the authorities in this regard.

Accusations have already been investigated by the relevant ecclesiastical offices: the Canon Superiors have observed and evaluated the person and his conduct.

The Bishop of Como, having taken note of the outcome of this inquiry, of all the evaluations of the personality and the vocational journey of the seminarist, and after ritually fulfilling his / her duties, has ordered this young priest to preside.]

Con il presente comunicato la Diocesi di Como intende esprimere alcune osservazioni in relazione al servizio della trasmissione televisiva “Le Iene”, andato in onda domenica 12 novembre 2017 su Italia 1, avente quale titolo: “Hanno abusato di me in Vaticano”.

In merito ai rilievi mossi nei confronti di un seminarista, oggi sacerdote incardinato nella Diocesi di Como, si ritiene doveroso precisare quanto segue.

La Diocesi, come già anticipato in forma scritta alla redazione de “Le Iene” e alla direzione di Italia1, in base agli elementi in suo possesso, si attiene alla correttezza dell’iter di valutazione dell’idoneità al sacerdozio del suddetto seminarista, il quale ha compiuto a Roma il proprio percorso formativo, valutato positivamente dalle autorità a questo preposte.

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Letter from Bishop Oscar Cantoni

COMO (ITALY)
Diocese of Como Website

November 18, 2017

By Bishop Oscar Cantoni

[Google translation: Members of the Church of God who are in Como and their Pastors

Dear friends,

great clamor and confusion have generated these various television and journalistic services around the spread of news, ambiguous behaviors attributable to our priest in the times of our the first years of his training. There was, on the one hand, so much sorrow and suffering and, on the other, some perplexity, depending on the interpretation of each one.

On the pages of the Weekly of the last issue, as in other newspapers, the Diocese wanted to clarify with determination and determination what was necessary to emphasize, from the established elements, of which so far is known.

I thank heartily that many priests, religious and lay people have expressed their close proximity and expressed their solidarity by acknowledging the brutal and aggressive methods with which certain television broadcasts have attempted to extort their statements from those concerned, manipulating them in order to consolidate their their thesis and to create a climate of suspicion on the whole Church.

As a shepherd of this Christian community I have the duty first to express a paternal solidarity with all those concerned with the case, from those who have told their experience to those who have already been judged, humiliated and bereaved themselves.]

Ai membri della Chiesa di Dio che è in Como e ai loro Pastori

Cari amici,

grande clamore e sconcerto hanno generato in questi giorni i vari servizi televisivi e giornalistici attorno alla diffusione di notizie, di comportamenti ambigui, attribuibili a un nostro sacerdote nel tempo dei primi anni della sua formazione. Ne è scaturita, da una parte, tanta tristezza e sofferenza e, dall’altra, anche qualche perplessità, a seconda dell’interpretazione di ciascuno.
Sulle pagine del Settimanale dello scorso numero, come su altre testate giornalistiche, la Diocesi ha voluto precisare con chiarezza e determinazione quanto era necessario sottolineare, a partire dagli elementi accertati, di cui finora si è a conoscenza.

Ringrazio di cuore quanti, sacerdoti, religiose e laici, hanno espresso la loro solidale vicinanza e manifestato la loro solidarietà, riconoscendo i metodi brutali e aggressivi con cui certe trasmissioni televisive hanno tentano di estorcere dagli interessati le loro dichiarazioni, manipolandole al fine di consolidare le proprie tesi e di generare un clima di sospetto sulla Chiesa intera.

Come pastore di questa Comunità cristiana ho il dovere innanzitutto di esprimere una paterna solidarietà verso tutti gli interessati al caso, da quanti hanno raccontato la loro esperienza, a quanti sono già stati di per sé giudicati, umiliati e incasellati.

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Nuova indagine sul collegio dei «Chierichetti del Papa»

ROME (ITALY)
Avvenire

November 18, 2017

[Google translation: New investigation into the college of “Pope’s Cheriots”

Today, the note of the Vatican Press Room: “Considering new elements that have emerged recently, a new investigation is under way to shed light on what really happened”

With regard to the event involving a former pupil of the “San Pio X” Presenter, who was later ordained a priest, the Holy See Press Office today stated on November 18 that “as a result of some reports, anonymous and not, from 2013 were carried out on several occasions by investigators both by the Presidents Superior and by the Bishop of Como, as the Educational Community belongs to his Diocese. The reported facts, dating back to the previous years and involving peer educators between some of whom were no longer present at the Institute at the time of the investigations, did not find a proper confirmation. Considering new elements that have emerged recently, a new investigation is in progress to make full light of what really happened. ”

Below the previous Avvenire reconstruction of the story.

“Pope’s Cheriots”, accusations and denials

The new alleged sexual harassment scandal in the Vatican erupted after the service broadcast by the hyena that aired on Sunday, November 12. The director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, replied with a tweet: “Falsehood on the Vatican clerics: the Pope has never received a presumed victim, no witness.” On the other hand, the note of the diocese of Como had recalled how the accusations against the alleged seminarian suspect, now a priest, were “already under investigation by the competent ecclesiastical sites” and apparently considered unfounded.]

Di oggi la nota della Sala Stampa Vaticana: “In considerazione di nuovi elementi recentemente emersi, è in corso una nuova indagine che faccia piena luce su quanto realmente accaduto”

In merito alla vicenda che vede coinvolto un ex alunno del Preseminario “San Pio X”, successivamente ordinato sacerdote, la Sala Stampa della Santa Sede ha precisato oggi 18 novembre che “a seguito di alcune segnalazioni, anonime e non, a partire dal 2013 furono compiute, a più riprese, delle indagini sia da parte dei Superiori del Preseminario sia da parte del Vescovo di Como, atteso che la Comunità degli educatori appartiene alla sua Diocesi. I fatti denunciati, che risalivano agli anni precedenti e che avrebbero coinvolto alunni coetanei tra loro, alcuni dei quali non più presenti nell’Istituto al momento degli accertamenti, non trovarono adeguata conferma. In considerazione di nuovi elementi recentemente emersi, è in corso una nuova indagine che faccia piena luce su quanto realmente accaduto”.

Qui sotto la precedente ricostruzione di Avvenire della vicenda.

«Chierichetti del Papa», accuse e smentite

Il nuovo presunto scandalo delle molestie sessuali in Vaticano è scoppiato dopo il servizio trasmesso dalle Iene andata in onda domenica 12 novembre. Il direttore della Sala Stampa della Santa Sede, Greg Burke aveva replicato con un tweet: «Falsità sui chierichetti in Vaticano: il Papa non ha mai ricevuto presunta vittima, né alcun testimone». Dall’altra parte la nota della diocesi di Como, aveva ricordato come le accuse nei confronti del seminarista presunto molestatore, ora sacerdote, fossero «già state oggetto di accertamento da parte delle competenti sedi ecclesiastiche» ed evidentemente ritenute infondate.

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Holy See Press Office Communiqué

VATICAN CITY
Holy See Press Office

November 18, 2017

With regard to the event involving a former pupil of the “Saint Pius X” Pre-seminary, subsequently ordained a priest, the following is stated.

Following various reports, both anonymous and otherwise, starting from 2013, several inquiries were carried out both by the Superiors of the Pre-seminary and by the Bishop of Como, as the Community of educators belongs to his diocese.

The events reported, which date back to previous years and would have involved several peers, some of whom were no longer present at the Institute at the time of the inquiries, do not find sufficient confirmation.

In view of the new elements that have recently emerged, a new investigation is underway, to shed full light on really happened.

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Dyfed-Powys Police confirm Caldey Island sex abuse reports

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

November 18, 2017

Dyfed-Powys Police has told BBC Wales it received reports of historical sexual abuse perpetrated by a monk on Caldey Island in the 1970s and 1980s.

The force investigated in 2014 and 2016 but could not prosecute as the monk, Father Thaddeus Kotik, died in 1992.

The Guardian newspaper has reported that Caldey Abbey has paid compensation to six women who were abused as children.

BBC Wales has attempted to contact Caldey Abbey in Pembrokeshire.

Court papers seen by The Guardian said Kotik carried out the abuse between 1972 and 1987 and the women, who were on holiday at the time, believe there may be many more victims.
Kotik worked in the abbey’s dairy and befriended families who regularly visited the island.

After gaining the trust of parents he would babysit the children and sexually abuse them, the papers suggest.

The women, who are not identified, said the abbey knew about the offences and failed to report Kotik to the police.

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Three women reveal monk on Caldey Island sexually abused them for decades

LONDON (ENGLAND)
International Business Times

November 18, 2017

By Nicole Rojas

The women sued Caldey Abbey for the abuse they suffered, requesting acknowledgement, an apology and compensation.

Three women have come forward to allege they were sexually abused by a monk living on Caldey Island, off the Welsh Coast at Tenby. The women claim Father Thaddeus Kotik sexually abused them as children during the 1970s and 1980s.

In August 2016, the women launched civil proceedings against the Cistercian order for personal injuries. The court documents claim Kotik abused six girls between 1972 and 1987 while at the Italianate Abbey of Our Lady and St Samson. However, the women believe there may be more victims.

Kotik, a former soldier with the Free Polish army during WWII, was ordained a priest in the order 1956. According to the Guardian, Kotik appears to have never been questioned by police and died in 1992.

According to court documents, Kotik befriended families who visited the island, as well as the farming families who lived there full time. He would give them handmade chocolates and produce to gain the trust of the families.

Kotik is said to have lured girls to places where he would not be detected, including a room near the abbey’s dairy and in isolated rocky coves by the beach. While babysitting children, he allegedly would pull sleepy girls towards him and sexually assault them.

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November 18, 2017

Abuse by priests is not due to celibacy, says Vatican expert

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Independent

November 18, 2017

By Sarah MacDonald

Celibacy cannot be blamed for clerical sex abuse because the average perpetrator does not commit the crime for up to 20 years after entering the priesthood, according to a top Vatican expert.

Professor Hans Zollner, a member of the Vatican’s Commission for the Protection of Minors, said “celibacy as such is not the problem” because the average age of clerical paedophiles is 39. If were a problem, the age would be closer to that when priests take their vows, which is usually in their twenties.

The “biggest risk”, he warned, was when “celibacy is not lived in an integrated way”, and when priests are not given the support they need for their priesthood, which can lead to isolation, spiritual difficulties and even addictions.

Prof Zollner was giving an address to a symposium on the formation of Catholic priests at the national seminary in Maynooth, Co Kildare.

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Vatican looks into alleged altar boy abuse

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Reuters via news.com.au

November 19, 2017

The Vatican is investigating reports a priest abused a dormitory mate when they were both altar boys and living in a residence at the St Pius X Institute.

The Vatican says it has opened an investigation into reports that a former teenage altar boy, who allegedly repeatedly forced a dormitory mate to have sex with him, went on to become a priest.

The allegations concerning the St Pius X Institute, known as a pre-seminary, were made in a recent book and in Italian television reports.

The pre-seminary is a residence inside the Vatican for altar boys who serve at masses in St Peter’s Basilica mostly presided over by priests, bishops and cardinals. At times they also participate in papal liturgies.

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Missbrauchsopfer von Fischingen: «Die Kirche ist mir eine Antwort schuldig»

THURGAU (SWITZERLAND)
Tagblatt

November 18, 2017

By Ida Sandl

[Google translation: Abuse victims of Fischingen: «The Church owes me an answer» His body suffers and so does the soul. The dark shadows of the past catch Walter Nowak again and again. Even after so many years and so far away, in Vienna, where he lives now. Nowak has publicized the abuse and ill-treatment in the children’s home of the Fischingen Monastery. He lived from 1962 to 1972 in the children’s home, it was a traumatic time.]

Sein Körper leidet und die Seele auch. Die dunklen Schatten der Vergangenheit holen Walter Nowak immer wieder ein. Selbst nach so vielen Jahren und so weit weg, in Wien, wo er jetzt lebt. Nowak hat den Missbrauch und die Misshandlungen im Kinderheim des Klosters Fischingen an die Öffentlichkeit gebracht. Er lebte von 1962 bis 1972 im Kinderheim, es sei eine traumatische Zeit gewesen.

Er fühlt sich nicht ernst genommen

Die alten Wunden sind wieder aufgerissen. Walter Nowak fühlt sich von der Katholischen Kirche nicht ernst genommen. «Ich bin für sie nach wie vor ein Mensch zweiter Klasse.» Drei Briefe hat er geschrieben. Zwei an die Schweizer Bischofskonferenz, ­einen an die Diözese Basel. Antwort habe er keine bekommen. Das nagt an ihm.

An die Diözese wandte sich Nowak, weil er vom Genugtuungsfonds für Opfer verjährter sexueller Übergriffe gehört hatte. In den eingeschriebenen Briefen an die Bischofskonferenz kritisiert er, dass die Kollekte des nationalen Kirchenopfertages im August 2015 für Missbrauchs­opfer verwendet wurde. Die Kirche solle für ihre Fehler gerade stehen und nicht die Gläubigen zur Kasse bitten, ist Nowak überzeugt. Den ersten Brief hat er im Sommer 2015 abgeschickt, den zweiten diesen Oktober. «Zumindest eine Antwort wäre mir die Kirche schuldig.»

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The priest who shattered my faith in the Catholic Church

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

November 18, 2017

By Professor Chris Fitzpatrick

[Note: See also the Murphy Report, Chapter 32 on Fr Dominic Savio Boland OFM Cap.]

Prof Chris Fitzpatrick, a Catholic, on how a revelation of sex abuse changed firmly held beliefs

Other than its also being a revelation of cataclysmic proportions, my road-to-Damascus moment was very different from St Paul’s. I was not on a horse, galloping along some dusty road in the Middle East. I was at a pre-Christmas drinks party in south Co Dublin. I was not a persecutor of Christians; I was one of them myself – a practising Catholic to boot. Nor was God the recriminating injured party on this occasion. (“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”) Instead it was the distressed voices of suffering children that I came to hear.

Unlike Saul, who changed his nom de guerre to Paul, I did not change mine; nor did I reinvent myself as a proselyte or epistle writer or even as a martyred saint. Unlike Paul, who, without a hint of concussion, was transformed into a believer and a follower, the faith I had tenaciously held, ever since my First Holy Communion, in the institutions of the Catholic Church was shattered in one fell swoop.

It was as if a stone had been hurled through the centre of my windscreen. I could no longer see where I was going. The curtain of the temple was torn in two, and the world was suddenly a much darker place.

Let me backtrack. A few weeks before the party, which took place in 2009, I happened to become involved in a conversation with some friends about the clerical sex abuse of children. In response to a general agreement that, sadly, no one would trust a priest (or any man, for that matter) to be alone with young children these days, I replied that I had the privilege, as a kid growing up in the Dublin of the 1960s and 1970s, of having come under the positive spiritual influence of a saintly cleric, a paragon of virtue, a man beyond reproach. Or so I thought.

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Trial again postponed for Aurora priest accused of sex abuse of girls

AURORA (IL)
Beacon-News/Chicago Tribune

November 17, 2017

By Hannah Leone

The trial for an Aurora priest charged with sexually abusing girls at their Catholic church has been pushed back again, from November to February, while lawyers figure out whether the lead investigator on the case destroyed or withheld notes that could affect its outcome.

The investigator’s resignation from the Kane County Child Advocacy Center has complicated legal proceedings involving his work, including that of Alfredo Pedraza Arias, a Colombia national whose lost his temporary religious worker visa after he was charged with sexually abusing two young girls at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora and one of the girls’ homes between 2012 and 2014. Arias, 50, has pleaded not guilty to a five-count indictment.

Immigration officials first arrested Arias at the county’s St. Charles courthouse while he was free on bond after a hearing in May; an immigration judge ordered him voluntarily deported in June; and prosecutors have sought a series of bail and custody orders in efforts to keep him here through trial. He’s been back in the county jail since July 28.

Prosecutors were going to call the investigator as a witness but now aren’t planning to, according to court filings.

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November 17, 2017

Revealed: monk who abused children on ‘crime free’ Caldey Island for decades

CALDEY ISLAND (WALES)
The Guardian

November 17, 2017

By Amanda Gearing

Exclusive: Abuse by a monk who preyed on girls on a tiny island off the coast of Wales was covered up in the 70s and 80s

Summer holidays on Caldey Island were seemingly idyllic. The tiny island off the Welsh Coast at Tenby is a place of beauty and holiness, with bluebell woods, clifftop walks, tea gardens and picturesque beaches. Pilgrims come for religious retreat, staying in the island’s cottages, joining the monks in prayer at the imposing Italianate Abbey of Our Lady and St Samson.

In November last year Caldey Island’s reputation for quaint charm was shored up by reports of the “only crime in living memory” to be investigated by police – when a father hit his seven-year-old son for misbehaving in the chocolate shop. The father faced court and got a fine; the monks were reported to be “concerned” about the island’s “crime of the century”.

For Emily those news reports were like a “punch in the stomach”. Some of her earliest memories are of an altogether more serious crime: being sexually abused by one of the monks, a predator called Father Thaddeus Kotik.

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#MeToo: Women Who Never Told Of Sexual Abuse Are Now Breaking The Silence

FALMOUTH (MA)
The Enterprise

November 17, 2017

By Karen B. Hunter

Editor’s Note
Warning! This column is very disturbing. It is a collection of firsthand accounts of women who were victims of sexual harassment, abuse and rape along the lines of the #metoo movement. They are stories of encounters that upended lives, even devastated lives. Be prepared; it is not easy reading.

We asked volunteers to step forward through referrals. Some who stepped forwarded referred others. The victims are anonymous but they are women who live on the Upper Cape.

While the column gives accounts from women only and women are certainly more vulnerable, men are among victims, too. We received a letter not long ago from a man who as a college student was a member of the College Light Opera Company. A director at the time forcefully pressed himself on him for a sexual encounter and denied him a role he wanted when he refused the advances. We did not publish the letter because it names the perpetrator, and newspapers, unlike Facebook, must be concerned with libel laws. Another story involves a young man who was hitchhiking many years ago and was picked up by an older man who was drinking and talked of forcing sex on boys. He was dropped off before the incident escalated, but it had lasting impact nonetheless.

The incidents related on the next page range widely in the age of the victims, in details and in severity. There is no thread that might lead to any sort of solution or resolution. But, with hope, publishing the accounts will help them and others heal, raise awareness, and allow for greater understanding.

Women are posting messages on social media to show how commonplace sexual assault, harassment and exploitation are, using the hashtag #MeToo to express that they, too, have been victims.

In the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct toward women by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, actress Alyssa Milano posted an invitation on her Twitter account asking women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted to type #MeToo.

Her intention, she said, was to reveal the extent of the problem and to shift the focus from the perpetrators to the victims.

Within weeks, millions of women around the world have said, MeToo—on social media, with friends and families, in articles, and behind microphones.

“I don’t know a single woman who can’t say ‘Me, too,’ ” said Meaghan E. Mort of Marstons Mills, who was among a group of female victims of sexual abuse who confronted Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty at the commissioners’ meeting last week after he dismissed #MeToo as a “bunch of nonsense.”

Ms. Mort’s message, and the confrontation itself, spotlight the fact that stories of sexual harassment and abuse—and some people’s dismissive attitude toward them—are a painful fact of life.

“The most significant thing about this powerful movement is that it is bringing light to the extent of sexual violence, assault, and rape in our culture,” said Lysetta Hurge-Putnam, executive director of Independence House, a Cape Cod-based resource, counseling, and advocacy center that works to address and prevent domestic and sexual violence. “These women have kept their stories to themselves and kept secret. It is a personal, painful thing for most people. But we really need to hear, listen, and believe these stories.”

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“Abusò di tre bambini della parrocchia”. Definitiva la condanna per don Elice

ITALY
la Repubblica

November 16, 2017

[Google Translate: For four years he has abused three children in his parish. Everything began at the pilgrimage to Medjugorje. The little ones were 9.11 and 13 years old. The Court of Cassation has confirmed the condemnation of Fr Roberto Elice, six years and four months. Until November 2014, the priest was the parish priest of the Most Holy Assumption Church in via Perpignano. Heavy the controversy that he was moved, reiterated by the lawyer Antonella Arcoleo, who formed a civilian party representing one of the minors.]

Sei anni e quattro mesi di carcere. Una delle vittime si è costituita parte civile

Per quattro anni ha abusato di tre bambini della sua parrocchia. Tutto cominciò al pellegrinaggio a Medjugorje. I piccoli avevano 9,11 e 13 anni. La Corte di Cassazione ha confermato la condanna per don Roberto Elice, a sei anni e quattro mesi. Fino al novembre 2014, il sacerdote era il parroco della Chiesa Maria Santissima Assunta di via Perpignano. Pesante la contestazione che gli è stata mossa, ribadita dall’avvocato Antonella Arcoleo, che si è costituita parte civile in rappresentanza di uno dei minori.

Già nell’ottobre 2014, don Roberto aveva informato dei suoi problemi la Curia, il cardinale Paolo Romeo lo aveva subito sostituito, evidentemente cogliendo la gravità della situazione. Ma nessuna segnalazione, nessuna denuncia, è mai partita dal Palazzo Arcivescovile in direzione della procura, che già indagava sul sacerdote dal mese di aprile del 2014, da quando una donna, la mamma dei fratellini di 9 e 11 anni, aveva raccolto il drammatico racconto di uno di loro. Mesi difficili per i poliziotti della sezione minori della squadra mobile, che cercavano riscontri al racconto dei fratellini. Scavando nelle ferite di quella parrocchia, i poliziotti, dopo i due fratellini, hanno scoperto che pure un altro ragazzino aveva subito. Oggi è maggiorenne. La sua deposizione ha aperto un altro scenario drammatico. Don Roberto gli aveva regalato un telefonino per comprare il suo silenzio.

“Una scelta coraggiosa – dice l’avvocato Arcoleo – è stata quella dei genitori che si sono costituiti parte civile. Una scelta di grande forza, per arrivare alla verità”.

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Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And There’s Nothing Funny About It

LOS ANGELES (CA)
790 KABC

November 16, 2017

By Leeann Tweeden

In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks. My father served in Vietnam and my then-boyfriend (and now husband, Chris) is a pilot in the Air Force, so bringing a ‘little piece of home’ to service members stationed far away from their families was both my passion and my privilege.

Also on the trip were country music artists Darryl Worley, Mark Wills, Keni Thomas, and some cheerleaders from the Dallas Cowboys. The headliner was comedian and now-senator, Al Franken.

Franken had written some skits for the show and brought props and costumes to go along with them. Like many USO shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience.

As a TV host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHM, Maxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.

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Hartford Archdiocese Given Poor Grade For Financial Transparency

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

November 16, 2017

By Ken Byron

A watchdog group has rated the Archdiocese of Hartford as one of the worst in the country for how much financial information it posts online in a just-released nationwide study of the Catholic Church.

The study, done by the international watchdog group Voice of the Faithful, said the archdiocese in Hartford did not do things that should be routine, like posting audited financial statements and information on the weekly collections that are a key source of church revenue. The study was done over the summer and covered 177 dioceses and archdioceses throughout the U.S. Voice of the Faithful, which focuses on the Catholic Church, announced the results of its survey on Thursday.

Hartford scored 17 points out of a possible 60 on a 10-question survey. That puts Hartford third from the bottom out of the 32 archdioceses in the survey, above Portland, Ore., and Mobile, Ala. The survey looked at dioceses as well. The Diocese of Bridgeport received a score of 55, and the Diocese of Norwich got a 19, according to an overview of the survey.

Archdiocese officials could not be reached for comment on Thursday. Voice of the Faithful spokesman Nick Ingala said there are easy fixes for a low score.

“It’s pretty simple,” Ingala said. “Most non-profits and corporations make financial statements readily available on their websites. That is what we would like to see archdioceses and dioceses do, and also publish guidelines for parish collections. Most of the church’s money comes from parishioners’ donations and they have a right to know where their money is going.”

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Why we still don’t understand sex abuse

MENDHAM (NJ)
The Record

November 17, 2017

By Mike Kelly

His name was Jim and he was a victim of sexual abuse. I thought of him this week amid the continuing stream of revelations of all manner of sexual harassment and outright attacks by powerful men against younger women.

In most of the recent sexual abuse cases involving women, the revelations of what happened to them have been met with justifiable anger against the perpetrators and welcoming support for the victims. But hovering on the edge of this national discussion is a strangely persistent and creepy criticism: Why did it take the women so long to speak up?

This is why I thought of Jim.

Jim Kelly, who is not related to me, lived in Mendham and worked for a telecommunications firm. Before dawn, on a Sunday in October 2003, he left his home and drove to the railroad station in nearby Morristown. As a Hoboken-bound train rolled into the station around 5:15 a.m., Jim sat down on the tracks. He died instantly as the train rolled over him. He was 37.

Why Jim Kelly took his own life was hardly a mystery to those who knew him well. His family and friends said the answer was obvious. As a boy, Jim had been regularly abused by the Catholic pastor of his hometown parish, St. Joseph’s Church in Mendham. Jim never got over the enduring emotional pain that ultimately handcuffed his life.

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Assignment History– Rev. Ronald Sam Gilardi, O.F.M. Cap.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Ronald Sam Gilardi was ordained for the Capuchin Franciscans in 1988. He taught at St. Thomas More Prep – Marian High School in Hays, Kansas until 1996, which shared an address with the Capuchins’ St. Bonaventure Friary. He resided there until 1995. In 1996 Gilardi was moved to Victoria, Kansas, where he was involved with the Capuchin Center for Spiritual Life and, from 1997-2000, he was the sole priest at St. Catharine’s in Catharine, Kansas.

In June 2000 Gilardi was arrested after a report was filed that he had sexually abused a 14-year-old male St. Thomas More Prep – Marian High student in 1993-1994. The boy was a boarder from Texas. Charges included criminal sodomy and indecent liberties with a child. His victim said Gilardi plied him with tobacco, alcohol and pornography. Gilardi pleaded guilty to the indecent liberties charge; he was ordered to spend 32 months in a treatment facility, followed by five years’ probation. His order sent him to the Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, Missouri.

As of November 2017 Gilardi appears to have been registered as a Missouri Sex Offender. His last known address is that of the RECON/Wounded Brothers Project in Robertsville, Missouri.

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Dark Canyon: Examining NM’s problem with pedophile priests [with audio]

SANTA FE (NM)
KSFR

November 15, 2017

By Dave Marash

The role of a priest, in the Catholic Church and other religions is that of a mediator, a connector, a communicator of that state of grace known as the Holy Spirit that puts man in touch with God. He is a kind of religious middle man, if you will, between the laity, the ordinary believers of a Churchly congregation and God.

Thus, when a priest abuses members of his congregation, he is committing, simultaneously, 2 betrayals…first, of his sacred relationship to God and his Church, — a breach of faith, and second, of his human relationship to the person he has abused – a breach of trust.

Both of these betrayals seem especially heinous when the victim of abuse is a child.

Compounding these offenses against God and humanity is when a priest’s abuses are covered up by his superiors in the hierarchy of the Church.

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