Larry Nassar will be back in court to face 57 more victims in Michigan

EAST LANSING (MI)
CNN

January 30, 2018

By Eric Levenson

(CNN)The legal reckoning with Larry Nassar’s years of sexual abuse isn’t over.

Nassar, the longtime former team doctor for USA Gymnastics and faculty member at Michigan State University, will return to court Wednesday morning for sentencing in Eaton County, Michigan, where he has pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal sexual conduct.

The Michigan attorney general’s office said 57 victims are expected to speak out in court about Nassar’s abuse, according to Eaton County Court Administrator Beryl Frenger.

The court has already set aside three days for victim impact statements, and the hearing is expected to go into next week to give each victim time to speak, Frenger said.

The sentencing in Eaton County is likely to be similar to the remarkable victim impact statements in nearby Ingham County over the past two weeks.

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‘He took a part of me that I’ll never get back’: Simone Biles tears up as she talks about pedophile Larry Nassar and reveals that Olympics Committee STILL has not contacted her about the sickening abuse

UNITED STATES
Daily Mail

January 31, 2018

By Jennifer Smith

– Biles appeared on NBC to give interviews to both Hoda Kotb and Megyn Kelly
– She cried as she spoke to Kotb on Today and said she was ‘very happy’ with Nassar’s 175-year sentencing
– To Kelly, the 20-year-old told how he stole her trust by sexually abusing her
– Biles bemoaned how she has still not been given an apology from either USA Gymnastics or the US Olympics Committee
– Aly Raisman, her fellow Olympic gold medalist and teammate, has described their silence as ‘disgusting’
– Despite the ordeal, Biles is back in the gym preparing for the 2020 Olympics
– Nassar will face more victims in a separate Michigan courtroom for another case on Wednesday

Simone Biles cried as she spoke about pedophile Dr. Larry Nassar on Wednesday morning…

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Vatican to probe Chile clergy abuse

VATICAN CITY
The Telegraph India

January 31, 2018

Vatican City: Pope Francis is sending the Catholic Church’s top investigator into sexual abuse by clergy to Chile to probe a bishop accused of covering up crimes against minors, in a remarkable turnaround only days after the pope defended him.

A Vatican statement on Tuesday said new information had emerged about Bishop Juan Barros and that Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta would go to “listen to those who want to submit elements in their possession”.

The statement, which gave no details, was a stunning U-turn for the pope, who on January 21 told reporters aboard his plane returning from Latin America he was sure Barros was innocent and that the Vatican had received no concrete evidence against him. It was Scicluna who doggedly uncovered evidence of sexual abuse that led to the removal of the late Mexican priest Marcial Maciel, founder…

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Communities That Protect Abusers

ISRAEL
Times of Israel

By Dr. Michael Salamon

January 31, 2018

Can an entire town come together to protect a childhood sexual abuser – actually protect the abuser – not the child?

This question may seem foolish or rhetorical at best but one look at some recent events tends to highlight the extent to which some communities go to protect the abusers in their midst.
Rachael Denhollander, the first to come forward and accuse Dr. Larry Nassar of abuse while he allegedly cared for gymnasts, swimmers and Olympic athletes over many years had to, in her words, build an army to take on this abuser and his supporters.

Ultimately, over 150 women athletes, many of them Olympians, confronted Nassar in court. Denhollander was not believed initially. It took some time, Olympic effort and commitment to bring him to justice but the persistence paid off.

The bravery that Denhollander…

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WATCH: Protesters take on church leader accused of sexual harassment

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL News

January 30, 2018

By Khanyisile Ngcobo

Johannesburg – The Pretoria City Mission Methodist Church on Tuesday confirmed it was investigating events relating to a sexual harassment protest held at the church on Monday.

This comes after videos emerged on social media showing a group of women disrupting what appears to be a service by walking up to the pulpit with placards in hand.

The small group of women are seen standing in front of the pulpit in protest and at one point, church leaders appear to try and stop them and in the end, get into an argument with a few of them.

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Sexual harassment claims at Pta church

TSHWANE (SOUTH AFRICA)
Pretoria East Rekord

January 31, 2018

By Thato Mahlangu

“We are disturbed and saddened by what gave rise to such action.”

A Pretoria church could be facing sexual abuse claims.

A steward from the Central Methodist Church in Pretoria has been accused by a group of young women of sexual harassment.

The aggrieved group took to the church’s altar to stage a silent protest, disrupting last Sunday’s church service.

The group of women could be seen in a video doing the rounds on social media, staging a silent protest followed by an altercation with some of the church leaders.

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#Trending: Video showing Women allegedly protesting Sexual Abuse from Church Leader

TSHWANE (SOUTH AFRICA)
BellaNaija.com

January 31, 2018

A video showing 2 young women in Wesley Methodist Church in Tshwane, South Africa, disrupting church service to protest alleged sexual abuse is trending on social media.

In the video posted by @AthiGeleba, 2 young women are seen standing before the church holding up sheets of paper.

One of the women is seen arguing while elders speak to her.

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Mother testifies in suit against Mormon Church

MARTINSBURG (WV)
The Journal

January 31, 2018

By Kelsie LeRose

MARTINSBURG — The civil case alleging members of the Mormon Church had covered up sexual abuse by the son of church leaders continued its second full week Tuesday with Sandra Lee Jensen taking the stand as a witness for the plaintiffs.

Sandra Lee Jensen is the mother of the Christopher Michael Jensen–who is serving 35 to 75 years in prison for sexually abusing two minors at the ages of 4 and 3.

The lawsuit, filed in 2013, accuses the church and its leaders of actively covering up the abuse and assisting Michael Jensen in committing further acts by enabling him to babysit for and live with other church families with young children.

Nine families are involved in the lawsuit against the church, Jensen’s parents Chris and Sandra Lee Jensen, and church officials Steven Grow and Don Fishel.

Michael Jensen…

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INQUIRY INTO CHILD SEX ABUSE OUTLINES CHURCH OF ENGLAND INVESTIGATION

ENGLAND
The Tablet

January 30, 2018

By Megan Cornwell

Among several themes to be explored is what impact ‘clericalism’ had on child sexual abuse investigations

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse has outlined the areas it will be focusing on with regards to the Church of England. Public hearings into the Church will begin in March.

The hearings will focus on the Diocese of Chichester, where several clergymen were found to have abused young boys. The inquiry will also look at the disgraced former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, who was imprisoned in 2015 after admitting the abuse of 18 young men over a period of 15 years. It will then examine how well the Church’s current safeguarding practices are working, Fiona Scolding QC, the lead lawyer for the Anglican strand of the inquiry, explained today at a preliminary hearing in Southwark.

Scolding said that…

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Opinion: Zero tolerance? The facts don’t support the pope’s claims on child abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
The Guardian

January 31, 2018

By Kieran Tapsell

Pope Francis says there’s no leniency for clergy accused of child sex abuse. It’s not true

On his return flight from Lima to Rome in January, Pope Francis claimed, as he has so often before, that he has zero tolerance for clergy who sexually abuse children: “I continue with the policy of zero tolerance initiated by Benedict XVI, and in five years I have not signed a single request for leniency. If the appeal court confirms the decision of the lower court, the only other avenue is to ask the pope for leniency. In my time as pope, I have received some 25 requests, and have signed none of them.”

On hearing Francis’s claims, an ordinary person might believe that the Catholic church insists on dismissing priests who sexually abuse children – but that is…

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Church of England’s ‘culture of secrecy’ under the spotlight in abuse inquiry

ENGLAND
Christian Today

January 31, 2018

A public inquiry into sex abuse in the Church of England will focus on the institution’s culture of secrecy.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, will focus on how the Diocese of Chichester handled sex abuse allegations and its failure to protect survivors.

Fiona Scolding QC, the lead lawyer for the Anglican strand of the inquiry, said the inquiry would not focus on the late Bishop George Bell, former Bishop of Chichester, who was posthumously accused of assaulting a young girl in the 1940s and 1950s. However it will focus on the former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, who was imprisoned in 2015 after admitting he abused 18 young men over 15 years.

In a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, according to The Tablet, Scolding said the investigation would also ask: ‘How far does the Church’s attitude…

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Priest accused of having child porn free on $250,000 bond

BELLEVILLE (IL)
The Associated Press via WLS-AM

January 31, 2018

A Catholic priest who was arrested in southern Illinois on child pornography charges is now free on bond.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports the sister of the Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger posted his bond over the weekend after a judge reduced bail from $2 million to $250,000.

Hechenberger was arrested Jan. 9 after detectives found images and videos of child pornography and drug paraphernalia at Holy Childhood Church and school in Mascoutah where Hechenberger is associate pastor.

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Failures offer opportunity to improve protection efforts, expert says

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

January 30, 2018

by Carol Glatz

ROME — Failure and disappointment in the Catholic Church’s response to abuse should be an impetus to reassess, refocus and rededicate oneself to improving and expanding efforts in healing and prevention, said a researcher at Rome’s Center for Child Protection.

For example, “Pope Francis’ infelicitous words — experienced as a ‘slap’ by those who have suffered abuse — during his recent visit to Chile” raises the question, “is there hope for real change in the church?” wrote Sara Boehk, a member of the center’s research team. Her article appeared on the center’s blog — childprotection.unigre.it — Jan. 26.

The center, which is part of the Pontifical Gregorian University, provides training, formation and educational resources in the field of safeguarding minors. Its president is Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, who had been a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection…

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Pope sends sex abuse envoy to Chile after deeming allegations a “calumny”

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

January 31.2018

VATICAN CITY (AP) — After coming under excoriating public criticism, Pope Francis decided Tuesday to send the Vatican’s most respected sex crimes expert to Chile to investigate a bishop accused by victims of covering up for the country’s most notorious pedophile priest.

The Vatican said Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna would travel to Chile “to listen to those who have expressed the desire to provide elements” about the case of Bishop Juan Barros.

The move marks the first known time the Vatican has launched a full-blown investigation into allegations of sex abuse cover-up, and it comes after Francis was harshly criticized by the media, survivors of abuse, his fellow Jesuits and some of his top advisers for his unwavering defense of Barros.

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Former Delaware Catholic priest charged in 25-year-old child sex case

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

January 31, 2018

By Xerxes Wilson

In what appears to be a first, Delaware is prosecuting a former Catholic priest for “sexual intercourse” with a child more than 25 years ago.

John A. Sarro, 76, a former priest with the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, was indicted this week by a New Castle County grand jury on charges of first-degree unlawful sexual intercourse and second-degree unlawful sexual contact, according to court records.

Sarro was a priest in Bear and Bellefonte through much of the ’80s and ’90s. He was identified by diocese officials in 2006 as one of 20 local priests with “admitted, corroborated or otherwise substantiated” allegations of sexual abuse of minors against them.

But the conduct that landed Sarro in that group is said to be separate from the current charge.

His Monday indictment accuses him in the early 1990s of having “sexual…

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After Defending Controversial Bishop, Pope To Send Sex Abuse Investigator To Chile

CHILE
National Public Radio

January 30, 2018

By Sylvia Poggioli

When Pope Francis visited Chile earlier this month, he lashed out at victims of sexual abuse and accused them of “calumny” regarding a bishop who is suspected of covering up abuse they endured by a pedophile priest.

The pope said there was “not a shred of evidence” against Chilean Bishop Juan Barros. “The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros,” he said, “I’ll speak.”

Now the pope is sending a top envoy on a mission to Chile to look into survivors’ claims.

A Vatican statement said Maltese Bishop Charles Scicluna, the Church’s most respected sex crimes expert, will “listen to those who have expressed the desire to provide elements” about the case of Barros. It said new information had emerged.

The pope’s remarks in Chile had highlighted some Vatican-watchers’ concerns about his commitment to combating sexual abuse by…

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Choir director Hodgman resigns Adrian College position

ADRIAN (MI)
Daily Telegram News

January 30, 2018

By David Panian

ADRIAN — A long-time Adrian College choir director who has been dogged by allegations he had a sexual relationship with a student when he was a high school teacher in the 1980s has resigned from the college.

Adrian College said Tuesday that Thomas Hodgman has resigned.

“The college will make no further comment regarding this matter,” Frank Hribar, vice president for enrollment and student affairs, said in an email.

Hodgman did not immediately return a call from The Daily Telegram seeking comment.

For years, the woman who claims Hodgman abused her when she was a 15-year-old student at a Catholic high school in Southern California has tried to get the college to cut ties with Hodgman.

“The college didn’t want students to know what Hodgman did to me,” Joelle Casteix said Tuesday in an email. “When students found…

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Michigan State Scandal Makes It Clear: Reports of Sexual Assault Need To Go To One Place

EAST LANSING (MI)
Forbes

January 29, 2018

By Jerry Barca

The victims kept mentioning the same regret.

These were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests. I had spoken to them during my newspaper reporting days when the scandal became national news in 2002. I spoke to more victims years later as part of background research for another project.

Damage had been done to them, their innocence stripped away as hammer strikes of abuse pounded into their self worth. Of course any and everybody wished it never happened. The victims had another wish, too. If they couldn’t change the fact that they had been abused, they wish they would’ve gone straight to the police, instead of the Church. They would’ve reported the abuse to legal authorities, not the institution.

That lesson has to be reiterated after what has gone on at Michigan State. Larry Nassar, a…

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Abuse survivor sues council and Catholic church sect

SCOTLAND
The Herald

January 30, 2018

An abuse survivor is suing a Catholic Church sect and a local authority after he was assaulted by a monk at a residential school.

Michael Murphy, known as Brother Benedict or Brother Ben, abused children in the 1970s and 1980s when he worked at St Joseph’s School in Tranent, East Lothian.

He was jailed for seven years in April 2016 at the High Court in Edinburgh after being found guilty of physically and sexually abusing eight boys.

The physical abuse he carried out included habitual and sustained physical punishment as well as the administration of electric shocks, the Crown Office said at the conclusion of the case.

The anonymous survivor, now in his 50s, is suing East Lothian Council and De La Salle Brothers and is seeking damages estimated at a six-figure sum for the pain caused by the former schoolmaster.

He said…

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Victim abused and beaten by notorious monster monk set to sue Catholic sect and council

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

January 30, 2018

By Sarah Vesty

An abuse survivor is seeking a six-figure sum in damages from De Dalle Brothers and the council.

An abuse survivor is suing a Catholic sect and a council after being beaten and assaulted by a notorious monk.

Brother Benedict – real name Michael Murphy – subjected eight schoolboys to a string of attacks at St Joseph’s List D School in Tranent, East Lothian, during the 70s.

He electrocuted pupils, locked them in cupboards, beat them with canes and sexually assaulted them.

Murphy, part of the De La Salle Brothers, was jailed for seven years in 2016 after being found guilty on 15 charges at the High Court in Edinburgh.

One of his victims is now seeking a six-figure sum in damages from East Lothian Council and the De La Salle Brothers.

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Catholic, education groups oppose child abuse reporting bill

AURORA (CO)
9 News

January 29, 2018

By Ryan Haarer

Educators, along with a list of other professionals, are required by law to report child abuse allegations to police. But the statute of limitations for failure to report ends 18 months after the fact.

Prosecutors may face challenges in convicting three Cherry Creek School District administrators who failed to report an alleged sexual assault of a student in 2013.

They never called police after they heard that teacher Brian Vasquez, 34, was allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student. It wasn’t until 2017 that Aurora Police arrested Vasquez for a total of five sexual assault claims.

These educators, along with a list of other professionals, are required by law to report child abuse allegations to police. But the statute of limitations for failure to report ends 18 months after the fact.

“When it’s not…

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The Pandora’s Box of Spiritual Abuse is out: Here’s what the Church must do

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Christian Today

January 29, 2018

By Rev’d Canon Anna Norman-Walker

This is a blog post by the Revd Canon Anna Norman-Walker, rector of St Leonard’s, Streatham. It first appeared on ViaMedia.News and is reproduced with permission.

In Greek mythology Pandora is created by Zeus and given as a wedding gift to the brother of his enemy Prometheus along with a jar containing the many evils of the world. Pandora opens the jar and on realising what she had done she tries to close it in haste; the anguish of the moment is captured in a painting by FS Church in which the young bride kneels helplessly on the box – as one might an over filled suitcase – in an effort to contain the escaping forces of evil.

Over the past few weeks the call has gone out for the church to address…

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Church sexual abuse survivors call for firing of Pastor Andy Savage

MEMPHIS (TN)
WREG Memphis News Channel 3

January 29, 2018

By Stacy Jacobson

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Protesters held up a smattering of signs in an attempt to push forward what they called “Justice for Jules” outside Highpoint Church Monday.

“It’s time to stop being so concerned about the abuser and be more concerned about the abused,” said Kenny Stubblefield, a survivor of church sexual abuse and local activist.

It’s been three weeks since Jules Woodson wrote a narrative of her encounter with Pastor Andy Savage 20 years ago at their Texas church. She said the current Highpoint pastor was then her youth pastor. She said he offered her a ride home and forced her to perform oral sex.

“I was in shock. I didn’t understand what was happening,” Woodson said in an interview with CBS News.

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Priest banned from ministry to defend George Bell at Church of England’s headquarters

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Christian Today

January 30, 2018

By Harry Farley

A priest barred from ministry after being accused of abusing colleagues and making malicious allegations against his superiors is to speak at the Church of England’s headquarters in London on Thursday.

Jules Gomes, formerly a priest at St Mary’s on the Harbour on the Isle of Man, is an outspoken defender of George Bell, a former Bishop of Chichester who has been accused of historical sex abuse. He will address a group of Bell’s supporters in Church House, Westminster, on February 1.

Church House is the building used as the CofE’s main London base. The National Church Institutions (NCIs) which govern the Church’s daily running, do not own the building nor control its bookings and the CofE appeared to distance itself from the event.

A Church of England spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of an event due to take…

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VATICAN DEFROCKS ABUSIVE MASSACHUSETTS EX-PRIEST

WORCESTER (MA)
ChurchMilitant

January 29, 2018

By David Nussman

Now-laicized former priest abused a teenage male in 1985

WORCESTER, Mass. (ChurchMilitant.com) – Pope Francis has now defrocked a Massachusetts priest who was accused of sexually abusing a teenage male.

Peter Inzerillo was a priest in the diocese of Worcester. He has now been laicized at his own request, according to an announcement the diocese made on Thursday. The diocese stated, “As a result of the laicization, he may not function in any capacity as a priest or be referred to as a priest or as ‘Father’ in writing such as in event announcements or obituaries.”

Inzerillo sexually abused a 19-year-old male in 1985. He was not criminally charged. But in 1999, he was named in a sex-abuse lawsuit against the diocese of Worcester. The suit ended in the diocese’s largest-ever priest sex abuse settlement of about…

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French women and #MeToo: It’s complicated

FRANCE
Yahoo Lifestyle

January 29, 2018

By Alexandra Mondalek

There are almost as many online guides to achieving that mysterious French-dame coolness as there are people in France: There’s the French girl’s guide to winter beauty, the French girl’s guide to eating, the French girl’s guide to bangs, the French girl’s guide to Halloween, and even the French girl’s guide to hating French girl guides, just for starters.

But in this moment of reckoning for sexual assaulters, there is no French girl’s guide to the movement known as #MeToo (with the exception of this New Yorker spoof). There is a French hashtag equivalent — #BalanceTonPorc or “expose your pig” — but beyond that, it’s complicated.

That’s ultimately because many French women disagree about the validity of the movement itself, and whether its American counterpart is even contextually relevant to French culture.

On one side, there are French women like…

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Pope sends sex crimes expert to Chile to investigate bishop

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

January 30, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is sending the Vatican’s most respected sex crimes expert to Chile to investigate a bishop accused by victims of covering up for the country’s most notorious pedophile priest.

The Vatican said Tuesday that Maltese Bishop Charles Scicluna would travel to Chile “to listen to those who have expressed the desire to provide elements” about the case of Bishop Juan Barros.

The Barros controversy dominated Francis’ just-ended trip to Chile and exposed Francis’ blind spot as far as clerical sex abuse is concerned. Even one of his closest advisers, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, publicly rebuked him for his treatment of victims and tried to set him straight.

Barros was a protege of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a charismatic and politically powerful priest who was sanctioned by the Vatican for sexually abusing minors in 2011. His victims…

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Pope sends Maltese archbishop to investigate Chilean bishop in abuse cover up case

CHILE
National Catholic Reporter

January 30, 2018

By Dennis Coday

Pope Francis is sending Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta to Chile to take testimony about Bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid of Osorno, Chile, who is accused of covering up allegations of abuse by a Chilean priest who was found guilty of abuse.

The Vatican announced Scicluna’s trip to Chile in a statement this morning.

Scicluna was in charge of sexual abuse cases in the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith from 2002 until 2010. Francis appointed him to lead a commission in the doctrinal congregation to hear appeals of priests accused of sexual abuse.

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Archbishop Scicluna sent to Chile to investigate bishop accused of child abuse cover up

CHILE
Times of Malta

January 30, 2018

Pope Francis sends Malta’s top cleric on special mission

Archbishop Charles Scicluna has been dispatched to Chile by Pope Francis to look into allegations against a bishop accused of covering up clergy crimes against minors there, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

A statement said Archbishop Scicluna was being dispatched after “new information” had emerged about Bishop Juan Barros of the Chilean city of Osorno.

Archbishop Scicluna is the Vatican’s top investigator on child abuse, having previously served as Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

He doggedly uncovered evidence of sexual abuse against the late founder of the conservative religious order the Legionaries of Christ during the papacy of Benedict XVI, and has a formidable reputation within the Church.

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Pope Sends Envoy to Chile to Investigate Bishop Accused of Abuse Cover Up

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

January 30, 2018

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis is sending the Church’s top investigator on sexual abuse to Chile to look into allegations against a bishop accused of covering up clergy crimes against minors there, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

A statement said the envoy, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, was being dispatched after “new information” had emerged about Bishop Juan Barros of the Chilean city of Osorno.

Controversy over Barros, whom the pope has repeatedly defended, dominated Francis’s recent trip to the South American country.

It was a remarkable turnaround for the pope, who just last week told reporters aboard the plane returning from Latin America that he was sure Barros was innocent and that the Vatican had received no concrete evidence against him.

Barros has been accused of protecting his former mentor, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty…

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Catholic Church group fights Colorado bill to reform system of reporting child abuse

DENVER (CO)
The Denver Channel

January 29, 2018

By Robert Garrison

DENVER — Legislation that would reform a mandatory system of reporting child abuse in Colorado is not getting support from the Catholic Church.

Senate Bill 18-058 would extend the statute of limitations in cases where a person is required by law to report child abuse but fails to do so.

Currently, the statute of limitations for failing to report child abuse or neglect in Colorado is 18 months, which could result in dropped charges in the recent indictment against three Cherry Creek school leaders accused of hiding allegations made by a specific student in 2013.

The measure, sponsored by state lawmakers Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) and Terri Carver (R-Colorado Springs), comes on the heels of the Cherry Creek case and indefinitely extends the period of time mandatory reporters could be prosecuted for not contacting authorities in child abuse cases.

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An iconic rock on Michigan State’s campus is covered with the names of Larry Nassar’s victims

EAST LANSING (MI)
CNN

January 29, 2018

By Mercedes Leguizamon and Saeed Ahmed

(CNN)The boulder is known simply as “The Rock” and it’s a fixture on the campus of Michigan State University.

It’s a constantly changing billboard. Students leave everything from birthday greetings to political messages, one layer of paint at a time.

Since late last week, when doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 175 years for sexually abusing girls and young women for decades, the Rock has sported a powerful new look.

Students painted the boulder white, along with the words “THANK YOU” in teal, and a heart.

They also hand-painted the names of more than 150 women who accused Nassar of abusing them.

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MSU critic faces allegation of inappropriate relationship from former student

EAST LANSING (MI)
Detroit Free Press

January 29, 2018

By Gina Kaufman and Jim Schaefer

Just days after Sue Carter resigned her position as chair of Michigan State University’s Athletic Council, in protest over the institution’s handling of its sexual abuse scandal, a former student has filed a complaint claiming Carter drew her into an inappropriate relationship more than two decades ago.

Ellen Fedon-Keyt, now a Dearborn psychologist, e-mailed the members of the athletic council on Saturday saying she was about 19 years old and an undergraduate student at Wayne State University when Carter, who was at one time her professor, befriended her and manipulated her into a sexual relationship that felt “wrong and distorted.” Fedon-Keyt said this occurred around the time her father was killed in a plane crash — a period when shewas vulnerable.

Two members of the MSU Athletic Council — professor Martin Crimp and secretary…

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Child sexual abuse: Pakistan breaks the silence

ASIA/PAKISTAN
Agenzia Fides

January 25, 2018

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) – “Pakistan has finally broken a taboo, at least for now. This comes after the denunciation of sexual abuse, violence, rape and murder against thousands of minors. Here there is a culture of silence and shame which are deeply rooted”, says to Agenzia Fides Fr. Mushtaq Anjum, a Pakistani Camillian missionary. “However – continues the priest – the recent case of young Zenaib Ansari, a girl from Kasur, in Punjab, has literally shocked the country. And in civil society, processions and demonstrations have multiplied to demand justice and to put an end to impunity”.

Many famous Pakistani women took part in this campaign against child abuse, and shared their stories on social media using the hashtag #justiceforZainab. The other hashtag #MeToo raised the veil on many other cases of violence: actress Nadia Jamil revealed to have suffered sexual abuse for…

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Sister posts bond for priest accused of having child porn after judge reduces bail

MASCOUTAH (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

January 29, 2018

By Dana Rieck

The sister of a Mascoutah priest accused of possessing child pornography posted his $25,000 bond Friday after a judge significantly reduced the man’s $2 million bail last week.

The Rev. Gerald Hechenberger, associate pastor of Holy Childhood Church in Mascoutah, was booked into jail Jan. 9 on 16 charges of child pornography and one charge of possession of methamphetamine.

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Pope apologizes for comments, defends bishop

CHILE
Associated Press

January 26, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Francis apologized for insisting that victims of pedophile priests show “proof” to be believed, saying he realized it was a “slap in the face” to victims that he never intended.

But he doubled down on defending a Chilean bishop accused by victims of covering up for the country’s most notorious pedophile priest, and he repeated that anyone who makes such accusations without providing evidence is guilty of slander.

Francis issued the partial mea culpa in an airborne press conference late Sunday as he returned home from Chile and Peru, where the clergy abuse scandal and his own comments plunged the Chilean church into renewed crisis and revived questions about whether Francis “gets it” about abuse.

Francis insisted that to date no one had provided him with evidence that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in…

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Catholic Bishop trying to stop the deportation of paedophile priest Finian Egan

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
Herald Sun

January 28, 2018

By Keith Moor

TWO senior Catholics joined forces to try to save paedophile priest Finian Egan from deportation to Ireland.

Egan, 83, convicted of raping a child and molesting two other young girls, was freed last month after serving half of an eight-year jail term.

But a 2016 decision by then immigration minister Peter Dutton to cancel Egan’s Australian citizenship was recently overturned by Administrative Appeals Tribunal deputy president Justice Janine Stevenson, who ruled that “the correct and preferable decision” was to allow Egan to retain his citizenship.

Mr Dutton, now the Home Affairs Minister, is lodging a Federal Court appeal against that ruling.

Justice Stevenson said Egan had been offered support by Bishop Peter Comensoli and Father Vincent Casey, and this church support and supervision of Egan and “consequently, the existence of mechanisms for the protection of children” had been “a…

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Bishop Gerard Hanna: The bishop, the priest, and the sins of omission

GRIFFITH (NSW, AUSTRALIA)
The Area News

January 29, 2018

By Farrah Tomazin

On a winter evening in 2016, dozens of churchgoers gathered at a local primary school in the NSW Riverina to bid farewell to the town’s most-senior religious figure.

Gerard Hanna had been the bishop of Wagga for 14 years, a servant of God who led a diocese of 66,000 Catholics in 31 parishes.

But here, in the refurbished sports stadium at Henschke Primary School, Bishop Hanna was set to step down sooner than expected, citing “continuous ill health” as the reason for his early retirement.

It was about two weeks before he was due to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

As the tributes flowed, few in the room would have known that this church leader was harbouring a secret.

Decades earlier, while working as the administrator of a parish…

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First Larry Nassar Accuser Says Going Public Cost Her Friends, Her Church and ‘Every Shred of Privacy’

UNITED STATES
TIME Magazine

January 26, 2018

By Samantha Cooney

Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse, said that coming forward with her allegations cost her friends, her church and “every shred of privacy.”

In a New York Times op-ed published on Jan. 26, Denhollander wrote that “absolutely nothing could have prepared me for the pain of being the first to go public with my accusations.” The Indianapolis Star first reported allegations against Nassar made by Denhollander and an unnamed woman in September 2016. Denhollander, a former club gymnast, said that she began seeing Nassar when she was 15 after sustaining a back injury.

Since the story was published, over 150 women — including Olympians Aly Raisman, Simone Biles and McKayla Maroney — have said they were also abused by Nassar. On Jan. 24, Nassar was sentenced to…

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Church offering program for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

SEYMOUR (IN)
Seymour Tribune

January 29, 2018

A 12-week study for adult women who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse is being offered by Central Christian Church in Seymour.

The program from Survivors of Abuse Restored is entitled “Shelter from the Storm: Hope for Survivors of Sexual Abuse.”

There will be open sessions the next few Thursdays to allow women to come check the group out, ask questions and learn about a topic that relates to what they are going through.

Women who would benefit from this support group are asked to contact Robin Everhart at 812-521-1122 or robin@centralseymour.org for meeting times, location and details.

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Four men allege sex abuse by NM priests

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

January 28, 2018

By Katy Barnitz

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In lawsuits filed this month against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, four more men allege that they were sexually abused as children by priests in New Mexico.
The suits, filed in state District Court in Albuquerque, name two priests as perpetrators: Sabine Griego and the late Wilfred Bombardier.

Both men were included on a list released by Archbishop John C. Wester of clergy who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Griego, who was removed from the priesthood in 2005, still lives in northern New Mexico. He could not be reached for comment.

Celine Radigan, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said she could not comment on pending lawsuits. But she said the archdiocese prays “for all who have been victims of the sad reality of sexual abuse.”

The complaints are the latest of approximately 74…

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Dianne Williamson: Some lessons still to learn for church

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

January 27, 2018

By Dianne Williamson

For 25 years, Peter Inzerillo has been quietly directing a community chorale of “high-quality music” in Leominster. In the mid-’90s, however, he was singing a different tune.

Back then, as the Rev. Peter, he was busy denying claims that he sexually abused a 19-year-old teen who had turned to him for help after being abused by another priest. Those denials would ring false, however, when in 1999 the diocese paid Inzerillo’s accuser $300,000, one of the largest settlements reached by the Diocese of Worcester, which then promptly reassigned the disgraced priest to another parish.

When I learned last week that Peter Inzerillo had finally been defrocked, more than two decades after his alleged acts opened a window to the church’s systemic failure to shield children from abuse, I was flooded by memories of a church that for decades…

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Opinion: Pope Francis’ blind spot on sexual abuse

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

January 25, 2018

By Thomas Reese

The overwhelming consensus in the media is that Pope Francis has a blind spot when it comes to sexual abuse.

He may be on the side of refugees, migrants, the sick, the poor, the indigenous and other marginalized peoples, but he just doesn’t get it when it comes to victims of abuse.

The evidence for this assertion is the pope’s unwavering support for Juan Barros, whom he appointed bishop of Osorno, Chile, despite accusations from victims that he witnessed and covered up abuse by the Fr. Fernando Karadima, the charismatic priest who in 2011 was found guilty by the Vatican of abusing minors in his upscale Santiago parish.

In a leaked letter to the Chilean bishops, Francis defended his January 2015 appointment of Barros to Osorno. Francis acknowledged that the Vatican was so concerned about the crisis…

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Opinion: Catholics’ faith in Francis is misplaced

UNITED STATES
The Boston Globe

January 29, 2018

By Margery Eagan

HERE’S A SAFE BET: Even if a day arrives when the Catholic Church is pure, none of us will live to see it. So maybe Catholics should stop looking for saints among its leaders.

On Jan. 18, Francis took a sledgehammer to millions who’d misplaced saintly hope in him. He went to Chile and called priestly sex abuse survivors liars.

What happened?

This was the Francis who ditched the papal apartment, rode around in a tiny Fiat, kissed prisoners’ feet, focused on the poor, refugees, the planet, forgiveness, mercy — not the typical Catholic focus on anything to do with sex.

Wowed, we talked of “The Francis Effect.” Jaded Catholics returned to Mass, risking uninspired preaching because, well, Francis inspired. Plus, to paraphrase Hebrews, there is ever that yearning to find proof of things unseen.

There had…

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Editorial: Pope Francis missteps

UNITED STATES
Toledo Blade

January 29, 2018

Revelation upon revelation of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, and cover ups by bishops, has crippled faith in the Catholic Church over the last two decades. Since the start of his tenure in 2013, Pope Francis has labored to address this great sin, this stain upon the Roman Catholic church, and restore faith in the institution.

But on on a recent trip to Chile, the Pope lost both focus and credibility. He said that he was “pained and ashamed” by the conduct of priests who sexually abused children in the country. And yet, the Pope refused to meet with victims of these crimes and even accused victims of slandering a bishop who allegedly turned a blind eye to the behavior of Chile’s most infamous abuser.

After his comments drew sharp criticism from around the globe, the Pope issued an apology….

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Foss: Too many people enabled Larry Nassar’s abuse

UNITED STATES
Daily Gazette (Schenectady NY)

January 27, 2018

By Sara Foss

Case is disgustingly similar to pedophilia scandals that rocked Catholic Church, Penn State

I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year.

For whatever reason, Jan. 1 came and went without a lot of introspection on my part — without any real consideration of my goals and hopes for the next 12 months.

Of course, it’s possible to make a resolution at any time of year, and that’s what I found myself doing last week while reading one horrifying story after another about Larry Nassar, the former team doctor for USA Gymnastics and sports medicine physician at Michigan State University.

Nassar, we now know, sexually abused more than 150 young athletes in his care.

That’s appalling, but what really gets my blood boiling are the ongoing revelations about all the people who turned a blind eye to…

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Opinion: Roll on, presses, roll on

UNITED STATES
Concord Monitor (NH)

January 28, 2018

By Katy Burns

In the end it’s all about the power of the press. Or, literally, the power of the presses. They’ve been the stars of two recent critically acclaimed newspaper movies. Along with, of course, the wonderful First Amendment.

One of the final – and triumphant – moments in The Post, the current Stephen Spielberg film dramatizing the 1971 publication by the Washington Post of the Pentagon Papers, is when the newspaper’s history-making exposé is set in hot type and the powerful stories-high presses rumble to life.

A similar scene was a climactic high point at the end of Spotlight, the 2015 movie celebrating the Boston Globe’s revelatory 2003 series chronicling the clerical sexual abuse of children presided over by the Boston Roman Catholic archdiocese.

In both films, bundles of freshly printed newspapers are swiftly loaded onto trucks and delivered…

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Editorial: Government’s proposed abuse inquiry doesn’t go far enough

NEW ZEALAND
The Press [Wellington, New Zealand]

January 29, 2018

The Catholic Church in New Zealand and abuse survivors are upset the goverment may not be expanding an inquiry into abuse of children in state care to include faith-based institutions.

It is disappointing that a government inquiry into past abuse of children will be limited to those cases which originated in state care. An opportunity to address systemic abuse in non-government institutions, and particularly religious organisations, is likely to be lost.

The inquiry is one of the Government’s pledges for its first 100 days in office and will be announced shortly. However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has already said that inquiries will begin with “the harm that we (the State) had direct responsibility for”.

Victims’ groups have called on the Government to follow Australia’s example and include non-governmental organisations such as churches, charities, community groups and sports clubs in…

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Homosexual Ex-Bishop Declared Innocent Of Sex Crimes

CHILE
The Daily Caller

January 27, 2018

By Joshua Gill

A Chilean court declared Friday that a former bishop who had a homosexual relationship with an altar boy was innocent of committing sexual abuse.

The appeals court concluded that there was no evidence that Rev. Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez, formerly the bishop of Iquique, abused his eventual lover when the boy was underage, according to the Associated Press. Ordenes admitted to committing an “imprudent act” with the boy, and Pope Benedict XVI accepted his resignation from the position of bishop in 2012.

Rodrigo Pino, Ordenes’ lover, alleged that the then-bishop forced him into sexual acts when he was 15 and served as an altar boy, but that he and Ordenes later developed a consensual relationship. Ordenes, in contrast, asserted that he met the boy in 1999 when he was 17 and that while did engage in a…

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Actress Tina Alexis Allen uncovers life of lies, childhood abuse in memoir

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Daily News

January 28, 2018

By Jacqueline Cutler

Tina Alexis Allen was good at keeping secrets.

The older brothers who molested her, starting when she was 9? She wouldn’t tell. The teacher who took over a couple of years later? Something else to keep locked away.

Perhaps it was a family trait. After all, no one kept secrets better than her father —until he started sharing them with her.

Allen earned an MBA in marketing and worked in fashion until opting for a career in acting. She appeared on television in “Outsiders” and films such as “Moving Mountains,” and starred in her own one-woman stage show, “Secrets of a Holy Father.”

Her book “Hiding Out: A Memoir of Drugs, Deception, and Double Lives” hits stores Feb. 22, exposing the long-hidden tale of a tumultuous youth in which her desperately damaged family life turned ever…

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Interview with Spotlight’s Michael Rezendes

JAIPUR (INDIA)
Financial Express

January 28, 2018

By Smitha Verma

“At a time when power regimes have become hostile to the media and when a vast section of the public which consumes media has become sceptical of it, the onus comes on news organisations to tell the truth,” feels Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Michael Rezendes, who, as part of The Boston Globe’s ‘Spotlight’ team, uncovered sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church. The story also inspired the Oscar-winning film Spotlight.

In Jaipur for the ongoing literature festival, he urged big media organisations to spend money and resources on investigative journalism, saying they can “take risks and defend themselves”.

“Big media houses have a special responsibility, which is questioning the government, large corporations and all other organisations that play an important role in society,” he told FE in an interview.

Commenting on US President Donald Trump’s stance against the media, he…

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Diocese lacks transparency in finances, report says

FORT WAYNE (IN)
The Journal Gazette

January 28, 2018

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez

‘More susceptible’ to fraud

A new study of the finances of America’s Roman Catholic dioceses finds that, when it comes to openness, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend lands in the bottom half of the ecclesiastical units.

The ranking, the study’s authors say, should be “certainly cause for concern” by people in the pews, according to “Measuring and Ranking Diocesan Online Financial Transparency” done by Voice of the Faithful, a laity-led church reform group.

“Absent clear and accessible financial reports … the donated funds are more susceptible to fraudulent diversions,” the study concludes. “Every Catholic shares in the responsibility to ensure that funds donated for church work actually go toward those purposes.”

But a spokeswoman for the local diocese said the study’s concerns may be misplaced because of steps the diocese takes to provide financial information…

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Meet the 71-year-old Catholic priest who wants his church to repeal the celibacy rule

SCOTLAND
The Sunday Herald

January 27, 2018

By Peter Swindon

A controversial Catholic priest has claimed the vow of celibacy is one of the causes of clerical child abuse and called on the church to repeal the ancient law.

Father Tony Flannery will deliver a lecture at the University of Edinburgh next month entitled “Celibacy, sexuality and the crisis in the priesthood” when he will also demand the ordination of women.

The Catholic Church forbids women from joining the priesthood and men who are ordained must promise not to have sex, a rule which Flannery claims is deterring young men.

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Chile controversy contrasts with image of Pope Francis as a leveler

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

January 23, 2018

by Ken Briggs

Pope Francis is suddenly in the midst of a crisis that could damage his papacy irreparably. It swirls around his handling of an issue millions of his admirers believed he was especially equipped to resolve — clergy sex abuse. His personal touch, marked by modesty, candor, compassion, social justice and humor raised hopes that he could stanch the scandalous bleeding. Such optimism arguably became decisive in his election to the papacy.

But that potential is being questioned by his testy reactions this past week to criticism that Bishop Juan Barros, a Chilean bishop he appointed in 2015, had covered up many sexual crimes by a high-profile priest, Fr. Fernando Karadima, a close associate of Barros’. The Vatican found Karadima guilty in 2011.

Francis’ open, charming demeanor faded as he angrily chided critics, including those claiming to have…

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Inside the Trial of Former Priest Charged with 1960 Murder of Texas Schoolteacher

McALLEN (TX)
48 Hours – CBS News

January 27, 2018

Produced by Lourdes Aguiar, Josh Gaynor and Ruth Chenetz

[Includes links to videos]

After 57 years, a former priest is on trial for murdering a young woman who had gone to him for confession — did the church conspire with authorities to cover it up?

It was April 1960 in McAllen, Texas, when Irene Garza, 25, told her family she was going to church for confession. She never returned. Five days later, her body was found dumped in a canal. Police say she was beaten, sexually assaulted and suffocated. Investigators kept turning to one person – Father John Feit, then 27, who admitted hearing Garza’s last confession in the church rectory. Investigators grew more suspicious when they learned that three weeks before Irene’s murder, another young woman had been attacked in a nearby church. That woman later identified Feit…

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Opinion: Larry Nassar Is a Familiar Monster

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

January 27, 2018

By Frank Bruni

When Judge Rosemarie Aquilina handed down her sentence on Larry Nassar last week, she spoke to and of him as a kind of monster we rarely see. She was wrong.

I know this because I remember Penn State, where an assistant football coach named Jerry Sandusky worked his way through boy after boy across year after year.

I know this because I haven’t forgotten what happened in the Boy Scouts of America decades ago.

And I know this from the extensive time that I once spent studying and even interviewing men who, like Nassar, were serial child molesters, except that none of them had the lofty title — “Dr.” — that he did.

No, they had loftier ones.

The honorific “Rev.” came before their written names. People addressed them as “Father.” They were Roman Catholic priests.

In…

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Chile court clears ex-Catholic bishop of sex crime charges

CHILE
Santiago Times

January 27, 2018

A Chilean appeals court has ratified the dismissal of sex crime charges against a former Roman Catholic bishop, a week after Pope Francis visited the Latin American nation.

The court ruled Friday there wasn’t enough evidence against the Rev. Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez, who resigned as bishop of Iquique in 2012 while under Vatican investigation.

Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Ordenes as the church investigated the allegations against him.

He was accused of abusing an altar boy and acknowledged “an imprudent act,” but said the youth was 17 when they met and that their relationship began when the man was no longer underage.

His accuser said the abuse began when he was 15. He said at first it was forced, but they later became lovers.

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WHY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH NEEDS A #METOO MOMENT

UNITED STATES
World Religion News

By Corey Barnett

January 27, 2018

The recent news that Casey Affleck has withdrawn as an Academy Awards presenter over accusations that he has engaged in sexual violence is yet another example of the power of #metoo movement. The movement has been called a “silence breaker” and was awarded the 2017 TIME Magazine Person of the Year.

As we see the changes the campaign has brought to the entertainment and business industry we should be looking to religion as the next social institute that needs to reflect and modify their stance in order to espouse the morality that is dictated in their theology.

The Catholic Church began to take measures in 2002 as a reaction to the global scandals that were occurring because of widespread abuse and subsequent cover-up of perpetrators. Dialogue and openness were promoted, including the creation of the “Charter for…

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Southern Baptist Convention Added to Sexual Abuse Suit Against Former Judge Paul Pressler

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

January 26, 2018

By Leonardo Blair

The Southern Baptist Convention has been added as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging that former Texas state judge and lawmaker Paul Pressler sexually abused a former Bible study student he hired as a home office assistant for decades, starting when he was just 14 years old.

The 15-million member organization was added to the lawsuit on Jan. 12 after it was initially filed in a Texas court on Oct. 18, according to the Tennessean.

Gareld D. Rollins Jr., the plaintiff who is now in his 50s, accuses the SBC and seven other defendants, including Pressler and his wife, Nancy, of fraudulently misrepresenting to the public “that Pressler was a Godlike, sexually safe, moral, and great person of the earth who, as a magistrate, worked God’s wisdom and thus would not be sexually dangerous to minors.”

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The bishop, the priest, and the sins of omission

AUSTRALIA
The Age

January 28, 2018

By Farrah Tomazin

On a Winter evening in 2016, dozens of churchgoers gathered at a local primary school in the NSW Riverina to bid farewell to the town’s most-senior religious figure.

Gerard Hanna had been the bishop of Wagga Wagga for 14 years, a servant of God who led a diocese of 66,000 Catholics in 31 parishes.

But here, in the refurbished sports stadium at Henschke Primary School, Bishop Hanna was set to step down sooner than expected, citing “continuous ill health” as the reason for his early retirement.

It was about two weeks before he was due to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

As the tributes flowed, few in the room would have known that this church leader was harbouring a secret.

Decades earlier, while working as the administrator of a parish in Tamworth…

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Editorial: Church Must Keep Clergy Sex-Abuse Reforms on Track

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

January 26, 2018

EDITORIAL: What is needed is a sensitive, transparent and systematic response to credible allegations.

Pope Francis’ pledge to protect the Church from sexual predators and hold negligent bishops accountable rightly earned him praise early in his pontificate. He inherited a foundation of reforms first crafted under Pope Benedict XVI, including the Church’s stern zero-tolerance policy against abusers, clear legal processes for handling abuse cases, and a powerful willingness to meet with victims around the world.

But recent events suggest that Francis is on a steep learning curve in furthering these efforts. Victims’ advocates have been alarmed by his failure to secure his own reform initiatives, including a proposed tribunal for bishops accused of abuse or negligence that was scrapped in 2017. Critics have also pointed to the Pope’s decision to intervene in some high-profile cases and his inconsistent…

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Former Catholic priest who served parishes in Fitchburg and Leominster is defrocked by Pope Francis

WORCESTER (MA)
Fitchburg (MA) Sentinel & Enterprise

January 27, 2018

A former priest who served Catholic Churches in Fitchburg and Leominster in the late 1990s and early 2000s and accused of sexually abusing a teenager in 1993 has been laicized, or defrocked, according to the diocese.

It was announced by diocese Bishop Robert J. McManus that Peter J. Inzerillo had been defrocked on Thursday at his request.

Inzerillo, according to the diocese, was “dispensed” from the clerical state by Pope Francis and as a result he cannot function in any capacity as a priest or be referred to as a priest or as a “Father” in writing in any announcements or obituaries.

“It is my fervent prayer that Christ may bring healing and hope to anyone who has been abused by a priest or by anyone in the Catholic Church,” said Bishop McManus.

Inzerillo, now 74, was vocational director…

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As Sicily abuse trial nears, it’s a case of whom to believe

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

January 24, 2018

By Claire Giangravè

Pope Francis faced no small amount of blowback in Chile last week over a sexual abuse controversy that boils down to whom you chose to believe – victims of a pedophile priest accusing a bishop of knowing about the abuse and covering it up, or the bishop himself, who’s vigorously denied those charges.

The pope made it as clear as possible that he believes the bishop, which has, in turn, infuriated the accusers and sparked wide commentary around the world.

Now there’s another “Who do you believe?” dilemma waiting for him in his own back yard, in the Southern Italian region of Sicily, as another high-profile sexual abuse case heads to trial.

The drama pivots on the charismatic lay leader of the Catholic Culture and Environment Association (ACCA), Piero Alfio Capuana – called ‘Archangel’ by the group’s members – who…

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Editorial: Sexual abuse claims must be acted upon

UNITED STATES
The Copper Era (Greenlee County AZ)

January 23, 2018

We’re big, big fans of Pope Francis.

We love the fact that the pope condemns those who would turn away the poor and those in need in order to bolster profits, saying such an act is not Christian.

He’s been critical of the actions of the church, saying the church, in recent years, wasn’t following the teachings of Christ, specifically Christ’s commandments to love one another without caveat (yes, that means having respect for the LGBTQ community).

He has eschewed much of the glitz that goes along with the job of pontiff, opting to live in plain, almost barren quarters.

In other words, he doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. And that’s why we like him.

He was on his home continent of South America last week and, once again, did something we really like…

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Op-Ed: The Price I Paid for Taking On Larry Nassar

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

January 26, 2018

By Rachel Denhollander

On Jan. 16, women and girls from across the country began congregating in a courtroom in Lansing, Mich. Some of us were athletes; some of us were not. Some of us were white; some of us were black. Some of us were married; some of us were still in high school. Many of us had never met.

But we shared one core, unifying experience: sexual assault at the hands of Larry Nassar. And we had one core, unifying goal: facing our abuser and confronting the culture that allowed him to prey on us without fear or punishment.

It felt surreal at first — finally putting names and faces to the numbered “Jane Doe” designations I had wanted for so long to protect. But the pain we shared knit us together instantly. We knew what to do when…

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Editorial: Sexual abuse, sports and a betrayal of trust

UNITED STATES
Newsday

January 27, 2018

By the Editorial Board

The voices of the women abused for two decades by Larry Nassar should force all of us to ask and answer: At what price success? At what cost silence?

The latest chapter in the nation’s overdue examination of the abusive power and control men exercise over women came to a conclusion in a Michigan courtroom last week when former U.S. women’s gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison.

The repudiation of his repulsive behavior followed harrowing accounts by more than 150 girls and women who were sexually abused by Nassar. But putting Nassar away for the rest of his life, however satisfying, does not solve this festering problem.

It’s not just Nassar, it’s not just gymnastics, and it’s not just sports.

Sexual abuse scandals have shaken the arts, the media, government, business,…

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Child safety center says Pope’s ‘failure’ in Chile also an opportunity

VATICAN CITY
Crux

January 27, 2018

A writer for a Rome-based center with close Vatican ties said Saturday that Pope Francis’s “infelicitous” words on the Church’s sexual abuse scandals in Chile amounted to a “failure,” by “inflicting an unintended wound” on victims, and may raise the hard question, “Is there hope for real change in the Church?”

“As hard as it is to acknowledge, it seems inevitable that those from whom we expect more will sometimes fail us,” wrote Sara Boehk, a member of the research team at the Centre for Child Protection, located at Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University.

“In the face of disheartening news, how can we move forward?” she asked in a brief post on the centre’s web site. “How can we work for institutional change?”

Her answer was that in failure lies opportunity.

“Failure is also an opportunity to reassess where we are in our…

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Opinion: In Church, Confessing To Sexual Abuse Can Win You A Standing Ovation

UNITED STATES
HuffPost

January 27, 2018

By Neil J. Young

The congregation at Highpoint Church gave pastor Andy Savage a standing ovation after he confessed to a “sexual incident” with a member of the church where he worked in 1998.

On a Sunday morning earlier this month, Andy Savage, a pastor on staff at an evangelical megachurch in Memphis, confessed to the congregation that back in 1998, as a 21-year-old man, he had been involved in a “sexual incident” with a 17-year-old young woman. Savage had met the teenager when he was in college and serving as an intern at a Baptist church near Houston. After offering her a ride home from a youth group event at church one evening, Savage parked his car in the dark woods near her home and sexually assaulted her.

Given our current #MeToo moment and also the usually strong prohibitions evangelicals…

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Opinion: On one issue in particular, Pope Francis is far from infallible

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

January 27, 2018

By Michael Coren

Columnist and broadcaster Michael Coren’s most recent book is Epiphany: A Christian’s Change of Heart & Mind Over Same-Sex Marriage.

We are living in the age of the Teflon Pope. Francis has many positive qualities and has said and done wonderful things, but he also has caused pain and concern more times than we might think. Yet on each occasion, he seems to escape almost unscathed. Whereas media loathed Benedict, they positively adore his successor. But now, perhaps, he has gone too far.

Francis was in Chile last week, where the clergy sex-abuse crisis has – as in so many places – ripped through the nation’s religious sensibilities. It’s made worse, however, due to still-open wounds concerning the Pinochet dictatorship and the part played in those dark days by the extraordinarily powerful Roman Catholic Church. The general view…

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Attorneys for Catholic church abuse victims say diocese has funds for settlement

BILLINGS (MT)
Billings Gazette

January 27, 2018

By Rob Rogers

[See also: Lawsuit: More of a Montana Catholic diocese’s assets should be on the table for abuse victims, Billings Gazette, December 20, 2017]

The attorneys representing the Montana victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests say more money exists for settlements after the Great Falls-Billings Diocese declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy last March.

In December, the victims group alleged that $70 million in Catholic real estate assets and an additional $16 million in funds transferred out of the Great Falls-Billings Diocese should be considered fair game for victims’ settlements.

In a move to streamline the complaints, the judge overseeing the case ordered the victims group to separate out the two claims. The judge will now make one ruling on the whether the $70 million is available and a separate ruling on whether the $16 million is also fair game.

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Priest pleads guilty to sexual assault of Minnesota woman during private mass

DAKOTA COUNTY (MN)
KMSP-TV (Fox 9)

January 24, 2018

A Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct for an incident involving a Mendota Heights woman in the summer of 2010.

According to the charges, the woman came forward in 2016 to report she had sexual contact with Jacob Andrew Bertrand during a private mass held at her home in Mendota Heights. After the act, he told her they had “fulfilled the second holiest sacrifice next to Jesus and Mary on Calvary.”

Bertrand is currently on leave from the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, California.

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Priest pleads guilty to sexual misconduct during private Mass in Mendota Heights

MINNESOTA
St. Paul Pioneer Press

January 24, 2018

By S. M. Chavey

A San Diego priest has admitted to sexual misconduct while celebrating a private Mass eight years ago in a woman’s Mendota Heights home.

He is an ordained Catholic priest currently on a leave of absence from the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, according to the Dakota County attorney’s office.

Jacob Andrew Bertrand, 35, pleaded guilty Monday to one charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The second count was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

In the summer of 2010, Bertrand “wore his stole, and had candles burning,” and the victim “straddled Bertrand while he performed the Sacrifice of the Mass,” according to the revised criminal complaint.

The two had previously kissed and Bertrand had “mystically proposed” to her, according to the criminal complaint.

The woman reported the conduct to Catholic Church officials in 2012 and…

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Carver priest removed from ministry, investigated for alleged misconduct

ST. PAUL (MN)
Minneapolis Star Tribune

January 24, 2018

By Jean Hopfensperger

He is removed from ministry pending inquiry.

A Carver priest has been removed from ministry following allegations of misconduct, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Wednesday.

The Rev. Thomas Joseph, parochial administrator at the Church of St. Nicholas in Carver, will be removed from ministry pending the outcome of a police investigation.

The archdiocese said it was contacted by an adult who alleged that Joseph had engaged in inappropriate conduct. It reported the claim to law enforcement.

No details of the alleged victim or misconduct were provided.

Joseph issued a statement on the archdiocese’s website, expressing “surprise and dismay” at the allegations.

“While I am prepared to cooperate with this investigation to clear my good name and the name of the Church, I wish to emphasize my innocence,” he wrote.

The move comes…

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Statement Regarding Rev. Thomas Joseph

ST. PAUL (MN)
Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis

January 23, 2018

From Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda

The Archdiocese’s Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment was contacted by an adult alleging inappropriate conduct on the part of Father Thomas Joseph, Parochial Administrator of the Church of Saint Nicholas in Carver. Following our protocols, that Office immediately contacted law enforcement. Director Tim O’Malley provided them with the information we received, offered our assistance and described our procedures for handling such matters, including our commitment to not taking any action that would interfere with their investigation. We indicated to them that it was our policy that clergy under criminal investigation are removed from ministry for the duration of the investigation.

Yesterday, the investigating law enforcement agency notified us that our removal of Father Joseph from ministry would not interfere with an investigation they have begun of an allegation against Father…

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Judge slashes priest’s $2 million bail in child-porn, meth case

BELLEVILLE(IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

January 26, 2018

By Dana Rieck

A Mascoutah priest accused of possessing child pornography remained in jail Friday afternoon, even after a St. Clair County judge significantly reduced the man’s $2 million bail.

The Rev. Gerald Hechenberger, associate pastor of Holy Childhood Church and school in Mascoutah, now could be released on bond if he posts $25,000.

Hechenberger was booked into jail Jan. 9 on 16 charges of child pornography and one charge of possession of methamphetamine.

He appeared before Judge Randall Kelley with his attorney, James A. Gomeric of Belleville, on Wednesday, where court records indicate his bail was lowered to $250,000. That means Hechenberger would need to post 10 percent in cash — $25,000 — to be released from jail.

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Obituary: Rev. William L. Butler, Archdiocese of Boston

WINTHROP (MA)
Legacy.com

BUTLER, Rev. William L. Of West Palm Beach, Florida and Dennis, Mass., formerly of Winthrop, passed away unexpectedly and suddenly while on a vacation cruise in the Caribbean, December 17th, 2017.

Fr. Butler was born in Boston on October 29th, 1934 to his beloved Parents, Edward I. and Margaret (Peggie) Lindsey Butler. He was the oldest of four siblings, a late brother Edward F. (Buddy) of P.E. lsland, Canada two surviving Sisters, Helen E. Gibbs of Salem N.H. and Linda M. McGeorge and partner Richard Perrier of Winthrop.

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Opinion: Larry Nassar shouldn’t be the only one going to jail

UNITED STATES
The Guardian

January 26, 2018

By Michael Dolce

Survivors reported Nassar’s abuse to coaches, trainers, parents, therapists, a training facility owner, and even law enforcement officials – but all in vain

It is tragically ironic that in the same month we applauded the courageous young survivors confronting Larry Nassar in court for his horrific abuse, we also celebrated the wisdom and legacy of the Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. One of King’s great lessons was that justice can be hindered by “the appalling silence of the good people”.

Indeed, so many survivors of Larry Nassar’s atrocious acts asked one question time and time again: why was he not stopped sooner by the good people who had reason to know of his crimes?

Gymnast Larissa Boyce, runner Christine Achenbach and softball player Tiffany Lopez all recounted their complaints to otherwise “good” people at Michigan State University about…

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Vatican defrocks Peter J. Inzerillo, priest accused in sex assaults in Massachusetts dating back decades

WORCESTER (MA)
MassLive.com

January 26, 2018

By Phil Demers

At his own request, Peter J. Inzerillo, a Worcester priest accused of sex abuse, has been defrocked by the Vatican and Pope Francis, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester.

“It is my fervent prayer that Christ may bring healing and hope to anyone who has been abused by a priest or by anyone in the Catholic Church,” Bishop Robert McManus, the leader of Worcester’s Roman Catholic diocese, said in a statement on the development released this week.

Added the statement, “As a result of the laicization, (Inzerillo) may not function in any capacity as a priest or be referred to as a priest or as “Father” in writing such as in event announcements or obituaries.”

Now 74 and ordained in 1970, Inzerillo formerly served as headmaster of St. Peter-Marian High School in Worcester from 1979 to 1985, also…

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Opinion: Shame on Pope Francis for casting doubt on clergy-abuse victims

UNITED STATES
Seattle Times

January 26, 2018

By Mary Dispenza

It’s time, Pope Francis, to stand up for survivors, take their stories to heart and take the right action.

In scripture we find the lines, “If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” Survivors of clerical sex abuse are tired of turning the other cheek — tired of lies and promises, especially by popes, who through the ages have formed commission after commission, held conference after conference, issued report after report, and made promise after promise.

Church leadership has repeatedly sought forgiveness for what Pope Francis recently described as the “irreparable damage” caused by priests. In the midst of Francis’ tears and apologies, the systemic evil of clergy sex abuse remains alive and largely undercover within the ranks of the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis is no different from popes who came before…

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Pope Francis asks forgiveness from sexual abuse victims but reaffirms support for Bishop Barros

UNITED STATES
America

January 22, 2018

By Gerard O’Connell

In an hour-long press conference on the plane from Lima to Rome, Jan. 21, Pope Francis asked pardon from the victims of sexual abuse by priests or religious for his use of words that offended them in his remarks about Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile. But he also reaffirmed his support for Bishop Barros, saying he has not received any evidence against him.

On Thursday Jan. 18, the pope told reporters on a plane flight in Chile, “The day they bring me proof against the bishop, then I will speak. There is not a single proof against him. This is calumny! Is that clear?” Francis stated.

Responding to a question from a Chilean journalist today, Pope Francis spoke of “what the abused feel” regarding his remark.

“I must ask pardon [from them] because the word ‘proof’ has hurt many…

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Carver priest removed following allegation of inappropriate conduct

CARVER (MN)
Chaska Herald

January 24, 2018

By Alex Chhith

The Rev. Thomas Joseph has been removed from St. Nicholas Catholic Church amid an allegation by an adult of inappropriate conduct, according to a statement from the leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Joseph, who has served at the Carver church for nearly a decade, was due to leave the congregation on Feb. 1 to serve at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Tribunal Office. After that, the Rev. William Deziel, pastor of Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Chaska, and the Rev. Edison Galarza, new parochial vicar, will serve both Carver and Chaska churches, according to a letter from Archbishop Bernard Hebda.

The change prompted outcry from many parishioners at St. Nicholas, who asked the archdiocese to extend Joseph’s time to ensure a smooth transition. Many were upset with the lack of notice given to…

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Archdiocese suspends west metro priest; sheriff investigating sexual misconduct allegation

ST. PAUL (MN)
Pioneer Press

January 25, 2018

By Nick Woltman

A west metro priest is under criminal investigation after he was accused of “inappropriate conduct” with an adult, according to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The Rev. Thomas Joseph, parochial administrator of the Church of St. Nicholas in Carver, has been suspended by the archdiocese for the duration of the investigation, Archbishop Bernard Hebda wrote in a Tuesday news release.

Joseph is being investigated by the Carver County Sheriff’s Office following an allegation of criminal sexual misconduct. A woman alleges Joseph had sexual contact with her several times over the span of 2½ years, according to the sheriff’s office.

Hebda cautioned that Joseph’s removal from ministry does not indicate a presumption of guilt, and he urged anyone with additional information about the matter to contact law enforcement officials.

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Minnesota Priest Accused of Sexual Misconduct

CARVER (MN)
Associated Press via KAALtv.com

January 25, 2018

The Carver County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an allegation of criminal sexual misconduct against a priest in Carver.

Rev. Thomas Joseph said in a statement that he was surprised by the allegation and is prepared to fully cooperate with the investigation because he is innocent of the accusations.

The sheriff’s department says an adult female alleges Joseph had sexual contact with her several times over the course of 2½ years.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says Joseph has been removed from the ministry at Saint Nicholas while the allegation is investigated. The archdiocese says Joseph’s removal should not be considered an indication of guilt.

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Editorial: More heads should roll over gymnastics scandal

UNITED STATES
Miami Herald

January 26, 2018

The most enduring image from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta was gymnast Kerri Strug’s courageous second vault and perfect landing on a badly sprained ankle that sealed the all-around gold medal for Team USA.

As she was carried off the floor, she was turned over to the tender mercies of team doctor Larry Nassar, helping cement his fame as a healer. On Wednesday, Nassar, 54, was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison on multiple counts of sexual assault involving young women he treated.

During seven days of victim-impact hearings in a Lansing, Mich., courtroom, 156 women testified that Nassar had abused them under the guise of providing medical care either as a team doctor for USA Gymnastics or at Michigan State University, where he was a faculty member. He also faces a 60-year federal sentence on child pornography…

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With Larry Nassar Sentenced, Focus Is on What Michigan State Knew

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

January 25, 2018

By Mitch Smith and Anemona Hartocollis

Michigan State University was propelled on Thursday to the center of the sexual abuse scandal involving Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, as state and federal agencies mounted investigations demanding to know what the college knew of his behavior and when.

Neither the sentencing of Dr. Nassar on Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison, nor the resignation of the university president a few hours later, quelled the furor. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said on Thursday that her department would investigate Michigan State’s role, while state legislators asked that the university provide unredacted records of its investigations of Dr. Nassar and threatened to issue subpoenas if the school did not swiftly comply.

At the same time, the state attorney general was preparing his own review of the university, a United States senator asked for congressional…

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After stumble in South America, what does Pope Francis’ papacy mean for Catholics and the world?

DALLAS (TX)
Dallas News

January 25, 2018

By Sara Coello, Contributing Writer

After nearly five years of praise from both Catholic and secular voices for championing causes from environmental responsibility to hospitality for refugees, Pope Francis has taken what some critics see as the first major misstep of his papacy.

After a recent visit to Chile, the pope criticized accusers of Chilean Bishop Juan Barros of committing “calumny” for claiming that Barros covered up years of sexual abuse committed by a superior. The pope’s comment came as a surprise to many who saw him as an advocate for increased attention to social justice, particularly in the global South.

Pope Francis apologized for his language, but maintained his position amid roars of criticism.

Two leading Catholic journalists took to the stage at Dallas’s Moody Performance Hall Wednesday evening and called the pope’s recent comments a departure from his pattern of…

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Editorial: Stop private schools’ ability to ‘pass the trash’

NEW YORK
The Journal News

January 26, 2018

New York private school administrators should follow the same reporting rules as public school administrators when it comes to reports of abuse. Shockingly, they are not mandated, under current state law, to alert authorities to reports of child abuse in the educational setting, nor to report a worker’s resignation after such accusations.

State legislators are poised to vote on a bill that would align private school reporting rules with what’s expected of public school leaders. Passage of this legislation should have happened years ago.

Public schools have been mandated since 2000 to report suspicions of sex abuse by any staff, faculty or volunteer in the school environment, whether in a classroom, on a field trip or bus, or during extra-curricular activities. But private school administrators don’t fall under such regulations. It was a mistake then, and it’s a mistake now.

The…

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Church defrocks former St. Peter-Marian headmaster named in sex-abuse suit

WORCESTER (MA)
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

January 25, 2018

By Mark Sullivan

A Catholic priest named in one of the Worcester Diocese’s largest sex-abuse settlements has been laicized, or defrocked, the diocese announced Thursday.

Peter J. Inzerillo, at his own request, was “dispensed from the clerical state” by Pope Francis, the diocese said. As a result, Mr. Inzerillo “may not function in any capacity as a priest or be referred to as a priest or as ‘Father.’ ”

The former Rev. Inzerillo was headmaster at St. Peter-Marian High School in Worcester from 1979 to 1985 and coached hockey there and at St. Bernard’s in Fitchburg.

He was vocations director for the Worcester Diocese in 1985 when he allegedly sexually assaulted a 19-year-old from Spencer who was considering entering the seminary.

The younger man, Edward Gagne, said he disclosed during counseling sessions with the vocations director that he had been…

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Stormont stalemate means abuse victims dying without justice – diocese

NORTHER IRELAND
The Irish Times

January 25, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

[See the website of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse and the Report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, which was published January 20, 2017.]

No action on abuse inquiry recommendations for victims until new executive set up

The largest Catholic diocese in Northern Ireland has described it as “deeply regrettable” that stalemate at Stormont has prevented implementation of recommendations by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI).

Following an investigation into the sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neglect and unacceptable practices imposed on children in 22 Catholic, Protestant and state run homes and institutions in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995, a 2,300-page 12-volume report was published a year ago this month.

It recommended that a public apology be made to those who had been in the homes and institutions as children and that they…

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Opinion: Pope Francis’ blind spot on sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service via National Catholic Reporter

January 25, 2018

By Thomas Reese

The overwhelming consensus in the media is that Pope Francis has a blind spot when it comes to sexual abuse.

He may be on the side of refugees, migrants, the sick, the poor, the indigenous and other marginalized peoples, but he just doesn’t get it when it comes to victims of abuse.

The evidence for this assertion is the pope’s unwavering support for Juan Barros, whom he appointed bishop of Osorno, Chile, despite accusations from victims that he witnessed and covered up abuse by the Fr. Fernando Karadima, the charismatic priest who in 2011 was found guilty by the Vatican of abusing minors in his upscale Santiago parish.

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Sex abuse prevention to feature at Vatican’s family meeting

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press via The Republic [Columbus IN]

January 25, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

The Vatican’s upcoming conference on families in Ireland will feature a seminar on child protection, after the church’s sex abuse scandal devastated the credibility of the Catholic Church in the country.

Pope Francis’ top adviser on protecting children from pedophiles, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, will head the seminar and survivors are expected to participate, said Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican’s laity and family office.

He told a Vatican press conference that details would be announced later this month.

Francis is widely expected to travel to Dublin to attend the final days of the Aug. 21-26 World Meeting of Families, where the sex abuse scandal is likely to play out given the scale of abuse and cover-up in the country.

The Vatican refused to cooperate with three Irish government-ordered investigations from 2005 to 2009…

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Amid #MeToo, Evangelicals Grapple With Misconduct In Their Own Churches

UNITED STATES
National Public Radio

January 24, 2018

By Tom Gjelten

[Includes link to audio]

The #MeToo movement, having exposed alleged sexual misconduct from Hollywood to Capitol Hill and in board rooms and news rooms, has now reached into evangelical Christian circles, raising questions unique to that faith culture.

Christians focus deeply on a narrative of sin and redemption, but that theme can complicate how church leaders respond to sexual misconduct within their own ranks. Heartfelt confessions and a celebration of divine forgiveness may not be enough.

That challenge was made clear for some evangelicals earlier this month when a young Tennessee pastor, Andy Savage, stood before his congregation and emotionally confessed to what he called “a sexual incident” in 1998 with a 17-year-old girl, Jules Woodson.

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Column: What would you do if you had a chance to protect young girls?

UNITED STATES
Bangor Daily News

January 24, 2018

By Matthew Gagnon

I’d like to think I’d be different, though I hope I never find out.

I think virtually everyone in this country likes to think they would be different, too.

Yet it seems, despite that desire and belief in our own good intentions, truly horrendous things continue to happen in this country that were made possible by the complicit silence or cover up of people. People who at one point in their life thought to themselves, “if I was in that situation, I never would have let that happen.”

We are quick to judge our own nobility. When we learn that a woman was the victim of domestic abuse, people often declare that they would never let themselves or their children stay in a situation like that. Others tell themselves that if they knew, or even suspected, that someone…

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Church bankruptcy mediator steps down

ST. PAUL (MN)
Minnesota Public Radio

January 24, 2018

By Martin Moylan

A plan to try once again to resolve the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis through mediation has hit a snag with the resignation of Arthur Boylan, the retired federal judge who was slated to lead mediation efforts.

Boylan stepped aside Tuesday, a day after scheduling a series of mediation sessions for early next month. His resignation letter did not provide an explanation for his decision and he did not respond to a request for comment.

Last month, U.S. District Court judge Robert Kressel ordered all parties into mediation after rejecting competing reorganization proposals.

The judge urged the archdiocese, abuse victims, parishes, insurance companies and their lawyers to “put aside their desire to win, and decide to put together a resolution that is fair to all of the people involved.”

Kressel said victims must…

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Pope wants journalism like the Catholic church wants child sex abuse probes: Slow, aimless…

UNITED STATES
The Register (UK-based online publication)

January 24, 2018

By Shaun Nichols

Easy with those exclusives and unfortunate facts, hacks

Take it easy with those hard-hitting exclusives and investigations, said the Pope this week, lumping inconvenient quality journalism with fake news and clickbait.

We can’t think why the head of a church mired in decades of globe-spanning child abuse scandals would have a problem with hacks doing their job and getting straight to the point.

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Keller @ Large: Why Do Institutions Protect Themselves Instead Of Us?

BOSTON (MA)
WBZ-TV Boston (CBS)

January 25, 2018

By Jon Keller

Before the horrendous saga of the USA Gymnastics doctor who molested dozens of women and girls begins to fade from the public eye, let’s take a moment to consider an important lesson the sordid case of Larry Nassar teaches us – we need our institutions to protect us and to prioritize that protection over all other considerations.

In the Nassar case, multiple victims have charged that officials with Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and the U.S. Olympic Committee, which all had authority over Nassar, brushed off the victims and their families when they complained about this sexual predator.

And at Nassar’s sentencing Wednesday, the judge made it clear she hopes they will also have to face justice.

“There has to be a massive investigation as to why there was inaction, why there was violence. Justice requires more…

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Pope Francis Offers Partial Apology To Clergy Sex Abuse Victims After Demand For ‘Proof’

UNITED STATES
HuffPost

January 23, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

But the pope didn’t waver in his support for a controversial Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse.

Pope Francis partially apologized for last week’s brusque attack on victims of sex abuse by the clergy ― but he continued supporting a controversial Chilean bishop accused of protecting an abusive priest.

On board a papal flight from Peru to Rome late Sunday, the pontiff acknowledged to journalists that his demand to see “proof” that Bishop Juan Barros Madrid had been complicit in the abuse of minors could have hit victims like a “slap in the face.” He said he realized that his words on Thursday implied that victims’ accusations of sexual abuse are only credible with concrete evidence.

“To hear that the pope says to their face, ‘Bring me a letter with proof,’ is a slap in the face”…

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The Women Who Were Abused By Larry Nassar Aren’t Done Sharing Their Stories

UNITED STATES
TIME magazine

January 25, 2018

By Alice Park

One of the many women sexually abused by disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar recalled feeling like a “shell of a child,” as three of Nassar’s victims took to the airwaves Thursday morning a day after he was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.

“I was a shell of a child, I thought I had no way out,” elite gymnast Mattie Larson said on the Today show, appearing alongside Kyle Stephens and Rachel Denhollander, who were also sexually abused by Nassar.

More than 150 women delivered statements at Nassar’s sentencing hearing, detailing years of abuse that began for some when they were as young as six years old. Nassar’s victims spanned gymnasts in Michigan, where he was on the faculty at Michigan State University before he was fired in 2016, a family friend,…

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The pope is defending a bishop accused of witnessing abuse. What do his words mean to survivors?

UNITED STATES
PBS Newshour

January 23, 2018

[Includes video]

Pope Francis came under fire during a trip to Chile for defending a bishop accused of directly witnessing and covering up sexual abuse by another church figure, dating back to the 1980s. While the pope apologized for his wording, he stands by the bishop. Lisa Desjardins talks with Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability.org about what the pontiff’s words mean to victims and other Catholics.

Judy Woodruff:

The pope just concluded a trip to Chile this weekend, aimed at healing some of the after-effects of sexual abuse committed there.

But his remarks during that trip, and on his return from it, about the role of a bishop in a scandal there have raised questions.

Lisa Desjardins looks at the pope’s pledges to change the church’s actions and attitude.

Lisa Desjardins:

The cases in Chile date back to the 1980s and a…

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