In letter to Chileans, Francis decries church’s ‘culture of abuse and cover-up’

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

May 31, 2018

By Joshua J. McElwee

Pope Francis has become the first leader of the Catholic Church to publicly decry a “culture of abuse and cover-up” in the global institution, admitting in a strikingly blunt letter to the people of Chile that clergy sexual abuse has continued because church leaders have not taken victims seriously.

In an eight-page May 31 message addressed to “the Pilgrim people of God in Chile,” the pope also says Catholic leaders must work to better respect the voices and opinions of non-clerics “to promote communities capable of fighting against abusive situations, communities where exchange, discussion, confrontation are welcome.”

One of the church’s “main faults and omissions,” Francis writes, was “not knowing how to listen to the victims.”

“With shame, I must say that we did not hear and react in time,” he adds in the letter, which was sent to the Chilean bishops’ conference and made public by it.

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Never again: Pope denounces ‘culture of abuse, cover-up’

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

May 31, 2018

By Nicole Winfield and Eva Vergara

Pope Francis became the first pope to publicly denounce a “culture of abuse and cover-up” in the Catholic Church, saying Thursday he was ashamed that neither he nor Chile’s Catholic leaders truly ever listened to victims as the country’s abuse scandal spiraled.

“Never again,” Francis said in a pastoral letter to the Chilean faithful on the eve of another weekend he will spend listening to victims of Chile’s most notorious predator priest. The letter was issued on the same day the Vatican announced its top abuse investigators were returning to Chile on a new mission.

In the eight-page letter, Francis once again thanked victims for their “valiant perseverance” in denouncing abuse and searching for the truth “even against all hopes or attempts to discredit them.”

He included himself among the guilty in failing to actually accompany victims, saying, “With shame I must say that we didn’t know how to listen or respond in time.”

And he spoke repeatedly of a “culture of abuse and cover-up.”

“The ‘never again’ to the culture of abuse and the system of cover-up that allows it to perpetuate requires us to work together to generate a culture of care,” in the way we relate to one another, power and money, he said.

No other pope has publicly spoken of a culture of cover-up in the church. The Vatican has focused for the past decade on punishing abusers themselves rather than the bishops and religious superiors who moved pedophiles from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police or removing them from ministry.

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Archbishop to return to Chile in connection with child abuse cases

CHILE
Times of Malta

May 31, 2018

Archbishop Charles Scicluna will be returning to Chile at the behest of the Pope, in a trip meant to heal the wounds of abuse victims.

He would be accompanied by Mgr Jordi Bertomeu, the Vatican said on Thursday.

Sources said Mgr Scicluna would probably go to the Osorno Diocese in June while the Pope is planning to meet a group of priests from Chile at the end of this week.

Archbishop Scicluna was first sent to Chile at the end of January by Pope Francis to look into allegations against a bishop accused of covering up clergy crimes against minors there.

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Vatican Chile abuse investigators return on pastoral mission

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

May 31, 2018

By Nicole Winfield and Eva Vergara

The Vatican team of investigators who exposed wide-scale priestly sexual abuse and a cover-up in Chile’s Catholic Church is going back to the country on a pastoral mission to the divided diocese of Osorno.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Thursday the visit to Osorno by Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu wasn’t investigative in nature but pastoral, part of Pope Francis’ effort to help Chile heal from the scandal.

Osorno has been badly divided ever since Francis in 2015 tapped Bishop Juan Barros to lead the diocese over the objections of some of Chile’s other bishops. Barros had been a top lieutenant of Chile’s most notorious predator priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, and had been accused by Karadima’s victims of having witnessed and ignored their abuse.

Barros denied the charge, but he was one of the 30-plus Chilean bishops who recently submitted their resignations to the pope after Scicluna and Bertomeu issued a 2,300-page report detailing decades of abuse and cover-up in the Chilean church.

Francis had initially sent the pair to Chile in February to take testimony from victims and witnesses, after drawing widespread public condemnation for having defended Barros during a trip to Chile. Among the 64 people Scicluna and Bertomeu interviewed were members of a delegation from Osorno, which is some 900 kilometers (560 miles) from Santiago.

Among other complaints, Osorno’s lay Catholics have argued that Barros can’t be trusted to protect children from pedophiles in Osorno today if he claims to have never seen any abuse when it was all around him in Karadima’s community.

Barros’ March 2015 installation Mass in Osorno’s cathedral was marred by violent protests by some of the hundreds of local Catholics who have continued to reject him as their bishop, staging regular protests that have divided friends and even families.

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Una decena de acusaciones de abuso sexual en una iglesia católica de Guayaquil sigue sin resolverse

ECUADOR
GK

May 2018

A dozen accusations of sexual abuse in a Catholic church in Guayaquil remains unresolved

Durante más de diez años, el reverendo Luis Fernando Intriago —hoy suspendido del sacerdocio— dirigió grupos juveniles. Al menos diez de los adolescentes que asistieron a ellos pasaron por un ritual físico que no es reconocido por la Iglesia Católica. Ni la justicia ordinaria —que lo investiga por abuso sexual— ni la eclesiástica han resuelto definitivamente el caso.

1.
“Te hacía desnudar. Yo me quedaba desnudo, amarrado, porque te amarraba las piernas y las manos. La idea era hacerte sufrir porque si aguantabas, estabas haciendo una ofrenda. Cuando veía que se le estaba pasando la mano, paraba. En mi caso, me arrastró por una alfombra con los ojos vendados, las piernas amarradas, luego me llevó a la cama vendado. Esto es lo más asqueroso que me ha pasado, me da vergüenza… me trepó encima de él, como en una relación sexual. Nunca me penetró, no me tocó mis partes íntimas, por más que estuve desnudo. Pero me trepó encima de él, y con su barba como que me rozaba el pecho, el abdomen.” Quien habla es Gino P., hoy de 25 años, estudiante de Psicología. De quien habla es el reverendo Luis Fernando Intriago Páez, quien llamaba a estas prácticas la dinámica del pecado.

Por denuncias como esta, la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe del Vaticano ratificó la expulsión del sacerdocio del “Rev. Luis Fernando INTRIAGO PÁEZ, acusado de abuso sexual de diversos menores”. En el decreto en que lo decide, la Congregación dice que este delito debe entenderse —según la Ley de la Iglesia— como el acto cometido por un clérigo contra el sexto mandamiento con un menor que no ha cumplido 16 años. Para la legislación ecuatoriana es el acto de naturaleza sexual —excluyendo la penetración— que se hace contra la voluntad de otra persona, y que si la víctima es menor de 18 años, el que haya consentimiento es irrelevante. En la Fiscalía General del Estado hay dos investigaciones en contra de Intriago: una por abuso sexual y otra por tortura.

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Iglesia Católica apoya investigación de casos de abuso sexual en Ecuador

ECUADOR
Andes.info.ec

May 28, 2018

Catholic Church supports investigation of sexual abuse cases in Ecuador

Según cifras del Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (Unicef), apenas el 15% de los casos de abuso sexual contra menores es denunciado en el país.

Las noticias sobre casos de abuso sexual contra niños, niñas o adolescentes por parte de miembros de la Iglesia Católica han movilizado a varios sectores del país que exigen procedimientos más rigurosos y expeditos para la investigación de estos hechos, así como el endurecimiento de las sanciones aplicables.

En las ciudades de Cuenca y Guayaquil salieron a la luz relatos de algunas víctimas de dos sacerdotes que, aprovechando su calidad de ministros de la Iglesia Católica, abusaron de niños y adolescentes, defraudando la confianza que las víctimas y sus familias habían depositado en ellos.

“No creo en la justicia, ni en la justicia divina. El padre violador está vivo, yo sí quisiera verle la cara. Le diría que me arruinó mi vida, en nombre de Dios”. Es la frase de uno de los denunciantes de supuestos abusos sexuales del padre César C. M., rector vitalicio de una universidad en Cuenca.

Su testimonio se difundió por medio de la radio “La voz del Tomebamba”, luego de que en el canal Teleamazonas salieron las declaraciones de Jorge P., presunta víctima, y otro individuo que prefirió mantener el anonimato. Los tres eran compañeros en la Escuela Miguel Ortiz, de esa ciudad.

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SAGINAW CLERIC’S ORDINATION CALLED OFF OVER SEX ABUSE ALLEGATION

SAGINAW (MI)
Church Militant

May 24, 2018

by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.

Deacon Jerome Green’s faculties removed

A Michigan cleric’s ordination to the priesthood is being called off over a sex abuse allegation.

Bishop Joseph Cistone of the Saginaw diocese sent an internal email Thursday announcing he is canceling the ordination of Deacon Jerome Green, pastoral administrator at St. Vincent de Paul parish. Green’s faculties have been suspended, and he is being relieved of his duties at the parish.

“Deacon Green has been relieved of his duties as Pastoral Administrator of St. Vincent DePaul Parish, Shepherd; and his faculties to minister as a deacon have been suspended while the matter is pursued,” the letter reads.

The letter refers to “some unresolved issues dealing with a time before his coming to the Diocese of Saginaw.” Reliable inside sources say this refers to a sex abuse allegation from Detroit. Further details remain unknown.

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Harvey Weinstein indicted on charges of rape, criminal sexual act

NEW YORK (NY)
CNN

May 31, 2018

By Darran Simon

A New York City grand jury on Wednesday indicted movie producer Harvey Weinstein on charges of rape in the first and third degrees and first-degree criminal sexual act, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said.

Weinstein, 66, was arraigned last week on the same charges, seven months after women began to come forward with stories alleging sexual misconduct by the famous Hollywood producer.
Weinstein, who intends to plead not guilty, remains free after posting a $1 million cash bail, according to his attorney.
The charges stemmed from incidents with two women in 2013 and 2004 and were the result of a joint investigation between police and prosecutors, according to the Manhattan district attorney.

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Harvey Weinstein Will Not Testify to Manhattan Grand Jury

NEW YORK (NY)
Variety

May 30, 2018

By Gene Maddaus

Harvey Weinstein has elected not to testify to a grand jury convened by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, his attorney announced Wednesday.

Weinstein was charged in a criminal complaint on Friday with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act. He is free on a $1 million bail, and restricted from traveling outside New York and Connecticut. A grand jury is convening to determine whether to issue an indictment on the same allegations. Weinstein’s decision not to testify is not a surprise, as it would be unusual to offer his version of events at this stage of the proceedings.

Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, did offer a glimpse of his defense, saying that one of the cases is 14 years old and the second involves a victim with whom he had a consensual relationship. In the statement, Brafman also objected to being denied access to “critical information about this case” that would have aided in his defense before the grand jury.

“Not having access to these materials is particularly troubling in this case, where one of the unsupported allegations is more than 14 years old and the rape allegation involves a woman with whom Mr. Weinstein shared a 10-year consensual sexual relationship that continued for years after the alleged incident in 2013,” Brafman said.

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9 women who allege assaults by Uber drivers want the right to unite in court

UNITED STATES
CNN

May 30, 2018

by Sara Ashley O’Brien

Nine women who allege they’ve been sexually assaulted by Uber drivers are pushing back against the ridesharing company for trying to force their proposed class action lawsuit into arbitration.

Two weeks ago, Uber said it would allow survivors of sexual assault and harassment by its drivers to seek justice however they choose, whether that’s arbitration, mediation or open court. The updated policy came in the wake of a CNN investigation into sexual assaults and abuse by ridesharing drivers.

But the company said, per its terms of service, it will not allow victims of sexual assault and harassment to join together in a class action lawsuit. Uber’s lawyers tried to compel the women to carry out two of the lawsuit claims through arbitration. The claims are related to unfair business practices and consumer legal remedies. Uber said assault related claims need to be handled individually.

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Inmate says prison counselor sexually assaulted her after reporting guard for rape

MISSOURI
New York Post

May 30, 2018

By Joshua Rhett Miller

A former inmate in Missouri was repeatedly raped by a prison guard before reporting the attacks to a mental health counselor — who also sexually assaulted her, according to a federal lawsuit.

Karen Backues Keil was released from the Chillicothe Correctional Center in February 2017 after a six-year prison stint for forgery and theft, but she still battles the stress and sorrow associated with “the hell” of being raped more than 20 times by prison guard Edward Bearden, her lawsuit alleges.

“I can’t get over it,” Keil told the Kansas City Star. “It’s there every second of the day. I have to think about it and I have to fight those thoughts in my head that I deserved this. And I didn’t. Nobody deserves what I went through.”

Keil’s lawsuit, which was filed earlier this week, claims Bearden — who still works at the 1,640-inmate, mixed-custody women’s facility — began touching her inappropriately during pat-downs by groping her breasts and backside. That later escalated to repeated rapes between 2012 and 2015, according to her lawsuit.

Keil then sought help from a prison counselor following the alleged sexual assaults, but less than a month after she started therapy sessions with counselor John Thomas Dunn, he too began sexually assaulting her, the lawsuit claims.

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Ex-MSU president Simon subpoenaed while on vacation in Traverse City

WASHINGTON (DC)
Detroit Free Press

May 30, 2018

By Todd Spangler

Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon was served a congressional subpoena on Wednesday morning to force her attendance at a subcommittee hearing on the Larry Nassar scandal next week.

Both the Senate Commerce Committee and Simon’s attorney, Mayer Morganroth, acknowledged to the Free Press that federal marshals served the subpoena on Simon in Traverse City, where she is on vacation.

Morganroth said she will appear at the hearing, even though he said, “There is not much she can say. … They know that. She didn’t have any direct contact at all with Nassar.”

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Vatican team investigating abuse cover-ups to return to Chile

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholic News Service via CatholicPhilly.com

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Vatican City – To promote healing after reports of sexual abuse and cover-ups, Pope Francis will send Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and Father Jordi Bertomeu Farnos back to Chile.

Both will visit the Diocese of Osorno “with the aim of advancing the process of reparation and healing of abuse victims,” the Vatican said in a statement May 31.

Abuse survivors have alleged that Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno — then a priest — had witnessed their abuse by his mentor, Father Fernando Karadima. In 2011, Father Karadima was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys.

Archbishop Scicluna, who is president of a board of review handling abuse cases within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Father Bertomeu, an official of the doctrinal congregation, will depart “in the next few days,” the Vatican said.

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Former resident at Catholic orphanage was raped by a priest and repeatedly abused by a nun because ‘she had the devil inside’ her

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Daily Mail

May 30, 2018

By Sebastian Murphy-Bates

Helen Holland says she was raped by the priest to whom she had turned for help
The 59-year-old told inquiry nun held her hands down while the priest raped her
Nun also punched, kicked and hit children with a bamboo cane, inquiry was told

AA former resident at a Catholic-run orphanage has told an inquiry she was raped by a priest after confiding in him about being abused by a nun.

Helen Holland, 59, has waived her right to anonymity to describe years of ‘sadistic’ treatment at the Nazareth House home in Kilmarnock during the 1960s and 1970s.

She said the abuse began when she was just eight years old as she addressed the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry today.

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Young girl ‘raped by priest’ and ‘sexually abused by nun’

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

May 31, 2018

Abuse is alleged to have taken place at Nazareth House

A former resident at a Catholic children’s home has told an inquiry that she was raped by a priest.

Helen Holland said she was eight years old when the priest and a nun began to sexually abuse her at Nazareth House in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire.

She told the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry the nun held her down during the abuse.

Ms Holland, who has waived her right to anonymity, said she suffered years of physical and emotional cruelty.

She lived at the children’s home in the 1960s and 1970s.

She said the nun repeatedly told her “the devil was inside her”.

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Bishop Cantú breaks silence on Hobbs priest accused of sexual abuse

LAS CRUCES (NM)
Sun News

May 30, 2018

By Carlos Andres López

Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantú on Wednesday disputed allegations that the diocese conspired to cover up an investigation involving a Hobbs priest who has been charged with sexually assaulting a man. The bishop also maintained that diocesan officials did not receive complaints from Las Cruces parishioners over an eight-year period when the accused priest was at St. Genevieve Catholic Church.

Cantú spoke candidly about what he did — and didn’t do — when he learned about sexual abuse allegations involving Father Ricardo Bauza last year.

In October 2017, Hobbs police charged Bauza, 51, the former pastor at St. Genevieve who was relocated to Hobbs in 2014 to serve as the pastor of St. Helena Catholic Church, with one misdemeanor count of criminal sexual contact following an investigation into allegations that Bauza sexually assaulted an adult male in the rectory shower at St. Helena in 2016.

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Longtime priest suspended over child sex abuse allegation

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

May 31, 2018

A longtime priest in the Buffalo Diocese has been suspended over an allegation of child sex abuse.

The Rev. Mark Wolski most recently served at SS. Peter and Paul Church in Hamburg. He was also a longtime priest at St. John the Evangelist in South Buffalo.

“After receiving an abuse complaint against Rev. Mark J. Wolski, Bishop Richard J. Malone has placed Father Wolski on administrative leave as an investigation continues,” the diocese said in a statement this morning. “Please note that this administrative leave is for the purpose of investigation and does not imply any determination as to the truth or falsity of the complaint.”

Rev. Wolski is the 68th former or current clergy member in the Buffalo Diocese to face credible allegations of sexual misconduct.

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Auxilary Bishop Edward Grosz

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

May 30, 2018

By Charlie Specht

Matt Golden and Nick Caetano are alleged victims of Father Dennis Riter, who allegedly abused them while they were altar boys at a Buffalo parish 20 years ago.

Two months ago, when the boys’ stories first came to light, the diocese suspended Father Riter from the Dunkirk parish where he serves as pastor.

But 7 Eyewitness News has now found a third victim — this one from a church in Lackawanna — and a secret document that suggests two bishops may have been warned of Father Riter’s abuse more than 25 years ago — and failed to act.

One of those men is Edward Grosz — the current auxiliary bishop of Buffalo who now plays a key role in the diocese’s response to the sexual abuse crisis. Golden, a former altar boy, had harsh words for the bishop who once presided at his confirmation into the Catholic faith.

“You knew about this…and you did nothing,” Golden said. “Where’s the accountability?”

The secret letter — obtained exclusively by 7 Eyewitness News — was written and signed by a student at Christ the King Seminary in 1992. The seminarian says he walked in on Father Riter abusing a six-year-old boy at the rectory of Queen of All Saints Church in Lackawanna. But when he alerted diocesan authorities about what he saw, he said he was given the message to keep quiet.

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Priest’s assignment to St. Louis parish rescinded over parent concerns about past allegations

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

May 30, 2018

By Erin Heffernan

A Roman Catholic priest twice accused of misconduct involving children will no longer be assigned to a new St. Louis parish following an outpouring of concern from parents, officials with the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced Wednesday.

The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang had recently been appointed associate pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish, which is in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood and includes a K-8 school.

The priest was previously charged with statutory sodomy in St. Louis and child endangerment in a Lincoln County case, but charges in both were dropped several years ago. Jiang denied the allegations, and a jury sided with him last year in a civil suit tied to the Lincoln County case.

Still, parents voiced concerns to church leaders about the appointment, including speaking out in the Post-Dispatch and other media. Parents were told Archbishop Robert Carlson and St. Gabriel’s pastor Msgr. John Shamleffer would take questions about the appointment at a parish meeting Thursday.

But on Wednesday, Shamleffer and Carlson both issued letters on the St. Gabriel’s website announcing that the meeting was cancelled and Jiang was no longer assigned to the parish.

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Michigan State spent more than $53,000 in legal fees to respond to NCAA

EAST LANSING (MI)
MLive

May 29, 2018

By Matt Wenzel

Michigan State has spent more than $53,000 in legal fees to defend its claim that no NCAA violations occurred from its handling of former sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar.

The university paid a total of $53,250.54 to the law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King for work in February and March to craft a response to the NCAA, according to documents obtained by MLive via a Freedom of Information Act request.

Mike Glazier, an attorney at Bond, Schoeneck & King, sent Michigan State a letter on Feb. 7 confirming the law firm would represent the university in responding to a Jan. 23 letter from the NCAA seeking information about potential violations related to Nassar. It noted his rate is $475 an hour and he will serve as the primary attorney but, if agreed upon, will assign other work to an attorney whose rate is lower to save money.

From Feb. 1 through March 30, Michigan State was billed for a total of 127 hours of work by the firm. Glazier’s initials were marked for 75.5 hours while another attorney logged 51.5 hours at an average rate of $295 per hour. There was also a total of $2,195.54 billed in other expenses, including flights, a rental car and travel meals.

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Legal hurdles loom for prosecutors in USC gynecologist case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Associated Press

May 30, 2018

By Brian Melley

The University of Southern California has received hundreds of complaints about a former school gynecologist suspected of conducting inappropriate exams for decades, prompting the resignation of the school president and a police investigation.

More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed and police are talking to more than 50 women who complained, so far.

Whether Dr. George Tyndall faces charges, though, depends on if complaints about creepy comments, improper photos in the exam room and uncomfortable probing went beyond dubious doctoring and into the criminal realm.

The university has come under fire since the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that complaints and comments about Tyndall’s care went unheeded by the school for decades and that USC failed to report him to the medical board even after the school quietly forced him into retirement last year.

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What Is Sexual Harassment? A Glossary of the #MeToo Movement

UNITED STATES
Glamour

May 30, 2018

By Elizabeth Kiefer

Your most-searched questions, answered.

We partnered with GQ on an exclusive survey of more than 1,000 men about #MeToo, and the results were eye-opening—particularly this one: 47 percent of men said they hadn’t discussed the movement. At all. With anyone. Let’s change that, because to keep this conversation going, we need everyone talking. See the full Glamour x GQ survey here, and read all of the thoughtful pieces it sparked—from personal essays to a glossary of key terms—here.

Whether at work, at school, or in some other setting, chances are at some point in your life you’ve sat through a seminar or training session on sexual harassment and assault. Maybe it was one of those in-depth, eye-opening lectures that reconfigured the way you think about those subjects, maybe it was a bare minimum presentation that only reaffirmed things you already know.

Either way, the #MeToo era has given these training sessions an added urgency, especially when it comes to a full understanding of the movement’s key terms (and how to use them correctly). While the fact that we’re having more transparent, nuanced conversations about assault and abuses of power than ever before in history is inarguably a good thing, it’s also a dialogue that will ultimately prove more productive if we—men and women alike—are all on the same page about what we’re actually talking about. If our shared goal is more open and consistent conversation about #MeToo and all it entails, it’s crucial to get on the same page with terminology.

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MSU officials were warned about Strampel years ago

EAST LANSING (MI)
The Detroit News

May 28, 2018

By Kim Kozlowski

At least three times since 2004, colleagues of Larry Nassar’s ex-boss alerted Michigan State University’s administration about multiple reports of inappropriate sexual comments he made toward students and others, according to documents obtained by The Detroit News.

The most recent occurrence was in 2015, when a committee evaluating the performance of William Strampel, then dean of the MSU osteopathic medical school, discussed multiple allegations made by students, faculty and staff about unprofessional conduct that Strampel allegedly directed mostly at women.

“Since these are allegations from anonymous individuals, which the committee cannot verify, nor has the power to investigate if there is any substance, we bring it to the attention of the University Administration,” the committee wrote in 2015.

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Nassar scandal clogs FOIA office at Michigan State, impeding access to public information

EAST LANSING (MI)
Lansing State Journal

May 30, 2018

By Sarah Lehr

The case of Larry Nassar, a serial sexual abuser and a former physician with Michigan State University, has attracted scrutiny about what MSU officials knew and when.

At the same time, it has become more onerous for journalists and concerned citizens to access public records from the university.

The Michigan Freedom of Information Act allows access to documents from public institutions like Michigan State.

Since news of the allegations against Nassar broke, FOIA requests to MSU have increased exponentially. But, staffing levels have not kept pace with the demand, leading to longer wait times for public information.

And, on average, the university is requesting higher fees to fulfill FOIA requests, although amounts vary based on complexity of the request.

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Ex-Michigan State University head to testify to Congress on abuse of athletes

WASHINGTON (DC)
Reuters

May 29, 2018

By David Shepardson

A former Michigan State University President and a former USA Gymnastics President will testify June 5 to a U.S. Senate committee about efforts to protect athletes from abuse following the scandal of the gymnastics team doctor’s sexual assault of gymnasts, the panel said on Tuesday.

Lou Anna Simon resigned from Michigan State in January and Steve Perry from USA Gymnastics in March 2017. Both were criticized for not doing enough to halt abuse by doctor Larry Nassar, who was convicted of molesting gymnasts in 2017 and was sentenced to an effective life term in prison.

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Prospect and Pariah

OREGON
Sports Illustrated

May 16, 2018

By S.L. Price

He’s one of the best college pitchers, a first-round draft talent—and an admitted juvenile sex offender whose crime, if not for a legal glitch, may have stayed secret forever. Watching Luke Heimlich pitch stirs wonder and outrage—and questions about guilt, forgiveness and second chances.

The first thing to understand about a baseball game involving Luke Heimlich—the Oregon State pitcher who in 2012 pleaded guilty to one felony charge of molesting, at 15, his six-year-old niece, who nevertheless claims innocence, who this season leads the nation in wins—is just how normal it can feel. Nestled mid-campus in Corvallis, Goss Stadium hews to game-day rituals seen forever in ballparks big or small, coast to coast: No matter the paycheck or persona or police record, each player comes packaged the same old way. It is one of the sport’s charms.

So it was late in the afternoon of April 19, when winter broke, the sun baked the ground and archrival Oregon made its first appearance of the year. The sound of batting practice, lovely even when—kank!—metallic, blended with rock standards blaring from stadium speakers. Heimlich, owner of a nation’s-best 0.76 ERA in 2017 and once a lock for early-round money, aired out his left arm, long-tossing on the warning track. Two dozen windbreakered scouts, even those told by their teams not to bother, eyed him. One spoke of Heimlich’s command of four pitches, his ability to hit spots at will—despite orders not to discuss him at all.

Of course the sound of scouts parsing talent, muttering under their breath with a crowd—3,692 tonight, a regular-season record—filing in, is a ballyard staple. Soon, too, came the P.A. man announcing the starting lineups; a local braving the national anthem; the ceremonial first pitch. As the Oregon players returned to their dugout, a middle-aged man greeted them from the stands with a resounding, “Go, Beavs! Ducks Suck! Hate Ducks! Ducks Suck!”

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Sports Media Still Don’t Know How To Deal With Sexual Assault

OREGON
The Huffington Post

May 29, 2018

By Jessica Luther

This month, within two weeks of each other, both Sports Illustrated and The New York Times ran long pieces about Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich. Sports Illustrated even went so far as to feature Heimlich, an athlete most people have probably never heard of, on its cover.

The reason these outlets are interested in him is that as a teenager, Heimlich pleaded guilty to a felony charge, admitting to sexually molesting his then-6-year-old niece. He did everything the plea required, including probation, taking classes, writing an apology letter to his niece and registering as a sex offender. After The Oregonian broke the news in 2017 about his past, Heimlich, a star at OSU, voluntarily left the team. But he returned this season, and now he and his family are talking to the press as he prepares to go pro.

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AI inspired by the film Spotlight could track down child abusers

LONDON (ENGLAND)
New Scientist

May 30, 2018

By Timothy Revell

Journalists at The Boston Globe searched for patterns in public records to uncover priests in the Catholic church who had sexually abused children. Now, researchers think artificial intelligence could do the same job faster, more accurately and on a much wider scale.

The Boston Globe investigation, depicted in the film Spotlight, involved looking for clues like priests suddenly going on sick leave or moving around a lot. Joelle Casteix at the Zero Abuse Project, a non-profit that aims to help institutions prevent child abuse, and her team have created an AI that looks for similar patterns in thousands of documents from large organisations.

Casteix unveiled the project at the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, last week. “I am a survivor of sexual abuse from a teacher, which was followed by a lot of cover-up,” says Casteix. “This is the first time there is a proactive way to stop the cycle.”

The new initiative, called Project G, can study both digital documents or turn paper scans into machine-readable files for the AI to scour. Depending on the organisation, the documents can include those detailing where different people are based and their roles over time, and news clippings in which they are mentioned.

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India Says Boy Victims of Sex Crimes Not Compensated, Ignored

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
Reuters via New York Times

May 30, 2018

Indian states are ignoring boys in compensating child victims of sexual abuse, the federal government said on Wednesday, weeks after the government itself was criticised for overlooking males in a new law mandating tougher punishment for rapes of girls.

“The male child, who is the most neglected victim of child sexual abuse, is being ignored for the award of compensation and needs to be included,” the Ministry of Women and Child Development said in a statement, citing letters sent to states on the issue.

States run centrally monitored programmes to compensate victims of crimes including rape and human trafficking, but sexually abused boys were not getting any financial help, the ministry said.

The statement comes at a time when there is a debate around the treatment meted out to boy victims of sexual crimes in a country where, according to activists and police, many cases of abuse of boys go unreported because of the stigma attached to homosexuality.

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Perjury Conviction Against Ex-Pennsylvania AG Upheld

HARRISBURG (PA)
Courthouse News Service

May 29, 2018

By Gina Carrano

The Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld the conviction Friday of former Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat who lied to a grand jury that was investigating her leak of information meant to embarrass a political rival.

Daily News reporter Chris Brennan broke the article that had relied on secret grand jury information in June 2014, about three months after the Philadelphia Inquirer published an article that tarnished Kane’s reputation.

As former aides of Kane’s testified at trial, the attorney general believed that the Inquirer’s article relied on information leaked to it by Frank Fina, a former deputy attorney general from the last administration.

Just two years earlier on the campaign trail, Fina had been a frequent target of Kane’s as she focused on the state’s delay prosecuting the decades of child sex abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach.

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Will risk of abuse turn the tide on ‘vagabond priests’?

DENVER (CO)
Crux

May 30, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

Back in 2001, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples – by the way, everybody in Rome still calls it by its old name, “Propaganda Fidei” – put out a document which, by Vatican standards anyway, was remarkably on-point and practical.

Propaganda Fidei oversees the life of the Church in so-called “mission territories,” mostly in the developing world, and the text was called, “Instruction on the Sending Abroad and Sojourn of Diocesan Priests from Mission Territories.”

Its main concern was the growing phenomenon of priests from places such as Africa and Asia going to Europe or North America, often allegedly to “study,” and then basically never going home – floating around here or there, usually without any specific assignment or supervision, normally because they’ve become accustomed to first world standards of living and don’t want to go back.

Cardinal Josef Tomko, a tell-it-like-it-is Slovakian, was running Propaganda Fidei at the time, and he described these rootless priests as the leading edge of a bigger problem, one also including priests whose service abroad is completely legitimate.

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The Equestrian Coach Who Minted Olympians, and Left a Trail of Child Molestation

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

May 29, 2018

By Sarah Maslin Nir

La Cañada Flintridge, Calif. — There’s no trace of Jimmy A. Williams, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame trainer, at the equestrian club where he was an instructor for nearly four decades, cultivating young riders, some of whom went on to Olympic fame.

The pictures and paintings of Mr. Williams, who died in 1993, and the sterling trophies he won all vanished without a word recently from the clubhouse where he had spent many afternoons tipping back Champagne with some of Los Angeles County’s biggest and richest names: the parents of his young charges. Last month, the club removed his name from the grand show jumping stadium at the heart of the sprawling property at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, once the Jimmy A. Williams Oval. Today it is just Ring 1.

But his former riders cannot forget Mr. Williams. Across the country, in her New Jersey barn adorned with her Olympic medals, Anne Kursinski, one of the country’s most decorated show jumpers, remembered her former coach.

How he tasted of alcohol whenever he pinned her in a horse stall and crammed his tongue into her mouth. And far more. “He penetrated me when I was 11,” Ms. Kursinski said, revealing publicly for the first time the details of what she said became six years of continual rape and molestation. “I was a little kid,” she said. “And he was God.”

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Retired priest faces sex abuse allegation, denies claim

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
Herald-Star

May 29, 2018

By Matt Saxton

Bridgeport – A retired Belmont County Catholic priest and former schoolteacher has been relieved of active ministry duties after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville received what it says is a credible sexual abuse allegation against him.

Diocese spokesman Dino Orsatti said Monday that Monsignor Mark Froelich, 75, of Belmont, will no longer be able to participate in church-related activities. Although Froelich retired in 2014, he was still helping some churches with activities such as Masses, confessions and church functions.

As of Monday night, Froelich was not facing criminal charges. But Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton decided that the allegation was serious enough to remove him from those duties, Orsatti said.

“Our attorneys felt that the accusations are credible enough that the retired priest should be removed from active ministry,” he said.

“We take every allegation extremely seriously,” said Orsatti who also said the Roman Catholic Church issued a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse allegations in 2002. “We’re just following that decree and taking extra precautions.”

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Sex abuse – there has been a shift in power

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
The Herald

May 30, 2018

By Tarnya Davis

My first job as a psychologist was with the Lower Hunter Sexual Assault Service. It was the 1990s and the public perception of the prevalence of sexual abuse was vastly out of step with the reality. A visiting politician asked how two sexual assault counsellors managed to keep themselves busy, while the fact was we were overwhelmed.

We carried pagers at night and weekends and too often would find ourselves at the John Hunter Hospital, supporting someone who had just been sexually assaulted. It was an exhausting but incredibly fulfilling role.

In the early 2000s many of the people I saw in my private practice were the adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by those from the church. I sat with brave men and women as they told their devastating stories, made statements to the police and as they waited years until they could give evidence in court. The legal process was harrowing and mostly disappointing. At that time experts estimated only one in 10 people would report abuse to the police and of those only one in 10 would progress to charges and a trial. Only a third of those would see a conviction.

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Accused priest had been blackmail victim

MARTINS FERRY (OH)
Times-Leader

May 30, 2018

By Matt Saxton

Bridgeport – A retired priest who lost his ministry privileges late last week and previously was the victim of a blackmail scheme also is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Msgr. Mark Froehlich, 75, of Belmont, is facing a Belmont County Sheriff’s Office inquiry into an allegation that the retired Roman Catholic priest sexually abused a minor several years ago. Chief Deputy James Zusack said Tuesday that detective Doug Cruse was leading the investigation but also said he could not make any additional comments because the case is still open.

Church officials also said Tuesday they were aware of that investigation when Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton relieved Froehlich of active ministry duties. The current priests of several churches where Froehlich had once served as a priest read statements to their parishioners during Saturday and Sunday Masses. Although Froehlich retired in 2014, he was still helping with Masses, confessions and church functions in Belmont County.

“We do our (investigation), they will do theirs,” said diocese spokesman Dino Orsatti. “We will work together from there.”

Froehlich has faced a sexual misconduct allegation in the past. Two people served prison time for extorting money from Froehlich when they said they would accuse him of sexual abuse if he didn’t pay.

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Gananoque man sentenced to three years in prison for sex abuse

KINGSTON (ONTARIO, CANADA)
the Kingston Whig-Standard

May 29, 2018

By Wayne Lowrie

A former church organist and youth leader, who used his position of authority in the Catholic Church to sexually abuse a 15-year-old boy, was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday.

Brian Joseph Lucy, 70, of Gananoque, started abusing the altar boy and member of the Junior Knights youth group while organist of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church and leader of the youth group, the court heard.

Starting in the early 1990s, the abuse, which included oral, anal and group sex, occurred more than 100 times before the victim turned 18, often two or three times a week and sometimes lasting four to five hours, according to a statement of facts read into the record by Crown Attorney Jacqueline Masse. The encounters continued until the victim was in his early 20s.

In an impact statement to the court, the victim, who can’t be identified because of a court order, called Lucy a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” who used his friendship with his family and his position with the church to cause the boy to trust him. The youth, in Grade 9 when it started, was a troubled teen when Lucy began taking him to his house, plying him with alcohol and persuading him to engage in the sex acts, the victim said.

The victim said the encounters have emotionally scarred him for life and “hurt me more than anyone will ever know.”

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Catholic Church in Australia joins national abuse redress scheme

MONTROUGE (FRANCE)
La Croix International

May 30, 2018

The Catholic Church is bringing all its religious congregations and dioceses under one company to make it easier to make payouts

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia confirmed on Wednesday that the Catholic Church would join a national redress scheme for child sexual abuse survivors and share in compensation, reports 9 News.

“We support the royal commission’s recommendation for a national redress scheme, administered by the Commonwealth, and we are keen to participate in it,” said Archbishop Mark Coleridge, the Australian Catholic bishops president.

The Catholic Church had called for the national redress scheme since 2013, the archbishop said.Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said the scheme, if passed by the Senate, is to begin on July 1.

“The Catholic Church obviously had institutions, churches under its control where terrible, terrible, shocking abuse took place,” 9 News reported him telling media people in Canberra.

The Catholic Church was bringing all its religious congregations and dioceses under one company to make it easier to make payouts, he said.”We’re talking tens of millions of dollars,” Tehan reportedly said.

While Sister Ruth Durick, Catholic Religious Australia president said “We are committed to providing redress to survivors who were abused within the Catholic Church,” Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney said “We’re determined to bring justice and full redress – healing, if we can – to the victims of this terrible crime.

“Archbishop Fisher, without specifying an estimated amount, said the church expected to be paying out survivors for “many years to come,” the report said.

Legislation to enable the $3.8 billion opt-in scheme passed federal parliament’s lower house on May 29.

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Australian Catholic Church to enter into redress scheme for sex abuse survivors

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
Reuters

May 30, 2018

The Australian Catholic Church has committed to taking part in a new national redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, two top religious groups said on Wednesday.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said if all states and institutions across Australia opt in the scheme could provide support to around 60,000 people.

The scheme will target people sexually abused as children while in the care of a Commonwealth institution and follows a nationwide inquiry that found widespread institutionalized child sexual abuse in Australia.

Redress is offered as an alternative to taking compensation through the courts. It can include access to psychological counseling, a direct personal response such as an apology from the responsible institution for people who want it, and a monetary payment. Payments are capped at A$150,000.

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Catholic Church will sign up to national sexual abuse redress scheme

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Sydney Morning Herald

May 30, 2018

By Miki Perkins

The Catholic Church has confirmed it will sign up to the national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse once the laws are passed by the Senate.

More than 60 per cent of all survivors of sex abuse in religious settings who gave evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – more than 2500 people – came from Catholic-managed institutions.

The Catholic Church is the first national non-government institution to officially announce it will join the scheme, which has been criticised because institutions have to opt in and because it does not cover physical abuse.

Federal Social Services Minister Dan Tehan described the church’s announcement as significant, saying it showed the church was remorseful and willing to take responsibility.

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Boost for redress scheme as Catholic Church opts in

SURRY HILLS (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

May 30, 2018

By John Ferguson

The Catholic Church will formally opt in to the $4 billion child abuse redress scheme in the first major declaration from the faith’s new head of bishops.

Catholic Church leaders have written to Social Services Minister Dan Tehan declaring the move, which is a significant fillip for the national scheme.

Once all states and territories have opted into the scheme and federal law is enacted, the church will establish an agency to enable all church bodies to interact with the scheme’s national operator.

It is possible that, with so many different branches of the church, the church entities will sign up at various different times during the next two years.

The new Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge was a joint signatory of the letter to Mr Tehan with Catholic Religious Australia president Sister Ruth Durick.

“We support the Royal Commission’s recommendation for a national redress scheme, administered by the commonwealth, and we are keen to participate in it,’’ they said.

“We recognise that redress will not take away a survivor’s pain, but hope that it can provide some practical assistance in the journey towards recovery from abuse.

“Once the scheme is initiated, we are committed to providing redress to survivors who were abused within the Catholic Church.

“Given the diverse structure of the Catholic Church, Catholic officials have been working with the commonwealth government to enable church authorities to work effectively with the independent National Redress Scheme Operator.

“We are grateful for the commonwealth’s support in helping create the best possible solution to simplify the process for survivors who will seek redress from a Catholic institution.’’

Archbishop Coleridge was recently appointed president of the bishops’ conference as his predecessor Denis Hart from Melbourne is due to retire as an archbishop.

The scheme will provide up to $150,000 in redress to proven victims but with a lower burden of proof compared with the courts.

The scheme will require participants to release offending institutions from civil liability for the abuse but in turn will enable them to receive a one-off payment or an additional top-up payment if any original redress were deemed inadequate.

Labor backed a $200,000 cap, in line with the royal commission recommendation, but the federal government and major states believe $150,000 will be as high as the scheme can go.

The key number will be the average cost of each claim, which is likely to be about $75,000.

The scheme bears significant similarities with the original Catholic systems set up in the 1990s and has not been embraced by some victim groups.

The key difference is a greater level of independence and higher payouts, coupled with relatively low standards of proof that abuse occurred.

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Catholic church signs up to redress scheme for child abuse victims

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

May 30, 2018

By Melissa Davey

‘Survivors deserve justice and healing’, says spokesman

Catholic church opts in to national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse, following the Anglican church which signed up on Sunday.

The Catholic Church has signed up to the federal government’s national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.

The scheme will take effect from July and requires the states and territories as well as non-government organisations such as churches and charities to opt into the scheme and agree to pay victims abused within their organisations up to $150,000 compensation.

Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse found 7% of Australia’s Catholic priests were accused of abusing children in the six decades since 1950. Up to 15% of priests in some dioceses were alleged perpetrators between 1950 and 2015, the commission found.

Almost 2,500 survivors told the commission about sexual abuse in an institution managed by the Catholic church, representing 61.8% of all survivors who reported sexual abuse in a religious institution.

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Catholic Church joins sex abuse compensation scheme

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

May 30, 2018

An inquiry into sexual abuse in Australia found institutions had “seriously failed” to protect children

The Catholic Church has confirmed it will be part of a national redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse in Australia.

The nation recently held a five-year inquiry into sexual abuse in the country’s institutions.

Among harrowing stories, it heard that 7% of Australia’s Catholic priests abused children between 1950 and 2010.

Governments and institutions have faced intense pressure to join a compensation programme for victims.

The Church said it was “keen to participate” in the scheme, to be co-ordinated by the Australian government.

“Survivors deserve justice and healing and many have bravely come forward to tell their stories,” said Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

The Church is the first non-government organisation to join the scheme, which is scheduled to begin in July.

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Assignment History– Rev. Samuel B. Slocum

ERIE (PA)
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Samuel B. Slocum was ordained for the Diocese of Erie in 1980. He was a faculty member until 1997 at high schools in DuBois, St. Mary’s, Erie and Bradford while residing and ministering in area parishes. From 1990 on he was the sole priest at parishes in Eldred, Shinglehouse, Bradford, then Lewis Run.

In April 2011 Slocum was arrested on charges related to a recent inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old Lewis Run boy. Slocum had been giving the boy expensive gifts and taking photos of him and other boys. The boy’s parents forbade the priest from contacting their son, but Slocum did not stop; he lied to the mother and encouraged the boy to be secretive. The mother reported him to the police. Slocum admitted to engaging in inappropriate behavior with the boys. He was placed on leave by the diocese.

Slocum was convicted in 2012 and given two years’ probation. His laicization was announced in November 2016.

Ordained: 1980
Laicized: 2016

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“THIS IS BIGGER THAN MYSELF”: HOW THE WOMEN OF THE U.S. GYMNASTICS TEAM FOUND THEIR VOICE

UNITED STATES
Vanity Fair

SUMMER 2018

By Vanessa Grigoriadis

As new accusers continue to emerge in the wake of Larry Nassar’s abhorrent crimes, gymnastics—and the idea of girlhood that the sport perpetuates—is undergoing a revolution.

Few icons of American girlhood are as symbolically complex as elite gymnasts. They appear on the mat as tiny shining birds: gems sewn into their leotards sparkling under bright competition lights, and colorful bows plopped on their French-braided hairdos like feathered crowns. Scouts looking for young gymnasts with the potential to reach the Olympics sometimes spot girls as young as seven. Their careers usually peak before they can vote and end before they can legally order a glass of wine in a restaurant. Yet they are athletes of extraordinary accomplishment and fortitude. They’re strong women, or girls becoming women, who fly through the air seemingly by sheer force of will. As a child glued to the television during the Summer Olympics in the 1980s, I thought of them as real-life versions of Superwoman. Women of steel, lighter than air.

In the past few months, these girls have also become bellwethers for our evolving views on femininity, agency, and sexual abuse. Until recently the story they told about their lives in gymnastics was one of unique powerlessness. As top gymnasts, they were supposed to be silent, sexless, obedient little girls. They had one purpose and one purpose only: to perform fearsome acrobatics. They were never supposed to complain about ragged palms, stress fractures, and excruciating back pain. They didn’t question the sport’s rigid attitudes toward diet, which often veered suspiciously close to starvation. And they certainly never would have told an authority figure that Larry Nassar, the respected osteopathic doctor who was the physician for the U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team and other club and university-level teams, was inappropriately penetrating their vaginas and rectums with his fingers while they lay on his massage table to receive treatment for injuries. Good girls, and good gymnasts, didn’t create waves.

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After scandal, head of Chilean Church’s anti-abuse panel resigns

ROME
CRUX

May 27, 2018

By Inés San Martín

A Chilean bishop who’s acknowledged he was slow in investigating allegations of abuse and misconduct in his diocese resigned as president of the Chilean Church’s National Commission for the Prevention of Abuses.

The announcement was made by the Chilean bishops’ conference, which said on Saturday that it had accepted the resignation of Bishop Alejando Goic of Rancagua from the commission. At this point, he continues as the head of his diocese.

Together with most of Chile’s active bishops, Goic presented his resignation to Pope Francis mid-May. The prelates were summoned by the pontiff to Rome to discuss a crisis in the local Church, a product of decades of abuses and cover-ups and which began detonating in early 2015, when the pontiff appointed Bishop Juan Barros, accused of covering up for the country’s most notorious pedophile priest, to the southern diocese of Osorno.

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Judge in Brock Turner rape case defends his controversial sentencing ahead of recall vote

CALIFORNIA
CBS NEWS

May 29, 2018

Aaron Persky is speaking out one week before voters decide if he should be removed over his handling of a sexual assault trial. The California judge gave former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner a short jail term after Turner was found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. The sentence generated global outrage and raised questions about judicial independence and politics in the courtroom.

Persky has remained largely silent as the campaign to remove him from the bench has built over nearly two years. But now, in his only television interview, he defended the sentence that has been so widely condemned.

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Letter from Rome

VATICAN CITY
UCA News

May 29, 2018

By Robert Mickens

Can Pope Francis fix the clergy sex abuse crisis?

The deeply disturbing scandal of clergy sex abuse in Chile and its cover-up by church leaders in the country continues to go from bad to worse.

After a Vatican-led investigation in February, which prompted Pope Francis to call an emergency summit in Rome of the entire Chilean hierarchy, there has been a seemingly non-stop flow of newly revealed cases of sexual crimes against young people.

First, there was a news report of an organized pedophilia (or at least ephebophilia) ring in a diocese north of the capital Santiago where priests have been involved in exchanging pornographic images of minors and information on how to sexually engage with these adolescents.

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Retired priest William Nolan, accused of sexual assault, was a witness in fellow priest’s case

FORT ATKINSON (WI)
FOX6 Now

May 27, 2018

By Suzanne Spencer

There is a twist in a sexual misconduct case against a Diocese of Madison retired priest.

Police say Fr. William Nolan sexually assaulted a former student and altar boy at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Fort Atkinson.

“Is there any prior information the diocese had about him?” asked Peter Isely of SNAP — the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Isely works with a network devoted to victims of abuse and remembers Nolan’s name — when the retired priest was a witness in a fellow priest’s case in 2005 involving Rev. Gerald Vosen. At the time, Vosen was trying to prove the man who accused him of sexual assault defamed him.

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#MeToo, earlier scandals mean pending clergy sex abuse report can’t be ‘a small problem’

PENNSYLVANIA
Penn Live

May 29, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

In the mid-2000s, when then-Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham launched an investigation into clergy sex abuse and cover-up in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, she was assailed for waging a campaign against the Roman Catholic Church.

It was a virtual repeat of what had played out just a few years prior in 2002 in Boston. That year, officials at the Archdiocese of Boston accused The Boston Globe of mounting an anti-Catholic agenda after the paper published a series of scathing reports detailing decades of molestation of thousands of children by priests and its systemic cover up by church officials.

At times, both in Philadelphia and Boston, Catholics rallied behind the church and defended their faith as legions came to terms with revelations of the assaults.

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Retired Diocese of Steubenville Priest Faces Sex Abuse Allegation

BRIDGEPORT (WV)
The Intelligencer

May 29, 2018

By Matt Saxton

A retired Belmont County Catholic priest and former schoolteacher has been relieved of active ministry duties after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville received what it says is a credible sexual abuse allegation against him.

Diocese spokesman Dino Orsatti said Monday that Msgr. Mark Froehlich, 75, of Belmont will no longer be able to participate in church-related activities.

Although Froehlich retired in 2014, he was still helping some churches with activities such as Masses, confessions and church functions.

As of Monday night, Froehlich was not facing criminal charges. But Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton decided that the allegation was serious enough to remove him from active ministry, Orsatti said.

“We take every allegation extremely seriously,” said Orsatti, who also said the Roman Catholic Church issued a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse allegations in 2002. “We’re just following that decree and taking extra precautions.”

However, Froehlich said Monday night that he disputes the allegation.

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Ozanam Lecture Part 1: Introduction

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

May 29, 2018

“How does the Catholic welfare sector continue with ‘good works’ post the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse?”

PART 1: INTRODUCTION

Dear friends,

I would like to pay my respect and acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which this meeting takes place, and also pay respect to Elders both past and present.

Thank you for the invitation to speak at this forum and to have the opportunity to share the podium with a very distinguished Catholic woman. Two months ago, I was in Rome for a conference on migrants and refugees. It took place at the same time as the Voices of Faith International Women’s Day Conference at which Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland gave a powerful speech on women and the Catholic Church. I was particularly struck by the image she uses to describe the state of the church. She said – practically within the Pope’s earshot – that the exclusion of women from decision-making roles “has left the church flapping about awkwardly on one wing”. And if that wasn’t enough, she went on to say that “the church has long been the primary global carrier of the virus of misogyny.” Whoa! Talk about pulling no punches. I hope Geraldine Doogue is going to be a bit gentler to me than Mary McAleese was to Pope Francis.

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Sex abuser gets three years

CANADA
Recorder and Times

May 28, 2018

By Wayne Lowrie

A former church organist and youth leader, who used his position of authority in the Catholic Church to sexually abuse a 15-year-old boy, was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday.

Brian Joseph Lucy, 70, of Gananoque, started abusing the altar boy and member of the Junior Knights youth group while organist of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church and leader of the youth group, the court heard.

Starting in the early 1990s, the abuse, which included oral, anal and group sex, occurred more than 100 times before the victim turned 18, often two or three times a week and sometimes lasting four to five hours, according to a statement of facts read into the record by Crown Attorney Jacqueline Masse. The encounters continued until the victim was in his early 20s.

In an impact statement to the court, the victim, who can’t be identified because of a court order, called Lucy a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” who used his friendship with his family and his position with the church to cause the boy to trust him. The youth, in Grade 9 when it started, was a troubled teen when Lucy began taking him to his house, plying him with alcohol and persuading him to engage in the sex acts, the victim said.

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The wrath of God poured out

CARY (NC)
The Biblical Recorder

May 29, 2018

By Albert Mohler Jr.

The last few weeks have been excruciating for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and for the larger evangelical movement. It is as if bombs are dropping and God alone knows how many will fall and where they will land.

America’s largest evangelical denomination has been in the headlines day after day. The SBC is in the midst of its own horrifying #MeToo moment.

At one of our seminaries, controversy has centered on a president (now former president) whose sermon illustration from years ago included advice that a battered wife remain in the home and the marriage in hope of the conversion of her abusive husband. Other comments represented the objectification of a teenage girl. The issues only grew more urgent with the sense that the dated statements represented ongoing advice and counsel.

But the issues are far deeper and wider.

Sexual misconduct is as old as sin, but the avalanche of sexual misconduct that has come to light in recent weeks is almost too much to bear. These grievous revelations of sin have occurred in churches, in denominational ministries and even in our seminaries.

We thought this was a Roman Catholic problem. The unbiblical requirement of priestly celibacy and the organized conspiracy of silence within the hierarchy helped to explain the cesspool of child sex abuse that has robbed the Roman Catholic Church of so much of its moral authority. When people said that Evangelicals had a similar crisis coming, it didn’t seem plausible – even to me. I have been president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for [25] years. I did not see this coming.

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‘More can be done’ for sex abuse victims, says Cathy McGowan

AUSTRALIA
The Border Mail

May 29, 2018

By Shana Morgan

Cathy McGowan has called on churches to show more “humility” to help improve the situation for survivors of child sexual abuse.

The Indi MP spoke in parliament yesterday in support of a national redress scheme for institutional child sex abuse, which will give survivors access of up to $150,000 in compensation.

She said religious institutions needed to improve their culture, so this never happens again, and be transparent in their responses.

“It can’t just be done in private. We need public recognition from our institutions that serious hurt has been caused, that they are going to make appropriate changes to the way they do things and then work with survivors to actually improve the situation,” Ms McGowan said.

“While I understand some institutions have gone some way in this regard, I think there is more that can be done in terms of humility, in practical signs of sorrow.”

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COUNTERPOINT: Fearful Catholic Church still won’t face the music

HALIFAX (NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA)
The Chronicle Herald

May 28, 2018

By Maryanne McNeil

Since the April 7 publication of my opinion piece about why I was walking away from the Roman Catholic Church, I have read with great interest the many responses it generated.

The great majority of these were unwaveringly supportive; however, there were some critical voices. For the most part, the ensuing debate has been healthy, prompting interested individuals to examine their own beliefs and, sometimes, to state them publicly.

Only a tiny portion of the responses went beyond the bounds of civil discussion into the realm of rather personal attacks. One small example is that, for decrying the lack of opportunity for women to serve in leadership roles in the Roman Catholic Church, I was called “an obvious radical feminist.” That one made me smile; I’m still trying to decide if I should take it as an insult.

I do understand that when criticism is levelled at a cherished institution, emotions will flare and reaction will sometimes be intense. It takes restraint to refrain from hurling personal barbs and it seems that our present social climate has taken enthusiastically to modelling the opposite tactics: maligning, denying and dismissing. It’s far easier to do that than to examine issues through as honest and objective a lens as possible.

I had decided that it was better for me to allow this debate that I’d initiated to play itself out without wading into it again. After all, other opinions, both supportive and in opposition, are as valid as my own.

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NCR Podcast: Clergy sex abuse fallout in Chile

CHILE
National Catholic Reporter

May 25, 2018

Under increasing scrutiny about the handling of clergy sexual abuse cases over decades, Chile’s Catholic bishops said that Pope Francis’ emotional meetings at the Vatican with three abuse victims “shows us the path that the Chilean Church is called to follow.” Shortly after releasing this statement, the Chilean bishops in Rome announced they have submitted their resignations to Francis en masse and will await his decision for which of their dismissals he will accept.

On the show today:

– Joshua J. McElwee, Vatican correspondent
– Fr. James Connell, a retired priest in the Milwaukee Archdiocese, canon lawyer, and a founding member of Catholic Whistleblowers

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Kottiyoor rape: Kerala court to begin trial in Catholic priest raping minor case

INDIA
The News Minute

May 26, 2018

By Megha Varier

A court in Thalassery reportedly refused to entertain the plea by three of the accused to quash charges against them.

More than a year since a Catholic priest allegedly raped and impregnated a minor girl in Kottiyoor in Kannur district, the trial proceedings in the case is set to begin.

The police had, in February last year, arrested and booked ten people including the priest Father Robin Vadakkumchery.

According to a report published by Mathrubhumi News, a court in Thalassery refused to entertain the plea filed by three of the accused seeking to drop the charges against them.

With this, the Additional Sessions Court in Thalassery ordered for the chargesheet to be read out to all the accused.

Although the third, fourth and fifth accused in the case, Sr Dr. Tesi Thomas, Dr Hyderali, and Sister Ancy Mathew, had previously approached the Supreme Court with a plea to quash charges against them, the apex court had refused to do so.

The apex court had also dismissed their plea to put a stay on the trial.

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Despite warnings, past Buffalo bishops returned abusive clergy to parishes

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

May 27, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

When a mother complained that the Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits propositioned her teenage son in a bar, the Diocese of Buffalo quietly sent him away for mental health therapy and listed him as “on leave” in its official 1979 directory.

Then, within months, the diocese reassigned him to a new parish, where he later was accused of molesting at least two boys.

Orsolits isn’t the only Buffalo priest accused of sexual abusing children who had been marked as “on leave” and then put back into a parish.

The Buffalo News found that from 1973 to 2000 the diocese assigned 11 priests to work in a parish or other ministry after they were marked as “absent on leave” or “awaiting assignment” in official directories. The diocese this year identified nine of those priests as having been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The two other priests were publicly accused but not part of the diocesan list.

At least three of the 11 priests – while on leave from a parish or otherwise unassigned – were treated at Southdown Institute, a mental health facility near Toronto, for sexual transgressions with minors and then reassigned to parishes.

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… and then there’s the archbishop who won’t resign

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Culture

May 28, 2018

By Phil Lawler

While thirty Chilean bishops have submitted their resignation after being accused of covering up sexual abuse, Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, Australia, has not resigned after being convicted in a court of law of the same offense.

Following his conviction, Archbishop Wilson said that he would step down from his position, leaving his vicar general in charge of the archdiocese, but would not resign. “He’s standing aside until process has run its course,” said an archdiocesan spokesman, whereas a resignation would be “forever.” The “process” in this case could mean either an appeal of the verdict or a prison sentence of up to two years.

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Government to set up Commission of Investigation into response to complaints against Bill Kenneally

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
NewsTalk

May 29, 2018

By Jack Quann

The commission will take up to one year to report

The Cabinet has approved a proposal to establish a Commission of Investigation into the response to complaints or allegations of child sexual abuse made against Bill Kenneally.

The Government also approved the appointment of retired Circuit Court Judge Barry Hickson as sole member of the commission.

The Houses of the Oireachtas will now be required to pass motions so that the commission can be formally established.

This is expected to take place in the coming weeks.

Kenneally, a former basketball coach, is currently serving a 14 year prison sentence in relation to 10 sample counts of indecent assault against minors – which took place in the 1980s.

A number of survivors of that abuse have claimed that the State and other bodies failed to intervene sufficiently in order to prevent him continuing to abuse children.

They allege there was collusion between An Garda Síochána, the Catholic Church authorities and elements within the political system, which prevented Kenneally from being arrested and charged at a much earlier stage.

As a result of these concerns, the Government agreed in principle on May 30th 2017 to establish a Commission of Investigation.

The commission will be called the ‘Commission of Investigation (Response to complaints or allegations of child sexual abuse made against Bill Kenneally, and related matters’.

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Abortion vote is backlash for sex abuse scandals, say Irish Catholics

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Associated Press

May 27, 2018

Irish Catholics attending Sunday Mass were disappointed with the result of a referendum in which voters opted to legalize abortion and think it reflects the weakening of the Church — a situation that was unthinkable in Ireland a generation ago.

There was no mention of the referendum during the sermon at St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral, but it was weighing heavily on the minds of some worshippers as they left the Mass in central Dublin.

Ireland voted by a roughly two-to-one margin Friday to end a constitutional ban on abortion, and parliament is expected to approve a more liberal set of laws governing the termination of pregnancies.

Some worshippers said the overwhelming victory of abortion rights activists seeking the repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the constitution reflects a weakening of the Catholic Church’s historic influence and fills them with dread for Ireland’s future.

“I think the ‘yes’ vote was an anti-Church vote,” said Annemarie McCarrick, referring to the “yes” vote in favor of ending the constitutional ban.

The 52-year-old lecturer said on the cathedral steps that a series of sex abuse scandals had undermined the influence of the Church in Ireland. She said the Church had in recent weeks taken a “quiet” stand against repeal, but hadn’t been able to sway people.

“I am religious but the Church has definitely lost influence here because of the scandals,” she said. “The people will not take direction from the Church anymore. It’s hard for the Church to have credibility.”

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Keep eyes on the ball

SCRANTON (PA)
The Times-Tribune

May 29, 2018

Two events last week related to former state Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s tempestuous and truncated term of office offer a lesson for all public officials who have a difficult time separating governance from politics.

Friday, a three-judge panel of the state Superior Court unanimously upheld Kane’s Aug. 15, 2016, conviction in Montgomery County Court for perjury, false swearing, obstructing the administration of law, official oppression and criminal conspiracy. She was sentenced Oct. 24, 2016, to 10 to 23 months in prison, but has remained free pending appeal. And she still can petition the state Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the Superior Court decision.

Earlier in the week, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that bishops of six Catholic dioceses, including Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton, had agreed not to contest the public release of an impending grand jury report on sexual abuse by clergy and the dioceses’ handling of those cases.

Kane, who had handled child sexual abuse cases as an assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County, launched that important investigation in 2016.

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Where Did Ireland Go? Abortion Vote Stuns Those on Both Sides

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

May 27, 2018

By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura

Dublin – Some were joyous. Others were devastated. But most of all, in the hours after Irish voters swept away a ban on abortion, many were simply astonished.

However they felt about the result of the referendum, they were witnessing, they knew, the culmination of a fundamental shift in Irish society — and one that has come about with stunning speed.

In a remarkably compact span of time, the country has gone from being a bastion of social conservatism in the West to a place that wholeheartedly embraces positions that would have been unthinkable just a generation ago.

The culture of silence and deference to religious authority that long dominated Ireland is gone. The country that has emerged is an unlikely leader of liberal values.

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Ireland Votes to End Abortion Ban, in Rebuke to Catholic Conservatism

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

May 26, 2018

By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura

Dublin – Ireland voted decisively to repeal one of the world’s more restrictive abortion bans, sweeping aside generations of conservative patriarchy and dealing the latest in a series of stinging rebukes to the Roman Catholic Church.

The surprising landslide, reflected in the results announced on Saturday, cemented the nation’s liberal shift at a time when right-wing populism is on the rise in Europe and the Trump administration is imposing curbs on abortion rights in the United States. In the past three years alone, Ireland has installed a gay man as prime minister and has voted in another referendum to allow same-sex marriage.

But this was a particularly wrenching issue for Irish voters, even for supporters of the measure. And it was not clear until the end that the momentum toward socially liberal policies would be powerful enough to sweep away deeply ingrained opposition to abortion.

* * *
The church lost much of its credibility in the wake of scandals involving pedophile priests and thousands of unwed mothers who were placed into servitude in so-called Magdalene laundries or mental asylums as recently as the mid-1990s.

The church was, in fact, largely absent from the referendum campaign. Anti-abortion campaigners actively discouraged its participation, preferring to emphasize moral values and human rights rather than religion, possibly to avoid being tarnished by the church-related scandals.

During the campaign, the Association of Catholic Priests urged its members not to preach politics from the pulpit. The guidance came after some priests had threatened their congregations that they would not be able to receive Communion if they voted “yes,” according to people who attended the Masses.

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As Ireland Joins Europe’s Sprint From Catholic Fold, Francis Looks South

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

May 27, 2018

By Jason Horowitz

Vatican City – When nearly one-third of Ireland’s Catholic population came to see Pope John Paul II celebrate a papal Mass in Dublin in 1979, divorce, homosexual acts and abortion were all illegal in the country. Ireland, like much of Europe, toed the line on Roman Catholic Church teaching.

In August, Pope Francis will return to Ireland for a World Meeting of Families event attended by the church’s most committed anti-abortion activists. But they will find themselves, after Saturday’s historic repeal of an abortion ban in a landslide vote, in a country that is clearly part of Europe’s secular sprint out of the Roman Catholic fold.

Across Western Europe, the church’s once mighty footprint has faded, in no small measure because of self-inflicted clerical sex abuse scandals and an inability to keep up with and reach contemporary Catholics. Church attendance has plummeted, parishes are merging, and new priests and nuns are in short supply. Gay marriage is on the rise, and abortion is widely legal.

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Retired, local priest accused of sexual abuse

WHEELING (WV)
WTRF

May 28, 2018

[See a bio of Msgr. Mark Froelich.]

The Diocese of Steubenville has received what it considers to be credible allegations of sexual abuse against retired diocesan priest Msgr. Mark J. Froehlich.

Due to the allegations, he has been removed from active ministry.

The “Chapter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” which are special laws approved by the Holy Father to deal with child abuse, are handling the case.

Any victim or victims harmed by a priest or anyone serving on behalf of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Steubenville can contact the Diocese or authorities.

In the Diocese victims can call Thomas S. Wilson at (740) 282-3631 or email twilson@diosteub.org.

On Sunday night, SNAP, the Suvivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests responded to the allegations:

“Church officials wrongly tell us that incidents such as this case can be reported to Diocesan officials or authorities. All incidents of child sex abuse must be reported to the police or child protective services. The church officials are not the proper officials to be investigating child sex crimes as we have seen a history of church authorities covering up clergy who abuse children. If you have been abused or have a reasonable suspicion of abuse, please report to the police.”

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Víctimas de Karadima critican designación de obispo de San Bernardo en Consejo de Prevención de Abusos

CHILE
La Tercera

May 27, 2018

[Karadima victims criticize appointment of Bishop of San Bernardo in Abuse Prevention Council]

By Alejandra Jara

Esta noticia fue criticada por José Andrés Murillo, y Juan Carlos Cruz, denunciantes del ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima quienes sostuvieron que González “no tiene empatía”.

La Conferencia Episcopal designó ayer sábado al obispo Juan Ignacio González como presidente del Consejo Nacional de Prevención Abusos de la Iglesia Católica, tras la renuncia del religioso Alejandro Goic a la instancia.

Esta noticia fue criticada por José Andrés Murillo, Juan Carlos Cruz, denunciantes del ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, quienes mostraron su rechazo a la desginación de González.

“Un tipo con la empatía de una piedra, prepotente, despectivo y con una historia turbia durante la dictadura”, escribió Murillo en su cuenta de Twitter.

[Google Translation: This news was criticized by José Andrés Murillo, and Juan Carlos Cruz, denouncers of the former pastor of El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, who maintained that González “has no empathy.”

The Episcopal Conference appointed Bishop Juan Ignacio González on Saturday as president of the National Council for the Prevention of Abuses of the Catholic Church, following the resignation of the religious Alejandro Goic at the instance.

This news was criticized by José Andrés Murillo, Juan Carlos Cruz, denouncers of the former pastor of El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, who showed their rejection of González’s desegination.

“A guy with the empathy of a stone, arrogant, derogatory and with a turbulent history during the dictatorship,” Murillo wrote in his Twitter account.]

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Fiscalía de O’Higgins investigará a excanciller de la Iglesia de Santiago

CHILE
La Tercera

May 27, 2018

[O’Higgins prosecutor will investigate ex-chancellor of the Church of Santiago]

By Leyla Zapata

Ministerio Público abrirá causa de oficio tras la autodenuncia por abuso del sacerdote Óscar Muñoz.

Tras conocerse la autodenuncia por eventual abuso sexual que hizo en el Arzobispado de Santiago el ahora excanciller de la entidad, Óscar Muñoz Toledo (56), el Ministerio Público de O’Higgins abrirá una investigación de oficio para indagar posibles delitos cometidos por el sacerdote, quien también se desempeñaba como párroco de la Iglesia Jesús de Nazareth, ubicada en la comuna de Estación Central.

Esto, porque los hechos en cuestión se habrían cometido en el ámbito familiar del presbítero, en la Región de O’Higgins, hace cerca de 10 años, según trascendió.

La fiscalía, además, agruparía este caso a la indagatoria que inició en marzo pasado contra la llamada “cofradía” de sacerdotes de la zona, que está siendo indagada por la Unidad de Alta Complejidad del Ministerio Público, por eventuales delitos contra menores.

Por este caso, el obispo de Rancagua, Alejandro Goic, suspendió de sus funciones eclesiales a 14 párrocos de la Región de O’Higgins.

[Google Translation: The Public Ministry will open an ex officio case after the self-denunciation for abuse of priest Óscar Muñoz.

After knowing the self-denunciation by eventual sexual abuse that did in the Archbishopric of Santiago the now ex-chancellor of the entity, Óscar Muñoz Toledo (56), the Public Ministry of O’Higgins will open an investigation ex officio to investigate possible crimes committed by the priest, who also served as parish priest of the Jesus of Nazareth Church, located in the commune of Central Station.

This, because the facts in question had been committed in the family of the priest, in the O’Higgins Region, about 10 years ago, according to reports.

The prosecution, in addition, would group this case to the investigation that began last March against the so-called “brotherhood” of priests of the area, which is being investigated by the High Complexity Unit of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, for possible crimes against minors.

In this case, the bishop of Rancagua, Alejandro Goic, suspended 14 priests of the O’Higgins Region from their ecclesiastical functions.]

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Martin says church cannot compromise its position on abortion

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
RTÉ

May 26, 2018

By Joe Little

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has expressed surprise at the outcome of the referendum, and reiterated that his church cannot compromise on its opposition to abortion.

It follows the declaration of the official result this evening, one which campaigners for a No vote described as a “tragedy of historic proportions”.

Dr Martin said that compassion is a Christian concept and that the Catholic Church has to show, in the way it lives and witnesses to the gospel, that it is genuinely compassionate.

“We have to speak with compassion even if what we speak is not acceptable,” he said.

He added that above all, the Catholic Church had to revamp all that it does to be pro-life.

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Donegal man’s Twitter thread explaining county’s No vote is garnering a lot of praise

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Independent

May 27 2018

By Aoife Kelly

While the Yes side saw a landslide victory on Saturday with two-thirds of the country voting to repeal the Eighth Amendment, one county stood alone in producing a majority No vote.

Donegal was the only constituency in the country to return a majority No with 51.9 per cent of people voting No compared to 48.1 per cent voting Yes.

There was a 57 per cent turnout.

With many people questioning why the result was different in Donegal to the rest of the country, one Donegal man took to Twitter to offer his take on the result.

Noel Sharkey’s thread is garnering praise from people all over the country.

Here it is in full:

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Referendum shows us there is no Middle Ireland, just Ireland

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

May 26, 2018

By Una Mullally

‘The fiction of Ireland as a conservative, dogmatically Catholic country has been shattered’

The handover period is over. The fiction of Ireland as a conservative, dogmatically Catholic country has been shattered. The past is left back there, and a new legacy is being created. A legacy of compassion, empathy, and maturity – a country taking responsibility for the care and health of women and girls. What happened in the referendum vote was seismic, but more seismic still was the realisation that this vote was reflecting change, not just instigating it. “They listened to us. They actually listened to us,” a young woman said to me, crying, in the RDS on Saturday morning.

Together For Yes ran an excellent campaign, from start to finish. As the No campaign scraped the barrel, the Yes campaign always acted with dignity, with facts to the fore, and never once stooped. Together For Yes built an army around the country. An army of Us. In the RDS, people burst into tears when the Together For Yes bosses came into the room.

For many, Ailbhe Smyth’s determination and calmness has been a source of great inspiration for decades. During the campaign she wore herself down so much that she struggled to walk in the final days. Meanwhile, female journalists from competing newspapers hugged each other when they spotted one another. Mary Lou McDonald was cheered by Labour party members, Simon Harris was cheered by people from Sinn Féin. This was a feminist movement; non-partisan, grassroots, non-hierarchical where possible. We were all Together For Yes.

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Ireland votes to remove constitutional ban on abortion by resounding two-thirds majority

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

May 26, 2018

By Sarah Bardon

Thirty-five years after its introduction, Eighth Amendment repealed after bitter campaign

The country has voted to remove the constitutional ban on abortion by a two-thirds majority.

Thirty-five years after it was placed into the Constitution, the electorate voted for the Eighth Amendment to be repealed and for provision be made for the regulation of termination of pregnancy. See here for liveblog updates on Saturday on developments as count results on the resounding result became clear across the State.

Every constituency except Donegal, which voted in favour of retaining the Eighth Amendment by 51. 87 to 48.13, passed the referendum by a clear mandate.

There were joyous and tearful scenes in Dublin Castle as the results were announced just after 6pm, showing 66 per cent of the electorate had supported the proposition.

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Scouting Ireland faces Pandora’s box of historic abuse cases

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

April 21, 2018

By Jack Power

[Note: This important article was not included in Tracker at the time it was published.]

Audit of hundreds of files not yet begun despite safeguarding expert’s recommendation

Locked away in Scouting Ireland’s national office in Larch Hill, Tibradden, south county Dublin, sit hundreds of past child-protection case files in an alarmed room under lock and key, some dating back decades.

Most staff working in the organisation’s headquarters go about each day without a thought about the ageing folders gathering dust in the organisation’s national office near the Co Wicklow border, which is sheltered by woods and is set amid surrounding campsite fields.

The potential revelations within those safeguarding files about how past cases were handled, which range from minor incidents to more serious allegations of abuse, remain undisturbed.

But an initial look at a small number of serious sexual abuse allegations among the historic files showed they “haven’t been handled well”, according to one senior source.

A full audit of all historic cases of alleged abuse, which five months ago safeguarding expert Ian Elliott recommended should take place, has not started. In January he told Scouting Ireland’s board again the historic review should be a “priority”, given that “past practice has been shown to be suspect regarding alleged abuse” cases.

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Historian Speaks on Abuse, Memory, and Religion

BRIGHTON (MA)
Boston College Torch

May 3, 2018

By Jeffery Lindholm

The girl with the pseudonym “Mary Ross” called her experience “my little Hell.” God had abandoned her. Her desire for God endured, and what she desired was His presence. She prayed, “If you [God] really want me, you have to do something to or for me.” The next thing she remembers was waking up with scrapes all over her body. This was her sign—violence as her indication of God’s presence.

Professor Robert Orsi, a scholar in American History and Religious Studies at Northwestern University, spoke of Mary Ross and others in a lecture entitled “Violence, Memory, and Religion.” The talk centered around the clerical sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, which came to light in the Archdiocese of Boston in the early 2000s. Orsi called clerical abuse “the worst crisis in Catholicism since the Reformation.”

A historical basis is important for understanding the stories of abuse survivors. Orsi began with the early 1900s, when child abuse became a national issue. The topic of trauma was introduced into the public discourse in the 1960s and 70s. With sexual experimentation in the 1970s, the modernization of the Church after Vatican II, and overt homosexuality in the priesthood, Orsi argued that the groundwork was laid for clerical abuse.

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Deadline nears for compensation in priest abuse cases

SARANAC LAKE (NY)
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

May 26, 2018

By Glynis Hart

A compensation fund for victims of sexual abuse by former priests of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg is approaching the deadline to file a claim: May 31.

Victims of abuse who have already made their complaints known to the diocese may seek confidential settlements, the diocese announced on March 1. The Independent Compensation and Reconciliation Program was voluntarily established by the diocese and will be administered by two independent, private individuals who will determine the amount of compensation for each victim.

The priests

In 2002, to comply with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that American bishops had passed, the diocese reported that since 1950, 56 people, 37 of whom were minors at the time, have made sexual-abuse allegations against 35 of its clergymen. The diocese found allegations against 23 priests credible but has not disclosed all their identities.

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Cleric in Chile who recorded sex abuse charges reports himself

DENVER (CO)
Crux

May 26, 2018

By Inés San Martín

An ongoing crisis in Chile’s Catholic Church continues to develop, with new allegations, accusations and compromising media reports arising almost daily. Last week, most of the country’s bishops handed their resignations to Pope Francis, who had summoned them to Rome and presented them with a document accusing the Chilean hierarchy of destroying evidence and of a systematic cover up of sexual abuse.

The man registering allegations reports himself

A Chilean priest who was tasked with receiving allegations of clerical sexual abuse against minors was removed from his position in early January, after he reported himself for having abused someone.

Father Óscar Muñoz Toledo, former chancellor of the archdiocese of Santiago, was removed from that position on Jan. 2, days before Francis’s visit to the country.

The information was first reported by Chile’s El Mercurio, and the Chilean newspaper La Tercera received confirmation from the archdiocese through a statement that says that on that date, the priest “reported himself for abuse. After this, cautionary measures were implemented, he was relieved from his position of chancellor in the curia and parish priest.”

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A Case Review Concerning Jeremy Dowling, His Selection and Employment within the Diocese of Truro

TRURO (ENGLAND)
Diocese of Truro
Church of England

May 25, 2018

The Diocese of Truro today (May 25, 2018) published the findings of a review that looked at the selection and employment of Jeremy Dowling within the diocese.

In June 2015, Jeremy Dowling pleaded guilty at Truro Crown Court to a number of charges of indecent assaults on boys between 1959 and 1971 while working as a teacher in a Cornish school.

In September 2016 he was further found guilty of indecent assault on one boy over the period of 1973-1977.

In addition, the Crown Prosecution Service left on file matters concerning the possession of indecent images of children on a computer.

Jeremy Dowling was closely involved with the church during these periods, and latterly employed by the diocese.

This case review was commissioned by the Safeguarding Committee of the Diocese of Truro and was researched and written by academic and magistrate, Dr Andy Thompson.

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Four bishops failed to act over abuse by synod member, review finds

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

May 25, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

Jeremy Dowling was jailed in 2015 over abuse carried out in the 1960s and 70s

Four former Church of England bishops failed to act over sexual abuse carried out by a former member of the church’s ruling body, the General Synod, in a catalogue of missed opportunities, a review has found.

Among the four was Michael Ball, the bishop of Truro between 1990 and 1997 and the identical twin brother of Peter Ball, the former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, who was jailed in October 2015 for abusing vulnerable young men over a 15-year period.

The review examined the church’s response to disclosures of abuse against Jeremy Dowling, who was jailed in 2015 for indecently assaulting boys while a teacher at a school in Cornwall in the 1960s and 70s.

Dowling, who was also a lay preacher at St Michael’s, Bude, was elected to the General Synod in 1977, and was employed by the diocese of Truro as a communications officer from 2003 to 2009.

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Idaho diving coach suspended amid sexual misconduct probe, then wins award

McLEAN (VA)
USA Today

May 25, 2018

bY Brent Schrotenboer

The diving coach at the University of Idaho was suspended for a sexual misconduct allegation less than a week before being named co-diving coach of the year in the Western Athletic Conference, according to records reviewed by USA TODAY Sports.

Jim Southerland, who joined the Idaho staff in 2015, was issued an interim suspension in February by the U.S. Center for SafeSport and USA Diving, the sport’s national governing body. Six days later, the WAC honored his accomplishments, unaware of the case against him as misconduct allegations continue to rock Olympic sports and now have added to similar issues at Idaho, where the athletic director last month was placed on leave.

In this case, the allegation involves an improper sexual relationship between Southerland and a female diver who had been under his tutelage near Seattle prior to 2010. It since has led to him being placed on leave at Idaho in April, enraging a fellow diving coach who said Southerland has fallen victim to “political witch-hunting” after major sex abuse scandals in gymnastics and other sports.

More: U.S. Olympic leaders need to walk the talk after showing zero sense of urgency

“There comes a point where the law swings too far one way,” said Bob Ketrick, a longtime colleague of Southerland who recently bought Southerland’s diving club business. “Before, there were no protections for kids. A lot of stuff was unreported. OK, so we made the system better, but (also created) … opportunity for people with vendettas to take advantage of a new system.”

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Cardinals in the spotlight as Chile’s crisis continues to reverberate

COLORADO (CO)
Crux

May 23, 2018

By Inés San Martín

[Note: This article quotes from a Letter to the Editor by Cardinal Errázuriz.]

Chile’s ongoing Catholic crisis remains fluid, with Pope Francis summoning another group of victims of clerical abuse to Rome, a cardinal accused of covering up those abuses continuing to claim he’s innocent, and yet another Prince of the Church who risks losing Chilean citizenship.

Here’s a rundown of the latest developments, after the Chilean bishops offered Francis their resignations en masse. During a summit meeting in Rome last week, the pontiff didn’t name names, but he did say there’s evidence that at least some covered up cases of clerical sexual abuse, mishandled accusations, failed to protect children, and destroyed damaging evidence.

* * *

A cardinal tries to defend himself [again]

Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, emeritus Archbishop of Santiago and a member of Pope Francis’s “C9” council of cardinal advisers, published a letter in one of Chile’s newspapers, La Segunda, on Tuesday. In it, he responded to a story from last week, the headline of which was “What to do with Errázuriz, [Cardinal Ricardo] Ezzati and [Archbishop Ivo] Scapolo.”

The three clerics have been accused by victims of Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest of not providing Francis with accurate information.

Furthermore, both Errázuriz and Ezzati, currently the archbishop of Santiago, have been accused of covering up for Karadima, and his victims want to see both cardinals stand trial for it.

According to Errázuriz, the story from Friday the 18th spreads “falsehoods and defamations,” which led him to write a letter to the editor of the paper, in “respect of the truth and the readers.”

Regarding the accusations that he misinformed the pope on the case of Bishop Juan Barros, whom Francis transferred to the southern diocese of Osorno in 2015, the cardinal said that it hadn’t been him. Accusations arose in April, when the pope sent a letter to Chile’s bishops saying that he’d made grave errors of judgement, in part because he didn’t have accurate information.

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Ex-Vatican doctrine czar calls homophobia a ‘hoax’, ‘psycho-terrorism’

DENVER (CO)
Crux

May 22, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

NOTE: Use caution in visiting the link to Costanza Miriano’s blog, which is cited in this article as a source. McAfee Antivirus flags the blog as a potential problem.

In the wake of the May 17 World Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the Vatican’s former top doctrinal official, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, has declared that homophobia “simply doesn’t exist” and is “an invention, an instrument of totalitarian dominion over the minds of others.”

“The homosexual movement doesn’t have scientific arguments, so it’s constructed an ideology that wants to dominate, seeking to construct its own reality. It’s the Marxist scheme, according to which it’s not reality that builds thought, it’s thought that builds reality,” Müller said.

* * *

In the interview, Miriano asked Müller for his reaction to bishops who promote prayer vigils or other events around the World Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

“Some bishops today don’t have the courage to speak the truth, and allow themselves to be intimidated,” he said. “They don’t understand that homophobia is a hoax that serves to threaten people.”

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The Philly man who survived sexual abuse by a priest, and the pope who asked for his forgiveness

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

May 25, 2018

By Kristin E. Holmes

Juan Carlos Cruz risked upending his life as a Philadelphia executive to speak out about the trauma he had spent decades trying to forget. He went so far as to write an eight-page letter to Pope Francis in 2015 recounting the alleged sexual crimes against him as a teenager and the cover-up that ensued — only to have the pontiff disbelieve him.

The abuse that he claimed he endured while growing up in Chile at the hands of a then-respected cleric, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, was dismissed as “slander” by the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. What hope was there for change in the church, a disheartened Cruz wondered, if the most powerful figure in Christendom refused to listen?

Earlier this year, however, the Vatican dispatched investigators to look into not only Cruz’ accusations but other reports of sexual misconduct roiling the Chilean church. They found even the worst to be true.

So on April 29, in the private papal living room at Casa Santa Marta in Vatican City, Cruz sat face-to-face with Francis, as the pontiff pleaded for forgiveness.

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Former Stockton priest accused of sexual misconduct with a minor

STOCKTON (CA)
Stockton Record

May 25, 2018

An accusation of sexual misconduct with a minor in 1973, involving the Rev. Louie Ladenburger at Stockton’s St. Mary of the Assumption Church, has been reported to the Diocese of Stockton.

Ladenburger, a member of the Franciscan Friars of California, was at St. Mary’s from 1972 to 1974.

In accordance with diocesan policy, the matter was reported to the Stockton Police Department and the diocese is cooperating with law enforcement. The policy regarding allegations of sexual abuse of minors may be found on the diocesan website, stocktondiocese.org, under Protecting Our Children.

Anyone with information regarding this matter or any sexual abuse of a minor by a church leader should notify Connie Jacob, the diocesan victim assistance coordinator, at (209) 466-0636.

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‘Ellis defence’ scrapped as Victorian law change opens church up to abuse legal action

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

May 25, 2018

By Danny Tran and Matt Neal

It was only years later, long after he had been admitted to practise as a lawyer, that John Ellis decided to exercise his legal right to sue the Catholic Church.

As a altar boy, he’d been abused by a paedophile priest. Now an adult, he sought damages.

But Mr Ellis ultimately failed because the church successfully argued it did not legally exist as its assets were held in a trust, and that was protected from legal action.

And in a galling circumstance of fate, Mr Ellis’s name was unwittingly shackled to the method the church had used to avoid the legal action. Since then it’s been known as “the Ellis defence”.

But last night, more than 16 years after the fact, the Victorian Government passed a law closing the legal loophole.

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Bishops ‘ignored’ Jeremy Dowling child sex abuse

CORNWALL (ENGLAND)
BBC News

May 25, 2018

The Church of England ignored child sex abuse carried out by a former member of the general synod, a review has found.

Jeremy Dowling, a lay preacher, teacher and church employee, abused young boys in the 1970s and was jailed in 2015.

A review by the Diocese of Truro said several bishops were told about the abuse and did not take action.

It found there was a “probable misunderstanding” by church leaders over a decision not to prosecute him.

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Archbishop Philip Wilson will not resign after child sexual abuse cover-up conviction

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

May 25, 2018

By Melissa Davey

Adelaide archdiocese says standing aside ‘doesn’t necessarily mean it’s forever’

The disgraced archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, officially stood aside from his duties on Friday but has not resigned.

On Tuesday Wilson, 67, was found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse, becoming the most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted of the crime.

He was found to have covered up the child abuse perpetrated by paedophile priest Jim Fletcher, whose crimes date back to the 1970s while he was working in the Maitland/Newcastle diocese in NSW.

“Standing aside doesn’t necessarily mean it’s forever,” the archdiocese spokeswoman, Jenny Brinkworth, said. “He’s standing aside until process has run its course.”

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Church abuse victims resigned to being left out of inquiry

NEW ZEALAND
Stock News Caller

May 25, 2018

Church abuse survivors have resigned themselves to being excluded from the upcoming Royal Commission of Inquiry.

The public consultation period about how the inquiry should run wrapped up a week ago and its chair Sir Anand Satyanand has begun going through the 300 submissions.

“At this stage I have not formed any final views or recommendations,” he said in a statement last night.

However, Liz Tonks of the Network of Survivors of Faith-based Institutional Abuse said she got a very different impression from meeting with Sir Anand.

“I asked him who he had received submissions from when he suggested there wasn‘t anyone else except us asking for all survivors to be included,” she said.

“I asked him had they been proactive in the inquiry and approached other churches, had they considered approaching sportsclubs. His response to that was that he didn‘t see it as his job, that the inquiry was public and people knew they could make submissions.”

The commission launched a major public awareness campaign at the start of April, two months into the three-month public consultation period on the inquiry‘s terms of reference which closed last week.

Ms Tonks said her group had trouble getting to see Sir Anand, but he said he had met a wide range of people and groups and canvassed many issues.

“The issues have involved things like clarity of expression, appropriate placement of the Treaty of Waitangi, coverage of Pacific people as well as Māori, and as well the matter of a parallel inquiry financed by the Churches,” he said.

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‘Evil’ sex abuse monk ‘should spend longer in jail’

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

May 25, 2018

A further complaint has been received in connection with a 90-year-old former monk who sexually abused three boys, the Court of Appeal heard today.

Judges were also told Vincent Lewis made financial contributions towards compensation paid to victims.

The prosecution wants his sentence increased, arguing his nine-and-a-half-year term was unduly lenient.

Lewis was formerly Brother Ambrose of Our Lady of Bethlehem Monastery in Portglenone, Co Antrim.

He pleaded guilty to more than 50 offences committed over a 10-year period up to 1983.

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MP to raise church child abuse concerns on behalf of Hartlepool campaigner

ENGLAND
The Northern Echo

May 24, 2018

By Julia Breen

A CAMPAIGNER who wants to overturn a two-witness rule over child abuse within a major religious organisation has enlisted the support of his MP.

Steve Rose, from Hartlepool, a former Jehovah’s Witness, has been protesting against the rule, which stops senior figures in the church from acting against wrongdoing unless there are two witnesses.

Now he has contacted Hartlepool MP Mike Hill, who is raising the issue with Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk, who in turn is bringing the debate to Parliament, saying it was an ongoing child safety concern.

Mr Rose, who was once a member of Hartlepool’s Kingdom Hall, said the two-witness rule makes it nearly impossible for action to be taken against perpetrators within the church who are brought to the attention of elders. And he claims anyone who reports the abuse faces being shunned by the congregation.

The church says the two-witness rule does not stop victims reporting allegations to the police. A safeguarding inquiry by the Charity Commission is ongoing.

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As a Teen, Emily Joy Was Abused by a Church Youth Leader. Now She’s Leading a Movement to Change Evangelical America.

PEORIA (IL)
Mother Jones

May 25, 2018

By Becca Andrews

#ChurchToo has opened the floodgates.

The #MeToo stories that were flooding Emily Joy’s social feeds for weeks had been nagging at her. Last November, as her own story played on a loop in her mind, she finally texted a group of close friends: “Do I out my high school abuser? Probably, huh?”

Joy’s story is familiar in all the ways we’ve become intimately acquainted with over the last six-plus months. But while the accused was a man in a position of power over his victim, her story also had a key difference: Joy’s abuser was a trusted member of her evangelical church. After talking it over with her friends, the 27-year-old poet decided to post to Twitter her story about Ty Sïlzer, the then-thirtysomething man in her mega-church in Peoria, Illinois, who she says manipulated her into a romantic relationship when she was still a teenager.

“When you’re 16, sometimes you fancy yourself an adult,” Joy tells Mother Jones. “It took me a long time and therapy even to understand, ‘Oh, that’s because I didn’t have an understanding of consent—my church community didn’t have an understanding of consent.’”

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Rose McGowan powerfully celebrates Harvey Weinstein’s arrest: ‘We got you’

UNITED STATES
The Week

May 25, 2018

Women who have accused former movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse and harassment reacted strongly to his surrender to New York police on Friday. A few of the more than 50 women who have alleged misconduct took to social media to address his arrest.

Rose McGowan, who alleges that Weinstein raped her in 1997, appeared on Megyn Kelly Today and Good Morning America and described how his criminal charges made her feel. “We got you,” she said in a message to Weinstein. “I have to admit I didn’t think I would see the day that he would have handcuffs on him. I have a visceral need for him to have handcuffs on.”

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Church knew about allegations before Cornish preacher went on to abuse boys, investigation reveals

ENGLAND
Cornwall Live

May 25, 2018

By Martin Freeman

The diocese failed to investigate the accusations against Jeremy Dowling

A leading figure in the Church of England in Cornwall went on to commit child sex offences for several years after allegations about his behaviour with young boys were raised with the diocese and not acted upon, an official investigation has revealed.

The diocese failed to investigate the accusations against Jeremy Dowling, a lay preacher, allowing him to rise to influential positions including communications officer to the bishop, an independent review for the church concludes.

The report, released today, says there were “historic failings” within the diocese in dealing with the allegations, first raised in 1972. There was “ongoing knowledge” of the situation among senior figures in the diocese “well into the 1980s” with references to “a big fat file” on Dowling.

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3 Church Leaders Charged With Sexual Abuse Of Teens In Program

FORT WASHINGTON (MD)
Patch

May 25, 2018

By Cameron Luttrell

A Fort Washington pastor, minister and church member were charged for the sexual abuse of members of a church program for at-risk youth.

Police have charged three Prince George’s County church leaders for the alleged sexual abuse of four girls who were members of a church program for at-risk youth.

The suspects are a church pastor, his son and his son-in-law. Joshua William Wright, 67, of Brandywine is the Head Pastor of the Oxon Hill Assembly of Jesus Christ. Wright’s son is a minister at the church, identified as William Joshua Wright, 46, of White Plains. Wright’s son-in-law is a leading member at the church named Donald Jackson, 40, of White Plains.

Court records state William Wright is a U.S. Capitol Police officer.

Police said the suspects allegedly sexually assaulted the girls between 2001-2008, when the girls were between the ages of 15 and 18.

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Southern Baptist President Removed Over Language On Sexual Abuse Of Women

FORT WORTH (TX)
National Public Radio

May 23, 2018

By Tom Gjelten

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has removed its president over past advice he gave women regarding sexual abuse. He advised women to pray for their abuses and not report them to authorities.

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Maryland Police Charge 3 Church Leaders With Past Abuse Of At-Risk Teen Girls

MARYLAND
The Huffington Post

May 23, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

The victims, who are now adults, were enrolled in a church-run program designed to give troubled teens a safe place to live.

Police in Maryland have charged three church leaders with sexually abusing four teenage girls over a decade ago who were enrolled in a faith-based program meant to help at-risk youth.

Prince George’s County detectives have identified the suspects on Wednesday as Oxon Hill Assembly of Jesus Christ head pastor Joshua Wright, his son and church minister William Wright, and the elder Wright’s son-in-law and church member Donald Jackson. All three men have been charged with child abuse and various other sex offenses.

The men allegedly abused the teens between 2001 and 2008, when the victims were between 15 and 18 years old. The women took their stories of abuse to police as adults.

The victims were placed under the suspects’ care as part of a church-run program called Children Having Overcoming Power (CHOP) that dissolved in 2011. It was designed to provide troubled teens with safe living accommodations in church members’ houses.

The police report alleges that the suspects abused the victims in different locations, including the suspects’ homes, various parks and the church itself.

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Women’s group calls for Flynn to withdraw from governor’s race

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WisPolitics.com via Waunakee Tribune

May 25, 2018

Milwaukee attorney Matt Flynn will remain among the field of candidates for Wisconsin’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, despite calls for him to drop out because of his role defending the Milwaukee Archdiocese in sexual abuse lawsuits.

Women’s March Wisconsin recently called on Flynn to withdraw from the race, but Flynn’s campaign manager, Bryan Kennedy, said the criticism amounts to an attempt “to take someone who is a likely frontrunner out of this race, and to attack him for priest sex abuse when he’s the one who actually cleaned up the problem.”

Flynn is one of nine top Democratic candidates looking to take on GOP Gov. Scott Walker in the Nov. 6 general election. The Democratic primary is Aug. 14.

When Flynn, a retired partner with the Quarles & Brady law firm in Milwaukee, first launched his campaign last fall, he fielded hits from the state GOP regarding his work on behalf of the archdiocese. The party labeled Flynn as a “dirty defense attorney” guilty of “putting Wisconsin families at risk.”

The issue was again brought up again after The Wisconsin Gazette published an article quoting abuse victims who said they were “appalled” by Flynn’s bid.

Then, in a statement on May 6, Women’s March Wisconsin said Flynn should bow out of the race. The call came after Sarah Pearson, the group’s co-chair, approached Flynn following a Democratic debate in Madison. In an encounter filmed live on the group’s facebook page, she asked Flynn about his “involvement in the cover-up and transfer of pedophile priests.”

Pearson pointed to a series of church documents released in 2014 that the group said revealed he “directed and knew of secret transfers of dozens of child-molesting clergy, many of which went on to abuse more children.”

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Four bishops failed to act over abuse by synod member, review finds

ENGLAND
The Guardian

May 25, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

Jeremy Dowling was jailed in 2015 over abuse carried out in the 1960s and 70s

Four former Church of England bishops failed to act over sexual abuse carried out by a former member of the church’s ruling body, the General Synod, in a catalogue of missed opportunities, a review has found.

Among the four was Michael Ball, the bishop of Truro between 1990 and 1997 and the identical twin brother of Peter Ball, the former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, who was jailed in October 2015 for abusing vulnerable young men over a 15-year period.

The review examined the church’s response to disclosures of abuse against Jeremy Dowling, who was jailed in 2015 for indecently assaulting boys while a teacher at a school in Cornwall in the 1960s and 70s.

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Fight to save churches

AUSTRALIA
The Advocate

May 25, 2018

The quaint country church Patricia Stewart attends is one of her small community’s lasting landmarks.

But now a cloud hangs over its future.

St George’s Anglican Church sits within Moriarty’s fertile farming landscape.

The pretty weatherboard place of worship is one of the properties earmarked for sale by the Anglican diocese to help pay redress to victims of child sexual abuse.

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Reading the red flags of domestic violence

AUSTRALIA
Eternity News

May 25, 2018

By Kylie Beach

It’s time for churches to act

“Men need to speak to other men about what a respectful marriage looks like,” a survivor of seven years of verbal, emotional, spiritual, sexual and physical abuse told about 300 people who gathered on Wednesday night to talk about how church communities can take action on domestic violence.

Attendees at Time to Act held at North Sydney’s Independent Theatre heard journalist Julia Baird and an expert panel discuss the action churches need to take in the wake of a sold-out forum last year, called Time to Listen.

Between the two “Time to” events, much has occurred, notably the #MeToo movement, described by Julia as a “global reckoning” that had begun in the entertainment industry and reached even the church.

Asked what she believes are the most important things for Time to Act attendees to know, the DV survivor stressed the need for men to talk to other men about respecting their wives because she suspected that, even if her husband had heard a sermon denouncing domestic violence, he “wouldn’t have thought it was referring to him.”

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Domestic violence in the church: When women are believed, change will happen

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

May 23, 2018

By Julia Baird

The white Styrofoam heads stand on shelves in neat, solemn rows in a little-used backroom of the ABC. Their faces are devoid of colour; blank, anonymous, unknown.

These mannequin skulls hold the national broadcaster’s collection of wigs; long blonde bobs, smooth brunette locks, ginger beehives, afros, mullets, perms, and shaggy manes.

Over the decades, these wigs have been fixed to the heads of Australian actors and comedians for skits and dramas and children’s shows.

Sometimes TV producers also borrow them for stories where interviewees need to keep their identities hidden, for legal, safety or other reasons.

Which is what we did when reporting on women in church communities who experienced decades of domestic violence, and wanted to speak to us but needed their identities protected. They didn’t want violent ex-husbands to hunt them down and seek revenge, or to expose their children to shame or suffering.

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