ABUSE TRACKER

A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse. For recent coverage listed in this blog, read the full article in the newspaper or other media source by clicking “Read original article.” For earlier coverage, click the title to read the original article.

August 4, 2018

U.S. sisters demand action on sexual abuse crisis

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

August 1, 2018

By Michael J. O’Loughlin

A group representing 80 percent of Catholic sisters in the United States is adding its support to other sisters around the world who are calling for an end to sexual abuse and harassment of women religious, an issue brought to light most recently by a story written by The Associated Press.

“We join with all those demanding the end of a culture that ignores or tolerates sexual abuse of Catholic sisters or any other adult or minor perpetrated by those in positions of trust in the church community,” the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said in a statement. “Church authorities must take action to end a culture of silence, hold abusers accountable and provide support to those abused. We thank all those Catholic sisters throughout the world who, at great risk, have spoken publicly about their abuse.”

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

Letter to the editor: No forgiving an unrepentant church

PORTLAND (ME)
Portland Herald

August 3, 2018

By Cyndi MacKenzie (formally Yerrick)

The Vatican seems to choose power over children.

This year marks 25 years since my repressed memories of sexual abuse by Fr. Robert E. Kelley surfaced. With the ongoing news of sexual abusive in many professions at all levels, it seems the awareness of these crimes is front and center. I am never shocked by the news because I know it is possible, and it is not about sex.

The years I spent in therapy, court, sitting across from Mr. Kelley and church lawyers in depositions served their purpose. My perpetrator was held accountable, my discovery led to his re-arrest and ultimate jail time for other brave women he had raped and, above all, I had my voice back, which had been taken from me at age 5.

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

Erie Diocese bishop emeritus will no longer challenge release of grand jury report into allegations of sexual abuse by clergy

ERIE (PA)
The Sharon Herald

August 4, 2018

By Melissa Klaric

Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman has withdrawn his petition to the state Supreme Court redacting his name from the grand jury report chronicling alleged sexual misconduct within six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses.

Trautman said in a statement released Friday evening that he made the decision to retract his petition for the sake of the victims.

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

Former Erie Diocese Bishop Trautman Withdraws Appeal to Block Grand Jury Report on Clergy Sex Abuse

ERIE (PA)
WENY-TV

August 3, 2018

[VIDEO]

Former Erie Catholic Diocese Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman has withdrawn his appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to block the grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse, according to a statement Friday.

Trautman initially filed the appeal because the grand jury report did not give a fair, accurate portrayal of his conduct and actions as bishop of the diocese for 22 years, the statement said.

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

Statement of Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman

ERIE (PA)

August 3, 2018

[See also the court document appended to the statement: Joint Stipulation to Dismiss Appeal]

As he has done his entire career, Bishop Trautman sends his prayerful support to all victims of clergy sexual abuse. Bishop Trautman shares the Grand Jury’s and Attorney General’s disgust with clergy sexual abuse and extends a sincere apology to all who have been harmed by clergy abuse. Bishop Trautman has always endeavored to put the needs and concerns of victims of abuse first and his complete record while in office proves this. Today he did that again, even though doing so required him to sacrifice his own personal rights.

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

Erie’s retired Bishop Trautman drops objections to report

ERIE (PA)
GoErie.com

August 4, 2018

By Ed Palattella

He explains why he filed for a stay of grand jury report under initials D.T., and why he withdrew the challenge. Attorney General Shapiro praises decision; his office agreed to clarify parts of the report that pertain to Trautman.

Bishop Donald W. Trautman, the retired leader of the Catholic Diocese of Erie, said a push for accuracy led him to pursue challenges to the grand jury report on clergy sex abuse in the Erie diocese and five other Catholic dioceses statewide.

After the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office agreed to address some of those concerns, Trautman said, he decided to withdraw his objections to the report.

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

Bishop Trautman withdraws challenge to grand-jury report

ERIE (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

August 3, 2018

By Peter Smith

Erie Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman has ended an effort to block references to him in a forthcoming grand jury report on sexual abuse in six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

The agreement came after the office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro agreed to stipulate that several of the blistering criticisms in the report — into how the Catholic hierarchy handled predator priests in general — didn’t apply to Bishop Trautman specifically.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday granted the bishop’s request to withdraw his petition.

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

Report: Catholic Church leaders pressured victims, cops over clergy abuse scandal

PENNSYLVANIA
Associated Press via York Daily Record

August 3, 2018

By Mark Scolforo

A court filing made public on Friday included excerpts from the grand jury’s findings on the role of church leaders in the clergy abuse scandal.

A grand jury investigating clergy sex abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses found that church leaders were more interested in preventing scandal than protecting children, in some cases discouraging victims from going to police or pressuring law enforcement officials to end or avoid investigations, according to a court filing.

The grand jury’s full, nearly 900-page, report is expected to be released in the next two weeks.

But a court filing made public Friday, resolving one of many legal disputes over the report, included excerpts from the grand jury’s findings on the role of church leaders in the clergy abuse scandal.

According to the document, the grand jury concluded that victims were “brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all.”

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

Advocates commend, criticize release of sexual abuse allegations in Harrisburg Diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
Sunbury Daily Item

August 2, 2018

By Rick Dandes

Individuals and child advocacy groups on Wednesday reacted sharply to the release of a list of priests and other church officials alleged to have sexually abused minors in the Harrisburg Diocese for decades.

The list of 71, including 37 priests, was made public by diocese Bishop Ronald Gainer on Wednesday ahead of next week’s deadline to redact names from a grand jury report into sex abuse in six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg.

“The Church could have and should have done this five, 10, 15 years ago,” said Tim Lennon, president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a support group of survivors of sexual abuse. Lennon said the release of that many names left him “speechless.

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

August 3, 2018

Declaración, Decisiones y Compromisos de los Obispos de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile Conclusiones de la 116ª Asamblea Plenaria Extraordinaria de la CECh.

[Declaration, Decisions and Commitments of the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Chile]

PUNTA DE TRALCA (CHILE)
Los Obispos de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile
[The Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Chile}

August 3, 2018

“Señor, ¿a quién iremos? Tú tienes palabras de Vida eterna” (Jn 6,68)

Nos hemos reunido los obispos de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile y administradores apostólicos en una asamblea plenaria extraordinaria, para abordar la situación que vive la Iglesia Católica en el país, particularmente a raíz de los graves casos de abuso cometidos por personal consagrado.

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

Grand jury report for Pennsylvania abuse cases ordered released by Aug. 14

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National Catholic Reporter

August 3, 2018

By Mark Dent

Details about sexual abuse by 300-plus priests are expected

After a court challenge from clergy members that has lasted more than a month, the long-awaited grand jury report on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church throughout Pennsylvania is finally slated to be released.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a 31-page ruling, stated the report must be made public by Aug. 14 and could become available as early as Aug. 7. It is supposed to detail sexual abuse and cover-ups perpetrated by more than 300 priests.

The report was disseminated three months ago to the six dioceses under investigation —Allentown, Altoona-Johnstown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton — and was expected to be released to the public in late June. But more than a dozen people, mostly clergy members, according to the Supreme Court, had challenged its release. They argued the report would harm their reputations and that they had not been given an adequate opportunity to respond to accusations. Most of the challengers were not permitted to provide testimony to the grand jury.

The challenge from clergy came after officials from the Pennsylvania dioceses said they would not oppose the report’s public release. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro wrote Pope Francis a letter in late June, indicating two Pennsylvania church leaders, whom he did not name, had orchestrated the challenge.

“Please call on them to ‘follow the path of truth’ you laid out,” Shapiro wrote to Francis, “and permit the healing process to begin.”

Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico, who in April released a list of former Erie clergy implicated in sexual assault allegations, has maintained he did not challenge the report.

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

Wuerl presses bishops to greater accountability on abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Crux

August 3, 2018

By Elise Harris

With much of the US church still reeling from the abuse scandals involving ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, has said that while he believes the church has made progress, bishops must strive for “greater accountability at the level of the episcopacy” in both addressing and reporting abuse allegations.

“Everyone recognizes that words, good intentions, and new policies, while important, are not enough,” Wuerl said in a pastoral letter, published Aug. 3. “We must not only denounce abuse and take steps to stop abusers. We must remove even the appearance of cover-ups as we investigate and address allegations.”

A practical way to do this, Wuerl said, is to cooperate with the pope and his representatives to ensure that bishops are held accountable. Quoting a recent statement from the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel Di Nardo, Wuerl said spiritual conversion is needed in order to “restore the right relationship among us and with our Lord.”

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

Chile’s national prosecutor requesting Vatican sex abuse files

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

August 1, 2018

By Aislinn Laing

Chile’s national prosecuting authority said on Wednesday that it had asked the government to submit a formal request to the Vatican for information about nine clergymen and lay workers who have been accused of sexual abuse of children.

The prosecuting authority said in a statement that national prosecutor Jorge Abbott had asked the foreign minister to enact three International Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters requests in relation to cases from the capital Santiago, the city of Valparaiso and the southern region of Araucania.

It said it could submit additional requests in the future.

“The document was sent confidentially through the Unit of International Cooperation and Extraditions of the National Prosecutor’s Office to Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that it can send the referral to the Vatican through diplomatic channels,” the prosecutor’s office said.

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

Pope will meet abuse survivors as part of his visit to Ireland

IRELAND
The Irish Times

August 2, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

Abuse survivors to gather at Garden of Remembrance during Pope’s visit

The Pope will meet abuse survivors as part of his visit to Ireland later this month, it is understood, though details of when and whom he will meet will not be released in advance to protect the anonymity of survivors.

Sources indicated the meeting would take place a day after the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin said “time is very tight” for Pope Francis to meet survivors of church abuse during his visit.

Dr Martin had said he was pushing the Vatican to have the pope meet a cross-section of survivors of industrial schools, Magdalene laundries, mother and baby homes and those who suffered from clerical sex abuse. However, he said Pope Francis will spend only 36 hours in Ireland.

Separately, people abused or hurt by the Catholic Church and those who wish to support them have been invited to take part in a solidarity event at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance during the visit of Pope Francis.

In a tweet abuse survivor Colm O’Gorman invited people to attend the event as the papal Mass in the Phoenix Park begins at 3pm on Sunday August 26th.

Mr O’Gorman was founder of the One in Four group, which assists abuse survivors.

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

Modesto’s CrossPoint Church named in sexual abuse lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
The Modesto Bee

August 2, 2018

By Garth Stapley

Modesto’s CrossPoint Community Church is formally sued by a woman who was sexually abused by a youth pastor when she was a teen 30 years ago.

Jennifer Roach, now 47, alleged sexual battery, negligence, failure to supervise the youth pastor, and infliction of emotional distress when she initially sued nine weeks ago. But CrossPoint, formerly First Baptist, was not specifically named because of a legal technicality requiring that a judge sign off on the analysis of a mental health expert.

The analysis remains sealed from public view, but Judge Harold Kahn of San Francisco Superior Court signed the “finding of reasonable and meritorious cause for filing of action” on July 26, granting Roach “leave to designate (defendants) by their true names.”

Roach’s Sacramento attorney, Joseph George, refiled Wednesday using CrossPoint’s current and former names, and including as a defendant former youth pastor Brad Tebbutt. Roach seeks unspecified damages.

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

Church music minister accused of sexually abusing teen arrested

BATON ROUGE (LA)
WBRZ

August 3, 2018

A music minister has been accused of abusing a young girl at an area church.

According to the arrest report, Santo Alvarado is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting the victim between February 1, 2015, and February 25, 2018. Authorities say, Alvarado touched the girl’s chest and private area over her clothing.

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

Opinion: The Catholic Church has obliterated its ability to inspire trust

UNITED STATES
The Washington Post

July 31, 2018

By Elizabeth Bruenig

We live in an era of diminished trust and heightened cynicism. It is hard, now, to imagine someone expressing unqualified faith in government, the media, business — or even, for that matter, religious institutions. And the implication of this development is not simply the erosion of trust. It is the increasing difficulty of learning about the world around us, as we lose belief in those who might teach us.

Learning requires risk-taking. It forces us to face what we don’t know with the hope of advancing toward some grasp of it. The smaller the undertaking, the lower the emotional gamble — learning tomorrow’s weather forecast doesn’t entail an interior journey. But learning about the true and important things in life does require trust and dedication and vulnerability — usually under a teacher’s guidance. It is no surprise so many of us come to love the ones who teach us.

Neither is it a surprise, any longer, that some people charged with these roles of profound responsibility abuse them in the cruelest ways. The latest revelation concerns the former archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, who resigned Saturday from the College of Cardinals. Over several decades, McCarrick is alleged to have sexually abused at least one child and several adult seminarians or young priests, all of whom looked to the charismatic prelate for guidance — moral, vocational, spiritual. Into his den, he drew them.

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

Bishops to reveal abuse inquiry response

AUSTRALIA
Australian Associated Press

August 3, 2018

By Megan Neil

Australia’s Catholic bishops will release their response to the child abuse royal commission’s recommendations by the end of August.

Australia’s Catholic bishops will reveal their response to the child abuse royal commission later this month after reaching a “common position” on the inquiry’s calls for reforms.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on Friday committed to releasing its formal response to the five-year inquiry by the end of August.

While it will be up to the Pope and his advisers to accept many of the royal commission’s far-reaching recommendations, the Australian bishops have already rejected its controversial call to break the seal of confession to reveal child sexual abuse.

The bishops held a special meeting in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday to discuss issues raised by the royal commission.

“After two productive days of meetings, the bishops have reached a common position on the royal commission’s recommendations relating to the Catholic Church and its various ministries,” ACBC president Archbishop Mark Coleridge said in a statement.

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

Any decision by Pope Francis not to address Church abuse would be “shocking” – Marie Collins

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

August 2, 2018

Abuse survivor and campaigner Marie Collins has suggested that any decision by the Pope not to address those impacted by Church abuse would be “shocking … and completely untenable.”

The former member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Vatican was speaking to Miriam O’Callaghan on RTE radio this morning.

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

Msgr Kalin & #MeToo Conservatives

UNITED STATES
The American Conservative

August 1, 2018

By Rod Dreher

[Note: Below is an extraordinary opinion essay sent to me by its author, Peter Mitchell, a conservative Catholic and former priest. Mitchell was ordained in 1999 and laicized in 2017. He says that he “is grateful to be a baptized and practicing Catholic.” — RD]

We Catholics ought to thank God that the abuse committed by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick against young men under his authority is finally coming to light. As a former priest, however, I fear that the bishops may be tempted to allow McCarrick to become a scapegoat for abusive patterns – sexual and otherwise – running deep within the hierarchical power structure of the institutional Church. My own experiences and those of others in seminary and priesthood lead me to conclude that there have been and continue to be numerous other such instances – and not only on the “liberal” side of the Church but, astonishingly for some, on the “conservative” side as well.

In other words, McCarrick’s unspeakable behavior and the conspiracy of silence that protects and enables it is sadly not some bizarre anomaly or rare exception but actually much closer to the norm than the Catholic faithful may at first be inclined to believe.

The revelations about McCarrick, as well as reports coming from Honduras of an entrenched homosexual network throughout the seminary system there raise some significant further questions. Given that we know that many other people in positions of ecclesiastical power have been aware of McCarrick’s behavior and yet said and did nothing about it, the question must be asked: How many other bishops, vocation directors and seminary formators have engaged or are engaging in similar behavior with young adult men considering vocations to the priesthood, and how many other bishops and priests have agreed to remain silent about it “for the good of the Church”? My own experience as a seminarian and priest indicates that there may be many.

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

Popular Minneapolis Rabbi Charged In Underage Sex Sting

Minnesota (MN)
Forward

August 1, 2018

By Ari Feldman

A popular Minneapolis rabbi known for his student outreach work is facing charges stemming from a child sex sting conducted by Minnesota law enforcement in January and early February.

Rabbi Aryeh Cohen was arrested February 1, after exchanging messages with a federal agent posing as a 15-year-old for over a week, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday. The complaint alleges that Cohen discussed a sexual liaison with the agent on Grindr, a popular hookup site for men. He was arrested outside the North St. Paul apartment the agent had invited him to as part of the sting. He was charged with two felonies relating to electronic communication about sex with a minor.

Cohen is one of 17 men who have been charged through the sting in recent days.

“I sort of deserve it,” Cohen said unprompted while being taken to the local police department and before being informed of his Miranda rights, according to the complaint.

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

GROOMED BY A PREDATOR PRIEST

SAGINAW (MI)
Church Militant

July 31, 2018

Fr. James Bessert of Saginaw accused of preying on vulnerable teen

As part of the #CatholicMeToo campaign, Church Militant has asked adult victims of clerical sexual harassment to write in and share their stories. This is one of the stories.

********

In the early 1980s, when I was 18–19 years old, I lived in the diocece of Saginaw, Michigan and was discerning a vocation to the priesthood. The vocations director (who had a foul mouth, using words like Godd**n and F- bombs, etc. in normal conversation with me) put me in contact with a Fr. James Bessert, whom you have featured in one of your recent stories regarding the diocese of Saginaw and the troubles they have had and are having there.

Father Jim had recently graduated from the seminary, less than a year prior to my being introduced to him. He took me under his wing and showered me with attention, making me feel special. I had come from a troubled background, growing up in a toxic home environment, so the attention from this priest flattered me and I was thrilled to be counted among his friends. We would meet about once a month, eating out, where he would offer me alcohol. He had no problem getting me drunk during our visits.

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

Job added for judge overseeing priest abuse report redaction

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

August 2, 2018

The Supreme Court is adding another job for the special master it appointed to help black out names and other identifying information from a grand jury report into child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses.

The justices said Thursday Judge John Cleland will also determine what material should be redacted from a sealed brief filed by the attorney general’s office.

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

How much did the Vatican know about abusive Pa. priests? What the grand jury report could show

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 3, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

Patterns of cover-up and criminality by pedophile priests and their supervisors have been documented in scores of Catholic dioceses worldwide.

Now, ahead of a long-awaited grand jury report into clergy sex abuse across Pennsylvania, a major question remains: Is the 900-page report likely to contain new information about the scope of the problem pervading the church?

Most definitely yes, say some expert observers.

“The shock and surprise of what is revealed is never new, unfortunately,” said Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney who represented hundreds of victims in lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Boston. “Is Rome going to be connected to this in any way shape or form, other than defrock papers, which speak to Rome’s role?”

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

‘A year after the 1979 papal visit I was raped by a priest’ – why abuse survivors are gathering during Pope Francis’ visit this month

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Independent

August 2, 2018

By Rachel Farrell

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/a-year-after-the-1979-papal-visit-i-was-raped-by-a-priest-why-abuse-survivors-are-gathering-during-pope-francis-visit-this-month-37179560.html

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty Ireland, calls on survivors of clerical abuse to gather in solidarity during Pope Francis’ visit at the end of the month

“Over the weekend I was reading an article that asked readers where they were in 1979 when Pope John Paul visited Ireland. I do remember – I was 13. I went to a Christian Brother’s School. I went to Mass in Wexford every Sunday. I went to a Catholic youth group. Everything I did revolved around the church at that time.

“My brother and sister went to see the pope, but I didn’t get to go. At the time, I remember being disappointed that I wasn’t going. It was a huge, huge moment.

“A year later when I was 14, I was raped by a Catholic priest for the first time.”

These are the words of Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of human rights organisation Amnesty Ireland, and a survivor of clerical abuse.

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

Sex abuse claim sparks lawsuit against Catholic diocese in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX (NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA)
CBC

August 2, 2018

By Jack Julian

Legal action against Halifax-Yarmouth diocese could uncover other allegations, lawyer says

A man who says he was sexually abused by a priest as a boy in Halifax in the 1960s has filed notice that he is planning a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth.

His lawyer believes if certified by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, the class-action lawsuit could eventually involve many more sex abuse claimants.

“It seems likely to me that there are hundreds, perhaps many hundreds, of potential victims out there,” lawyer John McKiggan, of the Halifax law firm McKiggan Hebert, said Thursday.

The lead plaintiff in the case is Douglas Champagne, who in court documents claims he was abused by priest George G. Epoch while he was an altar boy at Canadian Martyr’s Church on Inglis Street.

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

These 11 clergy named in Harrisburg Diocese report had Lebanon County connections

LEBANON (PA)
Lebanon Daily New

August 2, 2018

By Daniel Walmer

The Diocese of Harrisburg released a long-anticipated list of clergy members accused of sexual crimes on Wednesday, and at least 11 have connections to Lebanon County.

One was principal of Lebanon Catholic High School for a decade. Five served at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Lebanon, one pastored Holy Spirit Church in Palmyra, and one served as a deacon at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Annville. At least two face accusations stemming from activity that occurred in Lebanon County.

More: What we know about priests, clergy listed by Harrisburg diocese and accused of abuse

Bishop Ronald W. Gainer wrote that he hopes the list will “salve some of these historic wounds with the healing touch of transparency.” However, one survivor’s attorney told the York Daily Record that it is too late for the church to get credit for transparency.

Gainer emphasized that the list is based on allegations, not proof of guilt.

Information about church officials with a connection to Lebanon County, listed below, was gathered from either information released by the diocese or a recent PennLive report, unless otherwise noted.

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

What Matt Flynn did to help cover up priest abuse: The Milwaukee Archdiocese’s own files document his involvement

MADISON (WI)
Isthmus

August 1, 2018

By Peter Isely

As survivors of childhood sexual abuse by clergy of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, we are responding to Dave Cieslewicz’s recent Citizen Dave post, “Flynn should stay in the race.” A number of us were sexually assaulted by priests within the Milwaukee Archdiocese during the time Matt Flynn was chief legal counsel to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, from 1989-2004.

We have suffered together. We have sought healing together. And we have fought for the truth together. Our community includes three generations of survivors. Our oldest survivor is 94; the youngest is 16. Both were raped or assaulted between the ages of 5 and 7. In both cases, the priests had multiple, documented notifications or warnings to the archdiocese about their conduct, extending from 1936 to 2014.

Cieslewicz’s column in support of Matt Flynn remaining in the governor’s race has forced on us again the burden of having to speak the truth about the terrible things that happened to us and how it was covered up by church officials with Flynn’s now well-documented help.

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

A huge clergy abuse probe is about to go public. Could Pa.’s attorney general be on the verge of slaying Goliath?

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Inquirer

August 2, 2018

By Maria Panaritis

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/maria-panaritis/pennsylvania-grand-jury-report-clergy-abuse-catholic-church-attorney-general-josh-shapiro-maria-panaritis-20180801.html

Photo caption: The Reverend John T. Sweeney, center, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Westmoreland County to sexually abusing a fourth grader. The state attorney general is days away from releasing an investigative report about 300 alleged Catholic clergy abusers just like him across Pennsylvania. And yet, only a few have ever faced criminal charges through the years in this state.

Josh Shapiro is delivering a few lessons this week on the power of the people vs. the power of people with deep pockets.

They’re more like jabs, and they are coming from Pennsylvania’s attorney general ahead of the release of a criminal investigative report, days away, that will disclose clergy abuse by more than 300 predator priests at six of Pennsylvania’s eight Catholic dioceses.

Shapiro’s office over the last year has taken a beating behind closed doors from church-affiliated lawyers who have sought to kill or neuter the report. Shapiro seems willing now, as the finish line approaches, to slap back at them.

It’s about time.

It began on Tuesday, when Shapiro held a news conference to announce a conviction against creep-in-a-collar John T. Sweeney. The priest from Westmoreland County pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy who, now in his 30s, serves in the U.S. Coast Guard.

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

In Pennsylvania, Shadow of Secrecy Lifting from Decades of Abuse by Priests

WASHINGTON (DC)
NPR

August 2, 2018

By Camila Domonoske

For decades, the Catholic Church has grappled with sexual abuse of children by priests — through quiet reassignments and headline-grabbing scandals, internal investigations and public criminal charges, simmering controversies and settlements with survivors.

Now, some parishes in Pennsylvania are reckoning with the problem through an unusual dose of transparency.

In 2016, Pennsylvania’s attorney general launched a grand jury investigation, into allegations of sexual abuse in six of the state’s eight dioceses.

The investigation was conducted under “the umbrella of secrecy,” court documents note. It came closely after a 2016 grand jury investigation that found evidence that two bishops in the Altoona-Johnstown diocese covered up sexual abuse by dozens of church leaders.

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‘Suddenly I don’t feel like I’m going to Hell’: Priest abuse victim reacts to diocese report

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

August 2, 2018

By Brandie Kessler

https://www.ydr.com/story/news/2018/08/02/harrisburg-catholic-diocese-clergy-priest-abuse-victim-learns-others-also-accused-priest-guy-marsico/885015002/

He thought perhaps he was the priest’s only victim. Now the York, Pa., man knows others also accused Father Guy Marsico.

For decades, Todd Frey wondered if he was the only child to suffer sexual abuse at the hands of his priest.

“Is there by chance another one? One of my classmates?” Frey asked himself and others over the years. “I’ve really battled with this in ways you can’t imagine.”

On Wednesday, when Frey learned that the Diocese of Harrisburg had released the names of 71 priests and other clergy, he finally got an answer.

On the list, was the name of the priest Frey says abused him in York in the early 1980s:

Guy Marsico.

Next to Marsico’s name, a brief description of the allegations against him:

Multiple.

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Catholic sex abuse scandal stretches to South Bend, drawing in Bishop Rhoades, Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND (IN)
South Bend Tribune

August 3, 2018

By Caleb Bauer

The University of Notre Dame announced Thursday that it will not immediately revoke the honorary degree conferred to Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who recently resigned his position in the College of Cardinals after allegations surfaced that he sexually abused children and adults.

In late June, McCarrick was removed from public ministry, and last week Pope Francis ordered McCarrick to “observe a life of prayer and penance in seclusion,” after a New York archdiocese review board found allegations against him to be “credible and substantiated.” McCarrick is still yet to be tried in a canonical trial in Rome, but is accused of sexually abusing a teenage altar boy 47 years ago while serving as a priest in New York, abusing another 11-year-old boy and continuing the abuse for 20 years and sexually harassing and touching men seeking to become priests.

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Pope Francis urged to address failures to reform abuse policy

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
RTÉ

August 2, 2018

A prominent survivor of clerical child sexual abuse, Marie Collins, has reacted strongly to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s statement that Pope Francis may not get time to meet victims during his visit here later this month.

The former Vatican adviser urged the pontiff not simply to meet vicitms’ representatives but also address his failures to reform Church policy in the area.

Pope Francis is to visit Ireland on 25 and 26 August to attend the Catholic World Meeting of Families in Dublin and to visit Knock Shrine in Co Mayo.

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Pope Francis urged to address failures to reform abuse policy

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
RTÉ

August 2, 2018

A prominent survivor of clerical child sexual abuse, Marie Collins, has reacted strongly to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s statement that Pope Francis may not get time to meet victims during his visit here later this month.

The former Vatican adviser urged the pontiff not simply to meet vicitms’ representatives but also address his failures to reform Church policy in the area.

Pope Francis is to visit Ireland on 25 and 26 August to attend the Catholic World Meeting of Families in Dublin and to visit Knock Shrine in Co Mayo.

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Even before recent revelations, U.S. Catholics gave Pope Francis declining ratings on sex abuse scandal

UNITED STATES
Pew Research Center

August 2, 2018

By Michael Lipka

The long-simmering Catholic Church sex abuse scandal has been back in the headlines following new allegations against Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., who resigned from the College of Cardinals last weekend. Pope Francis accepted the resignation — reportedly making McCarrick the first cardinal in church history to resign over allegations of sexual abuse. In addition, some church officials have been accused of having long known about at least some of the allegations against McCarrick.

Even before news stories about McCarrick came to light in recent weeks, U.S. Catholics were increasingly unhappy with the church’s handling of the sex abuse scandal. A January 2018 Pew Research Center survey found that just 45% of U.S. Catholics said Pope Francis is doing an “excellent” (13%) or “good” (33%) job addressing the crisis, down from 55% who said this in 2015, the last time the question was asked. The same recent survey also found that 46% of American Catholics said he is doing only a “fair” (27%) or “poor” (19%) job handling the sex abuse scandal, up from 34% three years prior.

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In wake of McCarrick sex scandal, NJ woman recounts alleged abuse by another former Metuchen Diocese priest

BRIDGEWATER (NJ)
Bridgewater Courier News / mycentraljersey.com

August 1, 2018

By Nick Muscavage

https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/faith/2018/08/01/cardinal-theodore-mccarrick-sexual-abuse-scandal-mark-dolak/830121002/

Susan Bisaha Says She Was Molested by a Former Priest in the Diocese of Metuchen While Theodore McCarrick Was Bishop

When Susan Bisaha heard Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was suspended for sexual abuse allegations, she knew what she had to do: Share her story.

Bisaha, a former Fords resident and Diocese of Metuchen congregant, said she was sexually abused by a priest in Central Jersey for nearly a decade.

Some of the instances of alleged abuse, which she said numbered more than 100, occurred in a room down the hall from McCarrick in the rectory of St. Francis of Assisi in Metuchen, where he was serving as bishop at the time.

“My story dates back to 1979,” Bisaha said. “From 1979 to 1987 I was molested by Rev. Mark Dolak.”

Bisaha, born in 1966, was 13 when the alleged abuse began. It wouldn’t come to an end until she was in her early 20s, she said.

“At the time McCarrick was the Bishop of Metuchen, he was in the same residence as Dolak,” Bisaha said. “There were many, many times where we would walk right past the bishop’s room and get snuck in.”

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August 2, 2018

Sex abuse survivors react to release of list of accused priests

HARRISBURG (PA)
WGAL News 8

August 1, 2018

Survivors of sex abuse in the Catholic Church are reacting to the Harrisburg diocese’s decision to release a list of names of priests and others who have been accused of sexual abuse.

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Harrisburg Diocese releases list of accused priests, lifts confidentiality agreements

HARRISBURG (PA)
WGAL News 8

August 2, 2018

Harrisburg Diocese Bishop Ronald Gainer announced the release of vast amounts of information, previously withheld from the public, having to do with the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Among the information being released are the names of 71 priests, deacons and others within the church who were accused of abuse since the 1940s. Gainer said he thought it was appropriate to release the names, but emphasized that these are just accusations. The list has been posted on a new website just launched by the diocese on Wednesday.

The list says in part:

“The following list does not contain those cases where the accusation was deemed not substantiated, meaning it was an accusation after which, after review by law enforcement or Diocesan reviewers, was not supported by sufficient evidence to establish the probability that the accused cleric or seminarian committed sexual abuse of a child.”

Gainer also announced that the diocese will waive any confidentiality rights that were reached as part of civil settlements. He said they were being waived because many victims felt constrained by those agreements.

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Harrisburg Diocese identifies 71 alleged sex abusers, cites failure of bishops

HARRISBURG (PA)
CBS/AP

August 1, 2018

The Roman Catholic diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has put out a list of 71 priests and others in the church accused of sexually abusing children in cases going back decades. Bishop Ron Gainer issued a public apology Wednesday for the abuse and said the church’s bishops shared the blame, having responded inadequately to all the allegations.

As a result, the name of every bishop since 1947 will be removed from church facilities in the diocese.

The Harrisburg Diocese issued its findings just days after the state Supreme Court said a nearly 900-page grand jury report on sex abuse in six dioceses, including Harrisburg, can be made public later this month.

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Harrisburg Diocese releases names of priests accused of child sex abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Morning Call

August 1, 2018

By Steve Esack

Harrisburg Diocese Bishop Ronald Gainer on Wednesday made public the names of 71 priests and other Catholic officials accused of child sex abuse.

The Allentown Diocese plans to soon follow suit.

Gainer stressed that Harrisburg’s list represents only accusations — by making the names public, the diocese is not claiming anyone to be guilty.

The list includes 37 priests, three deacons, six seminarians, nine clergy of other dioceses and 16 from other Catholic religious orders. It excludes cases the diocese found unsubstantiated and does not provide an estimated number of abuse victims.

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Diocese outlines two-step process for reporting child sexual abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By Hope Stephan

In a lengthy statement released in conjunction with a news conference this morning, Bishop Ronald Gainer said that after reviewing its historic files, the Harrisburg diocese is releasing those child sexual abuse survivors who entered into settlement agreements with the diocese that contained confidentiality clauses from that legal commitment.

Gainer on Wednesday also released the names of 71 people who have been accused of allegations of child sex crimes, just weeks ahead of a grand jury report into clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania.

“I take this step about confidentiality so that the survivors can feel free to tell their stories to whomever and whenever they wish,” Gainer said. “I hope that this step will further aid those survivors, and perhaps others, in their path to healing.”

The church’s new website, www.youthprotectionhbg.com, also contains information on how to report child sexual abuse, contact information for the Victim Assistance Office and detailed information on how the church has confronted this issue.

There are two steps to making a complaint, Gainer emphasized:

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Clergy abuse victim-turned-lawmaker calls for reforms in and out of Catholic Church

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By Wallace McKelvey

The Diocese of Harrisburg’s decision to release a list of 71 priests accused of child sex crimes, which may be a partial accounting, was a good start but further reforms are needed within the Catholic Church and the state at large, state Rep. Mark Rozzi said Wednesday.

“One thing I know about predators is they don’t stop abusing children–they look for their next victim,” said Rozzi, a Berks County Democrat who was raped by a Catholic priest at 13 years old. “Those predator priests are still out there and they could still be abusing your child.”

Rozzi has fought to reform the state’s child sex crimes statutes. He’s introduced legislation that would expand the statute of limitations in order to give past and future victims greater legal recourse against predators.

“We want the parents of our community to know that, for full transparency, the church needs to release the full list of names,” he said, during an interview in the Capitol Rotunda.

Of the 71 names released on Wednesday, 37 were priests of the Diocese of Harrisburg, three were deacons of the diocese, six were seminarians, nine were priests from other dioceses, and 16 were from religious communities. None of the individuals on the list are currently in ministry or in service in the diocese.

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Bishop says Catholic Church suffers from ‘crisis of sexual morality’

UNITED STATES
CNN

August 1, 2018

By Daniel Burke

The sexual abuse accusations against a prominent American archbishop reveal a “grievous moral failure” within the Catholic Church, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said on Tuesday.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the Catholic bishops conference, also said the conference “will pursue the many questions” about the accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick “to the full extent of its authority.”

“Our Church is suffering from a crisis of sexual morality,” DiNardo said. “The way forward must involve learning from past sins.”

DiNardo’s statement comes as the Catholic Church, including Pope Francis, is facing a quickly escalating sexual abuse scandal that has ensnared top church leaders on several continents.

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Pennsylvania Catholic diocese names former Memphis priest in sexual abuse list

HARRISBURG (PA)
York Daily Record

August 1, 2018

By Brandie Kessler and Ed Mahon

The Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has released a list of more than 70 of its clergy members, one a former Memphis priest, accused of sexually abusing or having inappropriate contact with children in cases dating back decades.

Walter Emala, who died in 2008 in Baltimore, is cited on the list for allegations of inappropriate behavior, such as kissing.

Church files in the Memphis Catholic Diocese indicate decades of sexual abuse allegations against Emala dating to the 1960s in Nashville-Memphis and Baltimore dioceses. Memphis was part of the Nashville diocese prior to 1970.

Emala in 1967 was accused of taking boys on trips and sleeping with them in the nude, and at other times taking boys to adult movies. He was also accused of child abuse in the Baltimore Archdiocese.

In 2004, Emala was accused of sexual misconduct with minors at his parish near his then-Pennsylvania diocese in Harrisburg. He was reported to the district attorney’s office and was warned to stay out of the Harrisburg diocese.

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Child abuse prevention expert calls on Catholics for ‘zero tolerance’ of sexual abuse in the church

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By Stephanie Sadowski

The Diocese of Harrisburg’s decision to name 71 priests and personnel accused of child sexual abuse since 1940 goes a long way toward reconciling the actions and statements on treatment of both clergy and victims, according to a state leader in child abuse prevention.

“Despite the cost, the Church now must focus on being an example of zero tolerance for the maltreatment of children and that requires a level of honesty and transparency not before demonstrated by this institution,” Angela M. Liddle, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance, said in a statement Wednesday.

The group also called for other Pennsylvania dioceses to take steps toward transparency.

“PFSA views the release of names today, along with a public apology to those who were sexually abused as children, and those who have been faithful to the Catholic Church, as one step in realigning the Church’s behavior with their verbal commitment of care and concern for children and families.

“PFSA calls upon each diocese in Pennsylvania to be vigilant with obtaining child abuse clearance on staff and volunteers, establishing strong child protection policies that limit one adult with one child, and comprehensive training for leadership, staff, and volunteers on child abuse identification and reporting,” Liddle said.

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‘Catholics embrace the need to make this right for survivors,’ Pa. Catholic Conference says

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By Stephanie Sadowski

The spokeswoman of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference called the Diocese of Harrisburg’s decision to name the 71 priests and personnel accused of child sexual abuse “another sobering moment” and encouraged victims to report abuse immediately.

It also shows a commitment to “make this right,” said Amy Hill.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is the public affairs arm of the Catholic bishops and the Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

“Today is another sobering moment that further reveals the tragedy that has occurred. It also shows that Catholics embrace the need to make this right for survivors,” Ms. Hill said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Every diocese in Pennsylvania has resources available to help survivors and their families pay for counselors and treatment programs of their choice or other support necessary for healing. We encourage anyone who has been abused to report it immediately and seek help by calling the toll-free Pennsylvania ChildLine number at 800-932-0313 or their local law enforcement.”

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Harrisburg Catholic diocese names 71 priests, clergy accused of abuse. See the list here

Harrisburg (PA)
York Daily Record

August 1, 2018

By Anthony J. Machcinski and Ed Mahon

The Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg released a list of 71 names of clergy members accused of sexually abusing children in cases dating back decades.

The list includes priests, deacons, seminarians and clergy affiliated with an order. The list also includes clergy members from other dioceses and Archdioceses from across the nation.

In the release, the diocese said the list includes those who were accused of abuse of a child since the 1940s, and does not include assessments of credibility or guilt. The church said it was releasing a list of every allegation made in recent decades against clergy in the diocese that had not been proven false.

Of the 71 names, 37 were priests in the Diocese of Harrisburg, three were deacons of the diocese, six were seminarians of the diocese, nine were clergy of other dioceses and 16 were from religious communities.

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Harrisburg Catholic diocese names priests who have been accused of sexual abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
York Daily Record

August 1, 2018

By Brandie Kessler

A Roman Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania released a list Wednesday of more than 70 of its clergy members accused of sexually abusing children in cases dating back decades.

Bishop Ronald Gainer, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, also announced sweeping changes to confidentiality policies and said the names of any men accused of such crimes would be removed from any place of honor in the diocese.

These changes pertain only to the Harrisburg diocese, which covers much of central Pennsylvania.

Gainer apologized profusely for abuses that occurred over many years. He said the church was releasing a list of every allegation made in recent decades against clergy in the diocese that had not been proven false.

Gainer said that when he became bishop in 2014, the diocese began working to verify the status of priests going back to the 1940s. He said the diocese wanted to release this list before, but the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office asked them not to, so as not to interfere with its investigation of Catholic clergy abuses across the state.

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Unprecedented’ removal of bishops’ names signals ‘they have all been culpable’

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

Over the past decade, the Cardinal Keeler Conference Center, named after the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, has been the site of youth council dinners, seminarian family picnics, World Youth Day events, even funerals.

Now the legacy of Cardinal William H. Keeler, who went on to become Archbishop of Baltimore, is coming to an abrupt end.

On Wednesday, Harrisburg Bishop Ronald Gainer ordered the names of all bishops who preceeded him since 1947 be removed from all diocesan properties, saying they had failed to protect children from sexual predators.

“That is a gutsy move,” said Charles Zech, director of Villanova University’s Center for Church Management and Business Ethics. “I commend him for stepping forward and showing that the responsibility, the real problem lies with church leadership.

“This is unprecedented. You hear it here and there when someone has been found to not have lived the perfect life, but to remove all of the names is is unprecedented. I applaud him for recognizing that they all have been culpable.”

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Harrisburg diocese withdrawal of priest honors fails to impress accusers

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By David Wenner

The leader of the Harrisburg Diocese considers it a significant action, and one he expects some will view as going too far. But it doesn’t go far enough for Shaun Dougherty, who was sexually abused by a priest as a child.

“Removing the names of priests from buildings is not going to remove the memories from my mind,” Dougherty said on Wednesday.

Dougherty was reacting to the announcement by Bishop Ronald Gainer that names of all bishops dating back to 1947 will be removed from buildings, halls and rooms within the diocese. While many of those bishops haven’t been accused of a crime, the move is intended as an acknowledgment of their failure to protect children from sexual abuse.

Rather than remove names from buildings, Dougherty said, Gainer should withdraw lobbyists working against a proposed Pennsylvania bill that would lift the statue of limitations for criminal and civil charges against priests accused of sexual assaults.

Also on Wednesday, Gainer released names of 71 Harrisburg Diocese priests and other clergy who have been accused of child abuse.

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71 names of clergy accused of child sex abuse in Harrisburg diocese released

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

In an unprecedented and stunning move, the head of the Diocese of Harrisburg on Wednesday ordered the removal from diocesan property the names of all former diocesan bishops who over the decades failed to protect children from sexually predatory priests.

Just weeks ahead of a bombshell report into clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, Bishop Ronald Gainer on Wednesday said that all names of bishops dating back to 1947 will be removed from buildings, halls and rooms.

Gainer said “anyone accused of sexual misconduct will have his name removed from any place of honor” throughout the diocese.

“The decision to remove names of bishops and clerics may prove to be controversial, but as bishops, I strongly believe that leaders of the diocese must hold themselves to a higher standard and must yield honorary symbols in the interest of healing.”

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Pennsylvania Diocese Orders Removal of Former Bishops’ Names From Church Buildings

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

August 1, 2018

By Laurie Goodstein

[See the front page.]

Anticipating the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report exposing decades of mishandled sexual abuse cases in the Roman Catholic Church, the bishop of Harrisburg on Wednesday ordered that the names of former bishops dating to the 1940s be stripped from church buildings.

This was the first time a bishop has conducted such a sweeping purge of his predecessors’ legacies, although the names of individual bishops and priests involved in sexual abuse scandals have been excised from church buildings in other dioceses.

Harrisburg is among six dioceses in a heavily Catholic region of Pennsylvania that are bracing for the release of what is expected to be a devastating grand jury report exposing more than 300 priests accused of sexual abuse over seven decades, as well as the bishops who failed to remove them from the ministry. The Harrisburg and Greensburg dioceses had tried last year to end the grand jury’s investigation, according to court records reported by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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A Message from Bishop Ronald W. Gainer

HARRISBURG (PA)
Diocese of Harrisburg

August 1, 2018

By Bishop Ronald W. Gainer

[Includes a link to the list.]

The fact that the evil of child sex abuse has occurred in our Church causes all of us great sadness, for once again we come face-to-face with the horror that innocent children were the victims of egregious crimes committed against them. Many of those victimized as children continue, as survivors, to suffer from the harm they experienced. In my own name, and in the name of the Church of Harrisburg, I ask for forgiveness for the sinfulness of those who have committed these crimes and helped create an environment that tolerated or accepted this behavior.

As we willingly acknowledge our sinfulness, as we humbly seek the forgiveness of those who have been wronged, the healing will come to the entire Church when we renew our commitment each day to respond to the call to holiness we all share and to the mission of our Church entrusted to us by the Lord Jesus himself.

While we seek forgiveness in the name of our Church, we encourage survivors to come forward so that their healing may begin.

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Statement from Bishop Gainer on Child Sexual Abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
Diocese of Harrisburg

August 1, 2018

By Bishop Ronald W. Gainer

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg released information from their own internal investigation on child sex abuse. Bishop Ronald W. Gainer released the following statement:

“With the Grand Jury investigation concluded and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordering a stay of the Grand Jury’s full report pending further review, the Diocese of Harrisburg chose to release our own list of clergy and seminarians who were accused of sexual abuse of minors as we felt it was critical to get this information out to the public and our parishioners as soon as possible. The information we are releasing today is the result of a great deal of work by outside counsel and professional investigators. I wish to emphasize that this list is a list of accusations; we did not make assessments of credibility or guilt in creating this list.

“I read the information used to create this list with great sadness, for once again we come face-to-face with the horror that innocent children were the victims of egregious acts committed against them. I am saddened because I know that behind every story is the face of a child precious in God’s sight; a child who has been wounded by the sins of those who should have known better.

“I acknowledge the sinfulness of those who have harmed these survivors, as well as the action and inaction of those in church leadership who failed to respond to you
appropriately and justly.

“In my own name, and in the name of the Diocesan Church of Harrisburg, I express our profound sorrow and apologize to the survivors of child sex abuse, the Catholic faithful and the general public for the abuses that took place and for those Church officials who failed to protect children.

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Suspenden a sacerdote y a un capellán de colegio en Chillán por presuntos abusos sexuales

CHILE
BioBioChile

July 31, 2018

[Priest and school chaplain suspended over sex abuse allegations]

By Manuel Cabrera and Wilson Ponce

El sacerdote Renato Toro Medina y al capellán de un colegio de Chillán, Héctor Bravo, fueron suspendidos por acusaciones de presuntos abusos sexuales.

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Fiscal Nacional oficia al Vaticano para que entregue información por casos de abuso sexual cometidos por religiosos

CHILE
La Tercera

August 1, 2018

[National prosecutor requests information from Vatican related to sexual abuse in Church]

By Claudia Soto

El fiscal nacional, Jorge Abbott, envió hoy un oficio al Vaticano para solicitar la información contenida en los expedientes canónicos que se han realizado en el marco de la investigación por casos de abuso sexual cometidos por religiosos y miembros de la Iglesia Católica chilena.

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Obispos chilenos dicen desconocer destrucción de documentos sobre abusos a menores

CHILE
La Tercera

August 1, 2018

[Chilean bishops say they do not know about document destruction in sex abuse scandal]

By EFE [news agency]

Los obispos chilenos reunidos en una asamblea extraordinaria de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile en la localidad costera de Punta de Tralca, aseguraron hoy desconocer una eventual destrucción de documentos sobre abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes a menores.

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Gobierno recibirá a sobrevivientes de abusos sexuales por parte de la Iglesia

CHILE
La Tercera

August 1, 2018

[Government representative will meet with survivors of Church sexual abuse]

By Fiorella Aste

La ministra vocera de gobierno, Cecilia Pérez, tendrá un encuentro en La Moneda con la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico de Chile. Representantes de la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico de Chile, serán recibidos este viernes a las 11.00 horas por la ministra Secretaria General de Gobierno, Cecilia Pérez.

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Nacional Defensoría Penal Pública representará a nueve sacerdotes de “La Cofradía”

CHILE
La Tercera

August 1, 2018

[Public Criminal Defense Office will represent nine priests of “La Cofradía”]

By L. Zapata and MJ Blanco

Asimismo, aseguró que el objetivo de la Iglesia es ayudar a que las víctimas tengan acceso a apoyo jurídico. Vocero de la Conferencia Episcopal dijo que defensa de la mayoría de los presbíteros indagados es pagada por sus familiares. Una vez que se hizo público el llamado caso de “La Familia” o “Cofradía” de Rancagua en mayo pasado, dando cuenta de un grupo de 14 sacerdotes de la Región de O’Higgins que estarían presuntamente vinculados a abusos sexuales, la fiscalía ha realizado una serie de pasos para aclarar estos hechos.

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August 1, 2018

Diócesis de Temuco opta por estrategia a la transparencia: da a conocer los casos de sacerdotes involucrados en abusos sexuales

CHILE
El Mostrador

June 18, 2018

[Diocese of Temuco opts for transparency strategy: reveals cases of priests involved in sexual abuse]

A través de un comunicado, la Diócesis de Temuco hizo públicos los tres casos más bullados de sacerdotes involucrados en casos de abuso sexual contra menores.

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Confirman nuevas denuncias por abuso sexual en contra de sacerdotes de Puerto Montt

CHILE
BioBio Chile

July 31, 2018

[Confirmed new allegations of sexual abuse against priests of Puerto Montt]

By Nicole Briones and Robinson Cardenas

Confirman nuevas denuncias por presuntos abusos sexuales que involucran a sacerdotes de la región de Los Lagos. El fiscal Marcelo Sambucetti manifestó que hay nuevos antecedentes entregados a la Fiscalía respecto de los hechos constitutivos de delitos y que involucrarían a personas pertenecientes a la Iglesia Católica.

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Opinión: La hora de los laicos

CHILE
La Tercera

August 1, 2018

[Opinion: The Time of the Laity]

By Soledad Alvear

Mi estado de ánimo a raíz de la crisis de los abusos es una mezcla de sorpresa y vergüenza. No soy una ingenua y he visto muchas cosas en la vida, pero jamás habría esperado algo semejante. Para colmo, la reacción de nuestros obispos ha sido en muchos casos lamentable: “no sabía”, o “no soy investigador” no son respuestas capaces de dejarnos tranquilos. Un pastor debe estar atento a sus ovejas.

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Emiliano Arias, Fiscal Chileno: “Sabemos que hubo religiosos que destruyeron evidencias sobre abusos sexuales en Chile”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El País

July 29, 2018

[Emiliano Arias, Chilean Prosecutor: “We know that there were religious who destroyed evidence of sexual abuse in Chile”]

By Rocío Montes

El principal encargado de perseguir estos delitos cometidos por sacerdotes en el país explica por primera vez su decisión de imputar al líder de la iglesia chilena. “Vamos a hacer un juicio histórico”, asegura

El próximo 21 de agosto, el fiscal Emiliano Arias (Chillán, 1972) tendrá enfrente al líder de la Iglesia católica chilena, el arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, al que interrogará como imputado por encubrir abusos sexuales de religiosos a menores. Será un hecho inédito en Chile, un país que en la dictadura de Pinochet tenía una de las Iglesias con mayor reputación del hemisferio —porque ayudó a perseguidos y se enfrentó al régimen—, pero cuya popularidad cayó en picado en las últimas décadas con un resultado evidente: la ciudadanía va camino de la secularización, empujada por la conducta de la jerarquía eclesiástica en los consecutivos escándalos sexuales cometidos por religiosos, que afectan sobre todo a niños, niñas y adolescentes. Un 38% de los chilenos dice no profesar ninguna religión, récord que dobla la media en la región.

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Chilean cardinal may be next test for Pope on sex abuse reform

CHILE
Crux

August 1, 2018

By Elise Harris

[Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part series exploring ties between Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz of Chile, a close papal confidante, and Peruvian layman Luis Fernando Figari, who’s now accused of sexual abuse and abuses of power and conscience within the prominent lay movement he founded.]

Having accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the College of Cardinals, Pope Francis seems to have passed one important test in terms of his willingness to impose accountability for clerical sexual abuse even on the highest-ranking clerics in the Catholic system.

If Francis is looking around for an opportunity to scale that second mountain in his reform campaign, there’s an increasingly strong case to be made that retired Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz may just be his man.

Errázuriz, 84, is one of the most senior prelates in Latin America, and a clear papal favorite. He was a close friend and ally of then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Argentina, including working together on the Latin American bishops’ 2007 Aparecida document, which many observers consider a vision statement for Francis’s papacy. Errázuriz also serves on the pope’s “C9” council of cardinal advisers from around the world, in effect his chief sounding board.

In recent months, Errázuriz has come under heavy fire over charges that he played a central role in multiple cases of abuse cover-up, the most prominent being allegations that he hid the crimes of Chile’s notorious pedophile priest, Fernando Karadima.

He has also been accused – alongside the current archbishop of Santiago, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, 76 – of covering for Santiago’s ex-chancellor, Father Oscar Muñoz, who has been charged with having abused at least seven children, five of whom are his nephews.

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Catholic Church Faces Reckoning in Chile as Sex Abuse Scandal Widens

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
The New York Times

July 31, 2018

By Pascale Bonnefoy

Leer en español

The 20 men and women rose quietly from their pews during Mass at the Cathedral of Santiago one day last week, unfurled a banner and held up signs. “All Bishops Resign,” one read.

Looking back from the altar was Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago and a focal point in a growing reckoning over allegations that leaders of the Catholic Church in Chile repeatedly covered up the sexual abuse of minors by priests.

After Pope Francis this spring acknowledged a “culture of abuse” in Chile and Vatican investigators found a pattern of inaction and concealment, Chilean prosecutors have stepped up their own efforts to investigate scores of church officials.

Special prosecutors, who have been appointed in each of Chile’s 15 regions, are examining cases involving 104 potential victims, half of whom were underage when the reported offenses took place. Nearly 70 clergy and lay people are under investigation, including three bishops.

Cardinal Ezzati, who has denied accusations of covering up abuse, is the highest-ranking church official in Chile under investigation. Next week a congressional commission may consider revoking the Italian-born cardinal’s Chilean citizenship, which was awarded in 2006.

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Church of England bishops turn on each other over Lord Carey abuse scandal

ENGLAND
The Telegraph

July 29, 2018

By Harry Farley

Church of England bishops are turning on each other after the lead figure on safeguarding was locked out of discussions about a former archbishop accused of covering up child sexual abuse.

Lord Carey stepped down as an honourary assistant bishop in Oxford last year at the request of the current archbishop, Justin Welby, after a damning report last year accused the Church of colluding with disgraced paedophile bishop Peter Ball in the 1990s.

But just months after being asked to step down, Lord Carey was allowed to return to preaching after the Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, reinstated his “permission to officiate” (PTO) earlier this year.

The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Hancock, who leads the Church’s response to safeguarding, revealed on Sunday he was not consulted about the decision to reinstate Lord Carey.

Despite Bishop Hancock being sidelined, The Telegraph understands that other senior figures in the Church, including at Lambeth Palace, were involved and approved allowing Lord Carey to return to ministry.

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Former NJ priest says he was sexually assaulted by two clergymen in Newark

NEWARK (NJ)
NorthJersey

August 1, 2018

By Abbott Koloff

A former New Jersey priest is alleging that he was sexually assaulted decades ago by two clergymen who continued working in the Newark Archdiocese after church officials determined his accusations to be believable but unproven.

The Rev. Desmond Rossi, a Garwood native, made the explosive assertions during a recent interview in which he discussed his experiences decades ago with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, then head of the Newark Archdiocese, when Rossi was a seminary student. He and other seminarians heard about McCarrick’s inappropriate behavior at the time, he said, underscoring questions about how church leaders dealt with sex abuse allegations.

In 1988, he said, he considered leaving the Newark Archdiocese because he felt uncomfortable around McCarrick, who resigned from the College of Cardinals last week after allegations surfaced that he had sexually abused boys and adult seminarians over the course of nearly five decades.

That same year, Rossi said, two friends who were about to become priests sexually assaulted him in a Newark church. He then sought to be transferred to the Albany Diocese, where he now works as an associate pastor at a church in Glens Falls, New York.

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The Vatican shows an overdue decisiveness on sexual abuse

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Economist

July 31, 2018

By Erasmus

A cardinal loses his rank for the first time in nine decades

TWICE in the past few days, Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of senior prelates who were embroiled in abuse scandals. The latest was Australia’s Archbishop Philip Wilson, who had received a criminal conviction for covering up serial abuse by a priest. There had been widespread calls for him to step down, including from Malcolm Turnbull, the prime minister. He submitted his resignation on July 20th, but only on July 30th did the pontiff publicly accept it. Mr Turnbull was among many Australians who called the pope’s actions welcome but overdue.

Two days earlier, on July 28th, the Vatican announced that the pope had accepted Theodore McCarrick’s resignation from the status of cardinal. Mr McCarrick, an archbishop emeritus of Washington, DC, was for decades one of the most prominent figures in Catholic America. The news came a month after the archdiocese of New York said it considered “credible and substantiated” an allegation of sexual misdeeds involving a teenager, said to have been perpetrated by the cleric in 1971 and 1972. Now aged 88, he said he has no recollection of the alleged incidents.

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‘There’s going to be a raid’: A Chilean prosecutor forces Catholic Church to give up secrets

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

July 31, 2018

By Aislinn Laing, Cassandra Garrison

Two special envoys sent by Pope Francis to investigate a child sex abuse scandal in Chile were meeting priests and Church workers at a university in the Chilean capital last month when aides rushed into the room with an alarming development: police and prosecutors were about to start raiding Church offices.

The envoys were 90 minutes into a seminar on how to investigate allegations of sex abuse committed by fellow clergy following revelations that hundreds of children might have been molested. For decades, the Roman Catholic Church in Chile quietly investigated such allegations without alerting police, but it now stands accused, even by Pope Francis himself, of a cover-up that allowed abusers to operate with impunity.

One of the clergymen listening to the envoys was Jaime Ortiz de Lazcano, the legal adviser to Santiago’s archbishop. The aides rushed to his side and told him, “‘Father, go to the (Church offices) because there’s going to be a raid’,” Ortiz later recounted.

Police and prosecutors were staging simultaneous raids on Church offices less than a mile away from the university and outside the capital, looking for evidence of sex crimes the Church had not reported to police.

The surprise sweeps, ordered by Emiliano Arias, a provincial prosecutor, marked the start of what experts who track sex crimes in the Roman Catholic Church say is one of the most aggressive investigations ever undertaken by a judicial authority anywhere in the world.

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As rumors of sexual misdeeds swirled, Cardinal McCarrick became a powerful fundraiser for the Vatican

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

July 31, 2018

By Michelle Boorstein

When Theodore McCarrick arrived in Washingon in 2001 to be the region’s Catholic archbishop, it was clear right away that he was something very rare: a celebrity priest.

The vivacious cleric reportedly had spent time with famous Americans such as Bing Crosby and the Hearst family. He was a prolific fundraiser for big-name Catholic groups from right to left, and valued for his connection to Pope John Paul II, who dispatched McCarrick to hot spots worldwide as his diplomat. President George W. Bush, also new in town that January, marked his first private dinner in Washington by going to the home of the new archbishop.

McCarrick’s gilded résumé stood in striking contrast to his public demeanor, that of a self-effacing do-gooder who, in a city full of egos and polish, wore rumpled clothes and exhibited a voracious drive to help others.

“I wish I were a holier man, more prayerful, more trusting in God, wiser and courageous,” he said at his first D.C. news conference. “But here I am with all my faults and all my needs, and we will work together.”

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Woman Says She Was Sexually Abused by Catholic School Teacher in 1970’s

ERIE (PA)
Erie News Now

July 31, 2018

By Paul Wagner

Woman Says Catholic School Teacher Sexually Abused Her While She was Student

A woman who says she was sexually abused in the 1970’s by a teacher in the Erie Catholic Diocese is speaking out for the first time.

The teacher died several years ago.

Fifty-five year old Leila Said Gutowski said she was abused when she was 12-13 year old, a student at Immaculate Conception School in Clarion.

She said the abused happened in the school when the teacher would take her away from classmates.

After her family moved, the abuse ended.

But she said she continued to live in fear.

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Victims of Montana clergy sex abuse vote on $20M settlement

BILLINGS (MT)
The Associated Press

July 31, 2018

Victims of sexual abuse by former members of the clergy in Montana’s Diocese of Great Falls-Billings are voting on a proposed $20 million settlement.

The Billings Gazette reports the proposed settlement also would require the Roman Catholic diocese to post on its website for at least 10 years the names of 27 former clergy whose sexual abuse prompted lawsuits that led the diocese to file for bankruptcy last year.

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Alleged victim interviewed by diocese a month after priest returns to service

BUFFALO (NY)
Spectrum Local News

July 30, 2018

By Katie Gibas

A priest cleared after accusations of abuse is under investigation a second time a month after returning to service.

A victim was interviewed by diocesan officials Monday, claiming Father Dennis Riter of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Dunkirk abused him years ago.

“You have purportedly the most moral institution in the world acting the most immorally,” said Mitchell Garabedian, attorney for alleged victims of priest abuse.

Garabedian says his client was never interviewed by the diocese during their investigation. He and other attorneys also shared a letter a theology student delivered to the former bishops in 1992 after witnessing the after effects of one of this victim’s alleged encounters with Riter.

A spokesperson for the diocese says they sent two letters to Garabedian so they could interview his client, but say he didn’t respond until after Riter was returned to ministry.

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Sister Maureen Paul Turlish, advocate for victims of sexual abuse, dies at 79

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

July 31, 2018

By Harrison Smith

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish, who risked retaliation from the Catholic Church hierarchy to become a tenacious advocate for victims of sexual abuse by the clergy, died July 18 at a rehabilitation clinic in Cincinnati. She was 79.

The cause was viral encephalitis, said Paul Turlish, her brother and only immediate survivor. She was injured in May in a car accident near her home in New Castle, Del., and moved to Ohio for medical treatment, he said.

Sister Maureen Paul long worked in Wilmington, Del., as an art teacher, not an activist. But in 2002, when a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Boston Globe revealed years of sexual abuse in the priesthood and an accompanying coverup by Catholic Church officials, she launched a wide-ranging effort to support victims and bring their abusers to justice.

“At the time, she was the only religious woman that would publicly stand up for this issue,” the Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, a canon lawyer, recently told the National Catholic Reporter’s Global Sisters Report. “She brought courage . . . she was not afraid to write or call [the clergy] on their duplicity.”

Sister Maureen Paul at first used a pseudonym — Sister M. Immaculata Dunn, drawn from her mother’s maiden name — to write searing letters to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications.

Published as letters to the editor, they decried a “lack of moral leadership” among Catholic bishops and called for alleged abusers to be brought to trial.

“We all wondered who she was,” said Robert M. Hoatson, a former priest and an advocate for sexual abuse victims. “She was driving the hierarchy crazy because they wanted to clamp down on her. They were going to write to her religious order, tell her superiors to knock it off.”

Sister Maureen Paul appeared at conferences for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), organized demonstrations outside the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and began publishing articles in her own name in 2005. She said she decided to go public that year after the release of a 418-page grand jury report in Philadelphia, which found that two cardinals concealed the decades-long abuse of hundreds of children by at least 63 priests.

No one was charged, the report noted, because archdiocese officials had successfully buried reports of misconduct and “managed to outlast any statutes of limitations.” Its release marked a turning point for Sister Maureen Paul, who went on to co-found a pair of support groups for survivors, National Survivor Advocates Coalition and — with a group that included Doyle and Hoatson — Catholic Whistleblowers. She also focused her efforts on reforming the law.

“I didn’t realize, not being a lawyer, that statutes of limitation regarding child abuse were different in every state. They were based on nothing and everything — they were arbitrary and discriminatory,” she said in a 2016 interview with the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus.

According to Hoatson, Sister Maureen Paul “played a pivotal role” in the passage of the 2007 Delaware Child Victims Law, which removed the criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse in that state and opened a two-year “look-back” window for survivors to file civil suits against their abusers.

The bill, she said in testimony before Delaware’s House Judiciary Committee, “is definitely not anti-Catholic and it is not Catholic bashing” — but aimed instead to give all victims of child sex abuse their day in court. Its passage resulted in more than 140 lawsuits against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009 amid settlement talks with alleged victims.

Sister Maureen Paul was less successful with reform efforts in Pennsylvania and New York, where she lobbied legislators but faced opposition from church officials and critics who believed she was singling out the Catholic Church for punishment.

Her faith had not wavered, she said, but her belief in the institutions of the church had been shaken to the core.

“No longer am I the person I used to be even 10 or 12 years ago,” she said in a 2011 speech at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. “And although I cannot compare my loss with the loss suffered by victims of childhood sexual abuse, there is nevertheless loss. Something has been taken from me, as it has been taken from every member of the people of God. A part of me has died.”

Maureen Anne Turlish was born in Philadelphia on July 5, 1939. Her mother, the former Mary Immaculata Dunn, was a homemaker; her father, Paul Turlish, was a leader of a local bakery and confectionery union. He took Maureen to her first picket line when she was 9, giving her what she later called an “early education in justice and peace issues.”

Maureen encountered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for the first time while in high school, through an art history teacher who became a mentor, and was told by her father that she could join the order only after she turned 21, assuming her interest persisted.

She did so in 1960, after working as a secretary at a children’s hospital, and changed her name to Maureen Paul to honor her father.

At her first profession of vows she added a coda, promising “a special dedication to women and children.”

Sister Maureen Paul graduated in 1965 from Trinity College, a Catholic women’s school now known as Trinity Washington University, and later received a master’s degree in art education from the University of Maryland. As a teacher, she worked at Catholic schools in Baltimore; Philadelphia; Hyattsville, Md.; and Wilmington, where she was chair of the fine arts department at St. Elizabeth High School.

After she went public with her identity, in 2005, she was reprimanded by members of her order, Hoatson said. “She was basically pressured to stop, but she refused. She said, ‘This is part of my vocation now.’ ”

Sister Maureen Paul served on the board of the Delaware Association for Children of Alcoholics and on committees for Voice of the Faithful, a lay organization that supports survivors of sexual abuse by the clergy. She also contributed analysis of the sex abuse scandal to the National Catholic Reporter.

“I am a Catholic sister,” she said in one talk in recent years, according to an obituary published by her order. “I have been involved in the education of children for over 35 years and I love my faith, but I’m still waiting for church leadership to own up and take responsibility for their failures in protecting children.”

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