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.

October 2, 2018

Somber Photographs of Clerical Sex Abuse Survivors

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

October 2, 2018

By David Gonzalez

A child’s sleeping bag. A pair of swim goggles. A bland landscape. These unremarkable items and scenes, barely noticed by most people, can instill dread — or worse — among some people. To survivors of clerical sexual abuse, they can be daily triggers, reminding them in an instant of the moment when their trust was betrayed, and their faith left in tatters.

Tomaso Clavarino, a documentary photographer in Turin, Italy, had been following the Roman Catholic Church’s clergy sex abuse crisis for a few years and was struck by how so many of the stories he saw used stock images of churches or priests. To him, it was as if the victims had been relegated to invisibility, in some cases shunned by their neighbors or disbelieved by their family. A little more than two years ago, he set out to document survivors, as well as the places and things that still linger in their minds.

“I moved around and went to churches, woods, in the mountains, trying to visualize those places,” Mr. Clavarino said. “Those places are the places where me, you, my friends grew up. They are part of ordinary life. Of course, they are not amazing photos, but the quietness of these places is, for me, very frightening. We pass by them, but they have meaning.”

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.

Four challenges for the bishops at synod on young people

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

October 2, 2018

by Thomas Reese

The future of the Catholic Church is with the young, which is why Pope Francis has called bishops from all over the world to meet in Rome Oct. 3-28 for a synod on young people. If the church cannot attract and keep young people, it has no future.

This is the 15th general synod since Pope Paul VI called the first one in 1967 as a way to get advice from bishops. Earlier synods have dealt with topics like the family, priesthood, the laity, evangelization, the Eucharist, religious life, and justice and peace. The process involves speeches and small group discussions and usually concludes with nonbinding recommendations.

The church’s future, especially in the developed world, does not look bright. In the United States, great numbers of people are leaving the church and other religious institutions in their teens. Young people are turned off by scandals in the church, the patriarchal and homophobic attitudes of many in the clergy and the involvement of church leaders in conservative politics. They also find the church irrelevant to their lives and frankly boring.

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.

AG Candidate Neronha Won’t Commit to Investigate Diocese Sexual Abuse in RI

PROVIDENCE (RI)
GoLocalProv

October 2, 2018

More than a dozen state Attorney Generals across the United States have begun investigations into sexual abuse covered up by Catholic Diocese in their states.

Many states have launched investigations as an outcome of the Pennsylvania grand jury report that unveiled the abuse, torture, and rape of 1,000 children at the hands of more than 300 priests. Of those, 99 priests in the Diocese of Pittsburgh are named in the report, and for three years the Thomas Tobin served as the Auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburgh — today, he is the Bishop of the Diocese of Providence.

But while other states are moving forward seeking to unveil the abuse and identify the abusers, in Rhode Island the office of sitting Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has shown no interest and Democratic candidate Peter Neronha is not committing to such an investigation.

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

Catholic video about protecting kids includes bishops accused of failing to protect kids

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

October 1, 2018

By Dan Horn

Two Catholic bishops accused of failing to protect children from abusive priests are being edited out of church training videos about preventing child abuse.

The videos, titled “A Time to Protect God’s Children” and “A Plan to Protect God’s Children,” are widely used by Catholic dioceses across the country in mandatory training programs for volunteers, coaches, teachers and others who work for the church.

Officials at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati said the decision to revise the videos came after some leaders of the training program complained about the involvement of Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone and New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond.

Abuse survivors have said the two bishops failed to respond appropriately to accusations of child abuse involving clergy.

“We’ll be replacing the DVDs as soon as we have it edited,” said Mike Schafer, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. “We were concerned about that.”

He said the archdiocese shared its concerns with Virtus, the company that produced the video, and was told the company already was in the process of removing the bishops from the training videos.

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.

Rechazan petición de defensa de Ezzati de no declarar hasta que se revise petición de sobreseimiento

[Ezzati expected to testify tomorrow, after defense request for postponement is rejected]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
La Tercera

October 2, 2018

El fiscal regional de O’Higgins, Emiliano Arias, no accedió a postergar nuevamente la diligencia porque, estimó, no habría causa legal para ello.

La Fiscalía Regional de O’Higgins comenzará a partir de esta semana a tomar una serie de declaraciones, en calidad de imputado, a altas autoridades de la Iglesia luego de incautar 461 expedientes canónicos. El arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, está citado para mañana en la indagación por eventuales encubrimientos de delitos de abuso sexual cometidos por miembros de la Iglesia Católica. Su defensa pidió a la fiscalía revisar la citación, ya que prefieren no declarar hasta que se resuelva este viernes la petición que hicieron de sobreseimiento definitivo. Sin embargo, el fiscal regional de O’Higgins, Emiliano Arias, no accedió a postergar nuevamente la diligencia porque -estimó- no habría causa legal para ello.

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

El juego judicial que pone en duda mañana la declaración de Ezzati

[What’s at play in Ezzati’s testimony tomorrow]

CHILE
La Tercera

October 2, 2018

By L. Zapata and S. Rodríguez

Defensa del prelado ha dicho que lo lógico es discutir primero un eventual sobreseimiento. Fiscalía analiza posible inasistencia con orden de arresto.

Esta será una semana compleja para la Iglesia Católica criolla respecto de las investigaciones por eventuales abusos que lleva la Fiscalía de Rancagua, y que tienen al arzobispo de Santiago, cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, bajo indagatoria.

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.

Episcopado responde a documento de Iglesia de Santiago

[Episcopal Conference responds to controversial Church document]

CHILE
La Tercera

October 2, 2018

By Sergio Rodríguez

Arzobispado publicó un texto que buscaba establecer directrices sobre cómo debe ser la relación del clero con niños, adolescentes y personas con algún tipo de discapacidad. Sin embargo, al día siguiente, este escrito fue eliminado del sitio, diciéndose que se perfeccionaría.

“El único documento oficial de la Iglesia Católica en Chile sobre el tratamiento de los graves delitos de abuso sexual contra menores de edad, y la prevención de los mismos, es el texto Líneas Guías Cuidado y Esperanza, del año 2015, que fue promulgado como decreto en todas las diócesis del país”, explicó el diácono Jaime Coiro, vocero de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile (Cech).

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.

October 1, 2018

An open letter to Pope Francis

NASHUA (NH)
Nashua Telegraph

September 30, 2018

By Rev. Dr.Stephanie Rutt

Your Holiness, Pope Francis,

I write today to humbly offer an idea for action I pray you may consider as you respond to the growing sexual abuse allegations arising in Catholic communities around the world today. Please know that while I do write, in particular, for all those still silent ones, the once helpless, innocent children who wake every morning remembering, I also write for the Priests who would run but cannot escape the hell burning within, and for the Bishops and Cardinals who daily face the relentless knowledge that they knew but turned away. You, kind soul, as Pope, are in the position to answer the silent cries, to shine a beacon of light, far and wide, into the darkest shadows of suffering where only the healing balm of the Holy Spirit can penetrate. Is this not what Jesus would do?

You might wonder who am I to be writing to you? While I am not Catholic, I am an interfaith minister who has a deep and abiding love for Jesus and Mother Mary. In my church in Milford, New Hampshire, USA, there is a tapestry of Mother (Saint) Teresa and one of my most treasured items is a rosary with her picture I received from the Chimayo Chapel in New Mexico, USA, many years ago. Through prayer with the rosary, I have been graced to have experienced healing incidences beyond my understanding. Finally, I worked for many years as a mental health counselor so I know firsthand the long-term effects of 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.

Josh And Anna Duggar Reach 10 Year Anniversary After Molestation And Cheating Scandal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Celebrity Insider

October 1, 2018

By Suzy Kerr

Former 19 Kids & Counting stars Josh and Anna Duggar recently celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary, and the family celebrated the occasion on Facebook with a thoughtful message. Fans watched the couple get married in 2008, and since then they have welcomed five children.

“Happy anniversary Josh and Anna! Today we are thankful to see you celebrating 10 years of marriage! We are so thankful for God’s love, kindness, and redemptive restoration. We love you both so much and of course adore those sweet little ones! Here’s to many more beautiful years for you two!” the family wrote on their official Facebook page, along with posting sweet pics of the couple.

Josh — who is the oldest child in the Duggar family — was the first one in the family to court and marry.

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.

Cardenal Raúl Silva Henríquez también cae de su pedestal

[Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez also falls from his pedestal]

CHILE
El Mostrador

September 25, 2018

By Alejandra Carmona López

La primera vez que alguien denunció a Karadima fue en los años 80, cuando el rector del seminario le advirtió al emblemático fundador de la Vicaría de la Solidaridad sobre los abusos que cometía el entonces párroco estrella de El Bosque. No solo eso, quienes conformaron su círculo de hierro, su núcleo duro –Cristián Precht, Miguel Ortega y Raúl Hasbún–, ahora quedan expuestos ante el ojo público como parte de los protagonistas de los abusos sexuales cometidos por décadas en el seno de la Iglesia católica.

“Si hay alguien que permitió que esta Iglesia creciera, ese es Raúl Silva Henríquez”, dice un sacerdote que pide no revelar su nombre, porque mencionar al cardenal es como una herejía. Sin embargo, con dolor, no son pocos los religiosos que advierten que esa Iglesia católica de los abusos no surgió hace un par de años, sino que se fue consumando al alero de quienes, pese a que enfrentaron la bestialidad de la dictadura, hicieron la vista gorda ante conductas hoy enquistadas como una enfermedad terminal en dicha institución religiosa.

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

El satánico cura Raúl Hasbún

[The sinister priest Raúl Hasbún]

CHILE
El Mostrador

October 1, 2018

By Alejandra Carmona López

El sacerdote ha estado tras las investigaciones canónicas como abogado de las causas que mantienen en vilo a la Iglesia católica. De carácter controvertido, fue la cara de la Iglesia para la dictadura y también secretario personal de Raul Silva Henríquez. Ahora, pesan sobre él las críticas de los denunciantes que dicen que no solo dilata causas, sino que también muchas veces ni siquiera los llama para testimoniar cuando es designado investigador.

El viernes 28 de septiembre, Javier Molina Huerta recibió un llamado telefónico que reafirmó lo que venía diciendo hace años: el Arzobispado de Santiago le informó que su denuncia contra el sacerdote Jorge Laplagne había sido calificada como verosímil y remitió esos antecedentes al Vaticano.

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.

Precht alegó inocencia y aseguró que no pierde la esperanza de revertir expulsión como sacerdote

[Precht, claiming innocence, says he has not lost hope of reversing his expulsion from the priesthood]

CHILE
BioBioChile

September 30, 2018

By Felipe Delgado and Nicole Martínez

El exsacerdote Cristián Precht, expulsado del sacerdocio por el papa Francisco a mediados de septiembre, rompió el silencio y aseguró que no pierde la esperanza de revertir la decisión vaticana. Mediante una declaración difundida por Imaginacción, empresa ligada al lobbista Enrique Correa, Precht declaró que su expulsión “trastoca duramente el sentido de mi vida que se ha expresado en mas de cinco décadas en actividades propias del ministerio sacerdotal”.

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.

To be or not to be Catholic?

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Times-Picayune

October 1, 2018

By Kim Chatelain

In 1955, a Gallup poll asked U.S. Catholics if they had attended Mass within the last seven days and 75 percent said they had done so. In 2017, a similar poll showed that the number had dropped to 39 percent.

Now, in the wake of recent revelations of clergy abuse in the church and efforts by the Catholic hierarchy to cover it up, questions abound as to whether the scandal will hasten the decline in Mass attendance, in men entering the seminary and in donations to one of the world’s most generous and influential religious institutions. Bishops and priests around the county have acknowledged that the clergy sex scandals outlined in an explosive Pennsylvania report released in August exasperated Catholics and prompted many to contemplate their involvement with the church.

What Catholic leaders do in response to the scandal could play a major role in how many people hold onto their faith. As secretary and an executive committee member of the influential U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond could have a major role in determining the course of action.

“It is a crisis,” Aymond said of the clergy abuse scandal in a recent interview. “It is something that gives a variety of emotions for all of us – anger, disappointment, outrage, heartbreak. It is important that we acknowledge those feelings” and bring about a renewal.

While hard numbers are difficult to come by, local church leaders say there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that many avid Catholics will continue to practice their faith but will demand that priests and bishops do a better job of policing themselves. If they can’t, some Catholics say the church must establish an outside investigative entity to hold religious leaders accountable.

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.

Ezzati: “Madre, enséñanos a estar de pie junto a la cruz de nuestros hermanos que han sido abusados”

[Ezzati prayer: “Mother, teach us to stand by the cross of our brothers who have been abused”]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 30, 2018

By Catalina Batarce

En medio de la procesión de la Virgen del Carmen, el cardenal imploró para que se les conceda “corazones abiertos al perdón, que piden perdón y perdonan”.

En medio de la crisis que enfrenta por estos días la Iglesia Católica chilena por los abusos cometidos en contra de menores, el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, antes de comenzar la procesión de la Virgen del Carmen, entregó un mensaje cargado de simbolismos a los feligreses. “Imploremos a la madre de la Iglesia que nos conceda a todos nosotros corazones como el de su hijo, corazones abiertos al perdón, que piden perdón y perdonan“, dijo el arzobispo de Santiago.

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.

Fiscalía alista fecha de declaración de Ezzati como imputado para esta semana en causa de ex canciller del Arzobispado

[Prosecutor prepares for Ezzati’s testimony as an accused party in the case of the Archdiocese’s former chancellor]

CHILE
La Tercera

September 30, 2018

By Carla Pía Ruiz

La instancia estaba programada para el 21 de agosto, pero había sido aplazada. Ahora, de no mediar un cambio de última hora, el cardenal deberá prestar su testimonio al fiscal Emiliano Arias este miércoles 3 de octubre.

Estaba inicialmente programada para el 21 de agosto pasado, pero la fecha se pospuso y no había recalendarización. Sin embargo, y de no mediar inconvenientes de última hora, el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati deberá dar esta semana su declaración en calidad de imputado en la causa por abusos sexuales en contra del ex canciller del Arzobispado de Santiago, Óscar Muñoz.

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.

The role of online journalism and the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal

NEW YORK (NY)
The Media Project

September 2018

By Clemente Lisi

“Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.” Those words by Saint Catherine of Siena appear most fitting this summer as the Catholic Church in the United States grapples with allegations of widespread sex abuse by priests going back several decades.

In July, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after it was revealed that the 88-year-old former head of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., had allegedly abused a teenage boy for years starting in 1969. It was also made public that McCarrick had been accused in three other sexual assault cases involving seminarians.

Unlike in 2002 – when an investigation by The Boston Globe unearthed decades of abuse by prelates never reported to civil authorities – accusations of wrongdoing within the Catholic Church these days are mixed with politics.
Last month, a Pennsylvania grand jury released a shocking report filled with decades of allegations regarding sexual abuses by clerics with children and teenagers – and cover-ups by bishops – that reopened a wound within the church regarding pedophilia and homosexuality among the clergy. It also sparked debate for reform regarding whether priests should be allowed to marry like clergy in other Christian denominations.

The incidents came on the heels of sex-abuse scandals that rocked the church in Chile and Australia. If that wasn’t enough, a whistleblower named Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano released an 11-page letter on August 25 describing a series of events in which the Vatican – and specifically Pope Francis – had been made aware of McCarrick’s immoral behavior years ago. Vigano claimed Pope Benedict XVI had placed restrictions on McCarrick, including not allowing him to say Mass in public. Vigano alleges Pope Francis reversed those sanctions. In the letter, Vigano, a former papal ambassador to the United States, said Francis “knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator. He knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end.”

Unlike in 2002 – when an investigation by The Boston Globe unearthed decades of abuse by prelates never reported to civil authorities – accusations of wrongdoing within the Catholic Church these days are mixed with politics. When it was revealed that two Catholic journalists had helped Vigano edit and distribute the letter, those actions shed a light on the increasingly polarized Catholic Church and the growth and influence of conservative news and opinion websites that oppose Pope Francis and what they believe is the pontiff’s assault on orthodoxy.

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.

Women are the ones who will help fix the Catholic Church

NEW YORK (NY)
The Media Project

September 2018

By Clemente Lisi

This is the time of year when Hollywood loves to release horror movies. The weeks before and after Halloween have included past forgettable motion picture schlock like “Jeepers Creepers” in 1991 and “Gingerdead Man” in 2005. This year, “The Nun” has been foisted upon movie-goers featuring a demon named Valak who, disguised as a Catholic sister, terrorizes a convent.

In real life, the Catholic Church’s boogeymen aren’t women, but men like Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the hundreds of Pennsylvania priests accused of molesting children and teens over the last few decades. The bad guys here are all men. Those who were victimized were children, teens and young people – all in large part males.

“Women really are the lifeblood of the [Catholic] Church, just as we are the heart of the family. It is impossible for us to stay silent in the face of this failure to act.”
— Mary Rice Hasson, Director of Catholic Women’s Forum

In “The Nun,” there’s enough evidence near the end of the film to know Valak is alive and a potential sequel in the works. But how will the real-life saga of “Uncle Ted” and predator priests end? That’s a question best left to the Catholic laity. The solution to the Catholic Church’s ills won’t come from the clergy – certainly not if Pope Francis and others protect the likes of McCarrick – but from the flock. And it will be women who will lead the way.

“Women really are the lifeblood of the [Catholic] Church, just as we are the heart of the family. It is impossible for us to stay silent in the face of this failure to act,” said Mary Rice Hasson, who directs the Catholic Women’s Forum, a network of Catholic professional women and scholars. “I continue to hear daily from women who are shocked and angry about the betrayals – past and present – that continue to come out in the news. Women want answers – and we want the church hierarchy to act.”

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.

Daviess Co., KY priest permanently suspended from public ministry

DAVIESS CO (KY)
WFIE

October 1, 2018

By Sean Edmondson

A priest with the Diocese of Owensboro has been permanently suspended from public ministry.

Father Gerald H. Baker was suspended in 2016 from public ministry after allegations of inappropriate conduct with a minor that were of a sexual nature.

[This letter was sent to parishioners to let them know about the allegations against Father Baker.]

Monday, the Diocese of Owensboro released this 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.

Western Ky. Priest Suspended After Sex Abuse Claims Substantiated

DAVIESS COUNTY (KY)
The Kentucky New Era

October 1, 2018

By Alexia Walters

A Western Kentucky priest has been suspended permanently from public ministry.

The paper reports the Diocese of Owensboro made that decision about Father Gerald Baker.

In 2016, Baker was accused of sex abuse by three minors.

According to the paper, the diocesan review board found the accusations against baker to be substantiated.

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.

Kerala bishops visit rape-accused colleague in jail

KERALA (INDIA)
Gulf News

October 1, 2018

By Akhel Mathew

Another priest allegedly visited convent to pressure nuns into diluting their case against Mulakkal

Thiruvananthapuram: Three bishops in Kerala on Monday visited the bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mulakkal, who is being held in a sub-jail in Pala, Kottayam district, over rape charges.
The three who paid him a visit were bishop Mathew Arackal of Kanjirapally Syro-Malabar diocese, Jose Pulickal, the auxiliary bishop of the same diocese, and Samuel Mar Iranios, an auxiliary bishop of the Malankara Church.

Mulakkal has been accused of raping a nun attached to the Kuravilangad convent in Kottayam district 13 times between 2014 and 2016. The bishop has denied the allegation.
The visit by the three bishops comes a day after the prominent Changanacherry diocese published an encyclical to churches under its control on Sunday, offering indirect support for the jailed bishop.

The encyclical also suggested that some within the Catholic Church were working against the church’s interests.

On social media, the visit of the three bishops was criticised, with one commentator saying that it was a tragedy that bishops now had to visit a colleague in jail, and another stating that bishops would not take such efforts to visit a poor man in jail.

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.

Saginaw Catholic priest withdraws sex-crime plea, will head to trial

SAGINAW (MI)
MLive

October 1, 2018

By Bob Johnson

A Catholic priest accused of sex crimes will head to trial after withdrawing his no contest plea.

The Rev. Robert “Father Bob” DeLand withdrew his plea on Friday, Sept. 28, according to Saginaw County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Gaertner.

Gaertner said Monday that DeLand did not want to accept the potential sentence he faces and decided to withdraw his plea.

The Saginaw Catholic Diocesan priest pleaded no contest on Sept. 4 to seven criminal charges involving three 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.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes bill that would have expanded civil suit window for childhood sex abuse victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

October 1, 2018

By Laura Newberry

Gov. Jerry Brown has rejected a bill that would have given survivors of childhood sexual assault in California more time to file suits against those who could have stopped their abuse.

The bill, written by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), would have allowed victims to file abuse claims until they are 40 years old. It also would have permitted those who have repressed memories of abuse to sue within five years of unearthing the cause of their trauma.

On Monday, victims advocates said they felt defeated by Brown’s decision.

“I’m exceptionally disappointed that even after the #MeToo movement, after the [Brett] Kavanaugh hearings, that the governor isn’t doing what he can to reduce harm caused by sexual abuse,” said Tim Lennon, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Under current law, victims can sue a third party that may have ignored or covered up abuse — such as a private school or a church — until they are 26 years old or three years after coming to terms with repressed memories, whichever occurs later.

Advocates say the proposed law would have given survivors more time to process their abuse — memories of which can be repressed for decades — and to seek damages for their trauma when they finally feel comfortable coming forward.

The bill also would have expanded a victim’s ability to sue public institutions, including schools, that might have been aware of the abuse. Current law requires such a claim to be filed within six months of the alleged incident if it occurred before 2009. The proposal would have lifted that requirement entirely.

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.

Scottish prelate voices shame, resolve on sex abuse crisis

ROME
Crux

October 1, 2018

By Elise Harris

With clerical abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church in all corners of the globe, Scottish Archbishop Leo Cushley said that as someone who has given his life to the institution, he’s ashamed but also convinced that the Church, especially in Scotland, is in a “dramatically different” place today.

Referring to scandals that have erupted in Chile, Peru and the United States, among others, Cushley said each one is a cause of concern, “because this is an institution that I love and that I’ve given my life to, and I’m very dismayed when I see these things.”

In a sit-down interview with Crux, Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, said he can only speak authoritatively about the Church in Scotland, where he and his fellow prelates look at the abuse crisis “with great shame and great regret and that we wish it could be otherwise, but we do absolutely everything we can to get this right.”

What happened in the past, while tragic, is “dramatically different” than the current context, he said, voicing belief that at least on the home front, “we are doing very, very well indeed by any independent judgement or set of statistics.”

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.

Synods Aren’t Just for the Bishops

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal Magazine

October 1, 2018

By Massimo Faggioli

How the Laity Can Help Reform the Church

Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously said that God granted American Christianity no Reformation. It’s also true that God granted America no Counter-Reformation. But with the latest phase of the abuse crisis in this country, that might be changing. The depth and magnitude of this crisis—as well as its distinctive combination of clerical corruption and theological division— make it worse than any crisis since the one that rocked the church five centuries ago. The current crisis may not lead to a formal division of the Church the way the Reformation did, but it could well lead to a long period of undeclared schism.

As in the sixteenth century, the question is not whether the Catholic Church will survive this age of scandal, but what form the church will survive in. The abuse crisis is clearly no longer just a scandal, or even a series of scandals. It is, at least in the United States, a revolution in the church that could lead either to reform, or to the moral and cultural marginalization of Catholicism. The question, then, is how best to reform the church, especially in the United States, which is the epicenter of this crisis. Some interpretations of the crisis, such as the idea that the whole hierarchy is corrupt to the root and must be totally replaced by the laity, have given force to ideas of the church that seem hardly compatible with Catholicism.

But those who have the power to stop the bleeding and initiate a process of true reform seem to be incapacitated. It is part of the ecclesiological culture of those who were promoted in the church under John Paul II and Benedict XVI to welcome spiritual renewal but not institutional reform. Right now, the hierarchical leadership of the church—both individual bishops and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops—is in panic mode: almost every day new allegations weaken their authority. It is not clear what path forward they have in mind.

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Pray the rosary daily to step up abuse fight, protect church from the devil, Pope says

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

October 1, 2018

Signaling his belief that the Catholic Church is facing a serious crisis, Pope Francis asked every Catholic in the world to pray for the protection of the church from attacks by the devil, but also that the church would be more aware of its sins and stronger in its efforts to combat abuse.

Pope Francis asked Catholics to pray the rosary each day in October, seeking Mary’s intercession in protecting the church, and “at the same time making her (the church) more aware of her sins, errors and the abuses committed in the present and the past, and committed to fighting without hesitation so that evil would not prevail,” the Vatican said in a statement released Sept. 29, the feast of the Archangels.

United “in communion and penitence as the people of God,” the statement said, Catholics should plead for protection against “the devil, who always seeks to divide us from God and from one another.”

Pope Francis met earlier in September with Jesuit Father Federic Fornos, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, formerly known as the Apostleship of Prayer, to ask that the recitation of the rosary in October conclude with “the ancient invocation ‘Sub Tuum Praesidium’ (‘Under your protection’) and with the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, who protects us in the battle against evil.”

The first prayer, to Mary, has a variety of translations. One reads: “We turn to you for protection, Holy Mother of God. Listen to our prayers and help us in our needs. Save us from every danger, glorious and blessed Virgin.”

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Long Island Priest Steps Away From Ministry Amid Sexual Abuse Investigation

ROCKY POINT (NY)
CBS NewYork

October 1, 2018

A Long Island priest has “agreed to step away from the ministry” while the Diocese of Rockville Centre investigates allegations of sexual abuse.

In a statement, the diocese said it received a complaint in 2002 from a person who claimed Rev. Monsignor William Breslawski sexually abused his or her friend when the alleged victim was in seventh or eighth grade in 1980.

The complaint was passed along to Nassau and Suffolk district attorney’s offices this June, and the diocese launched its own investigation.

On September 25, the diocese received a letter from a relative of the alleged victim describing the same allegation.

The diocese said it also received a complaint from two other people in 2002 who claimed Msgr. Breslawski made inappropriate physical contact with them when they were adults in 1984.

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LI priest steps aside as allegations of sex abuse investigated, diocese says

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
Newsday

September 29, 2018

By Bart Jones

Msgr. William G. Breslawski agreed to step away while the Diocese of Rockville Centre investigates allegations he sexually abused a middle schooler nearly 40 years ago, a church spokesman said Saturday.

A Roman Catholic priest has stepped aside from his ministry while church officials investigate allegations that he sexually abused a middle schooler nearly 40 years ago and had “an inappropriate interaction” with two adults in the 1980s, the Diocese of Rockville Centre said.

Msgr. William G. Breslawski agreed to step away while the diocese investigates those allegations, Sean Dolan, a spokesman for the diocese, said Saturday.

Breslawski, who was ordained a priest in 1979, most recently served as the pastor of the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua in Rocky Point. He could not be reached for comment.

“We are saddened by these allegations, and we will do everything we can to ensure that a fair and just determination is made,” Dolan said.

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Former U.S. cardinal accused of sex abuse living a block from Kansas school

VICTORIA (KS)
The Associated Press

September 29, 2018

The friary in remote western Kansas that is now home to a disgraced former U.S. cardinal removed from ministry by Pope Francis over allegations of sexual abuse is just one block from an elementary school.

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., confirmed in a statement Friday that ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick is living at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, a rural town of about 1,200 that lies more than 400 kilometres west of Kansas City. The Friary is within a block of Victoria Elementary School.

News of McCarrick’s living arrangement took school officials by surprise, the Kansas City Star reported .

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Women must fight clericalism to heal church from abuse, Vatican publication says

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

October 1, 2018

In response to current scandals, clericalism and the need for reform, Catholic women must take the initiative and make their voices be heard, according to a series of articles in a Vatican magazine.

The October edition of Women Church World, published Oct. 1 in conjunction with the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, dedicated its monthly issue to “Women Confronting the Crisis of the Church.”

“We wanted to give voice to a critical reflection from the point of view of women,” Lucetta Scaraffia, the magazine’s director, wrote in the opening editorial.

The first article, titled “Holy Rage,” was a Q&A with Sister Veronique Margron, a moral theologian who works with abuse victims, is president of the Conference of Religious in France and is provincial superior of the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation.

She said one major factor behind the “omerta” or culture of silence in the church lies in the image the church often has of itself as being a family, which, when it comes to incidences of sexual abuse, “has disastrous consequences.”

The image of a family is meant to describe the beauty of reciprocal care and love for each member, she said. However, just like when abuse is experienced in a family, that abuse is rarely talked about and finds support in sayings that warn against “airing your dirty linen in public.”

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Poland: Film stokes debate about sexual abuse

POLAND
DW

October 1, 2018

By Magdalena Gwozdz-Pallokat (Warsaw)

The film “Kler” (“Clergy”) has only just been released in Poland. Hardly anyone has seen it yet, but already it’s adding fuel to the fire in the debate about abuse within the country’s powerful Catholic Church.

The film had already been labelled controversial long before it arrived in cinemas. Now it has, and demand is so high that some movie theaters are screening “Kler” up to 20 times a day. On the other hand, there are also municipalities with conservative local authorities that don’t want it in their cinemas at all. Director Wojciech Smarzowski could hardly dream of better advertising.

The subject matter is one of the hottest topics currently being debated in Poland: How priests deal with money, power and sexuality. And pedophilia. There are many people who want to participate in this debate, especially as it’s taking place in a country where almost half the population regularly attends church on Sundays and more than 90 percent are baptized Catholics.

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He’s accused of child sex abuse. Why is former Cardinal McCarrick living next to a school?

WASHINGTON (DC)
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

October 1, 2018

By Kelly Heyboer

Victims advocates are questioning why the Catholic Church has moved former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick to a home for priests in Kansas located within feet of an elementary school.

McCarrick, the former head of the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen, resigned from his post as a cardinal last summer after he was accused of sexual misconduct, including sexually abusing at least two altar boys several decades ago. The 88-year-old priest is awaiting a church trial.

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., where McCarrick had been living, confirmed Friday that McCarrick was moved to St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kansas, after Pope Francis told him to withdraw from public ministry and events.

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Church ship hit by abuse ‘winds’ – Pope

VATICAN CITY
ANSA

October 1, 2018

Due to grave faults committed by some of its members

The Catholic Church’s ship is being hit by “violent” winds because of sex abuse scandals, Pope Francis said Monday.
“We are living in a context in which the ship of the Church is being hit by contrary and violent winds, especially because of the grave faults committed by some of its members,” he told a group of French priests. It is important, Francis said, “not to forget humble daily faith in the ministry which the Lord lets the great majority of those he has donated the Church as priests live”.

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German bishops announce measures to tackle abuse problem

BERLIN (GERMANY)
La Croix

October 1, 2018

By Delphine Nerbollier

Victims’ representatives express disappointment at the ‘meager announcements’ and ‘absence of concrete measures’

Following their General Assembly, Germany’s Catholic bishops have presented a seven point plan to tackle sex abuse within church institutions.

The bishops also published their initial response to the publication early last week of an independent report that cited 3,677 children and adolescent victims of abuse by 1,670 clerics since World War II.

The German Episcopal Conference on Sept. 27 announced plans to launch “an introspection prospect” in the nation’s 27 dioceses.

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Church holds training to end child sex abuse

HUNTSVILLE (AL)
Rocket City Now

September 30, 2018

By Mary Stackhouse

The Village Church opened its doors on Sunday to members within the church as well as to the Huntsville community for a training designed to protect kids from child sex abuse.

Mary Anne Hunter, Director of Children’s Ministry at The Village Church, said that the church partnered with Stewards of Children for the training. The training was for members of the church who work with children, along with members outside the church who advocate for children as well.

Topics covered include recognizing child abuse, preventing it, and responding to it.

Responding the right way is key, she explained. The wrong response may cause the individual to go silent about the abuse they have experienced.

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Ottawa priest defrocked following abuse admissions, allegations

OTTAWA (CANADA)
Ottawa Citizen

October 1, 2018

By Andrew Duffy

An Ottawa priest who is to stand trial next year on historic sex abuse charges has been defrocked by the Vatican.

Barry McGrory, 83, is the second Ottawa priest to be dismissed from the priesthood in the clergy sex-abuse scandal. The Catholic Church calls the dismissal process “laicization,” and it is considered the harshest penalty the Vatican can deliver.

His official removal from the priesthood follows a determined campaign by one of his acknowledged victims, Colleen Passard, who reached an out-of-court settlement with the diocese in 1997 for the abuse she suffered after meeting McGrory at Ottawa’s Holy Cross Parish in the 1970s. She was a young teenager at the time.

Passard said the legal settlement included a commitment by the diocese to remove McGrory from the priesthood. But that didn’t happen.

Rather, McGrory was ordered not to present himself as a priest and he was prohibited from celebrating mass, hearing confessions or administering the sacraments.

Two-and-a-half years ago, after this newspaper published a story about McGrory’s role in the clergy sex-abuse scandal, Passard renewed her calls to have him removed from the priesthood. She met with Rev. Christian Riesbeck, auxilliary bishop of Ottawa, and prepared a victim-impact statement at his request.

That statement gave a detailed account of her abuse by McGrory, and concluded with a plea to church officials: “I urge you on behalf of myself, all of McGrory‘s victims, and all good priests, to laicize Father Barry McGrory. It is the most merciful and compassionate action you can take. Every day that McGrory remains a priest is a shameless hypocrisy — and a mockery of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.”

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Pennsylvania keeps university abuse case sealed, despite release of Church report

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

October 1, 2018

By Michael Rubinkam

Even as top Pennsylvania officials assail the Catholic Church over its cover-up of clergy sexual abuse, a state agency is refusing to release a report on allegations of sexual abuse by a high-ranking state university administrator despite lingering questions about how the accusers’ complaints were handled.

In a case that bears some broad similarities to – and contains important differences with – the Pennsylvania Church scandal that exploded in August, Pennsylvania’s higher education agency won’t agree to allow the public to see the 10-year-old report on former East Stroudsburg University Vice President Isaac Sanders. The report has taken on fresh significance in the wake of a new federal lawsuit by Sanders over his firing that could put Pennsylvania taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars.

The office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro – acting as the higher-ed agency’s lawyer – says the report on Sanders remains subject to an 8-year-old confidentiality agreement and can’t be released. But Sanders’ lawyer says he “could care less” if the document is disclosed, and the students who accused Sanders of sexual assault and harassment have long wanted the state’s evidence against him made public, only to be rebuffed by state officials.

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Former Chicago priest accused of sexual abuse became school counselor

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC7

September 29, 2018

By Chuck Goudie and Ross Weidner

An I-Team investigation has uncovered that a former priest, who church officials say was credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor, worked as a school counselor after leaving Chicago.

Jesus ‘Jesse’ Garza left his priest position at the Archdiocese of Chicago in 2000 and went to work in Beloit, Wisconsin, public schools. Garza claims school district or state officials never questioned him about his background even though in July of 2005 church investigators say they substantiated claims that Garza forced a boy to perform oral sex on him between 10 and 15 times from January to April 1984.

“The people I worked with in Beloit knew I was a priest, they would joke with me about it,” said Garza.

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How the Vatican handled reports of Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct and what it says about the Catholic Church.

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

October 1, 2018

By Michelle Boorstein

In November 2000, a Manhattan priest got fed up with the secrets he knew about a star archbishop named Theodore McCarrick and decided to tell the Vatican.

For years, the Rev. Boniface Ramsey had heard from seminarians that McCarrick was pressuring them to sleep in his bed. The students told him they weren’t being touched, but still, he felt, it was totally inappropriate and irresponsible behavior — especially for the newly named archbishop of Washington.

Ramsey called the Vatican’s then-U.S. ambassador, Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, who implored the priest to write the allegation so it could be sent up the chain in Rome. “Send the letter!” Montalvo demanded, Ramsey recalls.

He never heard back from Montalvo, and Ramsey has since destroyed his copy of the 2000 letter, he said.

“I thought of it as secret and somehow even sacred — something not to be divulged,” Ramsey told The Washington Post. It wasn’t the concept of a cleric occasionally “slipping up” with their celibacy vow that shocked Ramsey, who believes that’s common. It was the repeated and nonconsensual nature of the McCarrick allegations.

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A lone holdout presses LDS Church lawsuit after 12 others settle sex abuse claims involving former American Indian foster program

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

October 1, 2018

By Connor Richards

Bízhínłth baá says she was repeatedly raped by her foster father in a small town in Utah’s Cache County.

Then 12 years old, the Navajo girl knew that what her foster father was doing to her “three or four times a week” wasn’t right, but when she reached out for help to a local leader of the women’s Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, baá says, she was met with disbelief. Worse, she was scolded and slapped.

“Do not tell anybody,” she recounts being warned. “And you think I had fear? Oh, I had fear. You can’t believe the fear I had.” And so the abuse continued throughout that school year, until the next May, she says, when she was returned home to the Navajo Nation.

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Off limits: State report on East Stroudsburg University abuse kept from public

EAST STROUDSBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

October 1, 2018

By Michael Rubinkam

Even as top Pennsylvania officials assail the Catholic Church over its cover-up of clergy sexual abuse, a state agency is refusing to release a report on allegations of sexual abuse by a high-ranking state university administrator despite lingering questions about how the accusers’ complaints were handled.

In a case that bears some broad similarities to — and contains important differences with — the Pennsylvania church scandal that exploded in August, Pennsylvania’s higher education agency won’t agree to allow the public to see the 10-year-old report on former East Stroudsburg University Vice President Isaac Sanders. The report has taken on fresh significance in the wake of a new federal lawsuit by Sanders over his firing that could put Pennsylvania taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars.

The office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro — acting as the higher-ed agency’s lawyer — says the report on Sanders remains subject to an 8-year-old confidentiality agreement and can’t be released. But Sanders’ lawyer says he “could care less” if the document is disclosed, and the students who accused Sanders of sexual assault and harassment have long wanted the state’s evidence against him made public, only to be rebuffed by state officials.

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Canadian bishops update sex abuse guidelines

CANADA
La Croix

October 1, 2018

By Joseph Sinasac

It addresses clericalism but offers no new methods for handling complaints against bishops

Canada’s Catholic bishops have issued updated national guidelines to strengthen the way they deal with the scandal of clergy sex abuse.

At their annual plenary assembly on Sept. 28 in Cornwall, Ontario, the bishops reviewed the final version of the document titled Protecting Minors from Sexual Abuse: A Call to the Catholic Faithful in Canada for Healing, Reconciliation and Transformation.

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Retired Des Moines priest receives third accusation of alleged sexual abuse of a minor

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

September 28, 2018

By Alex Ivanisevic

The Diocese of Des Moines has heard a third allegation of decades-old sexual abuse of a minor by the same priest.

The complaint — received Sept. 6 — was made against the Rev. Leonard Kenkel, according to a news release from the diocese. Bishop Richard Pates immediately referred the allegation to local law enforcement, the diocese said. Pates has apologized to the victim, who asked for anonymity.

Two allegations of decades-old abuse have previously been made in 2003 and 2005 against Kenkel. The Allegation Review Committee — comprising a chief of police, a judge, a lawyer, a counselor, a retired teacher, a priest and a deacon — determined in both cases there was not strong enough evidence to conclude that sexual abuse happened, but recommended that Kenkel meet with a professional, which he did, to help him better understand personal space and the recognition of appropriate boundaries for physical contact.

“It has always been a top priority for me that we address all allegations of sexual abuse with utmost transparency, consistency and accountability outlined by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” Pates said in the news release. “The diocese continues to work diligently to ensure a safe environment for children and all vulnerable individuals in our churches and schools.”

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64 clergy abuse victims to take settlement

SYRACUSE (NY)
CNY Central

September 28th 2018

Sixty-four of the people sexually abused by clergy plan to take settlements from the Catholic Church.

The Syracuse Diocese confirms to CNYCentral that the 64 victims have agreed to participate in the victim compensation program offered by the diocese.

In Syracuse, 85 victims were invited to participate. That includes 76 victims along with nine others who have not corresponded with the diocese, according to Danielle Cummings, Chancellor and communications director.

Victims have until the end of October to decide whether to participate.

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Growing Number of US States Initiate Clergy-Abuse Investigations

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

September 28, 2018

By Mariana Barillas

The dioceses involved have pledged to cooperate with the probes, but some observers have questioned if this is the most effective way to move forward.

In response to resurging revelations and allegations of clergy sex-abuse cover-ups in the Catholic Church after the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, law enforcement in a growing number of states are initiating their own investigations.

Attorneys general in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Vermont, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska and New Mexico have already begun probes into diocesan responses to allegations of sexual misconduct through a variety of means, including issuing subpoenas, forming special task forces and asking for full disclosure of diocesan documents. In addition, local police in Wyoming have reopened a case against a former bishop. It is likely that more states will follow suit, as Florida and Kentucky attorneys general have made first steps toward beginning a formal inquiry. Each diocese has stated that it will cooperate with authorities.

In addition, Sept. 24, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore disclosed that the archdiocese had been in discussions with Maryland’s attorney general about an investigation. In a letter to his clergy, Archbishop Lori stated that “the archdiocese is supportive of the review and will be fully cooperative throughout the process.”

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Dayton, Prosecutors Meet Over Clergy Sex Abuse Investigation

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
KSTP/ABC 5

September 29, 2018

Gov. Mark Dayton met Friday with seven county attorneys around the state to discuss how to potentially investigate clergy sex abuse in Minnesota.

In a statement, Dayton’s office said the meeting regarded “the capabilities and challenges of conducting an investigation into possible sexual misconduct in the dioceses of Minnesota.”

The statement went on to say the “Governor has consulted with his legal counsel about the state’s role and authority in this matter and discussions will remain ongoing.”

The seven county attorneys released the following joint statement:

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Mass held for victims of abuse, as former FBI agent hired for investigations

BUFFALO (NY)
WBFO

October 1, 2018

By Mike Desmond

Western New York Catholics gathered Sunday in St. Joseph’s Cathedral for an hour of Reparation and Healing. A small group of protesters was also there.

Bishop Richard Malone called for the event, so that Catholics could come together to pray for the victims of clergy abuse, to pray for those who offended and for the forgiveness of the church leaders who failed to respond adequately – something the bishop admitted during a short homily during the service.

Many of those who entered the cathedral through the front doors saw a small group of protesters who want the bishop to resign, saying he has failed to deal with the problems of abusive priests in the diocese, as the number of accused diocesan clergy has continued to rise.

While Malone has acknowledged what he calls “past inadequacies” in his handling of complaints, he says he will not resign.

One of the protesters, Robert Hoatson, is a former priest removed for supporting abuse victims. Hoatson said only church members can force change.

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Buffalo diocese hires former FBI agent to investigate complaints of clergy abuse

BUFFALO (NY)
The Associated Press

September 30, 2018

The Diocese of Buffalo has hired a former FBI agent to investigate complaints of clergy abuse and other wrongdoing.

Bishop Richard Malone on Friday announced the appointment of Steven Halter as director of the newly created Office of Professional Responsibility.

Halter was a special agent in the FBI for nearly 30 years.

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Bishop apologizes for mishandling two clergy sex abuse cases

BUFFALO (NY)
Spectrum Local News

October 1, 2018

By Fadia Patterson

Bishop Richard Malone hosted a “Holy Hour of Prayer” for victims of clergy sex abuse Sunday.

During the hour Bishop Malone took the opportunity to apologize for his own missteps in handling two cases involving adult victims.

“I know that I failed in the way I responded to allegations during my time here,” said Malone.

Bishop Malone has been under constant scrutiny since releasing a list of 42 priests accused within the Diocese of Buffalo.

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Six Buffalo bishops let priest accused of sex abuse in 1980s remain in parishes

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

October 1, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

Six Buffalo Diocese bishops or auxiliary bishops allowed the Rev. Brian M. Hatrick to remain in parishes for decades after a teenage boy complained Hatrick sexually abused him in the early 1980s.

Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz, the current No. 2 ranking administrator in the Buffalo Diocese, and current Syracuse Diocese Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, formerly a high-ranking administrator in Buffalo, kept Hatrick in ministry even after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops set its “zero tolerance” policy.

Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, more than two years into his tenure, quietly removed Hatrick from priestly duties in 2007. But it wasn’t until March that the current leader of the diocese, Bishop Richard J. Malone, publicly identified Hatrick on a list of 42 priests who had been credibly accused of sexual abusing a child.

“This was a covered-up mess,” said Monica Lesniak, a Cheektowaga mother who first reported the alleged abuse in the early 1980s, after her son told her that Hatrick had molested him.

Instead of alerting the police, Lesniak immediately called her church pastor – a decision she has anguished over for years.

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The Catholic church: a history of inaction toward pedophiles

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

September 27, 2018

By Tricia Bishop

Before The Sun moved offices last month, we were told we had to pare down what was in many cases years of accumulated notes and files — drawers full of interviews, court records, gang manifestos and whatever else we’d managed to collect and save in case we might need it again for another story, another day. I chucked two decades worth of papers to get to the goal: bringing a single box. Inside, along with personal items and performance evaluations, I put two large, white binders, each several inches thick — files from the only story I was certain wasn’t over.

They contain much of what I know about John Merzbacher, the child rapist accused of terrorizing dozens of Catholic students in Baltimore in the 1970s. The church turned its back on those children when it was happening, and again, in many ways, in the 1990s, after several of them gathered the courage to come forward as adults, in court, ultimately condemning Mr. Merzbacher to multiple life sentences in prison.

Now, state authorities are investigating how the Archdiocese of Baltimore has handled allegations of sexual abuse made against its representatives through the decades, spurred by a Pennsylvania grand jury report last month that identified more than 300 “predator priests” in that state. Baltimore’s current archbishop, William E. Lori, says officials are supportive of the effort and plan to cooperate.

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Pope Francis says Catholic Church sex abuse scandal shouldn’t be judged by today’s standards because everyone used to cover up crimes

ESTONIA
Business Insider

September 26, 2018

By Kelly McLaughlin

– Pope Francis told reporters in Tallinn, Estonia, that everyone covered up sex abuse scandals in the past.
– He suggested that it’s unfair to apply modern standards to the Catholic Church’s cover up.
– His comments come amid Catholic Church sex abuse scandals worldwide, with the most recent revealing at least 3,677 children had been abused by priests in Germany between 1946 and 2014.

Pope Francis says that it’s unfair to apply modern standards to the Catholic Church’s sex abuse cover up.

Speaking to reporters in Tallinn, Estonia, on Tuesday, the pope suggested that everyone covered up crimes in the past, and that the Catholic Church shouldn’t be singled out, the Associated Press reported.

He said he was not excusing the church’s actions but said it was unfair to judge the cover up by today’s standards, comparing it to judging the conversion of indigenous people in the colonial era or the past use of the death penalty.

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Lawyers in search for sex abuse evidence against Perth priest Father Brian Morrison

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

September 14, 2018

By Gary Adshead

The legacy of one of WA’s highest profile priests, Father Brian Morrison, is under threat from multiple claims of child sex abuse.

Eastern States law firm Porters is acting for “quite a few” people pursuing allegations that Father Brian abused them. He died from cancer in 2009.

“These victims were young children at the time of their abuse,” Porters said.

A recipient of many awards and honours, including the Senior Australian of the Year, Father Brian and his Catholic Churches Crisis Care Centre in North Perth were synonymous with charity work in WA for more than 30 years and up until his death aged 76.

But Porters — lawyers who have acted in hundreds of child sex abuse cases across the country — is seeking information “in relation to the abuse of children in the Archdiocese of Perth”.

“Porters wish to speak to any former parishioners, teachers, students or parents of students or parishioners who engaged Father Brian Morrison from 1975 to 1990, to obtain further evidence that will assist our clients in their claims,” an advertisement in today’s The Weekend West reads.

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Pédophilie : l’Eglise rongée par le scandale

Pedophilia: the Church eaten up by scandal

FRANCE
LE MONDE

September 25, 2018

Editorial. Alors que les révélations d’abus sexuels commis par des prêtres s’accumulent, le pape François ne peut plus se contenter de paroles de contrition, et l’Etat, notamment en France, se doit d’intervenir.

Editorial du « Monde ». Les chiffres sont accablants. En Allemagne, 3 677 mineurs ont été agressés sexuellement par des clercs de l’Eglise catholique entre 1946 et 2014. En Australie, 4 444 cas d’abus ont été identifiés entre 1980 et 2015. Aux Etats-Unis, pendant cinq ou six décennies, plus d’un millier d’enfants et d’adolescents ont été victimes de violences commises par des prêtres. Des scandales de même nature ont été révélés en Irlande ou encore au Chili, avec à chaque fois des évêques qui ont fait écran entre les agresseurs et la justice civile, et même maintenu des prédateurs au contact d’enfants.
La France n’est pas davantage épargnée : des faits d’abus sexuels, tantôt anciens, tantôt récents, surgissent régulièrement. Le mal de la pédophilie, couvert par une intolérable conspiration du silence, ronge l’Eglise. « Abus sexuels, état d’urgence dans l’Eglise », a titré le quotidien La Croix le 13 septembre.

Le pape François, qui depuis son élection en 2013 a toujours pris la défense des plus faibles, ne semble pas avoir pris conscience de l’ampleur de ce tsunami qui ébranle les fondements mêmes de son Eglise. Après son désastreux voyage au Chili, en janvier, où il avait soutenu un évêque accusé d’avoir protégé un prêtre soupçonné d’agressions sexuelles sur mineurs, le pontife argentin avait reconnu « avoir commis de graves erreurs d’appréciation et de perception ». Il avait fait part de sa « douleur » et de sa « honte ». Et il avait même dénoncé une « perversion » ecclésiale. Une sorte d’aveu d’impuissance, comme si l’Eglise admettait qu’elle n’avait rien entrepris contre les fautifs ou que les mécanismes de prévention ou d’alerte qu’elle prétendait avoir mis en place avaient été inefficaces.

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Chile abuse priest Fernando Karadima removed by Vatican

CHILE
BBC News

September 28, 2018

Pope Francis has removed the priest at the centre of Chile’s clerical sex abuse scandal.

In a statement, the Vatican said the pontiff had defrocked Fernando Karadima for “the good of the Church”.

The 88-year-old former priest had previously been sanctioned to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for having sexually abused minors.

In June, the Pope accepted the resignations of three Chilean bishops in the wake of the scandal.

They included the controversial Juan Barros who was accused of covering up sexual abuse committed by Karadima in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Missouri AG lacks subpoena power in priest sex abuse inquiry. Can the governor help?

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

September 28, 2018

By Jason Hancock

Can the governor grant Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley subpoena power in his investigation into possible clergy sex abuse and cover-ups in the Roman Catholic Church?

Hawley’s office seemed to imply that was an option last week, which inspired abuse survivors on Wednesday to call on Gov. Mike Parson’s office to take action.

But the governor responded by saying his hands were tied without a local prosecutor requesting assistance. The Star asked Hawley’s office to clarify its position Thursday, but instead his spokeswoman re-sent the same prepared statement it released last week that kicked off the debate.

The back-and-forth and lack of clarity is disappointing, said David Clohessy, former director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

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Pennsylvania House moves closer to approving bill giving childhood sexual abuse victims more time to sue

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Morning Call

September 24, 2018

By Steve Esack

One half of the Pennsylvania Legislature moved a step closer to approving a bill extending lawsuits for some childhood sexual abuse victims.

The House voted 171 to 23 Monday to add an amendment to a Senate bill that would give some adults older than 30 a two-year window to sue their alleged abusers and their employers who may have covered up the crime. The bill would give victims 24 months to file retroactive civil lawsuits to try to recoup money and compel their alleged abusers to testify in court.

However, the amended bill creates a different level of legal proof needed to prove a child sex abuse claim in civil court. Anyone suing a private entity, such as the Catholic church, for a child sex abuse cover-up would need to prove a lower level of “negligence” than someone suing a public institution, such a school district. Financial claims against a public institutional also would be capped. They would not be limited against private entities.

The vote was not without drama or biblical verse or cheers.

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“Why do you have to name names,” Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice asks in priest case

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

September 26, 2018

By Peter Hall

Lawyers fighting to protect the identities of nearly two dozen Catholic priests implicated in a grand jury report on the sexual abuse of children urged the state Supreme Court on Wednesday to end the case and adopt the report with the priests’ names blacked out, keeping the allegations secret forever.

If the court does so, the state attorney general’s office argued, it would damage the grand jury process, costing the office a valuable tool.

The grand jury report, released Aug. 14, identified 301 priests accused of abusing more than 1,000 children in six dioceses over several decades, with all but a few cases too old to prosecute. It also described efforts by church officials to cover up allegations and discredit victims.

The court agreed to temporarily withhold the identities of priests whose lawyers say the report would “name and shame” them, violating their constitutional right to defend themselves in the process.

The justices must decide whether to keep the priests’ names concealed or reopen the grand jury process, giving the priests an opportunity to present evidence.

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Priest Trial on Sex Abuse Charges Scheduled for 2019

ERIE (PA)
ErieNewsNow.com

September 29th 2018

By Lisa Adams

Trial for retired priest David Poulson on charges of child sex abuse not scheduled until February of 2018.

The anticipated fall trial date for a former Erie Catholic Diocese Priest on charges he sexually abused two young boys for several years is pushed back to next year.

After a pre-trial conference, a judge in Jefferson County set jury selection in the trial of David Poulson, 64 of Oil City, for February 11 of 2019.

In announcing the charges last May, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the the Diocese of Erie knew about Poulson’s predator tendencies since 2010 but did not tell police.

Poulson faces trial for felony counts of indecent assault, plus counts of endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors. One victim was just 8-years-old when the alleged abuse began.

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The Sex Abuse of Deaf Orphans in Pope Francis’ Backyard

ROME (ITALY)
The Daily Beast

September 29, 2018

By Barbie Latza Nadeau

The priests and monks created their own sick sign language to command the deaf and mute boys to perform oral sex and be sodomized.

Giuseppe” was born to impoverished parents outside of Verona in northern Italy with a congenital birth defect that left him deaf and mute. When it became clear that his parents could not provide for him—much less communicate with him—they brought him to the local Catholic church, which enrolled him in their Antonio Provolo Institute for deaf and mute children. It was here he learned to communicate through standard sign language and other visual cues. It was also where he became one of scores of victims of the priests and religious brothers who ran the school.

When he was 11, a monk who worked at the institute as an educator started teaching “special secret signs” for things like masturbation, fellatio, penis, and anus. “I didn’t understand at first just why this man was teaching me these strange secret signs,” Giuseppe explained in an exclusive, and very emotional, interview in Rome. “Then one day it became very clear when one of the priests made the secret sign for fellatio when we were alone, which was followed by him pushing his erect penis into my mouth.”

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Pennsylvania keeps university abuse case sealed, despite release of Church report

PENNSYLVANIA
Associated Press via Crux

October 1, 2018

By Michael Rubinkam

Even as top Pennsylvania officials assail the Catholic Church over its cover-up of clergy sexual abuse, a state agency is refusing to release a report on allegations of sexual abuse by a high-ranking state university administrator despite lingering questions about how the accusers’ complaints were handled.

In a case that bears some broad similarities to – and contains important differences with – the Pennsylvania church scandal that exploded in August, Pennsylvania’s higher education agency won’t agree to allow the public to see the 10-year-old report on former East Stroudsburg University Vice President Isaac Sanders. The report has taken on fresh significance in the wake of a new federal lawsuit by Sanders over his firing that could put Pennsylvania taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars.

The office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro – acting as the higher-ed agency’s lawyer – says the report on Sanders remains subject to an 8-year-old confidentiality agreement and can’t be released. But Sanders’ lawyer says he “could care less” if the document is disclosed, and the students who accused Sanders of sexual assault and harassment have long wanted the state’s evidence against him made public, only to be rebuffed by state officials.

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