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.

December 4, 2018

Bishop Malone needs to tell the truth

BOOTHBAY (ME)
Boothbay Register

November 28, 2018

By Kevin Burnham

We, along with other news agencies in Maine, received word this past week of the investigation into the sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Buffalo, New York. The State Attorney General ordered the investigation statewide in September and it is learned that the FBI has started its own investigation of the diocese.

Why should that concern us? Well, the Buffalo diocese is under the direction of one Bishop Richard J. Malone, the former Bishop of the Portland Diocese, who came under fire for “not telling the truth” about a case involving the Rev. Thomas M. Lee of Our Lady Queen of Peace in Boothbay Harbor. Lee was accused of sexual abuse dating back decades that spilled out in the early 2000s.

The Buffalo television station, WKBW, contacted this newspaper to see if we had a photograph of Lee to add to its investigative series about the abuse in the Buffalo diocese under Malone. You can find the station’s report online at https://bit.ly/2At7ELw

WKBW’s thorough investigative report includes an interview with Paul T. Kendrick, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Portland. Kendrick was accused of “harassment” by Malone after Kendrick continually asked the bishop to be more transparent about the sexual abuse cases in the Portland diocese.

“The Bishop Malone that I came to know here in Maine…is an actor on a stage,” said Kendrick, during the interview with WKBW. “Malone is a fake, a phony. He’s not telling the truth when he likes to say, ‘I never knew.’”

The report also includes information about the Lee case that the TV station obtained from John S. Brennan, former director of the Office of Professional Responsibility for the Diocese of Portland under Malone. In Brennan’s 60-page report on the Lee case, according to the TV station’s investigation, “the allegations went nowhere, even after the diocesan review board unanimously affirmed the complaint against Father Lee had been 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.

Catholic Dioceses See Litigation Uptick in Wake of Grand Jury Sex-Abuse Report

UNITED STATES
Legal Intelligencer

December 3, 2018

By Max Mitchell

A wave of lawsuits against Catholic dioceses has gained momentum in Pennsylvania courts and beyond in the wake of the explosive grand jury report on sexual abuse, and the state Senate’s failure to create a window for survivors in the statute of limitations has not held it back.

The legislative effort, which had been mounted in the wake of a groundbreaking grand jury report outlining more than 70 years of abuse at numerous Catholic dioceses across the state, had garnered bipartisan support, and many survivors said they were hopeful that, after several failed attempts to open a litigation window for survivors, they would finally have their day in court. But the measure was bottled up in the state Senate.

The tide of litigation was not stemmed, however.

In the past few weeks, a dozen suits have been filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, 20 suits were filed against a Connecticut diocese, two class action suits were filed in federal court against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and many other individual actions have been filed against dioceses in Pennsylvania and across the country. The suburban Philadelphia law firm Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin even set up a team of lawyers to focus on representing alleged victims.

Several attorneys who spoke with The Legal said they are seeing a renewed interest in sex abuse claims. The interest, they said, is fueled in large part by the grand jury report, as well as changing attitudes toward victims and newly uncovered evidence that might provide a broader basis for claims to circumvent the statute of limitations.

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.

Attorney: Buffalo Diocese “Does Not Care and Will Never Care”

BUFFALO (NY)
Spectrum News

December 4, 2018

An attorney who represents several people who claim abuse at the hands of priests in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo stated that he is receiving settlement offers for his clients.

Mitchell Garabedian says eight offers have come in from the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, with dollar amounts ranging from $10,000 to $340,000.

Garabedian says that while some of his clients want to accept the offers, others feel re-victimized by them:

“All eight clergy sexual abuse victims feel as though the Catholic Church still does not care and will never care about the pain caused by clergy sexual abuse.”

The diocese disputes the term “settlement,” instead calling it compensation to promote healing and bring closure.

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.

Hollywood’s #MeToo Crisis Won’t Subside Until the Industry Is Rebuilt

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Hollywood Reporter

November 30, 2018

By Maureen Ryan

During the past year, individuals have learned a lot, but institutions haven’t changed at all. So the guilds have to step up.
For the past year, those who work in the entertainment and media industries have been deluged with stories about harassment, toxicity, assault and rape on sets, in offices, in hotels rooms and just about everywhere else. These stories are hard to read. “Gut-churning” doesn’t quite cover it.

Unfortunately, that was the easy part. Changing Hollywood culture is going to be much, much harder.

I don’t say that lightly. I reported some of these stories over the past year, and hearing the fear in the voices of the men and women I talked to was harrowing. Listening to competent, hard-working professionals recount story after story of abuses of power that were covered up, denied or explained away altered my outlook on a fundamental level.

It convinced me that this work is just beginning. What the industry needs to do now is move beyond reading the latest exhaustive report about this or that individual and stop assuming that things will change if we take out a few bad apples.

Folks, the whole barrel of apples is rotten. It needs to be washed out and refilled from the bottom up.

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.

‘This is why children get abused’: Watch head of CHILD USA go off on Trump’s Labor Secretary Alex Acosta

WASHINGTON (DC)
Raw Story

December 3, 2018

By Bob Brigham

Leading legal scholar and child advocate Marci Hamilton went off on Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary during a Monday evening appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show.

Maddow said that “The Miami Herald deserves congratulations for its fairly epic new reporting on Trump’s Labor Secretary, Alex Acosta, and specifically on the deal that he struck when he was a U.S. Attorney with a very rich, very well connected, very prolific serial sex offender.”

“Despite local police uncovering allegations of straight-up child rape and the FBI identifying dozens of victims, Alex Acosta struck a ‘no prosecution agreement’ in the Jeffrey Epstein case in Florida,” Maddow noted. “He struck a deal with Epstein that made Epstein immune from prosecution for federal crimes.”

Law professor Marci Hamilton, the CEO and Academic Director at CHILD USA, joined Maddow to discuss the scandal.

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.

Delbarton’s Catholic order takes attorney to court for revealing alleged sex assault victim got 7-figure settlement

MORRISTOWN (NJ)
NJ Advance Media

December 3, 2018

By Thomas Moriarty

A New Jersey lawyer is scheduled to stand trial this week in a lawsuit accusing him of telling others generally how much a Catholic order paid an alleged victim of sexual abuse.

The Order of St. Benedict claims Gregory Gianforcaro breached a confidentiality clause in a 1988 settlement with the order when he told reporters the Catholic order paid a seven-figure sum to resolve the sexual abuse allegations.

Gianforcarlo’s trial was scheduled to begin Monday before Superior Court Judge Rosemary E. Ramsay in Morristown, court records show.

The Order, which operates the Delbarton School in Morristown, has been a defendant in multiple lawsuits brought by former students who allege monks sexually abused them while they attended the school.

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

Rep. Jackie Speier shares her horrific childhood ordeal

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
KGO TV

December 3, 2018

By Cheryl Jennings

ABC 7 News Anchor Cheryl Jennings recently had an exclusive interview with Congresswoman Jackie Speier of San Mateo County. They talked about the Congresswoman’s new book, “Undaunted”, in which she shares some very difficult things about her life.

Speier reveals a horrific childhood ordeal.

And, she goes into detail about what happened to her at the Jonestown Massacre 40 years ago, in Guyana. The leader of a cult ordered the deaths of 900 people. Speier was shot multiple times and left for dead. She was included in a recent documentary Jonestown on ABC. While she was describing the contents of the book, Speier began to slowly describe what happened when she was just a child.

Jackie Speier: “When I was a young girl, my grandfather molested me. And it took me years to tell my mother.
Cheryl Jennings: “It was her father?”
Jackie Speier: It was my father’s father. And I had just basically put it away.
Cheryl Jennings: “How old were you.
Jackie Speier: “You know, I think i was maybe five, six, seven.
Cheryl Jennings: “So this is a recovered memory.
Jackie Speier: “Yes.”

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.

Archdiocese of Santa Fe files bankruptcy petition

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

December 4, 2018

By Colleen Heild

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe, as expected, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday under the weight of civil litigation alleging decades of clergy sexual abuse of children and the failure of church officials to prevent such abuse.

The filing comes after the archdiocese has settled nearly 300 claims of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, according to the Santa Fe Archdiocese in a recent website posting. The number of pending sex abuse cases listed in the filing is 36.

The archdiocese’s petition for reorganization shows:

• An estimated $3.7 million in liabilities, although elsewhere in the petition the total estimated liability is from $10 million to $50 million.

• Creditors with the 20 largest unsecured claims are clergy sex abuse claimaints who are listed according to their initials, and their lawyers in Santa Fe and Albuquerque; the petition estimates each claim at $100,000.

• The total of all archdiocese assets was listed as $49 million, including real estate with an estimated value of $31.5 million.

• More than $57 million in property is being held in trust for the dozens of parishes in the archdiocese; more than $34 million in property transfers to parishes occurred in the past two years.

Archbishop of Santa Fe John C. Wester announced the decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last Thursday in Albuquerque. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Archbishop John C. Wester said he decided to file for reorganization to ensure that all claims of child abuse survivors, including those who come forward in the future, can be settled “fairly and equitably.”

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.

West Virginia Diocese Publishes List of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

WHEELING (WV)
World Religion News

December 3, 2018

By Gary Nguyen

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of West Virginia released the names of clergy who are accused of multiple child sexual abuse crimes. Some cases date back to the 1950s.

According to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, among the 18 clergy members mentioned in the list, 11 of them have died. No one in the list is actively ministering to constituents.

s per the West Virginia Roman Catholic archdiocese, the public release of names pertains to the 2002 U.S. bishops’ approved “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” The move is in accordance with the policy adopted by the diocese on matters of sexual abuse since 1985.

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 owes millions to 29 men with whom it reached out-of-court settlements

NEW BRUNSWICK (CANADA)
CBC

December 4, 2018

By Gabrielle Fahmy

Victims of abuse by Catholic priests in New Brunswick have been waiting almost three years for compensation after reaching out-of-court settlements, and there is no sign the money will arrive anytime soon.

CBC News has learned as many as 29 sexual abuse victims have reached tentative settlements in their civil lawsuits against the archdiocese of Moncton, N.B.

These are men who did not participate in the conciliation process led by the archdiocese between 2012 and 2014, but rather chose to sue the church on their own.

But the Moncton archdiocese said it handed over $10.6 million to compensate 109 sexual abuse victims who came forward during the conciliation process. It has been locked in a legal battle with its insurance company over who should compensate victims of sexual abuse for years.

Many of these tentative settlements at issue were reached after closed-door meetings in early 2016.

“They said they were going to try getting our money as soon as possible within a year,” said a 54-year-old Moncton man. Because he is a victim of sexual abuse, CBC News has agreed not to reveal his identity.

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.

Victim advocate: Releasing names of accused priests good start, but more needs to be done

SYRACUSE (NY)
CNYCentral

December 3, 2018

It’s a wound on the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse that will not heal anytime soon — many priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

On Monday, the diocese released the names of 57 priests in the local area with accusations that go back to 1950 in hopes of moving past the conversation of abuse in the Catholic Church that has been in the national spotlight since this summer’s investigation by the attorney general’s office of Pennsylvania, which claims more than 1,000 children where abused by more than 300 “predator priests” in Pennsylvania.

“It was smart to release the names,” said parishioner Bill Kinne. “We’ve go to pray and hope this will help heal and get over it.”

For years, many have pushed for the names to be made public. Bishop Robert Cunningham said he decided to release the names after much reflection and prayer.

And even though the list of names is shocking, some say it might not even be half of the clergy who offended.

“Every parish probably had a perpetrator and that every Catholic in their lifetime attending church in the Diocese of Syracuse probably ran into a perpetrator,” said victim advocate Patrick Wall.

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.

Holy Innocents Catholic School sued over allegation of sexual abuse

WAITE PARK (MN)
Saint Cloud Times

December 3, 2018

By Jordyn Brown and Nora G. Hertel

A former student at Holy Innocents Catholic School in Waite Park filed a lawsuit against the school Monday alleging sexual abuse by five members of the family that runs the school and a former priest who was assigned and lived there for years.

The woman is calling the school a “public nuisance” and is asking for it to be permanently shut down.

A copy of the lawsuit filed by Jeff Anderson and Associates, the law firm representing the woman, says she endured “ritual sexual abuse” while she was a student at Holy Innocents from 1978 to 1984, when she was 5 to 11 years old. Only the school is named as a defendant.

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.

December 3, 2018

Reported victim and former priest speak out after list of accused priests is made public

COLUMBUS (OH)
WSYX/WTTE TV

December 3, 2018

By Seema Iyer

When the Steubenville Diocese released its list of priests accused of sex abuse it left many people having to relive what they would rather forget.

Beth Rocker was between 10 and 12 years old when she says former priest Gary Zalenski – whose name was on that list – began molesting her. Rocker says it started in the early 1990’s after she and her brother brother became altar servers at their church, Saint Peter and Paul in Lore City, Ohio.

“He would come up behind me and squeeze my chest or from the front squeeze my chest, I’d feel his penis be hard pushing up against me,” Rocker said.

Zalenski disputes the claim, saying there weren’t any female altar servers during the five years he was there and he provided five letters that essentially say as much.

Rocker said another incident with Zalenski happened on a day she thought she’d spending time hanging with a big group of friends from church, but ended up on Zalenski’s boat with just him and her younger brother.

She says Zalenski told her to get on his lap to drive the boat and then “he opened his legs and I sat down in between his legs and then his penis got hard and then my backside got wet and then I got up and we jumped off the boat.”

Rocker says she and her brother both jumped off the boat into the lake because she was scared and was trying to think of a way to get out of the situation.

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.

Pa. Supreme Court: Names of Catholic clergy will remain shielded

HARRISBURG (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

December 3, 2018

By Angela Couloumbis and Liz Navratil

As the Catholic Church undergoes a national reckoning for its handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday ruled it would not release the identities of 11 clerics implicated in a high-profile grand jury investigation of such abuse in nearly every diocese in the state.

In its majority opinion, the high court sided with a group of former and current clergy who claimed that passages in a state grand jury report, released earlier this year, are either inaccurate or unfairly harm their reputations.

The report, the result of a two-year investigation by the state Attorney General’s office, chronicled seven decades worth of abuse in six out of the state’s eight dioceses. Its public release this past August sparked a wave of similar state and federal investigations across the country as well as the resignation of one of the nation’s top Catholic leaders.

“We acknowledge that this outcome may be unsatisfying to the public and to the victims of the abuse detailed in the report,” wrote Justice Debra Todd, who authored the majority opinion. “While we understand and empathize with these perspectives, constitutional rights are of the highest order, and even alleged sexual abusers, or those abetting them, are guaranteed by our Commonwealth’s Constitution the rights of due process.”

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.

Some churches talk about archdiocese sexual misconduct report at Mass

NORFOLK (NE)
Norfolk Daily News

December 3, 2018

Some churches in the Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha used time before and during Mass on Sunday to react to the recent revelation of 38 past clergy members being accused of sexual misdeeds with minors.

The archdiocese announced Friday that “substantiated claims of sexual abuse of, or sexual misconduct with, a minor” had been made against 34 priests and four deacons on a list it provided to Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, who had asked for the information.

The files go back to 1978, as requested by the attorney general. Only a few of the accused have faced criminal charges or civil lawsuits. None of the individuals named are currently active or serving in Omaha Archdiocese parishes, which include those in Northeast Nebraska.

At Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk, no mention was made of the latest report during Masses on Saturday evening at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

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.

No child should be able to get married before she can get a driver’s license

DENVER (CO)
The Colorado Sun

December 2, 2018

By Diane Carman

I’m trying to imagine a Colorado bank approving a 30-year home mortgage for a 15-year-old. Or an agency authorizing an adoption of an infant by a 14-year-old. Or a 13-year-old hiring a divorce attorney.

OK, those images are absurd. After all, you have to be 16 to get a driver’s license, 18 to vote.

And yet, in Colorado and 17 other states, children can be legally married to a man or woman over 21. Since 2006, at least 2,240 marriage licenses were issued in Colorado to couples where at least one person was under 18, many 15 years old or younger.

In so many ways, that’s not just absurd, it’s unconscionable.

“In terms of the whole development of the brain, adolescence is such an important time,” said Joanne Belknap, professor of criminology and social justice at the University of Colorado Boulder. “It’s the time when we are determining who we are outside of our parents and what our beliefs are versus those of everyone around us.”

It’s when we begin to establish what is trendily referred to as “agency.”

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

St. Columbkille in Papillion to rename Steinhausen Center after substantiated allegation

OMAHA (NE)
Omaha World-Herald

December 3, 2018

By Kevin Cole

Some churches in the Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha used time before and during Mass on Sunday to react to the revelation of 38 clergy members being accused of sexual misdeeds with minors.

The archdiocese announced Friday that “substantiated claims of sexual abuse of, or sexual misconduct with, a minor” had been made against 34 priests and four deacons on a list it provided to Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, who had asked for the information. The files go back to 1978, as requested by the attorney general. Only a few of the accused have faced criminal charges or civil lawsuits.

At St. Columbkille in Papillion, the Rev. Dave Reeson told church members that the Steinhausen Center will be renamed because the Rev. Robert O. Steinhausen was named in the report. Steinhausen died in 1993 at age 70 after 21½ years at the helm of St. Columbkille.

The archdiocese received a substantiated allegation against Steinhausen in 2008, after his death, said Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor of the archdiocese.

He said the archdiocese considers an allegation substantiated when it is supported by sufficient evidence or information, leading archdiocesan officials to believe that the claim is true.

A second allegation was made against Steinhausen, but the information was received third-hand and couldn’t be substantiated, McNeil 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.

Diocese program offers sex abuse victim $35,000 to settle claim

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

December 3, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

Administrators of a program to compensate childhood victims of clergy sex abuse have made at least one settlement offer – to a man who accused a Buffalo Diocese priest of molesting him in a church rectory.

The man was offered $35,000 to settle his abuse claim and agree to not sue the Buffalo Diocese, said the man’s attorney, Kevin Stocker.

Stocker described the offer as insulting.

“It’s tough to put a value on wrecking peoples’ lives and wrecking their families’ lives, but I know it’s not $35,000,” Stocker said.

It appears to be one of the first offers made. The News spoke last week with more than a dozen victims and attorneys who represent victims – all of whom said they had not yet received offers. Some victims and attorneys said they had yet to meet with the administrators of the program, and they expressed frustration over how long the process is taking.

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.

Norwich Diocese faces 20 new lawsuits for alleged abuse at Mount Saint John facility for troubled teens

NORWICH (CT)
Hartford Courant

November 28, 2018

By Dave Altimari

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich is facing 20 lawsuits filed this week alleging abuse of teenage students at The Academy at Mount Saint John, a Deep River residential treatment center, in the 1990s.

The lawsuits were filed by Hartford attorney Patrick Tomasiewicz, alleging students were abuse at the hands of at least four staff members, although the majority of the allegations were against two now-deceased brothers.

The academy used to be a residential boarding school where the state Department of Children and Families and the juvenile courts referred minors. A number of similar lawsuits have previously been filed against the facility.

It is now called The Connecticut Transition Academy for students with special needs and is no longer a boarding school. Students are referred from any school district in the state. The diocese still oversees the academy.

“We represent a lot of people that were harmed and we are going to do our best for them,” Tomasiewicz 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.

Norwich diocese faces lawsuits claiming sex abuse at school

HARTFORD (CT)
The Associated Press

November 28, 2018

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut, is facing 20 lawsuits stemming from allegations of sexual abuse during the 1990s at a residential boarding school for minors.

Attorney Patrick Tomasiewicz filed the lawsuits this week, claiming teenage students at The Academy at Mount St. John in Deep River were sexually abused by two now-deceased brothers.

The lawsuits say that the victims were between 13 and 15 years old and that the abuse occurred between 1990 and 1996.

Minors used to be referred to the treatment facility by the state Department of Children and Families and juvenile courts. It has since become an academy for students with special needs. It’s still overseen by the diocese.

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 look back at Owen Labrie’s sex assault case he continues his appeal process

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Daily News

November 28, 2018

By Rachel DeSantis

Owen Labrie, the former New Hampshire prep school student convicted on felony charges that stemmed from a rape allegation, is headed back to court Wednesday as he continues to fight for a new trial.

The 23-year-old Labrie will reportedly argue that his legal team was ineffective in defending him against “certain uses of computer services prohibited,” of which he was found guilty in August 2015.

It was Labrie’s only felony conviction (he was found guilty of four misdemeanors, including sexual assault), but it came with a lifetime on the sex offender registry.

Labrie was 18 and a student at the prestigious St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H. in May 2014 when he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old freshman girl as part of an alleged school ritual in which seniors compete to sleep with the most underclassmen.

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News Release – Syracuse, NY

SYRACUSE (NY)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

December 3, 2018

[Note: Correction to News Release Regarding Diocese of Syracuse’s Release of 57 Names of Credibly Accused Priests: (Syracuse, New York) – An earlier press release identified a Father Thomas Trane as working at St. Adam’s parish in Oswego, NY. Neither this individual nor this parish exist. These names are fictitious names used in court filings. The true identities of the parties and location of these allegations are unknown.]

Diocese of Syracuse Releases List of 57 Names of Priests Credibly Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

Attorneys, abuse survivors, call on Bp. Cunningham and the New York bishops to release all information and histories on every credibly accused priest

(Syracuse, New York) – Today, the Diocese of Syracuse released a list of names of 57 priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. Until today, Bishop Robert J. Cunningham has refused to release the list of names of credibly accused priests. As former Bishop of the Diocese of Ogdensburg and after working as Chancellor and Vicar General in the Diocese of Buffalo for nearly two decades, Bp. Cunningham stated on Saturday that he had concluded that not releasing the names had become a “roadblock” to the local Church.

“We applaud any time a diocese comes clean with long-held, dangerous secrets, yet this release is still a half measure and not the full truth,” said Attorney Jeff Anderson who represents several sexual abuse survivors in the Diocese of Syracuse and across New York. “We know, in having scrutinized the practices of Bishop Cunningham and his predecessor, that there are more names. The histories and concealment of these offenders, by the officials in the diocese, also needs to be made public. It’s time for the full truth.”

On March 14, 2018 the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates released a report detailing the names and histories of 19 priests in the Diocese of Syracuse who were accused of sexually abusing minors. One of these priests, Fr. Thomas Trane, was not included in the Diocese’s release today even though Fr. Trane was sued for sexually abusing a child from approximately 1988 to 1989 at St. Adam’s parish in Oswego, NY.

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.

For former Pittsburgh prosecutor, the new inquiry into clergy abuse is personal

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Religion News Service/USA Today

November 29, 2018

The suspicious looks were one thing, but the whispers are what David Hickton remembers from the Sunday mornings two years ago when he would rise from his pew at SS. Simon & Jude to receive Holy Communion.

“I could hear the ‘tsk, tsk, tsk’ while I was going up the aisle,” he says. “Others were muttering, ‘Of all the nerve!’”

Hickton – then the chief federal prosecutor in western Pennsylvania known for his landmark indictment in 2014 of Chinese military hackers for stealing trade secrets from state institutions such as U.S. Steel – had just revealed his new target: the Catholic Church.

The former altar boy from working-class Castle Shannon put the full weight of the federal government behind an incendiary theory that the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese should be viewed as an interstate criminal enterprise – akin to the Mafia – based on allegations that for years, up to 50 priests had abused hundreds of children.

The inquiry, which cast him as a traitor to some in his own congregation, was resolved far short of a dramatic courtroom confrontation when the federal government and the diocese agreed last year to create an outside panel to guard child safety.

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.

SNAP Calls For 3rd-Party Investigation

MORRISTOWN (TN)
The Citizen Tribune

November 29, 2018

By Ken Little

A group of survivors of priest abuses is continuing calls for a third party to investigate the Catholic Church and allegations against priests.

Former Priest Willam Casey is among four former pastors at Notre Dame Catholic Church in Greeneville listed among 13 priests and former priests accused or convicted of sexually abusing a minor.

The list was released Nov. 2 by the Diocese of Nashville.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priestsgroup claims there are more names not yet made public, an allegation that the Diocese of Nashville has refuted.

East Tennessee SNAP advocate Susan Vance said this week that an independent, third-party investigation of the Catholic Church in Tennessee needs to he conducted in order to get all the facts.

Nine of the 13 priests and former priests on the list released by the diocese are dead. Two others, including Casey, are in prison. None are in active ministry, the Diocese of Nashville said in a news release.

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.

Diocese says Iowa priest who threatened rape has recovered

IOWA CITY (IA)
CRUX

November 28, 2018

By Ryan J. Foley

A Catholic diocese on Wednesday defended its decision to continue employing a priest who told police he was trying to rape a woman when he was arrested naked in an Iowa mall in 2013.

The Diocese of Sioux City issued a statement for the first time acknowledging the 5-year-old incident involving Father Jeremy Wind, calling it a “mental health episode” from which he recovered with the help of medication and treatment. The diocese gave no details about what occurred and told parishioners the scrutiny was unfortunate and unnecessary because “there is nothing newsworthy to report.”

The statement came in response to inquiries from The Associated Press, which used the state’s open records law to shed light on a criminal case that was recently erased from public court files. It marks the latest diocese personnel matter that has come under scrutiny since its acknowledgment in October to having kept quiet a priest’s 1986 admission to sexually abusing roughly 50 boys.

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Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston releases names of 31 accused priests

WHEELING (WV)
WTRF

November 29, 2018

By Sam Coniglio

Catholic dioceses across the country are coming clean after yet another abuse scandal has rocked the Church.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has gone public as well, as they have released the names of 31 priests with credible accusations against them of abuse.

“We hope the release of this list,” said Archbishop William E. Lori, Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, “will be one of many steps taken to restore trust with parishioners and the broader community in West Virginia. We hope people see the release of this list as a sign of good faith that the diocese is committed to transparency, accountability and to providing a safe environment for children and adults.”

The list released by the Diocese dates back to the 1950s. In its review, the Diocese says that they reviewed more than 2,000 files of about 800 priests, which in total contained tens of thousands of documents.

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Be celibate or leave the priesthood, pope tells gay priests

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

December 2, 2018

By Philip Pullella

Men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be admitted to the Catholic clergy, and it would be better for priests who are actively gay to leave rather than lead a double life, Pope Francis says in a new book.

While he has previously spoken of the need for better screening of candidates for the religious life, his comments suggesting that priests who cannot keep their vows of celibacy should leave are some of his clearest to date.

Francis made the comments in a book-length interview with Spanish priest Fernando Prado called “The Strength of Vocation”, in which he discusses the challenges of being a priest or nun today.

Francis said in the book that homosexuality in the Church “is something that worries me”. It is due to be published this week in several languages. An advance copy of the Italian version was made available to Reuters.

“The question of homosexuality is a very serious one,” he said, adding that those entrusted with training men to be priests must be certain that candidates are “humanly and emotionally mature” before they can be ordained.

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Missbrauch: Norbert Denef fordert eine Million Euro

[abuse: Norbert Denef calls for one million euros]

GERMANY
Leipziger Volkszeitung

November 29, 2018

By Mathias Schönknecht

Norbert Denef wurde als Kind von einem Pfarrer in Delitzsch über Jahre missbraucht. Der 69-Jährige sagt: „Das Bistum Magdeburg trägt Schuld an meiner Krebserkrankung“ und fordert eine Million Euro.

Der in Delitzsch geborene Norbert Denef wurde als Kind jahrelang von einem katholischen Pfarrer missbraucht. Als erstes deutsches Opfer bekam er eine finanzielle Entschädigung – 25 000 Euro. Jetzt geht sein Kampf gegen die Kirche weiter.

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La Iglesia mantuvo en activo a un cura condenado por distribuir pornografía infantil

[Church allowed priest convicted of distributing child pornography to stay active]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

November 25, 2018

La diócesis de Cáceres permitió a un sacerdote sentenciado a prisión por corrupción de menores coordinar catequesis dirigidas a personas con discapacidad

La diócesis de Coria-Cáceres permitió a un cura condenado por corrupción de menores coordinar catequesis dirigidas a personas con discapacidad. El sacerdote Ignacio Lajas Obregón fue sentenciado en 2004 a 16 meses de prisión por distribuir pornografía infantil por la red. No ingresó en la cárcel por tratarse de una pena inferior a dos años y carecer de antecedentes. Y continuó en activo tras el fallo judicial, según tres boletines de la diócesis de Coria-Cáceres.

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Jetzt offiziell: Bischof vertuschte vor seiner Amtszeit Missbrauch

[Now officially: Bishop hushed up abuse before his term in office]

GERMANY
lnw

November 29, 2018

SKANDAL SCHOCKIERT NRW-KATHOLIKEN

Rhede. Für manche war er der gute Seelsorger, andere machte er zu sexuellen Opfern – und wurde dabei gedeckt von Münsters späterem Bischof. Ein Jahre zurückliegender Missbrauchsskandal schockiert die Katholiken in NRW und wirft wieder die Frage nach mehr Macht für Frauen auf.

Die beiden Hauptpersonen sind nicht da. Beide längst tot. Es geht um Münsters 2013 verstorbenen Bischof Reinhard Lettmann und einen pädophilen Priester, der 1971 nach früheren Verfehlungen in die Kirchengemeinde nach Rhede versetzt wurde. Dort missbrauchte er erneut Kinder und Jugendliche. Auch im Ferienlager, wie Zeugen jetzt dem Bistum berichtet haben. Und das, obwohl die Bistumsleitung von der Vorgeschichte des Mannes wissen musste. Zur Leitung gehörte der damalige Generalvikar und spätere Bischof Lettmann. Als der jetzige stellvertretende Generalvikar des Bistums, Jochen Reidegeld, am Dienstagabend bei einer Informationsveranstaltung bei den Opfern im Namen des Bischofs um Vergebung bittet, ist ihm die Scham und Betroffenheit anzusehen. Reidegeld kämpft mit den Tränen. Von Versagen ist die Rede. Seine katholische Kirche müsse jetzt endlich die Strukturen zerschlagen, die das jahrzehntelange Vertuschen erst möglich gemacht haben. Reidegeld redet von Männerbünden und fordert, dass jetzt möglichst schnell Frauen Ämter übernehmen müssten. “Und da will ich nicht mehr hören, dass die Kirche dafür noch Generationen braucht”, sagte der Vertreter des Bistums. Es müsse jetzt geschehen.

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Warum der Regensburger Bischof den Medien Verleumdung der katholischen Kirche vorwirft

[Why the bishop of Regensburg accuses the media of defamation of the Catholic Church]

GERMANY
regensburg-digital.de

November 29, 2018

A commentary by Alfred Gassner, Regensburg

Zu Bischof Voderholzers Rede vom „Missbrauch des Missbrauchs“

Ende Oktober hat sich der Regensburger Bischof Voderholzer mit einer Predigt an sein Kirchenvolk gewandt. Anlass war die MHG-Studie, „die uns als Kirche von Regensburg in den letzten Wochen arg zugesetzt und viele Gläubige stark verunsichert“ habe. Wie schon sein Vorgänger unterstellt der Regensburger Bischof Medien und Kritikern ein politisches Kalkül und greift dabei sogar auf die reaktionäre und täterschützende Floskel vom Missbrauch mit dem Missbrauch zurück.
Unser Gastautor Alfred Gassner antwortet Voderholzer. Er ist Jahrgang 1939, wurde 1950 Seminarschüler im Studienseminar St. Augustin in Weiden und musste dort sexuelle Übergriffe durch einen Kleriker erleiden. Mit der Begründung, er sei eine moralische Gefahr für die Mitschüler und das Ansehen des Hauses, wurde Gassner des Seminars verwiesen. In die MHG-Studie ist der „Fall Gassner“ nicht eingeflossen, weil der übergriffige Kleriker nicht im Auftrag des Bistums sondern nur für seinen Orden arbeitete.

Voderholzer: Medien und Strafanzeige erstattende Professoren wollen Kirche verleumden

In seiner Predigt zur Wolfgangs-Woche 2018 verteidigt Bischof Voderholzer den katholischen Pflichtzölibat für Priester und damit das katholischen Herrschaftssystem und dessen Eigengesetzlichkeit: er spricht das sexuelle Enthaltsamkeitsgebot für Priester von jeder Ursächlichkeit für das kirchliche Missbrauchsdilemma frei. Die Medien und die Strafanzeige erstattenden Professoren würden das Missbrauchsthema instrumentalisieren, um die Kirche zu verleumden und ihr zu schaden.

Missbrauch an Schutzbefohlenen ist ein kriminelles Dreiecksgeschehen: den Opfern treten nicht nur die pervers handelnden Täter als Einzelpersonen zu nahe, sondern auch die institutionelle Kirche als Mittäterin, deren tatenloses Zuschauen die strafbaren Aktionen der Täter ja erst ermöglicht hatte.

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Nicolás Castellanos: “Los casos de pederastia no se pueden silenciar”

[Nicolás Castellanos: “Cases of pedophilia can not be silenced”]

PALENCIA (SPAIN)
El País

December 1, 2018

By Julio Nuñez

El obispo emérito de Palencia, misionero en Bolivia y Premio Príncipe de Asturias a la Concordia, subraya que la Iglesia tiene que ser transparente y reconocer los casos con todas las consecuencias

El agustino Nicolás Castellanos (Mansilla del Páramo, León, 1935) saltó a los medios en 1991 después de presentar su renuncia como obispo de Palencia a Juan Pablo II para irse de misionero a Bolivia con la Fundación Hombres Nuevos, trabajo que le fue reconocido con el premio Príncipe de Asturias a la Concordia en 1998. Su espíritu incansable y amistoso también incluye un discurso crítico contra los sectores ricos de la Iglesia que “viven en los palacios”, los que no miran hacia el “pueblo de Dios” y hacia los que no reconocen “los pecados” cometidos por la Iglesia, como la pederastia. Durante el desempeño de su trabajo episcopal (1978-1991) asegura que jamás recibió una denuncia por abusos y que tampoco se habló de ese tema durante las reuniones de obispos en la Conferencia Episcopal Española. Al llevar 27 años fuera de España, prefiere no opinar la línea de respuesta sobre los casos de pederastia que está llevando a cabo la cúpula eclesiástica española, pero subraya que el camino a seguir es el mismo que se ha hecho en países como Alemania y Chile.

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Missbrauch in der Kirche: „Die Debatte ist stark männlich geprägt“

[Abuse in the Church: “The debate is strongly masculine”]

GERMANY
Vatican News

November 2018

Die Missbrauchsdebatte in der Kirche ist stark männlich geprägt. Das hält die langjährige Präventionsbeauftragte im Erzbistum Hamburg, Mary Hallay-Witte, fest. Die Religionspädagogin und systemische Therapeutin nahm am Dienstag in Rom an einer Konferenz über weibliche Stimmen in der Missbrauchskrise teil.

„Wir haben viele männliche Betroffene, die das Thema voranbringen, die das auch gut machen“, sagte Hallay-Witte im Gespräch mit uns. „Aber ich sehe in Deutschland im Moment wenig Frauen, die öffentlich auch in den Medien so präsent sind und ihre Forderungen stellen, wie wir das in Deutschland (bei Männern) erleben.“

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Papa Francisco alista nueva carta a los obispos chilenos

[Pope Francis prepares new letter to Chilean bishops]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 30, 2018

By JP Iglesias and MJ Navarrete

Respecto del posible contenido de esta futura carta, fuentes consultadas creen que podría ser una misiva “muy dura”.

En un mes considerado clave para la Iglesia Católica en Chile, trascendió desde fuentes vaticanas que el Papa Francisco se encontraría preparando una nueva carta dirigida a los obispos de Chile.

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Dem Vatikan laufen die Sponsoren weg

[The sponsors run away from the Vatican]

GERMANY
Die-tagespost.de

November 28, 2018

Die amerikanische Legatus Group verlangt Antworten auf ihre Fragen. Von Konstantin Stein

ür Schlagzeilen sorgt derzeit die Ankündigung der Legatus Group, der bedeutendsten Mitgliederorganisation für katholische Unternehmensführer in den USA, die Zahlung ihrer jährlichen Spende an den Vatikan in Höhe von 850 000 US-Dollar vorläufig auszusetzen. Der Gruppe gehören etwa 5 000 amerikanische Geschäftsleute mit einem Mindestjahresumsatz von 6,5 Millionen Dollar an. Hintergrund für die Entscheidung sind die Missbrauchs- und Finanzkrisen, in die Geistliche der katholischen Kirche, ja sogar hochrangige Stellen im Vatikan, verwickelt sind. Die Spenden will Legatus so lange zurückhalten, bis die Missstände aufgeklärt sind. Thomas Monaghan, der Vorsitzende der Organisation, forderte in seinem letzten Rundbrief die Mitglieder auf, auch weiterhin „für die Kirche und ihre Führungspersönlichkeiten“ zu beten, da es unübersehbar sei, dass die Aufarbeitung der aktuellen Krise in der Kirche noch Zeit brauche.

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Sucesor de Ezzati llegará antes de la Navidad y vendría del extranjero

[Ezzati’s successor will arrive before Christmas and come from abroad]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 1, 2018

By MJ Navarrete and S. Rodríguez

Biógrafo del Papa Francisco dijo que tenía información de “muy buenas fuentes en Chile”. Miembros de la Iglesia creen que será un administrador apostólico.

Fue el pasado 21 de septiembre cuando desde el Vaticano informaron que el Papa Francisco aceptaba las renuncias del exobispo de San Felipe, Cristián Contreras Molina, y su par de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrín. En su reemplazo designó a los administradores apostólicos Jaime Ortiz de Lazcano, vicario del Tribunal Eclesiástico de Santiago, y Sergio Pérez de Arce, sacerdote de la Congregación de los Sagrados Corazones.

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Verdächtiges Material auf dem Rechner: Priester suspendiert

[Suspicious material on the computer: priest suspended]

GERMANY
Merkur.de

November 28, 2018

By Christian Masengarb

DER NÄCHSTE KIRCHEN-SKANDAL?

Die Polizei ermittelt gegen einen katholischen Priester aus dem Allgäu. Er hatte verdächtiges Material auf dem Computer. Der Priester wurde suspendiert.

Kempten/Augsburg – Gegen einen katholischen Priester aus Schwaben wird wegen des Besitzes verdächtiger Pornos ermittelt. Wie die Staatsanwaltschaft Kempten bekanntgab, sei gegen den Geistlichen eine Anzeige eingegangen, in deren Folge die Pornos auf seinem Computer gefunden wurden. Inwiefern es sich dabei um strafrechtlich relevantes Material handle, müsse aber noch geprüft werden. „Die Ermittlungen stehen noch ganz am Anfang“, sagte eine Sprecherin der Staatsanwaltschaft am Mittwoch.

Nach Angaben des Bischöflichen Ordinariats in Augsburg wurde der Priester inzwischen freigestellt. Die Staatsanwaltschaft hatte die Diözese über die Ermittlungen informiert. So sehe es die entsprechende Leitlinie der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz vor, teilte das Ordinariat mit. Dennoch gelte die Unschuldsvermutung.

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Wheeling-Charleston Diocese Releases List of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse Since 1950

WHEELING (WV)
The Intelligencer

November 30, 2018

By Alex Meyer

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston released Thursday the names of 31 clergy members accused of sexual abuse through lists that include dozens of incidents dating back as far as 1950.

The diocese released two lists — one of 18 priests accused while serving in the diocese and one of 13 priests who served in the diocese but were credibly accused elsewhere — with the hope that others who may have been victims will come forward. Of those 31 clergy members, 18 served in the Northern Panhandle.

“Every single one was a surprise,” Bryan Minor, delegate for administrative affairs for the diocese, said of the names during a press conference Thursday.

The diocese reviewed more than 2,000 files and tens of thousands of documents to produce the lists with the intent of being transparent and helping people heal, Minor said.

“The diocese sincerely apologizes to all victims of clergy sexual abuse and all the families or individuals who have been affected by sexual abuse within the church,” he said.

The lists include credible accusations of sex abuse against minors, meaning that there is a “reasonable cause” to believe an offense has occurred, Minor said. The incidents involve violations of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, rules set by the church in 2002 to address abuse allegations. The lists also do not specify whether the misconduct conducted by clergy was criminal or not.

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Felipe Berríos y nuevo arzobispo: “Se ha estirado el chicle”

[Felipe Berríos and new archbishop: “We are tired and overstretched”]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 1, 2018

By Leyla Zapata

Frente a la posibilidad de que el Papa designe este mes al sucesor del cardenal Ezzati, expertos dan su perfil ideal.

Si bien la crisis de la Iglesia Católica es nacional, la Arquidiócesis de Santiago es uno de los principales blancos de las críticas respecto de cómo las autoridades eclesiásticas han manejado los casos de abusos contra menores que involucran a miembros del clero. Mientras, el Ministerio Público indaga en todo Chile no solo eventuales abusos, sino también el presunto encubrimiento por parte de algunos religiosos.

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Archdiocese submits sexual misconduct documents to Nebraska attorney general

OMAHA (NE)
Archdiocese of Omaha

November 30, 2018

The Archdiocese of Omaha has submitted to the Nebraska attorney general documents pertaining to church personnel accused of criminal sexual misconduct since 1978.

The documents included information on 24 archdiocesan priests with substantiated allegations of the abuse of minors or misconduct with minors. In all, documentation on 38 clergy were given to the attorney general for alleged abuse or misconduct with minors as far back as 1956 but reported to the archdiocese between 1978-2018.

“We acknowledge this report with sorrow, and know that it will cause a great deal of pain,” said Archbishop George Lucas. “We’re deeply saddened so many innocent minors and young adults were harmed by the church’s ministers. To victims and their families, I am sorry for the pain, betrayal and suffering you have experienced in the church.”

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Advocates for abuse victims applaud Paquin verdict

NORTH ANDOVER (MA)
The Eagle Tribune

November 30, 2018

By Mike LaBella

The conviction of former Catholic priest Ronald Paquin on Thursday on charges he sexually abused a boy from his Haverhill parish during trips to Maine in the 1980s is being lauded as a victory for all victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Paquin, 76, was convicted of 11 of 24 counts of gross sexual misconduct. He was found not guilty of similar charges related to a second boy.

Paquin was convicted by a jury in York County, Maine, after a three-day trial that featured sometimes graphic testimony from his two accusers, now grown men. The charges covered the period between 1985 and 1988.

Paquin served at St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill from 1981 to 1990, and St. Monica Church in Methuen from 1974 to 1980.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian has represented thousands of clergy abuse victims both here and in other countries, including 25 victims of Paquin.

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Un extranjero como nuevo arzobispo de Santiago: voceros de afectados por abusos valoran posibilidad

[Survivors’ Network spokesman would welcome a foreigner as the new archbishop of Santiago]

CHILE
BioBioChile

December 2, 2018

By Claudia Miño and Beatriz Vallejos

Los voceros de la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico de Chile y de los Laicos de Santiago manifestaron su conformidad ante el anuncio de uno de los biógrafos del papa Francisco, quien confirmó la inminente llegada del nuevo arzobispo de Santiago antes de Navidad.

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El enojo con el obispo de Aysén por atribuir los casos de abusos a “la denuncia de una persona loca”

[Bishop of Aysén provokes anger by attributing abuse cases to “the denunciation of a crazy person”]

CHILE
El Mostrador

November 18, 2018

La Agrupación en Defensa de los niños y niñas de Aysén salió a paso de los dichos del obispo, quien es indagado por presunto encubrimiento de los abusos sexuales cometidos por el sacerdote Porfirio Díaz.

“Hay mucho imputado, yo entre ellos, y eso es fruto de la denuncia de una persona loca”. Esta fue la frase del Obispo vicario de Aysén, Luis Infanti de La Mora, respecto a los casos de abusos que le pesan a la Iglesia Católica, y que motivaron la indignación de la Agrupación en defensa de los niños y niñas de Aysén.

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El misterioso viaje de Juan Carlos Cruz a Roma

[Juan Carlos Cruz’s mysterious journey to Rome]

CHILE
La Tercera

December 1, 2018

El pasado miércoles 21, Cruz publicó en Facebook una nueva travesía. Desde el terminal 8 del aeropuerto John F. Kennedy despegó en un avión hacia Italia. Específicamente a Roma. Allá se reunió con Francisco, en calidad de “informante”, para explicar el estado de la Iglesia en Chile.

El Papa Francisco tiene varios “ojos y oídos” en territorio chileno. Fuentes conocedoras del tema explican que no solo se comunica con sacerdotes. También habla con otras personas. Una de ellas es Juan Carlos Cruz.

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Diocese program offers sex abuse victim $35,000 to settle claim

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

December 3, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

Administrators of a program to compensate childhood victims of clergy sex abuse have made at least one settlement offer – to a man who accused a Buffalo Diocese priest of molesting him in a church rectory.

The man was offered $35,000 to settle his abuse claim and agree to not sue the Buffalo Diocese, said the man’s attorney, Kevin Stocker.

Stocker described the offer as insulting.

“It’s tough to put a value on wrecking peoples’ lives and wrecking their families’ lives, but I know it’s not $35,000,” Stocker said.

It appears to be one of the first offers made. The News spoke last week with more than a dozen victims and attorneys who represent victims – all of whom said they had not yet received offers. Some victims and attorneys said they had yet to meet with the administrators of the program, and they expressed frustration over how long the process is taking.

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Syracuse Diocese releases names of accused priests

SYRACUSE (NY)
Observer-Dispatch

December 3, 2018

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse today released the names of those priests against whom it has found credible allegations of child sexual abuse.

The list, going back 70 years, contains 57 names. Each listing includes a date of ordination and the current status of the priest (e.g. removed from ministry, deceased, etc.) but not information on which parishes the priests were assigned to or when. There also is no information on when the alleged abuse took place, or how many accusations were made against them.

At least five of the priests previously served in the Utica area, however, according to O-D staff familiar with the local churches.

They are: Felix R. Colosimo, deceased; Robert J. Kloster, removed from ministry; James F. Quinn, deceased; H. Charles Sewall, deceased; William A. Lorenz, removed from ministry. All were ordained in the late 1950s or the 1960s.

The list is broken into sections based on how the claims against the priests were handled.

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Jury selection set in suit over clergy sex abuse settlement

MORRISTOWN (NJ)
Associated Press

December 3, 2018

Jury selection is scheduled to begin in a Catholic order’s lawsuit claiming an attorney violated a confidentiality clause in a clergy sex abuse case.

The Order of St. Benedict of New Jersey sued Gregory Gianforcaro for telling reporters in 2012 that a more than 20-year-old settlement with a former Delbarton School student was “approximately seven figures.”

The lawsuit claims that statement was part of a “malicious and unethical attack” by Gianforcaro. Gianforcaro has denied the claims.

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Buffalo Diocese has a $48 million surplus as it prepares to pay victims

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

December 3, 2018

By Charlie Specht

Victims of sexual abuse by clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo have been coming forward since March, when the diocese announced it would pay voluntary settlements to those who were abused.

While the bishop plans to sell his Oakland Place mansion to help pay those victims, internal church documents obtained by the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team show he will need much more money than the sale of the mansion — assessed at nearly $2 million — is likely to bring in. But the church appears to have plenty of money in the bank.

An internal balance sheet from August shows the diocese has $71 million in assets and $23 million in liabilities — which leaves the church with a surplus of $48 million.

More than half of that surplus — $31 million — is undesignated for any specific use.

“They’re in strong shape,” said Michael Hoeflich, wealth manager at The Financial Guys in Amherst. “It could be cash that they have in bank accounts, savings accounts. It could be assets like property. It could be buildings, the furniture, it’s everything. And it also includes investments.”

7 Eyewitness News asked Hoelfich to look at the documents we obtained and evaluate the diocese’s finances.

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A Church That Doesn’t Take Any Chances With Youth Safety

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
KUER Radio

December 3, 2018

By Lee Hale

On a typical Wednesday night at South Mountain Community Church in Draper, about 60 teenagers are gathered for youth group. There’s loud music playing over the speakers, lots of chatter and a very competitive foosball game in the corner of the room.

The youth night vibe is typical for a non-denominational Christian church: laid back, casual. But at SMCC they are anything but laid back when it comes to keeping the youth in this room safe.

In the past year, a rekindled national dialogue has focused on child and youth safety in religious settings, driven in part by revelations of abuses by Catholic priests, sexually explicit questions in a Mormon bishops office or #metoo accounts with pastors of megachurches. But SMCC is one church that hasn’t taken any chances when it comes to protecting children.

In fact every adult volunteer in the room — and there are a lot of them — has undergone a background check through Utah’s Department of Public Safety. Youth pastor Shane Lingo sees vetting the volunteers as one of the most critically important parts of his job.

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Philippines Church must answer for child abuse

MANILLA (PHILIPPINES)
UCAnews.com

December 3, 2018

It seems as though children are at risk of sexual abuse everywhere — in public institutions, at schools, gyms, and in the Church.

When children are abused, the people of God are abused, too, for we are one family. Hardly a day passes without us reading of yet another case of a child sex abuser being caught, sentenced, and jailed.

One revelation follows another. It is good news to know that pedophiles and child rapists are being exposed, caught, and brought to justice at an ever-increasing rate. It is one of the most potent means to prevent child abuse.

There is more awareness and reporting of child abuse now than ever before, yet much has still to be done. Few clergy are caught nowadays.

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Russian priest who raped boys at least 46 times jailed for 17 years

RUSSIA
RT TV

November 29, 2018

A Russian Orthodox priest, who sexually abused boys under the age of 14, has been sentenced to 17 years behind bars. While the priest was convicted of 46 rape counts, he was accused of molesting children nearly 90 times.

The rogue hieromonk Meletiy, Andrey Tkachenko, has served as the director of an Orthodox gymnasium in the Yakutia region since 2010. He was exposed and detained last March, initially facing two counts of sexually assaulting children.

As the investigation unfolded, the case grew to a truly terrifying scale. The priest ultimately faced 87 counts of sexual offences against boys aged below 14. ‘Only’ 46 counts were proven in court, however, which resulted in the sentence of 17 years at a maximum-security prison.

Apart from the jail time, the priest was slapped with a 400 thousand rubles ($6,000) fine and was ordered to get mandatory treatment from a psychiatrist.

Orthodox hierarchs of the Yakutia region are considering to strip Meletiy off his priesthood. The decision on the matter will be made following his appeals with higher Russian courts.

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Experts question whether US bishops really need a new code of conduct

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

December 3, 2018

By Elise Harris

In the effort to tackle clerical sexual abuse, one step slotted for adoption by the U.S. bishops in their fall meeting was a new code of conduct for bishops, which would specifically address the issue of accountability not just for the crime but the cover-up.

Yet some experts dispute the need for a new code, saying the guidelines written out for all clergy in the 2002 Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People are valid for bishops too, if they are applied.

As the Baltimore meeting opened, the bishops were told by the Vatican to hold off on taking any action until after Pope Francis’s Feb. 21-24 summit on the abuse crisis with the heads of all bishops’ conferences, giving them time to take a new look on whether they actually need such a code.

Part of the reason the Vatican put on the brakes is reportedly due to several issues with canon law, with some critics feeling that the proposed new code was overly generic, leaving the specifics of what bishops would be accountable for unclear.

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India Church ‘glorifying’ Indian bishop accused of raping nun

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
UCANnews.com

December 3, 2018

India’s National Commission for Women has accused Catholic Church officials of failing to support and protect a nun who has accused a bishop of raping her.

Chairwoman Rekha Sharma told media in Kochi city on Dec. 1 that the official church was “glorifying” Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar while failing to protect the alleged victim.

“They [church officials] are glorifying the accused bishop,” Sharma said after meeting a delegation of Catholics who sought the commission’s intervention to provide security for the nun and her supporters in a convent.

Sharma alleged that church officials were not listening or acting to protect the nuns. The church has also failed by not having an internal system to report sex abuse, she said.

“There was nobody she [the nun] could go to and complain. We have also written to the church urging them to constitute internal complaint committees where women can complain,” she said.
The 48-year-old nun, former superior of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation, complained to Kerala police in July that Bishop Mulakkal raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016.

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Lawmakers call for investigation of Labor Secretary Acosta after scathing report

MIAMI (FL)
USA TODAY

November 30, 2018

By Christal Hayes and Jorge L. Ortiz

A Democratic group of lawmakers is calling for a Justice Department investigation into Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta after a scathing report revealed decade-old allegations that he granted an alleged serial pedophile the “deal of a lifetime’’ while serving as a U.S. attorney in South Florida.

The still-growing group, led by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., called on Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate Acosta’s role in a plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein, a multimillionaire financier. Epstein was convicted in 2008 of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution, but a Miami Herald investigation this week said the allegations against him were originally much broader, accusing him of coercing dozens of underage girls into sex acts.

As of Friday, six lawmakers had signed the letter calling for an investigation and seven others were scheduled to before it’s sent to the Justice Department on Monday, according to a signed draft exclusively obtained by USA TODAY.

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Pennsylvania’s first compensation fund for priest-abuse victims now open

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Herald

December 2, 2018

By John Finnerty

A compensation fund for victims of priest abuse is up-and-running in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and similar funds are in various stages of development in other dioceses across the state.

The Philadelphia fund launched Nov. 13. Victims of priest abuse have until Sept. 30, 2019, to file claims seeking compensation.

The fund is being overseen by Kenneth Feinberg, who had the same responsibility with funds for victims of priest abuse in New York.

The compensation fund came in the wake of a series of grand jury investigations into the church’s decades-long policy of covering up priest abuse. The final report, covering six dioceses, concluded that there had been 300 predator priests who’d molested at least 1,000 victims.

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Churches talk about Omaha Archdiocese sexual misconduct report at Mass

OMAHA (NE)
World Herald

December 3, 2018

By Kevin Cole

Some churches in the Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha used time before and during Mass on Sunday to react to the revelation of 38 clergy members being accused of sexual misdeeds with minors.

The archdiocese announced Friday that “substantiated claims of sexual abuse of, or sexual misconduct with, a minor” had been made against 34 priests and four deacons on a list it provided to Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, who had asked for the information. The files go back to 1978, as requested by the attorney general. Only a few of the accused have faced criminal charges or civil lawsuits.

At St. Columbkille in Papillion, the Rev. Dave Reeson told church members that the Steinhausen Center will be renamed because the Rev. Robert O. Steinhausen was named in the report. Steinhausen died in 1993 at age 70 after 21½ years at the helm of St. Columbkille.

The archdiocese received a substantiated allegation against Steinhausen in 2008, after his death, said Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor of the archdiocese.

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Confronting Troubling Questions Ahead of February Bishops’ Meeting

IRONDALE (AL)
National Catholic Register

December 2, 2018

EDITORIAL: Time is short for concrete actions and authentic reforms. We cannot afford another missed opportunity.

The Holy See announced in September that Pope Francis would focus all of the energies and proposals in dealing with the growing global clergy sex-abuse crisis on one event: the gathering in Rome of the presidents of the world’s episcopal conferences Feb. 21-24, 2019.

The importance of the February summit gained heightened urgency for Catholics in the U.S. after the disastrous meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last month in Baltimore, as well as the Pope’s Nov. 23 appointment of the February meeting’s four-member organizing committee. Comprising the committee to oversee the logistics and planning are Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and Jesuit Father Hans Zollner.

What does the choice of the organizing committee mean for the gathering, and, above all, does it reveal a willingness to get to the root causes of the crisis?

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Religious order Carmelites added as defendant in Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

December 3, 2018

By Haidee V Eugenio

A Catholic religious order, Discalced Carmelite Nuns, is now named as a defendant in dozens of clergy sex abuse cases involving the recently deceased Father Louis Brouillard.

Brouillard was assigned in the late ’60s to early ’70s to the San Isidro Parish in Malojloj where the Carmelites had a monastery or convent at the time.

Lawsuits filed by former altar boys, former members of the Boy Scouts of America, and former parishioners, state Brouillard sexually abused and molested them at the convent, where the priest was residing.

The original lawsuits were filed in 2017, and were amended this year to include the Carmelites. A summons recently was served at the Carmelite Monastery in Carmel, California.

The Carmelites, also known as the Order of Discalced Carmelites and Carmel of the Immaculate Conception, arrived on Guam in 1966 and built a monastery and convent in Malojloj in 1968, the amended complaints said. The Carmelites later relocated to Tamuning.

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Legal fees mount for Catholic dioceses amid sex abuse investigations

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune Review

December 2, 2018

By Deb Erdley

Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses began to ante up legal fees in the wake of a statewide grand jury long before last summer, when the panel released its scathing report detailing allegations of rampant clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups.

Recent financial reports in two dioceses — Greensburg and Erie — show those fees total about $5 million and counting. Church officials across the state concede legal costs are poised to grow as the U.S. Justice Department probes church records and Pennsylvania dioceses prepare to launch settlement funds for victims of past abuse.

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December 2, 2018

Syracuse priest list includes ‘dozens’ of sex abuse cases DA says he can’t prosecute

SYRACUSE (NY)
Syracuse.com

December 2, 2018

By Julie McMahon

The Syracuse diocese’s list of abusive priests contains the names of “dozens” of people who can no longer be prosecuted for sex crimes against children, according to Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick.

Some of those priests are deceased, the diocese said in a statement Saturday. The list, which will be released Monday morning, includes allegations dating back to the 1950s. New York state’s statute of limitations prevents Fitzpatrick from pursuing charges against the others.

“The list, if it had one name on it, would be distressing,” Fitzpatrick said. “And the fact that it has dozens of names on it, I personally think, is a crisis that is affecting the Catholic Church greater than the Reformation. It is so distressing.”

Fitzpatrick, who is Roman Catholic, was comparing the clergy sex abuse scandal that has continued to plague the church since it was first exposed in the early 2000s to a time in the 16th Century when Protestants broke from the Catholic Church.

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Priest’s View: Bishops, chancery officials who failed children can step aside

DULUTH (MN)
News Tribune

December 1, 2018

By Fr. William Fider

There continues to be much anger and outrage and shame and sadness in the Catholic Church over the abuse scandals and especially over the coverups by the bishops. Most agree now that the root cause of our troubles is the failure of the bishops’ leadership.

Bishops and chancery officials who should have stopped the pain and suffering of children decided to protect themselves instead. Some chancery officials even advanced up the ecclesial ladder, even though they were involved in the coverups. When confronted with the crisis, the bishops acted as if they were the victims and not the abused children.

So far, we’ve seen mostly pious words and not much action from our bishops. It looks like the bishops simply want to take a mulligan.

Our confidence in our bishops has been shattered, and now our church is running out of time.

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Priest sentenced to 12 years in prison for three counts of sexual battery

ATHENS (OH)
Athens Post

November 27, 2018

By Ellen Wagner and Logan Moore

Henry Christopher Foxhoven was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in the State Penal System for three counts of sexual battery and will be registered as a sex offender for life.

Foxhoven, 45, of Glouster, was a priest at the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Glouster, a part of the Diocese of Steubenville. He pleaded guilty to three charges for engaging in sexual conduct with a minor, a parishioner of the church, in the church rectory where he lived.

Each count was four years in prison, totaling a sentence of 12 years. That was a part of an agreement that other charges, such as child pornography or criminal tools, would not be brought against him. If another victim, however, comes forward, he could be charged again.

As a part of his agreement, he is not allowed to apply or accept any early release. After his release, he has five years of mandatory post-release control and has to register as a sex offender, requiring him to report to a sheriff’s office every 90 days for life.

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Nuns need protection from rapist priests

INDIA
The Hans India

December 2, 2018

This refers to the report ‘NCW slams church for not protecting nun’s interests’ (THI, Dec 1). The Church authorities have backstabbed the victim in the Jalandhar bishop rape case.

The victim is still praying hard as she has not got any justice in her case as the alleged bishop is on bail and enjoying a normal life. The Church authorities should have shown some decency in protecting the nun’s interest.

Instead, what they did was to organise a grand roaring welcome for the rape accused bishop. This type of act by church authorities will definitely send a bad message to the society.

Sharadchandran S, New Delhi

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Pope Francis Goes Full Homophobic, Now ‘Very Worried’ About Homosexuality in the Church

ROME (ITALY)
Daily Beast

December 2, 2018

By Barbie Latza Nadeau

Remember back in 2013, shortly after Pope Francis was elected when he shocked the world with his words: “If a person seeks God and has goodwill, then who am I to judge,” when asked about a gay priest?

What was then seen to be a change in decades of dogma sent shockwaves around the world, landing the pontiff on the cover of Advocate and winning him praise among LGBTQ groups and lapsed Catholics. In some ways, Francis has been eating his words ever since, constantly called to explain by conservatives in the church what he meant.

Now it seems Francis isn’t mincing his words on the topic. He told Spanish Claretian missionary Fernando Prado that in reality he’s actually “very worried” about homosexuality in the church. Prado, whose book La Forza della Vocazione (The Strength of Vocation) comes out in multiple languages on Monday, spent four hours interviewing the pontiff in Vatican City this fall about problems in the priesthood. Italy’s Corriere Della Sera newspaper excerpted parts of the book on Saturday.

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Deacon accuses Niantic priest of attempted sexual assault

NORWICH (CT)
The Day

December 1, 2018

By Joe Wojtas

A former deacon at Sacred Heart Church in Groton has alleged that the current pastor of St. Agnes Church in Niantic, the Rev. Gregory Mullaney, repeatedly propositioned him for sex while on a 2006 trip to Rome and tried to sexually assault him in the street after he fled from a restaurant where the two had been dining.

In addition, Deacon Mark King alleges in a sworn statement he made in 2006 that during the trip Mullaney drank heavily and made numerous crude sexual remarks about other priests, nuns and church employees, some of whom he said he’d had sex with in violation of Catholic law.

“Marco, what do you say? Let’s go back to the room and get it on. Come on, what are you afraid of?” Mullaney allegedly said to King during one of his wine-fueled lunches. Later Mullaney added, “You know you want it and I’m going to give it you,” and told King that “what happens in Rome stays in Rome.” Many of the other alleged comments in the statement are too graphic for publication.

King reported Mullaney’s actions to Diocese of Norwich. Mullaney was removed from Sacred Heart and since has been assigned to at least three other parishes, including St. Agnes.

The diocese refused to release a list of Mullaney’s parish assignments or say if there have been other complaints. Bishop Michael Cote declined a request for an interview about King’s allegations. Diocesan spokesman Wayne Gignac said that “publicly addressing specific allegations on individual matters is improper and unfair to the involved parties.”

Mullaney, who didn’t respond to phone and email messages, declined to comment on King’s allegations when asked about them outside St. Agnes two weeks ago.

During a four-hour interview Oct. 31 in the kitchen of their current home in Charlotte, N.C., King and his wife, Susan, a licensed marriage and family therapist, questioned why Cote would risk protecting Mullaney and in 2009 transfer him to St. Thomas Aquinas Church, which serves students at the University of Connecticut. From 2007 to 2009, he served at St. Colman Church in Middlefield, according to that church’s website.

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Facing the flock

RAPID CITY (SD)
Washington Post

November 30, 2018

By Terrence McCoy

Brian Christensen is on his way to jail again. Clerical collar around his thin neck, rosary dangling from the rearview mirror, the priest sets out on the same trip he has taken almost every day that week. First was Monday afternoon, when he followed the detectives down this road, then up to the third floor of the police department, where he waited outside the interrogation room. On Wednesday, he went to the preliminary hearing, where the felony charges were announced: two counts of sexual contact with a 13-year-old. On Thursday, and on Friday, he returned to arrange a visitation with the Rev. John Praveen, 38, whom he last saw being cuffed and led into a police car, and who is now being held on a $100,000 cash bond and facing 30 years in prison.

Now, Monday again, Christensen pulls out of the parking lot at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, where as lead pastor he oversaw Praveen’s clerical duties. He makes the five-minute drive to the Pennington County jail, where he plans to speak with the incarcerated priest for the first time since his arrest.

“Aren’t you tired of all this?” his mother asked him on the phone that morning, and he could only sigh and say, yes, “I am tired of this.”

This: a string of child sex abuse scandals that — spanning decades, continents and thousands of victims — has fundamentally altered how the world views the Catholic Church and priests like him, in particular. With every crisis, Christensen had allowed himself to hope that now, perhaps, it would be over, only to see another year like this one, when every day seems to bring news of sex crimes and cover-ups in the church. A grand jury report in Pennsylvania accused more than 300 priests of abusing about 1,000 children, spurring federal authorities to investigate. Two U.S. cardinals have been disgraced. And approval ratings for Pope Francis, who once was the world’s most popular leader, have plummeted among Americans.

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Waukesha judge orders Pewaukee priest to stand trial for felony child sex abuse

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

November 30, 2018

By Peter Isely

A Waukesha County judge this morning has determined that there is sufficient evidence for Fr. Charles Hanel to stand trial for felony sexual assault of a child. Hanel was arrested in September for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in the confessional. The alleged assault took place at Queen of Apostles Church in Pewaukee where Hanel is pastor.

Hanel, through his defense team, has been unusually aggressive in out of court statements concerning the case, challenging both the alleged victim and her account of the assault, along with suggesting that the case was being brought as a “referendum” on the sex abuse scandal in the church. She is a child, however, and unable to defend herself in public, as he can. Hanel’s superior, Archbishop Jerome Listecki, needs to make it very clear that while Hanel can hire an expensive legal team, the church will not tolerate public messages that can only result in dissuading or intimidating potential victims of priest abuse, especially children, from coming forward. Hanel is, presumably, still salaried by the archdiocese and is taking care of his housing and living expenses.

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A campaign to deliver a clear message to Catholic Bishops

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Not 1 Dime

December 2018

By Ray Riehle

Not 1 Dime Until These Minimum Standards are met

Our Proposal:

If you are upset about child abuse and the allegations of sexual harassment in the Catholic Church, Join Us If you have put your faith aside out of disgust with the lack of proper Church reaction, Join us. If you are angry with the lies, coverup, rotational policies and denials, Join Us with this simple message: Not 1 Dime more in the collection plate- Join us in this call for action!

What Must Be Done

1. We Want the Roman Catholic Church to be respected around the world. Our goal is to restore the Church to relevance. Our demand is the implementation of practice and policy consistent with moral standards and decency expected by the Church faithful – we know what is right.

2. We want the First Person Called when there is an accusation carries a gun and a badge.

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Expert sees cyberspace full of risk, from addictions to child abuse

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

December 1, 2018

By Elise Harris

A leading expert in cyberpsychology describes a digital culture today in which children and pre-teens have virtually unfiltered access to online pornography, and she predicts that one day parents who fail to monitor their children’s online activity may be found guilty of criminal child abuse.

“I can see later down the line that parents or caregivers who allow their very young children to be exposed to hardcore pornography on their phone and on their devices …that may be considered, in terms of social welfare and social services, as the active abuse of a child,” said Mary Aiken, Adjunct Associate Professor at University College in Dublin and an Academic Advisor to the European Cyber Crime Centre at Europol for Ireland.

Aiken told Crux the widespread diffusion of sexual content online has been described in some circles as “the ‘pornification’ of society.”

This is a problem for youngsters, because “children are vulnerable to being damaged by what we call legal but age-inappropriate content,” she said, explaining that in the UK, there is currently talk of developing an “A” and “B” internet, where households who actually want porn will have to put their name on a list and sign up for it.

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Kate O’Beirne, Christ, and the Catholic Church

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Review

December 2, 2018

By Katheryn Jean Lopez

On Thursday night at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., Mary Rice Hasson hosted the inaugural Kate O’Beirne Event, in honor of our late National Review and National Review Institute colleague. The event was entitled “The Future of the Church: Synod, Scandal, and Solace,” sponsored by the Catholic Women’s Forum, a program of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. I was honored to say a few words at the start of the program about my beloved friend. The following piece has been adapted from my remarks.

There’s so much I can and want to say about Kate O’Beirne, but I hope these brief remarks help us all a little.

I first met Kate O’Beirne when I was an undergraduate at the Catholic University of America. I was an intern at the Heritage Foundation, and she was vice president of government relations there. I looked up to her, even before I knew her. When I got to know her, my gratitude to her, and to God for her, only ever grew. It only ever has.

She was wise and fun. She was smart and bold.

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A Season of Judgment, and Purifying Fire

UNITED STATES
Patheos blog

December 2, 2018

By Rebecca Bratten Weiss

Going to mass, this past year, has not been easy. First, there is always the danger, no matter which local parish I attend, of running into one of the people who harassed and libeled me at my former academic post. When not in church I can amuse myself by giving them sly, knowing looks – as though they have a booger hanging out of their nostril, or toilet paper on their shoe, and I’m not going to say – but this seems not quite a fitting attitude for worship.

Then there was my family’s mounting frustration with our former parish priest, an authoritarian individual who seemed utterly unaware of the basics of theology, but instead pulled deranged scripture exegesis out of thin air, while also treating his congregation as though we were village idiots desperately in need of his enlightenment. We finally had enough, left the parish, and have been the proverbial “roaming catholics” ever since.

Then, of course, the sex abuse scandal broke, and it wasn’t just the horror of the details: it was that they clearly hadn’t learned from the last go-around. And, to judge from the behavior of many bishops, are still refusing to learn. In the months since we first heard of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, so many of my friends have left the church, and I can’t blame them. And many of us who remain, meanwhile, are asking ourselves: how can we stay, without being complicit?

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Juan Carlos Cruz: the survivor who changed the pope’s mind on sex abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

November 30, 2018

By Ashley McKinless

“The church has to change that paradigm, that way of thinking that survivors are enemies of the church and want to destroy the church,” said Juan Carlos Cruz. “It’s quite the opposite. There’s a lot of people that have been destroyed by the church and others that have been wronged in the worst way by the church and yet they still want to move forward and call themselves Catholics.”

Juan Carlos has been advocating for survivors for years, since he publicly disclosed that as a child he was abused by the notorious predator Fernando Karadima, a Chilean Catholic priest. For a long time, the Catholic Church in Chile disregarded the abuse allegations against the powerful cleric. One cardinal even told Juan Carlos it was hard to believe he was a victim because he is gay and “might have liked it.” When Pope Francis visited Chile earlier this year, he initially dismissed as “slander” allegations from Juan Carlos and other victims that a bishop had covered up Karadima’s abuse. Yet Juan Carlos persisted and, by sharing his story, has changed the church in Chile and given hope to many other survivors.

The church has to change that paradigm that that way of thinking that survivors are enemies of the church and want to destroy the church.

We ask Juan Carlos: What it’s like to feel betrayed by the pope—and to have the pope ask for your forgiveness? What concrete steps do Pope Francis and the church need to take to protect and bring healing to survivors of sexual abuse?

In Signs of the Times, the International Union of Superiors General is urging sisters who have been abused to report the crimes to police and their superiors, more details emerge about February’s global summit on sex abuse at the Vatican and Catholics respond to the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Plus, we discuss the U.S. bishops’ new pastoral letter on racism. It’s been 40 years since the bishops have spoken together on racial justice. Does this statement go far enough?

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Faithful Urged To Remain Vigilant

WHEELING (WV)
The Intelligencer

December 2, 2018

Church-goers within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston are still reeling from the revelation that 18 of their priests have had credible accusations of sexual abuse against them in the Northern Panhandle.

It also was revealed that 13 additional diocesan priests had been accused in other states.

Since the Diocese released the list of abusers last week, current clergy have struggled with the news and how to bring a new sense of faith to their congregations.

Some pastors have chosen not to address the sex scandal from the pulpit during Mass on Saturday evening and today.

Others have weaved today’s Gospel readings into their comments about the abuse.

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December 1, 2018

Prayer and conversation with Bishop W. Shawn McKnight

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
Jefferson City Diocese

December 2018

Approximately 500 attended one of six listening sessions in the Diocese between Oct. 28 and Nov. 6, 2018, to provide an opportunity for Catholics to respond to the proposed agenda for the fall November 2018 US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ General Assembly. In addition, people were encouraged to submit answers in writing or via email.

The text below has names and other personal information removed, and has been edited for clarity, while still honoring the authors’ primary points. Four reflection questions were offered, and speakers were advised to explain which question they were addressing. Readers will quickly recognize this advice was not always followed. The responses are not organized in any other way.

How can the bishops rebuild trust in their leadership, both among Catholics and others?
We need for all bishops to be 100 percent transparent in what’s being done. We need to be well informed and very open about what rules are being changed, what is happening. Would say I don’t believe bishops should be put out on their own. I think they should be sent to where they spend their whole days praying about why they did what they did if they’re guilty of these things. I think they should definitely be found guilty before they’re chastised. And I know that’s not always easy. It’s easy to accuse someone 35 years later. I’ve seen that happen to innocent people. I’ve seen it happen to guilty people. So I would like to make sure that those who are chastised are truly guilty of having committed these heinous things. Thank you.

We have not been catechized properly in terms of sexuality. I would respectfully ask the bishop to always promote the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There is a wealth of knowledge in it that we just don’t know.

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Syracuse Diocese to release list of clergy accused of sexual abuse of children

SYRACUSE (NY)
Syracuse.com

December 1, 2018

By Jacob Pucci

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse will publish a list Monday of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor in the diocese since 1950.

The list will be available online Monday morning (Dec. 3) on thecatholicsun.com and syrdio.org.

The list will include the names of priests both living and deceased, the diocese said in a statement announcing the list’s release.

The release of the list was publicly announced in a letter from Bishop Robert J. Cunningham to diocese parishioners today and made available in all parishes over the weekend. Priests were informed in meetings with the bishop on Thursday. Diocesan staff were informed Friday.

The decision to release the names of abusive priests is an apparent reversal of Cunningham’s previous policy, which was to confirm the names once a victim makes it public, but not to release a list.

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Survivors network: Church, Hawley slow to oust sex abusers

COLUMBIA (MO)
Columbia Daily Tribune

December 1, 2018

By Pat Pratt

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says the Jefferson City Diocese and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley are not doing enough to investigate and raise awareness of sex abuse by clergy.

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight released in November a list of 33 names of Jefferson City Diocese clergy that had been “credibly accused” of illicit sexual acts involving minors. The list came during a listening tour regarding the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and on the heels of an announced investigation by Hawley.

David Clohessy, St. Louis director and longtime member of SNAP, says the list is incomplete. He claims that three names, one being a priest who lived in a Columbia rectory and was later deemed a sexually violent predator, were not included.

“It just takes seconds, literally seconds for a predator to shove his hands in a child’s pants,” Clohessy said. “If they know that predator, especially a serial predator, was in the diocese, then McKnight owes it to the parents and parishioners to let them know.”

Father Fred Lenczycki worked at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Columbia and another parish in St. James in the mid-1980s, according to a SNAP information release. He was arrested and convicted in 2004 of abusing three boys in the Joliet, Illinois, area, where he was ordained, and is believed to have molested many more children in multiple states. His current whereabouts are unknown.

The other omitted names are those of Father John C. Baskett and Father Kenneth J. Roberts. Baskett, the release states, worked in Boonville and Tipton and was accused in 2007 of abusing a 15-year-old girl for two years and using

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Diocese discloses names of priests who sexually abused minors

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
Journal Register

November 29, 2018

By Steven Spearie

The Diocese of Springfield on Thursday afternoon, in response to a review by the Illinois Attorney General’s office, released the names of 19 priests — including a former bishop — that it confirmed were the subjects of substantiated charges of sexually abusing children.

Though individual priests may have been identified over the years, the Springfield Diocese confirmed that this is the first comprehensive list of abuse cases it has ever released.

A diocesan review board had determined that the priests named on the lists had substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors. The Review Board, which has been in place since 2002, has been comprised of predominantly lay people with professional backgrounds in areas such as state and local law enforcement, criminal and civil law, education, and psychology, the diocese said.

“Any single case of abuse is one too many,” Bishop Thomas John Paprocki said in a statement. “But this review has shown the positive impact of a zero-tolerance approach, and we are committed to sustain these efforts with heightened vigilance.”

Twelve priests on the list are dead. They were Alvin Campbell, Robert Dodd, Michael Driscoll, Robert Eagear, George Faller, Ray Franzen, George Kromenaker, Joseph C. O’Brien, Frank O’Hara, Daniel Ryan, Aloysius Schwellenbach and Frank Westhoff.

Ryan, who abruptly resigned as bishop in 1999, died in 2015. An independent investigative report in 2006 stated that Ryan fostered “a culture of secrecy” in the diocese that discouraged priests from coming forward with information about sexual misconduct by other priests in the diocese, which covers 28 counties in central Illinois.

The 2006 report, authored by Springfield attorney and former state’s attorney and federal attorney Bill Roberts, said Ryan “engaged in sexual misconduct with adults and used his authority to conceal this misconduct.” Ryan was never charged or prosecuted.

Four other priests named on Thursday — Joseph Cernich, Eugene Costa, Joseph Havey and Walter Weerts — were listed as laicized, or having been removed from the priesthood. As such, the diocese does not keep records on their whereabouts, said spokeswoman Marlene Mulford.

Three names were denoted as no longer in ministry, a designation for priests without the faculties of priesthood: Garrett Neal Dee, Robert DeGrand and Francis Tebangura.

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Rethinking W.Va. Age of Consent

WHEELING (WV)
The Intelligencer

December 1, 2018

Why do some predator priests escape imprisonment? Here in West Virginia, the age of consent — that at which voluntary sexual contact is legal — is 16 years in most cases.

At the same time, state code recognizes that “intimidation, expressed or implied, by another person who is at least four years older than the victim” can be a factor in sexual assault and abuse.

People in many walks of life — police officers, teachers, employers and yes, members of the clergy — are capable of intimidating victims. Being convinced one’s immortal soul is in danger if one does not comply with a predator’s demands certainly ought to qualify as intimidation.

Perhaps state legislators should take another look at the age of consent when such intimidation is a factor. We insist on protecting those under 18 from purchasing cigarettes, after all. Why not protect them against coerced sexual contact, too?

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Protestants also face #ChurchToo scandals.

NEW YORK (NY)
Media Project

November 30, 2018

By Richard Ostling

A #ChurchToo parallel first burst into the news 33 years ago with pioneering National Catholic Reporter coverage of child molestation by priests. Now, Pope Francis’ Feb. 21-24 emergency meeting about this unending problem is a must-cover item on newsroom calendars.

But North American journalism should be giving more attention to Protestants’ degradation on this and related issues. There’s no good data about such variegated churches, but by every indication misconduct is far more widespread than parishioners would like to admit.

A handy way to assess matters in Protestantism’s large evangelical sector occurs Dec. 13, a “summit” meeting on sexual violence and harassment at Wheaton College, outside of Chicago. The event will be live-streamed in case reporters cannot attend in person. Speakers include luminaries Eugene Cho, Max Lucado, Beth Moore and the host, Ed Stetzer, a trend-watcher who directs Wheaton’s Billy Graham Center (bgc@wheaton.edu, 630–752-5918).

Stetzer’s urgent summit summons stated that “trust has been broken, power has been abused” and, most important, there are the “deeply wounded” victims – “more than we’d ever want to count.” So “it is past time all church leaders deal with it.” The scandals “are many, and the damage is real. … Turning a blind eye is simply not an option. … Something’s got to change, and soon.”

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Province to Conduct Audit of All Personnel Files Dating Back to 1955

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Jesuits Central & Southern

November 16, 2018

The Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province has retained an outside organization, Kinsale Management Consulting, Inc., to review all personnel files of Jesuits going back to 1955 in preparation of publicly releasing the names of all Jesuits and former Jesuits of the province who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.

Kinsale Management Consulting is a respected organization comprised of retired FBI agents and law enforcement personnel.

This review will include all Jesuits for whom the province has records who have entered, worked in, or died in the current province, the former New Orleans Province, the former Missouri Province, or the Region of Puerto Rico of the Society of Jesus since 1955. The audit will result in a list of Jesuits and former Jesuits of this province against whom there are credible allegations of abuse of a minor consistent with the standards of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

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Boston Globe Editor Robby Robinson to speak in Paradise Valley

SCOTTSDALE (AZ)
Paradise Valley Independent

November 30, 2018

Ivy Council alumni and their guests are invited to a speaker presentation, which the Harvard Business School Club of Arizona is hosting Thursday, Jan. 24 with Boston Globe Editor Robby Robinson.

Mr. Robinson was the investigative reporting lead on the Catholic church scandal, according to a release. A light dinner will be served at the event.

The event will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Community Room of Paradise Valley Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive.

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Former priest’s talk, moderated forum to focus on Catholic crisis

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

November 30, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

Two upcoming separate events — a former priest’s talk Sunday and a parish-sponsored forum Monday — will address the clergy sex abuse crisis in the Catholic church and the Buffalo Diocese.

Roy Bourgeois, removed from the Catholic priesthood over his outspoken support for women’s ordination, will discuss “Crisis in the Catholic Church: Clericalism or the Gospel,” at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Center for Tomorrow on the North Campus of the University at Buffalo in Amherst.

Bourgeois, a Maryknoll order priest for more than 40 years, was dismissed from the priesthood in 2012 after he refused a Vatican order to recant his participation in a 2008 ordination Mass for a Lexington, Ky. woman. The Vatican determined his support for women’s ordination was a cause of “grave scandal.”

Bourgeois responded by saying, “when Catholics hear the word ‘scandal,’ they think about the thousands of children who have been raped and abused by Catholic priests — not the ordination of women.”

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Speaking of Religion: The Upstaging of Good News

BENNINGTON (VT)
Bennington Banner

November 30, 2018

By David M. O’Brien

It is a common human experience that bad news upstages good news, that conflict and tragedy overshadow stories of cooperation and initiation. Well, this certainly has been the case for the Catholic Church lately. With the reports and re-reports of the sexual abuse scandal and its unbelievable cover-up on the part of some bishops, the unintended consequence has been that all the good news happening in the Church has been push into the background or not mentioned at all.

One of those under-reported happenings, here in the Diocese of Burlington, has been the statewide Diocesan Synod that was called to order by Bishop Christopher Coyne. The process, started over a year ago, has as its purpose: “to establish a pastoral plan for the immediate future in the Catholic Church in Vermont and to establish laws and policies to do so.” Now, I understand from my friends on the Interfaith Council that synods are not that uncommon in some of the Protestant faith communities. But, it is uncommon in our Catholic tradition, with the last diocesan-wide synod happening way back in 1962.

After Bishop Coyne selected a steering committee to shepherd the process, delegates were solicited from each parish in Vermont as well as representatives from the priests, deacons and religious communities. Though the synod started officially this fall, there were three preparatory meetings throughout this past year, plus summer work committees, that helped winnow down the concerns and direction. From the beginning, Bishop Coyne asked to hear from his flock. He queried each parish with three questions: what was our Church doing well, what we were not and what we could do to improve. And he got what he asked for.

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Church scandals must remain in spotlight

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Post Gazette

November 30, 2018

I deeply appreciate the Post-Gazette’s ongoing coverage and revelations about the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. The Nov. 25 front page article, “Hiding Behind God,” left me reeling. I hope to see the issue shoved in the face of church hierarchy until atonement and justice prevail.

Every bishop should step down. Every church altar and statue should be draped in black. No one, priest or parishioner, should be permitted for a minute to forget, rationalize or dismiss the abhorrent crime that has been committed.

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As investigation hits home diocese, can Cardinal DiNardo continue to lead on the abuse crisis?

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

November 30, 2018

By Kevin Clarke

Investigators for the district attorney of Montgomery County in Texas executed a search warrant seeking records pertaining to the handling of instances of alleged clerical abuse at the offices of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on Nov. 28. The spectacle of dozens of Texas Rangers and other local law enforcement swarming the Houston chancery offered the latest unprecedented moment as the church in the United States grapples with the ongoing crisis of the clerical abuse of children and vulnerable adults. The archdiocese is headed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the person leading the U.S. bishops’ response to the crisis.

In a statement released on Nov. 28 representatives for the archdiocese said it had no comment on the investigation at this time.

The D.A.’s investigation raises questions about how Cardinal DiNardo and his staff dealt with complaints against Father Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, accused by two people of assault two decades ago when they were teenagers. Both victims told The Associated Press that they met with Cardinal DiNardo but felt he did not take their complaints about Father La Rosa-Lopez seriously.

The leader of the Houston chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has already called for Cardinal DiNardo to step down to accept responsibility for alleged failures in Galveston-Houston and during a previous position as bishop of the Diocese of Sioux City. Presuming the bad press in Texas will continue, can Cardinal DiNardo continue to credibly lead the U.S. bishops as the conference seeks a way out of the abuse crisis?

“The answer is we don’t know,” said Tom Reese, S.J., a columnist for Religion News Service, a former editor in chief at America and a long-time observer of the U.S. church. “We have to wait until the prosecutor comes forward and says what he found and says what the situation is there.

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Cardinal DiNardo computer, boxes of ‘sex allegation files’ seized

HOUSTON (TX)
KHOU 11 TV

November 30, 2018

By Jeremy Rogalski, Jessica Borg & Tina Macias

Two boxes of “sex allegation files” and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo’s computer are among the items seized by authorities at the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on Wednesday, according to an evidence log obtained by KHOU 11 Investigates on Friday.

Along with DiNardo’s computer, an iPad and two other computers in his office were also taken and were among about a dozen electronics gathered by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

In the search warrant filed Wednesday, the DA’s office sought files into the investigation of Rev. Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, a former priest charged with four counts of indecency with a child in Montgomery County, and confidential documents held in the Archdiocese’s Chancery and secret archives.

Investigators seized several files about La Rosa-Lopez, but that was just part of the long list of items they took into evidence. Files, a folder, binder and boxes of sex allegations, letters from parishioners about sex abuse, a spreadsheet of claims, insurance reports and multiple personnel files were also seized.

The personnel files included two for current priests. Those priests are Rev. Alberto Maullon, who pleaded guilty to exposing himself at an adult bookstore in 2010, and Rev. Terrance Brinkman, who was sued in 2010 for a sexual abuse claim dating back to the 1970s. That case was dismissed because the statute of limitations had passed.

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Priest credibly accused of child sex abuse was housed at Jesuit nursing home after abuse allegedly happened

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE TV

November 30, 2018

By Kimberly Curth

New information in FOX 8′s investigation of church sex abuse. We’ve learned a priest credibly accused of sex abuse at Jesuit High School in the 1970s was housed at a New York university after the abuse here allegedly happened.

According to Fordham University the now deceased Corneilus Carr lived at a Jesuit nursing home near the school’s campus after he allegedly sexually abused a minor in New Orleans.

In a statement to Fox 8, Bob Howe, Fordham’s Assistant Vice President for Communications, said “the University was not aware of the allegations against Father Carr until The Ram, the student newspaper based at our Rose Hill campus, raised them. That was a lapse on our part, and one that will not be repeated. It is the University’s duty to ensure the safety of its students, faculty, and staff, and while we don’t believe any members of the Fordham community have been placed at risk by Father Carr’s presence, it was inappropriate to house him in proximity to a college campus and high school.”

We spoke with Carr’s alleged victim in a TV exclusive. Richard Windmann, told us Jesuit High School janitor Peter Modica repeatedly raped him at the school in the late 70′s. Windmann says Carr, who was a priest and teacher at Jesuit, not only knew about the abuse but also participated.

“When he walked over to me while Pete Modica was sodomizing me and put his hand on my back and started masturbating, telling me to relax, I was just destroyed. I was destroyed,” said Windmann.

Windmann says he was eventually paid $450,000 in a confidential settlement with Jesuit High School.

“I didn’t go for money, I went for counseling and spiritual guidance and they were like nah here’s a whole bunch of money, shut up go away,” said Windmann.

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Dozens of clergy named in Omaha abuse report; Lincoln Diocese waiting for task force review

LINCOLN (NE)
Lincoln Journal Star

November 30, 2018

By Peter Salter

The Catholic Diocese of Lincoln isn’t ready to identify priests or personnel accused of sexual abuse and misconduct with minors, it said Friday — the same day the Omaha Archdiocese named nearly 40 clergy members with substantiated claims leveled against them.

But in a statement, Lincoln Bishop James Conley said his diocese has fully cooperated with the attorney general’s office, which in late August asked the state’s three bishops to provide internal investigative records of abuse allegations since 1978.

Conley also said he was waiting for an independent task force — announced by the diocese in early November — to finish its own review of past sexual abuse and misconduct allegations, and how the diocese handled them.

“It would be premature to publish any information regarding clergy and diocesan personnel while the independent task force is in the midst of its review,” he said.

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When did the Church know? Questions about allegations against Brian Boucher

CANADA
Global News

December 1, 2018

By Amanda Jelowicki

Father Brian Boucher’s trial lasted one week, with shocking testimony from two alleged victims, detailing horrific sexual abuse.

Also coming out of the trial are questions about when the church first learned of the allegations against Boucher, and why it took so long to arrest him.

A verdict is not expected until January. Meanwhile, those questions remain.

“The Roman Catholic Church has for a long time tried to put a lid on the cover of sex abuse by its priests,” said Carlo Tarini, a spokesman for the Quebec Association of Victims of Priests.

Boucher started working at the Our Lady of the Annunciation Church in TMR in 2005. That’s the year one alleged victim testified the abuse started. The victim was 12 at the time.

In his testimony, Boucher admitted he left the parish in 2014, before the end of his mandate. He left to undertake ecclesiastical studies in Washington.

Some parishioners told Global News they were surprised, saying the departure felt “abrupt.”

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Priest accused of fondling teen girl in confessional will stand trial

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WISN Radio

November 30, 2018

By Nick Bohr

A 13-year-old girl claims Pastor Charles Hanel indecently touched her a year ago at Queen of Apostles Catholic Church in the city of Pewaukee.

She told her parents six months later, and Hanel was arrested.

A court commissioner Friday decided there was enough evidence for the case to proceed.

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SNAP responds to list of priests

PARKERSBURG (WV)
The Intelligencer

December 1, 2018

By Jess Mancini

A support group for victims abused by priests says the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston omitted the bishop who resigned earlier this year when it released a list of names this week.

However, the case on Bishop Michael Bransfield is a separate investigation, Tim Bishop, director of marketing and communications for the diocese, said.

“That investigation is still underway and we cannot comment further on it as it is still open,” he said.

Bransfield resigned in September, which was accepted by Pope Francis, amid allegations of the sexual harassment of adults. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore was appointed apostolic administrator with the instruction to conduct an investigation of Bransfield.

On Thursday, the diocese released a list of priests with credible accusations against them.

“We appreciate this move by church officials in West Virginia, especially for including the names of priests who served in West Virginia, but were accused of abuse in dioceses outside Wheeling-Charleston,” said Judy Jones, Midwest regional leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “However, we cannot help but note the omission of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, who has been accused of abusing at least one minor and resigned in September over allegations that he had sexually harassed a number of adults.”

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Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston: Former Bishop Michael Bransfield Didn’t Belong on List

PARKERSBURG (WV)
The Intelligencer

December 1, 2018

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston said Friday it didn’t include its former bishop among lists it released the day before because allegations that he had sexually abused children were not credible.

“Allegations made against Michael Bransfield involving alleged charter issues took place while he was a priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia,” said Tim Bishop, director of marketing and communications at the diocese, about the former bishop. “The archdiocese concluded those allegations to be non-credible, they therefore were not added to the (Wheeling-Charleston) list. Any questions about that investigation should be forwarded to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”

During the 2012 criminal trial of two other priests in Philadelphia, two witnesses and a prosecutor alleged that Bransfield sexually abused children. Bransfield has denied those allegations.

“As is pertains to the current investigation of allegations against Bishop Michael Bransfield for the sexual harassment of adults: The allegation does not involve a charter issue and would not be listed for that reason,” the spokesman said.

The lists the diocese released Thursday afternoon included 31 priests who it said had been credibly accused of sexual abuse against minors or who had other credible allegations regarding the Charter for Protection of Young People. One list included priests who had been accused while serving in the diocese. A second list included clergy members who had a credible accusation and had worked in the diocese. However, those accusations had occurred elsewhere.

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Hampden murder victim kept a journal at her priest’s direction.

BANGOR (ME)
Bangor Daily News

December 1, 2018

By Judy Harrison

Prosecutors from the state want a Hampden homicide victim’s spiritual journal to become evidence in their case against her alleged killer. But the priest who directed her to keep the journal says it should be treated as if he heard its contents in a confessional.

A superior court justice is set to decide whether the journal is evidence in the case against Renee Henneberry Clark’s alleged killer, her brother-in-law Philip Clark, after a Wednesday hearing on the prosecutors’ request.

Prosecutors want to read the diary to see if its contents can be used as evidence in their murder case against Clark.

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