New Columbus Bishop Announced: Diocese Won’t Say When List Of Abusive Priests Will Be Released

COLUMBUS (OH)
WCBE Radio

February 1, 2019

By Jim Lettizia

The Columbus Catholic diocese will soon have a new leader.

Bishop Robert Brennan takes over on March 29. He’ll replace Bishop Fredrick Campbell. The Vatican has accepted Campbell’s resignation, as required when bishops are about to turn 75-years-old. Brennan previously served as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York. Campbell submitted his resignation last year.questions remain about when the diocese will follow through with a September promise to release a list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse. Columbus is the only diocese in the state not to do so. Campbell told reporters the list is under review, but gave no release date. Brennan responded this way.

The group called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said wants Campbell to release the list before he leaves the diocese.

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These Diocese of Corpus Christi priests were accused of sexual abuse

CORPUS CHRISTI (TX)
Corpus Christi Caller Times

January 31, 2019

By Alexandria Rodriguez

The Catholic Diocese of Corpus Christi released the names of priests and other clergy Thursday that have been “credibly” accused of sexual abuse of minors.

The decision to release the information was made in October by The Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter and the 15 Texas dioceses.

More than 20 Diocese of Corpus Christi clergy members were “credibly” accused of sexual abuse of minors.

The 26 names were released after The Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter and the 15 Texas dioceses made the decision to release the names back in October 2018.

The list is split in two parts. One is a list of clergy in “religious orders clerics and extern clerics,” meaning those not from the Diocese of Corpus Christi but those who have visited at some point, the list shows. There are a total of nine names on that list.

The other part is a list of clergy “from or incardinated into the Diocese of Corpus Christi.” Seventeen names are included in that portion of the list.

“The process we went through is to hire four independents that are not part of the diocese, professionals in the legal community to come in and let them have the definitions from their experience of what is credible accusations so they used that in reviewing all of these files,” Bishop Michael Mulvey said. “So they really told us what was credible in their minds as a legal community so we took that and used that.”

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7 Texoma priests accused of child sexual abuse

DALLAS (TX)
KXII TV

January 31, 2019

Seven local clergymen have been named in a list released by the Dallas Dioceses Thursday accused of sexually abusing children.

One of the names on this list is Father Jeremy Myers, a longtime priest at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sherman. Parishioners tell us his suspension came in just the last few months, and that a meeting was held Wednesday night at the church to prepare the congregation for the news. Sherman Police Chief Zachary Flores said Thursday he is aware of the situation but the department is not actively investigating any cases at this time.

In total, the Dallas Diocese released 31 names of Priests who served in the North Texas area who have been accused of crimes against children since 1950. The church says they did this in an effort to be transparent and open about this problem and in hopes of beginning the process of healing.

The Diocese’s Bishop, Edward Burns, says the names on this list are those of Priests who have allegations against them that the Church considers “credible”. That means that the allegation has been reviewed by a board at the church, and they believe it to be true.

Other names on the list with local ties include Michael Flanagan of St. Mary’s in Sherman (died 2008), William Hughes from St. Patrick’s in Denison (removed in 1989, laicized), William Lane from St. Charles in Gainesville (died 1986), Jose Saldana from St. Elizabeth/Bonham (removed in 1998, laiciziation pending), and Michael Barone from Our Lady of Victory in Paris (retired, removed 2018).

Full details are below.

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Law Firm Names 84 Priests Accused Of Clergy Sex Abuse In San Bernardino, Calls For More Church Transparency

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LAist

January 31, 2019

By Aaron Schrank

A law firm representing California survivors of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests has released a new report detailing alleged abuse by clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino.

The 70-page report by Minnesota-based Jeff Anderson and Associates provides background information and assignment history on more than 80 clergy accused of sexual misconduct in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The firm — which is representing a Camarillo man in a public nuisance suit against California’s Catholic bishops — has released similar reports on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Orange in recent months.

At a news conference in Ontario Thursday, attorneys demanded San Bernardino Bishop Gerald Barnes release the names of predatory priests and Church officials who hid their behavior.

Attorney Mike Reck says today’s disclosure makes children safer.

“This information is information that could have and should have been shared by Church officials long ago,” Reck said. “We’re doing this because the Diocese of San Bernardino did not.”

In October, the Diocese of San Bernardino County released a list of 34 priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children since the diocese formed in 1978. Officials added one name to that list the following month.

Anderson’s report includes those 35 names, as well as 32 names of priests accused of abuse in San Bernardino before 1978, when the region was still part of the Diocese San Diego.

Those 32 names can be found on the Diocese of San Diego’s list of credibly accused priests, which recently added 8 new names, including Rev. Raymond Etienne, who served as pastor in a San Bernardino church 20 years ago. Etienne allegedly sexually assaulted seminarians in Riverside.

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CATHOLIC LEADERS IN TEXAS NAME 286 ACCUSED OF ABUSING CHILDREN

NEW YORK (NY)
CBS News

January 31, 2019

Catholic leaders in Texas on Thursday identified 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children. The number represents one of the largest collections of names to be released since an explosive grand jury report last year in Pennsylvania.

Fourteen dioceses in Texas named those credibly accused of abuse. The only diocese on Thursday not to provide names, Fort Worth, had done so more than a decade ago and then provided an updated accounting in October.

The move by Texas church leaders comes months after the shocking Pennsylvania report detailed seven decades of child sexual abuse by more than 300 predator priests. In the months after that report, which came out in August, about 50 dioceses and religious provinces have released the names of nearly 1,250 priests and others accused of abuse. Approximately 60 percent of them have died.

About 30 other dioceses are investigating or have promised to release names of credibly accused priests in the coming months.

In Texas, the Diocese of Dallas and some others relied on retired police and federal investigators to review church files and other material to substantiate claims of abuse.

It’s not clear whether any of the names released Thursday could result in local prosecutors bringing criminal charges. The majority of those identified have died. Some investigations dated back to 1940 while other reviews, as in the case of the Diocese of Lubbock, only went to 1983 because that’s when that diocese was established.

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Diocese of Tyler releases names of clergy ‘credibly accused’ of child sexual abuse

TYLER (TX)
KYTX TV

January 31, 2019

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland and the Diocese of Tyler have released the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor, dating back to at least 1950.

The letter Bishop Strickland released reads as follows:

My Dear Clergy, Consecrated Religious, and Faithful of the Diocese of Tyler,

Today, I join with the other bishops of Texas in releasing the names of clergy (priests and deacons) in our dioceses who are subject to credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. Personally, and with my brother bishops, I express my deep sorrow to the survivors of abuse and my commitment to providing pastoral care for each survivor. I apologize for the failings and sins that have hurt the Church so deeply, especially with our most vulnerable members. I especially ask forgiveness for the failings of those who have held positions of leadership in the Church. I have only one name to release for which a credible allegation exists in the Diocese of Tyler since its creation in 1987. But even that is one too many. The abuse of minors – physical, emotional, and above all, sexual – should NEVER happen in churches, in homes, in schools, or anywhere. All of us are called to holiness and to serve as examples of virtue, but our priests and deacons are to be held to a high standard – and rightly so.

The name I am releasing to you today is that of Gustavo Cuello.

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Here are names of Houston-area priests ‘credibly accused’ of child sexual abuse

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

January 31, 2019

By Nicole Hensley

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston released the names of priests Thursday who have been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children over the past decades.

Some of the names were already known, including former Galena Park priest Fernando Noe Guzman, who pleaded guilty in 1992 to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, and Donald Leroy Stavinoha, who was convicted of assaulting a 9-year-old altar boy in a church van in 1986.

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Diocese of Lafayette files protective order in request for list of accused priests

LAFAYETTE (LA)
KATC 3

January 31, 2019

By Jim Hummel

The diocese of Lafayette calls a legal request for its list of accused priests “unnecessary”, “grandstanding” and “irrelevant” to the case filed against a St. Landry Parish priest who’s accused of molesting a boy.

Abbeville attorney Tony Fontana filed suit on behalf of a St. Landry Parish man who claims he was molested by Father Michael Guidry while he was a minor. Also named as plaintiffs in the case are the man’s parents; his father is a deacon in the diocese, who served alongside Fr. Guidry at St. Peter’s Church in Morrow.

In October, Fontana filed Interrogatories and Requests for Production to Guidry and the Diocese of Lafayette in the lawsuit. Interrogatories are questions that parties in a lawsuit ask each other; Requests for Production are requests for documents. Answering them is not optional – there are deadlines and requirements that parties have to follow. If the questions aren’t answered, the court gets involved to order compliance.

In his filing, Fontana requested that the diocese name all priests who have credible complaints against them since 2002, as well as all church employees who have credible complaints against them.

In their formal response this month, the diocese objected to the requests, calling them impermissibly vague, grandstanding, unnecessary, and irrelevant. The diocese then filed a motion for a protective order against the plaintiffs’ request.

In response to the action by the diocese, Fontana says he’ll be changing the scope of his lawsuit. He argues over decades, the diocese has created a culture of protecting priests, that enabled Fr. Guidry to molest his client.

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Diocese releases names of Valley priests accused of abuse

BROWNSVILLE (TX)
The Brownsville Herald

January 31, 2019

By Miguel Roberts

Bishop Daniel E. Flores says of the seven bishops, 711 priests and 171 deacons who have served in the Diocese of Brownsville since it was established in 1965, 14 clergy were identified (13 priests and one permanent deacon).

The bishop says none of the clergy listed are in active ministry in the Diocese of Brownsville.

List of Clergy with Credible Allegation of Sexual Abuse of a Minor before the Year 2002

Humberto Acosta

Born: February 7, 1949

Ordained: May 30, 1974

Left diocese in 1994. Allegation fully disclosed to receiving Military Ordinary in Venezuela.

Assignments: St. Mary, Mother of the Church, Brownsville; St. Joseph Church, Edinburg; St. Anthony Church, Harlingen; Our Lady of Mercy Church, Mercedes; St. Margaret Mary Church, Pharr

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28 priests were accused of sex abuse in late 2018. Here’s a running list.

EL PASO (TX)
El Paso Times

January 31, 2019

In November 2018, the Diocese of Las Cruces released the names of 28 priests identified as credibly accused of sex abuse. It included at least six priests with ties to the El Paso Diocese. The Las Cruces Diocese was created from the El Paso Diocese in 1982.

Previously identified accused priests
Santiago Almaguer

Allegations of abuse were reported to the Las Cruces Diocese in 2012, and the incidents are alleged to have occurred between 1975 and 1978. Almaguer was assigned to St. Anthony Seminary in El Paso in 1975. Almaguer officiated several funeral Masses in the early 1980s, according to El Paso Times archives.

Rosario Lopez

In 2010, a man identified as “John Doe” accused the Rev. Rosario Lopez and another priest, Manuel Perez Maramba, of sexual misconduct. He sued both the Las Cruces and El Paso dioceses. The case was settled in 2011. The alleged abuse occurred in 1974, while he was assigned to St. Genevieve in Las Cruces, and Lopez officiated at several funeral Masses in El Paso in 1975, according to El Paso Times archives.

Manuel Perez Maramba

The same man, identified as “John Doe,” named Maramba in his suit against the Las Cruces and El Paso dioceses, but that was not the first allegation against Maramba. The church has settled at least three cases involving Maramba. The Las Cruces Diocese says allegations against Maramba were reported from 2004 to 2012. The sexual misconduct by Maramba is alleged to have occurred between 1976 and 1977. He was assigned to the Diocese of Las Cruces in 1976, to the St. Francis Newman Center in Silver City, New Mexico, in 1976 and 1977; and at St. Genevieve in 1977.

According to a 2007 article in the El Paso Times, a former altar boy said Maramba sexually assaulted him during sleepovers with other altar boys at Maramba’s residence on church property and during trips, including one to Disneyland in California. Maramba, a Benedictine, is believed to have returned to the Philippines in the 1970s. He is believed to still be alive.

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A Dallas diocese priest accused of abuse was saying mass in Duncanville last fall

DALLAS (TX)
WFAA

January 31, 2019

By Jason Trahan

One of the most recently accused priests on the Dallas diocese list was saying mass at a Duncanville Catholic Church through last fall, church bulletins show.

Father Alejandro “Alex” Buitrago is listed as retired in 2017 and was “removed” from his job as a priest in 2018, according to the Dallas diocese list released Thursday. But there is no exact date of that removal.

WFAA found four online church bulletins – one from June, two from July, and one from September – noting that Fr. Buitrago is a “guest priest” giving a mass, sometimes in Spanish, at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Duncanville.

Dallas Diocese Bishop Edward Burns told reporters today during a news conference that he would not address questions about specific priests.

Buitrago was ordained in 1967 and served in several parishes before he retired in 2017 and was removed “with faculties suspended” in 2018.

Buitrago could not be reached Thursday.

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Archdiocese releases list of accused clergy with credible sex abuse accusations

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
KXTS TV

January 31, 2019

By Zack Hedrick

The Archdiocese of San Antonio has released a report on allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy members in the Archdiocese.

The report goes back to 1940, outlining more than 150 credible accusations and naming 57 clergy members.

“We were not where we should have been,” said Garcia-Siller. “We did not act in a timely manner.”

From 1940 to 2019, the report states more than 3,000 priests have ministered in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

The most recent allegation was actually submitted in the last few weeks, Garcia-Siller says.

The Archdiocese states most of the priests identified in the report are either dead or have been removed from ministry.

“This report can bring more people to come forward and it’s part of what we intend,” said Garcia-Siller.

The report shows no one has alleged they were sexually abused by a clergy member in the Archdiocese between 2010 and 2019.

While the list was being compiled, Archbishop Garcia-Siller says he met with survivors of sexual abuse here in San Antonio.

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Dallas diocese names 31 Catholic clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse

DALLAS (TX)
Dallas Morning News

January 31, 2019

By Bill Hanna

The Catholic Diocese of Dallas on Thursday named 31 clergymen credibly accused of sexual abuse against minors.

Twenty-four were priests and seven others were in other dioceses or religious orders. It does not mean there is an admission of guilt by the priests.

The list was compiled by former state and federal law enforcement officers who reviewed the files of 2,424 priests, said Dallas Diocese Bishop Edward Burns.

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Suspended Oakland priest accused of sexual misconduct with a minor

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

January 31, 2019

By Gwendolyn Wu

Father Alex Castillo, a clergyman in the Diocese of Oakland, has been placed on administrative leave following an allegation of inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor, diocese officials said.

“He is not allowed to function publicly as a priest while on administrative leave,” the diocese said in a statement. “As is normative for such a process, the diocese will not provide any further information on the matter during the investigation.”

Castillo was born in Costa Rica and worked at a software development company before joining the seminary. In 2008, he moved to the U.S. and completed his theological studies at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, according to a news release. He was ordained in 2011 by Salvatore Cordileone, the former bishop of Oakland.

It’s unclear when the alleged sexual misconduct occurred and when the allegation was made. Diocese officials said the case was referred to law enforcement because the church is a mandated reporter, but they did not provide any other details.

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Church sex abuse survivors: What to do if you need to report, find support

HOUSTON (TX)
January 31, 2019

By Amanda Cochran

Sexual abuse survivors may be facing a difficult day in the wake of names released by the Catholic Church in Texas.

KPRC wants to remind survivors that there resources available for those who need to report abuse, and those looking for support.

If you are a survivor, and you’d like to report sex abuse, call police. The Houston Police Department Adult Sex Crimes Unit is 713-308-1180. Here is more information published by HPD (pdf).

If you’re feeling suicidal, call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) to be connected to a certified crisis center near where you are.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a self-help group that supports people who have been victimized by clergy, has information for survivors, which includes recommended reading, survivors “wisdom,” information about flashbacks, and how to choose a therapist with your particular experience in mind.

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‘I have no recollection’ – priest denies indecently assaulting altar boy at parochial house

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Independent

January 31 2019

A priest has denied indecently assaulting an altar boy at his parochial house, 30 years ago.

The accused has pleaded not guilty to a total of eight counts of indecent assault, on dates between September 1988 and June 1990.

The accused, who is in his 60s, is alleged to have put the boy on his lap and placed his hands inside his pants.

On the opening of the trial last Tuesday the prosecution alleged the assaults took place while the boy was carrying out jobs at the priests’s home, such as washing his car, cutting his lawn, and painting.

On Thursday the accused gave direct evidence that had “no recollection” of the boy coming to his home to carry out this work.

The accused, who stepped aside from ministry following the allegations, agreed with Lily Buckley BL, for the prosecution, that he organised and went on outings with altar boys at the time of the alleged assaults on the injured party.

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Ridgeland Man Files Lawsuit for Abuse he Suffered in 2004 as a 9 Year Old

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 31, 2019

A man from Ridgeland, MS has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Jackson alleging that he was abused in 2004 as a 9 year old. We applaud this brave man for taking action to expose clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Jackson diocese.

In the lawsuit, the man – who filed anonymously – claims that he reported his allegations to the diocese in 2014 but that his allegations were never fully investigated by the investigator hired by the diocese. According to the newly-filed lawsuit, the Diocese of Jackson said that the victim’s mother was assured the matter would be fully investigated, telling her that “a private investigator would be hired to undertake an investigation beyond what the church would do internally or what the police department would do.”

Making matters worse is the allegation that, immediately after being abused, John Doe told his teacher at his school what had happened to him. In response, the teacher told him “don’t lie like that.” It is difficult to fathom the pain and confusion that must have gone on in the mind of a 9-year-old child when, the very first time that he opened up about what happened, he was branded a liar (to say nothing of the fact that this teacher’s response flies in the face of how she would have been trained to respond in a post-Dallas Charter world).

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37 Baton Rouge-area clergy members on diocese’s official sex abuse list

BATON ROUGE (LA)
The Advocate

January 31, 2019

Bishop Michael Duca on Thursday released the names of 37 clergy who were removed from ministry after accusations that they sexually abused minors were deemed credible. This is the first time in the history of the Diocese of Baton Rouge that a Catholic bishop has attempted to provide an accounting of the identities of the alleged abusers in church ranks.

The list below, in alphabetical order, does not include employees of the church, or any other religious — such as nuns or brothers — who may have been accused. Clergy accused of sexually abusing a minor can try to clear their names through church tribunals, the outcomes of which are secret.

The biographies combine information provided by the bishop with information found in media reports, court documents and interviews.
.
Name: John J. Berube

Age: Died in 2001, age unknown

Position: Missionary Order of Our Lady of La Salette priest

Served where: St. Theresa of Avila in Gonzales (1965), other church parishes in Canada (1970s) and Boston.

Ordained: 1953

Date of abuse: 1965

Allegation received: 1965

Number of allegations: More than one

Assignment at time of abuse: St. Theresa of Avila, Gonzales, LA

Lawsuits filed/previous known allegations: Four men filed a lawsuit in 2003 that alleged Berube’s abuse in 1965.

Removed from ministry: Remained a priest until his death.

Action taken: Priestly service in Diocese of Baton Rouge was terminated in 1965. The La Salette Order was notified of the allegation and he was transferred to the supervision of the La Sallette Superior.

Details: Four boys told their parents in 1965 that Berube had abused them. The parents reported the abuse to their parish priest and the Diocese of Baton Rouge sent Berube back to his missionary order of La Salette. But Berube remained in ministry, was the pastor of Our Lady of Victory in Gatineau, Quebec and several other church parishes in Boston before his death.

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After Diocese of Baton Rouge shares list of priests accused of abuse, here’s what diocese says

BATON ROUGE (LA)
The Advocate

January 31, 2019

The Diocese of Baton Rouge released on Thursday a list of 37 clergy with credible allegations of sexual abuse.

The list included included 14 diocesan priests, 15 priests from religious orders, one seminarian and seven priests of the Archdiocese of New Orleans who had also served in Baton Rouge. Two dozen of the revelations had not been made public before.

Below is everything that the Diocese of Baton Rouge released with the list.

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Jane Does fight for priest abuse policy changes in Catholic Church

AUSTIN (TX)
KXAN TV

January 31, 2019

By Brittany Glas

Assaulted and held captive in the confessional. For devout members of the Catholic Church, it’s something that is difficult to imagine. Isolated, scared and terrified. These are only a few of the ways one woman says she felt when she alleges an assault took place at St. Thomas More in Northwest Austin, located at 10205 N. Farm to Market Road 620.

“The confessional is a sacred space to Catholics where we experience God’s love and His mercy,” the woman explained. “All of that was taken away from me.”

She continued, “You’re already in a vulnerable position when you are in the confessional. As a predator, he took advantage of that vulnerability.”

The woman says within the last five years, Father Isidore Ndagizimana, known as “Father Izzy,” touched her inappropriately during confession and then wouldn’t let her leave.

Terrified and uncertain of what she should do, the woman never called police to report what happened. She told herself she didn’t have to — she says leadership at the parish and the Diocese of Austin assured her they were taking care of the priest and this issue. After all, she says this wasn’t the first complaint they’d received regarding Father Izzy. She trusted the diocese and the church.

“We fully expected to have their full support of us and when that didn’t happen, it was alarming to all of us,” she said.

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NYS lawmakers pass Child Victims Act

NEW YORK (NY)
Queens Chronicle

January 31, 2019

by Ryan Brady

New York is finally set to make the Child Victims Act law.

The legislation was passed by the state Legislature on Monday and is expected to soon be signed by Gov. Cuomo, who included the bill in his fiscal year 2020 budget proposal.

The Child Victims Act would extend the statute of limitations for victims to bring civil legal actions against sexual abusers and organizations thought to have allowed the abuse to occur, giving victims until they turn 55 years old to bring a case.

The bill also seeks to extend the statute for prosecutors to bring criminal charges. Those would be brought until the victim of the abuse turns 28 years old in felony cases; for misdemeanors, it would be 23 years old.

Additionally, the legislation would create a one-year “lookback window” during which civil actions could be started over abuse cases with expired statutes of limitations.

It aims also to change the law so civil claims against public institutions over sexual abuse do not require a 90-day notice of claim.

Many Capitol observers were moved by the remarks of four female legislators, including Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Jackson Heights), who spoke on the floors of their chambers about sexual abuse they’d personally experienced.

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Cardinal Dolan criticizes Cuomo for ‘stinging criticism’ of church

NEW YORK (NY)
Catholic News Service

January 31, 2019

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan in a Sirius XM broadcast Jan. 29 criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his “stinging criticism of the Catholic Church” in singling out Catholics over the crisis surrounding the sexual abuse of minors.”

“He really caricatured the church and only the church, singling it out for the sexual abuse of minors and contesting that we were the ones that had blocked the Child Victims Act,” Cardinal Dolan told Father Dave Dwyer, co-host of “Conversation With Cardinal Dolan,” which airs every Tuesday afternoon on Sirius XM’s The Catholic Channel.

“And then misquoting, taking out of context, Pope Francis, and to flaunt his dissent from established church teaching and to use all that as an applause line,” the cardinal said of the governor.

He was referring to Cuomo’s State of the State address in which he cited his own Catholic faith and Pope Francis and at the same time emphasized his full backing of a bill — now signed in to law — to radically expand abortion access in the state. Cuomo also criticized the state’s Catholic bishops for their earlier opposition to the Child Victims Act, also now a law.

The new law makes it easier for abuse victim-survivors to sue. The bishops did support the final measure because it included both private and public institutions. Earlier versions only targeted the church.

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Austin man stands by Catholic faith after surviving priest’s alleged abuse

AUSTIN (TX)
News4SA

January 30, 2019

By Melanie Barden

Austin resident Allen Hebert says he’s a survivor of a priest’s abuse and he’s glad the Catholic church is making an effort to be transparent. (CBS Austin)

Thursday, Catholic leaders across Texas will release the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually assaulting children. The list could have names dating back to the 1950’s, according to the Austin Diocese.

Austin resident Allen Hebert says he’s a survivor of a priest’s abuse and he’s glad the Catholic church is making an effort to be transparent.

“The list will help some people realize ‘wow the guy was caught,'” says Hebert.

Hebert says Father Andrew Willemsen, a former priest in the Diocese of Austin, befriended his family and sexually abused him from age 12 to 14. “He just gradually convinced me that doing these things was normal, ‘don’t tell your parents because they don’t understand in fact the church doesn’t understand, but I do,'” says Hebert.

Years later, Hebert reported Father Willemsen to a bishop who knew him. The bishop said Father Willemsen was sent out of the country years earlier after other victims came forward. Willemsen has since passed away.

“It’s been 21 years of healing,” says Hebert.

Hebert tells CBS Austin part of his healing will come from seeing Father Willemsen’s name on the Austin Diocese list.

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Chicago Catholic Teacher Accused Of Sexually Abusing Student

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Patch

January 31, 2019

By Amber Fisher

A Catholic school teacher on Chicago’s West Side is accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy and battering a 13-year-old boy, police said. The teacher taught junior high school at St. Procopius in Pilsen since 2014, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Yesenia Rodriguez, 27, of the 900 block of North Honore Street, has been suspended and “will remain away from the school until the matter is resolved,” the archdiocese stated.

Rodriguez is accused of sexually abusing the 14-year-old boy in the 1600 block of South Allport — the same block as the school — on May 1, police said.

She is also accused of battering the 13-year-old boy a few blocks from the school in the 1800 block of South Allport between Sept. 15 and Jan. 25, police 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.

Convicted former priest arrested for probation violation

BROWN COUNTY (WI)
WBAY TV

January 31, 2019

A former Green Bay priest convicted of exposing genitals to a child has been arrested on a probation violation, according to jail records.

Richard L Thomas, 81, was arrested Jan. 29, according to the Brown County Inmate lookup website.

VINE, a website that alerts victims of crimes to offender movement, states that Thomas is in custody at the Brown County Jail.

Action 2 News is working to get information on the nature of the probation violation. We’ve reached out to several agencies and will update this story when we get that information.

In 2016, Thomas pleaded no contest to two counts of Exposing Genitals/Pubic Area/Intimate Parts to a Child. He was found guilty and sentenced to four months in jail and three years on probation.

Conditions of probation include lifetime registry on the Wisconsin Sex Offender list and no contact with minors unless approved by the parole agent.

Thomas had exposed himself to a teenager while living at Grellinger Hall, a residence for retired priests.

Last November, Thomas was denied his request to relocate to a new home in Green Bay. A citizen board listened as Thomas cited his two-and-a-half years in therapy for the crimes he committed, hoping the board would grant him the move.

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DiNardo: Tell police if you have information about clergy sex abuse [Opinion]

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

January 31, 2019

By Cardinal Daniel DiNardo

We are still weeks away from Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten season, and yet this week like so many I am overwhelmed with thoughts and prayers of contrition as, together with the other Catholic Dioceses in Texas, we will release a list of clergy dating back to 1950 who have been credibly accused of abusing minors.

I very much appreciate this opportunity to tell you why we are releasing this list, how the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston compiled it, and where we go from here.

First, we are releasing this list because we recognize the great and lasting harm done by persons who were supposed to represent Christ to the world, but instead committed the most heinous acts against the most vulnerable people in our society — our youth. I can assure you the genuine shame, embarrassment and outrage that accompany this week’s announcements across Texas are superseded only by the determination we collectively feel to assist victims of these acts of evil to begin or continue the healing process.

To anyone who has been personally affected by this crisis, or their families, I apologize most sincerely. I furthermore understand the anger and frustration you may harbor in your hearts concerning the perpetrators of abuse; or those who in the past may have concealed or ignored such unthinkable behavior; or even those in positions of authority today — yours truly included — who are doing our best however imperfectly to rebuild the trust of the faithful. It is my most fervent prayer that whatever pain was caused would not make you sever your relationship with the Lord, for the Lord — not man — is the truest source of hope and joy in our lives. I implore you not to let any darkness overtake the light in your life.

Let me add: we are also releasing this list because we want anyone with any additional information about any abuse of a minor that may have taken place in this Archdiocese to notify the civil authorities immediately. I recognize and indeed admire the courage required to step forward and share such traumatic experiences, but it is critical that the civil authorities are made aware of any allegations of abuse so as to protect our children.

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Why this time was different: The church’s objections to the Child Victims Act finally ran out

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Daily News

January 29, 2019

By Marci Hamilton

It took more than 15 years, but when the Child Victims Act finally made it to the floor of the Senate, it passed unanimously. This is the harbinger of good things to come in other states.

For the very first time, the most powerful bishop in a state — Cardinal Timothy Dolan — publicly withdrew his opposition to the bill. That opened the door for Republicans to vote for the Child Victims Act, but it also changed the discourse about window legislation across the United States and even the world.

The Catholic bishops, the most publicly relentless opponents of victims’ access to justice, have been running out of arguments against the irrefutable logic of child sex abuse statute of limitations (SOL) reform. At first, they opposed SOL reform, period. Their battle against extending the civil and criminal SOLs did not last long, because it implied that they expected to have ongoing problems in the future. But they continued to ferociously battle the lookback, or window, legislation that revives expired civil SOLs.

They tried to blame the priests (and the victims) while not taking responsibility for their role, or they claimed it all happened decades ago. The 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report put those arguments to rest, as it prompted the world to take the side of the victims.

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Diocese Of Oakland Priest On Leave Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegation

OAKLAND (CA)
CBS SF

January 31, 2019

A priest with the Diocese of Oakland has been placed on administrative leave as the diocese investigates an allegation of sexual misconduct against a minor by the clergyman, according to diocese officials.

The Rev. Alex Castillo, who serves as the diocese’s director of Department of Faith Formation and Evangelization and episcopal master of ceremonies, is not allowed to function publicly as a priest during the investigation, said diocese spokeswoman Helen Osman.

There have been no interim appointments made to assume Castillo’s duties, Osman said.

Anyone with any information on the case or wishes to report other allegations of sexual misconduct by a clergy member or diocese employee can call their local law enforcement agency and Diocese of Oakland Chancellor Stephen Wilcox at (510) 267-8334 or swilcox@oakdiocese.org.

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Vatican adviser says ‘real reform,’ not spin, key to recovery from abuse crisis

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

January 31, 2019

By Inés San Martín

An adviser to the Vatican’s communication team said Monday that recovery from the clerical sexual abuse scandals isn’t a matter of devising a better PR strategy, but of acknowledging that real people have been hurt and delivering “real reform.”

“As Pope Francis says, this is not about ‘marketing or strategizing’ but about ‘the beating heart of the Gospel’,” said Kim Daniels, a veteran leader with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and various Catholic organizations, who was appointed an adviser to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communications in 2016.

“Over these past months many have been tempted to stay angry, and with good reason,” Daniels said. “Every week another shoe seems to drop: we hear of another person – a flesh and-blood person, someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s friend – who has suffered abuse at the hands of a priest. We hear another story of cover-up or malfeasance or failure of leadership on the part of a bishop.”

“We hear more talk from everyone, but see little action from anyone,” she said.

Daniel’s remarks came during the sixth annual lecture of the Cardinal John Foley Chair of Social Communications and Homiletics at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. It was the first time a woman was tasked with delivering the talk, with previous speakers including Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles and Crux editor-in-chief, John L. Allen, Jr.

The Church’s ongoing crisis is not the product of poor public relations or a failure of “messaging,” Daniels said, but the fact that “Church leaders have hurt real people, and real reform is necessary.”

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Priest Who Exposed Himself At Rockford Gas Station Punished By Diocese

ROCKFORD (IL)
January 30, 2019

By Jim Hagerty

The Diocese of Rockford announced Wednesday that a priest who exposed himself at a Rockford gas station in 2014 will be punished by the local bishop.

Officials say Father Aaron Brodeski will be deprived of the title “Monsignor,” and be placed in a one-year period of prayer and penance.

“As this is a decision of highest authority of the Catholic Church, there is no further appeal or recourse against it,” the Diocese said in a release. ” Any subsequent determination about the suitability for ministry of Father Brodeski rests with the local bishop in accordance with the Church’s Canon Law.”

Court records show that in March 2014, Brodeski exposed himself to an employee at Road Ranger, 4980 S. Main St. He turned himself in to police on May 23, 2014 and was charged with two counts of public indecency.

Brodeski pleaded guilty to a single count of disorderly conduct as part of a plea agreement and was sentenced two years of court supervision. He was a priest at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia at the time of the incident.

The Diocese says the matter was referred to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy and after an internal investigation and that the congregation found that Brodeski was responsible for “grave and scandalous” acts.

“The Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy then submitted the matter to Pope Francis, who approved the recommendation of the Congregation and made it his own papal act,” the Diocese added. “The Diocese of Rockford expresses its profound regret to the faithful and to all who have been offended by this incident. It asks for prayers for all involved in this matter.”

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Reckoning time for Catholics

NEW YORK (NY
A. M. New York

January 31, 2019

A familiar name was eventually published along with dozens of Jesuit priests who’d taught in some of the city’s Catholic schools: my former religion teacher.

I graduated from the school in 2000. While I was never abused, the church abuse scandal hits me deep, not only as a graduate but also as a parent whose son attends the school. It has even made my mother, a devout Catholic, question why the church still holds on to archaic rules like not allowing women or married men to be priests, which she believes help foster an abusive environment.

Even though I am no longer a believer, the church has meaning for my life. As I wrote on this page last year, a Jesuit priest worked with my mom and others to support peasants and workers in Bolivia — a move that eventually cost him his life. Many priests were on the right side of history in Latin America during a period of death squads and political persecution.

That said, despite some of the efforts of the school and of Catholics in NYC to begin to take some accountability for abuse, the ways the church dragged its feet and covered up abuse scandals point to an institution that was focused more on self-preservation than justice for victims.

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Think McQuaid’s priest abuse list is complete?

ROCHESTER (NY)
Democrat and Chronicle

January 31, 2019

By Sean Lahman and Steve Orr

When Tom Chiarella read last month about sexual abuse allegations against seven priests once assigned to his alma mater, McQuaid Jesuit High School, he was sick to his stomach.

Chiarella had known that sexual abuse had occurred at the Brighton secondary school because he was a victim of it. The trauma hung over his head for years before he could find a way out.

His personal escape culminated in the bold step of telling the world what had happened to him in an article for Esquire magazine in 2003 called “My Education.” Chiarella recounted how French teacher John J. Tobin had harassed, stalked and sexually abused him between 1975 and his graduation in 1979.

What disturbed Chiarella were allegations that came to light Jan. 15, when a regional Jesuit organization named 50 priests who had been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. Seven of those priests once taught at McQuaid.

Publication of that list has prompted a new stream of allegations against staff who taught at McQuaid, with the Brighton police and the Democrat and Chronicle receiving multiple calls. At the same time, the release has raised questions about the thoroughness and transparency of efforts to acknowledge and resolve past abuses.

Asked about the Jesuits’ list, leaders at McQuaid failed to make clear when and where the misconduct by the seven priests occurred, how many McQuaid students were victimized, and why the school had previously denied knowledge of credible allegations against many of the priests named.

“I think it’s amazing, the institutional indifference to these problems,” Chiarella said. “They’re perpetuating a system where a 15-year-old boy feels he shouldn’t and can’t speak out.”

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Lawsuit: Priest molested St. Richard student. Did Catholic Church, district attorney act?

JACKSON (MS)
Mississippi Clarion Ledger

January 31, 2019

By Sarah Fowler

A Ridgeland man who says he was sexually abused by a priest in 2004 as a 9-year-old has filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Jackson and a local Catholic school.

The allegation was reported to the diocese in 2014, and the diocese launched an internal investigation in addition to notifying the Hinds County District Attorney’s office. District Attorney Robert Schuler Smith said this week that his office did not investigate because they were waiting on information from the diocese.

The lawsuit, filed Dec. 28 in Hinds County, only identifies the 24-year-old plaintiff as “John Doe” and the alleged abuser as “Defendant Father John Doe.”

The accused priest was never identified by the boy, the church or law enforcement.

The lawsuit names the diocese, St. Richard Catholic Church, St. Richard Catholic School, Father Mike O’Brien, Bishop Joseph Latino, former St. Richard principal Joules Michel, Bishop Joseph Kopacz, Monsignor Elvin Sunds, an unidentified priest (Father John Doe) and 10 other unidentified individuals (John Doe I-X).

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Vatican: Senior priest resigns over advances to nun

PoliticalLore.com blog

January 31, 2019

By Julia Simpson

The Vatican continues to improve its moral doctrine and an overall image, this week, several senior priests have had to resign over advance to the nun, The Local Italy reported on Thursday.

In the Vatican, the relationships between nuns and priests are complicated sometimes because of sexual harassment, confirmed the official source. This week, a senior Vatican priest accused of making advances towards a nun during confession has resigned.

«Geissler decided to take this step to limit the damage already done to the congregation and to his community,» a Holy See statement reads, noting that he «reserves the right for possible civil legal action».

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‘Spotlight’ lawyer accuses Newark archdiocese of defending abusive priest

SOUTH ORANGE (NJ)
The Sentonian

January 30, 2019

By Isabel Soisson

Mitchell Garabedian, the celebrated lawyer known for representing the sexual abuse victims of Roman Catholic priests in the Boston area, recently accused the Archdiocese of Newark of blaming the alleged victims of Rev. Michael “Mitch” Walters in order to protect him. Walters is accused of abusing five boys and one girl decades ago. Walters graduated from Seton Hall in 1977 with a BA in religious studies.

Garabedian’s work was depicted in the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight,” and he has continued to represent sexual abuse victims across the United States. He criticized the archdiocese after announcing that five of the alleged victims of Walters had settled their civil lawsuits against the Catholic Church for $400,000.

Lawyers for the archdiocese cited the “doctrine of contributory negligence” to argue that “these children were at fault when they were sexually abused,” Garabedian said at a press conference, according to NBC News.

Walters served at St. Cassian Church and school in Montclair and at St. John Nepomucene Parish in Guttenberg during his time as a priest. He is accused of molesting children between 1982 and 1995 at both parishes. Walters’ last assignment was at the Our Lady of Sorrows Church in South Orange. Walters was removed from his last assignment after the first sex abuse allegations came to light. He has since denied these claims and records indicate he may now live in Rutherford, N.J., at a retirement home for priests, also according to NBC News.

Last September, New Jersey officials announced the creation of a special task force to investigate both the alleged sex abuse by members of the clergy within the dioceses of New Jersey and alleged cover-up by the Catholic Church, as previously reported by The Setonian. Seton Hall University then hired Newark law firm Gibbons P.C. to independently investigate sex abuse allegations that “may have involved seminarians” at both the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology and the College Seminary at Saint Andrew’s Hall on the South Orange campus. These accusations were leveled against the former Archbishop of Newark, Theodore McCarrick. McCarrick served as president of the board of trustees at Seton Hall and served as Archbishop of Newark during the mid-80s to early 2000s.

Maria Margiotta, acting director of communications and public relations for the Archdiocese of Newark, sent the following statement to The Setonian when asked for comment on Garabedian’s accusations.

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There are still bishops who don’t understand abuse crisis

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

January 31, 2019

By Thomas Reese

Talking to reporters on his plane coming back from World Youth Day in Panama Jan. 27, Pope Francis downplayed what he called “inflated” expectations for the upcoming meeting of bishops in Rome to deal with clergy sexual abuse. “The expectations need to be deflated,” he said. He also sought to lower expectations about the possibility of married priests.

Many in the United States have been hoping that the meeting on abuse, which will bring the presidents of the episcopal conferences from over 100 countries to the Vatican Feb. 21-24, would result in procedures for dealing with bishops who do not protect children from abusive priests. While the church has made progress in dealing with abusive priests, it still needs a process for dealing with bishops who do not protect children.

The expectations for the meeting were raised in November, when the head of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, told the American bishops not to vote on such procedures at their fall meeting in Baltimore. Ouellet said the Americans should wait for a discussion of the issue at the meeting in Rome.

It now appears that the meeting will not develop new policies but, in the words of Francis, will be a “catechesis” on the problem of abuse aimed at bishops who do not understand the issue or what they should do in response to abuse.

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UN panel probes Italy’s role in Church’s child abuse scandals

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

January 31, 2019

By Claire Giangravè

A United Nations Committee for the protection of minors questioned the Italian government last week about clerical sexual abuse in the country, expressing concern over laws that protect predator priests from criminal charges.

“We are saddened by the lack of information regarding sexual abuse against minors by Catholic clergy, and we are concerned by the information we have received that points to numerous clerical abuse victims,” said Spanish Professor Jorge Cardona, a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, during a Jan. 22-23 hearing.

Representatives of the Italian government were asked to answer questions before the committee at the UN’s High Commissioner in Geneva regarding the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Recommendations drawn from the hearing will be issued by the UN on Feb. 7.

This was hardly the first time the UN panel has taken an interest in the Catholic Church’s record on child sexual abuse.

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Catholic priest sentenced for sexual, attempted abuse of 2 boys in Diocese of Erie

SHIPPENSBURG (PA)
News Chronicle

January 31, 2019

A former Catholic priest for four decades in the Diocese of Erie, David Poulson, was sentenced Jan. 11 to 2 1/2 to 14 years in prison for his repeated sexual assaults against one boy and the attempted assault of another boy. Poulson was sentenced by a Jefferson County Common Pleas Court judge for corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children – both felony crimes. Poulson was taken immediately into custody after his sentencing.

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Catholic Dioceses release more lists detailing sex abuse cases

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

January 30, 2019

By Shelby Danielsen

On Thursday the country will see new lists released from multiple states naming clergy who have been accused of sexually abusing a minor in the Catholic Church.

Dioceses in both Texas and Louisiana have vowed to release these names to the public by Jan. 31.

The increase in transparency follows a Pennsylvania grand jury report released last year that named hundreds of priests in sex abuse cases dating back to the 1950s, prompting churches around the country to quickly respond.

While the abuse cases being made public may not have been prosecuted, they are names the church found credible in accusations.

In Georgia, the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah were two of the first institutions to publish these types of lists naming clergy last year. You can find their lists published on their diocese website.

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Letter to the Editor: Cardinal Bea House scandal needed transparency

SPOKANE (WA)
Gonzaga Bulletin

January 31, 2019

By Lindsay Panigeo

I was born in Utqiaġvik (Barrow), Alaska. I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, with the privilege of being able to return to my hometown regularly. My family has worked tirelessly to teach me and my siblings about our rich Inupiaq culture. Being an Inupiaq woman is central to my identity, and the values that my culture instills in me are something I carry with me everywhere I go.

On Dec. 17, my mother sent me an article from the Anchorage Daily News with a headline that read, “Jesuits quietly sent abusive Alaska priests to retire with others on a Washington college campus.” My heart immediately sank, I took a deep breath and I read the rest of the article.

The same day, President Thayne McCulloh sent a statement to Gonzaga’s community in response to the numerous accused priests, the most notable being James Poole. In President McCulloh’s statement, he mentions that the news of these horrible circumstances brought “feelings of sadness, disgust and betrayal,” indicating that he, among others from GU’s senior leadership, had no idea that the Society of Jesus was knowingly re-assigning credibly accused men to locations, such as the Cardinal Bea House.

As much as I want to believe that GU was unaware of the abusive priests allowed to reside on campus, I am not sure that I can fully believe that, and if they were completely oblivious, then they should be more diligent about who is residing on, or near campus. Simple Google searches relating to the Rev. Poole reveal a history of misconduct, including articles from 2005 stating that Poole was sued by an Alaskan woman, which is a matter of public record, for sexually assaulting her as a child. A timeline published in 2011 from “FRONTLINE” includes accounts of the years of abuse that Poole inflicted prior to residing in the Cardinal Bea House.

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Suspended Deacon Gets Probation in Sexting Case in Washington, Pa.

WHEELING (WV)
The Intelligencer

January 29, 2019

By Barbara Miller

Rosendo Francis Dacal, a suspended Catholic deacon in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, will serve two years probation, perform 200 hours of community service and be required to register as a sex offender for 25 years after being sentenced last week by Washington County, Pa. Judge Gary Gilman.

Dacal, 74, pleaded guilty in October to two felonies — criminal solicitation of sexual abuse of children and criminal use of a communication device.

Police arrested Dacal in April 2018 on child pornography charges after North Strabane Township police Officer Gary Scherer had assumed the decoy persona of a 14-year-old boy when he was contacted by someone with the username “chubby boy” in December 2017.

The user, later identified as Dacal, sent sexually explicit messages, sought nude photos of whom he thought was the 14-year-old and exposed himself during video sessions over the course of several months.

As a youth, Dacal left Cuba after the Communist revolution and lived in a refugee camp stateside, eventually earning postgraduate degrees in business and law. As a Catholic deacon, he volunteered as a chaplain at the Allegheny County Jail.

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Victims blast KS archbishop on abuse

KANSAS CITY (KS)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 31, 2019

Victims blast KS archbishop on abuse

They ‘out’ 6 publicly accused priests who are/were in KC KS

The allegations arose elsewhere but the clerics spent time here

SNAP also urges Archbishop to include those who abuse adults on his list

WHAT
Holdings signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy abuse victims and concerned Catholics will disclose a list of six clerics publicly accused of child molestation who worked in/around KC KS but have gotten virtually no public or press attention here,

They will also call on KC KS Catholic officials to
—explain why these six names were left off their list of clergy with “substantiated” allegations,
—add the six names, along with photos, whereabouts and work histories of all publicly accused clerics, to their website, and
—include the identities of priests who have sexually abused, exploited and harassed adults as well.

WHEN
Thursday Jan. 31 at 1:45 p.m.

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Six more publicly accused child abusers are “outed”

HARTFORD (CT)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 31, 2019

Six more publicly accused child abusers are “outed”

All were left off Hartford’s new list of those “credibly accused”

Two admitted abuse, one was convicted & one is a nun

Victims want Catholic officials to “come fully clean now”

Group also urges CT to totally eliminate SOLs for child sex abuse

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose the names and histories of six publicly accused child molesters, including one woman, who worked in the Hartford Catholic Archdiocese but were left off a just-posted list of those “credibly accused.” The group found six other “overlooked” publicly accused priests and brothers when the list was first released last week.

They will also call on Connecticut’s top Church officials to
–include the six new names on the Archdiocese’s “credibly accused” list,
–give more details about each abuser, especially their photos, current whereabouts and full work histories, and
–urge CT legislators to totally remove the criminal and civil statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse and open a permanent civil window.

WHEN
Thursday, Jan. 31 at 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk outside St. Joseph Cathedral, 140 Farmington Ave. in Hartford CT

WHO
Three victims and advocates who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including Gail Howard, the group’s volunteer Connecticut leader and Donna Palomba who is also the founder of a Naugatuck- based organization, Jane Doe No More, dedicated to ending the silence surrounding sexual assault.

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Why police aren’t more involved in diocese abuse investigations

DALLAS (TX)
WFAA TV

January 30, 2019

By Tanya Eiserer

As the Dallas Catholic diocese prepares to release the names of priests “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors Thursday, many are wondering: What can law enforcement do with the list?

The reality is that police can only act when a victim is willing to come forward and file a police report.

“Without an outcry, the police can’t do anything,” said Brenda Nichols, a former supervisor of the Dallas PD’s child abuse unit.

Once a victim comes forward, police can investigate to determine if there’s enough evidence to obtain a warrant.

The case of accused priest Edmundo Paredes is instructive. He was the former longtime pastor at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Oak Cliff.

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Diocese of Monterey witnesses installation of its fifth Bishop

MONTEREY (CA)
Monterey Herald

January 30, 2019

By James Herrera

The fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Monterey, Daniel E. Garcia, was installed in an elaborate celebratory mass and ceremony that included many faithful, fellow clergy from brothers, sisters, priests, bishops and included the reading of the Apostolic Mandate issued from the head of the Catholic Church himself – Pope Francis.

The installation ceremony, mass and reception was held on Tuesday afternoon for hundreds of people on the grounds of Madonna Del Sasso Church and Catholic School in Salinas.

“… It’s my desire to get to know you and for you to get to know me. For me to see and visit the various and awesome communities and parishes that are located throughout the four counties of our diocese. As I said at my press conference, and I say again to you today, I want to walk with you and to serve you. I want you to help me to wash the feet of our brothers and sisters around us. Especially those who are most vulnerable and often get lost in the midst of our policies, our politics, and structures in the church and outside of the church,” said Bishop Garcia during his homily.

The new Bishop said he was humbled and moved by his appointment to be the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Monterey by the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

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SA advocate for victims of priest sex abuse anxiously awaits list of accused offenders

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
January 30, 2019

By Bill Barajas

On Thursday, the Archdiocese of San Antonio is expected to release a comprehensive list of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.

The list includes accusations dating back to the 1950s and is meant to provide accountability and transparency.

“We feel like the list coming out is very important for many reasons. For the victims of sex abuse, it’s very important because it validates them,” said Patti Koo, San Antonio chapter leader of the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

“Oftentimes, they haven’t felt listened to or believed. It also empowers them. They feel like they are no longer alone. It empowers them to come forward,” Koo said.

In Oct. 2018, San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller and dioceses across Texas agreed to compile and release the names.

“It’s a very long time coming. In fact, we wonder if they could have released this a year ago. Could they have released it five years ago and 10 years ago?” Koo said.

Since 1988, SNAP’s mission is to provide a safe place for victims to share their stories and be supported.

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From Evasion to Conversion

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal

January 30, 2019

By Austen Ivereigh

“Pope Lowers Expectations for Next Month’s Sex Abuse Summit”—the Associated Press headline may not have been heart-lifting, but it was fair. During Pope Francis’s flight back from Panama on January 27, he had told reporters that “we have to deflate the expectations” surrounding the bishops’ first global summit on clerical sex abuse, which is to take place at the Vatican between February 20 and February 24.

Francis described the summit as essentially a “catechesis”: to make church leaders across the world aware of the pain of victims, and their obligations to act against abuser priests, as well as to hear survivors’ testimonies and to pray, penitentially, for the church’s failures. But three days is not a long time, and no one is expecting a revolution. “The problem of abuse will continue,” Francis assured reporters. “It’s a human problem.” No one should be expecting the pope to pull a new solution out of a top hat.

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.

Jesuits Keeping Students and Staff at Fordham University in the Dark

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 30, 2019

Despite pledges to be transparent, Northeast Jesuit officials refused to tell Fordham University students and staff if any abusive clerics were living on-campus.

Apparently, Jesuits quietly moved “credibly accused” child molesting clerics to Murray-Weigel Hall on the Fordham campus. This strategy was also used by Jesuit officials at other colleges they operate across the US, such as at Gonzaga in Washington.

The religious order refused to say whether they are still doing this at Fordham. Instead, the university was forced to restrict student access to Murray-Weigel in order to keep them out of harm’s way. Ongoing student-volunteer programs had previously allowed student to visit the priests housed there.

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.

Wikileaks takes a swipe at the famously secretive Vatican

ROME (ITALY)
Washington Post

January 30, 2019

By Chico Harlan

WikiLeaks, the tell-anything anti-secrecy organization, on Wednesday took aim at one of the world’s most secretive institutions, the Vatican, releasing a small collection of documents about a power struggle involving Pope Francis, a leading traditionalist cardinal, and a medieval Catholic order of knights.

The documents offered little new about a fight that two years ago was widely covered in the media. Their contents seem especially paltry at a time when the Vatican is embroiled in full-fledged scandals on multiple continents. But the release represented the first time WikiLeaks has turned its spotlight on the often-acrimonious internal affairs of the Holy See, and some Vatican watchers wondered whether more damaging secrets might start to escape the city-state’s walls.

“The fact itself, WikiLeaks entering the internal affairs of the Vatican, is an alarm bell,” said Marco Politi, a veteran Vatican watcher. “The subject itself is not interesting. These are old diatribes, old fights. But the important thing will be the next step. Will there be a subsequent WikiLeaks [release] on something not previously revealed? Should WikiLeaks pull out stuff regarding pedophilia or banking scandals, then we would be onto something new.”

Though the Vatican has been burned by leaks in the past — mostly notably when a trove of confidential documents was released in 2012 with help from then-Pope Benedict XVI’s butler — the city-state is famed for its airtight hold on information, including its paperwork on cases involving sexual abuse.

A Vatican spokesman noted that WikiLeaks had previously touched on church affairs, in 2010 — but the documents leaked then were cables from the U.S. Embassy, describing diplomatic relations with the Holy See. WikiLeaks Editor in Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said Wednesday was the first time the organization released documents about the Vatican “conflict between the different factions.”

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List of Abilene-area priests accused of child sex crimes to be released Thursday

ABILENE (TX)
KTAB/KRBC TV

Jan 30, 2019

By Erica Garner

A list of Abilene-area priests and other clergy members accused of sexually assaulting children will be released by the end of the day Thursday.

The San Angelo Diocese, which parents Catholic parishes across the Big Country, says they will be releasing their abuse report on January 31, as mandated by a decision made by all 15 Texas Dioceses in September.

A press release states these lists are being released in an effort for local parishes to be transparent about the bishops, priests, deacons, and other religious leaders that served their organizations and were involved in “credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor” dating back to 1950.

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April 8 deadline set for Diocese of Winona-Rochester child sex abuse filings

WINONA (MN)
Post Bulletin

January 30, 2019

By Brian Todd

Individuals with a claim of child sexual abuse against the Diocese of Winona-Rochester will need to register that claim no later than April 8.

According to the diocese’s notice of chapter 11 bankruptcy, creditors — victims of abuse by clergy, staff or volunteers — need to file a proof of claim, a signed statement describing a creditor’s claim. Proofs of claim can be filed electronically on the court’s website at www.mnb.uscourts.gov. No login or password is required.

Alternatively, a Proof of Claim form may be obtained at the same website or any bankruptcy clerk’s office. Claims will be allowed in the amount scheduled unless they meet the following criteria:

• The claim is designated as “disputed,” “contingent” or “unliquidated”;

• Individuals file a proof of claim in a different amount; or

• you receive another notice, according to the bankruptcy documentation.

If an individual’s claim is not scheduled or if that claim is designated as disputed, contingent, or unliquidated, creditors must file a proof of claim or risk not being paid on their claim or unable to vote on a plan.

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Chicago Catholic Teacher Arrested For Abusing 13 & 14-Year-Old Boys

CoEd.com

January 30, 2019

By Eric Italiano

Yesenia Rodriguez, a 27-year-old former teacher at St. Procopius School in Chicago, has been arrested and charged for allegedly sexually abusing a 14-year-old teen and made “physical contact” with another 13-year-old teen.

According to reports, an investigation by local authorities found that Rodriguez allegedly sexually abused the unidentified 14-year-old teenager in the 1600-block of South Allport on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

Furthermore, the investigation into Rodriguez found that she also allegedly battered a 13-year-old teenager between the dates of September 15, 2018, and January 25, 2019, also on South Allport St. Procopius School is located at 1625 S Allport St in Chicago.

Rodriguez was arrested by authorities on Monday, January 28, and was subsequently charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving a victim 13 to 18 years old, which is a felony offense.

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State’s Dioceses Face Day of Reckoning With New York Child Victims Act

IRONDALE (AL)
National Catholic Register

January 30, 2019

By Peter Jesserer Smith

After traveling 300 miles by train to Albany, Michael Whelan, a Catholic survivor of sex abuse, witnessed the passage of the Child Victims Act in the state Legislature. Four decades had passed since a Buffalo priest preyed on him as a 13-year-old, taking away his childhood and altering his future forever.

“For us victims, I cried. I absolutely cried. I felt the relief they absolutely heard us,” he said. As he traveled back toward Buffalo by train, Whelan told the Register the sexual abuse he received during a skiing trip cost him many things: a happy first marriage, normal family life and a promising military career, as the trauma kept resurfacing through the years.

“It has been a slow, hard fight,” Whelan said.

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Baton Rouge list of Catholic clergy accused of sexual abuse to come Thursday

BATON ROUGE (LA)
The Advocate

January 30, 2019

By Andrea Gallo

Three months after Bishop Michael Duca pledged to release a list of local Roman Catholic clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors, the people of Baton Rouge will find out Thursday which allegations of abuse in his diocese have previously been shielded from the public.

Duca is expected to release the list at noon Thursday, when he has scheduled a news conference.

Catholic dioceses nationwide have been under pressure to name names since a Pennsylvania grand jury last August revealed that more than 300 predator priests had abused 1,000 victims. The report set off a new wave of scandal and devastation in a clergy sex abuse crisis that has plagued the Catholic Church worldwide.

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Parishes, dioceses feeling the financial pinch

HUNTINGTON (IN)
Our Sunday Visitor

January 30, 2019

By Brian Fraga

These days, Father John Hollowell sits at his desk and pores over financial statements, trying to figure out how to cut almost 25 percent of his two Indiana parishes’ operating budgets for next year.

“McCarrick and friends are coming home to roost in fiscal year 2019-2020 at a parish near you,” Father Hollowell wrote to his 8,800 Twitter followers on Jan. 22.

In a recent interview with Our Sunday Visitor, Father Hollowell said he noticed “a pretty sharp decline” in parish weekend collections last summer, when the national clergy sexual abuse crisis exploded anew with revelations that former cardinal Theodore McCarrick was alleged to have harassed and molested minors and seminarians several decades ago.

“I totally get why people are doing that. For many people, money is the last form of protest they have to speak to Church authorities,” said Father Hollowell, the pastor of Annunciation Church in Brazil, Indiana, and St. Paul Church in nearby Greencastle.

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How Fort Worth dealt with priest abuse accusations

FORT WORTH, (TX)
KXAN TV

Jan 30, 2019

By Jody Barr

It’s taken Texas’ Catholic dioceses 12 years to do what Fort Worth’s diocese did back in 2007. Fort Worth was the first of the state’s 15 dioceses to identify clergy members with “credible allegations” of sexually abusing children — and any other allegation against priests.

Texas has 1,320 Catholic parishes in 15 dioceses.

“We listened to victims and one of the things they articulated was the experience of frustration of not having been heard and not having been believed,” the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson said in October 2018 when explaining why he decided to publish the list 12 years ago.

Olson made those comments last fall after the Catholic Diocese of Dallas told the public it had an active internal investigation into 220 priests. That investigation started in February 2018, Bishop Edward Burns told reporters last fall.

But, the Dallas diocese investigation only deals with active priests, Burns told reporters.

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Austin man relives alleged child sex abuse by Boston priest

AUSTIN (TX)
KXAN TV

January 30, 2019

By Brittany Glas
:
He was just a first-grade student at the time. His father had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital. His mother was trying to juggle her three children and doing the best she could to take care of their family amid their own struggles.

Fearful his parents were already too stressed to be burdened by his issues, the boy turned to a priest for help. After all, he knew he wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers, but a priest was different, right?

The man the boy turned to was supposedly a man of God.

“He set up times to see me separately where he abused me. I didn’t know what was going on because I’m seven and I know this doesn’t feel right, and I know this isn’t right, but who am I going to tell?” He continued, “I thought I was doing the right thing and now I feel like I did something wrong.”

He says the priest didn’t threaten his life, but he believes manipulation was used to ensure he never told anyone about their sexually-inappropriate.

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Bishop Fernando Ramos to substitute for Chilean bishops president

CHILE
La Croix International

January 30, 2019

By Marie Malzac

Bishop Santiago Silva, implicated for allegedly failing to report accusations of sexual harassment, will not take part in the summit on sexual abuse at the Vatican

Bishop Fernando Ramos, the secretary general of the Chilean Episcopal Conference, will travel to Rome for the Vatican sexual abuse summit in place of conference president, Bishop Santiago Silva, who is accused of having covered up sexual abuse. This is the second of a seven-part series profiling heads of bishops’ conferences.

The earthquake that struck the Chilean Church in 2018 continues to rumble on. A year after Pope Francis’ voyage to the South American nation, the Chilean bishops are in the process of completely re-organizing themselves in the wake of the revelations of the Church’s egregious management of sexual abuse cases.

Over this period, several bishops have resigned, judicial action has been launched and the mechanisms of silence exposed.The Chilean example has become emblematic of the silence and dysfunction that has characterized the handling of sexual abuse in the church.

One consequence of these events is that the president of the Chilean Episcopal Conference (CECh), Bishop Santiago Silva, will not take part in the summit on sexual abuse at the Vatican convoked by Pope Francis from February 21-24.

An investigation has now implicated Bishop Silva for allegedly failing to report accusations of sexual harassment made by a former seminarian, who says that he confided the facts to him during the 1960s when Silva was still a theology professor.

Prosecutors also interviewed Bishop Silva, who is now the bishop for the military, for more than five hours in October over allegations concerning his management of another case involving an army chaplain.

In addition, he was questioned about several other episodes, notably when he was auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Valparaiso and rector of the pontifical seminary of San Rafael.

As a result, Bishop Fernando Ramos, secretary general of the CECh, will take the place of Bishop Silva at the Rome summit at the request of the latter, who has nevertheless remained president of the conference.

In an interview with the Chilean press at the end of December, Bishop Ramos explained that the decision would ensure that “attention will focus on… analyses and commentary linked to the president.”

Serious dysfunction

Pope Francis’ trip to Chile marked a turning point in his pontificate after his January 2018 visit turned to disaster. The pope had defended Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, who was suspected of covering up the sexual abuse of Fernando Karadima, a former priest and sexual predator.

This provoked an outcry that forced the pope to look deeper into the matter sending a special envoy to Chile, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, who was tasked with gathering testimonies.

The results of this investigation caused an about face in his attitude as well as triggering an earthquake in the whole Chilean Church, the grave dysfunction of which emerged clearly.

In May, the pope summonsed all Chilean bishops to Rome for an unprecedented meeting to share and discuss Archbishop Scicluna’s conclusions.

Archbishop Scicluna’s report noted that the facts reported to the bishops “were superficially regarded as improbable even when there were serious indices of crime” while other cases “were investigated with delay or even never investigated.”

Based on Scicluna’s findings, Pope Francis also hit out at “pressure exercised on those who were responsible for the conduct of criminal prosecutions” as well as “the destruction of compromising documents by those responsible for ecclesiastical archives.”

Block resignation of the Chilean bishops

Following this meeting, the Chilean bishops presented their resignations en masse to the pope. To date, Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of seven, including Bishop Barros.

The scandal has now impacted the Chilean Catholic Church at the highest levels since Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago is currently the subject of an investigation by Chilean prosecutors – along with six other bishops – for cover up of abuse.

Going beyond the issue of the cover up of sexual abuse cases, the scandal has also shed light on the dysfunction with respect to the information transmitted to the pope.

In mid-January, Pope Francis received the leaders of the Chilean bishops in audience for an update on the re-organization process since last year’s meeting.

Prevention and accompanying victims

Born in 1959 in the Chilean capital and ordained a priest in 1989, Bishop Ramos, who will now represent Chile at the Summit called by the pope, did not live in his country during the worst years of the sexual abuse omerta.

Sent to Rome to continue his studies in 1993, he then worked in the Congregation for Bishops until 2007 before returning to Santiago.The same year, he was appointed rector of the Pontifical Chilean Seminary. In 2011, Cardinal Ezzati appointed him as his first episcopal vicar in Santiago.

During this period, Bishop Ramos was also appointed as a member of the National Council for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse on Minors and Accompanying Victims created by the Chilean Episcopal Conference.

In 2014, he became auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Santiago, and was elected secretary general of the CECh in 2017.

Following the resignation of Bishop Alejandro Goic, Rancagua, Ramos was appointed apostolic administrator of the diocese, which is currently in a “complicated situation.”

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Why, despite 100s of letters, Texas AG can’t investigate priest abuse

AUSTIN (TX)
KXAN TV

January 30, 2019

By Erin Cargile, Phil Prazan andJody Barr

Hundreds of Texans reached out to Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office, asking it to investigate Catholic Diocese in Texas after Pennsylvania’s attorney general launched prosecutions into alleged sexual abuse of children.

Paxton’s office’s response: state law doesn’t allow them to investigate.

In an interview with KXAN News, Paxton spokesperson Marc Rylander, says there are constraints on the state office.

“There should be no safer place, not only in Texas, but on earth, than the local church,” Rylander said. “But every state is set up different. Every state has different statues. Some states have the ability to go into an issue where there are reports like these and blow the whole thing up and prosecute and take down. In Texas, the law is set up differently.”

State law doesn’t give the Attorney General primary jurisdiction — also known as original jurisdiction — over these cases. “Primary jurisdiction” is the ability to investigate a local matter alone.

Investigating and prosecuting allegations against priests must begin with local police and district attorneys’ offices, he says. Those agencies must ask the Attorney General to step in to lead or to help on a local crime.

“We have to rely on local district attorneys from the 254 counties in our state to either refer the case to us or ask for our assistance as they investigate and prosecute these cases,” Rylander said.

The law is different in Pennsylvania. There, under title 42, the General Assembly gave the Pennsylvania Attorney General the power to convene a grand jury to investigate organized crime or public corruption involving more than one county in the state. The Pennsylvania Attorney General used that authority to look into the Catholic Diocese.

The Texas Attorney General only has original jurisdiction for allegations of misuse of state property, abuse of office, election law violations and offenses against juveniles in state correctional facilities.

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Twice Accused NYC Priest Allowed to Continue Working in Southern California

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 30, 2019

A clergyman who was accused at least twice of abuse in New York City not only remained on the job there, he also continued working in southern California.

On December 20th, the New York Times disclosed that two settlements had been paid by the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program of the Archdiocese of New York on claims against Fr. Donald Timone . Both settlements were for six figures. One of the two men committed suicide in 2015.

However, while the settlements were paid out in 2017, Church supervisors kept quiet and let Fr. Timone keep working around unsuspecting families and vulnerable kids in two states until he was outed by the Times. This violates common sense, common decency, Church policy and hundreds of pledges by prelates to remove “credibly accused” abusers.

In California, Fr. Timone worked at the Church of the Nativity in Rancho Santa Fe and taught at John Paul the Great Catholic University, in Escondido. However, as far as SNAP knows, there has been no public coverage of this deplorable situation in California.

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Vatican official resigns following abuse accusation from ex-nun

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Hill

By Tal Axelrod

January 30, 2019

A senior Vatican official has resigned after a former nun accused him of making sexual advances during confession, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The Vatican said the Rev. Hermann Geissler has denied allegations made by Doris Wagner and noted that he has the right to file a civil suit.

Geissler said he was resigning “to limit the damage already done” to the Vatican, but noted he wants an investigation to be conducted into the woman’s allegations.

Geissler had previously worked as the chief of staff for the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees sexual abuse cases.

Wagner, a former nun in Geissler’s German order, went public with her accusation in November at a conference on women and clergy sexual abuse, referring to Geissler by his position rather than his name. The allegation stems from a 2009 incident.

Several women members of the Catholic Church have come out to denounce sexual abuse and harassment by members of the clergy, according to the AP, following the #MeToo movement.

Pope Francis has convened a meeting set to take place next month with the presidents of all the Catholic bishops’ conferences to discuss sexual abuse within the church.

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133 Victims: What does Fairfield Owe?

FAIRFIELD (CT)
Fairfield Mirror

January 30, 2019

By Alicia Phaneuf and Sabina Dirienzo

Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, Ph.D. and chairman of the board of trustees Frank J. Carroll III ‘89 released an announcement on Friday, Jan. 25 stating that the University and four other defendants had reached a $60 million settlement with 133 victims of sexual abuse by Fairfield alum Douglas Perlitz ’92. Perlitz founded Project Pierre Toussaint, a school for poverty-stricken boys in Haiti. In 2007, allegations of sexual abuse began to circulate regarding Perlitz. He plead guilty in 2010 and will be imprisoned until 2026.

The other defendants in the case include Rev. Paul Carrier, S.J., a former director of Campus Ministry, the Society of Jesus of New England, the Order of Malta and Hope Carter, a member of the Haiti Fund’s board of directors.

The settlement will be considered for approval by the federal court in Connecticut on Feb. 11.

Andrea Bierstein, a partner at Simmons Hanly Conroy Law Firm, sent the amended complaint filed Jan. 25 regarding the settlement with the defendants to The Mirror.

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Pope downplays expectations for sexual abuse meeting in Rome

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

January 30, 2019

By Fr. Thomas Reese

Talking to reporters on his plane coming back from World Youth Day in Panama this week (Jan. 27), Pope Francis downplayed what he called “inflated” expectations for the upcoming meeting of bishops in Rome to deal with clergy sexual abuse. “The expectations need to be deflated,” he said. He also sought to lower expectations about the possibility of married priests.

Many in the United States have been hoping that the meeting on abuse, which will bring the presidents of the episcopal conferences from over 100 countries to the Vatican Feb. 21-24, would result in procedures for dealing with bishops who do not protect children from abusive priests. While the church has made progress in dealing with abusive priests, it still needs a process for dealing with bishops who do not protect children.

The expectations for the meeting were raised in November, when the head of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, told the American bishops not to vote on such procedures at their fall meeting in Baltimore. Ouellet said the Americans should wait for a discussion of the issue at the meeting in Rome.

It now appears that the meeting will not develop new policies but, in the words of Pope Francis, will be a “catechesis” on the problem of abuse aimed at bishops who do not understand the issue or what they should do in response to abuse.

It also appears that the meeting will establish a task force to help bishops in implementing the church’s policies and procedures for dealing with abuse.

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It’s Not Just the Priests—Nuns Also Accused of Sexual Abuse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Legal Examiner

January 30, 2019

By Eric T. Chaffin

Amidst all the reports of abuse by Catholic priests that have been circulating in the media over the past several months comes a new report alleging that priests weren’t the only ones engaging in sexual abuse. According to CBS News, several nuns have also been accused of sexual molestation and harassment, with victims now coming out to share their stories.

Former Nun Leads the Charge to Expose Abusive Nuns in the Church
Mary Dispenza, a former nun in the Catholic Church, is now working with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) to expose the truth about child sex crimes and cover ups by nuns in the church.

Back in 2012, she sent a letter to the bishops asking them to expand their oversight of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) “into what the organization—and America’s religious orders of women—are doing and are not doing regarding child sex crimes and cover ups by nuns.”

She went on to write that many abusive nuns have never been exposed or disciplined and that many who were abused by nuns have coped by denying and mischaracterizing the crimes they suffered, leading to increased confusion, isolation, shame, and self-blame. She adds that there are more nuns than priests and that many more nuns had access to more kids, mostly because they worked in schools.

Finally, she urged the bishops to help in making the church “and our society safer from clergy child predators….”

It was after the Pennsylvania grand jury released their report of hundreds of pedophile priests back in August 2018 that Dispenza noticed an uptick in reports of abuse by religious sisters.

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“¿Eres maricón?”: La brutal pregunta del Tribunal Eclesiástico a víctima de abuso sexual por parte del cura Ramón Iturra

[“Are you a faggot?”: The brutal questioning of sex abuse victim by Ecclesiastical Court in Ramón Iturra case]

CHILE
El Mostrador

January 23, 2019

El ex acólito de Constitución, Cristian Alcaíno, se presentó en el Tribunal Eclesiástico para declarar en contra del párroco Ramón Iturra, quien abusó sexualmente de él cuando tenía 11 años a principios de 1989. A través de sus redes sociales, su abogado defensor denunció los entretelones del interrogatorio a cargo del sacerdote Francisco Iglesias.

Una ronda de entrevistas a cargo del sacerdote peruano, Francisco Iglesias, se realizó en el Tribunal Eclesiástico para investigar el caso de abuso sexual denunciado por el ex acólito de Constitución, Cristián Alcaíno.

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El incómodo silencio de los jesuitas para enfrentar su momento más complejo

[The uncomfortable silence of the Jesuits in their most complex moment]

CHILE
El Mostrador

January 30, 2019

By Felipe Saleh

La estupefacción del mundo jesuita ante la denuncia contra Renato Poblete incluye un disciplinado silencio, uno que bordea el doble estándar, a la luz de la fuerza con la que en el pasado fustigaron a otras congregaciones y figuras religiosas involucradas en casos de abuso sexual a menores de edad o mujeres, y a quienes los encubrieron. La estrategia comunicacional ha sido muy sigilosa. Las declaraciones públicas de integrantes de la orden sobre el caso han sido todas bien cuidadas, alineadas en poner el foco en el apoyo a la denunciante, Marcela Aranda, pero han esquivado hablar en profundidad del impacto interno que ha significado para la congregación que una de sus máximas figuras esté involucrada en un caso de abuso y, sobre todo, del encubrimiento que por años debe haber habido de la conducta del fallecido religioso.

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Formalizado por abusos y violación: Tribunal mantiene arraigo nocturno para ex canciller del Arzobispado de Santiago

[Court maintains overnight house arrest for former chancellor of Santiago Archdiocese, accused of sexual abuses]

CHILE
Emol

January 30, 2019

By Tamara Cerna

El 13° Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago se negó a dictar prisión preventiva, según solicitó la fiscalía, y agregó las cautelares de arraigo y prohibiciones de acercarse a los denunciantes.

Tras casi media hora de audiencia, el 13° Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago se negó cambiar la medida cautelar que actualmente pesa sobre el ex canciller del Arzobispado de Santiago, Oscar Muñoz, formalizado por abusos sexuales y violación.

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José Andrés Murillo: “Ya van cerca de ocho testimonios de víctimas del cura Poblete”

[José Andrés Murillo: “There are already about eight testimonies of victims of the priest Poblete”]

CHILE
La Tercera

January 29, 2019

By María José Navarrete

“Algunos me dijeron ‘todos sabíamos que Renato era mujeriego’”, señaló en radio Duna el director de la Fundación Para la Confianza y denunciante de Karadima.

“Ya van cerca de ocho testimonios de víctimas del cura Poblete”, afirmó el director de la Fundación para la Confianza y denunciante de Fernando Karadima, José Andrés Murillo.

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Jesuitas en la mira: abogado de denunciante de Renato Poblete apunta al encubrimiento y redes de protección de la compañía

[Jesuits in the crosshairs: Renato Poblete’s whistleblower says there are cover-ups and protection networks within the order]

CHILE
El Mostrador

January 29, 2019

Juan Pablo Hermosilla, el abogado de la denunciante Marcela Aranda, sostuvo que el comportamiento del cura capellán del Hogar de Cristo era un secreto a voces, estaba normalizado y hasta se hacían chistes con su conducta. Por eso, “lo que ella está pidiendo hoy día es una investigación para entender el comportamiento de la Compañía de Jesús y por qué nadie la apoyó en ese momento (…). Lo primero es fijar las responsabilidades dentro de la Compañía de Jesús, quién supo qué, por qué no hizo nada, y si alguien más participó en estas cosas”, dijo. La posibilidad de recurrir a la justicia civil o presentar una querella por encubrimiento no se descarta. Por su parte, el provincial de los jesuitas asegura que nunca había escuchado que el cura Poblete hubiera mantenido relaciones con mujeres.

La denuncia de la profesora de la Universidad Católica Marcela Aranda contra el fallecido sacerdote Renato Poblete y el reconocimiento de la congregación de que hay más acusaciones de similar tenor contra el capellán del Hogar de Cristo han puesto todo el foco en la Compañía de Jesús.

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Lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by former Falmouth pastor settled

EAST FALMOUTH (MA)
Cape Cod Times

January 24, 2019

By Wheeler Cowperthwaite

Two men who filed a lawsuit alleging they were sexually abused for years by a priest in St. Anthony’s Parish have each received $200,000 settlements.

Their attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, announced the October settlements Tuesday as the Archdiocese of Hartford released the names of 48 priests found to have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. Garabedian said the list was a “small step in the direction of healing for clergy sexual abuse survivors,” but said the archdiocese should also release “the names of those who participated in the cover-up.”

The link between the Falmouth case and the Hartford archdiocese is the Most Rev. Daniel Cronin, who served as bishop of the Fall River Diocese, which includes the Cape and Islands, from 1970 until 1991 and then became archbishop in Hartford, Connecticut, until his retirement in 2003. Cronin was named as defendant in the lawsuit because he supervised Monsignor Maurice Souza, who was assigned to St. Anthony’s from 1977 to 1986, and the suit said he “knew or should have known” about the abuse.

“Agents” who worked for Cronin and were supervised by him knew the boys spent the night at the rectory with Souza and went on overnight, out-of-state trips with him, the suit said.

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Canonistas por caso Renato Poblete: La investigación es “necesaria” aunque no habría sanciones eclesiásticas

[Experts on the Renato Poblete case: The investigation is “necessary” although there would be no ecclesiastical sanctions]

CHILE
Emol

January 29, 2019

By Tomás Molina J

Según expertos, la indagatoria serviría para aclarar “más responsabilidades” y así reparar daños.

A comienzos de enero de este año una acusación presentada ante la comisión de escucha encargada por el arzobispo de Malta y enviado especial del Papa Francisco en Chile, Charles Scicluna, golpeó a los miembros de la Compañía de Jesús en el país.

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Gobierno asegura que “lo razonable” es cambiar el nombre al Parque Renato Poblete tras denuncias en contra del sacerdote

[Government says it is “reasonable” to change the name of Renato Poblete Park after accusations against the priest]

CHILE
Emol

January 29, 2019

By Leonardo Vallejos

El ministro de Vivienda y Urbanismo, Cristián Monckeberg, anunció que prontamente tomarán decisiones al respecto.

Primero fue la alcaldesa de Quinta Normal, Carmen Gloria Fernández, quien se abrió a la opción de cambiar el nombre al Parque Renato Poblete que se encuentra en su comuna.

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Cristián del Campo, provincial de la Compañía de Jesús: “Ha sido un año muy duro para todos quienes formamos parte de la Iglesia”

[Jesuit Cristián del Campo: “It has been a very hard year for all of us who are part of the Church”]

CHILE
LaTercera

January 29, 2019

By María José Navarrete

El sacerdote que encabeza la orden religiosa en Chile habla por primera vez de la denuncia contra Renato Poblete Barth. Apunta que la investigación buscará dilucidar si existió algún tipo de encubrimiento. “Nuestro compromiso hoy es investigar acuciosamente”.

Muy duro. Así ha sido el último año de Cristián del Campo como provincial de la Compañía de Jesús en Chile. El sacerdote de 48 años, quien dejará el cargo este año, ha debido hacer frente a una serie de denuncias de abusos contra jesuitas chilenos. Solo en 2018 se han iniciado investigaciones previas, destinadas a verificar la verosimilitud de las denuncias contra Jaime Guzmán, Leonel Ibacache, Raúl González, Juan Pablo Cárcamo y, la recién conocida contra Renato Poblete, ex capellán del Hogar de Cristo.

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Abogado de denunciante revela: “Hablando con algunos jesuitas, me comentaron de un apodo que tenía Poblete”

[Accuser’s lawyer says: “Speaking with some Jesuits, they told me about a nickname that Poblete had”]

CHILE
LaTercera

January 29, 2019

By Felipe Retamal Navarro

El jurista detalló que la acusación contra Poblete no causó sorpresa en la orden jesuita, pues el clérigo era conocido por “su gusto por las jovencitas”. También confirmó que se reunirá con algunas de las nuevas denunciantes del sacerdote.

El abogado Juan Pablo Hermosilla se refirió a la denuncia realizada por su clienta, la académica de Teología de la Universidad Católica, Marcela Aranda, en contra del fallecido sacerdote jesuita Renato Poblete.

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New York Passes the Child Victims Act, SNAP responds

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 29, 2019

We applaud the New York State assembly for taking this much-needed step towards prevention, justice, and accountability. The passage of the Child Victims Act sends a strong signal to survivors that their experiences have not been forgotten and that preventing future cases of abuse is critical. By opening this civil window and allowing cases to proceed, survivors of sexual assault now have a chance to expose their abusers in court and help ensure other children are safe, something that would not have been possible but for this much-needed reform.

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El cura que abusó de varias generaciones de niños

[The priest who abused several generations of children]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

January 29, 2019

By Íñigo Domínguez

Dos nuevas víctimas elevan a cinco las personas que acusan al “depredador” Francisco Carreras en Salamanca

Dos nuevas víctimas acusan de abusos de menores al sacerdote Francisco Carreras cuando era párroco en Calzada de Valdunciel, en la provincia de Salamanca, en los años ochenta. Se unen a las tres que ya había localizado EL PAÍS, una en ese municipio y otras dos en Sequeros, en la misma provincia, donde estuvo con anterioridad. Ya suman cinco. Todas estas personas coinciden en asegurar que puede haber decenas. “En Calzada pasamos por su casa, al menos, desde los nacidos en 1968 hasta los de 1977, niños de ocho a trece años, ha abusado de varias generaciones de niños del pueblo, de todas las pandillas, de todas las clases sociales”, afirma una de las víctimas que han decidido contar su caso. Aportan por primera vez una foto de Carreras, de los años noventa. Todos estos casos habrían prescrito, pero se desconoce si hay afectados más recientes.

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Abuse victims blast Gary bishop

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 28, 2019

Abuse victims blast Gary Catholic officials

Four names should be added to “accused” list, group says

SNAP: One has been found to be a ‘sexually violent predator’

Victims, witnesses & whistle blowers are urged to call law enforcement

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, two clergy sex abuse victims will disclose names and information about four publicly accused child molesting clerics who spent time in the Gary area but have attracted virtually no public attention in the area.

They will also
–prod Gary’s Catholic bishop to add more names to his “credibly accused” clergy list,
–urge victims to “step forward, get help, protect kids and expose predators,” and
–beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Indiana to contact the attorney general and urge him to conduct a statewide investigation into this crisis.

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Pédophilie dans l’Eglise française: une année de déballages, d’avancés, et de valses-hésitations

[Pedophilia in the French Church 2018: A year of unpacking, progress, and vacillations]

FRANCE
FranceInfo

January 12, 2019

Vous avez bousillé ma vie”, assène un ancien scout lyonnais. Sur le site de l’association La Parole libérée, des dizaines de victimes du père Bernard Preynat, mis en examen pour des agressions sexuelles sur de jeunes scouts dans les années 1980-1990, témoignent, réclament justice et somment le cardinal Philippe Barbarin de s’expliquer sur ses silences.

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Vatican doctrinal official steps down amid investigation of solicitation

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

January 30, 2019

An Austrian priest under canonical investigation stepped down as an official at the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in an effort “to limit the damage already done to the congregation and to his community,” the doctrinal office said.

The priest, Father Hermann Geissler, “affirms that the accusation made against him is untrue and asks that the canonical process already initiated continue. He also reserves the right for possible civil legal action,” the office said in a note released by the Vatican press office on 29 January.

The 53-year-old theologian, who is a member of a community called The Spiritual Family The Work, submitted his resignation on 28 January to the prefect, Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, who then granted his request. He had worked at the congregation for 25 years and had been head of its doctrinal section since 2009.

Doris Wagner-Reisinger, a German theologian, told the National Catholic Reporter on 21 January that, with the help of a canon lawyer, she reported to doctrinal congregation officials in 2014 that the priest had propositioned her in 2009 during confession — a serious crime reserved to the doctrinal congregation for judgment.

She told NCR that after her accusation, “I got a response that stated that Father Geissler had admitted, and had asked pardon, and was admonished.”

She had talked about the unwanted encounter at a November event in Rome, which featured three women survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

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Instruct the ignorant

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Journal Sentinel

January 30, 2019

For several months before his death, Father Alfred Kunz co-hosted a radio show called “Our Catholic Family.”

Some would later say Kunz planned to expose sexually deviant priests by reading their names on the program.

Back then, in the late 1990s, such a move would have been almost unheard of. While a few isolated complaints had come to light, neither the extent of abuse by American clergy nor the hierarchy’s efforts to keep it secret would be revealed until the Boston Globe published an investigative report in 2002.

And so, in publicizing a list of pedophile priests, Kunz and his best friend Father Charles Fiore would have been defying their superiors’ orders to let church officials handle such complaints.

But Kunz never discussed their efforts — or pushback from church leaders — on the radio show. His co-host, Peter Kelly, said he never intended to do so.

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Bury the dead

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Journal Sentinel

January 23, 2019

By Gina Barton

Deputy David Cattanach was on his way to check on a wounded cat when a more pressing call came over the radio: Someone had suffered an injury at St. Michael School. A fall maybe. Or an accident. The dispatcher mentioned blood on the floor.

The kitten would have to wait.

Cattanach turned onto the winding road that led to the rural Wisconsin town of Dane, population 621, give or take a few. It was a sunny March morning in 1998, more spring than winter, and the roads were clear.

A few minutes into his 10-mile drive, another radio call came through: The man on the floor of the school wasn’t just injured; he was dead.

An ambulance was already idling in the parking circle when Cattanach arrived at the school, which was connected to the church. Two medical techs walked toward their vehicle, supporting a young man, unsteady on his feet. His hands were covered in blood.

The dead man, he said, was the parish priest.

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Dallas Charter Culture and the Covington Controversy

IRONDALE (AL)
National Catholic Register

January 29, 2019

Father Raymond J. de Souza

How could the bishops of Kentucky get it so wrong?

It’s partly another consequence of the sexual-abuse crisis, wherein the protocols for handling allegations have created an environment where immediate action precedes investigation. That post-Dallas Charter culture is well-known inside the Church, but can be a bit surprising when encountered by the general public.

And it was only because there was video evidence to exonerate the students that the bishops were forced to reverse themselves. Otherwise, an investigation would have ground on for weeks or months while the students’ reputations were effectively destroyed. That would not have been an accident, but business that now is usual.

Still, despite the quick exoneration, it was a very bad week for the boys of Covington Catholic High School. It was a worse week for the bishops of Kentucky. It is a terrible thing to be the victim of slander due to rash judgment. It is morally worse to perpetrate slander because one is guilty of rash judgment.

The bishops of Kentucky were lightning-quick to condemn the conduct of the Covington Catholic students after the March for Life. The Diocese of Covington, led by Bishop Roger Foys, and Covington Catholic High School condemned the students the very day the original video came to light, without waiting to view the entire recording or even hear alternative explanations.

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University Students Prohibited from Visiting Murray-Weigel

NEW YORK (NY)
The Fordham Ram

January 30, 2019

By Erica Scalise

In an interview with The Ram on Jan. 29, Bob Howe, Fordham’s senior director of communications said the university is prohibiting all students from visiting Murray-Weigel Hall, the Jesuit New York Province’s infirmary and retirement home on campus.

Howe said the university could have done more to investigate the Northeast Province’s placement of priests at Murray-Weigel Hall.

“With the opportunity to review these matters in hindsight, with the information now available to us, the University should have sought to handle matters related to the Province’s assignments differently, much like the University’s recent insistence that current tenants of Murray-Weigel against whom credible allegations have been made be immediately removed,” Howe said.

In response to the Northeast Province’s release of a list of names of priests credibly accused of abuse, Howe said the university is no longer allowing students on the premises of Murray-Weigel.

“Unless and until the province can assure us they will not assign restricted Jesuits to Murray-Weigel Hall, even on a temporary basis, we are prohibiting all students from visiting the premises, nor will any restricted priests who may reside at Murray-Weigel Hall have access to Fordham facilities,” Howe said.

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KREBS: On (un)dead abusers

NEW HAVEN (CT)
Yale News

January 30, 2019

By Eric Krebs

What to do with a dead abuser? My high school, an all-boys Jesuit school, seems to be trying to figure that one out. The Jesuit Northeast Province recently released a report of over 50 priests from dozens of schools and parishes who have been identified as abusers. The numbers are truly frightening. The reports go back to the 1940s. Some are as recent as 2008. There are often decades between dates of incidents and dates of reports. All the while, generations of boys learned, graduated and forgot. My school makes the list upward of seven times and while no recorded incidents for said priests occurred during their time at my high school, they walked the halls, taught classes and shaped the lives of boys like myself all the same.

This isn’t new. We’ve all heard about the massive cases, while thousands of the individual cases, cover-ups and scandals have dotted the map and flown under our radars. And while the school community knew that these cases were out there, we never expected them to hit so close to home. It was foolish to think that we would escape it, but that’s always the hope when engaging with a flawed institution: that your iteration of it can exist without the baggage of its larger structure. Wishful thinking.

There are many outcomes that can occur when a Jesuit is credibly accused of misconduct: incarceration, impediment, laicization and departure from the order are a common few.

Of the 50 Jesuits on the list, 35 are deceased, with the vast majority having died before their abuses went recorded. Now that these men are six feet under, most of them long-deteriorated, are we to exhume their corpses? They’re dead. It sickens me to know that these predators will never face the music. Or will they? “To those who abuse minors, I would say this: Convert and hand yourself over to human justice and prepare for divine justice,” Pope Francis declared in a speech this past December. In the eyes of the church, the afterlife is a real place, capable of punishments greater than anything an orange jumpsuit can deliver.

But for those who don’t subscribe to that cosmic view of justice — and even for most who do — that is not enough. It can feel pointless to hate the dead, to want to shout at those who will never listen. But even if these priests are not alive somewhere in the afterlife, they’re not really dead. Their crimes, their lack of punishment, live on in the trauma of their victims and the structures that permit new victims to be made and new abusers to get away with it.’

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Apparently, it’s not me, it’s you!

MALTA
Malta Winds

January 30, 2019

By Giselle Scicluna

Statistics published by Discern, the research institute of the Archdiocese of Malta paint a very grim picture for the Church in our country. A mere fifty years ago, the number of faithful who attended Sunday mass was at a whopping eight-two percent of the population. Fresh from the abhorrent religio-political war of the early sixties, with people still reeling from the horrific effects of ‘id-dnub il-mejjet’ (interdiction), eighty-two percent was then a huge number indeed.

Fast forward five decades and that number has dwindled to a scant thirty-six percent, which figures show is hugely made up of attendees who are over fifty years of age. The same published data also predicts that if numbers keep on declining at the current rate, by 2040 only ten percent of Malta’s Catholic population will be attending Sunday Mass. Interestingly, against this scenario, the same study also reveals that ninety-two percent of the population believe they are Catholic.

So, in a nutshell, we can conclude that the decimated Sunday Mass attendance is not due to some existential crisis of faith, but to other perhaps more telling issues, which are increasingly keeping the faithful away from their Church.

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Ed Palattella: Different spotlight on Erie’s Bishop Trautman

ERIE (PA)
Erie Times News

January 30, 2019

National religion writer defends retired bishop in a parsing of the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

Peter Steinfels remains a notable name among journalists who cover religion. When Steinfels, a former senior religion writer for the New York Times, produced a lengthy examination of the Aug. 14 Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse, I took notice.

So did a number of readers of the Erie Times-News.

They sent me copies of Steinfels’ 11,000-word analysis of the grand jury report, published online Jan. 14 and in the Jan. 25 print edition of Commonweal, an American Catholic magazine.

“Vehemently misleading,” reads the headline of the article’s print version. “The Pennsylvania grand-jury report is not what it seems.”

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Springfield bishop to discuss, answer questions on clergy sex abuse

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

January 30, 2019

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

Springfield diocesan Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski will discuss and respond to questions about how the diocese has been addressing allegations of sexual abuse against clergy in the first of four “listening and dialogue” sessions Wednesday, Feb. 6, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Mary, Mother of Hope Church, 840 Page Boulevard.

In a Jan. 15 letter to parishioners, Rozanski noted the Catholic Church has “once again found itself confronting the crisis of child sexual abuse, specifically the past failures of the church to respond to this terrible evil within our midst.”

Rozanski cited two such church-related failures of reporting in the letter – Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick and the Pennsylvania grand jury report – as having “no direct relationship to our diocese” but being the “cause of renewed concerns within our Catholic community.”

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Survivors, lay leaders help archdiocese hear victims, assist in healing

DENVER (CO)
Crux

January 30, 2019

By Maria Wiering

Frank Meuers and Tim O’Malley meet every month or so, often for breakfast, to talk about the Catholic Church and clergy sex abuse.

Meuers is the southwest Minnesota chapter director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, and O’Malley directs the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment.

Since its founding, SNAP has often positioned itself as an adversary of the institutional church, which is why these meetings – and the men’s resulting collegiality – is so extraordinary. Meuers said he knows of no other SNAP leader with a similar relationship to a church official.

Meuers, 79, is one of more than a dozen clergy sexual abuse survivors in regular – sometimes daily – contact with O’Malley and his office. O’Malley looks to them for advice and insight into improving and expanding the archdiocese’s outreach to survivors, and he expects that collaboration will broaden and deepen now that the archdiocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case is complete.

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Berks lawmaker: Sex-abuse legislation still a priority

HARRISBURG (PA)
69 News & Associated Press

January 28, 2019

With a new legislative session now underway in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania state Rep. Mark Rozzi said he is ready to continue his fight on behalf of child sexual abuse survivors.

The Berks County Democrat, a Catholic clergy abuse victim himself, has been leading efforts to reform the state’s statute of limitations.

“There are definitely different avenues that we should make available to these victims to be able to not only receive compensation, but to get justice,” Rozzi said.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati led the resistance to House legislation giving now-adult victims a two-year reprieve from time limits that bar them from suing perpetrators and institutions that may have covered it up.

A bill failed to come up for a vote in the Senate late last year, three months after the state attorney general’s grand jury report on child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses.

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Catholic Diocese, county DA praise passage of Child Victims Act

ALBANY (NY)
Niagra Gazette

January 29, 2019

By Rick Pfeiffer

For survivor Paul Barr, the passage the long-awaited passage of the Child Victim’s Act meant one thing.

“It means vindication,” Barr said. “It means I get to defend 16-year-old Paulie Barr. Now I can stick up for that kid. Now (survivors of abuse at the hands of Catholic priests) get to stick up for the children we were and confront those who abused us or let us be abused.”

The legislation relaxes the statute of limitations for child molestation cases to give victims more time to file lawsuits or seek criminal charges. It was approved unanimously by the the Democrat-controlled Senate and Assembly late Monday afternoon.

It had failed in previous legislative sessions because of opposition by Republican members of the State Senate. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised that he will sign the bill into law.

Opposition to the law from Catholic Dioceses across the state which had been strenuous in prior legislative sessions melted away on Monday.

“My gut tells me they acquiesced when they had no choice, and they made it sound like it was their idea,” Barr said.

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Weather impacts sentencing for man who attacked priest in Anamoose

TOWNER (ND)
KFYR TV

January 29, 2019

By Jack Springgate

The wintry weather prompted the courts to cancel Tuesday’s sentencing for a Minnesota man accused of attacking an Anamoose priest a year ago.

43-year-old Chad Legare was supposed to be sentenced today for his assault on Father Robert Wapenski.

Legare originally pleaded not guilty to three felony charges before changing to an Alford plea on an attempted murder charge in November.

Two lesser charges were dropped.

Legare remains in custody in Rugby.

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Overdue justice for victims of sexual abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
Newsday

January 29, 2019

For decades, young people were victimized twice — first by their tormentors, then by institutions that covered up what happened, protected abusers and offered victims no recourse. No opportunity for justice, no opportunity for compensation, no opportunity to heal. Religious institutions, schools, scouting groups, athletic organizations, politicians and even families were complicit in shielding perpetrators, hiding the truth and exacerbating the suffering.

The Child Victims Act passed overwhelmingly by the New York State Legislature was long overdue. It finally will change the dynamic surrounding childhood sexual abuse in favor of victims, and force a consideration of cases long buried in time. In the bill that passed, school districts were not exempted; this heinous behavior must be rooted out everywhere, which won’t happen without the purge the legislation promises.

The bill raises the age by which victims can pursue criminal charges against abusers to 28, and allows survivors to file civil suits up to age 55 — critical changes since victims can struggle for years to admit and address what happened to them. The measure includes what had been the most controversial provision, a 1-year window for people abused in the past to sue for damages, regardless of when the period expired for such lawsuits. That time frame should be adequate for the aggrieved to file claims while allowing the institutions being sued to know with certainty their possible liability.

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Merrill police investigate two more claims of abuse by former Catholic priest

WAUSAU (WI)
Wausau Daily Herald

January 29, 2019

By Laura Schulte

Police in Merrill are investigating at least two more sexual assault allegations against a former Wisconsin priest who already has been charged with molesting four young males in Sawyer County.

The latest complaints stem from the former Rev. Thomas Ericksen’s time at St. Robert’s Catholic Church in Merrill in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Merrill Police Chief Corey confirmed his department is investigating cases involving Ericksen but declined to comment on the nature of the offenses.

Ericksen, 71, is being held in the Sawyer County Jail in Hayward on a $510,000 cash bond while facing charges that he sexually assaulted boys while he was stationed in the town of Winter in the early 1980s.

The Catholic Diocese of Superior transferred Ericksen from Merrill to St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Winter in July 1982, according to Wausau Daily Herald archives. He’s facing one count of first-degree sexual assault of a child, one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child and two counts of second-degree sexual assault of an unconscious victim. He was arrested in Minneapolis on Nov. 16 and extradited to Hayward, the county seat of Sawyer County, on Nov. 30.

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A bill in the Utah legislature would let churches apologize for abuse without admitting guilt

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Fox 13 News

January 29, 2019

By Ben Winslow

A bill being drafted in the Utah State Legislature would allow churches and other nonprofit organizations to apologize for abuse, but not admit culpability.

The forthcoming bill, sponsored by Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, is an effort to provide abuse victims with some measure of comfort.

“We want to empower these organizations to reach out and minister and help and support victims in their most dire time of need,” he said in an interview with FOX 13.

Rep. Ivory said an apology wouldn’t mean an admission of liability in a civil lawsuit, nor would it block any litigation.

“They’re able to reach out, to apologize, to minister, to aid the victims without that being considered any type of basis of liability to such organizations,” he said. “Now it doesn’t mean that if there’s some liability, if they’re culpable for something, that’s a separate question.”

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Listen: How should the Catholic Church address the sex abuse scandal?

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

January 29, 2019

Decades in, scandal involving pedophile priests and elaborate coverups still festers within the Catholic Church like an open wound.

Law enforcement officials recently raided the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for evidence on a Conroe priest accused of abuse. To understand why scandal persists and what should be done to fully address it, we talk to Anastasiya Zavyalova, assistant professor at Rice Business School who specializes in reputation management of organizations in crisis.

From Tylenol to VW, companies face controversies that can destroy them if not handled properly. Find out how the horrifying pattern of child abuse within the Catholic Church affects victims, the faithful and individual parishes and why it’s is an exceptional crisis in desperate need of resolution.

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Chancellor’s experience, canon law study on handling clergy sexual abuse gain national attention

ST. PAUL (MN)
The Catholic Spirit

January 28, 2019

By Joe Ruff

Susan Mulheron, chancellor for Canonical Affairs for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, is gaining national attention with her experience and study of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in light of canon law.

She was the keynote speaker last September at a meeting of experts in Naples, Florida, discussing the abuse crisis, brought together by the Catholic-based International Center on Law, Life, Faith and Family. Mulheron addressed the cultural, institutional and systematic roots of the crisis and ways canon law can be used to address it — or misused to exacerbate it.

Mulheron spoke in October at the national convention in Phoenix of the Canon Law Society of America, where she serves on the board, on canonical considerations in the Church’s response to scandals, particularly the abuse crisis.
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Top Vatican official resigns, denies allegations of advances

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

January 29, 2019

A top Vatican official has resigned after a former nun from his community publicly accused him of making sexual advances during confession, the Vatican said Tuesday.

The Vatican said that the Rev. Hermann Geissler denies the allegation and reserves the right to a civil suit.

Geissler, who said he wants the church to continue its investigation of the woman’s allegations, said he was resigning “to limit the damage already done” to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that handles sex abuse cases and where he was chief of staff.

Doris Wagner, a former nun in Geissler’s German order known as “the Work,” publicly accused Geissler at a conference on women and clergy sexual abuse that was held in Rome in November. The allegations stem from 2009, and Wagner didn’t refer to Geissler by name but by his position as section leader at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Wagner’s allegations come amid a reckoning of religious sisters denouncing sexual abuse and harassment by clergy, an outgrowth of the (hash)MeToo movement and the ongoing clergy sex abuse scandal. Pope Francis has convened a meeting of the presidents of all the Catholic bishops’ conferences in the world next month to discuss the issue sexual abuse scandals rocking the church.

Soliciting sex in a confessional is considered a grave crime in the church, given that the penitent is in a vulnerable state, asking for forgiveness for sin from a priest in a Catholic sacrament.

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Why are Cuomo, Democrats alienating Catholics?

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Post

January 29, 2019

By Timothy Cardinal Dolan

It’s been a rough time for faithful Catholics recently in our state government’s frantic rush for “progressive” ideas.

I’m thinking first of the ghoulish radical abortion-expansion law, which allows for an abortion right up to the moment of birth; drops all charges against an abortionist who allows an aborted baby, who somehow survives the scissors, scalpel, saline and dismemberment, to die before his eyes; mandates that, to make an abortion more convenient and easy, a physician need not perform it; and might even be used to suppress the conscience rights of health care professionals not to assist in the grisly procedures. All this in a state that already had the most permissive abortion laws in the country.

As if that’s not enough, instead of admitting that abortion is always a tragic choice, and that life-giving alternatives should be more vigorously promoted, the governor and his “progressive” supporters celebrated signing the bill. At the governor’s command, even the lights of the Freedom Tower sparkled with delight.

Those who once told us that abortion had to remain safe, legal and rare now have made it dangerous, imposed and frequent.

Then our governor insults and caricatures the church in what’s supposed to be an uplifting and unifying occasion, his “State of the State” address.

The bishops of this state have long supported a reform of the inadequate laws around the sexual abuse of minors. Yes, we and many others expressed reservations about one element, the retroactive elimination of the civil statute of limitations, but urged dramatic reform that, in many ways, was tougher than what was being proposed by legislators. A month ago we renewed that stance, and even dropped our objections to the “look-back” section if all victims would benefit. The governor was aware of all this.

Why, then, would he use his address to blame the church, and only the church, for blocking this bill? Why would he publicly brag in a political address about his dissent from timeless and substantive church belief? Why would he quote Pope Francis out of context as an applause line to misrepresent us bishops here as being opposed to our Holy Father? Why did he reduce the sexual abuse of minors, a broad societal and cultural curse that afflicts every family, public school, religion and government program, to a “Catholic problem?”

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What Was the Biggest Scandal of All Time?

NEW YORK (NY)
Esquire Magazine

March 2019

Melissa Herrington, artist
In 1917, Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain forever altered and scandalized the established art world, challenging the very definition of art. But what if the founding father of conceptual art was actually a woman? Recent speculation is that Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, the forgotten pioneering feminist, may be responsible for the most significant work of art of the 20th century.

Cynthia Herrup, history and law professor, USC
For duration, extent of damage, and betrayal of trust, no scandal matches the Catholic Church’s exploitation of authority over sexuality.

Jenna Glass, author, The Women’s War
Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of more than 300 young gymnasts is a crime, not a scandal. But the massive cover-up; the length of time it went on; and the number of adults who made excuses, ignored complaints, and chose to protect institutions instead of the gymnasts? That’s the biggest sports scandal ever.

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A Nun’s Rape and a Priest’s Mysterious Death Jolt Catholic Church in India

TOKOYO (JAPAN)
The Diplomat

January 29, 2019

By Priyanka Borpujari

A Catholic nun has alleged that he [the bishop] had sex – natural and unnatural – with her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. Thirteen is believed to be an unlucky number… Billions of men and women copulate every day for reasons I do not have to explain. This has been happening right from the days of Adam and Eve. But a modern-day Eve finds it convenient to claim that she was raped when she is caught in the act.

These sentence, part of an article titled “Villains as Victims,” appeared in India Currents, a magazine run under the patronage of the Catholic Church in India. The sentiment within sums up the response of the Catholic Church toward a 44-year-old nun in Kerala, in India’s south, who has filed a complaint with the police against a bishop for raping her 13 times since 2014. Following a long-drawn process where the nun was first ignored and then threatened, the accused – Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the diocese of the northern Indian town of Jalandhar – was interrogated at length and then arrested. He was let out on conditional bail after three weeks.

A week later, on October 22, Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, who had testified against Mulakkal, was found dead in his room.

Now the rape survivor and five nuns who have been supporting her are facing threats from their own congregation, the Missionaries of Jesus, of being transferred away from Kerala. The five nuns have been asked to join different convents across the country in a move to weaken their case against Mulakkal.

Christian institutions in India have been hushing up crimes at their altar, leaving scores of believers disappointed with their spiritual institution. In a case dating back to 1992, a Catholic nun was found dead in a well in a convent in Kerala. The local police had closed the case back then, calling it a suicide. The case was reopened by the federal Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and nearly 16 years later, two priests were arrested on charges of having an illicit affair with the nun. Last year, several persons were arrested in the alleged cover-up of the rape and pregnancy of a 16-year-old girl, who had been raped by a priest in Kerala.

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