ABUSE TRACKER

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

January 3, 2019

Cardenal brasileño asegura que el Vaticano encubrió los abusos de Marcial Maciel por más de 60 años

[Brazilian cardinal says Vatican has covered up the abuses of Marcial Maciel for more than 60 years]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

January 2, 2018

By Valentina Salvo U.

El prefecto de la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada de la sede pontificia, João Braz de Aviz, afirmó que existían documentos sobre las conductas ilícitas del fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo desde 1943

El prefecto de la Congregación para los Institutos de la Vida Consagrada y las Sociedades de Vida Apostólica de la Iglesia Católica, el cardenal brasileño João Braz de Aviz, aseguró que el Vaticano ocultó por 63 años los abusos sexuales a menores cometidos por el fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, el sacerdote mexicano Marcial Maciel. Según afirmó en entrevista con la revista católica Vida Nueva, el miembro del organismo de la Curia Romana aseveró que la sede pontificia tenía antecedentes de los delitos de pederastia de Maciel desde 1943.

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.

En Chile valoran que el Vaticano calificara como “tremendo error” encubrir pederastía de Maciel

[Chilean reactions to Vatican calling Maciel’s abuse “a terrible mistake”]

CHILE
BioBioChile

January 2, 2019

By Gonzalo Cifuentes and Nicole Martínez

El Vaticano reconoció este miércoles poseer documentos que daban cuenta de la pederastía del fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, Marcial Maciel, desde 1943.Joao Braz de Aviz, prefecto de la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada del Vaticano, fue quien calificó como un “tremendo error” esta situación.

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.

[VIDEO] Juan Carlos Cruz: El Papa “está muy solo” en la lucha contra abusos

[VIDEO: Juan Carlos Cruz says the Pope “is very lonely” in the fight against abuses]

CHILE
Emol TV

January 3, 2019

Francisco “está muy solo” en su lucha para erradicar los abusos sexuales en la Iglesia, dice una de las víctimas chilenas que ayudó a develar las prácticas de abusos en el clero local. Nota de AFP.

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

El líder de los miguelianos reta a la Iglesia tras la sentencia: “Quiero hablar cara a cara con los obispos”

[Miguelianos leader challenges the Church after his sentence: “I want to speak face to face with the bishops”]

A CORUÑA (SPAIN)
El País

January 2, 2019

By Sonia Vizoso

Rosendo recurrirá ante el Supremo la condena a nueve años de cárcel por abusar sexualmente de una chica desde que tenía nueve años

Tras ser condenado por abusos sexuales y absuelto de asociación ilícita y otros 20 delitos, el fundador de la orden de los miguelianos, Miguel Rosendo, ha comparecido públicamente este miércoles en A Coruña para cargar contra la jerarquía de la Iglesia católica que amparó durante años las actividades de su organización pero que le dio la espalda en cuanto fue detenido en 2014. “Quiero hablar cara a cara con los obispos y que me digan lo que no fueron capaces de decirme en su momento; que me expliquen la trampa, la red que me han echado encima”, ha afirmado Rosendo, arropado por tres sacerdotes y la abogada Beatriz Seijo, quienes han acusado a “una serie de hombres” de la Iglesia y del Opus Dei de urdir un “montaje” para acabar con la orden.

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.

Vatican Knew About Legionary Founder Maciel’s Abuse From 1943

ROME (ITALY)
National Catholic Register

January 2, 2019

By Edward Pentin

Cardinal João Bráz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, has disclosed that the Vatican had documents on the abusive conduct of the disgraced founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel, from as long ago as 1943.

The Brazilian cardinal told the Spanish Catholic online magazine Vida Nueva that “those who covered it up were a mafia, they were not the Church.”

Cardinal Bráz de Aviz did not give any more details about the documents in the interview, given while he was in Madrid for a conference late last year, but said his congregation currently has “nothing to do” with such a coverup and now follows “a very good process.”

According to a 2006 article in the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Rome investigated Father Maciel for suspected pedophilia between 1956 and 1959 on the instructions of Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani — 13 years after the first reports referred to by Cardinal Braz de Aviz.

During those four years, Maciel was suspended as superior general of the Legion and expelled from Rome, but the investigation yielded no results and he soon returned to his old ways but with more power.

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

Pope’s top aide says Church must ‘do the impossible’ to fight abuse

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

January 3, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

On the clerical sexual abuse scandals that have rocked Catholicism anew in recent months, the pope’s top aide has said the Church must do “everything possible, and even the impossible, to eliminate this phenomenon.”

At the same time, Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, also defended the Church’s response to date.

“We have to recognize that the Church has made enormous progress,” Parolin said in an interview with the Italian broadcast network TV2000. “It’s developed a progressive awareness of the problem, of the devastation these acts have produced in victims, and it’s tried to react.”

“Certainly, we’re human and we don’t always reach perfect results,” Parolin said, “but I believe there’s been commitment to determination.”

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.

Alleged victims claim sexual abuse by nuns in Catholic Church is ‘secret not yet told’

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Daily News

January 2, 2019

By Kate Feldman

While the Catholic Church faces widespread allegations of sexual abuse within its ranks, victims say nuns around the country are guilty as well.

Several women told CBS News about allegations of misconduct by nuns, including molestation and forced kissing, in an epidemic that some have dubbed “pedophile nuns.”

Trish Cahill claims that a sister at her New Jersey convent would feed her drugs and alcohol, “grooming” her for sex at just 15 years old after confessing that her uncle sexually abused her.

“I would have done anything for her. I would have died for her,” Cahill told CBS News. “She gave me everything that was lacking that I didn’t even know I was lacking. I was so broken. She filled in all those pieces.”

In 1994, Cahill received a $70,000 settlement to “shut her up,” she said. But she’s not alone, she said, calling it “the secret not yet told.”

A former nun, Mary Dispenza, said at least 18 people have told her about sexual abuse at the hands of other nuns.

“A lot has to do with the culture of nuns which are, they are very, very private by nature,” she told CBS News.

Almost all of the focus has been on Catholic bishops as the Church reckons with sexual abuse scandals dating back decades.

In August, a report from a Pennsylvania grand jury found that hundreds of priests had abused at least 1,000 children over a 70-year span.

“Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades,” the report read.

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.

Supreme Court refuses urgent hearing on contempt plea against Sabarimala priest

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
The Indian Express

January 3, 2019

The Supreme Court Thursday refused an urgent hearing on a plea seeking contempt proceedings against Sabarimala’s chief priest, a day after he closed the temple to perform “purification” rituals after two women entered the sanctum santorum.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul said the matter will be heard on January 22 when the bench will take up review pleas challenging its earlier order allowing the entry of women between the age group 10-50.

Advocate P V Dinesh, appearing for Indian Young Lawyers Association, told the bench that the temple authorities closed the shrine Wednesday for purification purpose after two women had entered the temple which is in violation of apex court verdict.

Two women, in their early 40s, entered the Sabarimala temple under police protection on Wednesday for the first time since the Supreme Court lifted the ban. Bindu and Kanakadurga entered the shrine around 3.45 am through a passage meant for staff and were escorted by policemen dressed in black, which is the customary colour of clothing for devotees. After the news of their visit became public, the temple was closed for an hour for “purification” rituals.

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.

CCOG to pen a letter to the Pope regarding Archbishop Anthony Apuron

GUAM
Pacific News First

January 3, 2019

By Jolene Toves

The Concerned Catholics of Guam are penning a letter to the Vatican hoping that what they have to say about Archbishop Anthony Apron will carry weight in standing by Apuron’s conviction by the tribunal.

On March 16th of last year, a five-judge panel of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) found Archbishop Anthony Apuron guilty of certain unspecified abuses. To this day the charges that Archbishop Anthony Apuron was convicted on by the Vatican’s tribunal remain undisclosed to the public. The only information provided by the Vatican in regards to Apuron is that he has said he will appeal the conviction.

In line with canon law the Concerned Catholics of Guam are making a statement to the Vatican in hopes of cleaning up the mess within the local Catholic Church. CCOG President David Sablan was on air with K57’s Patti Arroyo to share their hope that the Pope will do whats right.

“You know this is an outreach to the Vatican and the Pope to stay with the penalties that were imposed by the tribunal who found Apuron guilty of the issues that came before them which include the mismanagement of the Archdiocese, the cover ups of the abuse by priests, also him personally allegedly accused of sexual abuse when he was a priest in Agat, and as the Archbishop with one or two of the victims as well at his Chancery house,” stated Sablan

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.

Pacific bishops want to rid Catholic church of predator priests

WELLINGTON (NEW ZEALAND)
Radio New Zealand

January 2019

In Papua New Guinea, Fr Giorgio Licini said any cases of priests abusing children would be dealt with severely.

Fr Giorgio said an office had been established to deal with the matter.

Meanwhile, the head of the church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong, said his church had policy and protocols in place for suspected sexual offending amoung priests.

Peter Loy Chong.Peter Loy Chong. Photo: Pacific Theological College
“That has been the stand of the church and each conference of bishops has been instructed that we need to put in a policy for sexual abuse. We have a sexual abuse policy,” the archbishop said.

“To see to it that when somebody is a sexual offender, that procedures are carried out so that this person is interrogated and taken to task.”

Archbishop Peter Loy Chong and Fr Giorgio Licini’s comments come in the wake of global outrage over hundreds of cases of children abused by priests.

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.

‘Like Cleaning a Sphinx with a Toothbrush’

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal

January 2, 2019

By Paul Moses

The abrupt resignation of Greg Burke as director of the Holy See Press Office is one more disturbing sign that the Vatican is not up to the task of responding to the Catholic Church’s crisis over clergy sexual abuse and its cover-up.

Burke, a St. Louis native and an alumnus of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, brought an American way of doing business to a press office that not so long ago closed for the day at 1 o’clock p.m. He helped build what became an impressive presence for the church on social media, adapt the media operation to a twenty-four-hour news cycle, and create a positive image for a new pope. But the veteran newsman could not push the Vatican bureaucracy into responding quickly and forthrightly to developments in the clergy sexual-abuse scandal, and this clearly frustrated him through much of his tenure as the press office’s director.

In a New Year’s Eve tweet announcing that he and his deputy, the Spanish journalist Paloma Garcia Ovejero, were resigning effective January 1, Burke exited with an expression of affection for Pope Francis but not much else to say other than that the job had been “fascinating.” In a subsequent tweet, he apparently looked to dispel the notion that he was leaving because of personnel changes above his level in the Vatican communication dicastery, writing, “Just so you know, we had been praying about this decision for months, and we’re very much at peace with it. Grazie!”

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.

Virginia church goers push for mandatory clergy reporting law

MANASSAS (VA)
FOX 5 DC

January 2, 2019

By Lindsay Watts

It’s a potentially dangerous loophole in Virginia law: church leaders who suspect child abuse are not mandated to report it.

After a child sex abuse scandal at a Manassas church, former members realized they needed to fight for change, and now, that’s paying off. Lawmakers in the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates have proposed laws that would put clergy on the list of mandated reporters.

Hannah Hudson, Liz Thomasson and Kristin Frazier attended The Life Church where a former youth pastor was convicted of sexually abusing a 16-year-old church member. Baird was then re-arrested, accused of abusing a different teen around the same time period, in 2014. The second trial is set for February.

Hudson was subpoenaed to testify in the first case.

“Because of inappropriate texts that Jordan had sent me a few years back,” Hudson 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.

January 2, 2019

Sex abuse victims to church: Prayers and self reflection not enough

CHICAGO (IL)
Illinois News Network

January 2, 2019

By Greg Bishop

As a weeklong summit of U.S. Catholic bishops begins in the Chicago suburbs, groups of clergy sex abuse survivors are demanding more independent action, and for the removal of Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops began its weeklong meeting in the Chicago suburb of Mundelein Wednesday. Bishops from all around the country are expected to pray and reflect on the child sex abuse scandal.

The Catholic News Service reported the meeting is “a spiritual retreat to pray and reflect on the important matters facing the Catholic Church” and was planned “in response to Pope Francis’ request to a delegation of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops leaders during a meeting at the Vatican” last fall.

Zach Hiner, executive director of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said the church needs to do more than pray.

“I’m sure that’s important for them. It is irrelevant to this crisis,” Hiner said. “Prayer is not really going to help us right now. What we need to see is concrete action.”

Hiner said there needs to be accountability, and not just for priests accused of abuse “but also for those prelates and other officials that have enabled the abuse by moving abusers around and concealing allegations from the public and law enforcement.”

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Chicago Archdiocese said it “recognizes and mourns the grave damage done to many people harmed by clergy sexual abuse. We will always need to own and express deep regret for the suffering caused both by the abuse and the past failures to respond.”

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

Diocese of Monterey names 30 clergymen ‘credibly accused’ of sexual misconduct

MONTEREY (CA)
KSBW TV

January 2, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Monterey has released a list of 30 clergymen who have been “credibly accused” of abusing children going back to the 1950s.

The list documents cases dating back as far 1954 and as recently as 2009. Eighteen priests were arrested and 19 of them are now dead. None of those still living are currently active clergymen except maybe for 1 whose status was listed as “unknown”.

Most of the allegations occurred in the 1970s. The fewest in the 2000s.

In a written introduction to the report, the Diocese states that it “engaged in a review of the files of all Clergy with known allegations of sexual misconduct as well as reviewed the files of all currently active Clergy in the Diocese of Monterey to determine if there are any allegations of sexual misconduct with a child against any Clergyman currently in ministry.”

The Diocese also states that it is making the report public to promote transparency and trust.

In addition, an outside law firm was hired to review the files and to make an independent decision as to whether a clergyman’s name should be included on the list of those credibly accused.

“Clergyman” includes priests, deacons, religion men and candidates for ordination.

In order to be identified on the list as “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse, the clergymen had to meet four criteria:

1. The allegation involves clergy and

2. Involves sexual misconduct with a minor (i.e. under 18) and

3. The accusation appears credible (i.e. believable) or

4. The clergyman was dead at the time the allegation was received by the Diocese, which prevented a complete investigation, but the allegation appears plausible (i.e. alleged to have occurred at a time and in a place where the clergyman was assigned).

The Diocese divided the list of the “credibly accused” into three categories.

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

Women describe alleged abuse by ‘pedophile nuns,’ CBS reports

NEW YORK (NY)
CBS News

January 2, 2019

By Chelsea Tatham

While Catholic bishops from around the country gather at a seminary near Chicago on Wednesday for a retreat to address the sexual abuse crisis, CBS News reported several cases of nuns accused of sexual misconduct.

CBS’ Nikki Battiste spoke with several women who recently reported abuse by nuns ranging from forceful kissing to molestation.

One woman said she was 15 years old when she confided in Sister Eileen Shaw at a New Jersey convent. The woman said she confided in Shaw about the sexual abuse she claims she suffered at the hands of her late uncle, who was a priest.

The woman said Shaw “groomed” her, plying her with drugs and alcohol and teaching her how to have sex with a woman.

“I would have done anything for her. I would have died for her,” the woman told CBS. “She gave me everything that was lacking that I didn’t even know I was lacking. I was so broken. She filled in all those pieces.”

The woman told CBS that while she was with her friends during the day, she was “with this pedophile nun on the evenings and on the weekends, and in the summer.”

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

Letter to the editor: Catholic Church not above the law

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune Review

January 2, 2019

The Catholic Church has a lot of nerve airing a radio commercial urging Catholics to come back to their religion by coming to confession. Are you kidding? Once again, ignore the perverted priests and focus on what laypeople have done wrong.

It sickens me that the Catholic Church continues to act as though it is above the law. Horrible child abuse was covered up for decades, and guess what? It turns out that those who commit atrocities against children cannot hide behind the church anymore.

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.

Seis personas más denuncian al padre Mauricio Víquez Lizano por abusos sexuales cuando eran menores de edad

[Six more people accuse Father Mauricio Víquez Lizano of sexually abusing them as minors]

COSTA RICA
La Teja

November 30, 2018

By Shirley Sandí

Testimonios serán enviados al Vaticano el próximo martes

La Curia Metropolitana confirmó que ha recibido seis denuncias más por supuestos abusos contra menores de edad cometidos por el sacerdote Mauricio Víquez Lizano. Esto quiere decir que en total ha recibido nueve acusaciones en contra del cura desde el 15 de mayo del 2018 a la fecha, por hechos que ocurrieron hace 20 años. Los denunciantes, todos hombres, ya son mayores de edad.

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El Vaticano ocultó la pederastia del fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo durante 63 años

[For 63 years, Vatican hid sexual abuses by Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

January 2, 2019

By Juan G. Bedoya

El prefecto de la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada reconoce que la sede pontificia tenía desde 1943 documentos sobre las conductas de Marcial Maciel

El prefecto de la Congregación para los Institutos de Vida Consagrada, el cardenal João Braz de Aviz, reconoce ahora que el Vaticano tenía desde 1943 documentos sobre la pederastia del fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, Marcial Maciel. El religioso fue investigado entre 1956 y 1959. “Quien lo tapó era una mafia, ellos no eran Iglesia”, ha dicho al ser entrevistado por la revista católica Vida Nueva. João Braz estuvo en Madrid hace un mes para clausurar la asamblea general de la Confederación Española de Religiosos (Confer). “Tengo la impresión de que las denuncias de abusos crecerán, porque solo estamos en el inicio. Llevamos 70 años encubriendo, y esto ha sido un tremendo error”, sostiene.

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.

Expulsado de la diócesis de Astorga un sacerdote acusado de pederastia

[Vatican expels priest accused of abusing minors from diocese of Astorga]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

January 1, 2019

José Manuel Ramos fue suspendido por el Vaticano por abusos sexuales en un colegio de Puebla de Sanabria y en el seminario de La Bañeza

El obispado de Astorga emitió este martes una nota en la que anuncia que hoy mismo, el sacerdote José Manuel Ramos Gordón, comenzará a cumplir la pena impuesta por abusos a menores en un monasterio fuera de la diócesis de Astorga. “El sacerdote interpuso un recurso de reposición ante el obispo contra el decreto penal en el mes de septiembre obteniendo una respuesta negativa. Después de haber manifestado su intención de no ejercer el derecho al recurso de alzada ante la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe y una vez transcurrido el tiempo previsto por la ley, el caso ha pasado a ser cosa juzgada”, explican.

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Reunión con el Papa en Roma: El desafío del obispo Ramos y los cambios que provocaría en la jerarquía de la Iglesia chilena

[Experts discuss challenges Bishop Ramos faces in meeting with the Pope and possible changes to Chilean Church]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

December 31, 2018

By Pía Larrondo

Tres expertos hablan de las implicancias que podría tener la cita que se realizará el 21 de febrero, en la que se abordará el tema de la protección a menores.

Gran repercusión produjo este sábado el anuncio de que el obispo Fernando Ramos, secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal chilena, reemplazará al obispo castrense y presidente de la instancia, Santiago Silva, en la reunión de los titulares de los episcopados de la Iglesia Católica del mundo con el Papa Francisco en Roma.

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Un vocero cuestionado: El perfil del obispo que representará a la Conferencia Episcopal ante el Papa

[A questioned spokesperson: Profile of the bishop who will represent Chile’s Episcopal Conference before the Pope]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

January 1, 2019

By Consuelo Ferrer

Este fin de semana se conoció que será Fernando Ramos quien viaje al encuentro con el Pontífice en febrero, decisión que fue criticada por las víctimas de Karadima y los laicos de Osorno. “No es la persona idónea para ir”, señalaron.

“Con respecto a la invitación que el Santo Padre ha hecho para los presidentes de las conferencias episcopales del mundo para el encuentro de febrero, el presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal en Chile me pidió que asistiera yo”, aseguró este domingo el administrador apostólico de Rancagua, obispo Fernando Ramos.

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Pope to church: Bring abusers to justice

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

January 2, 2019

By Fr. Thomas Reese

Shortly before Christmas, Pope Francis declared in response to the sexual abuse crisis that “the church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes.” He promised that “the church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously any case.”

For decades, people have been hoping for such a statement from a pontiff, which Francis made in a public address to the Roman Curia, the offices in the Vatican that help him govern the church.

He acknowledged that it was “undeniable that some in the past, out of irresponsibility, disbelief, lack of training, inexperience…or spiritual and human myopia, treated many cases without the seriousness and promptness that was due.”

“That must never happen again,” he said.

Francis even gave “heartfelt thanks to those media professionals who were honest and objective and sought to unmask these predators and to make their victims’ voices heard.” He asked people not to be silent, but to “bring it objectively to light, since the greater scandal in this matter is that of cloaking the truth.”

To those who have abused minors, he said, “convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice.”

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

SNAP and ECA Call for Reform as Bishops Gather Outside Chicago

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

January 2, 2019

As Americans bishops gather in Illinois, survivors demand Pope remove two US Cardinals from prominent roles in papal summit

Findings in explosive Illinois AG report “disqualifies” Chicago Cardinal Cupich from major appointment

Cardinal DiNardo of Texas also “unfit to lead” US delegation in Rome, survivors say

Summit will have “no credibility” if led by prelates who cover-up child sex crimes

Francis must include global survivor groups in summit

WHAT

At a sidewalk news conference, the leading global and US organizations representing clergy abuse survivors will

Release a joint letter sent today by the two organizations to Pope Francis urging him to remove Cardinal Blase Cupich from his prominent role in the upcoming February worldwide Papal Summit on Abuse
Insist that Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops step down as leader of the US delegation to Rome
Demand the release before the end of the bishops retreat this week of all sexual abuse allegations held in secret by every US bishop, including those of over 500 predator clergy in Illinois discovered by the Illinois AG
Urge Francis to include the leadership of global survivor groups in the summit
WHEN

Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 1 pm

WHERE

Outside the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Chicago, located at 835 N. Rush St

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While Survivors and Advocates Wait on Response to Clergy Abuse, Church Officials Play Blame Game

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

January 1, 2019

A newly published letter from officials at the Vatican to the head of American bishops has called into question the reasons for the scuttling of proposed church accountability reform from last November. Ultimately, however, the letter is both irrelevant to the church’s pattern of inaction on clergy abuse and to the urgent need for reform to come and come quickly.

We take no position on the finger-pointing between Cardinals Marc Ouellet and Daniel DiNardo, other than to note that it is extremely disappointing that once again Pope Francis seems more willing to discipline a bishop for insubordination than for covering up sex crimes. But in this case, whether it was the Vatican or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USSCB) who is most to blame in this specific instance of failing to act on clergy abuse and bishop accountability means little. The fact is, at the end of the day, there was still a failure to act as the reforms were never discussed and promises went unfulfilled.

The proposed updates to policies and the creation of codes of conduct were, at best, half-measures. But their passage would have been at least a sign that a key message was getting through: that there must be accountability not just for the abusers, but equally so for those that enabled and concealed them. In order to prevent future crimes, we must be able to have faith that wrongdoers will be brought to law enforcement, not shuffled and concealed, and only when prelates are brought to justice for their role in that concealment will that faith be restored.

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Priest In Ayodhya Arrested For Holding Devotee Hostage, Raping Her: Police

AYODHYA (INDIA)
Press Trust of India

January 1, 2019

The chief priest of a temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly holding a woman devotee hostage and raping her several times, police said.
The 30-year-old woman had come to the temple from Varanasi on December 24 to take lessons on spirituality from Krishna Kantacharya, the temple’s priest, Ayodhya police circle officer A K Sav told reporters.

Kantacharya allegedly offered the woman to stay at the temple premises where he held her hostage and raped her several times, the officer said.

He said the woman somehow managed to call the police on Tuesday following which she was rescued.

The woman was sent for a medical examination and the priest arrested, police said.

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Report: Vatican letter contradicts US cardinal on delayed vote on sexual abuse measures

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Hill

January 1, 2019

By Brett Samuels

The Vatican requested U.S. bishops delay a vote on measures to address the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals because church leaders in the U.S. failed to properly consult with the Holy See before voting, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The news outlet obtained a letter from Cardinal Marc Ouellet at the Vatican that said the measures the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops planned to vote on were legally problematic and that the group had only given the Vatican a few days to review them.

The letter contradicts the explanation at the time by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who told other church leaders in November that Pope Francis did not want the bishops to vote on the proposals until after a meeting of church leaders in February.

DiNardo said at the time he was “disappointed” by the pope’s request.

The AP reported Tuesday that the Vatican letter, which undermines DiNardo’s explanation, could spur questions at a spiritual retreat of U.S. bishops that begins Wednesday.

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Woman in Jaipur accuses college treasurer of harassing, pressurising her to gain sexual favours

JAIPUR (INDIA)
Mirror Now

January 2, 2019

In the wake of the MeToo movement making inroads in India in the past couple of months, an appalling matter has come to light from Jaipur in Rajasthan where a 44-year-old woman has accused the vice principal of a missionary-run college of sexually exploiting her. In her complaint, the woman has accused one priest named Joshy Kuruvilla of harassing and pressurising her to court sexual favours.

What is even more shocking is that an internal committee formed by college authorities to investigate the matter under the ambit of the Vishakha Guidelines, in its report submitted on December 22 of last year, found the complainant ‘indisciplined’ and recommended action against her. The committee had launched a probe following a complaint by the woman on July 26 of 2018.

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Catholic Church kicks out priest who threw sex parties for schoolgirls

NAIROBI (KENYA)
Nairobi News

January 2, 2019

By Eric Wainaina

The Nairobi Catholic Archdiocese has kicked out a priest, who is under investigation for sexual misconduct.

A priest from Githunguri in Kiambu, who was mid last year accused of sleeping with female parishioners — including schoolgirls and married women — will remain suspended until the outcome of the investigation is vetted and a verdict made at the church headquarters in Rome.

This is after a tribunal formed by John Cardinal Njue filed a report, which sources said had been forwarded to the Vatican.

The youthful priest — who has since left John Paul II, a Catholic institution in Murang’a where he had been banished — was accused of luring young women to his residence and having sex with them.

The residence would at times host lewd parties where girls would be served with alcohol.

He would also arrange outings in hotels where, among other things, the girls would swim naked.

PROCURE ABORTIONS

Some of his victims were reported to be minors. When the girls got pregnant, the priest allegedly helped them to procure abortions.

In one incident, according to sources privy to the priest’s amorous behaviour, he reportedly paid a Sh40,000 bribe to conceal his wayward behaviour.

After the issue was brought to the attention of the church leadership in September last year, Cardinal Njue, who is also the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Nairobi, and Auxiliary Bishop David Kamau announced his suspension until the matter is concluded.

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Priests as predators: Long history of abuse in Indian churches

KURAVILANGAD (INDIA)
Associated Press

January 2, 2019

The stories spill out in the sitting rooms of Catholic convents, where portraits of Jesus keep watch and fans spin quietly overhead. They spill out in church meeting halls bathed in fluorescent lights, and over cups of cheap instant coffee in convent kitchens. Always, the stories come haltingly, quietly. Sometimes, the nuns speak at little more than a whisper.

Across India, the nuns talk of priests who pushed into their bedrooms and of priests who pressured them to turn close friendships into sex. They talk about being groped and kissed, of hands pressed against them by men they were raised to believe were representatives of Jesus Christ.

“He was drunk,” said one nun, beginning her story. “You don’t know how to say no,” said another.

At its most grim, the nuns speak of repeated rapes, and of a Catholic hierarchy that did little to protect them.

The Vatican has long been aware of nuns sexually abused by priests and bishops in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa, but it has done very little to stop it, The Associated Press reported last year.

Now, the AP has investigated the situation in a single country — India — and uncovered a decades-long history of nuns enduring sexual abuse from within the church. Nuns described in detail the sexual pressure they endured from priests, and nearly two dozen other people — nuns, former nuns and priests, and others — said they had direct knowledge of such incidents.

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US bishops to gather in Mundelein as clergy sex abuse outrage grows

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS TV

January 2, 2019

By Jessica D’Onofrio

Hundreds of Bishops from across the country will gather in north suburban Mundelein Wednesday for the start of a week-long spiritual retreat. This comes amid growing outrage over clergy sexual abuse.

Protestors are outraged over how the sex abuse scandal has been handled and they have several demands of the Catholic Church.

This demonstration also comes following the discovery of a stunning Vatican letter which blocked U.S. bishops from addressing the church’s sex-abuse scandal. Anti-clergy abuse activists say the summit will have “no credibility” if it’s led by prelates who cover-up sex crimes against children.

During Wednesday’s protest, activists will call on Pope Francis to remove Cardinal Blase Cupich from his prominent role in the upcoming February worldwide Papal Summit on Abuse.

A scathing preliminary report issued recently by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan revealed that at least 500 clerical predators were not reported by Cardinal Cupich and his fellow Illinois bishops.

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Child sexual abuse by priests was top 2018 story: What about McCarrick and the bishops?

The Media Project

January 1, 2019

By Terry Mattingly

It was in 1983 that parents told leaders of the Diocese of Lafayette, west of New Orleans, that Father Gilbert Gauthe had molested their son.

Dominos started falling. The bishop offered secret settlements to nine families – but one refused to remain silent.

The rest is a long, long story. Scandals about priests abusing children – the vast majority of cases involve teen-aged males – have been making news ever since, including the firestorm unleashed by The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” series that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003.

This old, tragic story flared up again in 2018, and Religion News Association members selected the release of a sweeping Pennsylvania grand-jury report – with 301 Catholic priests, in six dioceses, accused of abusing at least 1,000 minors over seven decades – as the year’s top religion story.

“The allegations contained in this report are horrific and there are important lessons to take away from it,” said Michael Plachy, a partner at Lewis, Roca, Rothgerber, Christie, a national law firm that emphasizes religious liberty cases. However, “to be candid, much of what’s in this report has been known for years. … It’s important, but it’s mostly old news.”

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US Catholic bishops gather near Chicago to pray over clergy sexual abuse scandal

CHICAGO (IL)
Associated Press

January 2, 2019

By Jeff Karoub

U.S.-based Roman Catholic bishops will gather Wednesday for a weeklong retreat near Chicago on the church sexual abuse scandal that organizers say will focus on prayer and spiritual reflection and not formulating policy.

The retreat begins a day after The Associated Press reported that the Vatican blocked U.S. bishops from taking measures last year to address the scandal because U.S. church leaders didn’t discuss the legally problematic proposals with the Holy See enough beforehand.

The rebuke from Rome was contained in a letter from a Vatican official before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in November. The move stunned abuse survivors and some other Catholics demanding actions.

The retreat also is a prelude to a summit of the world’s bishops at the Vatican next month to forge a comprehensive response to the crisis that has lashed the church.

The meetings follow two blistering reports during 2018 from state attorneys general — in Illinois and Pennsylvania — alleging negligence by state church leaders.

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January 1, 2019

Tuam Babies, Ireland’s darkest secret, will be the biggest Irish story in 2019

TUAM (IRELAND)
Irish Central

January 1, 2019

The big stories for 2019 are mostly signposted but I consider the Tuam babies scandal to be potentially the biggest of all. Yes, folks bigger than Brexit, which has utterly dominated the news in 2018.

The announcement that the excavations of the underground sewer will commence was made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

“We anticipate that there’ll be excavations in Tuam in the latter half of 2019 because we have to pass legislation in the Oireachtas giving us, the Government, the power to do the excavations,” said the Irish leader, according to RTÉ.

“Because, for lots of reasons, we don’t have the power to do that.

“So we’ll have to pass that legislation in the New Year, and we’d envisage carrying out the first excavations in the second half of 2019.”

The task will be to seek out the bodies of perhaps hundreds of little children who are allegedly buried there. It means that if bodies are found it will be Ireland’s mini Auschwitz, a place of death where thousands of little souls were condemned to pain and suffering and then discarded in sewer cesspools.

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Abuse survivors push for head of U.S. bishops to resign amid allegations of cover-ups in Iowa, Texas

OMAHA (NEBRASKA)
Omaha World-Herald

By Christopher Burbach

December 29, 2018

A national organization of priest sexual abuse survivors is stepping up its push for Cardinal Daniel DiNardo to resign as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says DiNardo, formerly bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, is unfit to lead the bishops’ response to the latest Catholic sexual abuse crisis because of allegations that he covered up abuse by priests in Iowa and Texas. Tim Lennon, president of SNAP’s board of directors, and others plan a press conference Saturday in Sioux City.

U.S. bishops are expected to take measures to address the crisis after they, led by DiNardo, meet in February with Pope Francis and other bishops in Rome.

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Victims accuse Cardinal DiNardo of concealing Iowa sex abuse in calling for his resignation

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

January 1, 2019

By Shelby Fleig

Survivors of sex abuse by Catholic clergy are calling for the resignation of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the former bishop of Sioux City, from his post as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

DiNardo, currently the archbishop of Galveston-Houston, is accused of covering up abuse cases in both Iowa and Texas. According to a statement released by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), DiNardo helped conceal admitted abuse by the Rev. Jerome Coyle and allegations against the Rev. George B. McFadden while serving as bishop of Sioux City from 1997 to 2004.

“SNAP believes that the Cardinal’s role in covering up abuse in both Sioux City and Houston make him unfit to lead the USCCB,” SNAP said in the statement. If law enforcement seized records from the Sioux City diocese, “they would find that additional crimes were concealed” by DiNardo and others, the statement read. The group first called for DiNardo’s resignation in November.

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Retired Bishop Mulvee of Providence, R.I., dies at age 88

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

December 31, 2018

Retired Bishop Robert Mulvee of Providence died Dec. 28 at the St. Antoine Residence in North Smithfield, following a brief illness. He was 88.

“Bishop Mulvee was a good and gentle shepherd of God’s people. He was a faithful follower of Christ who served the church with dignity and compassion,” said Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin in a statement.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated Jan. 10 at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in Providence followed by a burial at St. Ann Cemetery in Cranston.

Mulvee was bishop of Providence from 1995 to 2005.

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Roadblock to justice for survivors is ‘condemned to the scrapheap’ from today

NEW SOUTH WALES (AUSTRALIA)
Ilawarra Mercury

January 1, 2019

By Joanne McCarthy

A legal roadblock stopping child sexual abuse survivors from suing churches and other powerful institutions has been “condemned to the scrapheap” from today, said NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman.

NSW Government legislation abolishing the so-called “Ellis defence” takes effect from today after more than a decade where it blocked many survivors from seeking justice against the institutions that failed them.

“I’m pleased my first item of business in 2019 is to condemn the ‘Ellis defence’ to the scrapheap and create a fairer civil litigation system for all child abuse survivors,” Mr Speakman said.

The “Ellis defence” was a legal precedent set in 2007 when former altar boy John Ellis lost a landmark civil action against the Catholic Church for child sexual abuse.

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Only on 4: Man Who Says McCarrick Abused Him for Years Speaks After Vatican Testimony

WASHINGTON D.C.
NBCWashington.com

December 31, 2018

By David Culver

[Video]

A Virginia man who says ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick abused him for years starting when he was an 11-year-old boy is showing his face for the first time since testifying to the Vatican.

“There were times when McCarrick always wanted to get me alone for his own ability to prey on me,” James Grein said.

Grein said McCarrick began abusing him decades ago at his family’s New Jersey home. He says McCarrick groped him several times and the abuse got worse as he got older.

“And he told me that he was my pathway to God and that I need to trust him,” Grein said.

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Philippine President Says He Sexually Abused Housemaid as a Teenager

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
The New York Times

December 31, 2018

By Jason Gutierrez

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has admitted to sexually assaulting a housemaid when he was a teenager in a speech that drew condemnation from women’s groups, but which his office later dismissed as a joke.

Mr. Duterte has made headlines around the world for remarks that run the gamut from innocuously bawdy to dangerously sexist, including jokes about rape. His speech on Saturday to local officials, however, appeared to be the first time in which he publicly admitted to personally assaulting a woman.

In a speech that focused his ire on the Roman Catholic Church — a powerful political foil in this predominately Catholic country — and what the president sees as its hypocrisy, Mr. Duterte recounted a confession he made to a priest about entering the bedroom of a maid and assaulting her.

“I lifted the blanket,” Mr. Duterte, 73, said. “I tried to touch what was inside the panties.”

“I was touching. She woke up. So I left the room,” he added.

The priest, he said, told him to say, “five Hail Marys because you will go to hell.”

Mr. Duterte’s comments were intended to shed light on the church’s sexual abuse crisis, but instead drew outrage from his own critics, who called on him to immediately resign.

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AP Exclusive: Vatican letter undermines US cardinal on abuse

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

January 1, 2019

By Nicole Winfield

The Vatican blocked U.S. bishops from taking measures to address the clergy sex abuse scandal because U.S. church leaders failed to sufficiently consult with the Holy See beforehand about legally problematic proposals, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

The Nov. 11 letter from the Vatican’s Cardinal Marc Ouellet provides the primary reason that Rome balked at the measures that were to be voted on by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at its Nov. 12-14 assembly. The blocked vote stunned abuse survivors and other Catholics who were demanding action from U.S. bishops to address clergy sex abuse and cover-up.

Ouellet’s letter undermines the version of events provided by the conference president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. It could also provide fodder for questions during a spiritual retreat of U.S. bishops, dedicated to the abuse crisis, that opens Wednesday in Chicago.

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As 2018 ends, U.S. bishops move to address allegations of abuse and claims of cover-up

WASHINGTON (D.C.)
Catholic News Service via America

December 31, 2018

By Carol Zimmermann

2018 will no doubt be remembered as a dark time for the U.S. Catholic Church.

Catholics felt betrayed by church leaders accused of sexual misconduct and cover-up revealed this summer and this cloud still hung over the church at the year’s end.

In June, allegations were made against then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, accused of sexually abusing a minor almost 50 years ago and having sexual contact with seminarians while he was a bishop in New Jersey.

A month later, Pope Francis accepted Archbishop McCarrick’s resignation from College of Cardinals and suspended him from public ministry, ordering him to a “life of prayer and penance” until the accusations against him were examined in a canonical trial.

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College Outraged N.Y. Archdiocese Approved Visiting Priest under Abuse Investigation

NEW YORK (NY)
Catholic News Agency via National Catholic Register

December 31, 2018

By Ed Condon

The Archdiocese of New York told a California Catholic college in December that a local priest had never been accused of sexual abuse, even while the priest was being investigated by the archdiocese for several abuse charges. An administrator at the college called the letter “a lie,” and said she can no longer trust assurances from the archdiocese.

On Dec. 4, the New York archdiocese issued a letter stating “without qualification” that Father Donald Timone had “never been accused of any act of sexual abuse or misconduct involving a minor.”

In fact the archdiocese first received in 2003 an allegation that the priest had sexually abused minors, and it reached settlements with alleged victims (and surviving family members) in 2017.

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Boston Seminary Rector Forced Out Amid Homosexual Abuse Probe

BOSTON (MA)
Church Militant

December 31, 2018

By Stephen Wynne

The rector of a troubled Massachusetts seminary has been forced out of the archdiocese of Boston.

Monsignor James P. Moroney, former head of scandal-ridden St. John’s Seminary in Brighton in the archdiocese of Boston, is being recalled to his home diocese of Worcester. Announcing the transfer Friday, Worcester authorities explained that beginning January 1, Msgr. Moroney will serve in the diocesan office for divine worship and as interim rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Moroney’s transfer follows allegations that he allowed a ‘toxic culture’ of homosexual abuse and cover-up to flourish during his tenure at St. John’s.Tweet
The reassignment is being painted in a positive light. Worcester Bp. Robert J. McManus said he is “grateful” that the monsignor’s “pastoral leadership skills will once again be placed at the service of his home Diocese.” Moroney echoed his new bishop’s sentiments, saying, “I am deeply grateful for my time at St. John’s Seminary and look forward to serving the people of Worcester in the years to come.”

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Edward McKeown, former Nashville priest convicted of rape, dies in prison

NASHVILLE (TN)
Nashville Tennessean

December 31, 2018

By Anita Wadhwani and Holly Meyer

Former Nashville Catholic priest Edward McKeown, convicted in 1999 of the rape of a teenage boy a decade after he was forced from the priesthood, died Sunday while serving a 25-year sentence. He was 74.

McKeown, who was incarcerated at South Central Correctional Facility in Clifton, Tennessee, died at a local hospital of natural causes, a prison spokeswoman confirmed.

McKeown pleaded guilty to abusing a 12-year-old boy in his neighborhood over a three-year period. He was due to be released May 1, 2020.

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Chile bishop at heart of crisis to skip pope’s anti-abuse summit

ROSARIO (ARGENTINA)
Crux

December 30, 2018

By Inés San Martín

Despite being at the heart of a clerical sexual abuse crisis rocking the Catholic Church in Chile, the president of the bishops’ conference, Santiago Silva, who’s been subpoenaed on charges of cover-up, has decided to skip a Feb. 21-24 Vatican summit to address the issue and send the conference’s secretary instead.

Silva is one of the eight Chilean bishops who’ve been called in by the prosecutor’s office, but one of the few in this group who’s still heading a diocese. Most of those bishops have been removed by Pope Francis since May, when all the bishops of Chile submitted their resignations.

Also among those being investigated by civil authorities, but who remains as the head of a diocese, is Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago. The pontiff is expected to accept his resignation in upcoming months.

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The unfair, anti-Catholic conviction of Cardinal George Pell

NEW YORK POST

December 31, 2018

By George Weigel

No one with a sense of justice can fail to be outraged when, in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a jury in Maycomb, Ala., bows to social pressure and convicts an innocent man of a crime he couldn’t have committed.

Something similar took place last month in real-world Melbourne, Australia, where Cardinal George Pell was falsely and perversely convicted on charges of “historic sexual abuse” dating to the 1990s.

The facts of the case have been hard to come by, owing to a media gag order issued by the trial judge. A journalistic feeding frenzy has long surrounded Pell, the former Catholic archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney and later the Vatican’s chief ­financial officer.

The trial judge was rightly concerned that opening the proceedings would make it impossible for Pell to get a fair trial on charges he forcefully denies. That order has left Australians largely in the dark. But certain facts are known, and others can be reasonably inferred.

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O’Malley sent concerns about NY priest to apostolic nuncio after NY Times report

UNITED STATES
Catholic Herald

December 31, 2018

The Archbishop of Boston this month forwarded to the pope’s U.S. representative concerns sent to him about a New York priest who was in active college and parish ministry while under investigation for charges of sexual abuse.

The cardinal forwarded the correspondence the day after media reports emerged detailing the allegations made against the priest.

On December 21, Cardinal Sean O’Malley sent to Archbishop Christophe Pierre correspondence he had received regarding Rev. Donald Timone, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York who was being investigated by the review board of that archdiocese.

“I note the seriousness of the allegations [redacted] presents with regard to Rev. Timone,” O’Malley wrote, in a letter published Dec. 28 by Spanish Catholic news site Religión Digital.

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