Fremont priest arrested, accused of 30 counts of felony child abuse

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

March 31, 2019

By Kimberly Veklerov

The head priest of the Corpus Christi Parish in Fremont has been arrested on suspicion of 30 counts of child sex abuse, officials said Sunday.

Father Hector David Mendoza-Vela, 42, was arrested Thursday and booked into Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he is awaiting an arraignment in Alameda County Superior Court. His bail was set at $900,000.

The abuse happened over an 18-month period in 2016 and 2017 and involved a child who was 14 and 15 at the time, according to Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, which investigated the case.

The victim’s family “met Father Vela through his work as their Catholic priest and became friends of his like a lot of people do with leaders in the community,” Kelly said.

The abuse, described only as “lewd and lascivious acts,” happened at the victim’s Hayward home and in other locations, Kelly said. He did not provide further details on the victim or the acts.

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Questions raised about possible ‘secret archive’ of historical sex abuse records in lawsuit against B.C. ‘playboy’ priest

TORONTO (CANADA)
National Post

March 29, 2019

By Douglas Quan

One evening in March 1977, Adam Exner, then bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese in Kamloops, B.C., sought to put a lid on what he saw as a brewing scandal involving allegations that a “playboy” priest was having “inappropriate relationships” with women.

Appearing before parishioners assembled at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church, Exner kept things vague, according to his speaking notes from the time. He told them he had removed Rev. Erlindo Molon from the diocese because of a “personal” and “ongoing” problem that put Molon’s future as a priest at stake.

“In some situations, time and distance are the best remedy,” he wrote.

Some four decades later, a civil action in B.C. Supreme Court has brought fresh scrutiny upon the priest’s behaviour and the church’s response to it. Rosemary Anderson, then a young teacher at the adjoining Catholic elementary school, has sued Molon, alleging that he exploited and sexually assaulted her over several months starting in September 1976.

The lawsuit, filed in December 2016, also names the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Kamloops as a defendant, alleging that Exner, despite being aware of a pattern of alleged sexual misconduct involving Molon, was negligent and failed to adequately protect her and other parishioners.

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Disgraced Wollongong paedophile priest Peter Lewis Comensoli dead at 80

ILLIWARRA (AUSTRALIA)
Illawarra Mercury

March 30, 2019

By Shannon Tonkin

The former Catholic priest passed away on January 24. A private funeral has already been held.

Comensoli was born in March 1939 and educated at Catholic schools in the Illawarra before being ordained as a priest in July 1965, at the age of 26, to minister in parishes in the Wollongong dioceses.

In 1993, the Mercury exposed Comensoli’s sexual abuse of altar boys in the early 1980s, leading to him being stood down from all forms of ministry and charged by police.

The trauma and pain endured by victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and their families is real and is acknowledged.

The then-55-year-old pleaded guilty to the offences the following year and was sentenced to two years’ jail, with a non-parole period of 18 months, in Sydney District Court.

Despite his conviction, Comensoli retained the title of reverend until he was formally defrocked in 2015, a year after being charged with further historical sexual offences stemming from crimes committed against three boys between 1966 and 1968.

He was convicted in 2016 but avoided a jail sentence due to his advanced age and lack of reoffending since 1994.

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Editorial: Diocesan abuse department can’t become bureaucratic

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

March 30, 2019

“If only there were more bureaucracy.”

File that under things no one has ever said.

On Thursday, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik announced a new department to address sexual abuse claims and recovery. The Secretariat for the Protection of Children, Youth and Vulnerable Adults is open for business as of Monday.

For the moment, let’s ignore the decades of bishops in Pennsylvania obscuring reported abuse and shuttling offending priests from parish to parish. Let’s just appreciate that things are actually getting done to address the very serious problem going forward.

According to Zubik, the new department brings together people who have worked with abuse victims within the diocese before but puts them all under a single umbrella to get the job done more effectively.

It’s not a new idea. It’s basically the same thing President George W. Bush did after the 9-11 terror attacks when he shuffled the decks in a number of departments, pulling out an agency here and a bureau there to create the Department of Homeland Security. Today, DHS is the third largest department in the federal government and has an annual budget of about $40 billion.

There is no question at all that the diocese and the church as a whole must take the damage already done seriously and must take steps to prevent children from being victimized going forward. Those things must happen. Full stop.

But now it has to be on all of us to keep it from happening again.

Let’s go back and remember why it is necessary. It isn’t just because there was horrifying abuse of children going back 70 years and across the entire state, as detailed in Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s grand jury report in August.

It’s that it was institutional.

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Son argentinos y fueron abusados por curas: “Si el Papa quisiera cambiar algo tendría que echarlos”

[Argentine survivors of clergy abuse: “If the Pope wanted to change something, he would have to throw them out”]

ARGENTINA
Clarín

February 23, 2019

By Mariana Iglesias

Mientras la Iglesia discute en Roma, la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico en la Argentina tiene confirmados 40 casos. Creen que hay por lo menos 100 curas abusadores en el país.

Mailin llora. Todavía llora. Tiene 31 años. El cura la abusó mucho tiempo atrás. Se acuerda escenas, algunas claras, otras borrosas. Hay días que le aparecen situaciones nuevas, cualquier cosa las trae a su cabeza. Aún no sanó. Se pregunta si llegará el día en que eso ocurra.

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“Pude contar la basura que era, fue liberador”, dice una de las víctimas del cura “payador”

[“Telling the judges what trash he was, it was liberating,” says victim of accused “payador” priest]

ARGENTINA
Clarín

March 30, 2019

By Mariana Iglesias

A Pablo Huck le llevó 22 años denunciar a Marcelino Moya, quien lo atacó cuando era adolescente. Este jueves comenzó el juicio.

A Pablo Huck le llevó 22 años denunciar al cura que lo había abusado durante casi dos años en su adolescencia. Este jueves empezó el juicio contra el sacerdote y él lo tuvo ahí, bien cerca. Ante los jueces, pudo decir que Marcelino Moya, así se llama el acusado, era “un hijo de puta”, “una mierda de persona”, “un delincuente”. Pablo lo dijo con voz temblorosa, pero la frente bien alta. El cura no levantó la mirada del piso.

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Cardenal Errázuriz se defiende de cargos en su contra: “Está claro que nunca encubrí a Karadima”

[Cardinal Errázuriz defends himself: “It is clear I never covered up for Karadima”]

CHILE
BioBioChile

March 29, 2019

By Matías Vega and Nicole Martínez

Por más de seis horas declaró como imputado el cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz en la Fiscalía Centro Norte, por encubrimiento y falso testimonio. Fue en esta segunda jornada en la que el religioso defendió su inocencia, descartando encubrimiento de su parte en el caso Karadima. Son 10 casos por lo que fue consultado en esta arista. Estos incluyen cargos por falso testimonio, al asegurar que no había cerrado la indagatoria del caso Karadima, cuando una carta al nuncio Giuseppe Pinto decía lo contrario.

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Obispo de Los Ángeles por fallo a favor de víctimas de Karadima: Esperamos ya que se cierre el caso

[Los Ángeles bishop on Karadima compensation: We hope that the case will be closed]

CHILE
BioBioChile

March 30, 2019

By Matías Vega and Esteban Sepúlveda

El obispo de Los Ángeles, Felipe Bacarreza, deslizó dudas de que la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago haya tenido todos los antecedentes para ordenar el pago de $100 millones de pesos a las víctimas del sacerdote Fernando Karadima. El prelado catalogó, sin embargo, como un crimen los casos de abuso sexual por los que fue acusado el exsacerdote de El Bosque.

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Chicago Archdiocese is quietly using cemetery cash to pay priest sex abuse costs

CHICAGO (IL)
Sun Times

March 29, 2019

By Robert Herguth

For years, the Catholic Church in Chicago has said it enlists two revenue sources to pay for settlements and other costs related to priest sex abuse cases: loans and the sale of property.

But a Chicago Sun-Times examination found the church has been using money from its cemetery system to help pay down nagging debt related to sex misconduct — which at last count was more than $200 million — without telling the public.

A source with knowledge of the operations of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the arm of the church for Cook and Lake counties overseen by Cardinal Blase Cupich, said about $8 million a year has been shifted from the cemetery system to pay down that debt.

Neither Betsy Bohlen, chief operating officer of the archdiocese, nor Cupich would comment. But church spokeswoman Paula Waters said in a statement:

“Investment earnings on cemeteries assets are used to help fund annual debt payments. These investment earnings are over and above what is needed for the proper care of our cemeteries. We take all of our obligations seriously and discharge them responsibly.”

Waters wouldn’t answer questions about the church’s debt and whether the church has been less than straightforward by failing to disclose this revenue stream until now.

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Pope Francis Issues a New Definition of “Vulnerable” Adult

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Agency

March 29, 2019

By Ed Condon

Pope Francis issued a new set of canonical norms Friday strengthening existing laws on sexual abuse for the Vatican City State and the Roman Curia.

The new norms introduce a mandatory reporting requirement for curial officials and employees who become aware of – or even suspect – a case of sexual abuse. But the most eye-catching change made by the pope was a redefinition of who can be a victim of sexual abuse.

Canon and Vatican City law obviously focus on the sexual abuse of minors. But in that same legal category is the abuse of “vulnerable” adults. How “vulnerable” adults are defined in law has been hotly contested in recent discussions of scandal and reform in the Church.

The new laws define a vulnerable person very broadly, including anyone “in an infirm state, of physical or mental deficiency, or deprivation of personal freedom, that in fact, even occasionally, limits their capacity to intend or to want or in any way to resist the offense.”

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Connecticut priest accused of sexual assault also helped teen build pipe bomb

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Connecticut Post

March 31, 2019

By Julia Perkins

One of the Connecticut priests accused of sexual abuse was also sentenced to prison for helping a teen build a pipe bomb.

Father Paul Gotta, who pleaded guilty in 2016 on explosives and firearms charges, was one of the 36 priests the Archdiocese of Hartford named earlier this year as being credibly accused of abuse since 1953. Most of these accusations involved children.

Gotta served in New Haven, Hamden, East Windsor and several other Connecticut towns, the Republican-American reported. He was a sacramental minister at Southern Connecticut State University and a part-time chaplain at Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, among other positions in the Catholic church, according to the Republican-American.

He was suspended from the priesthood in 2013 after he was accused of sexually assaulting a minor, according to the Associated Press.

The arrest warrant accused Gotta of telling the teenage boy who did odd jobs at East Windsor’s St. Philip Church and St. Catherine Church that he would not get paid unless the boy stripped naked, according to the Journal Inquirer. Gotta also performed sexual acts on the teen and forced him to illegally purchase a gun, the outlet reported the arrest warrant as saying. The abuse occurred between January 2012 and February 2013.

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Is Attorney General Just Seeking Favorable Publicity?

WHEELING (WV)
The Intelligencer

March 31, 2019

By H. John Rogers

It is a very dangerous thing when the government seeks to regulate or control religion for any reason. The First Amendment has long been construed by the courts to require “a wall of separation” between church and state.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has sued the Catholic Church in West Virginia over the past conduct of its priests and hierarchy. The basic charge in that the church knowingly hired pedophiles and did not conduct background checks on employees for schools and camps operated by the diocese. In the past!

For all practical purposes, the diocese has admitted these allegations. To the extent that they are crimes, the attorney general has absolutely no authority to deal with them. The power to initiate criminal proceedings is vested exclusively in the 55 local county prosecuting attorneys. The attorney general cannot even suggest a course of action to a local prosecuting attorney. Since there is absolutely nothing that the attorney general can do about even admitted criminal conduct in the past, this suit must be an attempt enjoin criminal conduct in the future.

The problem is that the civil law will not normally countenance an attempt to proscribe criminal conduct in the future. For example, the state cannot sue someone to prevent that person from robbing a bank or selling drugs, even if it is established as an absolute certainty that the crime will occur.

The asserted statutory basis for the suit here is the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act. If a totally unqualified person were made head of West Virginia University, would an aggrieved student (or parent) have standing to sue? More importantly, could the attorney general bring a class action law suit on behalf of all the parents who paid good money for their children to attend a school and later discovered that the school had an incompetent president? Isn’t this precisely what the attorney general is trying to do here?

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Selling people the Vatican “gets it” on abuse a challenge right now

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

Mar 31, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

Having just returned from an 18-day swing through the U.S. that took us to Boston, Denver, South Bend, Anaheim, Simi Valley, Whittier and Detroit, here’s probably the most common question I got along the way from American Catholics vis-à-vis the home office in Rome: “Do those guys over there get it?”

The “it” refers to the clerical sexual abuse crisis, and, more specifically, the gravity and depth of the situation as experienced by American Catholics over the last several months, and thus the perceived need for urgent and dramatic action.

Obviously, it would have been great if my answer could have been, “Yeah, absolutely, of course.” That would have been reassuring to the people we met, and also would have made the lives of the pastors, parish ministers and bishops we encountered infinitely easier.

Alas, recent experience dictates a more complicated response. To grasp why, let’s consider developments in just the last few days.

To begin, last week a Vatican-backed investigation commenced in the Argentine diocese of Oran regarding accusations of both sexual and financial misconduct against its former shepherd, Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, who’s now the number two official in the Vatican’s Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, meaning its main financial administration center.

Archbishop Carlos Alberto Sánchez of neighboring Tucumán has been assigned to conduct the probe, which apparently will involve interviewing seminarians who’ve claimed to be victims of abuse by Zanchetta.

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Turning point for child sex abuse laws

PROVIDENCE (RI)
WJLA TV

March 26, 2019

By Katie Davis

Across the country, thousands of people have been identified as victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests when they were children. Yet many of these survivors never got their day in court because it’s too late for criminal charges and civil statutes of limitations didn’t allow them to file a lawsuit.

Psychologist Ann Hagan Webb, herself a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, now counsels other victims.

“I have never met a survivor who wanted change for themselves. They just don’t want it to happen to other children,” she said.

Webb is advocating for changes to state laws that would give adult survivors more time to take legal action, in part because many people don’t remember or acknowledge childhood sexual abuse until decades later. She said she started to recall the abuse she endured only when she was in her 40s, after having her own children. It’s something she’s also heard from many of her patients.

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Counselor explains importance of talking to your children about sexual abuse

WICHITA (KS)
KWCH TV

March 30, 2019

Decades after losing her son to suicide, Janet Patterson wants to make sure parents are talking with their children about sexual abuse.

“The main thing is if you’re free to talk about what’s going on, they’ll feel more free to bring it up if there’s a problem,” Patterson said.

Sharilyn Ray is the founder and CEO of Restoration Family Services. She has years of experience working with sexually abused children.

Ray says parents should start the conversation at a young age.

“I think as early as they are able to comprehend body parts,” Ray said. “We’re working with our young ones on ear, nose, mouth eyes, but also teaching them names for their private parts. It is during that time they can recognize what areas are their own personal space.”

Ray says use the technical names – not nicknames or slang terms. She says anything that’s covered with a swimsuit should be taught as a private area.

As children get older, parents need to continue to have that conversation. Rays says the majority of abuse happens by someone kids know and trust. So anytime they spend time away, ask them if anything happened. If anyone touched them where they shouldn’t

“Did someone make you feel uncomfortable in any way? Even asking “do you feel like someone invaded your bubble space?” Just to get them used to having that conversation with you and that door to be open,” Ray said.

She says it’s a conversation you should have often and don’t let your kids believe it’s a taboo topic.

“This is a picture of Eric when he was in high school and he had that detached look on his face. You see your child like this and you see them happy the next day and when you try to find out, they’re just naturally not going to say anything so its hard,” Patterson said.

“You have to work through the nonverbal stuff to get to the verbal,” Say said. “Sometimes a simple hug goes a long way, and silence goes a long way. Sometimes you have to build up to that comfortable place to where your kid can just word vomit to you.”

Rays says parents need to make sure to keep the guilt off their child.

“If you’re a victim, you’re a victim. You do not have control over someone’s actions. If you say no or you’re not inviting that, then it shouldn’t happen have,” Ray said.

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House may act soon to reform child sex abuse laws, but some victims are angry over change in strategy

HARRISBURG (PA)
Patriot News

March 28, 2019

By Ivey DeJesus and Jan Murphy

After years of failed efforts to reform Pennsylvania’s child sex crime laws, a pair of House lawmakers this week served up the latest attempt at addressing remedies for thousands of adults who were sexually abused as children – and are looking for quick action on it.

Historically, victims of abuse have been among the most strident supporters of such efforts. This time, however, the proposals are engendering mixed reactions among victims, including outrage.

On Wednesday afternoon, state House Representatives Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) and Jim Gregory, (R-Blair) introduced House bills 962 and 963 respectively. Leaders ushered the bills swiftly into the House Judiciary Committee without seeking co-sponsors or holding a press conference.

Rozzi’s bill, House Bill 962, would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations on child sex crimes going forward; victims now must pursue criminal complaints by age 50. The bill would also raise the age limit for filing a civil claim arising out of child sexual abuse to 55, from the current age of 30.

However, Rozzi’s bill does not include what he and victims have long demanded: a retroactive window for victims to file civil suits even if they are beyond the statute of limitations.

Gregory’s House Bill 963 calls for a constitutional amendment to the remedies clause, which would pave the way for a retroactive window for victims who have timed out of the court system. The measure is designed to address concerns that such retroactive windows are unconstitutional, an argument that has been the main sticking point of detractors in efforts to reform child sex abuse laws.

Both bills are scheduled for consideration by the judiciary committee on April 8, which could tee them up for a possible vote by the full House as soon as April 10.

“I’ve been working closely with House leadership and the prime sponsors to make sure that we expeditiously address the issue for the victims in Pennsylvania, looking at the best way to address the grand jury report,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin County. “This is the way we fashioned to move forward obviously to get the best product and move it in a speedy fashion.”

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Texas pastor who leads Baptist search didn’t stop alleged abuse at Dallas-area church

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

March 29, 2019

By Lise Olsen

For the past few months, pastor Steve Swofford of First Baptist Church in Rockwall has led a national search committee tasked with finding a leader to guide the Southern Baptist Convention through a national sex abuse crisis.

That six-member committee is expected to name a new president of the SBC Executive Committee on April 2 — weeks after the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News published an investigation into sexual abuse in Southern Baptist churches. In response to the series, “Abuse of Faith,” other SBC leaders already have promised to probe churches whose leaders knowingly harbored child abusers.

But Swofford has never spoken publicly about a scandal closer to home: allegations that a former youth pastor and the youth pastor’s assistant each molested prepubescent boys from his own church in the 1990s, according to interviews and information the Chronicle obtained from civil lawsuits and Harris County criminal records.

Swofford has been pastor of the church east of Dallas since 1989, according to the church’s web site. Though allegations made by one former youth group member received publicity after his family filed suit in 2015, most of what was alleged about the two men’s sexual abuse of minors in Swofford’s church in the late 1980s and early 1990s has not before been reported.

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Diocese of Trenton removes Holmdel priest after ‘credible’ sexual abuse allegation

ASBURY PARK (NJ)
Asbury Park Press

March 30, 2019

By Erik Larsen

A recent and “credible” allegation of sexual abuse of a child from decades ago has been made against the Rev. Gregory D. Vaughan, who has served as pastor of the Church of St. Catharine in Holmdel since 2013, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton announced Saturday night.

“The alleged abuse dates back to the late 1970s and early 1980s when Monsignor Vaughan was a parochial vicar in St. Ann Parish, Keansburg,” the prepared statement from the Trenton diocese read. “In the interest of protecting the victim’s privacy, the diocese will not disclose further details of the alleged abuse. This is the first and only allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Monsignor Vaughan reported to the diocese.”

The allegation was reported to the diocese on March 17, according to the statement.

After the allegation was received, the diocese immediately reported the matter to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the statement read.

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Adamec’s legacy, sadly, will forever remain tainted

ALTOONA (PA)
Altoona Mirror

March 31, 2019

The fact that retired Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Joseph V. Adamec was laid to rest on Tuesday will not end reflection on his 24-year-long diocesan leadership role.

Unfortunately, but deservedly, much of that reflection will focus on his failures tied to the diocese’s clergy sex-abuse scandal, the scope of which remained unknown until about five years after he retired in 2011.

It was in early 2016 that the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General released a state investigatory grand jury report detailing decades of abuse inflicted on young people by predator priests.

Beyond that, the report focused on a cover-up by the diocese that allowed those predator priests to continue to serve and gave them the opportunity to victimize more young people.

The report placed much of the responsibility for that sordid, unconscionable situation on Adamec and his predecessor, Bishop James J. Hogan.

Adamec was presumed to be well prepared for priestly responsibilities at the time of his ordination in 1960, and he also was deemed well-prepared for much broader responsibilities when he was named Hogan’s successor in 1987.

Unfortunately, he proved himself ill prepared for dealing correctly with the terrible abuse scandal that will be linked forever to his and Hogan’s names — for their inaction rather than actions.

Adamec knew that his ordination as a bishop didn’t make him infallible, but that didn’t excuse him from being a leader at addressing a despicable situation that was destined — rightly — not to remain under wraps forever.

By trying to protect the Catholic Church from the logical fallout that he knew would be forthcoming if the abuse ever became public knowledge, he exacerbated the negative fallout instead.

An article in last Sunday’s Mirror reported a quote indicating that in death Adamec “is only facing one judge.”

For believers in God and an afterlife, that is the accepted assumption.

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‘I continue to be optimistic,’ Attorney General Josh Shapiro says as Pa. House kick-starts reforms on child sexual abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
Pennsylvania Capital Star

March 29, 2019

By John L. Micek

Eight months after his office released a landmark grand jury report that detailed decades of sexual abuse by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests and a subsequent cover-up, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is still searching for justice for the victims.

“I continue to be optimistic,” Shapiro said Wednesday during a wide-ranging interview with the Capital-Star in his Harrisburg office. “And I know that this has to get done.”

The “this” that Shapiro is talking about are the four recommendations included in the 884-page grand jury report that lays out, in graphic detail, the abuse committed against thousands of children by priests who were shuttled from diocese to diocese, where they were allowed to abuse again.

Those recommendations include eliminating the criminal statute of limitations and the creation of a “civil window” that would allow older victims to sue in civil court.

A push for those changes fell apart last fall, on the final day of the 2018 legislative session, when the Republican-controlled state Senate failed to reach a consensus on a plan offered by President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati. Under the proposal, victims would have been able to sue individual perpetrators, but not such institutions as the Catholic Church, which hid the abuse, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported at the time.

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How Attorney Gregory Gianforcaro Grew into the Role of Victims’ Advocate

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Law Journal

March 24, 2019

By Suzette Parmley

Monday’s scheduled vote in the Assembly on a bill to remove the civil statute of limitations on certain offenses of child sexual abuse caps a milestone.

Advocates and attorneys who represent victims call it historic, saying lawmakers were finally listening and responding to survivors.

“It’s long overdue,” said plaintiff attorney Gregory Gianforcaro of Phillipsburg, who by his own count has settled more than 200 cases of childhood sexual abuse by clerics within the Catholic Church. “Legislators are finally understanding that the playing field has to be leveled—that there has to be a level field between the victim and the entity that was complicit in regards to the abuse.

“What this bill does, this is the legislators saying, ‘We hear your cries.’ We understand your arguments, and we acknowledge that it does take decades to come out. The average age of a victim of sexual abuse, when they are … courageous enough to disclose the abuse, is 53.”

S-477 was approved by the full Senate by a 32-1 vote on March 14. Its counterpart, A-3648, is expected to pass the Assembly in similar fashion, and Gov. Murphy is expected to sign it.

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El arzobispo Fernández dio una misa con Lorenzo, el cura denunciado por abuso

[Archbishop Fernandez celebrated mass with Lorenzo, priest accused of abuse]

ARGENTINA
Pulso Noticias

March 26, 2019

By Estefanía Velo

Fue este domingo 24 de marzo en la iglesia Inmaculada Madre de Dios de Gonnet, donde está a cargo el párroco Eduardo Lorenzo acusado de abusar a un menor. En el mismo día del aniversario del golpe cívico-militar-eclesiástico en nuestro país, ninguno de los curas hizo mención a dicho suceso

Este domingo 24 por la noche la iglesia de la comunidad de Gonnet tuvo un invitado especial: el arzobispo platense Víctor Manuel “Tucho” Fernández quien acompañó en su misa dominical al encargado de la parroquia: Eduardo Lorenzo.

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“Vamos a investigar los abusos y ayudar a la Justicia”, dijo Uriona

[Uriona: “We are going to investigate the abuses and help Justice”]

ARGENTINA
Puntal

March 26, 2019

El obispo señaló que están dispuestos a aportar datos en las causas en las que se acusa a sacerdotes de la ciudad y la zona. Rechazó el aborto en los casos de niñas violadas.

El obispo de la Diócesis de Río Cuarto, monseñor Adolfo Uriona, sostuvo que la Iglesia investigará las denuncias de abuso sexual que involucran a sacerdotes y que están dispuestos a colaborar con la Justicia para esclarecer esos casos. En tal sentido, insistió en que el sacerdote Maffini no había sido denunciado anteriormente y que actuaron ni bien tomaron conocimiento de la acusación en su contra en Carnerillo. En otro orden de cosas, indicó que las niñas violadas en Jujuy y Tucumán debieron seguir cursando el embarazo porque “hay que salvar las dos vidas”, pese a que la ley vigente indica lo contrario.

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In N.J. and Pa., two very different responses to clergy abuse

PHILADELPHIA (NJ)
Philadelphia Inquirer

March 29, 2019

By Liz Navratil

When Pennsylvania resident Patty Fortney-Julius took to the microphone at a New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee meeting in early March, she had a clear request: Pass a bill that allows more child sex-abuse victims to sue, a step she and her sisters said is crucial for finding justice.

“It’s heartbreaking to us that the state of Pennsylvania has gotten it all wrong as they continue to put pedophiles and the institutions that cover it up before the victims,” Fortney-Julius said. “We implore you, as representatives of the great state of New Jersey, to not make the same mistake and to get this right today.”

As she and her sisters have done so many times in their home state, Fortney-Julius told their story. She told the committee of her family’s excitement in 1982, when they learned that a priest from New Jersey, the Rev. Augustine Giella, had been selected to run their church, St. John the Evangelist in Enhaut, part of the Harrisburg Diocese.

And then, her voice beginning to tremble, she recounted the time Giella took her and her siblings to a motel in Wildwood, and how he abused one of her younger sisters. The trip, she said, “will haunt us forever.”

On Monday, New Jersey passed a bill that will allow the Fortney sisters and others like them to sue. New York also passed a measure, and similar changes to statutes of limitation are up for consideration in Maryland. Democrats have majorities in all three states.

In Pennsylvania, where Republicans control the agenda, the legislature has been paralyzed.

“This is not a political decision,” Carolyn Fortney, Patty’s sister, who also testified in New Jersey, said during an interview Friday. “I think it’s so disheartening when we hear people say, ‘We need a blue wave movement to do this.’ ”

“This should be a bipartisan issue,” she added, noting that her family includes Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

Like their counterparts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey lawmakers had jockeyed for years over whether to change the statute of limitations.

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Una de las víctimas de abuso del ex sacerdote Moya dijo que “la justicia tiene que dar el ejemplo”

[Victim of sexual abuse by ex-priest Moya says “Justice must set an example”]

ARGENTINA
Télam

March 29, 2019

Pablo Huck, uno de los hombres que denunció por abuso sexual al ex sacerdote Marcelino Ricardo Moya, espera la sentencia que se conocerá la semana próxima en Entre Ríos.

Pablo Huck aseguró que espera que en la sentencia “la Justicia dé el ejemplo para prevenir” y para que “se sepa que si se denuncia, hay condena y pena”. Así lo señaló Huck, quien es médico y estudia psiquiatría, en diálogo con Télam respecto del juicio en el que ya declaró contra el ex sacerdote Moya, sobre quien pesa un pedido de 20 años de prisión efectiva por abuso sexual y corrupción de menores.

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Attorney General Josh Shapiro | Pulling back predator’s cloak to obtain justice

ALTOONA (PA)
Tribune-Democrat

March 30, 2019

By Josh Shapirao

Something extraordinary happened last Monday in Courtroom 3 in the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg.

Over three hours, the statements of 18 victims who were sexually assaulted as young children by a powerful man in Johnstown – Dr. Johnnie Barto, a local pediatrician – were read aloud into the court record.

The collective voices of these brave survivors, describing Barto’s assaults and how it impacted them, were heard – many for the first time in their lives.

“Some may inquire why I hadn’t come forward sooner,” wrote one survivor, who was 5 years old when Dr. Barto assaulted her in his doctor’s office. “The answer is simple – I wasn’t strong enough. But I prayed for the opportunity to use my voice. Finally, my opportunity has come.”

Once every victim’s statement was read aloud, justice was delivered: Cambria County Judge Patrick Kiniry powerfully imposed a sentence of 79 years to 158 years in prison on Dr. Barto for his sexual assaults committed against 31 victims over many years.

After the sentencing, I met with Dr. Barto’s victims and their families in the courthouse.

This is some of what I shared with them.

A reckoning is underway in Pennsylvania and across the United States. From Hollywood to the news industry, from universities to the Catholic church, the time of protecting powerful institutions over people is ending. After a lifetime of not being believed, victims and survivors are being heard – and real action is happening as a result.

In Pennsylvania, a grand jury investigated the rampant sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in six dioceses, took testimony from many victims, and released a groundbreaking report last August that identified 301 predator priests, more than 1,000 victims, and an institutional cover-up running all the way to the Vatican. My office led that investigation.

Across the United States, 16 other state attorneys general have publicly acknowledged opening investigations into sexual abuse by clergy, and more than 1,000 predator priests have been identified in credible allegations. I have spoken personally with 45 attorneys general on how we conducted our probe.

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Abusos sexuales: “La Iglesia tiene privilegios para no colaborar con la Justicia”

[Sexual abuse: “The Church has privileges not to cooperate with Justice”]

ARGENTINA
El Acople

March 26, 2019

Así lo dijo en El Acople el abogado de víctimas de abuso sexual del sacerdote Emilio Lamas, Luis Segovia. “La causa fue elevada a juicio; se está en el procedimiento para ofrecer pruebas y se fijará una audiencia de debate. Fue una investigación vertiginosa con muchísimos actos procesales”, indicó Segovia y estimó que el juicio contra el sacerdote comenzará “antes de la mitad de año”.

En este sentido, el letrado manifestó su satisfacción porque “al menos se llegará a juicio en una causa con muchísima impunidad de por medio”. “En lo que respecta a la causa y en el procedimiento eclesiástico, Lamas apeló la sentencia del tribunal metropolitano, pero no quedó firme, por lo cual en la segunda instancia revisarán sus pruebas por el derecho canónico. No perdió su estado clerical”, indicó el letrado y continuó: “tiene que haber un avance de criterios políticos con el trato con la Iglesia, porque jurídicamente entiendo que la Iglesia con los privilegios que tiene, tiene derecho a no colaborar con la justicia”.

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El confesor de Grassi denunciado por abuso: hablan los padrinos de la víctima del capellán penitenciario

[Confessor of Grassi denounced for abuse: victim’s godparents detail accusation’s against chaplain]

ARGENTINA
TN

March 27, 2019

By Miriam Lewin

Los Frutos son profundamente católicos y respaldaron desde el comienzo la denuncia del chico que quiso suicidarse después del asedio del cura. Aseguran que el acusado es un “peso pesado” y confirman que amenazó de muerte al adolescente para que no hablara.

Adriana y Julio Frutos se consideran los padres de León, el denunciante por abuso sexual del capellán mayor del Servicio Penitenciario Bonaerense Eduardo Lorenzo. Lo conocieron cuando vivía en la calle, en Gonnet, a los 12 años, y desde entonces lo apoyaron y protegieron. En diálogo con TN.com.ar, la víctima dio detalles del calvario que vivió.

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En dos días, Errázuriz declaró por casi 12 horas

[Errázuriz testified for almost 12 hours in two days]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 29, 2019

By E. L. Chekh and J. M. Ojeda

La fiscalía interrogó al cardenal por más de 10 causas distintas. La diligencia concluyó este viernes por la tarde.

“Yo nunca encubrí a Karadima y eso se estableció cuando vino la sentencia de la Corte de Apelaciones. No usa la palabra encubrimiento, porque no es cierto”, dijo el arzobispo emérito de Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz, cuando llegó este viernes por la mañana a la Fiscalía Centro Norte, para declarar en calidad de imputado en la indagatoria por un presunto encubrimiento de casos de abusos del clero. “Vengo a colaborar con la investigación”, destacó el prelado.

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Fiscalía investigará nuevos antecedentes sobre Ezzati tras declaración de Tito Rivera

[Prosecutor will investigate new background on Ezzati after Tito Rivera testifies]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 29, 2019

By Juan Manuel Ojeda G.

El sacerdote fue formalizado por un presunto abuso sexual. Según la fiscalía, su relato sería clave en la investigación contra el cardenal por eventual encubrimiento.

Un interrogatorio de más de seis horas fue el que, hace una semana, prestó el sacerdote Tito Rivera ante la fiscalía de Alta Complejidad de Rancagua. Según conocedores de esa diligencia, su testimonio marcó un nuevo hito en las investigaciones por encubrimiento que lleva adelante el fiscal Emiliano Arias.

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Por denuncias de abusos contra menores reubican casa de hermanos maristas de Instituto Alonso de Ercilla

[Due to abuse accusations, Marist brothers of Instituto Alonso de Ercilla separate residence from school]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 29, 2019

By Angelica Baeza

Los religiosos confirmaron a La Tercera debido a las “situaciones de denuncias por abusos de menores” se “ha determinado que para la tranquilidad de las comunidades educativas, y en atención a la Política de Prevención y Protección que la institución se ha dado, es conveniente separar las residencias de los religiosos, de las instalaciones de los colegios”.

Debido a la serie de denuncias de abuso sexual cometido por sacerdotes que se han dado a conocer en el último y que son investigadas por la fiscalía, la Congregación de Hermanos Maristas confirmó a La Tercera que decidió reubicar la casa de los religiosos del Instituto Alonso de Ercilla hacia una residencia al exterior.

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Vicepresidente del Senado pedirá celeridad para proyecto que busca quitar los privilegios a miembros del clero

[Senate Vice President wants to accelerate efforts to remove clergy privileges and mandate reporting of abuse]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 29, 2019

By Angélica Baeza

Alfonso de Urresti pedirá acelerar el proyecto que busca eliminar privilegios procesales en favor de autoridades eclesiásticas. En la Cámara, en tanto, una iniciativa apunta a que autoridades eclesiásticas estén obligadas a denunciar los delitos cometidos en contra de niños, niñas o adolescentes.

A raíz de la cantidad de denuncias de abusos sexuales al interior de la Iglesia, y de todos los procesos investigativos que se están llevando a cabo, parlamentarios han ingresado al Congreso proyectos de ley que buscan generar la obligación de denunciar por parte de la Iglesia y que serían puestos en tabla para acelerar su despacho.

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Percival Cowley, excapellán de la Moneda: “La jerarquía de la Iglesia eligió defender la institución a toda costa”

[Percival Cowley, Moneda chaplain: “The hierarchy of the Church chose to defend the institution at all costs”]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 30, 2019

By María José Navarrete and María José Ahumada

El excapellán de La Moneda -cuyo testimonio fue clave para que la justicia ordenara a la Iglesia la indemnización de las víctimas del sacerdote Fernando Karadima- señala que la sentencia de la Corte de Apelaciones marca una nueva etapa. “La institución, no cabe duda, es necesaria e importante, pero no es primera, es segunda. La institución es para la persona”, afirma.

“Usted está destruyendo a la Iglesia”. El excapellán de La Moneda Percival Cowley no olvida la frase del excardenal Ricardo Ezzati. Se la dijo por teléfono luego de conocer algunas de sus declaraciones en las que pedía la salida de cuatro obispos provenientes de El Bosque, la parroquia dirigida por Fernando Karadima.

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El “estilo Karadima”, un fantasma que aún pena en la Iglesia

[The “Karadima style” still haunts the Church]

CHILE
La Tercera

March 30, 2019

By M. J. Navarrete

El expárroco ya ni siquiera es sacerdote, pero, para algunos, las esquirlas de esa “mentalidad pastoral” todavía se asoman.

“No olvidemos que la cruz no es el final, que viene la resurrección. Que el pecado, el odio y la maldad no son el final”, afirmó Celestino Aós, administrador apostólico del Arzobispado de Santiago, en su homilía del pasado jueves, en la parroquia de El Bosque. Allí, donde durante décadas reinó Fernando Karadima, se reunió con Sergio Cobo, Eugenio de la Fuente y Alejandro Vial, todos sacerdotes que fueron víctimas de abusos y que pertenecieron a la Pía Unión Sacerdotal, controlada por el expárroco. Para algunos, su influencia y “estilo” -autoritario y abusivo- sigue presente sigilosamente en el clero, a veces incluso de forma inconsciente.

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Shapiro addresses Pennsylvania child sex abuse case with feds, U.S. AG Barr

ALTOONA (PA)
Tribune Democrat

March 30, 2019

By Dave Sutor

When Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro talked with U.S. Attorney General William Barr recently at the White House, he brought up only one subject – child sexual abuse.

The Johnstown area and commonwealth as a whole have been rocked by that issue in recent years.

Locally, in 2016, the state office of attorney general released a report that provided details about abuse and cover-up within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, an investigation that was initiated when accusations arose about Brother Stephen Baker sexually abusing children when working as a trainer at what was then called Bishop McCort High School.

Two years later, another grand jury released a report in which 301 priests were accused of abusing thousands of children throughout six other dioceses – Allentown, Erie, Pittsburgh, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Greensburg and Harrisburg.

That report, released by Shapiro, led to federal prosecutors opening an investigation last October into child sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania. All eight dioceses in the commonwealth, including the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, have been subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Then, earlier this month, Dr. Johnnie “Jack” Barto, a Johnstown area pediatrician, was sentenced to no less than 79 years and up to 158 years in prison for charges related to 31 victims – patients or family members – he sexually abused.

“It was the only issue I raised with him because it’s the most important issue, I think, for the feds to confront at this time,” Shapiro said during a telephone interview on Friday. “I thought it was important that, as the new attorney general, he knew how important I thought it was and knew of my commitment to work with him and his colleagues on it.”

Shapiro had previously discussed the subject with former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

He did not provide details about his meeting with Barr, but characterized it “as a very positive and productive conversation.”

During the interview with The Tribune-Democrat, Shapiro mentioned three similarities between Barto and the dioceses, first saying “just the courage and strength of the survivors and their willingness to come forward and share their truth” was a key takeaway.

He also pointed to how the abusers held roles in the community that provided them protection. “In both the clergy case and the Barto case, it’s an example of the powerful institution – whether it’s the church or this pediatrician, school board, director, church leader – getting his way over the survivors because of their power in the community,” Shapiro said.

Also, in both cases, charges could not be brought by many alleged victims because of Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, which is reached when an individual turns 30 for civil cases and 50 for criminal.

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Fugitive priest accused of abusing boy faces trial

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Associated Press

March 30, 2019

By Mary Hudetz

A priest who was captured in Morocco after fleeing the U.S. decades ago is facing a federal trial on charges that he sexually abused a New Mexico boy in the early 1990s at an Air Force base and veterans’ cemetery.

The trial of 80-year-old Arthur Perrault is set to begin Monday in Santa Fe with jury selection. Prosecutors are expected to call dozens of witnesses, including a former deacon, parents and former military members who knew Perrault in the early 1990s.

Federal authorities have said in court documents that Perrault may have had as many as eight other victims. But the charges against him only involve an 11-year-old altar boy.

The church sent Perrault to New Mexico in the 1960s for treatment at a center for pedophile priests. He was arrested in 2017 in Tangier, where authorities say he had been teaching at an English-language school for children.

Perrault’s case marks a rare federal criminal prosecution of a former Catholic priest in the state where dozens of clergy abuse victims have won more than $50 million in settlements from the Santa Fe Archdiocese, which has filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of the lawsuits.

“It’s great he’s finally being held accountable for what he did,” Michael Norris, a spokesman for the group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said about Perrault. “But I’m also disappointed that some of the bishops that allowed him to be shuffled around aren’t being held accountable.”

Perrault returned to the U.S. in September to face charges of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact. He has pleaded not guilty.

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The late Bishop Eamonn Casey took a lover and fathered a son he then rejected

BELFAST (NORTHERN IRELAND)
Belfast Telegraph

March 30, 2019

For decades he was the Catholic Church’s most charismatic figure in Ireland. He highlighted homelessness and poverty. He drove fast cars and stopped to sing songs with the public as he went about his merry way. That was the public face of Bishop Eamonn Casey.

In his work as chairman of the development agency Trocaire, he was not afraid to put the wind up various Irish cabinet ministers and attack American foreign policy towards poor countries such as El Salvador.

But even at the height of his powers, before his life became mired in scandal, there were those who questioned whether the slogan of Trocaire – ‘Live simply so others may simply live’ – was entirely suitable for a man like Eamonn Casey.

Bishop Casey’s life was anything but simple. He liked to eat in fancy restaurants and drive sports cars at alarming speed. He boasted to his lover, Annie Murphy, that he could dance like Fred Astaire.

By the mid-1980s, his celebrity had reached such celestial heights that RTE offered him a slot for one night hosting the Saturday Live chatshow. He regaled his audience with ‘come-all-ye’ songs and boasted that he knew 400 ballads off by heart.

Like his friend Fr Michael Cleary, who joined him as the warm-up act at the Papal Mass in Galway in 1979, Casey was the bridge between the fusty and reserved old world of the hierarchy, stuck in the 1950s, and the modern media world of soundbites, chat shows and talk radio.

Casey and Cleary, with their populist touch and crowd-pleasing manner, were seen at the time as standard-bearers for the more youthful Church of the future. But this was to unravel in spectacular fashion when news emerged much later of their sons and lovers.

The story of Casey’s affair with American Annie Murphy and how he fathered a son, Peter, helped to shatter the Church’s reputation as the ultimate arbiter of moral values. More recently, in the years before and since his death, Bishop Casey has enjoyed something of a rehabilitation.

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Virginia Passes Mandated Reporting Bill, SNAP Responds

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

March 29, 2019

We are grateful any time state legislators work to pass legislation that will protect children, and so we are glad that this new mandatory reporting bill was passed in Virginia.

At the same time, we are concerned about a loophole present within the bill that makes the reporting requirement not as mandatory as it may seem.

Providing an exemption for communications according to religious definitions of “confidentiality,” means that not all allegations of abuse will be forwarded to law enforcement, something that this law was ostensibly drafted to ensure.

We hope that legislators in Virginia will close this loophole to require that all allegations are reported to authorities, not just some. We also hope that Virginia will continue to pass laws that help protect children and support survivors, such as statutes of limitation reform and the opening of civil windows.

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Former Staten Island priest once accused of “sex-master” antics now suspended by Catholic Church

STATEN ISLAND (NY)
Staten Island Advance

March 30, 2019

By Kyle Lawson and Maura Grunlund

A former Staten Island priest who resigned three years ago amid accusations of paying a “sex-master” with church funds has now officially been suspended and asked to step away permanently.

According to the March 28 print edition of Catholic New York, Rev. Peter Miqueli is prohibited from mass and administering church sacraments after he allegedly violated a 2016 order mandating he “avoid any and all persons or situations that could endanger (his) obligation to perpetual continence or any and all conduct that might cause scandal to the faithful or that would receive publicity in the media…”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan also recommended Miqueli seek voluntary dismissal from the clerical state, according to the article, which did not provide details as to how Miqueli violated the order.

The article was placed on page 16 of the newspaper, and could not be found online. A spokesperson for the Archdiocese did not immediately respond Saturday to a request for comment.

Miqueli resigned at the end of 2015, following a lawsuit that accused him of stealing at least $1 million from parishioners at two churches, including his current parish, St. Frances de Chantal in Throggs Neck, N.Y.

Several worshippers claimed Miqueli, 55, used their money to fuel BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism) sex romps with his “sex master,” Keith Crist, according to the suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

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Sentencing of former priest Ronald Paquin postponed

NORTH ANDOVER (MA)
Eagle Tribune

March 30, 2019

By Mike LaBella

Sentencing planned for Friday for former Haverhill priest Ronald Paquin has been postponed.

According to officials with the York County Superior Court in Maine, sentencing originally scheduled for March 5 was continued to March 29 for a status conference, but Paquin’s defense lawyer requested another continuance, which was granted by Superior Court Justice Wayne Douglas.

Another status conference date is expected to be scheduled in about a week, court officials said.

Paquin continues to be held without bail, they said.

Last November, Paquin was found guilty of sexually abusing a boy from his Haverhill parish during trips to Maine in the 1980s.

Paquin, 76, was convicted of 11 of 24 counts of gross sexual misconduct. He was found not guilty of similar charges related to a second boy. Now grown men, both accusers testified in sometimes graphic detail during the three-day trial. The York County jury deliberated for nearly five fours over a two-day period.

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Indian priest who sexually abused teen girl gets six-year jail term in US

CHENNAI (INDIA)
New Indian Express

March 30, 2019

An Indian former Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage girl in the US, according to a media report.

John Praveen, 38, pleaded guilty in February to sexually touching a 13-year-old girl in the Rapid City church, South Dakota over her clothes last year, Rapid City Journal newspaper reported.

Judge Steven Mandel handed down the sentence on Friday after prosecutors asked for the maximum of one year in prison. Mandel said that was “not adequate” for Praveen’s crime, the report said.

He sentenced Praveen to six years in prison, minus 178 days of time served, and said he would be eligible for parole after three years.

The sentencing came after Praveen pleaded guilty to one count of having sexual contact with a child under the age of 16, a crime that carries a maximum 15-year punishment, the report said.

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List shows Catholic Church has work to do to protect children from abuse

CHARLESTON (SC)
Post and Courier

March 29, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Charleston on Friday released the names of 42 priests it says are credibly accused of child sexual abuse. But it will take more than a list of names for the church to regain the trust of the faithful.

The church must take meaningful action to ensure that children entrusted to its priests are safe. And it must make sure than anyone who preys upon children answers to the judicial process, as would any other citizen in our country.

In announcing the names, the diocese took a welcome step in that direction by encouraging abuse victims to first go to law enforcement before contacting the diocese.

At least 14 other dioceses have released lists of accused priests since a Pennsylvania grand jury last July reported more than 1,000 youths were abused by over 300 priests in that state. It was a shocking revelation made worse by the fact that the church for years covered up for criminals, which allowed the abuse to continue.

At the time, Pope Francis acknowledged the church’s failure to deal with these crimes, the cover-up and its role in perpetuating the abuse.

“We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them,” Francis wrote in a 2,000-word letter addressed to the “People of God.”

It is important to point out that the list released Friday represents a minority of the priests who have ably and honorably served the Diocese of Charleston. But that is little solace to victims and their families who live with the terrible pain inflicted by sexual abuse.

The scope of the allegations across the country points to a deeper cultural problem that the church must address. They have damaged the integrity and authority of the church, which has struggled to come to terms with this great moral stain.

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Chilean abuse crisis first thing to tackle for new Santiago Church leader

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

March 30, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Bishop Celestino Aós, the temporary administrator of the Archdiocese of Santiago in Chile, has an uphill battle ahead of him.

On Thursday, his predecessor Cardinal Javier Errazuriz, went before a local prosecutor to testify as a defendant as part of an investigation into the country’s sprawling sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

A civil court just ordered the archdiocese to pay $450,000 to the survivors of the abuse of one priest, after allegedly covering up the crime; Aós has decided not to appeal.

In addition, he doesn’t have a completely clean track record himself when it comes to handling cases of clerical sexual abuse: When he was the promoter of justice in the diocese of Valparaiso, he allegedly mishandled abuse allegations presented by ex-seminarians against five priests in 2012. He single-handedly investigated the allegations against all of them in three months, and deemed the accusations not credible.

Today, one of the priests is out of the priesthood, and some of the others are being re-investigated.

Mauricio Pulgar, a victim of abuse in the seminary of Valparaiso, told Crux last Saturday that when he had to deal with Aós in 2012, the bishop’s treatment was “inhumane,” and claimed that the prelate helped Bishop Gonzalo Duarte cover up the misconduct.

Yet there are some who are open to giving Aós an opportunity to prove himself as a bishop.

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Catholic Church in SC names priests accused of sex abuse

CHARLESTON (SC)
Associated Press

March 30, 2019

By Jeffrey Collins

The Catholic diocese in South Carolina on Friday released a list of 42 priests with ties to the state who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

All but 11 of the priests on the list released by the Charleston Diocese have died. The list doesn’t specify the parishes or institutions where the priests served.

The list was broken into four parts. Twenty-one priests served in South Carolina. Others were named in a class-action settlement over abuse, had abuse claims from a diocese outside South Carolina or were a visiting priest to the state.

Bishop Robert Guglielmone said he was releasing the list with a heavy heart, but also wanting to assure accountability and transparency.

“It is my fervent hope and prayer that publishing this list will help bring healing to the victims and their families who have been so grievously harmed by the betrayal of priests and Church leadership,” Guglielmone wrote in a note released with the list.

The list was compiled from a review of priest records and the names were reviewed by the Church’s Sexual Abuse Advisory Board. Being included on the list isn’t a finding of guilt, but does mean the allegation either seems to be true or has reasonable grounds to be believed, Guglielmone said.

The release of the names is part of the Catholic Church’s international reckoning with allegations of sex abuse that have proliferated around the world.

“In order to experience a resurgence of holiness, we in the Church must continue to strengthen the protections provided to our children and young people in our parishes and schools. I urge you, the faithful of our Diocese, to participate in this resurgence,” Guglielmone wrote.

The Charleston Diocese covers all of South Carolina, where it estimates about 500,000 people practice the Catholic faith.

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Advocates: Pope Francis’ reporting law ‘falls short’

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

March 29, 2019

By Lisa Kashinsky

Clergy sex abuse survivors and advocates said new legislation from Pope Francis requiring Vatican officials and diplomats to immediately report abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors was a step in the right direction, but faulted the Holy See for keeping his mandate within the confines of the city-state.

The legislation, dated March 26 and made public Friday, requires Catholic Church officials to report accusations of abuse “without delay.” Those who don’t could face fines of up to 5,000 euros or six months’ jail time. It was accompanied by guidelines for protecting children and “vulnerable people,” which Pope Francis wrote was “an integral part of the gospel message that the Church and all its members are called to spread throughout the world.”

The new rules came a month after a Vatican summit on clerical sex abuse left many underwhelmed when it concluded with just a handbook and promises of more work to be done. While this week’s legislation represents a significant step forward in tackling the decades-old issue — and is poised to be a model for the global church — survivors and advocates derided the pope for failing to involve outside law enforcement in his crackdown.

“Laws that make even one child safer should be applauded,” said Anne Barrett Doyle of Waltham-based BishopAccountability. But the Holy See’s approach still fails to “effect change or require the reporting of a child sex crime by clergy to secular law enforcement.”

“It’s a baby step in the right direction,” Doyle said. “However, it falls short of the bold reforms Pope Francis could enact if he chose to do so. He has the power to change universal canon law. He could choose to protect tens of millions of children instead of just a few dozen.”

Zach Hiner, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said, “It just seems like it is more of the same, where this is decades of cases that have shown that the church is incapable of policing itself. If we really want to see change, we should see reports being required to go to independent and secular law enforcement officials.”

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse by priests, said the pope’s legislation “should state that if child abuse is suspected then the secular or civil police should immediately be called.”

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Member of the Catholic Church, priest abuse survivor react to Pope Francis’ new law

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
KRCG TV

March 29, 2019

By Kyreon Lee

On Friday, Pope Francis issued new sex abuse legislation for Vatican personnel and Holy See diplomats that requires the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors, a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church worldwide.

The mandatory reporting provision marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time.

Don Asbee is a representative of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who said the abuse by his former priest started for him at the age of 9. He said the law shouldn’t just be a model for the Catholic Church and only apply to the Vatican City, but be applied to every Catholic Church across the board.

“This should apply to any of the people in positions of the church. If it’s not universal, then it doesn’t have teeth,” Asbee said.

He said if it doesn’t create a system to punish the people in the church abusing, then it isn’t effective.

“The whole cycle of abuse and cover up has got to stop because it’s not a sin, it’s beyond a sin, it’s a crime and it has to be treated accordingly,” Asbee said.

Catholic Church member Kelsie Backues said she thinks this is a step forward for the Catholic Church.

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Diocese of Charleston releases names of 42 SC priests accused of sexual misconduct

CHARLESTON (SC)
Post and Courier

March 29, 2019

By Robert Behre, Gregory Yee and Rickey Dennis

The Roman Catholic Church late Friday released its list of 42 South Carolina priests who have a credible allegation of child sexual misconduct — 10 more than it reported five years ago.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone said the list was released “in the spirit of transparency and accountability.”

He said he hopes publishing the names of the priests will help bring healing to the victims and their families who have been “grievously harmed by the betrayal of priests and church leadership.”

“The victims of sexual abuse and their families have suffered much pain and are understandably hurt and angry,” he said. “We must continue to pray and care for our brothers and sisters who have experienced this trauma inflicted by priests they trusted.

“We also need to honor the courage of those who have come forward to share the most intimate and painful experiences of their entire lives,” he added. “My heart hurts for the victims and the damage this has caused to them and to their families.”

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SNAP Austin urging state to lift statute of limitations on all child sex cases

AUSTIN (TX)
KXAN TV

March 29, 2019

By Brittany Glas

Two months after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin released the names of 22 clergy “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children, victim advocates are calling for reform at the local and state levels.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is fighting for all statute of limitations to be lifted in Texas for child sexual assault cases and encouraging victims to speak out, regardless of how long ago the alleged abuse happened.

According to current Texas law, it no longer matters when victims of child sexual assault report their abuse to law enforcement for potential prosecution. The case can be prosecuted now or 20 years from now — after the report is made. Since Sept. 1, 2007, there is no longer a statute of limitations on these crimes.

“Looking backwards, we still have limited windows for childhood survivors that were abused in the past,” said Carol Midboe, the Austin support group leader for SNAP.

Midboe traveled to Rome last month for the papal clergy abuse summit.

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Diocese of Metuchen failed to name 9 sexually abusive priests in list of credibly accused: advocates

BRIDGEWATER (NJ)
Bridgewater Courier News

March 29, 2019

By Nick Muscavage

Clergy abuse victim advocates claim the Diocese of Metuchen failed to name eight more priests, in addition to one they named previously, accused of child sexual abuse in its list of credibly accused clergy it released last month.

According to Mark Crawford, New Jersey director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), at least two priests alleged to have sexually abused children, in addition to the Rev. Romano Ferraro who they previously named, were also assigned to St. John Vianney Church in the Colonia section.

The namings by Crawford come on the heels of advocates meeting outside the church Thursday to release documents depicting how the Metuchen Diocese accepted Ferraro, who allegedly abused boys in New York, into its parishes from the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Ferraro, who later was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in Massachusetts for raping a 7-year-old boy there, came to Metuchen in the 1980s under the watch of then-Bishop Theodore McCarrick. McCarrick was defrocked by the Vatican last month after claims of sexual abuse of a child and young adult men were found credible by the church.

The Rev. Edward M. DePaoli
Edward M. DePaoli, who was a priest with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, served at St. John Vianney between 1988 and 1991, according to a write-up of his allegations and criminal history on the website of Horowitz Law.

DePaoli was convicted in 1986 of receiving child pornography through the mail, according to a 2005 grand jury report cited on www.adamhorowitzlaw.com. DePaoli went for treatment in 1986 after his arrest, which proved unsuccessful, according to the post.

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UD professor: New Vatican abuse policy could lift ‘culture of secrecy’

DAYTON (OH)
Daily News

March 29, 2019

By Thomas Gnau

A new directive requiring Vatican City personnel and diplomats to immediately report abuse allegations may represent a step toward lifting a “culture of secrecy” at the independent city-state that anchors the Catholic Church worldwide, said Dennis Doyle, a Catholic theologian and professor at the University of Dayton.

“It’s almost similar to what you find in police departments,” Doyle said Friday. “Some people are corrupt; some people are not. But people are reluctant to turn in other people.

The mandatory reporting provision, while limited in scope, marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time, the Associated Press reported.

Added Doyle: “This makes it actually a crime not to report incidents of sex abuse. And it specifies whom this has to be reported to, which are the Vatican prosecutors, who are going to be trained to rise above the culture of secrecy.”

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Aós anuncia visita a Roma: Se reunirá con el Papa Francisco la próxima semana

[Aós announces visit to Rome: He will meet Pope Francis next week]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

March 29, 2019

By Consuelo Ferrer

El nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago anunció a los trabajadores del arzobispado que sostendrá un encuentro con el Pontífice.

“Mis prioridades en la Iglesia de Santiago son claras: el evangelio. Ese es mi manual de instrucciones”. Fueron las palabras emitidas por nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago, el obispo Celestino Aós Braco, durante su primer saludo a los trabajadores del Arzobispado de Santiago.

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Abogado de denunciantes de Karadima dice que Arzobispado debiese indemnizar también a las víctimas del “cura Tato”

[Lawyer for Karadmina whistleblowers says Archdiocese should also compensate victims of “priest Tato”]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

March 29, 2019

By Tomás Molina J.

Juan Pablo Hermosilla afirmó que la Iglesia tiene esa “obligación ética” y dijo que sería un “gesto increíble”. Respecto del reciente fallo de la Corte de Apelaciones, afirmó que este podría ser “el primero que establece una separación real entre la Iglesia y el Estado”.

El abogado de los denunciantes del ex sacerdote Fernando Karadima, Juan Pablo Hermosilla, analizó esta mañana los alcances del reciente fallo de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago, el cual determinó que el Arzobispado capitalino debe pagar $300 millones a sus representados, resolución a la que la arquidiócesis decidió no apelar.

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Aós responde a cuestionamientos: Afirma que envió a España a sacerdote denunciado por “problemas de salud”

[Aós responds to questions: Affirms he sent an accused priest to Spain for “health problems”]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

March 29, 2019

By Ignacio Guerra

El nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago aseguró que Antonio Vargas viajó a Europa porque en Chile “no podía atenderse”, justo cuando lo habían acusado de “actitudes inapropiadas”.

Celestino Aós salió a responder los primeros cuestionamientos que surgieron en su contra como nuevo administrador apostólico de Santiago, que apuntan a que envió a España al párroco Antonio Vargas cuando era acusado de “actitudes inapropiadas” con mujeres y menores, en septiembre del año pasado. Luego de sostener una reunión con sacerdotes que sufrieron abusos por parte de Fernando Karadima este jueves, el ex obispo de Copiapó aseguró que su decisión se debió a que Vargas se encontraba enfermo, y no a una maniobra de encubrimiento.

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Con arraigo nacional y arresto domiciliario nocturno quedó Tito Rivera tras formalización por abuso

[Tito Rivera goes to court for abuse, nighttime house arrest set]

CHILE
BioBioChile

March 29, 2019

By Felipe Delgado and Nicole Martínez

El religioso Tito Rivera fue formalizado este viernes en el 13° Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago por la acusación de un presunto abuso sexual ocurrido al interior de la Catedral Metropolitana. En un comienzo se habló del delito de violación, pero hoy se presentaron los hechos como abusos sexuales que incluyen sexo oral y tocaciones.

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Angry supporters of Father Joseph Tran ‘confronting’ mothers and daughters over child abuse claims

PERTH (AUSTRALIA)
The West Australian

March 29, 2019

By Gabrielle Knowles

Angry supporters of suspected paedophile priest Father Joseph Tran have been urged to stop a witch-hunt for the alleged child victim and her family.

A “number” of mothers and daughters have allegedly been accused by other Catholics of being the ones who made the sex abuse complaint about the hugely popular priest.

The 49-year-old is suspected of taking his own life last Thursday after being confronted by the mother of his alleged victim.

Father Ted Miller said yesterday no one should “hound” a person or their mother for making a complaint to police and pleaded for anyone who was angry to stay calm.

A parishioner, in a post on a Facebook page created as a tribute to Father Tran, said it was understandable people were angry, upset, defensive and wanted “clarification”.

But she also urged people to respect the privacy of the family involved and said the confrontations were “traumatising” for people being falsely accused.

Police are continuing to investigate allegations that Father Tran sexually abused a girl, now aged 13, over several years.

Inquiries include searching the 49-year-old’s parish home at Armadale’s St Francis Xavier, checking his electronic devices and interviewing the alleged victim and any witnesses.

Police are keen to talk to anyone who has information that can assist their investigation.

They have refused to say if anyone else has come forward with allegations of abuse at the hands of the priest, who moved to Armadale a year ago after 15 years at Whitfords parish.

The findings of the child abuse squad investigation will form part of the report being prepared for the Coroner into Father Tran’s death and will be revealed only through an inquest.

It is believed Father Tran, who worked as a chaplain at several Catholic Perth schools, died of a self-inflicted wound.

His death came the same day the police investigation was launched.

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Former Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory may lead diocese in Washington, D.C., report says

BELLEVILLE (IL)
News Democrat

March 29, 2019

By Lexi Cortes

Former Belleville Bishop Wilton Gregory could soon become one of the most influential Churchmen in the nation, according to a report from a Catholic news outlet.

The Catholic News Agency reported Thursday that Gregory, 71, has been asked to serve as the next archbishop of Washington, D.C.

It wasn’t clear whether he accepted Pope Francis’ appointment as of Friday. Gregory did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Belleville News-Democrat or CNA.

Gregory came to the Diocese of Belleville from his hometown of Chicago in 1994. He served as Belleville’s bishop until 2005, when he became the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

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Salina Diocese releases names of clergy in sex abuse investigation

SALINA (KS)
KWCH TV

March 29, 2019

The Catholic Diocese of Salina says an investigation has found 14 clergy members with “substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.”

Last September, Bishop Gerald Vincke hired the independent outside counsel of Cottonwood Law LLC. of Hillsboro to conduct a thorough review of clergy personnel files and identify any potential cases of clergy misconduct with minors.

The report found 14 cases of diocesan clergy abuse of a minor. None of the 14 priests are in active ministry today.

At this time, the Diocese of Salina is only releasing the names of clerics with substantiated allegations of abuse of a minor. Any cleric with an allegation of abuse of a minor that is unsubstantiated has been excluded from the list.

The KBI began it’s own investigation into reports of clergy sexual abuse at the beginning of February. The Catholic Diocese of Salina is one of four dioceses in Kansas that the special KBI task force is investigating.

The names of the 14 priests were released on the Diocese website.

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Former Manhattan priest one of 14 in diocese who church says sexually abused children

MANHATTAN (KS)
The Mercury

March 29, 2019

By Megan Moser

Three men have alleged that the Catholic priest who was superintendent of Seven Dolors Grade School and Luckey High School in the 1950s and 1960s sexually abused them while they were students there.

In an anonymous account, the three men wrote that Monsignor William Merchant, who died in 1975, molested and sexually assaulted them and other boys at the school.

The Catholic Diocese of Salina on Friday released a list of 14 clergy members within the diocese against whom there have been substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. The report listed Merchant and two other priests (more information below) who had served in Manhattan since the 1950s, and several more who served at other area churches.

The account by the men Merchant abused while they were students and altar boys was included with the report.

“Merchant was a pedophile and sexual predator who ruthlessly exploited grade school and high school children over an extended period of time,” they wrote. “In our collective opinion, Msgr. Merchant’s avocation was masquerading as a Catholic priest while pursuing his true vocation as an aggressive sexual predator. His position as the superintendent of schools offered him a replenishable supply of victims to satisfy his perversity.”

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Pa. religious orders targeted in New Mexico clergy abuse case

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Associated Press

March 29, 2019

By Susan Montoya Bryan

Religious orders once associated with a now-shuttered Catholic boarding school for Native Americans are being accused of failing to protect students from sexual abuse by clergy and faculty.

An Ohio-based order of Franciscan Friars and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, headquartered in Pennsylvania, are named as defendants in a lawsuit filed this week in a New Mexico court by a team of lawyers that has represented dozens of abuse survivors over the years.

The accusations center on a student who attended St. Catherine’s Indian School in Santa Fe during the 1980s, but attorneys for the unnamed plaintiff say the case speaks to broader issues.

The case comes as the Catholic church wrestles with a sex abuse and cover-up scandal that has spanned the globe. New Mexico’s largest diocese is among the religious organizations seeking bankruptcy protection as a result, having spending more than $50 million over the years to settle hundreds of lawsuits.

The latest case surfaced as the plaintiff’s legal team was preparing a claim against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe as part of the bankruptcy case. While the archdiocese is currently immune from separate claims outside the bankruptcy proceedings, lawyers say civil cases can be brought against other religious organizations that might be accused of bearing some responsibility.

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Catholic News Agency: Gregory to be named archbishop of Washington

ATLANTA (GA)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

March 29, 2019

By Shelia Poole

The Catholic News Agency is reporting that Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, 71, will be named the new archbishop of Washington, D.C.

According to the CNA, Pope Francis is expected to make an announcement as early as next week. The pontiff is facing a church crisis over the sexual abuse scandals in the United States and overseas.The Archdiocese of Atlanta could not be reached for comment. Gregory is the sixth Archbishop of Atlanta.Related: Atlanta archdiocese releases names of those “credibly” accused of abuse He would succeed Cardinal Donald Wuerl as archbishop of Washington, D.C. Pope Francis accepted Wuerl’s resignation last year. He is the former bishop of Pittsburgh.

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Austin man accused former minister of molesting him

AUSTIN (TX)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Then, ex-pastor sued him for defamation

However, the suit was dropped before the initial court hearing

SNAP tells victims “If you were assaulted, speak out, don’t be intimidated”

Group also calls on church officials to help reform abuser friendly laws

WHAT

Holding signs and childhood photos at a State Capitol news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that an Austin man
–accused a best-selling author, ex-Evangelical/Baptist pastor and Christian literary agent of molesting him as a child,
–was sued by the alleged abuser for defamation, but
–has found other victims of the same alleged perpetrator.

They will also call on local church officials to join with victims in pushing for real legislative reform, like inclusion of victims in shield laws and repealing Texas’ “abuser-friendly statutes of limitations” so survivors can have their day in court.

WHEN
Friday, March 29th at 8:30 a.m.

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Pope Francis issues new law requiring Vatican officials to report sexual abuse allegations ‘without delay’

ROME (ITALY)
Fox News

March 29, 2019

By Danielle Wallace

Pope Francis announced Friday a new mandatory reporting provision in the Vatican that requires all personnel and Holy See diplomats to report allegations of abuse “without delay” or risk facing fines or jail time.

Francis also implemented child protection measures for Vatican City State and its youth seminary in order to protect minors from predatory priests. The new legislation for the first time explicitly defines “vulnerable people” who would receive the same protections from the church as children.

Vatican public officials must report allegations of abuse to Vatican prosecutors in a timely manner to avoid being fined up to $5,615. Members of the Vatican police and security force who don’t report sex crimes could serve a jail sentence.

The Vatican defines a “vulnerable person” as an individual impaired by a physical or psychiatric deficiency, unable to exercise personal freedom and unable to understand or resist the crime. The city state added protections for “vulnerable adults” in the past but never gave a legal definition of the term.

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Bishop of Chester hands over safeguarding responsibilities after retired priest convicted

CHESHIRE (ENGLAND)
Cheshire Chronicle

March 29, 2019

The Bishop of Chester has handed over safeguarding responsibilities after he was criticised for how the case of retired priest Gordon Dickenson was handled.

Dickenson was jailed on Friday, March 15 at Liverpool Crown Court after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a boy more than 40 years ago.

During a police investigation in 2017, a letter to the Diocese of Chester came to light.

The letter, dated 2009, had been sent by Dickenson to the Diocese and detailed the accusations against him.

Following its release, Bishop Peter Forster was heavily criticised for his lack of action at the time, and the Diocese of Chester issued an apology to the sexual abuse survivor .

Now, Bishop Forster has come forward to say he will no longer be in charge of safeguarding responsibilities following the incident.

Instead, the Bishop of Birkenhead, Keith Sinclair, will take the lead on decisions regarding safeguarding.

In a statement Bishop Peter Forster said: “I have asked the Bishop of Birkenhead, Keith Sinclair, to lead on all safeguarding arrangements in the Diocese of Chester and have formally delegated this responsibility to him with immediate effect.

“I have taken this decision in response to recent comment into my handling of the Gordon Dickenson case in 2009.

“An independent review will seek to identify where any failures in procedures arose, and what lessons can be learned and I look forward to contributing to the review and to giving a full account of my actions in relation to this matter.

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Taking stock of the clergy sexual abuse crisis: Holding bishops accountable

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

March 29, 2019

By Thomas Reese

When people were first confronted with the extent of Catholic priests’ sexual abuse of children, they were angry. But when, in the early 2000s, they learned that their bishops knew about the abuse and did little to stop it, Catholics and even the wider public were outraged.

As the crisis has rolled on, the demand that the bishops be held accountable for not reporting the abuse to the police, for keeping these priests in ministry and for not protecting children has become the focus of state and church inquiries, from the Vatican to attorney general offices across the U.S.

As I explained in my previous column, thanks to the 2002 Dallas Charter and other reforms, the bishops are much better at protecting children today than they were in the past, but what about the bishops who did not do the right thing in the past, and what about bishops who fail in the future?

Many people, including myself and many survivors, would like to see these bishops thrown in jail.

The problem is that until recently, state and federal law did not require a bishop to report such crimes to the police. It is a general principle of common law that people are not required to report a crime of which they are aware.

Today, most states do make clergy mandatory reporters of child abuse, but that was not true when most of the abuse took place. As a result, it is difficult to prosecute bishops who governed prior to the mandatory reporting laws.

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SNAP Disappointed in New Archbishop for Washington, D.C.

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

March 28, 2019

According to a new report, Pope Francis is set to tap Archbishop Wilton Gregory to lead the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

The current Archbishop at the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Gregory enjoys somewhat of a reputation as a “reformer,” largely because he led the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) 2002 Dallas meeting in which church officials adopted their abuse charter. In truth, his track record on abuse is poor.

For example, in 2004 and while serving as USCCB president, he was found in contempt of court for refusing to turn over abuse records.

In another example, Archbishop Gregory was previously accused of keeping abuse records secret and for failing to inform the public about credibly accused priests while he was in charge of the Diocese of Belleville, IL.

Given the months of scandal that has wracked the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., it is critical that church officials install a new leader there who will take up Pope Francis’ call to wage an “all-out battle” against abuse. Based on his track record, we’re not confident that Archbishop Gregory is the right choice.

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GUEST COLUMN: Catholic Church needs an abrupt 180

ST. AUGUSTINE (FL)
St. Augustine Record

March 10, 2019

By Diana Milesko

Carl Hiassen’s March 2 column was right; the pope must confront the pain of Catholic congregants. The survival of the human race depends on morality and religion must be its guardian.

That’s why it’s unacceptable for the Catholic Church’s Meeting on Sexual Abuse (Feb. 24, 2019) to end without a plan. Five strategies have been proposed for years to address these problems. It’s time they were enacted.

1. Abolish celibacy: In 1139, the Church proclaimed clergy must be celibate because clergy were giving their inheritances to their children. With celibacy, and no legitimate heirs, inheritances went to the Church, which became fabulously wealthy. Celibacy is not normal. Pretending to enforce it created massive problems of sexual child abuse and badly damaged the Church.

2. Abolish absolute power: A Pope is infallible in matters of doctrine, (Infallibility Doctrine, 1869). But if a Pope is never wrong on doctrine, when he changes one, he was not infallible when he made it. Yet dogma changes often. It no longer says slavery is moral, coeducation is against natural law, the sun revolves around the earth, anyone not Catholic goes to hell or religious freedom is wrong.

Furthermore, infallibility contradicts St. Paul, who says not only is it wrong, but the Church should not have a Pope at all, who “sits in the Temple of God and gives himself out as if he were God.” (Thess. 2:3-4)

3. Establish sex education for seminarians: Clergy have positions of staggering trust and must be held to the highest ethical standards. Yet, in Catholic seminaries, the rational is that sex education courses create occasions of sin. Yet forbidding them permits clergy to commit atrocious evils then hide behind a plea of ignorance. Clergy must be taught about sexuality; about what is, and what is not, moral.

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Pope demands sex abuse claims be reported in Vatican City

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

March 29, 2019

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis on Friday issued sweeping new sex abuse legislation for Vatican personnel and diplomats that requires the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors, a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church worldwide.

The mandatory reporting provision, while limited in scope, marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time.

Francis also issued child protection guidelines for Vatican City State and its youth seminary, acting after the global sex abuse scandal exploded anew last year and The Associated Press reported that the headquarters of the Catholic Church had no policy to protect children from predator priests.

While the new norms only cover Vatican City State, affiliated institutions and the diplomatic corps, they were still symbolically significant and were welcomed by a former seminarian whose case helped spark the reform.

“I see this as something positive,” Kamil Jarzembowski told the AP.

The law for the first time provides an explicit Vatican definition for “vulnerable people” who are entitled to the same protections as minors under church law. The Vatican amended its canon law covering sex abuse to include “vulnerable adults” in 2010, but never defined it.

According to the new Vatican definition, a vulnerable person is anyone who is sick or suffering from a physical or psychiatric deficiency, isn’t able to exercise personal freedom even on occasion and has a limited capacity to understand or resist the crime.

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Stunning reversal: Judge vacates former youth minister’s sex convictions

OKLAHOMA CITY (OK)
The Christian Chronicle

March 28, 2019

By Bobby Ross Jr.

Charges against Clyde E. Brothers Jr. fell outside Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, new ruling asserts.

A highly publicized Pennsylvania grand jury report last year identified more than 300 predator Catholic priests who had sexually abused over 1,000 children going back decades.

But because the crimes were hidden by the church hierarchy, “almost every instance of abuse we found is too old to be prosecuted,” the statewide investigating body reported.

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Dozens more institutions join redress scheme for abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
SBS News

March 28, 2019

Another 30 institutions have joined the national redress scheme for institutional child abuse victims, ahead of a rally calling for changes to the system.

Another 30 institutions have joined the national redress scheme for institutional child abuse victims.

Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher said the groups joining included 22 Anglican institutions, five Baptist organisations, Scouts Queensland, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta and the Uniting Church in Australia.

“I continue to emphasise the urgency of giving survivors access to redress as soon as they are able,” Mr Fletcher said in a statement on Friday.

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‘I continue to be optimistic,’ Attorney General Josh Shapiro says as Pa. House kick-starts reforms on child sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania Capital-Star

March 29, 2019

By John L. Micek

Eight months after his office released a landmark grand jury report that detailed decades of sexual abuse by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests and a subsequent cover-up, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is still searching for justice for the victims.

“I continue to be optimistic,” Shapiro said Wednesday during a wide-ranging interview with the Capital-Star in his Harrisburg office. “And I know that this has to get done.”

The “this” that Shapiro is talking about are the four recommendations included in the 884-page grand jury report that lays out, in graphic detail, the abuse committed against thousands of children by priests who were shuttled from diocese to diocese, where they were allowed to abuse again.

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Denver-based Catholic order identifies 13 friars with credible sex abuse allegations

DENVER (CO)
KDVR

March 28, 2019

By Eric Ruble

A Denver-based Catholic order identified 13 friars with credible sexual abuse allegations against them Thursday.

The Capuchin Province of St. Conrad is based in Denver and covers Colorado, Kansas and Missouri. It also includes the diocese of Belleville, Peoria and Springfield in Illinois as well as two houses in San Antonio, Texas.

All of the allegations involve either a minor or a vulnerable adult.

Of the 13 friars accused, three are dead and four have left the order. One of the deceased left the order prior to his death. According to the order, none are in active ministry.

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Catholic Archbishop’s refusal to comply with sexual abuse reporting laws ‘disgusting’, child victim says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

March 29, 2019

By Tom Maddocks

The head of a leading child safety organisation has condemned comments made by Canberra’s Catholic Archbishop, who indicated the church would not comply with new laws forcing priests to break the seal of confessional by reporting child sex abuse claims.

Speaking to ABC Radio Canberra, Archbishop for Canberra and Goulburn Christopher Prowse said it was not the church’s role to report crimes, adding that he did not expect the issue of child abuse to be raised in the confessional.

He was responding to reforms passed by the ACT Government last week that would make it an offence for any adult not to report suspected child sexual abuse to police.

The law extends to the Catholic Church confessional.

“All these reportable things, deal with them please before you come into the confessional so that we don’t have to deal with crime punishment, when we’re really there as experts on the merciful picture of the lord in our midst today,” Archbishop Prowse said.

In a statement the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn said sexual abuse was “both a crime and a sin”, but said the church’s role was not to deal with crime.

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Background checks? Culture shift? Some therapists, members argue Latter-day Saints need to do more to vet their leaders

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

March 29, 2019

By Paighten Harkins

Knowing what he knows now, Richard Ostler said he would have taken a more involved role in his children’s upbringing within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ostler, who is now 58, said that 20 years ago, when he had six children at home, he didn’t meddle much in their interactions with church leaders as they grew older and started having one-on-one conversations with bishops as part of so-called worthiness interviews. Ostler said he didn’t ask any questions about those meetings because it never occurred to him that he should. He trusted his church leaders and his children never said anything was amiss.

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The Abuse Summit: Before, After, and on the Sidelines…

PLATTE CITY (MO)
FSSPX.NEWS

March 28, 2019

A summit for the protection of minors was held in Rome on February 21 – 24, 2019. On its eve, Cardinals Walter Brandmüller and Raymond L. Burke wrote an open letter to all the presidents of the bishops’ conferences, present for the summit.

Before the Summit

They renewed the doubts (dubia) that they expressed at the publication of Amoris Laetitia (March 19, 2016). In 2019 as in 2016, the existence of an absolute moral law “that is without exceptions” is called into question in the name of relativist pastoralism:

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Archbishop Aymond moves to boot priest suspected of child abuse out St. Dominic living quarters

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The New Orleans Advocate

March 28, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Catholic Church officials asked the Dominican order Thursday to move an elderly priest out of his living quarters at St. Dominic’s Priory in Lakeview, a day after a victim-advocacy group exposed his presence on a list of Dominican religious order members who have been credibly accused of child molestation.

The news about Richard Raphael Archer, 89, a retired priest, was contained in a letter that New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond sent to the parents of children at St. Dominic School on Memphis Street. The school serves students in pre-K through 7th grade and is attached to a church and priory on Harrison Avenue.

Archer in December was among those listed in a 24-name roster of Dominican order members in the eastern and southern United States who were suspected child sex abusers, both living and dead. A board reviewing personnel files deemed “an allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor” against Archer as credible. He was removed from public ministry in 2002, when he was assigned to a Metairie-based Dominican province, his order said.

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Nine Colorado-based Capuchin Catholic friars with credible sex assault allegations identified

DENVER (CO)
Denver7ABC

March 28, 2019

By Blair Miller

Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Conrad audit released

The Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Conrad, an order of the Catholic Church based in Denver, on Thursday released an audit report that identifies 13 current or former friars – nine of whom worked in Colorado – who were found to have credible allegations of sexual abuse against minors or vulnerable adults levied against them.

The province said in a news release that two of the friars are dead, five have left the order and the remaining six are not active ministers in the church.

The St. Conrad province was established in 1977 and includes Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, the Dioceses of Belleville, Peoria and Springfield (Illinois), and two houses in San Antonio, Texas in its territory.

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Australian archbishop says priests won’t break confession seal, despite new law

AUSTRALIA
Crux

March 28, 2019

An archbishop in Australia has said priests will not report crimes if that involved breaching the seal of confession, after a new mandatory reporting law was passed in the Australian Capital Territory.

Starting Monday, all people in the territory will have to report allegations of child abuse, including religious ministers who hear the allegation in a confessional. If convicted, those that fail to report face up to two years in jail.

Church law forbids the revelation of any sin admitted in confession under the penalty of excommunication.

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Chilean cardinal goes before prosecutors in sex abuse probe

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press

March 29, 2019

Chilean Cardinal Javier Errazuriz has gone before a local prosecutor to testify as a defendant as part of an investigation into the country’s sprawling sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

Pope Francis removed Errazuriz last year from his informal Cabinet after he became embroiled in the Catholic Church’s scandal. Errazuriz is accused of covering up clerical abuse in at least 10 cases.

The 85-year old cardinal walked into the prosecutor’s office in Santiago on Thursday with the help of a cane. He looked visibly upset and declined to speak to reporters.

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Bishop Paprocki responds to sexual abuse allegations

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
WICS/WRSP

March 28, 2019

By Nikki McGee

The bishop of the Diocese of Springfield is now speaking out for the first time after a report accused 23 clergymen of sexual abuse.

The report was released last week and included the names and histories of hundreds of clergy accused of sexual abuse within the Catholic church.

“We’ve chosen to reveal this information because the Catholic bishops and the religious orders who are in charge and have this information and hold it secret have chosen to conceal it,” Author Jeff Anderson said.

The Diocese of Springfield calls the report “highly misleading” and “irresponsible” and said the information is not new, as those on the list have already been publicly accused.

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Sexually abusive priest sent to Diocese of Metuchen under McCarrick’s watch

WOODBRIDGE (NJ)
Bridgewater Courier News

March 28, 2019

By Nick Muscavage

A priest who was known by the Catholic Church to have allegedly sexually abused boys was sent from New York to a Diocese of Metuchen church under the watch of then-Bishop Theodore McCarrick.

Clergy abuse victim advocates and an attorney representing victims of the Rev. Romano Ferraro’s alleged abuse met Thursday outside St. John Vianney Church in the Colonia section to share documents depicting how Ferraro was transferred from Brooklyn to the Metuchen Diocese.

Church documents and letters shared by attorney Patrick Noaker show how church officials with the Diocese of Brooklyn handled abuse allegations against Ferraro, and how they transferred him to the Diocese of Metuchen with McCarrick’s approval.

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RU to host ‘Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church’ program

ROCKFORD (IL)
rrstar.com

March 28, 2019

The “Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church” program will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 2 at 6:30 p.m. April 2 at Fisher Memorial Chapel at Rockford University, 5050 E. State St.

The Rev. David Beauvais, long time priest and retired pastor from St. James Catholic Church, will lead the discussion; and Register Star Metro Editor Kevin Haas will moderate.

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Battling Catholic corruption: Local priest reflects on abuse in the church

OXFORD (MI)
The Daily Mississippian

March 28, 2019

By Makayla Steede

Accusations of sexual abuse have rocked the Catholic church since 2002. In August 2018, the scandal intensified following an investigation in Pennsylvania that found more than 300 priests accused of child sexual abuse — leaving at least 1,000 survivors.

This report led to further investigations in Illinois, West Virginia, Texas and Mississippi. On March 19, the Catholic Diocese of Jackson released a list of 37 Mississippi clergy members accused of child sexual abuse. Bernard Haddican, one of the 17 priests accused, was a pastor at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, which neighbors the University of Mississippi campus.

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Pope Francis demands sex abuse claims be reported in Vatican City

VATICAN CITY
ABC13

March 29, 2019

Pope Francis on Friday issued sweeping new sex abuse legislation for Vatican personnel and Holy See diplomats that requires the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors, a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church worldwide.

The mandatory reporting provision marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time.

Francis also issued child protection guidelines for Vatican City State and its youth seminary, acting after the global sex abuse scandal exploded anew last year and The Associated Press reported that the headquarters of the Catholic Church had no policy to protect children from predator priests.

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Chile court opens door for more Church sex abuse victims to seek damages

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

March 28, 2019

By Natalia A. Ramos Miranda

Chile’s Catholic Church should prepare itself for an onslaught of new civil suits from victims seeking compensation for past cases of sexual abuse, a lawyer who successfully sued the Archdiocese of Santiago said on Thursday.

Juan Pablo Hermosilla said a Chilean court’s decision on Wednesday to force Chile’s most influential archdiocese to pay his clients more than $400,000 in damages has opened the door for other “victims of abuse in church settings,” to seek financial compensation.

The appeals court decision is the first to require Chile’s powerful Roman Catholic Church to pay damages related to an ongoing sex abuse scandal that last year prompted Pope Francis to apologize to the church’s community worldwide.

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Nun accused in new sex abuse lawsuit

GUAM
KUAM News

March 27, 2019

Two separate sex abuse lawsuits were filed in court against the island’s Catholic Church and others, with one allegation against a nun.

A.B.C. alleges that around 1958 or 1959 when he was around 12 or 13 years old he was sexually molested and abused by a Catholic Nun. A.B.C., who now lives in Washington state, alleges that when he was a student at Santa Barbara Catholic School, D.E. a nun with the Sisters of Mercy and a teacher would sexually abuse him. He is seeking monetary damages of up to $5 million and a trial by jury. The case was filed in the District Court. A.B.C. is being represented by attorney David Lujan.

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Heart of Illinois ABC questions Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky on priest sex abuse allegations

PEORIA (IL)
Heart of Illinois ABC

March 28, 2019

Bishops from across Illinois joined together in Springfield Thursday to voice their concerns about potential changes to state abortion laws. The Catholic bishops held a press conference about the issue, which marks the first media event Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky was present since new allegations of priest sex abuse came to light in the Peoria Diocese.

After numerous requests for interviews via phone, e-mail, and in person about sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Church. Again, this is the first time there has been a press event where Bishop Daniel Jenky was present, and available for questioning.

The most recent time we reached out about this issue was March 20th, when we asked his office for an interview three times, only to receive a written statement with no quote from the bishop himself.

In Thursday’s press conference, our reporter Kaitlin Pearson, asked for transparency about this issue within the Peoria Diocese.

Kaitlin Pearson, Heart of Illinois ABC: “Bishop Jenky, do you believe you’ve been transparent when it comes to alleged priest sex abuse within the Peoria Diocese?”

Bob Gilligan, Executive Dir. Catholic Conference of Illinois: “We’re going to try to stick to the issue at hand. Bishop Jenky as you can see it’s a little hard to get the mic so we’re going to try and stick to this particular question, so if we could take anything else?”

Pearson tried asking another question later in the press conference, directed at Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago.

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Monsignor resigns from North Carolina diocese amid sex allegation

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Associated Press

March 28, 2019

A North Carolina Catholic diocese official stepped down after what the diocese called a “credible allegation” of sexual misconduct, officials said Thursday.

The Diocese of Charlotte announced in a news release that Monsignor Mauricio West stepped down effective March 25. The allegation involves multiple instances of unwanted overtures during the mid-1980s toward an adult student at Belmont Abbey College, where West was vice president of student affairs, the diocese said.

West has denied the allegation. He had served as the diocese’s vicar general and chancellor.

Bishop Peter J. Jugis said that in February, the individual met with the lay review board to discuss the allegation.

“While the alleged behavior did not constitute sexual abuse and did not involve a minor, it is the strict policy of the Diocese of Charlotte to refer all allegations by known accusers of potential sexual misconduct to the Lay Review Board for investigation,” Jugis said. “Misconduct includes boundary violations and improper behavior by clergy, lay people and church volunteers involving children and adults.”

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N.J. priests molested us, and we want more of their names released, survivors’ group demands

NEWARK (NJ)
Star Ledger

March 28, 2019

By Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Six weeks after N.J. Catholic dioceses released the names of 188 priests and deacons accused of sexually abusing children, survivors of the abuse are calling for the church to release more names, including a priest brought under the watch of disgraced Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Mark Crawford, director of the N.J. chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, stood in front of St. John Vianney church in Colonia and demanded New Jersey bishops take accountability to release all the names of accused priests.

The Catholic church came under massive pressure to identify the clergy accused of sexual misconduct following the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report identifying 300 credibly accused clergy members, leading to N.J.’s five Catholic dioceses to release the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse against children.

But Crawford said there are several priests who ministered at St. John Vianney, even though they had known records of molesting young children, including Fathers John R. Butler, Edward M. DePaoli and Romano Ferraro.

The church has taken advantage of opportunities to release limited information, Crawford said, but “more important than what they have told us, is what they have decided not to reveal.”

“Father Ferraro, although he is listed as having been at the staff at this parish, he is not one of the names the Diocese of Metuchen has put on this list,” said attorney Patrick Noaker, who represents eight of Ferraro’s victims. “When you look at these documents, you might understand why they might be scared to admit they welcomed him into this diocese.”

Ferraro had one of the most egregious records on being sent to different dioceses following sexual abuse allegations, said Noaker, a Minnesota-based attorney.

“Nobody in the parishes were told anything about Father Ferraro’s background so they could protect their kids from him. They unleashed him on a whole ‘nother group of kids. An entire diocese of children,” he said.

Ferraro was brought to the Diocese of Metuchen in 1984 under the watch of then-Bishop Theodore McCarrick.

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‘Fading memories’ are not the issue when it comes to sexual abuse

NORWICH (CT)
The Day

March 28, 2019

This is regarding the article, “Legislators looking to help older victims of priest abuse get settlements,” (March 17).

Christopher Healy, executive director of The Connecticut Catholic Conference and lobbyist for the Archdiocese of Hartford is quoted. Healy states the archdiocese feels the current law is “fair and just to handle all claims” and adds that “fading memories and lack of evidence are part of the archdiocese’s position.”

As a reporter who has interviewed many survivors of church related sexual abuse for an ongoing television documentary project, all the survivors I’ve interviewed have precise, vivid, painful memories and documented evidence of their decades-old sexual abuse at the hands of priests.

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Don’t Blame the Patriarchy

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal

March 28, 2019

By Rita Ferrone

I’ve never been much enamored of the idea of a “women’s supplement” to L’Osservatore Romano. What does that say about the main publication? That it’s a men’s newspaper—and intends to stay that way?

In 2012, out of a desire to promote women, Pope Benedict XVI asked the newspaper’s then-editor Giovanni Maria Vian to make room for Lucetta Scaraffia, a historian and self-identified feminist, to write about women’s issues at L’Osservatore Romano. With Vian’s blessing, she went on to develop the monthly supplement, Donne Chiesa Mondo (Women Church World), which is now distributed in Italian, Spanish, and French (with English online only) and has a print circulation of about 12,000.

Scaraffia and her entire editorial board resigned yesterday in protest over being subjected to “male control” in the form of a new editor who came on board in December to replace Vian, another experienced journalist by the name of Andrea Monda. Tensions emerged as early as January when Monda had the temerity to come to one of Donne Chiesa Mondo’s editorial meetings and make some suggestions. At once, they threatened to quit.

Monda backed off and everyone stayed in place. But then he published some articles by and about women in the main paper, L’Osservatore Romano—articles Scaraffia had not previewed or endorsed. I read a few of them; they were well written and showed no markedly different approach to those found in Donne Chiesa Mondo. But that was perhaps why they were perceived as a threat.

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Capuchin Provincial Minister’s statement: ‘Apologies are not enough’

HAYS (KS)
Hays Post

March 28, 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Many are shedding tears these days, including myself, because of the great harm caused to minors and vulnerable adults by priests, deacons and religious brothers. On behalf of the Capuchin Franciscans I must beg your forgiveness for the trust betrayed by our abusive friars.

The knowledge has caused me personal grief. I am good friends with one of the victims, a student of mine who I taught at TMP-Marian. It took the individual many years to come forward and let me know what had happened. Sometimes victims are filled with shame and guilt. These feelings though, should not be theirs. The shame and guilt rightly belongs with the friars, especially those who caused the harm.

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Chilean court orders church to pay compensation to abuse survivors

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

March 28, 2019

By Junno Arocho Esteves

A Chilean appeals court ruled in favor of three survivors of abuse by former priest Fernando Karadima and ordered the Catholic Church to pay damages.

In a decision announced March 27, the court ordered the church to pay 100 million pesos (about US$147,000) for “moral damages” to each of the survivors: Juan Carlos Cruz, José Andrés Murillo and James Hamilton.

According the ruling, the appeals court said that “the omissions and the errors of the leadership of the Catholic Church” in Chile proved the church had been “negligent in its conduct in terms that can be qualified as a cover-up that gave way to the configuration of a civil offense.”

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Known as an influential and charismatic priest, Karadima founded a Catholic Action group in a wealthy Santiago parish and drew hundreds of young men to the priesthood.

However, several former seminarians from the parish revealed in 2010 that the former Chilean priest sexually abused them and other members of the parish community for years. One year later, Karadima was sentenced by the Vatican to a life of prayer and penance after he was found guilty of sexual abuse.

Pope Francis expelled Karadima from the priesthood in late September.

The court pointed to documents that confirmed that both former archbishops of Santiago, Cardinals Francisco Javier Errázuriz and Ricardo Ezzati, were aware of and did not properly investigate the allegations against Karadima.

Citing the definition of the word “cover-up” as being “responsible for concealing a crime,” the court ruled that the definition applies to “the behavior of Cardinals Errázuriz and Ezzatti and other ecclesiastical authorities.”

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13 Denver-based Catholic friars with credible sexual-abuse allegations identified

DENVER (CO)
Denver Post

March 28, 2019

By Noelle Phillips

A Catholic order of Franciscans based in Denver released Thursday the names of 13 friars or former friars who have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor or a vulnerable adult.

The Capuchin Franciscans – Province of St. Conrad said two of the 13 are dead and five have left the order. Ten men on the list spent time serving in Colorado, according to a news release from the Province of St. Conrad.

None of the living are in active ministry, according to the news release.

The order’s territory includes Colorado, Kansas and Missouri and the Diocese of Belleville, Peoria and Springfield in Illinois and two houses in San Antonio, Texas.

The province used an outside group to audit 226 personnel files and other records that had been retained in its offices.

The auditors also reviewed five safety plans that provide guidance for how the province monitors its members who are under supervision for credible allegations of abuse, the news release said. No significant issues were found with supervision of those who remain in the province, the release said.

An allegation is deemed credible when an investigators determine that abuse more likely than not has occurred, the news release said. But the release noted that inclusion on the list does not imply the allegations are true or that the accused has been found guilty of a crime or is liable for civil claims.

“Every effort has been made to ensure the list is accurate,” the news release said. “In most instances, the claims were made many years after the alleged abuse, making it difficult to conduct a complete investigation.

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Sexually abusive priest sent to Woodbridge church under McCarrick’s watch

BRIDGEWATER (NJ)
Bridgewater Courier News

March 28, 2019

By Nick Muscavage

A priest who was known by the Catholic church to have allegedly sexually abused boys was sent from Brooklyn to a Diocese of Metuchen church under the watch of then Bishop Theodore McCarrick.

On Thursday, clergy abuse advocates and an attorney representing victims of the Rev. Romano Ferraro’s alleged abuse in New York met outside St. John Vianney Church in the Colonia section to share documents depicting how Ferraro was transferred from Brooklyn to the Metuchen Diocese.

Church documents and letters shared by attorney Patrick Noaker show how church officials with the Diocese of Brooklyn handled abuse allegations against Ferraro, and how they then transferred him to the Diocese of Metuchen with McCarrick’s approval.

“Our bishops knew well before that time that this man was an abuser,” said Mark Crawford, the New Jersey director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

“Pedophiles surround themselves with people who will keep secrets,” Noaker said. “We’re here today to talk about secrets that are being kept by the Diocese of Metuchen by not acknowledging pedophile priests who have been welcome into their diocese over the years, and also bishops who have invited pedophiles into this diocese.”

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Child and Youth Protection Catholic Leadership Conference

CHERRY HILL (NJ)
Catholic Star Herald

March 28, 2019

By Carl Peters

An adult survivor of child sexual abuse was scheduled to be a presenter on the first day of the conference, but notice came at the last minute that he would be unable to speak.

But, although it was not the topic of his talk, the next presenter on the schedule, Dr. Robert Crawford, acknowledged that he too had been a victim of abuse as a child. He also pointed out that, based on statistics, abuse victims were in the audience.

Not that anyone in the audience needed to be convinced of the prevalence — or the trauma — of childhood sexual abuse. Or the damage it has done to the institutional church. This was the 14th annual Child and Youth Protection Catholic Leadership Conference, held March 24-27 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill.

In attendance were 210 representatives from archdioceses and dioceses throughout the United States. The large majority of the group were women, but their professional backgrounds varied. They included social workers, psychotherapists, educators and others.

Like most professional conventions, the three-day conference was designed to let participants update and sharpen their skills, enjoy camaraderie with their peers, and boost morale. But the title of the first day’s last presentation was an indication of the difficult challenge these workers face: “Keeping Our Faith When Exposed to the Worst Things That Happen in Our Church.”

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House may act soon to reform child sex abuse laws, but some victims are angry over change in strategy

HARRISBURG (PA)
Patroit News

March 28, 2019

By Ivey DeJesus and Jan Murphy

After years of failed efforts to reform Pennsylvania’s child sex crime laws, a pair of House lawmakers this week served up the latest attempt at addressing remedies for thousands of adults who were sexually abused as children – and are looking for quick action on it.

Historically, victims of abuse have been among the most strident supporters of such efforts. This time, however, proposals are engendering mixed reactions among victims, including outrage.

On Wednesday afternoon, state House Representatives Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) and Jim Gregory, (R-Blair) introduced House bills 962 and 963 respectively, ushering them swiftly into committee without co-sponsoring or press conferences.

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Denunciantes de Karadima afirman que el fallo de la Corte marcará un precedente: “Es histórico”

[Whistleblowers say court ruling will set precedent: “It is historic”]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

March 27, 2019

By Ignacio Guerra

“Ahora la víctima, si es que la Iglesia llegase a actuar con encubrimiento, tendrá el derecho a demandar”, señalaron James Hamilton, Juan Carlos Cruz y José Andrés Murillo en una declaración conjunta.

“Conformes”, pero “no felices”. Así se manifestaron los tres denunciantes de Fernando Karadima luego de que la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago ordenara al Arzobispado el pago de $100 millones a cada uno como indemnización por el encubrimiento de abusos sexuales.

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La trayectoria de “Keno” Valenzuela, el ex provincial de los jesuitas que dejará de ser sacerdote

[The trajectory of “Keno” Valenzuela, the former provincial of the Jesuits who will stop being a priest]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

March 27, 2019

By B. Osses and F. Fernández

A través de un comunicado, la Compañía de Jesús informó que el religioso solicitó al Superior General de la congregación su salida de la Orden en medio de acusaciones de abuso.

“El padre Eugenio Valenzuela ha solicitado formalmente al Superior General de la Compañía de Jesús su salida de la Orden y al Papa Francisco la dimisión del estado clerical”. Así informó este martes la Compañía de Jesús le decisión del ex provincial Eugenio Valenzuela, quien, en medio de acusaciones por abusos sexuales determinó alejarse de la congregación en la que tuvo un rol importante, marcado por la renovación de los jesuitas y la formación de 30 novicios.

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“La Iglesia actuó con desidia”: Los 11 hechos que la Corte de Santiago acreditó en caso Karadima

[“The Church acted with apathy:” 11 facts underpinning Court of Santiago’s ruling in Karadima case]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

March 27, 2019

By Tamara Cerna

De manera unánime, la 9° Sala del tribunal de alzada reconoció actos negligentes “que pueden ser calificados como propios de un encubrimiento” por parte del Arzobispado capitalino, ordenando el pago de $300 millones.

En 28 páginas, la 9° Sala de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago argumentó las razones de por qué ordenó al Arzobispado capitalino pagar $300 millones a los denunciantes de Fernando Karadima. El fallo es duro. Y apunta a las responsabilidades de distintas autoridades religiosas del país. Una de las principales conclusiones dice así: “La Iglesia conocía de las denuncias, al menos desde el año 2003 (…) que decidió mantener el libre ejercicio sacerdotal de Karadima y finalmente, que no prestó amparo y auxilio alguno a los demandantes, sino una vez que los hechos se hicieron públicos y notorios”.

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Tras su salida del Arzobispado: Ezzati pide declarar ante la fiscalía en indagatoria por encubrimiento

[After his departure from archdiocese: Ezzati asks to testify before prosecution about concealment]

CHILE
Emol

March 28, 2019

By Tamara Cerna

El persecutor regional de O’Higginis, Emiliano Arias, dijo que solicitud aún está siendo evaluada. Además se refirió a la importancia del fallo civil en el caso Karadima en sus indagatorias.

El 3 de octubre de 2018, el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati llegó hasta la Fiscalía de Rancagua tras ser citado a declarar en el marco de las investigaciones por presunto encubrimiento de casos de abusos sexuales al interior de la Iglesia católica.

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