IMPREGNATED CHILD BUT STILL TEACHING IN NJ: ADVOCATES FAULT LIMITS ON THE LAW

CINNAMINSON (NJ)
New Jersey 101.5

April 30, 2019

By Sergio Bichao

A national organization representing sex-abuse survivors are calling on Catholic Church officials to help oust a defrocked priest who was once accused of impregnating an underage girl but who now works in this public school district.

New Jersey 101.5 reported on Monday that a state Department of Education arbitrator blocked the district from firing middle school English teacher Joseph DeShan after parents raised concerns with his past.

The arbitration decision this month said officials could not fire DeShan unless he was convicted of a crime or has done something wrong while employed by the district.

David Clohessy, a past president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said church officials have the “duty” to “warn people about him and beg witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward.”

“Victims aren’t inclined to break years or decades of silence unless they’re confident that somebody is really paying attention and someone will take action,” he said Tuesday.

“Bishops [need to] stand there in the pulpit and say: Please, if you have any information that might help law enforcement pursue a case against DeShan, it’s your Christian duty, it’s your civic duty to pick up the phone and call 911.”

Earlier this school year, the district suspended DeShan — the second time it has done so since 2002, when officials first learned that DeShan had impregnated a 15-year-old girl while he was a priest in the late 1990s in Connecticut. But officials in 2002 could find no cause to fire DeShan, who also had support from parents. Seventeen years later, DeShan no longer has support from a new set of administrators and parents.

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The cardinal who clings to power

Catholic Cultur blog

April 29, 2019

By Phil Lawler

Cardinal Angelo Sodano met with Pope Francis today in a private audience. Which gives us another occasion to note that Cardinal Sodano remains the Dean of the College of Cardinals, at the age of 91.

Since the new Code of Canon Law came into effect in 1983, and with it the expectation that aging bishops would retire rather than die in office, there have been four Deans of the College of Cardinals:

Cardinal Agnelo Rossi resigned in 1993 at the age of 80.

Cardinal Bernardin Gantin resigned in 2002 at the age of 80.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had not yet reached the age of 80 when he assumed another office, from which he resigned in 2013 at the age of 85.

Cardinal Sodano—who has shown a marked penchant for hanging onto his titles, having remained in the office that he had occupied as Secretary of State even after his replacement began work—stays on.

There is no urgent reason why the Dean should resign; his role is mostly ceremonial. But if the Pope dies it is the Dean who presides at his funeral, with the world watching.

Since Cardinal Sodano has been charged with protecting prelates tarred by the sex-abuse scandal, his is not the face that the universal Church should put forward in a time of crisis. More to the point, why would Cardinal Sodano want to continue in office, aside from his well-established desire to continue wielding influence within the Vatican?

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Man Says His Alleged Abuser Was Not On Sacramento Diocese’s List

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Fox 40

April 30, 2019

By Rowena Shaddox

Kurt Hoffman was a freshman at Jesuit High School and on the swim team when he says his coach, Brother William Farrington, sexually assaulted him.

“I was 14 years old in 1987, in the spring, when he assaulted me,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman addressed the media Tuesday, the same day the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento released a list of more than 40 priests and deacons accused of sexual abuse. Cases were dated from the 1950’s up to as recent as 2014.

Farrington does not appear on the least.

“My question is just if the diocese is really interested in transparency, full disclosure, I’m shocked that Farrington was no on this list,” Hoffman said.

Farrington was named last year, on the Jesuit West Province list of accused abusers.

In a prepared statement, Bishop Jaime Soto says they will update their list to incorporate the information on Jesuit’s list.

A spokesman for the diocese says revealing the names of accused abusers is important.

“We want people to see this,” spokesman Kevin Eckery said. “Because we need to be held accountable. and the only way is to own it and atone for it.”

Hoffman’s parents reported the assault to Jesuit. They say Farrington was gone the very next day.

But Hoffman says he later learned that Farmington was transferred to Loyola in the early 2000’s, where he served as a freshman counselor.

Once Hoffman notified the school of Farmington’s sexual abuse, Farmington was removed and placed in Los Gatos, where he remains at an enfirmery.

“It’s up to the church to make sure they get reported to civil law enforcement and not be transferred to other places where they can prey upon kids,” Hoffman said.

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Lawyer names 2 former LI priests accused of decades-old child sex abuse

LONG ISLAND (NY)
News 12

April 30, 2019

Famed Boston-based attorney Mitchell Garabedian on Tuesday released the names of two former Long Island priests who he says were credibly accused of sexually abusing minors decades ago.

Garabedian says Father Edward J. Byrne is credibly accused of sexually abusing a boy around 11 years old while he was assigned to St. Barnabas Church in Bellmore in 1971 and ’72. Garabedian also named Father Harold H. Paul, of St. Joseph’s Church in Hewlett, who he says sexually abused a 10-year-old boy in 1961.

Last week, News 12 reported on a list released by the Archdiocese of New York containing the names of 120 clergy members credibly accused of sexually abusing children. All have either died or been removed from ministry. The Diocese of Brooklyn has also released a list of accused abusers that includes more than 100 clergy members.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre, however, continues to refuse to release its list.

Garabedian says that refusal prevents alleged victims from healing and children from being safe.

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Statewide investigation launched into sex abuse allegations in Catholic Church

ATLANTA (GA)
Journal-Constitution

April 30, 2019

By Shelia M. Poole and Christian Boone

Georgia has become the latest state to launch an investigation into past sexual abuse claims within the Catholic Church, Attorney General Chris Carr said Tuesday.

The repercussions could be widespread. In Pennsylvania, a grand jury report identified hundreds of priests accused of molesting at least 1,000 minors over the past seven decades in that state.

“I think people should be prepared for some bad news, revelations that some people don’t want to come out,” said attorney Darren Penn, who represents an unidentified man in a lawsuit alleging abuse at the hands of former Dalton priest Douglas Edwards.

Carr said the state’s Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council will lead the probe. If any prosecutions come out of the investigation, they’ll be handled on a local level, he said.

“I heard from those that I go to church with every Sunday,” he said during an exclusive interview Tuesday with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News. “And I saw the level of anger and frustration and distrust. Both on a personal and professional level, this was important to me. I think it’s important that we hold accountable those that have done wrong but also lift the cloud of suspicion from those that may not have.”

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Southern Baptist group overhauls national conference to focus on sex abuse crisis

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

April 30, 2019

By Robert Downen

Citing a sexual abuse crisis revealed in a recent Houston Chronicle investigation, the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm has overhauled its 2019 national conference in Grapevine to focus on abuse.

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is expected to announce Tuesday that it has changed the conference’s theme to focus on “the current crisis within the SBC denomination.”

The announcement follows a February investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News that found more than 700 people, mostly children, had reported being sexually abused by roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders or volunteers since 1998.

Southern Baptist leaders vowed sweeping changes in the wake of the “heartbreaking” report, titled “Abuse of Faith.”

In a statement, commission President Russell Moore said the change was spurred by a “realization” when planning seminars for the conference, which was previously focused on “courage.”

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Jury finds ex-bishop guilty of trying to sexually abuse teenage boy

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
KSL TV

April 30, 2019

By Annie Knox

A former Latter-day Saint bishop was convicted Monday of inappropriately touching a teenage family friend in his congregation and being lewd with other boys.

A jury found Jeffrey Byron Head, 54, of Draper, guilty of attempted forcible sexual abuse, a third-degree felony, and two counts of lewdness, a class B misdemeanor. Jurors also found him guilty of a lesser offense of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor, instead of a more severe count of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

Prosecutors say Head went to one boy’s house in May 2016 and asked about a recent surgery to his genitals, then asked “to see the surgery” before the teen pulled his pants down and Head inappropriately touched him. The same boy said Head rubbed his shoulders and placed the boy’s hand on his own thigh during an outing to buy milkshakes in 2016.

At a preliminary hearing in February, the teen testified the behavior happened when he was 16 and 17. Head was his bishop and the teen sometimes attended church but was not very devout, he recalled.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it removed Head from his position, notified police after the allegations surfaced and emphasized that abuse of any kind cannot be tolerated.

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Ruckersville man facing child sex charges

GREENE COUNTY (VA)
WHSV TV

April 30, 2019

A Ruckersville man is facing multiple child pornography charges, as well as charges of sex with a minor.

According to the Greene County Sheriff’s office, 25-year-old Dustin J. Kramer was arrested and is being held without bond at Central Virginia Regional Jail.

Kramer is charged with five counts of possessing child pornography, three counts of computer solicitation of a minor over the age of 15, and four counts of consensual sex with a minor over the age of 15.

Virginia law distinguishes between child sex crimes involving juveniles under 15 and juveniles over 15, but the age of consent is 18.

Anyone with information connected to Kramer’s case is asked to contact Investigator J.M. Tooley (434) 985-2222.

Due to the involvement of a juvenile, no further information is being released by law enforcement.

A social media profile matching Kramer’s description lists him as a youth intern at a Charlottesville church and as having studied criminology at Christopher Newport University.

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Woodstock police arrest registered sex offender after he was on school property

MCHENRY COUNTY (IL)
Northwest Herald

April 30, 2019

By Katie Smith

A previously convicted sex offender remained at the McHenry County Jail Tuesday evening after police said he was present on St. Mary’s School property in Woodstock earlier this week.

Woodstock police received a complaint about 3:30 p.m. on Monday claiming that a registered sex offender, was on property at St. Mary’s School, 320 Lincoln Ave., according to a news release sent Tuesday.

The man, Michael D. Colberg, told police he was seeking “support from the church,” Woodstock Police Chief John Lieb said in an email Tuesday.

In Illinois, people convicted of sex crimes are subject to a number of restrictions, which include notifying police when they change addresses and staying away from schools and parks.

Officers arrested 30-year-old Colberg, who is homeless, and charged him with being a sex offender in a school zone.

Upon conferring with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, a charge against Colberg was approved for unlawful presence of a child sex offender within a school zone. The alleged offense is a felony typically punishable by one to three years in prison.

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A Sundance Founder Pleads Guilty to Child Sex Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

April 30, 2019

By Elizabeth A. Harris

A founder of the Sundance Film Festival is expected to go to prison for at least six years after he pleaded guilty in a Utah courtroom on Tuesday to molesting a young girl. The case came to light after he was recorded apologizing to a man he admitted having groped more than 25 years ago.

Sterling Van Wagenen, a director who helped establish what became the country’s most prestigious annual film exhibition, pleaded guilty in Utah County to one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. His lawyer, Steven Shapiro, said Mr. Van Wagenen planned to plead guilty to an additional count, involving the same girl, in neighboring Salt Lake County on Thursday. As part of a deal with prosecutors, Mr. Shapiro said he is expected to receive two sentences of six years-to-life in prison that he will serve concurrently.

Mr. Van Wagenen, 71, was charged with molesting the girl on two occasions between 2013 and 2015, when she was between 7 and 9 years old. But this was not the first allegation against him.

Sean Escobar, who as a boy was friends with two of Mr. Van Wagenen’s sons, said that Mr. Van Wagenen had touched his genitals during a sleepover at the director’s house in the early 1990s.

Mr. Escobar, who is now 38, told his parents the next day. They in turn reported it to a local leader in the Mormon Church, to which they belonged.

Mr. Van Wagenen eventually admitted to a Salt Lake County sheriff’s detective that he had touched the boy inappropriately, but the authorities dropped the case after Mr. Escobar’s parents said they did not want to press charges. (The Greater Salt Lake Unified Police Department, which absorbed the sheriff’s department, said its policy today is to move forward with child sexual abuse cases regardless of the parents’ wishes.)

Mr. Van Wagenen received a two-year “disfellowship” from the church, but went on to teach at Brigham Young University, which is closely affiliated with the church, and also directed movies for the church. Brigham Young said it had been unaware of the allegations when it hired him, and the Sundance Institute said he has had no role in the festival since 1993.

Last year, Mr. Escobar reached out to Mr. Van Wagenen, who agreed to meet with him. Mr. Van Wagenen apologized for what he had done, and said that nothing like it had happened before or since.

Mr. Escobar recorded the conversation on an iPhone he had hidden in a potted plant, then released the recording to the Truth & Transparency Foundation, an investigative website that focuses on religious reporting, thinking it might spur any other victims to come forward. Shortly afterward, the girl did.

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Ruling lets abuse survivor proceed with suit against California bishops

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

April 30, 2019

By Maria Benevento

A Los Angeles, California, superior court has ruled that a survivor of sexual abuse can sue the state’s Catholic bishops and the California Catholic Conference.

In a press conference livestreamed from Burbank, California, April 29, survivor of clergy sexual abuse Tom Emens spoke alongside attorneys with the Jeff Anderson & Associates law firm. The firm, based in Minnesota, has a decadeslong history of suing the Catholic church and other organizations over their handling of sexual abuse cases.

Emens is not seeking financial compensation in the lawsuit he filed Oct. 2, 2018, but rather the release of complete information about offenders in each diocese, as well as information regarding the bishops’ knowledge of sexual abuse and their handling of victims and abusers.

He and his legal team “seek to uncover what was known, when it was known, and how children can be made safer today,” said Mike Reck, one of Emens’ attorneys, during the press conference.

The lawsuit alleges “that there is a nuisance, a dangerous condition existing” in the California dioceses from Los Angeles to San Francisco, Reck said. By uncovering concealed information on sex abuse, they hope “to not only heal the past but to protect the future.”

A native of Anaheim, California, Emens alleges that he was assaulted at age 10 by Msgr. Thomas Joseph Mohan, who died in 2002 and whose name doesn’t appear on a list of over 300 priests accused of abuse in the Los Angeles Archdiocese that Anderson & Associates compiled from public records.

Saying he felt “cautiously optimistic” and considered the court’s ruling a “victory,” Emens stated during the press conference that his goal in bringing the lawsuit was to help other victim-survivors as well as children who could be currently at risk.

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Priests suspended for upsetting seminarians with lewd remarks

Patheos blog

April 30, 2019

By Barry Duke

RICHARD J Malone, above, a Catholic bishop from Diocese of Buffalo, NY, is reportedly investigating three priests who allegedly made ‘pornographic’ remarks at a party in the presence of seminarians.

What the priests actually said has not been revealed, but according to this report, seminarians said they engaged in salacious and inappropriate conversation at a parish rectory party.

A statement from the diocese said that during the April 11 gathering:

Unsuitable, inappropriate and insensitive conversations occurred that were disturbing and offensive to several seminarians in attendance. The complaints did not include or infer any instance of physical sexual abuse of a minor or adult.

The Diocese of Buffalo is thankful the seminarians followed the proper protocol and the Seminary responded correctly by immediately investigating and forwarding the findings to Bishop Richard J. Malone and other diocesan officials, including the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Fr John Staak, interim rector at Buffalo’s Christ the King Seminary noted in a statement:

Our primary mission is the education of our students and the formation of our future priests, deacons, and pastoral ministers.

I am pleased the seminarians stepped forward to voice their concerns about unsuitable, inappropriate, and insensitive conversations which occurred … Several seminarians in attendance found the conversations disturbing and offensive.

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Documentary on Catholic Priests Using Nuns as “Sex Slaves” Pulled After Court Challenge

HOLLYWOOD (CA)
Hollywood Reporter

April 30, 2019

By Scott Roxborough

German-French channel Arte says it will fight to overturn a court injunction that prevents it from rebroadcasting the documentary, which accuses rogue priests of sexually abusing French nuns.
A French television documentary that accuses Catholic priests of sexually abusing nuns has been pulled from the French-German television channel Arte after a priest filed a complaint with a German court.

French director Marie-Pierre Raimbault and investigative journalist Eric Quintin shot the documentary, Sex Slaves in the Catholic Church, over three years, basing it on firsthand testimony of nuns who claim they were used as “sex slaves” by priests. The women say when they presented their allegations to church authorities at the Vatican, they were ignored and often moved elsewhere in a cover-up that stretched across four continents.

Arte first aired the film in March. Some 1.5 million French viewers caught the original broadcast, with a further 1.7 million watching on replay, making it the most-watched documentary of the year for the channel. The film has sold worldwide.

Pope Francis has publicly acknowledged the problem, noting that the Vatican had to dissolve a French order because its sisters had been reduced to “sexual slavery” at the hands of its founder and other priests.

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Former St. Landry priest sentenced to seven years hard labor for molesting teen

LAFAYETTE (LA)
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

April 30, 2019

By Ashley White

A former St. Landry Parish priest was sentenced to seven years of hard labor and three years of probation for sexually assaulting a teen boy.

Michael Guidry, 76, pleaded guilty to molesting a juvenile in March. He faced a maximum of 10 years.

Guidry was the longtime former leader of St. Peter Church in Morrow. Authorities said they opened the investigation after the victim reported he’d been given alcohol before being sexually molested by Guidry at the priest’s home.

The report was made last year, but the abuse happened several years ago when the victim was 16. He’s now 20.

Guidry confessed that he provided the victim with alcohol and admitted to the sexual assault, authorities said.

The Diocese of Lafayette placed him on leave and previously said it has not paid for Guidry’s legal expenses.

Letitia and Scott Peyton, the parents of the abused teen, also are pursuing a civil suit against Guidry and the diocese, seeking damages for pain and suffering. The suit alleges that although the diocese has paid for counseling since the allegations came to light, a senior church official threatened to halt the payments if the family sued.

Earlier this month, the Diocese of Lafayette released a list of 33 priests and four deacons credibly accused of sexual abuse. Guidry was on that list. The diocese did not offer information on what they were accused of or when the accusations

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California bishops, Archdiocese of LA respond to ‘nuisance’ allegations

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Angelus

April 30, 2019

The following are statements from the California Catholic Conference (CCC) and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from April 29 regarding comments made by attorney Jeff Anderson in a press conference held the same day.

California Catholic Conference statement:
Contrary to statements by Attorney Jeff Anderson today, the ANTI-SLAPP court ruling supported the California Catholic Conference and Dioceses of California’s position against Jeff Andersons’ claims of nuisance. The court dismissed five of the eight claims made by Jeff Anderson. The Court reaffirmed that Anderson’s client had no claim for nuisance. The California Dioceses have established broad policies and programs at parishes, schools and ministries to report allegations of abuse to law enforcement, prevent and protect against misconduct and to help support victim-survivors of abuse. The failures of the Church to address the issue of abuse in the past caused great harm and the trust in the Church has been broken. Victim-survivors such as Mr. Emmens are rightfully angry for the harm that was inflicted by members of the Church in the past. That is why the Catholic Church in California has taken responsibility not just in words but in action and will continue to take the necessary steps to support victim-survivors, cooperate with law enforcement and help make our parishes, schools and ministries safe places for all.

Archdiocese of Los Angeles statement:
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has had a long-standing commitment to supporting victims of abuse, the protection of children and the vulnerable, and the prevention of abuse and misconduct in our parishes, schools and ministries. The Archdiocese was one of the first dioceses in the nation to publish a comprehensive report about the failures of the past to address the issue of abuse which included a list of names of clergy accused of abuse, whether living or deceased.

The 2002 Report to the People of God had been updated throughout the years with the most recent update published in December 2018.

Of the 307 names that Jeff Anderson has released concerning the Archdiocese, only one was a priest of the Archdiocese who had not been disclosed in the Archdiocese’s public releases because that one priest was not accused of sexual abuse. All the other individuals listed have been disclosed, had no affiliation with the Archdiocese, or no allegation of abuse against them was known to the Archdiocese while they were affiliated with the Archdiocese.

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West Virginia Diocese Fights Case on Technicalities, not Merits

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

April 30, 2019

West Virginia Catholic officials are doing what Catholic officials have done for decades: claiming they cannot be sued for clergy sex crimes and cover ups. In a twist, this time the action was not filed by a victim, but rather the state’s top law enforcement officer.

In a new court filing, Church officials claim Attorney General Patrick Morrisey lacks proper legal authority to go after the diocese for its “long pattern of covering up and keeping secret the criminal behavior of priests as it relates to sexual abuse of children.”

While AG Morrisey has said that the motion “lacks merit,” we find it disturbing that once again Catholic officials prefer to defend themselves on technicalities rather than to address the allegations of the lawsuit in open court.

It would be reassuring – and shocking – to just hear one bishop, anywhere, say “We could battle to try to have this lawsuit thrown out of court. Or we could prove that we’re innocent. And that’s what we’re going to do, because we are indeed innocent of these charges.”

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Where is The Vatican’s Preliminary Report into Theodore McCarrick?

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survi ors Network of those A used byPriests

April 30, 2019

Last October, Pope Francis called for a “thorough study” into Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and how he was able to advance up the church hierarchy despite the allegations of serial abuse that had been made against him.

It has been six months since then. Surely it is time for at least a preliminary report.

Why such a glacial pace, especially when high ranking church staffers who knew of or suspected McCarrick’s crimes and misdeeds and ignored or hid them are very likely still on the job today (and may still be ignoring or hiding OTHER clergy sex crimes or misdeeds)?

Such a slow pace sends the wrong message. It says to those who conceal or enable powerful priests to hurt youngsters “No worries. We’ll drag our feet on our ‘investigations,’ giving you ample time to fabricate alibis, rehearse excuses, shred documents, quietly retire or whatever.”

Pope Francis defrocked McCarrick quickly. So it is clear that, when he wants to, the pontiff can move quickly on abuse and cover up. It is time he publicly disclose and discipline those who essentially helped McCarrick hurt so many.

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Activists praise Argentina, press pope on fight against clergy abuse

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 30, 2019

By Claire Giangravè

Members of a global anti-clerical abuse network met with the Argentine Ambassador to the Holy See, Rogelio Francisco Emilio Pfirter, on Monday to promote initiatives in support of “zero tolerance” in Pope Francis’s native land.

“Argentina is also the land of Pope Francis, and we thought it was important to bring forward certain requests to the Argentine government,” said Francesco Zanardi, president and founder of Italy’s most prominent survivor network Rete l’abuso, in an April 29 interview with Crux.

Unlike the situation in Italy, Zanardi said, actions to promote accountability and transparency in Argentina are proceeding “very well.”

The Italian clerical abuse survivor and activist led a delegation of “Ending Clarical Abuse,” (ECA), a global network of survivors, during a meeting Monday with the ambassador in Rome only a stone’s throw from the Vatican.

From May 3-6, ECA will launch a series of initiatives in Argentina calling Francis to address the growing concerns about clerical abuse and cover-up in the country.

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Letter from SNAP Missouri to Missouri’s Attorney General

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

April 17, 2019

The below is a copy of a letter that was sent to Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt from leaders of SNAP Missouri.

Dear Attorney General Schmitt:

We’re very confused. We need your help.

On the one hand, we want to encourage our members to cooperate with you and your probe of clergy sex crimes and cover ups. We know many victims find it stressful in the short term but healing in the long term to talk with secular authorities about their betrayal. We know that many victims feel better when they do their part to expose and deter irresponsible behavior that endangers kids.

On the other hand, the very last thing we want is for already-suffering abuse victims to suffer more. We do not want to prematurely and falsely raise hopes for possible justice and healing, only to have those hopes dashed later. We don’t want to urge them to cooperate with a probe that turns out to be a whitewash.

So we don’t know what to do about your office’s supposedly look into clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

We’re particularly puzzled and frustrated by your unwillingness to respond to us. For more than six months now, we’ve tried in various ways to reach you. We’ve sent emails. We’ve send registered “return mail requested” letters. We’ve held news conferences outside your offices. We’ve written op eds.

But we get no reply.

Would you investigate racist crimes and cover ups without talking with the NAACP?

Would you look into harm done to agricultural personnel by chemicals without talking with the Farm Bureau?

Would you claim you’re doing a probe into wage theft without talking to labor unions?

So why on earth would you say you’re delving into clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic institutions without talking with the leadership of SNAP, the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy sex abuse victims?

Please, for the healing of victims and the safety of kids, help us understand this. Please, at this point, at least respond to our letter.

Thank you.

David G. Clohessy

314-566-9790 (cell)

davidgclohessy@gmail.com

Jim McConnell

Kansas City SNAP Leader

816-590-4752

jm0832@att.net

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Catholic Charities’ plan to open Oakland center for sex trafficking survivors meets resistance

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

April 30, 2019

By Gwendolyn Wu

The social services arm of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland is seeking to open a home for teenage victims of sexual trafficking, but the church’s plan to help girls who have been abused is facing opposition on multiple fronts.

Claire’s House, named after the mother of Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, plans to house up to 12 teenage sex trafficking victims at a location in Sequoyah, a forested neighborhood of the eastern Oakland hills, said Mary Kuhn, a spokeswoman for the Catholic Charities of the East Bay, which will oversee the home.

O’Malley has focused on fighting human trafficking, and when she approached the diocese and other East Bay leaders about a new initiative, the nonprofit offered to convert a former rectory into a shelter.

“If we don’t have housing or some safe place for people to be, what do we expect to happen?” said O’Malley, whose late mother had a reputation for taking in her children’s friends if they needed a place to sleep.

But the proposal has met resistance from some advocates for survivors of sex trafficking, who say the church’s stance on abortion and contraception could harm victims. Meanwhile, neighbors of the home worry that traffickers will bring crime, drugs and guns to their community.

Short-term residential therapeutic programs are usually designed for foster youth and licensed by the California Department of Social Services. Claire’s House, which is still awaiting certification from the state, would differ slightly in that it would provide a bridge to intense support for young sex trafficking victims.

Clients will be able to stay up to 18 months at the facility while accessing mental health services and schooling, Kuhn said. The program will bill Medi-Cal for therapeutic services.

But the shelter will take a strict approach in facilitating access to contraception and abortions.

Catholic Charities of the East Bay will not make appointments for clients at clinics that provide contraception or abortion services, nor will it provide transportation, Kuhn said. Instead, Claire’s House will post a sign in a common area that explains the teens’ medical options.

Beyond that, Kuhn said, they will need to rely on their guardians to arrange for such services.

Ingrid Persson, a former grant manager at Catholic Charities of the East Bay, said she fears the nonprofit will run afoul of regulations that allow minors access to birth control or abortions, which the Oakland Diocese’s top official denied.

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

Catholic Diocese of Sacramento releases list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse

SACRAMENTO (CA)
KCRA TV

April 30, 2019

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento released the names of 46 priests and deacons who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse over the past seven decades.

The clergy named in the list have been credibly accused of sexually abusing 130 minors or young adults, aged 25 and under, the diocese said in a news release. The list is based on the personnel records of nearly 1,500 bishops, priests and deacons from 1950 to the present.

“This list is heartbreaking. It is a sickening and sobering account of the history of sex abuse by clergy in our diocese,” Bishop Jaime Soto said in a news release. “It is repulsive to see the evil acts that were perpetrated upon innocent children and young people entrusted to our care.”

The list was posted at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday on the diocese’s website. See the list of the 44 priests and two permanent deacons who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse here.

“We believe really strongly, and the bishop here believes really strongly, that if we’re going to recover the trust of the people, the trust of Catholics and the public, that begins with the accounting of what happened in the past,” diocese spokesperson Kevin Eckery said. “By having this accounting, by seeing, frankly, what was a catalogue of evil and failure and pain, that it’s always going to stay with us and we’re always going to be, you know, on target watching for this, to make sure it never happens again.”

The list was originally supposed to be released last fall, but it was pushed back to March after the diocese hired an outside consultant to go through the personnel files. The diocese then announced on Sunday that the list would be released this week.

The Diocese of Sacramento serves 1.3 million Catholics across 20 counties and is one of 12 dioceses in California.

Other dioceses in the state have also said they would release the names of priests facing abuse claims in the wake of revelations about priest sex abuse in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

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Third accusation of sex abuse made against Monsignor Harrison deemed unsubstantiated

BAKERSFIELD (CA)
The Bakersfield Californian

April 29, 2019

By Stacey Shepard

A third allegation against Monsignor Craig Harrison surfaced Monday when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno confirmed an accusation of sex abuse was reported two decades ago.

In 1998, a man reported the alleged abuse to the Firebaugh Police Department, and then later reported it in 2002 to the Fresno Diocese, according to Teresa Dominguez, communications director for the diocese. The diocese investigated and took no action.

“(The accuser) didn’t feel that it got its due attention in 1998 so he did return in 2002 to the diocese,” Dominguez said. “The diocese determined it to be unsubstantiated.”

The man said the abuse occurred at St. Joseph Church in Firebaugh, where Harrison served as pastor from July 1, 1992 to June 30, 1999.

“However, it’s our policy … if we do discover something comparable that occurred in the past we bring it into the current conversation,” Dominguez said.

Harrison’s attorney, Kyle Humphrey, said he was surprised the Diocese of Fresno had revealed the latest accusation, given the circumstances of the allegation.

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Diocese: Allegation against Bakersfield priest in 1998 was unsubstantiated

FRESNO (CA)
KGET TV

April 29, 2019

By Jason Kotowski

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno said an allegation of abuse in 1998 against a well-known Bakersfield priest who is currently facing accusations of sexual misconduct was unsubstantiated.

Msgr. Craig Harrison, who for years has served as pastor of St. Francis Catholic Church, is facing sexual abuse allegations from two men. One is claiming sexual misconduct occurred while Harrison served as a priest in Firebaugh, the other in Merced.

Diocese officials on Monday said an allegation against Harrison in 1998 was unsubstantiated.

The current allegations surfaced Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Harrison has denied wrongdoing.

His attorney, Kyle J. Humphrey, has said, “These people are committing character assassination on a good man. We will continue to fight against these false allegations and we will restore Monsignor Craig’s good name and see him reinstated to his rightful place as pastor of Saint Francis parish.”

Harrison has been placed on leave.

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Man vows to proceed with California clergy abuse lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Associated Press

April 29, 2019

A man who says he was molested by his parish priest decades ago vows to proceed with a lawsuit targeting all Catholic bishops in California after a judge dismissed part of the suit.

The so-called “nuisance” lawsuit filed in October by Thomas Emens claims a civil conspiracy among church officials to cover up clergy assault and move offending priests to other parishes.

Last week a judge dismissed 5 of the lawsuit’s causes of action, while upholding 3 others.

Emens’ attorney, Jeff Anderson, said at a news conference Monday that the judge’s decision will still allow him to examine church documents. Anderson says the lawsuit’s goal is to force the church to reveal the names of all priests accused of molestation.

Steve Greene, a lawyer for the California Catholic Conference, says the fate of the 3 remaining causes of action remains uncertain and will be determined at a future hearing.

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LI diocese declines to release list of priests accused of sexually abusing children

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

April 29, 2019

By Bart Jones

The Diocese of Rockville Centre will not release a list of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children although it may do so in the future, church officials said Monday.

The decision is in contrast with those of the Archdiocese of New York and other dioceses around the country which have published such lists.

“At this time, the diocese believes that while the investigations of claims and allegations are ongoing, it is premature to release a list of accused clergy,” though it remains under consideration, said Sean Dolan, a spokesman for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

He added that “not a single priest or deacon of this diocese is currently in ministry who has been the subject of a credible and substantiated claim of abuse against a minor,” and that the diocese turns over to law enforcement any allegations of sexual abuse against minors by clergy.

Lawyers for sex abuse victims criticized the decision not to release the list.

“That choice is a continuation of the conspiracy of silence that that diocese and its officials including the bishops … have been perpetuating for decades,” said Michael Reck, a Manhattan-based attorney who represents clergy sex abuse victims in the diocese.

“It flies in the face of the child protection movement and it fails to provide any healing for the survivors who have already been hurt and does nothing to protect children today,” Reck said.

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A LAWSUIT AGAINST ALL OF CALIFORNIA’S BISHOPS WILL BE ALLOWED TO PROCEED

SANTA BARBARA (CA)
Pacific Standard

April 29, 2019

By Emily Moon

Last year, a California man sued bishops from every one of California’s 11 dioceses, arguing that the church’s history of concealing abusers’ identities is a threat to free speech. This month, a California judge ruled that some of the claims in the lawsuit would be allowed to proceed—a decision that could force church officials to release the names of alleged abusers in dioceses across the state.

In a press conference about the court order on Monday, Tom Emens recalled the first time he spoke about his abuse publicly, in October of 2018, and called the ruling a “small victory”:

It’s another powerful moment in time. If you’re a victim-survivor out there, this is a huge day for all of us. If you read these words here, what the judge said in the ruling, it rings true: This is a very long, difficult battle. … But it’s a moral battle, it’s a just battle, and I will stand here with these people, these victims, these survivors, these advocates, and I’ll do everything I can to hold the church accountable.

Emens, a 50-year-old Camarillo resident, has accused a now-deceased family priest who was in residence at an Anaheim, California, parish of grooming and abusing him from ages 10 to 12. While he cannot seek justice against his own abuser, Emens told Pacific Standard in a November of 2018 interview that he hopes his lawsuit will force the state’s dioceses to confront a widespread pattern of clergy sex abuse and cover-up.

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SBC’s sexual abuse study should include a probe of its own files on reported abuse

NASHVILLE (TN)
SBC Global

April 29, 2019

By Christa Brown

Within hours of each other, two men emailed me with harrowing stories of having been sexually violated as kids on a church trip to Glorieta Baptist Conference Center (now defunct) in New Mexico. They both told of having grown up in the same Southern Baptist church in Louisiana, and they both named the same music minister as their perpetrator.

I asked if the two of them had been in touch, but they said they hadn’t spoken in over 20 years.

This unlikely coincidence happened in 2007 when survivors were flooding my inbox with their stories of Baptist clergy sex abuse and church cover-ups. Because of the providential timing, the story of these two men has remained with me.

The saddest part of it was what they told me about their futile efforts to seek help from Southern Baptist Convention officials.

The first man, whom I’ll call Bill, was the son of an ordained Southern Baptist minister. He was 14 at the time he was abused, and he told of significant physical and psychological harm.

Years later, as an adult, he called the SBC offices, asking to speak with someone about the abuse. According to Bill, the man who returned his call “spent more time trying to show the error of my homosexuality than providing a listening ear.” He insisted that the perpetrator had “turned (Bill) gay,” and emphasized that “the SBC held no responsibility.” He did nothing to extend compassion or care to Bill or to responsibly address his allegations.

The second man, whom I’ll call Brad, was 16 at the time he was abused by his music minister. He told his parents, who informed the senior pastor, but the police were not notified.

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NJ SCHOOLS CAN’T GET RID OF EX-PRIEST ACCUSED OF IMPREGNATING CHILD

CINNAMINSON (NJ)
New Jersey 105

April 29, 2019

By Sergio Bichao

Times may have changed but a former priest accused of having a sexual affair with an underage girl in the 1980s still has his job as a middle school teacher in this district.

An arbitrator for the state Department of Education has ordered the district to return English teacher Joseph DeShan back to the classroom despite protests by parents worried about his troubling past.

The arbitrator’s April 2 decision says the district had no basis to file tenure charges against DeShan because officials provided no proof that he did anything wrong while he’s been employed in their schools.

DeShan was suspended from his position earlier this school year for the second time in his nearly 21-year career in Cinnaminson. In both cases, the suspensions were the result of the same reports of his sexual affair with an underage girl in the 1980s when he was in his late 20s and a priest in the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The woman, who first told her story when she was an adult, said the sex began when she was 14 and continued until DeShan impregnated her when she was 15 or 16.

From published reports, DeShan appears to have never publicly denied the relationship but he was never charged with a crime because the woman went public with her story after Connecticut’s statute of limitations on sex crimes had run out. The legal age of consent in both states is 16 unless the adult is in a position of authority.

DeShan could not be reached for comment for this story and New Jersey 101.5 did not know whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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Pope names Archbishop Etienne coadjutor archbishop of Seattle

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

Apr 29, 2019

By Kevin Birnbaum

Pope Francis has named Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage to be coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle, meaning he will assist and could succeed Archbishop James P. Sartain in leading the archdiocese.

Etienne, who will celebrate his 60th birthday June 15, has been in Anchorage since October 2016.

Sartain, who will turn 67 June 6, has led the Seattle Archdiocese since 2010.

Etienne was preparing for Holy Week on the morning of Saturday, April 13, when he got a call from Archbishop Christophe Pierre. the apostolic nuncio to the United States, saying Pope Francis had appointed him coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle.

“To say I was caught off guard would be an understatement,” Etienne told Northwest Catholic, magazine for the Seattle Archdiocese. “You just never expect these phone calls.”

Nevertheless, he said, “My answer was immediately to say yes.”

In his nearly 27 years as a priest and 10 years as a bishop, he’s learned to trust in God’s providence when the pope asks him to take on a new responsibility, “to follow the Lord to another land.”

“My life is at the service of the church,” he said. “I’m a pastor at heart.”

Etienne’s appointment was announced by the nuncio April 29; a “rite of reception” Mass – because Sartain remains archbishop of Seattle – will be celebrated June 7 at St. James Cathedral in Seattle.

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Admitted Abusive Priest with ties to Chicago arrested in East Timor

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

April 29, 2019

A priest from a Chicago-based Catholic group has been arrested for molesting little girls in East Timor, one of the poorest countries on earth. We hope Catholic officials in Chicago will mount an aggressive outreach drive so that he might also be charged here.

For decades, Fr. Richard Daschbach has run an orphanage called Topu Honis Shelter Home in East Timor. Last year he allegedly admitted that hesexually abused little girls at the orphanage. As of two months ago he was reportedly refusing to leave the facility and was still saying mass, despite being defrocked. Given the access that Fr. Daschbach has had to children in this vulnerable area, we fear it is very likely that he abused dozens of little girls before finally being arrested.

Fr. Daschbach was ordained at St. Mary’s Mission Seminary in Chicago and was a member of the Chicago-based Society of the Divine Word (SVD). We call on Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich and leaders from the SVD to use every tool at their disposal to encourage officials here to investigate if any crimes were committed in the U.S. by the former priest, with the goal of having him face prosecution in this country as well.

By laicizing Fr. Daschbach but ignoring the fact that he had returned to ministry around young children, Church officials at the Vatican washed their hands of him. But leaders in the Chicago Archdiocese and SVD can show they care and want to prevent abuse by pulling out the stops. They should be appealing to governments in both countries to do everything they can to make sure that Fr. Daschbach is kept away from children for the rest of his life.

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Former NH Priest Named in New York List of Abusers, SNAP Urges Outreach

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

April 29, 2019

A former New Hampshire priest has been named a credibly accused child molester by Catholic officials.

Fr. John Voglio’s name was posted Friday on the Archdiocese of New York’s list of abusers. Voglio had previously been mentioned in a 2003 New Hampshire attorney general’s report but, until last week, there was no admission by church figures anywhere that the abuse allegations against him were legitimate.

We hope Manchester Bishop Peter Libasci will disclose more details about Fr. Voglio’s time in the state and his current whereabouts. Fr. Voglio belongs or belonged to a Catholic religious order known as the Salesians.

And we hope others who may have seen, suspected or suffered abuse in New Hampshire – by Fr. Voglio or others – will find the courage to speak up, make a report to the police and attorney general, and find pathways to start healing.

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Another Survivor Comes Forward in the Diocese of Fresno; SNAP Responds

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

April 28, 2019

A second man has now accused Msgr. Craig Harrison of child sexual abuse. He reportedly told the Merced Police Department on Friday that the monsignor inappropriately touched him in 1988 when he was a boy. The priest had been suspended from ministry earlier in the week pending an investigation into similar allegations from another man.

While we have no firsthand information about this case, we know that false allegations are exceedingly rare. Multiple allegations are even less likely to be false.

We also know that it can take decades for a victim to find the courage to speak out. Studies show that the average age to disclose is 52, with the median age 48. So it was infuriating to read that Msgr. Harrison’s attorney, Kyle Humphrey, claimed that “When someone comes forward to allege an incident from 31 years ago, their motivation is suspect.”

It was also maddening to have Mr. Humphrey opine that “[T]hese individuals see potential financial gain.” While we understand that the attorney is only doing his job, it seems to us that his comment was beyond the pale.

As far as we know, neither of these men has filed a lawsuit for damages. Moreover, as a lawyer should know, Both are in fact most likely barred from taking that action by California’s predator friendly statutes of limitations.

Most survivors come forward to the Church and police, as these two men have, out of concern for today’s children. Considering the way victims are depicted when they do come forward, it is a wonder than any ever speak out, and certainly not surprising that it takes time to gather the strength and bravery to do so.

We hope that others who may have been abused by Msgr. Harrison or anyone else in the Diocese of Fresno, as well as anyone who witnessed or suspected abuse, will take courage from the fine example of these two men and make a report to law enforcement and to California’s Attorney General.

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Vatican reveals more about guidelines on children of priests

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

April 29, 2019

By Ruth Gledhill

The Vatican has confirmed that guidelines on dealing with Catholic priests who father children are sent to any episcopal conference that requests them.

Mgr Andrea Ripa, of the Congregation for the Clergy, wrote to Vincent Doyle, founder of the Coping International, which defends the rights of children of priests worldwide, confirming the policy of the Vatican concerning the document.

“Should an Episcopal Conference request the text from the Congregation, we are more than happy to send them a copy,” he wrote.

Now Mr Doyle is calling on the Vatican to publish the guidelines in full.

The existence of the document has been known since 2017, but it has never been published.

It is not known how many children of priests there are, but Coping International’s website has 50,000 users.

In a recent interview with Vatican News, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, said: “The Dicastery follows the longstanding practices from the time when Cardinal Claudio Hummes was prefect — about ten years — who first brought to the attention of the Holy Father (at the time, Benedict XVI) the cases of priests under the age of 40 with children, proposing that they obtain the dispensation [from clerical state] without waiting for the age of 40, as provided for in the norms [in force] at the time.

“Such a decision had, and has, as its principle objective, the safeguarding of the good of the child, that is, the right of the child to have at his side a father as well as a mother.”

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Ex-priest convicted of altar boy abuse faces May sentencing

ALFRED (ME)
Associated Press

April 29, 2019

The delayed sentencing of a defrocked Massachusetts priest convicted of sexually abusing an altar boy is scheduled for late May.

Officials at York County Superior Court in Maine say 76-year-old Ronald Paquin will be sentenced on May 24. A pair of men testified they were altar boys when he invited them on trips in the 1980s and assaulted them repeatedly. The jury returned guilty verdicts on 11 of 24 gross sexual misconduct charges, involving one of the men.

Paquin had been slated for sentencing in early March, but his attorney filed a motion requesting a mental health evaluation.

He spent more than a decade in a Massachusetts prison for sexually abusing another altar boy in that state and was released in 2015 before being taken into custody in Maine.

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A fair and open trial gives justice for victims of abuse — and discourages secrecy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

April 29, 2019

Earlier this month, parents of children in a charter school in Arizona found out that the school’s recently hired curriculum consultant had been accused of sexually abusing a minor in his former job. John F. Meyers just last year was removed from his position as rector at St. Joseph’s-in-the-Hills Retreat House in Malvern after an investigation substantiated claims of child sexual abuse. One of his early victims and a team of investigators found him through social media and informed the school.

It is unclear if the charter’s operator knew about the accusations and ignored them, or if Meyers managed to keep them a secret. One reason Meyers could have kept his secret was that he was protected by Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations.

Under current Pennsylvania law, criminal charges for child sexual abuse can only be brought before the victim is 30 and a civil lawsuit before the victim is 50. That became an issue most recently in the case of Catholic priests in Pennsylvania, more than 300 of whom were named in last summer’s grand jury report detailing decades of child sexual abuse. Charges were brought against only two of the predator priests because of the statute of limitations.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro and others have pushed to reform the law since the report came out, but Republicans in Harrisburg have consistently delayed the effort, arguing that a constitutional amendment is needed to extend the window of time to sue . A bill to eliminate the statute of limitations for future child abuse passed the House last week.

The opportunity to take legal action is important, because it creates a public record. Far too often, those accused of abuse and harassment settle their cases under conditions of secrecy. If they have behaved badly, they are not held to account.

This secrecy is becoming increasingly problematic. An Inquirer investigation last week found that Bloomsburg University President Bashar Hanna was quietly ousted from two other Pa. universities for mistreating female employees. Now he is facing similar allegations in Bloomsburg. Had either institution taken legal action, Hanna would have not been able to move on so easily. His actions would have been part of the public record.

Settlements wrapped in secrecy prevent a public record. In January, the city settled a lawsuit against Sheriff Jewel Williams for $127,500, one of two settled on his behalf. Williams claims he is innocent. The taxpayers who paid for his representation, and who are expected to vote for a sheriff in the upcoming primary, would not need to speculate had the case gone to a trial and a judge and jury would have convicted or vindicated Williams.

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Church of England leaders ‘turned a blind eye’ to child abuse claims against teacher

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Daily Mail

April 29, 2019

By Rory Tingle

Church of England leaders allegedly ‘turned a blind eye’ to child abuse claims against a teacher who was allowed to move to an Anglican school in Papua New Guinea despite facing child sex assault claims, an investigation has revealed.

Roy Griffiths, a deputy head teacher at Lincoln Cathedral School, was accused of indecently assaulting a pupil in 1969, but remained employed until 1970 when another boy made abuse claims against him.

He stayed at the school for at least two further months and was able to move to a job at an Anglican school in Papua New Guinea. The late Rt Revd Kenneth Riches, former Bishop of Lincoln, knew about the case from the first complaint.

Neither Lincoln Cathedral School nor Lincoln Diocese informed the police at the time and they only heard 45 years later, BBC Panorama found.

Griffiths admitted abusing six boys at Lincoln Cathedral School last year, and was sentenced to six years and seven months in prison.

One of Roy Griffiths’ victims, who now lives in Canada, told Panorama: ‘It should have been dealt with right away, and the Church should have instructed the police… and they didn’t. They just turned a blind eye and moved on.’

Lincolnshire Police and Lincoln Diocese investigated 25 people over alleged abuse, from a list of 53 names which were passed to officers, with three cases leading to convictions.

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Diocese of Sacramento to release list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse

SACRAMENTO (CA)
KCRA TV

April 29, 2019

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento will publish a list of priests and deacons this week that it said have been credibly accused of sexual abuse against minors over the past seven decades.

Bishop Jaime Soto released a letter Sunday acknowledging the pain this will cause members of the Sacramento community.

“I am repulsed and heartbroken by the evil acts that were perpetrated upon the innocent by those entrusted with their care. When you read the list you will experience your own feelings of shock, anger and disgust. This undoubtedly will reopen wounds for some,” Soto wrote in a letter. “I apologize for the sins and failures of the past. I am determined that such acts of abuse should never again occur in our diocese.”

The diocese hired an outside consultant to go through hundreds of files and determine which cases were credible. This comes as dioceses across the country are releasing the names of priests accused of sexual abuse.

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Former Catholic school teacher gets 21 years in jail for sex abuse in Spain

BARCELONA (SPAIN)
Agence France-Presse

April 29, 2019

A Barcelona court sentenced Monday a former gym teacher at a Catholic school to over 20 years in jail for sexually assaulting students, in the latest abuse scandal rocking the church in Spain.

Joaquin Benitez, who taught for nearly three decades at a Barcelona school run by the Marist community, a Roman Catholic order at the centre of a clerical abuse scandal in Chile, got a jail term of 21 years and nine months for assaulting four students.

The court also ordered Benitez to pay the victims a total of 120,000 euros ($134,000). This is the first sentence since public accusations of abuse against Benitez in 2016 triggered a cascade of other complaints at two other Marist schools in Barcelona.

The ruling comes amid sustained criticism of the Vatican’s response to a decades-long sexual abuse crisis. The court said Benitez had an office with a bed “where he took students to give massages and treat injuries.”

His victims described behind closed doors at the trial in March how Benitez would summon them to his office and sexually abuse them. Benitez apologised to his victims as he left the court after the first day of the proceedings, justifying his behaviour by the fact that he himself had suffered sexual abuse as a student at Catholic boarding school.

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The Sexual Revolution and sex abuse scandals: A Protestant take on Pope Benedict’s letter

WASHINGTON (DC)
Christian Post

April 29, 2019

By David Closson

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI recently surprised church observers by weighing in on the Roman Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal. In an almost 6,000-word article published in Germany, Benedict argued that clerical sexual abuse could be traced to the moral transformation that transpired during the sexual revolution of the 1960s. The rejection of biblical morality and absolute truth, Benedict said, has led to the “dissolution of the Christian concept of morality.”

The public comments represent a rare move for the former pontiff, who, in 2013, became the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign. At the time, Benedict pledged to live out his remaining years in quiet contemplation. Thus, his public letter, which was approved by Pope Francis, is a notable change for the former leader of the world’s largest church.

Initial reaction to Benedict’s letter was mixed. Whereas conservatives praised the former pope’s analysis, those on the theological left immediately criticized the letter for its “thin analysis” of the situation. Critics, such as church historian Christopher Bellitto, attacked Benedict’s letter for omitting conclusions that were reached during a February summit in Rome, such as the claims that “abusers were priests along the ideological spectrum, that the abuse predated the 1960s, that it is a global and not simply Western problem, [and] that homosexuality is not the issue in pedophilia.”

As far as the contents of the letter, it is divided into three parts.

The first section outlines the “wider social context” of the clerical sexual abuse scandal. In scathing language, Benedict attacks the 1960s as a time when the “previously normative standards regarding sexuality collapsed entirely.”

Specifically, Benedict points to the loss of objective truth as a major turning point for the church.

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Michigan residents leaving the Catholic Church as many turn away from religion

KALAMAZOO (MI)
M Live

April 29, 2019

By Julie Mack and Scott Levin

The Catholic Church has loomed large over Gloria Emmons’ life.

Growing up in metro Detroit in the 1950s and ’60s, her devout Catholic family was surrounded by other devout Catholics. Everybody went to church on Sundays. Nobody ate meat on Fridays. Almost every home had a statue of Mary.

Emmons attended Catholic schools through college. She married in the church, sent her two sons through Catholic schools and the family attended weekly Mass for years.

But today, Emmons describes herself as an “ambivalent” Catholic.

“There are lots of conflicts” between Catholic doctrine and contemporary values such as equality for gays and women, said Emmons, 65, who lives near Kalamazoo. “As we move forward as a society, they stare you in the face.”

Emmons still considers herself Catholic. “I still love the Mass,” she said.

But she no longer belongs to a local parish, and when she attends Mass nowadays, it’s typically to accompany her 93-year-old father to his church in Oakland County.

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My uncle, a deceased priest now accused of abuse, can’t defend himself

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

April 28, 2019

Regarding the April 25 Metro article “Baltimore Archdiocese names more priests accused of abuse, all deceased”:

My uncle’s name appeared on the list of priests accused of sexual abuse issued last week by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. I would like to call him and ask him what I should think about this, but he died in 1981. Where is the fairness in publicly defaming men who are not here to defend themselves?

The law says a dead person cannot be defamed. But the damage to his reputation and to his memory is very real. The American Catholic Church failed miserably in its handling of this scandal, in its secrecy and its blind allegiance to the priest abusers. But it is no less a failure to throw out to the public the names of people who were not proved to have committed these crimes and who have no chance to be heard.

I am trying to be the voice my uncle was denied. To those who knew and loved the Rev. Regis F. Larkin, I urge you not to be influenced by this list. Remember the easygoing guy with the great sense of humor and brilliant way with words. Those are the memories he deserves.

And to the people who participated in the decision to list my uncle, I hope you understand that you have just increased the length of the list of people who are victims of this scandal.

Maureen Loftus Hogel, Pittsburgh

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Survey: Catholics want church to invest funds in line with its values

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

April 28, 2019

By Dennis Sadowski

More than 90 percent of Catholics said they believe that Catholic organizations should invest church funds in ways that are consistent with church teaching and values, according to results of a new survey.

In addition, about 31 percent of respondents to the survey conducted by Boston-based Catholic Investment Services said that news of clergy sexual abuse and the church’s handling of such allegations has caused them to give less to their parish. Still, 7 percent of respondents said they have given more to their parish.

However, 41 percent of respondents said they either plan to donate less to their parish or are considering giving less in the future.

Peter Jeton, the firm’s CEO, said the findings would help Catholic institutions understand the thinking of individual donors in planning future investments to fund church-based operations. The survey results were released April 24.

“My sense is that this (awareness of socially responsible investing) increasingly is a personal issue that people in the pews feel,” Jeton told Catholic News Service.

“There is increasing talk of the notion of donating financial resources and to what kind of causes and there is an implied stewardship that needs to be played there,” he explained. “If you are a parish or a diocese receiving this kind of funding, what kind of obligation is there to invest in a way that could be considered consistent with the church in a whole group of things.”

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The question still follows GU President Thayne McCulloh: Did he know? Some are certain that he did

SPOKANE (WA)
Spokesman-Review

April 28, 2019

By Shawn Vestal

In recent months, a refrain has arisen from many people who live, teach and study at Gonzaga University: There’s no way Thayne couldn’t have known.

That response touches on the insistence by GU President Thayne McCulloh that he was not aware that the Jesuits were sending priests who had sexually abused children to retire on campus, before and during his presidency.

Starting in the 1970s, the leaders of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus sent 24 priests who had “credible claims” of abuse lodged against them to live in Cardinal Bea House – a retirement home owned by the Jesuits and located on the GU campus – or in the GU-owned Jesuit House, which has been replaced by the Della Strada Jesuit Community.

The men sent there included several notorious Jesuits with long and publicly documented histories of abuse, many of them in Native communities in Alaska and the West – histories that were reported in the news media and revealed in lawsuits and bankruptcy actions over more than a decade. A report by Reveal, aired on radio and as a podcast in December, landed like a bomb on campus; while the report was in many ways a compendium of previously reported information, it detailed for the first time the extent of the practice of housing abusive priests on the GU campus.

In a statement after the report, McCulloh offered a seemingly contradictory series of assertions about what he knew and didn’t know. The bottom line: He said he was never notified that Jesuits who were on supervised “safety plans” over abuse allegations were living at Bea House or on campus while they were there.

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East Timor: police arrest ex-priest for sexually abusing girls in his orphanage

DILI (TIMOR-LESTE)
Rappler

April 28, 2019

The police in Timor-Leste have arrested a former priest who has been accused of sexually abusing young girls in his orphanage in the country’s enclave Oecusse.

“R.D.” was brought before the judge on Friday, April 26, and is now in custody, sources confirmed. Meanwhile the director of the shelter was arrested too on Sunday, April 28, after she organized an attack against a former resident of the orphanage whom she suspected of having given a statement against the priest.

Last November the Vatican dismissed R.D. from his clergy status punishing him for the crimes he allegedly committed when he was a priest. (READ: Vatican defrocks former U.S. cardinal over sex abuse claims) It is the first time that a case of sexual violence against minors by a member of the Catholic clergy has become public in Timor-Leste.

R.D. is an 82-year-old American who was a member of the congregation Society of the Divine Word (Societas Verbi Divini, SVD).

After his ordination in 1964 he went to Indonesia. Later he settled in Oecusse, Timor-Leste’s western enclave, where he established in 1992 Topu Honis Shelter Home, which presented itself as “a safe haven” for orphans, poor children, disabled adults and abused women.

Over the years it served hundreds of children. The sexual abuse took place in Topu Honis’ orphanage for young girls and boys, located in the isolated mountainous hamlet of Kutet. A second location in the coastal village Mahata accommodates the teenagers. R.D. was a respected priest and seen as a savior, who provided food, clothes, and education to the most deprived people in the area. His community called him “father” and “God.” But there was a dark side to him and the shelter.

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A delicate line emerges in defending a popular priest while respecting potential victims of abuse

BAKERSFIELD (CA)
Bakersfield.com

April 27, 2019

By Stacey Shapard

When a celebrity priest is accused of sexual misconduct, where does the line between defending a beloved pillar of the community end and intimidation of an accuser begin?

The question came up this week after Monsignor Craig Harrison of St. Francis Church was placed on paid leave by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno after it received an allegation earlier this month that Harrison inappropriately touched an altar boy when he served at a church in Firebaugh, northwest of Fresno, years ago. That same day the diocese received a second report of alleged abuse by Harrison, diocesan officials said Saturday, this time at a church in Merced in the 1980s.

The initial allegations reverberated throughout the St. Francis congregation and the greater community — where Harrison has long been a fixture of goodwill, faith and homegrown pride. Immediately, hundreds posted messages of support for Harrison on social media.

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Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandal

WASHINGTON (DC)
Voice of America

April 26, 2019

[Audio of 25-minute interview]

Stephen White, Executive Director of The Catholic Project at the Catholic University of America, and Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, Research Associate Professor also at Catholic University, join host Carol Castiel to examine the latest developments in the worldwide Catholic Church sexual abuse crisis and their ramifications for the papacy of Pope Francis and the future of the Catholic Church.

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Why I became Catholic at a time like this

VANCOUVER (BRITISH COLUMBIA)
B.C. Catholic, Archdiocese of Vancouver

April 25, 2019

By Kasey Kimball

A cradle Anglican, Kasey Kimball grew up in Newburyport, Mass., moving to Vancouver in 2014 to attend Regent College. In 2018, she graduated with her MA in doctrinal theology and was received into the Catholic Church this Easter. She shared her story of conversion at St. Mark’s College April 7 with the talk “The Body of Christ Suffers Together: Reflections from a Convert to a Church in Crisis.” This is a shortened version of that testimony.

Trying to tell one’s own conversion story is a bit like trying to express the ineffable. Yes, there are important moments, important revelations, and important books to mention, but the work of grace is also inherently mysterious. Every time I tell this story, I get more insight into that work of grace, and am newly amazed by it.

Last August, I attended Mass at a small outdoor chapel in Lake Tahoe, Calif. At that time, I was deep in ecclesiastical no-man’s land. I’d flunked out of RCIA a few months earlier (by that, I mean I attended all the classes and went through all the rites but could not in good conscience become a Catholic at Easter).

* * *

When the priest came out, he spoke directly about the McCarrick scandal which had broken that week. He acknowledged the horrors of the abuse, the need for accountability and reform. I appreciated his directness, the refusal to maintain a chain of silence.

I also found myself feeling unexpectedly drawn to the Church. The impression I had in that moment was that if the Catholic Church was the body of Christ in a particular way (and that was still a big if), then I needed to move close to her in this time of crisis. If you find this a strange reaction to the revelation of yet another instance of clergy sexual abuse and cover-up, I did too.

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The Catholic Church faces a youth retention problem following sex abuse scandals

LOS ANGELES (CA)
USC Annenberg Media

April 23, 2019

By Mia Speier

When USC students discuss Catholicism with one another, all too often the first thing that comes to people’s mind is the sexual abuse scandal in the church. That’s what David de la Cruz has experienced during his time on the Caruso Catholic Center Student Advisory Board.

“I think there is a lot of misunderstanding because I know that sometimes when I say that I am Catholic, the punchline eventually gets to, ‘Oh, how many pedophile priests do you know?’” said de la Cruz, a sophomore majoring in classics and informatics. “That is very reductionist, and a hurtful sentiment to hold.”

The topic of sexual abuse in the church goes beyond everyday conversations with Catholics, and has been thrust into the national spotlight.

Pope Francis convened an unprecedented summit in late February to discuss the global crisis of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Leaders from across the world joined in conversation with one another at the Vatican following revelations of thousands of cases of abuse in countries like Japan, Australia, Germany and the United States.

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Chilean prelate denies communion to faithful who kneel down

DENVER (CO)
Crux

April 25, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Rome – Though far away from the center of the action in Rome, Bishop Celestino Aos, the temporary head of the embattled Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile, has a tough job. He’s replacing a cardinal being investigated for cover-up of clerical sexual abuse, whose predecessor is also being questioned by local prosecutors.

During the Easter season, Aos might have made his own job even harder when on Holy Thursday during the Chrism Mass he was filmed denying communion to at least two faithful who were kneeling down.

Crux received two different videos showing Aos refusing the sacrament to kneelers in a celebration that made several Mass-goers uncomfortable from the beginning. The Chrism Mass is one of the most solemn liturgies of the year, and is often the largest annual gathering of clergy and faithful held in most dioceses. Among other things, it’s during this liturgy that the oils that will be used for various sacraments throughout the year are blessed.

The entrance procession included Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, who’s being investigated by civil authorities for cover-up and who’s been named in a complaint for failing to report a rape of an adult man that allegedly took place in Santiago’s cathedral. This led to several priests walking out of the service, with Crux identifying at least two.

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Presence of disgraced bishops in Holy Week reopens Chile’s wounds

DENVER (CO)
Crux

April 23, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Rome – On the Catholic calendar, Holy Week is a period of meditation on Jesus’ death and resurrection, a time for mea culpas and healing wounds. Yet in Chile, a country deeply scarred by clerical abuse scandals, several bishops being investigated for either abuse or cover-up chose Holy Week to reopen wounds instead.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of eight Chilean bishops over the past year, after all of them offered to step down last May. The country’s bishops find themselves engulfed in scandal due to decades of mismanagement, cover-up and, in some cases, personally having committed abuses. The pontiff also accused them of committing crimes connected to the abuse of minors, including destroying evidence.

Five of those bishops nonetheless showed up at Holy Week celebrations, in some cases discreetly, in others as concelebrants to the apostolic administrators Francis has appointed to replace them. That includes Bishop Gonzalo Duarte, who’s been accused not only of covering up cases of abuse but of abuse of power with sexual connotations against seminarians.

As Father Eugenio de la Fuente summarized on Twitter, during the Holy Thursday Chrism Masses celebrated in five Chilean dioceses, five bishops belonging to the “Pandora’s box” described by Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the lead Vatican investigator in Chile, showed up to either to preside or concelebrate.

“It hurts, disappoints [and] wounds,” de la Fuente wrote.

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New York Archdiocese releases names of 120 clergy accused of sex abuse

ATLANTA (GA)
CNN

April 27, 2019

By Ray Sanchez

The Archdiocese of New York, the second-largest diocese in the nation, has identified 120 priests and deacons accused of sexually abusing a child or having child pornography in the latest revelations in the Catholic Church’s long-running sex abuse epidemic.

The list, which includes Theodore McCarrick, the defrocked and once-powerful US cardinal, comes as the church — both in the United States and around the world — wrestles a wave of scandals that have spurred criminal investigations, roiled the faithful and damaged the institution’s moral credibility.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan said in a letter released with the list Friday that he realizes “the shame that has come upon our church due to the sexual abuse of minors.”

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Archdiocese of New York Names 120 Clergy ‘Credibly Accused’ of Child Sex Abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
NPR

April 27, 2019

By Gabriela Saldivia

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York released the names on Friday of 115 priests and five deacons who have been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children.

In a letter to members and family of the archdiocese, New York’s archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, asked forgiveness “for the failings of those clergy and bishops who should have provided for the safety of our young people but instead betrayed the trust placed in them by God and by the faithful.”

The disclosure from one of the largest archdioceses in the nation follows similar revelations in recent months that further exposed the depth of a decades-long abuse crisis in Catholic communities across the United States. Last August, for example, a grand jury investigation revealed widespread sexual abuse by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania. In February, Roman Catholic bishops in New Jersey and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn also provided lists totaling nearly 300 clergy members who faced accusations of sexual assault.

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List of Archdiocesan Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor or the Subject of Eligible IRCP Compensation Claims

NEW YORK (NY)
Archdiocese of New York

April 26, 2019

Set forth below is a list of clergy of the Archdiocese of New York who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor or possessing child pornography, or who were the subject of a claim made to the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) that was deemed eligible for compensation. This list includes only archdiocesan clergy, which consists of bishops, priests, and deacons who were incardinated in the Archdiocese of New York. It does not include priests belonging to religious orders or institutes, many of which have already released their own lists of accused priests, nor “extern” priests who were ordained in other dioceses.

The inclusion of a cleric’s name on the list does not state or imply that he is guilty of a crime or liable for any civil claim. The criminal justice system presumes that a person who has been indicted by a grand jury, or otherwise accused of or charged with a crime, is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, a defendant in a civil action is not liable unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Where an allegation involving an archdiocesan cleric resulted in a civil settlement, there was not a finding of liability against the archdiocese or the cleric, as is typically the case with civil settlements.

The archdiocese has created a Review Board to assist it in determining whether allegations of sexual abuse of a minor are credible and substantiated, and whether or not accused clergy should be removed from ministry as a result. A determination by the Review Board that an allegation is credible and substantiated, however, is not equivalent to a finding by a judge or jury that a cleric is liable or guilty for sexual abuse of a minor under civil or criminal law. Likewise, the IRCP is a compensatory program and not an adjudicatory body. As such, it is not required to adhere to the same standards as a court of law.

This list, its categorization, and the additional information provided herein is accurate to the best of current archdiocesan officials’ knowledge, as of April 26, 2019. The Archdiocese of New York intends to update this list in the event that additional information is discovered or brought to its attention, or if additional allegations of sexual abuse of a minor are determined to be credible within the parameters set forth above. In the event that any changes are made to the list(s), the revised, modified or updated list(s) will be posted on the archdiocesan website.

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California bill targets Catholic priests first, but rights of all religions are at risk

McLEAN (VA)
USA Today

April 28, 2019

By Pius Pietrzyk

The Bill of Rights is supposed to protect people from having to choose between the most sacrosanct part of their religious beliefs and imprisonment.

California is considering a proposed law that is nothing less than an attempt to jail innocent priests. California Senate Bill 360 seeks to change its law to force a priest, when he hears of sins in the confessional regarding sexual abuse, to make a choice. He must choose to either maintain the confidentiality of the sacrament and face possible imprisonment or to betray that confidentiality and violate his deepest conscience and the laws of God and the Roman Catholic Church. No priest I know would choose the latter.

In 1813, the New York Court of General Sessions commented on the Catholic sacrament of confession and the government’s proper role in respecting the secrecy of the confessional as a part of its constitutional duty to protect religious freedom. It said: “To decide that the minister shall promulgate what he receives in confession, is to declare that there shall be no penance; and this important branch of the Roman Catholic religion would be thus annihilated.”

If this bill is passed into law, California will commit precisely such an annihilation.

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Former Sioux Falls priest: Time to think differently about clergy

SIOUX FALLS (SD)
Argus Leader

April 27, 2019

By Patrick Anderson

When Bill Walsh left behind the priesthood it was because he saw a problem with the old ways and wanted to move on with his life as much as he had once wanted to be a leader in the Catholic Church.

Walsh served in small towns in South Dakota, in Salem for a year and then in Sioux Falls for the larger part of a decade.

He left because he didn’t think joining the clergy was a lifetime commitment – he chose to value the function of priesthood and leading a church over the form of priesthood emphasized by the old ways, Walsh said.

As Catholic dioceses in South Dakota and other states release the names of priests accused of child sex abuse, it’s time for Walsh and other lay people to again re-asses how they think about the priesthood, he said: Either take charge in protecting the future of the church, or continue to leave that responsibility to clergy.

“I don’t want anybody to leave the Catholic Church because of these accusations,” Walsh said. “You’re just feeding into this clerical culture that puts these guys on pedestals.”

More Catholics are considering leaving the church years after years of revelations about child sex abuse by clergy. Dioceses in Sioux Falls and Rapid City joined other church leaders across the country this year in naming accused priests, a movement that started after a grand jury in Pennsylvania accused dioceses there of covering up abuse by more than 300 priests.

About 22 percent of adults in South Dakota are Catholic, according to Pew Research Center.

Being a priest should be more about the functions of priesthood, not about the old beliefs that granted so much power and responsibility to members of the clergy.

That’s exactly why Walsh left.

Walsh was ordained in 1965 in Mitchell.

He compared his membership in the Catholic clergy to the military. Between seminary and priesthood, Walsh spent 20 years training and serving as a religious leader in the church. That was enough, he said.

“I really feel that very strongly, that a young man or a young woman can put in 20 years, which I did,” Walsh said. “And move on.”

The future of the Catholic Church depends on its followers’ willingness to leave behind ideas that members of the clergy are infallible representations of the church and instead focus on the roles and responsibilities of the entire church community, Walsh said.

In fact, every Catholic who leaves only lends strength to the same culture that assigns too much power and responsibility to the clergy, Walsh said.

“In so doing they just feed into the clerical culture of the church, where they think the bishop or the priest is somehow the church.”

Priests are human, Walsh said.

“With all the frailties of human beings,” he said.

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Speakers address role of laity as Church moves forward from abuse scandal

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Service via Crux

April 27, 2019

By Carol Zimmermann

Washington DC – In introductory remarks during a conference examining the laity’s role in helping the Church move forward from the clergy abuse crisis, a speaker pointed out that what has happened impacts, and continues to affect, the whole Church.

“We can’t fix the Church by our own efforts,” but Catholics, like Simon of Cyrene who helped Jesus carry the cross, “can carry some of the weight,” said Stephen White, executive director of The Catholic Project, a group sponsored by The Catholic University of America in response to the Church abuse crisis.

The group, which organized the April 25 conference at Catholic University, looks at root causes of abuse and ways for the Church to move forward with conferences and consultation with theologians, sociologists, canonists, social workers and historians.

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On Pope Benedict XVI and resistance to a world gone mad

DENVER (CO)
Crux

April 26, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

Rome – Over the last ten days, four major milestones have been marked in the U.S. and elsewhere:

– The 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings (April 20)
– The 25th anniversary of the death of former U.S. President Richard Nixon (April 22)
– The 130th anniversary of the birth of Adolph Hitler (April 20)
– The 92nd birthday of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI (April 16)

At first glance, putting those four things together almost seems a classic SAT question about “which item does not belong in this list?” The first three seem reminders of a world gone mad – National Socialism, the Watergate scandal, and the scourge of school violence.

Benedict, on the other hand, is one of the most celebrated theological minds in contemporary Catholicism, a figure who inspires intense devotion among a wide swath of the Catholic population.

Yet there’s a scarlet thread running through all four, because one of the cornerstones of Benedict’s thought over the years has been precisely a deep reflection on how such social evil is possible, and how the Church can best resist it. It’s a controversial diagnosis, and, for exactly that reason, it points to one of those deep tectonic fault lines in Catholicism that underlie a host of surface debates.

* * *

In a sense, it’s also the same point Benedict tried to make in his recent essay on the clerical sexual abuse crisis that caused such a tempest. While the hubbub focused on his line about “homosexual cliques” in seminaries and whether he was blaming gays, his ultimate diagnosis was that the real culprits are a loss of faith in God and a collapse of confidence in objective truth.

Once again, his central idea is that only truth – clearly defined, robustly proclaimed, and, when necessary, unabashedly defended, as he suggests John Paul II did with his 1993 encyclical Veritatis splendor – sets limits to the evils sinful human beings are capable of inflicting on one another.

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Editorial: Cardinal sins and omissions: Dolan’s honest exposure of the sexual abuse of children

NEW YORK (NY)
Daily News

April 27, 2019

Why did it have to be so difficult?

Cardinal Timothy Dolan struck a blow for transparency and accountability Friday by releasing a list of 120 priests who had served in the New York archdiocese and been credibly accused of sexual abuse. The list is the result of the archdiocese’s Independent Reconciliation & Compensation Program, administered by attorneys Ken Feinberg and Camille Biros.

Under the program, survivors shared their experiences with the church. If proven credible, a private settlement was created and survivors agreed to forego further legal action. None of the priests named are still in ministry. Many have since passed — as have their victims.

The sharing of the list brings a certain comfort to other survivors and family members.

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NY Archdiocese’s List of 120 Accused Clergy Missing Notable Names

FERNDALE (MI)
Church Militant

April 26, 2019

By Christine Niles

New York – The archdiocese of New York has published a list of clergy credibly accused of abuse of minors, but missing from the list are names of several notorious clergy. Sources confirm Cdl. Timothy Dolan is hiding out in a mansion in Sloatsburg during the list’s release.

Published Friday, the list of 120 priests only includes archdiocesan clergy and “does not include priests belonging to religious orders or institutes [or] ‘extern’ priests who were ordained in other dioceses.”

All named clergy have either been removed from ministry or are deceased.

The name of Fr. Thomas Kreiser does not appear on the list, indicted by a grand jury for molesting a minor.

Kreiser, arrested in September for abusing a 10-year-old girl and now facing trial, had reportedly been recommended last year for a pastorship by chancery officials — in spite of the fact that he’d been caught in 2011 embezzling $25,000 from his parish to spend on personal expenses, including online gambling.

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JRR Tolkien’s son ‘sexually abused by one of father’s friends’

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

April 28, 2019

By Catherine Pepinster

Author’s eldest child, a priest himself accused of abuse in 2001, talks of assault in recording made by his own victim

Lord of the Rings fans who settle down to watch the film Tolkien this week will be told the story of love and young friendships that later inspired the author to write his tales of Middle-earth. What the biopic won’t show, however, is the dark scandal of abuse that continues to haunt JRR Tolkien’s family more than 45 years after his death.

Last year the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) heard evidence of how the eldest son of The Hobbit’s author, Father John Tolkien, abused young boys during his time as a Catholic priest in Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent.

Now it has emerged that the cleric said that he himself was abused as a boy, and that he was assaulted in the family home by at least one of his father’s learned Oxford friends.

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Baltimore releases names of 23 priests accused of abuse after they died

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

April 25, 2019

By Christopher Gunty

Baltimore – The Archdiocese of Baltimore has published an additional 23 names of priests who had been accused of child sexual abuse after they were deceased.

All the allegations have been previously reported to law enforcement, in most cases more than a decade ago. Released April 24, the 23 additional names join 103 other clergy and religious brothers whose names had already been published by the archdiocese.

In 2002, the Archdiocese of Baltimore was one of the first in the country to publish names of those credibly accused of child sexual abuse. At that time, 57 men were named. Other names have been added in the intervening years as allegations became known. More were added in 2018 after a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed allegations that included some priests who had served in Maryland or cases where the alleged abuse occurred within the boundaries of the archdiocese.

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Baltimore archdiocese names more priests accused of abuse, all of them deceased

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

April 24, 2019

By Julie Zauzmer

https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2019/04/24/baltimore-archdiocese-names-more-priests-accused-abuse-all-whom-are-deceased/

When the Archdiocese of Baltimore first voluntarily published a list of its priests who had been accused of abusing children, shortly after the Boston Globe’s 2002 exposé of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, it was one of the first dioceses in the world to come forward with such a list.

But the list published in 2002, of 57 clergymen, left out many priests alleged to have abused children. In part, that was due to a decision made at the time to leave out the name of any priest who had died before his accuser came forward — amid the concern that the priest never had a chance to defend his name.

On Wednesday, the archdiocese reversed that decision, publishing the names of 23 deceased priests who had been “credibly accused” of abusing children. With other additions over the years, the list now includes 126 clergy members.

“For victims, having that name out there, it’s a public sign that they’ve been believed,” said Sean Caine, a spokesman for the archdiocese and a member of the committee that combed through files to identify the men who had not been previously named.

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The question still follows GU President Thayne McCulloh: Did he know? Some are certain that he did

SPOKANE (WA)
Spokesman-Review

April 28, 2019

By Shawn Vestal

In recent months, a refrain has arisen from many people who live, teach and study at Gonzaga University: There’s no way Thayne couldn’t have known.

That response touches on the insistence by GU President Thayne McCulloh that he was not aware that the Jesuits were sending priests who had sexually abused children to retire on campus, before and during his presidency.

Starting in the 1970s, the leaders of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus sent 24 priests who had “credible claims” of abuse lodged against them to live in Cardinal Bea House – a retirement home owned by the Jesuits and located on the GU campus – or in the GU-owned Jesuit House, which has been replaced by the Della Strada Jesuit Community.

The men sent there included several notorious Jesuits with long and publicly documented histories of abuse, many of them in Native communities in Alaska and the West – histories that were reported in the news media and revealed in lawsuits and bankruptcy actions over more than a decade. A report by Reveal, aired on radio and as a podcast in December, landed like a bomb on campus; while the report was in many ways a compendium of previously reported information, it detailed for the first time the extent of the practice of housing abusive priests on the GU campus.

In a statement after the report, McCulloh offered a seemingly contradictory series of assertions about what he knew and didn’t know. The bottom line: He said he was never notified that Jesuits who were on supervised “safety plans” over abuse allegations were living at Bea House or on campus while they were there.

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Qantas quietly drops Cardinal George Pell from its secretive Chairman’s Lounge – ‘the most exclusive club in Australia’

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Daily Mail

April 25, 2019

By Stephen Gibbs

Qantas has cut Cardinal George Pell from its Chairman’s Lounge – described as ‘the most exclusive club in Australia’ – as he laungishes in jail for molesting choirboys.

For years Pell had been able to hobnob with movie stars, prime ministers and captains of industry while enjoying fine dining and expensive wines on the airline.

The Chairman’s Lounge is an invitation-only club for favoured Qantas customers who are treated to pre-flight massages, seat upgrades and personal service at all times.

Members, who do not pay any fees, simply call it ‘CL’.

It is so exclusive that Qantas will not confirm who is a member, how they are chosen or even how many members there are.

Pell was jailed in March for three years and eight months after being found guilty of one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16 years and four charges of committing an indecent act with or in the presence of a child.

The offences were committed against two 13-year-old choirboys in the sacristy of St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996 when Pell was the newly-ordained Archbishop of Melbourne.

Pell, the third most senior cleric in the Catholic Church, has always denied the offences and has appealed against the convictions.

Qantas would not comment on the 77-year-old’s Chairman’s Lounge status but it was confirmed to Daily Mail Australia by independent sources he is no longer a member.

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Metro East Roman Catholic clergyman charged with sexual assault

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Post-Dispatch

April 26, 2019

By Erin Heffernan

A clergyman with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville was charged Friday with sexually assaulting an adult woman on March 1.

Deacon Robert J. Lanter, 68, of Swansea, was charged with felony criminal sexual assault, and is accused of assaulting a 29-year-old woman who was unable to give consent.

Prosecutors did not specify the reason the woman was unable to give consent.

Lanter was ordained in 1997 as a deacon, an member of clergy who can perform many of the same duties as a priest.

Lanter resigned from all his positions with the diocese Thursday, including roles directing the Office of the Permanent Diaconate and providing ministry at St. Teresa of the Child Jesus Parish and St. Luke Parish in Belleville.

“I know that this information will come to you as a surprise and be a source of sadness and concern,” Bishop Edward Braxton said in a letter Thursday to the diocese community. “At this juncture, the most important thing for us to do is to pray for Deacon Lanter, his family, and all those who may have been harmed by this development.”

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests released a statement Friday criticizing the diocese and encouraging any other possible victims to come forward to law enforcement.

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At least 16 deceased Island clergy on Archdiocese list of priests credibly accused of sex abuse

STATEN ISLAND (NY)
Staten Island Advance

April 26, 2019

By Joseph Ostapiuk

Advance research has confirmed that 15 deceased priests who have served on Staten Island are among the 120 bishops, priests and deacons found by the Archdiocese of New York to have been credibly accused of sex abuse.

The Advance has previously reported on prominent Island clergy who were brought before the Archdiocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation program and found to have been credibly accused.

Through the process of cross-referencing in Advance archives, utilizing Archdiocese data, other media outlets and accessing databases of accused priests, the Advance confirmed that 16 of the deceased priests had served on Staten Island at some point in their career.

Fifteen of the 16 clergy who were credibly accused of abuse were never previously connected to a sex scandal, according to Advance archives.

Names on the list include archdiocesan bishops, priests and deacons who have been “credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor or possessing child pornography, or who were the subject of a claim made to the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) that was deemed eligible for compensation,” according to a statement by the Archdiocese.

The deceased clergy on this list had already died or left ministry when claims about them were made to the IRCP; however, the program’s independent administrators determined that claims against them were eligible for compensation, the Archdiocese said in the statement.

The compensatory program is not an adjudicatory body, and therefore is not required to adhere to the same standards as a court of law, the statement explained.

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New York Archdiocese names 120 priests accused of sex abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
Associated Press

April 26, 2019

By Jennifer Peltz

At least 120 priests accused of sexually abusing a child or having child pornography have worked in the Archdiocese of New York, the archdiocese said Friday in releasing a list of names that includes bishops, high school teachers, a scouting chaplain and a notorious cardinal.

The release, from the nation’s second-largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, follows more than 120 such disclosures from other dioceses around the country as the church reckons with demands for transparency about sex abuse by clergy.

In a letter to church members, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said he realizes “the shame that has come upon our church due to the sexual abuse of minors.” He asked forgiveness “for the failings of those clergy” who betrayed the trust invested in them to protect young people.

“It is my heartfelt prayer that together we as a family of faith may be healed,” Dolan added.

Church abuse watchdogs and lawyers for abuse accusers said the release of the list was a positive step, but some of them saw it as incomplete.

It doesn’t include accused members of religious orders who worked in the archdiocese’s churches and schools, though some orders have released their own lists. Nor does it list priests who were ordained elsewhere and later served in New York.

And there are no details on accused priests’ past assignments or the allegations against them, although some have emerged in news accounts, lawsuits and criminal cases.

“It’s certainly a good thing that they’ve come out with the list,” said Terry McKiernan of Bishop Accountability, a watchdog group. But “do they still not see that this very, very reluctant way of offering information about the crisis is the wrong way for them?”

Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said that “the important thing is that we have released all of the names of priests that have a credible and substantiated charge brought against them,” plus those awaiting a church determination on allegations, and those newly accused through an archdiocese-run compensation process.

The program has paid out $65 million to over 350 people in the past three years.

The list includes priests ordained between 1908 and 1988. Many have died, and the archdiocese said none is currently working in the ministry.

Most of the alleged abuse happened in the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s, but there have been two credible allegations of sex abuse by active clergy since 2002, according to the archdiocese. It said authorities were alerted about both those cases.

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As lists of ‘credibly accused’ Catholic priests proliferate, so do complaints about why some clerics and information about abuse are left off

WASHIINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

April 26, 2019

By Michelle Boorstein and Marisa Iati

The Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore this week made a major revision to its list of priests deemed credibly accused of abusing minors – upping the number by 22%, to 126, by adding for the first time some who were accused after their deaths.

The increase highlights the wide range of standards that dioceses are using to compile the lists and has raised new questions about the U.S. church’s response to the clergy abuse crisis.

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The church has been promoting the release of accused priest lists – which have grown from 35 in 2018 to more than 120 as of this month, according to BishopAccountability.org – as evidence of a cultural move toward transparency. But even as they represent a significant shift from the aftermath of the 2002 crisis, they are coming under fire from some survivors and advocates for their inconsistent criteria, which in many cases lead to lists that omit names for unclear reasons or fall short on information about priests that are named.

Advocates point to cases such as that of George Stallings, a former priest who wasn’t on the list Washington’s archdiocese put out in the fall, despite it paying $125,000 in 2009 to a man who said Stallings and a seminarian sexually abused him as a teen. Or that of the Rev. Terry Specht, the longtime director of Child Protection and Safety in Arlington, Virginia, whose name wasn’t on Arlington’s February list, despite that officials permanently removed his right to act as a priest after he was accused of teen abuse.

Many dioceses don’t include on their lists priests who are believed to have abused in their jurisdictions but are technically affiliated with religious orders (such as the Jesuits or Franciscans) or with another diocese. Some dioceses exclude people who are dead or who have only one accuser. Lists often include sparse information about priests’ work history or details of the allegations or evidence.

“All of the forces that were at work in keeping this under wraps, those forces haven’t gone away; it’s just that there are now countervailing forces,” such as the media, said Terry McKiernan, president of Bishop Accountability, a leading site that tracks abuse in the U.S. church. “By really reducing the news to a list of names whose stories we really don’t know, they take a really negative story and turn it into a positive one.”

The lists now being released by many of the country’s 178 dioceses were mandated by courts or by settlements with victims, or were initiated by a “new generation of bishops who understand the importance of putting victims first,” said Kathleen McChesney, a former FBI agent who in 2002 established and then led the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ child protection office and now consults dioceses on topics including misconduct.

“Previous generations were so concerned about scandal and protecting the name of the church they’d never consider” putting out such lists, she said. McChesney believes the lists will be improved over time. They “are a good starting point,” she said.

Generally, when lists are announced, victims’ praise is faint at best and advocates are fast to point out the holes. Some survivors are fed up that it took so many years for their release and that the lists, even now, are skimpy. Many victims have been and remain silent.

To many victims, the lists are a public affirmation that they told the truth and, in many cases, are not alone in being abused by a specific priest. That’s why some feel angry when lists are incomplete or hard to access on diocesan websites.

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Lake Charles diocese, with so many ties to Lafayette, opted for transparency with priest abuse lists

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Advocate

April 26, 2019

By ClaireTaylor

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lake Charles and the Diocese of Lafayette have many things in common.

Until January 1980, five civil parishes that make up the Lake Charles diocese were part of the Lafayette diocese. Bishop Glen Provost, who was installed as bishop of the Lake Charles diocese in 2007, was born in Lafayette. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Lafayette by Pope Paul VI in 1975.

Many priests have served in both dioceses.

But when it came to joining in the national trend of releasing the names of priests with credible accusations of child sex abuse, the Lake Charles and Lafayette dioceses had very different approaches.

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Belleville deacon arraigned on sexual assault accusations

BELLEVILLE (IL)
KSDK TV 5

April 26, 2019

A deacon with the Belleville Catholic Diocese was arraigned on Friday on accusations that he sexually assaulted a 29-year-old woman in March.

68-year-old Deacon Robert J. Lanter of Swansea, is charged with the felony criminal sex assault of a woman who, according to charging documents, was unable to give consent at the time.

Lanter was indicted by a grand jury on April 12 and entered a plea of not guilty. He is free after posting a $100,000 bail.

Reverend Monsignor John T. Myler, spokesman for the Belleville Diocese, confirmed that Lanter was the Diocesan Deacon Coordinator at St. Luke Roman Catholic Church in Belleville. Lanter had been a permanent deacon with the St. Luke parish since 1997.

Myler said the parish received Lanter’s resignation on Thursday. He also said the victim was not a parishioner.

The Belleville Bishop’s Office released a statement to members of the Diocese on Thursday. “I know that this information will come to you as a surprise and be a source of sadness and concern,” the release said. “At this juncture, the most important thing for us to do is to pray for Deacon Lanter, his family, and all those who may have been harmed by this development.”

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) also released a statement on Friday. It read, in part: “We beg law enforcement to look beyond Lanter himself. We strongly suspect, based on 30 years of experience, that others in the diocesan hierarchy knew of or suspected wrongdoing but kept silent or hid it. We hope police and prosecutors investigate whether others in the church might be prosecuted as well.”

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The Real “Crisis” And “Scandal” In the Church

Patheos blog

April 25, 2019

By MJ Lisbeth

It is difficult to confront the past: Victims are made to relive their pain; victimizers are forced to face the truth. That, of course, is the reason why histories, whether writ large or in one’s own life, are too often unresolved: The victim’s suffering may just be too much to bear, and the victimizer’s guilt causes him or her to lie, evade or flee.

The unfinished business, if you will, doesn’t go away. It is carried across generations, through history and between families and cultures. As an example, many of the difficulties faced by African-Americans today are direct consequences of their country’s inability or unwillingness to deal honestly with slavery and its aftermath, as well as other aspects of their nation’s history.

There comes a day, however, when there is no choice but to deal with the crimes committed by individuals and institutions that had, and sometimes still have, power. Those crimes are like bubbles that could have been submerged only for so long: Eventually, they must rise from the depths to the light of day.

Just as those bubbles rise, whether they are in oceans or puddles, abuses must find expression by the individuals who experienced them or the societies in which they occur. Such expression might be in works of art, organizing communities, or simply in telling one’s story and someone else listening to it, without an agenda. Otherwise, those bubbles explode, and the people, their communities and cultures do not survive—or, at least, are tainted.

I am one of the people who could have been blown apart, if you will. Less than two years ago, I named the abuse I experience and my abuser—a priest who, half a century earlier, took advantage of my availability and vulnerability. I have, on a number of occasions, come close to destroying myself: whether consciously, through what people readily identify as “suicide attempts”, or unconsciously, through addictive and reckless behavior.

What seems odd to me now is that some might see recounting my abuse and remembering my abuser as the most difficult thing I’ve done, just as some people thought my “coming out” as a transgender woman was a “big step” for me. Yes, it took a lot of emotional and mental work to be able to take the reins away from the abuser and to stop the emotional blackmail he generated. But I realize now that the difficulty, the pain, of “coming out” as an abuse survivor is temporal, if not momentary. At least I know that, whether or not that pain has an end, it at least is something that I can use to forge new paths in my life and, possibly, help someone else do something similar.

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New York Archdiocese Names 120 Catholic Priests Accused of Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

April 26, 2019

By Rick Rojas

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York on Friday identified 120 priests who have been accused of sexually abusing a child, one of the largest disclosures to be made by the church.

The list of priests is the latest in a flood of names that have poured from dioceses and religious orders across the country in recent months as the church grapples with a scandal over its handling of abuse.

The disclosures have aided in illuminating the scope of an epidemic of sex abuse in the Catholic Church that has spurred investigations by law enforcement officials and inflamed a crisis in confidence among many of its followers.

Bishops have used the lists as a way to acknowledge their failures and take a step toward transparency as they try to placate Catholics who have been outraged by the scandal.

The archdiocese in New York is one of the largest Catholic communities in the United States, encompassing Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and several counties north of the city. The list of names covers decades of allegations, but unlike many other dioceses, church officials in New York did not include information detailing the assignments the priests had.

In a letter accompanying the list on Friday, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop, sought to strike a conciliatory tone.

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Judge Dismisses Part of Nuisance Suit Filed by Clergy Abuse Victim

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City News Service

April 24, 2019

A Los Angeles judge dismissed part of a nuisance lawsuit alleging that Catholic clergy have concealed decades of child sexual abuse, court papers obtained Wednesday show.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams Court issued her ruling April 17 after having previously taken plaintiff Thomas Emens’ case under submission following oral arguments.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles issued a statement regarding the ruling.

“In this case, the court looked at eight instances of disclosure or non-disclosure of information that were alleged to create a nuisance,” the statement read. “She found that five of them were an attack on the right of free speech. She also found that those five instances involving protected speech were invalid because Emens could not show the existence of a nuisance and they were dismissed.”

Because the judge left the other three matters open to further proceedings, the Archdiocese, the California Catholic Conference and other California dioceses are considering whether to appeal her decision on those three instances, according to the statement.

Emens maintains he suffered emotional distress as a result of clergy abuse. But according to the judge’s ruling, Emens failed to show his emotional distress was different from that felt by other victims of Catholic clergy abuse, by parents who let their children interact with priests without supervision or from Catholics in general.

“As plaintiff has not established a probability of prevailing on the merits in his causes of action for private nuisance and public nuisance, his civil conspiracy cause of action also fails,” Court wrote. Emens’ attorney, Jeff Anderson, said he had not yet seen the ruling.

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For many abused by priests, no window for justice

GRAND RAPIDS (MI)
WOOD TV

April 25, 2019

By Ken Kolker

A Barry County man said he was looking for justice when he recently called Target 8, along with the church and the Michigan Attorney General, to report a Roman Catholic priest had molested him when he was 12.

He thought his case was recent enough, just 20 years ago, that he could send his molester to jail or make him and the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids pay by suing them.

But while a growing number of states have passed laws allowing survivors in years-old cases to file civil lawsuits, there’s nothing he can legally do in Michigan.

“I was pretty crushed,” the man, now 31, said. “I was pretty upset because pretty much my whole life, all I wanted was a court of law to say that this guy was guilty, that what happened to me happened and that they’re going to hold this guy accountable for what he’s done. And after hearing that they couldn’t because they were tied by the law, it took a lot out of me.”

Michigan’s statute of limitations in child sexual abuse civil cases, considered by some experts as one of the most prohibitive in the country, is blocking him.

Some state lawmakers tried to change that last year, but say the Catholic Church and others lobbied against it and won.

Target 8 is not naming the Barry County man, who said he was 12 years old in 1999 when Father David LeBlanc molested him at Holy Family Church in Caledonia, six years after the Grand Rapids diocese learned LeBlanc had molested another boy in another church in 1971.

The Barry County man was in the sixth grade when he was sent to the priest for causing trouble in school.

“After the fact, a lot of it I thought was almost like punishment for what I had done,” he said of the sexual abuse.

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Catholic Church fights against sexual abuse

UPLAND (IN)
The Echo

April 26, 2019

By Abigail Roberts

According to BBC News, the 1.2 billion-member Catholic Church continues to globally face the exposure of decades of sexual abuse, specifically the abuse of minors.

Discussion on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church exploded into the U.S. public eye in 2002 after a report by the Boston Globe investigative team, Spotlight.

Spotlight’s publication unleashed a waterfall of victim testimonials, both in the U.S. and around the world, despite the fact that the victims’ ability to legally file a charge had expired on many of these cases.

Taylor is home to almost a dozen Catholic students, primarily from Central and South America.

“As a Catholic it is hard to hear about all of it,” freshman Elizabeth Magallanes said. “It’s really heartbreaking. I can’t even wrap my mind across the fact that there are priests doing this.”

In a time when sexual abuse is more widely discussed, an open platform has emerged for these issues to be brought into the light.

In September, a study revealed that German priests sexually abused 3,677 minors between 1946 and 2014. The study was carried out by three German universities and revealed many documents related to sexual abuse in the Catholic Church were destroyed.

“As we look at how the abuse scandals have impacted the churches,” Assistant Professor of Biblical Ministries Hank Voss said. “We see that sin revealed destroys sin concealed. Sin always loses power when it is brought into the light.”

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Archdiocese of New York Posts List of Clergy Accused of Abuse, SNAP Responds

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

April 26, 2019

We are grateful that the Archdiocese of New York is finally taking the step of list accused priests publicly, belated though it may be. While it’s likely this list was only released in response to growing public pressure, we hope that the publicizing of this information will lead to more informed communities and will encourage survivors who may be suffering in silence to come forward and make a report to police and the attorney general.

The list released today by the Archdiocese of New York only includes names, years of ordination, and the current status; information that is good but not enough for a complete list. Cardinal Timothy Dolan should update his list to include, at a minimum, the work histories of each accused priest so that communities where abusers served know to look for survivors in their midst. Similarly, he should include information about when the archdiocese first received the allegations and what they did in response. Only by knowing what went wrong to enable abusers in the past can we best know how to prevent similar situations in the future.

Finally, while we are grateful for the bit of transparency shown by the Archdiocese of New York today, we will be looking to the conclusion of the ongoing investigation by Attorney General Letitia James for the full transparency that the public deserves and needs. If Cardinal Dolan is confident in the veracity of his list, we believe he should aid AG James in her investigation by turning over all of his files related to clergy abuse to her office and demonstrate true transparency and openness that way.

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Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Seeks To Dismiss Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s Lawsuit

PARKERSBURG (WV)
The Intelligencer

April 26, 2019

By Jess Mancini

The attorney general of West Virginia lacks the authority to bring a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, according to a motion from the church to dismiss a lawsuit against it.

The lawsuit by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was filed in March in Wood County and claims the diocese and former Bishop Michael J. Bransfield knowingly hired pedophiles, failed to perform employee background checks and didn’t make any such disclosures to parents in violation of West Virginia consumer protection laws.

“The (attorney general) fails to allege that the (diocese) violated the (West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act) as it pertains to credit sales, consumer loans and consumer leases,” claims the motion for dismissal, filed on behalf of the diocese and Bransfield. “Rather, the AG’s allegations relate to the language on (diocese’s) website stating that it provides a safe school environment.”

The diocese in November issued a report of priests who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse against minors or who had other credible allegations regarding the Charter for Protection of Young People.

In September, the Vatican accepted Bransfield’s resignation and Pope Francis appointed Archbishop William E. Lori of the Baltimore Diocese as apostolic administrator of the diocese with the assignment to investigate allegations against Bransfield.

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Abuse By Boy Scout Leaders More Widespread Than Earlier Thought

UNITED STATES
NPR

April 26, 2019

By Wade Goodwyn

The Boy Scouts of America’s own records show that more than 12,000 children have been sexually assaulted while participating in the organization’s programs. The documents came to light through court testimony given by a researcher whom the Scouts had hired to do an internal review. The records reveal allegations against thousands of Scout leaders — allegations that date from the 1940s.

With such a huge number of victims, the organization could be facing multiple lawsuits and, as a result, bankruptcy.

The research also revealed significantly more abusers than previously thought. The names of Scout leaders deemed ineligible because of “reasonable allegations of child sexual abuse” were entered into the Boy Scouts of America’s files, and those leaders were subsequently excluded from working with children.

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Priest sexual abuse: NY Archdiocese releases comprehensive list

WESTCHESTER (NY)
Rockland/Westchester Journal News

April 26, 2019

By Colleen Wilson

One hundred and twenty names of Catholic clergy members accused of child abuse or possession of child pornography was released today by the Archdiocese of New York.

The list includes 53 men who have been deemed by the archdiocese “credibly accused,” another eight are awaiting a final determination from the church, and 58 men on the list had accusations that didn’t meet the “credibly accused” criteria, but their victims were considered eligible for compensation, according to the Archdiocese website.

None are in active ministry. Some were defrocked, and others have died.

The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program was created in 2016 to determine compensation for victims of Catholic priest abuse. More than 350 individuals have been received compensation through the program.

A review board for the program determines those “credibly accused” if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

the allegation is found credible and substantiated;
the accused was laicized or permanently removed from ministry as a result of the allegation;
the accused admitted the allegation; the accused was convicted of a crime in connection with the allegation;
a civil settlement resulted from an allegation prior to the creation of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program

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Op-Eds: #MeToo: Why I Didn’t Want Winthrop

BOSTON (MA)
The Harvard Crimson

April 25, 2019

By Phoebe H. Suh

Phoebe H. Suh ’22 lives in Weld Hall.

When a frenzied mob chanting, “Winthrop!” burst through my door on Housing Day, I should have been thrilled. After all, Winthrop House was the last House to be renovated before Lowell House. It’s close to the Yard and clean, without the roaches endemic to Eliot and Kirkland Houses. It’s not Mather House. In terms of living spaces, Winthrop is one of the most desirable Houses. And, to be fair, I was quite pleased not to be placed in the Quad. But I also felt a looming dread because of Winthrop Faculty Dean Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr., and his decision to defend former film producer Harvey Weinstein against numerous charges of sexual assault and misconduct.

My name is Phoebe, and I am a survivor of sexual assault.

My story is similar to many others. I was raped in September after a party, three weeks after first arriving on campus. I spoke to the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and the Title IX Office. I filed for a No-Contact order against my rapist and received one.

But Harvard failed me in the month following my assault. The morning after I was raped, I went to University Health Services. They gave me emergency birth control but could not provide me a rape kit there; now I have no physical evidence that I was assaulted. And when I spoke to the Title IX Office, I learned that a formal investigation, an emotionally exhausting process in itself, could stretch for months. I walked away without filing for one, desperate to restore some measure of normalcy to my life and bring an end to a terrible experience that had already gone on for long enough.

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Letter From Archbishop Dolan On Clergy Sex Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
CBS New York

April 26, 2019

Below is the letter released by Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan on Friday regarding an appeal for the church’s victims assistance outreach and the list of clergy accused of sexual abuse of minors or who were the subject of a claim made to the archdiocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

April 26, 2019

Dear Member of the Family of the Archdiocese,

As we continue the Easter season, and affirm once again the central reality of our faith—that the Lord through His Cross has brought us to the new life in the Resurrection—we live as people of hope in the face of all the evil and sin we find in our world, and sad to say, even in our Church.

I write today as someone who himself realizes the shame that has come upon our Church due to the sexual abuse of minors. I write to ask forgiveness again for the failings of those clergy and bishops who should have provided for the safety of our young people but instead betrayed the trust placed in them by God and by the faithful.

More specifically, I write today because after hearing from many victim-survivors, many of you, and many priests, I have decided to publish a comprehensive list of all archdiocesan clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors or who were the subject of a claim made to the archdiocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program that was determined to be eligible for compensation. That list is now public at archny.org/letter. Along with those clergy’s names, the list also includes their dates of ordination and current status. Please be assured there is not a single priest or deacon of the Archdiocese of New York against whom there has been a credible and substantiated claim of abuse against a minor currently in ministry.

The archdiocese has taken numerous steps to strengthen and enhance its procedures to ensure that our children are protected and to comply with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ adoption of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002. For those who are not familiar with those procedures, here are the key points. Whenever the archdiocese is notified of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, the archdiocese reports that allegation to the appropriate district attorney. Even where law enforcement cannot act upon an allegation, the archdiocese removes the accused priest from ministry while the allegation is investigated by outside professionals, all of whom are former federal agents, and refers the allegation to our Review Board to determine whether or not it has been substantiated. If it finds an allegation to be substantiated, the priest is permanently removed from ministry. The names of clergy have also been published in our archdiocesan newspaper, Catholic New York, and among the parishes where the accused was assigned. We have initiated the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, as a way to bring healing and justice to those who were abused by archdiocesan clergy.

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Chilean bishops fear new measure would enforce breaking confession seal

ROME (ITALY)
Catholic News Service

April26, 2019

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Chilean bishops said that while they support legislation requiring priests and religious authorities to report crimes, they also fear that an update to the country’s current law would force clergy to break the sacramental seal of confession.

The 155-member Chilean House of Representatives unanimously approved a measure April 23 that would add clergy and religious men and women to the list of police, members of the armed forces, teachers and civil servants who are obliged to report all crimes under article 175 of Chile’s penal code.

However, the House of Representatives also rejected a proposal that would exempt crimes reported during the sacrament of confession. The measure will now be debated in the Senate.

Bishop Luis Fernando Ramos, secretary general of the Chilean bishops’ conference, told Chilean news site La Tercera that while the church supports laws that will ensure justice to victims of abuse, rejection of the amendment presents a “serious difficulty” because confession “is a sacrament and, consequently, an act of worship that is protected by Chilean law, specifically the penal code.”

Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez of San Bernardo said that although the law is a “positive” step, legislators must also “safeguard the beliefs and the consciences of people, which is one of the most fundamental human rights.”

“The sacrament of confession always implicates the right to safeguard the identity of the person who comes, and he or she knows that nothing said can be communicated to anyone under any circumstance,” Gonzalez told La Tercera.

Fr. Ricardo Morales, apostolic administrator of Puerto Montt, said that priests cannot “violate the conscience of a person who manifests his or her sins before God.”

However, he added, priests have the tools so that “a person who confesses a situation of abuse of a minor, for example, is not given absolution or not forgiven unless they report the crime” to authorities.

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Diocese seeks dismissal of lawsuit

WEIRTON (WV)
Daily Times

April 26, 2019

By Jess Mancini

The attorney general of West Virginia lacks the authority to bring a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, according to a motion from the church to dismiss a lawsuit against it.

The lawsuit by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was filed in March in Wood County and claims the diocese and former Bishop Michael J. Bransfield knowingly hired pedophiles, failed to perform employee background checks and didn’t make any such disclosures to parents in violation of West Virginia consumer protection laws.

“The (attorney general) fails to allege that the (diocese) violated the (West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act) as it pertains to credit sales, consumer loans and consumer leases,” the motion for dismissal filed on behalf of the diocese and Bransfield said. “Rather, the AG’s allegations relate to the language on (the diocese’s) website stating that it provides a safe school environment.”

The diocese in November issued a report of priests who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse against minors or who had other credible allegations regarding the Charter for Protection of Young People.

In September, the Vatican accepted Bransfield’s resignation and Pope Francis appointed Archbishop William E. Lori of the Baltimore Diocese as apostolic administrator of the diocese with the assignment to investigate allegations against Bransfield.

The investigation into sexual harassment and financial improprieties concluded earlier this year and was forwarded to the Vatican, but did not conclude a crime was committed, a diocese spokesman said in March.

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BENEDICT AND HIS CRITICS

?NEW YORK (NY)
First Things

April 26, 2019

By Gerhard Ludwig Müller

Pope Francis is happy with Benedict XVI’s profound analysis of the reasons behind the abuse crisis in the Church, and grateful to his predecessor for pointing out the conclusions those in positions of responsibility must draw. Benedict XVI has rich experience with these issues: from his ministry as a priest (since 1953), as a theology professor (1957), as a bishop (1976), as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope John Paul II (1981–2005), and as pope (2005–2013).

In the Church, the crucial instrument against sexual abuse is the Motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela (2001). This law goes back to John Paul II and Joseph Ratzinger, proving that Benedict was and is the most important figure in the Church’s fight against this crisis. He has the widest view of and deepest insight into this problem, its causes and history. He is in a better position than all the blind who want to lead other blind people—not the truly blind on whom Jesus has mercy, but those he warns against because they see and yet do not want to see (cf. Lk 6:39; Mt 13.13).

At age 92, Benedict XVI is capable of deeper theological reflection than his critics, who lack respect and are ideologically blinded. He is able to get closer to the source of the fire that has set the Church’s roof ablaze. The catastrophic fire in Paris, in one of Christendom’s most venerable houses of God, also has a symbolic meaning: It makes us appreciate again the work of good firefighters, instead of blaming them for the water damage done in the course of extinguishing the flames. Rebuilding and renewing the whole Church can only succeed in Christ—if we get our bearings by the Church’s teaching on faith and morals.

The recent assembly of the heads of episcopal conferences in Rome (February 21–24, 2019) should have signaled the beginning of getting to the roots of the evil of abuse. Only if we get to these roots can the Church in Jesus regain credibility as the sacrament of redemption for the world, and again communicate the faith that brings salvation which unites us to God. Unfortunately, the practical conclusions drawn from this assembly have not yet been made public, so the U.S. Bishops’ Conference cannot yet put its suspended measures into practice.

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Abuse allegations against a nun

PHILADELPIHIA (PA)
CBS 21

April 25, 2019

By Jasmine Brooks

Since the Catholic Church Grand Jury Report was released in August, PA lawmakers have been looking at strengthening laws relating to child sexual abuse.

This woman, Trish Cahill, was paid an out of court settlement by a New Jersey congregation.

but she says money will never heal her deepest wounds.

She now lives in Lancaster.

“I’m am sixty-plus years old and I have never had a sexual relationship in my life.”

Trish Cahill says instead she’s experienced sexual abuse and rape – and the perpetrators were two Catholic priests and a nun.

One of those priests she says, was her uncle.

“He said, we don’t talk about this.” Said Trish Cahill. “When I wear the white collar, everything is under the seal of the confessional.”

She was sworn to secrecy by her trusted uncle and the family patriarch, and Cahill says she was first molested at 5 years-old in New Jersey.

She remembers the details of that church visit with her uncle vividly.

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Ivory Coast diocese announces priest’s suicide

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCroix International

April 26, 2019

A Grand Bassam diocesan priest in southwestern Ivory Coast who was accused of child sex abuse has committed suicide after he was reported to the local bishop.

Father Richard Bilé, 51, a curate at St. Francis of Assisi parish in Affiénou was found dead on April 24 shortly after morning Mass. Diocesan spokesperson, Father Lambert Lath Yédo, confirmed the news.

Sex abuse accusation Initial findings appear to indicate suicide by hanging, Father Yédo said.

“However, inquiries by gendarmes from Maféré are under way and they will inform us as to the exact cause of death,” he added.

Bishop Raymond Ahoua was informed of an accusation of child sex abuse involving the deceased priest the previous week.

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CUA exhibit reveals abuse survivors’ experience of renewal in the church

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

April 23, 2019

By Dennis Sadowski

Eight survivors of clergy sexual abuse are sharing their experiences with The Catholic University of America community in a weeklong exhibit.

The survivors were paired with students, who developed a series of panels that highlight each individual’s story to bring to light the impact of abuse.

Karna Lozoya, executive director of university communications, said the exhibit emerged from the school’s Catholic Project, which was formed in 2018 to examine the clergy sexual abuse scandal after it erupted again last summer.

“The amazing thing is the involvement of the students and how powerful that experience was for them. It was difficult for the students to hear the stories,” Lozoya told Catholic News Service.

The exhibit features 10 panels, each 24 inches wide and 36 inches long. Each panel briefly narrates a survivor’s experience. A panel of introduction and a closing prayer bookend the display.

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Penn State ex-president asks court to overturn conviction related to Jerry Sandusky complaint

HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press

April 25, 2019

By Mark Scolforo

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier asked a federal magistrate judge Thursday to overturn his child endangerment conviction with less than a week left before he is scheduled to start serving a two-month sentence.

Spanier’s lawyers argued his conviction under a 2007 law for mishandling a complaint about former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy in 2001 violated the U.S. Constitution. They also assert that the statute of limitations was not properly applied.

The state attorney general’s office wants U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to do what state courts have done and uphold Spanier’s misdemeanor conviction for a single count of child endangerment.

Mehalchick did not indicate when she will rule, and it was unclear whether she might order a new trial or take some other action.

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Fr. Robert DeLand Sentenced, SNAP Responds

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

April 25, 2019

SNAP is grateful that Fr. Robert DeLand has been sentenced to jail. We applaud this outcome and are thankful to the police and prosecutors who helped his victims find justice.

We hope that the sentence handed down to Fr. DeLand will bring some solace to those he hurt. We also hope that this case inspires other victims who may be suffering in silence and encourages them to come forward and make a report to police.

Sadly, finding justice through the criminal system can often be elusive for victims of sexual violence. Archaic statutes of limitations (SOL) prevent many complaints from being prosecuted. Michigan has no statute of limitations for first degree sexual misconduct and charges can be filed at any time in cases where there is DNA evidence. However, it still has among the harshest SOLs in the country for second and third degree child sex crimes, despite small reforms that followed in the wake of the Larry Nassar case.

Legislators in Michigan should work to reform these laws, and also to change the civil SOLs and open a civil window. A look back provision would allow survivors whose claims are beyond the criminal SOL to expose these “hidden predators,” as well as those who enable them. This is the only way to get information about these abusers into the hands of the public, information that will help protect children and prevent future cases of abuse.

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Bishop Donald Hying Promoted to Lead Diocese of Madison, WI

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

April 25, 2019

The Diocese of Madison, WI will soon have a new bishop in place. We hope Bishop Donald J. Hying will take up Pope Francis’ charge from February to wage an “all-out battle” against clergy abuse.

Bishop Hying’s predecessor, Bishop Robert Morlino, blamed the clergy abuse crisis on homosexuality, a position that flies in the face of facts about sexual abuse. We hope that Bishop Hying will take immediate steps to keep children in Madison safe instead of washing his hands of responsibility by blaming scapegoats. We also hope that he will demonstrate the transparency and openness that Church leaders have promised since 2002.

In his previous position as the Bishop of Gary, IN, SNAP repeatedly asked Bishop Hying to add the names of publicly accused Gary priests to his inadequate and inaccurate list of ‘credibly accused’ clerics. He ignored those requests. We believe that continued secrecy about those who have committed abuse endangers both children and vulnerable adults.

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Sexual misconduct allegation levied against Fresno Catholic Diocese priest

FRESNO (CA)
Merced Sun Star

April 25, 2019

By Yesnia Amaro

A 59-year-old priest with the Diocese of Fresno is on leave after being accused of sexual misconduct in Firebaugh.

Rev. Monsignor Craig Francis Harrison is being investigated after the allegation was made this month by an adult male, who was a minor when the alleged offense happened, according to a statement from the diocese.

Harrison currently serves at St. Francis Parish in Bakersfield. “I can confirm that there was a report taken, Monday April 15,” said Raquel Tabares, Firebaugh police records supervisor and lead dispatcher. “Right now, (the investigation) is still in the fact-finding stage.”

In a Firebaugh police’s news release issued mid-day Thursday, police say the alleged victim was allegedly inappropriately touched when he was 14 to 16 years old.

The diocese in its statement said the allegation was reported to its staff on April 12. The diocese reported it to the Firebaugh police three days later.

A Firebaugh police officer contacted the person who made the complaint, according to the statement.

The diocese is conducting its own internal investigation, and has notified all the parishes where Harrison has previously served. That includes Our Lady of Mercy and St. Patrick’s in Merced, St. Francis in Mojave, and St. Joseph in Firebaugh.

David G. Clohessy, with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests local chapter in Missouri, called out the diocese for taking three days to make a report to police.

“Three days may not sound like a long time,” he said. “But child sex abuse reports are supposed to be made immediately to police.”

Clohessy said he calls on law enforcement to not only investigate Harrison, “but to also look long and hard at church staff who may have broken the law by their delay or by ignoring or hiding other reports or warnings or ‘red flags’ about Fr. Harrison’s alleged wrongdoing.”

“We call on Fresno Catholic officials, including incoming Bishop Joseph Brennan, to explain this self-serving delay,” he said in an email.

Four other priests in the diocese are currently on administrative leave, pending ongoing investigations.

Late last year, the diocese acknowledged it was investigating three of its priests after complaints submitted to the diocese.

Earlier this year, the diocese said it was also investigating a fourth priest. Plus, last year a Los Banos priest was sentenced to four years in state prison after pleading no contest to possessing child pornography.

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Mass. Victims’ Attorney Expects Wave Of Child Sex Abuse Allegations Against Boy Scouts Of America

BOSTON (MA)
WGBH

April 24, 2019

By Marilyn Schairer

The Boy Scouts of America is coming under increased scrutiny after mounting allegations have surfaced that potentially thousands of scout leaders allegedly sexually abused children in scouting organizations across the country, including in Massachusetts.

Boston Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who successfully sued the Catholic Church on behalf of clergy abuse victims, is representing more than 25 Massachusetts residents who say they were molested as Boy Scouts.

Garabedian said the pattern of alleged abuse at the Boy Scouts follows a familiar script as the clergy abuse.

“You have the sexual abuse of innocent children by a trusted authority figure, and the related secrecy of the abuse and of the perpetrator, and you have supervisors turning their backs on innocent children,” Garabedian said.

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Child predator sting: Westchester, Rockland residents accused of trying to lure children for sex

NEW JERSEY
North Jersey Record

April 24, 2019

By Anthony Zurita

A minister and a Ridgewood police officer are among the 16 people accused of luring children for sex.

Five Rockland men and one Westchester man are among 16 people who were arrested in a New Jersey sting operation and accused of trying to lure children for sex.

A teacher, a police officer, and a minister are among the men who were arrested between April 11 and 15 in an undercover operation in which law enforcement officers posed as boys and girls on social media, the New Jersey Attorney General said in a statement Wednesday.

The undercover officers used platforms such as Kik, Skout, Grindr, Tinder, MeetMe and Adam4Adam to pose as children and communicate with the men who were arrested, officials said.

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Diputados aprueban proyecto que obliga a autoridades eclesiásticas a denunciar abusos

CHILE
EFE/The Clinic

April 23, 2019

[Deputies approve project that obliges ecclesiastical authorities to denounce abuses]

Obispos, pastores, ministros de culto, diáconos, sacerdotes, religiosas u otras personas que conforme a las reglas de cada denominación religiosa detenten algún grado de autoridad sobre una congregación o grupo de personas en razón de la práctica de alguna creencia, estarán obligados a renunciar.

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La Cámara de Diputados de Chile aprobó un proyecto de ley que obliga a los clérigos a denunciar abusos

ARGENTINA
Infobae

April 24, 2019

[The Chamber of Deputies of Chile approved a bill that obliges clerics to denounce abuses]

La determinación de la Cámara Baja tendrá que ser ahora ratificada en el Senado en el segundo trámite legislativo antes de que sea mandado al Ejecutivo para su promulgación como ley

La Cámara de Diputados de Chile aprobó este martes un proyecto de ley que establece la obligación de todas las autoridades eclesiásticas de denunciar ante la Justicia civil cualquier ilícito contra menores o adultos vulnerables, tras los casos de abusos sexuales ocultados en el seno de la Iglesia Católica.

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The female Google employees who staged the sexual misconduct protest say they’re now being punished by their bosses

UNITED STATES
Hello Giggles

April 23, 2019

By Olivia Harvey

The female Google employees who staged the sexual misconduct protest say they’re now being punished by their bosses
Hello Giggles
Olivia Harvey
Hello GigglesApril 23, 2019
The female Google employees who staged the sexual misconduct protest say they're now being punished by their bosses
Two Google employees who helped organize the 2018 Google Walkout say they’re now facing retaliation within the company. Here’s what they plan to do about it.
More
In November 2018, over 20,000 Google employees participated in the Google Walkout, a peaceful protest to draw attention to the company’s mishandling of sexual misconduct reports and to demand change going forward. However, although the seven (all-female) organizers of the walkout were initially supported by their coworkers and company higher-ups, they are now reportedly facing retaliation. According to a letter written by Claire Stapleton and Meredith Whittaker, two of the main organizers, the company is punishing them for their act of protest.

In the letter, published in Wired, Whittaker, who leads Google’s Open Research, stated that she was informed her role would be “changed dramatically” after Google disbanded its AI ethics council on April 4th. In order to stay at the company, Whittaker was told she must “abandon” her AI ethics work and step down from her position at NYU’s AI Now Institute, a research center she cofounded.

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Celestino Aós, administrador apostólico de Santiago: “Yo no soy el salvador de nadie”

CHILE
La Tercera

April 21, 2019

By María José Navarrete y Sergio Rodríguez

[Celestino Aós, apostolic administrator of Santiago: “I am not the savior of anyone”]

Son, tal vez, los primeros 29 días más ajetreados que ha tenido un obispo a cargo de la Iglesia capitalina. No ha parado. Hay elogios a su gestión exprés. Y una que otra crítica. Aquí repasa su mes debut. La labor de su antecesor, el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati. La influencia del sacerdote Jordi Bertomeu en la arquidiócesis. Su rotundo “no” al supuesto de que se hayan encubierto abusos y su venia para crear una comisión de verdad por los delitos ocurridos.

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ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT WITH A MINOR AGAINST REVEREND MONSIGNOR CRAIG HARRISON

FRESNO (CA)
Diocese of Fresno

April 25, 2019

An allegation of sexual misconduct against Rev. Msgr. Craig Harrison was reported to
diocesan personnel on Friday, April 12, 2019, by an adult male who was a minor at the time
of the alleged abuse. On Monday, April 15, 2019, diocesan personnel reported the allegation
in person to the Firebaugh Police Department. Later that day, the officer who initially
received the report was able to contact and interview the complainant. The Diocese of Fresno
must defer to law enforcement regarding any additional information about the police
department’s investigation.
Concurrent with the investigation being pursued by law enforcement, the Diocese of Fresno
is conducting an internal investigation. This includes notification to all faith communities
where Msgr. Harrison has served, including:
Our Lady of Mercy, St. Patrick’s and Sacred Heart, Merced
St. Francis, Bakersfield
St. Francis, Mojave
St. Joseph, Firebaugh

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‘Clergy privilege’ study shapes proposed law on protecting abused children

BUFFALO (NY)
University of Buffalo

April 25, 2019

By Charles Anzalone

Research studying “clergy privilege” by UB School of Law Associate Professor Christine Pedigo Bartholomew heavily influenced legislation proposed by Assembly Member Monica Piga Wallace to add clergy to the list of people in jobs required to report suspicions of child abuse.

Bartholomew studied clergy privilege — the legal rule shielding confidential communications of priests and clergy — and found priests often wanted to divulge information concerning sensitive encounters about people confessing crimes, helping law enforcement find justice for crimes.

But when it came to accusations of sexual abuse against members of their fellow clergy, these priests often tried to find a way to withhold this information from law enforcement officials, citing their clergy privilege, according to Bartholomew’s study.

Bartholomew’s extensive research reviewed every opinion on clergy privilege from the early 1800s to 2016, the first time a legal scholar examined and recorded every opinion on clergy privilege.’

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Robert DeLand receives 2 to 15 years in prison for sexual assault case

SAGINAW (MI)
WJRT TV 12

April 25, 2019

The suspended Saginaw County Catholic priest known as “Father Bob” will spend two to 15 years in prison.

The Rev. Robert DeLand is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with males ages 17 and 21. The incidents allegedly took place in Tittabawassee Township and at his condominium on Mallard Cove in Saginaw Township.

He pleaded no contest last month to three charges: second-degree criminal sexual conduct, providing an imitation controlled substance and gross indecency between males. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but the court treats it as one at sentencing.

He made the plea days after a Saginaw County jury found him not guilty in two other cases. One of the cases involved the 17-year-old in today’s sentencing, the other case involved a second 17-year-old male.

The most serious charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

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