ABUSE TRACKER

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

April 19, 2019

Poll: Church membership in U.S. plummets during past 20 years

HUNTINGTON/CHARLESTON (WV)
WSAZ TV

April 18, 2019

By Leanne Shinkle

According to a new poll, the number of people attending church is on a serious decline across the United States.

The percentage of U.S. adults who belong to a church or other religious institution has plunged by 20 percentage points over the past two decades, hitting a low of 50 percent last year. That’s according to a new Gallup poll released Thursday.

WSAZ spoke to a pastor in Charleston, Jesse Waggoner, who has seen several churches close their doors over the past 30 years.

Waggoner is the senior pastor at Mount Calvary Baptist Church. He started there seven years ago. At that time, the church had about 100 members.

Now in 2019, that number has gone up to 350.

Waggoner says there is no secret formula to building up a church and keeping members, but there are a few key things that help.

He says it is important to preach the same consistent message, but change the way you present the message as times change.

“We have two different styles of worship,” Waggoner said. “We have an early service that is contemporary and informal, we have a traditional service that is more of what many people my age grew up with. And so whatever your choice of style, you’re going to get the same message just delivered in a slightly different package.”

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.

Former Norfolk Catholic school teacher arrested after child sexual abuse allegations

NORFOLK (VA)
WAVY TV

Apr 18, 2019

A former teacher at Norfolk Catholic High School was recently arrested for allegations dating back decades.

According to a statement on the Catholic Diocese of Richmond’s website, they received a complaint from an adult alleging sexual abuse by Daniel Wolfe when he was employed in the diocese as a teacher.

The alleged incident took place between 1978 and 1979 when the victim was a student at Norfolk Catholic High School. Wolfe was arrested on March 29 and charged with four counts of crimes against nature. A trial date of June 17 has been set.

The diocese says they encouraged the adult to report the allegation to Norfolk Police.

WAVY’s working to find out the exact charges Wolfe’s facing, and more details of the circumstances in the case.

Wolfe most recently taught Latin at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia Beach during the 2017-2018 school year.

Wolfe’s arrest comes after the Richmond Diocese and the Diocese of Arlington released a list of dozens of priests facing child sex abuse allegations. At least nine of the priests on that list had confirmed ties to Hampton Roads.

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.

April 18, 2019

Accused priest’s records show effort by the church to conceal scandal

LAFAYETTE (LA)
KATC TV

April 18, 2019

By Jim Hummel

When the Diocese of Lafayette released its list of accused priests last week, 11 of the 37 members of clergy had never been publicly accused. Among them is the Rev. John de Leeuw, who made arrangements to defend himself in death.

Shortly after publishing the church’s list, KATC was contacted by a friend of de Leeuw, who shared with us more than 100 pages of documents the late priest kept about his case. The documents feature his personnel file, correspondence from the diocese, and notes about the accusations his friend says were handwritten by de Leeuw.

The documents provide de Leeuw’s side of the story, but they also show how the diocese was concerned about “scandal” and tried to minimize publicity on cases of clergy sex abuse as recently as 2013.

The accusations
In 2011, more than 20 years after his retirement, de Leeuw was removed from active ministry by the diocese following accusations of sexual abuse involving minors. His removal was only made public last week, when the diocese released its list of credibly accused clergy.

In January, concerned about diminishing transparency and openness from the diocese, KATC published its own list of accused priests. De Leeuw was not on our list because up until now, there was no public record of a complaint. Concerned about his absence from our list, Nancy Mouton reached out to tell her family’s story.

“Father John de Leeuw, past pastor of St. Leo the Great, sexually abused me and most of my six siblings in our home for many years,” said Mouton. “He was a regular visitor and dinner guest at our home. It was a very large home where the abuse went undetected.”

Documents provided by de Leeuw’s friend indicate one of Mouton’s older sisters, who is now deceased, was his initial accuser.

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.

Stockton diocese urged to add more names to ‘credibly accused’ list

STOCKTON (CA)
The Record

April 18, 2019

By Wes Bowers

A national support network for survivors of abuse is urging the Catholic Diocese of Stockton to add more names to its list of “credibly accused” clergy.

David Clohessy, former executive director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, stood outside the Stockton diocese’s offices at 212 N. San Joaquin St. Tuesday afternoon, holding a sign with a list of seven clergymen who spent parts of their careers in the area, and have been publicly accused of abuse in other regions.

“This is the same self-serving pattern we’ve seen for decades,” Clohessy said. “It’s when bishops under pressure claim to be coming clean, when they’re not.”

In 2017, the diocese was required to post the names of 14 clergy members accused of abuse on its website.

However, Clohessy said he was able to find seven more priests accused of abuse who spent time in Stockton, but aren’t listed on the diocese’s list of accused.

He said it makes some think there are many more priests associated with the Stockton diocese that have not been named.

“If the goal is to protect kids and heal victims and help the church, then be truly honest,” he said. “It endangers the kids, hurts victims and alienates Catholics.”

The former priests Clohessy was able to find include the Rev. Mario Cimmarrusti, who spent time at St. Mary of the Assumption in Stockton between 1982 and 1985; the Rev. Julio Cesar Guarin-Sosa, who was working at St. Anne’s Church in Lodi in 2013; the Rev. William S. Myers, who was at our Lady of Fatima parish in Stockton from 1988 to 1991; the Rev. Raymond A. Devlin, who was at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton from 1995 to 1997; the Rev. Lynn Richard Caffoe, who was working at the United States Mission in Modesto from 1998-2001; the Rev. James Cairns, who has been a part of several churches in Fresno and Los Angeles, and may be living in Modesto now; and the Rev. Theodore Feely, who was at St. George’s Parish in Stockton in 1982.

He said while some of the seven men were not accused in Stockton, they have all been accused and named on other dioceses’ lists of predators.

Clohessy has been traveling throughout Northern California not only urging other dioceses to do the same, but to urge victims of abuse to come forward to get help, protect other victims and expose predators, he said.

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

Fifty new reports filed against abusive priest

OAKLAND (CA)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Group also ‘outs’ three publicly accused clerics

Victims urge others to contact Attorney General

What:
Holding signs and childhood pictures at a sidewalk news conference, clergy abuse victims and an attorney will disclose
–that more than 50 women have now reported being molested by an Oakland priest, and
–the names of – and details about – at least three publicly and credibly accused abusive clerics who have been left off the diocese’s official ‘accused clerics.

They will also
–urge others who may be “suffering in silence, to also step forward, and
–push Oakland Catholic officials to do “aggressive outreach” to those who may have be hurt by clerics to report to law enforcement, and
–launch a special outside investigation into who in the church knew of or suspected and ignored or hid Fr. Breen’s crimes.

When:
Thursday, April 18 at 1:00pm

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.

Sexual abuse laws poised for massive changes in Washington state

SEATTLE (WA)
KUOW Radio

April 11, 2019

By Sydney Brownstone and Paige Browning

There will be no statute of limitations for people who survived sexual abuse when they were under 16.

The same bill extends the statute of limitations for adult survivors to 10 or 20 years, depending on the severity of the crime. It also makes a significant change to how rape in the third degree is prosecuted — removing a small but crucial piece of language that advocates say ignored trauma research and prevented cases from being tried in court.

Speaking after the passage of the original Senate bill in February, Mary Ellen Stone, executive director of King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, said the bill was the organization’s biggest win in at least five years.

“I think we all realize attitudes are changing — the culture is changing on this issue.” Stone said. “Everybody knows so many more people who’ve been impacted by sexual assault. And there was a collective recognition that it’s time to make this change.”

Andrea Piper-Wentland of Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs said this means that survivors will have more time to process what happened to them.

She said the law would allow survivors “to get out of a situation that they were in, that was prohibitive for them to report.”

“There’s a myriad of reasons survivors have for delayed reporting,” she said.

Before the bill is signed into law, Washington state’s statute of limitations dictates that childhood survivors of sexual abuse have until their 30th birthdays to pursue a case. Adult survivors of rape must report their rapes to police within a year, after which they have 10 years to prosecute their cases. If adult survivors of rape don’t report the crime to police, they have just a three-year window to bring a case forward.

As of last summer, 15 states had removed statutes of limitations for child sex crimes.

Mary Dispenza of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said she was excited for a change she and fellow survivors had been fighting for since the 1990s.

That said, the bill, once signed into law is not retroactive; it doesn’t apply to cases in which the statute of limitations has already expired.

“Going forward, it will indeed and help survivors of childhood priest abuse,” Dispenza said. “But it won’t do much to allow the thousands in the past who have been harmed by sexual violence on the part of clergy to to have their day in court.”

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.

Abusive former Henderson priest was beaten to death in 2003

EVANSVILLE (IN)
Evansville Courier & Press

April 18, 2019

By Jon Webb

No list of predatory priests can tell the whole story.

Both the Evansville and Owensboro dioceses have unveiled inventories in the last two months of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse against minors. The lists contain names, where the priests served and the number of allegations against them.

But they could never convey the hurt these men unleashed, nor the twisted secrecy that allowed the abuse to metastasize.

A lot of information is left unsaid. And in the case of the list Owensboro released last week, that includes a murder.

Joseph Pilger served as a pastor in slews of parishes across several Kentucky dioceses, including at St. Ann in Morganfield from 1964-65 and at Holy Name in Henderson from 1967-69.

Owensboro lists 13 substantiated allegations against him. At one point, he was wanted on 84 felony counts of sexually abusing minors, stemming from a 1993 case where he abused four children in Union County in the 1960s, the Associated Press reported.

He eventually pleaded guilty. He could have served 30 years in prison, but because of a plea deal, he only got probation.

And on Dec. 5, 2003, at his apartment on the southeast side of Lexington, he was found beaten to death with a pickax.

Police eventually arrested then-26-year-old Jason Anthony Russell – a former Henderson man who at one point had been living with Pilger. He pleaded guilty and was handed 30 years in prison.

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 Church lobbying in Pa. spiked after damaging investigations

YORK (PA)
York Dispatch

April 17, 2019

By Logan Hullinger

The Catholic Church has spent millions influencing Pennsylvania politics, but the funds perhaps have been the most useful amid reports uncovering widespread child sexual abuse and attempts to cover it up.

That money is again coming into play as two bills raising the statute of limitations on child sexual crimes and opening a two-year retroactive window for victims to file lawsuits once again head to the state Senate.

“(The expenditures) speak to the very issue of protecting their institutional reputation, which is one of the significant causes of this sex abuse crisis to begin with,” said Zach Hiner, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

There have been three grand jury investigations in the past decade that have revealed thousands of child sexual abuse cases by Pennsylvanian Catholic priests and attempts to hide them, all of which were welcomed by significant increases in spending on lobbying by the church.

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

Former Norfolk Catholic High School teacher arrested after report of sexual abuse

NORFOLK (VA)
News 3

April 17, 2019

By Julia Varnier

A former Norfolk Catholic High School teacher has been arrested after reports of sexual abuse of a minor were made to the Diocese of Richmond.

In respects to diocesan policy, the adult individual was encouraged to report the allegation to the Norfolk Police Department. The Diocese of Richmond recently was informed that the accused was arrested and charged by Norfolk Police.

The former employee, Daniel M. Wolfe, worked for the Diocese of Richmond for 11 years as a teacher in the 70s to early 80s. He has been charged with four counts of crimes against nature.

The alleged incident(s) was reported to have occurred between 1978-1979, which was when the victim was a student at what was previously known as Norfolk Catholic High School.

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

Sovereign Grace Churches Will Not Seek an Independent Investigation Into Abuse Allegations

ORLANDO (FL)
Relevant Magazine.

April 16, 2019

“The demand that we subject our entire denomination to an investigation is neither just nor practically possible.”

Sovereign Grace Churches (formerly “Sovereign Grace Ministries”) has responded to calls for an independent investigation into allegations of decades of sexual abuse and harassment, writing in a statement that such a third party review would be “inappropriate and impractical for a number of important reasons.” SGC leaders wrote that while they “want the truth to be known about these allegations,” they will “not recommend a third-party independent investigation of our denomination.”

The story of the allegations made against the church planting network Sovereign Grace is lengthy and involves numerous accusations of mishandling claims of sexual abuse. Former members of SGC say they were discouraged from telling the authorities about instances of sexual abuse at the hands of church leaders and observed leaders scuttling allegations and declining to warn churches about known predators. This, accusers say, was all a matter of standard church policy. You can find a thorough summary of the accusations here.

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

Archdiocese Of Los Angeles Agrees To $8 Million Settlement In Sex Abuse Case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Public Radio

April 17, 2019

By Francesca Paris

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $8 million to a teenager who was sexually abused and kidnapped by a teacher at her Catholic high school.

The teenager’s attorney, David Ring, said that the settlement — finalized by a court last week — is the largest that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has ever paid to a single victim, The Associated Press reports. Over the past 15 years, the archdiocese has paid more than $740 million in sexual abuse settlements.

Juan Ivan Barajas, then-athletic director and health teacher at San Gabriel Mission High School in San Gabriel, Calif., repeatedly sexually abused the student when she was 15 years old, according to a lawsuit filed in 2017. Barajas then kidnapped her and took her to Las Vegas, according to court documents reported by The Los Angeles Times.

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.

Los Angeles Archdiocese to pay $8 million to sexually abused, kidnapped teen

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Associated Press

April 17, 2019

Juan Ivan Barajas, a health teacher and athletic director at San Gabriel Mission High School, eventually kidnapped her, according to court documents.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $8 million to a teenager who was sexually abused by the athletic director at her Catholic high school who had continued to work despite prior allegations of misconduct, it was announced Tuesday.

A court finalized the settlement last week of a negligence lawsuit, said David Ring, an attorney for the teenager.

The archdiocese has paid out more than $740 million in sexual abuse settlements over the past 15 years. Ring said the $8 million is the largest payment to a single individual in any of the cases.

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.

Girl molested by Catholic school teacher paid $8 million from Los Angeles archdiocese

LOS ANGELES (CA)
USA TODAY

April 17, 2019

By Ashley May

A teenage girl who was sexually abused by the athletic director of her Catholic high school will be paid $8 million by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, according to a Tuesday announcement.

The archdiocese has paid more than $740 million in sexual abuse settlements over the past 15 years. David Ring, an attorney for the girl, said the $8 million is the largest payment to a single person in any of the cases.

“The archdiocese recognizes that there was serious harm done to the life of the victim-survivor,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “We hope that the settlement will allow her to heal and move forward with her education and lifetime goals. The archdiocese apologizes for the impact that this caused in her life.”

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.

Havre de Grace Police, SARC host training on human, sex trafficking awareness April 18

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

April 17, 2019

By David Anderson

The Havre de Grace Police Department and SARC of Harford County are hosting a training session this week for members of the community to learn more about human and sex trafficking and how they can be “active bystanders” to recognize the signs and help prevent it.

The training session is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in the Havre de Grace Community Center at 100 Lagaret Lane. The class was initially going to be at police headquarters, but it was moved to the community center because an “overwhelming number of people” have said they plan to attend, Police Chief Teresa Walter said during a City Council meeting Monday evening.

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.

Parish roundup: Building a team; lay advisory board; Guam’s finances

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

April 17, 2019

By Peter Feuerherd

An author points to the Cincinnati Reds for lessons on building successful parish teams. Hint: Maybe he should have chosen the Boston Red Sox?

The Catholic bishops remind Congress that many of those fearing deportation are vital members of parishes across the country.

A Wisconsin parish twins with a counterpart in Haiti.

The New York Archdiocese Catholic Charities transforms closed Bronx parish properties into much-needed low-income housing.

A parish in a gentrifying Philadelphia neighborhood remembers the poor in its midst.

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.

Why Sex Scenes on The Magicians Look Different Than Those on the Rest of TV

UNITED STATES
Paste

April 17, 2019

By Rae Nudson

The Magicians is a sexy show. It has been since its pilot episode, which featured levitating sex between Kady (Jade Tailor) and Penny (Arjun Gupta), two students at the magical school of Brakebills. It’s gone on to feature sex magic, sex with magical creatures, threesomes, and more. In a particularly sexy scene in this season of The Magicians, a different version of Penny (it’s a long story) must anoint his friend and former goddess, Julia (Stella Maeve), with oil to perform a ritual that will help her discover why she currently can’t do magic. Penny slowly rubs Julia’s naked body with oil, starting with her face, moving over her shoulders, and down her back. It’s extremely intimate, and Penny takes delicate care while he touches Julia, asking permission before he touches her breasts and warming up the oil so it’s not too cold for her skin.

But before they start the ritual, as Julia stands naked in front of Penny waiting for him to touch her, Penny asks Julia, a rape survivor, if there’s a less painful way to go about this ritual. She tells him that people heal and she’s not broken. Penny says that he’s still not comfortable with how things are going down. “Well, this isn’t really about you,” Julia replies.
And on The Magicians, she’s right.

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.

Australian government says abuse claim monk should face trial in Scotland

AUSTRALIA/SCOTLAND
BBC

April 16, 2019

By Mark Daly

The Australian government has said a former monk accused of sexually abusing children at a Catholic boarding school in the Scottish Highlands should be surrendered to face trial.

Fr Denis “Chrysostom” Alexander has been contesting his extradition back to Scotland on the grounds of ill health.

He denies the claims and is seeking a judicial review of the latest decision.

The BBC revealed allegations against Fr Alexander and other monks from the Fort Augustus Abbey School six years ago.

The latest development was cautiously welcomed by former Fort Augustus pupil Hugh Kennedy, one of Fr Alexander’s accusers.

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.

Bishop ‘dismayed’ over university president’s call for his resignation

BUFFALO (NY)
Catholic News Service

April 16, 2019

A Buffalo diocesan spokeswoman said April 12 that Bishop Richard J. Malone is “disappointed and dismayed” over the president of St. Bonaventure University’s call for his resignation as head of the diocese.

Dennis DePerro, in several interviews, said he admired the bishop’s “unflinching desire to repair the damage” the abuse crisis has caused. “But sometimes, the most courageous thing a man can do is to step aside and recognize that his voice is no longer being heard and that he stands in the way of creating true resolution.”

“We suspect that Dr. DePerro has not fully studied the carefully developed and well-publicized protocols of the Diocese of Buffalo,” said diocesan spokeswoman Kathy Spangler.

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.

Un cura se declaró culpable de abusar a tres catequistas en San Isidro

ARGENTINA
El Diario 24

April 18, 2019

[A priest pleaded guilty to abusing three catechists in San Isidro]

Mario Koessler, de 63 años, fue imputado por abusar de tres mujeres catequistas entre 2014 y 2015 y se declaró culpable.

El cura Mario Koessler, de 63 años, imputado por abuso sexual agravado a tres mujeres catequistas de 75, 63 y 40 años por hechos ocurridos entre 2014 y 2015 en la Parroquia San José, del municipio bonaerense de San Isidro, se declaró culpable en un juicio abreviado que le fijó una pena de tres años en suspenso.

“El juicio oral que iba a comenzar el lunes 22 de abril en el Tribunal Oral Criminal 2 se suspendió por un acuerdo de juicio abreviado al que llegaron la Fiscalía y la defensa, que fijó a Koessler 3 años de pena en suspenso”, dijo hoy a Télam Andrés Bonicalzzi, abogado de las víctimas.

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.

Buenos Aires: “A Jesús se le dice que sí”, dijo un cura antes de cometer abusos

ARGENTINA
Diario San Rafael

April 18, 2019

[Buenos Aires: “Jesus is told yes,” said a priest before committing abuse]

Tres catequistas fueron abusadas por un cura. El acusado es Mario Koessler de la Parroquia San José de San Isidro en Buenos Aires. Antes de ir a juicio oral, el culpable admitió los hechos y finalmente su pena se definirá en un juicio abreviado.

Las tres mujeres lo denunciaron penalmente en la Unidad Fiscal y el juzgado de Violencia de Género número 1 a cargo del doctor Ricardo Costa, por abuso sexual agravado. Los ataques se dieron entre 2014 y 2015.

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.

Uriona manifestó que los casos de abuso han afectado la fe

ARGENTINA
PUNTAL

April 18, 2019

Por Redacción PUNTAL

[Uriona said that cases of abuse have affected the faith]

El obispo diocesano estuvo en Buen Día Río Cuarto y aseguró que episodios como el de Carnerillo marcan la nueva línea dipuesta desde el Vaticano. Instó a los políticos a presentar propuestas para salir de la pobreza.

En el marco de la Semana Santa, el obispo Adolfo Uriona estuvo en Buen Día Río Cuarto donde aseguró que los casos de abuso en la Iglesia han afectado a la fe.

Durante la entrevista en vísperas de Pascua, también se refirió a la crisis y la situación de pobreza en medio de la puja electoral prevista para este año.

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.

Mario Koessler imputado por abuso sexual agravado

ARGENTINA
EXTRADATA

April 17, 2019

[Mario Koessler charged with aggravated sexual abuse]

El cura, de 63 años, fue sentenciado por somter sexualmente a tres mujeres catequistas de 75, 63 y 40 años durente el 2014 y 2015 en la Parroquia San José, del municipio bonaerense de San Isidro. Se declaró culpable en un juicio abreviado que le fijó una pena de tres años en suspenso.

“El juicio oral que iba a comenzar el lunes 22 de abril en el Tribunal Oral Criminal 2 se suspendió por un acuerdo de juicio abreviado al que llegaron la Fiscalía y la defensa, que fijó a Koessler 3 años de pena en suspenso”, dijo Andrés Bonicalzzi, abogado de las víctimas.

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.

Ex-children’s home priest accused of sexual abuse in Illinois dies

DECATUR (IL)
Associated Press via Herald Review

April 17, 2019

Chicago – A prominent Chicago area Catholic priest who led a suburban home for troubled youths for decades but was removed from ministry this year amid allegations that he sexually abused minors has died.

The Archdiocese of Chicago on Wednesday confirmed that the Rev. John Smyth died late Tuesday, but didn’t immediately provide details.

Smyth became superintendent of Maryville Academy in Des Plaines in 1970 and during more than three decades as its leader he helped turn what was a failing orphanage into a widely praised residential care facility.

But late in his tenure, a state investigation found widespread violence and inadequate supervision and treatment at Maryville and this year the archdiocese said it was removing the by-then retired Smyth from ministry during its investigation of sexual abuse allegations.

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.

Mother and Baby Homes: Fifth Interim Report

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation

Released April 17, 2019

Summary of Findings

1. The major issues about burials arise in the cases of Bessborough and Tuam. It is not known where the vast majority of the children who died in Bessborough are buried. There is a small burial ground in the grounds of Bessborough. This was opened in 1956 for members of the congregation. It seems to have been assumed by former residents and advocacy groups that this is also where the children who died in Bessborough are buried as there are occasional meetings and commemoration ceremonies held there. The vast majority of children who died in Bessborough are not buried there; it seems that only one child is buried there. More than 900 children died in Bessborough or in hospital after being transferred from Bessborough. Despite very extensive inquiries and searches, the Commission has been able to establish the burial place of only 64 children. The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who owned and ran Bessborough do not know where the other children are buried.

Sacred Heart Homes

2. The burials of children who died in the three Sacred Heart Homes (Bessborough, Castlepollard and Sean Ross) are not recorded at all. More importantly, there is no certainty about where they are buried.

3. The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who owned and ran these institutions provided the Commission with an affidavit about burials generally and specifically about the Castlepollard and Sean Ross child burials but very little evidence was provided to support the statements in it. The affidavit was, in many respects, speculative, inaccurate and misleading.

4. The children who died in Castlepollard are likely to be buried in the burial ground there. However, there is no documentary evidence to confirm this.

Bessborough

5. As already stated, the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary do not know where the children who died in Bessborough are buried. The Commission finds this very difficult to comprehend as Bessborough was a mother and baby home for the duration of the period covered by the Commission (1922 – 1998) and the congregation was involved with it for all of this time. The Commission finds it very difficult to understand that no member of the congregation was able to say where the children who died in Bessborough are buried.

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

Alleged priest abuse victims speak out in Sonoma County

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
KRON

April 17, 2019

By Sanaz Tahernia

Santa Rosa – The Santa Rosa Dioceses is under fire again after two men filed reports of child sexual abuse out of a social services center in Sonoma.

They say it happened at the St. Francis Solano Roman Catholic Church.

Attorney Joseph George represents two men, David Anthony Ortega and a John Doe, in sexual abuse claims against Father John Crews of the Santa Rosa Dioceses.

In their report to the California Attorney General’s Office, both men allege Father Crews sexually abused them years ago while at the Hanna Boys Center, a residential treatment center for at-risk teens — Crews was the Executive Director there at the time.

John Crews is one of 39 priests identified in a report by the Santa Rosa Dioceses as having committed or were credibly accused of committing child sexual abuse.

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

SNAP criticizes Missouri AG for slow pace of priest abuse investigation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KMBC

April 17, 2019

By Micheal Mahoney

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt says investigation still active

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests doubt the 6-month-old priest abuse investigation is going forward.

“It’s gone nowhere and that’s unacceptable,” said Jim McConnell, who heads up the Kansas City chapter of SNAP.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s statement said the investigation is active. They are gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, and hope to finish it in a timely fashion.

“Well, that timely manner should not take six months to get at least some information out,” McConnell said.

McConnell said the attorney general’s office has not answered the group’s offer to help.

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Gonzaga to create commission on priest sex abuse

SEATTLE (WA)
Associated Press via KOMO News

April 16, 2019

Spokane, Wash. – Gonzaga University in Spokane will create a commission to study the Jesuit school’s handling of the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh announced the commission on Monday.

McCulloh noted recent revelations that have thrust the crisis back into the news.

The Spokesman-Review says McCulloh is seeking application letters from those who want to join the commission.

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Ireland’s Church Homes Gave Children’s Bodies to Medical Schools for Dissection

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

By Ed O’Loughlin

April 17, 2019

Dublin – For decades, some of Ireland’s church-run “mother and baby homes” gave the bodies of many of the children who died in their care to medical schools for dissection, a government inquiry reported on Wednesday, indicating that the scale of the abuses at the homes for single mothers was greater than previously known.

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation, created in 2015 by the Irish government, revealed that in Dublin alone, several of the homes run by the Roman Catholic Church had sent the bodies of 950 children, almost all born to single mothers, to medical schools as anatomical subjects. The practice continued until 1977.

Some other homes also kept few, if any, records of what had been done with the bodies of the children who died in their care, the report found.

At just one of the 13 homes examined, the Bessborough Home in Cork, the inquiry said it could find no information about the burial places of more than 800 children who had died there. It also said that it had received limited cooperation from the religious orders who had run the home.

The Bessborough Home in Cork, where the inquiry could find no information about the burial places of more than 800 children who died there.

The nuns of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, who ran three of the homes in Cork, did not record the burials of any of the children who died in their keeping, and it was unclear what happened to many of the bodies.

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Fr. Gary Hayes, abuse survivor and victim advocate, 66, dies

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

April 17, 2019

by Patricia Lefevere

First priest ever to sue church officials over sex abuse charges remembered as ‘holy disturbance’

In a week when Christians recall Jesus’ passion and death, the homilist at a funeral for Fr. Gary Hayes, a victim of clergy abuse, declared that “Jesus himself was a victim of sexual abuse.”

Fr. John Bambrick was referring to theologian Rocío Figueroa’s recently published study that followed a research project she did with theologian David Tombs called “When Did I See you Naked”?, a work that Hayes would have loved, said the homilist. Hayes died of cancer April 4. He was 66.

Bambrick told assembled mourners that Figueroa had proven in her writing that Jesus had been sexually humiliated during his passion and crucifixion. He noted that three times in Gospel accounts of his ordeal, Jesus is forced to strip naked in front of cohorts of soldiers. Figueroa “makes the point that there are different forms of sexual abuse including sexual humiliation in the form of forced nudity, mockery, stripping, touching, sexual assault and other physical acts.”

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April 17, 2019

Editorial: ‘We owe forgotten babies the dignity of memory’

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Independent

April 18, 2019

One of the many lessons we have learned historically concerning scandals and the Catholic Church is that the cruellest lies are often told in silence. But what was kept secret or suppressed has repeatedly returned to hound and to haunt.

So it was devastating to hear once more a Government having to plead with religious orders to reveal where babies who died in their care are buried.

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L.A. archdiocese pays abuse victim of layman $8 million

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

April 17, 2019

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $8 million to a female teenager who was sexually abused and abducted by a teacher at her high school in 2016.

The victim attended San Gabriel Mission High School, an all-girls school in San Gabriel, Calif., about 10 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The then-15-year-old student was abused over numerous months by Juan Ivan Barajas, her volleyball coach and health teacher.

“The Archdiocese recognizes that there was serious harm done to the life of the victim-survivor,” the archdiocese stated. “We hope that the settlement will allow her to heal and move forward with her education and lifetime goals. The Archdiocese apologizes for the impact that this caused in her life.”

The plaintiff’s main attorney, David Ring, said April 16 that the amount is the largest the archdiocese has paid a single victim.

According to the New York Times, Barajas, 39, had sent her sexually explicit messages and images through his phone. He had abused her in several locations on school grounds beginning in April 2016.

After Barajas’ wife found out about the abuse, he kidnapped the teenager in July, and took her to Las Vegas. The police found the pair living in his car in Henderson, Nev., and Barajas was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty.

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Fr. Gary Hayes, abuse survivor and victim advocate, 66

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

April 17, 2019

By Patricia Lefevere

In a week when Christians recall Jesus’ passion and death, the homilist at a funeral for Fr. Gary Hayes, a victim of clergy abuse, declared that “Jesus himself was a victim of sexual abuse.”

Fr. John Bambrick was referring to theologian Rocío Figueroa’s recently published study that followed a research project she did with theologian David Tombs called “When Did I See you Naked”?, a work that Hayes would have loved, said the homilist. Hayes died of cancer April 4. He was 66.

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Bambrick told assembled mourners that Figueroa had proven in her writing that Jesus had been sexually humiliated during his passion and crucifixion. He noted that three times in Gospel accounts of his ordeal, Jesus is forced to strip naked in front of cohorts of soldiers. Figueroa “makes the point that there are different forms of sexual abuse including sexual humiliation in the form of forced nudity, mockery, stripping, touching, sexual assault and other physical acts.”

The reality is that the Romans crucified people naked, including Jesus. “The problem is that the Church has never faced the reality of sexuality in a healthy way and if they are not able to also see the sexuality of Jesus, the sexuality of human beings, they are not able to see the perversion that is sexual abuse,” the homilist said, quoting Figuerosa.

Bambrick knew this kind of humiliation for a fact. He and Hayes had endured sexual assault as adolescents. The two men shared an unusual bond over decades. Both were priests who had been sexually abused by priests when they were teenagers. They confided to each other the details of their painful past. “My abuse was bad, but Gary’s was horrendous,” Bambrick told his family and friends. The fact that he survived it is a testament to his resiliency and the miracle of his life,” said Bambrick, who is pastor of St. Aloysius Church in Jackson, New Jersey. He is a member of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and is a founding member of both Jordon’s Crossing and Catholic Whistleblowers. He is a board member of New Jersey Child Assault Prevention, and, in 2002, he testified before the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

When asked years before by reporters how he could become and remain a priest after he had been violated by two Catholic priests, Hayes replied: “God didn’t do this; man did.” Understanding the difference, Bambrick said, helped Hayes become a compassionate listener for the abused and troubled, a whistleblower and advocate for ridding the church of its abusive priests and a founder of support groups for priests who were abused as children by priests. Jordan’s Crossing and Victims of Clergy Abuse Linkup were two of the support networks Hayes and Bambrick worked on together.

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Accused Priest John Smyth Has Died

MAYWOOD (IL)
Patch

April17, 2019

By Jonah Meadows

A retired Catholic priest removed from the ministry earlier this year in response to allegations sexual abuse of minors has died. John P. Smyth passed away Tuesday night at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, according to the Chicago Archdiocese. He was 84.

Before his retirement in 2014, Smyth spend more than 30 years as the superintendent of Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, an archdiocese-run home for troubled youth. After stepping down 15 years ago amid state and federal investigations into the facility, he became president of a Catholic high school.

Smyth was a star basketball player at DePaul Academy and the University of Notre Dame. He was drafted into the NBA in 1957 but turned down a career as a professional athlete and instead entered the priesthood. He was ordained and began his career at Maryville Academy in 1962, becoming superintendent in 1970.

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Video: Sonoma press conference announcing new allegations against Father Crews at Hanna Boys Center

SONOMA (CA)
Index-Tribune

April 17, 2019

A Sacramento attorney who represents the two accusers and a Missouri man who was assaulted by a priest and is the former long time head of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest, hold a press conference holding signs and childhood photos at St. Francis Solano Catholic church in Sonoma.

April 17, 2019, 1:41PM
Press Conference:

Two former residents of the Hanna Boys Center residential treatment program near Sonoma have come forward as sexual abuse survivors, saying they were repeatedly molested by one-time Executive Director John S. Crews.

Crews was named on a diocese list of clergy accused of child sex abuse. However, the two men said the diocese claimed Crews never molested kids at Hanna.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest (SNAP) held a news conference at 11:30 a.m. today in front of St. Francis Solano Catholic Church.

At the press conference was a Sacramento attorney who represents the two accusers and a Missouri man who was assaulted by a priest and is the former long time head of the support group, SNAP.

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What happens when a priest is falsely accused of sexual abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

April 17, 2019

By Michael J. O’Loughlin

Until last year, online search results for the Rev. Gary Graf would include stories about his liver donation to a parishioner, his scaling a border wall so he could understand more intimately the experiences of his immigrant parishioners and a hunger strike he staged to draw attention to the plight of Dreamers.

Today, however, the top results relate to Father Graf’s removal from ministry last August following an accusation that he inappropriately touched a minor. That allegation prompted the Archdiocese of Chicago to remove Father Graf from ministry and contact civil authorities, setting off multiple rounds of investigations—including a criminal trial—that ultimately cleared him of any wrongdoing.

As Holy Week begins, Father Graf is back ministering, but his story illustrates the challenges facing priests who are falsely accused at a time when hundreds of true stories of horrific abuse dominate the news.

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Monk accused of sex abuse at Highland school faces being surrendered to Scotland for trial

SCOTLAND
The Press and Journal

April 17, 2019

By Alistair Munro

A monk accused of sexually abusing children at a Catholic school in the Highlands could soon face trial in Scotland.

Father Denis Alexander, 83, has been facing extradition from Australia since the allegations against him and other monks who worked at the Fort Augustus boarding school came to light several years ago.

A Crown Office spokeswoman confirmed that a decision has been taken by the Australian Government that he should be surrendered for trial in Scotland.

He has however applied for a judicial review.

Father Alexander denies the claims and has been contesting his extradition back to Scotland on the grounds of ill health.

The allegations of child abuse at Fort Augustus Abbey were made in a BBC documentary six years ago years ago.

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Suffolk DA won’t investigate priest molestation allegation

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

April 17, 2019

By Bart Jones

Diocesan policies call for the allegation against the Rev. Steven J. Peterson to be reported to civil authorities, which the diocese did, a spokesman said.

Suffolk County law enforcement will not investigate an allegation that a parish priest molested a minor more than 40 years ago because the statute of limitations has expired, officials said.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson, 71, a pastor in Nassau County, agreed to step down from ministry while the allegation is investigated, the Diocese of Rockville Centre said this week.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office was informed of the allegation on Saturday, but will not pursue an investigation because the allegation is four decades old, Sheila Kelly, a spokeswoman for the office, said Tuesday.

Under policies adopted nationwide by the Roman Catholic Church and the Diocese of Rockville Centre, “an investigation is begun when an accusation is made,” said diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan. Diocesan policies call for the allegation to be reported to civil authorities, which the diocese did, he said.

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Caso Maristas: denunciantes interpondrán demanda civil contra la congregación y el Instituto Alonso Ercilla

[Marists case: plaintiffs to file civil suit against Marists and Alonso Ercilla Institute]

CHILE
La Tercera

April 15, 2019

By María José Navarrete and Sergio Rodríguez

Otras agrupaciones de víctimas evalúan, en conjunto con estudios de abogados, interponer acciones legales respecto de sus casos. Se trata de las primeras acciones tras el fallo de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago, que condenó a la Iglesia capitalina a pagar $ 300 millones a las víctimas de Fernando Karadima
.

Los denunciantes del denominado caso Maristas interpondrán durante los próximos días una demanda civil en contra de la congregación del mismo nombre y el colegio perteneciente a ella, el Instituto Alonso Ercilla, donde habrían ocurrido los eventuales abusos. Esta semana se darán a conocer los detalles de la acción judicial.

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¿Y dónde está Karadima? Ex sacerdote dejó el hogar donde vivía en Lo Barnechea

[And where is Karadima? Former priest left home where he lived in Lo Barnechea]

CHILE
La Tercera

April 16, 2019

By María José Navarrete and Sergio Rodríguez

El traslado a otro recinto para adultos mayores en Santiago ocurrió a fines de marzo. Sus cercanos no quieren comentar dónde está para evitar funas y presencia mediática. “Sé que él reza mucho”, cuenta su médico, Santiago Soto, quien lo visita cada tres semanas. Se especula sobre un problema económico del exsacerdote, expulsado del estado clerical por el Papa Francisco el 27 de septiembre del año pasado.

En silencio, sin que nadie supiera. Hace poco menos de un mes, a fines del marzo reciente, el exsacerdote Fernando Karadima, de 88 años, dejó el Hogar de Ancianos San José de las Hermanitas de los Ancianos Desamparados, donde vivía desde mayo de 2017. Allí, el sacerdote, quizás el mayor símbolo de la crisis que actualmente vive la Iglesia católica en Chile, estuvo recluido poco menos de dos años, una vez que fue trasladado desde el Convento de las Siervas de Jesús de la Caridad, de Providencia.

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Celestino Aós desmintió polémica frase en entrevista en el extranjero: “Nunca lo he dicho”

[Celestino Aós denies controversial statement in interview abroad: “I’ve never said it”]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 16, 2019

By Valentina González and Nicole Martínez

El administrador Apostólico de Santiago, Celestino Aós, se refirió al encuentro que sostuvo este martes con el presidente Sebastián Piñera en La Moneda. A la salida del encuentro, Aós negó que en la cita se haya hablado sobre la colaboración que podría prestar la Iglesia Católica con las investigaciones de abusos por parte de sacerdotes, calificando de “impensable” tocar esos temas en un saludo protocolar.

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Denunciantes de Karadima revelan que Celestino Aós les pidió “perdón por las faltas cometidas por la iglesia”

[Karadima survivors say Celestino Aós asked them “forgiveness for the faults committed by the church”]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

April 12, 2019

By Fernanda Villalobos D.

Tras llegar de su encuentro con el Papa en Roma, el administrador apostólico de Santiago se dirigió a la Fundación para la Confianza donde se reunió con José Andrés Murillo, Juan Carlos Cruz y James Hamilton.

El administrador apostólico de Santiago, Celestino Aós, se reunió este viernes con los denunciantes de Fernando Karadima, Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton y José Andrés Murillo en la sede de la Fundación para la Confianza, luego de aterrizar en Chile tras su encuentro con el Papa Francisco en Roma para abordar la crisis al interior de la iglesia católica chilena.

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Aós lamenta que Chile y la Iglesia tienen “heridas de abuso, de corrupción, de violencia”

[Aós regrets that Chile and the Church have “wounds of abuse, corruption, violence”]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Emol

April 14, 2019

By Leonardo Vallejos

El administrador apostólico de Santiago celebró misa por Domingo de Ramos y reveló que el papa “me dijo que hacia delante con esperanza y tratando de dar cada uno de nosotros lo mejor”.

Celestino Aós, el administrador apostólico de Santiago, celebró este domingo misa para conmemorar Domingo de Ramos en la Catedral Metropolitana. “La liturgia nos hace pensar hoy en este Chile, en esta Iglesia nuestra con tantas heridas de abuso, de corrupción, de violencia, en definitiva, de pasión y muerte”, comenzó diciendo.

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El arzobispo de Santiago pide a los curas “denunciar radicalmente la lacra” de los abusos sexuales

[Archbishop of Santiago asks the priests “radically denounce the scourge” of sexual abuse]

SANTIAGO (SPAIN)
El País

April 17, 2019

Julián Barrio advierte a los sacerdotes de la archidiócesis de que estos casos causan “tristeza y dolor” y generan “perdida de confianza” en el clero

“¡Qué tristeza y dolor están causando los abusos sexuales en la Iglesia, que tanta pérdida de confianza han generado!”, ha clamado esta mañana el arzobispo de Santiago, jefe de la Iglesia gallega, ante las decenas de curas de la archidiócesis congregados para la misa crismal. En la iglesia de San Martiño Pinario, escenario de las grandes celebraciones ahora que la catedral compostelana está sumida en obras, Julián Barrio ha hablado con más claridad que nunca, a sus propios sacerdotes, sobre el escándalo que reiteradamente sale a flote en el seno del catolicismo: Los abusos sexuales “son un pecado ante Dios que hiere profundamente a la persona y contamina la vida eclesial”, ha defendido en su homilía.

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Bishop wins court order in child sex case

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

He can now seek $7,300 from 22 year old woman

She told police Catholic coach was molesting her

Based on her report & testimony, he ended up in prison

SNAP: But church officials ‘exploit technicalities” & “play hardball”

Their goal, group says, is to “scare other victims into staying silent”

Victims deplore “this mean-spirited tactic” and write to Pope Francis

WHAT

Holding signs and childhood photos, a 22 year old woman who was repeatedly abused as a youngster will

–disclose that Catholic officials are trying to force her to pay $7,300 in costs related to her sexual abuse and cover up lawsuit against them, and

–blast Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto for “trying to shut up victims like me.”

WHEN
Wednesday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m.

WHERE

On the sidewalk outside the Sacramento Catholic diocese headquarters (‘chancery’), 2110 Broadway, (corner of 21st St.) in Sacramento

WHO

The young victim, her Sacramento attorney, perhaps one other local victim and a Missouri man who is also an abuse victim.

WHY

In what’s being called “an outrageous move to silence abuse victims,” lawyers for Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto have won a court order that means they can get $7,300 from a 22 year old woman who was molested by a Catholic school employee when she was 15 years old. The rationale: Her civil abuse lawsuit against school and church officials was voluntarily withdrawn.

But there’s no doubt she was victimized and her one-time coach at a Catholic school is responsible, SNAP says, because it was her report and testimony that landed the perpetrator in prison.

Starting in 2013, Bailey Boone was sexually abused as a sophomore by St. Francis school softball coach Michael Martis. He was 54. She was 15.

In 2016, he was charged with six felonies. The following year, he pled guilty to abusing Bailey and a 15 year old girl. He’s in jail now.

A month later, Bailey filed a civil case against the diocese and St. Francis High School for that abuse and their recklessness.

In January 2019, Bailey dismissed her civil complaint, for technical reasons, though state law entitles her to re-file it any time before she turns 26.

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Lawsuit Alleges “Systemic” Abuse at D.C. Synagogue

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

April 16, 2019

To ignore warnings and expressions of concern about a child care worker brought forward by one person is bad enough, but for an educator to disregard repeated reports by both parents and teachers is unconscionable.

We have no first hand knowledge about the allegations of “systemic” child sexual abuse at the Edlavitch Tyser Early Childhood Center. However, we know that false allegations of child sexual abuse are extremely rare, so our hearts ache for the children and their families who have filed police reports and are suing the Center. We hope that the boys and girls involved are getting the therapy and support they need.

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Los Angeles Archdiocese Pays $8 Million to Teen Girl Abused and Kidnapped by Coach

NEW YORK (NY)
Ne York Times

April 16, 2019

By Liam Stack

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has paid $8 million to a teenager who was sexually abused and later kidnapped by a teacher at her Catholic high school in 2016, her lawyer said Tuesday. The case has drawn attention to the problem of sex abuse at Catholic institutions that is committed by church employees who are not clergy members.

Dave Ring, a lawyer for the victim, and advocates for abuse survivors said the settlement was believed to be the largest amount paid to a single victim by the archdiocese, which has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to abuse survivors in recent years.

“I think the archdiocese has tended to settle cases for larger amounts when priests are involved,” Mr. Ring said on Tuesday. “In this particular case, the fact that it is a lay person and a coach and an athletic director, I think they are starting to realize that even lay people who may not hold a super important position in the church can still wreak havoc on a young person’s life, just as much as a priest can.”

Adrian M. Alarcon, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, declined Tuesday to confirm the price of the settlement. But she said that a $660 million settlement reached in 2007 with 508 abuse victims included sizable awards to “certain individuals,” although the church did not decide how that money was distributed.

“The Archdiocese recognizes that there was serious harm done to the life of the victim-survivor,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “We hope that the settlement will allow her to heal and move forward with her education and lifetime goals. The Archdiocese apologizes for the impact that this caused in her life.”

The victim has not been publicly identified. She was 15 years old when she was sexually abused by Ivan Barajas, the athletic director and health teacher at San Gabriel Mission High School in San Gabriel, Calif., a parish school owned and operated by the archdiocese, according to court documents in a lawsuit filed in 2017. He was also her volleyball coach.

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Livermore Priest Accused Of Sexual Assault Had Prior Accusations

OAKLAND (CA)
KPIX 5

April 16, 2019

A Catholic priest accused of sexual assault in the East Bay also has some serious allegations from his past.

A young former seminarian who does not want to be identified says he was sexually assaulted by a priest he considered a mentor, Father Michael Van Dinh. He says it happened inside the rectory of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Livermore where he says Van Dinh lured him with the promise of helping him find a job.

“When I got there something didn’t feel right,” said the former seminarian. He says Van Dinh led him into a candlelit room and gave him a gift bag. “In those gifts he had oils and underwear thongs and a shirt and chocolate,” said the former seminarian.

Then he says Van Dinh forced him down onto a mattress. “I couldn’t move, I couldn’t react. And he abused me,” he said. Police later recovered the underwear along with a blindfold, a meth pipe and five rubber rings from Van Dinh’s room.

What the former seminarian didn’t know was that Van Dinh was accused of engaging in inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact in the past, even though charges were never filed against him.

“What it shows is the lack of accountability of the church,” said his attorney, Sandra Ribera. She has now filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Oakland and Bishop Michael Barber, alleging they knew about prior allegations against Van Dinh.

“It’s our argument that the diocese had knowledge of these previous allegations and they kept him as a priest in the church and allowed this rape of my client to happen,” said Ribera.

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Connecting the Catholic Community

FAIRFIELD (CT)
Fairfield Mirror

April 17, 2019

By Sabina Dirienzo

Throughout the 13th annual Commonweal lecture, speaker Dominic Preziosi reminded the audience that a people is known by the story it tells. Preziosi is the editor of Commonweal, a Catholic opinion magazine run by laypeople. The lecture, titled “The Last Catholic Boyhood?” was held in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business dining room on April 10.

The Commonweal lecture was introduced by Paul Lakeland, Ph.D., the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. chair in Catholic studies and professor of religious studies, and Preziosi was then introduced by his predecessor, Paul Baumann.

Preziosi began by telling the audience the story of his first communion day. He asked his mother to play kickball in his white communion pants, and said to the audience, “maybe you can guess what happened.”

He explained that he used this anecdote as a starting point to empathize with fellow Catholic people, and introduced the preceding quote: “a people is known by the stories it tells.” He described his own upbringing as “a wonderful and wonderfully Catholic upbringing.”

Preziosi has two children; while both were raised Catholic, “now neither shows any particular interest in what they dismissively refer to as ‘church.’” Preziosi focused his talk on this idea of his own era of childhood as that last Catholic boyhood; what’s changed?

In his own experience at Fordham University, he found that there were two things which made Catholic religiosity difficult for him: witnessing performative piety, and witnessing the things that are done in the name of Catholicism. Preziosi also read the book “Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children,” regarding clerical sexual abuse in Louisiana. This book was released, and Preziosi read it, before the Boston Globe Spotlight reports on the sexual abuse scandal in Massachusetts.

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Woman says Lafayette priest on diocese list of accused sexual abusers assaulted her

LAFAYETTE (LA)
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

April 17, 2019

By Ashley White

More than 50 years after she was first abused as a little girl in Lafayette by a priest, Nancy told the diocese her story.

She and her six siblings all gave sworn statements to church leaders. Father John deLeeuw, her parish priest, had assaulted her in her family home on Moss Street near St. Leo the Great, she told them. It started when she was in third grade, at about age 7. It didn’t stop until she was in the sixth.

Then, nothing happened. The diocese had promised money, but none came. The church leaders said deLeeuw would be defrocked. She never heard anything.

That was in 2011.

On Friday, Nancy’s younger brother sent her a text. He captured a photo of the list released by the Diocese of Lafayette of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse, and deLeeuw’s name was on it.

She saw his name and she felt finally vindicated.

“When I first saw the text, I said ‘they finally caught the (SOB).’”

Nancy, an accuser of Father John deLeeuw
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this all to come out,” Nancy, now 69, said. “When I first saw the text, I said ‘they finally caught the (SOB).’ ”

Nancy, who asked that her family’s name not be revealed to protect their identity, said it’s unclear if her accusations or others led to deLeeuw being identified by the diocese. The diocese released names of 33 priests and four deacons, but withheld other significant information, like the nature of abuse allegations, when they were accused and how long they served after they were accused.

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Benedict is pouring salt in old wounds rather than helping the church move forward

NEW YORK (NY)
Daily News

April 17, 2019

By John Gehring

t’s a strange and unhelpful business having more than one pope living at the same time. When Benedict XVI announced he was stepping down in 2013, the first pontiff in six centuries to abdicate his position pledged to “remain hidden to the world.” The humility and grace Benedict showed in making that revolutionary decision to renounce power is now overshadowed by a tone-deaf insistence to weigh in with his opinions, even when those conclusions can be used to undermine Pope Francis.

The “pope emeritus” who still wears white — a title and color that Benedict should stop using to avoid the perception of competing papacies, much as a former police chief or general would take off the uniform when commenting from the sidelines — set off a whirlwind of media coverage and theological head-spinning last week when he weighed in about the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

In a lengthy essay for a German church magazine, published in the United States by conservative Catholic web sites that frequently criticize Francis, Benedict points to the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the absence of God in public life, and even moral theologians who challenged aspects of the church’s teachings as contributing to clerical abuse.

A culture of sexual permissiveness in the 1960s, he argues, accepted pedophilia as “allowed and appropriate.” Sexual education of children and nudity in advertising created a “propensity for violence.” This is why, in one of his more bizarre claims, “sex films were no longer allowed on airplanes” because “violence would break out among the small community of passengers.”

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In Benedict’s narrative, the mix of social protest and changing sexual mores left the church itself a victim. “Homosexual cliques” corrupted seminaries, he writes, an argument taken to its pernicious extreme by some conservative bishops today who continue to blame gay clergy for the abuse crisis despite evidence to the contrary.

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It’s much easier to point accusing fingers at the secular forces supposedly conspiring against the church or to scapegoat gay clergy than to take a hard look at your own house. In fact, this hunkered-down style of fortress Catholicism — defensive and reactionary — helped shape a mentality that led church leaders to become isolated, privileged and comfortable. Priests and bishops, viewed as a heroic class set apart, were less servants than those who expected to be served, protectors of an institution rather than protectors of children.

Francis, in contrast, has correctly diagnosed the systemic and cultural problems at the heart of clericalism that too often led to abuses of power. “To say ‘no’ to abuse is to say an emphatic ‘no’ to all forms of clericalism,” the pope wrote in a letter to the Catholic faithful last summer.

Benedict is a kind, gentle man with a deep spirituality. He is also hurting the church he loves. It’s sad to watch him unwittingly give credibility to a small but vocal contingent of reactionary Catholic bishops and right-wing Catholic activists who view the reformist Francis papacy as a threat. At a time when transparency, accountability and decisive action are needed to prevent future abuse, the Catholic Church is not well served by a former pope whose vision is blurred by theological and cultural nostalgia.

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#NunsToo: How the Catholic Church has worked to silence women challenging abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

April 17, 2019

By Lila Rice Goldenberg

On March 26, the eight editors of Women Church World, the monthly Vatican women’s magazine, resigned. They left in protest over the church’s attempts to silence the all-female staff’s reports of clerical abuse of nuns.

The controversy began in February, when the magazine’s writers claim that they were told not to discuss Pope Francis’s revelations about rampant clerical misconduct toward nuns. The authors refused to give in to Vatican pressure. In response, the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, started to run articles that contradicted stories in Women Church World. In a statement to the Associated Press, founder Lucetta Scaraffia said, “After the attempts to put us under control, came the indirect attempts to delegitimize us.”

In the #MeToo era, the Vatican’s attempts to discredit those women who speak out against sexual abuse and harassment by members of the clergy may seem like a desperate ploy to preserve its own fast-eroding moral authority. But this pattern of behavior has been the standard for the Catholic Church since the Middle Ages. For more than a thousand years, the church has denigrated religious women when they challenged clerical abusers.

Historically, the church has opposed groups of religious women who have acted against or outside church control, even if they were acting out of religious conviction. In the Middle Ages, the church used similar tactics with the Beguines, a lay religious movement for women popular throughout medieval cities in the Low Countries, France and Germany.

These women lived semi-monastic lives of prayer and work. Inside their houses, called “beguinages,” they prayed and meditated. They also maintained ties with the outside world. They cared for the sick, taught school for girls and young women, and made textiles and other handicrafts to support themselves. They were prayerful, chaste, charitable and industrious.

In other words, beguines were paradigms of female religiosity.

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Catholic Diocese Agrees To Changes In Handling Sex Abuse Cases

BUFFALO (NY)
WBFO TV

April 17, 2019

By Marian Hetherlhy

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and the Movement to Restore Trust have formed a Joint Implementation Team, facilitated by Leadership Roundtable, to address the clergy sex abuse scandal. Among the first orders of business was to agree to changes in how the diocese handles abuse cases.

Bishop Richard Malone said the team held its first meeting on April 11 and quickly reached agreement on the following initiatives:

Malone will hold Diocesan-wide listening sessions. The first two dates and locations will be announced by the end of April and the first session could be held as early as May.
New Initiatives to Handle Sex Abuse Cases:
Malone will continue meeting with victims and also reserve regular hours on his schedule for individual meetings.
The Diocese’s approach to releasing the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse will be reviewed. The MRT has suggested a more detailed approach, based upon best practices from other U.S. dioceses.
The Diocese’s intake processes for sex abuse claims will be reviewed to insure victims are treated with dignity.
Malone will establish a new process for allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct made against a bishop, modeled after other dioceses, whereby complaints would automatically be referred to the Metropolitan Archdiocesan Review Board. This new process would remain in place until the Vatican or the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops develops a procedure applicable to all dioceses.

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April 16, 2019

Former Baptist preachers face abuse charges in Vermont, Mississippi and Guam

NASHVILLE (TN)
Baptist News Global

April 16, 2019

By Bob Allen

Two months after a series of investigative newspaper stories reported widespread sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention and while denominational leaders ponder solutions, the numbers of Southern Baptist clergy in the criminal system for alleged sex offenses continues to grow.

Last Friday Michael McNeil, former youth pastor at Christ Memorial Church in Wilton, Vermont, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sexual exploitation of a minor.

McNeil, 29, served as youth pastor at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, before moving to Vermont in 2016 to intern at The New England Training and Sending Center for Church Planting and Revitalization, a group of congregations affiliated with groups including the Southern Baptist Convention, Sovereign Grace Ministries, The Gospel Coalition, 9Marks and ACTS 29.

McNeil admitted to the crime in exchange for a sentence with no jail time that keeps his name off the sex offender registry if he stays out of trouble for five years.

According to the Burlington Free Press, the unnamed girl was older than the age of consent, but Vermont has a law making it a crime for someone at least four years older acting “in a position of power, authority, or supervision” to engage in a sexual act with a minor. If convicted of abusing his position of power to entice the girl McNeil could have received up to five years in prison.

“The breach of trust is unbelievable,” Chittenden County Superior Court Judge Kevin Griffin told McNeil after accepting his guilty plea. “The dignity and the compassion that [the girl’s] parents have shown you far exceeded what you did to them.”

Also on Friday, Jonathan Michael Bailey, 37, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in 2015 during a trip to the Sea Shore United Methodist Retreat Center in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Bailey, former minister of youth at First Baptist Church in New Orleans, was previously sentenced to 10 years in prison for molestation that occurred in Louisiana.

A graduate of Louisiana College and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Bailey reportedly passed a criminal background check before joining the staff at First Baptist in about 2013, but after his arrest a previous church reported to police he had been fired there about a decade earlier over an inappropriate relationship with a juvenile.

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D.C. synagogue accused in lawsuit of enabling ‘systemic, regular’ sexual abuse at preschool

WASHINGTON (DC)
USA TODAY

April 16, 2019

By Joey Garrison

Eight families say a teacher at a Jewish preschool in Washington, D.C., repeatedly sexually abused their children over the past two years – and they contend the school’s top leader and a prominent synagogue did nothing about it despite warnings.

Disturbing claims of sexual abuse against children, between the ages of two and four at the time of the alleged crimes, are outlined in a new civil lawsuit filed late Monday against the Washington Hebrew Congregation, which operates the Edlavitch Tyser Early Childhood Center, and its head of schools, Deborah “DJ” Schneider Jensen.

The suit, filed in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, alleges the defendants enabled sexual abuse of children from the same man – Jordan Silverman, an assistant teacher who arrived at the preschool in 2016 after a long career as a photographer in Vermont.

Attorneys for the parents and children say the abuse, which spanned from March 2016 to August 2018 on the preschool’s campus, included the “most grievous, demeaning and damaging forms of sexual abuse,” and was “systemic and regular.” The victims include both girls and boys, they say.

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More child sex abuse bills advance in Pennsylvania House

HARRISBURG (PA)
KYW Newsradio

April 16, 2019

By Tony Romeo

Two more bills crafted on recommendations from the grand jury that investigated clergy child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania has advanced in the state House.

Legislation intended to reform the statute of limitations on child sex abuse passed the House last week.

Now the House Children and Youth Committee has advanced a bill, sponsored by Montgomery County Republican Todd Stephens, based on a grand jury recommendation to clarify and strengthen penalties for someone who is required to report suspected abuse and fails to do so.

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Philippine villagers struggle with priest sex abuse shock

BILIRAN (THE PHILIPPINES)
UCA News

April 15, 2019

By Ronald O. Reyes

Parishioners of accused American priest say scandal came out of the blue

People in a central Philippine village, where a 77-year-old American priest allegedly molested young boys, are clinging to their faith to overcome the stigma the abuse scandal has brought.

Residents said news about the abuse, which surfaced last year, was “extremely difficult” for the estimated 1,000 people in the sleepy coastal village of Talustosan to come to terms with.

“We’re all hurt,” said 38-year-old Nito Olaguer, a father of four and a former acolyte of accused Father Kenneth Hendricks.

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Franciscan University president resigns after Church Militant pressure

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

April 16, 2019

By Jenn Morson

After months of pressure from the right-wing media organization Church Militant and its supporters, many of them parents of current students at Franciscan University of Steubenville as well as alumni of the Ohio school, Franciscan Fr. Sean Sheridan tendered to the Board of Trustees his resignation as president.

His resignation comes in the wake of a challenging academic year for Sheridan and the university. At a Mass opening the academic year, Sheridan delivered a homily that addressed the sexual abuse crisis in the church at large as well as at Franciscan University, where several incidents of abuse were mishandled and where it was revealed later in the year that credible allegations had been made against a well-known friar at the school.

The final straw, however, may have been controversy over assignment of a novel to a high-level literature seminar that conservatives found objectionable and that Church Militant picked up as a cause against Sheridan.

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Committees advance bills related to sex abuse scandal

HARRISBURG (PA)
Altoona Mirror

April 16, 2019

By Robert Swift

Two House committees advanced bills Monday to implement some of the lesser-known recommendations of last year’s state grand jury report on child sex abuse.

The grand jury, which identified more than 300 priests accused of sexually abusing thousands of children over the course of decades, made four recommendations for legislative action. The two proposals concerning Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases have gotten the most public attention so far.

The committees on Monday tackled the jury recommendations dealing with confidentiality agreements for child sex abuse victims and reporting requirements for suspicions of child sex abuse.

The Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to approve House Bill 1171, sponsored by Rep. Tarah Toohill, R-Luzerne, to specify that civil confidentiality agreements with abuse victims that include bans on communicating with law enforcement are “void and unenforceable.” The bill would apply to past and present confidentiality agreements.

The bill is a response to a jury finding that Catholic dioceses used these non-disclosure agreements to silence abuse victims from speaking publicly or cooperating with law enforcement, said Toohill.

Passing the bill will enable law enforcement inform to inform victims that they can speak out, she added.

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Abuse crisis rooted in ‘egregious’ social changes, retired pope says

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

April 15, 2019

By Carol Glatz

The clerical sexual abuse crisis is rooted in the “egregious event” of the cultural and sexual revolution in the Western world in the 1960s and a collapse of the existence and authority of absolute truth and God, retired Pope Benedict XVI writes in an article outlining his thoughts on what must be done now.

The retired pope said the primary task at hand is to reassert the joyful truth of God’s existence and of the church as holding the true deposit of faith.

“When thinking about what action is required first and foremost, it is rather obvious that we do not need another church of our own design. Rather, what is required first and foremost is the renewal of the faith in the reality of Jesus Christ given to us in the Blessed Sacrament,” he wrote.

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Australian media challenge ‘unprecedented’ contempt charges over sex abuse reporting

AUSTRALIA
Mail & Guardian

April 15, 2019

The lawyer defending Australia’s biggest news organisations against contempt charges for their reporting of Cardinal George Pell’s sex crimes conviction denounced on Monday what he called an unprecedented attack on press freedom in the country.

Twenty-three journalists and 13 media companies face fines and prison terms for allegedly breaching a gag order not to report on last year’s trial of Pell for child sex abuse.

Pell, 77, the most senior Catholic cleric convicted of sex crimes, was found guilty in December of abusing two choirboys and is serving a six-year prison term. He has appealed the conviction.
The court had banned all reporting of the case pending a second trial scheduled for this month, but the gag order was lifted in February when that trial was cancelled.

Some foreign media, including The New York Times and the Washington Post, reported Pell’s conviction in December, while local media ran cryptic articles complaining that they were being prevented from reporting a story of major public interest.

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Catholic Diocese agrees to changes in handling of sex abuse cases

BUFFALO (NY)
WBFO

April 16, 2019

By Marian Hetherly

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and the Movement to Restore Trust have formed a Joint Implementation Team, facilitated by Leadership Roundtable, to address the clergy sex abuse scandal. Among the first orders of business was to agree to changes in how the diocese handles abuse cases.

Bishop Richard Malone said the team held its first meeting on April 11 and quickly reached agreement on the following initiatives:

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Lawsuit alleges child sex abuse at Washington synagogue

WASHINGTON (DC)
CNN

April 16, 2019

By Daniel Burke

The families of eight young children have filed suit against a prominent Washington synagogue and one of its leaders, alleging they ignored warnings that a teacher at the congregation’s preschool was sexually abusing the children for more than two years.

The families, who are filing the suit anonymously, to protect the children’s identities, say the alleged abuse occurred at Washington Hebrew Congregation’s Early Childhood Center, a Reform Jewish synagogue founded in the 1850s.

The lawsuit names Jordan Silverman, a teacher at Washington Hebrew Congregation’s preschool, as the abuser. Silverman, who was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, could not be immediately reached for comment.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia confirmed to CNN on Monday evening that an investigation into alleged sexual abuse of children at the school is currently ongoing. Police wouldn’t confirm or deny that Silverman is a suspect.

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Buffalo Diocese, lay people reveal plans to help restore trust in Catholic church

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB

April 15, 2019

By Shannon Smith

Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone is working to restore trust in the Catholic Church. A group of lay people hope their suggestions will help after the sex abuse scandal rocked the Buffalo Diocese.

The Movement to Restore Trust and the Buffalo Diocese met Thursday to give suggestions for the Diocese aimed at restoring faith in Catholic leaders.

John Hurley, president of Canisius College and a member of the Movement to Restore Trust talked about those suggestion on WBEN radio Monday afternoon.

“We put nine, basic, kind of foundational, recommendations in front of the Bishop and we said this is what needs to happen to begin the process of restoring trust in the diocese and he said, I can do those,” said John Hurley.

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Kentucky diocese IDs priests ‘credibly’ accused of abuse

OWENSBORO (KY)
The Associated Press

April 16, 2019

The diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky, has released a list of priests it says have been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors.

The Paducah Sun reports the bishop of the diocese, The Most Rev. William Medley, released the list of 15 priests Friday.

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Bishop Malone apologizes in Buffalo diocese, says he was part of no cover-ups

BUFFALO (NY)
CNA

April 12, 2019

The Bishop of Buffalo said in a statement Thursday that despite media reports to the contrary, he has not been part of any cover-up of clerical sexual abuse, though he does intend to be more transparent about clerical sexual abuse and its financial impact on his diocese.

“For all the progress the Church and this diocese have made in preventing child sexual abuse today and in addressing abuse in the past, I recognize that more needs to be done. Of course, I am acutely aware of the times when I personally have fallen short,” Bishop Richard Malone said in his April 11 statement.

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Quiet ex-pope emerges at exactly the wrong time

SANTA FE (NM)
The New Mexican

April 16, 2019

Emeritus Pope Benedict picked a strange moment and an unfortunate topic to return to the public eye — just before Holy Week, writing about the scandal of sex abuse in the Catholic Church and choosing to blame the 1960s for the sins of the church.

The Catholic Church, as with any human institution, has a history of misdeeds that dates back to its very founding, well before the swinging ’60s. Among those — and we can never forget the Inquisition — are abuse of children, the faithful, nuns and others by priests in holy orders. Over the years, such sins were covered up by bishops and the hierarchy because, sadly, institutions seem more intent on protecting themselves than caring for people. That is just a fact of human nature and human history.

What makes abuse by priests and subsequent cover-ups so horrific, of course, is that the institution hiding the sin is supposed to represent Jesus on this Earth, showcasing the gospel through its actions. The Catholic Church seeks to teach, to set an example and to show humanity how good Christians are supposed to live.

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Former St. Mary’s Pastor Accused of Sexually Abusing Minor

MANORHAVEN (NY)
Patch National

April 15, 2019

By Ryan Bonner

The alleged abuse occurred more than 40 years ago, but it was only recently reported, diocese officials say.

A former pastor at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in East Islip has been accused of sexually abusing a minor more than 40 years ago.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson, the current pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in Manorhaven, “has voluntarily agreed to step down immediately from all ministry” while an investigation takes place, said Sean Dolan, the director of communications for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The alleged abuse was only recently reported through the diocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP), Dolan said.

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Franciscan releases name of another priest accused of sex abuse

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
WTRF

April 16, 2019

Franciscan University of Steubenville has released another name of a priest accused of sex abuse.

Father Joseph Moore was there from 1986 to 1989.

After moving to another Diocese in Connecticut back in 1997, he was removed from the ministry for reports of abuse.

They did not involve his time in Steubenville however.

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Former St. Joseph’s Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing Minor

MANORHAVEN (NY)
Patch National

April 15, 2019

By Ryan Bonner

The alleged abuse occurred more than 40 years ago, but it was only recently reported, diocese officials say.

A former priest at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Babylon has been accused of sexually
abusing a minor more than 40 years ago.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson, the current pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in Manorhaven, “has voluntarily agreed to step down immediately from all ministry” while an investigation takes place, said Sean Dolan, the director of communications for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The alleged abuse was only recently reported through the diocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP), Dolan said.

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‘I did as I was told’: $1 million lawsuit against Knox for child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Sydney Morning Herald

April 14, 2019

By Peter FitzSimons and Rick Feneley

Greg Dubler was just 10 years old when he was sent to board at Knox, the prestigious private school on Sydney’s upper north shore.

His parents were having marriage troubles and wanted to travel to Europe together to try to work things out. Their three sons, Martin, Robert and Greg, who had been Knox day boys, were sent to board at the school for three months in 1975.

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BUFFALO BISHOP FAILS IN ATTEMPT AT COVER-UP

BUFFALO (NY)
Church Militant

April 15, 2019

NBC News preparing to release huge story on Bishop Malone

With the white heat from the media spotlight intensifying, Buffalo, New York’s Bp. Richard Malone is once again rejecting mounting calls for his resignation and proclaiming his innocence — although he grudgingly admits he failed in some aspects.

“I deeply regret and apologize for having signed those letters in support of Fr. Art Smith,” Malone said in an April 11 statement, referring to a predator priest Malone promoted. “I also regret not being more transparent about claims involving abuse against adults.”

His sudden confession may be the result of getting word of an upcoming NBC News piece on him and his failures. NBC reporter Anne Thompson was in Buffalo last week doing extensive interviews with victims of priests Malone continues to leave in service.

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Christians and allegations of sexual misconduct, part two: the Catholic Church

HUNTINGTON (IN)
The Huntingtonian

April 15, 2019

By Juliet Wilson

Catholicism is the largest Christian denomination in the world, reporting 1.285 billion members in 2014. In the same year, a study showed that 20.8 percent of Americans identify as Catholic — this makes Catholicism the single-largest denomination in America as well.

Without a doubt, Catholicism has become a prominent presence in America and worldwide. Despite the Catholic emphasis on sanctification, this denomination has fallen prey to the disaster of sexual misconduct within the church. Devastatingly, the history of sexual abuse between Catholic priests and young boys has become common knowledge.

Recently, the problem of sexual abuse within the Catholic church has resurfaced in the media. On March 14, the Roman Catholic Church in Poland released a study concerning the abuse reports church officials received. This study was commissioned by the Episcopal Conference of Poland and covered the time period between 1990 and mid-2018.

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Women Sexually Abused By Catholic Nuns Speak Up: She Told Me It Was ‘God’s Love’

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

April 11, 2019

By Carol Kuruvilla and Jessica Blank

Two survivors share stories of grooming, emotional manipulation and sexual abuse by nuns in the Catholic Church.

The predator nun walked into Trish Cahill’s life straight out of the blue, on a busy summer day in the late 1960s.

Cahill was a teenager back then, wire thin with long, chestnut brown hair framing her face. She was babysitting her cousins in Glen Rock, New Jersey, and there were eight of them to look after ― a big Catholic family, much like her own.

One cousin was playing outside that day and Cahill had another little one in a high chair in the kitchen. It was quite a common child care tactic at the time, she said ― stick a kid in a playpen in the yard and watch through the window while doing chores and taking care of the others inside.

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Diocese: Priest in Manorhaven steps aside after abuse allegation

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

April 15, 2019

By Bart Jones

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson most recently served at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church. The allegation stems from decades ago, the diocese said.

A parish priest in Manorhaven has stepped down while law enforcement authorities investigate an allegation that he sexually abused a minor more than 40 years ago when he served in Suffolk County, the Diocese of Rockville Centre and officials said Monday.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson, 71, has been serving as pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in the village of Manorhaven. Diocese officials announced the move Sunday during Masses at the church, parishioners said.

Peterson could not be reached for comment.

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Michigan lawmaker cries foul against AG’s ‘anti-Catholicism’

LANSING (MI)
Catholic News Agency

April 15, 2019

By Jonah McKeown

A Michigan state representative is considering opening articles of impeachment against the state’s attorney general over comments that he says demonstrate an anti-Catholic bias.

State Rep. Beau LaFave told CNA in an interview that he had been worried about various public statements made by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

But the final straw was when Nessel publicly suggested that she thinks retired Judge Michael Talbot, a Catholic who has previously worked with the Diocese of Saginaw, is unfit to help Michigan State University overhaul its Title IX hearing procedures.

“There’s a clear pattern of anti-Catholic religious bigotry coming out of our attorney general, and somebody needs to do something about it,” LaFave told CNA.

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Our Lady of Hope plants pinwheels at Epiphany Church in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
South Philly Review

April 15, 2019

By Grace Maiorano

For the first time since its inception, the Archdiocesan Office for Child and Youth Protection included students during its annual pinwheel planting ceremony, known as “Pinwheels for Prevention.”

Swirling in the wind, a sea of glistening blue and silver pinwheels have graced the gardens of Epiphany of Our Lord Church at 11th and Jackson streets.

But the site serves as more than a springtime decoration, striving to represent the happiness, healthiness and safety of our community’s children.

For the first time since its inception, the Archdiocesan Office for Child and Youth Protection included students during its annual pinwheel planting ceremony, known as “Pinwheels for Prevention,” a movement that takes place across the country every April in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

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Las Vegas Catholic Diocese reveals list of 33 ‘credibly accused’ of child sexual abuse

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Los Angeles Times

April 12, 2019

By David Montero

The Las Vegas Catholic Diocese on Friday released the names of 32 clergy members and one volunteer it said were credibly accused of child sexual abuse and who had served in Nevada within the last several decades.

Bishop George Leo Thomas, who opened the broad investigation after becoming head of the diocese in 2018, said the “church has been in secrecy and denial for a very long time.”

The Las Vegas Diocese said of the 33 people listed, 21 are dead and the remainder had been removed from their positions, most before the investigation began.

A volunteer on the list was removed from his post just this year. The former priest had been accused multiple times of abuse in dioceses in other states, and the Diocese of Gary, Ind., showed he’d been removed from the clerical ranks in July 2006.

Thomas said all the information gathered on the accused had been turned over to law enforcement.

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Abuse in the Church, how priests are living through the storm

FRANCE
La Croix International

April 16, 2019

By Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner and Marie Malzac

Even when they have not been targeted personally by any disparaging remarks, priests are conscious of the climate of ‘suspicion’ that has developed

While they will gather around their bishops for the Chrism Mass, a key moment in Holy Week, French priests share with La Croix their distress at the wave of revelations of sexual abuse, but also their need to talk and strengthen the brotherhood amongst them.

Shock, sadness, anger, disillusionment … many priests realized only in the past few months the “scope” of the crisis of abuses in the Church, which is not limited to “individual cases” as first thought, but takes on a “systemic” dimension in their eyes.

As a member of the monitoring organisation in his Diocese of Nanterre, Father Hugues de Woillemont knows the “depth of the trauma” experienced by the victims in all areas of their personal and spiritual lives. But a documentary aired in early March by Arte TV on the rape of nuns by clerics was the final blow for him.

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Benedict’s unfortunate letter ignores the facts on the Catholic sex abuse crisis

COLUMBIA (MO)
Religion News Service

April 15, 2019

By Thomas Reese

The recent essay on clergy sexual abuse by Benedict XVI shows why it was such a good idea for him to resign as pope. In the letter released last week, he shows how out of touch he is with the causes of the abuse crisis.

Fundamentally, Benedict lives in a Platonic world of ideas where facts don’t matter.

Most of the media attention since a German Catholic magazine published Benedict’s 6,000-word statement has been focused on Benedict blaming the sex abuse crisis on the collapse of sexual standards in the 1960s.

Actually, he may have a point. Data presented by the 2004 John Jay report on clerical abuse showed that, both in the church and in America as a whole, the number of abuse cases began increasing in the mid-1960s and peaked in the 1970s. Something was happening, not just in the church but in the world.

On the other hand, sexual abuse was occurring prior to the 1960s. The church and America were just better at covering it up.

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‘A Spiritual Rape’: Female Survivors Say Sex Abuse by Nuns Has Been Overlooked by Public

UNITED STATES
People

April 11, 2019

By Jeff Truesdell

Female victims says nuns may also be predators whose sexual abuse of minors has been overshadowed by scandals focused on priests

Two women who have been sexually abused by nuns are speaking out, saying that amidst the well-documented scandal of widespread abuse of boys by priests, their traumas have been overlooked.

“It’s a spiritual rape, it really is,” survivor Anne Gleeson tells HuffPost in an exclusive video interview. “It steals your faith. I envy people who have faith.” (A 4-minute clip of the interview is shown above.)

Another survivor, Patricia Cahill, tells the outlet, “The boys thought they were the only ones for a hundred years. The girls [who were abused] think they’re the only ones. They don’t have any other survivors to see.”

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Priest’s trial for violating confessional to protect abuser postponed

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 15, 2019

By Claire Giangravè

A long-awaited ecclesiastical trial for a priest who allegedly broke the seal of confession to inform members of a controversial lay group in Italy of a police investigation of their leader for sexual abuse of minors has been postponed indefinitely.

The decision has not played well with alleged victims of the group and their families.

“They are playing with our lives,” said the mother of one of the victims to Crux April 4.

The mother, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect her underage daughter’s identity, claims to have gone to confession with Father Orazio Caputo in the fall of 2017 where she spoke of her concerns for her daughter within the lay-led “Catholic Culture and Environment Association” (ACCA) in the southern Italian town of Acireale.

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Former Vatican Doctrine Czar says rift between Benedict XVI and Francis is impossible

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 15, 2019

By Claire Giangravè

In a new interview, the former top doctrinal official at the Vatican praised Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s recent statement on the clerical sexual abuse scandals and rebuked criticism that the pope did not write it himself or should not speak his mind.

Benedict XVI “has his style, he was helped by a secretary but intellectually he does not need help, because he has great experience and he remembers all those responsible for the fall of moral theology, which is one of the causes behind these abuses,” said German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwing Müller, former Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in an April 14 interview with Italian news outlet Tgcom24.

Despite his 92-years of age, Benedict XVI “is lucid in his thought and in his reasoning, which as seen in that document, is very elaborate and profound,” the cardinal said.

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New Vatican constitution will resist centralization in Rome, drafter says

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 15, 2019

Inés San Martín

It took 29 meetings, but the pope’s “C-9” council of cardinal advisers, which is now functionally more akin to a “C-6”, has a new constitution for the Vatican in the form of a draft presentable to all the bishops’ conferences around the world, the heads of the various departments of the Holy See, theologians and canonists.

According to a principal drafter of that document, one core aim, reflecting the electoral mandate given Pope Francis six years ago, is to combat centralization of power in Rome.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias from Bombay, India, a member of the council, was responsible for drafting parts of Praedicate evangelium, which will now be reviewed by bishops around the world who have to send their thoughts in late May, before the council’s next meeting in June.

Gracias spoke with Crux last week at the end of a meeting of the prelates, and he said fighting “centralization” was a principal goal of the drafters. The issue was discussed by the cardinals who elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio to succeed Benedict XVI, “so Francis was elected on a mandate to do this,” Gracias said.

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The problem with Benedict’s essay

UNITED STATES
Catholic World Report

April 13, 2019

By Christopher R. Altieri

Right or wrong, Benedict told us very little—practically nothing—we did not already know.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI attends a consistory for the creation of new cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in this Feb. 22, 2014, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI’s release of his letter on “The Church and the Crisis of Sexual Abuse” took most of the world—including Rome, by all accounts—quite by surprise. In the English-speaking world, the Catholic News Agency led the way with the full text, in a well-prepared—even elegant—translation from the original German. The New York Post anticipated the letter’s release in English, with an editorial take that described Benedict’s foray into the public debate over the great matter as, “a post-retirement encyclical.”

Reaction in the press was swift and hot.

The portion of the commentariat usually well-disposed to Francis was quick to decry the intervention of the Pope emeritus as temerarious. Writing for Commonweal, Massimo Faggioli of Villanova University opined, “The publication of Benedict’s essay has already damaged his reputation and sown confusion.”

Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter said the letter seemed a “caricature of both Joseph Ratzinger’s once powerful intellect and of conservative explanations for the sex abuse crisis.”

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Opinion: From the Ashes of Notre-Dame

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

April 15, 2019

By Ross Douthat

How a burning cathedral rebukes a divided Catholic Church.

A first draft of this column was written before flames engulfed the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, before its spire fell in one of the most dreadful live images since Sept. 11, 2001, before a blazing fire went further than any of France’s anticlerical revolutionaries ever dared.

My original subject was the latest controversy in Catholicism’s now-years-long Lent, in which conflicts over theology and sex abuse have merged into one festering, suppurating mess. The instigator of controversy, this time, was the former pope, the 92-year-old Benedict XVI, who late last week surprised the Catholic intelligentsia with a 6,000-word reflection on the sex abuse crisis.

Portions of the document were edifying, but there was little edifying in its reception. It was passed first to conservative Catholic outlets, whose palpable Benedict nostalgia was soon matched by fierce criticism from Francis partisans, plus sneers from the secular press at the retired pope’s insistence that the sex abuse epidemic was linked to the cultural revolution of the 1960s and the 1970s.

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April 15, 2019

Manorhaven Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing Minor

MANORHAVEN (NY)
Patch

April 15, 2019
.
By Ryan Bonner

A local priest has been accused of sexually abusing a minor more than 40 years ago.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson, the pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in Manorhaven, “has voluntarily agreed to step down immediately from all ministry” while an investigation takes place, said Sean Dolan, the director of communications for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The alleged abuse was only recently reported through the diocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP), Dolan said.

The allegation against Peterson has been reported to civil authorities. Newsday reported that the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office is investigating.

Peterson was a priest in Suffolk County for 35 years – including lengthy stints at St. Joseph’s in Babylon and St. Mary’s in East Islip, according to his bio posted online. He left St. Mary’s in 2008 for Our Lady of Fatima .

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Local priests deny sexual abuse allegations

ANDOVER (MA)
Andover Townsman

April 15, 2019

By Jessica Valeriani

Two priests who served at the former St. Augustine’s in Lawrence say allegations of the sexual abuse of a boy decades ago are false.

The Rev. Peter Gori, currently pastor of St. Augustine’s Church in Andover, and the Rev. William Waters, who served as pastor at several Merrimack Valley parishes and is now a pastor in Philadelphia, have both been accused by a man in his 40s of sexual abuse some 30 years ago.

Both priests have been placed on leave pending the outcome of investigations.

The alleged victim says Waters abused him from 1987 to 1990 when he was eight to 10 years old, according to attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who is known for representing sexual abuse victims in the Boston area during the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal. The man says Gori sexually abused him repeatedly in the 1990s when he was 10 years old, according to Garabedian.

Terrence Donilon, secretary for communications and public affairs at the Archdiocese of Boston, said the abuse is alleged to have happened at St. Augustine’s in Lawrence. At the time, the victim attended St. Augustine’s School in Lawrence, according to Garabedian.

Gori denied the allegations in a letter sent to St. Augustine’s parishioners Tuesday.

In the letter, Gori writes he was informed of the allegation by the provincial of his Augustinian order last Friday.

“I assure you, as I assured the Provincial, that the accusation is false,” Gori wrote.

Gori goes on to tell parishioners he will not be living in the rectory nor conducting Mass while the investigation is underway.

Waters has also denied the allegation against him, according to a written statement from Kenneth Gavin, chief communications officer at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Waters has “voluntarily stepped aside as pastor” pending the outcome of the matter, according to the statement from Gavin. He was placed on administrative leave in his role as pastor at St. Augustine’s in Philadelphia, and the archdiocese has restricted his faculties to function as a priest, pending the outcome of the matter, the statement said.

While on administrative leave, the statement said Waters will not be able to function publicly as a priest and will have no access to parish or school facilities.

Gavin said in the statement the Augustinians received an allegation through a third party that “Waters sexually abused a minor approximately 30 years ago while serving as a priest outside the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”

“Archdiocesan administration had no knowledge of this allegation until it was shared by the Augustinians,” the statement read. “No allegations of this kind have been lodged against Father Waters previously.”

The statement said the Augustinians reported the allegation to law enforcement.

According to Gavin’s statement, Waters completed mandatory Safe Environment Training programs and obtained appropriate child abuse clearances and criminal background checks, which are standard measures in parishes, schools and ministries throughout the archdiocese.

Waters has served as the pastor at St. Augustine’s in Philadelphia since August 2014. He was previously assigned to St. Augustine’s in Lawrence.

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Pa. House committees advance more grand jury recommendations on Catholic clergy abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
Pennsylvania Capital-Star

April 15, 2019

By Stephen Caruso

House committees advanced legislation Monday that addresses recommendations from last year’s grand jury report on hundreds of “predator” Catholic priests, less than a week after the full chamber gave the OK to a civil window for older sex abuse victims.

Without any dissenting votes, the House Children & Youth Committee advanced a bill to increase penalties for failing to report child abuse, while the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation that affirms the right of child abuse victims to break non-disclosure agreements to cooperate with law enforcement.

The penalties bill makes it a felony to knowingly not report child abuse to authorities. As for the NDA bill, those bound to silence by a legal settlement already can break it for a police investigation, according to sponsor Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Luzerne.

“Currently the silencing agreements are void, and continue to be void, but victims out there don’t believe it to be the case,” she said following the vote.

Her bill clarifies the provision in state law.

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Benedict’s unfortunate letter ignores the facts in the Catholic sex abuse crisis

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

April 15, 2019

By Thomas Reese

The recent essay on clergy sexual abuse by Benedict XVI shows why it was such a good idea for him to resign as pope. In the letter released last week, he shows how out of touch he is with the causes of the abuse crisis.

Fundamentally, Benedict lives in a Platonic world of ideas where facts don’t matter.

Most of the media attention since a German Catholic magazine published Benedict’s 6,000-word statement has been focused on Benedict blaming the sex abuse crisis on the collapse of sexual standards in the 1960s.

Actually, he may have a point. Data presented by the 2004 John Jay report on clerical abuse showed that, both in the church and in America as a whole, the number of abuse cases began increasing in the mid-1960s and peaked in the ’70s. Something was happening, not just in the church but in the world.

On the other hand, sexual abuse was occurring before the 1960s. The church and America were just better at covering it up.

But Benedict also wants to blame sex abuse on contemporary moral theologians who challenged the church’s traditional, natural law ethics, especially as it applied to sexual ethics. Contemporary moral theology is less rule-based and, rather, takes a more personalistic and relational approach. Challenging the church’s opposition to birth control, as did most theologians, opened the floodgates to all sorts of sexual sins, including child abuse, in his view.

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Church wants 80-plus clergy sex abuse cases moved from local to federal court

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

April 15, 2019

By Haidee V. Eugenio

The Archdiocese of Agana seeks the transfer of more than 80 clergy sex abuse cases from local court to federal court which it says has jurisdiction over the archdiocese’s reorganization bankruptcy filing.

Attorneys for the archdiocese filed notices of removal over the last few days, citing a provision in the U.S. Code that authorizes the removal of claims or causes of action in a civil action that are “related to” bankruptcy cases.

The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 16 to help settle clergy sex abuse cases and compensate the plaintiffs.

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Buffalo Diocese announces reforms in handling sex abuse cases

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

April 15, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone has agreed to review the diocese’s approach to releasing names of clergy accused of sex abuse and to hold a series of “listening sessions” on the abuse scandal.

Those are among several reform initiatives announced Monday morning in cooperation with a group of lay Catholics called the Movement to Restore Trust.

Other initiatives include:

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Diocese: Priest in Port Washington steps aside after abuse allegation

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

April 15, 2019

By Bart Jones

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson most recently served at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church. The allegation stems from decades ago, the diocese said.

A parish priest in Manorhaven Port Washington has stepped down while law enforcement authorities investigate an allegation that he sexually abused a minor more than 40 years ago, the Diocese of Rockville Centre said Monday.

The Rev. Steven J. Peterson has been serving as pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church in the village of Manorhaven. Diocese officials announced the move Sunday during Masses at the church, parishioners said.

Peterson could not be reached immediately for comment.

The diocese has notified law enforcement authorities of the allegation, diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan said. The diocese is not aware of any other allegations against Peterson, Dolan said.

The Suffolk County district attorney’s office learned of the allegation Saturday, said spokeswoman Sheila Kelly.

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Ex-Baptist pastor on trial in Guam for sexual abuse of minor

GUAM
INQUIRER.net US Bureau

April 15, 2019

A jury in Guam Superior Court will decide the fate of former Baptist pastor Renato Capili Bosi, who is accused of inappropriately touching a then-14-year-old girl’s private parts and sending her sexually suggestive emails.

Bosi’s trial started Thursday, April 11 for second-degree criminal sexual conduct and child abuse. Also known as Pastor Raye or Ray, Bosi was the pastor for the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Guam. The Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention told the Pacific Daily News in December 2017 that Bosi had resigned.

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Breaking down some key distinctions in Benedict’s abuse crisis diagnosis

ROME
Crux Now

April 15, 2019

By John L. Allen Jr.

After remaining notable mostly for his invisibility the last six years, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI made up for it in a big way April 10 by publishing a 6,000-word analysis of the clerical sexual abuse scandals in an obscure magazine for clergy in his native German region of Bavaria.

The retired pope’s analysis is typically multilayered, and his main focus is why the path to recovery from the crisis has to run through stronger faith in God and a deeper personal encounter with Christ.

His diagnosis is that only a Church rooted in Christ, including his real presence in the Eucharist, will have the spiritual wherewithal to begin putting the pieces back together.

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Priest Named as 2nd in Charge of Charlotte Diocese

CHARLOTTE (NC)
The Associated Press

April 14, 2019

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte says a priest who helps investigate claims of sexual abuse and misconduct by fellow clergy has been named second in command of the 46-county diocese.

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte says a priest who helps investigate claims of sexual abuse and misconduct by fellow clergy has been named second in command of the 46-county diocese.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Bishop Peter Jugis announced the appointment of Father Patrick Winslow on the diocesan website Friday. Winslow is pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte, a position he’ll maintain.

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Official marks retired pope’s birthday, commenting on his latest letter

ROME
Catholic News Service

April 15, 2019

By Cindy Wooden

Marking retired Pope Benedict XVI’s 92nd birthday, the editorial director of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication insisted what the retired pope wrote about facing the clerical sexual abuse crisis is essentially what Pope Francis has said, too.

“Celebrating Joseph Ratzinger’s birthday, it can be useful to underline the approach that both Benedict XVI and his successor, Francis, have maintained in the face of the scandals and the abuse of minors,” Andrea Tornielli, the editorial director, wrote.

The approach of the two popes, he said in an April 15 article, cannot be “reduced to a slogan.”

The retired pope’s birthday is April 16 and just five days earlier, several media outlets published what Benedict described as “some notes” that could help Catholics understand and address the abuse crisis.

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How the Catholic Church Is Compensating Victims

NEW YORK (NY)
WNYC: The Brian Lehrer Show

April 15, 2019

Paul Elie, The New Yorker contributor, talks about how the Catholic Church is compensating victims of abuse, whether it can ever be enough and reckons with his own faith amid the ongoing scandal.

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Louisiana bishop celebrates special Way of Cross to ‘heal this wound’ of abuse

BATON ROUGE (LA)
Catholic News Service

April 15, 2019

Where there is darkness, light shines; where there is despair, hope.

Bishop Michael G. Duca celebrated a special Way of the Cross for reparation for the sin of sexual abuse within the church April 5 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge, offering grace to survivors and asking the church to accompany them on their journey of healing.

“(Praying the Way of the Cross) was important because we need to heal this wound in the church in many different ways; through our policies. But also we need to always remember our deepest healing comes from our faith in Jesus Christ,” the bishop said immediately following the service.

“And the faith on the road to the resurrection is the road to the passion of Jesus, and we can see that in the passion he teaches us how to walk with suffering in the hope of the resurrection.”

He added, “I thought it was important to add this to our many ways we will grow and hopefully heal as a church.”

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Group plans rally, wants answers on Catholic Church abuse scandal

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ

April 14, 2019

Road to Recovery will be outside while Bishop Richard Malone leads Mass on steps of St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo.

The group Road to Recovery is holding a rally on the steps of St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo.

It begins at 10 a.m. Sunday.

At that same time, Bishop Richard Malone will be inside the church leading Mass.

The group wants answers for the current clergy abuse scandal.

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OPINION: How Catholic Church used treatment centers to protect priests accused of child abuse

UNITED STATES
WHYY

April 15, 2019

By Ian Nawalinski

In 1995, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned an internal church study on child abuse. The two-volume study surveyed bishops in more than 100 dioceses nationwide about their use of treatment centers to assess and care for priests believed to be sexually abusing children.

The result: 87% of bishops (127 out of 145 dioceses surveyed) reported using treatment centers for clergy accused of child abuse.

Two decades later, following the August release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on sex abuse in the Catholic Church — one of three released by the state attorney general since early 2000  — dioceses in multiple states and at least one state attorney general have disclosed their own lists of credibly accused priests.

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