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 15, 2019

Principal knew about student sex abuse 35 years before teacher was convicted, letter reveals

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

April 15, 2019

By Henry Zwartz

Senior staff at a Catholic school in Tasmania, including the then principal and his boss, were aware of allegations a teacher was sexually abusing multiple children as far back as 1971, and sought to move the teacher to a different parish, a letter obtained by the ABC reveals.

The teacher, Greg Ferguson, was convicted of historical child sex offences against two students in 2007 relating to his time at Burnie’s Marist College in the early 1970s.

A letter written by then Marist College principal, Father Bernard Hosie, to his boss Marist provincial Peter Guiren in November 1971 sought advice on whether Ferguson should be moved on after reports he was “fooling around” with young boys at the school.

“I have reports of about 8 boys that Greg Ferguson (they claim) has been fooling around with in his room … it would … be very easy to move him if it had to be done overnight,” the letter states.

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.

India cardinal mounts strong defense of ‘zero tolerance’ on abuse

ROME
Crux

April 13, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India, a member of Pope Francis’s council of cardinals which advises him on Vatican reform and one of four figures tapped to organize a recent summit on the fight against clerical sexual abuse, says Catholic parents have the right to know the Church is genuinely committed to “zero tolerance.”

The comment takes on special significance in the wake of the Feb. 21-24 summit, where reservations about “zero tolerance” were heard from senior churchmen from the developing world, and where the pope himself didn’t use the phrase.

Some observers detected a creeping redefinition of “zero tolerance” away from what it’s come to mean in the United States and certain other parts of the world, which is near-certain expulsion from the priesthood for abusing a minor, to permanent removal from ministry but not necessarily the priesthood.

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.

The Guardian view on the Catholic church: trouble ahead

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

April 15, 2019

Jesus entered Jerusalem a week before his death as if he were the messiah, pushing through adoring crowds who sang and waved palm fronds – at least that’s what the story says. By this criterion at least, Pope Francis is further from Jesus than most popes have been. He entered Holy Week this year battered by assaults from the right wing of the American church, the Italian government, and even his immediate predecessor, the former pope Benedict XVI, who published a dense, eccentric reflection on the causes of the sexual abuse crisis: he believes, apparently, that airlines had to stop showing films with sex scenes in them because they provoked outbreaks of violence among passengers.

Old age may have eroded the 92-year-old former pontiff’s faculties, but this makes the bedrock of his deep convictions stand out more clearly: he believes that without an independent source of good, or God, human relationships are only about power; that God can only be truly known through the Christian tradition; and that this knowledge is preserved in his church. This means the church’s most important task is to guard this revelation – and Benedict was for many years the chief doctrinal enforcer of the church. But now he seems to conflate the legal and bureaucratic protection given to academic theologians with those who enabled paedophile priests to avoid expulsion from the church. To be clear, he thinks that child abuse is an absolute moral evil which nothing can ever justify – but also believes that certain styles of theological liberalism are themselves evils which nothing can justify.

Benedict, who blames the abuse crisis on unfettered sexuality, was a weak administrator; Francis, who blames the crisis on unfettered clerical power, has been much more determined in the exercise of his office. He has, as a result, made many more powerful enemies. His advocacy for refugees has upset politically conservative Catholics. His advocacy for the environment – a subject on which he writes with extraordinary passion and urgency – has further alienated the American right for whom it is an article of faith to disbelieve in global warming. While his behaviour over the abuse scandal, and over the church’s teaching on sexuality, has been more equivocal and marked by many false steps, there is nonetheless a significant difference in temperament and style from his predecessor’s approach to morality. Benedict is interested in whether particular acts are evil. For Francis, the more important question seems to be whether they can be forgiven.

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.

The Atlantic’s Commentary on Pope Benedict’s Letter Is Not Its Best Work

NEW YORK (NY)
National Review

April 15, 2019

By Nicholas Frankovich

Rachel Donadio at The Atlantic weighs in on the long letter that Benedict, the pope emeritus, recently published on the sex-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. “Benedict said the crisis became most acute in the second half of the 1980s,” she writes. “This is not quite the case.”

Why? Because, she reasons, the public record includes allegations of sexual abuse that occurred both before and after the 1980s.

Either Donadio is not a careful thinker or she is and she’s trying to steal second base. “Became most acute in” doesn’t mean “is unknown to have existed before or after.” Here’s what Benedict wrote:

The question of pedophilia, as I recall, did not become acute until the second half of the 1980s. In the meantime, it had already become a public issue in the U.S., such that the bishops in Rome sought help, since canon law, as it is written in the new (1983) Code, did not seem sufficient for taking the necessary measures.

That sounds about right.

According to CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate), a unit of Georgetown University, cases of clerical sexual abuse alleged to have occurred in 1960–64 were nearly double the number for the preceding five-year period, 1955–59. The numbers continued to rise through the mid 1970s, at which point they plateaued before falling significantly in the period 1980–84. Then they began to plummet. The numbers for the period since 2000 are about 5 percent of what they were at the height of the crisis, in 1970–74.

Benedict’s account is consistent with that data. The National Catholic Reporter began covering the issue in the early 1980s, and in 1985 the case of a Louisiana priest who pleaded guilty to eleven counts of molestation became national news. Just as the problem in the United States was being exposed by the press, the number of allegations here began to decline. Whether that decline can be attributed to the media coverage or was mere coincidence, who can say. In any case, as Benedict notes, the problem had become “a public issue in the U.S.” earlier than elsewhere. It’s plausible that it took the Church elsewhere a few years longer, until the later 1980s, for the scale of the scandals to sink in.

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.

Steve Bannon’s Advice Is the Last Thing Pope Francis Needs Right Now

NEW YORK (NY)
Esquire Magazine

April 15, 2019

By Charles P. Pierce

I think they’ve hired some new blood in the 2019 writer’s room because, I have to admit, this new story arc in which Steve Bannon, lost heir to House Harkonnen, overthrows the pope caught me by surprise. From NBC News:

The populist political consultant has a new target in his crusade against “globalism” — Pope Francis. “He’s the administrator of the church, and he’s also a politician,” said Bannon, a former adviser to President Donald Trump. “This is the problem. … He’s constantly putting all the faults in the world on the populist nationalist movement.”

Since becoming pope in 2013, Francis has expressed a consistent message on the type of “America First” nationalism championed by Bannon. Two years ago, the pope cautioned against growing populism in Europe, warning it could lead to the election of leaders like Hitler. He has called for compassion toward migrants, saying that fearing them “makes us crazy,” as well as other marginalized groups including the poor and gay people. He has also defended diversity. Bannon alleges that Francis has mismanaged numerous sex abuse scandals roiling the church, and says the pope is not treating the issue seriously enough.

I have my own problems with how Papa Francesco has handled the latter crisis, and especially how he has dealt with its more recent iterations. (Of course, I have many of the same problems with every one of his predecessors, largely because too few of their solutions contained the words “full extent of the law.”) But the idea that the Church needs the tender ministrations of this vandal is the worst idea to hit Catholicism since the Cadaver Synod, of which Bannon looks like the perfect person to assay the role of the unfortunate Pope Formosus.

But Bannon is not alone in criticizing the pontiff. A raft of conservative Catholics, from bishops to lay theologians to firebrand pundits, have attacked Francis. They were supporters of Francis’s traditionalist predecessor, Benedict XVI, who unexpectedly resigned in 2013. On Thursday, Benedict published a letter outlining his views on the sex abuse crisis. “The crisis, caused by the many cases of clerical abuse, urges us to regard the church as something almost unacceptable, which we must now take into our own hands and redesign,” he wrote. Bannon has found an ideological ally in conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke, a former archbishop of St. Louis who was demoted by Francis and has supported calls for the pope’s resignation.

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.

Buffalo Diocese and Canisius group agree to ‘reforms,’ but survivor groups call it a ‘whitewash’

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

April 15, 2019

By Charlie Specht

The Diocese of Buffalo and a group led by Canisius College President John J. Hurley have announced a series of ‘reforms’ to the diocese, but critics are unimpressed and wonder whether it is a whitewash of abuse.

The diocese and the Movement to Restore Trust described the ideas in four major categories:
A commitment by Bishop Malone to hold Diocesan-wide listening sessions.
New Initiatives in the Handling of Sex Abuse Cases.
Expanding the Diocesan Finance Council.
Expanding the Use of the Ethics Reporting Service.

Diocese of Buffalo – Movement to Restore Trust announcement (Text)

“We are pleased with the progress made over the past month,” Hurley, the Canisius president, said in a prepared statement. “From the start, Bishop Malone has embraced the reform recommendations developed by approximately 150 Catholic lay people who have been working on MRT workgroups since early December. We are working in an active partnership with the Diocese to bring hope and healing to the Church in Buffalo.”

Referring to the “joint implementation team,” embattled Bishop Richard J. Malone said in the same prepared statement, “The work of the JIT, bringing together representatives of the MRT and the Diocese of Buffalo, is an excellent example of the call for “co-responsibility” in the church. I am encouraged and energized by the work accomplished by the members of the JIT at their first meeting and pledge to continue to collaborate together.”

But advocates for survivors of sexual abuse were unimpressed.

“What’s new?” asked Zach Hiner, executive director of SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “They use a lot of weasel language in here, that doesn’t make it seem new at all.”

Hiner said the document included more calls “to review” and “to continue” processes that were already in place, and which led the diocese to become a national embarrassment on news programs like “60 Minutes” and the subject of a federal grand jury probe.

It makes no mention of concrete changes that could be made immediately, he said, such as listing the assignment histories and photos of accused priests and more information about when the allegations were received and how the diocese responded.

“I try not to be this cynical, but it does just seem like a PR move to [counter] the stories that have been in the media,” Hiner said. “It gives them an out there, because they’re going to review the policies. They could just say, ‘Oh yeah, we’re good…we like what we’ve done.”

Robert Hoatson, president of Road to Recovery, a national nonprofit that has advocated for many sexual abuse victims in Buffalo, said he was dismayed by how cozy Hurley — as the leader of a reform group — has been in recent days with Malone, the bishop who is accused of making dozens of errors in the handling of sexual abuse .

The diocese released a photograph with Hurley and Malone smiling, laughing and engaging in some sort of embrace with their hands.

“I’m very disappointed in President Hurley’s recent comments defending Bishop Malone, and I’m afraid that the report that this commission to restore trust is going to whitewash much of what has gone on here,” Hoatson 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.

Boston University professor fired for violating sexual harassment policy

BOSTON (MA)
WCVB

April 14, 2019

Boston University has fired a tenured geology professor accused of violating the school’s sexual harassment policies during research trips to Antarctica in 1997 and from 1999 to 2000.

BU President Robert A. Brown sent a letter to faculty Friday saying he reviewed the case and concluded Dr. David Marchant’s employment should be terminated.

A 13-month investigation conducted by the university’s Equal Opportunity Office concluded Marchant created a hostile working and living environment for a female graduate student at the Antarctica camp.

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.

Michigan State basketball rape accuser comes forward: ‘I know that there are others’

EAST LANSING (MI)
Yahoo Sports

April 12, 2019

By Jack Baer

A Michigan State student has come forward after alleging in an anonymous Title IX lawsuit last year that three unnamed Michigan State basketball players raped her and that the school’s counseling center discouraged her from reporting it, according to ESPN.

Bailey Kowalski, 22, revealed her identity Wednesday to The New York Times and spoke to a room full of reporters on Thursday. Four years after the alleged rape, Kowalski is nearing graduation and trying to send a message of support to other victims:

“I’m about to graduate in May, and for most of my college career, this has been a heavy burden on me and my family. … I am no longer afraid. I’m empowered to do this,” she said Thursday. “I know that there are others who exist and they too are afraid. I want to be an example for them. The silent survivors matter and are worth fighting for.”

In her Title IX lawsuit, Kowalski alleges that she, then a freshman sports journalism major, met members of the Michigan State basketball team at a bar on April 11, 2015, was invited to a party back at one of their apartments, began feeling discombobulated despite not having much to drink, was taken to a bedroom and thrown onto a bed where she was raped by three players.

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.

Missbrauchsopfer: Benedikt-Text geht “völlig an der Sache vorbei”

BONN (GERMANY)
Katholisch.de

April 12, 2019

[Abuse victims: Benedict text goes “completely over the thing”]

Ein “entlarvender Text”, ein Rückblick “im Zorn”, eine “absurde” Beschuldigung der 68er-Bewegung: Die ersten Reaktionen auf die Analyse von Benedikt XVI. zur Kirchenkrise fallen überwiegend negativ aus.

Die Analyse des früheren Papstes Benedikt XVI. zum Missbrauchsskandal sorgt für Kritik. Der Sprecher der Opfer-Initiative “Eckiger Tisch”, Matthias Katsch, hält den Aufsatz für einen “entlarvenden Text”. Die Analyse gehe “völlig an der Sache vorbei”, weshalb man sie “jetzt aber auch nicht zu wichtig nehmen sollte”, sagte Katsch am Donnerstag im Bayerischen Rundfunk.

Das ehemalige Kirchenoberhaupt blende die “strukturellen Ursachen für die Übergriffe” aus. “Stattdessen ist am Ende der Teufel Schuld dafür, dass das Böse in die Kirche eingedrungen ist”, sagte Katsch. Das sei eine “vormoderne Sicht, die aber zur Lösung des Problems nichts beiträgt”. Eigene Fehler und die “Verantwortung der Institution” Kirche benenne Benedikt XVI. nicht. Dafür mache er die Generation der 68er und deren liberale Lebenshaltung für den Missbrauch hinter Kirchenmauern verantwortlich.

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.

Der “Papst emeritus” fördert die Spaltung seiner Kirche

BONN (GERMANY)
Katholisch.de

April 12, 2019

Von Tilmann Kleinjung

[The “pope emeritus” promotes the division of his church]

Der Aufsatz von Benedikt XVI. zur aktuellen Kirchen- und Missbrauchskrise klingt wie ein Echo längst vergangener Zeiten, kommentiert Tilmann Kleinjung. Der Text des emeritierten Kirchenoberhaupts sei eine Kampfschrift gegen Papst Franziskus.

Nach dem Anti-Missbrauchsgipfel im Februar in Rom sind wir Berichterstatter hart mit Papst Franziskus ins Gericht gegangen. Weil die konkreten Ergebnisse dieses Bischofstreffens eher mager waren, weil sich die katholische Kirche nach wie vor schwer tut mit einer radikalen Null-Toleranz-Politik gegenüber Tätern und Vertuschern, weil irgendwie alles zu langsam geht bei der Aufarbeitung dieses monströsen Skandals.

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.

Die Gesellschaft ist nicht schuld an der Missbrauchskrise!

FREIBURG (GERMANY)
Katholisch.de

April 11, 2019

Von Magnus Striet

[The society is not to blame for the abuse crisis!]

Benedikt XVI. macht die “Abwesenheit Gottes” in der Gesellschaft für den Missbrauchsskandal in der Kirche mitverantwortlich. Der Fundamentaltheologe Magnus Striet findet das absurd. In seinen Augen sollte sich der emeritierte Papst eher für etwas Anderes stark machen.

Für eine Überraschung ist er immer wieder gut, seither er vom Papstamt zurücktrat und ankündigte, künftig im Gebet zu verweilen und ansonsten schweigen zu wollen. Nun hat Benedikt XVI. sich zum Missbrauchsskandal geäußert, und führt das gesellschaftliche “Ausmaß” der Pädophilie auf die “Abwesenheit Gottes” zurück. Daraus muss man wohl schließen, dass Missbrauchstäter im Klerus sich im Gefolge der 68er-Bewegung haben verweltlichen lassen. So erinnert sich Benedikt XVI. an “Sexkoffer”, die die österreichische Regierung habe austeilen lassen. Diesen Begriff habe ich bei ihm noch nicht gelesen. Inhaltlich Neues auch nicht.

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.

Police: Minneapolis sex trafficking sting during Final Four ensnares 58, rescues 28

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Yahoo Sports

April 11, 2019

By Jason Owens

A sting in the Twin Cities during the Final Four in Minneapolis resulted in the arrest of 58 people while rescuing 28 victims of sex trafficking, law enforcement officials announced Wednesday.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced that 47 people were arrested on probable cause of felony solicitation of a minor or solicitation of prostitution under 16 years of age, and 11 people were booked on probable cause for sex trafficking and promotion of prostitution.

The sting took place from April 4-8.

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.

France sees upsurge in ‘debaptism’ demand as Lyon abuse scandal festers

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

April 14, 2019

By Tom Heneghan

Demand in France for “debaptism” is rising as Catholics ask to be struck from Church records in protest against the festering sexual abuse scandal in Lyon.

The Church says baptism cannot be undone and keeps no central record of these departures, but scattered reports from several dioceses show an upsurge. Parishes often simply note in their registers that the person asked to be removed.

About 1,000 French Catholics are estimated to ask for “debaptism” every year, with totals jumping at times of crisis. The latest spike is linked to Lyon, where Cardinal Philippe Barbarin received a suspended sentence last month of covering up for a predator priest but remains in office because Pope Francis refused his resignation letter.

Media inquiries in some of France’s 93 dioceses reported Lyon received about two requests a day last month, which was 10 times the normal rate, while the 15 received in Paris were four times as many as normal.

Reims saw requests jump to 17 in 2018 and already 21 this year. In Soissons, north of Paris, the diocese has 11 requests already compared to 15 for all of last year. Coutances-Avranches in Normandy already had 25 requests by early April after 30 for 2018.

“The two reasons cited are mostly related to paedophile crimes in the Church and, for some, lingering issues linked to the legalisation of same-sex marriage,” Fr Thierry Anquetil, vicar general in the Normandy diocese, told local television. Strong Church opposition to same-sex marriage in 2013 alienated many Catholics.

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.

Advocates for sex abuse victims seeking explanation from Bishop Malone

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB News 4

April 15, 2019

On Palm Sunday to kick off Holy Week, including Bishop Richard Malone, who was presiding over the service at St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo.

But not everyone at the church came to worship; A group standing outside was hoping Malone would hear their plea.

Dr. Robert Hoatson is a former priest for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. He founded “Road to Recovery,” which has helped more than 5,000 survivors of sexual abuse. Most of them are clergy victims.

Hoatson is in Buffalo waiting on an explanation from Bishop Malone following recent reports of even more clergymen involved in the church’s sex abuse crisis.

“Bishop Malone told us there were approximately 42 priests who had credible allegations of sexual abuse against them. Well, we know know that that number is well over 100,” Hoatson said.

The Diocese released a statement, saying it “disclosed the complete scope of the crisis.”

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.

Archbishop insists his legal actions don’t ‘gag’ free press

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 15, 2019

By Elise Harris

In response to criticisms in recent days that his two criminal complaints against investigative journalists is an assault on the free expression of the press, Peruvian Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi has said that while free press is important, it is not an absolute value.

“It is falsely stated that the complaint made by [Eguren Anselmi] is a threat to the freedom of expression,” reads an April 14 statement from the Archdiocese of Piura, which Eguren Anselmi oversees.

“Freedom of expression, although it is a great value to promote in our democratic society, is not an absolute value and it has limits: Respect for the honor and good name of people,” the statement said, adding that in this sense, the recent guilty verdict and sentencing of journalist Pedro Salinas “does not constitute a gag of freedom of expression.”

Salinas, who has been battling criminal charges of aggravated defamation by Eguren Anselmi since last summer, lost his legal fight on April 8 and was sentenced to a 1-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of $24,000.

Salinas and fellow journalist Paola Ugaz, also charged with criminal defamation by Eguren Anselmi, co-authored the 2015 book Half Monks, Half Soldiers, detailing years of sexual, psychological and physical abuse inside the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), a prestigious Catholic order born in Peru and whose founder, layman Luis Fernando Figari, was prohibited by the Vatican in 2017 of having further contact with members of the group after being accused of physical, psychological and sexual abuses inside the community.

Eguren Anselmi’s complaint against Salinas was made in relation to a series of articles and interviews he published in early 2018 comparing Eguren Anselmi, who is a member of the SCV, to Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, who resigned from his post in the diocese of Osorno after facing accusations that he helped cover up the abuse of his longtime friend and Chile’s most notorious abuser, ex-priest Fernando Karadima.

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.

Brazil bishops issue handbook on dealing with clergy sex abuse

SÃO PAULO (BRAZIL)
Crux

April 15, 2019

By Eduardo Campos Lima

After securing approval from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Brazilian Conference of National Bishops (BCNB), responsible for the single largest Catholic country in the world, has adopted a new handbook containing measures dioceses must take to deal with sex abuse cases.

Published in March, the document is part of a broad effort by the Brazilian Church to deal with the growing social concerns over the sexual abuse of minors.

According to the BCNB, the first version of the text – which is titled The Pastoral Care of the Victims of Sexual Abuse – had been sent to the Vatican in 2012. In the end of 2018, after several changes were made, the document was finally approved.

Future modifications may be applied, depending on possible new canonical and civil legislation.

“The Brazilian Conference of National Bishops, with this document, reaffirms its unconditional adherence to a zero-tolerance stance regarding cases of sexual abuse of minors, according to what Pope Francis has affirmed: ‘There is no place in the Church’s ministry for those who commit these abuses, and I commit myself not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not,’” says the document in its introductory chapter.

Although the title refers to the victims, most of the text offers recommendations for dealing with a priest – or other person working with the Church – who has been accused of abusing a child.

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.

Buffalo priest who advised U.S. presidents about youth was alleged child molester

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

April 15, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

In the 1950s and ’60s, he was arguably Buffalo’s most renowned Catholic priest, writing books on youth and their concerns and regularly traveling the country and abroad to speak at youth conferences. The president of Italy even awarded Schieder a “Star of Solidarity,” one of that nation’s highest honors for noncitizens.

But behind his accomplishments, Schieder hid a dark secret.

The secret wasn’t revealed until 2018 – more than two decades after Schieder’s death at age 87 – when his name was included on a Buffalo Diocese list of priests with substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse against them.

The Buffalo News has learned at least five men have complained to the diocese that Schieder abused them when they were minors, and the alleged abuses spanned several decades.

One of the complainants recently accepted a $340,000 settlement offer through a diocese program to compensate victims, according to attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who said his client was between 11 and 13 when Schieder allegedly abused him more than 100 times between 1960 and 1964.

Another complainant accused Schieder in a Fort Lauderdale police report of sexually abusing him, starting in 1987. The same man who went to Fort Lauderdale police filed a pro se lawsuit in 1993 against Schieder in federal court in Florida. Police didn’t charge Schieder, and the federal court case was dismissed. When the man notified the Buffalo Diocese in 2002, then-Bishop Henry J. Mansell wrote a letter back stating that the diocese had received no other complaints about Schieder.

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.

‘Prey’: A documentary by Windsor director shines a light on sexual abuse by priests

TORONTO (CANADA)
CBC News

April 15, 2019

Director Matt Gallagher says it was an ’emotional’ experience taking on this documentary. (CBC)
It’s a documentary that Windsorite director Matt Gallagher has been aspiring to create for about 15 years — and now, his film Prey about sexual abuse by Catholic priests will premiere at Hot Docs, Canada’s largest documentary film festival later this month.

The film focuses on one perpetrator in particular, Father William Hodgson “Hod” Marshall, a retired priest and teacher, who several years ago pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 16 boys and one girl at schools in Toronto, Sudbury and Windsor.

Featured in the film is Windsorite Patrick McMahon who, as a boy, fell victim to Marshall.

McMahon has been using his voice to speak out and protest in an effort to hold those within the church accountable.

“It’s something I feel passionately about….I will continue to speak out until people who cover this up are brought to justice,” he said.

He stressed he hopes the documentary will help make people aware these are not just crimes of the past.

“There are priests today who are still doing this. There are priests being investigated now. There are enablers covering this up,” he said.

“We all together have an obligation to make that stop.”

McMahon has been represented by Rob Talach, a lawyer based in London, Ont. — known as “the priest hunter” — and he too is a prominent figure in the film.

How a sexual assault victim’s lawsuit set a precedent that alarmed the Catholic Church
Gallagher reached out to Talach in an effort to focus the documentary on a case that was unfolding in the present, and so they were able to identify one of Talach’s clients who was taking his case to trial, and that’s where the documentary begins.

‘White knight work’
Having tackled more than 400 cases in his career so far, Talach says after 17 years of representing individuals who have been abused by Roman Catholic clergy, he’s become a “six foot tall callus” emotionally.

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 14, 2019

SNAP responds to Franciscan’s release of five priests accused of sexual misconduct

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
WTRF TV

April 15, 2019

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has responded to Franciscan University releasing a list of names of five priests accused of sexual misconduct.

According to SNAP Midwest Regional Leader, “14 potential cases of unwelcome sexual contact against students by clergy were found.”

“Yet the names of only five offenders were belatedly released to the public. What gives?,” questioned Jones.

SNAP responded, saying, “It’s possible these five wrongdoers committed all of the 14 of the instances of ‘unwelcome sexual contact. That seems unlikely. It’s possible that the school knows, but is still hiding the names of more offenders.”

“University officials must clear this up immediately. And they must disclose the names of all who committed or concealed crimes or harassment, whether ordained or not, whether still on the school’s payroll or not,” Jones added.

The organization went on, saying, “The report claims there were no instances found after 2013, which we find hard to believe. If true, that’s likely because victims of sexual violence and harassment usually take years to understand, acknowledge and act on their suffering. No one should assume that this centuries-old abusive behavior has somehow magically been ended in one year.”

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.

Who is Wilton Gregory, Pope Francis’s pick to be Washington’s next archbishop?

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

April 14, 2019

By Michelle Boorstein, Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey

When the first Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis erupted in the early 2000s, Wilton Gregory led hundreds of defensive and divided bishops in passing the most aggressive action on abuse in U.S. church history.

But Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke remembers something else about Gregory, who was selected this month by Pope Francis to head the prestigious D.C. archdiocese.

As one of the laypeople Gregory appointed to serve on an advisory board to the bishops, Burke was struck by an inquiry he made to her one night when they found themselves alone after a meeting. He wanted to know how she’d been able to visit Vatican officials for her research on abuse.

She’d Googled “Vatican,” she told him, selected several offices she thought were related to the abuse issue, then faxed letters asking to visit.

“His face was ashen. ‘You what?’ ” she recalls him saying. At 55, that was, she believed, Gregory’s first experience with lay­people who went outside the chain of command.

His shock at her ability to get around protocol startled her, she said, and told her something important — that it was nearly impossible for Gregory to see things from an outside-the-church perspective. “His whole life has been devoted to this institution that’s a bureaucracy — to the point where he doesn’t know how infiltrated he is in that fabric.”

That tendency not to push the boundaries too far was on display in his role at the time as head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in which he presided over the groundbreaking zero-tolerance policy enacted in what was called the Dallas Charter. The bishops decided to include only priests in the oversight efforts, after considering and then rejecting even an attempt to include any accountability for themselves — an omission that is now a target of criticism.

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EXTENDED INTERVIEW: Colleen Marshall’s one-on-one with Columbus’ new Catholic bishop

COLUMBUS (OH)
WCMH NBC4

April 14, 2019

Christians around the world are observing Palm Sunday today. The day marks the beginning of the holiest week of the year.

For the new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, it is also a time of new beginnings. Bishop Robert Brennan came to central Ohio after spending his entire life in Long Island, New York. Right now, he is getting to know his flock and they are getting to know him.

When Bishop Brennan introduced himself to parishioners at Our Lady Of Guadalupe Center, he did so in Spanish and to a warm reception. Brennan is easy to like and he is committed to connecting to the 2.5 million Catholics in the 23 central and southern Ohio counties in his diocese.

“What a rich variety of parish experiences — here in the city, in the suburbs around us, I was down over the weekend in Portsmouth and the southern part of the diocese along the Ohio River and some of our agricultural areas,” Brennan said. “It’s been just a really rich experience.”

Brennan is on the road frequently, traveling to parishes for confirmation, the sacrament that initiates young people into the Church. He is doing so at a time when membership is dwindling, especially among the younger generations.

“It is true for young people, I say this a lot at confirmations, that young people sometimes you sort of feel isolated, but when we are together, we fell a strength and vibrancy in our faith,” Brennan said. “I would like to build upon it. I think we do have some very, very fine young people.”

The young people in central Ohio have so far surprised Brennan however. He said they are showing a commitment to the Church he did not expect.

“Young people are talking about it. I know that is not going to translate into huge numbers, but it is going to make a difference. And I have to say I am a little bit impressed with the ones who step forward, you know the culture is a little tougher, and to me the ones who step forward are heroic,” said Brennan.

One of the challenges Brennan is facing is the inescapable child abuse scandal involving priests. The scandal has many Catholics questioning their church, if not their entire faith.

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Palm Sunday Protest: The plea group has for Bishop Malone

BUFFALO (NY)
WEBW TV

April 14, 2019

By Kelsey Anderson

Today is the start of Holy Week, commemorating Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and many headed to Palm Sunday Mass this morning. Buffalo Catholic Diocese Bishop Richard Malone was presiding over the service at St. Joseph Cathedral, in Buffalo, and started the morning by blessing the palms. But not everyone there came to worship. A group outside the church was there to get their pleas to Malone heard.

“We’re here today to demand that he come 100 percent clean about all that he knows,” Dr. Robert Hoatson said.

Dr. Robert Hoatson is a former priest for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. He founded Road to Recovery, which has helped more than 5,000 survivors of sexual abuse, many clergy victims. He’s in Buffalo wanting an explanation from Bishop Malone after recent reports of even more clergymen involved in the church’s sex abuse crisis.

“I want folks of Buffalo to go back to February of 2018, when Michael Whalen went public and created a tsunami of cases of sexual abuse by clergy,” he said. “At that time, Bishop Malone told us there were approximately 42 priests who had credible allegations of sexual abuse against them. Well we know know that that number is well over 100, and more recently 25 new names… at least.”

Still not on any list released by the Buffalo Diocese is the priest James Faluszczak claims abused him.

“I can’t even begin to tell you the fear that I still have… the anxiety that i still have,” Faluszczak said. “And even if I’ve got the presence of mind to talk to you folks, once I go home, the rest of the day I’m pretty miserable. ”

Faluszczak came forward, publicly, on St. Patrick’s Day of last year. He said in the past year he hasn’t seen much change in the church, and Malone.

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Some blunt Leon Podles comments on Benedict XVI’s statement on sex-abuse crisis

Get Religion

April 14, 2019

By Terry Mattingly

It isn’t everyday that you get to point readers toward a think piece written by a pope, even if we are talking about a retired pope, in this case.

It also helps that retired Pope Benedict XVI wrote about the hottest of hot-button topics in Catholic life — the ongoing scandal of Catholic priests sexually abusing children, with the vast majority of the victims being teen-aged males. That has created all kinds of hot topics to debate or to attempt to avoid debating.

Reactions to the letter have been predictable, to say the least, renewing discussions of the church of Pope Francis and the church of Pope Benedict XVI. The same has been true in the press, with this New York Times story being so predictable that, at times, it verges on self-parody. This Washington Post story hows evidence that reporters tried to gather cheers and boos that were linked to the crucial passages in the retired pope’s text. Here’s the Post overture:

ROME — Breaking years of silence on major church affairs, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has written a lengthy letter devoted to clerical sex abuse in which he attributes the crisis to a breakdown of church and societal moral teaching and says he felt compelled to assist “in this difficult hour.”

The 6,000-word letter, written for a small German Catholic publication and published in translation by other outlets Thursday, laments the secularization of the West, decries the 1960s sexual revolution and describes seminaries that became filled during that period with “homosexual cliques.”

It helps, of course, to read the actual text of “The Church and the scandal of sexual abuse.” Click here for an English translation, care of Catholic News Agency.

The key is that Benedict — returning to a theme voiced throughout his long public life — warns believers that they are living in an age in which the basics of Christian faith are under attack (even in seminaries). Thus, Christians in a smaller, embattled, church must be prepared to get back to the basics of doctrine and sacraments. Just going to Mass will not be enough. Note this passage:

Faith is a journey and a way of life. In the old Church, the catechumenate was created as a habitat against an increasingly demoralized culture, in which the distinctive and fresh aspects of the Christian way of life were practiced and at the same time protected from the common way of life. I think that even today something like catechumenal communities are necessary so that Christian life can assert itself in its own way.

Oh my, that’s a quotation that could be featured on the next edition of “The Benedict Option,” by my friend Rod Dreher.

Like I said earlier, it’s easy to find cheers and boos for this remarkable intervention by Benedict in the church’s current discussions of topics such as clergy sexual abuse, seminary life, worship, homosexuality and life in post-Christian cultures.

In this think-piece slot, I would like to point readers to a critique of the former pope’s articles by a Catholic conservative — but one whose work on the sexual-abuse crisis has made insiders on the right nervous, as well as the left. I am talking about Leon Podles, author of the blistering, brutal, relentlessly researched book, “Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church.” He often cooperated, in his research, with the late Richard Sipe — an important voice on the Catholic left.

In his online look at the Benedict article, Podles opens with this summary, which includes an important correction:

In retirement Pope Benedict has written an article for a Bavarian journal for priests on the causes of the sexual abuse crisis. I largely agree, and the article is not an exhaustive catalogue, but there are still some serious omissions. The causes that Benedict identifies are:

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‘No way he would do this’

ZEELAND (ND)
Forum News Service

April 13, 2019

By April Baumgarten

When the Rev. Wenceslaus Katanga didn’t show up April 7 for Mass at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Zeeland, parishioners thought he was sick.

Then a statement was read to the congregation, explaining that Katanga was under investigation for alleged misconduct involving a child when he was a priest at Sts. Anne and Joachim Catholic Church in Fargo.

Hearing the news during Mass that day was heartbreaking, said Vivian Schaffner, who has been a member of the Zeeland church for more than 40 years. People in attendance cried, she said, adding that they couldn’t believe the news.

“There is no way he would do this,” she said. “When you see him with our kids, he is not like that. He looks at a kid as a gift from God.”

Not including Katanga, eight clergymen connected to the Fargo Diocese are known to have been accused of sexual misconduct, according to Bishop Accountability, a group that tracks abuse cases involving clergy.

The probe into the allegations against Katanga is still in its early stages, said Fargo police spokeswoman Jessica Schindeldecker. There is no timeline for when the case could be forwarded to the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office for review. Criminal charges had not been filed as of Friday.

“After consulting with our investigations division, we are releasing minimal information regarding an allegation of misconduct involving Father Katanga from several years ago since this case is still under investigation,” Schindeldecker said.

It’s unclear whether the child was a member of Sts. Anne and Joachim Church. Police did not divulge when the alleged misconduct occurred, when it was reported or who reported it. Schindeldecker also declined to say whether the allegations were sexual in nature.

Fargo Diocese Bishop John Folda said in a statement that his administration is taking the allegations very seriously.

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Victim hopes conviction of Perrault leads to healing

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

April 14, 2019

By Colleen Heild

Elaine Montoya was a teenager when she thought she loved the parish priest, the now-convicted child molester Arthur Perrault.

It took years for her realize she was sexually abused, and to discover that her older brother also had been molested.

As young adults living in Denver, the brother and sister decided in 1984 to travel to Albuquerque to try to put a stop to Perrault’s access to kids. But first they had to tell their parents, including their mother, a devout Catholic and former nun.

“Unlike some of the other victims, our parents didn’t question our claim. Instead, they said if we told the archbishop, they never wanted to see us again. Needless to say, that hurt. We left our parents and the home we grew up in – and stayed at a hotel.”

The Montoya siblings, who got nowhere with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, were among the first of Perrault’s alleged victims to go public in October 1992 after they filed a civil lawsuit.

That same month, Perrault skipped town, putting himself a continent away from the mounting child sexual assault allegations against him by settling in north Africa. He taught at an American language school in Tangier, Morocco, where the FBI arrested him last September to face federal sexual assault charges in New Mexico.

Montoya, 59, was in the audience when a jury in U.S. District Court in Santa Fe convicted Perrault last week of the repeated sexual abuse of an altar boy who was befriended by the charismatic priest nearly 20 years after the Montoya siblings.

The unusual federal prosecution hinged on the testimony of a home-schooled boy named Ken Wolter who served daily Mass at St. Bernadette Parish in the early 1990s.

Wolter, now 38, testified that as a boy he was sad when Perrault, whom he considered his “best friend,” abruptly resigned from St. Bernadette to go on “sabbatical” in October 1992.

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Priest who investigates sex abuse claims will help lead Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Charlotte Observer

April 13, 2019

By Joe Marusak

A priest who helps investigate claims of sexual abuse and misconduct by fellow clergy has been named second in command of the 46-county Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, Bishop Peter Jugis announced on the diocesan website Friday.

Father Patrick Winslow, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte, replaces Monsignor Mauricio West, who resigned March 25 after a “credible allegation” of sexual misconduct, the diocese’s newspaper reported.

West has denied the allegation, which involved a former adult student of Belmont Abbey College, the diocesan newspaper previously reported.

West stepped down as the diocese’s longtime vicar general and chancellor after the diocese’s Lay Review Board found the allegation of sexual misconduct credible, according to the Catholic News Herald.

Winslow joined the Charlotte diocese in 2002 from the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., the newspaper reported in an article on the Charlotte diocese’s website Friday.

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He prosecuted sex abuse at N.J.’s women’s prison. Now he’s working for the Catholic Church.

NEWARK (NJ)
Star Ledger

April 14, 2019

By S.P. Sullivan

Anthony Kearns spent nine years as the top law enforcement official in Hunterdon County, a place that has for several years seen the lowest overall crime rate in the state.

But the problems that plague society do not abide county lines, Kearns says.

“Anything that happens anywhere else can happen here, and we have to be ready for it and have the skillset to address it,” he said.

Murders and suspicious deaths require expert investigations. The opioid crisis is increasing taking lives in every corner of the state.

And then there’s New Jersey’s only women’s prison, which sits on a rolling swath of land in Clinton and Union Townships. Over the last three years, Kearns’ office has been investigating claims of sexual abuse of inmates by staff at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility.

The inquiry has led to criminal charges against eight staff members. Five were convicted and one acquitted so far. The other two await trials.

Kearns, who stepped down from his post on Friday, told NJ Advance Media he considers the ongoing investigation into sex abuse at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women “unfinished business.”

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Transparency on sex abuse requires more than just clerics

CHARLESTON (WV)
Gazette-Mail

April 11, 2019

By Vincent DeGeorge

While Baltimore’s Archbishop William Lori and the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston (DWC) invoke “transparency” and “accountability” regularly regarding clerical sex abuse, they struggle to put these concepts into action.

Disconnects between Lori and DWC higher-ups versus our secular authorities and West Virginia Catholics seem almost insurmountable, as Catholic leaders continue evading actual transparency, accountability and too many significant questions.

In October, Lori and the local diocese invoked transparency when releasing a list of West Virginia Catholic clergy accused of abuse that omits former diocese bishop Michael J. Bransfield, even as we hear his name and detailed abuse allegations in lawsuits from our attorney general and former seminarians.

What’s more, they continue to keep hidden the now-completed report of Archbishop Lori’s investigation into Bransfield, despite calls to release it. Both the attorney general and the diocese’s current highest-ranking official, their day-to-day administrator, layman Bryan Minor, have called for its release. “Yes, my recommendation will be, that I will speak up and ask that that [report] be released … And if it doesn’t come out, call me,” Minor said in a meeting in Bridgeport in December. Transparency requires this report be released.

As the Catholic Church repeatedly shows it cannot police itself, actions like that from the attorney general continue to prove necessary. In response to Attorney General Patrick Morrissey’s lawsuit, the diocese referred to the 2002 Dallas Charter policy protecting children, which Lori helped draft. They did not mention, however, that neither Bransfield, nor Archbishop Lori, nor any other bishop is bound to that policy document. Lori explained the exemption of bishops saying that the committee, “would limit it to priests and deacons, as the disciplining of bishops is beyond the purview of this document.” And this is the problem.

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April 13, 2019

How Pope Francis became a hate figure for the far right

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Open Democracy

April 13, 2019

Leigh Baldwin, Marcus Lerous, Claudia Torrisi And Stefano Vergine

In April 2016, at a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a grinning Matteo Salvini – now deputy prime minister of Italy, and the leader of its far-right Lega party – photobombed another then-rising star of the populist right, Donald Trump.

For the social media-savvy Salvini, it was a brilliant piece of publicity. It also caught the eye of Steve Bannon. Within 48 hours, the Italian politician was in Washington DC, meeting with the head of the attack-dog Breitbart news network who soon took over Trump’s campaign.

Both Bannon and Salvini are now at the helm of grand plans to unite the right across Europe ahead of the European Parliament’s elections next month. Much of the conversation they had in 2016, before either had tasted triumph at the polls, remains a mystery.

But a senior Lega party insider with knowledge of the events that day, who spoke to investigative journalists at SourceMaterial on condition of anonymity, said that Salvini emerged from his meeting with Bannon with a key piece of advice: attack the pope.

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Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting five kids

NEW SOUTH WALES (AUSTRALIA)
Hot Tomato Publishing

April 13, 2019

By Jaydan Duck

A CATHOLIC priest has been arrested and charged with nine historical child sex offences in New South Wales.

The 77-year-old man is accused of indecently assaulting five children aged between 12 and 15 at a boarding school at Burradoo, in the state’s Southern Highlands between 1982 and 1988.

The priest was also a dormitory manager, a rugby coach and a band teacher at the college at the time

Detectives were first made aware of the allegations in July last year and, following extensive investigations, arrested the 77-year-old man at a home in the Sydney suburb of Kensington on Friday morning.

The man has since been charged with nine offences including six counts of sexual assault – assault and act of indecency with a person aged under 16 and two counts of gross indecency by a male with a male aged under 18.

He was granted strict conditional bail and due to appear before Waverley Local Court on Wednesday, May 22.

The NSW Police Force encourage anyone who has been victim to, or have information about incidents of child abuse to come forward, and are reminded all information provided is treated with the strictest of confidence.

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33 priests, four deacons accused of sex abuse in Catholic Diocese of Lafayette

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Associated Press

April 12, 2019

The Roman Catholic diocese in Louisiana where the first widely reported case of U.S. clergy sex abuse became public in the 1980s has released a list of 33 priests and four deacons credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor or vulnerable adult. Lafayette Bishop Douglas Deshotels’ list identifies three priests who were convicted or pleaded guilty but does not indicate where any of the 37 was accused, let alone give details of the accusations.

Released Friday (April 12), the list gives each man’s birth and ordination year, assignments and his status, such as whether he was removed from the clergy, resigned or both. Three were removed last year.

Unlike bishops in some other dioceses, Deshotels did not release the names of people who were in affiliated religious orders and were accused while working in his diocese. He wrote in a pastoral letter that any such disclosures are up to the orders.

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Peru journo wins appeal to have case moved out of archbishop’s city

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 13, 2019

By Elise Harris

Peruvian journalist Paola Ugaz has won a second appeal to transfer a legal defamation case related to her reporting on sex abuse scandals from the Peruvian city of Piura to Lima, after the Archbishop of Piura filed charges against her last year.

Ugaz’s victory comes days after her colleague Pedro Salinas, who was also facing criminal aggravated defamation charges by Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi, lost his legal battle and was sentenced to a 1-year suspended prison term and a fine of close to $24,000. Like Ugaz, Salinas had sought to transfer his case from Piura to Lima, but his request and subsequent appeals were rejected.

Both argued it would be impossible to get a fair trial in the same city where the complaining archbishop serves, and where the deck is arguably stacked in his favor.

Salinas and Ugaz co-authored the 2015 bombshell book Half Monks, Half Soldiers exposing years of sexual, psychological and physical abuse inside the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), a prominent Catholic lay group born in Peru whose founder, layman Luis Fernando Figari, was sanctioned by the Vatican in 2017 and forbidden to contact members of the group.

Both Salinas and Ugaz in 2018 were served with criminal charges of aggravated defamation by Eguren Anselmi, who is a member of the SCV, for articles, interviews and tweets they had put out alleging that he had been aware of Figari’s abuses but did nothing; that he himself had perpetrated physical and psychological abuse; and that he was linked to a land trafficking scandal in Piura.

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Is Pope Francis being upstaged by his opinionated predecessor?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

April 13, 2019

By Michaael McGough

In 2005, as the College of Cardinals was preparing to elect a successor to the recently deceased Pope John Paul II, I wrote a column titled “Should the Papacy be Downsized?”

It was inspired by an intriguing book written by John R. Quinn, a retired archbishop of San Francisco. In “The Reform of the Papacy,” Quinn had proposed a lower-profile papal office and a more collegial relationship between the pope and bishops around the world.

I wrote in the column that “a re-imagined papacy also would not have to be a lifetime office, sparing John Paul’s successors the anguish he experienced in recent years, which, however edifying, is not an ordeal imposed on other aged bishops.”

The pope elected in 2005, Benedict XVI, did in fact resign in 2013, the first pope do so in almost 600 years. But Benedict, now called the “pope emeritus,” hasn’t abided by any vow of silence in his retirement.

That was clear this week when Benedict published an eyebrow-raising essay about the church’s sexual abuse crisis, the subject of a recent meeting of bishops and other church leaders convened by Pope Francis. NPR reported accurately that Benedict’s analysis of the crisis “differs significantly from that of his successor.”

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St. Bonaventure, Archbishop Walsh say they don’t know anything about dead priests’ abuse allegations

ST. BONAVENTURE (NY)
Olean Times Herald

April 11, 2019

By Tom Dinki

St. Bonaventure University and Archbishop Walsh Academy officials said Thursday they’re in the dark just like the public when it comes to abuse allegations against two now-deceased friars who once held high-level positions at their institutions.

The Rev. Gervase White — a prominent St. Bonaventure University friar who died in 2002 — and the Rev. James Cairnan Haggerty —a principal of then-Archbishop Walsh High School who died in 1991 — are among more than accused 20 priests whose names were never released by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, according to a report by WKBW Wednesday evening.

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Franciscan University names five priests accused of sexual misconduct

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
WTOV TV

April 12, 2019

By Paul Giannamore

Franciscan University of Steubenville has released the names of five priests accused credibly of unwanted sexual advances. The release came as part of a report by an independent consultant hired to review university records amid the ongoing clergy sexual abuse scandal.

The review of university records from the late 1960s to the present was done by the Husch Blackwell Legal Firm. It found 14 potential cases of unwelcome sexual contact against students by clergy, all reported no later than 2013.

The report found no instances after 2013, when the university undertook reforms and reporting procedures.

The names of five priests with at least one substantiated claim were released.

They include:

Franciscan Friar Sam Tiesi, who died in 2001; Friar John McGuire, formerly Father Conrad McGuire, who lost his clerical state in 1988; and Friar Simeon Daniel Mulkern, who died in 2016.

Additionally, John Bertolucci, a priest of the Diocese of Albany, New York, who died in 2015 and Vincent Inghilterra, a Trenton, New Jersey priest who was removed from ministry in 2013, were listed. Bertolucci and Inghilterra both were named as having substantiated allegations against them in their dioceses or other institutions, not while at the university.

The university said the disclosure is not a finding of guilt or civil liability, nor are there clerics with substantiated reports of unwelcome sexual contact currently ministering or working at Franciscan.

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Lafayette accused clergy: Details the diocese didn’t report

LAFAYEYYE (LA0
Acadiana Advocate

April 12, 2019

The Diocese of Lafayette on Friday released limited information on priests against whom credible accusations have been made regarding sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult. This information includes: the year they were born; the year they were ordained; church assignments; and current status. They did not include any accusations or when or where the credible accusations occurred.

However, through previous reporting, research and other media reports, The Advocate has added details to many of the named clergy. We will continue to update this list as more details become available.

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See names, more about 38 Lafayette-area clergy member’s on diocese’s official sex abuse list

LAFAYETTE (LA)
Acadiana Advocate

April 12, 2019

The Lafayette Diocese on Friday released the names of 38 clergy members who have been credibly accused of child abuse.

The diocese release follows similar ones from four other Louisiana dioceses, including the Diocese of Baton Rouge and the Archdiocese of New Orleans, prompted by new pressure on church officials to disclose the identities of all offenders.

The Lafayette Diocese disclosure is particularly remarkable, as it is often considered “ground zero” for the decades-long Catholic Church sex abuse crisis, since it was the home of the first widely known abuser, Gilbert Gauthe, in the 1980s.

The list below, in alphabetical order, includes biographical information provided by the diocese or found in media reports, court documents and interviews.

Joseph Alexander

Age: Born 1933

Position: Priest

Served: St. Anthony of Padua, Eunice; Our Lady of Wisdom, Lafayette; Holy Rosary Institute; Lafayette; St. Thomas More High School, Lafayette; St. Mary Priory, Union, Kentucky.

Ordained: 1973

Estimated time of abuse: 1963 in Kentucky

Removed from ministry: Removed in 2002

Details: Acknowledged in 2002 that, when a Benedictine Brother in Owensboro, Kentucky, he molested a boy.

Jules Arceneaux

Age: Born in 1953

Position: Priest

Served: Our Lady of Sacred Heart, Church Point; St. Thomas More, Eunice; St. Joseph, Rayne; St. Francis Regis and St. Catherine, Arnaudville.

Ordained: 1990

Estimated time of abuse:

Allegation received: 2004

Removed from ministry: Removed in 2004

Details: Acting on a tip, federal agents in July 2004 raided the rectory at St. Francis Regis in Arnaudville and found what appeared to be child porn on his computer. The charges were dropped because of uncertainty those pictured were children.

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April 12, 2019

Questions from survivors group after Diocese releases names

OWENSBORO (KY)
Tri-State Home Page

April 12, 3019

By Amanda Mueller

The Diocese of Owensboro released names of priests on Friday with credible sexual abuse allegations.

Bishop William Medley made a statement and took questions around 2 P.M.

There were 15 names on that list.

One name not among them : Father Joseph Edward Bradley.

He was suspended last month from Owensboro Catholic High School after allegations of sexual abuse.

“There is no question that people have lost faith over this. I hope this is a step toward restoring that,” Medley said during the conference,

15 priests have what the Diocese calls a “substantiated allegation” of sexual abuse against them.

“For all the times when Church leaders failed to live out Christ’s call to holiness and did not do what was needed to keep you and all children safe, I am sorry,” Bishop Medley read from a statement.

Only six of the priests on the list are still alive. They have all been removed from public ministry. A leader with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, in Kentucky says that is not enough.

“Do they report in weekly? Monthly? Are they assigned someone to keep track of their travels? What is the follow-up?” said SNAP Louisville leader Cal Pfeiffer.

Inclusion on the list does not mean that the priest has been found guilty of a crime.

“When we receive an allegation, we report that to authorities. Sometimes we pursue that, sometimes they will not,” Medley explained.

The announcement was made ahead of the holiest week of the year for the Catholic Church.

“I found it appropriate to do it during the season of Lent, but frankly, we did it as soon as the committe that was reviewing these files completed their work,” said Medley.

Pfeiffer questions the timing.

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Anger and confusion over concealed list of 25 accused priests in the Diocese of Buffalo

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

Apr 12, 2019

By Charlie Specht and Ed Reilly

Reaction to a 7 Eyewitness News I-Team investigation that found the Diocese of Buffalo was concealing the names of 25 priests accused of sexual misconduct or abuse is generating some strong reactions from priest abuse victims and the president of Saint Bonaventure University, Dr. Dennis DePerro, who is calling for Bishop Richard Malone to step aside so the diocese can begin to heal and move forward.

The Diocese of Buffalo responded with the following statement:

“Bishop Malone is disappointed and dismayed with the comments of Dr. DePerro. We suspect that Dr. DePerro has not fully studied the carefully developed and well-publicized protocols of the Diocese of Buffalo. For example, the name of Fr. Gervase White, OFM, a beloved member of the St. Bonaventure community, was improperly revealed on television even though the allegation against him does not involve child abuse and cannot be investigated because Fr. Gervase died 17 years ago. Following established protocols, the diocese intentionally did not publicize that allegation. The bishop has received helpful input from others, including the President of Canisius College and other members of the Movement to Restore Trust, on how diocesan procedures might be improved. The bishop would have welcomed and still would accept such input from Dr. DePerro, but to criticize the bishop for following established protocols is unjust.”

Internal church records obtained by the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team show the scope of abuse is much larger than the public has been led to believe — even with 121 members of the clergy already accused of sex abuse or misconduct.

Perhaps most shocking: the names and allegations against 25 accused priests – including one recently active in the diocese – are still being shielded from the public.

The 7 Eyewitness News I-Team has spent the last six months using the June 27, 2018 review board agenda — and other documents — for verification in our reporting. When it became clear that the diocese had no intention of investigating many of the claims made by victims – because the priests were dead or because the diocese was excluding the victims from its compensation program – we began to investigate the claims on our own.

We were able to reach most of the victims who called to report the abuse and to verify many of the basic details of their stories through assignment histories or other documents . In the cases of deceased priests, we reached out to the diocese or the religious order and gave them the opportunity to describe the nature of the allegation and why they felt the name should or should not be reported to the public.

This is what the I-Team found:

(Note: The diocese declined to say whether any of these cases were substantiated or not substantiated. Spokeswoman Kathy Spangler denied that all cases related to sexual abuse, but would not specify which cases to which she was referring. Click here to read the diocese’s full explanation . Also, 7 Eyewitness News does not identify sex crime victims without their permission, and only identified abuse victims when they wanted to be identified publicly.)

Fr. Carlton (CJ) Westfield – A diocesan document in Bishop Malone’s “black binder” of diocesan secrets shows that in 2012, Westfield was discussed by Bishop Malone and members of the diocesan review board.

In May 2012, a secretary at Northern Chautauqua Catholic School in Dunkirk reported that Westfield “was discussing inappropriate topics with the sixth and seventh grade boys in religious education class,” a confidential memo to Bishop Malone stated. The memo also said Westfield “had taken pictures of small groups of the boys and girls” and was giving “private lessons” on Catholicism to a seventh grade boy.

During a meeting with Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz, Westfield “admitted discussing…pornography and masturbation with the boys” and admitted taking pictures of the children. Westfield stopped teaching at the school, the memo states , and the diocese “arranged for a forensic review of Father Westfield’s computer by the Diocese computer services office.” Nowhere in the memo does it mention calling the police, and the allegations have never been made public.

Diocese of Buffalo – Fr. Carlton J. Westfield (Text)
Kathy Spangler, a diocesan spokeswoman, said, “Although the 2012 matter regarding Fr. Westfield did not involve an accusation of abuse, it was thoroughly investigated and presented to the Review Board.”

In addition, the diocese reviewed an allegation about Westfield from a man in 2018, a different diocesan document confirms. But diocese spokeswoman Kathy Spangler said in an email, “The person who made the allegation in 2018 initially thought that his abuser might be Fr. Westfield and later, after reviewing information and photographs, withdrew the allegation against him. All the information was presented to the Review Board.”

Ordained in 1971, Westfield was pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Falconer and Our Lady of Victory Parish in Frewsburg. He became pastor of St. Anthony Church in Fredonia in 1999. He is retired and is listed as pastor emeritus of St. Anthony in Fredonia. Westfield did not respond to multiple messages seeking comment.

Fr. James Bartnik – Florida man Thomas Bunk told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that he reported an allegation against Bartnik in 2018 to the diocese. Bunk said roughly 40 years ago, Bartnik had inappropriate sexual contact with him under the guide of “wrestling.” Bunk said he reported the contact almost immediately, and his family was ostracized from St. John Cantius in Buffalo.

Bunk also described his frustration with trying to report the abuse to the Diocese of Buffalo last summer. He said he called seven times before receiving a call back, and diocesan representatives told him it was “too late for anything to be done,” he said. Bartnik also worked at St. Teresa in South Buffalo. He died in 2013.

Msgr. Ted Berg – When questioned by 7 Eyewitness News, Marc Pasquale of Buffalo said — and multiple diocesan documents confirm — that he called the diocese in 2018 to inquire why a priest reported to him years earlier was not on the diocese’s list. Pasquale said he did so because those involved had questioned him about why the 2018 Buffalo Diocese list did not include Berg, and they were concerned there was a cover-up.

Pasquale, while serving as parish administrator of St. Teresa’s in South Buffalo in 1987, said he was told by parish employees that they found child pornography in Msgr. Berg’s room during routine maintenance. Pasquale said he immediately reported the incident to multiple people and Bishop Head was notified.

But records show the diocese allowed Berg to remain pastor of St. Teresa’s until his 2003 retirement. Even after the retirement, he was appointed canonical administrator to three Catholic grammar schools in South Buffalo. He died in 2009.

Fr. Gerald Collins & Fr. Joseph Garin – A Buffalo man told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that he reported an allegation against both priests in 2018 to the diocese. He did not want to be identified and would not go into details of the allegations.

Collins served in churches in the Southern Tier and in Buffalo’s Old First Ward from the 1950s through the 1970s, newspaper archives show. He was also assigned to All Saints Church in Buffalo and the Newman Center at Alfred University. Garin served in churches in Buffalo and Niagara Falls before dying in a fire in the Prince of Peace Church rectory in 1965, according to the Niagara Falls Gazette.

Fr. George Cotter – The diocese reviewed an allegation against Cotter from a woman in 2018, a diocesan document shows. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the woman, but a second diocesan record shows that in 2018, she alleged abuse by Cotter in the 1950s and 1960s, when she was between 7 and 19 years old. Cotter was pastor of Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Church in the Town of Tonawanda. He is believed to be deceased.

Msgr. Joseph F. Coughlin – A woman told 7 Eyewitness News — and a diocesan document confirms — that she reported an allegation against the priest in 2018 to the diocese. The woman said it was the fourth time she or her husband reported the alleged sexual assault (she talked with three bishops and senior administrators of the diocese previously), she said.

The woman said Coughlin, the founding pastor of Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Church in Depew (he served from 1965 to 1995), sexually assaulted her under the guise of teaching her how to be a Eucharistic minister. She said she was 36 years old in the early 1990s when Coughlin groped her and pinned her down. Years later, Coughlin exhibited “stalking” behavior to her when she moved to another parish, she said.

She was denied compensation from the diocese this year, she said, even though in the late 1990s an auxiliary bishop told her Coughlin had a file that was “two inches thick” with complaints. She said she never reported the incident to police because Coughlin was chaplain of the Erie County Captains and Lieutenants Police Association, the Erie County Police Chiefs Association, the Depew Police Department, and the Cheektowaga Police Department. He died in 2005.

Msgr. Edmund Dietzel – The diocese reviewed an inquiry about Dietzel from a woman in 2018, a diocesan document confirms. 7 Eyewitness News was unable to reach the woman, but a second diocesan document, titled, “COMPLAINTS OF ABUSE FILED WITH THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR AND PROCESSED BY BISHOP GROSZ, MARCH 2018,” also confirms the allegation and states the accuser said she was between 3 and 12 at the time of the incident.

Dietzel served as an assistant pastor of St. Rose of Lima, St. Agnes, St. Matthew, Blessed Trinity, St. Nicholas and St. Anthony, all in Buffalo. He was the founding pastor of St. John Vianney of Orchard Park, where he served for 31 years. Dietzel died in 1989.

Fr. John Donnelly – A 57-year-old Buffalo man told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that he reported an allegation against the priest in 2018 to the diocese. The man said Donnelly abused him in the early 1970s when he was a 12-year-old altar boy at St. Monica’s church in the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood. The man did not want to be identified. Donnelly is believed to be deceased.

Fr. John Doyle – A woman told 7 Eyewitness News – and a diocesan document confirms – that she reported an allegation against the priest in 2018 to the diocese. She said Doyle abused her in the 1960s, when she was a fifth-grade student at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Orchard Park.

She did not want to be identified but she said she was disappointed with how the diocese handled her claim.

“What a nightmare,” she said. “The whole thing is just a huge nightmare.”

She said she was excluded from the diocese’s settlement program because she didn’t report the abuse years earlier. Until now, Fr. Doyle’s name has remained secret because of the bishop’s policy.

“And now, I feel totally slapped in the face,” she said, holding back tears. “I think if they weren’t gonna follow through with this, then I think they should have not said anything at all. Because for me, it was reliving it. And it’s not fair…it’s not fair to all the people who got kicked out because it was only one person who said this priest did this.”

She added, “It’s important that people know that it is my faith in God and not the church that carried me through. His peace and healing has helped me survive.”

Doyle is believed to be deceased.

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Accused bishops must be held accountable

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Express-News

April 12, 2019

By Patti Koo

It is important to publicize names of credibly accused priests who were in San Antonio, even if their alleged abuses took place in other regions. Although no claims of abuse were made locally, it is naïve to conclude there were no incidents. Statistics show that 1 in 10 victims of sexual abuse will report their abuse, and studies confirm that most sex offenders have more than one victim.

The attorney general of Pennsylvania put it best when he said, “We are sick over all the crimes that will go unpunished. We are going to name their names, and describe what they did … because that is what the victims deserve.”

In the case of a priest on January’s list, Galeb Mokarzel, who was credibly accused of sexual abuse and housed near two schools in San Antonio, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller replied that he had no power over religious orders.

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In the perversion of the eucharistic body: the pornographic society in Benedict XVI’s letter on sex abuse

Patheos blog

April 12, 2019

By Justin Tse

It goes without saying that Benedict XVI’s recently published letter on sex abuse is terrible. I will also leave an obligatory note here about how I have liked Ratzinger’s writings (even as a Protestant), have tweeted my amazement at them, and have read enough people couching their critique of the former pontiff as loving fanboys disappointed in their master that I will do nothing of the sort here.

The letter stands or falls on its merits alone, and there are few to recommend it. The whole thing is about how the student movements of the 1968 were about atheism because they were Marxist (the joke was Je suis Marxiste, tendance Groucho), and that the absence of God from society led to a sexual revolution, and that that sexual revolution became manifested in the normalization of pornography, and in this way, clergy in the church were influenced by a pornographic society to give in to their basest desires. It’s a facile argument, one that probably most would think belongs more in Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option than in the writings of Benedict XVI.

The counterargument is, of course, that clergy sex abuse was happening before 1968 too, and so were pornography and prostitution. So much for that, then, unless one wants to try their hand at saying that the distinction Ratzinger is making is between the private nature of pornography before the sixties and its public proliferation afterwards. But there are all sorts of problems with that too, not just in terms of Foucault’s reminder that a sexually repressed society does its disciplinary work by talking more about sex (not less), but also because Augustine’s comments on the theatre and the coliseum in the fourth century bespeak a kind of public bloodlust akin to the pornographic and his Confessions, far from relegating those desires to a private sphere, openly channels them to their chaste fulfillment in God.

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Benedict’s Untimely Meditation

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal

April 12, 2019

By Massimo Faggioli

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)
On the evening of April 10, six weeks after the conclusion of the Vatican’s summit on the sex-abuse crisis, the “pope emeritus,” Benedict XVI, made known his thoughts on the genesis of that crisis in a five-thousand-plus-word essay sent to a periodical for Bavarian priests, quickly translated into English, and then diffused online by Catholic websites known for their hostility to Pope Francis.

The essay is divided into two parts. The second, theological part is a reflection on the spiritual nature of the church, and mirrors Pope Francis’s own approach to the sex-abuse crisis: the pope and pope emeritus agree that the crisis cannot be resolved with only bureaucratic and juridical reforms. Both believe that the crisis involves a spiritual evil that must be confronted in spiritual terms. Benedict writes: “Indeed, the Church today is widely regarded as just some kind of political apparatus. One speaks of it almost exclusively in political categories, and this applies even to bishops, who formulate their conception of the church of tomorrow almost exclusively in political terms. The crisis, caused by the many cases of clerical abuse, urges us to regard the Church as something almost unacceptable, which we must now take into our own hands and redesign. But a self-made Church cannot constitute hope.” All this is in keeping with what Francis has said and written on the subject.

The rest of Benedict’s essay, however, departs not only from the current pope’s analysis of the sex-abuse crisis, but also from that of almost everyone else who has studied it. Ratzinger’s core argument starts from an historical-theological analysis of the post-conciliar period—from 1968 onward—and focuses on the negative effects of the sexual revolution on the church. In his view, these effects were twofold: a moral decay in behaviors and the rise of the relativism in moral theology.

This is a problematic analysis to say the least. It puts the Second Vatican Council at the origin of moral decadence in the church. This contrasts starkly with the way Francis has always spoken about the council. Even worse, Benedict’s claim that the phenomenon of sexual abuse was mainly a product of the sixties is contradicted by all the available studies on the topic, as is his suggestion of a connection between sexual abuse and homosexuality (more on this later).

There is no question that the Catholic Church was hit hard by the Sexual Revolution—not only lay people, but also the clergy and the seminaries. But the history of sexual abuse in the church begins well before the turmoil of the ’60s: one can find evidence of it in the writings of the Fathers of the Church, who coined terms for it that are not found in classical Greek (cf. the studies by John Martens). There is a vast literature on the phenomenon and on the tools developed by the church, between the middle ages and the twentieth century, to combat it.

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Owensboro Diocese releases names of priests accused of sexual abuse

OWENSBORO (KY)
Eyewitness News

April 12, 2019

By Amanda Mueller

On Friday, the Diocese of Owensboro released a list of priests with substantiated allegations of sexually abusing a minor.

The press conference began with an apology from Bishop William F. Medley on behalf of the diocese and the church.

Bishop Medley said inclusion on the list does not necessarily indicate guilt, but it does indicate a finding on behalf of the diocese that there is adequate reason to believe the abuse did occur.

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For second time in a week, a new, decades-old claim of New Orleans clergy molestation emerges

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Advocate

April 12, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

For the second time in a week, a man has come forward with new claims that he was molested decades ago by a New Orleans-area Catholic priest who was only publicly identified as a suspected child abuser last year.

A lawsuit filed Thursday by an unnamed plaintiff in Orleans Parish Civil District Court accused Lawrence Hecker, 87, of fondling a group of boys who were attending St. Joseph School in Gretna in 1968, 10 years after his ordination.

The suit against Hecker joins a string of other civil court cases – mostly ongoing – that have been filed against Catholic Church officials in New Orleans following Archbishop Gregory Aymond’s disclosure on Nov. 2 of a list of clerics who had been faced with credible allegations of sexually abusing children.

Hecker appeared on that list and joins other still-living, defrocked clerics on that roster to be confronted by accusers who had not come forward before the release.

According to the new 19-page suit, the plaintiff was in middle school at St. Joseph when Hecker took him and other boys at the school behind the altar at the church. The lawsuit accused Hecker of lining the boys up shoulder-to-shoulder, ordering them to drop their pants and showing them “what it was like to get a hernia exam” by groping the children’s genitals.

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Leader of US bishops set for Rome trip to talk bishops’ accountability

DENVER (CO)
Crux

April 11, 2019

By Christopher White

Archbishop José Gómez, the de facto head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as the body’s president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, faces health issues, will travel to Rome the week after Easter to meet Vatican officials to discuss new measures for U.S. bishop accountability.

Crux has confirmed with multiple sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to comment on the matter, that a USCCB delegation, originally intended to be led by DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, will discuss proposals for accountability that the U.S. bishops hope to adopt when they meet again in June.

Monsignor Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the USCCB, along with other senior officials, will join Gómez, the archbishop of Los Angeles, for the visit.

Last month DiNardo was briefly hospitalized for what was termed a “mild stroke.” Gomez is currently responsible for day-to-day operations of the USCCB while the Texas cardinal is recovering.

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Buffalo statements assert more transparency, urge privacy for victims

BUFFALO (NY)
Catholic News Service

April 12, 2019

In a pair of statements issued April 11, the Diocese of Buffalo both asserted greater
transparency in its handling of clergy sex abuse claims and urged respect for the privacy of abuse victims.

The former statement, from Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, was issued to “correct some of those errors” about the diocese’s response to the crisis that had cropped up from the “intense media coverage.”

But he also used the statement to address “the times when I personally have fallen short. I deeply regret and apologize for having signed those letters in support of Father Art Smith,” a diocesan priest whom Bishop Malone had endorsed for a job as a cruise ship chaplain despite complaints by three young men to the diocese in 2011 and 2013 about inappropriate touching and unwanted attention and Facebook messages from the priest.

“I also regret not being more transparent about claims involving abuse against adults,” Bishop Malone added. “As you know from the manner in which we have been addressing more recent claims involving conduct between adults, we are handling those matters differently now. Lessons have been learned.”

Bishop Malone said of the 191 abuse complaints received in “the last audit year” — each U.S. diocese undergoes an annual audit to monitor its compliance with the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” — “not a single one of those new allegations involved an incident that occurred after 2000,” and that “there have been no substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse against any diocesan priest ordained in the past 30 years.”

The charter has worked, he added, “demonstrated by the fact that there have been very few actual cases of child sexual abuse in our diocese since 2002.”

Moreover, the independent review board process outlined in the charter works, Bishop Malone said. “When adequate information has been obtained, the board will make a recommendation to me about whether or not the claim has been substantiated. No priest with a substantiated claim of child sexual abuse can remain in ministry,” he added.

“My decisions about whether a priest is removed from or returned to ministry are often criticized in the media. Of course, the process needs to be confidential to protect the privacy of all the parties involved, and, as a result, the public may not hear all that went into each decision.”

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Diocese of Kansas City Finally Begins Work on List of Accused Clerics

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

April 12, 2019

Only now is KC MO Bishop James Johnston starting a months-long process to supposedly create a list of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests.

Yet we see no reason why this process must take months. Bishop Johnston should immediately post the names of and details about the dozens of child molesting clerics he knows to be guilty or ‘credibly accused.’

Then, if need be, he can add more later after this review is complete. But every day even one predator is kept hidden, kids are needlessly at risk. And they’re given even more time to destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, discredit whistleblowers and even flee the country.

Out of about 170 bishops in the US, 113 have completed this process and have posted predators’ names on their websites, some as long as 17 years ago. It’s incredibly irresponsible that Johnston is just starting to do so now.

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Las Vegas diocese IDs 33 priests ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Review-Journal

April 12, 2019

By Rachel Crosby

The Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas released a list on Friday of 33 priests “credibly accused” of sexual abuse who at some point served in the Las Vegas Valley.

The announcement came a week after the Catholic Diocese of Reno named 12 “credibly abused” priests, eight of whom at some point had served in the Las Vegas area. All of those priests were included in the new Las Vegas list.

Reno’s list included Monsignor Robert Anderson, who died in 1978 but in 1993 was accused of sexually abusing a Henderson boy between 1965 and 1969, according to a lawsuit the victim filed when he was 41. The man said the abuse began when he was about 13.

“The sexual abuse was accomplished, in part, because Monsignor Anderson, a Roman Catholic priest, befriended the minor plaintiff as a parishioner and altar boy and provided him with counseling and guidance,” the lawsuit said at the time. “Monsignor repeatedly assured the minor plaintiff that the sexual contact was appropriate activity.”

Anderson served in churches all over Nevada, including in Reno, Sparks, Ely, Fallon and Zephyr Cove, among other communities, according to the Reno list. But he circled back to the Las Vegas area often.

He first served in Las Vegas at St. Joan of Arc in 1944, then in Boulder City at St. Andrews from 1944 to 1947 before traveling north.

Anderson returned to Southern Nevada in 1962, serving at St. Christopher in North Las Vegas until 1963 and St. Peter the Apostle in Henderson between 1963 and 1969.

The only living priest named in the Reno list was Eugene Braun, who also served in Las Vegas off and on but was removed from the ministry in 1974. He is accused of molesting teenage girls in Northern Nevada, and in the early 2000s, at least one woman settled with the Reno diocese in connection with her decades-old allegations, according to a 2007 story in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

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Journalist surprised by bishops’ support after controversial lawsuit

ROME (ITALY)
Catholic News Service

Apr 11, 2019

By Junno Arocho Esteves

After a court ruled in favor of an archbishop’s defamation lawsuit against him, Peruvian journalist Pedro Salinas said he was “pleasantly surprised” by a message of support from the country’s bishops.

Peruvian Archbishop José Eguren Anselmi of Piura won the case against Salinas April 8, but bishops in the country distanced themselves from the lawsuit and said the church needs the help of journalists and survivors of clergy sex abuse to overcome the current crisis.

“The Holy Father has praised and thanked the world of journalists who, through their investigations, contribute to denouncing abuses, punishing the perpetrators and assisting victims. The pope underlined that the church needs their help in the difficult task of fighting against this evil,” the Peruvian bishops’ conference said in a statement April 10.

In a message to Catholic News Service April 11, Salinas said he was surprised by the bishops’ message “because it is unprecedented.”

“We now know that someone (Eguren) is going against the current guidelines established by Pope Francis,” Salinas told CNS. “In soccer terms, we could say that the Sodalitium Archbishop José Antonio Eguren of Piura was discovered in an offside position,” he added. “An unforgivable offside, if you ask me.”

Salinas and fellow journalist Paola Ugaz co-authored a book titled, “Mitad Monjes, Mitad Soldados” (“Half Monks, Half Soldiers”), which detailed the psychological and sexual abuse, as well as corporal punishment and extreme exercises that young members of Sodalitium Christianae Vitae were forced to endure.

The Peruvian journalist suffered physical and psychological abuse at the hands of Luis Fernando Figari, who founded Sodalitium, a Catholic movement, in 1971.

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Recognising Jesus as a Victim of Sexual Abuse

OTAGO (NEW ZEALAND)
Centre for Theology and Public Issues

April 5, 2019

By Rocio Figeuroa and David Tombs

The sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church compels a reassessment of topics within
both pastoral theology and Christology. The possible connection between the Passion
narratives and the reality of sexual abuse is an obvious, but so far neglected, resource for this
work.

The research project ‘When Did We See You Naked?’ at the University of Otago
(2018-20) investigates three related areas.

1. The historical question: ‘Did the torture and crucifixion of Jesus involve some form of
sexual abuse?’

2. The pastoral question: ‘What difference should this make for the Church today?’

3. The theological question: ‘What consequences does this have for a theological
understanding of God’s gracious and healing presence in the world?’

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Diocese where clergy abuse 1st made public to release list

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Associated Press

April 12, 2019

The U.S. Catholic diocese where the first widely reported case of clergy sex abuse became public in the 1980s is releasing a list of clery who face credible accusations of sexual abuse.

Bishop Douglas Deshotel (DEZ-oh-tel) of the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana has said he’ll release the list Friday. The names of 33 priests and four deacons are on the list.

Other Louisiana dioceses have reported about 150 priests, deacons and other clerics. There may be some overlap, since the Lake Charles diocese was carved out of the Lafayette diocese in 1980.

The Lafayette Diocese employed the first widely known abuser, Gilbert Gauthe (goh-THAY). He pleaded guilty in 1985 to abusing 11 boys and testified that he’d abused dozens while serving at four churches in the diocese.

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‘Credibly accused’ priest worked at St. Joseph, St. Mary’s in Norwalk

NORWALK (CT)
Laredo Morning Times

April 12, 2019

By Pat Tomlinson

A priest who once served at a South Norwalk parish were added to the list of “credibly accused” clergy for sexual abuse of minors in the Bridgeport Diocese.

Bishop Frank Caggiano, in a March 22 statement, added 10 names to a list of nearly 30 priests, living and dead, who are accused of sexual abuse and at some point served in the Diocese of Bridgeport.

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“It is with much regret and concern for all those who are survivors of sexual abuse that I must announce that the following ten clergy who served in the Diocese of Bridgeport have been added to our list of Credibly Accused Clergy,” Caggiano wrote.

The Rev. James McCormick is among those added to the list. He served at St. Joseph Parish, 85 South Main St., and St. Mary’s, 669 West Ave., according to Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney, a Bridgeport law firm that has represented dozens of abuse victims in lawsuits against the diocese since 1993.

McCormick served at St. Joseph Parish from 1951 to 1954, during which time he was twice accused of soliciting young men, once in 1953 and another in 1954. Both are believed to have been minors at the time, according to Caggiano’s statement.

One of these incidents was reported to the diocese by the police in 1953, according to Caggiano, but no further action was taken. His ministry was reportedly restricted in 1954 by Bishop Lawrence Shehan.

A full review of McCormick, who was ordained in 1916, was conducted in 2019 — more 50 years after McCormick’s death — and the allegation “deemed credible.”

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The Chilean church has lost its credibility. Bishop Aos is hopeful he can change that.

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

April 12, 2019

By Gerard O’Connell

On March 23, Pope Francis appointed the Spanish-born Capuchin friar, Bishop Celestino Aos Braco as apostolic administrator of the archdiocese of Santiago, Chile. On the same day, he also accepted the resignation of the much-criticized Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati.

Trained as a psychologist in Spain, Bishop Aos arrived in Chile in 1983 and was surprised when Pope Francis called him four and a half years ago to be bishop of Copiapo. “I didn’t even know where Copiapo was,” he said in an interview with America on April 9. “I didn’t know what it was to live in the desert. But I said I will go there and do my service.”

He was once again surprised on the eve of his 74th birthday when the pope appointed him as the apostolic administrator in the archdiocese of Santiago, where the two former archbishops, Javier Errázuriz Ossa and Ezzati are accused of covering up the abuse of minors by priests.

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Vatican imposes 10-year suspension on Irish priest for abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
Irish Central

April 12, 2019

Vatican imposes 10-year suspension on Irish priest for abuse Fr John O’Reilly
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has banned an Irish-born Legionaries of Christ priest from publicly exercising his priestly ministry for 10 years after he was convicted in Chile of sexually abusing a young girl.

Fr John O’Reilly was convicted in Chile in 2014 and sentenced to four years of ‘supervised liberty.’ When the four years was up in December, he was told to leave the country or face deportation. He moved to Rome, where he still lives, according to the Legionaries.

In accordance with Church law, he also underwent a trial by a tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which also found him guilty of child sexual abuse, the Legionaries of Christ press office said in a statement on Thursday.

In addition to suspending him from ministry, the Legionaries said, the doctrinal congregation imposed “the perpetual obligation to establish residency outside Latin America and the perpetual prohibition of voluntary contact with minors,” as well as recommending he seek “psychological and spiritual accompaniment.”

“The sentence concludes with the mention of the right to appeal,” the Legionaries said.

Fr O’Reilly “is reviewing with his lawyer the sentence, which he received today with faith and with confidence in the authorities of the Church,” the statement said.

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KC-St. Joseph Diocese hires ex-FBI agents to compile list of credibly accused priests

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

April 12, 2019

By Judy L. Thomas

The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has hired an investigative and consulting firm run by three former FBI agents to compile a list of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.

The St.-Louis based firm, Fidelity Consultants, comprises three investigators who each spent more than two decades with the Federal Bureau of Investigation before founding the company, Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. announced this week in The Catholic Key, the diocesan newspaper.

The action comes after many other dioceses across the country — including the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas — have released lists in recent months of priests with substantiated abuse allegations.

“It is my desire to do so as well,” Johnston wrote in his column in The Catholic Key this week. “This process, by its very nature, is painstakingly deliberate. I intend for an eventual report to be thorough, accurate, and as complete as possible.

“Like most other dioceses, the review is being accomplished by a highly respected and independent third party. It is my hope that our review will be complete and a list available in the coming months.”

The diocese said the firm would conduct “a thorough review of diocesan files” then write a report that includes the names of priests who have served in the diocese and have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.

The priest sex abuse issue erupted last August when a grand jury in Pennsylvania released a report finding that church leaders had covered up sexual abuse by hundreds of priests over seven decades. Since then, bishops across the country have been under pressure to release the names of their credibly accused priests.

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Sexual assault victim pushes for new ‘Time’s Up’ bill

NEW CAANAN (CT)
News 12 Connecticut

April 11, 2019

A New Canaan man who is a victim of sex abuse is urging lawmakers to push a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for child sex crimes.

Mark Fuller, of New Canaan, says he was a 19-year-old student at Notre Dame University when a priest sexually abused him. Fuller’s case was detailed in the massive Pennsylvania grand jury report in 2018.

He says when victims of sexual abuse come forward, they often hit road blocks.

“If it’s been past the statute of limitations, it’s no longer a crime. No harm, no foul. And so, what it does is, bring more depression. Not only was I abused then; I’m getting it again now,” Fuller says.

Victims like Fuller would also get more time to sue their attacker under the Time’s Up Act. It would give child sex abuse victims unlimited time to prosecute, and they can sue until they’re 56 years old.

However, not everyone is supporting the bill. Connecticut’s chief public defender says this “will make it impossible for (the) accused to receive due process and a fair trial.”

The bill is now headed to the full state Senate.

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Imagen que tienen los ticos de la Iglesia decae por escándalos sexuales

[Sexual abuse scandal damages public opinion of Church in Costa Rica]

COSTA RICA
La Nación

April 10, 2019

By Daniela Cerdas E.

Investigación del Centro de Investigación y Estudios Políticos (CIEP) de la Universidad de Costa Rica señala diferencias con respecto a noviembre

La ola de denuncias contra sacerdotes por presuntos abusos sexuales pareciera haber golpeado la imagen que los costarricenses tienen de la Iglesia católica. De acuerdo con la investigación que publicó este miércoles el Centro de Investigación y Estudios Políticos (CIEP) de la Universidad de Costa Rica, la calificación promedio obtenida por esa institución bajó un punto en marzo del 2019.

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Caso Serre: “Sería muy ingenuo pensar que solo abusó de una persona”

[Serre case: “It would be very naive to think he only abused one person”]

ARGENTINA
El Marplatense

April 11, 2019

Así lo aseguró Patricia Gordon, titular de la ONG En Red, luego de que el Obispo de Mar del Plata, Gabriel Mestre, decidió apartar al sacerdote que se desempeñaba en Necochea y que fue acusado de abusar sexualmente de un menor. “Es hora de terminar con ciertos encubrimientos y ocuparse realmente de las víctimas”, destacó.

Luego de que este lunes el Obispo de Mar del Plata, Gabriel Mestre, comunicó que apartó al sacerdote José Luis Serre tras ser acusado de abusar sexualmente de un menor de edad, la psicóloga Patricia Gordon -quien trabaja hace décadas en la ciudad con las víctimas de abuso sexual desde la ONG En Red- expresó que espera que esta decisión “sirva para que otras personas puedan hablar, porque sería muy ingenuo pensar que solo se abuso de una persona“.

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Cristo Orante: el arzobispo de Mendoza dijo que no se ocultaron denuncias de abusos

[Cristo Orante: the archbishop of Mendoza said abuse allegations were not hidden]

ARGENTINA
Unidiversidad

April 11, 2019

By Télam (news agency)

“Lo que yo puedo decir es que eclesiásticamente estamos a disposición de lo que determine la justicia”, señaló Marcelo Colombo. Tocó el tema luego de que Nicolás Bustos saliera a contar públicamente cómo fue abusado en el Monasterio ubicado en Tupungato.

El arzobispo de Mendoza, Marcelo Colombo, aseguró este miércoles que la Iglesia no ocultó las denuncias de abuso sexual sobre dos sacerdotes del Monasterio del Cristo Orante, en la localidad de Tupungato, radicadas por un exseminarista.

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Steve Bannon and U.S. ultra-conservatives take aim at Pope Francis

ROME (ITALY)
NBC News

April 12, 2019

By Richard Engel and Kennett Werner

Strolling through St. Peter’s Square, the heart of the Roman Catholic Church, Steve Bannon surveyed the enemy camp.

The populist political consultant has a new target in his crusade against “globalism” — Pope Francis.

“He’s the administrator of the church, and he’s also a politician,” said Bannon, a former adviser to President Donald Trump. “This is the problem. … He’s constantly putting all the faults in the world on the populist nationalist movement.”

Since becoming pope in 2013, Francis has expressed a consistent message on the type of “America First” nationalism championed by Bannon.

Two years ago, the pope cautioned against growing populism in Europe, warning it could lead to the election of leaders like Hitler.

He has called for compassion toward migrants, saying that fearing them “makes us crazy,” as well as other marginalized groups including the poor and gay people. He has also defended diversity.

Bannon alleges that Francis has mismanaged numerous sex abuse scandals roiling the church, and says the pope is not treating the issue seriously enough.

“The Catholic Church is heading to a financial crisis that will lead to a bankruptcy,” he said. “It could actually bring down, not the theology, not the teachings, not the community of the Catholic Church, but the physical and financial apparatus of this church.”

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Sacerdote John O’Reilly es condenado por El Vaticano por abusar sexualmente de un menor de edad

[Vatican condemns priest John O’Reilly for sexually abusing a minor]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 12, 2019

By Alberto González and Nicole Martínez

Los Legionarios de Cristo pidieron perdón por los abusos sexuales cometidos por John O’Reilly, quien fue suspendido del ministerio sacerdotal y condenado a alejarse de por vida de menores de edad. El Vaticano prohibió al sacerdote John O’Reilly ejercer el sacerdocio por 10 años y además le ordenó permanecer para siempre fuera de América Latina, luego de ser declarado culpable de abuso sexual a menores.

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“Se mintió para preservar el buen nombre de la Iglesia”

[“He lied to preserve the good name of the Church”]

ROME (ITALY)
El País (Spain)

April 12, 2019

By Daniel Verdú

El español Celestino Aós, obispo a quien el Papa ha confiado la reestructuración de la Iglesia chilena, cree que se deberán pagar los errores hasta las últimas consecuencias

La crisis que azota a la Iglesia católica causada por los abusos a menores podría llegar a sintetizarse en el caso de Chile. El ocultamiento masivo de las agresiones sexuales del sacerdote Fernando Karadima, el maltrato a las víctimas o la negligencia del nuncio apostólico en su misión de informar a Roma desembocaron en la renuncia en pleno de todos los obispos y la imputación de parte de la cúpula, empezando por el presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal, Santiago Silva. También en la toma de conciencia definitiva del problema por parte del Papa, que ya ha aceptado cinco de esas dimisiones y ha nombrado como administrador apostólico en Santiago al obispo navarro Celestino Aós (Unciti, 1945). Un capuchino austero y directo llamado a ser la referencia moral de la Iglesia en Chile. La difícil reconstrucción, creen en Roma, girará en torno a él.

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Top Vatican cardinal says Benedict is only trying to help Francis

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 12, 2019

By Claire Giangravè

A cardinal who once held one of the highest-ranking positions in the Vatican said Thursday that Benedict XVI’s controversial comments on the clergy abuse crisis were motivated by a desire to help Pope Francis, and that it would be “the greatest suffering” for Benedict to be perceived as contradicting his successor.

“I interpret [the letter] as the reflections of a man who, before this terrible scourge of pedophilia in the Church, attempts to help Pope Francis and all of us to emerge from it,” said Italian Cardinal Giovanni Becciu.

“It doesn’t go against Pope Francis, because he does not suggest legislation,” Becciu said. “It would be the greatest suffering for Benedict to be perceived as in contradiction with Pope Francis.”

Last Sunday, Becciu also said gay people should not become priests and suggested financial penalties for whistleblowers who betray Vatican secrets.

“Those with homosexual tendencies would do well not to remain in the seminary and become a priest,” said Becciu, a former sostituto, or deputy, of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, in a lengthy interview with journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona that aired April 8.

Becciu said priests live in close contact with men, especially in religious communities, which puts a strain on their vow of chastity. How can he “easily live out the promised chastity,” the cardinal asked, if he is constantly sharing “time and space” with people of the same sex?

“Isn’t that asking too much of him?” he added.

For those with homosexual tendencies who are already priests, bishops or cardinals, Becciu suggests the same “severity” adopted in cases concerning heterosexual clergy.

“One will have to demand that he observe the priestly promises and, if he were not able, or furthermore brought scandal, it will be necessary for the good of the Church that he retire to private life,” he said.

Becciu, who was the sostituto under Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis from 2011 to 2018, closely experienced the two Vatileaks cycles, which he described as “dark days” where suspicion was rampant and “a world was collapsing.”

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Sexual abuse, a troubling text by Benedict XV

PARIS (FRANCE)
LaCroix International

April 12, 2019

A German magazine has published a long essay by the former pope who seems to take the opposite position of Pope Francis on the issue of sexual abuse.

Benedict XVI has linked the 1960s sexual revolution and cliques of homosexuals in seminaries to the ongoing crisis within the Catholic Church over sexual abuse of children.The retired pope, who in 2013 became the first pope in more than 700 years to voluntarily step down, argued that the sexual revolution had led some to believe pedophilia and…

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Ex-Hammonton priest added to list of accused in New Mexico

ATLANTIC CITY (NJ)
The Press of Atlantic City

April 12, 2019

The Diocese of Gallup in New Mexico has added the name of a New Jersey priest to its list of credibly accused sex abusers.

The Gallup Independent reports the diocese said this week it was adding Thomas M. Harkins, who served three months at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Page, Arizona from October 1981 to January 1982.

The Diocese of Camden removed Harkins from the priesthood in 2002 following allegations of child sexual abuse.

Harkins already appeared on the Dioceses of Camden’s listed of 57 credibly accused clergy released in January. He once served at St. Anthony of Padua in Hammonton, according to the list. It does not say how long he served in Hammonton.

The list stated that Harkins had been removed from the ministry, but did not identify what year.

Church officials in Gallup say they are not aware of any complaints or allegations regarding Harkins during his brief time in Arizona.

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April 11, 2019

Priest abuse survivors, advocates laud Perrault conviction

SANTA FE (NM)
New Mexican

Apr 11, 2019

By Rebecca Moss

The verdict issued Wednesday against former Roman Catholic priest Arthur Perrault marked the first time a jury in New Mexico has found a member of the clergy guilty of sex crimes against children.

Legal experts and victims advocates say Perrault’s conviction could mark a new era in how prosecutors try such cases.

While hundreds of civil cases alleging child sexual abuse have been brought against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe over the past several decades — and the archdiocese has admitted at least 78 priests and brothers have been “credibly accused” of abuse — those lawsuits largely have been settled out of court for undisclosed sums, and rarely have priests faced criminal investigations.

“It shows prosecutors that this can be done,” Albuquerque attorney Brad Hall said of Wednesday’s landmark verdict. Hall, who has handled dozens of civil cases alleging child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the state, said, “This case shows you can prosecute a pedophile for childhood sexual abuse decades ago — successfully.”

A 12-member federal jury in Santa Fe found Perrault, 81, guilty of seven counts of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact with a 10-year-old altar boy between 1991 and 1992 at Kirtland Air Force Base and the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Charges were brought by federal prosecutors because of the location of the crimes.

A sentencing hearing for Perrault, who is in federal custody, has yet to be scheduled, but he could face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

While the criminal case focused on one boy, Perrault was accused of sexual abuse by at least 38 people during his nearly three decades working as a priest in New Mexico. He fled the country in 1992, just days before a lawsuit was filed accusing him of abusing children, and he lived freely for years. He was finally found in 2016 in Morocco, where he was teaching English as a second language at a boys school.

His location became public in a lawsuit brought by Kenneth Wolter, a man in his mid-30s who was awarded $16 million in damages by a New Mexico judge.

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Leaked diocese document reveals names of more accused priests

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

April 11, 2019

By Jay Tokasz

The names of an additional 27 Catholic priests accused of misconduct emerged this week in leaked Buffalo Diocese documents showing that a review board examined allegations against the priests.

A copy of the June 27, 2018 meeting agenda of the Diocesan Review Board, obtained by WKBW-TV, included the names of nearly 100 priests whose cases were being reviewed by the board.

Bishop Richard J. Malone in 2018 publicly identified most of the priests on that agenda as having been credibly accused of sexually abusing children. But Malone has remained silent on 27 of those priests, including a former superintendent of Catholic schools, Monsignor Ted Berg, and a former high-ranking diocesan administrator, Monsignor Albert Rung.

The Diocesan Review Board’s primary purpose is to examine cases of alleged child sex abuse, but it’s not clear how many of the 27 priests were accused of sexual abuse of minors or if the complaints were found to be credible.

The 27 priests listed on the Buffalo Diocesan Review Board agenda in connection with misconduct complaints are:

The Rev. James Bartnik, Monsignor Ted Berg, the Rev. Gerald Collins, the Rev. George Cotter, Monsignor Joseph Coughlin, Monsignor Edmund Dietzel, the Rev. John Donnelly, the Rev. John Doyle, the Rev. John J. Fox, the Rev. Ralph Frederico, the Rev. Joseph Garin, Monsignor Francis Growney, the Rev. Kiernan Haggerty, the Rev. Francis Hannah, the Rev. James H. Kasprzyk, the Rev. Francis Kealy, the Rev. Nelson Kimmartin, the Rev. William Lanphear, the Rev. Joseph M. McPherson, Monsignor Richard O’Brien, the Rev. Joseph Penkaul, Monsignor Albert Rung, the Rev. Paul Salemi, the Rev. Maurus Schenk, the Rev. CJ Westfield, the Rev. Gervase F. White and the Rev. Maurice Woulfe.

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Pedophile priests belong behind bars

FARMERS BRANCH (TX)
The Brookhaven Courier

April 8, 2019

In 2015, the movie “Spotlight” redirected media attention to the decades-long controversy of sexual abuse taking place in the Roman Catholic Church. Many abuse cases have surfaced over the past few decades, but did not get enough attention from the public to make news.

This is no longer a local or even a national issue. There have been reports of child sexual abuse in Catholic churches in many countries. Child abuse is a crime and should be dealt with in criminal justice systems.

Incidents of child sex abuse by Catholic priests around the world have forced the public to consider whether or not churches are a safe place for children.

In February, Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, was charged with child sex abuse in Australia for molesting two choirboys in the ’80s, according to USA Today. Pell faces up to a 50-year prison sentence. Pell’s charges came a few weeks after a summit in the Vatican at which Pope Francis called for an all-out battle against the abuse of minors.

The Vatican also announced Theodore McCarrick, former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, D.C., would be defrocked, or stripped of his priesthood, for sexual abuse of minors and adults, according to USA Today. McCarrick is unlikely to face criminal prosecution for the alleged abuse because it is beyond its statute of limitations, according to The New York Times.

These statutes of limitations are common across the U.S. and directly correlate with data on clergy abuse in any given state, Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of bishopaccountability.org, a site that tracks cases of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, said, according to The New York Times.

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Nuns sexually abusing minors could become next Catholic Church scandal, experts say

NEW YORK (NY)
Fox News

April 9, 2019

By Hollie McKay

It wasn’t until Rev. Cait Finnegan gave birth to a baby girl more than three decades ago that the full trauma of all she had withstood was fully unleashed.

“It was my protective instinct, I just didn’t want my daughter to be alone. I stayed with her from the day she was born,” Finnegan, 67, a Catholic school student in 1960s New York and once an aspiring nun, told Fox News. “Because I had been abused in many places to many degrees. This was every day in school, weekends, she would come to my home.”

Starting at just 15, Finnegan alleged that she was repeatedly raped by a Catholic nun and for years, after finally escaping, lived a life on the edge of falling apart. She said she spent much of her life trapped in a state of rage, depression, and agoraphobia, unable to leave the house or be away from her daughter, now 36.

They lived in poverty as Finnegan said she was only able to take on odd jobs at night, as her marriage strained under the emotional weight.

“When my daughter was 12, we thought it would be good to register her at a Catholic School,” Finnegan recalled. “But then the nun opened the door, I had a flashback, I grabbed her and ran.”

Finnegan said her abuser died more than four years ago. But the deep, dark memories she has carried since adolescence remain.

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How a past and (maybe) future pope are providing crucial leadership in age of Francis

Get Religion blog

April 11, 2019

By Clemente Lisi

The events of the past few days have truly been monumental for the Roman Catholic church.

You may not have noticed — unless you’ve bothered to read the ever-growing list of Catholic news websites on both the right and left. While liberals and conservatives within the church continue to wage a very public war over everything from the future of Christendom in the West to the ongoing clerical abuse crisis, two prominent voices have led the charge when it comes to these two issues.

Again, it was conservative Catholic media that proved to be the preferred mouthpiece for Cardinal Robert Sarah and Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI. Both men — with help from right-leaning news organizations — have been very vocal about the problems plaguing the modern church in our ever-secular world.

It is fitting that these two men — one considered a potential future pope, the other already a pope — are the ones leading the charge as the church continues to become polarized. Under Francis’ papacy, the ideological split has become more pronounced. As the curia continues to polarize itself in public on issues like immigration and homosexuality, church leaders like Sarah and Benedict refuse to be silenced. Once again, it’s those Catholic media voices on the right that are helping to spread their message.

Case in point: this past week. At a time when Christians around the world continue on their Lenten journey, Sarah and Benedict are making a statement about the direction of Catholicism, the legacy of Vatican II and where the church is going. Sarah, who hails from the majority-Muslim nation of Guinea in Africa, contrasted Pope Francis’ statements in telling Christian nations they should open their borders to Islamic refugees.

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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.

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Diocese of Lake Charles list of credibly accused clergy

LAKE CHARLES (LA)
KPLC TV

April 11, 2019

The Diocese of Lake Charles has released a list of clergy credibly accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Clerics of the Diocese of Lake Charles

Juan Alers, Diocesan Priest

Born: 1943
Ordained: 1969 for the Archdiocese of San Juan in Puerto Rico
First Affiliated with the Diocese of Lake Charles: 1987
Assignments in the Diocese of Lake Charles:
Accusation: Sexual Misconduct with minors
Location of Misconduct: Puerto Rico
Date of Misconduct: 1980-1985
Date Allegations Received by the Diocese of Lake Charles: 1997
Number of Victims: More than one
Response from the Diocese of Lake Charles: Removal from Ministry in 2002
Current Status: Deceased (2011)
Mark Broussard, Diocesan Priest

Born: 1956
Ordained: 1986 for the Diocese of Lake Charles
Assignments in the Diocese of Lake Charles:
Accusation: Sexual Misconduct with Minors
Locations of Misconduct:
Date of Misconduct: ca. 1980-1991
Date Allegations received by the Diocese of Lake Charles:
Number of Victims: More than one
Response from the Diocese of Lake Charles: Removal from Ministry in 1994
Current Status:
Gerard (Gerald) Smit, Diocesan Priest

Date of Birth: 1924
Date of Ordination: 1950 for the Diocese of Nijmejen, Holland
First Affiliated with the Diocese of Lafayette beginning in 1958 and then with the Diocese of Lake Charles in 1980
Assignments in the Diocese of Lake Charles (and Lafayette):
Accusation: Sexual Misconduct with Minors
Locations of Misconduct:
Date of Misconduct: 1950s, 1960s
Date Allegations received by the Diocese of Lake Charles:
Number of Victims: More than one
Response from the Diocese of Lake Charles:
Current Status: Sentenced to a Life of Prayer and Penance in 2013, and residing in Pennsylvania

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Vatican bans Irish priest from public ministry due to abuse

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press

April 11, 2019

The Legion of Christ religious order said Thursday that the Vatican has banned an Irish priest from public ministry for 10 years for sexually abusing a minor in Chile.

The order said in a statement that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also banned the Rev. John O’Reilly from any contact with minors for life and ordered him to live outside of Latin America. O’Reilly can appeal.

“As a congregation, these acts cause us great pain and we again ask forgiveness for the suffering caused,” the order said.

O’Reilly had worked in Chile since the mid-1980s. He was convicted in a civil court in 2014 of sexually abusing a minor while he was a chaplain at a school operated by the legion in the Chilean capital. The court also banned him from any job near children and included him in a database for registered abusers. Congress had revoked the honorary Chilean citizenship it gave O’Reilly in 2008.

Chile’s government had said that O’Reilly would have to leave after serving his sentence. He obeyed orders in 2018 after finishing a four-year sentence and has been living in Rome since then. He has denied any wrongdoing.

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A Homily for Fr. Gary Hayes

VINELAND (NJ)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

April 11, 2019

By Fr. John Bambrick, former director of New Jersey SNAP

Fr. Gary Hayes has gone home to the Lord. I wish to express to his family sincere condolences on his passing. While suffering with Cancer is extraordinarily painful, debilitating and frustrating, it brought Gary home to you because family is where we look for comfort. Your brother once said, “What is most meaningful often comes from your worst suffering”. In his last suffering with cancer he found the most meaningful relationships, you his family. He confided in me just a few weeks ago how incredibly happy he was to have rebuilt and strengthened his ties with each of you and how important those bonds were to his heart and to his healing. He was eternally grateful for your love and incredible care.

Your brother was deeply wounded early in life and that wound festered throughout his life but I truly believe, with all my heart, the wound healed completely because of your love for him. Because of that he died in Peace.

I have spoken, e-mailed or texted many of our friends across the country and each of them said to me, “He is finally at Peace”. Every one of them said exactly the same thing, “He has finally at Peace”.

My decades long friendship with Gary came about because we were both survivors of clergy sexual abuse and Catholic Priests. Two things that are not normally put together, it was our long lasting and common bond. So my reflections are based on that reality.

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Ex-Pope Benedict contradicts Pope Francis in unusual intervention on sexual abuse

ROME (ITALY)
Washington Post

April 11, 2019

By Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli

Breaking years of silence on major church affairs, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has written a lengthy letter devoted to clerical sex abuse in which he attributes the crisis to a breakdown of church and societal moral teaching and says he felt compelled to assist “in this difficult hour.”

The 6,000-word letter, written for a small German Catholic publication and published in translation by other outlets on Thursday, laments the secularization of the West, decries the 1960s sexual revolution and describes seminaries that became filled during that period with “homosexual cliques.”

The pope emeritus, in emphasizing the retreat of religious belief and firm church teaching, provides a markedly different explanation for the abuse crisis than that offered by Pope Francis, who has often said abuse results from the corrupted power of clergy.

“Why did pedophilia reach such proportions?” Benedict wrote, according to the Catholic News Agency, which published the full text in English. “Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God.”

Since abdicating the papacy six years ago, Benedict — living in a monastery inside the Vatican City walls — had remained nearly silent on issues facing the church, in part to yield full authority to his successor. But Benedict’s decision to speak out shows the unprecedented and awkward position facing the ideologically divided Roman Catholic Church, which has — for the first time in six centuries — two potential authority figures who hold sometimes-differing views.

In his intervention, Benedict did not assess his own role in the crisis, during which he held power for decades, first behind the scenes and then for eight years as pontiff. But the letter bears his hallmark: in particular, a conviction that Catholic teaching can show the way out of a crisis.

“He speaks only a little about victims,” said Vito Mancuso, an author who has written books about Catholic theology and philosophy. “It’s almost an excuse for the one thing that he is truly interested in: the traditionalist restoration inside the church.”

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SNAP Grateful to Jurors in New Mexico Abuse Case

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

April 11, 2019

We are relieved that Fr. Arthur Perrault, accused of molesting more than 30 children, has been found guilty. We are grateful to the jurors for listening to the painful testimony heard in this case and for reaching a just verdict.​

We hope this decision will encourage others who were abused by clergy to report to police, regardless of when the crimes occurred. We also hope this process deters other child molesters from fleeing abroad, as Fr. Perrault and so many accused priests have done and still do.

This case sends a message that “where there is a will, there is a way” and we are grateful to the police and prosecutors who were able to bring Fr. Perrault back to the United States to face justice.

Finally, we hope Fr. Perrault is given the longest prison term possible so that he will never be able to devastate one more young life.

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Pope Benedict Shifts the Blame for Clergy Sex Abuse

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

April 11, 2019

Pope Benedict is again rubbing salt into the wounds of victims and trying to burnish his own deservedly-tarred reputation by blaming others for the church’s decades-old abuse and cover up crisis.

The number one cause of the crisis in Benedict’s eyes is the 1960s. Again. And the church’s role in all of this, he claims, was just not having the right policies in place to oust the child molesting clerics. By blaming the sexual abuse crisis on the “moral laxity that swept the west in the 1960’s,” Benedict attempts to hand-wave away the serious crimes committed against children and vulnerable adults with the laziest kind of whataboutism.

This attempt, of course, fails to explain why church officials then continued to shield abusers beyond the 60s, 70s, and 80s and well into today. It also says nothing about why Benedict himself was involved in covering up cases of abuse, such as that of Fr. Lawrency Murphy who abused deaf children in Wisconsin. Are we to assume that Benedict himself also fell victim to this moral laxity? How convenient for him.

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BENEDICT AND THE SCANDAL

NEW YORK (NY)
First Things

April 11, 2019

by Charles J. Chaput

Writing nearly half a century ago (1970), the Italian Catholic philosopher Augusto Del Noce noted that “I often find myself envying unbelievers: Does not contemporary history provide abundant evidence that Catholics are a mentally inferior species? Their rush to conform to the opinion about Catholicism held by rationalist secularists is stunning.

Those words from his essay “The Ascendance of Eroticism” open Del Noce’s brilliant reflections—part analysis, part prophecy—on Europe’s then-current sexual revolution. At a time when a young priest named Joseph Ratzinger was predicting a smaller, more hard-pressed, but purer Church of the future in his 1969–70 German and Vatican radio interviews, Del Noce was explaining how it would happen. He foresaw that “the decisive battle against Christianity [can] be fought only at the level of the sexual revolution. And therefore the problem of sexuality and eroticism is today the fundamental problem from the moral point of view.”

History has proven him right, and for obvious reasons. Sex is both a powerful bond and a fierce corrosive, which is why, historically, nearly all human cultures have surrounded it with taboos that order its harmonious integration into daily life. The naive eagerness—“stupidity” would not be too strong a word for Del Noce’s purposes—of many mid-century Church progressives in accepting, or at least accommodating, sexual license as a form of human liberation, spearheaded the intellectual collapse of an entire generation of Catholic moral theology. Since the 1960s, license has morphed into widespread sexual and social dysfunction, conflict, and suffering—also foreseen by Del Noce.

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Bishops: In public, humility; in private, arrogance

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
Tribune Democrat

April 7, 2019

By Richard Serbin

Few records so clearly show how arrogant and callous bishops can be.

I’d never seen the document before, despite representing victims of clergy child sexual abuse for over 30 years, and despite having scoured thousands of pages of church records, purposely hidden away in the “secret archives” of the church.

The document was generated because of the first-ever trial against a Pennsylvania child predator priest, bishop and diocese. I represented the victim. That case was the first and only one in state history to result in a jury verdict in favor of the victim. It was also the longest such case ever, having been dragged out by Catholic officials for more than 20 years.

So maybe I shouldn’t have reacted so strongly when I stumbled across the document only months ago in the Pennsylvania grand jury report revealing decades of clergy sex crimes and the complicity and enabling by the church.

Seeing it revealed publicly, 25 years after it was written, still was disturbing.

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Bill overhauling Connecticut’s sexual harassment, assault laws advances

HARTFORD (CT)
Connecticut Mirror

April 10. 2019

By Jenna Carlesso

Proponents of legislation that would toughen Connecticut’s sexual assault and harassment laws won a victory Wednesday with the Judiciary Committee’s passage of the so-called Time’s Up bill.

The measure would broaden the mandate for sexual harassment training, requiring all workplaces with three or more employees to provide the instruction to every worker.

Currently, employers with 50 or more workers must offer sexual harassment training, and the edict only applies to supervisors. The state’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities would create a video and other online material to satisfy the new training requirement.

Sen. Dennis Bradley, D-Bridgeport, said he watched his mother, who worked as a secretary when he was a child, fend off unwanted advances.

“Those days where I had to go to work with her, to see how she was harassed as a woman in the workplace — I think this is not only progressive legislation in protecting women, but it also doesn’t put much of an incumbent on an employer to make sure that people have the sensitivity and the knowledge as to what’s acceptable in the workplace these days,” he said.

Some Republicans took issue with the bill’s stringent training requirements for businesses, especially small companies. They also expressed concern over what they described as a lack of due process for people accused of harassment.

The bill would extend or eliminate the statute of limitations for serious sexual crimes, including rape by force or drugs, sex with an unconscious person, forced sexual contact, sex by false medical pretense and unwanted sexual contact. It would wipe out the statute of limitations for sexual crimes against children, such as statutory rape and sexual contact with a student younger than 16.

“We are among the lowest in terms of the period of time we allow victims of sexual assault access to justice in the country,” said Sen. Mae Flexer, D-Killingly, a key backer of the legislation. “This bill will move Connecticut in line with many other states.”

Twenty states have a longer statute of limitations for rape, officials said, and 25 have no statute of limitations for the crime.

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Priest Named on San Diego’s List Must be Added to Pittsburgh’s List

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

April 9, 2019

According to a recently published list, a priest who had been removed from his duties for abusing children also has connections to Pittsburgh.

The Rev. Peter Covas, who was named as an abuser on the list released by the Diocese of San Diego, also spent time in Pittsburgh. He worked at Duquense University as a history teacher in 1957.

We call on Bishop David Zubik to add this information to his list and to urge anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered crimes – at the hands of Rev. Covas or any other priest – to come forward and make a report to law enforcement.

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Benedict’s letter about sex abuse crisis is a regrettable text

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

April 11, 2019

By Michael Sean Winters

When a friend first sent me Pope Emeritus Benedict’s article about the root causes of clergy sex abuse, I thought the text was a hoax. Here, it seemed, was a caricature of both Joseph Ratzinger’s once powerful intellect and of conservative explanations for the sex abuse crisis. Apparently the text is authentic, so we must search for other reasons why it gets so much wrong — and so much that the retired pope would know is wrong. Let us examine the difficulties with this text.

First and foremost, Benedict knows as few others do, that the crisis is a double affliction: There is the fact of the abuse and the fact of that abuse being covered up. Nowhere in this text does he explore the second affliction. Yet he knows that when, as Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he completed his investigation into the evil deeds of Fr. Marcial Maciel, no action was taken against this most horrible of perpetrators. He would have known about the allegations leveled against then-Archbishop Theodore McCarrick before his promotion to the Archdiocese of Washington and to the cardinalate, and that those allegations were unanswered or ignored. He knew the circumstances that forced Cardinal Bernard Law to resign his see and spend the rest of his life occupying a sinecure in Rome. Why no mention of any of this?

Second, the former pope is undoubtedly correct that something happened in the 1960s, that there really was a sexual revolution. Pop culture announced the fact incessantly. As Benedict stipulates, of course that sexual revolution had an effect on preparing men for the priesthood and life in seminaries.

If you look at this chart of when perpetrators were ordained, you will see that the decade that produced the largest number of sexual abusers was indeed the 1960s, but that has no correlation to Benedict’s claim that seminary reform created the problem The seminary reforms did not really start until the close of the Second Vatican Council and, in some places, not until the 1970s. What is more, the decade that produced the second highest number of perpetrators was the 1950s, not the 1970s. The former pope would have been more accurate if he had said that pre-Vatican II seminary formation did not prepare men for serving in a post-Vatican II culture. That, I think, we can all agree is the case. And a certain percentage of those men were psycho-sexually immature. It is the post-Vatican II seminary with its emphasis on human formation that began to weed out the immature and to graduate mostly healthy and well-adjusted men.

Third, one of the reasons I have long admired Ratzinger’s theology is that he is so systematic, so thorough and careful, with arguments that go only as far as they can and no further. Yet here we get a series of anecdotes about sex education and naughty movies. He states, “The mental collapse was also linked to a propensity for violence. That is why sex films were no longer allowed on airplanes because violence would break out among the small community of passengers.” I have a hard time believing the “no longer” in that second sentence — was there really ever a time when airlines showed dirty movies?

Fourth, Benedict is always described as a gentle soul, yet he seems to take pleasure in the fact that a German moral theologian, Franz Böckle, who challenged the ideas we all knew would be dominant in the 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor, died before the encyclical was published. Is the pope emeritus settling scores? That is not what one would expect of a holy man in advanced years, preparing to meet his maker.

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Retired Pope Benedict XVI publishes article on sexual abuse crisis

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

April 11, 2019

By Carol Glatz

Retired Pope Benedict XVI, acknowledging his role in helping the Catholic Church come to terms with the clerical sexual abuse crisis beginning in the 1980s, wrote an article outlining his thoughts about what must be done now.

Seeing the crisis as 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, 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.

The pope’s remarks, presented as a compilation of “some notes,” were to be published in Klerusblatt, a German-language Catholic monthly journal for clergy in Bavaria. Several news outlets released their translations of the text early April 11.

Given the February Vatican gathering of presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences “to discuss the current crisis of faith and of the church,” and given his role as pope during “the public outbreak of the crisis,” the retired pope felt it appropriate he also help contribute “to a new beginning,” he said.

Pope Benedict added that he contacted Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, before releasing the article.

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Diocese of Green Bay holding prayer services following sexual abuse allegations

GREEN BAY (WI)
WFRV TV

April 11, 2019

By Benjamin Burns

The Diocese of Green Bay is holding two prayer services for those in need of healing following the church’s sexual abuse allegations.

The Catholic Church has been under fire for accusations around the world of priests sexually abusing minors. The Diocese of Green Bay has also released the names of 47 of its priests with confirmed allegations against them.

According to the Diocese, the healing prayer services are intended for all those in need of healing from the Church and for others to come together as members of the Church to pray for those in need of healing. All are invited, including survivors of sexual abuse, friends and family members of survivors, and other caring persons.

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Spain’s Supreme Court confirms jail for pedophile priest

PARIS (FRANCE)
Agence France Presse

April 11, 2019

Spain’s Supreme Court has confirmed a jail sentence of more than 17 years for a priest who sexually abused two boys, one of whose parents consented.

The news comes as a trickle of accusations of sexual abuse against priests in schools and seminaries over the past few years has started to erode the wall of silence surrounding abuse in Catholic Spain.

In its verdict made public Wedneday, the Supreme Court confirmed a November 2017 sentence against Jose Donoso Fernandez, a former priest in the southwestern village of Mengabril, whom a provincial court sent to prison for 17 years and seven months.

It also confirmed a jail term of four years for the parents of one of the underage boys for committing sexual abuse “via omission, as they knew about and consented to the priest’s sexual relations with their son.”

The court said Donoso housed the Romanian couple and their children in 2013 and 2014 in the priest’s parish house.

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Fight over sexual abuse victims’ lawsuits returns to Senate

HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press

April 10, 2019

Pennsylvania’s battle over giving now-adult victims of child sexual abuse another chance to sue their perpetrators or institutions that may have covered it up returned to the Senate on Wednesday, as competing bills landed in the chamber.

The movement comes six months after wider legislation to lift criminal and civil limitations on child sexual abuse cases collapsed in the Senate in the wake of a fresh Roman Catholic church scandal that spurred victims to lobby in the Capitol’s corridors.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation to relax criminal and civil limitations and to amend the state constitution to create a two-year window for victims to file civil lawsuits if they’d lost that right because they passed Pennsylvania’s legal age limit.

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Peru bishops rebuke one of their own, back journalist convicted of defamation

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

April 11, 2019

By Elise Harris

On Wednesday the Peruvian bishops’ conference came out against one of their own after an archbishop won a criminal defamation case against journalist Pedro Salinas, known for revealing various scandals inside a prominent Catholic movement operating in the country.

On April 9, Salinas was sentenced to a 1-year suspended prison term and a $24,000 fine after Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi of Piura, in northwestern Peru, launched a criminal case of aggravated defamation against the journalist last year.

After the sentencing, the leadership of the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference and the new Archbishop of Lima, Carlos Gustavo Castilla Mattasoglio, issued a statement April 10 backing Salinas and indicating that Pope Francis is also supportive of his efforts to uncover abuse.

In their statement, the bishops’ conference said Salinas “sought to clarify the truth” about scandals happening within the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), and that in the wake of his guilty verdict, Francis had asked them “to prioritize the compensation and attention to the victims of every type of abuse, condemning any form of complicity.”

Francis, they said, “has praised and thanked the work of the journalists who, through their investigations, contribute to denouncing the abuses, punishing the perpetrators and assisting the victims.”

“The pope underlines that the Church needs their help in this difficult task of fighting against evil,” and that the climate of mercy and conversion in Lent “moves everyone to the maximum transparency so that the crimes are recognized, and a just reparation is possible,” they said.

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Deceased St. Bonaventure friar, former Archbishop Walsh principal accused of abuse

OLEAN (NY)
Olean Times Herald

Aprtil 11, 2019

By Tom Dinki

Two now-deceased friars, who both served in administrative positions in the Olean area’s two most prominent Catholic educational institutions, were reportedly accused of abuse.

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo reviewed allegations last year against the Rev. Gervase White, a prominent St. Bonaventure University friar, and the Rev. James Cairnan Haggerty, a principal of Archbishop Walsh High School, according to diocesan documents reported by WKBW Wednesday evening. Both were accused by a different man.

White and Haggerty, according to the report, are among more than 20 accused priests whose names were never released by the diocese despite allegations against them being reviewed last June by the Diocesan Review Board, which reviews abuse claims for the diocese.

White, a Franciscan priest, worked at St. Bonaventure for nearly 50 years before his death in 2002. He served several roles at the university, according to Olean Times Herald archives, including vice president of student affairs, chair of the theology department, dean of men, director of the Third Order of St. Francis and and guardian of the on-campus friary.

St. Bonaventure officials released a statement late Wednesday that, according to their records, no instances of abuse had ever been reported against White during his 47 years at the university. However, they said Franciscans Friars of Holy Name Province, White’s sponsoring province, has informed them an allegation against White is being investigated.

“Until we know with certainty if this allegation is credible, we believe it’s not appropriate to comment further on the case at this time,” said St. Bonaventure President Dr. Dennis DePerro in the statement. “That said, St. Bonaventure University remains steadfastly committed to zero tolerance for any form of sexual abuse or harassment — from students, faculty, staff or friars — and we will provide any support service necessary to those who have been victimized.”

The statement did not mention Haggerty, a Franciscan priest who served as a campus minister at St. Bonaventure for two years in the 1980s prior to his death in 1991.

A native of Jessup, Pa., and a World War II veteran, White entered the Franciscan Order at Callicoon in 1948, earned his bachelor’s degree in theology from St. Bonaventure in 1951 and was ordained in 1954.

White is still prominent at the university, as his name is attached to multiple honors bestowed by the institution and often recalled by older alumni in positive testimonials.

The Fr. Gervase F. White, O.F.M. Endowed Scholarship is listed on St. Bonaventure’s website. Additionally, the Fr. Gervase White, O.F.M., Staff Person of the Year award is presented to a St. Bonaventure employee who have “gone out of his or her way, especially in aiding students and enhancing student life on campus,” according to a 2015 St. Bonaventure awards program.

White’s name was also included on the Reilly Center’s video board, installed in the fall of 2016. The display was funded by donations from board of trustee member Albert C. Horton, Class of 1966, who has multiple times credited White as one of three university employees to whom Horton owes his success in life.

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El “mapa del horror” de la Iglesia chilena: lanzan registro al detalle de los abusos sexuales de sacerdotes en el país

[“Horror map” of Chilean Church records details of clergy sexual abuse, 230 cases]

CHILE
Publimetro

April 7, 2019

By Gabriel Arce

Se tratan de 230 crímenes sexuales que registra la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico. El mapa incluye geolocalización de los delitos, el acusado y año de las denuncias.

La Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico de Chile lanzó este fin de semana el “mapa del horror de la iglesia”. Se trata de una iniciativa que registra los 230 crímenes sexuales que la agrupación contabiliza en todo el país, y que desde ahora estará disponible al detalle y geolocalizada en línea.

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Bishop Malone wants Buffalo to ‘move on.

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW TV

April 10, 2019

By Charlie Specht

Bishop Richard J. Malone in a recent interview called for Catholics “to see where we’ve failed, turn to God for forgiveness and mercy, and move on.”

But a group of influential Catholics at Canisius College say there’s no moving on until the diocese comes clean about the true scope of abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo.

“We’re in some senses maybe dying a death of a thousand cuts,” said Canisius College President John J. Hurley. “And wouldn’t it be better if we could just flush this all out in the open and we would know what we’re dealing with?”

Hurley’s group — the Movement to Restore Trust — has good reason to be concerned, documents show.

That’s because internal church records obtained by the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team show the scope of abuse is much larger than the public has been led to believe — even with 121 members of the clergy already accused of sex abuse or misconduct.

Diocese of Buffalo – 6.27.2018 Review Board Agenda (Text)
The June 27, 2018 agenda of the Diocesan Review Board – a group of clergy and lay people who review abuse claims for the church — is jam-packed with allegations reported to the diocese by 138 victims.

Perhaps most shocking: the names and allegations against 25 accused priests – including one recently active in the diocese – are still being shielded from the public.

“People are… they’re shell-shocked and weary from this, saying, ‘Enough is enough,’” Hurley said. “Let’s know that we’ve got complete disclosure here and that we’re not going to see another round of this.”

That’s why Hurley’s group is pushing the diocese for a fuller accounting of accused priests. Currently, the diocese does not list any priests who were accused by one victim after their deaths, whereas the Archdiocese of Boston, for example, lists those priest names but is clear with the public about what it does and does not know about the allegations.

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Arzobispado de Concepción investiga a sacerdote que cometió abuso en la década de los 80’s

[Archbishop of Concepción investigates priest for abuse claims from 1980s]

CHILE
El Mostrador

April 8, 2019

La víctima recién denunció al sacerdote José Urrutia Tapia, de acuerdo a un comunicado difundido por la iglesia penquista.

El arzobispado de Concepción anunció, a través de un comunicado, que se inició el proceso canónico contra el sacerdote José Urrutia Tapia, acusado de cometer abuso sexual en la década de los 80’s, hecho que fue recientemente denunciado por la víctima.

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Mapa de Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico: 22 casos han sido denunciados en región de Valparaíso

[Map of Ecclesiastical Sexual Abuse: 22 cases reported in Valparaíso region]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 8, 2019

By Manuel Cabrera and Gonzalo Olguín

El Mapa del Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico, publicado por la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico de Chile contabiliza 22 casos de denuncias individuales y colectivas en la región de Valparaíso, concentrados en Valparaíso, Quilpué, Quillota y en la zona cordillerana de San Felipe y Los Andes.

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Condenaron a 17 años de prisión al cura Marcelino Moya por abuso de menores

[Priest Marcelino Moya sentenced to 17 years in prison for child abuse]

ARGENTINA
La Nación

April 5, 2019

El Tribunal de Juicios y Apelaciones de Concepción del Uruguay, en Entre Ríos, condenó hoy a la pena de 17 años de prisión de cumplimiento efectivo al sacerdote Marcelino Ricardo Moya por considerarlo autor de los delitos de promoción de la corrupción agravada y abuso sexual simple agravado en concurso real entre sí.

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Expulsaron de la Iglesia un sacerdote acusado de haber abusado de un menor

[Church expels priest accused of abusing a minor]

MAR DE PLATA (ARGENTINA)
La Nación

April 8, 2019

By Darío Palavecino

El obispo de Mar del Plata, monseñor Gabriel Mestre, confirmó que la Iglesia excluyó de manera definitiva al sacerdote José Luis Serre, que desde enero del año pasado afronta un proceso penal por abuso sexual de un menor de edad. El acusado se desempeñaba al frente de la parroquia Nuestra Señora de Lourdes, en Necochea, pero el prelado se encargó de aclarar que el hecho que se le imputa ocurrió fuera de los límites de esta diócesis.

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Obispo Aós no descarta venta de propiedades para pagar indemnizaciones

[Bishop Aós does not rule out sale of property to pay compensation]

CHILE
La Tercera

April 8, 2019

By S. Palma

El administrador apostólico de Santiago además dijo que le solicitó al Papa Francisco que nombre prontamente obispos auxiliares en la diócesis.

En un punto de prensa en Roma, el obispo Celestino Aós, administrador apostólico de Santiago, se refirió al trabajo que ha desplegado en el Vaticano, incluyendo su encuentro con el Papa Francisco, el pasado viernes.

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Una víctima de pederastia denuncia a siete sacerdotes y a un obispo por encubrimiento

[Survivor accuses seven priests and a bishop of covering up abuse]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

April 4, 2019

By Julio Núñez

Los abusos, cometidos por el sacerdote José Manuel Ramos a finales de los ochenta, fueron instruidos canónicamente en 2017

Javier, víctima de pederastia en el seminario menor de La Bañeza (León) a finales de los ochenta, ha denunciando ante la policía que la diócesis de Astorga y el centro donde sucedieron los hechos encubrieron al cura José Manuel Ramos Gordón después de que, junto con su hermano y otro compañero, comunicaron lo sucedido a la dirección del colegio. Primero acudieron al director del seminario, Gregorio Rodríguez (fallecido) y luego al tutor de sexto curso, Francisco Javier Redondo (hoy vicario de Ponferrada). Pero no pasó nada, los abusos continuaron. Años después, entre 1994 y 1995, su padre habló con varios sacerdotes de la provincia leonesa para pedirle ayuda. “Todos lo sabían. Un cura le dijo que tuviese cuidado con lo que decía y otro que tenía que saber perdonar”. Javier ha incluido todos los nombres en la denuncia. En total siete sacerdotes y un obispo: el del antiguo director, el actual vicario de Ponferrada, el del por entonces obispo Antonio Briva (fallecido) y el de los sacerdotes Prudencio Álvarez, Juan Herminio Rodríguez, Santiago Cadierno (párroco de Castrocontrigo, León), Bernardo y Hortensio Velado (ambos hermanos y también fallecidos).

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El Supremo condena a 17 años y siete meses de cárcel a un cura de Badajoz por pederastia

[Supreme Court sentences Badajoz priest to 17+ years in prison for pedophilia]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

April 11, 2019

By Julio Núñez

El juez sentencia a cuatro años de prisión a los padres de una víctima por consentir los abusos

El Tribunal Supremo ha condenado al sacerdote José Donoso Fernández, expárroco de Mengabril (Badajoz), a 17 años y siete meses de cárcel por abusar en 2014 de dos menores de edad, uno de ellos monaguillo de la iglesia donde oficiaba el clérigo. El cura también ha sido sentenciado por falsificar informes de asistencia al colegio de uno de los niños por enfermedad para justificar los días que no iba a clase. El fallo también le condena por enviar mensajes por WhatsApp al menor después de que le impusieran una orden de alejamiento cuando fue imputado en 2015. El sacerdote deberá pagar una indemnización de 10.000 euros a uno de los menores y 50.000 al otro. El juez ha condenado a cuatro años de prisión a los padres de una de las víctimas por “un delito de abuso sexual en la modalidad de comisión por omisión”, ya que conocieron los hechos y consintieron que el clérigo continuara abusando de su hijo. También se les ha retirado la patria potestad.

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Jesuitas respaldan decisión del Minvu de renombrar el Parque Fluvial Renato Poblete: el nombre “sólo genera división”

[Jesuits support decision to rename Renato Poblete River Park: the name “only generates division”]

CHILE
El Mostrador

April 9, 2019

A través de un comunicado, recordaron que existe una investigación canónica en contra del fallecido religioso.

A través de un comunicado, los Jesuitas se refirieron a la decisión del ministerio de Vivienda y Urbanismo que renombrará el Parque Fluvial Renato Poblete, debido a las denuncias de abuso sexual en contra del fallecido sacerdote. El recinto pasará a llamarse Parque de la
Familia.

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Orden de los Salesianos lidera lista de denuncias de abuso sexual eclesiástico en Chile

[Salesians lead list of clergy sexual abuse reports in Chile]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 8, 2019

By Alberto González, Nicole Martínez, and Agence France-Presse

La Red de Sobrevivientes de Abusos Eclesiásticos de Chile publicó un mapa de abusos por parte de religiosos, que incluye a acusados de abuso sexual y encubrimiento, registrando más de 230 casos. La orden de los Salesianos lidera la lista con la mayor cantidad de denuncias, seguidos por los Maristas y los Jesuitas.

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Aós detalla contenidos de reunión con el Papa en el Vaticano y comparte mensaje a fieles chilenos

[Aós details meeting with Pope at Vatican and shares message to Chilean faithful]

CHILE
BioBioChile

April 9, 2019

By Emilio Lara and Agence France-Presse

El papa Francisco instó al arzobispo español Celestino Aós, nuevo administrador apostólico de la Arquidiócesis de Santiago, a “construir un futuro diferente” para la Iglesia en el país, azotada por los escándalos de abusos sexuales perpetrados por curas.

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