North Dakota high court hears appeal in priest attack case

GRAND FORKS (ND)
Forum News Service

Nov. 1, 2019

By Matt Henson

A 43-year-old Minnesota man sentenced to 13 years for attacking a North Dakota priest in 2018 is appealing his conviction for attempted murder before the state’s Supreme Court.

In January 2018, Chad Vincent Legare of Alexandria, Minn., traveled more than 300 miles to Anamoose to confront Father Robert Wapenski because he believed the priest had sexually abused his girlfriend. He argues that his attack on Wapenski was justified because he wanted to prevent future abuse and claimed that the Catholic Diocese of Fargo and police weren’t doing enough to stop the alleged abuse from happening.

The district court handling the case denied Legare’s request to use the defense that the attack was justified because it found there was no evidence of imminent danger to his girlfriend. McHenry County prosecutors said the girlfriend recanted part of her story and was not in the area during the attack.

Without the ability to mount a defense based on the justification that he hoped to prevent a sexual assault, Legare entered an Alford plea, meaning he did not admit to criminal activity but acknowledged a jury could find him guilty based on the evidence.

In February, Legare was sentenced for the attack, where police say he broke into Wapenski’s home and ambushed him, beating the priest and leaving him unconscious after wrapping a computer cord around his neck.

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Inside the exclusive school rocked by sex scandal

CAPE TOWN (SOUTH AFRICA)
News24.com

Oct. 31, 2019

Few would have predicted that a relationship between a pupil at Cape Town‘s elite Bishops Diocesan College and a female teacher would have snowballed this week to a take-down request to a porn site and a group of top lawyers being appointed for everybody involved.

But that is what happened after the news broke that the school, founded by the Anglican Church, is investigating a case of serious sexual misconduct against one of its female teachers.

Situated in leafy Rondebosch, the school is one of the most exclusive – and expensive – private schools in the country, and has produced a wealth of well-known South Africans.

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West Virginia bishop seeks ‘amends for harm’ to church by predecessor

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

Oct. 31, 2019

Bishop Mark E. Brennan of Wheeling-Charleston told Catholics in the statewide diocese he was working to have his predecessor “make amends for harm he caused during his tenure” as mandated by Pope Francis.

The announcement regarding retired Bishop Michael J. Bransfield came in an Oct. 31 letter to West Virginia Catholics on letterhead from the bishop’s office.

The brief letter expressed how Brennan was “dismayed by the continued revelations concerning former Bishop Michael Bransfield’s misdeeds, as confirmed by the penalties which the Holy Father has imposed on him” and detailed in media reports.

When Pope Francis accepted Bransfield’s resignation Sept. 13, 2018, he left under a cloud of allegations of sexual and financial misconduct. Subsequent media reports during the last 13 months have detailed some of the alleged activity in detail.

Francis announced in July disciplinary actions Bishop Bransfield, prohibiting him from living in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and from presiding or participating anywhere in any public celebration of the liturgy.

As part of those disciplinary actions, a communique from the apostolic nunciature in Washington posted on the diocesan website in July also said Bransfield would be obligated “to make personal amends for some of the harm he caused; the nature and extent of the ame

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Joliet Diocese is sued over Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting disabled man at residential center in Kankakee

CHICAGO (IL)
Chirago Tribune

Oct. 31, 2019

By Madeline Buckley

The Diocese of Joliet is facing a lawsuit in connection to a priest who is accused of sexually assaulting a disabled man while visiting a Kankakee development center to minister to residents there.

Richard Jacklin, 67, was criminally charged in 2017 after a nurse reported walking in on Jacklin performing a sex act on a 39-year-old man who was living at the Shapiro Developmental Center, prosecutors said. The center provides housing and care for people with intellectual disabilities. The man is paralyzed and has an intellectual disability.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, accuses the diocese of failing to properly investigate Jacklin and protect disabled people from the priest. Diocese priests visited Shapiro to provide religious counseling and other services to residents, according to the suit.

The suit was filed by attorneys for the Illinois Office of State Guardian on behalf of the man, who is a ward of the state. Named as defendants are the diocese, Jacklin and Bishop Daniel Conlon. Alex Rechenmacher, a spokesman for the diocese, said he cannot comment on the lawsuit because the diocese hasn’t yet been served.

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1,300 Catholics Ask Pope to Look Into Church After Ohio Priest Charged With Rape

Patheos blog

Oct. 31, 2019

By David Gee

At least 1,300 people have signed a petition that was sent to Pope Francis asking for his help holding Cincinnati archdiocese leaders accountable for failures surrounding a priest who was indicted on nine counts of rape.

A group aptly called “Concerned Catholics of Cincinnati” organized the push to encourage the pope to intervene in the scandal surrounding Father Geoff Drew (above) based on their own religious convictions. Drew was accused earlier this year of raping a male elementary school student while he was working as a music minister years ago.

While Drew’s case moves through the court system, those critical Catholics are turning their attention to the people at the local archdiocese who may have allowed or enabled the predatory behavior.

A letter accompanying the list of names of those supporting the investigation was sent to the pope on Friday, and it began by invoking a church principle encouraging lay Church members to express their opinions on “things which concern the good of the Church” (Lumen Gentium in Latin).

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Former AG Coffman endorses statute of limitations change following clergy abuse report

DENVER (CO)
Colorado Politics

Oct. 31, 2019

By Michael Karlik

Former Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has endorsed the expansion of Colorado statute of limitation’s to allow child sex abuse victims more time to sue.

Victim advocates and at least one state legislator already support the policy change following last week’s report that Catholic priests in Colorado likely abused at least 166 children from 1950 to 1998.

The Colorado Sun reports that Coffman also would like to see the General Assembly expand the powers of the attorney general to pursue criminal investigations.

“I think there are a number of indicators that there is a broader conspiracy to hide the truth of what happened to these and other victims,” she said.

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Survivors of priest abuse to rally at Norwich Cathedral Sunday

NORWICH (CT
The Day

Oct. 31. 2019

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests will hold its second annual All Survivors Day on Sunday at 1 p.m. at three cathedrals in Connecticut.

The locations are St. Patrick’s, 213 Broadway in Norwich, St. Augustine’s at 399 Washington Ave. in Bridgeport, and St. Joseph’s at 140 Farmington Ave. in Hartford.

All Survivors Day events will take place across the country. Survivors of sexual assault, their friends and families are invited to attend the rallies.

SNAP is also working with the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Abuse in calling for the General Assembly to eliminate the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse to file civil suits and establish a two-year “window” for all victims, regardless of their age, to file lawsuits. State law currently prohibits those older than 51 from filing lawsuits.

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No payouts soon: Archdiocese, clergy sex abuse claimants unable to reach settlement

HAGATNA (GUAM)
Pacific Daily News

Oct. 31, 2019

By Haidee V Eugenio

No payouts are expected anytime soon from the Archdiocese of Agana, after its settlement talks with clergy sex abuse claimants’ attorneys collapsed.

The two-day settlement conference in the archdiocese’s bankruptcy abruptly ended after the first day.

The archdiocese, represented by attorneys John Terlaje and Ford Elsaesser, offered a settlement amount that attorneys for clergy sex abuse survivors and other claimants were not able to accept.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Hawaii Robert J. Faris served as the mediator in the settlement conference.

Clergy abuse survivors and attorneys said they could only comment on the general outcome of and expectations about the talks.

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‘By the Grace of God’ explores the church’s unimaginable betrayal of child victims of sexual abuse

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Star Tribune

Oct.31, 2019

By Glenn Kenny

For a member of the clergy to sexually violate a child is one of the most stark and cruel betrayals imaginable. That an institution would prevaricate and dissemble about these betrayals rather than take immediate, decisive action to pursue justice and provide restitution creates a greater betrayal. After years of such actions, betrayal reaches a near-unimaginable level.

And yet, we don’t have to imagine. In the Roman Catholic Church, these violations have been rife, and the stories behind them are appalling.

In “By the Grace of God,” François Ozon, one of France’s most brazen and talented directors, tells a story of a group of men in Lyon, all childhood victims of a pedophile priest. These adults find each other and form an organization to bring that priest and the church’s higher-ups who covered for him to account for their actions.

This fact-based story — one which, as we learn from the closing credits, has still not reached a conclusion — represents a break from Ozon’s usual fare. The director is known as an unpredictable genre-bender, confidently concocting erotic thrillers, anti-erotic thrillers, musicals, literary adaptations (his 2007 film, “Angel,” was an imaginative and very apt view of Elizabeth Taylor’s tricky, brilliant novel) and more. His movies are almost exclusively stylistically elaborate affairs.

This is not the case here. Ozon’s screenplay — derived from his own research, including interviews with members of the Lyon activist group Lift the Burden — consists of three profiles, so to speak, of the adult survivors of one predator.

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Buffalo diocese investigation ends, DiMarzio will send report to Vatican

BUFFALO (NY)
Catholic News Agency

Oct. 31, 2019

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has completed his Apostolic Visitation of the Diocese of Buffalo.

A statement released by DiMarzio’s own Diocese of Brooklyn on Thursday confirmed that the visitation had concluded and he will submit a report to the Holy See.

The bishop offered no comment on his findings in the scandal-hit Buffalo diocese.

The visitation, a canonical inspection and fact-finding mission, was ordered by Cardinal Marc Ouellet of the Congregation of Bishops in Rome, the Vatican department responsible for overseeing the personal and administrative conduct of bishops.

The visitation was announced Oct. 3, after nearly a year of controversy in the northern New York state diocese. The Diocese of Brooklyn confirmed that DiMarzio had made a total of three trips, spending a week in Buffalo as he conducted nearly a series of in-person interviews.

“He met with and interviewed close to 80 individuals; both clergy and laypeople,” the statement from the Brooklyn diocese said, “including members of the Presbyteral Council, Diocesan Consultors, Diocesan Finance Council, Diocesan Pastoral Council, Territorial Vicars, and Senior Priests. He also spoke with representatives of outside groups such as the Movement to Restore Trust, college presidents, and other interested parties.”

“Now that Bishop DiMarzio has finished his interviews, he will compile the information and prepare a report which will be submitted to the Holy See,” the statement concluded.

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Boy Scouts sex abuse claimants could get settlement payment by about Nov. 15

HAGATNA (GUAM)
Pacific Daily News

Oct. 30, 2019

By Haidee V. Eugenio

Men who were molested decades ago by a priest who also served as a Boy Scouts of America scout master could receive settlement payments by middle of November.

District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood approved the Boy Scouts’ proposed settlement with 44 additional child sex abuse claimants, all represented by attorney Michael Berman.

All the settlement amounts, however, are confidential.

Berman said the 44 claimants could expect to receive their settlement payments by “approximately Nov. 15.”

More: From a culture of silence to cover-ups: How Guam ended up with 280 clergy sex abuse claims

Each child sex abuse claim was evaluated on its own merit, so the amount of payouts vary.

“A lot of my clients have had a very hard life. It’s a challenge for them every day,” Berman said Thursday.

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The U.S. Bishops Travel to Rome

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

Oct. 29, 2019

By Massimo Faggioli

The bond between Rome and local churches around the world has always been crucial to the Catholic Church’s understanding of itself as universal. From the time of the Council of Trent especially, the ad limina apostolorum—the periodic visit of world bishops “at the thresholds of the Apostles” in Rome—has been one of the ways the church works to ensure the strength of this bond. In a few days, the ad limina visit of the U.S. bishops will begin, and by the time it wraps up in February, we might have a fresh sense of just what the bond between the Holy See and the American episcopate is made of.

After all, it’s not as if there isn’t controversy attending the bishops’ visit. In the course of Francis’s papacy, the dynamic between the U.S. church and Rome has grown increasingly fraught. The case of former cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the subsequent “manifestos” of former nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò brought relations between American bishops and the papacy to a new low. That two dozen bishops came out in support of Viganò, without bothering to defend the pope against his unsubstantiated claims, will long remain a stain on the U.S. church. And given that a significant number of American bishops continue to ignore or actively reject key aspects of Francis’s pastoral priorities—from “Who am I to judge?” to Amoris laetitia to Laudato si’—it’s hard to know whether a meaningful rapprochement will be achieved anytime soon.

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New allegations surface against former bishop

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
WTOV 9 News

Oct. 28, 2019

By Jaime Baker

A Washington Post report says Michael Bransfield took $21 million from Wheeling Hospital to use in the “bishop’s fund.”

New allegations have come up against the former bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

A Washington Post report says Michael Bransfield took $21 million from Wheeling Hospital to use in the “bishop’s fund.”

The bishop’s fund was a charity created to help the residents of West Virginia.

According to the report, more than $300,000 from that fund went toward gifts to other clergy members.

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Former San Andreas priest arrested

SONORA (CA)
Union Democrat

Oct. 30, 2019

By Alex MacLean

A 74-year-old Irish citizen arrested in Portugal last week on suspicion of a crime related to child pornography is reportedly former Catholic priest and convicted pedophile Oliver O’Grady, who served at St. Andrew’s Parish in San Andreas from 1984 to 1992.

Policia Judiciaria released a statement announcing the arrest took place on Oct. 21 in the Algarve area of southern Portugal to enforce a European Arrest Warrant, though it didn’t identify O’Grady by name.

“This individual — who had already served a sentence for similar crimes in the United States — returned to his homeland, where he again committed a new crime,” the statement said. “He then moved to Portugal, the Algarve area, where he was located and detained.”

O’Grady was deported back to his native Ireland in 2000 after serving seven years in Mule Creek State Prison in Ione for molesting two boys while assigned to a Turlock church.

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Another Sexual Assault Case Filed Against Priest in Venice, Florida

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

Oct. 30, 2019

For the second time this month a lawsuit has been filed against a priest from Venice, FL, this one alleging sexual assault in 2017. We applaud this woman for coming forward and hope that this news encourages other potential victims or witnesses to come forward.

At the beginning of October, a suit was filed against Fr. Nicholas McLoughlin from the Diocese of Venice. In that complaint Fr. McLoughlin was accused of sexually violating a woman in April 2018. The lawsuit filed today contains similar allegations against Fr. McLoughlin, but from 2017. Given this pattern of behavior, we suspect there are likely others who were hurt by this priest.

We commend this courageous victim for coming forward. We call on Catholic officials in the Diocese of Venice, including Bishop Frank Joseph Dewane, to publicize these allegations, taking steps to inform every community where Fr. McLoughlin worked and urging any victims or witnesses to come forward and make a report to police. Finally, we hope that others who experienced sexual abuse – whether by Fr. Nicholas McLoughlin or others – will call independent sources of help like therapists, law enforcement and support groups like ours.

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Abusive pastor plans a return to ministry in Memphis

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

Oct. 29, 2019

An accused abusive pastor plans to start a new church in Memphis. We hope that Baptist officials denounce this move and that parishioners in Memphis choose not to attend this new church.

According to reports, pastor Andy Savage abused Jules Woodson when he was in his 20s and she was 17. At the time Savage worked as a youth group leader at Jule’s Texas church. Two decades later, Savage was a pastor at a Memphis mega-church called HighPoint. Last year, he resigned after confessing to what he called ‘a sexual incident.’ The incident that Savage confessed to would be considered a crime under Texas law.

Despite this, Savage now intends to start a church of his own in Memphis. We think this is a dangerous move and hope that parents and the public will be warned about this new church and choose not to attend. At the same time, we also believe that Savage could be stopped if others with information or suspicions about his actions – in Texas or Tennessee – make reports to law enforcement, attorneys general, and other secular sources. It is especially important that current and former staffers and members at Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church in suburban Houston – the church where Savage abused Jules – speak up.

According to Religion News Service, “Watch Keep, a blog advocating for abuse survivors in the church, posted audio Saturday (Oct. 26) of Savage reportedly speaking at an interest meeting for a new congregation in Memphis called Grace Valley Church.” That audio can be found here.

In that recording, Savage severely minimizes the harm he’s done. This says to us that Savage has not realized the depth of his crime or the lifelong impact it can have.

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Exorcist tells court ‘clock fell’ in house he was blessing

(MALTA)
Malta Independent

Oct. 30, 2019

An exorcist has told a magistrate investigating a strange case of rape that he had not seen anything spiritually troubling during numerous prayer visits to the accused’s home.

The case of the 18-year-old Cospicua resident, who cannot be named on the orders of the court, continued before magistrate Nadine Lia this afternoon, just in time for Halloween.

The man is accused of the rape of a vulnerable woman – the mother of his girlfriend – as well as with causing her and another vulnerable woman – her daughter – to perform sexual acts against their will, violent indecent assault on a person who was unable to resist, holding the women against their will and forcing them to perform acts contrary to their decency and slightly injuring them.

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Covering up pedophiles while refusing Joe Biden communion

NEW YORK (NY)
Irish Central

Oct. 30, 2019

The action of the Catholic priest who denied Joe Biden Holy Communion during Mass in South Carolina should be seen for what it is – a hypocritical act, given the sinful history of abuse in that very diocese.

Former vice president Joe Biden was forbidden from receiving communion at the altar rails on Sunday in a catholic church in Florence, South Carolina, where he was canvassing.

Father Robert E. Morey, from Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church, said in a statement that he refused the former Vice President the Eucharist at 9 am Mass.

“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Father Morey said.

“Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.”

Obviously the good Father was not living up to the advice of Jesus in the gospels, such as, “let him without sin cast the first stone” or indeed “judge not lest you be judged.”

Let’s look at the institution behind the priest making the moral judgment on the former Vice President.

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Exclusive: Brooklyn Bishop meets with clergy as Buffalo Diocese investigation continues

AMHERST (NY)
WGRZ TV

Oct. 29, 2019

A Two On Your Side exclusive hidden camera investigation found that the investigation into the Buffalo Roman Catholic Diocese and Bishop Richard Malone’s handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal continued in Amherst on Tuesday.

Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was spotted at the Amherst Marriott on Tuesday morning as he continues his review. Two On Your Side saw the Bishop emerging multiple times from a private room at the hotel restaurant near the lobby.

The Bishop would escort visitors to the room where he and another priest met with these people. Most interviews lasted from 15 to 30 minutes and most interview subjects appeared to be clergy.

When the investigation is complete, the report will go to the Vatican for review and possible action.

Two On Your Side reached out to the Buffalo Diocese, which released a statement from Bishop Malone.

“Bishop DiMarzio continues to meet with representatives of the clergy and the lay faithful to get a broad perspective as part of his fact-finding mission,” the statement from the diocese read.

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Abuse survivor calls on Greensburg Diocese to support window of opportunity for clergy abuse claims

PITTSBURGH (PA)
TribLIVE

October 29, 2019

By Deb Erdley

A clergy sexual abuse survivor whose testimony sent a Greensburg diocesan priest to prison stepped forward Tuesday to blast the church for opposing a law that would allow adults with old claims to sue the church.

Josh Kiley, the 37 year-old man whose tale of sexual abuse as a 10-year-old boy at St. Margaret Mary School in Lower Burrell triggered the investigation that sent the Rev. John T. Sweeney to prison, appeared with his lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, on Tuesday via Skype at a news conference in Pittsburgh.

Kiley says he was silent for too long.

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Opinion: I’m the Comedian Who Just Confronted Harvey Weinstein. Here’s Why I Spoke Up.

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

October 29, 2019

By Kelly Bachman

Survivors of sexual assault shouldn’t have to explain their experiences — or stand in a room with Harvey Weinstein.

Last Wednesday night, I walked into a bar to perform stand-up, and noticed Harvey Weinstein sitting in the room. I didn’t know what to say, but I wanted to say something, so I made a joke that questioned why the event organizers had invited him to the show. Some people booed and one person told me to “shut up.” I let the room know that I have been raped, and cursed at the monster I wasn’t making eye contact with. The next day my world blew up when a video I had posted went viral.

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Clergy abuse victims hesitate to speak up

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

Oct. 30, 2019

I would like to explain why it can take so long for victims of priest sex abuse to come forward [“Suit accusing McGann raises questions,” Letters, Oct. 27]. It’s common for a victim to come forward at age 52. It can take years to overcome a life shattered by abuse that occurred when the victim was a child, especially when the abuser was a priest. The victim is often groomed by the abuser, feels shame and trauma, and does not feel safe to speak up, even to family. Many victims feel that they won’t be believed because the truth is so heinous.

Mary McKenna, Bellmore

Editor’s note: The writer, a retired social worker, leads a monthly group meeting in Bellmore of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

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‘I Am Not Going To Take Their Hush Money’: Clergy Sexual Abuse Victim Calls For Statute Of Limitations Reform

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA

October 29, 2019

A victim of the first priest sentenced to prison time as a result of the state Grand Jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse says statute of limitations reform is necessary.

Disgraced retired priest, Fr. John Sweeney, of the Diocese of Greensburg, was sentenced nearly a year ago to 11½ months to five years in prison.

Now, one of his victims, who Sweeney admitted to abusing, is calling for changes to the statute of limitations process. He addressed the media Tuesday afternoon, via Skype, during a news conference hosted by his attorney.

Investigators say Sweeney admitted to forcing the victim, who was 10-years-old at the time, to perform a sex act on him in a conference room at St. Mary Margaret Church in Lower Burrell in the 1990s. Sweeney was pastor at St. Margaret Mary’s for 12 years.

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Greensburg diocese, Pennsylvania Legislature fiercely criticized by former child sex assault victim

GREENSBURG (PA)
WTAE

October 29, 2019

By Sheldon Ingram

Former child sex assault victim Joshua Kiley and his attorney Mitchell Garabedian unleashed scathing criticism of the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg and Bishop Edward Malesic during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

Kiley was a victim of sex assault at the age of 10, in 1992, by the Rev. John Sweeney at St. Mary Margaret Church in Lower Burrell. Sweeney is serving a prison sentence but Kiley and Garabedian are seeking a financial settlement.

Garabedian said Malesic has ignored his request to discuss a settlement with attorneys for the diocese

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Fall meeting agenda sees US bishops making plans to plan priorities

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Oct 30, 2019

By Michael Sean Winters

Monday, I began my curtain raiser for the upcoming plenary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, focusing on the election of new officers and committee chairs. Now, the conference has released the agenda and we can look at the items under discussion.

The agenda buried its lede, as the most important item did not appear until the sixth paragraph: “to lead the process of developing a new formal statement and comprehensive vision for Hispanic/Latino ministry in response to the V Encuentro process, to be developed and approved by the bishops during the next USCCB strategic planning cycle, 2021-2024.”

Ignore the lousy syntax. The successful Encuentro process in 2014-18 was not just a bit of good news in a sea of bad: The future of the Catholic Church in this country is either Latino or it is nonexistent. The stated need to wait until the next round of strategic planning shows the lack of nimbleness we expect from a bureaucracy, but it shows something else, too.

The U.S. bishops’ conference has spent much of the last 15 or so years focused on ephemera. It has made plans about plans. It has conflated its work with that of several special interest groups like the Becket Fund and the National Right to Life Committee. The latest Pew numbers indicate that for the first time, Hispanic Catholics are less than half of all Hispanics in the country. None of the bishops will stand up and insist that the usual planning process be speeded up to focus immediately on the needs of Hispanic ministry, but someone should.

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Cardinal Dolan: ‘I would love to be married and have kids’

Patheos blog

Oct. 29, 2019

By Greg Kandra

“Do I regret not being married? Well, I might miss it, but celibacy I find to be extraordinarily rewarding and liberating.”

The subject came up during an interview on CBS This Morning, while discussing the Amazon Synod:

Appearing on “CBS This Morning,” Cardinal Dolan said, “I’m glad they talked about it. We act like it’s a big secret, but heck, my barber asks me why priests can’t get married.”

“Would you like there to be a Mrs. Dolan?” asked co-host Gayle King.

“What are you doing tonight?” Dolan replied. “Look, I would love to be married and have kids. But you know what? Pope Paul VI said you shouldn’t be a celibate if you don’t want to be married and have kids. Celibates are different than bachelors; celibates want to be a father and want to be a spouse, and they transfer it to their allegiance to the church, which is their family.

“So, a desire to be a father and a husband is a healthy, normal, beautiful thing. And I’ve got it. But do I regret not being married? Well, I might miss it, but right now, celibacy I find to be extraordinarily rewarding and liberating.”

Dolan, who has just written a new book, “Who Do You Say I Am?: Daily Reflections on the Bible, the Saints, and the Answer That Is Christ” (Crown), was asked about a decline in the percentage of Americans who consider themselves religious.

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Cleveland Catholic Bishop Richard Lennon dies at age 72

CLEVELAND (OH)
Plain Dealer

Oct. 29, 2019

By Cliff Pinckard

The Rev. Richard Lennon, bishop emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland for more than 10 years, died Tuesday morning at the age of 72.

Lennon was appointed the 10th bishop of the Cleveland Diocese in May 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI. He served as the bishop for nearly 800,000 Catholics in Northeast Ohio. He resigned in December 2016 because of poor health. At the time of his resignation, the Diocese said Lennon suffered from vascular dementia, a cognitive impairment caused by reduced blood flow to the brain.

“In his service to the diocese, Bishop Lennon showed a deep dedication to the faithful governance of the diocese and a tremendous love of the church and the people he shepherded,” said the Rev. Nelson Perez, who has succeeded Lennon as bishop. “May the Lord grant him eternal rest.”

Lennon was born in Arlington, Mass. He attended Boston College, then earned an master of arts in church history a master of theology in sacramental theology at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass. He was ordained in the priesthood in May 1973.

Lennon is best known in Cleveland for closing about 30 churches in Northeast Ohio in 2009 and 2010, a decision that sparked fervent backlash from some of the 700,000 parishioners in the diocese. More recently, his career was marked by much-needed and successful fundraising campaigns, raising an estimated $170 million, according to the Diocese.

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After Bishops Call for Married Priests, Pope Francis Urges New Ways

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

Oct. 27, 2019

By Frances D’Emilio

On the heels of a landmark call by Amazon region bishops for married men to become priests, Pope Francis on Sunday exhorted Catholics to be open to fresh ways of evangelization, saying the church must “open new roads for the proclamation of the Gospel.”

He also cautioned against self-righteousness, in an apparent slap at conservative critics who fear he is weakening the church’s foundations.

Allowing married men to be ordained in remote Amazon areas with severe shortages of priests would chip away at the church’s nearly millennium-old practice upholding priestly celibacy. It would also help the church compete with evangelical and Protestant churches that have been increasingly winning converts there.

A three-week-long Vatican gathering, or synod, on the special needs of Catholics in that South American region featured a vote by a majority of the more than 180 synod bishops who proposed the ordination of married men with established families to help minister to the region’s far-flung faithful, where some Catholics don’t see priests for months, even years.

Francis expressed gratitude that the bishops spoke with “sincerity and candor.” He has said he will put his response in writing by year’s end.

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Pedophile priest O’Grady arrested in Portugal

STOCKTON (CA)
Stockton Record

Oct. 28, 2019

An infamous child predator who decades ago served as a priest in the Diocese of Stockton was arrested over the weekend in Portugal.

Oliver O’Grady was taken into custody in the Algarve region of southern Portugal by local authorities on a European arrest warrant, according to the Irish Times.

The 74-year-old former Irish priest and convicted child abuser was arrested on suspicion of additional child pornography offenses, the Times reported. O’Grady allegedly committed the offenses in his native Ireland and is being extradited back.

Born in Limerick, O’Grady immigrated to California in 1971, was a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Stockton up until his arrest in 1993, according to Record archives.

An admitted pedophile, he was convicted in 1994 in San Joaquin County for molesting two boys. He served seven years in prison, and was deported to Ireland after his release in 2000.

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Greensburg priest’s victim calls on Pa. to ease path for lawsuits against Catholic Church

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Post-Gazette

Oct. 29, 2019

By Shelly Bradbury

The Roman Catholic priest who sexually abused a 10-year-old boy is in prison — but that’s not enough, his victim said Tuesday.

Josh Kiley, 37, of California, called Tuesday for Pennsylvania to make it easier for victims of abuse to file lawsuits against the Catholic church. His remarks came during a Downtown press conference nearly a year after John T. Sweeney, formerly a priest in the Diocese of Greensburg, was sent to prison for abusing Mr. Kiley.

Sweeney, who turns 77 on Wednesday, last year pleaded guilty to abusing Mr. Kiley in the early 1990s when the priest was working at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Lower Burrell. Sweeney was sentenced to up to five years in prison and is housed at State Correctional Institution Mercer in Findley Township, Mercer County.

Mr. Kiley, who is seeking $20 million from the Diocese of Greensburg but cannot file a lawsuit because of the statute of limitations, said Tuesday that state legislators should either get rid of the civil statute of limitations — which requires lawsuits to be filed before the victim turns 30 — or open up a window for victims of priest abuse to file lawsuits against the church.

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Legal Pathways to host panel on restorative justice

TACOMA (WA)
Tacoma Ledger

Oct. 29, 2019

By Mitchell Fermo

UW Tacoma’s Legal Pathways — in partnership with Dr. Cynthia Howson’s Community Based Justice class — will host a panel discussion centering around restorative justice on Oct. 30, during Husky Hour in CP 108. The seminar, titled “The Road to Repair: Restorative Justice in the Aftermath of Violence and Harm” will feature two members of the Tacoma community: DeVitta Briscoe and Shalisa Hayes. Students do not need to register ahead of time to attend the event.

Director of Legal Pathways Patricia Sully discussed how events like this help students learn more about the different ways to participate in criminal justice reform. Legal Pathways — an on-campus organization aimed at promoting and building legal opportunities for students interested in careers in the field of law — have hosted similar events in the past to show students the different opportunities available for those interested in law, criminal justice, alternatives to criminal justice, and reformation of the system.

“Legal Pathways supports students who are pursuing law school and traditional legal work, as well as students interested in law-related careers,” Sully said.

Briscoe and Hayes will lead and facilitate discussion on how to improve community awareness and accountability, how survivors are affected and how to address violence, all in the scope of restorative justice.

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Historic judgement against Basilian Fathers means easier road to justice for all abuse victims

SUDBURY (CANADA)
Northern Life

Oct. 29, 2019

By Darren MacDonald

Rob Talach has been battling the Catholic Church for a long time.

He has earned the monicker the Priest Hunter, and in his career at Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers, he has launched 395 suits against the church. But an award of punitive damages and one for loss of income in the case of Rod MacLeod, a former student at St. Charles College in the 1960s, has set a new standard, Talach said in an interview with Sudbury.com.

On Friday, an appeals court upheld the full $2.52-million award, including a $500,000 punitive damages award levied against the Basilians Fathers. The priestly order moved pedophile priest William Hodgson Marshall from school to school for almost four decades. Instead of addressing allegations of abuse when they got complaints, the priests moved Marshall to new schools, where he had a new slate of victims to harm.

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Indianapolis priest arrested, charged with child sex crimes

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

Oct. 29, 2019

An Indianapolis priest charged with child sex crimes is in custody.

Father David Marcotte is accused of Child Solicitation, Vicarious Sexual Gratification when the victim is under 16 and Dissemination of Matter Harmful to Minors.

He was booked into the Hamilton County Jail early Tuesday morning.

The allegations against Marcotte go back to 2016. According to the Archdiocese, at that time, Marcotte was an administrator at St. Martin of Tours Parish in Martinsville.

He has worked at more than half a dozen churches across central Indiana since being ordained in 2014.

The complete list of his ministry assignments are as follows: 2014, associate pastor, SS. Francis and Clare Parish, Greenwood, and Catholic chaplain, University of Indianapolis; 2015, associate pastor, St. Malachy Parish, Brownsburg; 2016, administrator, St. Martin of Tours Parish, Martinsville; 2017, chaplain, Roncalli High School, Indianapolis, Catholic chaplain, University of Indianapolis, and sacramental assistance, SS. Francis and Clare Parish, Greenwood.

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Voice of the Faithful surveys US dioceses’ financial transparency

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Oct. 28, 2019

By Peter Feuerherd

Catholics in the icy north of Anchorage, Alaska, know the warmth of financial transparency in their local church, while Catholics in tropical St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, are getting the cold shoulder.

Those two dioceses represent the polar opposites of this year’s financial transparency survey of American dioceses compiled by Voice of the Faithful. The Anchorage Archdiocese rated a perfect 100 score, while the St. Thomas Diocese rated the lowest, at 14 points. A total of 177 dioceses were rated.

This is the third year of studies on financial transparency compiled by Voice of the Faithful, which was founded in 2002 as a lay organization devoted to monitoring church management on sex abuse and finances.

“It’s a tale of two churches,” said Margaret Roylance, a Voice of the Faithful trustee and chair of the organization’s Finance Working Group, announcing the results of this year’s survey at the group’s annual conference here Oct. 19.

There have been measureable improvements in a number of dioceses, she said, particularly in Pennsylvania, where scores for the dioceses of Harrisburg and Scranton rose considerably, while the Philadelphia Archdiocese rated at the top, garnering a perfect score alongside Anchorage.

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Jules Woodson: Andy Savage’s reported return to pulpit is ‘not OK’

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

October 29, 2019

“Devastating news today,” Jules Woodson tweeted over the weekend.

“My abuser is back in the pulpit.”

Woodson was responding to news that Andy Savage, her former youth pastor, reportedly is planning to start a new church.

Last year, Woodson drew attention to the problem of abuse in evangelical churches when she spoke out about being sexually abused by Savage when she was a member of the Texas youth group he led two decades ago.

She was 17 at the time. He was a college student in his 20s. Under Texas law, sexual contact between clergy and someone for whom they are a “spiritual adviser” can be considered sexual assault.

Savage, who went on to become teaching pastor at a Memphis, Tennessee, megachurch, eventually confessed to “a sexual incident.” His confession was met with applause from the congregation at Highpoint Church.

He later resigned after a leave of absence and investigation.

Now Savage reportedly is planning to start a new church in Memphis.

And Woodson is worried about the message that sends to those who have experienced abuse — and those who would abuse.

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Former Roman Catholic Bishop of Cleveland Richard Lennon dies at 72

CLEVELAND (OH)
WKYC TV

Oct. 29, 2019

By Tyler Carey

The Most Rev. Richard Lennon, who led the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland for more than a decade, has died at the age of 72.

The diocese announced Lennon passed away Tuesday morning after receiving the last rites of the Catholic Church. An exact cause of death was not specified, but the bishop had been suffering from vascular dementia that led to his retirement just under three years ago.

“In his service to the diocese, Bishop Lennon showed a deep dedication to the faithful governance of the diocese and a tremendous love of the Church and the people he shepherded,” Bishop Nelson J. Perez, Lennon’s successor, said in a statement. “May the Lord grant him eternal rest.”

Born in 1947, Lennon grew up in the Boston area and was ordained a priest in the Boston Archdiocese at the age of 26. He rose through the ranks over the next three decades, and eventually became Auxiliary Bishop of Boston under Cardinal Bernard Francis Law in 2001.

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Diocese of Venice faces second suit alleging priest sexually assaulted female parishioners

VENICE (FL)
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Oct. 29, 2019

By Earle Kimel

The Diocese of Venice is facing its second $15 million suit this month, alleging that the Rev. Nicholas McLoughlin, 77, formerly of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Avon Park, sexually assaulted a female parishioner.

Both suits were filed in the 12th Judicial Circuit by Fort Lauderdale-based attorney Adam Horowitz.

The latest suit, filed on Oct.25 is on behalf of a plaintiff identified only as J.H. and alleges that on or about Sept. 2017, J.H. had attended Saturday afternoon mass with a female friend at Our Lady of Grace and wanted to seek a special blessing on her upcoming vows with the Franciscan Religious Order.

According to the suit, as the two women approached McLoughlin, “he suddenly grabbed J.H.’s head with one of his hands and forcefully kissed her on the lips and held her head against his lips so she couldn’t pull away.”

The suit closely mirrors but predates the incident from the Oct. 2 lawsuit filed by Horowitz, where, on April 7, 2018, the plaintiff, identified as L.B., was at the church for confession, when — after she told him she had a headache from falling off a horse — he allegedly put his thumb on her forehead and, with his other hand, grabbed her right breast.

L.B. alleged he later groped both breasts and kissed her and when asked if he was preventing her from leaving, she answered yes.

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2 Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims Calling For Statute Of Limitations Reform

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA TV

Oct. 29, 2019

Two of the victims of the first priest sentenced to prison time as a result of the state Grand Jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse are speaking out about statute of limitations reform.

Retired priest, Fr. John Sweeney, of the Diocese of Greensburg, was sentenced nearly a year ago to 11½ months to five years in prison.

Now, two of his victims, one of whom Sweeney admitted to abusing, are calling for reform to the statute of limitations process. They addressed the media Tuesday afternoon, one via Skype and the other by phone.

Their lawyer says neither of them took part in the Survivors’ Compensation Program.

Initially charged with felony involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, Sweeney pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor indecent assault.

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan: “I would love to be married and have kids”

NEW YORK (NY)
CBS News

Oct. 29, 2019

By David Morgan

At a recent regional synod of Catholic bishops from nine Amazonian countries called by Pope Francis, the majority of bishops called for the ordination of married men as priests to address the clergy shortage in the region, and also for the Vatican to reopen a debate on ordaining women as deacons.

The historic proposal, which would upend centuries of Roman Catholic tradition, has been criticized by some conservatives and traditionalists. But Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York City, who described the synod as an “anything-goes roundtable and conversation,” said Tuesday that he was glad the issue had been brought up.

Appearing on “CBS This Morning,” Cardinal Dolan said, “I’m glad they talked about it. We act like it’s a big secret, but heck, my barber asks me why priests can’t get married.”

“Would you like there to be a Mrs. Dolan?” asked co-host Gayle King.

“What are you doing tonight?” Dolan replied. “Look, I would love to be married and have kids. But you know what? Pope Paul VI said you shouldn’t be a celibate if you don’t want to be married and have kids. Celibates are different than bachelors; celibates want to be a father and want to be a spouse, and they transfer it to their allegiance to the church, which is their family.

“So, a desire to be a father and a husband is a healthy, normal, beautiful thing. And I’ve got it. But do I regret not being married? Well, I might miss it, but right now, celibacy I find to be extraordinarily rewarding and liberating.”

Catholic bishops from across Amazon propose allowing married priests and female leaders
Dolan, who has just written a new book, “Who Do You Say I Am?: Daily Reflections on the Bible, the Saints, and the Answer That Is Christ” (Crown), was asked about a decline in the percentage of Americans who consider themselves religious.

Co-host Tony Dokoupil asked, “I think indisputably one of the reasons why is people look at these sex abuse scandals that the Catholic Church has been plunged into, and they wonder – and I say this as somebody who has three generations of Catholics in New York, stopped with my generation– I ask you as a journalist, but also as somebody with that lineage, how could this have happened, and why the Catholic Church and not Islam or Judaism or evangelical Christianity? Why did this engulf your religion in particular?”

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Notorious Priest Who Abused 100+ in Guam Was Trained in Colorado

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

Oct. 29, 2019

One of the most notorious abusers in Guam was trained in a Colorado seminary. We call on Catholic officials in Denver to add his name to their list of accused priests, and to take steps to reach out to any of his victims that may still be suffering in silence.

Fr. Louis Brouillard is named in at least 124 child sex abuse lawsuits in Guam, a US protectorate. However, the priest completed his seminary training in Denver, after having been expelled from a seminary in Minnesota “because of his associating too much with young boys.”

After completing his education, Fr. Brouillard went to Guam for his first assignment as a priest. While there, the cleric is accused of abusing boys and girls both as a clergyman and as a Boy Scout leader.

Lawsuits also allege that after Fr. Brouillard was sent back to Minnesota in 1981, in order to avoid arrest and prosecution for child sexual abuse, the priest brought underage boys back to the United States who stayed with him in Minnesota, where he continued to abuse them.

Catholic bishops, as part of their “playbook,” often utilized euphemisms when describing sexual abuse. For example, being “too close to boys” is often code for sexual abuse. The fact that we now know that Fr. Brouillard has abused so many children should gives us pause about statements that he was “associating too much with young boys” while he was a seminarian in Minnesota.

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Tucson bishop responds to Oklahoma City Archdiocese abuse report

TUCSON (AZ)
news4tucson

Oct. 28, 2019

Bishop Edward Weisenburger of the Tucson Diocese has responded to a recent report involving clergy abuse in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Weisenburger served as Vicar General in Oklahoma City from 1998 to 2012, and helped investigate claims of misconduct.

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City received a letter from a former resident of Oklahoma regarding abuse by a priest in August of 2018, according to our Oklahoma City sister station, KFOR-TV. The church announced they would review and report all similar allegations.

The findings were published in a 77-page report by the law firm of McAfee & Taft earlier this month.

According to the report, a pastor once shared concerns about a clergy member with Weisenburger. Although no explicit allegation had been brought up yet, the report states Weisenburger did not report the concern to the Archdiocese at the time.

The report also noted that nearly all of Weisenburger’s emails were deleted after he left the Archdiocese, and concluded there were “inadequacies in the Archdiocese’s recordkeeping policies and systems that have resulted in the intentional or accident.”

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Former Pueblo priest Bonfadini denies rape allegations

PUEBLO (CO)
Pueblo Chieftain

Oct. 28, 2019

By Anthony A. Mestas

Leo Bonfadini emphatically denies that he ever raped a 17-year-old boy when he was a priest and administrator at Pueblo’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in 1979.

The accusations came rushing back last week.

Bonfadini is one of 43 Catholic priests named in the Colorado Special Master’s Report on child sexual abuse who are accused of sexually abusing at least 166 children in Colorado since 1950. The report was initiated by the Colorado Attorney General’s office, in cooperation with the Catholic dioceses in Colorado, including the Pueblo Diocese.

The former Pueblo priest, who now lives in Denver, drove down for an interview with The Pueblo Chieftain on Monday, with Pueblo attorney Joe Koncilja present.

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Framingham’s St. Bridget Parish shaken by abuse allegations

FRAMINGHAM (MA)
MetroWest Daily News

Oct. 28, 2019

By Jeannette Hinkle

“I’m trying not to be in denial, but my prayers this morning were for him and for the person who accused him.”

Rain poured as parishioners exited St. Bridget Parish in Framingham on Sunday.

Two days earlier, the archdiocese announced the parish’s longtime pastor, Rev. Msgr. Francis V. Strahan, was put on administrative leave after it was alleged the priest had sexually abused a minor around 2006.

The allegation has unsettled members of the congregation, and, for many, it was hard to believe.

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1,300 people sign petition for Pope to intervene in Father Drew scandal

CINCINNATI (OH)
FOX19 TV

Oct. 28, 2019

By Sarah Hager

A Cincinnati organization recently began a petition asking for the Pope to intervene in the scandal surrounding a former Cincinnati pastor.

Father Geoffrey Drew, 57, pleaded not guilty to nine counts of rape. He is held in lieu of $5 million bond at the Hamilton County

Monday, the organization Concerned Catholics announced a petition with nearly 1,300 signatures that made its way to Vatican City asking Pope Francis to investigate ‘Archdiocesan commitment to the Decree of Child Protection.’

“The document requests the investigation into how Archdiocese leaders continued to allow Drew to be around children, ignoring grave lay complaints concerning his behavior,” the statement said in part.

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Former Top Priest Faces New Abuse Claims As NJ Crackdown Grows

NEWARK (NJ)
Patch

Oct. 28, 2019

By Tom Davis

A new spate of sexual abuse allegations has been levied against a man once considered New Jersey’s top priest — just as the state has announced its crackdown on abusive behavior involving members of the clergy is growing.

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked in February after accusations he sexually abused two boys and sexually harassed seminarians, faced new accusations this past week that he abused at least seven boys from about 1970 until 1990, according to The Washington Post. Many of the boys traveled with the then-archbishop to fundraisers.

Six more allegations of sexual abuse by DC seminarians and former seminarians also have been forwarded to Catholic Church officials in Rome, The Washington Post said.

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From a culture of silence to cover-ups: How Guam ended up with 280 clergy sex abuse claims

HAGATNA (GUAM)
Pacific Daily News

Oct. 27, 2019

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

A 9-year-old boy confided in his grandmother on several occasions that the parish priest was sexually abusing him.

The grandmother spanked the boy, identified in court documents only by C.B.D. to protect his privacy. She lectured him that the priest was “God’s representative and not capable of such actions.”

“Unfortunately, due to priests being held to such a high level of respect and stature, it was unheard of them to be capable of committing immoral behavior such as child sexual abuse,” Vincent P. Pereda, a board-certified clinical social worker, said.

The same story is repeated in many clergy sex abuse claims. Pereda said preserving the family’s honor became more important than protecting children.

“You certainly didn’t want a family to be known as accusing a priest, the spiritual leader of a parish community, of misconduct of any form,” he said.

This unquestioned reverence for priests and a “culture of silence” contributed to nearly 280 of Guam’s children being raped and molested by priests and others associated with the Catholic Church from the 1950s to as late as 2013.

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Is there such a thing as too much church reform?

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

Oct. 27, 2019

By Colleen Carroll Campbell

Almost a year after the Vatican removed now disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from ministry and nearly five months after U.S. bishops met in Baltimore to address the ongoing sexual abuse crisis, many Catholics are feeling frustrated by the slow pace of reform in a scandal-plagued church. These Catholics may find a kindred spirit and cautionary tale in Angélique Arnauld, one of history’s most fascinating, if often forgotten, church reformers.

Born in 1591 to Catholic nobles hungry for ecclesial power and willing to pull a few strings in the corruption-plagued French church to get it, Angélique was named abbess of the prestigious Port-Royal convent near Paris when she was only 7. She was officially installed at age 11, on the same day she received her first communion—a sacrament she only dimly understood.

Angélique spent the next five years drifting in and out of depression-induced illnesses while her mother and an older nun ran the convent for her. When she was 16, a traveling Franciscan preacher inspired her to dedicate her life to Christ and study her faith. Angélique began living her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to the hilt, motivating her lukewarm nuns to follow suit.

Over the next decade, Angélique transformed Port-Royal from a haven for spoiled socialites to a bastion of religious rigor. Her nuns rose at 2 a.m. to pray, ate no meat, spoke only once daily during a recreation period, and divided the rest of their hours between hard labor and highly choreographed prayer. It was a grueling life. And in a culture that equated austerity with holiness, it made them spiritual celebrities.

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Report about sexual abuse highlights priest who worked in Aspen

ASPEN (CO)
Post Independent

Oct. 28, 2019

By Rick Carroll

Of the 43 priests identified in a report last week by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office for sexually abusing minors, one of them assigned to St. Mary Catholic Church in Aspen over 40 years ago once asked not to be transferred when allegations against him surfaced.

Father Robert Harold White “was the most prolific known clergy child sex abuser in Colorado history” and his career is “a microcosm of virtually all the failures we found elsewhere in our review of the Colorado Dioceses’ child sex abuse history,” the report said.

The report was written by former Colorado U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer and covers sexual abuse by Catholic priests from 1950 to 2019 in the state. While at least 166 children were abused by priests during that time frame, the state’s three dioceses, who were aware of the abuse, did little to address the allegations they instead suppressed.

Though the 263-page report noted that following 1998 no allegations or abuse by priests in Colorado were alleged, there is no way to tell if that is actually the case. The case with White was emblematic of the church’s failure to address rampant priest abuse, the report said.

“The Denver Archdiocese was frequently dishonest with White’s victims, their parishioners, and the public about his child sex abuse and the Denver Archdiocese’s knowledge of it,” the report said. “White’s file reveals the Denver Archdiocese did all this for decades, deploying euphemism and secrecy to protect itself. His file also reveals that broad, deep and permanent harm to children was the consequence.”

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New revelations out of Oklahoma about Tucson’s Catholic bishop are extremely disturbing

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

Oct. 28, 2019

Survivors fear that he may have employed the same tactics on abuse claims here

Victims’ group urges Church and lay investigations to uncover the truth

SNAP says that if anything has been hidden in this diocese it should now be exposed

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse survivors and their supporters will
— disclose information from a just-released Church report that reveals alarming actions by Tucson’s bishop, and
–urge Catholic officials and law enforcement to probe the way Tucson’s bishop has handled child sex abuse cases here, as well as in his other assignments

WHEN
Monday, October 28th at 1 p.m.

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Questions linger about church’s knowledge of abuse

WAYNESVILLE (NC)
The Mountaineer

Oct. 27, 2019

By Kyle Perrotti

Former Episcopal priest Howard White has finally been brought to justice for sexual abuse crimes he admitted to committing in Haywood, but with civil litigation still pending, the story isn’t yet over.

Last week in Haywood County Superior Court, White, 78, pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of three youths in the mid-1980s and one more in 2004 and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The emotional hearing featured not only District Attorney Ashley Welch reading the facts of the cases into record, but also one victim’s powerful statement. Between the two, the details that emerged — details which White agreed were factual — confirmed just how monstrous the crimes committed by the once-respected former rector of Grace Church in the Mountains really were.

The four victims present seemed to agree that seeing White plead guilty while not having to take the stand was worth the relatively short sentence he received. But facts that emerged during that hearing raised new questions about how much the church may or may not have known. The victim who offered a statement, Meg Yarbrough, mentioned specifically the role hig

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Is Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church Really No Bigger Problem Than the Rest of Society?

DENVER (CO)
National Catholic Register

Oct. 27, 2019

By Jennifer Roback Morse

A recent study reported, “only 6% of seminarians report sexual harassment.” The McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame produced this path-breaking survey. One optimistic conclusion people might draw from this report is “Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is no worse than in any other institution of society. People who keep talking about sexual abuse are just bashing the Church.” In my opinion, comparing sex abuse in the Catholic Church with that in other institutions can serve a valid purpose. But I think we need to be careful. Some such comparisons can be actively harmful.

Let me take as an example, The Catholic League’s response to the Notre Dame survey. I choose them because they make a fair statement of a sentiment many people share:

In 2013, Hollaback! commissioned a College Harassment Survey and found that 67 percent of students experienced harassment on campus. In 2006, the American Association of University Women reported that nearly two-thirds of college students experienced sexual harassment at some point during college. In 2018, an online survey by Stop Street Harassment found that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men said they experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime.

Definitions of sexual harassment vary widely, and incidents range from a sexual joke to rape, thus making comparisons difficult. No matter, compared to life outside the seminaries, the condition in most seminaries today is far better than on college campuses or in the workplace. And they are a vast improvement over what existed in many seminaries not long ago.

The Catholic League’s mission is to defend the Church from slander. Our highly secularized world is filled with people who hate the Catholic Church and miss no opportunity to criticize her. The truly committed sexual revolutionaries honestly believe the Catholic Church is not only bad, but the worst institution ever. I don’t think we should even dignify that statement with a response, should anyone be blunt enough to just blurt it out. The Catholic League, and anyone who loves the Church, is not wrong to defend the Church against scurrilous attacks.

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Upcoming bishops’ meeting reflects current state of US church

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

Oct. 28, 2019

By Michael Sean Winters

Two weeks from today, the U.S. bishops will gather in Baltimore for their annual plenary meeting and, in a sense, the gathering is a metaphor for the situation of the Catholic Church in our nation at this moment in time. The meeting, like the church, is traditional, but no one knows what to expect, it will largely be ignored by mainstream society, and it is difficult to feel much confidence in the current leadership.

The biggest challenge is to get back to a sense of normalcy without downplaying the still potentially explosive issue of clergy sex abuse. The last two meetings were dominated by the issue with virtually all other business suspended. There were protesters outside the hotel and hordes of reporters inside. The usual friendly banter at the receptions seemed strained. The bishops as a whole looked haggard. And, the conference’s leadership did not seem up to the task, at the last minute, forced to withdraw its inadequate proposals by the Vatican last November.

One of the items on the agenda is to elect a new president and vice president of the bishops’ conference. It is widely anticipated that current vice president, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, will ascend to the presidency, and this is the one bright spot of the agenda: At a time when our president is demonizing immigrants and worse, inflicting real harm on real people, the bishops are about to elect a Mexican immigrant as their leader. Additionally, Gomez’s statements at home tend to be more powerful than what the national conference issues, and so we can all hope protecting immigrants becomes the bishops’ top priority in the year ahead.

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ANALYSIS: Jackson Diocese weathers series of controversies in 2019

STARKVILLE (MS)
Starkville Daily News

Oct. 28, 2019

By Ryan Phillips

Editor’s Note: This story is an analysis of the controversies facing the Catholic Diocese of Jackson over the last year, meant to be a companion piece with our Sunday story about the current status of the investigation at St. Joseph and the Jackson Diocese.

As the wheels continue to spin on the Lenin Vargas case, the Catholic Diocese of Jackson has also endured several other high-profile controversies since last November.

Most recently, the Diocese was reported to be on the receiving end of a civil lawsuit from its former director of finance, Arie “Aad” Mattheus de Lange, who has sued the Diocese and Bishop Joseph Kopacz, claiming he was fired in retaliation for speaking out against budget practices.

First reported by the Clarion Ledger in Jackson earlier this month, the lawsuit alleges that the reasons provided for de Lange’s termination were “false, pretextual, and did not rise to the level of grave reason.”

“Moreover, it is inexplicable how [the Diocese] could have determined there was a grave reason to terminate de Lange based upon his job performance where there was not a single performance appraisal/review,” the lawsuit states. “De Lange’s discharge was retaliatory in nature based upon his reasonable objection to the unrealistic budget proposed for Catholic Charities and the potential adverse impact it posed to the diocese.”

According to his LinkedIN resume, de Lange worked as the CFO for the Jackson Diocese from February 2013 until October 2018. The lawsuit alleges Kopacz fired him on Oct. 3, 2018 — roughly a month before news broke of the search warrant involving Vargas.

De Lange’s resume goes on to say he immediately found work as interim CFO of the Catholic Diocese of La Crosse, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, before being named as the Chief Finance Officer and Business Manager of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, in Texas.

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Schmitt close to finishing referrals in Missouri clergy abuse investigation

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
Missourinet

Oct. 27, 2019

By Brian Hauswirth

Missouri’s attorney general says his office is close to completing 12 referrals of former clergy members across the state for potential criminal prosecution.

This involves Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s (R) investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by clergy members in the Roman Catholic Church.

“We issued the report about a month ago with our findings and announcing that we had the 12 criminal referrals, so we’re in the process of working with those local prosecutors right now, formally making those criminal referrals,” Schmitt says.

Schmitt’s office notes that in Missouri, the jurisdiction to formally investigate clergy abuse lies with local law enforcement and not the attorney general’s office. Schmitt expects the referrals to be completed soon.

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Accused of sexual abuse, a priest left Colorado for a safe haven: San Diego

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego Union-Tribune

October 25, 2019

By Peter Rowe

In 1953, the Rev. Walter Buetzler was accused of molesting a fifth-grade boy after hearing the child’s confession at St. Joseph Parish in Monte Vista, Colo. After the boy’s father complained to the parish council and later to the Diocese of Pueblo’s bishop, Buetzler left the state.

He quickly secured a new job: professor of classical languages at the San Diego College for Men, then part of the University of San Diego. The German native, who died more than 30 years ago, taught on the USD campus until at least 1961.

On Wednesday, the Colorado Attorney General listed Buetzler among the 43 priests its investigation found to have sexually abused minors. The report concluded that, between 1950 and the present, at least 166 children were molested by employees of the state’s three dioceses. The report found that fewer than one in 10 cases had been reported to civilian authorities. Other dioceses were rarely warned when a suspected abuser moved there.

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Trial of Indian bishop charged with rape to begin in November

KOTTAYAM (INDIA)
Catholic News Agency

October 24, 2019

The trial of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jullundur, who was charged with rape in April, will begin Nov. 11 in Kottayam. He has been accused of raping a nun repeatedly over the course of two years, and he denies the allegations.

The summons was issued Oct. 23 by a magistrate in Kottayam.

The nun who has accused Bishop Mulakkal of rape has complained against him to the Kerala women’s commission, saying he his harrassing her and others through social media videos.

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Kerala Cop Transferred After Serving Notice to Rape Accused Bishop Franco

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
The Wire

October 27, 2019

While the nun accusing the bishop of rape has said she is being targeted by a YouTube channel, the police officer in her case has been transferred.

New Delhi: The saga of the Bishop Franco rape case continues with a new twist: the police officer who served a legal notice to rape accused Franco has now been immediately transferred from his post. Franco is accused of raping a Christian nun 13 times, and a criminal investigation in the case him is ongoing.

The nun who alleges she was raped by Franco has said she has been harassed for months. Earlier this month, she said that a Malayalam YouTube channel named Christian Times had been harassing her. She alleged that this harassment was being done at Franco’s behest. Her complaint was docked at the Vaikom police station. She has also written complaints to the National Women’s Commission, Kerala’s Women’s Commission and the Kerala Human Rights Commission.

The channel itself appears to have a large following of over 52,000 followers. In just the last one month, the channel appears to have uploaded nearly 40 videos about Franco, many of them titled ‘Bishop Franco Mulakkal Nun Fraud Case’.

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‘People Are Afraid Of Cinema’: François Ozon Takes On Church Sexual Abuse

“Weekend Edition,” National Public Radio

October 26, 2019

By Rebecca Rosman

[AUDIO]

French filmmaker François Ozon (8 Women, Young & Beautiful) is known for portrayals of strong female characters.

But for his latest, By the Grace of God, Ozon says he wanted to focus on something different: the fragility of men.

“Usually in cinema, men are action and women are feelings,” Ozon told NPR from his office in central Paris. “So I wanted my next film to really portray [men’s] emotions and sensibility.”

By the Grace of God succeeds in doing that and more with its fictionalized portrayal of one of the biggest scandals to ever hit the French Catholic Church. Lyon-based priest Bernard Preynat is accused of sexually abusing dozens of young boys over the course of decades.

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Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Respond To Report On Clergy Abuse

DENVER (CO)
The Patch

October 26, 2019

“They won’t tell us what the worst part is because they simply don’t want us to know,” a spokesperson for Zero Abuse Project said.

Advocates of child sexual abuse victims and survivors themselves reacted Friday to the recent independent review revealing the abuse of victims from Catholic priests in Colorado. The report released Wednesday said at least 166 children were sexually abused by 43 priests since 1950.

“They won’t tell us what the worst part is because they simply don’t want us to know,” said Joelle Casteix, a founding member of the board of directors for Zero Abuse Project. “We don’t know who the abusers are because the church won’t tell us, the Olympics won’t tell us, the Boy Scouts won’t tell us.”

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Colorado report names four local Catholic priests accused of child sex abuse

GRAND JUNCTION (CO)
KKCO-TV (Ch. 11 – NBC affiliate)

By Erin Crooks

October 25, 2019

[VIDEO]

In Colorado, forty-three Catholic priests are now facing substantiated allegations of child sex abuse; four with ties to Grand Junction and Montrose.

The Colorado Attorney General released the report after an agreement was made with the state’s three dioceses, Archdiocese of Denver, the Diocese of Colorado Springs and the Diocese of Pueblo, following months of prior investigation. It reports allegations that 166 children have been abused by dozens of Catholic priests in the state since 1950.

The report lists the names of four Catholic priests locally. Father Joseph Reade was a priest at St. Mary’s Hospital and the VA Hospital, Father Lawrence Sievers at St. Joseph’s Parish and St. Mary’s Hospital and Father Michael Descoise also at St. Joseph’s, all three in Grand Junction. It also mentions Father Gary Kennedy who was a priest in St. Mary’s Parish out of Montrose. All alleged incidents taking place between 1969 and 1987.

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EDITORIAL: The Catholic Church yet again fails to account for its victims

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Washington Post

October 25, 2019

By Editorial Board

A FEATURE of the Catholic Church’s rippling sexual abuse scandal is that past predations and coverups are often revealed by journalists, government authorities or victims and their advocates, but rarely by the church itself. That has been the case whether the alleged abusers were small-town priests, prominent bishops or the most renowned of the church’s alleged predators: former cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, who served as archbishop of Washington.

The pattern has reinforced the impression of a church culturally incapable of reckoning on its own with what amounts to a systematic moral collapse. For even after repeated pledges of transparency, zero tolerance, and a new era of accountability from the pope and other senior officials in Rome and the United States, fresh allegations surface of rape, assault, molestation and other outrages, and generally the news comes from sources other than church figures.

An instructive case is that of Mr. McCarrick, who, after he was credibly accused of abusing minors as well as young adult seminarians, was removed from the College of Cardinals last year and defrocked this year by the Vatican — the most severe such punishment meted out to a Catholic cardinal in modern memory. In a Vatican statement more than a year ago, Pope Francis pledged that “we will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead” in Mr. McCarrick’s case, combing through “the entire documentation” in church records and making known conclusions and relevant facts.

Nearly 13 months later, that investigation continues without comment from the Vatican beyond a vague statement in February, when Mr. McCarrick was ejected from the priesthood, that a church proceeding had found him guilty of committing “sins” with minors and soliciting sex during confession. At the same time, it has emerged that senior church figures, including Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former archbishop of Washington, and others, knew about allegations that Mr. McCarrick regularly molested young adult seminarians and pressured them to sleep with him years before he was stripped of his titles and publicly rebuked.

Now, new accusations have surfaced from individuals who allege Mr. McCarrick subjected them to abuse as children. According to sources cited by The Post’s Michelle Boorstein, at least seven men have leveled new accusations that Mr. McCarrick abused them as boys. They came forward after Mr. McCarrick gave an interview to Slate magazine, blaming unnamed “enemies” for the allegations against him, which he denied.

Writing under the pseudonym Nathan Doe, one of the seven provided a chilling account of childhood trauma at the hands of a man he describes as “untouchable and in complete control.” In the end, he writes, he and his cohort of victims decided “to defend the truth” by telling their stories. Meanwhile, the promised accounting from the church is still pending.

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Please, do the right thing and pay up before we die: Abuse victims’ plea to Catholic De La Salle order over compensation

GLASGOW (SCOTLAND)
The Sunday Post

October 27, 2019

By Marion Scott

A wealthy Catholic order is being urged to settle damages claims brought by victims of abuse at five of its children’s homes in Scotland before they die.

The call came after it emerged the De La Salle order, some of whose monks were convicted in court of sexual and physical abuse, is now pursing former volunteer managers of schools, claiming they should also be liable for funding the compensation payments.

The order won a legal battle to take the action but now those volunteers have appealed the ruling, meaning former residents are no closer to receiving compensation for their ordeals.

Dozens of elderly volunteers across Scotland, mostly now in their 80s and 90s, could face lengthy and expensive court proceedings over who should be held accountable for paying claims.

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Opinion: Torn between faith and profession

MONTROSE (CO)
Montrose Daily Press

Oct. 27, 2019

By Dennis Anderson

I’m a cradle Catholic.

I typically avoided movies concerning the Church. Hollywood doesn’t always portray Catholics and our faith in the best of light. When the movie “Spotlight” was released, I had zero interest in watching. “Spotlight” tells the story behind the Boston Globe’s investigative journalism team’s efforts to uncover the widespread of child sex abuse by priests in the Boston area. Subsequently they uncovered that the Church not only knew about these priests but made unbelievable efforts to conceal the epidemic. All told, there were more than 90 priests confirmed to have been involved.

The Globe’s investigation revealed that the Church, lawyers and some of the faithful went to great lengths to keep the accusations quiet. The team also exposed the fact that psychologists working with the church believed that these priests could be rehabilitated. Some were declared cured and sent back into parishes only to abuse again. One such priest was John J. Geoghan and since the mid-1990s more than 130 people have come forward with horrific tales of his abuse, according to the original Boston Globe article released in January of 2002. Geoghan was the early focus of the team because the church successfully had the court documents attached to his case sealed.

Released in 2015, the movie was critically acclaimed. Those involved in the movie raked in the awards in 2016 including the Academy Award of Best Picture. I’ll typically search out movies that are this lauded. I just wouldn’t budge on this one. Another shot fired at the faithful I richoceted in my mind. But I had no idea what the movie was about other than a scandal that I was personally in denial about.

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From West Virginia to the Vatican: How a Catholic bishop secretly sent money from a church hospital to a cardinal in Rome

WASHINGTON, D.C.
The Washington Post

October 26, 2019

By Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg

The idea came to West Virginia Bishop Michael J. Bransfield while he was in Rome visiting an old friend, a powerful cardinal at the Vatican. Bransfield thought the cleric’s apartment was barren and lacked a comfortable room for watching television.

After Bransfield returned to West Virginia, in May 2017, he sent the cardinal a $14,000 check. “I fixed that room up for him,” Bransfield said in an interview with The Washington Post.

The gift, one of two Bransfield sent to Cardinal Kevin Farrell, was an extraordinary gesture from a religious leader in a state plagued by poverty. Even more unusual was how Bransfield obtained the cash he gave away.

The untold story behind those gifts illustrates how $21 million was moved from a church-owned hospital in Wheeling, W.Va., to be used at Bransfield’s discretion. It adds a new dimension to a financial scandal that has rippled through the Catholic Church since Bransfield’s ouster last year.

A Post investigation found that the money Bransfield sent to Farrell was routed from Wheeling Hospital to the Bishop’s Fund, a charity created by Bransfield with the stated purpose of helping the residents of West Virginia, tax filings show.

As Bransfield prepared to write the first of his personal checks to Farrell, a church official arranged to transfer money from the Bishop’s Fund into a diocese bank account — and then from there to Bransfield’s personal bank account, an internal email obtained by The Post shows.

“Bishop Bransfield made very specific requests,” said Bryan Minor, a Bishop’s Fund board member and diocese employee who wrote the email and arranged the transfers for the gifts to Farrell. “He wanted to have a discretionary fund.”

Bransfield used Bishop’s Fund money for a variety of purposes, including church projects in West Virginia that burnished his reputation as a generous benefactor.

The bishop also drew on it to send the second check to Farrell for the apartment, this time for $15,000, church financial records and emails show.

In all, $321,000 was sent out of West Virginia, in apparent contradiction to the stated purpose of the Bishop’s Fund, The Post found. Church officials have declined to identify the out-of-state recipients.

The hospital was the charity’s only source of funding, tax filings and hospital audits show. As a nonprofit institution that relies heavily on federal funding through Medicare, the hospital is subject to restrictions on how it uses its money.

In the interview with The Post over the summer, Bransfield defended the cash gifts to Farrell, saying they were “funds that I had raised.” He and his attorney did not respond to subsequent questions about The Post’s findings.

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Timothy Egan: ‘My faith is complicated’

SPOKANE (WA)
Spokesman-Review

October 26, 2019

By John Stucke

Unsettled by his mother’s deathbed words about her long-held beliefs, Timothy Egan, a New York Times winner of the Pulitzer Prize and bestselling author, packed his own lapsed faith, curiosity and Pacific Northwest travel wear and set out to explore his spirituality in his new book, “A Pilgrimage to Eternity.”

The journey took him from Canterbury to Rome along the Via Francigena (pronounced frahn-chee-jeh-na), a 1,300-mile pilgrimage through the medieval history of Christianity. Along the way, he wondered about our “malnutrition of the soul” and allowed himself to ponder the possibilities of faith that he has spent most of a lifetime neglecting.

“I’m still haunted by the last hours of my mom’s life. She was a well-read, progressive Catholic, a mother of seven. ‘I’m not feeling it, Timmy,’ she said, the color fading from her face, the strangling tendrils of her brain cancer closing in, that lethal glioblastoma. ‘I’m not sure anymore. I don’t know what to believe or what’s ahead. I don’t … know.’ “

Joan Patricia Egan died in 2012 after spending her retirement years with her husband, Harry Egan, in Sequim. Her remains were buried at sea in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Her son’s book shares his hope to find “a stiff shot of no-bullshit spirituality.” What he finds is something else: amazement and surprise in way he’d never allowed before.

Egan confronts the child sex abuse crisis of the Catholic Church. He writes of the rage and its effect on his family. And he celebrates the words, humility and actions of Pope Francis, who is trying to hold together the 1.3 billion-member church.

“I had to open a vein to write this,” Egan says. “My faith is very complicated.”

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Catholic priest caught trying to meet ‘paedophile’ to abuse his son,

MANCHESTER (ENGLAND)
Metro News

October 27, 2019

A Catholic priest has been jailed after a man he arranged to meet in order to abuse his son, two, turned out to be an undercover police officer.

Father Matthew Jolley was duped by the officer he first approached on the Grindr dating app in September. It took the priest less than 20 minutes to tell the undercover officer – posing as a 36-year-old bisexual man – that he was sexually interested in young children.

Over the course of a number of depraved chats, Jolley, 32, admitted while he mainly liked girls, a ‘cute’ boy would also be of interest, the Manchester Evening News reports. After telling the police officer he wanted to ‘do his two-year-old son’ – who did not exist – the priest then sent an indecent image of himself.

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St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese taps restorative justice to heal impact of sex abuse

ST. PAUL (MN)
Star Tribune

Oct. 25, 2019

By Jean Hopfensperger

Janine Geske, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, seems an unlikely frequent flier to Twin Cities Catholic churches. She has been introducing them to a new method for addressing the devastating impact of clergy sex abuse through a process called restorative justice.

A philosophy of justice distinct from the crime and punishment system of courtrooms, it pulls together parties affected by a crime — including victims and their communities — and offers them a safe place and process to heal from trauma.

That’s been happening in Twin Cities churches for more than a year, said Geske. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is a national leader in using restorative justice techniques to address the lingering repercussions of clergy abuse, said Geske, who was among the panelists Friday at a symposium titled “Restorative Justice, Law & Healing” at the University of St. Thomas law school in Minneapolis.

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Suspended Indianapolis priest charged with sex crimes

NOBLESVILLE (INDIANA)
Associated Press

October 26, 2019

A suspended Catholic priest in Indiana is facing charges alleging he sexually abused a child in 2016.

The Rev. David Marcotte of Indianapolis is charged in suburban Hamilton County with child solicitation, vicarious sexual gratification and dissemination of matter harmful to minors.

The Indianapolis Archdiocese suspended the 32-year-old Marcotte from public ministry in February after its victim assistance coordinator learned of the abuse allegations. It said that at the time of the alleged abuse, Marcotte was assigned to St. Malachy Parish in Brownsburg and St. Martin of Tours Parish in Martinsville

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Roman Catholic bishops propose opening priesthood to married deacons in the Amazon region

ROME (ITALY)
Washington Post

October 26, 2019

By Stefano Pitrelli and Terrence McCoy

Roman Catholic bishops from across the Amazon recommended Saturday to allow married deacons to become priests — a proposal intended to address a severe shortage in the region, but also one that breaks from centuries of church tradition.

The document by the Vatican gathering — which still needs to be affirmed by Pope Francis — offers a significant shift in church views and could potentially signal a new strategy to modernize key tenets of Catholic tradition, such a priestly celibacy, as the church faces a worldwide decline in vocations.

The proposal, proponents say, would be narrowly applied to permit only selected men ordained as deacons to become priests. The gathering, however, stopped short of fully endorsing calls to allow women as deacons, an ecclesiastical position that can preside over some rites, such as witness marriages, but cannot celebrate Mass.

The bishops instead urged the Vatican to reopen debate on ordaining women as deacons — an appeal quickly backed by Francis.

For the first South American pontiff, the proposals for the ordination of married men are certain to bring fresh strains within the church. Catholic conservatives have been at odds with the Argentine pope over his broad outreach, including to divorced and remarried Catholics.

There is little disagreement over the church’s challenges in the vast Amazon region. Priest shortages are so acute that some Catholics are left effectively on their own. At the same time, evangelical denominations are an increasing force across all of Latin America and siphon off more Catholics each year.

It was about the Amazon rainforest. But issues over ordination were center stage.

“Many of the ecclesial communities of the Amazonian territory have enormous difficulties in accessing the Eucharist,” the bishops said, citing the celebration of the Mass. “Sometimes it takes not just months but even several years before a priest can return to a community to celebrate the Eucharist.”

The three-week synod was convened to discuss a broad range of issues facing the Amazon region and South America, including the church’s role in helping preserve the rainforest. But it was the proposals on the priesthood and women’s role in the clergy that drew the most attention.

Backers of opening the priesthood to married deacons say it is imperative to keep the church relevant in the Amazon. Conservative critics assailed the plan as potentially opening the door to the end of celibacy and married priests in other parts of the world facing a similar shortage in priests.

The measure, approved 128 to 41, now goes to Francis, who is expected to decide whether he will follow it by the end of the year.

If he does, it will address some problems but exacerbate others.

Since Francis succeeded a far more conservative pontiff, Benedict XVI, the Vatican has been increasingly consumed by culture wars between traditionalists and progressives.

The proposals also come at a time of crisis for the church after decades of abuse scandals and, in Latin America and Africa, added pressure from powerful evangelical movements.

These tensions are particularly acute in Brazil, a country long tethered to the rhythms of Catholic life that is now being reshaped by evangelicalism. Catholics, who once accounted for more than 90 percent of the population, are not expected to be even half of it by 2022, according to recent research.

Pope brings environmental push to Peru’s Amazon region

Evangelicals, meanwhile, are surging. They were a key constituency in the rise of Brazil’s nationalist president Jair Bolsonaro. A former evangelical bishop, Marcelo Crivella, is the mayor of Rio de Janeiro. And they are poised to represent more than 40 percent of the population in the next 15 years.

The difficulties facing Catholics are even more urgent in the Amazon.

Patrícia Cabral, the president of Catholic advocacy organization in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state, sees it every day working in the Catholic community. Some parishes serve nearly 100 different communities separated by vast distances.

“There are few priests who act in this region,” she said. “Many of the communities are difficult to access and it’s only possible to get there by boat. . . . In some places, the [priest] can only go one time per year.”

But not all Catholic leaders in Brazil, which hosts more than 60 percent of the Amazon within its borders, were supportive of the proposal.

“The problem of the dearth of priests is a problem for the Catholic Church in the whole world, except in some nations. Why this exception for the Amazon?” said Bishop D. José Luis Azcona of the Amazonian state of Para.

Celibacy in the priesthood has been a central part of Roman Catholic tradition for nearly a millennia, but there are some exceptions. Some married Anglican clergy have become priests after converting to Catholicism. There are also married priests in Eastern Rite churches that are in full communion with Rome.

But the proposal would open room for married clergy in the mainstream Latin Rite church.

Francis has issued conflicting signals on the idea. He has said he does not want to overhaul the requirement of celibacy, but he has indicated he would consider ordaining married men of proven virtue — known as “viri probati” — in “very far places . . . when there is a pastoral necessity.”

That language led some Vatican observers to suspect that Saturday’s announcement was only the beginning.

“The possibility to ordain viri probati exists in all countries across the Southern Hemisphere,” said retired bishop Fritz Lobinger, an advocate for married priests.

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A Grave Financial Scandal or Papal “Get Tough” Posturing?

Open Tabernacle (blog)

October 25, 2019

By Betty Clermont

Vatican police raided offices of the Secretariat of State and the Financial Information Authority, the Vatican’s financial “watchdog” agency, on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

“They seized documents, computers, telephones and passports and blocked bank accounts,” Edward Pentin reported.

Five employees were suspended, including a priest. The police issued a circular to all security personnel, including the Swiss Guards, that the four lay persons were banned from entering the Vatican City State. (The priest resides in the city.)

The circular had photographs of the five employees “designed in the manner of a ‘Wanted’ poster or mugshot.”

Two days later, “Pope Francis named a top anti-Mafia prosecutor, Giuseppe Pignatone, as president of the Vatican criminal court over the alleged financial wrongdoing.”

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PA Attorney General calls Allentown Diocese property transfers “deeply concerning”

PENNSYLVANIA
Morning Call

October 26, 2029

By Emily Opilo

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said he is scrutinizing the transfer of properties into trusts by Allentown and other Catholic Dioceses as they were being investigated by a statewide grand jury.

In a meeting with Morning Call reporters and editors Friday, Shapiro called the property transfers “deeply concerning” and consistent with a pattern of secrecy the Allentown Diocese, and Bishop Alfred Schlert, displayed in the 2018 grand jury report, which revealed the abuse of more than 1,000 children by 300 priests in six dioceses.

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From a culture of silence to cover-ups: How Guam ended up with 280 clergy sex abuse claims

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

October 27, 2019

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

A 9-year-old boy confided in his grandmother on several occasions that the parish priest was sexually abusing him.

The grandmother spanked the boy, identified in court documents only by C.B.D. to protect his privacy. She lectured him that the priest was “God’s representative and not capable of such actions.”

“Unfortunately, due to priests being held to such a high level of respect and stature, it was unheard of them to be capable of committing immoral behavior such as child sexual abuse,” Vincent P. Pereda, a board-certified clinical social worker, said.

The same story is repeated in many clergy sex abuse claims. Pereda said preserving the family’s honor became more important than protecting children.

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Parishioners seek answers after monsignor is removed over sexual abuse allegations

FRAMINGHAM (MA)
WCVB-TV

October 26, 2019

Parishioners at a Framingham Catholic church attended their first Mass since learning their longtime pastor has been removed due to sexual abuse allegations.

The Rev. Monsignor Francis V. Strahan, who was pastor of St. Bridget Parish, was placed on administrative officials by the Archdiocese of Boston after he was accused of sexually abusing a child. He will not be allowed to have any public ministry during the leave, according to the archdiocese.

“It’s certainly a confusing time for all of us,” said parishioner Gerard Kelly. “I would say to the church, as a parishioner: ‘Shame on you. We deserve to know more. We deserve to know more of the facts.’ With regards to whether I believe the accusations or not, I don’t know enough.

“The single greatest thing they could have done for us, as parishioners, to find closure, would be allow us to say goodbye.”

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Irish ex-priest who abused at least 25 children in California arrested in Portugal

NEW YORK (NY)
IrishCentral

Oct. 25, 2019

Former priest, Limerick-born Oliver O’Grady arrested on child pornography charges and will be returned to Ireland to face up to his crimes.

The former Catholic priest Oliver O’Grady has been arrested in the Algarve, in Portugal, under a European Arrest Warrant.

O’Grady, born in Limerick, was ordained as a priest in California in 1971. The pedophile was sentenced to 14 years in prison in the United States for the rape and sexual abuse of at least 25 children, including two young brothers.

He was paroled after seven years before being deported back to Ireland in 2000.

In 2006, O’Grady was the subject of an award-winning documentary, Deliver Us from Evil. The movie detailed how he preyed on children and how the Catholic church moved him from parish to parish and knew that abuses were happening.

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New Lawsuit Filed in California Against Abusive Monsignor from New York

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

Oct. 25, 2019

In a new lawsuit, a New York native priest is accused of molesting a California child. He is Monsignor Vito Frances Mistretta, originally of Brooklyn. We urge Brooklyn Catholic officials – from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio down to the parish secretaries and bookkeepers – to aggressively seek out more victims, witnesses and whistleblowers who could shed light on these abuse reports.

The case is among the first of such suits to be filed under a just-signed California “civil window” law – similar to one in New York – that gives potentially thousands of childhood sexual abuse victims (regardless of their age) three years to sue those who committed and concealed childhood sexual abuse.

In April, Mistretta was listed on the official Sacramento diocese’s ‘credibly accused clerics’ list for at least two alleged crimes. Since then, that list has been updated and now shows four known Mistretta victims.

Mistretta worked at churches in at least three California towns: Sacramento, Roseville and Citrus Heights.

The victim is Michael Thomas, who was abused as a child at Holy Family Catholic church in Citrus Heights CA in 1969. Thomas is urging others to file reports with the California attorney general if they know of or suspect abuse or cover ups by Christian Brothers.

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A church leader’s abuse and a woman’s long struggle: ”I don’t know about normal love’

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

Oct. 25, 2019

By Justin Wm. Moyer The Washington Post

Lauren Griffis says she was groomed by a Virginia church youth leader from the time she was 11. The man crept into her life, forging bonds with her family before prosecutors say he sexually abused her multiple times at age 16.

Justice was swift. Two weeks after the physical relationship began, Lauren’s mother called police. The man was arrested in 2016, serving a year in jail for taking indecent liberties with a child as church leaders struggled to respond to a crisis in their congregation.

With a rise in clergy abuse cases coming to light in the MeToo era, some church leaders are becoming transparent with congregants, rather than sweeping allegations under the rug. More than a dozen investigations of the Catholic church were announced last year in the United States, with other scandals among Southern Baptists and evangelical churches.

Experts broadly agree on best practices for church leaders to come forward in abuse cases, but a lack of data and the historical underreporting of sex abuse in the church can make it difficult to know how to address it.

“This issue should never be behind us,” said Boz Tchividjian, executive director of the nonprofit Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment. “It should always be on our radar screen.”

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Catholic priest thought he was meeting paedophile from Grindr to arrange abuse

MANCHESTER (ENGLAND)
Manchester Evening Sun

Oct. 25, 2019

By Sam Yarwood and Lynda Roughley

A pervert Catholic priest thought he was meeting another paedophile to arrange the abuse of his ‘two-year-old-son’ – only to be taken down by an undercover cop.

Father Matthew Jolley was stung by the officer after he started talking to him on the dating app Grindr in September. The child didn’t exist.

The cop created a fake profile, posing as a 36-year-old bisexual.

Less than 20 minutes later, he received a message from Jolley saying he was interested sexually in young children.

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Accusations against the Rev. John Beno stun Puebloans

PUEBLO (CO)
Pueblo Chieftain

Oct. 25, 2019

By Anthony A. Mestas

Pueblo politicians who worked with the late Rev. John Beno — and undoubtedly many people in the community — were shocked when they heard the sex abuse allegations levied against the popular and well-known Catholic priest, who also was a former state senator.

Beno was one of 43 Catholic priests named in the Colorado Special Master’s Report on child sexual abuse that accused them of sexually abusing at least 166 children in Colorado since 1950. The report was initiated by the Colorado Attorney General’s office, in cooperation with the Catholic dioceses in Colorado, including the Pueblo Diocese.

As a two-term state senator, Beno, a Democrat, served on the state’s Joint Budget and Senate Appropriations committees. He first was elected to the Senate in 1978 and left office in 1986.

The Pueblo Chieftain reached out to several people who worked with Beno politically. Most did not want to comment about the news because they weren’t entirely familiar with the report, but they did express shock.

The news also rocked Pueblo Catholics, many of whom sent emails to The Chieftain.

Mary Beth Corsentino, leader of Pueblo County Democrats, said Friday that the news hit her hard.

“My earliest memories of Father Beno were as an elementary student. I was a student at St. Therese (a former Pueblo Catholic elementary school at the Shrine of St. Therese),” Corsentino said.

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Suspended Indianapolis priest charged in sexual abuse case

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
RTV 6

Oct. 25, 2019

By Bob Blake

A suspended Catholic priest in Indianapolis has been charged in a Hamilton County sexual abuse investigation.

According to Hamilton Superior Court records, Fr. David Marcotte, 32, has been charged with three felonies — child solicitation, vicarious sexual gratification, and dissemination of matter harmful to minors.

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis suspended Marcotte from ministry in February after its victim assistance coordinator learned of the abuse allegations. The Archdiocese alerted authorities and notified the chair of the Archdiocesan Review Board about the allegation.

“The Archdiocese has cooperated with law enforcement throughout its investigation,” the Archdiocese said in a statement. “Fr. Marcotte has been prohibited from all public ministry while the investigation and legal process is ongoing.”

Marcotte was ordained in June 2014 and has served in a number of assignments since then. He has served at SS Francis and Clare Parish, Greenwood, the University of Indianapolis, St. Malachy Parish, Brownsburg, St. Martin of Tours Parish in Martinsville, Roncalli High School in Indianapolis. He has also had second stints at UIndy and SS Francis and Clare Parish.

“Let us hold all victims of sexual abuse and misconduct and their families in prayer,” the Archdiocese said in its statement.

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Richmond Catholic Diocese adds names of more clergy with credible abuse allegations

HAMPTON ROADS (VA)
Virginian-Pilot

Oct. 25, 2019

By Saleen Martin, Amy Poulter and Cleo-Symone Scott

Since February, the Richmond Catholic Diocese has added multiple names to its list of clergy with “credible” abuse allegations, including two with previous assignments in Hampton Roads.

The list has been updated in June, September and most recently on Oct. 4. It includes Anthony M. Canu, Patrick J. Cassidy, Terence Doyle, James J. Gormley, Donald Scales and Aedan Manning, whose name appears to be misspelled on the diocese website.

According to the Richmond Diocese, all of these men are dead.

One of those added to the list in June, Anthony M. Canu, was appointed assistant headmaster and registrar at The James Barry-Robinson High School and Home for Boys in Norfolk in 1972, according to Pilot archives.

He was also included in a 2014 list issued by the St. Cloud Diocese in Minnesota. He died in 2019.

Robert McCartney, executive director of the Barry Robinson Center in Norfolk, said this is the first the center has heard about it.

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Indian nun who accused bishop of rape says he’s behind smear campaign

COCHIN (INDIA)
Catholic News Service

Oct. 25, 2019

A Catholic nun who accused a bishop of raping her more than a year ago has approached India’s federal rights commission, accusing the prelate of being behind a defamation campaign against her.

However, a spokesman for the Jalandhar Diocese dismissed the defamation accusations.

Ucanews.org reported the nun, based in Kerala state in southern India, wrote to the National Human Rights Commission Oct. 19 seeking action against Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar for allegedly tarnishing her image.

“I have been subjected to extreme humiliation and intimidation in various forms” since the crime was reported to police in June 2018, the letter said.

It said church authorities and church social media forums had spread rumors about her and the nuns supporting her.

False statements and fabricated stories aiming to tarnish their reputation and character were spread through social media channels, particularly internet channel Christian Times, the letter said.

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Harvey Weinstein came off badly from his surprise appearance – but the audience came off worse

NEW YORK (NY)
The Guardian

October 25, 2019

By Steve Rose

Is Weinstein so devoid of self-awareness that he didn’t suspect he’d be called out at the Actor’s Hour? Absolutely – and the crowd’s reaction exposes the iron grip of the culture of silence

It is likely to become a drama school improv scenario for decades to come: you’re about to do your standup comedy set at an event for young actors when Harvey Weinstein walks in and sits down. What do you do? Walk out in protest? Perform a citizens’ arrest? Hide the potted plants?

For better or worse, comic Kelly Bachman found herself in exactly this situation on Wednesday when Weinstein, who is out on $1m bail ahead of his impending rape trial in January, shuffled into the Actors’ Hour, a small “speakeasy” on New York’s Lower East Side. He installed himself at a table and was soon surrounded by a small entourage (described as “younger women and older men in suits”). Bachman, who was up to perform, later confessed she’d had nightmares about spotting Weinstein in her audience. But if this was some kind of audition-by-fire, she passed with flying colours.

The entire episode has been well documented, but to summarise, Bachman adjusted her set on the fly to incorporate the kind of attack lines most people would only have thought of 24 hours later. She began by acknowledging “the elephant in the room”, or rather “the Freddy Kreuger” in the room. “I didn’t know we had to bring our own Mace and rape whistles to Actors’ Hour y’all,” she jokes to the small room. Incredibly, there are boos (in male voices) and a heckler tells her to shut up. “Shut up? This kills at group therapy for rape survivors,” Bachman responds, adding: “I have been raped, surprisingly by no one in this room, but I never got to confront those guys so … uh … just a general ‘fuck you’ to whoever.”

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A comic and an audience member confronted Harvey Weinstein at a show. The venue asked them to leave

NEW YORK (NY)
CNN

October 25, 2019

By Madeline Holcombe

A night of comedy ended in a performer and an audience member being asked to leave a bar in New York City after they confronted Harvey Weinstein in the audience.

Kelly Bachman was one of several performers at Manhattan’s Downtime Bar in a variety show sponsored by Actor’s Hour Wednesday night where, she told CNN, she spotted the former Hollywood producer. She used her time onstage to call Weinstein “Freddy Krueger” and call out rape allegations against him.
Weinstein currently faces criminal charges of predatory sexual assault, criminal sexual act, first-degree rape and third-degree rape, to which he has pleaded not guilty. He maintains that all sexual encounters he’s been involved in have been consensual.
The trial is expected to begin in January.

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Harvey Weinstein Turned Up At An Event For Young Actors. A Woman Confronted Him And Was Thrown Out.

NEW YORK (NY)
BuzzFeed News

October 24, 2019

By Amber Jamieson

“It kind of felt like old-school Harvey to me — having his own table in a Lower East Side bar, surrounded by actors.”

A woman comedian was booed and two attendees kicked out after they protested the appearance of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein at an event for young performers in lower Manhattan on Wednesday night.

Weinstein turned up with an entourage to watch Actor’s Hour, a monthly event “dedicated to artists” at the Downtime bar in the Lower East Side.

One comedian, Kelly Bachman, called him out in her act onstage, referring to him as “the elephant in the room” and “Freddy Krueger.”

“I didn’t know we had to bring our own Mace and rape whistles to Actor’s Hour,” said Bachman in a video posted to Instagram.

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Archdiocese of Boston removes monsignor over allegation of sexual abuse

BOSTON (MA)
WCVB TV

Oct. 25, 2019

The Archdiocese of Boston announced Friday the immediate removal of a pastor who was accused of sexually abusing a child in 2006.

Rev. Msgr. Francis V. Strahan, who was pastor of St. Bridget Parish in Framingham, was placed on administrative leave, archdiocese officials announced. While on leave, the archdiocese said he will not have any public ministry.

“The decision to place Msgr. Strahan on administrative leave represents the Archdiocese’s commitment to the welfare of all parties and does not represent a determination of Msgr. Strahan’s guilt or innocence as it pertains to this allegation,” officials wrote in a statement.

Archdiocese officials said they had informed law enforcement about the allegations.

According to the parish website, the 86-year-old Strahan was appointed as pastor in 1983. Previously, he served on the faculty of St. John’s Seminary College and Theologate.

In addition to being the pastor of a church, Strahan is the vicar of the Framingham Vicariate, a collection of parishes within the archdiocese.

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Jesuit Prep sued again over sex abuse, this time accusing a priest and coach

DALLAS (TX)
Morning News

Oct. 25, 2019

By Jennifer Emily

A fourth former student at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas has filed a lawsuit alleging he was abused by priests when he was a student there.

The plaintiff, a Dallas lawyer in his 50s, filed the lawsuit this month against the school and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, among others, saying he was sexually abused in the early 1980s by two Jesuit Prep priests.

The priests named in the suit are the Rev. Peter Callery, a teacher and wrestling coach, and the late Rev. Patrick Koch, a former president of the school.

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Aquila: Report on Colorado sexual abuse calls Church to vigilance and holiness

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

Oct. 24, 2019

After the release of a report on sexual abuse in Colorado’s Catholic dioceses, the Archbishop of Denver said that the Church should learn from its past, and that spiritual renewal is an essential part of ensuring a safe environment in the Church.

Issued Oct. 23, the report examined the archives and personnel files of Colorado’s dioceses dating back 70 years. It found that 43 diocesan priests since 1950 have been credibly accused of sexually abusing at least 166 children in the state.

The report was issued after a seven-month investigation conducted by a former U.S. Attorney, Bob Troyer. Colorado’s bishops and the state’s attorney general decided mutually to support the investigation, which was funded by an anonymous donor.

While nearly 70% of victims were abused in the 1960s and 1970s, the most recent acts of clerical sexual abuse documented in the report took place in 1998, when a now incarcerated and laicized Denver priest sexually abused a teenage boy.

Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila told CNA Oct. 23 that after the scandal of former cardinal Theodore McCarrick emerged in June 2018, Colorado’s bishops wanted an independent investigation of their own files. The archbishop said they reached an agreement with the attorney general’s office on the investigation because they wanted to understand the “historic nature of sexual abuse within the state of Colorado among diocesan priests.”

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Attorneys: Diocese still paying out benefits to abusive priests

ROCHESTER (NY)
WHAM TV

Oct. 25, 2019

The Diocese of Rochester’s appearance in a U.S. federal courtroom Thursday was mostly procedural.

However, it was a pivotal day for some survivors of clergy abuse as it was the first time they confronted diocesan leaders in an actual courtroom during bankruptcy proceedings.

“It makes it real,” said survivor Carol DuPreè . “This isn’t about dollar signs. This is about people’s lives.”

DuPreè is one on a nine-member committee comprised of nine sex abuse survivors who have filed claims against the diocese under New York’s Child Victims Act. Their role is to represent all abuse claimants and offer input on how the diocese might compensate them.

13WHAM learned Thursday that the diocese is still paying out dental and medical benefits to seven priests who are known to the Catholic Church to have sexually abused children.

Attorneys for survivors say they aren’t pursuing to have those benefits cut. Attorneys for the diocese say those benefits are due to run out at the end of the year.

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Former state lawmaker named in Colorado attorney general’s investigation of clergy abuse

PUEBLO (CO)
9 News

Oct. 24, 2019

Among the priests identified in the report on clergy abuse released Wednesday by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser: Father John Beno of Pueblo’s St. Francis Xavier parish.

Beno went by another title: Democratic state senator, from 1979 to 1986.

According to abuse allegations detailed in the report, Beno abused two young girls. One was 5 years old at the time of the rape in 1961. She reported the assault in 1996 to the Pueblo Diocese. During an investigation at the time, Beno denied even knowing her, but the diocese found “his denial is outweighed by corroborating evidence,” according to the report.

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How New York’s Catholic Church protected priest accused of abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
Al Jazeera

Oct. 25, 2019

By Paul Abowd

When Tim Murphy published his memoir in 2007, it revealed allegations of sexual abuse he said he had faced at the hands of a Catholic priest four decades prior.

Murphy’s self-portrait depicted a rebellious teenager who grew up in a devout Catholic family in Millbrook, New York, in the United States of the late 1960s.

As a teenager, Murphy had begun abusing drugs and alcohol and had run-ins with law enforcement. That is when his parents asked a family friend – Father Donald Timone – for help counselling their son.

Murphy wrote that this priest abused his parents’ trust – detailing the years of alleged molestation he faced during trips to the country and overnight stays at Timone’s residence, beginning when he was aged between 12 and 13.

“At this vulnerable season of adolescence this priest left me mentally crippled, an injury that would last for years and years,” he wrote in the memoir entitled From Crack to the Cross: A Journey of Hope.

In 2002, Murphy took the advice of a counsellor and decided to file a police report. In 2003, he also reported Timone to the Archdiocese of New York, testifying in person about the alleged abuse he had faced.

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Charlotte Diocese discusses abuse claim review process, preps to release names

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Wautauga Democrat

Oct. 25, 2019

By Kayla Lasure

As the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte is in the midst of a comprehensive review of clergy personnel files in search of any indication of sexual abuse of minors, Father Patrick J. Winslow explained the ways the entity’s efforts over the years have focused on education, prevention and accountability.

Winslow met with media on Oct. 23 at the St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Hickory to discuss several issues: how the Diocese of Charlotte has responded to the abuse crisis since 2002, how current abuse allegations are handled and the work of the comprehensive review.

Local ties to allegations

A Pennsylvania grand jury filed a report in 2018 revealing hundreds of priests who were accused of abusing more than 1,000 children and that church leaders took steps to cover up the crimes. As a result of this, several dioceses and orders have decided to release the names of accused priests.

In December 2018, the Maryland Province Jesuits released a list of names of priests who were “credibly” accused of sexually abusing minors. The Diocese of Charlotte has since followed suit, and announced its plan to release names by the end of 2019.

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Disgust, validation, hope: Survivors, Catholics react to report detailing 70 years of Colorado clergy sex abuse

DENVER (CO)
Denver Post

October 25, 2019

By Elise Schmelzer

Seeing Father George Weibel’s name printed in the newspaper Thursday brought Hazel Lorraine Kroehl back to the Broomfield swimming pool where 60 years earlier the priest abused her.

Emotions flooded Kroehl. Then old shame crept up, before being washed away with gratitude. Finally, the world knew the priest for who he was — a pedophile.

Then Kroehl, 72, burst into tears.

“This is the first time I’ve ever cried over it,” she said Thursday.

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Former priest pleads guilty to child sexual abuse spanning decades in North Carolina

WASHINGTON (DC)
Episcopal News Service

Oct. 24, 2019

By Egan Millard

Howard White Jr., a former Episcopal priest who was previously convicted of molesting a student during his time as a chaplain at a Rhode Island boarding school, pleaded guilty on Oct. 21 to 15 charges of child sexual abuse in North Carolina.

White, 78, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the assaults that took place from 1984 to 2004, while he was rector of Grace Church in the Mountains in Waynesville, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times.

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Plaintiffs claiming sexual abuse from 1960s file civil suits against Diocese of Rockville Centre

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
News 12 Long Island

October 23, 2019

A total of five lawsuits were filed Tuesday against the Diocese of Rockville Centre alleging priest sex abuse from decades ago.

Sheryn Silvestre and Joanne Jack made the allegations in February that they were abused by staff at St. Agnes Parish in the 1960s. Joanne’s brother, Alexander, has now joined the case, alleging that he too was sexually abused.

Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who is representing the three plaintiffs, filed civil complaints that accuse Msgr. John McGann, who would later become bishop of the diocese. It also includes Msgr. Edward Melton, Father Robert L. Brown, and the parish janitor, John Hanlon.

All four men accused are now deceased.

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3 File Lawsuit Against Late Bishop McGann Alleging Sexual Assault

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY
Patch

October 23, 2019

By Alex Costello

They also named others in the lawsuit, claiming they were abused as children in the 1960s.

Two women and a man have filed a lawsuit today against the late Bishop John McGann, accusing him of sexually assaulting them when they were children, before he was the leader of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the three by attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has made a career of suing the Catholic church for sexual abuse of children. Garabedian filed the lawsuits today under the New York State Child Victims Act, according to Newsday, which created a one-year window for past victims of sexual abuse to file suit against their abusers, even though the original statute of limitations passed.

Garabedian originally announced his intent to file lawsuits in February. Today, he named the three who were filing the charges: Sheryn Silvestre, 64, of Thurman, New York; Joanne Jack, 63, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota; and her brother, Alexander Jack Jr., 66, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Newsday reported.

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The Vatican’s new corruption scandal

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Post

October 23, 2019

By JD Flynn

Jesus told his disciples: “Nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light.” The teaching is playing out in real time at the Vatican, the heart of the church founded by the Nazarene.

Prosecutors and gendarmerie staged a raid this month into the usually serene offices of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, seizing computers and caches of documents from archives and employees. Two weeks later, the longtime head of Pope Francis’ security service resigned after leaked ­reports of alleged financial wrongdoing in the Vatican.

Reports have emerged detailing the movement of Vatican money through slush funds across Europe — and a Vatican investment of more than $250 million into luxury London apartments, brokered through a ­financier who profited even while the Vatican’s investment tanked.

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Rose McGowan lawsuit accuses Weinstein of ‘diabolical’ effort to silence her

UNITED STATES
The Guardian

October 23, 2019

By Mario Koran and agencies

Movie mogul engaged fixers, lawyers and spies to intimidate actor over her allegations of rape, she says in lawsuit

The actor Rose McGowan alleges in a new lawsuit that the film mogul Harvey Weinstein took “diabolical” actions when he learned she was going to write in a memoir that the producer had raped her decades prior, engaging a team of fixers, lawyers and an international spy agency to intimidate and silence her.

“This case is about a diabolical and illegal effort by one of America’s most powerful men and his representatives to silence sexual-assault victims. And it is about the courageous women and journalists who persisted to reveal the truth,” the actor alleges in the lawsuit filed in a California federal court on Wednesday.

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Catholic group accused of plots against Pope Francis deny coup claims

UNITED KINGDOM
Express

October 23, 2019

By Charlie Bradley

POPE FRANCIS is allegedly facing a multi-layered threat to his papacy from the conservative wing of the Catholic Church, with multiple figures and organisations attempting to thwart his progressive and unconventional policy – but he has received a message of support from enigmatic faction Opus Dei.

Opus Dei had a friendly relationship with Francis’ predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, But Francis’ methods represent a contrast to previous conventions in the Catholic Church. The Vatican has seen a more progressive tenure with cardinals being appointed from less recognised churches to represent all corners of Catholicism across the globe. This led to speculation over a rift between Opus Dei and the new pope, with Wayne Madsen writing in his article for Strategic Culture Foundation that the organisation conspired with other conservatives in the Vatican to undermine Francis.

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‘I Feel Lucky That It Wasn’t Me’: Catholics Grapple With Revelations About Prominent Priests

DENVER (CO)
Colorado Public Radio

Oct. 24, 2019

By Andrew Kenney

Joe Lupfer recognized the names of the priests instantly: Lawrence St. Peter and James Rasby.

Rasby had been the priest at Lupfer’s communion. St. Peter was a pastor and the president of Holy Family High School, where Lupfer graduated in 1975.

St. Peter “had kind of an aura about him,” he recalled.

“When he would say mass, it was all very precise.”

But the allegations contained in a new report from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office — no, those didn’t make sense to Lupfer. Not at first.

“I really, honestly, would say it’s skepticism,” Lupfer, 63, said of his initial reaction. “I can’t say that I believe it right now.”

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