ABUSE TRACKER

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

January 31, 2020

Red Mass for judges, lawyers defended amid protests at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

January 29, 2020

By Paul Kennedy

A leading lawyer has defended the Catholic Church’s right to hold a traditional mass for judges and lawyers in Melbourne, despite protesters saying it should be scrapped.

The Archdiocese of Melbourne hosted its annual “Red Mass” this week after the Victorian Bar Association promoted the event.

It was well attended by senior judges wearing their robes and wigs.

After the service and blessings, the judiciary, members of the legal profession, staff and their families were invited to join Archbishop Peter Comensoli to stay for morning tea in the presbytery.

Child sexual abuse survivors’ advocate Chrissie Foster was among a group of people involved in a silent protest outside.

She was holding sign that read “crime scene”, in reference to the venue, St Patrick’s Cathedral, where convicted Cardinal George Pell abused two choirboys in 1996.

Cardinal Pell is appealing against his conviction in the High Court.

Ms Foster had previously asked legal professionals to think about staying away.

“What is the purpose of the Red Mass get-together with the judiciary? Why is it necessary?” she wrote in The Australian.

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

Flaws in disciplinary process harm clergy, survey suggests

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

January 31, 2020

By Madeleine Davies

THE C of E’s disciplinary process is causing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in clergy, a new survey suggests.

The survey, which elicited more than 6000 responses, was organised by the Sheldon Hub, a secure forum for people in Christian ministry run by the Society of Mary and Martha, an independent charity in Devon.

A briefing paper from the charity, produced for a meeting of academic researchers this month, calls for the “fundamentally flawed” Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) to be replaced by a new process with two tracks: one for gross misconduct, taken out of the hands of bishops, and another for grievances.

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

Albany Diocese confirms new sex abuse allegations

ALBANY (NY)
WNYT-TV

January 31, 2020

By Jill Konopka

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany says new allegations of abuse have been made against two priests — one retired and one deceased.

The cases have been referred to the district attorney are also being investigated by an independent review board.

“When the DA returns cases to us, we are allowed to begin our own investigation,” diocese spokesperson Mary DeTurris Poust told NewsChannel 13 in a statement.

A decision will soon be made whether this unnamed retired priest, who is not in ministry, will be placed on administrative leave pending outcome of the investigation.

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

ABUSED IN SCOUTING: Arizona survivors face new deadline to seek justice

ARIZONA
3TV/CBS5 via AZFamily. com

January 31, 2020

By Nicole Crites

The group Abused in Scouting just filed a new lawsuit in federal court in Washington D.C. against Boy Scouts of America, BSA, where the scouts were originally chartered by congress in 1910.

There is an avalanche of new sex abuse accusations against Boy Scouts of America as the deadline for local survivors to take action is fast approaching. A new law passed last year gives child sex abuse survivors in Arizona until December 30, 2020, to file a civil suit against the abusers and institutions that gave them access to children.

The group Abused in Scouting just filed a new lawsuit in federal court in Washington D.C. against Boy Scouts of America, BSA, where the scouts were originally chartered by congress in 1910.

[Download PDF Boy Scouts complaint]

As part of that charter, BSA was required to submit annual reports, which never disclosed anything about the liability of widespread allegations of abuse within its ranks or the fact the organization secretly maintained and destroyed thousands of files naming accused and convicted pedophiles working with young boys.

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

Key witness could be in doubt in landmark church retrial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Associated Press

January 31, 2020

By Mary Claire Dale

An aging monsignor who was the first U.S. church official ever tried and sent to prison over his handling of priest-abuse complaints could soon be retried in the 2011 case with one thing missing — the victim.

The only accuser whose complaint fell within the statute of limitations is a young man with a history of drug addiction who gave a sordid and unusual account of abuse: he said he was sexually assaulted by two priests and his sixth-grade teacher in the late 1990s. His credibility has long been questioned, even by a retired police detective working for Philadelphia prosecutors.

They have not committed to calling the chief accuser at the March 16 retrial of Monsignor William Lynn, the longtime secretary for clergy at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Lynn was convicted in 2012 of felony child endangerment, but the conviction has twice been overturned.

Common Pleas Judge Gwendolyn Bright, in a ruling Friday, said prosecutors don’t have to tell the defense if they’ll call the accuser, a policeman’s son dubbed “Billy Doe” in court records.

That means Lynn, now 69, could be retried in a case without a known sex-abuse victim. He served 33 months of a three- to six-year prison term before winning a new trial and being released on bail.

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

Judge grants small legal victory to AP, church sex abuse victims

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WDSU-TV

January 31, 2020

By Travers Mackel

A Civil Court judge in New Orleans ruled that the Associated Press can move forward with its attempt to unseal emails between the Archdiocese of New Orleans and the New Orleans Saints.

Judge Ellen Hazeur ruled that a special master will hear the matter in February.

The AP and lawyers representing victims of clergy sexual abuse are trying to have the documents unsealed.

The Saints, at this time, are trying to block that release.

The team admits that executives worked with the archbishop in 2018 on media relations when the church released the names of clergy credible accused of sexual abuse.

The Saints say their work was “minimal” and they remain appalled by the actions of former clergy.

It comes as SNAP, a survivors group of victims, sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

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

Judge allows AP to be heard in dispute over Saints emails

NEW ORLEANS (TX)
Associated Press via Faribeault County Register

January 31, 2020

A judge ruled Friday that The Associated Press may be heard in a court dispute over whether to release hundreds of confidential emails that detail the New Orleans Saints’ behind-the-scenes public relations work to help area Roman Catholic leaders deal with a sexual abuse crisis.

The news organization filed a motion urging the release of the emails, which surfaced in a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of New Orleans but remain confidential, calling them a matter of public interest. That request was opposed by the archdiocese and the Saints, who argued the communications were private.

Judge Ellen Hazeur of Orleans Parish Civil District Court agreed the emails were of “public concern” and ordered a special master to determine next month whether the documents should be made public. That hearing was scheduled for Feb. 20.

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

Houston priest accused of sexually abusing 10-year-old girl

HOUSTON (TX)
KHOU-TV

January 31, 2020

A mother said the priest inappropriately touched her daughter when the two were alone in a classroom in 2018.

By Jeremy Rogalski and Tina Macias

On the year anniversary since the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston released its list of priests credibly accused of child sex abuse, new allegations surfaced against another clergyman.

The latest accusations come from a young girl from Victoria who said she was touched inappropriately by a Houston priest in 2018. Amber Moreno said the priest came to her 10-year-old daughter’s school to teach students about confession. The two were alone in a classroom, Moreno said, when the priest grabbed her daughter by the neck and pushed her head down.

“She said he kept pushing her head down towards his crotch,” Moreno said at a news conference Friday afternoon with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “She’s not OK. She’s hurt. She’s scared.”

Standing outside the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in downtown Houston, Moreno shared her frustrations with the Catholic Church and the Victoria Police Department, which she said was wasn’t cooperating in bringing criminal charges against the priest.

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

Lawsuit says Dallas diocese did not protect young girl from priest’s abuse

DALLAS (TX)
Dallas Morning News

January 31, 2020

After former Dallas priest was arrested this week on a charge of child molestation, another victim’s family filed a civil lawsuit against him and the Dallas Catholic Diocese

By David Tarrant

Richard Thomas Brown, who in the 1980s was assigned as an assistant pastor at Holy Family of Nazareth in Irving, repeatedly sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl from the parish, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

One day, Brown took the girl out of Sunday school class and molested her in the rectory – the priest’s residence, where most of the assaults took place, according to the lawsuit.

The victim is being identified by a pseudonym, Jane Doe, in the civil lawsuit brought on her behalf by her aunt. Filed in Dallas County, the lawsuit names Brown and the Dallas Catholic Diocese as defendants.

Tahira Khan Merritt, a Dallas attorney who represents the plaintiff, said in a statement that her client’s “childhood and adulthood were devastated by the sexual abuse she suffered at Father Brown’s hands when she was a little girl.”

The woman, who is now in her mid-40s, “has been unable to develop and mature into a functioning adult who can provide even basic needs for herself,” Merritt said. “She will need care for the rest of her life.”

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

French cardinal to offer resignation, despite abuse acquittal

FRANCE
Catholic News Service via Catholic Herald

January 31, 2020

A French cardinal has welcomed an appeal court judgment that overturned his conviction for failing to report abuse, but confirmed he will ask Pope Francis to allow him to resign.

“This court decision allows me to turn a page and for the Church of Lyon to open a new chapter,” Cardinal Philippe Barbarin said at a short news conference. “I will now go to Rome to renew my request. Once again, I will hand over my office as Archbishop of Lyon to Pope Francis.”

The 69-year-old cardinal spoke following Thursday’s court ruling that quashed the jail term, imposed last March, for failing to report accusations against Fr Bernard Preynat, who currently awaits sentencing for abusing at least 75 boys.

However, lawyers acting for victims of Fr Preynat told Agence France-Presse that the Appeal Court acquittal was “completely questionable in law” and warned they would challenge the judgment.

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

Opinion: Catholic church’s handling of abuse cases betrays core values

CALIFORNIA
San Jose Mercury-News

January 31, 2020

Vatican needs to cede oversight and investigation over these claims to an independent, secular body

By John Salberg

I applaud California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for his decision to investigate the Catholic Church in California (State opens investigation into San Jose, Oakland Dioceses’ handling of sex abuse allegations). I am a clergy abuse survivor and still a practicing Catholic, but I have been fighting for this type of investigation for more than 20 years.

As a child, I suffered abuse at the hands of Father Joseph Pritchard, formerly of Saint Martin of Tours Parish. My case was first reported to the San Jose diocese by Monsignor Michael McKiernan in 2000. After the report, Linda Bearie and Monsignor Michael Mitchell, Diocesan Chancellor and Vicar General, respectively, met with me. To my shock, neither recorded anything during the meeting, rebuffed my plea for church-funded counseling and never followed up with me. I never heard from them again.

In March 2002, The Mercury News interviewed Patrick McGrath, then Bishop of San Jose. Claiming complete transparency, he was adamant that he knew of only two reported incidents of clergy sexual abuse. There was no mention of my case.

On April 25, 2002, I came forward with my story and the cover up by the diocese.

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

Ministry has sad but necessary job: Protect children from adults

UNITED STATES
OneNewsNow.com

January 31, 2020

Child sexual abuse scandals have rocked the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, and far too many Protestant churches, which is why a ministry is working to protect children from becoming the next victim.

According to attorney and child advocate Kimberlee Norris of MinistrySafe, 90 percent of kids who are sexually abused are abused by someone they know and trust – not a stranger.

And those abusers, she says, are typically very good at not getting caught.

“There’s a process utilized by these offenders,” she warns, “to gain access to children: Select specific children, prepare that child, and then keep that child silent.”

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

USCCB announces new head of National Review Board

WASHINGTON D.C.
Catholic News Agency

January 31, 2020

Suzanne Healy was appointed Thursday by USCCB president Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, to succeed Dr. Francesco Cesareo, who has led the body since 2013. Healy will begin her term after the bishops’ annual spring meeting in June.

Paying tribute to Cesario’s leadership over two four year terms, Gomez said Thursday that the last several years had seen “great strides and challenges in the continued and ongoing efforts of the Catholic Church in the United States to strengthen and renew our efforts for the protection of young people and healing for survivors.”

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

At Villanova U, Vatican expert on abuse crisis speaks of trauma, progress

PENNSYLVANIA
CatholicPhilly.com

January 31, 2020

By Gia Myers

Almost 200 people filled the Driscoll Hall Auditorium on Villanova University’s campus on Thursday evening, Jan. 29 looking to deepen their understanding about global perspectives on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

It was the third conference in the four-part series of discussions with Catholic theologians hosted by Villanova to examine the abuse crisis. It featured Father Hans Zollner, S.J., a licensed German psychologist and psychotherapist with a doctorate in theology and one of the church’s leading experts in the area of safeguarding minors.

Father Zollner is also the president of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, a member on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and a consultor to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy.

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

Rape Trial Against Former Catholic Priest Starts in Santa Fe

SANTA FE (NM)
Associated Press via US News & World Report

January 31, 2020

A trial has started for a former priest accused of raping a first-grade student from Holy Cross Catholic School in Santa Fe more than 30 years ago.

Key in the trial that began Thursday will be whether Marvin Archuleta, now 82, was in New Mexico during the 1986-87 school year, when the boy said he was abused, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Archuleta has been charged with one count of criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13 and one count of attempting to commit kidnapping, prosecutors said.

Archuleta was not assigned to Holy Cross Catholic Church in 1986 or 1987 but would still be at the church occasionally, Assistant Attorney General Brittany DuChaussee said in her opening statement. A newspaper article from that time says Archuleta conducted a funeral in the area, proving he was there, she said.

Defense attorney Ryan Villa said Archuleta was assigned in Maryland when the boy was in first grade, and jurors would not see a single record putting Archuleta at the school at that time.

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

Victoria Police open sex assault investigation into Texas priest

VICTORIA (TX)
KXAN-TV

January 31, 2020

By Jody Barr

On the one-year anniversary of Texas dioceses publishing lists of clergy members accused of abuse allegations against children, Victoria Police are investigating a Houston priest.

A woman filed a criminal complaint against the priest on Jan. 22, accusing the priest of touching her then-10-year-old daughter during a November 2018 confession session inside Nazareth Academy, a Catholic school in Victoria, Texas.

We are not naming the priest because he has not been charged with a crime and has not been named on any dioceses’ list of credibly accused clergy members.

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

One Year Later: More Catholic clergy accused of child sex abuse in Texas

AUSTIN (TX)
KXAN-TV

January 31, 2020

By Anthony Cave

[Multiple videos and articles]

Investigative Summary:
In 2019, all Roman Catholic dioceses in Texas had released their lists of priests “credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor.” The lists do not indicate those individuals who were charged or convicted of any crimes, though the names spanned nearly 70 years, joining a growing number of allegations against clergy nationwide. KXAN spoke with accusers, police and state leaders to investigate the system for reporting abuse against children. But one year later, very few additional accusers have come forward, as KXAN discovered the church’s lists were incomplete, sometimes misleading and even wrong.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas’ 15 Catholic dioceses released names of 286 clergy — priests, deacons and brothers — credibly accused of child sex abuse one year ago Friday.

We reported on Austin’s 22 names, too. But, there’s more.

An extensive KXAN Investigates analysis of Catholic directories obtained through a source found that there are at least 332 Catholic clergy members, mostly priests, accused of child sex abuse in Texas.

That’s almost 50 more names than what was publicly released in 2019. Moreover, the church’s list was incomplete, with some clergy members still being shuffled within the church.

KXAN investigator Erin Cargile tracked down one Austin priest, Father Isidore Ndagizimana, who settled a lawsuit in 2019 with six women who accused him of sexual abuse. She found that “Father Izzy” is still part of the Diocese of Austin and is at a priest retirement facility in Georgetown. She talked to concerned church members who are demanding more transparency. She also found people are still pressing the Texas Attorney General – through calls and letters – to step in and investigate sexual abuse claims, even though state law does not allow him to do so.

KXAN investigator Jody Barr went to Victoria, Texas, to try to track down an accused priest, under investigation but not on any released list, who cannot be accounted for. The accuser in the case claims she was touched during confession as a 10-year-old. Now, the accuser’s mother has filed a police report. The diocese there won’t comment on particulars of the case or share where he is now.

KXAN investigator Kevin Clark talked to an Ohio priest’s accuser, who claimed he was molested during study hall. He later moved to Austin and struggled with drugs as a result. The diocese in Ohio, facing a lawsuit from the accuser, has subpoenaed his treatment records.

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

Few Texas Catholic clergy prosecuted for sex crimes since 2019 lists released

AUSTIN (TX)
KXAN-TV

January 31, 2020

By Avery Travis

When a case lands on Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore’s desk, it comes straight from law enforcement.

“Without a victim coming forward to complain about a specific person, a specific assault, then we are unable to bring a criminal case,” Moore said.

Since the list of clergy credibly accused of abuse was released last year, Moore said they have not prosecuted any cases involving clergy members. To her knowledge, there haven’t been any reports to law enforcement by accusers or any investigations opened in Travis County.

Across the state
Moore’s office is not alone. KXAN called dozens of district attorneys offices across Texas to see if there were any charges filed or cases pending in their counties.

Accused priests law enforcement check
The blue counties represent the dozens of District Attorney’s offices KXAN contacted to see if any cases have been prosecuted in the last year. (KXAN Image)
So far, nearly 20 counties responded with the answer: no cases filed in the last year.

Simply put by the district attorney in Lee County, the answer was “no and no.”

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

Former Texas priest charged with sexually assaulting child arrested at St. Louis-area Catholic facility

ST. LOUIS (MS)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

January 30, 2020

By Nassim Benchaabane

A former Dallas-area priest charged with sexually assaulting a child was arrested Wednesday at a Catholic facility here housing disgraced clergy, including those accused of sexual abuse.

Missouri and Dallas authorities confirmed the arrest Wednesday of Richard Thomas Brown, 78, on a warrant issued Tuesday by Dallas police on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child in North Texas in 1989.

Brown was taken into custody at a supervised living facility known as the Vianney Renewal Center. The center is run by the Servants of the Paraclete, a Catholic order that houses disgraced priests.

The facility at 6476 Eime Road, about 30 miles southwest of St. Louis, has housed priests from the St. Louis-area and other parts of the country accused of sexual abuse of minors, including men named by the Archdiocese of St. Louis last year as credibly accused of sexual abuse, and six men who are on the Missouri sex offender registry.

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

French Cardinal Acquitted of Abuse Cover-Up on Appeal

FRANCE
The New York Times

January 30, 2020

By Aurelien Breeden

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, had been found guilty last year of failing to report a priest in his diocese who had admitted to sexually abusing dozens of Boy Scouts.

A French appeals court on Thursday overturned a ruling against a cardinal who had been found guilty of covering up decades-old sexual abuse by a priest in his diocese, the latest twist in the most high-profile legal case against a clergyman in France.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, 69, the archbishop of Lyon, had been found guilty last year of failing to report allegations of child abuse by the Rev. Bernard Preynat to the authorities.

Father Preynat, 74, went on trial this month and has admitted there to systematically abusing dozens of Boy Scouts in the Lyon region from the 1970s to the 1990s. A verdict in that case is expected in March.

Cardinal Barbarin argued in court — and the appeals court agreed — that he wasn’t legally obligated to report the allegations to the authorities because Father Preynat’s victims were adults when they alerted the cardinal about the abuse, and because he did nothing to intentionally discourage them from going to the authorities themselves.

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

Sexual Abuse Reports From Illinois’ Catholic Dioceses Are Still Missing A Lot of Data

ILLINOIS
ProPublica Illinois

January 31, 2020

By Logan Jaffe

ProPublica’s “Credibly Accused” database lists names and info of abusers currently or formerly in the ranks of U.S. Catholic dioceses. Here’s a rundown on Illinois.

While researching a bit of context to introduce this week’s newsletter, I came across a column from May 2019 written by Chicago Sun-Times journalist Laura Washington. In it, she writes about the horror she felt as she sat in the pews of her church earlier that year while a representative of the Archdiocese of Chicago informed the congregation that its “beloved pastor” had been accused of sexually abusing a minor in 1979, when he was at another parish.

“I sat in the pew in stunned silence,” Washington wrote, adding: “The headlines of rampant abuse and cover-ups in the church are horrific enough. This was surreal.”

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

Priests in defunct Catholic order in Italy accused of sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

January 29, 2020

By Philip Pullella

Nine members of a defunct, cult-like Roman Catholic religious order in Italy’s Tuscany region are under investigation for alleged sexual abuse of two brothers when they were minors, authorities said on Wednesday.

The nine, including five priests and three other men, were members of a religious order called the Disciples of the Annunciation. Late last year the Vatican shut down the small order, which had several communities in Tuscany.

The Vatican dissolved the Disciples following an internal Church investigation into the religious life of their members. The investigation found that it was run like a cult by a charismatic leader.

According to the website of the diocese of the city of Prato, the local bishop, Giovanni Nerbini, informed local magistrates of the suspicions about the group.

Nerbini told a televised news conference that the first phase of the magistrates’ investigation was completed and that the local church would cooperate fully with them.

The Tuscan newspaper La Nazione said the nine were suspected of having had group sex with two brothers when they were minors. The alleged abuse took place between 2008 and 2016.

There was no immediate comment from any of the accused.

La Nazione said investigators had recently raided several houses used by the order in the past, searching for documents and videos.

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

New Lawsuit Blames Roman Catholic Diocese Of Fresno For Negligence, Sexual Battery

FRESNO (CA)
Valley Public Radio News (NPR affiliate)

January 31, 2020

By Laura Tsutsui

[AUDIO]

A new lawsuit has been filed in Fresno County Superior Court against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno and two of its churches for negligence and sexual battery. Although the plaintiff reported abuse in 2002 and the priest was acquitted, a law that took effect this year means she can still seek damages.

The plaintiff is now 34 years old, and referred to as Jane Doe, since the alleged abuse took place when she was a minor. She says that Father Miguel Flores raped and threatened her in 2001 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Hanford where she worked.

Immaculate Heart is one of the defendants named in the suit; St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Tranquility, west of Fresno, is the second. The plaintiff was a parishioner at St. Paul’s.

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

News Release: Registration Deadline Extended to Feb 29 2020 for Independent Compensation Program For Victim-Survivors Of Sexual Abuse Of Minors By Priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
PR Newswire

January 31, 2020

[By Kenneth Feinberg and others with the Independent Compensation Program (“ICP”) for Victim-Survivors of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests]

The Independent Compensation Program (“ICP”) for Victim-Survivors of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests of the participating California dioceses has announced the registration deadline has been extended to February 29, 2020.

On January 21st, Administrators Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros reported to the Independent Oversight Committee (“IOC”) that 427 people had already come forward to the ICP, with more registrations coming in daily. “In the last week, we have seen increased interest in the ICP and many more victims coming forward, and we have heard the requests for more time. We are pleased to provide survivors with an additional month to register new allegations of abuse by a priest of one of the participating dioceses in California so as many people as possible have the opportunity to participate,” Biros said. The dioceses of Fresno, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are participating in the ICP.

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

January 30, 2020

L.A. Archdiocese settles priest abuse case for $1.9 million

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

January 30, 2020

By Colleen Shalby

The Los Angeles Archdiocese has settled a sex abuse case for $1.9-million.

The kids in the parish knew him only as Father Larry.

That’s how he was known to one boy, referred to in court documents as John BR Doe, while he was an altar boy at San Gabriel Mission Church in 1982-84, years during which the priest sexually abused him, he said, from ages 9 to 11.

As a teen, Doe told church officials what he’d suffered. Years later, he would learn that Father Larry — Lawrence Lovell — had been convicted of child molestation in 2003 and sentenced to 14 years in prison. And he would find a redacted version of his own account on the internet, detailing the abuse he said Lovell enacted when he was a child.

He’d also learn he wasn’t Lovell’s only victim.

“It’s been 35 years since I’ve been dealing with this,” he said.

On Tuesday, attorneys representing Doe, now 47, announced a $1.9-million settlement with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Lovell and the Claretian Missionaries, where Lovell served as a priest. The complaint, filed in September 2018, is the first case settled with a Catholic diocese in the state since the passage of AB 218, a law that expands the time frame for filing child sexual abuse allegations.

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

Wait, the New Orleans Saints Did What?

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Slate

January 30, 2020

By Molly Olmstead

How the football team got mixed up in the Catholic Church’s abuse scandal.

Hundreds of emails exchanged between the New Orleans Saints and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans show that members of the football team’s leadership actively participated in creating the church’s list of abusive priests, lawyers representing a group of victims say.

The bizarre allegation stems from the friendship between the Saints’ devoutly Catholic owner, Gayle Benson, and the New Orleans archbishop. The Associated Press first reported the team’s involvement in the sex abuse scandal last week, alleging that the team had helped the archdiocese with damage control around the release of its list of alleged abusers. At the time, the victims’ lawyers accused the team of helping the church with its “pattern and practice of concealing its crimes.”

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

French Court Overturns Cardinal’s Conviction for Failing to Report Child Sex Abuse

FRANCE
Wall Street Journal

January 30, 2020

By Noemie Bisserbe and Francis X. Rocca

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin’s conviction was the first of such a high-ranking Catholic Church official

A French appeals court overturned Thursday the conviction of a cardinal who had been found guilty of failing to report child sex abuse—a case that has become a barometer of Pope Francis ’ efforts to police the Catholic Church’s highest ranks.

The ruling potentially removes one major concern for the Vatican, which is still beset by abuse scandals involving high-ranking prelates and a larger crisis of confidence fueled by decades of clerical sex abuse of minors.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon and France’s highest-ranking Catholic prelate, was found guilty in March of failing to report child sex abuse, the only conviction of such a high-ranking Catholic Church official for covering up instances of a crime that has deeply marred the church’s image.

Judges ruled that Cardinal Barbarin failed to report an allegation in July 2014, when a man notified the prelate that he had been abused as a child by the Rev. Bernard Preynat, a priest in the archdiocese. Cardinal Barbarin was given a six-month suspended jail sentence.

On Thursday, appellate court judges ruled that Cardinal Barbarin wasn’t obligated to report the 2014 allegation because the victim was an adult by then and capable of alerting authorities himself. If Cardinal Barbarin were to be held responsible, the judges said, then friends and parents who also knew could face similar charges.

There is also no evidence that Cardinal Barbarin tried to dissuade the victim from filing a complaint against the priest, the judges said.

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

Seeking Victims in North Texas Clergy Abuse Investigation

TEXAS
FBI.gov

January 29, 2020

The FBI is seeking to identify victims who were persuaded or coerced into a sexual act by a member of the clergy in the North Texas region between 1985 and the present. If you believe you are a victim, please complete the below confidential online questionnaire.

Your responses are voluntary. Based on the responses provided, you may be contacted by the FBI and asked to provide additional information.

The FBI is legally mandated to identify victims of federal crimes that it investigates and provide these victims with information, assistance services, and resources.

Note: If you are not a victim but have information to share related to this investigation, you may call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

Questionnaire:

Seeking Victims in North Texas Clergy Abuse Investigation
:

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

The Catholic Bishops’ Lists of “Credibly Accused Priests” is Not What it Appears to Be

UNITED STATES
Horowitz Law (law firm blog)

January 30, 2020

A fascinating story has just come out showing how deceitful and self-serving Catholic bishops are when it comes to their lists of ‘credibly accused’ child molesting clerics. In short, it shows that most bishops provide inadequate and inaccurate information about these predator priests.

Why? Well, Mary Gautier, a Catholic researcher at a Catholic school, wants us to believe that one reason is that “smaller dioceses with limited budgets” supposedly “lacking the money or staff to dig through their archives.”

That’s bunk. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Any bishop who wants to compile a thorough list of predator priests, their work assignments and their whereabouts has or can get the resources to do that.

Consider this analogous situation: One Michigan official must wade through 1.5 million paper documents and 3.5 million electronic documents about abuse. That official recruited and trained 32 volunteers who put in over 1,400 hours at night and on weekends to help.

Which Michigan bishop showed such dedication to protect kids and expose wrongdoers? None of them. The official with this impressive dedication is Attorney General Dana Nessell.

So let’s be real. There are lots of reasons bishops still refuse to ‘come clean’ about brothers, nuns, seminarians and priests who sexually violate kids. But “limited budgets or staff” isn’t one of them.

Gautier also makes another claim, one that’s somewhat more credible: “The church is very good at is recordkeeping but it’s very, very time consuming and labor intensive to really go through years and years and years of personnel records. . .”

OK, maybe she’s right. It takes hard work to comb through these documents.

But we’re talking about preventing boys and girls from being raped. We’re talking about possibly helping police and prosecutors lock up dangerous predators. We’re talking about a scandal-ridden institution helping to rebuild trust.

If all that’s not reason enough to put forth a sincere and serious effort to create and reveal complete and helpful lists of child molesting clerics, we can’t imagine what would be.

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

Ex-Dallas Area Catholic Priest Arrested in Missouri

DALLAS (TX)
WBAP radio

January 30, 2020

A former priest with the Catholic Diocese of Dallas was arrested in Missouri last night. Dallas Police had issued a warrant for 78-year old Richard Thomas Brown earlier in the day.

Brown was named in a list of priests credibly accused of abuse published by the diocese in 2018.

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

Stepinac High School priest who moved around New York, country is accused of abusing boy

WESTCHESTER COUNTY (NY)
Westchester Journal News

January 30, 2020

By Frank Esposito

Ex-Stepinac priest moved around to Indiana, New York, Maryland, Nebraska and Minnesota over 40 years

A former student at Archbishop Stepinac High School accused a priest there of sexually abusing him in the late 1960s, the latest case of hundreds filed in New York under the state’s new law.

Donald Brundage of Westchester County accused John Vincent, a priest who worked for the Archdiocese and the school from 1966 to 1972, in a new lawsuit.

In a Manhattan court filing on Monday, Brundage claimed that when he was 15 or 16 years old, Vincent sat on his lap, touched him and made “sexual contact” in front of other students, according to the suit.

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

Lawmakers seek to close gap in statute of limitations for sex crimes against children

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
KOB-TV, Channel 4

January 29, 2020

By Ryan Laughlin

Lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that would close a gap in the statute of limitations for sex crimes against children.

According to the current law, cases must be brought to a judge within six years if the victim is between the ages of 13 and 17. There is no time limit for a case to be prosecuted if the child is under the age of 13.

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

Catholic Church Continues to Silence Alleged Victims of Child Sexual Abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Criminal Lawyers (law firm blog)

January 28, 2020

By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim

A Catholic priest from the Lismore diocese in Northern New South Wales is fighting the church over sexual abuse he allegedly suffered as a 12-year old altar boy.

First case of a priest suing the Catholic Church

The case is believed to be the first involving a priest suing the church for historical child sexual abuse.

The Catholic Church is seeking a permanent stay to stop proceedings being brought against it, arguing that the priest took too long to come forward, and that the years between the alleged offences and the court case deny any chance of mounting a fair defence.

But many see this as just another attempt by the Church to silence a complainant so that details of the alleged incidents are never heard, at a time the institution claims to be working towards transparency and accountability, and doing right by those it has wronged.

What is a permanent stay?

The permanent stay is being sought in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

There is a statutory power for all courts in NSW to order a stay of any proceedings before the court, either until a specified day or permanently.

This means the proceedings are either suspended for a period of time, or stopped indefinitely.

In addition to the statutory power, the Supreme Court of NSW has inherent power to stay proceedings which are an abuse of process.

The allegations

In court documents, the plaintiff alleges that he was abused in the 1960s by priest Clarence David Anderson, who is now deceased.

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

Lancaster County Amish man sentenced to 38-76 years in prison for sexually abusing 4 girls

LANCASTER COUNTY (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Peter Smith

January 24, 2020

A judge imposed a 38- to 76-year prison sentence Friday on an elderly Amish man for years of sexually abusing four girls in a case that highlighted growing awareness of sexual abuse among Amish and related church groups.

“It is hard for me to imagine anything more offensive or evil than the conduct you have perpetrated,” Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dennis Reinaker told David Stoltzfus Smucker, 75, who sat without emotion in his wheelchair and declined to say anything in his defense. He was handcuffed by a female officer and wheeled out immediately at the end of the hearing.

The hearing had the heavy, quiet atmosphere of a funeral.

Members of his church and family in dark suits and dresses looked on from behind him. Across from him sat survivors of sexual abuse from Amish and Mennonite backgrounds who traveled from miles around for Smucker’s judgment day.

The judge and Assistant District Attorney Fritz Haverstick said Smucker’s conduct was even more monstrous because he abused his position as a grandfather, molesting the girls routinely and severely during their visits to his house.

“That man used his grandchildren as sex toys,” Mr. Haverstick said.

Devastatingly, the girls, already traumatized by the death of their mother, were so severely wounded that the cycle of abuse is continuing in their own lives and behavior, he said.

“I don’t think he has a shred of remorse,” Mr. Haverstick said.

Smucker, of East Earl, Lancaster County, pleaded no-contest in December to 20 felony counts of sexually assaulting the girls. The charges included rape, incest and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, actions he would take while telling the children rhymes and stories.

Smucker was arrested in March 2019. The assaults began when the girls were 4 or 5 and continuing until they were 10 or 11 when the abuse came to light in late 2018.

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

Saints helped shape accused clergy list, victim lawyers say

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Associated Press

January 30, 2020

By Jim Mustian

The New Orleans Saints maintain their behind-the-scenes public relations work on the area’s Roman Catholic sexual abuse crisis was “minimal,” but attorneys suing the church allege hundreds of confidential Saints emails show the team actively helping to shape a list of credibly accused clergy that appears to be an undercount.

New court papers filed this week by lawyers for about two dozen men making sexual abuse claims against the Archdiocese of New Orleans gave the most detailed description yet of the emails that have rocked the NFL team and remain shielded from the public.

“This goes beyond public relations,” the attorneys wrote, accusing the Saints of issuing misleading statements saying their work for the archdiocese involved only “messaging” and handling media inquiries as part of the 2018 release of the clergy names.

Instead, they wrote, “The Saints appear to have had a hand in determining which names should or should not have been included on the pedophile list.”

“In order to fulfill this role … the Saints must have known the specific allegations of sexual abuse against a priest … and made a judgment call about whether those allegations by a particular victim against a named priest were, in its opinion, legitimate enough to warrant being included on the pedophile list.”

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

Cardinal Barbarin: France’s top cleric cleared of abuse cover-up

LYON (FRANCE)
BBC

January 30, 2020

France’s top cleric, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who was found guilty of failing to report past acts of sexual abuse by a priest, has had his conviction overturned on appeal.

The 69-year-old archbishop of Lyon was given a six-month suspended prison sentence last year.

The case rocked the French Catholic Church.

He was the highest-profile cleric to be caught up in a child sex abuse scandal inside the French Church.

At the centre of the accusations was the priest Bernard Preynat, who allegedly assaulted dozens of boy scouts in the 1980s and 1990s.

Cardinal Barbarin became aware of the allegations in 2014. He informed the Vatican and removed Mr Preynat from his post, but denied at his appeal trying to cover up alleged abuse.

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

French court overturns earlier guilty verdict on cardinal Barbarin

LYON (FRANCE)
Reuters

January 30, 2020

A French appeals court on Thursday overturned an earlier ruling against Philippe Barbarin, a Roman Catholic cardinal who was convicted last year of failing to report sexual abuse charges.

Barbarin, 69, had been the highest-profile cleric to be caught up in a child sex abuse scandal in the French Catholic Church.

He was given a six-month suspended sentence in March 2019 but he denied the allegations and appealed the ruling.

The Lyon court had ruled that from July 2014 to June 2015 Barbarin covered up allegations of sexual abuse of boy scouts in the 1980s and early 1990s by former French Catholic priest Bernard Preynat.

The trial for Preynat, who faces charges of abusing dozens of boy scouts, began this month.

Barbarin’s trial has put Europe’s senior clergy in the spotlight at a time when Pope Francis is under fire for the church’s response to a sexual abuse crisis that has engulfed the church, damaging its standing around the globe.

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

Appeals court acquits French cardinal of sex abuse cover-up

FRANCE
Associated Press

January 30, 2020

A French appeals court on Thursday acquitted a French cardinal of covering up the sexual abuse of minors in his flock.

The appeals court in the southeastern French city of Lyon gave no explanation on Thursday for its ruling.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, had been convicted in March and given a six-month suspended sentence for failing to report a predator priest to police. But Pope Francis refused to accept the cardinal’s decision to resign until the appeals process is complete.

The prosecutor’s office had sought the acquittal accorded by the court.

“This decision is logical,” one of Barbarin’s lawyer’s, Felix Luciani, said outside the courtroom. He said the cardinal had faced down “public rumor and calumny.”

Barbarin, 69, said at his appeals trial in November that he filed an appeal because “I cannot see clearly what I am guilty of.”

The verdict comes at a time of increasing scrutiny around the world of the Catholic Church’s role in hiding abuse by its clergy.

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

Pédocriminalité dans l’Eglise : le cardinal Barbarin relaxé en appel pour non-dénonciation

[Google Translate: Pedocrime in the Church: Cardinal Barbarin acquitted on appeal for non-denunciation]

LYON (FRANCE)
Le Parisien

January 30, 2020

L’ancien archevêque de Lyon Philippe Barbarin était accusé de ne pas avoir dénoncé les abus sexuels du prêtre Bernard Preynat sur de jeunes scouts.

La cour d’appel de Lyon a tranché ce jeudi. Mgr Barbarin a été relaxé en appel pour non-dénonciation dans l’affaire Preynat.

Il était accusé d’avoir dissimulé à la justice les agressions pédophiles de l’ancien prêtre Bernard Preynat, qui vient d’être jugé à Lyon.

Le 7 mars 2019, le tribunal correctionnel avait condamné l’archevêque de 69 ans à six mois de prison avec sursis pour ne pas avoir dénoncé les abus perpétrés par Bernard Preynat sur de jeunes scouts entre 1971 et 1991.

[Google Translate: The Lyon Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday. Archbishop Barbarin was acquitted on appeal for non-disclosure in the Preynat case.

[He was accused of having concealed from justice the pedophile assaults of former priest Bernard Preynat, who has just been tried in Lyon .

[On March 7, 2019, the criminal court had sentenced the 69-year-old archbishop to six months suspended prison sentence for not having denounced the abuses perpetrated by Bernard Preynat on young scouts between 1971 and 1991.]

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

Court to decide fate of French cardinal in sex abuse coverup

LYON (FRANCE)
Associated Press

January 30, 2020

By Nicolas Vaux-Montagny

A French appeals court is deciding whether a French cardinal is guilty of covering up the sexual abuse of minors in his flock.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, was found guilty in March of failing to report a predator priest to police and given a six-month suspended sentence. But Pope Francis refused to accept the cardinal’s decision to resign until the appeals process is complete.

The Lyon court, in southeast France, is to rule Thursday afternoon. The prosecutor’s office was seeking an acquittal.

Barbarin, 69, said at his appeals trial in November that he filed an appeal because “I cannot see clearly what I am guilty of.”

The verdict comes at a time of increasing scrutiny around the world of the Catholic Church’s role in hiding abuse by its clergy.

The court had ruled that Barbarin, “in wanting to avoid scandal caused by the facts of multiple sexual abuses committed by a priest … preferred to take the risk of preventing the discovery of many victims of sexual abuse by the justice system, and to prohibit the expression of their pain.”

Bernard Preynat, the now-defrocked priest at the center of the scandal, described to a court at his trial earlier this month how he systematically abused boys over two decades as a French scout chaplain. Preynat said his superiors knew about his “abnormal” behavior as far back as the 1970s.

“Had the church sidelined me earlier, I would have stopped earlier,” Preynat said.

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

Ex-Dallas-area Catholic priest accused of molesting a child

DALLAS (TX)
Associated Press

January 29, 2020

A 78-year-old former Roman Catholic priest whose whereabouts remain unknown has been accused of aggravated sexual assault of a child while serving as a priest in North Texas, according to a police affidavit.

Dallas police obtained a warrant Tuesday for the arrest of Richard Thomas Brown, a priest who served at five North Texas churches before he was removed in 2002 and recently defrocked. The affidavit accused Brown of sexually molesting a child on July 5, 1989.

Brown is the first Catholic priest to be charged with sexual abuse since Dallas police raided the offices of the diocese last year. One year ago, the diocese issued a list of 31 priests its officials said were “credibly accused” of molesting children. Brown was on that list.

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

Judge approves disclosure of priest’s name in suit alleging sexual abuse in Stanton

SANTA ANA (CA)
City News Service via Orange County Register

January 29, 2020

A judge on Wednesday cleared the way for the public identification of a Roman Catholic priest named in a lawsuit alleging he molested a 6-year-old boy at a Catholic school in Stanton in 1994.

Father Edward Poettgen had previously been listed anonymously in the lawsuit filed in June. Orange County Superior Court Judge Walter Schwarm ruled that the plaintiff could publicly identify the priest.

Poettgen, who was most recently assigned to St. Boniface Catholic Church in Anaheim, has been placed on administrative leave, said Tracey Kincaid, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Orange, who added she could not comment further on pending litigation.

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

Theologian urges priests to fast as abuse reparation

IRELAND
Irish Catholic

January 30, 2020

Prominent theologian Fr Vincent Twomey SVD has said that the Church in Ireland must go farther to atone for the crimes of abuse and cover-up by Church leaders.

He warned that “repentance begins with the courageous facing-up to the past and the frank acknowledgment of wrongdoing”.

One way of doing this, he said, “would be an annual day of public fast and abstinence on the part of us priests and religious in reparation for both clerical and institutional abuse”.

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

New database of abusive clergy will ‘put pressure’ on bishops to improve transparency

NEW YORK (NY)
Crux

January 30, 2020

By Christopher White

A new, independent database listing nearly 6,000 priests accused of abuse was launched this week, marking what some observers say is a sign of a new era of transparency in the Catholic Church and others labeling it the “privatization of justice” after years of church leaders blocking such efforts.

The database, which was activated on Monday, was a yearlong effort by ProPublica, “a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.” The launch comes after the 2018 release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, which sent shock waves through the U.S. Church as it chronicled seven decades of abuse of more than 1,000 victims at the hands of 300 priests.

Since then, numerous dioceses have rushed to publish their own list of accused priests.

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

January 29, 2020

Utica church named in child sex abuse lawsuit

UTICA (NY)
Observer-Dispatch

January 29, 2020

By Amy Neff Roth

St. Matthew’s Temple Church of God in Christ in Utica has been named in a lawsuit filed Wednesday alleging that clergy from three churches, including St. Matthew’s, sexually assaulted the plaintiff in the 1970s.

Warren Curtis, 57, of Greenville, South Carolina, filed the suit in Albany County Supreme Court. It also names as defendants St. John’s Church of God in Christ in Albany, the Church of God in Christ denomination and former St. John’s assistant pastor Dirome Williamson of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The suit alleges that Williamson and three men believed to have since died sexually abused Curtis between 1974 and 1978 when he was between the ages of 12 and 16. The other three men are identified in the suit as the Rev. Thomas House of St. John’s and the Rev. Carl Adair and the Rev. Clarence Samuels, both of St. Matthew’s.

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

Catholic Church will sell retired archbishop’s huge, controversial N.J. home

NEW JERSEY
NJ Advance Media

January 29, 2020

By Allison Pries

Retired Newark Archbishop John J. Meyers has left the state to live with family in Illinois as his health declines, the archdiocese said in a statement Wednesday.

The palatial, 7,500-square-foot home in Hunterdon County that drew protests when Meyers retired to it three years ago will be sold by the diocese, according to a statement from Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin.

“After a recent visit with his family in central Illinois, Archbishop Myers decided to remain in the region of his birth where he is receiving specialized care and can be visited by his family as well as the clergy of the Diocese of Peoria,” Tobin said.

Meyers drew criticism during his 15-year tenure as Archbishop for allowing a priest who admitted to sex offenses participate in youth programs against the terms of a legal agreement. He also was lambasted while retiring for adding a 3,000 square foot addition onto a 4,500 square foot home in Franklin Township.

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

Opinion: Pope Francis remakes the American hierarchy, one bishop at a time

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

January 29, 2020

By Thomas Reese

As archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput was not afraid to take a different line from the pope on issues facing the church. In 2016, after Pope Francis opened the possibility of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, Chaput added a stipulation: In his diocese, such couples who wanted to receive the Eucharist would have to abstain from sex.

More recently, he criticized the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest whom the pope has met with and encouraged in his ministry to LGBTQ Catholics.

A Catholic bishop, even one who disagrees with a new pope, cannot just be fired and replaced. The pope must wait until the bishop reaches retirement at 75 years of age before appointing a successor.

But if change is slow, the direction is clear, and Francis, like popes before him, is slowly filling the American hierarchy with bishops who reflect his values and priorities.

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

Indian bishop’s lawyer petitions court to dismiss rape charges

KOTTAYAM (INDIA)
Global Sisters Report/National Catholic Reporter

January 29, 2020

by Saji Thomas

The lawyer for Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, India, filed an application in district court here on Jan. 25 to dismiss all charges against the prelate in the alleged rapes of a Catholic sister.

Mulakkal, however, did not appear in the district court in Kottayam in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala.

The bishop, accused of sexually assaulting the nun multiple times from 2014 to 2016, has repeatedly missed appearing in court since the case was filed in June 2018. His recent absence prompted social activists and supporters of the survivor to suggest he is indulging in delay tactics.

In his petition, Mulakkal, who is free on bail, asked the court to dismiss the charges without making him stand trial. C.S. Ajay, Mulakkal’s lawyer, argued that the charges in the case will not stand because they are based only on the statements of witnesses who have resentment against the bishop.

Ajay also stated that most witnesses against Mulakkal in the case do not have a good relationship with the church.

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

German bishops urge patience in efforts to deal with abuse scandal

BONN (GERMANY)
Catholic News Service via Crux

January 28, 2020

German bishops urged patience toward their efforts to deal with the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in Germany.

The German Catholic news agency KNA reported the bishops’ meeting in Wurzburg said the plans that resulted from the latest investigations needed time. Their appeal came 10 years since the first revelations of the abuse emerged.

“We need this time and we hope for understanding; we will not be absolving ourselves from the responsibility,” they said Jan. 28.

In specific terms, KNA reported, the bishops called for a “binding, supradiocesan monitoring of the areas of investigation, intervention and prevention” as well as standardized personnel files of clergy and the ongoing development of material compensation.

Last September, a working group had proposed two models regarding compensation: Either a lump sum of 300,000 euros (US$330,000) per victim, or a graduated procedure calling, depending on the seriousness of each case, for compensation of 40,000 to 400,000 euros.

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

Priests in group shut down by Vatican accused of sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

January 29, 2020

By Nicole Winfield

Nine priests and brothers of a Catholic group recently shut down by the Vatican are under investigation by Italian authorities for allegedly sexually abusing two brothers, officials and news reports said Wednesday.

Prato Bishop Giovanni Nerbini confirmed that Prato criminal prosecutors had opened an investigation after he reported the case to police against members of the Disciples of the Annunciation community. He pledged the church’s cooperation with the investigation.

The Vatican in December officially dissolved the Disciples, a Prato-based, diocesan-approved association of the faithful, after two successive Vatican investigations uncovered a host of problems and members fled the group.

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

Poll: Most Utahns, LDS or otherwise, support a clergy confession bill

UTAH
Salt Lake Tribune

January 29, 2020

By Kathy Stephenson
·
No matter their faith affiliation, Utahns overwhelmingly support legislation that would require clergy to report child abuse — even if the information is divulged during a religious confession, a new poll shows.

Most Catholics, Protestants and members of the state’s predominant faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, back a full-reporting requirement, according to a Salt Lake Tribune survey conducted by Suffolk University.

More than two-thirds of Catholics (77%) favor such a move, along with 73% of Protestants, 73% of self-identifying “very active” Latter-day Saints and 78% of “somewhat active” ones. More than 60% of all those groups “strongly support” it.

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

Former Tonawanda pastor accused of wearing religious garb while abusing teen

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

January 29, 2020

By Jay Tokasz

A lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses a deceased Buffalo Diocese priest of wearing clerical garb while he sexually assaulted a teenage boy more than 100 times in the mid-1980s.

An unnamed plaintiff alleged that Monsignor John L. Ducette, who was pastor of St. Timothy Church in the Town of Tonawanda, began sexually abusing him in 1986 when he was 13.

It is the first time Ducette has been publicly accused of sexually abusing a child. Ducette died in 2016 at age 79.

The plaintiff said he attended Mass and performed odd jobs at the church when the abuse started, according to the Child Victims Act lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in Buffalo. The abuse included oral sex and escalated to rape when Ducette took the plaintiff on a trip to Florida for a Catholic seminar, according to court papers.

“Plaintiff estimates that Monsignor Ducette sexually assaulted and abused him over one hundred (100) times over the course of an eighteen (18) month period,” the lawsuit reads. “Monsignor Ducette wore his religious garb while sexually assaulting and abusing Plaintiff.”

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

Diocese of Baton Rouge adds two more names to list of credibly accused clergy members

BATON ROUGE (LA)
WAFB-TV

January 29, 2020

By Nick Gremillion

The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge has added two more names to its list of clergy members credibly accused of abuse.

The additions come one year after the diocese released the list.

Rev. Richard Raphael Archer, a Dominican friar, and Rev. Lawrence Dark, a Congregation of the Holy Cross priest have been added to the list of credibly accused of abuse, bringing the total number of accused clergy members to 45.

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

One year after releasing names of abusive clergy, Baton Rouge Diocese adds two more

BATON ROUGE (LA)
The Advocate

January 29, 2020

By Andrea Gallo

At the one-year anniversary of releasing a list of clergymen credibly accused of abuse, the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge has added two more priests who served in Ponchatoula to their list of those with credible claims against them.

Diocesan officials announced Wednesday morning that they were adding two priests from religious orders who served in Baton Rouge to their list, which has grown since its initial release a year ago. The additions of the Rev. Richard Raphael Archer, a Dominican friar, and Rev. Lawrence Dark, a Congregation of the Holy Cross priest, bring the total of Catholic clergy members who worked in Baton Rouge and were credibly accused of abuse to 45.

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

Suburban priests on updated clergy abuse list in Baton Rouge area

BATON ROUGE (LA)
WBRZ-TV

January 29, 2020

Almost a year to the day of a news conference where Baton Rouge Catholic Bishop Michael Duca revealed the list of local clergy members accused of sexual abuse over the past several decades, the church released the names of two additional priests tied to suspected abuse.

Fr.Richard Archer, O.P., was reported on the clergy abuse list of the Dominican Friars Province of St. Joseph; Archer once was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Ponchatoula.

Fr. Lawrence Dark, C.S.C. was reported on the clergy abuse lists of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, United States Province of Brothers and Priests, and the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Dark was assigned to work at the Reynolds Institute in Albany and the William E. Anderson Memorial Boys Town in Ponchatoula.

The church has made documents available of around 40 clergy members accused of sexually abusing minors before and after the formation of the Baton Rouge Diocese in 1961.

Click HERE for the priest abuse list maintained by the diocese

A vast majority of the priests named in the documents appear to have either passed away or been removed from the ministry.

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

Bishop accused of raping nun in India asks court to dismiss charges

MUMBAI (INDIA)
Crux

January 27, 2020

By Nirmala Carvalho

Bishop Franco Mulakkal has filed a discharge petition before a lower court in Kottayam in the criminal case against him, after he was accused of raping a nun on multiple occasions.

The bishop was arrested on Sept. 21, 2018, in the Indian state of Kerala after a months-long investigation into the accusations of a nun claiming he raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016.

The original 1,400-page charge sheet filed by the Kerala police names 83 witnesses, including the head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Cardinal George Alencherry, three bishops, 11 priests and several nuns.

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

Court papers: Put retired Bishop Matthew Clark on the stand for questioning in abuse cases

ROCHESTER (NY)
WHAM-TV

January 28, 2020

By Jane Flasch

He wants to be identified only by his initials, the same identity he uses in the lawsuit he filed against the Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

“The victims need to know. We have a right to know,” he said about new developments in the case.

Attorneys for child sexual assault victims are asking a judge to put retired Bishop Matthew Clark on the stand. He ran the diocese for 33 years.

Last September, it was announced that Clark was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. According to court testimony, he no longer drives but retains cognitive function.

Victims say time is running out for the questions only he can answer.

“What did he know, when did he know it, and what did he do about it?” said J.O. during an interview in his living room.

He was 14 when he met Clark. He said at the time of that meeting, he was being abused at a group home. Years earlier, he was also sexually abused by a priest at an orphanage. Both organizations were being run by the Catholic Diocese.

“The (abuse) cases that are coming forward didn’t just happen now, they happened on his watch,” J.O. said. “He had to know there was sexual abuse going on by his priests.”

Nearly 100 lawsuits filed under the Child Victim’s Act name the diocese. Attorneys say many of the instances of alleged abuse occurred during the years Clark supervised and controlled the assignment of priests.

Under oath, the attorneys want to question “his knowledge of sexual abuse” and “transfers of sexual abusers.” They also want to know about complaints made against specific priests and how they were investigated.

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

Twin Cities Archdiocese settles after clergy sex abuse, begins internal monitoring

ST. PAUL (MN)
St. Paul Pioneer Press via MN Post-Bulletin

January 29, 2020

By Sarah Horner

When asked during a recent panel discussion to explain how the sexual abuse Ben Hoffman endured by former St. Paul priest Curtis Wehmeyer impacted his life, the 26-year-old didn’t hold back.

He described how he spent years feeling somehow responsible for the abuse he and his two brothers endured as children by Wehmeyer, and how he eventually turned to drugs, alcohol and work to “fill the void” left in him.

He also found himself hating the church and the Catholic faith.

But today Hoffman is a married father to a 2-year-old boy and has reclaimed his faith. In fact, he recently left a corporate job at Best Buy to devote more time to ministry work.

Hoffman was among those attending a court hearing in the Ramsey County District Courthouse Tuesday, Jan. 28, alongside his brothers and mother.

At the hearing Ramsey County dismissed its child protection case against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

It brings to an end four years of court monitoring brought about after Ramsey County Attorney John Choi filed civil and criminal charges against the archdiocese for its failure in handing the clergy sex-abuse crisis.

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

Seattle Archbishop will meet with Catholics who want commission on abuse

SEATTLE (WA)
SeattlePI.com

January 28, 2020

By Joel Connelly

He’s not happy about it, but Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne said in a Tuesday letter that he will meet with prominent lay Catholics who want a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine church records on clergy sexual abuse and its cover-up.

Etienne sounded very much like a bishop in letters sent to laity and bishops in his Western Washington diocese.

“As archbishop I am asked to shepherd our flock, which means I listen to the concerns of our people and prayerfully discern how we may address them,” the archbishop wrote. “At some point after my ad limina visit to Rome, I will engage this group because we share the same goal bringing healing to the church.”

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

Former priest accused of sex crimes heads to trial

SANTA FE (NM)
Santa Fe New Mexican

January 28, 2020

By Phaedra Haywood

Jury selection is set to begin Wednesday in the trial of an ex-priest accused of raping a first grader at a parochial school in Santa Fe County in the late 1980s.

Marvin Archuleta’s criminal trial is the first to come out of state Attorney General Hector Balderas’ ongoing investigation into claims of child sex abuse in Roman Catholic churches throughout New Mexico.

The state intends to bring Thomas P. Doyle of Virginia, a national expert on clergy sex abuse, to testify in the case, according to a witness list.

Doyle — an attorney, victim’s advocate, columnist for the National Catholic Reporter and a former priest — is credited with being one of the first people within the church to speak out on child sexual abuse by the clergy.

The Attorney General’s Office charged Archuleta, 82, with criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13 and kidnapping in February 2018 after his accuser in the case — now an adult — told a special agent that Archuleta tied him up with a belt and raped him when he was 6 years old.

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

Clergyman sentenced to jail after restraining teenager

TROY (MI)
Detroit Legal News Publishing

January 29, 2020

The second priest to be convicted through Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s clergy abuse investigation was sentenced on Monday to jail time after he pleaded guilty to holding a teenage boy against his will in the janitor’s room of St. Margaret’s Church in 2013.

The Rev. Brian Stanley was sentenced to 60 days in Allegan County Jail, with credit for two days served, five years’ probation and must register as a sex offender for 15 years. He appeared before Allegan County Circuit Court Chief Judge Margaret Bakker.

Stanley, 57, of Coloma, pleaded guilty to one felony count of attempted false imprisonment on Nov. 20, 2019. He was charged in August after reportedly immobilizing the teenage boy by wrapping him tightly in plastic wrap and using masking tape as additional binding to cover the victim’s eyes and mouth. Stanley left the victim, bound and alone, in the janitor’s room for an extended period of time before returning and eventually letting him go.

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

January 28, 2020

Historic agreement to protect children

RAMSEY COUNTY (MN)
Office of Ramsey County Attorney

January 28, 2020

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi and Archbishop Bernard Hebda held a joint press conference on January 28 formally concluding the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office’s four-year oversight of the civil settlement agreement with the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis.

The primary objective of the agreement was to transform the organizational culture of the Archdiocese into one that is vigilant about protecting children from clergy sex abuse.

View press conference video

Related items:

Press Release
RCAO Cultural Assessment Report
Final Independent Auditor’s Report on compliance with the settlement agreement
Eighth 6-Month Status Report submitted by the Archdiocese on its status and progress of implementation of the settlement agreement
Archdiocese Safe Environment Plan
Background and Timeline of Events

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

Florida’s Clergy Abuse Victims Deserve Answers from Attorney General

FLORIDA
Adam Horowitz Law (law firm blog)

January 28, 2020

In July 2018, Pennsylvania’s attorney general released a stunning report about clergy sexual abuse in that state. It generated lots of attention and media coverage. The next morning, Florida’s then-attorney general said that she ordered a similar statewide inquiry here in the Sunshine State.

That was 18 months ago.

What progress has been made here? No one knows.

Last June, Florida’s current attorney general was asked that question. Her spokesperson said, “As this investigation is ongoing, we cannot comment further at this time.”

Huh?

We get that some secrecy is critical when law enforcement goes after potential criminals. But both of our AG’s (Pam Biondi, who started this probe, nor Ashley Moody, who heads it now) have been extraordinarily (and we believe irresponsibly) silent about the status of their investigation.

Neither have told Floridians anything that might help them protect themselves and their families from Catholic child molesters.

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

Ramsey County dismisses child protection case against St. Paul archdiocese

ST. PAUL (MN)
Minneapolis Star Tribune

January 28, 2020

The archdiocese will present a final report Tuesday to Ramsey County court.

By Jean Hopfensperger

After four years of court monitoring, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office dismissed its child protection case against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on Tuesday.

Children in archdiocese churches and schools are safer today than they were five years ago, when the county sued the archdiocese for failure to protect children, county and archdiocese leaders said.

“This is like a marathon,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said. “The work will continue to occur.”

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office had filed civil and criminal charges against the archdiocese in 2015 alleging it failed to respond to repeated reports of sexual misconduct by former St. Paul priest Curtis Wehmeyer. The priest went on to sexually abuse the children of one of his church employees in a camper he parked outside the church.

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

Newark archbishop moves to Illinois, controversial NJ retirement home to be sold

NEWARK (NJ)
NorthJersey.com

January 28, 2020

By Abbott Koloff

Archbishop John J. Myers, the former head of the Newark Archdiocese who was criticized for his handling of priest abuse scandals, has moved to Illinois to be near family for health reasons, and the church will sell his Hunterdon County retirement home — which stirred controversy six years ago when church funds were used to build an expansive wing and an indoor pool.

Myers, who led the archdiocese for almost 16 years, held on to the house amid criticism that included a 2014 petition containing 17,000 signatures urging him to sell it. At the time, Pope Francis urged clergy to live simply, removing a German bishop because of his lavish lifestyle, and a Catholic leader in Atlanta agreed to sell a mansion built as his residence.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, who took over as leader of the archdiocese three years ago, issued a statement saying the 78-year-old Myers “has suffered a serious decline” in his “physical and mental health” and after visiting family in Illinois “decided to remain in the region of his birth where he is receiving specialized care and can be visited by his family as well as the clergy of the Diocese of Peoria.” The statement was posted on the archdiocesan website Tuesday.

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

Victims to discuss effects of childhood sex abuse

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

January 28, 2020

By Jay Tokasz

The lifelong impacts of childhood sexual abuse will be the topic of a public forum from 7 to 10 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Child Advocacy Center, 768 Delaware Ave.

The event, “Enlighten & Empower: An Evening with Survivors,” is sponsored by the Buffalo Survivors Group, formed by five men who have filed lawsuits under the Child Victims Act alleging sexual abuse by Buffalo Diocese priests.

It is the second in a series of discussions aimed at educating the public about the psychological, emotional and physical harm caused by sexual abuse. It will include stories from survivors of abuse, as well as questions and answers with the audience.

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

Suspect in ex-priest’s slaying sent to Vegas to face charges

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Associated Press

January 28, 2020

A suspect in the killing of a former priest has been returned to Las Vegas from Michigan to face robbery and murder charges.

Records show that Derrick Mitchell Decoste, 26, was booked Monday in the Clark County jail pending a court appearance in the March 2019 shooting death of former priest John Capparelli. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

Capparelli, 70, was killed several weeks after church officials in New Jersey named him among 180 priests accused of sexual abuse. Authorities have not linked the killing to the New Jersey allegations.

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

SNAP demands response from New Orleans Saints

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
KATC-TV

January 28, 2020

The Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests is demanding that the team release emails exchanged between Saints public relations staff and the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, wants answers from the New Orleans Saints football team.

The group plans an event Wednesday morning at the team’s Metairie practice facility, during which time they say they will demand that the team release emails exchanged between Saints public relations staff and the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that the team was going to court to keep the public from seeing hundreds of emails that allegedly show team executives doing public relations damage control for the area’s Roman Catholic archdiocese to help it contain the fallout from a burgeoning sexual abuse crisis.

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

Oversight ends in St. Paul Archdiocese child protection case

ST. PAUL (MN)
Associated Press

January 28, 2020

Prosecutors announced Tuesday that they have ended four years of oversight of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as part of settlement designed to protect children from clergy sex abuse.

Ramsey County sued the archdiocese in 2015 for its failure to protect children. County and church leaders said children are now safer, and many improvements have been made, including child protection training and background checks for all employees and clergy, the Star Tribune reported.

But Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said the work to protect children is a race with no finish line, and his office offered 25 recommendations for the archdiocese going forward. They include expanding the involvement of lay people, including women, in positions of influence, and permitting victims of abuse to testify before a review board as a matter of right so their voices may be heard.

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

First Catholic Diocese child sex abuse case settled since passing of new law

IRVINE (CA)
Turnto23.com (ABC-TV affiliate)

January 28, 2020

A California Catholic Diocese on Tuesday settled the first child sexual abuse case since the passing of the Child Victims Act back in September 2019.

Attorneys representing Richard Barrios, 47, allegedly abused as a child by convicted pedophile priest Lawrence Lovell, announced a $1.9 million settlement with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Lawrence Lovell and the Claretian Missionaries.

In the lawsuit, Barrios alleged that he was sexually abused by Father Lawrence Lovell throughout a two-year period from 1982 through 1984 when the victim was 9 to 11 years old.

“For too many years a culture of silence protected child abusers within the Catholic Church,” said Barrios in a relase. “In my case, this corrupt culture allowed my abuser to continue molesting children. I encourage all his victims and those who were injured by him and other predator priests to speak out and demand justice.”

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

Archdiocese responds to story NFL team helping cover up abuse claims

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Catholic News Service via Catholic Virginian

January 28, 2020

The Archdiocese of New Orleans said in a Jan. 24 statement that it has never called on any outside organization, like the New Orleans Saints, to help cover up information on abuse allegations.

It said it remains “steadfast in support” of victims of sex abuse by clergy and other Church workers and prays “for their continued healing.”

The statement was released in response to an AP story Jan. 24 that said the NFL team allegedly helped the archdiocese with public relations damage control on sex abuse claims.

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

Motion filed for retired bishop Matthew Clark to testify in bankruptcy court

ROCHESTER (NY)
WHEC-TV

January 28, 2020

A request for retired Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark to testify in the Diocese of Rochester’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case was filed on Tuesday.

The diocese declared bankruptcy in September amidst a series of lawsuits filed under the Child Victims Act.

The motion filed on Tuesday argues that since one of Bishop Clark’s duties was assigning clergy to their posts, he was responsible for assigning them to positions where they would have access to children.

It also argues that many plaintiffs have alleged they were abused during Bishop Clark’s tenure, 1979 to 2012.

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

Corpus Christi priests accused of credible abuse file appeal in defamation case

CORPUS CHRISTI (TX)
The Caller Times

January 28, 2020

By Alexandria Rodriguez

A lawyer is arguing retired Corpus Christi priests were wrongly included in a list of clergy “credibly accused of sexual abuse,” especially when one was exonerated multiple times.

In an Appellants’ brief submitted Monday to the Thirteenth Court of Appeals, attorney Andrew M. Greenwell argues retired priests Michael Heras and John Feminelli were included in a Diocese of Corpus Christi list of priests “credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.”

The list, which was also released in every Texas Catholic diocese, was made public in January 2019.

The Diocese of Corpus Christi includes Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio counties and some of McCullen County.

Feminelli and Heras have repeatedly denied they have sexually abused minors, the document states.

Both priests filed defamation lawsuits against Bishop Michael Mulvey and the Diocese of Corpus Christi after the list was released. The lawsuits were consolidated and were later dismissed by Texas District Judge David Stith in August. Greenwell later filed a notice to appeal on priests’ behalf.

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

Catholic Leaders Promised Transparency About Child Abuse. They Haven’t Delivered.

UNITED STATES
ProPublica

January 28, 2020

By Lexi Churchill, Ellis Simani and Topher Sanders

After decades of shielding the identities of accused child abusers from the public, many Catholic leaders are now releasing lists of their names. But the lists are inconsistent, incomplete and omit key details.

This story is co-published with the Houston Chronicle.

It took 40 years and three bouts of cancer for Larry Giacalone to report his claim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a Boston priest named Richard Donahue.

Giacalone sued Donahue in 2017, alleging the priest molested him in 1976, when Giacalone was 12 and Donahue was serving at Sacred Heart Parish. The lawsuit never went to trial, but a compensation program set up by the archdiocese concluded that Giacalone “suffered physical injuries and emotional injuries as a result of physical abuse” and directed the archdiocese to pay him $73,000.

Even after the claim was settled and the compensation paid in February 2019, however, the archdiocese didn’t publish Donahue’s name on its list of accused priests. Nor did it three months later when Giacalone’s lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, criticized the church publicly for not adding Donahue’s name to the list.

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

Credibly Accused: Search lists of U.S. Catholic clergy that have been deemed credibly accused of sexual abuse or misconduct.

UNITED STATES
ProPublica

January 28, 2020

By Ellis Simani and Ken Schwencke with Katie Zavadski and Lexi Churchill

The Catholic Church has not released a public list of clergy members who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct or assault. However, over the last year and a half U.S. dioceses and religious orders serving most of the Catholics in the country have released lists of “credibly accused” abusers who have served in their ranks, using their own criteria for whom to include. ProPublica collected these lists to provide a central location to search across all reports.

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

We Assembled the Only Nationwide Database of Priests Deemed Credibly Accused of Abuse. Here’s How.

NEW YORK (NY)
ProPublica

January 28, 2020

By Ellis Simani and Lexi Churchill

ProPublica’s reporting spanned several months and produced an original database containing each diocesan list as it was originally published online.

ProPublica published an interactive database on Tuesday that lets users search for clergy who have been listed as credibly accused of sexual abuse in reports released by Catholic dioceses and religious orders.

It is, as of publication, the only nationwide database of official disclosures. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the religious leaders’ national membership organization, does not publicly release any centralized, countrywide collection of clergy members who have been credibly accused of sexual assault.

But in the absence of any mandate or directive, 178 bishops, archbishops and religious community leaders across the U.S. have published individual lists of clergy members against whom credible allegations were made as of Jan. 20. Each diocese and religious order sets its own standard for determining the credibility of allegations.

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

Prominent Catholics together call for review of Seattle Archdiocese’s secret clergy abuse files

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Times

January 28, 2020

By Lewis Kamb

A group of prominent Catholics announced Tuesday that it’s pursuing a “lay-led,” independent review of the Seattle Archdiocese’s secret clergy files to fully expose the breadth and depth of the church’s sexual abuses in Western Washington and find a path forward for healing the damage caused to generations of the religion’s followers.

Calling itself “Heal Our Church,” the group, which includes former judges and law enforcement officials, abuse survivors, retired clergy and others, last week signed and delivered a letter and statement of key objectives to new Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne, requesting his support of the endeavor.

The letter invites the archdiocese’s participation in the “appointment of an independent, lay led Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine pertinent church archives in order to produce a fact-based reconstruction of this horrific chapter of our church history.”

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

Centrafrique : mise en place d’un comité de lutte contre les abus sexuels sur mineurs

[Central African Republic: Establishment of a committee to combat sexual abuse of minors]

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Adiac-Congo

January 15, 2020

Face aux multiples cas d’abus sexuel qu’auraient commis certains responsables ecclésiastiques sur les mineurs, l’Eglise catholique est en train d’élaborer un document pouvant sanctionner toutes personnes impliquées dans ces scandales. C’est ce qu’a fait savoir le père Blaise Narcisse Kougomatchi, secrétaire de la commission des mineurs en Centrafrique.

[Google Translate: Faced with the multiple cases of sexual abuse allegedly committed by certain ecclesiastical officials on minors, the Catholic Church is in the process of drafting a document capable of punishing all those implicated in these scandals. This is what Father Blaise Narcisse Kougomatchi, secretary of the Central African miners’ commission, said.]

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

CAR Church Admits Sexual Abuse Cases, Sets Up Commission to “sensitize Church leaders”

BANGUI (CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC)
ACI Africa

January 17, 2020

By Jude Atemanke

The Church in the Central African Republic (CAR) has admitted to incidences of sexual abuse of minors and has responded by taking steps toward the safeguarding of children and vulnerable persons by setting up a commission to examine cases of abuse.

“The situation of minors remains worrying, especially with the economic crisis that the country is going through,” the Secretary of the Commission on Minors in the CAR, Fr Blaise Narcisse Kougomatchi has been quoted as telling the news agency adiac-infos in an interview Wednesday, January 15.

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

Church call to Government to expand safeguarding definitions in faith settings

GREAT BRITAIN
Christian Today

January 28, 2020

Churches are seeking a change to the law to expand safeguarding protections in faith organisations and sports clubs.

The current provisions around ‘positions of trust’ make it illegal for teachers, care workers and youth justice staff to engage in sexual activity with a 16- or 17-year-old under their supervision. However, they do not extend to adults in similar positions of authority within churches or sports teams.

In a report launched on Tuesday, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Safeguarding in Faith Settings warned that the current loopholes are leaving 16- to 17-year-olds exposed to greater risk of grooming and abuse, and making it possible for faith leaders or sports coaches to engage in sexual activity with them “with impunity”.

The APPG wants to see the law changed so that the definition of ‘positions of trust’ is extended to any adult working with children while in a position of trust.

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

Dioceses to dig deeper into their safeguarding history

ENGLAND
Church Times (Anglican)

January 28, 2020

By Adam Becket

SURVIVOR’s voices are “vital” to the running of a new trawl of the C of E’s safeguarding history, the director of the National Safeguarding Team, Melissa Caslake, has said.

The review of files of every living cleric and church officer for allegations of abuse or neglect is currently ongoing. The work, “Past-Cases Review (PCR) 2”, is expected to be completed by the end of this year, and a report is due to be published in 2021.

Speaking last Friday, Ms Caslake said: “This is a substantial and significant task, to ensure that the Church is a safer place for all, and it is vital we ensure that survivors feel they can come forward in confidence.”

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

Las Vegas pastor charged with sex abuse left porn on computer, report says

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Review-Journal

January 27, 2020

By Rio Lacanlale

Retana, who was arrested Dec. 20, remains held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center. The Metropolitan Police Department began investigating him last year after a girl told her parents that the pastor of Iglesia Cristiana Oasis De Paz had been sexually abusing her for more than a year.

The most recent criminal case against Retana, charging him with five felony counts of lewdness with a child younger than 14, was opened Jan. 15, after Metro detectives identified two more potential victims, bringing the total number of accusers to at least six.

Retana currently faces 40 felony counts in the three cases. The charges include lewdness with a child, first-degree kidnapping, child abuse and luring a child with a computer to engage in a sexual act, court records show.

The allegations range from the pastor kissing the girls’ feet to asking the girls to spit in his mouth when he was “thirsty,” according to his arrest reports.

Retana is due in court Feb. 3 for a preliminary hearings in all three cases.

Anyone with information about Retana, or anyone who believes he or she may have been a victim of abuse, may contact Metro’s juvenile sexual assault division at 702-828-3421. Anonymous tips may be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

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

Even if Colorado gives child sex assault victims unlimited time to sue, it may be too late for those already abused

COLORADO
Colorado Sun

January 28, 2020

By Jesse Paul

Lawmakers are considering eliminating the civil statute of limitations for child sex assault, but Colorado’s constitution appears to prohibit laws from working retroactively. Victims’ advocates think there is a path to address past abuse.

Colorado lawmakers plan to bring legislation this year that would give child sexual assault victims unlimited time to sue their abusers and the institutions that protect the predators.

But for people abused in the past — including the more than 150 victims of Catholic priests identified in a recently released report on sexual misconduct in Colorado — the change may be coming too late.

That’s because the legislature’s attorneys say Colorado’s constitution prevents laws from working retroactively and that once a statute of limitations has expired, a case cannot be reopened. Many survivors, however, don’t come forward until decades after their abuse.

Right now, child sex assault victims in Colorado have six years from the day they turn 18 to sue their abusers. They have just two years to sue an organization that acted negligently in allowing the abuse to continue or by shielding the perpetrator.

Even though other states have successfully changed their statutes to allow survivors to retroactively sue, lawmakers pushing for the alteration to Colorado law say their hands are tied. But victims and their advocates say the constitutional question isn’t settled and that they’d like to see a fight.

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

JC Diocese Bishop weighs in on abuse scandal

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
KWOS Radio

January 28, 2020

[AUDIO]

The Bishop of the Diocese of Jefferson City admits that abuse of children by Catholic priests has been a major black eye for the church. Bishop Shawn McKnight says the church is taking responsibility for the crimes …

35 priests and religious brothers have been credibly accused or have been removed from service for having abused children in the Diocese.

Bishop McKnight was on KWOS Saturday Open Air.

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

Cardinal at center of 2 Popes storm doubles down on celibacy

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

January 25, 2020

By Nicole Winfield

A Vatican cardinal at the center of a storm over a book about celibacy and the Catholic priesthood is denouncing the “brutality” of criticism directed at him and his collaborator, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.

In an interview with Italian daily newspaper Il Foglio published Saturday, Cardinal Robert Sarah doubled down on his argument in the book, “From the Depths of Our Hearts,” that the Catholic priesthood is incompatible with marriage.

“If you weaken the law of celibacy, you open a breach, a wound in the mystery of the church,” Sarah told the newspaper.

Sarah, who heads the Vatican’s liturgical office, insisted on the sacramental link between the priesthood and celibacy, even though the Catholic Church has for centuries had married priests in its Eastern Rites as well as in the ranks of Anglican and other Protestant converts.

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

Mexican program aims to improve safeguarding standards in Latin America

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

January 28, 2020

By Inés San Martín

Mexico’s Catholic University continues to train members of the Catholic Church in addressing the clerical sexual abuse crisis, with a second diploma course on abuse prevention in the Latin American Church.

Organized by the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Training for the Protection of Children (CEPROME), the Jan. 20-Feb 14, 2020 course is an intensive training for bishops, priests, religious brothers and sisters and lay people who are committed to safeguarding.

Lecturers include Spanish priest Jordi Bertomeu, an official of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith who played a key role in addressing the clerical abuse crisis facing the Chilean Church; Jose Andres Murillo, a philosopher and abuse survivor from Chile; and Father Daniel Portillo, the director and founder of CEPROME.

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

Diocese of Fall River suspends retired priest for alleged sexual abuse of minor

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

January 26, 2020

By Abigail Feldman

The Diocese of Fall River announced Sunday that it had suspended a retired priest after a review of his files revealed allegations that he had sexually abused a minor about 20 years ago.

Father Herbert T. Nichols, who has worked in several parishes around Bristol and Barnstable counties since he was ordained in 1975, denies the allegation, according to a statement from the Diocese.

Nichols retired in 2015 but has continued to participate in Masses around the area and within the Diocese’ Maronite community. His suspension precludes him from all ministry until the investigation is complete, the statement said.

Last year, the Diocese hired an independent consultant to review personnel files, officials said. Since last March, the diocese has suspended or removed at least five priests for alleged abuse or misconduct, including two retired priests earlier this month.

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

Pressure builds on Diocese of Fall River to release names of priests, staff credibly accused of sexual abuse

FALL RIVER (MA)
Boston.com

January 27, 2020

“It is time to end the secrecy, provide transparency and act in a positive manner.”

By Christopher Gavin

The Diocese of Fall River is facing calls to release a list of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

Last week, prominent attorney Mitchell Garabedian released his own list containing the names of seven priests, two clergy members, and one Catholic church employee who his office has successfully brought child sexual abuse claims against.

The move comes a year after Bishop Edgar da Cunha announced the diocese was readying a list for eventual publication, following a review of all its personnel records by former FBI assistant director William Gavin.

Most of the names anticipated to be released by the church have already been reported by the news media; however, the list is “necessary for greater transparency on our part in response to clerical sexual abuse,” da Cunha wrote in a letter to the diocese at the time.

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

January 27, 2020

Philippine bishops aim to protect minors from predatory priests

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
UCA News

January 24, 2020

UNew office will provide canon law experts and professionals to tackle clergy sex abuse

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines are creating an office that aims to ensure the safety of minors and vulnerable people.

The Office on the Protection of Minors will help dioceses to address cases of clergy sex abuse by providing canon law experts and other professionals.

A bishop, to be elected during a meeting of prelates this week, will head the office, said Father Marvin Mejia, secretary-general of the bishops’ conference.

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

‘I am being starved by the church’, says expelled Kerala nun

KERALA (INDIA)
Hindustan Times

January 25, 2020

The 52-year-old nun accused the authorities of locking food but she said she will remain at FCC’s convent even if she was starved to death.

Sister Lucy Kalapura, who was expelled from the Catholic Church, said on Saturday she was being starved at the convent as authorities have been depriving her of food to force her out.

The Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) had expelled Sister Lucy Kalapura in August last year citing “serious indiscipline” but the nun said she was victimised for supporting the agitation for the arrest of the deposed bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mullakkal, who is facing rape charges.

The 52-year-old nun accused the authorities of locking food but she said she will remain at FCC’s convent even if she was starved to death.

“I have filed three complaints against the convent authorities but police failed to take action in any of them. It seems the police are scared to take action against authorities who trouble me,” she said.

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

OPINION: Nelson Pérez helped St. William church evolve. Up next: the whole Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA
The Inquirer

January 27, 2020

By Kathleen McDonough

I identify myself as a “lifer” from St. William parish in the Lawndale/Lawncrest community. For over 62 years, St. William parish has been my home — from attending St. William School as a student, to coming home to attend Mass as an adult, and the icing on the cake: teaching there for over 20 years until its 2012 closure.

During my youth in Lawncrest and neighboring Lawndale, most residents were white, blue-collar civil servants. Households were typically ones in which dad worked and mom stayed home. Children went to their neighborhood school, and you were identified as being a “Catholic” or “public.”

As the years marched on, Lawncrest and St. William changed. For 22 years, St. William’s pastor, Msgr. James E. Mortimer, embraced the changing demographics, calling the church “a welcoming community,” and establishing an after-school program, a day-care center, and a learning disabilities program. He helped the parishioners welcome priests from the Indian and Pakistani communities, as well as members and clergy from the Hispanic community.

In 2002, a new pastor, Nelson J. Pérez, arrived, just as the community was undergoing even more change.

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

SBC president blacklists former leader accused of enabling abuse

UNITED STATES
Baptist News Global

January 27, 2020

By Bob Allen

The president of the Southern Baptist Convention said that local church autonomy does not excuse Southern Baptists from holding one another accountable in a mild rebuke of churches giving platform to a disgraced former leader accused of enabling sexual abusers.

In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear advised churches to “consider” former Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson’s 2018 firing for conduct “antithetical to the core values of our faith” before inviting the Conservative Resurgence co-founder to speak or preach.

“Southern Baptist churches must take our mutual accountability to each other more seriously than we have in the past,” Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, is quoted as saying. “If our system of governance means anything, it means exercising due diligence and heeding what those whom we put in positions of trustee oversight have reported about official misconduct.”

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

College of Cardinals Gets New Dean

VATICAN CITY
Church Militant (blog)

January 27,.2020

By David Nussman

Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re is the new dean of the College of Cardinals, and some Catholics are hoping change after his predecessor appeared to resign in disgrace.

A native Italian, Cdl. Re is a former prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and a former president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

The 85-year-old cardinal was elected dean by a group of 12 cardinals earlier this month. Pope Francis approved his election on Jan. 18, and an announcement was made by the Holy See this past Saturday.

Though dean of the College of Cardinals, the 85-year-old Re will be unable to vote in any future papal conclaves, because cardinals over the age of 80 are ineligible to vote.

The previous dean of the College of Cardinals, Cdl. Angelo Sodano, resigned in December.

In a motu proprio on Dec. 21, Francis thanked the 92-year-old Cdl. Sodano for his 15 years of service as dean. The Pope also changed the dean from a lifetime position to a five-year term with a two-term limit.

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

No reform possible without new leaders in Legionaries of Christ, advocates and survivors say

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

January 27, 2020

Advocates and survivors of abuse perpetrated by priests of the Legionaries of Christ say that the religious order has no hope of authentic reform without wholesale replacement of the Legion’s leadership figures.

“As long as the same people are in power, there will continue to be manipulation, authoritarianism and cover up,” Adriana Lozano, a consecrated lay woman in the Legion’s Regnum Christi apostolate, told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner.

She told ACI Prensa that although she reported for years to Legionaries leadership abuse allegations about a now laicized priest, Fernando Martínez, her allegations went unheard, even by current leaders of the religious institute.

“Nevertheless, I continued to inform each director in turn about the case, without getting a response,” she said.

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

Priest gets 60 days in jail for bubble-wrapping boy

DETROIT (MI)
Associated Press

January 27, 2020

By Ed White

A Michigan priest accused of wrapping a teenager in bubble wrap was sentenced Monday to 60 days in jail for attempted false imprisonment.

The Rev. Brian Stanley appeared in Allegan County court, two months after pleading guilty in a deal with the attorney general’s office. He was initially charged with false imprisonment.

Stanley was accused of wrapping a boy in bubble wrap and tape in 2013 in a janitor’s room at St. Margaret Church. The boy’s eyes and mouth were also covered while he was left alone for an hour, according to the attorney general’s office.

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

The Diocese Must Quicken Clergy Sex Abuse Probe [Opinion]

FALL RIVER (MA)
1420 WBSM Radio

January 27, 2020

By Barry Richard

The list of Catholic priests with ties to our area who have been accused of sexual misconduct with minors continues to grow but at a snail’s pace. The Fall River Diocese is clearly making an effort to deal with the problem but must find a way to expedite the process more quickly.

In the last three weeks alone, three retired priests have been suspended by the Diocese due to allegations they sexually molested someone’s kids decades ago. WBSM News reports that Father Herbert T. Nichols, Father James F. Buckley, and Father Edward J. Byington have been suspended by the Diocese “in response to information gathered during an evaluation of priestly personnel files pending further investigation, as required under its policies.” Some of the allegations have been referred for criminal investigation.

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

Former priest sentenced to two months in jail for tying up teen boy

ALLEGAN (MI)
MLive.com

January 27, 2020

By Ryan Boldrey

A former Otsego priest was sentenced to jail and probation Monday, Jan. 27, in Allegan County Circuit Court on one count of attempted unlawful imprisonment of a 17-year-old boy.

Brian Stanley, 57, was arrested Aug. 22 and charged with one count of unlawful imprisonment, a 15-year felony. As part of a plea agreement made at his pretrial hearing in November, that charge was dismissed at sentencing.

Stanley admitted at his pretrial hearing to tying up the boy and taping his eyes and mouth shut in September 2013, while “secretly confining” him for “approximately 30 minutes” in the janitor’s room of St. Margaret’s Church in Otsego. He will spend 60 days in jail, five years on probation and be required to register as a sex offender for a period of 15 years, according to the sentence issued Monday by Allegan County Circuit Judge Margaret Bakker.

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

‘Abuse in the guise of swimming lesson’: Another allegation against priest, Boy Scout master

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

January 28, 2020

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

More than 40 years ago, a Barrigada altar boy aspiring to be a member of the Boy Scouts of America joined an outing at Lonfit River where a priest fondled and groped his private parts, according to a lawsuit filed on Monday, Jan. 27.

The plaintiff, identified in federal court documents only with the initials R.G.M. to protect his privacy, said in his $5 million lawsuit that Father Louis Brouillard falsely claimed he was teaching him how to swim.

“This event was shocking to R.G.M. and because of this, he stopped being an altar boy and he also lost interest in joining the Boy Scouts of America,” the lawsuit says.

R.G.M. was about 11 or 12 years old at the time, when Brouillard allegedly sexually abused him at the river, around 1977 or 1978. He was an altar boy at the San Vicente Ferrer and San Roke Catholic Church, while the priest was also a scout master.

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

Plug-In: How the SBC sex abuse scandal turned a city hall reporter into a religion writer

UNITED STATES
Get Religion (blog)

January 27, 2020

By Bobby Ross Jr.

Robert Downen almost burned out on newspapers and went into the insurance business.

Instead, the talented journalist, now 28, stuck it out and spearheaded what the Religion News Association chose as the No. 1 religion story of 2019.

I’m talking about the Houston Chronicle’s bombshell investigation that revealed more than 700 victims of sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention and spurred reforms by the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

Come April, Downen’s work on the “Abuse of Faith” project could earn him and his colleagues a Pulitzer Prize. For now, it has resulted in a new gig for the former City Hall reporter. As of last week, he’s covering religion full time for the Houston newspaper. This is wonderful news for Downen and Chronicle readers.

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

Journalist who shared old Kobe Bryant rape story hours after his death is suspended

WASHINGTON D.C.
Metro.co.uk

January 27, 2020

By Jacob Geanous

A journalist was suspended after sharing a link to an old story about rape allegations made against Kobe Bryant hours after he died.

Felicia Sonmez, a national political reporter for The Washington Post, tweeted the link on Sunday after news broke that Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were among nine passengers killed in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles.

Sonmez said she received thousands of comments of abuse and death threats after she shared the April 2016 story from The Daily Beast, titled: ‘Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser’s story, and the Half-Confession.’

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