[Commentary] Tara Reade’s Bad Timing Isn’t Her Problem — It’s Ours

WBUR Radio (NPR affiliate)

April 30, 2020

By Leigh Gilmore

Tara Reade’s allegations about Joe Biden could not come at a worse time.

As the nation grapples with the twin emergencies of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Trump presidency, voters are now split over whether to demand a hearing for Reade’s decades-old claim or close ranks and defend Biden. As many of us struggle to focus on anything more than the virus and Trump’s massive mismanagement of it, the stakes feel impossibly high: silence a survivor or weaken Trump’s challenger.

Reade alleges that Biden sexually assaulted her almost 30 years ago when she worked for him. Biden denies the allegations. She did not file a police report at the time, but has, through the years, told a changing story of a disturbing sexual experience with an unnamed senator. Last year, Reade joined a group of women who…

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Supreme Court rejects Catholic Church appeal to reduce damages in sex abuse case

CBC News

April 30, 2020

‘I hope this final victory will give hope to other sexual abuse victims to come forward and seek justice’

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the Catholic Church concerning damages awarded to a former Sudbury high school student.

Lawyer Rob Talach says Father Hodgson Marshall was convicted of sexually abusing his client, Rod MacLeod, who was a student at St. Charles College from 1963-1967.

In 2011, Marshall was ultimately convicted of abusing 17 young people over his 38-year career. He served two years in federal prison and died in 2014.

Talach said today’s Supreme Court decision puts a definitive end to the long legal battle, and upholds the judgement on damages of more than $2.5 million dollars, including $500,000 in punitive damages.

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Diocese of Toledo names seven deceased priests accused of sexual abuse

Toledo Blade

April 29, 2020

By Nicki Gorny

The Diocese of Toledo on Wednesday released the names of seven deceased clerics who are credibly accused of sexual abuse.

In each case an accuser had come forward after the cleric had died.

The Diocesan Review Board considered their cases this year and last year. The diocese for years declined to name or consider allegations against clerics in such cases “as they can neither defend themselves against the accusation nor possibly be a future threat to anyone if the allegation were true,” according to an explanation the diocese provided for years on its website. But in April, 2019, the diocese announced that it would begin to put this category of cases before the Diocesan Review Board.

That process is now complete, the diocese announced on Wednesday.

“Bishop Daniel Thomas determined that it was critical to be completely transparent in…

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German Catholic Church agrees to rules for investigating abuse cases

Catholic News Service

April 30, 2020

The Catholic Church has become Germany’s first institution to agree to fixed and binding rules for investigating sexual abuse cases.

The agreement, described as historic by the German government’s abuse commissioner, could become a blueprint for other institutions in the fight against abuse. The Protestant Church in Germany and churches in many other countries have yet to take that step, reported KNA, the German Catholic news agency.

The eight-page agreement, drafted by the bishops and Johannes-Wilhelm Rorig, the German government’s independent commissioner for sexual abuse issues, obliges the bishops to appraise abuse in their diocese according to fixed and transparent rules.

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Teslin man files $4.25M lawsuit over alleged sexual abuse at hand of Catholic bishop

Yukon News

April 29, 2020

By Jackie Hong

The man alleges he was sexually abused following his confirmation ceremony at a church in 1985

A Teslin man is suing the Catholic diocese of Whitehorse as well as a national Catholic organization for $4.25 million in damages over sexual abuse he alleges he suffered at the hands of a now-deceased bishop when he was a teenager.

The man filed a statement of claim to the Yukon Supreme Court on April 9, naming the Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Whitehorse, Les Oblats de Marie Immaculee du Manitoba and OMI Lacombe Canada Inc. as defendants.

The News is choosing to not identify the plaintiff.

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‘Prolific pedophile’ priest dies in New Jersey nursing home

New York Post

April 29, 2020

By Lee Brown

A pedophile priest who was defrocked in New Jersey after admitting abusing a dozen children has died in a nursing home, the diocese confirmed to The Post.

James Hanley — who abused young parishioners in Mendham and Pompton Plains over the course of 14 years — died last week, the diocese’s attorney, Kenneth Mullaney, confirmed.

Relatives of the disgraced former priest alerted church officials last week to the death. The nursing home was not identified.

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Argument preview: Justices to consider what makes a minister a minister (Corrected)


April 30, 2020

By Amy Howe

Eight years ago, in a case called Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, the Supreme Court recognized a “ministerial exception” to employment discrimination laws, reflecting the idea that religious institutions normally have the sole right to determine who can act as their ministers. The justices ruled in that case that the exception barred a lawsuit brought by a teacher and ordained minister at a Lutheran school who challenged the school’s decision to fire her. However, they declined to “adopt a rigid formula for deciding when an employee qualifies as a min However, they declined to “adopt a rigid formula for deciding when an employee qualifies as a minister” in future cases. Next week, in a pair of cases involving teachers at Catholic elementary schools in California, the Supreme Court will consider how courts should determine when an employee…

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Document: Priest abused Barrigada altar boy in late 1970s

The Guam Daily Post

May 1, 2020

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

A former Barrigada altar boy said he’s still suffering from mental and emotional injury from a priest’s multiple sexual abuses that happened more than 40 years ago, according to documents filed in bankruptcy court.

The latest clergy sex abuse claimant stated in court filings that the late Father Louis Brouillard abused him multiple times from around 1978 to 1979 on the grounds of the Barrigada church and during Boy Scouts of America outings at Lonfit River.

The former altar boy is represented by attorney Michael Berman.

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Investigation into longtime Newman Center pastor confirms sexual advances to students

Lincoln Journal Star

April 30, 2020

By Margaret Reist

An investigation into Monsignor Leonard Kalin, longtime pastor at the Newman Center on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, confirmed his use of alcohol and cigarettes, frequent casino visits and “occasional” sexual advances toward students, according to the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln.

In a letter to church members Wednesday, Archbishop George Lucas summarized the results of the investigation into allegations against Kalin, who died in 2008, which focused on his leadership style and the culture he promoted at the Newman Center.

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Reports of child abuse and neglect plunge in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky during quarantine


April 29, 2020

By Paula Christian

Reports of child abuse and neglect plunged throughout Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky almost immediately after governors closed schools and urged people to stay home in mid-March to stem COVID-19 from spreading.

Now, more than six weeks into the quarantine, calls to all three states’ child abuse hotlines are down by nearly 50 percent.

That isn’t good news, child advocates warn.

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Lincoln Diocese releases findings of investigation into deceased priest

1011 NOW

April 29, 2020

The Catholic Diocese of Lincoln released the findings of an external investigation into a deceased priest accused of making sexual advances against college students and seminarians.

A letter from Archbishop George Lucas on Wednesday included the findings of an investigation into misconduct allegations of deceased priest Monsignor Leonard Kalin.

Kalin was the diocesan vocation director and chaplain of the Newman Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1970 to 1998. The allegations against him centered on his leadership style and the culture he promoted at the Newman Center, as well as accusations of sexual advances.

The Diocese of Lincoln hired an independent private investigator to investigate the allegations, who reviewed personnel files and conducted more than 35 in-person interviews, according to the Diocese.

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Retiring Inquirer photographer Michael Bryant looks back at more than 30 years in the business

The Philadelphia Inquirer

April 30, 2020

By Tim Tai

It was just after the Thanksgiving Day parade in 1986. Throngs of shrieking children had lined Center City streets to catch a glimpse of Santa, as he ushered in the Christmas season. Photographing the cavalcade — less than a month into his new job at The Inquirer — was Michael Bryant.

As he walked past City Hall to return to the newsroom, he overheard a woman talking to her son, six years old or so, who needed to use the bathroom. The mother told the boy to relieve himself on City Hall.

“That was my welcome-to-Philadelphia moment,” Bryant recalled.

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English bishops call on Catholic parishes to help victims of domestic violence


April 29, 2020

By Charles Collins

England’s bishops are urging parish communities to be on the lookout for domestic abuse, after a spike in cases has been reported by a leading charity.

Refuge, which runs the UK’s National Domestic Abuse helpline, reports that calls have increased 49 percent over the past three weeks, the period since the country went into lockdown to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Counting Dead Women Project this week told members of Parliament at least 14 women and two children have been killed in domestic violence during the lockdown.

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Abolish right to remove children from sex-education classes, urges abuse survivor

Church Times

April 30, 2020

By Hattie Williams

PARENTS should not be allowed to remove children from age-appropriate sex-education classes on religious grounds, a survivor of child sexual abuse in a church context has said. A lack of sex education when he was a boy had prevented his understanding that what was happening to him was wrong, he said.

On Tuesday, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published a further 80 experiences of abuse which had been disclosed through its Truth Project. It was launched in 2016 to help the Inquiry with its investigations.

One survivor, Paraic, told the project that as a child, shortly after the Second World War, he had been repeatedly raped by a Sunday-school teacher who had told him that the abuse was “God’s work”. When he had told another teacher about the abuse, he had been caned, he said. He…

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Christian Porter seeks final advice on release of royal commission findings on Cardinal George Pell

ABC News

April 27, 2020

Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter says he has sought final advice from his department on the release of unpublished documents relating to Cardinal George Pell’s handling of child sexual abuse complaints.

Victoria’s Attorney General, Jill Hennessy, yesterday wrote to Mr Porter, saying there were no legal impediments to prevent the release of unredacted portions of the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

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Women vital to seminaries: Ouellet

The Catholic Register

April 30, 2020

By Cindy Wooden

The Church must “radically change” how priests interact with women, starting by injecting more female voices into priestly formation at seminaries, said Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.

For some priests and seminarians, “women represent danger, but in reality, the true danger are those men who do not have a balanced relationship with women,” said Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

The cardinal was interviewed about the role of women in seminaries and seminary formation for the May issue of the women’s supplement to the Vatican newspaper. The interview was published April…

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Diocese ends support to priests with ‘substantiated’ abuse claims

Batavia News

April 29, 2020

By Matt Surtel

ABUSE SCANDAL: Decision made amid ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings

The Diocese of Buffalo is ending its support of priests with substantiated reports of sexual abuse.

The decision was announced Tuesday. It ends all financial support and health benefits for the priests involved.

“In some cases, a few priests were still receiving a monthly salary, based on the last monthly amount they were receiving prior to having their faculties suspended,” said interim Communications Director Greg Tucker, via email. “The other support was in the form of health and dental insurance, and in some cases, car insurance.”

The measure will take effect Friday. It was done as part of the diocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.

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Church shares findings of invest. into priest abuse reports


April 29, 2020

Diocese of Lincoln: Sexual advances made by former priest

The Catholic Diocese of Lincoln has released the findings of an independent investigation into a former priest who was accused of instances of abuse.

The abuse allegations centered around Msgr. Kalin, a priest who ran the Newman Center from 1970-1998, which is the place where UNL students go to practice their faith in college.

The Catholic Diocese of Lincoln said, “The investigator’s report indicates that Msgr. Kalin’s leadership style was demanding and authoritarian, and his use of alcohol, cigarettes and frequent visits to casinos was confirmed. The investigation also revealed that Msgr. Kalin did, on occasion, make sexual advances against some college students and seminarians. Kalin died in 2008.”

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Royal commission findings about Cardinal George Pell could be made public. Here’s what we know

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

April 30, 2020

By Sarah Farnsworth

For years, questions have been asked about what Cardinal George Pell might have known about clerical abuse during his long career within the Catholic Church.

Giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney in 2014, and again via video link from Rome in 2016, Cardinal Pell was questioned at length about his knowledge of paedophile priests in both Ballarat and Melbourne.

The Cardinal was taken painstakingly through evidence and asked to cast his mind back to the 1970s and what he knew about paedophile priests including Gerald Ridsdale, who later admitted to abusing hundreds of children.

By the end of the exhaustive inquiry in 2017, the counsel assisting the royal commission submitted Cardinal Pell did come to know of abuse carried out by one notorious paedophile priest and had missed an…

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Sacramento loses leading advocate for sexual abuse survivors


April 29, 2020

By David Manoucheri

Joseph C. George, Sr., was a man who changed trajectories.

The description is apt not just of his own life, but the lives of the staff, clients and the many people who faced the Philadelphia native in court. Most of those were with organizations who knowingly covered up abuse and tried to make it go away.

George didn’t start as a lawyer. He held a doctorate in psychology while working for the military. It was while working at Travis Air Force Base that his trajectory changed. George decided to also get a law degree in an effort to go after and stop the abuse of patients by their therapists. It would open the door to a practice he never suspected he would start.

By the time of his death on April 22, 2020, at 1:17 a.m., Joseph George had garnered…

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Former Springfield priest accused of child sex abuse; case sent to prosecutors

Springfield News-Leader

April 29, 2020

By Harrison Keegan

The local Catholic diocese announced this week a former Springfield priest was recently accused of sexually abusing a child in a different jurisdiction.

Father Gary Carr, 66, was accused of sexually abusing a boy in southeast Missouri nearly 30 years ago when the boy was between the ages of 10 and 13, according to a news release from the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

The release says Carr, who worked in Springfield early in his career and lived here as recently as 2004, officially retired in November, but he had been restricted in ministry with no priestly faculties since 2008.

According to the release, the allegation against Father Carr is that he sexually abused a boy in Stoddard County, and the Diocesan Safe Environment Review Board determined the case met the diocese’s standard of “semblance of truth” so it was…

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The Buffalo Diocese is kicking these 23 priests off its payroll


April 29, 2020

By Charlie Specht

Survivors forced action through bankruptcy

The Diocese of Buffalo is kicking these 23 priests off of its payroll through an agreement it reached with survivors this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Becker, Donald W.
Bialkowski, David M.
Dolinic, Louis S.
Fafinski, Donald S.
Faraci, Douglas F.
Friel, Mark
Fronczak, Dennis A.
Gresock, Thomas
Hajduk, John P.
Hatrick, Brian M.
Ingalls, Fred D.
Ipolito, Pascal D.
Juran, Michael
Maryanski, Fabian J.
McCarthy, Thomas J.
Mierzwa, Ronald
Orsolits, Norbert F.
Palys, Daniel J.
Pavlock, Martin L.
Smith, Arthur J.
Spielman, James A.
Venne, Samuel J.
Wolski, Mark J.

The Diocese of Buffalo announced Tuesday it would cease all financial support and health benefits for priests with substantiated allegations of sexual…

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Opinion: Cedarville’s plan to save Anthony Moore abandoned its students — and Moore


April 28, 2020

By Russell L. Meek

The headlines that ran last week (April 24) announced a new sexual abuse scandal to roil the Southern Baptist Convention: “Cedarville professor fired over allegations of misconduct.”

That’s true, to be sure. But that’s not the headline. The headline is that Cedarville University, a Baptist school near Dayton, Ohio, knowingly hired a man its president knew to be an alleged sexual offender as a student recruiter, then gave him a job coaching men’s basketball, teaching in the theology department and as a “special adviser” to the president.

In a statement published on his personal blog, Cedarville President Thomas White admitted to hiring Anthony Moore, who had been fired by the Village Church in Fort Worth, Texas, despite White’s knowing that Moore was let go from his post as campus pastor for filming “two videos … over a short period…

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Horowitz Law

April 29, 2020

Brace yourselves. Some grim numbers about child sexual abuse have surfaced recently that remind us of how hard it is to stop predators.

—During this pandemic, what was feared has now been proven: Child sexual abuse is on the rise in recent weeks.

A national abuse hotline reports “a 22% increase in calls from people younger than 18,” according to National Public Radio. The network also reports:

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Priest in Missouri Determined to be “Credible” Abuser by Review Board, SNAP Calls for Outreach


April 28, 2020

A retired cleric from the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has been determined by a diocesan review board to have engaged in “inappropriate physical/sexual misconduct” with a minor. We call on Catholic officials to release more detail about this case so that parents and parishioners can ensure vulnerable children are protected and so other survivors or witnesses are encouraged to come forward and get help.

A news release from Diocesan leaders in Springfield – Cape Girardeau reported that Fr. Gary Carr was “credibly accused” of abusing a child approximately thirty years ago when the boy was between the ages of 10 and 13. According to Catholic officials, Fr. Carr was placed on “Administrative Leave and restricted in his priestly ministry” in 2008 by Bishop James Johnston, yet no information was made public at that time about the actions that led to Fr. Carr’s restrictions. We…

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Horowitz Law

April 28, 2020


On Monday, April 27, 2020 sex abuse attorney Adam Horowitz filed a lawsuit in Polk County Circuit Court against Catholic priest Father Fred Ruse, who in 2018, suddenly retired from the active ministry. The suit, filed on behalf of a Sarasota County man, alleges that in 2001 and 2002, he was sexually abused multiple times by Father Ruse in a classroom and in the chaplain’s office at the Demilly Correctional Institution in Polk City, Florida when the plaintiff was approximately 14 and 15 years old.

The lawsuit claims that Father Ruse of the Diocese of Orlando, then pastor of St. Matthews in Winter Haven, Florida, used his status as a clergyman to meet privately with the plaintiff. He actively groomed the boy and gained his trust by showering…

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New Mexico diocese sues over limits on virus relief funds

The Associated Press

April 29, 2020

New Mexico’s largest Catholic diocese has filed a complaint against the U.S. Small Business Administration over its inability to apply for federal aid meant to help businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe claims the low-interest loan applications that entities must complete state those businesses involved in bankruptcy proceedings will not be approved. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2018 in the wake of clergy sex abuse lawsuits that began decades earlier.

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Advocate for the abused: Joe George stood up against the church to protect the vulnerable

The Sacramento Bee

April 29, 2020

By Marcos Breton

Joe George died last week and if you don’t know who Joe George was, you should.

For more than 30 years in Sacramento, George was a fierce lawyer who had the intellect to make obscene amounts of money in corporate law but chose instead to represent clients who had been sexually abused by people they trusted.

George’s opponents in court were often powerful individuals from powerful institutions who had the community standing and popularity to sweep their unspeakable transgressions under the rug until Joe George intervened.

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Defrocked priest, who admitted abusing a dozen children, dies at nursing home


April 28, 2020

By Chris Sheldon

A former Morris County priest who was defrocked in 2003 after he admitted abusing a dozen child parishioners in Mendham and Pompton Plains over the course of 14 years, died last week, officials said.

James T. Hanley died at a nursing home, Paterson Diocese attorney, Kenneth Mullaney, confirmed, adding that the diocese was informed of his death last week.

Mullaney did not say which nursing home Hanley was at at the time of his death or if he died from coronavirus as so many others across the state have over the last few months.

Hanley had been receiving a stipend from the church, Mullaney said.

The former priest, who served as a pastor at St. Joseph’s Church in Mendham for 10 years, had been accused of victimizing several more children and in 2004, the Diocese of Paterson settled lawsuits with…

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Louisiana priest convicted of molestation released on bond

Associated Press

April 29, 2020

A former Louisiana priest convicted of molesting an altar boy was released from jail on bond over coronavirus safety concerns.

Michael Guidry, 77, was released Friday nearly a year after he pleaded guilty to molesting a 16-year old boy after giving him alcohol in Guidry’s home, The Advertiser reported. The victim said in a civil lawsuit that he woke up one day in 2015 after doing chores in Guidry’s home and found the former priest molesting him, The Advocate reported. The victim told authorities about the molestation when he was an adult, four years after it happened.

Guidry, who served as the priest of St. Peter’s Church in Morrow, was then sentenced to 10 years in prison in April 2019, KATC-TV reported.

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Harrisburg Catholic Diocese to close two schools, citing financial difficulties and declining enrollment


April 28, 2020

By Ivey DeJesus

The Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg on Tuesday cited continued financial stress and decreasing enrollment as key factors in the decision to close two schools.

Holy Family Consolidated Catholic School in Berwick and Lebanon Catholic are slated for closure at the end of this school year, officials said in a written press statement.

Both schools have been facing enrollment and financial challenges for years and their continued operation is no longer sustainable by the area parishes, the press release said.

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Editorial: Dolan delivers the church to Trump and the GOP

National Catholic Reporter

April 28, 2020

The capitulation is complete.

Without a whimper from any of his fellow bishops, the cardinal archbishop of New York has inextricably linked the Catholic Church in the United States to the Republican Party and, particularly, President Donald Trump.

It was bad enough that Cardinals Timothy Dolan of New York and Sean O’Malley of Boston, joined by Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, currently also president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, participated in Trump’s phone version of a campaign rally on April 25. With hundreds of others on the call, including Catholic educators, the bishops were once again masterfully manipulated. They previously gave Trump certain campaign footage when they delivered Catholics to his speech at the March for Life rally in Washington early in the year.

Now Trump will have Dolan’s language from the call, telling everyone that he considers himself…

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‘Outsider Pope’ faces resistance as he tries to reform the Church, author says


April 29, 2020

By Charles Collins

Whatever your opinion of Pope Francis, everyone can agree the term “disruptor” is accurate.

In his new book, Outsider: Pope Francis and His Battle to Reform the Church, Christopher Lamb argues that many people within the Vatican itself are resisting the pope’s efforts to change how the Church functions.

Lamb, who is the Rome correspondent for the English Catholic weekly The Tablet, says many of Francis’s critics “perceive him as too political and moving the Church away from defending certain moral teachings.”

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Buffalo Diocese stops paying 23 priests accused of abuse

Buffalo News

April 28, 2020

By Jay Tokasz

The Buffalo Diocese, as part of bankruptcy negotiations, will no longer pay or provide health care for priests suspended due to substantiated sex abuse allegations.

Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger informed 23 Buffalo priests who are on leave because of abuse claims that their regular checks from the diocese would stop on Friday, May 1.

Scharfenberger wrote a letter to the priests dated last Thursday, explaining that the termination of pay was part of negotiations in bankruptcy with a creditor’s committee representing more than 200 plaintiffs who alleged child sex abuse by priests and sued the diocese under the Child Victims Act.

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 28.

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New Jersey priest who admitted abusing over a dozen children, dies in nursing home, lawyer says

Fox News

April 29, 2020

By David Aaro

A former New Jersey priest, who admitted abusing more than a dozen children in the state, died in a nursing home last week, according to multiple reports.

It wasn’t clear whether the death of James T. Hanley, who was one of the first priests to be defrocked in 2003 for sexually abusing children, was related to the coroniavirus outbreak, NJ.com reported.

Hanley was at the center of the 2002 Roman Catholic Church scandal in New Jersey in relation to an alleged cover-up of sex abuse by some bishops.

“Now remember, Mark,” the priest allegedly told Mark Serrano, who was 9 years old at the time he was allegedly abused in the 1970s, according to Rolling Stone. “This is our secret. This is something special that you and I share. Best not to share it with Mom and Dad.”

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Reportajes 24: A 10 años de denunciar a Fernando Karadima, ¿valió la pena?

[Reports 24: 10 years after denouncing Fernando Karadima, was it worth it?]

Reportajes 24


Hace 10 años se cumplió un hito en la historia de la televisión pública. No sin esfuerzos por acallar a los denunciantes y al equipo periodístico, Informe Especial emitió un reportaje que denunció a uno de los sacerdotes más poderosos de la Iglesia Católica nacional. A una década de aquel trabajo, los sobrevivientes revisan la lucha dada, lo logrado, y lo que a su juicio no se ha hecho para renovar las estructuras y proteger a las víctimas de abuso sexual y de conciencia. Los arzobispos eméritos de Santiago, Franciso Javier Errázuriz y Ricardo Ezzati, y el actual arzobispo, Celestino Aós, se restaron de entregar sus conclusiones.

[Google Translation: 10 years ago, a milestone in the history of public television was met. Not without efforts to silence the complainants and…

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Former St. Landry Parish priest who admitted molestation released from prison

The Acadiana Advocate

April 27, 2020

By Ben Myers

A 77-year-old former Lafayette Diocese priest who pleaded guilty to molesting a teenage altar boy in St. Landry Parish five years ago has been released from prison while he appeals his sentence.

Michael Guidry’s lawyer, Jane Hogan, filed a bail motion this month, and court records show that he is no longer in custody. Guidry received the maximum 10-year jail term — with three years suspended — after pleading guilty in 2018.

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OPINION: Do we have to take sides over George Pell? Well, actually, ‘no’

Eternity News

April 28, 2020

By John Sandeman

Survivors of clergy abuse were genuinely shocked at the High Court overturning the convictions of Cardinal George Pell. It took them by surprise. The legal fraternity had worked out the odds – but not the survivors and their support groups.

Having sat through the two days of the the High Court hearing, and seen the prosecution case collapse, it did not shock me – although I had not predicted the outcome.

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Will the pandemic force the Catholic Church to transform?

TRT World

April 27, 2020

While the church has a vast body of members, the pandemic is leaving one of the oldest religious institutions in financial limbo.

The Catholic Church has survived many things, including the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century, capitalism and secularism.

As the world’s oldest religious institution, with nearly 1.3 billion followers, the Catholic Church is the largest continuously operating international organisation, and the faithful would also like it to survive this deadly pandemic.

But no one can deny that the Vatican’s finances are in disarray.

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Listening key for Church reform in our time


April 28, 2020

By Michael Otto

The royal commission investigation of sexual abuse in care in New Zealand is likely to highlight systemic problems in the Church that will prompt calls for reform.

This is what has happened in other countries and reform processes have started in places like Australia and Germany, said Dr Myriam Wijlens at a lecture in Auckland on March 11.

Dr Wijlens, who is a theologian, canon law professor and member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, stressed that reform has to address issues at their roots, touching and impacting the whole body of the faithful.

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Domestic violence and child abuse rates rise, but resources are still available

The Alestle

April 28, 2020

By Damian Morris

Rates for domestic violence and child abuse are rising with COVID-19, but there are still resources out there.

According to Sheriff of Cherokee County, South Carolina, Steve Mueller in an NBC News article, the rates of domestic violence have increased by 35 percent in March compared to February due to COVID-19.

Prevention Education and Advocacy Center Coordinator Samantha Dickens said increasing rates of domestic violence and child abuse are occuring from families being stuck in close quarters.

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Church members show support for priest in legal battle


April 27, 2020

By Eric Pointer

Congregation members of two Catholic churches are showing their support for a priest who was removed by Richmond Diocese Bishop. The priest has appealed his removal and is still in place at both churches while the process unfolds.

Father Mark White presides over St. Joseph in Martinsville and St. Francis of Assisi in Rocky Mount.

Originally Father Mark White was told to stop his blog, which at times was critical of the church’s handling of sexual abuse cases. He shut the blog down for some time, but once the pandemic hit and he wasn’t able to meet with his members face to face, he started it up again and he was removed shortly after.

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Beyond Cedarville: Why Do Pastors Keep Getting Rehired After Abuse?

Christian Today

April 28, 2020

By Kate Shellnutt

Victims’ advocates caution institutions against plans to “restore” fallen leaders.

Another case of a leader with an abusive past moving from one evangelical institution to another has intensified scrutiny on Christian hiring practices and responses to abuse.

In ministry contexts, the desire to keep fallen leaders out of positions where they might again abuse their authority is sometimes met with another perspective—a hope that a redemptive and forgiving God would allow people to be restored to leadership. Both victims’ advocates and community members worry that administrators weighing those considerations at Cedarville University made the wrong call.

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Sexual Abuse Remains a Summer Camp Concern for Parents


April 27, 2020

Nearly half of parents surveyed said they were more concerned about potential abuse and bullying at overnight camps than the cost or activities offered; As camps move virtual, cyber safety also emerges as a concern

Summer camp has long been a cherished rite of passage for generations of kids. And even if the sun sets to the sound of crickets across campgrounds this summer – and camps become virtual for the season – there’s sure to be a rush of eager new campers next year, post-pandemic. According to the American Camp Association, about 7,000 overnight camps and 5,000 day camps in the United States offer children enriching experiences, from educational activities to overnight wilderness trips and travel-based adventures.

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Cardinal George Pell findings seeking approval for release


April 28, 2020

Unpublished findings relating to Cardinal George Pell’s handling of child sexual abuse complaints have been cleared for release by the Victorian government.

The federal attorney-general is now seeking final approval after receiving clearance on the royal commission documents from his Victorian counterpart.

“Now that this response has been received I have sought final advice from my department on the release of the documents and will proceed upon receipt of that advice, which I expect as soon as possible,” Christian Porter told AAP.

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Ridsdale admits to more abuse


April 28, 2020

By Rebecca McDonald

A pedophile priest has admitted to sexually abusing more boys.

Gerald Ridsdale has pleaded guilty to more than dozen charges including indecent assault, against four victims on the Surf Coast and in the state’s west.

The abuse occurred during the 1970s.

The court heard two brothers were abused when the former priest took them rabbit shooting.

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Ridsdale admits more abuse but lawyer asks for no extra jail time

The Age

April 27, 2020

By Adam Cooper

Gerald Ridsdale – arguably Australia’s most prolific paedophile priest – has admitted abusing more children who were in his care, but his lawyer has argued his jail term should not be increased.

Ten counts of indecent assault and four of buggery against four boys in the 1970s took to 69 the number of Ridsdale’s known victims, the County Court heard on Monday, though it is not known exactly how many lives he damaged over 27 years of offending while a parish priest across western Victoria.

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Archdiocese ‘is not Lehman Brothers’

The Guam Daily Post

April 27, 2020

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

Judge balks at $75K monthly fee in church bankruptcy case

A federal judge held off deciding on clergy sex abuse claimants’ proposal to hire a financial adviser for up to $75,000 a month, saying the fees are “exorbitant” and the bankrupt Archdiocese of Agana “is not Lehman Brothers,” a global financial services firm.

Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood of the District Court of Guam said more money spent on professional fees means less money for each clergy sex abuse survivor.

“And if the debtor becomes insolvent, it not only negatively affects the debtor and all the creditors, but it will also have a massive impact on the entire Catholic community that the debtor serves,” the judge wrote in her April 24 order.

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New motion asks judge to ignore advice to keep emails between Saints, archdiocese sealed in clergy abuse suit


April 24, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas and Amie Just

Attorneys for an alleged clergy sex abuse victim asked a New Orleans judge Friday to reject a court official’s recommendation that hundreds of emails between the New Orleans Saints and the Archdiocese of New Orleans should remain hidden from public view.

The plaintiff’s legal team argued that the recommendation from retired Judge Carolyn Gill-Jefferson erred on several counts, including her suggestion to also seal all materials uncovered in the future by the discovery process of the lawsuit in question.

“No defendant or third party had sought such sweeping relief,” a plaintiff filing said Friday.

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Hawaii courts filling with sex abuse cases


April 27, 2020

By Paul Drewes

Hawaii courts have filled with last minute filings for sexual abuse cases.

Fall out from a slew of recently filed sexual abuse lawsuits has a trustee from Punahou Schools stepping down.

According to the school, Monica McLaren voluntarily stepped down from the Board, after her husband Christopher McLaren was named in one of several civil cases against Punahou.

Hawaii courts have filled with last minute filings for sexual abuse cases.

“There was sexual contact within months of first meeting me outside of Kekuhaupi’o gym,” said former Kamehameha Schools student Daniel Kaohimaunu. His revelation of abuse at Kamehameha Schools also comes with a lawsuit.

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Do French clerics carry “get out of jail free” cards? [Opinion]

InternationalFreeThought.org (blog)

April 27, 2020

By Keith Porteous Wood

In March, a most egregious infraction of secularism in France passed almost unnoticed. Former priest Bernard Preynat was not imprisoned despite having been found guilty of the sexual violence against minors on a huge scale over decades.

He had been sentenced to five years in prison but was released pending appeal.

Preynat had friends in high places. He enjoyed the protection, in knowledge of his crimes, of the most senior Catholics in France. No less than five successive Cardinal Archbishops of Lyon – Renard, Decourtray, Balland, Billé and Barbarin.

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Survivors of clergy sex abuse want accountability following priest released on house arrest


April 27, 2020

By Chris Welty

The release of a priest convicted of molesting a teenage boy is raising questions for the judicial system and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Guidry is out on bail tonight.

One-year-ago this week, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with three years suspended, after pleading guilty to molestation of a juvenile.

According to court records, Guidry’s defense counsel, Jane Hogan, requested an emergency appeal hearing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidry’s attorney appeared before the court through video conference and waived her defendant’s appearance. Guidry’s defense then submitted an emergency motion for bail, which the court granted and set at $10,000 over objections from state prosecutors.

Survivors of clergy sex abuse want accountability.

“This perp is a dangerous perpetrator and what does that say to the individual he sexually abused? I don’t care how long ago it was,” said…

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Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese releases investigation into priest with many ties to the Ozarks


April 27, 2020

The Springfield-Cape-Girardeau Diocese reports a review board determined inappropriate physical/sexual misconduct involving a priest.

Father Gary Carr became an ordained priest in 1982. He then served at several churches and schools in the diocese, including in Springfield, Monett and West Plains (See entire list below).

The allegations involve a male student between the ages of 10-13. The report has been forwarded to the Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in southeast Missouri. This is only a report from the diocese. Police have not arrested Father Carr.

The Diocesan Safe Environment Review Board has determined that an allegation of inappropriate physical/sexual misconduct involving Fr. Gary Carr meets the criteria for publication as it satisfies the prevailing standard of Semblance of Truth.

The allegation involves a male, now an adult, who recently reported that nearly 30 years ago, when he was then between the age of…

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Dallas priest accused of abuse, removed from the ministry

Associated Press

April 27, 2020

Dallas Roman Catholic diocese has removed a priest from the ministry after sexual abuse allegations arose in the Colombian archdiocese where he formerly served.

Oscar Mora was among 19 priests suspended last month by the Catholic Archdiocese of Villavicencio after the allegation arose earlier this year, The Dallas Morning News reported Monday.

The archdiocese alerted Bishop Edward Burns in Dallas that one of the priests in the Dallas diocese was among the 19 suspended.

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Vic govt clears release of Pell findings

AAP via 7News

April 27, 2020

By Benita Kolovos

Unpublished findings about Cardinal George Pell’s handling of child sexual abuse complaints have been cleared for release by the Victorian government.

Attorney-General Jill Hennessy has advised her federal counterpart Christian Porter that blacked-out sections of two reports from the institutional child abuse royal commission can be released, after the High Court overturned the cardinal’s convictions for child sexual abuse earlier this month.

“The government is not aware of any impediments to the un-redacted versions of these reports being tabled and published at this time,” the government said in a statement on Monday.

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After 26 years, Eileen Piper has finally won an apology from the Catholic Church for her daughter’s abuse

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

April 26, 2020

By Karen Percy

Key points

– The Catholic Church had long denied Stephanie Piper was abused by Father Gerard Mulvale in the 1970s

– The Archbishop of Melbourne apologised to Mrs Piper after a review by the former chief justice of the Victorian Supreme Court

– The 95-year-old mother’s lawyers said the apology is too little and too late

It’s taken 26 years, reams of legal documents and many tears, but Eileen Piper has done what she set out to do — cleared the name of her daughter, Stephanie, who was abused by a Catholic priest in the 1970s.

In December, Mrs Piper, 95, received a written apology from Melbourne’s Archbishop, Peter Comensoli, and the Pallotine order of priests which, for years, had denied the crimes of Father Gerard Mulvale.

“I am relieved — but I’m still hurt,” she told the ABC.

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Pell and the unforgiving glare [Opinion]

The Australian

April 27, 2020

By John Ferguson

Someone had to pay for the many abuses of the Catholic Church … and there was Cardinal George Pell.

George Pell and his supporters won’t have been surprised that news of another police investigation into the cardinal broke just days after his High Court acquittal of child sex abuse.

For months, rumours about another possible complainant had been swirling among Catholic circles, and through the streets of Ballarat and the broader survivor community.

But, as is the case with so much that revolves around the 78-year-old, who knows what to believe and how much, if any, weight to give the latest claim?

Given the emphatic High Court ruling on the St Patrick’s Cathedral abuse convictions and the failure of any of the original charges to go the full distance, the report on a fresh complainant was greeted by Camp Pell…

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Guest post by Edward Henry QC: Reflections on the case of Cardinal Pell

The Secret Barrister (blog)

April 23, 2020

I am pleased to host this guest post by Edward Henry QC, of QEB Hollis Whiteman, reflecting on the case of Pell v The Queen [2020] HCA 12, and what the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in England and Wales can learn from the High Court of Australia.


On 7th April Cardinal Pell was cleared by the High Court of Australia of wrongful allegations of historic sexual assault on a chorister. In its judgment, the HCA found that for all five charges, there were many improbabilities that had not been fully considered by the jury, amounting to “a significant possibility,” the judges wrote, “that an innocent person has been convicted.” Edward Henry QC considers that cases involving historic allegations of sexual abuse can present a real danger of injustice, which the CACD too often seems to ignore….

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Opinion: Row between a US priest and his bishop reaches farcical levels

Patheos (blog)

April 25, 2020

By Barry Duke

A Virginia priest who established a blog in which he posted entries critical of the Church’s handling of the clergy sex scandal has being removed as pastor of both Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Rocky Mount and Saint Joseph’s in Martinsville and reassigned as a prison chaplain, necessitating a move two hours away.

But a defiant Fr Mark White, above, of the Diocese of Richmond, says he’s not going anywhere until established Church law has run its course. What’s more, he relaunched the blog which he agreed to shut down in November 2019 when ordered to do so by Richmond Bishop Barry Knestout.

When the COVID pandemic brought an end to public Masses and sacramental life in general last month, White sought permission from Knestout to resurrect his blog as a means of staying in touch with parishioners who…

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Victorian government clears release of Pell royal commission findings

The Guardian

April 27, 2020

By Melissa Davey and Australian Associated Press

Victorian attorney general advises her federal counterpart that blacked-out sections of two reports can be released

Unpublished findings about Cardinal George Pell’s handling of child sexual abuse complaints have been cleared for release by the Victorian government.

Attorney general Jill Hennessy has advised her federal counterpart, Christian Porter, that blacked-out sections of two reports from the institutional child abuse royal commission can be released, after the high court overturned the cardinal’s convictions for child sexual abuse earlier this month.

“The government is not aware of any impediments to the un-redacted versions of these reports being tabled and published at this time,” the government said in a statement on Monday.

However she added, “The removal of redactions is entirely a matter for the royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse”.

The decision to release…

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Victorian Government backs release of unredacted Royal Commission findings on child sex abuse

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

April 27, 2020

Victoria’s Attorney General, Jill Hennessy, has said there are no legal impediments to prevent the release of unredacted portions of the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The unanimous High Court decision acquitting George Pell earlier this month cleared the way for the release of some unpublished findings of the Royal Commission relating to his evidence about the way in which allegations of abuse were handled in the Catholic diocese of Ballarat.

Cardinal Pell was questioned about what he may have known about paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale and the offending of other priests.

He was also scrutinised about the Catholic Church’s hardline approach to sexual abuse cases during his time as archbishop of Sydney.

Now that Cardinal Pell has been acquitted, the Federal Attorney-General, Christian Porter can table the Royal Commission’s unredacted reports in Parliament.

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Amish bishop charged with failing to report child sex abuse

Associated Press

April 23, 2020

An Amish bishop failed to notify law enforcement that a church member allegedly confessed to sexually assaulting three girls, authorities said..

Levi Esh Sr., 63, was arraigned Wednesday on felony and misdemeanor charges and his bail was set at $25,000. It wasn’t known Thursday if he has retained an attorney.

Esh failed to report the church member’s confession about sexual assaults that occurred around 2012 and 2013, according to Pequea Township police. They cited witnesses within the Amish community who said that while Esh’s church excommunicated the member, Esh only had the matter “handled internally” in order to keep it quiet.

Esh is bishop of two congregations in Lancaster County.

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Cardinal Pell: A decision with little certainty [Opinion]

National Catholic Reporter

April 27, 2020

by Gail Grossman Freyne

George Pell is a cardinal in the Catholic Church. And that is where the problem lies. It lies as well in the institution. The two are inextricably intertwined so that the fate of one informs the other.

Some, like Pope Francis, say, “I would like to pray today for all those persons who suffer an unjust sentence because someone had it in for them.” The Vatican News reported that the pope made this statement at his morning Mass in Santa Marta, shortly after the news broke that the High Court of Australia had quashed the convictions against Pell.

The Vatican is understandably relieved that the final appeal of their erstwhile No. 3 in command has been successful. But the church cannot reasonably take comfort from the high court’s decision because, if the cardinal’s appeal had failed, they…

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Kamehameha Schools Faces a Spate of Sex Abuse Claims

Honolulu Civil Beat

April 24, 2020

By Yoohyun Jung

At least 16 plaintiffs are named in six lawsuits. Other schools also have been sued in the weeks leading up to a deadline Friday.

Kamehameha Schools, endowed by the state’s largest private landowner to educate children of Hawaiian descent, faces a new wave of sex abuse claims from former students coming forward just before the statutory deadline to file such lawsuits.

At least six lawsuits involving 16 plaintiffs filed in recent weeks include new claims against Dr. Robert Browne, the disgraced psychiatrist whose abuse of students already led the school to pay $80 million in a settlement, as well as newly accused teachers, an administrator and dorm advisors from the 1970s and ‘80s.

The teachers and staff are accused of abusing their positions of power to sexually molest and assault students, in some cases giving them alcohol or…

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Some parishes “may not be able to re-open” once public health crisis ends, Scharfenberger says


April 24, 2020

By Chris Horvatits

In mid-March, the coronavirus crisis forced the Diocese of Buffalo to hold masses without congregations present. The Most. Rev. Edward Schafenberger, Albany’s bishop who is temporarily in charge of Buffalo’s diocese, says some parishes may never hold a public mass again.

“It would depend upon the parish’s own unique circumstances,” Scharfenberger said Friday. “It’s not too dramatic to assume that some just may not be able to re-open again. There may need to be some sort of mergers.”

Many parish’s across the diocese have been holding mass via Facebook or Youtube over the past month. That means parishioners are unable to place money in the collection bins during mass. Scharfenberger was unable to provide specific information on parish finances across the diocese. But he provided estimates.

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20% of church entities that applied received SBA loans to keep staff

Catholic News Service via Angelus

April 24, 2020

By Dennis Sadowski

The federal small-business loan program created in response to the coronavirus pandemic has allowed the Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee, to keep all of its part-time employees on board.

For that, school superintendent Rebecca Hammel is grateful.

She told Catholic News Service that 10 schools received loans under the Small Business Administration-administered Paycheck Protection Program.

Loan amounts ranged from $89,900 to $1.95 million and allows the school to continue paying part-time workers even though they are not reporting to work, Hammel said. The remaining six diocesan schools are in line to receive loans once new legislation replenishing the program takes effect, she added.

“It’s just been a blessing to our schools,” Hammel said of the program.

The House of Representatives April 23 passed legislation already approved by the Senate that would allocate an additional $310 billion into…

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Seminaries must hire, involve more women, Cardinal Ouellet says

Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

April 24, 2020

By Cindy Wooden

Vatican City – For some priests and seminarians, “women represent danger, but in reality, the true danger are those men who do not have a balanced relationship with women,” said Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

The cardinal was interviewed about the role of women in seminaries and seminary formation for the May issue of the women’s supplement to the Vatican newspaper; the interview was published April 24 by Vatican News.

Asked if a lack of women involved in priestly formation programs is to blame for the discomfort women and priests can experience in each other’s company, the cardinal said, “the problem is probably deeper” than that and begins with how women are treated in one’s family.

“There is awkwardness because there is fear — more on the part…

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Boy Scouts suit filed as Hawaii shuts abuse claims window

Associated Press

April 26, 2020

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Eight men were sexually abused when they were Boy Scouts in Hawaii in the 1960s and 1970s, they alleged in a lawsuit filed Friday as the state’s window closed on allowing child sex abuse claims that would have been barred under a statute of limitations.

Various states and Washington, D.C., extended or suspended statute of limitations to allow child sex abuse claims stretching back decades. In Hawaii, a window for filing old claims was first opened in 2012. It was reopened in 2018 and closed Friday.

The lawsuit by the eight men now living in Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington state also comes while attorneys urge potential victims to come forward as Boy Scouts of America works on its bankruptcy plan.

The Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy protection in February in an effort to halt hundreds of individual…

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Maine high court upholds sex crime convictions of defrocked priest

Press Herald

April 23, 2020

By Matt Byrne

The justices affirm 10 of the 11 convictions against Ronald Paquin, 77, a former Catholic priest from Massachusetts, leaving his 16-year prison sentence unchanged.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday upheld all but one of the 11 convictions of a former priest who is serving 16 years in prison for sexually assaulting a boy during multiple vacations to Maine in the 1980s.

Ronald Paquin, now 77, was found guilty in 2018 of 11 counts of gross sexual misconduct. A York County jury acquitted him of similar charges related to a second boy. A judge sentenced him last year to 20 years in prison with all but 16 years suspended.

Paquin was one of the priests exposed in the early 2000s by a sweeping Boston Globe investigation into clergy sex abuse. He pleaded guilty in 2002 in Massachusetts…

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Defrocked ‘Spotlight’ Priest’s Convictions Upheld In Maine

Associated Press

April 24, 2020

Maine’s highest court has upheld convictions on 10 of 11 counts for a defrocked priest who was sentenced to prison for sexually abusing an altar boy during trips to the state in the 1980s.

Ronald Paquin, 77, had already served more than 10 years in prison in Massachusetts. Last year, he was ordered to serve another 16 years in prison in Maine.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled Thursday that two counts violated Paquin’s constitutional double jeopardy protection against being punished twice for the same crime, and it vacated one of the counts.

But the court dismissed other arguments, including the defense contention that the victim’s criminal record should have been presented, along with questions about expert testimony about victims of sexual crimes.

Paquin’s case in Massachusetts was a critical piece of a sexual abuse scandal that consumed the Roman Catholic Archdiocese…

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Defrocked priest’s conviction upheld in Maine

Eagle Tribune

April 24, 2020

By Mike LaBella

Haverhill – Maine’s highest court has upheld convictions on 10 of 11 counts for a defrocked priest who was sentenced to prison for sexually abusing an altar boy during trips to the state in the 1980s.

Ronald Paquin, 77, had already served more than 10 years in prison in Massachusetts. Last year, he was ordered to serve another 16 years in prison in Maine after his conviction in late November 2018 on 11 of 24 counts of gross sexual misconduct.

Paquin served at St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill from 1981 to 1990, and St. Monica Church in Methuen from 1974 to 1980.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled Thursday that two counts violated Paquin’s constitutional double jeopardy protection against being punished twice for the same crime, and it vacated one of the counts.

But the court…

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About 100 victims come forward with new claims of sex abuse

Hawaii News Now KHNL / KGMB

April 24, 2020

By Rick Daysog

At least 100 come forward with new sex abuse allegations as filing deadline ends

At least 100 former students, medical patients and church members have come forward with new allegations that they were sexually abused years ago.

Many are victims of known sex offenders — pedophile priests, doctors and teachers.

But at least five ex-Punahou girls basketball players — including MMA champ Ilima-Lei MacFarlane and former University of Hawaii women’s basketball standout Shawna-Lei Kuehu — are raising new sex abuse allegations against their former coach Dwayne Yuen.

Attorneys said the lawsuits are just the tip of the iceberg.

“I know (that) for a fact, because I’ve talked to people who are still out there and are still undecided about coming forward,” said attorney Randall Rosenberg.

A large number of the suits are against the Catholic…

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Ordination Class of 2020 Study Provides Hope for the State of Vocations in the Church

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

April 23, 2020

The release of the study of the Ordination Class of 2020 reveals a great sign of life and hope in the Church in the United States, despite the midst of uncertainty in the world brought by the Coronavirus pandemic. At a moment when the faithful are prone to despair and struggle with the sadness of not having the sacraments available, and the public celebration of the Mass suspended, this profile of the 2020 Ordination Class is a ray of light. It is a tangible sign of God’s continued care for His Church. As a part of its mandate, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations sponsors an annual survey, in conjunction with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), of the members of the current year’s Ordination Class. Each…

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2020 priest ordination class is slightly smaller, more diverse, survey finds

Catholic News Agency via Angelus

April 24, 2020

A survey of the 2020 priestly ordination class was published by the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference (USCCB) on Thursday, a slightly smaller class than in 2019.

Sponsored by the bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, the survey is conducted annually of U.S. seminarians who are about to be ordained to the priesthood. The USCCB collaborates with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) to produce the survey.

Ordination class sizes have varied over time, according to previous CARA reports. In 2006, there were 359 potential ordinands identified by the survey (though not all responded), a number that rose to 475 in 2007 before dipping to 401 for the class of 2008—many of whom would have entered seminary in 2002, the year that clergy sex abuse scandals in the U.S. were widely reported.

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‘The Catholic Church should close the Christian Brothers down’

6PR 882 Radio

April 22, 2020

By Gareth Parker

A McGowan Government minister and former student of CBC Fremantle has publicly criticised the Christian Brothers for a lack of care towards the victims of child sexual abuse.

Dave Kelly, the MLA for Bassendean, attended CBC Fremantle in the 1970s from grade 4 to grade 12.

Today on Mornings with Gareth Parker he has revealed his disgust with the Christian Brothers for failing to reckon with their shameful past in dealing with the legacy of child sexual abuse.

Mr Kelly said the public revelation in 2013 that one of his former teachers, Brother Daniel McMahon, had abused children was the trigger for him to write to the management of CBC Fremantle to ask what the school would do about notifying former students and inviting them to come forward.

“The Principal wrote me a very brief reply, it…

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Barrow reverend Nick Donnelly ‘proved right’ after senior Catholic’s child sexual abuse conviction overturned

The Mail

April 21, 2020

By Joe Fletcher


A Furness cleric said he had been ‘proved right’ after senior Australian Catholic Cardinal George Pell had his conviction for sexually abusing two boys overturned by the High Court.

Rev Nick Donnelly, deacon of the Our Lady of Furness parish, which incorporates St Mary’s Church on Duke Street, Barrow, received hate mail and even a death threat over the issue.

“Twitter can be a hateful place,” said Rev Donnelly. “It was somebody posting in Ballarat (Victoria, Australia), who basically said if I showed my face in Ballarat I’d get my noggin smashed in.”

However, Rev Donnelly, who lives in Barrow, believes his support has been vindicated by the release of Cardinal Pell after more than 400 days in prison, with a bench of seven judges unanimously ruling in the cleric’s favour.

The cardinal’s original appeal, it was determined,…

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Commentary: A View from the Inside of the Catholic Church’s Abuse Scandal

Legal Examiner – Saunders and Walker Law Firm

April 23, 2020

By Joseph H. Saunders

Fr. Mark White, a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Richmond in Virginia is emerging as a man of courage and integrity within the ranks of the clergy. He has been willing to do what few clergy have been-that is speak truth to power.

In October 2008, he started a blog under his own name in an attempt to reach those who don’t go to church. However, the blog evolved and has delved into heretofore unchartered waters-a Catholic priest criticizing the bishops for mishandling the priest abuse crisis.

White closed his blog in November 2019, after his bishop ordered him to do so. But after the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of Masses with the faithful, he decided to resume blogging, as a way to stay in communication with his…

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Despite April Being Child Abuse Prevention Month, Michigan Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Sexual Assault Case

Ven Johnson Law via Iosco County News-Herald

April 23, 2020

Detroit – Earlier this week, the Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in a negligence lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids (Catholic Diocese). The lawsuit accuses the Catholic Diocese of negligence in the sexual abuse of a then 15-year-old male student, Brandon Bowman, who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by his then 34-year-old female teacher, Abigail Simon.

Over three months in 2013, Simon sexually assaulted Bowman on multiple occasions. Simon was assigned by her employer, Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School/Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, to tutor Bowman in order for him to remain eligible to play high school sports. Later that year, Simon was arrested for criminal sexual conduct (CSC), stood trial in 2014, and was convicted of CSC and sentenced to eight to 25 years in prison, a sentence she is…

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Former Scout leader jailed for 31 years for decades of child sex abuse

Sydney Morning Herald

April 23, 2020

By Georgina Mitchell

A former Scout leader has been jailed for a maximum of 31 years and 6 months after he preyed upon young boys for more than two decades, sexually abusing nine children including a seven-year-old boy.

Mario Henry Aliverti, 61, assaulted six boys while he occupied leadership roles at a Scout group in south-west Sydney between 1985 and 1989. One boy was abused again by Aliverti in 1991.

Those boys, who were aged between 11 and 15, were subjected to a range of persistent assaults including being masturbated against their will, being touched indecently, and having Aliverti penetrate them, causing significant pain.

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U. of Michigan facing more legal action over alleged abuse

Associated Press via Jacksonville Journal-Courier

April 24, 2020

By Larry Lage

A legal team that says it represents more than 100 people who allege they were abused by a deceased University of Michigan sports doctor on Friday announced the first step in filing a lawsuit against the school.

The Anderson Survivors Legal Team said it has filed 20-plus notices of intent to sue the Ann Arbor school, its board and Dr. Robert Anderson’s estate. A lawsuit would be among an rising wave of legal action against the school, which is investigating allegations of decades of sexual abuse by Anderson.

“We have credible evidence that the University of Michigan received complaints regarding Dr. Anderson and failed to properly investigate, discipline and sanction Dr. Anderson for his abusive and harassing conduct,” attorney John Manly said.

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Priest who sought bishop’s resignation requests leave from duties

Buffalo News

April 22, 2020

By Jay Tokasz

A Buffalo Diocese priest who campaigned for Bishop Richard J. Malone to resign because of a clergy sex abuse scandal is stepping down as pastor of one of the diocese’s largest parishes.

The Rev. Robert W. Zilliox announced in an email to parishioners Wednesday morning that he will leave on May 1 as pastor of St. Mary Church in Swormville. Zilliox said he asked Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger for relief from his pastoral responsibilities so he could take a sabbatical.

“After much prayer and discernment,” Zilliox said in his email, “I have come to the realization that it is now time for me to step back and rest for a time in order to tend to my own personal spiritual and emotional needs.”

Zilliox emphasized in a text message to The Buffalo News that the move was by his…

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Colorado’s priest abuse reparations program has paid more than $3 million to 28 victims so far

Colorado Sun

April 22, 2020

By Jennifer Brown

The program, which was announced in October, stems from a massive review of church files that revealed abuses of 166 children going back decades.

The Catholic Church so far has paid more than $3 million to 28 victims of priest abuse in Colorado as part of a review of claims by an independent committee.

The work of the oversight committee is ongoing, but its leaders announced Wednesday that they have received claims from 91 victims of abuse by priests who worked in one of Colorado’s three dioceses.

The Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program, which began in October, is run by Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, who handled similar compensation programs for priest abuse victims in New York, New Jersey, California and Pennsylvania. The three dioceses in Colorado — Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo — agreed when the program was…

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Bishop Guertin teacher abuse lawsuit bumped due to COVID-19 precautions

Ink Link

April 21, 2020

By Damien Fisher

Nashua – The lawsuit alleging the religious order that operates Nashua’s Bishop Guertin High School knew about a teacher’s history of sexual abuse is not going forward as scheduled.

The lawsuit brought by a former student against Bishop Guertin High School and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Order was set for a jury selection earlier this month in the Hillsborough Superior Court – South, but it was recently reset to Sept. 21 due to the COVID-19 precautions.

The former student, now an adult living in New York, claims that Bishop Guertin teacher, Brother Shawn McEnany, sexually assaulted her when she was a student during the 1990s.

According to the lawsuit, McEnany was convicted in 1988 of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl when he was a teacher at the St. Dominic Regional High School in Lewiston, Maine. St. Dominic…

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New Pell probe puts release of sex abuse royal commission redactions on hold

The Australian

April 23, 2020

By John Ferguson

Victorian authorities are still weighing up whether to support the release of redacted child sex abuse royal commission com­men­tary about Cardinal George Pell.

The federal Attorney-General, Christian Porter, has written to the Andrews government to determine whether it is now possible to release dozens of pages of the final abuse report, which includes commentary on Cardinal Pell.

Mr Porter wrote to Victorian authorities last week seeking clarification from the government and investigators about whether the commission redactions could now safely be made public.

The letter was sent after a ­Herald Sun report suggested another complainant had emerged whose story was being examined by ­Victoria Police.

The Australian understands the Andrews government favours a quick release of the redactions, but police are yet to formally state whether this should happen.

Premier Dan Andrews spoke to Scott…

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Witness J, former choirboy who accused George Pell, says case ‘does not define me’


April 8, 2020

[This article includes the full text of Witness J’s statement and a video interview with Vivian Waller, his lawyer.]

The former choirboy who accused George Pell of abusing him in the 1990s says he hopes the High Court’s unanimous acquittal of the Cardinal does not discourage survivors from reporting abuse.

In a statement issued this morning, Witness J said he respected and accepted the court’s decision and thanked police for their work:

I respect the decision of the High Court. I accept the outcome.

I understand their view that there was not enough evidence to satisfy the court beyond all reasonable doubt that the offending occurred.

I understand that the High Court is saying that the prosecution did not make out the case to the required standards of proof.

There are a lot of checks and balances in…

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Amish bishop charged with failing to report child sexual abuse

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

April 22, 2020

By Peter Smith

An Amish bishop in Lancaster County was arraigned Wednesday on charges of failing to report to law-enforcement authorities that a church member allegedly confessed to sexually assaulting three girls.

Pequea Township police allege that Levi S. Esh Sr., 63, failed to report a church member’s confessed sexual assaults on three girls around 2012 and 2013.

Police cite witnesses from within the Amish community who said while Mr. Esh’s church excommunicated the alleged perpetrator, he only had the matter “handled internally” in order to keep the incident quiet. When two congregants raised concerns about the case in October 2019, they told police that Mr. Esh said “it’s been taken care of, and it’s none of your business.”

Mr. Esh faces felony and misdemeanor charges of failing to report or refer a case of suspected child abuse to authorities.

The Post-Gazette…

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Amish bishop charged with failing to report sexual abuse claims

Lancaster Online

April 22, 2020

By Dan Nephin

In what appears to be the first such case of its kind in Lancaster County, an Amish bishop has been charged with failing to report suspected sexual abuse.

Levi S. Esh Sr. 63, of Pequea, was charged Tuesday with one felony and one misdemeanor count of failure to report to appropriate authorities.

According to charging documents, in late October 2019, two concerned members of the Amish community met with Esh on one occasion, and another occasion, Esh and other Amish leaders about sexual abuse.

“They were told once, ‘It’s been taken care of and it’s none of your business’ and then at the second meeting, ‘We aren’t talking about it’ and ‘it’s none of your business let it go,’” the documents said.

The members then went to police.

The underlying matter concerned John G. Beiler, 41, of Providence Township,…

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DC priest describes a culture of cover-up in wake of McCarrick scandal

Religion News Service

April 22, 2020

By Claire Giangravé

Vatican City – In early February, the second-highest-ranking prelate in the Vatican told news outlets that a long-awaited report into the ascent of disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick would be published in the “near future.”

[Photo caption:] Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, left, then the archbishop of Washington, confers the chalice during the ordination of Mark White in 2003.

In 2018, Pope Francis ordered that the Vatican investigate all of the documentation it had collected over the years regarding McCarrick, including data gathered in the dioceses of New York; Metuchen and Newark, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C., where he had served.

Almost three months after the February announcement, the report has still not seen the light of day.

A previous Vatican investigation found McCarrick guilty of sexual abuse against minors and seminarians and laicized him, stripping him of his…

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‘A Gold Mine’ of Abuse

Church Militant

April 23, 2020

SSPX: ‘Sympathetic to Perverts.’

One of the tragedies among many resulting from the invasion of modernism into the Church — blossoming in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council — is the reaction from some faithful Catholics.

Since it was the celebration of the Mass itself that was the most obvious change that occurred in the Church 50 years ago, many Catholics reacted by clinging ever more tightly to the Old Rite, the Traditional Latin Mass. Various groups sprung up that essentially placed all their eggs into the basket of the Traditional Latin Mass — the most notable probably the Society of St. Pius X, commonly known as the SSPX.

In 1988, concerned that the Society, dedicated to the ancient form, would die with his death, the leader, Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, disobeyed Pope John Paul II and illicitly consecrated four bishops who…

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Idaho court upholds ex-priest’s prison sentence

Associated Press via Lewiston Tribune

April 23, 2020

Boise – A former Boise priest convicted of possessing violent and extreme child pornography will be sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, an appellate court ruled.

William “Tom” Faucher, 74, was sentenced in December 2018 without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to distribution of sexually exploitative material, possession of sexually exploitative materials and drug possession, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Faucher appealed the ruling, arguing that the sentence was excessive and that the court failed to look at multiple circumstances, including his age, physical and mental infirmities, his community support, his alcohol abuse and lack of criminal history.

The Idaho Court of Appeals disagreed, arguing the District Court considered those factors “at length.”

Faucher had more than 2,000 photos and videos depicting child sexual abuse on his computer and phone, prosecutors said, adding that there was evidence that he…

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Advocates continue pushing legislation for sex abuse survivors


April 20, 2020

By Cayla Harris

Activists had hoped that the state Legislature would take up at least two bills supporting survivors of sexual abuse this legislative session, but with an uncertain schedule amid a pandemic, they worry the measures will be left on the backburner.

Survivors of sexual abuse and members of the advocacy group Safe Horizon hosted a press call on Monday urging legislators to resume session and pass the Adult Survivors Act. The measure – like the Child Victims Act that went into effect in August – would open a one-year look-back period for adult victims to pursue previously time-barred lawsuits against their alleged abusers.

“If and when someone chooses to come forward, their pathway to justice should not be time-barred or limited to results from a fraught criminal justice system,” said Marissa Hoechstetter, a survivor of sexual assault. “Lawmakers must stay in…

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Remaining Unsettled


April 21, 2020

By Massimo Faggioli

Pell’s Acquittal Won’t End the Church’s Culture Wars

In setting aside the guilty verdict against Cardinal George Pell on sexual-assault charges, Australia’s High Court effectively concluded the criminal-justice aspect of a case that has consumed the nation and the Catholic Church for years. But the April 7 ruling doesn’t really settle anything in the relationship between the church and the Australian state, nor is it likely to resolve the clash between the different “kinds” of Catholicism in Australia and elsewhere. In fact, the decision will probably keep the contentious debates alive, perhaps for a long time to come.

Pell had been charged with assaulting two thirteen-year-old boys in the sacristy of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996. From the beginning, there was nothing normal about the way the proceedings against him unfolded. The first trial ended in a…

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Pell in purgatory

Inside Story

April 13, 2020

By Jeremy Gans

If the High Court is right about the evidence on timing, what went wrong during the prosecution and hearings?

When George Pell’s jury announced its verdict at 3.45pm on Tuesday 11 December 2018, just one thing was certain about his case: it would end in the High Court of Australia. Pell was always going to appeal any finding of guilt to Victoria’s Court of Appeal and whoever lost there (Pell again, in the event) was always going to turn to Canberra for redress.

How the national court would finish the case was another matter. It could have ended with a whimper, with Pell’s name appearing in an online list of special leave applications with the word “dismissed” next to it. Or it could have ended with a bang, with Australia’s top judges deciding the case for themselves. At…

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62 Nevada community agencies awarded $20 million in Victims of Crime Act grant funding

Carson Now

April 20, 2020

By Jeff Munson

The Division of Child and Family Services on Monday announced 62 agencies, including 5 new agencies, will be awarded the annual Victims of Crime Act Assistance Formula Grant funding for the 2021 State Fiscal Year (SFY21) totaling $20 million.

$1.1 million in innovative funding was awarded to 13 agencies that will provide services to targeted projects and programs aimed to serve victims of crime who are homeless, to prevent Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), to assist when children are secondary victims of domestic violence and to bring telehealth services for victims of crime in rural areas of Nevada.

“We are happy to be able to award these funds to the dedicated service providers who stand ready to help Nevadans,” stated Ross Armstrong, Administrator of DCFS. “It is our hope that through focused innovative awards we’ll continue to…

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Parishioners stand by priest after bishop prohibits him from sharing opinion online

ABC 13 News WSET

April 19, 2020

By Kaicey Baylor

Martinsville – Parishioners at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Martinsville and St. Francis of Assisi in Rocky Mount say their priest Father Mark White did nothing wrong.

“He deserves justice,” said Joe Kernan, a member at St Joseph Catholic Church. “He deserves not to be mistreated.”

Church members are disappointed in the Bishop’s decision to remove their priest.

Joe Graf with St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church says Father White used his blog again as a way to reach out to his congregations during the pandemic.

“They were a very good way for communicating to us,” said Graf.

Richard Long, a member of St. Francis of Assisi says the bishop appeared at the mass yesterday unexpectedly.

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Letter to the Editor: Bishop’s comments were inappropriate

Martinsville Bulletin

April 17, 2020

By Teresa Biggs


I find the publication of Bishop’s Barry Knestout’s letter noting a number of issues regarding the pastor St. Joseph Catholic Church, Father Mark White, to be very inappropriate (“My case against Father Mark White’s blog,” March 22). As a shepherd, the bishop knows he should be a point of care and compassion. He has forever eliminated that concept from his charge, where he swore to uphold.

His comments should have been kept private and only in a setting of love. The fact that none were correct seems to be a minor matter in this series of events.

As a lifelong Catholic and as a member of St. Joseph, I ask for forgiveness from my many Protestant friends that they had to “listen” to our pastor being so belligerently described.

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Bisbee man confesses he’s molesting his daughter. Church tells bishop not to report abuse to authorities

Arizona Republic

April 21, 2020

By Mary Jo Pitzl


When a Bisbee man told his Mormon bishop he was sexually abusing his own five-year-old daughter, the bishop provided counseling. He involved the man’s wife in the sessions, apparently hoping that knowledge of her husband’s activities would prompt her to keep their children safe.

What the bishop didn’t do was report the abuse to police. He didn’t have to. Although Arizona law classifies clergy, as well as many others, as mandatory reporters of child abuse, there is an exception for clergy to not report if they believe it is “reasonable and necessary within the concepts of the religion.”

The bishop’s counseling sessions apparently had little effect. The man continued to molest his daughter, and later, after her birth in 2015, his infant daughter. He made videos of the encounters and posted them on pornographic websites, which were…

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