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.

June 25, 2020

Police Reform Must Start With Holistic Officer Training

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Rivard Report

June 24, 2020

By Anthony J. Pogorelc

For years now, as I followed television and online news, I have seen police officers brutalize individuals. Consistently, I have asked myself: Why do they do this? As a Catholic priest who works at the diocesan seminary training future priests, I wonder: How were these officers trained or formed?

The Catholic Church certainly has its problems. The history of sexual abuse and its cover-up is a horror in which those charged with caring for people abused them. One avenue of response by the church was to examine and reform the process of formation for those who aspire to the priesthood.

As a sociologist, I know that formation socializes someone into a culture constituted by shared, socially learned behavior. Reforming a formation process requires a serious examination of the culture and its values. What are we forming aspirants to be a part of? Individual and social change goes hand in hand. Today, it is essential to do this for the institution of policing. Enabling those on the front lines to properly carry out the institutional mission is an essential investment in human resources.

In the church we realized that formation is not only about the acquisition of skills; it is about shaping the human being. In priestly formation, we focus on four dimensions that could also be relevant to the formation of aspiring police officers:

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.

June 24, 2020

Abuse allegations against former Springfield Bishop Christopher Weldon ‘unequivocally credible,’ investigation finds

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
Springfield Republican via Mass Live

June 24, 2020

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

https://www.masslive.com/news/2020/06/abuse-allegations-against-former-springfield-bishop-christopher-weldon-unequivocally-credible-investigation-finds.html

A retired superior court judge’s review of sexual abuse allegations against former Bishop Christopher J. Weldon, who led the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield for more than 25 years, found the accusations to be “unequivocally credible.”

Meanwhile, mandatory reporters in the diocese who first heard the alleged victim’s account failed to report the matter to law enforcement officials, according to the executive summary for a 350-plus page report released Wednesday by the diocese. The report is the product of an investigation by retired Superior Court Judge Peter A. Velis, who was hired a year ago to investigate the matter.

In an executive summary, Velis criticized the diocesan review board that heard the alleged victim’s account in June 2018.

“It was clear in my examination that the process included an inexplicable modification and manipulation of the reports received by and acted on by the Diocesan Review Board,” Velis wrote. “Additionally the complaint process was compromised in that mandatory reporters failed in their duties to report the allegations to prosecutorial authorities.”

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.

Sacerdote es acusado de abuso sexual a un menor de edad en Coatzacoalcos

XALAPA (MEXICO)
SemMéxico [Mexico City, Mexico]

June 24, 2020

By Redacción

Read original article

  • Familia denuncia amenazas de la Iglesia católica por acusar al presbítero ante la autoridad.
  • En dicha Iglesia hay una gran participación de menores y adolescentes en las actividades de las pastorales.

SemMéxico/Billie Parker Noticias. Coatzacoalcos Veracruz. – Un sacerdote, Vicario de la Iglesia Católica “Santa María Reyna del Rosario”, de la colonia “El Tesoro” en el puerto de Coatzacoalcos, fue acusado de embriagar e intentar abusar sexualmente de un menor de edad, que logró escapar aprovechando de que el párroco se habría quedado dormido.

En los hechos se reporta que la tarde noche del sábado en el interior de la iglesia ubicada en el Andador “Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz”, de la colonia citada del puerto de Coatzacoalcos, el joven que asistía al presbítero encargado de la parroquia, quien enfermó, fue amenazado por quien lo suple, y con amagos lo llevó a su dormitorio, en donde sacó un botella de tequila para obligarlo a tomar.

La madre del menor agraviado dijo en su denuncia presentada en la Fiscalía Especializada con expediente 504/2020, que la tarde del pasado sábado, su hijo le pidió permiso para ir a la iglesia del Tesoro, ya que estaban armando el grupo de la Pastoral juvenil y no imaginó el desenlace.

El joven le asegura se negó a tomar, pero el párroco Cruz Antonio “N”, lo amenazó con que no iba a poder salir de la iglesia, porque tenía “a su gente cuidándolo y que, si se salía, lo iba a matar a él y a su mamá”.

El integrante de la iglesia intentó abusar de él pero al quedar bajo los influjos del alcohol, el párroco agresor se quedó dormido, momentos que aprovechó el joven para huir, llegando a una habitación contigua en donde se encontraba otro sacerdote quien lo interrogó por su desnudez y le narró lo que había sucedido.

Este sacerdote sólo le prestó un short para que pudiera salir y llegó a la casa vecina, en donde pidió auxilio y logró llamar a su familia quien fue a recogerlo.

Los agraviados de manera inmediata acudieron la misma noche interponer su formal denuncia en la Agencia Especializada en representación de su menor hijo y fue este lunes que la ratificó y presentó las pruebas en contra del sacerdote por abuso sexual e intento de violación.

La familia del adolescente de apenas 16 años de edad exigió a la Fiscalía General del Estado se castigue con todo el peso de la Ley al citado sujeto quien, refieren, pertenece a un grupo de Sacerdotes conocidos como “Los Cuinos”, amparados por la Diócesis de Coatzacoalcos.

El sacerdote es miembro de la Diócesis de Coatzacoalcos y tenía a su cargo la operación de la iglesia antes mencionada, la cual se encuentra en la colonia “El Tesoro”, ubicada en el poniente de la ciudad petrolera.

Luego de la denuncia se sabe que hasta este lunes por la tarde, el sujeto inculpado, continuaba laborando en esa Iglesia que está a cargo del Padre Fernando Altamirano, sin que este sacerdote católico, la Diócesis de Coatzacoalcos o la Jerarquía católica estatal se pronuncie ante el hecho, que fue repudiado por la sociedad del puerto del sureste de Veracruz.

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.

Five elderly Catholic clerics arrested in Joliette for alleged sexual abuse of minors

MONTREAL (QUEBEC, CANADA)
CBC News

June 23, 2020

The men, members of Clerics of St. Viator religious order, allegedly abused boys between 1961 and 1989

Quebec provincial police have arrested five elderly members of a Catholic teaching order, the Clerics of St. Viator, for allegedly sexually abusing boys in their care over the span of almost 30 years.

The Sûreté du Québec’s major crimes unit carried out arrest warrants for the men, who are between the ages of 78 and 88, in a home in Joliette belonging to their congregation, known in French as the Clercs de Saint-Viateur.

The men are facing more than 30 charges in total, including gross indecency, sexual assault and indecent assault. The men were interviewed by investigators and arraigned Tuesday via teleconference in courthouses in Joliette, Valleyfield and Montreal.

The alleged crimes took place between 1961 and 1989, when the men were responsible for instructing minors in religious educational institutions in the Montérégie, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspé and Laurentians regions, the SQ said in a statement.

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.

Three women who accuse David Haas of sexual misconduct speak with NCR

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

June 24, 2020

By Soli Salgado

Ali met Catholic composer David Haas when she was 14 years old, attending his Music Ministry Alive camp for three years starting in 2002. She recalled him being a hands-on mentor, remembering names and affirming the talents of the 150-or-so music students who attended the program each summer.

It wasn’t until five years later that unwelcome sexual advances tainted the relationship, when Ali and Haas ran into each other at the Religious Education Congress in Los Angeles, Ali told NCR.

Taking her to a more secluded area with benches outside the congress, Haas surprised Ali by “aggressively” kissing her and trying to put his hands down her shirt, she said.

Ali, who was 19 at the time, pulled away and turned down his invitations to his hotel room that night. Several times throughout the years, he’d continue to seek her out when he knew they were at the same event through their professions.

Ali learned only recently that her encounter with Haas was part of a pattern of abusive and manipulative tactics that Haas allegedly deployed on dozens of young people who knew him through the Catholic music community.

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.

In Philippines, a child alleges abuse by priest and tests Vatican promise for global reckoning

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

June 23, 2020

By Shibani Mahtani and Regine Cabato

[Includes video with interview of teacher.]

Cadiz City, Philippines — The girl, her long hair in a ponytail, stepped into the cramped, dimly lit courtroom, her first time in such a place. Clinging to her mother, she scanned the dozens of faces assembled before her. The girl, then 5 years old, eventually pointed to a bald man in a striped shirt, his spectacles resting on his head.

She appeared nervous and did not speak his name.

Her slight gesture in September — identifying the Rev. Aron Buenacosa as the man who sexually assaulted her — began the rare trial in the Philippines of a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. Her case, in this quiet village on a central Philippine island, will also test Pope Francis’s pledge of an “all-out battle” to confront sexual abuse in all corners of the Catholic world.

The historical reckoning over abuse and coverups has gripped the church in the West for decades. But far fewer public cases have come from other parts of the Catholic world, including Africa, Asia and the pontiff’s homeland in Latin America.

A Philippine family takes on the Catholic Church after priest is accused of molesting their daughter
In some cases, the reasons are institutional: legal systems not built to handle abuse cases, the traditional role of church leaders in politics, and prosecutors unwilling to go against the powers of the church.

How the Vatican deals with new allegations of abuse from these regions could define Francis’s papacy and reflect on his acknowledgment that the church has unfinished business in dealing with its scandals.

The trial in the Philippines — Asia’s largest Catholic-majority country — is such a moment.

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.

Child Victims Act lawsuit: 10-year-old was abused by Binghamton priest in 1982

BINGHAMTON (NY)
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

June 23, 2020

By Anthony Borrelli

[Updated version of June 19, 2020 story.]

A former Binghamton priest faces more decades-old sex abuse accusations in a lawsuit under New York’s Child Victims Act.

Father Edward C. Madore, who has already been implicated in at least four prior abuse lawsuits, is accused in a new complaint filed Friday in state Supreme Court of Broome County of abusing a boy who was 10 years old in 1982. It happened while Madore served at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Binghamton.

The lawsuit says Madore used his position to groom the boy to gain his trust and to “gain control over him.”

Other lawsuits previously filed under the Child Victims Act have accused Madore of sexually abusing other children during the late 1970s. He was accused, in lawsuits filed Wednesday, of sexually abusing two children at St. Catherine Church during the late 1970s.

Madore has been laicized, which, according to the Diocese of Syracuse, means he voluntarily sought to be dispensed from clerical obligations and no longer has affiliation with 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.

Springfield Diocese to release report Wednesday on sexual abuse allegations against late Bishop Christopher Weldon

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
Springfield Republican via Mass Live

June 22, 2020

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

https://www.masslive.com/news/2020/06/springfield-diocese-to-release-report-wednesday-on-sexual-abuse-allegations-against-late-bishop-christopher-weldon.html

A much anticipated investigative report by retired Superior Court Judge Peter A. Velis into sexual abuse allegations against the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon will be released Wednesday, June 24, by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.

Mark Dupont, a spokesman for the diocese, said the report will be posted on the diocese’s website at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Velis, who was hired by the diocese last July to investigate the allegations that date back to the 1960s, will meet members of the press at the time, along with Archbishop-designate Mitchell Rozanski, and retired Superior Court Judge Daniel Ford.

Ford heads a diocesan task force that will review any recommendations contained in the report for improving outreach to alleged survivors and how their clergy sexual misconduct claims are handled.

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 to release report on sexual abuse claims against late bishop on Wednesday

NORTHAMPTON (MA)
Daily Hampshire Gazette

June 23, 2020

By Scott Merzbach

Springfield MA – Details of an investigation into sexual abuse claims made against late Springfield Catholic Bishop Christopher J. Weldon will be released Wednesday afternoon.

Retired Judge Peter A. Velis this week delivers to the Diocese of Springfield his report, which not only documents the claims made against Weldon, some of which date to the early 1960s, but how the diocese handled the complaint and opportunities for improving how future abuse allegations are addressed.

The full report will be released Wednesday at 2 p.m. on the diocesan website www.diospringfield.org.

At that same time, Velis and Archbishop-designate Mitchell T. Rozanski will hold a press conference at the Bishop Marshall Center, located behind St. Michael’s Cathedral to respond to the report and answer questions.

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.

Despite Vatican’s ruling, Virginia priest who blogs about clergy sex abuse remains defiant

RICHMOND (VA)
WRIC via WJHL in Johnson City TN

June 23, 2020

By Dean Mirshahi

“There’s nothing I want more than to serve in peace as a parish priest. But I can’t give in to something that goes against our own principles.”

A Catholic Diocese of Richmond priest who frequently blogs criticism over the church’s handling of clergy sexual abuse had his petition to remain the pastor of two southwest Virginia parishes rejected by the Vatican.

Rev. Mark D. White was suspended from the ministry by Richmond Bishop Barry Knestout last month after being ordered in April to leave two parishes, St. Joseph’s in Martinsville and St. Francis of Assisi in Rocky Mount, and relocate to a retreat center in Abingdon, Virginia.

“As your Advocate, Mr. Podhajsky, has told you, the Congregation for Clergy has directed you leave the assignment as pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Martinsville, and St. Francis of Assisi, Rocket Mount, in accord to my original letter of April 13, 2020,” Knestout wrote in a letter dated June 17 to White.

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 rejects Martinsville priest’s appeal of removal as pastor of two local parishes; ordered to take down viral blog critical of Church’s handling of sexual abuse

ROANOKE (VA)
WFXR

June 23, 2020

By Colleen Guerry and Santiago Melli-Huber

Catholic Church rejects Martinsville priest’s appeal of removal as pastor of two local parishes; ordered to take down viral blog critical of Church’s handling of sexual abuse

Martinsville VA – For months now, Father Mark White has been in a fight with the Diocese of Richmond over the Bishop’s attempts to re-assign him as a prison chaplain, a direct result of Father White continuing to maintain his viral blog.

Father White announced mid-April he had been removed from his posts in Martinsville and Rocky Mount due to concerns about his blog, which is often critical of the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse of minors and calls for more transparency from the Church about who helped cover it up.

In May, Father White says the Bishop changed the locks on both of his churches and the residence in Rocky Mount. However, Father White says he was able to stop the locksmith from changing the lock at the Martinsville residence, so he still has a roof over his head.

The priest decided to submit an appeal to the Vatican regarding the Bishop’s decision to move him.

Father White sent WFXR News a copy of the letter his canonical consultant and advocate, Michael J. Podhajsky, received from the Vatican earlier this month. In that letter, Vatican officials say Father White’s petition against his removal as a pastor for the Diocese of Richmond was filed improperly and thus rejected.

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.

Investigative report uncovers allegations of sex abuse against priest in western Alaska

ANCHORAGE (AK)
Alaska Public Media

June 23, 2020

By Casey Grove

[Includes audio interview with Emily Schwing about her recent Reveal report.]

A Jesuit Catholic priest who visited Alaska off and on for many years is among nearly a dozen who worked at a prominent university in the Pacific Northwest and are also accused of sexual misconduct.

Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington has been home to more priests with credible accusations of sexual abuse in comparison to all other 26 Jesuit Universities in the nation.

Emily Schwing, a reporter with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, has been investigating Jesuits and allegations of sexual abuse against them for about three years now. Schwing spoke with Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove about her latest piece, “Unrepentant.”

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.

Allegation of sexual abuse that led to U. Catholic Chaplain Father Gabriel Zeis’s resignation found ‘not credible’

PRINCETON (NJ)
The Daily Princetonian

June 23, 2020

By Marie-Rose Sheinerman

Former University Chaplain Father Gabriel Zeis, who resigned in September 2019 amid a sexual abuse allegation dating back to 1975, was cleared of the charge on June 16 by an independent investigation, which found the allegation “not credible,” the Diocese of Trenton has announced.

According to a Sept. 11 email sent to student members of the Aquinas Institute, the University’s on-campus Catholic ministry, Zeis denied the allegation at the time but resigned immediately, both from his position as the ministry’s director and chaplain and as Diosecan Vicar for Catholic Education in the Diocese of Trenton.

The misconduct, which surfaced in August 2019, was alleged to have taken place at St. Francis Seminary in Loretto, Penn., in 1975, five years before Father Zeis’s ordination to the priesthood but shortly after his “solemn profession of vows,” according to the Diocese’s statement.

Zeis was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1980 and has since served in a variety of institutions of higher education, including as President of Saint Francis University from 2004 to 2014 and as Chaplain at Princeton University from July 2016 to September 2019.

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.

Investigará Diócesis de Coatza a párroco por abuso a menor

XALAPA (MEXICO)
E-Consulta Veracruz [Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico]

June 24, 2020

By Fluvio Cesar Martínez

Read original article

La Diócesis recibió la notificación de la denuncia, misma que fue interpuesta por la madre del adolescente de 16 años

Coatzacoalcos Ver.- La Diócesis de Coatzacoalcos asegura que coadyuvará con las autoridades para esclarecer la investigación por el presunto delito de abuso sexual cometido por un sacerdote en contra de un menor de edad, en la iglesia de la colonia El Tesoro de esta ciudad.

A través de un comunicado, la Iglesia Católica confirmó que el martes 23 de junio el Obispo Rutilo M. Z.recibió la notificación de la denuncia de parte la Fiscalía, misma que fue interpuesta por la madre del adolescente de 16 años.

“Se va a iniciar de inmediato el proceso de investigación que realiza la iglesia para estos casos para esclarecer los hechos y se pueda proceder con veracidad y justicia”, cita el comunicado.

Diócesis de Coatzacoalcos, A. R.
Registro Constitutivo SGAR/129/93
Aldama No. 502 Col. Centro
Tels. (921) 212.23.99 y 212.59.03
96400-Coatzacoalcos, Ver. México.
COMUNICADO DE LA DIÓCESIS DE COATZACOALCOS
El día de ayer, 23 de junio de 2020, fue presentada ante el Sr. Obispo
de Coatzacoalcos la denuncia de un probable delito de abuso sexual
cometido por un sacerdote de esta Diócesis en contra de una persona
menor de edad.
Se manifestó a la familia del menor que se va a iniciar de inmediato el
proceso de investigación que realiza la Iglesia para estos casos, para
esclarecer los hechos y se pueda proceder con veracidad y justicia.
También se ha reafirmado el compromiso de atención y ayuda al
menor y su familia para que se puedan sanar las heridas causadas por
este hecho.
Igualmente se estará colaborando, en lo que fuera necesario, con la
autoridad en el ámbito penal para que se haga un proceso justo.
Que el Señor Jesús nos renueve y fortalezca en la gran tarea de velar
por la salud integral de nuestras familias, especialmente de los niños y
adolescentes.

P. Lázaro de Jesús daraveo Carrera
Coordinador diocesano de Medios de Comunicación
Coatzacoalcos, Ver. 24 de junio de 2020

Fue el pasado lunes 22 de junio, cuando se informó que los padres de un menor de 16 años de edad denunciaron ante la Fiscalía General del Estado a un sacerdote de la Diócesis de Coatzacoalcos por presunto abuso sexual.

Señalaron que el menor habría sido emborrachado y drogado por el sacerdote en los cuartos de la iglesia Santa María Reina del Rosario, en la colonia antes mencionada. La acusación argumenta tocamientos e intento de violación ocurridos el pasado sábado, cuando el adolescente logró escapar del sacerdote tras estos hechos.

Ante ello, la Diócesis se comprometió a dar atención y ayuda al menor y a su familia para que se puedan sanar las heridas causadas por este hecho y se comprometieron a realizar una investigación al interior de la iglesia.

” Que el señor Jesús nos renueve y fortalezca en la gran tarea de velar por la salud integral de nuestras familias, especialmente de los niños y adolescentes”, finaliza.

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.

June 23, 2020

In Archdiocese bankruptcy case, creditors committee wants clergy abuse documents to be made public

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Times-Picayune and New Orleans Advocate

June 22, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

James Adams had helped run the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ fundraising arm for years, even serving as president of its board of directors, when his lawsuit alleging sexual abuse at the hands of a Metairie priest compelled him to step down nearly two months ago.

Now, Adams leads a different board: one formed after the archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections May 1, tasked with representing the interests of those who say they are owed money by the church, including fellow clergy abuse claimants.

While securing financial compensation for abuse victims and other creditors is the committee’s key aim, it also intends to fight for the disclosure of documents outlining exactly how the church handled priests and deacons faced with child molestation allegations, Adams said during an interview that marked the first time he publicly identified himself as a clergy abuse survivor.

“We want to know how this happened, how it was allowed to continue to happen, how these pedophiles ended up in the seminary to begin with,” said Adams, who recalls being a fifth-grader at the time of his abuse in 1980. “There’s a healing quality to having this information out there that really validates (the idea) that this was not your fault.”

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

Police: Wyoming prosecutor says bishop abuse case still open

CASPER (WY)
Associated Press

June 22, 2020

A criminal investigation into a retired Roman Catholic bishop accused of childhood sexual abuse by more than a dozen men remains open, police in Wyoming said.

A victim advocate from the Natrona County district attorney’s office had told an alleged victim that retired Bishop Joseph Hart would not be charged, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

Asked why he wasn’t pursuing charges, District Attorney Dan Itzen told Cheyenne police Friday that he is still pursuing charges and the case has not been officially closed, police spokesman David Inman said.

Police and Itzen realized the prosecutor misread or misunderstood details in a probable cause affidavit, Inman said.

Itzen’s office in Casper had received the case after the district attorney in Cheyenne recused herself. Part of the misunderstanding arose from a difference in how police in Cheyenne and Casper handle paperwork, Inman said.

“Basically it was, ‘Oh I didn’t know this and this is what you meant by this and this.’ That’s what’s causing the case to come back to life,” Inman said. “They’re going to convene with their guys, they’re going to call the chief, and we’re going to meet again.”

Communication between police and prosecutors had been difficult, Inman 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.

Larry Nassar abused gymnasts for decades. ‘Athlete A’ film shows what it took to stop him

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

June 22, 2020

By David Lindquist

Filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk say everyone involved in bringing down former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar — the athletes who spoke publicly about sexual abuse, their attorneys, a Michigan State University police detective and a Michigan assistant attorney general — did what was needed to stop Nassar after decades of molesting children.

If anyone faltered, it’s possible Nassar still would be treating athletes and abusing them under the guise of legitimate medical procedures.

The list of crucial participants in Nassar’s downfall includes four IndyStar journalists featured prominently in “Athlete A,” the Cohen-Shenk documentary that arrives June 24 at Netflix.

IndyStar reporters Marisa Kwiatkowski, Mark Alesia and Tim Evans worked with investigations editor Steve Berta on coverage that led to more than 500 women coming forward to accuse Nassar of sexual abuse.

The first gymnast to speak publicly about Nassar’s crimes was Rachael Denhollander, who contacted the IndyStar investigative team after it published a 2016 report about USA Gymnastics failing to alert authorities when coaches were accused of 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.

Three priests accused of abusing a Binghamton boy in the 1970’s

BINGHAMTON (NY)
NewsChanel 34

June 22, 2020

A lawsuit filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse alleges a gross pattern of heinous sexual crimes against a Binghamton boy by 3 priests at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church and Catholic Central High School in the 1970’s.

The suit, filed by attorneys at Hinman, Howard and Kattel under the state’s Child Victims Act look-back window, accuses the priest at Saint Thomas and a teacher and an administrator at Catholic Central of repeatedly raping, sodomizing and sexually abusing the boy from the time he was 10 until he graduated at age 18.

Attorneys say the victim, who is now 61 years-old, suffered severe physical and psychological abuse leading to PTSD, anxiety, severe depression and chronic migraines.

NewsChannel 34 does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

The accused are former priests Robert Kloster who was the rector at Saint Thomas, David Pichette, who was a teacher at Catholic Central, and Thomas Zedar who served as the school’s principal and later the Superintendent of Catholic Schools in Broome County.

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.

“Schwarze Pädagogik”: Black Pedagogy

MUNICH (GERMANY)
Süddeutsche Zeitung

June 10, 2020

By Bernd Kastner

[Google translation: Former students from the St. Michael church boarding school report abuse and ill-treatment. The focus is on a director who has since passed away

The Archbishop’s Study Seminar St. Michael in Traunstein is a special facility within the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. It is a boarding school for boys, they attend classes in nearby schools. For decades, the church has been investing a lot of money in homes and students in order to attract young people. The cadermaker on the Wartberghöhe is proud of one of her former pupils: Joseph Ratzinger visited her from 1939. He was young at the time for twelve years. From 1977 to 1982 he was archbishop of Munich, later he spent many winter holidays in St. Michael until he was elected pope. There is a permanent exhibition about Ratzinger, a “Benedict bell” rings in the church tower of the seminar.

From 1976 to 1985, beyond Ratzinger’s time as an archbishop, Engelbert Siebler was the director of the study seminar. Siebler became auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese in 1986, and for many years he headed the Education and School Commission at the German Bishops’ Conference. In 2018 he died at the age of 81. The name Siebler always comes up when you speak to ex-schoolchildren who lived in the seminar in the 1970s and ’70s, he was the dominant man at the top. So far, the past of the seminar is not a public issue. The diocese has been aware of serious allegations for at least four years.

In January 2016, Leon Härtl (name changed) called the abuse officer of the archdiocese. Härtl, who had come to boarding school at the end of the 1970s, accused Siebler of drastically saying that he “consistently exposed him, tortured him sadly and massively beat him” at the boarding school. His “specialty” was to “pull the sideburns with massive force”. The abuse officer noted it in a memo. When asked whether Siebler had also committed sexual abuse, Härtl said: “There had been strange physical advances. Nothing had actually happened, however. “]

Frühere Schüler des kirchlichen Internats St. Michael berichten über Missbrauch und Misshandlungen. Ein inzwischen verstorbener Direktor steht im Mittelpunkt

Das Erzbischöfliche Studienseminar St. Michael in Traunstein ist eine besondere Einrichtung innerhalb der Erzdiözese München und Freising. Es ist ein Internat für Jungen, den Unterricht besuchen sie in Schulen der Umgebung. Seit Jahrzehnten investiert die Kirche viel Geld in Haus und Schüler, um Nachwuchs zu gewinnen. Die Kaderschmiede auf der Wartberghöhe ist stolz auf einen ihrer früheren Zöglinge: Joseph Ratzinger besuchte sie von 1939 an. Zwölf Jahre war er damals jung. Von 1977 bis 1982 war er Münchner Erzbischof, später verbrachte er, bis zu seiner Wahl zum Papst, viele Winterurlaube in St. Michael. Es gibt dort eine Dauerausstellung über Ratzinger, imKirchturmdes Seminars läutet eine „Benediktglocke“.

Von 1976 bis 1985, also über Ratzingers Zeit als Erzbischof hinaus, war Engelbert SieblerDirektor imStudienseminar. Siebler wurde 1986Weihbischof der Erzdiözese, in der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz leitete er über Jahre die Kommission für Erziehung und Schule. 2018 starb er im Alter von 81 Jahren. Der Name Siebler fällt immer wieder, wenn man mit Ex-Schülern spricht, die in den Siebziger- und schtzigerjahren im Seminar lebten, er war der dominanteMannan der Spitze. Bislang ist die Vergangenheit des Seminars öffentlich kein Thema. Dabei sind der Diözese seit mindestens vier Jahren schwere Vorwürfe bekannt.

Im Januar 2016 rief Leon Härtl (Name geändert) den Missbrauchsbeauftragten derErzdiözese an. Härtl, derEndeder Siebzigerahre ins Internat gekommenwar, beschuldigte Siebler mit drastischen Worten: Dieser habe ihn im Internat „konsequent bloßgestellt, sadistisch gequält und massiv geschlagen“. Seine „Spezialität“ sei es gewesen, „mit massiverKraft an den Koteletten zu ziehen“. So hielt es derMissbrauchsbeauftragte in einem Gesprächsvermerk fest. Auf seine Nachfrage, ob es auch zu sexuellemMissbrauch durch Siebler gekommen sei, habe Härtl gesagt: „Es habe komische körperliche Annäherungsversuche gegeben. Konkret sei allerdings nichts geschehen.“

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.

Six lessons for police reform from the Catholic Church

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

June 22, 2020

By John W. Miller

In the 1990s, Steve Hurley was a police officer in Ocean City, Md., chasing down speeding teenagers and locking up beach bums driving drunk. At 34, he traded the badge for a collar, and he is now a monsignor in the Diocese of Wilmington, Del. “People see a 180-degree turn, but in both jobs the primary responsibility is care for souls,” he says.

The Catholic Church and the U.S. law-enforcement system have something else in common: They are both powerful institutions with fiercely loyal agents who have covered up misdeeds—clergy sex abuse and police brutality—and have been in need of reform.

The outcry over the killing of 46-year-old George Floyd, an African-American man, in Minneapolis on May 25 has forced a reckoning with the philosophy and culture of U.S. policing. Across the country, demonstrators have marched to demand an end to police brutality and a change in the tasks assigned to the roughly 18,000 police departments and agencies across the country.

The Catholic Church and the U.S. law-enforcement system have something else in common: They are both powerful institutions with fiercely loyal agents who have covered up misdeeds.
Tweet this

Local, state and federal agencies from Phoenix to New York are now considering efforts to revamp policing and police culture. Already President Trump has ordered the creation of a database that tracks violent officers and has approved guidelines restricting the use of chokeholds, although critics said his proposals are not serious about tackling bigger issues of systemic racism.

In that conversation, is there anything to be gained by looking at the Catholic Church and how it has tried to better train and manage its priesthood, if not always successfully?

The parallels are not perfect, but they abound. Priests and police both wear iconic uniforms and perform service work for their communities. Both have at times commanded immense public trust that has now been eroded. Both are fiercely loyal to their “professional” communities with good and bad consequences: Catholic priests struggle with clericalism and U.S. police are reluctant to cross the thin blue line.

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

Archbishop Cordileone Decries “Oppression” Despite Oppressing Survivors of Sexual Abuse

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

June 22, 2020

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone decries the toppling of a statue of St. Junipero Serra and suggests that the Catholic Church is the victim of oppression by today’s protesters for social justice. However, he admits there may be “historical wrongs” committed by the saint and that those wrongs, perhaps, deserve discussion.

But what about current wrongs caused by the Archbishop’s actions? Oppression comes when facts are suppressed and people are prevented from knowing about dangers in their community and protecting their children from them. Archbishop Cordileone may eloquently argue to defend a saint, but we at SNAP want him to eloquently support current survivors of sexual abuse by clergy.

The Archbishop still has not published a list of abusers from the San Francisco Archdiocese. As such, his Archdiocese is only one of about two dozen dioceses nationwide that have failed in this basic outreach to 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.

Vatican confirms actively gay Dutch priest’s suspension; diocese hopes he will return to ministry

DENVER (CO)
Crux

June 22, 2020

By Sanne Gerrits

Last year, 55-year-old Father Pierre Valkering published an autobiographical book in honor of his 25th anniversary as a priest. In the book he talks openly and in detail about his homosexuality, his sexual relationships and also says he visits gay saunas and “dark rooms,” and likes to watch porn.

As a result now-retired Bishop Jos Punt of Haarlem-Amsterdam, asked Valkering to lay down his priestly duties and enter into a period of reflection. According to the diocese, Valkering refused to do so and was therefore removed from his parish in Amsterdam.

Valkering decided to lodge an appeal to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy. The priest also appealed directly to Pope Francis. Both have now ruled that Punt’s decision to remove Valkering was valid.

On June 1 Punt was succeeded by Bishop Jan Hendriks.

Hendriks expressed his respect for Valkering as a person and as a priest. According to the diocese, the bishop also said it’s very important to him to find a satisfactory solution for Valkering, so that he might return to work in another parish after a period of reflection and guidance.

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.

Child Victims Act lawsuit: 10-year-old was abused by Binghamton priest in 1982

BINGHAMTON (NY)
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

June 23, 2020

By Anthony Borrelli

A former Binghamton priest faces more decades-old sex abuse accusations in a lawsuit under New York’s Child Victims Act.

Father Edward C. Madore, who has already been implicated in at least four prior abuse lawsuits, is accused in a new complaint filed Friday in state Supreme Court of Broome County of abusing a boy who was 10 years old in 1982. It happened while Madore served at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Binghamton.

The lawsuit says Madore used his position to groom the boy to gain his trust and to “gain control over him.”

Other lawsuits previously filed under the Child Victims Act have accused Madore of sexually abusing other children during the late 1970s. He was accused, in lawsuits filed Wednesday, of sexually abusing two children at St. Catherine Church during the late 1970s.

Madore has been laicized, which, according to the Diocese of Syracuse, means he voluntarily sought to be dispensed from clerical obligations and no longer has affiliation with 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.

A saint for our times: This man would be a relevant, revolutionary choice

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

June 20, 2020

By Kathleen Sprows Cummings

The Catholic Church may soon name another American saint. In late May, Pope Francis, affirming the verdict of medical and theological experts, credited the Connecticut priest Michael McGivney for the 2015 healing of a pregnant woman. This paves the way for his beatification, tentatively slated for next fall. McGivney, who died in 1890, is best known for founding the Knights of Columbus, the fraternal organization that has sponsored McGivney’s cause.

*
In a dramatic turn, it is now Sheen’s stint as Rochester’s bishop that has stalled his cause for canonization, perhaps permanently. After the body question was settled by protracted legal proceedings (he’s back in his home town after all), Sheen’s beatification was scheduled for last December. Preparations for an elaborate celebration in Peoria were in place when the Vatican abruptly cancelled the event, reportedly because of concerns that Sheen’s name might surface in a state attorney general’s investigation into clerical sexual abuse in New York.

Whether or not there are specific allegations that Sheen covered up abuse is unknown and largely beside the point. Allowing Sheen’s cause to languish would be a tacit admission of a horrific truth many Catholics are just beginning to grasp. Levels of complicity surely vary, but no man who has held high office in the Catholic church over the last half century should be presumed to be blameless in this ongoing crisis. None of them are the models of heroic virtue we need today.

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.

Report on sexual abuse allegations against late Springfield Bishop Christopher Weldon could prove pivotal

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
Springfield Republican via Mass Live

June 21, 2020

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

https://www.masslive.com/news/2020/06/report-on-sexual-abuse-allegations-against-late-springfield-bishop-christopher-weldon-could-prove-pivotal.html

A soon-to-be-released report nearly a year in the making could shed light on decades of sexual abuse by clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield and forever change how one of its most influential bishops is viewed.

Last July, retired Superior Court Judge Peter A. Velis was asked by Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct made against the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon dating back to the early 1960s. The report is expected to be released before Rozanski is installed as Archbishop of St. Louis on Aug. 25.

The findings will impact not only the alleged victim — who reiterated to Rozanski a year ago his claim that he was sexually abused as a boy by Weldon and two diocesan priests — but also questions that continue to linger around how early in time the diocesan hierarchy may have participated in, covered up and enabled clergy sexual abuse of minors. It could either encourage or discourage other alleged survivors of clergy sex abuse to continue to come forward.

Weldon’s 27 years as Springfield’s fourth bishop, starting in 1950, were influential ones in the growth of the diocese. However, they also have emerged as ones during which many allegations of sexual abuse by clergy occurred — as well as the murder of an altar boy in which a former priest, Richard R. Lavigne, remains the only publicly identified suspect.

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.

June 22, 2020

Opinion: Why lawmakers should reform law to help child victims of sexual abuse

DENVER (CO)
Colorado Sun

June 20, 2020

By Mark Crawford

I read with great disappointment the failure of Colorado state lawmakers to once again take action which would have granted access to our legal system for child victims of sexual abuse.

It was right for victims and advocates to pull support from House Bill 1296, eliminating the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse only going forward. The bill as proposed, failed to address the needs of past child sexual abuse victims.

Some legislators expressed concerns any retroactive provision would violate the Colorado constitution. The lawmakers could have advanced two separate bills simultaneously if they feared a “look back” provision of the bill would later be ruled unconstitutional by the courts.

Many other states have in fact passed such “look back” provisions that have survived constitutional challenges. I do understand laws differ from state to state, but where there is a will, there is a way!

Mental health professionals have told us one in four girls and one in six boys will be the victim of unwanted sexual contact by the age of 18. The average age a child of sexual abuse reports such crimes is 52 years of age. Astonishing facts, some may ask, why did these child victims wait so long?

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 Binghamton priest and a former Catholic school teacher accused in new Child Victims Act lawsuit

BINGHAMTON (NY)
WBNG 12 News

June 19, 2020

By Anne Sparaco

As the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, more survivors are coming forward with decades-old accusations against a local former priest and a former Catholic school teacher.

The Diocese of Syracuse announced in a press conference on Friday it is declaring bankruptcy in wake of dozens of recent lawsuits and pandemic-related financial struggles.

Many of the victims are just now coming forward because the Child Victims Act signed into law by Governor Cuomo in 2019 opens a “one year look back window” in which anyone who was under the age of 18 when sexually abused can file a civil suit.

Former priest of St. Catherine of Siena in Binghamton, Father Edward C. Madore, has five cases against him, accusing him of years-worth of sexual abuse. He was ordained back in 1970 and stayed until 1987 when he left priesthood and disappeared from church records. Madore is believed to be somewhere in Upstate New York, but his specific whereabouts are unknown.

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.

Hundreds of priests receive JobKeeper payment as church income flatlines

SYDNEY (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
Sydney Morning Herald

June 21, 2020

By Caitlin Fitzsimmons

Large Christian churches and other major religions have applied for the JobKeeper scheme to fund clergy salaries, after the government belatedly opened it up to religious practitioners.

The Catholic, Anglican and Uniting churches, as well as the Great Synagogue in Sydney, have confirmed hundreds of religious ministers across NSW are receiving the JobKeeper Payment of $1500 a fortnight, to plug a “dramatic” shortfall in income caused by the pandemic lockdown.

The suspension of religious services meant no collection plates or other donations connected to a service, while public health orders also shut down community hire of church property for 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.

US Bishop Says Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing Will Ensure Victims Will Be Treated ‘Justly’

MANCHESTER (ENGLAND)
Catholic Universe

June 22, 2020

By Nick Benson

The US Diocese of Syracuse has filed for reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, citing the financial implications of more than 100 lawsuits alleging past child sexual abuse as well as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

‘From the start of my ministry among you, it has been my intent to make reparation to all of the victims of sexual abuse for acts perpetrated against them by clergy, employees or volunteers of the Diocese of Syracuse,’ Bishop Douglas J. Lucia wrote in a recent letter to the faithful.

‘However, the growing number of CVA (Child Victims Act) lawsuits against the diocese,’ he wrote, ‘presents a risk that those claimants who filed suits first or pursued their claims more aggressively would receive a much greater portion of the funds available to pay victims, leaving other claimants (potentially, even some who have suffered more) with little or nothing.

‘In order to ensure that victim claims are treated justly and equitably, I feel it is necessary to enter into Chapter 11 where available funds will be allocated fairly among all victims in accordance with the harm each suffered.’

Filing for Chapter 11 is a voluntary action taken by an entity to reorganise financially with the goals of being able to respond to financial claims and to emerge with its operations intact, the diocese explained in an FAQ; this filing also immediately stops all efforts at debt collection and legal actions against the entity.

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.

38 more people sue Syracuse Catholic Diocese, claiming abuse by priests

SYRACUSE (NY)
Post-Standard

June 17, 2020

By Marnie Eisenstadt

Nearly 40 new lawsuits have been filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, alleging child sex abuse by priests and a teacher.

The suits filed today alleged allegations of abuse that happened at the hands of priests in parishes across Central New York, spanning more than 50 years.

The lawsuits were filed under the New York State Child Victims Act, and join 40 suits already filed against the diocese under the act.

Four priests named in today’s filings are being sued by multiple people, according to lawyers from Jeff Anderson & Associates and LaFave, Wein & Frament, which together filed 32 suits. Lawyers from Marsh Law also filed six new cases.

The claims include …

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.

June 21, 2020

Unrepentant

EMERYVILLE (CA)
Reveal – Center for Investigative Reporting

June 20, 2020

By Emily Schwing

Despite revelations of clergy sex abuse and promises of transparency, a prominent Jesuit university is doing little to punish priests who cross the line.

In this follow-up investigation about the Jesuit order in the Pacific Northwest, reporter Emily Schwing has two stories about Gonzaga University, which among Jesuit schools has the highest number of predatory priests who worked as staff and faculty. The first story takes us to a remote Alaska Native village where a prominent priest was accused of sex abuse by four young men.

Then Schwing tells the story of a former Gonzaga student who’s been trying for almost three decades to convince the university to investigate the priest who she says behaved inappropriately when she spent a year abroad in Italy.

We end with a story about a creative response to the pandemic that’s spreading throughout Native American communities. COVID-19 has prompted many of them to cancel powwows and other summer gatherings. So culture bearers are taking their songs and dances online, creating a virtual powwow movement that is keeping traditions alive while maintaining social distancing.

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 Pell to publish prison diary musing on case, church

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

June 21, 2020

By Nicole Winfield

Cardinal George Pell, the former Vatican finance minister who was convicted and then acquitted of sexual abuse in his native Australia, is set to publish his prison diary musing on life in solitary confinement, the Catholic Church, politics and sports.

Catholic publisher Ignatius Press told The Associated Press on Saturday the first installment of the 1,000-page diary would likely be published in Spring 2021.

“I’ve read half so far, and it is wonderful reading,” Ignatius’ editor, the Rev. Joseph Fessio, said.

Fessio sent a letter to Ignatius’ email list asking for donations, saying Ignatius wanted to give Pell “appropriate advances” for the diary to help offset his legal debts. The publisher envisages putting out three to four volumes and the diary becoming a “spiritual classic.”

Pell served 13 months in prison before Australia’s High Court in April acquitted him of molesting two choirboys in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne while he was archbishop of Australia’s second-largest city during the 1990s.

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 Los Angeles toppling of Junipero Serra statue, activists want full history told

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

June 20, 2020

By Carolina A. Miranda

It began with a prayer and ended with a loud clunk.

On Saturday afternoon, a group of about five dozen indigenous activists of all ages — children and elders included — gathered at Father Serra Park in downtown Los Angeles, just south of Olvera Street. As Tataviam/Chumash elder Alan Salazar burned sage and invoked the spirit of his ancestors, a group of young activists bound the nearby statue of Father Junipero Serra with ropes and tore him off his pedestal to chants of “Take it down! Take it down!”

After the statue flew off its pedestal, the crowd erupted with shouts and drumming.

Statues of Serra, the 18th century Franciscan friar who served as principal architect of the California mission system during the era of Spanish colonization, have long been a flashpoint among indigenous activists. The mission system was designed to convert and acculturate the Native population to Catholicism and European culture, and this was done by confining them to missions up and down the coast. Natives who tried to escape were captured. Those who disobeyed were beaten. Indigenous beliefs and customs were banned.

Nonetheless, the Catholic Church — quite controversially — canonized Serra in 2015.

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

Priest facing sexual assault related charges served in Plover

WAUSAU (WI)
WSAW 7 CBS

June 20, 2020

Richmond served as an Associate Pastor at St. Bronislava in Plover from 2017 to 2019.

Chippewa Falls WI – Father Charlie Richmond, a Catholic priest facing charges related to sexual assault of a child in Chippewa Falls served as an Associate Pastor at St. Bronislava Parish in Plover from July of 2017 to July 2019.

Richmond served as the former chaplain for the Notre Dame Middle and McDonell Area Catholic High Schools in Chippewa Falls. He was also Associate Pastor at St. Charles Borromeo and St. Peter the Apostle Parishes. He currently lives in Viroqua.

NewsChannel 7’s sister-station in Eau Claire reported on Wednesday that Richmond is facing charges related to contact he had with a student at McDonell, including touching her back, shoulders and butt.

The alleged incidents happened between September 2016 and May 2017.

The student said that Father Richmond would have her sit on his lap and give him hugs, as well as being in constant communication with the student over social media apps.

In May, Richmond was interviewed by investigators and admitted to three to four incidents of sexual contact, according to the criminal complaint.

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.

„Unser Versagen ist nicht zu beschönigen: Our failure cannot be glossed over“

MUNICH (GERMANY)
Süddeutsche Zeitung

June 13, 2020

By Bernd Kastner

[ As a student, Franz Kurz seeks help from a monk – but he abuses him. The order later vows to keep the priest away from young people – but it breaks its promise. Now the head of the Minor Franciscans admits fundamental mistakes

Franz Kurz is a level-headed man. He reports in a differentiated and analyzing manner, and when he no longer remembers, he says so. He sits at the dining table in his house; calmly and factually he tells of his school days. “The whole thing is somewhere in the closet,” he says, “and every now and then the door opens”. Suddenly he cries.

Franz Kurz, whose real name is not mentioned by SZ to protect his personal rights, is one of the countless people who have been abused by clerics of the Catholic Church. Kurz’ history with the Church consists of four chapters. The first two are about how he was disregarded and abused; the third, how he feels taunted; Chapter four tells what he had only feared so far, but now knows that the man who abused him had been in contact with young people for years – despite all the promises to stop him.

Kurz grew up in a Catholic parental home in the country, where a pastor was considered the “moral authority” and “half God” as he describes it today. At ten he moved to the Archbishop’s seminary in St. Michael in Traunstein. The Diocese of Munich and Freising endeavored to recruit young priests from their boarding school. Kurz describes his time there until he graduated from high school in the mid-1980s in a three-page letter. “What triggers this deep anger in me today when I think about my time in Traunstein is the presumptuous negligence with which we were managed as adolescents. I lacked a minimum of interest in myself, that someone would have asked me how I really am, what moves me, what touches me, what is currently bothering me.” ]

Als Schüler sucht Franz Kurz Hilfe bei einem Mönch – doch der missbraucht ihn. Später gelobt der Orden, den Pater von Jugendlichen fernzuhalten – doch er bricht sein Versprechen. Jetzt räumt der Oberste der Franziskaner-Minoriten fundamentale Fehler ein

Franz Kurz ist ein besonnener Mann. Differenziert und analysierend berichtet er, undwenn er sich nicht mehr erinnert, sagt er das.Er istAnfang 50, lebt mit seiner Familie an einem sehr schönen Fleckchen in Oberbayern. Er sitzt am Esstisch seinesHauses, erzählt ganz ruhigundsachlich von früher, aus der Schulzeit. „Das Ganze steckt irgendwo im Schrank“, sagt er, „und ab und zu geht die Tür auf“. Plötzlich weint er.

Franz Kurz, dessen echten Namen die SZzumSchutz seinerPersönlichkeitsrechte nicht nennt, ist einer der unzähligen Menschen, die von Klerikern der katholischen Kirche missbraucht wurden. Kurz‘ Geschichtemit der Kirche besteht aus vier Kapiteln. Die ersten beiden handeln davon, wie er missachtet und missbraucht wurde; das dritte, wie er sich verhöhnt fühlt; Kapitel vier erzählt, was er bislang nur befürchtet hat, jetzt aber weiß: Der Mann, der ihn missbrauchte, hatte über JahreweiterKontakt zu Jugendlichen – allen Versprechen zum Trotz, ihn zu stoppen.

Kurz ist in einem katholischen Elternhaus auf dem Land aufgewachsen, wo ein Pfarrer als „moralische Autorität“ und als „halber Gott“ galt, wie er es heute beschreibt. Mit zehn zog er ins Erzbischöfliche Studienseminar St. Michael in Traunstein. Die Diözese München und Freising war bestrebt, in ihrem Jungeninternat Priesternachwuchs zu rekrutieren. Seine Zeit dort bis zum AbiturMitte der 1980er- Jahre beschreibt Kurz in einem dreiseitigen Brief. „Was in mir heute diese tiefe Wut auslöst,wenn ich an die Zeit in Traunsteindenke, ist die anmaßendeFahrlässigkeit, mit der wir als Heranwachsende verwaltet wurden. Mir fehlte ein Minimum an Interesse an meiner Person, dass jemand einmal nach mir gefragt hätte, wie es mir denn wirklich geht, was mich bewegt, berührt, wasmich gerade beschäftigt.“

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 Chippewa Falls Catholic school chaplain charged with sexual assault of a child

EAU CLAIRE (WI)
WEAU 14 NBC

June 17 2020

Chippewa Falls WI – A former chaplain for the Notre Dame Middle and McDonell Area Catholic High Schools in Chippewa Falls is facing charges related to sexual assault of a child.​

This week, 30-year-old Father Charlie Richmond was charged in Chippewa County Court with repeated sexual assault of a child.​

He was also the Associate Pastor at St. Charles Borromeo and St. Peter the Apostle Parishes. Richmond currently lives in Viroqua.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged incidents happened between September 2016 and May 2017.​

An officer with the Chippewa Falls Police Department interviewed the victim on March 5 of this year.​

She told the officer that Father Richmond inappropriately touched her while at McDonell Area Catholic School, including touching her back, shoulders, and butt.​

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.

June 20, 2020

About-face: Wyoming prosecutor to re-examine ex-KC priest’s sex abuse case, police say

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

June 19, 2020

By Judy L. Thomas

A bizarre twist surfaced Friday in what was thought to be the closed criminal sexual abuse case of a former Kansas City priest who later became a Wyoming bishop.

The prosecutor, whose office last week informed one of the alleged victims that no charges would be filed against retired Bishop Joseph Hart, is now going to re-examine the case, according to Cheyenne police, who conducted the investigation.

Police spokesman David Inman said Friday that Natrona County District Attorney Dan Itzen in Casper, who was serving as special prosecutor on the case, had “misinterpreted” part of the probable cause statement that police had sent him. The document recommended that charges be filed against Hart, who retired as Bishop of Cheyenne in 2001.

“Basically, some new information came to light during our meeting,” Inman said, “and now they’re going to re-examine what they have.”

Inman said Cheyenne police spoke with Itzen in a conference call Friday.

“It was something that we brought to his attention in the PC (probable cause) affidavit,” he said. “Upon reviewing all the paperwork, they looked at something and they’d misinterpreted what was said. So now, there’s an understanding of what we were trying to get across.”

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.

Lawyer for Argentine prelate in Vatican confident he’ll be cleared

DENVER (CO)
Crux

June 16, 2020

By Inés San Martín

Rosario, Argentina – An Argentinian bishop suspended over allegations of sexual misconduct with seminarians went back to work in his Vatican post after the restrictions due to COVID-19 coronavirus were lifted. His lawyer told Crux that the Church process against him is “almost over” and that he’s confident the bishop’s name will be “cleared.”

Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta was sent by Francis to the diocese of Oran, in northern Argentina, in 2013, making it one of his first episcopal appointments. However, in 2017 the bishop resigned, alleging health reasons. A few months later, the pontiff appointed him to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), which functions as the central bank for Vatican City and which administers the Vatican’s financial portfolio.

In APSA Zanchetta works as an “assessor,” a position created for him. However, on Jan. 4, 2019, the bishop was suspended from the post pending an investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct with seminarians dating to his time as a diocesan bishop.

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 Binghamton priest Edward Madore accused in new Child Victims Act lawsuits

BINGHAMTON (NY)
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

June 19, 2020

By Anthony Borrelli

A former Binghamton priest faces more decades-old sexual abuse accusations in two lawsuits filed Wednesday under the New York Child Victims Act.

Father Edward C. Madore, who has already been implicated in at least three prior abuse lawsuits, is accused in the new complaints of sexually abusing two children during the late 1970’s while he served at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Binghamton.

One lawsuit alleges Madore committed sexual abuse beginning when the victim was 8 years old, between 1978 and 1980. The second lawsuit claims he abused a child beginning when the victim was 9 years old, from 1977 to 1980.

The lawsuits, which do not name the victims, were among 32 Child Victims Act complaints filed in courts Wednesday by the Albany-area law firms of Jeff Anderson & Associates and LaFave Wein & Frament. As with similar lawsuits, these complaints name the institutions as defendants — in this case, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.

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 allegation against Princeton U. chaplain found not credible, officials say

ISELIN (NJ)
NJ.com

June 19, 2020

By Chris Sheldon

An allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor leveled against Princeton University chaplain Father Gabriel Zeis last year was found not to be credible, the Third Order Regular Franciscans announced Thursday.

The Third Order Regular Franciscans notified the Diocese of Trenton in August about the allegation against Zeis, who was employed by diocese and also served as the diocese’s vicar for catholic education, officials said.

He resigned his positions with the diocese and was placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation of the accusation.

The sexual misconduct was alleged to have occurred in 1975 at St. Francis Seminary in Loretto, Pennsylvania, five years prior to his ordination to the priesthood, the order said in a statement.

The allegation was reported to Office of the District Attorney for Cambria County (PA) in September 2019 and on Dec. 16, 2019, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General’s office called into question the credibility and accuracy of the allegation and announced the case closed, officials 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.

Syracuse Catholic Diocese files for bankruptcy

SYRACUSE (NY)
Post-Standard

June 19, 2020

By Julie McMahon

The Roman Catholic Diocese has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, just days after 38 people filed Child Victims Act lawsuits against the church.

Since last year, the diocese has faced dozens of claims that its priests sexually abused children and that officials covered up the abuse for decades. Wednesday, 38 more victims filed lawsuits, including a Central New York grandmother.

Bishop Douglas Lucia, who was installed last year, in court records said diocese officials filed for bankruptcy in order to respond to the Child Victims Act claims, while continuing the church’s ministry.

The diocese has not yet commented on the bankruptcy filing. It has scheduled a news conference for 12:30 p.m. today.

The filings in court show the diocese has assets of more than $10 million but less than $50 million. Lawyers for the diocese from Syracuse firm Bond, Schoeneck & King estimated the diocese has between 100 and 200 creditors and up to $100 million in liabilities.

The filings also revealed the diocese received a $1.3 million federal Paycheck Protection Program loan to help cover expenses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Other Catholic dioceses across the country have filed for bankruptcy as the church has faced an onslaught of sex abuse cases.

The dioceses in Rochester and Buffalo have filed for bankruptcy, and the Rockville Centre diocese on Long Island has signaled it will likely file. There are eight Catholic diocese in New York state.

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.

Syracuse Catholic Diocese’s move shifts sex abuse claims against priests to bankruptcy court

SYRACUSE (NY)
Post-Standard

June 19, 2020

By Marnie Eisenstadt

More than 100 alleged victims of priest sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse will no longer get their day in state court.

Instead, their cases will end up as part of the diocese’s bankruptcy case. The diocese filed for bankruptcy Friday after 38 more victims, including a grandmother, came forward with allegations of priest sex abuse under the Child Victims Act this week.

In bankruptcy court, those victims become “creditors” who have to prove they are owed something by the diocese.

Bishop Douglas Lucia said Friday he decided to file for bankruptcy to ensure that all of the victims could get something for the pain while also making sure that the diocese would not be destroyed by the onslaught of 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.

Expert warns child protection took ‘severe blow’ during pandemic

DENVER (CO)
Crux

June 19, 2020

By Elise Ann Allen

Rome – In a webinar on child protection, a top Catholic expert warned that the risks of online child sexual abuse or exploitation has increased significantly during the coronavirus pandemic, yet attention to the issue has faded.

“I believe honestly that safeguarding and safeguarding minors in the Church, in the States, in the (other) countries, has suffered a severe blow in terms of public attention and in terms of public funding and other funding,” German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner said June 18.

Speaking to more than 300 people representing religious orders and Catholic institutions during a webinar on “Safeguarding online in times of lockdown,” Zollner said natural disasters, war, health crises and economic instability combined with the coronavirus pandemic might make it harder to double down on safeguarding efforts.

“It may be very difficult for society and the Church to focus on the safeguarding of minors, because there are such pressing needs, there are such heavy burdens on people that they think safeguarding minors is an extra and you cannot afford to think about that because we need to survive first,” he said.

“Yes, that is true, the need to survive is first, but there is also the need to respect and protect the dignity of all people, especially the most vulnerable,” he said, urging participants to “stick together to bring safeguarding up the ladder of priorities.”

Zollner said he believes this will be a difficult task not only because of the current pandemic and its aftermath, but also because “this is such a challenging and such a nasty topic, that people don’t want to engage or commit easily to 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.

June 19, 2020

Syracuse Diocese, facing Child Victims Act sex abuse lawsuits, files for bankruptcy

BINGHAMTON (NY)
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

June 19, 2020

By Anthony Borrelli

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse filed for bankruptcy protection Friday, as it faces more than 100 lawsuits under New York’s Child Victims Act for past sex abuse by priests and clergy members mount in the courts.

The Diocese, which filed its petition for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of New York’s Northern District, estimated its assets as $10 million to $50 million. Its financial liabilities were estimated as $50 million to $100 million.

A document included in federal bankruptcy court said Friday’s filing was “in order to respond to claims stemming from the Child Victims Act in an equitable and comprehensive manner, and to reorganize the financial affairs of the Diocese in order to permit it to continue to fulfill its ministries to the Catholic faithful of the Diocese.”

Without a reorganization, the Diocese and claimants will face a slow, unpredictable and costly process that would require years of court involvement.

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.

Fargo Diocese completes abuse investigation of retired priest

FARGO (ND)
790 KFG

June 18, 2020

By Jim Monk

The Diocese of Fargo says an investigation of abuse claims against a retired Fargo priest has been completed.

In a 2019 interview with KFGO News, a woman reported that she was sexually abused as a teenager by Father Jack Herron. The woman said the abuse happened over the course of three months in the 1970’s in the rectory at St. Anthony of Padua Church.

“He pulled me to his lap, smoking his cigar, holding me and all that kind of stuff and before you know it, there’s kissing and hugging and touching. Inside, I was having a battle in my mind, thinking ‘Oh God, I’m dirty, I’m dirty, I’m dirty. No one knows this secret. I’m dirty. I’m dirty.”

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 accused of ‘inappropriate behavior’ cleared to resume duties at Northfield parish

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican via Mass Live

June 18, 2020

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

The Rev. Thomas Lisowski has been cleared to resume his full duties as a priest in Northfield after being placed on administrative leave in November in connection with an allegation of “inappropriate behavior involving a vulnerable adult.”

According to an announcement from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, the recommendation to lift the temporary suspension was made to Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski by the diocesan review board after receiving a report from its investigative services.

Lisowski, ordained in 1986, has ministered for the last decade at St. Patrick’s Parish, a small parish of about 110 members near the Vermont border.

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 alleges former Waukegan episcopal priest abused Lake Bluff boy in 1980s

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

June 18, 2020

By Emily K. Coleman

The former head of a Waukegan church, who was sentenced to four years under Illinois Department of Corrections supervision in the 1990s for sexually abusing children, is the subject of a lawsuit filed in Cook County late last month.

The anonymous plaintiff accuses Richard Kearney, who was the head pastor at Annunciation of Our Lady Episcopal Church — now in Gurnee but at the time located in Waukegan — of abusing him in the 1980s when he was between the ages of 5 and 11, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit also names the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and the church itself, arguing that church officials knew, or should have known, Kearney had a history of abusing children.

“We are saddened that (the plaintiff’s) attorney has found it necessary to file suit against the diocese,” the Rev. Courtney Reid, the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago’s director of operations, said in a statement.

Reid said the diocese has been “in conversations with him for more than a year in an effort to determine the facts in this case” and, eight months ago, had been “promised the opportunity to examine records that might help us to determine whether (the plaintiff) was sexually abused in the early 1980s by Richard D. Kearney, a former priest of 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.

French Investigation: Sex Abuse of Minors in Catholic Church Tops 3,000 Victims Over 70 Years

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency via National Catholic Register

June 18, 2020

In November 2019 the Catholic bishops of France approved plans to offer financial compensation to victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

Paris – Over the last seven decades at least 3,000 children were sexually abused by Catholic clergy or officials in France, according to the latest statements from an investigating commission, with many more feared to have been abused.

About 1,500 clergy and Church officials are believed to have perpetrated the abuse, according to the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church, making an average number of victims 40 per year, Newsweek reports.

“We must remember this suffering, we must account for it. We are confronted with the shock of the suffering of the victims,” commission head Jean-Marc Sauvé said. “We can only be touched and transformed by meeting these victims.”

The commission was established in June 2019 to examine abuse claims dating back to the 1950s. A hotline resulted in 5,000 phone calls. The commission does not yet know how to consolidate cases from its own inquiries and from the hotline, Sauvé said.

About 30% of the victims are over 70 years old, and about 50% are between 50 and 70 years old.

“I am profoundly convinced that there are many more victims,” said Sauvé, who is a longtime civil servant, former vice-president of the French State Council, and president of the French Institute of Administrative Sciences.

The commission has asked for victims to come forward through the end of October. Reviews of Church archives have now resumed after being suspended due to the coronavirus epidemic, but its final report is delayed, Agence France Presse reports. It is expected to be released in September or October 2021.

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.

61 Schritte gegen Missbrauch: 61 steps against abuse

FRANKFURT (GERMANY)
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

June 13, 2020

By Tobias Rosmann

[See the report and implementation plan.]

[ An “indescribably great amount of misery and suffering”

In almost a year of work, 70 experts have developed 61 specific measures to prevent sexual abuse of children and adolescents in the diocese of Limburg in the future. The 420-page summary of the project “Hearing those affected – preventing abuse” was handed over to the client, the Bishop of Limburg Georg Bätzing and the president of the Limburg diocesan assembly, Ingeborg Schillai, on Saturday in the Paulskirche .

Bätzing promised: “We will implement the measures.” Not always exactly according to the expert suggestion, but always according to its spirit, intention and direction. “We owe that to those affected.”

Because Bätzing has also been chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference since March , his handling of such a critical study is considered important for the other 26 German dioceses. Schillai said: “The results of the study cry out that we can finally take effective action against sexual abuse in the church and its cover-up.” ]

Dem Bistum Limburg werden in einer Studie Fehler im Umgang mit Betroffenen und Tätern attestiert. Der Bischof verspricht, den Änderungsvorschlägen der Experten zu folgen.

In knapp ein Jahr währender Arbeit haben 70 Experten 61 konkrete Maßnahmen erarbeitet, um sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern und Jugendlichen im Bistum Limburg künftig zu verhindern. Die 420 Seiten dicke Zusammenfassung des Projekts „Betroffene hören – Missbrauch verhindern“ wurde am Samstag in der Paulskirche an die Auftraggeber, den Limburger Bischof Georg Bätzing und die Präsidentin der Limburger Diözesanversammlung, Ingeborg Schillai, übergeben.

Bätzing versprach: „Wir werden die Maßnahmen umsetzen.“ Nicht immer exakt nach dem Expertenvorschlag, aber stets nach dessen Geist, Intention und Richtung. „Das sind wir den Betroffenen schuldig.“

Weil Bätzing seit März auch Vorsitzender der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz ist, gilt sein Umgang mit einer solch kritischen Studie als wichtig für die anderen 26 deutschen Diözesen. Schillai sagte: „Die Ergebnisse der Studie schreien danach, dass wir endlich wirksam gegen sexuellen Missbrauch in der Kirche und gegen seine Vertuschung vorgehen.“

Ein „unbeschreiblich großes Maß an Elend und Leid“

Zu den Maßnahmen, die von Wissenschaftlern, Kirchenvertretern und Betroffenen erarbeitet worden sind, gehören eine Reform der Priesterausbildung, eine Doppelspitze in der Gemeindeleitung aus einem Priester und einer hauptamtlich beim Bistum beschäftigten Theologin, anders strukturierte Entscheidungsgremien, eine professionelle Aktenführung, eine intensive Prävention, eine Kommunikation, die sich den Betroffenen zuwendet und deren Perspektive in den Fokus nimmt sowie eine wirksame Disziplinarordnung für Kleriker. Die einzelnen Punkte wurden in neun Teilprojekten erarbeitet. Das Limburger Projekt vertieft die Erkenntnisse aus der MHG-Studie zum Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche von Herbst 2018. Auch andere Bistümer haben mit einer eigenen weitergehenden Aufarbeitung begonnen.

Die von vielen Betroffenen gewünschte öffentliche Nennung der Täter und Vertuscher könne es „aus juristischen Gründen“ nicht geben, sagte Josef Bill, ehemals Vorsitzender Richter am Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt. Seine Teilprojektgruppe hatte sich mit der Aufklärung von 46 erfassten Missbrauchsfällen beschäftigt. Die Klarnamen der Kleriker könnten daher nur den Auftraggebern des Projekts genannt werden.

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.

Religious groups voice support for Lubbock diocese in defamation suit

LUBBOCK (TX)
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

June 18, 2020

By Gabriel Monte

Religious groups are decrying a Texas appellate court ruling that allows a former deacon to sue the Catholic diocese in Lubbock saying the decision could infringe upon religious liberty protected by the First Amendment.

The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, The Baptist General Convention of Texas, The Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty, and the Texas Legislature have filed amicus curiae briefs in the Texas Supreme Court supporting the Catholic Diocese of Lubbock in its quest to dismiss a former deacon’s defamation lawsuit.

The briefs are in response to the January 2019 defamation lawsuit filed in the 237th District Court by Jesus Guerrero, a former deacon at Our Lady of Grace, after the Lubbock Catholic Diocese included him in a list of five clergymen deemed to have a credible allegation of sexual abuse against minors.

Along with posting the list online, the Catholic diocese issued a news release to local news media, including the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, that stated the decision to release the names was part of an ongoing effort to protect children from sexual abuse.

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

Violences sexuelles dans l’Église: Sexual violence in the Church

PARIS (FRANCE)
France Info

June 17, 2020

[Sexual violence in the Church: more than 5,000 testimonies collected, the Sauvé commission extends its call to testify

The Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (Ciase) or Sauvé Commission reveals this Wednesday, June 17, having identified several thousand victims in a few months. La Ciase has decided to extend its call for testimony until October 31, 2020.]

https://www.francetvinfo.fr/economie/emploi/metiers/droit-et-justice/violences-sexuelles-dans-l-eglise-plus-de-5-000-temoignages-recueillis-la-commission-sauve-prolonge-son-appel-a-temoigner_4011411.html

Plus de 5 000 témoignages recueillis, la commission Sauvé prolonge son appel à témoigner

La Commission indépendante sur les abus sexuels dans l’Église (Ciase) ou commission Sauvé révèle ce mercredi 17 juin avoir recensé plusieurs milliers de victimes en quelques mois. La Ciase a décidé de prolonger son appel à témoignages jusqu’au 31 octobre 2020.

Il y a un an, la Commission Sauvé lançait un appel à témoignages auprès des victimes. Mercredi 17 juin, elle révèle avoir reçu plus de 5 300 appels et dévoile quelques chiffres alors que le recueil des témoignages – ralenti pendant le confinement – est prolongé de cinq mois.

Parmi ces coups de fils, il n’y a pas que des victimes, il peut y avoir également des témoins. Mais la commission le précise, la grande majorité de ces appels proviennent bien de personnes – des enfants à l’époque des faits – qui ont été agressés sexuellement par des hommes d’Église.

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.

Retired Fargo priest banned from public ministry after abuse investigation

FARGO (ND)
Fargo Forum / Inforum

June 18, 2020

By Thomas Evanella

A retired priest accused of sexually abusing a teen in the 1970s has been banned from public ministry following an internal investigation by the Diocese of Fargo, a spokesman said Thursday, June 18.

The victim, who spoke to The Forum anonymously in June of 2019, alleged that Father Jack Herron groped her and made inappropriate advances in the rectory of Saint Anthony of Padua, located south of downtown Fargo. She was about 15 or 16 years old at the time, she said.

After she reported the allegations to the diocese in March 2018, a diocese advocate accompanied her to report the claims to the police.

“When the allegation was first received, it was referred to law enforcement. The canonical investigation and review by the diocesan review board is complete,” the Diocese said in a news release. “It was determined that Father Herron would not have faculties to engage in public ministry,” the release continued.

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 least 3,000 sex abuse cases in French church

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

June 18, 2020

By Tom Heneghan

Paris – More than 3,000 people have been sexually abused by about 1,500 priests and employees of the French Catholic Church since 1950, the head of the most extensive study into the scandal said in a preliminary balance of its work.

Jean-Marc Sauvé, a retired senior judge due to deliver his final report in autumn 2021, said his commission would continue seeking out and interviewing victims until October and scouring judicial archives. This phase was supposed to end this month but was prolonged due to a delay during the cornavirus lockdown.

The commission’s hotline has received 5,300 calls so far but some were victims calling several times. This was the first such overall estimate made for France, Sauvé said, adding he was “deeply convinced” there are many more victims.

“The number of calls is impressive, but we are convinced that still not all victims have come forward because their suffering is too great or they doubt any use in speaking out,” he told a videoconference on Wednesday.

The bishops’ conference, under pressure amid mounting evidence of abuse scandals – especially in Lyon – that sapped its image and authority, gave Sauvé a free hand to choose the 21 doctors, lawyers, sociologists and theologians serving in the commission.

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.

Landscape: Sons of Fray Damaso

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
Manila Bulletin

June 10, 2020

By Gemma Cruz Araneta

Who was Padre Damaso? He was the biological father of Maria Clara, the sweetheart of Crisostomo Ibarra, but she was the last to know. You can imagine how tormented she must have felt when she found out; she fell ill with anguish and was compelled to betray her beloved Ibarra by turning over his letters to Padre Salvi, in exchange for his silence. Padre Salvi had stumbled upon her deceased mother’s letters to Padre Damaso and had threatened to expose her true paternity, if she did not surrender Ibarra’s letters, which he was sure were incriminating. Padre Salvi was blackmailing the hapless maiden who felt duty-bound to protect the honor of her late mother and the public image of her putative father, Capitan Tiago, who loved her dearly. Needless to say, if that had happened today, Maria Clara, Ibarra and their relatives and friends would have laughed it off. The lovers would have gotten married royally at the Manila Cathedral and lived happily ever after. Ibarra may have gotten entangled with the Anti-terrorism Law for teaching socialism in his school, but that would have been a minor glitch that Capitan Tiago, an influential man, could have smoothened out with expensive gifts to the powers that be.

Last February, Pope Francis dared to speak about the unspeakable—sexual abuse of nuns by priests of the Catholic clergy. In recent times, he may not be the first pontiff to be aware of the crimes committed by men of the cloth; nor is he the first one to try to do something about it. In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI very quietly closed a contemplative order of nuns somewhere in France, because its very founder, a Catholic priest, had turned the convent into a pitiful den of sexual slavery. We do not know if the guilty priest or priests ever faced an ecclesiastical or a civil court; neither do we know what happened to those nuns and the children of rape, if any. No one wants to touch the elephant in the basilica.

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.

In first land sale since bankruptcy, archdiocese eyes auction of old St. Elizabeth campus in Kenner

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Times-Picayune and New Orleans Advocate

June 18, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

In its first move to raise funds through selling land since filing for bankruptcy protection, the Archdiocese of New Orleans is set to auction off a campus that St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School moved out of last year, a church attorney said at a federal court hearing Thursday.

The former owner of New Orleans’ Fair Grounds race course, residential developer Bryan Krantz, offered to buy the vacant complex at 4119 St. Elizabeth Drive in Kenner for $1.8 million on May 26, according to court documents. But a committee of unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy case — which includes clergy abuse claimants — objected, saying there was no sign the property’s market value had been appraised before the archdiocese agreed to sell to Krantz.

“One concern we had was what basis was there (for the price), what marketing had been done, is there an appraisal?” committee attorney Davin Boldissar said during Thursday’s phone-in hearing.

Archdiocese attorney Mark Mintz told U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Meredith Grabill that his clients now planned to auction the facility through a process allowing for the possibility of higher bids. Mintz said he would file the details surrounding that auction ahead of a hearing which Grabill tentatively set for June 25.

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.

June 18, 2020

Diocese of Rockville Centre faces bankruptcy amid abuse lawsuits

GARDEN CITY (NY)
Long Island Herald

June 18, 2020

By Jill Nossa

The Diocese of Rockville Centre could face bankruptcy if the nearly 100 child sex-abuse lawsuits filed against it are not put on hold, according to court papers.

Last month, the Diocese filed a motion in Nassau County Supreme Court for a stay pending an appeal, claiming it is straining under the legal defense costs and that it has lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In its motion, the Diocese said, “These litigation expenditures—that are only going to increase on a monthly basis, absent a stay—are placing a very significant stress on the diocese’s finances, which are also being decimated by the COVID-19’s pandemic.”

When the parishes closed in late March, donations declined by 77 percent, according to the filing, no payments were received between March 23 and April 3, and during April – which included Holy Week, a normally significant source of revenue, donations were down 60 percent, according to the diocese.

The diocese, under the leadership of Bishop John Barres, has spent $3.7 million in its defense against 94 lawsuits filed against it under New York’s Child Victims Act, which provides a legal window to revive decades old abuse claims.

The diocese said bankruptcy is “a last resort” that is “not an attempt to turn its back on victims or shield predators from any punishment they deserve.”

In April, the diocese lost its challenge to the law’s constitutionality when Nassau Supreme Court Justice Steven Jaeger ruled the law “a reasonable response to remedy the injustice of past child sexual abuse.”

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

‘Fierce and Vicious’

FERNDALE (MI)
Church Militant

June 18, 2020

By Kristine Christlieb

Rockville Centre diocese’s legal hardball with sex abuse victims

Rockville Centre, N.Y. – The diocese of Rockville Centre — comprising Long Island, New York — is begging a judge for a timeout from the tsunami of nearly 100 pending clergy sexual abuse cases, saying otherwise it will have to declare bankruptcy.

Rockville Centre is one of the largest dioceses in the nation, serving approximately 1.4 million Catholics. It is the latest New York diocese to be in, or close to, bankruptcy. Within the last year, both the dioceses of Rochester and Buffalo have become Chapter 11 debtors, and now Rockville Centre appears to be not far behind.

The dioceses of New York feared this legal and financial reckoning would one day arrive, which is why they fought to defeat the state’s Child Victims Act (CVA). The New York State Catholic Conference (NYSCC) never supported the CVA, but the group did ultimately drop its opposition in January 2019.

The organization refused to endorse the legislation because it did not want New York’s statute of limitations extended, allowing abuse cases from the more-distant past to proceed. Plus, it favored legislation with a preference for mediation over litigation. According to reporting in the Daily News, the bishops’ chief fear was having to provide records as part of a lawsuit’s discovery process, a requirement that could potentially be avoided in mediation.

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.

Larry Nassar’s victims are requesting the report on FBI’s handling of its investigation into alleged abuse

ATLANTA (GA)
CNN

June 17 2020

By Jean Casarez and David Shortell

More than 120 alleged sexual abuse victims of Larry Nassar, the disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor, sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting a copy of a report on the FBI’s handling of its investigation into Nassar.

The letter, sent Wednesday to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, says the alleged victims don’t want the report “withheld and then have authorities claim they cannot indict and prosecute the people involved in criminal conduct because the statute of limitations has expired.”

“It is important for our healing for all the facts to come out and for wrongdoers to be held accountable. It is also important to maintain public confidence in our federal law enforcement agencies by exposing the truth and initiating reforms so that this never happens again,” the signers, including Olympic athletes Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and Jordyn Wieber, say in the letter.

The DOJ Inspector General’s office is “investigating allegations concerning the FBI’s handling of the Nassar investigation, and the victims and the public should rest assured our findings will be made public at the end of our investigation,” Stephanie Logan, the office’s spokeswoman told CNN when asked for comment.

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.

Late priest from Lake Luzerne parish among those named in child sex abuse lawsuits

GLENS FALLS (NY)
Post-Star

June 15, 2020

By Michael Goot

https://poststar.com/news/local/late-priest-from-lake-luzerne-parish-among-those-named-in-child-sex-abuse-lawsuits/article_12bb280b-e5b2-58f6-8ae8-613c41fc4c6f.html

Lake Luzerne – A late priest that served at a church in Lake Luzerne was named in one of 52 sex abuse lawsuits filed Monday against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.

The Rev. Charles A. Gaffigan, who retired from Holy Mother and Child Parish in 2011, is accused of sexually abusing a minor from 1992 to about 1994 at what was then Holy Infancy Church in Lake Luzerne, according to a news release from Jeff Anderson & Associates. The law firm has filed a total of 74 lawsuits against the diocese.

Gaffigan died in 2015 after battling cancer.

Gaffigan was appointed to serve as pastor of what was then Holy Infancy Church in Lake Luzerne in 1991, according to his obituary. In 2003, he picked up the responsibility for Immaculate Conception Church in Corinth. The churches ultimately merged in 2009 to form Holy Mother and Child Parish. He retired as pastor in 2011, but continued to fill in throughout the diocese.

Gaffigan died on April 19, 2015, at the age of 79 at the Gateway House of Peace in Ballston Spa.

He also served as associate pastor in St. Michael’s in South Glens Falls in the 1970s and at St. Mary’s in Glens Falls in the early 1980s.

Three new lawsuits were also brought against Gary Mercure, who was sentenced to more than 25 years in prison in Massachusetts on child sex abuse charges. Mercure served at Our Lady of Annunciation Church in Queensbury and St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Glens Falls.

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.

Polish bishop lashes out at archbishop for reporting abuse cover-up to Vatican

DENVER (CO)
Crux

June 17, 2020

By Paulina Guzik

A bishop at the center of a documentary on sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Poland has tried to defend himself, but has only generated more controversy.

The film “Hide and Seek” documented a dramatic case of abuse of power by Bishop Edward Janiak of Kalisz in central Poland. In 2016, when a family visited him to report that their son was abused by their parish priest, Janiak expelled them from his office and didn’t report the case to the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, as the law required.

The documentary was released on May 16, and on the same day Archbishop Wojciech Polak, the Primate of Poland and Delegate of Child Protection at the Polish Bishops Conference, reported the case to the Holy See through the Vatican embassy, using the procedure outlined in a new Vatican law – Vos Estis Lux Mundi – which was promulgated by Pope Francis on June 1, 2019. It was the first time the law had been utilized in Poland.

Janiak responded with a June 13 letter to the Polish bishops rejecting the accusations and attacking Polak for reporting him.

Now Janiak has two problems: The letter was leaked to the media, and was filled with factual errors.

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.

Servants of the Paraclete seeks dismissal in Catholic priest abuse lawsuit; victim speaks out

ALAMOGORDO (NM)
Alamogordo Daily News

June 17, 2020

By Nicole Maxwell

https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/local/community/2020/06/17/catholic-priest-abuse-servants-paraclete-seek-lawsuit-dismissal-david-holley/5170809002/

The Servants of the Paraclete, named in a lawsuit over child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, asked a New Mexico court to dismiss the case in a June 10 response.

The Servants of the Paraclete is one of several defendants, including two Alamogordo Catholic parishes, named in the case filed in the 2nd Judicial District Court in Bernalillo County. The suit was filed by “John Doe” and alleged negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, vicarious liability, public nuisance and racketeering.

The Servants of the Paraclete denied the allegations in the original complaint, admitting only that, acting as a nonprofit corporation, it ran a facility in Albuquerque and Jemez Springs in 1971. The Servants of the Paraclete was originally founded as a recovery and rehabilitation facility for alcoholic and drug addicted clergy before they started receiving priests with pedophilic tendencies.

“The complaint fails to state claims, in whole or in part, upon which relief can be granted as a matter of law,” the response states.

Fr. David Holley was a patient at Servants of the Paraclete in the early 1970s before he was sent to Alamogordo to what was then St. Jude Mission Church. It is St. Jude Catholic Parish now.

The Servants of the Paraclete’s response states that many of the allegations are “completely irrelevant and immaterial to this action and/or because they constitute argument, not alleged facts.”

While the name of the victim in New Mexico who filed the suit remains anonymous, one of Holley’s Worcester Diocese victims remained vocal about his experience.

Holley abuse victim shares story

Phil Saviano was 11 years old when he first met the late Fr. David Holley in March 1964.

Saviano spoke to the Alamogordo Daily News via phone on May 11.

Saviano was in a catechism class in Holley’s second parish assignment at St. Denis Church in Douglas, Massachusetts. Holley was assigned to St. Denis for 18 months before being reassigned to another church within the Worcester Diocese, Saviano said.

“I was one of his earliest victims,” Saviano said. “My family lived just up the street from the church and the rectory. I was not an altar boy but I was Catholic.”

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.

Notice posted for class action suit alleging sexual abuse by priests in Halifax-Yarmouth

HALIFAX (NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA)
Chronicle Herald via Saltwire

June 17, 2020

By Francis Campbell

Hundreds of Nova Scotians who say they were sexuallly abused by Roman Catholic priests dating back to 1960 are likely to be part of a lawsuit launched against the Halifax-Yarmouth Archdiocese and its archbishop.

A notice appeared recently on the websites of both the archdiocese and the McKiggan-Hebert law firm in Halifax, who filed the class action with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in August 2018 on behalf of Douglas Champagne and other sexual abuse survivors.

“There is a court order in place that has established the steps that need to be taken to notify potential class members of the claim and this is one of the steps,” said lawyer John McKiggan.

“One of the requirements is to provide notice to potential class members telling them there is a class action out here and you can participate if you want to.”

Champagne, according to the court filing, suffered lasting and permanent effects from sexual abuse at the hands of Father George Epoch while Epoch worked as a priest at the Canadian Martyrs Church in Halifax and Champagne was an altar boy.

The class action says priests employed by the archdiocese, which amalgamated the former dioceses of Halifax and Yarmouth in 2011, had for decades “sexually assaulted and battered Catholic worshippers who attended their parishes.”

Responsible for the spiritual guidance and care of the claimants, the lawsuit says priests developed a relationship of psychological intimacy with their victims that provided them the opportunity to “engage in acts of sexual assault and battery.”

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.

Grandmother accuses CNY school priest of molesting her when she was a girl: ‘They can’t get away with this’

SYRACUSE (NY)
Post-Standard

June 18, 2020

By Marnie Eisenstadt

https://www.syracuse.com/news/2020/06/grandmother-accuses-cny-school-priest-of-molesting-her-when-she-was-a-girl-they-cant-get-away-with-this.html

Whitesboro, N.Y. — It was always old Frankenstein movies. Or ghost stories.

“Any little thing where he got you alone in the dark,” Mary McLoughlin recalled. Then the priest at her family’s church would sexually abuse her, she said.

She was 11; the abuse happened numerous times, according to a lawsuit McLoughlin filed against the Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese Wednesday.

McLoughlin’s suit was one of 38 filed against the diocese this week, a new wave of complaints under the New York Child Victims Act.

McLoughlin’s is one of the few filed against the diocese by women; most of the accusers have been men who alleged the abuse happened when they were boys.

McLoughlin, 66, says her abuser was the Rev. Conrad Somerville. At the time, he was in his 30s at St. Joseph’s school and parish in Utica.

Somerville has not been named in the diocese’s list of known offenders. He died in 2013 at 85; his last post was at the Franciscan Place at Destiny USA.

A spokeswoman for the diocese said they have not seen the new cases yet, but they take seriously all allegations of sexual abuse.

“We continue to pray for the healing of those who have been harmed in the past and continue to be vigilant in our safe environment protocols in order that this very dark chapter in the Church will never happen again,” said Danielle Cummings.

The priest was trusted by McLoughlin’s family and that of the other girls in her school, according to the lawsuit. The sexual abuse happened in movie theaters, church youth outings and in Somerville’s car, according to the lawsuit.

Somerville used his position at the school and church to groom McLoughlin and other girls so he could molest them, according to the suit. The allegations outlined in the lawsuit happened between 1964 and 1965.

“I hope it makes people like Father Conrad realize they can’t get away with this. For over 50 years, I’ve been wondering who else, or how many other kids did he hurt,” said McLoughlin, who lives in Troy now and is a funeral director.

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.

June 17, 2020

Diócesis de Irapuato se deslinda de Ciudad de los Niños y pide respuestas al cura Pedro

LEóN (MEXICO)
Proceso [Mexico City, Mexico]

June 17, 2020

By Verónica Espinosa

Read original article

GUANAJUATO, Gto., (apro).- El sacerdote Pedro Gutiérrez Farías debe responder a los cuestionamientos y recomendaciones de la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) por las violaciones graves a derechos de menores, adultos y personas con discapacidad que se encontraba en los albergues Ciudad de los Niños de Salamanca, pues “no son una obra eclesiástica”, sostuvo la diócesis de Irapuato, a la que está adscrito el cura católico. “La Diócesis de Irapuato no protegerá a ningún clérigo ni consagrado que cometa este tipo de acciones reprobables”, informó ésta en un comunicado. “La Iglesia está del lado de las víctimas. Por eso, esperamos y pedimos que todo se aclare conforme a la justicia civil y eclesiástica”, se añadió. Aunque Pedro Gutiérrez ni siquiera se ha presentado a definir su situación como ministro de la iglesia católica ante el propio obispo Enrique Díaz. “Se le ha invitado a presentarse con el Obispo de Irapuato para determinar su situación ministerial en esta diócesis, sin haber obtenido respuesta hasta ahora. Hasta el momento el sacerdote no está suspendido, ni pesa sobre él ninguna pena canónica, pero no están en regla sus licencias ministeriales”, se explicó en el comunicado. Se informó que se enviará a la Santa Sede y a la Nunciatura en México los informes sobre la situación del sacerdote, que enfrenta señalamientos por los que la CNDH ha recomendado a autoridades de Guanajuato y otros estados investigar, reabrir expedientes y cancelar definitivamente los permisos de operación de los albergues fundados por el cura en Salamanca, Morelia, Uriangato-Moroleón e Irapuato. La diócesis irapuatense también aclaró que, aunque el sacerdote “tenía el proyecto de fundar una congregación de sacerdotes y religiosas dedicada a la atención de Ciudad de los Niños”, misma que funcionó en calidad de ad experimentum desde el año 2004, “fue suprimida” el 1 de enero de este año “por no haber cumplido los requerimientos necesarios para su aprobación definitiva”. Es decir, la Iglesia Católica mantuvo esta congregación en modo de prueba participando en la atención de la Ciudad de los Niños durante poco más de 15 años, según lo informado por la diócesis. Tres de los cuatro clérigos que estaban asignados a colaborar con el padre Pedro fueron asignados a otros ministerios. La diócesis remarcó, por primera vez en los más de 40 años que tiene el sacerdote Gutiérrez Farías al frente de los albergues que, según la propia índole de la asociación civil de Ciudad de los Niños de Salamanca, la Iglesia Católica no tiene competencia directa con la misma ni con el manejo de estos centros de asistencia social. “Desde el año 2017, la Santa Sede y la Nunciatura Apostólica en México fueron enteradas de la situación de ese momento. Ahora, de acuerdo a los protocolos establecidos por la CEM, deberá enterársele del estado actual del caso, y estaremos a la espera de lo que ella determine para inmediatamente acatar sus indicaciones”. Finalmente, a nombre de la Iglesia católica se invitó a que cualquier persona que tenga acusaciones en contra del sacerdote las presente en las oficinas del Tribunal Eclesiástico de la diócesis irapuatense. “Como Iglesia nos duele cualquier atentado contra los niños, adolescentes y personas vulnerables, y reprobamos cualquier conducta de abuso contra ellos”, concluye el comunicado.

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.

Ciudad de los Niños, otro infierno de abusos

LEóN (MEXICO)
Proceso [Mexico City, Mexico]

June 17, 2020

By Verónica Espinosa

Read original article

Los centros de asistencia social de Pedro Gutiérrez Farías operaron durante décadas con el apoyo de los gobiernos de Guanajuato y Michoacán, además de la complacencia de las fiscalías de esos y otros estados, que desestimaron numerosas denuncias contra el sacerdote y su personal por abusos sexuales, malos tratos y alteración de la identidad de los menores. La resolución de una juez en 2017 y una amplia recomendación de la CNDH reactivaron el caso. GUANAJUATO, Gto. (Proceso). – “La Ciudad de los Niños es una obra de la patria, una obra de Dios… Yo les pedía ayuda a todos los gobernadores y me ayudaron. Les decía: ‘¿qué hago con los niños? No tienen papeles’. Me decían: ‘Déselos usted’. Aquí venía el del Registro Civil a la casa, a registrarlos…”, se ufanaba a mediados del año pasado el sacerdote católico Pedro Gutiérrez Farías. El fundador y director de los albergues Ciudad de los Niños de Salamanca pudo, gracias a esa “ayuda”, manejar a su antojo y sostener con fondos públicos y privados seis centros de asistencia social en Guanajuato y Michoacán durante cuatro décadas. Pero en la recomendación 32VG/2020, emitida el 19 de mayo pasado, la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (CNDH) confirmó que 324 menores, adultos y personas con discapacidades diversas albergados en la Ciudad de los Niños de Salamanca fueron víctimas de violaciones graves: abuso sexual, tortura, pérdida de identidad, maltrato infantil, condiciones insalubres, de promiscuidad y riesgo, así como de abandono educativo. En una investigación que duró casi tres años, el organismo encontró también una complacencia criminal de instancias de procuración de justicia de tres entidades –Aguascalientes, Querétaro y Guanajuato– a estas violaciones graves, las que conocieron, pero no investigaron debidamente, además de que archivaron varias denuncias al respecto y en la mayoría de ellas se desistieron de ejercer acción penal. Ocurrió en el caso de Rosa Verduzco y el albergue La Gran Familia, en Zamora, Michoacán (Proceso 1969): Gutiérrez Farías fue eximido durante años de varias denuncias por abuso sexual, maltrato y despojo de filiación civil a cientos de menores. A éstos los recibió en sus albergues gracias a la amplia red de protección y beneficios en la que participaron gobernadores, alcaldes, presidentes municipales y autoridades federales, como fue el caso del expresidente Vicente Fox y su esposa, Marta Sahagún. Lo que sucedió durante décadas en la Ciudad de los Niños fue documentado ampliamente desde 2017 por la juez de distrito Karla Macías, quien conoció de un juicio de amparo promovido por el propio sacerdote a mediados de 2016, con el fin de recuperar a una menor que había sido trasladada a otro centro de asistencia social. La juez llevó un proceso que llegó a las entrañas de la Ciudad de los Niños y desenmascaró el cúmulo de vejaciones en 2017. La resolución derivó en la intervención del DIF de Guanajuato durante el sexenio del panista Miguel Márquez Márquez, instancia que tras el escándalo asumió el control del centro y trasladó a quienes allí se encontraban a otras instituciones de acogida o los entregó a sus familias, sin que se transparentaran el proceso ni las condiciones de los menores y adultos. Por mandato de la juez se iniciaron carpetas de investigación y se revisaron otras que habían sido reservadas por la presunción de abusos sexuales, violencia familiar, privación ilegal de la libertad, desaparición de personas y contra la filiación por el cambio de apellidos, algunas iniciadas desde 2008. Pero tal como ocurrió con Mamá Rosa, quien fue declarada inimputable en 2014 por la entonces Procuraduría General de la República encabezada por Jesús Murillo Karam, Gutiérrez Farías libró una vez más las acusaciones. En esta recomendación la CNDH concluye que la mayoría de los expedientes contra el sacerdote fueron indebidamente integrados y varios se archivaron de manera irregular. Además, los pocos procesos penales que se lograron iniciar resultaron en penas mínimas y salidas alternas, con lo que los señalados evitaron la prisión. Las fiscalías de Guanajuato, Querétaro y Aguascalientes desestimaron dictámenes psicológicos, peritajes y decenas de testimonios de menores y adultos víctimas, vecinos, profesoras y familiares, quienes coincidieron al describir los malos tratos y los castigos que se les imponían a los menores, además de la posible responsabilidad de Gutiérrez Farías y sus colaboradores en estas violaciones. Por ejemplo, coincidieron en señalar un lugar de tortura conocido como “el cuartito”. En la recomendación se consigna el testimonio de una víctima sobre el uso que se le daba: “Me llamó para los cuartos de atrás […] y me preguntó que por qué no había ido a las academias, y le dije que porque […] no tenía ganas y me empezó a pegar […] en la cara y en los brazos, pero yo me ponía las manos y como casi no me atinó ningún golpe porque yo los esquivaba, como que le dio coraje y […] me agarró del brazo y me llevó hasta el dormitorio de hombres, en donde hay un cuartito al que le decimos ‘LA CARCEL’, y ahí […] me encerró […] tres días, sin comer […] Antes de que llegaran los del DIF aquí en la Ciudad de los Niños, alguien quitó la puerta del cuartito […]”

Los mismos funcionarios

En sus 507 páginas la recomendación exhibe a gobernadores, presidentes municipales, secretarios, procuradores o fiscales, autoridades educativas y de salud, principalmente de Guanajuato y de Michoacán, que conocieron y a quienes les correspondía proteger a los menores depositados de manera directa los albergues. Por ello, además de demandar para las víctimas “una reparación integral del daño, que incluya la atención médica especializada integral, así como el pago de una compensación y/o indemnización”, la CNDH pone ahora la mirada en los servidores públicos responsables por omisiones que pueden configurar delitos. Y anuncia una andanada de quejas administrativas y demandas en los tres estados involucrados para que se finquen responsabilidades penales a esos funcionarios y exfuncionarios. La recomendación está dirigida a los gobernadores de Guanajuato, Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo; Michoacán, Silvano Aureoles Conejo; Querétaro, Francisco Domínguez Servién; a los fiscales de Aguascalientes, Jesús Figueroa Ortega, y de Guanajuato, Carlos Zamarripa Aguirre; así como a los presidentes municipales de San Luis de la Paz, Luis Gerardo Sánchez, y de San Francisco del Rincón, Javier Casillas Saldaña. Los gobiernos de los tres estados y los municipios citados enviaron a menores bajo su tutela a los centros manejados por el sacerdote: Ciudad de los Niños –que fue cerrado–, Ciudad Infantil y Ciudad Juvenil, en Salamanca; Casa Noviciada de Cooperadoras de la Sagrada Familia, en Irapuato; Ciudad de los Niños Moroleón-Uriangato y Ciudad de los Niños Morelia, AC. Varios de ellos continúan funcionando pese a que la CNDH pidió cancelar los registros de todos los albergues administrados por el sacerdote. El lunes 8, en una transmisión de la televisora estatal, Rodríguez Vallejo aceptó todos los términos de la recomendación y expresó una disculpa pública a todos los menores y adultos agraviados. Pero el panista estaría en serios aprietos para cumplir cada uno de los 32 puntos que le conciernen, pues varios de los funcionarios a quienes el sexenio pasado les correspondió supervisar los albergues (por lo tanto, las condiciones en que vivían los menores) son actualmente sus colaboradores. Son los casos del director del DIF, Alfonso Borja Pimentel; el secretario de Salud, Daniel Alberto Díaz; el exsecretario de Educación, Eusebio Vega, así como el entonces procurador de justicia y actual fiscal general del estado, Carlos Zamarripa Aguirre. Desde 2009, cuando Zamarripa era procurador de justicia, y hasta la fecha, con él mismo como fiscal general autónomo, esa instancia tuvo conocimiento de varias denuncias por presuntos delitos, incluyendo violaciones y abusos sexuales atribuidos a Gutiérrez Farías y al personal de la Ciudad de los Niños. El sacerdote fue sentenciado por un delito a principios de 2019: falsedad de declaraciones ante una autoridad. Se le condenó a un año y cuatro meses de prisión, pero no pisó ningún penal.

Obra de Dios

“¿Por qué me dediqué a esto? Porque Dios me lo dijo. Yo no lo hago por dinero”, decía Gutiérrez Farías en su reaparición para anunciar la reapertura de la Ciudad de los Niños en julio pasado. La reportera Kennia Velázquez encontró que la vocación del sacerdote no ha sido desinteresada. En una investigación auspiciada por el International Center for Journalists en alianza con Connectas y publicada en diciembre de 2017, reveló que, a través de tres de las ocho asociaciones creadas por el sacerdote, éste recibió recursos públicos por casi 45.3 millones de pesos, vehículos y cuatro terrenos. También es propietario de ocho inmuebles, entre ellos un predio de 17 hectáreas. En 2017 la entonces Procuraduría estatal recibió una denuncia contra el sacerdote por posible uso indebido de recursos públicos, pero fue archivada. La CNDH recomendó a la Fiscalía General que la retome. Rodríguez Vallejo podría verse involucrado en esta indagatoria, ya que era secretario de Desarrollo Social y Humano en el sexenio de su antecesor, cuando le tocó asignar varios millones de pesos a la Ciudad de los Niños de Salamanca. A raíz de la resolución que emitió en 2017 la juez de distrito y a petición de organizaciones civiles, como la Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en México, la CNDH decidió atraer la investigación sobre las violaciones a derechos de esta población vulnerable, por acuerdo del 19 de julio de ese año. En los meses siguientes, y hasta principios de 2019, durante la gestión de Luis Raúl González Pérez como titular del organismo, personal de la CNDH viajó a Guanajuato y a Michoacán para entrevistarse con autoridades estatales y municipales; acudió a varios de los centros de asistencia dirigidos por el sacerdote y constató sus condiciones; entrevistó a menores y adultos que estuvieron en dichos albergues. También revisó declaraciones de 23 servidores públicos “que tuvieron conocimiento de los hechos delictivos cometidos en agravio de las personas albergadas en las casas hogar administradas por Ciudad de los Niños, Salamanca AC”, así como de 86 de las víctimas, 29 de testigos, 17 de indiciados y ocho denunciantes. En las declaraciones se advirtió que una de las formas más comunes de castigar a quienes incumplían con sus deberes era golpearlos con un palo barnizado, de un metro de largo, que el sacerdote guardaba en su oficina. El personal de la comisión también obtuvo, vía la ley de transparencia, registros, fichas, reportes de inspecciones sanitarias y de protección civil. La CNDH analizó 24 carpetas de investigación, seis causas penales, cuatro juicios de amparo, tres averiguaciones previas, un cuadernillo de colaboración (exhorto) y dos recursos de revisión. Sin embargo, en la recomendación el organismo hizo notar que la Procuraduría de Justicia de Guanajuato no le entregó todas las averiguaciones y carpetas, entre ellas las que señalan directamente a Gutiérrez Farías de abusos sexuales contra un menor. En abril de 2019 un Tribunal Colegiado desestimó la amplitud del amparo de la juez Macías, pero el 19 de mayo pasado la actual presidenta de la comisión, Rosario Piedra Ibarra, acordó continuar con el trámite del expediente de queja CNDH/1/2018/5221/Q/VG y finalmente emitir la recomendación, que hizo pública el día 28. El expediente consta de 45 tomos, con más de 36 mil 800 fojas. En él se corroboran y documentan actos contra 324 personas, en su mayoría niños, niñas y adolescentes, así como personas adultas con discapacidad intelectual, “durante su estancia en los diversos centros asistenciales dependientes de la Ciudad de los Niños Salamanca, AC”. El gobierno de Guanajuato consintió y participó, mediante el Registro Civil, en el agravio a la identidad de 169 de ellos “registrados como hijas e hijos biológicos del indiciado 1 (Pedro Gutiérrez) y algunas de las monjas que lo auxiliaban”. Se encontraron “actas” con los cambios de apellidos elaboradas en simples hojas de papel y desaparecieron registros de los padres biológicos en varios casos. Además de las insalubres y peligrosas condiciones en los inmuebles de varios centros de asistencia del sacerdote y de la falta de un programa nutricional para quienes estaban a su cargo, varios menores no iban a la escuela o desertaron sin que se hiciera nada por regularizarlos. Otros albergados con discapacidad no recibían ningún tipo de instrucción especializada. Peritos e investigadores de la CNDH avalaron las evidencias de tortura en agravio de 21 menores y 10 adultos con discapacidad; violencia sexual contra nueve adolescentes y cuatro adultos mayores; así como trato cruel, inhumano o degradante a 17 menores y dos adultos. Al menos dos menores declararon que se les infligieron “lesiones por quemadura derivadas de la exposición de sus extremidades superiores sobre una superficie caliente (estufa)”. Otros cuatro “refirieron que sufrieron puñetazos, cachetadas y patadas en diversas partes del cuerpo”. Asimismo, se documentó que fueron desestimadas, archivadas o reservadas las denuncias por abuso sexual y otros hechos que por su naturaleza fueron canalizados a fiscalías especializadas en violencia contra mujeres, violencia sexual, trata de menores y personas desaparecidas, en los estados de Guanajuato, Querétaro o Aguascalientes. Este reportaje forma parte del número 2276 de la edición impresa de Proceso, publicado el 14 de junio de 2020 y cuya versión digitalizada puedes adquirir aquí

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.

Regina Catholic School Division renames Jean Vanier School

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN (CANADA)
Global News

June 17, 2020

By Jonathan Guignard

It’s official: the Regina Catholic School Division has changed the name of Jean Vanier School in Regina.

The school is now named St. Maria Faustina School, the division announced at its board meeting on Wednesday.

“When we read headlines about Jean Vanier earlier this year, we were concerned about how the association might impact our community,” said Lesley Perrault, principal.

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 archbishop ‘dismayed’ as permission to officiate as priest revoked

UNITED KINGDOM
Shropshire Star

June 17, 2020

New information about Lord Carey is said to have emerged during a review into a barrister who was accused of abusing boys.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury has said he is “bewildered and dismayed” to have had his permission to officiate as a priest withdrawn.

Lord Carey is no longer authorised to minister within his diocese, the Church of England said, after new information emerged in relation to a review being carried out into a barrister who was accused of abusing boys.

There has been no allegation of abuse made against Lord Carey.

An independent inquiry was announced last year into the church’s handling of allegations against the late John Smyth QC, who allegedly abused boys at Christian camps.

Police had been planning on questioning Mr Smyth when he died in South Africa in 2018 at the age of 77.

Mr Smyth was alleged to have beaten children in the 1970s and 1980s while he was a leader at the Iwerne Trust camps.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Oxford said that in the course of the review “new information has come to light regarding Lord Carey, which has been passed to the National Safeguarding Team for immediate attention”.

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.

St. Cloud Diocese declares bankruptcy

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Star Tribune

June 15, 2020

By Jean Hopfensperger

The Diocese of St. Cloud filed for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Monday, just weeks after reaching a $22.5 million settlement with clergy abuse survivors.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing provides a “framework for resolution” of the clergy abuse claims filed by 70 individuals against 42 priests dating to the 1950s, the diocese said.

The diocese announced its intent to file for bankruptcy in 2018 to pay for the claims, and has been negotiating with attorneys for the survivors since.

“This Chapter 11 reorganization represents the diocese’s commitment to finding a fair resolution for survivors,” said the diocese news release announcing the filing.

“It’s been a long haul, a long process, for survivors,” added survivors’ attorney Mike Finnegan. “We’re glad that they’re on the path to resolution and putting the lawsuits behind them.”

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.

Archdiocesan Priests Removed From Ministry

NEW YORK (NY)
Archdiocese of New York via Catholic New York

June 17, 2020

Three archdiocesan priests have been removed from ministry.

Msgr. Edward Barry, 72, former pastor of Holy Rosary parish in Hawthorne, and Father Andrew Florez, 67, have had allegations of the sexual abuse of minors found to be credible and substantiated by the archdiocesan Lay Review Board. In each case, the priest retained the presumption of innocence and was allowed to participate in his defense. As is archdiocesan protocol, the allegations were shared with law enforcement, investigated by outside professionals and the entire matter carefully examined by the archdiocesan Lay Review Board, which concluded that the allegations had been substantiated. Both priests have been permanently removed from ministry, and may not publicly present themselves as priests.

Michael O’Leary, 51, a former priest of the archdiocese, has had his request for a return to the lay state granted by the Holy See. (Although he subsequently withdrew his request, the Holy Father still returned him to the lay state.) He was arrested in March 2019 and charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell. His legal case is still pending.

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.

38 more people sue Syracuse Catholic Diocese, claiming abuse by priests

SYRACUSE (NY)
Syracuse.com

June 17, 2020

By Marnie Eisenstadt

Nearly 40 new lawsuits have been filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, alleging child sex abuse by priests and a teacher.

The suits filed today alleged allegations of abuse that happened at the hands of priests in parishes across Central New York, spanning more than 50 years.

The lawsuits were filed under the New York State Child Victims Act, and join 40 suits already filed against the diocese under the act.

Four priests named in today’s filings are being sued by multiple people, according to lawyers from Jeff Anderson & Associates and LaFave, Wein & Frament, which together filed 32 suits. Lawyers from Marsh Law also filed six new cases. A spokeswoman for the Syracuse diocese has not yet responded to a request for comment.

The claims include:

— Monsignor Charles Eckermann, who was defrocked over allegations of child sex abuse in 2014 and died in 2016, was accused by four more people. The complaints of abuse span nearly 30 years: from 1958 to 1983. Eckermann was removed from the priesthood after the church deemed credible allegations that he molested an altar boy in Manlius.

— The Rev. Chester A. Misercola is named by three people, who alleged that he abused them when he was at Bishop Cunningham Catholic High School in Oswego. He worked there from 1970 to 1992, according to the firm. Misercola was removed from ministry in 2002 over allegations of child sex abuse. He died last year.

— The Rev. Edward C. Madore was named by three people in the new suits; he had already been accused by two others in suits previously filed, lawyers said. One of those suits alleges that Madore, who had worked at churches in Rome and Binghamton, abused an 8-year-old altar boy in 1976.

— The Rev. Bernard A. Garstka is named in three of the complaints. Two of the allegations of abuse come from his time at St. Patrick in Taberg, according to the lawsuits. Garstka died in 1982.

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 stealing money from church

WARWICK (RI)
WPRI

June 16, 2020

By Sarah Doiron

A former priest was arrested Tuesday after allegedly stealing money from the church while he worked at.

Steven Matthew Glover, known to parishioners as Father Matthew Glover, used to be a pastor at St. Rose and Clement Parish in Warwick.

He has been charged with obtaining money under false pretenses, larceny of over $1,500 and fraudulent use of a credit card.

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 Least 3,000 Children Were Victims of Sex Abuse in French Catholic Church

FRANCE
Newsweek

June 17, 2020

By Brendan Cole

There have been at least 3,000 child sex abuse victims in the Catholic Church in France stretching back decades—and it’s feared there may be many more, according to an investigation.

Last June, the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE) was set up to look into abuse claims committed by the clergy in France since the 1950s.

A hotline for victims to come forward has so far received more than 5,000 phone calls. The number of estimated victims represents an average of 40 cases per year over seven decades.

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 Warwick priest accused of stealing from church

WARWICK (RI)
WJAR/NBC 10 News

June 16, 2020

By Jessica A. Botelho

A former Catholic priest has been accused of stealing from a Warwick church, according to Rhode Island State Police.

State police said Steven Matthew Glover, 42, of Coventry, was arrested on Tuesday.

Glover is facing multiple charges, including the following:

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 official gave earlier help to New Orleans Archdiocese on sexual abuse crisis

METAIRIE (LA)
ESPN

June 17, 2020

By Mike Triplett

The lawsuits calling for the public release of emails between the New Orleans Saints and the local Roman Catholic Archdiocese have mostly been put on hold since the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy last month, but new details in a Sports Illustrated report on the case confirm that a team official began offering public relations counsel to the church regarding its sexual abuse crisis months earlier than initially reported.

The Saints and owner Gayle Benson have long had a close relationship with the Catholic Church and Archbishop Gregory Aymond, and they have maintained that they did nothing wrong by offering PR input to the archdiocese on how to work with the media, suggesting the church offer full transparency while releasing the names of clergy members who have been credibly accused of 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.

Archdiocese of Oklahoma City launches training program to protect children

OKLAHOMA CITY (OK)
Enid News & Eagle

June 16, 2020

By James Neal

Volunteers, staff members and clergy of the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City who work with children will be required, starting July 1, to complete a new training program designed to protect children from abuse.

The curriculum, Safe & Sacred Training Program for Catholic Dioceses, “provides online training in several areas, including appropriate and inappropriate interaction with minors, proper boundaries, potential red flags and how to report suspected child abuse,” according to an archdiocese press release.

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.

Stottville, Ravena priests accused in child-sex complaints

ALBANY (NY)
Johnson Newspaper Corp.

June 16, 2020

By Kate Lisa

Priests from Stottville and Ravena are among the newly identified defendants in child sexual abuse complaints against the Albany Catholic Diocese on Monday under the state’s Child Victims Act.

Father Andrew J. Lenahan is accused of sexually abusing a minor from approximately 1960 to 1963 at Holy Family in Stottville and Father Bernard Turner is accused of sexually abusing a minor from approximately 1981 to 1982 at St. Patrick in Ravena.

“The diocese takes all allegations of sexual abuse seriously,” Albany Diocese Director of Communications Mary DeTurris Poust said in a statement Tuesday. “Behind every claim is a suffering person who needs our compassion and assistance.”

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 misconduct allegations surface against Church of the Harvest pastor

OKLAHOMA CITY (OK)
KFOR

June 16, 2020

By Ali Meyer

The sprawling campus of Church of the Harvest opened in 1989 with just one building.

Three decades of prosperity under the leadership of the Pankratz family and the church grew to a small empire.

Kirk and Nancy Pankratz are the founders. Their son, Grant Pankratz, was promoted to Senior Pastor in March of 2018.

There is a chink in the armor, though.

A swarm of angry ex-followers are now calling Church of the Harvest a “Christian concentration camp.”

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

Abuse scandal linked to status of women in Church

ROME
The Tablet

June 16, 2020

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

It is a ‘matter of urgency’ to have more women in leading positions: Cardinal Marx

Cardinal Reinhard Marx has reiterated how urgent it is to appoint more women leaders in the Church.

“Changes in this field are really urgent and must be pressed ahead with,” he warned. “We talk a lot about the Church’s new social form and on no other point is this reflected more clearly”, Marx said last week.

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 Ogdensburg named in new child sex abuse lawsuit

WATERTOWN (NY)
WWNY

June 16, 2020

By Keir Chapman

There are new allegations of child sexual abuse being leveled against the Diocese of Ogdensburg. However, the accused priest is not on the diocese’s list of offenders.

New litigation has been brought against the Diocese of Ogdensburg. That’s according to documents filed in Clinton County on June 8.

The filings claim Monsignor John M. Waterhouse sexually abused the plaintiff listed as Anonymous GF from 1973 to 1978.

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 church members seek accountability for alleged misdeeds

OKLAHOMA CITY (OK)
The Oklahoman

June 17, 2020

By Carla Hinton

Former members of a metro area church said the house of worship should close immediately and its founders should be held accountable for a litany of alleged misdeeds.

More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition alleging misconduct by leaders at Church of the Harvest, 6800 N Bryant, and 16000 N Western in Edmond. The church was founded by the Rev. Kirk Pankratz, a former Ward 7 Oklahoma City Council candidate, and his wife Nancy. Their son Grant Pankratz served as senior pastor for awhile.

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.

Our Opinion: Bishop made progress but didn’t lead

PITTSFIELD (MA)
The Berkshire Eagle

June 15, 2020

Bishop Mitchell Rozanski cleared the low bar set by his predecessor when it came to issues of communication and response to clergy abuse. Opportunities were missed to do so much more. (“Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski named to top post in St. Louis,” Eagle, June 11.)

At his introduction as the new Archbishop of the St. Louis diocese, Bishop Rozanski spoke of initiatives he had taken in Springfield as if they were entirely his own. But they came only after pressure was applied by activists like Olan Horne of Chester, an abuse survivor who advocates for other victims, and by The Berkshire Eagle.

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.

Au moins 3 000 victimes d’abus sexuels dans l’Eglise depuis 1950 en France, selon une commission indépendante

At least 3,000 victims of sexual abuse in the Church since 1950 in France, according to an independent commission

FRANCE
Le Monde avec AFP

June 17, 2020

Ces données provisoires proviennent d’enquêtes menées dans les archives de l’Eglise catholique et d’appels sur la plate-forme qui recueille des témoignages. Selon le président de la commission, cette estimation est une « première ».

Le président de la commission indépendante sur les abus sexuels sur mineurs dans l’Eglise catholique (Ciase), Jean-Marc Sauvé, a estimé mercredi 17 juin à au moins « 3 000 » le nombre de victimes en France depuis 1950. Autrement dit, le nombre d’auteurs d’agressions sexuelles au sein de l’Eglise ne peut pas être « inférieur à 1 500 » sur la période, a-t-il ajouté lors d’une visioconférence.

Ces chiffres provisoires proviennent d’une première remontée d’enquêtes menées auprès des archives de diocèses et de congrégations religieuses par la Ciase, mise en place en 2018 par l’épiscopat.

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.

Une victime d’un prêtre abuseur salue le projet de loi 55

Victim of Abusing Priest Welcomes Bill 55

QUEBEC (CANADA)
La Tribune

June 16, 2020

By René-Charles Quirion

« Le clergé ne pourra maintenant plus se cacher derrière le délai de prescription. Les victimes ont maintenant accès à la justice. »

Victime d’un prêtre pédophile dans son enfance, Gaétan Bégin est extrêmement heureux du dépôt du projet de loi 55.

Le Sherbrookois de 79 ans militait depuis de nombreuses années pour qu’un projet de loi comme celui déposé la semaine dernière à l’Assemblée nationale soit proposé.

Ce projet de loi abolit le délai de prescription pour que les victimes en matière d’agression à caractère sexuel, de violence subie pendant l’enfance et de violence conjugale puissent intenter des recours civils.

« La CAQ a livré la marchandise. Ça faisait 66 ans que j’étais pris dans un piège. Le 12 juin à 12 h 48 quand le projet de loi 55 a été annoncé, j’en ai été libéré. Ç’a été l’une des plus belles journées de ma vie », assure Gaétan Bégin.

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.

Charged in Iowa in 1996, Pennsylvania man who set up Kenya orphanage pleads to sex abuse charges

LANCASTER (PA)
Associated Press

June 15, 2020

A Pennsylvania man accused by federal authorities of preying on children under the guise of missionary work at an orphanage he established in Kenya has pleaded guilty to sexually molesting four girls.

Gregory Dow, 61, of Lancaster pleaded guilty Monday in a federal court hearing to four counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in a foreign place between 2013 and 2017 while running Dow Family Children’s Home in Boito, Kenya, which he established in 2008.

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.

Twenty New Abusers Exposed in New York Following the Filing of 52 Lawsuits

ALBANY (NY)
SNAP

June 16, 2020

52 lawsuits were filed against the Diocese of Albany on Monday, and thanks to those lawsuits the names of twenty new abusers have been made public. We applaud these survivors for coming forward and know that children and the vulnerable will be safer because of these filings.

Notably, of the new names of abusers revealed by these lawsuits, seven of them are nuns. This means that 10% of all publicly identified abusers in Albany are nuns. This helps highlight an often-ignored part of the clergy abuse scandal and brings public attention to the fact that sexual abuse is not just a priest issue, but an institutional issue. As more and more windows are opened nationwide, more and more reports about abuse by nuns are coming out and we believe that it is time that bishops publicly address the issue of abuse by 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.

How Much Did the Saints Help the Catholic Church on Its Sex Abuse Crisis? More Than They Admitted

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Sports Illustrated

June 17, 2020

New Orleans’s favorite team has acknowledged providing “minimal” public relations help to the local archdiocese as it handled revelations of sexual abuse by clergy—but an SI investigation found that the team’s aid was more extensive. Survivors, who feel betrayed by both institutions, want answers.

Kevin Bourgeois’s phone was ringing. It was a Wednesday in January, three weeks after the Saints’ season had ended, and he was standing in the parking lot outside the team’s headquarters in Metairie, La., wearing a black-and-gold Taysom Hill jersey. Around him, a small group was assembling: One man sported a Drew Brees jersey, another that of LSU’s Joe Burrow.

Bourgeois recognized the number calling. The 53-year-old New Orleans native has been a Saints season-ticket holder for a decade, with seats in a row of the Superdome’s terrace level where he can stand the whole game without blocking anyone. Usually, when he sees the team’s switchboard pop up on his phone, it’s a sales rep asking about renewing his seats. But he knew that wasn’t the reason for this call: The Saints’ top legal counsel wanted a word.

Five days earlier, on Jan. 24, the Associated Press had published a story revealing that the team had performed public relations work for the Archdiocese of New Orleans related to its spiraling sexual abuse crisis. The news sent shockwaves across the deeply Catholic city, which has been rocked over the last two years by ongoing revelations of abuse by clergy members and Church employees.

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 Catholic Church Counts Over 3,000 Child Victims Of Sex Abuse

FRANCE
Agence France-Presse

June 17, 2020

By Karine Perret

At least 3,000 children have fallen victim to sex abuse in the French Catholic Church since 1950, a commission set up to examine claims estimated Wednesday, adding that the real number may be much higher.

The commission’s president Jean-Marc Sauve said preliminary figures suggested some 1,500 clergy and other Church officials carried out the abuse.

The commission was set up last June at the request of French bishops after a series of paedophilia cases that rocked the Church in France and abroad.

A hotline urging victims to come forward has received 5,300 calls over the past year, Sauve told journalists in a video conference.

The number of estimated victims represents more than 40 cases per year on average over the past seven decades.

“I am deeply convinced that there are many more victims,” Sauve said.

“What we do not know is how to consolidate these two sources” of potential cases — the hotline and the commission’s own inquiries, he said.

The call for witnesses has been extended to October 31 and reviews of Church archives have resumed after being suspended during France’s coronavirus lockdown.

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 Many “Good Things” That Abuse Survivors are Denied

UNITED STATES
AdamHorowitzLaw.com (law firm blog)

June 5, 2020

Everyone knows that many abuse victims do BAD things as a result of their pain.

But few notice the GOOD things abuse victims do NOT do as a result of their pain.

Examples:

–The perpetrator was a teacher, so the victim ends up dropping out of school and never returns.

–The perpetrator was a counselor, so the victim doesn’t feel safe turning to a therapist for help.

–The perpetrator was a masseuse, so the victim never again feels comfortable seeking a massage.

–The perpetrator was associated with athletics, so the victim ends up deprived of pursuing sports as an outlet for relaxation, fitness and social bonding.

–The perpetrator was a religious figure, so the victim ends up deprived of the solace and sense of community that a spiritual life brings.

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.

Man who set up Kenya orphanage pleads to sex abuse charges

LANCASTER (PA)
Associated Press

June 15, 2020

A Pennsylvania man accused by federal authorities of preying on children under the guise of missionary work at an orphanage he established in Kenya has pleaded guilty to sexually molesting four girls.

Gregory Dow, 61, of Lancaster pleaded guilty Monday in a federal court hearing to four counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in a foreign place between 2013 and 2017 while running Dow Family Children’s Home in Boito, Kenya, which he established in 2008.

LNP newspaper reported that during a teleconference hearing Monday, Dow told the judge that he acknowledged the truth of the prosecution’s allegations. Under terms of his plea agreement, he would serve 15 years and eight months in prison and then have to register as a sex offender, the newspaper 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.

Local priest says Bishop changed the locks on his churches and residence

MARTINSVILLE (VA)
WFXR

June 16, 2020

By Santiago Melli-Huber

Father Mark White, a priest with churches in Martinsville and Rocky Mount, says Reverend Barry Knestout, Bishop of the Diocese of Richmond, sent a locksmith to change the locks on the doors of White’s churches and residences, as part of an ongoing battle between the two.

For months now, White has been in a fight with the Diocese of Richmond. The Bishop is trying to re-assign him as a prison chaplain, a direct result of White continuing to maintain his viral blog.

In the blog, White is often critical of the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse of minors. He uses the blog to call for more transparency from the Church about who helped cover it up.

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.

Haas, Twin Cities Catholic composer, denies sexual misconduct allegations

UNITED STATES
The Catholic Spirit (publication of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis)

June 16, 2020

By Maria Wiering

With two 2018 allegations against Haas, archdiocese declines letter of recommendation
Catholic composer David Haas denies allegations of sexual misconduct with adult women that led his music publisher, GIA Publications, to suspend its relationship with him.
In a June 16 statement, Haas said he “denounces Into Account Inc.’s allegations as false, reckless and offensive.”

Into Account, a nonprofit that supports abuse survivors, emailed Haas’ associates in late May to notify them that Haas had been accused of “repeated, unethical abuse of the professional and spiritual power he has had in church music circles,” including “sexual offenses.”

“The allegations we’ve received also contain a disturbing component of spiritual manipulation. Haas reportedly focuses attention on women with past histories of abuse, then uses the vulnerabilities created by trauma to create intimacy,” according to a letter that was emailed May 29 by Into Account executive director and founder Stephanie Krehbiel.

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.

Want to make systemic change? Pope Francis has some ideas.

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

June 16, 2020

By Claire Giangravé
When Pope Francis was elected pope, the Vatican was in trouble.

The Roman Catholic Church’s mishandling of sexual abuse and a series of financial scandals had challenged the credibility of the institution and emptied its pews.

For Francis, the root of the church’s problems was clericalism: the belief that religious people belong to a superior caste, insulated by favoritisms, which has helped promote an air of moral superiority among clergy.

“Clericalism is our ugliest pervasion,” the pope told seminarians last year. “The Lord wants you to be shepherds; shepherds of the people, not clerics of the state.”

The mentality behind clericalism, according to Francis, has helped spread corruption within the Catholic Church. Victims of sexual abuse were not taken seriously, and predator priests were moved instead of removed in order to save face. The belief that only those who are ordained have authority has helped marginalize laypeople in the Catholic Church, especially women.

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 St. Louis archbishop connects with a pope who ‘connects the dots’

ST. LOUIS (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

June 17, 2020

By Don Clemmer

Archbishop-designate Mitch Rozanski acclaims value of mercy, dialogue

For Mitch Rozanski, the archbishop-designate of St. Louis, “The Joy of the Gospel” is foundational to how a Christian should live in the 21st century. He refers to the 2013 exhortation of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, which laid much of the groundwork for this pontificate.

Known for his bright demeanor and open smile, Rozanski has worked to “Serve the Lord with Gladness” — his episcopal motto — most recently as bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts, since 2014. He was appointed to his new post on June 10 to succeed Archbishop Robert Carlson.

Belying his pastoral, unpretentious manner, Rozanski’s move to St. Louis brings together two U.S. cities with rich histories for the Catholic Church. A Baltimore native, Rozanski served in the “premier see” (first diocese in the country) for 20 years as a parish priest before his appointment as an auxiliary bishop at age 46 in 2004, a role he served in for a decade. Now he becomes the 10th archbishop of “Rome of the West.”

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 Biases of a Royal Commission

First Things

June 17, 2020

By George Weigel

A brief dip into Latin helps us understand how preconceptions can lead to biased judgments that falsify history—as they did when an Australian Royal Commission on sexual abuse recently impugned the integrity of Cardinal George Pell.

The Latin maxim is quidquid recipitur ad modum recipientis recipitur—literally, “what is received is received according to the mode [or manner, or condition] of the receiver.” Less literally, the maxim holds that our predispositions—our mental filters—color our perceptions. Put another way, we often perceive things not as they are but because of what we are.

However abstract it may seem at first blush, the maxim is confirmed by everyday experience. People draw different conclusions about the same facts, the same personalities, and the same situations. More often than not, those differences are explained by different filters at work in our minds.

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.

June 16, 2020

Quebec moves to eliminate time limits for filing civil sexual assault suits

MONTREAL (QUEBEC)
The Canadian Press

By Jocelyne Richer

June 4, 2020

Sexual assault victims in Quebec will soon be able to pursue justice against their abusers regardless of how long ago crimes took place, according to proposed legislation tabled Thursday.

The bill tabled in the provincial legislature by Justice Minister Sonia LeBel would eliminate the 30-year time limit for bringing a civil suit against an alleged assailant.

Quebec and Prince Edward Island are the only two provinces to maintain a time limitation for this type of lawsuit.

Victims have long called for the province to eliminate the statute of limitations, including those who were assaulted by pedophile priests as children.

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.

Agressions sexuelles: la loi 55 adoptée à Québec

[Sexual assault: law 55 adopted in Quebec]

QUEBEC (CANADA)
La Presse Canadienne

June 12, 2020

By Jocelyne Richer

Quel que soit leur âge, les victimes d’agressions sexuelles hantées par leur enfance peuvent désormais réclamer que justice leur soit rendue, même si les actes reprochés remontent à plus de 30 ans.

Déposé le 4 juin, le projet de loi 55, parrainé par la ministre de la Justice, Sonia LeBel, a été adopté en un temps record, vendredi, à l’unanimité.

Du coup, le délai de prescription de 30 ans qui était fixé pour pouvoir intenter une poursuite civile contre un présumé agresseur est aboli.

Il n’y a donc plus aucune limite de temps.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATE: Regardless of their age, victims of childhood sexual assaults can now claim justice for them, even if the alleged acts date back more than 30 years.

Tabled on June 4, Bill 55, sponsored by the Minister of Justice, Sonia LeBel, was adopted in record time, Friday, unanimously.

As a result, the 30-year limitation period that was set for bringing a civil action against an alleged attacker was abolished.

There is therefore no longer any time 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.

Argentine bishop resumes work in Holy See as Vatican abuse probe wraps

ARGENTINA
Buenos Aires Times

June 15, 2020

Vatican spokesman confirms Archbishop Gustavo Zanchetta has resumed work in Holy See, but claims it in no way interferes with investigations probing alleged sexual abuse.

An Argentine bishop close to Pope Francis has gone back to work at the Holy See’s financial administration office while under investigation in his native Argentina and at the Vatican for alleged sexual abuse.

The Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni, confirmed Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta had resumed work at the APSA patrimony office but said it in no way interferes with the investigations. He said Zanchetta remains at the disposition of Argentine judicial authorities.

The developments came as Francis on Monday named a new number two at the office, an Italian layman and auditor, Fabio Gasperini.

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 Composer David Haas Accused of “Sexually Predatory & Abusive Behavior”

UNITED STATES
Patheos

June 14, 2020

By Hemant Mehta

For decades now, the music of David Haas has been played in churches around the country, primarily Catholic but also other denominations with more traditional services. He was even nominated for a Grammy in 1991. Basically, his music was the soundtrack for a generation of worshipers with an average age of… older. Just older. His biography is several paragraphs long and there’s no shortage of awards he’s received, places he’s lectured, books he’s published, and groups he’s worked with.

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.

Stottville, Ravena priests named in complaints

ALBANY (NY)
Johnson Newspaper Corp.

June 15, 2020

By Kate Lisa

Priests from Stottville and Ravena are among the newly identified defendants in child sexual abuse complaints against the Albany Catholic Diocese on Monday under the state’s Child Victims Act.

Father Andrew J. Lenahan is accused of sexually abusing a minor from approximately 1960 to 1963 at Holy Family in Stottville and Father Bernard Turner is accused of sexually abusing a minor from approximately 1981 to 1982 at St. Patrick in Ravena.

The 52 cases remained in limbo while state and local courts were closed through the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a release from the law firms of New York-based Jeff Anderson & Associates and LaFave Wein & Frament, of Guilderland.

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.