ABUSE TRACKER

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

January 23, 2021

The voiceless: Abuse of women and their children laid bare in Commission report on Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes

IRELAND
The Sligo Champion

January 23, 2021

By Emma Gallagher

https://www.independent.ie/regionals/sligochampion/news/the-voiceless-abuse-of-women-and-their-children-laid-bare-in-commission-report-on-irelands-mother-and-baby-homes-39982289.html

Ireland was described as a ‘cold, harsh place’ for the 56,000 women and 57,000 children in the mother and baby homes, from 1922 to 1998, who suffered serious discrimination, the Mother and Baby Homes Commission Report stated.

The extensive report, almost 3,000 pages in length, covers a 76 year period and gives a harrowing, shameful look into the treatment of these mothers and their babies.

The Commission found that a total of 9,000 children died in the institutions under investigation during that time, most under the age of one, 15% of all the children in the institutions.

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 mother and baby home resident sues over ‘physical and emotional abuse’

IRELAND
Independent

January 22, 2021

By Aodhan O Faolain

Woman (50s) who became pregnant at 15 claims in High Court action she was forced to work at Cork’s Bessborough House and subjected to ‘harsh and unsafe’ conditions

A FORMER resident of a mother and baby home in Cork has initiated a High Court damages action against the State, the HSE and the order of Catholic nuns who ran the facility.

The action has been brought by Caroline Donovan who was a resident of Bessborough House in Cork on two occasions, once in the mid-1980s and also for a period during the early 1990s.

She says that while there she was subjected to physical and emotional abuse which it is claimed amounted to a breach of her constitutional rights.

The action is understood to be one of the first brought following the publication earlier this month of the final report by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

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 Bessborough resident to sue State, HSE, and nuns

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

January 23, 2021

By Ann O’Loughlin

A former resident of a Cork mother and baby home has initiated a High Court damages action against the State, the HSE and the order of Catholic nuns who ran that facility.

The action has been brought by Caroline Donovan who was a resident of Bessborough House, in Cork on two occasions, once in the mid-1980s and also for a period during the early 1990s.

She says that while a resident of Bessborough mother and baby home, which was located in Blackrock, Cork, she was subjected to physical and emotional abuse, which it is claimed amounted to a breach of her constitutional rights.

The action is understood to be one of the first brought following the publication earlier this month of the final report by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

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.

Fergus Finlay: Failure to address Mother and Baby Homes scandal will haunt country for years

IRELAND
irish Examiner

January 19, 2021

By Fergus Finlay

There is evidence of children being taken from their mothers, despite these mothers fighting and pleading to keep them, to facilitate the trade and export of babies

Dear Minister O’Gorman,

I’ve written to you before, but this time, please, listen to the one piece of critical advice I have to give you. And believe me when I say I know what I’m talking about.

That may sound arrogant, but it’s not. I’ve made the same mistake I fear you’re about to make. This time it matters.

First of all, I hope you’ll forgive me if I say what an appalling report the Mother and Baby Homes Commission produced. I don’t know why they pulled so many punches. I don’t know why they produced a report that was so unworthy of the calibre of people involved.

But from the very first page, it was clear that this report wasn’t going to address fundamental injustices.

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.

Letters to the editor: Abuse not exclusive to Catholic institutions

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

January 23, 2021

Commenting on the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Inquiry report, your columnist Fergus Finlay said: “The Catholic Church ruled us — formed our attitudes, told us what we were allowed to think.”

Not Derek Leinster in the Bethany Home, sent to a dysfunctional family that abandoned him, it didn’t; not the children farmed out as labour from the age of five by the Nursery Rescue Society, it didn’t; not the children emotionally, sexually, and physically abused in Smyly’s Homes, it didn’t; not the Westbank Orphanage children transformed into professional orphans and paraded around church and Orange halls in Northern Ireland, it didn’t.

The misogyny and abuse Finlay writes about were not the preserve of the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants got their fair share, too, in equivalent institutions, like the ones mentioned above.

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

January 22, 2021

N4T Investigators: Tucson legislator introduces bill to have clergy report child abuse despite Clergy Privilege

TUCSON (ARIZONA)
KVOA-TV

January 20, 2021

By Lupita Murillo

N4T Investigators: Tucson legislator introduces bill to have clergy report child abuse despite Clergy Privilege

A horrifying case of child sexual abuse is making its way to the Arizona legislature.

Paul Adams a former Border Patrol agent admitted to sexually abusing two of his young children. He was arrested by law enforcement after he was identified in the illegal acts, he posted on the internet in 2017.

Adams, and his wife, Leizza, were indicted on multiple abuse charges in 2017.

He committed suicide before going to trial she was sentenced to prison and has been released.

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.

Survivors of abuse linked to churches urged to ensure their voices are heard as part of new review

ENGLAND
Lichfield Live

January 21, 2021

Survivors of abuse linked to churches are being urged to make sure their voices are heard in a review being carried out by the Diocese of Lichfield.

The independent review of safeguarding cases is taking place as part of the Church of England’s Past Cases Review 2.

The Diocese of Lichfield was one of seven identified as needing to carry out further work to provide an updated version of the previous review published in 2010.

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 alleging sexual abuse filed against estate of dead B.C. priest

CANADA
Global News

January 20, 2021

By Doyle Potenteau

A B.C. priest who was sentenced to four years in prison for sex crimes against girls over a 28-year span is being sued by an alleged male victim, albeit posthumously.

In a lawsuit filed with the B.C. Supreme Court on Jan. 12, the civil claim states that the plaintiff, named only as A.B., was sexually abused as a child five times between 1974 and 1975 at or around Nelson.

The court document says the former and now-deceased priest, John Frederick Monaghan, and a man only named as John Doe, but believed to be a priest, committed sexual battery upon the then-12-year-old plaintiff at three different locations.

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 ordered to pay millions to WA abuse survivor

AUSTRALIA
9News

January 21, 2021

A man abused as an altar boy says he’s been vindicated after winning a record payout after more than 40 years.

The man was nine years old when he was first abused by Western Australian priest Bertram Adderley in the Holy Cross Catholic Church Sacristy in Hamilton Hill, Perth, in the 1970s.

“No longer is he a shadow looming over me,” the man told 9News.

“There’s a big glaring spotlight that I’ve turned on him.”

Adderley on another occasion took the boy to Swanbourne nudist beach before assaulting him in his apartment.

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.

Sex abuse victim speaks out after Perth Catholic church consents to pay $2.45m compensation

PERTH (AUSTRALIA)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

January 21, 2021

By Keane Bourke and Amelia Searson

A victim who will be awarded $2.45 million in compensation for sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a Catholic priest has spoken out about the “severe” impact the abuse continues to have on his life.

Perth’s Catholic archbishop consented to pay the compensation after the victim, who is now aged in his 50s, described being raped by Father Bertram Adderley in the 1970s.

The landmark judgement was approved by a District Court judge last week and is believed to be one of the highest known sums paid by any Catholic church in Australia to a survivor of historic sex 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.

SBC president’s church announces review of pastor accused of mishandling sex abuse cases

UNITED STATES
Houston Chronicle

January 21, 2021

By Robert Downen

The church pastored by Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear announced Wednesday that an outside firm will review the recent hiring of a pastor accused of mishandling sex abuses a decade ago.

The review of Bryan Loritts comes six months after he was hired at Greaar’s Summit Church in Raleigh, N.C., and after months of criticism from sexual abuse survivors.

Among the critics were those with whom Greear and other Summit leaders have worked closely as the SBC continues to confront sexual abuses detailed in a 2019 Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News investigation, Abuse of Faith.

In 2010, the worship director at Loritts’ Memphis, Tenn., church was accused of recording at least one person as they used the restroom. The man, Rick Trotter, was at the time Loritts’ brother-in-law and the announcer for the NBA team Memphis Grizzlies. Trotter was terminated from that position soon after, but moved to another nearby church.

After he was charged with multiple counts of voyeurism in 2016, the churches released a joint statement in which they said they “openly discussed Trotter’s prior sexual misconduct and the counseling he attended for sexual addiction,” according to media reports.

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

SBC President’s Church Hires Outside Firm to Review Allegations Against Staffer

UNITED STATES
Word & Way

January 21, 2021

By Diana Chandler

The Summit Church, whose senior pastor is Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear, has retained the services of an outside firm to perform an independent review of specific actions taken by Bryan Loritts, one of the pastors at The Summit Church, in his handling of 2010 sexual misconduct allegations against his then-brother-in-law at a Memphis church Loritts pastored.

The Summit Church hired Loritts in June 2020 after completing an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations at Fellowship Memphis Church. At that time, Summit elders cleared Loritts of any wrongdoing in the case against his then-brother-in-law Rick Trotter. But in a statement on its website Wednesday (Jan. 20), the church announced that it has hired Guidepost Solutions LLC to conduct a new investigation.

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

JD Greear’s Summit Church to review hiring pastor accused of mishandling past sex crime allegations

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

January 21, 2021

By Leonardo Blair

The Summit Church in North Carolina, led by Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear, said they have contracted global investigating firm Guidepost Solutions to independently review their recent hiring of Pastor Bryan Loritts who has been accused of mishandling past sex crime allegations at a previous church.

“At the recommendation of trusted advocates, we have engaged the firm Guidepost Solutions …. This firm was recommended to us based on their independence from any geographic location, entity or denominational affiliation, and because of their expertise in investigations and assessing institutional processes and dynamics specifically related to sexual harassment, abuse, and assault,” the church said in a statement Wednesday.

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.

Spanish Jesuit Order Apologises for Decades of Abuse

SPAIN
EuroWeekly

January 22, 2021

By Oisin Sweeney

THE SOCIETY Of Jesus has apologised for survivors and their families for widespread child abuse carried out by its Jesuit members since the 1920s.

In a report released on Thursday, the Jesuit order admitted that 81 children and 21 adults have been sexually abused by 96 of its members since 1927. The organisations has apologised for the “painful, shameful and sorrowful” crimes, which were mainly carried by members who worked as teachers “or was related to schools”

The document claims that 48 of the 65 Jesuits who abused children are now dead, while four of the surviving abusers are no longer Jesuits and 13 have been prevented from working with children. Some are awaiting civil or internal charges, while others have already been stripped of many duties and banished to isolated Jesuit communities.

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.

Jesuit order in Spain apologises for decades of sexual abuse by members

MADRID (SPAIN)
The Guardian

January 21, 2021

By Sam Jones

Society of Jesus admits 81 children and 21 adults were sexually abused by 96 of its members since 1927

The Jesuit order in Spain has admitted that 81 children and 21 adults have been sexually abused by 96 of its members since 1927, and has apologised for the “painful, shameful and sorrowful” crimes.

In a report released on Thursday, the Society of Jesus, whose members often work as teachers, said most of the abuse had taken place in schools “or was related to schools”.

According to the document, 48 of the 65 Jesuits who abused children are dead. Four of the surviving abusers are no longer Jesuits and 13 have been prevented from working with children pending the outcome of civil or canonical cases, or have already been ordered to cease their ministry and sent to isolated Jesuit communities.

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.

Los jesuitas admiten abusos a 81 menores desde 1927

[Jesuits admit abuse of 81 minors since 1927]

SPAIN
El País

January 21, 2021

By Iñigo Dominguez and Julio Nunez

Es la primera investigación interna de la Iglesia en España. La orden reconoce 96 acusados y 37 adultos agredidos. La Compañía revela que dio “ayudas económicas” a las víctimas, que ven “ridículas” las cifras

La Compañía de Jesús ha reconocido este jueves que al menos 81 menores y 37 adultos han sufrido abusos sexuales a manos de 96 miembros de su orden desde 1927, la fecha más lejana hasta la que se ha podido remontar la primera investigación interna de una institución católica en España. Ha llevado dos años, sigue el ejemplo de transparencia puesto en marcha, por ejemplo, en la Iglesia de Francia, Irlanda o Alemania, y comenzó a raíz de las informaciones de EL PAÍS y otros medios. “Sentimos vergüenza, dolor y pesar”, ha declarado Antonio España, provincial de la orden en la presentación del informe en Madrid.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: It is the first internal investigation of the Church in Spain. The order recognizes 96 accused and 37 assaulted adults. The Company reveals that it gave “financial aid” to the victims, who see the figures “ridiculous”

The Society of Jesus has recognized this Thursday that at least 81 minors and 37 adults have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of 96 members of its order since 1927, the most distant date to which the first internal investigation of a Catholic institution has been traced. in Spain. It has taken two years, it follows the example of transparency set in motion, for example, in the Church of France, Ireland or Germany, and began as a result of the information from EL PAÍS and other media. “We feel shame, pain and regret,” declared Antonio España, provincial of the order at the presentation of the report in Madrid.]

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

January 21, 2021

Attorneys for alleged church sex abuse victims asking court to unseal deposition of accused priest

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE-TV

January 19, 2021

By Kimberly Curth

Attorneys for alleged church sex abuse victims are fighting to get the deposition of an accused pedophile priest unsealed. Those lawyers claim the Archdiocese of New Orleans concealed almost all of Lawrence Hecker’s crimes from law enforcement.

In a new court filing, lawyers for the alleged church sex abuse survivors say “there is more than ample evidence and ‘support’ that both Hecker and the Archdiocese concealed multiple felonies perpetrated by Hecker against children.”

“They clearly can show, I think, that Hecker was a multiple offender and that they knew about it, that the Archdiocese did, and covered it up. The Archdiocese is trying to deny that and I think the plaintiff wants to show, with this deposition, that they are in fact covering it up and talking out of two sides of their mouth,” said Fox 8 Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti.

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.

Tucson Diocese being sued for racketeering over alleged sex abuse

ARIZONA
AZ Mirror

January 19, 2021

By Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

A federal lawsuit accuses the Tucson Diocese and Los Angeles Diocese of violating Arizona’s racketeering laws by burying allegations that some priests sexually abused children and moving those priests from parish to parish instead of turning them over to law enforcement.

This is the second major case of its kind after a recent change to state law gave sexual abuse victims more time to take their abusers and the organizations that protected them to court. A pair of lawsuits have been making their way through Arizona court aimed at the Corpus Christi Diocese alleging abuse by a priest who was moved to Arizona by the Diocese there.

The suit aimed at the Tucson and Los Angeles Dioceses was filed at the end of the window of opportunity on Dec. 31, 2020.

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 Tempe pastor accused of child sex abuse

ARIZONA
12news.com

January 19, 2021

By Adriana Loya

After a six-month investigation, Tempe Police arrested 48-year-old Mario Rodriguez-Ramirez on child sexual abuse accusations.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misstated the charges the suspect was facing. He is facing one felony charge.

A man known in his community as being devoted to God is now facing child abuse allegations.

A six-month investigation led Tempe police to the arrest of 48-year-old Mario Rodriguez-Ramirez, a man who was once a pastor.

Police say the abuse began in 2015, when the little girl was 9 years old.

Rodriguez-Ramirez took the victim and two other children to Kiwanis Park in Tempe, police say.

There, he allegedly hugged and kissed the girl when she reached the ground after going down the slide, police say.

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.

N4T Investigators: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints respond to civil complaint

TUCSON (AZ)
KVOA-TV, Channel 4

January 19, 2021

By Lupita Murillo

It is a shocking case of child sexual abuse the News 4 Tucson Investigators reported about last month.

A Bisbee father has been accused of abusing his own children and showcasing the acts on the dark web.

Since the accusations surfaced, claims have been made against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Tucson attorney, Lynne Cadigan.

She represents some of the victims. Cadigan claimed church leaders knew about the abuse and did not report it to police.

A 19-page document was just filed in Cochise County in response to an 87-page civil complaint filed in November by Cadigan.

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.

Olympic gold winner’s sexual abuse case is a turning point for Greece

GREECE
The Guardian

January 20, 2021

By Helena Smith

Action brought by sailor Sofia Bekatorou likely to end patriarchal country’s taboo on discussing treatment of women

When the Olympic gold medallist Sofia Bekatorou appears before a public prosecutor on Wednesday to reveal the sexual abuse she allegedly endured at the hands of a senior sport official, all of Greece will be watching.

For the sailing champion who shot to fame in the 2004 Athens Olympics, the court proceedings will mark the official end of the fear she says has kept her silent for more than two decades. But as she paves the way for more women to speak out, she will lift the veil on a subject considered so taboo in Greece it was never previously aired in public.

“In her person I’ve encountered all those women who have been abused either verbally or physically,” said the country’s first female head of state, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, after meeting the Olympian at the presidential palace on Monday. “I hope her brave revelation will blow like a rushing wind and sweep any hypocrisy, any cover-up attempt, away.”

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 asking for voices of church sex abuse survivors to be heard

ENGLAND
Express and Star

January 20, 2021

By James Vukmirovic

An independent review of all past safeguarding cases related to Church of England churches in the region wants to ensure that survivors’ voices are heard.

All dioceses nationally are taking part in the Church of England’s Past Cases Review 2 including the Diocese of Lichfield, which is home to more than 500 churches in Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Shropshire and the Black Country.

Lichfield Diocese was also one of seven dioceses identified as needing to carry out further work to provide an updated and comprehensive version of the first Past Cases Review published in 2010.

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

[Opinion] Abusive nuns and complicit State coldly wrecked so many lives

IRELAND
Echo Live

January 20, 2021

By Colette Sheridan

Young women today have no idea what life was like in Ireland as recently as the 1970s, so says Colette Sheridan in her weekly column

IN town last Wednesday, with half an hour to kill while my new phone was being synched up, I decided to pop into St Peter and Paul’s Church to light a candle for my late parents.

Although not religious, I’ve taken to calling into churches for this purpose. And besides, Cork city is a ghost town these days with most retail outlets shut. So, with no opportunity to browse through rails of clothes, I was taking the spiritual route.

But then I backtracked because the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes had just been published. How could I darken the door of a Catholic church given the appalling litany of abuse meted out by nuns (in cahoots with priests) on vulnerable young women whose ‘crime’ was to become pregnant ‘outside of wedlock.’ (The State was complicit too, beholden to well-heeled bishops who wielded enormous power.)

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.

Survivor of St Joseph’s Industrial School in Kilkenny to speak at meeting

KILKENNY (IRELAND)
Kilkenny People

January 20, 2021

By Mary Cody

Following the release of the commission’s report on Mother and Baby Homes last week, survivors of church and state abuse have organised an online open meeting to voice their concerns and frustrations.

Maureen Sullivan, Deirdre Wadding and Ray Noctor, who are all survivors of church and state abuse, will be speaking at it and all are welcome to virtually attend.

The meeting will take place on Thursday (January 21) at 7pm, it will be chaired by People Before Profit cllr Adrienne Wallace and can be viewed by following the link on her facebook page ‘@AdriennePBPA’.

Local woman Maureen Sullivan was one of the youngest girls to be put in a Magdalene Laundry.

Maureen was taken to a laundry in New Ross where there was “no schooling, just the laundry every day, from 6am to about 9pm, with cleaning duties in the evening and at weekends”. The women there were adults, many elderly.

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 institutions ‘willing to engage’ on payments to abuse victims in NI

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

January 20, 2021

By Michael McHugh

Religious institutions have been willing to come forward to discuss compensating abuse victims, Stormont officials said.

First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill are set to kick off negotiations before the end of next month with Catholic religious orders, the Church of Ireland and children’s charity Barnardo’s.

More intensive talks will follow with the organisations which ran residential homes where wrongdoing occurred.

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 authorities ‘intrinsically involved’ in mother and baby homes fees – Minister

IRELAND
Irish Times

January 19, 2021

By Marie O’Halloran

Greens Senator expects ‘full apology’ from Galway council over Tuam home use

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman has said he hopes local authorities will apologise for their roles and lack of action in addressing the abuse in mother and baby homes and county homes.

Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly said she expected Galway County Council to make a “full apology” at its next council meeting on January 25th and to state how it will attempt to make amends for holding meetings in the grounds of the Tuam mother and babies home.

Ms O’Reilly told the Seanad that “no one can tell me that those politicians did not know of the appalling conditions”.

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 makes record payout in child sex abuse case

BRISBANE (AUSTRALIA)
Brisbane Times

January 21, 2021

By Heather McNeill

The Catholic Church has made what is believed to be its highest ever payout to a victim of sexual abuse after church lawyers forced a 52-year-old man to give harrowing evidence in court about his rape by a priest in the 1970s.

Peter* will receive $2.45 million plus legal costs to compensate him for abuse by teacher and priest Bertram Adderley, who groomed and raped him between 1977 and 1980 when he was aged 10 to 12.

Lawyers involved in seeking restitution for victims of sexual abuse say they believe the settlement is up to $1 million higher than any payout previously awarded to someone suing the Catholic Church.

The church is facing hundreds of claims after a number of jurisdictions removed rules that prevented people going to court to seek compensation for historical sexual abuse, even if they had previously accepted payouts from church-run schemes such as the Melbourne Response.

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

January 20, 2021

Rumson Priest Named In Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Trenton Diocese

RUMSON (NJ)
Rumson Patch

January 19, 2021

By Nicole Rosenthal

Fr. Thomas A. Rittenhouse is accused of sexually abusing a minor while assigned to the Rumson church from 1981 to 1982.

A priest who served for seven years at Holy Cross Church in Rumson was recently named in a sexual abuse complaint filed Tuesday against the Diocese of Trenton.

Fr. Thomas A. Rittenhouse was ordained in 1976 in the Diocese of Trenton and is accused of sexually abusing a minor while assigned to the Rumson church from 1981 to 1982.

He served at Holy Cross from 1981 to 1988.

“These survivors were betrayed by the Diocese of Trenton when they were left vulnerable to abuse, harm and immeasurable trauma,” said attorney Greg Gianforcaro in a news release.

“Today, the Diocese is pouring salt on the wounds by continuing to dodge accountability. These courageous survivors deserve better.”

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

[Opinion] Movie star calls his perp — please don’t try this!

FLORIDA
adamhorowitzlaw.com (law firm blog)

January 16, 2021

In 2011, actor Gabriel Byrne disclosed that he’d been sexually abused by a Christian Brother in Ireland.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/19/gabriel-byrne-child-sex-abuse

Now, he’s revealing that, years later, he called his abuser.

Gabriel Byrne phoned the priest he accused of sexually abusing him: ‘I wanted him to be terrified’

While we at Horowitz Law feel deep sympathy for Byrne (as we do all victims of childhood trauma), we beg you to NOT follow his lead.

Every survivor is different. Every survivor heals in different ways. And we at Horowitz Law aren’t therapists. Still, we urge you to resist the temptation to contact the man or woman who hurt you as a child.

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

Catholic Church protestor and sex abuse victim William O’Sullivan marching to Parliament

ONTARIO (CANADA)
Welland Tribune

January 18, 2021

By Kris Dubé

https://www.wellandtribune.ca/news/niagara-region/2021/01/18/catholic-church-protestor-and-sex-abuse-victim-william-osullivan-marching-to-parliament.html

William O’Sullivan wants give a “voice to the voiceless” by walking across a large portion of the province to raise awareness about child abuse within the Catholic Church.

The 50-year-old St. Catharines resident who grew up in Welland has spent more than two years in front of Parish Community of St. Kevin on Niagara Street in Welland to talk about what happened to him between the ages of nine and 12 at the hands of former priest Donald Grecco.

In October 2017, Grecco received an 18-month sentence for sexually abusing three boys between 1975 and 1982. It was his second conviction for sexually abusing children; his total number of known victims is six.

Six months later, Grecco was granted an early release from the Central North Correctional Centre.

Previously in 2010, he pleaded guilty to sexually molesting three former altar boys between 1978 and 1986 while a parish priest in Cayuga and later in Welland.

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.

Victim of clerical abuse gets suspended sentence for causing €100,000 damage to church

IRELAND
Independent

January 18, 2021

By Declan Brennan

Man (54) had been offered ‘derisory’ compensation for sex abuse he suffered as a child at hands of Catholic priest, court told

A VICTIM of clerical child sex abuse who caused €100,000 in damage to a church because he was upset by a “derisory” offer of compensation from the church has been given a fully suspended sentence.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told that on July 26, 2017, Ian Kidd (54) got a letter from solicitors for the Catholic Church with a “final offer” of €30,000 for the abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest.

He found this offer derisory and became upset, his lawyer Marc Thompson BL said. Kidd filled a can with €5 worth of diesel and went to St Agnes’ Church in Crumlin.

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‘I realised the book had helped people and that has been part of the healing’

IRELAND
The Irish Times

January 18, 2021

By Gavin Cummiskey

‘Lenny, show this lad the ropes, will ya?’

‘No problem, Ski. Who is he?’

‘Diarmuid Connolly – the most talented footballer in the country is who he is.’

‘Oh yeah?’

‘Yeah, unbelievable talent. Bit of a head case, though . . . He has a few issues, but not as bad as you, Lenny.’

Scratch the surface of Dub Sub Confidential and discover the memoir of a man who shadowed the goalkeeper that transformed the way Gaelic football is played forever.

Stephen Cluxton looms over John Leonard’s narrative especially when their lives move in opposite directions. But Cluxton is mere bait to hook the reader into a wild tale of debauchery, despair and eventually redemption.

The enigma of Irish sport is smiling on the cover, wearing a sketched crown to Leonard’s court jester cap. The insight into what makes Cluxton tick ensures this is a rare GAA manuscript as the secondary school teacher refuses to entertain the media or monetise his legendary status all because, as he tells the author, “Len, it’s not my job to speak to them. It’s my job to teach kids science. The rest is all bollix.”

Delve fully into Dub Sub Confidential and discover a darkly comic, enduring autobiography six years after it won sports book of the year. Leonard unveils a range of addictions and spectacular life choices that stem from child abuse at the hands of Father Ivan Payne. He skilfully shows how this horrific experience, while serving as an altar boy in Sutton, pursued him into adulthood.

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Making noise about the default silence that greets a priest’s son

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

January 18, 2021

Vincent Doyle tells Noel Baker how the discovery that he was the son of a priest opened the way to help others often left thinking “I’m the only one

In the words and world of Vincent Doyle, everything turns on one sentence, posited early in his new book. “When I found out who I was,” he writes, “like Truman, I wanted out.”

Yet while Truman Burbank, “star” of the 1998 movie The Truman Show, lived in an entirely fake world, Vincent’s was hyper-real, maybe a little surreal.

He had discovered, as an adult, that his father was the man he had known to be his godfather, and a different type of father at that: the Rev. John J Doyle, a Catholic priest.

As he writes in his book, entitled Our Fathers – A Phenomenon of Children of Catholic Priests and Religious and the first of its kind, the penny dropping made perfect sense once he considered the depth of the bond they had shared.

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Government’s efforts to help children of priests questioned

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

January 17, 2021

By Noel Baker

The Government’s efforts to assist the children of priests have been questioned after the newly published mother and baby homes report revealed almost a dozen incidents where members of the clergy were or could have been the father of a child.

Coping International, which helps children of priests around the world, has received the backing of the Vatican and of senior archbishops here for its work, yet according to its founder Vincent Doyle, the Government has not followed suit — even after a UN report on Ireland raised concerns over the “lack of measures to ensure that children fathered by Catholic priests are able to access information on the identity of their fathers”.

Mr Doyle said: “The Government’s denial of the marginalising effects that accompanies the birth of children of the ordained, since 2014 to date, is itself a shadow of the regrettable intolerance that drips off each of the 3,000 pages of the mother and baby home report.”

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Norwich Diocese Likely To Shell Out More Apart From $9.5 Million, After Facing 35 New Sexual Assault Lawsuits

CONNECTICUT
Latin Times

December 30, 2020

By Pooja Prabbhan

More trouble’s in store for the Diocese of Norwich and former Bishop Daniel Reilly, as he now faces 35 lawsuits pertaining to accusations made by men who alleged that they were sexually abused as children and teens by Christian Brother K. Paul McGlade, who ran the former Academy at Mount Saint John in Deep River in the 1990s.

The property that boasts of a sprawling 87 acres of the campus has currently been shut down, while the school remains closed. Recent reports also suggest that McGlade has had a history of inflicting abuse on assaulting young boys in Australia before he came to Norwich.

Only one plaintiff among 35 others, goes with an identity. The reason being Garcia – the person concerned— wanted victims to come out in the open and share their experiences, and pursue justice.

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Norwich diocese now faces 35 sexual assault lawsuits connected to Deep River school

NORWICH (CT)
The Day

December 30, 2020

By Joe Wojtas

The Diocese of Norwich and former Bishop Daniel Reilly now face 35 lawsuits in which men allege that as children and teens they were raped and sexually assaulted by Christian Brother K. Paul McGlade, who ran the former Academy at Mount Saint John in Deep River in the 1990s.

The latest lawsuit was filed Dec. 16 on behalf of Sam Garcia, 40, of Bridgeport by the Reardon law firm of New London. This is the only one of the lawsuits in which the plaintiff is identified by name. The others are only identified by pseudonyms, such as John Doe. Most of the 35 defendants are represented by Hartford attorney Patrick Tomasiewicz.

Attorney Kelly Reardon said her firm has one more lawsuit to file and she expects there eventually will be more than 50 plaintiffs in total. She said none of the cases has been settled but discussions with the diocese, Mount Saint John and the Christian Brothers are ongoing. Tomasiewicz declined to comment on the cases Tuesday, and the diocese did not respond to a request for comment.

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January 19, 2021

[News Release] Priest Assignment Records and Case Details Released

BOSTON (MA)
Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian

January 19, 2021

The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian has obtained settlements or arbitration awards for many victims and survivors who suffered sexual abuse by clergy or church personnel. The list can be found at at www.garabedianlaw.com/results-list.

Detailed information on the assignment records and claim history of these abusers, together with sources, is being provided on this website.

This information on individual priests can be accessed through links in the left sidebar or by reading below. Information can also be downloaded in pdf format. Please check back regularly as additional information is planned for release.

The firm added:

— 38 sexually abusive priests to the Results List in June 2020 (view or download pdf), and

— An additional 29 priests to the Results List in January 2021 (view or download pdf).

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[Media Statement] Catholic Priest from Huber Heights Placed on Leave Following Accusations, SNAP Calls for Outreach

CHICAGO (IL)
SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

January 15, 2021

A Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, OH, has been placed on leave following “an allegation.” Now we call for Church officials in Cincinnati to be forthcoming with parishioners and the public about the nature of these accusations and to do outreach at each and every parish where the cleric worked so that victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers are encouraged to come forward and make a report.

According to the Dayton Daily News, Fr. Anthony Cutcher of Huber Heights, OH, has been placed on leave after Catholic officials received an “allegation.” So far, Diocesan leaders have not deigned to share any specific information about the accusation with their parishioners and have kept them in the dark regarding the nature of the allegation. In order to protect their flock and the public, Church officials should be completely transparent about the nature of the accusation, whether it involves sex crimes or sexual misconduct, or something else, like financial impropriety.

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St. Peter Catholic Church pastor on leave; prosecutor says no criminal investigation at this time

DAYTON (OH)
WHIO-TV

January 14, 2021

The pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church is on leave after the Archdiocese of Cincinnati received an allegation against him.

Father Anthony Cutcher was placed on a leave Monday, according to the Archdiocese. The details of the allegation and investigation were not immediately available.

“The Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati recently received an allegation regarding Fr. Cutcher and has begun investigating it,” a statement issued Wednesday afternoon read. “By standard policy, Fr. Cutcher will remain on leave of absence pending the outcome of the investigation.”

The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office said it was contacted by the Archbishop’s office earlier this week about the allegation.

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Local Catholic priest placed on leave after allegation surfaces

DAYTON (OH)
Dayton Daily News

January 14, 2021

By Eileen McClory

Leave of absence comes two days before principal at same parish is found dead at park.

A priest at St. Peter Catholic Church in Huber Heights has been placed on leave after an allegation surfaced against him, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

The Rev. Anthony Cutcher on Monday was placed on a leave of absence, the Archdiocese said.

“The Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati recently received an allegation regarding Fr. Cutcher and has begun investigating it. By standard policy, Fr. Cutcher will remain on leave of absence pending the outcome of the investigation,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “Please keep Fr. Cutcher in your prayers.”

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University Reversed Bar on Student Volunteering in Murray-Weigel

NEW YORK (NY)
The Fordham Ram

January 18, 2021

By Erica Scalise and Helen Stevenson

In a statement by Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, the administration reversed its decision to bar student volunteering in Murray-Weigel Hall.

McShane said he made the decision to allow students on the premises based on the assurance that all Jesuits living in Murray-Weigel are not “restricted,” and are therefore completely free and innocent of any accusations of abuse.

McShane also confirmed there will be no restricted Jesuits living in Murray-Weigel in the future.

“Upon his return from a pastoral visit to the members of the Province assigned to schools and parishes in Micronesia, Fr. John Cecero, S.J., the Provincial Superior of the USA Northeast Province, acceded to my request that no restricted Jesuits be assigned to the Murray Weigel Hall Community for any reason for any period of time in the future,” he said.

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Rev. William J. O’Malley Removed from Murray-Weigel Hall

NEW YORK (NY)
The Fordham Ram

December 27, 2020

Rev. William J. O’Malley, former adjunct professor in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, theology professor at Fordham Preparatory School and one-time actor in the 1973 film “The Exorcist” was removed from Murray-Weigel Hall after he was accused of sexual abuse against a minor.

He began teaching at Fordham Prep in the 1986–1987 school year, one year after the alleged abuse at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester took place, according to Rolling Stone. O’Malley was eventually let go from Fordham Prep after Prep’s then-president, Father Kenneth Boller said his teaching style was abrasive.

Fordham’s history with “The Exorcist” carries further than the priest that made the story famous. Sections of the film adaptation were filmed in Keating Hall according to previous reporting by The Ram.

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Police stop investigating ‘unexplained’ Pell-era Vatican transfer

AUSTRALIA
The Big Smoke

January 19, 2021

By Sonia Hickey

In 2020, authorities were investigating a $1 million transfer from the Vatican to Australia around the same time George Pell was charged. In 2021, they’ve given up.

Last year, financial crime watchdog AUSTRAC identified a $1.1 million transfer from the Vatican to Australia in 2017, the same year George Pell was charged with historical child sex offences.

But law enforcement agencies responsible for ascertaining the purpose of large transactions have ceased their investigations into the transfers, despite not ascertaining their purpose and amidst lingering suspicions the money may have been used as ‘hush money’ for complainants – conduct which, if established, could amount to the criminal offences of attempting to pervert the course of justice or influencing a witness not to attend court.

AUSTRAC is the Australian Government agency responsible for detecting criminal abuse of the Australian financial system. It was instrumental in gathering evidence and laying charges against Westpac over alleged money laundering and enabling transactions which supported child sex trafficking.

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[Opinion] Why the State had such a big problem with unmarried mothers

IRELAND
Irish Times

January 19, 2021

By Alyson Staunton

Extra-marital sex was a threat to our self-perceived identity of moral superiority

Since news broke of the discovery of a mass grave of babies in Tuam, there has been a fear that publication of the report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes would mark the third in an unholy trinity of Church malfeasance in its stewardship of institutions for the most vulnerable in society.

First there was the report into the industrial schools, then came the Magdalene laundries, both set against the wider backdrop of widespread clerical sexual abuse in the parishes. The auguries were not good.

Instead, to the vocal consternation of some, the Church has emerged relatively unscathed. The commission found no evidence of sexual and very limited evidence of physical abuse, but rather placed the mistreatment suffered by women and girls, some as young as 12, at the feet of the families and fath

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Summons issued, stay ends in Guam clergy sex abuse cases

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

January 18, 2021

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

Summons were issued to seven additional Catholic schools and one parish in connection with Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits last week, ahead of a Jan. 15 federal court deadline to effectuate proper service on defendants who have not been served.

The additional summons were issued in connection with the cases filed by 13 clergy sex abuse plaintiffs represented by Lujan & Wolff.

The additional summons, or citations, were issued to:

-Father Duenas Memorial School
-Bishop Baumgartner Memorial School
-Santa Barbara Catholic School
-St. Anthony Catholic School
-San Vicente Catholic School
-Notre Dame Catholic School
-St. Francis Catholic School
-St. Francis of Assisi Church

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Church did not identify any criminal offences by religious sect, police not called in

MALTA
Malta Independent

January 18, 2021

By Karl Azzopardi

https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2021-01-18/local-news/Church-did-not-identify-any-criminal-offences-by-religious-sect-police-not-called-in-6736230240

A Church commission did not find any criminal offenses in relation to the local, highly controversial religious sect Kommunità Ġesu’ Salvatur (KĠS), despite finding various instances of psychological and spiritual abuse during its investigation of the community, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Malta told The Malta Independent. As such, no reports have been filed with the police.

Earlier this month, the Archdiocese released a statement in which it disassociated itself from KĠS, which has allegedly caused “psychological and spiritual abuse” to its members. This followed the work carried out by a Church commission which heard the experiences of all those who offered to meet up with it, including the leaders of the Community.

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Priest probed for abusing minors

ITALY
ANSA English

January 18, 2021

An Italian priest has been placed under investigation on suspicion of sexually abusing minors.

The priest from Enna in Sicily is also a religious education teacher.

He is accused, on the basis of complaints from boys, of sexually abusing youngsters during leisure activities at the local oratory.

Police said his alleged victims were “mostly underage”.

Other clerics found out about the abuse but kept silent, police said.

Similar episodes had been reported at nearby Piazza Amerina but the only action taken was the temporary transfer of the accused priest from the parish.

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January 18, 2021

Former Stanmore Baptist Church youth club leader jailed

ENGLAND
Thisislocallondon.com

January 16, 2021

A former parish reverend and youth club leader has been jailed for historic sex offences against young boys.

Stephen Hardwicke indecently assaulted three boys aged between 10 and 18 years old in the the mid 1970s and early 1980s.

The 63-year-old was a leader at the Way In church youth group attached to Stanmore Baptist Church in Harrow at the time.

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Priest, 63, who tricked boys into sex acts using a card game is jailed for five years

ENGLAND
Daily Mail

January 16, 2021

By Luke May

— Stephen Hardwicke abused boys as young as 10 on trips in the 1970s and 1980s
— He groomed his victims at a youth group connected to Stanmore Baptist Church
— Hardwicke, 63, was found guilty of five counts of historic indecent assault

A former priest who sexually abused three boys as young as 10 on church youth club trips in the 1970s and 80s has been jailed for five years.

Stephen Hardwicke, 63, tricked boys aged between 10 and 15 to perform sex acts by using a card game, Harrow Crown Court heard.

The abuse took place when Hardwicke was a leader and helped at the Way In church youth group, which was connected to Stanmore Baptist Church in Harrow, London.

A court heard how some of the abuse happened on overnight trips to Wales or Hertfordshire.

The abuse happened before Hardwicke became a priest at St Laurence Cowley Church in Uxbridge – he was suspended once a police investigation was opened.

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Ex-priest jailed for grooming and sexually abused three boys in 70s and 80s

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Yahoo News

January 16, 2021

By Rebecca Speare-Cole

A former priest who ran a church youth club has been jailed for grooming and sexually abusing three boys – one as young as 10-years-old.

Stephen Hardwicke, 63, from Uxbridge in London, was sentenced to five years in prison for five counts of indecent assault at Harrow Crown Court on Friday.

The ex-parish reverend targeted the three boys aged between 10 and 18 over five years during the mid-1970s and early 1980s.

Hardwicke was a leader and helper at the Way In church youth group connected to Stanmore Baptist Church in Harrow, northwest London at the time.

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Canada Supreme Court refuses to hear church appeal against damages award for child sexual abuse at Newfoundland Catholic orphanage

The Jurist

January 17, 2021

By Ananaya Agrawal

https://www.jurist.org/news/2021/01/canada-supreme-court-declines-appeal-by-archdiocese-of-st-johns-for-child-sexual-abuse-at-mount-cashel-orphanage/

The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday declined to hear the Catholic Church’s appeal against a suit for damages brought by victims of sexual abuse at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s Newfoundland. The decision brings finality to the 21-year-long litigation by former students who had suffered sexual abuse by five Brothers from the Christian Brothers Institute Inc, Ireland while they were boys living at the St John’s orphanage.

The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. John’s or the archdiocese is now responsible to pay the Christian Brothers’ outstanding damages after the organization declared bankruptcy from settling child abuse claims in 2011. The church had denied responsibility for the Mount Cashel abuses which took place from the 1950s to 1970s. However, the Court of Appeal had concluded in 2020 that the relationship between the archdiocese and the Brothers was “sufficiently close to justify imposing vicarious liability on the Archdiocese.”

Further, the sexual assaults of the victims were sufficiently connected to the Brothers’ responsibility of caring for the boys. The assaults were thus deemed to be a “materialization of the risks created by the Archdiocese.”

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Controversial former archbishop dies in SA

ADELAIDE (AUSTRALIA)
The Standard

January 17, 2021

The former Archbishop of Adelaide, Phillip Wilson, who was convicted but later acquitted on charges of covering up child sex abuse in NSW, has died aged 70.

He had suffered a series of health issues in recent years, including cancer, but his death was unexpected, the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide said on Sunday.

“We know that Philip was much loved by people across the country, but especially in the places he served – in Maitland-Newcastle, in Wollongong and here in Adelaide,” the serving Archbishop of Adelaide Patrick O’Regan said.

“He made major contributions to the church and the wider communities in which he ministered.”

Wilson was in 2018 convicted of covering up the crimes of pedophile priest James Fletcher, who was found guilty of sexual abuse committed in the NSW Hunter region in the 1970s.

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Gardai could take criminal action over Mother and Baby Homes report

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
DublinLive.ie

January 17, 2021

By John Kierans

The Gardai may take criminal action over the Mother and Baby Report, Dublin Live can reveal today.

A copy of the Final Report was sent to the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris by the Cabinet on October 3 last to see if there are grounds for prosecutions.

It is understood senior officers are looking at a range of offences including allegations of cash for babies, child rape, physical abuse and slave labour.

The Gardai said in a brief statement given to Dublin Live; ” Following the final report of the Commission of Investigation into the Mother and Baby Homes being presented to the Gardai, An Garda Siochana will now examine the detailed and extensive final report, and consider if there are grounds for criminal investigation.”

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[Opinion] Our lost children don’t need apologies from the church, only answers

IRELAND
The Times

January 17, 2021

By Colm Tóibín

For decades a deeply conservative Ireland put unmarried mothers in the care of the Catholic Church, a brutal ‘shadow state’ in which thousands of children died or were forcibly adopted. It claims to be sorry — so why won’t it open up its archives?

The report on mother and baby homes in Ireland, published last Tuesday, is one more investigation of a dark past in Ireland. This was a time when the Catholic Church operated as a sort of shadow state. All of us who were brought up in that state took its power for granted. The church controlled the schools and owned the hospitals; it ran orphanages and industrial schools and homes for unmarried mothers. A compliant state paid the church for these services and let it run them as it pleased.

The report, at almost 3,000 pages, establishes that over nearly 80 years from 1920 almost 60,000 women and the same number of children went through the system and 9,000 children died. According to the minister for children, Roderic O’Gorman, the report “makes clear that for decades, Ireland had a stifling, oppressive and brutally misogynistic culture, where a pervasive stigmatisation of unmarried mothers and their children robbed those individuals of their agency and sometimes their future”.

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January 17, 2021

[Editorial] Victims of child sexual abuse need more time to confront their abusers

FARGO (NORTH DAKOTA)
Forum via the Grand Forks Herald

January 16, 2021

The average age of adults who step forward to pursue a case against someone who abused them as children is 52. Often the abusers are trusted authority figures, making it difficult to confront them. Legislation taking shape in North Dakota would help victims by giving them more time to bring cases.

Sexual abuse of children is extremely difficult to prosecute. It often takes years — and even decades — before a person who was abused as a child is prepared to confront the abuser in a court of law.

That seldom happens, because of the difficulty of presenting evidence and because of the sense of shame that all too often keeps this horrible crime hidden in secrecy, allowing the abusers to remain untouched by the law.

Even when child sex abuse victims are willing to press charges as adults, the statute of limitations often has run out, leaving the victims unable to seek justice in criminal or civil court actions.

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Allegations of child sexual abuse lead to restriction of retired 96-year-old Archdiocese of Detroit priest

DETROIT (MI)
WXYZ.com

January 16, 2021

The Archdiocese of Detroit says a 96-year-old retired priest has been restricted from all public, priestly ministry after allegations of child sexual abuse surfaced against him.

The designation means Father Lawrence Fares cannot wear clerical dress or present himself as a priest and his name has been added to the Archdiocese of Detroit’s online listing of clergy accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

The Archdiocese says they were made aware of the first allegation from the early years of his ministry in July of 2019. It had been reported to law enforcement. The church investigated after receiving authorization or a canonical law investigation by the Attorney General’s office that Fall. It was during that investigation that a second allegation was identified.

Once that investigation was completed, the Archdiocesan Review Board deemed the allegations credible. Because of this, the church put the restrictions in place.

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[Opinion] Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was a competent and engaging leader

IRELAND
Bray People via Independent

January 16, 2021

By Fr. Michael Commane, O.P.

https://www.independent.ie/regionals/braypeople/opinion/archbishop-diarmuid-martin-was-a-competent-and-engaging-leader-39968927.html

Diarmuid Martin is about to hand over his episcopal baton to his successor Dermot Farrell, though of course, he remains an archbishop.

Readers of this column, who attend Mass, will be aware that in the Eucharistic Prayer the priest prays for the pope and the bishop of the diocese. It is a long and wholesome tradition that the assembled people pray for their bishop and the pope.

It’s a lovely reminder of the unity of the community and it is also a prayer of hope that in spite of all our differences we are in unity with our bishop and pope. No, not that we are nodding the head in subservient obedience, rather that the unity of people, with their bishop and pope help us on our pilgrimage or journey, that ultimately leads us to God.

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Philip Wilson, former Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, dies aged 70

AUSTRALIA
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

January 17, 2021

Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge said on Twitter that Emeritus Archbishop Wilson had died unexpectedly on Sunday afternoon.

In 2018, Emeritus Archbishop Wilson became the highest-ranking Catholic in the world to be convicted with concealing child sex abuse, over paedophile priest Jim Fletcher’s crimes in the Hunter Valley in the 1970s.

That conviction led him to resign but it was later quashed on appeal, with a court finding there were doubts the archbishop had been told about the abu

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Newly installed Buffalo Bishop pledges to listen to clergy abuse victims

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

January 15, 2021

By Eileen Buckley

“I pledge to listen, to comfort”

“To make possible a new and more promising era,” declared Bishop Michael Fisher, Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

Bishop Fisher is now the 15th bishop to serve. He was officially installed during a mass at Saint Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo.

Fisher arrives to take the helm at a tumultuous time as the Buffalo Diocese is under siege. accused of covering up priest sex abuse for years.

Bishop Fisher says he is now ready to lead a flock of the 600,000 Catholics across the eight counties of Western New York.

But he has the difficult task of restoring trust and leading the diocese out of deep darkness from the decades of mishandling the clergy sex abuse scandal.

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Clergy sex abuse advocates criticize method of picking new Buffalo bishop

BUFFALO (NY)
WBFO

January 15, 2021

By Michael Mroziak

While wishing new Diocese of Buffalo Bishop Michael Fisher success in his new role, a former priest turned advocate for clergy sex abuse victims says Fisher’s selection is clouded by the involvement of a former superior, who stepped down from a powerful position within the US Catholic Church amid his own accusations of covering up abuse cases.

Fisher, before coming to Buffalo, served as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington, DC under Cardinal Donald Wuerl. The latter was among numerous current and former US church leaders present for Fisher’s Installation Mass Friday at St. Joseph’s Cathedral.

Wuerl was named in a scathing 2018 grand jury report looking into clergy sex abuse cases in Pennsylvania, facing accusations of covering alleged incidents up. He stepped down from his role leading the Archdiocese of Washington, DC in 2019. Fisher, meanwhile, has not been accused of any wrongdoing nor has he been accused of participating in cover-ups.

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Babies taken from women raped by priests

IRELAND
The Tablet

January 16, 2021

By Sarah Mac Donald

The Irish government has been accused of overlooking the “hidden” children of priests in its response to the Commission of Investigation’s Report on Mother and Baby Homes.

The 3,000-page report, which was published on Tuesday, documents a number of cases where women ended up in mother and baby homes pregnant with a child fathered by a priest. Some of the women fell pregnant after they were raped by a priest.

Vincent Doyle, whose father was a Catholic priest, and who founded Coping International, a support group for those in a similar situation, said analysis of the Mother and Baby Homes Report so far had overlooked the plight of children of priests.

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The Irish govt and Catholic Church apologized for abusive mother-and-baby homes. Survivors say it’s not enough.

IRELAND
“The World,” Public Radio International (PRI)

January 15, 2021

By Orla Barry

[AUDIO]

The apologies follow a five-year investigation that found an “appalling level of infant mortality” in the institutions.

Francis Timmons was born in 1971, at Madonna House, a state-run home for unwed mothers and their children, in Dublin. Timmons was only 4 when he left the home, but still has painful memories of his time there.

“I remember a very harsh place; I have memories of an awful lot of upset, tears and crying and just generally, not being happy.”

“I remember a very harsh place; I have memories of an awful lot of upset, tears and crying and just generally, not being happy,” he said.

Timmons’ late mother, then a 21-year-old unmarried woman, was kept at a separate institution, St Patrick’s in Dublin. She was rarely allowed to see her son. Being a single mother in the 1970s, Timmons says, was probably one of the biggest crimes in Ireland at the time. And the religious order that ran the homes, he adds, made the women feel humiliated about their pregnancies.

Like many children in the institutions, Timmons was included in two vaccine trials as a toddler, without his mother’s consent. At the age of 4, he was sent to live with a foster family but the abuse continued.

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As Ireland examines mistreatment of unwed mothers, Catholic bishops apologize for ‘abject failure’

IRELAND
Catholic News Agency

January 16, 2021

Catholic bishops have welcomed an Irish government report on 20th century homes for unmarried mothers and babies run by local governments and often operated by religious orders. They have apologized for the harsh treatment of unmarried mothers and their children, calling this a betrayal of Christ.

“Although it may be distressing, it is important that all of us spend time in the coming days reflecting on this report which touches on the personal story and experience of many families in Ireland,” Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh said Jan. 12.

“The commission’s report helps to further open to the light what was for many years a hidden part of our shared history and it exposes the culture of isolation, secrecy and social ostracizing which faced ‘unmarried mothers’ and their children in this country.”

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Journalists reject Cologne’s confidentiality agreement

GERMANY
The Tablet

January 16, 2021

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

An attempt by Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki’s archdiocese to defuse a crisis precipitated by Woelki’s refusal to publish a report on abuse in the archdiocese has backfired dramatically. In 2018 Woelki commissioned a Munich law firm to conduct an independent investigation and a detailed written report on how those responsible in the archdiocese had handled cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests. The cardinal promised that names would be published in the report.

When the report was finished at the end of October 2020, however, Woelki refused to publish it. He had consulted several lawyers, he said, who had warned him that the report had “methodical shortcomings”. He has since ordered a new report from a Cologne law firm that is due out in March.

On 4 January, however, the archdiocese invited eight selected journalists to a background discussion on the Munich report. They would have an opportunity to read the report, they were told, but warned that all names in the report had been redacted and that they would not be allowed make any copies.

On arrival, they were first of all asked to sign a confidentiality agreement which stated: “The journalist pledges to remain completely silent regarding the report presented to him or her.”

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Vatican Finances Now Controlled by the Company Men

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle (blog)

January 17, 2021

By Betty Clermont

The term “company men” refers to those whose loyalty can be described as willing to do whatever the company needs. During his reign, Pope Francis had appointed some men to control his finances who would allow their personal ambitions or agendas to influence their decisions. Not anymore.

FARRELL

Within four months of his election, Pope Francis had enacted his first law. It “criminalized leaks of Vatican information.” The penalty was up to eight years in prison if the material concerned the “fundamental interests” of the Holy See.

Pope Francis’ last law, enacted on June 1, 2020, is named “Norms on the transparency, control and competition of public contracts of the Holy See and of the Vatican City State.” However, “certain contracts are exempt from the legislation, contracts related to matters covered by the pontifical secret, contracts funded by an international organization [and] contracts necessary to guarantee the sovereignty and independence of the Holy See or the Vatican City State.”

Secrecy is important for this pontiff.

Along with the new law, Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Kevin Farrell, 73, as president of his newly created Commission for Reserved Matters to oversee those transactions that would remain hidden. Farrell is suspected of keeping secret even the most notorious Church scandals.

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January 16, 2021

[News Release] Archdiocese adds retired Fr. Fares, 96, Franciscan friars to accused clergy list

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Catholic (Archdiocese of Detroit publication)

January 15, 2021

Allegation that Fr. Fares sexually abused a minor early in his ministry deemed ‘credible,’ priest restricted from ministry

The Archdiocese of Detroit added Fr. Lawrence Fares, 96, a retired priest of the archdiocese, to its list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse after an investigation by the Archdiocesan Review Board found credible an allegation that Fr. Fares had sexually abused a minor during his early years in ministry.

As such, he is restricted from ministry and may not publicly present himself as a priest, the archdiocese said.

The archdiocese said it had been made aware in July 2019 of an allegation against Fr. Fares that had been reported to law enforcement.

“In the fall of 2019, the Archdiocese was authorized by the Attorney General’s Office to commence a Church (canonical) law investigation. During that process, a second allegation was identified,” a statement from the archdiocese said.

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Retired Archdiocese of Detroit priest, 96, restricted amid sexual abuse allegations

DETROIT (MI)
The Detroit News

January 15, 2021

By Mark Hicks

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/macomb-county/2021/01/15/retired-archdiocese-detroit-priest-96-restricted-amid-sexual-abuse-allegations/4185209001/

The Archdiocese of Detroit has restricted a 96-year-old retired priest from ministry following sexual abuse allegations officials said were credible.

The Rev. Lawrence Fares “cannot wear clerical dress or present himself as a priest and his name has been added to the Archdiocese of Detroit’s online listing of clergy accused of sexual abuse of a minor,” officials said in a statement.

The update was announced this week after a finding by the Archdiocesan Board of Review.

In July 2019, the archdiocese learned of an allegation from Fares’ early years in ministry that had been reported to law enforcement.

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Carlton County priest listed as ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse

DULUTH (MN)
Duluth News-Tribune

January 14, 2021

By Tom Olsen

The allegations were not related to his service in Northeastern Minnesota, a spokesman said.

The Diocese of Duluth has added a former Carlton County priest to its list of clergy deemed “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse.

The Rev. David Tushar had served as a priest in Northeastern Minnesota for nearly 35 years when he was placed on leave in July 2019 pending an investigation into allegations of abuse.

The allegations were related to his earlier service as a Holy Cross Father and Catholic school teacher in Niles, Illinois, from 1978-79.

Deacon Kyle Eller, spokesman for the Diocese of Duluth, said there have not been any allegations against Tushar locally.

“He had not been added to the list as we awaited a report from the Holy Cross Fathers, which we have now received, and which found the accusation credible,” Eller wrote in an email to the News Tribune on Thursday. “The case now goes to the Vatican.”

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NY Catholic Church ‘worried’ Child Victims Act would pass: report

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Post

January 14, 2021

By Tamar Lapin

The Archdiocese of New York may have been motivated to start its own compensation program for victims of child sex abuse as a way to keep lawmakers from passing the Child Victims Act, a report claimed Thursday.

New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan had apparently hoped that the payments to victims would remain in-house — and “worried” about the landmark legislation, ABC News reported.

The archdiocese established its independent compensation program in 2016 “to bring a sense of healing, resolution and compensation to victim-survivors,” it said at the time.

But a transcript of a confidential Dec. 2017 call obtained by ABC implies the key reason Dolan “decided to bite the bullet and create a program” was because of the “movement afoot in Albany” over the Child Victims Act.

The claims were made by Kenneth Feinberg, a mediator hired by Dolan to administer the archdiocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, during a teleconference with reps of three Upstate New York dioceses, the report said.

“I think the Cardinal feels that it is providing his lawyers in Albany with additional persuasive powers not to reopen the statute,” Feinberg said of the program.

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Higgins: State and Church Bear Heavy Responsibility on Mother and Baby Homes

IRELAND
The Nationalist

January 15, 2021

By Cate McCurry, PA

President Michael D Higgins has said the State and Catholic Church must bear a “heavy responsibility” for violating the rights of the survivors of homes for unmarried mothers and their children.

In a statement, Mr Higgins said meeting the needs and addressing the concerns of survivors must be at the heart of the response to the mother and baby home report.

He said the Commission of Investigation’s report shows how the violation of fundamental rights of citizens was condoned over an extended period of time.

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A ‘time of crisis’ for Poland’s Catholic Church

POLAND
National Catholic Reporter

January 15, 2021

By Donald Snyder

It was a gloomy forecast for the Polish Catholic Church.

“I say it’s a dark night for the church,” said Zbigniew Nosowski, one of Poland’s prominent intellectuals. “It is a difficult time of crisis.”

Nosowski, a sociologist and journalist, is editor-in-chief of Wiez (Bond), a scholarly quarterly. Speaking in a phone interview, he said that there is widespread dissatisfaction with the hierarchy of the church and its unwavering embrace of the right-wing authoritarian ruling party, Law and Justice, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

The church played a crucial role in the transition from communism to democracy, said Dariusz Stola, professor of history at the Institute for Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. As a result, the church became enmeshed in the nation’s political affairs.

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Diarmaid Ferriter: Efforts to avoid ‘public scandal’ created the greatest scandal of all

IRELAND
Irish Times

January 15, 2021

By Diarmaid Ferriter

Vitriol that emanated from the altar remarkable in its unvarnished hatred

One of the consistent themes in the various reports relating to the experiences of Irish institutionalisation is the historic preoccupation with “avoiding public scandal”. But what if it was too late and the scandal had already occurred?

One of the archival files in the diocesan archives in Tuam and included in this week’s report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes relates to February 1935, when the parish priest of Westport wrote to the archbishop of Tuam: “I have the very unpleasant duty to report . . . that an illegitimate child was born to a girl named [full name given] in this parish, living about three miles from here. The child lived only a few days and was not brought to the church for Baptism. It was given lay Baptism. The guards exhumed the body and the medical evidence showed it died from natural causes. A denunciation will take place on Sunday next.”

The welfare of the girl who had just given birth and lost her newborn mattered not a jot. Another of the Tuam archival files is titled “Scandal in the parish” and relates a to a letter read from the altar by the parish priest of Cornadulla, who reported it had a “profound effect on the congregation”.

The purpose of these denunciations is also clear from the report. A 1934 conference in Tuam instructed that “Whenever an illegitimate birth occurs in a parish, and is publicly known, the scandal ought to be denounced without mentioning names, with a view to calling the guilty to repentance and as a deterrent to others. The denunciation ought to be in sorrow more than in anger and the preacher ought to point to the scandal as a grave sin against the sacrament of Matrimony and against the Sixth Commandment, a degradation to the family, a disgrace to the family, and as a sin against the good name of the locality.”

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Bishop demands home deaths and abuse to be criminally investigated

IRELAND
Extra.ie

January 14, 2021

By Helen Bruce

A bishop has called for criminal investigations into involuntary manslaughter at mother and baby homes.

The Bishop of Waterford and Lismore Alphonsus Cullinan said gardaí should also investigate those who perpetrated physical abuse against women and babies.

‘To allow a baby to die, and not to do anything about it, that, of course, is totally and utterly wrong, absolutely inexcusable,’ he told WLR radio. ‘These kind of specific things can be investigated again going forward.’

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The Editorial Board: Buffalo’s new bishop can set a new tone

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

January 14, 2021

Friday is a day of hopefulness and renewal for the Buffalo Diocese as a new bishop takes charge. Bishop Michael W. Fisher will be installed as the spiritual leader of 600,000 Catholics. We join them in welcoming him.

After the Masses and welcoming ceremonies are concluded, Fisher will have to put aside his vestments, roll up his sleeves and begin cleaning up some of the messes in a diocese that is going through a bankruptcy while facing hundreds of claims from people seeking restitution for childhood sexual abuse they allege was committed by members of the clergy.

In a meeting with The News’ Editorial Board this week, Fisher said he has been familiarizing himself with the issues facing Buffalo. He expressed the need to listen to and learn from the parish priests here, to reach out to lay people and ensure “we have no one left behind” and to focus on the church’s essential mission, “the salvation of souls.”

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Buffalo’s new Catholic bishop says he will remove abusers and their enablers

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ-TV (Channel 2)

January 14, 2021

By Steve Brown and Joseph O’Rourke

‘I want to part of the healing,’ Fisher said, adding that he wants to meet with any victims who would allow him to meet with them. He’ll be the 15th bishop.

Having lived most of his life in the Baltimore-Washington area, we asked Buffalo’s new Catholic bishop, Michael Fisher, if he knew anyone in Western New York.

Bishop Mike, as he prefers to be called, thought for a moment and answered, “No.”

To his knowledge, there are no familiar names or faces for him in the Buffalo Catholic Diocese.

That may prove to be an asset because after Fisher is installed on Friday afternoon, he faces a number of tough decisions. He says he’s willing to toss out clergy and others involved in the sex abuse scandal that rocked the diocese.

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Buffalo diocese rebuts claims it misrepresented seminary finances

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Agency

January 15, 2021

The Buffalo diocese has responded to claims that it misrepresented the financial state of its seminary before closing it last year.

“The seminary has had sustainability issues for a long time, and for at least over the past 15 years. The financial information was readily available to all interested parties,” a spokesman for the diocese told CNA on Friday.

“In short, the seminary was running out of students, time and money,” spokesman Greg Tucker told CNA Jan. 15.

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January 15, 2021

‘The list has triggered emotions’: Victims’ attorney digs deeper into priests accused of abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
Standard-Times

January 14, 2021

By Kiernan Dunlop

https://www.southcoasttoday.com/story/news/crime/2021/01/14/attorney-garabedian-diocese-list-priests-accused-abuse-fall-river-new-bedford-taunton-victims-minors/4149456001/

The sheer number of names on the Diocese of Fall River’s list of clergy credibly or publicly accused of sexual abuse of a minor is shocking on its own, but the list provided little information about when and where the abuse occurred, how many victims there were, and who knew about it.

Additionally although the lists contain 75 names, an attorney for victims of sexual abuse believes it is incomplete.

“I think it’s incumbent on the Diocese of Fall River to practice complete accountability and transparency and list church employees such as custodians, lectors, and deacons in addition to religious priests, seminarians, and diocesan priests [in its credibly accused list],” Mitchell Garabedian said.

Garabedian released his own list of credibly accused clergy in January of last year to pressure the diocese to release its list, which it had originally said would be released in spring of 2019, and the attorney’s list included a custodian.

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[Opinion] Clergy abuse survivors’ worst fears about compensation funds may be warranted

FLORIDA
adamhorowitzlaw.com (law firm blog)

January 14, 2021

In recent years, most New York bishops have set up allegedly “independent” payout programs for victims of clergy abuse. The stated intent of the programs was to obtain “reconciliation” and “healing.” The Catholic Dioceses in New York denied accusations that their real goal was to prevent legislation reforming the statute of limitations and litigation that would reveal duplicity by the Catholic hierarchy.

From the start, we at Horowitz Law, along with many victims and advocates, were cautions if not outright skeptical. We feared that these programs had a different purpose: to stop the civil windows lawmakers were pushing that give suffering victims more chance to expose corrupt clergy in court.

“Bishops want to persuade legislators ‘back off, we’re handling this crisis ourselves’,” we said. “There’s no need for legal reforms by outsiders.”

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[Media Statement] Reconciliation Programs are Aimed at Protecting the Catholic Church, not Supporting Survivors

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

January 14, 2021

https://www.snapnetwork.org/leaked_transcript_plain_reconciliation_programs_aimed_protecting_catholic_church_supporting_survivors_jan21

A recently leaked transcript has added more weight to a fact long suspected to be true – that the Archdiocese of New York had every intention of preventing the passage of the Child Victim’s Act. We are saddened but not surprised by this news, especially given that Catholic officials have spent millions trying to deny victims their day in court.

We have long known that Independent Reconciliation Programs like the one launched by the Archdiocese of New York in 2016 are designed less to support victims than they are to protect the assets and reputation of the Church. There is nothing shocking to us about the comments by Kenneth Feinberg or, according to Mr. Feinberg, the thinking of Cardinal Timothy Dolan. We believe that those very thoughts and opinions have long formed the backbone of the Church’s strategy to appear to be working on behalf of victims when they are really trying to silence them and prevent stories about abuse and cover-up from reaching the public.

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[Media Statement] Horrifying Report from Ireland Demonstrates Human Toll of Enabling Institutional Abuse

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

January 13, 2021

A horrifying report from one of the world’s most Catholic nations is the latest in a series of government-commissioned investigations that demonstrates yet again the Church’s propensity for committing terrible abuses and then working to cover them up. We hope that this shocking report will spur other nations, including the US, into using the full powers of their government to investigate cases of wrongdoing within their own borders. We need to lay bare the truths that have long been hidden from the public.

This newly-released report demonstrates that the abuse scandal within the Catholic Church goes beyond the serial sexual abuse of children. This investigation, which studied 18 “Mother and Baby homes,” confirms that, in essence, young unwed mothers were enslaved, berated, tortured and shamed, and many of their children lost to neglect or even outright murder. These homes were managed by institutions of the Catholic Church in concert with the national government and demonstrate the depravity of officials who desire control over women and their bodies.

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Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s lawyer viewed church program to compensate sexual abuse victims as a hedge against legislation: report

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Daily News

By Larry McShane

January 14, 2021

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-cva-transcript-church-fund-20210114-fiu2rek6ufc7llqmbqk4aqttky-story.html

An attorney with the Archdiocese of New York suggested the church’s program to compensate childhood sexual abuse victims was intended to blunt the passage of the state’s Child Victims Act, according to a newly revealed transcript of a 2017 call.

ABC News, after obtaining the transcript, reported the archdiocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program was launched in part to convince legislators there was no need to reopen the statute of limitations on lawsuits seeking damages for victims with decades-old claims.

“We want to be able to show Albany that people are accepting this money and signing releases,” said attorney Kenneth Feinberg in the call about the compensation fund, according to ABC News. “You don’t need to change the statute.”

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Gabriel Byrne phoned the priest he accused of sexually abusing him: ‘I wanted him to be terrified’

UNITED KINGDOM
Metro

January 13, 2021

By Emma Kelly

Gabriel Byrne called the priest he accused of sexually abused him in the hopes of confronting him.

The actor opened up about the abuse he suffered as a young boy in the Catholic Church in 2011, alleging that a ‘kind’ priest sexually abused him after he travelled to an English seminary aged 11 to train as a priest.

In his new memoir, Walking with Ghosts, the 70-year-old said that he called the priest, but that the man claimed not to remember him.

According to Page Six, Byrne wrote: ‘I wanted in those last seconds to call him a c*** and say that even though I don’t believe in Hell, I hope he does because I want him to be terrified and burn forever.

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Bearing Witness to the Legacy of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes

IRELAND
Literary Hub

January 11, 2021

By Caelainn Hogan

Caelainn Hogan Traveled the Country to Speak to Survivors

At a random apartment viewing in Dublin a few years ago, the woman moving out, who happened to be born the same year as me, told me she had been adopted as a baby from an institution run by nuns, where “unmarried mothers” were sent in secret. These women were usually forced to work, had their names changed, and were separated from their children. As a millennial whose generation mostly thought these institutions were part of a distant past, she was only beginning to search for answers.

For the last few years, these strangely intimate and sudden revelations have been a part of my life, because almost everyone in Ireland has a story about how these religious-run institutions have affected someone they loved. Sitting hungover with a friend in the sun or asking someone at a shrine for directions, I would suddenly find out they or someone they knew was a survivor of these so-called homes.

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Explained: What is Ireland’s mother and baby homes controversy?

The Indian Express

January 15, 2021

By Om Marathe

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin has apologised for the country’s mother and baby homes, where thousands of unmarried mothers and their children were cruelly treated from the 1920s to the 1990s. What happened at these homes?

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin on Wednesday apologised and expressed remorse for the country’s mother and baby homes, where thousands of unmarried women and their children were cruelly treated from the 1920s to the 1990s.

The apology came after the publication of a long-awaited report into the functioning of these institutions on Tuesday, which found an “appalling level of infant mortality” at 18 such homes that were investigated. The facilities — most of them run by the Roman Catholic Church — housed women who became pregnant out of wedlock, including victims of rape and incest, and also worked as orphanages and adoption centres.

As per the report, around 15 per cent of all children who lived at the homes during the period — roughly 9,000 — died due to brutal living conditions.

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9,000 children died in Ireland’s brutal homes for unmarried mothers and babies run by the Catholic Church in the 20th century, damning report reveals

IRELAND
Daily Mail

January 13, 2021

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9138905/Damning-report-finds-thousands-unmarried-Irish-mothers-babies-suffered-refuge-homes.html

– In total, 15 percent of the 57,000 children at the 18 institutions investigated by the Mother and Baby Home Commission died between 1922 and 1998

– The report published yesterday said the homes ‘provided refuge’ for the mothers when they had nowhere else to turn and found that blame ‘rests mainly with the fathers of their children and their own immediate families’

– But the women faced appalling emotional torment at the hands of the nuns – forced to work scrubbing floors while being called ‘fallen,’ ‘sinner’, ‘dirt’ and ‘spawn of Satan’

– Commission said high death rates among infants ‘probably the most disquieting feature of these institutions’

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Elaine Loughlin: Government knew about mother and baby homes but did nothing

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

January 13, 2021

By Elaine Loughlin

Local and national authorities side-stepped responsibilities and caused confusion, allowing mother and baby homes to operate as they did

The Government knew everything but did nothing.

For the first 50 years after independence, as thousands of infants were left to die in mother and baby homes, the plight of unmarried mothers and their babies was never discussed at Cabinet.

Our local and national authorities conveniently created confusion and uncoordinated governance structures which meant that everyone was responsible but the finger of blame could be pointed at no one.

“Some oversight was exercised by national and local government but there was no clear policy on oversight and no clear demarcation between the roles of national and local government,” the commission found.

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Mother and Baby Homes: State and society turned blind eye to thousands of deaths

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

January 12, 2021

By Aoife Moore

Thousands of children died in Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes with no concern from the State or society, the Commission of Investigation has found.

Main points of the report:

– 56,000 women were incarcerated, 5,616 of them under 18. Some were as young as 12

– Approximately 9,000 of the 57,000 babies born in these homes died

– Ireland had the world’s highest proportion of women sent to mother & baby homes in the 20th century

– In the 1930s and 1940s, 40% of babies in the institutions died before their first birthdays
75% of the children born in Bessborough in 1943 died in their first year. In that same year, 62% of babies born in the Bethany Home died

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Michael D Higgins: Mother-and-baby homes a ‘violation of rights’

IRELAND
BBC News

January 15, 2021

Irish President Michael D Higgins has described what occurred in the country’s mother-and-baby homes as a “violation of fundamental rights” of Irish citizens.

The institutions housed women and girls who became pregnant outside marriage in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

A report published on Tuesday found an “appalling level of infant mortality”.

“State and Church bear a heavy responsibility for this,” said Mr Higgins.

About 9,000 children died in the 18 institutions under investigation.

The Irish government said the report revealed the country had a “stifling, oppressive and brutally misogynistic culture”.

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‘On admission her clothes were removed, her hair was cut. She was told: “You’re here for your sins”‘

IRELAND
The Journal

January 12, 2021

The first-hand testimony from those who were sent to mother and baby homes are included in today’s landmark report.

‘I was told by a nun: “God doesn’t want you… You’re dirt.”‘

“You could almost feel the tears in the walls.”

“Her mother called her a ‘prostitute and a whore’. Three of her uncles were priests and her parents were worried about how her pregnancy would affect them.”

THE ABOVE ARE just three of the hundreds of accounts from survivors in the long-awaited final report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation.

The key recommendations from today’s report include a State apology, redress and that access to their birth information should be given to survivors of mother and baby homes.

The commission discovered that about 9,000 children died in the 18 homes under investigation: slightly over one in every seven children who were in the institutions.

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Irish mother and baby homes: Timeline of controversy

IRELAND
BBC-TV

January 12, 2021

The findings of a major investigation into how women and children were treated in Irish mother and baby homes are due to be published.

The investigation began in 2015 after claims emerged that hundreds of babies were buried in a mass, unmarked grave near a home in Tuam, County Galway.

The “Tuam babies” controversy, as it became known, sparked international shock and outrage.

It prompted the Irish government to set up a wide-ranging investigation into the operation of mother and baby homes, in a bid to shed light on the lives and deaths of thousands of former residents.

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Supreme Court of Canada decision in favour of Mount Cashel victims will have sweeping implications: lawyers

NEWFOUNDLAND (CANADA)
The Telegram via the Chronicle Herald

January 14, 2021

By Barb Sweet

https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/news/canada/supreme-court-of-canada-decision-in-favour-of-mount-cashel-victims-will-have-sweeping-implications-lawyers-541161/

Even if the monumental decision had gone the other way Thursday for the now elderly victims of sexual assault at the former Mount Cashel orphanage, one John Doe said he would have felt they gave it their best shot.

But instead there was lightness for him that the fight was finally done, and victory was theirs at last.

When the Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday refused to grant the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s leave to appeal a civil decision that held it responsible for sexual abuse suffered by boys at the infamous Christian-Brothers-run orphanage during the 1950s and early ‘60s, the retired educator was elated and grateful to the lawyer who had fought for the victims for more than 20 years.

“They were terrific, absolutely terrific. He is absolutely magnificent. (The firm was) always on a mission and they treated us with so much understanding and humanity,” the man said of St. John’s lawyer Geoff Budden. “I am happy for all the boys, the victims.”

The man was one of four John Doe plaintiffs in the case, which represented about 60 clients in total. One of the man’s four brothers who were also victims of abuse died before the decision came out, as did one of the four John Does.

“I am sad for those who have passed away or are no longer with us,” said the retired educator. “(But) it’s a great day for everybody all around, except for the church. They are facing up to their demons.”

The retired educator said the Christian Brothers who abused the boys likely saw them as non-entities.

“And maybe we ourselves began to feel that way,” he said of the repercussions.

The leave to appeal was dismissed with costs by the Supreme Court of Canada.

“We won,” Budden said moments after hearing of the decision late Thursday morning.

“I feel it’s a tough day for the archdiocese. I feel joy for the clients. I feel relief that we delivered the results for our clients. … And I feel sad for those who didn’t live to see this day.”

Budden reflected on the long road that he began in 1998 but was resolute the day would finally come. There are no more legal challenges for the church to fight against the victims.

“Isn’t that nice. It took a long enough time, eh,” said another of the John Does, who is retired from the military.

“I was determined to myself I would be damned if I would die before a decision would be made. It’s a big relief. It’s over now.”

The man said religion was drilled into them every day and they couldn’t understand how to even begin to deal with the sexual abuse when it happened, since they saw the Christian Brothers as father figures.

“It’s only recently, actually, that I was thinking about how screwed up things got, because life was life. That was my life. I didn’t know,” he said.

He said he tried to make the best out of his situation once he left the orphanage.

“I consider myself pretty lucky, actually — if I hadn’t joined the army…,” the man said.

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Church’s liability to victims confirmed as legal battle over Mount Cashel abuse ends

ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND (CANADA)
The Canadian Press via Kamloops This Week

January 14, 2021

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused a bid by the Roman Catholic archdiocese in St. John’s to appeal a ruling that found it liable for sexual abuse at the former Mount Cashel orphanage.

Thursday’s court decision ends a legal battle that first shook Newfoundland and Labrador decades ago. It also determines once and for all that the church has a responsibility to the victims of the abuse that took place at the notorious former orphanage, at the hands of the Christian Brothers in the 1950s.

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Canada’s Supreme Court says archdiocese is responsible for orphanage abuse

CANADA
Catholic News Agency

January 15, 2021

Canada’s highest court has ruled that the Archdiocese of St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador will be responsible for Mount Cashel Orphanage child abuse lawsuits against the Congregation of Christian Brothers.

On Thursday, Canada’s Supreme Court announced that it rejected a final appeal of the archdiocese, which had argued that it should not be held responsible for abuse by the congregation (also known as the Christian Brothers of Ireland), because it was the lay group of brothers and not diocesan priests in charge of the orphanage.

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The legal battle over Newfoundland’s infamous Mount Cashel sexual abuse is finally over. But one of the four plaintiffs didn’t live to see it

CANADA
Toronto Star

January 14, 2021

By Steve McKinley

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2021/01/14/the-legal-battle-over-newfoundlands-infamous-mount-cashel-sexual-abuse-is-finally-over-but-one-of-the-four-plaintiffs-didnt-live-to-see-it.html

The final chapter in the wrenching story of sexual abuse at Newfoundland’s infamous Mount Cashel orphanage was finally written Thursday, bringing an end to a decades-long saga that haunted a region, turned many away from the Roman Catholic Church — and helped prompt a closer look at the issue of abuse within it.

The Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear an appeal from the Archdiocese of St. John’s that was seeking to overturn a lower court ruling that the church can be held responsible for the sexual abuse suffered by boys there in the 1950s.

That decision brings to an end a 21-year legal battle that began in 1999, as four men deemed “John Does” as plaintiffs for the purpose of the case sought compensation for their abuse by members of the Christian Brothers of Ireland order, which ran the orphanage.

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Supreme Court of Canada rejects Catholic archdiocese appeal over Mount Cashel

NEWFOUNDLAND (CANADA)
CBC News

January 14, 2021

Archdiocese of St. John’s declines comment following decision

The Archdiocese of St. John’s is liable for the abuse at Mount Cashel Orphanage in the 1950s, after Canada’s highest court declined to hear one last appeal from the Catholic Church.

The Supreme Court of Canada released its decision Thursday, simply saying it rejected the application from the Archdiocese of St. John’s.

The decision brings to an end a painstaking process for victims who were abused at the orphanage when they were children. The case has been snaking its way through the courts for 21 years.

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High Court Ruling Means Roman Catholic Church Responsible for Mount Cashel Sexual Abuse

NEWFOUNDLAND (CANADA)
VOCM

January 14, 2021

The Supreme Court of Canada has denied an attempt by the Roman Catholic Church in St. John’s to appeal a ruling that found the church responsible for abuse at Mount Cashel Orphanage.

That means the Church must pay damages to dozens of victims of abuse dating back to the 1950s.

Geoff Budden, the victims’ lawyer, says it brings to an end a decades-long legal battle over sex abuse at the orphanage.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of St. John’s said its lawyers must review and analyze the ruling before making public comment.

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Archdiocese liable for Mount Cashel settlement

NEWFOUNDLAND (CANADA)
Catholic Register

January 14, 2021

The Archdiocese of St. John’s is responsible for paying victims of child abuse at the Newfoundland’s infamous Mount Cashel Orphanage.

In a decision announced Jan. 14, the Supreme Court of Canada has declined to hear one last appeal from the archdiocese, which has always denied it was responsible for the abuse that occurred at Mount Cashel dating back to the 1950s. The orphanage was run by the Christian Brothers of Ireland, which declared bankruptcy in 2012 while settling abuse lawsuits. The orphanage itself was demolished in 1992.

The archdiocese has argued before the court that it was not involved in the orphanage’s day-to-day operations and that the Christian Brothers was a lay organization whose members were not ordained priests of the archdiocese.

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Supreme Court of Canada rejects Catholic Church bid for leave to appeal landmark decision that said it was liable for the sexual abuse suffered by orphans at the hands of Christian Brothers in the 1950s and 1960s

NEWFOUNDLAND (CANADA)
The Telegram

January 15, 2021

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to grant the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp of St. John’s leave to appeal a landmark civil decision that held it responsible for sexual abuse suffered by boys at the infamous Christian-Brothers run orphanage during the 1950s and early ‘60s.

The leave to appeal was dismissed with costs Thursday.

It ends a legal battle the now elderly former residents fought for more than 20 years, led by St. John’s lawyer Geoff Budden.

“We won,” said Budden moments after hearing of the decision.

“I feel it’s a tough day for the archdiocese. I feel joy for the clients. I feel relief that we delivered the results for our clients… And I feel sad for those who didn’t live to see this day.”

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Supreme Court of Canada dismisses Catholic church’s appeal in Mount Cashel case

NEWFOUNDLAND (CANADA)
NTV.ca

January 14, 2021

By Bart Fraize

[VIDEO]

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal by the Catholic church for abuse at the former Mount Cashel orphanage.

In July, the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal found the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. John’s has a responsibility to victims of abuse at the orphanage. The archdiocese appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. On Thursday, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal with costs.

The case involves four survivors who had first launched their claim for damages in 1999.

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January 14, 2021

EXCLUSIVE: Leaked transcript shows NY church’s attempt to block Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
ABC News

January 14, 2021

By Pete Madden

In a 2017 meeting, church leaders discussed the politics of reconciliation.

When Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the longtime leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, introduced the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program to the public in Oct. 2016, he expressed his hope that offering financial settlements to the victims of sexual abuse by clergy would both “promote healing” and “bring closure” after more than a decade of constant scandal.

“It is only appropriate that we take this opportunity to follow Pope Francis and once again ask forgiveness for whatever mistakes may have been made in the past by those representing the Church, even by us bishops,” Dolan said, “and continue to seek reconciliation with those who have been harmed and feel alienated from the Church.”

When Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer Dolan appointed to administer the program in New York City and Long Island privately pitched it more than a year later to the representatives of three Upstate New York dioceses, however, he suggested that Dolan was motivated in part by something else: politics.

“I think the Cardinal feels that it is providing his lawyers in Albany with additional persuasive powers not to reopen the statute,” Feinberg said of the program. “We are already doing this, why bother? Don’t reopen the statute. We are taking care of our own problem. I think that is guiding Cardinal Dolan as well.”

ABC News has obtained the transcript of a confidential Dec. 2017 teleconference in which Feinberg, a prominent mediation expert, alongside his colleague Camille Biros, heralded the benefits of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program Dolan established to leaders and lawyers from the Dioceses of Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester.

Dolan himself is not listed among its participants and does not appear to have been on the call, but Feinberg repeatedly claimed to be familiar with Dolan’s thinking.

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