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 14, 2021

Should alleged victims of child sex abuse have more time to sue? Soon voters may decide

HARRISBURG (PA)
Fox 43 TV

January 13, 2021

By Jamie Bittner

The amendment would allow alleged victims of child sex abuse more time to file lawsuits. However, critics say it could take away rights of the accused.

https://www.fox43.com/article/news/should-alleged-victims-of-child-sex-abuse-have-more-time-to-sue-soon-voters-may-decide/521-0ed88dfe-1e3c-4164-ab06-1f911aee6757

Voters may soon decide if alleged victims of child sexual abuse will have more time to file civil lawsuits against the people or organizations they are accusing. However, critics voiced concern the proposal could tip the scales of justice towards the accuser while taking away rights of the accused.

House Bill 14 is a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the state constitution that would establish a 2-year-long window in which civil claims arising from child sexual abuse could then be asserted even if they had previously been barred by a statute of limitations.

The House Judiciary Committee moved the legislation to the full House on a vote of 24-1. The proposal by Republican Rep. Jim Gregory of Blair County has received bipartisan support with cosponsor Democrat Rep. Mark Rozzi of Berks County. In an interview with FOX43 both lawmakers noted that the proposal is something victims have been fighting for over 20 years.

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.

Controversial proposed changes to PA Constitution moving at Capitol

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

January 13, 2021

By John Finnerty

A House panel on Wednesday moved two proposals that would ask voters to amend the state Constitution – one to allow adult survivors of child sex abuse to sue even if their statute of limitations has expired and a second to have appeals court judges elected by region instead of statewide.

Both measures passed both chambers of the General Assembly in the last legislative session, so if they pass unchanged in the weeks ahead, voters could see them on the ballot in May.

The proposal to allow adult survivors of child sex abuse to sue their abusers and organizations like the Catholic Church, which covered up for child predator priests, was approved by the House judiciary committee by a vote of 24-1.

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.

North Dakota bill would force priests to violate confession seal in abuse cases

Catholic News Agency

January 13, 2021

By Mary Farrow

Three North Dakota state legislators introduced a bill this week that would oblige Catholic priests to violate the seal of confession in cases of confirmed or suspected child abuse, on penalty of imprisonment or heavy fines.

The bill was introduced Jan. 12 by state senators Judy Lee (R), Kathy Hogan (D), and Curt Kreun (R), and state representatives Mike Brandenburg (R) and Mary Schneider (D).

The current mandatory reporting law in North Dakota states that clergy are considered mandatory reporters of known or suspected child abuse, except in cases when “the knowledge or suspicion is derived from information received in the capacity of spiritual adviser”, such as in the confessional.

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.

KX Conversation: North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem

NORTH DAKOTA
KX-TV

January 13, 2021

[VIDEO]

In our Jan. 13 KX Conversation, North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem joined us to discuss the recent investigation of child sexual abuse by members of the North Dakota Catholic Dioceses.

This was a months-long criminal investigation, and Stenehjem discussed the outcome and the level of difficulty a case like this may be for BCI agents.

53 individuals were accused and all but two of the clergy were deceased. No one faces charges from this 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.

Pennsylvania lawmakers pass several bills that could appear on future ballots

HARRISBURG (PA)
CBS-TV 21 News

January 13, 2021

This afternoon, lawmakers at the State Capitol in Harrisburg passed several constitutional amendments that you could eventually vote on.

Three bills that we’ve been following have passed in committee this morning.

They include a measure that would open up a two-year window of justice for victims of child sex abuse at the hands of Catholic priests.

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

Three decades after Mount Cashel orphanage abuse scandal, victims are still fighting for justice

ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND (CANADA)
Globe and Mail

January 13, 2021

By Greg Mercer

For most people, it’s just another shopping plaza. They come and go from the liquor outlet, hair salon, medical centre and grocery store, loading their purchases into cars in a parking lot that fronts a busy street.

But John Doe No. 26 will never forget what used to be here.

The 80-year-old grandfather can still vividly see the notorious Mount Cashel orphanage that stood at this St. John’s site until it was demolished in 1992. He was a resident there for seven years, until he was 15 years old, and suffered unspeakable violence and abuse at the hands of men who were supposed to care for him.

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.

Mother and Baby Homes report: Main findings and recommendations

IRELAND
Irish Times

January 12, 2021

Responsibility for harsh treatment lies with fathers and families backed by State and churches

The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes published its long-anticipated report on Tuesday. It investigated decades of harm caused to tens of thousands women and children at 14 mother and baby homes and four county homes across Ireland between 1922 and 1998.

Findings

*Fathers and families Responsibility for the harsh treatment of unmarried mothers in Ireland lies mainly with the fathers of the children and “their own immediate families” but supported by and condoned by the State and the churches. It says many of the homes provided a refuge, even if harsh, while the families provided no refuge at all.

*No alternative The report finds no evidence that women were forced to enter the homes by the church or State It says most women had no alternative. Many women contacted State or church agencies seeking assistance as they had nowhere to go and no money. Women were also brought to homes by family without being consulted.

*Infant mortality Some 9,000 children died in mother and baby homes, around 15 per cent of all those who entered the institutions, the report found. In the years 1945-46, the death rate among infants in mother and baby homes was almost twice that of the national average for “illegitimate” children. The commission said the high rate of infant mortality was a “disquieting” feature.

*Little public concern The report found little evidence that politicians or the public were concerned about children in the homes, despite the “appalling level of infant mortality”.

*Unmarried mothers There were about 56,000 unmarried mothers and about 57,000 children in the homes investigated by the commission. While such institutions were found in other countries the proportion of unmarried mothers sent to homes in Ireland was probably the highest in the world.

*Abuse of women The report finds while “there is no doubt that women in mother and baby homes were subjected to emotional abuse but there is very little evidence of physical abuse and no evidence of sexual abuse”.

*Abuse of children – It said there was some evidence of physical abuse of children “which, while unacceptable, was minor in comparison to the evidence of physical abuse documented in the Ryan report.” The report found no evidence of any sexual abuse of children.

*Pregnancies – Some pregnancies were the result of rape; some women had mental health problems, some had an intellectual disability and the only difference with other women not in homes was that they were unmarried. It said their lives were “blighted” by pregnancy outside marriage.

*Local health authorities – Some institutions with the worst conditions were owned by the local health authorities. “County homes, Kilrush and Tuam had appalling physical conditions.”

Recommendations

*Records – Adopted people should have a right to their birth certificates and birth information. A mechanism could be put in place to allow a birth mother to argue for her privacy rights.

There should be a central repository of the records of institution so information can be obtained from one place.

There are no records of burials of children who died in many cases, it finds.

*Redress – Any decision on financial redress is a matter for Government, the commission said.

– But as some groups in similar situations have received financial redress the State should not discriminate, it said.

– Women who worked outside the institutions without pay, women in the Tuam home in Co Galway who had to care for other mothers’ children and those who looked after other residents in county homes should be compensated.

– Women who spent lengthy periods in homes should also be considered for redress.

*Fund – The Government could consider earmarking a specific fund for current disadvantaged children.

*Tusla – The commission defended the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) and its approach to providing information to adopted people. It said the problem was not with Tusla but with the law.

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

Archbishop apologises, urges those who know of more unmarked graves to come forward

IRELAND
Irish Post

January 13, 2021

By Rachael O’Connor

IRELAND’S ARCHBISHOP has apologised “unreservedly” for the Church’s role in the Mother and Baby Homes scandal.

Archbishop Eamon Martin, the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, issued a statement apologising yesterday following the release of the Mother and Baby Homes report which was six years in the making.

Among other things, the report found that, in the homes investigated by the Commission, 15% of all children born in the institutions died– approximately 9,000 out of 57,000.

Women and children recalled instances of physical and emotional abuse while being detained, and mothers felt forced to give their children up for adoption.

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.

Call for ‘full-scale’ northern inquiry following Republic’s mother and baby homes report

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish News

January 13, 2021

By Suzanne McGonagle

https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2021/01/13/news/call-for-full-scale-northern-inquiry-following-republic-s-mother-and-baby-homes-report-2185700/

AMNESTY International last night called for a “fullscale inquiry into the appalling tragic scandal of mother and baby homes” in Northern Ireland.

Women forced to give birth in the homes and the children born in the institutions have joined with the charity in calling for a public inquiry into abuses they say they suffered.

Amnesty said there were more than a dozen mother and baby home-type institutions in the north, with the last one closing its doors as recently as the 1990s.

Some 7,500 women and girls gave birth in the homes, which were operated by both Catholic and Protestant churches and religious organisations.

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.

Higher infant mortality rate, appalling conditions and emotional abuse – the Mother and Baby Homes report at a glance

IRELAND
Independent

January 13, 2021

By Hugh O’Connell

A right for adopted people to access their birth information – including their birth cert and other records – among recommendations of the Commission

https://www.independent.ie/news/higher-infant-mortality-rate-appalling-conditions-and-emotional-abuse-the-mother-and-baby-homes-report-at-a-glance-39960509.html

The 2,865-page report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes has been published, covering the period from 1922 to 1998 – a span of 76 years.

Ireland was “especially cold and harsh for women” during the earlier half of the period under the commission’s remit and that all women “suffered serious discrimination”, the Commission says.

Women who gave birth outside of marriage were subject to “particularly harsh treatment”.

Responsibility for this, the report states, rests mainly with fathers of their children and their own immediate families. It adds: “It was supported by, contributed to, and condoned by, the institutions of the State and the Churches.”

Here are some of its key details and findings.

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

Church urged by Taoiseach to help compensate for mother and baby homes survivors’ trauma

IRELAND
Independent

January 13, 2021

By Gabija Gataveckaite and Philip Ryan

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/church-urged-by-taoiseach-to-help-compensate-for-mother-and-baby-homes-survivors-trauma-39963088.html

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has called on the religious orders associated with mother and baby homes to make a “financial contribution” to a redress scheme for survivors.

It comes as it emerged the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes report has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for review.

Speaking at the launch of the report, the Taoiseach said the gardaí can “obviously” pursue some of the issues outlined in the commission’s investigation even though a significant length of time has elapsed.

He specifically highlighted that many of the women in the homes were under the age of consent when they became pregnant.

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

‘We did not live up to our Christianity’ – order of nuns who ran infamous Tuam Home apologises

IRELAND
Independent

January 13, 2021

By Cormac McQuinn and Sarah MacDonald

Sisters of Bons Secours will participate in State’s planned redress scheme

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/we-did-not-live-up-to-our-christianity-order-of-nuns-who-ran-infamous-tuam-home-apologises-39964026.html

THE order of nuns that ran the infamous Mother and Baby Home at Tuam have apologised for the treatment of women and children at the institution and the “disrespectful and unacceptable” way infants who died were buried.

The Sisters of Bon Secours also confirmed to Independent.ie that they will participate in the Government’s planned redress scheme for survivors.

The scandal of what happened in the various Mother and Baby homes around the country was revealed due to the work of historian Catherine Corless.

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

‘The shame was not theirs – it was ours’ – Taoiseach issues State apology to victims of Mother and Baby Homes

IRELAND
Independent

January 13, 2021

By Eoghan Moloney and Senan Molony

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/the-shame-was-not-theirs-it-was-ours-taoiseach-issues-state-apology-to-victims-of-mother-and-baby-homes-39964713.html

Survivors of mother and baby and county homes are blameless and did nothing wrong, the Taoiseach has told the Dáil in a formal State apology.

Mothers “did nothing wrong and have nothing to be ashamed of,” Mr Martin told TDs in the National Convention Centre.

The treatment of women and children is something which was the direct result of how the State, “and we as a society acted,” he said.

“The report presents us with profound questions. We embraced a perverse religious morality and control, judgmentalism and moral certainty, but shunned our daughters.

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.

Dáil hears call for church assets to be seized if religious orders refuse to pay for abuse

IRELAND
Independent

January 13, 2021

By Senan Molony

Seizure of Catholic Church assets by the State is being mooted in the Dáil as a possible resort if its bodies will not pay compensation to the survivors of Mother and Baby Homes.

The religious orders of the Catholic Church must make appropriate contribution to the victims in atonement this time around, the Dáil was told by various TDs.

Former FF Minister Michael Woods agreed a €120m gesture from the Church nearly 20 years ago after earlier reports of institutional abuse — but most of the commitment was reneged upon.

“We need to ensure this time round, that those religious institutions make their contribution,” said Labour Party leader Alan Kelly.

“If they don’t make their contribution, we will pass legislation — I will draft it myself — to ensure that we can take their assets to ensure that they make that contribution.

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 13, 2021

[Opinion] Fathers disappear, untraceable and unseen, in tragedy spanning decades

IRELAND
Independent

January 13, 2021

By Nicola Anderson

Punishment fell on women while men got on with the rest of their lives, writes Nicola Anderson

In the harrowing personal stories of how desperate Irish women were forced to enter through the unwelcoming doors of mother and baby homes, their partners in pregnancy are cast as mere bit players.

The men at the heart of this wide-ranging tragedy that spanned decades feature merely as the shadowy instigators of misfortune, before being allowed to disappear into the backdrop, unseen and largely untraceable.

In a deeply conservative Ireland that pre-dated contraception and where parish priests sometimes turned up at dance halls to ensure couples were not dancing too closely, punishment fell on the woman for falling pregnant and for falling to safeguard her chastity.

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.

Irish PM says ‘perverse’ morality drove unwed mothers’ homes

IRELAND
Associated Press

January 12, 2021

By Jill Lawless

Ireland’s prime minister said Tuesday that the country must “face up to the full truth of our past,” as a long-awaited report recounted decades of harm done by church-run homes for unmarried women and their babies, where thousands of infants died.

Prime Minister Micheal Martin said young women and their children had paid a heavy price for Ireland’s “perverse religious morality” in past decades.

“We had a completely warped attitude to sexuality and intimacy. Young mothers and their sons and daughters paid a terrible price for that dysfunction,” he said.

Martin said he would make a formal apology on behalf of the state in Ireland’s parliament on 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.

Ireland to apologize for massive abuse at ‘mother and baby homes’

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Politico Europe

January 12, 2021

Report found that approximately 9,000 newborns, infants and young children died at facilities across the country.

By Shawn Pogatchnik

Unmarried mothers and their infant children suffered cruel and often lethal neglect in Ireland’s so-called mother and baby homes, a five-year state investigation has concluded.

Prime Minister Micheál Martin said he would issue an official apology to the survivors of the institutions following Tuesday’s publication of the final report from the Commission of Investigation Into Mother and Baby Homes. It examined conditions and policies at 18 such homes where Ireland sent 56,000 women with out-of-wedlock pregnancies from the 1920s to the 1990s.

Martin said the 3,000-page report details “a deeply misogynistic culture” that doomed thousands to speedy deaths or lifetimes of regret.

“We did this to ourselves,” he said. “We had a completely warped attitude to sexuality and intimacy, and young mothers and their sons and daughters were forced to pay a terrible price for that dysfunction. We embraced a perverse religious morality and control which was so damaging … All of society was complicit in it.”

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

Mother and baby homes scandal: Irish PM apologises to victims – saying ‘the state failed you’

IRELAND
Sky News TV

January 13, 2021

By Stephen Murphy

[Play Video – Irish PM’s apology to mothers and babies]

The Irish prime minister has issued an apology following a report into the deaths of 9,000 children in institutions for unmarried mothers and their babies.

A five-year investigation by a judicial commission of investigation detailed how the children died at 18 institutions between 1922 and 1998.

Speaking today in the Dail, the lower house of the Irish parliament, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said that as a society “we embraced a perverse religious morality and control, judgementalism and moral certainty, but shunned our daughters.”

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.

Irish leader apologizes for cruelty to unwed mothers and babies at homes run by the state and Catholic Church

IRELAND
Washington Post

January 13, 2021

By William Booth and Karla Adam

In a signal moment, to mark Ireland’s “dark, difficult and shameful” treatment of unmarried women and their babies over the 20th century, the republic’s prime minister, Micheál Martin, rose in the Parliament in Dublin on Wednesday and formally apologized for the state’s complicity in “a profound failure of empathy, understanding and basic humanity.”

Martin spoke after the long-awaited release of a 3,000-page report from the Commission on Mother and Baby Homes, which investigated conditions for the 56,000 unmarried mothers and 57,000 children who passed through the system — at 18 homes run by the state and by Catholic charities — from 1920 until 1998, when the last facility was shuttered.

The unmarried mothers, often destitute, desperate and young, with nowhere else to turn, sought last-ditch refuge in the homes or were shoved into them, having been cast out by their families.

Infant mortality at the institutions was in many years double the national average. Some 9,000 infants died — 15 percent of all those who were born in the system — a statistic the investigators call “appalling.”

Most of the babies who survived were offered up for adoption, often without full consent by the mothers.

Martin said: “We treated women exceptionally badly. We treated children exceptionally badly.”

The Irish leader said his society had suffered from a “warped attitude to sexuality and intimacy,” with a “very striking absence of kindness.”

“We honored piety but failed to show even basic kindness to those who needed it most,” he said.

New details of what happened to the women and their babies still have the ability to shock — though testimonies, novels, films and news reports have told of the homes for years.

The release of the report has dominated the conversation in Ireland, even as the country faces the world’s highest rate of coronavirus infections.

The Irish Times called the findings a condemnation of Irish society in past days, “its rigid rules and conventions about sexual matters, its savage intolerance, its harsh judgmentalism, its un-Christian cruelty.”

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.

9,000 babies died in Ireland’s mother and baby homes

IRELAND
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

January 12, 2021

[VIDEO]

A disturbing report into Ireland’s mother and baby homes, where unwed mothers were sent to give birth and forced to give their babies up for adoption, says along with other indignities, 9,000 babies died in the care of the 18 homes. The Irish Catholic Church, which ran the homes, has apologized and the prime minister is also expected to apologize this week.

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

Irish PM issues state apology for mother and baby homes abuses

IRELAND
Al Jazeera

January 13, 2021

A ‘profound generational wrong’ was visited upon those who wound up in Ireland’s network of Catholic Church-run homes for unwed mothers and their children, Irish PM says.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin has offered a formal apology in the country’s parliament for the treatment of unmarried mothers and their babies in a network of church-run institutions from the 1920s to the 1990s.

A government-commissioned report published on Tuesday found an “appalling” mortality rate of around 15 percent among children born at mother and baby homes, reflecting brutal living conditions at the sites and laying bare one of the Catholic Church’s darkest chapters.

Some 9,000 children died at the 18 homes – the last of which closed in 1998 – covered in the report.

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.

Irish PM apologises over mother and baby homes

IRELAND
BBC News

January 13, 2021

The scandal became an international news story when “significant human remains” were found on the grounds of a former home in County Galway

The Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) has apologised after an investigation into the country’s mother and baby homes.

The report found an “appalling level of infant mortality”.

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

Micheál Martin apologised for the “profound and generational wrong” to survivors of mother-and-baby homes.

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”.

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.

Irish church and state apologise for callous mother and baby homes

IRELAND
The Guardian

January 13, 2021

By Rory Carroll

Taoiseach accepts state responsibility for historic cruelty as Catholic primate acknowledges ‘painful truths’

The Irish state and Ireland’s Catholic church have made landmark apologies for running and enabling a network of religious institutions that abused and shamed unmarried mothers and their children for much of the 20th century.

The taoiseach, Micheál Martin, led government figures on Wednesday in accepting responsibility and expressing remorse for mother-and-baby homes that turned generations of vulnerable women and infants into outcasts.

Eamon Martin, the Catholic primate of all Ireland, led statements from bishops and nuns that apologised for the central role of the church in a dark chapter of Irish history.

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

Ireland’s ‘brutally misogynistic culture’ saw the death of 9,000 children in mother and baby homes, report finds

IRELAND
CNN

January 13, 2021

By Kara Fox

Thousands of babies and children died in 18 of Ireland’s mother and baby homes — church-run institutions where unmarried women were sent to deliver their babies in secret, often against their will — over eight decades, according to a landmark report.

On Tuesday, the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters — which was set up to investigate what happened in 14 mother and baby homes and four county homes from 1922 to 1998 — announced the 9,000 deaths as part of the final findings of its near six-year inquiry.

Around 56,000 people — from girls as young as 12, to women in their 40s — were sent to the 18 institutions investigated, where some 57,000 children were born, according to the report.

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.

Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes

IRELAND
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

January 12, 2021

[Note from BishopAccountability.org: To see the 2,865-page report in its entirety, click here. To see the section entitled Archives of the Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, click here.]

The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and certain related matters was established by the Irish Government in February 2015 to provide a full account of what happened to vulnerable women and children in Mother and Baby Homes during the period 1922 to 1998. It submitted its final report to the Minister on 30 October 2020.

Each element of the Report can be accessed through the links below.

The Report deals with issues which many may find distressing. If you are affected by the issues raised in the Report, contact details for support are available under ‘Counselling supports’.

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.

Mother and Baby Homes report: A ‘shameful chapter of recent Irish history’

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

January 12, 2021

By Pat Leahy and Patsy McGarry

Investigation tells of cruelty, emotional abuse and soaring infant death rates

[VIDEO]

Ireland has again been brought face-to-face with its cold and callous past with the report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes revealing stories of cruelty, emotional abuse and soaring infant death rates in a series of State- and religious-run institutions.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the report outlined a “dark, difficult and shameful chapter of recent Irish history” in which an “extraordinarily oppressive culture” had “treated women exceptionally badly”.

The State, churches and – most of all – the families of pregnant women and the fathers of their children were responsible for the ill-treatment of women, according to the report which took more than five years to research and compile.

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

Report Gives Glimpse Into Horrors of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes

IRELAND
The New York Times

January 12, 2021

A government commission found high death rates, unethical vaccine trials and traumatic living conditions at 18 homes that housed unwed mothers up until the 1990s.

By Megan Specia

A government-commissioned report released on Tuesday found a shocking number of deaths and widespread abuses at religious institutions in Ireland for unwed mothers and their children. Survivors say the document is a small step toward accountability after decades of horrors.

The report, the culmination of a six-year investigation, detailed some 9,000 deaths of children at 14 of the country’s so-called mother and baby homes and four county homes over several decades, a mortality rate far higher than the rest of the population. The institutions, where unmarried women and girls were sent to give birth in secrecy and were pressured to give their children up for adoption, were also responsible for unethical vaccine trials and traumatic emotional abuse, the report found.

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.

Irish report: Religious-run homes ‘significantly reduced’ children’s survival

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

January 12, 2021

By Joe Little

An Irish government investigation has found that death rates among “illegitimate” infants in southern Ireland’s religious-run mother and baby homes during parts of the 1930s and 1940s were twice that of the national average.

The report, released Jan. 12, says the frequently Catholic-run homes “did not save the lives of ‘illegitimate’ children; in fact, they appear to have significantly reduced their prospects of survival.”

The quasi-judicial probe also found that the proportion of unmarried mothers admitted to the homes during the last century was probably the highest in the world.

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

Report lifts lid on harsh and unforgiving attitudes towards unmarried mothers

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

January 12, 2021

By Michael Kelly

A five-year investigation into the treatment of unmarried mothers in State-funded Church-run homes has said that the blame for their “harsh treatment” rests primarily with their families but that both the Church and State condoned this.

The report of the ‘Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and certain related matters’ was published this afternoon (Tuesday) and reviewed 18 institutions from the period 1922-1998. It found that “Ireland was a cold harsh environment for many, probably the majority, of its residents during the earlier half of the period under remit”. The report said that Ireland was “especially cold and harsh for women”.

The responsibility for the “harsh treatment” of unmarried mothers “rests mainly with the fathers of their children and their own immediate families”, the report said.

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

For victims of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes, inquiry stirs up painful past

IRELAND
Reuters

January 12, 2021

By Ben Dangerfield

Haunted by ghostly visions of the brothers she never knew, Anna Corrigan had a bad night ahead of the publication on Tuesday of a 3,000-page report into the horrors that unfolded at Ireland’s Church-run Mother and Baby Homes.

Her older brothers, John and William Dolan, were born at one of the homes for unmarried mothers and their infants, in the provincial town of Tuam in western Ireland. They are thought to be among 802 babies and children who died at the home and were unceremoniously dumped in a mass grave by the Catholic nuns who ran it.

“I had a very bad night’s sleep last night,” Corrigan told Reuters in a Zoom interview from her home in Dublin, describing unsettling dreams about her fam

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.

Rev. David Bonnar, a longtime Pittsburgh priest, becomes bishop of Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

January 12, 2021

By Peter Smith

Longtime Pittsburgh priest David Bonnar became the Roman Catholic bishop of Youngstown on Tuesday afternoon before a pandemic-limited congregation in a solemn ceremony in which family and Pittsburgh-area friends took prominent roles.

Bishop Bonnar was consecrated at the Cathedral of St. Columba, which echoed with choral anthems and brass fanfares. Attendance was limited due to the pandemic, and masked worshippers were seated at socially distanced spots in the pews.

Bishop Bonnar, 58, was a pastor and administrator in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, most recently serving as pastor of St. Aidan Parish in the North Hills, and he was a former Pittsburgh Steelers chaplain.

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

Priest accused of abetting alleged sex abuse ring hired by diocesan charity

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

January 12, 2021

By Claire Giangravé

The mother of an alleged abuse victim claims the priest broke the confidence of the confessional to warn church officials of a coming investigation.

On a scorching day in August 2015, the mother of a teenage girl walked into the confessional of a small church near the Sicilian city of Catania, in southern Italy. She believed that the leader of her lay Catholic group, a man known as the Archangel, had repeatedly raped her underage daughter and possibly others.

She trusted the priest, the Rev. Orazio Caputo, who had worked closely with the Archangel’s Catholic Culture and Environment Association or ACCA, to listen to her fears. In the highly devout context of Sicily’s Catholic culture, the mother believed she could speak freely to her usual confessor about her growing suspicions and mounting guilt.

Two years later, the Archangel, Piero Alfio Capuana, 76, was taken into custody after a police investigation found what authorities say is credible evidence that he had sexually abused at least six underage girls.

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.

Thousands of Clergy Abuse Records Handed Over to Victims in Buffalo

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

January 12, 2021

The abuse victims, who make up a committee of unsecured creditors in the ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization for the diocese, have also agreed to keep the contents of the records confidential.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Diocese of Buffalo released thousands of clergy abuse documents and related records to abuse victims and their lawyers this week as part of an agreement in ongoing clergy abuse negotiations during its bankruptcy.

According to The Buffalo News, these records were given to victims in exchange for an agreement that pending lawsuits against individual Catholic entities such as parishes or schools are stopped from proceeding.

These abuse victims, who make up a committee of unsecured creditors in the ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization for the diocese, have also agreed to keep the contents of the records confidential.

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 12, 2021

Catholic priest pleads not guilty to rape, assault charges on minor

CAPE COD (MA)
Cape Cod Times

January 11, 2021

By Jessica Hill

The Catholic priest charged with multiple counts of rape pleaded not guilty to all charges Monday during his arraignment in Barnstable Superior Court.

Mark Hession was arraigned on charges including two counts of rape, one count of indecent assault and battery on a child less than 14 and one count of intimidation of a witness. He was released after posting $2,500 cash bail.

Judge Mark Gildea also ordered that Hession’s passport be taken away and that he stay away from the complainant. Hession is due to reappear in court for a pretrial conference on Feb. 24.

Hession, who delivered the homily at the funeral for U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in 2009, was accused of assaulting a child under 14 with the “intent to commit rape and did commit rape upon such person” on multiple occasions between 2005 and 2008 in Barnstable County, according to redacted indictments.

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

Diocese of Charleston faces second lawsuit in a week

CHARLESTON (SC)
WCSC-TV

January 11, 2021

A lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Charleston alleges abuse dating back decades.

The new suit is the second filed against the diocese in a week’s time.

The lawsuit was filed by a man who claims a priest sexually abused him over span of two years in the mid-1970s while the defendant was a student at St. John’s Catholic Church and Cathedral School.

The victim says in the suit he was 13 when he he started to be abused on a weekly basis. He said Frederick Hopwood, a priest, would put his hands down the victim’s pants and molest him.

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.

Alleged church sex abuse victim says George Brignac raped him in 1977

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE-TV

Janury 11, 2021

By Kimberly Curth

Alleged church sex abuse victim says George Brignac raped him in 1977

Brian Manix held on to a secret for 43 years and says it took its toll.

“These people don’t realize what they’ve done to all of us. I’ve gone to drugs, I’ve gone to alcohol, I’ve tried to commit suicide three times,” said Manix.

Manix was an altar boy at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in New Orleans when George Brignac was a deacon.

He says he was just 10-years-old in 1977, when Brignac raped him in City Park.

“Which was my favorite place to hang out and he knew that, that’s where I always fished,” said Manix. ”He tried to rape me a second time again in City Park but this time in his car and I was able to escape and run.”

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.

Government ‘may force religious organisations’ to pay compensation to Mother and Baby Home victims

IRELAND
The Irish Post

January 11, 2021

By Rachael O’Connor

THE VICTIMS of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes may receive compensation for the abuse they suffered behind closed doors.

From the mid-to-late 20th century, unwed mothers in Ireland were sent to special, Catholic-run ‘Mother and Baby Homes’, where some remained for the rest of their lives.

While the cruel, unjust nature of these homes has been known and acknowledged for some time, a new report leaked to the media yesterday revealed some of the most harrowing statistics to date.

The report, seen by The Irish Independent, is due to reveal that an estimated 9,000 children died in the just 18 institutions investigated. That figure represents one in seven or 15% of all children born in homes studied.

These deaths took place across 14 Mother and Baby Homes and four sample State-operated County Homes.

Since the foundation of the State in 1922 up until the closure of the last of these homes in 1998, the commission report found 56,000 mothers passed through these homes and 57,000 children were born within these 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.

Pope Francis Defrocks Maltese Priest Who Sexually Abused 13-Year-Old

MALTA
Lovin’ Malta

January 12, 2021

By Benjamin Abela

Pope Francis has accepted the Conventual Franciscans Order’s request to dismiss Donald Bellizzi, the Maltese priest convicted of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy, iNews Malta reported.

Last November, Bellizzi, a former Burmarrad Franciscan, was sentenced to three years in prison after forcing a minor to masturbate him.

Bellizzi’s offences first began in 2010, when he would invite youths interested in becoming priests on retreats to the Franciscan convent in Burmarrad. Investigations into the case were kicked off after the Curia received reports of the 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.

Mormon bishop, 42, is charged with sending sexually explicit messages to a child after he was allegedly caught ‘lying about his age on Pinterest’

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail Australia

January 12, 2021

By Daniel Piotrowski

– Nicolas Pierre Faivre, 42, is charged over alleged sexually explicit conversations
– Faivre was a bishop at the Church of Latter Day Saints in Blue Mountains
– The offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment
– Faivre was refused bail during an appearance at Penrith Local Court on Tuesday

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9137059/Nicolas-Pierre-Faivre-charged-alleged-sexually-explicit-messages-child.html

A Mormon bishop has been charged with allegedly sending sexually explicit messages to a child after a tip off about his Pinterest account.

Nicholas Pierre Faivre, the former bishop of the Leura Ward of the Church of Latter Day Saints, had his Blue Mountains home raided by the Federal Police on Monday.

Detectives seized a mobile phone and two tablet computers and charged Faivre, 42, with two counts of ‘transmit indecent communications’ to a minor.

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.

Father Bill Lombardy accused of sexual abuse by former altar boys: suit

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Post

January 11, 2021

By Priscilla DeGregory

One-time priest and chess grandmaster Father Bill Lombardy — who was portrayed by actor Peter Sarsgaard in a movie about famed chess player Bobby Fischer — has been accused of sexually abusing two altar boys in a new lawsuit.

The now-deceased Lombardy — whose training of Fischer was depicted in the 2014 movie called “Pawn Sacrifice” — is accused in a Bronx Supreme Court lawsuit from last week of sexually assaulting two students in the 1960s, when he taught at St. Mary’s School in the Bronx.

Lombardy trained Fischer — whose character in the movie was played by Tobey Maguire — from age 11 through his historic win against Soviet Boris Spassky in the chess world championship in Iceland in 1972.

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.

Suit Alleges Sexual Abuse at Point Retreat

CAPE MAY (NJ)
Cape May County Herald

January 11, 2021

By Bill Barlow

A New York state woman filed a lawsuit alleging she endured abuse by clergy members while staying at the Marianist Center, on Yale Road, in Cape May Point.

For over 50 years, the Marianist Family Retreat Center, on the corner of Yale and Cape avenues, in Cape May Point, has been the site of contemplation, celebration and prayer for the faithful.

One woman alleges that in summer 1974, it was a site of horror and violation that still hurts decades later.

At the time, she was 14 years old and a volunteer camp counselor, according to a complaint filed in Superior Court Jan. 6. Identified in the court documents as Jane Doe RP, she filed a suit against the center and the Marianist Province of the United States, alleging that she faced repeated sexual abuse from two clergy members.

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

Report to reveal scale of abuse at Ireland’s mother and baby homes

IRELAND
The Guardian

January 12, 2021

By Rory Carroll

Results of investigation expected to tell how 9,000 children died in 18 institutions between 1922 and 1998

The grim history of a network of religious institutions in Ireland that abused and shamed unmarried mothers and their children for much of the 20th century is to be laid bare.

A judicial commission of investigation into Ireland’s mother and baby homes has documented shocking death rates and callousness in institutions that doubled as orphanages and adoption agencies.

The mother and baby homes commission is to share a 3,000-page report with survivors of the system on Tuesday. Its five-year investigation was prompted by the discovery of a mass grave of babies and children in Tuam, County Galway.

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.

Ireland to lay bare scandal of baby deaths at Church-run homes

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Reuters

January 11, 2021

By Padraic Halpin

An Irish inquiry into alarming death rates among newborns at church-run homes for unwed mothers will hand down its final report on Tuesday, laying bare one of the Catholic Church’s darkest chapters and leading to demands for state compensation.

The Church’s reputation in Ireland has been shattered by a series of scandals over paedophile priests, abuse at workhouses, forced adoptions of illegitimate babies and other painful issues.

Pope Francis begged forgiveness for the scandals during the first papal visit to the country in almost four decades in 2018.

The remains of 802 children, from newborns to three-year-olds, were buried between 1925 and 1961 in just one of the so-called Mother and Baby Homes, a 2017 interim report found.

Then-Prime Minister Enda Kenny described the burial site at Tuam, in the western county of Galway, as a “chamber of horrors”.

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 11, 2021

Confidentiality dispute piles pressure on cardinal accused of mishandling abuse cases

Catholic News Agency

January 10, 2021

German media have criticized the Archdiocese of Cologne for offering to provide a “background briefing” to journalists about an unpublished report into clerical sex abuse on condition that they signed a confidentiality form.

Journalists from several media organizations reported that they had refused to sign the form and walked out of the meeting on Jan. 5, which was called to explain issues regarding the report’s methodology.

The archdiocese claimed that the non-disclosure requirement sought to protect the identities of the people referred to in the report. But journalists balked at the suggestion, with one national newspaper citing “a deep-seated distrust” in the wake of recent developments between the diocese and media.

The form would have required journalists not to mention any sexual abuse described in the report, any named perpetrators or people responsible for handling allegations of abuse, as well as any recommendations by the independent report’s authors.

Cologne archdiocese had initially commissioned the Munich law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl to lead an independent investigation into the handling of sex abuse cases. But it decided not to publish the firm’s report, citing what it called “serious methodological deficiencies.”

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

A Mother’s Fight for Justice

NIGERIA
This Day

January 11, 2021

Okon Bassey writes that Mrs. Deborah Okezie, the mother of 11-year-old Don-Davis Archibong, a junior secondary school one student of Deeper Life High School, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, is bent on getting justice after her son was allegedly sexually abused and molested by some senior students

A mother’s love knows no bounds and for Mrs. Deborah Okezie, that love has been sorely tested recently while trying to get justice for her son, 11-year-old Don-Davis Archibong, a Junior Secondary School (JSS) 1 student of Deeper Life High School, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital. She recently took to social media to protest the alleged sexual abuse and molestation of her child by two senior students of the school.

The Deeper Life High School, Uyo is one of the two campuses of the a co-educational secondary school owned and run by the Deeper Life Bible Church, pastored by one of Nigeria’s influential preachers, Pastor Williams Kumuyi.

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

Indian activists welcome retrial in rape-murder case

KERALA (INDIA)
UCA News

January 7, 2021

By Saji Thomas

Protesters say police sabotaged the investigation and did not present evidence before the court

The High Court in southern India’s Kerala state has set aside a trial court’s acquittal of four men accused of the rape and murder of two minor girls three years ago and ordered a retrial.

The court on Jan. 6 also directed the special court functioning under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) law to oversee a reinvestigation of the case.

“We are now hopeful that the girls and their family will get justice,” said Father Augustine Vattoli, a priest of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese who has been leading a campaign demanding justice.

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

January 10, 2021

Trove of Buffalo Diocese abuse records turned over to victims in bankruptcy court

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

January 10, 2021

By Jay Tokasz

https://buffalonews.com/news/local/trove-of-buffalo-diocese-abuse-records-turned-over-to-victims-in-bankruptcy-court/article_a43dd8ce-4e9a-11eb-bb44-93864abd9851.html

Lawyers and survivors of childhood sexual abuse are reviewing more than 25,000 pages of internal Buffalo Diocese documents relating to clergy abuse, diocesan finances and personnel files.

Diocese lawyers began handing over the files in December under the terms of an agreement that they hashed out with abuse survivors who make up the committee of unsecured creditors in the diocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, according to multiple sources.

Whether the general public will be able to examine the confidential records someday remains unclear and likely will be subject to intense negotiations during the bankruptcy proceedings.

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.

Firms cut legal fees by $2K in church bankruptcy ahead of hearing

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

January 10, 2021

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

Firms cut legal fees by $2K in church bankruptcy ahead of hearing

https://www.postguam.com/news/local/firms-cut-legal-fees-by-2k-in-church-bankruptcy-ahead-of-hearing/article_d8a53556-5176-11eb-91bb-03b877ffdddf.html

Two law firms in the Archdiocese of Agana’s two-year-old bankruptcy case reduced their legal fees by $2,162.50, ahead of a court hearing on the latest interim fee applications.

The fourth interim fee applications from law firms now amount to about $478,400.

The archdiocese’s bankruptcy marks its second year this month. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is aimed at reorganizing the church’s finances, and compensating nearly 300 Guam clergy sex abuse survivors while also keeping all Catholic schools and parishes open.

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] Abuse inquiry: we all know the outcome

NEW ZEALAND
Gisborne Herald

January 10, 2021

By Matthew Epsom

We must already know what the New Zealand Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care will reveal about the Catholic Church in New Zealand. That’s because it has been said before, time and time again, across the globe, by many other inquiries into the exact same issue.

Independent inquiries worldwide have already looked into what happened to children, young people and adults at risk in the care of the Catholic Church over past decades. Australia’s Royal Commission, England and Wales’ IICSA Report, the McCarrick Report and Pennsylvania Report in the USA, Ireland’s Murphy Report, and the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child, among others, have all reached the same conclusions — that thousands of cases of clerical and religious child sexual abuse, dating back to the 1950s, were routinely buried by bishops and congregational leaders of the Catholic Church across the globe.

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

Taoiseach to give Dáil apology to those impacted by Mother and Baby Home

IRELAND
The Journal

January 10, 2021

Micheál Martin is to give the apology on behalf of the State and wider society.

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN is to apologise to those who were placed in mother and baby homes in the Dáil next week.

As first reported by the Sunday Independent, the Taoiseach will give the apology on behalf of the State and “wider society” on Wednesday, a government spokesperson has confirmed to TheJournal.ie.

In correspondence sent to survivors’ groups, Minister for Children and Equality Roderic O’Gorman said that he was “deeply angered” to see details of the Mother and Baby Home report leaked to a newspaper.

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.

Fall River Diocese list of clergy accused of sex abuse includes 5 former Wareham priests

FALL RIVER (MA)
Courier Sentinel via Wicked Local

January 9, 2021

By Frank Mulligan

A list of Diocese of Fall River clergy accused of committing sexual abuse of a minor has been published by Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha and includes five priests who had been assigned to St. Patrick’s Church in Wareham, two to St. Margaret’s in Buzzards Bay, and one assigned to St. Rita in Marion.

The priests who had been assigned to St. Patrick’s in Wareham include Mark R. Hession, born in 1958, ordination in 1984, faculties – permission granted to clergy that enables them to practice public ministry within a certain diocese – suspended. He was also assigned to St. Joan of Arc, Orleans; Holy Name, Fall River; St. Mary, New Bedford; Charlton Memorial Hospital, Fall River; St. Joseph, Taunton; Holy Rosary, Fall River; St. Patrick, Falmouth; Our Lady of Victory, Centerville; Our Lady of the Assumption, Osterville; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Seekonk; Holy Family East Taunton. Assignment dates were not listed.

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

Five former St. Patrick’s priests accused of abuse

WAREHAM (MA)
Wareham Week

January 9, 2021

By Chloe Shelford

Five priests who served at St. Patrick’s in Wareham have been accused of sexual abuse, according to a list of 75 accused clergy published on Jan. 7 by the diocese of Fall River.

It is unclear when these priests worked in Wareham, and many served at more than eight churches over their careers.

St. Patrick’s declined to comment for this story.

Several of the priests are facing criminal charges:

Mark Hession has been charged with two counts of rape, one count of indecent assault and battery on a child less than 14, and one count of intimidation of a witness.

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.

Badaun gang rape: Accused priest sent to 10-day judicial custody

UTTAR PRADESH (INDIA)
Hindustan Times

January 9, 2021

Edited by Abhinav Sahay

Priest Narain used to live in the temple premises, where the woman was gang raped and murdered.

The prime accused in the brutal gang rape and murder of a 50-year-old woman on Sunday night in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district was sent to judicial custody till January 18 by a local court on Friday.

The prime accused, a temple priest named Satya Narain (53), was arrested by a police team in a village in Ughaiti area of Badaun on Thursday night. An award of ₹50,000 had earlier been announced for his arrest.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath had also tasked the special task force (STF) to hunt for the prime accused but he was finally arrested by a team of local police.

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.

Over two dozen Attleboro area priests on sex abuse list released by diocese

ATTLEBORO (MA)
Sun Chronicle

January 7, 2021

By David Linton

https://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/local_news/over-two-dozen-attleboro-area-priests-on-sex-abuse-list-released-by-diocese/article_5941d60c-87db-5e5d-83a2-a442b993c477.html

Two dozen priests who served in the Attleboro area were among 75 clergy whose names were released by the Fall River Diocese Thursday as having been credibly or publicly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

“As I pray for a spirit of healing and reconciliation, I know that we cannot move on without an honest accounting of the past,” said Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha in a prepared statement.

“As your bishop, I am deeply and profoundly sorry for the abuse that was perpetrated by priests within this diocese and have recommitted myself to doing everything in my power to ensure this never happens again,” he said.

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

Catholic church pays $2 million to settle local abuse cases

EVERETT (WA)
Heraldnet.com

January 10, 2021

By Caleb Hutton

Two former priests at St. Michael in Snohomish were among four “credibly accused” of molesting children.

The Archdiocese of Seattle has reached over $2 million in settlements in the past six months due to credible allegations of sexual abuse against four Catholic priests in Western Washington, including two former leaders of a parish in Snohomish and one in Everett.

The Rev. Michael C. OBrien led St. Michael Parish from 1974 to 1979.

He was succeeded by the Rev. Dennis Champagne from 1979 to 1999, who then became the priest of St. John Bosco Church in Lakewood. Church leaders put Champagne on leave in 2002, after someone accused him of sexual misconduct.

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

Longtime advocate for community, lightning rod for critics, Pfleger forced to watch others carry on his work

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

January 9, 2021

By Annie Sweeney and William Lee

https://www.bluemountaineagle.com/life/national/longtime-advocate-for-community-lightning-rod-for-critics-pfleger-forced-to-watch-others-carry-on/article_16bee690-cfac-5579-ae92-8ce156c50a74.html

In his years of seemingly relentless advocating and fighting for social justice in Chicago, the Rev. Michael Pfleger has often charged into the center of controversy, publicly defying and rebuking his church and city leaders on everything from gun violence to race and economic disparities.

He has been arrested while protesting outside a suburban gun shop. He ran afoul of his downtown church bosses, earning suspensions. He lost a foster child to gun violence and faced hateful reactions in some Chicago enclaves after standing with victims of police shootings.

Throughout, Pfleger, a Roman Catholic priest from a white working-class neighborhood on Chicago’s Southwest Side, has built trust and amassed a dedicated following, leading with a righteous fury that garnered national attention from his base at St. Sabina in Auburn Gresham, the city’s largest Black Catholic congregation.

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 9, 2021

[Media Statement] Diocese of Camden Submits Plan of Reorganization, Survivors Left in the Cold

NEW JERSEY
SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

January 5, 2021

In the closing hours of 2020, the Diocese of Camden made an outrageous strategic move to protect itself from scrutiny. On New Year’s Eve, Bishop Dennis Sullivan submitted a Plan of Reorganization that prioritizes the protection of the Diocese against scandal over accountability and compensation owed to those harmed by sexually abusive clergy. The plan sets a new low for the Diocese’s self-interest, doubling down on the callousness and contempt for survivors.

This plan will allow the Diocese of Camden to move at an extremely fast pace through their bankruptcy proceedings by setting a “bar date” of March 2021. To us, the fact that the Diocese was allowed to declare bankruptcy in the first place is absurd, and this incredibly swift process to limit claims and protect finances will only harm survivors at the expense of a wealthy institution.

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.

N.J. Catholic diocese has a plan to compensate victims of abuse. Advocates aren’t happy.

NEW JERSEY
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

January 8, 2021

By Blake Nelson

Advocates for people sexually abused by clergy are opposing a plan from a New Jersey Catholic diocese to compensate victims.

The Diocese of Camden announced a proposal on Dec. 31 to speed up the process of setting aside millions of dollars for abuse claims, after the church filed for bankruptcy in October.

“The Diocese wants to continue to pay survivors rather than lawyers and other professional advisers,” the church said in a statement.

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

Alleged church sex abuse survivors say they feel betrayed by joint Archdiocese and SNAP New Orleans statement

NEW ORLEANS
WVUE-TV

By Kimberly Curth

January 8, 2021

https://www.fox8live.com/2021/01/08/alleged-church-sex-abuse-survivors-say-they-feel-betrayed-by-joint-archdiocese-snap-new-orleans-statement/

Alleged church sex abuse victims tell Fox 8 they feel betrayed by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest, or SNAP, after one of the group’s leaders met with the New Orleans Archbishop.

SNAP’s Kevin Bourgeois and Archbishop Gregory Aymond released a joint statement this week saying while the two groups have appeared at odds over how the Archdiocese has handled sexual abuse claims by clergy in the past, they have common goals for healing victims and their families.

“What Mr. Bourgeois and I are doing together is for the good of people and for the healing of those who have been hurt and once again I deeply apologize to those who have been hurt by the sexual abuse of minors,” said Aymond.

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

Retired Dutch priest, accused of abusing 2 New Orleans boys decades ago, denies wrongdoing

NEW ORLEANS
WWL-TV

By David Hammer

January 8, 2021

Faced with a formal church investigation into allegations that he sexually abused a New Orleans altar boy in the mid-1970s, the Rev. Father Joseph deWater denies wrongdoing and suggests his accuser should not “dwell on things when he was a young boy.”

DeWater, who capped a 35-year career in the New Orleans area as a pastor, coach and educator by having a Roman Catholic school gymnasium named for him in 2003, granted WWL television an extensive interview at his home in the village of Voorhout, Netherlands, about 35 minutes south of the Dutch capital of Amsterdam.

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 Easton priests among 75 clergy credibly or publicly accused in Fall River Diocese

FALL RIVER
Standard-Times

January 9, 2021

By Kiernan Dunlop

https://www.enterprisenews.com/story/lifestyle/faith/2021/01/08/fall-river-diocese-releases-list-clergy-credibly-accused-sex-abuse-easton-immaculate-conception/6593393002/

Two years after announcing a review of allegations of sexual abuse against minors, the Diocese of Fall River on Thursday released a list of 75 clergy credibly or publicly accused, including two former Easton priests.

“As I pray for a spirit of healing and reconciliation, I know that we cannot move on without an honest accounting for the past,” Bishop Edgar M da Cunha said in a press release from the diocese. “As your bishop, I am deeply and profoundly sorry for the abuse that was perpetrated by priests within this diocese and have recommitted myself to do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again.”

Diocese of Fall River Bishop Edgar M. DaCunha announced Thursday the release of a list of 75 clergy credibly or publicly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

Jim Scanlan, a survivor of clergy sexual abuse that occurred during his time at Boston College High School, said it’s never a bad thing to have a list 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.

Former Bishop Stang priest among those credibly accused of sexual abuse

DARTMOUTH (MA)
Dartmouth Week

January 8, 2021

By Kate Robinson

A Catholic priest who once worked at Bishop Stang High School is among those credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor in a list of 75 accused clergy published on Jan. 7 by the diocese of Fall River.

Father William W. Norton, who died in 2004, is one of 53 priests, seminarians, and other religious leaders against whom allegations of sexual abuse is considered considered “credible” by the diocese.

According to a diocese statement, credible allegations are those that meet a “semblance of truth” standard similar to that of probable cause (in which there is a reasonable basis for believing a crime was committed).

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 diocese releases names of credibly accused priests

FALL RIVER (MA)
Associated Press

January 8, 2021

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River in Massachusetts has released a list of 75 clergy credibly or publicly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

More than three-quarters of the names released by the diocese Thursday have already been made public through previous announcements from the church, media reports, or other means, according to a statement.

There are currently no priests in ministry who have been credibly accused.

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.

Sr Abhaya case: Kerala Catholic Bishops Council claims CBI did not prove charges

KERALA (INDIA)
The News Minute

January 9, 2021

The KCBC said that all the verdict did was to satisfy falsely created public opinion.

Weeks after a CBI court in Thiruvananthapuram convicted Father Kottoor and Sister Sephy, an editorial on KCBC News, the newly launched website of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) claimed that the investigating agency could not prove charges against the accused. Sr Sephy and Father Kottoor were found guilty in December after 28 years under Sections 302 (Murder) and Section 449 (House-trespass in order to commit offence punishable with death) of the Indian Penal Code, and have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

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.

Mother and baby homes: another chapter from dark side of 20th-century Ireland

IRELAND
Irish Times

January 9, 2021

By Patsy McGarry

Commission set to publish final report on outrageous abuse of women and children

It is probable that the most shocking revelations from the report from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission investigation, due to be published next week, are already known to us.

In its fifth interim report, published in April 2019, it confirmed that at Tuam “the memorial garden site contains human remains which date from the period of the operation of the Tuam children’s home so it is likely that a large number of the children who died in the Tuam home are buried there”. Local historian Catherine Corless had established that 796 children died there.

That interim report continued: “The human remains found by the commission are not in a sewage tank but in a second structure with 20 chambers which was built within the decommissioned large sewage tank.”

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.

[Media Statement] Supporters of Popular Priest Accused of Abuse Demonstrate Publicly, Likely Scaring and Shaming Victims into Silence

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

January 7, 2021

Supporters of a popular and prominent Catholic priest in Chicago took to the streets to show their support for the accused cleric. While we understand that these supporters have a right to their opinion, we hope that in the future they will utilize alternative means of support that will not scare or shame victims into silence.

One of the things being harped on by the supporters of Fr. Michael Pfleger is that the allegations of abuse against him are from 40 years ago. To those who do not spend a lot of time thinking about sexual violence, this delay in reporting can seem baffling, but in reality delays like this are incredibly common. Data shows that the average age of a survivor of sexual violence to come forward is 52 and most survivors suffer in silence and self-blame for decades. This fact is only compounded when the abuser in question is someone who holds a prominent position in their community, like a valued coach, popular teacher, or trusted priest.

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

[Opinion] As ‘Father Mike’ faces an abuse allegation, supporters rally to defend famed priest

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

January 8, 2021

By Mary Mitchell

A decades-old sexual abuse allegation against the Rev. Michael Pfleger has taken away one of Chicago’s most powerful voices.

Forty years is a lifetime.

I look back at where I was 40 years ago, and, while I marvel at how far I have come, I cringe when I consider where I have come from.

These are the thoughts that crossed my mind when I learned the Chicago Archdiocese announced there would be an investigation of an allegation that accused the Rev. Michael Pfleger of sexually abusing a minor four decades ago. It was a gut punch.

Father Mike? How is that even possible? The activist priest is as famous as a rock star. His civil rights activism includes turning St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church into a sanctuary for Black Roman Catholics and residents of Auburn-Gresham.

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.

Sociologist and criminologist to produce police-style ‘social network analysis’ of clerical crime across the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
Newcastle Herald

January 9, 2021

By Ian Kirkwood

https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/7079148/new-study-to-produce-abuse-map-by-tracking-moves-of-catholic-figures-across-hunter-region/?cs=7573&utm_source=website&utm_medium=index&utm_campaign=sidebar

A Newcastle University academic and a colleague from Queensland are embarking on a Hunter version of a research project that analysed the movements of Catholic figures around Victoria to uncover an alleged 16 child abuse networks within the Melbourne and Ballarat dioceses.

Newcastle sociologist Dr Kathleen McPhillips and criminologist Dr Jodi Death of the Queensland University of Technology’s law faculty will lead the project, which recently received ethics approval from both institutions. Both Dr McPhillips and Dr Death (pronounced “Deeth”), have published widely on clerical child abuse.

The Melbourne mapping was carried out by one of Dr Death’s PhD students and drew on her work, including a 2017 book on the Royal Commission and other Australian inquiries.

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.

Campaigner resigns over victims’ compensation

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

January 9, 2021

By Lauren Harte

A campaigner for victims of institutional abuse has resigned in disgust after some victims were offered as little as £10,000 in compensation.

Martin Adams, from Survivors Together, says many victims of historical abuse have lost all faith in the redress board that was part of the late Sir Anthony Hart’s Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry recommendations.

The HIA studied allegations of abuse in 22 homes and other residential institutions between 1922 and 1995.

There were 76 homes that operated during that time and abuse victims from all of them would be eligible to apply for compensation.

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 principal of Wildomar’s Faith Baptist Academy pleads guilty to molesting teen in 1990

SAN BERNARDINO (CA)
San Bernardino Sun via the Press-Enterprise

January 8, 2021

By Joe Nelson
.
The former principal of Wildomar’s Faith Baptist Academy pleaded guilty Friday, Jan. 8, to molesting a teenage student who babysat for his family more than 30 years ago.

Laverne Paul Fox, 61, who also formerly served as the bus director for the affiliated Faith Baptist Church, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of sexual abuse involving a minor before Judge Mark Mandio at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta. Fox is scheduled for sentencing on April 30, and faces a maximum of four years, eight months in prison, said John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

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

January 8, 2021

‘No sin’ – former New Orleans priest says he befriended accuser, denies sex abuse

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL-TV

January 8, 2021

By David Hammer

In a remarkably candid interview from his native Holland, Father Joseph de Water took questions from WWL-TV about accusations that he abused a young boy years ago.

Faced with a formal church investigation into allegations that he sexually abused a minor in the mid-1970s, Father Joseph deWater is denying wrongdoing and suggests his accuser should not “dwell on things when he was a young boy.”

DeWater, who capped a 35-year career in the New Orleans area as a pastor, coach and educator by having a Catholic school gymnasium named for him in 2003, granted WWL-TV an extensive interview at his home in the village of Voorhout, Netherlands, about 35 minutes south of the Dutch capital of Amsterdam.

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.

Texas diocese asks state Supreme Court to drop accused deacon’s defamation suit

LUBBOCK (TX)
CNA

January 8, 2021

The Catholic Diocese of Lubbock, Texas has asked its state Supreme Court to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought against the diocese by one of its former deacons, who claims he was wrongfully accused of child abuse.

The diocese holds that the suit should be dropped in order to protect the Church’s First Amendment rights to protect matters of theology, Church discipline, compliance with Church moral teaching and ecclesiastical governance from the jurisdiction of civil courts, according to Courthouse News Service.

In 2019, former deacon Jesus Guerrero, 76, filed a lawsuit against the diocese, after his name appeared on a public list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The list was published on the diocese’s website in January 2019 in the wake of widespread abuse investigations throughout the Church in the United States.

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

The One Missing Fact

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal Magazine

January 7, 2021

By Paul Moses

How EWTN misreported the Viganò letter

EWTN’s website declares that “Our mission is simple. We aim to bring you reliable, accurate, trustworthy news, from a perspective of faith. We prize integrity, fairness, and a commitment to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

But in reporting one of the biggest stories to hit the Catholic Church in recent years, EWTN, which says it is the largest religion-news organization in the world, was neither reliable, nor accurate, nor trustworthy. Its coverage of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s bold call for Pope Francis to resign his office willfully ignored the gaps and contradictions in his claims (except to explain them away), promoted his credibility, and slanted the narrative against the pope.

This can be seen even more clearly now that the Vatican has released its report on the Holy See’s role in advancing the career of Theodore McCarrick to his pinnacle as cardinal-archbishop of Washington and elder statesman of the American Church—all the while concealing multiple allegations that he sexually harassed and abused seminarians and young priests. But from the start, EWTN shaped the story to fit its increasingly Fox News-ified agenda.

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.

Malta archdiocese condemns charismatic group accused of abuse

ROME
Crux

January 8, 2021

By Elise Ann Allen

Following a 5-month investigation into the charismatic Community of Jesus the Savior, the Archdiocese of Malta has issued a decree forbidding participation in the group after finding what it described as abusive tendencies causing harm to members.

In a Jan. 8 communique, the bishops’ conference of Malta, consisting of the Malta and Gozo dioceses, said they “reaffirm the decision to disassociate themselves from Komunità Ġesù Salvatur,” referring to the group by its Maltese name.

They said this decision was the product of a 5-month investigation conducted by a Church commission which conducted interviews with the leaders of the community, and others who were willing to speak.

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.

Clergy Sex Abuse Defamation Case Reaches Texas Supreme Court

LUBBOCK (TX)
The Texan

January 7, 2021

By Isaiah Mitchell

The Diocese of Lubbock defended their choice to publish the name of a credibly accused sex abuser yesterday before the court.

A priest and a lawyer crossed through a bar — in court, that is. Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Texas heard a case between a Lubbock deacon who claimed his diocese defamed him by putting him on a list of credibly accused sex abusers. The Lubbock Diocese believes a ruling in the deacon’s favor would set a precedent against the freedom of churches to discipline their clergy in the manner they see fit.

The case, Diocese of Lubbock v. Guerrero, begins with a sexual incident between deacon Jesus Guerrero and an adult woman that landed him on a list of credibly accused abusers. The Diocese of Lubbock originally labeled him among “Clergy with a Credible Allegation of Sexual Abuse of a Minor,” but later corrected themselves to include “vulnerable adults” alongside children.

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

Springfield Diocese hires ‘neutral’ agency to gather input from sex abuse victims to improve accountability, prevention

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

January 7, 2021

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

A Deerfield-based organization contracted by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield is seeking help from clergy sexual abuse survivors as it develops recommendations for the diocese to improve prevention and accountability.

The announcement that recruitment of survivors who were sexually abused by Catholic priests, sisters and other members of the church community is underway by Stop It Now! for an independent report to the diocese was made during a press conference Thursday afternoon outside the Bishop Marshall Center on Elliot Street.

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.

Taskforce announces initiative in response to sexual abuse within Diocese of Springfield

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
WWLP

January 7, 2021

By Hector Molina

An independent task force announced an initiative on the response to sexual abuse within the Diocese of Springfield.

Bishop William Byrne joined members of the independent task force along with representatives from the Stop It Now! organization Thursday at 2:30 p.m. outside the Bishop Marshall Center on Elliot Street in Springfield.

According to a news release sent to 22News from the Diocese of Springfield, the news conference is about an initiative to conduct listening sessions and surveying those who were sexually abused by members of the Catholic clergy.

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

Australia’s financial crime watchdog conducts ‘detailed review’ of Vatican transfers

VATICAN CITY
CNA

January 7, 2021

Australia’s financial crime watchdog said Thursday that it is conducting a “detailed review” of Vatican-linked transfers worth $1.8 billion.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), a government agency, said Jan. 7 that it was seeking to shed light on the mystery transfers in cooperation with the Vatican.

“AUSTRAC is currently undertaking a detailed review of the figures and is working with the Holy See and Vatican City State Financial Intelligence Unit on this matter,” the agency said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Reports of a money transfer from the Vatican to Australia date back to Oct. 2, when Italian media claimed that an alleged transfer was part of a dossier being compiled by Vatican investigators and prosecutors against Cardinal Angelo Becciu.

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.

Comunicado Oficial da Arquidiocese de Belém

[MEDIA STATEMENT] Official Communiqué of the Archdiocese of Belém

BELÉM (BRAZIL)
Archdiocese of Belém

January 3, 2021

A Arquidiocese de Belém reitera ao povo de Deus, com transparência e serenidade, que está acompanhando as investigações em curso, com a certeza e a confiança de que, ao final, prevalecerá a verdade.

Informa ainda que, devido ao sigilo imposto e em respeito às leis, não pode divulgar mais informações.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: The Archdiocese of Belém reiterates to the people of God, with transparency and serenity, who are following the investigations underway, with the certainty and confidence that, in the end, the truth will prevail.

He also informs that, due to the secrecy imposed and in compliance with the laws, he cannot disclose more information.]

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.

[Media Statement] Diocesan Response to the Sexual Abuse Crisis

FALL RIVER (MA)
Diocese of Fall River

January 7, 2021

Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V.

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we begin this New Year, I pray that God will bless us all with His grace and bring peace to those in our community who have suffered greatly during the pandemic and the many other challenges we have all faced in 2020.

The scourge of clergy sexual abuse has deeply wounded so many people in our Church. It has touched every diocese worldwide and continues to affect us all – laity and clergy – in significant ways. Today, it is with a contrite heart and commitment to the healing process that I have published a list of clergy, diocesan and religious related to the Diocese of Fall River who have been credibly or publicly accused of committing sexual abuse of a minor.

The review of Diocesan records, some going back 70 years, was incredibly arduous and time consuming. While this review has taken longer than first anticipated, it was crucial that we took the time needed to do it right.

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.

Activist Chicago Priest Is Accused of Sexual Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
The New York Times

January 7, 2021

By Allyson Waller and Marie Fazio

The Rev. Michael Pfleger, known for his social activism, was accused of abusing a minor 40 years ago, the Archdiocese of Chicago said this week.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger, an influential Catholic priest with an activist streak, has stepped aside from his parish on Chicago’s South Side while the authorities and the Archdiocese of Chicago investigate an allegation that he sexually abused a minor more than 40 years ago.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, told the parishioners of St. Sabina Church, where Father Pfleger is the senior pastor, about the allegation in a letter on Tuesday, saying that the archdiocese’s Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review had been notified about it the day before.

The archdiocese, he said, reported it to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The archdiocese did not disclose details of the accusation against Father Pfleger, nor did the state’s attorney’s office, which said it had referred the matter to the Chicago Police Department. The Police Department said it had opened an investigation but declined to release additional information.

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.

[Media Statement] Archdiocese Settles Three Abuse Cases from 1960s, ’70s and ’80s

SEATTLE (WA)
Archdiocese of Seattle via Northwest Catholic

January 7, 2021

The Archdiocese of Seattle has reached settlements totaling just over $2 million in three separate cases involving allegations of sexual abuse against four priests of the archdiocese.

During the past six months, settlements were reached in the following cases:

Allegations of sexual abuse by Father Dennis Champagne and Father Michael C. OBrien at St. Michael Parish in Snohomish in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The settlement was reached July 16, 2020. Champagne, who was pastor from 1979 until 1999, was put on administrative leave in 2002 after the archdiocese received an allegation of sexual abuse. He remained on administrative leave until a canonical process was completed, then was placed on permanent prayer and penance, removing him from ministry. OBrien was St. Michael’s pastor from 1974 to 1979. After the archdiocese received a credible complaint of sexual abuse, a canonical process was completed, and in 2010 OBrien was laicized (returned to the lay state).

An allegation of sexual abuse by Father Paul Conn, who served as parochial vicar at Queen of Angels Parish in Port Angeles from 1985 to 1988. In 1988, the archdiocese learned of the sexual abuse allegations and facilitated a report to the police. Conn was arrested and charged, pled guilty to six counts of indecent liberties and served time in prison. From the time of his arrest until 2005, he was not allowed to serve as a priest, and in 2005 he was laicized. The archdiocese reached a settlement in the case on November 19, 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.

[Media Statement] Diocese of Fall River MA Finally Releases List of Accused Priests

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

January 7, 2021

Finally, after years of refusal, Catholic officials in Fall River have followed the lead of nearly 160 other dioceses around the country and released a list of priests known to have abused children. This step is long overdue and must be followed by extensive outreach campaigns to ensure victims are informed, parishes are alerted, and the public can learn the true scope of clergy abuse within Fall River’s borders.

We appreciate that Diocesan leaders in Fall River went a step further than many of their counterparts and chose to list, from the outset, religious order priests and clergy who spent time in Fall River but abused elsewhere. Hair splitting over who had jurisdiction over these clerics is not valuable when it comes to informing the public about dangerous men, an exhaustive list of abusers and their information is.

One critical piece of information that is missing from this list, however, is when Catholic officials first learned of the allegations against each priest and what steps were taken in response. We hope that Bishop Edgar da Cunha will update his list to include those critical details. In order to fix what is broken one needs to have all the pieces first, and a clear look at how Diocesan leaders handled each allegation is an important piece.

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.

Fall River Diocese releases names of clergy accused of abuse

FALL RIVER (MA)
WJAR-TV

January 7, 2021

By Amanda Hoskins

The Diocese of Fall River released the names of 75 credibly or publicly accused of sexually abusing a minor Thursday after a long review of internal records.

Some of the records and accusations date back 70 years, with most cases involving conduct that happened between the 1960s and 1980, according to a release from the diocese.

“We did it for the victims, the survivors to bring a sense of justice and healing for them,” said Bishop Edgar da Cunha.

Cunha had been criticized in the past for not releasing the list sooner.

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.

After two-year review, Fall River Diocese releases list of clergy credibly accused of abuse

FALL RIVER (MA)
The Standard-Times

January 7, 2021

Two years after announcing a review of allegations of sexual abuse against minors, the Diocese of Fall River on Thursday released a list of 75 clergy credibly or publicly accused.

“As I pray for a spirit of healing and reconciliation, I know that we cannot move on without an honest accounting for the past,” Bishop Edgar M da Cunha said in a press release from the diocese. “As your bishop, I am deeply and profoundly sorry for the abuse that was perpetrated by priests within this diocese and have recommitted myself to do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again.”

The diocese’s review revealed that 44 of the 650 priests who have served as a Fall River Diocesan priest since the diocese’s founding in 1904, or roughly 7%, have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

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

Priests and abuse victims call for Woelki to step down

GERMANY
The Tablet

January 5, 2021

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

In the escalating crisis that is reverberating across the German Church several priests in the archdiocese of Cologne have called for their archbishop, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, to resign.

Woelki is accused of failing to inform the Vatican about a serious sexual abuse allegation involving a priest after he took office as Archbishop of Cologne in 2014.

In a carefully worded Christmas Eve address Woelki did not apologise for the fact that he himself – as the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” alleged in mid-December – is supposed to have covered up for a suspected child molester.

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.

UP: Temple priest, aides charged with rape-murder of woman

UTTAR PRADESH (INDIA)
Hindustan Times

January 7, 2021

Police arrested the two accomplices, Jai Pal alias Jaspal and Vedram Pal, under charges of gang rape and murder on Tuesday but the main accused, Satyaveer alias Satya Narayan , is still on the run, said Badaun special superintendent of police Sankalp Sharma.

A temple priest and two accomplices allegedly gang-raped a 50-year-old anganwadi worker, fractured her leg and ribcage, before leaving her bleeding to die in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district, state police said on Wednesday.

Police arrested the two accomplices, Jai Pal alias Jaspal and Vedram Pal, under charges of gang rape and murder on Tuesday but the main accused, Satyaveer alias Satya Narayan , is still on the run, said Badaun special superintendent of police Sankalp Sharma. The crime was allegedly committed on Sunday when the woman went to the local temple, said the victim’s family members in the police complaint

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

Reportagem da TV Globo expõe supostos abusos cometidos por Dom Alberto Taveira

[TV Globo’s ‘Fantástico’ report exposes alleged abuses by Dom Alberto Taveira]

BRAZIL
OLiberal.com

January 3, 2021

By Ana Carolina Matos

Matéria televisiva traz novos detalhes e relatos sobre as denúncias contra o Arcebispo Metropolitano de Belém

[Television piece brings new details and reports on allegations against the Metropolitan Archbishop of Belém]

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.

“Não sei por que aceitei ser submetido a tudo isso. Você fica fragilizado, preso àquilo”, diz ex-seminarista vítima de abuso sexual

[“I don’t know why I accepted being subjected to all of this. You are fragile, stuck to that ”, says ex-seminarian victim of sexual abuse]

BRAZIL
El Pais

December 21, 2020

By Aiuri Rebello

Ex-seminarista diz que foi chantageado para aceitar abuso sexual do qual afirma ter sido vítima por parte do arcebispo metropolitano de Belém

[Ex-seminarian says he was blackmailed to accept sexual abuse of which he claims to have been a victim by the metropolitan archbishop of Belém]

https://brasil.elpais.com/brasil/2020-12-20/nao-sei-por-que-aceitei-ser-submetido-a-tudo-isso-e-uma-construcao-voce-fica-muito-fragilizado-preso-aquilo.html?rel=listapoyo

No relato abaixo, um dos quatro ex-seminaristas que fez a denúncia ao MP e às autoridades eclesiásticas, hoje um estudante universitário de 26 anos, conta sua história e fala sobre a relação com a Igreja Católica, sua religiosidade e sobre o assédio e abuso sexual do qual afirma ter sido vítima por parte do arcebispo metropolitano de Belém, dom Alberto Taveira Corrêa.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: In the report below, one of the four ex-seminarians who made the complaint to the MP and ecclesiastical authorities , today a 26-year-old university student, tells his story and talks about his relationship with the Catholic Church , his religiosity and about harassment and abuse of which he claims to have been the victim of the metropolitan archbishop of Belém , Dom Alberto Taveira Corrêa.]

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

Archbishop Aymond and his fiercest critic make peace, pledge to collaborate on priest abuse crisis

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
NOLA.com

January 6, 2021

By Ramon Antonio Vargas, NOLA.com, and David Hammer, WWL-TV

New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond and one of the local Catholic Church’s most vocal critics announced a detente Wednesday, pledging to ensure justice for victims of sexual molestation by clergy and to collaborate on preventing further abuse.

Local SNAP chapter leader Kevin Bourgeois, left, and Archbishop Gregory Aymond announced on Jan. 6, 2021, that they would collaborate on resolving the local Catholic Church’s ongoing clerical molestation scandal. This photo was taken during a meeting on Dec. 15, 2020, which preceded their joint pledge to work together.

In a joint statement from Aymond and Kevin Bourgeois, the leader of the New Orleans chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the two sides said they would create “a program for healing for victims of abuse” aimed at “rebuilding trust between them and the church.”

“Though we may have different ideas and methods, we have common goals: healing for victims, their families and prevention of abuse,” the statement from both men said. “Let us be clear: clergy sexual abuse is a scandal, it is a sin, and it cannot be tolerated.”

The release didn’t provide information on any specific plans or initiatives. Still, it marked a notable thawing of relations between two men who had been clashing publicly for nearly 18 months.

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 7, 2021

After abuse accusation, Fr. Michael Pfleger says he’s ‘devastated, hurt, angry’

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic News Agency

January 6, 2021

Father Michael Pfleger, an outspoken activist Chicago priest, has issued a short response after the Archdiocese of Chicago announced it is investigating an allegation that he sexually abused a minor over 40 years ago.

“I am devastated, hurt and yes angry, but I am first, a person of faith, I trust God,” Pfleger said on his Facebook page Jan. 6. “Please keep me in prayer and the faith community of St. Sabina. I have been asked by the diocese not to speak out at this time. I am blessed with good leadership and amazing members, whom I love.”

Referring to the person who made the allegation, Pfleger said “Pray also for the person, my life is more than a 40-year-old accusation, and on that and my faith I will stand… The Lord is my Shepherd… I love you…”

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

Police to arraign Deeper Life school officials over alleged sexual abuse

AKWA IBOM STATE (NIGERIA)
Premium Times

January 6, 2021

By Cletus Ukpong

Some officials of the Deeper Life High School have been detained by the police.

The police in Akwa Ibom State are preparing to arraign some officials of the Deeper Life High School over the alleged sexual abuse of an 11-year-old student of the school in Uyo.

Some officials of the school were said to have been detained after attending a meeting at the police headquarters, Uyo, summoned by the Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

David Okokon, lawyer to the parents of the boy said to have been sexually abused by two senior students of the Deeper Life High School, told PREMIUM TIMES, Wednesday morning, he would be in court today for the arraignment.

“They (the police) are arraigning those people found culpable, this morning,” said Mr Okokon who flew into Uyo from Abuja for the case.

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.

[Media Statement] Statement of Attorney Jeff Anderson

ST. PAUL (MN)
Jeff Anderson & Associates (plaintiffs’ law firm)

January 6, 2021

For decades, Reverend Michael Pfleger has earned the praise of peers, parishioners and community members alike, particularly in his role as a prominent priest and advocate in the Archdiocese of Chicago. That is undeniable. And because of this, many in the community have immediately rallied in support of him, decrying the actions of the Archdiocese and protesting his administrative removal pending investigation of sexual abuse allegations naming him as perpetrator.

It’s time for understanding and data gathering; understanding of the dynamics of childhood sexual abuse by an authority figure. When that authority figure is a priest, the child is unable to process what has happened to them, to report it, or take any action. If they do, it is often decades later. This level of understanding requires all of us to realize it takes time for these things to come to the surface and be reported. As advocates for and attorneys of survivors of sexual abuse for four decades, working with thousands of survivors in the Chicagoland area and across this country, we understand the dynamics of childhood sexual abuse by clergy.

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

2021 brings new challenges to Church in Latin America

Angelus News

January 5, 2021

By Inés San Martín | Crux Now

There was no “bang” when most of Latin America rang in the New Year due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, but in Venezuela, Mexico, and Brazil, 2021 brought “new” concerns. …

***

Brazil, a bishop under investigation for abuse

Archbishop Alberto Taveira Correa, from the Brazilian city of Belem do Para, is under investigation both by local police and the Vatican, for alleged sexual abuse against four seminarians who were between 15 and 18 when the abuse reportedly happened, between 2010 and 2014.

The prelate is being investigated after a journalistic investigation by the Brazilian news site G1. The website interviewed all four alleged victims.

According to one of the accusers, the abuse took place every three months, during a span of two years. Three out of the four alleged victims ended up leaving the seminary, while the fourth was expelled for disciplinary reasons.

After the report, the Vatican dispatched a delegation to investigate the case. The archdiocese released a statement in which it “reiterates to the people of God, with transparency and serenity, that the investigations are ongoing, with the certainty and confidence that, in the end, truth will prevail.”

In the meantime, the archbishop is still in his position, denying all allegations and calling them the “action of the devil.”

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

Archdiocese of New Orleans, SNAP meet for first time in attempts to unify for abuse victims

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WDSU-TV

January 6, 2021

For the first time, two organizations who have been at odds amid a growing list of victims of sexual assault at the hands of Catholic clergy have come together.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans and New Orleans-area advocate SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) have had a strained relationship ever since the list of accused priests started.

Both organizations issued the following statement saying that first steps were taken to work together for victims:

“For the past 18 months, the Archdiocese of New Orleans and local SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) leadership have appeared at odds, often publicly and in the media, over how the archdiocese has handled claims of sexual abuse by clergy.

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

Reporters storm out of press conference after Catholic officials ask for silence on child abuse report

GERMANY
Independent

January 6, 2021

By Andy Gregory

Cardinal who commissioned report and sat on it for months faces calls to resign

Journalists have stormed out of a press conference in Germany after Catholic Church officials asked for their “absolute silence” on a long-awaited report into child sex abuse.

A vast and comprehensive report investigating decades of alleged sexual abuse of young people at the hands of clerics and the resulting institutional cover-up in the Archdiocese of Cologne – the world’s wealthiest Catholic diocese, and Germany’s largest – had been pledged back in 2018 by Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki.

But Cardinal Woelki, who is also accused of failing to notify the Vatican about alleged abuse by a now-deceased priest known as Father O and faces calls to resign from fellow priests and abuse victims, has been withholding the report since its completion in March.

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.

Germany: Catholic officials ask reporters for ‘silence’ on child abuse report

COLOGNE (GERMANY)
Deutsche Welle

January 5, 2021

Reporters walked out of a press event in Cologne after church officials asked them to sign a confidentiality agreement. The officials were due to discuss issues around a key report on child abuse. Journalists were asked to keep the contents of the report a “secret”

With the Catholic Church shaken by the child abuse scandal in Germany, journalists walked out of a press event organized by church representatives on Tuesday.

The Archdiocese of Cologne had called for a press conference to discuss an unpublished child abuse report. Specifically, church officials were to explain issues regarding the report’s methodology. These issues, at least according to Cologne Archbishop Reiner Maria Woelki, were the reason for withholding the document from the public in its current form.

Church representatives said they would show journalists a redacted version of the document. They also asked reporters to sign a pledge to keep the contents “secret,” including information on crimes, alleged perpetrators and implicated church officia

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.

Indonesian church worker jailed for molesting altar boys

JAKARTA (INDONESIA)
UCA News

January 7, 2021

By Ryan Dagur

Syahril Marbun handed 15 years following first sexual abuse trial in a civil court involving Indonesian Catholic Church

A church worker in Indonesia has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually assaulting altar boys following the first-ever sexual abuse trial in a civil court involving the Indonesian Catholic Church.

Depok District Court in West Java convicted Syahril Marbun on Jan. 6 for abusing two altar boys at St. Herkulanus Parish in Depok in Bogor Diocese, where he served as liturgical coordinator.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of 200 million rupiah (US$14,360) and to compensate the two victims, aged 14 and 15, with 6.5 million and 11.5 million rupiah respectively.

The sentence was harsher than the 11 years demanded by prosecutors. The judge said it was because Marbun abused his position as an educator and guide to the boys.

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

As archdiocese’s safe environment deputy takes national AMBER Alert role, former St. Paul Police community affairs chief steps in

ST. PAUL (MN)
The Catholic Spirit

January 6, 2021

By Dave Hrbacek

As archdiocese’s safe environment deputy takes national AMBER Alert role, former St. Paul Police community affairs chief steps in

Janell Rasmussen remembers a press conference held by Ramsey County Attorney John Choi several years ago. As the deputy director of the Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment, she stood on one side of Choi’s podium with other representatives of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to address clergy sexual abuse.

On the opposite side stood law enforcement officers. Among them was Paul Iovino of the St. Paul Police Department. Little did Rasmussen and Iovino know then that they would someday work on the same team.

Thanks to some big moves in December, they will now serve together in the Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment. Rasmussen is leaving her full-time position but staying on part time, while Iovino comes in as her replacement. Rasmussen, who joined the archdiocese in 2016, was hired last month as the national AMBER Alert administrator, replacing Jim Walters, who is retiring. She will start full-time in that position in March.

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.

Supporters Rally Around Father Michael Pfleger Amid Sexual Abuse Claim

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS 2 TV

January 6, 2021

[VIDEO]

Activists and community members are rallying around Rev. Michael Pfleger, after the Archdiocese of Chicago removed him from his post at St. Sabina, after claims he sexually abused a minor more than 40 years ago. CBS 2’s Mugo Odigwe 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.