ABUSE TRACKER

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

June 21, 2021

Statement by UN ‘experts’ seeks to discredit the Holy See

GENEVA (SWITZERLAND)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

June 20, 2021

By Andrea Gagliarducci

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A group of U.N. “experts” is expected to issue a statement aimed at forcing the Holy See and the Catholic Church to surrender to abortion and gender ideology, under the guise of demanding that the Vatican takes all necessary steps to prevent abuse.

With the Human Rights Council’s latest session due to begin on June 21, experts from the U.N., including several special rapporteurs, are poised to publish a statement urging the Holy See to introduce all necessary measures to prevent sex abuse.

The statement, which goes beyond the capacities of the U.N. experts, has the hallmarks of an attempt to undermine Catholic doctrine by using the sex abuse scandals.

In February 2014, a report by the Committee of the U.N. Convention for the Rights of the Child waded into the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and canon law. In May 2014, a report from the Committee of the U.N. Convention against Torture…

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Ottawa archbishop apologizes for Catholic Church’s role in residential school system

OTTAWA (CANADA)
CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) [Toronto, Canada]

June 21, 2021

By Ryan Patrick Jones

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Catholic Archbishop Marcel Damphousse also calls for Pope Francis to apologize for harm caused

Ottawa-Cornwall Archbishop Marcel Damphousse issued a formal apology Monday to Indigenous people for the Catholic Church’s role in the residential school system.

He also called on Pope Francis, the global head of the church of approximately 1.3 billion people, to apologize, as well.

The apology is the latest expression of contrition from a Canadian Catholic leader since the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced the discovery of what are believed to be the unmarked burial sites of children’s remains adjacent to a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. It follows similar apologies from the archbishops of Vancouver and Regina.

More than 150,000 Indigenous children were separated from their families and forced to attend residential schools across Canada between the 1880s and 1996, with many suffering physical, sexual and psychological abuse. Most of the schools were operated by Catholic denominations on behalf of the federal government.

“I extend…

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Man abused by priest receives ‘six-figure sum’ in damages

(UNITED KINGDOM)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

June 21, 2021

By Alan Erwin

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Fr Malachy Finnegan taught and worked at St Colman’s College, Co Down from 1967 to 1987

A man abused for years by a priest at a Co Down school is to receive a “six-figure sum” in damages, the high court in Belfast heard on Monday.

The pay-out to Tony Gribben forms part of a settlement reached in his lawsuit over the historic sexual and physical assaults he suffered at the hands of the late Fr Malachy Finnegan.

A personal apology will also be issued on behalf of the Catholic Primate, Archbishop Eamon Martin under the terms of agreement.

Mr Gribben (61) sued the trustees and board of governors at St Colman’s College in Newry and the Diocese of Dromore.

Outside court he said: “The diocese needs to be completely transparent in cooperating with a long overdue investigation on its failings.”

Mr Gribben claimed for negligence and failures to protect him…

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Law firm adds 9 N.J. priests to list of accused abusers, as deadline nears in diocese’s bankruptcy case

CAMDEN (NJ)
nj.com [New Jersey]

June 21, 2021

By Kelly Heyboer

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Anyone who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest has less than two weeks to file a claim before a deadline set in the Diocese of Camden’s bankruptcy case, attorneys said as they added nine new names to the list of accused priests.

The diocese — which includes parishes in Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties — filed for bankruptcy last fall after church officials said its finances were overwhelmed by clergy sexual abuse settlements and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bankruptcy judge set a June 30 deadline for those owed money to file claims against the diocese. That has prompted attorneys to call on anyone sexually abused by a clergy member tied to the Diocese of Camden to file a lawsuit quickly, or risk missing out on a settlement through the bankruptcy court.

“We need to sound the…

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UN experts urge Catholic Church to act against sexual abuse, provide reparations

GENEVA (SWITZERLAND)
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

June 21, 2021

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UN human rights experts* urged the Holy See to take all necessary measures to stop and prevent the recurrence of violence and sexual abuse against children in Catholic institutions, and to ensure those responsible are held to account and reparations are paid to victims.

In a letter to the Holy See in April 2021, the experts expressed “utmost concern about the numerous allegations around the world of sexual abuse and violence committed by members of the Catholic Church against children, and about the measures adopted by the Catholic Church to protect alleged abusers, cover up crimes, obstruct accountability of alleged abusers, and evade reparations due to victims”.

The experts noted the persistent allegations of obstruction and lack of cooperation by the Catholic Church with domestic legal proceedings to prevent accountability of perpetrators and reparations to victims. They also noted the concordats and other agreements negotiated by the Holy See with States that limit…

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UN rights experts urge Vatican to halt child sex abuse in Catholic institutions

GENEVA (SWITZERLAND)
GMA Network News [Philippines]

June 21, 2021

By Agence France-Presse

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A group of UN human rights experts said Monday they had urged the Vatican to take steps to stop child sex abuse in Catholic institutions and prevent it from happening again.

The experts called on “the Holy See to take all necessary measures to stop and prevent the recurrence of violence and sexual abuse against children in Catholic institutions, and to ensure those responsible are held to account and reparations are paid to victims.”

The four special rapporteurs, who do not speak for the United Nations but report their findings to it, wrote to the Vatican in April.

The experts voiced their “utmost concern about the numerous allegations around the world of sexual abuse and violence committed by members of the Catholic Church against children,” according to the letter released Monday.

They also said they were worried about measures adopted by the church to “protect alleged abusers, cover up crimes,…

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Human Rights Experts Lament Vatican’s Alleged ‘Protection’ of Sex Abusers

GENEVA (SWITZERLAND)
Newsweek [New York NY]

June 21, 2021

By Mary Ellen Cagnassola

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Four human rights experts working with the United Nations are imploring the Vatican to be more proactive about stopping and preventing violence and sexual abuse of children.

The U.N. Human Rights Office cited “persistent allegations of obstruction and lack of cooperation” from the Catholic Church. The experts said in an April 7 letter made public on Monday that the church demonstrated a pattern of behavior “to protect alleged abusers, cover up crimes, obstruct accountability of alleged abusers, and evade reparations due to victims.”

The experts also alleged bids were made by select church members to undermine attempts to prosecute child sex offenders in national legislatures. They noted lobbying attempts to limit how long former child victims can report the crimes after becoming adults.

The experts said the violations had allegedly been committed over decades in many countries with tens of thousands of victims.

“We note with great concern the apparent pervasiveness…

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UN experts call on Holy See to do more against child abuse

GENEVA (SWITZERLAND)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 21, 2021

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Independent human rights experts working with the United Nations have urged the Vatican to do more to stop and prevent violence and sexual abuse against children, citing “persistent allegations of obstruction and lack of cooperation” from the Catholic Church, the U.N. human rights office said.

The four experts, in a letter dated April 7 but only made public on Monday, faulted efforts by the church “to protect alleged abusers, cover up crimes, obstruct accountability of alleged abusers, and evade reparations due to victims.”

In general terms, the experts alleged bids were made by some church members to undercut efforts in national legislatures to prosecute child sex offenders, and cited lobbying attempts to limit how long former child victims can report the crimes after they become adults.

The experts said the violations had allegedly been committed over decades in many countries with tens of thousands of victims.

“We note with great…

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I Am Breaking My Silence About the Baseball Player Who Raped Me

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

June 20, 2021

By Kat O'Brien

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I was 22 years old and working as a sports reporter when I was raped by a Major League Baseball player.

I didn’t tell my best friend, my sister, my mother or my sports editor, who was a woman. For 18 years, I didn’t tell anyone.

I didn’t say it out loud to myself, write it down, speak his name or allow myself to think about it beyond wishing hard that it would not have happened. I spent years willing it to unhappen. Magical thinking became my truth.

That all changed in January, when I heard that the New York Mets’ general manager, Jared Porter, was fired for sending sexually explicit texts and photographs to a female reporter in 2016.

I hadn’t been a sports reporter in 11 years, but as I read accounts of other women’s experiences with sexual harassment, the full force of my own assault hit me. And with…

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‘The Irish Handmaid’s Tale’: Mother and Baby Home survivor says reality was worse than fiction

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
TheJournal.ie [Dublin, Ireland]

June 19, 2021

By Órla Ryan

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“We were just like machines for them, they definitely dehumanised us.”

THE WAY SURVIVORS of mother and baby homes have been treated by the Catholic Church and successive governments in Ireland amounts to “abuse of the abused”, one woman has said.

Terri Harrison was among the survivors to give testimony to the Investigation Committee of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

Speaking to The Journal, Terri said that recalling the trauma she suffered when coerced into giving her son up for adoption, and her ongoing search for him, while giving evidence to the Commission was incredibly difficult.

Terri gave birth to a son, Niall, in the St Patrick’s institution on the Navan Road in Dublin in 1973. She [was] 18 years old at the time and wanted to keep her baby.

She moved to England and had planned to raise her child there but a religious organisation found…

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Michigan’s clergy abuse investigation team secures fourth conviction

JACKSON (MI)
Fox 2 Detroit (WJBK-TV)

June 18, 2021

By Bianca Cseke

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A former Catholic school music teacher will serve at least a decade in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of criminal sexual conduct.

It’s the harshest prison sentence so far in the Michigan Department of Attorney General’s ongoing clergy abuse investigation, according to a news release Friday.

Joseph – or Josef – Comperchio of Fort Myers, Florida, was first charged last September in connection to sexually abusing two children.

In those cases, he was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual contact.

Five new counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving two individuals were added this past October.

The charges stem from Comperchio’s time as the drama and music teacher at St. John Catholic School in Jackson in the 1970s.

He pleaded guilty Friday morning to three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of first-degree criminal sexual…

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Former Jackson music teacher facing 10-20 years in prison after sexual abuse plea

JACKSON (MI)
Detroit News [Detroit MI]

June 18, 2021

By Beth LeBlanc

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A former music teacher is facing 10 to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual abuse charges dating to his tenure at a Jackson Catholic school in the 1970s. 

Joseph Comperchio pleaded guilty Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court to three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office. 

Nessel’s office in September charged Comperchio with six counts of criminal sexual conduct for sexually abusing two children and added five new counts in October related two individuals.

At the time of his arraignment, Comperchio was living in Fort Myers, Florida, but the charges stem from his work as a drama and music teacher at St. John Catholic School in Jackson in the 1970s, Nessel’s office said.

“We remain indebted to the survivors who have come forward in order to share their stories,” Nessel said in a statement. “Their…

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David Quinn: Blame evidence not authors for mother and baby homes report ‘failure’

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Times [England]

June 20, 2021

By David Quinn

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Critics of Murphy Commission findings about mother and baby homes have failed to note they were based on sworn testimonies

Donal O’Donnell, the incoming chief justice, has warned against the increasingly strident attacks being made on his fellow judges, who make an easy target for critics because they “cannot and do not answer back”.

Addressing a recent Bar Council conference, O’Donnell did not mention the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, but he could have, because it has been under extraordinary attack ever since the publication of its report in January.

The commission was led by a retired judge, Yvonne Murphy, and she and her two fellow commissioners, Professor Mary Daly and Dr William Duncan, have been invited to appear before the Oireachtas committee on children to answer the charge that their report had “failed” former residents of the homes.

They have refused to do so. In a letter…

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William Haegelin is now listed under “Substantiated Allegations of Clergy Sexual Abuse of a Minor.”

KANSAS CITY (KS)
Archdiocese of Kansas City KS

June 18, 2021

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With deep sorrow for the suffering of victims and survivors of abuse, the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas (“Archdiocese”) announces that William Haegelin, a priest who was removed from ministry in 2002 and laicized in 2004, has been the subject of a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Mr. Haegelin’s name had been listed among the Archdiocese’s Substantiated Clergy Offenders under the category “Previously Publicized Allegations Not Able to Be Substantiated” but is now listed under the category “Substantiated Allegations of Clergy Sexual Abuse of a Minor.”  The list may be found at www.archkck.org.    

William Haegelin was the subject of an investigation in 2002 that led to an inaccurate determination and announcement that he did not sexually abuse a minor.  The Archdiocese is particularly grateful for this survivor’s courage and strength in coming forward to challenge the decision to categorize Mr. Haegelin’s allegation as not able to…

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Abuse claim substantiated against previously cleared priest

KANSAS CITY (KS)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 19, 2021

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The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has substantiated a sexual abuse claim against a priest nearly two decades after clearing him.

The archdiocese announced in a statement published in Friday’s issue of its official newspaper, The Leaven, that it was with “deep sorrow for the suffering of victims and survivors of abuse” that it was reversing what it described as an “inaccurate” determination that The Rev. William Haegelin did not sexually abuse a minor.

Haegelin was placed on leave from St. Ann Church in the Kansas City suburb of Prairie Village, Kansas, in 2002 after the archdiocese received a letter accusing him of the inappropriate sexual relations in the 1980s. A review board determined later that year that there was a sexual relationship but that the accuser was 18 when it began, The Kansas City Star reports.

Haegelin released a…

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June 20, 2021

Retired judge Peter A. Velis speaks at a 2020 press conference about his investigation into sexual abuse allegations against former Springfield Bishop Christopher J. Weldon. (Hoang 'Leon' Nguyen / The Republican file photo)

‘Tragedy of the highest order’: Danny Croteau murder haunted law enforcement until its conclusion

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
MassLive.com/The Republican [Springfield MA]

June 20, 2021

By Stephanie Barry

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[Photo above: Retired judge Peter A. Velis speaks at a 2020 press conference about his investigation into sexual abuse allegations against former Springfield Bishop Christopher J. Weldon. (Hoang ‘Leon’ Nguyen / The Republican file photo)]

Soon after Hampden Superior Court Judge Peter A. Velis made a pivotal ruling in 2004 to unseal records in the investigation of the 1972 murder of altar boy Daniel “Danny” Croteau, a man he had never met hugged him in the parking garage of the courthouse.

The man had tears in his eyes. Velis quickly learned he was Croteau’s father.

“It was so overwhelming, being such a heartfelt gesture. To this day I have never forgotten it,” Velis said during a recent interview.

Carl E. Croteau, a Housing Court worker, died six years later, followed by his wife, Bernice “Bunny” Croteau, in 2016. Despite the efforts of teams of investigators over…

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Louisiana will give child victims more time to file lawsuits

BATON ROUGE (LA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 15, 2021

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Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed legislation removing deadlines for Louisiana’s child sex abuse victims to pursue damages in civil court, delivering a victory to survivors of abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy.

The new law, taking effect Aug. 1, will create a three-year window where all unresolved child molestation claims can be pursued in civil court, according to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. Until now, child sex abuse victims had until their 28th birthday to initiate litigation over their abuse.

“The scars of childhood sexual abuse may stay with survivors long-term, and they deserve more time to report these devastating crimes,” Edwards spokesperson Christina Stephens said Monday in a statement announcing the bill signing.

The measure sponsored by New Orleans Rep. Jason Hughes, a Democrat, received final passage Thursday, the last day of the legislative session. During debate, Hughes cited research that showed the…

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‘Bravo to Louisiana’: Governor removes deadlines for child sex abuse suits

BATON ROUGE (LA)
New Orleans Advocate [New Orleans LA]

June 14, 2021

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

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New law creates three-year window for unresolved allegations – no matter how old

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed a legislative bill removing legal deadlines for child sex abuse victims to sue for damages, awarding a major victory to survivors of the Roman Catholic Church’s clerical molestation scandal.

The law, which takes effect Aug. 1, creates a three-year window for all unresolved child molestation allegations – no matter how old – to be pursued in civil court.

“The scars of childhood sexual abuse may stay with survivors long term, and they deserve more time to report these devastating crimes,” Edwards spokesperson Christina Stephens said.

Sponsored by state Rep. Jason Hughes, D-New Orleans, House Bill 492 changes a 28-year-old law that gave Louisiana child sex molestation victims until their 28th birthday to initiate litigation. Hughes cited research showing that the average age for child sex abuse victims to come forward…

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Ex-Catholic school teacher pleads guilty in sex abuse cases

JACKSON (MI)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 19, 2021

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A former Catholic school teacher has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing children during his tenure at a southern Michigan school in the 1970s.

Joseph Comperchio, 66, pleaded guilty Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court to three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office announced.

Nessel’s office charged Comperchio in September with six counts of criminal sexual conduct for sexually abusing two children and added five new counts in October related to two other individuals.

At the time of his arraignment, Comperchio was living in Fort Myers, Florida, but the charges stem from his work as a drama and music teacher at St. John Catholic School in Jackson, where he taught between 1974-77. The victims said the assaults happened while he was a teacher.

“We remain indebted to the survivors who have come forward in order to share their…

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June 19, 2021

Oliver Peyton hugs his father Scott following a sentencing hearing for former priest Michael Guidry Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at the St. Landry Parish Courthouse in Opelousas, La. Advocate staff photo by Leslie Westbrook

Faced with financial liability, Lafayette Diocese and fallen priest shift blame to victim’s family

OPELOUSAS (LA)
Acadiana Advocate [Baton Rouge LA]

June 18, 2021

By Ben Myers

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[Photo above: Oliver Peyton hugs his father Scott following a sentencing hearing for former priest Michael Guidry Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at the St. Landry Parish Courthouse in Opelousas, La. Advocate staff photo by Leslie Westbrook]

Disgraced priest Michael Guidry has twice changed his story about the night in 2015 that he molested a teenage altar boy in the rectory of St. Peter’s Church in Morrow, a small community in St. Landry Parish.

When the boy reported the abuse three years later, Guidry initially told St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives that he could not recall the fondling. But moments before taking a lie detector test, he admitted rubbing the boy’s genitals.

The molestation continued until the boy stood up to stop it, Guidry wrote in a statement to law enforcement. It had started after they shared “a few drinks,” he wrote, adding that he had recently “replenished” his supply…

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Former Catholic school teacher downstate pleads guilty; 4th conviction in AG’s Clergy Abuse investigation

LANSING (MI)
WLUC - NBC 6 [Negaunee MI]

June 18, 2021

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Charges against Joseph–or Josef–Comperchio, stem from his time as the drama and music teacher at St. John Catholic School in Jackson in the 1970s.

A former Catholic school music teacher will serve at least a decade in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of criminal sexual conduct, which will result in the harshest prison sentence thus far in the Michigan Department of Attorney General’s ongoing clergy abuse investigation.

Joseph – or Josef – Comperchio, of Fort Myers, Florida, was first charged last September for sexually abusing two children. In those cases, he was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Then in October of last year, five new counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving two individuals were added.

The charges stem from Comperchio’s time as the drama and music teacher at St. John Catholic School in Jackson in the 1970s.

Friday morning,…

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Pa. lawmakers threaten university funding over statute of limitations deadlock

HARRISBURG (PA)
Tribune-Review [Pittsburgh PA]

June 18, 2021

By Deb Erdley

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A pair of state lawmakers who sponsored a bill to give adult survivors of child sexual abuse the right to sue their assailants beyond the statute of limitations say they will block state appropriations for Pennsylvania’s public research universities if Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward continues to stall a vote on their bill.

State Reps. Jim Gregory, R-Blair County, and Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, say they’ve assembled a coalition of lawmakers from diverse sectors who are willing to block funding to Pitt, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln universities unless Ward, a Hempfield Republican, moves the bill to a vote.

The quasi-public universities receive more than a half billion dollars each year in state subsidies, which is used to reduce tuition for Pennsylvania residents.

The years-long move to open the courts to claims that fall outside the statute of limitations gained momentum after the release of a 2018 statewide grand jury report…

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Bishops discuss developing plan for Native American, Alaska Native ministry

WASHINGTON (DC)
Crux [Denver CO]

June 18, 2021

By Rhina Guidos

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U.S. bishops were asked June 17 to consider authorizing development of a new formal statement and comprehensive vision for Native American and Alaskan Native ministry, since the last one approved was over 40 years ago.

Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, New Mexico, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Native American Affairs, said Catholic Native American leaders at a summit requested that a complete pastoral plan be developed and presented to the general assembly of bishops.

“During the summit, the Catholic Native leaders presented their concern that there was a perceived lack of interest in Catholic Native ministry by the Catholic Church in the United States,” said Wall, addressing prelates via Zoom on the second day of their three-day spring general assembly, held virtually due to the pandemic.

“A pastoral plan will help reassure Catholic Natives that their ministry has a high priority in the church,”…

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U.S. bishops vote to draft Communion statement that may rebuke Biden

WASHINGTON (DC)
Reuters [London, England]

June 18, 2021

By Julia Harte and Gabriella Borter

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A divided conference of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops announced on Friday that they had voted to draft a statement on Holy Communion that may admonish Catholic politicians, including President Joe Biden, who support abortion rights.

The 168-55 decision to draft a teaching document on the Eucharist, a holy sacrament in the Roman Catholic faith, came after two hours of debate at the virtual assembly of the United States Catholic Bishops’ Conference on Thursday, in which the bishops weighed the merits of reaffirming church teachings against the possibility of sowing partisan division.

The debate this week laid bare some of the cultural and political rifts that have rocked the church in the last several years. U.S. Catholic Church membership has dropped nearly 20% in the past two decades, according to a Gallup poll in March, as sexual abuse scandals involving predatory priests have come to light and members have become increasingly…

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KCK Catholic diocese says finding that priest did not sexually abuse minor was wrong

KANSAS CITY (KS)
Kansas City Star [Kansas City MO]

June 18, 2021

By Judy L. Thomas

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A finding in 2002 that one of its priests did not sexually abuse a minor was inaccurate, the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas announced on Friday.

“With deep sorrow for the suffering of victims and survivors of abuse, the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas announces that William Haegelin, a priest who was removed from ministry in 2002 and laicized in 2004, has been the subject of a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor,” the archdiocese said in a statement published in Friday’s issue of The Leaven, its official newspaper.

Haegelin’s name had been placed on the archdiocese’s list of substantiated clergy offenders under the category “Previously Publicized Allegations Not Able to Be Substantiated,” the archdiocese said, but is now listed under the category “Substantiated Allegations of Clergy Sexual Abuse of a Minor.”

The list is available at www.archkck.org.

“William Haegelin was the subject of an investigation in…

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New list of clergy accused of sex abuse released by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

HOUSTON (TX)
KTRK - ABC 13 [Houston TX]

June 18, 2021

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Faith leaders from the Catholic dioceses in Texas have added four more names to the list of clergy who were accused of sexually abusing a minor from 1950 through the end of 2018.

The original list was presented as part of an effort to bring about the restoration of trust, according to the website hosted by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

The updated list includes John Patrick Barry, C.S.B., Franz B. Lickteig, O.Carm. and William “Herb” Schreiner, C.S.B. who have all been “deceased for decades.”

The fourth is notable leader Manuel La Rosa Lopez, who was added to the 2019 list as being under investigation.

Diocesan Priests

ADDED 6/18: Manuel La Rosa Lopez
Diocesan: Galveston-Houston
Birth Year: 1957
Ordination: 1996
Status: Removed from Ministry 2001, 2018
Incarcerated: 2020
Assignments: St. Thomas More, Houston (Deacon)
Sacred Heart, Conroe
St. Francis de Sales, Houston
St. John Fisher, Richmond
Tribunal

Nicholas Cornelius Antle
Diocesan: Galveston-Houston
Birth Year: 1934
Ordained: 1959
Status: Retired 1990
Removed from Ministry 2011
Deceased:…

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Bishop demands Craig Harrison close counseling business: attorney

FRESNO (CA)
KGET - NBC 17 [Bakersfield CA]

June 18, 2021

By Jason Kotowski

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The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno has ordered Craig Harrison to close his counseling business and Reflections for Women nonprofit in what an attorney says appears to be a personal vendetta against the former priest.

“If (Harrison) does not comply, the bishop, acting in his capacity for the Diocese of Fresno, appears to be threatening to publicly defame Father Craig, a private citizen,” said attorney Kyle J. Humphrey, one of several lawyers representing Harrison.

The letter from Bishop Joseph V. Brennan, Humphrey said, appears to be a threat to “spew more lurid details” regarding allegations of sexual misconduct against Harrison, allegations the attorney said are false.

“To be clear, we have received confirmation from the church that Father Craig is not on the list of credibly accused priests,” Humphrey said. “The false accusations against him have been repeatedly investigated by multiple independent law enforcement agencies as well…

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June 18, 2021

The sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on the Southeast Side, a parish run by the Claretian order of priests and brothers. Robert Herguth / Sun-Times

How one Catholic order closes its eyes to sexual abuse by clergy

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

June 18, 2021

By Robert Herguth

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Some religious orders have balked at posting lists of predator priests. But the Claretians’ U.S. websites don’t even mention the scandal, how they’ve responded or how victims can complain.

Among Catholic religious orders in the United States that, like the U.S. church itself, are facing a national reckoning over clergy sexual abuse of children, the Claretians stand out.

The Claretians operate Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 3200 E. 91st St. on the Southeast Side, which was the first Mexican American Catholic congregation in Chicago, established in the 1920s. Many of the order’s ministries center on children, including tutoring, violence prevention and arts programs.

Like other orders that operate in the Chicago area, the Claretians have faced abuse allegations. Six clerics accused of sexual abuse have served at some point at Our Lady of Guadalupe, records show.

Some male religious orders have heeded calls by Cardinal Blase…

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Federal government faces lawsuit over sexual abuse of children on Canadian military bases

EDMONTON (CANADA)
Ottawa Citizen [Ottawa, Ontario, Canada]

June 18, 2021

By David Pugliese

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Bobbie Bees said the abuse of children on military bases was not an isolated incident, but alleged that the Department of National Defence swept the crimes under the rug.

The Canadian government is facing a class action lawsuit over the sexual abuse of children on military bases by a Canadian Forces chaplain.

Vancouver resident Bobbie Bees said Thursday he decided to move forward with the lawsuit because Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and the Department of National Defence have declined to help the victims of convicted pedophile Capt. Angus McRae who molested children during the 1970s and 1980s.

“I never wanted a claim in the first place, but the Minister of National Defence and the Department of National Defence have made it very clear that they are unwilling to assist military dependants who were sexually abused on military bases,” Bees said.

Last year this newspaper, citing newly released court martial records…

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Calgary law firm files class-action lawsuit over sexual abuse by Canadian Armed Forces chaplain

EDMONTON (CANADA)
Calgary Herald [Calgary, Alberta, Canada]

June 17, 2021

By Kevin Martin

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The claim says the federal government was responsible for McRae’s abusive behaviour at bases where he was deployed throughout the country

Hundreds of children were mentally, physically and sexually abused by a Canadian Armed Forces priest, a class-action lawsuit filed by two Calgary lawyers claims.

In the legal action, filed in Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench, lawyers Clint Docken and Mathew Farrell seek compensation for Bobbie Bees and others who were abused by Capt. Angus McRae, a priest who worked as a chaplain at various military bases.

The lawsuit, which names the federal Crown as defendant, says Bees, the representative plaintiff in the case, grew up on various military bases and lived at CFB Namao in Edmonton from 1978 to 1980.

“Throughout the plaintiff’s time on the Canadian Forces Base Namao, the plaintiff was subjected to numerous cases of mental, physical and sexual abuse by Captain Father Angus McRae ……

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Books about Indian Residential Schools in Canada: Nonfiction and Fiction

KAMLOOPS (CANADA)
Book Riot - Riot New Media Group [Portland OR]

June 18, 2021

By Danika Ellis

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Content warning: this post discusses some of the atrocities of Indian Residential Schools, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

In May 2021, the remains of 215 children were found at the former residential school in Kamloops. This is a devastating discovery, although the reason this has come to light is because of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community’s long fight to not have these children forgotten. As horrific as that number is, this is only one unmarked gravesite. There have already been 104 more potential graves located at a Manitoba residential school. Every former residential school in Canada needs to be searched, because it was not uncommon to have unmarked graves on the grounds of these schools.

It is hard to overstate the pain and damage Canada’s long history of residential schools has done — in fact, even the word “history” is misleading, since it is only…

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Ex-student claims NJ private school monks abused him more than 150 times

MORRISTOWN (NJ)
New York Post

June 17, 2021

By Mark Lungariello

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A former student at a posh New Jersey private school was raped, sodomized and sexually abused by three Catholic monks more than 150 times in the 1970s, a bombshell lawsuit claims.

Rodney Baron, a seventh grader at the time of the alleged abuse, said he was raped by an assistant headmaster at Delbarton School during an overnight retreat and frequently sexually assaulted in the men’s bathroom and in the headmaster of discipline’s office, according to the lawsuit filed in state Superior Court.

And Baron, seeking damages of more than $50 million, felt targeted because he and his brother were then the only two black students at the all-boys school in Morristown, the suit claims.

“As the only African American student in the school other than his brother, Rodney thought to himself: ‘Who is going to believe me?’’ said the lawsuit, filed May 12 by Baron’s attorney John Baldante.

Baron was…

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Mississippi Supreme Court sends case accusing Catholic priest of abuse back to Forrest County

BILOXI (MS)
Hattisburg American [Hattiesburg MS]

June 17, 2021

By Lici Beveridge

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Robert McGowen’s hopes for relief decades after he says he was sexually assaulted by a Catholic priest are still alive after the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling Thursday.

McGowen was 12 and 13 years old in 1984-85, when he says he was sexually abused by former Sacred Heart Catholic Church priest Father John Scanlon.

McGowen said he did not remember the abuse until one day in December 2018, after which he sought counseling, according to court documents.

He filed a complaint in 2019, but never got a chance to testify since 12th District Circuit Judge Jon Mark Weathers declined to hear the case.

Catholic sex abuse claim: State Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Hattiesburg case

Jackson attorney John Hawkins filed an appeal on McGowen’s behalf, saying state law provides for a case to proceed if it was brought within three years of the discovery of an injury even if…

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Baptist and Catholic leaders grapple with similar problems in different ways

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

June 16, 2021

By Fr Thomas Reese SJ

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This week, Catholic and Baptist leaders meet to deal with issues facing their churches. While the two Christian churches are very different from each other, they do face similar problems.

The Southern Baptist Convention is meeting June 15-16, while the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will meet June 16-18.

What are the problems that they both share?

First, both have been racked by sex abuse scandals.

The Catholic Church has been publicly grappling with this problem longer and seems to be ahead of the Baptists in responding to it. But the American bishops, and the Catholic Church as a whole, have an advantage besides time: Their long-established hierarchy and centralized policy engine make it easier to move against an often intractable ill.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee has wisely brought in an outside investigator in Guidepost Solutions. Such third-party firms can be essential in restoring credibility…

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Catholic Church response to sexual abuse must centre on survivor well-being, not defensiveness

KAMLOOPS (CANADA)
The Conversation [Waltham MA]

June 16, 2021

By Cathy Driscoll

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In light of the recent discovery of 215 Indigenous children in unmarked graves at a former Catholic-run residential school in British Columbia and investigations at other former residential schools, there have been renewed calls for the Pope to apologize for residential schools and for the Catholic Church to release its records.

The story has also turned public scrutiny on how the Catholic Church has responded to other calls to apologize and be accountable to victims in cases of sexual abuse both in residential schools and throughout the church.

In 2020, I received a federal grant to study the Catholic Church as an organization that can be engaged in potentially contradictory practices to their principles, mission and values. This includes examining the content of websites and electronic documents — including safe and responsible ministry policies, protocols and codes of conduct — of the 18 Catholic archdioceses across Canada. Chiedza Chigumba, a doctoral student at Saint Mary’s…

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June 17, 2021

Marie Collins, an Irish abuse survivor and former member of the papal clergy abuse commission, speaking during the FutureChurch webinar on June 15 (NCR screenshot)

New Vatican laws on clergy abuse not enough, says former papal commissioner

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

June 17, 2021

By Joshua J. McElwee

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[Photo above: Marie Collins, an Irish abuse survivor and former member of the papal clergy abuse commission, speaking during the FutureChurch webinar on June 15 (NCR screenshot)]

A respected former member of Pope Francis’ commission on clergy sexual abuse has expressed disappointment in the recent revision of the criminal section of the Catholic Church’s canon law, saying the changes do not go far enough to protect children and vulnerable adults from possible predators.

Marie Collins, an Irish survivor who resigned in frustration from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2017, pointed during a June 15 webinar to the fact that the new provisions do not mandate that a priest found guilty of abuse be removed from any office he may hold, or from the priesthood.

Instead, the provisions, published June 1, say that a priest found guilty of abuse can be…

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Why Southern Baptists’ runoff election represents a ‘watershed moment’ for Evangelicals

NASHVILLE (TN)
PBS NewsHour [Arlington VA]

June 16, 2021

By Judy Woodruff Interviewing Ed Stetzer,

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The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest evangelical group in the U.S. elected a new president Tuesday — Ed Litton. Litton, who has championed racial reconciliation, narrowly defeated Mike Stone, the favored far-right candidate. Judy Woodruff discusses the runoff vote with Ed Stetzer, a part of the Southern Baptist Convention and executive director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center.

Read the Full Transcript

Judy Woodruff: The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant Church denomination in the U.S., met this week to elect a new president.

But it was more than just selecting a new leader. The future direction of the denomination itself is at stake. In recent years, and especially the past several months, the convention has been divided by contentious debates over race, politics, gender, and the handling of past sexual abuse cases.

In a run-off election yesterday, Ed Litton, who has championed racial reconciliation, narrowly defeated Mike Stone,…

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Southern Baptist Convention takes stronger stand on sexual abuse and who can serve as a pastor

NASHVILLE (TN)
Tennessean [Nashville TN]

June 16, 2021

By Katherine Burgess

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The Southern Baptist Convention this week took a stronger stand against sexual abuse, who can serve as a pastor and which congregations can remain a part of the network of conservative evangelical churches.

Churches will only be considered in friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention if they do “not act in a manner inconsistent with the Convention’s beliefs regarding sexual abuse.”

Southern Baptist messengers gathered Tuesday in Nashville approved the constitutional amendment in the second of two required votes. 

Another part of the constitution was also amended: Churches will only be considered in friendly cooperation if they do “not act to affirm, approve, or endorse discriminatory behavior on the basis of ethnicity.”

The topic of sex abuse remained at the front of many actions at the Southern Baptist Convention this week. It cropped up in resolutions, amendments and conversations between messengers, those delegates who get to vote on denomination business.

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Annual Meeting Shows Low Trust in the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee

NASHVILLE (TN)
National Review [New York NY]

June 15, 2021

By Dominic Pino

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Going into the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) annual meeting, one of the biggest questions was how much the messengers assembled would trust the SBC Executive Committee.

If this morning’s business in Nashville was any indication, the messengers have answered, “Not much.”

On June 11, just four days before the start of the annual meeting, the Executive Committee announced that it was hiring an outside firm to investigate its handling of sexual-abuse allegations within the denomination. After weeks of hearsay back-and-forth and the release of recorded conversations, an independent investigation is the right move. The question is whether the convention believes that the Executive Committee–initiated investigation is sufficient or if a more-independent investigation is needed.

The Executive Committee exists to handle the affairs of the denomination between annual meetings. The SBC is ultimately run by the messengers assembled at the annual meeting. No hierarchical structure exists beyond the local…

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Southern Baptists vote to probe leaders’ sex abuse response

NASHVILLE (TN)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 16, 2021

By Travis Loller and Peter Smith

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Delegates at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to create a task force to oversee an independent investigation into the denomination’s handling of sexual abuse.

Separately, the convention approved its most absolutist statement yet in opposition to abortion, a resolution calling for its immediate banning without exception and calling it a “crime against humanity that must be punished equally under the law.”

The measure calls for the newly elected SBC president, Alabama pastor Ed Litton, to appoint the task force, which will head up a review of allegations that the denomination’s Executive Committee mishandled abuse cases, intimidated victims and advocates, and resisted reforms.

It also would investigate the work of a credentials committee that was created in 2019 with a mandate to identify congregations that fail to respond to sex abuse cases.

It was a sharp turn of events for the SBC’s largest gathering in decades.

The…

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Motion spurs task force to oversee EC review

NASHVILLE (TN)
Baptist Press [Nashville TN]

June 16, 2021

By Erin Roach

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Messengers to the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting overwhelmingly approved a motion calling for a task force to oversee a third-party investigation into allegations of mishandling abuse claims at the SBC Executive Committee.

The motion, offered by Grant Gaines, pastor of Belle Aire Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn., was among 32 motions made by messengers to the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting June 15 in Nashville, the most in a decade.

Gaines’ motion said the task force, which will be appointed within 30 days by new SBC President Ed Litton, should be composed of members of Southern Baptist churches and “experts in sexual abuse and the handling of sexual abuse-related dynamics.”

The task force can opt to oversee the independent review already initiated by the Executive Committee or begin a separate third-party review, and it must ensure that an investigation includes “any allegations of abuse, mishandling of abuse, mistreatment of victims, a…

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Pastors expected to push for expanded Southern Baptist sex abuse investigation before full convention

NASHVILLE (TN)
Tennessean [Nashville TN]

June 14, 2021

By Holly Meyer

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[With texts of motions and survivor statement.]

Thousands of Southern Baptists are arriving in Nashville for their denomination’s big annual gathering. 

It is a milestone event for Nashville.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting is the first gathering of significant size to be held in Nashville since the pandemic killed the city’s meeting industry. More than 17,000 messengers, the voting representatives from Southern Baptist churches, could show up. 

It also could be a watershed moment for Southern Baptists.

Members of the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. are divided over its direction. Some Southern Baptists are arguing the convention has drifted toward liberalism and a course correction is needed. Others say this faction is pushing for a fundamentalism that could spur more Southern Baptists, especially people of color, to leave the convention.

They are also fighting over the sexual abuse crisis in the church, acceptance of critical race theory, defining women’s roles in ministry and who…

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Rome tribunal backs Vatican in case against Italian broker

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 17, 2021

By Nicole Winfield

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[Via National Catholic Reporter]

A Rome court has strongly backed Vatican prosecutors in their pursuit of an Italian businessman accused of bilking the Holy See of millions of euros in a London real estate deal, saying he used bad-faith negotiations, last-minute contractual changes and a web of accomplices.

The three-judge panel of the Tribunal of Review rejected several motions by lawyers for Gialuigi Torzi, lodged after Rome prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Torzi in April. The tribunal let the warrant stand, and Torzi was arrested in London but is now free pending extradition hearings.

In the 18-page interim order, obtained Wednesday, the Rome judges gave the most comprehensive evaluation yet of the Vatican case against Torzi and several other Italian businessmen and Vatican officials who have been implicated in the investigation. 

They strongly backed Vatican prosecutors, saying the evidence shows Torzi defrauded the Vatican with the help of others,…

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‘I was disgusted by it’: Former Belvedere College pupils claim priest assaulted them

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
TheJournal.ie [Dublin, Ireland]

June 16, 2021

By Órla Ryan

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An Garda Síochána determined that a crime was committed but the priest in question died prior to a complaint being made.

A NUMBER OF former pupils of Belvedere College in Dublin have alleged that a priest who taught at the fee-paying secondary school assaulted them in the late 1970s and 1980s.

In March the Jesuits in Ireland publicised the name of a former Belvedere College teacher, Fr Joseph Marmion SJ, who is now deceased, to encourage people who may have suffered abuse to come forward.

The Order said at the time that Marmion had “sexually, emotionally and physically” abused pupils at Belvedere College in Dublin in the 1970s.

A number of former pupils have since alleged that a second deceased priest – Fr Brendan Kearney SJ – assaulted them. One of the men, Des Hickey, made an official complaint to gardaí in late 2017.

An Garda Síochána has confirmed…

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June 16, 2021

Reporter Mike Hammer and Mike Brandner Sr., brother of Scot Brandner, discuss Fr. Brian Highfill. Still from video report.

Louisiana’s new child sexual abuse law surprises advocates, legislators

BATON ROUGE (LA)
WWL-TV [New Orleans LA]

June 15, 2021

By David Hammer

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[Photo above: Reporter Mike Hammer and Mike Brandner Sr., brother of Scot Brandner, discuss Fr. Brian Highfill. Still from video report.]

The new law also provides a “revival window,” a period of three years for victims to file new lawsuits making claims that would have already expired.

There’s a sea-change in perceptions about child sexual abuse, and that change surprised many when it came to Louisiana in the form of a major change in the law this week.

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill Monday that passed both houses of the Louisiana Legislature unanimously last week. Going forward, it eliminates any deadline, previously set at age 28, for victims of child sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits against their abusers or those who allowed the abuse to occur.

The new law also provides a “revival window,” a period of three years for victims to file new lawsuits making claims that…

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Buffalo Diocese to monitor 18 priests accused of abuse with home visits, restrictions

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News [Buffalo NY]

June 15, 2021

By Jay Tokasz

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he Buffalo Diocese, heavily criticized by State Attorney General Letitia James for not keeping better tabs on priests who molested children, is launching a monitoring program that will include monthly home visits and other restrictions for offending priests.

Bishop Michael W. Fisher confirmed in an interview with The News that the diocese has developed and begun to implement a “detailed monitoring plan with a professional monitor who will be in contact with each of these priests who have been relieved of ministry.”

Fisher also sent a letter this week to all priests and deacons announcing that diocese lawyers and Sister Mary McCarrick, chief operating officer, met last week with the Attorney General’s Office to outline the monitoring plan.

“While this is increasingly standard practice among dioceses nationwide, it is also a key requirement of the New York Attorney General, as outlined in the suit brought against the diocese last year,”…

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Letter from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on the reinstatement of Father Dan McCarthy as Pastor Emeritus of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

CHICAGO (IL)
Archdiocese of Chicago IL

June 14, 2021

By Cardinal Blase J. Cupich

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Dear Members of the Faith Community of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity,

Thank you for your patience and prayers during the absence of your Pastor Emeritus, Father Dan McCarthy. As you know, late last year the Archdiocese received allegations of child sexual abuse against Father McCarthy. In accordance with our policies for the protection of children and youth, the Archdiocese Independent Review Board, assisted by our Office of Child Abuse Investigation and Review and outside investigators conducted a thorough review of the allegations.

The Review Board has concluded that there is insufficient reason to suspect Father McCarthy is guilty of these allegations. Having given careful consideration to their decision, which I accept, I now inform you that I am reinstating Father McCarthy’s faculties and his position of Pastor Emeritus with residence at St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, effective immediately.

This coming weekend, as we celebrate Fathers’ Day and honor all…

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Priest returned to Norwood Park parish by archdiocese after ‘insufficient reason to suspect’ sex abuse allegations were true

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

June 15, 2021

By Maggie Prosser

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The Archdiocese of Chicago returned the Rev. Daniel McCarthy to his Norwood Park parish after an investigation found “insufficient reason to suspect” allegations of sexual abuse of a child were true, Cardinal Blase Cupich told parishioners in a letter Monday.

McCarthy was removed from his post as pastor emeritus at St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish, 6020 W. Ardmore Ave., after he was accused of committing sexual abuse about 50 years ago while assigned to the now-closed Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood, according to the archdiocese.

In a letter sent Monday to the St. Elizabeth of the Trinity community, Cupich said McCarthy was reinstated “effective immediately” after the archdiocesan board’s investigation into allegations concluded.

“The Review Board has concluded that there is insufficient reason to suspect Father McCarthy is guilty of these allegations,” Cupich said.

The archdiocese asked McCarthy to live away from the parish while…

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Tollner seeks info from Diocese on abuse he says he suffered

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
Altamont Enterprise [Altamont NY]

June 15, 2021

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Albany County – Rensselaerville resident Richard Tollner has filed a legal petition against the Diocese of Albany, relating to an effort to secure justice against a Catholic priest whom Tollner says sexually abused him when he was a teenage prep-school student in Nassau County. 

The petition for pre-action discovery, filed on May 28, would allow Tollner and his attorneys to acquire information from the Diocese of Albany that would help them to “fully evaluate [Tollner’s] claims” against the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which oversaw the prep school, St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary, where Tollner says he was sexually assaulted a number of times by Alan Placa in the 1970s.

Tollner declined to answer Enterprise questions about the petition this week on the advice of his attorneys, a team at Merson Law, who also declined to answer Enterprise questions. 

“Sex abuse murders your soul,” Tollner said in an Enterprise podcast in…

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Enrollment at Local Catholic Schools Has Surged

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Voice of San Diego [San Diego CA]

June 15, 2021

By Jennifer McEntee

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San Diego Catholic schools saw an uptick in demand because of their in-person options.

While many parents grappled over the past year with whether to send their children to public school online or in-person, others considered a pandemic-era education imbued with religion.

One example: Inquiries, applications and transfer requests at St. Augustine High School in North Park were at an all-time high this academic year, said the school’s director of admissions, Paul Sipper.

While it’s not uncommon to have a waitlist at the all-boys Roman Catholic private school, there was a new intensity among families hoping to secure one of the 700 spots for students in grades nine through 12, he said.

There were more than 300 applications for prospective incoming freshmen. Requests to transfer to St. Augustine from other schools tripled, some from well-regarded public schools in Coronado, Point Loma and Poway.

The draw: in-person education and athletics with…

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Criminally Charge Canada and the Catholic Church For Residential Schools: Experts

TORONTO (CANADA)
Vice [Brooklyn NY]

June 15, 2021

By Anya Zoledziowski

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Too few people in charge of residential schools have faced legal consequences for “crimes against humanity” committed against Indigenous children, experts say.

Following the discovery of the remains of 215 undocumented children, some as young as 3, under a former residential school in British Columbia, calls are mounting for leaders and staff of residential schools to be punished.

Starting in the 1800s, residential schools were funded by the Canadian government and operated by churches to forcibly assimilate an estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children. More than half of all schools were Catholic-run. Sweeping physical and sexual abuses, disease, and malnutrition were rampant, and up to 15,000 children, many undocumented, were killed nationwide. The last school only closed its doors in the mid-1990s.

“To this day, I’ve, I’ve always wanted to go back and burn the place, and I never did,” a survivor who had been subjected to sexual…

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Ireland: The Organization Has Helped 7,000 Victims of Abuse over the Past 25 Years

SWORDS (IRELAND)
Swords Today [Swords, County Dublin, Ireland]

June 15, 2021

By Scout Mitchell

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We live in a world where human weakness and vulnerability destroy the Christian ideal of human relationships. The Church and the family of God are well aware of their responsibility to provide shelter or to protect their members, ”said the Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh.

Isabella Piro – Vatican News

To healing – Towards Healing ”: This is the name of a counseling and support service for victims of abuse by some of the clergy sponsored by the Irish Bishops’ Conference and the National Association of Religions and Missionaries.

The organization has been active since 1996 and has helped over 7,000 people. Archbishop Michael Router, Archbishop of Armagh, and Bishop Michael Router recalled the atmosphere of the Holy Trinity.

“We live in a world where human weakness and vulnerability destroy the Christian ideal of human relationships – the priest said – that the Church itself, God’s family, is very conscious of its…

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Famous German boys’ choir to add separate choir for girls

REGENSBURG (GERMANY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 15, 2021

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[Via ABC News]

Berlin – One of Germany’s most famous Catholic boys’ choirs, the Regensburg Cathedral Choir, plans to establish a separate choral group for girls for the first time in its more than 1000-year history.

“We are happy to welcome girls in the future,” choir director Christian Heiss said in a statement Tuesday, adding that the so-called Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows still would be open only to boys and remain the No. 1 choir.

Girls can apply to the new choir from the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. They will also have to attend the high school that is connected to the choir.

The Regensburg choir was founded around the year 975 and is thought to be one of the oldest boys’ choirs in the world.

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N.J. man sues Delbarton School alleging monks sexually abused him repeatedly in the 1970s

MORRISTOWN (NJ)
nj.com [New Jersey]

June 16, 2021

By Anthony G. Attrino

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A former star athlete and football player at Delbarton School in Morris County has filed a lawsuit against the order that runs the private Catholic institution, claiming three monks sexually abused him as a teenager in the 1970s – the latest in a series of similar lawsuits filed against the school.

Rodney Baron, now 57, claims in the lawsuit he was abused in the late 1970s when he was 13 or 14 years old. Baron states in the suit that he and his brother were the only Black students at Delbarton and were instructed to be “exceptionally obedient” because of their race.

The lawsuit alleges Baron was abused by two Benedictine priests and one brother at the school. One of the three was an assistant headmaster who also taught social studies, one was a headmaster of discipline and one was a math teacher. NJ…

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June 15, 2021

Seven of Bronwyn Shoush's aunts and uncles lie in residential school graves in Mission, B.C. For decades, she's been searching for answers about how exactly they died. (Submitted by Bronwyn Shoush)

Catholic order that staffed Kamloops residential school refuses to share records families seek

MISSION (CANADA)
CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) [Toronto, Canada]

June 14, 2021

By Angela Sterritt and Jennifer Wilson

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[Photo above: Seven of Bronwyn Shoush’s aunts and uncles lie in residential school graves in Mission, B.C. For decades, she’s been searching for answers about how exactly they died. (Submitted by Bronwyn Shoush)]

B.C. government has asked Sisters of St. Ann to turn over documents ‘immediately’ 

The order of nuns that taught at the former Kamloops residential school, and others in B.C., continues to withhold important documents that could help tell the story of how Indigenous children died at the schools over the past 150 years.

The Sisters of St. Ann has never approved the release of relevant government records — documents that could relate to deaths at the schools — according to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the religious order.

“It might be because there were things that weren’t relevant to the school system or names of those students, as well as other people like visitors,” said Sister Marie Zarowny, a St. Ann spokesperson. 

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Louisiana Poised to Create Window for Sex Abuse Lawsuits

BATON ROUGE (LA)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

June 14, 2021

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The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jason Hughes, D, spoke on the state house floor on Thursday, noting that his bill aims “to give some sense of justice and closure to children that have been malicious and heinously robbed of their innocence. Period.”

The Louisiana state legislature last week passed a bill allowing for new lawsuits in old cases of child sex abuse where the statute of limitations had already expired.

An amended version of the bill, House Bill 492, passed the state house on Thursday with 102 votes in favor, none against, and three abstentions. On Friday it was sent to Gov. John Bel Edwards, D, for signature.

The legislation creates a three-year period during which survivors of child sex abuse can file lawsuits against their alleged abuser, even when the statute of limitations would normally impede such lawsuits.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans announced in May 2020 that it was…

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Kids in secret rooms: Why purveyors of online child sex abuse are difficult to catch

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
Rappler [Pasig, Manila, Philippines]

June 15, 2021

By Neil Jayson Servallos

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Lack of cooperation from internet service providers, limits to technology, and data privacy rules have hamstrung law enforcers running after perpetrators of online child sex abuse.

AS PUBLISHED BY PHILIPPINE CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

(Third of 4 parts)

Part 1: The Filipino mothers selling their children for online sexual abuse
Part 2: Young girls face a lifetime battle removing their naked photos, sex videos from the internet

It was the year 2010. National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agent Bernard Dela Cruz remembered watching dozens of children move in and out of an internet café in Cebu City in central Philippines, wondering if they were the young boys and girls they needed to rescue.

The NBI had information that the children were being livestreamed naked to paying customers abroad. It’s one of the first cases of online sexual exploitation of children or OSEC that Dela Cruz…

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Retired priest seeks to stop child sex abuse trial going ahead

GALWAY (IRELAND)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

June 14, 2021

By Aodhan O'Faolain

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Accused faces four charges dating back to the 1960s involving secondary student in Galway

A retired priest is seeking a High Court order halting his trial on charges of child sexual abuse dating back to the 1960s.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is facing four charges of sexual assault of a female on dates between 1966 and 1969.

The complainant was a secondary school student and a minor at the time of the alleged assaults in Co Galway.

The first assault is alleged to have taken place in the room of an abbey. Two other assaults took place when the girl was bringing communion for Sunday Mass to a convent, it is alleged. She claims the accused waited for her near the convent, before violently assaulting her on those occasions.

The fourth charge relates to an incident around Christmas time, when she claims the man came…

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Northwest Side pastor reinstated following sexual abuse investigation by Archdiocese of Chicago

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

June 14, 2021

By Elvia Malagón

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The Archdiocese of Chicago announced Monday it was reinstating the Rev. Daniel McCarthy following an investigation into a sexual abuse allegation that surfaced last October.

The Archdiocese of Chicago reinstated the Rev. Daniel McCarthy to a Northwest Side parish less than a year after a decades-old sexual abuse allegation surfaced.

In a letter released Monday to the congregation of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish and School, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich stated McCarthy would be reinstated effective immediately following an investigation from last year’s report.

“The Review Board has concluded that there is insufficient reason to suspect Father McCarthy is guilty of these allegations,” Cupich stated in the letter.

McCarthy had been removed from the Catholic church, located at 6020 W. Ardmore Ave., in the Norwood Park neighborhood, in October after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor about 50 years ago while he was…

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Kentucky’s feud with agency over LGBTQ foster parents may be decided by US Supreme Court

LOUISVILLE (KY)
Courier Journal [Louisville KY]

June 15, 2021

By Deborah Yetter

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In a case that could decide a dispute between Kentucky child welfare officials and a Baptist children’s agency, the U.S. Supreme Court is close to ruling on whether private agencies may reject LGBTQ foster and adoptive parents because of religious beliefs.

Sunrise Children’s Services, citing religious convictions, has refused to sign a contract with Kentucky to care for abused and neglected children that would ban discrimination based on “sexual orientation” or “gender” identity,” as well as race, age and other factors.

Officials with the administration of Gov. Andy Beshear have said they will stop placing children with the agency by July 1 if Sunrise refuses to sign a standard contract that contains anti-discrimination language the state says is required by federal regulations.

Background:Letter from Baptist children’s agency lawyer confirms reason for state contract dispute

But a ruling in favor of Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia could require Kentucky to recognize the…

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Priest Reinstated at St. Elizabeth of the Trinity After Abuse Investigation

CHICAGO (IL)
WMAQ - NBC 5 [Chicago IL]

June 14, 2021

Read original article

Father Daniel McCarthy, former pastor at St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish and School, has been reinstated as Pastor Emeritus at the Norwood Park church following an Archdiocese of Chicago investigation into sexual abuse allegations levied against him last year.

McCarthy was accused of sexually abusing a minor about 50 years ago during his time at the now-closed Angel Guardian Orphanage in West Ridge, according to Cardinal Blase Cupich.

Cupich, in a letter to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity parishioners, said that there was “insufficient reason” to suspect that McCarthy was guilty of the allegations.

“Having given careful consideration to their decision, which I accept, I now inform you that I am reinstating Father McCarthy’s faculties, and his position of Pastor Emeritus with residence at St. Elizabeth of the Trinity,” Cupich said.

The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Archdiocesan Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review looked into the…

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Chicago priest reinstated following child sex abuse allegation

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN-TV [Chicago IL]

June 14, 2021

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A retired priest who was affiliated with multiple Archdiocese of Chicago schools has been reinstated by Cardinal Blase Cupich following a child sex abuse claim dating back approximately 50 years ago.

Last October, Father Daniel McCarthy was asked to step away from ministry following a claim when he used to work at an orphanage.

“There is insufficient reason to suspect Father McCarthy is guilty of these allegations,” said Cupich.

McCarthy was retired at the time of the allegations, but served as the pastor emeritus for Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity School, a K-8 school on the Northwest Side. He has been reinstated there with residency.

McCarthy had also been chaplain for Notre Dame College Prep and Resurrection College Prep.

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Catholic churches publicly report a fraction of sexual abuse allegations

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
WCIA [Champaign IL]

June 14, 2021

By Renée Cooper

Read original article

 The number of sexual abuse accusations made public by Catholic churches in Illinois is a fourth of the total number, according to Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

An investigation launched by Former Attorney General Lisa Madigan in 2018 discovered Catholic churches kept at least 500 sexual abuse accusations a secret.

August 23, 2018 ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN ISSUES STATEMENT ON PENNSYLVANIA GRAND JURY REPORT

At the time, only 185 clergy members in the state were publicly identified as being “credibly” accused of child sexual abuse.

Madigan announced her investigation in August 2018, and by December, the state discovered those 500 undisclosed cases, bringing the total number of allegations up to about 690.

December 19, 2018 ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN PROVIDES UPDATE ON INVESTIGATION INTO CATHOLIC CHURCH

Thursday, WCIA’s Target 3 investigative team found out the number of undisclosed cases doubled since 2018. That came to light in an interview with…

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Gibb slams Catholic RSE resources in rape culture clampdown

THIRSK (UNITED KINGDOM)
Schools Week [Thirsk, North Yorkshire UK]

June 14, 2021

By Tom Belger

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A minister has slammed Catholic RSE materials portraying women as “receivers” in sexual relationships, just a few months after he said using the resources was a decision for schools.

The warning by schools minister Nick Gibb, and an Ofsted visit to one school using the resources, suggest a tougher government stance after a wave of sexual misconduct claims by pupils rocked schools earlier this year.

But the curriculum’s authors say Gibb’s claims are out-of-date and out-of-context as materials have been updated, and launched their own attack on “hardline cancel culture”.

Gibb’s ‘serious concerns’

Gibb wrote to the publishers of the ‘A Fertile Heart’ curriculum earlier this month over materials which suggested it was women’s role to “receive” and men’s to “initiate” love in relationships.

He said he had “serious concerns” amid growing awareness of how school culture contributes to sexual abuse in schools, and how gender stereotypes “could normalise non-consensual behaviour”.

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Church named in latest Child Victims Act suit

BUFFALO (NY)
The Observer [Dunkirk NY]

June 15, 2021

By Eric Tichy

Read original article

Falconer – A local church has been named in a new Child Victims Act lawsuit filed late last week in state Supreme Court in Chautauqua County.

An unidentified person, going by AB 325 DOE in the 12-page suit, claims to have been sexually abused by the Rev. William G. Ward during a time between 1963 and 1967, when the victim was between 13 and 17 years old. Ward was the pastor at Our Lady of Loreto, 309 W. Everett St., Falconer, in 1967.

“Defendant knew or should have known that Fr. Ward was a danger to children before Fr. Ward sexually assaulted Plaintiff,” the suit states.

It continues: “Prior to the sexual abuse of Plaintiff, Defendant learned or should have learned that Fr. Ward was not fit to work with children. Defendant, by and through its agents, servants and employees, became aware, or should have become aware of Fr. Ward’s propensity to…

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June 14, 2021

Obituary of Robert Francis Costello (September 15, 1961 ~ June 11, 2021 age 59)

BOSTON (MA)
Kfoury Keefe Funeral Home [West Roxbury MA]

June 11, 2021

Read original article

Robert F. Costello, of Plainville, formerly of Norwood and West Roxbury, passed away on June 11, 2021. He was 59 years old.

Robert was the loving son of the late Lawrence J. and Mary L. (Shields) Costello. Dear brother of Christine Costello of Estero, FL, Larry Costello and his wife Carolann of West Roxbury, Maryann Costello of Milford, and Richard Costello and his wife Millie of Norfolk. Dear uncle of Lauren, Kerri, Thomas, Edward and Matthew Costello, and Cody Skully. He is also survived by many loving relatives and friends.

Visiting Hours will be held Saturday, June 19, 2021 from 12-3 p.m. at the Kfoury Keefe Funeral Home, 8 Spring St. (at the corner of Centre St.) WEST ROXBURY.  Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Robert’s memory may be made to the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Assoc. (RSDSA), PO Box 502, Milford,…

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Carol DuPré. Still from WROC video report

Advocates for sexual abuse survivors call on Diocese of Rochester to stop prolonging hearings

ROCHESTER (NY)
WROC [Rochester NY]

June 14, 2021

By Ally Peters

Read original article

[Photo above: Carol DuPré. Still from WROC video report.]

Twenty alleged sexual abuse survivors of the Diocese of Rochester are calling on the state court to hear their cases. 

This comes after the victim’s rights group, Road to Recovery, says the Diocese is using “delaying tactics.” Advocates say the organization is using it’s bankruptcy to delay victim’s hearings and settlements. 

The Diocese of Rochester filed for bankruptcy back in 2019 after several abuse lawsuits were filed against the organization. Many of these lawsuits were filed after the enactment of the Child Victims Act, which extended the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases. 

Hundreds of sexual abuse claims have been filed against the Diocese of Rochester during their bankruptcy process, but advocates say very little has done to help victims. 

“These survivors do not deserve this kind of treatment. The Rochester Diocese has plenty of assets, and they should morally…

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Advocates call on Rochester Diocese to stop delaying sexual abuse settlements

ROCHESTER (NY)
Spectrum News [Syracuse NY]

June 12, 2021

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A call on the Rochester Diocese has been placed to stop delaying the process of sexual abuse settlements.

Road to Recovery, Inc. sent that message during a press conference outside Sacred Heart Cathedral Friday.

The non-profit helps victims of sexual abuse as well as their families.

They are calling on Bishop Salvatore Matano and the Diocese of Rochester to stop delaying the lawsuit process.

Attorneys say those delays re-victimize survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

“The waiting game by the Diocese of Rochester is meant to wear the victims out, but that’s not going to work,” Attorney Mitchell Garabedian said. “The victims are now survivors, they’re strong, they’re ready to go to court, they’re ready to see this play out for years.”

Twenty clergy sexual abuse victims have requested their cases be heard in state court rather than as part of the Rochester Diocese bankruptcy proceeding.

Advocates say that’s because of…

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Pope and Canadian Indigenous: ‘Sorry’ must fit the level of suffering

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

June 13, 2021

By Cindy Wooden

Read original article

[Via Crux]

Pope Francis seems to have no trouble using the word “sorry” and recommending others use it often.

Then why, people wondered, did he not use the word when speaking about the horrific discovery of the remains of as many as 215 children in unmarked graves at a Catholic-run school for Indigenous children in Canada?

Pope Francis did express his condolences and sorrow June 6, recognizing the discovery brought up the traumas of the past when the Canadian government policy was to send Indigenous children to residential schools as part of a mistaken effort at assimilation. Catholic religious orders ran most of those schools, and stories of abuse are rampant.

But the pope’s remarks in early June were a far cry from what the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action called for in 2015:

“We call upon the pope to issue an apology to survivors, their families…

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Announcement regarding former Georgetown Provost, the late J. Donald Freeze, S.J.

WASHINGTON (DC)
Georgetown University [Washington DC]

June 11, 2021

By John J. DeGioia

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Content Warning: This message contains information and discussion of clergy sex abuse and other topics that may be difficult or upsetting. Individuals are encouraged to reach out to the University for support and to be mindful of their own self-care. 

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:

I am writing today to share actions taken in response to experiences shared with us by a former undergraduate student relating to deeply troubling and unacceptable behavior by the late J. Donald Freeze, S.J., who served in a variety of roles on campus, including as Provost from 1979-1991, and who was awarded an honorary degree in 1991.

I established a Working Group of the Board of Directors to oversee the University’s response. I join the Members of the Working Group in sharing the update below to the University community.

We are writing today to share actions the University is taking relating to…

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Can the US bishops grasp Pope Francis’ ecclesial vision?

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

June 14, 2021

By Michael Sean Winters

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When Cardinal Reinhard Marx published his remarkable and unexpected letter of resignation as archbishop of Munich and Freising on June 4, religion reporters, theologians and members of the hierarchy jumped on the phone to try and make sense of it. Some writers foolishly rushed into print with analysis. But one thing emerged from those discussions: Everyone thought Pope Francis would necessarily have to accept the resignation.

Last week, Francis did not accept the cardinal’s resignation. Again he surprised us. Not only that, his response to the German cardinal was so spiritually rich, and so provocative in its understanding of the source of episcopal authority, it could well serve as the starting point for the discussion the U.S. bishops will have at their spring meeting later this week. The pope’s vision might yet save the bishops’ conference from its worst instincts.

Marx’s resignation was, as…

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June 13, 2021

Denis Alexander has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys.

Priest who fought extradition from Australia admits at High Court in Edinburgh to sexually abusing two former pupils at the Fort Augustus Abbey school in the Highlands

EDINBURGH (UNITED KINGDOM)
Inverness Courier [Inverness, Scotland]

June 11, 2021

By Aly Morrison

Read original article

[Photo above: Denis Alexander has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys.]

Denis Alexander (85) has admitted preying on the boys while teaching history at the fee paying school in the 1970s.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard today how Alexander targeted the young men in his study and during Yoga classes.

Judge Lord Burns heard how Alexander, who was a monk with the Benedictine Order, later left Scotland and became a Priest in Sydney, Australia.

But he was brought to justice after a BBC documentary called the Sins Of Our Father was aired in 2013.

Alexander’s victims saw the show and plucked up the courage to contact police who requested his extradition.

The cleric initially fought attempts to bring him back to Scotland but was returned almost three years after the extradition request was sent to Australia.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault.

Prosecutor Jane Farquharson…

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Secret recordings, leaked letters: Explosive secrets rocking the Southern Baptist Convention

NASHVILLE (TN)
Washington Post

June 12, 2021

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey

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Demands for political loyalty. Disputes about racism. A fight between conservatives and ultraconservatives. It sounds like current debates within the Republican Party, but this is the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, where thousands will gather Tuesday to vote on issues that will shape the massive denomination’s future, including the choice of its next president.

More than 16,000 people are expected to attend the denomination’s annual meeting, probably the largest religious gathering since the pandemic, as well as the biggest Baptist meeting in decades.

What is especially unusual about the meeting is infighting at the highest levels of leadership that has become public in recent weeks. New details released to news media outlets have shone a light on the backroom dealings of several of its high-profile leaders.

Russell Moore, who previously led the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm, recently left his position and his church for a new position…

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Southern Baptists meet amid controversy over leaked letters

NASHVILLE (TN)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 12, 2021

By Travis Loller and Peter Smith

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As Southern Baptists prepare for their biggest annual meeting in more than a quarter-century, accusations that leaders have shielded churches from claims of sexual abuse and simmering tensions around race threaten to once again mire the nation’s largest Protestant denomination in a conflict that can look more political than theological.

More than 16,000 voting delegates are pre-registered for the two-day gathering that starts on Tuesday in Nashville. Southern Baptist Convention members have been a powerful force in conservative Republican politics for a generation. This year’s convention follows weeks of internal controversies stoked by leaked letters, secret recordings and video rebuttals.

Despite claiming 14 million members, the denomination has been in decline for 14 years. Adding to long-term membership losses have been the recent loud departures of its top public policy official, a mega-selling author and several prominent Black clergy over issues that include sexual abuse, racism and the treatment of…

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Late Georgetown provost accused of nonconsensual contact with student

WASHINGTON (DC)
NBC News [New York NY]

June 11, 2021

By Dennis Romero

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Georgetown’s president called the allegations “particularly egregious” because J. Donald Freeze had power as a priest and provost.

Georgetown University on Friday announced that a former undergraduate had accused late priest and Provost J. Donald Freeze of nonconsensual contact.

In a letter to alumni, the office of Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said that a group was investigating the claim regarding behavior more than three decades ago and that the university “expresses its deepest apology.”

The institution described the allegations in factual terms but did not expressly say it has found them to be true.

“While this behavior — which involved non-consensual kissing and touching — occurred more than 30 years ago, it is particularly egregious due to Fr. Freeze’s role as both a member of the clergy and as our former Provost,” the letter, also signed by three members of the working group, said.

The accuser wasn’t named, but…

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Priest accused of abusing kids sent to trial

(ITALY)
ANSA - Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata [Rome, Italy]

June 11, 2021

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Father Giuseppe Rugolo ‘assaulted kids after ER lessons’

 An Italian priest accused of sexually abusing children was sent to an ‘immediate’ trial on Friday.

Father Giuseppe Rugolo of Enna in Sicily was arrested on April 27 on charges of abusing children in his care.

He allegedly abused them during and after religious education lessons.

He is on trial for sexual violence aggravated by taking advantage of the psychological inferiority of the victims.

The trial starts on October 7. (ANSA).

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Full extent of abuse allegedly carried out by Fr Malachy Finegan to come under judicial scrutiny for first time

NEWRY (UNITED KINGDOM)
The Irish News [Belfast, Northern Ireland]

June 11, 2021

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THE full extent of abuse allegedly carried out by a paedophile priest is set to come under judicial scrutiny for the first time.

Proceedings issued by a man who claims the late Fr Malachy Finegan molested him for years at a Co Down school have been listed for High Court trial later this month.

He is suing the trustees and board of governors at St Colman’s College in Newry and the Diocese of Dromore over the campaign of sexual and physical assaults during the 1970s.

Now aged in his sixties, the plaintiff is seeking damages for alleged negligence and failures to protect him from Finegan.

Other witnesses are also expected to give evidence about the priest’s activities during his time at the school.

Solicitor Kevin Winters, who represents the man taking the action, said: “We are very pleased that nearly 20 years after the death of Malachy Finegan there will…

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Georgetown revokes honorary degree of former provost, priest after misconduct allegation

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

June 11, 2021

By Lauren Lumpkin

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The late J. Donald Freeze has been accused by a former student of nonconsensual kissing and touching, officials said.

Georgetown University has revoked an honorary degree held by a late priest and provost after reports of sexual misconduct, school officials said Friday.

Georgetown’s board of directors moved to rescind the former official’s degree and other university-sanctioned recognitions after a former student accused J. Donald Freeze of misconduct that included nonconsensual kissing and touching, officials said.

Freeze, who died in 2006, had worked in a number of roles at Georgetown, including provost, reporting directly to two different university presidents — the Revs. Timothy Healy and Leo O’Donovan — as chief academic officer from 1979 until 1991. The university awarded Freeze an honorary degree in 1991.

After misconduct allegations were made against the priest last fall, the university convened a working group that included members of its board of directors to address…

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The discovery of the unmarked graves brings us face to face with our suppressed history

OTTAWA (CANADA)
The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Canada]

June 11, 2021

By Erna Paris

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Erna Paris’s book, Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History, inspired the Canadian House of Commons motion to apologize, on behalf of the government, to survivors of Canadian residential schools

Two Solitudes. That was the title of Hugh MacLennan’s famous 1945 book about the chasm between Quebec and the “Rest of Canada” – a fault line that has been negotiated continuously since the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. But what if there were three solitudes all along, the third being the Indigenous nations that were suffering cultural decimation far below the radar of most Canadians? I was born and raised in Ontario and never heard, or read, a word about residential schools during close to two decades of schooling. Textbooks referenced the original Indian wars, but what happened to the Indigenous populations as the entity known as Canada emerged was obscured.

Over the past two decades, Canadians have gradually learned the…

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Texas Supreme Court rejects deacon’s lawsuit demanding diocese remove name from alleged sex abusers list

LUBBOCK (TX)
The Christian Post

June 12, 2021

By Michael Gryboski

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The Texas Supreme Court has ruled against a Catholic deacon suing his diocese for putting him on a list of clergy who had accusations of sexual abuse leveled against them.

Jesus Guerrero, who was ordained as a deacon in 1997, sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lubbock after they refused to remove his name from a list released in 2018 of clergy who they deemed as having credible accusations of sexual abuse lodged against them.

In an 8-1 decision released Friday, the state’s highest court concluded that the Diocese of Lubbock could lawfully include Guerrero’s name on the list of accused clergy.

Justice John Devine delivered the majority opinion, writing that having a secular court interfere with the Diocese’s list would be “a challenge to the Diocese’s underlying investigation into its own clergy and application of Canon Law.”

“The First Amendment prohibits government—and courts—from interfering with a…

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Defamation or protected religious speech? Disgraced Catholic deacon asks Supreme Court to decide

LUBBOCK (TX)
Washington Times [Washington, D.C.]

June 12, 2021

By Mark A. Kellner

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The lawyer for a 77-year-old Roman Catholic deacon in Lubbock, Texas, says he plans to ask the Supreme Court of the United States to reverse a June 11 state supreme court ruling allowing the Diocese of Lubbock to label the man, Jesse Guerrero, as being “credibly accused” of sexually abusing a minor.

Under the Texas Supreme Court decision, attorney Nick L. Olguin told The Washington Times in a telephone interview, The “[Roman Catholic] Church can define words to mean whatever they want it to be in terms of ‘canon law.’ They can say whatever the heck they want to say to whomever they want to say it, even if it’s not true.”

The case centers on a list entitled “Names of All Clergy with a Credible Allegation of Sexual Abuse of a Minor” that the Lubbock diocese posted on its website in January of 2019. In that list, Mr. Guerrero — a…

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FSIN calls on Catholics to boycott church services in the wake of the Kamloops 215

LLOYDMINSTER (CANADA)
MyLloydminsterNow [Lloydminster AB, Canada]

June 11, 2021

By Gerry Lampow

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The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is calling upon Catholics to stay away from Church services. The call comes as the group is calling upon the leader of that church, Pope Francis to apologize for the Church’s role in Residential Schools in Canada.

Speaking on Friday, FSIN Vice Chief David Pratt acknowledged the reopening of wounds following the discovery of a mass grave of 215 bodies of children at a former Residential School in Kamloops, B.C.

“We call on all members of the Roman Catholic Church to talk to their Bishops, talk to their Archdeacons, talk to their Pastors and their Ministers to put as much pressure as they can on the Pope to do what’s right and apologize.”

FSIN officials say this conversation has been going on for 30-plus years and that this has to be the finish line and not the starting point.

Kinistin First Nation Chief Felix…

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B.C. woman says her mother put her up for adoption to avoid Kamloops residential school

LANGLEY CITY (CANADA)
The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Canada]

June 9, 2021

By Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press

Read original article

Tina Taphouse has spent a lot of time lately reflecting on the impact the Kamloops Indian Residential School has had on her life’s path.

Ms. Taphouse didn’t go to the school because her mother, who worked there and had also grown up in residential school, made the impossible decision to put her up for adoption so she wouldn’t have to attend.

The former residential school in Kamloops is where the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation used ground-penetrating radar to detect what are believed to be the remains of 215 children.

“When you have only the two choices – to give me up for adoption to a better home and not go to residential school, or to keep me and raise me and to know that I would end up going to residential school – that’s a decision a mother shouldn’t have to make,” Ms. Taphouse said in an interview from…

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What can we offer to the world?

PARRAMATTA (AUSTRALIA)
Catholic Outlook [Diocese of Parramatta NSW, Australia]

June 13, 2021

By Mike Lewis

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Today, the cultural division between the Catholic Church and Western society—especially on moral issues—is as wide as it has been since the rise of Christendom. The dictatorship of relativism that Pope Benedict XVI decried in 2005, which “does not recognise anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires,” has fallen and been replaced by a new societal orthodoxy holding new doctrines that are often incompatible with long-established teachings and traditions of Christianity. Today’s progressives aren’t “relativists” because they subscribe to moral dogmas just as strongly as Catholics do, and some of these beliefs are very much at odds with traditional Catholic ideas, especially regarding women’s and LGBT rights.

In his 1975 encyclical, Evangelii Nuntiandi, Saint Paul VI reminded us that the Church “exists in order to evangelise, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the…

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A Cardinal’s ordeal: George Pell’s Prison Journal

(AUSTRALIA)
TheArticle [London, England]

June 13, 2021

By Philippa Ingram

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On June 29 2017, the day he was charged by Australian police with historical sexual abuse, Cardinal George Pell was the third most powerful Catholic cleric in the world. In 2014 Pope Francis had appointed him to head the newly created Secretariat of the Economy, which had authority over all the finances of the Holy See and the Vatican. After a series of high-profile scandals going back decades, his task was to modernise and overhaul financial operations and stamp out corruption. At one point he discovered more than €1 billion that had not been registered on the accounts. This was the result of amateur incompetence, not corruption, but he also found evidence of the criminality that thrives in such conditions. His investigations were often met with incomprehension (“we’re a Church not a business”) and opposition.

The Cardinal could have claimed diplomatic immunity and remained in Rome. But, despite his age…

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Cardinal Marx surprised by pope’s decision to not accept his resignation

MUNICH (GERMANY)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

June 12, 2021

By Catholic News Service

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German Cardinal Reinhard Marx said that following Pope Francis’ refusal to accept his resignation, he would “not simply return to business as usual” because it would not be the right path for him personally or for the archdiocese.

“The answer of the Holy Father surprised me,” Marx said June 11. “I had not counted on him responding so quickly, and I also had not expected his decision that I should continue on as archbishop of Munich and Freising.”

Francis declined to accept the cardinal’s resignation June 10, saying in a letter that he agreed with the cardinal that Catholic leaders cannot adopt an “ostrich policy” in the face of the clerical sexual abuse crisis.

The German cardinal, who is only 67, announced June 4 that he had submitted his resignation to Francis because he believed bishops must begin to accept responsibility for the institutional failures…

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June 12, 2021

Rochester diocese seeks approval for $35M settlement with insurers for sex abuse victi

ROCHESTER (NY)
Democrat and Chronicle [Rochester NY]

June 11, 2021

By Sean Lahman

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The Diocese of Rochester has asked a federal judge to approve a $35 million settlement agreement with its insurers to help pay survivors of sexual abuse.

In a statement issued Friday afternoon, the diocese said the proposed agreement was with Lloyd’s of London and Interstate Fire and Casuality, who are among the major insurers involved in its bankruptcy case. 

“We believe this settlement, if approved, is a significant step forward in our goal of achieving a fair and equitable reorganization plan — the vast majority of which will be funded by our insurers — that will compensate the survivors of sexual abuse who have filed claims in our Chapter 11 case,” the statement said.

A hearing has been scheduled for July 9 with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Paul R. Warren.

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2019, saying it could not afford to pay the compensation…

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Letter: How is the Erie diocese funding costs associated with clergy abuse scandal?

ERIE (PA)
Erie Times-News [Erie PA]

June 10, 2021

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The Catholic Diocese of Erie recently announced spending $16.6 million on payouts to victims of sexual abuse in the diocese. That was in addition to $750,000 spent during the term of Donald Trautman, included in another $15 million in expenses. In that total, there is over $12 million in attorney’s fees alone defending the churches crimes and for sexual abuse case research.

They spent over $2 million on the Rev. David L. Paulson case alone. Bishop Lawrence Persico continues to claim he is using a line of credit to prevent the diocese from using parishioner’s donations to pay victims. Note he carefully says the monies used to “pay victims,” while knowing about $15 million were spent in other defensive areas. The use of the compensation fund system shields the diocese from having to reveal their assets and from victims knowing how much the diocese is worth in my opinion.

The issue is…

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Pope Francis endorses Cardinal Marx and his “manifesto” for Church reform

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
La Croix International [France]

June 11, 2021

By Robert Mickens

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The pope’s refusal to accept the German cardinal’s resignation further strengthens moves towards a substantial reform of the Catholic Church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx tried to resign but, in the end, Pope Francis rejected the move and instructed the 67-year-old German to continue leading the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising.

The news is a major blow to doctrinal hardliners and neo-traditionalists, and everyone else who is a part of the Catholic Church’s “no change” crowd.

Because Marx is not just any bishop or cardinal. He’s one of the most energetic and forceful proponents of ecclesial reform through synodality, a process of wide-ranging consultation of all the Church’s members that Francis is trying to make constitutive of Roman Catholicism.

And the cardinal’s an extremely influential papal aide as member of the Council of Cardinals and moderator of the Vatican’s Council for the Economy.

He’s also served from 2012-2018 as president of the…

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Survivor shares stories from church-run residential ‘school’ St. Eugene’s in B.C.

CRANBROOK (CANADA)
Toronto Star [Toronto, Canada]

June 11, 2021

By Athena Bonneau

Read original article

This article contains a personal account of abuse endured or witnessed by children at residential “school” that may be triggering. It mentions suicide and violence against children including: sexual, physical, mental and emotional abuse. Support for survivors and their families is available. Call the Indian Residential School Survivors Society at 1-800-721-0066, 1-866-925-4419 for the 24-7 crisis line. The KUU-US Crisis Line Society also offers 24-7 support at 250-723-4050 for adults, 250-723-2040 for youth, or toll free at 1-800-588-8717.

When Jack Kruger, a residential school survivor living in Syilx territory, heard the news about the children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, he says he wasn’t surprised.

“We always said they were there,” says Jack. “Maybe this time they will listen.”

On May 27, Kúkpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc announced that ground-penetrating radar had revealed the remains of 215 children in…

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Sexual abuse claims at Bronx Catholic school spanning 3 decades come to life

NEW YORK (NY)
News 12 New Jersey/ newjersey.news12.com

June 11, 2021

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[VIDEO]

It’s taken him decades to tell his story, but one man is sharing with News 12 his traumatic memories of being sexually abused as a little boy for years at a Catholic school and community center in the Bronx. He says the time to get justice is now as the expiration date for the state’s Child Victims Act approaches.

“As a little child, I could not process what was happening to me. I felt defenseless, I felt dirty. I felt it was my fault,” said the man.

John Doe spoke with News 12’s Asha McKenzie under protection of anonymity.

He says he was sexually abused by now deceased Rudy Tremaroli, a former employee at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School and Community Center.

“The first time I went in there he said, ‘Do you like football?’ and I said ‘yes’ and he was like ‘Oh, I have to measure…

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As Child Victims Act nears end, details of abuse still elusive

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union [Albany NY]

June 12, 2021

By Edward McKinley

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Nearly two years ago, the Child Victims Act went into effect, touted as a way to bring both a reckoning for individuals and institutions involved in decades of child abuse and a measure of justice for their victims. But none of the thousands of court cases that have been filed in New York have yet gone to trial and many details of the alleged institutional coverups that shielded the abuse remain cloaked in secrecy. 

Although there has been extensive pre-trial discovery in many of the cases, including internal records and depositions of key leaders in both the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America, much of that information remains off-limits to the public due to stipulations approved by judges that require all parties in the cases to keep the information private. It’s also possible, if cases are settled and do not go to trial, that the details on the…

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June 11, 2021

An excerpt of a detective’s written summary of her Jan. 7 interview with Katie Logan. (Eden Prairie Police Department via Katie Logan)

‘People of Praise leaders failed me’: Christian group tied to Justice Amy Coney Barrett faces reckoning over sexual misconduct

EDEN PRAIRIE (MN)
Washington Post

June 11, 2021

By Beth Reinhard and Alice Crites

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[Photo above: An excerpt of a detective’s written summary of her Jan. 7 interview with Katie Logan. (Eden Prairie Police Department via Katie Logan)]

In December, Katie Logan called the police in this Minneapolis suburb to unearth a buried secret: Her high school physics teacher had sexually assaulted her two decades earlier, she said. She was 17 and had just graduated from a school run by a small Christian group called People of Praise. He was 35 at the time, a widely admired teacher and girls’ basketball coach who lived in a People of Praise home for celibate men.

Logan told police she reported the June 2001 incident to a dean at the school five years after it happened. Police records show the dean believed Logan and relayed the complaint to at least one other senior school official.

But the teacher, Dave Beskar, remained at Trinity School at River Ridge…

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Victims rights group calls on state court to hear cases of alleged Diocese of Rochester sex abuse victims

ROCHESTER (NY)
News10NBC (WHEC-TV) [Rochester NY]

June 11, 2021

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A victim’s rights organization is calling on New York State’s court system to hear the cases of alleged sex abuse survivors in the Diocese of Rochester, and is accusing the diocese of using “delaying tactics.”

In a news conference Friday organization, Road to Recovery accused the diocese, and Bishop Salvatore Matano, of failing to fairly mediate claims of clergy sexual abuse, and says it is using its bankruptcy process to prolong the court process for survivors.

The diocese is facing a flood of lawsuits filed under the Child Victims Actnaming the diocese as a defendant.

The diocese formally filed for bankruptcy in September of 2019 so it could address the lawsuits and keep its services going. In its filing, the request says that a debtor in bankruptcy, like the diocese, has to at some point be able to establish definitively how much in total liabilities it’ll have to pay…

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Francis rejects Cardinal Marx’s resignation but admits ‘catastrophe’ of abuse crisis

ROME (ITALY)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

June 10, 2021

By Joshua J. McElwee

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Pope Francis on June 10 declined to accept the shocking resignation offered by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx over the failures of the Catholic Church’s response to clergy sexual abuse but admitted the global institution’s handling of abuse over decades had been a “catastrophe.”

In a poignant letter to Marx, released by the Vatican, the pope said the whole of the Catholic Church is “in crisis” because of clergy abuse and said all its members “have to take ownership of history, both personally and communally.”

“The power of institutions will not save us,” Francis said. “The prestige of our Church, which tends to hide her sins, will not save us. Neither the power of money nor the opinion of the media will save us.”

Marx, one of the pope’s closest advisers, had asked last month to be allowed to resign as the archbishop of Munch and Freising as a symbol of…

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‘Preserve the base’: Leaked audio of SBC leaders shows reluctance on dealing with sex abuse

NASHVILLE (TN)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

June 10, 2021

By Bob Smietana, Adelle M. Banks

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Recordings released by a prominent pastor highlight dispute over how to handle abuse allegations in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

Newly released audio clips from a Southern Baptist whistleblower appear to corroborate accusations Southern Baptist Convention leaders were reluctant to take action against churches accused of mishandling abuse.

The audio contains a recording of Ronnie Floyd, president of the SBC’s Executive Committee, telling SBC leaders in an October 2019 meeting that he is concerned about preserving the base in the denomination — even if that leads to criticism from abuse survivors.

“As you think through strategy — and I am not concerned about anything survivors can say,” Floyd says in the recording, taken during a meeting to debrief the Caring Well Conference, held to address the handling of sexual abuse allegations within the SBC. “OK. I am not worried about that. I’m thinking the base. I just want to preserve…

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Vatican tightens grip on lay movements after recent scandals

ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

June 11, 2021

By Elise Ann Allen

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Once described by a top Vatican official as “the unplanned pregnancies” of the Catholic Church, lay movements and associations for decades have been a thorn in the Vatican’s side due to ongoing revelations of various forms of abuse from a swath of lay founders.

For years, much of the blame for failing to recognize the double-lives of founders such as Peruvian layman Luis Fernando Figari of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae or Italian layman Piero Alfio Capuna, also known as “the Archangel,” of the lay-led Catholic Culture and Environment Association (ACCA) , is the lack of a clear oversight mechanism, given that the associations are lay-led, rather than clerical, and therefore are not directly subject to the authority of the local bishops where they operate.

In a decree signed on June 3 by American Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican’s department for Laity, Family, and Life – which oversees lay associations and…

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Buffalo bishop lists some bad Jesuits but ignores others

BUFFALO (NY)
Horowitz Law [Fort Lauderdale FL]

June 10, 2021

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A few weeks ago, on this blog, we were highly critical of the Diocese of Buffalo Catholic officials and how they’re handling abuse cases.

So let’s be charitable now and start on a high note: To its credit, unlike some other dioceses, the Buffalo Catholic diocese includes religious order offenders on its ‘credibly accused’ list.

https://buffalodiocese.org/abuse-response/

(Some church ‘accused’ lists include only diocesan clerics.)

https://buffalodiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Diocesan_Substantiate_11-5-19.pdf

This is important for many reasons, one of which is simple: many times, religious order priests, brothers, monks and seminarians have even greater access to kids than diocesan clerics, because they often work in schools or a vulnerable population.

For example, Buffalo church officials include the following Jesuit clerics on their ‘credibly accused’ list, all of whom worked at Canisius High School, college or both:

—Fr. Peter Conroy

—Fr. Raymond Fullam

—Fr. Vincent Mooney

—Fr. James Gould (who also worked at St. Ann’s…

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Canadian bishops: Indigenous delegation to meet with pope by end of 2021

OTTAWA (CANADA)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

June 11, 2021

By Catholic News Service

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A delegation of Indigenous people from Canada will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican before the end of the year, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said.

The delegation will include representatives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit national organizations, the bishops said in a statement released June 10.

The statement follows the May 30 announcement by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation of the discovery of 215 bodies buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia.

“The delegation to the Holy See represents an important step on the journey of reconciliation and shared healing for Indigenous Peoples and the Church in Canada,” the bishops said.

“With the strong encouragement of Pope Francis, the Bishops of Canada have pledged true and deep commitment to renewing and strengthening relationships with Indigenous Peoples across the land,” the statement said, citing regional and…

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The abuse crisis and the elusive horizon of a repenting church

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

June 11, 2021

By Massimo Faggioli, La Croix International

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Words of regret and acts of penance are not enough to heal the wounds and right the church

The Catholic Church enjoyed a bit of a renewed honeymoon with the global media after the May 21st announcement of the “synodal process 2021–2023.” But the love fest lasted only about a week.

It was brought to an abrupt and ugly end when law enforcement officials in Canada discovered 215 unmarked graves of indigenous children at a former Catholic-run residential school in British Columbia.

International organizations quickly demanded that the Church in Canada and the Holy See admit responsibility for the tragedy.

Pope Francis expressed his “closeness with Canadians traumatized by the shocking news,” as he addressed pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square at last Sunday’s Angelus. But he stopped short of issuing a direct apology.

June 4th, that fateful day

Canada’s Catholic Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, insisted that the Church and the…

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