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.

July 2, 2021

Ex-New Orleans priest accused of molestation surrenders law license after lying about past

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL-TV [New Orleans LA]

July 2, 2021

By David Hammer and Ramon Antonio Vargas / The New Orleans Advocate

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Patrick Sanders insists he is innocent, saying, “I feel an injustice has been done to me and my life’s vocation has been taken away.”

NEW ORLEANS — A former New Orleans-area priest who was removed from the ministry over credible allegations of child sex abuse before becoming a successful personal injury attorney recently surrendered his law license forever because he hid his scandalous past from bar exam administrators.

According to documents filed with the Louisiana Supreme Court, which metes out discipline to attorneys in the state, Patrick Sanders signed up to take the bar exam in 2007 and 2009. Both times, the application asked, in various forms, whether he had ever been forced out of a job, disciplined for misbehavior or simply accused of misconduct.

Sanders answered “no” each time, even though Catholic Church leaders in New Orleans had stripped him of his position as the pastor of Our Lady…

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Lansing Diocese: Accusations that ex-bishop sexually abused two boys are ‘credible’

LANSING (MI)
WSYM-TV - Fox 47 [Lansing MI]

July 2, 2021

By Matthew Miller

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LANSING, Mich. — The Diocese of Lansing has determined that two allegations of sexual abuse against former Bishop James Sullivan are credible.

Both victims were boys who were “subject to sexual grooming and inappropriate contact by Sullivan” in the mid-1960s when Sullivan was living at the Church of the Resurrection Parish in Lansing, according to a statement released by the diocese on Friday.

Sullivan, who died in 2006, was auxiliary bishop of the diocese from 1972 to 1985 before becoming Bishop of Fargo in North Dakota from 1985 to 2002.

“Bishop Sullivan’s actions were gravely immoral, deeply scandalous and betrayed both the trust of the Catholic community within the Diocese of Lansing and, more significantly, the faith placed in him by the victims and their families to whom we say: ‘This should not have happened to you and we are profoundly sorry that it ever did,’” said David Kerr, spokesman…

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Allegations of minor sex abuse in Michigan against former Fargo Catholic Bishop James Sullivan

FARGO (ND)
KFGO radio [Fargo ND]

July 2, 2021

By Paul Jurgens

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FARGO (KFGO) – The Fargo Roman Catholic Diocese says sexual abuse claims of a minor by former Bishop James Sullivan have been substantiated while he was serving as a priest in Lansing, Michigan.

The diocese says the abuse took place several decades ago.

There were no credible abuse allegations made against Sullivan while he was in Fargo. Sullivan died in June 2006 after his retirement.

As a result of the substantiated claims in Michigan, the diocese has changed the name of Sullivan Middle School in Fargo to Sacred Heart Middle School.

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Ex-Vatican adviser faces trial after claiming he could cure gay men by having sex with them

PARIS (FRANCE)
Pink News [United Kingdom]

July 2, 2021

By Lily Wakefield

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A former Vatican adviser who campaigned against same-sex marriage and gay priests is facing trial over claims he told gay men he could cure them with sex.

Tony Anatrella, an 80-year-old French psychotherapist, Catholic priest and former Vatican adviser, who has been plagued by accusations of sexual abuse for the last 20 years.

Finally, the Paris Archdiocese has confirmed that Anatrella will face trial in a church court, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

There are not yet any details on the charges he will face, or when the trial will begin.

In 2006, a man named Daniel Lamarca went public with his accusations of sexual abuse by Anatrella in an interview with Dutch newspaper Nederlands Dagblad. 

Lamarca said he tried to report the alleged abuse to the archbishop of Paris in 2001, but was ignored. “I know details about Anatrella’s body that could only be known…

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Both Are Abuse Survivors, but One Can Sue and One Can’t

SYRACUSE (NY)
New York Times

June 7, 2021

By David W. Chen

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A proposed law in New York would clear the way for people who were abused after turning 18 to sue for damages

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — After months of video calls and group emails, Robert Druger and Robert Bender agreed to meet for the first time on Memorial Day and revisit the places that had caused so much parallel anguish, four decades ago.

Here, Druger said, was the loading dock at the rear of a Syracuse University residence hall. This was where a charming graduate student who happened to be a former Olympic hurdler had sneaked high school athletes like Druger into his suite, only to groom and molest them later.

There, Bender pointed, behind the glass doors, was the elevator that he rode up to his room, the day he arrived on campus in 1980. This was where that same Olympian, upon learning Bender was a gymnast, had promised elite…

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Stray Thoughts: A church and its misplaced priorities

DES MOINES (IA)
Bloomfield Democrat [Bloomfield IA]

June 29, 2021

By Randy Evans

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Talk about lousy timing.

The biggest religion story in Iowa last week was a jaw-dropper. Attorney General Tom Miller announced he has concluded a three-year investigation of sexual abuse allegations against priests in the four Roman Catholic dioceses in our state.

Miller’s staff examined church records, some dating to the 1930s, that involved about 100 priests. His office also received and looked into 50 allegations against 36 priests, many of whom were the subject of earlier complaints.

Most of the cases involved priests who are now either deceased or retired. But three of the allegations involved priests who are still active in the church’s ministry.

“Sexual abuse took place over decades,” Miller’s report said. “The complaints, the victims, the duration of the abuse were overwhelming.”

He continued: “The cover-up was extensive. The image and reputation of the church were put ahead of the enormous harm to young people.”

Here we…

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U.S. to Search Former Native American Schools for Children’s Remains

WASHINGTON (DC)
New York Times

June 23, 2021

By Christine Hauser and Isabella Grullón Paz

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Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced a new initiative that would delve into the records of the federal schools to which Native American children were forcibly relocated for 150 years.

The United States will search federal boarding schools for possible burial sites of Native American children, hundreds of thousands of whom were forcibly taken from their communities to be culturally assimilated in the schools for more than a century, the interior secretary announced on Tuesday.

The initiative is likely to resemble a recent effort in Canada, where the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the site of a defunct boarding school rekindled discussion of the traumatic history and treatment of Native populations.

Addressing a virtual conference of the National Congress of American Indians, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said the program would “shed light on the unspoken traumas of the past, no matter how hard it will…

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Sex abuse claims against ex-Fargo bishop credible, Sullivan Middle School renamed

FARGO (ND)
KVRR-TV (Fox, Ch. 15) [Fargo ND]

July 2, 2021

By Jim Monk

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FARGO (KVRR) – The Diocese of Fargo says an investigation has found that sexual misconduct allegations against former Bishop James Sullivan have been deemed credible.

The investigation was conducted by the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan.  The allegation involves a minor and took place several decades ago when Sullivan was a priest in Lansing.

There have been no allegations made against Sullivan during his time as Bishop of Fargo or after his retirement.

Sullivan was Bishop of the Fargo Diocese from 1985 to 2002.  He died in 2006.

“I am saddened by the reports concerning Bishop Sullivan, and I am sure the faithful of the Diocese of Fargo share in my disappointment” Diocese of Fargo Bishop John Folda said.  “I ask that we join in prayers for healing and continue in our resolve and efforts to protect those whom we serve.”

Sullivan Middle School, part of the St. John Paul II Catholic…

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Announcement from Bishop John Folda on allegations against the late Bishop Sullivan

FARGO (ND)
Diocese of Fargo ND

July 2, 2021

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The Diocese of Fargo has been informed by the Diocese of Lansing, MI that after an investigation, accusations of sexual misconduct with a minor made against the late Bishop James Sullivan, sixth Bishop of Fargo, and previously a priest of the Diocese of Lansing, have been deemed credible. The Diocese of Lansing has added Bishop Sullivan’s name to its list of clergy with credible accusations of sexual misconduct with a minor.

As a result of this, the Diocese of Fargo has also added Bishop Sullivan’s name to its list of clergy who served or ever lived within the Diocese of Fargo who are on the list of another diocese/religious order. 

“I am saddened by the reports concerning Bishop Sullivan, and I am sure the faithful of the Diocese of Fargo share in my disappointment,” said Bishop Folda. “I ask that we join in prayers for healing and continue in our resolve and efforts…

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Sex abuse allegations against former Fargo bishop deemed credible; middle school renamed

FARGO (ND)
inforum.com [Fargo ND]

July 2, 2021

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Sullivan Middle School, part of the St. John Paul II Catholic Schools network, was named after Bishop Sullivan. Due to the allegations, Sullivan Middle School has been renamed Sacred Heart Middle School, the Fargo Diocese said.

FARGO — Accusations of sexual abuse of a minor against a former Fargo bishop have been deemed credible by Catholic officials, the Fargo Diocese said in a statement issued Friday, July 2.

The accusations are against the late Bishop James Sullivan, the sixth bishop of Fargo, who was previously a priest of the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan.

“The accusations allege the incidents took place several decades ago when Bishop Sullivan was a priest in the Lansing Diocese. There have been no allegations made against Bishop Sullivan during his time as Bishop of Fargo or after his retirement,” the Fargo Diocese said in its statement.

Sullivan died June 12, 2006, in Fargo.

Sullivan Middle School,…

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Poland’s Bishops Release Data on Allegations of Clerical Sexual Abuse

WARSAW (POLAND)
Catholic Herald [London, England]

July 1, 2021

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Over the course of eighteen months, from July 2018 to December 2020, the Catholic Church in Poland recorded 368 allegations of sexual abuse of minors, with accusations going as far back as 1958.

The nation’s Catholic bishops presented the figures at a press conference on Monday. It was the second report on abuse cases released by the Bishops’ Conference, with the first detailing 382 cases reported between January 1990 and June 2018. Monday’s report reflects new allegations since then.

At Monday’s press briefing, the Conference’s coordinator for the protection of children and young people, Adam Zak, said, “We have a wave of revelations. This is a continuous wave, you can see that this is not a downward trend, but there are consistently quite high figures.”

The cases reported between 2018 and 2020 involved 292 priests and religious, with 58 having more than one allegation against them. Half of the cases…

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The Cosby Conviction Reversal Reveals a Faultline in Our Justice System for Sex Assault Victims: Unfairly Short Statutes of Limitation

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Justia [Mountain View CA]

July 1, 2021

By Marci Hamilton

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court sent shockwaves through the sex assault survivor community when it let Bill Cosby off on a narrow technicality. Over 50 women have accused Cosby of assault, and the testimony at his second criminal trial sealed the truth: this man is a predator. A jury said so, because the evidence is overwhelming.

So why did the Pennsylvania Justices let him out? Because they said District Attorney Bruce Castor gave Cosby a deal that his successor couldn’t renege—a promise not to prosecute the charges brought by Andrea Constand in a press release, which then opened the door to Cosby being sued for civil damages. He settled for $3.4 million in that case and admitted to slipping Quaaludes to women to have sex with them, aka, to rape them.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s majority held that Castor’s public promise not to prosecute was binding and that, therefore, Cosby never should have been…

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Catholic priest faces charges after being accused of sexually assaulting a child in 1998

PLUM (PA)
Tribune-Review [Pittsburgh PA]

June 29, 2021

By Tanisha Thomas

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A Catholic priest is facing multiple charges stemming from an alleged sexual assault on an 8-year-old boy on two occasions 23 years ago at a parish in Plum.

The Rev. Robert Cedolia is charged by Allegheny County Police with aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors, two counts of indecent assault and one count of unlawful contact with minor.

The accuser, now 31, told county detectives on Oct. 20, 2020, that both incidents occurred prior to his first Holy Communion in spring 1998 at Our Lady of Joy in Plum, according to a criminal complaint.

In the first incident, according to the complaint, the accuser said he was removed from the other students attending the training and taken to the Sacristy room by Cedolia. Because the boy had previously requested to be more involved in Mass as a bell ringer, he thought that Cedolia was sizing him for a robe. But the…

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FMCSD reviewing sexual abuse accusations against namesake of Father Turcotte School

FORT MCMURRAY (CANADA)
Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune [Alberta, Canada]

July 2, 2021

By Vincent McDermott

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Two people who attended the Holy Angels Residential School in Fort Chipewyan are accusing Father J.A. Turcotte, who has an elementary school named after him in Fort McMurray, of sexually abusing their peers in the 1960s.

“I could hear him do things to the others,” the man said. “He didn’t get what he wanted from me but I watched out for him all the time.”

Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation said the older students used to call Turcotte “Father Jerk-off.” He was not at the school at the same time as Turcotte, but said stories were common among the older children, including siblings, who knew him.

“They honour him while we walk the streets of Fort McMurray,” said Adam.

Adam made his accusations while speaking at the Bring Our Children Home Healing Rally outside St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in downtown Fort McMurray.

During his…

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182 human remains discovered in unmarked graves near former residential school

CRANBROOK (CANADA)
CNN [Atlanta GA]

July 1, 2021

By Rebekah Riess, CNN

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A search has revealed 182 human remains in unmarked graves at the site of another residential school in British Columbia.

The Lower Kootenay Band, a member band of the Ktunaxa Nation, has announced that remains were found at the site of the former St. Eugene’s Mission School near the city of Cranbrook.

This announcement comes after hundreds of unmarked graves thought to contain the remains of Indigenous children were recently discovered at the sites of two other former boarding schools in Canada and many First Nations communities having called for a halt to Canada Day celebrations Thursday.

“It is believed that the remains of these 182 souls are from the member Bands of the Ktunaxa nation, neighbouring First Nations communities, & the community of aqam,” the Lower Kootenay Band said in a statement released Wednesday.

A search conducted by the Aqam community using ground-penetrating radar showed…

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Catholic groups urge action against child pornography in Europe

OXFORD (UNITED KINGDOM)
Crux [Denver CO]

July 1, 2021

By Jonathan Luxmoore, Catholic News Service

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OXFORD, United Kingdom — Catholic campaigners have demanded action to curb growing online pornography and child abuse in the European Union, as the bloc’s Catholic bishops welcomed new legislative proposals but also urged tighter controls.

“Internet access and digitization have greatly increased during the coronavirus pandemic, and we’re deeply concerned about the effects on children of harassment, abuse and grooming,” said Bénédicte Colin, policy manager with the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe.

“In most EU member-states, it’s illegal for minors to access online pornography, but these regulations aren’t put into practice. However effective your laws, they count for little or nothing if not implemented.”ADVERTISING

The French lay Catholic spoke as the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, representing over a thousand bishops, published a statement on current EU efforts to combat online crime.

In a June 20 interview with Catholic News Service, Colin said her federation,…

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Quebec religious order settles two class-action suits out of court

MONTREAL (CANADA)
Crux [Denver CO]

July 2, 2021

By Francois Gloutnay

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Quebec’s Brothers of the Sacred Heart agreed to pay 60 million Canadian dollars (US$48.5 million) to settle two class action lawsuits on clerical sexual abuse.

The suits, filed in 2016 and 2019, were settled out of court at a conference presided over by retired Judge Claudette Picard. The agreement must be approved by the Superior Court.

The two class actions “targeted no less than 90 aggressors,” said Pierre Boivin, one of the victims’ lawyers. The aggressors — several of them are named in the applications to institute proceedings — are religious and ex-religious. Many are now deceased.

In a statement issued June 29, the Quebec leaders of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart made a point of officially apologizing to the victims.

“Any form of abuse is in flagrant contradiction with the values and educational mission of religious communities who want to establish a relationship of trust with the young…

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The man said in the suit he was abused by Bruce Ritter (above) for three years as a teenager.David Rentas/N.Y. Post

NY Catholic church sued by Cali man who claims years of abuse in youth home

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Post

July 1, 2021

By Priscilla DeGregory and Jessica Sonkin

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[Photo above: The man said in the suit he was abused by Bruce Ritter (above) for three years as a teenager. David Rentas/N.Y. Post]

A California man has filed suit against the Catholic church in New York claiming he was repeatedly sexually abused when he was a teen by Covenant House founder Father Bruce Ritter in the 1980s, new court papers show.

The man — who filed suit anonymously in Manhattan Supreme Court under the initials BC — claims Ritter began molesting him when he was just 13 in 1981, with the abuse continuing until he was 16, according to the complaint from Thursday.

Ritter — who died in 1999 — first befriended the teen buying him gifts and clothing and paying him special attention “in an effort to earn his trust,” the court papers allege.

But within a month of arriving at the home for wayward youths, Ritter started his years-long…

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Explosion of clergy sexual abuse cases in Poland

La Croix International [France]

June 30, 2021

By Magda Viatteau

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The wave of sexual abuse accusations within the Church is intensifying in John Paul II’s homeland, according to a new report published by Poland’s Catholic bishops

The Catholic bishops of Poland have released new statistics on sexual abuse in the Church, following the Holy See’s recent sanctioning of a several prelates for “negligence” in handling cases of priests who abused minors.

The publication of the new data this past Monday also followed a lengthy visit to Poland by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE).

The Italian was in the Eastern European country to investigate similar accusations of negligence against John Paul II’s former secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz.

“We are facing a wave of accusations,” said Adam Żak, the Jesuit priest in charge of the Polish episcopal conference’s office for the protection of minors.

“The trend is not downward; it remains at a…

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Boy Scouts of America reach $850 million deal with sex abuse accusers

WILMINGTON (DE)
New York Daily News

July 1, 2021

By Stephen Rex Brown

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The Boy Scouts of America have reached an agreement that will pay around $850 million to more than 60,000 men who say they were abused as scouts, the Daily News has learned.

The deal, announced late Thursday, is major step toward the embattled youth organization emerging from bankruptcy.

Under the agreement filed in Delaware Bankruptcy Court, the Boy Scouts of America will pay $250 million. Local councils of the Scouts will pay at least $600 million, some of it through the transfer of property.

The deal is the result of months of negotiations between survivor groups, the Boy Scouts of America and more than 250 local councils, which are akin to franchises. Victims will continue to seek money from insurers, former insurers and chartered organizations of the Scouts such as the Catholic and Mormon Churches.

The process of distributing money to victims will begin once the Scouts exit chapter 11…

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July 1, 2021

CCCB Statement – Date of the Delegation to the Holy See

OTTAWA (CANADA)
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB)

June 29, 2021

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Following the 10 June 2021 announcement regarding the delegation of Indigenous people to meet with the Holy Father to foster meaningful encounters of dialogue and healing, the Catholic Bishops of Canada are pleased to announce that the delegation is scheduled to take place from 17‑20 December 2021 in compliance with global travel restrictions.

Pope Francis is deeply committed to hearing directly from Indigenous Peoples, expressing his heartfelt closeness, addressing the impact of colonization and the role of the Church in the residential school system, in the hopes of responding to the suffering of Indigenous Peoples and the ongoing effects of intergenerational trauma. The Bishops of Canada are deeply appreciative of the Holy Father’s spirit of openness in generously extending an invitation for personal encounters with each of the three distinct groups of delegates – First Nations, Métis and Inuit – as well as a final audience with all delegates together on…

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Pope Agrees to Meet With Indigenous Groups From Canada About Schools

OTTAWA (CANADA)
New York Times

June 30, 2021

By Ian Austen and Vjosa Isai

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OTTAWA — Pope Francis will meet with Indigenous leaders later this year to discuss coming to Canada to apologize for the church’s role in operating schools that abused and forcibly assimilated generations of Indigenous children, a step toward resolving the grievances of survivors and Indigenous communities, the head of Canada’s largest Indigenous organization said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said that the pope will meet separately at the Vatican with the representatives of Canada’s three biggest Indigenous groups — the First Nations, the Métis and the Inuit — during a four-day series of meetings in December that will culminate in a joint session with all three.

“Pope Francis is deeply committed to hearing directly from Indigenous Peoples, expressing his heartfelt closeness, addressing the impact of colonization and the role of the Church in the residential school system,” the bishops wrote.

Canada’s Indigenous…

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Opinion: Deb Haaland: My grandparents were stolen from their families as children. We must learn about this history.

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

June 11, 2021

By U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland

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Deb Haaland, the U.S. interior secretary, is the first Native American to serve as a Cabinet secretary.

Deb Haaland discusses this piece in more detail on James Hohmann’s podcast, “Please, Go On.” Listen now.

As I read stories about an unmarked grave in Canada where the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found last month, I was sick to my stomach. But the deaths of Indigenous children at the hands of government were not limited to that side of the border. Many Americans may be alarmed to learn that the United States also has a history of taking Native children from their families in an effort to eradicate our culture and erase us as a people. It is a history that we must learn from if our country is to heal from this tragic era.

I am a product of these horrific assimilation policies. My maternal grandparents were stolen from…

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Secretary Haaland Announces Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative

WASHINGTON (DC)
U.S. Department of the Interior

June 22, 2021

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Outlines Path Forward on Troubled Legacy of Federal Boarding School Policies in Remarks to National Congress of American Indians

Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON — In remarks to the National Congress of American Indians 2021 Mid Year Conference today, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced a Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive review of the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies.

Today’s announcement is accompanied by a secreterial memo in which Secretary Haaland directs the Department to prepare a report detailing available historical records, with an emphasis on cemeteries or potential burial sites, relating to the federal boarding school program in preparation for a future site work. This work will occur under the supervision of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs.

“The Interior Department will address the inter-generational impact of Indian boarding schools to shed light on the unspoken traumas of the past, no matter how hard it will be,” said Secretary…

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Menominee Tribal members say ancestors’ stories and unmarked graves on reservation detail past residential school abuse

KESHENA (WI)
WBAY-TV [Green Bay WI]

July 1, 2021

By Jeff Alexander

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[VIDEO]

KESHENA, Wis. (WBAY) – The recent discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves on the grounds of former residential schools for Indigenous children in Canada is triggering pain and anger on the Menominee Indian Reservation.

Tribal members say many of their ancestors suffered traumatic experiences at similar boarding schools on the reservation and across the country. They say their grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ stories, along with many unmarked graves near where boarding schools once stood, are proof of rampant abuse and neglect.

Behind a Catholic church in Keshena, Lorraine Shooter leads us into the woods where a number of Menominee children a buried.

“Some of the ages are pretty young and it makes you wonder how they passed away,” says Shooter.

Most of the graves on this land, though, are unmarked.

“Back here some of the elders had said that they just pushed the graves back there and there are people…

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Update On Ongoing Investigation Of Abuse

BIG ROCK (IL)
Anglican Diocese of the Upper Midwest [Wheaton IL]

June 29, 2021

By Bishop Stewart Ruch III

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Beloved Upper Midwest Diocese:

I am writing to give you an update on the ongoing independent investigation that I announced to you in this pastoral letter several weeks ago about a heartbreaking situation in one of our former congregations in Big Rock, Illinois. 

As some of you may be aware, one of the survivors recently spoke about this on social media, identifying herself as a victim of sexual violence and raising important questions and concerns about the diocese’s investigative process related to Mark Rivera.

Let me first say that I and our diocesan leadership continue to be deeply grieved and disturbed that anyone within our diocesan community has been victimized. This is an extremely painful, traumatic experience. We long for our diocese to be a place of true safety for all. 

Not only that, but we are committed to responding to any allegations of abuse within any of our churches in…

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New ‘twin-track’ Clergy Conduct Measure is flawed, warn critics

LONDON (UNITED KINGDOM)
Church Times [London, England]

July 1, 2021

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THE “twin-track” replacement for the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) proposed by the Lambeth working group and due to be discussed at General Synod in a week’s time is missing a track, critics say.

The Vicar-General of York, the Rt Worshipful Peter Collier QC, chaired an independent working group on the CDM set up by the Ecclesiastical Law Society (News, 24 FebruaryComment, 11 December 2020). In an online article for the Church Times this week, he expresses appreciation of the acknowledgement done by the society (ELS) that is contained in the short paper produced for the Synod by the Lambeth Working Group, which was commissioned by the House of Bishops to find reforms and, latterly, a replacement for the discredited CDM.

But he writes: “I don’t understand how we can be said to have assisted to shape their proposals when they appear to have rejected the fundamental thrust of what we…

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Msgr. Tony Anatrella speaks during a conference in Lille, France, in 2012. (Wikimedia Commons/Peter Potrowl)

French priest, former Vatican adviser, to face church trial on abuse claims

PARIS (FRANCE)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

July 1, 2021

By Elisabeth Auvillain

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[Photo above: Msgr. Tony Anatrella speaks during a conference in Lille, France, in 2012. (Wikimedia Commons/Peter Potrowl)]

PARIS — A prominent French priest and psychotherapist who was once an influential Vatican adviser on matters regarding human sexuality is going to face trial in a church court over accusations of inappropriate sexual relationships with male clients, the Paris Archdiocese has confirmed.

The charges against Msgr. Tony Anatrella have not been announced. Neither has a date for the beginning of the proceedings been given. Catholic Church canonical proceedings are often held with strict secrecy requirements.

Rumors of sexual abuse by Anatrella have been circulating for nearly two decades. French dioceses often sent seminarians suspected of being gay to the therapist, who claimed to know how to help young men suppress their homosexuality.

Anatrella, now 80, was banned from ministering as a priest by Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit in 2018. The canonical…

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Polish Catholic Archbishop Sanctioned by Vatican Defends Election as Mayor

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
National Catholic Register - EWTN [Irondale AL]

July 1, 2021

By Catholic News Agency

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The apostolic nunciature in Poland announced on March 29 that the Vatican had sanctioned Archbishop Głódź after a probe under the norms of Pope Francis’ 2019 motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi.

A Polish Catholic archbishop sanctioned by the Vatican has defended his election as a village mayor.

Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź told Radio Zet on June 29 that his role as mayor of Piaski, in northeastern Poland, did not conflict with canon law. 

Canon 285 of the Code of Canon Law says that “clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power.”

But Archbishop Głódź, who holds a doctorate in Eastern Catholic canon law, insisted that the canon did not apply to his new role.

“This is not a government function,” he said.

Archbishop Głódź served the archdiocese of Gdańsk from 2008 to Aug. 13, 2020, when the pope accepted his resignation on his…

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Former St. Mary’s priest named in attorney general’s abuse report

STORM LAKE (IA)
The Storm Lake Times [Storm Lake IA]

June 30, 2021

By Tom Cullen

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A former Storm Lake priest and Fonda man affiliated with the Catholic church have been accused of sexually abusing young boys decades ago, according to an Iowa Attorney General’s report that commended the Sioux City Diocese for keeping an active list of “credibly accused” priests and clergy members.

The attorney general’s report released last week said Everett Apt of St. Mary’s Parish and an unidentified “non-clergy member who was involved in a Catholic organization” in Fonda were among its list of 31 alleged abusers. The allegations reportedly occurred in the 1940s and mid-1960s, which falls out of Iowa’s statute of limitations for criminal prosecution. 

The report said a woman told “several priests” in the 1980s about sexual abuse allegedly committed by Apt against her husband when he was in high school. Apt was already leveled with 10 credible allegations. The woman’s claims were made after Apt’s death.

The diocese withheld…

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Buffalo priest placed on leave following abuse allegations in new lawsuits

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News [Buffalo NY]

June 30, 2021

By Jay Tokasz

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A retired Buffalo priest who is accused of child sex abuse in two recent Child Victims Act lawsuits has been put on administrative leave.

Bishop Michael W. Fisher suspended Monsignor James G. Kelly from active ministry Wednesday after an unnamed plaintiff said in court papers that Kelly molested him from 1980 to 1982. The plaintiff was an 8-to 10-year-old student of the Diocesan Educational Center and attended church at St. Nicholas and St. Benedict the Moor at the time of the alleged abuse. The school and both parishes are now defunct.

The Buffalo Diocese is launching a monitoring program that will include monthly home visits and other restrictions for offending priests.

Kelly, 83, also was accused in a June 11 lawsuit by an unnamed plaintiff of engaging in unpermitted sexual contact with a minor from 2005 to 2007 while assigned to St. Margaret Church in North Buffalo.

Diocese officials said…

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‘No guarantees’ of papal apology for residential schools after Vatican trip: AFN

OTTAWA (CANADA)
CTV Television Network [Toronto, Canada]

June 30, 2021

By Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

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OTTAWA — Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde says there are no guarantees an Indigenous delegation travelling to the Vatican will lead to Pope Francis apologizing in Canada for the Catholic Church’s role in residential schools — but they must try.

Bellegarde confirmed AFN representatives will join Metis and Inuit leaders making the trip in late December to seek a papal apology.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report into the residential school system released in 2015 called for the pope to come to Canada to apologize to survivors as well as their families and communities for the abuses faced by Indigenous children.

It asked for that to happen within one year of the report’s release and to be similar to the papal apology delivered to victims in Ireland that suffered different abuses through the Catholic Church.

Outrage over the lack of an apology has been reaching new…

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As Catholic Church fundraising falls short, Saskatoon bishop still hopes Pope will apologize for residential schools

SASKATOON (CANADA)
CTV Television Network [Toronto, Canada]

June 30, 2021

By Chad Leroux

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SASKATOON — When the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) was signed in 2006, the Roman Catholic Church agreed to provide $25 million in compensation for historical wrongs – and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) says the church hasn’t done enough to reach that goal.

According to a release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, those who signed the IRSSA committed to the following:

  •  Payment of $29 million in cash, which was directed to programs and services und the supervision of First Nations organizations, and to the “Returning to Spirit’ program. The diocese of Saskatoon’s share of this amount was $25,000.
  •  A “services-in-kind” commitment, whereby various community services and programs worth more than $25 million were organized by the various Catholic entities to be provided for Indigenous communities. The diocese of Saskatoon’s services-in-kind contribution to restorative ministry was valued at $43,000.
  •  A final fundraising appeal that was…
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Retired Buffalo priest placed on administrative leave after allegations of abuse surface

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB [Buffalo NY]

June 30, 2021

By Patrick Ryan

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A retired Buffalo priest, who still helps in parish ministry, has been placed on administrative leave after allegations of abuse were levied against 83-year-old Rev. Msgr. James G. Kelly.

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo says a complaint was filed anonymously pursuant to the Child Victims Act by someone who claims they were abused as a child 15 years ago by Msgr. Kelly. The complaint wasn’t served directly to the diocese, it was discovered “during a recent search of publicly filed complaints.”

Msgr. Kelly denied committing any acts of abuse. The diocese notified the Erie County District Attorney’s office and contacted the plaintiff’s attorney after learning of the complaint. The matter has also been reported to their Independent Review Board — responsible for appointing an independent investigator. 

The diocese says they’re working to see if the victim is willing to participate in an investigation.

While waiting for a response from the…

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Pope to meet with Canada Indigenous amid demands for apology

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 30, 2021

By Nicole Winfield

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Pope Francis has agreed to meet in December with Indigenous survivors of Canada’s notorious residential schools amid calls for a papal apology for the Catholic Church’s role in the abuse and deaths of thousands of native children.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said Francis had invited the delegations to the Vatican and would meet separately with three groups — First Nations, Metis and Inuit — during their Dec. 17-20 visit. The pope will then preside over a final audience with all three groups Dec. 20, the conference said in a statement Tuesday.

The Vatican didn’t confirm the visit Wednesday, but the Holy See’s in-house news portal reported on the bishops’ statement. The Canadian bishops said the trip was contingent on the pandemic and that the delegations would include survivors of the residential schools, Indigenous elders and youths, as well as Indigenous leaders and Canadian bishops.

In recent weeks, investigators…

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Canadian Indigenous group says more graves found at new site

CRANBROOK (CANADA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 30, 2021

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A Canadian Indigenous group said Wednesday a search using ground-penetrating radar has found 182 human remains in unmarked graves at a site near a former Catholic Church-run residential school that housed Indigenous children taken from their families.

The latest discovery of graves near Cranbrook, British Columbia follows reports of similar findings at two other such church-run schools, one of more than 600 unmarked graves and another of 215 bodies. Cranbrook is 524 miles (843 kilometers) east of Vancouver.

The Lower Kootenay Band said in a news release that it began using the technology last year to search the site close to the former St. Eugene’s Mission School, which was operated by the Catholic Church from 1912 until the early 1970s. It said the search found the remains in unmarked graves, some about 3 feet (a meter) deep.

It’s believed the remains are those of people from the bands of the…

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Milwaukee Archbishop: ‘It’s the Church That Is Continually Targeted’

MILWAUKEE (WI)
National Catholic Register - EWTN [Irondale AL]

June 30, 2021

By Joseph O'Brien

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Archbishop Jerome Listecki discusses his challenge to the Wisconsin attorney general’s request to reopen old sexual abuse cases.

Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee is one of only a relative handful of clergy in the Catholic Church to hold canon law and civil law degrees. Putting his knowledge of the law to work, the archbishop of Milwaukee has challenged the Wisconsin attorney general’s request to review reports of clergy abuse in the state, seeing it as an infringement on the Church’s rights and a constitutional violation of religious freedom.  

Wisconsin attorney general Josh Kaul announced this past April that it was heading up an investigation into alleged sexual abuse in “the state’s Catholic dioceses and at least three religious orders.”. The review would begin with Wisconsin Department of Justice (WDOJ) requests for files and documents from Catholic dioceses and religious orders. 

Kaul’s review follows on similar reviews by his counterparts in other…

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2016 allegation of Catholic church employee’s sex with minor reported in June

CHARLESTON (SC)
The Post and Courier [Charleston SC]

June 30, 2021

By Olivia Diaz

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The allegation was reported to Charleston Police Department on June 18, reports show.

The employee was identified by the diocese but his position was not noted. The Post and Courier is not naming the accused. 

“(The employee) was terminated after officials with the Diocese of Charleston learned of an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor,” Aselage wrote on June 29.

Charleston police are investigating the allegation. No charges have been filed.

“The complainant, a security consultant for the Catholic Diocese, reported a fondling incident from the summer of 2016 that occurred at or near Blessed Sacrament and the victim’s home,” according to the incident report.

Follow Olivia Diaz on Twitter @oliviardiaz.

Olivia Diaz covers breaking news and public safety in the Charleston area. She spent the past four years in Richmond, Virginia, double majoring in journalism and global studies at the University of Richmond.

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