Evansville Catholic Diocese: Father Etienne placed on leave following sexual misconduct allegation

Officials with the Catholic Diocese of Evansville say Father Bernie Etienne has been placed on administrative leave while they investigate an allegation of sexual misconduct.

According to a press release, the incident allegedly happened more than 20 years ago and civil authorities and the Diocesan Review board have been notified.

Officials say Etienne strongly denies the claim.

Mike McDonnell is the Communications Manager of SNAP, which is the ”Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.”

His organization specializes in researching and understanding abuse at the hands of clergy members.

They also understand the process that takes place after an initial accusation.

“The investigation itself is part of a canonical process,” says McDonnell, “So, it’s an internal investigation within the Diocese.”

The investigation is similar to that of a regular police investigation, with a few key differences.

They still have an investigator go out and collect information and talk to people.

Diocese of Evansville places Father Bernie Etienne on administrative leave

The Diocese of Evansville has received an allegation of sexual misconduct against Father Bernie Etienne, a priest of the diocese, which is alleged to have occurred more than 20 years ago.

Civil authorities and the Diocesan Review Board have been notified.

Father Bernie strongly denies the claim and, as with all accused, he is accorded the presumption of innocence during the investigation of this allegation.

In accord with Church norms, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and in accord with diocesan policies, Father Bernie is on administrative leave and is not able to perform public ministry while the investigation proceeds. Father Alex Zenthoefer has been appointed temporary administrator of Holy Rosary Parish.

Father Bernie has served in the following parishes: St. Joseph, Jasper; St. Joseph, Princeton; Blessed Sacrament, Oakland City; Holy Rosary, Evansville; and Nativity, Evansville. He also served as…

The dioceses of Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Étienne shaken by a new case of pedophilia

Several people have contacted the diocese of Lyon, the diocese of Grenoble-Vienne as well as the diocese of Saint-Etienne to reveal that they or their relatives had been sexually assaulted by Father Louis Ribes, who died in 1994. _We have gained certainty_, last October, the veracity of the facts“.

This is how it begins a joint statement from the three dioceses. A press release published as discreetly as possible on the evening of Thursday, January 13.

For his part, the Bishop of Saint-Étienne explains that he “learned recently that people have been assaulted in the diocese, Fr Ribes being from Grammond, where he returned regularly“. Sylvain Bataille expresses his “deep compassion and [sa] desolation to discover again that a priest could have committed these heinous acts“. Louis Ribes ended his career in Vienne, in Isère and more precisely in the district of Estressin.

The children posed naked for the Picasso of…

Pope names Archbishop Etienne coadjutor archbishop of Seattle

Catholic News Service

Apr 29, 2019

By Kevin Birnbaum

Pope Francis has named Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage to be coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle, meaning he will assist and could succeed Archbishop James P. Sartain in leading the archdiocese.

Etienne, who will celebrate his 60th birthday June 15, has been in Anchorage since October 2016.

Sartain, who will turn 67 June 6, has led the Seattle Archdiocese since 2010.

Etienne was preparing for Holy Week on the morning of Saturday, April 13, when he got a call from Archbishop Christophe Pierre. the apostolic nuncio to the United States, saying Pope Francis had appointed him coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle.

“To say I was caught off guard would be an understatement,” Etienne told Northwest Catholic, magazine for the Seattle Archdiocese. “You just never expect these phone calls.”

Nevertheless, he said, “My answer…

Un ancien prêtre condamné à six mois ferme pour agressions sexuelles à Saint-Etienne

[Former priest sentenced to six months for sexual assault in Saint-Etienne]

Le Monde

December 21, 2019

L’octogénaire a abusé de jeunes garçons pendant des années lors de camps de vacances d’été qu’il organisait en Savoie.

Un ancien prêtre de 85 ans a été condamné, vendredi 21 décembre, par le tribunal correctionnel de Saint-Etienne à dix-huit mois de prison, dont six mois ferme, pour des agressions sexuelles sur un mineur dans les années 1990.

Archbishop Etienne: Bishops need to address ‘blind spot’ of sex abuse

National Catholic Reporter

November 14, 2018

By Heidi Schlumpf

Some bishops have been more concerned about the reputation of the church than about victims of sexual abuse, indicating “clear corruption” and “a blind spot” that must be addressed, said Archbishop Paul Etienne of Anchorage, Alaska.

Etienne suggested a study — similar to the 2011 John Jay College “causes and context” study of priests who abused minors — to help understand “the episcopal attitude that was able to handle the abuse situation in such an inept way over the decades.”

He also criticized bishops “who have gotten too accustomed to listening to lawyers over victims” and said that he and his brother bishops must remain vigilant against “the three Ps” — pride and the desire for privilege and power.

“That’s a corruption of our life as shepherds that has to be called out and say ‘No more. It’s…

Francia, la diocesi di Saint Etienne denuncia sospetti abusi sessuali commessi su tre minorenni

Rete L’Abuso

[France: The Diocese of Saint Etienne reports suspected sexual abuse of three minors.]

Parigi. La diocesi francese di Saint Etienne ieri martedì 4 luglio ha denunciato i sospetti abusi sessuali commessi su tre minorenni negli anni ’80 dello scorso secolo da un prete che oggi ha 84 anni: i fatti sarebbero prescritti dalla legge, ma la diocesi ha ugualmente deciso di sospendere il religioso dal suo ministero; il vescovo, monsignor Sylvain Bataille, ha dichiarato di aver parlato con il prete sotto accusa, il quale gli avrebbe confessato di essere colpevole.

Le prime denunce contro l’ormai anziano religioso furono presentate all’inizio degli anni 2000, ma non hanno mai avuto seguito; la vicenda aveva suscitato un vasto scandalo in Francia sull’atteggiamento della Chiesa cattolica nei confronti degli episodi di pedofilia, spingendo infine le gerarchie ecclesiastiche ad adottare un nuovo codice di condotta per contrastare il fenomeno.

Le diocèse de Saint-Etienne fait état des abus présumés d’un prêtre dans les années 1980

Le Monde

[The diocese of Saint-Etienne reports the alleged abuses of a priest in the 1980s.]

Le diocèse de Saint-Etienne a révélé, mardi 4 juillet, les abus présumés d’un prêtre de 84 ans dans les années 1980 à l’encontre de trois mineurs, des faits aujourd’hui prescrits mais pour lesquels il a été relevé de son ministère.

« Le prêtre en question, que j’ai rencontré à trois reprises, reconnaît et regrette profondément ses gestes qui ont été dénoncés au fil du temps », a souligné lors d’une conférence de presse à l’évêché Mgr Sylvain Bataille, confirmant une information du journal 20 Minutes Lyon.
Selon ce dernier, le premier signalement à la justice a été fait en 2000 par la famille de l’une des trois victimes, des garçons âgés de 12 à 16 ans à l’époque des faits, et les deux suivants en 2014 puis en mars dernier par…


Diocese de Ste. Etienne

[A press article published this morning concerns Father Regis Peyrard, without naming him explicitly, for acts of sexual assault on minors. He recognizes the facts. Such acts are always unspeakable. We are thinking first of all of the victims and their families, their suffering and the dramatic consequences of these acts.]

Un article de presse paru ce matin met en cause le Père Régis Peyrard, sans le nommer explicitement, pour des faits d’agressions sexuelles sur des mineurs. Celui-ci reconnaît les faits. De tels actes sont toujours inqualifiables. Nous pensons d’abord aux victimes et à leurs familles, à leurs souffrances et aux conséquences dramatiques de ces actes.

Depuis l’an 2000, à trois reprises des victimes se sont manifestées et à chaque fois les faits ont été signalés à la justice. Dès le premier signalement, des mesures internes à l’Eglise ont également été prises : résider…

Le diocèse de Saint-Etienne touché par une affaire de pédophilie


[Catholic authorities in Saint-Etienne made public on Tuesday the sexual abuse of minors committed by a priest in the 1980s. Now 84 years old, the man of the church was relieved of his ministry. He acknowledged the facts.]

Les autorités catholiques de Saint-Etienne ont rendu publics mardi les abus sexuels sur mineurs qu’aurait commis un prêtre dans les années 80. Aujourd’hui âgé de 84 ans, l’homme d’Eglise a été relevé de son ministère.

Il a reconnu les faits. Un prêtre du diocèse de Saint-Etienne, dans la Loire, a été relevé de son ministère, a annoncé le diocèse lui-même, après avoir rendu public les agressions sexuelles dont l’ecclésiastique est soupçonné. Les actes, commis à l’encontre de trois mineurs, remontent aux années 80. Les trois jeunes garçons étaient alors âgés entre 12 et 16 ans.

Abus sexuels : une enquête vise le cardinal Barbarin

Famille Chretienne

Le parquet de Lyon a ouvert une enquête préliminaire pour « non-dénonciation de crime » et « mise en danger de la vie d’autrui » à l’encontre du cardinal Philippe Barbarin, de plusieurs responsables du diocèse de Lyon, et du cardinal Müller, préfet de la Congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi. Cette enquête fait suite au dépôt de plusieurs plaintes par l’association « La Parole libérée », regroupant des victimes du Père Bernard Preynat, soupçonné d’agressions sexuelles sur des scouts entre 1986 et 1991. Elles reprochent à l’Église de ne pas avoir dénoncé à la justice les agissements de ce prêtre.

Prenant acte « avec gravité » de cette enquête, le cardinal Barbarin a rappelé dans un communiqué « qu’il n’était pas archevêque de Lyon à l’époque des faits et qu’il n’a jamais couvert aucun fait de pédophilie ». Le 19 février, le porte-parole du Vatican avait estimé que le cardinal Barbarin avait agi avec « extrême responsabilité ». Preuve…

Br. Clifton Raymond Etienne

Order: SVD
Ordained: 1979
Status: Sued

Diocese: Diocese of San Bernardino CA

Accused in a civil suit of abuse at Divine Word Seminary in Riverside when he was a religious brother, prior to ordination. Assigned as a priest to St. Patrick's parish in the Oakland diocese 1979-80, St. Anthony's in San Bernardino 1981-88, then back to Divine Word Seminary 1988-98. Died in 5/98. Personnel file released10/25/10. On San Diego diocese's 9/18 list.

Fr. Etienne LeBlanc

Ordained: 1971
Status: Settled

Diocese: Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux LA

Placed on leave in 8/07 from assignment at Annunziata in Houma after accusation by a 26-year-old man that LeBlanc sexually abused him, including rape, when he was a 9-year-old altar boy Holy Cross in Morgan City in the early 1990s. LeBlanc denied the allegations; was sent for counseling 1986-87. Accuser filed civil suit in 2007 and made a criminal complaint. In 7/11, court ordered the diocese to turn investigative report over to plaintiff. Diocese objected. Other alleged victims known. Documents to remain sealed as of 8/11. Case settled in 10/12. On diocese's list 1/11/19. It notes "diocese stripped LeBlanc of his ability to perform priestly duties."

Vatican’s quiet reprimand of US bishop raises concerns about pope’s clergy abuse law

Earlier this year, the retired bishop of the Diocese of Yakima, Washington, received a formal reprimand from the Vatican for how he handled clergy abuse allegations — and possibly for how he treated a whistleblower.

Victim advocates have praised the Vatican’s actions on that case as a rare rebuke of a bishop. Yet the dearth of information about both the investigation and subsequent reprimand appears to reinforce advocates’ concerns about one of Pope Francis’ landmark achievements on clergy abuse. Last week’s report that retired East Timor Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo was secretly sanctioned for alleged abuse has raised similar critiques.

Vos Estis Lux Mundi (“You Are the Light of the World”), issued by Francis in 2019, is a sweeping set of laws that includes a system to evaluate reports of abuse or cover-up by bishops. Bishop Carlos Sevilla, who led the central Washington diocese from 1996…

Former Yakima bishop reprimanded by pope for ‘mistakes’

News: ‘Vos estis lux mundi’

The Vatican has issued a formal reprimand to the former bishop of the Diocese of Yakima, Washington, according to media reports confirmed to The Pillar by diocesan officials. 

Bishop Carlos Sevilla, SJ, was formally reprimanded by the Vatican over his handling of allegations of clerical sexual abuse in the eastern Washington diocese. Sevilla led the Yakima diocese from 1996 until his retirement in 2011, when he was succeeded by Bishop Joseph Tyson. 

The rebuke was first reported Sunday by the Yakima Herald-Republic. According to the newspaper, an investigation was conducted last year into Sevilla’s handling of cases of clerical abuse and misconduct, and into allegations that diocesan employees were subject to retaliation for raising concerns about the handling of allegations. 

The investigation into Sevilla was carried out by Archbishop Paul Etienne, who became Archbishop of Seattle, the provincial metropolitan see, in September 2019.

The Herald-Republic reported that…

Robert Fontana, director of Catholic Life Ministries of Seattle, speaks during a recent marriage enrichment workshop at a Catholic parish in Palm Desert, Calif. Courtesy photo.

Robert Fontana raised concerns about abuse during time in Yakima

[Photo above: Robert Fontana, director of Catholic Life Ministries of Seattle, speaks during a recent marriage enrichment workshop at a Catholic parish in Palm Desert, Calif. Courtesy photo.]

Robert Fontana worked for the Diocese of Yakima from 1991 through 2005, beginning as the director of ministry formation and deacon formation. Later his job evolved into the director of evangelization, and he also coordinated the diocesan pastoral council.

Throughout his employment with the diocese, Fontana also worked part-time for Catholic Life Ministries, supported by Yakima bishops Francis George and Carlos Sevilla.

According to its website, Catholic Life Ministries is an independent nonprofit with a focus on awakening faith, strengthening marriages and families, and building Christian community. It runs educational programs, retreats and other events for men, women and young people.

“I had a symbiotic relationship, if you will — I couldn’t stay working for the diocese without Catholic…

Vatican issues reprimand of former Yakima Bishop Carlos Sevilla

An investigation of a former Yakima Catholic Diocese bishop’s handling of clergy sex abuse cases and the treatment of two employees who reported them has produced a rare reprimand from the Vatican.

Under a 2019 Pope Francis directive meant to protect reporters of abuse, retired Yakima Bishop Carlos Sevilla was reprimanded for causing “scandal or a grave disturbance of order,” according to several sources. The decision was announced privately in May to one of the now-former employees.

“I’ve followed and been involved in this issue for over 30 years. I believe this is a virtually unprecedented case,” David Clohessy, a longtime advocate for Catholic Church reform and the former director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, wrote in an email to the Yakima Herald-Republic.

“All too rarely, Vatican officials have taken action against corrupt bishops. But almost never have they done so on behalf of…

French Catholic association shut down for ‘mismanagement’

Officials insist the association was shut down due to dysfunction, not abuse.

Mission Thérésienne, a French canonical association of the faithful active in about 20 countries, has been shut down by the bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux for “substantial dysfunctions” in its management.

The association, named after Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, encourages children and their families to pray for vocations and for about 6,500 priests and religious they have adopted. It promptly closed its website and its five magazines for young Catholics, promising to refund the subscriptions.

The shutdown was the latest community closure or diocesan inspection in France, where Church management has come under increasing scrutiny after the country’s two top archbishops, in Paris and Lyon, quit over the past two years. 

New communities in France, often charismatic or traditional groups that have grown in recent decades as vocations to the diocesan clergy fall, have received special attention. Pope Francis announced in…

Our Archives

The mission of BishopAccountability.org is to collect the documents and other sources of information that are needed to understand the Catholic clergy abuse problem. The files of accused persons form the core of our collection, and various other archives support those fundamental documents. On this page, we provide an introduction to our various archives. For your convenience, we start with links to some of our key document collections – large and small. Then we get into the details. The list below provides links to 43,772 pages of files – about 50% of the total that we offer online, and 20% of our public archive. Our entire holdings, including files that we are preparing for release, total more than 1.5 million pages.

Evansville priest on leave after allegations of sexual misconduct

A Evansville priest has been removed from the public ministry after an allegation of sexual misconduct from 20 years ago was reported to the Diocese of Evansville.

According to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Father Bernie Etienne served at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church and is currently placed on administrative leave.

The Diocese did not clarify the nature of the allegations against Father Etienne, regarding the age, gender of the victim and where the sexual misconduct took place.

The Director of Communications for the Diocese said, “Civil authorities and the Diocesan Review Board have been notified. Father Bernie strongly denies the claim and, as with all accused, he is accorded the presumption of innocence during the investigation of this allegation.”

SNAP responds as yet another priest in Indiana is accused of sexual misconduct

Father Bernie Etienne, who worked at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, has been removed from public ministry after the Diocese of Evansville received an accusation of sexual misconduct against the clergyman stemming from 20 years ago. Father Etienne is on administrative leave and is not able to act as a priest while the complaint is investigated. 

The Diocese did not expand on the nature of the accusation — where it occurred or the gender and age of the victim. The Director of Communications for the Diocese simply said, “Civil authorities and the Diocesan Review Board have been notified. Father Bernie strongly denies the claim and, as with all accused, he is accorded the presumption of innocence during the investigation of this allegation.”

However, we know that false allegations of sexual abuse are extremely rare. While it is not entirely clear whether the accusation involves a child or an adult, the fact that it…

Catholic Diocese of Evansville priest accused of sexual misconduct

The Catholic Diocese of Evansville disclosed Wednesday that one of its priests has been accused of sexual misconduct.

In a news release, the diocese said it received an allegation of sexual misconduct against Father Bernie Etienne, who serves as pastor at Evansville’s Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 1301 S. Green River Road.

The Catholic Diocese of Evansville said it brought the complaint, which Etienne “strongly” denies, to “civil authorities” and the Diocesan Review Board.

Etienne has been placed on administrative leave. The misconduct is alleged to have happened more than 20 years ago, the release states.

From 1996 to 2006, Etienne served as pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Gibson County, according to Courier & Press archives. The C&P contacted the Gibson County Prosecutor’s office, but did not hear back prior to publication. 

Evansville Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Anna Gray said the allegation had not been brought to EPD investigators, and…

Catholic women demand transparency in Church handling clergy abuse

The Sisters in Solidarity, a national forum of Catholic women in India, on February 6 demanded “absolute transparency and accountability” in the way the Church handles sex abuse cases.

The group, comprising religious and lay women, stresses revising canon law and the “theology of priesthood” to cleanse the Church of “elements that breed clericalism, which is an enabler of clerical sexual abuse.”

Such steps would prevent the recurrence of sexual harassment, abuse and abuse in the Church, asserts the solidarity in a letter sent to the Church hierarchy in the Vatican and India.

The letter is written in the backdrop of the acquittal of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar in the historic nun rape and the continued victimization of the accuser and her supporters.

The letter, signed by 15 women and endorsed by 1,263 men and women from around the world, expresses their deep concern and shock at the judgement…

Abuse charges against dead priest known as ‘Picasso of churches’

The French Church has been rocked by repeated scandals over clerical sexual abuse in recent years.

French churches faced a new challenge when it turned out that a priest known as the “Picasso of the Churches” for his prolific church art had sexually abused minors before his death in 1994.

The dioceses of Lyon, Grenoble and Saint Etienne issued a joint statement saying they had received many credible accusations against Fr Louis Ribes and would follow them up. They said his artworks would be “taken down and put away” and urged potential victims to come forward.

Lyon Archbishop Olivier de Germay, whose predecessor Cardinal Philippe Barbarin resigned over a major scandal there, said the Church aimed to uncover all such cases. “Even if it is painful, the Church must follow this line,” he said.

Fr Ribes, who used bright colours and a vaguely cubist style, created dozens of paintings and stained glass…

Team that oversaw French abuse report to meet the pope

Next month members of the independent commission that published a searing report into clerical sexual abuse in France will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican to discuss the issue and carve out a way forward.

Speaking to French radio station Radio chrétienne France (RcF), Jean-Marc Sauvé said he believes that during the meeting, “we must give an account to the Holy Father in a nutshell of what is essential for us: what the sexual abuses in the Church against French society were, and also what were the causes that allowed them.”

This question, he said, is now “at the center of the Church’s attention.”

Sauvé spoke on the margins of assembly of the Conference of Religious men and women in France, where on Thursday he participated in a roundtable discussion on the topic of, “Responsible for the future.”

He is president of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE),…

Opening bishops’ meeting, Vatican ambassador urges prelates to tamp down divisions

The Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S. urged the country’s Catholic bishops on Nov. 16 to try to tamp down divisions among themselves and to embrace Pope Francis’ vision for a listening church, open to change.

In an energetic half-hour address opening the first general session of the bishops’ four-day assembly, Archbishop Christophe Pierre told the prelates gathered here that the church needs “attentive listening more than ever if she is to overcome the polarization facing this country.”

Although Pierre did not specifically mention the bishops’ plans to release a controversial document on Communion, he appeared to touch on the intense disagreements among the prelates in recent months about the text.

The archbishop called on the bishops to prioritize unity and put aside their preconceived ideas in order to be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit.

In an apparent nod to original plans for the Communion text to single…

These 5 US bishops may be in the spotlight for years to come

As the nation’s Catholic bishops begin their annual fall assembly in Baltimore on Nov. 15, much attention will focus on the debate over a document that was originally meant to address pro-choice Catholic politicians like President Joe Biden.

But during the four-day event the bishops will also vote to elect a new treasurer for their national conference, as well as five new chairmen of their standing committees. The bishops selected will have a year to learn their new duties before beginning three-year terms in November 2022. They likely will exercise leadership and influence in the conference for years to come.

The slate of prelates nominated includes a few well-known figures, but also several lower-profile prelates whose ideologies run the gamut from conservative to liberal.

Jesuit Fr. Tom Reese, a journalist who has covered bishops’ meetings for decades, told NCR the outcome of these committee elections can be political,…

Mansour Labaky facing the demons of the past

[Google translation; French text below.]

The champion of Maronitism is once again worried by justice. After being convicted in 2013 by the Vatican, Mansour Labaky faces civil justice. The 81-year-old priest will be tried Monday in Caen, Normandy, on charges of rape and sexual assault on minors.

The sky is low over the mountain of Broummana. At the top of a hill lined with pine trees stands an austere white building. At the reception, a lady behind her counter picks up the receiver: “Hello? May God bless you Monsignor, journalists are there to see you. The switchboard operator changes her face. “Ah, isn’t he here?” He’s not here, ”she points out, nodding her head. “He doesn’t come here often. He has a lot of institutions (to manage), ”she adds. We will never really know if the man she speaks of, the Maronite priest Mansour Labaky, was at that time within the walls of the main building of the Convent of the…

The hard truth of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is demoralizing. But we must confront it

Michael W. Higgins is principal/president of St. Mark’s and Corpus Christi Colleges, University of British Columbia, Senior Fellow of Massey College, and co-author of Suffer the Children unto Me: An Open Inquiry into the Clerical Sex Abuse Crisis.

When Pope Francis met with the Archbishop of Paris and other French bishops at the end of September, he observed on the matter of the then-forthcoming report on sex abuse in the church of France: “Look the truth in the face.”

It is not only the hierarchy that is now doing so, but all of France, Catholic and otherwise. Indeed, the world has taken shocked notice.

The Sauvé Report, an investigation commissioned by the French bishops in 2018 in the wake of a series of clerical sex abuse scandals, was issued on Oct. 5. The tremors of disbelief, outrage and horror continue to reverberate. The statistical tally is staggering: 216,000 people sexually abused…

Indigenous ‘Expert’ Who Advised Book Burnings at Catholic Schools in Canada Draws Scrutiny

Over 4,700 individual books, comprised of several hundred titles, were removed from the shelves or put under review due to alleged outdated, incorrect, or inappropriate depictions of indigenous people.

A Catholic school district in Canada that decided to burn 30 library books about indigenous people and remove some 4,700 others due to alleged mistakes and insensitive portrayals took advice from a woman whose indigenous status and expertise is now in question.

“We were not aware that Suzy Kies does not have Indian status under (federal law) and sincerely believed that we had the opportunity to work with an experienced Indigenous knowledge keeper,” Lyne Cossette, a spokesperson for the school board in southwest Ontario, told the Toronto Sun.

“These revelations have prompted us to rethink our library review process,” Cossette said. “As such, we are pausing the entire Giving Back to Mother Earth project and reviewing how to move forward with regard…

Seattle Archdiocese plan to close churches stirs sadness, anger and resistance

It was a lovely Saturday evening inside Our Lady of Mount Virgin Catholic Church. Light filtered through arched stained glass windows imprinted with dedications to Italian Americans who populated the Mount Baker church after its founding in 1911. Some were open to let in a breeze for the 5 o’clock Mass, normally in Vietnamese for one of several groups of immigrants the church has since attracted.

An English-speaking guest, Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg, helped conduct Mass on this July night — the prelude to a fateful parish meeting. “Tonight is going to be a difficult evening,” Mueggenborg told the crowd of 150 or so. “There is no way around it.”

The bishop, and a handful of others from the Seattle Archdiocese, came to tell parishioners their church would close.

Two other Seattle churches, St. Mary’s in the Central District andSt. Patrick in North Capitol Hill, are also slated to do…

When sin runs deep: One Puyallup church, two priests, one awful legacy of child abuse

Twice in the past two years, a Catholic parish in Pierce County has found itself on a list of sin, scandal and modest compensation for great pain. It’s a list that no church wants to show up on.

Credible allegations of sexual abuse against two former priests led to financial settlements between abuse survivors and the Archdiocese of Seattle. The two served at All Saints Parish in Puyallup within a decade of each other. Both were accused of violating their sacred trust while assigned to the parish on 3rd Street Southwest.

And both men, now dead, won’t see the smidgen of accountability that’s being extracted a half century later.

The latest settlement involves William O’Brien, who began his priesthood in Seattle in 1925 and finished it in Puyallup 45 years later. His longest assignment was at All Saints from 1949 until he died in 1970. According to O’Brien’s unidentified accuser…

Vatican sanctions two Polish bishops for mishandling abuse cases

The retired archbishop of Gdansk and ousted bishop of Kalisz are banished from public events and fined for covering up sex abuse cases

The Holy See has placed sanctions on two controversial bishops in Poland following investigations that revealed both prelates badly mishandled cases of priests who sexually abused minors.

Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glódz, who led the Archdiocese of Gdansk from 2008 until his retirement last August at age 75, was charged with “negligence”.

Bishop Edward Janiak, who was appointed to the Diocese of Kalisz in 2012, was forced to resign last October. But he had already been stripped of his authority last June for mishandling numerous cases of clergy sex abuse and the diocese was put under the leadership of a temporary administrator.

The Polish Bishops’ Conference said the Holy See ordered both men to leave their former dioceses. The Vatican also informed them they could not participate in…

Seattle archbishop is stonewalling push for more transparency of church sex-abuse cases, group contends

Seattle Times

January 2, 2021

By Lewis Kamb


Their ranks include ex-federal prosecutors, a retired judge, a one-time assistant police chief, even a former priest. But a group of prominent Catholics say they still can’t get an audience with Seattle’s new archbishop in their push to address the fallout of a lingering scandal.

Members of Heal Our Church, a Seattle-based alliance of practicing Catholics who seek a public review of how the Roman Catholic Church’s worldwide sexual abuse scandal secretly festered within the parishes of Western Washington, contend they’re being stonewalled by Archbishop Paul Etienne.

Since requesting a meeting with Etienne in January, group members said the archbishop has refused to discuss their call for a citizen-led review of the Seattle Archdiocese’s private records on clergy abuse. Group members contend only full disclosure of the secret files — with a public airing about the archdiocese’s known…

French cardinal reveals future plans after ‘ordeal’ of abuse trial

Catholic News Service via Crux

July 1, 2020

By Jonathan Luxmoore

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who retired from the Archdiocese of Lyon, has left his see to serve as a convent chaplain and envoy for the pope.

In a radio interview, he thanked Catholics for helping the church survive his conviction and acquittal on charges he ignored sexual abuse by a local priest.

“I’m contented and happy to be embarking on something new and joyful at this return to calm after the tempest,” Barbarin told the Lyon-based Radio Chretienne Francophone.

“As an archbishop, I had an incredible amount of administration, official business and financial affairs to deal with, as well as national and international meetings. But my true vocation is as a priest, and I’m now able to rebuild the foundations of my priestly life.”

On July 1, the cardinal was to take up residence with the Little Sisters…

Seattle Archbishop will meet with Catholics who want commission on abuse


January 28, 2020

By Joel Connelly

He’s not happy about it, but Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne said in a Tuesday letter that he will meet with prominent lay Catholics who want a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine church records on clergy sexual abuse and its cover-up.

Etienne sounded very much like a bishop in letters sent to laity and bishops in his Western Washington diocese.

“As archbishop I am asked to shepherd our flock, which means I listen to the concerns of our people and prayerfully discern how we may address them,” the archbishop wrote. “At some point after my ad limina visit to Rome, I will engage this group because we share the same goal bringing healing to the church.”

Prominent Catholics together call for review of Seattle Archdiocese’s secret clergy abuse files

Seattle Times

January 28, 2020

By Lewis Kamb

A group of prominent Catholics announced Tuesday that it’s pursuing a “lay-led,” independent review of the Seattle Archdiocese’s secret clergy files to fully expose the breadth and depth of the church’s sexual abuses in Western Washington and find a path forward for healing the damage caused to generations of the religion’s followers.

Calling itself “Heal Our Church,” the group, which includes former judges and law enforcement officials, abuse survivors, retired clergy and others, last week signed and delivered a letter and statement of key objectives to new Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne, requesting his support of the endeavor.

The letter invites the archdiocese’s participation in the “appointment of an independent, lay led Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine pertinent church archives in order to produce a fact-based reconstruction of this horrific chapter of our church history.”

Police say no plans to look into 2002 investigation into bishop, despite criticism from victim’s family

Casper Star-Tribune

Nov. 23, 2019

By Seth Klamann

Cheyenne police say they have no plans to reexamine that year’s most high-profile sexual abuse investigation. In April 2002, recently retired Wyoming Bishop Joseph Hart was accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy in Cheyenne in the 1970s. The Cheyenne police investigation that followed lasted two months before the allegation was declared unfounded because of a lack of victim cooperation.

Nor is there interest by either of the two men who followed Hart as bishops of Wyoming to look backwards. David Ricken, now a bishop in Wisconsin, and Paul Etienne, now the archbishop in Seattle, both said they couldn’t investigate Hart during their respective reigns atop Wyoming’s Catholic church. The victim wouldn’t cooperate, they said. Neither answered when asked by email if they regretted how they handled the matter. Throughout both of the men’s tenures, Hart’s alleged victims were…

An Abusive Priest from Steubenville Lives near Seattle, WA. and Worked with Vulnerable Teens, SNAP responds

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Nov. 13, 2019

An accused priest from the Diocese of Steubenville, Elwood Bernas, until recently had a job near Seattle that gave him access to vulnerable young people. We call on bishops in both states to aggressively seek out anyone else he may have been hurt to warn police, prosecutors, parents and the public about him.

A year ago, Elwood Bernas’s name appeared on the Steubenville diocese list of credibly accused priests. And according to a newly-released investigation by USA Today, Bernas has been working as “a compliance specialist at Newport Academy, a treatment center outside Seattle for teens who struggle with substance abuse.” Additionally, since 2009 Bernas has been an active figure in a Bremerton, Washington church where he has worked as an organist.

In both of his roles, Bernas has access to children and vulnerable adults. This…

Lack of cooperation stalled Hart investigation, say bishops

Casper Star-Tribune

Nov. 7, 2019

By Seth Klamann

The two bishops who succeeded retired Wyoming bishop Joseph Hart say investigations into the disgraced cleric, who’s been accused of sexual abuse by at least 16 men, were hamstrung by a lack of cooperation by at least one of Hart’s alleged victims years ago.

Bishop David Ricken took over for Hart when the latter cleric retired as the head of the Catholic flock in Wyoming in 2001. The two also lived together briefly. Ricken is now the bishop in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His successor, Paul Etienne, served in Wyoming until 2016. He was recently appointed archbishop of the diocese in Seattle.

Ricken’s tenure was quickly marked by the first Wyoming allegation against Hart, made initially in 2002 by a “second-party family member,” said Justine Lodl, a spokeswoman for the Green Bay diocese. Cheyenne Police later spoke with the victim…

Church: Wyoming sex abuse queries lacked victim cooperation

Associated Press

Nov. 6, 2019

Two Catholic Church officials who succeeded a Wyoming bishop accused of sexual abuse say a lack of victim cooperation hampered the investigations.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports at least 16 men said they were abused by former Bishop Joseph Hart, who retired in 2001.

Bishop David Ricken took over for Hart in Wyoming before transferring to Wisconsin in 2008. He was followed by Bishop Paul Etienne, who headed the Cheyenne diocese until 2016.

The diocese says a 2002 allegation against Hart was forwarded by Ricken to police but was dropped due to a lack of alleged victim cooperation.

The church says Etienne requested a Vatican investigation into Hart in 2010, but did not initiate his own investigation because alleged victims “were not willing to speak.”

Last week, the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri said three people who accused Hart of sexual…

Vatican still investigating claims against former bishop

Torrington Telegram

Oct. 23, 2019

By Seth Klamann

The Vatican’s “administrative penal process” into former Wyoming bishop Joseph Hart — which could see the cleric removed from the priesthood — has yet to resolve, the church said Tuesday, and investigations in Kansas City are on hold until the process in Rome finishes.

Current Wyoming Bishop Steven Biegler announced in June that Hart, who has been accused of sexual abuse by more than 10 men, would face adjudication by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The body was first formed to safeguard church doctrine and to investigate heretics nearly 500 years ago.

More recently, the CDF has been the highest court overseeing the penal process into disgraced clerics. Earlier this year, for instance, it upheld the conviction by a church court of the archbishop of Guam. The CDF also investigated former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who…

New Catholic archbishop appointed to the Archdiocese of Seattle

Seattle Times

September 3, 2019

By Nina Shapiro and Christine Clarridge

Seattle has a new Catholic archbishop.

Paul D. Etienne was appointed Tuesday to be the sixth archbishop of the Seattle Archdiocese, which encompasses Western Washington, home to 169 parishes, missions and pastoral centers and an estimated Roman Catholic population of roughly 640,000. He succeeds Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, whose resignation Pope Francis accepted Tuesday.

Sartain, citing “ongoing health challenges following a series of spinal surgeries,” asked Pope Francis a year ago to appoint a “coadjutor archbishop” to share his duties, according to a news statement from the Archdiocese of Seattle. Etienne, 60, assumed that role in June.

In an interview in the downtown Seattle archdiocese offices, he allowed he had to figure out how to lead a region of this size. Etienne last served as archbishop of Anchorage, which has 33 parishes and missions and about…

Retired Wyoming bishop to face Vatican trial on allegations of sex abuse

Catholic News Service

June 13, 2019

Retired Bishop Joseph H. Hart of Cheyenne will face a Vatican trial for allegations that he sexually abused several minors years ago.

Cheyenne Bishop Steven R. Biegler announced June 12 that such a trial of the retired prelate would take place. Bishop Biegler included Bishop Hart’s name in a list of all Catholic clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable persons for whom the diocese had files and who were in active ministry from 1950 to the present in the Diocese of Cheyenne.

Bishop Hart is one of 11 clergy on the list published on the diocesan website and in the June online issue of the Wyoming Catholic Register, Cheyenne’s diocesan newspaper. After the prelate’s name, the listing states: “Pope Francis imposed restrictions and authorized a penal process.”

“Our clergy are expected to be shepherds who guard…

Law Firm Names 84 Priests Accused Of Clergy Sex Abuse In San Bernardino, Calls For More Church Transparency


January 31, 2019

By Aaron Schrank

A law firm representing California survivors of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests has released a new report detailing alleged abuse by clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino.

The 70-page report by Minnesota-based Jeff Anderson and Associates provides background information and assignment history on more than 80 clergy accused of sexual misconduct in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The firm — which is representing a Camarillo man in a public nuisance suit against California’s Catholic bishops — has released similar reports on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Orange in recent months.

At a news conference in Ontario Thursday, attorneys demanded San Bernardino Bishop Gerald Barnes release the names of predatory priests and Church officials who hid their behavior.

Attorney Mike Reck says today’s disclosure makes children safer.

“This information is information that…

Brother of accused priest responds after Houma-Thibodeaux list published of credibly accused


January 11, 2019

By Amanda Roberts

Houma-Thibodeaux is the third diocese across South Louisiana to release a list of priests credibly accused of child sex abuse. Bishop Shelton Fabre released the list with 14 names on Jan. 11.

In the Houma-Thibodaux area, Allyce Himel said there was always rumors running throughout the Catholic schools about inappropriate behavior.

“There was a lot of talk about it, but nothing really was done,” she said.

She says now that there’s a list of 14 names released to the public of priests credibly accused of child sex abuse, she’s glad the truth is getting out there.

“It’s horrible. It’s horrible, and like we were saying glad their names are out because it should be known,” said Himel.

Of the 14 names, none are currently in ministry. Eight are still alive: Lawrence Cavell, Alexander Francisco, Etienne LeBlanc, Gerald Prinz,…

Houma-Thibodaux names 14 priests accused of sexual misconduct involving children, including rape

The Advocate

January 11, 2019

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

The Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux on Friday named six Catholic priests who admitted or were convicted of sexual misconduct with children as well as three others who faced civil litigation credibly accusing them of molesting minors.

Another five were credibly accused outside of a court setting of “serious and unacceptable conduct with minors, ranging from inappropriate physical contact … to molestation,” bringing the total number of names on Friday’s list to 14, officials said.

The Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux, Shelton Fabre, has sent parishioners a letter offering an apology “for the egregious sins that have taken place.”

“Let me be clear: the abuse of a child by anyone is sinful, abhorrent and evil, particularly when perpetrated by one vested with the sacred trust of God’s children,” Fabre’s letter read. “Furthermore, any attempt to cover up these sins is even…

Juneau clergy records reviewed after alleged Pennsylvania abuse


December 12, 2018

By: Chris Klint

The Roman Catholic Church in Juneau is examining its records for any possible links of current or former clergy to a vast series of cases in the Lower 48 which came to light in August.

The Diocese of Juneau announced Wednesday the appointment of a three-member commission by Bishop Andrew Bellisario. According to a decree, the independent panel will “review the personnel files of clergy and religious who have served in the Diocese,” as well as any allegations of sexual abuse by staff or volunteers since the diocese’s founding in 1951.

The commission is set to begin its work Jan. 7, with a final report due by June 1.

A database maintained by the non profit group BishopAccountability.org lists just two known cases of clergy abuse in Juneau, the most recent in 1988.

Dominique Johnson, a spokesman for the…

Post Baltimore: Where are we? And where are we going?

Truth in Love blog

November, 28 2018

By Archbishop Paul Etienne

For various reasons, I have been slow to share my own thoughts with you about our USCCB meeting in Baltimore earlier this month. I needed time to sit and pray with all the events and input of the week. I am sure about two things, one; the People of God need to hear from their bishops in the wake of our meeting in Baltimore, and two, there is hope for our future.

No Vote:

Without a doubt, the ‘show-stopper’ moment came at the beginning of our meeting, when Cardinal DiNardo announced that he had only the night before received word from the Holy See (through the Congregation for Bishops) that we were not to vote on any of the proposed policies for handling sexual misconduct by bishops and dealing with poor governance of bishops with regards…

Conservatives in ascendant at divided US bishops’ plenary

America Magazine

November 20, 2018

By Michael Sean Winters

The US bishops’ conference concluded its autumn plenary last week divided and disheartened. After a summer of intense focus on their mishandling of clergy sex abuse issues, they fumbled any attempt to demonstrate a reason the people in the pews should trust them to lead the ecclesial community.

The Holy See had issued a last minute directive, barring them from enacting the proposed remedies formally, pending the outcome of a Rome meeting in February with the presidents of the world’s episcopal conferences. The executive committee proposed “Standards of Episcopal Conduct”, and a National Review Board to investigate charges against bishops. But, when they discussed those proposals with a view towards instructing their president-delegate to that same meeting, it quickly became clear that the bishops found them inadequate, too expensive, and too cumbersome. They did not even take…

‘We’re not going to hide:’ Alaska archbishop fights clergy sex abuse


November 5, 2018

By Cassie Schirm

Anchorage’s archbishop, who has emerged as one of the few heroes in a major newspaper story on bishops’ lack of oversight regarding clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, is continuing his inquiries in Alaska.

An independent commission is currently examining church personnel files for the past half-century in Anchorage, after Archbishop Paul Etienne asked it to do so a few weeks ago.

This isn’t the first time Etienne has sought justice within the church.

Reckoning over allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church reaches Alaska

ABC News

October 24, 2018

By Pete Madden

The Alaska Department of Law will assist in an investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct reported to the Archdiocese of Anchorage, ABC News has learned.

On Wednesday, Archbishop Paul Etienne announced the formation of an independent commission comprised of former law enforcement officials “to review all personnel files of clerics and religious men and women” who have served the archdiocese since its formation in 1966.

The commission is expected to deliver a report on its findings, identifying individuals who have either had credible allegations made against them or have failed to report credible allegations made against others.

One bishop could lead the way to another bishop being the first charged for sex abuse

Kansas City Star

October 21, 2018

By Judy L. Thomas

The call last year from Pope Francis’ representative in Washington took the Rev. Steven Biegler by surprise.

A priest in South Dakota, Biegler learned he was the choice to become the ninth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyo., leading the state’s 55,000 Catholics.

Though sad to leave his parishioners in Rapid City, Biegler was eager to begin ministering to a diocese that encompasses the entire state of Wyoming and covers nearly 100,000 square miles.

Biegler said he was excited to be continuing his journey “of saying yes to the Lord.”

But as it turned out, one of his first major decisions upon arriving in Cheyenne involved saying no.

No to a man who for nearly a quarter century had run the diocese he was now going to lead. A man who spent his…

San Diego Diocese holds back on abusive priests, public list tops 103

The Worthy Adversary

September 13, 2018

By Joelle Casteix

Today the Diocese of San Diego released a list of eight credibly accused priests who have worked in the diocese.

The names are:

Fr. Jose Chavarin
Fr. Raymond Etienne SVD
Fr. James P. Foley
Fr. Michael French
Fr. Richard Houck
Fr. George Lally O.A.R.
Fr. Mark Medaer
Fr. Paolino Montagna

This list is dangerously incomplete. Even a cursory search of publicly available data found 105 names of priests who have worked in San Diego—including Bishop Emeritus Robert Brom—who have been accused of sexually assaulting minors or vulnerable adults.

In rare move, San Diego diocese names eight priests as alleged sexual predators

The Los Angeles Times

September 15, 2018

By Peter Rowe and Kristina Davis

The clerical sexual abuse scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church hit home Thursday, as the Diocese of San Diego added eight priests to the list of those believed to have molested children.

“This is a response to the terrible moment we are in,” said Bishop Robert McElroy, citing a recent Pennsylvania grand jury report that found 1,000 children there had been molested by Pittsburgh-area priests, and the resignation of Theodore McCarrick, who is accused of sexually assaulting altar boys, seminarians and priests.

“The cascade of emotions that this causes the survivors of the abuse, as well as other people in the pews, has caused a tumult of anger, grief, upset, incomprehension, disillusionment,” McElroy said.

The new names — the Revs. Jose Chavarin, Raymond Etienne, J. Patrick Foley, Michael French, Richard Houck, George Lally…

Diocese of San Diego Releases Names of 8 Priests with Credible Abuse Allegations

Channel 7 (NBC affiliate)

September 14, 2018

By Artie Ojeda, Alex Presha, Rafael Avitabile and NBC Staff

The addition of the names brings the total number of abusive priests connected to the diocese to 56.

The Catholic Diocese of San Diego released the names of eight priests who at one time worked in San Diego County and have credible reports of child abuse against them.

The eight names: The Reverends Jose Chavarin, Raymond Etienne, J. Patrick Foley, Michael French, Richard Houck, George Lally and Paolino Montagna, and Monsignor Mark Medaer.

The cases against them date as far back as the 60s and 70s, and not all of the alleged abuse incidents happened in San Diego, the diocese said. Five of the eight priests are now dead and the diocese was only able to provide photographs of three.

San Diego’s Catholic diocese adds eight priests to list of sexual predators

San Diego Union-Tribune

September 13, 2018

By Peter Rowe and Kristina Davis

The clerical sexual abuse scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church hit home Thursday, as the Diocese of San Diego added eight priests to the list of those believed to have molested children.

“This is a response to the terrible moment we are in,” said Bishop Robert McElroy, citing a recent Pennsylvania grand jury report that found 1,000 children had been molested by Pittsburgh area priests there, and the resignation of Theodore McCarrick, who is accused of sexually assaulting altar boys, seminarians and priests.

“The cascade of emotions that this causes the survivors of the abuse as well as other people in the pews, has caused a tumult of anger, grief, upset, incomprehension, disillusionment,” McElroy said.

The new names — the Revs. Jose Chavarin, Raymond Etienne, J. Patrick Foley, Michael French, Richard Houck, George Lally…

Abuse Investigation of former Wyoming Bishop results in Restrictions in Ministry and Reports to Rome and Law Enforcement


July 2, 2018

By Fr. Carl Gallinger, Vicar General
With comment by Tom Morton

[This article helpfully provides the text of a PDF press release of the Diocese of Cheyenne, and identifies the DA referenced in the release as Kevin Meenan.]

A former bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne, which covers the geographical area of Wyoming, allegedly abused two boys during his tenure, according to a statement from the Bishop Steven Biegler on Monday.

This is the statement verbatim from the diocesan website:

“Bishop Steven Biegler of the Diocese of Cheyenne said that he is continuing restrictions on Bishop-Emeritus Joseph Hart, due to a new investigation of allegations that he sexually abused two boys from Wyoming after he became Bishop of Cheyenne. Hart served as Bishop or Auxiliary Bishop of Cheyenne from 1976 to 2001. From 1956 to 1976, he was…

Le cardinal Barbarin : « Face à la pédophilie, ma réponse n’était pas à la mesure de l’enjeu »

Le Monde

[In an interview with Le Monde, the prelate of Lyon denies having covered-up abuse by a priest.]

Le 24 juillet, il était à Karakoch pour célébrer une messe dans la grande ville chrétienne du nord de l’Irak, après l’éviction de l’Etat islamique de Mossoul. En septembre, il répondra à une citation à comparaître de victimes du père Bernard Preynat, un prêtre de son diocèse accusé d’avoir sexuellement agressé des enfants dont il avait la charge jusqu’en 1991.

Le cardinal Philippe Barbarin, 66 ans, qui fêtera en septembre le quinzième anniversaire de sa nomination à la tête de l’archevêché de Lyon, demeure l’une des principales voix de l’Eglise catholique en France. Prélat atypique, cet électron libre allie un conservatisme doctrinal et sociétal à une ouverture aux problèmes sociaux, un catholicisme d’affirmation et une proximité avec le pape François. Le primat des Gaules revient sur les leçons de…

Two historic child abuse cases revealed in French Church

La Croix

Gauthier Vaillant with Bénévent Tosseri at Saint-Étienne

The need of victims for recognition has continued to cause historic cases of sexual abuse by priests to re-surface in the French Church.

This has occurred once again over the last few days in the dioceses of Saint Etienne in the Loire region and Nancy in Meurthe-et-Moselle.

In the Loire region, the priest involved is Fr Régis Peyrard, 84, a chaplain in an aged care home, who has admitted to events going back thirty years.

At the time he was the parish priest in La Talaudière, a commune near Saint Etienne.On Tuesday, the newspaper 20 Minutes published the testimonies of three of Fr Peyrard’s victims, who are now in their forties, leading Bishop Sylvain Bataille to make a statement at a press conference that evening.

The three victims had already made themselves known to the diocese in…

Anchorage’s incoming archbishop addresses concerns raised by victims group


By Paula Dobbyn | Oct 06, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) The newly appointed archbishop of Anchorage says he’s looking forward to his installation on Nov. 9.

Incoming Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, 57, has headed Wyoming’s statewide Diocese of Cheyenne since December 2009.

Etienne told KTUU that the move will be bittersweet because he’s come to love his staff and the people of Wyoming. But during his visit to Anchorage this week Etienne said he has met many wonderful staff and parishioners and he’s be prepared to take on his Alaska assignment. …

Not surprisingly, the Vatican’s selection of Etienne did not come without critics. An organization that helps victims of clergy sex abuse issued a statement this week raising concerns about Etienne.

“Our concern is the bishop’s track record is not good,” said Barbara Dorris, victims’ outreach director for SNAP, or Survivors Network of those Abused by…

AK-Survivors disappointed in the Vatican’s choice for Anchorage’s new bishop

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We’re disappointed in the Vatican’s choice for Anchorage’s new bishop Paul D. Etienne of Cheyenne, Wyoming (replacing Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz).

Etienne has shown no leadership whatsoever in the church’s continuing child sex abuse and cover up crisis.

[Catholic Standard]

For years, Etienne has continued to honor a predatory bishop, Bishop Joseph Hart, against whom at least six child sex abuse lawsuits have settled, Hart’s name graces a children’s home in Torrington Wyoming.

Pope names successors to retiring Alaska archbishop, Arlington bishop

Catholic Standard

Catholic News Service
Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz of Anchorage, Alaska, and appointed Bishop Paul D. Etienne of Cheyenne, Wyoming, to be his successor.

Pope Francis also accepted the resignation of Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington, Virginia, and named as his successor Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, North Carolina.

The changes were announced Oct. 4 in Washington by Msgr. Walter Erbi, the charge d’affaires at the apostolic nunciature to the United States.

Nur kurz im Entsetzen vereint

Frankfurter Allgemeine

02.08.2016, von MICHAELA WIEGEL, PARIS

Eine Woche nach dem islamistischen Terroranschlag auf die Kirche in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray haben Gläubige am Dienstag Abschied von dem ermordeten Priester Jacques Hamel genommen. In der Kathedrale von Rouen versammelten sich am Nachmittag rund 2000 Menschen zu einer Trauerfeier für den 85 Jahre alten katholischen Geistlichen. Viele weitere, die keinen Platz mehr in der Kathedrale fanden, wohnten der Übertragung vor Großbildschirmen am Eingang bei. Danach wurde Hamel im Familienkreis beigesetzt.

In der Kathedrale wandten sich seine Schwester und eine Nichte an die Trauergemeinde. Sie erinnerte daran, dass sich ihr Bruder während des Algerien-Kriegs entschieden habe, als einfacher Soldat zu dienen, obwohl ihm damals der Offiziersgrad angeboten worden sei, sagte die Schwester. Diesen habe er abgelehnt, da er keine Befehle zum Töten habe geben wollen. „Er war mein Bruder. Er war unser aller Bruder“, sagte Roselyne Hamel. Der Erzbischof von Rouen, Dominique Lebrun,…

Affaire Preynat : le cardinal Barbarin a “fait son examen de conscience”

France Bleu

[Case Preynat: Cardinal Barbarin has had an “examination of conscience”.]

Par Émeline Rochedy, France Bleu Saint-Étienne Loire et France Bleu
Samedi 21 mai 2016

Le cardinal de Lyon reconnait qu’il ne s’est pas donné les moyens de prendre la mesure de l’affaire de pédophilie.

“J’ai fait mon examen de conscience”, estime Philippe Barbarin, au micro de Maurice Fusier. Le cardinal est visé par deux enquêtes préliminaires pour “non dénonciation” d’agressions sexuelles commises sur de jeunes scouts entre 1986 et 1991 par Bernard Preynat, qui a fini sa carrière dans le Roannais l’été dernier. “J’aurais dû aller au-devant, écouter les gens, essayer de me renseigner de manière beaucoup plus précise, et après, en constatant la gravité des faits dont je n’avais pas idée à ce moment-là, reconnait-il. J’aurais dû dire stop. (…) Ce n’est pas possible que quelqu’un qui a fait des choses comme ça continue…

Une affaire de pédophilie met en cause un prêtre du diocèse de Bayonne

La Republique des Pyrenees

Une affaire de pédophilie met en cause un prêtre du diocèse de Bayonne. L’information a été livrée par l’évêque Marc Aillet sur le site du diocèse de Bayonne, ce mercredi soir.

“Mgr Aillet prend la parole au sujet d’une affaire de pédophilie dans notre diocèse.” C’est sous ce titre que le site Internet du diocèse de Bayonne, Lescar et Oloron publie une lettre de l’évêque Marc Aillet adressée aux diocésains. Il y évoque en détail l’affaire mettant en cause le prêtre Jean-François Sarramagnan.

Monseigneur Aillet commence par placer le contexte. “En octobre 2007, il avait fait une tentative de suicide, alors qu’il était curé de la paroisse St-Etienne de Bayonne, en raison d’une affaire avec une jeune fille, pour laquelle la justice s’est prononcée.” Au cours de l’entretien qu’il eut avec l’évêque en 2009, l’abbé Sarramagnan l’informa “de faits plus anciens, qui s’étaient produits…

Affaire Preynat : les interrogations des prêtres face à Barbarin

Lyon Capitale

[This Monday, April 25, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin meets all priests of the diocese at Écully. The pedophilia cases affecting the Church, including that of the father Preynat, will be at the heart of the meeting.]

Par Florent Deligia

Ce lundi 25 avril, le cardinal Philippe Barbarin réunit tous les prêtres du diocèse à Écully. Les affaires de pédophilie qui touchent l’Église, dont celle du père Preynat, seront au cœur des échanges. Quelles sont les interrogations qui animent aujourd’hui ces prêtres ?

Suite à l’affaire Preynat, les prêtres ne parlent pas à la presse et renvoient systématiquement vers l’archevêché.Mais, en off, les langues se délient. Certains ne supportent plus l’omerta “et ne se sont pas engagés pour ça”. Alors que des prêtres à Saint-Étienne ou Paris n’hésitent pas à prendre position publiquement sur l’affaire Preynat, mais aussi sur d’autres affaires de pédophilie qui ont pu toucher l’Église,…

WY–Records about WY predator priest released

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Several pages of previously-secret records about a serial predator priest who worked and abused in Wyoming have been made public. They paint an unflattering view of the Catholic church hierarchy.

He’s Fr. Charles J. Gormly and he worked at churches in Rock Springs, Pine Bluffs, Lander and Laramie. Last December, “the Diocese of Duluth included Father Gormly on its official list of clergy members who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse,” according to a Minnesota newspaper.


[Jeff Anderson & Associates]

The newly released records show a bishop admitting that Fr. Gormly “has a sexual problem that prompts him to molest small girls” and that Fr. Gormly was…

Child sex abuse royal commission: SA government ‘knew of sexual abuse’ at Salvation Army boys’ home from early 1940s

ABC News

By Candice Marcus

The South Australian Government was aware of allegations of physical and sexual abuse at a Salvation Army-run boys’ home from as early as the 1940s, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard.

The commission is examining four Salvation Army-run children’s homes in South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.

On the first day of the hearing the commission was given graphic accounts of former residents of the Eden Park Boys’ Home at Wistow in South Australia of the abuse they had endured there.

Current Families SA and Education Department deputy chief executive Etienne Scheepers has given evidence of his review of the Government’s historic knowledge of allegations at the home.

He said there was documentary evidence to show the state government’s Child Welfare and Public Relief Board knew about allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the home in…

French priest suspected of stealing church sacred vessels

The Star

ORLEANS, France (Reuters) – A French Catholic priest has been suspended after being named a suspect in the theft of about 40 valuable chalices and other sacred vessels as well as some parish collection money in churches under his care.

Fourteen churches in and around the town of Montoire, west of Orleans in central France, reported the thefts of the vessels, some of them registered as national heritage objects.

“We are investigating so as to list all the objects and find out where they have gone,” a police spokesman said on Monday.

The diocese of Blois said Rev Etienne Doat, one of three priests serving Montoire and the surrounding countryside, was named a suspect in July and put under judicial supervision.

Ex-priest accused of being ‘predator’

Houma Today

By Katie Urbaszewski
Staff Writer

Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux officials have said they had not heard reports of any predatory behavior by a former priest before a man came forward, accusing the priest of molesting him as an altar boy.

However, people who claim to have had sexual relationships with the Rev. Etienne LeBlanc said they felt preyed on by an authority figure who took advantage of them, even if they were not victims in the eyes of criminal law.

A civil suit against LeBlanc and the diocese, filed by Morgan City native Jared Ribardi, was settled last month, and LeBlanc, who couldn’t be reached for comment, has never been arrested under any criminal charges.

The alleged encounters happened at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Morgan City, which is part of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. LeBlanc has also worked at Annunziata Catholic Church in Houma and…

Lawsuit against local diocese, priest settled

Daily Comet

By Katie Urbaszewski
Staff Writer

A lawsuit that accuses a former Houma priest of molesting a child and the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux of protecting him has been settled, the accuser’s attorney said.

The now-retired Rev. Etienne LeBlanc was interviewed by attorneys last month, and both sides began to work toward a settlement after the interviews were completed, said the accuser’s attorney Roger Stetter.

Viol et agressions sexuelles sur mineurs : un prêtre de Riom se dénonce

la Montagne

Mis en examen pour viol et agressions sexuelles sur mineur de 15 ans et sur mineurs de plus de quinze ans, un prêtre de Riom, âgé de 43 ans, a été placé en détention provisoire, jeudi 6 septembre, à Saint-Etienne.

Pour ces faits qui se seraient déroulés en Centrafrique entre 2007 et juillet 2010, où il avait été envoyé comme prêtre, il s’est lui-même dénoncé à la justice, sur les recommandations de l’archevêque de Clermont, Mgr Hippolyte Simon. Et ce, en adressant un courrier au procureur de la République de Clermont le 31 janvier 2011, six mois après son retour en France, en juillet 2010.

Priester misbruikt minderjarigen


PARIJS (RKnieuws.net) – Een priester van het Franse bisdom Clermont is gearresteerd omdat hij zich schuldig maakte aan verkrachting en seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen. De feiten gebeurden tussen 2007 en 2010 in Centraal-Afrika.

De 43-jarige man werd in 1995 priester gewijd. Op 30 juni 2007 werd hij als Fidei Donum priester naar de Centraal-Afrikaanse Republiek gezonden. De priester misbruikte er minstens 3 jongens jonger dan 15 jaar. Hij is opgesloten in de gevangenis van Saint-Etienne.