Fr. Bernard T. Etienne

Ordained: 1993
Status: Unsubstantiated

Diocese: Diocese of Evansville IN

"Bernie." Parish priest, Teens Encounter Christ chaplain, diocesan vocations director, vicar general, administrator. Placed on administrative leave in 4/22 due to an allegation of sexual misconduct dating to more than 20 years prior. Etienne denied the allegation. Returned to active ministry in 11/27 after the diocesan Review Board determined that the allegation was unsubstantiated.

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…

Fr. Clifton Raymond Etienne

Order: SVD
Ordained: 1979
Status: Sued

Died: 05/22/1998
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 1979-1980, St. Anthony's in San Bernardino 1981-1988, then back to Divine Word Seminary 1988-1998. Died in 5/1998. Personnel file released10/25/2010. Included on the San Diego diocese's 9/2018 list. Included on the Society of the Divine Word Western Province list on 7/2021.

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."

France, the Vatican, and the Pan-Asian Sexual Abuse Scandals of MEP Missionaries

Both French authorities and the Vatican seem reluctant to act on accusations of sexual abuse by French priests in Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, and more.

Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron accepted the resignation of Catholic Bishop Gilles Reithinger. A few days later, the Holy See confirmed the stepping down of the 51-year-old cleric. No explanation was given for this unusual departure, but the prelate is embroiled in numerous allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by French missionaries across all of Asia. 

In a documentary released by France 24 in September 2023, “A Deafening Silence,” Father Philippe, a French priest in Japan who is himself accused of sexual abuse, confessed that he had sexual relations with his ecclesial supervisor, Reithinger. This occurred years ago when Philippe was studying in Paris. Later the young missionary was sent to Japan while Reithinger became the superior of the French missionary society, the Missions…

Advocacy group claims Catholic Bishops were subpoenaed to produce abuse-related evidence

New information shared with KOMO News indicates that leaders of Washington’s Catholic dioceses were subpoenaed, but KOMO directly asked the Attorney General’s office, which declined to comment.

Two groups, Ending Clergy Abuse and Catholic Accountability Project (CAP) gathered outside the Attorney General’s office in Olympia, calling for action.

“It’s time for truth-telling. If not now – when? I’m 83 years old. I want to see change,” said Mary Dispenza, with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Dispenza told KOMO News she was just seven when a priest raped her. She is now working alongside others demanding change and investigations by the Attorney General.Skip about:blank

“The victims can’t do it on their own,” said Tim Law, a…

Amid scandal, Strasbourg auxiliary bishop resigns for ‘health reasons’

Pope Francis accepted the resignation Wednesday of a 51-year-old French auxiliary bishop. 

But while the local Church has insisted Bishop Gilles Reithinger resigned for “health reasons,” the bishop was also engulfed by a scandal surrounding the Paris Foreign Missions Society.

The Holy See press office announced Feb. 14 — Ash Wednesday — that the pope had accepted the resignation of Bishop Reithinger from the office of auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Strasbourg. It did not offer an explanation for the step.

The Strasbourg archdiocese, which traces its roots to the 4th century, has a distinctive status thanks to the Concordat of 1801, according to which episcopal moves are jointly approved by the Vatican and the French president.

The French state therefore also announced Wednesday that the president had agreed to Reithinger’s resignation. It did not provide an explanation for the resignation.

Archbishop Philippe Ballot, the Bishop of Metz and the apostolic…

Advocacy group claims Catholic Bishops were subpoenaed to produce abuse-related evidence

Advocacy group claims Catholic Bishops were subpoenaed to produce abuse-related evidence

New information shared with KOMO News indicates that leaders of Washington’s Catholic dioceses were subpoenaed, but KOMO directly asked the Attorney General’s office, which declined to comment.

Two groups, Ending Clergy Abuse and Catholic Accountability Project (CAP) gathered outside the Attorney General’s office in Olympia, calling for action.

“It’s time for truth-telling. If not now – when? I’m 83 years old. I want to see change,” said Mary Dispenza, with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Dispenza told KOMO News she was just seven when a priest raped her. She is now working alongside others demanding change and investigations by the Attorney General.

“The victims can’t do it on their own,” said Tim Law, a founding member of the Catholic Accountability Project.

Victim advocacy groups said the Washington State Attorney General’s Office issued statewide subpoenas. However,…

Advocacy group claims Catholic Bishops were subpoenaed to produce abuse-related evidence

New information shared with KOMO News indicates that leaders of Washington’s Catholic dioceses were subpoenaed, but KOMO directly asked the Attorney General’s office, which declined to comment.

Two groups, Ending Clergy Abuse and Catholic Accountability Project (CAP) gathered outside the Attorney General’s office in Olympia, calling for action.

“It’s time for truth-telling. If not now – when? I’m 83 years old. I want to see change,” said Mary Dispenza, with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Dispenza told KOMO News she was just seven when a priest raped her. She is now working alongside others demanding change and investigations by the Attorney General.

“The victims can’t do it on their own,” said Tim Law, a founding member of the Catholic Accountability Project.

Victim advocacy groups said the Washington State Attorney General’s Office issued statewide subpoenas. However, Brionna Aho with the Attorney General’s Office told KOMO News that…

Community of the Beatitudes forms commission to study past abuses

A 50-year-old charismatic movement has announced it will form an independent commission to study problems in the group’s past.

The Community of the Beatitudes, which was founded in France and is now present in 27 countries, said Nov. 8 it will establish a multidisciplinary commission of experts to “shed light and shadow on the community’s history,” which includes sexual abuse and abuse of conscience.

The decision to form a commission was made at the end of the community’s general assembly, held Oct. 27–Nov. 5 in Nouan-le-Fuzelier, central France.

While the assembly’s 71 delegates were scheduled to also elect a new president during the meeting, Archbishop Guy de Kerimel of Toulouse, who has overseen the community since January 2022, decided to postpone the election to May 9, 2024, to have more time to better know the members, according to French newspaper La Croix.

The Community of the Beatitudes, which…

Pope Francis and his bevy of Catholic heavyweights preach anything but the gospel amid a stench of corruption

Stewards of Pope Francis’ Catholic church lean more towards “neo-Marxism” than its roots in biblical doctrine, writes Rocco Loiacono.

A scathing article written by the late Cardinal George Pell was published a day after his passing in January, which described a key Catholic Church leadership group as a “toxic nightmare”.

The Synod on Synodality is where mostly bishops from the religion conduct a series of meetings with Pope Francis to forge a direction for the church.

But Cardinal Pell said documents from the gatherings were “couched in neo-Marxist jargon”.

Moreover, in his Campion College lecture in August last year Cardinal Pell said the Synod was “largely irrelevant to the preaching of the gospel and the threat of decline, being more concerned with redistribution of power”.

In opening the Synod process in 2021, Pope Francis called for the Catholic Church to “encounter, listen and discern”.

But the meeting avoided any mention…

Why the latest USCCB nominees lean in one direction

The U.S. bishops’ conference on Tuesday announced the candidates for the leadership of six standing committees, and for the officer position of secretary, to be voted upon at their November plenary meeting.

The conference has been roiled by serious debate in recent years — and more debates over politics, healthcare, and finances are coming. 

But the nominees announced Tuesday for officer and committee posts indicate much more about the cohesion of the U.S. bishops’ conference than about its divisions, suggesting that while the conference has been the locus of fractious debate in recent years, the debate has been lopsided, with the majority of bishops seeming to adopt a similar theological worldview.

The nominations also suggest that some U.S. bishops may have disengaged from their conference — and that in the years to come, the bishops’ conference could face a mounting challenge to its central role in the life of the Church.

Another French bishop is accused of sexual abuse

Allegations against Bishop Georges Colomb of La Rochelle go back ten years when he headed the Paris Foreign Missions (MEP); he’s the twelfth French bishop to be accused of abuse in the past year.

Bishop Georges Colomb, head of the Catholic Diocese of La Rochelle in southwestern France the past seven years, has been accused of sexually assaulting a young adult male in 2013 when the prelate was the superior general of the Paris Foreign Missions Society (MEP).

The 70-year-old bishop has denied the accusations, which were made public on June 13, and said he will ask Pope Francis to let him temporarily step aside from his administrative and pastoral duties to allow a full inquiry to take place.

“I am stunned by these allegations, which I totally deny,” said Colomb, who is the latest of at least 12 French bishops to be accused of sexual aggression in the past…

Church in France reels from new abuse, cover-up allegations

Two more bishops were accused of sexual abuse while heading the church’s main missionary organization

French church leaders have appealed for patience and fairness in establishing the truth, after two more bishops were accused of sexual abuse while heading the church’s main missionary organization.

“The charges are serious, and both categorically deny them,” said Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort of Reims, the bishops’ conference president.

“The voice of complainants must be heard, the rights of defendants respected, and it is now up to the investigations to ascertain the whole truth. … My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who may be suffering,” he said in a June 13 statement.

The bishops’ conference president was reacting to June 13 joint reports in three Catholic newspapers that prosecutors were investigating alleged offenses by Bishop Georges Colomb of La Rochelle-Saintes and Auxiliary Bishop Gilles Reithinger of Strasbourg during their time heading the…

L’évêque de La Rochelle, Mgr Georges Colomb, demande sa mise en retrait le temps d’une enquête sur des « faits de nature sexuelle »

Selon plusieurs titres de presse catholiques, une enquête de police a été ouverte le 24 mai dernier à l’encontre de l’évêque pour des faits remontant à 2013.

L’évêque de La Rochelle, Mgr Georges Colomb, a annoncé mardi 13 juin dans la soirée, avoir demandé à être « mis en retrait » de ses fonctions le temps d’une enquête portant, selon le parquet de Paris, sur des « faits de nature sexuelle ».

Cette demande fait suite à l’ouverture d’une enquête, pour un signalement par les Missions étrangères de Paris (MEP), « concernant des faits de nature sexuelle reprochés à cet évêque et qui auraient été commis en 2013 », a annoncé le parquet de Paris à l’Agence France-Presse, après la parution d’informations dans plusieurs titres de presse.

Selon l’hebdomadaire La Vie,l’enquête de police a été ouverte le 24 mai dernier à l’encontre de l’évêque de La Rochelle et Saintes pour tentative de viol. Une information également confirmée par le…

Accusé d’agression sexuelle, Mgr Georges Colomb va se « mettre en retrait » du diocèse de La Rochelle

Les faits 

L’évêque de La Rochelle a annoncé sa volonté de se « mettre en retrait » de ses responsabilités mardi 13 juin, après des révélations d’agression sexuelle. La Conférence des évêques de France a appelé au respect de la présomption d’innocence de Mgr Georges Colomb et de Mgr Gilles Reithinger, qui est lui accusé de ne pas avoir dénoncé les faits.

Mgr Georges Colomb a annoncé qu’il allait demander au pape François de le mettre en retrait, tout en restant évêque de la Rochelle et Saintes mardi 13 juin, quelques heures après la publication d’enquêtes révélant des accusations d’agression sexuelle à son encontre, alors qu’il était supérieur général des Missions étrangères de Paris (MEP). « Je suis stupéfait de ces allégations, que je démens totalement, indique-t-il. Je répondrai bien sûr aux autorités judiciaires dès qu’elles souhaiteront m’entendre. »

“I am aware that these accusations will cause serious trouble and suffering for all of you , continues the…

French Church names another retired bishop suspected of abuse

In 2020 a nun accused the retired Archbishop of Auch, Maurice Gardès, of spiritual and sexual abuse.

The French Church has identified one of the previously unnamed retired archbishops investigated for sexual abuse, a revelation delayed because civil prosecutors did not inform Church officials that they had closed the case without taking any action.

After a prosecutor confirmed reporting by Famille Chrétienne, the archdioceses of Auch, Lyon and Toulouse issued a joint statement confirming that a nun had accused retired Auch Archbishop Maurice Gardès in 2020 of “moral and sexual harassment, spiritual abuse and sexual aggression”.

The complaint to the Lyon archdiocese was made a month before the archbishop’s retirement was announced by the Vatican. Lyon was also reported it to civil authorities, who sent it to colleagues in Auch.

Prosecutors in Auch looked into the case but filed it away in April 2022 because it was too old and not…

Vatican restricted retired French archbishop in 2021

A retired French archbishop was ordered to lead a life of prayer and penance in 2021 following allegations of sexual assault and spiritual abuse.

Archbishop Maurice Gardès, who stood down as Archbishop of Auch in southwest France in October 2020 at the age of 75, was forbidden from exercising public ministry and returning to his former archdiocese. He was also required to undergo psychotherapy.

The report was confirmed by a joint statement issued April 27 by Auch’s current Archbishop Bertrand Lacombe, Toulouse Archbishop Guy de Kerimel, and Lyon Archbishop Olivier de Germay.

The statement said that in September 2020, the Archdiocese of Lyon received the testimony of a female religious who accused Gardès of “moral and sexual harassment, spiritual abuse, and sexual assault.”

The Lyon archdiocese alerted the local public prosecutor, who sent the file to the prosecutor in Auch. At the same time, a canonical process began, with precautionary measures imposed…

Strasbourg archbishop tenders resignation but defends tenure

The head of a prominent French archdiocese said Thursday that he had presented his resignation to Pope Francis, but strongly defended his turbulent six-year tenure. 

At 65 years of age, Archbishop Luc Ravel is a decade away from the customary retirement age for diocesan bishops.

In an April 20 statement, he gave no reason for offering to resign but appeared to hit back at claims that he had governed in an aloof and authoritarian manner.

He said: “Peace being the supreme good, as we have entered this magnificent time of Easter, I have presented my resignation to the Holy Father, for whom I pray every day.”

“I have always acted as closely as possible to the law and to my conscience, having consulted extensively on each decision, in order to take difficult measures, but which I would have been reproached for not having taken later, in view of the elements in…

Former Tacoma Catholic nun and priest added to clergy abuse accusation list

A former Tacoma Catholic nun and a priest were added to an official list of clergy and others accused of abuse, the Archdiocese of Seattle announced Friday.

Sister Jerry Lyness and Father Thomas Phelan were added to the official list of “Clergy and Religious Brothers and Sisters for Whom Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor Have Been Admitted, Established or Determined to be Credible.”

Lyness was a teacher at St. Patrick Catholic School from 1976 to 1994 and she served as co-principal there from 1991 to 1994. Phelan served as pastor at St. Ann Parish from 1973 to 1983. Both are dead. St. Ann Parish was recently merged into the new Pope Saint John XXIII Parish.

In December 2022, the Archdiocese settled a case involving allegations of childhood sexual abuse by Phelan which occurred in approximately 1978 at St. Ann.

Also in December 2022, the Archdiocese…

Vanier, Rupnik, Ribes… Can we distinguish the work from its author?

The thorny question of what to do with the works of celebrated Church artists, writers and founders who have since been found guilty of sexually abusing vulnerable people

A book came out in 2020 (Prêtres et artistes du diocèse de Lyon: XXe-XXIe siècles) painted a a glowing portrait of the French Catholic priest and artist Louis Ribes (1920-1994), who was nicknamed “the Picasso of churches”. But less than two years later three dioceses – Lyon, Saint-Étienne and Grenoble – Lyon issued a joint press release denouncing the late priest for his sexual assault of some fifty children in the 1970s and 80s after two the victims went public.

Ribes’ trademark signature, “RIB”, now taints all his works – stained glass windows, paintings, stations of the cross… The priest from Lyon had worked in dozens of churches.

And now, at the request of a group of victims, the archdiocese of Lyon…

Bishops Accused of Sexual Abuse and Misconduct

A Global Accounting

As of March 2024, has identified 103 Catholic bishops worldwide accused publicly of sexual crimes against children and 46 Catholic bishops worldwide who have been accused publicly of sexual wrongdoing against adults only.

The names of bishops accused of abusing minors are marked in red; those with names in black are accused of sexual abuse/sexual misconduct with individuals age 18 or older only.

Until the 2018 revelations of numerous abuses by former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the problem of bishops and major superiors who abuse had received little scrutiny. Yet a sexually abusive bishop or superior is exceptionally dangerous. His management of priests is skewed toward protecting his secret, beginning with the character of the men he accepts to the seminary and the quality of their formation.  When one of his priests is accused of sexual abuse, a bishop who is an offender himself is unlikely to…

A High Percentage of Proven Priest Predators in Houma, LA

With just 205,000 Catholics, the Diocese of Houma-Thibodoux, Louisiana, is the smallest of the state’s seven dioceses. In fact, out of 177 US dioceses, Houma is ranked 174th in size. Unlike its neighbors to the west (Lafayette Diocese) and the northeast (the New Orleans Archdiocese), Houma hasn’t had even one truly high-profile predator priest. Overall, the percentage of its clergy who have been accused of child sex crimes and/or sexual misconduct doesn’t appear to be massively out of line with expectations given its size, although one can never be sure, given the Catholic hierarchy’s still-largely-steadfast commitment to keeping abusive hidden whenever possible.

In two key ways, however, the Houma Diocese stands out.

  1. It has a disproportionately high percentage of proven predator priests. The diocese admits that six of its priests admitted, were convicted, or pled guilty to sexual abuse
    • Fr. Lawrence Cavel admitted to ‘solicitation…

Seattle Archdiocese announces sweeping plan to consolidate parishes

The Seattle Archdiocese is consolidating parishes in a sweeping plan that will affect virtually every Catholic Church community in Western Washington.

In Masses and vigils over the weekend from the Canada to Oregon borders, pastors announced the four-year plan to group two or more parishes together in “families” that will share one priest and one assistant priest. Some churches will likely close or be repurposed for uses such as early learning centers or homeless shelters. But how many buildings will do so — and what the family configurations will look like — is yet to be determined by a process the archdiocese says will involve its parishioners.

“We don’t expect it to be this top-down driven imposition of what these parish families will be,” said Father Gary Lazzeroni, a Vancouver pastor coleading the planning effort. He acknowledged some parishioners saw previous consolidations just that way.

This plan is the latest…

«Je ne suis plus F. Je suis Paméla Groleau.»

Action collective contre l’archidiocèse de Québec

Depuis deux ans, «je me bats contre une institution qui, à coup de menaces et d’intimidation, tente de me faire taire», déplore F., cette agente de pastorale qui participe à l’action collective contre l’archidiocèse de Québec.

Celle que le cardinal Marc Ouellet, l’ex-archevêque de Québec, poursuit en diffamation a décidé de dévoiler son identité et d’exiger, dorénavant à visage découvert, plus «de justice et de transparence» dans l’Église catholique, une institution pour laquelle elle travaille depuis plus de quinze ans. (Lire sa déclaration)

Paméla Groleau – c’est le nom véritable de F. – dit aujourd’hui mener un combat au nom des «victimes du clergé qui, depuis des décennies, cherchent à être entendues et reconnues».

«C’est aussi le combat de tous les chrétiens et chrétiennes qui ont mal à leur Église et qui souhaitent la voir s’épurer des abus de…

DÉCLARATION. «Je rêve de voir l’Église se porter à la défense des plus faibles, des appauvris, des blessés»

L’agente de pastorale F. dévoile son identité

L’agente de pastorale connue comme « F. » a décidé de quitter l’anonymat. Celle qui a témoigné d’attouchements de nature sexuelle non consentis de la part du cardinal Marc Ouellet, dans un recours collectif contre l’archidiocèse de Québec, est maintenant poursuivie par le cardinal, préfet du dicastère pour les évêques. Présence publie sa déclaration complète.


Voilà plus de deux ans que je me bats contre une institution qui, à coup de menaces et d’intimidation, tente de me faire taire. Après avoir essayé les processus de dénonciation internes du diocèse de Québec et du Vatican, je me suis tournée, à bout de ressources, vers la justice civile.

J’ai conservé mon anonymat jusqu’à aujourd’hui pour protéger mes proches, ma famille, mon emploi et aussi, pour préserver ma santé qui a été mise à rude épreuve par toutes les…

Seattle archbishop’s new residence is an insult to the Catholic community

One might assume that, at first blush, spending $2.4 million (plus remodeling costs) is not a huge outlay for a luxury view home in Seattle — at least for the privileged few who can afford it. Yet, the recent purchase of such a home by the Seattle Archdiocese for Archbishop Paul Etienne has caused serious concern among many clergy and lay Catholics.

When he first arrived in Seattle in 2019, the archbishop declared, “I am a Pastor, not a Prince’’ in renouncing residence at a mansion on First Hill in Seattle that had been purchased by contributions from the laity more than a century earlier.  He further claimed that the proceeds from the sale of the mansion would be used by the church for its social services. In recognition of that apparent austerity, the archdiocese renovated for $160,000 the rectory at St. Peter’s Church in the working class neighborhood of Beacon Hill.

Catholic Church buys $2.4M Seattle house as finances peak, parishes close

Parishioners are no longer welcome for Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, but it remains a kind of still-life. Only a single bulb glows over the heavy, unlocked doors. Inside, prayer votives are cold and burned low. Gray light casts rows of pews in eerie shadow.

St. Mary’s merged in July with St. Therese, 2 miles away, one of a dozen parishes the Archdiocese of Seattle closed or consolidated to save money and minimize costly repairs to outdated structures.

Yet the archdiocese emerged from the pandemic with its highest financial gains in the last five yearsdespite COVID-19, declining Mass attendance, a small dip in parishioner giving and the ongoing strain of clergy abuse payouts.

Now the archdiocese’s finances have come under renewed scrutiny with the purchase of a home for Seattle’s Catholic leadership, prompting fresh criticism of the church’s transparency and money management. 

The archdiocese last month quietly acquired the…

Letter to Bishop Michael Barber-Diocese of Oakland-SNAP has identified 227 publicly accused perpetrators

December 13, 2022

SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

PO Box 16376

Chicago, IL, 60616

Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, SJ

Diocese of Oakland

2121 Harrison Street, Suite 100

Oakland, CA 94612

Dear Bishop Barber,

We are writing to you because, so far, SNAP has identified 227 publicly accused perpetrators associated with the Diocese of Oakland, a stark contrast from your current list which only includes 65 names. Our list has been created through careful study of documents in the public domain, including culling the lists released by other Catholic dioceses and religious orders. We are sending you this complete list and ask that you take our research and use it to update your own list.

While we have strived very hard for accuracy, as you review our list if you find we have mistakenly included a name, please let us know why you believe we have erred. We will then modify our list…

Seattle Archdiocese pays $2.3 million to settle five claims of sexual abuse

The Archdiocese of Seattle has paid nearly $2.3 million since August to settle five claims brought by people who alleged they were sexually abused decades ago by clergy and parish school personnel.

The settlements, for allegations of abuse occurring in the 1950s, 1970s, and 1980s, were announced by the archdiocese in November. Three of the five cases involve alleged perpetrators who have since died. They are the only individuals named in an archdiocesan news release.

The settlements, collectively totaling $2,285,000, are the latest of more than 450 cases the archdiocese has paid more than $116 million to settle since the 1980s. 

Attorney Darrell Cochran, whose firm has represented scores of clients who’ve alleged clergy abuse, represented a woman who said she was abused at St. Louise Parish School in Bellevue and settled one of the five cases.

The woman, identified by her initials, J.C. in a complaint for sexual abuse, negligence and…

New tribunal will deal with misconducts in French Roman Catholic Church

Thirteen people form a new tribunal that will deal with misconduct in the Roman Catholic Church of France. The National Canon Criminal Court (TPCN) was sworn in on Monday.

The new tribunal will deal with cases in the Church connected to sexual abuse of adults, power abuse, breach of trust and issues of spiritual influence. The Dicastery of the Doctrine of Faith will remain responsible for dealing with cases of sexual abuse of children. That is reported by RCF.


Any Catholic who feels he has suffered wrongdoings in the Church may go to the tribunal. After investigations, the TCPN may decide to sentence the perpetrator to penalties, such as a fine, prohibition of ministry, dismissal from the clerical state or excommunication. The tribunal can also determine that the perpetrator has to pay his or the victim damages, Famille Chretienne writes.

Yet, the TPCN is…

Legal window closes this month for survivors of clergy child sex abuse

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A new round of lawsuits centered on clergy child sex abuse accusations was made public this week in Northern California.

A separate Franciscan abuse lawsuit was filed this week in Santa Barbara. The local case involves a 66-year-old survivor and is linked to accusations stemming from decades ago. Documents show the man lived in Santa Barbara or Alameda as a child at the time of the alleged abuse.

The larger list of accusations entails 116 lawsuits filed in Alameda County. It names 80 Catholic clergy members accused of child sex abuse.

Tim Hale, a Santa Barbara attorney with Nye, Stirling, Hale & Miller, has spent decades representing survivors of child sex abuse across the country and here at home. The majority of the cases are linked to an institutional cover-up.

Hale said it is not yet known if any of the accused clergy members in this…

Seattle Archdiocese criticized for buying $2.4 million home for archbishop

Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne will be moving from a parish rectory into a newly purchased $2.4 million home in an upscale waterfront neighborhood. Archdiocesan officials say the relocation is necessary to better accommodate guests but the decision has also garnered criticism.

“The move is breaking a promise that the archbishop made to us in a pretty major way,” said Tim Law, a Seattle Catholic and attorney who is a member of Heal Our Church, a Washington-based alliance calling for a lay-led review of the Seattle Archdiocese’s private records on clergy abuse.

In 2019, on Etienne’s first day as head of the archdiocese, he told priests and deacons in a letter he would forgo the traditional archbishops’ residence — a 9,000-square-foot mansion named the Connolly House — and “live a more simplified life.” 

“While the Connolly House has been home to the archbishops since 1920, it will not be…

Another retired French bishop admits to hiding past sexual abuse

Another retired French archbishop has admitted to past sexual abuse and a parish priest was sidelined after his abuse case came to light. The fallout from recent revelations of past sexual abuse by a cardinal and a bishop continues to torment the French Catholic Church. 

Former Strasbourg Archbishop Jean-Pierre Grallet, 81, admitted making “inappropriate gestures” to an adult woman in the past and now faces civil and canonical inquiries. The woman, prompted by calls for victims to come forward, informed French police during the summer.

Grallet was one of the three unnamed prelates Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, head of the bishops conference, referred to early this month when he said 11 French bishops were convicted, indicted or suspected of committing or condoning sexual abuse. 

Moulins-Beaufort, who last year apologised for an estimated 330,000 sexual abuse cases by clerics and Church workers since 1950 and encouraged victims to speak up, had…

Catholic Diocese of Evansville clears priest of sexual misconduct allegation

[Via Yahoo News]

The Rev. Bernie Etienne, a priest who had been accused of sexual misconduct, has been returned to active ministry, the Catholic Diocese of Evansville said Friday.

The move comes “following completion of a thorough investigation,” according to a statement released Friday morning by the Diocese. Etienne’s return is effective immediately. At the time he was placed on administrative leave in March, Etienne was serving as pastor at Evansville’s Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 1301 S. Green River Road.

Friday’s statement by the Diocese said the alleged sexual misconduct by Etienne “was alleged to have occurred more than 20 years ago” and was “determined to be unfounded.”

“As part of the announcement (that Etienne had been placed on administrative leave) the public was encouraged to come forward with relevant information. No other allegations against Father Bernie (Etienne) were received,” the Diocese statement said.

“Upon learning of…

French Roman Catholic Church wants to regain faith of population

Several cases of sexual abuse have undermined the trust in the Roman Catholic Church in France. Therefore, the French Conference of Bishops has decided to take measures to regain the population’s confidence.

Recently, the Emeritus Archbishop of Strasbourg confessed to inappropriate sexual behaviour towards a young adult woman. Before that, another Bishop admitted that he had sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl. Also, 11 French bishops have been implicated in inappropriate sexual behaviour. These revelations tarnish the image of the Church, RCF writes. It now wants to take measures to restore its reputation.

Marie-Jo Thiel, theologian, doctor and professor of ethics, argues for a strategy to denounce all the culprits. Furthermore, she pleads for better training for new bishops. Now, they only have to follow a 48-hour training course in Rome that should equip them for their entire episcopate.


A newly established committee of experts will guide any…

US bishops to elect new leaders, mark abuse reform milestone

U.S. Catholic bishops began their fall meeting Monday, with an agenda that includes the election of new leaders — a vote that may signal whether they want to be more closely aligned with Pope Francis ′ agenda or not.

Several of the 10 candidates to be the next president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are part of its powerful conservative wing, and have not fully embraced some of the pope’s priorities, such as focusing more on the marginalized than on culture-war battles.

The USCCB also will be marking the 20th anniversary of its adoption of policies designed to root out sexual abuse and abusers in the priesthood — measures adopted amid the white-hot scandals of 2002 when The Boston Globe exposed widespread abuse and cover-up.

Outside groups are calling on the bishops to use the anniversary to renew efforts to help survivors heal from abuse, increase lay…

Bishops and sex abuse: who knew what and when did they know it?

Sex abuse revelations concerning a cardinal and another bishop in France have unveiled certain dysfunctions, especially how information is shared between bishops and the Vatican

The case of Michel Santier

“In the course of the process, there have been shortcomings, errors and dysfunctions in the method of responding to the actions committed by Bishop Santier.” This unambiguous admission was made by Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the French Bishops’ Conference (CEF), during his closing address last Tuesday at the conference’s Nov. 3-8 plenary assembly in Lourdes.

 In an attempt to remedy the problems, the bishops spent several days carefully going over the chronology of Michel Santier’s case and how it was handled. The former bishop of Créteil was sanctioned for “voyeurism”. It’s important to determine who knew what and when they knew it. “The process is very fragmented, with a considerable waste of energy and information each time,” admitted…

Is Full Transparency that Hard When Creating a Diocesan List of Credibly Accused Predator Priests?

Last week, we discussed that a “good” way to evaluate bishops concerning abuse is to look closely at their ‘credibly accused’ clerics lists. We started by examining the list in the Fresno Diocese. Now it’s time to dive into the San Bernardino Diocese.

Bishop Alberto Rojas, who hails from the Chicago Archdiocese, took the reins in San Bernardino in December 2019. His predecessors included Bishop Gerald Barnes, Bishop Phillip Straling, Bishop Dennis Patrick O’Neil, and Bishop Rutilio J. del Riego. Like other California prelates, San Bernardino’s bishop released a ‘credibly accused’ list in September 2018 in the wake of the scandalous revelations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. To his credit, Bishop Rojas includes religious order clerics on his credibly accused list, including Fr. Bernard Waltos OFM CONV., Fr. Carlos Rene Rodriguez CM, Fr. Joseph Fertal SVD, Fr. Howard Melzer SCJ,…

Striptease-Beichten: Strafe nur im Geheimen

Angeblich musste der Bischof von Créteil aus gesundheitlichen Gründen zurücktreten. Jetzt sind die wahren Gründe bekannt – die Bischöfe schwiegen.

Von einem „Schock für die Gläubigen“ spricht der Vorsitzende der französischen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Éric de Moulins-Beaufort. Ein neuer Missbrauchsskandal erschüttert die französische Kirche, während Präsident Emmanuel Macron am Sonntag nach Rom aufgebrochen ist. Er wird an diesem Montag zu einer Audienz von Papst Franziskus empfangen. Doch die Frage des Umgangs mit sexuellem Missbrauch in der Kirche soll laut Élysée-Palast nicht zur Sprache kommen. Dieses Thema sei bereits beim vorangegangenen Besuch Macrons im Vatikan erörtert worden. Im November 2021 sprach Macron mit dem Papst über den kurz zuvor veröffentlichten Abschlussbericht der Unabhängigen Kommission über sexuellen Missbrauch in der Kirche (Ciase) unter Leitung des ehemaligen Verwaltungsgerichtspräsidenten Jean-Marc Sauvé. Der Bericht beschrieb das „systemische Ausmaß“ sexuellen Missbrauchs und leitete eine Debatte über notwendige Veränderungen ein, um Missstände schnell aufklären und die Opfer schützen…

New claims against French bishop reported to Vatican

Bishop Michel Santier resigned in 2021 after accusations of spiritual abuse but said he was stepping down for health reasons.

The Vatican has received a new report containing allegations against French Bishop Michel Santier, who resigned in 2021 following accusations of spiritual abuse but said publicly that he was stepping down for health reasons.

Archbishop Dominique Lebrun, Santier’s metropolitan archbishop, announced on Oct. 20 that “other people” had come forward claiming that the retired bishop had committed acts against them when they were young adults.

“Yesterday, Wednesday, Oct. 19, after having heard directly from one of these victims, I immediately sent a report to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith via the apostolic nunciature,” the archbishop of Rouen said.

“There is no doubt that the dicastery will conduct a new investigation in the face of revelations that accentuate the seriousness of the facts of which Bishop Michel Santier is…

French Bishop retired last year without revealing sex abuse sanctions

New revelations that the Vatican quietly sanctioned Bishop Michel Santier to a life of prayer and penance last year have caused a stir in a French Church already in deep crisis

The Catholic Diocese of Créteil (France) has confirmed on Friday October 14 that its former bishop, Michel Santier, had been credibly accused of sexual abuse in late 2019, leading to his retirement more than a year later, in January 2021, at the age of 73. Catholic bishops normally submit their resignations at 75.

The news left people of the diocese, which is located in the southern suburbs of metropolitan Paris, surprised and saddened. A press release from Bishop Dominique Blanchet, Créteil’s current ordinary, was read out at all Masses over the weekend indicating that “two people revealed that in the 1990s they were subjected” by his predecessor “to acts of such a nature as to bring the matter before…

L’ancien évêque de Créteil sanctionné par le Vatican pour voyeurisme

Evêque de Créteil depuis 2007, Mgr Santier a démissionné en 2021. Il avait reconnu s’être adonné à du voyeurisme sur deux jeunes majeurs dans les années 90.

Le blâme avait été donné en toute discrétion. Parti à la retraite en 2021, l’ancien évêque de Créteil Michel Santier a été sanctionné il y a un an par le Vatican pour des faits de voyeurisme dans les années 1990. Mgr Dominique Blanchet, l’évêque qui lui a succédé l’an dernier, a confirmé dans un communiqué vendredi soir cette information révélée plus tôt par l’hebdomadaire Famille chrétienne : Mgr Santier «a été sanctionné il y a un an par Rome pour des abus spirituels ayant mené à du voyeurisme sur deux hommes majeurs». Autant de faits que le principal intéressé a reconnus.

Ils ont été commis dans le cadre d’un accompagnement spirituel, selon son entourage. Les deux victimes n’ont pas souhaité porter plainte, ajoute cette même source….

Consternation après les révélations d’abus commis par Mgr Santier

Les révélations des abus commis il y a 30 ans sur deux jeunes majeurs par Mgr Michel Santier, ancien évêque de Luçon (Vendée) puis de Créteil (Val-de-Marne), ont provoqué de nombreuses réactions au sein de l’Église. Les diocèses de Créteil, Coutances et Luçon ont immédiatement réagi.

Une onde de choc a de nouveau secoué l’Église ce vendredi 14 octobre dans la soirée, après la publication par Famille Chrétienne d’une enquête révélant que Mgr Michel Santier, évêque de Luçon puis de Créteil entre 2001 et 2021, avait commis des « abus spirituels à des fins sexuelles » dans les années 1990 sur deux hommes majeurs. Les faits ont été révélés en 2019. Les deux victimes ont souhaité rester anonymes et n’ont pas voulu porter plainte. Mgr Michel Santier avait démissionné de sa charge en 2020, deux ans avant l’âge de la retraite, évoquant des problèmes de santé mais sans mentionner cette affaire. Il…

Déclaration de Mgr Dominique Blanchet

Créteil, le 14 octobre 2022

A la suite de la publication parue le 14 octobre sur le site web de Famille Chrétienne, conscient du choc que peuvent produire ces révélations, je tiens avant tout à assurer de ma compassion toute particulière les personnes ayant été victimes des faits. Je partage également la peine et la consternation de tous ceux qui se sentiront blessés par ces révélations et j’apporte les précisions suivantes :

En 2019, deux personnes ont révélé avoir subi, dans les années 1990, alors qu’elles étaient majeures, de la part de Michel Santier des faits de nature à saisir la justice canonique de l’Église. Les autorités romaines ont été immédiatement alertées.

Des mesures disciplinaires ont été prises pour Michel Santier en octobre 2021. Pour leur mise en œuvre il a dû déménager de son lieu de retraite afin de résider désormais au sein d’une communauté religieuse, avec un ministère…

L’ex-évêque de Créteil Michel Santier sanctionné pour des abus par le Vatican

L’ecclésiastique, qui a démissionné en 2020, a reconnu avoir commis des faits de voyeurisme sur deux adultes dans les années 1990, en marge d’un accompagnement spirituel. Par Le HuffPost avec AFP

La sanction date d’il y a un an, et elle aurait pu passer inaperçue sans des révélations dans la presse. L’ex-évêque de Créteil Michel Santier a été sanctionné en 2021 par le Vatican pour des faits de voyeurisme sur deux personnes majeures dans les années 1990 dans le cadre d’une formation spirituelle. Des faits qu’il a depuis reconnus.

Parti à la retraite en 2021, l’ecclésiastique « a été sanctionné il y a un an par Rome pour des abus spirituels ayant mené à du voyeurisme sur deux hommes majeurs », a déclaré vendredi 14 octobre au soir à l’AFP l’entourage de monseigneur Dominique Blanchet, évêque qui lui a succédé l’an dernier.

Les faits se sont déroulés « dans les années 1990 », a précisé Dominique…

L’ancien évêque Michel Santier sanctionné pour “voyeurisme” dans la Manche

Mgr Michel Santier a été sanctionné pour des « abus spirituels ayant mené à du voyeurisme », qui se sont déroulés dans les années 1990, à Coutances (Manche).

« Un choc, je suis sidéré. » Ce paroissien granvillais ne cache pas sa surprise après l’information de nos confrères de La Croix et Famille Chrétienne dévoilée vendredi 14 octobre 2022. Mgr Michel Santier a été sanctionné pour des « abus spirituels ayant mené à du voyeurisme », qui se sont déroulés dans les années 1990, à Coutances (Manche).

Ces révélations ont été confirmées à l’AFP par l’évêché de Créteil : Mgr Michel Santier, évêque de Créteil jusqu’en 2021, a été sanctionné il y a un an pour « abus spirituels ayant mené à du voyeurisme », sur deux hommes majeurs. Les faits se sont « déroulés dans les années 1990 », alors que Michel Santier était directeur de l’École de la foi à Coutances. Pour cet autre paroissien : «…

Mgr Santier sanctionné pour des abus commis sur des majeurs

Mgr Michel Santier a été sanctionné pour des abus spirituels qui auraient été commis à des fins sexuelles sur deux majeurs il y a 30 ans dans la Manche. Évêque de Luçon puis de Créteil de 2001 à 2021, Mgr Santier aurait commis ces abus dans le cadre d’une fausse assistance spirituelle: ils ont eu lieu à l’École de la foi de Coutances. Le sacrement de pénitence aurait même été instrumentalisé. Ce n’est qu’en 2019 que ces faits ont été révélés. Mgr Laurent Le Boulc’h a demandé à Mgr Santier de mener désormais « une vie de retrait et de prières » pour y assurer « un ministère restreint ».

Voici le communiqué du diocèse de Coutances :Communiqué du diocèse de Coutances et Avranches sur la situation de Mgr Michel Santier

En 2021, Rome a pris des mesures disciplinaires à l’encontre de Mgr Michel Santier pour des faits commis contre deux jeunes adultes dans les années…

A crowded field in the USCCB’s open race

U.S. Catholic bishops will elect new leadership in November. The election could say a lot about the state of the USCCB – and its future.

When the U.S. bishops’ conference meets next month for its annual fall plenary meeting, the bishops will hold a leadership election that promises to be among the most interesting in more than a decade, as the USCCB vice president will not be the favorite, or even a candidate, in the conference presidential election.

Without the customary expectation that the sitting conference vice- president will win the presidency, November’s unusually open election of both the USCCB president and vice president will be an especially useful barometer of the concerns and perspectives of the American Catholic bishops.

While the bishops announced the presidential field Tuesday morning, the rest of the USCCB’s fall meeting agenda has not yet been announced. Conference observers can expect at least some of…

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…

Le Vatican n’a pas suivi ses propres règles

Affaire Marc Ouellet

Si, en 2021, les plus hautes autorités de l’Église catholique avaient respecté à la lettre un décret disciplinaire promulgué par le pape François lui-même, le nom du cardinal Marc Ouellet ne paraîtrait pas dans le tableau des victimes et des agresseurs dévoilé hier, le mardi 16 août 2022, par les avocats qui mènent le recours collectif contre l’archidiocèse de Québec.

L’enquêteur nommé par le pape dans cette affaire n’a toujours pas remis les résultats de son enquête à «la personne qui affirme avoir été offensée» par l’ex-archevêque de Québec.

Vos estis lux mundi

En mai 2019, le pape François a promulgué le motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi qui rappelle aux évêques et prélats du monde entier qu’ils peuvent eux aussi faire l’objet de mesures disciplinaires s’ils ont commis des inconduites ou des abus sexuels ou encore s’ils ont dissimulé de tels gestes…

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 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 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…