ABUSE TRACKER

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

March 7, 2021

Mary Grace Gallagher: In three minutes, David Lorenz tells Maryland lawmakers why statute of limitations on child abuse claims must end | COMMENTARY

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ANNAPOLIS (MD)
Capital Gazette (Annapolis MD)

March 7, 2021

By Mary Grace Gallagher

It is a paradox of “social movements” that they rely on lone voices, sharing stories of impact and pain. Whether chanting “Me Too” or “Black Lives Matter,” it is easy to stand in a crowd and demand change and much harder to stand alone, as one Bowie resident did last month, when he shared with strangers the most horrifying and vulnerable experience of his life in a recorded Zoom session for the Maryland General Assembly.

The legislators tuning into the hearing had been given a 200-page stack of testimony from survivors of childhood sexual abuse, all of it urging them to strengthen a law called the Hidden Predator Act that had passed with great fanfare in 2017. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee would spend almost two hours going back and forth with a lobbyist sent to oppose the bill, also known as SB134.

But, because of COVID…

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‘I was walking into an ambush’: Former Wallaby Tony Daly speaks out about childhood sexual abuse

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(AUSTRALIA)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation [Australia]

March 6, 2021

By David Mark

“I can acknowledge it and I accept the ramification. But I won’t accept that I was a 10, 11-year-old boy and I was walking into an ambush. It shouldn’t have happened.”

There are small moments around which our lives turn. A chance encounter, a diagnosis, a shared connection.

The defining moment in Tony Daly’s life happened when he was just 11.

The man who he claims sexually abused him was a Catholic brother at his new boarding school.

He’d just been sent to St Joseph’s in Sydney — better known as Joeys — one of Australia’s biggest and most prestigious Catholic boys’ schools, a virtual rugby union factory, famous for pumping out future Wallabies.

Tony Daly was one of them. He reached the highest of highs, achieving a lifelong ambition to represent his country.

He played 41 Tests and scored the winning and only try in Australia’s 1991 World Cup…

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Raped a dozen times when he was just 11 at a Catholic boarding school: Tony Daly reveals the devastating pain he hid during his storied rugby career and how his life spiralled out of control after retirement

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(AUSTRALIA)
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

March 7, 2021

By Tita Smith

  • Tony Daly represented Australia in the Wallabies from the late 1980s’ to 1990s 
  • The footballer lead the team to its first World Cup victory over England in 1991
  • He was dropped from the team in 1995 – and his life then spiralled out of control
  • The child sex abuse he suffered bubbled to the surface, after being suppressed 
  • Daly was sexually abused from age 11 over two years at St Joseph’s Boys School
  • After leaving sport, he started drinking, gambling, and committing petty crime 
  • He has come to terms with his experience and has opened up to share his story

In front of the cameras, Tony Daly was a prized national treasure – leading the Wallabies to successive victories. 

He enjoyed an illustrious career playing 41 tests from the late 1980s to the ’90s,  scoring the only try in Australia’s 1991 World Cup final victory over England.

But behind closed doors, he was harbouring an insidious…

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March 6, 2021

Rachel Jeffs (Source: Instagram)

Rachel Jeffs Has Dedicated Her Life to Speaking out Against the FLDS Church

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SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Distractify

March 5, 2021

By Chrissy Bobic

[Photo above: Rachel Jeffs. Source: Instagram]

In 2011, Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) leader and chosen “prophet” Warren Jeffs was convicted on two counts of sexual assault of a child and sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years. Shortly after, one of his oldest daughters, Rachel Jeffs, gathered the courage to leave the religion that many consider to be a cult. And, now, she is still speaking out against the FLDS and her father.Article continues below advertisementhttps://d1042f2bb626b300a36aa51fa412a89e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Rachel is one of Warren Jeffs’ dozens of kids he fathered over the years with his dozens of wives and, as such, she was expected to “keep sweet” and fall in line as the other women had for years. Eventually, however, after sexual abuse at the hands of her father and after witnessing atrocities within the FLDS, she left with her five children in tow.

Rachel…

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WATCH: Gozo’s Bishop Asks For Forgiveness For Church’s Physical And Sexual Abuse

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(MALTA)
Lovin Malta

March 5, 2021

By Julian Bonnici

[Video]

Gozo’s Bishop Anton Teuma has asked for forgiveness from the many people who have suffered some sort of abuse, physical or sexual, from members of the clergy.

This comes after two Gozitan priests, Joseph Cini and Joseph Sultana, were charged with raping and abusing a young boy.

In a video, Teuma said that without getting into the merits of the case, the allegations have left anger, pain, and uncertainty within the Gozitan diocese.

He reiterated the abuse can never be tolerated within the church or society as a whole. He has even sought advice from Pope Francis on the issue.

“I sincerely apologize to those of you who have at one time or another suffered abuses of all kinds in the context of the Church, to themselves and to their families,” Teuma said.

The issue erupted after Cini and Sultana were charged with sexually abusing an…

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Hillsong leader apologizes ‘unreservedly’ after scandal

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NEW YORK (NY)
New York Post

March 5, 2021

By Hannah Frishberg

The leader of megachurch Hillsong has apologized — but will congregants forgive him? 

Five months since the firing of adulterous NYC superstar pastor Carl Lentz — which exposed rifts across the church, fraud accusations and congregant allegations of abuse — Hillsong’s senior pastor and co-founder Brian Houston has for the first time publicly said that he’s sorry for it.

His apology was made in conjunction with the release of changes the Australia-based institution plans to make at its East Coast branches following an independent investigation, launched after news of Lentz’s affair broke in November. 

“We know that Hillsong East Coast has failed to be the kind of church it should be,” Houston, 67, wrote in an internal email addressed “Dear Church,” which The Post obtained. “On behalf of the Global Board and as Global Senior Pastor, I accept responsibility for these failings and apologize unreservedly.”

The March email coincided with an announcement of changes…

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Jehovah’s Witnesses Will Finally Join Australia’s Program for Sex Abuse Victims

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(AUSTRALIA)
Patheos [United States]

March 6, 2021

By Hemant Mehta

The Jehovah’s Witnesses will finally join an Australian program meant to make amends for child sexual abuse… but only because they would have lost their tax exempt status if they didn’t.

They may not care about the children, but they care about their bank account, apparently.

Here’s the backstory: In 2013, the Australian government set up the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to look into the very serious issue. Rabbis were implicated alongside Catholic priests. Secular organizations weren’t immune from wrongdoing.

One of the recommendations from that Commission was the creation of the National Redress Scheme, a formal way to literally pay back victims of child sex abuse for all they had suffered. It’s not a perfect system by any means — could anything be? — but the idea behind it was that victims could fill out paperwork explaining what they went through, officials would calculate what that trauma is worth, and…

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Column: One week’s news reveals the revolutionary strength of the Me Too movement

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LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

March 5, 2021

By Virginia Heffernan

Movements are not trending topics. They’re not celebrity scandals that excite the mediasphere like brush fires. They are paradigm shifts, and they do their work through legislation, court proceedings, disciplinary measures and the evolution of social hierarchies, political power and the allocation of capital.

In 2006, when Twitter hashtags didn’t exist, the activist Tarana Burke coined Me Too to promote solidarity among survivors of sexual violence, especially women of color. Her term succinctly described a formidable campaign far more powerfully than “fight the patriarchy” does. Patriarchy describes the rigid top of a power structure; Me Too describes a dynamic grass-roots threat to it.

The central tenet of Burke’s political philosophy? That sexual violence is so widespread in America as to represent its own sociology. That sociology establishes brutal power relations, with rituals of sexual subjugation, exploitation and humiliation. It comes with specific practices of witness intimidation and silencing. Institutions such…

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How Catholicism became a breeding ground for conspiracy theories

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VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Religion News Service

March 5, 2021

By Claire Giangravé

A perfect storm of institutional crises, the polarization of perceived winners and losers and an influx of evangelicals has made Catholicism fertile ground for conspiracy theories.

If it’s true that all roads lead to Rome, it’s also true that in one way or another, all conspiracy theories lead to the Vatican.

Be it the illuminati, aliens or even a time machine buried in its hidden archives, the Vatican has been a favored subject for conspirators thanks to its penchant for secrecy and a talent for smoke and mirrors.

But a new wave of conspiratorial thinking, especially among Catholic conservatives, is changing the face of the Catholic Church today, experts say.

A perfect storm of institutional crises, the polarization of perceived winners and losers under Pope Francis’ pontificate and the migration of evangelicals into the church has created a fertile ground for conspiracy theories, especially about papal authority.

“In recent…

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Diocese releases independent audit findings on abuse policies

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SCRANTON (PA)
Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre PA)

March 6, 2021

By Mark Guydish

The Diocese of Scranton announced that an independent audit determined full compliance with child sex abuse prevention policies set by the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops.

A media release noted the local diocese has passed such audits of its procedures every year since the policy was adopted by the USCCB in 2002. The latest audit was done by StoneBridge Business Partners base in New York, contracted to conduct such work in all 195 U.S. Dioceses.

“The findings are a result of a review of data collected for the 2019/2020 Charter audit period,” according to a media release issued Friday. “The annual audit evaluates each diocese’s efforts to ensure the protection of children, including criminal background checks and educational awareness programs on recognizing and preventing abuse.”

The diocese provided information to the auditors, including:

• A total 11,526 students currently enrolled in Catholic schools in the diocese or in parish…

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Ampleforth College faces questions over pupil safeguarding

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AMPLEFORTH COLLEGE (UNITED KINGDOM)
Channel 4 (England)

March 5, 2021

By Clare Fallon

[VIDEO]

Ampleforth College is one of the most prominent Catholic private schools in the country. But in 2018, an independent inquiry found that a number of children there had suffered appalling sexual abuse  over decades, involving monks at Ampleforth Abbey.

In November the school was banned by the government from accepting new pupils, after it failed to show inspectors that it could keep them safe.

Now this programme has seen a letter to the government from a solicitor for victims of historic abuse at the school, alleging it has not fully separated itself from the Abbey, as it had been told to. The school’s leaders deny the claims.

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‘Men are like dogs’: what I was taught about sexual assault at my Catholic private school

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(AUSTRALIA)
The Guardian

March 5, 2021

By Claire J. Harris

We didn’t learn about alcohol and consent, because we didn’t learn about consent at all. We learned about sin and shame and how avoiding sexual assault was a female responsibility

When a petition recently went viral, documenting over 3,000 cases of sexual assault by boys at Sydney private schools, I was saddened and sickened – but not surprised – to find a testimonial from a female student at my former high school. I was also struck – but not surprised – by the then-16-year-old girl saying that she was ashamed to tell anyone about her sexual assault.

I understood her shame. It was a feeling I learned through the 13 years I spent at a private girls’ school in Sydney, run by an ultra-conservative faction of the Catholic church.

Perhaps, like me, the student was first introduced to the concept of consent with the story of St Maria Goretti. When…

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SERIAL OFFENDER Notorious clerical abuser Oliver O’Grady back on the streets after release from prison

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DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Sunday World (Ireland)

March 5, 2021

By Eamon Dillon

Oliver O’Grady had been jailed for 22 months last October for possessing ‘child pornography’ – his ninth conviction.

FORMER priest and infamous paedophile Oliver O’Grady has been released from prison this week after serving his latest sentence for a sex-offence.

Now 75-years-old, O’Grady had been jailed for 22 months last October for possessing ‘child pornography’, his ninth conviction.

He had served time in California for the abuse of two boys where he served as a Catholic priest before being deported back to Ireland in the 1990s.

His sexual crimes were the subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary in 2006 called ‘Deliver Us From Evil.’

O’Grady had been extradited from Portugal in 2019 to face the charge of possessing a video of an underage girl being sexually abused.

He left the Midlands Prison this week in Portlaoise where he had served his time.

His recent conviction came as a result of…

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Men consider private prosecution of Fettes teacher facing abuse claims after Crown Office decide not to pursue South Africa extradition

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(UNITED KINGDOM)
Edinburgh News (Scotland)

March 5, 2021

By Jamie McKenzie

Former pupils at one of Scotland’s most prestigious schools are considering a private prosecution after the Crown Office decided not to extradite a teacher who they say abused them.

Two men have spoken to the Edinburgh Evening News about being physically and sexually abused at Fettes College junior school in the mid 1970s.

One victim said he was taken into a changing room and beaten to the extent of “blacking out” and ended up in a school sanatorium for medical treatment for ten days.

Both men said the teacher, who now lives in South Africa, would fondle them at his desk when they went up to receive feedback on their work, and that he would be “openly violent” to pupils during class.

A spokesperson for Fettes College says the school wants to apologise to anyone who suffered abuse there, and stressed they take historic abuse claims “extremely seriously” and will…

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Police, private schools pledge support after petition of alleged sexual abuse among students goes viral

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(AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

March 6, 2021

By Anthony Piovesan

NSW Police have met with senior stakeholders in the education sector after a new petition that gathered more than 3000 testimonies of alleged sexual assault committed by high school students went viral.

The petition, which called for more thorough and earlier education about consent, was started by Chanel Contos, a former student of Sydney’s Kambala School.

She is hoping to draw attention to how frequently girls experience sexual assault from all-boys’ school students in the city.

In a statement, NSW Police said they addressed the concerns at a meeting with the NSW Department of Education, Association of Independent Schools and Catholic Schools NSW on Friday.

“A commitment was made to establish a statement of intent to address the issue of sexual violence within NSW schools,” NSW Police said.

“Some of the key elements that will be considered during this process include but are not limited to: consent education, protocols on…

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Experts to draw up terms of reference for mother and baby homes inquiry in NI

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BELFAST (UNITED KINGDOM)
Q Radio (Northern Ireland)

March 4, 2021

By Michael McHiugh PA

The Stormont Executive has appointed a team of experts who will work in partnership with victims and survivors of mother and baby homes here – to establish terms of reference for a fully independent investigation.

They include academics, human rights experts and a community worker, and will report back to ministers in Northern Ireland within six months on drawing up terms of reference.

The appointments follow the executive’s announcement in January of its intention – to establish a victim centred independent probe – into historical institutions between 1922 and 1990.

More than 10,000 women and girls, from the age of 12, went through the doors of homes run by Catholic orders and Protestant clergy.

A recently published report disclosed claims of inappropriate labour and an ethos of shame at homes for those born out of wedlock.

Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster said: “The many women and children who were victims…

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Church of England on journey of change to address sexual abuse but will never forget its failures, says Bishop of Huddersfield

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HUDDERSFIELD (UNITED KINGDOM)
Yorkshire Post (England)

March 6, 2021

By Susie Beever

The Church can never afford to forget how it failed to protect children from sexual abuse, a leading bishop has vowed.

Priests and figures of all levels have been receiving training in how to spot abuse while initiatives have been set up to fund counselling for victims, according to the Bishop of Huddersfield the Rt Rev Jonathan Gibbs.

In an exclusive interview with The Yorkshire Post, Rev Gibbs – who is the country’s leading priest for safeguarding – said the Church was working on “creating a safe space” for victims of historic and recent abuse, but that it “could never afford to be complacent” when it came to its past mistakes.

A damning report published by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) last Autumn revealed how the Anglican Church spent “decades” covering up allegations, preferring to “protect its own reputation” instead of young people.

The Inquiry also heard…

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Brian Houston apologizes for Hillsong East Coast scandals, announces ‘sweeping changes’

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NEW YORK (NY)
The Christian Post

March 5, 2021

By Leonardo Blair

Hillsong Church’s Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston apologized and accepted responsibility for “failings” that triggered multiple scandals at Hillsong East Coast and presented a raft of “sweeping changes” expected to correct “the issues and misalignment of the culture and practices” of the branch.

“We know that Hillsong East Coast has failed to be the kind of church it should be. On behalf of the Global Board and as Global Senior Pastor, I accept responsibility for these failings and apologize unreservedly,” Houston wrote in a Thursday email to members that was also published on the denomination’s website.

“As the events of last year unfolded, there was a lot we didn’t know. Now, thanks to the courage and honesty of many of you, we have a much clearer understanding of the state of Hillsong East Coast. Thank you to all of you who have enabled us to reach this place,”…

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Sexual abuse by pastors is a shame: FCC

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SUVA (FIJI)
FBC News (Fiji)

March 5, 2021

By Sainiani Boila

[Includes audio]

The Fiji Council of Churches says it’s a severe violation and inhumane act for pastors to sexually abuse Church members.

Some pastors are convicted of rape while some are still under investigation and the Fiji Council of Churches President Archbishop, Peter Loy Chong, says this is embarrassing.

Archbishop Chong says they are working with the Pacific Conference of Churches on a policy to help address the issue.

“It pains my heart to hear that young children and little girls and women are abused and it’s embarrassing as a church leader to hear this happen amongst church leaders.”

Archbishop Chong says they hope to prevent this issue from happening again.

“We’ve awakened to this as we have developed our own safeguarding policies to prevent and minimize or almost if we can eradicate this inhumane behaviour in the church.”

The Fiji Council of Churches is calling for a holistic approach…

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March 5, 2021

Field at Chemawa Indian School, Salem, Oregon, pictured after 1933 (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS OR-129)

Panelists call for reckoning on abuse of Native American children at Catholic boarding schools

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NEW YORK (NY)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

March 5, 2021

By Lucy Grindon

[Photo above: Field at Chemawa Indian School, Salem, Oregon, pictured after 1933. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS OR-129]

In its attempts to address sex abuse crises, the Catholic Church has issued apologies, conducted investigations and paid reparations, but the Vatican has never publicly apologized for abuse inflicted on Indigenous Americans at Catholic-run boarding schools in the United States and Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries, according to presenters at a Feb. 25 online panel event, “Native American Communities and the Clerical Abuse Crisis,” hosted by Fordham University’s Taking Responsibility project.

“If you guys have any influence with the pope, can you ask him to please apologize [for] what has happened to boarding school survivors, specifically Native boarding school survivors?” panelist Denise Lajimodiere said at the webinar. “That would help with our healing.”

Government-funded Catholic boarding schools for Indigenous children in both countries were…

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Colorado Senate passes bill easing child abuse lawsuits

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DENVER (CO)
Associated Press [New York NY]

March 2, 2021

Colorado’s Senate has unanimously passed legislation that eliminates a statute of limitations for victims of child sexual assault to file civil lawsuits seeing damages from perpetrators.

Supporters argued the six-year time period currently given victims to pursue claims effectively denied them the chance to seek justice after undergoing years of trauma and possible recovery.

Democratic Sen. Jessie Danielson, who co-sponsored the bill with Republican Sen. Don Coram, noted that 10 other U.S. states have eliminated statutes of limitations for civil suits.

Under current law, survivors must file any civil lawsuit against abusers by the age of 24 — and by age 20 against employers or organizations harboring abusers.

The bill would remove several restrictions on filing damage claims. It also would make persons and organizations that didn’t directly participate in abuse potentially liable.

Tuesday’s 33-0 vote sends the legislation to the House.

Colorado has no statute of limitations for criminal…

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Washington archdiocese allocates $2m for Cardinal Wuerl’s ‘continuing ministry’

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WASHINGTON (DC)
The Pillar

March 3, 2021

According to financial records of the Archdiocese of Washington, $2,012,639 was designated for “continuing ministry activities for [the] Archbishop Emeritus” during the 2020 fiscal year.

The amount is a 35% increase from the $1,488,059 designated for Wuerl’s ministry in the 2019 fiscal year reports.

According to audited financial statements from the archdiocese, the funds for Wuerl’s continuing ministry were allocated from “net assets without donor restrictions.” That means the money was not given to the archdiocese explicitly for Wuerl’s use, and could have been deployed for other purposes at the discretion of the archdiocese. 

The archdiocesan 2020 financial statement includes an unfunded priest retirement liability of at least $35 million, which has grown from $23.5 million since 2015. 

The statement also includes a 30% drop in funds earmarked for “Archdiocesan charitable giving” in the 2020 fiscal year, which decreased to $401,136, from $651,136 in fiscal year 2019. 

The amount allocated…

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SC appeals court backs Catholic Diocese of Charleston in sex-abuse lawsuit technicality

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

March 4, 2021

By Sara Coello

The South Carolina court of appeals has backed up a 2017 lower court ruling that the diocese and the attorneys who sued in a class-action sex-abuse case needn’t answer to victims who weren’t formally included in the lawsuit.

In court filings, anonymous plaintiffs argued that Mount Pleasant attorney Larry Richter had neglected to include them in a class-action lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston, effectively barring them from receiving proceeds of the case alongside fellow sex-abuse victims.

The diocese includes churches across the Palmetto State.

Both parties were accused of “shopping” for a judge who would allow a settlement that provided known victims a maximum payout at the expense of out-of-state survivors who hadn’t formally joined the lawsuit.

“We knew all along, in terms of a legal position, that this guy had made one up,” Richter told The Post and Courier. “But it’s a resounding victory, now we’re over…

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Catholic group opposes Colorado bill that would give child sex abuse survivors the ability to sue their abuser at any time

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DENVER (CO)
The Denver Post

March 5, 2021

By Saja Hindi

Lawmakers looking at two bills on topic, one dealing with statute of limitations and another would hold organizations more accountable

For decades, survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their advocates have urged states to let them hold abusers accountable in civil court, no matter how long it’s been since the abuse. A bipartisan bill in the Colorado Legislature to do just that so far appears to have widespread approval, but it’s not without opposition from the Colorado Catholic Conference — a church embroiled in a sex abuse scandal in Colorado, the U.S. and around the world.

There is no expiration date in Colorado to bring criminal charges against a person accused of child sex abuse, but the statute of limitations to sue an individual is only six years after a victim turns 18. Last year’s effort to change the latter failed.

The renewed push to eliminate the statute of limitations for lawsuits…

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Victim advocates say U.S. military gets an ‘F’ on sexual assault prevention

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ARLINGTON (VA)
PBS Newshour

March 1, 2021

By Nick Schifrin and Dan Sagalyn

For a decade, advocates have argued commanders should be removed from deciding the fate of those accused of sexual assault in the U.S. military. But military victim advocates now say they too should be removed from the chain of command. Nick Schifrin talks to four military victim advocates about the widespread and longstanding problem of sexual assault in the military, and possible solutions.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:The Pentagon has named a new commission that has 90 days to recommend solutions to the longstanding and widespread issue of sexual assault in the military. Nick Schifrin speaks to advocates for survivors about some proposed changes.
  • Nick Schifrin:When service members report a sexual assault, by law, they’re assigned a victim advocate.And as you will hear from four victim advocates, the new commission must tackle fundamental problems.Over the past decade, the number of reported sexual assaults has doubled from 3,327 in 2010 to…
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[Media Statement] French Catholic Church Admits to as Many as 10,000 Victims since 1950

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PARIS (FRANCE)
SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

March 4, 2021

A committee investigating sexual abuse and cover-up committed by Catholic clergy in France speculated that as many as 10,000 children and vulnerable adults may have been abused by priests since 1950, a staggering number that shows the clear need for immediate reform within the French Church.

So far, more than 3,000 victims have testified to the French Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church. Similarly, according to a report released last fall in the UK, there were 3000 instances of child sexual abuse reported to the Catholic Church in that country between 1970-2015. Based on SNAP’s internal analysis, we believe that there are likely as many as 37,000 victims in France and we hope that this initial news will remind those survivors that they are not alone and that there are people who will believe them and support them.

Recent revelations into…

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[Media Statement] Third Accuser against Fr. Michael Pfleger Comes Forward

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

March 3, 2021

Yet another victim has come forward to allege that he was the victim of inappropriate sexual contact at the hands of a popular Chicago priest. We hope that this latest accusation will cause parishioners at the cleric’s church to stop their intimidation campaign against the survivors who have come forward and to refrain from trying to influence or expedite the investigation into the alleged abuse.

One of the main reasons that the first two accusers against Fr. Michael Pfleger were dismissed and disbelieved is because they had filed a lawsuit and had previously sought compensation for the trauma they had suffered. This third accuser, however, has said he has no plans to file a claim, so the attacks levied against the first two accusers cannot be used against this man. We hope that rather than consider new ways to discredit this victim, that the supporters of…

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Juárez priest Aristeo Baca sentenced in child sex abuse case involving altar server girl

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CIUDAD JUáREZ (MEXICO)
El Paso Times

March 4, 2021

By Daniel Borunda

A Juárez Catholic priest convicted of sexually assaulting an altar server girl was sentenced by a Mexican court this week to more than 34 years in prison.

The Rev. Aristeo Trinidad Baca, 76, was found guilty Feb. 22 on charges of rape and aggravated sexual abuse, the Chihuahua attorney general’s office said.

Baca was convicted of sexually abusing a girl who was an altar server while Baca was pastor at Santa María de la Montaña parish near the mountains in southwestern Juárez.

Baca was convicted of sexually assaulting the girl on at least three occasions at the church between 2015 and 2018 starting when the girl was 8 years old.

An investigation began after the girl made an outcry to her family in 2019.

In addition to the prison sentence, Baca was ordered to pay reparations of more than 59,000 pesos (about $2,000 in U.S. dollars) to the victim.

In a statement, Juárez Bishop Jose Guadalupe…

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Analysis: Are legal reforms in the Vatican designed NOT to work?

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(ITALY)
Catholic Herald

February 28, 2021

By Christopher Altieri

A Vatican City criminal court heard two days of frequently gruesome testimony last week, in the trial of two clerics: 28-year-old Fr. Gabriele Martinelli and 71-year-old Fr. Enrico Radice. Martinelli, a former student at the St. Pius X minor seminary in the Vatican, is charged with sexual abuse of a junior boy when Martinelli was a senior pupil at the school. Radice is charged with enabling Martinelli – allegedly one of Radice’s favorites – and covering for him.

The criminal trial will turn on questions of fact, and possibly on questions of law: Can prosecutors prove to judges that Martinelli did the things he is alleged to have done, and did Fr. Radice enable the abusive behavior and/or cover for the abuser? If the court finds that Martinelli did the things, were the things he did crimes at Vatican City law when he did them?

It’s crazy to think that an…

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[Opinion] From feckless episcopal leadership, Lord save us

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BOSTON (MA)
Catholic Culture

March 3, 2021

By Phil Lawler

Do you wonder why many Catholics have grown cynical about their bishops?

The Pillar news site reports that this year’s budget for the Archdiocese of Washington includes $2 million for the “continuing ministry” of Cardinal Donald Wuerl— who resigned from active ministry nearly two years ago amid what polite people call questions about his role in the McCarrick scandal.

Two million dollars. $2,000,000.00. That comes out to almost $5,500 every day to support the retired cardinal in doing… what? The archdiocesan budget does not specify what the “continuing ministry” involves.

Sadly, the Washington archdiocese was forced to cut its “archdiocesan charitable giving” by 30% this year, Pillar reports. Charitable giving is allocated just a bit over $400,000, or one-fifth of the Wuerl-maintenance allotment. Which, by the way, is up 35% from the previous fiscal year.

Another new Catholic-news source, Exaudi, boasts an exclusive interview with Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, who…

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[News Release] International Virtual Symposium on Preventing and Healing Child Sexual Abuse: HARVARD/VATICAN

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CAMBRIDGE (MA)
Harvard University (Cambridge MA)

March 3, 2021

By The Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University

Harvard University and the Vatican organize a public, interfaith symposium to address the health and spiritual wellbeing of victims of childhood sexual abuse

The Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, in partnership with the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, will convene public health professionals, religious leaders, and abuse survivors from across the world for a free, public, interfaith symposium to improve the health and spiritual wellbeing of victims of childhood sexual abuse, trafficking, and exploitation.

“Informed care is essential to healing for those who experienced child sexual abuse, otherwise we run the risk of doing more harm than good.” – Jennifer Wortham, Dr.PH

“From a public health perspective, religious leaders are increasingly seen as a powerful force for shaping behaviors and perceptions,” said Jennifer Wortham, Research Associate at the Human Flourishing Program, and Executive Director of the Initiative on Health, Religion, and Spirituality,…

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Sudbury teacher banned for life from teaching in Ontario

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GREATER SUDBURY (CANADA)
The Sudbury Star [Ontario, Canada]

March 3, 2021

By Harold Carmichael

He regularly rubbed a student’s upper thigh ‘in a sexual manner’

A new Ontario law requiring that any teacher disciplined for sexual abuse or child pornography be banned from teaching for life in the province has impacted a former Greater Sudbury teacher.

Craig James Lusk, a Sudbury Catholic District School Board teacher who was suspended in the fall of 2017 by the Ontario College of Teachers for professional misconduct, had his teaching licence revoked, along with more than two dozen other teachers in December 2020.

The revoked licences occurred after the college did a thorough review of hundreds of discipline cases that involved a wide range of improper behaviour by Ontario teachers, including viewing child pornography and touching female students in physical education courses.

As of 2020, according to the college, Lusk was no longer teaching. After he was issued the suspension in the fall of…

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[Opinion] A comprehension of the past

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(NEW ZEALAND)
NZ Catholic [New Zealand]

March 3, 2021

By Alison Hale

While utterly condemning sexual abuse on the part of some Catholic clergy and religious, I do have a problem in assessing situations only in terms of the knowledge and understanding of human psychology that we now have from the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

A lot of the offending we hear about took place in the 1950s-1980s, and, in order to help comprehend what took place, without excusing the offending, it is worth looking at certain societal norms of that time, and at what some of the thinking was that informed the approaches taken in response.

The ability to discern sexual deviancy, or the inability to live a celibate life in potential candidates, would have once have been minimal or non-existent. It seems that the expressed desire to be accepted was often enough. Even those who recognised their own disordered desires might well have seen the priesthood or religious…

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Boston College theologian being investigated for alleged sexual assault

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BOSTON (MA)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

March 3, 2021

Boston College is investigating the chairman of its theology department after a former classmate at the University of Notre Dame accused him of sexually assaulting her.

Laura Grimes, a theologian in Detroit, accused Richard Gaillardetz, professor of systematic theology, of sexually assaulting her twice in 1987 while the two were doctoral students at the Indiana school.

The accusations came in two YouTube videos, one posted Jan. 23 and the other Feb. 24. Grimes subsequently posted a series of short videos in which she referenced the purported assaults.

Gaillardetz denied the accusations and voluntarily stepped away from his teaching and administrative duties at Boston College while the investigation continues.

Boston College said in a statement sent March 1 to Catholic News Service that the school “takes any allegation of sexual misconduct with the utmost seriousness, and has hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation to determine the credibility of allegations raised…

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March 4, 2021

FILE - In this Saturday, July 7, 2018 file photo, The Rev. Michael Pfleger speaks to protesters before marching on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. A third man has come forward with allegations that Rev. Pfleger made an unwanted sexual advance against him as a teenager, following two brothers' allegations that the priest abused them decades ago when they were teens. (AP Photo/Annie Rice, File)

3rd man accuses a Chicago activist priest of sexual abuse

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CHICAGO (IL)
Associated Press [New York NY]

March 3, 2021

[Photo above: In this Saturday, July 7, 2018 file photo, The Rev. Michael Pfleger speaks to protesters before marching on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. A third man has come forward with allegations that Rev. Pfleger made an unwanted sexual advance against him as a teenager, following two brothers’ allegations that the priest abused them decades ago when they were teens. (AP Photo/Annie Rice, File)]

A third man has come forward with sexual abuse allegations against a Chicago priest who has gained widespread acclaim for his activism, saying he felt he owes it to two brothers who have faced criticism for accusing the priest of abusing them decades ago when they were teens.

The 59-year-old man alleges in an affidavit shared late Tuesday with church officials that the Rev. Michael Pfleger once grabbed his crotch over his clothes in the priest’s bedroom area at St. Sabina Church in the…

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Column: Blind loyalty to the Rev. Michael Pfleger could harm the Black community

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CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

March 1, 2021

By Dahleen Glanton

One of the Rev. Michael Pfleger’s supporters summed up the sexual abuse allegations against the priest in a way that many might find appropriate.

They don’t fit with “what I know about him,” Northwestern University law student Blair Matthews told a Tribune reporter in January when the accusations came to light. Like many who are standing solidly behind Pfleger, Matthews credits the priest and the St. Sabina Church community with helping him succeed in life.

Many people who have met the outspoken and charismatic priest might agree. Sexual abuse is not the sort of thing that immediately comes to mind when you think of a man who has spent his life helping disadvantaged youths lift themselves up.

But abuse happens. We know from other cases in the Catholic Church and elsewhere, the perpetrators often are the people who garner the most trust.

As much as we might admire Pfleger for…

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Catholic philanthropists launch safeguarding initiative against abuse

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

March 3, 2021

By Christopher White

Two years after Pope Francis summoned the heads of bishops’ conferences around the world to Rome to confront clergy abuse among their own ranks, Catholic philanthropists are following his lead with a new initiative aimed to encourage Catholic funders to promote safeguarding in their own organizations and philanthropic efforts.

The newly launched multi-year program, “Commitment to Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection” is led by Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA), an umbrella organization representing over 50 member organizations and individuals. It encourages those funders to sign a pledge to review their own internal safeguarding policies, as well as that of their grantee partners.

“One of the things that has been driving FADICA’s initiative is that everyone in the church has a role to play in confronting abuse,” FADICA President and CEO Alexia Kelley told NCR following the initiative’s launch…

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[News Release] Faith-based Institutions to Front Royal Commission on Redress for Abuse

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AUCKLAND (NEW ZEALAND)
Scoop [Wellington, New Zealand]

March 4, 2021

By Abuse in Care Royal Commission Inquiry

Witnesses for faith-based institutions, including Archbishops and a Cardinal, will give evidence before the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry this month, on their processes for resolving historic and current abuse claims.

Phase 2 of the Faith-based Redress hearing runs from 15 to 29 March. Phase 1 of the hearing was held late last year and focussed on the experience of survivors in seeking redress (such as compensation, counselling, an apology etc) for abuse and/or neglect in the care of faith-based institutions.

The faith-based institution witnesses – which include representatives from the highest levels within New Zealand’s Salvation Army, and Anglican and Catholic Churches – will be responding to survivors’ evidence and outlining past and current Redress policies and processes.

See hearing timetable and witness summaries below.

COVID INFORMATION: The Covid-19 alert level at the time of this public hearing will determine whether or not it is open to…

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[Opinion] Catholics Are De-Toxing From their Experiences With Traumatic Religion. How You Respond to them Matters.

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NEW YORK (NY)
Patheos [United States]

March 3, 2021

By Rebecca Bratten Weiss

A few days [ago] a meme came across my Facebook feed. I thought it was relevant to a lot of recent conversations I’d had with friends, as well as to issues I’d touched on in my post about abusive religion. The meme was a screenshot from Twitter which read:

My therapist gave me some homework. I’m supposed to make a list of all the beliefs I was taught as fact, as a child in evangelicalism. So I can shred and/or burn the ones that don’t serve me anymore. What would you put on that list? #exvangelical  #religioustrauma

I was surprised by the outpouring of responses I received from my Catholic, Catholic-adjacent, and ex-Catholic friends. Some of them detailed actual magisterial teachings they had found harmful. Many others described common ideas, mantras, and beliefs one is likely to encounter in Catholic settings. Quite a few commenters addressed popular Catholic ideas about sex…

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Lawyer: New report on abuse in Cologne will incriminate church officials

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COLOGNE (GERMANY)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

March 3, 2021

COLOGNE, GERMANY — The second expert report commissioned to investigate abuse in the Archdiocese of Cologne also incriminates church officials who are still alive and accuses them of mistakes in dealing with cases of sexual violence, according to its author, Björn Gercke.

The criminal lawyer who was asked by Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki to conduct an investigation told the newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger March 2 that the report had already met with opposition from some officials and their lawyers even before its publication, scheduled March 18.

The German Catholic news agency KNA reported the lawyer did not mention names, but said the people concerned had tried, sometimes in vain, to dispel allegations of breaches of duty. In addition to Woelki, the prominent clerics still alive who held important posts in the Archdiocese of Cologne during the period under investigation include Archbishop Stefan Hesse of Hamburg; two auxiliary bishops of Cologne, Bishops Dominik Schwaderlapp…

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Chihuahua priest sentenced to 34 years for sexual assault of altar girl, 8

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CHIHUAHUA (MEXICO)
Mexico News Daily

March 3, 2021

Prosecutors will seek more jail time

A Chihuahua priest who was convicted in February of aggravated sexual assault against an 8-year-old who served as an altar girl at his church was sentenced Tuesday to more than 34 years in prison.

Aristeo Trinidad Baca, 78, a suspended priest at the Santa María de la Montaña Parish Church in Ciudad Juárez, assaulted the girl between 2015–2018, the court found on February 22. The priest received multiple sentences, totaling 34 years, five months and 10 days, reflecting the fact that he had sexually assaulted the girl on at least three occasions.

Prosecutors said they were dissatisfied with the length of the sentence and would be pursuing action to advocate for more jail time for Baca. They also said they would try to increase the amount of financial restitution Baca was ordered to pay the victim, which currently stands at 59,129 pesos (US $2,800).

Baca’s…

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Methodist church minister in Fiji stood down over allegations he abused 14 boys during past three years

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OVALAU (FIJI)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation [Australia]

March 3, 2021

By Marian Faa

Key points:

  • The ABC understands there was no policy relating to child protection in place at the time of the alleged abuse
  • The issue has sparked concern about child safety in Fiji more broadly
  • Seventy per cent of all sexual assaults indictments in the Fijian High Courts last month involved victims under the age of 18

A Methodist Church minister in Fiji has now been stood down as police investigate allegations he sexually abused 14 young boys between 2018 and this year.

Police told local media the alleged abuse happened in the outer island of Ovalau in the country’s south.

Communications Secretary for Fiji’s Methodist Church Reverend Wilfred Regunamada said the man has been instructed to stop preaching.

“He’s not allowed to be involved in doing any communion service,” Reverend Regunamada said.

“Due to the current investigation he has been instructed to go and stay at his home.”

Reverend…

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French clergy abuse more extensive than thought, bishops’ report says

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PARIS (FRANCE)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

March 3, 2021

PARIS — Catholic clergy in France perpetrated more than three times as many sexual abuse offenses as previously thought, said the head of a bishops’ commission whose report is due out in September.

Jean-Marc Sauvé, 71, a lay Catholic and head of the French Institute of Administrative Sciences, presented new data from the Independent Commission of Sexual Abuse in the Church. The commission of lawyers, psychiatrists, historians and theologians was established by the bishops in 2018.

“I received a Catholic education, and I knew certain abnormal, blameworthy things had happened — but I never imagined the reality would be so bleak and alarming,” Sauvé said in a March 2 interview with France Inter public radio.

“The great question we still have to answer is how all of this could have happened. This is very much our mission, knowing how the Gospels demonstrate the radically intolerable nature of sexual abuse within the…

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Pressure eases on Cardinal Woelki

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COLOGNE (GERMANY)
The Tablet [London, England]

March 3, 2021

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

German bishops have backtracked after sharp criticism of the turmoil in the archdiocese of Cologne in recent weeks caused by Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki’s decision not to publish the abuse report he had commissioned.

At their plenary in the last week of February, they publicly emphasised that they were all responsible for the situation of the German Church.

“A number of things in the Cologne archdiocese certainly need clearing up, but it would be all too hasty a conclusion to put the focus solely on the Archbishop of Cologne. On the contrary, we must all face up to the criticism”, conference president, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, underlined in his final report after the online plenary. 

The bishops would keep to their commitment unconditionally to appraise and clarify the abuse of minors in the German Church, promised.

The bishops then dealt with the election of a new conference secretary general. The…

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March 3, 2021

Jean-Marc Sauve said the big questions is how many victims will come forward

Head of French clerical abuse inquiry says 10,000 victims possible

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PARIS (FRANCE)
Agence France Presse [Paris, France]

March 2, 2021

[Photo above: Jean-Marc Sauve said the big questions is how many victims will come forward. This AFP story appeared on the website of RTÉ, Dublin, Ireland.]

The head of an independent inquiry investigating clerical child abuse in France said that there might have been up to 10,000 victims since 1950.

Jean-Marc Sauve, head of a commission set up by the Catholic church, said that a previous estimate in June last year of 3,000 victims “is certainly an underestimate.”

“It’s possible that the figure is at least 10,000,” he added at a press conference where he delivered an update on the commission’s work.

A hotline set up in June 2019 for victims and witnesses to report abuse received 6,500 calls in the first 17 months of operation. 

“The big question for us is ‘how many victims came forward’? Is it 25%? 10%, 5% or less?,” Mr Sauve told reporters.

The Bishops’ Conference of France…

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Catholic clergy in France abused more than 10,000 child victims, independent commission estimates

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PARIS (FRANCE)
Washington Post

March 2, 2021

By Rick Noack

The head of a commission examining sexual abuse in France’s Catholic Church put the possible number of child victims at more than 10,000 on Tuesday, portending a public reckoning in a country where church officials long stalled efforts to investigate complicity.

The Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church, set up two years ago with the approval of French church officials, has so far received more than 6,500 testimonies from victims and witnesses on incidents alleged to have happened in the past seven decades.

“The big question for us is: How many victims came forward? Is it 25 percent? 10 percent, 5 percent or less?” commission leader Jean-Marc Sauvé told journalists.

“It is very possible that the victims will reach at least the number of 10,000. The work in progress, and in particular the survey of the general population, will make it possible to specify the number,” he said….

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French Catholic clergy may have abused at least 10,000 people since 1950, say investigators

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PARIS (FRANCE)
CNN [Atlanta GA]

March 2, 2021

By Pierre Bairin,

French Catholic clergy could have abused at least 10,000 minors and other vulnerable people since 1950, according to an independent investigation set up by the Church in France.

The Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE) “estimates that the number of victims could reach ‘at least ten thousand,’” it said in a statement released on Monday.

The commission said it had so far received 6,500 testimonies, which concern at least 3,000 different victims.

Jean-Marc Sauvé, the president of the CIASE, said it is not known at this stage what percentage of all victims have testified to the commission.

“It is very possible that the victims will reach at least the number of 10,000. The work in progress, and in particular the survey of the general population, will make it possible to specify the number,” he said.

The commission was set up in 2018 by the French Catholic Church…

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Third man alleges inappropriate behavior by beloved South Side priest Pfleger

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CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

March 3, 2021

By Christy Gutowski

As the Chicago Archdiocese investigates allegations that the Rev. Michael Pfleger molested two brothers in the 1970s, a third man has come forward to say the priest made an unwanted sexual advance when the accuser was 18.

In an affidavit shared with church officials late Tuesday, the 59-year-old man alleges Pfleger once grabbed him in a sexual manner in the priest’s bedroom area at St. Sabina Church in summer 1979 while the teen pretended to sleep.

Though he was not a minor at the time, the man said he did not consent to the alleged sexual contact with Pfleger, whom he said he met about three years earlier and considered to be a trusted mentor and friend.

The affidavit also alleges the two often drank alcohol and smoked pot together, beginning when the man was 15 or 16, within years of the young priest’s ordination.

Unlike the…

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Accused priest sues bishop, saying he was slandered

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NEW BEDFORD (MA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

March 2, 2021

 Roman Catholic priest in Massachusetts who was removed from ministry after the church determined that allegations of child sexual abuse he faced were “credible” has filed a defamation lawsuit against his bishop.

Daniel Lacroix, 61, sued Diocese of Fall River Bishop Edgar da Cunha last week, The Standard-Times of New Bedford reported Tuesday.

Lacroix, who most recently served at three New Bedford churches, was placed on administrative leave in 2019. A diocese review board in November determined the allegations of sexual abuse of a minor were credible and removed Lacroix from ministry.

The suit does not seek monetary compensation, but a declaratory judgment that Lacroix did not engage in any misconduct.

“My client has been viciously slandered, and his entire life and career have been put on hold, all without any measure of due process,” Lacroix’s attorney, Philip Beauregard, said in a statement.

“This lawsuit is intended…

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Belvedere College publishes name of Jesuit priest who abused pupils in 1970s

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DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Examiner [Cork, Ireland]

March 2, 2021

By Ciarán Sunderland

Belvedere College has released the name of a priest who abused students at the school in the 1970s after a former pupil has come forward detailing the abuse. 

The Jesuit Order of Ireland said Joseph Marmion, a priest and former teacher, “abused boys sexually, emotionally and physically while he was on the teaching staff at Belvedere College in the 1970s”.

The religious order hopes other pupils who suffered abuse at the hands of Fr Marmion are able to come forward and get the support they need following the decision to make the priest’s name public. 

Joseph Marmion SJ was a teacher in Belvedere College from 1969 until 1978. He died in 2000.

Public decision

In 2019, a former student of Belvedere College contacted the Jesuits about the abuse he suffered as a pupil attending the school in Dublin City centre. The abuse took place when the man was aged 13. 

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Priest who abused pupils at Belvedere College is named by Jesuit order as Fr Joseph Marmion

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DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Independent [Dublin, Ireland]

March 2, 2021

A priest who abused students at one of the most prestigious schools in the country in the 1970s has been publicly named by the Jesuit order at the behest of a former pupil of Belvedere College.

Fr Joseph Marmion SJ abused boys sexually, emotionally and physically while he was on the teaching staff at the private Dublin school.

He was named by the Jesuits on Tuesday in the hope that others who may have suffered abuse will come forward and get support.

The priest taught in the Dublin school from 1969 until 1978. He also taught in Crescent College Limerick, and Clongowes Wood College, Co Kildare. Fr Marmion died in 2000.

On Tuesday, the Jesuits said they have been in contact over many years with others who were abused by Joseph Marmion while they were young students.

“They have spoken of sexual abuse and physical and emotional bullying by him….

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Scots priest who abused three young children in horrific 20 years of abuse has died

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DUMFRIES (UNITED KINGDOM)
Daily Record [Glasgow, Scotland]

March 3, 2021

By Tracy-Ann Carmichael

The Church said it would pray for Moore after details of his death on Saturday emerged.

A priest who abused three children, the youngest aged just five, has died.

Francis Moore was eventually jailed for an eight-year term over the violations, which spanned more than 20 years.

BBC investigation found that Moore, known as Father Paul Moore, had made confessions in 1996 which were covered up by a Bishop.

The Church said it would pray for Moore after details of his death on Saturday emerged.

He was transferred from his cell at HMP Dumfries to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary after falling seriously ill.

Moore, who was 85, abused three youngsters in Ayrshire between 1977 and 1996 – even striking at a leisure centre.

Even contemporaries did not escape his attentions – Moore also abused a student priest.

He was ordered to serve nine years in prison for his crimes but…

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March 2, 2021

From left, Methodist Church president Reverend Ili Vunisuwai, vice-president Apisalome Tudreu, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, and former church presidents Dr Epineri Vakadewavosa and Tevita Banivanua, Photo: Facebook / Fiji govt

Fiji police probe alleged sex abuse against Methodist Church

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LEVUKA (FIJI)
Radio New Zealand [Wellington, New Zealand]

March 2, 2021

By Christine Rovoi

Photo above: From left, Methodist Church president Reverend Ili Vunisuwai, vice-president Apisalome Tudreu, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, and former church presidents Dr Epineri Vakadewavosa and Tevita Banivanua, Photo: Facebook / Fiji govt

Fiji Police are investigating allegations that a member of the Methodist Church clergy sexually assaulted 14 boys while serving on an outer island.

Police said the alleged incidents happened on Levuka, Ovalau, in the south of the country.

Police spokesperson, Ana Naisoro, said the latest alleged acts were committed between 2018 and this year.

“There is a report being investigated by Levuka Police,” she said. “The 14 victims are boys and juveniles.”

This is not the first time a member of the clergy in Fiji has been accused of sexually abusing children.

Just last year, the Catholic Church was rocked with allegations of sexual abuse against boys at a school decades earlier.

A man had claimed he was molested by…

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Fr. Michael Pfleger’s parish stops payments to Chicago archdiocese to expedite his investigation

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CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

March 1, 2021

By Christine Rousselle

The parish of St. Sabina in Chicago announced on Sunday that it would withhold its monthly contributions to the archdiocese until an abuse investigation into its longtime pastor is completed.

Two brothers in January had accused Fr. Michael Pfleger of sexually abusing them when they were teens. Pfleger denies the allegations, but he stepped aside from ministry after the first accusation was made and the archdiocese first announced its investigation. Fr. Pfleger is known for his outspoken social justice activism.

Almost two months after the first allegation was made against Pfleger–and the archdiocese announced its investigation–Pfleger’s parish on Sunday said it would stop sending its monthly assessments to the archdiocese in order to expedite the investigation.

“In its continued effort to get the Archdiocese of Chicago to swiftly conclude its investigation into the allegations against Fr. Pfleger, that it has made the decision to withhold the monthly assessments of the…

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St. Sabina Leaders Halt Monthly Payments to Archdiocese Until Pfleger Sex Abuse Investigation Is Over

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CHICAGO (IL)
Block Club Chicago

March 1, 2021

By Jamie Nesbitt Golden

Leaders of the South Side church say the financial strain is “hurting their mission to serve” as longtime pastor Michael Pfleger is sidelined from his ministry.

Auburn Gresham – St. Sabina Church leaders will no longer send the church’s offerings to the Archdiocese of Chicago, a move they hope will expedite the ongoing sexual abuse investigation into Father Michael Pfleger.

The St. Sabina parish council announced Sunday its members will withhold its $100,000 monthly assessment to the archdiocese, citing “strained finances.” The money will not be used for any ministry or current programming, and instead will be set aside “to be paid at the conclusion of the investigation.”

“This has jeopardized our ability to serve. We’re asking parishioners to continue to support our church with their tithes and offerings as they would normally to continue the work of the ministry to the community at this time,” council leaders said in…

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New Bedford priest accused of sex abuse files defamation suit against Fall River Diocese

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FALL RIVER (MA)
Standard-Times - SouthCoastToday [New Bedford MA]

March 2, 2021

By Anastasia E. Lennon

A New Bedford priest accused of sexually abusing a minor has filed a defamation suit against the Bishop of the Diocese of Fall River.

Daniel Lacroix, 61, was placed on administrative leave for alleged misconduct in November2019. At the time, he was serving as co-pastor at three North End churches — St. Joseph-St. Therese, St. Mary, and Our Lady of Fatima Parishes.

A Ministerial Review Board in November 2020 determined the allegations of sexual abuse of a minor were credible and subsequently removed Lacroix permanently from ministry.

On Feb. 29, Lacroix filed the lawsuit seeking relief from the Fall River Diocese Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, who he says “substantially and irreparably” harmed his reputation.

According to a press release from Lacroix’s attorney, Philip Beauregard, the removed pastoris not seeking compensation for monetary losses; he is instead seeking vindication and a declaratory judgment that he did not engage in the…

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New clergy sex abuse claims against archdiocese pour in as filing deadline arrives

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

March 1, 2021

By David Hammer and Ramon Antonio Vargas

As a 5 p.m. deadline to file sex abuse claims against the local Catholic Church loomed, roughly 50 claimants filed forms saying they were preyed upon by members of the clergy.

Another 370 claimants filed proof of claim forms saying the Archdiocese of New Orleans owed them millions of dollars for other reasons, from outstanding utility company bills to accidental falls on church property.

The New York-based firm processing the compensation demands received at least 56 claims in which the claimant’s name and address was intentionally omitted, a likely signal those were filed by anonymous clergy abuse victims.

That number is likely to grow, according to attorneys counseling alleged victims.

Uncertainty surrounding the total number and value of claims could linger throughout the week. Claims can be filed electronically or by mail. And documents mailed in to the claims administrator, Donlin Recano, will be accepted past the…

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Priest ‘sexually and physically’ abused boys at Belvedere College in 1970s

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DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

March 2, 2021

By Patsy McGarry

A Jesuit priest abused boys at Belvedere College in Dublin’s city centre when he taught there in the 1970s, the congregation has confirmed, two years after being confronted by a former victim about the secrecy surrounding the case.

Fr Joseph Marmion “abused boys sexually, emotionally and physically while he was on the teaching staff at Belvedere College in the 1970s”, the Jesuits said in a statement.

Fr Marmion also taught in Crescent College Limerick and Clongowes Wood College.

Tuesday’s statement followed contact with the Jesuits in early 2019 by a former pupil of Belvedere College. A student at the College in the 1970s, at the age of 13 he was sexually and emotionally abused by Fr Marmion, a teacher in Belvedere from 1969 until 1978. The priest died in 2000.

In their statement on Tuesday, the Jesuits said they were issuing it so “following engagement with a former pupil who was himself abused,…

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March 1, 2021

Photo above: John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School students participate in a Nov. 20, 2020, school walkout to protest the archdiocese’s decision to close their high school. (Courtesy of Kim Kimrey)

Philadelphia community fights to save oldest US diocesan all-girls high school

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PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

February 24, 2021

By Lucy Grindon

Photo above: John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School students participate in a Nov. 20, 2020, school walkout to protest the archdiocese’s decision to close their high school. (Courtesy of Kim Kimrey)

When Jill Kimrey, a junior at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School, learned on Nov. 18 that the Philadelphia archdiocese would be closing her school in June, she and her family were shocked. Jill loves Hallahan — she made this video to prove it — and she was looking forward to graduating with the class of 2022, joining more than 100 years of alumnae from the oldest Catholic diocesan all-girls high school in the United States, her own grandmother among them.

She made a pact with her friends that they would stay together for their senior year, she told NCR. She cried for hours after visiting another high school as a prospective student, her mother Kim said….

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R.I. lawmakers want to change deadline to sue over sexual abuse

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PROVIDENCE (RI)
Boston Globe

March 1, 2021

By Brian Amaral

“There’s been no justice for these people,” said state Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee. “Time alone should not be the reason to allow an injustice to occur.”

In 2019, Rhode Island gave victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to file lawsuits against their perpetrators, even if the abuse occurred decades ago.

But victims’ advocates say the state courts have too narrowly defined what a “perpetrator” is. So now some lawmakers are going back to the drawing board: They want people to be able to sue not just the person who actually committed the abuse, but the institutions that aided and abetted them, even if the deadline to do so had already run out under the old law.

This was their intention all along, and the new bill, introduced late last month, would make that perfectly clear, the lead sponsor said. The effort would expose the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence…

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Editorial: Investigation of Rev. Pfleger demands fairness and thoroughness, not a timetable

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CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

March 1, 2021

Michael Pfleger is one of the most remarkable Catholic priests in Chicago history. He leads one of the most vibrant congregations in the city, having first helped breath new life into St. Sabina’s Church 40 years ago. He has been a crusader for social justice.

We admire Pfleger for this. Always have and always will.

At the same time, Pfleger now stands accused of sexual abuse. Two brothers allege they were victimized by Pfleger when they were minors more than 40 years ago.

We take all such accusations seriously, as of course we must. There is no statute of limitations on moral responsibility for sexual abuse. There is no expiration date on the emotional toll of abuse.

Our hope, then, is that an ongoing investigation by the Archdiocese of Chicago will be impartial, complete and in no way rushed. As important as it is to…

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After infighting, Colorado lawmakers revive effort to give child sex assault survivors unlimited time to sue abusers

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DENVER (CO)
Colorado Sun [Denver CO]

February 25, 2021

By Jesse Paul

A similar effort last year failed after proponents of the legislation couldn’t agree about whether to challenge the state constitution in the hopes of giving past victims of abuse a window to take legal action

olorado lawmakers are once again debating whether to give recent and future victims of child sexual assault unlimited time to sue their abusers after a similar effort failed last year because of infighting among proponents of the policy change. 

Senate Bill 73 cleared its first hurdle on Wednesday, unanimously passing the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Victims of child sexual assault have just six years after they turn 18 to sue their abusers. The bipartisan legislation would eliminate that restriction. The measure would apply to people abused after Jan. 1, 2022, as well as for those still within the window of the statute of limitations by that date.

A companion measure, Senate Bill 88, seeks…

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Statues from Christ the King Seminary went missing, only to reappear for sale at an antique store

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CLARENCE (NY)
WKBW [Buffalo NY]

February 26, 2021

By Olivia Proia

On February 4, 2020, the Buffalo Diocese announced Christ the King Seminary would close.

In August, former seminary volunteers said statues around the property began disappearing.

By November, volunteers said six bronze statues were completely gone, only to reappear at Kelly Schultz’s Antiques on Main Street in Clarence.

Kevin Brun is an abuse survivor and a member of the diocese unsecured creditor’s committee, appointed by the United States Trustee when the diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“I jumped in my vehicle and I drove to the antique store in Clarence which was a 60 mile round trip. The statues were exhibited outside the building,” Brun said, “I asked if they were for sale and he said yes they are and quoted me on the prices. Needless to say, I was taken back by that.”

7 Eyewitness News has confirmed with the antique shop the statues are for sale, ranging…

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BC Theology Department Chair Accused of Sexual Assault

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NEWTON (MA)
The Heights - Boston College [Chestnut Hill MA]

March 1, 2021

By Megan Kelly, Julia Kiersznowski, and Victor Stefanescu

Boston College is investigating allegations that Richard Gaillardetz, chair of the theology department, sexually assaulted a former classmate at the University of Notre Dame.

In two YouTube videos released on Wednesday and Jan. 23, theologian Laura Grimes alleges that Gaillardetz sexually assaulted her twice—on Halloween and in early December of 1987—while the two were students in a theology doctoral program at Notre Dame. 

“I will come to you in this series of videos reflecting on ecclesial rape culture in which you so strongly enable and perpetrate,” Grimes said addressing Gaillardetz in the first video.

Gaillardetz, who denies the allegations, has voluntarily stepped away from his teaching and administrative duties at BC while the investigation continues. 

In an email to The Heights, Gaillardetz said that he first learned of Grimes’ accusations on Jan. 23. BC has hired an independent law firm to investigate the credibility of the allegations—an investigation that is still ongoing—he wrote.

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Pope can’t make ends meet with a ‘no firing’ policy

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ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

February 24, 2021

By John L. Allen Jr.

From the beginning, Pope Francis has been committed to financial reform of the Vatican. It was the first study commission he created, it was the first major appointment he made, and it’s been a constant of his papacy over what’s now almost eight years.

Yet after all this time, Francis faces the same fundamental dilemma he did at the beginning: There’s no way to cut expenses and increase income, thereby reducing the incentives for suspect maneuvers, without trimming payroll, i.e., firing people – a step this pontiff (like all of his predecessors) has proven extraordinarily reluctant to take.

During a recent meeting of the Council for the Economy, a mixed body of cardinals and lay financial experts created by Pope Francis to oversee the Vatican’s money management, the numbers for 2020 and projected numbers for 2021 came up for consideration.

The results were sobering: For 2020, the Vatican ran a…

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Tonia Carr, chair of St. Sabina’s cabinet, explained Sunday why the church will be withholding roughly $100,000 in monthly assessments to the Archdiocese of Chicago. The assessments, which come from St. Sabina’s church and school, will be withheld until officials close the ongoing investigation into sexual abuse claims lodged against Father Michael Pfleger. Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times Anthony Vazquez / Sun-Times

St. Sabina withholding $100K in monthly assessments until archdiocese closes Pfleger abuse probe

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CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

February 28, 2021

By Tom Schuba

Photo above: Tonia Carr, chair of St. Sabina’s cabinet, explained Sunday why the church will be withholding roughly $100,000 in monthly assessments to the Archdiocese of Chicago. The assessments, which come from St. Sabina’s church and school, will be withheld until officials close the ongoing investigation into sexual abuse claims lodged against Father Michael Pfleger. Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times Anthony Vazquez / Sun-Times

Father Michael Pfleger was removed from the church as the Archdiocese of Chicago investigates claims he sexually abused two brothers over four decades ago.

In a bid to put pressure on the Archdiocese of Chicago, leaders at St. Sabina Church in Auburn-Gresham announced Sunday the parish plans to stop paying roughly $100,000 in monthly assessments until church officials close the ongoing investigation into sexual abuse claims lodged against Father Michael Pfleger.

During a service Sunday morning, Tonia Carr, chair of St. Sabina’s parish…

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Coram- and Soper-backed bill to lift statute of limitations on civil sex abuse claims advances

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DENVER (CO)
Montrose Press [Montrose CO]

February 25, 2021

By Katharhynn Heidelberg

A bill that would lift the statute of limitations for civil suits related to child sexual abuse handily cleared committee Wednesday, leaving its Western Slope sponsors hopeful of greater justice for victims.

Senator Don Coram, R-Montrose, with Sen. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, are primary Senate sponsors of Senate Bill 73. Primary House sponsors are Rep. Matt Soper, R-Delta County and Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Denver.

The bill is similar to one Coram advanced last year, only to see it held over indefinitely, with, he said, no explanation. He is optimistic SB-73, which he called his “second bite of the apple,” will pass.

The bill, “Civil Action Statute of Limitations Sexual Assault” would change existing law that precludes child sexual assault survivors from bringing a civil suit after six years of turning 18. In addition to lifting this statute of limitations, the bill would eliminate current restrictions on what damages can be…

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Deadline to file sexual abuse by Catholic clergy 5 p.m. Monday

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

February 28, 2021

By Erika Ferrando

[Includes video.]

The deadline, known as a ‘bar date,’ comes 10 months after the Archdiocese filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, May 1, 2020.

Monday is the deadline for victims who have been sexually abused by Catholic clergy to file compensation claims against the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

“They’re heart-wrenching, the stories are heart-wrenching,” said Kevin Bourgeois, an advocate for sexual abuse survivors.

Bourgeois has helped several people file claims for sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

“It’s the hardest thing anyone will ever do because you have to document what happened to you, but it’s easy in the sense that it’s all online, it’s private,” he said.

One of those victims he helped is a family friend.

“Less than an hour we went through everything and there were tears shed, and hugs given, and support,” he said.

The deadline for victims of sex abuse by Catholic clergy to file compensation…

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Letter to the Editor: In defense of accused Greater New Bedford priest Daniel Lacroix

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FALL RIVER (MA)
Standard-Times - SouthCoastToday [New Bedford MA]

February 27, 2021

By Paul Rego

Over the last two decades, the Roman Catholic Church has rightfully come under worldwide scrutiny for its mishandling of sexual misconduct by its clergy. As a lifelong and ardent Catholic, I applaud the Vatican’s recent efforts to right these wrongs, and I believe that however late these actions may be, our Church is finally on the path to healing. Still, I have no words to convey the sorrow I feel for the victims of sexual abuse, and it is particularly nauseating to me to think that some of these vile acts were committed within the confines of an institution as sacred and hallowed as the Roman Catholic Church.

I believe that when an individual is accused of sexual abuse or misconduct, the accuser’s allegations must be taken as seriously as those of a murder. All avenues must be explored in investigating the allegations, and all resources must be exhausted to…

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NY archdiocese reports slight offertory downturn as Child Victims Act payments loom

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NEW YORK (NY)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

February 25, 2021

Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York on Wednesday offered an update on finances in the archdiocese, noting that although offertory was down overall for the fiscal year, the percentage of offertory given online increased.

He also noted that a large number of clerical abuse lawsuits filed under New York’s Child Victims Act present a challenge to the financial stability of the archdiocese.

“Thanks to the generosity of you, our people, the dedication and commitment of our pastors and priests, and the hard work behind-the-scenes of people in the field and in the chancery, we have
managed to hold our own in some ways, but continue to face some uphill battles in others,” Dolan wrote in a Feb. 24 Flocknote.

Dolan pointed to clerical abuse claims brought under the Child Victims Act, which the state enacted in 2019 following the revelations of abuse perpetrated by former cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

The law set…

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Dunedin priest stood down after being accused of sexual misconduct

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DUNEDIN (NEW ZEALAND)
Stuff [Wellington, New Zealand]

March 1, 2021

By Hamish McNeilly

A Catholic priest in Dunedin has been stood down pending an investigation by his church.

Father Fivins Chittilappilly has been working as an assistant priest in Mercy Parish in South Dunedin since January 2020.

A statement read out at his church’s mass over the weekend said he had been stood down pending an investigation.

The statement, released by Dunedin Bishop Michael Dooley, said: “Recently there has been a complaint by an adult person concerning Fr Chittilappilly and this is in the process of being investigated by the Church authorities.”

“During this investigation Fr Chittilappilly will remain in New Zealand but will not be working in ministry or residing in Dunedin Diocese.

“I realise this is a stressful time and ask for your prayers for all involved at this time.”

Dooley declined to comment on the specific allegation to Stuff due to “the wishes of the complainant”.

The Otago Daily Times reported Chittilappilly was being…

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February 28, 2021

Church officials OK’d moving another priest accused of abuse to Hyde Park friary, records show

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CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

February 26, 2021

By Robert Herguth

A 2018 case involving St. John Stone Friary — which is near a Catholic school — caused a stir. But it wasn’t the first time a priest facing child sex-abuse allegations was moved there, once-secret records show.

Intended to be a place of contemplation, Hyde Park’s St. John Stone Friary instead became a source of consternation in 2018 when it came to light that the Rev. Richard McGrath was living there.

A former president of Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, McGrath was accused of having child pornography on his cell phone and of sexually abusing a student and moved into the building as the allegations began to emerge.

The monastery is next to a day care center and around the corner from a Catholic elementary school. Yet no one informed the people running those institutions McGrath was living there. Not the Augustinian religious order, which occupies the friary….

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Cardinal convicted, acquitted of sexual abuse charges to speak at Ave Maria University graduation

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AVE MARIA (FL)
Naples Daily News [Naples FL]

February 26, 2021

By Rachel Fradette

Australian Cardinal George Pell, who was accused, convicted and then acquitted of sexual abuse charges, will speak at Ave Maria University’s commencement where he will also receive an honorary degree from the school.

Pell will be one of the highest-ranking Catholic Church officials to have addressed the university’s graduates, according to the school.

Pell, who once served as the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, spent more than a year in prison following his conviction in 2018. The High Court of Australia overturned his conviction in April 2020.

Ave Maria University President Christopher Ice said Pell expressed to him his excitement to attend and speak at commencement.

“He went on to articulate and ask me a lot of questions about the local community and university and how things are going, very much in tune and in touch,” Ice said.

Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan founded the private Catholic university in 2003.

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Child sexual abuse victims retraumatised in their fight for justice

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CHRISTCHURCH (NEW ZEALAND)
Stuff [Wellington, New Zealand]

February 27, 2021

By Mariné Lourens

Thousands of New Zealanders were sexually abused as children in state care and faith-based institutions, but will never get the justice they need to move forward. MARINÉ LOURENS reports.

He was 12 years old when the abuse started.

The principal at his elite Christchurch Catholic school would call the boys to his office to check their lunch boxes. When J arrived, the principal would take him into his office and tell him his parents had sent him to the school “to help him become a man”.

It started with the principal giving him a pornographic magazine to look at, and asking him how it made him feel. Over the next two years, J was raped weekly, mostly in the principal’s office, but sometimes in the cathedral behind the school or the changing rooms of the local community swimming pool.

“When he raped me, I couldn’t ride my bike home.”

Forty…

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February 27, 2021

German bishops elect female leader amid abuse-dominated meeting

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BONN (GERMANY)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

February 26, 2021

By Anli Serfontein

Berlin – The German bishops’ conference elected a woman as general secretary during a virtual assembly that turned into a crisis meeting focused on the church’s handling of sex abuse.

Beate Gilles, a 50-year-old theologian, became the first noncleric and woman to head the bishops’ secretariat. She will take up her post July 1.

“Last year, there was still the debate of whether a woman could hold such an office here. Now we know it is possible,” she said Feb. 23 at the news conference after her election.

Limburg Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the bishops’ conference, said the appointment was a strong signal “that the bishops are honoring their agreement to promote women in leading positions.”

Yet Gilles’ election could not distract from the fact that the Catholic Church in Germany is under pressure and at a critical point. It has fallen into disrepute among its members after a…

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Despite cardinal’s plea, Dominicans haven’t posted a list of members credibly accused of abuse

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CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

February 26, 2021

By Robert Herguth

The order’s Midwest leader blames the difficulty of corroborating allegations. Other Catholic orders have released such lists over the past few years

Eight clerics belonging to the Dominican religious order that runs a Catholic high school in Oak Park and who served in the Chicago area at some point have been accused of molesting children.

That’s according to a report a group of lawyers who have been suing the church over sex-abuse accusations put out in 2019.

And three years ago, Cardinal Blase Cupich urged all religious orders serving in the Chicago area to publish lists of members who have credibly been accused of child sexual abuse, with such lists serving as tools of transparency and healing for the victims.

But the Dominicans — who run Fenwick High School and also staff a handful of parishes around Chicago — still haven’t released such a list and say…

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Clergy abuse survivor embraces Lent, and God’s plan, again

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PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CatholicPhilly.com - Archdiocese of Philadephia

February 26, 2021

By Michael McDonnell

Perhaps someone reading this is wondering what a survivor of those abused by the clergy, religious, nuns or lay people within the Catholic church, does for Lent? The answer to that remains unclear.

I can tell you that I hear from many survivors of abuse that the public statements I have made about my own personal journey have helped them in their own. For a guy like me who has experienced failure, fault and a rock bottom, receiving these messages re-enforces my belief in God and his plan for me.

As an adolescent, an altar boy or lector as a young man, I was captivated by the Lenten season. The reverence of Ash Wednesday, stations of the cross, reconciliation and Holy Week brought great joy to me despite carrying horrific experiences. During those beautiful moments, I asked God to take my pain, my memory and shame from me, I couldn’t…

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Child Abuse Allegation Against Father Pfleger ‘Unfounded,’ DCFS Says — But Church Says Priest Not Cleared

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CHICAGO (IL)
Block Club Chicago

February 26, 2021

By Kelly Bauer and Jamie Nesbitt Golden

The investigation was to determine if Pfleger is an ongoing risk to minors. It does not relate to abuse allegations filed by two brothers in January.

A state agency has found a report of child abuse against Father Michael Pfleger to be “unfounded,” but the popular pastor has not been cleared of the decades-old abuse allegations reported by two brothers earlier this year.

The “unfounded” finding by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services doesn’t mean an incident didn’t occur, the agency wrote in a letter to Pfleger released Friday. But it does mean investigators couldn’t find “credible evidence of child abuse or neglect” that rose “to the level required” by state law and department rules.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Chicago said the state’s finding came because it was investigating if Pfleger, the longtime and nationally known leader of St. Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham, posed a…

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Chihuahua priest found guilty of sexual abuse of 8-year-old girl

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CHIHUAHUA (MEXICO)
Mexico News Daily

February 26, 2021

Aristeo Baca will be sentenced on March 1

A Catholic priest was found guilty guilty by a court in Chihuahua this week of the violation and sexual abuse of a minor.

Evidence from more than 20 witnesses, official experts’ reports and documentary evidence showed that the victim was sexually abused by Aristeo Baca, now 78, at least three times between 2015 and 2018.

Prosecutors said “the accused broke the relationship of trust and took advantage of the access he had to the victim, who served as an altar girl in the church where he celebrated Mass.”

Baca was arrested in Ciudad Juárez and subsequently suspended in 2019 when the family of the victim noticed her aversion to Baca and she finally spoke out about the abuse.

Initially many parishioners came out in support of Baca, and the family of another victim received threats from his supporters and were forced to…

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Michael Pfleger file image Photo credit USA Today Network

State has good news for Pfleger, but Archdiocese says abuse investigation isn’t over

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CHICAGO (IL)
WBBM-TV [Chicago IL]

February 26, 2021

By Steve Miller

[Image above: Michael Pfleger file image Photo credit USA Today Network]

The state’s child-welfare agency has sent Father Michael Pfleger a letter saying an allegation of suspected child abuse is “unfounded,” but the Archdiocese indicates that’s not good enough to the activist priest yet.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services tells Pfleger that “no credible evidence” of child abuse was found.

Earlier this year, the Archdiocese of Chicago asked Pfleger to step aside at St. Sabina Catholic Church because of recent allegations of abuse that go back decades.

“I’m happy to get the report that they conducted their investigation and they deemed the accusation to be unfounded,” Michael Monico, Father Pfleger’s attorney, said Friday.

To unpack that a little bit: The DCFS letter to Father Pfleger means, basically, there’s no evidence children currently are in harm’s way. Still unanswered is whether the allegations from 40 years ago are…

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The Conscience of the Catholic Church

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WALTHAM (MA)
Elle [New York NY]

February 26, 2021

By Rose Minutaglio

Anne Barrett Doyle is a devoted mother, practicing Catholic, and one of the fiercest crusaders against clergy sex abuse.

“Are you Catholic?” Anne Barrett Doyle smiled at me expectantly with kind, sea-green eyes. It was months before the pandemic hit, and Barrett Doyle had invited me over to the Boston loft she and her husband moved into after the last of their four kids left for college. A crucifix hung on the wall, and a Jesus statuette prayed from a wooden desk. Several Bibles lined the bookshelf.

We sat side by side on a plush beige couch. Barrett Doyle, small and soft-spoken, with shoulder-length auburn hair and rosy cheeks, folded her hands politely and crossed her ankles.

As co-director of Bishop Accountability, an archive documenting the sexual abuse problems of the Catholic Church, Barrett Doyle has devoted her life to chronicling the prosecution of priests who have sexually abused…

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News Analysis: Will the Vatican investigate a cardinal implicated in its own abuse trial?

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ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

February 26, 2021

By John L. Allen Jr.

An unusual sex abuse trial currently underway in the Vatican took a potentially explosive turn Wednesday, and the response may have a great deal to say about how serious the reforms launched by Pope Francis actually are.

Three witnesses testified that Italian Cardinal Angelo Comastri, who was relieved of his position as Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica last Saturday by Pope Francis, or his aides, had been aware of sexual abuse allegations at a pre-seminary on Vatican grounds and took no action. Though the merits of that testimony have to be critically examined, at the very least it creates the basis for an investigation of the 77-year-old Comastri, which, depending on the outcome, could lead to a charge of criminal negligence.

This isn’t just a canonical issue about Comastri’s clerical status. In this case, the alleged crimes took place inside the Vatican itself, meaning that if Comastri did something wrong,…

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February 26, 2021

Timor-Leste: Political leadership, patriarchal relationships, and the paedophile priest

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MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
Monash University

February 26, 2021

By Sara Niner

Xanana Gusmao’s recent contrived jovial participation in the birthday celebrations of “self-professed” paedophile and defrocked foreign priest Richard Daschbach has shocked many of his supporters, not least his Australian former wife and three Timorese-Australian sons who have publicly condemned the visit and written apologetic letters to the young women who are due to give evidence against Daschbach in court this week.

At the very well-publicised “birthday party” held in the home of a diehard Catholic supporter, Gusmao embraced and hand-fed Daschbach birthday cake, and tipped champagne into his mouth. The visit has been interpreted as a heavy-handed attempt to whitewash Daschbach’s ruined reputation just before the court case commences, and intimidate the prosecution, and the young witnesses who are in hiding due to just this sort of pressure.

Xanana Gusmao has come under fire for visiting self-confessed paedophile priest Richard Daschbach.

In blatantly favouring the reputation of an ex-priest over the…

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The long road to justice for Timor-Leste’s sex abuse victims

HONG KONG
Union of Catholic Asian News

February 26, 2021

By Rock Ronald Rozario

The case of Richard Daschbach must make the tiny Catholic-majority nation confront its dark past

Finally, the wheels of justice for scores of Timorese sex abuse victims of self-confessed pedophile former priest Richard Daschbach have started to move, albeit slowly.

A court in Timor-Leste started the trial of Daschbach, 84, on Feb. 22 before it was adjourned the next day until March 22 when both sides will testify before the judges.

Richard Daschbach waves from a police van before starting his trial on Feb. 22. (Photo: YouTube)Richard Daschbach waves from a police van before starting his trial on Feb. 22. (Photo: YouTube)

Daschbach, a US citizen and former priest and missionary from the Society of the Divine Word, is the…

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Priest accused of sex abuse was told to pay 20,000 euros

LAGOS (NIGERIA)
The Guardian from Agence France Presse

February 25, 2021

An Italian priest accused of sexually assaulting a teenager was told by a bishop to compensate his alleged victim with 20,000 euros, a Vatican court heard Thursday.

Father Gabriele Martinelli served as a papal altar boy in his teenage years while attending the St Pius X pre-seminary, which hosts boys interested in the priesthood.

He is accused of assaulting a younger boy enrolled at the same institution, which is located within the walls of the Vatican.

Oscar Cantoni, a bishop who looked into the allegations, told the court he had earlier proposed that Martinelli pay 20,000 euros ($24,500) to his victim, plus 5,000 euros to church officials to cover the cost of their investigation.

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As Fr Pfleger abuse inquiry continues, Chicago archdiocese counters ‘misconceptions’ of priest’s supporters

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

February 25, 2021

Chicago – Defenders of outspoken activist priest Fr. Michael Pfleger are wrong to claim an investigation has cleared him of decades-old sexual abuse allegations or to claim that the priest was singled out, the Archdiocese of Chicago has said.

Father Michael Pfleger / Photo: Daniel X. O'Neil CC BY 2.0Father Michael Pfleger / Photo: Daniel X. O’Neil CC BY 2.0

“It is mystifying why anyone would believe the leadership of the archdiocese, which has consistently supported Fr. Pfleger’s good works, would concoct a ruse to remove him,” the Chicago archdiocese said Feb. 24.

“Let’s be clear. This case began when an adult male came forward to the archdiocese on his own with an allegation of child sexual abuse,” the archdiocese continued. “His brother subsequently came forward to the…

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Vatican abuse trial: Witnesses say allegations about youth seminary were ignored

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DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

February 25, 2021

By Hannah Brockhaus

Witnesses at the fifth hearing in a trial for alleged abuse and cover-up at a Vatican youth seminary testified on Wednesday to an unhealthy culture of ridicule and abuse of power.

This Oct. 14, 2020, file photo shows the Vatican City State criminal court during the opening of the trial of Father Gabriele Martinelli and Msgr. Enrico Radice. At a Vatican trial Feb. 24, former students of the St. Pius X Pre-Seminary told the court that there was an "unhealthy" environment at the seminary and that they endured psychological pressure and witnessed inappropriate touching by Father Martinelli, who is accused of abusing a younger student. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)This Oct. 14, 2020, file photo shows the Vatican City State criminal court during the opening of the trial of Father Gabriele Martinelli and…

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‘Spotlight’ editor on retirement: Clergy abuse coverage has permanently changed church

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

February 26, 2021

By Christopher White

[Includes five-minute Zoom interview with Baron.]

When Martin Baron, one of the most consequential newspaper editors in America, announced his upcoming retirement, he cited his work overseeing the Boston Globe’s coverage of clergy sexual abuse and cover-up as a highlight of his journalistic career.

Executive Editor Martin Baron, holding microphone, speaks to staff at The Washington Post in this undated photo. (Courtesy of The Washington Post)Executive Editor Martin Baron, holding microphone, speaks to staff at The Washington Post in this undated photo. (Courtesy of The Washington Post)

“I think the impact has been really quite profound on several levels,” he told NCR ahead of his retirement. “One on investigative journalism, the other on the Catholic Church and then more broadly on institutions…

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February 25, 2021

Clergy sex abuse survivors and whistleblower priests join together for healing and worship

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE

February 24, 2021

By Kimberly Curth

Survivors and whistleblower priests are joining together in an unconventional way. They’ve found common ground in their personal experiences speaking out about clergy sexual abuse while continuing their fight for transparency from the church.

Survivor Mark Vath. Survivor Mark Vath.

On Sunday mornings, you will find a sanctuary for survivors. It’s a private mass that doesn’t take place within church walls.

“Yes, it is a strange experience after so many years presiding and celebrating Eucharist, not to be able to be with the people in the church and behind the altar,” said whistleblower priest, Father Ryszard Biernat.

Survivor Richard WindmannSurvivor Richard Windmann

“We deal with…

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Brooklyn bishop calls suit accusing him of decades-old abuse ‘defamatory’

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

February 24, 2021

Brooklyn – Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio said Feb. 22 a lawsuit filed against him in New Jersey Superior Court over a claim of abuse that allegedly occurred decades ago “is defamatory.”

“I did not abuse the accuser or anyone else in my 50-year ministry as a priest,” he said, adding: “False claims do real damage to victims of sexual abuse.”

ishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, N.Y., is seen celebrating Mass Nov. 7, 2020, at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y. (CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, N.Y., is seen celebrating Mass Nov. 7, 2020, at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y. (CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)

According to a story in The Tablet, Brooklyn’s diocesan newspaper the plaintiff is Samier Tadros, 47, who…

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Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio says allegation of abuse ‘never happened’ and ‘false claims do real damage to victims’

BROOKLYN (NY)
The Dialog – Diocese of Brooklyn

February 24, 2021

Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio said Feb. 22 a lawsuit filed against him in New Jersey Superior Court over a claim of abuse that allegedly occurred decades ago “is defamatory.”

“I did not abuse the accuser or anyone else in my 50-year ministry as a priest,” he said, adding: “False claims do real damage to victims of sexual abuse.”

According to a story in The Tablet, Brooklyn’s diocesan newspaper the plaintiff is Samier Tadros, 47, who now lives in Daytona Beach, Florida.

He claims the abuse” took place from 1978 to 1980 in Holy Rosary Church in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, the paper reported. “At the time, Bishop DiMarzio lived in the parish and, in court documents, Tadros contended that he was receiving one-on-one religious instruction from him.”

Bishop DiMarzio said in his statement that the accuser “did not attend…

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Bendigo Catholic church leader ‘deeply disappointed’ that ribbons were removed from cathedral fence

BENDIGO (VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA)
Bendigo Advertiser

February 25, 2021

By Tom O’Callaghan

A senior Bendigo Catholic leader is “deeply disappointed” in the person who removed ribbons from a “loud fence” at the city’s cathedral.

The ribbons are both a protest and an acknowledgement of the church’s role in institutional sexual and other abuse and have appeared regularly on fences of religious institutions.

The Very Reverend Brian Boyle said he found out someone had them down late on Wednesday afternoon.

The Very Reverend Brian Boyle is deeply disappointed that ribbons protesting and acknowledging the Catholic church's role in institutionalised sexual abuse have been removed. Picture: SuppliedThe Very Reverend Brian Boyle is deeply disappointed that ribbons protesting and acknowledging the Catholic church’s role in institutionalised sexual abuse have been removed. Picture: Supplied

“The ribbons had been taken…

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February 24, 2021

‘Hidden Predator’ bill for child sex-abuse victims to sue in Georgia advances

ROME (GA)
Rome News Tribune

February 23, 2021

By Beau Evans

A Georgia House subcommittee approved legislation that would prohibit local governments from adopting building codes based on the source of energy to be used.

Legislation to extend the statute of limitations for Georgians who were sexually abused as children to sue their abusers years later as adults advanced in the state House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Sponsored by Georgia Rep. Heath Clark, R-Warner Robins, the bill would extend the deadline for victims to bring suits against their childhood abusers to age 52, a steep increase from age 23 under current state law.

The bill would let victims sue their alleged abusers up to a year after realizing that past abuse has led to present-day trauma. Research shows adults often tend to recognize the impacts of childhood sex abuse decades after it happened.

Controversially, the bill would also give victims a…

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Former priest on trial for sex abuse in Timor Leste

DOHA (QATAR)
Al Jazeera

February 23, 2021

American accused of abusing children younger than 14 in a home for disadvantaged youth that he founded and ran.

The trial of a defrocked American priest charged with sexually abusing young girls at his shelter for orphans and children from impoverished families in East Timor, now known as Timor Leste, began on Tuesday.

Richard Daschbach, 84, a former missionary from Pennsylvania, faces 14 counts of sexual abuse of children younger than 14 years old, as well as one count each of child pornography and domestic violence, according to the prosecutor general. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

It is the first clergy sexual abuse case to emerge in the Southeast Asian nation of about three million people, where 97 percent of the population is Catholic.

Some 100 supporters of Daschbach showed up but were denied entry to the court for…

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Alleged abuse victim of Brooklyn bishop files civil lawsuit

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

February 3, 2021

Trenton, N.J. – An alleged abuse victim who last year went public with allegations against the Bishop of Brooklyn has now filed a lawsuit in a New Jersey court, claiming that the bishop abused him repeatedly in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn.Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn has denied all claims against him, calling the accusations “defamatory.”

The lawsuit concerns allegations that Samier Tadros, who now lives in Florida and says he was six years old at the time of the abuse, made public during summer 2020.

The Associated Press reported last June that Tadros had accused DiMarzio of sexual abuse, allegedly committed while DiMarzio was a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Newark.

Tadros, 47, asserts in…

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Opinion: Are you a former New Yorker? Time’s almost up for childhood sex-abuse survivors to seek justice

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

February 19, 2021

By Jennifer Freeman

Former New York residents who experienced sex abuse as children, no matter how long ago, can file claims to hold culpable institutions, individuals accountable.

We all know it — every year, thousands of New Yorkers move to Florida for its warm weather and leisurely lifestyle. Some stay — I’m a former New Yorker delighted to be living in the Sunshine State for the past three years. The pandemic has accelerated this trend, with thousands more choosing Florida as a new home.

Yet most former New Yorkers have no idea that our legal rights were dramatically expanded recently. In 2019, New York State enacted landmark legislation that makes it possible to seek justice for decades-old child sex-abuse crimes — the Child Victims Act (CVA). For a short time, this new law suspends the statute of limitations for child sex-abuse claims and provides…

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Ex-US Priest Goes on Trial in East Timor on Sex Abuse Charges

OECUSSE (EAST TIMOR)
Associated Press via NBC10 Philadelphia

February 23, 2021

By Raimundos Oki

A defrocked American priest went on trial Tuesday to face charges he sexually abused young girls at his shelter for orphans and children from impoverished families, in the first clergy sex case to emerge in East Timor — the most Catholic place in the world outside the Vatican.

A police officer escorts Richard Daschbach, left, a former missionary from Pennsylvania, U.S. upon his arrival for a trial at a courthouse in Oecusse, East Timor, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.A police officer escorts Richard Daschbach, left, a former missionary from Pennsylvania, U.S. upon his arrival for a trial at a courthouse in Oecusse, East Timor, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Raimundos Oki / AP

Richard Daschbach, 84, a former missionary from Pennsylvania, is…

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February 23, 2021

Sioux City diocese settles sexual abuse lawsuit

SIOUX CITY (SD)
Sioux City Journal

February 22, 2021

By Nick Hytrek

A man who had alleged that he was sexually abused by a priest in the late 1960s has settled a lawsuit against the Diocese of Sioux City.

Samuel Heinrichs had sued the diocese in October 2019, saying he was sexually and physically abused by the Rev. Dale Koster at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Mount Carmel, Iowa.

Terms of the settlement agreement are confidential, said Heinrichs’ attorney, Patrick Hopkins, of West Des Moines.

“We were able to resolve the case,” Hopkins said.

The diocese released a similar statement.

“The matter has been resolved,” said Dawn Prosser, director of communications.

The lawsuit, filed in Woodbury County District Court, was dismissed Wednesday.

Heinrichs, who was living in California when the suit was filed, was a student at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel grade school when Koster was…

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Child sex abuse lawsuit names Diocese of Ogdensburg as defendant

WATERTOWN (NY)
NNY360

February 22, 2021

By Sydney Schaeffer

Ogdensburg – The Diocese of Ogdensburg has been named as a defendant in a child sex abuse lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court late last week.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents as LG 83 DOE, filed suit Feb. 17 in state Supreme Court in St. Lawrence County against the diocese and St. John the Baptist Church in Keeseville, which is a hamlet that straddles the border of Clinton and Essex counties.

The plaintiff is a resident of New York state and was born in 1963.

In the suit, it’s alleged that Monsignor Thomas J. Robillard, who is now dead, committed acts of sexual assault, battery, rape and more against the plaintiff. The alleged acts happened between the years of 1970 and 1973 at the Keeseville church.

Monsignor Robillard, an Ogdensburg native, served at various other churches in St. Lawrence…

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Lawsuit Filed Against Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie

POUGHKEEPSIE (NY)
Hudson Valley Post

February 18, 2021

By Bobby Welber

On Wednesday, Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP, a personal injury law firm based in New York City filed a lawsuit in Dutchess County Supreme Court alleging that from approximately 2004-2008, when the victim was approximately 12 to 16 years old, he was repeatedly sexually abused while a resident at The Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie.

Helen Fahy, acting as an or the administrator of The Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, allegedly groomed the boy over a period of time before physically assaulting him. The sexual abuse endured for approximately 3.5 years, officials say.

“Helen Fahy had Plaintiff participate in mutual oral sex and intercourse at least once per week at her office at The Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie and every day at her home when Plaintiff was on break. It is alleged that throughout the period in which the abuse occurred,…

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Number of people suing Children’s Village for alleged sex assault doubles to 22

YONKERS (NY)
News 12

February 22, 2021

News 12 has learned that the number of people suing The Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry for sexual assault allegations has now doubled.

Eleven more men have come forward with allegations against The Children’s Village, bringing the total to 22.

The survivors claim they were sexually abused by staff and older residents when they were boys as young as 6. Their allegations date back to the 70s.

The attorney representing the men discussed with News 12 why they are coming forward now, decades after their alleged abuse.
“Their sexual identity to a certain extent was thrown into question when they were kids. Some of them had been fed alcohol and drugs,” says Robert Greenstein, the plaintiffs’ attorney.

The Children’s Village was supposed to be a safe haven for kids – many of them homeless, runaways or juvenile delinquents.

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New Orleans archdiocese overhauls support for sex abuse survivors

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

February 22, 2021

By Paul Finney Jr.

New Orleans – An ongoing series of discussions between New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond and Kevin Bourgeois, the leader of the New Orleans chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, has led to a significant broadening and restructuring of Archdiocese of New Orleans’ response to abuse survivors.

Aymond announced Feb. 11 that Joey Pistorius, director of the archdiocesan Catholic Counseling Service, will become the archdiocese’s new Victims’ Assistance coordinator April 1.

The victims’ assistance office will move from its current location in the archdiocesan administrative offices to the offices of the Catholic Counseling Service.

In addition, Bourgeois, who is a licensed clinical social worker, will serve as a volunteer who will offer training to the counseling team when there are disclosures of sexual abuse trauma.

The archbishop, on…

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Survivors of sex abuse by nuns suffer decades of delayed healing

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Global Sisters Report – National Catholic Reporter

February 22, 2021

By Dawn Araujo-Hawkins

Anne Gleeson was 12 years old when she says Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet Judith Fisher — her charismatic, redheaded history teacher at Immacolata School in Richmond Heights, Missouri — began singling her out for special attention.

“She’d wander around the classroom, and she’d lean on my chair and press her fingers into my back. Or she’d send me a little note or leave a present in my desk,” Gleeson, now 63, said. The secret, forbidden touches gave Gleeson shivers.

She says the rape began in 1971 when she was 13, although it would take three decades and some therapy for her to recognize it as such. In Gleeson’s adolescent mind, she was simply head over heels in love with a woman 24 years her senior. The sexual contact happened anywhere and…

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‘I exploited them’: Ex-priest and ALP official ‘ashamed’ of child sexual abuse

SYDNEY (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
Sydney Morning Herald

February 23, 2021

By Jenny Noyes

A former Labor party official and Catholic priest told a Sydney court he feels guilty and ashamed for exploiting vulnerable boys in Vietnam and the Philippines for his own sexual gratification and said he never doubted that what he was doing was criminal.

Peter Andrew Hansen, who has also practised as a lawyer, gave evidence during a sentence hearing in the NSW District Court on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty earlier this month to 31 charges, including one of engaging in sexual intercourse with a child under 18 in the Philippines and 15 counts of producing child abuse material.

He said he feels guilt and shame not only for breaking the law but for “contravening my own standards of morality” in his exploitation of the boys he abused.

“The record of my life says I…

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Vatican projects nearly 50M-euro deficit due to COVID losses

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

February 19, 2021

By Nicole Winfield

The Vatican said Friday it expects a deficit of nearly 50 million euros ($60.7 million) this year because of pandemic-related losses, a figure that grows to 80 million euros ($97 million) when donations from the faithful are excluded.

The Vatican released a summary of its 2021 budget that was approved by Pope Francis and the Holy See’s Council for the Economy, a commission of outside experts who oversee the Vatican’s finances. The publication was believed to be the first time the Vatican has released its projected consolidated budget, part of Francis’ drive to make the Vatican’s finances more transparent and accountable.

The Vatican has run a deficit for the past several years, narrowing it to 11 million euros in 2019 from a hole of 75 million euros in 2018. The Vatican said Friday it anticipated the deficit would grow…

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Clergy sex abuse jury trial moved to July 2022 due to scheduling error

ALAMOGORDO (NM)
Alamogordo Daily News

February 22, 2021

By Nicole Maxwell

The case alleging complicity in the rape of a child against several Catholic entities scheduled to begin in December 2021 was moved to July 2022.

The case was originally scheduled to go to jury trial on December 13, 2021, but that trial date was canceled due to a scheduling error, court records show.

A pre-trial conference is set for June 9, 2022 in front of New Mexico Second Judicial District Judge Daniel Ramczyk with the jury trial expected to begin at 8 a.m. on July 11, 2022.

The case was filed by a John Doe against several parishes, dioceses and the Servants of the Paraclete alleging each were complicit in allowing Fr. David Holley, who moved to Alamogordo in the 1970s, to sexually abuse the complainant.

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Will Pope have a ‘Pell Problem’ with Super Mario over visions of reform?

DENVER (CO)
Crux

February 21, 2021

By John L. Allen Jr.

Rome – During the St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI years, the Vatican had a council of cardinals from around the world who allegedly oversaw its financial affairs. Members of that body routinely complained that the information they received was incomplete, that it lacked credibility and was fundamentally untrustworthy.

Two of the prelates voicing those objections most consistently were Cardinals Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and George Pell of Sydney, Australia. Thus when the new “Papa Bergoglio” made Pell his tip of the spear for Vatican financial reform in February 2014, it boiled down to one veteran reformer turning to another, despite their clear ideological differences on other fronts.

Unfortunately, the odd couple partnership between Francis and Pell fell apart almost before it could begin. The rift had nothing to do with the sexual…

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Ex-US Priest on Trial in East Timor on Sex Abuse Charges

OECUSSE (EAST TIMOR)
Associated Press via The Citizens Voice

February 23, 2021

By Raimudos Oki

A defrocked American priest went on trial Tuesday to face charges he sexually abused young girls at his shelter for orphans and children from impoverished families, in the first clergy sex case to emerge in East Timor — the most Catholic place in the world outside the Vatican.

Richard Daschbach, 84, a former missionary from Pennsylvania, is facing 14 counts of sexual abuse of children under 14 years old, as well as one count each of child pornography and domestic violence, according to the country’s prosecutor general.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Police presence was heavy at the small courthouse near the beach, as about 100 supporters of the former priest showed up but were denied entry to the courtroom for the closed proceedings.

Devout followers in the young…

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Lawsuit accuses Brooklyn bishop of sex abuse in Jersey City decades ago

WOODLAND PARK (NJ)
The Record and NorthJersey.com

February 22, 2021

By Abbott Koloff

One of two men who have accused Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of sexually abusing them as children in Jersey City decades ago has filed a lawsuit based on allegations that he made public last year.

The suit, filed last week in New Jersey Superior Court, alleges that DiMarzio sexually abused the man repeatedly when he was a 6-year-old boy at Holy Rosary parish in 1979 and 1980. The accuser, Samier Tadros, who lives in Florida, went public with the allegation in 2020, months after another man publicly alleged that he had been abused by DiMarzio at another Jersey City parish in the 1970s.

The bishop has in the past denied the allegations by both men. On Monday, his attorney, Joseph Hayden, issued a statement saying DiMarzio had passed a lie detector test.

“The allegations in the…

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February 22, 2021

Resigning from priesthood, Harrison claims Fresno Catholic Bishop sacrificed ‘the Gospel for politics and money’

FRESNO (CA)
San Joaquin Valley Sun

February 18, 2021

By Alex Tavlian

Craig Harrison, a longtime priest with the Fresno Roman Catholic Diocese who held the title of Monsignor, resigned his post on Thursday following a 22-month leave that sparked a flurry of defamation lawsuits stemming from accusations of misconduct.

“It was almost two years ago that Bishop Armando Ochoa called me into his office to put me on temporary administrative leave because of a phone call he said he received of an accusation against me,” Harrison said during a Thursday afternoon press conference at the office of his attorney.

[Craig Harrison]

Through 2019 and early 2020, prosecutors in four counties investigated the claims and uniformly declined to prosecute on a combination of insufficient evidence or lapse in the statute of limitations for the…

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Timor-Leste starts child abuse trial of former US priest

HONG KONG
Union of Catholic Asian News

February 22, 2021

Richard Daschbach faces 14 charges of sexual abuse of children under the age of 14, child pornography and domestic violence

Dili, East Timor – A court in Timor-Leste has started the trial of a self-confessed pedophile American priest who was dismissed from the priesthood by the Vatican on charges of child abuse in 2018.

The trial of Richard Daschbach, 84, a former priest and missionary from the Society of the Divine Word, started on Feb. 22 but was abruptly postponed until the next day, reported Associated Press.

According to Timor-Leste’s prosecutor general, Daschbach faces 14 charges of sexual abuse of children under the age of 14, child pornography and domestic violence. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Meanwhile, he also faces wire fraud charges in his homeland in the US and has been placed on…

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East Timor postpones child sex abuse trial of ex-US priest

OECUSSE (EAST TIMOR)
Associated Press via ABC News

February 21, 2021

East Timor abruptly postponed the trial of a defrocked American priest facing allegations he sexually abused young girls at a children’s shelter he ran in a remote enclave in East Timor — one of the most Catholic places on Earth

East Timor abruptly postponed the trial Monday of a defrocked American priest facing allegations he sexually abused young girls at a children’s shelter he ran in a remote enclave in East Timor — one of the most Catholic places on Earth.

Soon after Richard Daschbach, a former missionary from Pennsylvania, arrived in the courtroom, judges said they needed more time to make revisions to documents and asked the 84-year-old defendant to return on Tuesday.

The former priest is charged with 14 counts of sexual abuse of children under the age of 14, as well as counts of child…

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Somebody Needs to Be Dad

NEW YORK (NY)
First Things

February 22, 2021

By Francis X. Maier

For Catholics, the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) stands as the key event of the last 60 years. It renewed the Church’s self-understanding. It reimagined her relations with the Jewish people, other Christians, and the world. It also acknowledged in a new and powerful way the importance of the lay vocation.

It did not, however, break radically with the past, notably regarding authority. In the person of the local bishop, stressed the council, “the Lord Jesus Christ . . . is present in the midst of the faithful.” Every local bishop has the authority to teach, encourage, govern, and correct the faithful entrusted to him. Thus, as “father and pastor” of his people, he should be “an example of sanctity in charity, humility, and simplicity of life,” with the duty to “mold his flock into one family” so…

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Fr. Craig Harrison, in an emotional announcement, steps away from priesthood

BAKERSFIELD (CA)
KGET

February 18, 2021

By Robert Price

Monsignor Craig Harrison’s battle of almost two years with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno appears to have come to a close — at least in the most meaningful sense.

Harrison announced Thursday he is leaving the priesthood.

It was an emotional day for Harrison, both difficult and liberating. After almost two years of limbo — suspended by the Diocese over allegations of sexual impropriety and barred from even the appearance of performing priestly duties — Harrison, pastor of Bakersfield’s St. Francis of Assisi Church, surrounded by family and his team of attorneys — announced he was moving on.

It’s time, he said, to re-engage with the community, even if it’s without his clerical collar.

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In Ireland, the Candle of Atonement Reminds Victims of Abuse

ARMAGH (IRELAND)
Swords Today

February 17, 2021

By Scout Mitchell

Since 2017, the Catholic Church in Ireland has dedicated a day of prayer for victims of sexual abuse. “I am convinced that prayer and relationships with survivors of abuse are a modern creation of physical and spiritual compassion,” said Bishop Emon Martin, President of the Episcopal Conference in Ireland.

The first Friday of Lent, February 19, is celebrated in Ireland as a day of prayer for survivors and victims of sexual abuse.

Lent has been celebrated in Ireland every year since 2017, at the behest of Pope Francis, at the behest of some of the survivors. During the day, read a prayer and light candles of atonement in the cathedrals and in all the parishes of the country, “As a church apologize for the suffering caused by the abuse.”

“When we light these candles, we will remember our brothers…

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Who’d want to be a witness when it just means more trauma?

SYDNEY (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
Sydney Morning Herald

February 12, 2021

By Declan Fry

“Groomers groom communities, not just children.” This sentiment occurs throughout Witness, veteran investigative journalist Louise Milligan’s follow-up to 2017’s Walkley Award-winning Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell. Working deep within the ninth circle of Dante’s hell, Milligan’s counsel interviewees (almost invariably men) seek to uphold the principle of “beyond reasonable doubt” at any cost – especially if the client is both monied and powerful.

Through her experience as a witness during the Pell trial, Milligan, who won the people’s choice award in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, learns first-hand how the adversarial system of cross-examination – with its indignities and seething manipulations, its brow-beating and haranguing – visits new traumas upon the multiply abused. Yes, multiply: first by their abuser; then by their trial; and finally by the aftermath of the process –…

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Vigil held for victims of abuse, including minor allegedly abused by Juarez priest

EL PASO (TX)
KTSM

February 19, 2021

By Natassia Paloma

A vigil was held Friday in Juarez for women and children.

Several organizations came together to bring awareness for women, boy and girls who are victims of abuse.

Candles were lit, and participants dressed in black.

At the vigil, organizers demanded a fair trial for a minor who was allegedly abused by a priest, Aristeo Baca.

The trial ended this week with final arguments. Judges will give final sentence next week.

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February 21, 2021

Sex abuse survivors lose archive as Facebook removes news from ‘life saving’ site

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

February 18, 2021

By Rhiannon Shine

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-18/facebook-news-ban-sees-sex-abuse-survivors-lose-archive/13167708?fbclid=IwAR0Ae90iNd4m0iwxT_ZtYqe8RR3p_yEQot98o-PtMZYAVAy37gJKLa2vwRs

A survivor of clergy abuse who started a Facebook group to help other survivors says he is “devastated” by the social media giant’s decision to block Australian news.

Richie Scutt, who was sexually abused by an Anglican priest when he was 11 years old, started the Facebook group Survivors and Friends in 2016.

He said he started the group to share news reports on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and it became a lifeline for many.

Mr Scutt said the group had grown to around 200 members from across Australia and still primarily shared news stories.

He estimated more than 2,000 news articles had been shared to the Facebook group since 2016, and said he was devastated to find they had all disappeared when he logged onto Facebook this morning.

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74-yr-old pastor arrested in Kerala for alleged sexual assault of minor girl

KERALA (INDIA)
The News Minute

February 21, 2021

The accused pastor, who according to police, goes around houses preaching religious matters, was arrested from Konnathady on Saturday.

Kunnathunad police in Ernakulam district on Saturday arrested a 74-year-old Christian pastor for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl. The accused, Mathew is a resident of Mukaddam near Konnathady in Idukki district. According to the police, the crime took place in January and the girl’s mother who came to know about the incident filed a complaint in Kunnathunad police station. The accused pastor, who according to police, goes around houses preaching religious matters, was arrested from Konnathady on Saturday.

Mathew has been charged with various provisions under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, said police. “We cannot reveal other details on where the alleged crime took place or other details as that would reveal the identity of the child,” an…

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Eton hires council officer who urged police action over abuser

ENGLAND
The Sunday Times

February 21, 2021

By Sian Griffiths

The safeguarding leader who prompted the school to report concerns over a teacher now in jail has been taken on full-time

Eton College has appointed its first director of safeguarding after a child abuse scandal that she helped stop.

Alice Vicary-Stott has been hired to the full-time post at the boys-only boarding school, where Princes William and Harry and Boris Johnson were educated.

Her appointment follows last year’s conviction of Matthew Mowbray, who taught at Eton for more than 20 years, for offences against pupils at the £42,500-a- year school.

Vicary-Stott was the “local authority designated officer” overseeing children’s safety for three councils when Eton first reported its suspicions about Mowbray to her in May 2019. She advised that the case be referred to the police and Mowbray was arrested within days.

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Former student sues The Bishop’s School over allegations of past sexual abuse by teacher

LA JOLLA (CA)
La Jolla Light

February 19, 2021

By Ashley Mackin-Solomon

The Bishop’s School in La Jolla has been sued by a former student over allegations of sexual misconduct by a teacher while the student was a minor during the 1970s and ‘80s.

The suit, filed in November in San Diego County Superior Court, alleges offenses including sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. The unidentified plaintiff seeks damages “in an amount to be determined at trial.” A trial date has not been set.

The suit accuses the plaintiff’s former teacher of inappropriate sexual behavior — including “grooming” her from the time she was 12 years old up to their sexual encounters when she was 17 — and accuses the school of covering up the teacher’s actions and creating an environment that allowed it to continue.

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February 20, 2021

Today – Watch SIPE: SEX, LIES, AND THE PRIESTHOOD

Click here for tickets to the world premiere of SIPE: SEX, LIES, AND THE PRIESTHOOD. Includes a conversation with the filmmakers and a panel discussion at 8pm Eastern.

Richard Sipe was a former Benedictine monk and Catholic priest, trained as a psychotherapist to deal with the mental health problems of the clergy. Over the years he dealt with the records of over six thousand patients and recognized a pattern of behavior within the Church that eventually led him to leave the priesthood. “The monastery that had been my idealistic home when I was thirteen, by the time I was thirty-seven, it was in a sense a junkheap to me.”

Upon leaving the priesthood, Richard helped lift what he refers to as “the mask”, revealing the truth behind celibacy and its connection to the sexual abuse of minors. In a series of provocative books, he wrote frankly and extensively about…

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Ministry leaders’ rush to empathize with Ravi Zacharias is beyond alarming

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

February 19, 2021

By Kyle J. Howard

It is deeply troubling to see so many men, especially in ministry leadership, find a more immediate connection with the abuser rather than the abused.

There is a reckoning taking place in the evangelical church as more and more people are becoming aware of the reality of spiritual and sexual abuse — and their prevalence in many churches.

There is also a reckoning taking place among evangelical leaders as they confront and respond to these abuses coming to light.

Sadly, the responses from many of these esteemed Christian leaders are falling woefully short. Instead of healing, they are serving to further wound and even traumatize God’s people.

This is most recently evident in the way many leaders have reacted to the dark secrets in the life and ministry of the late Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias.

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Valley Catholic priest Monsignor Craig Harrison announces resignation

FRESNO (CA)
KFSN-TV

February 19, 2021

A Central Valley Catholic priest is resigning after two years of dealing with a defamation lawsuit.

“I am announcing that I am resigning as the pastor of Saint Francis parish. I submitted a letter to His Holiness, Pope Francis resigning as a Catholic priest,” Monsignor Craig Harrison said in a statement on Thursday.

The legal action he faced stemmed from statements made about sexual abuse allegations against him.

One of those suits was filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno. Allegations were also investigated in Kern and Merced counties.

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Monsignor Craig Harrison resigns following years of sexual abuse allegations

BAKERSFIELD (CA)
23ABC-TV

February 18, 2021

By Bayne Froney

Thursday, former Monsignor Craig Harrison addressed the media regarding the allegations against him along with the lawsuit he filed against the Diocese of Fresno. Harrison said that he feels stepping down is one of his only options and he is ready to start living his life again.

“I am announcing that I am resigning as a pastor at St Francis Parish,” said Harrison.

Thursday, Monsignor Craig Harrison stepped down as a priest at St. Francis Church nearly two years after a man in April 2019 reported to Firebaugh Police in Fresno County that he had been inappropriately touched as a teenager by Harrison.

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Fresno-area priest resigns Catholic church amid lawsuit over misconduct investigation

FRESNO (CA)
Fresno Bee

February 19, 2021

By Yesenia Amaro

A Diocese of Fresno priest accused of sexual misconduct but never criminally charged resigned from the church this week.

According to a statement from his attorney, Monsignor Craig Harrison handed his resignation for his pastor position at St. Francis Parish in Bakersfield.

“This decision has come after nearly two years of seeking due process and fair play from the Bishop,” the statement reads.

In a brief statement Friday, Diocese of Fresno officials acknowledged Harrison’s resignation, but said they wouldn’t comment on the matter.

Harrison is suing the Diocese of Fresno for defamation. He filed the lawsuit shortly after prosecutors in different jurisdictions declined to file criminal charges against Harrison over accusations of sexual abuse.

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Part 1 | The long battle for justice: Timor-Leste’s trial against ex-priest for sexual abuse of children

TIMOR LESTE
Rappler

February 20, 2021

By Tjitske Lingsma

After a turbulent struggle for justice, the trial against a former priest charged with sexual abuse of children in his shelter finally starts on February 22 in Timor-Leste. It is the biggest case in the history of the SVD congregation.

Ana was just 8 years old, when she went to live in Topu Honis Shelter Home. Life was perfect and she never imagined the betrayal and harm that would be inflicted upon her. “It was a dream come true,” Ana recalled about how she felt that first day when she arrived at the modest shelter, perched on the slopes of one of the spectacular mountains of Timor-Leste’s exclave Oecusse. Her family was poor and worked hard in the fields to have enough food. At Topu Honis she didn’t have to worry about her next meal. She had friends, her own…

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[Opinion] Is the evangelical view of sex at the root of our sex scandals?

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

February 18, 2021

By Sheila Wray Gregoire

It was not celebrity culture that taught Ravi Zacharias, Carl Lentz and countless other pastors to objectify women. Our evangelical culture primed them for it.

Evangelicals are pointing fingers at “celebrity Christian culture,” blaming it for the tragic Ravi Zacharias sexual abuse and rape scandal and the extramarital escapades of Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz (as well as so many more). But what if this epidemic is not just — or even mostly — caused by celebrity culture?

What if it’s the evangelical view of sex?

Yes, celebrity culture gave Zacharias more access to victims and gave both men cover for what they were doing. But it was not celebrity culture that taught these men to objectify women. Our evangelical culture primed them for it.

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[Media Statement] Statute of Limitations Reform in California is Leading to Justice and Healing

ST. LOUIS (MO)
SNAP

February 19, 2021

A little more than a year ago, AB 218 was signed into law in California, opening a three-year “window to justice” that would revive claims that had been barred by the state’s archaic and predator-friendly statute of limitations laws. Since that bill went into effect, we have seen hundreds of new survivors come forward, exposing uncomfortable truths about hidden perpetrators and their enablers in California. To us, there is no question that this law is providing a path towards justice, healing, and prevention.

The United States Conference of Catholics Bishops created the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” in 2002 in response to the Boston Globe’s exposure of widespread child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of that city. While the reforms aimed at in that charter – most notably zero-tolerance and open transparency from Church officials – have yet…

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State report on child sex abuse by priests paints sobering picture

BISMARCK (ND)
Bismarck Tribune

February 20, 2021

By Travis Svihovec

In the late 1960s or early ’70s, the Rev. Armour Roberts drove three boys from Bismarck to New Leipzig to visit another priest, the Rev. John Owens.

The men mixed cocktails for the boys, and the boys — high school freshmen — drank until they were drunk. One passed out and later awoke with Owens standing over him, partially naked and inappropriately touching him. Owens had already molested another boy. Roberts was in an upstairs room with the third boy.

The boys ran. They bought coffee at a gas station and thought about driving back to Bismarck. But they knew nobody would believe what had happened to them. They’d just get in trouble for stealing a car. They went back to the parish house and spent the rest of the night in the living room. The priests offered one…

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Diocese of Harrisburg begins mediation sessions with abuse survivors, writes Bishop Gainer in letter

LANCASTER (PA)
LancasterOnline

February 20, 2021

https://lancasteronline.com/features/diocese-of-harrisburg-begins-mediation-sessions-with-abuse-survivors-writes-bishop-gainer-in-letter/article_2a3c963c-72cb-11eb-97c8-7f7dc8084728.html

The Rev. Ronald W. Gainer, bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, issued a letter this week about the diocese’s filing for bankruptcy in 2020 and ongoing reckoning with survivors of sexual abuse by clergy.

The letter noted that on Feb. 8 and 9, the church’s present and past insurance providers met with survivors of abuse (individually, or through a committee representing their interests) for the first mediation session.

“The mediation process is an effort to work together to reach a consensual resolution regarding the survivor claims against the RCDH,” the letter reads.

While Gainer writes that he can’t share much about the mediations, as they are confidential, he writes that “progress was made” and “all parties intend to continue negotiations and mediation, to reach a consensual resolution that will acknowledge the harm suffered and provide for meaningful and fair compensation for survivors.”

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Zollner: Day for victims of abuse an important moment for the Church

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News

February 19, 2021

By Robin Gomes

The Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse, observed on the first Friday of Lent by several local Churches across the globe, is an initiative in response to the request of Pope Francis to all the bishops’ conferences of the world. During the meeting on the “Protection of Minors in the Church”, held in the Vatican on 21-24 February 2019, the Pope asked the presidents of the bishops’ conferences to choose an appropriate day in the liturgical calendar for this purpose. The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference marks the day on 11 September in conjunction with the National Day for the Protection of Children.

Prayer and action

According to Father Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, prayer is a fundamental expression of the Christian faith, but action is also needed. Speaking…

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Prayer for abuse victims on the first Friday of Lent

INDIA
AsiaNews.it

February 19, 2021

By Nirmala Carvalho

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India held a Day of Prayer to express closeness to the victims of sexual abuse of minors and raise awareness of the problem among the faithful. For Sister Arina Gonsalves of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, this provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the scourge of “sexual abuse” that “continues in our society, especially in the digital world” and to reiterate the Church’s “zero tolerance” policy towards the offence.

The Catholic Church of India holds a Day of Prayer for the victims and survivors of abuse every year on the first Friday of Lent.

For the occasion, Sister Arina Gonsalves, of the Congregation of the Religious of Jesus and Mary (RJM) and a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, spoke to AsiaNews, explaining the significance of this appointment.

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Ravi Zacharias posthumously defrocked, ministry suspends fundraising after abuse report

UNITED STATES
Sight

February 20, 2021

By Bob Smietana

The Christian and Missionary Alliance has revoked the ordination of the late Ravi Zacharias, citing a “pattern of predatory behaviour”.

“In recognition of this gross violation and its painful consequences to the victims and others who were impacted, the C&MA posthumously expels Mr Zacharias from licensed ministry in our denomination,” the alliance wrote in a statement. “This comes with the automatic revocation of his ordination.”

Zacharias’ defrocking is the latest fallout from a report that found the late evangelist had engaged in a pattern of abuse and misconduct.

A law firm hired by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries issued a report last week that concluded Zacharias, who died from cancer in 2020, had demanded sexual favors from massage therapists at a spa he co-owned and collected images – including a number of nude photos and videos – of hundreds of younger…

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February 19, 2021

California bishop banned priest, but that didn’t keep him from ministry around Chicago

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

February 19, 2021

By Robert Herguth

Despite telling a boy something that the local bishop’s office said amounted to “sexual abuse,” Joseph Jablonski kept working in ministry around Chicago because his order didn’t immediately notify church leaders here.

While ministering in San Bernardino, California, in 2014, a Chicago-area priest named Joseph Jablonski told a boy something that prompted the bishop’s office there, when it found out, to notify the authorities and bar him from ever again ministering in that diocese.

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A justice speaks; justice is elusive; justice is sought

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

February 18, 2021

By Peter Keough

[To see the entire article from which the portion below is excerpted, click here.]

True confessions

You might not remember the moment, but the title subject of Joe Cultrera’s “Sipe: Sex, Lies, and the Priesthood” is depicted, vocally that is, by Richard Jenkins in a brief scene in the Oscar-winning “Spotlight” (2015). “Guys, I’ve got Sipe!” exclaims a member of the Boston Globe Spotlight team in the film. On speakerphone Richard Sipe reveals the extent of sexual activity within the priesthood, the Catholic Church’s knowledge of it, and its coverup.

It was a reality that Sipe, a former Benedictine monk, priest, and psychotherapist, had been studying for decades. While serving the Church as a therapist, he treated some 6,000 members of the clergy and found that the rule of celibacy had led priests into secret sexual behavior, often…

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600 Sex Abuse Lawsuits Expected to Hit Northern CA Dioceses in New Window for Accusers

CALIFORNIA
NBC Bay Area

February 18, 2021

By Candice Nguyen and Michael Bott

For the first time, attorneys representing hundreds of alleged sexual abuse victims against the Catholic Church say they have an idea of how many new accusers have come forward since a recent law opened a window for new lawsuits based on older allegations to proceed in court.

Hundreds of people accusing Northern California priests and clergy of sexually abusing them as children are coming forward for the first time, enabled by a recent law allowing new lawsuits to be filed based on older allegations that were previously barred by the statute of limitations.

Assembly Bill 218, signed by Governor Newsom back in 2019, opened a three-year window beginning in January 2020 for the new lawsuits to be filed. A similar one-year window was opened by state lawmakers back in 2003.

Now, for the first time, attorneys…

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[Opinion] From Cardinal Seán’s blog

BOSTON (MA)
The Pilot (Archdiocese of Boston)

February 19, 2021

By Cardinal Seán O’Malley

**
Interview with Teresa Pitt Green

On Wednesday, I participated in an interview with Teresa Pitt Green to be used in one of her upcoming online conferences. Teresa is a survivor of sexual abuse who heads the wonderful organization Spirit Fire, which promotes reconciliation and safeguarding.

During this time of the pandemic, the educational efforts around safeguarding have, on the one hand, been hampered by our inability to gather people together, but on the other hand, we have been very successful in reaching large numbers of people through online efforts. This has been the experience of organizations such as Spirit Fire and our own Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

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[Media Statement] Msgr. Craig Harrison to Resign, SNAP Calls on Fresno Diocese to Release Results of Internal Investigation

ST. LOUIS (MO)
SNAP

February 18, 2021

At a press conference this afternoon, embattled Msgr. Craig Harrison announced that he is resigning from the priesthood. We hope that this decision will comfort the multiple accusers who have come forward and that Catholic officials in Fresno will release the results of their internal investigation soon.

Msgr. Harrison was first publicly accused of abuse almost two years ago. The clergyman and his attorneys may cite the fact that he was not charged with crimes as evidence of his innocence, but in fact local district attorneys stated publicly that they believed the claims against him were credible but they were prevented from bringing charges due to the statute of limitations. Avoiding charges on a legal technicality is not proof of innocence.

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[Media Statement] Another Horrifying Report into Child Sexual Abuse in a Catholic Institution in Scotland Calls for Int’l Action

ST. LOUIS (MO)
SNAP

February 18, 2021

Yet another abuse inquiry in yet another country has revealed shocking details about the abuse and depravity that children were subjected to at a place that was supposed to educate, love, and care for them. As horrifying as this report is, we are not surprised.

According to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, St Ninian’s school, operated by the Christian Brothers, was a place where members of this Catholic religious order could “pursue their abusive practices with impunity.” Those words are sickening and saddening, but not at all shocking to those of us who have been following this international scandal. We are grateful that the Scottish government is carrying out this inquiry and hope that their efforts will result not only injustice and healing for victims, but will also help prevent future cases of abuse.

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Ex-NSW priest, 85, accused of abusing boy

AUSTRALIA
Australian Associated Press via Yahoo News

February 18, 2021

An elderly former priest has been granted bail after being charged with the historical sexual assault of a nine-year-old boy at a school at Bathurst, in central western NSW.

Robert Maximus Blumenthal, 85, is charged with two counts of sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 10 and three counts of sexual intercourse with a person between 10 and under 16 who was under authority.

After his arrest at a Sydney home on Thursday, he appeared in Waverley Local Court.

He was granted $10,000 bail with other conditions including he not contact or go near any prosecution witness or enter any point of departure from Australia.

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Uttar Pradesh: Temple priest in Badaun charged with rape and murder

INDIA
Hindustan Times

February 18, 2021

Satyanarayan, the priest, and his aides, Jaspal and Vedram Pal, were arrested for murder and gang rape after they handed over a 50-year-old woman’s body to her family claiming she fell into a dry well

Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun on Wednesday filed a charge sheet against a rape and murder accused temple priest even as gang rape charges have been dropped against his two aides.

Satyanarayan, the priest, and his aides, Jaspal and Vedram Pal, were arrested for murder and gang rape after they handed over a 50-year-old woman’s body to her family claiming she fell into a dry well on their temple premises in January.

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Fabricated report falsely claims Italian police ‘arrested scores of paedophile cardinals’ in Vatican

FRANCE
AFP Fact Check

February 19, 2021

By Richard Kang

Social media posts circulating online in February 2021 have shared a purported report stating Italian law enforcement “arrested scores of paedophile cardinals” in Vatican City. The claim is false: the purported report is not a genuine news article. The text appears to have originated from a satirical blog post that used an unrelated photo of Italian police. Whilst two Catholic priests were put on trial in the Vatican in October 2020 over allegations of sex abuse, there have been no credible reports that “scores” of cardinals were arrested at the Vatican for sex abuse in February 2021.

The claim was published here on Facebook on February 11, 2021.

“(Breaking News) Italian police and army raided the Vatican City and arrested scores of paedophile cardinals. Reported by UN News,” reads the Korean-language post.

The claim was shared alongside a link…

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Catholic safeguarding commission reports rise in abuse allegations in England and Wales

Catholic News Agency

February 19, 2021

The number of people facing concerns or allegations of abuse against children rose by 29% in a year, according to a new safeguarding report on the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) said on Feb. 10 that concerns or allegations were raised against 161 people in 2019, compared to 125 the year before.

The number of individuals almost doubled between 2015, when there were 91, and 2019.

The commission, an independent body mandated by the English and Welsh bishops and the Conference of Religious to oversee the Church’s safeguarding work, released the figures in its annual report.

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Catholic Primate of Ireland apologises to victims and abuse survivors

IRELAND
RTE

February 19, 2021

By Ailbhe Conneely

The Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland has apologised for the harm that has been done to victims and survivors of abuse.

In a video message Archbishop Eamon Martin said there is a need for the survivors to hear that Catholic Church leaders realise the harm that has been done to them.

Marking the annual Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse, he said sorry for “the terrible failures and crimes” that happened in their Church.

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Plea hearing adjourned for Catholic priest Father Patrick Smythe accused of historic sex offences against boys in Leeds

LEEDS (ENGLAND)
Yorkshire Evening Post

February 18, 2021

By Tony Gardner

https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/crime/plea-hearing-adjourned-catholic-priest-father-patrick-smythe-accused-historic-sex-offences-against-boys-leeds-3138986

A Catholic priest charged with committing sex offences against boys dating back more than 40 years had his plea hearing at Leeds Crown Court adjourned today.

Father Patrick Smythe is accused of four counts of indecent assault against four different boys under the age of 16 between 1978 and 1983.

The 77-year-old, a priest with the Diocese of Leeds, was due to enter pleas to the charges when he appeared before the court this morning (February 18).

The case was adjourned for almost two months following an application by the prosecution and Symthe’s barrister, Susannah Proctor.

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Former priest charged over alleged child sex assault of boy, nine, in Bathurst

AUSTRALIA
NCA NewsWire via Townsville Bulletin

February 19, 2021

By Erin Lyons

https://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/breaking-news/former-priest-charged-over-alleged-child-sex-assault-of-boy-nine-in-bathurst/news-story/2a80edb2570c2751f76adb5ae2f4954b

A former priest has been arrested and charged, accused of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old boy at a high school in regional NSW.

In 2008 detectives started investigating reports of alleged sexual and indecent assaults of students at two high schools in Bathurst, between 1960 and 1993, under Strike Force Belle.

Last year strike force officers received a report relating to the alleged sexual assault of a nine-year-old boy in the mid 80s.

Following investigations an 85-year-old man was arrested at a home in Randwick on Thursday.

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Christian Brother Rex Elmer jailed for sexually abusing boys

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 19, 2021

By Erin Pearson

Christian Brother Rex Francis Elmer will be classified as a serious sexual offender for the rest of his life after being sentenced for “abhorrent” and “depraved” historic abuse of children at a Melbourne orphanage.

Elmer, now 76, fronted the County Court of Victoria on Friday dressed in a white forensic suit and blue gloves where he was jailed for two years, with a non-parole period of nine months, for abuse against two further boys.

The court heard his victims suffered sustained and ongoing abuse while aged between 10 and 13 and living at St Vincent Boy’s Home where Elmer worked at South Melbourne in the 1970s.

It’s the third time Elmer – who remains a Christian Brother – has been jailed for sexual offending against children in his care after previously pleading guilty to crimes against 13 other school-aged boys…

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Protection of minors: A balance is needed

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News

February 18, 2021

By Gudrun Sailer

As many churches in different countries prepare to mark a Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse, an interview with Dr Myriam Wijlens, a professor in canon law and member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, highlights the ongoing work of the Church to ensure the safety and the protection and dignity of all.

On the first Friday of Lent dozens of local churches will gather together in prayer for victims and survivors of abuse, for their families and their communities.

In late 2016, Pope Francis wrote to bishops’ conferences around the world asking they choose an appropriate moment during the liturgical year to observe an annual national Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse with the community of faithful.

Over the past four years many Bishops Conferences – and individual diocese…

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Four more come forward to allege historic abuse at hands of Leeds Catholic priest

LEEDS (ENGLAND)
Leeds-Live.com

February 18, 2021

By Guy Bell

Father Patrick Smythe had been due to enter pleas in relation to four counts of indecent assault

Four more complainants in the case of a Catholic priest from Leeds accused of historic sexual abuse have come forward following news of his initial court appearance.

Father Patrick Smythe had previously appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court in January charged with four counts of indecent assault on boys under 16 between 1978 and 1983.

The 77-year-old had been due to enter pleas in response to the allegations during a hearing at Leeds Crown Court this morning (Thursday

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Pope Benedict ‘pushed’ into resignation and ‘did not wish to go’ as Francis took Vatican

UNITED KINGDOM
Express.co.uk

February 18, 2021

By Clive Hammond

POPE BENEDICT was “pushed” into resigning as head of the Vatican church and “did not wish to go” before Pope Francis was installed as his successor, an author has told Express.co.uk.

The former pontiff resigned in 2013, with Benedict citing his declining health due to old age as the main factor behind the unprecedented move. His decision paved the way for Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio – who would be named Francis – to be elected as the new Vatican head, sparking optimism in some circles that a much needed modernisation programme to revitalise the Catholic church would be installed. Yet, uncertainty surrounding Benedict’s position was unearthed when Sebastian Gomes detailed how “leaks, scandal and a referential attitude among its most powerful administrators had crippled the Vatican” under Benedict’s stewardship.

Mr Gomes said “this internal crisis in the end broke Benedict’s…

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After orphanage abuse lawsuit, Canadian dioceses could face new wave of litigation

CANADA
Pillar Catholic

February 18, 2021

By JD Flynn

Analysis: Canada

A decision from Canada’s Supreme Court last month is likely to trigger a new round of lawsuits against Canadian Catholic dioceses. The court declined to hear an appeal against a lower court’s finding that the Archdiocese of St. John’s in Newfoundland had vicarious liability for a religious community which operated a notoriously abusive orphanage in the archdiocese.

That decision is expected to lead to more lawsuits against Canadian dioceses, over abuse committed by religious institutes within their territory. Those lawsuits could lead to a spate of diocesan bankruptcies.

The Mount Cashel orphanage story is one of the most egregious and horrific stories of sexual abuse in the history of Canada.

The orphanage opened in Newfoundland in 1898 and operated for nearly a century. It was operated by members of the Christian Brothers religious order. In the late 1980s…

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February 18, 2021

St. John’s vows to heal from ‘dark chapter’

OTTAWA
Canadian Catholic News via Catholic Register

February 18, 2021

By Brian Dryden

Archbishop Peter Hundt says “sacrifices” will have to be made, but the Archdiocese of St. John’s has to move forward with compassion and understanding after a “dark chapter” of abuse in the Newfoundland archdiocese’s history.

In a message delivered at Masses across the archdiocese Feb. 13-14, the archbishop explained to the faithful what must be done to address the abuses that occurred at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in the past now that the Supreme Court of Canada has let a lower court ruling stand that made the archdiocese “vicariously liable” for abuses that occurred at the notorious orphanage run by the Christian Brothers of Ireland.

“We must now move to address these claims to the best of our ability, and in justice to the victims,” said Hundt in the statement read during Masses.

The archdiocese is…

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Poland’s Catholic Church holds day of prayer for abuse survivors

POLAND
Catholic News Agency

February 18, 2021

Poland’s Catholic Church on Friday will observe a day of prayer for abuse survivors.

The Feb. 19 observance — known as the “Day of prayer and penance for the sin of sexual abuse of minors” — will include a Mass for the intention of abuse victims at the shrine of Jasna Góra, which houses the venerated icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa.

Archbishop Wojciech Polak, the Polish bishops’ conference delegate for the protection of children and youth, said: “People hurt in this way have the right to count on the fact that they will not lack the spiritual support of the entire ecclesial community on the long and difficult road to recovery.”

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[Media Statement ] Catholic Priest from Diocese of Gaylord Accused of Abuse

ST. LOUIS (MO)
SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

February 17, 2021

A Catholic priest from the Diocese of Gaylord has stepped aside after he was accused of “sexual misconduct” with an adult woman. We hope that this victim is getting the support they need and we honor her courage in coming forward with her story.

According to reports, Fr. Eyob Merin of St. Mary Parish in Kingsley, MI, was accused of abuse publicly during a parish meeting. We truly believe that more and more victims are standing up and speaking out thanks to the dedicated work of secular officials like Michigan’s attorney general Dana Nessel. When secrets are exposed and abusers and enablers held accountable, it leads to a climate where survivors are encouraged to come forward instead of being shamed into silence. We hope that attorneys general in every other state that has yet to…

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A cardinal in the dock would mark real reform in Vatican justice

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

February 18, 2021

By John L. Allen Jr.

From the outside, the commonplace assumption about the Vatican’s system of criminal justice probably is that it’s too lenient, because, as people would see it, the system boils down to Vatican personnel policing their peers and thus, many likely assume, the temptation is to go easy.

Insiders, however, have long felt it’s precisely the other way around. The whole point of Vatican tribunals, as they rather cynically perceive it, is to deliver lower-level scapegoats to insulate senior figures from culpability, so the system is stacked in favor of the prosecution.

Basically speaking, if you’re indicted for a crime in the Vatican City State, your odds of acquittal are roughly the same as winning the lottery.

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New Vatican thriller captures the cost of scandal

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

February 17, 2021

By John L. Allen Jr.

How do you measure the cost of a scandal?

One way is by dollar amounts. The current estimate is that the Catholic Church in the United States now has paid $3.2 billion to settle clerical sexual abuse lawsuits, which is $3.2 billion it couldn’t spend on charity or evangelization or any other desirable purpose.

Another index is lost human potential. Think about the contributions that Enzo Bianchi, founder of the famed ecumenical monastic community of Bose, could still be making to the cause of Christian unity, if his alleged abuses of authority had not compelled the Vatican recently to send him into exile like Napoleon on Elba.

Yet perhaps the steepest price to be paid is the loss of moral authority, a cost that’s correspondingly higher when the institution hit by scandal purports to represent moral virtue like…

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Our Opinion: Diocese suit shows need for transparency

MASSACHUSETTS
Berkshire Eagle

February 17, 2021

It’s a story both illuminating and disturbing: A Chicopee man credibly accuses the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon of repeated sexual abuse, and alleges that top Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield officials engaged in a cover-up to protect the legendary figure’s reputation.

That illumination would not have been possible without the tireless Berkshire Eagle news reporting led by investigations editor Larry Parnass. Indeed, the Chicopee man’s lawsuit against the diocese, filed last month in Hampden Superior Court, cites The Eagle’s coverage and Mr. Parnass’ interviews with diocese officials throughout.

The section of the complaint filing titled “Allegations involving false statements about plaintiff to The Berkshire Eagle” paints a damning picture of the diocese’s behavior when faced with credible accusations against the late Bishop Weldon.

The diocese did not put Bishop Weldon on a list of credibly accused priests despite the Chicopee man’s 2018…

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Former Harrisburg priest sentenced to 5 years probation in abuse case

HARRISBURG (PA)
WHTM-TV

February 17, 2021

By Kayla Brown

A former priest is on probation after pleading guilty last November to sexually assaulting two children, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.

Dauphin County officials say 77-year-old John Allen assaulted the children 30 years ago while serving as a catholic priest in Harrisburg.

On Tuesday a judge sentenced him to five years of probation and, because of an agreement with the victims, to register as a sexually violent predator.

The Catholic Church previously dismissed Allen from the clerical state.

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[Event Notice] Gender, Sex, and Power: Towards a History of Clergy Sex Abuse in the US Catholic Church.

VIRGINIA
Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

Virtual Event:

Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, speaks to us about an important working group composed of twelve scholars and hosted by Notre Dame entitled Gender, Sex, and Power: Towards a History of Clergy Sex Abuse in the US Catholic Church. For more information, see:

https://cushwa.nd.edu/about/gendersexpower/

Date and time: 11:00am Eastern, February 24, 2021

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[Opinion] Bishops strong-arming faithful priests

UNITED STATES
Church Militant

February 17, 2021

While clerical sex abuse has been in the headlines for a while, one facet of such abuse has largely been ignored: the abuse of priests by those with authority over them, the bishops.

Ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick is the most high-profile prelate to be defrocked — owing to decades of homosexual predation. His prey was not just adolescent boys, but grown priests and seminarians. He also allegedly ran a priest sex-ring out of his New Jersey beach house.

McCarrick appears as a demonic creep of the highest order but was — and continues to be — protected by fellow bishops in positions of authority. These men knew for decades that McCarrick was hitting on seminarians, taking priests to his beach houses for sodomy, and they just kept smiling.

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Xanana Gusmão condemned over visit to paedophile priest

EAST TIMOR
Al Jazeera

February 18, 2021

By Ian Lloyd Neubauer

East Timor independence hero criticised for meeting Richard Daschbach ahead of disgraced priest’s trial on child sex charges.

Xanana Gusmão, independence hero and East Timor’s former president, has drawn rare condemnation after being accused of whitewashing the crimes of a disgraced American priest who is due to stand trial next week in a landmark child-sex abuse case in the Catholic-majority Southeast Asian nation.

The controversial meeting took place on January 26 – the 84th birthday of self-professed paedophile Richard Daschbach – at a private residence in Dili where he is under house arrest after being charged with 14 counts of child sex abuse, as well as child pornography and domestic violence.

In a video taken at the meeting, which was covered by local media, Gusmão, also a former prime minister, is seen hugging the former priest and feeding…

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February 17, 2021

‘He had his demons’: Family speaks out after man shoots woman, himself

TOLEDO (OH)
WTVG-TV

February 16, 2021

By McKenzie Kuehnlein

A 65-year-old man shot a woman before turning the gun on himself Monday night in Point Place, according to Toledo Police.

Officers were called to a residence in the 2600 block of 106th Street around 10:30 p.m. When they arrived, they forced entry into the home, at which point one person, identified as Frank Degg, shot himself. Degg was pronounced dead.

A second victim, identified by police as Danielle Derbeck, was found suffering from at least two gunshot wounds. Derbeck was taken to a local hospital, and police say she is expected to survive.

A third person, named by police as Cynthia Frost, was also in the house and was unharmed.

Degg’s family members tell 13abc he and Frost were in a relationship for about two years.

“He has his demons, but he was a good guy,” said Flo Degg…

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Christian Brothers abused children at Fife care home ‘with impunity’ inquiry concludes

SCOTLAND
Fife Today

February 17, 2021

By Allan Crow

Christian Brothers who ran a residential care home in Fife abused children “with impunity” for decades, an inquiry has ruled.

St Ninian’s School in Falkland exposed youngsters to risks of sexual, physical, and psychological danger for almost the entire time it was open.

Lady Smith’s damning conclusion of the Christian Brothers was revealed today with the publication of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

She said they were the perpetrators who would “pursue their abusive practices with impunity.”And her view of St Ninian’s School in Falkland was “depressing.” and that abusive Brothers had “unrestrained access” to vulnerable children.

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Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry: School ‘was a place of abuse and deprivation’

SCOTLAND
BBC

February 17, 2021

A residential school run by the Christian Brothers was “a place of abuse and deprivation”, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has ruled.

Lady Smith said children suffered physical, emotional, and sexual abuse at St Ninian’s in Falkland, Fife.

She described the evidence as “shocking and distressing”.

The inquiry chairwoman also concluded that members of the Catholic religious order were able to “pursue their abusive practices with impunity”.

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Dep PM critcises church sluggishness against paedophile priest

POLAND
The First News

February 17, 2021

Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Gowin has attacked the Polish Catholic Church, saying it was a “scandal” that it had done nothing to stop an alleged paedophile priest.

The priest in question, Father Andrzej Dymer, was recently recalled from the chair of the John Paul II Medical Institute in Szczecin on charges of sexual relations with minors.

The scandal surrounding Dymer could do further damage to the reputation of the Catholic Church in Poland, despite the priest dying on Tuesday. The Church has been battered by a series of allegations saying that it turned a blind eye to apparent cases of sexual abuse by priests.

According to the news channel TVN24, Dymer’s superiors had been aware of his alleged activities since 1995 but did not react, and nor did they ban him from working with children. Church proceedings against him were launched only…

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Poland’s Catholic church accused of failing to take action against paedophile priest for 25 years

POLAND
Notes from Poland

February 16, 2021

The Catholic church in Poland has been accused of failing to take decisive action against an accused paedophile priest for 25 years after first being made aware of the allegations.

The claims, broadcast in a new television report on Monday, are the latest revelations regarding the church’s alleged failure to properly investigate child sex abuse by clergy. In some instances, the institution has been accused of deliberately covering cases up and protecting perpetrators.

The priest at the centre of the latest case, Andrzej Dymer, was last week dismissed by the church from his role as director of a church medical institute. This morning, it was announced that he had died, after suffering from a longstanding illness.

Yesterday, private broadcaster TVN aired a report entitled “The Church’s Longest Proceedings”. It traced how the Catholic hierarchy had known about allegations against Dymer since the…

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Chargesheet filed against priest in Budaun rape case

UTTAR PRADESH (INDIA)
The Hindu

February 17, 2021

Police have dropped the gang rape charge in the chargesheet filed against a priest and his two aides in the alleged gang rape and murder of an Anganwadi worker in Ughaiti area of Budaun district of Uttar Pradesh.

The middle-aged woman, a resident of Kywali village, died under mysterious circumstances on January 3 when she went to pray at a temple in the neighbouring Mevli village. Temple priest Satyanarayan and his aides, Jaspal and Vedram, were arrested under sections 302 and 376D of the IPC after the case created a massive outrage in the region.

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Priest in charge of the diocesan archives in Tarragona accused of sexual abuse

TARRAGONA (SPAIN)
Ara

February 11, 2021

By Albert Llimós

Events took place 20 years ago and archbishopric has now taken the case to the Prosecutor’s Office and will take it to the Vatican

BARCELONA — “What is the Church hiding?” father Manuel Fuentes, canon archivist of the cathedral of Tarragona and director of the historical archdiocesan archives of Tarragona, was asked in an interview on TV3. The archives and libraries discover “some secrets” and allow to prove that “others are not” in these places, he answered. Fuentes was in charge of guarding the secrets of the Church of Tarragona. Today, his own secret, which he had been hiding for more than two decades, has also been revealed.

The archbishopric of Tarragona has taken this morning to the Prosecutor’s Office the alleged sexual abuse that Fuentes committed twenty years ago. After completing the internal report that has been carried out…

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Northern Michigan priest temporarily steps down following sexual misconduct accusation

MICHIGAN
WPBN/WGTU

February 10, 2021

By Trevor Drew

A northern Michigan Priest has voluntarily stepped aside from his role for the time being after being accused of sexual misconduct involving an adult woman, according to the Diocese of Gaylord.

Father Eyob Merin, pastoral administrator of St. Mary Parish in Kinglsey, has denied the allegation.

The allegation was made public at a parish meeting, and subsequently made known to the diocese thereafter.

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Accused priest asserts innocence at Vatican seminary abuse hearing

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

February 10, 2021

By Hannah Brockhaus

At a hearing on Wednesday in a trial for alleged abuse and cover-up at a Vatican youth seminary, a defendant asserted his innocence, imputing abuse accusations to jealousy and divisions within the institution.

“These are unfounded accusations,” Fr. Gabriele Martinelli said during two hours of questioning in a Vatican courtroom on Feb. 10.

Martinelli, 28, has been charged with using violence and his position of authority to commit sexual abuse against a younger student at the Pius X pre-seminary in Vatican City.

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Gratitude from an Active Catholic and a Survivor

CHICAGO (IL)
Profiles in Catholicism (blog)

February 16, 2021

By Michael Hoffman

The VIRTUS Programs recognizes the great importance of listening to survivors of sexual abuse. Because people who have been abused have courageously come forward to share their stories, we now have a better understanding of how to help prevent sexual abuse from occurring as well as how to address it appropriately. We offer our sincere appreciation for all survivors who have come forward to share their stories and recognize their role in helping to foster healing and prevention in our church. This article was written by a survivor about his own experience and how caring adults can work together to prevent abuse.

Article:

My name is Michael Hoffman. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a member of the clergy. I am 55 years old and I remain an active Catholic, despite the abuse I…

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Defrocked predator priest gets probation for molesting 2 boys at Harrisburg church

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive.com

February 16, 2021

By Matt Miller

In a proceeding that took only a few minutes, a defrocked Catholic priest was sentenced to 5 years of probation Tuesday morning on his guilty pleas to charges that he molested two Dauphin County boys roughly two decades ago.

John Allen, 77, of York County, must also was deemed a sexually violent predator, the most dangerous type of sex offender. He will have to register with state police for life, undergo perpetual sex offender counseling and his neighbors will be told of his crimes.

County Judge Deborah E. Curcillo imposed the sentence under a plea agreement forged between the district attorney’s office and defense attorney Brian Perry. Allen pleaded guilty to multiple counts of indecent assault and corruption of minors filed against him by county detectives nearly two years ago.

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Former priest sentenced to 5 years’ probation in abuse case

PENNSYLVANIA
Associated Press

February 16, 2021

A former Roman Catholic priest in Pennsylvania who pleaded guilty to assaulting two altar boys about two decades ago has been sentenced to five years’ probation.

John G. Allen, 77, of York had pleaded guilty in November to indecent assault and corruption of minors in the assaults at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Church in Penbrook between 1997 and 2002. He acknowledged having touched the children over their clothes.

The York Daily Record reports that the probation sentence was imposed Tuesday as part of a plea agreement and fell within sentencing guidelines. Allen will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

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£6m paid out to survivors of institutional abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

February 17, 2021

By Adrian Rutherford

Almost £6m has been paid out in compensation to survivors of historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland.

A redress scheme opened to applications on March 31 last year, with the first payments made seven weeks later.

By the end of 2020, the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Redress Board had received 959 applications for compensation, made determinations totalling £7.38m and paid out £5.76m.

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Media says breaches in the Pell case were at ‘low’ end

AUSTRALIA
NCA NewsWire via Gold Coast Bulletin

February 17, 2021

By Melissa Iaria

A Supreme Court judge has reserved his decision on what penalties to impose on Australian news outlets that pleaded guilty to breaching suppression orders over George Pell’s child sex abuse conviction, of which he was later cleared.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice John Dixon on Wednesday adjourned a penalty hearing to a date to be fixed, after hearing submissions from prosecutors and news outlets on what action he should take.

Fourteen outlets, including entities owned by News Corp Australia and Nine, pleaded guilty earlier this month to contempt by breaching the order.

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Delayed Legion of Christ extortion trial goes ahead in Italy

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

February 17, 2021

By Nicole Winfield

A judge in Milan has ruled that trial can go ahead in a case in which priests and lawyers of the Legion of Christ Catholic religious order are accused of offering to pay the family of a sexual abuse victim to lie to prosecutors.

During a preliminary hearing Tuesday, which was delayed by nearly a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Judge Patrizia Nobile confirmed the charges of attempted extortion and obstruction of justice and set a May 13 trial date for the five suspects, said Daniela Cultrera, the lawyer for the victim’s family.

The investigation is an offshoot of a case in which Italy’s highest court in July upheld the conviction and 6 1/2-year prison sentence for a defrocked Legion priest, Vladimir Resendiz, for sexually abusing boys at the Legion’s youth seminary in northern Italy.

That case was…

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Aid to the Church in Need says late founder may have sexually assaulted woman in 1973

WASHINGTON D.C.
Christian Post

February 16, 2021

By Michael Gryboski

The Catholic human rights group Aid to the Church in Need recently confirmed an earlier report that the organization’s deceased founder may have sexually assaulted a woman who worked for the charity in 1973.

Born in the Netherlands in 1913, Father Werenfried van Straaten founded Aid to the Church in Need in 1947 and led the group until his passing in 2003.

ACN’s International Executive President Thomas Heine-Geldern released a statement last week in response to a report by “Christ & Welt,” a supplement of the German newspaper Die Zeit.

The supplement had published a 2010 letter by a woman claiming that she had been sexually assaulted in 1973 by van Straaten when she was 23 years old.

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Madrid archdiocese provided support for 85 abuse victims in 2020

MADRID (SPAIN)
Catholic News Agency

February 16, 2021

The Archdiocese of Madrid provided support services for 85 victims of abuse in 2020, 75 of them direct victims and 10 who were family members.

The 85 victims received free psychological care and listening sessions offered through the Repara Project for the prevention of abuse and care for victims, launched in January 2020.
Altogether, the Repara Project provided free 400 psychological care and listening sessions in its first year of operation.

“As it’s a project open to anyone who has been a victim of abuse, regardless of who the aggressor was and whether or not (those involved) belong to the Catholic Church, of the 75 likely cases of abuse that have come to the Repara Project, 35 involved domestic abuse,” the archdiocese stated.

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Church faces reckoning as new abuse cases emerge

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

February 17, 2021

By Liz Dodd

The number of people accused of abuse in the Church in England and Wales jumped by 29 per cent between 2018 and 2019, the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission has disclosed, with the majority of alleged abusers – almost three quarters – being priests.

According to the NCSC Annual Report, which was released on 10 February, the jump in the number of individuals against whom allegations or concerns were raised is substantially higher than in previous years, rising from 125 people in 2018 to 162 people in 2019. By comparison, 118 people had allegations made against them in 2017, and 91 people in 2015.

Of those 162 people, 46 per cent were secular or diocesan priests and 28 per cent were religious priests. In both categories, most of the abuse alleged was sexual. Some cases were historic, but a significant…

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Rhineland Protestants add to pressure on Cardinal Woelki

GERMANY
The Tablet

February 16, 2021

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

As the crisis in the archdiocese of Cologne continues, with pressure unabated on Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki to act decisively in the face of abuse allegations, Protestants are joining Catholics in walking away from the Church.

The number of Catholics leaving, centring on Cologne, has reached a record 1,000 a month. But the Cologne archdiocese’s “sluggish” efforts to clear up the abuse scandal were also driving Protestants out of the Church, President Manfred Rekowski of the Protestant Church in the Rhineland told the Protestant news service epdon 13 February.

“There is such a thing as a joint ecumenical liability. It is stressful and I hope things will be cleared up soon”, Renkowski said. “Anything that gives the impression of being obscure or that the Church has only little interest in clearing up abuse is fatal.”

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Churches, Barnardo’s and Executive ministers discuss apology, memorial and redress to historic institutional abuse survivors

NORTHERN IRELAND
Press Association

February 17, 2021

By Rebecca Black

https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2021/02/16/news/churches-barnardo-s-and-executive-ministers-discuss-apology-memorial-and-redress-to-historic-institutional-abuse-survivors-2222775/

Discussions have been held over an apology to survivors of historic institutional abuse.

Compensation was paid last year following a public inquiry which examined allegations of child abuse at 22 residential institutions run by religious, charitable and state organisations across Northern Ireland over a 73-year period.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry also recommended memorialisation and an official apology.

First Minister Arlene Foster and Junior Minister Declan Kearney met the Catholic Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin, the Church of Ireland Archbishop John McDowell as well as representatives of the religious orders and Barnardo’s to discuss the remaining recommendations.

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Kerala HC dismisses rape convict Catholic priest’s outrageous plea to marry survivor

KERALA (INDIA)
The News Minute

February 17, 2021

Robin, the Catholic priest convicted of rape, had last year moved the High Court for bail so that he can marry the survivor and ‘take care of the child born to her.’

The Kerala High Court has dismissed the outrageous plea filed by rape convict Catholic priest Robin Vadakkumchery, who asked to be let out on bail so that he can “marry the survivor.” The court has dismissed the priest’s plea filed by the rape convict stating that there is no merit in the plea.

Dismissing the plea, Justice Sunil Thomas stated that granting the plea would be like giving judicial approval for the marriage, reports Mahir Haneef of the Times of India.

It was in last July that Catholic priest Robin, who has been convicted by a POCSO court for 20 years in prison for raping and impregnating a minor…

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February 16, 2021

Ex-Roman Catholic priest who lives in York County is sentenced to probation for sex abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

February 16, 2021

By Dylan Segelbaum

https://www.ydr.com/story/news/crime/2021/02/16/ex-roman-catholic-priest-sentenced-to-probation-for-sexually-abusing-two-altar-boys-dauphin-county/6736983

John Allen, 77, of West Manchester Township, was one of 301 “predator priests” named in a landmark grand jury report in Pennsylvania.

A former Roman Catholic priest named in a landmark investigating grand jury report about widespread sexual abuse and institutional cover-up was sentenced on Tuesday to five years’ probation for assaulting two altar boys in Dauphin County.

John Allen, 77, of West Manchester Township, had pleaded guilty to charges of indecent assault and corruption of minors for perpetrating the abuse at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Church in Penbrook between 1997 and 2002. He admitted to touching the children over their clothes.

Common Pleas Judge Deborah E. Curcillo imposed the punishment, which was outlined in a plea agreement and fell within the sentencing guidelines. Allen will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his…

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[Media Statement] Another Abuser Sentenced Thanks to Secular Investigations

ST. LOUIS (MO)
SNAP

February 16, 2021

A former Pennsylvania Catholic priest who was named as an abuser in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury report has been sentenced to five years probation for his crimes. While we would have hoped for a stronger sentence to better protect children, we are happy that yet another perpetrator has been identified and convicted thanks to the work of secular law enforcement professionals.

A.G. Josh Shapiro uncovered the details about ex-priest John Allen’s crimes and published them in his bombshell grand jury investigation into clergy abuse and cover-up in six Pennsylvania dioceses. Most disturbingly, thanks to A.G. Shapiro and his team, we know that Catholic officials in Harrisburg had been aware of Allen’s abusive tendencies since at least the 1970s. Without the involvement of the attorney general’s office, Allen would have been able to go the rest of his life without facing…

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Popular Catholic priest to be paroled after serving 2 years in prison for sexual assault

MICHIGAN
MLive.com

February 13, 2021

By Cole Waterman

Less than two years after being sent to prison for sexually assaulting a teen, a prominent Roman Catholic priest is about to be paroled.

A Michigan Department of Corrections parole board on Dec. 29 decided to parole Robert J. “Father Bob” DeLand Jr., said MDOC spokesman Chris Gautz. DeLand, now 73, is currently incarcerated at the Marquette Branch Prison in the Upper Peninsula.

DeLand will be released around April 23, Gautz said. Conditions and restrictions DeLand will have while on parole are still being determined. DeLand’s parole term is expected to last two years, Gautz said.

DeLand must register as a sex offender until Oct. 13, 2045, at which time he will be 98.

Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson in April 2019 sentenced DeLand to two to 15 years in prison.

Police began investigating DeLand in November 2017 after receiving…

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Suspended priest Robert DeLand granted parole

SAGINAW (MI)
WJRT-TV (ABC12)

February 12, 2021

By Terry Camp

DeLand could be released from prison in late April

A suspended Saginaw-area priest who has spent nearly two years in prison after pleading no-contest to sex crimes has been granted parole on his first attempt.

Robert DeLand was sent to prison for the alleged sexual assault of a teen in 2019. But as early as April, he’ll most likely be free.

He was known as Father Bob, a popular Catholic priest in the Saginaw Diocese. That changed when DeLand was arrested in February 2018 and charged with several counts of criminal sexual misconduct.

There were three victims in three separate cases — two 17-year-old males and a 21-year-old man.

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Diocese issues statement ahead of former priest’s parole

SAGINAW (MICHIGAN)
WNEM-TV

February 15, 2021

By James Felton and Brianna Owczarzak

A former priest imprisoned for sex crimes against children is now preparing for parole.

Robert DeLand was sentenced to prison on several charges in 2019 after three young men accused the former priest of sexual assault. DeLand pleaded no contest to second-degree criminal sexual conduct causing personal injury. He also entered a no contest plea to gross indecency between two males, and delivery of an imitation controlled substance.

He was sentenced to two to 15 years in prison.

On Feb. 15, the Diocese of Saginaw issued the following statement:

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Former Saginaw Priest May See Early Release From Prison

MICHIGAN
WSGW-TV

February 15, 2021

By Ric Antonio

An imprisoned former priest from Saginaw may be released early.

Robert DeLand was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2019 on several charges after three men accused him of sexual assault.

DeLand pleaded no contest to second-degree criminal sexual conduct causing personal injury, gross indecency between two males, and delivery of an imitation controlled substance.

After serving what will be 24 months, he may be released as soon as April.

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[Media Statement] Fr. Robert DeLand to be Released Early, SNAP Responds

ST. LOUIS (MO)
SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

February 15, 2021

A Catholic priest who was sentenced to prison in Michigan after multiple men came forward to accuse him of sexual assault and grooming is being released early from prison. Given this man’s apparent pattern of criminal sexual conduct, we hope that Church officials will keep tabs on him and inform the communities where he will live and work about the danger he represents.

Fr. Robert DeLand was first accused of abuse decades ago. Diocesan officials in Saginaw were aware of claims against him as early as 1992 and even “investigated” allegations against him in 2005. The priest was finally taken off the streets in 2018 thanks to the work of police and prosecutors in Michigan.

Based on media coverage of his history, it appears to us that Fr. DeLand is a serial abuser. He has…

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After state blunder, Pa. abuse victims ask: ‘Who the hell are we supposed to trust?’

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WHYY

February 16, 2021

By Laura Benshoff

The news that Pennsylvania had screwed up the process for putting a constitutional amendment before voters that would allow victims of decades-old sexual abuse to sue hit Jay Sefton hard.

He had let himself hope that things were finally about to change.

“[It] was a real dark wave that came over,” said Sefton, now a therapist in Massachusetts, who says he was abused by a priest in Havertown in 1985.

When the Pennsylvania Department of State failed to advertise the proposed constitutional amendment that had been passed by the legislature, it halted a march toward justice for thousands of victims abused in the commonwealth. The constitutional amendment process takes two years, and unless an emergency provision passes by mid-April, it would be 2023 before victims would be given a window to sue over decades-old sexual abuse claims.

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Archives: Diocese wanted Rev. Holley out. Personal letters detailing priest’s situation obtained by T&G

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

February 15, 2021

This story was originally published on Sept. 20, 2004.

https://www.telegram.com/story/news/history/2021/02/15/diocese-wanted-rev-holley-out-personal-letters-detailing-priests-situation-obtained-t-g/6753617002/

Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan in 1971 decided that one reason the Rev. David A. Holley should go into the care of Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico or some other location operated by the order was because they would be able to find a placement for him after he completed treatment, the bishop said in a letter written at the time.

Rev. Holley, denied parole last week, is now serving a 55- to 275-year prison sentence in New Mexico for sexually abusing and raping eight boys there. Although Rev. Holley was taken in as a priest of the Worcester Diocese in 1962 and incardinated in 1967, which means he became a priest of the diocese, he proved to be problematic because of his history of sexually molesting boys.

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[Opinion] Bishops blame everyone but themselves

UNITED STATES
Church Militant (blog)

February 15, 2021

By Rodney Pelletier

Over the last 50 years, the majority of U.S. bishops have rendered impotent the authority of the Church in worldly matters, making flailing and often embarrassing attempts to play nice with the world.

The bishops claim they are being “transparent” regarding sex abuse, but time and time again, they are outed by secular sources. After the massive 2002 Boston Globe exposure of clerical sex abuse, the bishops addressed it as a thing of the past.

One of America’s top prelates, former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, met with other American bishops in Dallas, to establish the norms by which the U.S. Church would investigate sex abuse — this became known as the “Dallas Charter.”

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Responding to the Ravi Zacharias scandal: Three biblical steps every Christian must take now

UNITED STATES
Denison Forum (blog)

February 15, 2021

By Dr. Jim Denison

Responding to the Ravi Zacharias scandal: Three biblical steps every Christian must take now

Witnessing the fall of someone we greatly admire elicits deep, painful emotions. We feel betrayed by them and embarrassed that we trusted them. The more public our faith in them, the more public our shame and the deeper our anger. We wonder if there is anyone we can truly trust. If they were part of a larger movement, that movement’s reputation is disgraced along with them.

These emotions describe the way many of us have felt since allegations of sexual abuse first began surfacing against Ravi Zacharias, one of the best-known and most admired evangelicals of our generation. I wrote at his death of my gratitude for his life and legacy. Then horrendously sinful personal stories began to surface.

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Cologne Catholic sex abuse probe seen as cover-up

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

February 16, 2021

Germany’s secular panel on sexualized violence against children says Cologne’s Catholic archdiocese has “severely damaged” moves to own up to its abusive past.

Cologne’s archbishopric “severely damaged” the process of owning up to decades of sexualized violence against children in its ranks as demanded by victims and lay Catholics, a top secular German panel found on Monday.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse — a commission mandated by parliament since 2016 to probe cases across German society — decried the diocese’s own internal review, saying this must be done instead by outsiders.

Its statement coincided Monday with Munich lawyers refuting a claim by Cologne Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki that their report, delivered to him last year but kept secret, only examined 15 selected cases out of “all 236 available cases.”

All cases were examined, insisted the Munich law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl…

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[News Release] Archdiocese of Montreal enters new stage in its pursuit of Truth, Transparency and Transformation

MONTREAL
Archdiocese of Montreal

February 15, 2021

https://www.diocesemontreal.org/en/news-and-info/latest-news/archdiocese-montreal-enters-new-stage-its-pursuit-truth-transparency-and

Review of Clergy and Pastoral files underway and Capriolo Report Implementation Committee launched

The Archdiocese of Montreal announces two major developments in its ongoing pursuit of truth, transparency and transformation, based on the work of both the Honourable André Denis and the committee implementing the recommendations of the Capriolo Report.

“We are continuing to seek the truth so that every person feels safe and secure within the Catholic Church, in all circumstances. We are very grateful to the Honourable André Denis and to the members of the committee implementing the recommendations of the Capriolo Report, who, through their diligent work, will help us to do our part to protect the faithful and the community,” said Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal.

The Archbishop has appointed the Honourable André Denis, a retired judge of the Superior Court of Quebec, to undertake two mandates.

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Montreal archdiocese hires retired judge to review church files, identify abuse cases

MONTREAL
The Canadian Press

February 16, 2021

Montreal’s archdiocese has mandated a retired Quebec Superior Court justice to review its files and identify any information tied to sexual abuse against minors or vulnerable people.

The archdiocese said Monday in a statement that André Denis began his work in December 2020 and will complete his task by this summer.

Archbishop Christian Lépine says anyone suspected of abuses will be suspended for the time it takes to complete an investigation.

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In Lenten message, Chilean bishops apologize for abuse

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

February 15, 2021

By Inés San Martín

Still struggling to overcome one of the world’s most anguished clerical abuse crises, Chile’s bishops in their Lenten message once again apologized to those abused and mistreated by members of the clergy.

Lent, the bishops write in a message released Monday, is a time of conversion, during which the Church issues an invitation to renew faith and hope, welcoming God’s love and mercy.

“It is also a time of purification and penance for the pain we have caused for our faults and sins,” they wrote. “The pastors of the Church ask forgiveness once again from God and our brothers and sisters who have been abused, mistreated, excluded or ignored by some of their ministers. A sincere conversion only springs from a heart that is repentant and willing to heal the damage caused, accompany the wounded on their way, and…

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DPP seeks convictions in Pell media contempt case

AUSTRALIA
News.com.au

February 16, 2021

By Melissa Iaria

Prosecutors say heavy fines and convictions should be given to media outlets that breached court orders in Cardinal George Pell’s sex abuse case.

Media companies that breached court suppression orders in Cardinal George Pell’s child sex abuse case should all receive heavy fines and convictions, prosecutors say.

Roslyn Kaye, acting for Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions, told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that even though the outlets obtained legal advice, they still took a risk by publishing and broadcasting reports about Cardinal Pell’s case in the days after his guilty conviction.

The high-ranking Catholic, a former adviser to Pope Francis, was eventually acquitted on appeal.

A non-publication order prevented any reporting on Cardinal Pell’s 2018 trial because it could have affected the jury in his forthcoming second trial, which was later dropped.

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Police probe mysterious death of Indian nun

INDIA
UCA News

February 15, 2021

India has witnessed more than 20 mysterious deaths of Catholic nuns in the past three decades

Police are investigating the death of a Catholic nun whose body was found in an abandoned quarry filled with water in southern India’s Kerala state.

The body of Sister Jaseena Thomas, a member of the Missionary Congregation of the Daughters of St Thomas, was found floating in the quarry in the Vazhakkala area of Ernakulum district on Feb. 14.

The body was taken for a post-mortem examination and will be buried on Feb. 15. The autopsy report has not been released to the media.

The 45-year-old nun was under medication for a mental illness that she developed 10 years ago, according to her congregation.

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Historical institutional abuse victims to receive official apology

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

February 16, 2021

Victims of historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland are to receive an official apology.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of Executive and church leaders.

First Minister Arlene Foster and Junior Minister Declan Kearney met with the Catholic Church’s Archbishop Eamon Martin, Church of Ireland Archbishop John McDowell, and representatives from Barnardo’s and the Association of Leaders of Missionaries and Religious of Ireland (AMRI) to discuss the remaining recommendations from the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry.

The Inquiry, chaired by the late judge Sir Anthony Hart, called for compensation, a memorial to the victims and a formal apology.

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Discussions held over an apology to survivors of historic institutional abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
ITV

February 16, 2021

Discussions have been held over an apology to survivors of historic institutional abuse.

Compensation was paid last year following a public inquiry which examined allegations of child abuse at 22 residential institutions run by religious, charitable and state organisations across Northern Ireland over a 73-year period.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry also recommended memorialisation and an official apology.

First Minister Arlene Foster and Junior Minister Declan Kearney met with the Catholic Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin, the Church of Ireland Archbishop John McDowell as well as representatives of the religious orders and Barnardo’s to discuss the remaining recommendations.

The discussions included progress on redress payments and provision of services for victims and survivors and the centrality of the views of victims to an official apology.

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February 15, 2021

Salem Film Fest to premiere Richard Sipe documentary

SALEM (MA)
Wicked Local

February 15, 2021

As part of its winter series preceding its festival dates, Salem Film Fest will present the world premiere of the documentary “Sipe: Sex, Lies, and the Priesthood.”

Streaming of the film will be available starting at 4 p.m. Feb. 20 on Salem Film Fest’s streaming channel. The one-hour film is produced by Zingerplatz Pictures and BishopAccountability.org.

A free live panel with the wife, friends, and scholars of the subject, Richard Sipe, will take place at 8 p.m. Feb. 20, with a live chat function. The film and discussions will then be available via Salem Film Fest’s video-on-demand channel through March 4.

The documentary, directed by Joe Cultrera, explores the life and work of the late A.W. Richard Sipe, the scholar of sex, celibacy and clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic church. Sipe’s key role in the Boston abuse crisis was dramatized in…

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Questions & Answers regarding the article “Gut und Böse” in the ZEIT supplement “Christ & Welt”

KÖNIGSTEIN (GERMANY)
ACN International

February 10, 2021

[See also: Statement of the International Aid Agency Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) on the article “Gut und Böse” in the ZEIT supplement “Christ&Welt”]

1. How did the newspaper come into possession of the letter?

We do not know. The letter is from 2010. It was addressed to the Vatican and several German dioceses.

2. Was the letter known to ACN?

The letter was in the archives of the organisation.

3. In which context was the letter written?

From 2009 to 20011 Auxiliary Bishop Mandred Grothe carried out a visitation of “Kirche in Not“. Fr. Werenfried, who had already died in 2003, was not the object of the visitation. Rather it solely focussed on the organisational modernisation of the organisation with a modernization of the charity. This was carried out on behalf of the Congregation for the Clergy that…

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[Commentary] A Whistleblower “Minister” Loses in the Illinois Supreme Court

UNITED STATES
Verdict.Justia.com

February 15, 2021

By Leslie C. Griffin

Whistleblowers do good things. They report illegal conduct to the police in order to protect others from harm. The Illinois Whistleblower Act protects them from retaliation when they report their employer’s or another person’s misconduct to the police.

Unless the court and the employer call the whistleblower a minister. If the court rules a person is a minister, she completely loses her day in court, as Mary Rehfield did recently in Mary Rehfield v. Diocese of Joliet.

I think Rehfield’s case should go to court, where either she or Joliet may win, based on the facts. That is a better rule than dismissing all the ministers’ cases because someone wants to call them a minister in court.

Lay Principal Mary Rehfield

Mary Rehfield had more than 43 years in education, including 18 years as a “lay principal” in a…

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Three sisters sue Tenino, Prosser churches, saying they failed to protect them from abuse

OLYMPIA (WASHINGTON)
The Olympian

February 14, 2021

By Martin Bilbao

Three sisters are suing two independent Baptist churches in Washington, alleging they failed to protect them from a pastor they say sexually abused them.

The two churches are Blessed Hope Baptist Church in Tenino and Calvary Baptist Church in Prosser. The lawsuit was filed in Thurston County Superior Court on Feb. 4 on behalf of Jessica Evans Dudley, Ashleigh Evans Burchard and Shannon Evans, all of Idaho.

The suit alleges David Bosley, who served as pastor at both churches, manipulated the women into his custody, groomed them and sexually abused them while they were children. The abuse allegedly started while Bosley worked at First Bible Baptist Church in Lacey, which was renamed and relocated to Tenino.

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[Opinion] Salonen: Port’s misfire, euthanasia push merit review

FARGO (NORTH DAKOTA)
Jamestown Sun

February 15, 2021

By Roxane Salonen

Salonen shares her concerns about media coverage of bills concerning religion in the North Dakota Legislature.

Several issues have emerged in this year’s North Dakota legislative session that have many faithful concerned, and others plain confused.

Though I don’t often revisit a topic so soon, Rob Port’s response to my column regarding the withdrawal of SB2180 — which would have virtually eliminated the sacrament of confession — compels another look. The bill’s ramifications continue, despite its withdrawal, including with the erroneous headline: “Catholics win the ‘liberty’ to keep silent about child abuse.”

I realize the world is in a tough state, but I hope there’s still a semblance of fairness left in humanity; that deep down, most people don’t believe the average Catholic delights in the thought of harboring child abusers.

I certainly don’t. As a mother, dark…

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North Dakota House rejects expanding statute of limitations for child sex abuse

BISMARCK (NORTH DAKOTA)
InForum

February 15, 2021

By C.S. Hagen

“These bills were all about giving victims of child abuse hope. Hope after a life of hell,” said the bills’ main sponsor, Rep. Austen Schauer, R-West Fargo, before Friday’s House vote.

North Dakota lawmakers rejected three bills that would expand the statute of limitations for civil and criminal actions in childhood sexual abuse cases.

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, the House Judiciary Committee gave all the bills “do not pass” recommendations, and on Friday, Feb. 12, the bills failed to pass on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Opponents said they worried the legislation would open private organizations to a potentially overwhelming flood of decades-old abuse claims, but advocates say survivors have limited options for pursuing justice.

“These bills were all about giving victims of child abuse hope. Hope after a life of hell,” said the bills’ main sponsor,…

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Aid to the Church in Need admits its founder was accused of assault

EUROPE
The Catholic Universe

February 15, 2021

The international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need said it found “very plausible” the claim of a former employee that the late Norbertine Fr Werenfried van Straaten, founder of the charity, had sexually assaulted her in the 1970s.

The charity, which supports Christians suffering under persecution or extreme poverty, confirmed in a statement on 10th February that the victim came forward with the allegation in 2010 and that preparations for a sainthood cause for Fr van Straaten stopped at the time.

“The leadership of the charity took the accusation very seriously. It immediately sought out the person concerned and, in a personal meeting, listened to her. Her portrayal of the incident seemed very plausible,” Aid to the Church in Need said in the statement published after Christ und Welt, a supplement of the newspaper Die Zeit, reported the charity had…

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Acting principal placed on special leave after his sex pest past resurfaces

JOHANNESBURG (SOUTH AFRICA)
IOL.com (Independent Online)

February 15, 2021

By Chulumanco Mahamba

Accused “sex pest” acting principal of John Martin Catholic School in Kagiso has been placed on precautionary special leave amid the revelation that the educator had a valid teaching certificate when he was appointed.

There was an outcry last week over the appointment of Motsamai Molete, a former educator from Phahama Secondary School in Mohlakeng, who was dismissed by the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) for misconduct, after he had sexually assaulted a learner and for improper and disgraceful conduct of a sexual nature towards learners in 2014.

The Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) also upheld his dismissal in 2015. Following a social media post that went viral, the Catholic Institute of Education resolved to put the educator on precautionary special leave while resolving the matter, the GDE confirmed.

“We are monitoring this matter with interest,” GDE…

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Ampleforth College head says a fence has been erected between the school and the abbey and that the college has ‘no assets’

YORKSHIRE (ENGLAND)
The Yorkshire Post

February 13, 2021

By Grace Newton

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/education/ampleforth-college-head-says-fence-has-been-erected-between-school-and-abbey-and-college-has-no-assets-3134014

The headteacher of Ampleforth College has spoken about measures that have been taken to improve safeguarding at the North Yorkshire public school after it was banned from taking on new pupils.

Robin Dyer gave an interview to The Times today in which he outlined how the Roman Catholic school had acted following allegations of historic sexual abuse that span decades and the recent conviction of a former monk who taught there for indecency.

He revealed that a fence has been erected between the school site and Ampleforth Abbey, and that the majority of the monks of the Benedictine order are no longer allowed to work with pupils, with only two teachers and two chaplains from the abbey remaining in employment.

However, he also revealed that separation of the abbey and school as legal entities has proved complicated…

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Sex abuse cases hit church-run boys school

KENYA
Standard Media

February 15, 2021

By Stephen Nzioka

Shocking revelations of young boys becoming victims of sexual abuse while they are at home has rocked a church-sponsored primary school in Makueni County.

Pupils opened up about their ordeals in their neighbourhoods after teachers at the school noticed signs of sexual exploitation in one boy.

On pursuing the issue, 27 boys at the school, which has 800 pupils, said they had been sodomised by people known to them. However, only eight have recorded statements, with police and Ministry of Education officials in Kibwezi asking other victims to report the assault.

The incidents are reported to have occurred at Riverside village, a shanty where cases of drug abuse are common. The abuse has been running rampant for close to three years, according to the victims, who have previously been too scared and ashamed to speak out.

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[Opinion] The long shadow of clerical abuse

MALTA
Times of Malta

February 15, 2021

The Church has always been a key focal point in Maltese life and culture. Precisely because of its importance and dominance, and not just in Malta, the issue of clerical sex abuse has only begun to fully surface in recent decades. Evidence from countries which have had extensive experience of clerical abuse suggests that it is far more widespread than formal reporting would suggest.

Experience to date indicates that victims are extremely slow to come forward while Church and state are notoriously slow to acknowledge the issue and society at large is significantly reluctant to even discuss it. Most of us find the horrors of sexual abuse and its consequences just too painful to contemplate and, as a result, much clerical sex misconduct and abuse is kept silent.

Church power and society’s loyalty and protectiveness towards the Church has inhibited effective reporting,…

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‘Malta needs a minister for children’

MALTA
Times of Malta

February 14, 2021

Safeguarding Commission head calls for revamp of child protection mechanisms

The head of the Church Safeguarding Commission, which handles abuse allegations, has proposed that all organisations working with children or vulnerable adults should by law have similar structures in proportion to their size.

The commission was set up in 2015 by the Archdiocese of Malta to prevent all types of abuse, support victims and create a safe environment.

In an opinion piece for Times of Malta published on Sunday, its head, Andrew Azzopardi, says child abuse is hugely underreported. He cites a figure from the UK saying that only four per cent of child abuse cases are reported to the police.

In Malta, a register lists people who, following a conviction, are not allowed to work with children. But this system does not provide the necessary safeguards for children, parents and organisations,…

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Law firm details sexual misconduct by global ministry leader

NEW YORK (NY)
Associated Press

February 12, 2021

By David Crary

Ravi Zacharias, who died in May after a high-profile career leading a global Christian ministry, engaged in sexual misconduct with massage therapists and carried on many amorous extramarital relationships via text message and email, according to a scathing, in-depth report from a law firm hired by the ministry.

Five of the therapists said Zacharias touched them inappropriately, and one said she was raped, according to the report. It said investigators searching Zacharias’ mobile devices found more than 200 photographs of younger women, including nude images of a salon employee in Malaysia.

In blunt terms, the report by Atlanta-based Miller & Martin said Zacharias had lied in claiming in 2017 that “I have never engaged in any inappropriate behavior of any kind.”

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Evangelist Ravi Zacharias taught his followers to ask tough questions — just not about his sexual conduct

WASHINGTON D.C.
Washington Post

February 9, 2021

By Michelle Boorstein

As a boy growing up in Canada, Daniel Gilman loved church and what he saw as compassion from the God of the Bible for those who suffer. As a college philosophy student, a question began to chip away: Is God just an inspiring fairy tale character, or does he exist? It was a celebrity evangelist named Ravi Zacharias who filled Gilman with confidence that it was possible to be an intellectual believer in a God who is real.

“He was hugely helpful in my becoming convinced I could be intellectually honest and really believe,” said Gilman, now 32, who became a minister with Zacharias’s global, $36-million-a-year ministry, built around a truth-seeking, evidence-exploring, Q-and-A-style of evangelism called apologetics. “He said: ‘If evil is a category, there must be good. If there is good and evil, there must be a moral…

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Evangelist Ravi Zacharias engaged in sexual misconduct, report says

WASHINGTON D.C.
Washington Post

February 11, 2021

By Michelle Boorstein

Ravi Zacharias, a towering Indian American evangelist who helped legions worldwide believe in Christianity through a ministry focused on open questioning and truth-seeking, led a double life, pressuring multiple massage therapists for sexual attention — including women who accused him of sexual aggression and one who accused him of rape, according to an independent report released Thursday.

The report, commissioned by the global Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, is a shameful coda to the career of the late minister, whose books and radio programs have been a staple of evangelical Christian media for decades. Zacharias died in May of cancer at age 74, after aggressively denying sexual misconduct allegations made in 2017 by Lori Anne Thompson, a former follower, and her husband and portraying the couple as extortionists. The report referred to the Thompsons’ case but said investigators did not…

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February 14, 2021

Bombshell lawsuit alleges Catholic seminary forced S.I. man out because he’s heterosexual

STATEN ISLAND (NY)
Staten Island Advance

February 14, 2021

By Frank Donnelly

Photo caption: Anthony Gorgia, seen in this photo with Pope Francis, alleges he was discriminated against because he knew of homosexual activity by superiors at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

From an early age, Anthony Gorgia dreamed of becoming a priest.

And the 2011 valedictorian of his St. Joseph by-the-Sea class seemed well on his way to achieving that goal just a few years ago.

In 2017, Cardinal Timothy Dolan nominated Gorgia, then a seminarian, to attend the prestigious Pontifical North American College (NAC) in Rome to continue his preparation for the priesthood and his ordination.

But just over a year later it all came crashing down on the 27-year-old Huguenot resident, alleges a blockbuster $125 million lawsuit against Dolan, the Archdiocese of New York, NAC and others.

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Founders with feet of clay another challenge for Pope’s reform campaign

DENVER (CO)
Crux

February 14, 2021

By John L. Allen Jr.

Rome – This week the name of the late Father Werenfried van Straaten, a Dutch priest who founded “Aid to the Church in Need” in 1952 to aid persecuted Christians, was added to the distressingly long list of founders of new entities in the Catholic Church who’ve turned out to have feet of clay.

The German newspaper Die Zeit published an article on Wednesday indicating that a Vatican-sponsored review of Aid to the Church in Need in 2009 concluded that serious concerns surrounded van Straaten in several areas, including a charge of attempted rape in 1973 against a 20-year-old employee of the organization.

Other concerns included “excesses in lifestyle,” meaning abuse of alcohol and an overly indulgent zeal for food, as well as “considerable deficits in personnel management.”

After the piece appeared in Die Zeit, Aid to the…

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Vigano warns of ‘doctrinal abuse’ undermining Catholic Church teachings, Robert Moynihan says

WASHINGTON (DC)
Christian Post

February 13, 2021

By Ryan Foley

The author of a new book about Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a whistleblower on the sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, contends that in addition to the sex abuse scandal, a “doctrinal abuse” scandal also plagues the 2,000-year-old institution.

Robert Moynihan, the editor of Inside the Vaticanmagazine, wrote a book last year titled, Finding Vigano: In Search of the Man Whose Testimony Shook the Church and the World. The book is based on conversations Moynihan had with Vigano, the Vatican’s former ambassador to the United States, who has gone into hiding after publishing a letter accusing Pope Francis of covering for former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick despite the fact that he knew of the credible allegations of sexual abuse against him.

In an interview with The Christian Post, Moynihan spoke about the state of the Catholic Church…

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Judge: Sex abuse lawsuits can proceed against Church

SANTA FE (NM)
Santa Fe New Mexican

February 6, 2021

By Dillon Mullan

A federal judge has rejected an attempt by the bankrupt Archdiocese of Santa Fe to block three lawsuits accusing it of transferring millions of dollars in property to individual parishes to shield the assets from settlements in sexual abuse cases.

Last week’s ruling allows lawsuits for hundreds of victims to proceed, while the archdiocese says it will file another appeal.

“The gist of the proposed actions was that [the archdiocese] allegedly transferred to its 93 parishes most of [its] property, without consideration, and with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud its creditors (almost entirely sex abuse claimants),” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma wrote in his ruling.

The real estate assets the Church is accused of attempting to shield could be worth more than $150 million, according to the ruling. The assets include churches, schools…

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Ravi Zacharias, Influential Evangelist, Is Accused of Sexual Abuse in Scathing Report

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

February 11, 2021

By Ruth Graham

[See also the report.]

An investigation found credible evidence of sexual misconduct spanning many years. Several massage therapists made accusations against Mr. Zacharias, who died last spring.

The influential evangelist Ravi Zacharias, who died last spring, engaged in “sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse, and rape,” according to a report released on Thursday by the global evangelical organization he founded.

After initially denying accounts of his misconduct, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries announced that an investigation had found credible evidence of sexual misconduct spanning many years and multiple continents.

The announcement was the result of an investigation by a Southeastern law firm, Miller & Martin, which RZIM hired in October to investigate accounts of sexual misconduct by Mr. Zacharias.

“We believe not only the women who made their allegations public but also additional women who had…

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Not much time to party as CNS turns 100, but Pope Francis reinforces need for ‘a clear and unbiased’ news

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

February 9, 2021

By Greg Erlandson

http://thedialog.org/international-news/not-much-time-to-party-as-cns-turns-100-but-pope-francis-reinforces-need-for-a-clear-and-unbiased-news-greg-erlandson/

It’s not often you get the pope to celebrate your birthday, even if it’s your 100th.

Catholic News Service turned 100 in the midst of the pandemic, so it took us a little while to get our party hats on. Recently, Pope Francis met with our Rome bureau to acknowledge the anniversary while talking about the importance of our work and our service to the church.

“In an age when news can be easily manipulated and misinformation spread, you seek to make the truth known in a way that is, in the words of your motto, ‘fair, faithful and informed,’” he told our staff.

It was a rare encounter between a U.S. Catholic news organization and our prime newsmaker. The pope’s kind words paid tribute not just to the current employees of Catholic News Service, but to…

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Owner of Missouri reform schools faces sex abuse allegations in Washington lawsuit

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

February 10, 2021

By Laura Bauer and Judy L. Thomas

A man who runs three Christian reform schools in Missouri is the subject of a lawsuit in Washington that accuses two churches where he was the pastor of failing to protect sisters who say he molested them.

The civil suit, filed in the Superior Court of the State of Washington, alleges that the churches knew their pastor, David Bosley, was grooming and then sexually abusing the three sisters for several years beginning as early as 1996 but did nothing to stop it or protect future victims.

“Each defendant had a duty to warn or protect foreseeable victims including plaintiffs,” the lawsuit says. “Each defendant breached both the statutorily prescribed duty and the common law duty of reasonable care by failing to report its knowledge of Bosley’s sexual abuse of children to authorities.”

Bosley,…

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New York Catholic Diocese Bankruptcies Put Abuse Claims in Limbo

ARLINGTON (VA)
Bloomberg Law

February 12, 2021

By Alex Wolf

– Bankruptcy courts must reckon with state-law claim window

– Clergy sex abuse victims’ options vary depending on location

New York-based Roman Catholic dioceses that filed Chapter 11 to address child sex abuse lawsuits are fueling tensions by asking bankruptcy courts for a victims’ claim filing window that’s shorter than what survivors were given under a recently enacted state law.

New York’s Child Victims Act, signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in 2019, has spurred a flood of abuse lawsuits against the church and other organizations. Victims have filed more than 4,800 lawsuits against alleged abusers and institutions that harbored or concealed them, state court records show.

Four of New York’s eight local dioceses—Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and Long Island’s Rockville Centre—have filed Chapter 11, allowing them to ease the burden of litigation by consolidating victims’ lawsuits against…

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Ex-altar boy alleges church covered up his abuse by bishop

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Associated Press

February 11, 2021

A former altar boy who says he was sexually abused by a now deceased Roman Catholic bishop has filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for the suffering he alleges was made worse by a church coverup.

The now grown man from Chicopee identified in court papers as John Doe alleges in the suit filed in Hampden Superior Court that Diocese of Springfield officials, including former Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, engaged in a coverup to protect the reputation of Bishop Christopher Weldon, The Berkshire Eagle reported Tuesday.

Weldon served as bishop from 1950 until 1977. He died in 1982.

Rozanski is now Archbishop of St. Louis.

Carolee McGrath, a diocese spokesperson, said the church does not comment on pending litigation.

An independent investigation found last year that allegations of child sexual abuse against Weldon were “unequivocally credible.”

The suit alleges that people who work or…

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New speaker’s bureau highlights Catholics of color

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

February 12, 2021

By Stephen G. Adubato

Leticia Ochoa Adams’ project helps conference organizers diversify voices

After learning about her own family’s intergenerational wounds from racism, Leticia Ochoa Adams began to see the Catholic Church’s complicity in racism and set out to change the church’s narrative when it comes to issues of race and social justice.

Last October, the writer and mother founded the new website, Catholic Speakers of Color, which aims to help conference organizers find a more diverse array of Catholic speakers. The online platform features 53 speakers, including Adams, who represent a variety of ethnicities and skin tones.

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Although baptized Catholic as a baby, in junior high school she became a devout, “Bible-thumping” missionary. “I’m a natural radical. When I see truth in something, I jump all the way into it,” Adams said. She remembers collecting tracts and…

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Diocese of Winona-Rochester reaches $21.5 million settlement with abuse survivors

ST. PAUL (MN)
Catholic Spirit – Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

February 12, 2021

By Joe Ruff

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester has reached a $21.5 million settlement with a creditors’ committee representing 145 survivors of clergy sexual abuse, the diocese said in a Feb. 10 statement.
“It is my desire and hope that the compensation paid in this settlement will help the survivors heal from the pain they have felt over these many years,” said Bishop John Quinn. “We must never forget the tragic anguish caused by individuals who abused their power and positions of authority.”

The settlement includes resolution of claims against parishes, schools and other Catholic entities in the diocese. It will allow the diocese to submit a plan of reorganization under its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for approval.

The agreement provides for additional proceeds from certain insurance companies, and…

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Letter to the Editor: The Catholic Church must look deep into abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

February 11, 2021

By Barbara Francisco

I hope that Candida Moss did not mean to play down in her Feb. 7 Outlook essay, “Five Myths: Catholicism,” the damage done to individuals and families by pedophiles in the Catholic Church.

Though most people who have been sexually abused do not abuse others, those who abuse others have been disproportionately abused themselves. Convicted abusers should be interviewed as to their past trauma to discover how prevalent this problem is. Many priests and bishops do, apparently, break their vow of celibacy and involve themselves with consenting adults. Secrecy means that priests who abuse children may not be reported because of the information on vow-breaking that they hold on others in their ranks.

The damage must stop, and Ms. Moss and others must lay out what steps the Catholic Church and law enforcement must take to make that…

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Priesthood — ordained and baptized — is a call to serve God and others, presenter says

ST. PAUL (MN)
Catholic Spirit – Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

February 12, 2021

By Joe Ruff

Priest, prophet and king. All the baptized share in these qualities, which Christ fully lived and which some, such as ordained priests, are called to live in particular ways, said Sister Esther Mary Nickel of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan.

In a Feb. 9 online presentation on “The Priesthood, (Both Baptized and Ordained),” offered by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Sister Nickel said God intends everyone to cooperate and serve one another as members of the body of Christ, united in a special way by baptism, the Eucharist and other sacraments.

Priests are called to a particular and difficult task: to serve their flocks. “The ordained priesthood is at the service of the priesthood of the baptized,” Sister Nickel said.

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Clericalism, on the other hand,…

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Two abuse victims came forward in 2020

LUXEMBOURG
RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg from Agence France-Presse

February 14, 2021

The archdiocese’s department for abuse victims has been operating for a number of years and recently published its 2020 report.

In 2017, the archdiocese launched a prevention programme as well as mandatory training courses. In 2020, those classes could not be held due to the pandemic.

Last year, two people came forward to report having been sexually abused while they were still minors. Both cases date back to the 1960s. The alleged perpetrators are three pastors and one further person. There were also incidents of physical and emotional violence, which have been linked to a woman working for the church. All cases were forwarded to the prosecutor’s office.

Another case was declared closed, a pastor being barred from practicing his job. He is furthermore no longer allowed to be alone in the company of minors.

Two cases dating back…

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RIB Arrests Catholic Priest over Sexual Abuse of 17 Year Houseboy

KIGALI (RWANDA)
KT Press

February 13, 2021

By Daniel Sabiiti

Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has confirmed arrest of a catholic priest for allegedly sexually abusing a 17 year old boy in his parish community.

Father Habimfura Jean Baptiste, the parish priest of Ntarabana parish in Kabgayi diocese was arrested Thursday February 11, 2021 at Rusumo border post as he allegedly tried to escape into neighboring Tanzania.

Dr Thierry B Murangira, the RIB spokesman confirmed the developments to Kigali Today website and said the alleged crime was committed in 2020.

“He was arrested at Rusomo border as he tried to evade justice, for a crime he committed of sexually abusing a boy who worked for him as a housemaid,” Dr Murangira said.

RIB also said that the victim was able to come out and provide this information of the alleged sexual abuse, which is currently under investigation as the suspect…

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February 13, 2021

Cathedral High School graduate finds validation after Springfield diocese hears her sexual abuse claim against late Rev. Karl Huller

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican via Mass Live

February 12, 2021

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

https://www.masslive.com/news/2021/02/cathedral-high-school-graduate-finds-validation-after-springfield-diocese-hears-her-sexual-abuse-claim-against-late-rev-karl-huller.html

Sixteen years after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield reached settlements with two men who alleged they were sexually abused by the late Rev. Karl Huller as students at Cathedral High School in the 1960s, the diocese accepted as credible a third survivor’s claim she was sexually assaulted by Huller at the school during that same time period.

The diocese, which had reached financial settlements with two men in 2004, accepted as credible in December a third survivor’s claim that she was assaulted by Huller at Cathedral High School in the 1960s.

The finding that “there is reasonable cause to believe” her allegations against Huller, who once served as the diocese’s superintendent of schools, continues an ongoing narrative that many of the accused in the Springfield diocese held high positions that allowed the abuse to…

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Church dossier helped us snare paedophile priest, police officer tells LBC

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Leading Britain’s Conversation

February 12, 2021

By Lindsey Alder

A police officer has told LBC a priest convicted of child sex abuse was only caught when information held by the Catholic church was eventually brought to them by his victim.

Joseph Quigley was jailed for more than 11 years in January for abusing a teenage boy whilst working in the clergy in the West Midlands.

He was a priest in Warwick and working as a private tutor when he carried out the attacks between 2006 and 2009.

The victim, who was under 16 when it happened, reported it to the Archdiocese of Birmingham in 2012 but the full details were not passed onto police – despite an earlier allegation about him to the church in 2008.

It took him another 6 years before he had the courage to come forward to the police himself.

Lead investigator DS…

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Known Sexual Abusers from Mount Cashel Sent to Teach in Vancouver Schools, Lawsuit Reveals

VANCOUVER (BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA)
CFM Lawyers Press Release

February 8, 2021

Following years of systemic child abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage, senior members of the Christian Brothers Congregation shuffled six known abusers to teach at two Catholic schools in Vancouver where some of them continued to abuse the boys in their care, according to a class action lawsuit filed today by one of the survivors.

“The abuses at the hands of the Christian Brothers at Mount Cashel are well-known,” said Joe Fiorante, QC a partner at CFM Lawyers, the law firm bringing the lawsuit. “But the abuse continued in Vancouver because rather than dealing with the perpetrators, the Christian Brothers simply moved them across the country to teach at schools in Vancouver.”

Between 1976 and 1983, six known abusers were transferred from the Mount Cashel Orphanage in Newfoundland to Vancouver College and St. Thomas More Collegiate with the…

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Class-action suit filed over alleged orphanage abuse

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
Canadian Press via Canadian Underwriter

February 10, 2021

By Laura Dhillon Kane

Vancouver – A Catholic order shuffled known abusers from a notorious Newfoundland orphanage to two schools in the Vancouver area where more boys were victimized, a lawsuit alleges.

A proposed class-action suit filed Monday in British Columbia Supreme Court says between 1976 and 1983, an order called the Christian Brothers transferred six abusive members from Mount Cashel Orphanage to Vancouver College and St. Thomas More Collegiate.

The lawsuit says one of the six men, Brother Edward English, confessed to abusing children at Mount Cashel before he was transferred, and all six were later convicted of sexually or physically abusing orphans at the Newfoundland facility.

“Following incidents of abuse, the (Christian Brothers) did not act to protect the children in their care, but to protect their abusers from criminal charges by moving them out of…

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Legal loopholes allow abuse to go undetected at religious boarding schools, advocates say

NEW YORK (NY)
NBC News

February 12, 2021

By Tyler Kingkade, Liz Brown, and Keith Morrison

At a Missouri Christian school for troubled teens, alumni say a gap in state law prevented inspections, enabling abuse to continue for decades.

Colton Schrag remembers the night at the Agapé Boarding School when, he says, a staff member punched him in the face.

It was late on April 20, 2007, he said, and the staff at the all-boys boarding school in southwestern Missouri wanted him to confess that he and two other boys were going to try to run away. After Schrag, then 14, refused to answer their questions, he said, one of the employees knocked him to the ground, and then others held him facedown, pressing a knee into his back and head.

Once they were done, staff members took away Schrag’s clothes and bedding, he said, and made him wear…

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‘Nobody Tells Daddy No’: A Housing Boss’s Many Abuse Cases

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

February 7, 2021

By Amy Julia Harris

Victor Rivera gained power and profit as New York’s homeless crisis worsened. Accused of sexual and financial misconduct, he has largely escaped consequences.

At first, the offer seemed generous. Erica Sklar was in a homeless shelter and needed a more stable place to live. Victor Rivera, who oversaw a network of shelters, including the one where she was staying, said he had a solution: a spare apartment for her at his home in the Bronx.

But after Ms. Sklar moved in, she said, she realized that Mr. Rivera, whose nonprofit organization is one of the largest operators of homeless shelters in New York, had other intentions. In December 2016, he asked to see a leaking ceiling in her bedroom, then turned off the lights, pushed her against a wall and began fondling her, according to Ms….

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Top court says abuse victim can reopen claim against London diocese

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
Canadian Catholic News

February 12, 2021

A victim of former priest and notorious sexual abuser Charles Sylvestre can reopen her civil suit against the Diocese of London, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Feb. 11.

For more than a decade Irene Deschenes of London, Ont., has been trying to have the suit — settled in 2000 — reopened after finding documents that proved diocesan officials knew of the late Sylvestre’s predatory behaviour dating back to the 1960s.

Deschenes suffered abuse at his hands in the 1970s. The ruling means the diocese and Deschenes can begin renegotiating her claim. Deschenes is seeking $4.83 million in damages, CBC reported.

The diocese expressed disappointment with the ruling in a statement released Feb. 11, saying “we felt strongly that the facts of the case deserved to be presented in court.”

“Our appeals were motivated by this belief, as well as…

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Accused priest William Wheeler

WICHITA (S)
KSN

February 12, 2021

By Bret Buganski

In the past year, the Catholic Diocese of Wichita has added seven names to the list of priests with “substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.” It brings the total to 22 priests who served the diocese, with either substantiation from the diocese or whose name appears on another diocese or order’s list.

There also is an ongoing Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) investigation into alleged clergy abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. The KBI opened 120 cases since the investigation began in 2018.

One family’s story

Three brothers are opening up to KSN about the abuse they say they endured at the hands of one now deceased Catholic priest. We found out the diocese gave different answers about this very same priest nearly 25 years apart.

The court took the Albert children away from their parents in the…

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Editorial: Optimism, disappointment, then new hope for abuse victims

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
Tribune-Democrat

February 13, 2021

Adult victims of child sexual abuse have been riding a roller-coaster of emotions in recent weeks – joy over long-awaited news that a Constitutional amendment might go to voters this spring, then deep disappointment when they learned that the Department of State had failed to advertise that move early enough to get it on the ballot.

Now, just maybe, a renewed glimmer of hope that they won’t have to wait two more years for a chance at justice.

After the state department of state fumbled its opportunity to put a Constitutional amendment that would open a window for child sexual abuse lawsuits before the voters, the state House is picking up the ball.

Led by state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Berks County Democrat, the House is expected to vote soon on an emergency measure to get the abuse amendment back onto the ballot…

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Catholic charity confirms allegations of assault against founder

DENVER (CO)
Crux

February 11, 2021

By Elise Ann Allen

Rome – On Wednesday well-known Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, known for its support of persecuted Christians, confirmed reports that the organization’s founder has been credibly accused of sexual assault.

A Feb. 10 article in a supplement for German newspaper Die Zeit reported that an apostolic visitation into Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), took place in 2009, finding that the organization’s founder, Belgian Father Werenfried van Straaten, was found guilty of “serious violations” in four areas of Catholic moral and social teaching.

The executive president of ACN International, Thomas Heine-Geldern, confirmed the allegations to Crux.

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Lawsuit highlights abuse cover-up allegations against St. Louis archbishop

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

February 12, 2021

[See also the complaint.]

Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski of St. Louis is accused in a new lawsuit of covering up abuse allegations in his former diocese of Springfield, MA, which he led from 2014 until last year.

The plaintiff claims he suffered trauma as a result of the diocese’s mishandling of an abuse allegation he brought against Christopher J. Weldon, bishop of Springfield from 1950-1977.

Rozanski has admitted that the diocese mishandled the abuse case, which the plaintiff says he first brought to the diocese’s attention in November 2014.

Pope Francis named Rozanski Archbishop of St. Louis in early June 2020, and he was installed as archbishop that August.

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Man subjected to ‘unfathomably cruel’ sexual abuse by priest awarded £170,000

BELFAST (NORTHERN IRELAND)
Irish News

February 13, 2021

A man subjected to “unfathomably cruel” sexual abuse by a priest hearing his childhood confessions is to be awarded £170,000 in damages, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice McAlinden held that the victim was preyed on by the late Fr Seamus Reid at a Co Down school in the mid 1970s.

The total payout also covers separate claims that Hugh McNamara, a former principal of St Mark’s High School in Warrenpoint, caned the victim so hard that he wet himself, and then made him clean up the pool of blood and urine.

The Diocese of Dromore was held liable for the alleged episodes of sexual and physical abuse which resulted in the victim developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I find it difficult to imagine a more horrific perversion of the true purpose and meaning of a Christian sacrament by an…

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Statement of the International Aid Agency Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) on the article “Gut und Böse” in the ZEIT supplement “Christ&Welt”

KÖNIGSTEIN (GERMANY)
ACN International

February 10, 2021

By Thomas Heine-Geldern

ACN is dismayed by the serious accusations published in the ZEIT supplement “Christ&Welt” on 10.02.2021 in connection with the founder of the organisation, Father Werenfried van Straaten. The organisation completely condemns the kind of behaviour of which Father van Straaten is accused in the article. In its commitment to an open and complete clarification ACN states the following, relying on all information to hand:

– In 2010, a woman made an accusation of sexual assault against Father van Straaten, which allegedly took place in 1973. The person was 23 years old at the time. Father van Straaten had already died in 2003.

– The account was pausible, even if the question of guilt remains open as by the time the allegation was made the accused was deceased.

– Those responsible at ACN followed the procedure recommended for the ecclesiastical…

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News Analysis: Abuse case at Vatican pre-seminary captures risk, reward of transparency

DENVER (CO)
Crux

February 12, 2021

By John L. Allen Jr.

Rome – A Vatican tribunal Wednesday heard testimony from the accused party in an unusual sexual abuse case, one involving a charge that one minor abused another during their time at a pre-seminary on Vatican grounds that provides altar boys for liturgies in St. Peter’s Basilica and that’s produced roughly 200 priestly vocations over three-quarters of a century.

Father Gabrielle Martinelli, who’s now 28, was ordained to the priesthood in 2017, and who’s now in service as chaplain in a health care facility for the elderly, is accused of having sexually abused a slightly younger pre-seminarian, identified only as “L.G.”, between 2007 and 2012, at a time when both were still minors. (Martinelli entered the pre-seminary in 2005 and remained there until 2013.)

Also charged in the case is Father Enrico Radice, who was the rector of the…

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SNAP New Orleans Leader to Resign

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

February 12, 2021

By Zach Hiner

The volunteer leader of SNAP New Orleans has agreed to resign his position as SNAP leader after developments with the Archdiocese of New Orleans created a conflict of interest through a paid consultation.

As an independent self-help and advocacy group for survivors of religious and institutional abuse, it is important that there be clear separations between SNAP leaders and church officials. The conflict of interest in this case is enough to warrant a change in New Orleans and as such Kevin Bourgeois will no longer be acting as a volunteer SNAP leader. We are grateful to the work that Kevin has done in advocating for and supporting survivors in New Orleans and hope that his work will continue in Louisiana.

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Leader of New Orleans clergy abuse victims group ousted over work for archdiocese

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL-TV and New Orleans Advocate

February 12, 2021

By David Hammer and Ramon Antonio Vargas

https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/investigations/david-hammer/leader-of-new-orleans-clergy-abuse-victims-group-ousted-over-work-for-archdiocese/289-bd6de8c7-c5c3-4256-b35e-c87e4f8246de

The local leader of a national group of survivors of molestation by Catholic clergy parted ways with the organization Friday, a day after the Archdiocese of New Orleans announced it would pay him to train and consult with a new counseling team the church is forming.

Kevin Bourgeois, who had been leading the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests’ New Orleans chapter, said he had accepted a contract from the archdiocese to provide in-service training to a team of victims assistance counselors so that he could have a direct hand in improving the local church’s treatment of abuse claimants.

Bourgeois said he had cleared the arrangement with national SNAP leadership. But SNAP President Zach Hiner issued a statement Friday saying the paid arrangement with the archdiocese created a conflict…

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Supreme Court sides with London, Ont., woman suing Catholic church

OTTAWA (ONTARIO, CANADA)
CBC

February 11, 2021

By Kate Dubinski

Irene Deschenes, who survived childhood sexual abuse by a local priest, says she is standing strong for herself and for all other survivors. (Rebecca Zandbergen/CBC News)
The Supreme Court of Canada has sided with Irene Deschenes, the London, Ont., woman trying to reopen her civil suit against the Diocese of London, which has tried to legally stop her for more than a decade.

Thursday’s dismissal of the diocese’s appeal application marks the end of the legal road for the church, at least for now, and it means Deschenes and the church can begin renegotiating her claim.

“It’s in the hands of the church so we will see what will happen next. If they have any compassion for the victims they created, they’d be on the phone to us by the end of the day,” said Deschenes at a…

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Supreme Court dismisses church appeal in historic sex abuse case

LONDON (ONTARIO, CANADA)
Blackburn Radio

February 11, 2021

By Maureen Revait

A woman sexually abused by a priest in Chatham decades ago says she’s hopeful the Diocese of London will show some compassion after the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the church’s appeal to reopen a settlement reached in 2000.

Irene Deschenes was sexually abused by Father Charles Sylvestre between 1971 and 1973 at St. Ursula School in Chatham. She was just 10-years-old when the abuse started. She filed a lawsuit against the Diocese in 1996 and, in 2000, reached a settlement after the Diocese said it was unaware of concerns about Sylvestre until the 1980s.

Deschenes filed a lawsuit to reopen the settlement after it came to light the Diocese was made aware of accusations against Sylvestre in 1962, 10 years before she was abused.

A lower court ruled the earlier settlement should be thrown out in light…

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Denied final appeal, London Catholic diocese doesn’t seem ready to resettle abuse case

LONDON (ONTARIO, CANADA)
London Free Press

February 12, 2021

By Jane Sims

It wasn’t long after her Supreme Court of Canada victory that Irene Deschenes found out her battle with the Roman Catholic Church is far from over.

On Thursday, the country’s highest court dismissed the church’s application for leave to appeal the reopening of Deschenes’ settled civil suit for the sexual abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of pedophile priest Charles Sylvestre.

The decision was the church’s last chance at stopping the re-litigation of a case that was settled for $100,000 and pushed Deschenes to uncover evidence of Sylvestre’s rampant abuses over four decades when he was a priest in Windsor, London, Sarnia, Chatham and Pain Court.

Within hours of the court’s decision, the Roman Catholic Diocese of London issued a statement that said it was “disappointed” with the ruling, but that the church’s rediscovery…

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Buffalo Diocese lawyer refers to AG’s lawsuit as ‘publicity stunt’

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

February 11, 2021

By Jay Tokasz

A Buffalo Diocese lawyer suggested that Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against the diocese over its handling of priests accused of sexual abuse was a “publicity stunt” and may have violated bankruptcy court rules designed to protect bankrupt entities.

Stephen A. Donato, who represents the diocese in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, told Chief Judge Carl L. Bucki that the diocese was seeking to settle the lawsuit filed in November. He also said that the diocese already was doing much of what the Attorney General’s Office requested it do to protect children from sexual predators.

“With the utmost respect, I don’t even understand why this lawsuit was commenced, other than maybe a publicity stunt,” Donato said in a court hearing this week.

The lawsuit accused diocese leaders of not sufficiently investigating abuse allegations and of protecting more than two…

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Vatican charity in spotlight over old sex assault allegation

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

February 11, 2021

By Nicole Winfield

A pontifical foundation has admitted that its late founder was credibly accused of sexually assaulting a female employee, who came forward in 2010 after learning the deceased priest was being considered for possible beatification.

Aid to the Church in Need, which raises money to build and rebuild churches and train priests in poor countries, said it “deeply regrets” and condemns the alleged behavior of the Rev. Werenfried van Straaten, who died in 2003.

The Koenigstein, Germany-based charity posted a statement and a 26-point question and answer note on its website Wednesday after German newspaper Die Zeit reported on the allegations, which are the latest in a string of sexual misconduct claims against charismatic founders of Vatican-sanctioned religious orders, movements and Catholic charities.

Aid to the Church in Need said it paid the woman 10,000 euros ($12,000) for her suffering,…

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‘Finally’: France seeks to establish age of consent, at 15

PARIS (FRANCE)
France 24

February 12, 2021

France’s government wants to set the age of sexual consent at 15 and make it easier to punish long-ago child sexual abuse, amid growing public pressure and a wave of online testimonies about rape and other sexual violence by parents and authority figures.

“Finally!” was the refrain Wednesday from victims and child protection activists who have long pushed for tougher laws and greater societal recognition of the problem.

France’s lack of an age of consent — along with statutes of limitations — have complicated efforts to prosecute alleged perpetrators, including a prominent modeling agent, a predatory priest, a surgeon and a group of firefighters accused of systematic sexual abuse.

Calling such treatment of children “intolerable,” the Justice Ministry said “the government is determined to act quickly to implement the changes that our society expects.”

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February 12, 2021

Former Terenure College rugby coach admitted sexual abuse to senior priest in the school 25 years ago, court hears

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Independent

February 11, 2021

By Robin Schiller

https://www.independent.ie/news/former-terenure-college-rugby-coach-admitted-sexual-abuse-to-senior-priest-in-the-school-25-years-ago-court-hears-40080607.html

A former rugby coach who indecently assaulted 23 boys at Terenure College admitted the sexual abuse to a senior priest in the school 25 years ago, a court has heard.

John McClean (76) is being sentenced in relation to 27 counts of indecent assault of the schoolboys, aged between 11 and 17, at Terenure College from 1973 to 1990.

At the time McClean worked at the Carmelite Order-run school and was an English teacher while also coaching rugby.

This afternoon the court heard that a father of one of the victims brought his son’s abuse allegation to the attention of a senior member of the Carmelite community in 1996 while McClean was still working at the school.

The court heard the then Prior Provincial of the Irish Provence of Carmelites Fr Robert Kelly, who held the role between 1994…

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Survivor of sexual abuse by Chatham priest calls on church to peacefully settle case

CHATHAM (ONTARIO, CANADA)
Chatham Voice

February 11, 2021

By Jenna Cocullo

A London woman now has the right to sue the church for the damage that she suffered as a result of being sexually abused by a priest in Chatham, but she is hoping they will immediately settle instead of dragging her through more court processes.

A ruling by the lower courts of Ontario allowing Irene Deschenes to reopen her case against the Roman Catholic Diocese of London stands after the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear its appeal.

The Supreme Court of Canada, by convention, gave no reason for declining to intervene in the case.

“Despite the Supreme Court of Canada ruling (Thursday) the reality is that I’m still involved in litigation with the Roman Catholic Church,” Deschenes said.

Between 1971 and 1973 Deschenes was sexually abused by Father Charles Sylvestre at St. Ursula School, Chatham. She…

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New Orleans archdiocese announces changes to how it responds to priest abuse claims

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL-TV and New Orleans Advocate

February 11, 2021

By David Hammer and Ramon Antonio Vargas

https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/investigations/new-orleans-archdiocese-announces-changes-to-how-it-responds-to-priest-abuse-claims/289-80f97c67-4a31-4619-a46a-db3904c78c71

Archbishop says changes are borne from dialogue with local SNAP leader.

Weeks after pledging to collaborate with a clerical abuse survivors’ group, the Archdiocese of New Orleans on Thursday announced several changes to the way it plans to respond to people who claim they were molested by priests and deacons.

Most significantly, Archbishop Gregory Aymond has agreed to appoint an abuse survivor to his Independent Review Board, which reviews molestation claims and advises whether a clergyman should be added to a public list of clerics who are suspected of sexually abusing minors.

He also replaced the archdiocese’s victims assistance coordinator, who has been roundly criticized by survivors as ineffectual.

The announcement comes a little more than two weeks before a March 1 legal deadline for new victims of sexual abuse…

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Supreme Court of Canada dismisses Roman Catholic diocese’s appeal in sex abuse case

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
Global News

February 11, 2021

By Jacquelyn LeBel

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed a Roman Catholic diocese’s appeal of a May 2020 decision from Ontario’s top court that allowed a woman who was sexually abused by a priest as a child to sue the church for a second time.

The court’s decision on Thursday means that Irene Deschenes can now go ahead with her $4.83-million civil suit.

“It’s not too late for the Roman Catholic Church to do the right thing and support my healing process,” Deschenes said at a virtual event following the decision.

“It’s too late to take back the re-victimization I have endured over the decades, including having to go through appeal after appeal. But it’s not too late to move forward from here with actions that offer justice, compassion or the Christianity that the church purports is their practice.”

Deschenes…

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Catholic priest sex abuse trial to begin in December 2021

ALAMOGORDO (NM)
Alamogordo Daily News

February 11, 2021

By Nicole Maxwell

A trial date was set in the case of the late Fr. David Holley, who allegedly sexually abused a victim in Alamogordo.

New Mexico Second Judicial District Judge Daniel Ramczyk set the jury trial date for the case as Dec. 13.

The complainant, listed as John Doe, allegedly was one of several of Holley’s victims in Alamogordo in the 1970s, court records state.

Doe filed a tort against several parishes, dioceses and the Servants of the Paraclete about their alleged involvement in the events leading to Holley being moved to Alamogordo in the 1970s.

Holley was sent to the Servants of the Paraclete facility in 1971.

Servants of the Paraclete had two New Mexico locations at the time, one in Albuquerque and one in Jemez Springs.

Holley was sent to the Albuquerque Servants of the Paraclete location to…

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February 11, 2021

Diocese Files Plan of Reorganization

WINONA (MN)
Diocese of Winona-Rochester

February 10, 2021

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester has reached a settlement with the Creditors’ Committee representing 145 survivors of clergy sexual abuse. “It is my desire and hope that the compensation paid in this settlement will help the survivors heal from the pain they have felt over these many years. We must never forget the tragic anguish caused by individuals who abused their power and positions of authority. We must stay vigilant in our unwavering commitment to protect the youth in our Diocese who rely on priests, deacons, religious, and lay people to keep them safe and provide for their spiritual care.” said the Most Reverend John M. Quinn, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

This settlement, mutually agreed to by the Diocese and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, includes resolution of claims against the parishes, schools and other Catholic entities within the…

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Winona-Rochester Diocese reaches $21.5 million settlement with abuse victims

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Star Tribune

February 10, 2021

By Jean Hopfensperger

It’s the state’s last diocese to settle abuse claims.

The Winona-Rochester Diocese announced Wednesday that it had reached a $21.5 million settlement agreement with 145 individuals who were sexually abused by its clergy.

The diocese declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018, in response to the abuse claims.

The settlement allows it to submit a financial reorganization plan to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for final approval.

“We must never forget the tragic anguish caused by individuals who abused their power and positions of authority,” said Bishop John Quinn of Winona-Rochester. “We must stay vigilant in our unwavering commitment to protect the youth in our diocese who rely on priests, deacons, religious and lay people to keep them safe and provide for their spiritual care.”

St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who represented many of the survivors, said the settlement will…

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Winona-Rochester Diocese to pay $21.5M for sexual abuse claims

MANKATO (MN)
Mankato Free Press

February 10, 2021

By Tim Krohn

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester has agreed to a $21.5 million settlement to cover claims of sexual abuse as it goes through bankruptcy reorganization.

The settlement will provide compensation to 145 survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

The diocese stretches all across the southern Minnesota border with Iowa and includes Blue Earth, Cottonwood, Faribault, Martin, Waseca and Watonwan counties.

“It is my desire and hope that the compensation paid in this settlement will help the survivors heal from the pain they have felt over these many years. We must never forget the tragic anguish caused by individuals who abused their power and positions of authority,” Bishop John M. Quinn said in a statement.

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Priest in Vatican youth seminary trial denies abuse claims

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press

February 10, 2021

By Nicole Winfield

An Italian priest denied Wednesday that he sexually molested a fellow altar boy when both were teenagers at the Vatican’s youth seminary, taking the stand for the first time in a criminal trial over alleged abuse within the Vatican walls.

The Rev. Gabriele Martinelli told the Vatican tribunal that the allegations against him were unfounded and implausible. He said they were the fruit of divisions in the seminary as well as “jealousy” among former seminarians that he was eventually ordained a priest.

The St. Pius X seminary, located in a palazzo inside the Vatican gardens, houses boys aged 12-18 who serve as altar boys at papal Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica. The scandal erupted in 2017 when former altar boys went public with allegations of misconduct against Martinelli and cover-up by the seminary superiors.

Martinelli is accused of abusing…

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At Vatican trial, priest says abuse charges caused by jealousy

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service via Union of Catholic Asian News

February 11, 2021

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Father Gabriele Martinelli, 28, is accused of abusing a younger student from 2007 to 2012

A priest accused of abusing a younger student at a minor seminary located at the Vatican cited jealousy as the main reason behind the allegations against him.

Taking the stand Feb. 10, the fourth day of the Vatican criminal trial against him, Father Gabriele Martinelli also said the “unfounded” accusations also were meant to hurt the reputation of the St. Pius X Pre-Seminary, where the alleged abuse occurred.

“I got on many people’s nerves because of my character,” he testified, “because I try to do the best I can in everything.”

Father Martinelli, 28, is accused of abusing a younger student from 2007 to 2012. Although he and his alleged victim were under the age of…

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New York’s Catholic church leaders control billions outside the reach of abuse survivors

ALBANY (NY)
Times-Union

February 11, 2021

By Edward McKinley

Bankruptcy filings and assets shifted to foundations have coincided with passage of Child Victims Act

The Catholic bishops of New York sold a lucrative insurance business they controlled and stored the proceeds in a foundation they also administer, keeping billions out of the reach of survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

The move occurred in 2018, with the church selling its Fidelis Care insurance company and moving $4.3 billion of the proceeds into the new Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. At the same time, the Child Victims Act in New York was gaining momentum in the Legislature, a measure that the church had lobbied against for more than a decade. It was ultimately signed into law a year later; and it has exposed the church to thousands of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of children and, in some instances, the coverup of those…

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February 10, 2021

Class action suit filed against pair of Metro Vancouver private schools over abuse allegations

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
CTV News

February 9, 2021

By Ben Miljure

Vancouver – Two Metro Vancouver private schools have been named in a lawsuit brought by a man who claims an attempted cover up of abuse allegations in Newfoundland led to several dangerous predators being transferred to schools in the Lower Mainland.

Darren Liptrot alleges he was physically and sexually abused by Brother Edward English while attending Vancouver College between 1981 and 1983.

Multiple children accused Edwards of abuse during his time at Newfoundland’s Mount Cashel Orphanage in the 1970s.

In 1991, a court convicted English of multiple charges related to physical and sexual abuse at Mount Cashel and he received a sentence of 10 years in prison.

Liptrot’s lawsuit alleges Christian Brothers in Canada, which ran the orphanage, learned of abuse allegations against six teachers, including English, and instead of taking disciplinary action, arranged for all of them…

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French Government Seeks to Set Age For Sexual Consent at 15

PARIS (FRANCE)
Associated Press

February 10, 2021

By Angela Charlton

France’s government wants to set the age of sexual consent at 15 and make it easier to punish long-ago child sexual abuse, amid growing public pressure and a wave of online testimonies about rape and other sexual violence by parents and authority figures.

Calling such treatment of children “intolerable,” the justice ministry said in a statement that “the government is determined to act quickly to implement the changes that our society expects.”

“An act of sexual penetration by an adult on a minor under 15 will be considered a rape,” Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti said Tuesday on France-2 television. Consent would no longer be able to be cited to diminish the charges, but exceptions would be made for teenagers having consensual sex, he said.

The change would still need to be enshrined in law, but the announcement is a…

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Dilworth sexual abuse accused identity revealed

AUCKLAND (NEW ZEALAND)
New Zealand Herald

February 9, 2021

By Amy Wiggins

The man who died last year after being charged in relation to historical sexual offending at Dilworth school was an air traffic controller and long-serving volunteer and staff member of New Zealand’s gay, lesbian and transgender telephone counselling service.

Richard Charles Galloway was last year charged with indecent assault as part of Operation Beverley. He died on November 26 aged 69 after earlier being diagnosed with cancer.

The Herald can reveal his name for the first time today.

Last year Galloway was charged with indecently assaulting a boy under 16 between 1975 and 1976 as part of the Dilworth investigation.

He was already facing five unrelated charges, which were laid in 2019. Three were for supplying cannabis to a person under 18 and two for indecently assaulting a boy under 16. All allegedly occurred in 1980.

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Bishop Weldon accuser files lawsuit against Springfield diocese

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican via MassLive

February 9, 2021

By Ray Kelly

A former altar boy who accused the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon of sexual assault — and whose claim was found to be “unequivocally credible” following a review ordered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield — has filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for the physical harm he suffered in the 1960s and continued emotional distress.

The plaintiff, identified as “John Doe” of Chicopee, says he was between 9 and 11 years old when he was raped multiple times at multiple locations by Weldon and two other members of the clergy.

In a 26-page lawsuit filed in Hampden Superior Court and first reported by The Berkshire Eagle, the plaintiff alleges that current and past church officials, including former Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski and the diocese’s longtime attorney, John. J. Egan, engaged in a cover-up to protect Weldon’s…

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St. Louis Archbishop Rozanski accused of covering up clergy sex abuse at previous post

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Post-Dispatch

February 10, 2021

By Jesse Bogan

https://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/st-louis-archbishop-rozanski-accused-of-covering-up-clergy-sex-abuse-at-previous-post/article_540d3a53-e0a1-5479-8666-d174fdcd8113.html

A civil lawsuit filed in Springfield, Massachusetts, alleges St. Louis Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski was part of “abhorrent attempts” to protect the reputation of a now disgraced Roman Catholic bishop while at his previous post in the northeast.

The plaintiff, named John Doe in court records, had already claimed that the late Springfield Bishop Christopher J. Weldon sexually abused him in the 1960s when he was an altar boy. Now he alleges he was also harmed by the alleged cover-up of the abuse decades later when he first started reporting it to the diocese in late 2014.

In part, Rozanski, who served as bishop in Springfield from 2014 to 2020, is accused of approving an official statement to the press denying that the Diocesan Review Board found a credible allegation of abuse against Weldon when that statement was…

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Proposed class-action suit in Vancouver alleges Christian Brothers abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

February 9, 2021

Vancouver – The Archdiocese of Vancouver has responded to a proposed class-action lawsuit involving allegations of sexual abuse at two Catholic high schools run by the Christian Brothers.

The suit, filed in British Columbia’s Supreme Court Feb. 8, alleges that between 1976 and 1983, six men who abused children at Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s, Newfoundland — run by the Christian Brothers — were transferred to the two Vancouver schools, reported B.C. Catholic, archdiocesan newspaper.

The plaintiff, Darren Liptrot, says he was sexually abused while he attended Vancouver College from 1980 to 1985. The other school was St. Thomas More. The claims have not been proven in court.

“The Archdiocese of Vancouver feels great sadness and regret for anyone who has suffered sexual abuse from a person in power,” the archdiocese said in a statement Feb….

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Clergy abuse survivor claims former Springfield bishop, others engaged in cover-up

PITTSFIELD (MA)
Berkshire Eagle

February 9, 2021

By Larry Parnass

https://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/local/clergy-abuse-survivor-claims-former-springfield-bishop-others-engaged-in-cover-up/article_956615fc-6af9-11eb-8436-2751340c7b9f.html

The former altar boy who accused a legendary bishop of rape — an account deemed “unequivocally credible” by a retired judge last summer — wants to be compensated for his suffering, citing inaction and connivance by church officials that, he says, exacerbated his pain.

In a lawsuit filed in Hampden Superior Court, the Chicopee man alleges that current and former officials within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, including former Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, engaged in a cover-up to protect the reputation of the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon.

The suit alleges that people who work or worked for the diocese, including its longtime attorney, John. J. Egan, played various roles in suppressing the unnamed man’s initial reports of abuse by Weldon and two other members of the clergy in the 1960s, starting when the child was 9.

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Commentary: Former altar boy loses defamation suit

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

February 9, 2021

By Jack Greiner

Former altar boy Kevin DiMauro recently saw a New York state appellate court affirm the dismissal of his libel suit against a Staten Island newspaper.

DiMauro claimed that the Staten Island Advance identified DiMauro as a victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest. DiMauro’s case failed, however, because he couldn’t demonstrate that he was the subject of the reporting.

In October 2018 the Advance published an article reporting that allegations of sexual abuse against a pastor at Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church had been substantiated.

In the print version of the article, between the headline “Longtime pastor ‘will never serve as a priest again’” and the subheading “Archdiocese affirms sex-abuse allegations against former Blessed Sacrament monsignor,” the Advance included a photograph from 2000 depicting the pastor at issue, two other priests, and three children—including DiMauro, walking in a…

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Xanana Gusmao’s sons ‘disappointed’ after their father attends accused paedophile’s birthday party

SYDNEY (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
ABC

February 9, 2021

By Anne Barker

The sons of Timor Leste’s former president Xanana Gusmao have expressed their disappointment to the victims of a former priest facing child sexual abuse allegations, after their father visited him for his birthday at his home in Dili.

Alexandre Sword-Gusmao, 20, and his brothers Kay Olok, 18, and Daniel, 16, wrote to the victims of former Catholic priest Richard Daschbach, who has been charged with sexually abusing girls at a remote Timorese orphanage that he ran for decades.

Xanana Gusmao, also the former prime minister, was filmed late last month visiting Mr Daschbach at his Dili home where he is under house arrest, toasting him on his 84th birthday with cake and drink.

Mr Daschbach, an American-born missionary who first arrived in Timor Leste in 1966, is regarded by many Timorese as a hero for his role…

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Kansas bishop steps aside as abuse allegation is investigated

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

February 9, 2021

Dodge City KS – Denying any wrongdoing, Bishop John B. Brungardt of Dodge City has stepped away from his duties and pledged to cooperate with authorities investigating an allegation of abuse of a minor made against him.

The diocese said in a statement Feb. 8 that the accusation is being investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

The bureau recently notified the diocese of the accusation.

The agency confirmed to The Associated Press that it is investigating the allegation. A spokeswoman said no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed but declined to release any other information.

As required, Bishop Brungardt informed his metropolitan archbishop, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, of the allegation, the diocese said. The Congregation for Bishops at the Vatican has appointed Bishop Gerald L. Vincke of Salina, Kansas, as apostolic administrator…

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Allegation Brought Forward

GAYLORD (MI)
Diocese of Gaylord

February 8, 2021

An allegation of sexual misconduct involving an adult woman against Father Eyob Merin, pastoral administrator of St. Mary Parish (Kingsley), has been brought forward. The allegation was made public at a parish meeting, and subsequently made known to the diocese thereafter. Father Merin has denied the allegation.

Until the allegation is further investigated and resolved, Father Eyob has, for the time being, voluntarily stepped aside from his role as pastoral administrator at St. Mary (Kingsley). The diocese will continue to take all steps necessary to investigate and bring this situation to resolution.

Any allegation of abuse by a priest, bishop or someone in the Church should be reported to law enforcement; the Michigan Department of Attorney General (844.324.3374); or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (855.444.3911). Reports should also be made to Church authorities by contacting the Diocesan Victim…

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February 9, 2021

‘I felt abandoned’: Catholic priests turn to defamation lawsuits to fight sex abuse claims

BERGEN (NJ)
The Record via NorthJersey.com

February 9, 2021

By Deena Yellin

As clergy abuse lawsuits proliferate across the U.S., a growing number of priests who say they were falsely accused are pushing back – by suing their accusers, investigators and even church officials.

The list includes the Rev. Roy Herberger of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. Last year, he filed a defamation case against a 42-year-old man who said the priest had assaulted him as a boy.

The diocese cleared Herberger after a six-month investigation, but the experience was devastating, he said.

Father Eduard Perrone, a popular Catholic priest for The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Detroit was suspended for alleged child sex abuse. He won a $125,000 settlement in a defamation lawsuit against a local sheriff’s investigator.
“I felt abandoned, embarrassed and betrayed,” Herberger said in an e-mail. “It was difficult for me…

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St. John’s Catholic diocese named in proposed Vancouver class action

HALIFAX (NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA)
Chronicle Herald

February 8, 2021

By Barb Sweet

Notice of civil claim was filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia Monday

Vancouver, British Columbia – The legal entity of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s has been named in a proposed class-action lawsuit involving alleged sexual abuse at schools in Vancouver where Christian Brothers taught decades ago.

The notice of civil claim was to be filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia Monday and the local archdiocese has not had legal notification yet, according to the lawyer Joe Fiorante who hopes to get the class action certified in B.C.

“The abuse at Vancouver College and St. Thomas More continued a pattern of systemic child abuse at institutions run by the Christian Brothers in Canada (CBIC) first revealed at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in Newfoundland in the mid-to-late 1970s,” alleges the notice of…

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Kansas Catholic bishop under investigation by KBI for alleged sexual abuse of a minor

WICHITA (KS)
Wichita Eagle from Kansas City Star

February 8, 2021

By Judy L. Thomas

Kansas’ top law enforcement agency is investigating an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Roman Catholic Bishop John B. Brungardt of Dodge City, the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas announced Monday.

“An investigation conducted by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) is under way,” the archdiocese said in a statement published in The Leaven, its official newspaper. “Bishop Brungardt denies the allegation and is cooperating fully with the KBl.”

Brungardt, a former high school science teacher, has asked to step aside from his duties until the matter is resolved, the archdiocese said. That decision is supported by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

The Congregation for Bishops has appointed the Bishop of Salina, Gerald L. Vincke, as temporary apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Dodge…

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Vatican removed as defendant in Guam clergy sex abuse case

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

February 8, 2021

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

The nephew of former Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron removed the Holy See, or the Vatican, from the list of defendants in his clergy sex abuse case.

Mark Apuron, through attorney Delia Lujan Wolff, filed a “notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice” of all claims against “Defendant Holy See, State of the Vatican City, its instrumentalities and/or agents.”

A dismissal without prejudice means the matter is not dismissed forever, and can be brought to court again.

Mark Apuron’s claims against other defendants are not dismissed, he said in his Jan. 21 court filing. His claims against the Archdiocese of Agana, Anthony Apuron, the Capuchin Franciscans and others remain.

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Vatican removed as defendant in Guam clergy sex abuse case

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

February 8, 2021

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

The nephew of former Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron removed the Holy See, or the Vatican, from the list of defendants in his clergy sex abuse case.

Mark Apuron, through attorney Delia Lujan Wolff, filed a “notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice” of all claims against “Defendant Holy See, State of the Vatican City, its instrumentalities and/or agents.”

A dismissal without prejudice means the matter is not dismissed forever, and can be brought to court again.

Mark Apuron’s claims against other defendants are not dismissed, he said in his Jan. 21 court filing. His claims against the Archdiocese of Agana, Anthony Apuron, the Capuchin Franciscans and others remain.

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WNY parishes benefit from PPP loans, but Diocese of Buffalo is left out

BUFFALO (NY)
WBEN

February 8, 2021

By Mike Baggerman

Hear thoughts from attorney Steve Boyd on AP report of $1.5 billion for US dioceses

Despite several Roman Catholic dioceses across the United States receiving at least $1.5 billion from taxpayers, the Catholic Church in Buffalo did not receive any funds due to the bankruptcy filing.

Though there was some benefit in the local church community.

“Parishes and schools are separately incorporated entities – many of which have suffered significant financial hardship as a result of Covid-19,” the Diocese of Buffalo told WBEN in a statement. “Moreover, the Diocese of Buffalo, as a separate corporate entity, does not qualify for any federal government funds allocated under the PPP program given that it is Chapter 11 reorganization.”

The Diocese of Buffalo also has not and said they will not apply for the next round of federal funding that is being advocated…

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WNY parishes benefit from PPP loans, but Diocese of Buffalo is left out

BUFFALO (NY)
WBEN

February 8, 2021

By Mike Baggerman

Hear thoughts from attorney Steve Boyd on AP report of $1.5 billion for US dioceses

Despite several Roman Catholic dioceses across the United States receiving at least $1.5 billion from taxpayers, the Catholic Church in Buffalo did not receive any funds due to the bankruptcy filing.

Though there was some benefit in the local church community.

“Parishes and schools are separately incorporated entities – many of which have suffered significant financial hardship as a result of Covid-19,” the Diocese of Buffalo told WBEN in a statement. “Moreover, the Diocese of Buffalo, as a separate corporate entity, does not qualify for any federal government funds allocated under the PPP program given that it is Chapter 11 reorganization.”

The Diocese of Buffalo also has not and said they will not apply for the next round of federal funding that is being advocated…

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Florida Diocese Hides Abuse Even during a 2020 Criminal Investigation

FORT LAUDERDALE (FL)
Horowitz Law – Lawyer’s Blog

February 8, 2021

And in the category of Most Secretive Florida Catholic Diocese, the award goes to. . . .St. Augustine!

Records obtained by law enforcement, show that St. Augustine diocesan officials hid recent abuse reports against a priest, EVEN IN THE MIDDLE OF A STATEWIDE ATTORNEY GENERAL INVESTIGATION into church abuse and concealment cases.

Link

And the records contain the names of several credibly accused predator priests whose identities would have almost certainly remained secret if not for that Attorney General probe.

Remember, it was nearly 20 years ago that every U.S. bishop pledged to reform their mishandling of abuse reports, a pledge often honored only in the breach. This pledge, it turns out, was apparently easier for them to make than to uphold.

While the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution was investigating the Catholic abuse scandal…

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Florida Diocese Hides Abuse Even during a 2020 Criminal Investigation

FORT LAUDERDALE (FL)
Horowitz Law – Lawyer’s Blog

February 8, 2021

And in the category of Most Secretive Florida Catholic Diocese, the award goes to. . . .St. Augustine!

Records obtained by law enforcement, show that St. Augustine diocesan officials hid recent abuse reports against a priest, EVEN IN THE MIDDLE OF A STATEWIDE ATTORNEY GENERAL INVESTIGATION into church abuse and concealment cases.

Link

And the records contain the names of several credibly accused predator priests whose identities would have almost certainly remained secret if not for that Attorney General probe.

Remember, it was nearly 20 years ago that every U.S. bishop pledged to reform their mishandling of abuse reports, a pledge often honored only in the breach. This pledge, it turns out, was apparently easier for them to make than to uphold.

While the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution was investigating the Catholic abuse scandal…

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Editorial: NCR thanks the US bishops (well, their news service)

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

February 8, 2021

In every industry, there are the die-hard professionals: the ones you can count on to do the job day-in, day-out, with a minimum of fuss or any clamor for recognition.

For those of us in the journalism business, that’s the wire service reporters: those often-harried folks usually clocking extended hours to make sure that any event with even a semblance of news interest receives coverage.

At daily newspapers, services like the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters fill the gap when an editor just doesn’t have the resources to assign an in-house reporter to a story. In the Catholic press, there’s really only one gold standard: Catholic News Service (CNS).

Founded in 1920 as part of what was then the National Catholic Welfare Council and is now the U.S. bishops’ conference, CNS is a reliable, fair-handed operation. Its journalists are professionals,…

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Editorial: NCR thanks the US bishops (well, their news service)

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

February 8, 2021

In every industry, there are the die-hard professionals: the ones you can count on to do the job day-in, day-out, with a minimum of fuss or any clamor for recognition.

For those of us in the journalism business, that’s the wire service reporters: those often-harried folks usually clocking extended hours to make sure that any event with even a semblance of news interest receives coverage.

At daily newspapers, services like the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters fill the gap when an editor just doesn’t have the resources to assign an in-house reporter to a story. In the Catholic press, there’s really only one gold standard: Catholic News Service (CNS).

Founded in 1920 as part of what was then the National Catholic Welfare Council and is now the U.S. bishops’ conference, CNS is a reliable, fair-handed operation. Its journalists are professionals,…

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Cruelty and abuse of power were not the preserve of religious orders

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

February 8, 2021

By Eoin O’Sullivan and Ian O’Donnell

State-run psychiatric hospitals were the single greatest contributor to coercive confinement in mid-20th century Ireland

The recently published report into mother and baby homes is the latest investigation into institutions that together constituted what we have described as a network of “coercive confinement” in Ireland.

This also included prisons, reformatory and industrial schools, psychiatric hospitals, county homes (former workhouses), and Magdalene laundries.

Yet the largest part of this landscape of confinement – institutions run by the State, particularly psychiatric hospitals – has gone unexamined.

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, chaired by Justice Seán Ryan, estimated that 42,000 children passed through orphanages, reformatory and industrial schools between the 1930s and the 1970s. Former pupils gave evidence of the physical and sexual abuse they had experienced.

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Cruelty and abuse of power were not the preserve of religious orders

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

February 8, 2021

By Eoin O’Sullivan and Ian O’Donnell

State-run psychiatric hospitals were the single greatest contributor to coercive confinement in mid-20th century Ireland

The recently published report into mother and baby homes is the latest investigation into institutions that together constituted what we have described as a network of “coercive confinement” in Ireland.

This also included prisons, reformatory and industrial schools, psychiatric hospitals, county homes (former workhouses), and Magdalene laundries.

Yet the largest part of this landscape of confinement – institutions run by the State, particularly psychiatric hospitals – has gone unexamined.

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, chaired by Justice Seán Ryan, estimated that 42,000 children passed through orphanages, reformatory and industrial schools between the 1930s and the 1970s. Former pupils gave evidence of the physical and sexual abuse they had experienced.

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Dodge City bishop steps away during abuse investigation

DODGE CITY (KS)
Associated Press

February 8, 2021

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City has stepped away from his duties after being accused of abusing a minor, the diocese announced Monday.

Bishop John Brungardt denies the allegations and will cooperate with the investigation, the diocese said.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation recently notified the diocese of the accusation and will conduct the investigation.

Rev. Ted Stoecklein, spokesman for the Dodge City Diocese, said no further information would be released during the investigation

A KBI spokeswoman on Monday confirmed the agency is investigating the allegation. She said no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed but declined to release any other information.

In August, the KBI said it had received 205 reports of clergy sexual abuse and opened 120 cases since it began investigating the three Catholic dioceses in Kansas nearly two years ago,

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Dodge City bishop steps away during abuse investigation

DODGE CITY (KS)
Associated Press

February 8, 2021

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City has stepped away from his duties after being accused of abusing a minor, the diocese announced Monday.

Bishop John Brungardt denies the allegations and will cooperate with the investigation, the diocese said.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation recently notified the diocese of the accusation and will conduct the investigation.

Rev. Ted Stoecklein, spokesman for the Dodge City Diocese, said no further information would be released during the investigation

A KBI spokeswoman on Monday confirmed the agency is investigating the allegation. She said no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed but declined to release any other information.

In August, the KBI said it had received 205 reports of clergy sexual abuse and opened 120 cases since it began investigating the three Catholic dioceses in Kansas nearly two years ago,

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Statement

KANSAS CITY (KS)
The Leaven – Archdiocese of Kansas City

February 8, 2021

The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has been made aware of a complaint concerning Bishop John B. Brungardt of Dodge City, who is accused of sexual abuse against a minor.

An investigation conducted by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) is under way. Bishop Brungardt denies the allegation and is cooperating fully with the KBl. He has, however, asked to step aside from his duties until the matter is resolved, a decision supported by his Metropolitan, Archbishop Joseph Naumann. Consequently, the Congregation for Bishops has appointed, with immediate effect, Most. Rev. Gerald L. Vincke, Bishop of Salina, as Apostolic Administrator sede plena of the Diocese of Dodge City.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is competent in cases involving sexual abuse of minors, has asked Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann to carry out…

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Statement

KANSAS CITY (KS)
The Leaven – Archdiocese of Kansas City

February 8, 2021

The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has been made aware of a complaint concerning Bishop John B. Brungardt of Dodge City, who is accused of sexual abuse against a minor.

An investigation conducted by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) is under way. Bishop Brungardt denies the allegation and is cooperating fully with the KBl. He has, however, asked to step aside from his duties until the matter is resolved, a decision supported by his Metropolitan, Archbishop Joseph Naumann. Consequently, the Congregation for Bishops has appointed, with immediate effect, Most. Rev. Gerald L. Vincke, Bishop of Salina, as Apostolic Administrator sede plena of the Diocese of Dodge City.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is competent in cases involving sexual abuse of minors, has asked Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann to carry out…

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Bishop Vincke named temporary Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dodge City

SALINA (KS)
Diocese of Salina

February 8, 2021

The Diocese of Dodge City announced on February 8th that Bishop John Brungardt has been accused of sexual abuse of a minor. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is conducting the investigation. Bishop Brungardt denies the allegation.

Bishop Brungardt has willingly asked to be placed on a leave of absence during the investigation. The Congregation for Bishops has appointed Most Reverend Gerald L. Vincke the temporary Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dodge City, effective immediately. Bishop Vincke remains as the Bishop of Salina in addition to his role as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dodge City.

Chancery officials answered the following questions about Bishop Brungardt’s absence.

Q. What kind of authority does an apostolic administrator have?

A. An apostolic administrator is equivalent in canon law to the diocesan bishop and has, essentially, the same authority as a diocesan bishop.

Q….

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Bishop Vincke named temporary Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dodge City

SALINA (KS)
Diocese of Salina

February 8, 2021

The Diocese of Dodge City announced on February 8th that Bishop John Brungardt has been accused of sexual abuse of a minor. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is conducting the investigation. Bishop Brungardt denies the allegation.

Bishop Brungardt has willingly asked to be placed on a leave of absence during the investigation. The Congregation for Bishops has appointed Most Reverend Gerald L. Vincke the temporary Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dodge City, effective immediately. Bishop Vincke remains as the Bishop of Salina in addition to his role as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dodge City.

Chancery officials answered the following questions about Bishop Brungardt’s absence.

Q. What kind of authority does an apostolic administrator have?

A. An apostolic administrator is equivalent in canon law to the diocesan bishop and has, essentially, the same authority as a diocesan bishop.

Q….

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Official Statement Regarding Bishop John B. Brungardt

DODGE CITY (KS)
Diocese of Dodge City

February 8, 2021

Bishop John B. Brungardt of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City has been notified by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation of an accusation of abuse of a minor made against him. Bishop Brungardt denies the allegation and is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation. He has decided to step aside from his duties until the matter is resolved and has informed his Metropolitan Archbishop, Joseph Naumann. Consequently, the Congregation for Bishops has appointed, with immediate effect, Most Rev. Gerald Vincke, Bishop of Salina, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dodge City. Due to the ongoing investigation, no further details can be shared at this point. To report abuse, call law enforcement and if an allegation involves a bishop, it can be reported to the bishop third-party reporting system at 1.800.276.1562 or online at https ://reportbishopabuse.org. Please pray for…

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Official Statement Regarding Bishop John B. Brungardt

DODGE CITY (KS)
Diocese of Dodge City

February 8, 2021

Bishop John B. Brungardt of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City has been notified by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation of an accusation of abuse of a minor made against him. Bishop Brungardt denies the allegation and is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation. He has decided to step aside from his duties until the matter is resolved and has informed his Metropolitan Archbishop, Joseph Naumann. Consequently, the Congregation for Bishops has appointed, with immediate effect, Most Rev. Gerald Vincke, Bishop of Salina, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dodge City. Due to the ongoing investigation, no further details can be shared at this point. To report abuse, call law enforcement and if an allegation involves a bishop, it can be reported to the bishop third-party reporting system at 1.800.276.1562 or online at https ://reportbishopabuse.org. Please pray for…

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Rev. Piotr Calik named vicar general for Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
Republican via MassLive

February 8, 2021

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

The Rev. Piotr Stanislaw Calik, currently pastor of All Saints and St. Mary parishes in Ware, has been named vicar general for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield by Bishop William Byrne.

The position, the highest under a bishop in overseeing a diocese and its administrative offices, has been vacant since last summer when the diocese’s ninth bishop – Mitchell T. Rozanski – was named Archbishop of St. Louis, and the Rev. Monsignor Christopher Connelly, rector of St. Michael’s Cathedral, said he would not seek reappointment.

A report issued at that time had been critical of Connelly in its investigation into how the diocese had handled sexual abuse allegations against the late Bishop Christopher Weldon.

“After much prayer and consultation, I am appointing Father Piotr Calik as vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of…

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Rev. Piotr Calik named vicar general for Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
Republican via MassLive

February 8, 2021

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

The Rev. Piotr Stanislaw Calik, currently pastor of All Saints and St. Mary parishes in Ware, has been named vicar general for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield by Bishop William Byrne.

The position, the highest under a bishop in overseeing a diocese and its administrative offices, has been vacant since last summer when the diocese’s ninth bishop – Mitchell T. Rozanski – was named Archbishop of St. Louis, and the Rev. Monsignor Christopher Connelly, rector of St. Michael’s Cathedral, said he would not seek reappointment.

A report issued at that time had been critical of Connelly in its investigation into how the diocese had handled sexual abuse allegations against the late Bishop Christopher Weldon.

“After much prayer and consultation, I am appointing Father Piotr Calik as vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of…

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Bishop Byrne names Father Piotr Calik vicar general, moderator of the curia

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
iObserve – Diocese of Springfield

February 8, 2021

Bishop William Byrne has named Father Piotr Calik as vicar general of the Diocese of Springfield. A vicar general reports to the bishop and is the moderator of the curia, or administrative affairs.

“After much prayer and consultation, I am appointing Father Piotr Calik as vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Springfield. Father Piotr’s many gifts are well-suited for this time of transition,” said Bishop Byrne.

“The position will be full-time to allow me to be bishop, not of an office, but of our diocese. I am grateful that Father Piotr has agreed to serve in this capacity because I know he loves being a pastor,” Bishop Byrne said.

Father Calik is currently the pastor of All Saints and St. Mary parishes in Ware.

“Of course, being asked by Bishop Byrne to be vicar…

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February 8, 2021

North Dakota bill to close child abuse reporting loophole nixed after Catholic opposition

GRAND FORKS (ND)
Grand Forks Herald

February 1, 2021

By C.S. Hagen

https://www.grandforksherald.com/news/government-and-politics/6867218-North-Dakota-bill-to-close-child-abuse-reporting-loophole-nixed-after-Catholic-opposition

Backers of the bill said it was not aimed at the Catholic Church. But the legislation came at a time when North Dakota dioceses were under scrutiny for historical inaction on child sex abuse.

Bismarck – A bill that would have required North Dakota clergy to report cases of child abuse and neglect learned during confession or other private religious conversations has been withdrawn from consideration this session.

Current state law presents a loophole that does not mandate that pastors, priests and other clergy report abuse to a law enforcement agency if it’s information received when acting as a spiritual advisor.

The withdrawal of Senate Bill 2180 on Friday, Jan. 29, came after the Catholic Church publicly condemned the legislation as “draconian.”

In a Jan. 20 letter, William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious…

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N.L. Roman Catholic parishioners told Mount Cashel resolution to mean ‘sacrifice’

KAMLOOPS (BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA)
Kamloops This Week from Canadian Press

February 7, 2021

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador – Roman Catholic parishes in St. John’s were informed Sunday the resolution of claims by victims of abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage will mean “changes and sacrifices” to deal with the financial fallout.

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the archdiocese’s application for leave to appeal a decision by the Newfoundland and Labrador Appeal Court on Jan. 14, meaning the church is liable for abuse committed in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

He says in the letter he can’t promise the road ahead will be an easy one, but he hopes the resolution process will bring healing for victims, their loved ones and the entire faith community.

The archbishop said “the resolution of the claims will have significant implications for the parishes and parishioners,” in the diocese, adding in a…

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Catholic schools in US hit by unprecedented enrollment drop

NEW YORK (NY)
Associated Press

February 8, 2021

By David Crary

Enrollment in Roman Catholic schools in the United States dropped 6.4% from the previous academic year amid the pandemic and economic stresses — the largest single-year decline in at least five decades, Catholic education officials reported Monday.

Among the factors were the closure or consolidation of more than 200 schools and the difficulty for many parents of paying tuition fees that average more than $5,000 for grades K-8 and more than $10,000 for secondary schools, according to the National Catholic Educational Association.

John Reyes, the NCEA’s executive director for operational vitality, said the pandemic has been an “accelerant” for longstanding challenges facing Catholic education.

Between the 2019-2020 school year and the current year, nationwide enrollment dropped by 110,000 to about 1.6 million students. Back in the 1960s, enrollment was more than 5 million.

With the recent wave of…

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House Sponsors Hope Derailed Sex Abuse Survivor Rights Amendment Will Get Back on Track

VESTAL (NY)
WSKG / NPR

February 8, 2021

By Sam Dunklau

Harrisburg PA – A proposal to give childhood sexual abuse survivors in Pennsylvania two more years to sue after the statute of limitations has expired is getting another chance in the state legislature.

The measure would have amended the commonwealth’s Constitution, but its years-long approval process was set to start over when the Department of State revealed this week it failed to advertise the amendment last year, as required by the Constitution.

Representatives Jim Gregory and Mark Rozzi speak to reporters after the successful passage of their bills from the House Judiciary Committee. Katie Meyer / WITF

Under Pa. law, constitutional amendments need to be approved twice in each chamber in two consecutive sessions before heading to voters, which takes at least two years to accomplish.

The snafu prompted bipartisan criticism and the resignation of Secretary of State…

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Pope to Focolare: Continue to grow in dialogue with today’s world

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service via Catholic San Francisco / Archdiocese of San Francisco

February 8, 2021

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

Vatican City – Pope Francis encouraged members of the Focolare movement to remain open to and in dialogue with the world around them, and to be courageous in confronting problems within their community, particularly in regard to revelations of abuse.

“This approach of openness and dialogue will help you avoid every self-referentiality, which is always a sin; it is a temptation to look at oneself in the mirror,” he said in an audience in the Paul VI audience hall Feb. 6 with member-delegates taking part in the movement’s general assembly.

This self-referential tendency must be avoided by everyone in the church because being “turned inward on oneself,” he said, “always leads to defending the institution to the detriment of people and can also lead to…

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Diocese of Wilmington again found in compliance with plan to deal with sexual abuse of minors

WILMINGTON (DE)
The Dialog – Diocese of Wilmington

February 5, 2021

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has once again been found to be in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the comprehensive action plan adopted by the U.S. bishops in 2002 to effectively deal with sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy and other church personnel.

The findings are a result of a review of data collected for the 2019/2020 Charter audit period by StoneBridge Business Partners, an independent firm hired by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Diocese of Wilmington has been found to be in compliance in all audits including its first audit in 2004.

Currently, there are approximately 11,000 active individuals – including clergy, deacons and parish and school staff and volunteers – that have undergone background checks and have been cleared for ministry with young…

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Diocese of Buffalo says audit shows it to be complying with youth safety procedures

BUFFALO (NY) and TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
WBFO / NPR

February 2, 2021

By Michael Mroziak

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo says a newly-completed audit by a Rochester firm finds it is fully complying with guidelines put forth to protect children and young people from harm.

StoneBridge Business Partners looked at the years 2019 and 2020, collecting and measuring data from parishes, schools and key diocesan departments. The information collected covers topics including appropriate training, screening and hiring processes and procedures for working with victims.

The purpose of the audit was to determine whether the Diocese of Buffalo has been following the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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Poles Lose Faith as PiS Drives Politicisation of Church

SARAJEVO (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA)
Reporting Democracy/Balkan Investigative Reporting Network

February 8, 2021

By Dariusz Kalan

Distrust of the Polish Catholic Church’s takeover of many aspects of life, its inability to handle internal scandals, and the discord between conservative dogma and some priests’ ostentatious wealth are driving many Poles away.

Warsaw – For Michal Rogalski, his Catholic faith meant much more than Sunday gatherings, decorating a Christmas tree and other religious routines. It was something he felt deeply about and has explored in various ways throughout his whole life.

Born in a staunchly Roman Catholic family, Rogalski, a 32-year-old translator, became an altar boy at the age of four. Later, for a year, he attended a pre-novitiate program required to join the Dominican friary, which he eventually abandoned, and he wrote a PhD thesis on Catholic modernism.

Now, asked the most fundamental question about whether God exists, Rogalski, after a…

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Bishop of Raphoe issues apology after former priest jailed

LETTERKENNY (DONEGAL, IRELAND)
Highland Radio

February 5, 2021

The Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian has issued a statement on behalf of the Diocese of Raphoe, apologising to the family of a man who was abused by a former priest from the diocese.

The Bishop said that the Church must continue to ensure that such crimes never happen again and that victims feel their voices are heard and that they are supported.

Yesterday, at Letterkenny Circuit Court, a former priest of the Diocese of Raphoe, was sentenced to two years imprisonment for the sexual abuse of a minor in 1985.

He was a priest in the diocese from 1976 and was removed from ministry immediately on reception of the complaint in 1998. The Gardai and HSE/ Tulsa were informed then.

In a statement and on behalf of the Diocese of Raphoe, Bishop Alan McGuckian said that he was deeply saddened…

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Lawmakers consider fast-track plan for abuse lawsuit window

HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press

February 4, 2021

By Mark Scolforo and Marc Levy

A bid to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to give victims of child sexual abuse a new legal window to sue over otherwise time-barred allegations got new life Thursday, days after the disclosure of a paperwork error threw it into disarray.

Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, told colleagues during a state House session that Republican leaders in both chambers were working with him and he hoped to get the proposed amendment on the spring primary ballot through a rarely used emergency process allowed in the constitution.

“We’ll be able to pass a standalone quickly and get this on the May ballot as originally intended,” Rozzi said.

Rozzi, a prime backer of the amendment who has told of his rape by a priest when he was 13, said the top-ranking senator in the GOP-majority Senate, President Pro Tempore Jake…

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Pa. House leaders plan emergency fix on abuse lawsuits after filing error

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

February 4, 2021

By Peter Smith

Pennsylvania House leaders support using an emergency declaration to overcome a paperwork blunder by the secretary of state’s office and get a proposed constitutional amendment to voters this May that would allow lawsuits over long-ago sexual abuse.

The measure was made public Thursday afternoon on the House floor by Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks County. Leaders of both parties in the House voiced their support. Mr. Rozzi also said Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, indicated to him he supports the idea and would discuss it with the majority Republican caucus there.

The measure has been long sought by victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and others in cases often going back decades. They have been barred by state law against filing suits against dioceses and other organizations over long-ago abuse by the statute of limitations.

Thursday’s legislative…

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Abuse survivors and advocates push emergency measure for May ballot

TARENTUM (PA)
TribLive

February 6, 2021

By Deb Erdley

A bipartisan team of Pennsylvania lawmakers will invoke a rare emergency provision of the Pennsylvania Constitution, seeking to restore a constitutional amendment ballot question long sought by victims of child sex abuse. An administrative error by the Department of State, discovered late last month, prevents the question from appearing on the May 18 ballot.

The proposed amendment gives child sexual abuse victims a retroactive two-year “window” in which to file civil lawsuits, no matter how long ago the alleged abuse occurred. The enabling legislation was approved in the General Assembly on three separate votes — two in the House and one in the Senate — and was headed for a final Senate vote this month to put it on the May ballot. But the Department of State failed to complete an essential task: legal advertising of the proposed amendment.

The…

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Former archpriest is permanently banned from duties over sex abuse

MALTA
Times of Malta

February 7, 2021

By Matthew Xuereb

Case had been referred to Vatican by then bishop Mario Grech

The Vatican has banned the former archpriest of Xagħra, who was investigated for sexually abusing an altar boy more than two decades ago, from ever again exercising his functions as a priest, including administering any sacraments.

Sources close to the Vatican confirmed that Mgr Eucharist Sultana, 82, had his temporary restrictions on the exercising of his ministry turned permanent following a canonical penal process by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is a sort of trial over breaches in Canon law.

The case had been referred to the Vatican by former Gozo bishop Mario Grech upon receipt of a report by the Church’s Safeguarding Commission in 2018, which had concluded that victim’s allegations of sexual abuse against Fr Sultana were deemed “credible”.

The matter…

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Former Xagħra archpriest investigated over abuse claims in 2018

MALTA
Times of Malta

February 3, 2021

By Matthew Xuereb

Case could not be taken to court because it was time-barred

The former Archpriest of Xagħra, Gozo, Mgr Eucharist Sultana, was investigated by the police over allegations of having sexually abused a teenage altar boy but no criminal action had been taken as the case was time-barred, a police spokesman has told Times of Malta.

Sultana was investigated in 2018 at the same time that he was stopped from carrying out any priestly duties, including saying mass.

Earlier this week he was one of the witnesses summoned by the police in the case against two other priests who were arraigned last week and accused of abusing an altar boy.

He told the court that he had been at the seminary with the other priests but could not remember the victim or whether he had been an altar boy at…

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Catholic Church ‘apologises for the suffering’ caused by ‘sexual sadist’ priest

STOKE-ON-TRENT (ENGLAND)
StokeOnTrentLive

February 8, 2021

To the outside, ‘Father Joe’ was seen as a saviour, a man carrying out God’s work. Behind closed doors, he was a sinner possessing sewer urges

The Roman Catholic Church has apologised for the ‘suffering’ caused by a ‘sadist priest’ when he sexually and physically abused a teenage boy.

Depraved Father Joseph Quigley committed a catalogue of offences against his teenage victim.

These included:

– Rubbing the boy’s inner thigh after making him wear gym kit;
– Making him take showers with the door open;
– Inflicting ‘sado-masochistic’ punishments on him such as locking him in the church’s crypt, a cold and dark room containing tombs;
– Beating the boy with a hurling stick and;
– Making the boy do sit-ups and press-ups as punishments, to stand in the corner and suck paracetamols, which have a bitter taste.

Quigley,…

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February 7, 2021

Mississippi trial delayed for friar accused of sex abuse

MISSISSIPPI
Associated Press

February 7, 2021

A trial has been postponed until April for a former Franciscan friar accused of molesting students in the 1990s at a Catholic school in Mississippi.

Paul West had been scheduled for trial in February. His case was delayed so he could undergo a mental evaluation, The Greenwood Commonwealth reported, citing dockets on the local district attorney’s website.

A Leflore County grand jury indicted West in August on two counts of sexual battery and two counts of gratification of lust. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

This is the second time the case has been postponed since West pleaded innocent in September.

West’s attorney, Wallie Stuckey, said in November that he had not received all the information he’s legally due from the Mississippi attorney general’s office about witnesses and evidence.

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Did ‘the Roman Catholic Church’ unjustly collect federal aid? AP story misrepresents Church finances, expert says

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Agency

February 5, 2021

By Jonah McKeown

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/did-the-roman-catholic-church-unjustly-collect-federal-aid-ap-story-misrepresents-church-finances-expert-says-18615

A Feb. 4 investigative story from the Associated Press inaccurately portrays “the Roman Catholic Church” as a “giant corporate monolith” that raked in federal aid while sitting on billions of dollars that they could have used to pay employees, a canon and civil law expert told CNA.

In reality, “the Roman Catholic Church” in the US is made up of tens of thousands of separate nonprofits, most of which did not have legal access to liquid cash necessary to pay their employees when the pandemic took hold last year.

The CARES Act, passed in March 2020, initially authorized some $350 billion in loans to small businesses, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, which was intended to allow them to continue to pay their employees.

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Ayala: Archdiocese of San Antonio plans to update its clergy abuse list

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
San Antonio Express-News via lmtonline.com

February 6, 2021

By Elaine Ayala

Two years ago, when Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller released a landmark list of priests credibly accused of sexually assaulting and abusing children, he said that apologizing once wouldn’t suffice.

Two years after that defining moment, his words torment survivors of crimes that amounted to rape.

None of the cases might have resulted in imprisonment, but they embroiled the Catholic Church in a global cover-up and scandal.
.
Survivors involved in SNAP San Antonio, a chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, say the archdiocese hasn’t been forthcoming since.

Instead, they say the archdiocese has been managing the fallout and liability.

This week, the Archdiocese of San Antonio said in a statement that it plans to update its 2019 list.

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EDITORIAL: Legislation needed to help victims of child sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Observer-Reporter

February 6, 2021

To err is human, so the saying goes.

We’ve been told by thinkers and self-help gurus through the years that mistakes can be a source of learning, inspiration and growth, that we shouldn’t fear them, and we should courageously move on from them.

Advice along these lines has undoubtedly been ricocheting through the mind of now-departed Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar in recent days. Boockvar fell on her sword and resigned last week after a mistake the State Department made that had the distinction of being both trivial and exceptional.

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The Catholic Church has a dangerous influence on Poland

EUROPE
The Boar (publication of the University of Warwick, England)

February 7, 2021

By Nikki Siriprasert

The Polish Catholic Church and some of those who follow their teaching have a rather “interesting” take on sexuality. According to them, contraception is a serious sin, sexual education promotes paedophillia, gay rights movement is a “rainbow plague”, abortion should be banned even when the foetus is severely deformed, and of course, abstinence is the virtuous way to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

Yet, along with preaching these “moral” codes, many priests and bishops sexually abuse young girls and boys, and those in charge choose to turn a blind eye on the issue. Many Polish people, especially the younger generation, sees through the church’s hypocrisy and views the teachings as impractical, harmful and hateful. The recent near-total abortion ban might well be the last straw for many Poles. Refusal to adapt to the younger generation…

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Truth forum to hear tales of mother and baby homes

IRELAND
Sunday Times

February 7, 2021

By Justine McCarthy

Varadkar backs ‘less clinical’ look at abuse in church and state institutions

Leo Varadkar, the tanaiste, wants to establish a public truth forum to hear the stories of women and children who survived abusive church and state institutions, and of those who ran them.

“I very much respect the painstaking work done by the commission on mother and baby homes and previous bodies like the Ryan Commission,” said the Fine Gael leader.

“They spent years listening to testimony and examining documentary evidence to try to establish the truth of what happened, to a legal or academic standard. That’s important for the state, for society and for historical accuracy — but for many survivors it can be cold and clinical, including the fact it’s been done behind closed doors.”

A forum on truth, gender and transformation was proposed by Katherine Zappone…

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Roman Catholic church in Birmingham ‘sorry’ as ‘sadist’ priest Joseph Quigley jailed

ENGLAND
Birmingham Mail

February 7, 2021

By Mike Lockley

Case against 56-year-old ‘Father Joe’ involved one victim, a teenager at the time, but another key witness had also been abused

The Catholic church in Birmingham has dubbed the crimes of perverted priest Father Joseph Quigley – the sexual sadist who forced his young victim to suck bitter Paracetamol as punishment – deplorable.

And the Archdiocese issued an apology for the suffering caused by twisted Quigley while at St Charles Borromeo RC Church, near Warwick.

The depravity inflicted by 56-year-old Quigley – sentenced to 11 years last Friday – near beggars belief.

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Catholic Church ‘apologises for the suffering’ caused by ‘sexual sadist’ priest

ENGLAND
Coventry live

February 7, 2021

By Mike Lockley and Madeleine Clark

Father Joseph Quigley was jailed for 11 and a half years

The Roman Catholic Church in Birmingham has apologised for the “suffering” caused by Father Joseph Quigley when he sexually and physically abused a teenage boy at a church in Warwickshire for six years.

Described as a “sexual sadist”, Quigley rubbed his teenage victim’s inner thigh after making him wear gym kit, made him take showers with the door open and inflicted ‘sado-masochistic’ punishments on him such as locking him in the church’s crypt.

He also beat the boy with a hurling stick during his time at St Charles Borromeo RC church in Hampton-on-the-Hill near Warwick, reports BirminghamLive.

Quigley has now been jailed for 11 and a half years after being handed his sentence on January 29.

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‘What are other organisations doing about child abuse?’

MALTA
Times of Malta

February 6, 2021

Head of Church’s safeguarding commission says its example should be copied

The Church’s progress in developing ways of exposing child abuse cases is not being repeated by other organisations which are involved with children, the head of its Safeguarding Commission has said.

Andrew Azzopardi said that such organisations – from football clubs to schools – needed safeguarding structures of their own, to ensure victims of abuse had a way of reporting it.

“How can the police know what is going on in a football ground, school or church? Building a safe culture must come internally,” Azzopardi said.

The Safeguarding Commission was established in 2015 to investigate cases of alleged abuse, facilitate reporting of such cases and train people to better identify and respond to abuse cases.

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Former Staten Island priest ‘groomed’ and sexually abused boy, another lawsuit alleges

STATEN ISLAND (NY)
Staten Island Advance

February 6, 2021

By Frank Donnelly

“Grooming’ and sex-abuse allegations leveled at former Staten Island priest in another lawsuit

Former priest Ralph LaBelle plied a young parishioner with beer and Rangers’ hockey tickets to gain the boy’s trust and sexually abuse him, a lawsuit alleges.

Recently filed in state Supreme Court, St. George, the suit is the latest involving allegations of molestation against LaBelle while he was assigned to St. Clare’s R.C. Church in Great Kills.

A civil complaint names the Archdiocese of New York and St. Clare’s as defendants.

LaBelle first abused the plaintiff around 1987 when he was 11 years old, alleges the complaint.

He continued to molest the youngster about “a dozen times” over the course of two years, the complaint alleges.

“LaBelle was a sexual predator and was engaged in a sexually inappropriate relationship with plaintiff,” the complaint contends….

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[Media Statement] Catholic Officials in St. Augustine Withheld Information from Florida AG

UNITED STATES
SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

February 5, 2021

When Florida’s Office of Statewide Prosecution released their report into clergy sexual abuse, we noted that investigations into the institutional Catholic Church routinely found that officials “actively worked to prevent parents and parishioners from learning about abusers.” A news article out of Jacksonville shockingly shows that abusers were being hidden even while the attorney general was actively investigating cases of cover-up.

According to the media report, Catholic officials in the Diocese of St. Augustine did not disclose allegations against several priests, including Fr. John Dux and Fr. D. Terrence Morgan. The latter was under investigation for “lewd and lascivious acts” at the time the state investigation was ongoing. We find it very concerning that Church leaders were not fully transparent with investigators in Florida, although we are not surprised. In our experience, Catholic officials have lied…

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[Opinion] Ayala: Survivor questions San Antonio archdiocese for failing to ‘walk with’ victims after list of clergy abusers released in 2019

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
San Antonio Express News

February 4, 2021

By Elaine Ayala

https://www.expressnews.com/news/news_columnists/elaine_ayala/article/Ayala-Survivor-questions-San-Antonio-archdiocese-15922815.php

If you ask Zac Zepeda how he’s doing, he says, “OK.” He just got his COVID-19 vaccine, he adds.

At 72 and retired from USAA after 30 years, Zepeda can look back at a life well-lived. He attended San Antonio College, served in the military during the Vietnam War and graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

He has been married for 44 years, “to the same woman,” he jokes, and they have two adult children.

Zepeda is a survivor of sexual assault and abuse. He was 12, in seventh grade at a Catholic school, when it happened. His predator was a young, popular Catholic priest named Michael J. O’Sullivan.

The first incident was in 1961 in the sacristy of Blessed Sacrament Church on Oblate Drive, he said. A sacristy is the room…

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TMIS Editorial: Sex abuse and omertà

MALTA
Malta Independent

February 7, 2021

Malta has once again been shaken to the core by allegations of sexual abuse carried out by clergymen, and a feeling of great anger has swept over our society.

But will the rage we are collectively feeling lead us to become a more alert and compassionate society?

Will it make us finally ditch the sense of omertà that still prevails in certain communities, and which keeps well-known ‘secrets’ from being reported to the authorities?

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The False Memory Syndrome at 30: How Flawed Science Turned into Conventional Wisdom

UNITED STATES
Mad in America (blog)

February 7, 2021

By Joshua Kendall

In early December of 1990, the young academic was feeling confused. Though she had recently been granted tenure and was a happily married mother of two, with another child on the way, she was weighed down by a surprising surge in anxiety. To get some relief from her distress, she decided to enter psychotherapy.

When she mentioned in an early session how much she was dreading the prospect of seeing her parents during the upcoming Christmas vacation, her therapist asked if she had ever been abused. “I said, ‘No,’ but later that day, I began experiencing disturbing flashbacks. Over the next few weeks, I remembered that my father had molested me when I was a young child,” said Jennifer Freyd, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, in a phone interview. “When my parents arrived…

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DCI won’t share results of priest abuse investigation due to statute of limitations

RAPID CITY (SD)
Rapid City Journal

February 6, 2021

By Arielle Zionts

https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/dci-won-t-share-results-of-priest-abuse-investigation-due-to-statute-of-limitations/article_8526b90e-68b5-5142-bbaa-eb8a7e43a3d7.html

The Division of Criminal Investigation won’t share the scope or results of its investigation into a Rapid City priest accused of child sexual abuse because any crime that might have happened can no longer be charged in court.

“While the investigation is not closed it is at a point where due to the statute of limitations there is nothing chargeable,” said Tim Bormann, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office. “Should any new information or allegations be forthcoming that evidence would then be examined.”

Bormann declined to share the nature of the allegations and the results and scope of the investigation into Father Michel Mulloy, a priest who was set to become Bishop of Duluth.

“The statute of limitations places this matter into a category where it cannot be brought into a court of law, similarly it…

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February 6, 2021

[Media Statement] Catholic Officials Apparently Raided PPP Loans Unnecessarily at the Expense of Small Businesses

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

February 4, 2021

It appears that Catholic officials in the US plundered the American taxpayer by accepting payroll protection program funds in dioceses that had billions in assets and cash.

According to the AP, “112 Roman Catholic dioceses in the U.S. collectively had over $10 billion in cash and other funds when they received at least $1.5 billion from the Paycheck Protection Program.” It is disturbing that an entity with so much already in the bank was able to so much of the money intended to keep small businesses afloat. It is even more concerning considering that these dioceses have billions more in property and real estate that was not included in the AP calculations.

There are 178 Catholic dioceses and nearly 200 Catholic religious orders in the United States. That the AP only analyzed 112 of them and did not have…

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Claimed $2 Million in Federal Small Business Relief Funds

WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

February 5, 2021

By Duncan Slade

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston received an almost $2 million loan from federal COVID-19 relief, according to an audit released Friday.

As the church faced a considerable revenue decline due to the pandemic and corresponding economic recession, it applied for a federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in April and secured $1,996,372 through the program.

“There was no reason for our church employees, who pay taxes, to lose their jobs and possibly their homes when the government was making funds available precisely to keep people at work,” wrote Bishop Mark Brennan in a letter released with the audit Friday.

The funds were used to pay employee salaries and healthcare, according to accompanying documents. PPP loans are eligible for forgiveness if used for payroll and other select expenses, and the diocese plans to apply for forgiveness from the federal…

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St. Augustine Diocese did not disclose priest was under investigation, AG’s office says

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
News4JAX

February 5, 2021

By Kelly Wiley

Top leaders with the Diocese of St. Augustine did not disclose to state prosecutors investigating sex abuse within Florida churches that one of its priests was the subject of two local criminal investigations until after the state concluded its investigation.

Now, the Florida Attorney General’s Office is looking further into Fr. David Terrance Morgan, a retired priest.

Morgan, 72, is a former religion teacher at Bishop Kenny High School and was last assigned to Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine before retiring in 2019.

The Florida Attorney General’s Office announced it was beginning an investigation into sex crimes inside Florida’s Catholic churches in October 2018.

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Trainee Catholic priest accused of downloading indecent images of children wearing nappies was arrested following a tip-off from the US security services before judge dismissed his case due to lack of evidence

ENGLAND
Daily Mail

February 5, 2021

By Matt Drake

— Henry Balkwill, 33, was arrested at Saint John’s Seminary in Guildford, Surrey
— It followed a tip-off from the US Department of Homeland Security, a court heard
— But the case was dropped due to lack of evidence and he was free to go

A trainee priest accused of downloading indecent images of children wearing nappies had the case thrown out by a judge due to lack of evidence.

Henry Balkwill, 33, was arrested in his room at Saint John’s Seminary in Guildford, Surrey, following a tip-off from the US Department of Homeland Security, a court was told.

He denied a charge of printing off 12 indecent images before scrapping them later.

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Christian pastor Bob Cotton’s call to increase penalties for covering up child sex abuse

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
Newcastle Herald

February 6, 2021

By Sage Swinton

When Maitland Pastor Bob Cotton’s hard-fought push to increase penalties for concealing child sex abuse became a reality, he thought things would change.

He thought the NSW government agreeing to increase the maximum jail term from two to five years in November 2018 would mean more people who covered up child abuse in church hierarchies would be sent to prison.

But more than two years later, there’s little to show for it.

Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research data shows that since the sentencing reform was introduced, there have been six charges for concealing child abuse in NSW, three of which resulted in guilty verdicts.

None of the convictions resulted in prison terms.

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Vatican investigates German women’s group

GERMANY
The Tablet

February 4, 2021

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has begun an investigation of Maria 2.0, a group of German Catholic women.

At the same time, the CDF has decided to drop its centuries-old title of “Inquisition”.

According to the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ),the reason for the investigation is connected with Maria 2.0’s protests against the Archbishop of Cologne’s refusal to publish an abuse report.

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki initially promised to publish the report he commissioned on the handling of abuse cases in the archdiocese of Cologne by an independent Munich law firm, but in the end refused to publish it.

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February 5, 2021

Cardinal Blase Cupich demanding details on abusive order priests but won’t post findings

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

February 5, 2021

By Robert Herguth

The Archdiocese of Chicago has been getting explicit details from religious orders on problem priests in the area for over two years. But it’s keeping that information secret. Some orders won’t release it, either.

Two and a half years after the latest sex abuse scandal rocked the Catholic church and prompted new pledges of transparency, the church in the Chicago region has yet to make a full accounting to the public of its problem priests.

Cardinal Blase Cupich has demanded for more than two years now that Catholic religious orders that operate in his territory fully disclose to him any information on their clergy members who now face or previously have faced accusations of child sexual abuse.

But Cupich — who heads the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, which covers Cook County and Lake County, and who reports to…

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A child sex abuser evaded justice in Kenya. Then an ‘ordinary woman’ took matters into her own hands.

KENYA
The Washington Post

February 4, 2021

By Max Bearak and Rael Ombuor

NAIROBI — Some coincidences are impossible to ignore.

Margaret Ruto, a Pennsylvania nurse in her mid-30s, thought she was returning to the rolling green hills of Kenya’s tea-growing region to care for her ailing mother-in-law.

Instead, a fluke of fate awaited her: A man who lived just 10 minutes from her home in the United States had opened an orphanage not 10 minutes from her ancestral village in Kenya — and children were saying they had been sexually abused there.

It was the summer of 2018, and she found the village in uproar. Two girls, 12 and 14, had recently escaped and shared horror stories of sexual abuse at the hands of the orphanage’s director, Gregory Dow.

Ruto was led to a rumpled patch of earth behind the orphanage. Former employees said a 9-month-old boy buried…

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Priest working at Catholic retirement home in Mandeville convicted of battery on recently-widowed resident

LOUISIANA
WWL-TV

February 4, 2021

By David Hammer, WPO-TV, and Ramon Antonio Vargas, The New Orleans Advocate

https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/crime/priest-at-catholic-retirement-home-in-mandeville-convicted-of-battery-on-recently-widowed-resident/289-7193340b-f1ee-411d-92de-191cc036bae6

Weeks after commending her dying husband’s soul to God, the chaplain at a Catholic retirement home in Mandeville forcefully reached under an elderly woman’s blouse multiple times in an unsuccessful attempt to seduce her, according to authorities.

The Rev. Michael Mulenga was convicted of a simple misdemeanor battery charge Wednesday and was immediately sent to prison for five months, officials said.

Mulenga — who reports to a diocese in the East African nation of Zambia, but was in the area as a visiting priest — met Lynn Michler in 2019 while working as the chaplain of Rouquette Lodge, an independent living facility run by an Archdiocese of New Orleans nonprofit that provides affordable housing to low-income seniors.

Michler’s husband of more than 50 years, George “Butch” Michler, was dying at the…

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Former Jacksonville bishops failed to report sexual abuse allegations, records show

FLORIDA
News4Jax

February 4, 2021

By Kelly Wiley

Archives show church didn’t tell state about allegations against retired priest during its investigation

Since the early 1990s, at least four women have repeatedly come to the Diocese of St. Augustine with complaints of how now-deceased priest William Malone molested and fondled them, impregnating at least one of them, in the 1980s.

His victims were young girls, the youngest just 11 years old.

The Diocese of St. Augustine told its parishioners in 2019 — for the first time — it knew of credible allegations against Fr. Malone. Church leaders didn’t specify how many victims came forward or what they knew.

The archive records, provided by the Diocese of St. Augustine to the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, reveal the diocese — specifically late Bishop John Snyder — knew about Fr. Malone’s problems at least starting in 1991.

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Zirkin Returns to Old Committee to Testify Against Wilson’s Child Sex Abuse Bill

MARYLAND
Maryland Matters

February 5, 2021

By Hannah Gaskill

Former Senate Judicial Proceedings chairman Robert A. Zirkin (D-Baltimore County) returned to his former committee this week to testify against a high-profile bill that’s a follow-up to a measure he once championed.

The woman who replaced Zirkin in the Senate last year, Sen. Shelly L. Hettleman (D-Baltimore County), has joined Del. CT Wilson (D-Charles) in his fight to eliminate the statute of limitations for child sex abuse survivors to launch civil suits. The bill was up in the Judicial Proceedings Committee, where Hettleman serves, on Tuesday.

But in lieu of a packed room full of survivors comforting each other and crying as they waited to testify, almost 200 pages of testimony were submitted to the panel, detailing heartbreaking stories of childhood shame, abuse, molestation and rape.

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[Opinion] Five myths about Catholics

WASHINGTON D.C.
Washington Post

February 4, 2021

By Candida Moss

Actually, the pope isn’t always infallible — and Francis isn’t a liberal.

For the second time in its history, the United States has a Catholic president. The 2020 election season was distinctive for the ways Joe Biden’s Catholic credentials were challenged by his opponents even as they were highlighted by his own campaign. Though there have always been misconceptions about the beliefs of Roman Catholics — the second-largest religious group in the country — the last year has underscored the considerable confusion about what the Catholic Church teaches and what it means to be Catholic.

Myth No. 1: Celibacy and homosexuality caused the pedophilia scandal.

For the last two decades, the biggest scandal in the Catholic Church has been the child sex abuse crisis. In explaining the genesis of the abuse, a number of Catholic leaders and organizations have…

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Why “he seems such a nice guy” is the wrong response to abuse allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
The Stylist

February 4, 2021

By Kayleigh Dray

“If we’re looking for monsters, we’ll never find them.”

On 2 February, Evan Rachel Wood took to her official Instagram account to name Marilyn Manson (real name Brian Warner) as her former abuser.

“He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years,” alleged the Westworld actor, who met Manson at the age of 18, when he was 36 and married to Dita Von Teese, according to a 2016 Rolling Stone profile.

“I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission.”

Standing alongside four other women, all of whom have accused Manson of abuse, Wood added: “I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail.

“I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives.”

In light of these disturbing…

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[Opinion] New AP report details ongoing abuse of PPP funds by Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
Freedom from Religion Foundation (blog)

February 4, 2021

Another new bombshell report by the Associated Press shows once again that churches are stealing from the American taxpayer:

“As the pandemic began to unfold, AP reveals today, “scores of Catholic dioceses across the U.S. received aid through the Paycheck Protection Program while sitting on well over $10 billion in cash, short-term investments or other available funds, an Associated Press investigation has found. And despite the broad economic downturn, these assets have grown in many dioceses.”

AP reports that “[t]he 112 dioceses that shared their financial statements collected at least $1.5 billion in taxpayer-backed aid. A majority of these dioceses reported enough money on hand to cover at least six months of operating expenses, even without any new income.”

The PPP is not even a year old and already the grift and abuse by church has been enormous. And…

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No criminal misconduct found after AFP investigation into Vatican payments

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

February 5, 2021

By Mark Bowling

THE Australian Federal Police has found no criminal misconduct after completing an investigation into huge payments made from the Vatican to Australia.

There were claims that money transfers of almost $3million sent to Australia could have been connected to an international money laundering and fraud scandal.

The Australian international financial watchdog, AUSTRAC, referred the transfers during the last six years to the Australian Federal Police as “actionable financial intelligence”.

However the AFP has released a statement confirming that it had “completed analysis of the financial intelligence provided by AUSTRAC” and found “no criminal misconduct… to date.”

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Catholic Church paedophile networks to be mapped ‘like organised crime’ by academics

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

February 4, 2021

By Giselle Wakatama

A “mafia-like” code of silence among “dark networks” within the Catholic Church has begun to emerge from a world-first project mapping clerical paedophile networks, says an academic behind the project.

The research builds on work done by Sally Muytjens, one of Dr Death’s doctoral students, who mapped Catholic paedophile networks in Victoria.

The mapping will now include other hotspots such as Newcastle and the role of women in the church, nuns and seminaries.

The Victorian project identified 99 clergy members as abusers linked to 16 paedophile networks in the Melbourne and Ballarat dioceses.

It found there was a “mafia-like” code of silence among clergy perpetrators who formed dark networks (DNs) within the Victorian Catholic Church.

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German cardinal says he will keep promise to publish abuse report

GERMANY
Catholic News Agency

February 5, 2021

A German cardinal facing calls to resign confirmed on Thursday that he would release an eagerly awaited report on abuse cases in his archdiocese next month.

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki told the Kölnische Rundschau newspaper on Feb. 4 that he stood by his promise to release the Gercke Report on clerical abuse on March 18.

He also said that an independent commission would be granted access to another report, by the Munich law firm Westphal Spilker Wastl, which the Archdiocese of Cologne controversially declined to publish.

Woeki, the Archbishop of Cologne since 2014, has been asked repeatedly to resign by journalists in recent weeks. He has also been sharply criticized by clerics and Catholic associations for his handling of abuse reports and cover-up allegations, according to CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.

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Germany: Catholic Church child abuse scandal widens

GERMANY
Anadolu Agency

February 4, 2021

By Ayhan Şimşek

Nuns sold orphaned children to priests, businessmen to serve as sex slaves, new confidential report reveals

Germany’s Catholic Church covered up the sexual abuse of orphaned children for decades, a new confidential report has revealed.

Nuns in the western city of Speyer sold orphaned children to priests and businessmen to serve as sex slaves between the 1960s and 1970s, but the scandal was covered up by the church authorities, The Daily Beast reported.

According to the 560-page report obtained by the US media outlet, at least 175 children, mostly boys between the ages of 8 and 14, were sexually abused over two decades.

The report was commissioned by the German church after a lawsuit was filed by more than a dozen victims against the Archdiocese of Cologne last year, but authorities have so far kept the report under wraps.

According…

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[Opinion] Bishop had to take a sabbatical after reading a ‘gory’ abuse report

Patheos.com (blog)

February 4, 2021

By Barry Duke

AFTER reading a report about the sexual abuse suffered by orphans at boarding houses run by Germany’s Order of the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer, Karl-Heinz Wiesemann, above, Catholic Bishop of Speyer, reportedly had to take a month’s sabbatical to recover from the shock.

According to this Daily Beast report, the investigation into the activities of nuns who rented out orphans – mainly boys – to paedophile priests, politicians and businessman in the 1960s and ’70s, led to a report that the church then attempted to quash.

The details of that investigative report were so horrific that Archbishop Reiner Maria Woelki, above, refused to make it public, demanding that any journalists who see it sign confidentiality agreements.

Eight German journalist stormed out of a press conference in January after being denied access to the church’s investigation unless they agreed not to publish…

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German archbishop under fire over clergy sex abuse report

BERLIN (GERMANY)
Associated Press

February 5, 2021

The head of the German Bishops’ Conference has criticized the handling by one of Germany’s most prominent Roman Catholic archbishops of a report on past child sexual abuse by clergy.

Cologne Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki faces mounting discontent in his diocese over his decision to keep under wraps a study he commissioned on how local church officials reacted when priests were accused of sexual abuse. Woelki has cited legal concerns about publishing the study conducted by a law firm.

The head of the national bishops’ conference, Limburg Bishop Georg Baetzing, criticized Woelki at a news conference on Thursday.

German news agency dpa quoted Baetzing as saying the “crisis that has arisen because the report is not now public was not well-managed, from my point of view.”

The law firm that prepared report has offered to publish the document on its website and…

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February 4, 2021

[News Release] Salem Film Fest Hosts World Premiere of Sipe: Sex, Lies, and the Priesthood

SALEM (MA)
Salem Film Fest and BishopAccountability.org

February 4, 2021

As part of its winter series preceding its festival dates, Salem Film Fest is presenting the World Premiere of the documentary Sipe: Sex, Lies, and the Priesthood. Streaming of the film will be available starting on Saturday, February 20, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. EST on Salem Film Fest’s streaming channel. The one-hour film is produced by Zingerplatz Pictures and BishopAccountability.org. A free live panel with the wife, friends, and scholars of the subject, Richard Sipe, will take place at 8:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 20th, with a live chat function. The film and discussions will then be available via Salem Film Fest’s video-on-demand channel through Thursday, March 4. Ticket link and information can be accessed at SalemFilmFest.com.

The documentary, directed by Joe Cultrera (Hand of God, Frontline, 2006), explores the life and work of the…

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Sitting on billions, Catholic dioceses amassed taxpayer aid

UNITED STATES
Associated Press

February 4, 2021

By Reese Dunklin and Michael Rezendes

When the coronavirus forced churches to close their doors and give up Sunday collections, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte turned to the federal government’s signature small business relief program for more than $8 million.

The diocese’s headquarters, churches and schools landed the help even though they had roughly $100 million of their own cash and short-term investments available last spring, financial records show. When the cash catastrophe church leaders feared didn’t materialize, those assets topped $110 million by the summer.

“I am gratified to report the overall good financial health of the diocese despite the many difficulties presented by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Bishop Peter Jugis wrote in the diocese’s audited financial report released last fall.

As the pandemic began to unfold, scores of Catholic dioceses across the U.S. received aid through the Paycheck Protection Program…

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Lafayette attorney accused of rape in Boy Scout case denies charges

LOUISIANA
KATC-TV

February 3, 2021

The Lafayette attorney accused of rape in an investigation related to the Boy Scouts held a press conference Wednesday to deny the allegations made against him.

“I want to begin by making it very clear. I completely deny any and all charges made against me by an anonymous alleged victim,” Barry Rozas said during the press conference. “It simply did not happen. And there are no circumstances that can ever be misconstrued as inappropriate in all of my years as being a scout leader. While I’m sympathetic to true victims of sexual abuse. There’s no victim in this case, as it relates to me, because I never abused anyone.”

Rozas, 52, was booked with one count of first-degree rape yesterday and released on a $25,000 bond, records show. The victim has alleged that he was raped by Rozas at a location in the 400…

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Bills aim to give childhood sexual assault survivors more time to seek justice

NORTH DAKOTA
KXnet.com

February 3, 2021

By Maddie Biertempfel

A trio of bills meant to give victims of child sexual abuse more time to seek justice heard gut-wrenching testimony this morning from survivors, prosecutors, psychologists and more.

“My dentist was a prolific pedophile,” Jeffrey Dunford said.

Dunford recounts horrific memories of sexual abuse from his childhood dentist in Fargo.

“This particular office manager suggested she had witnessed 400 boys abused in her tenure at the dental office, so I was just one of that section,” Dunford said.

He wasn’t the only one to share his experience.

“I was sexually abused by a priest at Selfridge when I was about 10. Five other boys told me they were also abused by the same priest,” Ted Becker said.

Memories of abuse from priests, parents and other trusted figures filled the hearing room.

“I had one child victim who, her perpetrator had…

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Church volunteer accused of child sex assault knew victim through family, police said

SANTA ROSA (CA)
The Press Democrat

February 3, 2021

By Kaylee Tornay and Nashelly Chavez

A Santa Rosa man in jail on suspicion of repeatedly sexually assaulting a minor over a period of five years knew his victim socially through a family connection, police said Wednesday.

Drue James Mordecai, 55, remained in the Sonoma County Jail, held on $3 million bail, and faces several felony charges related to the statements of a teenage victim, who reported to police that the man had abused them, said Sgt. Chris Mahurin, a spokesman for the Santa Rosa Police Department.

Court records listed 27 felony charges and two enhancements against Mordecai in the case, which included nine charges of assaulting a minor with the intent to commit a felony and five counts of committing a lewd act with a child.

Mordecai was arrested Jan. 28, after investigators with the Police Department determined they…

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Church leader who worked with kids charged with sexual abuse, California cops say

CALIFORNIA
Sacramento Bee

February 3, 2021

By Maddie Capron

A California church leader is accused of sexually abusing a child for four or five years, officials said.

The Santa Rosa Police Department investigated Drue Mordecai, a 55-year-old Santa Rosa resident and “small group leader” at New Vintage Church, for sexual assault, the department said in a Wednesday news release.

“As a result of the investigation, probable cause was established that the suspect sexually abused a juvenile victim for approximately four to five years,” police said in the release. “The abuse began when the victim was 12 years old.”

Mordecai was one of six volunteers who worked with high school students at the church, police said. Officials are investigating if there are other victims.

“As soon as we found out [about the allegations], we proactively began calling families to make sure children were safe,” Lead Pastor Darren Youngstrom told the…

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Church Volunteer Accused Of Sexually Abusing Minor For Years: PD

SANTA ROSA (CA)
Santa Rosa Patch

February 3, 2021

Police said they’re working with leadership of the Santa Rosa church to determine whether there are more potential victims.

A 55-year-old Santa Rosa man is accused of sexually abusing a minor he met while volunteering at a local church, police said.

Drue Mordecai was arrested Thursday on suspicion of 12 charges related to the investigation and remains behind bars in lieu of $3 million bail, according to a Santa Rosa Police Department news release.

The day prior to Mordecai’s arrest, the Santa Rosa Police Department’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Team began a sexual assault investigation that involved a “Small Group Leader” at New Vintage Church and a juvenile victim, police Sgt. Christopher Mahurin said.

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[Opinion] New Diocese of Oakland Sex Abuse Lawsuit Reveals Seminaries as a Hot Bed for Abuse

CALIFORNIA
Legal Examiner (law firm’s blog)

February 3, 2021

New revelations of disturbing sexual abuse at a seminary are coming to light after a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Diocese of Oakland settled last year.

According to a local NBC affiliate, “The accusations come from a former seminarian, 28, who had previously alleged in 2019 that he was raped by Livermore priest Fr. Michael Van Dinh three years ago. He does not wish to be identified, so NBC Bay Area is calling him John Doe.

A police report obtained by NBC Bay Area shows Livermore police found a meth pipe and sex toys in the priest’s living quarters while investigating the alleged assault. Detectives recommended two felony charges, including sodomy by force, but the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office said there wasn’t enough evidence. After going through therapy for the alleged assault at the hands of Fr. Van Dinh,…

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Bill aims to extend time for abuse victims to file claims

NORTH DAKOTA
Associated Press

February 3, 2021

By James MacPherson

Several adult victims of child sexual abuse appealed to lawmakers in emotional testimony Wednesday to back legislation that would give survivors more time to sue their alleged perpetrators for crimes that could date back decades.

The bipartisan legislation, HB 1382, would provide a two-year window to suspend the statute of limitations to file claims against alleged abusers or institutions that protected them.

“I appeal to you to bring justice to victims of child abuse in North Dakota,” West Fargo Republican Rep. Austen Schauer, the bill’s sponsor, told the House Judiciary Committee, which took no immediate action.

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Sex abuse in the Church: majority of victims don’t report cases, says expert

MALTA
Malta Today

February 3, 2021

By Laura Calleja

Psychologist who followed 80 patients with drug problems who experienced child and adolescent abuse never opened up about their abusers

Victims of child and adolescent abuse rarely report their abuse, meaning many perpetrators are still within the community, a 2000 study by psychologist Mariella Dimech of 80 people with drug problems had found at the time.

‘Numbing The Pain’ focused on the link between child and adolescent abuse and drug addiction by following 80 people who had drug problems over time – 90% of these vicims had been abused during childhood and adolescence.

“The abuse was sexual, physical, and emotional and or neglect,” Dimech said, who was asked to comment on the recent arraignment of two Gozitan priests for the alleged rape of an altar boy.

“100% of the victims never reported their abuse. This means that no help was…

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Former Xagħra Priest Escapes Police Action For Sexually Abusing Altar Boy As Case Was Time-Barred

MALTA
Lovin’ Malta

February 3, 2021

By Tim Diacono

Two former Xagħra priests were recently charged with sexually abusing an altar boy, but a third clergy member who served in the same parish managed to escape similar charges despite the Church deeming the allegations credible.

Eucharist Sultana, a former Xagħra parish priest, was suspended from the priesthood in 2018 after being accused of sexually abusing a former altar boy over 16 years earlier.

He allegedly groomed the boy for four years, summoning him for sexual encounters in return for gifts. The abuse is believed to have lasted for four years and ended when the victim was 17 years old.

The Church’s Safeguarding Commission referred this case to the police, who launched an investigation. However, a police spokesperson has now confirmed with Lovin Malta that they were legally prohibited from prosecuting Sultana because the case was time-barred.

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Victim speaks out after abusive priest sentenced

ENGLAND
The Tablet

February 3, 2021

By Catherine Pepinster

The victim of a priest sentenced to serve more than a decade in jail for child sexual abuse has attacked the Archdiocese of Birmingham for trying to dissuade him from reporting the assaults to police.

Last week, Fr Joseph Quigley was jailed for 11 years and six months for sexually and physically abusing a young man. At one stage he locked him in the crypt of a church as a punishment for supposed wrongdoing.

The priest, who was once a national education adviser to the Catholic bishops, groomed the boy during tutoring sessions in his presbytery which eventually led to assaults, involving sexual touching. The judge described the priest as a sexual sadist. During the trial, Warwick Crown Court heard the abuse took place in the 2000s when Quigley was serving at a parish in Warwickshire within the Archdiocese of…

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German bishops resume meetings to discuss women in the church, LGBT issues and the sexual abuse crisis

GERMANY
Religion News Service via America

February 3, 2021

By Claire Giangravé

Germany’s Catholic bishops will resume discussions this week to plan the Synodal Path, a set of conferences slated to address controversial questions such as women’s roles and LGBT acceptance, even as the country faces yet another scandal of sexual abuse by clergy.

Many churchmen believe that the social questions and the abuse crisis are related. “The abuse crisis hurts the church very deeply,” the Rev. Martin Maier, a Jesuit priest and former editor at the German Catholic magazine Voices of the Time ( Stimmen der Zeit ), told Religion News Service. “One of the most painful consequences is the loss of trust. One of the goals of the Synodal Path is to restore trust, which is crucial and vital.”

Started in 2019 and scheduled to last two years, Synodal Path was put on hold in September 2020…

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Australian federal police find no criminal misconduct in mysterious Vatican transfers

ROME (ITALY)
Catholic News Agency

February 3, 2021

By Hannah Brockhaus

The Australian Federal Police said on Wednesday that it had found no evidence of criminal misconduct in its investigation into money transfers from the Vatican to Australia.

Australian authorities have been investigating the suspicious payments, equivalent to about $7.4 million, for several months.

The federal police (AFP) said in a statement on Feb. 3 that “no criminal misconduct has been identified to date.”

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Catholic brother allowed to live by school had been charged with abuse of seven victims

LIVERPOOL (ENGLAND)
Liverpool Echo

February 3, 2021

By Jonathan Humphries

The teacher was never convicted after a judge ruled there had been an “abuse of process”

A Catholic brother who was allowed to live on school grounds was the former head of a school accused of abusing multiple children.

The man spent several years living in France before moving onto accommodation connected to St Francis Xavier’s (SFX) College in Woolton.

The ECHO has since learned that the man, a member of the French Catholic order the Brothers of Christian Instruction, was charged with 10 counts of indecent assault against seven victims, some under 13, at a school outside the Merseyside area.

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Crisis deepens in Cologne as cardinal pins hopes on March abuse report

GERMANY
Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

February 3, 2021

The Archdiocese of Cologne, which has the largest membership in the German-speaking world with almost 2 million Catholics, is sliding into a crisis of confidence.

The German Catholic news agency KNA reports that parish councils, priests and most recently the diocesan council have criticized Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki for his handling of an abuse investigation, and the ferocity of their criticism is unusual.

Tim Kurzbach, archdiocesan council chairman, said in late January that Woelki had “failed as a moral authority” and was not confronting the problem. In protest, the council, made up of elected representatives of Catholic laypeople, said it was suspending its cooperation on diocesan reforms.

It was a rare step, and it was taken despite the cardinal’s pledge to conduct a rigorous investigation.

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February 3, 2021

There’s another path for survivors of clergy sex abuse to get justice. It faces an uphill climb in the legislature.

PENNSYLVANIA
Spotlight PA

February 2, 2021

By Angela Couloumbis and Cynthia Fernandez

When Republican state Rep. Jim Gregory learned Monday from Gov. Tom Wolf that an administrative error will delay a decision on whether survivors can sue for decades-old sexual abuse, he broke down and sobbed uncontrollably.

“That’s where I had to leave it with him — to hope he understood the gravity of what this means to victims, to know that we could be so close to achieving something for them that has been decades in wait,” Gregory, a survivor of child sexual abuse, said of his conversation with Wolf. “To now have to say, again, you’re going to have to wait. I would believe that my emotions mirrored the emotions of other victims.”

The Department of State recently discovered that it failed last year to advertise a proposed change to the state constitution that would create a…

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[Opinion] Sex-abuse law blunder on Kathy Boockvar’s watch is a titanic mess for Pa. child victims | Maria Panaritis

PENNSYLANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

February 2, 2021

By Maria Panaritis

For years, Pa. Republicans stalled on expanded rights to sue abusers. Now “human error” by Democratic Gov. Wolf’s administration has derailed a long-awaited law.

If an 860-word column could hope to convey speechlessness, this one would be it.

Hours after news broke of a bureaucratic blunder in Harrisburg that resulted in further damage to victims of child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, it remained hard to know what to say.

“It just never ends,” State Rep. Mark Rozzi put it moments after answering my call Monday night. I couldn’t have agreed more with those four words.

For 16 years in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, people like Rozzi, who was molested as a child within a corrupt institution that knowingly harbored and hid pedophiles, were told they could not sue as adults. After the Catholic abuse scandal broke open in 2002, lawmakers…

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PA Attorney General urges lawmakers to take action and support abuse survivors

PENNSYLVANIA
WPXI-TV

February 2, 2021

PA Attorney General urges lawmakers to take action and support abuse survivors

By Rick Earle, WPXI-TV and Greg Deffenbaugh, WPXI.com

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is sending a strong message to the state legislature: support survivors of sexual abuse by passing critical legislation that would allow them to seek justice over a two-year window.

The attorney general spearheaded the groundbreaking grand jury report on clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania’s Catholic Dioceses.

In an interview with Channel 11′s Rick Earle, Shapiro voiced his disappointment with the secretary of state’s office, after the department mismanaged the process to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would allow abuse survivors a two-year window to file civil lawsuits.

”This conduct at the department of state was truly shameful and these survivors deserve better. I can tell you, I’ve had some productive conversations with the governor and legislative…

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[Media Statement] Defrocked Serial Abuser Still Enjoys “Celebrity Status” in the Country Where He Abused Children

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

February 2, 2021

A self-admitted pedophile and ex-priest from a Chicago-based Catholic group has made the news again in East Timor as he evades criminal justice in the United States. We fear for the vulnerable children that this serial abuser may still have access to and call on those that hired, trained, and ordained him to use every resource at their disposal to bring this disgraced cleric home to face justice.

For decades, Richard Daschbach ran an orphanage called Topu Honis, a shelter for homeless children, disabled adults, and women fleeing domestic violence in East Timor. In 2019, he was arrested for abusing young girls at this facility, a year after he admitted to sexually abusing the children under his care. Daschbach has since been defrocked by the Vatican, but despite these arrests and his own admissions, he apparently continues to enjoy…

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[News Release] Diocese has new sex abuse victim assistance coordinator

HONOLULU (HI)
Diocese of Honolulu via Hawaii Catholic Herald

February 3, 2021

Kristin J. Leandro, director of the diocese’s Safe Environment office announced Jan. 12 the appointment of the new diocesan victim assistance coordinator, the person who provides support and services for adult survivors of child sexual abuse by clergy, religious or church workers.

Lora Daniel, a licensed mental health counselor at Catholic Charities Hawaii, takes the place of Elizabeth Lyons who moved to the Mainland this month.

Daniel is a therapist in Catholic Charities’ Child Sex Abuse Treatment Program and Child Victims of Crime Program. She also works with other families and individuals in need of counseling.

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[NEWS RELEASE] Promulgation Of New Safe Environment Policy

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Diocese of Youngstown

February 1, 2021

The Most Reverend David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, has promulgated the Safe Environment Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, effective immediately. This policy replaces the 2008 Child Protection Policy while incorporating the vast majority of its policies and procedures. Significant additions include an explicit reference to vulnerable adults, a specific section relating to social media and electronic communication, and updated resources for those seeking to report misconduct or abuse.

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[Opinion] How New Orleans Priest Abuse Is Being Handled

NEW ORLEANS
Legal Examiner (law firm blog)

February 2, 2021

Sexual abuse allegations and claims against priests in New Orleans made headlines throughout 2020, especially after the Archdiocese of New Orleans filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May – a response due to the costs of their legal troubles. The bankruptcy prompted a March 1, 2021 deadline for claims against the church. Since the deadline was set, more victims have overcome their silence and fear to pursue justice for abuse at the hands of religious leaders.

The number of clergy with claims against them has grown steadily since the scandal broke, with victims coming forward about abuse and sexual advances that took place, many of them decades ago. The types of claims range from rape and molestation to sexually inappropriate letters and text messages.

In October, a survivor made abuse claims against two priests who taught at his Catholic…

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Pope Francis tells Catholic journalists he has hope for ‘courageous’ US church

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

February 2, 2021

By Claire Giangravé

The news media is plagued by four sins, the pope told reporters: disinformation, calumny, defamation and ‘coprophilia,’ by which he apparently meant love of scandal.

Addressing the current challenges of the U.S. Catholic Church, Pope Francis warned against the polarization in the country and the “sins” of the media.

“The church in the United States is a church that has been courageous — the history it has and the saints — and has done so much,” Pope Francis said during an impromptu interview with journalists from Catholic News Service on Monday (Feb. 1) at the Vatican.

The audience marked the 100th anniversary of the news agency, which is an arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“A divided church is not the church,” the pope told the CNS reporters, while at the same time making a…

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Cardinal Ladaria: Vatican doctrinal office is ‘no longer the Inquisition’

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

February 2, 2021

By Carol Glatz

Established almost 500 years ago, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is no longer “the Inquisition” — rather, its main focus is handing down the teachings of the apostles, said the office’s prefect.

“Our mission is to promote and protect the doctrine of the faith. It is a task that will always be necessary for the church, which has the duty to transmit the teaching of the apostles to the next generation,” Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, congregation prefect, told Vatican News Feb. 1.

Called the Sacred Roman and Universal Inquisition when it was instituted in 1542, the congregation was initially a tribunal exclusively for cases of heresy and schism, but soon its responsibilities were expanded to include “everything relating directly or indirectly to faith and morals,” according to the congregation’s website.

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German Nuns Sold Orphaned Children to Sexual Predators: Report

ROME (ITALY)
Daily Beast

February 2, 2021

By Barbie Latza Nadeau

SICK SISTERS: A report German authorities tried to silence shows how Catholic nuns peddled orphaned boys to predatory priests and perverts for decades.

A jarring report outlining decades of rampant child sex abuse at the hands of greedy nuns and perverted priests in the Archdiocese of Cologne, Germany, paints a troubling picture of systematic abuse in the German church.

The report is the byproduct of a lawsuit alleging that orphaned boys living in the boarding houses of the Order of the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer were sold or loaned for weeks at a time to predatory priests and businessmen in a sick rape trade. The men involved in the lawsuit say as boys they were denied being adopted out or sent to foster families because selling them for rape lined the sisters’ coffers for their “convent of…

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St. Pius X campus could be sold due to bankruptcy

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

February 2, 2021

By Pilar Martinez

St. Pius X High School may soon have to find a new home, according to a letter sent by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe announcing that it may be forced to sell the West Side campus as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.

The letter sent to members of the St. Pius community by Archbishop of Santa Fe John C. Wester in January said the school’s campus, as well as buildings used by archdiocesan staff, may be sold as a result of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in 2018 following hundreds of settlements with victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy members.

“We deeply regret the distress that this possible marketing of the campus will cause in the St. Pius X community of students, parents, alumni, staff and the surrounding communities,” Wester wrote in the letter.

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Wilson showed no self-pity over abuse case

AUSTRALIA
Australian Associated Press via Yahoo News

February 3, 2021

By Tim Dornin

Unjustly convicted but later acquitted on charges of covering up child sex abuse, former Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson felt no self-pity or rancour, but rather accepted the cross he was forced to bear, his funeral service has been told.

The 70-year-old, who died last month, served as the eighth archbishop of Adelaide from 2001 until his resignation in 2018.

At a service in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on Wednesday, Bishop Greg O’Kelly described him as a warm and compassionate man who was devoted to those who sought his ministry.

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Philip Wilson, former Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, farewelled at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

February 2, 2021

By Sara Tomevska

Former Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson has been farewelled at a funeral at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral.

The Catholic Church paid its respects to the 70-year-old, who died unexpectedly last month.

Several church leaders spoke including Apostolic Nuncio Adolfo Tito Yllana, who also read a statement from Pope Francis.

“His holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the death of Archbishop Emeritus Philip Wilson, and he sends heartfelt condolences,” he said.

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[Opinion] Why the case for mandatory reporting is now beyond doubt

ENGLAND
The Tablet

February 2, 2021

By Richard Scorer

Last Friday Joseph Quigley, Catholic priest and former religious education advisor, was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years in prison for serious offences against children. The police investigation which resulted in his conviction began in 2017, following a complaint from one of Quigley’s victims, who was encouraged to go the police by his therapist. As The Tablet reports today, this same victim alleges that several years earlier he had discussed the possibility of reporting his allegations about Quigley to the police with Jane Jones, the then Archdiocese of Birmingham Safeguarding Advisor. He says she actively discouraged him from taking his allegations to the police, telling him: “You won’t win.”

If this victim’s story is true – and his account of what Jane Jones said to him is corroborated by another family member present at the same meeting – then this is appalling….

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[Media Statement] Disturbing Details Revealed in Case Against UK Catholic Priest

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

February 1, 2021

A priest has been jailed in the UK for physically and sexually torturing a young student for years, enabled by Catholic officials. We are glad that these allegations came to light and that this dangerous abuser has been identified and removed. We now call on law enforcement to investigate the disturbing decisions that allowed this perpetrator to go unchecked and untethered for so long.

The abuse that this young boy suffered at the hands of Fr. Joseph Quigley has been termed a “gothic horror.” Our hearts break for the victim and we hope that he is getting the help and support he needs. In addition to the appalling tortures this youth experienced, we are outraged at the indifference shown by UK Catholic officials to the allegations against Fr. Quigley. Accusations of abuse by the priest first came to light…

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February 2, 2021

The Boston Archdiocese’s list of priests accused of abuse does not include cases settled with alleged victims

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

February 2, 2021

By Shelley Murphy

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has paid alleged victims millions of dollars in recent years to resolve claims that they were sexually abused by priests working in local parishes. Yet, the names of many of those priests are missing from the Archdiocese’s public roster of clergy accused of sexually abusing children, an accounting that began a decade ago under pressure from victims.

Their exclusion has angered survivors of abuse, particularly in light of Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s longstanding pledge to be transparent about clergy sexual abuse after decades of secrecy.

“It just seems like they’re trying to cover up,” said David, who in November received a settlement in “the high five figures,” from the archdiocese, according to his attorney, Mitchell Garabedian. It was awarded after David underwent painful questioning from church lawyers and an arbitrator tasked with corroborating…

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The Boston Archdiocese’s list of priests accused of abuse does not include cases settled with alleged victims

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

February 2, 2021

By Shelley Murphy

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has paid alleged victims millions of dollars in recent years to resolve claims that they were sexually abused by priests working in local parishes. Yet, the names of many of those priests are missing from the Archdiocese’s public roster of clergy accused of sexually abusing children, an accounting that began a decade ago under pressure from victims.

Their exclusion has angered survivors of abuse, particularly in light of Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s longstanding pledge to be transparent about clergy sexual abuse after decades of secrecy.

“It just seems like they’re trying to cover up,” said David, who in November received a settlement in “the high five figures,” from the archdiocese, according to his attorney, Mitchell Garabedian. It was awarded after David underwent painful questioning from church lawyers and an arbitrator tasked with corroborating…

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NOPD confirms rape investigation involving Catholic priest named in lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS
WDSU-TV

February 1, 2021

By Greg LaRose

The probe follows a November complaint against Rev. John Asare-Dankwah

The New Orleans Police Department confirmed Monday that it is investigating claims that a local priest raped a 10-year-old boy in 2008.

The probe follows a complaint this past November from the accuser against the Rev. John Asare-Dankwah, who the NOPD mentioned by name in response to questions about the case.

The priest was named in a lawsuit filed last week that details allegations involving a religious retreat in Montgomery, Alabama. Asare led the retreat and approached the boy during the sacrament of confession, according to the suit.

“This will be over soon,” the priest told the boy before raping him, court documents allege. The lawsuit says Asare pulled the boy out of bed that night and took him to another location alone. The lawsuit alleges that Asare accused the…

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NOPD confirms rape investigation involving Catholic priest named in lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS
WDSU-TV

February 1, 2021

By Greg LaRose

The probe follows a November complaint against Rev. John Asare-Dankwah

The New Orleans Police Department confirmed Monday that it is investigating claims that a local priest raped a 10-year-old boy in 2008.

The probe follows a complaint this past November from the accuser against the Rev. John Asare-Dankwah, who the NOPD mentioned by name in response to questions about the case.

The priest was named in a lawsuit filed last week that details allegations involving a religious retreat in Montgomery, Alabama. Asare led the retreat and approached the boy during the sacrament of confession, according to the suit.

“This will be over soon,” the priest told the boy before raping him, court documents allege. The lawsuit says Asare pulled the boy out of bed that night and took him to another location alone. The lawsuit alleges that Asare accused the…

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[News Release] Father Merle Fisher – Marist Fathers

BOSTON (MA)
Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian

February 1, 2021

[Includes Assignment Record]

Summary:

Father Merle Fisher, S.M. was accused of sexually abusing a male minor child on at least six occasions from approximately 1967 to 1970 when the boy was approximately 8 to 11 years old. During the period of sexual abuse, Father Fisher was assigned to Holy Cross Church in Kalaheo, Hawaii.

The sexual abuse by Father Fisher occurred in the rectory affiliated with Holy Cross Church and included the following: Father Fisher smacked and squeezed the boy’s buttocks, skin-on-skin, and Father Fisher fondled the boy’s penis and testicles, skin-on-skin.
The claim settled in 2020 in the low six figures.

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[News Release] Father Merle Fisher – Marist Fathers

BOSTON (MA)
Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian

February 1, 2021

[Includes Assignment Record]

Summary:

Father Merle Fisher, S.M. was accused of sexually abusing a male minor child on at least six occasions from approximately 1967 to 1970 when the boy was approximately 8 to 11 years old. During the period of sexual abuse, Father Fisher was assigned to Holy Cross Church in Kalaheo, Hawaii.

The sexual abuse by Father Fisher occurred in the rectory affiliated with Holy Cross Church and included the following: Father Fisher smacked and squeezed the boy’s buttocks, skin-on-skin, and Father Fisher fondled the boy’s penis and testicles, skin-on-skin.
The claim settled in 2020 in the low six figures.

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[Opinion] The Copper Valley School’s legacy continues

ANCHORAGE (AK)
Anchorage Daily News

February 1, 2021

By Elizabeth Klemm, Stephen Gemmell and Brandon Boylan

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Copper Valley School, the first integrated boarding school in Alaska. Located near Glennallen, “Copper,” as many referred to it, aimed to prepare its students to become the next generation of leaders in Alaska.

In a time when Alaska village schools were understaffed and high school availability was limited, many parents chose to send their children away from home for a high-quality education. Both Native and non-Native, Catholic and non-Catholic, village and city students attended Copper. While schools throughout the country were still grappling with integration, Copper welcomed Aleut, Athabascan, Iñupiaq, Yup’ik and white students, as well as several students from Africa. To this day, several alumni claim that the merging of cultures was a success of the school, allowing students to learn…

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[Opinion] The Copper Valley School’s legacy continues

ANCHORAGE (AK)
Anchorage Daily News

February 1, 2021

By Elizabeth Klemm, Stephen Gemmell and Brandon Boylan

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Copper Valley School, the first integrated boarding school in Alaska. Located near Glennallen, “Copper,” as many referred to it, aimed to prepare its students to become the next generation of leaders in Alaska.

In a time when Alaska village schools were understaffed and high school availability was limited, many parents chose to send their children away from home for a high-quality education. Both Native and non-Native, Catholic and non-Catholic, village and city students attended Copper. While schools throughout the country were still grappling with integration, Copper welcomed Aleut, Athabascan, Iñupiaq, Yup’ik and white students, as well as several students from Africa. To this day, several alumni claim that the merging of cultures was a success of the school, allowing students to learn…

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Northern Irish victims call for their own Catholic baby homes investigation

NORTHERN IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

February 2, 2021

By Sahm Venter

The young mother wrapped her baby son in a shawl and carefully pushed a letter to his adoptive parents into a bag stuffed with toys, sweaters and other clothes.

“I lifted him from the nursery, walked up the corridor and handed him to a nun and that was the last I’d seen of him for 40 years,” said Adele, who asked to use a pseudonym because of the sensitive nature of her story.

She said that at the age of 18, she had been “shipped off” to the Good Shepherd Sisters’ Marianvale Mother and Baby Home in Newry in Northern Ireland.

What struck her immediately as she walked in was the smell of lavender wood polish. She still associates it with the trauma of having to give up her name, and her baby, and of being made to…

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Northern Irish victims call for their own Catholic baby homes investigation

NORTHERN IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

February 2, 2021

By Sahm Venter

The young mother wrapped her baby son in a shawl and carefully pushed a letter to his adoptive parents into a bag stuffed with toys, sweaters and other clothes.

“I lifted him from the nursery, walked up the corridor and handed him to a nun and that was the last I’d seen of him for 40 years,” said Adele, who asked to use a pseudonym because of the sensitive nature of her story.

She said that at the age of 18, she had been “shipped off” to the Good Shepherd Sisters’ Marianvale Mother and Baby Home in Newry in Northern Ireland.

What struck her immediately as she walked in was the smell of lavender wood polish. She still associates it with the trauma of having to give up her name, and her baby, and of being made to…

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Catholic order allows accused child abuser to live by school because of ‘locked gate’

LIVERPOOL (ENGLAND)
Liverpool Echo

February 1, 2021

By Jonathan Humphries

The man was later found to have been accessing the grounds of St Francis Xavier’s College anyway

A man accused of sexually abusing boys was allowed to live by school grounds because of a “locked gate” – with the knowledge of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, council and police.

The man, a member of French Catholic order the Brothers of Christian Instruction, had been living in accommodation adjoining the grounds of St Francis Xavier’s College (SFX) without the knowledge of the head teacher or governors.

The ‘safeguarding plan’ was only scrapped when it emerged two fellow brothers had been allowing the unnamed man to access school grounds anyway.

The two men, then deputy head teacher, Brother Peter Tracey, and school chaplain, Brother James Hayes, have since departed the school.

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Catholic order allows accused child abuser to live by school because of ‘locked gate’

LIVERPOOL (ENGLAND)
Liverpool Echo

February 1, 2021

By Jonathan Humphries

The man was later found to have been accessing the grounds of St Francis Xavier’s College anyway

A man accused of sexually abusing boys was allowed to live by school grounds because of a “locked gate” – with the knowledge of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, council and police.

The man, a member of French Catholic order the Brothers of Christian Instruction, had been living in accommodation adjoining the grounds of St Francis Xavier’s College (SFX) without the knowledge of the head teacher or governors.

The ‘safeguarding plan’ was only scrapped when it emerged two fellow brothers had been allowing the unnamed man to access school grounds anyway.

The two men, then deputy head teacher, Brother Peter Tracey, and school chaplain, Brother James Hayes, have since departed the school.

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Botched handling of ballot question is a ‘kick in the teeth’ to survivors of abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Crossville Chronicle

February 1, 2021

By John Finnerty

https://www.crossville-chronicle.com/news/tennessee_news/botched-handling-of-ballot-question-is-a-kick-in-the-teeth-to-survivors-of-abuse/article_533a689f-a34f-5ddc-8c5d-4977e523a15d.html

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar is resigning after administration officials acknowledged Monday that the department had failed to advertise a proposed change to the state Constitution to allow adult survivors of childhood sex abuse to sue the Catholic Church and other organizations that covered up for predators.

Because of the error, the proposed amendment can’t be on the ballot until 2023 due to a requirement that the measure be approved in two consecutive legislative sessions. Failing to properly advertise the proposed change when it first passed the General Assembly in 2019 means that the process must start over at the beginning, the Department of State said in a statement.

Boockvar’s resignation is effective Friday.

Gov. Tom Wolf apologized for the Department of State’s bungling and confirmed that Boockvar’s departure was based on the botched handling of the statute of…

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Botched handling of ballot question is a ‘kick in the teeth’ to survivors of abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Crossville Chronicle

February 1, 2021

By John Finnerty

https://www.crossville-chronicle.com/news/tennessee_news/botched-handling-of-ballot-question-is-a-kick-in-the-teeth-to-survivors-of-abuse/article_533a689f-a34f-5ddc-8c5d-4977e523a15d.html

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar is resigning after administration officials acknowledged Monday that the department had failed to advertise a proposed change to the state Constitution to allow adult survivors of childhood sex abuse to sue the Catholic Church and other organizations that covered up for predators.

Because of the error, the proposed amendment can’t be on the ballot until 2023 due to a requirement that the measure be approved in two consecutive legislative sessions. Failing to properly advertise the proposed change when it first passed the General Assembly in 2019 means that the process must start over at the beginning, the Department of State said in a statement.

Boockvar’s resignation is effective Friday.

Gov. Tom Wolf apologized for the Department of State’s bungling and confirmed that Boockvar’s departure was based on the botched handling of the statute of…

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