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.

August 1, 2021

Ex-NYC councilman, SEBCO founder accused of child sex abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
Bronx Times [Bronx, New York NY]

July 29, 2021

By Robbie Sequeira

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Louis Gigante, a former priest turned New York City councilman who is credited for rebuilding the Hunts Point section of the Bronx in the 1980s, is being accused of sexually abusing a minor while at St. Athanasius Church in Longwood, according to recent court filings.

According to documents filed with the Bronx County clerk on May 25, an unnamed “John Doe” alleges that Gigante sexually assaulted him from 1976-1977 when he was a nine-year-old attending Gigante’s bible study at St. Athanasius Church.

The man, estimated to be 50 years old, alleges that during that time Gigante forced him to perform oral sex during bible study sessions.

“The Archdiocese knew or should have known that Father Gigante was sexually abusing children and/or had the propensity to do so,” the claim reads. “The defendants Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church knew or should have known of…

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Ex-NYC councilman and retired priest accused of sexually assaulting minor in 1970s

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Post

August 1, 2021

By Patrick Reilly

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Retired priest and former New York City Councilman Louis Gigante was slapped with a lawsuit that accused him of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old boy in the 1970s in a Bible study course.

Gigante, whose brother was mob boss Vincent “The Chin,” allegedly forced the kid to perform oral sex at St. Athanasius Church in the Bronx, documents filed in Bronx County court showed.

“The Archdiocese knew or should have known that Father Gigante was sexually abusing children and/or had the propensity to do so,” the complaint reads, according to The Bronx Times

“The defendants Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church knew or should have known of the abuse that Mr. Doe and other young children were suffering at the hands of their clergy.”

Gigante is also known for nonprofit housing developments in Hunt’s Point neighborhood in the 1980s.

The suit was…

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Former priest speaks out over Cardinal Keith O’Brien abuse

EDINBURGH (UNITED KINGDOM)
The Scotsman [Edinburgh, Scotland]

August 1, 2021

By Martyn McLaughlin

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A former priest who has detailed allegations of abuse he suffered at the hands of the late Cardinal Keith O’Brien has warned that the Catholic Church is “blinded by its fear of scandal,” and has made little effort to establish the extent of his predatory sexual behaviour.

Brian Devlin was one of four whistleblowers who detailed a litany of allegations against the man who was the Catholic Church’s most senior cleric in Britain, prompting his resignation and admission of sexual misconduct.

Eight years on, Devlin has spoken out for the first time about the man he considered a friend, mentor, and teacher, and outlined suggestions for reforms he believes could help end the “silence, secrets and omertà” in the church.

His book, ‘Cardinal Sin’, which chronicles the O’Brien affair and its fallout, has been hailed by Mary McAleese, the former Irish president, as a courageous insight into how the church’s…

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Twice a whistleblower: The former priest whose story unleashed a global scandal

EDINBURGH (UNITED KINGDOM)
Press and Journal [Aberdeen, Scotland]

July 31, 2021

By John Ross

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Brian Devlin wanted to be a priest, not an author.

The book he has written was one he felt compelled to write but wished he didn’t have to.

However, he has no regrets about going into print.

In the same way he has no regrets about going public with revelations which helped bring down the most senior Catholic clergyman in Britain.

A global scandal

Mr Devlin was one of four men who helped expose Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s sexual misconduct.

And when they felt the Catholic Church hierarchy attempted a cover-up, they went to the media, unleashing a story that caused a global scandal.

‘Cardinal Sin’ focuses on the abuse of power within the Church and sets out ways the leadership could change and avoid future shame.

Mr Devlin was training for the priesthood at the Drygrange seminary in the Borders from 1978 when he…

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Abuse claims involving Sister Delores Crosby settled; she also worked at Edmonds’ Holy Rosary School

SEATTLE (WA)
My Edmonds News [Edmonds WA]

July 31, 2021

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The Archdiocese of Seattle on Friday announced final settlements totaling $165,000 for two separate cases involving allegations of sexual abuse by Sister Dolores Crosby in the 1980s, when she served as principal at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School in Seattle from 1979 to 1992. Crosby also taught at Edmonds’ Holy Rosary School from 1973 to 1978.

Crosby, who died in 2007, was also principal at Immaculate Conception School in Everett from 1992 to 1999. In 1999, Crosby surrendered her credentials for teaching and administration when an individual brought forward an allegation of inappropriate contact that took place in the 1980s.

In addition to Holy Rosary in Edmonds, Crosby taught at several other archdiocesan Catholic schools, including St. Anne School, Seattle, from 1968 to 1970, and St. Frances Cabrini School, Tacoma (now Lakewood), from 1978 to 1979.

Crosby was included on the Archdiocese of Seattle’s List of Clergy and Religious Brothers…

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July 31, 2021

Professor Supernant’s beaded pin was created by a Métis artist. Amber Bracken for The New York Times

The Saturday Profile: The Indigenous Archaeologist Tracking Down the Missing Residential Children

EDMONTON (CANADA)
New York Times

July 31, 2021

By Ian Austen

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[Photo above: Professor Supernant’s beaded pin was created by a Métis artist. Amber Bracken for The New York Times]

Kisha Supernant has brought radar technology to the search for burial sites in Canada while she works to reshape her profession’s relationship with Indigenous communities.

At 15, Kisha Supernant knew exactly what she wanted to do with the rest of her life: become an archaeologist and study ancient civilizations.

She achieved her teenage goal. But her latest work has put her at the center of discussions in modern-day Canada — not about the distant past — but about the more recent history of the country’s Indigenous populations.

Since the end of May, several Indigenous communities have announced that the use of ground-penetrating radar has identified well over 1,000 human remains, mostly of children, at former sites of the residential schools where thousands of children were forcibly sent by the government to…

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He alleges sex abuse by prominent Staten Island priest ‘robbed’ him of childhood, explains why he went public with lawsuit

(NY)
Staten Island Advance [Staten Island NY]

July 31, 2021

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A former Staten Islander alleges that he was sexually abused for several years beginning when he was a teen in the 1990s by a Roman Catholic priest who served for decades on Staten Island.

Ryan Barry, now a husband and father who lives in Pennsylvania, said in a lawsuit and a recent interview with the Advance/SILive.com that he was preyed upon by the Rev. James Garisto, a former pastor, teacher and school administrator in our borough.

“He robbed me of pretty much my whole childhood and my teenage years,” Barry said of Father Garisto.

Although solidly in recovery today, Barry believes that the alleged sex abuse triggered his long struggle with drug addiction.

“As soon as the drugs started, that’s all I did,” Barry said. “He [Father Garisto] robbed me of time with my family… It’s just frustrating that this guy got away with all…

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Bishop acknowledges child predators were sent for ‘treatment’

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union [Albany NY]

July 31, 2021

By Edward McKinley

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany engaged in a decades-long cover-up of chronic child sexual abuse committed by its priests, according to a statement by former Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, who ran the diocese from 1977 to 2014.
 
Hubbard’s statement, issued through his attorney in response to a series of questions from the Times Union, confirmed that the diocese shielded priests and others facing sexual abuse allegations — sending them into private treatment programs rather than contacting law enforcement officials. Some of those priests allegedly emerged from treatment and committed more crimes.

“When an allegation of sexual misconduct against a priest was received in the 1970s and 1980s, the common practice in the Albany diocese and elsewhere was to remove the priest from ministry temporarily and send him for counseling and treatment,” Hubbard said. “Only when a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist determined the priest was capable of returning to ministry without…

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Bishop: Albany diocese covered up priest abuse for decades

ALBANY (NY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

July 31, 2021

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The longtime former head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany says the diocese covered up sexual abuse by priests for decades and protected clergy by sending them to private treatment instead of calling police.

Bishop Howard Hubbard, who ran the diocese in New York’s Capital District from 1977 to 2014 and has himself been accused of sexual abuse, made the admission in a statement issued through his lawyer to the Albany Times-Union in response to questions from the newspaper.

The Times Union reported Hubbard’s statement on Saturday.

“When an allegation of sexual misconduct against a priest was received in the 1970s and 1980s, the common practice in the Albany diocese and elsewhere was to remove the priest from ministry temporarily and send him for counseling and treatment,” Hubbard said.

“Only when a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist determined the priest was capable of returning to ministry…

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City officials to decide if controversial Catholic order can move to Cincinnati neighborhood

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer / cincinnati.com

July 28, 2021

By Rachel Smith and Sharon Coolidge

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Cincinnati residents will find out today if a controversial Roman Catholic order will be allowed to convert a grand historic home into a monastery.

A zoning official is set to determine the fate of the homein Cincinnati’s North Avondale neighborhood. 

The religious order, Legionaries of Christ, has applied for permission to use the “Lake Como on Rose Hill” mansion built in 1903. If approved, the property would house seven to 10 priests and change the single-family home into a group home. 

There has been a string of protests from residents who have cited the order’s past sexual abuse allegations. They’re also worried the rezoning may set a  precedent for other houses in the neighborhood.

City staff, in an updated zoning report, recommended a conditional use of the home for a monastery be granted, but with three conditions: 

  • No more than 10 residents;
  • No religious services at the residence;
  • It can’t be…
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NTI presses Ottawa to take action against former Nunavut priest

IQALUIT (CANADA)
Nunatsiaq News [Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada]

July 28, 2021

By Sarah Rogers

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‘Nunavut Inuit consider this lack of any response by the Government of Canada to be profoundly disrespectful,’ says NTI president Aluki Kotierk

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. says it’s looking at ways to help Inuit victims revive charges of abuse against a former Nunavut priest.

NTI president Aluki Kotierk penned a letter to federal Justice Minister David Lametti earlier this month, asking the minister to take action on the file of Rev. Johannes Rivoire, a French Roman Catholic priest who worked in Nunavut in the 1960s.

Rivoire was once accused of sexually assaulting Inuit children, but the charges against him were stayed four years ago.

With the recent locating of burial grounds on the sites of former residential schools across the country, there have been calls to bring the churches and religious leaders who ran the schools to justice.

“For many years Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and Inuit of Nunavut have been…

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Survivor Brian Ford. Screen shot from Global News report

Quebec priest sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for sex crimes against minors

MONTREAL (CANADA)
Global News [Toronto, Canada]

July 28, 2021

By Dan Spector

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[Photo above: Survivor Brian Ford. Screen shot from Global News video]

A Quebec priest has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing minors at a Catholic boarding school more than three decades ago.

Jean Pilon, 79, was then sentenced to three and a half years in prison for his crimes.

Before that, he heard victim impact statements from nine of his victims, including Brian Ford.

Ford has been waiting a long time to see Pilon brought to justice.

“Today there have been a lot of emotions. It feels good,” Ford told Global News in an interview.

Now a police officer, the 52-year-old attended Collège Bourget in Rigaud as a teen. That’s where he was sexually abused by Pilon, who was a teacher and supervisor there in the ’80s.

On Tuesday at the Valleyfield Courthouse, Pilon pleaded guilty to 12 counts of gross indecency. Additional sexual assault charges were dropped in exchange for…

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Winnipeg Catholic priest accuses residential school survivors of lying about abuse for money

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

July 29, 2021

By Jenn Allen

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Archdiocese bans Father Rhéal Forest from sermons in wake of remarks to parishioners

WARNING: This story contains distressing details.

A Catholic priest has been banned by a Manitoba archdiocese from speaking publicly after accusing residential school survivors of lying about sexual abuse to get more money from court settlements, and after he joked about shooting those who wrote graffiti on churches, among other comments. 

The statements were made over weeks of services at St. Emile Roman Catholic Church in Winnipeg, and were included in videos on its Facebook page.  

During a July 10 mass Father Rhéal Forest — who was temporarily placed at St. Emile while the parish’s regular pastor, Father Gerry Sembrano, was on vacation — said residential school survivors lied about being sexually abused so they would receive more money during the settlement process with the federal government.

“If they wanted extra money, from the money that was given to…

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Former Donegal priest sentenced for sexual abuse of minors

LETTERKENNY (IRELAND)
Highland Radio [Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Ireland]

July 28, 2021

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Former Donegal priest Con Cunningham has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for sexually abusing two minors in the Fanad area while serving in the Diocese of Raphoe in the early to mid 1970s.

The current Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian has apologised to the victims and their families, and acknowledged that in the past, the diocese has failed to act appropriately and expeditiously.

At Letterkenny Circuit Criminal Court today, Cunningham pleaded guilty to eight separate counts of indecent assaults in the early 1970s, involving two victims, Margaret and Paula Martin, who were aged between 11 and 13, and 9 and 12 at the time of the respective incidents.

The former priest has already served a 9 month jail sentence for sex crimes after being convicted in 2018 of two counts of indecent assault dating back to 1976 and 1977.

In a statement released this afternoon, the Bishop of Raphoe…

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July 30, 2021

Defrocked cardinal Theodore McCarrick charged with sexually assaulting teenager in 1970s

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

July 29, 2021

By Shelley Murphy

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[This is a revised version of the Boston Globe article blogged in Abuse Tracker yesterday.]

Defrocked former cardinal Theodore McCarrick was charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy during a wedding reception at Wellesley College in the 1970s, making him the highest-ranking Roman Catholic official in the United States to face criminal charges in the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

McCarrick, 91, a former archbishop of Washington, D.C., who fraternized with popes and presidents before he was expelled from the priesthood over sexual abuse allegations, is charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 in a criminal complaint filed by Wellesley police in Dedham District Court.

A summons had been issued ordering McCarrick, now living in Missouri, to appear at the court for arraignment Sept. 3.McCarrick’s attorney, Barry Coburn of Washington, D.C., said Thursday that “we will look forward to addressing this issue in…

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Ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick criminally charged with sexual assault of teenager in the 1970s

BOSTON (MA)
Washington Post

July 29, 2021

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey

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Defrocked Catholic cardinal Theodore McCarrick was criminally charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy during a wedding reception at Wellesley College in Massachusetts in 1974, according to court documents obtained by The Washington Post. The charges make McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington, D.C., the highest-ranking Catholic official in the country to face criminal charges for alleged sex abuse.

McCarrick, 91, was for years one of the country’s most connected and influential Catholic leaders before allegations of his behavior were made public in 2018, and he was later expelled from the priesthood. It was long assumed McCarrick would not be criminally charged because of statute of limitations on alleged incidents, though some men have filed civil lawsuits in New York and New Jersey, alleging McCarrick sexually abused them in those states when they were children.

Marci Hamilton, an attorney with Child USA, said the case was able…

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Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after a Mass for Pope John Paul II in 2005. Mr. McCarrick was later defrocked for sexual abuse.Credit...Stephen Crowley / The New York Times

Ex-Cardinal McCarrick Faces Sexual Assault Charges

BOSTON (MA)
New York Times

July 30, 2021

By Elizabeth Dias and Ruth Graham

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[Photo above: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after a Mass for Pope John Paul II in 2005. Mr. McCarrick was later defrocked for sexual abuse. Stephen Crowley / The New York Times]

Theodore McCarrick, 91, the former Roman Catholic archbishop of Washington, was charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery. He is accused of abusing a 16-year-old boy in 1974.

Theodore E. McCarrick, the former Roman Catholic cardinal expelled by Pope Francis after the church found him guilty of sexually abusing minors and adult seminarians over decades, was criminally charged on Wednesday with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy in 1974.

The criminal complaint, filed by the Wellesley police in the Dedham District Court in Massachusetts, makes Mr. McCarrick the highest ranking Catholic official in the United States to face criminal charges in the sexual abuse crisis that has plagued the church for decades.

Mr. McCarrick, 91, the former archbishop of Washington,…

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July 29, 2021

Defrocked cardinal Theodore McCarrick charged with sexually assaulting teenager in 1970s

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

July 29, 2021

By Shelley Murphy

Read original article

Defrocked former cardinal Theodore McCarrick was charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy during a wedding reception at Wellesley College in the 1970s, making him the highest-ranking Roman Catholic official in the United States to face criminal charges in the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

McCarrick, 91, a former archbishop of Washington, D.C., who fraternized with popes and presidents before he was expelled from the priesthood over sexual abuse allegations, is charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 in a criminal complaint filed by Wellesley Police in Dedham District Court.

A summons has been issued ordering McCarrick, now living in Missouri, to appear at the court for arraignment Aug. 26.

Until now, McCarrick appeared beyond the reach of the criminal courts. Several men have filed civil lawsuits in New York and New Jersey, alleging that McCarrick sexually abused them in those states when…

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Paula and Margaret Martin. Photo: North West Newspix

Sisters ‘released from shame that had haunted them’ as ex-priest who abused them as children is jailed

LETTERKENNY (IRELAND)
Independent [Dublin, Ireland]

July 28, 2021

By Stephen Maguire

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[Above photo: Paula and Margaret Martin. Photo: North West Newspix. This article differs from the article by the same author in the Irish Times.]

Two sisters have said they have been “released from the shame which has haunted” them after a former Donegal priest was jailed for 15 months for the horrific sexual abuse he inflicted upon them when they were children.

Con Cunningham, now aged 86, pleaded guilty before Letterkenny Circuit Court today to eight counts of indecent assault between 1971 and 1975.

Passing sentence Judge John Aylmer said the abuse had had an appalling impact on the lives of victims Margaret and Paula Martin.

Speaking following the sentencing, the sisters said: “Today we are released from the shame which has haunted us…..a shame which was never ours, it now sits where it should always have been.”

The women, who were aged between 11 and 13 years and 9 and 12 years…

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Ex-priest jailed for 15 months as sisters urge other victims to come forward

LETTERKENNY (IRELAND)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

July 28, 2021

By Stephen Maguire

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Con Cunningham (86) pleaded guilty to eight counts of indecent assault in early 1970s

A former Donegal priest has been jailed for 15 months for the sexual abuse of two young sisters.

Con Cunningham, now aged 86, pleaded guilty to eight counts of indecent assaults between 1971 and 1975.

Passing sentence, Judge John Aylmer said the abuse had had an appalling impact on the lives of victims Margaret and Paula Martin.

The women, who were aged between 11 and 13 years and 9 and 12 years at the time, waived their right to anonymity to name Cunningham. They appealed to any other victims to come forward.

“We are conscious too that this may open wounds of other survivors – please, do not suffer in silence. We are looking forward to life beyond this, to recovery and peace,” they said in a statement.

The abuse took place at a number of locations…

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A R.I. priest was charged with sexual assault, but the case remains in limbo

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Boston Globe

July 28, 2021

By Brian Amaral

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Edward Kelley, 79, was arrested in South Carolina in mid-May, but has not yet been arraigned or included on Diocese of Providence’s list of credibly accused priests

State authorities are quietly prosecuting a sexual assault case against a former Diocese of Providence priest.

Edward Kelley, 79, had relocated to South Carolina, where he was arrested in mid-May on a warrant out of Rhode Island, according to court records. He was later brought to Rhode Island, where he faces an indictment on three counts of first-degree sexual assault dating to 1983 in North Smithfield.

But Kelley, who served in at least four parishes in Rhode Island in the 1980s and 1990s, has yet to be arraigned.

An arraignment is where someone is formally notified of the charges against them in court, and where they can enter a plea. Prosecutors can’t publicly disclose details of the case against Kelley until after he’s…

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Clergy Abuse Probe by Wisconsin DOJ Receives Over 100 Reports of Abuse, Inquiry Ongoing

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WUWM - NPR [Milwaukee WI]

July 28, 2021

By Maayan Silver

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[With content from Associated Press]

The state Department of Justice is conducting Wisconsin’s first statewide independent investigation into abuse by clergy and faith leaders. Attorney General Josh Kaul said that since the inquiry was announced in April, the agency has received more than 100 reports of abuse.

The review is ongoing and that anyone with information still has ample time to report, he said. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is looking to hear from survivors of abuse by faith leaders, friends or family of survivors, and anyone who has information about how a religious organization has responded to reported abuse. The DOJ is encouraging them to report that information online at supportsurvivors.widoj.gov or by calling 1-877-222-2620.

At a news conference Tuesday, Kaul outlined the DOJ’s goals for the review: “One is to get a measure of accountability to the extent that we can. We know that an issue…

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Vermont Conversation: A widow’s quest for truth

NEW YORK (NY)
VTDigger [Montpelier VT]

July 28, 2021

By David Goodman

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[Includes link to one-hour podcast interview]

hen 32-year-old Peter Fatovich died by suicide in 1994, he left behind his adoring wife, four children under 5 years of age, and a million questions.

Fatovich’s widow, Jenny Grosvenor, pushed the questions aside — until now. Grosvenor, who lives in Stowe, has spent the past few years pursuing the truth behind what tormented her young husband to take his own life by jumping into Huntington Gorge in Richmond, Vt. She finally discovered his dark secret: In the late 1970s, Fatovich was the victim of sexual abuse by the Rev. Donald T. Malone, a priest at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York, a Catholic high school.

Fatovich is far from alone. According to BishopAccountability.org, a nonprofit that tracks clergy abuse allegations, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has reported that over 7,000 clergy were credibly…

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Boston archdiocese settles six clergy sex abuse claims

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald [Boston MA]

July 28, 2021

By Marie Szaniszlo

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The Boston Archdiocese settled claims last month by six men who alleged they were sexually abused by clergy years ago.

The alleged abuse occurred from approximately 1966 to 1990, when the alleged victims were about 7 to 14 years old, their attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, said.

“By reporting the sexual abuse, clergy sexual abuse victims are empowering themselves and other victims, and expressing an important need to protect innocent children,” he said.

The archdiocese settled the claims “in the high five figures,” Garabedian said.

The six accused clergy and the parishes where the alleged abuse took place, according to Garabedian, are:

  • Deacon William “Bill” Emerson, St. William’s Church, Tewksbury. Emerson was accused of sexually abusing a boy in the church basement at least 100 times from about 1973 to 1978, when the boy was approximately 8 to 13 years old. Emerson died in 2018.
  • Monsignor James Haddad, St. Eulalia Church, Winchester. Haddad…
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Catholic priest at Norwood church, school accused of fondling 11-year-old

BOSTON (MA)
Patriot Ledger [Quincy MA]

July 28, 2021

By Mary Whitfill

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The Boston archdiocese has settled a Norton man’s claim that higher-ups in the institution failed to protect him when he was 11 years old and sexually abused by a priest in Norwood.

Lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, well-known for representing sexual abuse victims in claims against the archdiocese, said in a news release Wednesday that a settlement in the “high five figures” was reached last month.

His client, a Norton man, sued three people in the church for failing to protect him from the abuse of the Rev. Paul R. McCarthy when he was serving at the St. Catherine of Siena school and church in Norwood.

McCarthy worked in the Norwood church for four years before he was transferred to St. Augustine Church in Boston, Garabedian said. Before that, he worked at St. Mary’s Church in Charlestown, Our Lady of Grace Church in Chelsea and St. Ann’s Church in Somerville.

In April, Garabedian’s client sued the Rev. Robert…

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July 28, 2021

The former priest of El Bosque Fernando Karadima dies at the age of 90, investigated for a sexual crime and convicted by the Catholic Church

(CHILE)
La Tercera [Las Condes, Santiago, Chile]

July 26, 2021

By Leslie Ayala, Claudia Soto, and Juan Manuel Ojeda

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[A Google translation is followed by the Spanish text.]

In 2018, the former priest was expelled from the Catholic Church by decision of Pope Francis. It should be remembered that last June, the ex-religious had to be admitted to a hospital facility for an exacerbation of his basic coronary condition.

This morning the death of Fernando Karadima Fariña, former priest of El Bosque Church and who was investigated for sexual abuse and convicted by canon justice, was confirmed. The death occurred on Sunday, July 25, in the commune of Macul at 9:20 p.m.

According to La Tercera, the ex-priest died affected by bronchopneumonia, kidney failure, diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure.

Karadima was configured as the emblem of sexual abuse committed by religious in Chile, after in 2010 Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and José Andrés Murillo made public the crimes committed by the ex-religious against him. After this, on January 16, 2011, the Vatican…

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Men Who Have Been Sexually Abused Have Trouble Getting Treatment

BOSTON (MA)
National Public Radio - NPR [Washington DC]

July 28, 2021

By Rachel Rock

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[With audio – a national broadcast, somewhat different from the local version in Abuse Tracker yesterday.]

Jim Holland says he was raped by a priest when he was 13 years old. For the next 30 years, Holland locked his trauma away, holding it at bay with drinking, drugs and promiscuity. The 2003 Boston Globe Spotlight investigation of sexual abuse by priests triggered his memories.

“I kept on saying, ‘No, it was no big deal. That really didn’t happen,’ ” says Holland.

Holland knew he needed help, but there were few therapists specializing in this kind of trauma. So he shoved his pain back down.

It took another five years, his brother’s suicide and a pulmonary embolism for Holland to find the men’s support group at Fenway Health in Boston. At the first session, Holland remembers, everyone’s eyes were locked on the carpet.

“It was uncomfortable, my heart was beating hard and I…

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Editorial: Lists of abusive Catholic priests remain obscure and incomplete. That must change

WASHINGTON (DC)
Kansas City Star [Kansas City MO]

July 28, 2021

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The Catholic Church’s attempt to repair the damage caused by decades of priestly abuse would be vastly improved by a full, transparent, easy-to-use national list of abusive clerics. And no, that still doesn’t exist.

Two years ago, many dioceses — but not all — began publishing lists of priests “credibly accused” of abusive behavior. But these are too often incomplete, as well as difficult to find and use.

“There are far more names out there now than ever before,” said David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. “Is it anywhere near the totals? Absolutely not. … Bishops always have, and still, put out the very least amount of information as possible.”

The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, for example, has published a list of “substantiated abuse allegations” against nearly two dozen clerics. Yet the list lacks photographs of the offenders, or full work histories,…

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Fernando Karadima has died at the age of 90, an emblematic case of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

(CHILE)
BioBioChile [Santiago, Chile]

July 26, 2021

By Felipe Delgado and Daniela Forero-Ortiz

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[A Google translation is followed by the Spanish text.]

At the age of 90, the religious Fernando Karadima died , expelled from the priesthood after it was proven that he committed sexual crimes .

The death occurred Sunday night at the Hogar San Juan de Dios and, according to his death certificate, he died of bronchopneumonia, kidney failure, diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure.

A few weeks ago, Karadima had gone to the emergency room of the Clinical Hospital of the Catholic University, where he could not be admitted immediately due to the high occupancy of beds due to covid-19. At that time he suffered from heart problems .

Flagship case

The story of Karadima was one of the emblematic cases of the Chilean Catholic Church in the matter of sexual abuse, in an edge that ended up hitting even Pope Francis.

Everything came to light in 2010, when Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and José Andrés Murillo denounced for the first time in the…

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Abuse survivors of now-deceased priest line up to seek compensation

(AUSTRALIA)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation [Australia]

July 27, 2021

By Matt Neal

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The first in a series of civil cases seeking compensation for abuse survivors and victims of a now-deceased paedophile priest is expected to begin in the Supreme Court on Monday.

Bryan Coffey was found guilty in 1999 of 14 charges relating to indecent assaults on seven boys and one girl that took place across four Victorian parishes between 1960 and 1975.

The complainants are seeking compensation for loss of income, pain and suffering, and medical expenses, and include children who were allegedly abused by Coffey in the south-west Victorian towns of Port Fairy, Terang and Yambuk, as well as Ouyen in the Mallee.

The list of named defendants on the Court documents includes Bishop Paul Bernard Bird as the nominated defendant of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat, the Trustees of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, Mercy Support Limited, the Trustees of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, and the Sisters of the Good Samaritans of…

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Wisconsin clergy abuse inquiry: AG Kaul provides update

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WITI [Milwaukee WI]

July 27, 2021

By Christina Van Zelst

Read original article

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul on Tuesday, July 27 provided an update on the statewide inquiry into clergy and faith leader abuse.

The review of such abuse cases was announced in April as the first statewide independent review. Since then, Kaul said the state has received dozens of reports.

“What we are doing is encouraging survivors to report,” Kaul said. “We have received over 100 reports through this reporting system, many of who are reporting previously reported, but some of the people are reporting for the first time.”

The attorney general said there are three goals of the abuse review:

  • Getting a measure of accountability
  • Connecting survivors with victim services
  • Preventing anything like this from happening again

“We have a multidisciplinary team that reviews the report. That team consists of a prosecutor, an investigator and a victim advocate, and they make an assessment on the information received about what the next step is,”…

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Saskatoon Catholic Church apology ‘misses the mark’ for victim of priest abuse

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

July 27, 2021

By Laura Woodward

Read original article

[Includes video with additional content.]

A recent apology from Saskatoon’s Roman Catholic diocese is falling short for a victim of sexual abuse.

Patrick McMahon was sexually abused as a teen in the 1980s by William Hodgson Marshall.

Marshall was McMahon’s family priest in Windsor, Ont.

The priest was convicted in 2011 for abusing 17 people in Ontario.

A year later, two Saskatoon men came forward alleging abuse from Marshall while they were students. He was sentenced again.

Saskatoon’s Roman Catholic diocese recently apologized for Marshall, and other priest’s abuse, as part of its “safeguarding action plan.”

“I again express my profound sorrow and I apologize for what you have suffered, and for the betrayal, violation, and abandonment you have experienced,” Saskatoon Bishop Mark Hagemoen said in a YouTube video.

McMahon said the apology failed to address the church’s role in the abuse.

“It’s the church itself that is enabling and…

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Faced with Allegations, Anglicans Want to Change the Trajectory of Abuse Response

WHEATON (IL)
Christianity Today [Carol Stream IL]

July 27, 2021

By Megan Fowler

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Mishandled case in Wheaton has been a wake-up call for the relatively young denomination.

Priests and parishioners in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) are expressing grief and anger over sexual abuse allegations against a lay leader in the Diocese of the Upper Midwest and the revelation that its bishop waited two years to notify churches in the diocese about the reports.

Church leaders and advocates in Illinois and beyond see this case as a chance for the 12-year-old denomination to establish better practices for preventing abuse and to care well for survivors.

After admitting he made “regrettable errors” in the process, Bishop Stewart Ruch III requested a leave of absence this month as the diocese investigates whether he and other diocesan leaders mishandled abuse allegations against Mark Rivera, a former lay leader at Christ Our Light Anglican in Big Rock, Illinois, and…

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July 27, 2021

News about Phil Saviano

BOSTON (MA)
BishopAccountability.org [Waltham MA]

July 27, 2021

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Phil Saviano, a BishopAccountability.org board member and founder of the New England chapter of the national victims’ advocacy group SNAP, had successful heart-bypass surgery at a Boston hospital yesterday.  Phil is recovering in the ICU and doing great.  While he’s recuperating, his Viva Oaxaca Folk Art website remains open, but won’t be taking orders again until mid-September.  Phil will post on Facebook when he’s feeling a little better, and we will post another update when he leaves the hospital.

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Chilean Fernando Karadima, the defrocked priest at the heart of a sexual abuse case that rocked Chile's Catholic Church, died of natural causes July 25, 2021. He was 90. He is pictured with a rosary inside the Supreme Court building in Santiago Nov. 11, 2015. (CNS photo / Carlos Vera, Reuters)

Fernando Karadima, Chilean priest at center of abuse scandal, dies

(CHILE)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

July 27, 2021

By Lucien Chauvin

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[Photo above: Chilean Fernando Karadima, the defrocked priest at the heart of a sexual abuse case that rocked Chile’s Catholic Church, died of natural causes July 25, 2021. He was 90. He is pictured with a rosary inside the Supreme Court building in Santiago Nov. 11, 2015. (CNS photo/Carlos Vera, Reuters)]

Defrocked priest Fernando Karadima, at the heart of a sexual abuse case that rocked Chile’s Catholic Church, died of natural causes July 25. He was 90.

Karadima was a parish priest in an upscale neighborhood in Santiago, Chile’s capital. Allegations against him first surfaced in the 1980s, but the case was made public in 2010, when three men came forward about sexual abuses.

The Archdiocese of Santiago released a brief statement about Karadima’s death July 26, “asking our merciful God to heal the pain caused to all who have suffered.”

The three men who initially came forward, Juan Carlos…

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As Cardinal Becciu goes to court, Francis’ financial reforms also on trial

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

July 27, 2021

By Jason Berry

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The Vatican is opening criminal proceedings on July 27 against Giovanni Angelo Becciu, a once-powerful cardinal demoted by Pope Francis last fall, and nine other defendants. They are charged with embezzlement and other crimes linked to a 2013 investment of a purported $240 million in a London real estate venture that kept swallowing money until it went bust, leaving an approximate $415 million Vatican loss.

The trial marks an emboldened turn in Francis’ papacy, likely to surpass other forensic dramas in the chain of scandals since “Vatileaks,” when Pope Benedict XVI’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, went to prison in 2012 for leaking papal documents to an Italian reporter. In that trial, the magistrate barred key evidence from a secret report by three cardinals that could have shed light on who assisted Gabriele.

In the current trial, the prosecution’s web work of…

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Jesuit Draft Report on Joseph Marmion

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
RTÉ - Raidió Teilifís Éireann [Dublin, Ireland]

July 26, 2021

By Joe Duffy

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[In this 39-minute radio broadcast, Duffy reads numerous excerpts from the “confidential” Jesuit report.]

Former pupils of paedophile priest Joseph Marmion discuss the Jesuit order’s response to the sex abuse allegations which are contained in a confidential and, as yet, unpublished report see by Liveline.

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Irish Jesuit Order statement regarding Joseph Marmion

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

July 26, 2021

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Statement follows inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse against priest during time at Belvedere College

A statement from the Irish Jesuit Order following the publication of some of the contents of an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse against Father Joseph Marmion during his time as a teacher at Belvedere College in Dublin during the 1970s.

After the naming in public of Joseph Marmion SJ last March the Jesuits in Ireland appealed for anyone who had any complaints, concerns or questions to contact our Safeguarding Office.

It was clear from what was communicated to us from those impacted by Marmion’s emotional, psychological, physical and sexual abuse, that they wanted a robust process that would address the whole truth of what happened and how it was allowed to happen

After consultation with survivors and others the Provincial, Fr Leonard Moloney, asked two independent restorative justice practitioners to engage with those survivors who wished…

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Dublin school’s sex abuse cover-up described as ‘shameful’ in priest scandal

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Dublin Live [Dublin, Ireland]

July 27, 2021

By Aakanksha Surve

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Fr Joseph Marmion had sexually, emotionally, and physically abused pupils

A former headmaster has admitted that allegations of schoolchildren being abused by a Jesuit priest at a Dublin school were not reported to gardai.

Fr Noel Barber, the former headmaster of Belvedere College, told a Jesuit-ordered inquiry that the claims of sexual abuse in the 1970s were not properly investigated.

Branding the cover-up as “shameful”, the Jesuits said last night they were “profoundly sorry for the terrible wrongs that were done to survivors”.

A draft report by the order reveals that a “credible” sexual abuse allegation against the late Fr Joseph Marmion was brought forth to the college authorities “in order that they would deal with it” in 1977.

In March, the order said that the late Fr Marimon, who died in 2000, had sexually, emotionally, and physically abused pupils while teaching at the school in the 70s.

Fr Barber…

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‘Gives me an opportunity to hold them accountable’: Survivor of child sexual abuse on Senate Bill 88

DENVER (CO)
KMGH [Denver CO]

July 10, 2021

By C.B. Cotton

Read original article

[With video interview of survivor of public school abuse]

Senate Bill 88 allows retroactivity for survivors.

Randy Kady fumbles through newspaper clippings at his kitchen table, the headlines from years past tell a story of the trauma that he lived through.

“Teacher’s assaults on youngsters ends in resignation,” Kady reads. The headline is from the Aurora Sun, a former-publication, printed in 1973.

According to Aurora Police Department reports from the same year, a teacher admitted to molesting Kady and at least 30 other young boys enrolled in the Cherry Creek School District.

“I was taught ‘stranger danger’ where the stranger was someone offering me candy and trying to get me in a van to kidnap me. No one ever told me that it could be a teacher in my own classroom,” Kady said. “One of the things I vividly remember was him sticking his hands down my pants past my…

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Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Struggle to Find Treatment

BOSTON (MA)
WWNO [New Orleans LA]

July 26, 2021

By Rachel Rock

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The CDC estimates that 1 in 6 men have been sexually victimized at some point. It’s a largely silent epidemic despite revelations of abuse by Catholic priests and Boy Scout leaders. Not confronting this issue only makes recovery harder. Rachel Rock brings us one man’s search for support.

RACHEL ROCK, BYLINE: Jim Holland says he was raped by a priest when he was 13 years old. He locked his trauma away for 30 years, held it at bay with drinking, drugs and promiscuity. The 2003 Boston Globe Spotlight investigation of priest sexual abuse triggered Holland’s memories.

JIM HOLLAND: But I kept on saying, no, it was no big deal. That really didn’t happen.

ROCK: He knew he needed help, but there were few therapists specializing in this kind of trauma in Boston. Holland shoved his pain back down. It took another five years, his brother’s suicide and…

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Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg Releases Following Statement Regarding Rev. David Danneker

HARRISBURG (PA)
Diocese of Harrisburg [Harrisburg PA]

July 23, 2021

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Today, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg released the following statement regarding Rev. David Danneker. Rev. Danneker most recently served in the role of vicar general and moderator of the curia.

“The Diocese of Harrisburg has received allegations of adult misconduct made against Rev. Danneker. While this matter does not involve a child, we are taking the accusations seriously. Accordingly, a full investigation, conducted by an outside third party, has been launched to review the matter.”

The allegations center around a relationship between Rev. Danneker and an adult female. A formal investigation by an outside third party is being conducted by a firm that has no ties to the Diocese. Additionally, the Church has begun an investigation into potential breaches of canon law.

Rev. Danneker has been placed on leave pending the results of this investigation.

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Saskatoon diocese report discloses 9 historical cases of sexual abuse, misconduct over 60 years

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

July 23, 2021

By Yasmine Ghania

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has released a report on historical cases involving serious misconduct and sexual abuse reported in the diocese. It says it only outlined complaints that were fully investigated internally or in the courts.

The diocese said it found nine cases over 60 years. None of the cases are related to residential schools, as there were no schools located within the diocese. 

Seven priests are alleged to have committed serious misconduct or sexual abuse, along with two employees or volunteers of the diocese. 

There are 10 victims total, including a boy younger than 13 years old, five teenage boys, three adult women and one adult man.

‘Culture of silence in the Diocese of Saskatoon:’ lawyer 

Robert Talach is an Ontario-based lawyer and victim’s advocate who has sued the Catholic Church for sexual misconduct more than 400 times.

He said he believes the numbers in the report are…

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Reporter Mike Donoghue ousted from press group over involvement with church sex abuse committee

BURLINGTON (VT)
VTDigger [Montpelier VT]

July 23, 2021

By Lola Duffort

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A regional press organization has booted from its board veteran Vermont journalist Mike Donoghue over his continued role in a church-appointed committee that once investigated misconduct claims.

Donoghue took a seat in 2018 on a lay committee formed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington to investigate the church’s personnel files and release the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse. 

His role on the panel raised eyebrows in Vermont — and, apparently, at the New England First Amendment Coalition, an influential journalism industry group that advocates for government transparency. Until this week, Donoghue was vice president of NEFAC’s board, and a frequent speaker at its events and annual institute. A freelance reporter who spent close to five decades at the Burlington Free Press, Donoghue also serves as executive director of the Vermont Press Association, another industry group. 

Justin Silverman, NEFAC’s executive director, wrote to its board members on Wednesday…

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The Ungovernable Catholic Church

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
New York Times

July 27, 2021

By Ross Douthat

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The latest dramatic move by Pope Francis — his recent order abrogating the right of Roman Catholic priests to say their church’s traditional Latin Mass — fits neatly within a historical analogy that’s useful for understanding the larger drama of Catholicism: Namely, the church since the 1960s has been reliving the experience of France after 1789, with the arc of revolution and counterrevolution embodied in each successive pope.

This analogy belongs to a writer named Arturo Vasquez, a Catholic traditionalist turned disillusioned observer of the church, who teased it out in a short essay in 2019, expanding on an earlier reference by Joseph Ratzinger, the future Benedict XVI. In this story, the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s and its aftermath is the initial revolutionary moment — the apparent reconciliation with liberalism and modernity, the stripped altars and the reinvented liturgy, and the subsequent struggle of various factions…

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Letter to the Editor: Why do GOP State Senators oppose helping victims of clergy sexual abuse to obtain justice?

HARRISBURG (PA)
Patriot-News [Mechanicsburg PA]

July 25, 2021

By Alexander Prodes

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All the Pennsylvania Republican State Senators have opposed new legislation that will allow all the victims of clergy sexual abuse to bring these criminals and their religious leaders who covered up their sexual abuse crimes to justice, by exposing them and prosecuting them in the Pennsylvania Courts. Why? There can only be one reason.

I say that these Republican politicians are criminals themselves for protecting these criminal sexual abusers. No doubt by having their palms greased by the church lobbyists (Roman Catholic Church), their insurance company lobbyists, and any others who oppose bringing the clergy sexual abusers and church leaders to justice by covering up and remaining on the side of evil.

I pray the Good Lord punishes them severely and removes them from office unless they repent of their sins and do the right things that will bring justice and healing to the victims of which,…

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July 26, 2021

Vatican trial opens into financial scandal rocking papacy

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

July 26, 2021

By Nicole Winfield

Read original article

{Via ABC News]

Vatican prosecutors have alleged a jaw-dropping series of scandals in the biggest criminal trial in the Vatican’s modern history

A cardinal who allegedly induced an underling to lie to prosecutors. Brokers and lawyers who pulled a fast one over the Vatican No. 2 to get him to approve a disastrous real estate deal. A self-styled intelligence analyst who bought Prada and Louis Vuitton items with the Vatican money that she was supposed to send to rebels holding a Catholic nun hostage.

Vatican prosecutors have alleged a jaw-dropping series of scandals in the biggest criminal trial in the Vatican’s modern history, which opens Tuesday in a modified courtroom in the Vatican Museums. The once-powerful cardinal and nine other people are accused of bleeding the Holy See of tens of millions of dollars in donations through bad investments, deals with shady money managers and apparent favors to friends and…

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Roman Catholic Church to Begin Selling Off Properties to Settle Abuse Claims

ST. JOHN'S (CANADA)
VOCM [St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada]

July 26, 2021

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Two properties belonging to the Archdiocese of St. John’s will be going up for sale in the coming weeks, the first of many properties to be put on the market.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s says it is continuing to work to address the abuse at Mount Cashel Orphanage in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, for which the NL Court of Appeal held the Church responsible earlier this year.

Archbishop Peter Hundt shared a statement on Sunday which was read aloud at masses throughout the diocese.

Hundt says the Archdiocese of St. John’s is beginning a major appraisal process to determine the sale of value of the significant real estate properties and buildings of the Church. Hundt says while the process is ongoing, certain properties will be placed on the market for sale.

Two parcels of vacant land will be put up for sale in the coming weeks, the Archbishop’s…

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After Msgr. Burrill’s Resignation, Catholic Media Expert Reflects on the Moral Issues Around Privacy and Data

MARQUETTE (MI)
National Catholic Register - EWTN [Irondale AL]

July 26, 2021

By William Thorn and Alejandro Bermudez

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“The report on Msgr. Burrill underscores the challenges social media and emerging technologies have created, because it blurs the boundaries of private and public information.”

A report published last week by The Pillar alleged that Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill frequented gay bars and private residences while using a popular “hook-up” app on his mobile device. The report is based on what it described as an analysis of commercially available app data correlated to Msgr. Burrill’s mobile device.

CNA spoke recently with Dr. William J. Thorn regarding the recent investigation which led to the resignation of Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill as general secretary of the US bishops’ conference.

Thorn is associate professor emeritus of Journalism and Media Studies/Institute for Catholic Media at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication. He holds a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Minnesota, an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a B.A. from Loras College.

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On Scandal

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Review [New York NY]

July 26, 2021

By Michael Brendan Dougherty

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Last week, the Pillar, a subscription-based outfit that does journalism — actual journalism — on the Catholic Church, released a story that the general secretary of the U.S. bishops’ conference, Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, used Grindr, the gay hookup app, from, well, just about everywhere he physically occupied over a period of years.

Here’s how the Pillar describes Burrill’s position:

Burrill was  elected general secretary of the U.S. bishops’ conference in November 2020 . In that role, Burrill was effectively the highest-ranking American cleric who is not a bishop.

A priest of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, he began to work at the bishops’ conference as associate general secretary in February 2016. In that capacity, the priest was charged with helping to coordinate the U.S. bishops’ response to the Church’s 2018 sexual abuse and coercion scandals.

Needless to say, it was the Pillar’s…

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13 Diocese of Rockville Centre Clergy Members Accused of Abuse

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
Patch [New York City NY]

July 22, 2021

By Jerry Barmash

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When there’s an accusation against a priest “an investigation is immediately begun,” a Diocese of Rockville Centre spokesperson said.

Thirteen more Diocese of Rockville Centre clergy members are accused of sexually abusing children, a law firm announced Thursday.

The clergy members were identified in lawsuits filed under the New York Child Victims Act.

“This peril must be known not only by the people in the pews, not only by the people in the parishes, but the public must know about these child molesting clerics,” attorney Jeff Anderson, of Jeff Anderson & Associates, said in a news release. “Survivors of sexual abuse in New York can expose their perpetrators in court, but time is running out.”

The clergy members were identified as:

  • Rose Alauddin
  • Joseph Boyd
  • Jean Ann Burk
  • Steven Lawrence Carreras
  • Eloy Clarke
  • Michael Fleming
  • Azarias Gabriel
  • Punakateal Ivor
  • Richard Kondziolka
  • Richard Krauss
  • Anthony LaTorre
  • Robert Mulligan
  • Louis Stanislaus

The Diocese of Rockville Centre continues to monitor all newly filed claims under…

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July 25, 2021

Howell ex-pastor acquitted in sexual abuse case: ‘I pray for the accuser’

FREEHOLD (NJ)
Asbury Park Press

July 23, 2021

By Kathleen Hopkins

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FREEHOLD – Under the cloud of sexual abuse allegations for almost three years, the former longtime pastor of St. Veronica R.C. Church in Howell walked out of the Monmouth County Courthouse Friday after a judge acquitted him of the charges, and said he will continue to pray for his accuser.

After Superior Court Judge Ellen Torregrossa-O’Connor found the 80-year-old priest not guilty of three counts of sexual assault on a child more than two decades ago, the Rev. Henry Brendan Williams said he was “certainly very relieved’’ by the verdict. 

“I continue to pray for the accuser,’’ Williams added, speaking outside the courtroom.

“I feel very compassionate toward her, the difficulties she’s had going on for many years,”  the priest said. “I do keep her in prayer, and her family as well. I just pray for the whole family.’’

“I haven’t had too many clients in my career pray for the people…

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Saskatoon Catholic diocese releases details on 9 sexual assault and misconduct cases

SASKATOON (CANADA)
Global News [Toronto, Canada]

July 23, 2021

By Kelly Skjerven

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has released details about nine historical cases involving sexual abuse and misconduct that were investigated as part of the Safer Churches, Safer communities Safeguarding Action Plan.

The March 2020 commitment by the diocese involves reviewing historical cases of serious misconduct reported over the last 60 years in the diocese.

The review released in July only involved complaints for which the investigation of the report had concluded.

Two committees separate from the bishop were tasked with reviewing practices. The review committee was comprised of non-clergy members with a range of experience in legal and police investigative fields.

The diocese declined to speak to reporters after the review was released.

In a video message posted to YouTube, Bishop Mark Hagemoen thanked those involved in the process.

“I again express my profound sorrow and I apologize for what you…

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Residential school survivor encouraged by push to investigate former Nunavut priest

(CANADA)
Nunatsiaq News [Nunavut, Canada]

July 23, 2021

By Sarah Rogers

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French Oblate priest Joannis Rivoire was once accused of sexually assaulting Inuit children

An Inuk residential school survivor and activist says he’s encouraged by recent calls to reinvestigate allegations of abuse by a notorious former Nunavut priest.

French Oblate priest Joannis Rivoire was once accused of sexually assaulting Inuit children in Nunavut communities in the 1960s, but the charges against him were stayed four years ago.

Earlier this month, Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, backed by the NDP, again shone a spotlight on Rivoire when she called on the federal government to open a criminal probe into residential schools. During the press conference, she held up a photo of the priest and demanded the government investigate his alleged abuse.

Piita Irniq, former Commissioner of Nunavut, went to school at the Sir Joseph Bernier School in Chesterfield Inlet.

Irniq has long advocated for justice for other survivors of abuse and hopes the NDP’s…

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[Jacqueline Frost, 60, holds a photo showing how she was forced to adopt the look and attire of a white girl. She said she was beaten by a Ute aunt who served as a matron at a federal boarding school designed to assimilate Native children.Credit...Sharon Chischilly for The New York Times]

Lost Lives, Lost Culture: The Forgotten History of Indigenous Boarding Schools

DURANGO (CO)
New York Times

July 19, 2021

By Rukmini Callimachi / Photographs by Sharon Chischilly

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Thousands of Native American children attended U.S. boarding schools designed to “civilize the savage.” Many died. Many who lived are reclaiming their identity.

[Photo above: Jacqueline Frost, 60, holds a photo showing how she was forced to adopt the look and attire of a white girl. She said she was beaten by a Ute aunt who served as a matron at a federal boarding school designed to assimilate Native children. Credit…Sharon Chischilly for The New York Times]

DURANGO, Colo. — The last day Dzabahe remembers praying in the way of her ancestors was on the morning in the 1950s when she was taken to the boarding school.

At first light, she grabbed a small pouch and ran out into the desert to a spot facing the rising sun to sprinkle the taa dih’deen — or corn pollen — to the four directions, offering honor for the new day.

Within hours…

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Exposé that brought down USCCB official likely to have lasting fallout

WASHINGTON (DC)
Crux [Denver CO]

July 25, 2021

By John Allen

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ROME – Easily the most talked-about development in American Catholicism over the past week has been the resignation of Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill as the Secretary General of the US Bishops Conference, after the new Catholic media outlet Pillar obtained data from his phone suggesting Burrill had visited gay bars, private residences for single men and even a notorious sauna in Las Vegas while he was serving the conference.

The episode has generated tremendous controversy, not only about Burrill’s behavior but about data privacy and the ethics of paying for supposedly confidential information on someone and then broadcasting it to the world.

Pillar was at it again yesterday, publishing a new report that the Archdiocese of Newark will be investigating information presented by Pillar indicating the use of hookup apps, both gay and straight, in ten different rectories and clerical residences.

Because the data only establishes location and app use, not sexual activity, and because Pillar so far…

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Manchester Bishop Libasci ‘categorically denies’ sex abuse accusations, attorney says

MANCHESTER (NH)
WMUR-TV, ABC-9 [Manchester NH]

July 23, 2021

By Tim Callery and Jean Mackin

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Organization for survivors of sex abuse victims calls for Manchester bishop’s suspension

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Manchester Diocese Bishop Peter Anthony Libasci is denying that he sexually abused a child in the 1980s, according to a statement released Friday by his attorney.

Libasci is not facing criminal charges. In a lawsuit, he was accused of sexually abusing a child around 12 or 13 years old in 1983 and 1984.

In a statement released Friday evening, Libasci’s attorney, Michael J. Connolly, said the bishop “categorically denies the allegations.”

“The allegation that, almost 40 years ago, Bishop Libasci assaulted an individual while serving as a parish priest in Deer Park, New York, is not true,” Connolly said in the statement. “Bishop Libasci has dedicated over 43 years to serving others as a Roman Catholic priest, during which time he has earned an impeccable reputation for treating all individuals with dignity and respect. While…

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Libasci allegations part of a wave in New York, brought on by temporary elimination of statute of limitations

MANCHESTER (NH)
Union Leader [Manchester NH]

July 24, 2021

By Josie Albertson-Grove

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A lawsuit alleging the bishop of Manchester abused an altar boy in the early 1980s is part of a wave of clergy abuse suits in New York, where a law passed in 2019 opened a temporary exemption from the statute of limitations.

The exemption allows survivors of abuse decades ago to come forward with their claims, and seek recompense.

The look-back window will close Aug. 14. Thousands of survivors of abuse in New York have come forward, including more than 200 lawsuits against the Diocese of Rockville Centre, where Bishop Peter A. Libasci served as a priest in the 1980s. The diocese filed for bankruptcy in September 2020

Libasci had not been named in an abuse lawsuit until the complaint filed earlier this month in New York’s Suffolk County Superior Court alleged he groped an altar boy in 1983 and 1984, when the boy was 12 and 13 years old.

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New Hampshire bishop denies allegations of past sexual abuse

MANCHESTER (NH)
Associated Press [New York NY]

July 25, 2021

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MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — The head of the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire “categorically denies” recent allegations that he committed sexual abuse while serving as a priest in New York in the 1980s, according to a statement issued by his lawyer on Saturday.

A lawsuit filed July 14 in a New York state court accuses Bishop Peter Libasci of the Diocese of Manchester of abusing a male youth on numerous occasions in 1983 and 1984. The abuse resulted in “physical, psychological and emotional injuries,” the ;awsuit says.

In a statement on behalf of Libasci, attorney Michael Connolly said the allegation is not true.

“Bishop Libasci has dedicated over 43 years to serving others as a Roman Catholic priest, during which time he has earned an impeccable reputation for treating all individuals with dignity and respect,” Connolly wrote. “While Bishop Libasci has great compassion for victims of sexual abuse, he will…

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Press Conference, July 22: Over 1,700 Alleged Perpetrators Accused of Child Sexual Abuse in New York Catholic Dioceses Under Child Victims Act

NEW YORK (NY)
Jeff Anderson and Associates

July 22, 2021

By Trusha Goffe

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Whereabouts of many of the 1,700 accused priests are unknown Virtual press event today: statewide investigation reveals lawsuits involving Catholic dioceses and alleged clergy perpetrators in New York

(New York, NY) – Today, over a live moderated virtual press conference, attorney Jeff Anderson will:

  • Unveil findings from an investigation into lawsuits filed under the New York Child Victims Act between August 14, 2019, and May 31, 2021, involving all Catholic Dioceses across New York.
  • Announce and discuss over 3,300 lawsuits filed under the New York Child Victims Act (CVA).
  • Announce and discuss over 1,700 alleged perpetrators identified in lawsuits filed under the New York CVA.
  • Reveal 176 newly identified alleged perpetrators that have not been publicly identified before in diocesan lists, religious order lists, or other forms of media.
  • Implore the public to aid in identifying which of the newly identified alleged perpetrators are potentially still alive and may have access to children.
  • Demand that all New…
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Legal payout brings hope for other victims of paedophile priest

(AUSTRALIA)
The Age [Melbourne, Australia]

July 26, 2021

By Adam Cooper

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As the first of Kevin O’Donnell’s victims to report the paedophile priest to police, he paved a courageous path for other abuse survivors to follow.

Now, he hopes the $1.375 million he will receive from the Catholic Church will stand as a landmark settlement that assists O’Donnell’s other victims who are seeking compensation.

“I never let go of the bone. I just kept fighting it. I thought, ‘this is not right’,” said BTZ, as he is known in legal files.

“The Melbourne archdiocese has known I was a victim for 25 years and it’s only in the past couple of months they were forced into mediation to start the conversation about how much money they had to pay me.”

It is 50 years since BTZ was groomed and abused as an 11-year-old boy in Hastings by his parish priest. O’Donnell’s attacks continued until 1976 and included sexual assaults at the…

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Anglican Church knew of abuse by carer, but promoted him anyway

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

July 25, 2021

By Deborah Morris

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Tamzin Ford wanted for years to share her story about the abuse she suffered at the hands of a man who was supposed to be her carer. Deborah Morris reports.

It was the day Maurice Dagger made a filthy suggestion to her that Tamzin Ford knew she needed to do something.

She had just got home from school, and Dagger was sitting in a chair in the lounge.

The young teenager hated being alone with him and did her best to avoid it. He used to come into her bedroom at night and rub her back, enter the bathroom while she was showering, hold the door to the rumpus room closed to press her up against the door frame and kiss her.

This time he asked to put his hand in her pants and stroke her.

After 18 months of being ‘sexually terrified’ as a young teen, Ford needed out….

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Do not shield child molesters, says Senator Campbell-Rodriques

KINGSTON (JAMAICA)
Jamaica Observer [Kingston, Jamaica]

July 24, 2021

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — A call has been made by a lawmaker for Jamaicans to not protect anyone who molests or otherwise abuse the nation’s children.

“We must not lay our girls and boys carelessly exposed to evil elements. It does not matter how much power we think the abuser has,” said Government Senator Natalie Campbell-Rodriques. She made the call on Friday during her contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate. She pleaded with Jamaicans not to shield child abusers because of their status in the society.

“Whether it be a church leader, a politician, a doctor, lawyer or teacher; no one should be allowed to escape the law for abusing our most vulnerable,” Campbell-Rodriques stated.

“Safeguards must be put in place by us as caregivers to shield our children from evil and wickedness,” she added.

The government senator said she has taken note of the debate…

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Rancho Cucamonga pastor arrested in child sex abuse case

RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CA)
San Bernardino Sun [San Bernardino CA]

July 23, 2021

By Jonah Valdez, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

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A pastor of a Rancho Cucamonga church was arrested this week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child at the church, authorities said.

A 14-year-old girl reported to authorities in April that the pastor of Shiloh Tabernacle Church abused her for several years, starting when she was 9 years old and continued until she was 12, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested the pastor, Puredi Hillary, 67, of Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday evening and he was booked on charges of continuous sexual abuse of a minor, and lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14.

The abuse took place at the church on 8678 Archibald Avenue, the department said.

The church did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

Hillary founded the Shiloh Tabernacle Church in 2001 and has been meeting in the Inland Empire since 2002, according to the church’s website. The church…

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Rancho Cucamonga pastor accused of sexually abusing girl

RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CA)
Los Angeles Times

July 24, 2021

By Alex Wigglesworth

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A Rancho Cucamonga pastor was arrested this week for allegedly sexually abusing a young girl over several years, authorities said.

Puredi Hillary, 67, was taken into custody Thursday on suspicion of continuous sexual abuse of a minor and lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a release. He was being held at West Valley Detention Center in lieu of $350,000 bail, according to jail records.

The crimes are believed to have taken place when the now-14-year-old victim was 9 to 12, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Hillary is pastor of Shiloh Tabernacle Church in Rancho Cucamonga, authorities said. He founded the pentecostal church in 2001 after he saw a vision during a fraternity party that inspired him to repent and stop using drugs, according to an archived copy of the church’s website, which had been removed by Saturday morning. The church…

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Church Youth Group Leader Arrested For Sexual Abuse

RIVERSIDE (CA)
KCAL - CBS 9 [Los Angeles CA]

July 24, 2021

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RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — A church youth group leader was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing young girls.

65-year-old Jaime Gonzalez, of Our Lady Guadalupe Shrine in Riverside, is accused of crimes from several years ago.

Detectives say they want to hear from any other potential victims.

This marks the second such incident in the past few days in the Southland regarding church officials accused of sexual abuse.

67-year-old pastor Puredi Hillary, of Shiloh Tabernacle Church in Rancho Cucamonga, was arrested Thursday, following the initial report of sexual abuse by a 14-year-old girl in April.

The girl told police investigators she was 9 years old when the sexual abuse began, and that it continued until she was 12.

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Ronald Dombrowski given a life of prayer and penance

SAGINAW (MI)
Diocese of Saginaw [Saginaw MI]

July 23, 2021

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Today Bishop Robert Gruss, Bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw, transferred the name of Ronald [Father Ron] Dombrowski from the diocesan website’s list of clergy with an allegation of child sexual abuse to the list of clergy permanently removed from ministry. Following communication with Ronald Dombrowski, the Diocese of Saginaw has released the following statement.  

Ronald [Father Ron] Dombrowski will live a life of prayer and penance after being removed from public ministry more than three years ago. His name will be listed on the diocesan website among those who have been permanently removed from ministry due to allegations of sexual abuse involving minors.

On February 28, 2018, the Diocese of Saginaw received an allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor against Ronald Dombrowski, a priest of the Diocese of Saginaw, dating from his early years of ministry. Ronald Dombrowski was placed on administrative leave and prohibited…

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Catholic Diocese of Saginaw removes priest from ministry due to sexual misconduct allegations

SAGINAW (MI)
MLive [Walker MI]

July 24, 2021

By Cole Waterman

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SAGINAW, MI — The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw has permanently removed one of its priests from duty, years after the priest was accused of sexual misconduct.

On Friday, July 23, Bishop Robert Gruss removed the Rev. Ronald J. Dombrowski from ministry, the diocese said in a statement.

The diocese had suspended Dombrowski in March 2018 as a “precautionary measure” after someone reported to the agency that Dombrowski sexually abused them as a minor. No criminal charges have been filed against Dombrowski.

After the diocese received the initial allegation against Dombrowski on Feb. 28, 2018, two more people came forward with similar claims against the priest.

The abuse occurred in Dombrowski’s “early years of ministry,” the diocese stated.

“My prayers remain with any and all who have suffered sexual abuse by clergy, especially minors and vulnerable adults,” Gruss said. “As we know, the pain runs deep and the…

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Newark archdiocese to investigate app use allegations

NEWARK (NJ)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

July 23, 2021

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The Archdiocese of Newark says it will investigate the possibility of clerical sexual misconduct, in response to questions from The Pillar about the use of location-based hookup apps at several parish rectories in the archdiocese.

While a spokesperson told The Pillar it is “not acceptable” to use apps “inconsistent with Church teaching,” the archdiocese has also expressed concerns about the “morally suspect” collection of app signal data.

“The inappropriate use of any app or communication tool would pose a concern in any circumstance and for any community. Although the use of such an app, and its use in a specific location, does not provide direct evidence of any specific activity, the Archdiocese of Newark takes seriously all complaints of misconduct or abuse by members of the clergy, religious, lay staff and volunteers of the Archdiocese,” Maria Margiotta, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Newark, told The Pillar on Friday. 

“It is not acceptable for any member of…

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A Catholic newsletter promised investigative journalism. Then it outed a priest using Grindr data.

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

July 24, 2021

By Michelle Boorstein, Marisa Iati and Elahe Izadi

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In January, when Ed Condon and JD Flynn broke off from their jobs at a long-standing Catholic news agency, they promised readers of their new newsletter that they would deliver reporting without an agenda, or a foregone conclusion. “We aim to do serious, responsible, sober journalism about the Church, from the Church and for the Church. . . . We want The Pillar to be a different kind of journalism.”

Six months later the Pillar broke the kind of story mainstream news organizations would be unlikely to touch: They said they had obtained commercially available data that included location history from the hookup app Grindr, and used it to track a high-ranking priest from his offices and family lake house to gay nightclubs.

Now Condon and Flynn, two 38-year-old canon lawyers-turned-muckrakers, are at the center of both a global surveillance-ethics story as well as a mud fight among their fellow Catholics over whether…

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Priest outed via Grindr app highlights rampant data tracking

WASHINGTON (DC)
Associated Press [New York NY]

July 22, 2021

By Matt O'Brien and Frank Bajak

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When a religious publication used smartphone app data to deduce the sexual orientation of a high-ranking Roman Catholic official, it exposed a problem that goes far beyond a debate over church doctrine and priestly celibacy.

With few U.S. restrictions on what companies can do with the vast amount of data they collect from web page visits, apps and location tracking built into phones, there’s not much to stop similar spying on politicians, celebrities and just about anyone that’s a target of another person’s curiosity — or malice.

Citing allegations of “possible improper behavior,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday announced the resignation of its top administrative official, Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, ahead of a report by the Catholic news outlet The Pillar that probed his private romantic life.

The Pillar said it obtained “commercially available” location data from a vendor it didn’t name that it “correlated” to Burrill’s phone…

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Tabloids, scandal and spying: The U.S. Catholic Church has hit a new, dangerous low point.

WASHINGTON (DC)
America [New York NY]

July 22, 2021

By Zac Davis

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On July 20, a Catholic online news commentary site, The Pillar, published a report alleging that Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops “engaged in serial sexual misconduct, while he held a critical oversight role in the Catholic Church’s response to the recent spate of sexual abuse and misconduct scandals.” The Pillar used “commercially available records of app signal data” to track a mobile device correlated to Monsignor Burrill that “suggest he was at the same time engaged in serial and illicit sexual activity.”

Operated by two former editors at E.W.T.N.’s Catholic News Agency, J. D. Flynn and Ed Condon, The Pillar offers news and analysis about the Catholic Church, mostly in the United States. Just before the publication of the story on July 20, the U.S.C.C.B. announced that Monsignor Burrill had resigned in light of “impending media reports alleging possible improper behavior.”

Rare is the story…

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‘Is your diaper wet?’ Lawsuit alleges priest sexually abused, mocked altar boy at NYC church

(NY)
Staten Island Advance [Staten Island NY]

July 24, 2021

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A former altar boy is making shocking claims of sexual and verbal abuse allegedly perpetrated decades ago by a priest at a Roman Catholic church in West Brighton.

The Rev. Thomas Curley is named as the offender in a lawsuit filed under the state’s Child Victims Act recently in Manhattan state Supreme Court.

The Archdiocese of New York and Sacred Heart R.C. Church are listed as defendants.

The suit was filed by the Herman Law Firm on behalf of an anonymous alleged victim, referred to in the litigation as S.T.

S.T. was raised in a “devout Catholic family that worshiped at Sacred Heart,” according to the filing.

The abuse started around 1978 when the plaintiff was about 11 years old and a participant in a class for altar boys taught by Father Curley, who was a parochial vicar at Sacred…

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July 24, 2021

Confessions of an exhausted Catholic

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

July 23, 2021

By John Gehring, Religion News Service

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Media coverage of the Catholic Church can sometimes feel like a bad weather system that settles over my soul.

Those hopeful days in March of 2013, when Pope Francis’ election signaled a season of opportunity and renewal for Catholicism — a “springtime” for the church — can feel as distant a memory as our lives before the pandemic upended any notion of normal.

So many Catholics today are exhausted.

In the past few years, we have watched a beloved cardinal, the former archbishop of Washington, fall from grace, exposed as a sexual predator who used his influence to abuse children and seminarians. A Pennsylvania grand jury report, released in 2018, again chronicled the chilling, institutional scale of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

Only a few days after that report landed, a former papal nuncio to the United States launched a conspiratorial campaign to bring Francis down with a series of…

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Review is learning process for Diocese: Bishop Hagemoen

SASKATOON (CANADA)
The Battlefords News-Optimist [Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada]

July 22, 2021

By Jon Perez

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Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon Most Rev. Bishop Mark A. Hagemoen says the historical case review process done by the Historical Case Review and Policy and Operations Review are necessary steps in order to learn from the past mistakes in handling allegations of misconduct and sexual abuse cases.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon Most Rev. Bishop Mark A. Hagemoen says the historical case review process done by the Historical Case Review and Policy and Operations Review are necessary steps in order to learn from the past mistakes in handling allegations of misconduct and sexual abuse cases.

The issue of Catholic-run residential schools, where thousands of Indigenous children were forced to attend, was not included in the historical review since the Diocese did not operate any of the said facilities in Saskatoon and within its boundaries.

“The key goal of our plan was that our Diocese and our churches be places…

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Father Mark White continues to fight for his faith

ROCKY MOUNT (VA)
WSET-TV, ABC-13 [Lynchburg VA]

July 22, 2021

By Daniel Crews

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ROCKY MOUNT, Va. (WSET) — It has now been a year since Father Mark White led his parishioners during Catholic Mass.

Bishop Barry Knestout removed Father White from overseeing parishes in Martinsville and Rocky Mount in 2020.

“A lot of us Catholics have lost respect for the upper level of leadership but I don’t think that makes us bad Catholics,” said Father White.

White’s battle with Bishop Knestout started with a blog.

He used it to shine a light on sex allegations against the Cardinal who ordained him.

Knestout ordered White to take down the blog.

“His position is that I have failed in respect towards the hierarchy of the church in what I had to say about the way the sex abuse has been handled,” said Father White.

When that didn’t happen, he was suspended from his priestly duties.

“We love the church and we’re seeing there are things that…

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July 23, 2021

Former CYO Sports Director Named in Two Child Sex Abuse Lawsuits

(NY)
The Tablet [Brooklyn NY diocesan news]

July 15, 2021

By Erin DeGregorio and Paula Katinas

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WINDSOR TERRACE — The former executive director of The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) in the Diocese of Brooklyn is accused in two civil lawsuits of sexually abusing underage boys when he was a CYO basketball coach at St. Joseph’s Church in Astoria in the 1990s.

The lawsuits, filed in New York State Supreme Court in Queens in May, were made public on July 14.

In response to the lawsuits, The Diocese of Brooklyn released a statement saying the diocese’s Independent Reporting Line received an allegation of inappropriate behavior by Robert Caldera on Oct. 14, 2020, and quickly acted on it.

“This was the first allegation ever made against Caldera to the diocese. As is the policy of the Diocese of Brooklyn for all employees, Caldera had undergone comprehensive and periodic background checks. Immediately, on October 15, 2020, Caldera was placed on suspension from his position and restricted from all areas at CYO and…

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Despite Criticism from Wisconsin AG, Milwaukee Archdiocese Stresses Cooperation with New Abuse Cases

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

July 22, 2021

By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency

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Archbishop Listecki has voiced doubt that the attorney general has the legal authority for the inquiry and said the archdiocese has “legitimate concerns that his inquiry is directly targeting only the Catholic Church.”

MILWAUKEE, Wisc. —The Milwaukee archdiocese said that to its knowledge the Wisconsin attorney general’s inquiry into sexual abuse, which some critics say is singling out the Catholic Church, has so far not resulted in any allegations against current archdiocesan priests.

“We continue to cooperate with any new allegations against a living priest, and have not received any word from the attorney general that any have been received,” Sandra Peterson, communication director with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, told CNA July 22.

The Milwaukee archdiocese has previously said that judges, civil authorities, and an outside firm have already reviewed their documents multiple times and a bankruptcy judge has declared no concern for public safety after reviewing abuse claims. Some…

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Letter to the editor: Catholic Church and statute of limitations

(PA)
Tribune-Review [Pittsburgh PA]

July 22, 2021

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In response to the article “Pa. lawmakers threaten university funding over statute of limitations deadlock” (June 18, TribLIVE): First, my heart truly breaks for the suffering the victims of abuse have endured, and I truly hope they find closure. But the issue of the statute of limitations is more complicated than being reported.

I believe the Catholic Church is being targeted because the victims believe there is a big payday waiting for them courtesy of the Vatican. Most of these old cases already have been settled civilly. Many victims are working with trial lawyers who also stand to gain financially.

But what about those who were abused by someone or some entity that didn’t have money to pay out? Are they another class of victims, since they will never see a payday? Additionally, we hear almost nothing about the child abuse that takes place in our school districts,…

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Former Auburn priest accused of sexual abuse

AUBURN (NY)
The Citizen / auburnpub.com [Auburn NY]

July 22, 2021

By Dave Wilcox

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A priest active in Auburn in the 1960s has been accused of sexually abusing children in a new lawsuit.

The Rev. John Merklinger, who was the priest at St. Alphonsus Church on East Genesee Street from July 1962 until his retirement in June 1969, is accused of sexually abusing the plaintiff in the lawsuit when he was 8 years old. The plaintiff filed the complaint anonymously, through the New York Child Victims Act, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in April.

The complaint goes on to accuse Merklinger of abusing “numerous children” during his tenure as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

According to the complaint, Merklinger began abusing the plaintiff in 1967, when he was a student at St. Alphonsus. The abuse continued for about two years. The plaintiff was a “heavier child who had speech issues,” the complaint says,…

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Vatican concludes inquiry into Polish Catholic bishop

WARSAW (POLAND)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

July 23, 2021

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The Vatican has concluded that sexual abuse accusations against a Polish Catholic bishop are “not proven.”

In a July 23 statement, the apostolic nunciature in the Polish capital, Warsaw, disclosed that Bishop Jan Szkodoń was the subject of an administrative penal process after he was accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

“After a thorough analysis of the evidence collected and after hearing the witnesses called, the guilt of Bishop Jan Szkodon was not proven (non constat),” the statement said.

“However, in the course of the proceedings, it was found that Bishop Jan Szkodoń acted imprudently towards the minor, by receiving her in his private apartment without the presence of her parents, who have known the bishop for years.”

Szkodoń, 74, an auxiliary bishop of Kraków archdiocese, was ordered to undertake a three-month closed retreat, “dedicated to reflection and prayer.”

The apostolic nunciature said that Szkodoń had already fulfilled this requirement…

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In this Dec. 8, 2011 file photo, Bishop Peter Libasci, center, arrives at the Cathedral of St. Joseph for his Installation service as the Tenth Bishop of the Diocese of Manchester, in Manchester, N.H. A lawsuit is accusing Libasci of sexually abusing a teenager when he was a priest in New York.JIM COLE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

New Hampshire bishop accused of sexually abusing a minor in 1980s

MANCHESTER (NH)
Boston Globe

July 22, 2021

By Shelley Murphy and Kate Lusignan

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[Photo above: In this Dec. 8, 2011 file photo, Bishop Peter Libasci, center, arrives at the Cathedral of St. Joseph for his Installation service as the Tenth Bishop of the Diocese of Manchester, in Manchester, N.H. A lawsuit is accusing Libasci of sexually abusing a teenager when he was a priest in New York. JIM COLE/ASSOCIATED PRESS]

The bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Manchester, N.H., has been accused of sexually abusing an altar boy in the 1980s while working as a parish priest on Long Island, N.Y., according to a lawsuit filed by the alleged victim.

The man alleges in the lawsuit that Bishop Peter Anthony Libasci used his position as a trusted priest and pastor at Saints Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Church and school in Deer Park, N.Y., to “manipulate, sexually abuse and sexually harass” him when he was a child in 1983 and 1984. The…

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Libasci accused of sex abuse

MANCHESTER (NH)
NH Reporter [New Hampshire]

July 22, 2021

By Damien Fisher

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MANCHESTER — Roman Catholic Bishop Peter Libasci is named as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by a New York man who claims Libasci sexually abused him as a child.

The lawsuit, filed in the Suffolk County Supreme Court in New York last week, accused Libasci of abusing the man when the man was a 13-year-old altar boy at Saints Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Church and Libasci was the pastor. According to the lawsuit, Libasci repeatedly groped the boy over a period of time starting in 1983 and ending sometime in 1984.

The church, as well as the parish school located in Deer Park, New York, and the order of nuns who ran the school, the Sisters of Saint Joseph based in Brentwood, New York, are all named as defendants in the lawsuit. The school is now known as Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School following…

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NH bishop accused of sexual abuse of altar boy decades ago, remains mum about accusation

MANCHESTER (NH)
Union Leader [Manchester NH]

July 22, 2021

By Mark Hayward

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Bishop Peter A. Libasci — the New York native who brought calm to the scandal-plagued Catholic diocese of New Hampshire 10 years ago — has been accused of groping an altar boy in Long Island, N.Y., as a young priest.

According to a lawsuit filed last week in Suffolk County, N.Y., Libasci fondled and groped a boy aged 12 or 13 “on numerous occasions” in 1983 and 1984. At the time, Libasci was in his early 30s and had been a priest for about five years.

The lawsuit also hints that Long Island church leaders knew of previous problems with Libasci but believed they had been “fixed and cured.”

Libasci, 69, has been the Bishop of Manchester since 2011. He replaced Bishop John McCormack, who became embroiled in the priest sexual abuse scandal in Boston and committed to reforms to avoid prosecution of the church by New Hampshire authorities.

The…

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Attorney who has represented clergy abuse victims says it can take decades to come forward

MANCHESTER (NH)
WMUR-TV, ABC-9 [Manchester NH]

July 22, 2021

By Jessica Moran

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[VIDEO]

Mitchell Garabedian says culture of abuse must be stopped

A Boston attorney who has represented clergy sex abuse victims for decades said Thursday the culture of sexual abuse in the clergy has to be stopped.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian’s comments came after Bishop Peter Anthony Libasci, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire, was accused of assaulting a boy in the 1980s. Garabedian is not representing that alleged victim.

Garabedian has represented thousands of sexual abuse victims. He said he’s not surprised by the allegations and is commending anyone who comes forward, regardless of how long ago the alleged abuse took place.

He said it takes a lot of courage for victims to come forward, and they’re to be admired because they’re not only helping themselves, but also helping others.

While the allegations in this case stem from the 1980s, Garabedian said it’s not uncommon…

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Diocese of Manchester bishop accused in lawsuit of sexually abusing minor

MANCHESTER (NH)
WMUR-TV, ABC-9 [Manchester NH]

July 22, 2021

By Jennifer Crompton and Jessica Moran

Read original article

[VIDEO]

Status of bishop remains unchanged, diocese officials say

The bishop of the Diocese of Manchester has been named in a civil lawsuit that alleges sexual abuse of a minor in the 1980s in Deer Park, New York.

Bishop Peter Anthony Libasci, the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Manchester, is accused of sexually abusing the alleged victim when the child was around 12 or 13 years old on “numerous occasions” in 1983 and 1984. Libasci allegedly fondled and groped the child’s genitals.

The diocese issued a statement about the lawsuit, telling News 9 that, following standard protocol, the matter has been reported to civil authorities.

During the timeframe of the allegations, Libasci was a priest and pastor at St. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Church in Deer Park. The lawsuit accuses Libasci of abusing the boy on one occasion while the boy was preparing the altar for Mass.

The…

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New Hampshire bishop accused of abusing teenage boy

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

July 22, 2021

By Michael Casey

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A lawsuit filed earlier this month accuses the head of the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire of committing sexual abuse decades ago while he served as a priest in New York.

In a lawsuit filed July 14 in state Supreme Court in Suffolk County, Bishop Peter Libasci of the Diocese of Manchester is accused of abusing a male youth on numerous occasions in 1983 and 1984. The abuse resulted in “physical, psychological and emotional injuries,” the suit says.

The Diocese said in a statement that it was aware of the lawsuit and that the matter had been reported to civil authorities. The status of Libasci remains unchanged, it said.

“Because this is an ongoing matter and out of respect for the individuals involved, the Diocese will not be providing additional information at this time but will provide updates when we are able to do so,” the statement said.

The…

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System failure: How federal laws shield sexual predators like Dr. Larry Nassar

WASHINGTON (DC)
USA Today

July 23, 2021

By Marci Hamilton

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One of the most egregious barriers to justice for child sex abuse victims is short statutes of limitations.

Last week’s report by the inspector general’s office confirms beyond a doubt that the FBI’s investigation of Dr. Larry Nassar fits squarely into the ever-growing paradigm of failures to prevent child sex abuse.

These survivors, like those abused in the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts, have been traumatized and re-traumatized by three specific plagues our society inflicts on our children – and President Joe Biden and Congress must finally act to right these unconscionable wrongs:

Systemic failures leave children defenseless. The report confirms that the FBI sits squarely among the long list of institutions that failed to protect these young athletes. From the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, to coaches, gyms and even families, these disciplined, ambitious kids didn’t stand a chance against the likes of Nassar.

At CHILD USA,…

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Brave witness shares underwhelming experience with the Catholic church

(NEW ZEALAND)
Radio New Zealand [Wellington, New Zealand]

July 23, 2021

By Sela Jane Hopgood

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A brave witness at the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry Pacific Investigation has shared her experience of coming forward to the Catholic Church and police about the abuse her relative suffered by a Catholic priest.

The witness known as Ms CU spoke on behalf of her niece, who was 15-years-old at the time of the abuse.

She explained the Tongan society is very hierarchical, saying that ministers, priests and nuns elevate in both status and authority because of the godly factor.

“They are a representation of God on Earth,” Ms CU said.

It was at Ms CU’s family reunion that took place in New Zealand where the priest met her niece, who had travelled from Tonga for it.

The reunion started with a mass, which was led by Father Sosefo Sateki Raass, and he attended all the programmes that took place.

This was where he had met Ms…

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First Nations-run school authority faces multimillion-dollar lawsuit over alleged sexual abuse

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

July 20, 2021

By Willow Fiddler

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A First Nations-run education authority in Northern Ontario is facing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit for allegedly failing to protect students who lived at one of its boarding facilities from sexual abuse.

Six men from northwestern Ontario are suing Northern Nishnawbe Education Council (NNEC) for $2-million each for aggravated and punitive damages, including past and future loss of income, as a result of alleged sexual crimes committed against them as young boys in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when they left their homes to attend high school in Sioux Lookout. The plaintiffs are also seeking the costs of culturally appropriate mental-health treatment.

Jack Wicksey was charged with sexual abuse and exploitation in 2018 over alleged offences when he was a student services worker for NNEC, a position that gave him direct access to and authority over students.

According to the claim, Mr. Wicksey had been charged around 1994 with sexual crimes…

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We have a moral obligation to learn Native American history

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Hill

July 20, 2021

By Ted Gover

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Recent announcements by Canadian First Nation Tribes — Tk’emlups te SecwepemcCowessess First NationLower Kootenay Band and the Penelakut Tribe — of unmarked graves on the grounds of former Indian boarding schools where Indigenous children were mistreated understandably grabbed headlines and shocked many.   

Sadly, most Americans are unaware that similar abuses took place across 30 states from 1869 through 1978. Hundreds of thousands of Native American children were removed from their tribal communities and forced to attend government and church-run boarding schools for the purpose of cultural assimilation into U.S. society.  

For over 100 years, these 350-plus institutions tried to replace Native American values, languages and ways of life with Christianity, Western traditions and the English language. At its peak, an estimated 83 percent of American Indian children were attending these boarding schools where…

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Texas minister allegedly gave girl, 15, meth and sexually assaulted her: police

VERNON (TX)
Fox News [New York NY]

July 22, 2021

By Audrey Conklin

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Texas minister Brian Keith Pounds allegedly gave a 15-year-old girl meth and sexually assaulted her, according to authorities.

The Vernon Police Department first responded to reports of an underage girl, identified as Jane Doe, with Pounds, 45, at a motel on July 1, police said in a Facebook post Monday explaining the department’s investigation.

Pounds told a Vernon police officer he was a minister at the First Assembly of God Church and was getting a room at the motel for a person in need, according to an affidavit reviewed by Fox News.

Jane Doe’s mother found Jane Doe at a Walmart that same day, north of the motel, and brought her to police, authorities said. Jane Doe then told police she had been having sexual intercourse with Pounds, whom she said had been counseling her and her…

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Pope Francis’ Reforms To Canon Law On Sexual Abuse: True Change Or Wishful Thinking?

OXFORD (UNITED KINGDOM)
The Oxford Student [University of Oxford, England]

July 22, 2021

By Raef Murphy

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‘Every time there is a single incident of abuse in the Catholic Church it is a scandal. And I’m glad it is a scandal’ – Cardinal Vincent Nichols’ response to questions on the Catholic Church’s continued association with rape and abuse of children was, in many ways, an understatement. The Catholic Church’s history of paedophilia-related scandals is seemingly common knowledge, and in conversations with friends and family, this topic usually elicits casual jokes. All too often, however, its significance is downplayed by references to the Catholic Church’s involvement in charity. It comes as no surprise, then, that a recent independent report into abuse within the Catholic Church has found Cardinal Nichols to have shown ‘no acknowledgement of any personal responsibility to lead or influence change’, nor any ’compassion towards victims in the recent cases’ examined.

Against this background, the latest changes in canon law on sexual abuse, enacted by Pope Francis,…

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Catholics weigh in on abuse scandal 3 years after McCarrick and Pennsylvania report

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

July 22, 2021

By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service

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WASHINGTON — Although many Catholics’ memories of the clergy sex abuse scandals that rocked the U.S. church in 2018 have dimmed, a majority of those who recalled the scandals said in a survey they felt more positive about the church’s progress in confronting the issue.

Overall, 76% of respondents in the survey, conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, said sexual abuse of minors by clergy has hurt the church’s reputation “at least somewhat.”

The report, commissioned by America Media, the Jesuit ministry, was released July 19.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they pay either “quite a bit” or “a great deal” of attention to clergy sex abuse reports in the media. Another 27% said they’ve paid “some” attention to them.

Only 47% said they can recall hearing about the 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report chronicling abuse allegations against more than 300 priests and other church workers over…

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Lawsuit against diocese dismissed

HARRISBURG (PA)
Altoona Mirror [Altoona PA]

July 22, 2021

By Phil Ray

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Court rules window for Rice to file suit has long since passed

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled an Altoona woman cannot sue the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown for sexual abuse she allegedly suffered from a priest beginning in 1974 when she was 8 or 9 years old.

The court said the window to file the suit had long since passed.

Renee Rice contended the allegedabuse by the Rev. Charles F. Bodziak of St. Leo’s Church continued until 1981, but she did not file a lawsuit against the diocese and two of its bishops, James Hogan and Joseph Adamec, both deceased, until after she had read a 2016 Pennsylvania grand jury report. That state investigation alleged hundreds of children had been abused over many decades by diocesan clergy and that the diocese had remained silent despite knowing of the incidents.

Bodziak has denied the abuse occurred.

The lawsuit,…

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Letter to editor: Reports of abuse need investigation — Father James Connell

MADISON (WI)
Wisconsin State Journal [Madison WI]

July 22, 2021

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Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced in April a statewide initiative to review reports of clergy and faith leader sexual abuse in Wisconsin. The initiative has begun with a review of the five Catholic dioceses in the state along with a review of some of the Catholic religious orders operating in those dioceses. 

Finally, I thought, we had an independent review that could vindicate the claims of clergy sexual abuse victims/survivors, while also giving the church an opportunity to clear its name and repair its reputation.

Yet in June, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki cried foul, claiming the attorney general is exceeding his “legal authority to conduct such an investigation” and that the investigation “is directly targeting only the Catholic Church.” 

This unfortunate position of the archbishop notwithstanding, the attorney general must go forward with the review because without the whole…

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‘They Don’t Give a Shit’: Former Agent Says FBI Ignores Child Sex Abuse Cases

WASHINGTON (DC)
Rolling Stone [New York NY]

July 21, 2021

By Andrea Marks

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Jane Turner, a 25-year FBI veteran who blew the whistle on malfeasance within her agency, says the botched Larry Nassar abuse case is part of a pattern

Last week, the Justice Department’s Inspector General released a scathing report detailing just how badly the FBI botched the major child abuse case involving Larry Nassar, former doctor for the USA Gymnastics national team and Michigan State University accused of abusing dozens of young patients in his care across several states.

The report says the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office did not respond to the claims against Nassar “with the utmost seriousness and urgency that the allegations deserved and required, made numerous and fundamental errors when they did respond to them, and failed to notify state or local authorities of the allegations or take other steps to mitigate the ongoing threat posed by Nassar.”

Among other failings, the report states that the office did not document…

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July 22, 2021

Case of high-ranking cleric allegedly tracked on Grindr app poses Rorschach test for Catholics

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

July 21, 2021

By Marisa Iati and Michelle Boorstein

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Is Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill a victim of both the surveillance and morality police? Or a hypocrite who had it coming? The case of the high-ranking Catholic cleric who resigned after allegedly being tracked on the gay dating app Grindr quickly became a Rorschach test Wednesday for Catholics already mired in tension over politics, theology and culture.

Monsignor Jeffrey D. Burrill, a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., resigned Tuesday as the general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops amid “impending media reports alleging possible improper behavior.” (Bob Roller/Catholic News Service)

Burrill until Tuesday was the top administrator for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He stepped down after a Catholic newsletter presented conference officials with allegations that cellphone data indicated he had repeatedly used Grindr and visited gay bars.

Catholics reacted with immediate intensity to the Pillar’s report. On Wednesday, some said they…

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Top U.S. Catholic Church official resigns after cellphone data used to track him on Grindr and to gay bars

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

July 21, 2021

By Michelle Boorstein, Marisa Iati and Annys Shin

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The top administrator of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops resigned after a Catholic media site told the conference it had access to cellphone data that appeared to show he was a regular user of Grindr, the queer dating app, and frequented gay bars.

Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, seen in 2018, resigned July 20 as the general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops amid “impending media reports alleging possible improper behavior.” (Bob Roller/Catholic News Service)

Some privacy experts said that they couldn’t recall other instances of phone data being de-anonymized and reported publicly, but that it’s not illegal and will likely happen more as people come to understand what data is available about others.

Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill has since last fall been the general secretary of the USCCB, a position that coordinates all administrative work and planning for the conference, which is the country’s network for Catholic bishops. As…

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Statement on USCCB General Secretary

WASHINGTON (DC)
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

July 20, 2021

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WASHINGTON – On Monday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops became aware of impending media reports alleging possible improper behavior by its general secretary, Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill.

What was shared with us did not include allegations of misconduct with minors. However, in order to avoid becoming a distraction to the operations and ongoing work of the Conference, Monsignor Burrill has resigned, effective immediately.

The Conference takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and will pursue all appropriate steps to address them.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

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